The business of construction and contracting may be slowing down in Pennsylvania and the surrounding regions as winter prepares to move in, but gas drilling has yet to slow down. This is due in no small part to the fact that the natural gas drillers know they have a deadline that is much more unyielding than snow and ice. The court and legal battles of the fracking and gas industry continue to rage on, and with each new study that comes forward there is more and more pressure being placed upon those in political power to shut the industry down.
One such study has just come to light and is start to turn heads. Even those who are on the side of natural gas drilling have started to do a double take and think more deeply about what their actions can lead to. In the paper, “Stream Vulnerability to Widespread and Emergent Stressors: A Focus on Unconventional Oil and Gas,” Kenneth Klemow and five of his academic and professional colleagues have started to observe and understand the overall vulnerability of bodies of water in the United States.
As a professor of environmental science and biology for Wilkes University, Kenneth Klemow is able to have access to top research methods, databases, and the help of countless industry experts as well. Without finding a specific proof that will send people running to the hills, Klemow and his team were able to design an entire predictive model that suggests all of the surface water in the United States are only separated into six shale pools. In other words, if you do something to infect and disrupt one area, the toxins, chemicals, or other general consequences will no doubt have the ability to corrupt the entire shale. Simply put, there is significantly more volatility than most people would like to admit.
The whole idea of Klemow’s paper and research in general is not to condemn anything or even to try and take a stance on a specific issue or method of drilling for natural gas. Klemow’s work points more than anything to the fact that there is a lot more water connected than otherwise thought, so it is all the more important to be careful about methods. Regardless of your stance on what is fair, the truth is a mistake made hundreds of miles away could still have dire consequences on your drinking water.
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