Letter: Ban dangerous fracking

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A vital difference is that Earth is a greenhouse and Mars is not. We have gases in our atmosphere that absorb heat rays radiating from the sun-heated surface. The more greenhouse gas, the warmer we are.

The principal one is carbon dioxide, but another one, methane, perhaps 20 times more effective as a greenhouse gas than CO2, must not be ignored.

Our natural gas is 90-plus-percent methane. By the way, it is plentiful in frozen permafrost, which poses a huge threat as the Arctic warms. Some also is released into the atmosphere by hydraulically fracturing, or “fracking,” shale rock.

A recent article in Chemical and Engineering News addressed its loss when fracking, which is the explosive attack on methane-containing shale layers.

That article spoke to the fairly low level of loss, as measured at the mine wellhead, but the article did note that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had found the loss to be 10 to 20 times higher, presumably from atmospheric measurements. I wrote a letter on this to C&EN, which has just been published. If NOAA’s numbers are correct, fracking is a serious source of greenhouse gas emissions.

I have seen no move to question the NOAA numbers and fracking. Why not? It may be that the money stakes are so high, as fracking has made a sea change in the availability of natural gas and its price. Where is our Department of Energy?

Can we conclude that big money will dictate our battle to control the livability of our planet? If the NOAA numbers are correct, replacing coal with gas from fracking in generating electric power will add to, not reduce, our greenhouse. Fracking itself is a serious source of increasing greenhouse gases, and should be banned.

Victor Reilly

Aiken, S.C.

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deestafford
46952
Points
deestafford 02/04/14 - 01:07 am
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Methane is not even in the top 5 atmospheric gases...

Methane is not even in the top 5 atmospheric gases so it's impact on the atmosphere is negligible. There is no proof CO2 causes warming. As a matter of fact there is historical evidence that warming is followed by an increase in CO2; however, there has been no causation linkage between the two. An increase in CO2 is beneficial for agriculture and plants without which they could not survive.

For information purposes here is the breakdown of the earth's atmospheric gases:

Nitrogen....78.084%
Oxygen.....20.946%
Argon........ 0.934%
CO2.......... 0.0383%
Neon......... 0.0018%

2006 data shows that each year 90 billion tons of CO2 are added to the atmosphere by decaying matter--normal biological activity; 90 billion tons added by the ocean; and 6 billion tons (3.2%) by human activity.

The amount of CO2 added by man is 0.0275% of the 0.038% or 0.00001% of the total atmosphere. This is the equivalent of the thickness of the linoleum tile on the first floor of a 100 story building.

None of the computer models used by the "climate changers" can even predict the current weather much less the climate in the future.

Once again, look at the thirst for power and redistribution of wealth from the producing countries to the nonproducing countries.

KSL
186476
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KSL 02/04/14 - 03:38 am
8
2
Keep up the super great

Keep up the super great comments, dee. You are always so informative.

KSL
186476
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KSL 02/04/14 - 03:47 am
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Where is any backup to the

Where is any backup to the statements that Victor makes? He, like many letter writers, make "statements" without an iota of documentation. If I had written a paper like this letter when I was in high school, I would have gotten an "F."

But then, he is not the only letter writer who is guilty.

myfather15
59559
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myfather15 02/04/14 - 06:30 am
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3
KSL

That's what they do!! They make statements and expect people to completely believe them, without doing the slightest confirmation!! That's what THEIR side does!! They've got a bunch of robots that go around repeating everything the leaders say!! Backing the words up with NOTHING, but getting the blind sheep to follow them and tell other sheep to follow them!! They believe themselves the highly enlightened, highly educated crowd!! If you don't agree with them, you're just to stupid to understand the world!! You can see this very attitude in several commenters on this very board.

By the way, I loved O'Reilly reading the question from a citizen who wants to know why he wants to fundementally change the America that gave him so much opportunity. He answer? To Lie!!!! Saying "That's not what I said."

No, Mr. President. You didn't just say that, you've said those exact words about 200 times!!! Mr. President, what happened to "mean what you say and say what you mean"? What happens is, when he is giving speeches in front of a overwhelmingly left crowd, he spews that vile junk about fundemental change!! But when he knows that he has a diverse audience, before a football game, he LIES!!! Plain and simple!! This wasn't the only thing he lied about either!! The only answer he could give on ANYTHING was to blame O'Reilly and Fox News for everything going wrong with his administration!!

This man is a pathetic excuse for a leader!! He sounds no different than the committed left on here!! Deny everything, admit nothing and take no responsibility for anything negative. According to Mr. President, there isn't smidgen of corruption at the IRS, Benghazi was reported correctly from the start (OMG, he should be thrown out just for this lie. We do have VIDEO EVIDENCE), healthcare.gov just had a few quirks. Really?

Anything I'm missing folks?

ymnbde
14192
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ymnbde 02/04/14 - 07:08 am
9
2
the war on the poor

continues, unabated, since 1964
why must liberals continue?
fracking will help the actual working poor
those who pay for gas going back and forth to work
and why would this writer deny a poor family a decent vacation?
a drive to Florida is out of the reach of most poor families
because of the cost of gas
yet the writer would keep them imprisoned in inner cities
are they all beholden to the Arab oil barons?
hardly any reputable scientists believe our resources
should be thrown to the winds of climate change
far better to use resources for education and third world
disease eradication (oh, but those people have dark skin)
but liberals such as this writer want to just throw money away
to "save the planet"... goodness, put on a cape and save Chicago
or south central LA, or something real and measurable
something logical, not made up... no reputable scientist
would throw our money down the sacrificial well like the Aztecs
did to virgins, and we have about the same knowledge about climate
as the Aztecs did about their gods
the climate, it has never not been a'changing
Bob knows
Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea ? (save the mountains! it's absurd!)
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free ? (school choice and education!)
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn't see ? (the war on the poor, by opposing cheap gas!)
The answer my friend is[n't] blowin' in the wind
The answer is[n't] blowin' in the wind. (the answer is cheaper energy)
yep, Bob knows

carcraft
36130
Points
carcraft 02/04/14 - 07:15 am
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Deestafford I really like

Deestafford I really like your posts. Great Job! My Father it seems Obama can't open his mouth with out some spun, mangled twisted statement comming out that has a paucity of truth! About the letters, for the first time in my life time America is close to energy independence, Palin was right DRLL BABY DRILL. American technology has created a miracle. At the start of the current administration Obama said "We can't drill our way out of thus ". Well we have! The environmentalist were blind sided. Now they are attacking it but the horse is out of the barn!

Pond Life
17680
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Pond Life 02/04/14 - 07:38 am
10
2
Be careful. If there is one
Unpublished

Be careful. If there is one thing I have noticed here it is that the left gets infuriated when you request that they back up what they say with documented facts.

seenitB4
128439
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seenitB4 02/04/14 - 08:55 am
7
3
Pond Life
17680
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Pond Life 02/04/14 - 09:04 am
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From the link you posted:"
Unpublished

From the link you posted:

" And because fracking allows us to put a previously inaccessible reservoir of carbon from beneath our feet into the atmosphere, it also contributes to global climate change."

This is one of the problems I have with the fanatics who push anthropogenic climate change. They simply state something as if it were a "no brainer fact" and expect you to accept it.

seenitB4
128439
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seenitB4 02/04/14 - 09:07 am
6
3
Pond

I would like to see a study about earthquakes near fracking...I see good/bad.....like I said, NOT NEAR MY HOUSE!

Pond Life
17680
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Pond Life 02/04/14 - 09:12 am
3
2
I'm just glad you aren't
Unpublished

I'm just glad you aren't drawing a conclusion with incomplete data, simply because it fits your political views......like the global warming fanatics seem hell bent on. Good work, seenit.

jimmymac
68169
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jimmymac 02/04/14 - 09:42 am
0
0
FRACKING
Unpublished

Oil and gas finds in Ohio and the Dakota's are at the heart of any economic growth we've had in the last couple of years. They've put thousands of people to work and out millions into the pockets of farmers who lived next to poverty for years. Palin was right and we should make our country energy independent from middle east crazy's who use our money to wage war against us.

Bizkit
47842
Points
Bizkit 02/04/14 - 09:43 am
6
1
Science is a process. The

Science is a process. The science you mentioned is from Howarth and Ingraffea from Cornell, and other scientist immediately dismissed their study. "A University of Texas-Austin study released Monday found that methane emissions from new wells being prepared for production, a process known as completion, captured 99% of the escaping methane—on average 97% lower than estimates released in 2011 by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is the most comprehensive shale gas emissions study ever undertaken on methane leakage, covering 190 well pads around the United States. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, so leaks could theoretically wipe out the documented climate benefits with respect to reduced carbon emissions of natural gas, a comparatively clean fossil fuel." "The findings were immediately criticized—trashed is a more accurate word—by Robert Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea, two Cornell University scientists whose study released two years ago claimed catastrophic levels of methane were being leaked by fracking operations. Howarth also has claimed that fracking could push the world over a tipping point, sending temperatures irreversibly higher. The once-obscure professor immediately became the go-to expert for anti-fracking journalists and lawmakers, even though a slew of experts discredited his research."So apparently there is some incompatible data that needs to studied further, but likely methane isn't an issue as the study you mentioned has been discredited.

Bizkit
47842
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Bizkit 02/04/14 - 10:08 am
5
1
So apparently theses two

So apparently theses two unknown scientist have found a gravy train with their anti-fracking research-even though most scientist discredit their work the issue is "politicized" so of course some will spread misinformation to support their agenda.

RMSHEFF
26406
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RMSHEFF 02/04/14 - 09:46 am
5
3
These folks are opposed to

These folks are opposed to capitalism and therefore any form of energy use. We have been fracking for over 50 years. Maybe we should all be burning wood in our homes to keep warm. I would be willing to buy Mr Reilly a plane ticket to China or India so he can go there and convince them to stop using energy.

RMSHEFF
26406
Points
RMSHEFF 02/04/14 - 09:51 am
4
2
"A lie gets halfway around

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

deestafford
46952
Points
deestafford 02/04/14 - 09:52 am
6
1
How would you like to be the farmer in New York...

How would you like to be the farmer in New York state whose farm borders PA and the PA farmer's land adjoining his is getting millions of dollars leasing his land to the energy company for fracking and he can't do the same because the left running NY won't approve fracking?

I'd be kind of ticked off.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
19157
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 02/04/14 - 09:52 am
5
1
Fracking in public

From all this, is it safe to assume that fracking in public is permissible?

seenitB4
128439
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seenitB4 02/04/14 - 09:55 am
4
2
Bizkit
47842
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Bizkit 02/04/14 - 09:56 am
4
1
Carbon isn't static we have a

Carbon isn't static we have a carbon cycle from air to plant (photosynthesis) to animal (cellular respiration) back to air-there are carbon sinks too (the ocean and peat bogs). Without atmospheric carbon dioxide there would be no life on the planet-all the carbon used to build organic macromolecules (sugar, lipids, protein, nucleic acids) originally comes from the atmosphere.

Bizkit
47842
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Bizkit 02/04/14 - 09:57 am
5
1
I do worry about affects on

I do worry about affects on water quality and creating underground disturbances.

RMSHEFF
26406
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RMSHEFF 02/04/14 - 10:05 am
3
2
Bizkit

There are risk with everything we do. Many lost their lives in coal mines over the last 100 years. We have the ability to monitor ground water and so far so good.

deestafford
46952
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deestafford 02/04/14 - 11:19 am
3
2
It's my understanding that the drilling for fracking goes on...

It's my understanding that the drilling for fracking goes on well below the depth of the water tables and aquifiers.

The issue of the water faucets being set on fire as shown in the film is a hoax as it pertains to fracking because that was happening before fracking started in the area.

dichotomy
46777
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dichotomy 02/04/14 - 11:56 am
3
2
So Victor...does this mean

So Victor...does this mean you want to give us our coal back? I mean....well.....y'all wanted us to stop using coal....we did.....aren't you happy? Now you want to take away natural gas too! So I guess you just want us to go back to living like we did 300 or 400 years ago. Oh...no....I guess not. I think that is when we had the last non-man-mad, NATURALLY OCURRING, global climate change mini ice age.

You see, that is the problem with these environmental crazies. They say their claims are based on science. But they ignore one of the most basic laws of physics.

First it was catalytic converters....they choked the engine, lowered the mileage, and spewed acid along side the roads.

Now we have Ethanol....lower mileage, increased fuel usage, damage to automobile engines, and totally destructive to small engines, lawn mowers, trimmers, etc.....at huge costs to the consumers who are paying radically increased prices for food items plus the damage to their machinery.

Wind energy turbines killing 10s of thousands of migrating birds each year.....at huge financial costs for little benefit.

Solar panel "farms" reflecting heat into the atmosphere and cooling the ground beneath changing the local ecology for plants and animals.....at huge financial costs for little benefit. And just think of all of the federally protected salamanders and spiders we have inconvenienced.

Ban coal....even though we have spent billions on "clean coal" technology.....and other countries are very happy to burn OUR coal in their NON-clean coal furnaces and release the emissions into the atmosphere. Well, our people still require energy. Voila, fracking and natural gas.

For decades the greenie weenies have screamed "no nuclear power plants". Now they are starting to scream "more nuclear power plants".

Every action has an EQUAL and OPPOSITE reaction. It's a law of physics.

Dixieman
22976
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Dixieman 02/04/14 - 01:57 pm
5
2
Heat but no light

No one here has ever been persuaded to change his or her mind. However, the letter that started all this is a new low. America is "educating" people that if they just state their opinions louder and louder, they will somehow become facts. There are no facts in the letter. The anti-fracking posture is a hoax.

dahreese
5019
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dahreese 02/04/14 - 02:51 pm
0
0
It is unfortunate that so
Unpublished

It is unfortunate that so many/all of you pro-fracking folks have forgotten the expose of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" which exposed corporate willful pollution of the earth and the atmosphere. And Lewis Sinclare's "The Hidden Jungle", the expose of the meat industry.

In both cases corporations lined up to disown any and all such practices, and called the "whistleblowers" anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-free trade, liars, communists and on and on.

You have forgotten Erin Brockovich, "who led a 1993 lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric for contaminating drinking water in the town of Hinkley, California. Brockovich and her firm alleged that residents of Hinkley were suffering higher rates of cancer due to pollutants used to fight corrosion in a natural gas pipeline built by PG&E. At $333 million, the 1996 settlement won by Brockovich and her team was the largest sum ever awarded in a U.S. class-action lawsuit."

And now, here you are again, all pro fracking (and 1993 wasn't all that long ago).

Of course, the fracking it isn't in YOUR back yard.

YOU don't have to drink the polluted water.

YOU don't have to deal with the chemical smells.

YOU don't have to pay for the illnesses to the families and children.

I probably can't expect you "pro" folks to go and read these books, but I wonder if it would be asking too much of you to read (on line) the short story of Ibsen's "Enemy of the People."

burninater
11656
Points
burninater 02/04/14 - 03:47 pm
4
2
"It's my understanding that

"It's my understanding that the drilling for fracking goes on well below the depth of the water tables and aquifers."
-------
No matter how deep the target formation is, EVERY drill hole begins at the surface, and EVERY drill hole must pass through any aquifers that exist between the surface and the fracking depth.

It is leakage from improperly sealed borings (drill holes) as they pass through aquifers that is the primary concern. This concern is aggravated by the fact that fracking requires fluid injected at high pressure into these borings that pass through overlying aquifers, and that the chemicals in that fluid are not disclosed. We do know that at least one common injection ingredient is diesel fuel.

If there is no leakage, there may be no problems with the process from a groundwater contamination standpoint. But that is a huge "if", when you are talking about pouring grout down a hole to seal thousands of feet of porous and fractured sedimentary rock -- and then exposing that grout seal to high fluid pressures, while having no way to visually inspect the seal for cracks or failures.

KSL
186476
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KSL 02/04/14 - 05:38 pm
2
3
Life is full of risks.

Life is full of risks.

burninater
11656
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burninater 02/04/14 - 05:53 pm
3
1
"Life is full of

"Life is full of risks."
-------
It sure is.

The questions follow: do we educate ourselves about the risks, gather data about the risks, create procedures that mitigate against the risks, and create policies that provide recourse to those whose health and property may be damaged by those risks?

Or do we dismiss and ignore those risks in the interest of ideological purity?

Have we become a society so morally shallow that the decision to behave in a reasoned and mindful manner must always take backseat to the maximization of profit?

Bizkit
47842
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Bizkit 02/04/14 - 06:23 pm
3
1
I don't know if it is a

I don't know if it is a maximization of profit or we are all just hooked on energy and without it our society would be at a standstill. If we need it someone will profit from it without doubt. I think we should investigate harvesting the frozen methane clathrates under the oceans as a possible energy source. Natural gas seems a good energy source and apparently we have lots of it too.

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