Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How the environmentalists lie about fracking

With all of the recent talk about shale gas in Ohio, I've seen a few signs popping up in people's yards that say "Stop fracking". Since they were all in one neighborhood, it was obvious that someone canvassed the neighborhood scaring people about the practice, and then asked for permission to put the signs in their yards. The problem is that most of the things that anti-fracking liberals use to scare people are lies.

I have embedded a video showing the fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, process at the bottom of this post for your review. A fellow named Josh Fox made a 2010 documentary that highlights the supposed "evils of fracking", and this movie really started the anti-fracking movement. One of Fox's main claims is that fracking contaminates ground water with gas, and he shows two homes where you can light a fire out of the faucet when the water is turned on. It's quite dramatic footage.

The problem is, that Fox doesn't tell the whole story. In that part of the country, people have known there was naturally occurring methane in the water for decades. In fact, Fox admitted to knowing this and having reports of it happening long before fracking came along, but he completely omitted that information from the movie. Watch his answer when he is asked why he omitted the information.

What a smug reply. "There were also reports of people getting hit by cars in Denver in 1987. They're not relevant". And does he really believe that the fact that people there lit their water before fracking is not relevant?? When the video of his answer was first put on YouTube, Fox got a bunch of lawyers to have it removed, and did the same thing on Vimeo. He didn't want his acknowledgement that people lit their water before fracking being made public.

In other words, Josh Fox is just a liar, and he didn't want people to know he had been exposed. (Obviously YouTube later put the video back up.)

Furthermore, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) investigated the wells at both of the houses featured in Fox's movie. The result? The methane in their water was naturally occurring and not caused by fracking.

The fact is that America is sitting on a mother lode of shale gas and oil, and that fracking is a safe way of recovering it. We should be thankful for the resources we have been blessed with and the science available to take advantage of it. Instead, the usual liberals are wringing their hands and trying to stop it.

I had the good fortune to hear Ann McElhinney speak at Right Online. She and her husband, the man questioning Fox in the video, have investigated other claims made by Fox, and are producing a film of their own to counter Fox's lies. I look forward to seeing it when it is ready.


  1. Thanks for your efforts Nick. The three videos are very informative and compelling.
    Unfortunately, the mainstream media refuses to report the truth.
    Keep up your investigative work.

  2. I have started a series of "Truth" emails to my contacts trying to help ensure people (in Ohio specifically) know the truth as we head into the election. Many of those emails are sharing your posts. I just sent "The Truth about Fracking." Keep it up!

  3. "Truth" emails? Would love to have more information concerning Fracking.

  4. If you bothered to read the COGCC report, you would have learned that shoddy well casings/practices on Encana's part did contaminate the water table at a third site close to the first two you mentioned. Encana also admits their mistake in their 2005 Corporate Responsibility Report.

    Also, the EPA, despite some of Lisa Jackson's remarks, compiled evidence from a site in West Virginia where fracking was primarily responsible for contaminating ground water on private property. Google 1987 EPA Report to Congress, fracking. You'll find it.

    There are also numerous other farmers with frack wells on site that have experienced an increased rate in cattle death, still births and other side affects of water contamination. Those reports are also all over the internet. They are significant because this is a case where poor fracking practices are directly affecting not only farmers, but on a larger scale the US food economy.

    Not only that, but there have been 100s-1000s of wastewater spills and leaks all over the country every year, including just a few hundred yards south of my family's farm in West Virginia. A wastewater tanker driving recklessly on narrow, Appalachian roads clipped the truck, and as a result dumped contaminated water into the creek. Google White Day Creek fracking spill.

    And, if fracking is so safe a practice, why does it need exemptions from the Clean Water Act? If they (and you) are confident there is no harm to the water supply, why did the industry lobby for an exemption? Why does the industry fight so hard to get strict gag orders (like the one in Pennsylvania) that prevent doctors from sharing patient information to a wider medical community. Both these issues in their own right are threats to national security.

    I do not condone watching Gasland. Josh Fox tried to raise awareness to fracking and its dangers (of which there are many), but he did so in a way that drew on sensationalist arguments found to be false under further scrutiny. But you cannot assume a filmmaker is responsible for the truth. You have to dig deeper. It is not enough to find a counter argument to his argument. You have to look past those at other examples.

    You would know all of this had you done your own research instead of reiterating predominately right wing, pro industry arguments. You blame "liberals," whoever they are, of spreading misinformation and lies, yet you are guilty of arguing from the other side of the bias fence.

    Stick to the facts dude, not the talking points. You show no more expertise on this matter than Josh Fox. Only emotional arguments through which you identify an enemy, coined "liberals" and "environmentalists," while you invoke impassioned imagery of Patriotism, which is conveniently pro-industry. Watching YouTube videos is nice for certain kinds of information, but it's not the same kind of journalism that actual research would procure. If you're unsatisfied with Fox's arguments, great. He's lame. But don't turn 180 and fire back the same embittered rhetoric prevalent among those who don't ask questions. Be above it. You have a blog, you have a responsibility.

  5. Yes, I read the report. The family you mentioned was compensated. Is it perfect? Of course not. There have been hundreds of oil spills around the world. Accidents. Only the most naive of people would demand an end to all oil exploration and transportation (and then get in their car and drive away.) Demanding an end to tracking is just as extreme.

    I pointed out that the anti-frackers main argument revolves around Fox's movie, and that he is a liar. If you have a problem with that, read another blog. Tracking is relatively safe and the technology keeps getting better and safer.

    Have a nice day!

    1. Obviously "tracking" in the above reply should be "fracking". Sitting in an airport and using my phone to reply.


No profanity, keep it clean.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.