Reading Past the Headlines on Fracking Studies

Two scientific studies to think about. Do they conflict or do they actually say the same thing?

Fracking Wells Tainting Drinking Water in Pennsylvania and Texas, Study Finds

This study reported on by Newsweek on 9/15/2014 and carried out by researchers from Duke, Ohio State, Dartmouth, the University of Rochester , and Stanford found that by tracing the signature noble gases they identified eight wells contaminated with fracked methane, including the famous Lipskey well – the one with the flammable water.

Robert Jackson of Stanford, one of the scientists carrying out this study, suggests that this happens because “people are in a hurry… they cut corners.”

burning water

Landmark Fracking Study Finds No Water Pollution

On 9/16/2014 ABC News reported on another study carried out by the Department of Energy. This is a landmark study because it is the first time that a gas company allowed independent monitoring of their wells. The study found no leaking of fracking fluid.  Now read this article carefully. Note that:

1) They studied 6 wells in a situation where the company was under such public scrutiny it probably wouldn’t allow any corners to be cut. Is that a big enough and independent enough sample to clear all fracking operations?

2) What they did find is scary. The fractures from fracking, which fill with methane, other pollutants in fracking fluid, and unknown deep earth bacteria, go much further than previously thought – up to 1900 feet. Now in NY the proposed regulations say they can drill 1000 feet below a water aquifer. Do you want them drilling under yours?

Hmmm… Maybe these two studies are really saying the same thing. Fracking is not safe for people and other living things.

Call Cuomo now and tell him to ban fracking now, or he won’t get your vote this November. And if you don’t live in NY call him anyway and tell him to forget any presidential aspirations for 2016, if he allows fracking in NY.  518-474-8390


About joan koster

Joan Koster writes historical fiction about forgotten women. She is currently working on a novel about abolition and woman's rights during the Civil War.
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