It should surprise nobody that fracking companies have lied about fracking into our drinking water.
Fracking into underground drinking water sources isn’t prohibited by the 2005 Energy Policy Act, since the Energy Policy Act exempted the practice from key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act (so what was the purpose of an act called the Safe Drinking Water Act again?) Still, the industry has long held that it doesn’t hydraulically fracture into underground sources of drinking water. Not because they care, mind you, but because oil and gas deposits sit deeper than aquifers.
A study out of Stanford University, however, reveals that for the lie it is.
The study found that energy companies use what’s called “acid stimulation,” a production method, and hydraulic fracturing in the Wind River and Fort Union geological formations. These formations make up the Pavillion gas field and contain natural gas and drinking water. It’s here that they’ve been a-fracking:
“Thousands of gallons of diesel fuel and millions of gallons of fluids containing numerous inorganic and organic additives were injected directly into these two formations during hundreds of stimulation events,” concluded Dominic DiGiulio and Robert Jackson of Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences in a presentation Tuesday at the American Chemical Society conference in San Francisco.
The research is ongoing, and it also doesn’t mean that the fracking is contaminating underground drinking water. The industry maintains that it doesn’t:
“The extent and consequences of these activities are poorly documented, hindering assessments of potential resource damage and human exposure,” DiGiulio wrote.
How’s that for comfort? We know it doesn’t because we don’t have a clue. The article highlights a 6 year EPA investigation into the possibility of drinking water contamination that found evidence of contamination at three sites (that’ s three too many). The investigation was eventually shelved due to political pressure.
And while it’s true that fracking typically happens deeper underground, the industry likes to maintain that it has no physical chance of contact with water resources. Which, of course, isn’t always true:
“It’s true that fracking often occurs miles below the surface,” said Jackson, professor of environment and energy at Stanford. “People don’t realize, though, that it’s sometimes happening less than a thousand feet underground in sources of drinking water.”
Drinking water? Who needs that? We can just poison all the public supplies and then sell what’s left over. Capitalism!
h/t Daily Kos