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Natural Gas Glut: Shame on US

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

It wasn’t long ago that the United States realized that it had a huge problem: the amount of natural gas we used for utilities was too large for our production numbers to shoulder. We couldn’t produce enough Natural Gas to meet a growing demand so we were looking at importing natural gas at record high prices.

Prices trended upward long before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged the Gulf Coast. At the time before the storms, natural gas demand rose because of economical growth and the increase of electricity produced using natural gas.

2005 marked a rise in costs that made us sweat. Futures’ prices had risen from $6.00 per MMBtu to $9.00 per MMBtu. An increase of 50% was realized before August of the same year. Following the storms, which, in effect locked up GOM production, prices rose an additional 65%, eventually rising to the point where $6.00 per MMbtu reached $16.00 for the same volume in the same year. (The MMBtu equivalent to mcf is 1 MMBtu=0.9649 mcf…the equivalent price was $15.44 per mcf).

The equivalent would be if gasoline prices went from $3.90 in 2012 to $5.85 by August before rising to $15.56 per gallon, all in the same year.

According to this report from FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), we were scrambling. Part of FERC’s strategy included approving “applications for a substantial expansion of the Nation’s LNG terminals for overseas gas.”

We geared up for imports at sky high costs because there was no alternative that could effectively meet the demand. Such was the price of power and growth. According to FERC, natural gas prices had been “spiky” by nature and the upward sweeping trend was expected to grow throughout the winter when gas usage increased.

The prospect for natural gas and its relationship with the United States was terrible because we needed it as a supplier of power. Natural gas use seemed to be going the same path as oil: increased imports to feed our growing energy needs at high cost to the US.

Then, something unexpected and extraordinary happened: We learned that the fear associated with our growing need to import natural gas was for naught.

We discovered the equivalent of “two Saudi Arabia’s worth of natural gas” beneath our feet. We saw that there would be no need to import all of the expensive foreign fuel. We’d be enabled to produce all of the natural gas we needed and much, much more. Almost overnight, we had a method to extract massive quantities of natural gas. Instead of importing natural gas, we’d be capable of exporting out of the abundance of our native supply.

This meant energy, cheap energy. Our production caused our natural gas prices to be among the lowest on this earth.

So, we started producing natural gas in record volumes. Productions numbers repeatedly surpassed geological estimations. Natural gas became the largest contributor to the total primary energy (TPE) in the United States virtually overnight.

The industry specific growth created tens of thousands of new, high paying jobs; this amidst the devastating recession that came home to roost as a result of the housing bubble in 2008. Despite this recession, the natural gas industry continued to thrive. We were going to be able to meet our increasing demand for power and create new money when the economy was on the ropes.

All of this was the result of Hydraulic Fracturing. Things were looking great. We had a great answer to our great need and now, for the first time, we were more than capable of satisfying our growing need for cheap power. This was phenomenal news. The natural gas industry was a bright spot in a dismal world.

Then a film called GasLand came out showing flaming tap water and residents whose lives appeared to have been destroyed by water contamination. The NYT ran an entire series of stories penned by yellow journalist Ian Urbina. The press jumped on board a destructive train and began to malign the industry. They said we took advantage of land owners with our fast talking land men. They said we lacked accountability for our lax safety practices and that we were the environmental titan hell bent on profiteering at the cost of mother earth and her residents.

The EPA (a government agency) joined in and began its quest; not to neutrally assess the risks associated with Hydraulic Fracturing but to prove that Hydraulic Fracturing contaminated groundwater.

The industry was forced into a corner and stuck in a defensive posture.

Then BP spilled a bunch of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and natural gas producers were lumped in with the rest of the O&G industry. Our public persona was tainted even worse than it had been previously. Obama declared a moratorium in the GOM and the bar for penalty was set far too high.

The wonderful potential of natural gas was lost in the mire and the press and our government was to blame.

Instead of developing new ways to utilize this resource, create more jobs, lower fuel prices, and save money, we’ve instead chosen to ignore the potential of our resource.

Now, in 2012, natural gas prices have dipped to an ten year low. It is becoming financial suicide to continue producing natural gas. This is a hard pill to swallow considering that oil wells contribute to the glut by producing natural gas as well as oil.  We have so much natural gas that we are plugging wells, moving equipment off of production sites, and curbing our production.

Demand for power has never been higher, nor has the supply of natural gas.

Instead of creating outlets for this abundance, we are choosing to spend $3.907 per gallon for regular, $4.046 for mid-grade, $4.178 for premium, $4.147 for diesel, and $3.338 for E85.

We currently pay $4.13 per mcf of natural gas.

The equivalent of 1000 cubic feet to US liquid gallons is (1)mcf=7480.519 US liquid gallons.

7480.519 gallons of regular gasoline (at $3.90) costs $29,174.02.

7480.519 gallons of diesel (at $4.14) costs $ 30,969.34.

1000 cubic feet of natural gas costs $5.45.

Instead of changing the infrastructure to supply fleet vehicles and long range truck with fueling stations, we are sticking with gasoline and diesel. We are using coal fired power plants instead of a much cleaner fuel source. We keep investing billions in failing solar and wind companies. We pay farmers to grow corn to create a corrosive fuel in ethanol that destroys the engines in which it fires by gathering moisture and melting seals and rings.

We should not have a glut of natural gas.

With all of the need for power, we should be using this resource to meet that need. The economic benefits are tremendous.

A glut of natural gas is a tragedy. We have the means to provide the kind of power we’ve always dreamed of. Our desperate needs are capable of being met with our own resources and rather than using them, we are moving in a direction of forgetting they exist.

Shame on us.

Other countries like Japan and Spain hold natural gas so dear that they are willing to pay $18.00 per mcf. Rather than exporting this resource, (because we’ve refused to use it) we’re doing nothing pending more environmental impact studies. The nearest export facility could potentially come online no earlier than 2015 pending FERC’s approval.

Shame on us. Shame on the US.

“The Entire Story of Shale Has Been to Hell With Facts.”

February 17, 2012 Leave a comment

That’s right, Mr. Grealy.

The entire story concerning the needlessly volatile “Fracking” controversy is not about facts. This has been by design due to some careful editing and outright refusal to disclose, through national media, a complete and thorough representation of the practice of Hydraulic Fracturing. The reasons behind the outright objections to the practice are very clearly non-factual. Antis refuse to concede a point before scurrying onto their next objection so that none of those facts can land on them with their full weight.

This strategy is their only option. By bouncing around like a pinball, they have created a scenario similar to boxer conditioning: the Oil and Gas Industry is running around trying to catch a chicken. It has been effective.

I recently watched an interview with Josh Fox, the Oscar nominated Director of the Yellow Journalist film “GasLand” on “The Ed Show” in which Josh Fox sounded off on congressional Republicans for limiting his First Amendment Rights unconstitutionally by expelling him from the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Meeting “Examining EPA’s Approach to Ground Water Research: the Pavilion Analysis”.

He was booted from the meeting because he was not a credentialed member of the press according to rule 9. The reason for his ejection was read aloud before the meeting commenced. Basically, Josh Fox did not think it necessary to go through the proper means that would have allowed him to be present at “a very crucial hearing”. He did not not take care of business on his end. One would think that if Josh Fox found that meeting to be so crucial, that he would have done everything required to enable him to be present. He attempted to circumvent the process and was ejected according to the rules.

Mr. Fox has again become the face of the Fractivist Movement and been portrayed as a victim.

Laurel Whitney, of Desmogblog.com reported

“As Fox was led out of the room, Democratic Representative, Brad Miller (D-NC), attempted to suspend the committee rules to let the crews film the hearing but was blocked by the Republican Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD).”

This is a misrepresentation of the truth. Representative Miller moved that an exception be made. When Rep. Andy Harris saw that a quorum was not present, he called a recess so that one could be present to vote on the exception. When the meeting re-convened, the move for the exception was voted down seven to six. Rep. Miller called for a recess of “no less than one week” so that Fox and ABC news could apply for the permits to attend. This move was again voted down seven to six.

This is democracy, majority ruled.

When Fox appeared on “The Ed Show”, he went on a tirade blaming Republicans for obstructing his ability, as a member of the press, to cover the meeting. Again, it was Fox’s fault that he was not allowed to attend that meeting. He could have applied and then been granted press credentials to attend. He simply did not have the credentials necessary to film.

Josh Fox’s statement reads like this:

“We were there covering, uh, a very crucial hearing about a case of, uh, groundwater contamination in Pavilion, Wyoming; a three and a half year investigation by Region 8 EPA which shows subjects from the first film ‘GasLand’ from Pavilion, Wyoming with groundwater contamination resulting in fifty times the level of benzene in groundwater, um, and EPA has pointed in this case at hydraulic fracturing as the likely cause and what’s happening on The Hill today is Republicans in the Science, and, uh, Space, Technology Committee hearing to challenge science. Their panel was made up of gas industry lobbyists and we were there to expose what I believe is an actually rather ugly and brazen attack on science itself, uh, on what’s happening across the country with hydraulic fracturing water contamination. So, we were there actually doing our jobs as journalists. I was not interested in disrupting that meeting, was not charged with disrupting the hearing, I was simply interested in capturing on film, in broadcast quality, uh, camera, what the Republicans were going to be doing right there putting the EPA and the citizens of Pavilion and everyone across the nation who, who’s complaining of contamination due to hydraulic fracturing on trial. I wanted to make sure that people knew what was happening…Since the Republicans have taken over, we have had obstruction after obstruction getting into congress…it’s ironic that all of these strands have come together and they’re kicking science out of the House of Representatives. They’re kicking science and journalism out of the Science and Technology committee and it is a, really a brazen attack on American Civil Liberties, um, and uh, frankly, on our ability to investigate the truth.”

This is another “to hell with the facts” moment.

In Mr. Fox’s words, “I was simply interested in capturing on film, in broadcast quality, uh, camera, what the Republicans were going to be doing right there putting the EPA and the citizens of Pavilion and everyone across the nation who, who’s complaining of contamination due to hydraulic fracturing on trial. I wanted to make sure that people knew what was happening.”

He wanted to capture, on film, what the Republicans were doing by reviewing the EPA’s findings in Pavilion, WY. He wanted to make sure that people knew what was happening.

To answer Mr. Fox, I will quote Rep. Andy Harris.

“Every word, every phrase, no editing and it will be available on the same site in its entirety following the hearing; therefore, every piece of information, from this hearing is fully available to every member of the public.”

The committee’s website has the full meeting available for viewing here and the full meeting is available on YouTube, here.

In other words, anyone so inclined, with a computer and fingers, and the ability to type and click a mouse, can view the entire meeting online. The committee itself wanted to make sure that “people knew what was happening”.

This makes Fox’s entire argument baseless.

Fox was arrested for “Unlawful Entry” because he did not follow the law. His fault. He could have gotten a pass if he had wanted to but he did not. It wasn’t important enough to him to apply for the credentials necessary to attend the meeting.

The First Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

Mr. Fox needs a definition of “abridge”. I will provide one for him.

abridge
1
a archaic : deprive b : to reduce in scope : diminish <attempts to abridge the right of free speech>
2
: to shorten in duration or extent <modern transportation that abridges distance>
3
: to shorten by omission of words without sacrifice of sense : condense

By providing the entire meeting for public review via recording, that meeting did not infringe on Mr. Fox’s or any other citizen’s civil liberties. The only ironic part is how Mr. Fox decided to interpret the First Amendment by forgetting that “abridge” was the exact word utilized by the Founding Fathers. I doubt that he would include the entire meeting in his documentary. He would have included part of it, to support the thesis of his film, thereby, abridging the content.

Mr. Fox said, in “The Ed Show” interview,

“I’m going in there because this the First Amendment, this is the Freedom of Speech, the Amendment is ‘Congress shall make no law which infringes upon the freedom of the press, that’s an abridged part of it. But that means Congress can’t pass a law or a rule or a regulation in a sub-committee hearing, um, to obstruct journalists from coming in and exposing to the American people what they’re doing.”

Was that an abridging of the First Amendment and recognizing that he abridged it?

Yep.

The First Amendment that he cited isn’t long. An actual memorization would have been more fitting. Actually Josh, this shows that you have a problem understanding what you read, and remembering what you’ve read. Words have meanings.

I will draw as an example, an observation by C.S. Lewis on the abuse of the English language in this mode:

“The word gentleman originally meant something recognisable; one who had a coat of arms and some landed property. When you called someone “a gentleman” you were not paying him a compliment, but merely stating a fact. If you said he was not “a gentleman” you were not insulting him, but giving information. There was no contradiction in saying that John was a liar and a gentleman; any more than there now is in saying that James is a fool and an M.A. But then there came people who said – so rightly, charitably, spiritually, sensitively, so anything but usefully – “Ah but surely the important thing about a gentleman is not the coat of arms and the land, but the behaviour? Surely he is the true gentleman who behaves as a gentleman should? Surely in that sense Edward is far more truly a gentleman than John?” They meant well. To be honourable and courteous and brave is of course a far better thing than to have a coat of arms. But it is not the same thing. Worse still, it is not a thing everyone will agree about. To call a man “a gentleman” in this new, refined sense, becomes, in fact, not a way of giving information about him, but a way of praising him: to deny that he is “a gentleman” becomes simply a way of insulting him. When a word ceases to be a term of description and becomes merely a term of praise, it no longer tells you facts about the object: it only tells you about the speaker’s attitude to that object. (A ‘nice’ meal only means a meal the speaker likes.) A gentleman, once it has been spiritualised and refined out of its old coarse, objective sense, means hardly more than a man whom the speaker likes. As a result, gentleman is now a useless word. We had lots of terms of approval already, so it was not needed for that use; on the other hand if anyone (say, in a historical work) wants to use it in its old sense, he cannot do so without explanations. It has been spoiled for that purpose.”

Mr. Fox offered an “abridged” version of the First Amendment that says ‘Congress shall make no law which infringes upon the freedom of the press, that’s an abridged part of it. But that means Congress can’t pass a law or a rule or a regulation in a sub-committee hearing, um, to obstruct journalists from coming in…” rather than the First Amendment that guarantees that “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Ironic, no?

They didn’t abridge the freedom of speech or of the press. They did not omit anything. They did not alter the content and bend the meaning. They freely offer the entire meeting publicly and voluntarily and comprehensively. This means the meeting was not subjected to Mr. Fox’s editing table.

The First Amendment means that Congress cannot pass a law that allows the voice of the people or the press to be abridged. It means the government cannot control what one says or diminish the essence of what was said nor can they dictate to the public or the press how they should say what they say. It does not guarantee him the right to record a meeting that is being recorded comprehensively already.

Because of the public airing of that meeting, there is no obstruction to journalism or the press in obstructing journalists from “coming in and exposing to American people what they’re doing.” Especially when that journalist ignores protocol. This is something the EPA and Mr. Fox have in common: they both ignore protocol.

Congress did not hiding anything so the subject of the review was in no way altered or edited and anyone with nearly two hours of free time can see that.

Josh Fox claims to be a documentary film maker and a champion of the First Amendment but he would have a congressional sub-committee forgo the review of government agency’s findings.

Fox said,

“I was simply interested in capturing on film, in broadcast quality, uh, camera, what the Republicans were going to be doing right there putting the EPA and the citizens of Pavilion and everyone across the nation who, who’s complaining of contamination due to hydraulic fracturing on trial.”

Of course they are putting the EPA on trial, of course they are putting the claims of people in Pavilion and across the US on trial. This is entirely normal in the science world. It is called the “Peer Review Process”. They need to see that the reports and claims are factual. The EPA released their preliminary findings without one. Then they promptly got shelled and extended the public comment period. I wrote a blog about how unwise their release was.

The Pavilion, WY study needs review.

Mr. Fox believes that “…it’s ironic that all of these strands have come together and they’re kicking science out of the House of Representatives. They’re kicking science and journalism out of the Science and Technology committee and it is a, really a brazen attack on American Civil Liberties, um, and uh, frankly, on our ability to investigate the truth.”

Excuse me Mr. Fox, you are defeating your own argument based on the premise of your values. You want an “investigation of the truth” but you don’t agree that the results of a 3 1/2 year study by the EPA in Pavilion, WY deserves to be reviewed for accuracy before Congress. You are the one seeking to undermine a completely typical peer review process because “preliminary” findings (not reviewed findings) pointed to contamination.

Do you support the abandonment of the Peer Review Process? Do you believe the EPA’s findings to be unquestionable or perfect? By their own admission, they abandoned their own mandated protocol. This is why there is a congressional review. In this case, you are the one attempting to remove science from the process and by painting a picture with a very specific bent, removing journalism as well. The process is a review of the scientific accuracy behind EPA’s conclusion.

I can guarantee that Mr. Fox will not represent all of the questions and controversy revolving around the legitimacy of Area 8 EPA’s methods nor will that be included in “GasLand 2”.

Mr. Fox finds Congress to be worthy of investigation because they are reviewing a study wherein the preliminary findings suggest that Hydraulic Fracturing may have contaminated groundwater in Pavilion but Mr. Fox does not find it necessary to investigate that data and subject it to a completely normal review process.

Hmmm…

Mr. Fox is conflicted. I don’t know how talk show hosts don’t call him out on his blatant inconsistency.

So why do I use Mr. Fox, in a post called “The Entire Story of Shale Has Been to Hell with the Facts”?

Because he is the most egregiously public offender and most notorious representative of this situtation. Nohotair.co.uk presents this bent of the press.

If he were interested in the facts, then he would support the review of the EPA study to guarantee accuracy. He would desire that it be entirely accurate and as passionately as he opposes Hydraulic Fracturing, call them to task for ditching protocol on the grounds that it makes the EPA look like a joke. He would support fact finding. He would include the studies that conclude that Hydraulic Fracturing does not contaminate groundwater. He would recognize and account for specific geologic formations, water tables, etc.

He doesn’t.

He is all about himself and a forgone conclusion. This is why I think he is a “to hell with the facts” man.

I have quoted him before and I will quote him again.

Sherlock Holmes said “It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.” and It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

I think Mr. Fox would be well served to read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle because he is a glaring example of the conclusions of both of these quotes.

What seems irrational is that one could guess that studies concluding that Hydraulic Fracturing does not cause groundwater contamination would be celebrated. Uncontaminated water supplies is the end game, isn’t it?

If the practice functions without contaminating water supplies, then what is really the problem? These reports are very public and well circulated.

Why isn’t Fox happy? I would conclude that such a result would put Fox out of a job and stop all of the benefits and wine tastings he attends. What is this man’s motivation for continuing a debunked crusade while disregarding the same facts he alleges he is trying to present?

The only thing I could conclude would be that Mr. Fox is not interested in presenting what the public should know. He is abridging the truth. He refuses to acknowledge a base of information and undermine the way our country works. That is his problem.

This is the only way that he can continue is to turn a blind eye to the truth and report accordingly. He is, in essence, saying “To hell with fact.” in favor of an agenda rooted in fear.

The EPA is Destroying Their Credibility

December 28, 2011 1 comment

On December 14th, I wrote a piece titled What the Release of the EPA Study in Pavillion, WY Does Prove: It Isn’t that Fracturing Contaminates Groundwater.

I suggested that the EPA be either dismantled or overhauled because of what I felt was an irresponsible release of a “Draft Report” wherein the EPA outlined that their findings linked Hydraulic Fracturing to groundwater contamination. I believe my reasons in calling for their end are growing more and more founded.

Their report was the “feather in the cap” for the majority of Fractivists who then supported the EPA report with a loud and collective “We have been saying this all along! Hydraulic Fracturing contaminates groundwater! People are in danger!”

This Fractivist response was entirely predictable and for me, as a Hydraulic Fracturing advocate and former chemist, their response was nothing out of the ordinary, it was par for the course. It was also very representative of their ignorance to the importance of and need for adherence to Standard Operating Procedures.  The EPA did a horrible job of providing context (which O&G advocates and companies were forced to do) and for being transparent about their findings.

You see, our battle is not with Fractivists.

Our battleground burns in the court of public opinion and ultimately with those who create the policies that govern O&G production, you know, the people who rely on the EPA to present them with accurate data.

The public is only now becoming as aware of Hydraulic Fracturing as we have been for years and they need accurate information to make an informed decision.

I need to preface what I am about to write by gaining some credibility in your eyes. I was a chemist, so I know all about the importance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), laboratory protocols, and the importance of accurate results that can be reproduced and thereby verified. The lab I worked at was/is ISO 9000/9001 certified and registered. Lab rats will know what that means (it means the lab was legit by the way…our mounds of paperwork proved that).

What I do know is that the majority of the public is not so informed. I know this may be a bit lengthy but I would like for any who read this to gain an understanding about how laboratories work rather than imagining them as the landing pad for mad hatters and nerds.

The EPA’s release is a little too disconcerting for comfort.

I want to emphasize this. Their draft report on Pavillion, WY might as well be about the existence of unicorns because it most certainly is not scientifically credible.

Before I continue, I will attempt to explain what an SOP is and why they are important in non-technical terms.

In the world of laboratories, there are SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for EVERYTHING. SOPs are the procedures that exist for the sole purpose of rendering accurate results consistently. They tell the scientist what he/she needs to do in order to discover data.

An example that has served me well in the past is ubiquitous and generally well received. Think about the food labels on everything you eat or drink.

They have percentages on those labels don’t they?

I am looking at a Coke can right now that tells me this Coke has 140 calories, 0 grams of fat, 45 mg of sodium, 39 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein per 12 fl oz.  The FDA mandates that food products must list their ingredients so that the public can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to consume 39 grams of sugar per 12 fl oz of Coke.

It is important that these percentages be accurate. In the last several years, many American consumers have steered away from full flavored soft drinks because of the amount of sugar present in the original formulas. Instead of regular Coke, people ingest Diet Coke or Coke Zero as an alternative because we know that regular Coke has 39 grams of sugar per 12 fl oz.

The FDA not only mandates that food companies have to divulge what ingredients are present in their foods but they also have to divulge what percentages of those foodstuffs are present in the final product by serving size. We are going to use our 12 fl oz can of Coke as our example.

This is where SOPs come in. Imagine with me now.

I receive samples (Batch A, B, and C) from the FDA who informs me that they would like for me to quantify, by percentage, the amount of sugar, sodium, protein and fat present in 12 fl oz of Coke. They send me ten, 12 fl oz cans representative of each batch.

Another lab also gets samples (Batch A, B, and C) from the FDA that asks for the same results. The FDA has sent them all of the same volumes.

So, there I am standing in the lab, with my approved nitrile gloves, in my approved lab coat, with my approved safety goggles. What will I do?

I will go the manual where the SOPs for discovering sugar/sodium/fat/protein from a liquid are present. I will look for exceptions to standard tests to see if there are any special notes I need to consider (high acidity for instance) that would render my results inaccurate.

Before I ever get around to testing, I have a lot of equipment to grab from the stock room. Each test will require different equipment that will either have to be sterilized after testing or discarded. I look in the SOP manual to see what equipment will be needed for my protein test because I can’t do all of the tests at the same time.

But, before I get around to the stock room, I need to calibrate all of the equipment I will be using for this series of protein tests and then I have to sign off on it. This way, if my scales or precision equipment are out of spec, I can either service the equipment (if I am certified by the manufacturer to do so) or have it serviced so that it is fit for work.

I calibrate the scales, I calibrate the ovens, I calibrate the analyzers and record any and everything that I just did.

Let’s say, the for the sake of illustration, I have a machine that will take the entire can of Coke and analyze the protein content.

(This machine does not exist by the way, the moisture from the Coke would have to be removed, recorded, and accounted for accurately because H20 constitutes a large portion of the volume but water has no nutritional <protein> value and I can’t just pour a Coke into my $500,000.00 machine; so, I would have to accurately determine, using my freshly calibrated ovens, which of my ovens, using the SOP for moisture removal, is appropriate for removing moisture content without chemically altering the rest of the Coke’s content thereby rendering my protein results useless. So, I find that for this test I will be using the 105 F oven and for how long. I zero my scale to include the sterile <so I don’t contaminate the sample> dehydration pan into which I will pour the Coke. I pour the Coke, with a sterile dropper <so I don’t contaminate the sample> to the SOP dictated volume needed and place it in my oven for the SOP determined amount of time. I must also check the desiccant in the desiccator to make sure that it is has not been compromised by moisture so that when I remove my dehydrated Coke from the oven for protein testing, I do not reintroduce moisture thereby rendering my calculations and previously recorded weights/volumes useless.)

That little aside is more what the process looks like but for this illustration, I will again use the non-existent, test-a-whole-can-of-Coke machine.

Even this fake machine needs to be calibrated.

So what I do is take four different samples (my controls) whose protein content has been verified a million times by control labs. I inspect my machine and all of the gas feeds to make sure that the machine has been properly maintained.

I then look to the SOP on machine maintenance and see that I need 12 fl oz of each sample to run through the machine.

I again, weigh each sample to the appropriate weight, and prepare each for process taking care that I do not contaminate the samples.

The four controls are Water, Milk, Tea, and Orange Juice.

I will have to run each of the controls at least three times to ensure the machine’s accuracy AND my results will all have to register within half a percent of each other AND half a percent of what my standard book tells me my controls should show.

So, once I have run 12 samples just to ensure the accuracy of my machine, I can put the can of Coke in for testing. I must now run Batch A of Coke multiple times with my standards (controls) run intermittently in order to prove that my machine is still running in spec. I must also do this for each batch to ensure Coke is up to snuff on their consistency and quality control.

So, if all of my equipment is calibrated and if all of my controls run within the allowable range of fluctuation, if I follow my SOPs and can reproduce my results given the same samples and equipment, AND I have a long trail of paper work that documents every step I took, all volumes, weights, calibrations, calculations, if my testing matches the results of the other lab, then it could be conclusive that my data are accurate. But if I miss anything in the lab setting, if I contaminate the Coke with something, weigh something incorrectly, my equipment isn’t calibrated, then the constants I needed present to ensure my work was accurate were off and my data can be skewed.

This is an example of one test. I would still have to test for sugar, sodium, and fat, each with their own SOP and equipment.

If my lab can’t produce quality data, then why should the FDA use me?

The FDA won’t use a lab that produces inaccurate data. Two lab’s findings were responsible for nailing a Georgia peanut plant for shipping products after testing positive for Salmonella.

The FDA relied on independent results. Maybe the EPA needs to follow suit instead of assuming culpability for their apparent agenda.

I may say that Coke only has 19 grams of sugar per can. Folks may drink it thinking “Hey, Coke only has half of the sugar it used to.” but that won’t alter the inaccuracy of my findings. Coke still has 39 grams of sugar per 12 fl oz.

All of industry is responsible and accountable to the EPA. The EPA has the right to penalize, fine, shut down (if necessary), pull permits etc. all in the name of protecting the environment just like the FDA does should food companies falsify their findings.

Independent analysis removes this problem.

This begs a question.

They are a government agency and we should be able to trust our government agencies like the EPA. To whom is the EPA accountable? Are they accountable like the Fed is accountable?

If that is the case, then they are not accountable at all.

As a government agency, they are responsible to the people to be for the people, right?

I thought that was the deal. We trust them, they look out for us based on accurate results. They guarantee accuracy.

The Star-Tribune‘s energy reporter, Jeremy Fugleberg reports that the EPA abandoned their own mandated protocol. It was comforting to know that they immediately recognized the problem and retested everything to guarantee accuracy…oh, wait, no they didn’t. They stood by the results after admitting their deviations. They deviated from the SOPs and have the audacity to stand by their conclusions. That is ludicrous.

EPA used outdated samples when a “Maintenance of the Laboratory Floor” delayed testing at the Golden, Colorado lab.

“The EPA also found contamination in pure water control samples, didn’t purge the test wells properly before gathering samples and didn’t mention in its report whether it tested water carried by a truck used in well drilling, say officials with the Wyoming Water Development Commission who, because of their expertise on water wells, reviewed the EPA’s publicly available information. ‘They didn’t follow their own protocol they would’ve required of other people doing this same type of work,’ said Mike Purcell, director of the water development commission staff, which does water planning and infrastructure development in the state.”

I wonder what would have happened if no other organization had checked out the validity of the EPA’s findings. Would they have just let them ride? Yep, they are still attempting to let them do just that.

“EPA officials don’t dispute the samples went past due for testing, but they stand by the report’s overall conclusions, which suggest hydraulic fracturing might be responsible for Pavillion’s tainted water.”

What?

“That flawed analysis contributed to half of the EPA’s testing of its deep monitoring wells. While the private drinking water wells got additional testing, the deep wells that provided critical data for the EPA’s conclusions were only tested twice, in October 2010 and April 2011.

Usually such reports are based on many more samples, Clarey said.

“Statistically you need to have 8-10 data points at a minimum,” Clarey said. “To only have those two — it’s not really a scientifically valid study.”

To properly test such water wells, they must be first purged three times to make sure fresh water from the surrounding formation flows in for testing, Clarey said.

“We ‘re not sure they produced out all the water that may have seeped out of the formation during the drilling process or well development,” Clarey said. “So we’re not even sure they’re getting an accurate formation sample.”

The EPA data indicates the agency only flushed the wells one-quarter of the amount needed, he said.

“Which is a no-no,” Clarey said. “That can invalidate the results and force someone from a regulatory agency to go back” to re-test.

Clarey also pointed out a photo in the draft report that shows a water truck that provided water for drilling the well. The report doesn’t indicate if the truck was tested for any contaminants before its water was used.

Also, several samples of distilled water placed with the well water samples showed some contamination — contamination that shouldn’t be in the samples and could indicate the well samples are marred, Clarey said.”

Wait, what?

I haven’t even mentioned that there are four pages of questions that Wyoming officials have asked that the EPA has not answered.

Jokes swirl about the hypocrisy of the government. On more than one occasion we’ve heard “If the government were held to the same standard as the population, they’d all be in prison.”

If a referee lab published the same results that the EPA released, and the EPA determined that the standard operating procedure including notable deviations from mandated practices, then the EPA would undoubtedly throw the findings out. The lab could potentially lose its certifications. What if the lab is an EPA lab?

In the land of laboratories, credibility is all a lab has. That is why so many of them strive to gain ISO 9000/9001 certifications. It means that all they do is documented and that SOPs are followed which in turn ensures the accuracy of their data. The EPA’s sort of irresponsibility is why labs do not gain this certification.

It boils down to a simple problem. They can’t admit a mistake that should embarrass them. They deserve to be embarrassed if they can’t produce or reproduce accurate scientific data based on extensive testing.

It almost appears that the EPA attempted to downplay their own irresponsibility. They still stand by their conclusions although the premises on which they’ve founded their conclusions are faulty.

Herein lies the problem. The EPA isn’t acting like they are neutrally gathering the best information available. They seem to be intentionally accepting data that is technically impermissible. Let me simplify.

Their study isn’t scientific but they released it publicly anyway?

Why?

Do they intend to destroy their own credibility?

If the Oil and Gas Industry stepped out and published haphazard results based on samples typically impermissible for testing, the EPA would have a field day.

We would be condemned for altering data to satisfy our own wants.

We don’t get to have a field day when the EPA publishes spurious findings. Why? Is it because they are incapable of making serious errors? Is it because they are the environmental arm of the government?

To whom are they accountable?

There are SOPs for a reason. If they choose to circumvent the practice, then why perform a study or publish a report at all? Deviating from standard operating procedure is simply unacceptable. I don’t intend that to mean that in the way your father or mother would comment on bad behavior.

I mean, the scientific community literally can not accept it. It was no study at all.

Given the reaction of various news outlets, there is a reason for concern that the EPA already “drank the Fractivist Kool-Aid” and jumped right in with environmentalist causes.

Their controls could have been contaminated. If the baseline is altered then how than their be accurate comparisons to determine contamination percentages?

Who works at the EPA? I want that job. Please pay me to do everything incorrectly rendering all of my work useless with zero accountability. The concept is mental.

I was a chemist for several years. If I had decided to deviate from the SOP to render results, I would have probably been chewed up and spit out before being told to do the test over again multiple times, with controls in an acceptable range, to ensure the accuracy of my results.
The EPA doesn’t want to because it may prove bad practice so they don’t and meanwhile, we tax payers are forced to kick up so that they can exist.
Dismantle the EPA. I am tired, upon penalty of law, of being forced to fund an organization that is so broken that they no longer adhere to their own mandates.
Natural Gas is a “bright spot” in our weak economy. We need to get this right by allowing the science to dictate our reaction. The EPA currently seems unwilling to allow for this to happen because the science may prove conclusively that Hydraulic Fracturing isn’t a threat to drinking water.
As of now, they appear to hope that Frac’ing is a problem when the science doesn’t agree.
No more limping along the road on a flat tire. Change the tire so we can scoot with LNG in the tank, to a prosperous future.

Greenies Love Cetera

November 9, 2011 Leave a comment

I had a conversation with a self proclaimed “environmentalist” on the way home from the annual SPE ATCE conference in Denver, CO last week.

We found ourselves on a jet bound for New Orleans with a group of 35 engineers. As we spoke, we exchanged business cards, spoke about the presentations at the conference, appreciating the technological advances of the Oil and Gas Industry and the brilliant minds behind that advancement.

As I handed out my business cards, I went to give a card to the woman sitting in front of me.

She responded by telling me “You certainly don’t want to give one of those cards to me. You and I won’t get along. I am an ‘environmentalist.’ ”

I apologized for my assumption and sat back in my seat. To my surprise, she turned around and began to harangue me about Hydraulic Fracturing. She said the industry spent “blood money” and began to run through the litany of arguments against Hydraulic Fracturing that I have heard countless times before. It was no surprise to me that she had near to no understanding about what she was saying, nor did it surprise me that her excitement, volume, and the pace of her speech grew as she went through her list.

She was as passionate as she was hypocritical, flying in a jet fueled by kerosene (Jet A or Jet A-1), brought to her by the same people she was bashing, while the jet emitted emissions and she did a cross-word puzzle under the light provided by fossil-fueled electricity. She sat on a seat made of synthetic materials and used a cell phone.

I watched the engineers look back and forth at one another, shaking their heads in disbelief. Here, there was a conglomeration of at least 136 years of Petroleum Engineering education but this woman would not and could not have been convinced if all of them had appealed to her individually.

She didn’t want to have a conversation. She was interested in saying what she had to say, nothing more.

How do I know this?

I asked her to clarify certain things that she said, attempting to converse with her when she promptly turned around and began to fill out her cross-word puzzle. This has by and large been my experience with “environmentalists”. This got my brain wheeling at what appeared to me to be a conflict of interests on her part.

Hydraulic Fracturing isn’t solely used in Shale Gas Plays across the United States.  It is used for Oil Wells.

One of the things that bugs me to my core are the selective criticisms and extremely limited and/or vague solutions provided by the “environmentalist” community.

They lack a plan to fill the void that would exist, should Oil & Gas be eliminated. They think of Oil and Gas in terms of energy and emissions as concepts removed from the fabrication of products or related economic impacts.

I don’t believe that the Green Community has any idea of what this world would look like without Oil and Gas/Hydraulic Fracturing.

I hear about emissions problems, the “toxic” content of Frac Fluids, the “dishonesty” of “Big Oil and Gas”. I never hear them speak about any of the benefits. Never.

I have personally heard environmentalists mock industry executives who talk about maintaining America’s “quality of life” by pointing out that these Executives make millions while joking: “Of course they want to maintain their quality of life, they want to keep making millions, and they do it by whatever means necessary.”

This is equivalent to a PETA member wearing a fur coat riding a horse on a leather saddle as they grind in their spurs while shooting a buffalo in a coon skin cap.

If they want to argue that “Water is life,” fine.

I will argue that there is no way around acknowledging that “Oil is responsible for our quality of life.”

Ignoring this fact is perplexing.

I can 100% guarantee you that the Environmentalists who want to see an end to Hydraulic Fracturing live well because of the benefits of the practice.

Ninety percent of all wells in the United States utilize this process.

There is a major correlation between the life we live and how Hydraulic Fracturing provides it for us. Oil and Gas are used in ways that don’t ultimately produce motor oil, fuels, lubricants, energy etc.

Oil is the basis for synthetic polymers (plastics), synthetic rubber, Bakelite, neoprene, nylon, PVC, polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyacrylonitrile, PVB, polytetrafluoroethylene, and silicone.

What does this mean?

This means that you could go through your house and your car and find that 99% of it exists because of Oil and Gas.

OR (hypothetically)

Let’s say that you are an outdoor person who dislikes Oil and Gas because you believe these companies are destroying your environment.

You like to spend your time climbing and hiking through the various national parks, off of the beaten path where the sounds of cars and jets are nowhere to be found. You live for setting up in the wild next to a campfire looking at the stars as the sparks pop and your coffee percolates. You find constellations and cook meals out of a mess kit. You get your water from the local stream. You have a bushy beard.

This fun would not exist without Oil and Gas.

If you believe that Oil and Gas are an evil that this world cannot bear to endure, then you’d better not bring a tent, footprint, rain-shell, hiking boots, stove, sunglasses, swimsuit, flip-flops, nylon rope, sunglasses, contact lenses, antihistamines, aspirin, band-aids, parachute hammock, water bottles, or synthetic/Gore-Tex anything, underwear, jackets, tech pants, sleeping bags, sleeping pad, hiking pack, tape, antiseptics, ice chests, deodorant, fleece, water filter pump, Zytel handled knife/hatchet etc.

You may want to walk barefoot. Bike tires are made from synthetic rubber, as are the soles of your shoes and their laces and uppers.

You may want to travel in a giant woolen sweater knit by hand, because the entire lighter/faster/stronger/more resilient outdoor equipment movement, the one that measures hiking packs and their contents in ounces rather than pounds, was made possible by the advent of Nylon (polyamide) and Gore-Tex (polytetrafluoroethylene), whose bases are none other than oil.

That $600.00 bomber 3 layer Technical Mountaineering Jacket you just bought, the one that fights monsoons and avalanches with the hammer of Thor and wins, the one made in Sweden by real Viking-esque Swedes, it is made up of polyamide, which is oil-based.

Don’t bring insect repellent either; bad news, it is made from oil as well.

Hydraulic Fracturing is not only used for Natural Gas. It is routinely used on Oil Wells.

We don’t get to live like we live without Oil and Gas just like we don’t get to live without water.

Plastic signs, sunglasses, dye for paint, dye for clothing, dye for hair, nylon woven clothing/hats, shoes with rubber soles, nylon back packs, cell phones etc. are all readily observed at a typical protest. Based on what “environmentalists” buy and use, it looks like they love what Oil and Gas can provide for them, because they use these products.

These all exist because of Oil.

Is someone going to protest the protestors now?…

…To be like PETA members who used to run at the folks who purchased fur coats and douse them with a cup of ink.

As consumers, they are proponents of the Oil and Gas Industry whether they want to be or not.

I keep thinking of the Heineken commercial where the guy asks his friend, Maurice, about whether or not he likes Peter Cetera.

“You like Peter Cetera?”

“Nooooooo….But they do. Yeah, the ladies love Cetera. And if you love the ladies, by default, you love Cetera.”

“So, I love Peter Cetera?”

“You got it.”

I am just waiting for this to hit home because when it does, I hope to find a lot of those really expensive tech-jackets at thrift stores throughout the country. I love those jackets. They can protect me from the snow and wind when I go mountain climbing.

Come on Greenies…


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Hydraulic Fracturing Series: The Press (To Be Reckoned With)

October 20, 2011 Leave a comment

In his play Richelieu, written in 1839, Edward Bulwer-Lytton forever pressed an adage into the memory of the modern world when he scribed:

True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! — itself a nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless!

In 1870, a literary critic named Edward Sherman Gould wrote that Bulwer “had the good fortune to do, what few men can hope to do: he wrote a line that is likely to live for ages.”

That line, as you may have guessed, is “The Pen is mightier than the sword.”

Although I do not believe that the Green press could be considered “men entirely great“,  I do believe that the momentum they have gathered and the ground they’ve gained needs to be fully recognized by our industry.

They are very aware of their power. Their office is established and they know how to use that leverage.

And while we do not write for National newspapers or magazines, we do not make films, we do not influence the lens of public perception; many of them do.

Similar to the way that historians are responsible for the accuracy of the accounts which they tell on behalf of the dead, those authors in the press are the gate-keepers to the public concerning information and if we provide no alternative, then the people, including the law-makers will make decisions based on what they’ve heard.

The arch-enchanters wand! — itself a nothing!” calls to the ears of their readers declaring “This is an issue which needs your attention! This is why, They are poisoning your families and pillaging your lands!”

So some lawmakers bought it and started pushing for bans, listening to the cries of “Wolf, Wolf!”.

The press concerning the Hydraulic Fracturing Industry is a Siren’s song; one if heeded could be disastrous. The Green press will not be satisfied until sailors are drowning and masts splintered, until laws are passed to destroy the Hydraulic Fracturing Industry and with it, all of of the benefits, which are considerable.

What do we know that we need to tell the people?

Hydraulic Fracturing has been in use for over 60 years. Over 1 million Frac jobs have been performed with zero confirmed cases of groundwater contamination.

The EPA admits this.

In the case of a well blowout in the Luther Township of Pennsylvania, their Pens wrote “thousands of gallons of frack fluid” would contaminate water wells and tributaries to the Susquehanna river, and finally, Chesapeake Bay.

A 179 page report paid for by Chesapeake, and created by the SAIC reported that the spill in Bradford County had “no environmental impact” after extensive sampling. The report met and was acceptable to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Regardless of the baseless nature of their criticisms, their caustic approach has already done notable damage.

Our industry started PR campaigns to combat the damage done by false information. By false information, I mean outright, unapologetic, and strategic misrepresentation for the purpose of stirring controversy by lying to the public.

They do the same thing they accuse those in industry of doing.

This is called hypocrisy.

I can assure you that the Green Press will continually call for the head of Natural Gas drillers in the feigned fear of the possibility of contamination.

They will go on hunting Snipe forever.

They talk about the potential fish kills and water contamination in the face of reports from Agencies (they rally behind, ironically) that disagree with them and still, they call frac fluids “poison” or a “cocktail” of dangerous fluids.

They always mention benzene or toluene without mentioning that toluene was used in the creation of Coca Cola for years or that benzene is used as an intermediate to create other chemicals. Its derivatives include styrene, used to make plastics and polymers, phenol for resins and adhesives, and cyclohexane, which is utilized in the manufacture of Nylon.

What we have brought attention to before and will again is that they always seem to turn a blind eye to both perspective and a realistic pursuit of an objective.

Aristotle said “Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.”

And this is what Yellow Journalists have done. They have attempted to eviscerate the public image of Oil and Gas companies and talk about Oil and Gas companies like they are inherently evil. They have systematically attacked every aspect of industry from the content of fluids, to water usage, to disclosure.

They call for heavier regulation and taxation without noting that the Oil and Gas Industry is already the most taxed business on earth and one of the most heavily regulated.

Winston Churchill once said “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

For whatever reason, the attack of the press reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. They bark a great deal, they say mighty things, but in the end, they must admit reality and be exposed for what they are:

A little old man behind a curtain that has nothing to say but a powerful way to say it.

Hydraulic Fracturing Series: Green Energy (Solar)

October 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello all,

If you are reading this post, we would like to inform you that this is the third in a series entitled “Hydraulic Fracturing Series”.

In this series, we will attempt to question the claims of those who are opposed to Hydraulic Fracturing and ask some questions of the detractors.

In our previous posts we have addressed the issues of their Water Usage claims and their call for a Fracturing Ban.

In the Water Usage post, we hoped to put the water used in Hydraulic Fracturing into perspective in terms of normative water usage.

In the Fracturing Ban post, we attempted to examine the fuller ramifications of what a Fracturing Ban could mean.

In this third post, we will address the complications of their claims concerning Green Energy as the sole method for energizing America.

It should be noted that we are absolutely for Green Energy. We want it to improve, become more cost effective, more efficient, and in turn, a realistic option.

What we are adamantly opposed to is holding up Green Energy as the “end all” solution for America’s current or future energy demands and the idiocy associated with those who want all petroleum related or natural gas related industry shut down immediately in the name of radical environmentalism.

Sadly, these folks get lots of press.

Throughout this blog, two of the drums that we beat the most often are the drums of reason and realism. We believe that it is unreasonable to call for a Fracturing Ban when one of the primary methods utilized in the extraction of Natural Gas and Oil is Hydraulic Fracturing. Without Hydraulic Fracturing, the volume of recovery is much lower.

So, as always, we intend to put this into perspective for the purpose of clarity and good, old-fashioned common sense.

Green Energy (Solar):

We hear that through a combination of Wind-Farms and Solar Panels, that we will be able to supply the energy needed to power America.

And, according to the majority of the Twitter feeds and Blogs we read, these are the only viable options available (in terms of what is represented in the press).

So what is the problem with “Clean” energy?

Some of the arguments that Greens apply to “Dirty” energy apply to what could be deemed “Clean”.

They do not draw attention to the parallels.

Again, we want to emphasize that we are not calling for an end to Green Energy.

Our industry puts more money toward the advancement of Green Technology than anyone, including cause seeking celebrities.

What we are saying is that Green Energy has some huge hurdles and they are often overlooked by those who report that they are superior options.

Solar Panels are very apparently not cost effective, nor are they profitable.

If the debacle with Solyndra taught us anything, it is that selling and manufacturing solar panels (as of now) is not profitable or more accurately, it is not cost effective.

One of the largest problems with the push for Green Energy is that although the press is outspokenly for it, the United States, in its current state, cannot effectively use it. Proof of this is the poster child for misappropriated guaranteed government loans.

According to the reports from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the SEC, Solydra sold $58 million dollars worth of solar panels in the nine months that preceded October of 2009.  They cost $108 million to manufacture and it cost an additional $115 million to market the panels and run the company.  That means that in a 9 month period, Solyndra lost nearly $200 million dollars. That was just in 2009. They reported net losses of $114.1 million in 2007, $232.1 million in 2008, and $172.5 million in 2009.

Solyndra reported a deficit of $557.7 million by January 2, 2010.  Four months before that on September 9, 2009, the US Government guaranteed a loan of $535 million dollars for the construction of a second Solyndra production facility when the company would report a deficit greater than the amount of that guaranteed loan.

Greens like to tout conspiracy theories that include campaign donations and under the table handshakes between government and Oil and Gas companies.

What part of a guaranteed $535 million dollar loan to a solar panel company $557.5 million dollars in the red doesn’t look sketchy?

Where does government money come from? How much did this cost tax payers?

Pennsylvania received over a billion dollars in taxes in a twelve month period because of drilling in the Marcellus largely because of Hydraulic Fracturing.

The bottom line is that the press may believe in Green Energy like Solar Panels but Americans won’t spend money on them nor are they cost effective to produce.

The Problem that America currently faces is fiscal. We need to fix it. Acting like O&G companies are opposed to the advancement of clean energy so they can remain the antagonist and calling for their heads is not an answer. It is misdirected, uninformed fire.

They are far more cooperative and far more regulated than most companies because of Green watchdogs. Let’s not go overboard with all of this animus and forget that our current economic situation is dire and they are the key to getting out of the hole. Our problem is not ideological, it is $114.5 trillion in unfunded liabilities. We can’t afford to waste money on Solyndra while Oil and Gas companies are profitable and their compliance is growing.

According to Forbes magazine “Chesapeake boasts a $17 billion market cap, on track to generate $2 billion in profits on $9.5 billion in revenues. It employs 12,000 people, including 4,500 land scouts scouring every acre of America for drilling potential and added 3,300 employees so far this year.”

What does this mean? It means that companies like Chesapeake do not need government guaranteed, tax-payer funded loans to be profitable.

They can make their own money.

If solar energy was as easy and cost effective as is misrepresented, then everyone would own it.

Until it is both cost effective and a viable option it will not be profitable and it will not swim in an economically stormy sea.

More to come soon, stay tuned.

Hydraulic Fracturing Series: The “Frack” Ban

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

If you are a regular here at the Frac Tank then you will know that this post is the second in a series we’ve called our “Hydraulic Fracturing Series”.

This series is all about dealing with the issues that fractivists have with Hydraulic Fracturing or their proposals on how to deal with Hydraulic Fracturing.

Last week, we endeavored to put the Green’s water usage arguments into perspective.

This week, we will address the issue of the Fracturing Ban. Why are we addressing the “Frack Ban”?

If you look around for images associated with the Fractivist movement that regularly marches around with signs and speaks through megaphones at Oil and Gas conferences all over the country you will notice a common theme.

“Ban Fracking!”

The all out ban seems to be the only option in the playbook of the Greens who oppose Hydraulic Fracturing. They don’t trust regulations. They report that there are no regulations or not enough inspectors to regulate. They report that there will never be sufficient regulation nor can there ever be sufficient regulation.  They don’t believe in technological advancement, meaning they don’t believe that technology could ever create safe practices that wouldn’t require an all out ban. And finally, they don’t trust these O&G or E&P companies to move towards safer practices.

They don’t believe in reason or realistic strategies either.

Would anyone like to take a crack at what the grave economic results of an instant “Frack Ban” would be?

When has technology regressed in the history of the world because inventors wanted to make something work less efficiently?

According to DEC’s website (this is for the State of New York alone) there are currently 14,000 active wells in New York State. The extraction of Oil and Gas in these wells provides the state with half a billion dollars each year.

The DEC says

“DEC’s Division of Mineral Resources administers regulations and a permitting program to mitigate to the greatest extent possible any potential environmental impact of drilling and well operation.”

The DEC says they regulate the wells.

They also say

“In addition, the Division protects the correlative rights of mineral owners and ensures that oil and gas reserves are developed such that a greater ultimate recovery can be achieved. This is accomplished through well spacing and compulsory integration.”

They claim not only to regulate Oil and Gas drilling in the state of New York but that they also defend the owners so that they can achieve maximum profitability.

According to the American Petroleum Institute:  281, 267 jobs were supported by the Oil and Gas Industry in 2009 stating “These jobs annually add 36.3 billion to the gross state product, or 4.8% of its wealth. ”

Those figures are from New York alone, a state familiar with Fractivists and currently hamstrung in terms of production in the Marcellus.

On a national level, America’s O&G industry supports 9.2 million jobs (7.5% of GDP) with the annual salary being more than double the national average at $96,844 or $47.00 per hour.

These figures are for one year: 2009.

Other facts that Fractivists don’t report is that O&G companies spent $58 billion dollars on low and zero carbon emissions technologies between 2000-2008.

They spent $1.7 trillion since 2000 “in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives, while reducing the industry’s environmental footprint.”

Greens could never generate the amount of money that the O&G industry spends to support their token causes. The O&G industry is more of a proponent of low and zero emissions and clean energy than they could ever be.
Why?
They have the money to spend and they spend it because good regulations, low emissions, and developing a sound American Energy Strategy are in their best interests too.
BP would like to have the billions of dollars back that they’ve spent on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Problems like that cost these companies large amounts of money and better regulation keeps this from happening. They benefit more from fixing these problems than anyone and they are then willing to spend that money to improve technology for lower emissions and green energy.
Chesapeake just spent $155 million to gain a majority interest in a company that creates green fuel.
ridiculous (adj.) : arousing or deserving ridicule : extremely silly or unreasonable : absurd, preposterous.
The above definition was provided by Merriam-Webster and they should have a picture of a fractivist next to it.
What Fractivists don’t realize is that Hydraulic Fracturing is not utilized solely in Natural Gas production. Its use is widespread and this form of stimulation is used in many wells including oil wells.
Imagine a widespread, federally enacted Fracturing Ban that would cripple the 9.2 million jobs O&G supports and decimate that 7.5% GDP with a current unemployment rate of over 9.0%.
Is that really what is best for America?
No, it is ridiculous and it would cause our economy to literally spiral out of control and be entirely irrecoverable because this world runs on money and O&G makes money.
We are currently one of the Top Five producers of Oil and Gas in the world.
Without Hydraulic Fracturing, this would be impossible. Without Hydraulic Fracturing we would not be able to enjoy America the way we currently do.
Fractivists simply haven’t considered the full consequences of what they fight for and we would argue that it would be impossible to do so.
Imagine all of the companies that would have to leave the table for greener pastures if the US ever approved a Fracturing Ban. Want to guess what it would mean for the American Economy if companies like Exxon Mobil, Chesapeake, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker-Hughes and Weatherford couldn’t proceed with frac’ing in the US?
It would be no less than catastrophic.
So, the next time you see a Green marching around with a “FRACK NO!” sign, ask them if they have any idea what they are doing.
Because if they do have an idea what a “Frack Ban” would do to our country, then they should be tried for treason because a ban like that would do nothing less than cause our current unstable economy to crash.