ONLY IN AMERICA THE CAMERA THAT SHOWS WHAT YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SEE CURTESY OF THE OIL AND GAS OLIGARCHY THEY OWN US(A)!


The oil and gas industry helped develop a camera that can show you things they insist aren’t there.

It’s what you can’t see that you should worry about.

The gas industry helped to develop a magic camera to find leaks in their pipelines.

It makes invisible Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) visible.

Some concerned citizens in Colorado got one of these cameras.

They pointed it at a fracking operation that was right near a high school.

This is what they saw:

That big black cloud is made of VOCs rising off the gas works and spreading out over a neighborhood.

Wait, what are VOCs?

It’s a group of chemicals, including acetone, benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, and others. They’re in everyday household products, in small amounts. They’re what makes that “new car smell” and what makes you get high off glue.

He’s well acquainted with VOCs.

What’s wrong with VOCs?

A lot, it turns out. Exposure can cause nosebleeds, headaches, nausea, asthma attacks, and dizziness. Long-term exposure to some VOCs causes cancer in humans.


Gas operations all have relief valves so that gas can escape if the pressure gets too high. It keeps things from exploding. It’s for safety. But what’s coming out of those valves? Not just methane, but lots of nasty VOCs too.

Tens of millions of Americans live close to this kind of activity.

Anywhere that oil and gas extraction is happening near homes, kids are being exposed to VOCs. Researchers have found increased infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, and infant deaths in areas with lots of fracking activity.

Seriously, why would anyone let this kind of thing happen in their community?

It’s not as simple as you think.

Fracking is generating jobs. They’re coming to areas where people have lived in poverty for generation after generation. Maybe the jobs won’t last, and maybe they’re not very safe, but they are jobs.

Ask me how I know. I grew up in an area like that. I know people who spent their lives barely making it — and whose parents and grandparents were strangers to luxury — and now they are pulling down six figures.

So when I hear, “If you’re against it, you’re against jobs. If you’re for it, you’re against children,” I honestly understand what makes that a hard question.

But even hard questions have a right answer.

Is your community thinking about opening its doors to fracking? Check out this video for some images that might make that decision crystal clear.

TRANSCRIPT:

HOLD YOUR BREATH

Describe what you are seeing.

I just see what looks like smoke but it’s volatile organic compounds.

NorthRidge High School, Greeley, CO

Industry claims fracking is clean. But it’s polluting our air. I’m Sharron, and I use a camera that makes the invisible, visible.

There is a huge black cloud of VOCs escaping, blowing out over all those homes.

MUCH OF THIS POLLUTION, KNOWN AS VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCs), IS INVISIBLE TO THE NAKED EYE

THE FLIR GASFINDER THERMAL CAMERA MAKES VOC POLLUTION VISIBLE

SHARON WILSON IS A MOTHER FROM TEXAS CONCERNED ABOUT HER CHILDREN’S FUTURE

THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY IS DRILLING 3,000 WELLS/MONTH. MORE THAN 90% ARE FRACKED.

THIS POLLUTION AFFECTS OUR HEALTH

WILL THE EPA PROTECT US FROM OIL AND GAS POLLUTION?

THEY’RE DECIDING NOW

What most people don’t know, is that when that methane or natural gas comes up out of the ground, it also comes up with a lot of what I like to call ‘hitch hikers’. Very dangerous, toxic chemicals.

AIR POLLUTION detected in Western Colorado July 2010 – October 2011

In ’95 they drilled the first hole just east of my house. Drilled the first four holes on the property just below my house in ’97. I started having troubles, pains, cramps in the muscles, sinus problems, headaches, dizzy spells. But nothing major. In 2003, they put an evaporation pond right at the end of my driveway. The path right at end of my driveway.

POLLUTION DETECTED AT EVAPORATION PONDS

Another one and a half mile to the east and one a half mile to the west. 2004 was a rough year. I was having a hard time at work. I couldn’t hardly get around.

WELL PADS NEAR RICK’S HOUSE

By September 2004, my whole body shut down. I couldn’t reach my face to eat. I couldn’t walk.

There’s constant venting of the tanks because they can only take so much pressure.

FLIR of Conaco Philips facility Devil’s Spring Ranch, NM

Then those toxins and VOCs are vented into the air.

FLIR of Kerr-McGee facility at Rocky Mountain Church in Frederick, CO

FLIR of compression station in Fort Lupton, CO

All you have to do is look around at the top of the tanks. They have relief valves on every pipe coming up out of the tank.

FLIR of Noble Energy facility in Platteville, CO very near Eric’s home

As a pipe fitter and a person in the industry, relief valves are made to relieve pressure and therefore the volatile gasses are then released into the atmosphere.

FLIR of Kerr-McGree facility in Longmont, CO

FLIR of XTO gas well in Aztec, NM

It’s daily, it’s 24/7.

FLIR of compression station in Fort Lupton, CO

That’s what we have to live with and that’s what we’re being polluted by.

See right here, all of this? Oh yeah, you’re going to get hammered.

I am afraid for the health of myself, my wife and my kids.

COMPRESSOR STATION NEAR ERIC’S HOME

That’s just venting.

And that’s not being burned off by a flare?

No.

HEALTH IMPACTS LIMITED TO OIL & GAS POLLUTION IN PENNSYLVANIA & TEXAS

All the emerging health data that’s coming out, especially out of places like Pennsylvania and down in Texas, they’ve gone through this already. It’s sort of foreshadowing on what we’re going to be going through. We already have a specialist that talks at colleges that we got referred to by our physicians.

I got my blood tested after my body seized up. They said ‘well we called the Colorado department of health and they told us there’s no way you could be contaminated.

5-STATE STUDY FINDS UNSAFE LEVELS OF AIRBORNE CHEMICALS NEAR OIL AND GAS FIELDS

Journal of Environmental Health October 2014

I finally got them to order the test chip. I think it was 8 weeks later I got the results back. I got benzene, toluene, xylene, styrene, tri-ethyl benzene. Six different kinds of tri-ethyl benzenes in my blood.

“RESEARCH IS JUST NOW BEGINNING…”

Michael McCawley, West Virginia University’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences

I live in it and breathe it 24 hours a day. That’s the difference. True, I don’t work in the industry but I’m subjected to more of the fumes than probably most of the industry is.

It’s sort of this ultimatum. You can either have a healthy economy and jobs or you can have your health. Like you can’t have both of those things at the same time. There has to be a better way to do this. We don’t have to sacrifice people on the way to our goal.

THERE ARE OVER 1 MILLION ACTIVE OIL AND GAS WELLS IN THE U.S. TODAY

THAT MEANS TENS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE BREATHING POLLUTED AIR

EPA ADMINISTRATOR GINA MCCARTHY HAS THE POWER to REDUCE TOXIC POLLUTION FROM FRACKING

BUT THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY IS FIGHTING COMMON SENSE REGULATIONS.

THE INDUSTRY HAS POWER

THE INDUSTRY HAS INFLUENCE

THE INDUSTRY HAS MONEY

BUT WE HAVE YOU

TELL THE EPA THAT OUR HEALTH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY PROFITS

TAKE ACTION AT protectourair.org

There may be small errors in this transcript.

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