Monday, August 26, 2013

Frack This!

Fracking Boom Slouching Toward Bust

You mean it is fool's gold

Fracking operations triggered 100 quakes in a year
Groundwater Contamination May End the Gas-Fracking Boom

Not in my new$paper:

"A fracking pioneer’s environmental dream" by Edward L. Glaeser |  Globe Columnist, August 09, 2013

Massachusetts progressives may dream of stopping climate change by subsidizing clean-energy companies like Evergreen Solar and promoting affordable housing by requiring developers to rent or sell some units at below-market rates. In Texas, George P. Mitchell did much to achieve both those ends in far different ways — by bringing natural gas out of the ground and building a new city. Mitchell died recently at age 94. But his life reminds us that entrepreneurs, when properly nudged and supported by public policy, provide our best chance of solving tough social problems.

Related: Slow Saturday Special: The Father of Fracking 

Yup, now we are being told fracking makes for a clean environment.

Mitchell’s father was a Greek immigrant who ran a dry cleaning business in Galveston, and Mitchell inherited that enterprising streak. As a kid, he caught fish and sold them to Houston tourists who could claim those catches as their own. After graduating first in his class from Texas A&M and serving as an Army engineer in World War II, Mitchell started wildcatting.

The postwar natural gas boom was Mitchell’s first taste of doing good while trying to do well....

Entrepreneurs like Mitchell generated a huge natural gas boom....

Mitchell himself helped develop over 10,000 natural gas wells, and those wells helped keep America’s cities both warm and clean.

The next big chapter in Mitchell’s life occurred when he diversified into real estate, buying about 75,000 acres of timber land about 30 miles north of Houston. He dreamed of building a satellite city, and a $50 million loan guarantee from HUD made that possible....

There is enduring irony in the fact that red-state Texas does much better at providing affordable housing than blue-state Massachusetts. The secret of Texas’ success lies in the unfettered building activities of people like Mitchell....

Mitchell is most famous, though, for his pioneering work in fracking — squeezing natural gas out of shale. Drillers have been injecting liquids into wells since the 1860s, and Halliburton patented a process in 1949. Steep gas prices during the 1970s raised interest in unconventional sources, and in 1978 the Department of Energy supported Mitchell’s experiments using massive hydraulic fracturing to extract gas from the tight rocks of Limestone County, Texas....

Finally, in 1997, with an innovative combination of horizontal drilling and slick-water fracking, the gas started coming. Mitchell had proven the viability of these techniques, and of the Barnett Shale as an energy source. Others rapidly followed. Today, Barnett produces over 30 percent of Texas’ natural gas output.

New supply means that gas prices have fallen and production has risen, and more gas has meant less coal. This switch from coal to gas has significantly reduced America’s carbon emissions. Climate change remains a real threat, and high energy prices remain painful, but Mitchell did as much as anyone to address both problems.

Mitchell’s successes still hint at some role for government: Fracking needs careful safeguards; his enterprises benefited from bans on dirty coal, a large HUD loan guarantee, and public support for research. Yet ultimately, Mitchell’s achievements remind us that a Texas entrepreneur, who supplied greener fuels and abundant housing, can do as much as anyone to solve America’s environmental and economic problems.


Yeah, it's a $uce$$ story all around!

"Gas leaks cost consumers $1.5 b, study says" by Erin Ailworth |  Globe Staff, August 01, 2013

Natural gas consumers in Massachusetts have paid up to $1.5 billion over the last decade for fuel they never received because local utilities are not replacing hundreds of miles of old, leaky pipelines quickly enough, according to a just released congressional study.

The report uses Massachusetts as a test case to examine the issue of leaky gas pipelines nationwide. US natural gas customers paid at least $20 billion from 2000 to 2011 for gas they never received.

It went into corporate coffers though!

The problem is most acute in states like Massachusetts, where the gas pipeline system is older, according to the study, done by the Democratic staff of the House Natural Resources Committee at the request of Senator Edward Markey when he served on the panel.

Repairing problematic pipes in Massachusetts would save consumers an estimated $156 million over the next 10 years — even after the cost of repairs, the study estimated.

The economic impact of the problem has gained increased attention in the last several months because of related risks, such as dangerous explosions, the release of pollutants that contribute to climate change, and the squandering of an important domestic resource.

Industry officials, citing Energy Department estimates, said natural gas that leaks from pipelines amounts to less than 1.5 percent of the gas produced in this country each year.

Oh, that's not much at all.

But they agreed that utilities should move quickly to undertake repairs since much of those costs would be offset by historically low natural gas prices. In general, the costs of pipeline repairs would add about $1 to $2 to a Massachusetts customer’s monthly bill, industry officials said....

Why can't the profitable energy companies pay for it?

Related: The Seeping Streets of Boston

Oh, so they knew about the problem years ago, have done nothing, and you are still out a huge chunk of change for leaked gas that somehow ended up in profits column of corporate coffers.

Utilities have fallen behind on pipeline repairs because it can take a year or longer to recover the costs from ratepayers through the regulatory process.

Please tell me you really do not believe that lame-a$$, piece of $hit excuse for neglect of the infrastructure.

Some utilities have waited up to 18 months, said Thomas Kiley, chief executive of the Northeast Gas Association, a regional industry group in Needham.

That’s “a long time to be waiting to get your cash back for your business,” Kiley said.

Yeah, the poor, poor, energy companies!  So fracking sick of this corporate bull$hit pa$$ing as new$.

Markey is drafting legislation that aims to accelerate repairs by making it easier for utilities to collect reimbursements — charged to ratepayers — for the costs.

Thanks, Ed.

The proposed bill would call for a uniform reporting and monitoring system of leaky pipes and curtail utilities’ ability to charge customers for gas lost through the leaks.

“Every leaky pipeline is like a hole in consumers’ pockets,” Markey said.

In Massachusetts, several bills addressing leaky pipelines are moving through the Legislature....

Only now? We knew about the seeping streets two years ago.

“To have gas spewing into the atmosphere 24 hours a day unabated from thousands of leaks is risky and irresponsible,” said Representative Lori Ehrlich, Democrat of Marblehead. “It’s also outrageous that ratepayers bear the costs of gas and the rest of us bear the costs to the environment.”

Yeah, somehow that is not as much of a concern as the fart mist.

Natural gas leaks account for at least 45 percent of the methane emissions in Massachusetts, according to Markey’s study. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. 

But it is you and your breathing and driving and farting that must pay the price, world citizen -- also so the people pushing that program can get their hands on more, more, more!!

Jolette Westbrook, a commissioner with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, said the agency was allotted $250,000 in the state’s 2014 budget to hire an independent consultant to study leaky pipelines here and make recommendations to fix problems and reduce methane emissions.

A quarter of a million dollars of precious tax loot when they already know what is the problem?

So which well-connected friend is going to be awarded that contract?

“The department’s first priority is public safety,” she said. “We require that a leak that is hazardous to a person or a property — and that is what a grade one leak is — to be immediately repaired or acted upon.”


At National Grid, Sue Fleck, vice president of gas standards and policies, said, “We need to do this for the safety and reliability of our system and to improve the environment.”



"7 hurt in explosion at suburban NYC college" by Jim Fitzgerald |  Associated Press,  June 05, 2013

NYACK, N.Y. — A presumed natural-gas explosion in a college building Tuesday blew out windows, sent a door sailing through the air, and injured seven people, but authorities said none of the injuries was life-threatening.

After the blast, gas rose to ‘‘explosive’’ levels — as high as 70 percent — in the manholes at Nyack College outside New York City, said Mike Donohue of Orange & Rockland Utilities. He said natural gas was assumed to be the cause of the explosion, which happened shortly before noon and caused serious damage to the basement and first floor.

A female student and six employees were taken to the hospital. The school sent out a tweet saying that ‘‘Everyone is doing ok.’’

The explosion also started a fire that was put out by sprinklers, said Gordon Wren, director of Rockland County Emergency Services.

Donohue said the gas was turned off and the detected levels of it subsequently fell. Utility workers were trying to find the source of the leak.


I guess we know why that and other gas explosions have been occurring lately. It's not terrorists; it's corporate neglect in favor of the almighty fracking dollar!

"As a result of the controversial drilling process known as “fracking” that frees oil from shale formations, US crude is flooding global markets and holding down prices." 

Then why have prices have only risen all summer?

"Wholesale natural gas prices in New England rose twice as fast as most of the country in the first half of the year, largely due to a lack of pipeline capacity in the region to meet growing demand for the fuel, according to the US Energy Department.... extended cold temperatures last winter.... Natural gas rates have generally declined in recent years as abundant supplies extracted from US shale rock formations helped lower prices. That, in turn, has led consumers and electricity producers to increase their use of natural gas as a cheap fuel source, which has squeezed pipeline capacity. Houston pipeline company Spectra Energy Corp. is pushing a proposal to expand the Algonquin Gas Transmission pipeline to bring more of the fuel into New England. At ISO New England, van Welie has repeatedly called for more pipeline capacity. According to recent reports, another way to ease capacity restraints would be to fix leaks in natural gas pipelines through which significant amounts of the fuel are escaping, including one authored by Shanna Cleveland, a staff attorney at the environmental advocacy group Conservation Law Foundation in Boston." 

What was that about temperatures?

RelatedLouisiana Site of Latest Train Crash 

Canada wasn't enough to convince you of the need for pipeline$?

For income-generating investments, some turn to oil and gas pipelines via Master Limited Partnerships

Who will be making the decisions:

"McCarthy will face decisions on how to make fracking, the controversial drilling technique used to extract natural gas from shale, safer."

I was led to believe by my ma$$ media it already was safe an the an$wer to all our problems.

RelatedGOP Eases Up on Obama's EPA Nominee

I feel a lot safer and won't worry about the destruction of the water supply at all.

"Pollutants rising too fast, report warns; Agency says rate of carbon release threatens Earth" by Steven Mufson |  Washington Post, June 11, 2013

WASHINGTON — The United States was one of the few relatively bright spots in the report. US emissions dropped 200 million tons, or 3.8 percent, in part due to a switch in power generation from coal to shale gas. US emissions fell for the fourth time in the past five years, to a level last seen in the 1990s.

The other factors in the US decline were a mild winter, declining demand for gasoline and diesel, and the increasing use of renewable energy.

Europe’s emissions declined, but emissions rose in China, the top carbon polluter....

Yeah, yeah, it's the fault of the Chinese. We better make war on them now.

The level of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of electricity generation has fallen about 17 percent in China. But China remains the largest contributor of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, with about a quarter of global emissions.

Frack this war-promoting, agenda-pushing $hit.

Japan’s emissions jumped 5.8 percent as it imported and burned large amounts of liquefied natural gas and coal to compensate for the loss of nuclear plants idle since a tsunami damaged them and turned the population against that energy source.

Yeah, Fukushima is leaking radioactive water into the soil and sea, and I know the Globe had a couple articles since I last covered it, but that's a truly urgent and serious concern with authorities absolutely clueless about what to do, but because it might get in the way of doin' bu$ine$$ the attention is fleeting.

Emissions also climbed in developing countries outside the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, especially in the oil-rich Middle East, where fuel prices are heavily subsidized.

Yup, it's them damn Arabs heating up the planet with our oil! The PROPAGANDA doesn't get any better than this!

‘‘What I believe is that climate change is slipping down in the political agenda in many countries even though the scientific evidence about climate change continues to mount,’’ said International Energy Agency chief economist, Fatih Birol.

Ridiculous. The "evidence" was either hidden or a flat-out lie.

The report mapped a way for countries and companies to contain increases in global temperatures....

Global climate talks are aimed at keeping the temperature rise below 3.6 degrees, compared with pre-industrial levels. The agency found that the world is on track for an increase of 6.5 to 9.5 degrees.

If true the oceans will boil away. 

I suppose the more extreme the lie, the more people will believe it. 

Climate negotiators meeting this week in Germany are haggling over a pact that is supposed to be adopted by 2015. The main sticking point is how to divide the burden between developed and developing countries. Industrialized countries want emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil to take on bigger responsibilities, while the developing countries stress the responsibilities of longtime carbon polluters including Europe and the United States....


Yeah, just ignore the mild spring

Like the song says, you gotta have faith!

"Report finds a climate-changed Calif.; Revised data show widening cause for concern" by Alicia Chang |  Associated Press, August 09, 2013

LOS ANGELES — Coastal waters off California are getting more acidic. Fall-run Chinook salmon populations to the Sacramento River are on the decline. Conifer forests on the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada have moved to higher elevations over the past half century.

That’s just a snapshot of how climate change is affecting California’s natural resources, a report released Thursday found.

Related: Yosemite fire threatens forests, residents

No, it's because of austerity, sequestration, and the fact that this government took the fire prevention and fighting budget and spent it on wars, Wall Street, and Israel.  


‘‘There’s certainly reason for concern,’’ said Dan Cayan, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography who contributed to the report. 

Let me put that on my government and mouthpiece media list.

The findings are an update to a 2009 report that documented how a warming California is affecting the environment, wildlife, and people.

Among the known impacts: Butterflies in the Central Valley are emerging from hiding earlier in the spring. Glaciers in the Sierra Nevada have shrunk. Spring runoff from snowmelt has declined, affecting Central Valley farmers and hydroelectric plants that rely on snowmelt to produce power. 

I'm sorry, folks, but I just don't believe them. I no longer believe anything my government and jew$paper tell me. 

Related: Sunday Globe Special: California Cold Snap


The latest 258-page report, which cost $282,000 to produce, was compiled from existing climate studies and released by an arm of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

In other words, there is NOTHING NEW HERE! It is ALL RECYCLED FART MIST!

Officials hope it will spur the state and local governments to plan ahead and adapt to a hotter future.

The only thing getting hot is my temperature due to anger at this endle$$ $hit $hoveling!!

Monitoring should continue ‘‘to reduce the impacts of climate change and to prepare for those effects that we cannot avoid,’’ George Alexeeff, head of the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, said in an e-mail.

Annual average temperatures across the state have risen by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895, with the greatest warming seen in portions of the Central Valley and Southern California.

Says who?

Levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and other heat-trapping gases in the state increased between 1990 and 2011.

Better fix those gas leaks then!

In recent years, there has been a slight drop — the result of industries and vehicles becoming more energy efficient, the report said.

And the crapping out economy, but we won't mention that.

Some of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is being absorbed by the ocean, altering its chemistry....

Yup, whatever.

Expect more heat waves, wildfires, and higher sea levels as the state warms, the report said....

Good thing we are in a cooling phase and the sea levels are stable.


Meanwhile, across the country in Washington D.C.:

"Across town, a test of Obama’s emissions goals; Plant that heats Capitol campus is a big offender" by Erin Banco |  New York Times, August 09, 2013

WASHINGTON — As part of the climate change agenda he unveiled this year, President Obama made a commitment to significantly reduce the federal government’s dependence on fossil fuels. The government, he said in a speech in June at Georgetown University, “must lead by example.”

But just two miles from the White House stands the Capitol Power Plant, the largest single source of carbon emissions in the nation’s capital and a concrete example of the government’s inability to green its own turf.

The plant, which provides heating and cooling to the sprawling Capitol campus — 23 buildings that include the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, and congressional office buildings, in addition to the Capitol building itself — is operated by Congress, and its transition to cleaner energy sources has been mired in national politics for years.

WHO FARTED because I'm smelling the STENCH of HYPOCRISY?!

But the failure of Congress to modernize its own facility also raises questions about the Obama administration’s ability to limit emissions from existing power plants when it has not been able to do so at a government-run facility so close to home.

No it doesn't. We know what this $hit government is made of, and who it $erves.

The Office of the Architect of the Capitol, which oversees the operations of the plant, first moved to end the use of coal there in 2000 but was turned back by resistance from powerful coal-state senators who wanted to keep it as the primary fuel. The effort was revived in 2007 as a central part of the Green the Capitol Initiative, led by Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker at the time. The effort was defunded in 2011 after the Republicans took control of the House.

By then the plant had reduced the amount of coal in its fuel mix to 5 percent, down from 56 percent in 2007. But it made up the difference primarily with diesel fuel oil because, as the architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers, told a congressional panel in 2008, converting the plant to burn natural gas exclusively would have required equipment modernization costing $6 million to $7 million.

They can fracking freeze in the winter and sweat in the summer for all I care.

At the time, the plant was spending about $2.7 million a year on fuel oil, which was twice as expensive as the energy equivalent of natural gas. The plant remained below its capacity to burn natural gas, according to a 2010 report from the Government Accountability Office, and it continues to burn diesel, which, in addition to being much more expensive, is a significant source of emissions.

But Congress can't smell its own farts.

A review of public records and interviews with city and federal officials suggest that the root of the problem is a lack of enforcement by regulators and insufficient oversight from Congress....

That would be the District of Columbia’s Department of the Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency department.



"The DU cuts through the rock like butter, just as the military versions of this technology, which we believe has been fitted to missiles can cut through concrete reinforced bunkers. The multiple-shaped charge explosions will certainly shake the ground. The earth tremors and earthquakes are then not so hard to explain."

Are you kidding me? They are using depleted uranium to frack? 

Holy Frack!