TAG: Fracking

Americans are clueless about fracking

Image

What is fracking, exactly? Is it another way to drop the “f-word”, used in the popular television show Battlestar Galactica? Or is it a controversial drilling method? If you already knew anything about how fracking is related to drilling, then congratulations–you’re ahead of the curve. A new survey initiated by researchers at Oregon State, George Mason, and Yale showed that 58% of Americans had no idea what fracking was. Only about 9% of those surveyed answered that they’d heard “a lot” about fracking, while the majority answered that they didn’t have an opinion on the subject. In the states of… read more

Gasland: Can You Light Your Water On Fire?

Image

Documentary films are (usually) really neat and informative to watch. Depending on the subject, one can learn a considerable amount of info that they otherwise would have been oblivious to. For instance, one of my favorite documentary programs is Bloomberg Game Changers, which follows a series of inventors, businessmen, and individuals doing their part to change the world. More on the topic of the environment, though, is a film called ‘Gasland‘. Created by documentary filmmaker Josh Fox, the 2011 film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. The film takes the viewer into the communities and cities impacted… read more

Is Alternative Energy Too Risky?

Is Alternative Energy Too Risky?

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is dangerous—this is has been accepted as fact. It isn’t necessarily unviable or illegitimate; it is just too young of a technology for the consequences and ramifications to be fully understood. However, the line may have been crossed recently, upping the ante to somewhere near “expect problems.” In an effort to capture geothermal energy to be used to create clean electricity, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has granted permission to AltaRock Energy to conduct fracking operations on the ground around Oregon’s dormant Newberry Volcano. If this notion of cracking the ground around a volcano,… read more

Fracking Follies

Hydraulic fracturing

As it turns out, the short-term solution to combat rising costs and foreign dependence on energy, along with attempting to limit environmental damage, hydraulic fracturing, i.e. fracking, may be doing the opposite: costing the United States more, and driving up carbon dioxide emissions. It has been debated whether fracking leads to earthquakes, pollution, and disease, among other things, but the scale of the damage may be much larger. While no judgment on fracking based on merit should be made, given the small sample pool of functioning fracking sites, a trend does appear to be emerging suggesting fracking isn’t what was… read more

Florida Leads The Way

Florida Leads The Way

In early December last year, Florida residents were able to finally see a rare event in politics, especially when it comes to the environment. At the Southeast Florida Climate Leadership Summit (SFCLS), local government officials from four counties gathered to discuss how to mitigate and adapt to climate change and its impacts. In this “purple” state, government officials came together in a bipartisan manner to address climate change. Mayors, members of Congress, county commissioners and officials in charge of water issues in the state were at the Summit, and their political identifications and allegiances were across the board. It makes… read more

Safe Sources of Energy?

Safe Sources of Energy?

Hydraulic fracturing processes hold many secrets. Safety information held by Michigan state regulators state that one ingredient, an unidentified solvent, can cause damage to the kidney and liver. A subsidiary of Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR) pumped a mixture of chemicals identified only as “EXP-F0173-11” into a half-dozen oil wells in rural Karnes County, Texas, in July. A year-old Texas law requires drillers to disclose chemicals they pump underground during fracking, but the law was unable to compel transparency for EXP-F0173-11. The solvent and several other ingredients in the product are considered a trade secret by Superior Well Services, the Nabor… read more

Impacts of Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing

Though difficult to determine, the rare earthquakes which occurred in Dallas recently may have been the result of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It is well known a consequence of fracking is the possibility of earthquakes, but it is not known how powerful an earthquake caused by fracking can be. However, the logistics of fracking seem to create a “perfect storm” situation, where underground shale formations are destroyed, resulting in geological instability under the surface. Further, the most efficient way of getting rid of the wastewater is to pump it back underground where, if a fault-line is present, essentially acts as… read more

Future For Fracking

Future For Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been a controversial issue for some time now, mainly due to the safety and contamination problems that are inherent in the practice. However, researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered a possible solution: chemical-degrading bacteria which can clean the used water and eliminate contamination. Centimeter-sized silicon beads will house the bacteria, and when introduced to the polluted water, the porous bead will soak up the water and the bacteria will eat away at the contaminants, effectively cleaning the water. While this is a way to make fracking safer on the whole, it cannot be… read more

Next Target for Fracking

Next Target For Fracking

Earlier in the week, residents of New York rallied against the possibility of Governor Andrew Cuomo lifting the moratorium on drilling new wells for the extraction of natural gas using a process called “fracking.” Fracking is an extremely controversial method of natural gas extraction, given the inherent dangers of pumping freshwater combined with chemicals into shale formations, and the health and environmental hazards that it creates. Fracking has been linked to diseases in people living around the site, likely due to the chemically-contaminated water. Further, the chemicals used contaminate the land, presenting a situation where crops and animals that feed… read more