Up | December 08, 2012
>>> it's all settled out, but that's what our water looked like.
>> that came out of the tap?
>> out of the tap.
>> so in three weeks they contacted mike by phone and said, we've tested your water. there's nothing wrong with your water.
>> with this?
>> with this. there's nothing wrong with the water that can be affected by the oil and gas production in your area.
>> whoa, jesus christ .
>> that's the iconic moex from the "gasland" documentary. it's incredibly effecting. you made it this point about water contamination . you're drilling down. there's the water table. you are fracturing the shale. the aquifer tends to be much, much higher in the earth than where the fracking is happening. a mile maybe, but the question of ground water contamination looming large, and i want to get your sense of where your -- the spektor of ground water contamination.
>> time has said a lot of things, and a lot is based again on misinformation. we live over shale, and this is a gas-producing shale. i have tested water in osego county, and 20% of the water tested with no gas drilling occurring already has methane in it. there have been people lighting their faucets in our area for a long, long time. ask any of the old people na live in the area. it's something they did as kids. it was fun. so the methane is in the water.
>> let me say this, and this is an important note. i don't want to litigate "gasland" too much. they did a follow-up investigation into some of the examples -- in three of the instances shown in "gasland" and they said the met thain was a natural biogenic methane. in one of them the department of natural resources found it was due tie poorly structured well. a poorly constructed well with improper casing, the disposal of the wastewater that comes up about the mills of gallons and sits there anyway toxic pool and has to be transported out pour put somewhere, right? if you don't do it, you can get massive contamination.
>> i think the definition of the word "toxic," a toxic pool or cocktail, toxicity is a combination of many different things, okay? number one, toxicity is the length of exposure, how long are you exposed to if? number two toxicity is a concentration thing. toxicity is also, you know, is it chronic? is it acute? if you sit here drinking coffee, are you drinking a toxic solution. do you consider yourself coffee toxic?
>> i sort of do, but continue.
>> worth it.
>> caffeine has an ld-50 of 190. half the critters will die if given caffeine. one of the toxic chemicals has an ld-50 of 143. the whole point is it's all relative.
>> if you went to the folks in the marcellus shale upstate and said we're swapping out the fracking chemicals we use with coffee and have 8 million gallons of coffee sitting around, no one would be psyched about that either. that's the point. the volume of what you're talking about is on a scale that is -- that is worrisome to people.
>> can we put toxic out of the conversation.
>> i think we should. let me push back a little bit. we're talking about this as it if it's the end-all be all. president obama said we could do it for 100 more years. but we act as there's no other alternatives that we ignored and did not put the proper resources into looking at. we're not looking at making sure that we have a country that really is focusing on energy efficiency , looking at real clean energy that's renewable energy . that doesn't make as much money as natural gas , right? it also doesn't open up the same kind of economic development benefits for folks when we talk about green jobs . like you said, it's all relative. that's an important point.
>> this is also interesting. what the fracking boom is doing to the price of natural gas -- i think the idea is the price comes down and that's good for consumers and energy is cheaper. it's having a hot of knock-on effects, that dmin yags of price.
>> it's a point worth making. it's true it takes place well below the water table. what you have is very slow dishe pergss and low concentrations and extended contact. we just don't know a lot about that. there's a big question mark there.
>> yes, we do. yes, we do.
>> some of it -- look, some of the things we know. we know some of the chemicals in there.
>> they refuse it to --
>> here's an example of this.
>> yes, we do.
>> they pumped a mixture of chemicals in a half-dozen oil wells in texas in july. this is from broloomberg. one ingredient can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. that means they're exempt from dishe closure. drilling companies in texas claim similar exexemptions about 19,000 teams this year through august. as a matter of fact, there are chemicals put in the ground that are not disclosed because they're trade secrets .
>> part of the legislation is designed to transparent by the way. in the next year you see transparency entirely in whatever cocktails they throw down the wells. yoj that they're so proprietary and even the oil companies said they're not so much that they can't put up.
>> all the companies are spying on each other all the time. who are they kidding? they all know.
>> a company could not do any work in new york state without disclosing what chemicals they're going to use. the dec will not issue any permits unless the dec knows what chemicals are in the proprietary mixtures. coke has chemicals in it. you don't know the different amounts of the chemical.
>> what are the requirements under the dec? it seems that part of the problem is also regulation, right? there is a fear that this is being inadequately regulated or nowhere near, you know, regulated enough. i want to talk about that and talk about the solutions here. there are some people who think there should be a ban like in france. there are others that think you can do this in the regulatory margins. let's