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. This is brilliant. He should ask all the nuke plant operators, including the French @ 70% nuke generation, to drink the waste water there.

    And the paint on your house; Sherwin Willimas “Swiss Coffee.” Have a cup of that, Joe.

    We sure as hell don’t want any progress, with the glaring exception of the progressives’ progress towards full-blown communism.

    Let’s rely 100% on those miraculous solar panels and windmills. Then we can all freeze to death in the dark because, while they appease the enviro-wacko extremist insurrectionist collectivists, they don’t come close to producing the amounts required by society, including the tech-devouring, tantrum-throwing, psycho-viro-mentalist drama queens.

  2. Paul and Jim22,

    People have had to drink fracking fluid water. It’s not a pretend exercise to make a point. It has happened. They really did ask the company to tell them what had contaminated their water and they were really told to f-off, it’s a trade secret. 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?

    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?

    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. In the case of fracking, people have had their creeks, wells and drinking supply become unusable. How would you feel if that happened to you? Are you O.K. with that? You can’t sell your house if you don’t have a working well. Or you can but at a loss. Is this O.K. for you? Would it upset you at all?

    If you aren’t willing to suffer the loss of your own drinking water. If you aren’t willing to have your own nearby water poisoned enough to kill off all the fish in it, then you should not ask other people to take the risk you are unwilling to take yourself. As I think you are both bible people, then I will quote from it: “do unto others as you would have others do unto you”.

  3. No different than this money hound: Lobbyist claims Monsanto weed killer is safe to drink, then bolts when TV host offers him a glass

    Seems that those with a vested interest in these ‘safe’ products aren’t willing to test out their beliefs on themselves. Millions of $$ for marketing, purchasing politicians, judges, and agencies lead to a crony, corrupt system that potentially harms many so the few can prosper. That’s American crony capitalism at its finest. Buyer and drinker beware…..

  4. To be fair, this isn’t scientifically accurate. The water would never been in the same concentrate as it would be in the water supply. I’m against dumping this crap into the water supply, but the argument does not hold up.

  5. Jill, It’s hard to believe that farmer Jim isn’t taking this mans words out of context and since we don’t know what the real conversation was, he is just looking for a “gotcha” moment proving nothing. Maybe the guy is an idiot and said he would drink straight drilling fluid, I don’t know. I also didn’t know that Nebraska was so special having a water source. Weird, since I live in NY and we too have water sources, but farmer Jim is “on the wire” with this stuff.

    Jill, there are no absolutes in safety of anything as the recent flight of 9525 has shown. But we still fly and we still move forward. Presenting any facts to contradict your views is pointless. You have made up your mind and will never trust or believe anything that doesn’t fit within your mental “box”.

    I graduated as a hydro-geologist and used to work in the environmental consulting business in the early 90’s. We had a site in central NY where a train derailed in 1973 and a tanker of TCE busted open and spilled. The top soil is shallow in this location and covers a limestone topography which soaked up the TCE and the water they used to flush the scene. People had it in their wells in days which was resolved by simple filtration at no cost to them. For some God unknown reason 20 years later I’m out in the field mapping ground water plume that is correcting itself over time. Seeing all of the wasted money and effort on this site it became one of the major reasons I quit that career.

    Jill, If you really want to live your life by the “uncertainty principle” I suggest you never leave the cave. Even then you still might have issues.

  6. He is a fracking genius!

    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.

    What the farmer is exposing is the very real danger of fracking. He also exposed the hypocrisy of the man who said he would drink the water, only to refuse to do so when actually confronted with the contaminated water.

    No doubt, if you examined the farmer’s life, you would be able to prove that at one time or another, he had been a hypocrite. I urge you to do so if you think this is an important part of this issue. However, what the farmer said is truthful. It is a reality which has already occurred. Therefore, if you are a person who argues honestly, you need to prove why what the farmer said was incorrect. You need to show it is impossible (which does seem difficult given that what he said already occurred). However please go forward in the spirit of honest argument and show us how something that did occur can’t occur.

    1. Jill – I am not sure what the farmer grows or raises, but I do not think the farmer would eat it without treating it. Why should he expect the fracked water to be consumed without treating it? Again, as I said much earlier. He drinks one glass down to the bottom, then I will. It is a test of faith.

  7. Bruce, Who would drink any fluid coming from a manufacturer of anything? Do fracking companies claim that you can drink their drilling fluid? It’s just a stupid low informed shock tactic.

    1. I learned, as a teacher, not to drink anything offered to me by my students. 😉 There is no proof he did not adulterate the product or that this was the actual result of fracking. Why to we drink chocolate milk? Because we would not drink it in its original condition. Then it has blood in it. It is still good. The chocolate covers the blood and makes the milk palatable.

  8. The 3 minute rule is horseshit. But, there are some people I would like to invoke it on @ times.

  9. Pretty juvenile and silly argument the “farmer” is presenting. Like most, I’m sure it would take vary little to expose him as a hypocrite.

  10. The “Three Minute Rule”. We need to have a web site for each city which has a rule like this. Then people can go on line and rant about the perps running the town. Depict the Alderman in their backyards in their worst attire from photos taken from afar. Meanwhile, at City Hall, while the meeting is going on, put rolls of toilet paper in the toilet rooms with photos of the Mayor on the toilet paper.

  11. This happens around the world and has been happening around the world for a long time. Powerful corporations impact local officials first with their slant on economics, the ‘best interests’ of the nation, patriotism, etc. They then layer on a legal veneer that intimidates the spineless officials. Then they allow the ‘public’ to voice their displeasure, as that is typically all they can do at this point.

    In the end, the pollution could be offset with an extra ten cents in taxes applied to the cost of gas at the pump. This fund would be added to taxes on the corporation to deal with the polluted water. There are ways and if they don’t exist yet they would if there was money to be made. This is the pinnacle of hypocrisy and corruption.

    I have personally been involved where a corporation went to court to reopen a copper mine. In doing so it would employ over 250 locals. However, it stated that it could only work, i.e.. be financially expedient, if the waste water of chemicals and acids was dumped directly into the North Pacific Ocean. The people wanted a holding pond where the water could be treated first. The company gave an ultimatum that if so required the mine would not be opened. The court caved in. Politics gave in to business. The ocean was polluted.

    We consume this crap. We should pay for the costs to the environment, included in the price of gas, copper, etc. The rest is BS and the Koch brothers.

  12. “All …should be made to ingest and/or use their proposed products first

    Heh. I expect that’s not a problem with brewers and vintners, but more difficult for machinists.

  13. All city/state/federal legislatures, all corporations, pharmaceutical firms, and agriculture/food corps, etc. should be made to ingest and/or use their proposed products first, before selling their wares and ideas to the public.

  14. What is this” 3 minute rule”, and how is it constitutional?

    Local governments all seem to have adopted this rule and enforce it with police staff removing violators.
    We have it locally.

    Some topics are impossible to discuss in 3 minutes, and this -it seems to me- violates the principle of being able to petition the state.

  15. His presentation was a true ‘Erin Brokovich’ moment.

    The citizens of the affected areas have nothing to gain and everything to lose from this waste dump.

  16. The failure of government to protect the drinking water of humans in the US is more than appalling it is criminal. There are American charities that fly all over the world to bring clean drinking water to people in other countries yet our fellow citizens are suffering while we turn a blind eye. They have sold our country to corporations and now we are reaping the whirl wind.

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