Monday, July 30, 2012

Dish Soap in TruthinessLand

In the TruthinessLand, Terry Engelder, Geoscience Professor at Penn State University and the so called Father of the Marcellus, was asked what was in the frack chemicals.  He said dish soap.

So I said to myself -  Hey, it's time for a road trip to the kitchen.

I just grabbed a bottle of Dawn off the sink and read the label - ingredients listed are :  water, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium pareth-23, sulfate C-12-14-16, dimethyl amine oxide, SD alcohol, undeceth-9, propylene glycol, cyclohexandiamine, polyacetate, protease, fragrance, FD&C blue, no phosphate.

If it's only dish soap, why do they need an entire site to allow you to search for chemicals in the frack cocktail?  And these are the only ones they will tell us about. 

Not having an expert on hand, I went to Frac Focus.

UPDATE: 7/31/2012 - The Marcellus Shale Gas: Disingenuous thinking about its Environmental Footprint
Terry Engelder, Professor of Geoscience, The Pennsylvania State University
FracFocus is the national hydraulic fracturing chemical registry.

FracFocus is managed by the Ground Water Protection Council and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, two organizations whose missions both revolve around conservation and environmental protection.

The site was created to provide the public access to reported chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing within their area. To help users put this information into perspective, the site also provides objective information on hydraulic fracturing, the chemicals used, the purposes they serve and the means by which groundwater is protected
With some clicking around, I managed to find the list of frack chemicals the natural gas industry is willing to disclose.   Next I compared the list of ingredients on the Dawn bottle to that listed on the Frac Focus page.    Guess what?  None of the Dawn ingredients are on the Frac Focus page.

Granted some frack chemicals are proprietary, meaning if they tell you what these chemicals are they will have to kill you.....but not knowing what they are will probably kill you too.    Now I'm curious, is there FD&C blue in the frack cocktail?  Or Yellow 5 or Red 40?
Maybe frackers don't use Dawn?  Do me a favor, grab a bottle of dish soap, look at the ingredients and see if any are listed in on Frac-Focus. 

And by the way: (Emphasis Added  - my comments in red)
 Mr. Engelder said Range and Chesapeake Energy Corp., both major players in Marcellus, are collaborating with Penn State to solve problems involving hydraulic fracturing.    (Problems???? But TruthinessLand said there were no problems....)
One of the contracts involves the federal government putting up $3 million, which is matched by $2.4 million from industry. 
Mr. Engelder said despite the money flowing to his research, he remains on his nine-month university salary of $109,000. Mr. Engelder has an ownership stake in Appalachian Fracture Systems Inc., a consulting firm that has done work on Marcellus Shale. He said he earned $40,000 from it in 2009.   

He said other than that he is not drawing personal income from the industry and he is not a shill.

"I think there is a very important distinction between being an industry spokesperson/apologist and a scientist working very hard to help industry become better at what it does," Mr. Engelder wrote. 

He points to a Philadelphia Inquirer Op-Ed piece he wrote last year taking Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. to task -- as well as environmentalists and academics -- for statements regarding alleged gas migration into water wells in Dimock, Pa., for which homeowners blamed the company.

"Cabot's denials of culpability seem disingenuous," the piece said, "given that other industry leaders have recognized the issue and are working with Penn State to address it.".

Maybe Cabot used too much dish soap?

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