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The USGS Finds Fracking is Not Contaminating Groundwater

FractivistsK.J. Rodgers
Crownsville, Maryland  

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Fracking is not contaminating groundwater according to the USGS; a fact that has been proven enough to sound like a broken record.

What does it take to change someone’s opinion on a subject? Many people believe the moon landing was fake and not even Buzz Aldrin could convince them otherwise. Some people still hold on to the misconception that vaccines cause autism based on one completely discredited study. Today’s climate is so torn, we spent weeks last year debating if a dress was blue or white and even after the designer showed the dress in better light, people still argued about it.

I do not see this trend going away as everyone is opinionated and what’s worse is social media sites like Facebook uses algorithms to show you things that you may like, often reinforcing your opinions – no matter how flawed.

USGS Proves Fracking is SafeOne argument that does need to go the way of JNCO jeans is that fracking is contaminating groundwater. For the 7th time, a government study has shown it just doesn’t happen. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently released a report that came to the same conclusion as the EPA, National Energy Technology Laboratory, and U.S. Government Accountability Office among others; fracking is not a threat to groundwater. This time, the USGS studied 116 wells in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana and found 9 wells that were contaminated; not by fracking, but from natural sources.

The natural contamination that was found, the researchers concluded, was not the fault of fracking:

“Methane isotopes and hydrocarbon gas compositions indicate most of the methane in the wells was biogenic and produced by the CO2 reduction pathway, not from thermogenic shale gas.”

The researchers did find benzene, the name of the scary contaminant fractivists love to say, at high levels. The high levels, in this case, was still attributed to natural sources and were in amounts some 40 times lower the safe limits for drinking water. Those are pretty good odds for groundwater over 2,500 years old.

Nothing, of course, will change the minds of those who oppose natural gas. I wish that I could hire someone to write a version of the song, “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man” that is based on all of the studies that have proven this point. Perhaps a few studies funded by environmentalist groups could be slowed down for dramatic effect. Studies such as Duke’s, funded by the Natural Resources Defense Council, or the nameless funders who asked the University of Cincinnati to keep their study quite would be good ones. I may develop a t-shirt with the studies listed on the back as if it were a band’s tour schedule.

Studies proving fracking is safe

If seven government agencies, can agree fracking poses no threat to groundwater, and other prove it is no threat to methane emissions or air pollution, then why are some governments opting to ban it? That is where special-interest politics and behind-closed-doors lawsuits such as those from California come into play. Yet, the truth outs, doesn’t it? Nick Grealy noted, way back in 2012, how curious it was that big insurers from his home city of London, were not at all scared of fracking and they’re the people who have to pay out hard cash when they’re wrong, so objective facts mean everything to them. The facts supported fracking then and then do even more so now.

We cannot change the minds of the unwilling, but we can continue to spread the good news to those who care!

Editor’s Note: Insurers are still very comfortable with fracking. The Willis Energy Market Review for 2017 says this in a chapter about fracking in the UK:

Concerns have been raised that both methane and fracking fluids could migrate from depth and potentially contaminate groundwater in aquifers. Various scare stories emanating from the US have fuelled the debate…

The conclusion for UK regulators and the government is that risks to potable supplies are low via migration of methane and fracking fluids from depth along fractures stimulated by the hydraulic fracturing process…

In the US, although there have been claims of contamination related to well integrity and safety, the actual number of incident claims is low…

Methane has been found in water wells in the US. However, the natural presence of gases and other contaminants in drinking-water wells is not new; in fact, there are a number of other potential sources of methane in the environment…

A number of chemicals that have commonly occurring sources, such as heavy metals, salts, and hydrocarbons, have been cited as evidence of contamination from fracking activities in the US, but have been proven to arise from other sources…

In conclusion, the UK shale gas industry is in its infancy, and a significant amount of exploration and testing is needed to accurately assess the viability of the UK shale gas resource. The process to obtain the necessary licences, permits, planning permission and other consents is lengthy and ensures that the UK onshore oil and gas regulations are among the most protective in the world. This regulatory regime will serve to mitigate potential harm to the environment in the same way as it does any other industrial process. In the debate as to whether fracking should be prevented due to concerns over risks to groundwater, decisions should be made on the basis of factual information and sound scientific analysis.

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18 thoughts on “The USGS Finds Fracking is Not Contaminating Groundwater

  1. You will not change people’s minds, especially the ones who have been running off at the mouth about fracking. Two types of people hang on to their beliefs – tree huggers and people not leased by any OG! We have “friends” that sends us EVERY negative article they CAN find – true or not. Of course there is no OG leases in their area. They also believe that we are making big$$$$ from our lease. SOUR GRAPES!

    With this all in mind the people complaining are getting great benefits from those of us who have leased our lands to fracking!! (They should quit using anything made from NG that would leave their lives on empty! As for $$$ they can give back ALL the $$$ they are saving due to fracking to the landowners they think are SUFFERING contaminated wells so they can continue to benefit the lower prices for everything touched by fracking! They need to shut the frack up and mind their own business about things they know nothing about any way. If they had any common sense and took time to read about the whole fracking process they would be able to make a better decision on what they believe. I for one did reseach before leasing and the process is very in touch with keeping ground water protected. OG companies try to make production as safe as possible and any water sources contaminated happen with accidents not fracking!! Most wells that are actually contaminated were before fracking due to migration through faults.

    So bottom line is You can’t changed ignorance!!!!!!!!!!

    • Fracking is used by many for the whole process from drilling to fracking and production; you admitted that water wells are contaminated and due to faults and during drilling and fracking those faults are activated and enhanced and migration of methane, heavy metals, chemicals and radiation are being found in water wells which had pre-tests and did not show such levels and then show such after the process, whether from faulty casing, spills and migration through fault lines and frack lines…DEP has faulted and fined companies in Pa. for such contamination from their fracking process/drilling process…. you might as well argue with DEP about your understanding …
      We still have a 9 sq. mile moratorium on any further drilling and fracking in Dimock township in my county since 2010 for contamination of about two dozen water wells from the faulty gas drilling performed near homes ….Cabot has been fined and found at fault and has received a consent order about this issue. this is the order:
      http://files.dep.state.pa.us/OilGas/OilGasLandingPageFiles/FinalCO&A121510.pdf
      and Cabot and other gas companies have been fined and faulted for contamination of other water wells in my county in Lenox, Springville, Rush, etc..
      here is more info on other townships in my county:
      https://www.marcellusgas.org/tainted_wells.php?county_id=2&muni_id=

  2. Don’t forget the findings of our Government Pa. DEP that has determined 285 Water Supply/Contamination Cases from gas drilling in our State….since 2008 ….
    based on their narrow set of determining factors…
    http://files.dep.state.pa.us/OilGas/BOGM/BOGMPortalFiles/OilGasReports/Determination_Letters/Regional_Determination_Letters.pdf

    meanwhile our Pa. DEP has had 1,000’s of water issue complaints…since gas drilling….
    http://publicherald.org/epa-missed-thousands-of-water-complaints-after-telling-public-fracking-is-safe/

    • The site you are referencing is about as credible as wenonah hauter, food and water watch, josh fox , damascus citizens for sustainability, Craig Stevens, sane energy, mark ruffalo, David Braun, and many others including Maya and the deleware riverkeeper. Which is to say public herald.org is not credible.

      The movement you are part of has been bald-faced lying for years.

        • I stand vindicated. nothing will dissuade me…I have seen the Truth and know what is real and true…
          and will testify in any court of law and bring forth the evidence…
          I love the Pink Floyd song and call for “Vera”, which is very moving…
          thanks, for the reminder, Paul Taylor…

          • There is only one reality and one truth Vera. It is not what you cook up in your mind either. The reality is your movement has massively misinformed the public, reporter and policy makers for years. The thing your movement does the most is lie.

          • Horrible accusation , Karen…
            If you disagree with any statements , you can consider offering evidence to the contrary without the simplistic approach of name-calling…
            Most people can see through such an approach…

        • how would you know how much time I spend in NY?
          I have three adult children and two grandchildren now in NY;
          the last group of children moved about three months ago across the border into NY;
          I visit my kids weekly;
          My children and grandchildren were all born in NY;
          We lived in NY, Nassau County, since my marriage in 1970 for about twenty years.
          I am glad all my children have now escaped Susquehanna County, Gasland, USA, and escaped this toxic, dangerous, risky, harmful Industry in our midst…
          I will continue to document and expose this Industry for all who are willing to see and hear the evidence…
          I don’t expect to convince everyone..
          Many have seen the evidence and now know the truth of the harmfulness of this Industry;
          You do what you believe is best.
          I must do what is the Truth that I have seen and been exposed to.
          You can call us any name you like and accuse us of whatever you want, the Truth will prevail and we know of what we speak….
          This country is still free enough that we can speak and write freely and expose and reveal our findings and truth…
          You don’t like what we say or write, you need not read it…

          • Vera is if you read her rants, deep into the religion of self promotion. She has herself introduced at the church of resistance as the granny with a camera and mission to expose all of us fossil fuel lovers as destroyers of mother earth. Vera dances with Indians and gives speeches much like those of the white liberal Black Lives Matter supporters who denounce their ancestry as slave masters, and step on the graves of every emancipating white man who gave their life to end slavery in the civil war. Vera is verbally assaultive. Vera does not need me to judge her she judges herself through her words and actions, her very own videos as she condemns the people she proposed to protect.

          • I do not condone or advocate or practice such practices and it’s evil of you to accuse me of such…
            And a deep wrong against my children and grandchildren..
            I leave you in the hands of Karma..
            If I could afford it.I would take you to court for defamation.
            You must have been molested as a child to accuse me of such.
            Hardly anyone will respond to this site of the opposing opinion
            because of the consistant, cruel defamation of us without just sticking to the issues of energy and the evidence we present..
            Because of such defamation of us who are anti-fracing, the Law of Universal Justice will ensure that your promotion of Fracking will not win in the end…

          • Negative Vera. Not horrible accusations. Simply the facts. Your antifracking pipeline resistance movement is riddled with misinformation . This was so in 2012 when I met it and this has only gotten worse over the last 5 years. Why do you think your movement broadcast a conspiracy theory on the port Ambrose lng import project , specifically that it was an export project and Bruce Ferguson was in the nytimes implying as much? Your friend Craig Stevens appeared at a hearing in long island about this so go ask him why this occurred? It occurred because your movement is both misinformed and also deliberately misinforms. Who was on the port Ambrose lng list serve you ask? Well Maya of deleware riverkeeper for one. Why do I know this? Well I was on the listserve as well. So I can tell you point blank that more than once the antifracking movement was given the facts on the port Ambrose project by me. They chose to lie. That’s not the only time they have done that either. It is their m.o.

            There is misinformation all over that movement from how unsafe fracking is to natural gas is the worst fossil fuel to ferc is a rogue agency and enemy of the people to specific fallacies on multiple pipeline projects. That is the truth.

  3. Well I guess one question to ask is do we want to live in a society where opinions and/or irrationality or misconceptions rule the day or facts and logic?

    By the way some people don’t just have irrational or wrong opinions. Some fractivists are in fact bald-faced lying and have been doing so for years. Forget trying to convince them of reality. They cannot even be convinced not to LIE to reporters or politicians or the public and reporters and the public and policy makers need to know that this is so.

  4. In my best Roger Waters Pink Floyd vocal “Vera Vera what has become of you ? Does anyone in here feel the way I do? The entire narrative is very clear there are no real problems with Hydraulic Fracking except for Enviros clinging to a pollyanna fantasy of Wind and Solar being the means to power societies. The song is rapidly going to towards “can anyone remember Vera Scroggins?” rather than Vera Lynn as your 15 minutes of fame is a huge running joke in the world. Phelin really had you are your best xenophobic behavior

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