Home > Frac > Third Response to Mr. Kennedy’s Huff Post

Third Response to Mr. Kennedy’s Huff Post

October 28, 2011

I have dealt with the first two bullet points in RFK Jr.’s article from the Huffington Post entitled “The Fracking Industry’s War on the New York Times—And The Truth” regarding 1.) methane releases and 2.) human health impacts.

Today I will deal with his third bullet point. It reads:

“The U.S. Geological Survey just slashed its estimate on the amount of gas in the Marcellus Shale by 80%, raising doubts about all the industry’s positive economic projections about jobs, royalties, and revenues. Industry based those projections on resource estimates that the federal government has now jettisoned.”

I can not muster stronger language to communicate the intentional falsehood of this statement.

It is blatantly false.

In the USGS’s own words,

The Marcellus Shale contains about 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas and 3.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas liquids according to a new assessment by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS).

These gas estimates are significantly more than the last USGS assessment of the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin in 2002, which estimated a mean of about 2 trillion cubic feet of gas (TCF) and 0.01 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.

Does 40 times more than the last estimate translate into “slashed its estimate…by 80%”?

No, it doesn’t.

I honestly wonder how the Huffington Post saw fit to publish Kennedy’s article on October 20th, 2011 when it had previously published this article, entitled Marcellus Shale Gas Region Has More Natural Gas Than Previously Estimated, USGS Reports on the day following the release of the USGS report.

Not only does Kennedy falsify the findings of the report from the USGS, he fails to differentiate them from the estimates of the EIA by way of Bloomberg.

The article that he cites as proof relies on the words of Philip Budzik, Operations Research Analyst, who said of the USGS (further differentiating them from the EIA)

We consider the USGS to be the experts in this matter,” Budzik said in an interview. “They’re geologists, we’re not. We’re going to be taking this number and using it in our model.”

The USGS reports that their findings are “…significantly more than the last USGS assessment of the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin in 2002…” and Kennedy reports the complete opposite.

Kennedy says the USGS “slashed its estimate on the amount of gas in the Marcellus Shale gas by 80%“.

The USGS reports that they increased their estimate from 2 TCF to 84 TCF.

So, does 40 times more than the last estimate translate into “slashed its estimate on the amount of gas in the Marcellus Shale by 80%“?

Does an increase from 2 TCF to 84 TCF translate into “slashed its estimate on the amount of gas in the Marcellus Shale by 80%“?

No, actually, it translates to an increase of 4100%.

Apparently, Mr. Kennedy has never heard of math.

What other conclusion could there be? Because, if Mr. Kennedy has heard of math and Mr. Kennedy knows how to use math then there is no possible way that he could solve for that result.

Unless of course there is another conclusion.

I can only think of two.

RFK Jr. was grossly misinformed and he failed to check his sources in order to keep himself from sounding ignorant or, RFK Jr. is intentionally fabricating information with an agenda and he is not above throwing caution to the wind or publishing complete falsehoods.

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