Problems with Fracking

Oil & Gas Industry Exemptions

Anadarko’s Vision Hell, Denver Metro Area

  • “All meaningful environmental oversight and regulation of the natural gas production was removed by the executive branch and Congress in the 2005 Federal Energy Appropriations Bill. Without restraints from the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, and CERCLA, the gas industry is steamrolling over vast land segments in the West.” See Chemicals in Natural Gas Operations, Introduction by Dr. Theo Colborn

Natural Gas Aggravates Global Warming More Than Coal

  • Natural gas from fracking could be ‘dirtier’ than coal, Cornell professors find: Extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale could do more to aggravate global warming than mining coal, according to a Cornell study. The hydraulic fracturing process, as compared to the conventional gas extraction process, lends itself to more leakage because it takes more time to drill the well, requires more venting and produces more flowback waste.

Fracking Our Food Supply

  • Earlier this year, Michelle Bamberger, an Ithaca veterinarian, and Robert Oswald, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, published the first (and, so far, only) peer-reviewed report to suggest a link between fracking and illness in food animals. The authors compiled case studies of twenty-four farmers in six shale-gas states whose livestock experienced neurological, reproductive and acute gastrointestinal problems. Exposed either accidentally or incidentally to fracking chemicals in the water or air, scores of animals have died. “Some of these chemicals could appear in milk and meat products made from these animals.” Are dying cattle the canaries in the coal mine? Farmers and ranchers are sounding alarms about the risks to human health of hydraulic fracturing – The Nation.

Fracking Can Cause Earthquakes

  • “A U.S. Geological Survey study published this month found that underground injection of wastewater from a coalbed methane natural gas production field straddling the New Mexico-Colorado border has been causing earthquakes there since 2001. One of those quakes was a Magnitude 5.3 temblor that rattled southern Colorado in 2011.” Evidence Connects Quakes to Oil, Natural Gas Boom – ClimateCentral.org

The Economics of Fracking

  • Jannette M. Barth director of JM Barth & Associates, an economics consulting firm. She has 35 years experience and has done a significant amount of research on the economic impacts of fracking. She has found that regions with shale gas development end up worse off in the long run with higher levels of unemployment and long term poverty. A survey of municipalities in twelve Marcellus counties in Pennsylvania found that…costs to communities are increasing without any offsetting increase in revenue from shale development. Unanswered Questions About The Economic Impact of Gas Drilling In the Marcellus Shale: Don’t Jump to Conclusions.
  • Other links to Barth’s work

Fracking Causes Property Values To Drop

  • Wells Fargo & Company, both the largest home mortgage lender in the United States and a major lender to the country’s second largest producer of natural gas, Chesapeake Energy Corp., refuses to make home loans for properties encumbered with natural gas drilling leases.
  • Some of those who signed leases for drilling so-called coal-bed methane in Colorado and then experienced problems ended up with losses on their homes that reached 85 percent. In some instances, property owners merely situated near drilling and production have suffered. A Pennsylvania couple was recently denied a new mortgage on their home and hobby farm because according to the lender “gas wells and other structures in nearby lots…can significantly degrade a property’s value.” The owners came to the logical conclusion that if they cannot refinance their own home, no potential buyer would likely be able to get a mortgage to purchase it should the couple ever want to sell.
  • Others who’ve had their water supply contaminated but could not prove it was due to nearby natural gas drilling are facing a wipeout since their homes are now worth far less than the mortgages on them. Some of those people will simply end up walking away in order to protect the health of their families.
  • …homeowners insurance almost always excludes damage from industrial operations on one’s residential property, Radow writes. And, that’s what natural gas drilling is, an industrial operation. Even for those who escape the problems of water contamination and human and animal health effects, there remains the ever present possibility of damaging explosions and fires from drilling and production operations. Homeowners insurance won’t pay for that either. How the fracking mess is about to make the mortgage mess worse – Resilience.org

Study: Fracking Could Seriously Damage NY Tourism

  • Increased truck traffic, automobile traffic, air pollution, noise pollution, and industrial accidents, decreased availability of hotel/motel rooms, campground spaces, and RV parking, negative visual impacts from multiple drilling rigs in rural view-‐sheds, storage facilities, gravel pits, and compressor stations, disruptions to wildlife and hunting grounds, fears over lake and stream pollution and many other associated impacts of drilling will change the character of the region from pristine and rural to gritty and industrial. If so, the region’s ability to attract tourism may be damaged in the long-‐term, as the perception (and reality) of the region as an industrial landscape may far outlast the employment and monetary benefits of gas drilling. Study: Fracking Could Seriously Damage NY Tourism – Natural Gas Watch

Gas Industry Suppression of Academics

Plans for Rapid Transition To A Renewable Energy Economy