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"GASLAND" a new documentary

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PBS did a show about this new documentary. Not sure if it's been posted here yet.

http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/613/index.html

ENJOY!

Posted on: 2010/3/31 15:59


Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary

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Will watch the video when I get home. I will say that the description doesn't give me a whole lot of hope that the documentary will be factually based.

Quote:
But a new boom in natural gas drilling, a process called "fracking", raises concerns about health and environmental risks.


New? It's not new by any means. It's not new in PA either. PA already has thousands of shallow wells that were indeed hydrofracked.

Posted on: 2010/3/31 16:59


Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary
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Well Patrick?


I watched it all. The message I got was this is yet another mess that the Obama administration and Congress has to clean up from the Bush administration. From the film: in 2006 during the Bush administration and Republican congress, the frack drilling industry was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act through legislation. This was when they broke loose and started ravaging the countryside.

Here is a congressional report on the bill.
http://ncseonline.org/nle/crsreports/06Apr/IB10118.pdf

Some excerpts:
MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
On December 8, 2005, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee reported
S. 1400, the Water Infrastructure Financing Act (S.Rept. 109-186), to increase funding for
the drinking water state revolving fund (DWSRF) and the Clean Water SRF and to authorize
a grant program for small water systems and critical infrastructure projects. The Energy
Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58, H.R. 6), enacted August 8, 2005, amended SDWA to
exempt from regulation the underground injection of all fluids, except diesel fuel, into
underground sources of drinking water for hydraulic fracturing purposes related to oil, gas,
and geothermal production.
(See CRS Report RL32873, Key Environmental Issues in the
Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58, H.R. 6), coordinated by Brent D. Yacobucci.) The
energy act also authorizes appropriations from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust
Fund to address releases of MTBE, and it imposes new leak prevention requirements on
EPA, states, and underground storage tank owners to better protect drinking water sources.
EPA’s FY2006 appropriations act (P.L. 109-54), enacted August 2, included $850 million
for the DWSRF program and $9 million for EPA’s Water Sentinel security initiative. After
applying two across-the-board rescissions applicable to EPA (a 0.476% rescission under P.L.
109-54 and a 1% rescission under P.L. 109-148, the Department of Defense FY2006
appropriations act), these amounts were $837.5 million and $8.1 million, respectively.

Mentioned again under legislation

P.L. 109-58, H.R. 6 (Barton)
The Energy Policy Act of 2005, §322, amends SDWA to exempt from regulation the
underground injection of fluids (except diesel fuel) into underground sources of drinking
water for hydraulic fracturing purposes related to oil, gas, and geothermal production. Signed
into law on Aug. 8, 2005.

And also under legislation

S. 1426 (Obama) Amends SDWA to reauthorize appropriations for water security
Sections 1334 and 1435 regarding contaminant prevention, detection, and response, and to
require a report to Congress on progress and problems in implementing these provisions.
Introduced July 19, 2005; referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.


I am going to look into what legislation is in store from this congress.

pcray won't be convinced until his hair falls out and he is fishing with a respirator. I can hear him in an interview on his favorite yet to be polluted stream marbeling through the gas mask, see it doesn't pollute the water, when done right, it is safe technology.

Posted on: 2010/4/1 9:04
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Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary

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I watched it. It wasn't too bad. As far as being exempt from the Clean Water Act, I've already said that it was ridiculous and they should be held to the same standard as any other industry.

The documentary/interview is pretty good to show what can happen. It's still picking the worst situations, so its important to realize that those aren't normal situations. They outlined the 3 worst situations I know of out of hundreds of thousands of Fracked wells. But, they are 3 bad situations, and the picture they paint of the situations in those areas is accurate.

My biggest bugaboo is pretending this is new in PA. PA is 2nd only to Texas in currently producing hydrofrac'd gas wells. We were 2nd to Texas five years ago too, and 10 years ago, well before Marcellus was even considered to be recoverable. We have several hundred thousand wells already, and well over half are hydrofracked. The author of this is a bit wrong in saying hydrofracking has been a "last resort." It's been the plan all along. The big difference with Marcellus is depth, and the practice of horizontal dilling.

The ONLY situation I know of in PA where underground fractures allowed methane and frac water to reach groundwater is Dimock. The situation there is disatrous, no question about it. Thats 1 of a hundred thousand or so FRAC'd wells in the state. Find out what went wrong, hold the company responsible, prevent future companies from making the same mistake, and move on. The people who live there should be allowed to relocate, with the drilling company covering all expenses. Still not fair, I know, but I don't know what else to say.

There have also been some surface spills, which are less disastrous, but still pretty bad. Like the surfactant recently, and there's been others. I think the large majority of them are preventable with good regulations and stiff enough penalties.

Right now, sadly, those regulations and stiff penalties are lacking. The state is just overwhelmed, and on a low budget. This is a job for the EPA. And yes, I think its ridiculous that the drillers are exempt from the clean water act. I very much am in favor of the FRAC bill currently in Congress.

Posted on: 2010/4/1 9:40


Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary

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And to say I won't be convinced is disengenuous. Fracking is a distraction right now. I don't want to say its not an issue. But its not the biggest issue with the Marcellus play. Fracking is holding everyone's attention while the real problems are getting ignored.

The road and siltation issues are the two biggest problems with gas drilling. Heavy machinery on roads not designed for them. New dirt roads, dirt well pads, etc. with poor erosion controls and the rapid and damaging siltation of streams. These are the real stuff that needs addressed, in addition to the water withdrawels to begine with. They can be addressed. Drilling companies elsewhere have essentially paid for all road repairs in an active area, they have been forced to have excellent erosion controls. They're not being forced to do so here, because everyone is paying attention to a 40 year old practice of hydro-fracking which has caused only sporadic damage. If we put as much effort on these issues as we do with the hydrofracking aspect, we'd be a lot further ahead right now.

Posted on: 2010/4/1 9:56


Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary
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Well I hope you are right and everyone else is wrong. But truth be told, your rationalization and diversionary concern tactics of every aspect of this shell game is exactly the method that the money driven gas industry is using to pull the wool over everyones eyes. Just so you know it appears as though you have your hand in the cookie jar. be it only your scientific perspective or an actual payout. There is enough wrong with this whole debacle to be shouting it from the rooftops yet you only see the extremism as disturbing. Interesting.

Posted on: 2010/4/1 12:32
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Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary

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Some alarming stories provided on this link....

Earthworks

Posted on: 2010/4/1 12:39
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Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary
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And another thing Mary Lou.......I/we realize the issue with the roads and other local infrastructure being insufficient. So what is the solution to that? Should the taxpayer foot the bill? or should the drilling stop until the raods are suitable? If we take the focus to the infrastructure that would play right into their hands in this shell game, Fix the roads to support more drilling, and twenty years doen the road when there is no clean water to be drunk up there we WILL have some nice roads to go a fishin on.

ANd the gas companies will be long gone counting their millions in from the the extraction that we will give to them through consumption. All while we pay for the clean up. But we will have good roads....I forgot. Well we got that going for us.

News flash, when it comes to wild trout streams dirt and gravel roads well maintained are better than pavement.

The whole thing is just bad, bad, bad.

pick a side and fight for it.

Posted on: 2010/4/1 12:45
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Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?


Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary

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Quote:
I/we realize the issue with the roads and other local infrastructure being insufficient. So what is the solution to that? Should the taxpayer foot the bill?


Absolutely not. The drillers should foot the bill. I realize that they'll pass on the cost to the consumer. But thats the way its supposed to work, the costs of the infrastructure will be reflected in the cost of the gas. If that means that some other form of fuel becomes more profitable, well, then so be it. You can't sacrifice environmental regs. Pass the FRAC bill, make them have to follow the Clean Water Act, let the EPA have jurisdiction to make it happen.

Quote:
pick a side and fight for it.


Absolutely not. Thats whats wrong in this country, IMO. Everyone thinks in black and white and says to pick a side, and stick with it. In the process of picking sides, we lose the truth. The world is gray. I will not blindly support nor attack anything. I won't succumb to sob stories. I need data. It's not drill vs. don't drill. There are many levels of the "drill" side of the argument which have far different consequences on the environment. I do not support letting drilling companies have their way of things, going to the cheapest places, and the environment and local people be da*#ed. Nor do I wholeheartedly oppose everything they do. I support drilling so long as its well regulated, well controlled, and done in intelligent areas.

Thus far, we, in PA, are doing a poor job at seeing that its done correctly. The drillers are rushing to get momentum going before we can step back and set things straight. There's a lot of problems right now. A lot of it has to do with non-rational opposition, which is easily dismissed. Rational, fact based arguments are much more effective.

I don't want to be painted into a corner to say that water contamination from hydrofracking isn't an issue at all. It is. It's a low probability problem for a given well or area, but has enormous consequences when it happens (see Dimock). It's also a difficult problem to study or prevent. But water withdrawal issues, infrastructure issues, erosion control issues, etc. are high probability issues that are already occurring, and they're stuff we can do something about. We're not doing crap about them because we're too busy sensationalizing the hydrofrack thing.

All that said, when you step back and look at it, your large scale power gen choices are coal, gas, oil, and nuclear. I vote nuclear. Throw one freakin nuclear plant up and you avoid all these concerns.

Posted on: 2010/4/1 13:13


Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary

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I'm afraid it's to late to pick a side and stick with it. The drilling is here in Pa and it's here to stay. It would have been nice had our leaders taken the approach that New York has taken. Up there, there's a moratorium on drilling until updated environmental laws can be established in accordance with new drilling techniques.

All we can do at this point is pressure our lawmakers to heavily regulate the drillers. We need help from every square inch of this commonwealth because it affects each and every one of us. Every dekatherm of this natural gas will go to the northeastern states and won't benefit any of us here in Pa according to what I've read. If we don't get pressure on the lawmakers, we will surely be left holding the bag in some way.

Posted on: 2010/4/2 4:45
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Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary

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Posted on: 2010/4/2 9:33


Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary

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pcray,

While I agree life is not black and white and I agree we need strong controls and regs YESTERDAY, I think the tone you seem to set comes from your background.

You grew up in WESTERN PA. Gas and oil wells have been a part of the landscape in ANF for a very long time. Seeing another well go up is not aesthetically alarming to you.

As an EASTERN PA resident, I find the wells shocking. I have a buddy who owns a nice piece of land in Wyoming County with a great sunset view down a valley....or rather it WAS a great view until his neighbor sold out to the gas drillers. Now the drilling platform is silhouetted against the waning sun. Nice.

This is a serious infringement upon our quality of life so the gluttonous can crank their heat. I might be willing to take one for the team if I thought even for a moment that this was a T-Bone Pickens stepping stone move towards sustainable energy, but history and human nature contradict that.

The gas drilling is a money grab, from the land owners to the gas companies up through the politicians. Greed rules the day and we will be left the choice to either move away or live with another post-coal mining scenario. Neither prospect appeals to me.

Mike

PS: Another example of how George W was a blight upon the environment. The guy comes from CIA/Politics and the oil industry. How the H#LL did this guy get elelcted, esp. with Tricky Dick Nixon (*achem*) Cheney as his running mate. Halliburton has their fingerprints all over the gas drilling industry. Will we never learn?

Posted on: 2010/4/2 10:46
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Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary

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Politicians propound challenge of gas growth is balancing fact, fiction

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Quote:


By CHERYL R. CLARKE - cclarke@sungazette.com
POSTED: April 2, 2010

WELLSBORO - As gas drilling protestors staged a vigil outside, state and federal legislators spoke about that hot topic Thursday at the Tioga County Development Corp.'s 14th annual Legislative Breakfast at the Penn Wells Hotel.

The economic future of the area looks bright, compared to what it looked like a year ago when the sagging economy and massive job losses took center stage, agreed U.S. Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Howard, and state Rep. Matthew E. Baker, R-Wellsboro.

Before an audience of 200, Thompson jokingly compared Tioga County to Washington, D.C.

"You've managed to replicate the traffic in Washington, made it impossible to find a motel room and mobilized citizens with placards protesting out front," he said, referring to a group calling themselves "Citizens Concerned About Natural Gas Drilling." Their placards told passing motorists and pedestrians they are against the hydro fracturing process used by the gas industry.

Referring to the Marcellus Shale, Thompson said, "It's right underneath our feet. We are standing on prosperity. We've faced some tough economic times here in rural Pennsylvania, with high unemployment and the tough times it brings, for some time."

With the discovery of the second largest pool of natural gas in the world, enough to provide the energy needs of the nation for the next 100 years, he said, "We can move toward energy security and independence."

"We send $700 billion every year to middle eastern nations who are not necessarily friendly toward us.

"The Marcellus Shale will provide jobs for Americans and Tioga County workers, in particular, to produce that energy, and Pennsylvania will become an energy exporter, rather than an energy importer."

Accidents and abuses of the law will affect environmental issues, such as those the protesters are concerned about, he said, but with the regulations in place today and the cooperation of the industry, those issues are minimized by agencies such as the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and state Department of Environmental Protection.

"Most people think they (DEP) are fair, and have done a better job than the federal government," he said.

Aide Chuck Dillon, representing state Sen. Joseph B. Scarnati III, R-Brockway, concurred, saying the industry is "heavily regulated" to protect ground water and surface water quality.

"If followed, there shouldn't be any major problems with water quality," he said.

The Achilles heel is in enforcement of the law, he added, especially when oversight was removed from the conservation districts last year and DEP funding was cut during the state budget crisis.

"The senator was concerned about that and met with DEP Secretary John Hanger. He was reassured that they did have problems in the past but those would be addressed and additional oversight would be provided," he said.

Dillon also spoke about the importance of citizen's groups like the newly formed "Waterdogs" to report violations to the department and to "be aware" of what is going on around them.

"Most companies are responsible about following regulations. It is the smaller subcontractors that have to be watched," he said.

Dillon talked about deteriorating road conditions in the Northern Tier, but said to be fair it wasn't all the gas industry's fault.

"Our roads here have been neglected by the state for a hundred years," he said, "and now that the gas industry is riding them, they are crumbling because they have no base."

The industry has, however, offered to repair damage done to local roads, often "making them better than they were before," Dillon said.

The proposed gas impact severance tax is being actively pursued by state lawmakers, Dillon said.

"The primary driver is the state's budget deficit," he said. "Gas companies seem to have a lot of money, and when there is blood in the water, the sharks will gather."

The problem, he added, is that the money will not stay in the region, but rather go into the general fund, where it will be disbursed to the "big three: education, corrections and public welfare."

"It should be spent here but it won't be invested locally for infrastructure needed to keep growth going once the resources are exhausted."

Baker, who is in his ninth term in the state House, said he grew up in a natural gas family, with his father working for Consolidated Gas, now Dominion, for years, and his brother working as a gas pipeline inspector.

"Now, I hear about it on the floor of the House of Representatives," he said.

Tioga and Bradford counties are at the "epicenter" of the Marcellus Shale play, he said.

The shale, he said, has the potential to have "the largest single impact of anything we have ever experienced," Baker said.

"The total economic potential has been estimated at a trillion dollars, and for every $16 billion in royalties paid, there will be nearly 8,000 jobs created each year over the next few years," he said.

It was noted that gas industry-related jobs will average about $63,000 per year, well above the state average reported in 2007 as about $43,000 per year.

Add to that the families now becoming "instant millionaires" because of royalties paid on leased land.

The state's water is protected, he said, by three major laws that regulate the industry, DEP, the Fish and Boat Commission, Susquehanna and Delaware River Basin commissions.

"The challenge for Pennsylvania will be how to balance fact from fiction about environmental concerns," he said.

Posted on: 2010/4/2 12:19
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Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary

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"The Marcellus Shale will provide jobs for Americans and Tioga County workers, in particular, to produce that energy, and Pennsylvania will become an energy exporter, rather than an energy importer."

If this is true, why are the hotels in my area (northern Lackawanna & southern Susquehanna counties) filled with guys from AK, TX, etc.? Are the jobs promised to PA workers in the hospitality industry?

Posted on: 2010/4/2 12:22
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Re: "GASLAND" a new documentary

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Quote:

Festus wrote:
I'm afraid it's to late to pick a side and stick with it. The drilling is here in Pa and it's here to stay. It would have been nice had our leaders taken the approach that New York has taken. Up there, there's a moratorium on drilling until updated environmental laws can be established in accordance with new drilling techniques.

All we can do at this point is pressure our lawmakers to heavily regulate the drillers. We need help from every square inch of this commonwealth because it affects each and every one of us. Every dekatherm of this natural gas will go to the northeastern states and won't benefit any of us here in Pa according to what I've read. If we don't get pressure on the lawmakers, we will surely be left holding the bag in some way.


Festus is right. We must keep the preasure on the politicians, who are getting contributions from the gas industry and let them know how we feel about this. We are ALL in this fight together. This is something that we ALL must get involved in. It will only take a few minutes to e-mail them. Do it every morning when you check you e-mail. Keep the pressure on.

Posted on: 2010/4/2 17:32



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