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Recent Fracking Support Has Fractivists Nervous

Natural Gas Plant

Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a hot topic. There has never been a middle ground on the technology; people are either for it or against it.

Was Charles Schumer Too Honest?

However, recent support for fracking, and the natural gas industry itself, might help lead the way towards a full-blown spike in the acquisition and usage of this commodity. New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) recently appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe show and talked about fracking. When asked if he would support fracking in New York, he stated,

Well, I haven't stepped on the governor's issue on this one. He's being very, very careful because there are environmental concerns. But overall, the Democrats throughout the country have supported fracking. The president has, most of us have, and it's worked quite well. If the governor feels it's going to be done carefully, I sure would.

Schumer's comments sparked the ire of many environmentalists and state Democrats who are pushing hard to keep fracking out of New York. The fracking opponent group New Yorkers Against Fracking stated that they were "dismayed" by Schumer's comments. They urged the Senator to re-evaluate his comments and mentioned a Pew Research poll that indicated 59% of United States' Democrats are opposed to increases in fracking.

Even the President Likes It

In a climate change speech given last summer, President Obama touted the benefits of natural gas through advances in drilling techniques. These improvements have "helped drive our carbon pollution to its lowest levels in nearly 20 years. We'll keep working with the industry to make drilling safer and cleaner, to make sure that we're not seeing methane emissions," stated Obama. The president commented on how businesses can innovate and decrease pollution at the same time, sending a message to critics who think that can't happen with fracking.

Obama praised "cleaner-burning natural gas" and advocated the resource because it creates jobs and lowers utility bills for families. That didn't sit well with Cornell University's Robert Howarth, who argued that the president's support for gas "is very likely to do more to aggravate global change than to help solve it." Natural gas is, however, only part of Obama's climate action plan. Other aspects include boosting production of renewable energy and implementing energy efficiency standards.

Rejected in Ohio

The rejection of an Ohio fracking ban on May 7, 2014 affirms the notion that many people are opening up to the idea of allowing fracking in their community, despite large opposition and some very valid concerns about its safety. This is the third time in the past year that the ban has been rejected. Armed with support from local unions and industry groups that think fracking is safe and can help create jobs, this rejection was a blow to groups trying to condemn the practice. Even though there have been recent reports of mild earthquakes in Ohio tied directly to fracking, it appears that residents of small towns are not fearful of them yet.

Union Support Has Increased

Additionally, unions have been an ever-increasing supporter of the fracking industry. Unions and local trade workers are benefiting from oil and gas production in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in these industries rose from 120,000 jobs in 2004 to 208,000 jobs last month. Alex Paris, head of a contracting firm in Pittsburgh, stated "It has created more work for our business. There's jobs here for the first time in many, many years. Legitimate, good-paying jobs."

Penn Environment director David Masur feels this recent surge is doing more harm than good. With criticism of the unions, Masur thinks the investment in natural gas will inevitably have the same fate as coal, and that the country's efforts should be geared towards solar and wind.

The pursuit of fracking and further exploration of natural gas will always be up for debate. Environmentalists have every reason to question an industry that is so unwilling to change. However, for people who are jobless or see it as a lesser evil than coal, it becomes an easy decision. Hence, the recent spike in support of fracking.

Discussions

Mr Masur wants wind and solar, does he. Maybe someone should inform him that wind and solar cannot deliver the goods.

Neither can fracking if the goal is sustainable energy independence for the US, and the claims that we often hear that it can is just another example of the lies and misunderstandings being thrown at us these Days. Just for the record however, and in case anyone is interested, fracking and the right kind and amount of regulation may have a great deal to offer...CETERIS PARIBUS!

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So how, exactly, has Obama supported fracking? Opening up Federal lands? Nope, with the EPA attempting to do their best to make fracking more difficult through more regulations created by un-elected "green religion" zealots infesting and running the agency.

Democrats support fracking? Nope. Banned in both New York and California, both of which have lots of natural gas, huge deficits and are run by Democrats.

Suggest you more carefully review reality before making pronouncements trying to flim-flam folks about who the Democrats actually are.

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Looking down from north of the border it sure does not seem like the Democrats support anything. Don't like keystone, don't like oil, don't like fracking, don't like coal, don't like nuclear but like Al Gore and his 10000 square foot mansions that require a small power plant to run them. But like solar and wind as they are environmentally friendly (because they are all made in China so Democrats can't see the nasty factories that make them). I think mathematically the best equation to describe the whole lot of them is Democrats = Hypocrisy squared.

Malcolm

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They like solar and wind because they Think that it means votes, AND IT DOES MEAN VOTES. I make no secret of the fact that I am a democrat, and I cant stand Mr Obama, but as compared to George W. and the guy who wants to start the Third World War by defending every stone age country from somebody, Mr O is A-OK!

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Wrong again, Mr. Keller...follow your own advice and research before commenting.

http://nypost.com/2014/08/14/gov-cuomo-bets-against-fracking/

"In California, meanwhile, the Democratic-dominated state Senate rejected a ban on fracking, with the Golden State’s 8 percent unemployment factoring into the vote."

In NY, the rank and file Democrats are pro-fracking, generally speaking. It's Governor Cuomo who needs to be convinced, apparently. Also, courts there did back towns who want to ban fracking, but there are plenty of unincorporated areas where fracking is better exercised.

The President has long been an advocate of gas field development. Just how many sources and quotations do you want????

RWV

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State of the Union 2014: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2014/01/29/how-fracking-gas-has-...

Not a perfect record, but decent enough! http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/01/27/state-of-the-union-has-ob...

President Obama and multiple administration officials on gas and fracking: https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AqKXBH5aj.NaFwwsduwkNz2bvZx4?p=Obam...

Yes, this is outright support for the practice, no matter what you say...

RWV

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Sorry, wrong link got copied over. Here is the video of collected comments on gas and fracking from President Obama and multiple administration officials:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uVGY3sIBsA

RWV

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Major players like Noble and Anadarko have shown that E&P firms can perform hydraulic fracturing in a responsible i.e. sound engineering manner. When Georege Mitchel retired he warned against wild-catters performing fracking because they often cut corners – creaing problems. Politicians may behave rationally if the issues are jobs and votes – even in liberal states like CO where fracking ban taken off a recent state-wide ballot.. The US Government Accounting Office [GAO] has determined that increased regulations and changes to the fracking process might not be necessary. GAO, however, has determined that EPA has done a poor job of collecting data about fracking and assessing its other impacts. In particular, the agency has not gathered information about the potential earthquake dangers from fracking. This has occurred because information has been collected on a state-by-state basis. The EPA is working on a national database of fracking information, but that database will not be ready for two to three years, according to the GAO. I have been working with USEPA Scientific Advisory Board [SAB] to determine the effect of hydraulic fracturing on water quality. Both exisiting and Greenfield site will be investigated. Greenfield sites offer the best opportunity to study causual effect fo fracing on water quality i.e. establish a background level and compare to operating results. The USEPA has established a Scientific Advisory Board to Review Methodology and Technology mitigating effect of fracking on water quality [I am participating with this SAB]. Also American Society of Testing & Materials [ASTM], American Petroleum Institure [API] etc. have established standard setting committees for drilling, fracking, production water options. During the next two years the efforts of experienced participants should change the way that fracking operations are implemented, managed and regulated. The SAB’s work will continue until 2015 – both existing and grass-roots drilling projects will be monitored. The USEPA continues to issue public notices to communicate progress. As the regulatory community establishes standards for frac water recycling and the private sector commercially offers cost-effective technology, the drillers will be able to implements reuse while expediting their projects and saving money. Please realize that since the menu for hydraulic fracturing chemicals is unique for each geological formation or play this information is considered confidential since an optimized menu would yield greater performance or production of shale oil/gas – providing a competitive advantage. The above technical issues, notwithstanding, on a poltical nore, In CO two initiatives that could have limited oil and gas exploration in the state will not appear on the state's ballot this fall. Jobs and votes in CO support Shale Gas and Oil Hydraulic Fracturing. Combining sound science and economics will persevere over irrational objectives. Please see Goodwin, R.W. “USA Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Evolves and Improves”; Energy Central, May 8, 2014 http://www.energycentral.com/generationstorage/fossilandbiomass/articles... Article Highlights: The private sector is beginning to implement recycling of flow-back water to (1) save time [fast-track state regulatory permits] and (2) reduce operating costs [avoid deep well disposal] Avoiding deep well disposal of flow-back waters reduces potential for localized earthquakes Control of Methane Emissions does not pose a significant cost to future wells and/or piping systems Recycling of flow-back waters minimizes potential for litigation from local residents and environmental groups

Richard W. Goodwin West Palm Beach FL 8/19/14

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So in both California and New York "fracking" is now underway to tap their vast resources? Well actually, no. So the federal government has opened public lands for "fracking". Well, actually, no.

Actions are what counts, not mealy-mouthed political pronouncements that mean virtually nothing.

There is no way in hell the EPA will steer an even-handed course on "fracking" because it is run by politically appointed "green-religion" zealots.

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No expects instant results, except the local gadfly. Let's revisit the topic in two years and see what progress has been made, now that the political door has not been slammed shut, as you claim it was, and then had proven wasn't...

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The door was never open. Yes, we need to wait years-and-years while the middle class continues to be made ever-poorer by the Democrats relentless attacks, which include obstruction and delay.

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Lots of fracking rigs in the field as we speak. You can get a weekly update from the EIA.

The things that make the middle class poorer are the predatory financial practices of, and the boom and bust cycles created by, a poorly regulated financial sector. Keep those guys in check, make them obey the rules and be directly responsible for their own excesses and violations, and the middle class will do just fine. As a member of the middle class, the biggest drubbings I have taken were a direct result of the last three recessions, not from tax policy or utility bills. Now I run my own economic models to get an advance view of how the economy is doing, and of any thunderclouds on the horizon. Everything in that regards is solid "green".

RWV

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... and how many of the rigs are on public lands? Most are on private lands.

Wrong again, as usual. The average income of middle class Americans has remained essentially stagnant for the entire reign of the Obama regime. Meanwhile, the federal government as well as debt has grown by significant proportions.

You might ask yourself what was the root cause of the recessions. In the case of the last one, it was the housing bubble directly created by the Democratic agenda that enabled folks to buy houses for little or no money down and no actual ability to pay-off the debt. Predictably, housing prices skyrocketed and then collapsed as vast numbers of folks defaulted, with the economy going down the toilet. The root cause of boom-bust cycles is inevitably the government, with the financial lads exacerbating the problem through greed that has essentially no risk (recall the financial institutions were bailed out).

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The entire reign of the Obama regime has been spent trying to get us out of the giant hole resulting from PRECISELY what I described as the problem. That recession resulted from pretty near zero oversight of the mortgage writers (who were writing mortgages in as little as 48 hours on the basis of sketchy information at best), the Wall Street and overseas firms who created tens of trillions of dollars of interlocking derivative wallpaper, and finally the house of cards was torched by speculation in the oil markets that drove oil to $150 a barrel. Wow, and you blame all of THAT on the housing policy of the Democrats??? Un-freaking-believable... You know even less about the financial markets than you know about the energy picture.

Take a look at www.AdvancedProjections.com, and see what was, and is going on with the economy. Then take a look at the monthly report from the Dallas Fed branch, which shows where we really are in terms of economic activity. Two more years of well-managed recovery, and the Great Recession will be relegated to a historic nightmare.

Regarding rigs on public lands:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/05/16/fracking-rules-d...

http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/oilandgas/oil_and_gas_lease.html

The BLM is, rightly or wrongly, trying to get a lot of leases out for exploitation on over 700 million acres under their management. They are being fought on the left by environmentalists, and from the right by industry that does not want to adhere to some disclosure requirements. So whose FAULT is it that there isn't much happening on public lands. It seems it is the fault of unreasonable people on both sides of the spectrum ... how very typical of the way we now do business in Polarized America.

Wait another two years and see if or how this picture changes...

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Once again, your liberal mindset is unable to fathom the concept of root-cause. The Democrats in Congress championed the dopey notion that everybody should own a house. The government institutions of FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC implemented the notion by stupidly issuing mortgages to folks who could not possibly pay back the debt. That created a housing bubble. The witless financial wizards of Wall Street packaged the worthless mortgages in convoluted financial instruments that were also fundamentally worthless. When the "housing bubble" collapsed, the financial carnage was widespread and a deep "great recession" ensued.

Your emperor and his entourage have not the foggiest clue about economics. Come to think of it, they have not the foggiest clue on foreign policy, energy and the list goes on-and-on.

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