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Fracking: industry vs. Reality

From an article by Walter Brasch over at MyDD:

Barry Russell, president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, says “no evidence directly connects injection of fracking fluid into shale with aquifer contamination.” Fracking “has never been found to contaminate a water well,” says Christine Cronkright, communications director for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Research studies and numerous incidents of water contamination prove otherwise.


Research by Dr. Ronald Bishop, a biochemist at SUNY/Oneonta, suggests that

New York State Assemblymembers Robert Castelli...

New York State Assemblymembers Robert Castelli and Steve Katz call for a moratorium on on hydraulic fracturing in the Croton Watershed in October 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

fracking to extract methane gas “is highly likely to degrade air, surface water and ground-water quality, to harm humans, and to negatively impact aquatic and forest ecosystems.” He notes that “potential exposure effects for humans will include poisoning of susceptible tissues, endocrine disruption syndromes, and elevated risk for certain cancers.” Every well, says Dr. Bishop, “will generate a sediment discharge of approximately eight tons per year into local waterways, further threatening federally endangered mollusks and other aquatic organisms.” In addition to the environmental pollution by the fracking process, Dr. Bishop believes “intensive use of diesel-fuel equipment will degrade air quality [that could affect] humans, livestock, and crops.”

So who do we listen to? Executives who depend on Fracking for making themselves rich, or scientists who continue to build up proof from actual experience and related experiments.

The complaints continue to pop up, from the movie “Gasland” to State and Federal committee testimonies:

“Some of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing—or liberated by it—are carcinogens,” Dr. Sandra Steingraber told members of the Environmental Conservation and Health committee of the New York State Assembly. Dr. Steingraber, a biologist and distinguished scholar in residence at Ithaca College, pointed out that some of the chemicals “are neurological poisons with suspected links to learning deficits in children,” while others “are asthma triggers.

What we all need to do is make our feelings heard on all levels – especially at the top… Obama is promoting Fracking in his energy plan without showing any understanding of the procedure’s danger.

BTW, Dr. Walter Brasch’s current book is Before the First Snow, a critically-acclaimed novel that looks at what happens when government and energy companies form a symbiotic relationship, using “cheaper, cleaner” fuel and the lure of jobs in a depressed economy but at the expense of significant health and environmental impact. The book is available at amazon.com and from the publisher, Greeley & Stone.

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