US Energy Department panel endorses shale fracking, suggests pumping ground with millions of gallons of chemical water will help save environment

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: shale fracking, environment, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) Hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking," for the purpose of extracting natural gas from the earth involves flooding it with millions of gallons of chemical-laden water, a practice that by all estimates is damaging the environment to some extent.

But a US Energy Department (ED) advisory panel, which happens to be padded with members connected to the natural gas industry, insists that fracking is safe, and even contends that it will help to lower the carbon dioxide emissions allegedly responsible for so-called climate change.

A recent report in The Washington Post (WP) explains the ED panel's notion that, despite continual outcry over fracking operations polluting rivers and groundwater supplies, natural gas fracking can safely continue as long as fracking companies agree to be more open about their actions, and comply with monitoring requirements that track environmental impact and make this information publicly available.

But in an industry that is already knowingly hiding the truth about its polluting activities -- and secretly dumping its toxic waste directly into the environment, for instance -- it is naive for ED committee members to purport that simply telling drilling companies to be more forthcoming is going to have a substantially beneficial impact.

Fracking, no matter how closely monitored, pollutes the environment in devastating ways.

In order to release oil and gas from shale rock deep underground, giant machines must force large amounts of water, sand, chemicals, and radioactive elements deep into the earth's upper crust in order to crack the rock that potentially holds this valuable fuel. But in the process, the resultant radioactive chemical cocktail seeps into water tables, wells, rivers, and lakes, as well as the various drinking water supplies to which these sources are fed.

Even if the fracking industry suddenly decides to be more open and honest about the fact that drilling fluids are severely contaminating soil and water, the only thing that will change is that now everyone will be aware of it.

Thanks to an energy bill passed by Congress back in 2005 that exempts the natural gas drilling industry from having to comply with the US Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), fracking operations are free to pollute as much as they please -- they just might have to disclose this fact at some point in the future.

The Shale Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SGS) which put out the recent report endorsing fracking does not even address this SDWA exemption. As a result, its recommendations are meaningless in all practical terms, as they will do absolutely nothing to stop the tide of environmental pollution being spewed by the fracking industry.

Current water purification techniques are unable to capture methane and radon, for instance, both of which come from fracking. Consequently, drinking water supplies throughout Pennsylvania, which is a fracking hot spot due to its location in the Marcellus Shale Formation region, are becoming increasingly toxic with no end in sight.

So as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues its ongoing investigation into the environmental impacts of fracking, the SGS committee comes along and makes a few useless recommendations that it says will address the problems with fracking, but that in reality will do absolutely nothing to solve them.

At least six SGS committee members have ties to the natural gas industry

The mindless recommendations made by SGS in support of the fracking industry make a lot more sense, however, in light of the industries to which many of its members are connected. According to a recent report issued by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), at least six SGS committee members are known to have connections to the oil and gas industries.

Signed by 28 scientists from 22 universities and institutions in 13 states, all of whom object to the SGS panel's recommendations, the EWG report explains that Chairman John Deutch, Stephen Holditch, Kathleen McGinty, Susan Tierney, Daniel Yergin, and Mark Zoback all have financial ties to the oil and gas industries, a blatant conflict of interest for a committee that is supposed to offer unbiased counsel to the ED.

SGS Chairman John Deutch, for instance, currently serves on the board of the natural gas firm Cheniere Energy. According to the WP, Deutch was paid more than $1.4 million by both Cheniere and Schlumberger, another oil and gas firm, between 2006 and 2009. And Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who was appointed directly by President Obama, chose Deutch for the SGS Chairman position knowing full well his connections to the oil and gas industries.

So just like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is filled with officials connected to the pharmaceutical industry, and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is filled with officials connected to the biotechnology industry, the Energy Department, is filled with officials connected to the oil and gas industries.

And so it goes in the "land of the free," where special interests run the government and its powerful regulatory agencies. Driven by greed and an insatiable lust for power, corporate snakes have quietly infiltrated the very agencies that were designed to protect the interests of the people, and have restructured them to serve corporate interests instead.

Sources for this story include:

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.