Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday "News on the Run"...Editorial on Fracking

sniffle, sniffle, sneeze...I have a told and (as the commercial would say) need some stuffy, sneezing, coughing so I can rest medicine. Coffee tastes good, and peeking out my window, looks like a bit of a dismal day out, but there is some good snow pellets. It is wet, damp, nippy, spitting and nasty out...a good day to just stay inside with my cold and give the house a complete cleaning for Christmas Day. Speaking of Christmas, I will be putting up a post on Christmas Eve that has links to all of my own favorite Christmas songs on You Tube, and hope all of our readers will find these beautiful songs a great addition to your own celebrations.

Last week the US EPA came out with a preliminary report which in part says a water aquifer out in Wyoming is most likely contaminated with chemicals from fracking...those in favor of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling (Encana) have taken to the airwaves trying to tarnish both the report, and the agency. Additionally, these industry shills have tried to convince Americans that even if the findings are born out to be true, the report should in no way have any effect on their desires to drill in the rest of the nation because the underground conditions in Wyoming are far different than anywhere else, with the fracking there taking place at shallower depths than in the rest of America.

Fact...the only difference a far greater depth will make in the end line results (contamination of our water sources) is the time it takes for those contaminants to reach our aquifers and underground fresh drinking water supplies. Once you crack/fracture a rock, boulder or stone, it will continue to crack until said stone or boulder or rock formation splits into two or more pieces. Thus, it is not a matter of IF these cancer, birth defects, health risk causing chemicals reach our fresh drinking water supplies, but a question of when they reach and contaminate our fresh water supplies. What the Natural Gas Industry is counting on, is being able to get in and get out before that contaminate is found out.

Hydraulic Fracturing is the biggest CON GAME to come along in decades, and it is the people of rural America who are being asked to pay a horrible price in the name of Natural Gas company profits. As example, the Energy Secretary (DOE, who cannot be trusted, have no interest in protecting our environment) likes to trot out the lie, "at current usage rates, the Natural Gas play here in America will last at least 110 years". Lets explore this myth.
1. There is much lobbying going on in every state capital, and in Washington DC to greatly increase the consumption rate of Natural Gas. As example, lobbyist for the Natural Gas industry convinced Pennsylvania officials to give the industry $50 million of our taxpayer dollars to help the industry built Natural Gas stations along the interstate, and to give grants to municipalities to convert their fleets to natural gas. Both of these actions aimed at greatly INCREASING current rates of consumption.
2. By some estimates, as much as 60 percent of the Natural Gas plays here in America have been sold to foreign companies...the largest player being China's state owned CNOOC. In short, this means the lions share of America's natural gas will be shipped overseas...which would explain why it is that most Natural Gas companies are investing their own capital into building large plants to liquify the natural gas, load it onto ships to be sent offshore (just like our jobs) to China and other countries such as India, while our tax dollars are being used to increase domestic supply and demand, which in turn will DRIVE UP PRICES, making Natural Gas just as expensive as the petrol we now put into our cars.

These two realities change the whole argument. Ask yourselves a question, "Are you willing to risk your family's health, your community's property values and fresh drinking water supplies for a gas play that will last fifteen years or less? Oh, I am sorry Chesapeake Energy, Exxon and Cabot, is that an inconvenient truth you would prefer not to speak upon? are we in rural America not supposed to realize that the DOE, our government and the Natural Gas industry refer to this Natural Gas Energy as a TRANSITIONAL ENERGY source...curious here...what are we transitioning to? Add to this the fact that the lions share of this transitional energy source is promised to China and India, and that fifteen year energy supply actually represents only a seven and one half year energy supply here in America...barely enough supply for you to pay off that new Natural Gas burning car they want us all to go out and purchase based on say a 60 month car loan.

"We need to consider the depletion rate of these rigs, which is surprisingly 60% in one year! It means a gas well uses up its own supplies after 2 years of time!"

The natural industry, and even our own government are spending tens of millions of advertising dollars telling us it is our patriotic duty to allow fracking in our communities. We are told these natural gas reserves locked in such places as the Marcellus Shale will allow America to break our dependence on Foreign oil...if this were true, then why are there no laws stipulating that said Natural Gas reserves if mined from under our lands are for DOMESTIC USE ONLY? If these reserves are meant to break us of our dependence on foreign oil, why are companies like Exxon, Chesapeake Oil, Cabot and others being allowed to sell off their plays to foreign companies owned fully by foreign governments?

The underground aquifer in Wyoming WAS CONTAMINATED by Hydraulic Fracturing chemicals, and waters in other states including Pennsylvania have been contaminated by Hydraulic Fracturing chemicals, and by well pad accidents. Our fresh drinking water supplies will be contaminate, the question being when, not if. Our government, the DOE, and the US EPA know it why Congress under the direction of Dick Cheney exempted this industry from the regulatory requirements of both the Clean Water and Clean Air acts. The industry knows this as well, and it is why they want to GET IN, suck out the gas and be gone before the contamination of our waters is noticed so that they can hide behind their attorneys and say, "Was not us. and even if it was, PROVE IT".

New York's DEC is in the process of approving regulations by which FRACKING will be regulated...the rules are inadequate, and the department does not have the manpower to enforce them even if they were adequate. The only solution for the state of New York that protects citizen health, and our clean water supplies is an OUT RIGHT BAN OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING in our state, rather than simply banning it in a few protected areas. Locally, both the Town of Fallsburg and Sullivan County should be passing local zoning laws that FORBID FRACKING in our communities.

Articles You Should Read

Fracking rules to be more stringent
Youngstown Vindicator
By Karl Henkel Ohio plans to scrap some fracking regulations in lieu of more- stringent rules, but some antifracking advocates remain skeptical about the proposed changes. Ohio Legislative Service Commission Final Analysis of Sub. ...
Fracking may test water law
Independent Online
Asked what international reports on fracking had been studied by her department, she said technical papers and reports “have also been consulted” from Canada, Europe and Australia – in addition to the US – where hydraulic fracturing for shale gas ...
Earthquakes, Water Pollution and Increased Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Fracking ...
The last decade has seen a sustained campaign by the hydraulic fracturing ('fracking") industry against its critics, as the fracking industry in the US alone was worth an estimated $76 billion in 2010 and is projected to grow to $231 billion in 2036 if ...