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View Diary: Fracking in California must not be regulated. (113 comments)

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  •  Bingo. Wish I could rec twice (16+ / 0-)

    It's literally criminal, because in a few decades, fresh water will be worth more than energy (as most of our energy needs can be fulfilled by solar/wind and maybe thorium nukes as a baseload).

    Water is the future battlefront and you're already seeing many countries where fresh water is far more expensive than it should be, as private concerns buy up all the water rights and then charge through the nose selling it back to the country's citizens.

    --
    Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

    by sacrelicious on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 02:03:08 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  You're assuming an assumption that Josh Fox wants (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093

      you to assume -- that it isn't technically feasible to install an oil and gas well anywhere safely and without harm to groundwater.

      You're assuming that 100% of oil and gas wells contaminate ground water and you're assuming that the operation of hydraulic fracturing is the cause of the problem.....all bad assumptions propagated by Fox that are junk science.

      That assumption isn't true and is contrary to a consensus scientific position of engineers, geologists and hydrologists who are stewards of that field of multi-disclplinary knowledge and analysis necessary to conduct environmental safety risk assessments for oil and gas well siting and development.  

      •  asdf (7+ / 0-)

        (you're assuming) that it isn't technically feasible to install an oil and gas well anywhere safely and without harm to groundwater. You're assuming that 100% of oil and gas wells contaminate ground water and you're assuming that the operation of hydraulic fracturing is the cause of the problem

        While making the backdoor suggestion that none of those things are true (which is wildly dubious claim, even in light the inclusion of the weasel word "technically"), you're completely avoiding the point being addressed in the comment chain to which you responded; that fracking is an egregious waste of precious water regardless of what laughably unsubstantiated claims are made by industry in their endless campaign to deceive the citizenry and maintain a cloak of secrecy around the entire procedure.

        Money speaks for money, the devil for his own... Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone?

        by LeftOverAmerica on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:00:09 PM PDT

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      •  Please provide a cite to factually verifiable (4+ / 0-)

        data for this (that is not funded by any energy providers).

        That assumption isn't true and is contrary to a consensus scientific position of engineers, geologists and hydrologists who are stewards of that field of multi-disclplinary knowledge and analysis necessary to conduct environmental safety risk assessments for oil and gas well siting and development.  
        I'll be waiting.

        Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

        by ceebee7 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:24:37 PM PDT

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      •  It isn't... (7+ / 0-)

        and that has nothing to do with Gasland or the ideas you were criticizing. We have seen the effects of this quite clearly here in Pennsylvania, where fracking for NG is already in full swing.

        You don't need to theorize about infiltration into water tables from deep fracturing or anything else. All it takes is the large-scale spills of fracking fluids and waste water we've had in several places. Streams and other habitats have been seriously damaged. And that's all above ground level. And, of course, the water demands are already causing conflicts here in the relatively water-rich northeast.

        Oil and gas extraction has always been a dirty and environmentally risky proposition; fracking of any kind is worse by orders of magnitude. And that's no junk science, just good old-fashioned observation of things we can see with our own eyes, at least when those trying to observe it aren't run off by private security hired to keep out those who would expose just how dirty and dangerous these operation are or the direct threat they pose to local waterways and environments.

        Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

        by Stwriley on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:38:35 PM PDT

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        •  This. But, much more. Bad deal, even if no spills (7+ / 0-)

          Fracking is a process that deliberately contaminates millions of gallons of the most precious resource on this planet -- the lifeblood of life itself.

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

          by FischFry on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:53:24 PM PDT

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          •  I was just giving him one example. (6+ / 0-)

            And a simple one he could wrap his head around because there's no argument at all what caused these toxic spills. It's hard to say nothing has happened when thousands or millions of gallons of water contaminated not only with fracking chemicals but also the heavy metals, toxic salts, and radioactive elements that it picks up from the shale flow into a stream and everything in it dies almost immediately.

            The best current write-up of our problems here in PA was just published by Ellen Cantarow at The Nation. If the fracking waste hasn't turned your hair white already, the article will do it without the direct exposure. Our friend from Lake Superior should try reading it and contemplating the parade of scientists (including one of the widely acknowledged experts on fracking, Dr. Anthony Ingraffea of Cornell) who lay out in no uncertain terms the environmental disaster that fracking represents.

            Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

            by Stwriley on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:31:51 PM PDT

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      •  No!! You missed whole point! Not groundwater! (7+ / 0-)

        It's like you didn't even read my comment.

        "Even if it's done as intended, with no leakage, fracking is an unconscionable waste -- each well using millions of gallons of water, contaminated forever."
        Even if there's no leakage -- no contamination of local groundwater -- the water being used to frack the shale rock has already been contaminated with chemicals that render it unfit for drinking or any other typical use.

        That water is then held in pits waiting to be disposed of -- with industry planning ultimately to inject this toxic liquid into old, abandoned oil and gas wells.

        That's millions of gallons that are wasted in fracking each well -- and then forever removed from the virtuous water cycle.

        I'm not even talking about whether that water can be safely disposed -- because let's face it, no well is built with the kind of integrity to last centuries, much less millenia. That water will seep out of the wells and into the water table eventually -- but I"m not talking about that future contamination. And, I'm not talking about any other accidental contamination.

        I'm referring to the deliberate contamination of millions of gallons of water used to extract the trapped gas and oil. Never to be consumed again.

        You completely missed the point -- which is to skip past the debate which industry wants. The debate should be whether we want to allow an industrial process that contaminates so much water, even when the process works exactly as the industry claims. I think that's a suicide pact.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:47:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You said: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina, 6412093
          Even if there's no leakage -- no contamination of local groundwater -- the water being used to frack the shale rock has already been contaminated with chemicals that render it unfit for drinking or any other typical use.
          Your statement does not recognize the technical feasibility of recycling produced process wastewater for reinjection in other wells.   I realize that not all of the water comes back and is lost from a volumetric standpoint.

          I am not saying or minimizing the impact that water withdrawals can have on adversely affecting streams if local groundwater is drawn down for hydraulic fracturing.

          On the other hand, saying that hydraulic fracturing is going to lower the levels of the Great Lakes is junk hydrology, as is presently being claimed in Michigan.

          •  I am so relieved (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RLMiller, caul, sacrelicious

            Thank you for setting me straight.

            It's technically feasible to recycle the wastewater for other wells.

            I will work with legislators and regulators to ensure that industry will rely on wastewater for future injection. How much is lost from a volumetric standpoint? 10%? 20%? Let's agree that all future drilling must use at 75% recycled wastewater.

            This will be a win/win, as industry won't need to dispose of wastewater in decaying wells that would create risk of earthquakes and groundwater contamination for decades or centuries. The industry can just truck that toxic wastewater around the country, without any risk to anyone.

            By the way, where does that water go -- the water lost from a volumetric standpoint? I'm sure it cannot be left in the ground within veins created by fracturing rock. That would pose a considerable risk of migration into aquifers and groundwater. Thankfully, we already know that's not a real risk, that it's just propaganda and junk geology, right?

            And, it wouldn't be lost through leaks and spillage occurring aboveground right? Because that would pose a real risk of contaminating local water supplies and would pose a health risk to local residents.

            Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

            by FischFry on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:00:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Opponents get into pointless scientific debate (6+ / 0-)

      Sure, we want to discourage individuals from being tempted into selling drilling right on their property -- so, we get in this debate about whether it can be done safely, whether there is migration, how often do casings fail and how long will they last, etc.

      Sure, we want to debunk the industry's claims about gas being an important bridge fuel which will slow down the increase in greenhouse gases -- so, again,we get in a debate about how much methane escapes as fugitive emissions.

      These are debates that just allow industry to obfuscate and appeal to those on the right who don't trust government, liberals and scientists.

      But, if we can make the case that we're squandering one irreplaceable resource to go after one which can be substituted -- that we're going to run out of water if we continue to allow frackers to pollute it -- we can force legislators to block the practice.

      Sure, agriculture uses more water, but it does end return to the water cycle, eventually returning to earth as rain. Fracking contaminates water that must be sealed off -- taking that water out of the virtuous cycle, rendering it undrinkable and useless.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

      by FischFry on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:36:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There isn't any debate about the conclusions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093

        of the Howarth/Ingraffea paper that gave their characterizations of well completion methane emissions and the claims that natural gas to electricity was worse than coal to electricity.

        The claims of that paper have been rejected by both EPA and the Dept. of Energy as not being fair characterizations of methane emissions, gas collection and emission control practices typical in the industry.

        Plainly stated, EPA rejected the emission characterization of the Howarth/Ingraffea paper when it prepared its 2013 methane and greenhouse gas emission inventory.

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