An anti-fracking group in Colorado has released a series of ads blasting claims made by the oil and gas industry in the state as four communities prepare to vote on bans or moratoriums on drilling and fracking in their regions. Fort Collins, Broomfield and Boulder voters all face ballot initiatives that would put a moratorium on fracking and drilling inside city limits for five years. Lafayette voters will consider a measure that, if passed, would amend the city charter with a community bill of rights -- one that would make it illegal for any person or company to drill for oil and gas within the city limits. Released by Frack Free Colorado and called "Frack Check", the videos offer counterpoints to the industry's drilling safety claims.
In one video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AZx8kWdWUxk), Weston Wilson, an EPA whistleblower who worked at the Environmental Protection Agency for 37 years, talks about the threat of groundwater contamination due to fracking. He cites a leaked EPA PowerPoint slideshow from August, one that Wilson says reveals a clear link between fracking and groundwater contamination in Pennsylvania. "The presentation concludes that the methane and other gasses released during drilling caused significant damage to the water quality there," Wilson says in the video. "Charges from that leaked document shows that wells being fracked for gas create pathways that allow gas to migrate to shallow aquifers." Wilson also points to a Duke University study that found drinking water wells near fracking sites have 17-times more methane than those wells that are farther away. "This EPA report backs up other studies like the one done by Duke University that found drinking water wells near fracking sites have 17 times more methane than those wells that are farther away." "It's now clear that EPA had prior knowledge that fracking does cause contamination of groundwater and contaminate the air we breathe," Wilson concludes.
In the second video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gA1Ij2hJyi8), Anthony Ingraffea, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University who has also served as an oil and gas industry consultant for more than 25 years, talks about how much fracking has changed over the years. "The gas industry is going to tell anybody who is going to listen that fracking has been around since 1947," Ingraffea says in the video. "Saying that fracking has been around since 1947 and shouldn't be of concern now is pretty misleading. Fracking has changed tremendously in the last 65 years as have many industries. For instance, in 1947 a frack job would consist of about 1000 gallons of water or napalm going into a single well. Today fracking for shale gas or shale oil can involve 10 or more wells on one pad and collectively consuming over 50 million gallons of water and chemicals."