Archive for climate crisis

We're "throwing water down oil wells to get money now." "It's time to get off these carbon drugs."

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don't frack with our water

One of my previous posts on hydraulic fracturing: Fracking linked to methane risk: “When methane concentrations are that high, water can bubble like champagne.”

Regular readers know that fracking (which is when water mixed with sand and chemicals is injected deep underground at high pressure to shatter rock formations to unlock oil and gas trapped inside) is a topic I write about regularly (scroll). I dare corporate "people," my friend, to take a big gulp of tap water in the form of chemically induced flames that spew from faucets where fracking is prevalent, as is depicted in the excellent film Gasland.

That said, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Coalition asks Brown to halt fracking in California," Aug. 29

Gov. Jerry Brown implies that California needs the money fracking would provide as much as it needs environmental protection.

What California depends on is water. We all need water, and each fracking well consumes millions of gallons of that precious stuff, never to be reclaimed. You can't purify the chemicals out or flush out the aquifer if an earthquake cracks a shaft and the chemical mixture drains into the groundwater.

We are deep into drought. The water California has relied on will be even more fought over. Throwing it down oil wells to get money now ignores how much we will have to spend to live with the consequences.

Suvan Geer

Santa Ana

***

Most Californians agree that getting fracking right is of far greater value than getting it fast. Haste makes waste of several sorts — of time, money and the health of workers and "downstreamers" such as small towns whose sewage treatment plants are incapable of dealing with fracking fluid (and what's in that stuff anyway?).

My personal take on fracking and other major extraction efforts is that in light of the fact that fossil fuel reserves are already several times what the planet can stand to burn, it's time to get off these carbon drugs.

Robert Siebert

Orange

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EPA report: Methane, arsenic from fracking are contaminating wells in Pa.

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don't frack with our water

This was my most recent post on hydraulic fracturing: Fracking linked to methane risk: “When methane concentrations are that high, water can bubble like champagne.”

Regular readers know that fracking (which is when water mixed with sand and chemicals is injected deep underground at high pressure to shatter rock formations to unlock oil and gas trapped inside) is a topic I write about regularly (scroll). If corporations are people, my friend, let them guzzle tap water in the form of chemically induced flames that spew from faucets where fracking is prevalent, as is depicted in the excellent film Gasland.

Now the EPA is suggesting that the procedure resulted in the contamination of well water in Dimock, Pennsylvania.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

In an internal EPA PowerPoint presentation obtained by the Tribune/Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau, staff members warned their superiors that several wells had been contaminated with methane and substances such as manganese and arsenic, most likely because of local natural gas production.

The presentation, based on data collected over 4 1/2 years at 11 wells around Dimock, concluded that "methane and other gases released during drilling (including air from the drilling) apparently cause significant damage to the water quality." The presentation also concluded that "methane is at significantly higher concentrations in the aquifers after gas drilling and perhaps as a result of fracking [hydraulic fracturing] and other gas well work." [...]

"We don't know what's going on, but certainly the fact that there's been such a distinct withdrawal from three high-profile cases raises questions about whether the EPA is caving to pressure from industry or antagonistic members of Congress," said Kate Sinding of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.

And of course, all that pressure being exerted on the EPA by the gas industry is about profit, not the health and welfare of the American people.

I wonder how many frackers call themselves "pro-life"... But who cares about life outside the womb and how climate change and pollution affect living, breathing human beings when you can make a lot of money by using methods that can eventually kill them?

right to life my ass pro life

I just stumbled across this from SFGate:

[S]ome experts say arrogance, a lack of transparency and poor communication on the part of the drilling industry have helped fuel public anger over the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. [...]

"Those people moved into our valley like a conquering army," said Thomas Thompson, who complained that the heavy equipment that accompanied drilling in Rifle, Colo., created endless dust storms that caused health problems for him and his wife.

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Fracking linked to methane risk: "When methane concentrations are that high, water can bubble like champagne."

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fracking cartoon Clay BennettVia Clay Bennett

Regular readers know that fracking (which is when water mixed with sand and chemicals is injected deep underground at high pressure to shatter rock formations to unlock oil and gas trapped inside) is a topic I write about regularly (scroll). If corporations are people, my friend, let them guzzle tap water in the form of chemically induced flames that spew from faucets where fracking is prevalent, as is depicted in the excellent film Gasland.

That said, President Obama just gave his speech on what he can do to counter climate change without having to rely on our good old not-foresighted deniers in Congress. By the way, Cable News Virtually Ignored Obama’s Major Climate Speech:

All of the three major news networks spent mere minutes on the speech — which ran in total 49 minutes.

MSNBC: 41 seconds

FOX News: 4 minutes and 37 seconds

CNN: 8 minutes and 5 seconds

The Weather Channel: 49 minutes

I actually tweeted about the conspicuous lack of coverage during the speech itself:

"@chrislhayes: This is an incredibly thorough, serious, sophisticated speech.| Thank you for noticing, Chris. Where's everyone else?"

The president stressed taking advantage of our plentiful supply of natural gas, adding that (paraphrased in my livetweet) "we'll make drilling safer, cleaner, less methane." I felt compelled to add, "How about that fracking, Pres. O?" That last part from the president about the very real risks of methane pollution was hugely important and worthy of note, as this article in the Los Angeles Times points out:

A study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that drinking-water wells in northeastern Pennsylvania within a kilometer of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, showed methane concentrations six times greater, on average, than in wells farther away. [...]

The study released Monday expands a project, published by Duke researchers two years ago, that the oil and gas industry criticized for testing too few wells, and for failing to account for natural sources of methane in local well water. This time, the scientists tested 141 wells, up from 60. [...]

The study found that at the 59 homes within a kilometer of a natural gas well, methane levels were on average much higher than those farther away.

Of the 59 homes, a dozen had water wells with methane concentrations greater than 28 milligrams per liter of water, which the Interior Department has identified as the threshold for immediate remediation of a well.

“When the methane concentrations are that high, the water can bubble like champagne,” [the study’s lead author, Robert B. Jackson, professor of environmental sciences at Duke University] said.

Cheers!

toasting glasses

fracking faucet flames

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Cartoonaroony-- A toast: "To fracking!"

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frack off smaller

Clay Bennett is one of my all-time favorite editorial cartoonists. He says so much with so few, if any, words, and his drawing style is fantastic. I say this as a cartoonist myself, a discerning one who greatly appreciates Paddy's daily posts of so many excellent artists.

He nailed it in this image that appeared in my L.A. Times on fracking, a topic I write about regularly (scroll). If corporations are people, my friend, let them guzzle tap water in the form of chemically induced flames that spew from faucets where fracking is prevalent, as is depicted in the excellent film Gasland.

Cheers:

fracking cartoon Clay Bennett

As one commenter at the Times Free Press noted:

patriot1 said...

We haul bottled water from our municipal water supplies around the country in trucks getting 6 mpg of diesel at cost of about $4 per gallon. More fracking needed for more fuel.

A reminder:

Fracking — “hydraulic fracturing,” technically speaking — involves drilling a pipe horizontally into an underground oil- or natural gas-bearing formation and pumping a slurry into the formation at high pressure to liberate the hydrocarbons trapped within.

Let’s get the truth about fracking.

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