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View Diary: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Fracking Moratorium Bill (20 comments)

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  •  You said: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kosta
    If fracking is not banned, groundwater and surface supplies will be polluted with numerous toxic chemicals, including methanol, benzene, naphthalene and trimethylbenzene. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, evidence is mounting throughout the country that these chemicals are making their way into aquifers and drinking water.
    Nothing about this statement represents a consensus of scientific opinion among hydrologists, water quality scientists and state officials who regulate the oil and gas industry as to the surface water quality and groundwater quality impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

    There is any region-wide basis to claim that hydraulic fracturing damages navigable waters and their tributaries in the United States.  For example, there is zero scientific evidence of any degradation of Great Lake water quality that has resulted from or is attributable to operations of the oil & gas industry.

    •  correction.... (0+ / 0-)

      There is NOT any region-wide basis to claim that hydraulic fracturing damages navigable waters and their tributaries in the United States.

    •  Great point (0+ / 0-)

      For chemical pollution plumes in groundwater close to the surface, airborne EM imaging provides a pretty good tracking method, e.g. this. It mostly targets conventional mining operations and waste sites at the moment, but would be ideal for fracking in, say, Pennsylvania, where the groundwater is close to the surface.

      For deeper fracking operations, there has long been a push to force frackers to use specific radioactive tracer dyes that could be tracked back to a specific source. Regulators now may use tracers after the well is shut down, not just to track migration of pollutants, but to explain specific seismic events. "Deep disposal" is a popular trick in California. The DWP in LA gets about a sixth of its water from the San Fernando Valley aquifer. It currently has two superfund sites.  

      You cite the Great Lakes as an example of "zero evidence" for oil & gas industry impacts. This is a great point, drawing any conclusions about the water chemistry in the Great Lakes has been very problematic for researchers (see page 18), mainly because of the diverse range of factors involved.

      It is not easy to see what you are not looking for, or to know what it is you do not know.

      by kosta on Sat May 24, 2014 at 01:43:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A remote sensing technique dependent on (0+ / 0-)

        measuring the electrical conductivity of groundwater isn't going to be effective in addressing hydrocarbon contamination of groundwater or any presence of methane in such groundwater.  

        Airborne measurement of radon gas isn't relevant to monitoring or characterizing groundwater contamination by the oil and gas industry.

        I don't understand what point you're making with the last paragraph.  

        No oil/gas-extraction-related chemical pollutants appear on any list of Great Lakes priority water contaminants.

        •  ? (0+ / 0-)

          Big picture: the discussion here concerns fracking operation oversight in California.  

          First para concerns plumes near surface (say, less than 100 meters). After identifying the anomaly you likely would still  go in and take, e.g. interwell measurements. Hydrocarbons have fairly low conductivity, and the conductivity of oil is exceedingly low. They contrast well high-conductivity minerals. Airborne electromagnetic sensing has been used in hydrocarbon deposits discovery and mapping for decades. Combined with field electrical resistivity tomography, you can usually get a pretty good idea of pollutant mobility.

          I don't understand the radon comment. Airborne geophysical surveys often includes gamma-ray spectrometry for measuring radioactive elements.  

          Second para concerns tracers in wells. A classic industry practice is interwell dispersion, which is practical when fracking wells are close together, or there is a water well in the area. Potential tracers included radioactive isotopes, organic dyes, and substituted benzoic acids. The isotopes are usually used in very low concentrations. The oil & gas industry has long used tracers to identify fluid flow patterns underground. This is nothing new.

          As you can see from the link, the only point in the last para would be great difficulty in detecting impacts. As there is very little in the way of oil and gas production, the effects would all be indirect or secondary. Of course, wasn't it you guys who figured out Inco's operations were causing acid rain?

             

          It is not easy to see what you are not looking for, or to know what it is you do not know.

          by kosta on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:51:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The oil industry owns the alleged "scientists" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee

      Lake Superior

      I'm sure the Western States Petroleum Association would agree with your undocumented claims. You just summed up the problem in this statement:

      "Nothing about this statement represents a consensus of scientific opinion among hydrologists, water quality scientists and state officials who regulate the oil and gas industry as to the surface water quality and groundwater quality impacts of hydraulic fracturing."

      As I have documented in article after article, at least in California, the oil industry owns the regulatory process, with the head oil industry lobbyist chairing the panel that created the alleged "marine protected areas" in Southern California as the oil industry was engaging in a fracking frenzy in the Santa Barbara Channel. To make it even worse, her husband, James Boyd, served as the vice chair of the California Energy Commission. Boyd even got fined in 2009 by the FPPC for not disclosing this conflict of interest, but he still stayed on the Commission.

      The biostitutes -  the alleged "hydrologists, water quality scientists and state officials who regulate the oil and gas industry..." are owned by the oil industry and its lobbyists in California. Their "consensus" is very questionable- and any authentic scientist with any scientific ethics must rigorously challenge their "studies" and "reports."

      The biostitutes and political whores who served on the SATs - Science Advisory Teams for the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative - bent over backwards to use junk "science," concocted out of mid air and subject to no peer review, that was great for big oil, corporate polluters and corporate aquaculture - and bad for sustainable fishermen, tribal gatherers and the people of California.

      A federal judge in San Francisco on May 20 sentenced Ron Le Valley of Mad River Biologists, the former co-chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Science Advisory Team for the North Coast, to serve 10 months in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to embezzle over $852,000 in federal funds from the Yurok Tribe. The guy was not only a crook, but a bad "scientist" who turned down science presentations by respected scientists and lawyers from the same tribe that he victimized and completely manipulated the "science" to serve the whims of the oil industry and other corporate interests.

      He, along with Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the Chair of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for Southern California, oversaw the creation of fake, illegitimate "marine protected areas" that fail to protect the ocean from offshore oil drilling, fracking, corporate aquaculture, wind and wave energy projects, military testing and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

      If an actual investigation was made into collusion between the oil industry and the "hydrologists, water quality scientists and state officials who regulate the oil and gas industry" and other environmental processes in California, there would undoubtedly be a whole crowd of "scientists" and state regulatory officials going to federal or state prison.

      How can we possibly trust the "science" of the "hydrologists, water quality scientists and state officials who regulate the oil and gas industry" when they are in collusion with the oil and gas industry, corporate agribusiness and other corporate interests?

      You also say, "For example, there is zero scientific evidence of any degradation of Great Lake water quality that has resulted from or is attributable to operations of the oil & gas industry."

      Please cite the articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals or studies that back up this claim.

       

      •  Correction: Link to FPPC letter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee

        I can't find the link to the FPPC investigation of James Boyd to to find out the results of whether he got fined or not, but here's the original letter from Consumer Watchdog calling for the investigation: www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/HotFuelFPPCLetter3-13-09.pdf

      •  The water quality problems of the Great Lakes (0+ / 0-)

        are relatively well-known and well characterized by such organizations as the Great Lakes Commission and the International Joint Commission.

        First, there isn't any offshore petroleum exploration facilities in the Great Lakes, so there are zero extraction facilities directly in the Great Lakes capable of leaking or spilling hydrocarbons to the Great Lakes.

        None of the designated Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes involve any present or past oil/gas extraction operations or any form of hydraulic fracturing.   All of these Areas of Concern over water quality involve non-oil/gas extraction industries.

        There is no problem or broad-scale phenomena of oil/gas extraction facilities with either permitted or unpermitted surface water discharges in any of the Great Lakes states.   Note that surface water discharge of oil/gas process wastewater or hydraulic fracturing fluids without a permit is prohibited by the Clean Water Act....something that Gasland lies about.

        There is no evidence of physical transport of hydraulic fracturing fluid or process wastewater from oil/gas industry activity to the Great Lakes and its tributary waters.

        None of the current water quality problems in the Great Lakes involve process pollutants generated by the oil/gas industry extraction sector.   These Great Lakes pollution and sediment contamination problems did not originate in the oil/gas extraction sector, and none of the substances in common use by the oil/gas extraction sector are among these Great Lakes pollutants.

        Insisting or claiming that the oil/gas extraction sector in general and hydraulic fracturing in particular are responsible for causing or contributing to these Great Lakes water quality problems is junk area-wide water quality planning.....in the same manner as Gasland claims that hydraulic fracturing is going to contaminate the New York City drinking water supply is a junk science claim.

        •  Argument by proclamation (0+ / 0-)

          Lake Superior

          "Insisting or claiming that the oil/gas extraction sector in general and hydraulic fracturing in particular are responsible for causing or contributing to these Great Lakes water quality problems is junk area-wide water quality planning.....in the same manner as Gasland claims that hydraulic fracturing is going to contaminate the New York City drinking water supply is a junk science claim."

          You apparently didn't read my article very closely. I don't talk anywhere about the Great Lakes. My focus is fracking in California and the West - and I have spent considerable space in my article debunking oil industry claims.

          But again, I am struck by the fact you provide no links to studies and reports to justify your contentions on what is apparently your area of expertise. For example, you proclaim:

          "There is no evidence of physical transport of hydraulic fracturing fluid or process wastewater from oil/gas industry activity to the Great Lakes and its tributary waters."

          Yet you provide not one shred of evidence, not one report or study, to back up this statement. This is classic case of argument by proclamation.

          And yet again, when you say that "Gasland claims that hydraulic fracturing is going to contaminate the New York City drinking water supply is a junk science claim," you provide no data, science or studies to back your unfounded proclamation. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with Josh Fox regarding this issue; I am just challenging you to provide a counter argument based on science and data.

          Sorry, but I'm not impressed at all.  

          •  Link to scientists' letter (0+ / 0-)

            I have also added a link in my piece to a letter from 20 prominent scientists from throughout the country documenting the threat to ecosystems and water supplies that fracking presents in California.

            •  In your letter signed by scientists I note that (0+ / 0-)

              none of them appear to be hydrologists, geologists or geophysicists.  

              You do have one engineer....the one that gets grants from the Park Foundation to work with Josh Fox on Gasland activities.

              Nothing in the letter can be considered to be a scientific consensus opinion of hydrologists on whether hydraulic fracturing operations cause groundwater contamination.

          •  Here are the Great Lakes Areas of Concern (0+ / 0-)

            http://www.epa.gov/...

            Areas of concern involve toxic pollutants or toxic sediments.

            None of these AOCs involve either oil/gas extraction industry sources or discharges to surface waters by oil/gas extraction industry sources.

            Other Great Lakes water quality problems involve turbidity, nutrient enrichment, pathogens or color.   There is no evidence at all that oil/gas extraction sector activities are causing any of these problems, which occur from other pollutant sources.

            Since discharge of process wastewater from oil/natural gas operations without a permit is unlawful nationally and in all Great Lakes states, it is rare to get a case involving such wastewater discharges.   While stormwater from oil/gas sites is not regulated, that exemption does not include any process wastewater, like produced water or hydraulic fracturing fluids.   There have been relatively few cases around the country where such surface water discharges to navigable waters or their tributaries have occurred....ExxonMobil got busted in Pennsylvania last year by EPA for such an unpermitted discharge from a shale gas operation....but it happens rarely.

            None of the areas of concern in the Great Lakes have been caused by oil/gas extraction sector operations.

            There are no Great Lakes water quality standard violations that can be attributed to operations of the oil/natural gas sector...none....this problem does not exist.

            I've been tracking Great Lakes water quality issues over the past 40 years.   Neither the Great Lakes Commission, nor the International Joint Commission, nor any of the Great Lakes state environmental control departments responsible for water quality regulation and planning deem hydraulic fracturing/oil-gas extraction sector to be either a threat to the Great Lakes or the cause of any past or present Great Lakes water quality standard violations or problems.  

            •  Again, Great Lakes is not California (0+ / 0-)

              "There are no Great Lakes water quality standard violations that can be attributed to operations of the oil/natural gas sector...none....this problem does not exist."

              But yet again, in my articles I have never discussed the Great Lakes! I'm talking about California, particularly the already heavily contaminated west side of the San Joaquin Valley, where the majority of fracking occurs.

      •  an interesting claim by a commentor (0+ / 0-)

        on Lost Coast Outpost today that the judge recieved 80 letters of support for Levally from 'fellow lib tard enviros' iirc that much of it..it has the ring of truth enough to add to the story there perhaps...then again, perhaps not.

        I mentioned he was said to have recently led an Audubon boating bird trip....

        He has done neither science nor environmentalism any favors with this scam. It's very annoying that he may still have support among people up here. This is right up there among the most egregious 'lib tard' scams and failures from supposed scientists.

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Sat May 24, 2014 at 05:42:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have those letters (0+ / 0-)

          Ken Bee

          I based my LeValley article on the sentencing documents I got from the federal court in San Francisco, so I have those letters. I didn't count them. Since the article was already way too long, I didn't include quotes from them in the article.

          I am disgusted by the fact that anybody would support Ron LeValley. In my opinion, he's not only a crook, but a very poor scientist, as evidenced by the repeated refusal of him and his fellow SAT co-chair to allow the Yurok Tribe's stellar team of scientists and lawyers to present their studies contesting the unfounded assumptions and terminally flawed science the corrupt process was based upon. This was not only unscientific and unethical, but it was very racist.

          A lot of the letters were from family members and friends; very few mentioned his role as the MLPAI Science Advisory Team Co-Chair.  

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