Steve Lewis: Is fracking safe?

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A recent Denver Post editorial (“A better way to address drilling,” Feb. 5) dismissed fears of groundwater contamination from fracking as meritless and speculative. Fears have merit if they are connected with vulnerability, and let’s face it, U.S residents who live near fracking operations have every right to feel defenseless. The fracking process occurring in their backyards is exempt from the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. A simple rebuttal to the Denver Post editorial is this: If fracking is safe, why do we find it impossible to rescind fracking’s exemptions from these acts of Congress?

Consider that the Denver Post reported there were more than 1,000 spills statewide and more than 230 in Garfield County reported to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission between January 2008 and June 2010. There were 21 fires, loss of well control (including gas kicks) and explosions in Garfield County that were reported to the COGCC from January 1997 to August 2010. Does it make any sense that COGCC regulations do not require operators of these wells to place groundwater quality monitoring wells beside their oil and gas wells? Does it make any sense to bar a county from setting well setback distances according to its own concerns?

There are dozens of such shortcomings in COGCC regulations. Counties are forced to negotiate many of them with each drilling applicant. The “patchwork of regulations” Gov. John Hickenlooper would avoid already is here. The real problem is that the COGCC regulations are a setback to local governments trying to fully protect their residents, air and water.

Are these concerns speculative? Frankly, I find it unfathomable that the state of Colorado’s only answer to the fears of its residents is regulation and legislation that have no foundation in science and certainty. Why should we hasten our commitment to fracking without scientific study in place to show it is safe? What health and groundwater study of fracking impacts can the Denver Post or our governor point to?

In March 2005, EPA Inspector General Nikki Tinsley found enough evidence of potential mishandling of the 2004 EPA hydraulic fracturing study to justify a review. The EPA’s new study of fracking will have preliminary findings this year and a full report in 2014. A 2011 draft report of the Garfield County Health Impact Assessment presented plenty of reason for concern, and rather than document the full extent of the concern, Garfield County canceled the study. Hickenlooper should fund the completion of that study. If he will not fund the study completion, then Colorado Counties Inc. should do it for him.

Claims against fracking are meritless and speculative? Prove this to the Colorado residents you are asking to live beside it. Colorado counties and cities that wish to move ahead with fracking’s risks on the COGCC’s terms should be allowed to do so. Similarly, those that prefer to go slower and use the coming EPA fracking study and other studies to more carefully protect their residents, their air and their water should be allowed to do so.

Again, the central question I pose to the Denver Post and Hickenlooper: If fracking is safe, why have we not rescinded its exemptions from the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act?

Steve Lewis

Steamboat Springs

Comments

honestabe 2 years, 10 months ago

lewis, nothing in this world is "safe". is kayaking "safe"? What energy source is "safe"? Why are you posing your federal questions (caa, cwa, sdwa) to a state government and newspaper?

would you prefer we burn more coal? Put in hydroelectric in the Yampa Canyon? nuclear? drill in the ocean?

As I stated, nothing is "safe". You stated there were 1000 spills, 21 fires, explosions, cave ins? What were the costs financially, environmentally, etc? do you know?

We, lewis, are not hastening our commitment to fracking. Private companies, private dollars are hastening it. Some of those dollars are yours, taking advantage of the record low gas prices. Why are you hastening your commitment financially? do u use gas?

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bandmama 2 years, 10 months ago

<p>www.RouttCountyFrack.org Start here then press "go", With an intelligent obligation/observation to future DNA/Genetic ideas of what this can do. Educate yourselves!!!! Those who dont live paycheck to paycheck, like most of "us" do? Will not...but betcha they aint hurtin for cash like most of "us". Just saying.....

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

The Colorado Senate has proposed SB088 wherein they propose to preempt all local County control to regulate the oil and gas industry.

If you think that is bad for Routt County, this petition is one way to say it:

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-co-state-senate-stop-the-preemption-of-local-control-over-oil-and-gas

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sedgemo 2 years, 10 months ago

http://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/epa-grilled-over-pavillion-report?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email

I came across this article today, just passing it on FYI.

I keep coming back to this thought. Owners of mineral rights have the right to the extract (remove) those resources from where they lie, not ADD unidentified concoctions in their place (some studies have indicated only about half the fracking liquids are returned topside - I'm sure it varies with the geology). They didn't purchase the right to devalue surface resources or issues (spills, traffic, wells, water taps, air quality, property values), and without the assist from Mr. Cheney would never have. Those costs are rightly part of the cost of doing this business, surface rights owners should not be left holding the bag.

If these extraction procedures are no-risk, then why dodge federal regs. designed to keep air, water etc. fit for life? If there's that much profit in extracting the resource compliance with regs. surely it wouldn't put much of a dent in the bottom line to respect the property rights of others, especially if we are a net exporter of oil?

Seems to me the burden of proof should be on those whose actions have the greatest potential to do the greatest harm to other's legally owned surface rights.

(caveat: I own no surface or mineral rights).

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kathy foos 2 years, 10 months ago

Yesterday Pennsylvania legislators passed a law saying local areas have no say on the fracking operations.Please take action to make sure that this does not happen in Colorado,it is not right to force pollution on the public,we own the property,paid for it and are taxpayers owning the forest property.Gas and oil are Johnny come lately "spoilers" to our homes.Its interesting to note that the school in New York that has the girls with the medical issues at the high school,14 of them,the school has fracking operations nearby...........

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honestabe 2 years, 10 months ago

Kathy, cant believe i am responding to you, but,,,,,, are you saying fracking now causes turrets also? Gas and oil are new to our homes? come on....

ps. i am all for full disclosure of the chemicals going into these wells, proprietary info my ass

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pitpoodle 2 years, 10 months ago

Although I agree with much of what you say, it's your tone I can't abide by. Of all the issues to be considered, they just can't be taken seriously because of your tone.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

Lizard, My letter asks Colorado to finish the study of the health impacts of Garfield County's spills - reporting the spills is NOT the end of concern.

My letter asks Colorado to use the EPA's upcoming study on fracking.

You offer a false choice on who should regulate oil and gas. Its all the above: the U.S., Colorado, and Routt County. The local areas should be able to exceed the larger baselines, but not fall below them. They should all be willing to protect Routt's air, water, and people from oil and gas impacts. COGCC is NOT willing to protect Routt. Denver is not willing to protect Routt (SB0088 above)

This letter from the San Juan Citizens Alliance:

"There is a problem with the COGCC being a revolving door agency. We feel this is not a trait that any state regulatory should be known for, but not only is there still a continuance of this dubious tradition, it has become one of the COGCC’s hallmarks. Some of the more pronounced examples of this are: • David Neslin current Executive Director: to work for Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP • Brian Macke former COGCC Executive Director: to Delta Petroleum • David Dillion, former COGCC chief engineer: to represent some of the companies he formerly regulated • Matt LePore, assistant Attorney General to the COGCC: to Beatty and Wozniak P.C.

The question is: At what point does the employee start working for the future employer and stop working for the interests of the current employer. It is an honest, non-rhetorical question, one that is on the minds of many non-industry Coloradans who look to the COGCC for assistance. In that vein, we ask that there is a verification of when contact began between Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP and Mr. Neslin about Mr. Neslin’s taking a position with the law firm. We also request that there be verification that none of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP’s oil and gas industry clients were applicants for COGCC permits within the last year."

COGCC is a problem for Rout County. They think Rout and Moffat need the same level of oil and gas. They also have questionable intent if they would strip counties of self determination. Also see above revolving door.

If fracking is safe why do we still have its exemptions from the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Clean Air Act?

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 10 months ago

Just think how much safer Routt County could make cars if they imposed the sort of safety standards Washington DC was unwilling to pass? Sure, it might be a bit of a hassle for those that have to drive around Routt County or be ticketed for driving an unsafe vehicle.

If COGOC is a problem for Routt County then go to Denver and get it fixed. Gov is a Democrat and might care what his supporters say is such a crucial issue. Certainly the issues are more than just one county since emissions in Moffat County blow into Routt County and so on.

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 10 months ago

This predictable diatribe is is just another day at the office for the Community Alliance and their cohorts. Let's kill drilling, kill coal, kill the La Farge gravel pit, kill the Catamount Ski Area. Let's impose affordable housing on the development community with ridiculous demands. When the SB700 bends over backwards to please, then gather signatures to kill this project that was never wanted in the first place. If this group has their way we will eliminate most of the earth's population, while camouflaging it with compassion. In order to justify much of this work one needs to believe the Global Warming hoax that is gradually losing credibility. The UN seems to be losing hope with Cap and Trade and now are proposing taxing richer nations for the hell of it. How do you think that vote will turn out?

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the_Lizard 2 years, 10 months ago

Hmmmm??? My comment was deleted, without what may have been the offending word (queer, meaning odd) it will be more acceptable, so here it is again. Maybe that wasn't the offense, I don't know. It would be nice to know though.

First we have lewi telling us we need the EPA to step in and take over the regulation of fracking, then he links us to a petition that calls for more local control. So which is it, do we want a federal agancy one size fits all solution, or more local control? Then there is the breathless, I'll refrain from hyserical, claim of over 1,000 spills statewide in 2 years. Honestabe ask the effect of these spills, no answer.... The fact is, all spills regardless of size must be reported. "It is worth emphasizing that these containment, investigation, and clean up requirements apply to all spills and releases, regardless of their size or when they occurred or were discovered." (www.cogcc.state.co.us) Then there is the Routt County Frac site. Fine, but you are not educating yourself by reading that, only one side is being told and that side is obviously biased and not scientifically based. As for bandmama's comments, I can't figure out what she is saying, wish I could. Sedgemo, there are well qualified lawyers in Routt county that could answer your questions about surface rights, including a scientist that graduated from the School of Mines. I'd suggest asking someone with that expertise. Or perhaps the Pilot would do a balanced series on the subject......

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 10 months ago

Lizard, Yes, this paper really should send a message to the person that posted a comment that has been deleted on why the comment was deleted. I once had a comment criticizing Cari H regarding the default notice from US Bank and then I reposted it paragraph by paragraph and those weren't deleted. Sometimes it is truly baffling what gets deleted.

And some industries are very tightly regulated. If someone does not wear the supplied hardhat and reflective vest when picking up coal from Twentymile then that is technically a safety violation. So a count of reported spills with drilling wells is not the safe as number of contaminated groundwater sites.

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sedgemo 2 years, 10 months ago

Liz, I agree a balanced series with credible reporters would be very welcome here.

Per spills, I think the obvious truths are: spills happen, most get reported. The issue isn't that they get reported but the unknowns surrounding the results, which becomes a surface right issue.

Maybe that lawyer you mentioned would step up and write a few articles for the paper?

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

As long as I’m here, I might as well continue rebutting the Denver Post as well:

"With regulators willing to compromise, lawmakers should not meddle with drilling rules." - Denver Post, Our View editorial leader on Sunday. But regulators are NOT willing to compromise. See their letters to Routt, Douglas, Arapahoe and El Paso Counties insisting new draft county regulations for oil and gas be abandoned.

Scott, Sure, air pollution is multi-county, regional concern across 2 or 3 counties. But ground and surface water pollution is neighborhood, and very much a local jurisdiction's concern. And it makes sense to finish reviewing the health implications in the Garfield HIA. Economic goals are also a local jurisdiction concern. Moffat should be able to be settle for the COGCC baseline. Routt County should be able to be different than Moffat.

California is always at the front of vehicle standards and always has to fight industry to have a higher emission standard. That is wrong? Correlating examples with some level of mandate is more useful. There is a petition above against the bill that would strip local control. County level local control of car emissions in Colorado isn't likely or even sought.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

Liz, (You reposted. My response is now above your post...)

You consider this a level field. I don’t.

Oil and gas transports and injects “trade secret” fluids in this valley. They have exemptions from the Acts of Congress that protect me.

Want to discuss that?

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the_Lizard 2 years, 10 months ago

Lewi, I saw your post and am thinking about it. I'll see if I'm up to a big ol debate with you. ;-) or if I have the time. I'm still trying to figure out (and agree with you, Scott W. about the message, I suppose it's a time constraint issue) if the q word is a banned word here.... or something My newly revised comment hasn't been deleted, so I assume that was the problem. Oddly, (not gonna use the q word) it isn't on the list of 7 banned words according to Carlin, I didn't call anybody a q word, and I used it in an appropriate manner. Just wonderin' .....

Sedgemo, I think you have good questions and concerns which can't be answered without the help of someone that understands the law, or industry. Sometimes it seems we are just flailing around , trying to get answers, but unsure about the truth. That's what I want is the truth but we are not getting it from sites such as the Routt COunty frac.org. or the Community Alliance.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 10 months ago

Steve, Only because California is in violation of EPA clean air standards is California allowed to set emissions standards on vehicles. California cannot alter national vehicle safety standards.

If the State of Colorado can set standards for oil drilling then that is the place to take this fight to get the rules changed. Otherwise, Routt County is stuck on shaky legal ground when trying to regulate and there is enough money in drilling and royalties for affected people to sue the county for violating state law.

And it is quite rare for state government to ignore valid concerns of wealthy counties and wealthy property owners.

The idea that there is something wrong about fracking fluids being trade secrets doesn't make much sense. It is accepted that fracking fluids are not allowed to contaminate groundwater and that any contamination would be bad because of the benzene and other typically trace chemicals in the natural gas. And the fracking fluids are clearly recognized by the drillers and manufacturers as different fluids having different results depending upon the geology and so certainly are likely to include trade secrets. It makes sense that the fluids are registered with the State so if there is any contamination then it can be compared against the fluids used in any nearby wells.

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sedgemo 2 years, 10 months ago

Liz, thanks for your kind words. I really do feel like I'm flailing around. These questions are enormous and very likely to split our community apart. I see it as a classic duel between types of property rights.

Mineral rights owners have a right to sell/extract but not destroy surface owner's rights (unless they happen to own both and want to live on a drill pad).

Surface rights owners have the right to expect their existing quality of life to remain unaltered, but have no legal right to prohibit extraction. I'm not sure how it all would shake out if fracking fluids started bubbling up in our hot springs. Are those considered mineral rights?

Scott, the issue of "trade secrets" does have a dark side. If chemicals are not disclosed, and nearby people's wells suddenly become open gas lines or benzene supply lines, the drillers have an "out" by being able to say the wells might have contained those compounds PRIOR to drilling/fracking. This is a pattern which has been repeated in several states now, in a game of "blame the victim" buy the silence of a few and move on.

Perhaps one answer would be to require a traceable dye or benign tracking chemical as a sort of fingerprint in all fracking compounds, like those used to monitor water leaks and point-source water pollution trails. Each separate company could have a different "fingerprint" which would help trace any trouble to it's rightful source. It would all be after the fact but would at least provide a trail to the source.

In an earlier post I wrote that if these chemicals are really benign, then it isn't the chemical itself that should be considered a trade secret, but rather the "recipes" used, which could easily enough remain proprietary. The chemicals themselves, though, should be made public. O & G folks have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by easing non-industry folks' understandable fears. If they are using toxic compounds, then those fears are well justified.

Also, there are problems with comparisons, mostly because there are so few baselines, and from the link I posted again below (and other sources) Colorado has 37,586 total wells shown in 2009, and 19 staff. On BLM land it shows 19 staff for 5,387 wells in 2008. That's very few people to collect and compare data from that number of wells. From the RCC report it was mentioned the COGCC staff has a goal of inspecting every existing well site once in 10 years. The system we have is not timely enough to manage any mistakes in a timely manner.

Here's the link again, it didn't post correctly the first time, sorry.

http://projects.propublica.org/gas-drilling-regulatory-staffing/states/CO

If that one doesn't work, here's a parent link:

http://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-wests-energy-boom-could-threaten-drinking-water-for-1-in-12-america

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sledneck 2 years, 10 months ago

RWD, If you droped your steak dinner on the floor would'nt your dog eat it? Would you blame the dog for being completely predictable or would you consider it a result of your own stupidity for dropping it on the floor?

Same is true for governments. The banks or wall street firms or local construction companies are just being perdictable. It's the government that's "dropping the taxpayers' dinner on the floor" that's the problem... along with an electorate that foolishly expect the dogs to pick the steak up and hand it back to the taxpayers with a smile.

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sledneck 2 years, 10 months ago

I guess I know about as much about handling dogs as you seem to know about human nature.

My point was that it is the GOVERNMENT that lets the contracts for roads and bridges to nowhere and it is, therefore, the GOVERNMENT which is responsible for whether or not those projects are worth while.

You most certainly do not get my point because I never suggested, even mildly, that scamming the taxpayers was a good thing. My suggestion was that it is the GOVERNMENT which is responsible for protecting the taxpayers investments in public infrastructure, NOT construction companies.

To go on with your version of my analogy: If the contractor builds a road to nowhere that is unapproved then why would those charged with protecting taxpayers' funding of public projects, those who have the supposed authority to order the work stopped, follow through by allowing the work to continue, much less paying the contractor??

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sledneck 2 years, 10 months ago

I completely agree that we sometimes wind up with crooked politicians. We often fail to do OUR job as an electorate to screen these people.

Part of the reason is we are so focused on the (R) or (D) behind their name that we let other character issues slide. That's inexcuseable.

Nevertheless, it is that government official, NOT CONTRACTORS, who are responsible for the honest dispersal of taxpayers' money.

I just wish people would wake up and realize that if there was LESS taxpayer money available there would, by default, be LESS for crooked governments to squander. Waste and corruption makes a strong case for smaller governments all by themselves.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

Money matters. Water does not?

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/europe-has-every-right-to-be-emotional-about-fracking/

"In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 70 to 140 billion gallons of water are pumped into 35 thousand of fracking wells annually. What the gas industry is not admitting is that hydraulic fracturing uses water to an extent that ought to strike fear in countries that are counting on a shale gas boom, particularly as water becomes an increasingly scarce resource. Well contamination is also an issue to be considered. In January 2012, a Calgary-based company injected fluids at such a high pressure into a 1,800-metre-deep oil formation that they travelled more than 1.4 kilometres underground and ruptured an oil well near Innisfail, Alberta. There are also the documented facts of roads being destroyed through heavy machinery use and real estate prices dropping to ridiculous levels."

http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Hydraulic+fracturing+have+caused+well+blowout+near+Innisfail/6003589/story.html

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sledneck 2 years, 10 months ago

This might surprise you Lewi, but I am more and more skeptical of fracking all the time. I feel some of your points are completely valid.

Baseline water testing is completely logical, for example.

However, I also find it ammusing how the left seems to be filled to the ranks with people who claim to find the word "billions" alarming when speaking about GALLONS of water but are perfectly comfortable pouring billions of DOLLARS down similar rat-holes.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 10 months ago

Lewi, you only look at the negative and refuse to see any positives of energy production.

Real estate prices have dropped to ridiculous levels for instance. Not in North Dakota, Illiston ND, is the 6th fastest growing small town in America according to Forbes magazine. I 'm fairly certain it's not because of the weather. This boom has in turn caused a boomlet in AZ as people from ND look for places to invest their money.

Was this the only information on water usage you could find. This is the other side.

"“4 mil­lion gal­lons per well sounds like a lot,” said Range Resources’ Matt Pitzarella, “but even if we tripled our expected usage, we’d [still use] less than one half of one per­cent of the state’s [water con­sump­tion.] We would be less than golf courses.”

“We could frack 100,000 wells,” Pitzarella con­tin­ued, “and use less than a third of one per­cent of the water that’s in Lake Erie alone.” http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2011/09/21/burning-questions-whats-what-when-it-comes-to-water/ The EPA says "70 to 140 billion gallons of water are pumped into 35 thousand of fracking wells annually" The average golf course here in the US uses around 100 thousand to 1 million gallons of water per day during the summer. There are about 17 or 18 thousand golf courses in the US. Think about it.... Aren't you alarmed?

Since the new technology of gelled propane is beginning to make headway, the water issue could be off the table eventually anyway. Of course there are the problems of cost, and worker safety, although both of those issues are being addressed. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/22/us-shale-propane-idUSTRE7AL1ML20111122

Yes this is a level playing field, in fact it may be tipped in favor of the anti-energy crowd. Environmentalists have as big of a war chest as the gas and oil companies, and have cost this country billions, as well as lost jobs. Their latest tactic, the sage grouse.

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canyonwind 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't get it we have GMO crops that bugs won't eat, sodium floride in our drinking water, vacines that are linked to cancer, Mercury in those light bulbs that save energy BPA another cancer causing chemical in just about everything. endless illegal wars based on false flag terror and people are worried about fracking.

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 10 months ago

Lewi, You appear to be the press secretary for the Community Alliance, a left wing environmental group, opposing growth, according to your former leader. The left wishes to restrict available energy and fight wealth producers by income redistribution. We as a nation are on the trail of Greece and the end result seems inevitable. HIgh energy prices and low availability will most certainly assure that we will be unable to regain economical health again. This leads me to the logical conclusion that we will collapse financially taking the earth down with us. This is the stated objective of many on the left. The only obstacle here is the need to remain in power and convince the eloctorate that class warfare is real, and that the left will provide perpetual security. But then what do I know?

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sedgemo 2 years, 10 months ago

Fred, I keep hearing the USA is a NET EXPORTER of oil these days, so don't see how that squares with you saying "low availability" at all. We do have folks (probably not many you'd define as Liberals) hoarding oil to sell at presumed profit later, perfectly legal but certainly not left wing. Artificially escalating prices hurts everyone, but lower-income people more, and businesses (like yours) that have to feed your trucks.

I'm not especially hopeful, either, but can't see the right or the left have anything like a useful direction forward for our country. Both seem to be primarily defining themselves as the opposite of the other. We've all simply got to get off the us/them polarity or indeed, we are doomed. If we can get our heads together, pointing in more or less the same direction, there's a far better prospect of an improved future (or any future) for all of us.

Liz, have to take issue with your idea of a "level playing field" as concerns fracking. Homeowners (who aren't miners and never thought about mineral rights until lately) face an immense array of life-altering disruptions from fracking. Ask the folks living next door to Wolf Mtn. if they feel it's a level playing field. I doubt you'd be surprised at their answer. They have no rights (even their covenants are ignored) and may as well not exist in the eyes of the industry at this time.

Canyon, the trouble with fracking is nobody can live without fresh water. The total amount of water we will ever have is here, NOW. We can live without money (or keep printing more) but unless we can convert all our oceans to fresh water, everyone breathing depends on the fresh water available now. Once it's trashed, its gone for good unless we can find some way to get the persistent (unidentified) fracking compounds out of it. That's a nearly impossible, expensive task. Our municipal water treatment plants can't even filter out most prescription drugs running through our bodies now. It's obviously far better for all concerned to keep it clean in the first place, or at least be scrupulously careful about the quantities that we contaminate.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

Liz, Wellpad air and water pollution is my big concern with fracking. You know this from my question to you above.

I mention water as a criteria to Sled. He might hold it next to his spending complaint. Water isn't high on my list, but I think Sled is an Ag kind of guy.

Your water numbers combined with Ben Beall's l.t.e., with 4,750 wells on the Shell and Quicksilver "plays", means 10 years of hydaulic fracking in those Routt plays would use the same water as 13 and 130 new 2012 golf courses would use over the next 10 years. 130 Haymakers golf courses, in my opinion, given arid west golf course are on the low end of the water usage you quote.

Or butane fracking would ease that. If they go with butane, will COGA still point to a decades of experience as why we shouldn't worry? Or do i have some room to suggest this butane process should be studied first.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

"Pending oil/gas leases worry home buyers"

http://www.deltacountyindependent.com/news/north-fork/25717-pending-oilgas-leases-worry-home-buyers.html

Some local real estate brokers are concerned about what is happening with property values and sales with just the suggestion of oil and gas development in the North Fork Valley.

Bob Lario, president of RE/MAX Mountain West told the Jan. 12 Rotary Club of Paonia that the perception there may be drilling in this area is already affecting the market. "This could kill us," he said.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

And Liz, You consider this a level field. I do not. Its not even close.

Oil and gas transports and injects “trade secret” toxins in this valley. They have exemptions from the Acts of Congress that protect our Routt water and air.

Want to discuss that?

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 10 months ago

I see that the environmental obstructionists have been successful in the rejection of the West Elk Coal Mine in Gunnison County, This one was second in production to the Twentymile Mine. I think that you will see attempts for the Hayden Station to go to gas in the near furure. Cap and Trade is officially off the table but you ain't seen nothing yet. Fighting fracking is life or death for those with ulterior motives.

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trump_suit 2 years, 10 months ago

Gotta Agree with RWD. What about it Fred? Do you support pre-drilling, pre-fracking baseline testing of water wells? Who should pay for that?

There is simply no way we should allow the O/G companies to inject unknown chemicals into their wells. IT is standard industry practice to deny all claims of contamination and to claim that the water was already contaminated before they started drilling. Unless we know what those chemicals are, the O/G corporation will deny they caused the problem them when they show up in your water well.

I support the drilling efforts in Routt County, but I darn well DEMAND that water and air quality testing is done first. That way if anyone has water or air problems the pre-drilling tests should tell us right away if the drilling/fracking caused it.

If the process is so safe, then why are the corporations so opposed to the testing. Seems to me we have another 1960 era tobacco company scientist here.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 10 months ago

Lewi, "Oil and gas transports and injects “trade secret” toxins in this valley. They have exemptions from the Acts of Congress that protect our Routt water and air.

Want to discuss that?"

We've discussed it ad-nauseum. The COGCC has a comprehensive set of rules, descibed, in fact, as some of the most comprehensive in the nation in regards to fracking. It regulates the energy to a satisfactory degree here in CO and does not require the heavy handed political approach of the feds. It seems to me this argument parallels the requirment by HHS for all insurance companies to provide free bc. It's believed by some on the left, erroneously , that if this measure isn't upheld women will be deprived of their right to contraceptives. If the EPA doesn't regulate G&O production under it's various acts, it does not mean that there isn't regulation in place. Baseline well testing isn't that expensive why wouldn't you get it done yourself, prior to drilling, I would, if I were near a drilling rig. FYI, http://www.coga.org/index.php/BaselineWaterSampling/FAQ The good news for Paonia residents is that at least they have put a hold on expansion of the coal mine near Somerset, that FD was talking about. Yeah, that'll help the job market and by default the housing market.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

Liz, Your answer - that they are sufficiently regulated - does not in any logical way explain why fracking needs exemptions from the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act.

But it does suggest you support the Frac Act, which removes those exemptions.

When the Frac Act has passed has passed the field will be leveled for future well derrick neighbors. Because then civil lawsuits will be replaced by criminal investigations. Your team could get off. They could go to jail. That is a level field.

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 10 months ago

Let me be perfectly clear! I'm all for clean water etc. My concern is the Community Alliance, and the network that they perform as surrogates for, want to eliminate fossil fuels and move to renewables, now. They operate under an "apple pie" camouflage that I will not do. Adequate renewables are not "here" and to go "cold turkey" off fossils will be catastrophic. This would collapse mankind as we know it. Fracking, Keystone Pipeline, coal mining, oil and gas drilling are all under assault from the left, using the environment as a political tool. Fracking in this valley will never receive thumbs up because we have groups that do not want it regardless of how safe it might be. This article is a useless diatribe to show how reasonable the assasins are.

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sedgemo 2 years, 10 months ago

Fred, how safe do you think fracking "might" be, given the geology of our county? We have odd seeps popping up everywhere this winter, in places even long-timers have never seen. Does anyone really know where and how water is moving around in our county?

I think the word "assassins" is misguided when used against your neighbors. They have legitimate concerns which are not being answered in any meaningful way, and by using that word you ascribe motives to "them" which may or may not exist. I can't speak to organizations but witnessed a lot of private citizens in public hearings speaking of their concerns. What solutions do you offer? Help us deal with these issues instead of polarizing our community even more... realizing not one of us gets to decide what is of concern to another. How can we move forward reasonably, without assassinating anyone's character?

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canyonwind 2 years, 10 months ago

Fred Duckles you get it. Many of these people want to colapse the economy but fracking is just the issue of the moment. There are safe ways to frack but what I find so funny is the people down in Front Range that want to get rid of coal fired plants and replace them with natural gas fired power plants. Did they think this through, fracking is here because the FAR LEFT hates coal and in about ten years all Front Range power plants have to be Natural Gas fired. But we have a far bigger problem and it is the United Nations Agenda 21. just read the book "Behind the Green Mask United Nations Agenda 21" Rosa Koire a Bay Area Liberal Democrate who gets it.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 10 months ago

"But it does suggest you support the Frac Act, which removes those exemptions" Huh? Hell will probably freeze over before I agree with much of anything Polis or Degette promote or say. Ritter, Mr Green, even disagreed with their bill: Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. said in a Denver address that he asked US Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) to seek a comprehensive study of hydraulic fracturing “instead of jumping directly to a new and potential intrusive regulatory program.”

http://www.pennenergy.com/index/articles/display/7857633758/articles/oil-gas-journal/weekly-washington-update/update/gov_-ritter_asks_degette.html

I'm not the only one that says fracking is sufficiently regulated and safe. From the EPA's 4 year study which was concluded in 2004.

"As in its August 2002 draft report, EPA has concluded that additional or further study is not warranted at this time. In making this decision, EPA reviewed more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, other research, and public comments. The Agency has concluded that the injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids into CBM wells poses minimal threat to USDWs." Lisa Jackson's statement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4RLzl...

"Because then civil lawsuits will be replaced by criminal investigations"

Do tell!!! Maybe we can then criminalize all the enablers of these bad bad well derrick folks. You know the people that insist on staying warm, cooking their food and taking a hot shower. In fact send all the builders of those domiciles to jail for putting the forbidden fruit within their reach. hahahaha. Good grief Lewi, your argument loses any amount of credibility when you say something like this. RWR do what ever you like, test or don't test I don't care. You did notice the link I put up concerning water testing, since you are so concerned. It's somewhat interesting. Fred, I agree. Here is a bit of good news IMO anyway. "...a bill allowing the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) the discretion to roll back Colorado’s 30 percent renewable energy mandate if the PUC determines that the cost would be detrimental to ratepayers." http://energy.i2i.org/2012/02/16/roll-back-colorados-renewable-energy-mandate/

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sledneck 2 years, 10 months ago

Fred is exactly right, but he didn't go far enough. The truth is "renewables" are under attack from environmentalists too.

It's not that they don't want fossil fuel, it's that they don't want ANY cheap, abundant energy OF ANY KIND because they know that would accelerate growth in the economy. To extreme environmentalists, growth is the road to perdition and it must be curtailed at all costs.

Now before all the "middle-of-the-roaders" castigate me for including "them" in "they" let me just say up front that I do believe there are a lot of folks who genuinely want energy production but are just legitimately concerned with their water, etc.

I share some of those concerns. I think baseline testing, for example, is COMPLETELY logical and even prudent. When you look at what it costs vs what it might save it's a no-brainer.

Nevertheless, extreme environmentalists oppose ALL production that results in abundant, cheap energy. Far from just fracking, drilling and mining... They have killed windfarms. They have killed solar plants. They have killed nuclear. They have killed geo-thermal. They have killed hydro-electric. They now oppose ethanol. (even a stopped clock is right twice/ day)

It's almost as if they thought that, with their tales of impending doom from global warming, they could persuade Americans into casting down their i-phones and returning to being hunter-gatherers. That's not working for them and I am now convinced that a lot of them, especially the ones here in Routt county, wish they had not bitched and griped so much about ANWaR, Gulf drilling, Yucca Mt, etc.

With global warming losing more credibility with each passing day they might have to re-think ANWaR, Yucca Mt, etc.

The Routt county residents who oppose drilling here but who also vociferously opposed Keystone and ANWaR are the ones who make me laugh the hardest. They are complete loons. Pump barrels of oil out of ANWaR or out of Canada by the billions and the rigs in Routt County will go away.

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sedgemo 2 years, 10 months ago

Sled, didn't Obama just give two new nuclear plants the go-ahead? I agree nuclear has been on life support, but this action means it's far from dead.

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sledneck 2 years, 10 months ago

The Washington Post headline for Thursday February 16 reads: (That's TODAY!!!)

"Groups file federal lawsuit to block construction of two nuclear reactors in eastern Georgia." 12 environmental and watchdog groups filed suit TODAY to stop these plants from being built.

Wake up and smell the coffee, sedgemo.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

They, they, they…. Seriously?

Assassins, crash the economy, Agenda 21, Yucca Mtn, ANWAR - not sure what you guys see in the pot, but it sure ain't coffee.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_11001835

Nov, 2008 "Study was limited in scope. One of the (2004 EPA) report's three main authors, Jeffrey Jollie, an EPA hydrogeologist, cautions that the research has been misconstrued by industry. The study didn't consider the impact of above-ground drilling or of drilling in geologic formations deep underground, where many of the large new gas reserves are being developed."

"It was never intended to be a broad, sweeping study," Jollie says.

Nevertheless, a few months after the report's release, the sweeping 2005 Energy Policy Act was passed. Almost no attention was paid to the three paragraphs that stripped the federal government of most of its authority to monitor and regulate hydraulic fracturing's impact on the environment. By default, that responsibility would now fall to the states.

"That pretty much closed the door," said Greg Oberley, an EPA groundwater specialist working in the Western drilling states. "So we absolutely do not look at fracking ... under the Safe Drinking Water Act. It's not done."

That Bush/Cheney era study has been debunked on other accounts as well.

Liz, I'm still trying to get you to explain why fracking should have exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act. In your own words, not in another link. For example, Pavillion, WY. Their aquifer is fouled. Their options - Lawyer up and go after a billion dollar oil company holding exemptions from federal prosecution. You agree with that?

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sledneck 2 years, 10 months ago

I see a lawsuit filed just yesterday against Nuclear power in Georgia. And last year against a solar plant in Nevada. And they year before that against a windfarm off nantucket. And so on and so on.

I heard a very relevant conversation a couple months ago where a muslim was asking a non-muslim to stop complaining about all the damage that radical muslims were doing. The other guys response was "Hey, you go talk to your fellow muslims and ask them to stop strapping bombs to themselves and THEN we can see about me not complaining about muslims, but as long as you keep ignoring the radicals in YOUR OWN religion I'm not gonna apologize for criticizing muslims."

Well, THAT'S how I feel about the environmentalists. Go tell the EXTREMISTS to let us drill in the frozen wasteland known as ANWaR or in the middle of the ocean, or back off the nuclear lawsuits. Then and ONLY then are you going to get people to stop fussing about whacko environmentalism.

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 10 months ago

I suspect that many of Steve's talking points come down from the mothership. The environmental movement in one way apears to lack common sense, but they are very good at organization and planning, to further an agenda. Conservatives can win an election and feel pretty good, but this group will be unceasingly push us left. One tactic is to file lawsuits daily to further the cause. Many entities on the receiving end of this sabotage, can't afford to fight and cave immediately. Ideologue attorneys can wreak much havoc with very little expense on their part. This movenent is adept at presenting itself as the compassionate one, protecting us against all evil, and are very good at it. They have silenced much of the opposition by painting them into a corner. Entitlements are used to show how much they care.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 10 months ago

"That Bush/Cheney era study has been debunked on other accounts as well"

See lewi, you've answered your own question. The study, 3 years of which were done under the Bush administration, has been debunked, according to you. The EPA is a politically motivated arm of the executive branch and you just told me the study which was done under Bush /Cheney wasn't worth anything because of that fact. That is precisely what I've been saying. Leave it to the a-political regulators of the states, rather than turn it over it to WA bureaucrats who sway with the political wind.

As for Pavillion WY, there is nothing to sue a billion dollar company for, that I know of. It's fairly expensive to "lawyer up" if you have no reason to. . There are many questions surrounding this study too, it's relevance to other parts of the country, not to mention the EPA's agenda, under this administration.

Sledneck, I've thought about that too. There are millions of acres of BLM land (just BLM) at least half of which are off limits to drilling. If they are open for drilling there are lawsuits from greeeenies, rules regulations, and studies to be conducted. All of which make it very expensive to drill on public lands. No wonder there's more drilling on private land and closer to where people live.

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sledneck 2 years, 10 months ago

Well, Lewi it sounds to me like what your'e saying is that big government has pushed big oil right into your small back yard. I thought big government looks after the "commons" as you put it? Sounds like it has done the OPPOSITE on this one.

Sounds to me like the greenies should rethink their opposition to energy production in desolate wastelands and petition their best friend, big government, to snap out of it before there's an oil derrick in Strawberry Park.

When people in the green movement expose themselves for being so radical as to want to regulate GROCERY BAGS they lose the credibility they desperately need to be effective on issues that are actually MEANINGFUL like fracking.

The environmentalists have, in no small way, done this to themselves. Can't cry "wolf" or "global warming" but so many times before the mainstream goes back in their homes and closes the door to what you're sellin'.

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sedgemo 2 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, Sled. I make a point of not drinking any coffee, or any Koolaid.

Per lawsuits, if they have a legitimate legal complaint, that is how our system is designed to function. If they don't, it will eventually be tossed out. If they do, then the process has a way to move forward. People have a right to dissent. The process may slow everything, but without it what do we have left of a constitution? We need both wings to fly.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

Per my letter above - "The real problem is that the COGCC regulations are a setback to local governments trying to fully protect their residents, air and water."

Local control is needed.

Apolitical regulators? The state's O&G team, COGCC, is a revolving door agency. Some examples: · David Neslin current Executive Director: to work for Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP (legal firm promoting oil companies' interests) · Brian Macke former COGCC Executive Director: to Delta Petroleum · David Dillion, former COGCC chief engineer: to represent some of the companies he formerly regulated · Matt LePore, assistant Attorney General to the COGCC: to Beatty and Wozniak P.C. (legal firm promoting oil companies' interests)

The Senate Bill SB88 to strip Local Control was defeated 4-1 in committee. A new House Bill HB1277 would give give us Local Control. It would allow us to exceed the very low standards of the state organization, COGCC.

Sounds bipartisan to me. Here is a link to support Local Control:

http://www.change.org/petitions/yes-on-hb-1277-strengthen-local-rights-to-regulate-oil-and-gas

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

The text of the petition:

Why This Is Important

Land use regulation is a fundamental responsibility of local government who must have the authority to plan, assess impacts and regulate land use in order to protect the health, welfare, safety and environment of their constituents.

Colorado is undergoing an unprecedented wave of oil and gas development that has the potential to impact millions of people including many communities never before affected by the industry.

The people of Colorado believe in their democratic right to have a voice in the local management of oil and gas development that will affect the health, welfare and quality of their lives, through their elected representatives.

WE THE UNDERSIGNED, urge you to support HB12-1277 including preserving the right of local governments to ban oil and gas activities deemed harmful to their communities.

http://www.change.org/petitions/yes-on-hb-1277-strengthen-local-rights-to-regulate-oil-and-gas

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 10 months ago

I think that this article and petition are straight from headquarters of the environmental movement, and their long term goal, from my observance, is to wreck our economy. At first glance it appears a unilateral movement would be foolish, but our demise would essentially effect the whole planet. This petition and letter are a smokescreen to appear compassionate.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 10 months ago

The original bill said "including preserving the right of local governments to ban oil and gas activities deemed harmful to their communities." They took that out, wonder why? Too extreme??? Imagine, under the guise of protecting private property rights and local control, this bill originally would have given county commissioners the right to overturn prior contracts between mineral rights owners and lessees. You people are okay with that kind of control, applaud it in fact? (can they even do that?) The commissioners have said they don't have the money to hire professional consultants, so what will they base their decisions on....feelings, the "expertise" of locals that have no time for facts? Latest study: http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2012/02/17/ut-austin-study-says-fracking-hasnt.html "....local management of oil and gas development that will affect the health, welfare and quality of their lives...." Subjective claptrap, I would be surprised if this bill makes it very far. Certainly Hickenlooper won't sign it.

There is sufficient local control...ie moratorium on Camilletti well, but guess we will find out more on the 21st. Fred, I wonder if a pro-energy petition would be accepted on change.org. ha

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

Liz, When it comes to groundwater pollution, do you really care that industry semantics can separate well casing failure from the high fracking pressure that likely caused the well casing failure? From your link:

"UT Austin study says fracking hasn’t contaminated groundwater Dallas Business Journal"

"A study done by UT Austin researchers says hydraulic fracturing doesn't cause groundwater contamination. The study reported that many problems blamed on hydraulic fracturing are related to processes common to all oil and gas drilling operations, such as casing failures or poor cement jobs."

University researchers also concluded that many reports of contamination can be traced to above-ground spills or other mishandling of wastewater produced from shale gas drilling, rather than from hydraulic fracturing, Charles “Chip” Groat, an Energy Institute associate director, said in a statement. “These problems are not unique to hydraulic fracturing,” he said.

Unique = a distinctive characteristic of. Given 90% of gas wells are fracked, If he said these problems are never a characteristic of fracking, he would have no credibility.

Take even your own study link, are you willing to accept the industry pollution of well cement and casing failures? The water is contaminated, no?

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

http://www.propublica.org/article/scientific-study-links-flammable-drinking-water-to-fracking

Scientific Study Links Flammable Drinking Water to Fracking

May 9, 2011

The research was conducted by four scientists at Duke University. They found that levels of flammable methane gas in drinking water wells increased to dangerous levels when those water supplies were close to natural gas wells. They also found that the type of gas detected at high levels in the water was the same type of gas that energy companies were extracting from thousands of feet underground, strongly implying that the gas may be seeping underground through natural or manmade faults and fractures, or coming from cracks in the well structure itself. “Our results show evidence for methane contamination of shallow drinking water systems in at least three areas of the region and suggest important environmental risks accompanying shale gas exploration worldwide,” the article states.

The group tested 68 drinking water wells in the Marcellus and Utica shale drilling areas in northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York State. Sixty of those wells were tested for dissolved gas. While most of the wells had some methane, the water samples taken closest to the gas wells had on average 17 times the levels detected in wells further from active drilling. The group defined an active drilling area as within one kilometer, or about six tenths of a mile, from a gas well. The average concentration of the methane detected in the water wells near drilling sites fell squarely within a range that the U.S. Department of Interior says is dangerous and requires urgent “hazard mitigation” action, according to the study.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 10 months ago

See lewi, all the anti-energy people have to do is go to one of the numerous websites dedicated to abolishing energy production and usage, then cut and paste. The information has already been read deciphered and an opinion wiritten about it all easy to digest and ready to spread around as truth. Did you read the study (me neither I just read the stuff that was written in English like the intro.) or just the analysis by propublica? In the studies introduction it has this diclaimer; " We found no evidence for contamination of drinking-water samples with deep saline brines or fracturing fluids." Despite this propublica titles it's piece, "Scientific Study Links Flammable Drinking Water to Fracking" Wow!

Then on another comment section you name this "study" IMPACTS OF GAS DRILLING ON HUMAN AND ANIMAL HEALTH, that routtcountyfrack has conveniently compiled for you. The first quote comes from Sandra Steingraber, who obviously has an agenda, " "Steingraber urged for the rapid phase-out of all fossil fuels “to avoid human calamity” http://www.vindy.com/news/2012/jan/10/by-karl-henkel/ That lends credibilty to a scientific study. ha Oh wait this really wasn't a "scientific study and the authors admit it, too bad routtcountfrack didn't mention this,. "By the standards of a controlled experiment, this is an imperfect study, as one variable could not be changed while holding all others constant. It also is not a systematic study that will provide the percentage of farms with problems associated with gas drilling" or this “This study is not an epidemiologic analysis" or this, "not a study of the health impacts of specific chemical exposures"

One of your links did lead to this great youtube video though, all natural.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&amp...

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sedgemo 2 years, 10 months ago

Liz, I read another interpretation here:

"'We found no evidence for contamination of drinking-water samples with deep saline brines or fracturing fluids." Despite this propublica titles it's piece, "Scientific Study Links Flammable Drinking Water to Fracking" Wow!'"

It's indisputable fracking releases natural gas from myriad unknowable fractures the process itself creates. The fractured areas are not cased, just the initial drill hole as I understand it. It's not a stretch to realize that gas could escape through new or existing cracks into areas which contain water. Some of those are sources of well water. This study reports a link between fracking and flammable drinking water, not fracking fluids in the water. So even if 100% of fracking fluids are recovered, the question remains about the percent of released gas recovered. Is there even any way to know?

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

Sedgemo said it right. The fracking fluids themselves are not the central argument, and have only been documented in Pavillion.

The argument is the correlation of natural contaminants to the gas wells, 90% of which are fracked. The studies ProPublica covered are not about fracking fluids - they are about fracking introducing methane and other hydrocarbons into ground and well water. And given 90& of wells are fracked, the ProPublica headline is warranted.

Regardless of the headline, you have evidence gas wells pollute groundwater.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 10 months ago

I should have said "hydrocarbon contaminants like deep shale methane", instead of "natural contaminants".

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 10 months ago

Do they offer fracking PHD's on the internet? I know construction, and when a scenario such as we have here comes up, I find that the internet jockeys usually have their wires crossed. Obviously there is risk in fracking but the future as we know it is seriously in doubt without fossil fuels. The far left views of some here will eliminate our decendents, and we can start over again. This hardly equates with the cradle to grave care that they preach. In the future we need alternatives but the politicians are spending billions doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Ironically it seems that their buddies profit and contribute to campaigns completing the circle. Any real progress will probably come through the pivate sector devoid of political gain, as we see with fracking.

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Rob Douglas 2 years, 9 months ago

Carroll: Bill Would Imperil Bonanza for Colorado http://www.denverpost.com/carroll/ci_20013939 "Barely a week ago, yet another independent study — meaning no industry funding whatever — exonerated fracking of groundwater pollution. "We found no direct evidence that fracking itself has contaminated groundwater," said Charles Groat of the University of Texas, the leader of the study. But facts can be such a nuisance when your larger goal is so obviously to hamper oil and gas production in this state."

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 9 months ago

Rob, The larger goal that you refer to is camouflaged on these blogs by reams of data as if a scientific approach is being pursued. The agenda is obvious and this futile exercise in intellectualism is boring at best.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 9 months ago

Charles Groat, "We found no direct evidence that fracking itself has contaminated groundwater," … “These problems are not unique to hydraulic fracturing,” Charles from another report.

Can Charles say the gas wells being fracked are safe? No. He cannot.

Because Charles has the peer studies available to him showing that natural gas wells DO contaminate ground water with methanes and other hydrocarbons from the deep shale. And Charles knows 90% of gas wells are fracked. Fracking is what makes shale gas viable. Without fracking there would be no “gas play” in Routt.

The studies available to Charles suggest a variety of contamination modes: toxins are transmitted via well casing failure, via annulus voids, via fracture lines in the soil….

We should wait for the EPA study. And Routt should be able to define its own future relative to exposure to oil and gas well pollution.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 9 months ago

A Phd: “If future impacts may be inferred from recent historical performance, then:

• Approximately two percent of shale gas well projects in New York will pollute local ground-water over the short term. Serious regulatory violations will occur at more than one of every ten new shale gas projects.
• More than one of every six shale gas wells will leak fluids to surrounding rocks and to the surface over the next century. “

Ronald E. Bishop, Ph.D., CHO

Chemistry & Biochemistry Department
State University of New York, College at Oneonta

http://63.134.196.109/documents/RiskAssessmentNaturalGasExtraction.pdf

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 9 months ago

This Thursday, March 1st at 6pm in the Board of County Commissioners third floor hearing room in the Steamboat Springs downtown historic courthouse: Special Use Permit (SUP) hearing for the Quicksilver- Pirtlaw Well. There will be a second SUP hearing with the Board of County Commissioners on March 12th, at 5:30pm in the BOCC third floor hearing room. (Note: Quicksilver has inserted this new Pirtlaw well SUP in front of their previously scheduled Camelleti well).

http://www.co.routt.co.us/sections.php?op=viewarticle&artid=82181

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 9 months ago

The environmental movement will pack the room with surrogates and probably bring in ringers to intimidate any unwilling commissioneers. There will always be more safety concerns regardless of how many are addressed. We are so fortunate to have a big brother to make our case.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 9 months ago

Fred, This thread is about studied groundwater contamination. Your response ignores that fact to entertain fantasy - environmental concerns expressed at public meetings are a conspiracy of surrogates and ringers. Your fiction is funny. But it is also ugly and demeaning.

Fred's concern: "There will always be more safety concerns regardless of how many are addressed."

Real concern: Quicksilver, May thru Oct 2011, 28 Inspections, 14 Unsatisfactory, 15 Violations (COGCC website stats)

COGCC website docs are unlinkable, but RouttCountyFrack.Org has copied this one at: http://routtcountyfrack.org/drilling-in-routt.html

Routt Planning Commission hearing on Quicksilver/Pirtlaw well, 6pm, this Thursday.

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