Skip to comments.Pennsylvania cattle quarantined from gas fracking contamination
Posted on 07/10/2010 2:22:27 PM PDT by Willie Green
Agriculture officials have quarantined 28 beef cattle on a Pennsylvania farm after wastewater from a nearby gas well leaked into a field and came in contact with the animals.
The state Department of Agriculture said the action was its first livestock quarantine related to pollution from natural gas drilling. Although the quarantine was ordered in May, it was announced Thursday.
A mere taste of what's to come from natural-gas fracking in the Marcellus Shale, folks.
With fracking, or hydraulic fracturing of rock formations to extract natural gas, we're setting ourselves up for an environmental disaster of epic proportions -- and much of it the result of an inability to develop rural economies. Residents in upstate New York and central Pennsylvania are desperate for income, and the gas companies are happy to write checks for mineral rights. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania and New York are in the middle of state budget crises. The prospect of tax revenue from fracking is apparently more than enough to offset environmental concerns.
In fairness, both states are paying attention to the risks of water contamination, but they may both conclude that a little water contamination is a small price to pay for a balanced budget and increased rural incomes (at least for leaseholders). Pennsylvania is already experiencing pushback from gas companies who say the state's drilling regulations for drinking water protection in Marcellus Shale regions are unreasonably high. Complicating matters further is that both the New York City and Delaware Valley watersheds are likely to gain special protections, which leaves areas outside those regions more vulnerable to lenient standards. Ya gotta drill somewhere!
Nightmare scenarios abound. As High Country News summarizes, fracking has brought the West "polluted wastewater problems, large scale habitat disturbance, methane leaks from pipelines, and potentially serious health impacts that come along with the use of toxic chemicals in hydraulic fracturing." And as this article on Civil Eats suggests, even heavily regulated fracking could be enough to destroy much of New York's Hudson Valley farmland. After all, how many cattle quarantines or lost crops does it take to put a farmer out of business? Answer: not many.
Indeed, this latest episode, despite the fact that the cattle don't yet seem to have been harmed, will give little comfort to those who have to listen to industry assurances of safety. Would you want to eat cows that have been dining in fields covered in benzene and diesel fuel?
My hope is that the tactics the energy industry have used to exploit natural resources to great success out West won't work back East, where they are operating much closer to media and population centers. But betting on the strength of politicians' spines to resist doing the bidding of the energy industry never made anyone any money ...
Funny thing is that the lefties will whine about the Cheney Exception when it was actually Bill Klinton’s Administration that let the gas industry be unregulated by the Clean Water Act.
The fracking gubmint keeps expanding and we’re all fracked...
Yeah, and there’s no fracking free lunch here - it’s a cost/benefit analysis.
This is one point of view. Contamination from fraking is rare.
“Indeed, this latest episode, despite the fact that the cattle don’t yet seem to have been harmed..”
In other words, despite no evidence at all “we’d” like you to get upset over something that “we” “feel” is wrong....
This is one point of view. Contamination from fraking is rare or common...we really don't know because complaints are often settled out of court by the oil/gas companies and there's not extensive regulation of the industry.
I think that any true conservative would believe that nobody has a right to inject something--which might intrude into your water supply--into the ground without revealing what it is. There's also an obligation against negligence, which means sufficient study and protection should be required prior to threatening other peoples' health and property rights.
Just how deep are these wells that they’re frackin’? How close to the surface are they placing the charges? I run a water company servicing 500 homes. When they started drillin’ gas wells near by, I expressed my concern. They told me that the gas wells would be thousands of feet deeper than my 275’ deep wells, and there was no concern at all about contamination.. nonetheless, as I was leaving their engineer’s office I mentioned that if they screwed up, I was gonna be the new owner of their company. So far, 10 years, no problems, but also no frackin’ that I’m aware of. Edge of the Cuyahoga River Valley.
Yeah, it’s ridiculous that they won’t let me shoot my gun in the town square. They stopped me even before they determined whether I’d hit anyone...can you believe it?!
—more parts-per-trillion hogwash from the environmental nutcase crowd-—
If a fracking leak was really that dangerous to cattle, 90% of the cattle in Texas would be dead. Heck its common for ranchers to be happy to get drilling pit water spread over their pastures. Even if there is a saltwater spill on the pasture, unless its ongoing, there’s little harm to cattle or the grasses. Just because they let us eat em, don’t mean they’re stupid enough to drink poison water!
Migration of fruits, nuts, and flakes out of New York City is a far greater threat to the Hudson Valley than fracking!
My guess is that the Whitehouse is “Obama approving” every negative article that can be written for oil, gas, coal etc...He still doesn’t get it....WE ALL USE ALL OF THESE IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
LOL...it’s not necessarily the cattle or grasses that are harmed...it’s the red-blooded American carnivores who eat them!
I had a site (not fracking, but another “harmless waste” case) where the family stopped eating their own cattle when they started having more and more cancer in the family..but that didn’t stop them from selling their stock to others.
(That case was in Iowa...not implying Texas.)
Strata where water is are likely to be segregated. Yes, contamination does happen, but not often, and if it does it is because —as in the Gulf—some bookkeeper was trying to cut corners. Better get used to relatively clean water. Human beings, really, have never known anything else.
Natural gas comes in contact with humans and livestock every day. Its why it is called natural.
Upon what premises, and with what level of animal contamination was this action taken?
It sounds like GangGreen bureaucrats doing another Cloward/Piven action.
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