SFU study examines risks of shale development

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Results from a study out of Simon Fraser university show that the impacts of shale development might be the worst threat to plants and animals.

One of eight international co-authors of the newly published research, SFU research associate, Viorel Popescu says the findings are a call to action:

“Every interested group in shale development in British Columbia, from industry, first nations, government, will come together and figure out a way forward that keeps British Columbia the best place on earth.”



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  1. Oh my goodness…time to light your hair on fire and run around in a circle !

    The SFU study has found that fracking might be a problem…but more study is needed because there isn’t enough research to draw conclusions.

    Doesn’t that sound just a bit self serving ? While some would say that at least this study hasn’t been biased by having funding coming from the Oil and Gas Industry….in fact the slant in this paper is almost worse .because all they are doing is imagining the worst and then essentially asking for more money to figure out if their comments are based in reality

  2. The story carefully omits the background and prejudices of Mr. Popescu. The guy is a hard line green activist-anti growth, anti people, anti prosperity (except for people like himself who care about the planet and want to save the planet). Unlike university professors, other people have to actually produce something-the people at SFU have it made financially. The profs have tenure and the other employees are described as un selfish public servants whose only concern is the education of our young people. Its all for the kids.

    This study has no credibility because there is no way these people would have reached a different conclusion.

  3. Key Word “MIGHT” . . . so definitive, so nuts ! ! !

    100s of thousands of wells have been “Fracked” for 60 years . . . if Obama’s EPA cannot find ONE example of a problem . . . the SFU folks are wasting their time.

  4. Now, now Dale. Please don’t feign disbelief. Common sense dictates that the best of intentions don’t make it so.

    Amid Calls for EPA to Reopen Fracking Investigations, States Confirm Contaminated Groundwater
    Republican Sen. James Inhofe said it. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said it. Even former Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson said it.

    For over a decade, oil and gas executives and the policy makers who support them have repeated a single bold claim: there has never been a single documented case where fracking contaminated groundwater.

    But a blockbuster investigative report by the Associated Press offered up new evidence earlier this month that the shale industry’s keystone environmental claim is simply not true.

    Multiple states confirmed that drilling and fracking contaminated groundwater supplies, the investigation found. There have been thousands of complaints from people living near drilling over the past decade, the AP reported, and three out of the four states from which the AP obtained documents confirmed multiple instances where oil and gas companies contaminated groundwater.

    Out of the four states the AP obtained documents from, only Texas reported no confirmed oil and gas-related groundwater contamination. But one high-profile incident in Texas has again come under scrutiny, as a report quietly released by the Obama administration on Christmas Eve has called the adequacy of the state’s investigation into question.
    “The AP found that Pennsylvania received 398 complaints in 2013 alleging that oil or natural gas drilling polluted or otherwise affected private water wells, compared with 499 in 2012. …. More than 100 cases of pollution were confirmed over the past five years.”

    To put those numbers in perspective, only 5,000 wells have been drilled so far in Pennsylvania. Regulators have projected at least 10 times that number will be drilled in the state over the next two decades.

    In total, state regulators had confirmed at least 116 individual cases of water contamination in the past five years in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, according to the AP report. The confirmed cases do not include many incidents whose causes regulators are still investigating.

    • Turn your focus on Canadian examples.
      Regulation of the oil and gas industry is night and day between the two countries.
      That’s not to say we should ignore issues- but Big Environment puts much effort into shutting down anything pertaining to the hydrocarbon industry.

    • “Multiple states confirmed that drilling and fracking contaminated groundwater supplies, the investigation found.”
      Watched “Gasland” did you David . . . Josh Fox is the Michael Moore of the fracking debate.

      The US EPA which is a far-left Radical group today . . . could find ZERO problems in Pennsylvania or anywhere else.

      Fracking takes place over 5,000 feet below the surface . . . that is a mile of more . . .
      Groundwater is within 100 feet of the surface in most areas

      When drilling they use Three pipes each encased in a layer of cement . . . that is SIX barriers between the drill hole and the groundwater.

      Watch the Video “Frack Nation” which disects each of YOUR claims . . . when did the AP become an authority on anything?

  5. The information provided by David offers no context-how much fracking has been done vs the evidence of problems, and how successful have the mitigation efforts been. As for the EPA, like the Department of Justice and the IRS in the USA, these agencies are creatures of the administration in power at the time. President Obama opposed all energy projects and is on record as wanting to shut the entire coal industry down regardless of the cost. So, officials in the EPA will always want to do his bidding, and thus will make sure any reports on fracking are negative.

    The AP report says “complaints”, which is not the same as proven cases where there are actual problems. The adequacy of the investigation in Texas was “called into question”-which can mean anything.

    The anti fracking activists will say just about anything to advance their cause, like the documentary maker who reported that fracking was causing the water supply to become a fire hazard-the cause of ground water fire problems has nothing to do with fracking and is a natural occurrence.

    In the meantime, anti fracking groups in Europe are being financed in part by that great democrat and humanitarian, V. Putin of Russia (or as he is known is some parts-Putin Huilo). We need the energy, there are no perfectly safe ways to do anything, and the potential for disaster is always over stated. There are pipelines all over the place carrying natural gas-think that is 100% safe with no risk of problems?

  6. Have they just copied a paper from East Anglia and amended it so they could insert “fracking” as a replacement for “global warming”? (Although I did notice they managed to squeak “climate change” in there.)
    If I had turned a paper in like this in my day (yes dinosaurs did still roam the planet – but at least the sciences generally had credibility) it probably would have been considered unworthy of publication (that’s science talk for dribble/lacking credibility) and returned to sender; this was published in Ecol. Environ. I can hardly wait to read the whole paper.
    Maybe someone should tell the authors that everything we do has an impact on the ‘natural world’ and we is part of it. I bet even the production of the computers that generated this report for them had an impact on the ‘natural world’.
    Don’t you love the Progressive ‘environMENTALists’? They sound so scholarly and I’m sure there was no agenda here.

  7. I read the submitted piece several times and really the document lacks any details, technical or otherwise, simply unsupported hearsay statements.
    This for clarity is nothing more than a feverish attempt to amplify baseless information to attract the attention of those in opposition with warm words.

    Seems our Universities have failed to produce folks who actually use science to establish solutions.