Saturday, December 31, 2011


Ya know what, if I discovered I was being poisoned by Benzene, one of the most potent chemical carcinogens around, and arsenic, I think that I would be a little worried too! Those same frackers are already here in Nicholas County, WV and despite only minimal activity to date (you just wait until they've got their well pads up and running in and around Craigsville) I, and others, already possess evidence of their pollution that is already running down mountainsides above Richwood. 
Oh, and did you know that 186,000 acres of gas leases, just north-west of Summersville, adjacent to the town and US 19 have been consolidated by one company? Unregulated drainage of waste and chemicals from spills and frack-ponds will run right into Summersville Lake and of course the Lake will supply the 8 million gallons of fresh water per "frack" that this industry needs. This WILL BE West Virginia's next "Gasland". Is there ANYONE out there who cares?  What about the lives of the unborn? Many pollutants from this industry don't just cause cancer.. they also cause birth defects. Add that on to the effects of Radium 226! Number One.. if you still hold YOUR mineral rights, get informed before you sell them! 
Fracking and horizontal drilling of shales needs to be halted until the EPA finishes its studies in 2012. We do not need this gas right now anyway. The USA has a massive GLUT of natural gas which has forced the price down to around $3.00 per 1000 cf. BUT The industry is desperate to keep the investors happy so the aim is to export this resource as quickly as possible of course. 
India is paying around $18 per 1000 cf for example. THIS LINK is a good example of what happens when you start to export a resource.. yep.. you got it! Prices in the domestic market GO UP! 
"U.S. refineries exported a record amount of refined fuels (mainly gas/petrol and diesel) in 2011 to markets in South America, Central America and Europe. It was one reason why Americans spent a record amount on gasoline this year: SUPPLIES THAT MIGHT HAVE HELPED LOWER PRICES HAD BEEN SHIPPED ABROAD" Makes an entire mockery of the "DRILL BABY DRILL" crap that come from folks who simply don't know better.
Pennsylvania residents blame illness on natural gas extraction 

 Above: Land being excavated to hold waste water from a fracturing operation in Pennsylvania.

There is a lot of construction near Janet McIntyre's home in southwestern Pennsylvania. It's not new houses, but new industry: 10 gas wells, a compressor station and multiple drilling-waste ponds.

The state sits atop the nation’s largest deposit of natural gas known as the Marcellus Shale. What concerns McIntyre and her neighbors is an extraction process called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." It combines deep horizontal and vertical drilling with enormous amounts of water, chemicals and sand.

Water troubles

McIntyre never worried about her water before. When she looks out on the wooded rural landscape from her front porch she talks about her well water liked a cherished lost friend.  “We never ran out of water. We never had a problem with our water. It was cold coming out of the spigot just as if you went to a regular spring and got it. It was gorgeous water.”

Then one night McIntyre got sick. She had a bad headache and vomited. When her husband Fred went for a glass of water and turned on the spigot, it spewed out smelly foam.
“He hollers back, I think I know why we’re sick," she remembers. "There’s something wrong with our water.”

The McIntyres stopped drinking the well water.
Neighbor Kim McEvoy says her water turned black and she got sick too. “My fingernails were growing downward. My hair was falling out. I’d get dizzy.”

McEvoy and McIntyre complained to the gas company and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The gas company gave them bottled water.

'Unsafe levels'

Initial tests of McIntyre's well water showed unsafe levels of toluene, a volatile and toxic petrochemical that causes nausea and headaches. McEvoy's well water had arsenic. Now, months later, new company tests say the water is safe to drink, although trace chemicals are still present.

Bottled water deliveries end next month.
The two households get their water from private wells, like three million others who live in rural Pennsylvania. The state has no rules on the location, design, testing or treatment of private drinking-water wells. That means contamination could come from other sources like poor well construction or failing septic systems, or gas migrating naturally from adjacent rock or leaking from abandoned mines.
But McEvoy thinks the gas companies are responsible too.

Over the past year she and McIntyre have called on township officials, testified at local hearings, and joined in protests. They want the drilling stopped.

Fracking chemicals in water

Fracking is banned in and around the city of Pittsburgh, and it’s under a moratorium in the nearby states of New York and Maryland until health and environmental risks are assessed.
The battle continues on Capitol Hill. Ohio lawmaker Bob Gibbs, whose state stands to gain jobs and revenue from gas development, backs the industry. In a recent house hearing, Gibbs asked Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection director Michael Krancer about the state’s safety record.

Krancer testified that fracking has never caused a groundwater contamination problem. “Fracking simply doesn’t do that. And there’s still not a documented case,” he said.

Gibbs got the same reply from experts in Ohio and Oklahoma.
But a new draft report released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disputes those claims. Preliminary results of the three-year federal study in Pavillion, Wyoming, show chemicals associated with hydraulic fracturing gas wells in the area are turning up in the ground water.
The EPA findings add weight to the complaints of Pennsylvania landowners like Kim McEvoy and Janet McIntyre.

Closer look

Steve Hvozdovich, Marcellus Shale Campaign director with the Pennsylvania Chapter of Clean Water Action, advises a closer look at the industry. He says in 2010 alone, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection cited gas drillers 1,200 times for operational violations.

Eyes now are focused on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Beyond its Wyoming report, the EPA is completing a more comprehensive study, requested by Congress in 2010, of the impact hydraulic fracturing might be having on local water supplies. Initial findings are due in 2012.
In the meantime, Janet McIntyre plans to continue her fight to halt the gas drilling. “I want my water back. I want my air back. They took it from me and I want it back.”

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