As our resident petroleum engineer on POE-N explained, its not the fracking itself that's the environmental danger, its disposal of waste water & poor operators that aren't doing cement logs. Fix those issues through state legislation, and the local effects are probably solved.
On a more technical level, the promise of a century of natural gas from fracking is based on the assumption of hyperbolic production declines, which haven't been the case in the Barnett Shale. The critics (mostly retired petroleum engineers free to speak openly) think the number is closer to 20-25 years of supply. Enough to keep you warm in your waning years, but not your children.
But we won't fix those problem and no one at CPAC would want to fix those problems because that might eat into profits.
As it is we have contaminated water already in Pennsylvania and earthquakes in Youngstown. To add insult to injury Tom Corbett stopped the EPA from delivering bottled water to communities with contaminated water.
That and Corbett and his Republicans in the state legislature made sure that the people of PA got as little revenue from these out of state drilling companies as possible. We're basically being treated like a 3rd world nation with American corporate interests swooping in to take our resources and giving us very little besides pollution for our troubles.
I'm sure natural gas extraction could be done well, but when it's done Conservative style it will hurt as many as people possible to make as few people as possible very wealthy.
Both the thick framed glasses and coked up hyperbole tell me that she was into fracking waaay before anyone else heard of it.
|THA SUGAH RAIN |
Remember in SIMCITY 2000 where you could launch a solar satellite into space and have it beam microwave energy down to a collector? Japan is giving that a go and if I remember correctly the only down side was when the beam slipped and blew up your town. Anyway as daffy and unlikable as this woman is, fracking is fine when done right and destructive when done wrong.
The same can be said for nuclear power. It's an excellent energy source, and when done right, is the best way to generate power short of a full-on fusion reactor. The only thing needed are people who care about doing it right, vs people who care about making money. Because you can make a hella lot more money doing it bad than good.
Now there was this guy here on POE, who asserted with great authority that "in every professional situation I have been in, workers were always maximizing for their own self interest". Maybe that guy was full of shit, and the gas people are selfless individuals who toil for the common good at their own expense. But the real question is; would you lease your land to a gas company to frack? Not a rhetorical question, btw.
During the land boom in the Marcellus Shale (2006-2008), natural gas E&Ps were offering up to $5000 an acre for drilling rights, PLUS a cut of production production, often on rough land unsuitable for any other purpose. Pennsylvania farmers and hunting lease owners were lined up to take them up on the offer.
Those same contracts have come to bite the natural gas companies in the ass, because they stipulate that some drilling take place in the first few years to hold the lease. Given the sunk costs of the lease (up to a million per well to the landowners given the prices), most went ahead and drilled these 3 million/hole wells, and between oversupply and the recession, gas prices have plummetted to decadal lows of $2.49 / mmBtu (compare with $10-13/mmBtu in early 2008). The breakeven on these complex wells is around $6/mmBtu. Quite a few leveraged NG companies will go under as their hedges run out.
Thanks, Godot. I think we'd get a lot more out of a clip of you discussing the issue than the 5 star cunt seen here. And that's the real evil, isn't it?
So we have largely unregulated companies in a financial pinch drilling wells as cheap as possible to keep afloat. What could possibly go wrong?
Let's play a little mental game. When was the last time anybody, anybody at all, be they corporate or government, successfully did anything with the possibility of "killing lots and lots of people" being the end result of even the slightest miscalculation?
Well, if you said "THE NUCLEAR ARMS PROGRAM!" you'd be RIGHT! And, thankfully, absolutely nobody with the motivation to cut costs, minimize safety, alienate employees and do whatever it takes to make profit at whatever price is necessary is involved with it. So, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, do not allow fracking into the hands of private enterprise.
Seems like the problem is that business executives outrank engineers.
The US nuclear arsenal has been maintained by private contractors for quite a while now. Babcock & Wilcox, Honeywell & Bechtel do the all the assembly and dissembly at the Pantex plant outside Amarillo, for example. They've come close to setting off a high fallout groundburst there at least once.
As I mentioned in the OP, I don't think fracking itself is intrinsically harmful, but the wastewater handling at the surface is a real issue, and really should be the main focus of environmental oversight. Even if the 0.5% of additives in fracking fluid were harmless, lots of salt, heavy metals incl radon & uranium come up when it's pumped back out of the wellbore. Some Pa towns bought the briny waste liquid to deice roads in winter. There's a case of one stream going saline and temporarily dead due to a local waste contractor illegally dumping their load.
The move in the industry is towards full disclosure of additives (even the TX legislature requires it) and one service company (at least) has a wholly rapidly biodegradable additve suite. The film Gasland actually forced the industry to change some of its secretive ways.
That was in response to cognitivedissonance.
Actually the use of high-pressure injections to reduce catastrophic earthquake risk is an interesting technology. Pilot experiments by geologists have used water injections along minor faults to lubricate them and permit small slippages, rather than allow large strains build up to high-magnitude levels. It's likely that this is the sort of thing observed in the Youngstown, Ohio quake - fracking shifting post-glacial rebound quakes in time.
I could easily see widespread high pressure injection wells drilled AFTER the next big one wipes out San Francisco, so that more regular magnitude ~4.0 slippages dissipate strain and prevent magnitude ~8.0 (million x the energy release) earthquakes.
It's funny how a snooty English accent makes someone seem authoritative, while an Irish accent makes someone seem crazy (or maybe it's just her).
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