The political-economy of water (and other diversions)
California's State Division of Oil and Gas does a pretty good job regulating fracking as well as all the other oilfield hazards. The biggest problems are in places like NY, where there has been very little O/G production historically, or PA, where the coal industry has run the show for centuries.
I do think the natural gas industry is at the beginning of its expansion and has the opportunity to internalize many of these costs/externalities, particularly on water, which would benefit them immensely on the PR front and, in the end, permit them more fracking with assurances of general “safety” by picking up the tab.
.i talked to my hydrogeologist and he assured me the firms we’ve been working on the methane tracing with are well aware of the potential seal issue and working hard on ways to insure their seals are sound….but, just like the gulf well head blowout issue at the depths and pressures they operate it isn’t as easy as the work that would occur more at the ground surface …..but to your point ……when they determine the methods that must be employed they have every interest to see that all their competitors have to meet the same criteria so they don’t have to bear the costs alone or face the possibility of having the public shut things down because of the (few) bad actors.
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