Archive for gas drilling

Told ya so, frackers: Ohio geologists see link between fracking, sudden burst of earthquakes

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frackers cartoon Clay Bennett

In a previous post, Frackers set sights on largest oil shale reservoir in US... near CA's San Andreas fault, I couldn't help but wonder how greedy Big Oil could ignore the terrorizing prospect of triggering the San Andreas Fault to erupt into The Big One. Apparently, the health of so many people and of our fragile environment means nothing to California frackers.

Did I just say "California frackers"? My bad. I meant Ohio frackers, too. Along with any other frackers, for that matter.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that in Ohio, geologists have found a connection between fracking and earthquakes. Clearly, they've been in contact with Captain Obvious. L.A. Times, previously:

"The process of reinjecting drilling fluids into the ground is thought by some to stimulate minor seismic activity around drilling pads, dubbed 'frackquakes.'"

Take it away, Captain Obvious:

obvious

Ohio geologists have found a probable connection between fracking and a sudden burst of mild earthquakes last month in a region that had never experienced a temblor until recently, according to a state report.

The quake report, which coincided with the state’s announcement of some of the nation’s strictest limits on fracking near faults, marked the strongest link to date between nerve-rattling shakes and hydraulic fracturing -- the process of firing water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth to eject oil and natural gas out of ancient rock.

Last month, Ohio indefinitely shut down Hilcorp Energy’s fracking operation near the Pennsylvania border after five earthquakes, including one magnitude-3 temblor that awoke many Ohioans from their sleep. [...]

They “believe the sand and water injected into the well during the hydraulic fracturing process may have increased pressure on an unknown microfault in the area,” the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said in a statement about the Poland, Ohio, operation.

You just know what frackers will do with the "unknown" word. How did former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld mangle it again? Oh yes:

And how did Hilcorp Energy mangle the truth again? Oh yes. They said they are “fully committed to public safety and acting in a manner consistent with being a good corporate citizen.” Because, hey, corporations are people, too, and they're the best corporate citizens EVER.

Sorry, Hilcorp, but you're no "citizen," but you are a disgrace. Hate to say we environmentally-aware types told you so about that whole "frackquake" thing, but well, we told you so. And don't get us started on climate change, the fracking chemicals that contaminate groundwater, and drought.

Speaking of which, if you've never seen Josh Fox's "Gasland," now's your chance. Our own lwdgrfx posted the entire video here.

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Frackers set sights on largest oil shale reservoir in US... near CA's San Andreas fault

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oil shale Monterey CA fracking Big Oil

California is trying to solve a riddle: how to tap into the largest oil shale reservoir in the United States, one that covers 1,750 square miles, roughly from Bakersfield to Fresno. I'm trying to solve a different riddle: How greedy Big Oil can ignore the terrorizing prospect of triggering The Big One, the health of so many people and of our fragile environment.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting on a gigantic oil trove that's trapped in San Joaquin Valley's Monterey Shale formation, 15 billion barrels, to be exact. While drilling and fracking could be a huge bonanza for oil companies and create a boom that could transform California's economy, the consequences could do just the opposite. "The process of reinjecting drilling fluids into the ground is thought by some to stimulate minor seismic activity around drilling pads, dubbed 'frackquakes.'" Yes, what California needs to kick start a thriving economy is a San Andreas "frackquake."

So far nobody has figured out an affordable way to extract the dirty, polluting fossil fuel. Good.

But that doesn't mean they haven't spent millions and millions of dollars trying. And, as the Times reports, "Oil companies are now paying farmers for their water rights, land and, in some cases, buying their homes outright to get at the reserves that might lie underneath."

Across the southern San Joaquin Valley, oil exploration sites have popped up in agricultural fields and on government land, driven by the hope that technological advances in oil extraction — primarily hydraulic fracturing and acidization — can help provide access to deep and lucrative oil reserves. [...]

The implications are profound, touching on public health, water use, water quality and the loss of agricultural land. The subsequent transformation also would alter the lives of families living in the resolutely rural communities dotting the valley.

For Tom Frantz, a retired teacher and third-generation farmer, the exploratory drilling is already too much.

"This is prime farmland and they have drilled between 200 and 300 wells in the last 10 years in the Monterey Shale," Frantz said. "Every one took out an acre or two of farmland. Every one has used hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. Each one has contributed to our air pollution. Each one has had spills on the ground of different chemicals and crude oil. Each one is emitting methane as we speak. If this thing happens and there are thousands and thousands of wells — that's scary because an accident is bound to happen," he said.

What may be great for California's economy could just as easily destroy it, along with the lives of its residents. Thankfully, the jury is still out on how this can be done profitably. Leave the damned oil shale reservoir alone. Money isn't everything. Life (as the hypocritical Drill Baby Drillers love to tell us) is.

More here.

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No, Rand Paul, "drilling in every possible conceivable place" is not the answer to Ukrainian crisis

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rand paul cut out cpac 2014Rand Paul cutout at CPAC 2014

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) won the CPAC straw poll yesterday. That poll is as meaningless as Rand's plagiarism denials.

Now he's compounding his consistently puzzling behavior with calls for "drill baby drill" as a panacea for the Ukrainian crisis. Yes, he believes that echoing that paragon of fine intellect and reason, Sarah Palin, will strengthen his appeal as a strong, decisive leader.

His brilliant idea? Drilling for oil and natural gas “in every possible conceivable place” here in the U.S. to show Big Bad Vladimir "Bluto" Putin who's boss and make himself-- and the United States-- look like the Popeye (post-spinach consumption) of all nations.

popeye bluto

Video via Raw Story.

Rand Paul:

“The other thing I’ve said is, that I would do something differently than the president, is I would immediately get every obstacle out of the way for our export of oil and gas. And I would begin drilling in every possible conceivable place within our territories in order to have production that we can supply Europe with if it’s interrupted from Ukraine.”

A few things come to mind. One is how Paul's idea would be about as effective as that cardboard cutout at CPAC. Why? Think Progress explains:

But some say exporting natural gas to Europe and Ukraine is a more complicated solution than these lawmakers let on. As Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations points out, decisions on where to ship gas are made primarily by the market, not by governments, and it’s much more profitable for the U.S. to ship gas to Asia. The New York Times Editorial Board added Friday that Putin “would not stand idly by” if the U.S. exported gas to Europe, and could lower the price of Russia’s gas to keep customers from switching to American gas. The Times also noted that even if bills expediting permits were approved, “setting up more facilities to liquefy and ship gas would take years and cost billions of dollars.”

Rand Paul has no qualms about giddily diving headlong into the backwash of Former Alaskan Half Gov Myopia McOilSlick's anachronistic, petroleum-soaked mantra. That alone should eventually banish him straight to Facebookland, where all failed right wing extremists go to vent their deranged twaddle to their heart's content.

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Frack Water ad snarkage exposes motives behind Gov. Brown's fracking push

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what the frack

What the frack, Gov. Jerry Brown? First he's in a panic about the "evil weed", and now he supports the evil deed, as you can see in the following press release. Both issues affect my home state of California, and both are rantworthy.

The good news: My old pal Andy Cobb has put out yet another hilarious video filled with snarkitude that skewers his targets in all kinds of memorable and effective ways. We owe you one, Andy. The bad news: The vile F word won't go away: Frack (scroll).

Frack Water Cologne Ad Exposes Motives Behind Gov. Brown’s Fracking Push

New online video and campaign finance analysis highlight dangers of fracking, influence of Big Oil in California

California Governor Jerry Brown is taking a hit today for his penchant for fracking and dirty energy donations with a new satirical online video launched by Oil Change International (OCI) and comedians Andy Cobb and Mike Damanskis of Heavy Crude Video. The video is the latest escalation of the Big Oil Brown campaign effort sponsored by OCI, pushing for a ban on fracking for oil and gas in the state.

The video parody, entitled “Frack Water,” portrays a Governor Brown look-alike outside a southern California oil field accompanied by a California oil industry representative, in a shot for shot remake of a 2004 Stetson cologne advertisement starring actor Matthew McConaughey:

"In a land plagued by drought, one man stands tall….We won’t tell you what’s in it, but Big Oil Brown’s got it all over him…Jerry Brown’s frackwater. A fragrance that smells like a man…a man who doesn’t give a [bleep] about drought or climate change."

Here is the original McConaughey ad:

Also out today is a new analysis released by Oil Change International that outlines the massive contributions from the oil industry to the Governor’s coffers in recent years. The review shows these contributions have surpassed $2 million since 2006.

The campaign contribution analysis can be found here.

“You can’t buy back your legacy, Governor, even with all that Big Oil cash,” Turnbull said. “California is on the brink of climate catastrophe and fracking up the state will help push it over the edge. Californians deserve better than to be beholden to Big Oil’s desires and befouled by their stench.”

The video and analysis come just over a week ahead of a major mobilization in Sacramento planned for March 15th, where thousands of anti-fracking activists from around the state are expected. More information on the March 15th mobilization can be found at www.dontfrackcalifornia.org.

More from the team at Heavy Crude Video can be seen here.

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Frackers are guzzling water supplies in drought states the way John Boehner guzzles booze.

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don't frack with our water frackers

Yesterday I posted one of my eleventy thousand posts on frackers (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), because fracking is a huge environmental issue that must be confronted head on. It was about how Britain joined the anti-fracking club: "Welcome to the desolate North. Now frack off."

In that post I included a video segment from The Rachel Maddow Show about the possible probable link to unusual and frequent earthquake activity associated with frackers and their little escapades. And let's not forget that fracking is linked to methane risks: “When methane concentrations are that high, water can bubble like champagne.” Salud!

Just when I thought my latest rant would be the last in a while, the Los Angeles Times gave me yet another reason to fill you in on how this idiotic toxic-pollution-for-big-bucks practice is messing with Mother Nature. Did I mention that there are droughts all over the place? And that frackers are guzzling water supplies the way John Boehner guzzles booze?

Colorado sure knows all about that, a state where "every drop of water is precious, another player has lined up at the spigot." L.A. Times:

According to the petroleum industry, most new wells in this country now use fracking to coax an average of 250 barrels of oil or 1.3 million cubic feet of natural gas from the ground per day. But that can't happen without water — about 3 million to 8 million gallons per well before extraction begins.

Last fall the Environment America Research and Policy Center estimated that at least 250 billion gallons of water had been used since 2005 in the estimated 80,000 wells in 17 states. Drought-prone Texas led the way with at least 110 billion gallons.

Good old Texas. Say it with me: Yee. Haw.

Now here's where Colorado comes into play:

The historic city of 95,000 [Greeley] about an hour north of Denver, along Colorado's fast-growing Front Range, has entered into a purchase agreement with oil and gas companies to sell off some of its surplus water to satisfy the thirsty fracking business, even though parts of the West are reeling from drought.

Big Greedy Oil and Big Greedy Gashats are forking out a whole lot of cash to get their hands on access to more, more, more. Some residents are all for it and are happy to sell their water rights directly to the oil and gas companies, because the opportunity for more income apparently takes precedent over the long term (and short term) health and welfare of their neighbors and the environment. Others are as furious and concerned as I am.

The Ceres report showed that as of January, 56% of the 39,000 wells studied that used hydraulic fracturing were in parts of the U.S. experiencing "abnormally dry to exceptional drought" conditions, said Monika Freyman, the study's author, who used federal drought-monitoring statistics to reach her conclusions.

The study also found that in 36% of the wells studied, there was significant groundwater depletion. And in Colorado and California, 97% and 96% of wells, respectively, were in regions with "high or extremely high water stress," she said... Colorado's oil and gas commission has predicted that as the amount of exploration and drilling increases, so will the amount of water needed.

The president of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Unions put it this way: The oil and gas industry could drive prices for water so high it would elbow out already-hurting farmers.

To make matters worse, per the Times, Gov. John Hickenlooper continues to support fracking, "even once reportedly sipping a bit of fracking fluid with an oil company executive to prove it was safe."

Yum, yum! Again I say, salud! Mm-mmm!

And while he's at it, Hickenlooper might want to take a sip of the chemically affected flaming tap water spewing from faucets where fracking is prevalent, as is depicted in the excellent film Gasland.

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Britain joins the anti-fracking club: "Welcome to the desolate North. Now frack off."

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fracking frack off smaller

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 the new F word at The Political Carnival. I write about fracking a lot (scroll), and for good reason. For instance, tap water in the form of chemically induced flames spewed from faucets where fracking is prevalent, as is depicted in the excellent film Gasland.

Did you know that fracking is linked to methane risks: “When methane concentrations are that high, water can bubble like champagne.” Mmm, yummy. Cheers!

And don't even get me started on climate change.

Rachel Maddow has been all over this topic and is currently exposing the possible (ahem, probable) link to unusual and frequent earthquake activity associated with intruding on Mother Nature this way:

oklahoma earthquakes fracking

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Today's Los Angeles Times front-paged a report about how "energy-hungry Britain" residents aren't too thrilled with the practice either; this despite Prime Minister David Cameron being a huge fan, "practically hailing as a miracle" the environmental mess the U.S. is creating in the name of keeping gas prices low.

But one activist, Hytham Chlouk, calls this so-called "miracle" "the selling of Great Britain." How right he is:

"This is the selling of Great Britain," Chlouk said, peering out from behind a pair of glasses and a mop of brown dreadlocks. "I don't want my beautiful country destroyed. I'd hate for it to be like some places in America that look like alien landing zones."

bingo2Here's how the British countryside looks now:

english countryside britain

Hence the obvious reason for blow-back:

The deep-seated hostility is rooted in peculiarly British characteristics and experiences. One is the near-religious reverence among many Brits for the countryside, which makes them especially zealous in driving away any threats to their "green and pleasant land" of hills and sheep and hedgerows, whose beauty has inspired poets and soldiers at war.

Then there were the literally jarring events of the spring of 2011, when two small earthquakes struck near the seaside town of Blackpool in northwestern England. The larger registered a mere 2.3 in magnitude, but the tremors were big news on this seismically docile island — and even more so after government-appointed independent experts concluded that they had been caused by a new fracking operation in the area.

Protesters (they prefer "protectors") call the fracking efforts "rapacious capitalism" and are carrying signs that say things like, "Welcome to the desolate North. Now frack off." Well done, mates.

"Their sole motive is to make profit. They're not here to provide a service or to give cheap gas," said Tim Williams, one of the few camp dwellers clearly older than 30. "We don't want the countryside to be industrialized.... Without the land, what do we have?"

Clear? Now bugger off, frackers, you sad arses are as mad as a bag of ferrets and you're giving everyone collywobbles.

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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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