Perhaps you caught the editorial in today’s Doylestown (Pa.) Intelligencer under the headline “Cawley vs. DEP: Two stories about natural gas fracking.” True to form, EID is eager to separate the facts from fiction regarding the claims made about hydraulic fracturing in this editorial.
But first, by way of background, here’s what the paper’s hard news section reported on Sunday under the headline “Cawley: No evidence of pollution from fracking”:
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley on Friday said that there was no documented evidence of water being affected by the fracking process used in the mining of Marcellus shale natural gas.
Now back to today’s editorial, which plays fast-and-loose with the facts. This from the piece:
Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley may want to check his facts a little more closely the next time he talks about the natural gas mining technique known as fracking.
The former Bucks County commissioner and now chairman of the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission last week told members of the county Transportation Management Association that there “has never been a documented case of water being affected by fracking for Marcellus Shale.”
Cawley’s deputy chief of staff maintained what his boss said was accurate, and that the process of fracking is not in itself risky.
With all due respect, a statement like that is akin to saying coal mining is not in itself risky. Or drilling for oil is not in itself risky. Or a nuclear power plant is not in itself risky.
But as they say, facts are awfully stubborn things. So, with all due respect to the paper’s editorial board members and editors, here are the facts:
- Lisa Jackson, President Obama’s EPA Administrator: “I’m not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.” (5/24/11)
- Taury Smith, Top NY State Geologist and Self-Described Liberal Democrat: “He said he has been examining the science of hydrofracturing the shale for three years and has found no cases in which the process has led to groundwater contamination.” (Albany Times Union, 3/14/11)
- John Hanger, Gov. Rendell’s DEP Secretary and Founder of PennFuture: Pennsylvania’s chief environmental regulator said on Friday he saw no evidence that the chemicals used in the shale gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing contaminates underground water supplies. … “It’s our experience in Pennsylvania that we have not had one case in which the fluids…have returned to contaminate ground water,” Hanger said. … Hanger said the public and the media appear to overestimate the risks of hydraulic fracturing. “There’s a lot of focus in the media and the public on the problems that we have not had,” he said. (Reuters, 11/4/10)
Activists in NY channel Schopenhauer in attacking state scientist for telling the truth on the Marcellus Shale
Keep Reading »
Keep Reading »
Fmr. NY DEC Commissioner & Fmr. State Rep. for Manhattan’s Upper East Side:
“Dangers of [Hydraulic Fracturing] Are Overblown”
Scientist says the spin is on
James M. Odato
Albany Times Union
Monday, March 14, 2011
- State government’s top scientist on the underground features of New York has never weighed in on the contentious matter of drilling in the great Marcellus shale layers stretching beneath a big part of upstate. Until now. “The worst spin on the worst incidents are treated as if it’s going to be the norm here,” said Taury Smith, the state geologist, a self-described liberal Democrat more concerned with global warming than extraction of natural gas from one of the largest sources available in the United States. “This could really help us fight climate change; this is a huge gift, this shale.”
- He said he has been examining the science of hydrofracturing the shale for three years and has found no cases in which the process has led to groundwater contamination, although several portrayals by anti-fracking groups and featured in the press have raised concerns about underground pools being harmed because of drilling.
- “Those are exaggerated problems; each incident wasn’t the result of hydro-fracking. There were incidents of groundwater contamination near frack sites, but they were unrelated,” Smith said. … “If there’s one group you can trust it’s the DEC.”
- Former DEC Commissioner Alexander “Pete” Grannis, who now is the first deputy comptroller, said he agrees with Smith that the dangers of fracking are overblown. He thinks the DEC is on course to set solid regulations.
- Smith said the issue has been a major money-maker for some environmental organizations who have used it to raise funds for their treasuries. Allowing fracking, he added, would be a huge boost for New York job creation and for income and business tax revenues.
NOTE: Click HERE to view this story online.
- Environmental Defense Fund: “Our natural gas supplies would plummet precipitously without hydraulic fracturing”
- What They’re Saying: Engineering Experts, Economists Confirm Fracturing’s Clear Record of Environmental Safety
- Top Nat’l Energy Expert on Forbes.com: Hydraulic fracturing critical to “developing jobs, clean sources of energy”
- Just The Facts: University of Pitt. Prof. Sets the Record Straight on Hydraulic Fracturing
- Just The Facts: Energy Experts, Top Forbes Energy Reporter Debunk “Preposterous” Hydraulic Fracturing Claims