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Why Anti-Fracking Environmentalists Are Holding Back the U.S.
Reason ^ | March 13, 2013 | John Stossel

Posted on 03/13/2013 9:21:10 PM PDT by neverdem

The real story on fracking, say scientists, is that the risks are small and the rewards immense.

Celebrities are now upset about fracking, the injection of chemicals into the ground to crack rocks to release oil and gas. With everyone saying they want alternatives to foreign oil, I'd think celebrities would love fracking.

I'd be wrong. Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono and their group, Artists Against Fracking, don't feel the love. Yoko sang, "Don't frack me!" on TV.

Stopping fracking is the latest cause of the silly people. They succeeded in getting scientifically ignorant politicians to ban fracking in New York, Maryland and Vermont.

Hollywood gave an Oscar to "Gasland," a documentary that suggests fracking will shove gas into some people's drinking water, so the water will burn. It's true that some water contains so much natural gas that you can light it.

But another documentary, "FrackNation," shows that gas got into plumbing long before fracking came. There's gas in the earth. That's why it's called "natural gas." Some gets into well water. Environmental officials investigated the flames shown in "Gasland" and concluded that the pollution had nothing to do with fracking.

"FrackNation" director Phelim McAleer tried to confront "Gasland" director Josh Fox about this, but Fox wouldn't answer his questions. Instead, he demanded to know whom McAleer works for. He also turned down my invitations to publicly debate fracking. Many activists don't like to answer questions that don't fit their narrative.

Even some homeowners who filed a lawsuit claiming that their water was poisoned by fracking weren't happy to learn that their water is safe. I'd think they would be delighted, but "FrackNation" shows a couple reacting with outrage when environmental officials test their water and find it clean.

The real story on fracking, say scientists, is that the risks are small and the rewards immense. Fracking lowered the price of natural gas so much that Americans heat our homes for less, and manufacturing that once left America has returned. For those concerned about global warming, burning gas instead of oil or coal reduces CO2 emissions.

"Skeptical Environmentalist" author Bjorn Lomborg points out that "green" Europe promised to reduce emissions, but "only managed to cut half of what you guys accidentally happened to do when you stumbled on fracking."

Still, the process sounds dangerous. It requires chemicals and explosions. So fracking is now scapegoated for the usual litany of things that peasants feared when threatened with curses centuries ago: livestock dying, bad crop yields, children born with deformities.

None of it is backed by scientific evidence. Even environmentalists who usually are too cautious (by my standards) see little danger. President Obama's first EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, told Congress that the EPA cannot show "that the fracking process has caused chemicals to enter groundwater."

One of the more outlandish fears is that fracking will cause earthquakes. Silly people at MSNBC say fracking creates "a skyrocketing number of earthquakes." Yes, cracking rocks does cause vibrations. But then, so does construction with dynamite or jackhammers -- not to mention trucks on the highway.

Time and again, as humans make a good-faith effort to find new, cleaner ways to produce the energy a growing population needs, environmentalists find a reason -- often very small or non-existent -- that makes the new method unacceptable.

They say coal is dirty and normal oil production might overheat the planet. Hydroelectric dams kill fish. Nuclear plants could suffer meltdowns. Windmills kill birds.

Some won't be happy unless we go back to what we did before industrialization: burn lots of trees and die young.

Nothing is completely risk-free. Companies make mistakes. Chemical spills happen.

But those risks are manageable. They are also far preferable to the risk of paying more for energy -- thereby killing opportunities for the poor.

So far, most regulators outside New York, Maryland and Vermont have ignored the silly people. So thanks to fracking, Americans pay less for heat (and everything else), the economy is helped, new jobs get created, we create less greenhouse gas, and for the first time since the 19th century, America may become a net exporter of energy.

Good things happen if the silly people can't convince all politicians to ban progress.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: energy; fracking; naturalgas; oil

1 posted on 03/13/2013 9:21:10 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

I would not frack mother earth Ono with someone else’s drill rig.


2 posted on 03/13/2013 9:25:43 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (Actually, they lie when it suits them! The crooked MS media must be defeated any way it can be done!)
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To: neverdem

Can the frackers not feel the pain of Mother Gaia?


3 posted on 03/13/2013 9:27:45 PM PDT by Rennes Templar (Business owners work harder! You have to support millions.)
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To: neverdem
suggests fracking will shove gas into some people's drinking water, so the water will burn.

I check mine regularly for that. If it does, no-one will know. I can separate water and gas.

Of course, it's mostly liberal propoganda, and I'll continue to have to buy gas... but I check once a week, just in case.

/johnny

4 posted on 03/13/2013 9:28:41 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: neverdem

Who cares why? Use them to grease the drill stems.


5 posted on 03/13/2013 9:37:57 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: TigersEye

We allow the liberals to control the language. Fracking doesn’t cause explosions..and the so called chemicals are dish washer detergent and sand..plus lots of water. Most liberals have more chemicals under their kitchen sink then they will ever see from a fracked well under their house.


6 posted on 03/13/2013 9:49:13 PM PDT by Oldexpat
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To: JRandomFreeper

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9190us3a.htm

The problem is not the fracking, or the frackin’ frackers, it’s the supply and demand problem.

Supply is high so the price is dropping. If anything, Fracking will constrict supply and raise prices (and profits).

However, I think the russian gas pipelines are doing more to lower prices due to market glut than any frackes


7 posted on 03/13/2013 9:51:01 PM PDT by cetarist
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To: neverdem

Celebrities are fluff. Putin and the Saudis have more control over Obama than they do.


8 posted on 03/13/2013 9:51:18 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: Vince Ferrer

you are right.


9 posted on 03/13/2013 9:56:21 PM PDT by cetarist
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To: neverdem

They like endless wars in the M.E.


10 posted on 03/13/2013 9:58:04 PM PDT by NoLibZone (We have the nation we deserve.I predict FR will hate GOP Candidate for 2016,2020,2024,2028, 2032...)
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To: Oldexpat
We allow the liberals to control the language.

I don't think this is an example of that (controlling the narrative maybe) but I have ceased debating with liberals about anything. They're not liberals they are Progressives and Progressives are communists and communists should be taking dirt naps.

11 posted on 03/13/2013 10:04:59 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: Rennes Templar

“Can the frackers not feel the pain of Mother Gaia?”

Who is mother Gaia and what is that supposed to mean?

Are you drunk?


12 posted on 03/13/2013 10:07:44 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: dalereed

http://unitednationsyak.groupsite.com/post/mother-earth-gaia-feels-our-pain


13 posted on 03/13/2013 10:15:08 PM PDT by Rennes Templar (Business owners work harder! You have to support millions.)
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To: Rennes Templar

Reading that diatribe those idiots are nothing but a bunch of brain dead dopers!


14 posted on 03/13/2013 10:18:13 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: neverdem
Whether or not any of these spoiled Hollywood degenerates talking about, and that would be a shock, it isn't so much them as it's the various environmental activists'' groups who are putting them up to it. Oil is the black blood of a free market economy, of a free people,for whom it gives the energy and ability to reap it's many benefits, such as driving in your car going anywhere you want to. And it's the fuel of a war machine that does away with dictators and brings liberty to oppressed people and defends this great nation. It"s only natural for these neo-Marxists, socialists and commies to see that we can never drill for our own oil and make use of it. It's incremental way to destroy our military, our freedom and America.
15 posted on 03/13/2013 10:24:36 PM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: Oldexpat

Most liberals have more under their armpits one wouldn’t want to know.


16 posted on 03/13/2013 10:28:12 PM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: neverdem

typo; meant to say ‘’know what they’re talking about’’


17 posted on 03/13/2013 10:32:50 PM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: neverdem

fracking ping


18 posted on 03/13/2013 10:55:21 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: neverdem

Chemicals? Since when is water a chemical? That’s what they pump into the ground during a fracking operation. The water contains a small percentage of methanol and sand. Methanol is biodegradable. Groundwater aquifers are seldom any deeper than 500 feet. Fracking operations occur at 3,000 to 6,000 feet or deeper.

Though, I have heard an interesting (and more believable than the others) hypothesis on the connection between fracking and the small earth tremors that are occurring in areas where there is a lot of fracking happening. This came from an oil company engineer no less. He thought that the fracking was forcing the sand and water deposits in between opposing faults, making it easier for the faults to slip against each other, thereby causing the tremors.


19 posted on 03/13/2013 11:12:58 PM PDT by eastexsteve
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20 posted on 03/13/2013 11:28:09 PM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: eastexsteve; Smokin' Joe
Chemicals? Since when is water a chemical? That’s what they pump into the ground during a fracking operation. The water contains a small percentage of methanol and sand.

Water is one of the best chemical solvents on God's green earth. But I digress.

Most of the fracking fluids being used have proprietary chemical compositions. Some have included benzene, a carcinogen. Various levels of gubmint are trying to demand disclosure of fracking fluid ingredients.

Corrections are always appreciated.

21 posted on 03/13/2013 11:43:53 PM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: The_Media_never_lie
I would not frack mother earth Ono with someone else’s drill rig.

LOL!

22 posted on 03/13/2013 11:59:58 PM PDT by wastedyears (I'm a gamer not because I choose to have no life, but because I choose to have many.)
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To: neverdem

It’s all about control, and those who employ and exploit useful idiots to gain and maintain control.


23 posted on 03/14/2013 12:55:06 AM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: TigersEye

I have ceased debating with liberals about anything. They’re not liberals they are Progressives and Progressives are communists and communists should be taking dirt naps.


Exactely.......


24 posted on 03/14/2013 2:19:26 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: TigersEye

I have ceased debating with liberals about anything. They’re not liberals they are Progressives and Progressives are communists and communists should be taking dirt naps.


Exactely.......


25 posted on 03/14/2013 2:20:41 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: TigersEye

Debating a progressive (post-modernist) is impossible because there is no truth.


26 posted on 03/14/2013 4:21:34 AM PDT by huldah1776
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To: eastexsteve
He thought that the fracking was forcing the sand and water deposits in between opposing faults, making it easier for the faults to slip against each other, thereby causing the tremors.

Which would be a good thing. Rather than letting the forces build up to a major quake. They should be thanking the frackers.

27 posted on 03/14/2013 4:31:53 AM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To the left the truth looks like Right-Wing extremism.)
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To: cetarist
If anything, Fracking will constrict supply and raise prices

How do you figure a process that produces MORE natural gas or oil per well than when not used, constricts supply?

28 posted on 03/14/2013 5:32:52 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: eastexsteve

Don’t you realize how DANGEROUS Dihydrogen Monoxide is?
http://www.dhmo.org/


29 posted on 03/14/2013 5:36:05 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: huldah1776

Arguing with a liberal is like playing chess with a pigeon.
No matter how well you play chess,
the pigeon just knocks over the pieces,
craps on the board,
utters unintelligible, vaguely obscene sounds,
and struts around like he won.


30 posted on 03/14/2013 5:37:14 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: neverdem
Most of the fracking fluids being used have proprietary chemical compositions.

It has become common for companies to publicly list their chemicals. Exact ratios are left proprietary. But the chemicals themselves are available online:

Searchable database, still growing
http://fracfocus.org/

Some companies list their chemicals directly online, sorted by area.
Halliburton Fracturing Fluid Disclosure
http://www.halliburton.com/public/projects/pubsdata/hydraulic_fracturing/fluids_disclosure.html

Some have included benzene

Would you please point to claim of benzene being used?

Some companies like Haliburton make Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids from ingredients sourced entirely from the food industry.

CleanStim Formulation
http://www.halliburton.com/public/projects/pubsdata/hydraulic_fracturing/CleanSuite_Technologies.html

Various levels of gubmint are trying to demand disclosure of fracking fluid ingredients.

It is already state law in Texas to disclose. It hasn't slowed us down. Others have followed.

Why the Texas Disclosure Law Really Does Work - Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidblackmon/2013/02/04/why-the-texas-disclosure-law-really-does-work/

It was always required to have on site the Material Safety Data Sheets on site for all chemicals used, so it was available before, but not convenient to find.

31 posted on 03/14/2013 5:50:28 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

Thank you for your cogent reply.


32 posted on 03/14/2013 6:01:23 AM PDT by marktwain (The MSM must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the ping!


33 posted on 03/14/2013 8:00:37 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: TigersEye
They're not liberals they are Progressives and Progressives are communists and communists should be taking dirt naps.
The Constitution is a progressive document. It explicitly envisions “the progress of science and the useful arts.”

34 posted on 03/14/2013 8:48:40 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
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To: thackney
benzene fracking hydraulic fracturing

It was always required to have on site the Material Safety Data Sheets on site for all chemicals used, so it was available before, but not convenient to find.

Thanks for the info and reminder.

35 posted on 03/14/2013 9:59:18 AM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: eastexsteve
Chemicals? Since when is water a chemical?

Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division

36 posted on 03/14/2013 10:01:20 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: neverdem
That is just claims by non-participants in hydraulic fracturing that they might be using benzene. Showing results in a google search is hardly a reliable source of data.

example search Bigfoot came from a UFO

They are not using benzene in hydraulic fracturing. It doesn't serve a purpose in hydraulic fracturing.

A typical fracture treatment will use very low concentrations of between 3 and 12 additive chemicals, depending on the characteristics of the water and the shale formation being fractured. Each component serves a specific, engineered purpose.

For example, the predominant fluids currently being used for fracture treatments in the gas shale plays are water‐based fracturing fluids mixed with friction‐reducing additives (called slickwater). The addition of friction reducers allows fracturing fluids and sand, or other solid materials called proppants, to be pumped to the target zone at a higher rate and reduced pressure than if water alone were used.

In addition to friction reducers, other additives include: biocides to prevent microorganism growth and to reduce biofouling of the fractures; oxygen scavengers and other stabilizers to prevent corrosion of metal pipes; and acids that are used to remove drilling mud damage within the near‐wellbore area.


37 posted on 03/14/2013 10:12:55 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

They will seize on the probability of benzene in petroleum distillates even if the concentration is less than one part per billion. We’re talking about moonbats.


38 posted on 03/14/2013 10:38:24 AM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem

I still have to laugh at the drink-ability of hydraulic fracturing fluid injected into a petroleum reservoir. I guarantee you wouldn’t like what is already in the ground at this level. Octane/butane mixers anyone?


39 posted on 03/14/2013 10:41:15 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

Are you trying to be funny or are you deliberately trying to confuse the language of the Constitution with the communist-born Progressive Movement?


40 posted on 03/14/2013 1:18:19 PM PDT by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: neverdem

Good piece by Stossel. The enviros goal is to basically shut down all production. They hate capitalism and this is their way to stop it.


41 posted on 03/14/2013 1:24:34 PM PDT by Wyatt's Torch (I can explain it to you. I can't understand it for you.)
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To: neverdem
Various levels of gubmint are trying to demand disclosure of fracking fluid ingredients.

Yep, and those are every bit as proprietary as the KFC recipe or the formula for Coca-Cola.

Technically, dihydrogen monoxide is a chemical, so is glucose, so is oxygen, but humans aren't going anywhere without any of those, and too much can kill you.

The thing about fracking is that those chemicals are supposed to be and remain sequestered from potable water aquifers. Ordinarily, that is done as a matter of course, provided the well construction is correct and no one spills any on the ground.

In the event of a mishap, the chemicals involved should be available to anyone doing the cleanup or remediation. Publishing them wholesale, though would be like asking the above mentioned commercial ventures to release their recipes--something the particular company has expended a lot of research time and money on would be made available to their competitors, gratis.

(No wonder there is resistance to just ponying up a list.)

It isn't some huge conspiracy, because those chemicals will only see the light of day again (if ever--some break down in the wellbore) as a component of production fluid, either refined, or disposed of in injection wells far below aquifers which people get drinking water from.

42 posted on 03/14/2013 9:03:20 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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