Air Quality and Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas covers 26 counties and 20,000 square miles, and it's one of the most active hydraulic fracturing sites in North America. Jim Morris from the Center for Public Integrity examines what impact natural gas drilling has had on the communities in Southern Texas and how production has adversevely affected air quality. 




Jim Morris

Comments [7]

mm in San Francisco from San Francisco, Ca.

Estelle in Brooklyn,

The state you're thinking of is none other than green, Democratic California.

Our local PBS station (KQED out of San Francisco) regularly puts out statements, lasting just a few seconds, on how Los Angeles is benefiting from natural gas and to go to thinkaboutit to learn more. Going to that website, I find it represents several oil companies.

It is insidious to advertise the benefits of natural gas as snippets of news statements, without so much as a "brought to you by ...."

PBS is largely funded by Big Oil and it shows. The Kochs support NOVA and the last NOVA program I watched repeated the message that earth has had many climate changes in prehistoric times. To this I say (in the weak voice of just a citizen) that those climate changes were gradual, allowing for some adaptation. Furthermore, this time around, we're on earth. Destructive as humans are, I like them as well as the flora and fauna that is the earth I know.

There is a counter campaign called don'teventhinkaboutit. I hope they have enough money to continue the fight.

Me, after some 30 years of contributions, I've stopped subscribing to PBS/KQED.

Incidentally, our Bakersfield area has rich shale oil (not gas)deposits and several new fracking wells have been identified. We don't have an exact count as our regulatory agencies do not track new wells (true), nor have they yet required identification of fracking chemicals nor the extent of land, water pollution from unregulated waste fracking water, not a credible measure of methane leaks.

Furthermore, our governor promotes fracking despite our chronic water shortage and our now historic drought and despite our famous earthquake faults.

Many of us envy NY's extended moratorium on fracking.

National media: come out and do a story on fracking in Ca.

Feb. 23 2014 11:42 AM

Another contrast (though decidedly different from the /complete blackout/ that I referenced in my previous post): Seems like hardly a week goes by without at least one full segment on this show on an environmental topic (almost always from a decidedly NON-neutral point-of-view, valid though it may be). But I can't even recall the last time I heard anything about the plight of the Palestinians.

The other day, during the segment about the plight of /elephants/, when I heard the guest identified as Israeli, I wanted to ask him how concerned he is with how /people/, especially Palestinians, fare in his very own country.
@Jennifer Scarlott:

Yes, the degree to which President Obama, like Clinton and most Democrats, can get away with being pro-corporation, pro-bank and pro-war is indeed remarkable.

As is hearing Ads from the fracking lobby on a station that calls itself "public radio" and distinguishes itself from commercial media (especially when soliciting the listeners for donations).

But can you imagine /any/ Democrat that veered fundamentally and considerably from their party's prevailing orthodoxy on abortion or "LGBTQ" [sic] issues even so much as standing a chance in a primary, at least for a national office?

Can you imagine ever, in your wildest dreams, hearing Ads from an anti-abortion group on WNYC?

Interesting (and quite telling) just where the lines are drawn.

Feb. 20 2014 04:37 PM

This certainly sounds like a case of agenda and politics trumping public health. Such stories are quite common on both WNYC as well as this program in particular. But there is at least one, as blatant and egregious as any other, that you won't hear about here. Worst, any comment that so much as touches-upon this glaring triumph of a politically powerful special interest over the public good can be expected to disappear (at least if made within several hours of the airing of the segment.)

This, from the ever-smug Leonard Lopate who rarely misses a chance to distinguish himself from such doctrinaire orthodoxy (or at least what he characterizes as such) on the /right/.

Feb. 20 2014 03:17 PM
Amy from Manhattan

One thing I've learned from the reporting I've heard (& the film "Gasland") is that anyone living near an area where fracking is proposed should have their air & water tested ahead of time. Fracking co's. have actually said there's no evidence that tap water couldn't already be set on fire before the fracking started. (I'm participating w/the Sane Energy Project to do radon testing on my gas stove to record a baseline before the Spectra pipeline goes online.)

Feb. 20 2014 03:10 PM
Estelle from Brooklyn

NPR has had ads saying ask (some state, I don't recall which) how natural gas has made their trucks (or something, again I don't recall what) by using natural gas. Was that ad paid for by a fracking company?

Feb. 20 2014 02:04 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Did the oil co. reps explicitly misrepresent the effects of fracking in the agreements they signed w/landowners? If so, is there a basis for charging them w/fraud? What about civil suits?

Feb. 20 2014 01:48 PM
Jennifer Scarlott from Bronx, NY

To Leonard Lopate, enormous thanks for the public service your are performing in interviewing your current guest, Jim Morris, about the public health and environmental dangers of fracking resulting from release of toxic chemicals to the air. I hope that NPR will stop running ads from the fracking organization, and continue to publicize, as you are doing now, the egregious dangers of fracking and the ways in which the gas industry is being given carte blanche to endanger human and animal health, the air, water, and landscape. Shame on President Obama for touting fracking as an acceptable "bridge" to renewable sources of energy.

Feb. 20 2014 01:30 PM

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