Fracking – Killing Our Planet… Softly

Between 1847 and 1994 Texas experienced 110 earthquakes, or roughly less than 1 per year. So far this year there have been 66 according to Earthquake Tracker.

In 2015, Oklahoma experienced 907 earthquakes, in 2014 there were 585 and in 2013 there were 109. Between 1978 and 1999 the average number of quakes per year was 1.6.

Between 1915 and 2015, Colorado had about 394 earthquakes, or about 4 per year. This year we have had 25… so far.

While the media calls them ‘man-made’, they refuse to call them for what many of them are, a consequence of wastewater injections from fracking and oil. It’s kind of like calling Islamic terrorists, hooligans who just need a hug. And yet our esteemed Climate Crucifiers have no problem attributing global warming to every person on this planet. Why the hypocrisy?

The 300,000 fracking wells in the US currently provide 67% of all our natural gas needs. But it comes at a cost that may or may not out weigh the benefits. Wastewater is injected into the ground, but this injection is filled with volatile chemicals that are considered ‘trade secrets’ by the industry… Really? Upwards of 40,000 gallons of chemicals are used per fracking and include up to 600 different chemicals in the fracking fluid. Some of those include; benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and xylene. All of which are considered hazardous and carcinogenic causing cancer, organ damage, nervous system disorders, birth defects and death. Methane Gas is by far considered to cause the greatest damage to the environment and is a by-product of fracking. Methane Gas is considered to be the main cause of ‘man-made climate change, ie global warming’. That would mean if the climate crucifiers really want to halt global warming they need to add wastewater injections to the modus – something they will never do.

Some of the chemicals are rather funny given their commercial use: wood parquet adhesive, stain remover, deodorant, hair conditioner, varnish, volumizing conditioner, sunscreen, lotion, dog shampoo, tire repair, roach killer, haircolor shine, etc… So if my hair conditioner can help to create earthquakes, I think I need to consider what it is doing to my scalp! YUCK.

The earth is angry!

But even this doesn’t compare to the amount of precious water that is expended in order to supply us with natural gas – low estimates of 1200 gallons to high estimates of 9.6 million gallons of water per well, depending on the location. Given water is by far more valuable than natural gas, why are we continuing to deplete this most precious resource?   Water and droughts are a world concern.  Oil land natural gas are not.  While we need oil and gas for nearly everything in a developed society, we can not survive at all – without water.  There is a difference.

But then it becomes clear: we ‘export’ more natural gas than we import – why would we export at all if we don’t have enough to supply households 100%? Because the price paid by various countries is considerably higher than the cost.  As the saying goes, money is not the root of all evil, but it sure can make some dervish devils out of its holders.  Balance could be a better criteria.  Tell the truth!  If the reasoning is an 800% profit margin then don’t tell us it is energy independence!. 

Wastewater injections are not just a natural gas phenomena, oil wells are a culprit as well.  Find an alternative?  The current injection method is not what was used ’50 years ago’, and the current number of wells is not ‘what it was 50 years ago’!  Multitudes magnified thousands fold – do make a difference in the outcome!  Fracking over known fault-lines – isn’t terribly conscientious.

Despite the drop in the price of natural gas over the decade, the industry is not too nervous about their profit margin given that We The People continue to subsidize the oil and gas industry to the tune of $4.8 billion per year, most of which goes to the ‘Big Oil Conglomerates’ – Exxon, Chevron, Shell, BP, and Conoco Phillips.

WAIT! Shell oil is based in the Netherlands and BP in the UK – so what the heck are American taxpayers doing subsidizing oil companies that don’t even pay taxes in the US? Oh bother… truth.

Back to earthquakes.

It isn’t all bad though – the oil companies do support nearly 10 million employees and the big three from the US pay an effective tax rate far above any other industry! The price of a gallon of gas in Europe is easily double what we pay in the US, and the oil and gas industry pumps more than $500 billion into the US economy annually.  Nothing to sneeze at!

But at what point do we consider the negatives of wastewater injection as over-riding the positives of natural gas companies making hefty profits on exports?   While profits are the mainstay of capitalism, stewardship should be a n equal concern.  Does that mean I think wind turbines are the answer?  No.  Does that mean solar is the answer?  Decades have proven that answer – No.  Do I have the answer?  No.  But all you Engineers!  Seems to me you could have an answer – if you wanted.

As the price of oil and natural gas remain ‘tanked’, which translates to lower tax revenue paid to the government, which translates to higher subsidies, there comes a point of financial collapse in basic supply and demand ideals. To the point that we actually, effectively probably pay more than Europe.  So, at what point is this simply calamitous? We import our gas from Canada, they aren’t harboring ISIS or shouting death to America, so is it really such a bad thing to “trade” from their stockpiles?

Separately, The CDC has yet to investigate the health ramifications of the chemical processes used in fracking – at all, despite the known carcinogens and environmental damage. Instead, they chose to create a massive orgy of fear around the Zika virus which has been around for over 60 years, including in the US. But you see, in the Zika instance, pharma saw the opportunity to reap major profits! The Fracking industry would see losses if the truth were parlayed. Profit makes the world go ’round.  It is a good thing.  But in all things their needs to be balance.  And personally, I kind of like the planet that God created.  God gave us a responsibility – not to shirk – to tend to this planet.  

So when you go before the gates of Heaven and defend that all the earthquakes were God’s hand in the making and cause, when He shakes His head, are you going to argue with Him?

We have become a Pay for Play in all our corporate and government institutions and just never realized how deep it goes. It’s all something of a shell game or Ponzi scheme, because in the end, after lost revenues, subsidies, ‘medical issues’, and tax havens, our effective price per gallon is more likely to be in the $8 to $10 range, well above Europe. And natural gas?  Well given we sell more than we retain, at the very least be honest – it isn’t about energy independence, it’s about making a buck.  

The pump price is simply a mirage to give us a feel good glow

3 thoughts on “Fracking – Killing Our Planet… Softly

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