Hydraulic Fracturing is not a health hazard?

A compelling introduction to one of the most controversial industrial activities of the recent years - hydraulic fracturing.

For more info, check out this link

.. and see the movie GasLand.

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Picture of Tehnol36 achievements

+12 1. Tehnol commented 11 years ago

Josh Fox, thank you for making Gasland and your continued efforts to bring to light the irreversible damage caused by fracking and the gas industry.

People need to realize that fracking is an inherently dangerous process, and the chemicals and gasses they release into the environment are some of the most toxic and carcinogenic chemicals known to man...and they dump it straight into the drinking water supply of millions of people...then tell you fracking is safe and the sky is pink.
Picture of frieD19519 achievements
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-5 2. frieD195 commented 11 years ago

They actually dump the fracking fluid directly into the water table where people draw their drinking water from? That is insanely illegal if what you say is even remotely true in any way.

It seems like you are just spouting nonsense based on rumors you've heard. Read this: http://www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracture/ if you'd like a clearer understanding of what fracking is and how the EPA is regulating it and how they plan to regulate it even better in the future. If you know of a cheaper, more cost effective, safer, and cleaner method to access these natural gas reserves then please post the link to the article so that the worlds eyes can be opened to such amazing knowledge.
Picture of huldu34 achievements

+11 3. huldu commented 11 years ago

As long money and greed is a factor nothing will change. It's that simple.
Picture of Tehnol36 achievements

+6 4. Tehnol commented 11 years ago

#2 No they don't directly dump fracking fluid into the water table. They do however dump their waste products from the fracking process into holding ponds which aren't sealed, and leach into the local water table.

As for a safe way for accessing the gas, here's a solution; don't. Leave it down there, there is no safe way to extract it without releasing everything else that comes with it like Benzene. Before you say burning gas is better for the environment than coal think again; methane is 10x more damaging to the atmosphere than CO2 and it is released in huge quantities when natural gas is mined. This cancels out any reduced carbon emissions when they come to burn it.

I can't be bothered writing any more about this, it's too late to do anything about fracking anyway; it's going ahead un-regulated all over the world and shows no signs of stopping, there's just too much money in it. Once again money wins over common sense.
Picture of frieD19519 achievements

+1 5. frieD195 commented 11 years ago

Unsealed holding ponds for the fracking fluid? I'm sorry, but this just blew my mind. I can see them doing that in a place like China where things are truly unregulated, but in the US, companies can be sued out of existence if the pollution is ever traced back to them. It is in a company's best interest to follow proper procedures. If successful, their efforts would be repaid dozens of times over from the profit they would stand to make. As for natural gas containing Benzene? The gasoline you use for your personal, everyday vehicle has more benzene than natural gas. Natural gas burns more completely the regular gasoline OR diesel OR ethanol.

As for the methane issue? Methane will get into the atmosphere regardless of what is done to prevent it. But what will you do about the methane produced by landfills? Tell them all to shut down and seal the dumps off? What about the cattle industry? Where cattle can generate several tens of liters per head per day? Just tell farmers to stop raising them and kill all the cattle off? That's tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars lost right there. And what about the natural methane seeps at the bottom of the worlds oceans? Are you gonna propose they (all the world's governments) get together and seal the ocean floor to stop the methane leaking out? Oh and don't forget volcanoes. They were the original source for earth's atmosphere back when the earth was young. So you can't exactly prey to Pele to stop all the volcanoes from erupting and dumping billions of tons of CO2, H2S and water vapor into the atmosphere. I'd like to see you propose a new source of truly safe, renewable energy that won't need decades of research and development to perfect AND that won't be bought out and buried by big oil companies. And if you have such a problem with fossil fuels, remove them ALL from your life. See how well you can deal with that.
Picture of Natan_el_Tigre52 achievements

+3 6. Natan_el_Tigre commented 11 years ago

Soylent Green, here we come!

Picture of ModifiedGrays25 achievements

+9 7. ModifiedGrays commented 11 years ago

For those that are interested here is link to a video that shows you in detail how hydraulic fracturing works and how it has been regulated for decades in Alberta, Canada. Of particular interest is at what depths drinking water is typically found versus the depths of hydro-carbons. http://www.youtube.com/user/ERCB101

Here is a link to the regulatory body in Alberta. Yes, there are places in the world that do successfully regulate the oil & gas industry.

Interesting article on the "power densities" of various forms of energy:

Finally, remember that anything can be made to seem highly dangerous. (Just look at this website: http://www.dhmo.org/ <--- this is scary stuff and should be banned. :D ) Make sure you do your research and understand what is being said before you start demanding that something should be banned. Honestly, the way people start freaking out about things they know nothing about reminds me of the dark ages where people would be burned at the stake for suggesting the earth is round, or the earth revolves around the sun.
Picture of archis51 achievements

+4 8. archis commented 11 years ago

One thing I want such documentries to do is offer a solution. As I understand people want drink water and USE gas. So how we gonna do that?
Picture of LightAng3l49 achievements

+9 9. LightAng3l commented 11 years ago

Our society is not efficient at all... I will give you an example, it may be flawed, but it's my opinion:

1. Create drilling equipment, transport it and assemble it on site.
2. Drill for oil.
3. Transport brute oil.
4. Process oil.
5. Transport processed oil.
6. Build a factory and equipment for creating plastic compounds.
7. Create plastic.
8. Transport plastic.
9. Build a factory and equipment for creating plastic bottles.
10. Transport plastic bottles.
11. Fill plastic bottles with water.
12. Distribute water bottles to the market.
13. Drink water and dispose of plastic bottle.
14. Transport empty plastic bottle to recycling or landfill.

All that... for a sip of water... VERY EFFICIENT!

NOTE: I did not include the oil consumed in transportation or the electricity consumed in fabrication.
Picture of CaptainConcrete14 achievements

+4 10. CaptainConcrete commented 11 years ago

#9. You failed to highlight the one very wasteful and illogical component of your list: Bottled Water! I get mine from the tap. It's the same stuff at a fraction of the price.
Picture of Cloe41 achievements

-1 11. Cloe commented 11 years ago

#10 what???? #9 actually said how bottled water is obtained... i'm curious can you drink tap water from that man's tap? you know with metan gas and other shit?
Picture of ughlah41 achievements

+4 12. ughlah commented 11 years ago

This is edited really well for a documentation with just a few talking heads and a lot of info sheets/papers/statistics.
The fact that Josh Fox did part of that is impressive.

The Gas industry is incredibly powerful. Over here in Germany they managed to multiply the prices for gas by fixing its price to oil with no reasonable explanation whatsoever.
Picture of librabooks40 achievements

+8 13. librabooks commented 11 years ago

The sky isn't pink OR blue. It's colourless!
Picture of CaptainConcrete14 achievements

+3 14. CaptainConcrete commented 11 years ago

#11. No. I drink it from my own tap, no methane there, and I pay fuck-all for it. Compare that to the dimwits who buy it in bottles, believing it is somehow better quality water.
Picture of librabooks40 achievements

+1 15. librabooks commented 11 years ago

#14. I do too. Half of the bottled water is from the tap anyway. Plus, the bottled water industry is nowhere near as regulated as tap water where I live. The price of water per litre in some cases is more than that of gasoline! The knobs who drink the bottled water are the same ones complaining about gas prices, too!
Picture of fixento232 achievements

+6 16. fixento2 commented 11 years ago

It would be more believable if you presented documented facts rather than opinions and propaganda. This video is one sided he said, she said.
While you ponder this response in your natural gas heated office or home think about the hypocrisy. Coal is not a solution either. There is no viable clean energy with today's technology capable of solving the energy problem. A start would be limiting the weight and dimensions of cars, light trucks and SUVs, not by gas mileage. Tax semi trucks at a rate that is appropriate to the damage they do our highways, 5000 times that of a normal car. You can bet efficient energy train freight services will be back.
If tree huggers had a ounce of common sense, they wouldn't buy hybrids [more energy is used to their manufacture then they save and battery is an environmental disaster], or support ethanol, it takes 1200 gallons of water to irrigate corn to make 1 gallon of ethanol and raises the cost of food products. The list of stupidity and duplicity by well intended people that are totally misinformed goes on and on and on.
Picture of beerholder29 achievements

+5 17. beerholder commented 11 years ago

This is blatant propaganda, it's an unilateral view on a subject, indifferent how true it may be.

It is suggested that the media works on a "he says she says" basis, but this isn't a debate either, it follows the same principle...
Picture of moskwiz36 achievements

+1 18. moskwiz commented 11 years ago

Granted it is very difficult to convey these kinds of matters in a totally un-biased way, especially if the task is to educate the unspecialised and largely unknowing masses about something as controversial as fracking. I believe neither panic nor blind faith in the system are right stances in this case and the truth resides somewhere in the middle. What this whole thing does teach us for certain though, is that in our capitalist system, money rules and this is especially so for anything concerning fossil fuels - something which has been regarded as the ultimate goal in modern economy, with the power to even silently override government and state policy in the name of profit.

This is another one of these examples, where we are not faced with what's really wrong with the system, but are rather shown how a symptom of a system in crisis is wreaking havoc. I am quite sure fracking in residential areas should be banned absolutely for it is a highly industrial activity and big industry doesn't belong in peoples backyard. Our true goals shouldn't be in trying to get even more fossil fuels to be put to use in highly unoptimized ways but to limit fossil fuel use wherever possible and put more effort in developing safer and more sustainable forms of energy.

But yeah, compared to the tarsands this is small fish, as crazy as that might sound. We need industrial zones in a country made out of nature reserves, not the other way around.