I admit to extreme prejudice concerning the multiple dangers of fracking.What’s not to like about fracking? You could like the danger to human health and all life forms. You could like the environmental threat to water, air and soil. You could like the earthquakes. You could enjoy the cost in money and disruption to local communities. Of the cost to the states .You could like the media hype or the credit bubble. Or you could like the actual energy drain because it has poor Energy Return on Energy Invested. So much to enjoy, so little time.
For those who support fracking, oil sands and the northern pipeline or for those who encourage investing in fracking, oil sands or the northern pipeline, I have this suggestion. Move your home next to a fracking well and put down your water well along side. Or better yet move your children there or better yet move your grandchildren there. Let the pipeline filled with toxic fluid come along the boundaries of your land here in lovely Northern Minnesota. The same for the oil sand works in Canada. Move your grandchildren up there in the poisonous air and next to the polluted rivers and environmental degradation.
“Earthjustice was created by a small group of attorneys with a passionate belief that the power of the law could be used to preserve the environment. They helped establish the right of citizens to go to court to enforce environmental laws when the government couldn’t or wouldn’t.”– Trip Van Noppen, Earthjustice President
The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented oil and gas drilling rush—brought on by a controversial technology called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Along with this fracking-enabled rush have come troubling reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, industrial disasters and explosions. We call them Fraccidents.
I am not a member of earthjustice but like what they are doing. Check out there website.
Here are more sources of information about the dangers of fracking.
“SCIENTIFIC REVIEW OF SHALE AND TIGHT GAS DEVELOPMENT (FRACKING) REVEALS PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARDS AND DATA GAPS” by Seth B. Shonkoff, PhD, MPH
Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy
There is evidence that shale and tight gas development is associated with pollution that is known to increase public health risks. Additionally, there is much more that we don't know. Scientific investigations are hampered by limitations on monitoring, reporting, and disclosure requirements of compounds and processes associated with oil and gas development.
Third Report in Three Days Shows Scale of Fracking Perils
'We can conclude that this process has not been shown to be safe'
Shale gas development uses organic and inorganic chemicals known to be health damaging in fracturing fluids (Aminto and Olson 2012; US HOR 2011). These fluids can move through the environment and come into contact with humans in a number of ways, including surface leaks, spills, releases from holding tanks, poor well construction, leaks and accidents during transportation of fluids, flowback and produced water to and from the well pad, and in the form of run-off during blowouts, storms, and flooding events (Rozell and Reaven 2012 - http://commcgi.cc.stonybrook.edu/am2/publish/General_University_News_2/Researchers_Find_Substantial_Water_Pollution_Risks_From_Fracking_To_Recover_Natural_Gas.shtml). (see more)
Geology and Human Health
Potential Health and Environmental Effects of Hydrofracking in the Williston Basin, Montana by Joe Hoffman
Chemical additives are used in the drilling mud, slurries and fluids required for the fracking process. Each well produces millions of gallons of toxic fluid containing not only the added chemicals, but other naturally occurring radioactive material, liquid hydrocarbons, brine water and heavy metals.
Groundwater Contamination May End the Gas-Fracking Boom
Well water in Pennsylvania homes within a mile of fracking sites is found to be high in methane. Aug 20, 2013 |By Mark Fischetti
In Pennsylvania, the closer you live to a well used to hydraulically fracture underground shale for natural gas, the more likely it is that your drinking water is contaminated with methane. This conclusion, in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA in July, is a first step in determining whether fracking in the Marcellus Shale underlying much of Pennsylvania is responsible for tainted drinking water in that region.
http://www.salon.com/2014/01/06/water_pollution_from_fracking_confirmed_in_multiple_states/ (see more)
Monday, Jan 6, 2014 08:18 AM CST
Water pollution from fracking confirmed in multiple states
Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas have received hundreds of complaints, an AP investigation revealed
It is the unknown future contaminations of water resulting from fracking that cannot be answered but ABSOLUTELY must be considered. It is not just the contamination of water today or tomorrow but in a decade or even decades down the line. These unintended consequences are unknown but critical. It cannot be “we need the energy”. It cannot be “make the money and run”. You can live without oil. You cannot eat or drink dollar bills. Try living without drinkable water.
Some of the pollutants released by drilling include: benzene, toluene, xylene and ethyl benzene (BTEX), particulate matter and dust, ground level ozone, or smog, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and metals contained in diesel fuel combustion---with exposure to these pollutants known to cause short-term illness, cancer, organ damage, nervous system disorders and birth defects or even death .
Fracking Boom Spews Toxic Air Emissions on Texas Residents
by Lisa Song, Jim Morris and David Hasemyer
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140218/fracking-boom-spews-toxic-air-emissions-texas-residents?page=show (see more)
Eight-month investigation reveals that the Texas State Legislature is more intent on protecting the industry than protecting residents' health.
Earthquakes constitute another problem associated with deep-well oil and gas drilling. Scientists refer to the earthquakes caused by the injection of fracking wastewater underground as "induced seismic events." Although most of the earthquakes are small in magnitude (the strongest measured 5.2), their relationship with the storage of millions of gallons of toxic wastewater does little to ease the fears over fossil energy's long list of externalities.
“Wastewater disposal may trigger quakes at greater distance than previously thought”
Date: May 1, 2014
Source: Seismological Society of America
Oil and gas development activities, including underground disposal of wastewater and hydraulic fracturing, may induce earthquakes by changing the state of stress on existing faults to the point of failure. Earthquakes from wastewater disposal may be triggered at tens of kilometers from the wellbore, which is a greater range than previously thought, according to research.
And adding injury to injury:
Published on Monday, May 12, 2014 by OnEarth Magazine
Why the U.S. Plastics Industry Loves the Fracking Boom
Looking for another reason to worry about fracking? We're going to bubble-wrap the entire planet with the overabundance of plastic it produces.
by Susan Freinkel
“Oil Shale's Energy Return on Energy Investment”
In simple terms, EROI is a commonly-used calculation of how much energy is needed to locate, extract, and refine an output of energy - in this case, oil from shale. In more technical terms, EROI is the ratio of the energy delivered by a process to the energy used directly and indirectly for that process. An EROI of 1:1 means no energy is gained from producing the energy resource.
The EROEI for shale oil is ~3.
The Energy Return on Investment threshold
Oil shale is not a viable fuel source, study says
“The most comprehensive study indicates an EROI of 2 to produce oil shale, meaning that 2 units of energy are produced for every unit consumed. This is very low compared to the EROI for conventional crude oil of around 20. Including the refining step, the EROI of producing gasoline from crude oil is around 4.7 compared to 1.4 for producing liquid fuel from oil shale.
Other studies have calculated an oil shale EROI of up to 8. However, this is largely because they only represent direct energy costs, such as energy to heat the shale, and under-represent indirect energy costs, such as energy used to produce drilling rigs and transportation. Studies that do include indirect energy inputs also vary in the methods used.”
Cleveland, C.J. & O’Connor, P. A. (2011). Energy Return on Investment (EROI) of oil shale. Sustainability. 3; 2307-2322. (see more)
Also - European Commission DG ENV News Alert Issue 276 8 March 2012
This was posted at this essay to clarify. I much appreciate his insight and knowledge:
This was posted at this essay to clarify. I much appreciate his insight and knowledge:
OIL SHALE WELL DECLINE
The average flow from a shale gas well drops by about 50 percent to 75 percent in the first year, and up to 78 percent for oil, said Pete Stark, senior research director at IHS Inc.
"The decline rate is a potential show stopper after a while," said Stark, a geologist with almost six decades in the oil patch. "You just can’t keep up with it."
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-24/wells-that-fizzle-are-a-potential-show-stopper-for-the-shale-boom.html (see more)
In 2008, the Bakken in North Dakota only had 479 producing well; however, at last count in September when the Bakken was producing 867,123 barrels of oil a day, it took 6,447 wells to do so. Thus, the energy companies drilling and producing oil in the Bakken have to keep increasing wells each month (and year) to offset the huge 63,000 bd decline.
As with all oil fields, there are only so many sweet spots and areas to drill. The 63,000 bd decline rate at the Bakken only has one way to go — and that’s higher. If the present trend continues (highly likely) then we are going to see a daily decline rate of 75-85,000 barrels a day by the end of 2014.
Thus, the shale oil players are going to have to make those drilling hamsters work even harder as they will need to increase more wells each month just to grow production. At some point in time (sooner rather than later), the daily decline rate will reach a figure that these companies will be unable to offset.
http://srsroccoreport.com/the-coming-bust-of-the-great-bakken-oil-field/the-coming-bust-of-the-great-bakken-oil-field/ (see more)
Local Costs of Fracking
http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/infrastructure-government/costs-shale-natural-gas-extraction-local-roads# (see more)
The impact of natural gas extraction and fracking on state and local roadways
(Andrew Maykuth, Philadelphia Inquirer)
As of March 2014 there were approximately 1.1 million oil and gas wells in the United States, a direct consequence of technological advances that have increased domestic energy production to levels unseen since the 1970s. Much of the growth has been in natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which involves injecting immense quantities of water and chemicals into the ground to fracture the rock and release deposits that would otherwise be inaccessible.
THE BIG QUESTION
“Who Pays the Costs of Fracking?”
by: Tony Dutzik, Benjamin Davis and Tom Van Heeke
Frontier Group 2013
Environment America Research & Policy Center
Weak Bonding Rules for Oil and Gas Drilling Leave the Public at Risk
Fracking” operations pose a staggering array of threats to our environment and health – contaminating drinking water, harming the health of nearby residents, marring forests and landscapes, and contributing to global warming. Many of thesedamages from drilling have significant “dollars and cents” costs.
Not a new Saudi Arabia. Ghawar was discovered in 1948, put on stream in 1951 and has been producing ever since.
http://www.theenergylibrary.com/node/13221 (see more)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghawar_Field (see more)
The shale phenomenon: fabulous miracle with a fatal flaw
Randy Udall, Guest blogger / February 22, 2013
http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2013/0222/The-shale-phenomenon-fabulous-miracle-with-a-fatal-flaw (see more)
Shale gas and tight oil are giving the US its biggest, most rapid boost in energy production in history. But it will probably prove fleeting.
But when you look more closely, comparing North Dakota with Kuwait is ludicrous. Kuwait claims about 100 billion barrels of reserves; North Dakota may have 10 billion, if that. An average Kuwaiti well produces 1,600 barrels a day, 10 times the output of a typical Dakota well. Kuwait has produced 2 million barrels a day for decades, and will do so for decades to come. North Dakota will be lucky to hit 1 million barrels a day by 2017, before its production tapers off.
“Why America's Shale Oil Boom Could End Sooner Than You Think”
By Christopher Helman
http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/06/13/why-americas-shale-oil-boom-could-end-sooner-than-you-think/ (see more)
“America’s oil producers are nervous. . . . . It’s bad enough to be spending more and more to generate ever less growth. It’s worse when that growth doesn’t even translate into profits.”
“Are Shales a Bubble?” by Deborah Lawrence
“Hype works. Particularly when monetary and economic benefits are promised. Hype has been the primary tool used by the oil and gas industry with regard to shales and it has worked brilliantly. There is just one problem. When considering shale economic viability, hype was the only aspect that actually existed.”
“Interestingly, the past year has brought massive write downs in shale assets and a frenzy of asset sales. Some companies, such as Shell, admitted that their divestment of North American shale properties was to stem the financial hemorrhaging and to distance themselves from disappointing well results. Others, like Exxon Mobil, claim to still be true believers in spite of their losses.”
“Shale Drillers Feast on Junk Debt to Stay on Treadmill”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-30/shale-drillers-feast-on-junk-debt-to-say-on-treadmill.html (see more)
And the irony.
We, each of us, continue to use oil and natural gas to maintain our ways of life which supports these extreme assaults.
Fracking and pipelines are supported by :
- higher oil prices because the techniques of fracking and other extreme measures and location take more and more energy to get less and less oil.
- fracking wells deplete very quickly so that drilling must keep pace with depletion.
- our willingness to use and waste massive amounts of water.
- our willingness to disregard our children and grandchildren’s future by the real possibility that we are making their environment unlivable.
- how addicted we are to maintaining our high horse-powered lifestyle - snowmobiles, wave runners, leaf blowers and all the sundry gasoline tools and toys.
Standing separate and almost always hidden by self-righteousness is being unwilling because of belief - religious or otherwise - to face population growth as underlying most if not all the major problems humanity is facing.
It is important to be irate and act like each of us is not the problem. Or ignore the dilemma and the irony as the first form of denial.
As I have written elsewhere: For those who support fracking, oil sands and the northern pipeline or for those who encourage investing in fracking, oil sands or the northern pipeline, I have this suggestion. Move your home next to a fracking well and put down your water well along side. Or better yet move your children there or better yet move your grandchildren there. Let the pipeline filled with toxic fluid come along the boundaries of your land here in lovely Northern Minnesota. The same for the oil sand works in Canada. Move your grandchildren up there in the poisonous air and next to the polluted rivers and environmental degradation.
It is sad how trapped we are.