Sunday, March 13, 2011

Do you know what "fracking" is? If not, I highly encourage you to watch the Oscar-nominated "Gasland" documentary, made by Josh Fox. It's scary to say the least.

On a related note, this news from PA:
Pennsylvania has come under fire lately as pollution from drilling in the Marcellus Shale threatens water resources across the state. But instead of ratcheting up oversight, Gov. Tom Corbett wants to hand authority over some of the state’s most critical environmental decisions to C. Alan Walker, a Pennsylvania energy executive with his own track record of running up against the state’s environmental regulations.
Private water wells have been contaminated with methane gas and other pollutants across the state, and in many cases the DEP has found that hasty or insufficient gas well construction was to blame. Several drilling site accidents have led to spills where wastewater, including from hydraulic fracturing, contaminated streams.

A 2009 ProPublica investigation revealed that Pennsylvania’s sewage treatment plants were accepting millions of gallons of drilling wastewater, but lacked the technology to remove or treat many of the chemicals and pollutants the water contained. In 2008 people along one stretch of the Monongahela River were advised to drink bottled water because the level of dissolved minerals and salts in the river was almost twice as high as the DEP considers safe.
In January, the Associated Press found that about 150 million gallons of Marcellus Shale wastewater—the majority of the wastewater for the period examined—had been dumped into rivers and streams after only partial treatment. A subsequent story from the New York Times revealed that much of that wastewater was dangerously radioactive, and that drinking water facilities have not been testing their intake for this radioactivity.

On Monday the EPA leaned on Pennsylvania’s DEP to tighten its oversight of drilling waste disposal. The next day, Gov. Corbett released his budget, reducing DEP funding and stating that job creation should trump lengthy permitting delays.
It's not shocking to learn that Republican Corbett accepted more than $800,000 in campaign contributions from the oil & gas industry.

Another bought-and-paid-for politician paying back his supporters at the expense of the people -- in this case possibly their health, not to mention land value.

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