I just got home from the meeting in Fort Worth about the toxic drilling emissions. Due to a massive traffic jam, I missed most of the meat of the meeting, Deborah Rogers’ presentation. Someone please send me a copy of her presentation so I can turn it into a pdf and post it for everyone to read. Here’s a little about Deborah:
Deborah Rogers, owner of Deborah’s Farmstead, a dairy just west of Fort Worth, which she started on land that she and her husband bought from her Grandfather, turning it back into a working farm. Deborah has a herd of 85 dairy goats and makes artisanal cheeses, which have won several national awards and much acclaim. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She has become involved in a campaign to promote greater awareness of the environmental impact of a producing well near her farm
I just got in on the tail end and here are a few notes to summarize what i heard:
- The drillers over estimate production by 3 times what can be extracted because the reserve price drives stock prices.
- Historical production data – financial data is based on production that is not there or not recoverable.
- Recently, Aubrey McClendon said Chesapeake has only drilled 15% of the wells they plan to drill. That means another 60,000 to 70,000 wells will be drilled.
- The drilling treadmill = The drillers have to drill more wells to maintain the production levels and they have to drill more to support their debt.
- The technology exists to reduce air emissions by 99%
- Every $1.00 spent on reducing air emissions gains $9.00 in recovered product.
The next speaker was Dr. Michael Honeycutt, Toxicology Division Director, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Austin
The Toxicology Division helps focus TCEQ resources on areas with the greatest potential risks by:
- asessing risks to human health from exposure to environmental pollutants and
- reviewing models, data, assessments, permits, and cleanup plans for possible risks to human health, and estimating their effects on overall air and water quality.
Here’s a summary of his presentation:
Dr. Honeycutt, by his own admission, knows not one single thing about drilling for natural gas but he can sure tap dance. More study required for…oh, about 20 years. The crowd was clearly unimpressed and hostile.
NOTE: TCEQ is trying to make it all about benzene and completely dismisses the neurotoxins which Dr. Theo Colborn says are the main concern. Ironic that Megan Collins from DISH, TX was sitting in the audience listening. I asked Dr. Honeycutt about the neurotoxins and pointed out that TECQ didn’t even test for the full range of toxins. They did not test for the sulfides even though one DISH resident has tested positive for Carbon Disulfide. (Most DISH residents can’t afford the testing.) He said that they couldn’t test for everything at once. (Huh?) I reminded him that Alisa Rich with Wolfe Environmental can test for everything, as she did at DISH, TX and at Deborah Rogers’. Maybe the TCEQ should hire Alisa.
Honeycutt interview on WFAA
The last speaker was Dr. David Sterling, Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental and
Occupational Health, School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.
He received his PhD in 1986 from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, TX, and is a certified industrial hygienist with training in toxicology and
epidemiology, and expertise in exposure evaluation and risk assessment methodologies. Previously he was the Director of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health at Saint Louis University School of Public Health and Co-Director for the Midwest OSHA Educational Center. Dr. Sterling has been involved with environmental and occupational based research, teaching and service activities for over 30 years. Areas of recent research include: exposure and health risk to lead and other related chemicals from mining, mine processing actives, smelters, and paint; methods for reduction of asthma morbidity and mortality in
school aged children; air pollution impact on emergency department visits for children with asthma and other respiratory disease, and cardiopulmonary illness on older people; manganese exposure to workers and risk of parkinsonism; and asbestos exposure and disease risk.
Dr. Sterling didn’t have a presentation and he only spoke briefly. Here’s a summary:
- We need more study.
- We need more study to see IF we need emission controls.
- We need more study.