A case in point is the campaign to stop the use of a technology called "fracking" which is used to mine natural gas from subterranean rock. There may be good reasons not to "frack" but according to an article at American Thinker the objections some environmentalists have raised against the practice seem either trivial or dishonest. According to the AT article:
Hydro-fracking has a long history of success. First introduced in 1908, forty years later it became a commercially viable method to safely extract America's most abundant energy from bedrock strata. Over one million gas wells have been fracked without a single incident of environmental impact. This didn't stop Ian Urbina of the New York Times from citing a case from 1984 in an August 2011 article warning of tainted water and the possibility of benzene in fracking fluid.Urbina's article was based on the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency requires that drillers file Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for every chemical used on the drill site. Benzene, as well as a lot of other chemicals, are used in the vehicles and machinery on site, but are not part of the fracking fluid.
Ninety percent of fracking fluid is water with 9.5% sand the other half percent the secret ingredients, common household chemicals we all flush daily into the municipal gray water system.EPA bureaucrats, however, don't seem to care about inconvenient details. Residents in a Texas suburb had natural gas in their water wells for years before any fracking took place. The methane was a natural constituent of the town's water, but that didn't hinder the EPA from closing down the wells. Fracking was going on nearby, methane was in the water, ergo fracking must be responsible for the methane. The EPA shut down the drillers and put dozens of people out of work.
The AP sounded the alarm highlighting three compounds that appeared on the lists because of the risks they pose to human health -- naphthalene, toluene and xylene. Eco-activists had a field day claiming that deadly BTEX compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene) in fracking fluid will poison the water, killing fish, flora, and fauna while releasing fatal concentrations of the green death into the atmosphere.
It was much ado about nothing. Scott Perry, the director of DEP's Bureau of Oil and Gas Management, accepted the blame because he provided the AP with the comprehensive list of all chemicals used at PA's well sites. Not just the chemicals pumped deep underground but also those stored or used on a well site, including fuel and brake fluid for vehicles. DEP spokesman Tom Rathbun, said of hydraulic fracturing fluids, that a fear that those chemicals will interfere with drinking water aquifers is misplaced.
"It's our experience in Pennsylvania that we have not had one case in which the fluids used to break off the gas from 5,000 to 8,000 feet (1,500-2,400 m) underground have returned to contaminate ground water," said John Hanger, former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Little wonder that government bureaucracies and those who staff them, particularly the EPA of the Obama administration, are the butt of so much grass-roots mistrust and contempt.