Monday, July 30, 2012

What the Frack, Over

We may never reach energy independence (There is no good economic reason to do so anyway), but North America is becoming a fossil fuels powerhouse:
The oil story is also being rewritten. Net petroleum imports have fallen from 60 percent of total consumption in 2005 to 42 percent today. Part of the reason is on the demand side. The improving gasoline efficiency of cars will eventually reduce oil demand by at least a couple of million barrels per day.
The other part is the supply side — the turnaround in United States oil production, which has risen 25 percent since 2008. It could increase by 600,000 barrels per day this year. The biggest part of the increase is coming from what has become the “new thing” in energy — tight oil. That is the term for oil produced from tight rock formations with the same technology used to produce shale gas.
Tight oil is redrawing the map of North American oil. At the beginning of this year, North Dakota overtook California as the nation’s third largest oil-producing state. It didn’t stop there. It just overtook Alaska, to become No. 2 after Texas. Tight oil could reach more than four million barrels per day by 2020.
What really brings home the new reality is a milestone attained last year: In 2011, the United States registered the largest increase in oil production of any country outside of OPEC. (NY Times)
Fracking and Water

The fight is now over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. I talked to a geo-engineer a few weeks back and he told me the biggest issue with fracking was not accidentally drilling into an aquifer and polluting the groundwater, but that it was a water-intensive process. It uses a lot of water, and it’s got to come from somewhere, usually a fresh water source. He said the smart way to go is to tap brackish aquifers when available since they contain unusable water.

The other issue is what do you do with the sand and chemical-tainted water once fracking is complete? If you used a brackish source, you could pump it back in. Right now, they dispose of it in an EPA-approved well, treat it in municipal water treatment facilities where approved, or recycle it to be used in other fracking operations.

Here are some facts taken from the pro-fracking EnergyFromShale.org:

The drilling and hydraulic fracturing of a horizontal shale gas well may typically require 2 to 4 million gallons of water, with about 3 million gallons being most common.
"To put shale gas water use in perspective, the consumptive use of fresh water for electrical generation in the Susquehanna River Basin alone is nearly 150 million gallons per day, while the projected total demand for peak Marcellus Shale activity in the same area is 8.4 million gallons per day."
When the Ground Water Protection Council studied the environmental risk of hydraulic fracturing, they found one complaint in the more than 10,000 coalbed methane wells reviewed – an Alabama well where problems were not related to fracturing according to the EPA. The EPA initiated its own study of environmental risks from coalbed methane hydraulic fracturing and, again, no significant environmental risks as a result of proper hydraulic fracturing were identified.
So, like everything in life, I see fracking as a tradeoff. Sometimes it is worth making, sometimes not, depending on the place. In an arid area that has population centers that sometimes must endure water restrictions, it does not make sense unless an alternate water source can be found. Also, if there is a reasonable risk of damaging a water supply, that too should be avoided. Finally, contracts should include strong liability language. If the drillers mess it up they must clean it up.

50 comments:

Always On Watch said...

i think that fracking can be employed safely and effectively. But there has to be real oversight -- not BS oversight.

Retired Marine said...

Romney has been in Great Britain, Israel and Poland, and clearly the campaign has entered a new phase of a discussion and debate about America's foreign policy.
At least, Romney has a foreign policy. Obama has NONE! If I'm not mistaken, Obama is the only American President who has not visited Israel in his entire tenure.
As for Syria, the Obama administration is obvious reluctant to get involved, but he didn't wast a nanosecond getting involved in Egypt and in Libya. .. Romney was NOT afraid to say that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, and we all know what he meant by that!

Romney described Obama's foreign policy as an an appeasement and has said that Obama has been apologizing for America, something that HE will never do. And as an American and as a Veteran, I applaud him for that.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Romney described Obama's foreign policy as an an appeasement and has said that Obama has been apologizing for America, something that HE will never do. And as an American and as a Veteran, I applaud him for that."

President Obama never, never, never, never apologized for America.


PolitiFact, a source our blog host has used in the past for fact checking, deems that charge a "pants on fire lie."

Here's another source our host recently used to show how many Pinocchios a claim earns. The apology lie earned 4.

And one more.

You should stop repeating the lie.

Silverfiddle said...

And here's the other side:

Barack Obama's Top 10 Apologies

I can see both sides of this argument.

It is technically true that he has never apologized per se, unless it was for one of his painful gaffes, like referring to "Polish death camps."

Bunkerville said...

Unless we want to go back to being hunter gatherers, we will continue to have trade offs. The other option is to eliminate most of the 6 billion of us. We know how the progressives come down on this.

Z said...

SF, thanks for the information re fracking; sounds like it would work well if they followed your guidelines!

As for presidential mistakes....look what the media's made of Romney's saying he's 'disconcerted' about the Olympics going well for all the problems they were experiencing with security so close to the Opening; a sentiment the Brit press itself said in harsher terms before the problems were solved. CBS had that interview with Romney and didn't think it was at all problematic until the Brits got sensitive, and then the American media called it THE GAFFE and it became bigger than it was.

Had this been a Democrat, I wonder if we'd have even heard it. The Heritage Foundation's list of Mr. Obama's apologies is important...it shows a mindset.
CLinton went to London after Bush was in office and I watched LIVE a speech he made to the Labor Party on CNN Int'l; I was absolutely stunned at how he insulted Bush several times, and TOny Blair, sitting behind him, looked ashen and surprised with the indignities. America does better with presidents reminding others of the good we've done and shoring our country UP.

I keep wondering why the DNC doesn't have to pay our mainstream media.
Frack! :-)

Shaw Kenawe said...

SF, The Heritage Foundation is a conservative/neocon think tank that is anti-Obama.

Not exactly an unbiased source. PolitiFact or Factcheck.org [I don't remember which] names the Heritage Foundation as the source of the lie that Mr. Obama "apologized" for America.

He clearly did not, since the quotations from his speeches include excerpts of him praising and lauding America for being an exceptional country.

You and people like the Marine dude and even Z insist on promoting the lie for your own political agendas, and to depict the president as anti-American.

skudrunner said...

SF
You really need to be careful with what you say because liberals get very confused and angry when presented with facts.

As a business owner I feel blessed to have been so lucky because like his wonderfullness believes "If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

The Debonair Dudes World said...

Shaw said:

"You and people like the Marine dude and even Z insist on promoting the lie for your own political agendas, and to depict the president as anti-American"


Typical Liberal response, everybody is wrong except them. .
Poor President Barack Obama. he had good intentions, but did not have the ability to bring the hope and change to reshape America as he hoped to.
Why is everybody always picking on him?

Maybe because he tripled the debt. Or maybe because we don't want his HealthCare, or maybe because the housing market or that
China is rising faster than the USA.
and that our jobs are going overseas.
or the Illegal immigration problem, or maybe we are just sick of his Lies and BS stories . AND HIS APOLOGIZES,

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ralphie and his sockpuppets are everywhere.

Ducky's here said...

I think that fracking can be employed safely and effectively. But there has to be real oversight -- not BS oversight.

-----
Exactly why it is dangerous in this political climate.

Ducky's here said...

At least, Romney has a foreign policy

-----
Oh? And what's that Marine?

Insult the British, give Nuttyyahoo a hum number and piss away money on the magic missile defense shield?

Certainly seems coherent.

Silverfiddle said...

Skudrunner: I'm a wage slave. I sure with someone would come along and build a successful business for me!

Shaw: It's debatable and open to interpretation. The issue is not settled just because somebody at WaPo says so. Sure, he didn't come out and say "I apologize." No one is alleging that he did.

Ducky's here said...

@Debonair Dud - Maybe because he tripled the debt.
No, the Bush tax cuts, the wars and the recession were the prime movers. Any stimulus spending on the bankster, which was initiated by Chucklenuts also, is down the list. All nonsense that Mittens will continue plus an attack on Iran. Wheeee.

Or maybe because we don't want his HealthCare

You don't want health insurance? Or you want it on your terms and fuck everyone else?

, or maybe because the housing market
What do you suggest? I thought you Libertarian dilettantes were opposed to any interference in the "free market"(LMAO)

or that
China is rising faster than the USA.
and that our jobs are going overseas.
I thought you Libertarian dudes supported "free trade"(LMAO). Make up your mind.

or the Illegal immigration problem,
I think we should bring back Saint Ronnie Raygun and have him declare another amnesty. Or pass more free trade (LMAO) bills like NAFTA. At least Obama has been active deporting criminals.

or maybe we are just sick of his Lies and BS stories

or maybe we're sick of Libertarian clowns who whine and don't know their ass from their elbow

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky: Insult the British?

Romney said this:

"It's hard to know just how well [the 2012 London Olympics] will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting. The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging."

He should have given the positive, politically-correct response, but it's hardly an earth-shattering insult.

Do yourself a favor and inform yourself by reading what the British press was saying about Olympic preparations

You want to see what insulting the British looks like? Read this:

Barack Obama's Top 10 Insults Against Great Britain

Careful Ducky, your Obama-worship bloomers are showing, better get down off your tippy-toes.

Mustang said...

I guess these are all “edited” and Obama never said anything as presented. Right? The issue here that while we can all admit that American foreign policy has been inept … due in large measure to the idiots we elect to high offices, it is disgusting to imagine a president making such statements given the number of Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in order that other can remain free: In Europe, in Asia, in the Middle East, and here at home. Equally disgusting is the fact that we have far too many “citizens” like Shaw and Ducky who side with Obama, who embraces a foreign ideology.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Okay, I don't mean to hijack this thread but:

"Sure, he didn't come out and say "I"I apologize." No one is alleging that he did."

If Obama didn't say "I'm sorry" or "I apologize," then there was NO apology.

What the Heritage Foundation alleges doesn't make it true. It makes them partisan hacks trying to delegitimize his presidency.

The end.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Marine wrote:

". Equally disgusting is the fact that we have far too many “citizens” like Shaw and Ducky who side with Obama, who embraces a foreign ideology."

In your universe, it's "disgusting" that I, an American citizen, support our American president?

As an American citizen, I voted for the candidate I wanted as president. He won. With a very healthy margin.

There no disgust or dishonor in that.

Perhaps you should take a look inside yourself and find out where your revulsion to my supporting America's president comes from.

Z said...

Mustang, thanks for the video.
You know, it's a feeling of negativity that's prevailing in our country and that's become so bad since 2008. We need encouragement, not constant reminders of a racist past, how we're not over that yet; we don't need an AG who says we're still racist...

"Perhaps you should take a look inside yourself and find out where your revulsion to my supporting America's president comes from."

Perhaps you should take a look inside yourself as to what compels you not to be revolted by this health care plan and how it was passed 'before you can know what's in it' and now we're beginning to see exactly that, the wasted money on failed energy companies which our tax payer dollars supported, borders where 'dreamers' can't be stopped and asked for ID and the lie that our borders are more secure than ever, etc etc. etc ETC etc.

skudrunner said...

"No, the Bush tax cuts, the wars and the recession were the prime movers."

So now that Obama has ended the wars and killed Osama, we should see the debt go down, right.

I saw one of his commercials saying we need to punish the rich and use that money to pay down the debt. I could swear I say his nose grow while he was saying that. Commit 100% of any tax increase to paying off debt and not buying a union and I would support it.
This is a country of equal opportunity but Obama is trying to turn it into equal results, have to share the wealth you know.

What the hell do I know because I am one of those people he hates and was just lucky "If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Jack Whyte said...

The problem we have in this country is that people permit nocturnal fantasies to interfere with common sense. Apparently, they are so enthralled with a communist organizer that they are unable to make a distinction between the chicken salad of free market capitalism, and the chicken shit of progressive socialism. Finally, one can easily argue that Obama is president of these United States, but to argue that he’s an American president is simply not true. There is nothing "American" about the man.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Shaw: What the Heritage Foundation alleges doesn't make it true.

Right! Just like I said that just because WaPo says it doesn't make it true.

We're not arguing over a scientific fact, we are debating how those presidential comments should be interpreted.

Obviously, how you feel about the man will determine what light you view the comments in.

KP said...

Interesting article SF. I strongly support increased energy independance. It is comforting to know we have resources. Next, it's time to pump up our production of REEs. I consider it all a part of national and economic security.

conservativesonfire said...

Your geofriend is right. Fracking is not new technology and they know how to seal off the water aquafers. The problem is water consumption at times.

Ducky's here said...

Deep water drilling isn't new tech, just ask BP.

As AOW pointed out, this may be beneficial with legitimate regulation and oversight.

Good luck.

Of course there is also the warming question but we may be past the point where the natural cycle is going to recover normally. So bon temps roulez.

The Debonair Dudes World said...

Ducky's here said...

@Debonair Dud .
Or maybe because we don't want his HealthCare
You don't want health insurance? Or you want it on your terms and fuck everyone else?


@ Duck-Schmuck..

No, Schmuchy, I pay for what I want and get, and as for "fucking everyone else" No Just "fuck You".

Shaw Kenawe said...

Jack Whyte: "one can easily argue that Obama is president of these United States, but to argue that he’s an American president is simply not true. There is nothing "American" about the man."

Brilliant.

Mr. Obama is the president of the United States of America, but one can argue that he's not "American."

Hmmmm. One can argue that you're getting information from your dental fillings, and that bunny rabbits have made their home in your jockey shorts.

How else to explain that piece of madness you just wrote?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ducky, I wouldn't waste my time with "Debonaire Dude" [smirk].

This is the sort of incisive political reporting he does on his blog.

The Debonair Dudes World said...

Dear Comrade Ducky:
As far as what you call a "magic missile defense shield"?
Do you think that Russia is our friend? If you do I have a Bridge to sell you in Brooklyn! No, they are not our friends. I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them.
What do you think Obama would do if Russia began bringing Missiles into Cuba and or Venezuela? Do you think that a Missile Defense System would be helpful. I have news for you Barack Obama is NOT John F. Kennedy, not by a long shot. It’s common knowledge that Putin don’t like Obama, in fact Putin cannot stand Obama. So don’t put anything past him. Putin is using Obama, he’s pulling his strings like everyone else is. Putin is a strong warrior and looks at Obama like a paper tiger on a Basketball court...


And were did you ever get the idea that I was a Libertarian?

The Debonair Dudes World said...

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ducky, I wouldn't waste my time with "Debonaire Dude" [smirk].
This is the sort of incisive political reporting he does on his blog."


Shaw, Thank your for that, I wouldn't want that Freakazoid on my blog any more than I would want a Socialist PIG like you there.

Sam Huntington said...

I believe these two things. First, worthwhile endeavors are seldom very easy. Second, necessity is the mother of invention.

We must develop energy independence. We cannot do that by punishing coal industries and tossing thousands of people out of work. We cannot do that by shutting down offshore exploration and drilling, tossing thousands more out of work. We cannot do that if we prefer the status quo, which is reliance upon foreign oil. We cannot do that if we continue to demonize risk takers in the oil industries and taxing them into oblivion. Well, I suppose that last statement was hyperbole because the oil companies pass along their tax burdens to the consumers —noting that so far, this has been hunky dory with the progressive/communist elite.

So, about the difficulty: we must encourage individuals and consortiums to put on their thinking caps and find the best way to develop our domestic resources with the absolute least impact on the environment. To satisfy the second issue, let’s stop fooling ourselves by pretending that energy resources are inexhaustible. They are not … but let’s also come to the realization that no one in their right mind thinks that paying $40,000 for a Chevy Volt that does little more than run out of energy in 100 miles and make unions more corrupt is an acceptable strategy.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Fossil fuels have outinnovated green energy sources. Probably because the people in it are spending their own money and not the taxpayer's.

Louis H. said...

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has "forgiven" Solyndra its taxpayer debt. Screw the people at every turn, yes?

Shaw Kenawe said...

The Debonair Dudes World said...
Shaw Kenawe said...

Ducky, I wouldn't waste my time with "Debonaire Dude" [smirk].
This is the sort of incisive political reporting he does on his blog."

Shaw, Thank your for that, I wouldn't want that Freakazoid on my blog any more than I would want a Socialist PIG like you there.




Ralphie, you're so cute when you you have your knickers in a twist! Oink! Oink!

Steve said...

Obama's failed foreign policy, what a laugh.

He has destroyed our enemy, killed it's LEADERS, ended the Iraq war, will end the Afghanistan war, helped countries revolt against their tyrant leaders.
Bush could have done that but chose not to.
"He's not even on my radar." is what Bush said regarding Bin Laden.
Obama comes in office, Bin Laden dead. His assistant leaders, dead.
Why don't you lying troglodytes pull your heads out of your asses.

Z said...

Louis H. said...
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has "forgiven" Solyndra its taxpayer debt. Screw the people at every turn, yes?"

Nice, huh, Louis? And, wait for it..they'll forgive the second company Obama helped with millions which went bust, too.
and, wait for it...you're lucky you even heard about this considering our pravda media.

Finntann said...

He has destroyed our enemy, killed it's LEADERS, ended the Iraq war, will end the Afghanistan war, helped countries revolt against their tyrant leaders.

IT'S A BIRD

IT'S A PLANE

IT'S DELUSIONAL

And if you ask me, it sounds like exactly what you were bitching about when Bush was president. What was the term? Oh yeah...Bushitler. What's it now? Obamao?

And if Jesus came back tomorrow, you'd give him credit for that too I suppose.

Steve said...

Since it's all true, it's better than the failed foreign policy you guys describe his achievements as.
Of course you are used to denying facts.

Finntann said...

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/world/middleeast/mohamed-morsi-of-muslim-brotherhood-declared-as-egypts-president.html?pagewanted=all

Islamists in Tunisia

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/tunisia-hardline-islam-threatens-democracy-gains-16883968

Al-Qaeda in Syria

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/world/middleeast/al-qaeda-insinuating-its-way-into-syrias-conflict.html?pagewanted=all

Al-Qaeda in Mali

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/26/world/africa/mali-burnett-al-qaeda/index.html

Iran pissing on his leg

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j2WPfJzsoHU2lXNXdkHglGOZfj1g?docId=f948e85a2bae44f7ac7275b246ec6097

So exactly what is his foreign policy anyway, other than indiscernable?

When he sent Churchill's bust back to the Brits, what did he replace it with? Chamberlain's?

Steve said...

He never sent Churchill's bust back to England.
Follow up with a lie
Good one

Finntann said...

More on topic, until a viable alternative to fossil fuels emerges, fracking seems to one of our few alternatives.

Ethanol which is 30% less efficient than gasoline just hit $3.19 vs. Gasoline at $3.43

Electric seems to be going nowhere fast, and even if you buy an electric, the electricity is being generated by fossils anyway.

Fuel efficient gas motors are running neck in neck with hybrids.

For some reason, Americans hate diesel, despite many high efficiency diesels available in Europe.

The government is suppressing coal and nuclear.

On the plus side, I could achieve grid independence with a solar/wind combo for about thirty grand.

Cheers!

Finntann said...

Steve, you're a day late and a dollar short:

The British Embassy said in a statement issued just a few hours later, “the bust now resides in the British ambassador’s residence in Washington D.C."

British officials were surprised by Mr Pfeiffer's statement and photograph, however, because the bust now resides in the residence of Sir Peter Westmacott, Britain's ambassador to the US.

http://www.kjonline.com/opinion/columnists/in-spite-of-white-house-staffers-denial-churchill-bust-is-gone_2012-07-30.html

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/op_ed/view/20220731white_house_credibility_bust/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/9436526/White-House-admits-it-did-return-Winston-Churchill-bust-to-Britain.html

The bust that sat in the oval office was indeed returned.

So... who is either misinformed or lying?

jez said...

"For some reason, Americans hate diesel"

Anybody know why that is? I was surprised when I saw even big lorries running on petrol engines in California. Over here pretty much all our road freight is pulled by diesel.

I actually run a diesel car at the moment, the first one I've owned. I was a bit worried about maintaining it since I've always had petrol, but it's been fine.

"On the plus side, I could achieve grid independence with a solar/wind combo for about thirty grand."

Really? Do you live somewhere with lots of sunshine?
My sense of scale leads me to favour larger generation farms (at least a dozen or so homes per farm). I expect there would be significant economies of scale.

Wood burning domestic heating is very fashionable these days in the UK. I like it in principle, along with solar heating, much better than domestic electricity generators.

Rob said...

As long as there are profits to be made - and the profits are in the stratosphere - there is rarely real oversight. Oilmen have been pursuing riskier and riskier strategies for decades with nary a shit given for the long-term effects for their customer base.

Fracking is dangerous shit precisely because you cannot count on greedy oilmen and politicians to self-govern their practices, much less own up to mistakes and handle them responsibly.

It's well worth taking the time to watch the documentary film by Josh Fox Gasland for some eye-opening looks at fracking gone horribly wrong.

Beyond all of that, it seems quite foolhardy to squander such vast water resources when half of the U.S. is in a crippling drought that's going to seriously affect food costs and availability. We're quickly approaching a point where water could become more expensive than oil. It's certainly the more vital of the two resources.

skudrunner said...

Injecting water into the ground is very dangerous because you may extract oil which should be outlawed and if his leaderless has his way will be.

I looked for a solar powered car that the taxpayers invested in but the company that makes them moved production offshore and then went out of business, after contributing a large amount to the Obama disaster fund.

I would consider CNG if there were more stations because we have plenty of natural gas in this country. Just because T Boone pissed off Kerry the elected crooks won't consider pushing CNG even for OTR trucks.

Silverfiddle said...

Skud: I'm all for battery powered airplanes, and I think the enviro left should be the first ones to test them out.

Finntann said...

Skud... they had CNG stations in Korea when I lived there. Didn't we look like idiots when my friend pulled into one to fill up his American Ford Ranger.

Jez, I live in the mountains(>9000 ft) and we get >300 days of sunshine a year, so yes, I live in a prime solar area. The area, being in the mountains, is also a good one for wind and if the sun is not shining the wind is generally blowing at a pretty good clip.

Most home systems have no storage capacity and remain attached to the grid. You sell surplus power during the day and buy it back at night. Since the nighttime rates are usually cheaper, and since you generally sell more than you use, they consider it 'independent'.

If I remember correctly, a solar installation would pay for itself in about 17 years while the combined wind/solar payoff was about 5 or 6 years. The solar installation would be the entire south roof of my barn (about 110 square meters) and one wind tower (10-15m). We also use a woodstove as our primary heat in winter, with a gas furnace as a backup.

Cheers!

Liberalmann said...

Fracking is the only energy method which has no regulations whatsoever. They won't even disclose what toxic chemicals they put in their system to extract the gas. It's bad shit.

Liberalmann said...

Silverfiddle said...

And here's the other side:

Barack Obama's Top 10 Apologies
----

Yeah, direct from...The Heritage Foundation,' Lol!



'15 Obama Achievements Amid Relentless Republican Obstructionism'

http://leftcall.com/2011/12/24/15-obama-achievements-amid-relentless-republican-obstructionism/


"Obama’s Top 50 Accomplishments"

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2012/features/obamas_top_50_accomplishments035755.php/

Silverfiddle said...

Fracking is the only energy method which has no regulations whatsoever. They won't even disclose what toxic chemicals they put in their system to extract the gas. It's bad shit.

You have no idea what you are talking about.

The EPA has rules, and then states and localities do also.