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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More Fracking Foolishness

Timothy Birdnow

Fracking poses no danger to cause earthquakes, according to this article in Bloomberg Businessweek.

From the article:

"Fracking, as the process has become known, is unlikely to start earthquakes stronger than magnitude 3.3 on the Richter scale, a level that typically causes no damage to property, and most will be around magnitude 2, said Peter Styles, a professor of applied and environmental geophysics at Keele University.

Scientists have also developed models linking the volume of water used during a fracking injection and the scale of earthquake caused, Bernstein & Co. analyst Bob Brackett said in a Jan. 6 note. An injection of 10 million gallons or less is unlikely to cause an earthquake exceeding magnitude 4, he said, citing U.S. Geological Survey geologist Arthur McGarr."


"“There is much more shale than we thought under Blackpool,” the British Geological Survey’s Stephenson said at the briefing, adding more research remains to be done on the impact of fracking.

The debate over shale drilling in the U.S. and Europe has intensified in recent months following tremors near wastewater disposal sites in Ohio and concerns about water pollution in Pennsylvania. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is studying the effects of fracking on drinking water with an eye on possible nationwide regulations.

Styles said he has examined seismic data from 30 years of coal mining in the English midlands to assess the threat from fracking. The research suggests there is a “low” probability of unconventional gas drilling operations causing major earthquakes, he said."

End excerpt.

That nonsense about the 4.0 Ohio quake being caused by fracking was precisely that.

The Earth can be looked at like a giant tube of toothpaste; squeeze it enough and the paste will move to the side (which will lead to an earthquake at a fault line). But it takes a lot to make that happen. Dams can cause minor tremors thanks to the weight of all that water, and doubtless so can waste water injections into the ground in large enough quantities. But the amount has to be high. Also, the depth of the well matters. The attempt to blame fracking for earthquakes is nothing but an attempt to strangle the fledgeling industry. The Gang Green has carefully laid plans to restrict energy usage, thereby restricting wealth, and to control energy and thus control the population. Shale gas and oil completely disrupts their plans.

And should America and Europe become net exporters of energy they will no longer need these big international agencies, no longer need be held hostage by OPEc, no longer need answer to the international community. Those who want world government understand that. We must be made to continue in our dependency.

So Shale must be stopped.

In other shale news researchers at Cornell undercut their own collegues at the same university by publishing a rebuttal to Robert Howarth which claimed that fracking causes the emissions of dangerous greenhouse gases - including methane. New research by Lawrence M. Cathles, Larry Brown, Milton Taam and Andrew Hunter made the following conclusion:

"We argue here that their (Howarth et al.) analysis is seriously flawed in that they significantly overestimate the fugitive emissions associated with unconventional gas extraction, undervalue the contribution of “green technologies” to reducing those emissions to a level approaching that of conventional gas, base their comparison between gas and coal on heat rather than electricity generation (almost the sole use of coal), and assume a time interval over which to compute the relative climate impact of gas compared to coal that does not capture the contrast between the long residence time of CO2 and the short residence time of methane in the atmosphere. High leakage rates, a short methane GWP, and comparison in terms of heat content are the inappropriate bases upon which Howarth et al. ground their claim that gas could be twice as bad as coal in its greenhouse impact. Using more reasonable leakage rates and bases of comparison, shale gas has a GHG footprint that is half and perhaps a third that of coal."

End abstract.

This will be a nasty fight; the luddite forces are determined to strangle this. How can the world be placed under international authority if we can't keep an environmental and energy crisis going?

Hat tip; CCNET

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