Thursday, July 12, 2012

English Royal Society Finds Fracking Fine

"There has been much speculation around the safety of shale gas extraction following examples of poor practice in the US. We found that well integrity is of key importance but the most common areas of concern, such as the causation of earthquakes with any significant impact or fractures reaching and contaminating drinking water, were very low risk...
The BS at the top about "poor practice in the US" is just throw away to make people feel thay've taken those stories into account.  There have been accidents with fracking, as with any large scale industrial project, but there is essentially zero evidence for contamination of drinking water aquifers with methane or fracking fluids.  There is one significant difference between fracking in England and fracking in the US where we might find improvement:
Open ponds for storing wastewater (which have been historically used in US fracking operations and carry a possible risk of leakage) are not permitted in the UK and there are numerous facilities in the UK for the treatment of similar wastes from the industrial sector
It would be a significant cost to keep fracking wastes in closed containers (although most in the US are recycled as much as is feasible), but it is a practice worth considering.  We have much greater land area in the US and a lower population density, so that may be a consideration arguing that the US can use open waste water with less impact.  It would, however, rob opponents of one of their favorite objections, and that could be a good thing

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