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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My job? Overseeing 4,050 wells...piece a cake

"Currently, DEP’s oil and gas management section has funding for 202 employees; about 83 of them have some kind of field inspection responsibilities, Mr. Perry said. They are either oil and gas inspectors, water quality specialists, solid waste inspectors, environmental trainees, or supervisors for all these categories. Oil and Gas Management had 45 employees in 2008 at the beginning of the Marcellus era." [...]

"In 2008, there were 1,262 inspections of 377 active, unconventional, Marcellus well sites, in addition to 10,058 inspections of 7,143 conventional, shallow wells in Pennsylvania. By 2013, those figures had grown to 12,391 inspections of 5,559 active, unconventional wells — nearly 15 times the number of wells in 2008 — and 11,713 inspections of 7,808 conventional, shallow wells. Inspectors also have to try to monitor the 330,000 other oil and gas wells — some active, many abandoned and dry — that have been drilled around the state over the last century and a half."

So. 83 inspectors for 5,559 fracking wells (plus another 330,000 "other" ones) across this fracking state...we'll just skip the shallow ones and nevermind the random spills into streams.

Lessee now, calculator time: 5, 559 + 330,000 = 335,559. Divide the number of wells by the 83 neutral people in charge of monitoring them (why would we trust the inspectors paid by the guarding the henhouse). Answer: ...each DEP inspector has upwards of 4,050 wells to monitor.

What could go wrong that wouldn't see the light of day?

Read farther into the PG article to see how the industry is further neutralizing the DEP by luring its most experienced inspectors away to work for the fracking companies, leaving the DEP inspections to lesser-trained, over-worked ones to protect us on their paltry government wages... .

Again, what could go wrong?