Have no fear, the great New York Times is now on the case of natural gas drilling, and it has “uncovered” some rather disturbing news:
With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.
While the existence of the toxic wastes has been reported, thousands of internal documents obtained by The New York Times from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and drillers show that the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood.(1)
Opponents of drilling for natural gas usually key in on the process of hydraulic fracturing, claiming that it pollutes groundwater supplies. “Clean water!” becomes the rallying cry—and who is not for clean water? The Environmental Protection Agency has joined the chorus by ordering a “cradle to grave” study of hydraulic fracturing that will begin this year and run until 2014 before the final results are in. Waiting for the results of the study will no doubt be used as an excuse to delay drilling in some states and municipalities.
In an article on the developing situation of whether and where to allow Marcellus Shale drilling in Allegheny County, PA, we get this update of how much land has been leased, and the likelihood of whether or not drilling will commence in the county: