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.

Reader Comments

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Law & Order: Endangered Species Unit
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
In reference to the Harvard study of the FracFocus website. Here is a quote from Stan Belieu, President of the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC):

%u201CI am not aware of any state regulatory program that has been contacted by Harvard University to make inquiry of its capabilities. I do not understand how, without direct contact, this study can draw the conclusions it has.%u201D

The GWPC was one of the agencies involved in creating FracFocus.

Further, there is a new version of the FracFocus website being launched in June that addresses many of the criticisms in the Harvard report. Had the researchers actually performed research and reached out to the agencies that are running the website they would have known this. But let's face it, the Harvard report was never intended to be unbiased or truly informative. It was politically motivated. For instance, the lead author also serves as a director on the staff of a US Senator who has introduced legislation that would put EPA in full control of regulating hydraulic fracturing.

Does hydraulic fracturing need regulatied? Absolutely it does. And it is. Each state has its own set of regulations that account for circumstances that are unique to each locale. In Texas and Colorado there are provisions in the regulatory framework to deal with water usage due to the competition for the resource with agricultural interests. In WV, where surface water is abundant, there are still regulations regarding the withdrawal of surface water. These include the reporting of where the withdrawal occurs and how much is withdrawn. There are even restrictions on withdrawals during dry periods.

Ask any state regulator and they will tell you they are opposed to the EPA taking the lead in the regulatory process. The EPA already have de facto oversight of the process by enforcing the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. If there are violations occurring because of the process, they have all of the authority they need.


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Quoting greentortuloni:
You state this issue in terms of personal freedom. Haven't I the right to be free from pollution, etc? I agree that anyone has the right to do what they want... as long as it doesn't impact the freedom of others.

You don't have the right to be free from something just because you think it is bad. Without evidence that this activity by its very nature causes pollution, you simply want the government to protect you from something that you think is scary and bad.


Quoting greentortuloni:
Your key phrase was "Especially when it has not been proven to cause all of the harm that others tout in the last 60 years of its use." I would suggest the opposite, especially in this America where money speaks louder than ethics or responsibility: you have to prove your activities won't hurt others.

Not sure what you're trying to imply by "especially America". If you've ever seen how business works in the third world or even in many European countries, you'll appreciate all of the protections and rights you are afforded in the U.S. Oh, and the predictability of regulation too.

The countries that have so far banned fracking: Bulgaria, France, and Tunisia. All are consistently ranked as more corrupt than the United States. Meanwhile, the following countries are among the least corrupt countries in the world (ranked by CPI) and allow fracking: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, and New Zealand.

Also, if you think the standard for allowing any activity in the U.S. is for the party proposing the activity to PROVE that the activity is 100% safe, I think you grossly misunderstand our legal system and environmental regulation. On occasion, the EPA or other agencies also misunderstand and get their asses handed to them in court. There is a rulemaking process that the EPA (and other federal agencies such as OSHA) must adhere to and if they don't, the regulation will be scuttled. Here's an example from OSHA: http://www.natlawreview.com/article/osha-s-flame-r esistant-clothing-memo-deemed-improper-rulemaking. OSHA protects people when it follows the rulemaking process. People in Texas died (of heat exhaustion) because OSHA did not properly follow the process.



Quoting greentortuloni:
I understand that is a difficult thing to do, there is no theoretical way to prove a negative. However, within reasonable limits there are practical methods. Safety in this issue seems to come down to decisions like "$100,000 campaign contribution for whomever votes for this, versus consequences that won't affect me once I leave office."

This is not Hollywood. There is no person in a suit with a hook nose, acne scars, and a weight problem reeking of cigars handing a suitcase of money to a politician in a dark alley.

Practical methods have been employed and are employed with the application of every single well permit in the oil and gas industry as well as for every surface facility. They occur every day, I assure you.
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Angela, this is an example of a constructive step that you could take towards regulating fracing. It is being proposed in Texas, a very oil friendly state, so there is no reason this couldn't become law in another locality.

Remember that constructive steps can work. Expecting a nationwide ban on fracing or something of the sort is tilting at windmils.

"Proposed Senate Bill 873
Proposed Senate Bill 873, authored by Senator Hegar, concerns the permitting authority of a groundwater conservation district for the drilling or operation of water wells used to supply water for drilling, exploration, or production of oil or gas. The proposed legislation applies to water wells that are to be used solely to supply water for an activity associated with the drilling, exploration, or production of oil or gas.

The proposed legislation would require an applicant for a permit, permit amendment, or permit renewal for a water well to submit a sworn application containing the information required by the district for permit applications and a filing fee, if applicable, to the district in which the well is to be located. The district will determine if the application is administratively complete; however, if no determination of administrative completeness is made within six days of the application, the application will then be automatically considered to be administratively complete. The proposed legislation requires that the district provide the applicant with interim authorization to drill, equip, operate, complete, or otherwise use a water well no later than the fifth business day after the date the district finds that an application is administratively complete. The proposed legislation would require the district to process and make a final determination on an application in the same manner that the district processes and makes a final determination on a water well used for any other purpose.

On May 6, 2013, proposed SB 873 was referred to the Natural Resources Committee of the House of Representative. "
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Quoting SafeFracker:
We are privileged to live in a country where we can enjoy personal freedom. Take this blog and the many comments that are debating the pros and cons of fracking. There are places on this planet where this freedom does not exist. So it puzzles me how some people think it is okay for local governments to impose unfair and punitive moratoriums against fracing that deprives property owners their personal right to allow this process to occur. Especially when it has not been proven to cause all of the harm that others tout in the last 60 years of its use.


As my handle implies, I am a fracker (I should point out that only non-fracers spell frac - which is short for fracture - with a "K" but it does seem to make sense to spell it that way) and I have personally executed hundreds of hydraulic fracture treatments over the past 15 years in WV and PA. Yes, the process consumes a considerable amount of water, but that amount pales in comparison to other legal uses of the precious resource. For instance, in CO a study found that fracturing there was using 0.6% of available freshwater. Compared to the ~70% that the agriculture industry uses it seems negligible. Especially when you examine the life cycle of water used in agriculture. That water is mostly used to irrigate fields that are also being treated with pesticides and fertilizers. The water then carries those contaminants into the underlying aquifers. So while the water isn't being removed from the natural cycle, it is surely polluting the groundwater. But no one seems to care about this since we all have to eat. Well, we all need energy too. And as others have pointed out, it is more preferable to have a domestic supply of energy and be less dependent on foreign sources.

I admit my feathers get ruffled a bit whenever I read or hear negative comments about the fracturing process that are not backed up by facts or common science. There are some that would have you believe that fracturing and groundwater contamination are synonymous when it rarely occurs. And in cases like the one in Dimock, PA it was not the fracturing process that caused the contamination. It was improper well construction that allowed gas from a relatively shallow gas zone migrate into the aquifer. In fact, there are years of documentation that this was occurring in that area naturally due the the karsted surface geology. To my knowledge, the EPA has not yet found evidence where fracture fluids and the gas in the fracture treated zones have migrated into the groundwater. And believe me, they have been trying.

I could go on and on but this is getting pretty lengthy. I welcome any comments and healthy debate this may spur on. We have a motto in WV, "Mountaineers are always free", and so are we also free to our own opinions in this great country.



You state this issue in terms of personal freedom. Haven't I the right to be free from pollution, etc? I agree that anyone has the right to do what they want... as long as it doesn't impact the freedom of others.

Your key phrase was "Especially when it has not been proven to cause all of the harm that others tout in the last 60 years of its use." I would suggest the opposite, especially in this America where money speaks louder than ethics or responsibility: you have to prove your activities won't hurt others.

I understand that is a difficult thing to do, there is no theoretical way to prove a negative. However, within reasonable limits there are practical methods. Safety in this issue seems to come down to decisions like "$100,000 campaign contribution for whomever votes for this, versus consequences that won't affect me once I leave office."



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
We are privileged to live in a country where we can enjoy personal freedom. Take this blog and the many comments that are debating the pros and cons of fracking. There are places on this planet where this freedom does not exist. So it puzzles me how some people think it is okay for local governments to impose unfair and punitive moratoriums against fracing that deprives property owners their personal right to allow this process to occur. Especially when it has not been proven to cause all of the harm that others tout in the last 60 years of its use.


As my handle implies, I am a fracker (I should point out that only non-fracers spell frac - which is short for fracture - with a "K" but it does seem to make sense to spell it that way) and I have personally executed hundreds of hydraulic fracture treatments over the past 15 years in WV and PA. Yes, the process consumes a considerable amount of water, but that amount pales in comparison to other legal uses of the precious resource. For instance, in CO a study found that fracturing there was using 0.6% of available freshwater. Compared to the ~70% that the agriculture industry uses it seems negligible. Especially when you examine the life cycle of water used in agriculture. That water is mostly used to irrigate fields that are also being treated with pesticides and fertilizers. The water then carries those contaminants into the underlying aquifers. So while the water isn't being removed from the natural cycle, it is surely polluting the groundwater. But no one seems to care about this since we all have to eat. Well, we all need energy too. And as others have pointed out, it is more preferable to have a domestic supply of energy and be less dependent on foreign sources.

I admit my feathers get ruffled a bit whenever I read or hear negative comments about the fracturing process that are not backed up by facts or common science. There are some that would have you believe that fracturing and groundwater contamination are synonymous when it rarely occurs. And in cases like the one in Dimock, PA it was not the fracturing process that caused the contamination. It was improper well construction that allowed gas from a relatively shallow gas zone migrate into the aquifer. In fact, there are years of documentation that this was occurring in that area naturally due the the karsted surface geology. To my knowledge, the EPA has not yet found evidence where fracture fluids and the gas in the fracture treated zones have migrated into the groundwater. And believe me, they have been trying.

I could go on and on but this is getting pretty lengthy. I welcome any comments and healthy debate this may spur on. We have a motto in WV, "Mountaineers are always free", and so are we also free to our own opinions in this great country.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The pic of interest here is the Columbia Glacier Retreat.

I do not know how to post Animated GIF's.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-picture- of-earth-through-time.htmlLink

A picture of Earth through time
Posted: Thursday, May 09, 2013
Tweet
Today, we're making it possible for you to go back in time and get a stunning historical perspective on the changes to the Earth’s surface over time. Working with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NASA and TIME, we're releasing more than a quarter-century of images of Earth taken from space, compiled for the first time into an interactive time-lapse experience. We believe this is the most comprehensive picture of our changing planet ever made available to the public.
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Quoting Skyepony:
Nearly three dozen got arrested in two different protests in Winona, Minnesota, about a week ago. They were trying to stop frac sand mined there from going to Mississippi.

Mining the sand used in fracking was also in the news for Illinois and Missouri. For instance, here and here.

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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.
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51. Skyepony (Mod)
Here's a different one with more details of the law & how some Harvard people think that frac reporting that 11 states including MS is using isn't effective. More here.

Under the law, a county in which a horizontal oil well is located would get all the tax proceeds rather than sharing them with the state.

The law gives the tax break on a specific well for up to 30 months or until the well’s costs have been recovered, whichever comes first. The law also gives a five-year tax break for oil exploration efforts.

Under current tax law, the state gets 6 percent in severance taxes and gives the counties 33 1/3 percent of the first $600,000, 20 percent of the next $600,000 and 15 percent thereafter.

In a separate but related item, new report raises serious concerns about the online database used by 11 states, including Mississippi, to track the chemicals used in fracking.

The Harvard Law School report says FracFocus, a reporting site formed by industry groups and intergovernmental agencies in 2011, has loose reporting standards, makes it too difficult for states to track whether companies submit chemical disclosures on time and allows for inconsistency in declaring chemicals trade secrets.

The 11 states that require companies to divulge fracking chemicals through FracFocus: Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and Utah.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
50. Skyepony (Mod)
That bill passed...


MCCOMB -- Legislation to lower the Mississippi severance tax on hydraulically fractured oil wells from 6 percent to 1.25 percent for first 30 months of well production has been signed into law by Gov. Phil Bryant.

House Bill 1698 also will allow counties where fracking is occurring to keep a larger share of tax proceeds. The law takes effect July 1.


Read more here:
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
49. Skyepony (Mod)
Nearly three dozen got arrested in two different protests in Winona, Minnesota, about a week ago. They were trying to stop frac sand mined there from going to Mississippi.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting AdamSmith76:
You Luddite environmentalists always find a reason why we can't do something. No matter what it is, it's bad for the environment. Well, guess what? Stopping fracking is bad for the economy, bad for the US, and bad for our lives. The environment gets blasted with hurricanes, volcanoes, continental drift, earthquakes, and so many forces that make fracking look like nothing.

The environment can survive, but our modern way of life cannot survive those of you who who hate progress. No energy extraction is going to be perfectly clean, but you environmentalists never like to show the devastation that will happen if we don't move forward: more poverty, more unemployment, more disease, and more people living petty, simple, controlled lives. No fuel or money for vacations, no economy that creates medicines or technology. You stopped DDT without any evidence that it made bird eggs weak, and millions died in Africa from malaria. Your disregard for human welfare is far more appalling than anything fracking could ever produce.
As a Luddite is by definition someone who is opposed to new technology, I'd say those who refuse to let go of the old fossil fuel-only paradigm are far better candidates for that insulting name. Wouldn't you agree?

At any rate, the only reason you and yours aren't currently breathing smog-clouded air and drinking oil-befouled water and eating disease-ridden food while wandering around in a gray, sooty, treeless world is because of the efforts of us "Luddite environmentalists". And we're not worried that you find us reprehensible; your grandchildren will surely thank us... ;-)
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WOW,Skye! This is an incredibly insightful and informative read.
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46. Skyepony (Mod)
This has everything to do with human welfare, fracking is making people sick. Lets look past the polluted water a minute & concentrate on a very well known & recognized lung disease suddenly affecting people in the residential areas where fracking is occurring, as well as the workers. Silica can sicken & kill on the wind 20 miles downwind from fracking.


Silica dust clouds from delivery trucks loading into sand movers.
Photo credit: NIOSH

Health Hazards of Silica

Hydraulic fracturing sand contains up to 99% silica. Breathing silica can cause silicosis. Silicosis is a lung disease where lung tissue around trapped silica particles reacts, causing inflammation and scarring and reducing the lungs' ability to take in oxygen.ii Workers who breathe silica day after day are at greater risk of developing silicosis. Silica can also cause lung cancer and has been linked to other diseases, such as tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney and autoimmune disease.iii



Real progress would be taking a lead in switching to renewable & efficiency like Germany. For six years now they have exported more energy than they imported, even while in the last few years they shut off 8 older nuclear plants. They are having huge grid technological advances because of their efforts to move forward away from dangerous, unhealthy energy sources.

Progress


Fracking is not progress. It uses valuable resources in a wasteful manner to unbury what should stay buried... Even if they got every last bit out of the TMS play, it's only enough to power the country for one year. It's not worth the cost. Especially since they plan on exporting much of it anyways.. We will be bearing the health & environmental impacts while corporations sell the gas to other countries.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
You Luddite environmentalists always find a reason why we can't do something. No matter what it is, it's bad for the environment. Well, guess what? Stopping fracking is bad for the economy, bad for the US, and bad for our lives. The environment gets blasted with hurricanes, volcanoes, continental drift, earthquakes, and so many forces that make fracking look like nothing.

The environment can survive, but our modern way of life cannot survive those of you who who hate progress. No energy extraction is going to be perfectly clean, but you environmentalists never like to show the devastation that will happen if we don't move forward: more poverty, more unemployment, more disease, and more people living petty, simple, controlled lives. No fuel or money for vacations, no economy that creates medicines or technology. You stopped DDT without any evidence that it made bird eggs weak, and millions died in Africa from malaria. Your disregard for human welfare is far more appalling than anything fracking could ever produce.
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44. Skyepony (Mod)
All that about North Dakota is true.. I've got a friend that went to ND a few months ago with her kids. The husband went out to be a fracker around the first of the year...with the slashing of the space industry & such around here they were hungry. I was surprised to see such an environmentalist do a 180..hungry kids & offers of lots of easy money sure can change some. It's so booming in ND that finding a place for everyone to sleep was a challenge.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
43. Skyepony (Mod)
There is several bills & such people can act, protest & sign against this week involving our dwindling rights to none polluting food. Top of the list is the EPA is about to okay another known bee killing pesticide. There is also a petition for kill Monsanto act & to keep farmers from having to id every animal in TX. This animal id thing is another way to kill the small farmer. Bottom of this gets into fracking..

Must see..



Don’t Let Lawmakers Strip Texas Communities of their Right to Regulate Fracking. Tell your Legislators to Stop HB 1496.

Texas lawmakers want to take away the power of your local community to keep fracking wells away from homes and schools, and hand over that power to the state.

HB 1496 (Van Taylor, R-Plano) proposes to strip municipalities of the power to pass zoning regulations and local ordinances to regulate oil and gas drilling in their own backyards. Unless we stop this Bill, the oil and gas industry will be able to place fracking wells within 200 ft. of homes, schools, churches, nursing homes, parks, hospitals and shopping malls. And your community will have no way to stop them.

Please sign the letter below urging your state legislators to stop HB 1496 and protect your community’s right to local control!

Imagine the devastation that would occur if there were an explosion or other emergency at a fracking well near a school or nursing home. Not to mention the quality of life issues everyone would suffer from if localities were stripped of the right to control oil and gas drilling.

Texas communities that have experienced the horrors of fracking first-hand have used the democratic process to enact sensible regulations in an attempt to bring self-described "frackers" under control – a process that will be taken away under HB 1496.

One of those communities is Flower Mound, Texas. Citizens there made national news when they ousted pro-drilling mayor, Jody Smith, and ushered in a slate of candidates willing to protect public health. Under new leadership, Flower Mound was able to enact common sense regulations on fracking, including a 1,500-foot buffer between gas drilling sites and homes, churches, schools and other protected places.

Here’s what the residents of Flower Mound have to say about a laws like the proposed HB 1496, which would take away their right to local control of their land:

Taking away local control means that we would be impotent to stop any addition to our communities, no matter how vulgar or dangerous it may be.

Five years or more from now, if our children and/or grandchildren were to develop leukemia, respiratory ailments, neurological disorders, or a number of other potential maladies caused by those fracking chemicals leaching into our aquifers, where would those gas companies be? They’d be in another city or town, planting sickness for other generations to endure, while they counted their profits.

That’s because they’re in business to make profit, not to safeguard the health and safety of the areas in which they ply their trade. That’s precisely why they need to be regulated by those who will be most affected by the poisonous potions they inject into our water and air.

—Bob Weir, a long-time resident of Flower Mound making the case against HB 1496 in his opinion piece, "Robbing Power From the People"
Please stand up for the most basic right of self-government, local control, by using the form below to send a message to your state legislators urging them to stop HB 1496.

You can also encourage your local elected officials to pass a resolution opposing HB 1496, like the one the Flower Mound Town Council is considering.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
42. JazzWeatherman (Admin)
Hi Angela!
New Study: Hydraulic Fracturing Faces Growing Competition for Water Supplies in Water-Stressed Regions

Nearly half of 25,450 oil and gas wells evaluated in U.S. are in water basins with high and extremely high water stress; industry’s future growth depends on accelerating solutions such as more water recycling, better water management planning.

"A new Ceres research paper on water use in hydraulic fracturing operations shows that a significant portion of this activity is happening in water stressed regions of the United States, most prominently Texas and Colorado, which are both in the midst of prolonged drought conditions. It concludes that industry efforts underway, such as expanded use of recycled water and non-freshwater resources, need to be scaled up along with better water management planning if shale energy production is to grow as projected.

The report, announced today, is based on well drilling and water use data from FracFocus.org and water stress indicator maps developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI). The research shows that nearly 47 percent of the wells were developed in water basins with high or extremely high water stress. The research was based on FracFocus data collected on 25,450 wells in operation from January 2011 through September 2012.

“These findings highlight emerging tensions in many U.S. regions between growing hydraulic fracturing activity and localized water supply needs,” said Ceres president Mindy Lubber, in announcing the report, Hydraulic Fracturing & Water Stress: Growing Competitive Pressures for Water, at Ceres’ annual conference in San Francisco".

Note the report,"Hydraulic Fracturing & Water Stress: Growing Competitive Pressures for Water" requires a sbscription to download.

Read on
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting htszp:

So you still don't cite any sources, have not understood Skye's clarification of what you misinterpreted (psychic you are not) and you have not apologized for the personal attack you insinuated previously. If you are just an industry flack, go ahead and say it. Let's get honest.
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Skyepony,

As Neapolitan ... sort of alluded to, I think there's more promise in reuse of produced water for fracking water. Sure, most produced water is salty and it might cause acceleration of corrosion to the casing, but I would think this could be minimized by some corrosion inhibitors. In addition, some produced water is not salty. And it can't be that far from reality, since I know some people who were considering using their own produced water (from other operations) and trucking it to their own fracking sites during the drought of 2011 when water was scarce. Rules and incentivizing this could go a long way.

I would also encourage you to work on petitioning for a regulation which clarifies that existing residences, existing farming, and existing ranching interests have priority over water wherever there is a specific conflict - that is, if there isn't such a regulation already. I think a special task force was set up in Texas in 2011 during the awful drought there to ensure ranchers in South Texas had enough water for their herds' survival rather than for wells that could be delayed. Mississippi has much more water than South Texas, but if you think it's likely to become an issue, pursue this.

However, regarding "being fracked" it's not a landowner's decision nor should it ever be how a well is drilled, completed, or produced as long as the driller/producer follows all laws. It is - in the most literal sense of the phrase - none of the landowner's business. Back to the tree farming analogy, I am quite sure that your family would not appreciate an oil and gas company or private citizen or whoever dictating how you should run your business - because I assume that you already follow all rules and regulations and even go above and beyond this.

"...so that the oil companies & hopefully the mineral rights owners will profit more."
Do you think that kind of language is constructive? When people insist that there is a cabal between politicians and X industry, they likely never move beyond that level of understanding. There is truly a lot that can be done, with good-intentioned people on both sides. The extremes will not be helpful in solving this.
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Quoting bappit:


Also "pretty ho-hum" is being forced to go into arbitration with an arbitrator hired by the company you have a disagreement with. Just because something is common practice does not mean it is right.


It's usually ho-hum because most people get along with other people. Who wants to go to court or be in arbitration? Most mentally healthy people don't want to fight unless they feel they have no other options (which is sometimes the case, but not usually). And that includes people working for oil and gas companies. You think O&G companies like legal battles?!?

Different interests can coexist on the same land. There are usually at least three simultaneous uses for land wherever oil and gas operates because they don't use much land themselves. Common in the Texas Panhandle: cotton farming, residence, oil, wind farm all in the same area. South Texas: hunting, ranching, gas. Louisiana and East Texas: Tree farming, hunting, oil and gas. California: solar and oil. Wyoming: Oil/gas, wind, ranching. Fights are rare. This is the rule, not the exception.



Quoting bappit:

This part of your post puts you into the category of mind reader. You know what the person talking to Skye was thinking ... and you don't even know who that was?

Who WHO was? The source equates shale gas to bitumen. Yes, shale gas to bitumen. So they are equating tar sands to shale gas. No mind-reading necessary. The source goes on to say that shale gas (and shale oil) take a lot of energy to extract and "upgrade". On what planet?
There are only two possibilities here: 1. Jane Dale Owen doesn't understand the issues she's writing about (difference between different types of oil and gas) or 2. She is purposely muddying the waters so that her readers don't understand. Assuming good faith, let's go with #1.
Angela might have been more critical before linking to that paragraph of the article, but she didn't write those words and she demonstrates that she knows the difference. I would never expect Jane to offer a retraction in any shape or form because it's not a real news source by any stretch of the imagination.
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Quoting Skyepony:
I plan on looking into the type of waterless fracking OneMark brought up...
Don't bother. Or at least don't bother with the one written of in comment #32. The technology may (or may not) be viable, but the company behind that press release is just another energy scammer. There's pretty scathing write-up here. Also here. Heck, just go to Google and type in "chimera energy scam".

Oh, and don't bother going to Chimera's website; it's no longer available...

Like fracking itself, Chimera promised something safe, but failed to deliver anything at all.
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Quoting htszp:
Sure, it gets a bunch of people angry and agitated to call it "buy[ing] silence", but the truth is that this is pretty ho-hum stuff and it already happens every day as a matter of course.

Does it buy silence? Just wondering if accepting the money comes with strings. I honestly don't know, just noting the possibility.

Also "pretty ho-hum" is being forced to go into arbitration with an arbitrator hired by the company you have a disagreement with. Just because something is common practice does not mean it is right.

Quoting htszp:
Thanks for the personal story, but an anecdote and lengthy blog post is does not qualify one as an expert in fracking.


I don't think Skye ever portrayed herself as an expert on fracking. Apparently you do think of yourself as an expert (you cite no sources to back up your statements), but I have no idea what your credentials are.

Quoting htszp:
I think perhaps your source implied that it was thicker - that is completely without any basis whatsoever. Hydrocarbons from shale run the gamut from thick oil to normal API-gravity oil to wet gas (gas with lots of light condensate) to extremely dry gas (no oil or condensate at all) which requires almost no processing (save the addition of mercaptan) before it can be used in a residence. Yours (and the source's) seems to be a misunderstanding based on a confusion between two different environmental issues: so called "tar sands" and fracking.


This part of your post puts you into the category of mind reader. You know what the person talking to Skye was thinking ... and you don't even know who that was?

Commenting about her family's business? How is that relevant?
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35. Skyepony (Mod)
htszp~ Thanks for bringing your knowledge. I guess that could have been more clear. It has a mix of liquid natural gas which would fetch more on the market right now than the more cheaper dry that is more prevalent in the nation.. It has some oil as well, that needs separating out. There is already wells out there, seen the documents of what they contain..no confusion on the difference between tar sands & fracking.

I understand land owners are well compensated, just saying there is little choice not to get fracked, atleast across the community because of the laws.

As for the water..that well I posted about the other day..that's 6 1/2 million gallons of surface water that becomes water removed from the water cycle. Overall it consumes alot.. I plan on looking into the type of waterless fracking OneMark brought up..

We practice select cutting. The only reason it looked clear cut in that picture is because Katrina clear cut a section. It used to be pasture & crop, so it's capturing more carbon than it used to. There is a section of untouched forest.

Totally agree that the state legislature will be no help. I think they are holding off on these other counties til the laws pass, so that the oil companies & hopefully the mineral rights owners will profit more.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Third, the conventional oil industry DOES inject water deep underground and has been doing so for decades. Since at least the NPDES came into effect in 1972, the overwhelming majority of produced water has been reinjected underground into reservoirs isolated from drinking water aquifers. I can guarantee you that the chemicals in this produced water are almost NEVER measured by GC-MS or other laboratory method, much less disclosed to the public. And the impacts to this practice are extremely minimal. You know how I know that? Because no one here (and probably countless other environmental blogs) are even aware that it happens, much less knowing about impacts. There is no grand conspiracy to allow oil and gas industries which frack an exemption to the Clean Water Act. Oil and gas companies do not inject water (produced or fracking) into surface water sources or drinking water aquifers; therefore, there is no exemption that is even needed.

Fourth, I mean no disrespect to your family business, but why is it that you think tree farming has no impacts on the environment? Don't get me wrong, I love that most of the South is forested and think we should responsibly harvest the resources, but the monoculture and clear-cutting (even if rotated by area) doesn't exactly leave a diverse environment. Sure, the environmental awareness and caring varies in every industry, but I think it's shortsighted and unfair to portray one industry as the victim and others as the villains. In my experience, THE best-remediated site I've ever seen was a former coal mine in Texas. It had more diversity of plant and animal species (all native species that I saw) than within 40 miles in any direction. Combined.

Why not push for concessions here and there from oil and gas companies or have targeted changes added to state law? That way, you guys will actually remain relevant...

Think that O&G companies get away with not compensating landowners enough for damages? Focus on that and strengthen the existing laws.

Think there is too much water use? Force them to use produced water. It is abundunt in the U.S. Though about 3.5 billion barrels of oil are produced in the U.S. every year, 21 billion barrels of produced water are produced each year http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/pwmis/intropw /, with nearly all of it currently injected underground.

Pick your battles. Pushing the state legislature in the poorest and most conservative state in the country to ban fracking outright will get you absolutely nowhere.
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Thanks for the personal story, but an anecdote and lengthy blog post is does not qualify one as an expert in fracking.

There is so much incorrect, it's hard to know where to begin. But let's start with a few:

You said that gas and oil from shale formations is low quality, and the link you provided asserted the same. Theirs was in the context of a lower ratio of energy expended to energy recovered. To which any person in the oil industry would reply "DUH!". Yes, of course oil and gas is harder to obtain now than in 1900 when the oil was just naturally oozing out of the ground in some places. But as far as being lower quality - I think perhaps your source implied that it was thicker - that is completely without any basis whatsoever. Hydrocarbons from shale run the gamut from thick oil to normal API-gravity oil to wet gas (gas with lots of light condensate) to extremely dry gas (no oil or condensate at all) which requires almost no processing (save the addition of mercaptan) before it can be used in a residence. Yours (and the source's) seems to be a misunderstanding based on a confusion between two different environmental issues: so called "tar sands" and fracking.

Second, the penultimate paragraph implies that oil and gas companies don't already compensate land owners for damages and surface use. Oil companies MUST compensate the owner annually for using the land - either for a drilling pad, a production facility, storage site, etc. - because this is land that the landowner can't use for farming, ranching, growing trees, hunting leases, or any other use the landowner has in mind. Similarly, for any land they
damage - such as with a spill - they must compensate the landowner. This is one of the most fundamental things regarding property rights and written contracts. Sure, it gets a bunch of people angry and agitated to call it "buy[ing] silence", but the truth is that this is pretty ho-hum stuff and it already happens every day as a matter of course.
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Hello, Ms. Fritz,

I like and respect your blogs. However, I must point out an erroneous statement you made recently: You said that the only way to extract the oil and gas from those areas is through fracking. I wonder if you could help spread the word that there is a new technology through which oil and gas is extracted from superficial fields, that does not involve old-fashioned and extremely harmful hydrofracting. Here is the word on the new method:

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Chimera Energy Corp (CHMR) disclosed that Company management arrives in Mexico City this morning for their direct meetings with PEMEX to collaborate on utilizing CHMR’s revolutionary exothermic Non-Hydraulic Extraction system throughout Latin America. The initial deal between the two companies was publicly announced last week. The Non-Hydraulic Extraction system is a revolutionary Shale Oil extraction technology designed to safely and economically replace hydraulic fracturing (AKA fracking and fracing) without negative environmental impacts. The new process uses no water. Under the initial deal, the parties agreed that PEMEX will provide the first location for utilizing the new system in the Western Hemisphere.
PEMEX is the largest company in both Mexico and all of Latin America. Some of the largest concentrations of Shale Oil in the world are located throughout Latin America.
Non-Hydraulic Extraction has recently emerged to be asserted as a cheaper and more effective extraction method that does not affect groundwater at all. Chimera Energy Corp is in the process of reengineering this new method for mass production, relicensing and sales. For a description of how Non-Hydraulic Extraction works, high-speed broadband users may visit www.zerowaterfracking.com.
Or you may alternatively visit www.chimeraenergyusa.com/investors.html.

I find this exciting and would like more people to start using it, but I don't know how? Maybe you could help in this regard,

Thank you,
Wendy Smith, CEO
markonepublications.com
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Quoting whitewabit:


Huge win for the EPA ..


Ditto

:)

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting JohnLonergan:
In Huge Win On Mountaintop Removal With Big Implications, Court Upholds EPA Authority To Protect Clean Water

"An important court decision yesterday on mountaintop removal mining for coal has significant ramifications for future decisions.

Yesterday’s ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to protect clean water from coal mine and other destructive waste. As one attorney working on the case put it:


'[The] decision upholds essential protection for all Americans granted by the Clean Water Act. Communities in Appalachia can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that EPA always has the final say to stop devastating permits for mountaintop removal mining. Now, we just need EPA to take action to protect more communities and mountain streams before they are gone for good.'"


Huge win for the EPA ..
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
29. Skyepony (Mod)
John~ Like that win against mountaintop removal & for clean water.. Thanks for bring that:)

Great to see some lurkers:)

Waterwunder~ You make some compelling points about how this is not bridge from coal & oil to renewable energy. The whole process is wracked with waste.

kwgm~ You really nailed why I did this blog. Not so much my anxiety since it's out of my hands & not my decision, I didn't grow up on this land but elders... They were looking really anxious about having to deal & decide on this anytime soon & had a lot of questions. The 2 year delay seemed to bring some relief. I will try & dig a little deeper over the weekend & leave it here for future reference. Thanks for encouraging that & the all direction approach.. Look at this from a mineral rights owner has opened up a whole other world of info on this..


Found this.. It's find a well (it looks world wide). You can look up frack wells & see most of what they are using including how much water.

This is a frac well from one of the three counties they started fracking in MS..Horseshoe Hill Well located in Wilkenson County. This doesn't jive with some local MS news I read saying fresh water, salt water & sand was all they were going to use in MS..

Questions regarding the content of the MSDS should be directed to the supplier who provided it. The Occupational Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA) regulations govern the criteria for the disclosure of this information. Please note that Federal Law protects 'proprietary', 'trade secret', and 'confidential business information' and the criteria for how this information is reported on an MSDS is subject to 29 CFR 1910.1200(i) and Appendix D.

Purpose/Name Supplier/Ingredient/Service Number (CAS #)/Maximum Ingredient Concentration in Additive (% by mass)**/Concentration in HF Fluid(% by mass)**

SP BREAKER Halliburton Breaker Sodium persulfate 7775-27-1 100.00% 0.00088%
WG-36 GELLING Halliburton Gelling Agent Guar gum 9000-30-0 100.00% 0.20909%
AGENT Terpenes and Terpenoids, sweet orange-oil 68647-72-3 5.00% 0.00239%
GasPerm 1100 Halliburton Non-ionic Surfactant Ethanol 64-17-5 60.00% 0.02871%
FR-66 Halliburton Friction Reducer Hydrotreated light petroleum distillate 64742-47-8 30.00% 0.02330%
Sodium chloride 7647-14-5 30.00% 0.01342%
VICON NF Halliburton Breaker Chlorous acid, sodium salt 7758-19-2 10.00% 0.00447%
BREAKER Potassium metaborate 13709-94-9 60.00% 0.01323%
CL-31 Halliburton Crosslinker Potassium hydroxide 1310-58-3 5.00% 0.00110%
CROSSLINKER MO-67 Halliburton Buffer Sodium hydroxide 1310-73-2 30.00% 0.00758%
Confidential Business Information 60.00% 0.02563%
Borate salts CL-28M Halliburton Crosslinker Crystalline silica, quartz 14808-60-7 5.00% 0.00214%
CROSSLINKER SAND - PREMIUM Halliburton Proppant Crystalline silica, quartz 14808-60-7 100.00% 1.19297%
WHITE SAND - PREMIUM Halliburton Proppant Crystalline silica, quartz 14808-60-7 100.00% 8.85137%
BROWN SAND - COMMON Halliburton Proppant Crystalline silica, quartz 14808-60-7 100.00% 1.07290%
WHITE Brine (NaCl) Operator 100.00% 3.74404% Density = 9.980
Fresh Water Operator 100.00% 84.66851% Density = 8.350
Maximum Comments

Total Water Volume (gal)*: 6,430,629
True Vertical Depth (TVD): 13,138
Production Type: Oil
Long/Lat Projection: WGS84
Latitude: 31.058183
Longitude: -91.245167
Well Name and Number: Horseshoe Hill 10H-1
Operator Name: Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc.
API Number: 2315722027
County: Wilkinson
State: Mississippi
Fracture Date: 3/6/2012
Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Product Component Information Disclosure

** Information is based on the maximum potential for concentration and thus the total may be over 100%
* Total Water Volume sources may include fresh water, produced water, and/or recycled water
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
28. kwgm
Skyepony,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I live in Colorado, where so-called fracking has been in use for a long time without incident.

However, over a long skeptical life, I've learned that 1) the only answer to anxiety over any issue beyond my control is to learn more about that issue and 2) depend on researching sources from the left, right, and center. Somewhere within the mixture of all points of view lies the truth.

I encourage you to keep seeking your own answers and talking over your ideas with the community. Best wishes.
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In Huge Win On Mountaintop Removal With Big Implications, Court Upholds EPA Authority To Protect Clean Water

"An important court decision yesterday on mountaintop removal mining for coal has significant ramifications for future decisions.

Yesterday’s ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to protect clean water from coal mine and other destructive waste. As one attorney working on the case put it:


'[The] decision upholds essential protection for all Americans granted by the Clean Water Act. Communities in Appalachia can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that EPA always has the final say to stop devastating permits for mountaintop removal mining. Now, we just need EPA to take action to protect more communities and mountain streams before they are gone for good.'"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Skye maybe you should use this as your theme ..
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Skyepony, you're indeed in an alarming situation, thank you for your post. I would urge everyone who thinks that natural gas is any kind of bridge to clean renewable energy to research further, because it is not, it is a gangplank. Current studies are finding that because methane is a greenhouse gas at least 22 times more detrimental than CO2, that natural gas may in fact be far worse than coal as a contributor to climate disruption. One must measure the life cycle contributions of each fuel, from extraction to burning, and then do the comparison. Some of the best information on these very difficult questions comes from Dr. Tony Ingraffea, the Dwight C Baum Professor in Engineering at the Civil and Environmental Engineer Dept at Cornell. His bio: http://www.cee.cornell.edu/people/profile.cfm?neti d=ari1

See his videos here: Dr. Anthony Ingraffea youtube collection

The best way to fight climate disruption is to leave all fossil fuels in the ground, and to spend our time and resources on beefing up our clean renewable energy, and making our use of any energy source as efficient as possible, instead of fracking our communities and our future. Best of luck to you, Skyepony. You're on my prayer list.
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skye,


Thanks

The drama from both sides is making my hair hurt.

2014 can't come soon enough.

:)


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
23. Skyepony (Mod)
Thanks everyone!

babbit~ That is a whole other unanswered question in this experiment..with the viruses/bacteria. So little has been looked into with the faults too.

shep~ Fracknation was a backlash to Gasland. In that report by the fracking industry I posted Gasland movie was mentioned as being very influential in starting the detrimental grassroots movement. Gasland isn't free of mistakes & could have been done more to the quality of the one that Matt Damon was in. Fracknation was actually put out the same day as Matt Damon's movie came out but on TV instead of theater.

It's no secret that methane can be in a well & make the water flammable. What is happening here is water becomes flammable after the fracking. To not disclose that flammable water existed in the world before fracking doesn't change all the wells that weren't flammable before fracking, that turned after.

A shot out of Fracknation comes from this media story..Fracking to poison your beer. They really changed the spin..

Also that EPA result in the there. That is one clean report they received... & check the land owners reaction.. They didn't buy it. Here's a 14sec clip from that day where the people from the EPA refuse to drink that water they say is safe..To be fair, a relevant fact that might have been included in FrackNation on the topic, but wasn%u2019t, is that the drilling company Cabot in 2012 reached a confidential settlement with some residents in Dimock, Pa., who claimed the company%u2019s fracking activity contaminated the water supply. Federal regulators testing the water in 2012 found it safe for drinking but previous tests by state regulators determined that the aquifer had indeed been contaminated with methane by Cabot. I've read but can't find it..it was later found out that the EPA test results that day didn't include the tests for several hard, carcinogenic metals related to fracking that ARE present in some of the water sources in Dimock.

Other than federal lands & some Indian reservations, everything got shunted back to the individual states..I don't think EPA was ever required to do a tally because of that. All that about Bush not creating loopholes in Fracknation isn't true. Gasland wasn't done with the best of integrity. Fracknation was done with even less.

Neither movie changes how much water is taken out of the water cycle or the chemicals being pumped into the ground or the end result in the atmosphere. Read that review the industry did of itself. They admit it ruins land & lives. And suggest paying that off long before court or the EPA gets involved.

Phelim McAleer the producer of Fracknation is no prize either. Here he is being harassed by activists & people that found mistakes in his movie. This probibly doesn't add much but a good laugh for both sides of the argument..be forewarned there is mild cursing & name calling in this.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
22. Ylee
From Paradise, by John Prine:

Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.

And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking
Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away


This isn't the first time that big money has wooed and walked over the little man "for the good of the country"(and their own pockets), and it won't be the last. Skye, I'm sorry it's going down like this.
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Great Job Sky!!
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Food for thought about the vertical migration of pollutants underground. This story is about viruses going down into groundwater. Going up, of course, is a different matter, but since the pollutants are under pressure ... yes, they can.

"Scientists once thought that pathogens could not reach drinking water wells sunk into deep, protected groundwater aquifers. Nevertheless, over the past decade, researchers have identified diarrhea-causing viruses at a handful of deep bedrock well sites in the U.S. and Europe. Now, researchers in Madison, Wis., report where these pathogenic viruses may have originated. The viruses appear to seep from sewer pipes and then swiftly penetrate drinking water wells."
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Does it have be one the people of New York have never seen?
The EPA are captured here in the past investigating claims.
Just because a number of people have forced or otherwise effected the genesis of yet another expensive study doesn't mean that road has not already been traveled.
The EPA has tested water all over this country in relation to fracturing's affect. Can't they just hit the "tally" button? Is there justice in one or two people halting an entire industry with no regard to Empirical Data?
There are some shady folks in the anti-fracturing cause as well.

No, I'm not calling you shady.


Edit:
Video deleted.
No idea why it plays automatically.
I usually don't have that issue with tubes'..
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
18. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting theshepherd:
To claim that the EPA has not investigated fracturing vs water quality in the past is disingenuous at best.




We can read.



Really..did you read the whole entry & checked the link where I said that?


We're here ... in calling on Gov. Cuomo to wait for the results of the critical (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) study of hydraulic fracturing and its impact on drinking water resources before making his decision on whether or not to allow fracking in New York state, said group organizer Julia Walsh.

The results will be available in 2014, she said. This is the first comprehensive independent federal study on the practice of hydraulic fracturing.

That's from this article wrote April 09, 2013..(linked in the entry there)..

Please Shep bring us some EPA fracking results about water quality that has already or never been made public, one the people of NY have never seen...can't wait to read it.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
There is more Empirical Data vindicating fracturing than drama and untruths can defeat.
When I see the opposite to be true, I'll change my mind.

The easiest way to cloud an issue is to deflect and start piling on with the entire Pseudo Green Agenda.

Green Agendas are great and I'm all for it. Pseudo is not.

Not directed at you personally Skye, but it's interesting how some can hold their nose so high while their head is stuck so far up somewhere else and expect their impact to be palatable...and then wonder why so many are repulsed at anything they have to say.

To claim that the EPA has not investigated fracturing vs water quality in the past is disingenuous at best.




Just play the music.
We can read.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
EPA Slams State’s Draft Impact Statement For Keystone XL

"On the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, EPA rated the adequacy of the State Department’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) as having “Insufficient Information.”" ...


..."EPA’s Cynthia Giles, the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement, has submitted the agency’s public comment. They could have rated the adequacy of the impact statement three different ways: “Adequate,” “Insufficient Information,” or “Inadequate.” They rated it “Insufficient Information,” which means that they do not know enough to fully assess the environmental impacts of a tar sands pipeline traversing the continent.

Here are the reasons EPA said that State’s DEIS needs more work:
•Increased carbon pollution: EPA acknowledged the DEIS’s attempt to do a life-cycle analysis of the pipeline’s emissions, which found that emissions from oil sands crude would be 81 percent higher than regular crude, or an incremental increase of 18.7 million metric tons of CO2 per year. EPA noted that “If GHG intensity of oil sands crude is not reduced, over a 50 year period the additional CO2 from oil sands crude transported by the pipeline could be as much as 935 million metric tons.” These statistics are alarming, yet EPA’s analysis did not stop there.
•Not inevitable: Like other experts, EPA doubted State’s assurance that this tar sands oil would come out of the ground with the Keystone pipeline or without it:


The market analysis and the conclusion that oil sands crude will find a way to market: With or without the Project is the central finding that supports the DSEIS’s conclusions regarding the Project’s potential GHG emissions impacts. Because the market analysis is so central to this key conclusion, we think it is important that it be as complete and accurate as possible.

It then goes on to detail the ways in which this market analysis is incomplete: It uses outdated modeling, and the expense and infeasibility of rail shipping as an alternative to Keystone both need to be considered.

•Pipelines don’t pump themselves: EPA recommends that renewable energy be used to power the pumping stations along the pipeline, because otherwise the constructed pipeline itself will actively emit GhG emissions.
•Tar sands oil is particularly dirty to clean up: The EPA notes that diluted bitumen is very dense and sinks to the bottom of rivers and lakes. The 2010 Enbridge spill will require dredging, because normal cleanup methods do not suffice. The Keystone pipeline would be 36 inches in diameter — larger than the pipe that leaked 20,000 barrels of oil in the Enbridge spill. EPA notes that dilbit contains some very toxic materials “such as benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heavy metals” that “could cause long-term chronic toxicological impacts” to wildlife. EPA recommends including a seriously revamped and rethought response plan as conditions before any permit is issued to build a pipeline.
•Who needs drinking water?: Though Keystone’e proponents received praise for moving the original route away from the Sand Hills, it still crosses the Ogallala Aquifer. The EPA notes there is another way: “The alternative laid out in the DSEIS that would avoid the Ogallala Aquifer is the I-90 Corridor Alternative, which largely follows the path of existing pipelines.” There were additional alternatives that State’s EIS did not address, and EPA asked it to do so."

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
Thanks, skyepony, for the excellent and wholly depressing post (and thanks to Angela for giving skyepony the forum).

For the most part, the people who settled the Americam wilderness had designs on profiting off their land the slow, time-honored way: through the raising of crops and livestock, or through well-husbanded forestry and the like. The idea was to acquire something of value and pass it on to one's heirs, each generation after the next improving on and valuing the land for the eternal investment that it can be. But nowadays, far too many people see land as just another commodity to be bought cheaply, pillaged completely, and dumped for whatever measly amount can be had. Some in control of land that has been held by the same family for three hundred years and longer are now heady with the smell of fracking cash, and are jumping headlong into the crazed feeding frenzy. These people would gleefully pimp out their own mothers if they thought it could fatten their portfolios. And when they're done, the barren, scarred, dessicated, treeless, lifeless, oil-fouled plots of property left will stand as mute testament to their greed. Not that they'll care; their new Lamborghini Aventadors will help assuage any lingering guilt they may feel for prostituting their birthright...


Well, that is a rather harsh assessment. Personally, I think the worst thing about 'fracking' is its name: sounds a bit like 'fragging' a term from the Vietnam War where friendlies assassinated their commanding officers. I don't think the U.S. can immediately move to a renewable energy resource situation overnight. The shale extraction process may offer a 'bridge' opportunity to get us to the ultimate goal of renewable energy resources. There are many legitimate concerns about fracking: the most obvious being the possibility of a leak at the 50-200 meter depth level that could pollute an aquifer. That would be a catastrophic event. So, no I'm not convinced fracking is a panacea. But I do think it may be a route towards energy self-sufficiency for the U.S. It is a difficult decision to make (approve or disapprove) one way or the other. That being said, I really can't blame property owners making a decision (sale) of their mineral rights regarding their homesteads.
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The recharge zone(s) for the sands where Baton Rouge and a lot of the Felicianas gets its well water from is within the area of the TMS. These sands are fairly shallow. Hope the wells don't leak. Hope the faults don't leak.

Well written blog.
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Good blog article Skye. Very well done.
With all the flooding in Illinois (and all over the Mid-West) I can only imagine how fracking may add even more of an unknown consequence to our beautiful natural resources such as Starved Rock State Park area.
"Starved Rock State park offices flooded"
Link

"Your Guide To Illinois Fracking"
Link

Thanks for the food for thought on this Earth Day, Angela, and Skyepony
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As I am done with the clutter at Ricky's blog, I am taking Sky's advise and posting here.

Henry David Thoreau Comes To The Aid Of Climate Science

http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2013/04/22/17839751 9/henry-david-thoreau-comes-to-the-aid-of-climate- scienceLink

..........
The average date of spring flowering is now 11 days earlier than it was in Thoreau's time................
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Thanks, skyepony, for the excellent and wholly depressing post (and thanks to Angela for giving skyepony the forum).

For the most part, the people who settled the Americam wilderness had designs on profiting off their land the slow, time-honored way: through the raising of crops and livestock, or through well-husbanded forestry and the like. The idea was to acquire something of value and pass it on to one's heirs, each generation after the next improving on and valuing the land for the eternal investment that it can be. But nowadays, far too many people see land as just another commodity to be bought cheaply, pillaged completely, and dumped for whatever measly amount can be had. Some in control of land that has been held by the same family for three hundred years and longer are now heady with the smell of fracking cash, and are jumping headlong into the crazed feeding frenzy. These people would gleefully pimp out their own mothers if they thought it could fatten their portfolios. And when they're done, the barren, scarred, dessicated, treeless, lifeless, oil-fouled plots of property left will stand as mute testament to their greed. Not that they'll care; their new Lamborghini Aventadors will help assuage any lingering guilt they may feel for prostituting their birthright...
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10. Skyepony (Mod)
Thanks everyone!

MNTornado~ The point is most times the landowner is hopeless to stop this. Grassroot efforts are having the greatest impact.

MN though it has no oil or Natural Gas, is being mined like never before for fracking sand..or silica. A component of the fracking fluid injecting during fracking. It's a rather large industry in your neck of the planet. Silica has been mined in that area for the last 100 years or more for glass, abrasive material and golf course sand trap sand. You actually are located very close to a frack sand mine (green dot).. Each well they frack requires 10,000 tons of industrial silica sand. So this is now the booming industry there. Currently 4 counties, Goodhue, Wabasha, Houston, and Fillmore, have stopped issuing new permits for industrial silica sand mining. Check out this map..there are several moratoriums that have already passed in your area. Seems the health & community effects are a hot topic their too..


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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