Reports

Pétron, Gabrielle, et al. [In press]. “Hydrocarbon emissions characterization in the Colorado Front Range – A pilot study.” Journal of Geophysical Research. 2012.

Air sampling data on Colorado’s Front Range suggests methane emissions from natural gas operations (drilling, fracking, and production of natural gas from “tight sands”) are occurring at levels that erase any benefit from natural gas being clean burning.

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PennEnvironment. [Report] “Risky Business: An Analysis of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling Violations in Pennsylvania.” February 2012.

According to PADEP records, between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011, 64 different shale gas drilling companies totaled 3,355 violations of environmental laws – that is over 2 violations per day, and about 16 violations per week.

This only includes violations that were discovered!

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U.S. House of Representatives, Natural Resources Committee, Minorty Staff. “How the Failure to Oversee Drilling on Public Lands Endangers Health and the Environment.” February 8, 2012.

Department of Interior data on oil and gas companies operating on public lands between Feburary 1998 and February 2011 show that only 125 of the 2,025 documented violations resulted in monetary fines (about 6 percent), and that these 125 violations resulted in $273,875  in fines.

The majority of the safety violations involve faulty blowout prevention, which can lead to watershed contamination, or faulty well casings, which can lead to contamination of underground water supplies.

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Goldstein, Bernard D. et al. “Missing from the table: role of the environmental public health community in governmental advisory commissions related to Marcellus Shale drilling.” Environmental Health Perspectives. January 2012.

Finds that there are no individuals with public health expertise among the members of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, the Maryland Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission, and the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Natural Gas Subcommittee.

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Bamberger, Michelle and Robert E. Oswald. “Impacts of gas drilling on human and animal health.” New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy. Vol. 22. Iss. 1. January 2012.

Documents animal and owner health problems with potential links to shale gas drilling.

Describes the expansion of drilling and fracking for shale gas as “an uncontrolled health experiment on an enormous scale.”

Analogy between oil and gas industry and tobacco industry also merits excerpting:

“The oil and gas industry has typically rejected this analysis and has approached the issue in a manner similar to the tobacco industry that for many years rejected the link between smoking and cancer. That is, if one cannot prove beyond a shadow of doubt that an environmental impact is due to drilling, then a link is rejected. This approach by the tobacco companies had a devastating and long-lasting effect on public health from which we have still not recovered, and we believe that a similar approach to the impacts of gas drilling may have equally negative consequences.”

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