Another study takes 
careless aim at fracking

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Typical tree-hugger agenda…twist and warp the facts or take something out-of-context and engineer it to tug at emotions to promote their agenda,rather than sticking with hard unaltered scientific facts.

The Sentinel’s editorial – “Another study takes careless aim at fracking”—in response to Thursday’s AP story—“Study links fracking fluid, health problems” – lends credence to local politicos (acting as shills for the oil & gas industry) who carelessly repeat the oft-debunked mantra that “there’s no proof that fracking can cause health problems”.

While the AP story was even more alarmingly captioned by other media outlets, the title of the University of Missouri’s study – a peer-reviewed article pre-released by the journal Endocrine – is more esoteric:  “Estrogen and Androgen Receptor Activities of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Surface and Ground Water in a Drilling-Dense Region”.

The report focuses on “Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals” (“EDF”s)—which Paonia’s Theo Colborn has warned about for years—that can cause hormonal imbalances and even birth defects, and found increased levels of EDF’s, both near reported fluid spill sites and in the Colorado River itself.

As the report aptly noted, “hundreds of products containing more than 750 chemicals and components are potentially used throughout the [oil & gas] extraction process, including over one hundred known or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals”.

However, because of the “Halliburton Exceptions” that Dick Cheney inserted into the Energy Policy Act of 2005, both the investigative and regulatory authority of the EPA are constrained by the fact that “fracking” remains exempted from federal environmental laws—including the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act – albeit “completely safe” (?!?).  Why? 

Consequently, while industry advocates (and the Sentinel) can still plausibly insist that there is as yet no “scientific certainty” (just as do “climate change deniers”), that remaining “uncertainty” is largely due to those same statutory exemptions – which subordinate public health to the industry’s exaggerated “cost-of-compliance” misrepresentations.

Thus, it’s time for the Sentinel to editorialize for repeal of those exemptions.

How does merely repealing exemptions PROVE anything about fracking or climate change?

The only effect I see from repealing exemptions is creating more financial cost thru more regulations & oversight, more loss of time and productivity which further increases costs and we all will ultimately pay for it at the pump and thru our utility bills.

Energy companies will not eat the additional costs. they will be passed on to the consumer.

Wasn’t the study conducted by UofM and the US Geological Survey and published for peer-review in a scintific journal?  Isn’t that relevant?  There have been a number of other studies that have also been limited in scope—that the industry and Sentinel prised, including the test that injected tracers in a very limited number of wells, and methane leakage studies that neglected to include the so-called (and knownn to exist) ‘super-emitters.’  It seems that the Sentinel Ed Board got most of their info from the EID (Energy-In-Depth, industry lobby group) news release on the study, a source that seems even more suspect than a university researcher and the USGS.

It is interesting that the response from industry came not from scientists but from the PR shop.  Here is what the scientist leading the study said: “If you count up all the types of activity, our sites had on average double the activity relative to our control sites,” Nagel said.

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