Gas Well Talking Points
SPICE RACK - One local gas drilling company likes to use a photo of a kitchen spice rack while discussing frac fluids. They will tell you: "We only use a few, just 4 or 5" and "This is stuff you use in your house" and "Most of it stays deep in the ground." But a spice rack example?? Frac fluids put a nurse in Colorado into organ arrest after she came in contact with a drilling worker soaked with frac fluids. The good news is that she lived. Bad news is that it took more than 30 hours for her to be released from intensive care. These gas drilling company PR guys sure must think you're stupid if you fall for their cooking spices comparison!
ROAD SALT - Since some people know that hydraulic fracturing fluids coming back out of the ground ('flowback') contain high levels of salt or brine, the gas drilling PR guys will address this one very simply. They tell the crowd they could drill for 10 years and not create as much salt runoff as the Pennsylvania highway department uses for de-icing roads during one winter. OK then, we need the roads salted for safety and winter transportation, but do we really need gas drillers adding that much salt to the environment, especially when most of it now gets processed and dumped back in our rivers, where we get our drinking water?
RESTORED TO THE SAME OR BETTER CONDITION - Drilling companies profess that they will put the land they use for gas drilling pads, frac pits, pipelines and other operations back into the same or better condition. While they might get some vegetation to grow, it will never be the same. Here's one of those reclamation jobs near the entrance to Cross Creek Park in Washington County, PA.
ONLY ONE CASE OF WATER CONTAMINATION - Open wide folks, because this is a BIG ONE to swallow whole! The local gas drilling company PR guy told a crowd in Hickory Pennsylvania in early 2009 that he only knew of one case of water contamination due to fracking gas wells in the entire United States, and that may have been in Arkansas, he thought. Just one week prior to his presentation, the photo below was taken of a run-off area down stream from a gas well that had just been fracked, and this was less than 10-miles from where he was giving his presentation. Do you think these guys need to get out in the field more, or just focus on the facts. How dumb do they think you are anyway?
MON RIVER WATER PROBLEM HAD LITTLE TO DO WITH GAS DRILLING ACTIVITIES??? - Late in 2008, about 1/3 of a million Pittsburgh area residents were treated to "chunky" water, that being tap water that was much higher than normal in TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). The PaMarcellus industry consortium commissioned a study by Tetra Tech in an attempt to show that drawing millions of gallons of water from surrounding streams and waterways had little to do with the terrible tasting drinking water. OK then, let's use their numbers, assuming the study was correct.... they say hydraulic fracturing of gas wells contributed to less than 7-percent of the chunky water problem (Keep in mind the study was done by a paid contractor). Since a Pittsburgh TV news team caught them raiding rivers that were already under a drought watch for massive quantities of water, they had to admit they played a big part (1 in 14 according to THEIR numbers). They will pump streams dry too, even though Pennsylvania's Clean Streams Law makes it illegal. Gas drilling is a "wild west style" under-regulated industry, and everyone knows where that got us with coal mining.
Photo below: Three tankers pumping water out of a stream running low due dry summer conditions on Marcellus Shale near Houston, Pa. Is gas well fracking more important than aquatic life in this stream?
July 11, 2009 -
Washington Firefighter Academy parking lot, Chartiers Township