“Finance specialists" have not been taken in.
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As noted in the featured article:
“Finance specialists" have not been taken in.
'The economics of fracking are horrid,' writes US financial journalist
Wolf Richter in Business Insider. 'Drilling is destroying capital at an
astonishing rate, and drillers are left with a mountain of debt just when
decline rates are starting to wreak their havoc. To keep the decline rates
from mucking up income statements, companies had to drill more and
more, with new wells making up for the declining production of old wells.
Alas, the scheme hit a wall, namely reality.'”
According to financial analyst John Dizard, producers of shale gas have
borrowed large amounts of money just to fund the initial land acquisition
drilling. Operating under “deficit financing,” they’ve spent two to five
times their operating cash flow just to get started, and with production
dropping off at a staggering rate, these producers quickly find themselves
operating in the red.
What it all amounts to is an “oil bubble” that could rival the recent
bank bailouts. The question is where is the bailout money for the oil and gas
industry going to come from? Worse yet, depending on how far the bubble is
allowed to expand and how many new wells are drilled to maintain even
production, the environment could be absolutely decimated in the process of
trying to avert what appears to be an inevitable financial cataclysm...
Unsealed Records in Pennsylvania Fracking Case Reveals Contamination Problems
A lawsuit recently unsealed in the Washington County Court of Common
Pleas reveals the health hazards associated with the fracking process, and
how revolving doors between industry and agencies tasked to investigate
wrongdoing places your health a distant second to industry profits. According
“The Hallowich family sued the gas drillers after they say nearby
drilling activity, including compressor stations, made their children sick.
The mother, Stephanie Hallowichbecame an outspoken critic of gas drilling inthe Marcellus Shale. But the
final settlement imposed a strict gag order onthe Hallowich family, as well
as the gas drilling companies. The Hallowichfamily has since moved from
The drilling companies, Range Resources, MarkWest Energy and Williams
Gas, settled the contamination case for $750,000, according to recently
unsealed records, of which the Hallowich children receive $10,000 each. The
order to unseal the records was entered on March 20, reversing a previous
decision to have them permanently sealed. According to the judge, claims of
privacy rights on behalf of the drillers had no merit. The records are now
posted in full on the NPR site.6
The records show that the fracking activities
had leaked acetone into fresh water supplies, and the Pennsylvania Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) inspector tasked with investigating
complaints about the water contamination went on to work for the drilling
company, Range Resources. Not surprisingly, complaint files at the DEP
were subsequently found to be missing...
The Hallowich’s drinking water was found to be contaminated with
acrylonitrile above “safe” levels, a highly flammable and toxic chemical
compound classified as a probable carcinogen. The Hallowich's also claimed
air emissions from the gas processing plant made them sick. However, as part
of the settlement, the Hallowich's signed an affidavit stating there’s "no
medical evidence" that their children's symptoms are "definitively" connected
to drilling activity.
Is Fracking Really Safe for the Environment and Residents of the Area?
Fracking proponents claim it is a safe and effective drilling method that
reduces the surface footprint of the drilling operation. However, people
across the US have reported serious adverse health events resulting from
contamination of air and/or drinking water.
The method entails pumping chemical-laced water and sand at high pressure
into shale rock formation, thereby releasing hydrocarbons. The chemicals used
in the process have the potential to leak into nearby groundwater, as they
did in the Pennsylvania case above, either from the well, or from spills
above ground. Yet another concern is fracking-induced earthquakes. Reported
adverse effects of exposure to fracking chemicals include:
Respiratory ailments; shortness of breath
Skin rashes; swelling; lesions
Nausea and vomiting
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