Earth Day 2013: Waiting to Get Fracked

By: Angela Fritz , 5:25 AM GMT on April 22, 2013

By Skyepony, Weather Underground Community member

A note from Angela:
"Fracking," or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of fracturing layers of rocks beneath the surface of the earth, using water and other chemicals and fluids, for the purpose of extracting natural gas that would otherwise be impossible to drill. For Earth Day, I wanted to surface the experience of one of our long-time true-blue Weather Underground community members. Skyepony has seen the front lines of the fracking industry from her family's tree farm in Mississippi, and she urges you to learn more about the fracking process and what it does to our environment, our health, and our families on this Earth Day.


This all started last spring when my family got together for a trip to check on the tree farm in southern Mississippi and to visit with relatives. En route to my uncle's farm, we gathered at a seafood restaurant and walked into an unexpected scene. A group of neighbors had gathered to join us, and boy, did they have news.

The oil companies were coming back.

Our neighbors told us the oil companies could recover the resources we all knew were lurking beneath the surface of the farm. They told us they could make our "dry holes" pay, which were drilled and capped back in the 1950s-1970s. Our neighbors and distant cousins were on a mission, and you could feel their intensity. This was a group of people who watch over the tree farm, and our family cemetery, every day. The neighbors and family who actually live there were bearing down for confirmation that we, too, would sign on the dotted line. If that happened, we could all cash in.


A WunderPhoto of the tree farm in southwest Mississippi. Almost 7 years after Katrina the damage can still be seen. This was the 3rd of the farm where the trees were destroyed by a tornado during the storm & then replanted.

The group needed to convince a fairly large percentage of us in a 16 square mile block in order for it to happen. They assumed they had convinced as many people as they needed. They knew they could roll us over either way, but wanted us to cash in with them. They frequently invoked our long-dead Great-Grandaddy who had insisted we hold the mineral rights until the day the oil companies came back, because that was all the land was ever going to be worth.

We nodded and expressed interest in looking into it, trying to hide our shock.

I did some research. What I found was that in 2011, Devon Energy and Encana, two North American oil and natural gas producers, began fracking the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS). According to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, TMS is sedimentary rock that is rich with organic material, which was deposited 90 million years ago when the area was marine. The counties in Mississippi that were being considered for the fracking venture were Wilkinson, Amite, Adams, Pike, Walthall, and Franklin. The TMS "play," or potential petroleum-bearing area, is an unproven 7 billion barrel oil reserve that runs through central Louisiana and southwest Mississippi for a total of 2.7 million acres. It's potentially enough oil to supply the United States for a year (if they can extract all of it).



The location of the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) play, according to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.

Some of this area was originally tapped and did produce oil, though many were dry holes, like what we had on the farm. However, now people were being told that this land could produce, through the magic of fracking. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is where pressurized fluids of unknown origin are pushed deep into the earth with the intent of fracturing the sediments, which releases the otherwise undrillable fossil fuel. Fracking consumes 2.5 times the amount of energy, water, and effort of a traditional oil well, and though it produces up to 3 times the resources, the quality of oil and gas that's extracted is debatable. The TMS is known for containing both oil and liquid gas, which is more desirable to the industry than the dry, natural gas, which is typically sold at a much cheaper price.

Mississippi has been more than willing to invite fracking into the state, without consideration of where the 1 million gallons of water each well uses will come from, what the chemicals are that are being added, or the common practice of deep-injection disposal of the dirty water after it's been used. Two bills are currently in consideration to give sizable tax breaks to the oil companies involved in southwest Mississippi fracking. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant announced that natural gas was a top priority in the new statewide energy policy. It is part of the T. Boone Pickens plan to run vehicles off natural gas. Natural gas stations could be opening across Mississippi by 2014. Exporting the resource out of Louisiana to the global market is also a hot topic.

The individual communities and counties pulled together and started discussing the potential impact on roads, and considered the angry people that didn't have mineral rights to cash in on. Discussions ranged from where they could draw water, to where money for road improvements would come from, to increasing law enforcement. They are even trying to secure state money for another chancery judge since there will certainly be more lawsuits.

Meanwhile, the oil companies have done their homework. Encana owns 310,000 acres on the TMS, Devon has 250,000 acres, Indigo II Louisiana Operating has around 240,000 acres, Amelia Resources has 110,000 acres, and Goodrich Petroleum owns approximately 74,000. Some of this property was was bought for as low as $175 an acre in the recent real estate depression. They appear to concentrate on both acquiring mineral rights and fresh water rights, along with finding available surface water to be drained, spoiled with fracking chemicals, and then hauled off to be injected into deep waste water wells. We know someone who had married into the family— this is how he made millions in Louisiana and Texas. He has a small drilling business, though deals mostly with land and mineral rights. He buys cheap land with the rights, drills it, and flips it. The trend is changing to "frack it and flip it." Any property for sale on the TMS is fair game.

I originally thought the tree farm would be safe, but that isn't the case. Six generations ago, William, my great, great, great, great-granddaddy, fought in the War of 1812. He was probably granted this land for his time spent defending Charleston, South Carolina. The original piece was large—large enough that today, if it was intact, it could hold out to fracking. Unfortunately three generations passed and the property was divided amongst the children. Some of it was sold to pay taxes. In the following generation, Great-Grandaddy worked hard to buy that portion back and was successful. That piece was divided several more times, so that now, many of my immediate family hold rights and have a say in what happens to our small portion. The segments of the farm are owned by close and distant kin, and some of them are people who managed to buy their way onto the property.

Though as much as I think fracking is horrible, my hands are tied. The decision is not mine. Even if it was, the land around the farm would be so heavily fracked that it would be impossible to protect it from the environmental consequences. Our farm's story is not exception—most of the land around the farm has been divided, inherited, or sold until 20 to few hundred acre-size tracts are common. Fortunately for us, the oil companies have drawn back the circus in our area, for the time being. I'm now hearing it is going to be 2 years before they are ready to drill in the farm's county. The companies are focusing more on the counties that are deeper in the play and have shown higher yields in the past. That buys a little more time for the farm before the frackers show, and perhaps a chance to change its fate. I'm glad I didn't decide to settle my life there.

The entire experience has shifted the way I see what needs to be done in order to stop the fracking industry. Convincing land owners will do nothing. They, like the land owners in the way of the Keystone XL pipeline, will most likely be compensated financially, but they won't be able to stop it. Until I approached this issue as a mineral rights owner, I never noticed how much the oil companies were "flipping" land, or how you need to own so many square miles to be able to stop them from using your neighbors against you. Politically, the regional government comprises well-to-do land owners that appear to want to cash off the land in any way possible. They are opening their doors and turning their heads. Local politicians in other areas have been successful in fending off the fracking companies, but not in southern Mississippi. Perhaps the answer for my farm is to concentrate on the federal laws that are treating the fracking industry unconventionally, letting them slide while they inject undisclosed chemicals into the ground, wasting billions of gallons of water, and releasing pollution into the air that other industries, including coal and conventional oil, couldn't get away with.

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently working on the first federal environmental study on fracking. Results are due in 2014. Waiting on these results before allowing fracking has become a strategy in some local efforts across the nation.

Local anti-fracking efforts across the United States, their moratoriums and petitions to sign can be found here. Another wealth of information is a report the fracking industry had done on itself noting the effective grassroots efforts. It recommended giving in to all demands of the local movements, or risk being banned from fracking altogether. They also suggest making it more profitable to the land owners—directly pay all claims of loss, ruined land, and water. Pay anything not to go to court. Buy silence.

So on this Earth Day, instead of being silent, I urge you to learn more about fracking and talk to others about it.


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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A NY Times article on the midwest drought. Thought it related to fracking somewhat, though if you look at the two maps below, the drought and the area of fracking that needs ground water curiously are not so overlapping.



Since the graphic didn't come through on the image below, the colored bars are not linear. They range from roughly negative 150 on the left (brownish side) to positive 50 on the right (bluish side).



(Note: I am posting here because I refuse to post on Dr Rood's site anymore. It's like trying to talk about love in front of Beavis and Butthead. Apologies to some really great posters there.)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
15. Christopher C. Burt, Weather Historian
12:06 AM EDT on April 23, 2013

Well, that is a rather harsh assessment. Personally, I think the worst thing about 'fracking' is its name:

/quote

Poor joke Doc...

Where is your historical perspective of industry gone mad? Just like AGW, the evidence is there, all you have to do is seek the truth.




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Breaking: Interior Department Bows to Pressure from Oil and Gas Industry, Weakens Fracking Rules
May 16, 2013


“Comparing today’s rule governing fracking on public lands with the one proposed a year earlier, it is clear what happened: the Bureau of Land Management caved to the wealthy and powerful oil and gas industry and left the public to fend for itself,” said Jessica Ennis, legislative representative at Earthjustice.

snip

Among the problems identified in the updated regulations:

• The proposed rules do not require an evaluation of the integrity of cement barriers in individual wells—the critical barrier between toxic fracking chemicals and groundwater—instead allowing oil and gas companies to test one well and allow those results to guide the development of other similar wells.

• The updated proposal does not require fracking companies to disclose chemicals before they are pumped into the ground—a critical measure that would give nearby communities time to test and monitor water supplies for any fracking-related water pollution.
/article

The bolded part is important. Fracking involves drilling thousands of wells. Of which, more than five percent fail brand new. The tests eliminated by the new regs instantly guarantees that those "more than 5% new wells that fail, get put into service anyway.. is everyone confident that the fracking industry is being truthful about YOUR safety and YOUR health?

There are nearly a half million frac wells in the US. If the modest number of 5% is applied, that's 25 THOUSAND leaking wells.. as ALL wells eventually fail, every one of these will someday be allowing VERY harmful toxins to migrate up the failed casing annulus and contaminate PEOPLE.

Do you trust them now? Would they work so hard to HIDE the chemicals they are using if they really were safe?

Shale Gas: How Often Do Fracked Wells Leak?

When industry says hardly ever, that's a myth. It's a documented, chronic problem. Third in a series.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 9 Jan 2013, TheTyee.ca


One of the boldest claims made by the shale gas industry goes like this: oil and gas companies have drilled and fractured a million oil and gas wells with nary a problem.

In other words fracture fluid or methane leaks are "a rare phenomenon."

But industry data disproves this dubious claim says Cornell University engineer Anthony Ingraffea, the main source for this series, who has studied the non-linear science of rock fractures for three decades.

Moreover industry studies clearly show that five to seven per cent of all new oil and gas wells leak. As wells age, the percentage of leakers can increase to a startling 30 or 50 per cent. But the worst leakers remain "deviated" or horizontal wells commonly used for hydraulic fracturing.

In fact leaking wellbores has been a persistent and chronic problem for decades. Even a 2003 article in Oil Field Review, a publication of Schlumberger, reported that, "Since the earliest gas wells, uncontrolled migration of hydrocarbons to the surface has challenged the oil and gas industry."

click on link for more

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107. Skyepony (Mod)
Sorry Brian~ I should have just linked it. Rich text can go either way for you:)



This is interesting.. Dow chemical is fighting to keep/stop natural gas from being freely exported because they invested a bunch in plants to convert it to plastic..only profitable if the price stays $3-4, which exporting would raise.

They are all for the XL pipeline since the oil industry could export that & it not cut into their gas to chemical profits.

"The fight is now between Dow and a few other chemical companies versus the oil and gas industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Porter said.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
106. Skyepony (Mod)
Research has shown that the pipeline’s major purpose is not to provide oil for the U.S., but to serve as an export pipeline fueling international markets. New
data reveals that a full 60 percent of gasoline produced in 2012 at Texas Gulf Coast refineries was exported. These are the refineries that would process the majority of the tar sands bitumen flowing through the Keystone XL pipeline, if it were built.The changing dynamics of the U.S. oil market strongly suggest that exports would only rise over the lifetime of the pipeline. U.S.production is rising but consumption is declining and the industry willcontinue to maximize its profits through exports.

Table: Production and Export Data for Texas Gulf Coast Refineries



Product

Production
barrels per day

Exports
barrels per day

Percentage of production exported

Finished Motor Gasoline

464,000

278,200

60%

Diesel

1,164,000

485,800

41.7%

Petcoke

196,000

186,800

95.3%

 Using government data for exports from Texas Gulf Coast ports[1] and for Texas Gulf Coast refinery production[2], the data shows that these refineries are now exporting 60 percent of their annual production of ‘Finished Motor Gasoline’. In addition, 42 percent of the diesel produced by these refineries is currently exported, which is an 11 percent increase over 2011 diesel exports from these refineries.Finally, over 95 percent of their production of petcoke – a dirty coal substitute that is a byproduct of refining heavy oil[3]  – is exported.
The new data clarifies a statement made by the State Department in the latest Keystone XL Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement
(DSEIS). In the Market Analysis section, State notes the level of
exports coming from the Gulf Coast refining region (known as PADD 3): “…almost half of PADD 3 refined products go to the domestic market.”
In other words, the State Department’s own analysis acknowledges that the majority of refined products produced on the Gulf Coast are already being exported. Those who believe that Keystone XL is necessary for U.S. energy supply might be surprised by this fact.
The rest of the article is here..with the table intact & more graphs & such..

 
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Skyepony I await the next post.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
104. Skyepony (Mod)
Brain~ Oh thanks for posting it.. It's certainly been a subject to view in all lights.

Considering if you could frack it all out of MS & LA to get enough energy for the US for one year..I don't see the pay offs for the risk. Much of this is being & is being planned to be exported too. This isn't going to be used solely here or anything..please look into that..I posted atleast one article on it. Even Keystone...refer to next post.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
The story does have a pro-fraking standpoint. However it is also a news story from a very important business news outlet. The story will be part of the information business and political leaders use to to form their opinions on the subject so I thought I would post it here.


Anyway, while I do take global warming and pollution concerns very seriously I do believe that the Keystone Pipeline should be approved and that fracking, strongly regulated, should be expanded to make the USA energy independent and an energy exporter. I also understand that many people here will disagree with me about that.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
102. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Scaled-Back U.S. Fracking Rule Draws Qualified Praise


This is the most one sided version I have seen on this issue. It's the same as the thing yesterday comment #93. This did get some praise from the oil industry but they are still upset that federal govt wants any regulations on federal land fracking. Environmentalist were quite displeased.

I plan to do a separate post on the public comment once I really look into the open pit verses a holding tank for the water & chemicals that flow back to the surface during fracking. History shows the open pits can leak poisons & such into the ground water.

SafeFraker~ You seem to know about this stuff. What's the pros & cons to open pits & tanks?

There is alot of open pits in that Native American video I posted... Interesting that ruling was made along with a ruling for the Indian reservations concerning fracking that gets a mention in about all the articles on that ruling but not this version.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
101. BaltimoreBrian
7:29 PM GMT on May 17, 2013
Scaled-Back U.S. Fracking Rule Draws Qualified Praise
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
100. Neapolitan
3:57 PM GMT on May 17, 2013
Quoting SafeFracker:
It is obvious that this is a polarizing issue. Reminds me of how our Congress is working these days. it's sad because more could be accomplished if the appropriate stakeholders would come together and find common ground instead of lobbing grenades at each other. This country needs energy and it needs to extract it in a manner that protects the environment. I firmly believe this can be accomplished. Including Shale extraction.

More and more these days I see the term Fracking used to describe the entire process of drilling and completing of a new well. It is actually just one part of the overall process. By the time the well is actually fracked, the wellbore has been drilled and multiple casing strings have been installed and cemented in place. The process of fracking itself is simply pumping a fluid through the innermost string of casing into perforations in that casing that permit the fluids to travel into the gas and oil bearing zone. This zone is usually at least 1 mile deeper than any potable water aquifers. And according to comments made by Lisa Jackson, former head of the EPA, the fracking process has never been linked to groundwater contamination.

Contamination of groundwater has occurred during drilling when shallow gas bearing zones are encountered before a casing point is reached, thus allowing migration of the gas up the exposed wellbore into water bearing zones. Or in a few instances, the gas migrates after the casing is set due to poor cement bond between the casing and formation. But in either instance, no frack chemicals are introduced into the water zone because the well has not even drilled to the depth where the fracking will eventually occur.

So I repeat, fracking itself is not contaminating groundwater.

Speaking of the chemicals used in the frack fluid, did you know most of them can be found under your kitchen sink or in your garage? Methanol, used in windshield wiper fluid, isopropanol (glass cleaner), and ethylene glycol (antifreeze) are some of the most widely used chemicals. Makes me wonder how much windshield wiper fluid is dumped into the surface waters every winter. Think about it, in the Northeast alone there have to be tens of millions of gallons of this stuff sprayed onto the windshields of cars and then carried off by the rain onto the road and eventually into a ditch that carries it to the waterway. Just like farming, no one seems to care about that.

By the way, watching Gasland and Gasland2 and using that as the basis of your education about the oil and gas industry is akin to watching MASH and claiming to be an expert on the Korean War. While both are entertaining, they lack in educational value. Josh Fox got his 15 minutes of fame and wanted more. In open public debates he fails to back up most of his outrageous claims with any scientifically proven facts. In one debate, he actually stated "I am comfortable in my ignorance". It's sad that he has attracted such a large following of people who don't, or won't bother to fact check his movies. Try it and you will see that he is a sham. Follow the money and you would probably be very surprised at whose interests he is really serving.

The movie Promised Land was funded in part by a middle eastern country that was poised to be a major supplier of LNG to the US and other countries around the world. Now that we have an abundant supply of gas and are also poised to be an exporter they are trying to tip the playing table. Nice try but Promised Land failed miserably in delivering its anti-energy message. Thank goodness for that.



Promised Land was indeed financed in part by Saudi Arabia's Image Nation. The company also financed parts of the The Best Exotoc Marigold Hotel, Contagion, The Crazies, and The Help. You won't see Big Energy bringing its guns to bear on IN's part in those ventures, however; only Promised Land scared them into doing so.

So far as Gasland: it was financed by HBO and Fox's own production company.

But that's almost a moot point. Those in love with fracking--that is, those profiting most from the practice--like to scream and shout about how wrong documentaries and movies about fracking are. But I personally couldn't care less. I want us off of fossil fuels now, and the sooner the better. Those going to great lengths to keep the provably unsustainable dirty enegry paradigm alive are like desperate junkies crawling the gutters looking for one more dirty needle to plunge into their bruised and bloodied arms.

Now, you wrote, "Speaking of the chemicals used in the frack fluid, did you know most of them can be found under your kitchen sink or in your garage? Methanol, used in windshield wiper fluid, isopropanol (glass cleaner), and ethylene glycol (antifreeze) are some of the most widely used chemicals." Great point, that. And how would you feel if someone injected thousands of bottles of each of those poisons into the ground around your home and told you to trust them?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
99. SafeFracker
1:41 PM GMT on May 17, 2013
It is obvious that this is a polarizing issue. Reminds me of how our Congress is working these days. it's sad because more could be accomplished if the appropriate stakeholders would come together and find common ground instead of lobbing grenades at each other. This country needs energy and it needs to extract it in a manner that protects the environment. I firmly believe this can be accomplished. Including Shale extraction.

More and more these days I see the term Fracking used to describe the entire process of drilling and completing of a new well. It is actually just one part of the overall process. By the time the well is actually fracked, the wellbore has been drilled and multiple casing strings have been installed and cemented in place. The process of fracking itself is simply pumping a fluid through the innermost string of casing into perforations in that casing that permit the fluids to travel into the gas and oil bearing zone. This zone is usually at least 1 mile deeper than any potable water aquifers. And according to comments made by Lisa Jackson, former head of the EPA, the fracking process has never been linked to groundwater contamination.

Contamination of groundwater has occurred during drilling when shallow gas bearing zones are encountered before a casing point is reached, thus allowing migration of the gas up the exposed wellbore into water bearing zones. Or in a few instances, the gas migrates after the casing is set due to poor cement bond between the casing and formation. But in either instance, no frack chemicals are introduced into the water zone because the well has not even drilled to the depth where the fracking will eventually occur.

So I repeat, fracking itself is not contaminating groundwater.

Speaking of the chemicals used in the frack fluid, did you know most of them can be found under your kitchen sink or in your garage? Methanol, used in windshield wiper fluid, isopropanol (glass cleaner), and ethylene glycol (antifreeze) are some of the most widely used chemicals. Makes me wonder how much windshield wiper fluid is dumped into the surface waters every winter. Think about it, in the Northeast alone there have to be tens of millions of gallons of this stuff sprayed onto the windshields of cars and then carried off by the rain onto the road and eventually into a ditch that carries it to the waterway. Just like farming, no one seems to care about that.

By the way, watching Gasland and Gasland2 and using that as the basis of your education about the oil and gas industry is akin to watching MASH and claiming to be an expert on the Korean War. While both are entertaining, they lack in educational value. Josh Fox got his 15 minutes of fame and wanted more. In open public debates he fails to back up most of his outrageous claims with any scientifically proven facts. In one debate, he actually stated "I am comfortable in my ignorance". It's sad that he has attracted such a large following of people who don't, or won't bother to fact check his movies. Try it and you will see that he is a sham. Follow the money and you would probably be very surprised at whose interests he is really serving.

The movie Promised Land was funded in part by a middle eastern country that was poised to be a major supplier of LNG to the US and other countries around the world. Now that we have an abundant supply of gas and are also poised to be an exporter they are trying to tip the playing table. Nice try but Promised Land failed miserably in delivering its anti-energy message. Thank goodness for that.



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
97. Neapolitan
1:16 PM GMT on May 17, 2013
Quoting Skyepony (#96):
Blackfeet Oil Drilling Fracking the Reservation.wmv
Environmentalists look at those great and magnificent vistas, those vast swaths of open range, and see treasures that should be stewarded for future generations. The greedy-eyed and shortsighted see only the huge piles of money to be made by stripping away that magnificence and pockmarking those vistas with clanking, smoke-belching machinery. They want to scar the land, dig it up, riddle it with pipes, befoul the rivers that run through it, dirty the winds that blow above it, suck it dry, cash in, and move on.

There's enough Indian in me (Plains Cree) to carry tribal papers, so I guess there's enough to share the narrator's sympathies. And I spent a lot of years living hard against the Rockies in Montana and Wyoming and Colorado, so I can appreciate just how little extraction development it takes to ruin a far larger area.

This video makes me sad.

We don't deserve this place. We really don't...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
96. Skyepony (Mod)
4:32 AM GMT on May 17, 2013
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
95. Skyepony (Mod)
4:17 AM GMT on May 17, 2013
ROCKFORD, MI – Cannon Township Clerk Bonnie Blackledge said her township’s board is concerned enough about “fracking” to adopt the moratorium on oil and gas wells even though their attorney has told them a moratorium probably can’t be enforced,.

Blackledge and her fellow township board members voted unanimously on Monday, May 13, to impose a six-month moratorium on oil and gas operations while they explore regulations that may not be covered by the Michigan Supervisor of Wells, who has exclusive jurisdiction of oil and gas wells. more here
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
94. Skyepony (Mod)
4:14 AM GMT on May 17, 2013
They are really playing up the article about Arkansas not having any water contamination yet from fracking. Checking the map of fracaccidents the area of play or that is available to fracking there is a very small percent of the state. Some shale is more problematic for groundwater contamination. NE overall has had way too many failures.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
93. Skyepony (Mod)
4:06 AM GMT on May 17, 2013
Obama administration issues draft fracking regulations


John Moore/Getty Images - Environmentalists stage a protest to coincide with a fundraising event by President Barack Obama on May 13 in New York City. Hundreds of demonstrators marched to protest the building of oil pipelines and calling for the end of hydraulic fracking.

The Obama administration drew sharp criticism from environmental and oil industry groups Thursday when it issued a new draft of regulations for fracking on federal and Indian lands.

Environmental groups said the new draft provided weaker water protections than a version the Interior Department proposed a year ago, while oil industry groups said they wanted regulation left in the hands of states and were opposed to any federal rules.

In its first update of hydraulic fracturing regulations in three decades, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management would require wider disclosure of chemicals used in drilling. It would also require that companies have a water-management plan for fluids that flow back to the surface and take steps to assure wellbore integrity and prevent toxic fluids from leaking into groundwater.

But environmental groups expressed disappointment that the regulations do not include a ban on the storage of waste fluids in open, lined pits. They also want complete disclosure of chemicals used in fracking, which the regulations would not require.

The regulations would allow companies to disclose the chemicals to FracFocus, an Oklahoma-based Web site that has been criticized for its ties to industry. A Harvard Law School study concluded that FracFocus was not effective and “does not serve the interests of the public.”

Companies could also use affidavits to assert trade-secret protection of certain chemicals, although the BLM would keep the authority to require disclosure “if necessary,” the department said.

“These rules protect industry, not people,” said Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “They are riddled with gaping holes that endanger clean, safe drinking water supplies for millions of Americans nationwide.” She added that “this draft is a blueprint for business-as-usual industrialization of our landscapes.” more here
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
92. BaltimoreBrian
9:53 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
A Fossil Fuel Saves Lives, Money, and CO2 in Darfur
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
91. schwankmoe
9:32 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
oh, and Scafetta and Wests' methodology here is not very robust.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
90. schwankmoe
9:26 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Quoting Snowlover123:


However, we can see a potential relationship between solar activity and temperature over the late-20th Century if we use the ACRIM TSI dataset (in red) for solar activity changes during this timeframe.



From Scafetta and West 2008.



the black and red lines do not compare temperature and the ACRIM TSI dataset. it compares temperature data that has been smoothed to bring out an 11-year cycle (the authors do not specify their methodology at all) against a created reconstruction based on the ACRIM dataset and another dataset. the ACRIM data you posted earlier and it goes in the opposite direction.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
89. schwankmoe
9:13 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Quoting Snowlover123:


A higher Geomagnetic AA Index would mean a higher number of Geomagnetic Storms, which would give those values above 60 on the AA Index. Thus, it's an approptiate comparison.


sorry, but you're asserting a correspondence between the actual aa geomagnetic index and temperature. let's see the comparison. i'd like to see the correlation for myself, thank you. you can go back before 1979 if you want, sure. but please no unexplained time offsets in the data please.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
88. Snowlover123
9:02 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Quoting schwankmoe:
that's a graph of the number of days the index is over 60 for a given year. let's see a graph comparing the aa index to temps. recent, please; the satellite time period, 1979-present that i mentioned before, will do fine.

nothing says 'correlation does not imply causation' like overlaying two datasets and advancing one of them in time without any explanation at all.




A higher Geomagnetic AA Index would mean a higher number of Geomagnetic Storms, which would give those values above 60 on the AA Index. Thus, it's an approptiate comparison. The graph above overlaps Global Surface Temperature with the number of days in a year with the AA Index values above 60.

The effects of Geomagnetic Activity on climate have generally been studied over a centennial timeframe, and not over a multidecadal one.

However, we can see a potential relationship between solar activity and temperature over the late-20th Century if we use the ACRIM TSI dataset (in red) for solar activity changes during this timeframe.



From Scafetta and West 2008.

It would be interesting to compare possible Geomagnetic influences to observed satellite based temperature changes, which I don't think has been studied in the scientific literature at all; correct me if I'm wrong.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
87. schwankmoe
8:55 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
that's a graph of the number of days the index is over 60 for a given year. let's see a graph comparing the aa index to temps. recent, please; the satellite time period, 1979-present that i mentioned before, will do fine.

nothing says 'correlation does not imply causation' like overlaying two datasets and advancing one of them in time without any explanation at all.


Quoting Snowlover123:


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
86. Snowlover123
8:46 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Quoting Neapolitan:
There's no equivalence at all here, as you're comparing apples and oranges rutabagas.

First, there's the obvious: even if those numbers were an accurate reflection of the situation (which they're not; see below), there's the simple fact that one one side you have people wanting to do whatever they can to save the environment, and on the other side you have people wanting to do whatever they can to continue reaping huge profits--even if that means destroying that environment.

Second, that report from which you quoted was the discredited one from which Dr. Robert Brulle--a social scientist asked to review that report--withdrew because the author's conclusion's did not match the data. There's an excellent debunking of it here. A small bit of the actual data:

Lie

So far as your comment #79 (and parts of #73), I'll not bother responding, as a) that's climate change stuff which Angela may not welcome in this blog entry about fracking, and b) as has been patiently explained to you in Dr. Rood's blog, it's patently, provably, empirically incorrect.


One of the categories in Angela's blog post is climate change, so I don't think she would mind at all if we discussed it here.

You really don't think that there's any money involved at all with Environmental Lobby Groups, just skeptics? That doesn't make any sense at all. There's lots of money on both sides of the debate, which has polarized the debate to extreme lengths.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
85. Snowlover123
8:40 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Quoting schwankmoe:
what's the graph look like when the AA index isn't advanced by 6 years? i'd like to see a year-to-year comparison.




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83. schwankmoe
8:01 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
what's the graph look like when the AA index isn't advanced by 6 years? i'd like to see a year-to-year comparison.


Quoting Snowlover123:


It's not as simple as that.

Over the last 35 years, there have been multiple Irradiance Composites compiled from different satellites. There is the ACRIM TSI dataset, the SARR TSI dataset, and the PMOD TSI dataset. The PMOD dataset is used by people who want to prove that there is no relationship with the sun and climate change over the late-20th Century. However, there is also the SARR and the ACRIM TSI dataset, both show an increasing trend that is often not mentioned when discussing irradiance variations over the late-20th Century.



Figure above from De Wit and Watermann 2010.

The Geomagnetic AA Index over the 20th Century (even the late-20th Century) can explain a large portion of the Sea Surface Temperature change.



The figure above compares the Geomagnetic AA Index with Sea Surface Temperatures. Nearly all of the warming can be explained with simply the sun alone.



The figure above is from Georgieva et al. 2005

The correlation coefficient between the two variables is 0.85 over the last 150 years, indicating a large positive relationship.

Also, there is no mechanism for instantaneous equilibrium between solar activity and temperatures. Even if solar activity was flat during the late-20th Century, that means absolutely nothing in terms of attribution.

If you turn a stove on from off to high, the water will continue to warm, long after the change from off to high, because the water has not reached equilibrium with the forcing.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
82. BaltimoreBrian
7:59 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
US shale oil supply shock shifts global power balance
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81. Xandra
7:43 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
[...] neither direct nor indirect solar influences can explain a significant amount of the global warming over the past century, and certainly not over the past 30 years.

As Ray Pierrehumbert said about solar warming,

"That’s a coffin with so many nails in it already that the hard part is finding a place to hammer in a new one."


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80. Neapolitan
7:37 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Quoting Snowlover123:


Money is a bias on both sides of the debate, not exclusively with the skeptics.

From the link:

"According to the report, conservative think-tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations raised some US$907 million during 2009, and spent a total of $787 million on their activities, with $259 million of that devoted specifically to climate and energy policy issues. Over the same period, national environmental groups had revenues of $1.7 billion and spent $1.4 billion on their programmes, which included $394 million devoted to climate and energy issues."
There's no equivalence at all here, as you're comparing apples and oranges rutabagas.

First, there's the obvious: even if those numbers were an accurate reflection of the situation (which they're not; see below), there's the simple fact that one one side you have people wanting to do whatever they can to save the environment, and on the other side you have people wanting to do whatever they can to continue reaping huge profits--even if that means destroying that environment.

Second, that report from which you quoted was the discredited one from which Dr. Robert Brulle--a social scientist asked to review that report--withdrew because the author's conclusion's did not match the data. There's an excellent debunking of it here. A small bit of the actual data:

Lie

So far as your comment #79 (and parts of #73), I'll not bother responding, as a) that's climate change stuff which Angela may not welcome in this blog entry about fracking, and b) as has been patiently explained to you in Dr. Rood's blog, it's patently, provably, empirically incorrect.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
79. Snowlover123
7:20 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Quoting schwankmoe:


look at it this way. over the last 35 years or so (climate), we can point to exact satellite data of both surface temperature and solar activity. over that period, solar activity has been constant; that is, three solar cycles have gone by and they were all very similar. no increase or decrease in insolation.

over that same time period, surface temperatures have increased .5C. there appears to be no correlation whatsoever between solar activity and the increase in surface temperatures during this period for which we have exact measurements (instead of proxies), direct- or indirect.

if you wish to show a correlation between the indirect effects of changes in solar activity on the climate, it's kind of hard when there haven't even been changes in direct solar activity.


It's not as simple as that.

Over the last 35 years, there have been multiple Irradiance Composites compiled from different satellites. There is the ACRIM TSI dataset, the SARR TSI dataset, and the PMOD TSI dataset. The PMOD dataset is used by people who want to prove that there is no relationship with the sun and climate change over the late-20th Century. However, there is also the SARR and the ACRIM TSI dataset, both show an increasing trend that is often not mentioned when discussing irradiance variations over the late-20th Century.



Figure above from De Wit and Watermann 2010.

The Geomagnetic AA Index over the 20th Century (even the late-20th Century) can explain a large portion of the Sea Surface Temperature change.



The figure above compares the Geomagnetic AA Index with Sea Surface Temperatures. Nearly all of the warming can be explained with simply the sun alone.



The figure above is from Georgieva et al. 2005

The correlation coefficient between the two variables is 0.85 over the last 150 years, indicating a large positive relationship.

Also, there is no mechanism for instantaneous equilibrium between solar activity and temperatures. Even if solar activity was flat during the late-20th Century, that means absolutely nothing in terms of attribution.

If you turn a stove on from off to high, the water will continue to warm, long after the change from off to high, because the water has not reached equilibrium with the forcing.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
78. schwankmoe
7:03 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Quoting Snowlover123:


Agree.

However, even though the forcing is unknown, there are other methods to qualify whether solar activity has had a significant effect on climate change over the 20th Century or not.

One interesting relationship documented by several papers is that there is a cycle in animal populations that can be linked back to the solar cycle.

With Klvana et al. 2004 They found a link between the 11/22 year solar cycle and Porcupine Population changes. This indicates that solar activity qualitatively has had a significant influence on the ecology through climate change, even if the actual radiative forcing is unknown.


look at it this way. over the last 35 years or so (climate), we can point to exact satellite data of both surface temperature and solar activity. over that period, solar activity has been constant; that is, three solar cycles have gone by and they were all very similar. no increase or decrease in insolation.

over that same time period, surface temperatures have increased .5C. there appears to be no correlation whatsoever between solar activity and the increase in surface temperatures during this period for which we have exact measurements (instead of proxies), direct- or indirect.

if you wish to show a correlation between the indirect effects of changes in solar activity on the climate, it's kind of hard when there haven't even been changes in direct solar activity.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
77. Snowlover123
6:51 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Quoting Neapolitan:
I don't believe that every AGW "skeptic"--whatever that is; I've never met one--wants to destroy the environment. And I've not seen anyone say that. But there is a definite profit-driven thread running the full length of the products-vs.-environment continuum--and many of the hands clinging so tightly to that thread are the same ones that always have been. Frederick Seitz and Fred Singer and all the others, including the current generation of pushers of the lie that the free-market trumps everything else, have their greedy fingerprints on every manufactured "debate" of the past four decades, whether that's tobacco, DDT, acid rain, deep sea drilling, fracking, or climate change. So while modern denialists may claim to care about the environment, they're known by the company they keep--and Seitz & Singer, et al., is some pretty bad company...


Money is a bias on both sides of the debate, not exclusively with the skeptics.

From the link:

"According to the report, conservative think-tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations raised some US$907 million during 2009, and spent a total of $787 million on their activities, with $259 million of that devoted specifically to climate and energy policy issues. Over the same period, national environmental groups had revenues of $1.7 billion and spent $1.4 billion on their programmes, which included $394 million devoted to climate and energy issues."
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
76. Snowlover123
6:48 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Quoting schwankmoe:


the first half of that sentence does not lead to the second half.



Agree.

However, even though the forcing is unknown, there are other methods to qualify whether solar activity has had a significant effect on climate change over the 20th Century or not.

One interesting relationship documented by several papers is that there is a cycle in animal populations that can be linked back to the solar cycle.

With Klvana et al. 2004 They found a link between the 11/22 year solar cycle and Porcupine Population changes. This indicates that solar activity qualitatively has had a significant influence on the ecology through climate change, even if the actual radiative forcing is unknown.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
75. schwankmoe
1:33 PM GMT on May 16, 2013
Quoting Snowlover123:


The indirect solar forcing is largely unknown, and has likely had a significant influence on Global Warming during the 20th Century.


the first half of that sentence does not lead to the second half.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
74. Neapolitan
11:03 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
Quoting Snowlover123:
A terrible misconception that has risen is that if one is a skeptic of Anthropogenic Climate Change, then they want to pollute the environment, or support the usage of fossil fuels. None of those are true.
I don't believe that every AGW "skeptic"--whatever that is; I've never met one--wants to destroy the environment. And I've not seen anyone say that. But there is a definite profit-driven thread running the full length of the products-vs.-environment continuum--and many of the hands clinging so tightly to that thread are the same ones that always have been. Frederick Seitz and Fred Singer and all the others, including the current generation of pushers of the lie that the free-market trumps everything else, have their greedy fingerprints on every manufactured "debate" of the past four decades, whether that's tobacco, DDT, acid rain, deep sea drilling, fracking, or climate change. So while modern denialists may claim to care about the environment, they're known by the company they keep--and Seitz & Singer, et al., is some pretty bad company...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
73. Snowlover123
9:51 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
Quoting goosegirl1:
Quoting Snowlover123 **"A terrible misconception that has risen is that if one is a skeptic of Anthropogenic Climate Change, then they want to pollute the environment, or support the usage of fossil fuels"**

Sorry if I have trouble understanding your kind of skepticism, but you do realize that the CO2 level you question is caused by burning fossil fuels? If one does support the use of fossil fuels (as you suggest) then one would have a hard time convincing anyone they don't want to pollute the environment with CO2- one goes with the other.


Right, I advocate the reduction in Human emissions all together, because there are several negative aspects with Fossil Fuels, such as Acid Rain, Ocean Acidification, Fracking etc.

My main skepticism stems from the role of the sun in Global Warming.

There are still massive uncertainties with regard to the indirect solar forcing on climate. While the direct solar forcing is pretty well quantified with TSI variations, the indirect solar forcing consists of Atmospheric Circulation changes, El Nino responses, Volcanic Eruptions, Cloud Cover changes etc. The indirect solar forcing is largely unknown, and has likely had a significant influence on Global Warming during the 20th Century. If Low cloud cover decreased by even 1-2% over the course of the 20th Century, in response to increased solar activity, as is observed over the course of a Solar Cycle, that would equate to a radiative forcing of 0.8-1.7 w/m^2, highly comparable to the anthropogenic forcing since 1750.

Claims that the science is settled with Global Warming are really not based off of science, since massive uncertainties still exist with attribution to Extreme Weather, decadal scale modulation of the long term temperature trend, and the ultimate causes.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
72. goosegirl1
9:44 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
Quoting Snowlover123 **"A terrible misconception that has risen is that if one is a skeptic of Anthropogenic Climate Change, then they want to pollute the environment, or support the usage of fossil fuels"**

Sorry if I have trouble understanding your kind of skepticism, but you do realize that the CO2 level you question is caused by burning fossil fuels? If one does support the use of fossil fuels (as you suggest) then one would have a hard time convincing anyone they don't want to pollute the environment with CO2- one goes with the other.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
71. Snowlover123
9:14 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
A terrible misconception that has risen is that if one is a skeptic of Anthropogenic Climate Change, then they want to pollute the environment, or support the usage of fossil fuels. None of those are true. Some skeptics may not care about the environment, but there are also some skeptics that do care about the environment. Policymakers should encourage lawmakers to switch to Renewable Energy as quickly as possible. The environmental impacts that Coal has with polluting Mercury into the atmosphere, and producing Acid Rain with Nitrous and Sulfuric Dioxides should not be tolerated, no matter what side of the debate you stand on.
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70. schwankmoe
9:05 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
there's plenty of proof that DDT is harmful to birds.

secondly, the US banned its use here, which had no effect on malaria as that disease is not endemic in the US.

we didn't ban it around the world though. the rest of the world got together and decided, for the most part, that overuse of DDT was going to breed resistant mosquitos. so they voluntarily banned its wholsale application to crops and reserved its use against disease vectors, in a rotating scheme with other chemicals to avoid resistance building up. a far more effective scheme against malaria than the previous system.

so obviously the tree-hugging hippies did not cause millions of deaths by malaria. countries where the disease is endemic are not only allowed to use the stuff, they currently do it. they always have.

in short, his statement is so far from the truth it isn't even wrong. every word is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'.

Quoting Neapolitan:
There's empirical proof--lots of it--that DDT is extremely harmful. The problem is, the amount of money shooting from the DDT fountain all but ensured there'd be a huge mis/disinformation campaign in support of the chemical--a campaign funded, of course, by the very same people who manufactured and sold it and profited enormously from it.

Awesome.

The same people who once earned healthy livings declaring DDT safe are the same ones who declared tobacco harmless, the same ones who declared that ozone depletion wasn't caused by fluorocarbons, the same ones who declared that acid rain was caused only by volcanoes, and--it almost goes without saying--the same ones who continue to declare against all logic that the 3.8 million metric tons of CO2 we humans pump into the atmosphere every hour of every day can't possibly be having any effect on the environment. So forgive some of us for being skeptical about the alleged "wonders" of fracking--especially when it's again the very same group of people promoting it as the end-all and be-all of energy production.

Free-Marketers--aka, the profit-uber-alles crowd--would have us all believe that if something makes money for some people, there should be no regulation of it. Ever. And the more money there is to be made, the more urgently they demand less regulation.

But who knows: perhaps fracking really is the panacea that will cure all our ills; perhaps it's not really unsafe. But that then begs the question: why was Cheney's task force to allow it so many exemptions closed to all but Big Energy execs? And why the crazy legal fight to keep the contents of fracking fluid a secret?

I smell a rat here. Anyone who doesn't needs to have their nose examined...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
69. Neapolitan
7:56 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
Quoting AdamSmith76:
You stopped DDT without any evidence that it made bird eggs weak, and millions died in Africa from malaria.
There's empirical proof--lots of it--that DDT is extremely harmful. The problem is, the amount of money shooting from the DDT fountain all but ensured there'd be a huge mis/disinformation campaign in support of the chemical--a campaign funded, of course, by the very same people who manufactured and sold it and profited enormously from it.

Awesome.

The same people who once earned healthy livings declaring DDT safe are the same ones who declared tobacco harmless, the same ones who declared that ozone depletion wasn't caused by fluorocarbons, the same ones who declared that acid rain was caused only by volcanoes, and--it almost goes without saying--the same ones who continue to declare against all logic that the 3.8 million metric tons of CO2 we humans pump into the atmosphere every hour of every day can't possibly be having any effect on the environment. So forgive some of us for being skeptical about the alleged "wonders" of fracking--especially when it's again the very same group of people promoting it as the end-all and be-all of energy production.

Free-Marketers--aka, the profit-uber-alles crowd--would have us all believe that if something makes money for some people, there should be no regulation of it. Ever. And the more money there is to be made, the more urgently they demand less regulation.

But who knows: perhaps fracking really is the panacea that will cure all our ills; perhaps it's not really unsafe. But that then begs the question: why was Cheney's task force to allow it so many exemptions closed to all but Big Energy execs? And why the crazy legal fight to keep the contents of fracking fluid a secret?

I smell a rat here. Anyone who doesn't needs to have their nose examined...
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68. BaltimoreBrian
7:36 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
Groundwater Unaffected by Shale Gas Production in Arkansas
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67. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:00 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
Quoting AdamSmith76:
You stopped DDT without any evidence that it made bird eggs weak, and millions died in Africa from malaria



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66. Skyepony (Mod)
3:44 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
Check out this map of "fraccidents" across the United States. There's even been some in the TMS play that the farm is on. Here's a few..

Desoto Parish, LA
A Chesapeake Energy blowout killed one, injured another, caused neighborhoods within a two mile radius to be evacuated and sent at least six Desoto Parish fire fighters to a nearby hospital. This particular blowout spewed methane into the air for around 30 minutes, officials say.
The explosion occurred while contractors performed maintenance on the well site, and was so loud that residents thought it was a bomb explosion or a plane crash. The gas well was capped the following day.

Source: “Gas well blowout in DeSoto Parish.” Ben Wolf. KSLA News. November 18, 2009.





Caddo Parish, LA

In 2009, 16 cattle were found dead at a natural gas well site after apparently drinking a mysterious fluid near a drilling rig.

At least one worker said the fluids were used in the hydraulic fracturing process.

More recently, in April 2010, hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes after a natural gas well blowout contaminated a drinking water aquifer.

It was not clear what contaminants were in the water, but residents were told not to drink it or even wash their clothes in it.

Source: "Louisiana Well Blowout Forces Hundreds From Homes." Abrahm Lustgarten. ProPublica. April 20, 2010.
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65. Skyepony (Mod)
3:29 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
Quoting plusaf:
Skyepony, thanks for posting the amazing "Vera Video."
I could only stand to watch half of it. If that's her idea of "exchange of ideas, conversation or free speech," I'm very sorry for her.

BTW, Fortune Magazine, April 29, 2013, page102+ "Fracking comes to China." Their deposits of frackable shale dwarfs that of the US.

Go, Vera, learn Mandarin and go get in THEIR faces...

"Such a polite, unbiased view" she has.... NOT.
Makes me, as an engineer with a lot of science background sick to my stomach.

The point seems to have escaped you. Vera was doing to the producer of Fracknation what the opening scene in Fracknation was but in reverse...Fracnation producer hired a guy to go harass Gasland producer in the same way, they recorded that & it was the opening for the movie Fracknation. It was ugly on both sides. Though I'll agree screaming Vera came off more crazy than the slick suit they used the other way around.
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64. schwankmoe
2:52 PM GMT on May 15, 2013
Quoting AdamSmith76:
You stopped DDT without any evidence that it made bird eggs weak, and millions died in Africa from malaria.


there is so much fail in that sentence i don't even know where to start.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
63. Skyepony (Mod)
4:33 AM GMT on May 15, 2013
Released by: Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center
Release date: Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fracking damages the environment, threatens public health, and affects communities in ways that can impose a multitude of costs:



Drinking water contamination – Fracking brings with it the potential for spills, blowouts and well failures that contaminate groundwater supplies.

Health problems – Toxic substances in fracking fluid and wastewater—as well as air pollution from trucks, equipment and the wells themselves—have been linked to a variety of negative health effects.

Natural resources impacts – Fracking converts rural and natural areas into industrial zones, replacing forest and farm land with well pads, roads, pipelines and other infrastructure, and damaging precious natural resources.

Impacts on public infrastructure and services – Fracking strains infrastructure and public services and imposes cleanup costs that can fall on taxpayers.

Broader economic impacts – Fracking can undercut the long-term economic prospects of areas where it takes place. A 2008 study found that Western counties that have relied on fossil fuel extraction are doing worse economically compared with peer communities and are less well-prepared for growth in the future.
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62. Skyepony (Mod)
4:31 AM GMT on May 15, 2013
Fracking: Laws and Loopholes
Fracking is exempt from key federal environmental regulations.

The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 contained a provision that has come to be known as the "Halliburton Loophole," an exemption for gas drilling and extraction from requirements in the underground injection control (UIC) program of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Other exemptions are also present in the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

A recent Congressional investigation has found that 32 million gallons of diesel fuel have been illegally injected into the ground as a fracking chemical in 19 different states from 2005 to 2009. Diesel fuel is believed to be particularly damaging to water supplies, and because of this, remains the only fracking chemical still regulated under the UIC program of the SDWA.
Despite their claims that the chemicals used in the fracking process is safe, some drilling companies have consistently refused to provide a comprehensive list of the chemical additives used in fracking fluid.

Fracking is exempt from state water use regulations.

Michigan recently joined other Great Lakes states in passing the Great Lakes Compact, an agreement limiting large water withdrawals. Despite the fact that each fracking well can use up to five million gallons of locally-sourced water, the practice is exempt from regulation under the legislation implementing the Compact.
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61. Skyepony (Mod)
4:27 AM GMT on May 15, 2013
"Especially when it has not been proven to cause all of the harm that others tout in the last 60 years of its use."

Fracking 60years ago is nothing like the very recent change to a more modern method. This new method is why those wells are not considered dry anymore. How about a little fracking history?

According to a 2010 fracking history by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the idea of non-explosive alternatives to nitroglycerin took root in the 1930s. Experiments through the next decade paved the way for the first industrial-scale commercial uses of the modern patented “Hydrafrac” process in1949, with Halliburton holding an exclusive license in the early years. SPE recounts that 332 wells were fracked in the first year alone, with up to 75 percent production increases recorded. By the mid-1950s, fracking hit a pace of about 3,000 wells a month.

A typical early fracture took 750 gallons of fluid (water, gelled crude oil, or gelled kerosene) and 400 lbm of sand. By contrast, modern methods can use up to 8 million gallons of water and 75,000 to 320,000 pounds of sand. Fracking fluids can take the form of foams, gels, or slickwater combinations and often include benzene, hydrochloric acid, friction reducers, guar gum, biocides, and diesel fuel. Likewise, the hydraulic horsepower (hhp) needed to pump fracking material has risen from an average of about 75 hhp in the early days to an average of more than 1,500 hhp today, with big jobs requiring more than 10,000 hhp.
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60. BaltimoreBrian
1:11 AM GMT on May 15, 2013
Law & Order: Endangered Species Unit
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