Rolling Stone Responds to Chesapeake Energy on ‘The Fracking Bubble’

Rolling Stone Responds to Chesapeake Energy on ‘The Fracking Bubble’ by Jeff Goodell, March 6, 2012, Rolling Stone
Bias in the Duke study. There is some poetry in the fact that scientists at McClendon’s alma mater were the first to conduct a rigorous, peer-reviewed study showing methane migration into drinking water wells near drilling sites. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the most prestigious scientific journals in America. The notion that it is “biased” and written by scientists bent on putting Chesapeake out of business is downright delusional. As for the criticisms of Michael Krancer of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the authors of the study address that here. Methane levels in the Vargson well. Arguing that the methane was, in effect, already there, is a classic defense of the gas industry whenever there is a problem with methane contamination in a well. It’s the industry equivalent of the schoolyard taunt, “You can’t prove it!” In fact, the Vargson well is one of the best studied in Bradford County. Tom Darrah, a respected geologist at Duke, has studied the historical data at the Vargson well and says explicitly that the high levels of methane are “well above natural levels.”

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