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Old 11-18-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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Fracking is the process of drilling a well and then pumping in toxic chemicals and water at high pressure to fracture the underlying rock.

It is done in the mining of natural gas, such as in Colorado. It is also being proposed for the mining of uranium at a site about 15 miles northeast of Ft. Collins, CO. This is also the location of the large underground aquifer that extends south to Denver. This is one of your major water supplies.

Mr. and Mrs. Sautner of Pennsylvania now have a large metal pipe extending up from their water well, after fracking was done in their neighborhood, to release the methane gas now present, which might otherwise blow up their home.

This is an NBC news account of this:
msnbc.com Video Player
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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I think it was profiled on "60 Minutes" last week, about drilling in some 30+ states, making some rural people major wealth for the rights, while not buying the whole property. There were of course concerns voiced about the chemicals involved, possible explosions, etc.
The main owner of a major company posits it as the way to stop being dependent on Saudi Arabia. Gee, if only people would use less of everything, it would work the same way.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:01 AM
 
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I live right in the ground zero of fracking in Pennsylvania now. Funny enough not a day goes by without seeing a Colorado licence plate as there are so many workers from all over in the area.

99.5% of what is used in fracking is water and sand. Halliburton has released a website recently listing all the chemicals used.

I have mixed feelings about it, so far it has mostly proven to be safe and many of the companies have improved their techniques to the point it should not be a problem. When they first came into my county it was a free for all, but things have improved, Dutch Shell buying a major stake and they seem to have a more sensible handle on things.

Fracking natural gas is something that could easily provide this country with limitless gas for centuries. I'd rather keep the money here in the USA than send it overseas.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
... Fracking natural gas (NG) is something that could easily provide this country with limitless gas for centuries. I'd rather keep the money here in the USA than send it overseas.
That's why I was hoping so strongly last year when GM sold Saturn that Roger Penske would buy the firm, convert Saturn's to run on NG and sell them in the mountain west, where we have more NG than we can pipe out, even with a major pipeline opening in 2009 and more to follow. It would've been great to have Penske make NG refit kits for cars and put a bunch of mechanics back to work. Such are my dreams. If only we had some old-time "captains of industry" to take that bull by the horns. Otherwise, F-OPEC.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Colorado
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But the problem with Fracking is that it creates problem with the general water supply. There are loads of people that live near fracking operations that are cancer clusters. The fracking mixture leaks into the ground water and then is pumped up into drinking water. There were reports of people being able to light their tap water on fire! Then companies aren't cleaning up the water like they are supposed to. It is scary all the way around.

I do believe in gathering our natural resources, but fracking scares me.
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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Natural gas is going to be way too valuable to waste in cars or power plants. It is the one fuel that can readily be transported and efficiently used for home heating. Aside from that, it is a key ingredient in the process that makes most of our fertilizer. No gas, no eat. For those two uses alone, it should be conserved stringently. I (and some people I know in that industry) firmly believe that our recoverable reserves are not nearly as robust as the Pollyannas like to think, and that some of our cheapest and most easily produced reserves may actually deplete much faster than predicted. All of that not taking into account that issues with fracking. By the way, some people I know work on fracking rigs, and even they are concerned about the lack of safeguards being used by a lot of the less-reputable operators. One guy I know quit the company he was working for because he wanted to have no part of the abuses going on and the potential liability for what he was being told to do.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
I live right in the ground zero of fracking in Pennsylvania now. Funny enough not a day goes by without seeing a Colorado licence plate as there are so many workers from all over in the area.

99.5% of what is used in fracking is water and sand. Halliburton has released a website recently listing all the chemicals used.

I have mixed feelings about it, so far it has mostly proven to be safe and many of the companies have improved their techniques to the point it should not be a problem. When they first came into my county it was a free for all, but things have improved, Dutch Shell buying a major stake and they seem to have a more sensible handle on things.

Fracking natural gas is something that could easily provide this country with limitless gas for centuries. I'd rather keep the money here in the USA than send it overseas.
Just curious, wanneroo, where do you live? Have you been on the PA boards discussing this? There are some real "cheerleaders" over there, especially on Pittsburgh.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_hug99 View Post
But the problem with Fracking is that it creates problem with the general water supply. There are loads of people that live near fracking operations that are cancer clusters. The fracking mixture leaks into the ground water and then is pumped up into drinking water. There were reports of people being able to light their tap water on fire! Then companies aren't cleaning up the water like they are supposed to. It is scary all the way around.

I do believe in gathering our natural resources, but fracking scares me.
Not so far from what I have seen in my county. The fracking is going on at 5000-6000 feet while well water is coming from 50-100 feet below the ground. I'm no expert but what I have had explained to me and from my own research, the recovery techniques and methods used are improving every year. They've also started recycling the fracking mixture they use as well.

I have to say here in PA so far it is pretty well regulated and the gas companies have been fixing any damage done to roads and are required to set aside funds to return land to as it was. They also wont touch anything that resembles a wetland.

I've got a ton of fracked wells right on the street I live on. After the initial construction you really don't notice them. In terms of energy production, it's about as low impact and unnoticeable as it gets. The only problems I have with it, is that with all the gas well people coming into town to work from all over, some are dodgy characters. We just had our 2nd murder in 120 years in the town that I live in thanks to a well worker from Texas. We've also had a huge increase in crime and violence that wasn't really an issue a few years ago. The other issue I've had with it is when the initial fracing happens on a well, it's a flurry of truck traffic which can get annoying.

People in states like PA, there have always been some that have been able to set their well water on fire due to natural methane. After the initial scare by that movie Gasland, doing some research, this has been common going back as long as well water has existed.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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Wink A real issue

Fortunately I do not, but if living in an area likely impacted by fracking then even less of a cheerleader for it. An area like, say, the front range of Colorado.

My understanding of geology is that it can be a relatively delicate thing. The geyser activity of Yellowstone NP is forever shifting and changing, with changes in one area affecting another.

Ground water can be the same. I've seen the effects on a (formerly) long-running natural spring caused from residential, and well, development on the far side of the mountain. Tucson, AZ now has dedicated areas where it allows some of its Colorado River water allotment to sink into the ground, to replenish the underlying aquifer. It had been so heavily overused that they were experiencing land subsidence, afraid they might damage the structure of the underlying aquifer. It can happen. At that point, the aquifer cannot recharge to former levels, no matter how much water available.

Oil companies know something about this, too. Aware that if not judiciously extracting this resource that they can damage the underlying geology, thus not able to extract as much oil as otherwise possible.

Thus aside from the issue of toxic chemicals or anything else pumped into the ground, perhaps the greatest concern what any fracking operation will do to the underlying geology. After all, it is the purpose of fracking to disrupt and change the geology.

If one lives in an area where they have any reason for concern for, or use the Earth's depths, such as their common aquifer, then someone messing with it, in a 'proper' way or not, a real issue.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Natural gas is going to be way too valuable to waste in cars or power plants. It is the one fuel that can readily be transported and efficiently used for home heating. Aside from that, it is a key ingredient in the process that makes most of our fertilizer. No gas, no eat. For those two uses alone, it should be conserved stringently. I (and some people I know in that industry) firmly believe that our recoverable reserves are not nearly as robust as the Pollyannas like to think, and that some of our cheapest and most easily produced reserves may actually deplete much faster than predicted. All of that not taking into account that issues with fracking. By the way, some people I know work on fracking rigs, and even they are concerned about the lack of safeguards being used by a lot of the less-reputable operators. One guy I know quit the company he was working for because he wanted to have no part of the abuses going on and the potential liability for what he was being told to do.
Well when the Marcellus Shale boom began it was like the wild west. It has settled down now. I was pleased in my county when the main producer, East Resources was bought out by Royal Dutch Shell. Shell seems to have it all down in a much more organized, informed and professional manner.
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