My problem with America fracking its way to energy independence—aside from research indicating that fracking is relatively expensive, and the productive lives of fracked wells drop precipitously after two years (See this and this; both are pdfs), thus forcing America to constantly find new territories within its finite borders—is the environmental risk presented to humans, animals and crops.
The recent news from California where oil and gas companies pumped more than 3 billion gallons of waste water containing hazardous chemicals into clean aquifers—under the watch of the state’s environmental agency—makes me wonder if we should add one or two new risk elements: incredible stupidity, or corruption.
To release the oil and gas from deep within the earth, companies inject water and chemicals into the rock layers containing the desired oil, and these companies are given designated areas to dispose of the resulting waste water. It appears that the state regulators gave the companies permission to pump the waste into places which contained clean water—3 billion gallons worth of permission. We’re talking about water that contains higher than tolerated levels of nitrate, arsenic, and thallium—the same chemicals used by oil companies during their fracking processes.
And what was the California Department of Conservation’s response?
“An error could have been made” in the permitting process.
3 billion gallons of serial pumping into at least nine, perhaps eleven, clean water wells—which are now deemed unfit for human consumption and have been shut down—is a mistake?
Plus, California’s water drought hasn’t disappeared.
Get the rest of the story—including video, maps and documents—from NBC Bay Area News…
song currently stuck in my head: “baby” – os mutantes