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Study: No link between fracking, contamination

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 17, 2012 at 6:50 a.m.

— A University of Texas study says there’s no direct link between groundwater contamination and the process to extract oil and gas known as fracking.

UT’s Energy Institute says contamination can occur due to spills above ground or mishandling of wastewater. But the institute argues that those problems are not caused directly by fracking.

Fracking involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to open fissures and improve the flow of oil and gas to the surface. It’s used to improve productivity in gas reserves all over the U.S., including the Barnett Shale in North Texas.

An Energy Institute spokesman says no industry funds paid for the project. Fracking opponents say the study needs to be reviewed.

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MenLR2 says... February 17, 2012 at 7:05 a.m.

Been wondering what happen to "Stud" since the 70's...guess he is in Texas now telling people stuff about oil and water?

Come on DemGaz...a 3rd grade school newspaper would at least read the headline before it is sent to readers.

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TimberTopper says... February 17, 2012 at 8:04 a.m.

Have to be careful how you handle information coming from a state where probably UT receices a bit of $ from that industry, there might be a tendency to lean their opinion one way or the other. Kinda like all those weapons of mass destruction that were supposed to be in Iraq.

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T6 says... February 17, 2012 at 8:30 a.m.

I'll bet if this same Energy Institute spokesman says no industry funds paid for the project and fracking WAS the cause of contamination you idgets would take that as gospel.

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RBBrittain says... February 17, 2012 at 9:05 a.m.

I'm not an opponent of fracking, but all UT (and A&M) campuses are supported by a "Permanent Endowment Fund" supported by income from state lands allocated to it by the Texas Constitution--primarily, yes, oil & gas royalties. (That's why the main UT and A&M campuses have bigger endowment funds than any other public university; UT-Austin even momentarily passed Harvard among all universities in the 1980's.) That at least impairs the credibility of ANY pro-fracking study from a UT or A&M campus.

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NONSHEEPLE says... February 17, 2012 at 9:22 a.m.

Did ANYONE one here pay attention in 8th grade science? LOOK at the massive differences in DEPTH. Our drinking water has a MUCH better chance of contamination from spills on the earth surface than from chemical "fracking" that happens quite a bit deeper into our crust.

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Jjackk says... February 17, 2012 at 11:06 a.m.

A couple of things I have is with "Fracking opponents say the study needs to be reviewed." Even supporters should want to review it. The integrity of the study should be verified before it is supported or not unless the truth really doesn't matter to you.

Water contamination is the biggest danger, but what about the triggering of fault movements? I know of four states that, and probably many more, each discussed moratorium because the possible link with fracking to the Earth moving underneath them. Doesn't sound like an isolated case to me if earth quakes increase wherever fracking is done. Where is the study for that?

Its proven the process is successful but everybody really needs to know what the damage threat is. Does no direct threat mean only the threat of the mixture used? Does the pressure force other things into the ground water, like oil, gas, dirt, whatever? Is the groundwater completely undisturbed? Or are they saying there are some kind of acceptable effects to it that aren't considered damaging by them?

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ArkansasFracking says... February 17, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.

come to our website www .stoparkansasfracking. org

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NickieD says... February 17, 2012 at 11:51 a.m.

Watch "Gasland" a documentary about the results of fracking. Clearly someone is lying... gee, would the Power Industry lie to Americans? Would they pay to have studies that prove they are doing a good job? Gee, nothing like that has ever happened before.
One wonders, if the producers of "Gasland" have nothing to gain and are only showing the factual results of fracking... then who could be lying? The guys who will make huge profits from fracking or the guys who have nothing to gain?
It's a rhetorical question.

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GiveUsLiberty says... February 17, 2012 at 11:56 a.m.

It always helps to study the process, its history and a bit of geology before spouting opinions:
1. As SmarterThanMost said, ground water comes from MUCH closer to the surface than the areas of the shale being injected for fracking. Any ground water contamination would/will come from the mishandling of the fracking fluid on the surface.
2. The earthquakes associated with extracting natural gas from the Fayetteville Shale, and other such formations in the U.S. have been directly linked to the "injection wells" utilized to dispose of the fracking fluid. These wells are significantly deeper than either ground water or the shale being fracked.
From all available data and research, fracking itself appears to be safe in terms of ground water contamination. Again, mishandling of the fracking fluid at the surface is the greatest threat to our ground water and should be closely monitored by the EPA. The practice of using deep injection wells for disposal of the fracking fluid should be eliminated.

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T6 says... February 17, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.

StopArkansasFracking, Why aren't you just as worried about carbon sequestration as you are about fracking?

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