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So What Exactly is Hydro-Fracking?

At one time, natural gas was seen as little more than a superfluous byproduct of the oil extraction process. But once the potential of natural gas as an energy source became clear, a new era in energy production was soon off and running. Today, natural gas accounts for 23 percent of the world’s total energy consumption, and the International Energy Agency is projecting that by 2035, natural gas use across the globe will expand by an astounding 44 percent.

One of the reasons why governments and industry are pushing natural gas so hard at the present time is because of its reputation as a low-carbon emission energy source. All fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide during combustion, and natural gas is no exception. But its emissions are significantly lower than coal or oil, and as such, it is being promoted as an “alternative” form of energy that can help combat global warming.

There is an important part of the story, however, that is being left out by the oil companies and their obedient government servants. While natural gas at the point of consumption is indeed a relatively clean form of energy, oil and gas companies have begun using an extremely violent and invasive technique to extract natural gas from the ground that is wreaking havoc upon the earth and leaving a trail of contamination and wanton destruction across the United States. This technique is known as hydraulic fracturing, or “hydro-fracking” for short.

It is possible you have never heard of fracking before. But if you should happen to live near communities like Dimock, Pennsylvania; DISH, Texas; Pavillion, Wyoming, or dozens of other devastated locations in many different states, the chances are you have become all too familiar with this term, and you are also probably quite aware of the damage that fracking can do to the air, the water, the land, and to human health.

Hydraulic Fracturing: How it Works

Natural gas is the usable form of methane, and this organically produced gas is found in isolated pockets frequently located in deposits of shale far beneath the earth’s surface. In order to release this methane, it is necessary to break into and through these shale deposits, and hydraulic fracturing is the most powerful and effective method available for doing this. Holes are drilled over areas believed to hold large methane pockets trapped beneath layers of shale—holes that can extend for more than a mile straight down and several more miles horizontally. A mixture of water, sand, and chemicals is injected into these holes at extremely high pressure, and this fractures the rock and allows escaping methane to be transported back to the surface— along with a toxic stew of used-up fracking fluid that will now be contaminated with heavy metals in addition to the various caustic chemicals it already contained.

When oil companies lease land from farmers and other rural landowners, they assure these folks that hydro-fracking is a clean and safe practice. But in reality, the exact opposite is true – fracking operations produce huge cesspools of smelly and toxic discarded fracking fluids, contaminated wells and aquifers, dying cattle and wildlife, huge dead brown patches of earth where crops used to grow, foul-smelling emissions of chemical pollutants, methane leaks that can cause mysterious explosions, and unexplained outbreaks of disease and ill health.

An Industry Unchained

Companies that harvest natural gas have received extraordinary protection from Congress. They have been made exempt from regulation and monitoring under the Superfund Law and the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, and when the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was passed, it included a clause that exempted hydro-fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act.  This clause has become known as the “Halliburton Loophole,” in honor of former Vice President and all around sinister character Dick Cheney, who was responsible for crafting the Energy Policy Act and pushing it through into law. The Energy Policy Act also allows natural gas companies to keep the identity of the chemicals they use in hydro-fracking fluid secret from the public, supposedly so the information can’t be stolen by competitors.

All of this has allowed the companies extracting natural gas to operate as a true outlaw industry, setting new standards for arrogance and a total lack of accountability. Even though the natural gas harvesters are not required to disclose what kind of chemicals they use, thanks to whistle-blowers and leaked industry documents, we now know that the chemicals they use include numerous carcinogens and other highly toxic substances that are poisonous to biological entities. Methane in its raw form is a foul gas that can also contaminate the air and the water, and reminiscent of Lake Erie in the 1970s, in some cases it has caused wells to actually catch on fire.

Some of the various illnesses and health problems that have been reported by people living close to fracking operations include:

  • Neurological disorders
  • Brain damage
  • Respiratory problems
  • Eye irritation
  • Liver and kidney problems
  • Cancer
  • Leukemia

Even beyond what is already known, there is something else about fracking that the oil and gas industry does not want us to know, and that many of their paid lackeys in big government and establishment science continue to deny. Even though more study must be done, there is a real possibility that fracking may in some instances actually cause earthquakes.

Rogue Industry, Rogue Government

We are constantly told that agencies like the EPA, the FDA, Homeland Security, and the ATF are here to protect us and keep us safe from all the big baddies out there who would like to do us harm. As a result of these efforts, people’s freedom to choose and decide how to live their own lives are constantly being threatened or denied by a Nanny State that sometimes seems determined to interfere in every aspect of our lives. But when something terrible really is going on, where you have an out-of-control industry that is literally ravaging the entire American landscape with impunity, leaving behind a trail of ruined water supplies, toxic air, dying animals, and human beings suddenly besieged with a whole host of horrific and sometimes fatal health problems, suddenly the government that supposedly cares so much about us simply turns its back and looks the other way.

Hydro-fracking might very well be the most dangerous and destructive industrial practice currently going on within the borders of the United States. It is incumbent on all Americans to educate themselves about the incredible damage that this activity is doing, and to do everything they can to fight against any attempts to expand hydro-fracking into the areas where they live. We need to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels completely and turn to alternative energy, but we must not let ourselves be fooled—natural gas is not alternative energy, it is a fossil fuel just like all the others, and the practice of hydro-fracking must be stopped at all costs.

Hydro-fracking is a violent assault against God’s great earth, and it is an activity that is being pursued by greedy elements who care for nothing else except their own obscene profit margins. The bottom line is that if we continue to allow them to get away with what they are doing, in the end we are all going to be fracked.

©2011 Off the Grid News

© Copyright Off The Grid News


  1. While I don’t always agree with your political opinions, I’m glad to see that, on the subject of this abomination, we can ALL agree. Fracking is neither clean, nor healthful. Unfortunately, I’m afraid we won’t get the message until we have no more clean water. People are easily manipulable, and the myth of the “free lunch” in the form of unlimited, clean energy is one they continue to buy into. The answers are the same ones your granny told you about years ago. Use less, be thankful for what you have and share your bounty with those less fortunate. Christian or Atheist, morality is driven by deeds, not books or political speeches. Let’s come together to protect the two things we all know we can’t live without. The earth and each other.

    • While you may agree, I certainly don’t. Here in North Dakota, our state has very stringent regulations on fracking, and each ‘oil-play’ is different. Unlike the sites in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming, our oil-bearing shale, called the Bakken/Three-Forks formation is over 10,000 feet deep, with horizontal runs of another 10 to 11 thousand feet. It is the horizontal portion that is fracked to release the sweet crude oil. This is literally MILES below any water aquifers. With the vertical hole 10,000 feet totally cased and cemented in, there is no way on God’s green earth that any contaminants can get into the upper water aquifers. As for “cesspools of fracking fluids”….not a drop is spilled, it is all self contained, filtered, with the millions of gallons of water re-used in further fracking operations, and the “sludge” deposited in ultra-deep disposal wells that are between 12 and 15 thousand feet deep, again, miles below any aquifers. It’s this crazy EPA and Government’s methodology of trying to make a “one-size-fits-all” ruling that wreaks havoc on everything they touch. Each oilfield is different, each with its own benefits and problems. Fracking IS SAFE, when it is done carefully AND safely.

      • While misusing anything can be bad, this article comes off largely as a piece of leftist enviornmentalist fear mongering. I live in East Texas, lots of drilling here, the “World’s Richest Acre” is in Kilgore where my wife works. The most shallow well I saw in my brief stint in the oil field was greater than 9000 feet, that was shallow. Most of the wells I saw were 12-15000 feet, and cased hole. I have never seen a bad well here. I am not saying things can not happen, just that it is rare and that some perspective should be maintained. I guess that the author does not want the Keystone Pipeline either. Anyway, from my perspective in oil country, Geologist makes a lot of sense.

      • Well if that is indeed happening in ND good for you. But the issue is about fracking to extract natural gas. Its been documented throughout the country, that people are getting very sick, due to the chemicals used in the extraction process, animals are getting sick or dying, people who largely make their living raising livestock no longer van do that, as the water is contaminated, and the animals die, or at least get very sick when they drink the water. People are losing access to their entire water supply.

        The effects in Wyoming are sickening. The problem is not with the EPA, as you seem to indicate, its that they have not stepped in, and up to now, the natural gas industry has had no accountability. For those of you have trash the idea of regulations, well ask all the families who have had to move off their land, lost loved ones due to illness from the effects of fracking, or can no longer support themselves, and can no longer use their own water-how deregulation has worked out for them.

        Some of the political positions of “off the grid” don’t exactly match with mine-but thank you OFG, for covering this very important, and real issue.

      • You have it right, as a former water well driller and someone with at least some basic knowledge of the earth’s geology, as long as the rules are followed there should be few problems with fracking. It is amazing to me the amount of ignorance from folks outside of the industry that want to expound on this at length, without even understanding the process or the amount of separation between the ground water layers and where the shale zones lie. But then we have enough anti-industrial liberals out there that will pick up on whatever some of these psuedoscientists spoon feed them that it keeps the subject clouded and it continues to feed on itself. A lot of folks hate industry in any event. For them I say take away their toys and see if they like it that way..
        The only caveat I would have against fracking, is doing it in an area where there may be active faults or faults that could be reactivated, causing fault shifts. I hope the geologists look into these things before they even drill in those areas and avoid them. Those things need to be well investigated before wasting any money on drilling or fracking if it should be allowed to get that far.

      • You have obviously not taken the time to go on a site in ND. I think you may be repeatng what you have been told and not what you have observed. I have watched as pits overflow with the snow melt. I have seen oil and water fly out the top of tanks when they over flow. I have seen the mess that comes out of the ground as “flow back” that gets spilled and I have seen the flowback (whch is not filtered) loaded on to trucks taken to a diposal and shot back into the ground. I have seen several diposals so full they cant get anymore of the garbage in the ground that day so they wait for it to absorbe and then they send more down. I have actually seen companies fill pits in with the liner and other things such as filter socks just rolled up and covered over with dirt. I have never seen a single inspector on any site in ND so the next time you want to spout the company line I reccomend you drive out to a few well sites and see for yourself what goes on.

      • Fracking is safe when done correctly. The environmental regulations here in PA are so strong, when above ground piping at fracking sites is leak tested with MUNICIPAL water, the water can’t be dumped due to the chlorine content being “unsafe” for local streams! This is the same water we drink from the tap! The environmentalists are misinformed and always assume industry is evil.

    • Regarding your comment “While I don’t always agree with your political opinions, I’m glad to see that, on the subject of this abomination, we can ALL agree.”…

      No, all of us can not agree. For example, many of us can not agree that we should be transferring unbelievable wealth from the US to stone age cultures that want us dead. Remember the WTC? If fracking can help to decrease this transfer of wealth, then keep on fracking.

      • How is it that one side says, “there are problems associated with fracking,” while at the same time the other side says, ” Fracking does not cause the problems described in this article, which is a piece of liberal trash.” Either it does or it does not. There’s a lot of details missing for sure, but it can not be the case that the evidence is obvious that in some areas fracking as destroyed life and property. Fracking may not cause that kind of damage every time it’s done, but one time, in the wrong place, could mean huge consequences.

        As for our energy system, if anyone thinks we are reducing what we buy from over seas because we drill it at home they are mistaken. Oil is a global market. Just because it comes out from under the north american continent does not mean it’s sold to Americans. The more oil that is produced in the world the lower the price, the lower the price the more we use. We will not slow production one bit from our middle eastern enemies by drilling more oil here as the media would have you believe. Reducing consumption of oil will reduce demand which will drop the price which slow production which will reduce our dependence. . . Our hungry nation will buy from any willing seller as long as the price is right . . . Since when was it that we lived in a country that told our producers “if you drill oil here, you have to sell to the local market.” In fact, how many companies that are drilling are even US companies?

        Lets not get on our soap box. Instead lets move forward with caution. The Pipeline included. It think the federal political right wants the pipeline, but the problem is two fold, 1. there are right wing states who dont want it, 2. the feds are trying to tell the states what to do. You cant have it both ways – i.e., Government sucks get out of my state, while at the same time be on the other side supporting the political right who wants to tell the states what to do. It is either government get out of my life, or it’s not . . . you cant have it both ways . . . If the states dont want the pipeline, I say we figure out what they need and make a deal that suits everyone. If that cant be done, leave the oil in the ground, it’s not like it’s going anywhere. . . Cheers . . . and yeah, china is going to get a lot of oil from canada, they purchased it years ago!

    • Ya, uh huh, you betcha fellas. The experts also said that nuclear radiation was safe (tested on soldiers), EMF from power lines/ radios doesn’t cause cancer, artificial sweetners were safe, immigration is not a problem, WMDs were in Iraq (I still believe they are), and Anna Nicole married for love. Facts are that if the current immigration rate continues and the population of the USA increases by 50% in the next 40 years to 439 million, we as a Nation and a world will be unable to feed ourselves, have water to drink, stay warm, …..and drive\ing around, that will be a thing of the past. Facts are that the USA is rapidly commiting suicide as a socio-economic entity and a conglomeration of people. It won’t be long that this Republic will be just another 3rd world country of starving poor. Most of these socio-political discussions are just a bunch of hokey pokey.

      • “Facts are”, BlackCat13, most of your supposed “facts” are wrong! But then, every generation seems to have to rediscover that Malthus was wrong when he said, “The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man”. So I suppose we can forgive you for believing every unfounded argument (dare I say ‘hoax’?) concerning immigration, population control, nuclear power (you are still waiting for the ‘China syndrome’, aren’t you?)- global warming, et al. Please do your homework. Find out the facts (the real ones, not the ones you- or your friends- manufacture).

        December 19, 2011 at 10:57 am

        Ya, uh huh, you betcha fellas. The experts also said that nuclear radiation was safe (tested on soldiers), EMF from power lines/ radios doesn’t cause cancer, artificial sweetners were safe, immigration is not a problem, WMDs were in Iraq (I still believe they are), and Anna Nicole married for love. Facts are that if the current immigration rate continues and the population of the USA increases by 50% in the next 40 years to 439 million, we as a Nation and a world will be unable to feed ourselves, have water to drink, stay warm, …..and drive\ing around, that will be a thing of the past. Facts are that the USA is rapidly commiting suicide as a socio-economic entity and a conglomeration of people. It won’t be long that this Republic will be just another 3rd world country of starving poor. Most of these socio-political discussions are just a bunch of hokey pokey.

    • @ Ed

      You speak of something you know nothing about. Some activist writes an article and you jump right on the band wagon. I work in the oil and gas industry and am familiar first hand with the process of fracing. It’s effective safe and clean and the depths are far deeper than any source of drinking water. In most if not all cases the water produced from a well of these depths is more toxic in its natural state than arsenic. Companies have invested millions in purification plants and clean this water so that it can be used in irrigation for farms in desert states such as Utah. The farmers are more than happy to have the extra water and gladly pay for it. The process makes use of water that would be otherwise unusable. Articles such as these miss inform and push agendas of malcontent.

      • In this age of extreme governmental regulations, I cannot believe any of you would believe stories like this. The entire article is the repetition of fiction, bad fiction. If anyone can find any real evidence of such flagrant disregard for regulations, then report the company. The industry is not responsible for a renegade company. Report them and it will be stopped. I know first hand the regulations on the subject and I know that this story is not true. I am currently living in the middle of oil and gas country and we make our living transporting that water to purification plants, where it is recycled.

        There are no outlaw companies, in the United States, who live outside the regulations. Get REAL. Shame on you, Andrew, for spreading such garbage.

  2. conventional home heating waists gas costs way to much money just like every thing these days I say instead of cracking wholes in the fabric of our planet let companies conserve it’s not that hard small apace heaters hang on the wall now can be bought starting at about $3OO.OO 2 OR 3 WOULD HEAT 4 BEDROOM HOUSE FOR 1/4 YOUR GAS BILL i KNOW i DID IT

    • Carolyn, Who is the manufacture of the heaters you are speaking of? Heaters that hang on the wall are a new one on me.I am currently using two Eden pure floor models. The prospect of wall, hung is an interesting idea.Can you forward info on these to [email protected]??

      Thanks a bunch

      Don Campbell

    • 5 years ago I went from LP gas to those free standing electric (oil) heaters and cut my utility bill by $1200 the first 5 months. Hundreds of houses in this locality have gone back to wood stoves. As long as they are clear cutting all the land, we might as well burn what’s left and save a buck while we still have a buck to save.

    • Your ignorance is astounding. You still have to burn energy no matter what kind of heater you use. I’ll bet you think that chicken comes from the store too.

      • I think that I clearly stated the obvious that electric does use energy……. but I clearly said, SUBSTANTIALLY LESS

      • I don’t apologize for pointing out that most people believe that there is only one way…… big brother’s way. Conservatism is managing things in a manner that reduces waste, in all forms.

  3. I wish you idiots would actually learn about something before you open your mouths (or write an ill-informed and inflammatory article). As a geologist and a geo-mechanical specialist (and yes, a mouthpiece of big bad oil), I can assure you that fracking is safe. The chemicals utilized are no different than any of you morons have under your own kitchen sink OR IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR. We have been fracking wells for well over fifty years while maintaining an excellent safety record. The scary stories about fracking were invented by the enviro-fascists once we (big bad oil) discovered a way for the U.S. to become energy independant. I expect this kind of misinformation to come from other groups. I am disappointed to see it here also. Goes to show that the barbarians are already past the gates.

    • {Pls excuse me for this note} How do I know that you’re really that which you state in your post?

      • Have you asked the EPA investigators, the environmentalists, if they have any specific training, experience or degrees in Fluid Hydraulics, Geology, Geophysics, or Petroleum Engineering? The off-the-wall ‘nut jobs’ who think we should try to catch pig farts instead of drill for oil and natural gas generally have no formal training or experience. I urge any of them to present their degrees in applicable fields and spend a few years (winters) here in North Dakota where they’ll realize it is impossible to heat a decent-sized home in 30 below zero temp with a 90 below zero wind chill with sunlight and wind energy. Getting us off petroleum and coal is one thing, but not by legislation, rather by free market and new inventions, like magnetic engines, hydrogen capture and hydrogen engines. Perhaps the EPA and Administration don’t want us to be energy independent and would rather keep filling the coffers of those who want us all dead!!

      • Pls excuse me for this note, how do I know that you are to whom you answer the name “Emmaline”. I don’t believe there IS such a name. Is that gender specific? If so which one?

      • Emmaline, Emmaline, Emmaline! It IS the internet, dear. Take everything you read with a grain of salt. You can only begin to believe that which you personally research. Even then, exercise a bit of healthy skepticism. If something, like this article, screams of lies and propaganda, it feels good to put your two cents worth in there. If the truth gets to even one other person, it is worthwhile. We’ll not change the world overnight.

    • Geologist: Some companies have scrupples and others just want to make a quick buck maybe. Down near San Antonio, they are doing fracking and alot of ranchers are reporting wells have dried up, and the water is no longer clear coming out of their pumps. The fracking companies say they have nothing to do with it, and the ranchers feel it was fine before they started. Someone told me we produce more green house gases from pig farms, than all of what modern industry produces. What a shame to possibly ruin a natural resource for cheaper fuels. If we have been fracking for 50+ years, you’d think there would have already been some type of environmental impact study conducted.

      • Could it be the most rational reason of all – a severe and long lasting drought? When we experienced a 9 year drought in North Dakota we have MANY wells dry up. Others pumped muddy water just prior to their drying up, because there was no water flow in the aquifer…..DUH! But lets just blame it all on fracking…because – maybe – perhaps it’s easier to beleive some crackpot from back east than it is to actually put out the effort to sincerely study the process, go on-site and learn the process, it’s safety features, and appreciate its benefits. Let’s just all buy into the rediculousness of everything the environmentalists tell us…it’s a whole lot easier that way, and we’ll soon all be burning buffalo chips and wiping out butts with corn cobs again!

        • Bernie, you make the most sense of anyone responding to this letter. Quite honestly, I like Off the Grid, but, there is too much which indicates they are all for green energy. I like their alternatives, but some of them are totally unrealistic. I agree with you. How is wind going to heat a home in 30 below with a wind chill of 50? I, too, have purchased EdenPure electric heaters, but they are not an alternative to central heat; no matter what the fossil fuel is. I grew up when coal wasn’t “clean”. That was our modus operandi for heat. This nation could be self sufficient for fuel. Unfortunately, “nut jobs” seem to have preeminence in this country now. It’s too bad. I remember when we were a nation at its zenith. Again, Bernie, you make the most sense of anyone who has written here.

      • You say “ranchers are reporting wells have dried up”; Ya recon maybe the draught had anything to do with that?

      • methanecreator, wells are drying up all over the deserts of America. Population centers are sucking the ground water out of the aquifers around every major city in the west. In Colorado, for example, Denver has dried up wells in a 60 to 70 mile radius. Again, folks, research!

    • I am VERY disappointed with off the grid for not getting the facts straight and for being a mouth piece for manipulative liberals who would be perfectly happy with us huddling in a cave roasting rats over dung, the new ‘red’ being ‘green’. Fracking has been done for a very long time. Around 48,000 wells have been drilled in PA with NO provable link to contaminated water, and that is according to the EPA, no friend of business. There has been naturally occurring methane contamination of water in PA noted by the first settlers. Some ‘dear leader’ types who love the ‘utopia’ of N Korea have been using that as an example of water contamination by fracking and it is not true. There is also a propaganda ‘documentary’ out on the subject which of full of lies and misinformation.

      Where I live I am surrounded by gas wells. Well water has a high iron content which has NOTHING to do with gas wells which go down FAR below the water. My spring water is great. The gas companies put everything back the way it was after they drill and the wildlife is richly abundant. Gas leases help a lot of folks get by around here and gas keeps a of of folks warm, cooks their food and has many advantages over coal or heating oil. I am disturbed enough that I will unsubscribe after I post this comment and unlike you on facebook, because I no longer trust your information.

      “I wish you idiots would actually learn about something before you open your mouths (or write an ill-informed and inflammatory article). As a geologist and a geo-mechanical specialist (and yes, a mouthpiece of big bad oil), I can assure you that fracking is safe. The chemicals utilized are no different than any of you morons have under your own kitchen sink OR IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR. We have been fracking wells for well over fifty years while maintaining an excellent safety record. The scary stories about fracking were invented by the enviro-fascists once we (big bad oil) discovered a way for the U.S. to become energy independant. I expect this kind of misinformation to come from other groups. I am disappointed to see it here also. Goes to show that the barbarians are already past the gates.” EXACTLY!

      “Amazing lack of knowledge on an important topic.

      “You should at least try to learn something about the technology being employed and the ACTUAL history associated with the last 30+ years of hydraulic fracturing in this country and around the world. Fear mongering based on poorly documented non-causal incidents will not advance anything but idiotic critiques.
      Science not pseudo-science should support any criticism of fracking. While no industry is completely risk-free, one should always balance the risks with the rewards.” DITTO

      • Thank you for the geology and history lesson. Living in PA, I was frightened by the article and have been following the issue in the news. I have taken a semi-pro industry view, being a conservative and because my father was a chemical engineer and long time sales executive for the chemical industry (Hercules). But he was of the ‘greatest generation’ and most of those were Christian in beliefs and in actions — stewards of the Earth long before Earth Day. My generation is, unfortunately, not so wise. The boomers, not raised in the depression, have heard their parents’ advice but have not necessarily comprehended their wisdom, having been spoiled by overindulgence. Those of us who were rebelling and doping our brains instead of using them, persued narcissistic goals and profession of ease instead of fulfilling missions greater than themselves – leading to all the bursting bubbles for their children and grandchildren to deal with. So I don’t trust your industry nor any one else’s in this day and age. Education not tempered by Godliness only gives us more ‘fracking’ clever thieves. (pun intended). So we need your industry to succeed but we also need to tax it more than our governor wants so that we can set aside money to cautiously prepare for the worst case scenarios. I live near Three mile Island and yet, while I still support growth in nuclear energy, some of the precautions to prevent accidents are necessary. Hindsight is nice but foresight is priceless. Ask Japan.

      • I forgot to mention a very important fact which substantiates the nonsense written in the article. We had to drill a well for water, on our own property. We went down (if my memory serves me correctly) 500 feet. We had no problem with the water. In the next acre, on the same property, another well was drilled. It went down 75 feet and the water is contaminated with methane. At the well, you can smell it. At the sink, you can’t. A purifying system has been added to remove the methane. Don’t ask me the particulars. My son in law is in that industry and he is the one who set it up and takes care of it. The water is drinkable. So, my point is: you don’t need fracking to have methane in the water. I also know what it is like to run out of water and how to conserve during droughts. We have raised panty waist children.

    • The environmentalist extremists have no boundaries. They will lie, cheat and steal in order to keep the US from being energy independent from other countries. We need to get rid of all this garbage that is being put out by the dumbocRATS along with Barry and his cronies. Explore, drill more, build more nuclear powerplants, more refineries, more geo thermal plants, more clean coal plants and this can be done safely
      and with common sense and most importantly get the government off the necks of industry out of the way of
      people to make as much money as possible as long as it is legal, fair and a level playing field.

    • Thank you, Geologist, well said.

    • no fracking granny

      Actually, high-volume hydraulic fracturing has been used “successfully” since 2004, so, the process of forcing millions of gallons of water with chemicals into tight formation shales is really new. Hydraulic fracturing was developed in 1949 and has a record of contaminating groundwater. Check the NYS dSGEIS Sept. 2011 and you will find that to be true – also, the NYS 1992 GEIS. There needs to be discussion of alternative, sustainable energy resources, energy conservation, and life-style changes. We really can get along without natural gas if we PLAN to transition to other energy resources. BTW you do realize that there are plans to export much of extracted natural gas to other nations. Why? $$$$ We get the poison, other nations get the energy. What a plan!

  4. I am curious, what method did they use before fracking and was it safer I ask because my wife’s family who own allot of acres have had natural gas rigs on their properties for many, many years. And have had no such destruction on their ranches, no mystery illnesses and most of the original family that started this drilling have lived well into their 80-90’s so I am guessing fracking was not done on their properties, but I don’t know since it was started in the early 60’s. Most people who understand some of these alternative energy sources should know they don’t work on a cost basis for supplying our energy needs on a grand scale.(in their current forms. Yes I think for a home you have some limited useable energy but currently (for the most part) what is for sale to the general public is not cost effective unless you know you have 10+ years to break even. While the next person who buys your home you have decked out with solar would see savings right up front that isn’t the case for the original person who made the upgrade to solar. Just like the electric cars they are now trying to shove down our Throats, the batteries that need to be replaced in 5 to 10 years are a huge cost that most people don’t even ask about. I want to find and use other sources of energy (put up a security light that runs on solar) but it works very poorly and the home owners ass. Wants it down. And no wind generation either. I am trapped by a HOA that will not allow any sort of changes. The satellite companies had to force them to allow the dishes on the roofs but they have deep pockets. Get job on the articles (however your slip is showing when you put in words that describe a person who you seem to have a very strong opinion of in the story about fracking. It might give pause to someone who then thinks how much of the story is fact and how much is only an opinion or feelings about, instead of the facts and we form our own opinion, not told how to think about an individual, (and that is just my opinion) God bless keep up the good work.

  5. Ed– thanks for the great comment. So true.

    I’m usually very skeptical about articles like this, but because it’s coming from Off the Grid, I’m taking it to heart. I had heard a little about the damage, but not all that was written in this article.

    I’m also a skeptic about man-made global warming since we are going into a cooling period.

    What is happening is that the earth’s population is increasing at such a rate that the earth can’t sustain the sheer numbers. Especially where it concerns clean water and the food supply. One of my major concerns is genetic seed engineering which is destroying the ability of the seeds to reproduce. Add to that the government’s Food Safety Bill to stop people from growing their own food and we have a lot to worry about.

    Capitalism is not evil, but the love of money IS the root of all evil. Companies need profit to succeed and make the economy grow, but when does greed replace profit?

    What the world has lost in the last fifty years is a moral majority that are running things. As long as people put greed above a reasonable profit, things will not get better.

    • Greed?! A subjective catch all phrase of the radical left. I ran my own company for many years and did business with companies involved in many different endeavors including petro. My business required me to interface with all levels of management from top to bottom. Never did I consider any of these people to be “greedy”. However, their efforts did create many thousands of jobs that allowed families to pay their bills and build wealth.

      • Sorry Joe. I didn’t know that using the word “greed” would mean I belonged to the radical left. Usually the left calls me a far right nut case.

        Wouldn’t you think that the CEOs at Fannie and Freddie who made millions in bonuses for “cooking the books” were a little greedy? How about the GE corporation that gets big tax breaks and pays nothing in taxes? How about all the pork legislation in Congress for campaign contributions? Don’t any of these qualify as greedy in your book?

        Did you know that the Rockefellers started genetic seed engineering back in the 1930s? Rothschild wanted to control the money and Rockefeller wanted to control the food supply. Their greed was for power over the people. Now the international banks like our Fed control the money worldwide and four companies like Monsanto control the food. That’s not capitalism like you’re talking about. That’s greed for the power to control. These are the people who are running and ruining the world.

        I’ll stick by my statement that we’ve lost a moral majority holding the reins of power.

        • First, you are not wrong that we have, as a nation, lost our moral compass. But, there is more to this than meets the eye. The Rothschild and Rockefeller families are controlling yo. They were two of the families who started the federal reserve. What are they doing to you? Fannie and Freddie? Talk to the congressmen who were in office during the Clinton administration. They are at fault. Also, if you go back to 2001 and I think it was 2005, both John McCain at first and Pres. Bush secondly, warned about the economic fall. By ths time, Americans had given the dumocrats power. This is when Lithpy Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Waterman and the others in their leadership said there was nothing to worry about. Make no mistake, I have no love for either party. I think they are almost all self serving. I say almost all because I believe there are some honest ones who hope they can change things.l

  6. Amazing lack of knowledge on an important topic.

    You should at least try to learn something about the technology being employed and the ACTUAL history associated with the last 30+ years of hydraulic fracturing in this country and around the world. Fear mongering based on poorly documented non-causal incidents will not advance anything but idiotic critiques.
    Science not pseudo-science should support any criticism of fracking. While no industry is completely risk-free, one should always balance the risks with the rewards.

  7. @Geologist. Thanks for the voice of sanity. Most of these posters cannot spell or use the wrong word entirely – but it sounds close. These posters are the ones that get all excited and worked up by the uber-environmentalists who have nothing but a political agenda backed by false and misleading ‘facts”. I do feel sorry for our planet and humanity that is on track to be ruined by these “caring folks”. Just seeing it in print on the internet does not make it fact and these uber-environmentalists play upon that to achieve their end. Lies are a part of their arsenal. CO2 is just the latest scare. Ask one of these “experts” how much is in our atmosphere – that is not needed by green plant life that is harming the environment. Oh, and don’t breathe, you are exhaling CO2. Next month it will be something else for these crackpots to latch on to and make life hell for the rest of us.

    • Let ‘common sense’ rule—

      Pipe line across the country to outdated refineries—build new up to date close to source—–
      Where are Sierra Club and Green Peace’s opinions?
      AND if there is such a history of fracking—where are the environmental reports?
      As an owner of a property with natural gas–where do I get the ‘true’ answers?

      • Good thoughts Lee,
        I agree completely about the need for more refineries, unfortunately regulations have prevented us from building any more in the last 30 years or so. Let’s get our regulations up-to-date (and get rid of a few dozen-thousand while we’re at it), and life will be better.

    • Texan… something I don’t undeerstand — and since you have all the answers, maybe you can explain… I know people who have absolutely NO ties to ANY environmental organizations. They are conservative Republicans, born-again Christians, extremely well educated (he is a surgeon, his wife is a chemist previously employed with Johnson & Johnson) who are adamantly opposed to fracking. I know good honest people who have no power through their position or wealth, no ties to any enviro groups, and yet they are opposed to fracking because they have been harmed by the process. What is their agenda? Is it not common sense that if you use more than 500 toxic chemicals in a process that there will be detrimental ramifications — whether to ground water, the soil, human health? Someone on this discussion said “if it’s done right…” How many times have we seen human error cause disaster. There’s a huge difference between the “theory” and the “practice”.

  8. First, I would like to commend Off The Grid News for writing a clear and succinct article on the dangers of hyrdofracking, despite the erroneous and arrogant comments from the fake “geologist” who has a penchant for calling people derogatory names. I live in the southwestern tier of NY state where there is a fierce battle by many of the local towns against the destructive process of hydrofracking. Many of these towns have banned hyrdofracking after much discussion and testimony by honest geologists and people from within the hydrofracking industry who were truthful enough to come forth with information that the gas companies do not want the public to hear. The commenting “geologist” is telling a lie when he states that all of these stories came from “enviro-fascists.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the horror stories came from actual victims, many of whom were once pro hydrofracking. But after communities becoming sick and aquifers becoming polluted, not only with unknown chemicals, but also radiation, which cannot be purified under any circumstances, many changed their minds.

    As always, we must be suspicious of information that is given by people who have a MONEY connection to the industry. The pattern is always the same. First denial, then minimizing the harm, and finally using the national interest argument. The fact is there are better ways to provide real clean energy. It is also known that most of this gas will be liquified, exported and sold to the highest bidder (in this case, China). Most of this gas will not even be used in the U.S. This means more profits for the gas industry and very little benefit to the public. Our energy prices will not be lower, in fact, just as with oil, gas is a continually diminishing resource which means its prices will rise over the years.

    Another important factor is that the gas companies give the false belief that this will solve our energy problems which will further put off investigating and developing alternative energies. I would urge people who are in potential hydrofracking areas, to go to the many websites and inform themselves on this dangerous and destructive process. Read the horror stories for yourself. Don’t take my word for it and definitely do not take the “geologist’s” slanted opinion.

    • I disagree with you completely Starfire and absolutely agree with Geologist.
      Fracking is a tool to release a valuable earth resource just like a shovel was hundreds of years ago.

      • C’mon… you have to be smarter than that… how can you compare a benign shovel to the use of over 500 toxic chemicals?

  9. Dear Mr. Geologist (Since you don’t want to use your real name)

    Lets do a little fact check here. Yes, fracking has been around for years BUT (and its a big one) The technology of hydrofracturing has increased in complexity. Early wells were only a few hundred feet deep. Applications of the fracking technique consisted of using gelled crude oil and kerosene as the fluid injected into wells to force the fracturing. Screened river sand became popularly used as the “proppant,” or material used to hold open the fractures. Quantities of the materials used were small, consisting of approximately 750 gallons of fluid and 400 pounds of proppant.

    Today for instance Chesapeake Energy, a company active in the Marcellus Shale area, reports that an average well is now 5,300 feet deep. Drilling a typical well now uses between 65,000 and 600,000 gallons of water, and the ensuing fracking operation requires an average of 4.5 million gallons of fluids and hundreds of thousands of pounds of sand. The very fact that companies are exempt from telling us what chemicals are used in the process frankly scares the hell out of me.

    My brother who lives in PA has fracking on his property on Marcellus Shale. He can’t use his water anymore and has to have it TRUCKED in to his farm. You can literally light his water on fire and he has had some breathing issues along with the rest of his family. When he turns on the water it smells to high heaven.

    So perhaps in fact checking you would be MORE than happy to provide a list of chemicals used in the process and what happens to the site when they are finished. Now, I am NOT a enviro-fascists as you call it, just a concerned by-stander that has seen first hand what this process does. Would I allow it on my property as a clean and responsible way of drilling? Not on your life (or mine) because I have seen the water coming out of his tap. If you would like I can even give you pictures of water coming out of his tap. I find it very strange it wasn’t that way PRIOR to the fracking.

    Please fee free to response with some place we can go to get the info requested above (the list of chemicals used) since you are so concerned about proving fracking as being safe and you are in the industry. I personally would like proof there is nothing more from chemicals used under my sink.

    Jill Cameron
    Washington State

    • Pa are shallow well,it more than likely the contamination was cause by drilling. A spiecal sand is used for fracing. Caustic is used in drilling fluids to control the ph . And it breaks down to nothing quickly. Barite is used tohold down oil and gas while drilling. Gel is bentenite is for viscoity to drow out cutting in hold barite. Both are nautral minerals.gel is also used in toothpaste and is kitty litter.

  10. I don’t know where the writer of this total B.S. artical got his info. I roughnecked in wyoming for 14yrs. And I gotta tell ya I’m most disapointed in OFF THE GRID! Can’t help but wonder about all the other stories they put out that are as far from the truth as this bogas story….to the writer of this fiction fairy tell get your facts !

  11. I am disappointed that Off the Grid would post this ill-informed article. I work for an Oil Company in the Midwest and we have frac’d hundreds of wells with no complaints. It is a safe procedure and we use the utmost caution. The chemicals come in sealed tanks and are injected through sealed lines. Once the procedure is complete (more than a mile below the surface), all of the fluid is accounted for and leaves the site in sealed tanks. I don’t have any idea what in going on in Pennsylvania, whether the Frac Companies are doing a poor job or the people who didn’t want the Oil Companies there in the first place are fabricating lies, but I know that frac’ing is a safe process and has been performed safely and successfully for years. I am tired of half-truth articles and particularly upset that Off the Grid is participating in spreading lies.

  12. Almost all wells for the last couple of decades have some level of frack performed on them. Some are small acid stimulations (think swimming pool water). Some, like those described in the article are much bigger. The main premise is that there are lots of dangerous chemicals being pumped down into the ground. Here is a link with the chemicals produced by Range Resources to counter the lunatic left.

    To the individual doubting my credentialed claim. I don’t know how to convince you. To the individual discussing the dried up wells in Texas. You mean water wells have actually dried up during a drought. Shudder the thought. Any water well that nears its end will muddy up. The sediment is always there, it just gets stirred up if a well starts to dry up. I thought we were talking about water injected into the ground here. There have been many studies of the environmental impact of fracking wells through the years. The only instances of contamination occurred from casing defects. Cases such as the Gasland propaganda were from naturally occurring natural gas that already existed in the water reservoir. One would think that calling the gas “natural” gas should be enough to suggest that it occurs naturally. You just can’t fix stupid.

  13. Who is “andrew”, what are his credentials, and why is the MORONS last name not published for this article? I have enjoyed Off The Grids articles for sometime now, but have to wonder why you would post the propaganda of left wing nut jobs!

  14. The science behind the anti-fracking movement is solid. Even documents from the gas companies themselves spell out the dangers. The deniers of destruction, those that resort to name-calling do so for a good reason — they lack substance in their arguments. Their arguments are worn and tired. We heard false arguments from the cigarette industry and the DDT people for years. The argument about balancing rewards with risks usually means rewards (profits) for the drilling companies and the parent gas companies. The risk part is what the public will bear. Once your water is ruined, your land is no longer arable and you are coughing up blood-stained lung tissue, the meaning of risk will become quite clear — but it will be too late.

    The sad fact is that our earth has already been polluted beyond repair by those who have given us these same arguments for decades — when will we learn? Calling ordinary people who have been harmed by these greedy polluters, “enviro-fascists,” or “uber-environmentalists” is a slap in the face of people who formed their opinions through harmful experiences and not any propaganda from either side. If there were no problems or victims of profit, do you think there wotld be such fierce opposition to fracking. The pro-frackers would have us believe people oppose the process just for the sake of being contrary. We want clean energy as much as the next person, but those that are in fracking territory are not willing to sacrifice their health and livlihood to make others rich.

    • You sound like a front for the stone age cultures that want us to continue to transfer unbelievable wealth from the US to those who want us dead.

    • If, as Starfire states, the world is damaged beyond repair, those who feel that way should get off the train. Those who believe God is in control also believe that He gave us a job to do: be fruitful and replenish the earth. Some, perhaps Starfire, believe that only a few of us humans should be allowed to survive and everyone else can die of starvation and cold. The irony of this is that those who want the population wiped out are not willing to volunteer for the afterlife immediately and give their arguments to the expendable as thought they really cared about the common person who needs energy, employment, and food and other things that take energy to produce. Although the initial article troubled me, it was good to see all the lefties flushed out as they defended a flawed article in what they thought was a friendly environment.

      • Whoa… I thought this discussion was about “fracking”… how did you get from pollution to population control? Talk about whacko!

  15. Starfire, you had me at “I live in the southwestern tier of NY state”. Obviously an expert. How then do you explain the very low natural gas prices now? Please share with the audience your “better ways to provide real clean energy” since you are so insightful. We have enough natural gas to last hundreds of years in our country.

    How about that, I did provide the link with the chemicals. I must be a mind-reader.

    Jill, I think the contamination question (if real) would be best explained with improper casing. And look at that…again…I did provide a link to the chemicals.

  16. Oh Starfire. You are smarticle. All the evidence of our planet being “polluted beyond repair” has me dumbfounded with your brilliance. Your brilliant and substantiated “The science behing the anti-fracking movement is solid.” has me staggering with your sheer eloquence. You are so right (okay maybe not “right”), mother Gaia cries out in anguish. I’m sure you can hear her silent scream when you are about four tokes in, right. Let me guess…you believe in anthropogenic global warming too, right? I hate to break it too you sweetheart but that is total B.S. also. Let’s see…worked for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorlogical Laboratory studying heat exchange between the southern and northern Atlantic Ocean. What’s your claim to knowledge?

  17. I must agree with Geologist on this one. I spent 30 plus years working in Washington DC. My services were required by all the high level security agencies as well as the branches of government and private industries.
    I am well aware of misinformation and cover ups, who does them and why. However, you are stepping in a big pile on this one. While all extraction of any resource is not without the need for clean up, there is NOTHING
    man does that is without consequence to some degree or another. Fracking does require some after extraction clean up, but EVERYTHING does. As for the horror stories of people’s health being distroyed, bunk. If you are going to justify stopping fracking because of the drooling lawyers and frothing mouthed environmental zealots you might as well shut down society as a whole. The need for energy trumps all. If we as a country allow ourselves to be so weakened because of the need to clean up after ourselves upon completion of harvesting our natural resources, we will loose the country to foreign powers who will subjugate us and take for themselves what we have. If you are so concerned about the planet, live off the land, don’t have children, spend your days cleaning up the trash disguarded by others and don’t seek treatment when you get sick as doing such produces medical waste.
    It makes about as much sense.

  18. It is so interesting how we cannot have a moment of civil discourse, on any issue. We have become a nation of whiners unable to listen to the other side, what a shame. We should be trying to educate each other and figure out logical solutions to these many issues.

    Frankly, I was disappointed that OTG would publish such a one sided article without any backup whatsoever. I suspect the marketing of their “generators” and the like have something to do with it.

    A an engineer with many years experience in the use of energy, I can tell you all that we are being lied to by many, many sources. All the cute little solar panels, wind mills and the like WILL NOT solve our energy problems. Solar may be great in Arizona like states but are near useless for the rest of us. Here in the Northeast we have been conned by the European Wind Lobbyists. They have been run out of Europe because their offshore wind projects are complete economic failures. Why would we want to pay $.08/kWh for power when we can do it with wind for $.28. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Oh, by the way, we still need to have oil and gas power plants running to supply power when the sun sets or the wind slows down.

    The Carbon tax crowd is another great one. Who would not get on the bandwagon after seeing “An Inconvenient Truth”? Well the inconvenient truth is that Mr. Gore owns one one of the largest carbon credit trading company. Who is laughing all the way to the bank?

    The one best things we could do to save energy is to require excess insulation in all buildings. Outlawing useless fiberglass insulation and requiring cast in place foam should be the start. The next woul be to make a gradual conversion to electric power for most uses. Whether we like it or not, oil and gas are here to stay. Whether we like it or not there is only one known source of power that has adequate supply capacity and will clean up the carbon footprint, Nuclear. Or a George Bush would say, Nukular.

    Until we get a clear, thoughtful policy on energy in this country, we will be doomed to knee-jerk policies and ever increasing power costs.

  19. To the pro-frackers who are telling us to inform ourselves — we have, and that is precisely why we oppose it!
    To the un-informed person who claims there is not one documented case of poisoning wells, please, follow you own advice and read something else besides industry propaganda.

    If everyone who opposes fracking is a “liberal,” a “left-wing nut,” an “environmental fascist,” and whatever name you guys can come up with ad nauseum, what does that make you? Paid shills for the industry who are willing to lie for profit and not care about victims. Does that make you a person without compassion or concern for others? All of your name calling does not change the truth and neither are all of you gatekeepers of truth and knowledge. The unfortunate truth is that your thinking has become tainted with money and industry propaganda to the point where you are willing to say anything in defense of preserving your livlihood. You have become dictatorial purveyors of industry lies.

  20. Oh now Starfire sweetie…I’m not a paid shill for the industry. I thought you understood. I’M PART OF THE INDUSTRY. I have fracked HUNDREDS of wells. There there wittle one. You’re right…just because this article accused me of being greedy, negligent, uncaring, and criminally complicit is no reason for me to call names. Daddy’s sawwrrryyyy. Grow up. Throw out a single claim that you have evidence for. “The science is settled” means nothing. Science isn’t settled by debate. Claiming that I lack “compassion or concern for others” doesn’t make it true and won’t shut me up. “Dictatorial purveyors”. Careful there, don’t hurt yourself. that’s two ten cent words in a row. You might not have enough change rattling around in your empty head to go with your hope.

  21. Mr. Geologist – I too once sat in the chair of Arrogance of Knowledge. My backgroung in organic chemistry made me superior to all the rest. I too, once argued that all these chemicals in the environment casued no harm. I came to learn that people from within any industry could not be trusted to give information that was not slanted. I also learned that I did not have all the answers because working within the industry did not allow me to pursue correct answers. Your smugness and name calling shows the depth of your arrogance.
    I have studied science for many years, I hold a masters in organic chemistry.

    I abandoned the field after working in it for many years. I learned the error of my ways and now run an organic farm with a partner. We do not want our farm to be contaminated by profit-driven, wise cracking
    intellectual snobs who think they know more than everyone else. Don’t throw your stupidity around as if you are proud of it. Science, like anything else in this world is not perfect and does not hold all the answers. Junk science backed by billions of dollars will not make it true. I am content to know that my efforts are now attempting to keep the environment safe for future generations. What will your legacy be – that you retired rich are were instrumental in destroying communites and people’s health. You can keep it and you can keep mis-informing people. I will continue on my path and try to be a little more humble and compassionate to my neighbors than those that seek to impose their inequality on others.

  22. If hydro-fracking is exempted from the Clean Waters Act and is known as the Haliburton Rule, courtesy of Dick Cheney, this immediately makes me gun shy of the whole thing. Wasn’t Dick Cheney the one who helped bring us the horrors of aspartame 30 years ago? At the time I said anything which needed that much advertising couldn’t possibly be good.

  23. I agree wholeheartedly with this article. I am no pagan anguishing over an Earth goddess that does not exist, but I believe that fracking is causing earthquakes all over the world. I don’t think the only cause of earthquakes is fracking by any means, but definitely a great number of the earthquakes now are occurring at or very near fracking sites. While I am not an environmentalist now as I mistakenly was in my youth, I think that it is important to be aware of the ramifications of the methods we use to get at our natural resources. Fracking is not a good one.

    • I have read so many of these remarks, I can’t stand it any more. Do you not realize that God has EVERYTHING in His hand and if there is an earthquake, believe me, He is trying to tell the WORLD something. He told Adam he was to rule over the earth: that includes animal and earth. Now, if He gave man the ability to do hydraulic fracking, do you really believe He did it to destroy His own creation. Look farther than the socialist education you received. I am sick of reading this crap.

      • “Now, if He gave man the ability to do hydraulic fracking, do you really believe He did it to destroy His own creation.” So that’s where “fracking” came from… God! Okay, so then where did cigarettes and “crack” come from? What about guns used to murder people? What about the ability to perform abortions? And hey, what about arsenic and mercury? They came from God so it should be okay to add arsenic to chicken feed and poison our kids. And mercury should be safe enough to drink, right?

  24. What a load of Bologna! You make it sound like “Hydro-Fracing” is some new procedure? As someone who as worked as an Engineer in the Oil & Gas industry for more than 30 years, I can tell that “Fracking” as we call it has been around for decades longer than I have worked in the industry. Most of the so-called “toxic chemicals” you refer to have gone through your digestive track as they are used as “thickeners” in many foods you eat! As for the traces of gas in water wells, you should get your facts right before you print a hatchet job like this. Natural gas is commonly found in MANY shallow formations including water bearing formations. I have personally encountered natural gas during our drilling process as shallow as 40′! The water well on my own property has trace amounts of natural gas in it because it comes from a thin COAL SEEM! There are no producing oil/gas wells within 5 miles of my house. At the previous country home that I owned, my house was within 300′ of a producing well. I lived there for more than 10 years with absolutely no ill efects. My children and grandchildren are all heathy despite all the false claims. If “Hydro-Fracking” were so dangerous, it seems obvious that we would have seen some actual proof after 50 years. Lastly, before I could respond to this absurd article I had to wait to catch my breath because I was laughing so hard over the earthquake claim! THAT’S FUNNY STUFF RIGHT THERE!

  25. Big Chief Black Cloud

    This is nothing short of propaganda. Nothing but inflammatory language around twisted facts. I am very disappointed in OTG with this one.

  26. Have to say the Geologist wins hands down in this one. Bright lots of real experience, obviously sincere and ethical person. Passion by the left does not wisdom make. Wisdom is knowledge tempered by hard fought experience. Remember your bible people ” with wise counsel is a thing accomplished”. As for man ” the heart of man is evil above all things and desperately wicked” the only way we can over come the sin we all have a propensity for is the application of wisdom, the bible to start with and the evidence of our own life experience. I am an old guy and I learned to read people and the Geologist “reads” as more caring honest and honorable then his antagonists. No one can claim to be honest, honorable, or ethical, on their own. These are human qualities that must be attributed by the experience of others.

    • Geologist “ethical”? Why all the disparaging remarks and name calling from him then? Sounds to me like he’s attempting to “shoot the messenger”. Me thinks he doth protest too much!

  27. Mr. Cherokee – Your solution about me cleaning up your garbage, not having children, etc., etc., – why don’t you throw into that mix just having everyone put a bullet into their heads. You manke less sense than the “geologist” who has all the answers. And Mr. Geologist, you are correct, debate doesn’t settle science,
    MONEY does. Good bye and good luck to all. I have been told never to argue with ignorant people – all efforts are futile.

    • Goodbye you say! Hopefully so. Now you can settle down with your “partner” on the comfy recliner and share an eggnog.

      PS: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  28. I too do not appreciate the tone of the article as it is inflammatory and biased. I am also gratified to see knowledgeable commenters present additional information.

    But that’s not why I write now – I work in the oil fields of North Dakota and am almost daily at frack sites supplying the chemicals mentioned. I don’t know everything but I can share what I know and see.

    Normally, two chemical types are used in fracking – one is a biocide and the other a scale inhibitor:
    The biocide kills bacteria in the raw fresh water used in the process. This water comes from a variety of sources but is definitely not nice clean treated city water. Without this chemical compound, the bacteria alone can “sour” the sweet crude changing its very composition. Bacteria can also do great mischief by actually damaging or fouling anything it touches including metal reservoirs and lines. In suppressing the bacteria the biocide also suppresses the production of deadly H2S gas, a product of the bacteria. Biocides dissipate and degrade loosing effectiveness within 3 to 5 days.
    Scale inhibitors prevent scaling or clogging up within the tubulars and field flow lines. This scale comes from using dissimilar water types naturally occurring minerals in the strata.

    While these chemical compounds are all classified as Hazardous Materials and require particular handling and transportation care, they are used far below water table usage. The shale formations here in North Dakota are alt least 10,000 feet below the surface. Perhaps these chemicals area problem in shallower wells. Those documented in PA and WY (that I know of) are either older or more shallow wells that did not utilize the safer more advanced techniques we now use. I believe that there is a place for clear and unbiased research into these issues.

    It is stupid to not drill and frack. It is also stupid to not be smart about it.

  29. Just as a caution to all readers of these comments: those that are pushing it the hardest are all connected to the industry and making money from it. Those that are against it have no profit motive and whose major concern is the poisoning of the environment which the detractors try to impute as a cardinal sin. I guess caring for the earth is passe, especially where there is money to be made.

    People, do your own research – get all sides of the story. There is just as much information out there showing the irreparale dangers of fracking as there is showing the meager benefits.

    • I thought you said goodbye.

      Goodbye you say! Hopefully so. Now you can settle down with your “partner” on the comfy recliner and share an eggnog.

      PS: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  30. Thank you for this article. It is always good to be checking things like this. However, in this case, I think you are just plain wrong, as some of the posters above note. “Often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium.” Really? The mixture used to fracture shale is in fact a benign blend of 90% water, 9.5% sand and 0.5% chemicals such as the sodium chloride of table salt and the citric acid of the orange juice you had for breakfast. It can take up to 2.1 million gallons of water to clean the solar panels per megawatt of electricity vs. an estimated 1.8 million gallons per megawatt of oil shale.

    We need to be careful, and this article is part of that due diligence. However, unless this country becomes self-sufficient in energy, we **will** be bankrupt, and then there will be even MORE environmental degradation.

  31. Starfire,

    I guess you missed that part of my comment about living within 300′ of a producing well for more than 10 years. How would working in the industry and making money from it exclude me from the dangers of it? You stance that we would sacrifice our own health and the health of our families for the almighty dollar. Would you? If you knew there was a danger from your line of work would you just keep your mouth shut in order to make money? I highly doubt it. I would however like to know what the source of your “information” is, that shows the dangers of fracking. Because someone said so on the infallable internet? The EPA drilled 2 monitoring wells in the Pavillion, Wy. area and found some natural gas present. Interestingly the wells were 900′ deep in a formation long known to contain natural gas but is off limits to production due to the risk to shallower water bearing formation. Also very interesting is that the 900′ “monitoring wells” are 600′ deeper than the typical 300′ water well in that area. Does that not make the research at least questionable? People should do their own research and I could not agree more, but be sure to get ALL the information, not just what is on the surface so you can actually make an informed decision.

  32. Logic. Thank you sir. I am overwhelmed by your gracious response. More of Solomon’s wisdom should be employed than is generally exhibited. Starfire lives in a world that he/she knows is fallen. The evidence is written large on the heart. That does not mean that all in our world seek no more out of their existence than a few shillings stolen from the purse of our neighbors. On the contrary, those – like you, who know that man is fallen but salvation is possible also know that good exists. Starfire seeks to blame someone else for their emptiness. The incident of enlightenment into the improper industry practice that Starfire discovered contained in it no onus to correct the practice. The response was to snarl at the world and hide in some corner to hide from their own complicity. We are all fallen Starfire. Without energy, our world will descend into darkness (no pun intended). My industry has found an answer to our need for energy. This answer will provide cheap energy for hundreds of years. It does not need subsidies. It does not need the wind to blow or the sun to shine. It is a gift from God. Recognize it for what it is. Hold those accountable when they err but do not reject the promise that this energy represents. Those who rule want to control all things. Energy independance does not work well with their agenda.

  33. Again, thanks for this article. Always appreciate your work. However, as noted earlier, with all due respect, I think you guys have this one wrong. For those of you that want to read further, here are some resources:

    – American Thinker, August 26, 2011, Fracking Fluid Fear-Mongering Farce, Alan M Aszkler

    – From the Not Evil Just Wrong Irish folks (Phelim and Ann?) –

    – Paul Driessen, What the Frack is going on?

    – New York Senate: No More Fracking Around, Marin Katusa, from Casey Research

    – . Interesting article at

  34. Addendum. I am not connected with the fracking industry (I automate hospitals) in any way. And the only financial incentive I have is the general weath of this country being improved, which will, like a rising tide, lift all boats. Just as with the fraud of global warming, the “financial incentives” behind the anti-fracking side could be significant. I don’t know if this is the case with the anti-fracking side but I do know for a fact that there are TRILLIONS of dollars behind the phony global warmers and their gambit

  35. Fear Mongering Fallacies. I cannot believe the claimed destructiveness of fracking.
    #1. The target areas are thousands of feet below Water Table. Is the water table renewed from deep earth?
    #2. Shallow portions of the wells are steel cased and cemented to assure no loss during extraction.
    If the fracking opens paths thousands of feet between target and water table much of our Earth Sciences must be garbage and greater dangers exist. Yes, accidents can happen and always will in any human activities but they are small localized not widespread all encompassing.
    To those believing this crap, invest your $ in more expensive non-competitive alternatives. When you invent the competitive alternatives – provide to the rest of us at a price we can all afford.

    • God (or Mother Nature) gave us these gifts to use. And yes, we do need to be responsible and protect the other natural resources provided to us.
      Just driving to your enviro meeting could be considered an assalt. Even your electric car (likely) requires petroleum or coal driven power stations to charge your batteries which again consist of rare earth materials. I suppose we can all walk or feed a horse and cut down all our forests for heating fuel.

  36. So , I am not an expert but have owned a farm for 20 plus years . I as well as adjacent farms have or have had active producing gas and oil wells that were “fracked “ with no such stated issues. That does say that an error in judgment, shotty processes or workmanship may not cause an issue. I am for protecting the water supplies, environment and property rights but painting everything with a broad stroke of the brush is what the problem is today. Just look at the Nazi like tactics being used by the EPA with the support of the radical environmentalist.

    God made it clear we are to be Stewards and Have Dominion over the Earth, le’st do that with common sense.

  37. Off the Grid, you are off the reservation on this one. I’m disappointed that you didn’t do actual research into the science of fracking before publishing such an inflammatory article. It makes me wonder now about all your other articles that I’ve read and taken to heart. Maybe I need to double check all the “Facts” you’ve published in the past. Again, very disappointing.

  38. I don’t understand why we want to run a pipeline north to south across the US to a major port. We have literally millions of acres in the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana which would make a perfect home for a refinery. There may even be an abandoned AF base up there some where… We could then bring our own resources out of the ground, process and refine and deliver to the rest of the country. Not only become energy independent for centuries, but also create millions of real jobs.???

  39. I agree with FFlye and John A. While I like this newsletter, it is not a panacea, as it’s authors are flawed like the rest of us and we should take all advice with a grain of salt. Sometimes the most useful comentary is not the content of a blog or newsletter but all the comments from it’s readers. I recall decades ago attending insurance company seminars, where the wise teachers told us that at the end of our week we might find that the content of the post meeting war stories in the bar at night may provide more useful information than the daytime meetings. I find listening to C-span over breakfast much the same. Canceling this newsletter over a disagreement is like canceling the newspaper or your TV cable for similar reasons. I hope our geologist contributors can answer JohnA’s question because it has puzzled me, too.

  40. There are a number of reasons to support the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline is primarily intended to increase the amount of oil flowing from Canada into the U.S. We already import more oil from Canada than any other nation. The pipeline is also intended to free up some of the oil stranded in Cushing, Okla. Finally, the EPA will not provide the permits necessary to build any new processing plants in the U.S. Building a new plant in Montana might be a good idea but it is not possible in the current regulatory environment.

  41. Re: Fracking
    I have been an independent oil and gas producer for over 45 years. I have drilled oil and gas wells in most energy producing states west of the Mississippi with the exception of Colorado. Pay attention to the comments made by “geologist” above, they are correct. Fracking does not cause the problems described in this article, which is a piece of liberal trash. Do your own research folks …. I would be ashamed to link to or promote this article and “SHAME ON OFF THE GRID NEWS” …. This makes the rest of your articles suspect.

  42. To Starfire;
    My point was that it is absurd to be against harvesting our natural resources while perpetuating the problems that cause them in the first place. You no doubt are a consumer of energy and, as we all, produce waste. No matter what anyone’s opinion on this subject is, the fact remains that we are and will continue to drill for oil, frack for gas, dig for coal, put up wind mills on land and in the water ways as well as under the oceans and put up solar panels. All of which takes oil and gas to produce and maintain. Liking it is of no consiquence. It all will be done regardless. Put your energy in insisting clean up be done afterward instead of uselessly fighting the inevitable. On that we can all agree.

  43. Agreed bigotae. While I will continue to look at the publication, I will take most of the pronouncements with a grain of salt. Energy supplies the engine of commerce and for us to allow the EPA or any government agency to impede using our own sources of energy for unproven and outright fraudulence akin to the global warming scam is the ultimate in stupidity. May the leftists one day understand that it is they who will populate the camps and the ovens of the elite also.


  44. For context, I’m a retired electro-mechanical engineer with masters degrees in theology and philosophy and a doctorate in Theology. So I have one foot in the technical and one in the philosophic world that seem to be inextricably entwined in this provocative and informative discussion. I also have a close friend who works in PA in a “fracking” operation, so the article and discussion engaged me immediately.

    I also found the article tendencious and lacking substatiation, but also, by that fact, troubling. I read the comments with an eye to becoming informed and better able to form at least a preliminary judgment as to the facts and truth of the matter.

    I presume to inject my comments here to indicate that the time was well spent and that, despite some nasty exchanges of vitriol borne of suspicion and prior biases, the discussion led me to conclude that indeed the article was basically loaded negatively and brings the OTG posture in such things highly in question.

    Those speaking in favor of “fracking” identified their connection to the industry up front and unapologetically while, finally discarding an initial dismissive posture, presented both evidence to be pursued further and reasoned arguments that were both compelling and cautious. The God given resources we enjoy in this country do come within the Genesis mandate for careful husbandry of them; and, once Geologist and others engaged the issue at the moral and ethical level, the discussion began to heal around a human, not merely technical, concern.

    I commend all for the instruction you have given me and for the forthrightness exhibited even between Geologist and Starfire. I am better prepared to deal with this issue than before and am convinced that the possible instances of accidents (“black swans”?) attendant upon every human endeavor and control activity are not typical of the industry.

    Given the current political environment, it is unlikely that the industry would be less than diligent about safety and establishing a track record for responsible extraction of this resource. I have, in my own experience, come to have a very guarded posture toward the pretentions of the EPA and other powerful regulatory agencies of government, since power takes advantage of our fallen condition and corrupts us when we lose our moral perspective.;

    Thank you for your efforts to set the record straight, that the OTG article apparently set awry.

  45. Stephens, When hot air was invented you were the first to inhale it! What you have offered has no value and further offers no finallity to the question! It reminds me of the little fish that was going to be killed by opening the water valves so the valves were kept closed and hundreds of crops were lost! People come first and the bull that is spread needs to be place in the field not on the internet! Enviro people like you need to stop preaching and allow the best and brightest to prevail!

    • Don’t be offended, but Stephens’ words have meaning for me. In defense of my behavior…My initial dismissiveness is borne from a general incredulity at the entire topic. With decades of precedent and tens of thousands of examples of fracked wells, I find it difficult to believe that anyone could be so duped by this argument no less vehemently argue without evidence. Additionally, big bad oil has long been derided as “the enemy” and my defensive response to a rediculously inflammatory article such as this was automatic and regrettable. My industry is somewhat complicit as a whole for a general lack of response to criticism and errors that has not been helpful.

      That said, I hope that more recognize, as Stephens has that there is so much promise in the development of our nation’s unconventional resources. Accidents do happen, but I assure you noone feels more pain from these accidents than the men and women who work in my industry. Geology is the study of the earth and the processes that have shaped it. I rarely meet a geologist that has come away from their studies of our world without a deep awe and respect for what God has wrought. I also recognize the needs of men and our sovereignty over the earth. We must have energy. Without energy there is no possibility for advancement. If the energy is not cheap enough to afford, people will resort to any measure. I ask if anyone has seen the stark contrast between Haiti and the Dominican Republic? The Dominican Republic is lush and green right to the border with Haiti. Haiti is a defoliated luner landscape. Since it is a high island the lack of vegetation brings massive landslides in the rainy season and much suffering to the inhabitants of Haiti. Easter Island is an extreme example of the results of a lack of resources. They burned the forests that they needed to build their boats. Unable to fish…Extinct culture.

      Listen to the words of the leftists who seek to shut down my industry. These are the same people who support eugenics. These people seek to rule and a desperate, contained and starving populace is easy to manipulate. Maybe look at North Korea as a model for their plans. I emplore you to look at the facts. If that is not enough, visit Fort Worth, TX. This thriving city is the epicenter of the first unconventional resource – the Barnett Shale. Thousands of horizontally drilled and fracked wells lie right in the city. (They also have a very nice zoo and science museum or cowboy culture if you prefer.) See and decide for yourself if this development is the plague on mankind that it is made out to be.

  46. Hemp, renewable, polution neutral, (could be) made in America, Provide millions of ‘Green’ Jobs… in combination with other green techs will reduce the dependence of hydrocarbons… BTW Big Oil dont care wether America will have its energy supplies for generations to come, it will just pump pack and ship to the highest bidder wether it be in the US, China, Iran North korea…

  47. I would like to echo the Shirley Jean post. I’m also from Pennsylvania, Western Pa. which is situated in the heart of the Marcellus Shale natural gas discovery. Here’s some advice for those folks who are not familiar with the fracking process, and would like to get a better understanding. GOOGLE “The Marcellus Shale Coalition. Once on the home page toward the top you will see a click on bar with numerous topics. Click on the “Marcellus Shale” bar. Once that page opens, look to the left, you will see various topics listed under “Production Process, click on the “Drilling”button. There you will find a 6-1/2 minute video that explains the well drilling and fracking process in excellent detail.
    Unfortunately the Leftist have a political agenda when it comes to our nation’s energy policy. They despise any and all form of fossil fuel development and will continue to spew all kinds of misinformation regarding its extraction and use.
    Furthermore, like Shirley Jean, I too am deeply disappointed in the Off The Grid article and it’s Leftist slant and propaganda.
    Here’s how one may put things in to perspective. The most pollutant substance in the fracking process is a mild brine (table salt) ingredient. The fracking fluid is recycled to be used in other wells, but let’s say an accident or spill occurs and fracking fluid makes it way into a stream. The environmentalist and their cohorts within the news media most likely will present this accident as a major pollution catastrophe. Now, here’s the kicker, every winter during snow events, our cities and municipalities spread salt by the thousands of tons on our streets and roads, all of which will eventually runs into our streams. I’ve not hear or seen environmentalist insisting we stop salting our roads during snow events, but let 10 pound of salt enter a stream during the gas well drilling process and all hell breaks lose.
    Finally, it is crucial the United States pursue its vast natural energy resources for both national and economical security. Energy is the lifeline to any technical and industrial society, without it they are doom to the ash heaps of world history. DRILL BABY DRILL!

  48. This article is the worst piece of drivel I have read since I read one of Obama’s speeches. Your characterization of Dimock is non-sense! Two families looking for a big settlement is what is all about. The ground water in Dimock is safe to drink. I used to have some faith in this blog, but no longer with this kind of crap.

  49. All of you tree huggers are the same. Anytime some kind of technology comes along to make life better, all you knuckleheads can do is find a way to shoot it down in the name of the Environment. We are making less polution than we were 30 years ago with a larger population than we had then. You idiots also constantly try to make mountains out of mole hills (you exagerate the facts and the effects). As long as people live on the earth, there will be waste or some kind of evidence that someone was there which you can call polution. The idea is to try to do the best we can to reduce or minimize our polution but we cannot eliminate it. Coal is cheap and has far less polution than it used to make, and Natural Gas is abundant and has very little polution, and your claim in this article as to the effects is exagerated. You would probably have us all freeze to death or starve and then you would be happy. Get a life!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. The Industry has been fracturing formations for over 50 years. There are things that can cause a problem with a well but it is not the fracturing of the rocks. Wells have to be designed and constructed correctly and there is never a problem. There is an element of risk with all energy including all the leftist rainbow BS that is offered by the Eco Freaks. It is sad to see Off the Grid News publishing this left leaning pack of lies. I guess that I was under the wrong impression of who they were.

  51. Wow–where do I begin?? Such polarization and name calling! On both sides! When people polarize, they tend to throw the baby out with the bath water, and the only thing that reigns is defensiveness, and whatever valid points from both sides gets lost in the mayhem. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon numerous times the past few years. And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I for one do not like being shoved into a pre-conceived niche where I truly don’t belong–and many of you on both sides seem to be doing that to each other. Perhaps what everyone needs to do is sit down and think about what valid points the other side may have. Then maybe a truly productive dialogue can happen.

    Something to think about–a bad player can give his or her own cause a black eye, but that doesn’t mean that the cause that person espouses has no validity.

    The 2 black eyes that immediately come to mind are:

    1. BP in the Gulf of Mexico. In a safety meeting at his work, my husband viewed the 60 Minutes interview with the Electrical Engineer who survived the Deepwater Horizon. My husband was working for a company that repairs oil well equipment at the time. He came home from work, told me where I could find the interview on the internet. An absolutely amazing story of survival! I came away from that interview wishing that TransAmerica had won the argument with BP that the engineer had overheard the day before……

    2. ClimateGate. The scientists would have been much better off admitting the errors discovered rather than getting scared and trying to cover it up! Honesty is always the best policy!

  52. I am retired, worked in pharmaceutical research all my career….I know nothing about natural gas drilling….I have enjoyed this discussion….learned quite a bit…
    I agree with those who have complained about Off The Grid allowing this article….my aditional complaint is about calling Dick Cheney names….I think that an apology is in order from the authors and OTG…

  53. Here is a List of 78 Chemicalsthat was Used in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid in Pennsylvania

    Three compounds specifically addressed in the AP article because of the risks they can pose to human health – naphthalene, toluene and xylene – are not on the list of hydraulic fracturing chemicals DEP posted on its website on Wednesday.

    Scranton Times Tribune – DEP shale chemical lists at odds over inclusion of above ground substances

    Using Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) from drillers, along with analysis of fracking fluid, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released an updated list of 78 chemicals they say are found in fluids used by gas drillers in PA (called “fracking fluids”). MDN has obtained the list of 78 chemicals and reproduced it below. There is also a downloadable version at the end of this posting.

    There are many nasty chemicals in this list, no one disputes that. But here’s a few things to keep in mind:

    No one knows how much of these chemicals are being used by any given driller. We do know that fracking fluid is composed of less than one percent of the chemicals in this list, with water and sand making up the other 99 percent.
    When fracking fluid is pumped into the ground, the vertical hole down which it’s pumped is lined with concrete to protect surface water supplies from chemicals. The fracking fluid goes down some 5,000 feet to where it’s used to help break rock apart releasing the natural gas, and then most of the fluid is pumped back out again and carted away where it’s treated at a regulated and approved facility. For the fluid that stays behind, it’s down some 5,000 feet. That’s almost a mile of solid rock between where it sits and surface water supplies (which are located at about 300 feet). There’s no way any of that fluid will “seep up” into water supplies. And remember that most fluid is pumped back out again. So less than one percent of the fluid are chemicals from this list, and most of that comes out again, leaving behind a very very small amount of chemicals a mile below the surface and heavily diluted by water and sand.
    Compare the list below with the labels on the containers under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You’ll find some of the same names on the labels.
    One last thing to keep in mind: No driller uses all of these chemicals. In fact, Range Resources has openly discussed what they use in their fracking fluid:
    Range Resources, which uses contractor Frac Tech for its fracing work, says its frac fluid additives are chosen from a list of only nine compounds — hydrochloric acid, methanol propargyl, polyacrylamide, glutaraldehyde, ethanol, ethylene glycol, alcohol and sodium hydroxide.*

    Chemicals Used in the Hydraulic Fracturing Process in Pennsylvania
    Prepared by the Department of Environmental Protection
    Bureau of Oil and Gas Management
    Compiled from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) obtained from Inustry

    Updated June 10, 2010

    Chemical Product Name
    2,2-Dibromo-3-Nitrilopropionamide Bio Clear 1000/Bio Clear 2000/ Bio-Clear 200/BioRid20L/ EC6116A
    2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one X-Cide 207
    5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one X-Cide 207
    Acetic Acid Fe-1A Acidizing Composition/ Packer Inhibitor
    Acetic Anhydride Fe-1A Acidizing Composition
    Acetylene GT&S Inc./ Airco
    Alcohol Ethoxylated C12-16 NE-200
    Alkyl benzene sulfonic acid Tetrolite AW0007/ FR-46
    Ammonia (aqueous) FAW-5
    Ammonium Bifluoride ABF 37%
    Ammonium Persulfate AP Break
    Ammonium Bisulfite Techni-Hib 604/ Fe OXCLEAR/ Packer Inhibitor
    Ammonium chloride Salt Inhibitor
    Ammonium Salt (alkylpolyether sulfate) Tetrolite AW0007
    Amorphous silica TerraProp Plus/ Bituminous Coal Fly Ash ASTM C618
    Benzoic Acid Benzoic Acid
    Boric Acid BC-140/ Unilink 8.5
    Boric Oxide XLW-32
    Calcium Chloride Dowflake
    Calcium Oxide Bituminous Coal Fly Ash ASTM C618
    carboxymethylhydroxypropyl guar blend Unigel CMPHG
    Choline Chloride Clay Treat-2C
    Cinnamaldehyde ENVIROHIB 2001
    Citric Acid Ferrotrol 300L/ IC-100L
    Complex polyamine salt Clay Master-5C
    Crystalline Silica: Cristobalite
    Crystalline Silica: Quartz Silica Sand/ / Atlas PRC/ Best Sand/ Bituminous Coal Fly Ash ASTM C618
    Cupric chloride dihydrate Ferrotrol 280L
    Cured resin LiteProp 125
    Cyclohexanes CS-2
    Dazomet ICI-3240
    Diethylene Glycol Scaletrol 720/ Scaletrol 7208
    Enzyme GBL-8X
    EO-C7-9-iso-, C8 rich-alcohols NE-940/ NE-90
    EO-C9-11-iso-, C10-rich alcohols NE-940/ NE-90
    Ethoxylated Alcohol FRW-14/ SAS-2/ Flomax 50/ WFR-3B
    Ethyl Acetate Castle Thrust
    Ethyl Alcohol FAW-5/ Castle Shop Solv/ Dallas Morris
    Ethylbenzene NDL-100/ PARANOX/ Uniflo II
    Ethylbenzene NDL-100/ PARANOX/ Uniflo II
    Ethylene Glycol ENVIROHIB 2001/ ICA-2/ LEB 10X/ Scaletrol
    720/ Sceletrol 7208/ CC 300/ Clachek A/ Clachek
    LP/ Ironsta II B/ NCL-100/ BC 140/ NCL-100/
    Flomax 50/ NCL/ Scalehib 100/ Unihib O/ Unilink 8.5
    Formic Acid ENVIROHIB 2001
    Gluconic Acid Interstate ICA-2
    Glutaraldehyde Alpha 114/Alpha 125/ ICI-150
    Glycerol Bio Sealers
    Glycol Ethers ENVIROHIB 2001/AMPHOAM 75/ PARANOX/ Uniflo II/ Unifoam/ WNE-342LN
    Guar Gum PROGUM 19 GUAR PRODUCT/ Unigel 19XL/ Benchmark Polymer 3400/ WGA-15/ Unigel 5F
    Hydrochloric Acid Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)/ TETRAClean 542/ Muriatic Acid
    Hydrochloric Acid 3% – 35% Hydrochloric Acid 3% – 35%
    Isopropanol AFS 30 Blend/ FAC-1W/ FAC-3W/ MA-844W/ NE-23/ NE-940/ Flomax 50/ Tetrolite AW0007/
    FMW25 Foamer/ CS-2
    Isopropyl Alcohol NFS-102/ WFT-9511/ LT-32/ AR-1/ Flomax 50/ NDL-100/ Unibac/ Uniflo II/ Uniflo/ Unihib O/
    Methanol AFS 30 Blend/ NE-200/ Activator Superset-W/ CI-14/ FAW-5/ GasFlo/ Inflo-250W/ LT-32/ NE-940/
    XLW-32/ Tetrolite AW0007/ FMW25 Foamer/ 40 HTL Corrosion Inhibitor/ NE 100/ HAI-OS Acid
    Inhibitor/ Unibac/ NE-90/ Packer Inhibitor

    Methyl Alcohol Clearbreak 400/ Super Surf/ Castle Shop Solv
    Methyl Salicylate Bio Sealers
    n-butanol AirFoam 311
    Nitrilotriacetamide Salt Inhibitor
    Phenolic Resin Atlas PRC
    Polyethylene Glycol NE-940/ EC6116A/ NE-90
    Polyethylene Glycol Mixture Bio Clear 2000/ Bio-Clear 200
    Polyoxylalkylene sulfate FMW25 Foamer
    Polysaccharide Blend GW-3LDF
    Potassium Carbonate BF-7L
    Potassium Chloride Dowflake
    Potassium Hydroxide B-9, pH Increase Buffer/ BXL-2
    Propargyl Alcohol CI-14/ HAI-OS Acid Inhibitor
    Propylene Glycol SAS-2/ WFR-3B
    Silica S-8C, Sand, 100 mesh/ Montmorillnonite clay
    Sodium Bicarbonate K-34
    Sodium Bromide BioRid 20L
    Sodium Hydroxide Caustic Soda/ ICI-3240/ BioRid B-71
    Sodium Persulphate High Perm SW-LB
    Sodium Xylene Sulfonate FAC-2/ FAC-3W
    Sulfuric Acid Sulfuric Acid
    Surfactants AFS-30/ GasFlo/ Inflo-250W
    Talc Adomite Aqua
    Tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)phosphonium sulfate Magnacide 575 Microbiocide
    Tetramethyl ammonium Chloride Clay Treat-3C
    Trimethyloctadecylammonium chloride FAC-1W/ FAC-3W

    Download Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing in PA list

    *Pittsburgh Business Times (June 30) – DEP releases new list of frac chemicals; used in Marcellus, other Pa. operations

    Related posts:

    MDN In-depth: A Close Look at the New Democrat Report on Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals
    The Burden of Proof that Hydraulic Fracturing Pollutes Water Supplies is with Those Who Oppose Drilling
    Technology Advances Lead to “Greener” Hydraulic Fracturing
    Jim on June 30, 2010 | Filed Under Energy Companies, Energy Services, Frac Tech, Hydraulic Fracturing, Industrywide Issues

  54. Investigation Yields List of Chemicals Used in Fracking; Many are Known Carcinogens, Regulated Pollutants
    by Dee Fulton on April 17, 2011

    A report showed that 464,231 gallons of fracking fluid containing the toxic chemical 2-BE were injected into West Virginia gas wells and 747,416 gallons of 2-BE bearing fluids were employed in Pennsylvania. This is the same chemical that showed up in contaminated well water in Pavillion, Wyo. and is likely the cause of the adrenal tumor that Laura Amos of Garfield County, Colo. developed after her well water was contaminated by Encana drilling activity.

    You might feel like you are in Toxicology class as you review the Congressional Committee on Energy and Commerce’s recently released report which reveals information regarding chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. The information for the report was collected by the Committee from 14 oil and gas service companies which submitted requested data on fracking products used between 2005 and 2009. This is a very lay-friendly report with only 12 pages of text and tables. The remaining 18 pages are lists of chemicals. However, for those who just want the highlights, I’ve tried to pick out them out for this post.

    “Between 2005 and 2009, the oil and gas service companies used hydraulic fracturing products containing 29 chemicals that are (1) known or possible human carcinogens, (2) regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act for their risks to human health, or (3) listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.” Of the 29 chemicals, 13 are classified as carcinogens, 8 are Safe Drinking Water Act regulated chemicals, and 24 are hazardous air pollutants. Many of the chemicals fall into more than one category. (See chart on page 8 of report.)

    Methanol, a toxic air pollutant, was the most widely used chemical during the time period studied, as measured by the number of compounds containing the chemical. Other hazardous air pollutants included hydrogen fluoride (systemic poison, potentially fatal), lead (reproductive disorders, high blood pressure, nervous system disease, especially among children), hydrogen chloride and ethylene glycol.

    The chemical called 2-BE (shorthand for 2-butoxyethanol) is another common toxic constituent. It is used as a foaming agent or surfactant. ”According to EPA scientists, 2-BE is easily absorbed and rapidly distributed in humans following inhalation, ingestion, or dermal exposure. Studies have shown that exposure to 2-BE can cause hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) and damage to the spleen, liver, and bone marrow.” And rare adrenal tumors. Texas topped the list of states with 12 million gallons of fluid containing 2-BE injected into the ground. As noted above, WV and PA were below 1 million.

    Among the list of carcinogens used are formaldehyde (also a hazardous air pollutant), diesel, naphthalene and chemicals in the BTEX compound group (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene). ”The BTEX compounds appeared in 60 hydraulic fracturing products used in the 5-year period and were used in 11.4 million gallons of hydraulic fracturing fluids.” Most of those tainted fluids, 9.5 million gallons of the 11.4 million, were used in Texas. Less than 100,000 gallons were used in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

    “In addition, the hydraulic fracturing companies injected more than 30 million gallons of diesel fuel or fracturing fluids containing diesel fuel in wells in 19 states.” In a 2004 report, the EPA stated that the use of diesel fuel in fracturing fluids poses the greatest threat to underground sources of drinking water.

    “Many chemical components of hydraulic fracturing fluids used by the companies were listed on the MSDSs as “proprietary” or “trade secret.” The hydraulic fracturing companies used 93.6 million gallons of 279 products containing at least one proprietary component between 2005 and 2009. …In these cases, it appears that the companies are injecting fluids containing unknown chemicals about which they may have limited understanding of the potential risks posed to human health and the environment.”

    The report was prepared under the leadership of US House Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA), Edward Markey (D-MA), and Dianna DeGuette (D-CO).

    Tagged as: carcinogens, chemicals, chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, Clean Air Act. 2-BE. methanol, contamination, diesel, drilling, fracking, groundwater, hazardous air pollutants, health risks, hydraulic fracturing, hydrofracking, marcellus shale, natural gas, pennsylvania, Safe Drinking Water Act, water pollution, west virginia

    More Data Needed to Study Long Term Health Effects of Marcellus Shale Drilling
    Big Oil Companies Move In as Land Values are Down
    Exxon-Mobil Expands Gas Reserves With $1.7 Billion Purchase
    Ethane from Marcellus Shale to be Cracked into Ethylene by Shell Oil
    Ban on Horizontal Drilling and Fracking in Morgantown Passes First Reading
    Recent Comments
    marilyn k hunt on Frac Water Recycling Facility to go in Morgantown Industrial Park
    Nicole Good on Brine Water & Oil Residue Spilled into Doddridge County Stream
    RD Blakeslee on Conference Focused on Shale Gas Criminal Law
    Dee Fulton on Conference Focused on Shale Gas Criminal Law
    Monte McKenzie on Morgantown Utility Board Seeks Protections from Drilling to Safeguard Water

  55. I am very disappointed in the Off The Grid writer Andrew and whoever the Editor was who allowed this unsubstantiated left wing propaganda to be seen or associated with Off The Grid.

  56. Drilling company will pay to settle stream pollution charges
    Thursday, December 15, 2011
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Marcellus Shale gas drilling company EOG Resources Inc. has agreed to pay the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission $93,710 to settle charges it polluted Little Laurel Run, a “high quality” trout stream in Clearfield County, from December 2010 through March 2011.
    The Houston, Texas-based gas drilling company also agreed to pay $65,000 for an environmental project in the creek’s watershed. That additional money will be placed in a Fish and Boat Commission restricted account until the project is developed.
    The settlement in lieu of civil damages and fines was the fourth between EOG and the Fish Commission this year and the second involving illegal pollutants discharged into Little Laurel Run. Other settlements involved Marcellus Shale gas well pollutants discharged into Alex Branch and into an aquifer feeding a locally famous spring at the Sykesville Hunting Camp on the Alex Branch and its tributaries.
    EOG has paid settlements to the Fish Commission for the water pollution incidents totaling $302,335 this year.

    Drillers using counterinsurgency experts
    Marcellus industry taking a page from the military to deal with media, resident opposition
    Sunday, November 13, 2011
    By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Marcellus Shale gas drilling spokesmen at an industry conference in Houston said their companies are employing former military counterinsurgency officers and recommended using military-style psychological operations strategies, or psyops, to deal with media inquiries and citizen opposition to drilling in Pennsylvania communities.
    Matt Pitzarella, a Range Resources spokesman speaking to other oil and gas industry spokespeople at the conference last week, said the company hires former military psyops specialists who use those skills in Pennsylvania.

    Read more:

    Read more:

  57. Accidentally posted before I was finished…. Another excerpt from the previoous article: Psychological operations is a term used in the military and intelligence agencies and involves use of selective communications and sometimes misinformation and deception to manipulate public perception. According to a U.S. Army careers website, psyops specialists “assess the information needs of a target population and develop and deliver the right message at the right time and place to create the intended result.”
    Read more:

  58. So the industry is funding all of the “studies”. Interesting…
    Corporate funding of Marcellus Shale studies at universities raises alarms
    Drilling on Campus: the second of two parts
    Monday, November 07, 2011
    By Reid R. Frazier, The Allegheny Front; and Olivia Garber, PublicSource

    Read more:

  59. Hmmm… increasing bromide in the river…. they mix with water disinfectants to form brominated trihalomethanes, also known at THMs, which are volatile organic liquid compounds that become part of the drinking water — and can cause birth defects and cancer. (Bromine can also displace iodine in the thyroid and wreck havoc on the human endocrine system). Hmmmm… increasing bromide and the only thing that’s changed really is that “fracking” has increased. No “cause and effect”?
    Bromide levels in Monongahela River rose in 2010, remain high
    Friday, November 04, 2011
    By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Bromide levels rose in the Monongahela River in 2010 and remain elevated, possibly because of discharges of wastewater from Marcellus Shale drilling or electric power plants, said Jeanne VanBriesen, a Carnegie Mellon University civil and environmental engineering professor who spoke Thursday at a university research symposium about the river.
    Ms. VanBriesen, who is also director of CMU’s Center for Water Quality in Urban Environmental Systems, said the river’s bromide levels are much higher than what would be expected in similar inland waterways and should be reduced to ensure that public drinking water supplies remain safe.
    Bromides are nontoxic salt compounds, but they react with disinfectants used by municipal water treatment plants to form brominated trihalomethanes, also known at THMs, which are volatile organic liquid compounds that become part of the drinking water. The more bromides in the river water, the more THMs in the finished water, and studies show a link between ingestion of THMs and several types of cancer and birth defects.
    “THMs are carcinogenic for long-term exposures,” Ms. VanBriesen said, “so you don’t want to keep putting more bromide into the [Mon] river basin.”
    Eleven public water treatment intakes are on the Monongahela River, supplying approximately 350,000 customers. Ms. VanBriesen’s two-year study sampled river water at eight locations near public drinking water intakes and focused on chloride and bromide, elements that are components of total dissolved solids.
    “Bromide going into the river system started to increase in mid-2010, and, if you look deeper, the relative amount of bromide is increasing,” Ms. VanBriesen said. “It’s an indication that something is changing in the basin. Freshwater shouldn’t have this much bromide.”
    This spring, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission designated bromide as a “compound of concern” for water treatment plants.
    Ms. VanBriesen said her research hasn’t pinpointed a single source but said bromide is contained in water discharges from air pollution control devices at coal-fired power plants and in wastewater or “produced water” from Marcellus Shale drilling operations.
    Controls on some discharges from likely bromide sources and a much wetter 2011 that diluted bromide concentrations, she said, produced more stable water quality in the river this year compared with 2010, which was drier, reducing river flow.
    Read more:

  60. Shale gas can contaminate well-water
    It’s a problem, but the bigger problem is that the U.S. lags in clean technology
    Tuesday, May 10, 2011
    By Robert B. Jackson and Avner Vengosh
    Would you drink the water?”
    Somebody asked us that after they heard about a study our scientific team released yesterday showing high levels of methane in well-water near sites where companies are drilling for natural gas.
    Our analysis of 68 private groundwater wells in Pennsylvania and New York surely will fuel the debate over whether the United States should pursue natural gas more vigorously as an alternative to oil and coal, whose unfortunate side effects range from Middle East instability to global warming.
    Proponents of using more natural gas highlight its abundance, along with other advantages. Critics have their list as well, including potential damage to people and the environment.
    Our team found that methane was 17 times higher, on average, in water wells located within a kilometer of active drilling sites, with some of the concentrations dangerously high. Companies at these sites employ hydrofracking — pumping water, sand and chemicals deep underground at high pressure — to open cracks that enable natural gas to flow more easily into the wells.
    Some homeowners say hydro- fracking has affected their water. Our study suggests some of them may be right, at least for methane contamination.
    Our results are only a first step toward resolving the bigger question of how much our country should look to shale gas and hydrofracking to solve its energy problems. The process now accounts for about 15 percent of natural gas production, but some estimates see it rising to nearly half by 2035.
    Read the rest of the article at :

  61. EPA links fracking, fouled water
    Gas drilling method cited as likely cause for groundwater problems in Wyoming
    Friday, December 09, 2011
    By Mead Gruver, Associated Press
    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday for the first time that fracking — a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells — may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution.
    Read more:

  62. Hunting club contends with spring water contaminations from gas drilling
    ‘We just want to be made whole’
    Sunday, June 05, 2011
    By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    * Read about the “oily water” and contamination from “fracking” at link below:

  63. THANK YOU, Off the Grid, for posting such a relevant and informative article. Keep up the good work — telling it like it is!

  64. Here’s a New York Times article on “fracking” in Pennsylvania:
    The Fracturing of Pennsylvania
    Published: November 17, 2011

    Again…. cudos to Off the Grid for keeping its readers informed. It’s interesting that the majority of comments in support of fracking are people who work in the industry. (That’s like the fox guarding the chicken coop!) Of course they’re going to defend it. I don’t know who the others are… just ill-informed average joes. But I don’t get upset with them anymore than I would get upset if a blind man stepped on my toes. Thanks, Off the Grid.

  65. To all those who like to twist words and imply in what I write as something that is not – I will post this article that quotes an expert on one of the primary dangers of hyro-fracking. All of the detractors that work in the industry have a serious conflict of interest. As you have seen, many of us HAVE done our research and do not leave our knowledge at the point of industry propaganda. Here yet, is another article, one of thousands that list dangers of fracking.

    Fracking Contamination ‘Will Get Worse’: Alberta Expert
    Tighter regulations to protect groundwater needed, says U of Alberta geochemist.

    By: By Andrew Nikiforuk, 19 December 2011,

    View full article and comments:

    A well-known industry expert in tracking leaking methane from oil and gas wells says a groundbreaking U.S. federal study on hydraulic fracturing highlights not only an old and growing problem, but the need for tighter regulations in the shale gas industry.

    “The shale gas boom combined with hydraulic fracking will cause wellbores to leak more often than run-of-the-mill conventional wells,” says Karlis Muehlenbachs, a geochemist at the University of Alberta. “The problem is going to get worse, not better.”

    Muehlenbachs, a leading authority on identifying the unique carbon fingerprint or isotopes of shale and conventional gases, says regulators must do better baseline groundwater testing and rigorously check wells for leakage. (Industry calls these leaks surface casing vent flow or sustained casing pressure.)

    “The biggest problem is that half or more the wells drilled leak due to improper cement jobs or industry is not following best practices,” adds Muehlenbachs.

    Earlier this month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that EnCana, the continent’s second largest shale gas producer, had contaminated groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming.

    Those findings, which contradict industry assurances, didn’t surprise Muehlenbachs, who has studied leaking wells in Alberta’s heavy oil fields for decades.

    EPA’s breakthrough study

    The high profile EPA study has shaken up the powerful shale industry because it identified high levels of methane and toxic hydrocarbons in domestic waters and deep groundwater after extensive fracking of vertical wells less than 1,000 feet deep.

    Moreover, EnCana failed to protect both surface and groundwater by not sealing its wells correctly to prevent the migration of methane from producing gas zones, says the EPA.

    Concluded the detailed EPA report: “Surface casing of gas production wells do not extend below the maximum depth of domestic wells in the area of investigation.” That means methane, which is lighter than air, could leak or migrate up the wellbore towards shallower domestic water wells.

    “The way I read the EPA report, the surface casings were too short and that the cementing was inadequate and then they fracked at very shallow depths. It’s almost negligence,” says 67-year-old Muehlenbachs, who presented at a U.S. conference on “Managing The Risks of Shale Gas” last month in Washington D.C.

    EnCana says the EPA’s findings are “conjecture, not factual and only serve to trigger undue alarm.”

    ‘What happens if the job is not done right?’

    Muehlenbachs, who has been fingerprinting leaking gases since 1994, says that hydraulic fracking, which injects water, chemicals and sand into rock formations at high pressures, may create more leaks in wellbores overtime. (As industry searches for deeper and more extreme hydrocarbons, it must blast open tight rocks with more brute force over larger land bases than conventional operations.)

    “They’ll frack each well up to 20 times. Each time the pressure will shudder and bang the pipes in the wellbore. The cement is hard and the steel is soft. If you do it all the time you are going to break bonds and cause leaks. It’s a real major issue. ”

    Industry spokesmen typically argue that if the drilling hole is properly cased with steel and cemented “the risk of any interaction between drinking water and fracturing fluid is significantly diminished.”

    But Muehlenbachs replies with another question: “Yes, but what happens if the job is not done right and how frequent are problems encountered?”

    According to Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield company, there are problems galore. In 2003, the company reported that 43 per cent of 6,692 offshore wells tested in the Gulf of Mexico by U.S. regulators were found to be leaking. In fact, by the time a well gets 15 years old, there is a 50 probability it will leak significantly and therefore contaminate other zones, wells, or groundwater.

    “That’s amazing. It’s not Greenpeace reporting this but Schlumberger in the Oilfield Review,” says Muehlenbachs. (Reliable data on well integrity is hard to find, but in Alberta approximately five per cent of all wells leak, while leakage rates in Norway range from 13 to 19 per cent from producing wells.)

    Disputing claims of safety

    Although petroleum engineers now admit that companies routinely blast fluids and gas into other industry wells hundreds of metres away (B.C., Texas and North Dakota have all documented such cases), they still claim that “fracture communication incidents” can’t happen with groundwater.

    Muehlenbachs, who has documented numerous cases of groundwater contamination, calls such denials dishonest. “Such claims do more harm than good to industry. Don’t they realize that social license matters to industry?”

    Whenever methane leaks from one well into a neighboring wellsite, “industry says let’s fix the leaks,” says Muehlenbachs. “But as soon as the leaks enter groundwater, everyone abandons the same logic and technology and says it can’t happen and the denials come out. In Alberta, it’s almost a religious belief that gas leaks can’t contaminate groundwater.”

    Yet it happens routinely. At a conference in Washington D.C. last month sponsored by Resources for the Future, Muehlenbachs showed evidence that shale gas drilling activity in Quebec and Pennsylvania had in several cases resulted in surface contamination.

    In two cases (companies sent him gas samples to analyze), he found that deep shale methane from the Utica Shale definitely leaked up the wellbore and contaminated groundwater. In another case, gas originating along the wellbore had moved into water.

    A similar example in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale formation again found that deep shale methane rich in propane and ethane had leaked to the surface casing, contrary to all industry predictions. The Marcellus lies 2,300 to 6,000 feet deep, which is a little shallower than B.C.’s Montney play at 6,000 to 8,200 feet.

    More data, greater transparency needed: EPA

    The debate about whether leaking shale methane comes from heavily fracked zones creating faults into groundwater or along poorly cemented wellbores is immaterial to landowners, says Muehlenbachs. “You don’t care if it comes from fracking or a bad cement job, you suffer the consequences all the same, and lose your well water.”

    Given these findings and a Duke University study that found extensive methane contamination of domestic water wells in a heavily fracked area, Muehlenbachs recommends that regulators do rigorous gas and water testing.

    In addition to baseline isotope testing of methane for all water wells and groundwater sources, (something EnCana didn’t do in Pavillion), Muehlenbachs says regulators must also test for ethane and propane (the shale gas fingerprint) as well as gas from abandoned wells and natural seeps and gases from well casings. “The above requirements are not onerous; such isotope data is often in hand for it is used to optimize production,” adds Muehlenbachs.

    Like Muehlenbachs, the U.S. EPA supports “the need for collection of baseline data, greater transparency on chemical composition of hydraulic fracturing fluids, and greater emphasis on well construction and integrity requirements and testing.”

    Muehlenbachs suspects the shale gas boom is an energy game changer, but it may not be an economic investment due to overproduction. “But the horse has left the barn. No matter what anyone says, it will continue.”

    Asked if Alberta’s oil patch regulator or B.C.’s Oil and Gas Commission had approached one of the world’s leading experts on how to fingerprint leaking gases from gas formations, Muehlenbachs replied quickly.

    “No,” said Muehlenbachs. “No one pays any attention to me. The Alberta regulators are only interested in optimizing production.”

  66. So what is your solution? Shall we all go back to the stone age and burn wood for fuel? Do we get rid of our cars, electric conveniences, and instead buy horses and live off the land? The problem with these solutions is that our population has multiplied many times since the good ole days of the horse and buggy and relying on those means would no longer be able to sustain the population we now have.

  67. Starfire. Methane leaks outof your ass everyday. So what are you going to do about plugging that hole. I’m just saying. Have a great day……….Former fracer.

  68. i dont get how the goverment is even letting tis happen if people are being affected like whats wrong with people!?!

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