Fracking Would Emit Large Quantities of Greenhouse Gases

"Fugitive methane" released during shale gas drilling could accelerate climate change.

Robert Howarth, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, and Anthony Ingraffea, a civil and environmental engineer, reported that fracked wells leak 40 to 60 percent more methane than conventional natural gas wells. When water with its chemical load is forced down a well to break the shale, it flows back up and is stored in large ponds or tanks. But volumes of methane also flow back up the well at the same time and are released into the atmosphere before they can be captured for use. This giant belch of "fugitive methane" can be seen in infrared videos taken at well sites.

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An eye opening new video on fracking has just been released.

THE SKY IS PINK by Josh Fox and the GASLAND Team from JFOX on Vimeo.

Halliburton is the world's largest provider of hydraulic fracturing. Who would have guessed.

Halliburton Quarterly Profit Falls on Inflated Fracking Costs

Wait, aren't they in the private war contractor business. It seems they've expanded to waging war on US water supplies.

Ruth, these are all excellent links. Thanks

According to Michael Shellenberger, president of the Breakthrough Institute in California, we can thank US government policy for fracking.

Government policy encouraged the new exploration for gas and should get much of the credit for the resulting reduction in emissions.

“The gas boom is largely from shale, which is the result of a concerted government push, and tax credits, starting in the 70’s, both of which are policies,...

Of course, he thinks fracking's good because it allows natural gas to replace coal.

Readers Jump Into the Climate Fray

Breakthrough Institute apparently is "luke-warmist". Essentially "Don't Worry, Be Happy About Our economic system".

Climate Change And The Soothing Message Of Luke-Warmism

“Luke-warmists” may be defined as those who appear to accept the body of climate science but interpret it in a way that is least threatening: emphasising uncertainties, playing down dangers, and advocating a slow and cautious response.

The effect of luke-warmers’ contributions has been to sow doubt in the public mind about the credibility of the scientific warnings and the need to respond, just as Exxon-funded think tanks have.

...emphasize the “inherent unknowability” and “systematic doubt” in the body of scientific knowledge. They express misgivings about the desirability of investments in renewable energy, referring to their “chilling history” and “serious financial and social consequences”, a theme pursued by the Breakthrough Institute and more recently taken upby Tea Party Republicans.

Here we get to the conservative heart of the luke-warmist position. For them the prevailing economic system is sacred, and any change must work around it.“Growth is sacrosanct” is another rendering of President George H.W. Bush’s celebrated declaration at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit: “The American way of life is not negotiable.”

To agree with environmental critics that our social and economic system—its power structure, its inherent goals, the forms of behaviour it endorses—could so damage the Earth that our future, and that of the system itself, is now in peril would require them to discard their essential faith in the benevolence of the status quo. [italics and bold mine]

Because in their eyes fracking is good, they brag that US government policies support it.

Don't Worry about Fracking


You can't be sure what would happen if the fire department  used fracking-contaminated water, it's "inherent unknowable".

Have another margarita!


Big surprise, Koch Industries is involved in fracking.

  Koch Industries is heavily involved in natural gas, as detailed in an article last spring by Lee Fang in the Republic Report. Its recent activities in the natural gas industry focus on services for fracking operations including pipelines, storage, processing, and supplies.

What a Gas: Koch Brothers May Get the Last Laugh After All

Fracking produces several orders of magnitude more water contamination than other sources of water pollution.

Analysts Conclude Fracking Wastewater Poses Substantial Risk to Dri...

Risk analysts have concluded that the disposal of contaminated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) wells producing natural gas in the intensively developed Marcellus Shale region poses a substantial potential risk of river and other water pollution.

Disposal of the large amounts of fracking well wastewater that is expected to be generated in the Marcellus Shale region—which covers approximately 124,000 square kilometers from New York to West Virginia—presents risks from salts and radioactive materials that are “several orders of magnitude larger” than for other potential water pollution pathways examined in the new study.


For a more personal account see States Fail to Enforce Their Own Oil, Gas Rules

Earthworks says failure to enforce oil and gas regulations means that states are not seeking, documenting, sanctioning, deterring, and cleaning up problems associated with irresponsible oil and gas operations such as chemical spills, equipment failure, accidents, and discharges into drinking water supplies.
Penalties are so weak that it is cheaper for violators to pay the penalty than comply with the law. “The total value of financial penalties in each state studied is less than or equivalent to the value of the gas contained in one single well,” Earthworks says in its report, “Breaking All the Rules: The Crisis in Oil & Gas Regulatory Enforcement.”
“I left my home in DISH because gas development threatened my family’s health,” said Calvin Tillman, former mayor of DISH, Texas."
Tillman said that after drilling began near his home, his children developed nosebleeds when they were asleep. In their new home in another community, the nosebleeds stopped. [emphasis mine]

Whenever toxic materials are produced in huge quantities, opportunities open up for criminal "entrepreneurs". Remember how Chernobyl's radioactive zone was stripped of portable goods, that ended up in the hands of unaware buyers all over Russia? In a similar manner toxic Fracking waste was poured into PA neighborhoods.

Toxic Wastewater Dumped in Streets and Rivers at Night: Gas Profite...

On March 17, 2011 Greene County resident Robert Allan Shipman and his company, Allan’s Waste Water Service Inc., were charged with illegally dumping millions of gallons of natural gas drilling wastewater, along with restaurant grease and sewer sludge across six counties in Pennsylvania from 2003-2009.

“Shipman showed the drivers how to leave open the gas well valves and ordered them to discharge production water onto the ground and/or into the nearby waterways.” Drivers’ testimony added, “This activity would typically occur after dark or during heavy rain so that no one would observe the illegal discharge.” “He was pouring the stuff in any hole he could find.”

The Democratic Party chooses to ignore the environmental costs of fracking, to embrace "cheap abundant natural gas". They're also backing off on climate change.

Democratic Party platform touts natural gas, tones down climate cha...

Once again short term profit trumps avoidance of serious long term damage.

New Yorkers beware, the man in charge of fracking regulation is a Climate Science Denier.

Why Is Governor Cuomo Letting a Climate Science Denier Regulate Fra...

Governor Cuomo relies on Bradley J Field -- a climate skeptic -- to head New York's Department of Environmental Conservation's Division of Mineral Resources. Unfortunately, Mr. Field has proven to be out of sync with the scientific community on the environmental issue with the greatest scientific consensus -- climate change. And despite this, he is responsible for making sure that New York's regulation of fracking is based on good science.

... Food and Water Watch and Catskills Citizens for Safe Energy in calling for the resignation of Bradley Field. Join me and sign the petition here.


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