'Dash for Gas' Hits Europe as One Country Finds Itself on the Front Lines of the Fracking Battle
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But environmental campaigners reel off an alarming sounding list of additives they say are added to frack fluid, including some linked to cancer.
They say that kerosene and diesel fuel, which can contain benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene, naphthalene – and other substances – are reportedly used, as are methanol and formaldehyde, ethylene glycol, hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, among many others.
Lead, crystalline silica and naphthalene have also been cited as ingredients in frack fluid.
And even if the percentages used are small, say critics, with so many drillings taking place – in Pennsylvania alone, government estimates have predicted that 3,000-4,000 new gas wells will be drilled each year for the next 30 years – the total chemical count is dangerously high.
Campaigners also point out that it could only take a relatively small amount of chemical to pollute a much larger area of land or water.
Although there is – as yet – little evidence of any contamination connected to Poland's exploratory gas drilling, activists say it is only a matter of time.
"Fracking is a dangerous American export that should be viewed critically by countries just starting to engage in the practice," Wenonah Hauter, the head of Food and Water Watch, recently warned.
"Modern drilling and fracking have caused widespread environmental and public health problems, as well as posed serious, long-term risks to vital water resources…while the oil and gas industry is profiting off of this technology, it has been a disaster for Americans exposed to its pollution."
But for Breitling's Chris Faulkner such comments are part of the sensationalism he says has developed around fracking.
He accuses campaigners of having an agenda which is "sometimes based on misinformation, misinterpretation, misspoke concerns," and says that their passion "sometimes weaves a story that maybe is based on fear mongering or actual non-fact."
But he admits there are risks – as with any energy mechanism: "It's not fracking that is unsafe. It's not the procedures that are unsafe, but if someone makes a mistake, anything can happen," he says.
"We're foolish to think that there's some form of energy... that pops out of the ground, powers the plug in the wall and produces energy that has no consequences. [That's] just not realistic."
Back in Nowy Dwor Bratianski, Barbara Grzybowska and Mieczyslaw Rutowski want to tell us about one additional concern they have.
The farmers say that in order to help win hearts and minds in this deeply religious community the gas industry brought in a local priest. He in turn, they claim, 'blessed' a gas rig during an opening ceremony attended by local people. "Yes, I was surprised," says Rutowski. "The parish priest came to bless the work... I smile at this and rather consider it to be a pact with the devil, not [a] blessing of the rig site."
Dr Zgoda says he has noted a wider marketing drive being undertaken by the gas companies to sway local communities. "It is standard for them [gas companies] to be giving out small gifts, inexpensive ones, to schools, to kindergartens... municipal councils and mayors are taken on tours supposedly to show them some drilling sites, plus there are some attractions such as dinners with performances and champagne."
We track down the priest understood to have 'blessed' the rig. Unwilling to be interviewed formally, he admits his involvement but denies there were any strings attached. No donations or gifts from the gas company to the church. Just a small sum for children, he says, who were about to go to a summer camp.