Wednesday, May 5, 2010
How Hydrofracking Works
I'm noticing more and more people taking a look at hydrofracking and what it will do to our beautiful Catskill mountains when (IF????) it happens. So here is a synopsis of how it has worked in Pennsylvania and other states:
One large gas company (Cabot, Chesapeake, etc) buys up leases on private land (or public, of the county administration is that gullible).
Once the state government issues the permits to drill, the gas company then subcontracts with drilling companies, construction companies, hauling companies, and cleanup companies, who bring in their teams from other parts of the country. (There are no local hires, and these teams live in what's called "Man Camps"; think prostitution, gambling, excessive alcohol and drug use).
Roads are built, forests are cleared, wellpads are built. Millions and millions of industrial-sized trucks will come in and out during the process, choking the air and ripping up our infrastructure.
These teams do their work, having no connection whatsoever to the place where they are working. If you search "frack dance" on YouTube you will find out what the Halliburton guys do during the day.
It becomes a process of industrialization, which destroys farmland, forests, schoolyards, hilltops, wetlands.... where ever they have a lease and permit, they drill.
They are issued permits to draw water for hydrofracking from local aquifers, lakes and streams. Each frack of a well uses 6 million gallons of water, and each well can be fracked up to 6 times. They are currently estimating 50,000 wells in NY state.
(I guess, who cares if they contaminated the water? There won't be any left for us anyway!)
When a water well is contaminated, or stream, or river, or lake, forever rendering it lethal - the gas company throws up their hands and says, "Hey, it wasn't ME! I subcontracted that job!" and the subcontract company throws up their hands and says, "Hey, I'm just doing my job, don't blame me!" And if that water well happens to be on the property of someone who didn't want hydrofracking in the first place, well, that's called "Collateral Damage". Sorry, Charlie!
After they've fracked the well as much as possible, they cap the well and leave the fracking fluid in a plastic-lined "pond", to evaporate and poison the air over time. 30% of the fracking fluid is left in the ground.
What does the fracking fluid contain? Carcinogens. Mutagens. Neurotoxins. and other highly poisonous, lethal elements.
Finally, what happens to that "Clean" gas? The Answer to America's Energy Independence Needs? Oh, right - it gets sold overseas! Bigger profits that way!
Posted by Meg Montgomery at 6:56 AM