Sioux County, Nebraska – Local farmer, James Osbourne, recently spoke at a meeting for the Nebraska Oil and Gas Commission where the board was hearing comments from the community about possible fracking operations in the area. Being a former employee in the oil and gas industry, Osbourne was able to speak from personal experience in the business.
The committee has been holding public hearings on a proposal that will allow the Terex Energy Corp to ship as much as 10,000 barrels a day of out-of-state fracking wastewater into Nebraska to be dumped in a “disposal well”. The water would undoubtedly contaminate local water supplies, yet Terex Energy Corp vice president of geology, Marty Gottlob, claims the water is harmless.
To illustrate the hazards of dumping the waste water, Osbourne brought a sample of fracking water for the board members to drink.
“So you told me this morning, when I was in here talking to you, that you would drink this water, right? So would you drink it? Yes or no?” Osbourne asked the board members, to which he was told they could not comment. “Oh, you can’t answer any questions? So, my answer would be, ‘No, I would not drink it.’ So, I don’t want this in the water that will travel entirely across this state in three days.”
Fracking, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc. so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.”
In a report from New Scientist:
“The new geophysical research, by Won-Young Kim at Columbia University in Palisades, New York, is the latest to suggest that the main risk of earthquakes associated with fracking relates to the way the water used in the operations is disposed of afterwards. In Ohio, the wastewater was injected into a deep well. This raised the pressure of water within the rock and triggered 109 small quakes between January 2011 and February 2012. The largest, on 31 December 2011, had a magnitude of 3.9.”
Property owners of nearby fracking operations have often reported having their homes poisoned, and they have no recourse to defend their properties in these situations. Fracking is still rather popular publicly because most people are unaware of the dangers, and it is popular amongst politicians since most have a hand in it.