Via John Cole at Balloon Juice a couple weeks ago, this post, saying "...he was shocked, shocked, I tell you.":
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday [8 Dec 2011] that fracking - a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells - may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution.
The draft finding could have a chilling effect in states trying to determine how to regulate the process.
The practice is called hydraulic fracturing and involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to open fissures and improve the flow of oil or gas to the surface.
The EPA's found that compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals had been detected in the groundwater beneath a Wyoming community where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals.
Health officials advised them not to drink their water after the EPA found hydrocarbons in their wells.
The EPA announcement has major implications for the vast increase in gas drilling in the U.S. in recent years. Fracking has played a large role in opening up many reserves.
John Cole truly understands the big picture:
The most depressing thing about this, though, is what the response to this declaration will be. In a sane universe, it would be an IMMEDIATE cessation of all fracking activity around the nation. Stop. NO MAS. Halt. You simply can not replace poisoned water. So stop until we figure out how to do this safely. We don't live in a sane universe, so what will happen is the Republicans and Blue Dogs from energy states will double down on the calls to disband the EPA, energy lobbyists will triple, and the energy industry will keep on drilling and putting out more and better commercials telling you that toxic sludge is good for you.
Nothing will be done about this until we are well and truly f**ked.
It's already happening. There is no way that drillers can pump all that toxic fracking cocktail into the earth under great pressure and NOT have some of it re-emerge. Basic hydraulics, people.
Oh, and Merry Christmas.