There's this ad that's been running for many weeks now, that makes me cringe every time I see it.
It must be the image of the Chalkboard, and the speechless professor ...
ConocoPhillips Natural Gas -- "Classroom"
The Natural Gas (NG) promotional transcript:
pro-NG student 1: "Aren't you getting a little emotional?"
anti-NG student: "Aren't you getting a little industrial?"
pro-NG student 1: "Actually there's enough Energy right here America ..."
pro-NG student 2: "-- Yeah over a 100 years worth."
anti-NG student: "OK, so you mean, you just ignore the Environment?"
pro-NG student 2: "Actually it's cleaner." (indignantly)
pro-NG student 1: "And it provides Jobs, and it helps our Economy."
anti-NG student: "OK, I'm listening ..."
pro-NG annoucer:"At Conoco-Phillips, were helping power America's economy, with cleaner, affordable Natural Gas. More Jobs. Less emissions. A good answer for everyone."
pro-NG student 2: "So by reducing the impact of production ..."
former anti-NG student: "and protecting our land and water ..."
pro-NG student 1: "I might get a Job once we graduate."
Why are they laughing? I think I must have missed the joke.
Where does that 100 year supply of "clean" Natural Gas come from?
Well, you'll find that answer, in the cheery text of Conoco's own website, if you look hard enough:
A Dramatic Increase in Supply
The U.S. Department of Energy estimated total U.S. natural gas reserves and resources to be approximately 1,200 TCF in 2000. In less than a decade, this same estimate more than doubled to over 2,500 TCF in 2009. At current consumption levels, this resource base represents over a century of supply. The majority of the increase is due to the increased potential of shale gas. [...]
Technology Leads the Way
Until recently, it was impossible to access the vast amount of natural gas contained in shale rock. The rock was too impermeable for adequate amounts of gas to flow to a well, which is why it was considered an "unconventional" resource. In the 1980s, new technology made horizontal drilling both possible and economically feasible. When combined with hydraulic fracturing, an industry practice dating to the late 1940s, these technologies opened up significant new natural gas resources to production.
Beginning at near zero in 2000, U.S. shale gas production grew by 13.5 percent annually through 2005 and has grown by an average of 46 percent every year since. Other unconventional gas production has increased over this same period, offsetting the decline in conventional gas that costs more to produce.
So where does that 100 year supply of "clean" Natural Gas come from?
Well, it comes from Hydraulic Fracturing (aka. Fracking).
And according to Conoco again, What makes NG "clean", is when they choose to compare Natural Gas to Coal.
Not when it's compared to Solar and Wind. More profits. Less competition, that way -- for Big Oil.
Burning natural gas results in very low emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide -- reducing acid rain and smog -- and virtually no emissions of mercury or particulates (soot), making it among the cleanest ways to generate electricity. Accounting for emissions from fuel production through transportation and conversion, efficient natural gas power plants produce half the carbon dioxide emissions of coal-fired plants.
What also makes NG "clean", is when it is -- NOT compared to unfractured, unpolluted, underground aquifers, either ... why stir up that hornets nest, when cartoon ads can make the fouling problem magically "disappear" ... behind an "invisible force field" or its fracking equivalent, simply called "Seal":
Image Source: Alliance for Natural Health, USA
What I find especially "cringe-worthy" in that intro ConocoPhillips ad, is that none of the student-actors, bothers to ask:
Exactly how is it, that fracking "reduces the impact of production" of "that cleaner, affordable Natural Gas" ...
Especially when you consider that the EPA has just found out -- that those toxic fracturing chemicals, DO get into people's drinking water, after all?
Surprise, surprise. That wasn't in the script. Oops.
EPA Finds Fracking Compound in Wyoming Aquifer
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds fracking compounds in environmental monitoring wells
by Abrahm Lustgarten and ProPublica -- Nov 10, 2011
Reported by ScientificAmerican.com
A pair of environmental monitoring wells drilled deep into an aquifer in Pavillion, Wyo., contain high levels of cancer-causing compounds and at least one chemical commonly used in hydraulic fracturing, according to new water test results released yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Last year -- after warning residents not to drink or cook with the water and to ventilate their homes when they showered -- the EPA drilled the monitoring wells to get a more precise picture of the extent of the contamination.
The Pavillion area has been drilled extensively for natural gas over the last two decades and is home to hundreds of gas wells. Residents have alleged for nearly a decade that the drilling -- and hydraulic fracturing in particular -- has caused their water to turn black and smell like gasoline. Some residents say they suffer neurological impairment, loss of smell, and nerve pain they associate with exposure to pollutants.
The wells also contained benzene at 50 times the level that is considered safe for people, as well as phenols -- another dangerous human carcinogen -- acetone, toluene, naphthalene and traces of diesel fuel.
So exactly how, is fracking "protecting our land and water"?
Especially when you consider that the EPA has a specific Exemption for Fracturing Companies, like ConocoPhillips -- that frees them from having to follow and adhere to all those pesky Clean Water Regulations:
Water is an integral component of the hydraulic fracturing process. EPA Office of Water regulates waste disposal of flowback and sometimes the injection of fracturing fluids as authorized by the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act.
Safe Drinking Water Act
Several statutes may be leveraged to protect water quality, but EPA’s central authority to protect drinking water is drawn from the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The protection of USDWs is focused in the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program, which regulates the subsurface emplacement of fluid. Congress provided for exclusions to UIC authority (SDWA § 1421(d)), however, with the most recent language added via the Energy Policy Act of 2005:
[...] excludes --
(i) the underground injection of natural gas for purposes of storage; and
(ii) the underground injection of fluids or propping agents (other than diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities.”
Toxic fracturing chemicals, getting into your drinking water? -- No Problem!
"Actually it's cleaner." (indignantly)
"Actually -- it's NOT." ... Unless by "cleaner", Conoco means they get "a clean slate" with regards to any toxic liability that their fracturing operations, will inevitably cause for untold thousands ... over the next 100 years ... as those unsuspecting citizens continue to use their "clean" drinking water, from their local wells. Not that having abundant "clean aquifers" are an important National resource too, or anything.
No matter that Conoco is spending millions promoting its "Clean NG image" -- a laughing matter -- is one thing, these toxic fracking EPA Exemptions, are NOT.
When will ConocoPhillips run a happy, pseudo-smart ad about protecting "clean" abundant, tap water?
... probably not for about a hundred years, I'm guessing. At least.
NOT until every last Cubic Foot is "freely" tapped, by those ever-so-clean image,
Big Oil Nat-Gas companies: