Ten Big Fat Lies About Fracking: Phelim McAleer

THERE are three places in the US called Burning Springs, and there are historical records of people lighting their water since the 1600s. That’s according to Phelim McAleer who explains what he sees as the ‘Ten Big Fat Lies About Fracking’…Fracknation

1) Anti-fracking activists are nice people who love debate

Actually, far from being liberal, open-minded souls bringing truth to power in a kinder, gentler way, anti-fracking activists have chosen a new disposition: angry! I guess no one told the fracktivists that just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean we can’t get along. Watch Vera Scroggins, for example.

Vera, an anti-fracking, Sierra Club-endorsed activist from Pennsylvania, adds to the ‘dialogue’ with such constructive comments as:
‘You’re a freak.’
‘You’re a male prostitute.’
‘You’re an Irish freak. Go drink some alcohol.’
‘Go get drunk and be a drunken Irish freak.’
‘You’re an alien. You look like a f***ing alien.’

Or take actor and activist Alec Baldwin. In the run-up to a debate about fracking in the Hamptons that he was taking part in, following a screening of the anti-fracking movie Gasland, Baldwin approached the New York Independent Oil and Gas Association (IOGA) to see if it could suggest a speaker who was not as anti-fracking as the other speakers on the panel. IOGA suggested me as an independent voice, a journalist with an international perspective who has researched fracking for over two years in two continents. But suddenly Baldwin was no longer interested in debate or diversity of opinion, and he vetoed me from the panel. Then, a few hours later, he popped up on Twitter and posted the following:
@phelimmcaleer Come debate me, Phelim, you lumpy old gas whore. Who’s paying you?
— ABFoundation, 1 June 2013
@phelimmcaleer Phelim, you are a dreadful filmmaker. But come debate me, you tired old bullshitter.
— @ABFalecbaldwin, 1 June 2013
Sean Lennon – son of peace activists John Lennon and Yoko Ono – thought that someone who disagreed with him on fracking was a good ‘argument for abortion’.

Or, if you’re still not convinced, just peruse the comments on my movie’s Facebook page left by anti-fracking activists. Such pleasant people!

2) Everyone hates fracking

From news coverage, you would think that everyone in America hates fracking. Even the name sounds awful. Who could support such a terrible practice?

Well, it turns out that just about everyone who lives with it loves it.

Dimock, Pennsylvania is one place where all journalists reported that everyone hates fracking. Yes, there were 11 families in the village involved in a very lucrative lawsuit with an oil-and-gas company, and the journalists always interviewed them. But they completely ignored a petition signed by 1,500 people in the community who said their water was fine and had not been affected by fracking. What is 11 out of 1,500? Less than 1%. It’s the 99% who support fracking.

There is one other group that is opposed to fracking in Pennsylvania – the New York elite. This coalition of grumpy hipsters and celebrities have holiday homes in Pennsylvania, or they’re concerned that if a new industry brings wealth and progress to PA then the ‘traditional’ (read poor) way of life there will be destroyed.

So once or twice a year, the likes of Mark Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon and Yoko Ono get bussed in from the city to meet disgruntled locals, and then are chauffeured back to their gas-heated homes after another day of successfully blocking natural-gas development.

If you want proof positive that communities love fracking, look no further than the ballot box. Consider this US Businessweek report on the 2012 election: ‘Anti-fracking candidates in the Southern Tier [New York] were beaten up and down the ballot after intense campaigns, some of which were framed as referendums on shale-gas development.’

At least 20 anti-fracking candidates were rejected by New York voters (New York is supposed to be the heartland of anti-fracking sentiment). But hey, keep protesting, fracktivists – after all, democracy is for the little people, and you can walk all over them on your way to your next starry TV interview about the ‘evils’ of fracking.

3) Fracking is brand new and untested

Pop quiz: how long has fracking been around? Here are your choices:
a) Since 2010
b) Since 1990
c) Since 1975
d) Since 1960

Sorry, you’re wrong. Trick question. The first fracked well was in 1947! And more than one million wells have been fracked in the US since then (2.5million worldwide). In terms of industrial processes, it doesn’t get much older or more thoroughly tested than fracking.

4) Fracking makes your water flammable

No lie about fracking is more widely believed than this old canard. It was popularised by Josh Fox in his HBO-funded documentary, Gasland. In it he shows a man who can light his tap water on fire, supposedly because of fracking.

I asked Josh about reports that some people could light their water before fracking occurred. He didn’t like this question.

He eventually admitted that he knew people could light their tap water on fire decades before fracking ever started but chose not to include this fact in his documentary because ‘it wasn’t relevant’.

There are three places in the US called Burning Springs, and there are historical records of people lighting their water since the 1600s.

5) Fracking contaminates drinking water

If fracking doesn’t make your water flammable, it must at least contaminate it with dangerous chemicals, right?
Not according to Lisa Jackson, the former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and no friend to big business. She testified before Congress that there have been zero proven cases of water contamination due to fracking.
That’s right – one million fracked wells later, there are no examples of contaminated water anywhere. Zero.

6) Fracking uses a lot of dangerous chemicals

Fracking fluid is 98.5% water, 1% sand, and 0.5% chemical additives. Some of these additives are also used in making ice cream! Colorado’s Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, drank fracking fluid to prove its safety to his local residents.
But these are still chemicals and we should be scared of them – that is the cry of the fracktivists. But water is a chemical. Coffee has a whole bunch of chemicals in it. Everything is a chemical. Don’t be duped by bad science (like the people these American comedians convinced to ban the scary sounding ‘dihydrogen monoxide’).

7) Fracking causes breast cancer

In his short film, The Sky is Pink, Josh Fox claimed that a spike in breast cancer in Texas was a result of fracking. Turns out he was wrong. Again. (Seems like a theme for Josh.)
The Associated Press interviewed leading cancer researchers who all concluded: there was no spike.

Did Fox apologise for scaring women and families? No. He’s an environmental activist. The media don’t ask him difficult questions or demand that he clears the record. Less than a year later, HBO released Gasland Part 2, Fox’s sequel about the dangers of fracking. There was no mention of breast cancer in it, and he has never withdrawn his original claim. This is the anti-fracking playbook. Scare people, get media attention. And when the science comes in debunking the scare story, move on to the next scare story.

8) Fracking uses a ton of water

Even fracking fans have a hard time swallowing the water stats for fracked wells: the EPA estimates that fracking used between 70 and 140 billion gallons of water in 2011. That sounds like a lot of H2O. Unless you have a lawn.

Americans use 20 times more water on their lawns than they do on fracking.

9) Fracking should be banned because it causes earthquakes

One of the scarier arguments against fracking is that it causes earthquakes, especially if you live in a tectonically charged US state, like I do. Yet all activity under the ground affects the earth, and if you don’t like this fact then you should also campaign to ban supposedly eco-friendly hydro-power, which actually has caused earthquakes (but they only affected Indians, so environmentalists don’t care – just so long as the energy created was ‘sustainable’).
But the biggest cause of man-made earthquakes is the environmentalists’ favourite power source: geo-thermal. It seems that some earthquakes are more equal than others.

10) Fracking destroys the landscape and disturbs bucolic rural America

The process of fracking (which is separate from drilling) is noisy and looks messy – for a few days. Then the land is reclaimed and the industry moves on to the next area. All the scary photos of huge machinery and big trucks are taken during this initial process. Which is a bit like photographing the building site of a half-built house and saying all house-building should be banned. As a filmmaker, my biggest problem was trying to film working gas wells in a way that would look interesting. They are tiny and often hidden behind hills or behind bushes and trees.
Oh, and fracking does create traffic. That claim is true. Locals call this ‘jobs’. They generally like it. They may complain sometimes but they know that the only thing worse than traffic in rural America is no traffic.

****

Phelim McAleer is co-director of FrackNation and also one of my all time favourite films ‘Mine Your Own Business’. This article is reproduced with permission from Phelim. It was first published at Spiked-Online and you can go there for lots of embedded links.

28 Responses to Ten Big Fat Lies About Fracking: Phelim McAleer

  1. cohenite August 25, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    When Washington crossed the Delaware he took a detour to look at underwater flames caused by burning gas.

    Big oil, gas and all the energy producers have a problematic record in respect of environmental issues but that should not be justification to ban all extraction of energy sources.

  2. Robert August 25, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Well, when you’ve lost Alec Baldwin you’ve lost the whole bitter-and-fuming-celebrity-airhead demographic. Poor Phelim.

    I have no idea how bad the frackers are. Normally one can ignore “activists” by default, but I’d like to talk with a lot of Darling Downs cockies before deciding one way or another. What I don’t understand is how energy is so expensive in the midst of such energy wealth. Nor can I grasp how a modern society can function without cheap, reliable and abundant electricity and gas. Nor do I understand how the poor can advance by tramping for their water and cooking dinner over dung [slight correction: by getting WOMEN AND GIRLS to tramp for water and cook dinner over dung].

    There are other names for Earth Hour. In remote communities it’s Burn Down the Humpy Hour. In Brazil it’s called Incinerate the Impoverished Favela Hour. In Peru it’s Kerosene Stove Disfigurement Hour.

  3. Dale Stiller August 25, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    This article by Phelim McAleer is from the US. I’m not going to try to respond to the US situation rather by what I have observed here in the gasfields of the Surat Basin, Qld, Australia.

    Starting with point 3. Fracking is brand new & untested.
    No it has been around for quite a while but what is new is using it at more shallow levels and this has caused some problems and even industry sources point to this.

    4) Fracking makes your water flammable
    Methane has been coming out of some water bores in my part of the world from specific aquifers before CSG. However fracking has caused increased gas to come from these bores and other bores to have gas come up them that can be noticed for the first time. A real problem can occur the quantity of gas increases to reduces the litres/ hour of water that can be extracted from a bore below what is needed for stock watering.

    8) Fracking uses a ton of water
    It does use a lot of water and this impact is relative to the location of the site not to a nation wide comparison of water use. Where is the water sourced from, what are the seasonal conditions at the time and how it is transported to the site.

    9) Fracking should be banned because it causes earthquakes
    It’s almost laughable when an earthquake occurs & some automatically ask where the fracking occurs. Fracking has been shown to cause earthquakes; but then again not always. The article is correct in that a lot of other things cause earthquakes as well. Whenever a stress is added or removed in an underground system there is the possibility of an earthquake.

    10) Fracking destroys the landscape and disturbs bucolic rural America
    Fracking but more generally coal seam gas activity does create traffic, a big load of traffic. The locals in these parts do not like destroyed roads that were never built to carry this volume of traffic. As for jobs, what jobs? There is a certain amount of work for local sub contactors but the workers are near all fly in / fly out and the suppliers and larger contracts from far away urban centres.

  4. spangled drongo August 25, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    “[slight correction: by getting WOMEN AND GIRLS to tramp for water and cook dinner over dung].”

    Slight correction: only after they have removed all burnable wood from the landscape.

    The hypocrisy is mind blowing.

    There are no doubt many issues with fracking that need to be handled optimally as with all types of mining but when you see how these hypocrites carry on:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/23/friday-funny-fracking-protestors-and-their-petro-sourced-belongings/

    just who are they trying to kid.

    I’ve just come back from a week’s camping around the western Darling Downs trying to find the illusive Regent Honeyeater [no luck but found the Regent Bower Bird☺] and the fracking is increasing the employment and commercial activity out there enormously.

    I’m sure if I said “stuff the fracking, I’m only interested in the Regent Honeyeater”, I could make an argument for no fracking even though possibly not one Mugga Ironbark, on which the RH feeds, has ever been affected by fracking.

  5. Robert August 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    sd, I’ll keep a sharp eye out for the Honeyeaters. They’re supposed to be around here. The Regent Bowerbirds will be ripping into my silky oaks soon. Talk about flash.

  6. Debbie August 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    It looks suspiciously like ‘same s**t, different day’ ?
    I am immediately wary and sceptical of any environmental activist group who claim they want to help farmers.
    Yeah right! Farmers just happen to sit just one rung up their target ladder.
    Good point about the honey eater sd. That is exactly the usual tactics. The ‘breast cancer’ example at number 7 above is another.
    IMHO I think the real issue is there are a whole bunch of clueless nuffies trying to muscle in and using legislative means to create double standards.

  7. John Sayers August 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Lisa Jackson, the former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was the lady who introduced the concept that CO2 was a pollutant and pushed the AGW stance in the US. She was wrong on that one so…..

    I question whether we need to frack. The US has exhausted it’s natural oil supplies and became dependent on Middle East oil. Since they started fracking they have reduced their dependency considerably and are now converting their oil based power systems to gas based systems. It’s been of great benefit to the US and it’s energy independence.

    Australia on the other hand has heaps of gas. Here’s where our gas supplies lie.

    http://www.bree.gov.au/documents/publications/_other/gasResourceAssessment.pdf

    Conventional Gas:
    Bass strait = 11,700 PJ
    NW Shelf = 159,000 PJ
    Cooper Basin = 1,200 PJ

    Total Conventional Gas = 171,900 PJ

    Coal Seam Gas.
    Bowen and Surat Basin CSG = 33,001 PJ
    Gunnedah, Gloucester, Sydney Basin = 2,476 PJ

    Total Coal Seam Gas = 35,477 PJ

    So coal seam gas accounts for only 20% of our total gas reserves.

    It appears that we can supply ourselves with conventional gas for many years to come and the Gas companies are sure there are new conventional gas reserves yet to be found.

    To risk our water tables, and to destroy prime agricultural land so we can sell off the 20% of CSG supplies to foreign resource companies seems like bad policy to me.

  8. spangled drongo August 25, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    If, like Frank Sinatra, you visit Norfolk [to see the Broads], you realise what a problem it was to cook and keep warm during the dark ages.

    “When tides began to rise, the water filled the now ‘peatless’ holes to create what we now call the Broads.”

    What they mean is, when sea levels rose during the MWP:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/norfolk/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_8200000/8200123.stm

  9. spangled drongo August 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    It is always difficult to become rich and independent but if it ever looks like becoming achievable you can always shoot yourself in the foot:

    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/obama-is-denying-energy-independence-to-america

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/douglascarswellmp/100231478/the-new-luddites-are-standing-in-the-way-of-a-shale-gas-revolution-they-must-be-stopped/

  10. cohenite August 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    They are Luddites indeed; they seem to think the great social edifice which keeps them snug exists independently of reality so that their indulgences about energy and green, natural lifestyles will be possible within this social structure even without the energy sources which now sustain it.

    It is one of the great mysteries of life that seemingly intelligent people of the sort which infest places like deltoid can maintain this cognitive dissonance.

  11. spangled drongo August 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    Robert, do you live anywhere near the Wollemi NP? I believe it’s one of the few places Regent HEs have been seen in recent times. Capertee River area. I saw them years ago at both Inglewood Q and Barraba NSW when they were more plentiful.

    They feed on the same tucker as the Noisy Friarbird yet the NFB has thrived but the RHE is endangered.

    Is that AGW or what?

  12. spangled drongo August 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    Yeah, exactly cohers, Doltoids to a “D”

  13. Jennifer Marohasy August 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    John Sayers

    “To risk our water tables, and to destroy prime agricultural land so we can sell off the 20% of CSG supplies to foreign resource companies seems like bad policy to me.”

    I have heard lots of protesting but am yet to see even one case study where prime Ag land has been destroyed or a water table impacted more than is already being impacted by Ag… Can you proved us with one good example and with some data?

  14. John Sayers August 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Jennifer it’s early days to start supplying you request.

    The Bowen basin has only produced 8.5% of it’s capacity and the Surat even less at 1.18%.

    Agforce have lobbied Queensland Water and they are only just establishing proper management and record keeping measures. Part of the process of CSG extraction is the removal of the water to allow the gas to escape. That water must come from the aquifers in the region so farmers are concerned as to how much will be extracted as there is no licence involved, CSG companies have free access to as much water as they need to take. (unlike every other business) As I pointed out in earlier discussions they are just now establishing water purification sites to deal with the projected masses of chemical laced water they have to treat.

    http://www.agforceqld.org.au/file.php?id=1015&open=yes

    so this is just the start – imagine the whole of the Bowen basin and the Surat basin looking like this because this is what coal seal gas extraction looks like. You wouldn’t want to establish broadacre cropping on that land would you.

    http://coalseamgasnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2839944-3×2-940×627.jpg

    BTW let’s make it clear that shale gas extraction is entirely different to CSG.

    here’s how they differ.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/GasDepositDiagram.jpg

  15. cohenite August 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    I have referred to this before but it is worth repeating; Garry Willgoose, who works at Newcastle Uni in the same department as Stuart Franks use to, has done some good analysis of CSG issues. Willgoose is a warmist/alarmist so his support of CSG is objective and well reasoned:

    https://www.santos.com/library/SantosCCC_UpperHunter_28Aug2012_presentation_water_issues_CSG_independent_view.pdf

  16. Robert August 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    sd, I’m in the Macleay Valley right on the fringe of the State Forest and a wanky Bob Carr National Park. It’s a slaughterground for ferals but we’ve got amazing birds, as you can imagine. I may have glimpsed the RHE sucking on Chinese Lanterns in my yard. I’ll check with my neighbour, who keeps an eye out. We’re still a known habitat for the RHE. This spring will tell.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastings-Macleay_Important_Bird_Area

  17. spangled drongo August 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Thanks Robert. I’d be keen to hear your results. And that’s what these rare birds do, you can chase them everywhere and never see them and they can suddenly turn up in your backyard.

  18. Beth Cooper August 26, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    Check out the link to Christopher Booker re the top down get together in Vilnis,
    where a coterie of top down Klimate Kommisars get ter decide policy fer the …
    ahem … sovereign states of the EU. http://bishophill.squarespace.com/

    A serf reminded of the old (feudal) days.

  19. John Sayers August 26, 2013 at 2:01 am #

    Thanks Beth for the Booker link – I wish you’d speak normally – I find you accent pretentious and annoying.
    The question is about different fracking and it’s imperative we learn to distinguish between the two.

  20. jennifer August 26, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    John. If you want us to distinguish between the two you are going to have to start explaining n naming. Providing wiki links is not useful.

    Beth, I’ve never had a lot of respect for normal… I would prefer you were just yourself.

    Spangled, Robert, Twitter related posts go to Open Thread.

  21. Larry Fields August 26, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    Comment from: John Sayers August 25th, 2013 at 2:41 pm
    “The US has exhausted it’s natural oil supplies and became dependent on Middle East oil. Since they started fracking they have reduced their dependency considerably and are now converting their oil based power systems to gas based systems.”

    It would be more accurate to say that we’ve already exploited most of our HIGH GRADE oil supplies. However it’s now technologically and economically feasible to drill deeper. The Bakken Shale in North Dakota, extending into bordering states, has a lot of oil.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakken_formation

  22. Beth Cooper August 26, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Resonse ter John Sayers,

    I only do it to annoy because I know it teases.
    (I know it annoyed Luke.)

    The serf who came in from the field.

  23. papertiger August 26, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    Does it speak ill of my character that I can’t see a difference between John Sayer’s coal seam extraction and Drongo’s Norfolk Broads?

  24. Debbie August 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    A combined press release from NSWIC, Cotton Australia and Naomi Water has been put out today.
    It comes after a tour of gas operations in Colorado.
    Posting here for comment.
    ……

    “The New South Wales Irrigators Council, Namoi Water and Cotton Australia have released a joint report of findings from a recent tour of gas operations in Colorado in the United States. The tour was designed to investigate if and how irrigation was coexisting with gas operations across that State.

    Irrigators Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Gregson says tour raised a number of new issues, but that the primary benefit was receiving independent reinforcement of a key process that must be undertaken.

    “Good baseline data is an absolute requirement. Soil and water testing at a gas site, around the gas site and downstream of it are vital. That comprehensive testing must be carried out before gas operations commence and continue for the life of the operation and well after. If there’s change, we need to know about it immediately to stop impacts.

    Jon-Maree Baker, Executive Officer with Namoi Water, said the potentially devastating impacts of badly managed gas operations clearly justify extreme caution.

    “Produced water – the water that comes out of gas seams – carries with it significant danger for irrigated agriculture and the environment. If CSG is to proceed in New South Wales, we need to recognise the severity of the risk associated with produced water and ensure rigorous testing and management.

    Sahil Prasad from Cotton Australia said that whilst impacts from gas operations may be manageable, the impacts of failure would be catastrophic.

    “Colorado seems to be managing well in terms of drilling regulations, but we were unconvinced on their disposal techniques for produced water. The impacts of something going wrong will be deep and long lasting. We need to make sure Australia is well protected with a strict management regime.”

  25. Larry Fields August 27, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    It’s been a long time since I’ve asked a really stooopid question; so here goes. From the article:

    “Yet all activity under the ground affects the earth, and if you don’t like this fact then you should also campaign to ban supposedly eco-friendly hydro-power, which actually has caused earthquakes (but they only affected Indians, so environmentalists don’t care – just so long as the energy created was ‘sustainable’).”

    I tried following the link from Spiked-online, and reached the IEEE website, which is reputable. Unfortunately, my Jurassic era browser is allergic to it, and keeps crashing when it lands there.

    Can someone please explain what’s up with the earthquake-hydro connection? Do before-and-after studies suggest that hydro sites increase the frequency of small earthquakes? You know, the ones that we Californians use to stir the sugar into our morning coffee.

    Or does hydro appear to contribute to the really big earthquakes that do serious damage to buildings, bridges, and roads — and which actually kill people?

    This interests me, because construction on the Auburn Dam project came to a screeching halt in the 1970s, when two or more earthquake faults were discovered directly below the nascent dam site. A catastrophic failure there could also breach Folsom Dam, and kill thousands of Sacramento County residents, who have houses that are in the floodplain of the American River.

  26. Larry Fields August 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    There’s one thing about Phelim’s article that doesn’t sit right with me:
    “Fracking fluid is 98.5% water, 1% sand, and 0.5% chemical additives. Some of these additives are also used in making ice cream! Colorado’s Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, drank fracking fluid to prove its safety to his local residents.”

    I’m calling BS on that claim. First, there’s no Standard of Identity for fracking fluid.

    Similarly, there’s no SOI for cola beverage. Coca Cola, Pepsi, and others have secret proprietry recipes. My educated guess is that the ingredients lists overlap partially. Thus a newcomer to the cola market could leave out a minor ingredient used by Coke and Pepsi. And nobody could accuse him of misbranding. What’s my point? I’m glad that you asked.

    The good governor could drink a cocktail of the safe-for-human-consumption ingredients in fracking fluid. Example: guar gum. And yes, it’s a common ice cream ingredient, as Phelim points out. As in real fracking fluid, the water content in the governor’s cocktail was probably 98.5%, but without the yucky sand. Phelim’s statement could be mostly truthful, but highly misleading. How so?

    There are also some not-so-wholesome ingredients in fracking fluid. For openers, there’s HCl, aka hydrochloric acid. And no, I’m not going to launch into a Chicken Little routine. Instead, I’ll quote from Paracelsus:

    “The dose makes the poison.”

    The presence of HCl is not a conversation-stopper. After all, our stomachs contain relatively dilute HCl to assist in the digestion of protein. If the HCl in the governor’s cocktail is sufficiently dilute, then it should not be an issue. However some of the other ingredients are problematic.

    Some fracking fluids contain one or more biocides, which are meant to kill everything with which they come into contact. Example: hypochlorous acid, HClO (an active ingredient in household bleach). An acceptable dose of HClO is probably much less than an acceptable dose of HCl.

    Radioactive tracers, like Cobalt-60, are also added to some fracking fluids. I’d be mildly surprised if the good governor’s cocktail contained a measurable concentration of Co-60.

    Here’s a link to the Wikipedia article about fracking fluid.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_fracturing_proppants

    What is the likelihood of fracking fluid leaking into aquifers, because of sloppy fracking practices? And if it does, what is the risk to humans and livestock? I don’t know. And I suspect that Phelim doesn’t know either.

    Because of Phelim’s cute little trick, I’m automatically skeptical about everything else that he says. Should we take his article seriously? Or is it a thinly veiled puff piece?

  27. hunter August 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Great article. The anti-fracking fanatics are truly non-rational, at best.
    Actually fracking has been around since 1947,
    It was first invented by Texas oil man George Mitchell.
    And it is not bs about what fracking fluids consist of. It is mostly water.
    And soon it will be even less water, since technological innovations are resulting in low water fracking fluids.
    Fracking fluid additives are things like gar gum and other viscosity enhancers.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/29/india-guar-idUSL3N0D21I120130529

    It was the development of horizontal drilling that made the shale gas revolution a reality.
    That was developed over many years, but really perfected in the 1980’s.

  28. barry moore September 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Clearly not too many people here know very much about fracking. I spent quite a bit of time in North Dakota last year on fracking well sites and as some of you know I am a Professional Engineer. First the wells were 9000 ft deep and they are cased to that level so that they do not loose the well product to the various fault cracks which occur. Thus there is absolutely no possibility that the well production could affect surface water. Second the produced water which is salt water of varying salinity is reinjected into a compatible strata approved by the government, again this is well below any fresh water aquifer. Third the fracking process basically involves injecting a high pressure pulse of water sand and some etching chemical at the 9000 ft level to produce cracks in the horizontal bore hole which are kept open by the sand thus allowing both oil and gas to flow. The fracking process does not only produce gas but it does produce a lot of very high quality oil. The Baken is not the only area in the U.S. there are large fields in California and SW Texas and the foriegn oil import to the U.S. is down to about 15% so please get your facts straight.

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