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View Diary: Fact Checking Josh Fox/Gasland #2; Oil/Gas Industry NOT Exempt from Clean Air/Clean Water Acts (133 comments)

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  •  Naturally occurring methane in groundwater (1+ / 0-)
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    can be a common occurrence in some locations and nothing about this phenomena is related to the oil and gas industry.  See, for example:

    •  You need a stupider audiance (4+ / 0-)

      I suggest posting on red state or something because no one here is going to believe these lies.

    •  Truly these are troll diaries from a puppet of the (4+ / 0-)
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      Eric K, splashy, Willinois, julesrules39

      oil and gas industry. Blanket denials of harm to and pollution of drinking water are industry standard. EPA was taken off a couple of obvious cases and investigations turned back over to states in which the dept of natural resources are run by oil and gas interests.

      I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

      by OHdog on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:04:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What about non-naturally occuring methane? (4+ / 0-)

      Technically speaking, you are right, naturally occurring methane is, by definition, natural, and thus not the fault of gas or oil companies.

      But there must also be cases where groundwater has no methane content until after gas and oil operations have begun nearby. By definition, this is not 'naturally' occurring, and is the fault of the local drilling operation.

      Now, we may not always have the tools to distinguish the two scenarios apart at first glance, but clearly both situations exist.

      So, what's the legal situation when we have done the research and concluded that we've got an instance of the second case?

      •  I'm not saying that the oil and gas industry (2+ / 0-)
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        Ashaman, Adam AZ

        has never caused thermogenic methane to enter drinking water aquifers.  

        On the matter of the legal situation for 'second case' situations, that is always going to depend on state oil and gas drilling permit and administrative rule requirements that vary across the 50 states.

        On the issue of the natural gas industry being able to enter confidential settlements with complainants covering these situations where it can shield the fact of methane intrusion and groundwater contamination caused by an operator from public view --- clearly this situation is totally unacceptable because it does obscure and hide the record of the oil and gas operator from public knowledge.   If there is any defect in current law, this certainly qualifies as such a defect that ought to be fixed in some manner that preserves public information about what the operator did.

    •  But, if it wasn't there before (3+ / 0-)
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      Ashaman, Chinton, julesrules39

      And now it is after fracking is done in the area, then it's not natural.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:22:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And in such a situation, the oil and gas operator (2+ / 0-)
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        Ashaman, Adam AZ

        should be and must be liable/accountable if they have caused such a problem.

        The problem is that if an oil and gas operator has caused a problem and admits to and settles with a complainant over a practice causing a problem that it is responsible for....then there is a strong likelihood that the operator failed to carry out there responsibilities under their well permit.   The problem becomes one of whether a state regulatory authority is going to somehow put an operator under a requirement that all known violations of its rules and permit requirements are subject to mandatory reporting by operators.   Oil and gas companies should not be allowed to evade such reporting to state regulators if they have concluded they are responsible and have settled with a complainant.

        This problem rapidly gets complex as it deals with issues like whether criminal liability covers or comports with the self-report requirements (i.e. you can't require self-incrimination in criminal environmental enforcement) it might only be available in civil enforcement.

    •  Fracking releases methane. (2+ / 0-)
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      Chinton, julesrules39

      Stop bullshiting people. Not even most industry spokespersons still make your ridiculous claim that it's never related to the gas industry. No one buys this nonsense about all methane near fracking wells being a series of improbable natural coincidences.

      •  There is no connection between the physical (0+ / 0-)

        operation of hydraulic fracturing on a well and release of methane during the hydraulic fracturing operation.

        While hydraulic fracturing is being conducted, physical emissions of methane from the casing wellhead are not physically possible while the final casing is being pressurized with hydraulic fracturing fluid from high pressure pumps designed to force fracturing fluids down the well.

        While oil and gas wells can release methane at other stages of the well completion and production process, such methane releases are generally not of the nature of uncontrolled release and venting of the casing wellhead.   There isn't any financial incentive for natural gas operators to conduct such uncontrolled venting.  Further, uncontrolled venting of this nature is a fire and explosion hazard, and if the field gas contains more than 10 PPM of hydrogen sulfide, it will also be a significant and not-allowable occupational health standard violation as well.

        •  Well I guess it doesn't count then. (0+ / 0-)

          If it doesn't occur during a specific part of the process and it's not uncontrolled then it doesn't count. The wells are just fine! Hallelujah! Fracking had NOTHING to do with it!

          This is the most ridiculous load of shit I've read all week.

        •  This reminded me of your argument. (0+ / 0-)

          It's cute how the industry denies harm with very carefully worded statements using technical jargon that describes a very limited scope of their activity. Like you just did.

          To understand what’s at stake, you have to understand the vocabulary. Take the word “fracking” for example. When people say it’s been around since the 1950s, they are referring to vertical fracturing, but what’s causing all the contention lately is a much more destructive process known as high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing. Or they’re using "fracking" in a very limited way. “The industry uses [fracking] to refer just to the moment when the shale is fractured using water as the sledgehammer to shatter the shale,” scientist Sandra Steingraber told AlterNet. “With that as the definition they can say truthfully that there are no cases of water contamination associated with fracking. But you don’t get fracking without bringing with it all these other things — mining for the frack sand, depleting water, you have to add the chemicals, you have to drill, you have to dispose of the waste, you have drill cuttings. I refer to them all as fracking, as do most activists.”

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