End. Fracking. Now!

California is already dealing with the worst drought in that state's history. So, the last thing residents needed was to learn that some of their dwindling water supply has been contaminated. Back in June, California regulators shut down 11 fracking injection wells after finding that wastewater may have contaminated aquifers.

The Environmental Protection Agency ordered the state to send a full report, which the California State Water Resources Board turned in earlier this month. The board confirmed that at least nine of the fracking sites in question were dumping waste into aquifers used for drinking water and farm irrigation.

The Center for Biological Diversity obtained a copy of the letter that the board sent to the EPA, which revealed some alarming information. That letter said about three billion gallons of fracking wastewater was pumped into injection wells and seeped into aquifers near the center of that state. Water samples taken from these areas have extremely high levels of carcinogens and toxins like thallium and arsenic.

Timothy Krantz of the University of Redlands, said, “The fact that high concentrations are showing up in multiple water wells close to wastewater injection sites raises major concerns about the health and safety of nearby residents.”

Considering that many of California's reservoirs are already sitting at about half of their historic average, that state can't afford to lose access to any of their drinking water. But, thanks to the fossil fuel industry, residents may have to risk consuming dangerous chemicals or risk going thirsty.

This is exactly why they can't be trusted. It's time for a complete moratorium on natural gas drilling, and time to end our addiction to fossil fuels.


Argon's picture
Argon 9 years 35 weeks ago

Question for Senator Inhofe

I once posed a question to my Senator, James Inhofe that received no reply; I will repeat the question to the Worlds readership.

It is my understanding the Senator believes that global climate change is a hoax, the worldwide peer reviewed science corrupt and; if the liberal socialist carbon control people get their way, carbon controls will cost business billions in unnecessary expense. How this profits the Climatologists and the rest of the scientific community is unclear to me.

On the other hand; if the peer reviewed science of green house gas based climate change is correct but the anthropogenic (human caused) global climate change deniers continue to get their way: not only will it eventually cost business trillions of dollars; there is the possibility the very existence of our Homo Sapiens species could be endangered. We have already passed the 400ppm CO2 tipping point with major glaciers and Arctic ice disappearing, worldwide historical weather extremes and oceanic acidification. Clearly CERTAIN businesses profit by continuing to externalize the costs of carbon, but when does the possibility of a market correction involving an unprecedented die off of the human species register as a genuine threat?

In today’s fear mongered “realist” post 9/11 world, an entire cabinet level department and agency was created because the Department of Defense was deemed too inept and dysfunctional to protect “the homeland”. Even though the DOD still isn’t capable of performing a standard audit, it is still entrusted to subcontract 2 theaters of war and maintain hundreds of bases worldwide. The military industrial congressional complex to date provides planes the Air Force doesn’t want, Tanks the Army doesn’t need and Ships for last centuries Navy to keep the expertise in place, remaining our only true nationwide bipartisan jobs program.

The earth WILL be struck by another significant asteroid or comet: the only questions where, when and how big; yet few miserly resources are devoted. Somewhere another super volcano, like Yellowstone, WILL erupt but we can’t even prepare and pre-position pallets of food, water, and other necessities for airdrops to mitigate the inevitable tornado, ice storm, hurricane, earthquake and other mundanely predictable natural disasters that dwarf any act of human terrorism, including the feared mushroom cloud.

We are herded through metal detectors, x-rays, pat downs, are forbidden to carry on all but the smallest of liquids and must remove our shoes at airports on the mere possibility a plane might be hijacked and/or blown up killing the hundreds on board. Hundreds of Billions have been spent and continue to be squandered on “security measures” that abdicate our constitutionally granted liberties for an elusive security that we neither actually receive nor, given the actions of our representatives to the world at large, arguably deserve.

I fail to understand why industry refuses to change even when the individual engineers recognise the validity of the peer reviewed science; it’s your children too. At some point we have to recognise that the basic business models, planned obsolescence, and cost externalizations will have to change.

Even if solar panels are put on every roof, wind turbines in every yard, wave generators on every pond, and geothermal in every deep hole; the US and world will still be dependent on oil & gas to heat our predominantly energy inefficient housing design and cities planned for internal combustion transportation. Fossil fuels are not in danger of becoming irrelevant in any future.

If industry actually cared about future generations we would be stockpiling and husbanding our domestic stock and utilizing everyone else’s (Russia be damned). I fail to see how drill baby drill and then sell baby sell is maintaining our energy “independence”, national security, maintaining our global competiveness, or providing for future generations of Americans.

The thing about digging yourself into a hole is the deeper you make it the harder it is to climb out. It is way past time to stop digging and start climbing.

David Donnell

Argon's picture
Argon 9 years 35 weeks ago

didn't know where else to post this so Thom would notice it.

Mystic's picture
Mystic 9 years 35 weeks ago

My son lives in Weld County, Colorado, (Yes, fracking country where the guy lit his tap water on fire in the documentary Gasland). His water was bad, so we got him a 3 phase Reverse Osmosis water filter, one with a charcoal pre-filter, the R/O, and another Charcoal Post filter.

Well, that didn't seem to work very well after a short while, so being a mechanic and engineering type, he cut the R/O cartridge in half to see what it looked like. The R/O membrane was just a pile of Goo in the bottom of the cartridge. We changed the cartridge on our identical unit up in the Colorado mountains, and ours looked fine after nearly 2 years use.

His water district insists the water is fine, and cite water analysis's that show minerals and metals, but they refuse to check for volatiles. Do you suppose they know there is a problem but they:

1. Don't want to admit it because they would have to do something different and expensive to supply their customers with safe tap water.

2. Are paid off by the fracking companies because they don't want the negative publicity and exposure to having to pay some of the cost of polluting the water supply.

Currently trying to get some State or Federal representative to obtain proper water quality testing for this area, that includes volatiles and other toxic and carcinogenic fracking chemicals.


ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 35 weeks ago

The Dallas physician who testified in absentia to Congress recently may have done so because the committee members were afraid to have him physically present.

kinsmed's picture
kinsmed 9 years 35 weeks ago

People have said for decades "this is the most important election of our lifetime".

We fought facism, communism, things that affected man's freedom.

Now we are faced with nothing less than the survival of mankind.

You sign off with the warning that "Democracy is not a spectator sport".

I have been sending out a tweet each day asking people who they will vote for, i.e.;

"Will you vote for those who shut down government? #Qday"

"Will you vote for those who voted over 50 times to repeal health care reform? #Qday"

"Will you vote for those who led the least productive Congress in history? #Qday"

My account is @kinsmed

Each time a person doesn't vote, a millionaire thanks you.

SassyLass 9 years 35 weeks ago

UN Fact-finding Town Hall Meeting, Oct. 19, 4 pm

A Special Visit to Detroit by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

DETROIT FACT-FINDING PUBLIC TOWN HALL MEETINGSunday, October 19, 20144:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Doors open at 3:00 p.m.

Wayne County Community College District
Downtown Campus in the Atrium
1001 W. Fort St, Detroit MI 48226

Special guests:

Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation

Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing

International and locally known panelists will hear testimony from Michigan residents about water, sanitation and housing issues offered by victims of this crisis.

Help will be offered to all audience guests.

Partial list of co-sponsors: Michigan Welfare Rights Organization; Detroit People’s Water Board Coalition; AFSCME Local 207; Assembly to End Poverty; Critical Moment; Democracy Defense League-Flint, MI; Detroit Active Retired Employee Association; Detroit Green Party; Detroit School Board in Exile; Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management; Food and Water Watch; Free Detroit-No Consent; Go Detroit; Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit; Green Party of Michigan; Highland Park Human Rights Coalition; Housing Is a Human Right Coalition-Detroit; James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership; Keep the Vote No Takeover; Michigan Coalition for Human Rights; Michigan Legal Services; Moratorium Now!; NAACP Legal Defense Fund; National Boricua Human Rights Network; Detroit Chapter; National Lawyers Guild-Detroit MI Chapter; National Nurses United; Peoples Platform; Poverty Roundtable-Flint, MI; St. Peter’s Episcopal Church-Detroit; Sierra Club; The Raiz Up; Trenton Manor Tenants Association; U.S.-Canada Alliance of Inhabitants; Voices of Indigenous Peoples; Wayne County Community College District; We the People of Detroit; Women’s Economic Agenda Project.

For more information, contact MWRO at (313) 964-0618 or info@mwro.org


aphrodite's picture
aphrodite 9 years 35 weeks ago

I think it is largely a question of willful blindness. I have seen lots of comments lately about California and water or the lack thereof. Californians are scared, rightly so. But the entire nation should be scared because California is the biggest supplier of produce to the nation and if that goes, what will we eat? However, I have seen way too many comments that flatly state that there is no fracking in California! Seriously! People who live there, even! How can such willful ignorance be changed?

DrRichard 9 years 35 weeks ago

Well said, David. Unfortunately most folks don't think, or as my mother (1913-2012) frequently put it, "People are stupid." It is easier to keep them stirred up over a West African virus than to deal with, say, gun safety or drunk driving, let alone the collapse of Iraq. (In fact, the media obsession with Ebola almost seems like a deliberate sleight-of-hand to distract everyone from what is really happening over there.)

So for most people why should climate change be any more "serious" than who wins the Superbowl? Neither are things they can control, but the latter is at least entertaining. Logic and courage be damned in the so-called land of the "free" and "brave."

Ms Finn's picture
Ms Finn 9 years 35 weeks ago

While the contamination of the aquifers is beyond nightmarish, so few ever mention how the fracking throughout the west for nigh onto a decade could possibly be connected directly to the droughts? When an average of 5 million gallons of fresh water is used with every drilling (not just every well, every drilling), and there have been tens of thousands of wells drilled (many multiply) how can one not make the connection? Also as more than half the water used for fracking remains underground (and yes seeping and contaminating at times), that means that the water is REMOVED from the rain cycle. The specious arguments made that agriculture and recreation use great amounts of water as well has only to be countered with the point that the water used for agriculture and recreation is not removed from the rain cycle in any significant way. Millions upon billions of gallons of water removed from the rain cycle by fracking must be exacerbating the droughts, if not, as I contend, causative of droughts.

basmith13f's picture
basmith13f 9 years 35 weeks ago

There are two water propositions (Props. 1 & 2) to vote on this November that were put on at the last minute by the Governor. According to The San Diego Free Press, they are larded with pork for monied special interests. The suspicion of TSDFP is that they are meant to provide the millions of gallons of water for fracking.

Unfortunately, the TV ads are supporting these propositions. They'll probably pass, because no one (except TSDFP) is alerting voters. The Free Press is internet-only as far as I know; I only found out about it when I googled "progressive voters' guide for the California 2012 ballot propositions". How many people are going to do that for this election?

RFord's picture
RFord 9 years 35 weeks ago

The companies doing the fracking don't want to contaminate water supplies that are underground but they consider it a risk worth taking for the money they can get from the fracked wells. I don't know how they justify doing this when they know there is now a list of places where peoples underground resivoirs of water have been rendered unusable due to fracking. Contaminating aquafers is not OK. Doing something which may contaminate aquafers is not OK, so fracking needs to be stopped. If fracking is banned and we have a shortage of natural gas, then so be it. We will find other ways to heat like with wind, solar and hydro electric power, the kind of power that does not emit carbon. We need the kind of power that does not lead to the extinction of mankind, not the kind that does. There are those who think we are crying wolf, but do you know what happened to the boy who cried wolf?

Howard Laverne Stewart's picture
Howard Laverne ... 9 years 35 weeks ago

We should expand public transportation and concentrate housing near the hubs of metro rail stations, Like they did before cars.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 35 weeks ago

Here in Canada we have been fracking for for over 70 years. Not once has there ever been ANY water contaminated. I makes me wonder how they do it there. Either they are doing it wrong or someone is lying about the the leaks. From what I understand water is less then 100 feet below surface and most oil and gas is over a 1000 ft deep. How the frack does it happen.

If you notice Thom said "contaminated water MAY have". So they are shutting down 11 wells because "MAY HAVE" nice to see they are taking no chances but the truth is the problem probaly isn't from fracking. I think it is dangerous to keep crying wolf. I am starting to be a non believer myself. After all Al Gore told me the ocean would be two inches higher by now. New York is supposed to be under water. The fact is nothing has changed. We have spent billions on all of this and CO2 levels have not dropped at all. I wonder if all that money was spent on healthcare how many more people would be alive today.

RFord's picture
RFord 9 years 35 weeks ago

In canada there are thousands of fracked wells out in the wilderness, where there are no people. If some of those wells have contaminated the ground water, so what, no one is using it and no one needs to know about it. What you said about water being 100 feet deep is wrong. Water is found at many defferent depths. Where I live in Southaven, Mississippi, There is an aquafer at 500 feet deep and another at 1300 feet deep, which is the one Memphis gets its' water from. If ground water is clean before wells are fracked and the ground water is contaminated with chemicals used in fracking after the wells are fracked, it's a no-brainer as to what contaminated the water. The problem with most scientists is they have integrity will not present anything as fact unless it is a fact and they will not present any opinions unless they are based on their most recent findings. There are very few scientists whose opinions can be bought but there are some. If most of the climate scientists opinions could be bought, the fossil fuel industry would have already bought them.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 35 weeks ago

Fracking activities polluted Alberta’s groundwater: ERCB
Cecilia Jamasmie | December 21, 2012

Canadian authorities: Fracking operation contaminated groundwater

Alberta Expert Says Fracking Contamination Will Get Worse!

Fracking’s greatest risk is water contamination: leaked report

Canada’s fractured view of fracking


Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 35 weeks ago

Palin I guess I shouldn't trust my environment minister he was just on TV saying there was none. Those articles are great but although they where all minor incidents I guess I am willing to live with it for the 90 billion dollars a year it brings into our economy of 3.4 million people. It's like I read there was over 50 pipeline leaks in America but when I researched it further I found out 49 where under 5 gallons. I get it everyone hates the oil and gas industry and everything it stands for. Neil Young, a Canadian, was just on Howard Stern slamming our oil sands. Calling it a waste land. The Rockerfellers who made millions in oil and gas spent 7 million on anti oil commercials up here. If you really want to impress me go to China, Nigeria or Venusula and protest there wher the real environmental damage is been done.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 35 weeks ago

The think is mr ford I am old enough to remember we where going yo burn to death because of the massive hole in the ozone. Then they where going to spray insulation on the whole article circle because we where going to freeze to death. Then the whole tree ring theory that started all this turned out to wrong. They fudged the data. Then a well respected man like Al Gore lied to me by telling me by now the oceans would rise by now and New York would be under water. The whole movie Gasland has been proven wrong. What puzzles me the most is there is no debate at all on this.

Look the world has changed temps and CO 2 levels for hundreds of millions of years. There will always be climate change. I just don't believe everyone is telling the truth on either side of this. They can't tell me if it is going to rain tomorrow but they know how high the ocean is going to be in ten years. I don't know.

RFord's picture
RFord 9 years 35 weeks ago

Kend doesn't get it. The real environmental damage is to the atmosphere of the whole planet Earth. Anything that burns puts out carbon dioxide and the more carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere, the more the planet heats up. Next comes methane into the atmosphere and oceans. Once this happens, 90 billion dollars a year will not stop the mass extinction of animals including humans. If you don't believe any of this, you may have a state of mind called denial, often caused by what a person doesn't want to believe or by dollar signs. If you don't care about future generations, if you don't care about anyone but yourself in the present, just say so, at least I will respect your honesty.rford96904

RFord's picture
RFord 9 years 35 weeks ago

The ozone layer in the upper atmosphere protects us from harmful UV radiation from the sun. It was becoming depleated due to the release of propellants and freons. There was a worldwide ban on these gases and harmless substances and less harmful refrigerants were substituted. Old refrigerants are required to be recovered and contained. Now NASA says the ozone layer has started to recover. We, the humans did this. The documenteries "Gasland" and "Gasland II" opened our eyes about fracking. Those that tell us that it is a farce are lying, like the website naturalgas.org. It's obvious why a website called naturalgas.org would tell this lie. We controlled ozone and we can control carbon. There will be those influenced by the fossil fuel industry who will be in denial about the harmful effects of burning fossil fuels no matter how much real scientific proof is presented contrary to what the fossil fuel industry influenced deniers say. We cotrolled the ozone layer and we can control atmospheric carbon.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 35 weeks ago

Rford in fairness have you seen the movie Fracknation. If you havnt please do it might chance your mind about how truthful movies like Gasland are.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 35 weeks ago

The anti-gasland , pro fracking looneys, have far more money and power to propagandize people than the gasland people have. Their new movie Fracknation is as not believable as Fox news. For instance, tis true that for hundreds, perhaps millions of years natural gas has seeped out of the ground or through streams and it was possible to "light the water". And that is supposed to sway people into believing that fracking is not now responsible for farmers being able to "light their tap water"? Yes, there are rare instances where some people may have this problem naturally. But, fracking has caused lots of people to have this problem where they had not previously had this problem before. And yes you can find a few farmers who have allowed fracking and they don't have this problem...it all depends upon lots of geological factors...and how willing the farmer is to lie for the big bucks he gets from the fracking companies.

And fracking also is responsible for causing earthquakes. Yes, earthquakes happen naturally, but are not normally known to happen in certain areas that are now having quite a few happening frequently after fracking comes into the area. And it's one thing to demonstrate being able to light your water and then have the fracking people try to refute that by saying gas can seep out of the ground or water natrually. And another thing when such a dramatic show cannot be put on when it comes to other non-flammable substances in the water...very carcinogenic substances that the fracking people use in their fracking cocktails that they pump into the ground at very high pressures.

Why do they have to use all of these carcinogenic substances... poisons... some of which can do long term damage to our cells...causing cancers, mutations and birth defects. These things can't be ignited in the water but will cause long-term damage to those who drink the water, or to their animals and crops. Milk and meat and crops the farmers sell to the rest of us to eat may be contaminated by the fracking cocktails they use.

I noticed what they did in the video was to abruptly cut off the responses of the producer of gasland immediately after he gave a response. He could have followed up with some very pertinent and relevant information that would have put an entirely different light on what was said. But, you'll never know exactly what was said if you don't watch the whole thing. This is what propaganda people do when they misuse or misstate facts. And, there may or may not have been others who have not been honest and may have been deceitful in rigging up that hose, ostensibly from the pump, to a gas supply. I wouldn't put it past the fracking industry to plant such a senario, to make it look like anit-fracking people were being dishonest, when it was actually the pro-fracking people to staged the whole thing.

One thing we won't have in our future, if the fracking people keep spreading across the globe, is fresh drinkable water. Water will be more precious and expensive as oil and gas is now.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 9 years 34 weeks ago

What we are up against is a desperate economy. As a poor laborer talking to other poor laborers I was told by one, "Go to South Dakota! You know why? 'Cause they got fracking there! Everybody's got a job and is making money there! Walmart workers there are making ten bucks an hour!".

They get what they want by keeping us desperate. That increases their power in relation to ours exponentially. Out of desperation, for short term employment we accept long term disaster.

It's like that Gary Cooper movie where he, Rita Hayworth and a few other soldiers were dying of thirst in the desert and they casme upon alkaly tainted water. Gary Cooper, their commander, couldn't tell them not to drink it.

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