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frack baby frack

Posted: Apr 9, 2013

[F]ood and farming activists have been sounding the alarm on the possible impact of fracking on the food we eat. The Monterey shale is a particular concern, because it sits below the same land where many of the state’s 81,000 farms—including big vineyards, orchards, and dairy operations—pump out a great deal of the state’s annual $43 billion worth of food.

n short, the oil and gas companies use a vast array of chemicals in the fracking process to extract oil and natural gas buried deep beneath the surface of the earth, while the rock formation or shale releases its own array of pollutants in the process. The liquid that’s left behind is often contained, but there’s increasing evidence that it’s leaking onto the landscape, and into our water-dependent food supply.

In states like Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Ohio, grazing animals have gotten sick and died after drinking fracking runoff and water from farm wells near fracking operations—often the main source of on-farm water. They’ve been poisoned with everything from arsenic, propane, and cobalt to uranium and radium. And the frequency of fracking-related tainted meat, dairy, and other food in the marketplace is yet to be thoroughly studied.



I live in CA and don't expect to see - fracking here. nm

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You're hysterical. My son fracks and is there right now in - Bakersfield. Listen up.

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We won't, at least not in the good parts. We won a court battle today. - No fracking in California. Ever!

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Proof of court battle? Fracking being done in - 9 counties (sm)

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Q: Where is fracking being done in California?
Fracking has been documented in nine California counties — Colusa, Glenn, Kern, Los Angeles, Monterey, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Sutter and Ventura — as well as in state waters off Los Angeles. In Kern County, California’s major oil-producing county, Halliburton estimates that 50 percent to 60 percent of new oil wells are fracked. But fracking is likely being done elsewhere in California, going unmonitored and untracked by state officials.

It's just stopped temporarily on 2 tracts of land. - They'll be fracking again soon.
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Fruits and nuts? Tree huggers? - The Great State of California - LOL (sm)

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This is why they don't have any jobs out there.
Oooh! The stereotyping game?!? Can I play? - Vamonos H. Pest
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I'd love to start with some southern states, but I have a feeling it wouldn't go over too well.

If you wanna stand by your post calling Cali folks "fruits and nuts," (and where is the political content in that, Moderator?) or tree huggers (really?) so be it. Maybe I'll be back later to take my turn at this game. Or you could always just apologize, delete your post maybe?
Proud nut (or fruit) here. - NachoCali
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I live in coastal California, and it's beautiful here. It really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, including you. There's nowhere else in the country I'd rather live.

I fall asleep to the sound of barking sea lions and cranes every night. I wake up to the rank smell of the wharf every morning, and I breathe deep, baby! People come here from all over the world, just to get away from it all.

Sounds good. Are there any trees to hug? LOL - Callie Entay
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Redwoods! Cypress! Totally worth the splinters in my arms. - NachoCali
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Now excuse me while I go pick up my bulk trail mix and wheatgrass. :P
treehugger - good 'ole girl
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One time my boy's coon dog got tangled up in some brush. I had to wrap both arms around that tree to get him untangled. Now everybody calls me a treehugger too.  Hillbilly treehugger.  Laughing

You're being silly and actually funny w/your posts - Vamonos H. Pest
[ In Reply To ..]
which is appreciated. I can sit here and laugh about (and be laughed at for) my stereotypical obnoxious Buttafuoco accent and excessive swearing, and that's funny too, but by beef with the "fruits and nuts" comment is that I've heard this before, and it's not just a jab at all folks from California, rather a specific dig at those from San Francisco. IMO, it has no place on this board. Maybe she was talking about trail mix, but I don't think so... it's easier to just say granola.
fruits and nuts... - pH commie
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At least the fruits and nuts thing is just your typical garden-variety slur. It's nothing like those annoying literate, witty rejoinders that make us have to think so much.

[Disclaimer: Garden-variety is a figure of speech. This post is not meant to be about gardening in any way.]
Proud former fruit/nut here. - Only left b/c of the
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quakes and hubby's grad school. Lots of jobs when I lived in the Bay Area. You can be hanging on the coast in the morning and skiing three hours later. And burritos the size of your forearm. I especially miss those...
stereotyping - good 'ole girl
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I'm from rural Missouri  . . . goat roper, hick, hillbilly, bumpkin, redneck . . . and those are some of the milder ones.  Feel free to embellishWink

Check out the statistics. EPA has been monitoring - Truthhurts

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wells and checking on any and all complaints. Most are unfounded. The family in PA who had methane in his faucet...turned out it was natural and was there naturally and prior to fracking. The data is on line.

I can see where they would stop it in CA. Water is scarce enough there, isn't it? Fracking uses a lot of water.

I'm not happy with all the chemicals that are being used but they are so far underground that I don't think it really harms the cattle and/or plants. That will take a few years to study.

Biogenic gas CAN migrate as a result of fracking. - SM

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Those families in the film Gasland did not have flammable water before fracking.




I am taking this point out of order because it is so important to the film I want to address it near the beginning of this document:

E-I-D claims:

Mike Markham in Gasland ]: Fox blames flammable faucet in Fort Lupton, Colo. on natural gas development. But that’s not true according to the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). “Dissolved methane in well water appears to be biogenic [naturally occurring] in origin. … There are no indications of oil & gas related impacts to water well.” (complaint resolved 9/30/08, signed by John Axelson of COGCC)


Biogenic gas can migrate as a result of gas drilling.  And hiding behind “biogenic” gas classification is yet another common industry obfuscation tactic.

E-I-D asserts that the gas that Mike Markham lights at his tap was classified as “biogenic” by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, so therefore the problem cannot be attributed to drilling. This is a very misleading assertion, and it is false in several ways. 

A distinction is being made here between “biogenic” and “thermogenic” natural gas. “Biogenic” gas is created by decomposing organic material, and is found in pockets close to the surface. “Thermogenic” natural gas is created by intense pressure in underground rock formations and can come only from deeper layers (including shale, which are targeted by fracking). The different types of gas can be identified by isotopic tests that “fingerprint” the gas. However, gas fingerprinting simply identifies the gas.  It does not identify the migratory pathway of the gas— a key omission.

Just because Mike Markham’s gas is “biogenic” doesn’t mean that its migration into water supplies was not caused by drilling.  I asked Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, the D. C. Baum Professor of Engineering at Cornell University, whose research for more than 30 years has involved structural mechanics, finite element methods, and fracture mechanics: "Can drilling and/or hydraulic fracturing liberate biogenic natural gas into a fresh water aquifer?"

His reply:  "Yes, definitely.  The drilling process itself can induce migration of biogenic gas by disturbance of previously blocked migration paths through joint sets or faults, or by puncturing pressurized biogenic gas pockets and allowing migration through an as-yet un-cemented annulus, or though a faulty cement job. The hydraulic fracturing process is less likely to cause migration of  biogenic gas; however, the cumulative effect of many, closely spaced, relatively shallow laterals, each fracked (and possibly re-fracked) numerous times, could very well create rock mass disturbances that could, as noted above, open previously blocked migration paths through joint sets or faults."

So, just because the COGCC labeled the gas "biogenic" doesn’t mean that they actually looked into how it got there. As Professor Ingraffea states above, there are several ways that drilling and fracking can cause biogenic natural gas to migrate into aquifers. COGCC did not conduct a hydro-geologic study to determine the migratory pathways of the gas into the water supply — despite citizens' conviction that the problems with their water happened after fracking occurred nearby.

At the very top of the Gasland interview with Mike Markham and his partner, Marsha Mendenhall, they state very clearly their intense frustration with the COGCC. Holding up the jar of their contaminated water, they explain that the COGCC had ruled that their contamination had nothing to do with gas drilling. This fact is not hidden by the film.

Renee McClure, who also had flammable tap water, expressed frustration with the COGCC as well, stating: "I thought that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission was there for the people. They are not there for the people, they are there to work and help the oil and gas companies. And I asked them—who's there for the people? And he told me, 'NOBODY, call an attorney!' " Renee McClure was also told her methane contamination was naturally occurring. Both Markham and McClure stated on the record that their water got worse after nearby fracking and gas-drilling activity had occurred. (And in both cases, water tests showed other contaminants related to oil andgas production in their water wells, which is a fact that E-I-D leaves out.)

There are striking similarities between the industry's and regulators' responses in Weld County, Colorado and Dimock, Pennsylvania. In both cases, citizens had a fundamental distrust of the state regulatory agency, and in both cases gas companies called the gas "biogenic" until the claim was either disproved or additional cases of “thermogenic” gas contamination surfaced.

Widespread frustration with state agencies Like COGCC and PA DEP

Frustration among citizens with their state agencies was very common in my travels, in Colorado, in Pennsylvania, in Texas, and in Arkansas. Citizens pointed out time and time again how they felt their state environmental agencies were not up to the job, or even worse, were in cahoots with the gas companies. In Dimock, Pennsylvania, we were told that Cabot Oil and Gas and DEP reps often walked in together with an air of camaraderie; in Texas, complaints about the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Railroad Commission were rampant. It is indeed part of the thesis of  Gasland that state agencies are either overwhelmed or not to be trusted when it comes togas drilling. Mike and Marsha make that point quite clearly. Among folks living in gaslands, state agencies are not living up to their responsibilities to protect citizens and are widely suspected of corruption. 

I also experienced the same frustration with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Dave Neslin, the COGCC executive director, scheduled an interview with me and then promptly canceled it when I asked him to sign a production release. 

We included that refusal in the film. PA DEP secretary John Hanger said there was no contamination of Dimock’s water in the beginning of his interview, but he promptly reversed his position when I offered him some Dimock water to drink, stating that the families that had been contaminated had been given replacement water by the gas companies.

Biogenic/thermogenic reversal in Dimock 

As pointed out before, just because the gas industry says the gas is biogenic doesn’t mean that it actually is.

When I got to Dimock I called Cabot Oil and Gas spokesman Ken Komoroski to ask about Dimock's flammable tap water. He gave me the same explanation, saying that Dimock's water had beenflammable prior to drilling and that the gas was biogenic. A few months later the PA DEP didextensive testing that showed that the gas was in fact thermogenic. (You can see the attached PDF with PA DEP’s findings on the subject and Cabot Oil and Gas’s plea to DEP to not identify the gas as “Marcellus” gas.) Here is a key quote from a PA DEP internal memo on the subject.

Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2OO9 6:54 AM

To: Burch, Kelly; Bowman, Kenneth

cc: sherman, Michael D; Schwartz, Ronald; Lobins, craig; Bialosky, Donald; carmon, Mark; Bedrin, Michael; Sexton, Barbara (DEP)

Subject: RE: Stray gas incident - Dimock Twp,, Susquehanna County

“Based on the existing geochemical data set, we can conclude that the origin of the stray gases detected in the Florentino and sautner [sic] water wells (nine samples analyzed thus far: two = stray gas, seven = potential sources) is thermogenic in origin, consistent with natural gas from Devonian production. The gas found in these water wells is not consistent with microbial gas that occurs in some shallow aquifer systems.”

However, Cabot Oil and Gas's first response, like the gas industry's first response to

Gasland, was to try to discredit the claim. Ken Komoroski stated that Dimock residents either had gas in their water from before the drilling, which all the citizens dispute, or that somehow magically at exactly the same time as drilling started, an unrelated source of natural gas began to migrate into their water supply.

Proven examples of “thermogenic” natural gas in water supplies

Just because Mike Markham’s gas may or may not be biogenic doesn’t mean that all of the examples of lighting water on fire in the film are due to biogenic gas.

This leads me to discuss the case of Mike and Marsha and Renee's neighbors, Amee and Jesse Ellsworth, who are featured in the film just after Mike and Marsha. They light their water on fire in the film. Unlike Mike and Marsha, the methane in their water was ruled “thermogenic” by the COGCC, to have come directly from the deeper layers, i.e., from the layers targeted by gas drilling. Amee and Jesse’s tests were done a year after Mike and Marsha’s tests, which could indicate that thermogenic gas was pushing biogenic gas up to the surface. Biogenic would come up first into the aquifer as in Mike’s 2008 test followed by Amee’s thermogenic gas, tested in 2009.


I will state again, that in neither case did the COGCC do any real hydro-geologic surveying; they only labeled the gas as “thermogenic” or “biogenic” and then walked away, leaving Mike and Marsha, Renee, and Amee with no option but to start hauling water into their houses from a nearby municipal water source, move away and start over, or enter into a negotiation with the gas company for water. 

Of the three cases, Mike and Marsha chose hauling water. They go to town once or twice a week to buy water from a coin-operated machine, as detailed in the film. 

Renee McClure moved out of the area, presumably because of her water and health problems in Weld County. 

Amee and Jess Ellsworth chose to negotiate with the gas company and have now been silenced, compelled to sign a non-disclosure agreement. I checked in with Amee recently to see how she was doing. She said, with regret in her voice, “I can’t talk to you about gas.” She can no longer talk on the record about what happened to her. I don’t know the details, but I do know that she is still being delivered water by the company. She cannot speak to me or anyone about the gag order she was compelled to sign, I found out from a third party. She had to trade her silence for water. At that moment, the truth lost a very powerful and articulate voice. Without water, you cannot sell your  property, and without water you cannot stay on your property. Amee and Jesse’s backs were against the wall; they took the only way out of the nightmare. They sold their first amendment rights for water.

In Dimock, the water problems continue. Cabot Oil and Gas is supplying water to 32 families as ordered by PA DEP, (up significantly from the 4 families that John Hanger notes in the film). In Hickory PA, replacement water is rampant, with some reports stating that over 200 families are receiving replacement water in exchange for non-disclosure agreements. Why should people have to sign an NDA to get clean water after a multi-billion-dollar corporation contaminates their water? Is it right for people to have to trade their silence for what should be their right?

CONCLUSION on biogenic or thermogenic gas:

Whether the gas is determined biogenic or thermogenic, we believe the citizens when they say the problem happened post-drilling and post-fracking. Testing of the drinking water in Dimock prior to drilling showed no gas of any kind in any significant quantities.  The industry is using this biogenic/thermogenic distinction, often with the collusion of state agencies who are not properly investigating, to dispute citizen’s claims of contamination, but it has no basis in science.



fracking is EXEMPT from the Safe Drinking Water Act - pH commie

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it's affectionately known as the Halliburton loophole.

Holy Cow! How did that happen? - Astonished

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3 words: Dick Cheney, Halliburton - pH commie
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When people talk about fracking and drinking water "data" it's an unfortunate and total obfuscation of the truth, thanks to Public Law 109-58, which EXCLUDES fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act. It's a horrible shame, and I think relatively few citizens are aware of this exclusion.

Here are two good articles on fracking and the exclusion known as the Halliburton loophole:

Halliburton Loophole: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/opinion/03tue3.html

Exaggerated Safety Findings: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/05/20/20greenwire-frack-studys-safety-findings-exaggerated-bush-65374.html

Here is the text of Public Law 109-58 (page 102):

Paragraph (1) of section 1421(d) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300h(d)) is AMENDED to read as follows:

(1) UNDERGROUND INJECTION. The term âunderground injectionâ
(A) means the subsurface emplacement of fluids by well injection; and

(i) the underground injection of natural gas for purposes of storage; and
(ii) the underground injection of fluids or propping agents (other than diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic
fracturing operations related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities.

Public Law 109-58: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-109publ58/pdf/PLAW-109publ58.pdf
Thank you for the links. - Astonished
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Much appreciated :-)
your're so welcome - pH commie
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it's such a troubling issue. There's a very illuminating documentary called "Gasland" that you might be interested in. I watched it on Netflix.

Still on the fence - Fanatical Husseincommie

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Natural gas is definitely preferable to coal and oil air pollution wise, but fracking is still a tough pill to swallow. We need more time and independent research before we go whole hog on fracking. It could be a viable way to ease our way a little bit out of dependence on foreign fuels, but it's methods and the science behind it are questionable. Most of the people with statements against it have unverified claims about its dangers, but most of the research data for it is by the industry itself. I wouldn't live too close to a fracking operation. The entire world is running out of water and they are wasting and potentially poisoning a great deal of it.

Plus, I see as one more excuse by the fossil fuels industry to not wean off the stuff. They keep doing that. Shale oil, fracking, deep crust coal mining, arctic floor drilling. Each method more expensive and damaging than the last all for a resource that is gonna go quick.

I agree with you being on the fence. - Truthhurts

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I'm "sort of" on the fence too but the industry did come out with data on the chemicals and how much of each they use.

Some of the PA fracking operations are using mine water and/or water from quarry's made from strip mining, which is good because you can't swim in a drained quarry (some can be as deep as 50 feet).

I hadn't heard that - Fanatical Husseincommie

[ In Reply To ..]
My family is scattered across western Maryland, northern West Virginia and southeastern Pennsylvania, so going for a drunken half-naked coed swim in the quarry was a common Saturday night activity. I never really understood the practice myself. Quarries are creepy, unhealthy and dangerous, so draining them is a good idea.

As for the chemicals, that's interesting. I didn't hear they had released exactly what they're using. Last time I checked in they were still keeping a lid on the secret recipe. Not that I trust them to be telling the whole truth or that everyone in the industry is following the guidelines. There's always that guy (usually lots of 'em) who wants to cut corners.

Another big problem is that just about all our water comes from underground streams and aquifers, which we can't directly see or map, so even if we were damaging them, we would have no clue about it until maybe 10-30 years later when the locals get cancer. It's like asbestos or DDT or thalidomide. When we realize something's wrong, it's too wronged to right.

It's a tough issue. However, considering that we're already dealing with oil spills, coal slurry, excess CO2, acid rain, etc., fracking is probably as safe as anything we're doing to the planet. One of the things about local drilling, fracking and mining that I have a tough time with is on one side I don't want to pollute my backyard. I don't want my neighborhood to end up like the Pegasus spill. But on the other side, every time I turn on a light or fill up my car, I'm supporting global terrorism, causing our next military intervention and ruining someone else's backyard in a country already chock full of ruined backyards. Though America was and still is beautiful, while the Middle East has been a dusty wasteland for a couple millenia ever since the climate shifted in the region.

I'm interested to see what European research groups find on fracking once they start doing it there in earnest. They are more likely to allow independent groups to review the chemicals, the methane leaks, the storage devices, the water transport costs, unintentional fracturing, seismic activity and all the other issues associated with it.
There have been a few accidents in northern PA - Truthhurts
[ In Reply To ..]
with small spills or truck accidents and spilling their loads of tainted water but the EPA has been on it immediately and the companies have cleaned them up ASAP with no contamination. I don't know of any methane leaks or storage problems yet. It really doesn't make big news. A search using PA fracking accidents did pull up accidents in PA.

I can't remember where I got the info on chemicals used but try this site for some info:

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My 'baby' Is Graduating From High School This WeekendJun 02, 2011
I can not believe my baby is graduating high school.  This May my two boys turned 18 and 21 and now in September they will both be in community college.  I am so probud of them coming this far but it is bitter sweet.  They both have Asperger's syndrome (very high functioning autism) and although they are growing up, not sure if they will ever leave home.  They are good boys and I have done all I can to help them succeed in the world and there are new life lessons every d ...

9-Year-Old Girl Gives Birth To Healthy Baby BoyFeb 03, 2010
In north-east China, an unnamed Chinese girl gave birth by Caesarean section to a health baby boy. She was 9 years old. She was bought to a hospital in Changchun when she was eight and a half months pregnant, and gave birth there, a Chinese newspaper reported. According to reports, local police haven't determined who the father is, but are investigating -- in this province sex with a minor under the age of 14 comes with an automatic rape conviction and jail sentence.This new mother is among ...

I've Decided On My First Sewing Project. A Baby Quilt.Dec 01, 2010
My niece is pregnant and she found out she is having a boy, so I know what colors to use.  She is due in April so I figure that gives me plenty of time to work on it as I'm on a learning curve and will no doubtedly be ripping stitches and starting over repeatedly.  I post pictures of my progress for advice and critiques! ...

New Video. Looks Like Planned Parenthood Sold BabyAug 12, 2015
I would say "the mother's consent" but that doesn't seem fitting. ...

NIH Bills Taxpayers For Aborted Baby Parts. Sep 02, 2015
buy body parts harvested from aborted babies, according to a new video. The Center for Medical Progress released a ninth video featuring major Planned Parenthood partner Advanced Bioscience Resources on Tuesday. The company’s procurement manager, Perrin Larton, said that one of the company’s biggest buyers is the National Institutes of Health. “We continued to send tissue to people like NIH,” Larton told the undercover videographers. “Even though the government was paying for it, ...

Most Popular Name For Baby Boys In Great BritainOct 06, 2015
yeah, you guessed it:  Muhammad. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a25011625/top-baby-boy-names-2014 ...

Baby Einstein Giving Refunds/school Kids Oct 27, 2009
I just thought that was interesting and wanted to share.  I found this story in my email inbox.  Apparently, Baby Einstein does not make your baby smart and is just a way to keep them entertained or as stated in the article from Yahoo... "According to the article, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under two years old stay away from watching screens. In the letter threatening Disney with a class-action lawsuit for "deceptive advertising," public health lawyers ...