Fracking phobias

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25:  Actor/director Mark ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Michael Benjamin:

Opponents of gas exploration have time and again raised the ghastly specter of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) contaminating water supplies. The process uses water, sand and chemicals injected under high pressure to break dense rock to release trapped oil and gas. But these "fracking" fears are false.

Most recently, Duke University researchers purportedly found trace methane gas in well water near gas wells in the Marcellus Shale region. Yet naturally occurring trace methane is found in well water nationwide. The study is meaningless, because it presents no baseline data on methane in well water, and also fails to distinguish between methane that's naturally present in well water and manmade methane contamination.

Supporters of gas exploration agree that the state must take all necessary precautions to ensure that drinking water in the Southern Tier remains safe and plentiful. Contrary to critics' suggestions, New York City's watershed, like those of our state's other major cities, is protected and off-limits to natural-gas exploration.

It recently came out that $1 billion in state pension funds is invested in companies involved in natural-gas exploration. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he's been urging the companies to make their operations environmentally friendly. Apparently, he understands that gas exploration is not necessarily a threat to water quality.

The additives used in "fracking" fluid are well known. Last summer, nine drilling companies provided the US Environmental Protection Agency with detailed information on those chemicals.

We know that 99.5 percent of fracking fluid is water and sand. The rest is comprised of commonly used compounds -- many of them chemicals used in water treatment, pharmaceuticals and automotive care.

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While they are peddling fear, their real objection is to the production of inexpensive gas which makes it more difficult for them to justify their expensive and inefficient alternative energy scams. It is just another approach by the anti energy left.
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