AndyH
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Re: Verdict is in! Fracking on Trial in Texas

Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:19 pm

So far Denton, TX fracking ban seems to be holding. It's causing a bit of a power struggle, though, as citizens' rights and land rights are coming up against the state's very oil-friendly regulators.

And...here's a look into the nature of the state's industry "watchdog" - the Texas Railroad Commission:

http://books.insideclimatenews.org/fired
In a rebuttal to that evaluation, Wright described how one of his bosses had renewed a permit for a “land farm” over Wright’s objections. A land farm is the term used for a commercial operation where waste from oil and gas extraction is spread on top of the ground.

Wright said the permit should have been denied because samples of the contaminated waste that was to be spread on the land “exceeded the level that would classify the material as hazardous waste,” making it “ineligible for land farming.”

AndyH
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Re: Verdict is in! Fracking on Trial in Texas

Tue May 19, 2015 12:16 pm

Well, so much for Democracy and private property rights.

The Texas governor (the same idio..er..executive that deployed the state guard to 'protect' us from a joint US military exercise...) just signed a law denying towns the ability to regulate fracking in their borders.

https://www.texastribune.org/2015/05/18 ... king-bill/
Saying Texas needs to avoid a “patchwork of local regulations” that threaten oil and gas production, Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed legislation that would pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of drilling-related activities.

“This bill is so incredibly important,” the Republican said at a state Capitol ceremony. Flanked by the measure's sponsors, he said House Bill 40 does a “profound job of protecting private property rights.”
Texas is a 'split estate' state - surface property rights are separate from mineral rights. The governor has protected the 'private property rights' of the Morlocks while simultaneously throwing the Eloi under the bus.
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mjblazin
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Re: Verdict is in! Fracking on Trial in Texas

Tue May 19, 2015 2:05 pm

Texas has a long history into the 19th century that regulating the stuff underground is the bailiwick of state government, at least as far as state created entities like cities are concerned. The Texas Constitution is clear. Regardless of the specific stuff underground, it will not cede that prerogative. Remember when Texas and other states tried to impose additional immigration regulations. The answer was immigration was the prerogative of Federal Government.

Different levels of government will preserve constitutionally specified jurisdictions. If a city/state does not like it, they can sue.
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AndyH
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Re: Verdict is in! Fracking on Trial in Texas

Tue May 19, 2015 4:47 pm

mjblazin wrote:Texas has a long history into the 19th century that regulating the stuff underground is the bailiwick of state government, at least as far as state created entities like cities are concerned. The Texas Constitution is clear. Regardless of the specific stuff underground, it will not cede that prerogative. Remember when Texas and other states tried to impose additional immigration regulations. The answer was immigration was the prerogative of Federal Government.

Different levels of government will preserve constitutionally specified jurisdictions. If a city/state does not like it, they can sue.
That the state has a history that extends more than 100 years might be true. The state also has the longest, most convoluted, and most amended constitution as well.

I suspect that the groundswell of people validly concerned about their health and well being that's continuing to grow will result in yet another set of tweaks in the way this state is run. I personally think it's long past time that politician's 'property rights' meme in turned right-side up so that it's back to protecting the rights of surface owners and voters.
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AndyH
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Re: Verdict is in! Fracking on Trial in Texas

Sat May 23, 2015 11:55 am

The real import of HB 40 is that it puts the industry in charge of determining whether a local law is valid. HB 40 “expressly pre-empts” municipal ordinances unless they can pass a new test: They must be “commercially reasonable.”

So it’s not just that HB 40 prevents cities from regulating things they formerly could, like earthquake-inducing injection wells.
More than that: For the first time, local ordinances will be judged solely by the extent to which they might interfere with the oil and gas industry and its bottom line.

HB 40 will erase a tradition of 80 years. Since 1935, Texas courts have applied a different kind of reasonableness standard to local ordinances: not “commercially reasonable,” but what we might call “community reasonable.”
http://www.dentonrc.com/opinion/columns ... column.ece
http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/te ... h-21-2015/
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GRA
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Re: Verdict is in! Fracking on Trial in Texas

Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:14 pm

Via GCC:
EPA draft assessment finds no widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources from fracking
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/06 ... -frac.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Part:
The assessment followed the water used for hydraulic fracturing from water acquisition; chemical mixing at the well pad site; well injection of fracking fluids; the collection of hydraulic fracturing wastewater (including flowback and produced water); and wastewater treatment and disposal. The assessment also identified potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle—some of which are not unique to hydraulic fracturing—that could impact drinking water.

Although EPA’s review of data sources available to the agency found specific instances where well integrity and waste water management related to hydraulic fracturing activities did impact drinking water resources, these were small compared to the large number of hydraulically fractured wells across the country.

The report did not address other concerns raised about hydraulic fracturing specifically or about oil and gas exploration and production activities more generally, including acquisition and transport of constituents of hydraulic fracturing fluids besides water (e.g., sand mining and chemical production) outside of the stated water cycle; site selection and well pad development; other infrastructure development (e.g., roads, pipelines, compressor stations); site reclamation; and well closure.

Nor was the report a human health risk assessment. It did not identify populations exposed to chemicals; estimate the extent of exposure; or estimate the incidence of human health impacts.

The assessment reviewed relevant scientific literature and data; no new field work was performed. Literature evaluated included articles published in science and engineering journals; federal and state government reports; non-governmental organization (NGO) reports; and industry publications. Data sources examined included federal- and state-collected data sets; databases maintained by federal and state government agencies; other publicly-available data and information, and data, including confidential and non-confidential business information, submitted by industry to the EPA.
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RegGuheert
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Re: Verdict is in! Fracking on Trial in Texas

Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:22 pm

GRA wrote:Via GCC:
EPA draft assessment finds no widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources from fracking
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/06 ... -frac.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Part:
The assessment followed the water used for hydraulic fracturing from water acquisition; chemical mixing at the well pad site; well injection of fracking fluids; the collection of hydraulic fracturing wastewater (including flowback and produced water); and wastewater treatment and disposal. The assessment also identified potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle—some of which are not unique to hydraulic fracturing—that could impact drinking water.

Although EPA’s review of data sources available to the agency found specific instances where well integrity and waste water management related to hydraulic fracturing activities did impact drinking water resources, these were small compared to the large number of hydraulically fractured wells across the country.
I did quite a bit of research on this topic during the Shale Gas course that I took in February. Regardless of the whether or not the fracking chemicals pumped into the wells are safe or not (and it seems they are unsafe in the US and safe in Britain), the REAL issue is well integrity. The chemicals occurring naturally in these fields are TOXIC and the risks imposed by hydraulic fracturing are extremely high: MUCH higher than conventional natural gas development. Here are some numbers:

- Approximate ratio of the number of wells drilled in a shale gas field to produce the same amount of gas as a conventional natural gas field: 50:1
- Approximate ratio of well integrity failure of shale gas wells to conventional gas wells: 4:1

Overall, shale gas wells are 200X times more likely than conventional gas wells to cause water pollution per unit of gas produced. So, is that a large amount of contamination? Yes. Expect about 50% of these wells to fail over their lifetime.

Here is an excellent video by one of the leading experts who has researched this issue very extensively:

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AndyH
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Re: Verdict is in! Fracking on Trial in Texas

Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:55 am

There are some things El Nino's rain can't green up.

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/21052 ... y-fracking
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/0906 ... nt-go-home
Weeks After Texas Oil Well Explosion, Families Still Can't Go Home

Three weeks after well explosion, families are still waiting and worrying as Canadian oil company Encana decontaminates their homes in Karnes County.
Image
Shepherd, a retired Navy veteran, estimates the well lies a quarter-mile from her South Texas home. She's worried about the contamination on her property, which she said has already plummeted in value because of the nearby drilling, and on her neighbors' land. Three of the landowners closest to the well own cattle, she said, so it could harm the livestock and their drinking water.

Lucas Jasso is one of those landowners. He has three cows and two bulls. "I don't know at this point if my animals are still alive or not," he said on Thursday afternoon. Jasso, a Vietnam War veteran, was in Corpus Christi when the well erupted.

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Re: Verdict is in! Fracking on Trial in Texas

Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:31 am

GRA wrote:Via GCC:
EPA draft assessment finds no widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources from fracking
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/06 ... -frac.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Part:
The assessment followed the water used for hydraulic fracturing from water acquisition; chemical mixing at the well pad site; well injection of fracking fluids; the collection of hydraulic fracturing wastewater (including flowback and produced water); and wastewater treatment and disposal. The assessment also identified potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle—some of which are not unique to hydraulic fracturing—that could impact drinking water.

Although EPA’s review of data sources available to the agency found specific instances where well integrity and waste water management related to hydraulic fracturing activities did impact drinking water resources, these were small compared to the large number of hydraulically fractured wells across the country.

The report did not address other concerns raised about hydraulic fracturing specifically or about oil and gas exploration and production activities more generally, including acquisition and transport of constituents of hydraulic fracturing fluids besides water (e.g., sand mining and chemical production) outside of the stated water cycle; site selection and well pad development; other infrastructure development (e.g., roads, pipelines, compressor stations); site reclamation; and well closure.

Nor was the report a human health risk assessment. It did not identify populations exposed to chemicals; estimate the extent of exposure; or estimate the incidence of human health impacts.

The assessment reviewed relevant scientific literature and data; no new field work was performed. Literature evaluated included articles published in science and engineering journals; federal and state government reports; non-governmental organization (NGO) reports; and industry publications. Data sources examined included federal- and state-collected data sets; databases maintained by federal and state government agencies; other publicly-available data and information, and data, including confidential and non-confidential business information, submitted by industry to the EPA.

"systemic" "widespread" ya, figures that is all the study would concentrate on.


any study on the effects of fracking not done on a case by case basis is smoke and mirrors
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AndyH
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Re: Verdict is in! Fracking on Trial in Texas

Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:32 am

In contrast to the widely-spun non-message from the EPA study that relied upon industry data, we have a survey of actual water conditions in N Texas in the Barnett Shale.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b01526
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kvvpn06mwjz18 ... e.pdf?dl=0
analysis of 550 groundwater samples collected from private and public supply water wells drawing from aquifers overlying the Barnett shale formation of Texas.

multiple volatile organic carbon compounds throughout the region, including various 61 alcohols, the BTEX family of compounds, and several chlorinated compounds.

elevated levels of 10 different metals and the presence of 117 different chemical compounds, including benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene (BTEX).

350 samples came from private wells serving residential purposes

59 samples came from agricultural water wells

141 samples came from 152 municipal or public water supply wells servicing communities throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

methanol and/or ethanol were detected in 35 and 240 wells respectively. Methanol and ethanol both are used extensively in unconventional drilling as anti-corrosive agents and gelling agents.

Dichloromethane (DCM) was detected in 122 samples. [DCM is an industrial solvent that has been detected in air samples and flowback in fracking areas.]

“At least one of the BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene) class of compounds was detected in 381 of 550 collected samples, and 10 wells had detectable amounts of all four BTEX compounds.”

“Toluene, ethylbenzene, and three xylene isomers were also found to be prevalent throughout the Trinity and Woodbine aquifers.”

“Cyclohexane was also detected in 221 of the 550 collected samples”
A number of these compounds are fat-soluble - they'll pass through skin and be stored in the body. Not only is it not safe to drink at least 20% of the water but folks shouldn't shower with it either.
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