There is no free in liberty.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Frackers Fracking Windmills ...


It is easy to discount the problem solving capabilities of innovation as it resides in a human blind spot, the future, and for that reason economists and scientists alike, unable to measure it, discount it.

Just as the unknown gives rise to superstition, the immeasurably of the future gives rise to science's equivalent ... conjecture.

Of course, the future always arrives with technology in hand and the carcasses of conjecture can be found from Malthusian Doctrine to Global Warming to Peak Oil.

Enter the combination of horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing.

It makes one wonder how long the antifrackers will play the part of Don Quixote and how much damage they will do tilting at our windmills.


The U.S. is in the midst of an energy revolution, and we don't mean solar panels or wind turbines. A new gusher of natural gas from shale has the potential to transform U.S. energy production—that is, unless politicians, greens and the industry mess it up.


The resulting boom is transforming America's energy landscape. As recently as 2000, shale gas was 1% of America's gas supplies; today it is 25%. Prior to the shale breakthrough, U.S. natural gas reserves were in decline, prices exceeded $15 per million British thermal units, and investors were building ports to import liquid natural gas. Today, proven reserves are the highest since 1971, prices have fallen close to $4 and ports are being retrofitted for LNG exports.

Of concern to our Greensboro NC. artists, writers and others wowed by "burning water"...

Fracking contaminates drinking water. One claim is that fracking creates cracks in rock formations that allow chemicals to leach into sources of fresh water. The problem with this argument is that the average shale formation is thousands of feet underground, while the average drinking well or aquifer is a few hundred feet deep. Separating the two is solid rock. This geological reality explains why EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, a determined enemy of fossil fuels, recently told Congress that there have been no "proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water."

A second charge, based on a Duke University study, claims that fracking has polluted drinking water with methane gas. Methane is naturally occurring and isn't by itself harmful in drinking water, though it can explode at high concentrations. Duke authors Rob Jackson and Avner Vengosh have written that their research shows "the average methane concentration to be 17 times higher in water wells located within a kilometer of active drilling sites."

They failed to note that researchers sampled a mere 68 wells across Pennsylvania and New York—where more than 20,000 water wells are drilled annually. They had no baseline data and thus no way of knowing if methane concentrations were high prior to drilling. They also acknowledged that methane was detected in 85% of the wells they tested, regardless of drilling operations, and that they'd found no trace of fracking fluids in any wells.

There is much more at the link.


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