– ‘Fracking’ Result (= Contamination) For UK Shale Gas Will Be Kept Secret Until 2015
– US: Natural Gas Wells’ Contaminated Water Hits Rivers
– GASLAND Trailer 2010 (Documentary) (Must-see!)
An odd sort of perfect storm – involving a high-profile New York Times energy series, a quirky documentary that just missed the Oscar and federal BP-spill recovery plans – may finally address the 800-pound gorilla of our nation’s energy policy: RADIATION.
The NYT series launched Sunday (Feb. 27) with detailed accounts of radioactive wastewater, created by a Halliburton-developed extraction process called “fracking,” being dumped with impunity across the country. The article even included a “smoking gun” document, a “confidential industry study” from 1990 by none other than the American Petroleum Institute. The API’s secret study concluded that even with conservative assumptions, the radium in drilling wastewater dumped off the Louisiana coast posed “potentially significant risks” of cancer for anyone eating fish from those areas. I’m working on my own series of posts about this hazard in the Gulf of Mexico.
Meanwhile, it seems the regulators have taken steps to make sure no real regulating takes place despite laws on the books to prevent this disaster in the making. Remember, ounce for ounce, radioactive materials are the most toxic substances known to man. The current scientific consensus postulates that there is no known safe level of exposure to radioactive materials and that any exposure above background increases the risk of cancer.
The NYT story might leave the impression that we have no laws governing industry’s radioactive assault – but we actually do. The laws are on the books. They’re just being broken, and ignored. Many of the “regulators” are industry hacks waiting for the revolving door to come around. They have no incentive to tighten the screws on the way Big Oil and Gas do business. In fact, having seen it first-hand, regulators who do try to engage in true regulating frequently are forced out of their jobs or denied promotions.
Into that context we also have the landmark documentary “GasLand,” which features comments from my clients, increased its already high profile with an Adademy Award nomination. “GasLand” focuses on the gas-extraction process called “fracking,” and how it’s contaminating drinking-water sources across the country with radiation.