Wednesday, December 14, 2011


CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Despite several hours of debate, nearly 20 attempts to change the bill and unresolved criticism from environmentalists, new regulations for the West Virginia gas industry are on the edge of becoming law following legislative action Tuesday.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's Marcellus shale bill -- the culmination of two years of legislative debate, industry lobbying and public outcry -- appears likely to pass the full Legislature today.
Tomblin's bill, with few changes, passed the Senate Tuesday 33-0.


The fact is that money is far more important than the truth; that’s why the gas lobbyists are spending millions in bribery money and advertising, relentlessly spewing there are no “documented” cases of groundwater contamination in more than 60 years of “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing) when in fact well over a thousand cases have been reported.

The term ‘fracking’ has caused confusion from the start. The gas industry defines fracking to a single moment of the underground fracturing, a part of the process that has never been investigated, which allows the obvious contamination from the whole fracking process to be denied. Very clever wording which disguises the truth.
The old way of drilling was not much different than drilling for water; not too deep and injecting thousands of gallons of water to tap reservoirs of gas within.

This new method drills deep into the earth, fracturing the shale horizontally for miles to release the natural gas. There would not be any drilling into the Marcellus if not for the new horizontal drilling-hydraulic fracturing combo (“hydrofracking”).

You can’t get gas out of shale without it.

Hydrofracking intentionally chemically contaminates fresh drinking water, and the by-product of gas drilling is toxic.

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 70 to 140 billion gallons of water are used to fracture 35,000 wells in the United States each year; 70,000 gas wells are planned in New York state with other states following suit.

This is consumptive use of fresh water, never to be returned to our drinking water supply.

Before the use of hydrofracking, we rarely heard of gas drilling accidents. Now in Pennsylvania in just a few years of hydrofracking, there are numerous reports of illegal dumping of wastewater, methane migration, improper casings, spills, accidents involving industry trucks that are so unsuited to WV's narrow, steep and windy roads, together with well blow-outs, compressor fires and explosions, chemical tank and pipeline explosions and "Fraccidents" are now rising in West Virginia.


We need to develop alternative, sustainable fuels which will create jobs, provide for our energy security and protect our environment. All forms of energy create risk; however, once introduced, the harm from hydrofracking cannot be undone.

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