Tag Archive | "fracking"

Vermont bans fracking. Governor says clean water more important

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law a bill banning natural gas fracking saying said “In the coming generation or two, drinking water will be more valuable than oil or natural gas.”

Vermont is the the first state to ban fracking. Several countries, including France, Switzerland, and Bulgaria have also banned this noxious and dangerous practice which contaminates water and causes earthquakes.

Do you like your water flammable?

How about some new and exciting earthquakes?

Posted in News

Why you might not want to move to North Dakota after all

Despite offering a wealth of job opportunities and a better-than-living wage, there are very few places to live. Most workers strive to get into one of the many "Man Camps." (Photo: Robert Johnson, Business Insider)

Yes, there are a lot of jobs there, the majority of them requiring no more than a high school education.

North Dakota is now the fourth-largest oil-producing state in the U.S., recently passing Louisiana. At the present rate of growth, it will knock California from third place later this year. The unemployment rate in the state has dropped to 3.3 percent, the lowest in the nation. The unemployment rate in the Williston area, in the heart of oil country, is less than one percent. Business growth in the western counties continues. The average salary in the five northwest counties is at an all-time high of almost $60,000, a 79 percent increase since 2007, but the cost of living has also rocketed.

But there are associated problems with this situation, especially for long-time residents.

For starters, the region is a case study in an inflationary economy. As residents’ earnings soar, so too do the costs of goods and services. “Anything you can think of that a person would consume is also being consumed by folks in the oil industry,” says Dennis Lindahl, a city councilman in Stanley. “Merchants are able to charge an increased rate. Folks in town sometimes get a little upset from supporting the industry while not receiving benefits.”

The biggest struggle in the region, though, is the shortage of housing. When people in other parts of the country talk about a “housing shortage,” they don’t mean it literally. There are usually still plenty of available places for residents making decent money. But when people in western North Dakota discuss the housing shortage, they’re serious. There’s literally no place to sleep.

The current oil boom, the third North Dakota has experienced since 1951, is possible now because of two things: the fracking that now makes it possible to extract oil from otherwise unproductive deposits and the high oil prices that make it cost effective to do so. And booms never seem to last long.

If you want pictures, here you are.

Posted in environment, News

Earthquakes in US tied to fracking, says government

Who could have ever imagined that injecting high pressure water deep underground to fracture rocks could cause earthquakes?

A spate of earthquakes across the middle of the U.S. is “almost certainly” man-made, and may be caused by wastewater from oil or gas drilling injected into the ground, U.S. government scientists said in a study.

Switzerland, France, and New Jersay have already banned fracking, and for that very same reason. It causes earthquakes. And makes drinking water flammable.

Posted in News

Fracking outbids farmers for Colorado water

Companies that supply water to fracking drilling in Colorado bid higher for water in auctions than farmers did.

How do we continue to sustain agriculture when there’s just more and more demand on our water resources in this state?” said Bill Midcap, director of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

Bizarrely, fracking is considered a beneficial use of water in Colorado. But if farmers and ranchers get outbid for water, that means less food and meat for the rest of us.

Posted in Water

Fracking: a problem not just for Pennsylvania and Ohio

Hydraulic fracturing: How it works (Source: Times Reporting, LA Times)

It’s happening in California right now and has been for years, although apparently the state’s own regulatory agency doesn’t know about it.

In the past, the state’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) has said that it “does not believe that fracking is widely used” in the state. More recently, the division allowed that the practice is “used for a brief period to stimulate production of oil and gas wells,” but added that “the division doesn’t believe the practice is nearly as widespread as it is in the Eastern U.S. for shale gas production.”

Did they not think to ask?

Hydraulic fracturing has been used on thousands of wells in California, according to the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based organization critical of the energy industry. Environmentalists are suing the federal government to prevent oil companies from fracking on public lands in Monterey and Fresno counties. Lawmakers have revived the disclosure bill that stalled last year after objections by Halliburton, one of the world’s largest oil field service companies and a pioneer of hydraulic fracturing. They also have introduced legislation that would require oil companies to notify landowners before fracking near their properties.

Our governor has been trying to make things easier for energy companies in California and his administration hasn’t drawn up any new rules covering fracking.

State regulators say existing environmental laws protect the state’s drinking water but acknowledge they have little information about the scale or practice of fracking in California, the fourth-largest oil producing state in the nation. That has created mounting anxiety in communities from Culver City to Monterey, where residents are slowly discovering the practice has gone on for years, sometimes in densely populated areas.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club are suing the Bureau of Land Management to stop fracking on federal land, including 2,500 acres in Monterey and Fresno counties, leased to oil companies last year.

“They didn’t do any real analysis of what fracking would mean out there,” such as the potential effect on endangered species or the local water supply, despite the likelihood that fracking would be used, said Kassie Siegel, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity and director of its Climate Law Institute. “They cite some misleading, older information which says, well, fracking’s no problem,” she said.

And there’s been no significant progress actually getting any laws passed. (Quelle surprise !)

Posted in News

Pennsylvania town has no water after nearby fracking

The EPA just reneged on delivering water to rural Dimock Township so they now have no potable water. This after the drilling company was allowed to stop delivering water by state regulators.

We’re on our own, folks. It’s clear that state and federal agencies charged with protecting the population are worse than useless.

Posted in News

Feel the earth move under your feet?

Fracking protest, Occupy Youngstown (WYTV news photo)

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources placed a moratorium on further pumping of waste liquids in an area five miles around a disposal well located near Youngstown after the 10th earthquake hit the region on December 24th. In response, the owner of the well, D&L Energy Group of Youngstown, stopped injection at 5 p.m. last Friday. There was a another quake the next day.

The latest quake, the 11th since mid-March, occurred Saturday afternoon and with a magnitude of 4.0 was the strongest yet. Like the others, it was centered near a well that has been used for the disposal of millions of gallons of brine and other waste liquids produced at natural-gas wells, mostly in Pennsylvania.

Scientists from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (at Columbia University) are analyzing the recent seismographic data to try to pinpoint the fault that slipped.

There are no other disposal wells operating in the area, but four more were in the planning stages and have now been put on hold because of the moratorium.

Occupy Youngstown staged a protest at one of the proposed sites in Hubbard Township earlier this month.

Posted in News

Frack no!

After a Wyoming community complained to the E.P.A. a while back that their well water “reeked of chemicals” the agency analyzed the water and found hydrocarbons. So the residents have been advised not to drink the water. And today a draft report was published that I’m sure made neither the residents nor the oil and gas industry happy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that fracking — a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells — may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution.

The agency was careful to emphasize that these draft findings are applicable only to the Wyoming site, but opposition to fracking is growing all over.

If you’re unfamiliar with the topic, this is how the E.P.A. describes the process of hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as fracking or HF) which is being used to extract oil and gas around the world.

Fluids, commonly made up of water and chemical additives, are pumped into a geologic formation at high pressure during hydraulic fracturing. When the pressure exceeds the rock strength, the fluids open or enlarge fractures that can extend several hundred feet away from the well. After the fractures are created, a propping agent is pumped into the fractures to keep them from closing when the pumping pressure is released. After fracturing is completed, the internal pressure of the geologic formation cause the injected fracturing fluids to rise to the surface where it may be stored in tanks or pits prior to disposal or recycling. Recovered fracturing fluids are referred to as flowback. Disposal options for flowback include discharge into surface water or underground injection.

The oil and gas industry considers the composition of the fluids used to be trade secrets but maintains that fracking is completely safe. To date, only two states have even considered requiring full disclosure of what “chemical additives” are being used.

The latest weird, in not entirely unexpected, twist in the hugely contentious debate about expanding fracking in Pennsylvania and New York: According to tapes obtained by CNBC, recorded by a member of Earthworks, one natural gas industry insider promoting fracking in the Marcellus and Utica Shale suggested that anti-fracking activists constitute an “insurgency”, with another one proposing hiring former military psy ops personnel to combat it.

Posted in News

Polizeros podcast. Libya, Bank of America, fracking and earthquakes

Topics last night included:

Triumphalist liberals proclaim mission accomplished in Libya even as battles still continue in Tripoli and the National Transitional Council draws up a constitution for a strict Islamist state under sharia law. And then there’s the problem of 1000x more loose weapons than under Saddam. Libya is nowhere near being stable much less having a functioning government.

Bank of America teeters badly as Warren Buffett loans them $5 billion at steep rates when they could have borrowed elsewhere much cheaper. They choose his loan because it implies his support. But BofA has $100-200 billion of toxic slop on their books, so $5 billion is just chump change. The Obama Administration changed the accounting rules for big banks so they don’t have to mark-to-market. Until this deception is stopped, the pretend-and-extend charade will continue – until it no longer can.

Fracking has been decisively linked to earthquakes in many areas. When it was banned, earthquakes decreased. Imagine that. There’s been quite a lot of fracking in Virginia. The earthquake was no coincidence.

Listen to the show on BlogTalkRadio or on iTunes.

With Steve Hynd , Keith Boyea, and myself.

Posted in News

Polizeros podcast tonight. Libya, financial crisis, Irene, fracking

Libya: Assuming the rebels take Tripoli, what comes next? Let’s not forget Dubya’s “mission accomplished” statement on the aircraft carrier when in fact, not much had been accomplished at all.

Financial crisis: BofA is in dire shape as are some countries. Bailing out the big banks has made things worse, not better.

Hurricane Irene: She could be a monster. And was fracking at least partly responsible for the Virginia earthquake?

Listen to the show live, at Polizeros Radio on BlogTalkRadio. You can also listening by dialing in at 626-414-3492. The show is tonight at 8:00 PM PT (9:00 PM MT, 10:00 PM CT, 11:00 PM ET.)

With Steve Hynd , Keith Boyea, and myself.

Posted in News


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