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View Diary: Semantics and fossil fuel 'journalism' (14 comments)

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  •  Why are fracking fluids in the ground even legal? (8+ / 0-)

    Here in NH we are still fighting about MTBE

    The state sued the companies in 2003 alleging that gasoline containing MTBE — methyl tertiary butyl ether — was a defective product and that the oil companies had a duty to warn state officials about its special properties and ability to contaminate groundwater in greater levels than traditional gasoline. It estimates that more than 40,000 wells are contaminated and was seeking more than $700 million from both companies to monitor drinking water wells and clean up high-risk sites where MTBE contaminated groundwater.
    If I were to go and start pouring paint thinner, formaldehyde, kerosene or other stuff like that into the ground near water sources, wouldn't I be arrested? So why are the people formerly know as corporations not only allowed but encouraged to do so on a large scale basis? Nevermind just fracking- corexit, anyone?
        Hardly anybody seemed to even care about MTBE until the cold winter day that the school busses wouldn't start because the gas was too thin from its additives.
    •  Good question (5+ / 0-)

      The more you look into the question, the more uncomfortable the answers become. State and federal regulators have created a plethora of exemptions for fracking fluids and waste water processing. Perhaps the most well known is the exemption found in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which freed fracking companies from complying with Safe Drinking Water Act. The EPA has granted industry specific exemptions to aquifer contamination. Here is one in Colorado:

      Over the past 13 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has exempted only the oil and gas industry from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act to allow the disposal of waste brine and hydrocarbon-containing fluids into drinking water aquifers deep underground.

      The injections are occurring east of Fort Collins in northern Weld County, including one directly beneath an animal sanctuary, a Coloradoan investigation shows.

      Many of these exemptions began before the passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005, but do seem to have popped up with the inauguration of a certain Texan in 2001.

      This same article notes that the EPA has not even kept track of the exemptions.

      A ProPublica investigation showed that the EPA has not kept track of how many aquifer exemptions have been issued nationwide, and records the agency provided ProPublica showed that many were issued in conflict with the EPA’s requirement to protect water that could be used for drinking. ProPublica found that about 1,100 aquifer exemptions have been approved by the EPA’s Underground Injection Control Program in its Rocky Mountain regional office in Denver.
      Keep up the good fight in NH. State laws are truly the last lines of defense.

      Be radical in your compassion.

      by DWG on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:07:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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