Here is my current contribution to the cause. Second article in January.
I like the natural gas plan but hate the provision in HR 1380 for fracking because of the environmental damage it causes. I will not support the bill in this form.
There are no energy alternatives that do not cause some environmental damage. Natural Gas, in comparison to alternatives, is a very low impact resource.
It is time to get behind this initiative and stop subsidizing foreign states with our transportation dollars.
I agree. Hydroelectric has significant environmental issues with submersion of land, forests and changes in fishery habitats. Solar requires significant shading of land. Wind has significant visual impact and is a source of major bird kills. Geothermal requires drilling (potentially through drinking water aquifers) just like conventional oil and natural gas production. Coal production and combustion (open pit and underground mining) has significant issues with water and land destruction and reclamation and air quality issues. Nuclear has radioactive waste processing and disposal issues. Electric vehicles have environmental issues with the production and disposal of lithium batteries.
"Fracking" (reservoir fracturing) has been in common use long before the shale gas era. About 90% of all oil and gas production in the U.S. uses "fracking" to ensure production life. You do not produce oil and gas without fracking.
Shale gas reservoirs are typically at 7,000-10,000 feet, far below the drinking water aquifers and isolated by casing, cement and thousands of feet of rock.
The "fracking" issue is red herring, created for the media NIMBY environmentalist and blood thirsty lawyers. Note that the EPA just got slapped heavily by the Texas Railroad Commission (regulatory agency in Texas for oil a& gas fproduction) for shutting down Range Resouces for contaminating water wells with natural gas. Turns out the gas in the water wells was present before Range Resources ever started drilling. The gas issue for this water reservoir has been a known issue for generations. The compostion of the shale gas did not even match the composition of the gas in the water wells.
Further, we should not judge the entire shale gas production industry by poor practices of a few operators. The legal system will handle those cases. Every new industry must go through a learning curve until the practices and regulations are in place to cover the majority of the issues.
There is no environmental free lunch for energy production. Natural gas is one of the most environmentally friendly fuels and we have lots of it. Let's figure out how to produce and consume it effectively.
Just a quick note to tell you I read your post regarding environmental issues and green energy. Your conclusions are exactly my own. It's unlikely that those drilling for ng want to risk the consequences of polluting the water table and state legislators are very aware of the potential damage that can arise from fracking. Still, methane, the major element in natural gas, is deadly to our environment, so extreme caution must be taken.
Have to move on, I'm calling lots of legislators today on behalf of the Nat. Gas Act.
Shallow water aquifers that are drilled for drinking water are not affected by deep shale gas fracking!. It is possible shallow coal bed methane can cross into aquifers, in fact that is exactly how coal bed methane is produced.
Just to get the facts straight! Methane is NOT deadly to our environment! It has been around since the beginning for the earth. Methane is a natural hydrocarbon compound that is generated by natural decay of all carbon based life forms, both plants and animals. Natural gas has been seeping into the atmosphere from natural sources since the beginning from natural seeps, permafrosts, methane hydrates, termites, fermentation, flatulance from ruminants.
Shallow natural gas is quite often encountered in drinking water aquifers. Should we stop humans from drilling for drinking water because of the possibility of hitting methane? Maybe we should not allow human to eat anything that creates farts (methane). Maybe we should require all humans and animals to wear fart collectors (I want to the politically correct name on the piece of legislation).
Let's stop debating the nonsence on methane sources. We are carbon based life forms and all carbon based life forms generate methane either during living processes or decaying processes.
Let's start talking about how to safely produce and develop methane for economic use as a heating medium, electricity generation and vehicle fuel. It is far better to oxidize methane to CO2 than simply let it escape to the atmosphere.
Let's get our head out of the sand and use our God given resources.
We talked about this for three years in the Transition discussion dialogue. The conversation has moved to lets put presure on the politicians to execute a plan. No one has come up with a better plan than Pickens and that plan is simply a bridge from dependence on foreign sources to greater reliance on domestic ones.
We will need to produce electricity one way or another. Burn something to boil something to turn something to generate electricity OR cut out one or two of those steps and convert something to store something that can be burned or otherwise converted into alternating current electricity which can then be used in our homes and businesses.
The propositions are;
That is about the size of it. If the Liberation armies of Lybia, Syria, and Baharain gain their freedom, it won't make much of a differrence to unemployed Americans in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin unless they buy American goods and products. Barring that turn of fortunes, we need to stop considering our domestic differences and start getting rid of the ideas that keep us polarized and opposed to each others appreciaton.
The point of being American is that you can become wealthy if you try. That isn't suppoed to be a maybe, but a truth and a fact. If you get there and you don't like it you can resign. The situation as it stans is that some of the wealth are trying to shut the door to immigrants. Not just the economic and political disenchanted of foreign lands, but the aspiring of our native offspring.
The fact is that the license to be wealthy in America is a priviledge for the responsible who understand that creating wealth isn't an end unto social unity and national cohesion. It is a personal choice that comes with the responsibility to protect, nourish, replenish and husband the communities that make up the nation. If you resign the duty, you revolk the license no matter if your resignation were involuntary (death) of negligence(refuse to pay taxes), the bottom line is you are the one that should be expelled from the democracy.
Forget the politicians! If natural gas is an economic fuel for transportation, then let's get on with the program and sell the concept to industry. Let's quit begging congress and the American taxpayers for handouts to artifically support an industry that is already economic. The lobbyists were successful on getting foolish and uneconomic energy subsidized such as ethanol, biodiesel, wind power, solar energy, none of which can compete with natural gas, coal or nuclear. Let's quit waiting for "pennies from heaven" (legislation) to subsidize a fuel that is already economic and needs no subsidies.
By the way there is a solution to nuclear waste. It's called reprocessing and breeder reactors. The U.S. has had the technology to do this since the 50's. The first nuclear reactor to produce electricity in the U.S. was a a breeder reactor (EBR-1) at Argonne National Labs in Idaho. Over 90% of the Uranimum left in the spent fuel is U-238 that can easily be converted in a Fast Breeder Reactor to enrich the fuel to put back into a Conventional Thermal Reactor. Too bad Jimmy Carter canceled the Clinch River Breeder Reactor program. Reagan tried to revive it but was shot down by congress. The termination of that technology is the reason we have high level radioactive fuel sitting in spent fuel pools all over the U.S. The nuclear industry never intended for this situation to occur. Congressional fools stymied the program.
Another example showing that we should forget about congressional help and proceed without them.
Pickens has been trying for more than 3 years to promote this. Somehow some people pushing this to industry is going to do it? The boards of directors make the decisions and the CEOs carry those out. We do not elect those people and reality neither to the shareholders.
Natural gas for trucks might happen when the bottom line people figure out that it saves money. They will not do it for cleaner air nor less imported oil. They will tout it through their P.R. firms as clean and patriotic, but the bottom line usually seals the deal with those folks. So if you want to see change in this area, get the boards of trucking companies involved. With enough light on the subject the issue has a better chance of carrying the day.
Why has "fracking" (fracturing a reservoir) suddenly become such an issue? Fracking is not a new technique. It has been used for many years in conventional oil and gas production and reservoir stimulation. It has only become an issue when unconventional "shale gas" and "coal be methane" began using it for intial production.
Do we stop producing oil and gas because of "fracking"? That is nonsense.