Oh, Canada’s Become a Home for Record Fracking

Oh, Canada’s Become a Home for Record Fracking by Nicholas Kusnetz, December 28, 2011, ProPublica
The government’s report concluded that the methane in her well might be occurring naturally because tests showed similar levels of gas in nearby wells. But the tests were conducted after Ernst noticed the changes in her water — she saw the results as an indication that the contamination might be more widespread. The government’s report also ignored evidence provided by one of its own analysts…. When Karlis Muehlenbachs analyzed the gas in Ernst’s well for Alberta Environment and Water, he found ethane, a gas often found with methane, with a chemical signature indicating that it had come from deep underground, below the depth of the well. Muehlenbachs told ProPublica that the ethane’s signature meant that it could not have been there naturally. He said he is convinced that it resulted from drilling. … The Energy Resources Conservation Board denied a request for an interview. In written responses to questions, spokesman Bob Curran said he could not comment on the specifics of Ernst’s case, but the agency is confident it has conducted itself appropriately. … Alberta Environment and Water, would not comment on Ernst’s allegations because of the lawsuit but said there have been no confirmed cases of gas drilling contaminating water wells in the province. Muehlenbachs, whose work has been used in several government investigations, said that is “simply false.”

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