Jump to content
IGNORED

Gasland - a horror film!


philbytx

Recommended Posts

Deb and I watched this 2010 documentary in horror last night.

If you haven't seen it, please watch it! I guarantee it will get your blood boiling.....hopefully, not in more ways than one :eek:!

We rented it because we have been directly impacted by this drilling method, "Fracking".

Our friend's water at their ranch in Weatherford, TX started smelling and tasting foul. There has been a lot of gas drilling going on around them and we put 2 and 2 together.

 

The devil is in the details and the documentary exposes that the gas and oil drilling industry was, quite cunningly, exempted from both the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Basically, there is no government oversight of the drilling industry and the damage it is causing our water supplies...... :mad:!

 

 

Link to comment

Same thing is happening near here. Public outcry resulted in a some delays of further fracking while the dreaded, evil EPA investigates. That film has raised awareness - I didn't know of the issue before I saw it. The rate at which public health is sold out is, no pun, absolutely sickening.

 

-MKL

Link to comment

Phil, what have you experienced? Has the water been tested?

 

This page is devoted to debunking the "Gasland" documentary. It's clearly an energy industry-sponsored website, but it's worth looking at the contrary arguments. Truthfully, I've never been too impressed by eco-documentaries and HBO has a history (in my view) of not requiring the highest level of journalistic integrity in vetting documentaries, many of which play fast and loose with the truth. However, II truthfully can't honestly comment on "Gasland," because I haven't watched it.

 

I do, however, have a little bit of experience in poking around the gas production industry. Generally speaking, gas extraction and mining is more heavily regulated by the states, which is precisely what is contemplated under the enforcement schemes of some of the federal environmental laws. If there's a problem that you suspect might be related to fracking, it might be worth turning to Texas regulatory agencies, to see if they would investigate. The fact that something is not regulated by the EPA, which I'm not sure is actually the case here, doesn't mean that it's entirely exempt from government oversight. Also, if it's occurring on federally leased lands, as is often the case, it might be worth discussing the situation with BLM. This sort of mining is, however, clearly subject to federal environmental regulation. The question is, nonetheless, whether the aspects of concern to your friend are federally regulated.

Link to comment
Same thing is happening near here. Public outcry resulted in a some delays of further fracking while the dreaded, evil EPA investigates. That film has raised awareness - I didn't know of the issue before I saw it. The rate at which public health is sold out is, no pun, absolutely sickening.

 

-MKL

 

Let's make sure to steer clear of "politics." It's fine to discuss the science and what laws, if any apply, but this is edging close to the verboten.

Link to comment

There are a series of articles by ProPublica that are well researched and well presented on fracking risks in the Marcellus Shale, likely what Moshe is talking about.

 

ProPublica Marcellus Shale Fracking

 

As an environmental professional I was particularly concerned about the Ra-226 issue discussed in the first article in the link. It may be the show stopper.

 

Like Mike, I was not impressed with the Gasland web page, though I haven't seen the movie. To suggest that oil and gas exploration is not regulated is wrong, but the chart Mike presents showing regulation throughout may also be a little misleading. It is a question perhaps of how well regulated each step may be. For instance, OSHA doesn't protect the public from environmental risks, and is not considered environmental regulation. The CWA only protects "navigable waters" and it's applicability to fracking is limited. EPRCA to the extent I understand it, not a regulation I work with, has little impact. Materials are registered, and that's about it.

 

It is true however that the States, generally require some permitting, and there are approval procedures for oil and gas exploration on public lands through NEPA (environmental impact statements, public hearings, etc) that take place. Groundwater protections are generally on the table, particularly if the groundwater is of drinking water quality.

 

At the core of the issue though is the fact that oil and gas exploration and production are nasty, seriously nasty. There is no getting around it. We have been able to export the bulk of the damages and hide from them and our responsibilities. But as Macondo (Gulf spill this summer), and this, and the 30-year fight over ANWR all show, the easy oil is getting scarce, and the risks associated with "drill baby, drill" are going up.

 

We remain deeply dependent on oil. Energy security is a compelling issue, especially as you consider our now global food storage and supply combined with our urban populations. It isn't just about getting to work, or having a cozy warm home, it's about near instant mass starvation now.

 

Oil production is a side of the oil problem we rarely talk about amidst the air pollution and global warming issues that seem to have been front and center.

 

Production risks are largely viewed as "NIMBY" issues, and minimalized in the debate. But they are quite real for those that live with them.

Link to comment

Mike,

 

I look at the world with jaundiced eye and rarely take anything at face value. I did some research before I watched the documentary, which was recommended to me by friends. I am not an eco nut/terrorist/big gov conspiracy nut.

 

So. All I can say is just watch it, then expound ;)!

 

Yes. The water was so bad at the ranch, that our friends put in a big assed reverse osmosis plant hoping to solve the problems.

 

 

Link to comment

Jan-

 

Yes, I did read that.

 

This debate largely mirrors the same ones we recently had re hybrid cars in this forum. Re energy, there is an astounding devotion to ideology which trumps reason, fact, science, and history to the detriment of progress. I suspect much the same responses here as we saw there.

 

-MKL

Link to comment
There are a series of articles by ProPublica that are well researched and well presented on fracking risks in the Marcellus Shale, likely what Moshe is talking about.

 

ProPublica Marcellus Shale Fracking

 

As an environmental professional I was particularly concerned about the Ra-226 issue discussed in the first article in the link. It may be the show stopper.

 

Like Mike, I was not impressed with the Gasland web page, though I haven't seen the movie. To suggest that oil and gas exploration is not regulated is wrong, but the chart Mike presents showing regulation throughout may also be a little misleading. It is a question perhaps of how well regulated each step may be. For instance, OSHA doesn't protect the public from environmental risks, and is not considered environmental regulation. The CWA only protects "navigable waters" and it's applicability to fracking is limited. EPRCA to the extent I understand it, not a regulation I work with, has little impact. Materials are registered, and that's about it.

 

It is true however that the States, generally require some permitting, and there are approval procedures for oil and gas exploration on public lands through NEPA (environmental impact statements, public hearings, etc) that take place. Groundwater protections are generally on the table, particularly if the groundwater is of drinking water quality.

 

At the core of the issue though is the fact that oil and gas exploration and production are nasty, seriously nasty. There is no getting around it. We have been able to export the bulk of the damages and hide from them and our responsibilities. But as Macondo (Gulf spill this summer), and this, and the 30-year fight over ANWR all show, the easy oil is getting scarce, and the risks associated with "drill baby, drill" are going up.

 

We remain deeply dependent on oil. Energy security is a compelling issue, especially as you consider our now global food storage and supply combined with our urban populations. It isn't just about getting to work, or having a cozy warm home, it's about near instant mass starvation now.

 

Oil production is a side of the oil problem we rarely talk about amidst the air pollution and global warming issues that seem to have been front and center.

 

Production risks are largely viewed as "NIMBY" issues, and minimalized in the debate. But they are quite real for those that live with them.

 

Thanks, Jan. Good info. :thumbsup:

Link to comment

HERE is further enlightenment and food for thought regarding drilling regulation and disclosure.

 

It's out there Mike and, as Twisties stated, it is truly some bad sh%^ !

Link to comment

 

Yes. The water was so bad at the ranch, that our friends put in a big assed reverse osmosis plant hoping to solve the problems.

 

 

Have they done any testing to determine what's in the water?

Link to comment

 

Yes. The water was so bad at the ranch, that our friends put in a big assed reverse osmosis plant hoping to solve the problems.

 

 

Have they done any testing to determine what's in the water?

 

Mike, I wouldn't even know what to begin to suggest testing, and any reliable testing in a certified lab will be very expensive. Taste and odor issues are notoriously difficult to track down, and there is no evidence that the problem is from oil and gas work. Even if it is caused by the oil work, it may be harmless, for instance water from a different body with different chemical characteristics may have intruded into the well.

 

A quick check for methane with a hand held meter might be advisable, but methane is not the cause of the problems Phil describes.

 

Generally there may two approaches here:

 

Perhaps an action group can be formed and everyone chip in to hire an environmental consultant and do some testing.

 

Alternatively, the government, at several levels (county health, State DEQ, and US EPA) can be petitioned to do some testing.

 

Before any testing is done, some sort of scoping process will be needed to determine what risks to test for. This will involve research into what the companies are drilling with, what they are drilling into, how they are drilling, and what they are drilling for. Basic knowledge of the geology and groundwater chemistry and flow are needed. A site conceptual model must be developed. The driller's well logs should provide some of this info. Other pieces may be publicly available, some may require expensive environmental investigation.

 

It could take years and run to a $1,000,000 or much more to get decent handle on the problem.

 

A less thorough approach may be advisable. For instance the well water might be tested for metals, alpha and beta radiation screens, basic fuel components and some common solvents reasonably cheaply, a few hundred dollars per sample. I would get one sample above the treatment point, and one below.

 

But this testing will not reveal any fracturing chemicals, or provide any detailed evaluation. It would at best show if further testing was warranted. At worst, it could miss something important altogether.

Link to comment

It's a delicate subject and I didn't ask. All I know is they (and we!) only drink bottled water there and their "filtered" water is used for everything else.

 

Certainly, anecdotal stories abound up there...it's the Barnett Shale and almost everyone has a well on their property.

 

He held out as long as he could but he too sold out. He retired from GM and bought the land to raise cattle and horses but in the last couple of years, the Oil Company "pimps" are everywhere and now the attitude up there is, if they will put one next door, I might as well have one!

 

When you look at Fracking techniques and how they can go in and re-frack a well, it can truly affect everyone within a mile radius of the well.

 

Sad really....

 

Link to comment
It's a delicate subject and I didn't ask. All I know is they (and we!) only drink bottled water there and their "filtered" water is used for everything else.

 

Prob'ly not a bad idea. My wife's from SW Wisconsin and there were a significant number of their neighbors who succumbed to various forms of cancer. Not claiming to be an epidemiologist, it sure seemed weird. However, when you consider the fact that highly toxic chemicals were used for years before anyone really understood the consequences of that stuff getting into an aquifer, it seems plausible that the incidence of deadly cancer was somehow related to human activity, and not random.

 

I'll have to get more familiar with fracking and the after-effects. I've run into the concept in my contact with the gas industry, but it was only a matter of passing interest, as it had nothing to do with the matters we were investigating.

 

Being a farm boy, I've always been interested in what we are doing to our water supplies, whether it's depleting them carelessly or contaminating them in the quest for other advances. It seems that we often pay too little attention to the fact that we're harming ourselves.

Link to comment
aste and odor issues are notoriously difficult to track down, and there is no evidence that the problem is from oil and gas work. Even if it is caused by the oil work, it may be harmless, for instance water from a different body with different chemical characteristics may have intruded into the well.

 

That struck me as at least a possibility. I grew up on well water and never knew that it had a distinct taste until I started running into urban types who despised the stuff. Naturally occurring minerals can signicantly affect the taste of well water, as can microbial infestations in the well itself.

Link to comment

Speaking of foul odors and tastes in the water:

 

http://www.rexburgstandardjournal.com/news/snake-house-up-for-sale-again/article_62840356-2446-11e0-8a27-001cc4c002e0.html

 

"We were told that the previous owners in there didn't want to make their payment because they made up a story that there were snakes there, that they didn't want to pay their mortgage so they made up a snake story," Ben Sessions said.

. . .

Later, the Sessions learned that the story of the snakes was not made up, and there was a problem.

. . .

Davis had requested the bank to get the house inspected and find out what it would take to rid of the problem. The bank sent an inspector, who estimated in December there were about 400 to 500 snakes at the house. The latest assessment from the inspector is that there are multiple thousands of snakes.

. . .

Davis understands the snakes to be under the foundation of the house and Ben Sessions says he believes the snakes to be by the well because the water at the house tasted the same as the snakes smelled.

 

Garter snakes "secrete a foul-smelling fluid from anal glands when alarmed."

Link to comment
Joe Frickin' Friday
Garter snakes "secrete a foul-smelling fluid from anal glands when alarmed."

 

The solution seems easy enough:

 

STOP SCARING THE SNAKES.

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know for sure that this was what was going on, but when we lived in lived in Saudi Arabia, occasionally water coming out of the taps would be white and gassy, I assume from fracking to increase oil recovery (campus was built on the site of ARAMCO's first production well). It's a process that is not without its environmental costs. Yesterday's NYT had a fairly long investigative article: "Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers".

Link to comment

Hydrofracked? One Man's Mystery...

 

Free on Amazon by ProPublica's Abraham Lustgarten.

 

I am 41% through this read, and well, I wish I were shocked, but this kinda stuff is why I no longer work in the environmental industry. It rings so true. This is a very well written piece. It is not free of political scorn, so I would warn folk against discussing anything verboten back here if you choose to read it.

 

The piece details a dilemma faced by a WY man very much like that of Philby's friend. I highly recommend it.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...