August 26, 2011
Fracking Fluid Fear-Mongering FarceBy Alan M Aszkler
EPA bureaucrats and Green Avengers perpetrate a daily nonsensical assault touting the grave consequences of fracking fluid and its secret ingredients. Carnival barkers in the media blindly parrot fear-mongering articles from such noble sounding groups as "Natural Resources Defense Council," without offering a single shred of scientific evidence to substantiate their ruse. The forgone conclusion is that hydro-fracking will destroy the ecosystem and must be stopped; nothing could be further from the truth.
Hydro-fracking has a long history of success. First introduced in 1908, forty years later it became a commercially viable method to safely extract America's most abundant energy from bedrock strata. Over one million gas wells have been fracked without a single incident of environmental impact. This didn't stop Ian Urbina of the New York Times from citing a case from 1984 in an Aug 2011 article warning of tainted water and the possibility of benzene in fracking fluid.
Fracking fluid secret ingredients are not secret at all. EPA and state government Dept. of Environmental Conservation agencies require energy companies to file Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for every chemical used on the drill site, period.
Ninety percent of fracking fluid is water with 9.5% sand the other half percent the secret ingredients, common household chemicals we all flush daily into the municipal gray water system.
The diagram below is from the US Department of Energy.
The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection, in the interest of providing open and accurate information to satisfy public concern, gave the Associated Press a list of the MSDS that all fracking contractors must file.
The AP sounded the alarm highlighting three compounds that appeared on the lists because of the risks they pose to human health -- naphthalene, toluene and xylene. Eco-activists had a field day claiming that deadly BTEX compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene) in fracking fluid will poison the water, killing fish, flora, and fauna while releasing fatal concentrations of the green death into the atmosphere.
It was much ado about nothing. Scott Perry, the director of DEP's Bureau of Oil and Gas Management, accepted the blame because he provided the AP with the comprehensive list of all chemicals used at PA's well sites. Not just the chemicals pumped deep underground but also those stored or used on a well site, including fuel and brake fluid for vehicles. DEP spokesman Tom Rathbun, said of hydraulic fracturing fluids, a fear that those chemicals will interfere with drinking water aquifers -- is misplaced.
Environmentalist websites are still publishing the secret ingredient deadly chemical fallacy. Reluctantly, they do acknowledge the overwhelming safety record and lack of groundwater contamination while shifting their focus to traces of thermogenic methane in well water.
Canadian environmental agencies publish documents warning anyone using well water about the dangers and history of naturally occurring "thermogenic" methane in ground water. None of our agencies provide this information.
For the real secrets and conspiracies, read about our EPA's abuse of power in Mario Loyola's article published in the Weekly Standard on August 13, 2011. This is a dramatic example of government run amok. Residents in a Texas suburb had natural gas in their water wells for years before any fracking took place. EPA's righteous indignation outweighed the facts. Naturally occurring methane in the town's groundwater legally allowed the EPA to issue an emergency order shutting down another American energy company, regardless of the truth.
The Natural Resources Defense Council states, "Climate Change Threatens Health! Children, the elderly, and communities living in poverty are among the most vulnerable" Most in this demographic stateside heat their homes with natural gas.
Why are government agencies, eco-lobbyists, and progressive media pundits perpetrating the relentless attack on America's most abundant energy commodity?
In fracking, American ingenuity in a free-market economy once again has created technological advances bringing to market natural gas at a cost that is cheaper today than it was ten years ago. Hundreds of small- to medium-sized family businesses and corporations creating thousands of good-paying jobs have triumphed over ever encroaching punitive regulations to heat the homes of single moms and fixed-income seniors everywhere with affordable American natural gas.
Solar and wind energy projects in our country and around the world are failing. Vast government funding and price-control legislation have tipped the playing field overwhelmingly in the green energy alchemists' favor and they still cannot compete in a free market. Every day it seems another substantially government-funded green energy techno-fallacy files for bankruptcy.
"Drill here drill now" works because it already has with natural gas!
Alan Aszkler is Reagan conservative who believes that it's time to allow American ingenuity to restore our economy with American exceptionalism.
A Tainted Water Well, and Concern There May Be More by Ian Urbina, New York Times, August 3, 2011
'Fracking' Pollution In Water: Pennsylvania Allows Natural Gas Drilling Waste Disposal In Waterways by David B. Caruso, Associated Press
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