The big lie with smoking was simply: “Smoking doesn’t cause cancer.” The rationale for the lie was simple – the act of smoking did not cause cancer, the smoke did. Fracking has its own big fracking lie: “Fracks don’t contaminate groundwater.” Same PR firm, same rationale: the frack itself is only one quick part of the overall process – when it is the whole process or any part thereof – starting with the trucks and ending up with the rusting wellbore – that can contaminate groundwater. (And the air and the soil and you.)
Focusing solely on fracking the well neatly ignores all the other problems with shale gas industrialization: Scamming landowners, bribing politicians, shooting seismic blasts without any regulations – then the frack truck convoys. . . etc. etc. etc.
Meanwhile, the carpet bombing of the Southern Tier continues with a fracking propaganda campaign that could have been devised by “Smilin’ Joe” Goebbels. From Gerri Wiley, RN:
“Came home to Endicott … and found the neighborhood had been blanketed with flyers paid for by the American Petroleum Institute. The one on our doormat announces “13,000 oil and gas wells in New York, 1 million hydraulically fractured nationally, ZERO incidents of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing.”
Variants thereof have been sent out to other towns in the Boondocks of the Marcellus, some with the celebrity endorsement of genuine Koch Sock Puppets.
Any fractavist that has been paying attention would know that:
“Thousands fracked in New York”
The number of wells fracked in New York state to date is not indicative of the hazards presented by shale gas wells. Au contraire. Implying otherwise is intentionally misleading. Because all of the wells fracked to date in New York State are dinky vertical wells. Not massive horizontal shale gas wells. So apples and oranges. Or apples and super tankers. The frack on a vertical well can be measured in no more than a few hundred feet – the frack on a pad full of horizontal wells can be measured in miles. As in “from here to way ‘cross yonder.” The amount of trucking and frack flowback on a horizontal well pad is 10 to 100’s of times greater. And since it has leached the shale bed horizontally, the billions of gallons frack waste is loaded with radium 226, of which the shale is a natural source.
There has been groundwater contamination from vertical wells in New York. Even given the difference between horizontal and vertical wells, there have been many incidents of groundwater contamination from vertically fracked wells. And the DEC has consistently tried to cover them up.
Dr. Ron Bishop has chronicled some of these New York leakers
And retired geologist Brian Brock has uncovered evidence about how the DEC tried to cover them up.
“Millions fracked nationally”
Millions of vertical wells have been drilled fracked. And thousands of horizontal wells, and what we know for certain is that horizontal gas wells are very apt to vent gas deposits into groundwater. Of course the industry knows this – but the local shale charlatans are paid by the industry to not admit that it ever happens – anywhere. Meaning they’re paid to lie. So they do what they’re paid to do. Lie. Then go drink themselves into a stupor.
Given the hydrology, topography and geology of Upstate New York and NE Pennsylvania, the odds are that shale gas well bores will leak, contaminating groundwater. If only one 1 in 10 leaks, on a 10 well pad that’s about a 100% probability you will have groundwater contamination. Just a matter of when.
Like “smoking doesn’t cause cancer” – “fracking does not contaminate groundwater” narrows the focus to the instantaneous act of running the frack in a matter of hours – on a mile long well that is apt to leak gas into groundwater for decades to come. After the forest around it has been clear cut for gas lines and after the frack truck convoys have dumped toxic radioactive flowback on roads and rivers. Meaning after you’ve been totally fracked.
By the way, fracking does contaminate groundwater. The EPA will do whatever it takes to not find out why.
What to do about the flyers ? Use your imagination. But if a politician or a reporter quotes them, do what you need to do . . .