Friday 04/05/13 Batchelor Second Hour

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Guests: Kate Galbraith, Texas Tribune; Sarah Lyall, NYT; Mary O'Grady, WSJ; Henry Miller, Hoover.


Hour Two

Friday  5 April  2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  . Kate Galbraith, The Texas Tribune, in re: In a dusty lot off the main highway in this South Texas town, Vern Sartin pointed to a collection of hose hookups and large storage tanks used for collecting wastewater from hydraulic fracturing jobs. Tracks made by trucks taking wastewater to the Gonzales disposal well. An estimated 30 to 40 truckloads arrive every day.  “We run about 30 to 40 trucks a day, 24-7,” Mr. Sartin said. “Depending on how the oil fracking is going out there, if they’re hustling and bustling, then we’re hustling and bustling.” Mr. Sartin is a watchman at a disposal well operated by Gulf Coast Acquisitions, where each day oil and gas companies dispose of wastewater by pumping it deep underground. Wastewater disposal wells like this one are becoming a common landmark in the drilling regions of Texas as the water-intensive practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, continues to spread. In the fracking process, several million gallons of water, combined with sand and chemicals, are sent down a well to break up rock and retrieve oil and gas. Some of the fluid comes back up, along with additional underground water. Most of this wastewater is trucked to disposal wells and injected thousands of feet underground for permanent storage. But those wells have caused concern about truck traffic, accidents and the possibility for spills and groundwater contamination. Texas oil and gas regulators may soon tighten the rules for the construction of the wells, and they are encouraging drilling companies to reduce waste by recycling more water.

Water for Fracking is a multi-part series exploring the rising use of water for hydraulic fracturing in Texas. It examines the concerns of rural counties at the center of the drilling boom, and looks at the measures oil and gas companies are taking to reduce water use, including recycling; using more brackish water; and even experimenting with water-free fracking. The series also examines the state's rapidly increasing reliance on disposal wells, where wastewater from fracking operations gets buried. This series is a collaboration between The Texas Tribune and StateImpact Texas.

Friday  5 April  2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  . Sarah Lyal, in re:  A Slice of London So Exclusive Even the Owners Are Visitors  For many recent superrich foreign buyers, London is just a stop in a peripatetic international existence.

Friday  5 April  2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  . Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Wall Street Journal, in re: THE AMERICAS Two Easters in Castro's Dungeons

Friday  5 April  2013 / Hour 2, Block D:   Henry Miller, Hoover, in re:  "What We Can Learn From 'Negative' Clinical Trials"

A site in Gonzales, Tex., receiving wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations.  The state is working to revise disposal rules.