Recently a pdf file entitled: Mannings v. WPX is making its way through the fracktivist networks. I strongly suggest downloading/saving the file before it disappears.
The file is a slide show by Terry Engelder, Professor of Geoscience at Penn State University and presented at a Penn State Gas Law Forum. In it, Engelder, “hypothetically” tries the Mannings v WPX case. Engelder plays the parts of Judge, both the plaintiff and defendant lawyers and a newspaper reporter. He invites the “audience” to be the jury.
Without notes, audio or video recording, it is difficult to know what Engelder said about each slide. However, there are a few slides which raise questions.
Two specific slide feature the words “Methane is not a poison”.
Not a Poison? I guess it depends on how you define poison.
Medical complications/symptoms: Exposure to low levels of natural gas is not harmful to your health. However, if a gas leak is severe, the amount of oxygen available for breathing could be dramatically reduced, which can lead to asphyxia. Symptoms of asphyxia include:
- irregular breathing
Exposure to extremely high levels of natural gas can cause loss of consciousness or even death.
In another slide, Engelder asks if a smiling worker appears to be concerned about “the dangerous, offensive, hazardous or toxic nature” of his work.
Concerned? Probably not, however that may be the wrong question. Perhaps the question should be: If the worker were properly informed of the risks and hazards involved would he still he smiling?
Ronald E. Bishop, Ph.D., CHO,Chemistry and Biochemistry Department | State University of New York, College at Oneonta
Draft, January 21, 2011 Excerpt. Page 2 (emphasis added): Some chemicals in ubiquitous use for shale gas exploration and production, or consistently present in flowback fluids, constitute human health and environmental hazards when present at extremely low concentrations. Potential exposure effects for humans will include poisoning of susceptible tissues, endocrine disruption syndromes, and elevated risks for certain cancers.
Exposures of gas field workers and neighbors to toxic chemicals and noxious bacteria are exacerbated by certain common practices, such as air/foam-lubricated drilling and the use of impoundments for flowback fluids. These methods, along with the intensive use of diesel-fueled equipment, will degrade air quality and may cause a recently described “down-winder’s syndrome” in humans, livestock and crops.
Wheaties and Fracking? Not sure what the comparison to Wheaties is supposed to mean:
I don’t see Hydrochloric Acid, Ammonium Persulfate, Petroleum Distillate, Ethylene Glycol or Triethanolamine Zirconate (to name a few) in the box of Wheaties.
An unconfirmed rumor has stated the Engelder presentation was scrapped by Penn State shortly after the document became public. If the rumor is true, why was it scrapped? Will Engelder’s budding career as an expert witness be scrapped too?
As a friendly reminder to all boys and girls, EAT YOUR FRACKING WHEATIES!