August 28, 2012

Jed Clampett, #BeverlyHillbillies, fracking style

Jed Clampett/Forbes
The reality of the natural-gas fracking world continues to hit in the hills at the edge of Appalachia, for folks like Mike and Nancy Leighton, where methane from a natural gas fracking job literally made water bubble out of their water well.
"I said, 'I'll be down in 15 minutes.' I wanted to see the race," Leighton said. But as the horses were racing, Leighton's well was overflowing. Typically, there's between 80 to 100 feet of head space between the top of the well and its water supply. But when Leighton went outside, the water was bubbling over the top.

Down the road, Ted and Gale Franklin's water well had gone dry. When water started coming out later that week, the liquid was "black as coal," according to Gale.

Since then, both families have been dealing with methane-contaminated water supplies, as well as dozens of mysterious, flammable gas puddles bubbling up on their properties.
When I read about such unfortunates, I start thinking about the Beverly Hillbillies theme song and wanting to riff on it:

Come and listen to a story about Chesapeake Gas
Some rich billionaires, with money out their ass,
Then one day it was frackin on a well,
And up through the ground came a bubblin hell.

Methane that is, bridge fuel, Ponzi schemes.

Well the first thing you know Leightons breathe dead air,
Kinfolk said "Hey, move away from there"
Said "Californy is the place you ought to be"
Mike and Nancy longed to move to Beverly.

Hills, that is. Swimmin pools, movie stars.

But one thing the kinfolks didn't know at all,
The Leightons didn't have another spot to fall.
They all possessed just the land of this locality
But the mineral rights had been sold by a legatee!

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

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