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Detrimental impact of fracking in the US

27 November 2015


From Canon Christopher Hall

Sir, — Gerry Lynch’s comprehensive survey of the issues over fracking (Features, 13 November) might have mentioned that the Government wants to sweet-talk local communities into allowing fracking in their area.

The Wall Street analyst Deborah Rodgers has reported the cost of the access roads damaged by hauling the fracking water, sand, chemicals, and waste from drilling. In 2012, Texas received $3.6 billion in revenue from on- and off-shore operations, but is expected to need $4 billion to repair road damage caused by on-shore extraction alone.

Arkansas has received since 2009 $182 million, and needs $450 million to be spent on roads. Pennsylvania in 2012 received $1.3 billion, and is estimated to need $7 billion for repairs. Each well may take two hectares, but a multiplicity of wells is needed by shale gas, because wells may lose 50-70 per cent of their pressure in the first year of operation.

What we are not being told is that fugitive methane gas, 86 times more dangerous a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, leaks from fracking wells. The Pennsylvania Department for Environmental Protection found that, of the 3391 fracking wells drilled in the state as recently as 2010-11, 6.2 per cent have already failed methane-migration rules. Failure rates increase as wells age.

These are knowns, which the Government does not want us to know.

The Knowle, Deddington
Banbury OX15 0TB

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