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Old 06-18-2012, 05:51 AM   #106
Griff
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I was in Dimock over the weekend when I went to the sheep dog trials at Sheepy Hallow in Hopbottom. Unlike New York where gas is highly politicized, I counted all of three gas related signs. One giant anti banner, one don't believe the liberal media sign, and one sign reminding people that the water in Dimock has been tested by the EPA and is safe to drink. Cabot sponsored the sheep dog trials and had a spokesman on hand to answer questions. It is a world view controversy. The "local" opposition is out of Ithaca, New York which as the bumper sticker says is "10 square miles surrounded by reality". People were polite and much more into the dogs than the controversy. Benny had a great time.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:58 AM   #107
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Griff! How ya been?

Are you out for summer yet?
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:02 PM   #108
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Been good, needed to cut my screen time to break a depressy mood. One more week! Imma work part-time this Summer though as some of these kids lose too much ground if they're off until Fall. It should leave time for this kinda stuff, general farm craziness, and some puppy training.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:07 PM   #109
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Benny is beautiful.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:13 AM   #110
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Looks happy too!
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:06 AM   #111
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He should be with Griff and a house full of beautiful women fawning over him. Come to think of it, all the critters we've seen at Griftopia looked happy.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:20 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibby View Post
Meh. Very glad that Vermont's banned that shit.
To be bold, Vermont banned fracking because they are just as anti-intellectual as the anti-climate change group. The only difference is that they vote for different parties. Now I am not an expert on hydraulic fracturing, but as someone who has done a lot of work in rock mechanics I know enough to realize that almost every claim by the anti-fracking crowd is unrepresentative, if not outright wrong.


Hydraulic fracturing is a potentially dangerous method that can cause massive environmental harm if performed irresponsibly. There will always be an inherent risk with gas and oil extraction from fracking methods, but most if not all risk can be reduced to basically nothing if performed correctly.

I will admit that oil, gas, and especially mining companies tend to be oblivious to public opinion and concerns and that is something that needs to change. They know that they are an indispensable resource and many hold the "too big to fail" mindset. Yet, to completely work against these companies, like banning fracking, is no different than outright banning derivatives on wall street.


Quickly onto the science.

1) Fracturing shale will not cause the oil or gas to reach natural aquifers. Shale reserves are many THOUSANDS of feet underground while aquifers are usually less than a hundred. Also, shale is a weak rock and only occupies a smaller layer of the overall geology. This means that there are THOUSANDS of feet of more competent, impermeable rock that will not allow any gas or oil to reach the drinking water.

What can happen is that gas or oil leaks from the borehole (well). This can easily be prevented by highly insulating the borehole depths where drinking water is present.


2) Now I don't have too much knowledge of the chemicals used in process but basically they included to make the rock more viscous (why else would they do it??) and to mitigate other issues that can arise.

This link gives a list of some of the additives and the reason for their use.

http://www.chk.com/Media/Educational...Fact_Sheet.pdf

3) Fracking will not magically cause earthquakes. Just so you guys are aware, I am defining earthquake as something that will cause damage to surface structures. Fracking will cause micro-seismic events (the fracturing itself) but these alone will not produce anything over 4.5 or so on the Richter scale (remember the Richter scale is exponential!).

In order for a earthquake to occur, the stress (forces) on a fault must be greater than the resistance (this is a simplification!). In rare circumstances, it is possible for rock fractures to cause a stress redistribution which can overly stress a fault. But, this can easily be prevented by initially identifying these risky regions and avoiding them. To my knowledge, this is already happening.


To add to my argument, a study was performed determining the contamination from each stage at drilling. The injection (hydraulic fracturing) process was found to be the LEAST damaging!

http://energy.utexas.edu/images/ei_s...tion120215.pdf



In summary, hydraulic fracturing is an important technique that is inherently risky, but manageable if performed correctly. I, and other people in the field, will admit that there is a lack of consistency between companies and how the frack. This leads some companies to cut corners and damage the surrounding environment, harming the process for everyone.

This is number one concern environmentalists should be focused on. Put more regulation on fracking, don't outright ban it.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:23 PM   #113
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I agree that regulating would be better than banning but it's a tough sell to people that have witnessed so much failure.
Industry, after industry, from coal mines and oil companies, to food producers and financial institutions, were supposed to be regulated only to find half were on an honor system, and the other half were watched over by industry insiders.
Then when they get caught, or worse fuck up big time, it's oh sorry here's .00001% of the extra profit we made by destroying your corner of the world for the foreseeable future.

To really regulate these potentially disastrous operations takes tough independent watchers who know exactly what's going on in these "proprietary" processes, and that takes money. Nobody wants to pay for it.
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:30 AM   #114
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Everything Bruce said + hey lets work on RENEWABLE and SUSTAINABLE energy CMON
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:25 AM   #115
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What Bruce and Ibby said.

[voiceover]
...from the industry that brought you the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon it's .... SAFE DRINKING WATER!!!
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:13 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piercehawkeye45 View Post
<snip>

In summary, hydraulic fracturing is an important technique
that is inherently risky, but manageable if performed correctly.
I, and other people in the field, will admit that there is a lack
of consistency between companies and how the frack.
This leads some companies to cut corners and damage the surrounding environment,
harming the process for everyone.

This is number one concern environmentalists should be focused on.
Put more regulation on fracking, don't outright ban it.
PW45, I sincerely appreciate your post.
I think you've made a genuine effort to address the issues,
without the hysteria that I usually infuse into my own writing.

Obviously, internal sources of natural gas are very important to the US economy.
And as you say, fracking can be an efficient way to obtain it... IF
... it is done in the right (environmentally safe) way.
But even in your current posting, this tiny word creeps in to many paragraphs.

For me, the issues are that the fracking chemicals are not environmentally safe.
And even if each particular fracking-well is constructed properly,
EPA has shown that the chemicals can make their way into other passages
(such as abandoned wells) and back up towards the surface.

Again for me, IF the industry were to put forth a feasible way to recover most of
the fracking chemicals once the fissuring-operation is completed,
it would be much more politically acceptable.
But I personally can't imagine how that would be done.
Likewise, and closer to impossible, would be how to rehabilitate
a contaminated ground water or drinking water source.

More distantly, natural gas is still putting CO2 into the atmosphere,
and as such has the same political problems as the fabled "clean coal".

Here in PDX, the Willamette River is considered to have been cleaned
and is a show piece for many environmentalists.
But in the downtown area of the river, it is still an EPA Superfund Toxic Waste site.
Dioxans and many other industrial polutants are in the mud sediments of the river bottom,
and there is immense worry about disturbing these sediments and
spreading the carcinogens throughout the river systems.

Some of the clean up problems are due to the companies and
industries that caused the situation have gone out of business
All these years after Love Canal, the professionals have finally developed plans for starting the clean up.
But it will still be many years and $millions before the work actually begins or is completed.

Given the Sunday morning tv ads, I am troubled by the credibility of the coal and fracking industries.

Last edited by Lamplighter; 07-03-2012 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:20 AM   #117
piercehawkeye45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
I agree that regulating would be better than banning but it's a tough sell to people that have witnessed so much failure.
Industry, after industry, from coal mines and oil companies, to food producers and financial institutions, were supposed to be regulated only to find half were on an honor system, and the other half were watched over by industry insiders.
Then when they get caught, or worse fuck up big time, it's oh sorry here's .00001% of the extra profit we made by destroying your corner of the world for the foreseeable future.

To really regulate these potentially disastrous operations takes tough independent watchers who know exactly what's going on in these "proprietary" processes, and that takes money. Nobody wants to pay for it.
Understandable. I understand that anecdotal accounts are extremely powerful, big industry has a horrible track record with this kind of stuff, and there is a strong case of "I support this but not in my backyard" but what are the alternatives?

On a side note, I feel fracking is more of a scape goat for the entire extraction process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibby
+ hey lets work on RENEWABLE and SUSTAINABLE energy CMON
It's a nice little bumper sticker but currently doesn't hold up to reality. And just so you are aware, there is currently a shit ton of work on renewable and sustainable energy. I mean, A LOT. There are many extremely intelligent people working on various creative ideas.

The problem is that they are so far from being economically feasible, or entirely impractical all together, that no one is willing to invest. In the midwest you will see wind farms but these provide very little additional energy and there are many issues quickly arising with them. Solar isn't much better. Geothermal energy requires fracking and is much riskier in certain aspects. Nuclear, which I personally support in many cases, has very little political support. There are other ideas I won't go into but they currently more unrealistic than any of the standard ideas.

That leaves what? Eventually, I am confident that certain forms of renewable energy will eventually arise that will eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels. But, that time will not come for many more decades. That leaves us in an intermediary period where there is no good solution to our global energy needs. All the cheap, easily accessible oil is gone or under control of authoritarian or unstable regimes. Clean renewable sources are not even close to mature enough to power a national grid. That leaves dirty unconventional oil whose extraction is risky and mistakes can cause local economic devastation. This is far from ideal but it is the reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplighter
Obviously, internal sources of natural gas are very important to the US economy.
And as you say, fracking can be an efficient way to obtain it... IF
... it is done in the right (environmentally safe) way.
But even in your current posting, this tiny word creeps in to many paragraphs.
That tiny word is inevitable. But, it is also currently present in any other form of energy extraction or production. Not to very overly pessimistic, but we need to choose our poison.

Quote:
EPA has shown that the chemicals can make their way into other passages (such as abandoned wells) and back up towards the surface.
I'm not denying that it hasn't happened but in what cases? The point is that many fracking situations involve situations where there really is zero chance of the residual chemicals reaching the surface (assuming the well is properly sealed). If that wasn't true, there currently would not be any research in CO2 sequestration and there currently is a lot. I am guessing that situation occurred in a situation where the shale gas was very close to surface, which is not usual.

Remember, shale gas and oil extraction situations can occur in many different situations. Banning the entire process due to problems from one type of situation doesn't make sense.

Quote:
Again for me, IF the industry were to put forth a feasible way to recover most of the fracking chemicals once the fissuring-operation is completed, it would be much more politically acceptable. But I personally can't imagine how that would be done. Likewise, and closer to impossible, would be how to rehabilitate a contaminated ground water or drinking water source.
Fracking will never recover all the fluid but I'm sure the industry is doing everything they can to recover as much as possible. It wouldn't make sense for them to just leave it there and spend additional money to create more.

Although, this argument doesn't make too much sense since gas shale is looked into for CO2 sequestration. I don't know much about it so I am not going to make any definitive statements but if that is true, then residual frack chemicals shouldn't make it the surface anyways...

There is work to convert CO2 into calcite but that may be a completely different issue.

Quote:
More distantly, natural gas is still putting CO2 into the atmosphere, and as such has the same political problems as the fabled "clean coal".
Of course, but what are the alternatives? There is currently no way to completely eliminate CO2 emissions so it makes perfect sense to work on ways to reduce them.

Quote:
Some of the clean up problems are due to the companies and
industries that caused the situation have gone out of business
Yes, even though it isn't ideal or even close to perfect, regulating the companies while in business is the best solution in my opinion.


The reality is, all the products we want and depend on are produced using environmentally hazardous methods. Unless nanotechnology suddenly takes off, there is no way to avoid this. So instead of cutting off our nose to smite our face, there needs to be innovation in regulations that works with companies to being as environmentally friendly as possible without becoming economically unsustainable. There are many problems that arise with that but I guess that is why there is never any simple solutions....
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:33 AM   #118
xoxoxoBruce
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For CO2 sequestration, if it fails we're back to where we started. But if fracking fails we're in deep shit.
So we need to hold their balls in a pair of vice-grips to make sure they are vewy vewy careful.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:20 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
For CO2 sequestration, if it fails we're back to where we started. But if fracking fails we're in deep shit.
That is true from an environmental aspect. Economically, if CO2 sequestration fails, a lot of money is lost.

Quote:
So we need to hold their balls in a pair of vice-grips to make sure they are vewy vewy careful.
Agreed.
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:59 PM   #120
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Quote:
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That leaves what?
(even more) substantial government investment.
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