Dr. Tony Ingraffea to Talk About Fracking at Butler Community College

Renowned authority on shale gas drilling, Dr. Tony Ingraffea of Cornell University, has been invited by Marcellus Outreach Butler to talk about the perils of fracking at:

7:00 pm, Thursday, November 21
Succop Theater
Butler Community College
107 College Drive, Butler, PA 16002

Free to the public. 

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Does fracking cause sever squinting too?

My summary of Anthony Ingraffea's talk in Butler yesterday:

The talk title was "The Science of Shale Gas: The Latest Evidence on Leaky Wells, Methane Emissions, and Implications for Policy".

Pennsylvania DEP is understaffed, so inspections are incomplete, but based on the public inspection reports on all wells:

PA gas and oil wells leak at a significant rate.

Leak means gas or liquid coming up outside the casing (pipe) due to faulty cement between the casing and the drilled hole.

About 5% leak at first.

About 10-70% leak after 15 years (percentage depends on which set of wells you look at).

The target density of wells in PA is about 10 wells per square mile.

Wells drilled since 2009 leak at a higher rate (probability) than older ones.

Wells drilled in northeastern PA leak at a higher rates than those in the rest of the state, probably because of more complex geologic strata, and drilling haste.

Unconventional wells (those using directional drilling and horizontal drilling) leak at about 4 times the rate of conventional wells (vertical drilling).

The above work is being peer-reviewed and will be published soon.

Many DEP inspection reports have notes indicating a leaky well, yet the inspector failed to report a violation when they should have.

There are hundreds of thousands of gas and oil wells in PA. Many are abandoned and/or lost. The state is falling behind at keeping track of them. Volunteers have begun to search for them.

The state needs much stricter inspection, enforcement, and penalties. If drillers are merely given a slap on the wrist when wells leak and contaminate water, say, it wlll not curb their misbehavior. Fines must be many times larger.

A lot of methane leaks from gas wells. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, so curbing methane emission would slow global warming faster than cutting back on CO2 release. Overall, natural gas appears to be worse for global warming than coal. But data on methane leaks is limited; more measurement is needed.

The gas industry says "PA water wells were contaminated with methane before we ever fracked" but they fail to talk about concentrations. Methane (and other) concentrations rose dramatically and dangerously after drilling, in some areas.

There is an overemphasis on fracking: it is not just the fracking that causes a risk, but the drilling also.

He didn't talk much about fracking chemicals, frack wastewater, air pollution other than methane, or other health risks.

Natural gas is not "clean" or a "bridge fuel". We should transition to solar & wind power. We can't eliminate all use of fossil fuels -- they're useful for airplanes -- but we should reduce their use for cars, buses, trucks, and home heating.

He's optimistic that one day Exxon, say, will announce: "we need to get off fossil fuels; Exxon will lead the way".

I found a radio report on Ingraffea's talk here: http://wesa.fm/post/10-commandments-drilling

Thanks Jim Litwinowicz for informing us about Dr. Ingraffea.  I simply want to know the truth about the OG industry (good and bad) and it certainly appears safe to say the Paul Heckbert has an agenda to scare and misinform people.   I love the severe squinting line as well!!

Is it Paul or Chip? Same Guy? Squinting maybe caused by all the extra methane in the air from all those leaking wells.  Don't light a match in Pa!

The cat has those same squinty eyes. I don't believe it. LOL

Ok chip  Given this day's cold and wind- appropriate.  Have a great Thanksgiving Chip. I am a neighbor in Trumbull waiting for next years reports

If you went near one of those leaking wells you would literally gag and not be able to stay within 20 feet. Ask me how I know - a friend has an older conventional gas well, not 100 feet from her house. You truly would not light a match ten feet from it and expect to live - and the DEP has been called about it repeatedly for years. They came out once and said it was fine. It is not, and no one posting here would say it was, if they went there.


As for the "uncoventional" horizontal fracking installations inundating the countryside here in WV, the truly noxious and dangerous part is the benzene fumes coming off football-field sized evaporation cancer ponds. Your eyes begin to burn and your lips to tingle as you approach (in a car, with the vents and windows closed) within two miles of these areas. Visit for  few hours and you will have a headache that lasts a day or two after you leave. Worse if you have asthma or respiratory allergies.

Live that close to one, and your animals will begin dying after a few months, and then you will have nosebleeds every evening.

Even if you move away you have a high probability of cancer within ten years.

Another friend who has two injection wells uphill from his land has lost four cows in a year. They are always found down by the creek, and show no signs of physical trauma.

This conspiracy is no theory. It's an easily demonstrable fact of life in West Virginia and it is a criminal travesty that this country allows its citizens to be so treated and even supports it in the legislature, courts and White House.

There are many other ways to get energy than industrializing our rural lands and sacrificing and depopulating towns, farms, and torturing innocent people, just to  poison the entire land and permanently render truly staggering quantities of water toxic with millions of gallons of legally "peristent and cumulative" carcinogens, left under the riddled ground at tens of thousands of pounds per square inch of pressure, to inevitably find their way to the aquifer through opened cracks, natural vertically oblique fissures, and the hundreds of thousands of abandoned, deteriorated, unrecorded and uncased wells left in West Virginia for over a century and a half of vertical drilling.


Think it's exaggeration? The WV Host Farms will be glad to show you it's all true. Come and breathe the noxious benzene fumes by our scenic cancer ponds and see for yourself.

None of what you just stated is true.

The sad part about this is there was a follow up article in the local newspaper (Butler Eagle) about the presentation with the reporter spreading the propaganda to the local masses! So what does the average Joe think after the article, lousy dirty #!*#! communist gas and oil companys!! Spread the fear, if you repeat it enough times, it's the truth!!

LewPa; So true.  When Ingraffea first presented his paper a couple of years ago, it was so defective that people slammed it at his own press conference. Yet, the Left and the sycophants in the press  spread it across the country.  Subsequent studies have shown his thesis to be seriously wrong yet he gets $5000 per appearance to continue spreading his lies.

Amazing how people can make an entire career by spreading false information that is easily discredited.

At the Butler talk, Ingraffea said he does not accept speaking fees, as a policy, though he admitted to accepting a cookie or two.

The letter at the right side of http://www.nysenate.gov/files/pdfs/Senator%20O'Mara's%20column%20in%20the%20October%2018th%20Leader.pdf supports that.

If you lived almost anywhere in West Virginia, you and all your neighbors would KNOW that it is the truth, and worse, in the real world.

Go on the many anti fracking localized FB pages, or The WV Host Farms, and see the MANY pics of exactly what's going on here already - and they haven't really even started yet!


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