Before I begin let me say that I am not a geologist nor am I part of the fossil fuel industry.
Now I think the hysteria, and that is what it is, is really over blown. There was a movie put out about the problems associated with fracking. It showed a boatload of problems occurring to the residential water supply in areas where fracking was taking place. The most explosive, pun intended, was people’s water being lit on fire as it was coming out of the tap. The problem with all of the things shown in the movie was that there was no comparison to what the water supply was like before the fracking began.
Some may say that the chemicals used in the process are dangerous. I attended a presentation by an employee of the US Geological Service on the fracking. He went into all of the elements of the geology, the drilling process and chemicals used and the extraction of the natural gas. His biggest concern was the handling of the chemicals at the drill site because of the concentrations before being mixed with water used in the process. However, he was not concerned with the chemicals after being mixed, BECAUSE there are 5 gallons of chemicals used for every 1 MILLION gallons of water.
The article linked here, from the Financial Times, really makes the EPA look bad. If I am running an experiment I would try to use the same parameters as the thing I am trying to compare to. I think anyone would. Not the EPA. They wanted to test wells used for drinking water to see if there were any residual chemicals from the fracking operations. The problem with their test were that they drilled 900 foot wells for their sampling when typical drinking wells are drilled to a depth of 300 feet. Wasn’t this the administration that was suppose to take the politics out of science?