Farmer Asks Nebraska Oil & Gas Commissioners To Drink Fracking Wastewater Before Approving Plan

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 6.19.45 PMLast week, there was a compelling moment in the meeting of the Nebraska Oil and Gas Commission when a Nebraska farmer stepped forward to discuss the plan to allow 80 truckloads carrying 10,000 barrels per day containing fracking wastewater into Nebraska. Then the farmer offered the Commissioners a simple challenge: you drink it.

The disposal water is destined to be dumped into a disposal well in Sioux County, a move that farmers and ranchers fear will contaminate state waters — a problem associated with such waste in other states.

What is interesting is that water is far more important to states than oil and gas operations as the world faces a serious drinking water shortage. Already a billion people have no access to fresh water. Once deals to dump waste are secured, farmers and ranchers fear that the the windfall for a few will result in generations of damage to the public at large. This farmer tried to convey that concern in the three minutes allotted to him.

36 thoughts on “Farmer Asks Nebraska Oil & Gas Commissioners To Drink Fracking Wastewater Before Approving Plan”

  1. Jim22 – also FYI the EPA is run by former employees of companies like Monsanto, if that doesn’t ring a bell think Round-up. The FDA & EPA are jokes & the majority of there bogus studies have the outcome decided before they start their research.

  2. Jimm22 – I buy furniture without chemicals so you can thank me if you ever were to fight a fire at my house. Are you really that naive? If this water was safe they wouldn’t bring it to MY state to dump. You want to talk hypocrites, how about the politicians & lawmakers putting people in jail for enjoying recreational canibus plants & then allowing every chemical company that finances their campaigns to dump cancer causing chemicals into our food, water & air. Those are the hypocrites that will burn in hell, since plausible deniability will not stand if there is a god that can see & know ALL!

  3. Envirohysteria again, brought to us by by people who own Priuses and smartphones and rely on non-local water sources imported to politically favored areas across politically nonfavored areas. Fracking, like coal mining, hydroelectricity, wind and nuclear energy, leaves a mess. Rather than focus on tired Hollywood tropes (“drink this, corporate/government whores” – righteous flourish), why not figure out what is the real state of affairs in developing this technology which we will need in the not too distant future. What, if any, technologies are being developed or contemplated to contain the fracking detritus? Are we just selling it to certain states like we do nuclear waste?

  4. In the US alone tens 0f trillions of gallons of varying types of highly contaminated and possibly radioactive effluent are injected into the ground across the continental US.

    The use of underground injection has expanded from disposal of mainly produced brine from oil production 60 years ago to include more than 50 percent of the liquid hazardous waste and a large percentage of the non-hazardous industrial liquid waste generated in the United States (US). Facilities across the United States and in Indian Country discharge a variety of
    hazardous and nonhazardous fluids into more than 375,000 injection wells (FY 2000 National Injection Well inventory identifies about 375,000 known wells in all five categories, but experts believe there may be an additional 400,000 to 500,000 Class V wells not yet counted). While water and specific chemical treatment technologies exist, it would be very costly to treat and release to
    surface waters the billions and trillions of gallons of wastes that industries produce each year. Agribusiness and the chemical and petroleum industries all make use of underground injection for waste disposal.

    Why do regulators allow effluent injection to continue?

    Because Dear Citizen it is inexpensive and our need for sources of clean drinking water has been sold out to the highest bidder in the name of political expediency.

    A hearty thanks to the not so fine members of the worlds not so greatest deliberative body the US Congress both republican and democrat.

  5. This is an example of the “out of sight out of mind” way of thinking in the United States. It comes from being disconnected to the environment. Coddled by convenience and unaware of what technology is actually doing.

    The garbage just magically disappears. Flush the toilet and the poop goes away. No one thinks about where this goes or what happens.

    Food appears in the grocery stores. Neatly wrapped, dated, labeled and ready to cook. Potatoes and other root vegetables appear without any dirt or bruised spots.

    Turn on the tap and water magically appears. No one considers where it came from, how it got there. Hot water on demand. It is awesome. People who live in the country who get their drinking water from the ground, (especially now with the receding water tables and drought) worry about the quality and supply quantity We recognize that out food comes from animals that we raise, slaughter and process ourselves understand that there is no such thing as “out of sight out of mind”

    Taking contaminated water …..or possibly contaminated, let’s give it at least that benefit of the doubt…..and dumping it back into the aquifer that you are pulling YOUR drinking water from is ….ummmmmm……probably not a good idea. I agree….YOU drink it first before you put it back into MY well.

    The NIMBY impulse is strong in many people. In this case…I totally agree. If you want to have the residual water from fracking put into the groundwater..>DO it in YOUR backyard and not mine.

  6. The only way to do all this disgusting fracking, drilling, transporting is to build into the sales price, the cost of fixing the messes. The BP mess was paid for by BP but it took Obama who at the time had a pair, to simply use his executive powers to threaten BP to either pay for the mess or get the f*ck out of town. That is the only solution to this problem, a fund for the environmental concerns. This will accomplish two things: the money will be there to fix the mistakes of these supposed geniuses who are held as saints to half the population of the world, or if they have a brain, they will figure out how to do it without the risk to the environment.

    It is that part of society that preaches absolute free enterprise that is at fault for the mess. Nothing is absolute.

    Or, we could just take all of the Koch brothers’ money and use it. Come the revolution……

  7. “A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report obtained by The Dispatch shows that the federal and state EPA officials had to wait five days before they were given a full list of the fracking chemicals the drilling company used at the site.”

    “Halliburton, the company hired by Statoil to frack the horizontal well, provided a partial list up front that included most of the chemicals. Others, which are protected by Ohio’s trade-secrets law, were omitted.”

    So? From what the article stated the EPA has no right to know.

    ““How can communities know that they are being protected when an incident like this happens?” said Teresa Mills, an environmental activist and Ohio organizer with the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.

    “We need more transparent laws.””

    Good thing we interviewed the environmental activist. It looks like the laws were followed.

    “Ohio law says that companies have to disclose the contents of proprietary fracking mixes only to firefighters or Natural Resources if there is an emergency, such as fires or spills. In this case, both were given the full list but did not share the details with other agencies.”

    Sounds like they followed the law. Where’s the issue?

    “Natural Resources, which regulates drilling in Ohio, has authority under state law to see the entire list and asked on its own two days after the fire.

    Halliburton, the company hired by Statoil to frack the well, gave the list to the single agency.”

    Again, where’s the issue?

    “Kirsten Henriksen, a spokeswoman for Statoil, said the company hired an outside toxicology firm to test both the creek and the Ohio River for toxic chemicals. None were found in the Ohio River, she said.

    The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, a multi-state agency that tests the river, also found no contaminants.”

    Jill – “Jim22, What the farmer described has already happened in Ohio. When the leaked fracking fluid went into the water there was a huge fish die off. Then wildlife up the foodchain died. This contaminated water got into people’s wells. When they tried to find out what was in the water, the company said it was a trade secret and they did not disclose what chemicals had been dumped into the water. This was a disaster for those people.”

    Jill, your article doesn’t state any of this. They did disclose the chemicals to who they were required to. The fish dying hasn’t been proven as a result. You state it as fact though and add the “up the food chain” line.

    You want honesty but you aren’t willing to do it yourself.

    It sounds like you over sold this one.

    It sounds like is was just an accident that Halliburton should pay for the clean up.

  8. Fracking is a profitable way for Water Right’s Baron’s to turn a free, necessary, resource, into a precious commodity – that’s more expensive than oil.

    Just ask why the Bush family is buying up water rights – Word Wide!

  9. Wrong clip. Oops. This is the one containing the offer of a glass of water.

    Checks 1:06.

  10. Dumping the bad “water” into a “well” is worse than dumping it into a river. The ground water is sacrosanct and has God’s blessing. We get our drinking water out of the ground water from neighboring wells. Dumping this fracking apCray out on the ground is less intrusive. But neither is right. Have them clean it first. And send it to NYC if you are going to dump it.

  11. A scene from the film A Civil Action, probably one of John Travolta’s best performances. A fantastic movie, based upon a true story. The entire film can been seen, in its entirety, on youtube. The offer of a glass of water, found at 1:06, came to mind when reading this article.

    Good morning, Mr. Reilly. Would you care for a glass of water?

    No thank you.

    Are you sure?

  12. Jill, – “First responders get hurt because they must walk into a situation where they don’t know what they are facing. Is this acceptable to you?”

    I am a first responder. So you have removed all plastics or other burnable items from your household because you are concerned about my health? It is acceptable to me since in these cases I wear the correct protective equipment. Even if that is not possible, I still am ok with it since that is what I signed up for to help people in need.

    “All life has risk but some risks are unnecessary. These are risks to others, caused knowingly by people who don’t care about what happens to other people as long as they don’t think it will happen to them.”

    Do you include auto manufacturers and beer companies? Should they be shut down?

    The energy independence/boom will do more to help the American public than hurt it. I don’t expect you to agree since like I said, you will never change your mind.

    “What the farmer is doing to make his point has occurred in reality. Neither of you seem willing to address that reality. Will you do so?”

    I need more specifics. Just claiming it happened somewhere doesn’t make it so.

  13. I agree with the farmer and am glad he choose to fight the dumping of fracking waste water. However, one small point….

    What kind of chemicals is he putting on his crops or feeding his stock?

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