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Fake News Alert: “Fracking Impacts Drinking Water”

Fake News Alert: “Fracking Impacts Drinking Water”

The EPA has polluted 3 million more gallons of water than fracking has.

The recent report issued about the relationship between fracking and drinking water is a classic example of how the elite media generates fake news, in the effort to virtue signal and get readers.

In June of last year, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a report indicating that fracking isn’t causing widespread damage to the nation’s drinking water.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—after a four-year study that is the U.S. government’s most comprehensive examination of the issue to date—concluded that hydraulic fracturing, as being carried out by industry and regulated by states, isn’t having “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water.”

…The report was issued nearly a decade since fracking began helping unlock vast reserves of oil and natural gas across the U.S. It also bolsters the position staked out by the energy industry and its supporters: that fracking can be carried out safely.

However, as EPA Chief Gina McCarthy fast-tracks regulations and the climate change believers in government brace for the Trump Vortex, a few revisions to that draft report have been issued. A critical statement has been altered to read that fracking “can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances.”

The report is one of a number of actions supported by environmentalists that the Obama administration has taken in its final weeks in office, including denying a permit for a stretch of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

….“While the number of identified cases of drinking water contamination is small, the scientific evidence is insufficient to support estimates of the frequency of contamination,” Mr. Burke said. “Scientists involved with finalizing the assessment specifically identified this uncertainty in the report.”

And yet…

The headlines flowing from the mainstream media would lead one to believe that there is now a significant pollution of the public water systems:


I will simply point out that the EPA has officially polluted more water that all fracking ever has or ever will, as a result of the 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater that spilled into the Animas River. Furthermore, there is no fracking that as occurred in Flint, Michigan…the scene of truly contaminated drinking water, party attributable to EPA inaction.

The ingenuity of the U.S. shale-oil industry, coupled with advancements in fracking technology to make it safer and more productive, has diffused serious OPEC threats of production cuts. Additionally, microwave technologies may soon be used to enhance the production of both oil and water (which would benefit California, should it choose to remain in the Union).

Under Obama, fracking has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise gloomy economic forecast. Under Trump, one can imagine even more advancements that will lead to a cleaner environment and happier, healthier, and more prosperous Americans.


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The VOC rules are a classic case of creating more pollution in order to reduce a very small amount of ozone.

Classic case of misapplying cost benefit analysis by not understanding the more important concept of marginal cost/marginal benefit analysis – also known as incremental cost benefit analysis. Same with the ethonal debacle

Add the fake news that fracking and SWD causes earthquakes. They increase the likelihood of a .5 magnitude earthquake, but it is ludicrous to think that fracking or swd will cause anything such a a 2.0 earthquake. Does any competent geologist think mankind has a machine poweful enough to create pressures to move the the earth of the magnitude of 2.o earthquake, a 5.0 earthquake. Lets get back to reality.

    Even if they could produce an earthquake, aren’t the pressures that actually cause the Earth movement there with/without fracking ?
    Could the relatively small earthquakes caused by reducing the friction actually be a “controlled release” of Earth’s tectonic pressures ? … thereby reducing the possibly of a larger, more devastating, earthquake.

      MattMusson in reply to Neo. | December 14, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Fracking does NOT create earthquakes. Injection Wells create earthquakes. There is a big difference between a fracked well and an injection well.

      If you want to create earthquakes the easiest way is to dam up a river and create a lake. The weight of the accumulated water triggered a 7+ earthquake in China under a new reservoir.

      Also, fracking could only pollute ground water if the pipe casing breaks or if the crew drills a second well and dumps fracking fluid into it. The first is highly unlikely and the second is illegal.

    rinardman in reply to Joe-dallas. | December 14, 2016 at 9:21 am

    INAG, but it seems to me a bunch of .5 magnitude earthquakes that relieve stress would be better than a 5 magnitude quake that might happen if the stress builds up over time.

    assemblerhead in reply to Joe-dallas. | December 14, 2016 at 9:41 am

    I have a relative that lives in Wichita,KS. The drilling is taking place on the Oklahoma state line. They are drilling sideways into KS. Wichita now has an earthquake at least once a week. Some times its 2 or 3 a week. Some of them have hit 5.0 on the scale.

    Kansas is known as “tornado alley”, not “earthquake country”, for a reason. When people who have never experienced an earthquake start having them on a weekly basis …

    Read up on salt water injection wells / chemical waste injection wells. They have have lots of earthquake problems as long as they are pumping. For some odd reason, the injection wells with problems are almost always, on / or near, an earthquake fault line.

Leslie, this is NOT “fake news”. It’s just reporting on something you don’t like (fracking CAN cause water contamination according to the EPA) by people who emphasized something with which you disagree.

NOT reporting on it would be “fake news”, as it would mean censorship of certain FACTUAL information.

You want the reporters to be experts in the matter, and virtually no reporter knows their ass from a cypress stump on science or engineering.

Fracking CAN…if it’s done with a terrible degree of incompetence and negligence…contaminate water-bearing horizons. But that level of negligence would result in a contamination problem WITHOUT fracking, too.

And “contamination” in many cases would be a few PPM of detergent or fracking gel. Briefly. But a well that poorly built would leak hydrocarbons into other porous horizons all its life without any fracking.

    MattMusson in reply to Ragspierre. | December 14, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Once again fracking can cause water pollution if the casing brakes or the crew drills a second well and deliberately dumps the fracking fluid. In any case – the overwhelmingly larger problem with ground water pollution is caused by Septic Tanks in homes.

    Regardless, the chances of fracking causing ground water pollution are less than Rags making real pertinent contributions to the narrative instead of picking nits.

      Ragspierre in reply to MattMusson. | December 14, 2016 at 9:49 am

      Odd that you’d find a personal attack a good response to what I said, instead of addressing anything factual.

      This is especially so when one considers that a “casing break” is not necessary OR sufficient to allow a well to contaminate other horizons.

      Every well has “casing breaks” called “perforations” that are carefully engineered. These are how hydrocarbons flow to the production tubing.

      What REALLY would allow contamination up-bore would be a bad cement job and/or poorly performing down-hole packers.

      If we’re going to have any credibility WRT ‘fake news’, lets agree what that term means, and it isn’t reportage with which you ‘nit pick’ about the emphasis on facts, ESPECIALLY found in headlines.

        MattMusson in reply to Ragspierre. | December 14, 2016 at 12:05 pm

        Remember this casing break would have to be above the water table as well. A break at depth would have no effect on anything.

          Ragspierre in reply to MattMusson. | December 14, 2016 at 12:14 pm

          You don’t know shit about what you’re trying to opine about.

          Ragspierre in reply to MattMusson. | December 14, 2016 at 2:33 pm

          So, you and your up/down thumbing cohort would assert that the Deep Water Horizon blow out had nothing to do with a failure of the cement (NOT casing) “at depth”.

          You all are flucking morons who care a lot more about partisan bullshit than reality.

          A cement failure down-hole will all anything down-hole to be driven under pressure all along the well bore, and then out into into horizon with lower pressure. Which is a water-bearing horizon (NOT “ground water”, stupid).

          What an idiot.

    Joe-dallas in reply to Ragspierre. | December 14, 2016 at 9:48 am

    let me add a comment regarding fracking and poisoning the water supply –

    Assuming that frack water does enter the ground water and pollutes the water. 99% of the fluid is water, with less than 1% being potentially toxic with a near benign level of toxicity . The level of pollution is miniscule compared to the pollution / devastation caused by the hydrocarbons and saltwater when they enter the ground water.

    The probability of saltwater or hydrocarbons entering the ground water is also much greater than fracking fluids entering the ground water.

    Given the much greater toxicity levels and the much greater probability of occurance – why havent we heard much about this over the 100+ years of oil and gas operations in the world
    _ maybe because it just doesnt happen very often.

      MattMusson in reply to Joe-dallas. | December 14, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Some Oil Field Service Companies off Food Grade Additives. Many of the emulsifiers are currently found in Salad Dressings like Guar Gum.

        Joe-dallas in reply to MattMusson. | December 14, 2016 at 4:19 pm

        Matt hope you didnt misread my post – though we are likely to be in agreement
        My point is that
        1) fracking fluids are significantly less toxic than the hydrocarbons and the saltwater in the formations
        2) the likelihood of fracking fluids entering the ground water is significantly less likely than the hydrocarbons or saltwater entering penetrating into the ground water.
        3) you do here about the more likely and far more damaging event because it doesnt happen very often.

          Joe-dallas in reply to Joe-dallas. | December 14, 2016 at 4:20 pm

          3) you do here (typo corrected Hear) about the more likely and far more damaging event because it doesnt happen very often.

    Valerie in reply to Ragspierre. | December 14, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Later, some academic can write an article about how ordinary people mis-estimate risks.

    Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | December 14, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    So what I’m hearing you say, Rags, is that fracking can’t contaminate water that isn’t already being contaminated anyway, but it can insignificantly increase the level of such contamination. Is that correct?

      Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | December 14, 2016 at 10:22 pm


      There are wells that produce so little down-hole pressure that you have to put a pump-jack on them to produce oil from the git. Even a bad cement job is unlikely to result in up-bore contamination because there is such a low pressure gradient. And well cementing…while not fool-proof…is extremely well-proven technology.

      “Contamination” is also a sloppy term. Some fracking fluids contain only material that, while not pure water, is not remotely dangerous in the PPM you might find in even a really badly executed well. Detergents, emulsifiers, gels, etc. So that’s “contamination”.

      Fracking shouldn’t ever significantly increase the pressure present in a formation. It just opens it up to allow more hydrocarbons to flow to the well-bore.

      You can get substantially the same effect by turning horizontal in the pay zone, so that you have a much larger perforated area from which to produce. In a vertical well, you might easily have only tens of feet through the pay zone. With horizontal drilling that can readily be hundreds of feet.

      Fracking is only really economical in tight formations.

        Tom Servo in reply to Ragspierre. | December 15, 2016 at 8:39 am

        You sound like you’ve worked in the industry, Rags. I used to work in well completions a while back, and I’ve been onsite for more than a few during repair operations. Short version, when shallow sands get contaminated with either nat gas or drilling fluids, it is a huge engineering screwup that is going to cost the driller a heck of a lot of money and bring the appropriate regulatory body down on them hard. (Where I worked, that would be the TRRC) So the possibility is already well accounted for under current regulatory practices.

        Funniest thing I ever saw (in retrospect) was a shallow water sand that got charged up to 1200 psi by an underground blowout (caused by a piss-poor cement job design) Blew a local farmer’s well equipment completely out of the ground! I have no idea how many millions that driller had to spend to make that right – involved drilling about 7 relief wells just to drain the pressure, plus enough money to make that farmer and his family very happy for the rest of their lives. So, accidents happen in this industry just like any other, but nobody gets away with them.

          Ragspierre in reply to Tom Servo. | December 15, 2016 at 9:33 am

          I’ve done everything from build locations to drill wells to work on a fracking crew to sell shares in drilling ventures. I owned a small rig moving company just before the bust. I’ve built tank batteries and pipelines.

          I can say with some perverse pride that I never worked on a work-over rig.

          The oil patch is a much less “elbows and assholes” place these days. Which is all to the good. During the boom, there were a lot of marginal operators and a lot of crazy pushing to keep up with demand.

          It’s been a long, varied, and eventful life.

…..And in other Fake News, this is what a victory lap looks like:

Today the redditors at The Donald have embraced the whole Russian Hack theory with gusto.

They have been abused, censored, and libeled. They know a really bid lie when they see it, and they are numerous and smart enough to come up with the perfect response.