Energy group responds to fracking and livestock story

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An energy outreach group says notable facts were missing from a report earlier this week on fatalities and sicknesses in livestock near hydraulic fracturing areas.

A recent article by The Nation magazine, in collaboration with the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN), accused shale development, including hydraulic fracturing, of contaminating our food supply.

The article reported cattle in North Dakota near a fracking area experienced weight loss and other negative symptoms and the owner didn’t sell the animals, fearing the meat may not be safe to eat.

In a response to the article by The Nation, Steve Everley, an Energy In Depth (EID) spokesman, says information missing from the report is as important, if not more so, than what was shared and the story only used scientific assessments tailor-made for an anti-natural gas crowd.

Calling the source used by The Nation fatally flawed, EID points to reports from Texas and Pennsylvania showing improvement in key indicators of health even as natural gas development expanded significantly in the area and no significant health risks from shale development in the areas.

Additionally, EID points to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics undermining the suggestion that hydraulic fracturing is a grave threat to occupational or community health.

Everley says farmers and landowners should be interested in the impact of natural gas development and their questions should be answered with facts. Everley said the author of the article by The Nation contacted EID, but failed to use any of its resources.

According to the website, Energy In Depth is a research, education and public outreach program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America focused on getting the facts out about the promise and potential of responsibly developing America’s onshore energy resource base.

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Robert F.    
Arkansas  |  December, 05, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Energy in Depth (IED) is nothing but a paid PR firm for the gas industry. Its their job to respond in any way they can to any negative publicity the industry receives. They have an uncanny knack for supposedly being able to "debunk" any scientific study or article generally within 48 hours of it being released. Whats funny is they holler about facts but never really offer any of their own, they just point to statements made by agencies that have done no studies or research.

Florida  |  December, 05, 2012 at 05:37 PM

The other group is nothing more than a left wing kookie group that HATES all energy production and are more than willing to lie about it along with twisting the facts and omitting others.

Katy, TX  |  December, 05, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Has anyone done some testing and found exactly what is wrong with the cattle?

Kim Feil    
Arlington gasland TX  |  December, 05, 2012 at 10:41 AM

I’ve followed the Caddo cattle death story and the Mineral Wells Wilfong cattle death story...both herds died after a rainstorm near drilling. I live, breathe, and blog and fixn’ to evacuate (once the winds change) in a couple of hours from a flowback operation less than 1/2 mile from my home near the Cowoby Stadium.

Kim Feil    
Arlington  |  December, 05, 2012 at 10:47 AM

I read that MBTE made their tails fall off... I also read that the majority of the cattle hair tested showed positive for petroleum products exposure.

MT  |  December, 05, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Seems strange that no "facts", names, exact locations are used in any of these so called "reports", eh?. IF some herd has "tested positive" for something - seems a County agent or other official lab/spokes person would be quoted and phone numbers given for further info, eh?.. IF SUCH is the case, then all of these "reporters" and their "editors" need to go back to school - they are failing in their jobs!.. As for PR -- since when did such actions negate the truthfulness or accuracy of any such information..? Huh? Maybe you should look deeper into issues and incidents before blowing hot air all over the web, eh?.. Hearsay and repeated non-truths make for very bad reading. Go ask your local cementer or Frac/Acid supervisor about such things - get the facts from those active in the field with knowledge... Major well servicing companies are all over the country - go ask one!

Al Spiker    
Tennessee  |  December, 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I must agree with everything you have stated. I also found it odd that there has been NO human illness of fatalities reported. Just stands to reason that if the cattle are ill and dying, then those at the drilling sites should be suffering some ill effects themselves.

Steve Rupert    
Pittsburgh, PA  |  December, 05, 2012 at 01:21 PM

It is very interesting that you claim to have "read that MBTE made their tails fall off". MBTE is a chemical additive that the Federal Government had once mandated to be added to motor fuels. It is not a naturally occurring substance, and is NOT produced from oil or natural gas wells in the Barnett Shale, Marcellus Shale, or ANY OTHER FORMATION in the world. It is a man-made substance. Why don't you quote your source? Probably because it doesn't exist? People such as you are simply trying to instill fear in people who do not understand that is your goal.

Paul G. East Texas    
East Texas  |  December, 05, 2012 at 02:49 PM

We operate a family ranch in East Texas that has +20 operating gas wells over a 60 year period. These operations have rarely caused problems with livestock or wildlife. The most hazardous problem we face is the traffic on and off the ranch all day that support the wells. When there has been a issue with regard to our herd the well operators have been prompt and more than fair in the solution. It is my opinion that these stories that get into the press are sensationalized and less than totally factual.

FLorida  |  December, 05, 2012 at 05:39 PM

Well, I see you read all the propaganda from the anti-fracking group and are now ready to panic based on lies and twisted facts; HOW SAD.

Texas  |  December, 05, 2012 at 07:29 PM

Sorry folks but I live in a highly active area for gas drilling and fracking have a lease place where they drilled 20+ wells in the last two years and not a problem go find another rabbit to chase

Minnesota  |  December, 05, 2012 at 07:46 PM

MBTE is a gasoline additive that is found in groundwater as a result of leaking storage tanks, NOT from any drilling or fracking process. Where did you read this information?

florida  |  December, 05, 2012 at 08:01 PM

That is a load of trash from liberal socialist ODUMBA tree hugger butt kissers ,,,,,,,

Jim Sturrock    
NE Colo  |  December, 05, 2012 at 09:37 PM

Is that what your settlement agreement required you to say? Prompt and more than fair. Was the settlement worth giving up your free speech? One way to pay off the ranch?

Western Kansas  |  December, 06, 2012 at 01:09 AM

We operate around 20 Natural Gas wells, plus about 45 Crude Oil wells. Not one animal on our range has ever come down sick, after being exposed to "bad smells" from our operations. Cattle, like other animals, have a better sense of smell, than humans do; so they stay further away from our drilling and well operations. Our biggest problems with cattle, in the lack of water in the rivers and lakes which we need to water our cattle. Hopefully, this drought will break, and we won't have to haul water from Lake Superior, down to our range for our cattle.

Paul G. East Texas    
East Texas  |  December, 06, 2012 at 03:57 AM

Wow, now I see how this kind of stuff gets ginned-up in the press. We have a land use agreement with the lease operators that spells out exactly how they should respond if damages occur. No negotiations, no arguments. And no loss of free speech rights. The ranch is paid for since the mid 1800's and the income from the oil and gas operations are an important asset that helps keep everything going. I guess I should have published the complete ranch history so some wouldn't be quick to jump to conclusions.

December, 06, 2012 at 06:48 AM

It would seem there is a possibility that someone sprayed the cattle with petroleum products to get them sick in an effort to shut down the fracking operation. What we used to call eco-terrorism.

Jim Sturrock    
NE Colo  |  December, 07, 2012 at 01:33 PM

All areas have there differences. For intense rotational grazing ours are 200 acres. Oil pads are often 500 X 500 feet covered with 5 t0 6 inches of road base which requires approx. 500 loads equating to 1000 trucks passing corrals containing up to 150 newborns and the gravel road had no dust control. Made for a health set of calves H2S is one of the gasses vented from the local wells, workers are furnished with monitors and OSHA training, not the land owners. Tank batteries have wind socks Land agreements are great if all comply, if not off to court and 5 or 6 years later a settlement is the rule All isn't as it seems, lot goes on below the surface out of sight of the press and with denial the rule

Jim Sturrock    
NE Colo  |  December, 07, 2012 at 01:48 PM

I'll continue, wells can be places as closes as 350 ft to a residence often with a pump jack and at the tank batteries there is a flair burning 52- 7 -24 light the night skies. Why, supply and demand out of balance making it more cost efficient to flair than pipe to a market and of course they burn clean adding nothing to the atmosphere, sure

Jim Sturrock    
NE Colo  |  December, 07, 2012 at 02:21 PM

Sorry, had to take a call. It isn't fracturing that is the weak link, but drilling, casing and retaining the venting. If you really want the real story, purchase from Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation their conference on fracturing. If industry is half way willing to stopping being a conquer of the land and accept being a member of the land using conservation planning all including wildlife should be able to use the land and survive. Yes there are problems but there are solutions if they would just man up and admit to the problems instead of being verbally abusive in denial. End of story.

CT  |  December, 08, 2012 at 06:50 AM

I think that was sarcasm, Steve.

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