Tag Archives: Fracking

UK SHALE WILL PREVAIL; Hopes for fracking in the UK

I have always found Nick Grealy’s stuff on fracking good. He thinks independently, is a leftie and writes good English.  See twitter @ReImagineGas  If he disagrees with, he says so!!

Those who follow fracking closely will know his stuff but here it is for those who don’t

This comes from his blog  http://www.reimaginegas.com/?p=3771#more-3771

DSCF2898Cuadrilla

 

FROM ZERO TO HERO: UK SHALE WILL PREVAIL

2016 has shown that predicting anything, anywhere on politics is for the brave. I’ll be brave and assume that by next Thursday, October 6, the interminable planning permission saga in Lancashire will draw to an almost close. I say almost because Friends of the Earth in a suicidal attempt to squander members’ money better served defending the countryside, bees and the rights of refugees, will drag Cuadrilla or the council or the government into court, just as they have with Third Energy in Yorkshire. But with Third already having an accelerated hearing in late November on their application any delay promises to be minimal.

So that someone thinks they have a victory, Cuadrilla may only get permission for one well pad. But one will work. One is enough.

Politically, it’s impossible to conceive of Theresa May’s government agreeing with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour (and the Greens) over such an important issue. The government might as well send the message that Britain is closed for any type of business, an especially implausible signal in the Brexit world. To imagine this happening the week of the Conservative Party Congress is more inconceivable still. Some fear all bets are off in the Brexit /Trump universe of Post Facts, but as someone who likes facts over emotion, I’ll stick my neck out and say the net result will be we have to wait for the rocks to finally speak via drilling sometime in 2017. The Bowland Shale has been the silent spectator all along, and any geologist could admit that it could possibly send out mixed or even negative messages. But at least we can have a debate based on facts, not opinions, and finally, after at least five years of delay, move on.

A lot has advanced in the six years since Cuadrilla revealed their estimate of 200 TCF resources for their section of the Bowland back in 2010. Sadly, the UK debate hasn’t been one of them. Yet. But the time is coming.  Back in 2010, people saw shale as a flash in the pan. It was of course the biggest bang to hit energy markets since the light bulb. Yet the UK debate still uses outdated economics, 2010 flow rates and 2010 energy policy concerns. Shale is still “controversial”. Meanwhile in the US, the unconventional is the new normal, 70% or higher of 2016 production.

As the shale debate in the UK has barely moved, the one in the US has moved incredibly fast. Compare the UK Bowland Shale and the Ohio Utica. The Utica Shale didn’t even exist outside of a gleam in the eye of geologists in 2010. First drilling started in 2012, yet this month, it’s producing at a rate of 37 billion cubic meters per year, a shade under the 40 BCMY produced in the UK North Sea. That could have been us. But the naysayers and handwringers produced absolutely nothing.

The Ohio Utica is never mentioned by UK opponents who talk about the Pennsylvania Marcellus as if it’s a living hell of afflicted communities. That’s in part because they are stuck in 2010, the year the Gasland movie came out which exaggerated some 2008/09 impacts in the state. Yet Ohio proves, like the UK could, how, if given the chance, natural gas extraction can be low impact, high production and zero damage. The unintentionally hilarious “List of the Harmed” barely mentions Ohio for example. Even an anti-fracking report this year from Environment Ohio omits their home state even as it recycles the List of the Harmed horror stories and places them everywhere else. It’s strange to talk about fracking threatening the Grand Canyon, while missing it entirely in their own backyard. Perhaps nothing is actually happening after all?

Just as will happen in the UK, Ohio is easily missed because there isn’t that much to actually see. The Baker Hughes Rig Count shows the number of rigs per state on a weekly basis. It’s rarely been over 18 in Ohio in the last few years and was only 13 last week, further proving the most recent increases in drilling productivity possible today. If we extrapolated Utica to UK numbers, we’d be talking of a handful of rigs. Using BCMY divided by 13, we see that each rig in Ohio, which is drilling a well every couple of weeks in various locations, or increasingly from one pad, can produce 2.85 BCM a year. Thus only 5 rigs could theoretically produce 14BCM a year, or enough to remove all 2015 UK LNG imports. UK drill rigs may well be relatively static and won’t wander too much from one pad for 18 months at a time, drilling a new well every other week. Whatever the numbers are, they are a far cry from anyone’s definition of industrialization of the country – or city – side.

But what if there were another threat to the landscape? What if there were 14 new facilities that had several truck deliveries per day – for ever? That would be Waitrose. What if there were 80 new facilities opening in 2016, in bigger stores and even more trucks and traffic. For that, Aldi is the one for you.

A few weeks ago at an All Party Parliamentary Committee on Shale Gas meeting, the leading anti in Ryedale was visibly shocked when his pet fear was exposed as, excuse the pun, groundless:

John Blaymires, Chief Operating Officer of IGas, said:

“We understand the need to do this [estimate site numbers]. It is one of our biggest issues.”

He said some of figures being talked about for the number of sites were “ludicrous” but he described the figures mentioned at the meeting as “not unreasonable”. He added:

“There are limited places to which one can go. We cannot pepper the countryside and nor would we wish to.”

Francis Egan of Cuadrilla has often said how in a few years people’s first question will be: “Is that it? Is this what all the fuss was about?”. Remove protestors and nothing will be visible. It would be a good plan to ask planning to set up a protestor camp. Oops. That rational plan may slow things down. But then a protestor camp is likely to be as welcome to Roseacre as an alternative music venue, even if they are often the same thing.

Only the strong, and the long, survive in UK shale. Whatever hurts us makes us stronger. There are four reasons why shale gas will move from zero to hero, but much depends on finding some gas and and, moreimportantly,  not losing sight of the four strategic reasons why UK shale will prosper.

  1.  UK gas consumption  isn’t going anywhere. The UK is faced with falling gas demand for various organic reasons around insulation, efficiency and competing renewables but not as fast enough as collapsing UK North Sea supply. London for example uses 9 BCM a year of gas, almost all for heat and hot water.
  2. The entry costs are far lower than international equivalents. One can also get huge blocks by US standards all at once, leading to further efficiencies. The UK lends itself for political reasons to minimize surface expenses.
  3. Midstream is not a problem. The international oil and gas industry has been in far more hostile – or inaccessible- areas devoid even of roads. Any costs around UK planning delays or public opinion are outweighed by the ease of delivering any discoveries to market. The UK onshore is the  least stranded energy asset on earth. And once planning creaks along, any  sovereign risk premium is the lowest going.
  4. The killer reason is price. Get through 2 and 3, and prices are phenomenal by US standards. UK gas prices will be set by US LNG imports (or the threat of them) giving US Henry Hub and a permanent basis reflecting transport costs. UK gas prices are also volatile in the winter, with a current winter 2016 strip of $5.3 MMBTU, 80% higher than US Henry Hub. That basis will exist for years. In parts of Pennsylvania gas prices are below $1, and yet the industry still grows even as new mid stream pipelines are unavailable at any price. Expenses may be higher than in the US, but not 80% higher.

Add these together, and UK shale, will be worth the wait. Better, and great days, are coming.

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2 THOUGHTS ON “FROM ZERO TO HERO: UK SHALE WILL PREVAIL”

  1. I see you woke up feeling positive this morning, Nick. That’s good news as I know that you’ve been in the fight for a long, long time.

    Note that Cuadrilla doesn’t plan to start drilling until spring of 2017, so even a legal challenge won’t impact timing for the firm.

    I’m not familiar with UK law, but I wonder whether the anti groups who challenge on legal grounds will be held to pay for any foregone revenue that results from a delay? Maybe you know the answer to that question? Thanks

    1. I agree that Cuadrilla shouldn’t be slowed down much further.It takes time to mobilise everyone, this isn’t the Permian where you can find a rig in Yellow Pages. The FoE are really in the last chance saloon on this. The Scottish branch is talking about shale damage claims from the Gasland era for example.

      If I owned a gas company, which I don’t – yet- I’d play hardball and sue Friends of the Earth Limited for restraint of trade. I know that has crossed the minds of people. It also explains why FoE deliberately leaked the ASA investigation so it would then be abandoned. Running a campaign on bad information is bad karma for a non-profit. But the fund raiser was FoE Limited a commercial company. They have more than reputation to lose. But their PR cut and paste reporters are a very strong force, very similar (and often the same people) who support the Corbyn wing of Labour. Ultimately as close to actual power as he is though. FoE doesn’t own the green brand and most of the ones I know in London think they’re an embarrassment but don’t want to stand up to bullying. It’s also hard to stand up to bullies when as soon as they are challenged they run. That’s actually why, damages or not, most in the industry are dying to have a fact based day in the court of law, not public opinion.

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Friends of the Earth claims against #fracking are unsubstantiated, says advertising watchdog – Lancashire For Shale

Interesting article in the Times. Much is right in the article!! But who leaked the judgement on FoE? Neither Ken nor I did and have told the ASA. Dearest Refracktion wonders whether it could be a mole within the ASA.

 

Anyway read and enjoy. We shall see what happens

 

The front page of national newspaper, The Times, today reports that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rebuked green group Friends of the Earth in a draft ruling about an anti-fracking leaflet.   According to the report, the ASA says Friends of the Earth (FoE) failed to substantiate claims that fracking could cause cancer, contaminate …

Source: Friends of the Earth claims against #fracking are unsubstantiated, says advertising watchdog – Lancashire For Shale

What would you do Ma’am? Nanas plead with her Majesty on fracking

 

Image result for queen elizabeth ii

What would you do Ma’am?

The nanas headed by Tina Rothery have written to the queen asking here to intervene over the dangers of fracking. Clearly the nanas are very worried about the health threat of fracking as this photo shows. I have to say I am mystified why so many anti-frackers smoke which is terrible for your health.

Frackingsmoking

Dear Editors,

Please find below, an open letter to Her Majesty, The Queen, as the latest press release from Lancashire Nanas and residents against fracking, from Lancashire. The letter has also been sent by post to Buckingham Palace. This press release is part one of a two-part action that will culminate in a peaceful presence at Buckingham Palace on 27th September 2016.

PRESS RELEASE                         19th September 2016

Your Royal Highness,

An important note before you read on: I am writing this as a fellow grandmother and would ask that you consider my question from your obligation to defend your young and with your heart, rather than your crown.

We are a group of UK citizens who feel increasingly shut out of the decision that is soon to be made on shale gas extraction in Lancashire. It is a basic tenet of democracy that power should remain as close as possible to the people and not be concentrated in the hands of a few.

We have seen democracy in action in Lancashire, where the people said ‘No’ to fracking and both their borough and county councils agreed with them, and in their turn said ‘No’ to Cuadrilla’s planning applications to frack two sites in rural Fylde, Lancashire [1].

Cuadrilla appealed and a public inquiry was held earlier this year at which we – the residents – spent three weeks giving evidence. The planning inspector’s report has subsequently been submitted to Sajid Javid MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who will make a decision at the beginning of October.

The decision to refuse planning permission for fracking in Lancashire was local democracy in action. However, the government’s support for shale means that the power has been passed from Lancashire’s elected representatives to the hands of a few, who are interested in aiding the interests of big business, rather than the interests and health of the residents of Lancashire [2].

This is not democracy.

During the last five years we have spent a considerable amount of time, energy and money pursuing every democratic opening available to us. We have:

We have exhausted every democratic channel. We are desperate.

They seem to follow a different kind of democracy ………………

What would you do, Ma’am? [I suggest asking Prince Phillip what to do]

Yours sincerely,

Nanas & Residents

ENDS

For immediate release.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Fracking plans rejected: Lancashire council throws out Cuadrilla proposal
  1. Minister says he will have final say on Lancashire fracking plans

Fracturing democracy? State, fracking and local democracy in Lancashire

 

DSCF9208

At a meeting with anti-fracking lectures in Preston last night – 30th August 2016, Anna Szolucha gave a lecture on the impact of the fracking saga on the communities of the Fylde.

R Hayhurst gave a summary about it and comments from various people.

https://drillordrop.com/2016/08/31/lancashire-fracking-prospect-causes-stress-suspicion-and-fractured-communities-new-research/

Some couldn’t find an electronic copy but here is a copy of a another paper of hers on Fylde fracking taken from the Univ of Bergen website. The actual paper given was far longer but this gives a flavour of her arguments. The paper given at Preston is entitled “The Human Dimension of Shale Gas Developments in Lancashire”

Rather than intersperse my own comment I give the paper “neat” without comment. I may add I have a draft of a paper on the history of gas exploration on the Fylde dealing with same issues but with different conclusions.

It is up to you, dear reader, to make your own mind up 🙂

https://uib.academia.edu/AnnaSzolucha

Fracturing democracy? State, fracking and local democracy in Lancashire

* Anna Szolucha**

After an unusually hot spring, another heatwave hits Lancashire and all of Britain in late June. As scattered clouds are lazily rolling over the magnificent red-brick structure of county hall in Preston, a large group of protesters with sunburnt necks and shoulders are clustering round near the Pitt Street entrance, trying to escape the sizzling heat in the semi-shade of a line of young chestnut trees. To the accompaniment of a gigantic, blue barrell-turned-drum, the colourful gathering breaks into a chant: “Frack free Lancashire, frack free planet!”

On the 25th and 29th June 2015, Lancashire County Councillors decided to refuse permission for two fracking applications by Cuadrilla: in Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road, Little Plumpton. This follows a long campaign and a lot of arduous work by numerous local residents’ groups, environmental organisations as well as campaigns such as Frack Free Lancashire, among others. Outside the county chamber, the announcement of the votes is greeted by loud cheering that is soon eclipsed by tears of joy and friendly hugs. The outcome is an unprecedented victory for the local residents and their self-organising as well as the local democratic process that involves parish, borough and county councils. It also comes as a definite blow to the national government’s stated interest in “going all out for shale” in the UK. Given this controversial priority, I look at how democracy has fared in the country since it declared that around 60% of its land would be available for fracking companies to licence.

In late June 2015, the Development Control Committee at Lancashire County Council, who determined the decisions, were under a lot of pressure because the legal advice provided to the Councillors seemed to leave them no choice but to approve the application for Preston New Road (PNR) lest the Council and the people of Lancashire foot the bill when Cuadrilla appeal the decision. Ultimately, an alternative legal opinion was sought and provided to the Councillors and, after a unanimous vote to refuse permission to frack at Roseacre Wood a few days earlier, the Councillors felt there were also sufficient grounds to reject the PNR application.

The results of the votes clearly diverge from the recurrently short-sighted policy-making and technocratic narratives that characterise much of the global and national discussion about the future of resource extraction and energy production. The Council did not cave in to financial pressures and the discourse that portrays fracking as a matter of an overriding national interest.

The process, however, has also made something else plain clear; it confirmed that the agenda of resource extraction, energy production and their impact on climate change cannot be surrendered entirely to political representatives and industry. What is missing in their approach is a true and sustained commitment to an open dialogue about the systemic issues surrounding the future of energy as well as the future of democracy.

The worrying trend is that even at the level of the county council – where the planning process comes into contact with local representative democracy1 – the grounds for refusing permission for fracking are thoroughly disappointing from a democratic point of view. The permission to frack in * Another version of this text was published on OpenDemocracy.net on 28th July 2015 [link to the article]. ** The article is based on a research project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 657039. 1 PNR was refused on the grounds of noise and visual impact. The application for fracking in Roseacre Wood was rejected because of the potentially severe impact of the planned development on the road networks. The permissions were refused not because of the adverse impact of fracking on human health or climate change or the fact that there were thousands of objection letters and many more petition signatures that were submitted in relation to the two applications.2 It is obvious that the focus of the planning system should be on the considerations about what constitutes an acceptable use of land so I do not argue that the Development Control Committee should have a responsibility to take into account all kinds of possible objections to fracking. I do argue, however, that outside of the Committee, there is insufficient room for citizens to exercise their democratic right to make decisions about what sort of development they would like to have in their locality and which energy sources offer best chances for ensuring a better common future. What happened in Lancashire is not an exception but a symptom of an increasingly problematic relation between state, fracking and democracy, understood not solely as a rule of periodically elected representatives but as an ability of people to govern themselves and make direct decisions about their communities. The positive outcome in Lancashire is undoubtedly a result of the local residents’ perseverance in mastering the welter of legal regulations and precedents which they skilfully utilised to make and defend their case. They also raised a host of other relevant topics that should be a matter for democratic debate such as issues of climate justice and the influence of corporate interests on politics. None of these concerns, however, could be brought to bear on the Committee’s decisions. In effect, fracking in Lancashire (and the UK) may be and has been framed and viewed as a problem of and for planning systems. Rarely is it debated as something that has real consequences for people, communities and democracy. Meanwhile, fracking has been at least temporarily banned in states such as France, Germany, Bulgaria or the New York State where some democratic discussion about it has taken place. In the UK, on the other hand, many see the fracking objective to be the driving force behind the rewriting of some of the most important laws. Below I am listing a few examples of the scope of controversial pressures and recent changes to the legislation. I am paying particular attention to those of its provisions that appear to be designed in ways that help evade different forms of popular democratic contestation and reinforce persistent inequalities between various stakeholders.

 Localism Act, 2011. The Localism Act was supposed to devolve some powers from the central government levels to local representative bodies. It introduced a new requirement for developers to consult local communities in the pre-planning stage – before they submit their applications. As part of their engagement with the community, Cuadrilla has also established a special community liaison group in Roseacre where representatives of the company, their consulting engineers and local residents have met fairly regularly. Necessarily however, the meetings did not offer room for debating whether or not the development should take place but were overwhelmed by discussions about technical parameters, measurements and designs, where experts’ role was to reassure the residents about the safety of the development or advise on the appropriate mitigation measures. Quite paradoxically given its name, the Localism Act has also given government ministers responsibility for making decisions about nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs). When a development gains the status of the NSIP, it can move ahead even without local consent. The government has already added the highly controversial nuclear waste storage facilities to the list of NSIPs so it is clear why many are afraid that fracking might 2 become the next NSIP. There is also another, less apparent, side to the status of an NSIP. International experience with strategic oil pipelines, for example, shows that all projects that are declared to be in the national interest of a state tend to be heavily policed and their “defence” against real or perceived threats becomes securitised. A very early foretaste of what this might entail could be seen even during the protests in front of County Hall in Preston. In addition to the usual police presence, the colourful and peaceful gathering of local residents was policed with the help of Metropolitan police, at least three vans of the operational support unit and a private security company with multistage security checks inside the County Hall.

 Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act, 2014.

The Act has been dubbed the “gagging law” as it places substantial burdens on the ability of NGOs, charities and other organisations to campaign on issues of legitimate concern during an election period. In contrast, there is no parallel restriction that would apply to lobbyists representing vested corporate interests. Cuadrilla’s consultant lobbyist – Hannover Communications International Ltd.3 which boasts about its unconventional oil and gas portfolio to span from Shell and Valero to Cuadrilla and Tamboran Resources – is, therefore, let off the hook to lobby whenever it sees fit.

 Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, 2014.

The Act introduced new dispersal powers where a police inspector may issue an authorisation to disperse for a period of up to 48 hours with an immediate effect, replacing an earlier requirement to consult with a local council to designate a dispersal zone in advance. This may have a potential impact on the policing of protest in the UK.

 George Osborne’s letter dated 24 September 2014 (revealed January 2015).

The Chancellor sent a letter to his cabinet colleagues (Committee on Economic Affairs) urging them to fast-track fracking, making the rapid progress on the issue their personal priority as well as responding to some requests from Cuadrilla. The letter also shows government’s commitment to full exploration and plans to centralise regulation by moving to a single national regulator once production is under way.

 Infrastructure Act, 2015. T

he Act introduces a political definition of fracking as a process that involves more than 1,000 cubic meters of fluid per stage or more than 10,000 cubic meters of fluid in total. These quantities are less than what was used in the fracked well at Preese Hall, Lancashire and less than what has been used in some wells in the United States. If the law had been enacted before the operation at Preese Hall4 began, legally speaking, it would not constitute fracking. The Act also changes trespass laws for underground drilling access. It grants drilling companies automatic access rights to use deep-level land (below 300m) in any way for the purposes of exploiting petroleum, including passing through, putting in and keeping any substance in deep-level land. Since fracking uses horizontal drilling, this means that companies can drill under anybody’s land without their permission or compensation. The Department of Energy and Climate Change played down objections to the proposal raised during the consultation stage as mainly campaign texts and moved ahead despite popular opposition. Finally, the Act forces the government to assume the economic objective of drilling corporations as its own national objective since the law obligates all future governments to maximise the economic recovery of UK petroleum (and hence, oil and gas extraction). This is at odds with the UK’s climate change legislation as well as its international commitments to become a low carbon economy. 3  Environment Agency opens a Standard Rules Consultation, March 2015. New standard rules, generic risk assessment and waste management plan are proposed for onshore oil and gas activities at exploratory wells. The stated aims of the proposal are to generate a positive financial impact on business as well as saving time and money.  Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report on fracking, July 2015. After a Freedom-of-Information request, an un-redacted version of the report on the impact of fracking on rural economy is revealed. The covering note added to the report states that it is a draft literature review for internal use only and that it is based on assumptions that are not supported by appropriate evidence. The full report, however, demonstrates that the previous, heavily redacted, version left out significant chunks about potentially negative impacts of fracking – in the name of not letting early thinking close down discussion. The above list looks rather pessimistic when it comes to the prospects of ensuring that debate about fracking is a level playing field for everybody. More democratic debate and decision-making, however, is crucial if we care about the human dimensions of fracking that are currently being obscured in planning jargon and discourses. If democracy (not only locally and nationally but also internationally) is about putting the interest in real effects on vulnerable populations on the front burner, then we need to talk openly about the consequences that the dash for unconventional gas has had and is likely to have on democracy. A gradual taking away of citizens’ rights in times of intensified popular mobilisation is not a new phenomenon; it is well-known to students and researchers of social movements. The pace of this process in the UK, however, has been staggering. Legislation that rules much of the fracking activity has been passed over a period of just two years and many potential challenges associated with anti-fracking campaigning, protest, trespass litigation etc. have been removed, bolstering industry confidence in the eventual success of their ventures. As a result, the persistent gap between citizens’ rights on the one hand and industry and state resources on the other, has widened even further.

Moreover, the local resident groups in Lancashire have been boxed in by the planning system and national narratives that have redefined what constitutes a reasonable concern and a relevant objection to fracking. With no room for a robust democratic debate about fracking, the planning procedure carefully selects which objections are valid and which are not. Citizens’ attempts to gain an authoritative voice on the social impact of fracking run up against a wall of technical regulations and undue pressures from politicians. To be sure, this is not an exclusively British problem. Global climate change is also seen as a technology or economic problem that can be solved by geoengineering and appropriate trade systems. Climate change is not necessarily automatically seen as an environmental or social justice issue and its human side is largely secondary. As the protesters in Lancashire chanted, however, frack free Lancashire does not mean much without a frack free planet. This does raise important moral and democratic questions about vulnerability, inequality and best models of democracy. The potential consequences of fracking go beyond road destruction, noise pollution and change in landscape; they extend beyond Lancashire. The impacts of climate change tend to be distributed unequally across different regions and different parts of the population. And it is the protesters that are bringing all of these aspects of fracking to the forefront by challenging embedded assumptions and asking tough questions about responsibility and the necessary scales for 4 meaningful action.

 

What lessons can be drawn from the anti-fracking struggle in Lancashire? It is clear that with great courage and perseverance, it is still possible to challenge the system and win even when one is playing by its rules. It is important to be able to do that because it ultimately achieves what it is supposed to achieve – at least for the time being. As the above overview of the recent legislation shows, however, rules can be changed quite quickly, after scant democratic debate and with little regard for public opposition. Are there then any vulnerabilities of this system that local groups could use to their advantage when they are striving to live with clean water, air and land not as luxurious commodities but as part of a healthy and equal planet? They can definitely set up their own democratically-run renewable energy initiatives. In addition to providing clean energy, this would also insert the issues of democracy and responsibility for climate change into the national and local discourses as well as producing positive global effects. Instead of letting fracking and state policies fracture it, local communities can play a vital role in repowering democracy in and beyond the UK. 5

footnotes

1 Before the applications at Roseacre and PNR, Cuadrilla applied for planning permissions at seven other locations in Lancashire. Five of them (decided between 2009 and 2011) never went to a relevant committee. Instead they were decided by a delegated chief officer.
2 Although not evident in the formal process, they did make the case of local groups opposed to fracking stronger
3 The company works also for such clients as: Goldman Sachs, Allianz, Microsoft, Sky plc as well as several pharmaceutical concerns.
4 In 2011, Cuadrilla’s activities at Preese Hall triggered two tremors and put a temporary halt to fracking in the UK.

Why Bill McKibben’s “Keep-It-In-The-Ground” World War II Analogy is Ridiculous

As the Divestment campaign continues and even infiltrates the churches, here are four reasons why it is wrong  and McKibbin especially so.

I expect most at Greenbelt will agree with McKibbin but ought to live out the implications. The first of these is that Mckibbin would not fly from Seattle to the UK so as to keep-it-in-the-ground

http://energyindepth.org/national/four-reasons-beyond-the-obvious-why-bill-mckibbens-keep-it-in-the-ground-world-war-ii-analogy-is-ridiculous/

 

Four Reasons – Beyond the Obvious – Why Bill McKibben’s “Keep-It-In-The-Ground” World War II Analogy is Ridiculous

Climate activist Bill McKibben has officially jumped the shark, penning a cover article for New Republic this week that claims ending all fossil fuels is the equivalent of what the Greatest Generation did when they stormed the beaches of Normandy:

“We’re under attack from climate change and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII.”

“It’s not that global warming is like a world war. It is a world war. And we are losing.”

The “mobilization plan” the leader of the “Keep it in the Ground” (KIITG) movement speaks of is an immediate conversion to 100 percent renewable energy — which is essentially a declaration of war on reality, as a pair of prominent Democrats have recently pointed out.

Obama Science Advisor John Holdren has said, “The notion that we’re going to keep it all in the ground is unrealistic,” while Clinton campaign chair John Podesta has called the KIITG agenda McKibben is pushing “completely impractical.”

And as EID has noted numerous times, even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — which activists including McKibben have long called the “gold standard” for understanding climate change — has stated fracking brings down greenhouse gases.

So beyond the fact that McKibben continues to deny the science and push absurdities (yes, he likens fossil fuels to Hitler) here’s a closer look at the four reasons why McKibben’s plan is as impractical as it is ridiculous.

Reason #1: McKibben wants to end the one fuel responsible for significant decreases in GHG emissions

McKibben and the KIITG movement continue to ignore the fact that the U.S. energy-related CO2 emission are at their lowest levels in nearly a quarter century. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has projected that domestic CO2 emissions will drop to their lowest levelssince 1992 this year. Any objective observer would have to agree the fact that natural gas is now the U.S.’s top source of electricity generation has everything to do with that trend.

In fact — thanks to fracking — electrical generation is no longer the top industrial source of CO2 emissions, as conversion to natural gas for electrical generation has accounted for 68 percent of the 14 percent total reduction in energy-related CO2 emissions during last decade. This has all happened at the same time the economy has grown 15 percent, reversing a trend in which economic growth has been coupled with emission increases.

McKibben certainly would have applauded these trends back in 2009, when he was standing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol demanding power plants switch to clean-burning natural gas. McKibben was so cognizant of natural gas’ climate benefits that he was even willing to get himself arrested in efforts to get power plants switched to natural gas, as he said in the build up to the protest:

“There are moments in a nation’s — and a planet’s — history when it may be necessary for some to break the law … We will cross the legal boundary of the power plant, and we expect to be arrested.”

McKibben even said a conversion to natural gas would be good for the economy, which, of course, has proven to be a spot-on assessment.

Flash forward seven years, and McKibben’s tone is much the same, but with a few notable caveats: Natural gas is now the enemy even though it reducing GHG emissions — which is ironically the No. 1 goal of the KIITG movement. Furthermore, there are huge doubts about the economic and logistic feasibility of the alternative McKibben is pushing, which brings us to the next two reasons his New Republic article is ridiculous.

Reason #2: Study McKibben cites as evidence of renewable energy’s economic viability shows 100 percent conversion would yield millions of job losses

Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson’s research has long been used by greens to try to sell their 100 percent renewable ideology as being economically feasible, and McKibben’s New Republic piece is just the latest example, as he claims:

“For starters, it’s important to remember that a truly global mobilization to defeat climate change wouldn’t wreck our economy or throw coal miners out of work. … It would produce an awful lot of jobs. (An estimated net gain of roughly two million in the United States alone.)

But a recent EID review of Jacobson’s plan found his own data showed a 100 percent renewable conversion would actually destroy nearly four million long-term jobs nationwide with a net loss of 1.2 million jobs.

Those figures were buried on an Excel sheet from Jacobson’s website under a tab titled “Total Job Loss.” Jacobson’s own data showed that a complete conversion to renewables would yield the elimination of 2.4 million transportation jobs, 800,000 oil and gas production jobs and 90,000 coal mining related jobs — a grand total of 3.8 million jobs lost, compared to the 2.6 million long-term jobs Jacobson claims his plan would create.

Not surprisingly, after EID brought this information to light, Jacobson claimed these numbers were not “real” and “test” numbers. He subsequently deleted the “Total Job Loss” tab on excel sheet from his website.

Jacobson also originally touted that his plan would result in a net gain of four million jobs. However, we would be remiss not to note the latter was based on his projection of 5.3 million construction jobs being created — the kind of “temporary” jobs greens have long criticized as not being “real” jobs. Interestingly, McKibben has now halved Jacobson’s original claim to two million net jobs created, which may or may not have something to do with EID highlighting the original inclusion of these “temporary” jobs. But bottom line: both of his figures are wrong.

Reason #3: Experts agrees a conversion to 100 percent renewables is impractical

Even before EID shed some much-needed light on what Jacobson’s data really forecasted on the jobs lost/jobs created front, his rosy plan for a 100 percent renewable energy conversion was highly criticized for being completely impractical from a basic functionality standpoint.

Roger Pielke, a professor in the environmental studies program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has called Jacobson’s 100 percent renewables plan for New York a “fantasy” and “magic thinking.”

Dr. James Hansen, former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the world’s most famous climate scientists, says that believing in the feasibility of a rapid transition to renewables is more of a mythical belief than a reality-based argument, stating:

“Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.” (emphasis added)

Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute — whom TIME Magazine has declared a “hero of the environmentsimilarly critiqued Jacobson’s plan for 100 percent renewables, specifically Jacobson’s decision to rule out nuclear power, which produces no carbon dioxide emissions. Shellenberger also notes “solar and wind are totally different than [fossil fuels] and inferior in that they’re intermittent.”

Even a Daily Kos blogger, who allowed Jacobson a forum to respond to EID’s findings, criticized his 100 percent renewables plan as impractical. In a comment posted to the article including Dr. Jacobson’s interview, the environmental blogger said that “no electric utility is ever going to adopt Jacobson’s plan” because, among other things, the “wind power component of Jacobson’s plan cannot be relied upon for reliable electric power generation and supply.”

The latter facts were recently highlighted in a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which brings us to our next example of why McKibben’s piece essentially declared war on reality.

Reason #4: Renewables need natural gas like a fish needs water

McKibben notes in the New Republic piece that retired engineer Tom Solomon has calculated that the 100 percent conversion to renewables mapped out in Jacobson’s plan would require “about 6,448 gigawatts of clean energy to replace fossil fuels — or the equivalent of 295 solar factories the size of Elon Musk’s SolarCity Gigafactory under construction in Buffalo, N.Y.”

Considering this would equate to the construction of six such factories per state over that timespan, even Solomon admits this is a very tall task. And, ironically, it would require a whole lot of natural gas to execute.

What McKibben, Jacobson and other KIITG supporters always fail to mention is — due to the fact that the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine —all the new wind and solar infrastructure would be required to have backup generation options due to their status as intermittent sources of energy. And that backup source will likely be natural gas, due to all the economic and environmental factors we have already discussed.

As the National Bureau of Economic research study notes, eight megawatts of back-up capacity are required for any 10 megawatts of wind capacity added to the grid. Again, this is required.

That study also makes reference to research suggesting that in order for photovoltaic power to be a viable base-load resource, it must have the ability to store solar electricity for 20 hours. Problem is, no such massive storage technology currently exists, which is why rapid-fire fossil fuel backup power (i.e. natural gas) is necessary to “spot” solar power, so to speak.

These realities considered, the study points out that renewable conversion is much more expensive than its proponents are leading on, and that usually means the added cost will be passed along to customers.

“… the estimated indirect costs of renewables are at least an order of magnitude greater than those associated with dispatchable fossil-fuel technologies. For the latter, system costs are relatively modest, generally estimated below USD 3 per MWh (megawatt-hour) in OECD countries. For the formers, such costs are as high as USD 40 per MWh for onshore wind, USD 45 per MWh for offshore wind and USD 80 per MWh for solar. These high estimates are the direct results of the need for additional system reserves and back-up generation to ensure system reliability. Renewable energy system costs will also increase over-proportionally with the amount of variable electricity in the system, with far-fetching [reaching] implications for the energy markets and security of supply. Ignoring them can thus lead to a severe underestimation of the social and private costs of any energy transition.”

It is important to note that this study was not the product of an industry source or so-called “climate deniers.” And independent experts such as Christopher Knittel, who directs the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at MIT, largely agree with the conclusions, as Knittel made the following comment to the Washington Post.

“It’s a reality check now,” said Knittel of the study’s insights on the practicality and financial issues regarding conversion to renewables. “I think it’s potentially bad news as we start to get higher and higher penetration levels of renewables.”

Conclusion

That McKibben choses to compare the incredible sacrifices of the Greatest Generation to the KIITG movement is bad enough.

Making matters worse, McKibben’s piece ignores the fact that a fuel he advocates eliminating is achieving his movement’s stated goal — reduced GHG emissions — while the alternative he’s proposing has been unequivocally deemed economically and functionally impractical.

Throw in the strange irony that McKibben has declared war on a fuel that he was willing to go to jail for just seven years ago, and it’s no wonder mainstream Democrats simply don’t agree with McKibben and the extreme “Keep-it-in-the-Ground” movement he represents. U.S. Interior Secretary and former National Parks Conservation Association board member Sally Jewell pretty much summed it up when she said:

“It’s going to take a very long time before we can wean ourselves from fossil fuels, so I think that to keep it in the ground is naïve, to say we could shift to 100 percent renewables is naïve.”

Dangers of ideological purity on fossil fuels and climate change

I get fed up with the Green litany that renewables are possible now when they are not. It is fine if you are ideological and are either load loaded like a luvvie or too obsessed to realise, but it is simply not pragmatic and will be a disaster rather than a solution.

Here Nick Grealy in his usual way makes the case against ideological fanatics.

I have , of course, nicked it from

http://naturalgasnow.org/purists-vs-problem-solvers-shale-revolution-changes/ 

(Many of the articles from Natural Gas Now are good)

Purists vs. Problem Solvers, As Shale Revolution Changes All

LNG - Nick Grealy ReportsNick Grealy
Administrator of NaturalGas2.0NoHotAir and ShaleGasInfo Blogs

….
….

While the shale revolution offers to make real environmental differences and solve real problems, ideologically blinded purists demand 100% solutions.

The US shale revolution is now going global via LNG. Countries that formerly would have chosen coal for power generation are now going gas.

“There are markets like Bangladesh and Pakistan where traditionally they would have gone with coal but now gas can be the cheaper option once you include the cost of new infrastructure,” LeLong of Goldman said. “You are seeing these energy poor countries often with poor credit ratings turning to LNG.”

shale revolution

While China and India are the two carbon monsters in Asia, there are many smaller ones also doing the math about coal and gas and finding gas wins on cost, pollution and infrastructure.  Coal was the default option for years. but we’re seeing smaller markets embrace  natural gas as in Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka will cancel plans for a 500 megawatt Indian-built coal-fired power plant at its strategic eastern port city of Trincomalee and will instead opt for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant, a cabinet minister said late on Tuesday.

“We do not want to hurt India. So President Sirisena in his visit has offered an LNG plant instead of the coal plant,” Weerakkody told Reuters. “This has been discussed at the highest level and there is consensus.”

The Philippines provides another example:

Royal Dutch Shell plc and France’s Total S.A. made moves earlier this year revealing their interests to progress plans for LNG terminals in the Philippines, where demand for the clean fuel has been crimped by a lack of LNG receiving options.

Vietnam is booming, but they too are looking at gas instead of coal:

Vietnam’s 2016-2025 gas development plan, which was approved by the government earlier this week, gives priority to LNG imports and cutting LPG imports eyeing higher domestic output instead.

In short, the shale revolution is providing clean and affordable energy that will not only slow carbon emissions but put them into reverse.

shale revolution

Yet, in the US,  environmentalists are fighting gas export infrastructure. Sandra Steingraber has been active in fighting fracking in the US and now wants to expand it to gas export infrastructure

Wearing blue and carrying banners from past civil disobedience blockades, the Seneca Lake defenders—many of whom had been previously arrested in actions to stop gas storage in underground lakeside salt caverns—attracted considerable attention from marchers from other grassroots groups who were fighting fossil fuel infrastructure projects that were threatening their own communities. These include pipelines, compressor stations, LNG export facilities, oil trains and new gas power plants.

Yet, US environmentalists cite their fight as a global one too:

“Climate change is already causing conflicts and crises around the world, from Louisiana to Syria. We need to make giant leaps towards a clean energy economy and put an end to the vicious cycle of dirty wars, climate refugees and reliance on dirty energy,” Alesha Vega of the Coalition for Peace Action said.

The US shale revolution is not slowing down the path towards carbon reduction from green power or efficiency at home.  It won’t happen in Europe, where we see coal disappearing off the UK system for days at a time as huge wind projects also come on line.

Simply put there is room for everyone. It’s bizarre that Food and Water Watch, et al seek 100% solutions worldwide by wanting to either ban US fracking or prevent it’s export.  The gas industry constantly points out that renewables have either nothing to fear from gas or should be welcomed by carbon reduction advocates. We’re not proposing 100% solutions. Why are they?

Think of a world without any flowers or fossil fuels



An intriguing blog on the rejection of fossil fuels . Some do not like his stuff, but this thought experiment on stopping using fossil fuels sums up the absurdity and folly of divestment

This is from the conclusion of  what I re-blogged. It should make those asking for divestment reconsider

A thought experiment on what would happen if all fossil fuels disappeared tomorrow.

In this thought experiment we will assume that a mystical power has arrived on Earth and using some unknown technology eliminated all fossil fuels from the planet. What would happen? Since I live in Langley, I’m going to consider this from a Lower Mainland perspective.

If you lived in the Lower Mainland, all transportation systems (except Skytrain and a few hundred electric vehicles) would immediately stop. Stores would cease to get new supplies as all supplies are transported from warehouses by truck. No new supplies could get to the warehouses as all the trains depend on diesel, transport planes on aviation fuel and container ships on bunker oil or diesel. Soon the folks in the urban areas would be fighting over the remaining scraps in the stores and once those supplies were gone there would be nothing to replace them.

Starvation would not be the biggest concern though as in area likes Vancouver, the potable water and electrical supplies are dependent on diesel for pumps and the electrical system is maintained by men and women with trucks. We in BC pride ourselves on getting most of our energy from non-fossil fuel sources but absent those pumps and those trucks within days (perhaps weeks if we didn’t have any storms) our electricity supply would be down as well. With no electricity and no diesel all the pumps would fail and Vancouverites would suddenly discover that living in a rain-forest means nothing if you don’t have access to stored water.

Within a couple weeks, the city-centers would look like a scene from The Walking Dead, with corpses everywhere as the weakest folks lost out in the battles for the gradually diminishing supplies of food and water. Absent the sanitary system, the remaining folk would be fighting dysentery as human waste polluted the limited freshwater aquifers. Anyone with the capacity to do so would be moving away from the city-centers as quickly as possible to forage as far as they could roam by foot and on the remaining bikes (the remaining electric vehicles having used their last charge after the electrical system failed).

In the Lower Mainland the city folk would be streaming out towards the Valley where they would discover that virtually everything edible (from plant to animal) had long since been eaten by the Valley folk. Within a few months over 90% of the population would have succumbed to the lack of clean water and food leaving a small minority fighting it out over the few remaining crops. Come winter, absent fossil fuels, the remaining few would go back to burning wood for heat and in doing so would add to the ecological devastation wrought by the first wave of city folk cleansing the ecosystem of everything edible. Certainly in parts of the developing world and in portions of the prairies, subsistence-level communities might remain intact but they would be re-building on a planet that had been systematically stripped of everything edible by the 7 billion souls who did their best to survive and in doing so wrought an ecological apocalypse.

In television shows like The Walking Dead, the zombie apocalypse addresses our population density before the millions of hungry humans have had a chance to devastate the planet. In a post-fossil fuel world, those 7 billion souls would be fighting tooth and nail for every scrap of food and whatever large or mid-sized animals left behind would take hundreds of years to regenerate their populations and the ecosystem that came back would look a lot different from the ecosystem that existed before humans. Climate Change may represent a real threat to humanity, but absent fossil fuels it is likely that 6 billion or more people would pass away in the first six months in this post–fossil fuel world.

A Chemist in Langley

It has now been over a week since the Husky Oil Spill in the North Saskatchewan River. To date I have resisted writing much on the topic as details on the spill have been scarce and contradictory. As a blogger who prides himself on reporting reliable information, the information about the spill was not good enough to justify a blog post.

Today a trickle of information was released by Husky on the spill. So what do we know now that we didn’t know a week ago? First and foremost we now know that the 250,000 L spill was not diluted bitumen (dilbit), as has been suggested by many, but was rather a conventional oil called HLU Blended LLB Heavy Crude Oil but known better by its common named “Llloyd Blend”. Lloyd Blend is a “heavy sour” meaning it has a relatively low API and high sulphur…

View original post 2,201 more words

Are Friends of the Earth losing their grip?

Are Friends of the Earth losing their grip? I certainly hope so after see what they did in Lancs and Yorks . Over the last few years they have cajoled too many in these counties to oppose fracking, yet they cannot get there facts right.

https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/dont-let-fracking-destroy-all-of-this/ 

fracking sandDSCF9208

Here is Nick Grealy giving a good summary of their activities and why they may well be losing

ww.reimaginegas.com/?p=3674#more-3674

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH SIDLE TO THE EXIT IN UK SHALE “CONTROVERSY”

Are Friends of the Earth leaving the field of the shale battle in the UK?  There are recent pointers that they are at least sidling towards the exit.  Ironically, for an organisation whose followers often see oil and gas money as the root of all evil,  it comes down to money.

In North Yorkshire, FoE and Frack Free Ryedale, are considering a legal appeal of the council’s planning decision, and are in the early stages of the process.  If it moves to the next stage, then it starts getting expensive, since under the UK legal system each party is liable for the legal costs of the other side if they were unsuccessful.

Given that appeal leans heavily on the argument that onshore natural gas is bad for climate change, a point broadly dismissed by the Committee on Climate Change itself,  the case is looking shaky.  Speaking for several in the industry however, we would happily welcome it. Bring it on – lets settle this in court where it belongs and not in the local press.  Then we can move on. Given that the multiple, if sometimes interminable, reviews of regulation are finally drawing to a close and the new government has other quixotic issues to waste years of time on, we will finally see a put up or shut up  day of reckoning – for both sides- sooner rather than later. This winter we may well see some actual results.  Based on the combination of 2017 technology and 300 million year old rocks,  the results may promise to be even more interesting than they could have been five years ago.  To those of us who have managed to survive, it may well be worth the wait.  Or perhaps not.  Even a failure of UK shale would settle things and allow an educated discussion of other UK energy options. Shale has been the elephant in the room that blocks all other energy projects too. The question has to be settled sooner or later, one way or the other, for everyone’s benefit.

FoE can commit their own lawyers’s time and risk their money on helping this cause.  But just as in shale exploration, investment from partners often depends on a complex web.  One thing that may be putting FoE off is that the donations from Frack Free Ryedale ‘s side are underwhelming with £618 out of £10K raised as of August 3.  Why should they run all the risk.  People have mouths – but sometimes you have to show them your money and FF Ryedale and their allies are neither putting up or shutting up. Insiders at FoE have told me that the Brexit referendum also counts in the calculations.  FoE, in line with most greens, and most of the onshore industry too, see Brexit as the real issue.  But as the insider from FoE notes, their allies in North Yorkshire and Lancashire voted two to one, not for the Earth, or Europe, but for selfishness and nimbyism. This highlights the essential clash of cultures in the shale battle between climate campaigners with progressive values and nimbys who are obsessively conservative. If the nimby side can only come up with £600, why should FoE bother?

But if it goes to court, even £10K will be peanuts.  So will FoE invest?  They have an in-house legal team so their costs are initially already low, but they run the risk of significant impact if they lose.

Insiders say they could run some commercial  risk for their arm Friends of  the Earth Limited, a company set up to avoid FoE’s charity arm ban on political campaigns. A complaint, long overdue in my opinion, against an egregiously alarming fund raising pamphlet by FoE Limited and inserted in the Sunday Times,

Foeadvert

made by both Cuadrilla and private citizens is currently being decided by the Advertising Standards Authority.

If the complaint were upheld, FoE Limited run a risk of then being sued for damages based on restraint of trade or other principles. Cuadrilla would be unlikely to do so , but many other license holders and their potential suppliers could. At the very least, FoE can be expected to tone down some of the more fanciful allegations in their fracking scare machine.

It’s three years this month since we saw peak fracking frenzy in the press during the Balcombe protests.  Since then, nothing has happened either way.  The OGA ran an exploration round in the meantime that was  underwhelming in it’s results, and the press have moved on.  Anything other than the local press seems thoroughly bored with yesterday’s news. Meanwhile it’s clear that the shale revolution is advancing beyond anyone’s wildest expectations in the US, and starting to reach critical mass in China. At the same time, damage just isn’t showing up in modern shale and any point of having a debate based on the outdated Gasland movie is looking as meaningless as talking about solar and wind based on 2010 costs.

It’s time to move on and explore and see if the resource is actually there or not.  Then we can have a fact based discussion on the next moves. FoE have plenty of other good work to do. Fracking has been a money spinner for them, but the green brand is a valuable (as smart shale explorers are discovering) and attractive one and they can survive well enough without the fracking distraction.

 

 

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2 THOUGHTS ON “FRIENDS OF THE EARTH SIDLE TO THE EXIT IN UK SHALE “CONTROVERSY””

  1. Appreciate the article, Nick. Had much the same reaction to the news that these groups would legally oppose the 3rd Energy decision. I hope that challenge does go forward. From what I understand, if FoE seeks an injunction to prohibit the fracking from proceeding, it could lose a lot more because it would then be subject to paying for lost operational time in addition to legal fees. Let me know if you have any thoughts? Thx

  2. Interesting story from the UK. In the US, it appears that civil unrest in Venezuela, Iraq, and Nigeria can be found everywhere but in America’s oil import statistics! Today’s EIA report has high imports from all three states and Saudi Arabia and it appears that the ultimate law of OPEC is no member concedes any loss of the American market and will fight it at any cost.

    Also, I see that New York state has decided to include nuclear power as no-carbon power which will allow at least some reactors to continue running in the state. The justification offered was if they were shut, the power would be replaced by natural gas.

    I actually applaud this decision because it shows that the regulators (finally) understand that there are many competing values at stake, (no nukes!) (no carbon!) (save the earth!) and to choose one is to exclude the other. Making decisions on this basis is the sign of mature intellects making balanced decisions.

    If they continue this way eventually they will understand that allowing shale drilling in New York will lead to economic prosperity!

Fracking causes Asthma!!! Or does it?

Well, fracking causes terrible problems and the latest scare story is that it causes asthma. This has appeared on the Boots medical website citing an American study.

http://www.webmd.boots.com/asthma/news/20160719/fracking-may-worsen-asthma

 

boots

It even appears on the UK local government site.

http://www.localgov.co.uk/Fracking-industry-linked-to-asthma-attacks/41278

It has gone semi-viral on anti-fracking sites, but it is yet another spurious peer-reviewed paper on the health effects of frackinjg

The article is published in the prestigious JAMA – Journal of the American Medical Association. (I first came across this as in the 90s they published a paper arguing Darwin had panic attacks and agoraphobia. Seeing he wandered around Snowdonia when ill in 1842, it seems unlikely he had the latter. JAMA ignored my response, but no one with agoraphobia could visit Cwm Idwal in 1842DSCF7213

Here is the article

http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2534153

jama

the abstract sums the content of the paper and how

Residential UNGD( aka Fracking) activity metrics were statistically associated with increased risk of mild, moderate, and severe asthma exacerbations. Whether these associations are causal awaits further investigation, including more detailed exposure assessment.

This sounds serious but the actual conclusion says;

Asthma is a common disease with large individual and societal burdens, so the possibility that UNGD may increase risk for asthma exacerbations requires public health attention.

This is hardly a firm conclusion as it is only a possiblitiy.

ABSTRACT

Importance  Asthma is common and can be exacerbated by air pollution and stress. Unconventional natural gas development (UNGD) has community and environmental impacts. In Pennsylvania, UNGD began in 2005, and by 2012, 6253 wells had been drilled. There are no prior studies of UNGD and objective respiratory outcomes.

Objective  To evaluate associations between UNGD and asthma exacerbations.

Design  A nested case-control study comparing patients with asthma with and without exacerbations from 2005 through 2012 treated at the Geisinger Clinic, which provides primary care services to over 400 000 patients in Pennsylvania. Patients with asthma aged 5 to 90 years (n = 35 508) were identified in electronic health records; those with exacerbations were frequency matched on age, sex, and year of event to those without.

Exposures  On the day before each patient’s index date (cases, date of event or medication order; controls, contact date), we estimated activity metrics for 4 UNGD phases (pad preparation, drilling, stimulation [hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”], and production) using distance from the patient’s home to the well, well characteristics, and the dates and durations of phases.

Main Outcomes and Measures  We identified and defined asthma exacerbations as mild (new oral corticosteroid medication order), moderate (emergency department encounter), or severe (hospitalization).

Results  We identified 20 749 mild, 1870 moderate, and 4782 severe asthma exacerbations, and frequency matched these to 18 693, 9350, and 14 104 control index dates, respectively. In 3-level adjusted models, there was an association between the highest group of the activity metric for each UNGD phase compared with the lowest group for 11 of 12 UNGD-outcome pairs: odds ratios (ORs) ranged from 1.5 (95% CI, 1.2-1.7) for the association of the pad metric with severe exacerbations to 4.4 (95% CI, 3.8-5.2) for the association of the production metric with mild exacerbations. Six of the 12 UNGD-outcome associations had increasing ORs across quartiles. Our findings were robust to increasing levels of covariate control and in sensitivity analyses that included evaluation of some possible sources of unmeasured confounding.

Conclusions and Relevance  Residential UNGD activity metrics were statistically associated with increased risk of mild, moderate, and severe asthma exacerbations. Whether these associations are causal awaits further investigation, including more detailed exposure assessment.

Asthma is a common disease with large individual and societal burdens, so the possibility that UNGD may increase risk for asthma exacerbations requires public health attention. As ours is the first study to our knowledge of UNGD and objective respiratory outcomes, and several other health outcomes have not been investigated to date, there is an urgent need for more health studies. These should include more detailed exposure assessment to better characterize pathways and to identify the phases of development that present the most risk.

The article seems quite impressive but the devil is in the details or rather the map they provide to demonstrate their claims. This shows the occurrence of spudded wells and the incidence of asthma. They show the area covered with recorded incidence of asthma and then colour-coded numbers of patients with asthma.

Dark blue means the highest incidence and thus should coincide with greatest number of wells. Oh dear! They do not as the highest number of wells coincides with low incidence of asthma!

Apart from the fact that authors did not consider other causes of asthma – air pollution, smoking, obesity etc , the map simply does not support their claims, which are assertion-based rather than evidence-based.

Seth Whitehead deals with it more fully in his EID article cited below.

 

asthma

More and more dealing with anti-fracking claims is like dealing with creationism. all you need to do is a bit of simple checking with a moderate grasp of the science involved and the arguments crumble to dust (possibly carcinogenic or at least harmful).

Recently a prestigious peer-reviewed paper linking fracking to cancer was retracted  https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/fracking-will-give-you-cancer-not/

not to mention the embarrassing refusal of David Smythe’s geological paper https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/david-smythe-anti-fracking-geologist/

or MEDACT’s study guided by Mike Taylor https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/medacts-madact-on-fracking/ Medact have backed off and mostly emphasise climate change issues.

Yet we are told there are hundreds of peer-reviewed papers against fracking, but these are challenged  and often retracted.

Speaking sarcastically the biggest health risks of fracking are Stress-related illnesses due to scaremongering!

 

 

And also energy in depth give sound arguments why the paper is worthless.

http://energyindepth.org/marcellus/despite-provocative-headlines-new-pa-study-fails-to-link-fracking-to-asthma/

Despite Provocative Headlines, New Pa. Study Fails to Link Fracking to Asthma

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Geisinger Health Systems have teamed up again to release another study of the potential impacts of oil and gas development in the Marcellus, this time focusing on exacerbations of asthma attacks. This new study claims those who live near shale gas wells are “1.5 to four times likelier to have asthma attacks than those who live far away.”

Just to provide some quick context, this is the same team of researchers who published a study claiming premature birthrates were higher in counties closest to shale wells, even though theywere right in line with the national premature birth rate. One of the researchers that stands out is Brian Schwartz, a fellow at the Post Carbon Institute which has called fracking a “virus.” Considering that background, it’s not surprising that, despite the fact that study after study, including data from the Environmental Protection Agency, has shown that fracking does not harm air quality, the researchers apparently started the study with the following preconceived (and debunked) assumption.

“UNGD has been associated with air quality and community social impacts. Psychosocial stress, exposure to air pollution, including from truck traffic, sleep disruption, and reduced socioeconomic status are all biologically plausible pathways for UNGD to affect asthma exacerbations.”

As the researchers likely intended, the study produced provocative headlines like “Health study shows connection between asthma attacks and gas drilling” even though it actually doesn’t show that and the authors openly admit that. Here are some important things to keep in mind when reading this study:

Fact #1: Authors admit they have no data to link asthma exacerbations to fracking

By comparing the electronic health records of 35,508 asthma patients “with and without exacerbations” treated at Geisinger Clinic between 2005 and 2012, the authors claim to have identified 20,749 mild asthma exacerbation instances (new oral corticosteroid medication order), 1,870 moderate (emergency department visit) and 4,782 severe (hospitalization) asthma exacerbations that they claim show an “association” to residential proximity to natural gas development.

“Association” is the key word in the latter sentence — the authors concede right off the bat they have no data to show causation attributable to shale development:

“Residential UNGD activity metrics were statistically associated with increased risk of mild, moderate, and severe asthma exacerbations. Whether these associations are causal awaits further investigation, including more detailed exposure assessment.” (pg. 1)

Reuters rightly reported that “The study doesn’t prove fracking causes asthma or makes symptoms worse.”

Fact #2: Data show counties with highest number of asthma sufferers have little to no shale development; Includes no data for Washington County, which has the most shale wells

One would think that if you were going to study whether fracking contributed to asthma exacerbations you could want to compare patients with exacerbations in counties with shale development to patients with exacerbations in counties without shale development. But the researchers didn’t do that. Instead, they only looked at whether patients with exacerbations lived near a shale well.

What’s more than a little interesting is the fact the areas researchers studied (outlined in the graphic below in gray) which had the highest concentrations of asthma sufferers have little no shale gas production. Energy In Depth has added the names of three high production counties — Bradford and Tioga, which were included in the study, and Washington County:

The above graphic shows that most of the counties with significant numbers of asthma patients have little to no shale gas production.

Curiously, the county with the most shale gas wells in the state, Washington County, wasn’t even included in the study. A vast majority of Geisinger’s patients reside in the counties highlighted in dark blue, each of which have little to no natural gas development.

So based on the graphic above, it is clear that a vast majority of the 35,000-plus asthma patients included in the evaluation live in areas with little-to-no development. Which begs the question: How relevant could the relatively small number of patients included in the study who reside close to natural gas wells be considering a vast majority of Pennsylvania residents who live in areas with shale development were not included in the study?

All of this brings us back to the question of why the researchers didn’t compare data county-by-county. For instance, although between just 21 and 63 Geisinger asthma patients live in Bradford County — which has the second-most shale wells as any county in the state — data comparing Bradford County asthma exacerbation rates with counties with no shale development might have given a better picture of whether there was an association. But maybe the data didn’t support the researchers’ narrative, and therefore wasn’t included in the study?

What’s more, not only were a vast majority of Pennsylvanians who actually live close to natural gas wells not included in the study, the researchers included 72 patients who reside in New York state, which has, of course, banned fracking.

Fact #3: Researchers admit severe exacerbations occurred in patients who smoked or were overweight – yet they still suggest it’s because of fracking

Not surprisingly, the researchers’ data revealed that smokers and people who were older or obese suffered the most severe asthma exacerbations:

“Compared with patients with mild and moderate exacerbations, patients with severe exacerbations were more likely to be female, older, current smokers, and obese.”

The fact that the researchers failed to prove causation isn’t surprising considering asthma has numerous triggers including airborne allergens, animal dander, mold, smoke, cockroaches and dust mites. According to the Mayo Clinic,

Exposure to various irritants and substances that trigger allergies (allergens) can trigger signs and symptoms of asthma. Asthma triggers are different from person to person and can include:

  • Airborne allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, mold, cockroaches and dust mites
  • Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
  • Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
  • Cold air
  • Air pollutants and irritants, such as smoke
  • Certain medications, including beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve)
  • Strong emotions and stress
  • Sulfites and preservatives added to some types of foods and beverages, including shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer and wine
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acids back up into your throat

The researchers also concede that one of the study’s limitations is that it doesn’t consider what the patients’ occupations are, which could be major contributors to exacerbating their asthma.

Interestingly, in a recent radio interview, Dr. Theodore Them, the Chief of Occupational and Environmental Medicine for Guthrie Health Systems in Bradford County, Pa. noted that studies on shale often leave out the very crucial element of “confounders” as the authors here have done. As Dr. Them put it,

“And there can be confounders such as smoking habits, drinking habits, drug use that never get accounted for in these studies and cause people to come to the wrong conclusions.”  (28:36-30:09)

Fact #4: Multiple Pennsylvania studies have shown the oil and gas industry is not impacting air quality in areas of development.

Schwartz states in the study’s press release, “We are concerned with the growing number of studies that have observed health effects associated with this industry,” but it is more likely that he and his colleagues are actually concerned that there are numerous studies showing the opposite is true. Just to name a few:

  • A recent Pennsylvania report commissioned by Fort Cherry School District in southwest Pennsylvania actually examined air emissions at a nearby well site in Washington County — the state’s most active shale county — and “did not show anything remarkable with respect to chemicals detected in the ambient air. When volatile compounds were detected, they were consistent with background levels measured at the school and in other areas in Washington County. Furthermore, a basic yet conservative screening level evaluation shows that the detected volatile compounds were below health-protective levels.”
  • Another recent Marcellus study led by researchers at Drexel University found low levels of air emissions at well sites. As they explained, “we did not observe elevated levels of any of the light aromatic compounds (benzene, toluene, etc.)” and “there are few emissions of nonalkane VOCs (as measured by PTR-MS) from Marcellus Shale development.” Another Pennsylvania study by Professional Service Industries, Inc., commissioned by Union Township in Pennsylvania that found “Airborne gas and TVOC levels appear to have been at or near background levels for the entire monitoring periods in the three locations monitored.”
  • The Pa. DEP conducted air monitoring northeast Pennsylvania and concluded that the state “did not identify concentrations of any compound that would likely trigger air-related health issues associated with Marcellus Shale drilling activities.” A similar report for southwestern Pennsylvania came to the same conclusion.
  • A peer-reviewed study looking at cancer incidence rates in several Pennsylvania counties found “no evidence that childhood leukemia was elevated in any county after [hydraulic fracturing] commenced.”

There are several more examples of studies using direct measurements finding low emissions throughout the country that the researchers apparently chose to ignore when making the stereotypical activist claim that, “Unconventional natural gas development (UNGD) has community and environmental impacts.”

Even studies conducted by fracking opponents have shown no elevated health risk near fracking sites, albeit after they garnered the desired headlines. A corrected version of a 2015 University of Cincinnati found that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions in Carroll County, Ohio, are well below levels deemed of concern by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The original retracted study exaggerated cancer risk by 725,000 percent due to what the researchers later claimed was an “honest calculation error.”

Fact #5: Improved U.S. air quality — courtesy of fracking — is actually reducing asthma

Not only does the Johns Hopkins asthma study dismiss the aforementioned Marcellus studies that have shown low emissions at well sites, it also ignores the fact that fracking is the No. 1 reason that three pollutants linked to asthma — nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) are all in rapid decline.

A recent study of the U.S.’s top 100 biggest power plants, which account for 85 percent of the country’s electricity, found that SO2 emissions are down 80 percent, while NOx emissions are down 75 percent. PM 2.5 levels decreased 60 percent from 2005 to 2013, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The reasons for these declines is obvious, considering power plants have traditionally been the biggest source of this pollution and power plants just happen to be shifting from coal to natural gas at a record pace. Natural gas emits one-third the nitrogen oxide as coal and just one percent of the sulfur oxide of coal, and the two pollutants combine to form PM 2.5.

Recent World Health Organization data indicates that the U.S. is reducing these air pollutants while much of the world continues to struggles, which WHO states contributes to increased risk of asthma and other health problems:

“As urban air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma, increases for the people who live in them.”

Ironically, the U.S.’s progress in improving air quality, thanks in large part to the Marcellus Shale, is perhaps most evident in New York, which has infamously banned fracking.

The “Big Apple” has the cleanest air in over 50 years, thanks to an increased use of natural gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg laid this out in a press release in 2013, stating:

“Today, because of the significant improvements in air quality, the health department estimates that 800 lives will be saved each year and approximately 1,600 emergency department visits for asthma and 460 hospitalizations for respiratory and cardiovascular issues will be prevented every year. The City expects further improvements in air quality and the future health of all New Yorkers as buildings continue to convert to cleaner fuels over the next several years.”

In 2005-2007, it’s estimated that PM2.5 levels in New York City contributed to over 3,100 deaths, over 2,000 hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and 6,000 emergency department visits for asthma annually.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has also developed a factsheet that explains how natural gas reduces asthma attacks:

“This shift has also yielded significant public health benefits, avoiding thousands of premature deaths and more than 100,000 asthma attacks in 2015 alone.”

So, even assuming for a moment that the Johns Hopkins study’s “association” of asthma exacerbation could actually be proven as causal, it is clear that shale development has done far more to reduce asthma and other troublesome ailments than it has done to make them more prevalent.

Fact #6: Study conducted and funded by fracking opponents

We have to give Schwartz some credit: after producing numerous studies that fail to disclose that he’s a fellow at the anti-fracking Post Carbon Institute (something EID has brought to lightwith his previous studies) he finally disclosed that fact in this latest study:

“Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Schwartz is a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute (PCI), serving as an informal advisor on climate, energy, and health issues. He receives no payment for this role. His research is entirely independent of PCI and is not motivated, reviewed, or funded by PCI. No other disclosures are reported.”

The study also received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: at least three of itsboard members are also on the board of World Wildlife Fund, which has made it clear that it is, “against the use of fracking to extract shale gas – or any other ‘unconventional’ fuels – from the ground.”

The study also used satellite data from Skytruth, a group that is against hydraulic fracturing and indeed all industrial activity. Skytruth is funded by numerous anti-fracking groups, including the Tides Foundation, Greenpeace, Oceana and the Heinz Endowments.

Conclusion

The researchers claim this study “adds to a growing body of evidence tying the fracking industry to health concerns.” Problem is, the study — and many others like it — actually doesn’t have any evidence to prove causation, while numerous studies that actually provide real evidence that fracking is reducing asthma throughout the U.S. continue to be overlooked.

Edit
This further blog continues the hatchet job.
http://energyindepth.org/marcellus/pa-health-report-destroys-activist-fracking-asthma-study-conclusion/
This map from a PA state survey puts the knife in further.

More details in this extensive paper.

 

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When will the paper be retracted?

Fracking will give you CANCER – not

Among the many alleged heath risks of fracking are that will give you cancer

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So says Talkfracking and many others .  Fracking is so clearly worse than smoking for giving you cancer.

Frackingsmoking

This was clearly demonstrated by this paper by American academics

Impact of Natural Gas Extraction on PAH Levels in Ambient Air

Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, United States
College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, United States
§ Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267, United States
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2015, 49 (8), pp 5203–5210

 

frackcancerpaper

And thus is cited as one of the many studys on why fracking is bad for health by FrackOff

Frackoff retract

Now this means fracking should be banned!

But, oh, Whooops!! The paper has just been retracted for mathematical errors meaning that the cancer risk was vastly exaggerated. and here is the embarrassing notice of retraction

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/ipdf/10.1021/acs.est.6b02342

cancerretract

 

And here is a discussion of what was wrong

http://energyindepth.org/ohio/corrected-uc-fracking-study-shows-retracted-original-exaggerated-cancer-risk-725000-percent/

 

Corrected UC Fracking Study Shows Retracted Original Exaggerated Cancer Risk by 725,000 Percent

Prior to being retracted last month due to what researchers called “honest calculation errors,” a 2015 University of Cincinnati study on the effects of shale development in Carroll County, Ohio, suggested “natural gas extraction may be contributing significantly to PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions) in the air, at levels that are relevant to human health.”

That assessment led to alarmist headlines, such as Newsweek’s “Fracking Could Increase Risk of Cancer, New Study Finds,” But it turns out that the corrected version, posted this week, has reached the exact opposite conclusion:

“This work suggests that natural gas extraction is contributing PAHs to the air, at levels that would not be expected to increase cancer risk.”

In fact, the researchers’ “honest calculation errors” in the original study led to an exaggeration in the cancer risk from PAH emissions in Carroll County by an astounding 7,250 times what the corrected study shows they actually are. The following graphics from the original and corrected study pretty much tell the tale.

PAH Comparison-Original_edited

PAH Comparison-CORRECTED (2)_edited

The first graphic illustrates the original study. The blue, green and yellow bars on the left of the graph indicate emissions at the well sites (close, middle distance and far away from natural gas wells) while the purple bars on the right are supposed to indicate emission levels detected in similar studies conducted in urban areas such as Chicago, as well as a refinery in Belgium and a pair of oil spill sites. The original study showed PAH levels in Carroll County at 330, 240, and 210 ng/m3, respectively, for each the three study groups, which were much higher than levels in urban areas and refineries.

But the second graphic, which is the corrected graphic, shows that PAH levels were actually 1.2, 0.94, and 0.97 ng/m3 in each of the study groups. These readings are far below all the comparable studies it cited and more than 20,000 percent lower than what the original study reported.

Most notably, the corrected study shows that PAH emission levels are well below the level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says would increase risk of cancer — the complete opposite of what the original study claimed. Amazingly, the original study exaggerated the cancer risk 725,000 percent what it actually is, based on the researchers’ revised data.

Let’s take a look at the most notable data corrections from the retracted study to the corrected study, with the first three examples concerning cancer risk.

Original Study Claim: “Closest to active wells, the (cancer) risk estimated for maximum residential exposure was 2.9 in 10,000, which is above EPA’s acceptable risk level.”

Corrected Study: “At sites closest to active wells, the risk estimated for maximum residential exposure was 0.04 in a million, which is below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’ s acceptable risk level.”

 

Original Study Claim: “This suggests that the maximum exposure scenario would produce risk levels above the U.S. EPA’s acceptable range. Thus, PAH mixtures in areas heavily impacted by NGE may have higher than acceptable cancer risk increases as exposure moves closer to an active NGE well.”

Corrected Study: “None of the estimated ELCRs (excess lifetime cancer risk) were above one in a million, which is the conservative end of the range that the U.S. EPA considers acceptable. Thus, NGE in this study did not appear to emit PAH levels into air that would elevate carcinogenic risk associated with inhalation.”

 

Original Study Claim: “For the maximum residential exposure scenario of 24 h/day, estimated excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) decreases from 290 to 200 in a million when moving from the close to far group. For the minimal residential exposure scenario of 1 h/day, estimated ELCR decreases from 12 to 8.1 in a million when moving from the close to far group. The outdoor worker scenario was also calculated to approximate exposures working outside amidst NGE activity, such as farming or working on NGE wells. For this scenario, estimated ELCR decreases from 59 to 50 in a million when moving from the close to far group.”

Corrected Study: “For the maximum residential exposure scenario of 24 h/day, the estimated excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) decreases from 0.040 to 0.027 in a million when moving from the close to far group. For the minimal residential exposure scenario of 1 h/ day, the estimated ELCR decreases from 0.0017 to 0.0011 in a million when moving from the close to far group. The outdoor worker scenario was also calculated to approximate exposures working outside amidst NGE activity, such as farming or working on NGE wells. For this scenario, the estimated ELCR decreases from 0.0082 to 0.0055 in a million when moving from the close to far group…”

Essentially, the revised study completely contradicts a claim by study co-author Kim Anderson of Oregon State University, who was quoted in a press release accompanying the original study saying: “Air pollution from fracking operations may pose an under-recognized health hazard to people living near them.”

The original study also trumpets that two PAHs in particularly — benzopyrene and phenanthrene — are primary concerns for cancer. Interestingly, in the original study phenanthrene was identified as the most prominent PAH detected. However, the corrected study identifies naphthalene as the most prominent PAH detected, while benzopyrene wasn’t even mentioned as being prominently detected.

Here’s a look at the differences between the two studies in regard to phenanthrene and benzopyrene and all PAH detection in general:

Original Study Claim: “Average phenanthrene levels were 130, 96 and 88 ng/m3 for the close, middle and far groups.”

Corrected Study: “Average phenanthrene levels were 0.25, 0.18, and 0.17 ng/m3  for the close, middle, and far groups.

 

Original Study Claim: “Average benzo [a] pyrene levels were 2.8, 2.7 and 1.9 ng/m3 for the close, middle and far groups…. Average BaPeq (Benzo[a]pyrene equivalent) concentrations in all distance groups would be potentially concerning in chronic doses.”

Corrected Study: “Average benzo [a]- pyrene levels were 14 Å~  10−6 , 7.1 Å~  10−6 , and 2.9 Å~  10−6  ng/m3for the close, middle, and far groups. Average BaPeq concentrations in this study would likely not be concerning as chronic doses.”


Original Study Claim:
“… PAH levels closest to natural gas activity were an order of magnitude higher than levels previously reported in rural areas.”

Corrected Study: “PAH levels closest to natural gas activity were comparable to levels previously reported in rural areas in winter.”

Though the authors’ acknowledgement of their errors and relatively prompt publication of the corrected study is commendable — especially when compared to how UC’s still yet-to-be-published study showing no groundwater contamination from fracking has been handled — it is still becoming more and more difficult to give UC the benefit of the doubt.

Combined with the many flaws of the study EID has already pointed out – the fact that the authors admit their sample size (25 samples) was too small, that fact that they conceded that the chief assumption used for their research model was “totally impractical,” the fact that study participants were recruited by an anti-fracking activist group, and the fact that worst case scenarios were assumed in their cancer hazard assessments, just to name a few — the sheer degree to which the research team botched the original data borders on shocking, especially considering scientists would seemingly be capable of catching such egregious mathematical errors.

But maybe it shouldn’t come as a big a surprise, considering lead author Erin Haynes not only presented the study’s original findings at a meeting of an anti-fracking group, and the researchers specifically thank that group’s leader in the corrected study.

“This work was funded by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to Oregon State University (P30-ES000210) and the University of Cincinnati (P30-ES06096). We thank Glenn Wilson, Ricky Scott, Jorge Padilla, Gary Points, and Melissa McCartney of the OSU FSES Program for help with analysis. Thank you to Dr. Diana Rohlman of the OSU Environmental Health Sciences Center Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC), Sarah Elam of the University of Cincinnati (UC) Environmental Health Sciences Center COEC, Jody Alden of UC, and Paul Feezel of Carroll Concerned Citizens, all for assistance with volunteer recruitment and communication. Thank you to Pierce Kuhnell of UC for mapping sample sites. Finally, thank you to the volunteer participants in Ohio for making this study possible.”

Considering the study was taxpayer funded, it seems more explanation may be in order as to why the original version was so off the mark.

*******************************************************************

Now I wonder how many more of the peer-reviewed papers on the evil of fracking also need to be withdrawn