Hydrofracked? One Man's Mystery Leads to a Backlash Against Natural Gas Drilling (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition
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This is a well written, interesting story told from a largely neutral point of view. The facts are provided along with the increasingly frustrated feelings of Mr Meeks so the book is not completely free from opinion and objectivity. However, any person who drinks water SHOULD become highly opinionated about this issue. It is a national crisis, created by short-sighted policy change, without which, this story would not be possible.
Despite the oil company claims that the chemicals used in the fracking process is safe, there remains consistent documentation of private use water wells "mysteriously" becoming tainted when proximal to fracking wells. If fracking is safe then Big Oil should willingly submit a list of chemicals used so those chemicals can be specifically tested for in the contaminated drinking wells. They say they have nothing to hide and there is no danger yet their process is shrouded in secrecy. Legally. That is why this story, on the surface, seams almost unbelievable. A reasonable person knows there are strict laws and guidelines concerning how a home owner discards unused paint or the oil from an oil change they perform in the driveway. So how is it possible the such a large scale operation such as drilling for gas and oil, can legally evade the same laws and guidelines?
The unfortunate key to this issue is what has come to be known as the "Halliburton Loophole," an exemption for gas drilling and extraction from requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). This is an unprecedented issue perpetuated and supported by our government. Moreover, thanks to the efforts of former Vice President Dick Cheney, also a former Halliburton executive, gas and oil companies are now legally "exempt" (READ: "protected") concerning the strict guidelines put in place to ensure safe drinking water. Fracking wells are not required to concern themselves with the fluid that runs off the foundation of the rig. For that matter, Oil&Gas are also exempt from reporting and prosecution from spillage, accidents at construction sites, waste collection sites and pipelines.
"When it comes to the handling of waste water, or frack water, that too is exempt from a federal statute called the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The RCRA tracks industrial wastes from "cradle to grave." But when it comes to the oil and gas industry, as long as the waste water is on the drill site, or being transported, it is not considered hazardous. This also applies to drilling mud. That's why trucks carrying waste water, which contains high levels of salts, toxic chemicals, as well as radioactive material, may be labeled "residual waste."1
I pray that New York will never allow fracking! We have too much too lose!
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