Radon derives rom he radioacive decay o radium, andboh are known o be presen in he Marcellus Shale.
Ina preliminary analysis o repeaed samples rom jus woMarcellus Shale wells, he U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)ound ha each o hese wo wells had produced shalegas wih radon above a concenraion o 30 pCi/L.
Twosamples rom one well showed ha he produced gasconained radon above 75 pCi/L.
Esimaes based onearlier daa sugges ha much higher levels o radon arepossible.
I akes abou our days o radioacive decay o cu radonconcenraion in hal.
So, shale gas ha is piped di-recly ino kichens jus days aer exracion could bringa special delivery o high levels o DNA-damaging ra-dioacive radon o American consumers, increasing heircancer risk. The USGS emphasizes ha addiional daaare needed o beter undersand he risk o consumers o shale gas, ye FERC has rejeced concerns raised abouradon exposure rom he consumpion o shale gas.
Pipeline companies enjoyspecial tax exemptions
Pipeline companies receive special ax breaks haranslae o lower ederal revenues, and his means haAmerican axpayers have o pick up he slack. The mosilluminaing o hese giveaways is he indusry’s use o Maser Limied Parnerships (MLPs) — a special businesssrucure ha allows he parners, or owners, o a projeco avoid corporae income axes.
The lis o MLPs has“long been dominaed by midsream pipeline operaors.”
One would hink ha a leas he wind and solar indus-ry could benei rom esablishing he same sor o busi-ness srucures, bu currenly he U.S. Inernal RevenueService explicily excludes invesmens in renewableresources rom qualiying as MLPs.
This highlighs jusone o he many ways ha U.S. policy avors he ossiluel indusry, obsrucing he changes needed o remakehe U.S. energy sysem around conservaion, eficiencyand renewables.
Conclusion and recommendations
Shale gas pipelines are no he energy inrasrucure haAmerica needs i i is o build a clean energy uure.
Shale gas pipelines simply commi he counry o severalmore decades o desrucive dependence on he oil andgas indusry. The noion ha naural gas ofers a bridgeo a low-carbon uure presumes, alsely, ha he indus-ry will willingly walk away rom he billions o dollarsha i plans o inves in naural gas inrasrucure. Andi’s imporan o remember ha no all o he naural gaswould be piped o U.S. consumers. The indusry hopes omaximize is prois by exporing huge amouns o lique-ied naural gas o oreign counries.
Food & Waer Wach recommends ha:
Naural gas consumers demand cerainy abou herisks o radon exposure rom shale gas;
Landowners organize and resis pipeline projecsha hreaen heir saey and heir propery values;and
Federal policymakers overhaul FERC’s narrow scopeo review o pipeline projec impacs, sop graningpipeline companies he power o eminen domain,end he lucraive ax breaks enjoyed by pipelinecompanies and sep up oversigh and regulaion oavoid more pipeline accidens, spills and explosionsin he uure.
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