tv The Stream Al Jazeera December 6, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm EST
hi, i am lisa fletcher and you are in the pinpointing pollution culprits plus, as america searches for new sources of energy, fracking operations are expanding. hear why some are urging the industry to rethink where they set up shop. >> if we unite together as one, one people, one voice, we can do it. >> and a group of teens take their case all the way to the supreme court, to argue for laws that protect the air for future generations. the latest battles and new invasions right now.
and along with all of the extreme support, and extreme opposition, is still a bit of skepticism in the middle. >> from our online community, we consider them to be a third host, they are not sure about the consequences of the fracking industry. and local communities so we have andre that tweets in, a moratorium on #fracking until and unless it is safe and healthy. they can do business, and then snarl the new transformer, says force the #to drink the contaminated water until they clean it up. i am pretty sure they won't do that. is the process of
drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at extremely high pressure to fracture shale rock. the definition of what it is, is probably the only thing that opposing sides in this debate agree on. >> the clash centers on the safety both to public health. >> not known for frequent seismic disruption to illnesses some people living in fracking communities attribute to water contaminated by the process. but, there are plenty of advocate whose site jobs, energy independents, and cleaner fuel, not to mention the billions in profits. whatever your position, the likelihood that fracking is going away, doesn't seem to be in the short term, so there is a way to move it into the future that is better for you the planet and for corporations? joining us to discuss this on skype.
she is one of the hosts from techno, and recently did a report on seismic disturbances near fracking sites. that's a company is that has developed new technology to chief contaminated fracking waste water so it can be reused. thanks to both of you for being here. so rigs fracking hinges on water, and millions of gallons are used. what happens that turns water into fracking waste water? well, you know, a well, will get a frac job as they call it, 5 million-gallons will go down, sometimes as much as 25 million-gallons and about 20% will flow back. and it's contaminated with oil, as well as the chemicals that we use in thing fromming and it has salt, so you have a water that's vast quantity, that has some degree of contamination that has to be dealt with.
>> and what is being done currently with that waste water? in the united states, about 14% of all contaminating waste water and it is about half a billion per year, gets treated and reused. which are old wells that perhaps big salt domes and just dumps basically. deep deep in the ground, with a lot of safeguards. your program, just did an entire show, in fact, on fracking, what were some of the issues that came up in terms of this waste water being put back into the ground? so one of the big issues that is being raced with the disposal of these large quantities of water that result from the fracking process, is that when those fluids get injected as rigs mentioned, deep into these disposal wells there have been instances
are there's a suspicion they are calling small sale earthquakes but in places that don't necessarily have seismic activity, so we cover add story in northern texas, in a small town, two small towns that since november of last year, has been experiencing a huge swarm of earthquakes in an area where they didn't have them before, and the community really suspects that that has something to do with the disposal of the fracking water into these wells. >> speaking about community, the online community is still very septemberble, using the #no more fracking. we need to think about and invest in our environment and future generations to come. self-interest of politicians have railroaded what he says is untested technology through, and they should be held responsible. here is a website, break through water technology for oil and gas so rigs
let's talk about this new technology. how will this work, and how will it mitigate the alleged contamination, that is left behind. >> basically, already the oil industry is moving ahead, why, because they can save money, they can save an average of $1.40 per barrel. for just trucking it in and out, disposing it, they can save money, and that's why there's a boom going on in reuse. now, kit be even better, why, because they are using extensive chemicals to pull the contaminants out, which creates additional pumps. we-props. >> so this prop here, shows that we have these long long tubes, and we use small amounts of electrical pursing to basically cause all the organic particles and the oil to cluster up in what is called
electrocoagulation. and what it does, is it allows them -- you can think of how do we get the cool back out of the water, well, this makes it clump up into chunks. >> it does not look like kool-aid, it looks likicky slime, bad. >> so you clean that out of the water. >> exactly, and it happens very very quickly. in real time, the industry is struggling with the fact, that existing processes require settling. settling means you have to have huge tanks you have to wait. our process is real time, so they can get the water out of the well and reinject it in real time. and that is a a big break through. >> so this will probably revolutionize the industry, how do you scale up to meet the demands? is it possible. >> it is.
where apple has i.o.s. is only on apple, but android is on every phone that wants it, and additionally google has it's own showcase phones under the nexus brand, what we are doing is rolling out our own brand called clean frac to people who want it right away. >> one of the thing was fracking waste water there are loaded with chemicals but it is very difficult to trace it back to a specific company we understand that's changing with science. >> yes, there's a recent substitutedy that has shown that these slow backs so this waste water produced has a specific geochemical signature and that signature can be used as a tracer to
see whether certain samples of fresh water have components of elements of the frac water. they are doing that using what are called isotopes which are two elements that basically get mobilized during the fracking process, and then scientists are able now, for the first time, to trace those components in other sources of water that may be of concern for human health we have our community, and james says local governments don't have the resources to check on hauler whose look for the cheapest way to extract this oil. the technology just mentioned sounds pretty fascinating, how can local communities use that just mentions to perhaps help misgait the industry from contaminating the water. >> i think that's a huge concern. a lot of local communities are worries about this, and i should mention this is a very new study. it was just published, so
perhaps the technology, or the wide scale adoption of that kind of approach isn't quite there yet. put i know that from reading the article, the researchers are hopeful that this is going to be a new way to really be able to pinpoint the source or certain contamination. >> all right, thanks to our guests. coming up next, as fracking wells continue to pop up, could specific locations be more problematic than others in like say near schools? hear from those that say they aren't necessarily against fracking, but just where it's being done. and later. >> we speak with young activists generating a lot of buzz on a petition they have taken one the supreme court, the one thing we all use, that they say needs the highest court's protection. on tech know, >> i landed head first at 120 mph >> a shocking new way to treat
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>> i'm an agricultural economist. and i am in the steel. >> welcome back, we are discussing new developments. and joining us now is ed mitchell, a rancher at the center of the debate in california who says moving this conversation forward starts by knowing whatnot to jeopardize. he is fighting to protect the valley, from fracking waste in the head waters. by making irrigation water unusable.
also with us, sam malone, manager of education for frac tracker that's an organization that compiled data on the location of fracking wells across the country. she is the executive director of the pro fracking group, energy makes america great. and here with us in studio, thomas of the environmental working group, thank you to all of you for being here. so i'd like to start this conversation, from the premise thiothece for a while, fracking in the united states isn't going anywhere. so with that in mind, is it possible to be more selective about what is done and where it is done, to satisfy the health and environmental concerns of communities. and sam, your organization tracks the location of fracking sites across the country, how many are there, and what percentage of those would you consider to be controversial locations. >> it's very difficult to tell exactly how many sites have been hydraulically fractured.
and most of those are having stimulation using things like hydriodic fractures. in terms of how many are close to vulnerable sites such as schools or hops that's even a tougher point of data to really flesh out, since we can't really tell exactly how many wells there are. we finding that a lot of these wells are close to places such as hospitals and schools and things that we think that it would be possible not to have those permanent in areas like thoughted, you are bit of an unlikely activist, you have a ranch, but you are an aerospace engineer, how did you be et into the thick of this, and what are you fighting for? >> i got into the think of it when i was in the board of supervisors when the first permit for fracking came into the valley. i didn't know that was on the agenda, i 80 fell out of my seat, it bake immediately apparent to
me, the worst place to do fracking in the valley is at it's head waters, this valley has one source of water for the alary cultural industry and our local economy, and if that got messed up we would have a real problem. so i also came to the realization that i felt that the governor and the political forces in the state could force upon us fracking, so at the county level we wouldn't have a choice, but we would have to face fracking. the policy question came to my mind, how do you have a fracking boom in a very profitable agricultural area and not mess it up. the whole region, is a very seismically active area, we have the san andreas fault, and further more, we have a waiter basin. so to me it is one of the worst maces in america, to do fracking. >> what was interesting
to me in preparing the ever this show, is that a lot of the people that we talked or that i read about in preparation, aren't against fracking they just want a little more common sense used until all the facts are in, about where these wells are drilled. do you think there's room to be more selective on the part of the industry about where these you fracking sites are operating? in a way that allays community fears but doesn't harm industry or their profits. >> yes, there most certainly is, and that's one reason why frackenning needs to be regulated on a local level, not on a national level, because each community knows best what is right for them. and fracking is regulated on a state level currently, but there is a push for a national fracking ban and fracking needs to remain on the state level, and local
communities can do ordinances as they have done and are doing. but the big question i think is to realize, that this is not new. when you say well we need to wait until we see if the this is safe, it's important to realize that fracking has been going on in this country already for more than 100 years. in america, we have millions of wells where fractures has been used. and if it was as scary as opponents want to make it sound, we would hear news stories every single day of catastrophic results from fracking. but the reality is, it goes on every day and no one is even aware of it. >> hi-tech drilling been around that long. >> the operation has been around for a long time, but even by drillers own admission, at least in
their disclosures to share holders, they talk about the inherent risk of fracking and drilling operations. you have risks of fires, explosions, spills, illegal dumping perhapses in some places. and so to the extent that frackenning as you say is here to stay, you need robust oversight to manage those risks not only threats to water quality, but also to water quantity in terms of reellations i agree with the other folks here on the show, that fracking should not be allow near schools right up to folk's backyards you net set backs that account for these inherent risks so there are places where water is scarce throughout the united states, increasingly so in the face of climate change. and we need to have fracking operations or at least rules and oversite in those places to address those water scarily issues. the fact that you have more than several hundred wells. is propmatic if they are
not subject to the same restrictions as local citizens and perhaps farmers. what are your thoughts on fracking next to schools and we gave a statistic that 350,000 students in california are within one mile of an oil and gas well, and jodi says absolutely against all fracking especially near schools, not in my kids school, i would rather move and live in a tent. poor yes, boothose they wouldn't get cancer. i still can't believe california politician allow fracking to continue, during our drought, and we have community member who gave this video comment. i believe if any company is found responsible for contaminating a water source, they should face criminal charges heavy fines, be responsible for the clean up, out of pocket, and lose their license to perform fracking operations permanently. >> all right, ed, you just heard from the community, what would you like to see your local
state and federal government to do to have more oversight over these practices? your thoughts? well, what we found is every county that has oil does not have ordinances to protect it from fracking. so what i want is at the county level, that's when the battle has been raging, is at the county level, if you have to step forward and have an ordinance that can protect your local area. we found there were no protections we covered 21 areas. for example, we cape one a restriction on where you put fracking wells to move them away from our source of water. >> didn't you also require something along the lines of the fingerprinting that we talks about in the fission segment. >> thank you, lisa, we came one this on our own we didn't know what was going on around the country to prove there was a fracking fluid that had leaked. we want the county as part of the permitting
process to require that fracking company to provide the county, a sample of what they put in the ground because what happens, the state regulates at the well site, but all the land away from that welt area, belongs to the county, and if you get a leak, say a huge earthquake occurs, and you wind one a leak, then we can use the chemical fingerprint to say okay, it's exon or whoever. and then you take the burden of proof away from the people who are harmed, and you put it on the person who has harmed the environment or the community. we think that's a fair approach. if the oil and gas industry claims that this is so safe, they shouldn't be worried about this. >> we have about 30 seconds left in this segment, is it a false choice for people thinking they have to choose between the
environment and the economy? yes, it is a false choice. because as you talked about in your first segment, you talks about the water processing recycling the water, they are using mu frac fluids and i am with that, you can do that fingerprinting in the industry, should welcome it, they do testing of water wells before they come into an area, so they can show you what is there before they come in, and the industry really wants to do it right. >> all right, thank you to our guests. thomas you are going to stick around for the next segment, still ahead, who owns nature, and whose responsibility is it to protect it? one member petitioning the supreme court near their argument about why justices need to protect the air.
your part of a group of young about vests what are you fighting for. >> yeah, i am part of an organization called earth guardians we are working to inspire young people around the globe to connect to a global movement, and create healthy sustainable solutions to address some of our world's greatest problems like climate change. >> it is some of the lyrics you say our generation is going to show you how. how are you going to do that? >> so i feel as a young person we have a huge impact on the way that social media sees us and the way we relate to the world. young people have an amazing way of influencing people, and getting our point across, and i feel like our message needs to be heard, because our generation will be most impacted by the issues of our time, like climate change. we are working through action, and leading by example to really create the solutions, and build a movement of people who care enough to do
something about the kind of world we will see. >> part of the work involve as petition you have in front of the supreme court. >> it started about three or four years ago, and young people from all 50 states for not protecting our atmosphere as a part of this ancient doctrine called the public trust doctrine, what it says is our government our leaders are accountable for taking action, and protecting our resources hike the air, water, err, so we have these lawsuits in all 50 states. we took it to the supreme court, and it is going to be heard december 5th, and we are asking them for a climate recovery plan, to put a plan into place to massively cut our carbon, and reforrest state and country, until we get back to a safe zone of 350 parts per million. and all of these studies we did, were done by nasa scientists and world
leading climate scientists. >> when i was 14 i was playing video games. >> you still are. >> obviously wasting my life, we said young people are suing government agencies over policies would critics with as dismissive for the government was. what is the government's responsibility to us the citizens to protect the climate? >> sure. our federal government, or local government, state government for that matter, are untrusted by ordinary citizen toss go there and to lead to create oversight, that ensure the long term vitality of our precious resources whether that's our water, our air, and i would like to think of our environment beyond forrest and mountains but also right here in our cities. >> observes have said that the supreme court has agreed to hear this what does that say in terms of the broader conversation?
>> i think that the long term rep precautions of ignoring our responsibility to take care of environment, are -- that conversation is ahive and well. and i think that we are in a time where we are looking at congress, and it looks like it is broken and we want to have some way for grass roots organizing and various communities to come together and say this is something we can do here. >> give us your final thought on this. >> i feel like as a generation most impacted by these huge issues we are seeing, we don't see kids getting involved in the legal and million system, and once we see kids stepping up to the plate, and being the leaders that we want to create, there's going to be a whole new shift in the climate movement and the environmental movement, and it is going to have a huge impact. >> thank you so much to all of our guests today until next time, we will see you online.