False Fact Checking from FactCheck.org: “More False Claims About Fracking”

Guest post by David Middleton

There has recently been an uproar about “fake news stories.”  Since the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of these nominally United States many have called for the censorship of fake news stories…

The war on ‘fake news’ is all about censoring real news

By Karol Markowicz December 4, 2016

Scrambling for an explanation for Donald Trump’s victory, many in the media and on the left have settled on the idea that his supporters were consumers of “fake news” — gullible rubes living in an alternate reality made Trump president.

To be sure, there is such a thing as actual fake news: made-up stories built to get Facebook traction before they can be debunked. But that’s not what’s really going on here.

What the left is trying to do is designate anything outside its ideological bubble as suspect on its face.

In October, President Obama complained that we need a “curating function” to deal with the “wild-wild-west-of-information flow.” Who would be doing this “curating” is unclear — but we can guess: “Obviously,” Noah Feldman writes at Bloomberg View, “it would be better if the market would fix the problem on its own . . . But if they can’t reliably do it — and that seems possible, since algorithms aren’t (yet) fact-checkers — there might be a need for the state to step in.”

In other words, censorship.

[…]

NY Post

“In October, President Obama complained that we need a ‘curating function’ to deal with the ‘wild-wild-west-of-information flow.’  Well, Mr. Soon-to-be-ex-President, we already have an entire cottage industry of “curators.”    One of these curators is a website called “FactCheck.org” and they have an amazing ability to get facts wrong and routinely deliver logically fallacious dissertations.  Here is their latest example:

factcheck

The chairman of the Senate environment committee falsely claimed that a new report “confirms” that “hydraulic fracturing has not impacted drinking water” in Wyoming. The report said a lack of water quality data predating oil and gas exploration prevented it from reaching “firm conclusions.”

Sen. James Inhofe, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, made his remarks in a statement issued Nov. 10 — the day that the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality issued a report on water-supply wells in Pavillion, a small town southeast of Yellowstone National Park.

The industry-funded state report specifically looked at the “likelihood of impacts from oil and gas operations” on 14 water-supply wells used by residents living near Pavillion. Since the 1990s, residents in the area have “complained of physical ailments and said their drinking water was black and tasted of chemicals,” ProPublica reported.

Inhofe, Nov. 10: The Wyoming DEQ’s thorough investigation over the past several years has come to a close and confirms what we’ve known all along: hydraulic fracturing has not impacted drinking water resources.

But that’s not what the report said.

The “fact sheet” for the Wyoming report said it’s “unlikely” that hydraulic fracturing had “any impacts” on these water-supply wells, but “[l]imited baseline water quality data, predating development of the Pavillion Gas Field hinders reaching firm conclusions on causes and effects of reported water quality changes.”

[…]

FactCheck.org

fallacy-ref-burdenofproof

Fifteen yards from the point of infraction, repeat fourth down.

The burden of proof is on those who assert that fracking pollutes groundwater.  FactCheck.org is shifting the burden of proof and employing a “distinction without a difference” fallacy in order to falsely claim that Senator Inhofe’s statement was a “false claim.”

Unless evidence is presented that fracking has polluted groundwater, this statement is 100% correct, if not elegantly worded:

The Wyoming DEQ’s thorough investigation over the past several years has come to a close and confirms what we’ve known all along: hydraulic fracturing has not impacted drinking water resources.

In 2011, the EPA issued a preliminary report that fracking was the likely cause of groundwater pollution in the Pavillion WY area.  The API shredded this report in 2012.  In 2013, the EPA cast doubt on their own report.  And now, the Wyoming DEQ has issued a report which “contradicts” the EPA’s 2011 junk science…

Wyoming study: Fracking likely not behind well water problem

A final state report released on foul-smelling well water in Wyoming contradicts an EPA report from five years ago that ignited a national backlash when it suggested hydraulic fracturing was the cause of the contamination

Nov. 10, 2016

By MEAD GRUVER, Associated Press

 

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A final state report released Thursday on foul-smelling well water in Wyoming contradicts an EPA report from five years ago that ignited a national backlash when it suggested hydraulic fracturing was the cause of the contamination.

 

Bacteria were more likely to blame for the problem in Pavillion than the oil and gas drilling process known as fracking, officials with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality said after a two-year study that was hailed by fracking advocates.

 

“Today’s announcement from the Wyoming DEQ doesn’t just close the case on Pavillion, it’s a knockout blow for activists who have tried to use Pavillion as a key talking point for their ban-fracking agenda,” said Randy Hildreth, Colorado director of Energy in Depth, an advocacy arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

[…]

Other EPA investigations into whether fracking caused groundwater pollution in Texas and Pennsylvania also failed to yield conclusive links.

 

The industry continues to assert the safety of fracking, which occurs in the drilling of almost every new oil and gas well.

 

Wyoming officials also called on the EPA in the report released Thursday to fill in and cap two wells it drilled to study groundwater in the Pavillion area.

 

The request underscores Wyoming officials’ position that the EPA’s science was bad and the chemistry of the well pipes probably led to its key findings, said Kevin Frederick, water quality administrator for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

 

“EPA installed the monitoring wells. We believe it’s their responsibility to plug and abandon them,” Frederick said.

 

US News

The irony is the fact that the groundwater pollutants identified by the EPA were likely the result of their own monitoring wells.

Media fact checkers like FactCheck.org and PolitiFact routinely employ “distinction without a difference” arguments to generate fake news stories.

In addition to the burden of proof and distinction without a difference fallacy, this statement was misleading and probably “unnecessary fear mongering”…

Pavillion, a small town southeast of Yellowstone National Park.

This was clearly to imply that any water pollution in Pavillion would imperil the pristine wilderness of nearby Yellowstone National Park. It is a meaningless geographical reference.  The entire State of Wyoming is southeast of Yellowstone National Park.  Pavillion is 170 miles southeast of the park.

yellowstone

Pavillion is southeast of Yellowstone National Park… As is just about every other municipality in Wyoming.

n2cixhu

Fifteen yards from the point of infraction, loss of down.

Logic Referee from Flag on the Argument.

Featured Image from Shutterstock.

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205 thoughts on “False Fact Checking from FactCheck.org: “More False Claims About Fracking”

  1. I have thrown these same flags on just about every fact check article I’ve read. Doubly so on the Washington Post’s Pinocchio ratings. Some people can not accept that others may have a different opinion on the nature of an article. I can disagree with conclusions and opinions, but not on facts that are facts. Data doesn’t lie, but the interpretation of the data has loads of room for creative interpretation.

    • Its not just fake news, its the omissions from the msm that is as big a problem.

      A lie by omission is still a lie !!

      • It’s even worse than that. All too often, the mainstream media take an outright partisan stand on these issues. And in Australia, they’re allowed to get away with blue murder.

      • Very true. My constant complaint with the BBC in the UK is not so much their stories (though there are problems there too) but the stories they do not run.

        Thus any heatwave gets massive coverage, but any abnormally cold weather is ignored. Good news on the economy when there’s a Tory government is limited, but bad news about the NHS is always front page. Any damaging comment by a Leftie or Alarmist is given prominence, no space is given to opposing views.

        What is generated is the impression of false consensus of opinion, and false sense of what is happening.

      • Absolutely, and half a lie is all lie. The MSM have no credibility. It would be understandable if once in awhile they got it wrong or missed the point, and quickly offered a correction; however, this is no longer the case. Ninety-five percent of the whores are unabashedly espousing liberal, leftist ideology as evidenced by the presidential campaign coverage. For example, the MSM used the Democrat Party talking points as their daily outline for news coverage. In one edition, the WaPo ran two editorials and one news story all three trashing some aspect President elect, Trump’s personality- no hard news or facts. I followed the WaPo election coverage for awhile and I counted forty-nine Trump slam pieces and zero positive, at the same time candidate Billary(the Mother of Lies) had nine total articles and/or editorials written, and every one was a glowing endorsement. Total lies, distortions and even fabrications are presented or printed with impunity.Truth in the media is now relative.

    • As well as the Washington Post, they should also fact check the BBC they just called Scott Pruitt a “climate change denier” both verbally and with a caption! So blatantly biased, I mean who denies that the climate changes? Also, with the amount of coverage they gave it I think the BBC was more upset than China that Taiwan’s President telephoned Trump!

  2. “The request underscores Wyoming officials’ position that the EPA’s science was bad and the chemistry of the well pipes probably led to its key findings,”

    Sloppy science on the EPA’s part.

    • Trump names Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general suing EPA on …

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/trump-names-scott-pruitt-oklahoma-att…
      22 mins ago – In a move signaling an intention to dismantle President Obama’s climate change and environmental legacy, President-elect Trump will nominate Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of the oil and gas intensive state of Oklahoma, to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

      • I hope the EPA is de-fanged, and re-named ~ the EAA, Environmental Advisory Agency.

        It has effectively become the EPR ~Envionmental Protection Racket, to a great extent, it seems to me.

    • Let us not forget that this is same EPA that ignored experts and their own procedures when they busted open the Gold King mine and polluted hundreds of mile of rivers. The EPA is composed of more lawyers than engineers and scientists, thus I take EPA “science” with a grain of salt.

      • Good point. Perhaps we should count the number of lawyers in a agency and budget in inverse proportion. (Sorry Ristvan!)

    • similarly, the fake scientists surveying the ozone hole frog killing UV deaths were going around killing the frogs by infecting them with chitrid fungus.
      similarly, the fencing off of land to protect butterflies broke their life cycle and killed them off.
      and their motto is ‘if it ain’t broke- fix it till it is’

  3. The MSM’s attack on “Fake News” is going to backfire on them because the MSM is the purveyor of most of the fake news circulating around. These “fact checkers” are just one example of the fake news.

    • What was it Dan Rather said in an attempt to justify his attempt to manufacture a memo that proved Bush was AWOL from the National Guard?
      Fake but accurate.

      • “Fake but accurate”…

        A decade after Dan Rather’s career ended over an attempt to pass off forged documents about President Bush’s military service, Robert Redford is working on a movie about the case. The movie is based on CBS producer Mary Mapes’ book “Truth”, which denies the truth that the documents were not written on a 70s typewriter, but in Microsoft Word.

        That scandal led to the coining of the phrase, “Fake, but Accurate”. Ten years later, they’re still fake but accurate.

        Rathergate has many similarities to the Rolling Stone rape hoax. Both ignored the basic rules of journalism to pursue a narrative. The narrative was so full of holes that bloggers and even casual readers realized that something was wrong and stepped in where the professional journalists had failed.

        […]

        http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/254641/rathergate-rolling-stone-fake-accurate-daniel-greenfield

  4. Almost every “official” fact checker that I have been able to locate has turned out to be nothing more than another leftist trying to discredit any information that doesn’t support the left wing world view.

  5. Here’s the study from Stanford University, which uses the same datasets, which definitively says that fracking has contaminated the water, and which wasn’t used in the DEQ report. http://news.stanford.edu/2016/03/29/pavillion-fracking-water-032916/

    And here’s where the larger EPA study was altered at the last minute to remove references to say (inaccurately) that no widespread, systemic pollution issues that were found, under political pressure to avoid blowback from oil and gas producers. http://www.marketplace.org/2016/11/29/world/epa-s-late-changes-fracking-study-portray-lower-pollution-risk

    The fact-checkers are right. Once again big money walks over the little guy.

    • Too fracking funny!!!

      A new study by Stanford scientists published in Environmental Science & Technology finds for the first time that fracking operations near Pavillion have had clear impact to underground sources of drinking water. The research paints a picture of unsafe practices including the dumping of drilling and production fluids containing diesel fuel, high chemical concentrations in unlined pits and a lack of adequate cement barriers to protect groundwater.

      The Stanford “scientists” apparently don’t know what fracking is!

      • The EPA’s revision to the Executive Summary of their report was probably due to the fact that the report itself didn’t document any fracking-related contamination of drinking water.

      • Sir Harry December 7, 2016 at 9:52 am
        How do you figure?

        1. I know what fracking is.
        2. I can read.

        The research paints a picture of unsafe practices including the dumping of drilling and production fluids containing diesel fuel, high chemical concentrations in unlined pits and a lack of adequate cement barriers to protect groundwater.

        Even if the above is accurate (highly doubtful), it’s not fracking.

      • This language indicates that the well water contamination was from surface contaminates that leached into the water table. Therefore, it could apply to any drill site, fracking or not. It fact, it could apply to any industry that did not properly manage process and waste fluids. It does not indicate that the hydraulic fracturing process directly impacted water quality, which is what the Stanford study was trying to prove.

        Considering that the “well field has gone through several corporate hands since the 1960s” did Stanford attempt to determine how much of the contamination was from a period when the US didn’t regulate drill sites.

        Also, I’m always interested in knowing who paid for the research because it’s amazing how may times the results just happen to deliver what the customer is paying for.

      • Yeah. They basically confirmed that the EPA polluted its own monitoring wells and that there is some evidence of leakage from old disposal pits…

        Detection of organic compounds used for well stimulation in samples from two monitoring wells installed by EPA, plus anomalies in major ion concentrations in water from one of these monitoring wells, provide additional evidence of impact to USDWs and indicate upward solute migration to depths of current groundwater use. Detections of diesel range organics and other organic compounds in domestic wells <600 m from unlined pits used prior to the mid-1990s to dispose diesel-fuel based drilling mud and production fluids suggest impact to domestic wells as a result of legacy pit disposal practices.

        https://jacksonlab.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/digiulio_jackson_est_2016.pdf

        The organic compounds and “diesel range organics” aren’t unique to fracking and appear to have been the result of the EPA’s abysmal drilling practices of their monitoring wells.

        The authors pontificate that solutes, primarily from acid stimulation jobs, have had time to migrate up to the lowest reaches of groundwater reservoirs. Nothing in the paper provides any evidence that fracking polluted any groundwater in the Pavillion area.

      • The 2016 Stanford study was simply a repackaging of the EPA’s flawed 2011 preliminary report…

        DEQ geologist Nicole Twing, who presented the findings of the down-hole camera investigation, explained the importance of the flow rate in an interview with EID:

        “You have low flow rates that increase the time water is in contact with those drilling materials, and materials used in drilling mud can affect groundwater quality. You don’t know if it’s biasing the results up or down.” (emphasis added)

        In other words, DEQ found that the water at the bottom of that well was both stagnant and apparently contaminated by the very materials that EPA used to build the monitoring well. That means any water samples taken from the well would not be representative of the water outside the well, which presumably had not been contaminated by EPA’s drilling materials.

        Due to all the problems with its data, EPA refused to submit its draft report for peer-review, and instead turned the investigation over to state regulators to complete the investigation.

        Since then, other researchers have looked at EPA’s monitoring wells and come to the same conclusion. In fact, GSI Environmental recently published a comment in Environmental Science and Technology, explaining that a 2016 report suggesting that oil and natural gas production contaminated water wells in Pavillion, Wyoming, is based on faulty data due to problems with EPA’s monitoring wells. As they concluded:

        “In sum, we find no evidence of impacts by hydraulic fracturing to the groundwater resources actually being utilized by the local community. The water quality of the two monitoring wells most likely reflects natural salinity conditions combined with organic contaminants that may have been introduced during installation of the monitoring wells.” (emphasis added)

      • Well said, David M. Whatever is being described in the article is not fracking. Production fluids don’t contain diesel fuel, high concentations of chemicals and are not disposed of in pits. Fracking occurs all over the place. If ground water contamination was a high probability, there’d be far more instances claimed out there. The technology is over 50 years old. It’s just that no one really knew about it until the greens decided to vilify it.

      • Just to inject (unintended pun) a bit of reality to all this abstract debate, I’ve spent some time in Pavilion. Over a decade, twice a year every year moving livestock between Lincoln county WY and Riverton. It’s not a big place and about the only reason most people go there is on the way to somewhere else (Lander and Thermopolis come to mind).

        Wyoming is pretty lax about what happens on Native American land, it’s not hard to believe surface contamination of a well, and it’s happened intentionally more than once. I personally walked away from a ranch in Duboise over contested water rights. Unless you were born on the reservation its best not to consider living there. Fracking doesn’t make sense anyway, it’s too deep.

        Last census has about 200 people in Pavilion, that matches my recollection. Pavilion is a wide spot in the road south of Crowheart. It has a gas station and a bar, I’ve never been there when the bar looked like it was open.

    • Sir Harry, I hope you don’t vote. You lack reading comprehension. Dumping drilling and production fluids into unlined pits is not fracking. It is waste disposal.

    • Sir Harry, the only thing you have proven is that you don’t know how to read the sources that you cite as proving you right.

    • If you set out to intentionally frack into a groundwater reservoir, you could pump frack fluid into it… Only the EPA is that incompetent…

      Wyoming Regulators Ask EPA to Plug Flawed Pavillion Monitoring Wells

      November 15, 2016
      by Randy Hildreth

      Last week, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WYDEQ) released its final groundwater report, which found no evidence of contamination from fracking in Pavillion. That finding rightly generated a lot of headlines, but what received less attention, is the fact that the DEQ also asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to plug and abandon its now infamous monitoring wells drilled in 2011 as part of its investigation into water contamination claims.

      In a fact sheet released with their report the DEQ requested that EPA do this due to the “potential hazard they pose in relation to groundwater supplies and physical safety.” In a conference call to discuss their report, Kevin Frederick, water quality administrator for WYDEQ official highlighted the fundamental flaws in EPA’s monitoring wells that, as EID has previously reported, have plagued the credibility of the EPA’s Pavillion investigation for years. From the WYDEQ:

      “Of particular concern to us was that the monitoring wells were constructed using what’s known in the industry as black pipe. It is our understanding initially that the wells were to be constructed using casing that had no coating. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. These monitoring wells were constructed with black coating. Our analysis indicates that the coating is essentially used to help discourage rust from developing on the outside of the casing and so forth. Unfortunately the coating in many cases contains petroleum hydrocarbons, and it’s a concern to us that during the installation that some of that material may have actually become dislodged while the casing was being installed and ended up in the water samples that were being taken.” (23:30-24:42)

      In other words, WYDEQ believes that EPA may have contaminated its own monitoring wells with hydrocarbons. Of course, EID has pointed out on many occasions that despite originally reporting that they had used stainless steel, EPA had actually used pipe that was completely inappropriate for a groundwater monitoring well. But as WYDEQ points out, the problems were only beginning.

      […]

      https://energyindepth.org/mtn-states/wyoming-regulators-ask-epa-to-plug-flawed-pavillion-monitoring-wells/

  6. Organizations like Jon Podesta’s ThinkProgress (where dishonest Joe Romm plies his deceit-craft) and Ceres.org are charging headlong into the fake news business to promote a political agenda of Big Government control over every facet of modern life.

    What is now popularly referred to as Fake news is really just plain old propaganda. The best way to write propaganda is to first make a true statement, and then wrap the deception in it. Climate change is the ultimate propaganda deception, because it begins with the truth that the climate has warmed over the last 160 years, about the time mankind starting burning fossils fuels and CO2 began rising.

    Obama’s desire to push FCC title II regulations and controls onto the internet is part of the larger hidden agenda of censorship. The freeing of ICANN from the US Dept of Commerce, where First Amendment protections were enforcable, is also part of that agenda to bring censorship to the domestic US internet.

    This is a big deal and it remains to be seen how President Trump will behave. Will he come to embrace the idea of a censored internet (the path the Progressives are on)? Or will he and his appointtees roll back the march to censorship? The first indications as to his direction will be what he and the GOP Congress do about the new FCC’s internet regs under the Democrat FCC chairman Tom Wheeler at the moment.

    • “because it begins with the truth that the climate has warmed over the last 160 years”

      Warmed *and* cooled over the last 160 years (over the entire history of the Earth, for that matter). I know you are aware of this, I just wanted to emphasize the point.

    • “Obama’s desire to push FCC title II regulations and controls onto the internet is part of the larger hidden agenda of censorship. The freeing of ICANN from the US Dept of Commerce, where First Amendment protections were enforcable, is also part of that agenda to bring censorship to the domestic US internet.”

      The Left is intent on silencing their political opposition. The more political power they acquire, the more they try to silence people.

      We got lucky on Nov. 8. If Hillary Clinton were elected she would have doubled down on all these measures to shut others up.

      All Totalitarian organizations try to shut down the opposition by punshing them if they don’t go along with the totalitarian program. Every dictator does it, and some religious leaders do it, and that’s what the Democrat Party and the Left are trying to do in the United States, and what the Left in Europe has been even more successful at doing.

      This last election has really harmed the nasty MSM. It’s probably not fatal, but their influence may not now be what it once was. That’s a very good thing. Trump prefers to ignore them and communicate directly to the people. That’s a very good thing.

      There is a new world taking shape. Very interesting.

      • I usually don’t comment on things political. There is, however, an increasingly clear progression of events that suggest that Obama and his crew are fully engaged in two aspects of strategy and tactics. You will recognize both. First, Cloward and Piven (Columbia U) promote disruption of society by over-loading systems and creating chaos. Second, Alinski tactics are obvious in all Democratic Party actions. Wouldn’t it be instructive to open Obama’s Columbia University records!

    • Tanks for writing that explanation of “fake news” before I had to Joel, yu covered all the important dirt.

      I’m not concerned about ICANN, it was never more than a kludge anyway. If it gets out of line we just stop using it. DNS is distributed for a reason.

  7. Catching people spreading fake news and embarrassing them I think is the only solution to that problem. There are many both left and right who fabricate “color” for whatever meme it is they are promoting. The fact checking that goes on on this sight is far more useful even if the process is a messy discussion that involves hauling out graphs and links to specific papers and commentary by knowledgeable observers. People have been complaining about “yellow journalism” for a long time and the only solution is a news organization that establishes itself as a promoter of solid journalism that leaves political opinion to the editorial page.

    • “Catching people spreading fake news and embarrassing them I think is the only solution to that problem.”

      I agree. Don’t shut them up, shame them with the real facts.

      • Unfortunately, this leads to a long game of whack-a-mole, where the propagandist starts to push a story line, which takes on significant buy-in from the ignorant before it can be hammered down with the facts. By the time you have whacked that mole, another one pops up pushing a completely different line.

        You are quickly exhausted and the moles keep popping up.

    • There is no such thing as a news source that leaves politics to the opinion page.
      Some are less explicit than others, but it is always there.
      People just aren’t built that way. You are looking for something that never has and never will happen.
      The only solution is to get information from a number of sources and spend time validating stories that are important to you.
      Yes, it’s a lot of work. But it’s the only sure way.
      (You can rely on someone that you trust to do some of this verification for you, however you still have to spot check them from time to time to see if they are letting their own biases seep into their work.)

      • The New York Times is to the Democrat Religion what the Watchtower is to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      • Agreed Mark. The price of truth is constant vigilance. There’s no way to legislate it, in fact any attempt should be treated with the utmost suspicion. Open communication is the only defense against lies.

      • Bartelby…I agree the rumbling around the political circles that “something should be done about fake news” is just the harbinger to censorship of “politically incorrect” views. The internet is the new press and congress should pass no law to regulate content perhaps it should investigate a way to apply libel law and have courts assess monetary damages for false malicious claims. Otherwise it should be noted that the height of hypocrisy on this issue is displayed every single time a piece of climate change alarmism blaming CO2 is published below a picture of a steam cooling tower or a smoggy cityscape or a poor starving polar bear is represented as anything but recovering as a population.

  8. “Only one industry is allowed to inject toxic chemicals into underground sources of drinking water – hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

    This is so bogus. The rules for getting any well permit are specifically designed to protect underground sources of drinking water. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY is allowed to contaminate drinking water.

    I can’t read the actual study because it is paywalled, so the person writing the article either misinterpreted the study or the study is wrong.

    • Does anyone know of someone ….. or ever heard of anyone, …. in the US of A, ….. that had to pay a water-well driller to drill farther than 5,000 feet into the ground in order to acquire a reliable supply of drinking water ….. only to have their water-well contaminated by those nasty gas-well “frackers”?


      Read more @ http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/OCD/education.html

      • Thanks for the great visual! And although it isn’t widely known outside the industry, just about every sand deeper than 1000′ from surface is loaded with unpotable salt water, with a few notable exceptions, mostly in the Rockies.

      • The deepest water well I’ve ever used was in Lincoln County WY; 755 feet and it was drilled by an idiot back in 1976 (not me, I acquired it with the ranch). It delivered a bare 10 gpm. After buying the ranch it was on I drilled a 250′ well about a hundred yards from it and hit 100+ gpm on an ancient aquifer that was visible to the naked eye (dried up creek bed following diversion by a irrigation project in 1959).

        Water wells, even in Wyoming, aren’t deep. There also not all that hard to find, but don’t get me started on that.

      • @ wws – December 7, 2016 at 1:56 pm

        And although it isn’t widely known outside the industry, just about every sand deeper than 1000′ from surface is loaded with unpotable salt water

        OH, my, my, ….. wws, …… it had done slipped my mind bout my High School learnin of State History and the historical reason for the founding of the City of Charleston, WV, ….. to wit:

        Excerpted from “OUR HISTORY”

        William Dickinson, of Bedford County, Va., became one of our nation’s first economic and geographic pioneers. He saw a potential business opportunity on the far side of the Allegheny Mountains in Kanawha County, Va., where he had heard that people were boiling brine from springs for the resulting salt. In 1813 Dickinson invested in “salt properties” along the Kanawha River in the Appalachian Mountains and was making salt by 1817. The industry flourished in western Virginia and the town of Malden became “the salt making capital of the east”.
        Read more @ @ http://www.jqdsalt.com/timeline/

    • Enviro-activists of course would never ever contaminate drinking water themselves and then blame it on someone else, would they?

      • Nor would they ever plant hairs from an endangered species in order to justify closing an area to development.

        But they did.

    • Snopes’ classic is it’s claim that Al Gore never claimed that he invented the Internet…

      CLAIM: Vice-President Al Gore claimed during a news interview that he “invented” the Internet.

      FALSE

      […]

      When asked to describe what distinguished him from his challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Gore replied (in part):

      During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.

      In context, Gore’s response (which employed the word “created,” not “invented”) was clear in meaning:
      the vice president was not claiming that he “invented” the Internet in the sense of having designed or implemented it, but rather that he was one of the visionaries responsible for helping to bring it into being by fostering its development in an economic and legislative sense,

      […]

      http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp

      Snopes is the poster child for distinction without a difference fallacies.

      • David,

        Snopes is a left wing spinner of extremely high velocity. Some of there distictions without a difference, such as the one you have pointed out, are quite beyond the pale. I still check them once in a while to get a chuckle. Many times they simply do not cover issues which their spinning cannot deal with. Which is another tool in the lefties’ bag of tricks, simply ignore issues which they cannot lie into oblivion.

      • David –

        That part is actually true; Gore did participate very heavily in the commercial creation of the internet. He was one of many politicians who paved the way through protectionist red tape created my the telcos and guarded by the FCC. is efforts were significant. I speak from personal experience. He was there and you can be quite sure he made money on the deal. Look up “Smart Valley” for connections.

    • Ha, beat me to it on Snopes being right there alongside Factcheck and Politifact, although, sometimes Snopes is correct on non-political items.

  9. Fake news.
    Too funny.
    When hillary spread fake news about a youtube video…
    Her defense was..
    What difference does it make.

    • Steven Mosher,

      One of her “fake news” claims was featured in the video below. Fake news comes in at least 2 forms: 1) outright BS and distortions, but just as importantly, 2) the suppression of truthful news by the dominant news providers. We know about both of them. Lies of omission are lies nevertheless.

      The alternative new media is highlighting the fake news in the MSM. This whole MSM meme of fake news is going to backfire on the MSM, the greatest source of fake news.

    • “When hillary spread fake news about a youtube video…
      Her defense was..
      What difference does it make.”

      That’s not fake news. It’s the truth. Hillary *did* spread fake news about a video. She claimed the video caused the Benghazi attack. That’s a lie/fake news.

      And Hillary did say “What difference does it make”, so that’s true also.

      No fake news here.

      • @TA
        Steven was making those precise points. In a rare moment, he’s aligned with the majority of the denizens here. I know lots of people enjoy bashing Mosher, but knee-jerk replies like yours are just embarrassing.

      • D.J.Hawkins wrote: @TA, Steven was making those precise points. In a rare moment, he’s aligned with the majority of the denizens here.”

        Well, now that you mention it, and I reread it, I guess he was.

        D.J.: “I know lots of people enjoy bashing Mosher, but knee-jerk replies like yours are just embarrassing.”

        Actually, I do not enjoy bashing Mosher, I just misinterpreted what he was saying. I thought he was casting doubt on, rather than making a straightforward statement of fact, based on his past tendencies.

        I was just trying to refute what I thought he said. I wasn’t trying to personally bash Mosher. I try to treat everyone with respect, no matter what side they are on.

        Writing on the internet can cause confusion and misinterpretation sometimes, and it’s good to explain oneself once in a while.

        And I don’t fault you for trying to right a wrong as you see it. That’s what you should do.

  10. President Obama complained that we need a “curating function” to deal with the “wild-wild-west-of-information flow.”

    George Orwell had a Department for that Mr. President. He called it the “Ministry of Truth.” We know it by many names: The New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Hollywood. I think what the President is suggesting is that we roll all these purveyors of propaganda up under one centralized organization so that they can all get “their stories straight.”

    • Probably not a coincidence that each of the outlets that you cite has been losing audience over the past 5-6 years, particularly NYT, and CNN

    • On Drudge today there is a story about CNN being sued for racial discrimination.
      It seems that over the years blacks have not been promoted at the same rate as whites.
      For years, CNN has been in the fore front of organizations demanding that disparate impact be the standard by which such suits were to be judged.
      Wonder if they still believe that, now that the shoe is on the other foot.

      • No they believe that as part of the propaganda ministry that they should have special exemption from those rules that apply to the rest of us.

  11. The fracking contaminates groundwater canard has been around for years. It relies on two big dishonest misconceptions. Fresh groundwater is almost always from aquifers not more than a few hundrd feet deep. Production wells are usually double cased in concrete/steel down about 1000 feet, far past any fresh groundwater aquifers. My farm taps 2: one at about 65 feet and one at about 120 feet. The source rock shales that get fracked are by definition buried very deep to have undergone catagenesis. Typically they are a mile or more below the surface.
    Specific to Pavillion Wyoming, the deepest water well in SW Wyoming is 700 feet (they all have to be registered and tested). The target shale formation is the Niobrara. Around Pavillion, it is 8000 feet down. A solid rock vertical separation of 1.4 miles when fracking causes cracks in maybe a 100 meter radius at best in the horizontal plane, less in the vertical. Info courtesy state of Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, exactly one google click away.

    • Pretty much by definition, there needs to be a layer of impermeable rock above the area being fracked.
      If there weren’t, the oil or gas would have escaped to the surface millennia ago.

      • Actually, while an immediately overlying caprock is always necessary for a conventional porous reservoir sourced from an underlying source rock shale, it does not have to be true for source rock shales themselves depending on the local geology. The more there is horizontal autofracturing and vertical thrust faulting, the more a caprock is important. Essay Matryoshka Reserves explains this in detail using Russia’s Bahzenov shale as the example.

    • Ristvan writes: “the deepest water well in SW Wyoming is 700 feet (they all have to be registered and tested).”

      I think you found my old well. Far as I know it was a bit deeper than that but not much. It was certainly the deepest I’d ever heard of in SW Wyoming. Etna to be exact.

  12. The reference to Yellowstone park is similar to the greenies campaign against the Adaami coal mine being proposed in Australia where its proximity is going to damage the Great Barrier Reef a mere 400 kilometres away.

  13. I’ve argued that the fact checking orgs during the election were subverted by left manipulators. They even were finding false what were clearly satirical jokes by Trump. The other weasels media were consulting were the ‘nonpartisan’ economists who evaluated statements about proposed tax cuts and policy prescriptions, projected growth rates and their costs. They basically used zero sum assumptions and indices derived from historical performance of establishment politicians. These would not admit as possible foreign investment potential like the recent Japanese proposal for 50 billion inv with 50k jobs – precisely because lefties never got that kind of interest and the global model was a further divestment one.

    Don’t forget the new totalitarian left’s policy is to shift us to a global kumbaya system run by billionaire socialist-elites. Traditional socialists have even been rendered redundant; they just don’t know that they are only useful fools now – ironically a concept of their own invention.

    Unfettered information flow has proved to be a solid wall blocking their plans. So “fake news” is their diabolical response. Transference anyone? WUWT would be high up on the list to block. We know they have a ready and willing phalanx of useful, unquestioning faithful who would appear to be the majority. We get our share coming to disrupt this site regularly. I think with this earthshaking election result In USA we dodged a bullet for now. Only in the USA could this have happened. The rest of the world had already passed the end of freedom tipping point.

    • “The rest of the world had already passed the end of freedom tipping point.”

      With good leadership, the poor ole world might just manage to survive its totalitarianism.

      When a template looks like it is working, others notice and want to emulate what they see. Success has momentum and the more success, the more momentum, to the point that it might just spread to the entire planet. Or maybe not. We’ll see.

      You do notice lots of people jumping on the Trump train lately, don’t you? That’s because he is looking like a winner and people want to be associated, and be around, and be friendly with a winner.

      Donald, we will definitely *not* get tired of you winning for us. And if he wins a little for the rest of the world, so much the better. 44 days.

  14. The good news is that only liberals go to factcheck.org so it has no effect on people who can think for themselves. And every now and then, accidentally perhaps, factcheck.org gets closer to the truth than not. Maybe some of their liberal readership will occasionally reconsider a few of the myths they’ve peddled.

  15. The EPA drilled their own wells? That is not irony. That is fraudulent. Pavilion, WY is a town with no tap water of its own, and no water department?

    Lock them up…

    • The water contamination was reported by individuals who have their own wells, as is common in Wyoming. The population of Pavillion is under 300, so there may or may not be a “water department”. The wells in question were from rural Pavillion, not the town itself.

  16. Is “fake news” like claiming the Benghazi attack was triggered by a Youtube video? Yeah, we sure need to clamp down on irresponsible loose cannons putting junk like that out to the public …

    • Well, now the radio says “leaning-towards” Pruitt. I guess I misheard her.

      I was not practicing “fake News” I assure you. :) Would have sworn she said “had picked”.

      • I was listening to a radio station newscast. It’s not fake news, they just aren’t very specific. Probably because they are getting slightly conflicting reports. They have described this supposed nomination a different way every time they report it.

        You wouldn’t want to depend on them for breaking news, which was my mistake. Although it does look like Pruitt is going to be the pick (from other sources:).

  17. Good news!

    From Reuters today:

    U.S. President-elect Donald Trump plans to appoint Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, a Trump transition team source said on Wednesday.

    Pruitt was elected Oklahoma’s attorney general in November 2010 and has focused on restoring more regulatory oversight to states and limiting federal regulations.

    As his state’s top legal official, he sued the agency is he poised to lead multiple times, including a pending lawsuit to topple the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of Democratic President Barack Obama’s climate change strategy.

    Pruitt on Wednesday held his second meeting with Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20.

    (Reporting by David Shepardson and Valerie Volcovici; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)

    • They are citing the Reuters report I cited, which said “plans to appoint”. Looks like it is a done deal, but …

      • Yep. The Grey Lady reports Pruitt has been named the nominee. I see Harry Reid’s nuclear option being invoked to clear the Senate, same as with Jeff Session for AG. A fox in the hen house. “Elections have consequences.”

      • Poor Coral Davenport was probably sobbing as she wrote the article…

        Donald Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Ally of Fossil Fuel Industry, to Lead E.P.A.

        By CORAL DAVENPORT DEC. 7, 2016

        WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, a transition official said, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change.

        Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as a hoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to fight climate change, and attacked Mr. Obama’s signature global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan, as a “war on coal.”

        […]

        As Oklahoma’s top law enforcement official, Mr. Pruitt has fought environmental regulations — particularly the climate change rules. Although Mr. Obama’s rules were not completed until 2015, Mr. Pruitt was one of a handful of attorneys general, along with Greg Abbott of Texas, who began planning as early as 2014 for a coordinated legal effort to fight them. That resulted in a 28-state lawsuit against the administration’s rules. A decision on the case is pending in a federal court, but it is widely expected to advance to the Supreme Court.

        As Mr. Pruitt has sought to use legal tools to fight environmental regulations on the oil and gas companies that are a major part of his state’s economy, he has also worked with those companies.

        […]

        Industries that Mr. Pruitt regulates have also joined him as plaintiffs in court challenges, a departure from the usual role of the state attorney general, who traditionally sues companies to force compliance with state law.

        […]

        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/07/us/politics/scott-pruitt-epa-trump.html?_r=0

      • The NY Times did one thing right: they called Pruit a “climate dissenter.” That’s better than the AP’s “doubter.” It’s even better than “contrarian.”

  18. “Every American should be appalled that President-elect Trump just picked someone who has made a career of being a vocal defender for polluters to head our Environmental Protection Agency,” Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen said in an emailed statement. “He has fought Environmental Protection Agency pollution limits on toxic substances like soot and mercury that put us all at risk for increased cancer, childhood asthma and other health problems. He falsely claims that fracking doesn’t contaminate drinking water supplies.”

    Keep lying. How’s it working out so far?

    • If the fact checkers had any integrity, that statement would earn a few dozen Pinocchio’s all by itself.

    • “Keep lying. How’s it working out so far?”

      George W. Bush, aka “shrub”, wasn’t the most honest operator either, so keep in mind that you might be eating your words 8 years from now? Personally, I’m a skeptic. A dyed in the wool skeptic who’s never met a politician he liked.

      We can celebrate this victory, but only briefly. After 1/20/17, we go back on guard.

  19. A gift that will keep on giving:

    More from ThinkProgress.org on the Pruitt nomination:

    “Though the EPA’s role is largely codified in law, much of this law is vague. Many of the EPA’s most powerful rules, such as the Clean Power Plan, were developed at the agency’s discretion, in an attempt to find the best way to limit carbon emissions, which it is required to do. These rules could be undone, reconsidered, or rolled back significantly by new leadership. Moreover, though many of these efforts to limit environmental regulation would likely be challenged in court, the Supreme Court will soon be controlled by Republicans once again, and thus is likely to go along with a deregulatory agenda.”

    From your mouth to God’s ear!

    • There is nothing that requires the EPA to limit CO2 emissions. There is a court ruling that they are permitted to do so. Which is not the same thing, at least out here in the real world it isn’t.

      • It is now more legally complicated since EPA issued an endangerment finding; changingnthat ties things up,in litigation ‘forever’. Easiest path in my opinion is a simple CAA amendment fixing the completely open and circular pollutant definition: a gas essential for photosynthesis and therefore beneficial to plants to 1200 ppm, and not harmul to animals at 8000 ppm, is not a pollutant for purposes of this act.

      • The EPA is legally bound to regulate CO2 due to the endangerment filing. It can revoke the endangerment filing; however it has to do so in a manner that is neither arbitrary nor capricious.

        Since the endangerment finding issued by Lisa Jackson was 100% arbitrary and capricious, it should be fairly easy for Scott Pruitt to 86 it.

      • David, Rud –

        I believe I’d cite the US Navy’s practices aboard submarines. I suggest Peter Benet’s (M.D.) well researched collection “The Physiology and Medicine of Diving”. I own the 4th edition. It sets limits for safe exposures to CO2.

  20. First, let me say I do not believe fracking harms drinking water. My problem with the statement, “…confirms what we’ve known all along: hydraulic fracturing has not impacted drinking water resources.” is in two parts: 1. A lack of sufficient information to confirm a positive hypothesis (fracking has harmed drinking water there) is not the same thing as confirming the negative (fracking has NOT harmed drinking water there). 2. “confirms what we’ve know all along” at least creates the impression, if not the reality, of confirmation bias.

    • JL, cannot speak to Wyoming, but in Pennsylvania where the Marcellus is fracked for natural gas, by state law each water well within a certain radius (if I recall correctly a mile) of a frack well has to be tested before the well is spudded and after the well is completed. No differences before and after is absolute proof positive that fracking does not contaminate ground water. We are now talking thousands of wells over several years. There was exactly one well that showed a problem likely owing to improperly set casing. It was immediately plugged and abandoned and the groundwater returned to prewell baseline in about 6 weeks.

      • Wyoming started that rule in 2013. They check within a half mile radius, I believe. However, since many, many wells have no baseline, these are what are brought up as examples of contamination. Then one cannot prove contamination by fracking nor can they prove contamination by another source. It’s just not possible to know. Now, with any new wells, we will know.

        There has been fracking in Wyoming for decades and no complaints until about 2010 when a rural Pavillion resident claimed his well was contaminated by fracking. Since wells in Wyoming often have marginally drinkable water (RO systems are very common—”good drinking water” claims on rural wells can be very misleading. In the development next to mine, the actual water report said “can be made drinkable” but the ads to sell the land said “good water”. I guess it’s all in the interpretation of what is said.), such a claim is suspect. Plus, there are many ways to contaminate well water sources.

      • It may be worth observing that many wells in SW WY produce radon gas as a naturally occurring function of drilling through granite for access to a deep aquifer. It has nothing to do with “fracking”, it has to do with the fact granite is radioactive.

        This is the problem with a legal approach to the sciences. No matter where you go, there you are. As Sam Clemens once said (sort of); “It ain’t the things ya know that’ll kill ya! It’s the things ya know that just ain’t so!”

    • You can’t confirm a negative.

      These two statements effectively say the same thing:

      “There is no evidence that hydraulic fracturing has impacted drinking water resources.”

      “This confirms what we’ve known all along: hydraulic fracturing has not impacted drinking water resources.”

      Until such time as we know differently, hydraulic fracturing has not impacted drinking water resources. If, at some point in the future, evidence arises that hydraulic fracturing has impacted drinking water resources, it will contradict “what we’ve known all along.”

      Sen. Inhofe could have worded his statement better and not afforded FactCheck.org an opportunity to label his assertion as false, based on a distinction without a difference fallacy.

  21. The Sierra Club speaks:

    “Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires … He is a climate science denier who, as Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma, regularly conspired with the fossil fuel industry to attack EPA regulations.”

  22. Nothing here surprises me. I’ve dealt with the same sort of behaviour from every green organization I’ve encountered in my years in the nuclear industry. I now mentally replace the word “activist” and “progressive” with “liar” whenever they come up. Expect FactCheck to continue referring to the original EPA report as the definitive facts on fracking especially in Pavilion even though there is countering factual evidence from the DEQ.
    Don’t expect the EPA to get around to capping their wells real soon either.

    • John writes: ” I now mentally replace the word “activist” and “progressive” with “liar” whenever they come up.”

      I prefer totalitarian socialist myself. Similar idea but I think my version has more “punch”.

  23. Pruitt as head of EPA??? Man, we’re gonna start winning so much we’re gonna get sick of winning!

    (nah, I don’t think that can happen. but I think it’s worth a try just to see if it can)

    • wws writes: “Man, we’re gonna start winning so much we’re gonna get sick of winning!”

      Yep. That’s what happened when Clinton the First gave us GWB. We got cocky and it cost us all 20 trillion dollars. That’s so many zeros I’ll e long dead before I can count them.

      Clinton the Second has given us Trump the first. Let’s not screw this up again? Becuase if it goes south again this time, Bernie is going to look like the Savior Incarnate. We don’t dare mess this up. So stay frosty.

      • While that’s in moderation, I’d appreciate it if you changed that lonely ‘e’ to ‘be’? And “Trump the first” should be “Trump the First”.

        Thanks.
        Bart.

      • Re 20 trillion dollar figure: the sun is only 15 trillion centimeters from earth. 20 trillion bucks Joined end to end would stretch out to go to the sun and back ten times. Talk about immoral.

  24. Major Fake News episode by POTUS of the presidency that’s coming to an end: 97% of scientists think CAGW is real and dangerous. Wrong on 97% (whether the Cook butchery of statistics or the earlier version), and adding the dangerous bit.

    CNN, another provider of fake news over the last 15 years: Christiane Amanpour, clearly narked by Trump’s victory, upped the ante to 99.9% of scientists when saying that “deniers” (her words – not mine) should not get even air time with 99.9% of scientists believing CAGW.

    • Look, if the “deniers” arguments are specious, that will come out. If the AGW arguments are specious that will come out. If both arguments have pluses and minuses then we have a continuing debate with both sides at the table.

      If shutting down conversation is the best argument AGW proponents have, then they are the ones who should be denied air-time.

  25. Amendment I (of the US Bill of Rights)

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Many of the men who wrote The Bill of Rights were also involved in writing the US Constitution. I think they knew what they meant my “Congress” and “no law”.
    Yet those words have been warped into “separation of Church and State” (minus the “or prohibiting”) and further warped to the point that HS football coach can’t have a voluntary prayer with his players on the football field and a private business has to a $100,000 fine because they chose not to bake a cake that went against their beliefs. (No, I’m not talking about those who refused to decorate a cake to honor a policeman, That was OK.)
    This “fake news” stuff is just a salvo aimed at warping freedom of speech and of the press to mean “freedom of approved speech and of approved news”.
    Those in power will those who do the approving.
    Censorship of the internet is want they want. They don’t control it … yet.

    • “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

      Congress and other elected officials are restricted from establishing an official state religion, but they are not restricted from allowing people to voluntarily pray before a football game.

      Unfortunately, the officials have the law just backwards. Allowing a voluntary prayer is not equivalent to establishng a state religion, and not allowing it IS “prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

      The officials, in an effort to abide by the first part, violate the second part.

      This part of the law: “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” is never considered when this subject is brought up, even by most conservatives. They just accept that it is ok to restrict religious practices on public premises, even though the law does not support this practice.

      There might be other reasons for restricting someone’s behavior in a public place, or on government property, but fear that allowing the behavior would establish a state religion is not valid. Allowing religious freedom is not the same as sponsoring religious freedom.

      • The argument against is that the coach as a public employee is acting as a proxy for the state and in his capacity and authority as a coach promoting a certain religious behavior. I think you make a compelling argument that this is still far from “establishing a state religion”. The coach is obviously not colluding with the state to establish a religion.

        Furthermore should a Christian or for that matter any other faith stop being Christian or other adherent the moment they step on public property? What the founding fathers wrote is brilliant, unfortunately the wisdom and tolerance to understand those words is sorely lacking.

      • We definitely don’t want a state-sponsored religion. I think we can all agree on that. But we are not in danger of that happening.

        All these restrictions on religion in the pubic space are being pushed, imo, by those who are anti-religion, and they use the fear of the establishment of a state-sponsored religion as their means to their ends. There is no chance that the state will establish a specific religion as the only acceptable religion, under our current system of governance. That would require a dictatorship.

        A group of football players and their coach, who pray right before a football game is not the equivalent of establishing a state-religion, just as allowing a Muslim “call to prayer” to be broadcast in the public space, is not the establishment of a state-religion, on the part of those who allow it.

    • Gunga Din (a character I happen to admire from an epic poem by Kipling ) writes: “Yet those words have been warped into “separation of Church and State” (minus the “or prohibiting”) and further warped to the point that HS football coach can’t have a voluntary prayer with his players on the football field and a private business has to a $100,000 fine because they chose not to bake a cake that went against their beliefs.

      I’m a Buddhist. No bones about it. That’s right up front.

      I believe I should have freedom of association. If a large man in a brown shirt with insignias on his collar, jackboots, colorful patches on his sleeves and dress appears in my shop, I should have the right to refuse service if I do not wish to associate with him/her. It’s no sweat off his balls. He can find another vendor or change clothes. If a person deliberately offends me through dress, signage, speech, use of force, etc, I have the right to say “No thank you, please take your business elsewhere” and I deserve protection under the law. No offense is offered; only a refusal to work for a person I don’t want to work for. That’s my right.

      • I agree, freedom of association is a fundamental human right. It is your right to only serve Buddhists if you so choose. (even if it may not be good for business). The only entity that must serve everyone without exception is the government.

        Freedom of association is not dependent on what is culturally acceptable or deplorable at any given time, it is total for everyone, otherwise it does not exist at all.

      • You don’t lose your human rights, just because you open a business.
        Right to associate also includes the right not to associate.
        As long as it’s not the state enforcing it, there is no problem.

    • Gunga, maybe I forgot to say “thanks”. So, thanks.

      One of the many reasons our country (I was born here) needs to continue immigration (to the extent we can afford) is to maintain exactly the perspective you’ve advanced; that freedom is the birthright of every human. It’s what our country stands for.

      Our country doesn’t stand for loads of useless mouths in search of feeding. Activists in search of validation, or terrorists in search of justification. People like yourself are not only encouraged, but welcome. I hope I’ve made a complex sentiment clear as I’m able.

      • Thank you for the the “thanks”.
        Just to clear up what may be a misconception, I was also born and raised in the US. The screen name I use here is a CB handle someone dubbed me with about 35 years ago because I did the water/wastewater treatment.
        But, yes, legal immigration is and should be welcome. Illegal? Well, that is “illegal”.
        One of the things that made the US a country want others to come to and be a part of is that it really has been a “melting pot”. (A simplistic example but on Saint Patrick’s Day in the US, EVERYBODY that wants to be is “Irish” for a day.)
        Melting Pot is not what the PC crowd means by “diversity and inclusion”.

  26. Scott Pruitt better get his flackjacket on. He is going to be taking some serious fire from the Left in the future. The character assasination has just begun.

    • Yeah it is going to be bad, but I think the public is pretty fed-up with the lefts platform being 75% character assassination. It’s probably one of the major factors in why Clinton lost.

      Pruitt has a lot of science and common sense on his side, if he can communicate that the science in fact does not support the hysteria he’ll do ok.

    • From what some leftists have been implying, I worry that the assignations won’t stop with at just character.

  27. Factcheck, like other MSM sites, went all in for Hillary, and continue to do so. But they and the other faux fact checkers were proven to be wrong numerous times in the past. The reason they continue is not to try to get to any truth, but to provide ammunition for their base who hangs on every post as gospel.

  28. You would think that the EPA would rely on previous studies that they were party to. Here’s a well written article from “The American Oil and Gas Reporter” authored by a Halliburton well completions expert. http://www.halliburton.com/public/pe/contents/Papers_and_Articles/web/A_through_P/AOGR%20Article-%20Data%20Prove%20Safety%20of%20Frac.pdf.
    Here is the most pertinant paragraph (for this discussion) from this report:

    “On May 5, 1995, Carol M. Browner,
    then an EPA administrator and now energy
    adviser to President Obama,stated, “There
    is no evidence that the hydraulic fracturing
    at issue has resulted in any contamination
    or endangerment of underground sources
    of drinking water.”
    At a state regulators conference in
    Washington last February, Steve Heare,
    director of EPA’s Drinking Water Protection
    division said, “I have no information
    that states are not doing a good job
    already (of protecting water supplies).”
    Despite claims by environmental organizations,
    Heare also reported that he had
    not seen any documented cases where
    hydraulic fracturing was contaminating
    water supplies”

    • Brian John writes: “Steve Heare, director of EPA’s Drinking Water Protection division said, “I have no information that states are not doing a good job already (of protecting water supplies).”

      I’ll raise the issue of Flint Michigan, which seems to have been given a lot of press lately. How has the EPA or Michigan protected our water supplies?

      I’m sorry if I seem cavalier; I’m not. I’m also not really “amused” in any way about Flint. But I’m astonished a fact checker hasn’t come down on these pocket rockets.

    • The magic word for environmental organizations is “could”. They twist “could have caused” into “it did cause” something.

      Any changes to the environment causes something. Rational, ethical people look to find what the actual results are of those changes. Irrational ideologues really do not care. Their focus is ideology not knowledge.

  29. What’s the difference between fake news, the LA Times, WH-directed fake science, and HuffPo? Not much

  30. Hmmm, so using this logic an IPCC report says it is unlikely the rise in temperatures over the last century was caused by natural variation and/or likely caused by man. Then if anyone then states the IPCC reports shows that the warming was caused by man(i.e. not natural variation) that person has made a false claim.
    Please, send all of these CAGW false claims to factcheck org so that they can publish stories showing the false claims, link to their story about this (fracking) false claim and say if one is false than so must be the other.

    Side note, the worst one I ever saw was a claim Rush Limbaugh said something racist the “fact check” group in order to give it a partially true claim, first had to change the statement. The story was along the lines well he actually said this, but if he had said what was claimed then it would have been racist so it’s partially true.

    Fear those who claim to be the determiners of truth.-ironargonaut

  31. Good thing the legal system doesn’t require suspects on trial to prove they didn’t commit the crime. Very difficult to prove a negative.

  32. ‘curating function’? Can Obama be that clueless as to how un-American that concept is? It is another name for state censorship. So why not go the extra mile and just make the state the only authorized news source. That might be great for dictatorships or communist and socialist countries, not so great for democracies.

    Yes “distinction without a difference” fallacy is used quite often and does not fact check anything, other than ideological bias.

    The shifting burden of proof is also common on these “fact checking” sites. The other side being unable to prove the unprovable does not prove ones argument. If that was the case fact-check being unable to prove they are possessed by demons on a mission from Satan is proof that they are indeed possessed.

    • Leftists believe that it is the role of government to protect us from ourselves.
      That’s why they need so much power as well as the ability to monitor almost every aspect of our daily lives.
      Of course they view themselves as being so much smarter and more ethical than the rest of us.
      That’s why they are always exempt from the laws meant for the proles.

  33. Here’s an interesting item regarding fake news:

    http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2016/12/08/Convincing-people-of-fake-memories-is-surprisingly-easy/5141481147837/?spt=rln&or=1

    Convincing people of fake memories is surprisingly easy

    “WARWICK, England, Dec. 7 (UPI) — Memory is fallible and fragile. And as a team of scientists from the University of Warwick have helped prove, it is also surprisingly easy to manipulate.

    More than 50 percent of participants in several ‘memory implantation’ studies recalled false memories as authentic. They came to incorporate fabricated events into their personal histories. . .”

    The findings, detailed in the journal Memory, highlight the vulnerability of processes which rely heavily of memory, including forensic investigations, legal proceedings and therapy sessions. More broadly, the research presents the possibility of widespread delusion inspired by misinformation — like fake news propagated across social media platforms.

    “The finding that a large portion of people are prone to developing false beliefs is important,” Kimberley Wade, a psychologist at Warwick, said in a news release. “We know from other research that distorted beliefs can influence people’s behaviors, intentions and attitudes.”

    end excerpts

    Maybe this has something to do with why otherwise intelligent people fall for the CAGW narrative, or the narrative of Leftwing politics. Some people are just too easily influenced. Even smart people. This is also why the News Media can be so dangerous to a free society if they lie to the people, like the current leftwing MSM does.

    • Sounds like “Little Critters” daycare.
      Except in that case, people were convicted and sent to jail based on these false memories.

  34. Time to reveal the TrueScience(tm) behind the rise of the word, FAKE. It is a newly minted modern Anglo-Saxon swear word. In a world increasingly devoid of mental effort, nuance of language and due diligence ‘fake’ has become the toss-off word of choice, when one wishes to devalue things without raising any expectation intricate explanation.

    Use of the word FAKE also fulfills the ancient desire to spit on one’s opponent. Voicing the word, especially with emphasis, is certain to result in ejaculation of spittle.

    Whenever you hear people in the news talking about ‘fake news’, imagine them saying instead ‘f*cking news’ with the same tone of voice, a virtue-signalling expression of personal resentment. You may conclude, as have I, that FAKE has become a modern swear word to replace F*CK. An you can even spell it outright without asses-to-risk. FAKE FAKE FAKE!

  35. I am quite critical of “fact checkers,” but come on. This is just nonsense:

    The burden of proof is on those who assert that fracking pollutes groundwater.

    The burden of proof is on anyone claiming we know the answer to the question. If you we know fracking causes groundwater pollution, you need to prove it. If you say we know fracking doesn’t cause groundwater pollution, you need to prove it. The only thing which doesn’t require proof is saying, “We don’t know the answer yet.” That’s exactly what we see here:

    The “fact sheet” for the Wyoming report said it’s “unlikely” that hydraulic fracturing had “any impacts” on these water-supply wells, but “[l]imited baseline water quality data, predating development of the Pavillion Gas Field hinders reaching firm conclusions on causes and effects of reported water quality changes.”

    This post claims that’s a “distinction without difference,” but it is not. A lack of suitable information on conditions prior to fracking can make it impossible to know with certainty what effect fracking has had. In that case, the answer is, “We don’t know.” The answer might be expanded to say, “But we think it unlikely fracking has had any impact.” That’s fine, but it is quite different from:

    The Wyoming DEQ’s thorough investigation over the past several years has come to a close and confirms what we’ve known all along: hydraulic fracturing has not impacted drinking water resources.

    Saying we have no evidence pollution of the water has happened and it seems unlikely is in no way the same as saying we know pollution of the water has not happened. The “fact checker” is completely correct to note the distinction.

    • From a regulatory standpoint, there is a world of difference between the two positions.
      Under one, you are permitted to do what you want, unless someone else proves that you are causing harm;
      Under the second, you can’t do anything until you have proven that it won’t cause harm.
      Of course the second is an impossible standard to meet, which is why the anti-development types always adopt it.

  36. The smallest level 3 earthquake is equivalent energy to 295,400 gallons of gasoline. Can anyone tell me the amount of fuel used by fracking pumps and the amount of time they are actually in operation typically? Unless the fracking companies have miraculously found a way to create energy it would appear that the claims that fracking cause earthquakes are totally ludicrous from even a high guess at figures.
    Surely if they are triggering earthquakes before they have fully built up to the natural release level then that is actually a case in their favour and not as claimed by the Eco groups.

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