Roger Helmer MEP, UKIP Energy spokesman continually writes and says that with proper regulation and supervision there is/will be no contamination, and that no one has yet been shown to be harmed by fracking/ gas drilling.
Is he deaf, blind or stupid?
The experience from the US where gas drilling has been going on for twenty years, shows that there is an encyclopaedic amount of evidence that people are badly affected in the following ways –
The Fracking Dirty Dozen:
1. Health: People that live within a 1/2 mile radius of a fracking well have a 66% higher cancer rate.
– Colorado School of Public Health
2. Global Warming: Up to 9% of methane produced from fracking seeps into the atmosphere. Methane is 100x more potent as a greenhouse gas than C02, over the next 20 years
-Dr. Ingraffea: Dwight C Baum Professor of Engineering at Cornell University
3. Ozone: Ground level ozone in some rural places, where there is fracking, is worse than ozone levels in downtown LA.
-Wyoming Department of Health, http://www.health.wyo.gov/phsd/ehl/index.html
4. A gag order in the state of Colorado prevents your doctor from informing you if you have fracking fluids in your blood, making it much harder for you to get well.
5. Poisoning Water: More than 5000 spills have been registered with COGCC (CO State website) and approximately 43% have contaminated groundwater.
6. Water Depletion: Each well uses approximately 3-8 million gallons of water over its lifetime.
-Dr. Jeffery Time
7. Toxic Chemicals: Of the 300-odd chemicals presumed in fracking fluid, 40% are endocrine disrupting, 1/3 are suspected carcinogens and 1/3 are developmental toxicants. Over 60% of these chemicals can harm the brain and nervous system.
-Colborn T, Kwiatkowski C, Schultz K, and Bachran M. 2011. Hum Ecol Risk Assess
8. “The Haliburton Loophole”: Currently, natural gas drilling is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Natural gas companies do not have to disclose the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing. This provision took the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) off of the job.
-2005 Energy Policy Act
9.Methane levels in water sources that are close to fracking wells can be so high, that tap water in surrounding homes have been known to light on fire.
-Josh Fox, Gasland
10. Earthquakes: According to the US Geological Survey, a sharp rise in seismic activity in the middle of the U.S. was the result of injecting water into deep underground wells for hydraulic fracturing.
-U.S. Geological Survey
11. Volatile Organic Compounds burn off from fracking fluid tanks. Some of these chemical compounds cause endocrine disruption, leading to genetic mutation in unborn children, while others cause cancer in adults.
– “The Endocrine Disruption Exchange” (TEDX), Theo Colborn
12. Wells Leak: 6% of fracking wells leak in their first year and 50% leak over 30 years.
-“The Sky is Pink” Pinskyny.com
The party should change tack now before Helmer loses what should be a great opportunity for Britain, to elect a Parliament which delivers what is needed by people – in this case not to die over gas supply. Even Helmer admits gas will be in excess supply around the world for at least a decade, due to over production.
Fracking is not a new technology. It has been used for some decades. It is basically drilling a well, as we have done successfully and widely for both oil and gas in various parts of the UK, even in beauty spots in places like Dorset and Hampshire. The fracking operation is just an “add-on” to the well process in which water (with sand and some chemical additives) is pumped at high pressure into the well to liberate the gas. I have to disagree with your comments that it is unsafe and damaging. There is no evidence of this, even if one studies the detailed aspects of fracking in the US. There is always a possibility that a well may “leak” but these instances are very rare and confined to bad practice……..hence why good regulatory and inspection processes need to be in place, just as you would expect for any type of power station, mine, chemical plant, or major installation. Very few people have been killed or have suffered as a result of fracking operations. It is possible to check the statistics from the HSE and Environment Agency.