Monday, December 10, 2012

"Devastation" "Toxic" and other buzz words

Toxic has to do with poisons/toxins... Toxic has to do with concentrations, exposure length, exposure route, and related health effects. 
I didn't make this up; Paracelsus said it...

"All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous."

So, your coffee… hopefully at the concentration you are drinking it at... isn’t a poison or isn’t toxic (apparently that is an arguable point).  So, is flowback toxic? Produced water toxic? Are the chemicals used to stimulate shale toxic?  Toxic to who or to what? What are the concentrations used?  Will anyone be exposed? How will they be exposed? At what concentrations will they be exposed at? Will is cause a health effect? Many questions, many different answers…  Is it simply easier to say toxic when information is complex then to spend the time & effort looking/learning? Believe it or not, there are people that have been working on these questions for a long time; they do it with every industry that has waste water.

 "Devastated" PA Countryside (Taken 08/10/2012)

My thirty minutes on “Up with Chris Hayes” went as expected. I am not really one for interviews/panels etc. I prefer talking to people one on one; to that end I met some great people had some great conversations off the air. Chris was cordial.  

Energy development is a sensitive issue. Whether we are talking about developing community wind projects, solar farms or pipelines, you will always find people who either think that the project is the best thing and others who hate the idea. Luckily, science-based facts rise to the top at the end of the day. We know that there are some short term impacts (surface spills, truck traffic, noise, light and air emissions and some potential long term impacts; abandoned wells, poor casing jobs etc. Nobody is denying that. Regulations and best management practice are developed and processes are monitored to ensure that solutions are being effective. My goal on “Up” was to express the importance of good sound regulations, and how when those regulations are coupled with industry utilizing best management practices, it is possible to develop natural resources safely.  
Since 2008, Pennsylvania has been developing HVHF wells in earnest... approximately 5000 wells.  There have been impacts both positive and negative. So, what have we learnt? That not all wells develop issues – Every successful, in compliance and producing natural gas well indicates that natgas development can be done safely.  

Completed producing well (taken 08/10/2012)

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