Australian Study: Fracking Releases 3X Normal Greenhouse Gases

Scientists from Southern Cross University in Australia found levels of greenhouse gases in that country's largest fracking play that were three times normal background levels, and higher than those recorded anywhere else on the planet.

“The concentrations here are higher than any measured in gas fields anywhere else that I can think of, including in Russia,” Damien Maher, a biochemist who helped conduct the tests, told the Sydney Morning Herald."

Air contaminants being monitored included methane ad carbon dioxide.

"Some scientists surmise that the excess levels are due to seepage of the gas through displaced soil and aquifers that carry “fugitive” emissions released by fracking a mile or more below ground. Carbon cycle expert Peter Rayner of the University of Melbourne told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the elevated gas levels were probably due to “emissions that escape from the intended process of production.”

Not surprisingly, there are health complaints form residents living in and near the wells in the play.

"Helen Redmond, a physician with the New South Wales chapter of Doctors for the Environment, cited rising complaints of rashes, nausea, headaches and nose bleeds among people living close to the Tara gas fields.”Hydrocarbon exposure cannot be ruled out as a cause without much more comprehensive investigation,” she told the Sydney newspaper…."

Back here in DFW, Dallas is still stalling on writing a new gas drilling ordinance that citizens want to prompt the nation's first local policy of off-setting greenhouse gas pollution. And many observers believe DFW just failed its second clean air plan in five years because of the impact of rising gas industry pollution.

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