Gas Drilling Companies Hold Data ...

Various technical topics related to science, energy, climate change and coal & gas.

Gas Drilling Companies Hold Data ...

Postby HVPA_research » Thu May 19, 2011 9:49 am

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Gas Drilling Companies Hold Data Needed by Researchers to Assess Risk to Water Quality by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica

For years the natural gas drilling industry has decried the lack of data that could prove—or disprove—that drilling can cause drinking water contamination. Only baseline data, they said, could show without a doubt that water was clean before drilling began.

The absence of baseline data was one of the most serious criticisms leveled at a group of Duke researchers last week when they published the first peer-reviewed study linking drilling to methane contamination in water supplies.

That study—which found that methane concentrations in drinking water increased dramatically with proximity to gas wells—contained “no baseline information whatsoever,” wrote Chris Tucker, a spokesman for the industry group Energy in Depth, in a statement debunking the study.

Now it turns out that some of that data does exist. It just wasn’t available to the Duke researchers, or to the public.

That is in the USA but is it any different in Australia? Would local gas companies be prepared to publish ALL research data and technical reports they generate from our UNDERGROUND COMMONS?

The argument that methane seeps naturally from the underground deposits, so dear to unconventional gas industry, has logical consequences. They cannot use this argument and at the same time claim that the shale and coal deposits, they mine for gas, are separated from the higher strata by impenetrable geological barriers. If methane migrates to the surface layers naturally this migration gets surely worse if the gas-bearing deposits are fracked.

There are several comments related to this article that are worth reading. Particularly the following on shows great originality. The author is not alone. Leading Canadian economical philosopher John Ralston Saul expressed very similar sentiments in his Sydney lecture (

Posted by webwalk
May 18 2011 - 2:20pm

Many people are doing much good work to fight this particular evil. But we can spend lifetimes of work in a rigged game, and even win some small victories, while the general evil continues to lay waste to our humanity and the Earth.

As long as "corporations" (literally "embodiments," in which people, resources, money and properties are joined together by words on a piece of paper into a legal "corpus" or "body" that can then act in the world) continue to rule our society, fights like the fight against fracking will use lifetimes of our human energy while our lives and our world continue to be degraded.

Somehow, we must reach a critical social mass of people who simply reject this rigged game.

In theory, our "representative democracy" could re-humanize our economy and society, placing strict limitations on corporate "rights" and allowable activities. But in practice, our "representative democracy" has been swallowed whole by the corporations that in theory should be subservient creations of our political system. So in reality, We the People are faced with the stark choice of either directly facing down the rampant corporate evil, or continuing to exist within it.

In terms of the ecology of Earth, this is the end game. The sooner we accept our stark choice, the better our chance to restabilize the living systems of the Earth. The longer we accept the legitimacy of corporate players in this rigged game, the more certain is ecological breakdown, mass extinction, and civilizational collapse.

From this perspective, "stealing" and publishing all their proprietary corporate information about water tables and fracking chemicals would be an act of liberation. "Illegally" blockading their activities and shutting down their operations would be an act of liberation.
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