Blog Description

Fraccing With Two C's is a blog focused on the highly controversial topic of hydraulic fracturing stimulation in the oil and gas industry. The title of this blog stems from the slang term for hydraulic fracturing as it is spelled in the oil and gas industry, which differs from that commonly used in the media and by the general public, 'fracking'. Fracture stimulation is also commonly referred to as fracing, but at Colorado School of Mines the Petroleum Engineering Department generally spells the slang term with two c's.

This blog will address some of the concerns, misconceptions, and recent news on this topic. Though personal opinions are present, we will remain factual and provide evidence for all discussions. We welcome comments of all sorts, whether they agree or disagree with our opinions, as long as they are appropriate for a classroom setting, since this is a project for a science communication course.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Is There More to Worry about in Pavillion?

Over the past couple weeks Aubrey and I have been posting about the controversies that have come up in the town of Pavillion, Wyoming.  The previous posts were concerned with the water contamination and finding the source of the contamination, but is water contamination the only concern that residents have in Pavillion?  Many of the residents of Pavillion have also been making complaints about the possibility of poor air quality.  To investigate these claims EnCana Oil put a mobile monitoring station in the town of Pavillion.

The mobile monitoring station placed in Pavillion measures the levels of nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, particulate matter and ozone to figure out a level of air quality.  The station measured the air quality from January 2011 through March 2012.  After analyzing the data, none of the levels exceeded any of the standards for air quality monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The only level of air quality that came close to being a concern was ozone which still remained under the legal limit.

Many of the residents were outraged to find out the results of the tests and said that they did not get a fair sample of air to test.  Residents believed the test was unfair because the mobile monitoring station was placed on a hill that was about 20 feet in elevation above the well field. 

Representatives claimed that they careful chose the location for the mobile monitoring station and took many factors into account including wind direction, access to electricity, and topography in order to choose the best location.  Even though the results of the testing say otherwise, the residents of Pavillion believe something is wrong with their air quality and future testing will likely be done.  No testing is currently going on because all of the mobile monitoring stations owned by EnCana are already in use at other sites.



  1. This is a great post--I like how you're following up on previous stories and building credibility in this area. This does remind me of Corburn's argument a little, about how citizen science in cases of public health controversy is sometimes useful. Would be interested to think about how public reception of these results would be different if citizens were involved in taking the measurements...

  2. Jen,

    I agree. In my own opinion, if I were a citizen of Pavilion, I am not sure how I would react if other citizens were taking the measurements. I would like to think that I would feel confident in my neighbors taking these samples; however, I think that some of the credibility of these samples being taken by people who may not know anything about the science behind these samples would be lost. This is only my opinion. Because I am clearly not a citizen of Pavilion, I cannot speak for them..