Without much to frack about in New York, local fracademics adjust. Don Siegel, who teaches Rocks For Jocks at Syracuse, is now an expert on storing millions of gallons of pressurized propane in partially collapsed salt caverns next to America’s cleanest lake. Yep, that Don Siegel. http://www.nofrackingway.us/
“I can think of no better geological environment in New York state to store liquid gas than salt caverns filled with brine,” he wrote in a March 12, 2013, letter to DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens. “Indeed, if ‘proof is in the pudding,’ brine-filled salt caves near Seneca Lake already have been used to store liquid gas for decades and have had no problems.”
“In summary, it is my opinion that the operation of the LPG facility as proposed will not cause any salinization of Seneca Lake by any plausible scientific or engineering reason,catastrophic or otherwise. I evaluate the safety of this proposed facility using scientific and engineering based on my fundamental understanding of physics and geology coupled with simple common sense and detailed actual measurements and the long standing success of storing liquid gas in salt caverns, including nearby in New York State.”
“The company said it would create 50 construction jobs, eight to 10 permanent jobs and have an investment of about $40 million. The project would include a major truck and rail hub. They also refer to an opinion from Syracuse University hydrogeologist Donald Siegel that endorses the LPG project. In a letter to the DEC, Siegel said “geologically, the proposed site actually has unique geologic attributes to protect the environment.’’
“I can think of no better geological environment in New York state to store liquid gas than salt caverns filled with brine,’’ he wrote, saying those caves have been used to store liquid gas for decades without problems. Siegel also defended the brine pond storage proposed for the site.”
Don Siegel teaches Geology 105, aka “Rocks for Jocks” at Syracuse University. He also shills for fracking front groups, noticeably Chesapeake’s propaganda smokescreen “Shale Country” that features Prof. Siegel as its Resident Frackademic http://www.shalecountry.com/content/donald-siegel-facing-reality
“Shale Country” is owned by the “Clean Skies Foundation“ a fracking lobbying group formed by Aubrey McClendon.
So Syracuse University Prof. Don Siegel is basically acting as a frak flak for Aubrey McClendon. Imagine that.
Fracademia attracts some certifiable bottom-feeders, as this new study “Fracademia in Depth”demonstrates.
Student ratings of Siegel as a Rocks For Jocks professor may be indicative of his expertise:
His recent Letter to the Editor is pure gaseous spin. He castigates the editors of the Times Union for calling for an extension of the moratorium on shale gas industrialization. Siegel implies that the fact that shale gas industrialization is allowed in 29 states is “scientific evidence” that it is safe.
But he offers no peer reviewed studies of his own to indicate that shale gas wells are not excellent ways of contaminating aquifers and ground water by venting methane up the well bore.
This denial of the evidence is the industry line, even though industry service companies sell services to try to prevent gas wells from venting into groundwater. New York’s DEC has gone out of its way to ignore the science on the matter – for decades, not just in the last few years.
The purpose of the moratorium extension was to compel the DEC to once and for all address the science of air and water pollution problems of shale gas industrialization.
With scientific studies like this one:
Or this one that indicates that HVHF wells produce enough ozone to choke a horse
And this one, where scientist discover flowback isn’t much good to drink for a thousand years or so.
So indeed, trust the science, if not all of the scientists . . .
Siegel Letter: Trust Scientists on Fracking
TO THE EDITOR SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
Your editorial “Yes, A Drilling Moratorium,” March 26, ignores 29 other states that safely allow drilling for natural gas. Continually advocating for more study on gas development while not also indicating the scientific bar to be reached for acceptance now constitutes a practical means of obstruction that political opponents use against fossil fuel development in general.
The reason for the moratorium is that the state – the DEC – has not addressed the science in either the proposed HVHF regulations or the SGEIS. The fact that shale gas industrialization is allowed elsewhere is not scientific proof that it’s safe. It just means that some local politicians and frackademics have been bought off. Most scientific studies have shown that shale gas industrialization contaminates aquifers and groundwater. Even in Scotland:
The DEC has simply ignored those studies. Hence the call for extending the moratorium. The state Senate is controlled by the gas lobby – who have killed every piece of shale gas legislation. http://www.nofrackingway.us/2013/03/07/a-tale-of-two-bills/
So New York is now the only state where shale gas production is both state tax exempt and where there is no autonomous environmental oversight over shale gas exploration. Because that’s what the gas lobby paid for:
The state has an obligation to review the industries within its borders in a timely and complete fashion. With respect to natural gas, there has been a four-year and now an eight-month review without a road map to completion. Rather than collaborate and innovate with industry, as other states do with respect to natural gas development, New York appears to have chosen the opposite.
The Division of Mineral Resources has been in denial about water contamination from gas wells for decades, not just the last 5 years. The DEC stonewalls the science, the scientists, the doctors, etc. That’s what the moratorium extension addresses: It calls on the DEC to stop stone-walling.
The state would be prudent to trust its scientific regulators because, if it doesn’t, why should the general public have confidence in state regulatory abilities? It is time for the scientific minds working for the state to be heard and for elected officials to act accordingly. As long as activist celebrities and self-appointed experts get more credibility by our public officials than scientists with decades of relevant experience, the state will fail to arrive at proper decisions based on science.
Professor of Hydrogeology, Department of Geology