by Brian Merchant, Brooklyn, New York on 04.20.11
As environmental media outlets turned their attention to the anniversary of the BP Gulf spill -- a year ago today -- yet another energy-related disaster occurred. A gas well owned by Chesapeake Energy in Pennsylvania suffered a blowout today, and spilled thousands of gallons of everyone's favorite fracking fluids into the surrounding environment. (Refresher: those fracking chemicals are comprised of toxic stuff that the companies who use them keep secret). It's certainly not a disaster anywhere close to par with the Gulf spill, but Time's Bryan Walsh makes a good point: with bipartisan political support for natural gas firmly in place, and an industry primed to take up the slack from dirty coal, we're probably going to see more accidents like this.
From simple spills to industrial accidents to the ongoing problem of wastewater disposal, the rapid expansion of shale gas drilling will inevitably bring risks, even if it's done well. You don't have to fear the contamination of underground aquifers to worry about the impacts of shale gas drilling. Indeed, this afternoon--a year after the BP oil spill--a Chesapeake Energy gas well in northeastern Pennsylvania reportedly suffered a blowout, spilling thousands of gallons of fracking fluid water on the surrounding ground. It's not the first such blowout--and it likely won't be the last.READ FULL POST HERE