N&O fact-checked on fracking by reader & WRAL


Fracking has been legalized by the legislature.  But the professional left and their transcriptionists at The N&O are still trying to scare the hell out of the ‘great unwashed’ beyond the Raleigh beltline.

Yesterday, the N&O featured an item in ‘Under The Dome’ with a headline talking about a Duke research paper that reportedly said fracking chemicals COULD get into drinking water.

A UFO COULD land in front of The N&O offices, kidnap John Frank, and haul him away for medical experimentation.  But what’s the likelihood of that? 

Then,  a reader posts a comment underneath that item comparing WRAL’s coverage of the research paper with that of The N&O.  WRAL focused on how the research paper found NO EVIDENCE of water pollution caused by fracking.

Today, The N&O has toned down its headline and edited the Dome item to reflect the more moderate, reasonable, truthful tone taken by WRAL.

The anti-fracking hysteria was ginned up thanks to a highly-dubious leftist piece of cinematic propaganda called ‘Gasland.’  I found a great piece in The Energy Tribune debunking the “facts” presented in that film.   This section of the Tribune’s piece provides some interesting info that should be included when reporting on claims of alleged fracking-spawned water pollution:

Gasland goes on to cite the passing of the 2005 energy bill as declaring a “wild west” open season for domestic gas drilling, not least in Fox’s home state, Pennsylvania, on the Marcellus Shale. Fox fails to mention, however, that hydraulic fracturing has a 60 year history after Halliburton pioneered the process in 1949. Nor does he mention that the fracking process has been used in over 2 million treatments in 90 percent of all US gas (and many oil) extraction wells, conventional and unconventional, without a single documented instance of the process leading to the pollution of a water aquifer. Undaunted by facts, Fox goes on to assert that the law “authorizes oil and gas drillers to inject hazardous materials, unchecked, directly into or adjacent to underground water supplies.” As Debunking Gasland states, “if such an outrageous thing were actually true, one assumes it wouldn’t have taken five years and a purveyor of the avant-garde to bring it to light”.

The major point being that between the strata of shale (8 to 10,000 feet down) and water aquifers (around 500 feet) are tons of impenetrable rock, often up to 2 miles thick. Indeed, a telling graphic of the hard data produced by Pinnacle, a diagnostic arm of Halliburton specifically set up to study the effects of hydraulic fracking in over 15,000 wells, shows just how impossible it is for gravitating gas to get anywhere near water tables operated in the Barnett Shale (America’s oldest), fig. 1 and the Marcellus shale gas fields, fig.2.

The Internet is a great thing.  I am old enough to remember the pre-Internet days, when The N&O, CBS News and The New York Times, et. al, controlled the flow of information to the public.  You had few feasible options to check the accuracy / veracity of what you were being told.  With the dawn of The Internet, we commoners now have the tools to fact-check these people and shame them when we catch them in a lie.  Sometimes, like in this case, we can get them to back off their leftist duplicity.