Cheney Helped Halliburton Hide Secrets About Dangerous Chemicals in YOUR Drinking Water.
This is the most important blog post I've ever written. It's cross posted at Daily Kos. Please recommend over there.
H.R. 7231 to Close the Hydraulic Fracturing Loophole That Is Fracing Up America's Water.
Hydraulic fracturing (fracing) is a drilling technique that was developed by Halliburton. Millions of gallons of fresh water, along with sand, and cancer-causing and toxic chemicals are injected under high pressure miles down the drilling hole to fracture the limestone shale and release the oil and gas trapped within.
In 2005, at the urging of Dick Cheney, former Halliburton CEO, Congress exempt fracing from the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In 2001, Cheney's energy task force report "touted" benefits and ignored consequences. His office was "involved in discussions about how fracturing should be portrayed in the [EPA] report." Halliburton earns about $1.5 BILLION annually from hydraulic fracturing. (Ibid)
The oil and gas industry is the only industry in America that is allowed by EPA to inject KNOWN hazardous material-unchecked-directly into or adjacent to underground drinking water supplies.
H.R. 7231 will reinstate basic federal standards for hydraulic fracturing under the SDWA and enable the EPA to protect our drinking water from oil and gas pollution.
Ninety percent of all U.S. oil and gas wells undergo hydraulic fracturing to stimulate the production of oil and gas.
The EPA conducted a study of hydraulic fracturing in 2004 which concluded it posed no threat to drinking water. The conclusions of that study have since been questioned. An investigative report by Abrahm Lustgarten and ProPublica found that the EPA omitted information and negotiated the results of the report with the oil and gas industry.
DRILL FOR NATURAL GAS, POLLUTE WATER
The natural gas industry refuses to reveal what is in the mixture of chemicals used to drill for the fossil fuel.
...documents obtained by ProPublica show that the EPA negotiated directly with the gas industry before finalizing those conclusions, and then ignored evidence that fracing might cause exactly the kinds of water problems now being recorded in drilling states.
Buried deep within the 424-page report are statements explaining that fluids migrated unpredictably-through different rock layers, and to greater distances than previously thought-in as many as half the cases studied in the United States. The EPA identified some of the chemicals as biocides and lubricants that "can cause kidney, liver, heart, blood, and brain damage through prolonged exposure." It found that as much as a third of injected fluids, benzene in particular, remains in the ground after drilling and is "likely to be transported by groundwater."
More than 1000 documented cases of contamination have occurred in Colorado, New Mexico, Alabama, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In the Barnett Shale area in North Texas, several cases of contaminated water wells have recently been documented. Here are just a few:
• Methane seeped into residential water supply causing a house to explode.
• Numerous spills and leaks above ground contaminated water supplies with benzene.
• Sludge pits overflow and benzene and other chemicals leach into streams, springs and water wells.
• wells in Sublett County, WY showed contamination and the contamination plume stretched over 28 miles.
• Oil and gas Accountability Project has documented several serious incidents of well contamination.
• A 200 ft waterfall appeared in the side of a cliff in Parachute, CO. Fracing fluids had leaked from a sludge pit and traveled via groundwater to seep out the side of the cliff.
• Colorado records show over 1500 spills since 2003 with 206 in 2008.
• In Hill County Texas, goats die after drinking water contaminated with toluene, a drilling chemical. The wells of 5 families are contaminated and the water is unusable.
One of the most outrageous cases of contamination happened to Cathy Behr, an emergency room nurse in Durango, CO, who treated an oil field worker who was splashed with fracing fluid. From A Toxic Spew? Officials worry about impact of 'fracking' of oil and gas.
Cathy Behr says she won't forget the smell that nearly killed her. An emergency-room nurse in Durango, Colo.'s Mercy Regional Medical Center, Behr was working the April 17 day shift when Clinton Marshall arrived complaining of nausea and headaches. An employee at an energy-services company, Weatherford International, Marshall, according to Behr, said that he was caught in a "fracturing-fluid" spill. [Fracturing chemicals are routinely used on oil and gas wells where they are pumped deep into the ground to crack rock seams and increase production.] The chemical stench coming off Marshall's boots was buckling, says Behr. Mercy officials took no chances. They evacuated and locked down the ER, and its staff was instructed to don protective masks and gowns. But by the time those precautions were enacted, Behr had been nursing Marshall for 10 minutes--unprotected. "I honestly thought the response was a little overkill, but good practice," says Behr, 54, a 20-year veteran at Mercy.
A few days later, Behr's skin turned yellow. She began vomiting and retaining fluid. Her husband rushed her to Mercy where Behr was admitted to the ICU with a swollen liver, erratic blood counts and lungs filling with fluid. "I couldn't breath," she recalls. "I was drowning from the inside out." The diagnosis: chemical poisoning. The makers of the suspected chemical, Weatherford, tell NEWSWEEK that they aren't sure if their brand of fracking fluid can be blamed for her illness
Cathy Behr almost died! From DRILL FOR NATURAL GAS, POLLUTE WATER:
...The worker was released. But a few days later Behr lay in critical condition facing multiple organ failure.
To save Behr's life, her doctors needed to know the chemicals involved but they were only given vague information. The information is considered proprietary and Halliburton threatened to pull all its products out of Colorado rather than give up the recipe information Behr's doctors needed to save her life.
Weeks later, after Behr was recovering, her doctor finally learned the details of the chemicals involved but he is sworn to secrecy.
The oil and gas industry claims that hydraulic fracturing has never contaminated a well. They claim the public is misinformed. They claim information about the chemicals they use would only "confuse and frighten the public."
On October 31, 2007, the U.S. House of Representative's Oversight and Government Reform Committee began hearings investigating fracing.
Hearing statements by scientists and national defense council analyst, other experts and landowners found:
...gas companies not only injected diesel fuel into the fracking liquid as a part of their drilling, but also injected benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene into the liquid which in turn contaminated drinking water, causing serious physical ailments to residents.
...we have identified...245 different chemicals, 92% of which have adverse health effects.
~Dr. Theo Colborn, Ph.D.
President, Endocrine Disruption Exchange link
H.R. 7231will close the loophole that exempts hydraulic fracturing from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
The bill, H.R. 7231, would reinstate basic federal standards for hydraulic fracturing under the SWDA and enable the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect drinking water supplies...
U.S. Congresswoman Diana DeGette, CO - Sponsor
Congressman John Salazar, CO
Congressman Maurice Hinchey, NY
It is imperative that we safeguard our drinking water from any chemicals associated with natural gas drilling.
Congress must pass this bill to reverse the harmful provision in the Bush-administration sponsored Energy Policy Act of 2005 that created the hydraulic fracturing loophole.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey, NY
Remember H.R. 7231. You will hear from me on this again.
Additional information on natural gas drilling:
There is a massive propaganda campaign underway to convince YOU that natural gas is a clean energy. If you think that is true, please THINK AGAIN!
Union of Concerned Scientists: EPA's Findings on Hydraulic Fracturing Deemed "Unsupportable."
Myth Busting: The Cleaner Fuel, Safer At Home and Energy Independence
Myth Busting: Methane, Worst of the Greenhouse Gasses, Caused by "The Cleaner Fuel."
Sarah Palin's big lie: [Natural Gas is the] "Clean, Green Energy"
Dallas Morning News: Radioactive waste surfaces at Texas gas sites
Gas Extraction Causes Ozone Alerts in Wyoming, the Least Populated State in the U.S.
Emissions from gas drilling operations in the north Texas region are TWICE the ozone forming pollution as ALL the cars in in the nine-county non-attainment area.
That is the assertion made by Dr. Al Armendariz, Asst. Professor of Engineering at Southern Methodist University
Los Angeles Times: Halliburton's Interest Assisted by White House
The administration has lent support to a lucrative drilling technique. Some in the EPA consider it an environmental concern.