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Gasland Debunked

Gasland Debunked

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Published by Nathan Benefield
A fact sheet about the documentary Gasland.
A fact sheet about the documentary Gasland.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Nathan Benefield on Jun 21, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/12/2013

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GasLand
myth:
“What I didn’t know was that the 2005 energy  bill pushed through Congress by Dick Cheney exempts the oil and natural gas industries fromthe Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the SafeDrinking Water Act...and about a dozen otherenvironmental regulations.” (6:05)
 Actual truth:
The oil and natural gas industry is regulated
under every singleone of these federal laws
— under provisions of each that arerelevant to its operations.
The 2005 energy bill was supported by nearly three-quarters of theU.S. Senate, including then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. In theU.S. House, 75 Democrats joined 200 Republicans in supportingthe nal bill.
ON THE PROCESS
GasLand
myth:
“The fracking itself is like a mini-earthquake.… In order to frack, you need some fracking uid — a mix of over 596 chemicals.” (6:50)
 Actual truth:
The fracturing process uses a mixture of uids comprised almostentirely (99.5%) of water and sand. The remaining materials, usedto help deliver the water down the wellbore, are typically found andused around the house. The average fracturing operation utilizesfewer than 12 of these components, according to the Ground WaterProtection Council — not 596.
Over the course of its history, fracturing has not only been used toincrease the ow of oil and natural gas from existing wells, but alsoto access things like water and geothermal energy. It’s even beenused by EPA to clean up Superfund sites.
ON DISCLOSURE
GasLand
myth:
“Fracking chemicals are consideredproprietary.” (1:00:56)
 Actual truth:
The
entire universe of additives used in the fracturing process
isknown to the public and the state agencies that represent them.
Not only do individual states mandate disclosure, the federalgovernment does as well. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates this information be kept at everywellsite, and made readily available to response and medicalpersonnel in case of an emergency.
ON FLAMMABLE FAUCETS
GasLand
myth:
Methane in the water in Fort Lupton, Colo. saidto be the result of natural gas development.
 Actual truth:
Colorado debunks the claim: “Dissolved methane in well water
appears to be biogenic [naturally occurring] in origin
. ...Thereare no indications of oil & gas related impacts to water well.”(COGCC, 9/30/08)
ON THE LAW

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tweedlebear14 added this note
Any "debunker" that starts by saying that they are telling us the "Actual truth" is immediately suspect. This New York Times editorial discusses the Halliburton Loophole that was created for Dick Cheney's company to remove fracking from EPA regulatory control: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/opi...
Angie Nguyen added this note
I agree with Zachary Murray in calling this a "debunk". But I have a question: "On West Divide," since the bubbling creek water is of biogenic origins, are there other cases of such creeks elsewhere not near an oil well?
Zachary Murray added this note
Overall, I'm glad people aren't taking the film as straight fact. It's an important issue that needs to be examined closely. This page raises some interesting points, but I believe calling it a debunking would be inaccurate, as few of the counter arguments hold water.
Zachary Murray added this note
"on West Divide Creek" The first counter argument just seems to indicate the methane was not man made, not that fracturing didn't cause it's release. The second just says the state, an interested party, doesn't know if fracturing caused it or not. My belief is that if there are many places where there is fracturing, then methane in rivers, fracturing might cause methane in rivers. Fair?
Zachary Murray added this note
"On Dunkard Creek" - The first EPA claim is not a counter argument. chronic exposure just means it didn't happen all at once, but could still be the result of the fracturing. The second comment is stronger, but like the original statement, I'd like to know who determined this and if they were interested parties. Also, doesn't the fact that it was mine drainage make fracturing seem scary too?
Zachary Murray added this note
"on flammable faucets" - sounds like a bit of he said she said. I think I'd like an investigation from an independent party (i.e. one that does not collect tax revenues from the process) before making any final conclusions. And really, both sides should name their source better (Who in Colorado determined this?)
Zachary Murray added this note
"on disclosure" - OK, maybe all of this information is available. My guess is that what is proprietary is what chemicals each individual company uses, which I personally would demand to know from whatever company wanted to do this to my land.

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