Skip to comments.Why Anti-Fracking Environmentalists Are Holding Back the U.S.
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.
I would not frack mother earth Ono with someone else’s drill rig.
Can the frackers not feel the pain of Mother Gaia?
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.
Who cares why? Use them to grease the drill stems.
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.
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
Celebrities are fluff. Putin and the Saudis have more control over Obama than they do.
you are right.
They like endless wars in the M.E.
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.
“Can the frackers not feel the pain of Mother Gaia?”
Who is mother Gaia and what is that supposed to mean?
Are you drunk?
Reading that diatribe those idiots are nothing but a bunch of brain dead dopers!
Most liberals have more under their armpits one wouldn’t want to know.
typo; meant to say ‘’know what they’re talking about’’
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.
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