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An EPA report released yesterday on contaminated water in Wyoming is sure to draw out political...

An EPA report released yesterday on contaminated water in Wyoming is sure to draw out political hotheads on both sides, argues an op-ed in the LA Times. The anti-EPA faction of the GOP will call it a jobs killer, while environmentalists will try to leverage the report to win the battle over TransCanada's (TRP +0.5%) Keystone XL pipeline. Meanwhile, caught in the middle are the citizens of towns near fracking operations where their well water smells like a cross "something dead and diesel fuel."
Comments (9)
  • Frac fluid smells nothing like diesel fuel......
    9 Dec 2011, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • There are apparently quite a few issues with the EPA report including the fact that they actually drilled their test wells down into the gas area's and that fracking chemicals have not been detected in actaul water wells (lots of other things that make the water bad but not fracking chemicals) - just to name 2.
    12 Dec 2011, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • "they actually drilled their test wells down into the gas area's"

     

    Untrue. The EPA drilled to a maximum depth of around 300 meters, about 80 meters above the shallowest point of production for ECA.

     

    "fracking chemicals have not been detected in actaul water wells"

     

    They're already in the aquifer. It would be a matter of time before it migrates to the drinking wells. Also (emphasis on the last sentence):

     

    "EPA also updated its sampling of Pavillion area drinking water wells. Chemicals detected in the most recent samples are consistent with those identified in earlier EPA samples and include methane, other petroleum hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds. The presence of these compounds is consistent with migration from areas of gas production."

     

    Regardless, more research evidently needs to be done, the EPA is not concluding their investigation.
    12 Dec 2011, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • There's a market current published today (Dec 12th) on Encana's response. The link directly to the response article on SA is here:
    http://bit.ly/uEAHrV

     

    The EPA report was clearly written by political hacks and is sorely lacking any scientific basis.

     

    Among the many screw-ups was that the EPA drilled deep wells into nat gas reservoirs (which they have no expertise in to begin with) in the same formation and the same depths that Encana is producing from. The EPA clowns were then shocked to find nat gas there.

     

    "The EPA drilled two deep monitoring wells (depth range: 783 981 feet) into a natural gas reservoir and found components of natural gas, which is an entirely expected result. The results in the EPA deep wells are radically different than those in the domestic water wells (typically less than 300 feet deep), thereby showing no connection. Natural gas developers didn't put the natural gas at the bottom of the EPAs deep monitoring wells, nature did."
    12 Dec 2011, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • The main issue is whether or not there is toxic seepage from the drilling. ECA is attempting to deflect the issue by focusing on the methane present in the water supply. The EPA's deep monitoring wells, which are also well above the fracking sites (and not collocated), are contaminated with fracking fluid. The focus of the EPA, ECA, Congress, and most investors, is whether or not the fracking fluid is contaminating the water. Right now the EPA is claiming a smoking gun. ECA is not denying the presence of fracking fluid, although they are insinuating that the EPA itself placed the fracking fluid into their monitoring wells. This is an irresponsible accusation on the part of ECA.

     

    If I am to choose between trusting the government, or a corporation's PR department, I will take the lesser of two evils and side with the former.
    13 Dec 2011, 12:27 AM Reply Like
  • No, it's irresponsible of the EPA to let the political hacks loose. The upside to this report is that the EPA has given up all pretense of relying upon science to come to it's findings. They've exposed themselves as a mob of agenda-driven political hacks.

     

    This report will never survive third-party review, let alone a court challenge. There's going to be chuckles all around when they have to explain how they found chemicals in purified water blanks.
    13 Dec 2011, 01:11 AM Reply Like
  • "No, it's irresponsible of the EPA to let the political hacks loose. "

     

    Conspiracy theory.

     

    "The upside to this report is that the EPA has given up all pretense of relying upon science to come to it's findings. "

     

    I'm not a geologist. I'm guessing that neither are you. Just because a geologist's report is difficult to discern, doesn't mean the report is not scientific. Rather, it means that YOU have "given up all pretense of relying upon science to come to [your conclusions]."

     

    "They've exposed themselves as a mob of agenda-driven political hacks."

     

    Conspiracy theory.

     

    "This report will never survive third-party review, let alone a court challenge. "

     

    Time will tell. I have a deep suspicion that companies like ECA are indirectly fighting against the oil majors here, and that there are stronger hands than ECA that want to see shale gas hit severe headwinds.

     

    I'll concede this is my own conspiracy theory, but I think it has merit - oil majors have the most to lose if legislation ever gets drafted that greenlights natgas in our transportation infrastructure.
    13 Dec 2011, 01:17 AM Reply Like
  • The conspiracy theory is yours. You want to believe Encana is lying while at the same time believing there's no political agenda within the EPA.

     

    It doesn't take a geologist to figure out that if you find chemicals in your purified water control samples that your methodology and testing are faulty.

     

    Nor does it take a geologist to figure out that if you drill down to where nat gas is present you're going to find nat gas.

     

    I've provided the link above to Encana's response. It doesn't take anything other than common sense to read it.
    13 Dec 2011, 01:35 AM Reply Like
  • You are extremely thick-headed.

     

    I find your comments about political hacks running amok in the EPA to be extremely wrong-headed, somewhat delusional and utterly without merit.

     

    I don't believe ECA is lying. I believe they are making whatever accusations they believe they can get away with on the spot to counter this smoking gun. Just because the prosecution of a murder trial loses its case doesn't mean it was "lying" or had malicious intent against the defendant. However, there's a fine line between fabricating charges and having due cause to bring them up. I don't see any due cause from ECA...only a goddam PR announcement.

     

    "It doesn't take a geologist to figure out that if you find chemicals in your purified water control samples that your methodology and testing are faulty."

     

    No, but it takes a hell of a lot more than a corporate PR department to make that assessment.

     

    I've already read ECA's response before you posted it.
    13 Dec 2011, 01:41 AM Reply Like
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