Here are two EPA websites which manage to be both informative AND disturbing. Their purpose is basically to find a way to tell the oil and gas companies that they are polluting our nation’s vital natural resources and putting us all at risk.
This link goes to the 174 page PLAN on just how they’re going to write the report (yep). I have read it all, by the way:
Here’s the next phase (lots of the same information here), which is the 2012 update on the report, due any year now:
As you can see, it has taken our government so long to even get these reports underway that children have been conceived, born, and are now in elementary school during this same time period. And still, no definitive answers and final report. Just as well, because the current Administration has done nothing to reverse the Halliburton Loophole so the EPA’s hands are tied. But they do manage to admit, again and again that a) the injection wells are leaking, b) they are leaking into groundwater, aquifers, streams and major waterways along with leaking into the soil and they are further polluting the air, and c) the only information that the EPA receives and essentially works off of comes directly from the oil and gas companies themselves. Yes, it’s “self reported,” so as the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” And STILL, the news is horrific. Just imagine if we had a government with the guts to charge in there, take the real list of chemicals being used by all of these frackers, and really analyze it. You know…do it the way you THOUGHT it was being done.
In the meantime, these fossil fuel giants just keep using millions of gallons of fresh water to extract the shale gas, thus destroying our precious and increasingly scarce water resources, and then, to add insult to injury, that same, once-fresh water, which is now radioactive and lethal, is polluting OTHER valuable groundwater sources, aquifers, and streams.
The lists of chemicals being used is SELF REPORTED by the oil and gas companies. They are lying. They keep getting caught, and yet they just keep misreporting their fracking “proprietary fluid mixtures.” The 1000+ chemicals that they DO report using, and which are probably not the worst of the lot, are, for the most part, toxic, carcinogenic, and teratogenic (dangerous to the healthy growth of fetuses). These chemicals are not only polluting water sources, they are also poisoning the air and soil and heating up the planet through the fracking process which is prone to methane leakage.
Additionally, if you scroll through these reports, you should take note of the fact that the references the EPA uses are predominately made up of oil and gas industry sources, so, well, that’s not a good thing either.
And while known genetic syndromes, mutations, and metabolic diseases account for up to 20% of autism cases, there is believed to be an environmental component as well. Since some of the alleles associated with autism are fairly common in our general population, there are quite likely environmental causes, or “triggers” which cause autism to be expressed. Exposure to known teratogens, like those in fracking fluids, would profoundly effect the developing fetus, particularly in the first 8 weeks of development. I understand how science works. It is plodding and methodical, which can be a very good thing. But in this case, the risks are simply too high. The process is turned upside down in the United States. Instead of corporations having to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that their methods and all aspects of their operations are safe and open to regulatory processes, hydraulic fracturing companies pollute and then force us to prove it, while throwing up road blocks along every step of the way. They are aided by powerful forces embedded into our government in a way that, for me, is absolutely unacceptable.