Thursday, February 6, 2014

Oil and Gas Workers Not Protected Against Hazards

I have heard about this before, about workers not being fully informed of, or protected against, the hazards of dealing with toxic fumes and materials at fracking sites in Dr. Theo Colborn's 45 min. documentary:

What You Need to Know About Natural Gas Production

I asked my brother-in-law about her video, and the clip below. He's worked in the gas fields for decades, checking gas wells, and was recently diagnosed with asthma. He is now VP at a well completion (euphemism for fracking fluid) company. He responded with:

"..just watched the video and can't believe that this is what we are discussing. First of all the oilfield is mandated as well as most other entities by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Do you really believe that OSHA would not be going crazy if this were true. we are the most regulated industry in the United States no matter what you hear or believe. If you do not believe it read the OSHA regs as they apply to the oilfield. 
Pay close attention to the rules on confined space entry (which is what this gentleman is talking about when cleaning tanks or pits). Also in Weld County the emissions from all wells have to meet standards and as far as I know they do. I would encourage you to do real research instead of listening to Josh Fox or Matt Damon. 
I consider this a waste of time when OSHA and the EPA apparently aren't credible but this gentleman is. I will tell you this, most of the people in this industry care more for the environment than you will ever know. We hunt, fish, hike and generally spend twice the time outdoors than most of the people you know. I can't change your mind and really don't care to, so I won't debate by e-mail. If you truly want to know the truth when we are together I would be more than glad to talk to you about it."
And, this response by his wife:
"You people that sit around and read something on the internet and decide it's true because you really can't know whether it is or not are AMAZING when it comes to fracing, which is what it was called when we became familiar with it. DO NOT send me anything about what you have read or discovered or think you know about fracing. There are dozens of items in the grocery store that are more harmful to the environment than fracing, so chase some other ambulance. [My husband] is always open to teach and give correct information about fracing, it's his specialty. We shake our heads at what you people come up with when knowledge is as close as your phone. Just because you read it somewhere..."

What do you think? Is the man in this video telling lies?

Description of the video:

"Randy Moyer, who trucked brine from wells to treatment plants and back to wells, now suffers from dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, difficulty breathing, swollen lips and appendages, and a fiery red rash that covered about 50 percent of his body.

The Portage resident believes he's sick from the chemicals in fracking fluid and from radiation exposure. He cites unsafe and unregulated working conditions on well sites, no oversight about safety clothing, breathing masks, or chemical suits. The sites are treated like any other construction site, all that's needed is a hardhat and goggles. But when working with radiation and toxic chemicals from deep underground, adverse health effects are never far behind."

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