Why Did New York State Ban Fracking? Massive study finds health, safety and environmental uncertainties regarding fracking’s dangers have ‘grown worse over time’


“There really isn’t any environmental parameter that is not severely affected by fracking.”

Deborah Goldberg in article below


“Shale is basically impermeable. The only way that you can conceivably .. marginally economically .. get oil or gas out of shale is to beat it to death.”

Dr. Tony Ingraffea

Announcer: “To beat shale to death, gas companies use a process called hydraulic fracturing.”

in clip below:


Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans by Andy Borowitz, May 12, 2015, The New Yorker
MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said.

While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said. [Emphasis added]

State Review Findings Back Up NY Fracking Ban by Mike Clifford, May 15, 2015, Public News Service 

A new report backs up Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking and details a wide range of environmental dangers.

Earthjustice managing attorney Deborah Goldberg said the Department of Environmental Conservation report spells out a long list of potential dangers from fracking operations…. “It does mention earthquakes, risks to water quality, air quality, risks to our communities,” she said. “There really isn’t any environmental parameter that is not severely affected by fracking.”

Industry officials maintain that the process is safe, and may file suit if the report is accepted.

This report is not the final word, Goldberg said, adding that the DEC commissioner still needs to issue findings and make a final determination.

Goldberg credited the Cuomo administration with taking the right course because it puts the burden on the industry to prove the process is safe before allowing any natural-gas fracturing in New York.

“I think we are completely on the leading edge,” she said. “Gov. Cuomo is the only governor in a state that has proven gas reserves to follow the science and recognize that we just don’t know enough to go forward safely.”

While the Marcellus Shale is estimated to have more than 140 trillion feet of natural gas in reserve, experts can’t say for sure how much gas is contained within the New York state boundaries. Given that uncertainty and the safety issues, Goldberg said, she is not certain the industry will see any real gain in challenging the report. [Emphasis added]

Why Did NY Ban Fracking? The Official Report Is Now Public The massive study finds that health, safety and environmental uncertainties regarding fracking’s dangers have ‘grown worse over time.’ by Neela Banerjee, May 15, 2015, InsideClimate News
High-volume hydraulic fracturing “raises new, significant, adverse impacts not studied” in the state’s last major analysis of oil and gas development in 1992, the 2,000-page report concludes. The negative effects that fracking could bring to the state include:

— Air impacts that could affect respiratory health due to increased levels of particulate matter, diesel exhaust or volatile organic chemicals.

— Climate change impacts due to methane and other volatile organic chemical released into the atmosphere.

— Drinking water impacts from underground migration of methane and/or fracturing fluid chemicals associated with faulty well construction or seismic activity.

— Surface spills potentially resulting in soil, groundwater and surface water contamination.

— Surface water contamination resulting from inadequate wastewater treatment.

— Earthquakes and creation of fissures induced during the hydraulic fracturing stage.

— Community impacts such as increased vehicle traffic, road damage, noise, odor complaints,and increased local demand for housing and medical care.

Issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation, the “Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement” took more than six years to produce, as public comments on drafts and the burgeoning literature on the various effects of fracking led to repeated revisions of the study.

The assessment notes that considerable uncertainty over the adverse environmental and public health consequences of fracking has “grown worse over time.”

Industry, for example, has long asserted that fracking fluid has never migrated to or tainted underground drinking water, but documented cases have revealed drinking water contamination from fracking. A study this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found the presence of chemicals used in fracking fluids in the drinking water of three Pennsylvania households. State regulators also detected methane in the families’ water. Similarly, leakage rates into the atmosphere of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that could wipe out the climate benefit of natural gas, remain unclear as major studies only now get underway.

In New York, the resistance to fracking grew as residents saw the effects of the gas boom across the border in Pennsylvania. New York localities, such as the village of Dryden, created fracking bans that withstood court challenges adding momentum to activist efforts for a statewide prohibition.

New York is the first state with substantial natural gas reserves to ban fracking. Others, such as North Carolina, placed moratoria on the practice that they eventually lifted. Some, such as Vermont, have bans in place that are mostly symbolic as they have minimal oil and gas reserves.

Using industry projections, the report estimated that New York could have received more than 1,600 applications a year on average from drillers to use fracking to develop gas reserves in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. That rate of activity could have extended over a 30-year period, the report said.

Within ten days of the report’s publication, by May 23, the state’s Environmental Conservation Commissioner must issue the final decision on the fracking ban, according to New York regulations. The ban is not permanent, however, and could be reversed by a future administration.

The six year New York State Frac Review:

Volume 1:


Volume 2:



What ‘evidence’ did the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) ‘Cherry-Pick’ in their frac review? A few of the specially ‘picked’ cherries listed below:

2014 05 24 Ernst Presentation at Courtenay CCA report John Cherry Ted Morton2014 05 24 Ernst Presentation at Courtenay CCA report Chair John Cherry gives more questions than answers, science to be made after we're fracd, use us as guinea pigs

1. CAPP and Alberta Energy/AER lies and propaganda chaired by a water expert (slide below  in Dr. John Cherry’s presentation, May 29, 2014 Munk School of Global Affairs, U of T):

2014 05 29 Dr. John Cherry, Chair CCA frac report, propaganda in his 'Science and Propaganda' Keynote at Adele Hurley's synergizing frac conference

who promotes industry’s big lie and left out his own 2002 dire warnings and conclusions to the Canadian Council of Minister of Environment (recently removed from the CCME website):

2002 CCME report chapter 4 by dr john cherry hilted

2. And Alberta Energy Regulator/PC government propaganda promoted by a Frac Patent Holder:

2013 05 Dusseault fac patent issued

3. And 2011 08 20 Alberta Energy lies and propaganda: “There has not been one case of contaminated groundwater that has been linked to fracking.” ]

4. Some of the CCA’s Unpicked Cherries: What’s Missing from Canada’s Fracking Debate? This is a long read. Because the current ‘debate’ leaves out so much

5. More of the CCA’s Unpicked Cherries:

2015 03 10 Did the Council Canadian Academies Cherry Pick for their frac report

Table from: Did the Council of Canadian Academies’ Frack Panel ‘Cherry-Pick’ the Scientific Evidence on Harms from Fracking?

New York releases final environmental review of fracking by Associated Press, May 14, 2015, Olean Times Herald
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in December that he would defer to the judgment of his health and environmental conservation commissioners, who said they’d recommend a ban on high-volume fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, which involves injecting large volumes of water with sand and hazardous chemicals underground to break apart rock. Under state law, a formal decision on whether to allow or ban fracking will come 10 days after the environmental review’s release on Wednesday.

The report “is the result of an extensive examination of high-volume hydraulic fracturing and its potential adverse impacts on critical resources such as drinking water, community character and wildlife habitat,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said.

“We considered materials from numerous sources, including scientific studies, academic research and public comments, and evaluated the effectiveness of potential mitigation measures to protect New York’s valuable natural resources and the health of residents,” Martens said. …

The environmental review that was launched in 2008 drew more than 260,000 comments over the course of several revisions. No shale gas wells have been permitted during that time. The final report, which is more than 2,000 pages long, includes more than 300 pages of state responses to comments. …

Natural Resources Defense Council lawyer Kate Sinding said: “The governor has rightfully let science and the will of the people be his guide, despite pressure from a powerful industry.” …

Energy industry officials say fracking has been used safely for decades. [What industry “says” contradicts published industry and regulator research]

As NY readies to ban fracking, lawyers prepare to sue by Jon Campbell, April 26, 2015, lohud
“From a legal process point of view, we’ve been waiting for the final findings in order to determine what course of legal actions our companies might want to take,” said Karen Moreau, executive director of the API New York State Petroleum Council, a gas-industry trade group. “This actually provides at least a timeline.”

The soon-to-be-released report’s ultimate conclusion isn’t a mystery. On Dec. 17, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced it would prohibit high-volume fracking in New York “at this time” after Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker issued a report raising concern about its potential for negative impacts on human health. …

“We obviously deliberated for a long time,” Martens said on “The Capitol Pressroom,” a public radio program. “There was an awful lot of activity and investigation into the impacts of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, and again, with the weight of the evidence it just suggested to us that we should be cautious in New York.” …

Darren Suarez, director of government affairs for the state Business Council, said he’s hoping to “wake up and have that moment where it’s just a bad dream.” His organization is a booster of fracking in New York, and he said some of its members will likely look into the feasibility of a lawsuit.

“It’s something, I think, many of our members will examine — the potential for litigation, given that there really isn’t precedent in using a (generic environmental impact statement) as a prohibitive document,” Suarez said. “There could be significant potential for litigation.”

Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York who served as interim DEC commissioner in 2010, said he believes the state has been careful to make sure it has acted legally. State law lays out the decision-making process, and it gives Martens wide latitude. 

Iwanowicz said he expects the findings statement will include a “strong statement” that the “public health would have been impacted had (fracking) gone ahead.”

In the radio interview Friday, Martens said the fracking ban — which applies only to fracking that uses more than 300,000 gallons of fluid — will be “permanent until the information changes.” [Emphasis added]

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