The Dishonest Environmental Integrity Project

Environmental Integrity Project - Jim Willis reportsJim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)


The Environmental Integrity Project is another of those “non-partisan” groups that aren’t. It’s the usual suspects operating under one of their myriad guises. Their latest project is a fraud.

The anti-drilling Environmental Integrity Project is having a little integrity issue of their own. They issued a false report last week that purports to “out” drilling companies that have, or continue, to use diesel fuel in their fracking fluids. It might make for interesting reading except 80% of the data used in the report is completely false. So much for environmental integrity.

Let us back up our assertion that this so-called study, titled Fracking Beyond the Law is worthy of a first place award for false and misleading propaganda.

Environmental Integrity Project - SwissKeroseneLampEnvironmental Integrity Project “researchers” (propagandists) supposedly searched public records and found, according to the “self reporting” of drillers and their filings with various government and private organizations, that “at least 33 companies fracking at least 351 wells across 12 states with fluids containing diesel from 2010 through early August 2014.” That’s their claim and the meme it started in the unquestioning lapdog media.

Here’s the truth: 280 of the 351 of those wells did use kerosene, but not diesel fuel. EIP counts wells that used kerosene in the diesel fuel count because the federal Environmental Protection Agency now says kerosene (the stuff used in lamps) is diesel (even though they’re two similar but different things). The EPA didn’t designate kerosene as diesel until February of this year! As the sharp analysts at Energy in Depth note:

This would be like if officials reduced the speed limit, and then accused drivers of speeding because of how fast they drove before the change.

If you run the math, those 280 wells represent 80% of the 351 wells they say were fracked using at least some diesel. Again, it’s kerosene, not diesel, so immediately almost the entire pool of data used by EIP must be thrown out and therefore their entire meme that drillers are using diesel in fracking fluids collapses. There IS no story. It’s a complete fabrication, built on specious and false assumptions and claims.

Additionally, most drillers have completely stopped using diesel and kerosene in fracking fluids. This attempt to “out” bad actors is a smear job–we’d call it slander and perhaps even actionable.

The real kicker is that they list some “offenders” like Range Resources in their list of bad boys – even though they report Range used 2/10ths of ONE gallon of so-called diesel (or kerosene) in one well (see the table below from page 13 of the “study”). That’s 2/10ths of a single gallon! I’ve spotted larger diesel fuel spills at the local truck stop!! What kind of nonsense is this?

Environmental Integrity Project

Energy in Depth’s great analysis of this “study” and it’s shortcomings makes the following point:

There is nothing in the Safe Drinking Water Act that actually defines what “diesel fuel” is; EPA’s guidance was essentially a list of recommendations for permitting authorities, including an arbitrary expansion of what qualifies as diesel fuel. Nonetheless, any well using kerosene – be it before February 2014 or after – is included in EIP’s report as a fracturing activity using “diesel fuel.” In other words, EIP is retroactively changing the definition of diesel fuel in order to malign more operations for engaging in an activity (a “diesel frack”) that did not occur.

EID also notes how the Environmental Integrity Project used weasel words to imply what wasn’t even close to true. They made the following claim, on page 12 of their “study”:

The potential impact on human health and the environment related to the 351 wells identified in this report is significant.

EID’s response was direct and to the point, illustrating how what little there is to the Environmental Integrity Project amounts to nothing in the end:

There is absolutely no basis for this claim, because there has never been a single case of water contamination from hydraulic fracturing, whether diesel fuel was used or not. Perhaps this is why EIP used the term “potential impact,” instead of “evidence shows.

The Environmental Integrity Project is just more of the same. When you don’t have science and facts on your side, you fabricate it, as they have done with this “study.” Shame on them.

Editor’s Note: It’s not only more of the same fractivist pap we see so often but it’s also coming from the same people. The Environmental Integrity Project website says “We provide legal and technical know-how to help average people exercise their power to challenge big agencies and well-connected polluters.” Well, not exactly. One of the things you learn after years of dealing with these people is that they’re never what they portray themselves to be.

The Environmental Integrity Project is simply another face of the same extremely wealthy special interests behind all fractivist causes. Their principal funders have included the Energy Foundation, the Sierra Club, the Rockefeller Family Fund, Public Citizen Foundation and the Natural Resources Defense Council – hardly “average people” and all names familiar to the readers of this blog as the monied forces who support the astroturf that is the fractivist movement. Scratch the surface of any “study” like this one and you’ll find them at work promoting those special interests, which include land deals and investments in other energy sources

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12 thoughts on “The Dishonest Environmental Integrity Project

  1. Integrity? Jim, you make me laugh. Here you are desperately splitting hairs while your beloved industry is pumping toxic hydrocarbons into the ground. In typical fashion they found a way to skirt environmental regulations.

    • Where do you think these hydrocarbons come from Clifford ?? Where does the toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of your wave energy system go ??

  2. Kerosene or diesel both are poisonous to plants,humans and of course water supplies !!Just another story that tries to rationalize NG drilling using HVHF process….

  3. And yet those same hydrocarbons came OUT of the ground! Honestly now.. And can either of you tell me that there has never been a case of a tanker truck overturning and spilling raw diesel, #2 heating oil, anhydrous ammonia (used for fertilizer), hydrochloric acid or other industrial chemicals into the environment? And at far greater concentrations than would be present in HVHF?

  4. I am pro fracking but this “splitting hairs” discussion about #1 and #2 fuel oil is ridiculous. In the northeast US during winter months the “diesel” fuel you buy at a pump is a mix of #1 (Kerosene) and #2 (Diesel). Come on Jim this makes us look stupid. Talk about the quantities involved and POTENTIAL impact on the environment if you will, but there is not much difference between #1 and #2 fuel oil. See the bottom of this ASTM page: Let’s let the anti-frackers use hyperbole and scientific nonsense, we shouldn’t wallow in the mud.

    • All good points, Rich! From my perspective it’s all about the change of rules, the volume and the lack of contamination but appreciate your comment and observations!

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