View Full Version : Don't Frack our future

Tracy Riddle
07-19-2013, 02:30 PM
A new cartoon made by an internet friend of mine, who is obviously a skilled animator.


Jan Klimkowski
07-19-2013, 03:40 PM
Frack 'em.

Tracy - thanks for posting your friend's excellent film.

The focking frackers are getting massive tax breaks in the UK, and all political parties are attempting to frame the debate in terms of "Energy Security".

I have no doubt that anyone protesting about fracking will soon be labelled as a terrorist endangering Volkland Security.

And therefore subject to the whole gamut of tactics ranging from infiltration by Mark "shagger" Kennedy, false flag Judi Bari bombing, constant monitoring of every keystroke and journey, and demonisation by energy industry psyops.

Peter Lemkin
07-19-2013, 04:11 PM
The deep injection into the ground of wastewater byproducts from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has caused a significant increase in U.S. earthquakes since the practice has recently become more widespread.The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that there were more than 300 earthquakes above magnitude 3.0 from 2010 to 2012, which is a five-fold increase from the average number of 21 tremors per year measured from 1967 to 2000.

There are now more than 30,000 deep disposal wells in the country, typically injecting leftover fluids from fracking wells used for natural gas extraction.

And while the actual practice of fracking has not been found to cause any significant seismic events, the far deeper injecting of wastewater from the practice has.

Sometimes the water is blasted into deep, dormant faults. USGS geologist William Ellsworth says that even faults that have not moved for millions of years can be made to slip if conditions are right.

But he points out that only a few of the approximately 30,000 wastewater wells appear to have caused the increase in tremors.

Columbia University scientists caution that powerful earthquakes thousands of miles away can trigger swarms of minor quakes near injection wells as the arriving seismic waves help release the local built-up pressure.i

Peter Lemkin
07-19-2013, 04:23 PM

a (http://www.dangersoffracking.com/)nd

Fracking: The DangersFracking uses a toxic chemical cocktail known as fracking fluid.

Companies using fracking fluid have resisted disclosing the contents of fracking fluid, claiming the information is proprietary. However, samples from well sites indicate that the fluid contains: formaldehyde, acetic acids, citric acids, and boric acids, among hundreds of other contaminants.
It has recently come to light that, despite the illegality of the action, companies have been caught using diesel fuel in the fracking fluid (http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/details-few-on-diesel-used-in-pa-fracking-1.1098916#axzz1CqTB3dKd).
Fracking removes millions of gallons of precious freshwater from the water cycle.

Each well uses between two and five million gallons of locally-sourced freshwater which will be permanently contaminated by ground contaminants and toxic chemicals contained in the fracking fluid.
About half of this water returns to the surface, where it is stored in steel containers until it can be injected deep underground in oil and gas waste wells.
No one is entirely sure what happens to the other half of the water used in the process. Our best guess is that the water remains underground, though there are indications that at least some of this toxic cocktail makes its way back into the water supply.
Fracking causes a range of environmental problems.

At least eight other states have reported surface, ground, and drinking water contamination due to fracking.
In Pennsylvania, over 1,400 environmental violations have been attributed to deep gas wells utilizing fracking practices.
Pollution from truck traffic, chemical contamination around storage tanks, and habitat fragmentation and damage from drilling to environmentally sensitive areas have are all related to fracking.

Magda Hassan
07-20-2013, 12:52 AM
Wonderful animation by your frind there Tracy! I hope it is spread far and wide to teach people about fracking. It is a horrible toxic community and planet destroying monster just as she made it look in the animation. How this has ever been permitted I have no idea. A place like the UK is an island and all those tidal waves could be harnessed. As long as there is a moon in the sky there will be tides. Clean. Constant. Why would you ever consider fracking?

Peter Lemkin
07-20-2013, 04:08 AM
Yes, great film Tracy! Tell your friend to do one for the USA, as well....pardon the pun....where fracking, while it does have some opposition, is much further 'ahead' in some regions, than in the UK. Its all about money and a total disregard for People and Nature. Its Big Energy trying to deal with the dwindling 'easy' oil and gas - as they turn to tar sands and fracking and off-shore wells - all highly dangerous and destructive. We don't need any more fossil fuels, anyway, even if it were not so dangerous....we need clean energy, renewable energy, non-polluting energy....

Jan Klimkowski
07-20-2013, 10:39 AM
U-turn on plain packaging for cigarettes.

Winner? Big Tobacco.

U-turn on minimum price for alcohol.

Winner? Big Alcohol.

Now this:

David Cameron under attack over fracking firm links to Lynton Crosby

George Osborne announces tax breaks for shale gas as prime minister accused of evasion over top election adviser

Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jul/19/david-cameron-fracking-lynton-crosby), Friday 19 July 2013 20.51 BST
Jump to comments (247)

Lynton Crosby
The firm of David Cameron's head strategist, Lynton Crosby, has advised the fracking industry in Australia. Photograph: Stuart Clarke/Rex Features

David Cameron was accused on Friday of giving evasive answers about the Tories' chief election strategist as the Labour party highlighted Lynton Crosby's role in promoting shale gas companies in his native Australia.

As a cross-party committee of MPs accused the government of "utterly unacceptable" behaviour over the preparation of a new bill on lobbyists, Labour warned of a "lobbying scandal" in Downing Street after George Osborne unveiled tax breaks for the fracking industry championed by Crosby.

Jon Trickett, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, pointed out that the lobbyist's firm Crosby Textor represents the Australian Petroleum Exploration Association. One of its members, Dart Energy, has a UK subsidiary, Dart Europe Limited, which has an interest in the Bowland Shale site in Lancashire and Yorkshire, which contains 1,300tn cubic feet of gas.

The chancellor announced on Friday that the government would set a 30% tax rate for onshore shale gas production, compared with the top rate of 62% for North Sea oil operations. Andrew Pendleton, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth, said it was a "disgrace" to offer tax breaks to "polluting energy firms that threaten our communities and environment".

The fracking industry association in Australia, which has been advised by Crosby's firm, has been highly critical of environmentalists. Stedman Ellis, the chief operating officer for the Western Region of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, told the Australian newspaper last month: "The opportunity provided by shale gas is too important to be jeopardised by political scare campaigns run by activist groups."

Trickett said that Crosby's role in advising the fracking industry raised further questions about the man who will run the Tories' 2015 general election campaign. Cameron is already facing pressure after refusing to say on at least 12 occasions, according to Trickett, whether he discussed government plans to abandon plain cigarette packaging with Crosby, whose firm has advised the tobacco giant Philip Morris.

Trickett said: "David Cameron's failure to come clean over his relationship with Lynton Crosby has created a situation where his decisions are open to question. Whether it's tobacco, alcohol, lobbying and now fracking, we need to know what role lobbying has played in deciding what our prime minister does.

"David Cameron must make clear exactly what sort of conversations he has had with Lynton Crosby on government policy. He must force Lynton Crosby to name his clients and the prime minister must be clear about them and their influence.

"We need answers but all we get is evasion from the prime minister. Politics needs to be above suspicion and work for everyone, but what we've got is a prime minister who continually stands up for the wrong people and either can't or won't clean up what is looking more and more like a lobbying scandal at the heart of No 10."

The Commons political and constitutional reform committee was highly critical of the government and suggested that ministers rush out a new bill to introduce a statutory register of lobbyists after a series of recent scandals. In a report the committee condemned the government for failing to respond properly to a document it published last year on lobbying.

The committee said: "It is utterly unacceptable that the government took more than a year to respond to our report on introducing a statutory register of lobbyists and that when it finally responded it did so in the form of a letter of a page and a half that does not engage with any of the detailed points made in the report. We consider that this shows a lack of respect for parliament and for the many people who contributed to our inquiry. We urge the government to provide us with a revised response that addresses our original report."

Magda Hassan
07-21-2013, 02:07 AM
So, Petraeus is teaching counter insurgency techniques and psychological warfare to the frackers. Anti-frackers environmentalists and people who support viable life on our planet (which I think is most of us) are now the terrorists.

July 19, 2013 08:30 AM

Petraeus' Course Syllabus Features 'Frackademia' Readings (http://occupyamerica.crooksandliars.com/steve-horn/petraeus-course-syllabus-features-frack)

By Steve Horn

Revealed: Gen. David Petraeus' Course Syllabus Features "Frackademia" Readings

Records obtained by DeSmogBlog pertaining to City University of New York (CUNY) Macaulay Honors College's hiring of former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) David Petraeus to teach a seminar this coming fall reveal that his syllabus (http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/David Petraeus Syllabus CUNY Honors College Course.pdf) features two of the most well-known "frackademia (http://www.desmogblog.com/directory/vocabulary/10232)" studies. "Frackademia" is shorthand for oil and gas industry-funded research costumed as independent economics or science covering the topic ofhydraulic fracturing ("fracking") (http://www.desmogblog.com/fracking-the-future/), the controversial horizontal drilling process via which oil and gas is obtained deep within shale rock basins.According to the syllabus, Petraeus will devote two weeks to energy alone, naming those weeks "The Energy Revolution I" and "The Energy Revolution II." The two "frackademia" studies Petraeus will have his students read for his course titled "The Coming North American Decade(s)? (http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/David Petraeus Syllabus CUNY Honors College Course.pdf) are both seminal industry-funded works.One of them is a study written by industry-funded National Economic Research Associates (NERA) (http://www.desmogblog.com/2012/11/19/revealed-reuters-ids-nera-economic-consulting-third-party-contractor-doe-lng-export-study) concluding liquified natural gas (LNG) exports are beneficial to the U.S. economy, despite the fact that exporting fracked gas will raise domestic home-heating and manufacturing prices. NERA was founded by "father of deregulation" Alfred E. Kahn. The study Petraeus will have his students read was contracted out by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to NERA.The other, a study written by then-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) research professor Ernest Moniz (http://www.desmogblog.com/directory/vocabulary/12247) - now the head of the DOE - is titled "The Future of Natural Gas" and also covers LNG exports. DOE oversees the permitting process for LNG exports. That study was funded by the Clean Skies Foundation, a front group for Chesapeake Energy and covered in-depth in the Public Accountability Initiative's report titled, "Industry Partner or Industry Puppet? (http://public-accountability.org/2013/03/industry-partner-or-industry-puppet/)"Noticeably absent from the reading list: studies tackling the climate impacts (http://www.desmogblog.com/cornell-fracking-shale-gas-more-dangerous-than-coal-climate), air quality impacts (http://www.desmogblog.com/fracking-the-future/myth.html), over-arching ecological impacts such as water contamination (http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/01/16/breaking-obama-epa-shut-down-weatherford-tx-shale-gas-water-contamination-study), wastewater impacts (http://www.desmogblog.com/fracking-ohio-establishes-tough-regulations-after-disposal-wells-cause-12-earthquakes) and supply issues (aka diminishing supply) (http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/02/19/fracking-wall-street-housing-bubble). Together, the two crucial studies on the syllabus reading list - and the lack of critical readings on the topic of fracking - offers a gimpse into the stamp of legitimacy industry-funded studies get when they have the logo of elite research universities on them. It's also another portrayal of the ascendancy of the corporate university. From "Petraeusgate" to "Frackademia"-gate

In the case of Petraeus, the original "Petraeusgate (http://coreyrobin.com/2013/07/03/its-official-cuny-scandal-upgraded-to-petraeusgate/)" scandal centered around the $200,000 fee the Honors College planned on paying him (http://coreyrobin.com/2013/07/01/pay-us-like-you-pay-petraeus/) for his role as an adjunct professor set to teach one course. A normal CUNY Honors College adjunct receives $3,000 per course (http://coreyrobin.com/2013/07/01/pay-us-like-you-pay-petraeus/).Recently, Petraeus - who the late Rolling Stone investigative journalist Michael Hastings pejoratively referred to as "King David (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/king-davids-war-20110202)" in reference to the role he played in implementing counterinsurgency doctrine in U.S.-occupied Iraq - took a pay cut down to $1 to teach the course. That doesn't include the money he'll still get from an unidentified "private donor" referred to in other documents. That scandal sat on top of the scandal that led to his resignation from the CIA in the first place: an extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell (http://abcnews.go.com/US/paula-broadwell-apologizes-extramarital-affair-david-petraeus/story?id=19246929), who at the time of the affair was writing a biography about him titled, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus (http://www.amazon.com/All-In-Education-General-Petraeus/dp/0143122991)."Petraeus Teaches Frackers Counterinsurgency, Psychological Warfare

Petraeus has also taught the shale gas industry some important things, as well.Namely, Petraeus was one of the co-authors of the "Counterinsurgency (COIN) Field Manual (http://www.amazon.com/Marine-Corps-Counterinsurgency-Field-Manual/dp/0226841510)" that Anadarko Petroleum PR hand Matt Carmichael said he has employees read at the “Media & Stakeholder Relations: Hydraulic Fracturing Initiative 2011” conference (http://desmogblog.com/gas-fracking-industry-using-military-psychological-warfare-tactics-and-personnel-u-s-communities) in Houston, TX in 2011. "Download the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual because we are dealing with an insurgency," said Carmichael at the conference (http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Carmichael Three Tips.mp3). "There’s a lot of good lessons in there, and coming from a military background, I found the insight in that extremely remarkable."One of the key COIN tactics covered in the Field Manual is psychological operations (PSYOPs), also discussed at the Houston conference (http://truth-out.org/news/item/7153:fracking-and-psychological-operations-empire-comes-home) by Range Resources spokesman Matt Pitzarella."We have several former PSYOPs folks that work for us at Range because they’re very comfortable in dealing with localized issues and local governments," Pitzarella said to the audience in Houston (http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Matt Pitzarella PSYOPS.mp3). "Really all they do is spend most of their time helping folks develop local ordinances and things like that. But very much having that understanding of PSYOPs in the Army and in the Middle East has applied very helpfully here for us in Pennsylvania." As Hastings covered in another Rolling Stone investigation, the U.S. military employed PSYOPs tactics on members of Congress (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/another-runaway-general-army-deploys-psy-ops-on-u-s-senators-20110223). That's illegal within U.S. borders under the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 (http://us-code.vlex.com/source/us-code-foreign-relations-intercous-1021/toc/19), though it seems rather unlikely the co-author of the COIN Manual - "King David" himself - will cover these details in his course. Petraeus' Wall Street Job Description Mirrors His Course Description

Petraus also has a teaching gig at University of Southern California (USC) (http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/02/local/la-me-ln-petraeus-usc-20130501) and a day job working at the Wall Street firm (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324682204578513663485449922.html)K ohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324682204578513663485449922.html). "He is expected to advise on economic trends, issues with foreign governments and other matters that could affect transactions," The Wall Street Journal explained of his hiring at KKR (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324682204578513663485449922.html). "He will advise firms owned by KKR in an effort to improve management and leadership and help them confront economic and geopolitical forces that affect them.""King David's" job description mirrors the course description he will teach, lending insight into what type of jobs the students taking his course may obtain in the future if Petraeus' class is a pedagogical success."Petraeus and others at the firm [will have] discussions over macroeconomic and geopolitical forces that could influence KKR's investment decisions. These issues include the heightened role of central banks following the financial crisis, and what KKR views as 'revolutions' in energy, manufacturing and technology, among other areas," The Wall Street Journal further spelled out. The course description, as seen below, sings a similar tune:http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Screen shot 2013-07-17 at 11.36.23 PM.png (http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/07/18/david-petraeus-course-syllabus-features-frackademia-readings)

Students taking Petraeus' course will go above and beyond passive stoic discussion of the burning public policy issues of the day. Indeed, they will dive into the sphere of role-playing the positions of high-ranking U.S. officialdom, all in the context of the readings - such as the "frackademia" ones - they must complete and discuss in seminar on a weekly basis that will inform the role-play.An example below:
http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Petraeus Course Role Play.png (http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/07/18/david-petraeus-course-syllabus-features-frackademia-readings)
Re-Conceptualizing the "Revolving Door"

The government-industry revolving door (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Government-industry_revolving_door) commonly refers to governmental officials leaving taxpayer-funded government gigs for jobs as corporate lobbyists, public relations spin-doctors and other related iterations. The evolution and corporatization of research unversities - in many ways research factories on behalf of multinational corporations - has seen the revolving door extend into higher education. Petraeus is one example and Moniz is another, but so too is former CIA-head Robert Gates (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Gates). After leaving the CIA, Gates became the Chancellor of University of Texas A&M and then became Secretary of Defense.Another example is Janet Napolitano (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-uc-president-20130712,0,83979.story), former head of the Department of Homeland Security who recently secured a job to head the University of California System. And yet another example is John Deutch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_M._Deutch), former head of the CIA who is now on the Board of Directors of Cheniere (http://www.cheniere.com/corporate/directors.shtml), served on President Obama's DOE Fracking Subcommittee (http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/04/09/ernest-moniz-keystone-xl-contractor-american-petroleum-institute-fracked-gas-exports) and is a professor at MIT (http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/deutch/), where he co-wrote the "The Future of Natural Gas" with Moniz that Petraeus will have his students read. "Petraeusgate," then, is just the tip of the iceberg of a problem with much deeper roots.

Peter Lemkin
07-21-2013, 04:46 AM
It has been about 15 years [or more] that although not publicly 'advertised' or talked about openly, those who dare to ACT to protect the environment in the US [which pits them against the profits of those raping Mother Earth (Gaia) and her offspring] have been officially declared as terrorists.....there have been FBI bombings of environmental activists, harsh trials and draconian sentences, agent provocateurs, spying, and infiltration of environmental groups, many prominent environmentalists who are on no-fly lists, and one could go on and on.....

Below is a typical MSM article on this......sorry to place it here....but it needs to be seen.

FBI: Eco-Terrorism Remains No. 1 Domestic Terror ThreatPublished March 31, 2008

March 3: Firefighters battle a blaze in Woodinville, Wash.

March 3: A multimillion-dollar show home burns in a suburb north of Seattle.

Next Slide (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,343768,00.html#) Previous Slide (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,343768,00.html#)

RELATED STORIESFour Suspects With Alleged ELF Ties Indicted in Eco-Terror Burning (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,336931,00.html)Jury Convicts Woman of Arson in Eco-Terror Firebombing at College (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,335798,00.html)Federal Jury Deadlocks in Eco-Terror Firebombing Trial (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,335408,00.html)Officials: No Explosive Devices Found at Scene of Seattle-Area House Fires (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,334875,00.html)From the Brainroom: The Earth Liberation Front (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,334589,00.html)
For nearly seven years, the nation has turned its terror focus on Al Qaeda and the hunt for Usama bin Laden. But there is a domestic terror threat that federal officials still consider priority No. 1 — eco-terrorism.
The torching of luxury homes in the swank Seattle suburb of Woodinville earlier this month served as a reminder that the decades-long war with militant environmentalists on American soil has not ended.
"It remains what we would probably consider the No. 1 domestic terrorism threat, because they have successfully continued to conduct different types of attacks in and around the country," said FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko.
The FBI defines eco-terrorism "as the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against innocent victims or property by an environmentally oriented, subnational group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature."
For years, officials have battled against members of shadowy groups such as the Earth Liberation Front and its brother-in-arms, the Animal Liberation Front. Law enforcement has made strides prosecuting cells, but it's been unable to end the arsons that have plagued developments encroaching on rural lands in the West.
FBI estimates place damages from these attacks at well over $100 million. So far, no one has been killed.
It's a problem that's unlikely to go away.
"Every time a fire breaks out and somebody takes a spray can and writes 'ELF' or 'ALF' on there, then everybody gets all excited that 'Oh this movement has started back up,'" said Bob Holland, a retired arson investigator. "The movement never really left."
Fighting for Nature
The Earth Liberation Front rose to infamy in the late 1990s for a series of arsons in the Pacific Northwest targeting industries, such as logging, that the eco-terrorists perceived as a threat to nature.
"Generally speaking, the Earth Liberation folks are motivated by a deep kind of affective connection to nature that many of them would characterize as spiritual or religious," said Bron Taylor, a professor of religion and nature at the University of Florida. "They believe that the human species is perpetrating a war on nature and that those who are connected to nature and belong to it have a right to defend themselves."
Members who carry out attacks in the name of nature tend to be of college age and well educated, and typically have an out-of-town recruiter who lures them into the act of crime, said Ron Arnold, the executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.
There are exceptions to the rule, Kolko said. Some members are in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
These eco-terrorists often operate alone or in small groups, making them extremely difficult to penetrate. They target structures they feel are infringing on nature, leaving low-tech detonators that allow the fires to start after they've left.
In 2006, a nine-year federal sting dubbed "Operation Backfire" was able to dissolve a cell responsible for 20 acts of arson in five Western states over five years.
That cell, dubbed "The Family," caused more than $40 million in damage and included attacks on a meat company in Eugene, Ore., a ski resort in Vail, Colo., and the torching of SUVs in Oregon.
The latest Family member convicted, Briana Waters, was found guilty of arson on March 6 in Tacoma, Wash., for her role as a lookout in a 2001 fire that destroyed the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle, causing more than $2 million in damages.
"It's a leaderless ideology that can exist for a long time," said Holland, who worked on Operation Backfire. "You take out a cell like we did in Backfire — that doesn't stop like-minded individuals around the country from perpetuating the ideology of the ELF and ALF movement."
Elves in the Night
The perpetrators of the March 3 fires on the Seattle Street of Dreams left their mark, investigators said, with signs that read, "ELF" and "McMansions in RCDs r not green," a reference to rural cluster developments or residential subdivisions, along with an estimated $7 million in damages.
The homes had been built near the headwaters of Bear Creek, which is home to endangered chinook salmon. Opponents of the development had questioned whether the luxury homes could pollute the creek and an aquifer that is a source of drinking water, and whether enough was done to protect nearby wetlands.
In the past, ELF members have used everything from milk jugs to electrical ignition devices to set their blazes, Holland said.
Officials for the fire earlier this month said no explosive devices were found amid the remains of the houses. The Building Industry Association of Washington and the FBI were offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
Finding the culprit in eco-terrorism often requires someone within the organization turning against his or her fellow elves.
"In Operation Backfire, we saw a sophistication that we've never seen in any type of a radical organization, and frankly, if somebody hadn't turned, we wouldn't have enjoyed the success we've had with that," Holland said.
Trying to predict where or when they'll strike next becomes a guessing game, experts said.
"You don't know what's the hot topic in the minds of the potential perpetrators today — you can look on the Web and find out all kinds of things," Arnold said, noting that "it's very difficult to generalize because there are so many threads in the tapestry of environmentally inspired crimes."
The FBI currently has 180 ongoing eco-terror investigations and over the last several years has tied them to some 1,800 criminal acts, Kolko said.
Despite the gains law enforcement has made, it just takes one person to reignite the movement, Holland said.
"There's no way to know or gauge how many people are actually sympathetic to that ideology and will continue to perpetuate it through acts of arson and other violence," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,343768,00.html#ixzz2ZeVWTc4c

Jan Klimkowski
07-21-2013, 11:06 AM
So, Petraeus is teaching counter insurgency techniques and psychological warfare to the frackers. Anti-frackers environmentalists and people who support viable life on our planet (which I think is most of us) are now the terrorists.

Magda - just great isn't it?

I wrote in post #2:

I have no doubt that anyone protesting about fracking will soon be labelled as a terrorist endangering Volkland Security.

And therefore subject to the whole gamut of tactics ranging from infiltration by Mark "shagger" Kennedy, false flag Judi Bari bombing, constant monitoring of every keystroke and journey, and demonisation by energy industry psyops.

And it has already come to pass...

Petraeus Teaches Frackers Counterinsurgency, Psychological Warfare

Petraeus has also taught the shale gas industry some important things, as well.Namely, Petraeus was one of the co-authors of the "Counterinsurgency (COIN) Field Manual (http://www.amazon.com/Marine-Corps-Counterinsurgency-Field-Manual/dp/0226841510)" that Anadarko Petroleum PR hand Matt Carmichael said he has employees read at the “Media & Stakeholder Relations: Hydraulic Fracturing Initiative 2011” conference (http://desmogblog.com/gas-fracking-industry-using-military-psychological-warfare-tactics-and-personnel-u-s-communities) in Houston, TX in 2011. "Download the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual because we are dealing with an insurgency," said Carmichael at the conference (http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Carmichael Three Tips.mp3). "There’s a lot of good lessons in there, and coming from a military background, I found the insight in that extremely remarkable."One of the key COIN tactics covered in the Field Manual is psychological operations (PSYOPs), also discussed at the Houston conference (http://truth-out.org/news/item/7153:fracking-and-psychological-operations-empire-comes-home) by Range Resources spokesman Matt Pitzarella."We have several former PSYOPs folks that work for us at Range because they’re very comfortable in dealing with localized issues and local governments," Pitzarella said to the audience in Houston (http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Matt Pitzarella PSYOPS.mp3). "Really all they do is spend most of their time helping folks develop local ordinances and things like that. But very much having that understanding of PSYOPs in the Army and in the Middle East has applied very helpfully here for us in Pennsylvania." As Hastings covered in another Rolling Stone investigation, the U.S. military employed PSYOPs tactics on members of Congress (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/another-runaway-general-army-deploys-psy-ops-on-u-s-senators-20110223). That's illegal within U.S. borders under the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 (http://us-code.vlex.com/source/us-code-foreign-relations-intercous-1021/toc/19), though it seems rather unlikely the co-author of the COIN Manual - "King David" himself - will cover these details in his course. Petraeus' Wall Street Job Description Mirrors His Course Description

Petraus also has a teaching gig at University of Southern California (USC) (http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/02/local/la-me-ln-petraeus-usc-20130501) and a day job working at the Wall Street firm (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324682204578513663485449922.html)K ohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324682204578513663485449922.html). "He is expected to advise on economic trends, issues with foreign governments and other matters that could affect transactions," The Wall Street Journal explained of his hiring at KKR (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324682204578513663485449922.html). "He will advise firms owned by KKR in an effort to improve management and leadership and help them confront economic and geopolitical forces that affect them.""King David's" job description mirrors the course description he will teach, lending insight into what type of jobs the students taking his course may obtain in the future if Petraeus' class is a pedagogical success."Petraeus and others at the firm [will have] discussions over macroeconomic and geopolitical forces that could influence KKR's investment decisions. These issues include the heightened role of central banks following the financial crisis, and what KKR views as 'revolutions' in energy, manufacturing and technology, among other areas," The Wall Street Journal further spelled out. The course description, as seen below, sings a similar tune:http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Screen shot 2013-07-17 at 11.36.23 PM.png (http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/07/18/david-petraeus-course-syllabus-features-frackademia-readings)

Students taking Petraeus' course will go above and beyond passive stoic discussion of the burning public policy issues of the day. Indeed, they will dive into the sphere of role-playing the positions of high-ranking U.S. officialdom, all in the context of the readings - such as the "frackademia" ones - they must complete and discuss in seminar on a weekly basis that will inform the role-play.An example below:
http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Petraeus Course Role Play.png (http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/07/18/david-petraeus-course-syllabus-features-frackademia-readings)
Re-Conceptualizing the "Revolving Door"

The government-industry revolving door (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Government-industry_revolving_door) commonly refers to governmental officials leaving taxpayer-funded government gigs for jobs as corporate lobbyists, public relations spin-doctors and other related iterations. The evolution and corporatization of research unversities - in many ways research factories on behalf of multinational corporations - has seen the revolving door extend into higher education. Petraeus is one example and Moniz is another, but so too is former CIA-head Robert Gates (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Gates). After leaving the CIA, Gates became the Chancellor of University of Texas A&M and then became Secretary of Defense.Another example is Janet Napolitano (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-uc-president-20130712,0,83979.story), former head of the Department of Homeland Security who recently secured a job to head the University of California System. And yet another example is John Deutch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_M._Deutch), former head of the CIA who is now on the Board of Directors of Cheniere (http://www.cheniere.com/corporate/directors.shtml), served on President Obama's DOE Fracking Subcommittee (http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/04/09/ernest-moniz-keystone-xl-contractor-american-petroleum-institute-fracked-gas-exports) and is a professor at MIT (http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/deutch/), where he co-wrote the "The Future of Natural Gas" with Moniz that Petraeus will have his students read. "Petraeusgate," then, is just the tip of the iceberg of a problem with much deeper roots.

Keith Millea
07-21-2013, 06:08 PM
What a Gawd awful story that is Peter.It just makes me want to go kick some "Mother Earth" lover in the groin.Fucking terrorists......Well,wait there's more to the story.Here's the lovely meat packing plant that was torched.This deadly terrorist cell actually targeted a horse meat plant.:nono:That's got to be worth a good 25 years in the hole.Yeah,they fried some gas guzzling SUV's also.To the gallows...and with the long rope!!!:moon:

Incident Summary:

07/21/1997: Five members of the Animal and Earth Liberation Fronts (ALF and ELF), Jacob Ferguson, Kevin Tubbs, Jonathan Paul, Jennifer Kolar, and Joseph Dibee, set fire to the Cavel West horse meat packing plant and slaughterhouse in Redmond, Oregon in the United States. The perpetrators drilled holes behind refrigeration units at the plant, poured ignitable liquid into the drilled holes, stuffed rags into the holes and placed buckets under the rags. Additionally, three separate incendiary devices, made of a mixture of soap, gasoline and diesel, and then blended into a gel, were placed in and around the buildings of the plant. One of the incendiaries ignited prematurely, causing the group to abandon the rest of the plan. The remaining two incendiaries failed to ignite due to malfunction. There were no casualties in the incident, but the fire caused over $1,000,000 in damage, destroying the facility and leaving it out of operation. A few days after the fire, a communiqué was put out by the Animal Liberation Front, claiming responsibility for the arson.

Jan Klimkowski
07-27-2013, 10:42 AM
Arrests of non-violent protestors in the UK:

Anti-fracking activists arrested at West Sussex drilling site

Police remove 14 protesters blockading Balcombe site where energy company Cuadrilla is looking for shale oil

Robert Booth
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jul/26/anti-fracking-activists-arrested-sussex), Friday 26 July 2013 16.50 BST

Balcombe fracking protest
Police officers try to break a human chain formed by anti-fracking protesters at Balcombe. Photograph: Tony Kershaw/Rex Features

Sussex police have made 14 arrests at an oil drilling site near the village of Balcombe after local people and anti-fracking activists attempted to block the delivery of machinery for a second day using a human chain and tree trunks.

Activists said police removed people who had blockaded the gates to the rural West Sussex site where the energy company Cuadrilla, headed by the former BP chief Lord Browne, intends to start test drilling for oil next week.

Sussex police said five people were arrested for causing danger to road users, and nine under trade union law for attempting to stop drivers and other workers from accessing the site. Police said the arrests were peaceful, but activists said there were struggles.

On Thursday the protesters, who had gathered by the gate to the drilling site on London Road, were warned by police that they would be committing an offence if they blocked trucks from entering.
Police at Balcombe protest Police protect a lorry delivering drilling equipment to the Balcombe fracking site. Photograph: Lee Thomas/Demotix/Corbis

The alliance of environmentalists and villagers succeeded in turning away at least one truck carrying parts for the drilling operation, which Cuadrilla says could result in controversial hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Sussex shale. Many camped overnight, but on Friday there was a heavier police presence, according to reports from campaigners.

"A human chain was formed in front of the gates and the police have made the first arrests," said Andrew West from the campaign group Frack Off. "People are really shocked it escalated so quickly."

This week the Environment Agency and the Department for Energy granted permits for oil exploration on the site to Cuadrilla, which also operates fracking rigs in Lancashire.

Opponents of the exploratory drilling fear that water sources could be polluted by fracking, rural lanes in the area might be congested with heavy lorries and that there could even be earthquakes from blasting liquid into the rocks to release oil and gas. The operation to break up the protest involved an estimated 75 police officers who marched down the road in formation, according to Lilias Cheyne, a anti-fracking activist who witnessed the arrests.
G4S staff at Balcombe G4S staff guard the entrance to the Balcombe fracking site. Photograph: Lee Thomas/Demotix/Corbis

"They just started taking people out one by one," she said. "Not everyone went voluntarily and there were some struggles. A girl was shouting at one point and seemed to be quite upset and the police seemed to be quite rough. I saw a policeman with his knuckles pressing on the side of a guy's face until he released the man he was holding onto. He was obviously hurting him. Another looked like he was bending someone's little finger back."

About half an hour later a tanker made its way onto the site – the first vehicle in over 24 hours since the blockade began on Thursday morning. The main road was reportedly closed to any other traffic, a move which anti-fracking activists said was interfering with their right to protest.

"Sussex police fully supports the right to demonstrate peacefully and within the law and also facilitate the contractors to carry out their business," said Superintendent Steve Whitton. "Our aim is to provide a safe and secure environment for protesters, residents and the contractors, to minimise disruption to the community and to prevent crime and disorder."

Ashley Williams, who witnessed the arrests, said: "This is a totally disproportionate response. The community are standing up for themselves against a company that is trying to poison them. As soon as regular people put their head above the parapet the state jumps in to defend the interests of a wealthy few."

Jan Klimkowski
07-30-2013, 06:08 PM
Where do they find these ignorant fools?

Oh yeah, close to Power...

Fracking can take place in 'desolate' north-east England, Tory peer says

Remarks by Lord Howell, former adviser to William Hague and George Osborne's father-in-law, blasted by environmentalists

Damian Carrington
The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jul/30/fracking-north-east-england-tory-peer), Tuesday 30 July 2013 16.35 BST
Jump to comments (0)

Protesters' placards at the entrance to Cuadrilla's drill site in Balcombe. Over 20 protests have been made since Thursday. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Fracking should be carried out in the "desolate" north-east of England, a former Conservative energy adviser has said, prompting criticism and claims the remarks highlighted the party's "problem with the north".

Lord Howell, who advised William Hague on energy policy until April and is the father-in-law of the chancellor, George Osborne, drew gasps of astonishment in the House of Lords on Tuesday for suggesting that the controversial form of gas production could take place in the north-east without any impact on the surrounding environment.

During Lords questions, he asked: "Would [the minister] accept that it could be a mistake to think of and discuss fracking in terms of the whole of the United Kingdom in one go? I mean there obviously are, in beautiful natural areas, worries about not just the drilling and the fracking, which I think are exaggerated, but about the trucks, and the delivery, and the roads, and the disturbance."

The peer, who lives in southern England, said: "But there are large and uninhabited and desolate areas. Certainly in part of the north-east where there's plenty of room for fracking, well away from anybody's residence where we could conduct without any kind of threat to the rural environment."

Lady Verma, energy minister and a fellow Conservative, replied: "As members are aware, fracking is at its early stages of exploration and there will be areas of landscape that won't be suitable for fracking, as you rightly point out. But we are in its early stages and as the government is determined to ensure that we are not dependent on coal but more on gas, and low-carbon energy sources, I think you make some very important points."

Speaking later, Lord Beecham, a Labour peer who is also a councillor in Newcastle, said: "Neville Chamberlain spoke of pre-war Czechoslovakia as 'a faraway country of which we know nothing'. Lord Howell clearly has a similar view on the north-east and his comments once again highlight the Tories' problem with the north."

Howell, 78, was brought up in London and attended Eton and Cambridge University before going on to become energy secretary under Margaret Thatcher. In November 2012 undercover filming by Greenpeace revealed Howell saying that Osborne was "putting pressure" on David Cameron over "absurd" climate change targets. a government spokesman said Howell had not been a government adviser since April 2013, though no announcement of his stepping down was made at the time.

Osborne has made a series of announcements in recent weeks to encourage shale gas exploration, including tax breaks and new planning rules. The chancellor believes the shale gas revolution seen in the US could, if repeated in the UK, lower gas prices.

But many observers argue this is unlikely and the former BP boss Tony Hayward said on Tuesday: "I treat the more extravagant claims about the coming fracking boom with caution. Certainly shale gas reserves are very large but Britain's geology and denser population will make it harder to benefit from them than it is in the US."

The former Tory environment secretary John Gummer, now Lord Deben, noted that most UK shale gas deposits are in the north-west and south-east. "How very inconvenient of shale gas to choose places where planning permission will be most difficult," he remarked on Twitter.

Environmental campaigners have also fiercely opposed fracking plans and over 20 arrests have been made since Thursday at Balcombe in West Sussex, where the fracking firm Cuadrilla has been attempting to move oil-drilling equipment on to its sites. Previously, Laura Sandys, Conservative MP and part of the ministerial team at the Department of Energy & Climate Change (Decc), highlighted the problem of public opposition shale gas is facing: "Onshore wind is a walk in the park, by comparison."

"Lord Howell's suggestion that fracking should be concentrated in the 'desolate' north-east is jaw-dropping," said Friends of the Earth's energy campaigner Tony Bosworth. "But the government's ill-conceived fracking plans aren't something that can be quietly brushed under the carpet 'up north' – as the villages resisting the drillers in the Tory heartlands of England's south show."

Keith Taylor, Green party MEP for the south-east, wrote to Sussex police on Tuesday over what he described as the use of excessive force against protesters in Balcombe. Taylor, who was in Balcombe on Sunday, said he was particularly concerned over the suspected use of the "mandibular angle" technique to force protesters to comply with police demands. This technique, which involves pressing against a pressure point behind the ear, was apparently used on Friday to clear protesters.

"The campaigners in Balcombe are modern day defenders of the land," said Taylor. "The police shouldn't resort to excessive force against peaceful protesters who are taking action to defend their communities from extreme energy."

Magda Hassan
07-30-2013, 09:57 PM
Despite Tory contempt for the north I doubt it will remain like that forever. They will claim the resources where ever they may be that makes them $$$s. We have them trying to drill in metropolitan Sydney. No one knew it was even happening until it was in front of their face. The farmers have been dealing with the destruction of their communities and livelihoods for some time but all that was out of sight out of mind for the city folk. Not any more. Nothing is sacred to these environmental vandals.

Where do they find these ignorant fools?

Oh yeah, close to Power...

Fracking can take place in 'desolate' north-east England, Tory peer says

Remarks by Lord Howell, former adviser to William Hague and George Osborne's father-in-law, blasted by environmentalists

Damian Carrington
The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jul/30/fracking-north-east-england-tory-peer), Tuesday 30 July 2013 16.35 BST
Jump to comments (0)

Protesters' placards at the entrance to Cuadrilla's drill site in Balcombe. Over 20 protests have been made since Thursday. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Fracking should be carried out in the "desolate" north-east of England, a former Conservative energy adviser has said, prompting criticism and claims the remarks highlighted the party's "problem with the north".

Lord Howell, who advised William Hague on energy policy until April and is the father-in-law of the chancellor, George Osborne, drew gasps of astonishment in the House of Lords on Tuesday for suggesting that the controversial form of gas production could take place in the north-east without any impact on the surrounding environment.


"Lord Howell's suggestion that fracking should be concentrated in the 'desolate' north-east is jaw-dropping," said Friends of the Earth's energy campaigner Tony Bosworth. "But the government's ill-conceived fracking plans aren't something that can be quietly brushed under the carpet 'up north' – as the villages resisting the drillers in the Tory heartlands of England's south show."


Magda Hassan
08-04-2013, 12:49 AM
The coalition may be promoting the controversial practice of fracking for gas because senior figures from that industry sit in the heart of Government, campaigners have warned.
The former BP boss Lord Browne, Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw and BG Group director Baroness Hogg have all been accused of the potential for conflicts of interest, as they hold senior advisory roles at a time when the Government is heavily promoting fracking. This involves fracturing tightly packed shale rock with a high-pressure water and chemical mixture to release oil and gas.
Cuadrilla, which is chaired by Lord Browne, is searching for shale gas in Lancashire, but suspended operations there in 2011 after its drilling was found to be the likely cause of tremors in Blackpool.
The Government has signed up to the potential of shale gas after it transformed energy policy in the United States, despite severe criticism from environmentalists.
Last month, George Osborne spoke of "tax and planning changes which will put Britain at the forefront of exploiting shale gas". A recent report by the British Geological Survey found that the UK could have trillions of cubic feet of the gas in the North-west alone, but critics argue that it would be difficult to extract from deep beneath the ground even with modern drilling techniques.
Anti-fracking campaigners and industry insiders are concerned that major energy-sector figures have roles that gives them access to ministers in Whitehall. Among those said to be worried is a top executive at EDF, who believes that the Government's new-found commitment to shale has ended up hurting the French group's negotiations over building a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
There are more than 60 "non-executives" (Neds) who sit across Whitehall departments, largely drawn from Britain's most impressive corporate talent. Their job is to help ministries be run in a more business-like manner, and Lord Browne is the overall lead for this group.
Lord Browne sits within the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude's constituency includes Balcombe in West Sussex, another area where Cuadrilla is drilling. On his website, Mr Maude acknowledges that fracking "understandably rang alarm bells" after the tremors in Lancashire, but argues that "shale gas could help significantly by contributing both to improving our security and independence and to keeping prices down".
Mr Laidlaw has been the lead non-executive at the Department for Transport. Centrica, which owns British Gas, recently bought a one-quarter stake in Cuadrilla's most promising licence, which is the one in Lancashire.
Baroness Hogg sits in the Treasury, but she is also a non-executive director at BG Group, which has extensive shale gas interests in the US. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by any of these advisers.
Elsie Walker, a campaigner with the anti-fracking group Frack Off, said it is easy to argue that there is a "line blurred between the shale-gas lobby and Government". She added that the Government is "littered" with people who have current or recent ties to the fracking industry.
Ms Walker argued: "It doesn't take a genius or a cynic to realise that those who stand to make a serious amount of money from the success of a particular industry should be nowhere near those who will be making decisions that will influence the future health of that industry."
A Government spokesman said: "All non-executive directors declare their interests to their departments to ensure there is no conflict of interest, and departments will make the necessary arrangements to manage any potential conflicts in the normal way. None of the Neds named sit on the board of the Department of Energy and Climate Change and therefore there is no conflict of interest."
Conflicts of interest?
Lord Browne
The former BP boss is chairman of Cuadrilla, which is exploring for shale gas in Lancashire and West Sussex. He is lead "non-executive" across Government, meaning that he helps recruit other non-executives to Whitehall.
Baroness Hogg
The non-executive for the Treasury sits on the board of BG Group, which has significant shale gas assets in the United States.
Sam Laidlaw
The non-executive to the Transport Department is also chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, which recently bought a 25 per cent stake in Cuadrilla's most promising shale gas prospect.
Ben Moxham
A former executive at BP when Lord Browne was at the helm, he followed the peer to Riverstone Holdings, which owns 42 per cent of Cuadrilla. Moxham was energy adviser at No 10 but quit in May.
Lord Howell
George Osborne's father-in-law is also president of the British Institute of Economics, whose backers include BP and BG Group.

Magda Hassan
08-04-2013, 01:01 AM
Murdoch likes fracking. He usually gets what he wants. It would be nice if the sane had their own newpaper to promote their vision for the world.

Checking five claims in The Sun’s ‘vision’ of Britain’s energy sector

31 Jul 2013, 15:30
Mat Hope

http://www.carbonbrief.org/umbraco/ImageGen.ashx?image=/media/214773/the_sun_s_britain.jpg&format=jpg&compression=80&width=260&height=160&constrain=false Credit: The Sun

The Sun has a vision of Britain (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/5042756/At-dawn-of-Sun-where-The-Sun-stands-on-issues-vital-to-us-readers-and-Britain.html) - and it wants to share it with you. The paper today set out where it stands "on the issues vital to us, to you our readers and to Britain" - including energy. Its manifesto contains a number of claims about the country's energy sector, but is it a vision we recognise?
1:"Just when Britain is relying more and more on technology, we're facing an energy crisis."
We assume the first part of the claim is referring to the fact that more people are plugging in smartphones, TVs and computers than ever before. But, perhaps counterintuitively, domestic electricity consumption (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/65818/DUKES_2013_Chapter_5.pdf) has actually fallen slightly. And when temperature differences each year are taken into account, so has overall energy consumption (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/190618/chapter_1_overall_factsheet.pdf).
The government aims to reduce energy use further through policies like the Green Deal (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2012/05/the-real-deal-on-the-green-deal) and Energy Company Obligation (http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Sustainability/Environment/ECO/Pages/index.aspx). The policies are designed to help households make improvements such as installing loft insulation and replacing inefficient boilers - although the Green Deal has been criticised for its slow start (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/07/government-failure-on-fuel-poverty-and-energy-efficiency).
It's also debatable whether or not Britain really is facing an energy crisis.
Energy regulator Ofgem released a report earlier this year raising concerns that the UK's power generation capacity was getting unsustainably low. But the chances of blackouts are still pretty small (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/06/will-britain-have-blackouts-and-power-rationing-or-not) according to National Grid (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/03/interview-with-the-national-grid), which is charged with ensuring the lights don't go out.
What's more, the government's proposed electricity market reforms (https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/maintaining-uk-energy-security--2/supporting-pages/electricity-market-reform) aim to bring in £110 billion of investment in the energy sector over the next decade. So while the UK's generation capacity may face a squeeze in the short term, we probably don't have to start stockpiling candles just yet.
2: "It is incredible that viable power stations are being closed to fit in with EU directives on pollution, forcing us to rely more and more on imports."
It's true that Britain imports (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/07/uk’s-energy-sector-still-dependent-on-high-carbon-imports) a lot of energy: 43 per cent (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-energy-climate-change/series/digest-of-uk-energy-statistics-dukes) of the UK's energy supply was imported in 2012. And UK coal imports rose by almost 40 per cent in 2012 as cheap US coal pushed out more expensive gas imports. But is it right to say that closing power plants is to blame?
While the European Union's Large Combustion Plant Directive (http://www.defra.gov.uk/industrial-emissions/eu-international/lcpd/) means coal plants have to improve their nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide emissions or shut down, even if the plants were kept open they'd still probably be fuelled by imports (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/02/is-there-a-european-coal-revival).
The US currently has a surplus of coal flooding the European market due to its shale gas revolution, with cheap imports (http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/07/britain-coal-closures-idUKL6N0BZHW820130307) blamed for the recent closure of some British mines. The UK also imports a lot of gas, with 47 per cent of the UK's gas supply coming through pipelines connected to Europe or transported as liquefied natural gas in 2012.
So like it or not, imports - whether of coal or gas - are going to fuel Britain for many years to come.
3: "Meanwhile Government 'green' policies have caused fuel bills to soar."
Household energy bills are rising. Ofgem says the average dual fuel bill was £1,420 (http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Markets/RetMkts/rmr/smr/Pages/indicators.aspx) in July this year - about £100 more than a year ago. But while green policies form part (http://about<strong></strong>:blank) of energy bills, other factors are also at play.
The level of future energy bills will largely depend on what happens to the wholesale price of gas (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/02/centrica-has-reported-a-profit-its-infographic-time). While energy companies expect them to stay stable (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/07/stable-energy-prices-and-no-energy-efficiency-a-closer-look-at-npower’s-energy-bill-estimates), the government's projections suggest they will continue to rise. So aside from reducing carbon emissions, an important justification of the government's plans to decarbonise the energy system is the need to insulate Britain from the impacts of the volatile gas market (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/03/insulating-the-uk-from-volatile-gas-prices).
Another key factor in what will happen to bills is whether energy efficiency policies pay off.
The government says measures designed to increase uptake of renewable power, nuclear and energy efficiency will add £286 to consumer energy bills by 2020. But its analysis also concludes that energy efficiency policies will help bring bills down again by an average £452 per household.
The government maintains that, overall, its green policies will bring bills down (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/03/decc-price-impacts-document-mark-2) in the long run - with bills expected to be £166 lower in 2020 than they would be without the measures.
4: "But there is hope. Shale gas has launched an energy revolution in the States and could do the same here."
The US is currently enjoying lower energy prices due to a rise in domestically-produced shale gas. But experts aren't convinced the UK can replicate this - at least not in the foreseeable future.
Britain's geology is more complex (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/06/three-reasons-not-to-get-too-excited-about-the-uk’s-shale-oil-and-gas-prospects), it has more stringent regulations (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2012/08/chatham-house-briefing-on-shale-gas), and the public seems unsure about fracking if the current protests at Balcombe (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23492213) are anything to go by.
While the UK might have more shale gas than previously thought - a new estimate by the British Geological Survey (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/06/carbon-briefing-uk-shale-gas-resource) suggests there's 1,300 trillion cubic feet in the Bowland shale - not all of this will be extracted. While the US is able to extract around 10 per cent of its shale gas, experts aren't sure the UK will be able to follow suit.
Finally, while shale gas does have some potential to reduce gas imports (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/06/can-shale-gas-replace-10-years-of-imports), we simply don't know if it will be a domestic energy game changer. And we won't find out until more exploration wells are drilled.
5. "We must get on with fracking. It could create huge numbers of jobs and power Britain cheaply for generations."
Shale gas probably will contribute to the UK's energy supply at some point, but a fully fledged UK shale gas industry isn't imminent.
Even in an optimistic scenario for development, shale gas is unlikely to contribute to the UK's energy sector until the 2020s, so it's unlikely to have an impact on bills any time soon (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/07/will-shale-gas-mean-cheaper-energy-bills). Professor Paul Stevenson of Chatham House says it is "misleading and dangerous (http://www.chathamhouse.org/media/comment/view/187991)" to assume that gas prices will go down as a result of shale gas because it ignores the significant barriers (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/06/carbon-briefing-uk-shale-gas-resource) to industry development.
Earlier this month, the Chancellor, George Osborne, proposed tax breaks (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/07/osborne’s-tax-breaks-are-unlikely-to-lead-to-shale-gas-bonanza) to try and incentivise exploratory drilling. But those plans still have to be approved, and it's too early to tell if they will stimulate a fracking boom.
Key to The Sun's assessment is the fact that it's unencumbered by considerations such as the existence of the UK's climate policies, like the Climate Change Act. The Sun calls for the continuation of a fossil fuel economy, but the government has a number of legally binding emissions targets (https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reducing-the-uk-s-greenhouse-gas-emissions-by-80-by-2050/supporting-pages/carbon-budgets) to hit. That's something it won't (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/06/uk-shale-gas-and-greenhouse-gas-emissions) manage if coal and gas are used to supply the majority of the UK's energy needs in coming years.
So while Britain's energy future may contain some of what The Sun hopes to see, it probably won't be because policymakers wake up one day and realise there's an imminent energy crisis that can only be solved by fracking.
The Sun's vision of the UK's energy sector - while strident - is a little confused.


Magda Hassan
08-04-2013, 01:19 AM
Obama likes fracking and nuclear energy.

Obama admin may have interfered with fracking studies

2:22 PM 07/29/2013

Two sources within the Environmental Protection Agency have told government watchdog groups that the Obama administration interfered with investigations of hydraulic fracturing during the 2012 presidential campaign.
The American Traditional Institute (ATI) and the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FMELC) filed two Freedom of Information Act requests after receiving tips from two separate career EPA employees who charged that politics drove the EPA’s handling of a fracking study in Pennsylvania.
“These two EPA employees appear credible; one we have established is quite reliable and the other was referred to us by a highly-regarded and well-known academic scientist,” said Chris Horner, ATI senior fellow and FMELC attorney, who filed the FOIA requests.
One source was close to a field team working near Dimock, Pennsylvania, and alleged that the administration got involved in the fracking studies as President Barack Obama started to tout natural gas drilling as an economic bright spot during the 2012 campaign.
Dimock became the center of controversy after some residents said that nearby drilling operations had contaminated their drinking water. Yet the EPA stated (http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/1A6E49D193E1007585257A46005B61AD) last summer that “there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the agency.”
The Los Angeles Times obtained (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-epa-dimock-20130728,0,4847442.story) an internal EPA PowerPoint presentation that showed that officials at the agency’s mid-Atlantic office urged further investigation into Dimock even as the EPA was saying the town’s drinking water was safe.
“Critics say the decision in July 2012 by EPA headquarters in Washington to curtail its investigation at Dimock over the objection of its on-site staff fits a troubling pattern at a time when the Obama administration has used the sharp increase in natural gas production to rebut claims that it is opposed to fossil fuels,” the LA Times reports.
The EPA has also closed two other high-profile investigations into fracking in Parker County, Texas, and Pavillion, Wyoming. However, Horner argues that alleged political interference by the administration does not mean fracking has contaminated drinking water.
“One of the EPA employee’s information, while not presenting evidence of any problem with fracking, is however quite striking evidence of political interference with career employees,” Horner added. “The other’s information proves that the issue drew uniquely high-level political attention.”
The second source gave Horner screen shots from former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s alias email account “Richard Windsor,” showing a discussion group called “HQ-Dimock.”
“I have for over a year now worked within the system to try and make right the injustice and apparent unethical acts I witnessed,” wrote one of the sources, acknowledging he wasn’t alone in this. “I took an oath when I became a federal employee that I assume very solemnly. Additionally there is a code of conduct that was once displayed for all to see, that I also believe and ascribe to.””
Horner points out that the Obama administration’s embrace of fracking contradicts past testimony from top officials. Alan B. Krueger, assistant secretary for economic policy and chief economist at the Department of Treasury, testified (http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg284.aspx) before Congress that the U.S. overproduces oil and natural gas and advocated for cutting tax benefits to the industry to help cut greenhouse-gas emissions.
“As we state in our FOIA requests, this is not evidence of a problem with fracking but evidence of political intervention — apparently with electoral needs in mind — only,” said Horner. “Such decisions, as we also point out, are subject to reversal when the politicians find they have different needs. And the public should know if that’s how things are being done at EPA, and in this White House.”
The EPA did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Tags: Barack Obama (http://dailycaller.com/buzz/barack-obama/), Environmental Protection Agency (http://dailycaller.com/buzz/environmental-protection-agency/), Fracking (http://dailycaller.com/buzz/fracking/)


Jan Klimkowski
08-04-2013, 04:13 PM
Conflicts of interest as greedy politicians get the filthy lucre signs flashing in their eyes.

The Volkland Security hounds get ready to smack some flesh and categorise legitimate peaceful protestors as extremists and terrorists.

And now some good old fashioned class warfare.

In the US, I believe much of West Virginia has been fracked.

Here we've had rich politicos banging on about the "desolate" north and now this nonsense:

Fracking will meet resistance from southern nimbys, minister warns

Michael Fallon says: 'We are going to see how thick their rectory walls are, whether they like the flaring at the end of the drive'

Patrick Wintour, political editor
theguardian.com (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/04/fracking-resistance-southern-nimbys-minister), Sunday 4 August 2013 12.13 BST
Jump to comments (464)

Michael Fallon
The energy minister Michael Fallon, who is a supporter of shale gas exploration. Photograph: David Jones/PA

A warning that fracking may soon lead to fierce resistance from middle-class southern nimbys has been given by the energy minister Michael Fallon.

Fallon, a strong supporter of shale gas extraction, told a private meeting in Westminster: "We are going to see how thick their rectory walls are, whether they like the flaring at the end of the drive."

Fallon, who is MP for Sevenoaks in Kent, said exploratory studies for hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – were already poised to start in the north of England and were set to spread the length and breadth of southern England.

He said: "The second area being studied is the Weald. It's from Dorset all the way along through Hampshire, Sussex, East Sussex, West Sussex, all the way perhaps a bit into Surrey and even into my county of Kent. It's right there."

Fallon then referred to support for fracking among what he called the "commentariat" – newspaper opinion writers.

"The beauty of that – please don't write this down – is that of course it's underneath the commentariat.

"All these people writing leaders saying: 'Why don't they get on with shale?' – we are going to see how thick their rectory walls are, whether they like the flaring at the end of the drive."

Fracking experts have already admitted that the extraction method could result in flares several feet high as leaked gas is burned off rather than being allowed to leak into the atmosphere.

Charles Moore, biographer of Margaret Thatcher, lives in a £1.5m rectory in Etchingham, East Sussex, and has admitted that his support for shale gas extraction may conflict with his personal interests.

Moore wrote last month that shale gas was "a great advance" though it was lucky that much was in the north where there were "not many spoilt rich people to complain".

But he added that there was said to be "lots more under the Sussex Weald where I live" and he faced having to be "true to my beliefs".

Fallon has said in public that fracking will not damage the countryside. "Claims that exploration involves ruining the countryside are nonsense," he said. "A typical shale gas pad is expected to be little larger than a cricket ground."

He said he had visited a conventional drilling site "tucked away in the South Downs national park, which shows how oil and gas operations can work even in the most sensitive environment".

Fallon conceded that there was bound to be some disruption but said this could be overcome with compensation of £100,000 for each exploratory well site.

The concern for the Tories is that they are about to find themselves pitted against their rural base again, as they have been over windfarms, planning laws and the High Speed 2 rail line.

But Fallon has said that in the US, where fracking industry is well advanced, "there is no evidence of fracking causing any groundwater contamination".

Energy companies are only being authorised to search for the possible location of shale gas – not to exploit it. But ministers are preparing generous compensation to overcome resistance as they have for windfarms and nuclear power stations.

In his private briefing at Westminster, Fallon stressed that local communities affected by fracking would be rewarded with generous royalties in the form of compensation to improve local facilities.

He said: "If that is between five and 10m quid and there are 20 wells in your area, the local area and the immediate residents will benefit substantially."

Fallon said it was time to "get on" with fracking. "We now know there is probably twice as much shale in the north as we originally thought.

"It looks as if there's much more shale gas here than anybody realised and it looks as if the shale is thicker than the shale in the US where there have been dramatic reductions in people's gas bills and in the cost of energy for business.

"What we don't yet know is whether we can get it out as efficiently and cheaply as they have been able to in the States and that is the purpose of these studies.

"We are sitting on all this shale. We owe it to the next generation to go down there, let these companies go down there and find out whether we can extract it and whether this is a new, large source of cheap energy."

The official estimate is that the UK has 37 trillion cubic metres (1,300tn cubic feet) of shale gas just in the north of England; geologists have yet to quantify reserves in the south creating a potential conflict between conservationists and industrialists inside the Tory party.

Polling for the Sunday Times by YouGov shows quite strong support for fracking so long as it is part of an energy mix.

But the Liberal Democrat president, Tim Farron, put himself at the helm of those in the coalition concerned at the pace with which the government is moving. He said: "I am afraid the government has seen flashing pound signs, and has not considered the long-term threats fracking poses to the countryside.

"I think this is a very short-sighted policy, and we will all be left to live with the consequences. With a windfarm you can actually choose where you put it; that is not the case with fracking.

"This technology can lead to earth tremors and I'm particularly worried that buried nuclear waste in my part of the country could be affected. We should be investing more in renewable fuels.

"I am very sceptical. The green movement were pro-windfarms, and countryside groups were against. With fracking you are already seeing powerful alliances forming between those two groups, so opposition could become very strong."

Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat communities minister, warned that in his Bath constituency there could be a very real danger from fracking since it would take place very close to the water tables that supply water to the City of Bath.

Foster said his LibDem colleague the energy secretary Ed Davey was taking a proportionate, cautious approach: "There is a potential for significant benefit to our energy security but because of environmental concerns we are doing it in a very careful way."

Jan Klimkowski
08-05-2013, 09:24 PM
Oh lookee here!

Three quarters of a million of Uncle Sam's finest to gag a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old from ever talking about fracking.

What do we think is going on?

C'mon ladies and gents.

Some worldly wise deep political speculation.

Yes. It's corporate benevolence.

Big Gas just lurves those lil' Pennsylvanian kiddies and wants to share the wealth....


:unclesam: :flypig:

Children given lifelong ban on talking about fracking

Two Pennsylvanian children will live their lives under a gag order imposed under a $750,000 settlement

Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent
theguardian.com (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/05/children-ban-talking-about-fracking), Monday 5 August 2013 18.04 BST

A drill pipe at a shale gas operation in Pennsylvania. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Two young children in Pennsylvania were banned from talking about fracking for the rest of their lives under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with a leading oil and gas company.

The sweeping gag order was imposed under a $750,000 settlement between the Hallowich family and Range Resources Ltd, a leading oil and gas driller. It provoked outrage on Monday among environmental campaigners and free speech advocates.

The settlement, reached in 2011 but unsealed only last week, barred the Hallowichs' son and daughter, who were then aged 10 and seven, from ever discussing fracking or the Marcellus Shale, a leading producer in America's shale gas boom.

The Hallowich family had earlier accused oil and gas companies of destroying their 10-acre farm in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania and putting their children's health in danger. Their property was adjacent to major industrial operations: four gas wells, gas compressor stations, and a waste water pound, which the Hallowich family said contaminated their water supply and caused burning eyes, sore throats and headaches.

Gag orders – on adults – are typical in settlements reached between oil and gas operators and residents in the heart of shale gas boom in Pennsylvania. But the company lawyer's insistence on extending the lifetime gag order to the Hallowichs' children gave even the judge pause, according to the court documents.

The family gag order was a condition of the settlement. The couple told the court they agreed because they wanted to move to a new home away from the gas fields, and to raise their children in a safer environment. "We need to get the children out of there for their health and safety," the children's mother, Stephanie Hallowich, told the court.

She was still troubled by the gag order, however. "My concern is that they're minors. I'm not quite sure I fully understand. We know we're signing for silence for ever but how is this taking away our children's rights being minors now? I mean my daughter is turning seven today, my son is 10."

The children's father, Chris Hallowich, went on to tell the court it might be difficult to ensure the children's absolute silence on fracking – given that their ages and that the family lives in the middle of a shale gas boom.

"They're going to be among other children that are children of people within this industry and they're going to be around it every day of their life, that if they in turn say one of the illegal words when they're outside of our guardianship we're going to have difficulty controlling that," he said. "We can tell them, they can not say this, they can not say that, but if on the playground....."

The court transcripts were released in response to an open records request by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, which first reported on the children's lifetime gag order. The newspaper has been fighting for the release of all documents in the Hallowich settlement.

Campaigners say the secrecy has helped the industry resist more stringent environmental and health controls – by burying evidence of water contamination and health problems associated with natural gas operations. The Hallowichs' lawyer, Peter Villari, told the court he had never seen a gag order imposed on children in his 30 years of practicing law, according to the released transcript.

During the proceedings, the attorney representing Range Resources, James Swetz, reaffirmed the company sought the gag order on the children. "I guess our position is it does apply to the whole family. We would certainly enforce it," he told the court.

Williams Gas/Laurel Mountain Midstream and MarkWest Energy were also defendants in the case.

However, once that gag order came to light, two years after the August 2011 proceedings, the company told reporters it did not agree with Swetz's comments. "We don't believe the settlement applies to children," a Range Resources spokesman told the Gazette. He went on to tell the paper that there was no evidence that the Hallowich family was affected by exposure to gas development.

• This story was amended on 5 August to include the name of James Swetz, the attorney for Range Resources.

Tracy Riddle
08-06-2013, 02:15 AM
I just saw that story today, Jan. I thought I was incapable of being shocked by anything these days, but I was wrong. What are they supposed to say? "Sorry son, but when you were 7 years old we agreed that you could never talk about fracking for the rest of your life. If you do, the company lawyers will come and take you away to the labor camp."



Jan Klimkowski
08-06-2013, 05:34 PM
I just saw that story today, Jan. I thought I was incapable of being shocked by anything these days, but I was wrong. What are they supposed to say? "Sorry son, but when you were 7 years old we agreed that you could never talk about fracking for the rest of your life. If you do, the company lawyers will come and take you away to the labor camp."



There is no way that the 10-year-old and 7-year-old can give informed consent to this assault on their fundamental human rights.

Is it really possible for a mother or father to sign away their child's right to freedom of expression when they become an adult?

Tracy Riddle
08-07-2013, 12:22 AM
Is it really possible for a mother or father to sign away their child's right to freedom of expression when they become an adult?

It didn't used to be possible, but nowadays nothing surprises me.

Magda Hassan
08-09-2013, 12:42 PM
Proof that politicians think they live on a different planet to the rest of us.

Fracking ban would be big mistake warns Cameron Prime minister says ruling out fracking on environmental grounds would cost Britain in jobs and cheaper energy bills


Rowena Mason (http://www.theguardian.com/profile/rowena-mason), political correspondent
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian), Friday 9 August 2013 04.49 AEST

Hundreds of protesters have disrupted work at a potential fracking site in Sussex. Photograph: Luke Macgregor/Reuters

Britain would be making a big mistake if it ruled out fracking for natural gas (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/gas) on environmental grounds, David Cameron (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/davidcameron) has said, adding that the UK could be "missing out big time" on cheaper energy (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/energy) bills and new jobs because of worries about the impact on the countryside.
Campaigners have warned that the drilling could pollute drinking water and scar the landscape (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/02/balcombe-fracking-protesters-fight-on). Gas companies in the US have had to compensate residents where fracking practices have damaged the environment.
Hundreds of protesters are gathering to disrupt work at a potential fracking site in Sussex this summer.
But addressing staff at Crown Paint, in Darwen, Lancashire, the prime minister suggested that there was no question of there being dire environmental consequences in the UK such as "earthquakes and fire coming out of taps". The government would make sure the industry was properly regulated and not allow any "unsafe" practices.
He said: "I think we would be making a big mistake as a nation if we did not think hard about how to encourage fracking and cheaper prices right here in the UK.
"If you look at what's happening in America with the advent of shale gas and fracking (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/shale-gas), their energy costs in business and their gas prices are half the level of ours.
"Nothing is going to happen in this country unless its environmentally safe. There is no question of having earthquakes and fire coming out of taps and all the rest of it. There will be very clear environmental procedures and certificates you will have to get before you can frack."
He promised communities could get £1m compensation "immediately" for allowing fracking in their area, before his advisers later clarified that he actually meant £100,000.
Under coalition plans, communities will get the lump sum and then a 1% share of revenue if drilling in a particular area succeeds. This could run into millions of pounds.
Cameron said households in the US had seen their energy bills come down "very quickly" because of the process and Britain could stand to gain from the same lower gas prices.
"In the whole of the EU year 100 shale gas wells were dug," he said. "At the same time in the US there were 10,000."
He added: "The EU has about three-quarters as much shale gas as the US, so we are missing out big time at the moment and I want to make sure that Britain does not miss out."
Companies are preparing to start fracking at several sites in Britain, despite a growing protest movement. The technique involves pumping liquids underground at high pressure to split rock and extract gas or oil (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/apr/20/shale-gas-fracking-question-answer).
A ban on fracking was lifted by the government last year, after it decided tremors caused by drilling near Blackpool did not mean the technique posed a significant risk of earthquakes.
The decision to allow the process has paved the way for the extraction of trillions of cubic feet of shale gas exploiting 60% of the countryside, according to some reports.
However, ministers have admitted that local opposition, especially in the Tory heartlands of the south-east, could limit the amount extracted.

Jan Klimkowski
08-09-2013, 12:45 PM
"Nothing is going to happen in this country unless its environmentally safe. There is no question of having earthquakes and fire coming out of taps and all the rest of it. There will be very clear environmental procedures and certificates you will have to get before you can frack."
He promised communities could get £1m compensation "immediately" for allowing fracking in their area, before his advisers later clarified that he actually meant £100,000.

A straw man - "fire coming out of taps".

A bribe - "serious cash for allowing fracking in their area".

No mention of contamination of the water table or American gag orders on children believed to be affected by fracking.

And MSM laps it up without question.

Magda Hassan
08-10-2013, 10:35 AM
Frackonomics: The Science and Economics of the Gas Boom Friday, 09 August 2013 00:00 By Rob Larson (http://www.truth-out.org/author/itemlist/user/48721), Dollars and Sense (http://dollarsandsense.org/archives/2013/0713larson.html) | News Analysis

Between 1868 and 1969, Cleveland’s Cuyahoga river caught fire at least ten times, including one blaze that reached the Standard Oil refinery where storage tanks detonated. Ultimately, the seemingly impossible and unnatural phenomenon of burning water came to represent the dangers of unregulated industrial development and generated popular support for the environmental laws of the 1970s, including the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Today the unsettling sight of burning water has returned, from a new industry that is exempt from both these laws. In homes near installations using the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the tap water has been known to ignite with the touch of a lighter. The industry is relatively new, so the scientific literature yields only tentative results and provisional research conclusions. But the early research suggests fracking has serious negative consequences for public health and local ecology, from flaming tap water to toxic chemicals to ground tremors. Industry spokesmen insist that the negative side-effects of fracking are insignificant. But there’s one positive side-effect everyone should be able to agree upon: fracking is an ideal vehicle for explaining key economic concepts of market failure and market power, including externalities, asymmetrical information, and regulatory capture, along with brand-new ones, like science capture. Let’s start with the firewater.
Liar Liar, Taps on Fire
In the fracking process, natural gas (methane) is released from shale rock strata up to a mile underground, by injecting millions of gallons of water, along with sand and a variety of synthetic chemicals. The huge pressure of the water makes new cracks in the rock, allowing the gas to dissolve and be extracted. Fracking is now responsible for 30% of U.S. electricity production and for heating half of all U.S. homes. The national and business media have breathlessly reported huge growth in gas production, and the oil-and-gas industry projects that North America will return to exporting energy by 2025. Besides the sheer growth in production, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year, the fracking boom has brought other economic benefits, “improving employment in some regions and a rebound in U.S.-based manufacturing,” and “greater defense against overseas turmoil that can disrupt energy supplies.”
As made notorious by the documentary Gasland, water supplies are a major focus of concern about fracking, especially since the emergence of dramatic footage of a number of Pennsylvania homes, near fracking pads above the Marcellus Shale formation, producing fireballs from the kitchen tap. Duke University earth scientists conducted a more rigorous exploration of this phenomenon, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences. They surveyed rural Pennsylvanian water wells for residential use, measuring concentrations of methane, the main chemical component of natural gas. Concentrations rose far above natural levels closer to drill pads, spiking within one kilometer of active gas development sites to a level that “represents a potential explosion hazard.” It was also found that the specific gas chemistry in the wells matched those produced through drilling, rather than through naturally occurring compounds. As the gas boom goes “boom,” the cautious scientists conclude: “Greater stewardship, knowledge, and—possibly—regulation are needed to ensure the sustainable future of shale-gas extraction.”
In parts of the country where water is scarcer, the issue is more ominous. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Geological Survey have found toxic alcohols, glycols, and carcinogenic benzene in underground aquifers in Wyoming, evidence that fracking has tainted precious underground water supplies. In press accounts, local residents who requested the study “expressed gratitude to the EPA, and perhaps a bit of veiled doubt about the zeal of local and state regulators.” In parched Texas, the volume of water adequate for irrigating $200,000 worth of crops can be used to frack $2.5 billion-worth of gas or oil. The Wall Street Journal reports that “companies have been on a buying spree, snapping up rights to scarce river water—easily outbidding traditional users such as farmers and cities.” A Texan rancher relates: “They’re just so much bigger and more powerful than we are...We’re just kind of the little ant that gets squashed.”
Top-Secret Ingredients
The heavy use of often-secret synthetic chemicals has also cast a shadow over the fracking debate. Bloomberg News reported in 2012 that energy companies and well operators were refusing to disclose the chemical formulas of thousands of substances used in the fracking process, enough to “keep [the] U.S. clueless on wells.” Many states have instituted a self-reporting law, modeled on one first developed in Texas, allowing drillers to withhold the ingredients used in their chemical mixes. Bloomberg reports that drillers “claimed similar exemptions about 19,000 times” in the first eight months of 2012 alone. The congressional exemption of the industry from federal water requirements (discussed below) makes this non-disclosure possible, so that “neighbors of fracked wells ... can’t use the disclosures to watch for frack fluids migrating into creeks, rivers and aquifers, because they don’t know what to look for.”
This development is a perfect example of what economists call asymmetric information, where one participant in a transaction knows relevant information that is unknown to the other party. The lack of information on one side can put the other party at an advantage, like the seller of a used car who knows more about the car’s problems than the prospective buyer. For example, a team of Colorado endocrinologists set out to catalogue these synthetic compounds used in wells across the country, based on regulatory filings. The survey was limited due to the “void of environmental authority” to compel chemical disclosure, and thus the data sheets and reports are “fraught with gaps in information about the formulation of the products.” Many of these reports only specify the general chemical class or use the label “proprietary,” providing no additional information. Ultimately, the scientists found that over 75% of the chemicals were harmful for the sensory organs, nearly half could affect the nervous and immune systems, and 25% could cause “cancer and mutations.”
Another report by Colorado scientists observed that fracking development is increasingly located “near where people live, work, and play.” The study used air sampling to find strongly elevated health risks within a radius of about half a mile from fracking sites. The effects ranged from “headaches and eye irritation” up to “tremors, temporary limb paralysis, and unconsciousness at higher exposures.” A larger review by Pennsylvania scientists reached similar conclusions, based on local resident reporting and finding a match of over two-thirds “between known health effects of chemicals detected and symptoms reported.”
The scientists caution that their findings “do not constitute definitive proof of cause and effect,” but they do “indicate the strong likelihood that the health of people living in proximity to gas facilities is being affected by exposure to pollutants from those facilities.” They frequently advocate the precautionary principle—that careful study showing that a product or process is not harmful should precede its use—as when they recommend “health impact assessments before permitting begins,” and note that “scientific knowledge about the health and environmental impacts of shale gas development ... are proceeding at a far slower pace than the development itself.” These conclusions contradict the industry’s claim that fracking is both safe for public health and not in need of any further study. Especially considering the earthquakes.
Tectonic Economics
Perhaps more alarming than the burning water and secret chemicals is the association of fracking with earthquakes. An early report of this development came from the Oklahoma Geological Survey, which surveyed the timing of tremors and their proximity to fracking sites and found a “strong correlation in time and space” and thus “a possibility these earthquakes were induced by hydraulic fracturing.” Earthquake epicenters were mostly within two miles of wells, and any earthquake disruption or damage caused by fracking-related activities represents an externality, a side effect of an economic transaction that affects parties outside the transaction.
These findings are backed up by a review in the prestigious research journal Science, in which cautious scientists note that fracking itselfis not responsible for “the earthquakes that have been shaking previously calm regions.” Yet they find that the induced earthquakes do arise from “all manner of other energy-related fluid injection—including deep disposal of fracking’s wastewater, extraction of methane from coal beds, and creation of geothermal energy reservoirs.” A surveyed area in Arkansas typically had about two quakes a year, before the beginning of fracking-water disposal. The year water disposal began, the number rose to ten. The next year, to 54. After water injection was halted, the quakes tapered off. The Science authors observe the “strongly suggestive” correlation between water disposal and seismic activity: “The quakes began only after injection began, surged when the rate of injection surged, were limited to the vicinity of the wells, and trailed off after injection was stopped.” The scientists’ main conclusion is the adoption of the precautionary principle: “look before you leap ... Stopping injection has stopped significant earthquakes within days to a year. ... The new regulations in Ohio and Arkansas at least move in the direction of such a learn-as-you-go approach.”
You might wonder why the EPA has not limited or regulated fracking operations, in light of the combustible water, cancer-causing chemicals, and earthquake clusters. The EPA might well have adopted significant national policies on fracking by now, had the practice not been made exempt from the main national environmental laws in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, an offspring of Dick Cheney’s secretive energy committee. The exemptions from the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Superfund law drastically limit the agency’s authority to act on fracking.
The drive to limit even EPA research into fracking is decades old. An extensive New York Times report, based on interviews with scientists and reviews of confidential files, found that “more than a quarter-century of efforts by some lawmakers and regulators to force the federal government to police the industry better have been thwarted, as EPA studies have been repeatedly narrowed in scope and important findings have been removed.” When Congress first directed the EPA to investigate fracking in the 1980s, the Times reported, EPA scientists found that some fracking waste was “hazardous and should be tightly controlled.” But the final report sent to Congress eliminated these conclusions. An agency scientist relates, “It was like science didn’t matter. ... The industry was going to get what it wanted, and we were not supposed to stand in the way.”
Similarly, when an EPA public-advisory letter to the state of New York called for a moratorium on drilling, the advice was stripped from the released version. A staff scientist said the redaction was due to “politics,” but could as well have said “business power.” More importantly, the first major EPA review of fracking found “little or no threat to drinking water.” This was an eyebrow-raising claim, given that five of seven members of the peer review panel had current or former energy industry affiliations, a detail noted by agency whistle-blower Weston Wilson. Other studies have been narrowed in scope or colored by similar conflicts of interest. More recently, the agency announced that its study finding contamination of Wyoming groundwater will not be subjected to outside peer review, and that further work instead will be funded directly by industry. As the EPA is presently drafting a brand-new report on the subject, these past embarrassments should be kept in mind.
This brings up the problem of regulatory capture, where an industry to be monitored gains major influence over regulators’ policies. As mentioned above, fracking is very loosely regulated by the states, which is always a favorite outcome for corporate America since the regulatory resources of state governments are far smaller and the regulators are even more easily dominated than those of the federal government. The industry-sponsored FracFocus website is the state-sanctioned chemical-information clearing house, and a masterpiece of smooth PR design, suggesting clear water and full transparency. But Bloomberg News reports that “more than 40 percent of wells fracked in eight major drilling states last year had been omitted from the voluntary site.”
Other state reactions have varied. In 2010, the New York State legislature voted to ban fracking, but then-Governor Paterson vetoed the bill and instead issued a temporary moratorium on the practice, though fracking remains illegal in the New York City watershed. Finally, while the EPA’s main study is still pending, the agency has taken some steps, as in 2012 when it required well operators to reduce methane gas emissions from wells and storage pits to limit air pollution. But even here the regulation wears kid gloves: The new moves do not cut into industry profits. In fact, capturing the “fugitive” methane, the agency estimates, will save the industry $11 to $19 million annually. Also, the regulation won’t take effect until 2015.
Neoclassical Gas
Mainstream, or “neoclassical,” economic theory considers itself to have solutions to these problems—solutions centered as always on “free markets.” The idea is that if firms create chronic health problems or combustible tap water, market forces should drive up their costs, as landowners learn of these firms’ practices and demand higher payment for drilling. But as seen above, even households that have already leased their land for gas development remain unaware of the identities and effects of the obscure synthetic chemicals to which they are exposed. This informational asymmetry—the firms know things the landowners don’t—significantly attenuates the ability of landowners to make informed choices.
On the other hand, households that are located near a drill pad but uninvolved in licensing the drilling will experience the ill effects as externalities. Neoclassicals suggest these can be fixed through a better property-rights system, where surrounding individuals can sue drillers for injuring their health. But this solution runs up against another problem: proving cause-and-effect from a drilling pad to a particular individual’s health problems is extremely difficult. The tobacco industry notoriously made this point in court for many years, arguing that it was impossible to prove if a man’s lung cancer was caused by a four-pack-a-day cigarette habit, as opposed to, say, local auto exhaust. If cause-and-effect is hard to prove in court for cigarettes, doing so for air-delivered volatile organic compounds will be almost impossible.
This problem is aggravated by the use of corporate resources to influence research. The showcase example is a study produced by the University of Texas, “Fact-Based Regulation for Environmental Protection in Shale Gas Development.” The study gave fracking a guardedly positive bill of health, finding no evidence of negative health impacts. The commercial media gave the study a good deal of favorable attention, until the revelation that the lead researcher, Dr. Charles G. Groat, formerly of USGS, sits on the board of the Plains Exploration & Production Company, a Houston-based energy firm heavily invested in gas development. His compensation from the board was several times his academic salary, and he also held 40,000 shares of its stock. An in-house review by the university was outspoken, saying “the term ‘fact-based’ would not apply” to the paper, which was “inappropriately selective ... such that they seemed to suggest that public concerns were without scientific basis and largely resulted from media bias.” Groat retired from the university the day the review was released, but this practice has become increasingly common from industries under fire for environmental or public-health impacts. Bloomberg News flatly stated that “producers are taking a page from the tobacco industry playbook: funding research at established universities that arrives at conclusions that counter concerns raised by critics.” This raises the ugly possibility of science capture.
No Frackin’ Way
Not that Americans are taking it lying down. A diverse popular coalition successfully fought to block a Gulf Coast gas terminal that stood to inflict major damage on local wildlife. The Oil & Gas Journal reports on the “firestorm” of activism: “In an unlikely but massive undertaking, environmental activists, sports fishermen, local politicians, media groups, and other citizens formed a coalition known as the ‘Gumbo Alliance’ that united opposition to the technology.” The Louisiana governor vetoed the project “under considerable public pressure.” Elsewhere, local residents have taken action to keep fracking and its negative externalities out of their communities. New York State “fractivists” have won an impressive 55 municipal bans and 105 local moratoriums against fracking, to date. The state’s Court of Appeals—New York’s highest court—recently upheld the bans against an industry lawsuit. These activist successes are an early challenge to what the Wall Street Journal called the new “shale barons.”
American job markets remain highly depressed and state budgets are strained. What we need, instead of dogged extraction of every particle of fossil fuels from the ground, is a public employment program geared toward the construction of a new sustainable energy system. This would be a far superior alternative to fracking—on grounds of health, ecology, and employment. It could also serve as a springboard for a broader questioning of the suitability of capitalism for the challenges of the 21st century. That kind of radical approach would see the glass of water as half full, not half on fire.

SOURCES: Russel Gold, “Gas Boom Projected to Grow for Decades,” Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2013; Tom Fowler, “US Oil Sector Notches Historic Annual Gusher,” Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2013; Stephen Osborn, Avner Vengosh, Nathaniel Warner, and Robert Jackson, “Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing,” Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences, Vol. 108, No. 20, May 17, 2011; Kirk Johnson, “EPA Links Tainted Water in Wyoming to Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas,” New York Times, December 8, 2011; Tennille Tracy, “New EPA Findings Test Fracking Site,” Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2012; Felicity Barringer, “Spread of Hydrofracking Could Strain Water Resources in West, Study Finds,” New York Times, May 2, 2013; Russel Gold and Ana Campoy, “Oil’s Growing Thirst for Water,” Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2011; Ben Elgin, Benjamin Haas and Phil Kuntz, “Fracking Secrets by Thousands Keep US Clueless on Wells,” Bloomberg News, November 30, 2012; Theo Colborn, Carol Kwiatkowski, Kim Schultz and Mary Bachran, “Natural Gas Operations form a Public Health Perspective,” Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, Vol. 17, No. 5, September 20, 2011; Lisa McKenzie, Roxana Witter, Lee Newman, John Adgate, “Human health risk assessment of air emissions from development of unconventional natural gas resources,”Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 424, May 1 2012; Nadia Steinzor, Wilma Subra, and Lisa Sumi, “Investigating Links between Shale Gas Development and Health Impacts Through a Community Survey Project in Pennsylvania,” New Solutions, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2013; Austin Holland, Oklahoma Geological Survey, “Examination of Possibly Induced Seismicity from Hydraulic Fracturing in the Eolga Field, Garvin County, Oklahoma, August 2011; Richard Kerr, “Learning How NOT to Make Your Own Earthquakes,” Science, Vol. 335, No. 6075, March 23 2012; Zoe Corbyn, “Method predicts size of fracking earthquakes,” Nature News, December 9, 2011; Ian Urbina, “Pressure Limits Efforts to Police Drilling for Gas,” New York Times, March 3, 2011; Devlin Barrett and Ryan Dezember, “Regulators Back ‘Fracking’ in New York,” Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2011; John Broder, “US Caps Emissions in Drilling for Fuel,” New York Times, February 4, 2012; Norman Augustine, Rita Colwell, and James Duderstadt, “A Review of the Processes of Preparation and Distribution of the report ‘Fact-Based Regulation for Environmental Protection in Shale Gas Development,’” University of Texas at Austin, November 30, 2012; Jim Efsthathiou, “Frackers Fund University Research That Proves Their Case,” Bloomberg News, July 23, 2012; Daron Threet, “US offshore LNG terminals face technical, legal maze,” Oil & Gas Journal, December 24, 2007; Ellen Cantarow, “New York’s Zoning Ban Movement Fracks Big Gas,” Truthout, May 9, 2013 (Truthout.org); Alyssa Abkowitz, “The New Texas Land Rush,” Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2013; Daron Threet, “US offshore LNG terminals face technical, legal maze,” Oil & Gas Journal, December 24, 2007.

Magda Hassan
08-16-2013, 08:05 AM
Church of England in 'fracking land-grab' The Church of England has begun legal action to claim ancient mineral rights beneath thousands of homes and farms, prompting fears the church could seek to cash in on fracking.
A Cuadrilla drilling rig in Lancashire. Photo: Cuadrilla

By James Kirkup (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/james-kirkup/), Deputy Political Editor

9:00PM BST 15 Aug 2013

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/template/ver1-0/i/share/comments.gifComments (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10245697/Church-of-England-in-fracking-land-grab.html#disqus_thread)

Residents across England have started receiving letters from the Land Registry, informing them that the Church is seeking to register the mineral rights to the earth beneath their property.

Lawyers believe that the Church’s claim could allow it to profit from fracking, the controversial method of extracting oil and cash by fracturing underground rocks with water and chemicals.

Responding to residents’ worries, the Church insisted that it has “no particular plans to mine under any property” but failed to rule out allowing fracking on its property.

Some church leaders have opposed fracking. The Telegraph revealed this week that the Diocese of Blackburn has warned parishioners in Lancashire that fracking could threaten “God’s glorious creation”.

However, the Church Commissioners manage the church’s extensive investments and their financial decisions sometimes clash with the clergy’s ethical positions.

Last month, it emerged that the commissioners have invested money in the same payday lenders that were strongly criticised by the Archbishop of Canturbury.
The commissioners are seeking to assert the Church’s ownership of mineral rights beneath up to 500,000 acres of land, an area roughly the size of Sussex.
The claim is being made under laws dating back to the Norman conquests, which give “lords of the manor” rights to exploit the earth under property on their former estates.
The Church, which has owned some its land for centuries, holds such rights in many parts of England, including some where geologists say there is scope to extract energy by fracking.
Under a new law, landowners have until October to assert their rights over mineral rights. The commissioners have told the Land Registry that they wish to do so.
As a result, the registry is now sending official legal letters to residents informing them of the Church’s “unilateral” claim to benefit from any mines and minerals under their land.
Several Telegraph readers who have received such letters have expressed concerns that the Church’s claim could be linked to future fracking projects.
One recipient was Dr Richard Lawson, a retired GP who lives in the Mendip Hills in Somerset.
He suggested that the Church action is linked to fracking noting that there are proposals for fracking projects elsewhere in Somerset.
Dr Lawson said: “It’s an ethical question for the Church – will they use their mineral rights to block fracking or to make money out of it?”
Another recipient, from Nottinghamshire, accused the Church of a “blunderbuss approach” to mineral rights.
“It’s quite perplexing that you can own your own home but then someone comes along and tells you they own the ground beneath your feet,” said the resident, who did not want to be named.
His home is less than five miles from an area with proven oil reserves, he said, adding: “It’s a bit of a coincidence that this happens when people are talking about fracking.”
In a statement, the commissioners said the claims were caused by a change in the law in 2002 which sets a deadline for registering historic mineral rights.
“We would make clear that this is just a registration and protection exercise to protect existing rights and interests made vulnerable by the change in the law. There are no particular plans to mine under any property. The focus is registration and protection,” the statement said.
A Church spokeswoman said that the registration had “is absolutely no link with fracking”, but admitted that the legal position on unconventional energy extraction “remains unclear.” She added: “We have certainly had no approaches for our land.”
Caroline Almond, a lawyer at Squire Saunders, said that historic rights like those asserted by the Church could allow claimants to profit from fracking.
“In relation to fracking, as long as the landowners with “Lords of the Manor” rights gain planning permission they can profit from shale gas reserves despite local objection to drilling,” she wrote on the firm’s blog.

Magda Hassan
08-17-2013, 06:20 AM

Magda Hassan
08-29-2013, 06:35 AM
Yet more dangerous things that fracking brings that it's supporters don't talk about.

Wrecking the Earth: Fracking has grave radiation risks few talk about http://rt.com/files/opinion/86/00/00/00/chrisbusby2.a.jpg Christopher Busby is an expert on the health effects of ionizing radiation and Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk (http://www.euradcom.org/).

Get short URL (http://rt.com/op-edge/fracking-radioactive-uranium-danger-ecology-057/)
Published time: August 28, 2013 14:14

Ecology (http://rt.com/tags/ecology/), Natural resources (http://rt.com/tags/natural-resources/), Science (http://rt.com/tags/science/)

Environmentalists point to various dangerous consequences of using fracking technology, but none can be compared to the issue of radiation exposure and radioactive contamination of the development areas it poses.
UK government plans to use fracking technology in populated areas of the country recently drew hundreds of people to the streets in protests (http://rt.com/news/uk-gas-fracking-protest-648/). Protesters pointed to the dangerous example of the US, the worldwide leader in fracking, where hydraulic fracturing (which consumes vast amounts of water) led to areas of Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming facing a dire water crisis.
Fracking involves toxic chemicals being lowered into kilometer-deep holes drilled in the ground to isolate gas and oil from shale. The toxic chemicals can then float into lakes and rivers or contaminate the ground. Also, fracking produces a disproportionate amount of waste, including radioactive water, which then has to be dumped somewhere.
The key to fracking Uranium is the key element to fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, to use its proper name. In the real-world version of Phineas Fogg’s “Eighty Days Around the World,” burning the ship’s masts and furniture to make steam, governments are now encouraging the oil and gas merchants to blast their way deep into the Earth to squeeze the last ounce of oil and gas from that poor creature. But there will be a terrible revenge. Locked up in the strata into which they pump the pressurized process water, to fracture and thus create the huge surface area sponge which will yield up its cargo of gas and oil, is a monstrous amount of natural uranium and its deadly daughter Radium-226. And vast amounts of the radioactive alpha emitting gas Radon-222, and its own daughters Bismuth 214, Lead-210 and the alpha emitter Polonium-210. Remember Polonium-210? That was the material used when a few millionths of a gram poisoned ex-Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko.

Deep down in the earth, there is a lot of radioactivity, which is safe enough, so long as it is not brought up to the surface. The technical term is NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material). When it is brought to the surface it becomes Technologically Enhanced, or TENORM, and it is a serious health problem near oil wells and gas production sites. It is in the production water, in the oil, in the gas, around the production sites, the groundwater, in the pipes and tanks – and in your kitchen.

The easy oil and gas deposits are those where there are subterranean reservoirs, and the oil and gas can obtained by drilling into the reservoir and then pumping down water to displace the oil back up the drill pipe. These are now running out, or are owned by people who control the flow and the price. But there are many other deposits, where the resource is spread throughout the rock, like water in a sponge. Fracking comprises any method employed to break up the solid rock, shale or sandstone to provide channels that allow the oil or gas in the strata to more easily be pumped to the surface. Fracking is not a new idea, but there are some new technologies being employed that make it easy to obtain gas economically from such hitherto unassailable rock sources. For reasons which I will outline, this development has some worrying aspects.

The gas or oil will not normally be available because it is trapped in and interspersed through solid rock. To get it out you have to drill horizontally along the solid organic clay material, the shale, (or whatever oil-bearing rock type is there) and then break that unto small pieces in various ways so that the gas or oil can be pushed by the water you pump in back to the well pipe and up to the surface. The methods of breaking up the rock and holding the subsequent channels apart vary; put together they are “fracking”.

The shale strata are between 1,000 and 8,000 feet deep. Owing the weight of rock above, the pressure on the rocks in the gas bearing strata at these depths is enormous. The drill has to pass a tube (the “gun”) along the stratum for as long a length as possible and then this has to become perforated along its length with holes that allow the gas or oil to get into the tube and up to the surface.
Historically difficult. But technology has come to the rescue in the manifestation of specially designed explosives called “shaped charges.” These are cone-shaped dense metal explosive devices that send the explosive energy in an enormously powerful directed jet of metal atoms that act as a drill and melt the rock or shale along the length of the jet. This creates a radially distributed set of channels along and around the length of the drill tube, in the shape of a bottle-cleaning brush. Once this is done, water containing a whole range of acids and chemical additives is injected under immense pressure and this is followed up by small balls and sand or grit, termed “proppant” like the pit props in a mine, to hold the channels formed open. The extreme pressure pushes the weight of the upper layers of rock upwards and releases the tension in the strata where the gas is trapped. It has been noticed that the effect of all this on geophysical stability of the local deep earth results in small earth tremors and shocks, noticed by people living nearby. But the real cause of these tremors may be more sinister.
Nuclear implications The metal which was formerly employed for the shaped charge head or “gun” was copper. This creates a pressure of 300,000 atmospheres which pushes the rock aside by plastic deformation. But in 1984 a US patent (US 4441428) (http://www.google.com/patents/US4441428) was filed by one Thomas Wilson, entitled “Conical Shaped Charge Liner of Depleted Uranium.” The patent begins: “this invention relates to a novel blasting device especially adapted for drilling oil and gas wells.” Wilson records that DU is 5-times as efficient as copper in terms of the length of the jetted hole, creating a pressure of 600,000 atmospheres. Because of the uranium’s greater chemical reactivity it actually creates new chemical compounds with the material in the rock (and the oil and gas).

The DU cuts through the rock like butter, just as the military versions of this technology, which we believe has been fitted to missiles can cut through concrete reinforced bunkers. The multiple-shaped charge explosions will certainly shake the ground. The earth tremors and earthquakes are then not so hard to explain. Where do the process water acids, chemical compounds end up? At the surface? In the local aquifer? In the local rivers? Yes. But where to the DU nanoparticles from the shaped charge end up? Perhaps the mix of process water and chemicals spilled at the surface. Perhaps in the oil or in the gas. In your kitchen? No one looks, but someone should, since we know from the Iraq wars what these things can do to human health.
In case you might think this is all scaremongering, academic and unrelated to fracking, another patent was filed more recently in 2011 (US Patent 20110000669 (http://patents.com/us-20110000669.html)) by Halliburton (think: oil, gas, armaments, missiles, Dick Cheney) entitled “Perforating gun assembly and method for controlling wellbore pressure during perforating”. The patent specifically refers to Depleted Uranium.
So not only is there a lot of natural radioactive material surfacing in the gas or oil stream, and the production water, there is the possibility also a lot of unnatural radioactivity coming up from the DU shaped charges. And besides the fact that Depleted Uranium is the most efficient of these shaped charge metals, let’s not forget the attraction to the US nuclear industry of a way of getting rid of its vast stocks of Depleted Uranium, or even natural Uranium, or even nuclear waste. I mean, who is going to look at the radioactivity in the process water? It will be radioactive from the Radium and Radon daughters anyway. You would need to carry out some sophisticated analysis to see if it contained any nasty man-made radionuclides, especially DU nanoparticles. Who will do that?
Fracking contamination The issue of natural radioactivity and fracking gas was raised by my friend, Marvin Resnikoff, who was an expert on the NORM cases. He has examined the fracking situation in relation to the exploitation of the Marcellus Shale gas, New York State (http://www.newyorkwater.org/pdf/Marcellus_Radon_copy.pdf). He pointed out that there were two critical issues. There is the concentration of Radium-226 in the rock. Then there is the length of time it takes for the gas to get to the kitchen.
Radon has a half-life of about four days, and so if the gas takes a short time to get from the well production site to the consumer, then levels in the kitchen can be significant. He calculated that there would be between 1,000 and 30,000 extra lung cancers in New York State from such an exposure. And that no one in environmental protection agencies had paid any attention to this issue.

This is certainly of concern, but there are other issues. The process water (and chemicals) certainly contaminates the areas around the gas production machinery. In a recent court case I was involved with in Louisiana there was a gas distribution plant that was scarily radioactive, and the land around it was also radioactive. I also studied oil well production areas in a Kentucky court case. The process water dissolves Radium-226 and this precipitates as scale on the pipes and tanks and is left on the ground near the wellheads and distribution facilities. The transfer pipes are radioactive. One of the worst radionuclides left behind is the Radon daughter Lead-210 which has a longish half-life (22 years) and builds up in these situations as a fine dust. It gets into the gas stream as nanoparticles and I believe it remains in the gas stream. It decays to Bismuth-210 which immediately decays to the alpha emitter Polonium-210 with a half-life of 138 days.
Fracking will increase the amount of Radon in the extracted gas. Why? Because of the high surface area created by smashing up the rock. In the simple gas or oil well there is a big cavern. The radon seeps out of the wall which has a surface area equal to that of the cavern wall. But in the case of the fracked strata, the surface area out of which the Radon can seep is enormously enhanced. So a faster Radon transfer can occur.
Burning our ship So I conclude that fracking carries with it some serious health issues relating to radiation exposure and local contamination, issues which, as Marvin Resnikoff points out in his articles, have not been addressed properly (or at all) by the environmental impact statements published by the operators, or by the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA. The well heads and distribution areas will become radioactively contaminated. Isolated wells along the south coast of England, the Texas-ification of Sussex being encouraged by Prime Minister David Cameron, will not be like windmills. The contamination from the process water will get into the groundwater and drinking water. And let’s not forget the Depleted Uranium.

I don’t want to be all negative: oil and gas are valuable resources, and techniques for increasing availability have to be applauded, even if examined with more caution than they have been. But let’s finish by stepping back from all of this and asking what it’s for. The short answer, of course, is that it’s for money and cheaper energy, security, independence in energy terms from remote suppliers. But we know what it’s really for. It is the necessary fuel for the continuing economic system, the market-forces-driven, short-attention-span, continued global extravaganza of manufacturing, working, buying and selling that life has now become. Of course this can’t last since (fracking or not) the fossil fuel (and other fuels) will eventually run out, and/or the limited biosphere will die off from the toxic waste products of the activity, something that is currently happening at a frightening rate. But fracking will buy them more time.
As Phineas Fogg is completing his “Around the World in 80 Days” trip, he is forced to burn the cabin furniture, the masts and other critical pieces of the ship carrying him back on his final leg, to win his wager. But in the dismantling and burning of our planet, there is no wager, just greedy and powerful individuals. We are burning our ship – when it’s all we have.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


Jan Klimkowski
08-29-2013, 05:15 PM
The Fockers, sorry The Frackers, need to tell us the Secret Recipe they use to Frack Mother Earth.

Or, as Tupac Amaru said:

Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta.

Magda Hassan
09-17-2013, 07:11 AM
Frackademia: The People & Money Behind the EDF Methane Emissions Study http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/styles/blog_teaser/public/blogimages/UT-Austin.jpg?itok=GAaVLMc1

The long-awaited (http://www.engr.utexas.edu/news/7416-allenemissionsstudy) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)-sponsored hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") (http://www.desmogblog.com/directory/vocabulary/5133) fugitive methane emissions study is finally out (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/09/10/1304880110). Unfortunately, it's another case of "frackademia (http://www.desmogblog.com/directory/vocabulary/10232)" or industry-funded 'science' dressed up to look like objective academic analysis.
If reliable, the study - published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and titled, "Measurements of methane emissions at natural gas production sites in the United States" - would have severely reduced concerns about methane emissions from fracked gas.
The report concludes .42% of fracked gas - based on samples taken from 190 production sites (http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/EDFPressReleaseonFrackingMethaneEmissionsStudy.pdf ) - is emitted into the air at the well pad. This is a full 2%-4% lower than well pad emissions estimated by Cornell University professors Robert Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea in their ground-breaking April 2011 study now simply known as the "Cornell Study." (http://www.desmogblog.com/cornell-fracking-shale-gas-more-dangerous-than-coal-climate)
A peek behind the curtain show the study's results - described as "unprecedented" by EDF (http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/EDFPressReleaseonFrackingMethaneEmissionsStudy.pdf ) - may have something to do with the broad spectrum of industry-friendly backers of the report which include several major oil and gas companies, individuals and foundations fully committed to promoting the production and use of fracked gas in the U.S.
One of the report's co-authors currently works as a consultant for the oil and gas industry, while another formerly worked as a petroleum engineer before entering academia.
The study will likely be paraded as "definitive" by Big Oil, its front groups and the media in the days and weeks to come.
A DeSmogBlog exclusive investigation reveals the study actually stands to make its pro-gas funders a fortune in what amounts to industry-favorable data meant to justify shale gas in the public mind as a "bridge fuel" - EDF's stance on gas (http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/08/13/edf-greenwashing-fracking-climate-impact) - now and into the future.
Cornell's Howarth Reacts Howarth has issued a press statement unpacking the long-anticipated study, beginning by explaining a key caveat (emphases mine).
"First, this study is based only on evaluation of sites and times chosen by industry," Howarth stated (http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Howarth%20press%20release%20on%20Allen%20et%20al.% 20PNAS.pdf).
"The Environmental Defense Fund over the past year has repeatedly stated that only by working with industry could they and the Allen et al. team have access necessary to make their measurements. So this study must be viewed as a best-case scenario."
Howarth next explains industry cooperation - while a nice sales pitch - isn't necessary to "get the goods."
"[M]any other scientists have proven over the past 2 years that you can measure methane emissions from gas development without industry cooperation, for instance by using aircraft to fly over operations," he said (http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Howarth%20press%20release%20on%20Allen%20et%20al.% 20PNAS.pdf).
"Many studies have now been published, and many more presented at national scientific meetings, on methane emissions using techniques which capture the emissions at regional scales and do not require industry permission to sample...All of these studies are reporting upstream [well pad] emission estimates...10- to 20-fold higher than those reported in this new paper."
Why the vastly better results on methane emissions?
"How can we explain this huge discrepancy?" Howarth asked (http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Howarth%20press%20release%20on%20Allen%20et%20al.% 20PNAS.pdf). " it better when they know they are being carefully watched. When measurements are made at sites the industry chooses and at times the industry allows, emissions are lower than the norm."
Lastly, Howarth points out that unlike his April 2011 study, this study didn't do a lifecycle analysis, limiting the data set to fracked well sites.
"Finally, methane emission from upstream at the well sites is only part of the problem," he commented (http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Howarth%20press%20release%20on%20Allen%20et%20al.% 20PNAS.pdf). "Methane is also emitted as gas moves to consumers, and again new studies are indicating these emissions may be even larger than the 1.4 to 3.6% of lifetime well production."
EDF announced this is just the first of a series of 16 articles to come (http://www.edf.org/methaneleakage) on the climate impacts of shale gas production at various stages of its lifecycle.
People and Money Behind the Study Without getting to into the minutiae of the study's science, it's key to dig into what at face-value seems like minutiae - when examined in piecemeal fashion and not as an aggregate - about the people and money behind the study.
Study sponsors listed in the 'Acknowledgments' section of the report include Anadarko Petroleum, BG Group, Chevron, Encana, Talisman and ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy in addition to EDF. These are the obvious "frackademia" culprits raising red flags regarding the study's findings.
But that only scratches the surface.
Others listed as key funders include - but are not limited to - Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller, the Robertson Foundation and Tom Steyer. All have key connections to fracking and pro-industry stances that tell an important tale about the study and its findings.
Druckenmillers: EDF, Bloomberg, "Clean Heat" Stanley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Druckenmiller)Druckenmiller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Druckenmiller) - a well-known New York City-based hedge fund manager - serves as a member of EDF's Board of Trustees. His wife Fiona serves on the Board of Directors of the Bloomberg Family Foundation (http://www.mikebloomberg.com/index.cfm?objectid=831FF5A3-C29C-7CA2-F0A365AB715C98FE).
In August 2012, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave EDF a 3-year $6 million grant (http://www.edf.org/news/edf-announces-key-grant-bloomberg-philanthropies) "to minimize the environmental impacts of natural gas operations through hydraulic fracturing."
Michael Bloomberg; Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Michael_R_Bloomberg.jpg)
"The funding will support EDF's strategy of securing strong rules and developing industry best practices in the 14 states with 85 percent of the country’s unconventional gas reserves," EDF spelled out in a press release (http://www.edf.org/news/edf-announces-key-grant-bloomberg-philanthropies).
Before the studies' findings even came out - or for that matter, before the studies even began - Mayor Bloomberg explained the rationale behind the studies in a less than objective manner. This came on the day after he endorsed fracking in New York's portion of the Marcellus Shale (http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-08-23/opinions/35492928_1_natural-gas-shale-carbon-dioxide) basin.
"Here’s the truth on natural gas. The environmentalists who oppose all fracking are wrong, and the drillers who claim that regulation will kill the industry are wrong," he told EDF (http://www.edf.org/news/edf-announces-key-grant-bloomberg-philanthropies). "What we need to do is make sure that the gas is extracted carefully and in the right places, and that has to be done through strong, responsible regulation."
Under Bloomberg's watch, New York City is in the process of moving from oil to gas for heating, popularly referred to as the “NYC Clean Heat” initiative (http://www.nyccleanheat.org/), a recipient of a $100 million grant from Bloomberg (http://www.edf.org/cleanheat). The gas will be obtained predominantly via fracking in the Marcellus Shale basin.
EDF serves as a lead sponsor of the "Clean Heat" initiative (http://www.nyccleanheat.org/content/partners-and-sponsors) and its website was registered in April 2011 by the EDF itself (http://whois.net/whois/nyccleanheat.org).
The genesis of "NYC Clean Heat" centered around the release of a December 2009 report published by EDF and the Urban Green Council titled, “The bottom of the barrel: How the Dirtiest Heating Oil Pollutes Our Air and Harms Our Health (http://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/10085_EDF_Heating_Oil_Report.pdf).” One of Urban Green Council’s key sponsors is Bloomberg L.P. (http://www.urbangreencouncil.org/Sponsors)
Though co-published by EDF and Urban Green Council, the report was actually written by M.J. Bradley & Associates (http://www.mjbradley.com/), according to the Acknowledgements.
M.J. Bradley & Associates’ clients (http://www.mjbradley.com/node/62) include the American Clean Skies Foundation (a Chesapeake Energy front group), Dominion (owner of the recently-approved Lusby, Maryland-based liquefied natural gas export facility) (http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/09/11/breaking-1st-ever-marcellus-shale-fracked-gas-export-permit-approved-doe), EDF and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Steyer, Paulson, Bloomberg: Backing Fracking Another key study funder of the study was Tom Steyer. Referred to by Bill McKibben in the (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/lists/the-fossil-fuel-resistance-meet-the-new-green-heroes-20130411/tom-steyer-daddy-greenbucks-19691231)Rolling Stone (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/lists/the-fossil-fuel-resistance-meet-the-new-green-heroes-20130411/tom-steyer-daddy-greenbucks-19691231) as "Daddy Greenbucks," (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/lists/the-fossil-fuel-resistance-meet-the-new-green-heroes-20130411/tom-steyer-daddy-greenbucks-19691231) he's best known these days for his activism fending off the northern half of Transcanada's Keystone XL (http://www.desmogblog.com/directory/vocabulary/5857) tar sands pipeline.
Tom Steyer; Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SteyerHeadshot.jpeg)
Before leaving to work full time as an alternative energy investor (http://vimeo.com/36027648), Democratic Party super-PAC donor (http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/tom-steyer-super-pac-massachusetts-91836.html) and climate change activist (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/09/16/130916fa_fact_lizza), Steyer ran a multi-billion hedge fund called F (http://www.faralloncapital.com/)arallon Capital Management (http://www.faralloncapital.com/).
Steyer began his career as a colleague (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/09/16/130916fa_fact_lizza?printable=true&currentPage=all) of both Robert Rubin and Henry "Hank" Paulson, former U.S. Secretaries the Treasury under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, respectively.
"In 1983, after finishing business school, Tom returned to New York and worked in the risk-arbitrage division of Goldman Sachs under Robert Rubin, Clinton’s future Treasury Secretary," explained a recent piece appearing in The New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/09/16/130916fa_fact_lizza?printable=true&currentPage=all#ixzz2f2uBUeyd) of the relationship between Steyer and former Goldman CEO Rubin.
At the time, Paulson was leading (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Paulson#Goldman_Sachs)Goldman Sachs' Midwest Region (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Paulson#Goldman_Sachs)Investment Banking group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Paulson#Goldman_Sachs).
Henry "Hank" Paulson; Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_Paulson_official_Treasury_photo,_2006.j pg)
Steyer, Bloomberg, Paulson, Rubin and former U.S. Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan George Shultz have reunited to form a climate change initiative whose details will be revealed in October, according to (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/09/16/130916fa_fact_lizza?printable=true&currentPage=all)The New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/09/16/130916fa_fact_lizza?printable=true&currentPage=all).
In a January 2012 op-ed appearing in The Wall Street Journal co-written by Steyer and Center for American Progress chairman John Podesta - now serving as Steyer's aide (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/09/16/130916fa_fact_lizza?printable=true&currentPage=all)- they both offer a full-throttled endorsement of fracking while avoiding use of the term.
"Under President Obama's leadership, we appear to be at the beginning of a domestic gas and oil boom," they wrote (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203718504577178872638705902.html). "This can free us from our addiction to foreign-sourced barrels, particularly if we utilize our dramatically larger and cheaper natural gas reserves."
Perhaps alluding to the forthcoming EDF study, Steyer and Podesta say that if the questions are answered positively, shale gas can serve as a game-changer.
"There are critical environmental questions associated with developing these resources, particularly concerning methane leakage and water contamination," they wrote (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203718504577178872638705902.html).
"Yet as long as we ensure high regulatory standards and stay away from the riskiest and most polluting of these activities, we can safely assemble a collection of lower-carbon, affordable and abundant domestic-energy assets that will dramatically improve our economy and our environment."
Via his TomKat Trust named after him and his wife Kat Taylor, Steyer is also a major funder of the ClimateWorks Foundation (http://www.climateworks.org/about/funders/).
ClimateWorks got off the ground in 2007 by authoring a key report titled, “Design to Win: Philanthropy’s Role in the Fight Against Global Warming (http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/design_to_win_final_8_31_07.pdf)." Among other things, the report calls for converting coal-fired power plants to gas-fired power plants, a de facto endorsement of the then forthcoming U.S. fracking boom.
Will the Steyer, Bloomberg, Paulson and Rubin climate initiative promote fracking as a "bridge fuel"? Time will tell: October's just a few weeks away.
Here's To You, Mr. Robertson Another key funder of the study is the Robertson Foundation (http://www.robertsonfoundation.org/), overseen and endowed by famous hedge fund manager and EDF Board of Trustees member Julian Robertson (http://www.edf.org/people/board-of-trustees).
Formerly the manager of the hedge fund Tiger Management, Robertson now serves as a Senior Advisor (http://www.tigerinfrastructure.com/cgi-bin/team.pl?ID=10) for a hedge fund focusing on midstream energy asset investments: Tiger Infrastructure Partners (http://www.tigerinfrastructure.com).
Emil Henry (http://www.tigerinfrastructure.com/cgi-bin/team.pl?ID=1) serves as the Managing Director and Managing Partner of Tiger Infrastructure Partners. Henry was the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury from 2005-2007 (http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/hp289.aspx), reporting to Henry Paulson as his superior.
Emil Henry; Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Emil-henry.jpg)
Launching in 2009 (http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/11/02/idUS173477+02-Nov-2009+BW20091102), Tiger Infrastructure Partners signed a key partnership with Kiewit Corporation (http://www.kiewit.com/) in June 2012 to develop midstream shale gas assets, mainly gathering systems, pipelines and processing plants.
Tiger - under the deal - is set to spend up to half a billion bucks in captial to develop Kiewit's assets (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tiger-infrastructure-partners-and-kiewit-corporation-create-joint-venture-to-invest-500-million-in-midstream-energy-companies-and-assets-157277415.html), with seed money coming from Julian Robertson and the Ziff family fortune.
"[They] are counting on continued demand for new natural gas and gas liquids and ways to transport them as energy explorers develop new drilling areas," explained The Wall Street Journal (http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2012/06/05/tiger-infrastructure-kiewit-team-on-pipelines/). "The Tiger-Kiewit pact aims to build the pipelines and processing plants for explorers in those new drilling fields."
Kiewit has helped build numerous key midstream and downstream shale gas industry assets, including Maryland's recently-approved Dominion Cove Point LNG export terminal (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-11/dominion-wins-u-s-approval-for-cove-point-gas-export-terminal.html), Oregon's proposed Jordan Cove LNG export facility (http://www.omaha.com/article/20130815/MONEY/130819451), the massive (http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/566850.html) Bakken Shale-based Tioga Gas Plant (http://kiewit.com/projects/oil-gas-chemical/Midstream/tioga-gas-plant-expansion.aspx), Central Gathering Plant-72 in Texas (http://kiewit.com/projects/oil-gas-chemical/Midstream/central-gathering-plant-72.aspx), Mewbourne Gas Plant in Colorado (http://kiewit.com/projects/oil-gas-chemical/Midstream/mewbourne-gas-plant.aspx); and Wyoming's Lost Cabin Gas Plant (http://kiewit.com/projects/oil-gas-chemical/Midstream/LostCabin.aspx), Opal Gas Plant (http://kiewit.com/projects/oil-gas-chemical/Midstream/OpalGasPlant.aspx) and Riley Ridge Gas Processing Plant (http://kiewit.com/projects/oil-gas-chemical/Midstream/RileyRidge.aspx).
The Tiger-Kiewit partnership officially goes by the name TKT Midstream Partners (http://tktmidstream.com/).
Erik Ludtke (http://tktmidstream.com/cgi-bin/leadership.pl) - TKT Midstream's Senior Vice President of Corporate Development - formerly served in executive-level positions both at BG Group and Talisman, both of whom served as sponsors of the EDF study.
"Our focus is delivering producers' hydrocarbons to market," TKT bluntly explains in its mission statement (http://tktmidstream.com/cgi-bin/about.pl).
"Our capabilities include gathering, processing, treating, and transporting hydrocarbons and handling and treating of flowback and produced water. Our unique ability to design, engineer, build, own, and operate midstream assets makes us a one-stop-shop for producers."
The Ziffs and Fracking While Julian Robertson served as one key seed donor to TKT Midstream, so too did the Ziff family, most famous as owners of Ziff Davis Media (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ziff_Davis).
The Ziffs provided seed funding for the goliath Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Och-Ziff_Capital_Management) hedge fund overseen by Daniel Och (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Och) and also own Ziff Brothers Investments (http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=1886454) and its subsidiaries.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Daniel_S._Och_-_World_Economic_Forum_Annual_Meeting_Davos_2009.jp g
Daniel Och; Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Daniel_S._Och_-_World_Economic_Forum_Annual_Meeting_Davos_2009.jp g)
Och-Ziff teamed up with Schlumberger to lease the drilling rights to 85,800 acres (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323293704578331030315441350.html) in 2007 and 2008 on tribal land located in North Dakota's Bakken Shale basin, paying $14 million for the acreage.
"Less than two years later, the Och-Ziff group sold the rights for $949 million," reported (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323293704578331030315441350.html)T he Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323293704578331030315441350.html) of the incredible return on the group's initial investment.
The "Frackademics" The study didn't become "frackademia" simply because of heavy-handed investors: two of the study's co-authors also have career ties to Big Oil, with one of them still working as an industry consultant.
[I]A. Daniel Hill
Enter: Texas A&M's A. Daniel Hill (http://www.pe.tamu.edu/hill/index.html). A Noble Energy Chair in Petroleum Engineering, Hill spent five years as an Advanced Research Engineer with Marathon Oil Company before beginning his career in academia, according to his Texas A&M profile (http://www.pe.tamu.edu/hill/index.html).
Daniel Hill; Photo Credit: Texas A&M (http://www.pe.tamu.edu/hill/index.html)
Jennifer Miskimins
Colorado School of Mines professor Jennifer Miskimins (http://inside.mines.edu/%7Ejmiskimi/) also has a career steeped in "frackademia," beginning it as a Production Engineer, Production Supervisor, and Reservoir Engineer for Marathon Oil Company.
Jennifer Miskimins; Photo Credit: Colorado School of Mines (http://petroleum.mines.edu/faculty/miskimins.html)
On top of her gig at the School of Mines, Miskimins also works as a Senior Consulting Engineer for Barree & Associates, self-described (http://www.barree.net/about-us.html) as "a petroleum engineering firm based in Lakewood, Colorado...offer consulting services for companies worldwide, specializing in stimulation and well performance optimization."
Barree's website hosts (http://barree.net/images/documents/truth-about-gasland.pdf) three industry-written (http://barree.net/images/documents/what-influencers-are-saying-about-gasland.pdf) "Gasland" communiqu (http://barree.net/images/documents/gasland-quotes.pdf)é (http://barree.net/images/documents/gasland-quotes.pdf)s (http://barree.net/images/documents/gasland-quotes.pdf) and another bashing the FRAC Act (http://barree.net/images/documents/anga-statement.pdf), which would mandate the gas industry disclose the chemicals it injects into the ground during the fracking process. Its clients (http://barree.net/clients.html) include Anadarko, Chevron, Encana, Shell, Talisman (five of the nine sponsors of the EDF study), along with Marathon Oil, Noble Energy, EOG Resources, ConocoPhillips and BP.
Miskimins also serves as Director of Colorado School of Mines' Fracturing, Acidizing, Stimulation (FAST) Consortium (http://petroleum.mines.edu/research/fast/index.html) and all 31 publications listed on FAST's website were co-written by Miskimins (http://petroleum.mines.edu/research/fast/pubs.html).
Describing its mission (http://petroleum.mines.edu/research/fast/mission.html) as "practical research in the area of oil and gas well stimulation" and providing an "opportunity for graduate students to work on industry-sponsored projects," FAST's member company sponsors (http://petroleum.mines.edu/research/fast/memberco.html) include Anadarko, BG Group, Encana, and Shell (four of the nine industry sponsors of the EDF study), as well as Barre, BP, ConocoPhillips, Devon, EOG Resources, Marathon Oil, Schlumberger and Halliburton (which helped dream up the "Halliburton Loophole (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/opinion/03tue3.html?_r=0)" trade secret exemptions for fracking chemical fluid disclosure in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the rationale behind the FRAC Act to begin with).
Maintaining a busy schedule, Miskimins also runs Colorado School of Mines' Unconventional Natural Gas and Oil Institute (http://ungi.mines.edu/).
"As a domestic energy source, natural gas is abundant but 'locked up' in these unconventional reservoirs that we're just now beginning to really understand," Miskimins told [I]EnergyWire in 2009 (http://www.eenews.net/stories/81758). "As a 'bridge' fuel to alternative energies down the road, we need to further our understanding of maximizing recovery from these types of reservoirs."
In March 2012, the Institute secured a $2 million grant - $1 million apiece (http://www.mines.edu/ExxonMobil-and-GE-join-university-initiative-to-help-bring-latest-natural-gas-best-practices-to-shale-development) - from ExxonMobil and General Electric, which it now shares with University of Texas-Austin and Pennsylvania State University, both of which had professors who co-authored the EDF study.
GE and ExxonMobil doled out the funding (http://www.mines.edu/ExxonMobil-and-GE-join-university-initiative-to-help-bring-latest-natural-gas-best-practices-to-shale-development) "to develop programs to provide regulators and policymakers access to the latest shale resource technology and best practices."
ExxonMobil - in turn - promoted the model bill for fracking chemical fluid disclosure (http://www.desmogblog.com/alec-wasn-t-first-industry-trojan-horse-behind-fracking-disclosure-bill-enter-council-state-governments) arising from President Obama's industry-stacked U.S. Department of Energy Fracking Subcommittee (http://www.desmogblog.com/fracking-study-panel-filled-gas-industry-insiders). EDF had a representative on that Subcommittee: Executive Director Fred Krupp.
The model bill exists as a direct response to complaints by citizens about lack of industry fracking chemical fluid transparency due to the "Halliburton Loophole."
First passing in Texas in June 2011 (http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=82R&Bill=HB3328), it eventually became a Council of State Governments model bill and then an American Legislative Exchange Council model bill (http://www.desmogblog.com/alec-wasn-t-first-industry-trojan-horse-behind-fracking-disclosure-bill-enter-council-state-governments) pushed by the company's lobbyists at each of the two groups' fall 2011 annual meetings.
Coming full circle then, Miskimins also formerly served on the Technical Advisory Board (http://www.realmenergy.ca/corporate/technical-advisory-board/miskimins.html) for Realm Energy International Corporation (http://www.realmenergy.ca/), purchased for $139 million by San Leon Energy in 2011 (http://oilandgas-investments.com/2011/natural-gas/san-leon-energy-acquires-realm-energy-for-139-million/).
"San Leon's Board of Directors said that it made the move in part to create a more focused shale acreage position in Poland's Baltic Basin," noted an August 2011 press release (http://oilandgas-investments.com/2011/natural-gas/san-leon-energy-acquires-realm-energy-for-139-million/). "In addition, the board said that it might gain even more access to shale if Realm's applications for licenses in France and Spain are accepted."
In December 2009, Realm signed a partnering agreement with Halliburton (http://web.archive.org/web/20100127184104/http://www.realmenergy.ca/ir/news/release.aspx?id=16) to "continue the evaluation of high potential shale deposits throughout Europe and select emerging countries."
“Realm Energy is now moving into an operational phase with our European leasehold and will contract with Halliburton to leverage its extensive shale-development knowledge, gained from Halliburton’s significant presence in the North American market,” Realm Energy Chairman Craig Steinke said in a 2011 press release (http://www.lngworldnews.com/halliburton-realm-energy-evaluate-rank-shale-gas-plays-in-emerging-markets-usa/).
San Leon owns over 23 million acres (http://sanleonenergy.com/operations-and-assets.aspx) of shale assets in Poland, Albania, Morocco, Spain, Ireland, France, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Germany combined. Its current focus centers around (http://sanleonenergy.com/about-us/at-a-glance.aspx) Poland, Albania, Ireland and Morocco and it describes itself as (http://sanleonenergy.com/about-us/at-a-glance.aspx)"Europe's leading shale gas company by acreage."
One of San Leon's Partners - Talisman (http://sanleonenergy.com/expertise/partners.aspx) - was also a sponsor of the EDF study. In July, San Leon purchased the totality of Talisman's Polish acreage (http://business.financialpost.com/2013/05/07/san-leon-energy-to-buy-talisman-out-of-polish-shale-venture-source/?__lsa=d11b-b5f2).
Through San Leon bought out Realm, it still maintains a close relationship with Halliburton, signing a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2013 (http://www.offshore-publication.com/index.php/projects/962-halliburton-san-leon-sign-mod-348725) to "develop a strategic relationship to jointly explore and develop the...unconventional gas potential in San Leon’s Wschowa, Gora, and Rawicz Concessions in Poland."
Greenpeace USA, Food & Water Watch React EDF believes the research - whose methodology is listed in-full online (http://dept.ceer.utexas.edu/methane/study/) - will speak for itself, justifying the full development of U.S. shale gas assets going forward.
“The scientific talent leading these studies, the partnership with industry and access to their facilities, and the diverse research methods used, gives us the confidence that when the project concludes in late 2014, we’ll be able to greatly increase our understanding of the climate impacts of switching to natural gas from other fossil fuels, through this unprecedented collective research effort,” EDF Chief Scientist Steve Hamburg said in a press statement (http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/First%20Academic%20Study%20Released%20in%20EDF%E2% 80%99s%20Groundbreaking%20Methane%20Emissions%20Se ries%20%281%29.pdf).
EDF explicitly states the study's findings - despite key funders profiting directly from the shale gas boom - will inform policymakers' next steps on shale gas.
"The study’s measurements will help inform policymakers, researchers and industry, providing information about some of the sources of methane emissions from the production of natural gas and better inform and advance national and international scientific and policy discussions with respect to natural gas development and use," EDF notes in their press release (http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/EDFPressReleaseonFrackingMethaneEmissionsStudy.pdf ) on the study's launch.
Greenpeace USA's Executive Director Philip Radford unpacked a worst-case scenario of how the report will be used by Big Oil in the coming days, weeks and months.
"At worst, it will be used as PR by the natural gas industry to promote their pollution," he wrote on The Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip-radford/dont-let-the-industry-fra_b_3936456.html). "In fact, methane is 105 times more powerful than carbon pollution as a global warming pollutant, so figuring out its real climate impacts has very real consequences for us going forward."
Food and Water Watch was even more harsh in its assessment of the state of play.
“This industry-sponsored ‘study’ is more spin than science,” Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch said in a press statement (http://www.americansagainstfracking.org/press-room/sep-16-new-industry-sponsored-study-on-fracking-more-spin-than-science-produces-findings-dramatically-out-of-step-with-other-recent-studies/). “The Environmental Defense Fund is running interference for the industry, and the result will be more drilling and fracking around the world.

David Guyatt
09-30-2013, 12:40 PM
Looks to me that the government has already decided to proceed with fracking in the UK - despite all the BS that it's waiting for results from test drilling sites.

It was always going to go where the money is.

This story is preparing UK citizens not to get expect cheaper prices in the UK, once the countryside starts getting ripped apart and poisoned. Selling gas to Europe will increase the government tax coffers, but no relief for the rest of us.

We're going to be truly fracked as usual.

Chris Huhne: UK may have to export fracking gas to rest of Europe

Former energy minister Chris Huhne has warned that the UK may be forced to export its reserves of shale gas produced by fracking to the rest of Europe.

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02687/huhne_jpg_2687224b.jpgFormer energy minister Chris Huhne Photo: Rii Schroer

By Rhiannon Williams (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/rhiannon-williams/)

9:12AM BST 30 Sep 2013

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/template/ver1-0/i/share/comments.gif54 Comments (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fracking/10343489/Chris-Huhne-UK-may-have-to-export-fracking-gas-to-rest-of-Europe.html#disqus_thread)

Mr Huhne said that under European competition laws the UK may be forced to share the gas with other countries.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change has predicted gas prices in the UK could fall by as much as a quarter if the UK begins to exploit its natural reserves.

But when asked by John Humphrys on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme if the UK would be forced to export the gas, Huhne said that some would be used in the UK, but trade guidelines would make exportation likely.

He said it was not a question of having to export the gas, as it "would certainly get used here", but said the UK was "linked in to world gas price much more than the Americans are" due to the already established pipelines and terminals.

The controversial practice of gas extraction involving pumping water into drill sites to force gas out of rock has sparked anti-fracking protests across the country in recent months.

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Mr Huhne has previously said there only two safe ways to reduce UK energy prices; to increase supply or cut demand. He said gas prices in the US, which are three times lower than UK wholesale gas prices could be attributed to the US "fracking revolution".
The former Lib Dem MP said UK gas prices could be lowered due to the import of fracking gas from the United States.
He told Humphreys: "The speed of the fracking revolution in the US has happened so quickly the investors have been unable to keep up with turning import terminals, which they’re expected to have to use, into export terminals.
“It’s certainly worth doing, massively worth doing. There are lots of proposals outstanding to the US government outstanding for approval for export terminals, and so far just four have been approved, and there are another 10 awaiting approval.
“What we need is lots and lots of those approvals, because that will gradually equalise the gas price in the US with the rest of the world. At the moment they’re getting a tremendous competitive advantage from that low gas price, because of all the gas being locked in as these export facilities simply aren’t there yet."
Huhne maintained the UK government must continue to apply pressure to the US to develop export terminals for fracking gas in order for the gas to be exported to the UK, which in turn would lower gas prices.
He said many American businesses and trade unions oppose the building of export terminals, and that the US is legally obliged to share strategic commodities under the World Trade Organisation.
Earlier this month a report by the American Chemistry Council claimed shale gas had given the US a "profound and sustained competitive advantage" in chemicals, plastics, and related industries.
He also blamed high energy costs on the Treasury, which he claimed resisted calls to provide greater incentives for homeowners and businesses to improve energy efficiency, instead choosing to give relief to fracking firms.
Huhne was jailed for eight months in March this year for perverting the course of justice over a 2003 spending case.
Following his resignation as an MP and release from jail Huhne has been employed in a two-day-a-week role as the European chairman of American firm Zilkha Biomass Energy.
A spokesman for the Institute of Directors said the professional business network backed the extraction of shale gas, but admitted the industry had some way to go.
He said: "A domestic shale gas industry would be of enormous benefit to the UK, but there's a long way to go before we start to consider exporting it.
"We support the government's ambition to create a dynamic, well-regulated shale industry and the focus must now be on getting the gas out of the ground so we can follow America's example and reap the rewards."

Telegraph. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fracking/10343489/Chris-Huhne-UK-may-have-to-export-fracking-gas-to-rest-of-Europe.html)

Magda Hassan
09-30-2013, 01:19 PM
It is all the rage here too. Insane. Britain is surrounded by all that water which can be harnessed as tidal energy. The there is wind power too. All free and renewable. Not sure how well situated the UK is for geothermal but for sure there are so many environmental problems with fracking I can't imagine why it is even an option. Oh, yes I can actually.

Magda Hassan
10-18-2013, 06:52 AM
A new low in the war on mother earth and those trying to save her.

Canadian First Nation anti-fracking protest: Arrests, pepper-spray, snipers, torched carsPublished time: October 18, 2013 01:03
Edited time: October 18, 2013 06:23Get short URL (http://rt.com/news/canadian-fracking-protest-erupts-violence-333/)

http://rt.com/files/news/20/cb/d0/00/canadian-fracking-protest-erupts-violence.si.jpgPhoto fronm twitter/@MattThor

Canada (http://rt.com/tags/canada/), Clashes (http://rt.com/tags/clashes/), Crime (http://rt.com/tags/crime/), Human rights (http://rt.com/tags/human-rights/),Law (http://rt.com/tags/law/), Police (http://rt.com/tags/police/), Politics (http://rt.com/tags/politics/), Protest (http://rt.com/tags/protest/)

An anti-fracking protest descended into violence when an estimated 100 police officers sought to control hundreds more Canadian protesters who set cars on fire and threatened officers mounted on horseback.
Tension spilled over Thursday when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) moved in to take down barriers erected by members of the Elsipogtog First Nation tribe in New Brunswick, Canada.
Activists and local aboriginals have held demonstrations for a week to protest shale gas exploration in the region. The method of gas extraction involves drilling shallow, low-pressure fractures into the earth, which adds thousands of liters of chemicals to groundwater and emits foul odors from the ground.

17-10-13 #Canada (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Canada&src=hash) - Police cars torched after police attack during Anti-Fracking protest.#mikmaqblockade (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23mikmaqblockade&src=hash) #IdleNoMore (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23IdleNoMore&src=hash) pic.twitter.com/egZxTBXiGt (http://t.co/egZxTBXiGt)
— ѕyndιcalιѕт (@syndicalisms) October 17, 2013 (https://twitter.com/syndicalisms/statuses/390964368185516032)At least 40 people were arrested Thursday for firearms violations, threats, intimidation, mischief, and violating a court-order injunction, the RCMP said. First Nation Chief Aaron Sock was among those taken into custody.

The RCMP claimed that at least one shot was fired Thursday by someone other than an officer and that at least five police cars were set on fire. They are investigating the possibility that explosives were planted at the scene and asserted that demonstrators were throwing rocks and bottles, along with spraying some kind of liquid at officers.
“The RCMP has worked diligently with all parties involved in hopes for a peaceful resolution. Those efforts have not been successful. Tensions were rising, and serious criminal acts are being committed,” RCMP constable Jullie Rogers-Marsh said in a news release.

#IndigenousResistance (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23IndigenousResistance&src=hash) against fracking in Canada pic.twitter.com/oOk03cpEKQ (http://t.co/oOk03cpEKQ)
— Mel (@me_l) October 17, 2013 (https://twitter.com/me_l/statuses/390921829541359616)“There have been threats made to employees who were working with a private security firm at the site, as all as firearms offenses, incidents of intimidation, mischief and other criminal behavior. For those reasons and to ensure public safety, police action was required.”
Chief Sock issued an eviction notice to SWN Resources Canada two weeks ago, warning the oil and gas company to leave native land. SWN seeks to begin seismic testing before it begins fracking for shale gas.
First Nation, mobilized in the belief that the energy exploration constitutes an invasion of tribal land, started blocking Highway 11 between Rexton and Sainte-Anne-de-Kent. That action inspired an October 3 court injunction ordering protesters to stay off the road.

A line of vehicles on fire. Amazing. @EmilyBat (https://twitter.com/EmilyBat) @Global_NB (https://twitter.com/Global_NB) #nb (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23nb&src=hash) pic.twitter.com/9ZxmAtP1w3 (http://t.co/9ZxmAtP1w3)
— Laura Brown (@01LBrown) October 17, 2013 (https://twitter.com/01LBrown/statuses/390891610755461120)The simmering fury came to a head Thursday morning when the RCMP moved on the highway to force demonstrators away. What exactly followed remains unclear. Native leaders maintain that the police provoked them by drawing their weapons, while the RCMP asserted that they had no choice but to engage.
Susan Levi-Peters, a former chief of the Elsipogtog First Nation, told the Toronto Globe and Mail that the conflict quickly escalated after Chief Sock was apprehended. Pictures of Sock in handcuffs were posted frequently on Twitter throughout the day, inspiring messages of solidarity for the tribe.
Others said the chaos began when shots were fired, either by the police or an activist.
“It is really very volatile,” Levi-Peters said. “It’s a head-to-head between the people and the RCMP right now and the warriors are in the middle surrounded by the RCMP and then the RCMP are surrounded by the people.”

Another chilling photo from #Elsipogtog (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Elsipogtog&src=hash) #idlenomore (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23idlenomore&src=hash) #fracking (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23fracking&src=hash) #indigenous (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23indigenous&src=hash)pic.twitter.com/H1pgCUPyiX (http://t.co/H1pgCUPyiX)
— Todd Lamirande (@ToddLamirande) October 17, 2013 (https://twitter.com/ToddLamirande/statuses/390946654171316224)
Fellow Canadians, this is the side you want to be on. Be half as brave as that little girl.#Elsipogtog (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Elsipogtog&src=hash) #cdnpoli (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23cdnpoli&src=hash) pic.twitter.com/51Hm14QpZu (http://t.co/51Hm14QpZu)
— Settler Colonial (@SettlerColonial) October 17, 2013 (https://twitter.com/SettlerColonial/statuses/390911922825986048)
I want to cry....#RCMP (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RCMP&src=hash) are attacking my people in #Elsipogtog (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Elsipogtog&src=hash)......................the cops brought snipers pic.twitter.com/mhXnk18Smx (http://t.co/mhXnk18Smx)
— Treena Metallic (@Mimiges) October 17, 2013 (https://twitter.com/Mimiges/statuses/390842745234792448)

Magda Hassan
10-18-2013, 07:11 AM
CSG industry wants to hide from its toxic nameBy Matt Grudnoff (http://www.abc.net.au/news/thedrum/matt-grudnoff/4050668)
Posted 8 hours 47 minutes ago
http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/4227934-3x2-340x227.jpg (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-18/fullerton-cove-coal-seam-gas-drill-site-lock-the-gate-genericj/5030570)PHOTO: The industry clearly understands how the general public views CSG. (ABC News: Dan Cox) (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-18/fullerton-cove-coal-seam-gas-drill-site-lock-the-gate-genericj/5030570)

The words "coal seam gas" remain highly controversial and unpopular, which is why the industry wants to rebrand itself as "natural gas" as a way to avoid debate, writes Matt Grudnoff.
Just as those in the world of Harry Potter refused to utter Lord Voldemort's name for fear of their lives, the gas industry appears equally frightened of using the words 'coal seam gas' for fear it might hurt its profits.
But just as calling Voldemort 'He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named' didn't make him disappear, calling coal seam gas (CSG) something else doesn't make it any less of a concern for the community.
The gas industry has been hit by an increasing number of restrictions on its CSG projects at the same time that both sides of politics have been talking about reducing green tape for resource projects. Exclusion zones in NSW and new water triggers from the federal government show the level of unease that governments and the general public have about CSG.
According to the Liberal-National Party, the industry has failed to gain a social licence, with NSW Resources Minister Chris Hartcher chiding the industry at its national conference, saying, "Industry did not engage in the debate; industry stood back and allowed the debate to happen."
But how did the industry get to the point where the conservative side of politics is implementing two kilometre exclusion zones around homes?
Avoiding the issue seems to be the industry's plan, with new survey data from The Australia Institute showing that 36 per cent of Australians have not heard of coal seam gas. The industry tries not to mention CSG by name and in all kinds of ways it has avoided engaging with people's concerns.
It has refused to do any work to look at how much natural gas is leaking out of the ground because the industry is using the controversial method of extracting CSG known as fracking. This is a process that splits the rocks underground - where the natural gas is trapped - in order to force it out. With a complete lack of information from the industry, the government has been forced to commission the CSIRO to conduct research in this area.
The industry in its recent multi-million dollar advertising campaign has not made any attempt to allay the general public's concerns about the environmental effects of CSG extraction. In The Australia Institute survey, the top concerns people had about CSG were damage to the local environment, negative impacts on farming land, damage to people's health, and water contamination.
Instead, the advertising campaign focused on possible economic benefits of expanding the natural gas industry, including the amazing claim that it was responsible for 100,000 jobs last year (http://www.ournaturaladvantage.com.au/). According to ABS, the industry employs about 20,000 people in total.
Apart from extraordinary claims of economic benefits, the most interesting thing about the advertising campaign is what it hasn't talked about. Nowhere does it mention CSG, despite the purpose of the campaign being to remove restrictions on CSG extraction. The advertising instead talks about natural gas, a term that is far less controversial.
The industry clearly understands how the general public views CSG because just after the federal election, it gleefully reported that it had conducted exit polls in a small number of electorates where it asked voters if natural gas was an issue for them. No one said it was. This fits in with the industry's desire to keep a low profile, but what is really interesting is that they asked about 'natural gas', not CSG. The response may well have been very different if they had used the words coal seam gas.
These words are so toxic that the NSW government has proposed changing them. Rather than referring to 'coal seam gas' or 'CSG', it would instead be called 'natural gas from coal seams'. Natural gas from coal seams might be technically correct, but we are left to wonder why the term needed expanding.
But the real question is why the industry is avoiding the debate. Could it be avoiding discussing environmental concerns because it fears that the public might be correct? Is its strategy not to engage a delaying tactic in the hope that CSG projects can be up and running before the full extent of the damage is known?
Whatever the reason, the restrictions on CSG do not look like going away anytime soon. Vote compass asked if people thought restrictions on CSG should be reduced and 60 per cent of respondents from New South Wales said no (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-23/vote-compass-foreign-ownership-csg/4905794). With the industry afraid to even talk about CSG, it seems intent on exaggerating the economic benefits, running a baseless gas shortage scare campaign, and hoping that the 36 per cent of Australians who have not heard of CSG don't find out about it anytime soon.
Matt Grudnoff is a senior economist at The Australia Institute. View his full profile here (http://www.abc.net.au/news/thedrum/matt-grudnoff/4050668).

Keith Millea
10-18-2013, 04:48 PM
Military snipers brought to an indigenous anti-fracking protest

American Indian Movement (AIM) speaks up!

First Nations Terrance Nelson calls for rail blockades in response to New Brunswick police attack

By Terrance Nelson, Roseau River Anishinabe
Vice Chairman American Indian Movement
Censored News

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ORPfGSRzzS4/UmCAwdzHBEI/AAAAAAAA-WM/ZIKKFiktfTo/s320/BW0MSTnCUAAMhEL.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ORPfGSRzzS4/UmCAwdzHBEI/AAAAAAAA-WM/ZIKKFiktfTo/s1600/BW0MSTnCUAAMhEL.jpg)

First Nations Winnipeg marching late Thursday to RCMP

As Chairman of the American Indian Movement, I am forwarding you the following link regarding the situation in New Brunswick Canada. Brenda Norrell of Censored News is posting the updates as it comes in. Please circulate as far as possible.

As Vice-Chair of AIM, I have been warning of inevitable violence in Canada for some time now. I fully expect and am advising our supporters and Warrior Societies across Canada to blockade on behalf of the Elsipogtog FIrst Nation people. Chief Arren Sock and his council have been arrested. This is not a joke, this is real and as I warned our people, time and time again, the Canadian Government has been preparing for this confrontation for some time. They have a long list of people that will be arrested. I am one of the people on that list.

We have prepared for this time and most warrior societies across Canada are aware to stay in their home area, not to rush to New Brunswick to be concentrated in one area for Police and the Canadian Army to easily contain the situation.

The most important issue is Who Speaks for our people. National Chief Atleo is too weak for what is coming. The shutdown of the Canadian economy will happen. We as Warrior Societies had prepared for this since the OKA crisis in 1990, and the Canadian Government made sure that the situation would happen.

I ask that you inform as many of the AIM people as possible and monitor the situation in Canada. This situation is very serious and I fully expect violence to occur even more so than what has already happened in New Brunwick.

At four p.m. today, AIM people in Manitoba will be protesting in Winnipeg. I expect railway blockades to occur immediately across Canada and they will continue until the Federal Government of Canada comes to their senses.

I expect to be arrested along with many others. The support from the American side is critical to the First Nations in Canada. This is big oil pushing the First Nations into submission. That is their goal. The Conservative Government of Canada is only a tool of big business.

I will try to stay in touch.

Terrance Nelson
Vice-Chair AIM

More support and photos at the link below:


Magda Hassan
10-18-2013, 11:16 PM
Military snipers brought to an indigenous anti-fracking protest

American Indian Movement (AIM) speaks up!

More support and photos at the link below:


There are some great photos at the link. It must be a new low for the Harper government sending snipers to an environmental protest. The police should be protecting the land from the corporations assault not those trying to stop the crime.

David Guyatt
10-24-2013, 08:06 AM
Oh dearie me.

The new director general of the National Trust ( since November 2012) says that the NT is open to fracking on Trust properties.

Being new, she has no idea of the depth of resentment this statement will probably engender amongst trust members, who I imagine will be wild with indignation. I can see the possibility that her term of office being really quite short.

National Trust may open up land to fracking, says Dame Helen Ghosh

Head of conservation trust says it has an 'open mind' despite previous opposition – but would not allow windfarms

Press Association
theguardian.com (http://www.theguardian.com/), Thursday 24 October 2013 05.35 BST
Jump to comments (53) (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/24/national-trust-open-land-fracking#start-of-comments)

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/10/24/1382589051185/Dame-Helen-Ghosh-says-the-010.jpgDame Helen Ghosh says the National Trust is no longer unilaterally opposed to fracking. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA

The National Trust (http://www.theguardian.com/uk/national-trust) has an "open mind" about fracking and would consider allowing it on its land, the head of the charity has said.

Dame Helen Ghosh, the conservation trust's director general, told the Times it would make up its mind about the controversial gas (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/gas) extraction procedure after seeing the evidence on its environmental impact.

It appears to be a move away from the trust's previous stance of a "presumption against fracking" on its land "because natural gas is a fossil gas", a position it held during the anti-fracking protests in August when the firm Cuadrilla drilled a test well at Balcombe in West Sussex.

Ghosh said the trust was worried that fracking might "perpetuate a reliance on fossil fuels" but said that gas was "less bad" than coal in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.

She added: "I'm not saying we will never allow fracking on our land.

"We all have yet to see what the surface environmental impact of fracking is and when we have seen it then we would reach a view about whether [we would object to it] adjacent to National Trust land or on National Trust land.

"We are waiting for the evidence. We have an open mind."

Ghosh said it was unlikely the National Trust "would ever promote or allow a windfarm on our land" but she would not say whether this was because of the visual intrusion of windfarms.

She admitted the trust was well behind on its own targets for reducing reliance on fossil fuels and for conserving energy.

More than 100 people were arrested during protests against Cuadrilla's test drilling, including the former Green party leader and Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas.
Opponents of fracking, in which water and chemicals are pumped into the ground at high pressure to fracture shale rock and release gas, fear it could harm water resources and cause small earthquakes, and that development of the sites will cause noise and traffic.

A clue to her position may be found in the fact that until last year, she was a Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, having previously been with the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) where she had remained since 1979.

Magda Hassan
10-24-2013, 08:36 AM
I'd be wanting to know if she or her close friends and family have any connection, financial and or business to fracking companies.

David Guyatt
10-24-2013, 09:09 AM
I suspect it's more of a culture thing, fairly new as far as I can tell. I worked for the trust as a volunteer (who compose something like 90% of the workforce) and there's a new breed of property manager being put in place, who are, imo, completely money oriented.

For example, a fair percentage of lower ranks paid staff are placed on temporary seasonal contracts year after year. They might drive 20-30 miles to work in the morning, to be told they are unwanted for the day (because it's a slow day or weather is bad and will ut off visitors etc), and have to return home unpaid - but having paid the cost of their travel. Obviously this can cripple them financially, as bills aren't likewise compliant in having an "off" day. Obviously, the senior and management level staff have permanent contracts and do not have to endure this sort of stress. It's completely unfair in my opinion, but a lot of charities seem to follow this "business plan" these days, without having a duty of care to their employees.

Magda Hassan
01-01-2014, 08:11 AM
It's all an international conspiracy!

Coal industry under siege as protest groups tap global expertise and funds

The Courier-Mail (http://www.couriermail.com.au)
December 31, 2013 9:10PM

The mum and dad protest groups have gone rogue.

The once passive community associations or progress groups have turned aggressively anti-development and at least 40 activist groups are champing at the bit to take on the Queensland mining and resources industry, particularly coal.
But the mining industry claims the groups have been hijacked and that well-meaning residents have been manipulated by an international conspiracy to kill off Australia's fossil fuel industry through a well co-ordinated and deeply funded green movement.
"There is no doubt the activists have had it all over industry in terms of their agility and their resourcing and also the lack of constraints on them,'' Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said.

"The activists are very good at inhabiting those groups. There's no doubt (they are being manipulated).
"They are very good at hijacking local concerns but then very good at turning those local concerns towards the ultimate objective which is to slow down the fossil fuel.''
The activists have been so vocal that one group dragged Prime Minister Tony Abbott into their dispute with coal seam gas companies.
Mr Abbott paid a secret visit less than two months after his election to one of the most vocal activists, Debbie Orr, who has been campaigning against coal seam gas at Tara.
Since then, though, not much has happened.
"There's no doubt Australia has become a battleground for the activists groups globally,'' Mr Roche said.
"It's pretty clear their focus is on fossil fuel and they think that if they can turn back the development of fossil fuel in Australia then that is an important demonstration to the rest of the world.
"Most of the people behind them (the resident action groups) are very experienced activists who have operated in anti-forest action in Tasmania and have moved into the latest part of their careers as very adept campaigners.''
One of the most successful activist group has been Lock the Gate which has grown from nothing three years ago to having an annual budget of about $1 million and 20 staff nationally. It received a large slab of its money from one of the Ainsworth family, but LtG president Drew Hutton says that is no longer significant and the bulk of its money comes from its 25,000 members or supporters and grants from foundations.
He points out that if there is global money coming in for the activists it would not be anywhere near the amount the global mining companies are channelling in.
Patricia Julien from the Mackay Conservation Group says it's ignorant to make such claims against protest groups.
"That doesn't give us much credit for the work we have been doing for the past 10 years,'' she said.
"We do our homework and I am insulted that they would think I'm a puppet for anyone. I'm nobody's puppet. I've got two masters degrees so I'm no fool.
There is big money locally for green groups from the likes of Wotif millionaire Graham Wood, the Ainsworth family or the Thomas Foundation.
Flight Centre co-founder and millionaire Graham "Scroo'' Turner has also funded a fight against a coal mine expansion near one of his Pepper resorts in the Bremer Valley and the Sunrise Project also hands out grants of up to $5000 to small activist groups.
Farmer Ruth Armstrong has been fighting the Arrow Energy proposal in the Cecil Plains, near Dalby, for more than two years and had spent "a considerable amount'' of her own money helping fund Save our Darling Downs while other land owners had also invested what she called substantial sums.
She said the political system had failed them.
"We came to the conclusion that if we were not prepared to look after our own backyard no one else would be,'' Ms Armstrong said.
"The state of politics now is that a MP's first allegiance is to the party, not the electorate.


Magda Hassan
01-01-2014, 08:17 AM
The only experience they will be bringing is that of creating a complete environmental disaster.

Canadian, US investors lead suitors for Mexican shale By Adam Critchley - Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Canadian and US investors are likely to be among the first to participate in fracking for shale gas (http://www.bnamericas.com/news/electricpower/mexico-must-increase-shale-gas-production-to-lower-electricity-costs-pemex-ceo1) in Mexico, bringing their experience and expertise to a sector opened up by reforms, according to analysts.
"With permission for fracking and mining to take place simultaneously, fracking will be very attractive to Canadian investors and companies already established in Mexico," according to Jorge Pedroza, director of energy at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Mexico.
The reform legislation states that, in the event of the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves, mining companies must allow fracking in order to extract shale, while mining concessions will not grant rights over the hydrocarbon reserves that could exist in the same zone.
Mexico is estimated to have the world's sixth-largest shale reserves, in states such as Coahuila, Veracruz and Sonora, the latter a region where various Canadian and US mining firms operate.
"I think there is an opportunity in the Canadian market for raising capital to invest in the oil and gas sector in Mexico," said Mauricio Candiani, CEO of consultancy Candiani Mining.
However, Candiani said he doesn't expect it will be mining companies that invest in shale oil and shale gas extraction, due to the different techniques and expertise required.
Canada's largest shale reserves are located in British Columbia and Alberta, and it is likely that Mexico's shale sector could interest companies and investors with experience in those regions, Candiani said.
Canada and the US lead the world in shale gas production, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), and are the world's only major producers of commercially viable natural gas from shale formations.
The technical expertise would come from Texas and Canada as it would be very simple to extrapolate the geographical conditions of those areas with Coahuila and northern Veracruz, where there are geological similarities, Candiani added.


Magda Hassan
01-01-2014, 08:20 AM
Israel has no right to grant any thing there. War crime. Another one.

Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy.

Major shareholders of Genie Energy – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild. This from a 2010 Genie Energy press release:
Claude Pupkin, CEO of Genie Oil and Gas, commented, “Genie’s success will ultimately depend, in part, on access to the expertise of the oil and gas industry and to the financial markets.
Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch are extremely well regarded by and connected to leaders in these sectors. Their guidance and participation will prove invaluable.”
“I am grateful to Howard Jonas and IDT for the opportunity to invest in this important initiative,” Lord Rothschild said. “Rupert Murdoch’s extraordinary achievements speak for themselves and we are very pleased he has agreed to be our partner.
Genie Energy is making good technological progress to tap the world’s substantial oil shale deposits which could transform the future prospects of Israel, the Middle East and our allies around the world.”
For Israel to seek to exploit mineral reserves in the occupied Golan Heights is plainly illegal in international law. Japan was succesfully sued by Singapore before the International Court of Justice for exploitation of Singapore’s oil resources during the second world war.
The argument has been made in international law that an occupying power is entitled to operate oil wells which were previously functioning and operated by the sovereign power, in whose position the occupying power now stands.
But there is absolutely no disagreement in the authorities and case law that the drilling of new wells – let alone fracking – by an occupying power is illegal.
Israel tried to make the same move twenty years ago but was forced to back down after a strong reaction from the Syrian government, which gained diplomatic support from the United States. Israel is now seeking to take advantage of the weakened Syrian state; this move perhaps casts a new light on recent Israeli bombings in Syria.
In a rational world, the involvement of Rothschild and Murdoch in this international criminal activity would show them not to be fit and proper persons to hold major commercial interests elsewhere, and action would be taken. Naturally, nothing of the kind will happen.


Peter Lemkin
01-01-2014, 10:07 AM
In Oklahoma, water, fracking - and a swarm of quakesBY CAREY GILLAM
NORMAN, Oklahoma Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:21pm EST


http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20131119&t=2&i=813279316&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=CBRE9AI1KJK00 (http://www.reuters.com/article/slideshow/idUSBRE9AI12W20131119#a=1)

http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20131119&t=2&i=813279317&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=CBRE9AI1KJM00 (http://www.reuters.com/article/slideshow/idUSBRE9AI12W20131119#a=2)

http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20131119&t=2&i=813279314&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=CBRE9AI1KJN00 (http://www.reuters.com/article/slideshow/idUSBRE9AI12W20131119#a=3)

1 OF 3. Arkansas Geological Society Geohazards Supervisor Scott Ausbrooks stands over a vault which houses a seismometer in Woolly Hollow State Park in Greenbrier, Arkansas in this file photo taken August 6, 2013.

(Reuters) - Seismologist Austin Holland wants to start an earthquake.
From his office a few feet below the earth's surface - a basement at the University of Oklahoma in Norman - Holland, who tracks quakes for the Oklahoma Geological Survey, is digging into a complex riddle: Is a dramatic rise in the size and number of quakes in his state related to oil and gas production activity? And, if so, what can be done to stop it?
As part of his wide-ranging research, Holland is proposing to inject pressurized water into porous rock in an area already known to be earthquake-prone, to see whether injections of oil industry wastewater are contributing to a "swarm" of earthquakes rocking the state.
"This is a dramatic new rate of seismicity," Holland said in an interview. "We can't guarantee the earthquakes aren't a coincidence (unrelated to oil and gas work)," he said. "But it would be a pretty remarkable coincidence."
Experts say billions of dollars could be at stake, as potential new regulations could affect the oil and gas industry's profits and as lawsuits by property owners with earthquake-related claims make their way through the legal system.
Oklahoma, the nation's fifth-largest oil-producing state, recorded 238 earthquakes through November 18. More than 100 of those were at least a magnitude 3.0 on the Richter scale, tremors large enough to shake shelves and shred nerves.
One series of quakes in September near a newly opened injection well in the southern part of the state damaged several homes.
The quake activity is a far cry from four years ago when the state had but 20 rumblers of 3.0 and above. And from 1991 to 2008 there were no more than three quakes a year of that size in the state.
Since 2009, the volume of wastewater from oil and gas work injected deep into underground disposal wells has also risen, up about 50 percent in 2012 from the level seen during most of the first decade of the century, with the last couple of years showing the biggest jumps.
Most earthquakes occur naturally, but the increases in frequency and magnitude are distinct new elements, researchers say. While there are already many studies linking work at injection wells to earthquakes, Holland and other scientists are focusing on how the quakes are triggered and on measures to mitigate seismic activity.
The concern is not unique to Oklahoma. Since 2001 the average annual number of earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater has jumped "significantly" across the midsection of the country, including not just Oklahoma but also Ohio, Arkansas and Texas, according to the U.S. Department of Interior.
In Arkansas, a group of homeowners who filed lawsuits against well operators alleged that their properties were damaged by a swarm of earthquakes that hit the central part of that state in 2010 and 2011. Scientists there blamed disposal wells for touching off more than 1,000 quakes in those years.
"Potentially billions of dollars are involved, from profits to class action lawsuits," oil industry analyst John Daly noted to clients recently. "Given the stakes, Holland's research will be closely watched not only by Oklahoma's oil and gas industry but producers throughout the U.S. as well."
The increasing number of large quakes has given fresh urgency to questions about whether the seismic activity is being induced by oil and gas production activities. Along with Holland, earthquake experts in Oklahoma, Texas, California, Arkansas and elsewhere are examining the issue. The federal government and the oil industry are funding some of the research.
Most earthquakes occur naturally. But scientists have long linked some small earthquakes to oil and gas work underground, which can alter pressure points and cause shifts in the earth.
Oil and gas exploration (http://www.reuters.com/sectors/industries/overview?industryCode=7&lc=int_mb_1001) has increased in recent years across the country, spurred by U.S. efforts for energy independence. Modern hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is one particularly controversial technique.
Fracking - which involves the injection of water, sand and chemicals under high pressure into bedrock to increase the flow of oil or gas - has been the culprit in some small earthquakes around the country. But it is not suspected as the cause of the bigger and more frequent quakes that have occurred recently, according to the Interior Department.
Disposal of the wastewater generated by fracking and by other types of oil and gas production is the "focal point" for research into what scientists call "induced" earthquakes.
The increase in earthquakes might be due in part to new drilling and well-completion technologies that enable the extraction of oil and gas from previously unproductive formations, according to William Ellsworth, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Science Center.
In a report published in July, Ellsworth linked wastewater disposal to a 2011 Youngstown, Ohio, quake, and a series of earthquakes from October 2008 to May 2009 near Dallas, Texas.
Ellsworth also tied wastewater injection to a record-breaking 5.6-magnitude quake in Oklahoma in November, 2011, a tremor that damaged more than a dozen homes and several businesses.
The oil industry is not disputing the possibility of links, said Steve Everley, a spokesman for Energy In Depth, a website run by the Independent Petroleum Association of America. But only a handful of injection wells are actually associated with seismic events large enough to be felt, he said. Still, he said, the industry is paying attention to the new scientific findings.
"Sound research and good data can help inform the industry and improve its operations to further reduce risk," he said.
Holland's research primarily focuses on analyzing how seismic activity around the state correlates with injection volumes and the numerous fault zones underlying the region. But he is also drawing up a proposal that would create a small earthquake in the south-central part of the state.
That region was rattled by dozens of earthquakes in September, including one that registered 3.4 on the Richter scale, and the quakes began within two weeks of the startup of a new wastewater injection well there. Data showed that as the volume of pressurized wastewater injections grew, so did the seismic activity.
The well operator closed the well after regulators limited its volumes in response to the quakes, but Holland is seeking permission from regulators and the well operator to reopen the well and inject ever-greater amounts of wastewater while monitoring the seismic reaction. He hopes the work can help identify safe levels of injection and strategies to reduce risks for further earthquakes.
Regulators and the oil and gas industry say they welcome the research.
"Those people that live in areas that have been seismically active ... they are very concerned," said Matt Skinner, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporations Commission, which oversees the state's 11,000 injection wells.
Tom Dunlap, owner of the injection well Holland wants to use as the test site, said he welcomes Holland's proposal as a way to limit further earthquake risk.
"What our work does ... and how that plays into seismic stuff ... we don't know," Dunlap said.