I’m interested in finding out what unbiased, responsible sources are available regarding shale gas drilling. The websites I’ve found most helpful in trying to understand the risks and opportunities involved are these:
I realize that community groups opposing fracking might be considered biased, but from what I can tell, most communities in shale gas territory started out supportive. In places where that has changed, as in Sharon, TX, it might be useful to understand why. But I’d be interested to hear recommendations.
In an interesting way, the Occupy Warren site and the Gazprom article make the same point: if corporations control the flow of information (through misleading ads and influence on the press - either because they own the publication or tv station, or threaten to withdraw ads). information will be slanted to produce profits, and any hope of accurate information is lost.
And if corporations also control the legislative process (through corporate contributions and lobbyists) and exert undue influence over the regulatory process (by threatening politicians if they don't keep regulators in line) then any hope of appropriate regulation or reasonable rule-setting is lost.
Which is exactly why the Occupy movement is taking place, and also why so many people are becoming politically mobilized about fracking. It's all connected.
Matthew - I haven't had time to look at all your sources, but the one that I'll definitely recommend is the Fracking Hell video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEB_Wwe-uBM There are some really interesting comments on that - The young guy who was working in the industry who says "some wells are inspected and done right, and most aren't."
That's his perception - and I know there are people who post here who believe "it's always done right. The industry is so tightly regulated no one would try to get away with dumps or spills." Does anyone know of sites that lists leaks and spills? I see mention of lots of them- but wonder what the real percentage is. A similar point was made in Sherry's really informative Tudor-Pickering report - it says some companies have been really reasonable and responsible, and some have refused to admit mistakes, and continue to make more in a way that does the industry, environment, and human health harm. But it would be helpful to know percentages.
Let me clarify. I think corporations are great - I drive a car, watch tv, etc. What's troubling is when power gets concentrated in the hands of very large, very powerful corporations that then use that power to influence politics, regulations, scientific research, the flow of information.
Thank you Tom, for not being a radical idiot who believes the lies.
Rather amazing isn't it Mark?
You can hear the authenticity in this lady's voice. She plainly is angry and frustrated about what happened to her, and it probably took a lot of courage for her to get up before this audience of 200 or so. She mentioned that she had never done any public speaking before, yet actually was pretty good at it.
However, there were a few peculiar things about her story that I don't completely understand. She mentions the name of the drilling company around 7:17 on the video. It sounded to me like Gokor Gas. I have not heard of them, nor is it in Wikimarcellus which is usually pretty complete. If anyone knows this company, please let me know so I can help keep the wiki up-to-date. Secondly, all of the Marcellus and Utica horizontal wells in Ohio are south of Coitsville/Youngstown along the Pennsylvania and West Virginia borders with Ohio. So, I'm assuming she must be talking about injection wells for disposal of waste water, not horizontal shale wells.
Who knows what this company is injecting underground in Coitsville Township and from where it may originate? It is not necessarily from out-of-state shale drilling, although, at least in part, more than likely is.
Also, it sounds like her heath problems have been misdiagnosed by her physicians. She mentioned that she is drinking 2 gallons of water per day. That's actually quite a lot. My wife and I together drink around 1.5 gallons per day. I'm guessing this person's very high water intake may be symptomatic of her health condition whatever that may be.
If the kind of water pollution she talks about is very widespread, then it says much more about the waste water injection business and the way it is regulated in Ohio than it does about natural gas E & P companies. I'm very sure the latter believe that their waste water from shale drilling is being safely disposed of by the injection well operators. That's what the latter get paid to do.
I hope someone gets to the bottom of this. Sounds like she might have grounds for legal action.
Clinton Sandstone wells, eh? I believe those are the most common variety of gas well drilled in Ohio, with a track record of few or no problems for years.
I don't know about any issue of fairness in giving out company names, or whether it is okay to mention Cabot's name. I don't remember ever saying anything negative about them, except of course claiming one of Dimock's residents once had a rather surprising experience. I already admitted that I got careless with my facts on that one. It's very easy to do. If the company is listed on the stock exchange, they are in effect a very public company, so mentioning their name shouldn't be a no-no, but it does help of course to always try and keep statements accurate. I actually believe Cabot deserves a lot more credit than they usually ever receive from the media.
In the Coitsville case, the lady mentioned the company's name, so it is already out there. Why not at least get their name spelled correctly, if we're even going to talk about them? It sounds like what happened to the lady with health problems was an isolated experience, so let's hope that's actually the reality of it.
Sorry, and thanks for the clarification. I did not realize she said something against Cabot, so misunderstood your meaning. She just seemed to be generally upset, probably with very good reason, and wanted to lash out. People are generally aware of the derogatory things that have been said, but not enough know about the awesome positive side of the doings in the gas fields of Susquehanna Co., PA
Please disregard everything I said about waste water injection wells. As Mark points out in his previous post, these wells the lady complains about, were actually Clinton Limestone ones, that are unrelated to either the Marcellus or Utica shales. These were drilled to another geological formation entirely.
It'd be interesting to hear the driller's side of this story since the water pollution she is so upset about seems to be an extremely rare kind of occurrence when and if it ever happens. I mean, I know this happened to her, but wonder if there is more to it.
Bump not! Judging from the number of views of this forum, a lot of people are interested in Carol's request for recommendations of good sources to learn.