Archive for gas exploration

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

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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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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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"Natural gas fire continues to burn after well blowout." But, hey, no worries: "So far" no "immediate danger."

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gas explosion blowout gulf maddow show

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Yesterday I posted Here we go again: Natural gas spews “uncontrolled” into Gulf after blowout. I am grateful to Rachel Maddow for being the only news source I happened to see that covered that catastrophe. Please watch the video above for the entire story.

The Los Angeles Times had more coverage, and theirs is titled "Natural gas fire continues to burn after well blowout." After these disasters, the (ir)responsible parties (along with government agencies) rush in to reassure everyone how everything is under control, no worries, there's very little, if any, damage, and yippee! nobody was killed! Like this:

"There is no immediate danger to humans or wildlife" related to the incident, said staff at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Along with the Coast Guard, it is the lead agency responding.

Let's examine how accurate claims like those are in this case:

Blackmon said it was not clear how long it would take to drill a relief well but it would likely take days. [...]

The U.S. Coast Guard restricted vessel traffic within 500 meters of the rig, recommending vessels stay five miles away, said Lt. j.g. Tanner Stiehl. They were also enforcing Federal Aviation Administration temporary restrictions on air travel up to 2,000 feet above the area, he said.

But there's no immediate danger, see. Key word: "Immediate." Because, they say, so far nobody has seen signs of environmental damage. Key words: "So far."

And because there's no immediate danger, vessels and air travelers... keep your distance!

The workers "experienced a loss of control" of the well at 8:45 a.m. Central Time on Tuesday, according to the BSEE. Soon after, inspectors reported a cloud of natural gas above the rig and a light sheen on the water spanning one-half mile by 50 feet.

Blackmon said the environmental impact of the leak had been minimal at this point because what was leaking was "dry natural gas" that evaporated instead of contaminating the air and water.

Well then, so long as it's "dry" gas. Is that anything like, "Hey, at least it's not humid. Dry heat is so much easier to take!"

There are environmental groups that are concerned about potential contamination from condensate, or liquid released with the gas, because condensate contains the carcinogen benzene and other toxic chemicals. Feel reassured now?

Wilma Subra, a chemist from New Iberia, Louisiana and advisor to the non-profit Louisiana Environmental Action Network, was concerned with "how quickly things can go bad in the Gulf." Ya think?

Dave Valentine, a UC Santa Barbara professor of microbial geochemistry who studied the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf, said, "It's not oil. It's not floating to the surface and causing toxicity issues. But there may be this other level of impact and we just haven't been able to study it effectively."

Marine life and "the seafloor community" could be hurt. Again.

The worry stems from the many unknowns. But rest assured, it's all under control.

UPDATE:

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Here we go again: Natural gas spews "uncontrolled" into Gulf after blowout

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gas oil rig blowout off coast via Common Dreams

"Rupture caused by failed attempt to expand well..."

Here we go again. Luckily, there were no injuries... if you don't count how lives (plant, animal, human) are affected by environmental disasters after the fact as well as during the fact, of course. Via WRAL:

NEW ORLEANS — Natural gas spewed uncontrolled from a well off the Louisiana coast on Tuesday after a blowout that forced the evacuation of 44 workers aboard a drilling rig, authorities said. [...]

Experts from Wild Well Control Inc. were to assess the well site overnight and develop a plan to shut down the flow of gas, said Jim Noe, executive vice president of Hercules Offshore Inc, owner of the drilling rig where the blowout occurred. [...]

[T]he Coast Guard kept nautical traffic out of an area within 500 meters of the site, where the spewing gas posed a fire hazard... BSEE said inspectors flying over the site soon after the blowout saw a light sheen covering an area about a half-mile by 50 feet.

So the company that owns the rig still hasn't developed a plan to shut down said rigs in the event of a blowout? How reassuring. Drill, baby, drill!

And via Common Dreams:

This has been the second incident this month regarding an off-shore natural gas well leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. During the previous incident, a well in the process of being abandoned poured natural gas into Gulf waters for several days before being sealed off.

These spills are a "reminder that deep water drilling for fossil fuels is volatile and dangerous, and that we need to transition as soon as possible to safer, cleaner forms of energy like wind and solar," said Deb Nardone, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Natural Gas campaign, following the earlier spill.

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