Turns out Dick Cheney (surprise!) had a big hand in masterminding this disgusting gift to the oil industry, a true unconscionable stab at the public interest, but what is perhaps most irritating is that this crime continues to date unchallenged under Obama.
More on fracking here. In fact, try giving fracking AND water pollution google searches.
So here is the real hullabaloo from Crooks and Liars:
Posted: 05 Nov 2010 07:00 AM PDT
I was on jury duty yesterday, but before I left the house, I caught this Will Bunch piece on Attytood and it made me really, really angry -- and afraid for my state of Pennsylvania. Because the corrupt new Republican governor Tom Corbett is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the natural gas industry, and wants to make Pennsylvania the only state that doesn't even tax these polluters enough to cover the damage.
Then I came home and found that Keith Olbermann picked up the story, too:
You know where Karl Rove spent the day after the all-important mid-term election? Here in the state of Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh to be exact -- gnawing on steak and potatoes and running a political victory lap with the fracking polluters who can now befowl our state's water supply with impugnity for the next couple of years, aided in no small part by the $38 million in mostly secret donations from large corporations that was donated to Rove's American Crossroads outfit that ran attack ads smearing congressional candidateswho support sensible environmental laws.
In celebrating Tueaday's GOP win with the Marcellus Shale frackers, Rove showed himself a man who not only knows where his cow flesh is seared but where his bread is buttered.
Here's what Rove told them:
Rove said a new Republican House of Representatives supportive of the energy industry "sure as heck" would not pass climate-change legislation that the outgoing Democratic Congress had been unable to pass.
"Climate is gone," said Rove, the keynote speaker on the opening day of a two-day shale-gas conference sponsored by Hart Energy Publishing L.L.P. And Rove told the trade show, "I don't think you need to worry" the new Congress will consider proposed legislation to put the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing under federal rather than state regulation.
The procedure, known as "fracking," is responsible for the dramatic growth of shale-gas drilling in formations such as Pennsylvania's vast Marcellus Shale.
And really, rape and pillage of the environment, the working class and the Social Security trust fund is what this election was all about -- even though the Republican campaign ads never, ever mentioned any of those issues.
That's because whenever Republicans admit their real agenda, the voters soundly reject them. This election is no different.
To be contrasted with THIS, below, the official version of the Rover post-election "story":
Republican strategist Karl Rove told oil and gas industry officials Wednesday that President Barack Obama's promises of change may have propelled him to the White House but it was his actions that led voters this week to send a clear message that they aren't happy with what he's done.
The architect behind George W. Bush's two presidential election victories spoke at a conference billed as the largest gathering of drilling interests in the Marcellus Shale region. Outside the conference, more than 300 opponents of fracking - injecting water and other chemicals into the ground to break it up and force gas to the surface - chanted "It's our water, we will fight!" and "Whose water? Our water!"
The protesters contend fracking contaminates groundwater and can release harmful chemicals used in the process, including benzene, into the air near wells.
Appearing the day after the midterm elections, Rove touched on drilling briefly, saying he believes the political climate now will take everyone "back to a period of sensible regulations." But he spent most of his time talking about why Republicans won Tuesday night.
Rove said Obama's tone, the state of the economy and health care legislation are all things that drove tea party followers and independents to the polls. Obama failed to capitalize on what brought him to the Oval Office, Rove said.
"He had a unique moment to turn the page and usher in a new era, but it didn't happen," Rove said.
Going forward, Rove said there will be some gridlock but it's up to Obama to set a new, more conciliatory tone.
The protesters gathered outside the downtown convention center where Rove spoke zeroed in on drilling and, more specifically, the fracking process used to get natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, a vast rock formation under New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
While many in the crowd called for a ban on all gas drilling, and some were anti-capitalists, others were pushing primarily for a ban or tight regulations on fracking.
Chris Maresca, 28, of Pittsburgh, walked his dog, Baloo, a mutt that had a sandwich board with "I Hate Karl Rove" on one side and "I love Clean Rivers" on the other. He said he isn't against drilling entirely.
"Just the fracking. I have no problem with industry and creating jobs, but doing it at the expense of our health doesn't make any sense to me," Maresca said.
The protesters carried banners as they marched from Pittsburgh's North Side across a river and down a downtown street to a small stage near the convention center. Some held pinatas shaped like oil derricks that were smashed open with sticks, littering the street with candy.
Josh Fox, whose documentary about the dangers of fracking, "Gasland," was featured on HBO, told the crowd that civil disobedience may be needed to ban fracking. He said the drilling industry is lying by characterizing natural gas as "clean alternative fuel."
"This is the fossil fuel industry's big push to kill renewable energy. This is the battleground for climate change, this is the battleground for renewable energy," Fox said.
The protesters reacted loudly when Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields told them the panel has proposed a citywide fracking ban that he claims has a veto-proof six-vote backing.
Mark McConville, a conference attendee, uses natural gas at his Airport Express Limousine Service in Birmingham, Ala., which features compressed natural gas-burning vehicles. He drove one to the conference, and believes it's unrealistic to think there's no downside to any new technology.
"There's always a downside," McConville said. "But I don't believe anybody in the industry's intentionally trying to give us bad drinking water."
And for this, truly, Olbermann takes the tumble . . .
Hydraulic Fracturing FAQs
How does hydraulic fracturing work?Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.
What is horizontal hydraulic fracturing?Horizontal hydrofracking is a means of tapping shale deposits containing natural gas that were previously inaccessible by conventional drilling. Vertical hydrofracking is used to extend the life of an existing well once its productivity starts to run out, sort of a last resort. Horizontal fracking differs in that it uses a mixture of 596 chemicals, many of them proprietary, and millions of gallons of water per frack. This water then becomes contaminated and must be cleaned and disposed of.
What is the Halliburton Loophole?In 2005, the Bush/ Cheney Energy Bill exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act. It exempts companies from disclosing the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing. Essentially, the provision took the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) off the job. It is now commonly referred to as the Halliburton Loophole.
What is the Safe Drinking Water Act?In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was passed by Congress to ensure clean drinking water free from both natural and man-made contaminates.
What is the FRAC Act?The FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness to Chemical Act) is a House bill intended to repeal the Halliburton Loophole and to require the natural gas industry to disclose the chemicals they use.
How deep do natural gas wells go?The average well is up to 8,000 feet deep. The depth of drinking water aquifers is about 1,000 feet. The problems typically stem from poor cement well casings that leak natural gas as well as fracking fluid into water wells.
How much water is used during the fracking process?Generally 1-8 million gallons of water may be used to frack a well. A well may be fracked up to 18 times.
What fluids are used in the fracking process?For each frack, 80-300 tons of chemicals may be used. Presently, the natural gas industry does not have to disclose the chemicals used, but scientists have identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.
In what form does the natural gas come out of the well?The gas comes up wet in produced water and has to be separated from the wastewater on the surface. Only 30-50% of the water is typically recovered from a well. This wastewater can be highly toxic.
What is done with the wastewater?Evaporators evaporate off VOCs and condensate tanks steam off VOCs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The wastewater is then trucked to water treatment facilities.
What is a well's potential to cause air pollution?As the VOCs are evaporated and come into contact with diesel exhaust from trucks and generators at the well site, ground level ozone is produced. Ozone plumes can travel up to 250 miles.
Love them rePUBs.