Saturday, August 22, 2009

Greens Expose Black Thumb(s Down)

Well, the viros are at it again, blocking development of badly needed resources. Nothing unusual about that, but what's interesting in this case is how the fight is Green on Green, in a way.

As a recent IBD editorial reports it:
Last week, [Democrat New York Governor] David Patterson released a draft report of his Energy Planning Board that does something Democrats are loath to do: It proposes developing a domestic energy resource — the huge amounts of natural gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale formation.
...
Geologist Gary Lash of State University New York at Fredonia and colleague Terry Engelder of Penn State estimate that Marcellus holds 1,300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. About 20 trillion cubic feet are produced in the U.S. annually.

Lash notes that successful wells have already been drilled in Pennsylvania — one near Pittsburgh and the other in Susquehanna County. A Penn State report that was requested by state legislators predicted that Marcellus could add $14 billion to the state's economy in 2010, create more than 98,000 jobs and generate $800 million in state and local tax revenues.
...
The Potential Gas Committee of the Colorado School of Mines reported in June that the U.S. has 1,836 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas locked up in formations like Marcellus, the Bakken formation centered in North Dakota and the Green River Formation in the Rocky Mountain West.
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[Yet] Robert Kennedy Jr.'s Riverkeeper and other greenie groups object to the means of extracting gas and oil from shale — a technique known as fracking.
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Kennedy and the rest of the fracking opposition say that since the technique uses a lot of water, we should worry about possible groundwater pollution and the impact on water supplies, rivers and streams. Proximity of the Marcellus formation to New York City's watershed has caused concern.

Roger Willis, owner of a hydraulic fracturing company in the Pennsylvania town of Meadville, says thousands of frack jobs have been done on rock formations above and below the Marcellus shale in New York state with no aquifer damage.
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"This 60-year-old technique has been responsible for 7 billion barrels of oil and 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas," according to Inhofe. "In hydraulic fracturing's 60-year-history, there has not been a single documented case of contamination."

And, still, the Greens oppose it. Wonder why?... No, neither do I.

4 comments:

Ted Amadeus said...

Looks like a serious fracking problem (socialist leftism disguised as care for the environment, I mean, not the procedure).

Anonymous said...

Perren hits it on the head, although to be fair there are documented cases of poor cement jobs where gas has leaked around the cement in the casing. Simply put, a single regulation requiring a pressure up with a state representative present after cementing would resolve the problem. Pretty much standard policy in almost all of the western states. The glacial terrian on the east coast allows for greater permeability and thus can result in poor cement jobs. Over the hundreds of thousands of wells that have been hydraulicly fracked, there are and have been a few documented cases where the cement bond did not hold, but those cases are exceptionally rare. Likely to be around .0001% of the total. To be fair, the enviros use these limited examples to portray the practice as an evil. Great article.

VH said...

Natural gas production now exceeds oil production in the U.S. Our territory is teeming with natural gas ready to be tapped. The enviro's don't really need a viable reason, they are simply employing their usual tactic of stalling and frustrating development (see nuclear power) to make it expensive to drill. This gives them leverage and power.

Jeff Perren said...

"Perren hits it on the head, although to be fair there are documented cases of poor cement jobs where gas has leaked around the cement in the casing. Simply put, a single regulation requiring a pressure up with a state representative present after cementing would resolve the problem." Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for commenting, but I can't take any credit here since 99% of the post consists of quoting an IBD editorial. The author of that deserves the credit.

As to your suggestion, I think it a poor one. If you want higher safety and more efficient buildings, look not to regulations and inspections by State representatives, but to the free market. If there isn't one, that goes a long way toward explaining why gas leaks (and every other problem) aren't dealt with as well as they might be.