Have you noticed how often the industry and its sympathizers repeat the refrain that fracking happens so far below the water table from which drinking water is drawn that there’s no danger of frack fluids getting into drinking water?  This despite the evidence that stuff really does get around, even if they don’t understand how.

There’s another way drinking water gets contaminated:  surface spills.  Spilled substances can seep down to groundwater.  Or, as at Buckeye Creek, a town’s drinking water can be contaminated by spills that find their way into surface waters.

In late November the Sootypaws website and blog posted an extensive update on the mysterious spill at Buckeye Creek, in Doddridge County, WV.

Make yourself a cup of coffee and settle in for an excellent and thorough account of what is known.

Buckeye Creek Update

Timeline and links to more


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Photo of Mono Lake © Copyright 2009 David Chudnov FreeLargePhotos.com


Mono Lake, in California, is about twice as saline as ocean water.  Very few species can survive there for long.   The exceptions are an algae, brine shrimp, and alkali flies.  Mark Twain found Mono Lake to be a “lifeless, treeless, hideous desert… the loneliest place on earth.” (Wikipedia)

Brine from gas wells is six to ten times as saline as ocean water.*

And nobody knows how to treat or dispose of it safely.

*”Clinton (OH) brines have 175,000-210,000 parts per million of sodium. For comparison, ocean brines have only 18,000-35,000 ppm of sodium.”  See

See also http://sootypaws.livejournal.com/13664.html


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FHA Resource Center e-mail

Published December 05 2009

Superior man accused of trespassing on own land also faces disorderly conduct charge

By: News Tribune, Duluth News Tribune

Jeremy Engelking holds the trespassing citation he was given after confronting an Enbridge pipeline crew on his property Wednesday. He was charged with disorderly conduct as well as trespassing Friday in Douglas County court. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)</div></a></div> 			 		<script type=

Jeremy Engelking, 27, of Superior was expecting to be charged Friday with trespassing on a construction site in connection with a dispute over a pipeline being installed across his property. But he was surprised to learn he also would face a disorderly conduct charge.

Engelking was arrested Wednesday after he confronted a crew on his property installing the line for Enbridge Energy Partners. He contended that the workers had no right to be on his property, as he had received no easement payment from Enbridge.

Denise Hamsher, an Enbridge spokeswoman, said the Engelking family repeatedly has been offered payment to install new pipes in the existing easement but has refused the money. She said Enbridge has offered the Engelkings a financial settlement far in excess of what’s called for in the original right-of-way agreement.

The Engelkings have rejected the payments for fear they would result in diminished property rights.

The Engelkings attempted to block the pipeline’s installation in September by taking the matter to court, but Judge George Glonek upheld Enbridge’s right to install a new line.

When arrested, Engelking was cited by officers for trespassing on the work site.

“I was shocked they added the disorderly conduct charge,” he said following Friday’s hearing. Engelking said he never resisted arrest. A rifle was strapped to the front of his ATV, but it was never removed from its case and Engelking said he never threatened anyone with it. Engelking said he was headed out to go deer hunting when he saw the pipeline crew at work on his property.

Engelking is scheduled to return to Douglas County Court on Dec. 16 for a pretrial conference.

“Men have an indistinct notion that if they keep up this activity of joint stocks and spades long enough, all will at length ride somewhere in next to no time, and for nothing; but though a crowd rushes to the depot, and the conductor shouts ‘All aboard!’ when the smoke is blown away and the vapor condensed, it will be perceived that a few are riding, but the rest are run over—and it will be called, and will be, ‘A melancholy accident.’” – Thoreau



Let’s not have to learn the hard way

From Toxics Targeting:


The editor of the O&G industry magazine World Oil was fired for defending a petroleum geologist’s columns indicating shale gas yields are overstated (that wells aren’t actually producing as industry advertised… not even close).

Below are 3 links to articles regarding this incident. The 1st reports on the firing; the 2nd is the editor’s explanation for his firing (posted on the columnist’s blog); and the 3rd is the column, which (due to pressure from industry to suppress the publication of a shale gas play production chart) was pulled from the November issue of World Oil.

Umbrage in the Gas Patch


From Perry Fischer, former World Oil Editor:

Facts are stubborn things: Arthur E. Berman November 2009


Now, why might large publicly traded drilling companies wish to suppress analysis indicating actual shall gas yields aren’t even close to what the prospective investors and leasors think they are?

Petrohawk has only $526 million in current assets, and $5.88 billion in non-current (not liquid) assets. Shareholder equity is $3.28 billion (6.2 times current assets and equal to 51% of total assets). Petrohawk desperately needs its shareholders to believe its tall tales.

- David J Cyr