tv [untitled] October 10, 2011 7:31pm-8:01pm EDT
now to a history in aussie underscore comb to get the latest updates on the ongoing protests in new york but right now and i'll see the first part of our special report on how the peace of people living in the rocky mountains has been shattered by an injury company drilling for gas and the battle against it. forty acres and nineteen ninety three and this side it would be a great place to find my bel the home and retire. i am fifty generation my great great grandfather homesteaded here. let's go let's go to gates was killed when he would go a mile. long border.
we have three hundred head of al that come down on the high country there and current of libya. i'm a fourth generation rancher when i was little dad would let me have two cows out of the herd so i could heard. my favorite things is the red winged blackbirds that use the honey honey the red winged blackbirds are back you know. this has been my favorite place i've ever lived in my life say representatives when you're. playing every regular season and also the legislation today directing president. resampled companies that create or thirty six billion dollars or twenty dollars
a barrel. there she is. we call it our near neighbor neighbor. we are in a split. state situation where we on the surface and someone else on some mineral rights and what happens in colorado and i think in most western states is the mineral rights. are dominant. law and mineral extraction goes back hundreds of years that says the mineral owner has a right to extract that mineral and to a certain extent can extract it impact the surface without compensation. seventy acres here and i can't convince them that they need to drill somewhere. two
hundred feet from our. policy has been to drill drill drill drill some more you're a very strong industry they've got a tremendous amount of political influence and an awful lot of money. as a civil servant i spoke out. but it's difficult to do so because you feel constant you're risking your job and your family's future. as i sat there and looked out my window and my backyard all i could think was there is no way i can stay at this i'm sitting here with all of the right resources these people need help this is before any problems before we do right.
and they're motivated by profits and unfortunately are motivated by short term profits they don't take that view. you come out here and you come out here and live in my house for a week. i have no rights. the rocky mountains are seeing an unprecedented boom in oil and gas drilling montana wyoming colorado new mexico utah the boom is happening all over the country
there's oil and gas operations in thirty two states right now but the rocky mountain states are really seeing the vast majority of the expansion. and it's overflowing into communities where people are seeing this right in their backyards . were they wanted to put this location one of the first places that they wanted to put it surprise you and say we have to do well out there you don't have in. a split a state situation is when somebody who owns the surface of their land does not own the resources that are underneath their land for example oil and gas or other minerals a private person could own a house with land and the federal government or another private individual might on the resources under it the person who owns the oil and gas has rights to access that oil and gas which means that whoever owns the surface probably can't control
what happens on their own property. in the middle mile for field believe this this they represent. of there. would be about two hundred feet from our house which is all foreclosures because we so we don't want. life. displayed a state is a concept that dates back to when the english king reserved his rights to gold and silver deposits despite who owned the land as america was homesteaded the government continue the tradition of this kind of separate ownership. for one minute that anything is off one hundred fifty feet away from one and a half times the length of there so if it falls over. we see the look on people's
faces and they get that look i saw only a minute there can't be right that's not fair that can't be what it is that's the way it is this is an active drilling rig near a small house showing just how close the two can be and how large the path is during drilling a site can cover several acres before it is reduced to a smaller pad for the producing well. today with cries for more domestic oil and gas production energy companies have been aggressively leasing mineral rights so that they can drill beneath both private and public lands all over the rocky mountain west this industry has been expanding dramatically tens of thousands of new wells across the region in colorado we've got about thirty thousand wells and we expect another thirty thousand in the next five or six years for decades the oil and gas industry has lobbied to create
a regulatory climate which has paved the way for the current drilling. back in two thousand after the bush cheney election and there was a dramatic acceleration in drilling activity both had received large contributions from a boil and gas interests and the vice president had been the chief executive. the dates of our growing economy also means expanding our domestic production of oil and natural gas which are vital fuels for transportation electricity and manufacturing. alternatives. conserving energy. transportation needs. the bush cheney energy policy. they were shut out of the process of developing the nation's approach to energy this administration is a gas and oil administration. and so they're they're wedded to an old policy
they're wedded to a twentieth century policy when we need a twenty first century policy you have the bush administration. at the very top and they aren't sympathetic they're making very serious mistakes because they talk to themselves and the energy companies and only themselves and the energy companies we don't know what other provisions may have been a special interest provisions that. when you're writing one of these bills in secret in two thousand and five the administration's energy bill passed with support from members of both political parties it provided the gas and oil industry . dollars in subsidies tax breaks and research money sixty five percent of the current subsidies go to gas and oil and you have this imbalance we ought to have sixty five percent or more eighty percent ought to be going to alternative renewable technology to energy efficiency the energy bill makes practical reforms
to the oil and gas permitting process to encourage new exploration after years of debate and division. congress passed a good bill. the . it all began here for us twenty five years ago when my husband moved here then i moved here eighteen years ago arlen and i were married in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight i was a pharmaceutical chemist for many years. my husband is a civil engineer with a specialty in water and he has retired a few years ago we ran into some real problems with the oil and gas industry because they have begun drilling here in canada island gas contacted us in the
early spring of two thousand and four with the proposal that they would put wells on our land and we began negotiating a surface use agreement with them and we had negotiated for nine months and the bulldozer showed up one day and began ripping and tearing before we had signed a surface use agreement. regulations require that oil and gas companies consult with landowners before drilling if the landowner doesn't agree to the terms the company proposes it can post a bond with the state go on to the land and drill anyway that's what happened to the bells. when we first just i asked the seller about the mineral rights and he said he didn't have to sell eighty five percent of landowners in colorado do not own the rights to the minerals under their land until you get on the federal property i think it is private interests. through here once you're on the
forest service and of course it's a government garfield county located high in the colorado rockies was always a quiet rural area for its residents. but in the one nine hundred ninety s. things started to change. gas and oil drilling began to boom and development has expanded dramatically each year when i first came to colorado twenty seven years ago the energy production was for oil and the time that there was the synthetic fuels corporation and it was all about oil shale natural gas they didn't have pipelines for it and so they were trying to figure out what to do with all the natural gas there was a lot but there was no use for a little time now natural gas was the biggest thing that's going on in lester in colorado. there's no end canada
leases in here crossroads corp and over there on ten acre spacing for me are really what you're looking for and you knew how many wells were on pared it you could see three four hundred wells. you're standing right over a pipeline right here by the way. right where which fan and we had a spill. be you see over my head here we've got the neighbor's wells that are all three four of them over there and that's stacked closest to the blue one day it looked like old faithful had crossed over there the separator spewed paraffin out all over the pad and on over into a good number of acres of our parish church and that paraffin was laced with the tax chemicals hydrocarbons of various kinds we were concerned it would contaminate
did. and the grasses were heavy in dry and whatnot so we just burned it did chin writing carbons along with it so we wouldn't get it it's water. it's about ten thousand wells here in the basin which is. an incredible number of wells to try and manage on a daily basis and so it as a simple example we do well reviews and look at what our wells should be delivering if we spend five minutes per well. it takes about nine months to go through that process everything below us down here is our men to canyon. if you get up on the big hair is makes the benches those bankers are just littered with wells
approximately five hundred all total. and now with the new wells basin that they approved will go for mobil five hundred two of them within the next twenty years we drill that averages about three hundred fifty new wells per year when you take colorado side and include that we think that conoco phillips has probably another ten thousand wells there where you will drill in the basin over the next forty years. to sharply increase drilling on gilbert our mentors ranch is typical of what has happened to vast expanses of northern new mexico land. a satellite image shows the crisscrossing patterns of access roads and wells extending for hundreds of miles across some one county and north west new mexico. the land surface has been called up so bad that i can't recognize it from the first time i saw it.
the ranch lands of san juan county are the only areas inundated by drilling rigs. in the towns near gilbert are meant as land there are wells everywhere in neighborhoods and near schools. gas industry has been here for fifty plus years and we do drill in populated areas you can go out here. a couple hundred yards from this office and find it producing well conoco phillips is the largest producer in the san juan basin and when you look at the total between our workforce directly and indirectly reporting for us it's about a person of the local population so we're a very large employer in the basin him. industry has brought jobs and money to the key. but for gilbert are meant the price is much too high.
gabe will be the gate to enter into my property the old company had me completely locked out for two and a half years the only way they would give me a key. is if i agreed to keep the gate locked at all times. on the street has the mentality that. it's all theirs and don't belong to nobody else. and that's what they tell us when they come out to drill here on our land. it's ours you're in our way. we just think the good neighbor program was something that was somewhat elementary and it's just respect because if you don't two things will happen first is the government will regulate and a lot of times regulate out of business and second is the mexico becomes an unfriendly business environment and oil and gas industries go elsewhere i don't
think the state wants the oil and gas industry doesn't want that we have a very large emphasis with our three hundred twenty five member companies about being a good neighbor about talking to people about doing the things. that you would do in your neighborhood with your next door neighbor. in the us in the lower forty eight on shore the boom that is currently going on has driven a lot by technology or been a lot of technological advances with horizontal drilling with fracture stimulation one of the key elements to finding and getting the resource out of very tight sand or hard rock is a fracking process fracking is just a short word for fracturing hydraulic fracturing or fracking as it's commonly called is a drilling technique first commercialised by how the bird in one thousand nine hundred forty nine comes in with very high powered water and sand and
a slightly soapy mixture and all it does is it goes down and it just fractures little tiny fractures in the rock and then sand goes into those fractures and allows that gas to escape. and then the gas flows in to the pipe up to the surface of the people's homes. hydraulic fracturing is largely responsible for the domestic drilling boom because of its high cost it was not widely used until recently in the one nine hundred ninety s. when the price of natural gas shot up high enough to make it affordable this is here in the reserve pits here don't you see oh colborne is one of the world's leading authorities on endor krynn disrupting chemicals in the environment and their impact on humans down and here the trucks are coming all the way which is thirty miles to here she has been studying the chemicals used by the industry for drilling and extraction and documenting their effects basically our first list of
the chemicals that were being used was this very very short and an interesting west that e.p.a. put together it certainly was uncovered heads that we knew we found out very rapidly that it was no small list they don't tell you everything that's in a product you may only get five percent of what's in that product and the rest of it is proprietary or they just don't get it they don't have to. all island gas deposits below ground contain toxic compounds that are brought to the surface during drilling these compounds pollute the environment and can cause health problems but the impacts of drilling are made even worse by the chemical products that are injected during the process dr colborne has documented over two hundred products used in colorado drilling over ninety percent contained chemicals with
adverse health effects. there is not only prove that there is anything harmful in the fracking fluids that are used to fracture the wells in our floors are not toxic and we did a lot of it as well. mis understanding of what is actually in the fluids i have fracking fluid taken right out of the tracking truck in my office i've had it in my mouth it tasted it and i'm just fine for people who are telling you that these products are safe first ask them what they have been trained in to find out who's paying their salary and third actually hand them a real glass. of something that you have taken from an evaporation time and ask them to drink it. i think it's just part of people understand that we live here and love it also so i would be messin or nast.
d and harold hofmeister live across the road from the belle farm surrounded by an ever increasing number of natural gas wells where and bad actually sleeping and. we heard this pop and then our son called he said that the well is on fire and my husband went to try to go outside and it was too hot on the deck so he couldn't remove their moyo right of way and then the fire trucks came but they waited way down because there was nothing they could do a pro to wait for more for the burn yeah. yeah so i think they were there basically for our homes and if they caught fire or something you know one of our structures. industrial accidents and spills are common in these communities between two
thousand and three and two thousand and eight he's estimated that there were one thousand four hundred and thirty five spills in colorado. nearly a quarter of these spills are believed to have contaminated either ground or surface water in the state aid every time. it's like we see this week. and it's a horrible thing you know. a little farther down dry hollow road is the divide creek. that's where lisa bracken and her family live. this is back was first discovered. who got a call one day april first from a neighbor steve thompson and said you know i found some stuff down here on my place it doesn't look right. they did come look at it and he said this is not normal the all involved over my water up there bob flies a little first jump on. that's all there after. both his and our
properties there was a the evidence of bubbling in the creek we didn't know what it was it looked like a pepsi can there was just an eruption of bubbles fizzing all over the place in the reeds in the water in an effort to convince authorities that the bubbling was not occurring naturally lisa and her family demonstrated that the gas would ignite. by. water samples taken from the ground water in the divide creeks e bay area showed levels of the carcinogen benzene forty eight times government standards gas was released into the creek for fifty five days before the well believed to have caused the seep was resealed after they were mediated the well evidence of the sea largely disappeared here it went away and pepys place on
langer's it diminished significantly and there's still some evidence of it there but it's the only lingering presence. to this day gas continues to bubble up at the seams main exit point on pepe langer's land. so what they're trying to do is everything they. hear if there's. nobody knows how long it's going to or even. well really you know everything is going to be cleared up. according to a statement provided by the income a corporation nothing that and can a did was out of compliance with the regulations in place at that time extensive monitoring following the incident indicates there was no contamination of residential water sources as a result of the seat an air convection system is in place to remove benzene from
the groundwater in the plume. spills and groundwater contamination can occur anywhere there is drilling industry representatives often try to downplay their environmental impact. suits colorado matters colorado with the oil and gas wells drilling is making the recent spike in oil and gas drilling in colorado is heading. for they should about the effect of truly off your health.
with twenty five dead zones three hundred injured egypt's military rulers ordered an investigation into the deadliest riots in cairo's liberation and fierce clashes between christians and security forces. as european leaders work against the cold to try to save the you from economic disaster russia says it could help poultry eurozone economies by buying up dead but only up to brussels produces a clear strategy on how to exit the crisis. and the wall street activists increase the pressure of protests gathered pace cross the u. i sense red to other countries while demonstrators accuse police of bully boy tactics and making bread. of course our correspondents in new york have the latest on the protests in the big apple in our twitter feed see underscore combe but up next stop a debate show and today looking at future is rated palestinian relations and how the current lack of trance could influence america's so-called war.
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