In a previous blog article I posted on 11/13/2011, I mention fracking. New information, or at least contentions of new information, have led me to add a note to that article, and so I am also posting it here:
On Fareed Zakaria GPS today, Ann McElhinney, director of the upcoming documentary, "FrackNation" pointed out several interesting contentions that we didn't hear in the notorious documentary "Gasland". She indicated that fracking has been going on sice 1948, and that there are literally millions of these fracking sites around the US. Opposing her on the debate was Amrahm Lustgarten, Environmental reporter for ProPublica, who said that the fracking that has been going on recently, in the last ten years is different than historical drilling. McElhinney said that the EPA has pointed out there is not a single incident of fracking causing methane leakage to people's water. Well, you can take that with a grain of salt, or not. I tend to give official sources credence until proven, or credibly indicated, to be otherwise.
The primary source of the documentary film "Gasland" that stirred up all this controversy was based in Dimock, PA. McElhinney went back there and said that reporters always seemed to interview the eleven litigants in the methane in the water issue; but McElhinney then also found 1500 families who said that the water there had always been "appalling" and had always had methane in the water. So the residents have started an organization called, "Enough Already" to have their voices heard and their side of the controversy heard. McElhinney also said, we're talking about 1% of the people there and the 99% want to have their voices heard.
McElhinney also said when you consider the "truth" which her upcoming documentary is to point out, when put next to the need America has for the products of fracking, and the need to remove ourselves from buying energy products such as oil and gas from countries who seem to hate us, that it is a great benefit to be able to frack in our own country. Finally she said of course regulations are important and need to be there, and they are there now. Lustgarten returned that there is not enough known about this and there needs to be more research and attention paid to just what this can do to our environment
Is there anything more important than our drinking water?
The other day a scientist was on the news talking about how there is one other element that is very important and being ignored. That being the effect of pumping all this water and chemicals, especially as there is so much of this being done now, and the effects this has on plate tectonics, the shifting of plates of land that cause earthquakes. There has been speculation for years about actually starting earthquakes using this kind of method, in proactively alleviating bad earthquakes . Bad earthquakes happen when two plates have too much friction to allow the pressure to be released more gradually, over time. When they get stuck, sooner or later they release that pressure with devastating results to human, living populations including animals and structures.
So there are things about fracking that we need to examine and continue to examine. Even though, in some cases it may already be too late. We just don't know enough yet. But, we will. Hopefully we will find out ahead of time, through research and not through some kind of environmental catastrophe. Fracking may indeed be the answer we need for the here and now, but we also need to expend the money for research to properly and scientifically evaluate the result of this much fracking.
Something we are not always so good at doing. There are many examples of our being lax in paying for services we don't really value highly as needing to be carried out. For instance, one prime example in another area entirely, is with our war veterans. We seem to be all for going to war when we deem it necessary, but when it comes to taking care in the aftermath or even during, to pay for our veterans to be properly integrated back into our society, to get the proper mental and physical healthcare they so sorely need, we tend to shy away from our responsibilities.
Let's do the right things, even if that means fracking, or going to war. But let's also spend the money we need to be spending, to protect ourselves and properly take care of our citizens whom we have or may have, put in harms way for our benefit.