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  #101  
Old 23.08.2013, 20:54
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

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...I am not blaming you as a scientist if you are in the industry, you are just doing your job, but please safe us from the rhetoric that you may have been given to ease your conscience. You can carry on working in the industry conscience-free as you are just there to serve the customer. It is the general public that has it on their conscience every time they waste energy, demand cheap energy and do not bother to act to change environmental laws.
As someone who used to work for big oil, I'd just like to say we didn't call it "the big evil" for nothing...
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  #102  
Old 23.08.2013, 21:14
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

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As someone who used to work for big oil, I'd just like to say we didn't call it "the big evil" for nothing...
Well, if it is an evil, we created it!

TO me in Layman's terms this is all very simple. Most of you sophisticated scientists my laugh at my analogy, but it me it is like the Dyson story. Dyson invented a better way to suck dirt, but the industry did not want the cost of incorporating the change to a windtunnel, so they discredited Dyson. But the customers kept buying the Dyson even though it was way more expensive. Eventually under consumer pressure manufacturers like Hoover realized that they would have to incorporate the technology, now most of the big vacuum manufacturers have wind tunnel machines and are promoting it everywhere. So, let's push the energy industry to produce more wind and solar, alternative technologies, and thus relieve all the energy scientists of the guilt trip that we put on them.

I just read in this report that by 2020, 15% of all of china's energy requirements is to come form wind, solar, biomass and small hydroelectric, I think that is amazing. Have many other countries world-wide can claims the same? http://www.internationalrivers.org/f...sfactsheet.pdf
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Old 23.08.2013, 22:06
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

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Wrong again. Aquifers do not exist as large, empty, underground caverns. They exist like oil reservoirs, the water is soaked on and in permeable rock.
You dont concrete the aquifer. You concrete the hole you drilled. The aquifer is naturally sealed by impermeable rock. This rock is why there is an aquifer to begin with, because it traps the water. Completing a well (the name for the cementing it) is a very simple process, and has been done since oil drilling began. As long as this concrete is applied correctly, (which comes down to individual workmanship, not the fracking process) the aquifer is completely isolated. Water and gas cannot get through several inches of concrete and steel.
In response-
The boom in oil and natural gas drilling is deepening the uncertainties, geologists acknowledge. Drilling produces copious amounts of waste, burdening regulators and demanding hundreds of additional disposal wells. Those wells — more holes punched in the ground — are changing the earth's geology, adding man-made fractures that allow water and waste to flow more freely.
"There is no certainty at all in any of this, and whoever tells you the opposite is not telling you the truth," said Stefan Finsterle, a leading hydrogeologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who specializes in understanding the properties of rock layers and modeling how fluid flows through them. "You have changed the system with pressure and temperature and fracturing, so you don't know how it will behave."
http://www.propublica.org/article/in...son-beneath-us

Berkeley is the No3 top university in the world. The National Sciences laboratory is world renowned, so there is no doubting Stefan Finsterle's qualifications as a leading hydrologist at one of the world's leading institutions. By the way he is Swiss originally from ETH. and in 2011 received the U.S. Department of Energy Secretarial Honor Award. In fact the Laboratory is 5 minutes walk away from where I live, I could use it as a short cut to town, but it is government classified, so I have to walk round it-
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  #104  
Old 23.08.2013, 22:21
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

Also J2488 you say that the full list of proprietary chemicals used in fracking is released to physicians when necessary? I highly doubt this. I am sure that such a release would mean fighting through may legal barriers, which when you are sick, poor or do not have the education maybe well nigh impossible. Usually, if proved that proprietary chemicals are a causal facture in any medical lawsuit, the settlement will be out of court away from the public eye and part of the settlement will be a non-disclosure agreement, i.e. preventing the plaintiff from divulging any details of the settlement, probably accompanied by a general gag order. Which reminds me- I have to get back to my own studies and leave you to rebut my reply.

No, I am not an expert, just a concerned member of the public.

"Regulators are in the early stages of tightening requirements for disposal wells. A Railroad Commission memo last May cited the “issue of insufficient surface casing,” meaning cemented piping, in the disposal wells as they bore through aquifers on their way to deeper geologic formations." http://www.texastribune.org/2013/03/...ater-concerns/

http://www.texastribune.org/2013/03/...ater-concerns/

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Old 23.08.2013, 23:16
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

Just an EPA diagram of Aquifers, basically you have to drill through the aquifers- concreting as you go- to get really lowdown and pump the water in there. Unfortunately as the post above shows there is not enough regulatory oversight to check if you are doing it correctly or not, and there have been many occasions where hydrofracking wastewater containing all the concentrated contaminants goes straight into the aquifer. I mean why waste money making it safe if you don't have to? - it just cuts into the profit line.
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  #106  
Old 27.08.2013, 01:35
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

Despite 2.5million cases of fracking, it's never been found to be the cause of aquifer leakage. The pressures are impressive but so is the technology designed to Contain it. As long as the technology is used properly, it's safe.

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It sounds like you are 'in the industry' You just have to give me time to do the research and get back to you as I am not 'in the industry' and I am back to studying next week- but I will find out what I can.

No, there is no such thing as a 'clean energy industry' but there are much cleaner ones. We all have to start looking at ways to save energy.

But just off the top of my head- you say that you don't concrete the aquifer, but then you go on to tell me how you concrete it and try to plug the holes. Then you say that it comes down to individual workmanship with later admitting that the oil companies will get away with what they can- like taking a town's whole water supply. Aquifers have already been polluted.

Research is being done to increase the pressures, the pressures are going to be pretty impressive.

So you totally discredit this guy? http://vimeo.com/14472351
Notes on the video:

-Coal Bed Methane extraction is not the same as Shale Gas Extraction. The two are very,very different. CBM is much closer to the surface (near, as the name suggests, coal beds). Shale gas is far below the surface. Almost the whole video is based on this. If this guy is equating the two, he knows very little.

-High pressure is nothing new either. Deepwater drilling, where wells are drilled offshore go just as deep, and have done for some time, and pressures are sometimes higher. Yet, as an industry, 'Big Oil' as you call it, has relatively very few casualties per year. certainly less then the 80,000 caused by that hydroelectric dam in China.

-'exploding a bomb' is obscenely incorrect. You increase the pressure over time(several weeks), not in one, single, explosive manner. The aim is not to shatter the formation but to create hairline cracks. 'the explosive power is equal to exploding a large bomb' is also wrong and misleading. The guy on the video implies that 'big oil' is creating huge caverns underground. Misleading.

-He also doesn't mention that the proppant is sand. Yes, ordinary, normal, beach sand.

-'some of which can go from the bedrock to the surface' (talking about vertical fault creation). This has never happened. The energy required to split a tectonic plate from that deep down to the surface is many orders of magnitude greater then what is used in fracking. He even goes on to say not a lot of seismic data is collected, so how can you possibly make that claim?

-'when you frack that fault you open it up' we aren't talking about a small bit of rock here...these faults are huge. The amount of energy required to move a fault, is so high that it is folly to even consider fracking having that capability. These faults have developed with massive amounts of rock, and has developed over millions of years, and with many millions of tonnes of rock. A 6inch hole in the ground is not going to create a sea of moving tectonic plates.

-'you've basically blown open a piece of the earth'. No, you haven't. You've created a hairline crack in millions of tonnes of rock. Another misleading statement.

-'could introduce fracking fluid, some of which is toxic, all of which is none potable, and natural gas, into aquifers'. over 99.5% of fracking fluid is water. How is that none potable? Aquifers contain far more toxic substances already, including radioactive substances and heavy metals. people assume these are from the fracking fluids. Another incorrect assumption.

-'when that fracking fluid gets into that drinking water, you cant get it out'. You can isolate the water, and separate that out.

I would be very careful about considering people experts, because they have a complimentary viewpoint.

Last edited by J2488; 27.08.2013 at 02:05.
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  #107  
Old 27.08.2013, 02:16
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

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Also J2488 you say that the full list of proprietary chemicals used in fracking is released to physicians when necessary? I highly doubt this. I am sure that such a release would mean fighting through may legal barriers, which when you are sick, poor or do not have the education maybe well nigh impossible.


It is illegal for companies to withhold that information. What does happen in some states is for the company to ask the doctor to sign a non disclosure agreement, meaning they can use the information to treat the patient, but nothing else. Considering that tens of millions of dollars goes into every single chemical for research and development (and peoples jobs depend on these secrets remaining secret), this is not an unreasonable request. Companies should have the right to guard their intellectual property. Otherwise, where is the impetus to innovate?



Usually, if proved that proprietary chemicals are a causal facture in any medical lawsuit, the settlement will be out of court away from the public eye and part of the settlement will be a non-disclosure agreement, i.e. preventing the plaintiff from divulging any details of the settlement, probably accompanied by a general gag order. Which reminds me- I have to get back to my own studies and leave you to rebut my reply.

Its actually very rarely proven. The settlements are paid to ensure people don't go to the press claiming there is a link without any proof. As i'm sure you're aware, the press do not need solid medical or scientific evidence. Its usually easier to settle, rather then sue the paper for libel, then sue the person responsible etc etc...

Another topic which is sure to be divisive...if people accept said settlement they can no longer complain about the big bad oil company. If you take that money and sign the contract you have sold your objection.

Non disclosure agreements are as old as business itself. By signing one, you are in business with the other party. A contract is a contract. If you want to tell the world about the big bad oil company, don't accept their money.


No, I am not an expert, just a concerned member of the public.

"Regulators are in the early stages of tightening requirements for disposal wells. A Railroad Commission memo last May cited the “issue of insufficient surface casing,” meaning cemented piping, in the disposal wells as they bore through aquifers on their way to deeper geologic formations." http://www.texastribune.org/2013/03/...ater-concerns/

Fully agree with this. Tougher regulations mean safer wells. Ta.

http://www.texastribune.org/2013/03/...ater-concerns/
see above.
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Old 27.08.2013, 02:19
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

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In response-
The boom in oil and natural gas drilling is deepening the uncertainties, geologists acknowledge. Drilling produces copious amounts of waste, burdening regulators and demanding hundreds of additional disposal wells. Those wells — more holes punched in the ground — are changing the earth's geology, adding man-made fractures that allow water and waste to flow more freely.
"There is no certainty at all in any of this, and whoever tells you the opposite is not telling you the truth," said Stefan Finsterle, a leading hydrogeologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who specializes in understanding the properties of rock layers and modeling how fluid flows through them. "You have changed the system with pressure and temperature and fracturing, so you don't know how it will behave."
http://www.propublica.org/article/in...son-beneath-us


Berkeley is the No3 top university in the world. The National Sciences laboratory is world renowned, so there is no doubting Stefan Finsterle's qualifications as a leading hydrologist at one of the world's leading institutions. By the way he is Swiss originally from ETH. and in 2011 received the U.S. Department of Energy Secretarial Honor Award. In fact the Laboratory is 5 minutes walk away from where I live, I could use it as a short cut to town, but it is government classified, so I have to walk round it-
I don't understand...you're telling me nothing is known for sure? Doesnt this mean the anti frackers who claim fracking causes huge geological changes are also spouting nonsense, but without the benefit of millions of dollars of research to prove their point?

For every expert that says one way, there is one who will say another.
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Old 27.08.2013, 02:21
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

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Just an EPA diagram of Aquifers, basically you have to drill through the aquifers- concreting as you go- to get really lowdown and pump the water in there. Unfortunately as the post above shows there is not enough regulatory oversight to check if you are doing it correctly or not, and there have been many occasions where hydrofracking wastewater containing all the concentrated contaminants goes straight into the aquifer. I mean why waste money making it safe if you don't have to? - it just cuts into the profit line.
'Big oil' is fine with the regulations. As long as you don't start regulating just to keep people happy, they will support it. Believe it or not, they want to improve their safety image too (which, ironically is quite good already).

I for one agree with tougher regulations regarding cement quality, and the enforcement of those rules. If the existing rules had been followed, Deepwater Horizon wouldn't have happened.
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Old 27.08.2013, 02:25
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

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As someone who used to work for big oil, I'd just like to say we didn't call it "the big evil" for nothing...
Every single large corporation out there is evil. As soon as you have shareholders, you will have people who are only interested in the bottom line, not how you get to that bottom line. Lets not single out 'big oil' here. 'big pharma', 'big medicine', 'big childrens toys', 'big fashion'...Every. Single. One.
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Old 27.08.2013, 02:42
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

Nuclear keeps looking better and better.

Tom
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  #112  
Old 27.08.2013, 03:10
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

J2488 When most people talk about fracking this is the type they mean. So I will have to 'research' a little more. Yes most of it is water, but it only takes a little of the potent stuff to cause major problems. Remember that 100% going down and only 15%-20% coming back up means that about 80% stays down, coming up gradually over the next 10 years.
From the 15-20% that comes up that has to be condensed , often by an evaporating process at the surface. Some of it is blown off in the wind, the rest taken in concentrated fluid form to be pumped down into wells elsewhere. When they make these wells they cement the hole down going through aquifers.

Yes I am of course very proud of the technology. Let's work to make it safer, because at present there are a lot of 'accidents' in the "drill baby drill" mentality.
The industry is very competitive, it will not suffer unneceasry costs to provide safeguards if it doesn'thave to. Let's make the oil and gas energy industry and fracking subject to the Safe Water Act, with much stricter DEA oversight. They I will not have a guilty conscience.

With regards, to Nuclear Power- yes I have been told that the new generation plants are the answer for the future, but I am so wary of nuclear. On th4 good side a friend is building a big wind farm in Iran- so even Iran which I believe is the 2nd biggest holder of gas deposits after Russia is going green!


For those , like me who have to ask experts and read up here are some nice videos (from the fracking industry) of how it is done. And yes the technology is Awesome; at least to a novice like me. Isn't that drill incredible
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY34PQUiwOQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjP-K1VaI1k

I love really clever nerdy guys and all the stuff they invent!
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Old 27.08.2013, 03:19
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

Concerning Methane- I don't know enough about it- will have to research. I thought that one of the biggest culprits of Methane were f@rty cows. My diet is about 98% vegetarian, I could not go without cows milk.
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  #114  
Old 27.08.2013, 07:24
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

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Every single large corporation out there is evil. As soon as you have shareholders, you will have people who are only interested in the bottom line, not how you get to that bottom line. Lets not single out 'big oil' here. 'big pharma', 'big medicine', 'big childrens toys', 'big fashion'...Every. Single. One.
very well said. When it's only profit that drive the company, this is bound to happen.

A consequence of this is that there will be CEOs with a lifespan of just a few years, at most, with no way to have a longer term strategy for the company, and thus only short-execution projects will be achieved, as the CEO needs to ripe the benefits in his/her lifespan at the helm of the company.

This is precisely why there is little nuclear being built in the "west" today.

We have become a society where it's only the stupid stock market that drives the economy. How sad. To the extreme that we have football team listed on the stock exchange. Now, do tell me if that makes sense or not. Where is the meaning of having a football team on the stock exchange, I will never know...

Thanks for the good and balanced discussion, you all.

Ciao, Luca
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Old 27.08.2013, 07:29
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

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Nuclear keeps looking better and better.
yes, very much so.

Though it's still very much under attack by the usual suspects, the record of nuclear safety is still unbeaten, and probably unbeatable by any other source of energy.

The problem with nuclear? Politics.

A secondary problem, but nonetheless an important one, with nuclear? Lack of basic communication capability by the industry. Though it's improving a little, lately. Luckily.

Ciao, Luca

P.S. Happy to live in a country where 40% of electric energy comes from nuclear. And where it's still easy to book a visit to an active nuclear power plant, which is exactly what I will be doing this Saturday.
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  #116  
Old 27.08.2013, 19:02
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

Its actually quite refreshing to discuss this with soeone who understands the scale of the topic and how different the reality of it is, in comparison to the pictures painted by various, vested-interest groups.

See my responses below.

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J2488 When most people talk about fracking this is the type they mean. So I will have to 'research' a little more. Yes most of it is water, but it only takes a little of the potent stuff to cause major problems. Remember that 100% going down and only 15%-20% coming back up means that about 80% stays down, coming up gradually over the next 10 years.

It will be far longer then 10 years, (think hundreds). In between the isolated aquifer and the shale gas there are many layers of rock, some of which themselves are impermeable, It will take an awful long time for this injected water to find its way to the aquifer. In some cases, it will never reach there. When people say that only 15-20% comes back up, they dont mean via the aquifer. They mean via the production facility itself. When you get to the shale gas, the gas comes to the surface along with the water that you pumped down. This is how that 20% comes up (its usually higher then 20% too; think of the massive pressures down there forcing the water into the only area of low pressure - the drilled hole). In a properly cemented well, it is not possible for injection water to get into the aquifer.


From the 15-20% that comes up that has to be condensed , often by an evaporating process at the surface. Some of it is blown off in the wind, the rest taken in concentrated fluid form to be pumped down into wells elsewhere. When they make these wells they cement the hole down going through aquifers.

Only in the US. The US allows evaporation ponds (and even then, only in certain areas), wheras industry in the EU has already agreed not to use them. In practice, the produced water is collected, treated (yielding over 99% reusable water) and the remaining 1% is disposed of according to local laws.

Yes I am of course very proud of the technology. Let's work to make it safer, because at present there are a lot of 'accidents' in the "drill baby drill" mentality.

The number of accidents, relative to the size of the industry is actually very small, and better then most other industries. The only reason it seems different is that any accidents are so wel publicised.

The industry is very competitive, it will not suffer unneceasry costs to provide safeguards if it doesn'thave to. Let's make the oil and gas energy industry and fracking subject to the Safe Water Act, with much stricter DEA oversight. They I will not have a guilty conscience.

The idea that they arent subject to the Safe Water Act is not true. This was one of the many claims made in 'gaslands' which was subsequently debunked. Hydraulic fracturing is subject to the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, the Superfund law, and about 13 others. The truth is that prior to these acts, fracking was not regulated at the efderal level at all (and therefore no loophole could have been created); it was regulated at the state level. Diffrent states had different laws, some of which were more lax then others.

With regards, to Nuclear Power- yes I have been told that the new generation plants are the answer for the future, but I am so wary of nuclear. On th4 good side a friend is building a big wind farm in Iran- so even Iran which I believe is the 2nd biggest holder of gas deposits after Russia is going green!

Are you sure this isnt because buying iranian oil is a big no-no but Iran can still sell energy to its neighbours?


For those , like me who have to ask experts and read up here are some nice videos (from the fracking industry) of how it is done. And yes the technology is Awesome; at least to a novice like me. Isn't that drill incredible
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY34PQUiwOQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjP-K1VaI1k

I love really clever nerdy guys and all the stuff they invent!

Me too.
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  #117  
Old 28.08.2013, 00:52
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

Sorry - I will be AWOL for a while- got to study my own stuff until then you might want to Wikipedia and let them know! From Wikipedia:
"There are many exemptions for hydraulic fracturing under United States federal law: the oil and gas industries are exempt or excluded from several of the major federal environmental laws. These laws range from protecting clean water and air, to preventing the release of toxic substances and chemicals into the environment: the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, commonly known as Superfund."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exempti...es_federal_law

The emboldened script isn't my doing it was in the excerpt that I pasted.

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Old 28.01.2015, 17:47
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

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Despite 2.5million cases of fracking, it's never been found to be the cause of aquifer leakage. The pressures are impressive but so is the technology designed to Contain it. As long as the technology is used properly, it's safe.
I guess you're the only one that still believes this.

http://www.theguardian.com/environme...s-pennsylvania
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Old 28.01.2015, 18:10
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

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I guess you're the only one that still believes this.

http://www.theguardian.com/environme...s-pennsylvania
Well after actually reading the link you posted I do believe this.

I quote "The AP found that Pennsylvania received 398 complaints in 2013 alleging that oil or natural gas drilling polluted or otherwise affected private water wells, compared with 499 in 2012. More than 100 cases of pollution were confirmed over the past five years."

So the number of complaints went down by 20% from 2012 to 2013 and only 20 cases per year (only about 4% of the complaints were confirmed).

I also quote " the confirmed problems represent only a tiny portion of the thousands of oil and gas wells drilled each year in the US"

The link also fails to make any connection between the majority of the confirmed cases of water pollution and pollution from oil/gas wells (only Two instances of drilling affecting water wells were confirmed there last year), ; here is a link to the main causes of water well pollution by man.
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Old 28.01.2015, 18:14
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Re: Earthquake - St Gallen (aka worldwide nuclear disasters - don't ask)

So because only a tiny portion of water wells are poisoned for years this is acceptable?

Why the heck even start in the first place? We don't need this Oil, we can do extremely well without this. In fact the best side effect of the current low Oil price is that it kills fracking companies one by one
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