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A Quick Whirl Around the Fracking World: 11 Sep 2014


*Everywhere.  What the frack is going on?

*Rhetorical questions:  If the world did this, why can’t it do the same for this?  Does non-response have anything to do with this?

*CA.  The Kern County Board of Supervisors just approved “the largest ‘crude by rail’ project in the state”, allowing Texas’ Alon USA to ship 100 cars of crude twice daily by 2015–some coming through the north and others through the west of the state.  They did so because they “believe in our oil industry . . . and believe oil can be safely transported inside and outside California”.  Expect lawsuits.

*CAEnvironmentalists filed a lawsuit against Kinder Morgan’s rail terminal in Richmond, CA, arguing that Kinder Morgan’s permit to begin unloading Bakken crude from trains was done in secret.  The lawsuit was dismissed since it was not filed within the required 180-day window.

*CA.  A report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, commissioned by the US Bureau of Land Management, concludes that “the direct environmental impact of well stimulation technologies for oil production in California ‘appear to be relatively limited.’”  Fracking in CA accounts for only “a small fraction of statewide water use” and has not, so far, produced earthquakes in the state.

*CO.  Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) has put together a 21-member task force to help mitigate “the conflict between residents and nearby oil and gas extraction operations like drilling and hydraulic fracturing.”  We’ll see.

*GANo fracking in GA—yet.  But the industry is already “touting the economic benefits  [of fracking] to the state.

*IA.  The pipeline Energy Transfer Partners wants to build through 17 Iowa counties—running diagonally from the northwest tip of the state to the southeast tip—has stirred considerable interest among IA landowners who want to “see the details” and spirited controversy among othersIA’s  pipeline safety  record is “less than spotless” with 100 spills since 2004, resulting in “nearly $20 million in property damage.”

*IL.  “Petroleum backers say a new job survey makes the case for Illinois to be doing more to expand drilling, particularly fracking, in the state.”  They claim 263,700 jobs in IL have been created by the oil and gas industry and state regulators “should be doing more to facilitate” tracking.   The US Chamber of Commerce has claimed 38,625 jobs in IL were created by “unconventional oil and gas (including fracking)”, but that study, too, has its critics.

*IL.  “A coalition of industry groups” point to 65 areas in proposed fracking rules that they say “violate a hard-won compromise between industry and environmentalists.”  Environmentalists also have some objections to the new draft.  IL’s Department of Natural Resources did make some changes in response to the 30,000+ comments it received on the draft rules.

*MIProtest at the capitol, “advocating for more local control over where gas and oil companies could locate drilling sites”.  State law says “A county or township shall not regulate or control the drilling, completion, or operation of oil or gas wells [including exploratory drilling] . . . and shall not have jurisdiction [to issue permits for] . . . such wells”.  Opponents want that section of the law repealed.

*NE.  Oral arguments about the Keystone XL pipeline were made before the NE Supreme Court.  The building was jam-packedMajor questions under consideration: does the governor or the Public Service Commissioners “have the authority to set the state’s route for the . . . pipeline”; is TransCanada (pipeline owner) a common carrier in NE (if not, they can’t use eminent domain); etc.   President Obama’s decision on the US-Canadian pipeline is on hold pending the NE court decision.  Other political issues include labor’s demand for jobs, environmentalist’s demand for protection of the Ogallala Aquifer and fears of a “carbon bomb” from tar sands extraction.  Others say the urgency to build the pipeline might reflect an estimated loss to Canada of “six hundred and thirty-two billion dollars in revenue over the next 25 years.”

*NY/PA.  Residents of the two adjacent states “differ greatly in their views on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas”.  54% of Pennsylvanians are in favor, compared to 29% of New Yorkers.  Both, however, don’t care too much for their respective governors—27% favorable for Andrew Cuomo (D) and 19% for Tom Corbett (R).

*NY.  Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) attracts fracking protesters wherever he goes.  He’s waiting for “the health commissioner and the environmental commissioner [to study] how fracking has worked in other states [and] countries”.  Apparently, the environmental commissioner has not completed its review, begun in 2008, and the health commissioner’s review can’t be released until the environmental commissioner’s review is released.  (See next item.)

*NY.  Gov. Cuomo is said to have applied “the stall tactic”: on fracking, on “a major proposed propane storage project in the Finger Lakes, the construction of new liquified natural gas storage areas . . . and a crude-oil heating facility at the Port of Albany” which would bring Canadian crude into NY.   The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, you see, is “exhaustively reviewing” all proposals and “will issue responsible and scientifically based decisions.”  Eventually.

*OH.  From Youngstown to Canton and in surrounding more rural areas, the unemployment rate is down in “a sharp reversal of four years ago.”  New factories are appearing.  “New energy production”, including oil and natural gas from fracking, are major components of the economic revival.  Residents “are so desperate for the kind of economic growth that fracking can bring” that they have much less opposition to fracking than in other places around the country.

*OK.  A legislative study of “the impact of hydraulic fracturing to water” has been requested in response to constituents living near the Salt Fork River.  One 76 year-old life-time resident says his water had been good all his life, but not recently, and to the extent “We can’t use it.  Something has to be leaking.  Something has to be getting into it in order to do that.”

*PA.  A major study by Yale University shows that “People living near natural-gas wells were more than twice as likely to report upper-respiratory and skin problems than those farther away”.  Yale randomly-sampled 492 members of 180 households which got their water from the ground and which are in “part of the Marcellus Shale where . . . fracking . . . is widely used to extract natural gas.”  More studies, please!

*TX.  Railroad Commissioner David Porter is talking tough about Russia these days, claiming that Russia “is waging a misinformation campaign against hydraulic fracturing, or fracking”, including “partnering with U.S.-based public relations firms to spread unsupported propaganda about the environmental and health risks of the practice of fracking.”  He’s echoing earlier remarks of another Railroad Commissioner.

*TXIn refreshing contrast, Steve Brown (D), running for TX Railroad Commission, is concerned about drought (when fracking requires huge amounts of water that are turned into waste) and fracking-related earthquakes in his state.  He’s got a plan for “water reuse projects, [to] increase local control in groundwater permitting and phase out permits for new hydraulic fracturing wastewater disposal wells.”

*Northwest Territories.  Alberta is contemplating possibly shipping oilsands bitumen by rail, pipeline, and barges on the Mackenzie River to Tuktoyaktuk where it would be loaded onto ships.  It’s cold up there, so “shipping from Tuktoyaktuk would likely be seasonal and oil flowing north would have to be stored in the community over the winter.”  Trains, pipelines, barges, ships and months-long storage—what could possibly go wrong?

*Latin America.  “Latin America fracturing fluids market is all set to reach $1.78 billion by 2020.”  Shifting to horizontal drilling is the reason.  North America leads the world in use of the fluids thus far, “followed by Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”  Let’s see: that leaves Australia, the Arctic and Antarctic.  And what’s in those fracking fluids anyhow?

*UK.  Breitling Energy of Dallas, TX  placed an ad in the Telegraph, asking the “Dear Citizens of the United Kingdom” if they know “that your country is blessed with an incredible gift?”  That would be shale gas.  Which requires fracking.  Which Breitling does. The ad attracted the Advertising Standards Authority which ruled the company “misled the public when it made unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of fracking”, among other things.

*Africa.  Demand for fracturing fluids by Africa is on the upswing, indicating there “could be increased shale activity in the region and increased number of wells.”

CommunityMy FDL

A Quick Whirl Around The Fracking World: 11 Sep 2014


*Rhetorical questions:  If the world did this, why can’t it do the same for this?  Does non-response have anything to do with this?

*CA.  The Kern County Board of Supervisors just approved “the largest ‘crude by rail’ project in the state”, allowing Texas’ Alon USA to ship 100 cars of crude twice daily by 2015–some coming through the north and others through the west of the state.  They did so because they “believe in our oil industry . . . and believe oil can be safely transported inside and outside California”.  Expect lawsuits.

*CAEnvironmentalists filed a lawsuit against Kinder Morgan’s rail terminal in Richmond, CA, arguing that Kinder Morgan’s permit to begin unloading Bakken crude from trains was done in secret.  The lawsuit was dismissed since it was not filed within the required 180-day window.

*CA.  A report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, commissioned by the US Bureau of Land Management, concludes that “the direct environmental impact of well stimulation technologies for oil production in California ‘appear to be relatively limited.’”  Fracking in CA accounts for only “a small fraction of statewide water use” and has not, so far, produced earthquakes in the state.

*CO.  Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) has put together a 21-member task force to help mitigate “the conflict between residents and nearby oil and gas extraction operations like drilling and hydraulic fracturing.”  We’ll see.

*GANo fracking in GA—yet.  But the industry is already “touting the economic benefits  [of fracking] to the state.

*IA.  The pipeline Energy Transfer Partners wants to build through 17 Iowa counties—running diagonally from the northwest tip of the state to the southeast tip—has stirred considerable interest among IA landowners who want to “see the details” and spirited controversy among othersIA’s  pipeline safety  record is “less than spotless” with 100 spills since 2004, resulting in “nearly $20 million in property damage.”

*IL.  “Petroleum backers say a new job survey makes the case for Illinois to be doing more to expand drilling, particularly fracking, in the state.”  They claim 263,700 jobs in IL have been created by the oil and gas industry and state regulators “should be doing more to facilitate” tracking.   The US Chamber of Commerce has claimed 38,625 jobs in IL were created by “unconventional oil and gas (including fracking)”, but that study, too, has its critics.

*IL.  “A coalition of industry groups” point to 65 areas in proposed fracking rules that they say “violate a hard-won compromise between industry and environmentalists.”  Environmentalists also have some objections to the new draft.  IL’s Department of Natural Resources did make some changes in response to the 30,000+ comments it received on the draft rules.

*MIProtest at the capitol, “advocating for more local control over where gas and oil companies could locate drilling sites”.  State law says “A county or township shall not regulate or control the drilling, completion, or operation of oil or gas wells [including exploratory drilling] . . . and shall not have jurisdiction [to issue permits for] . . . such wells”.  Opponents want that section of the law repealed.

*NE.  Oral arguments about the Keystone XL pipeline were made before the NE Supreme Court.  The building was jam-packedMajor questions under consideration: does the governor or the Public Service Commissioners “have the authority to set the state’s route for the . . . pipeline”; is TransCanada (pipeline owner) a common carrier in NE (if not, they can’t use eminent domain); etc.   President Obama’s decision on the US-Canadian pipeline is on hold pending the NE court decision.  Other political issues include labor’s demand for jobs, environmentalist’s demand for protection of the Ogallala Aquifer and fears of a “carbon bomb” from tar sands extraction.  Others say the urgency to build the pipeline might reflect an estimated loss to Canada of “six hundred and thirty-two billion dollars in revenue over the next 25 years.”

*NY/PA.  Residents of the two adjacent states “differ greatly in their views on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas”.  54% of Pennsylvanians are in favor, compared to 29% of New Yorkers.  Both, however, don’t care too much for their respective governors—27% favorable for Andrew Cuomo (D) and 19% for Tom Corbett (R).

*NY.  Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) attracts fracking protesters wherever he goes.  He’s waiting for “the health commissioner and the environmental commissioner [to study] how fracking has worked in other states [and] countries”.  Apparently, the environmental commissioner has not completed its review, begun in 2008, and the health commissioner’s review can’t be released until the environmental commissioner’s review is released.  (See next item.)

*NY.  Gov. Cuomo is said to have applied “the stall tactic”: on fracking, on “a major proposed propane storage project in the Finger Lakes, the construction of new liquified natural gas storage areas . . . and a crude-oil heating facility at the Port of Albany” which would bring Canadian crude into NY.   The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, you see, is “exhaustively reviewing” all proposals and “will issue responsible and scientifically based decisions.”  Eventually.

*OH.  From Youngstown to Canton and in surrounding more rural areas, the unemployment rate is down in “a sharp reversal of four years ago.”  New factories are appearing.  “New energy production”, including oil and natural gas from fracking, are major components of the economic revival.  Residents “are so desperate for the kind of economic growth that fracking can bring” that they have much less opposition to fracking than in other places around the country.

*OK.  A legislative study of “the impact of hydraulic fracturing to water” has been requested in response to constituents living near the Salt Fork River.  One 76 year-old life-time resident says his water had been good all his life, but not recently, and to the extent “We can’t use it.  Something has to be leaking.  Something has to be getting into it in order to do that.”

*PA.  A major study by Yale University shows that “People living near natural-gas wells were more than twice as likely to report upper-respiratory and skin problems than those farther away”.  Yale randomly-sampled 492 members of 180 households which got their water from the ground and which are in “part of the Marcellus Shale where . . . fracking . . . is widely used to extract natural gas.”  More studies, please!

*TX.  Railroad Commissioner David Porter is talking tough about Russia these days, claiming that Russia “is waging a misinformation campaign against hydraulic fracturing, or fracking”, including “partnering with U.S.-based public relations firms to spread unsupported propaganda about the environmental and health risks of the practice of fracking.”  He’s echoing earlier remarks of another Railroad Commissioner.

*TXIn refreshing contrast, Steve Brown (D), running for TX Railroad Commission, is concerned about drought (when fracking requires huge amounts of water that are turned into waste) and fracking-related earthquakes in his state.  He’s got a plan for “water reuse projects, [to] increase local control in groundwater permitting and phase out permits for new hydraulic fracturing wastewater disposal wells.”

*Northwest Territories.  Alberta is contemplating possibly shipping oilsands bitumen by rail, pipeline, and barges on the Mackenzie River to Tuktoyaktuk where it would be loaded onto ships.  It’s cold up there, so “shipping from Tuktoyaktuk would likely be seasonal and oil flowing north would have to be stored in the community over the winter.”  Trains, pipelines, barges, ships and months-long storage—what could possibly go wrong?

*Latin America.  “Latin America fracturing fluids market is all set to reach $1.78 billion by 2020.”  Shifting to horizontal drilling is the reason.  North America leads the world in use of the fluids thus far, “followed by Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”  Let’s see: that leaves Australia, the Arctic and Antarctic.  And what’s in those fracking fluids anyhow?

*UK.  Breitling Energy of Dallas, TX  placed an ad in the Telegraph, asking the “Dear Citizens of the United Kingdom” if they know “that your country is blessed with an incredible gift?”  That would be shale gas.  Which requires fracking.  Which Breitling does. The ad attracted the Advertising Standards Authority which ruled the company “misled the public when it made unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of fracking”, among other things.

*Africa.  Demand for fracturing fluids by Africa is on the upswing, indicating there “could be increased shale activity in the region and increased number of wells.”

*Everywhere.  What the frack is going on?

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