Fracking Amazing: US Carbon Emissions in 2012 Will be Lower than in 2007 Due to Fracking

Instapundit points to this bit of happy news culled from John Hanger, a Democrat who is running for governonr of Pennsylvania, where has been secretary of the state department of the environment and a commissioner of the public utility commission:

US energy related carbon emissions in 2012 will fall below 5,300 million tons or down about 12%, compared to the peak emissions of 6,023 million tons in 2007.  Through this September, carbon emissions have been down every month in 2012, when compared to each of the first 9 months of 2011 and 2010. No other country matches that record.

US GDP has grown every quarter since July 1, 2009, and today our economy is bigger than it was in 2007, the peak carbon emission year.  Yet, even with an economy in 2012 that is bigger than in 2007, our carbon emissions will be 12% lower than they were in 2007....

Only the USA has had a shale gas boom and only the USA has cut substantially its carbon emissions since 2006....the shale gas boom substantially decreased US carbon emissions.  Moreover, US electricity prices in 2012 have barely increased and natural gas prices have plummeted.

Hanger further notes that the U.S. is at around 1995 levels for energy-related carbon emissions. And note that lower emissions aren't simply an artifact of the rotten economy (which however bad it is is larger than in 2007).

The shale gas boom is a product of fracking, a technology which has not only been around for decades but has apparently been found to be safe in a controversial and not-officially-released analysis prepared for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo has been sitting on the report while deciding whether to allow expansive fracking in the Empire State.

Back in 2011 - long before Matt Damon's anti-fracking movie Promised Land was even a glimmer in the bank account of eventual funders in the oil-rich UAE - Reason's Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey explained fracking (including how much greens used to love it until its success and safety record starting imperiling interest in subsidizing solar and wind tech).

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Cuomo has been sitting on the report while deciding whether to allow expansive fracking in the Empire State.

    It sucks when a report doesn't conclude what you feel it should.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    It's actually quite nice that Matt Damon is a lame fortysomething. At least Ben Affleck evolved into a competent director, but Matt Damon is spiraling down into post-Saving Private Ryan Tom Hanks levels of has-been.

  • Canman||

    He ought to go back to shilling for teacher's unions.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    "Try reading Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States. That book will really knock you on your ass."

  • Lyle||

    How can someone who graduated from Harvard actually think this? Anyone with any serious knowledge of history would know to laugh at Howard Zinn.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I feel compelled at this point to once again link to unused audio commentary by Chomsky and Zinn for the LOTR DVD.

  • ||

    I tried to read that but didnt get far. Holy fucking Gods what a couple of imbeciles.

    I forced myself to read People's history of the US and found it to be nothing but socialist propaganda. As for this conversation between Zinn and Chomsky it does explain a lot.

  • bmp1701||

    McSweeney's is a snobbier Onion.

  • Free Society||

    wtf did I just read? Apparently there is a whole series of Zinn and Chomsky blowing each other.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    You do know that Damon and Affleck were childhood neighbors of Zinn?

    The next (less quoted) line is Robin William's character asking "Is it better than Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent."

    Good Will Hunting is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. But there's some awful bits in there to remind you just how much that "elite" Ivy League education stunted Damon's intellectual growth.

  • Lyle||

    Why would I know they were neighbors?

    Elite education ain't so elite apparently. This is a problem.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    No, but a Harvard diploma looks good in the halls of power. So, we end up being ruled by powerful Zinn-disciples.

  • Almanian.||

    And Community Organizers. Don't forget the Community Organizers™.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    With a degree in Community Organizing, you can pretty much write your own ticket on Wall Street after you graduate.

  • John||

    It is worse than that. Unless you are a legacy or a protected minority, you only get into such a school by having a perfect academic record. How do you get that? By mastering the art of telling people exactly what they want to hear. So we are ruled by people who have been trained and mastered the art of telling their superiors exactly what they want to hear.

  • Almanian.||

    John, that is EXACTLY what I want to hear.


  • Killazontherun||

    Just because it's ironic doesn't make it any less true.

  • Virginian||

    Precisely. I got a B in my poli sci class freshman year. Aced both finals, attended every class and contributed to discussion. Paper was rigorously sourced and quite good. I earned an A. Got a B. Why? Because the prof was a leftwing cunt. If my contributions to discussion had been obsequious agreement with her stupidity instead of polite disagreement, I would have gotten an A.

    John gets it exactly right here. I know a lot of people here are in the more objective fields, like engineering or computer/tech stuff. Let me tell you, the humanities are a vast wasteland of leftwing indoctrination and propaganda. It's Orwellian.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Let me tell you, the humanities are a vast wasteland of leftwing indoctrination and propaganda. It's Orwellian.

    It's the number 1 reason I left academia. I couldn't take the overt left-wingism anymore.

  • MoreFreedom||

    More intelligent students will see this and feed the socialist professors what they want to hear/see to get an A, and still be able to think for yourself. And enlightened parents will tell their children as well.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Around the time I discovered libertarianism, I was taking my senior government class with the most unbearable leftwing asshole I have ever met. He accused me of racism in front of the class for having been to a private school. I got an F my first semester, a D the second, and barely squeezed a D overall.

    I made the highest grade in the 3,000 student school on the AP government test. He had to give me an award.

  • NYC80||

    That's disturbingly true. I got superb grades until I decided I'd rather speak my mind. In college I took a Sociology course in which the professor would not call on me after the 2nd class. I sat with my arm up for 90 minutes, twice a week, for 3 months, but was never again allowed to speak. Needless to say, despite nearly acing the GREs and still graduating with a decent GPA (science and math courses helped my average), I decided grad school would be a waste of time and money. It's a good thing, too, as I'm now an entrepreneur instead of an academic or a bureaucrat.

  • MattJ||

    Caught it via book-on-tape during a long drive home and back during grad school. Matt Damon reads it to you!

    He's a very good voice actor. I almost believed that he actually believed that the material he was reading into the microphone was worth reading to other people. Other than being guffaw-inducing, I have very little memory of the material, except that it mostly seemed to ignore things that I would consider actual history and focus on stuff like draft-dodgers, native american terrorists and whatnot.

  • Hugh Akston||


  • Lyle||

    ... but it poisons the water! Not.

    It's no more dangerous than drilling for oil and gas the regular old way.

  • Guy Incognito||

    Aww, why didn't the article say "Spoiler Alert" before revealing that it was an ANTI-fracking movie?? Thanks for ruining it.

  • Brandon||

    Your sarcasm is intrinsically paternalistic.

  • Guy Incognito||

    There, there, little'll be okay.

  • Lyle||

    I actually have an oil and gas lease on some land where if they drill for oil they will use fracking to get it out more quickly.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Yeah, but all that money paid to land owners is destroying their traditional way of life!

    I have actually heard this is real life.

  • ||

    Nat Geo once did an article bemoaning the loss of the traditional life of some african tribe because of modernization and increased wealth.

    In one photo a bunch of the kids were in a hut made of cattle dung. Caption read something about children in traditional dress living in a traditional hut, not ' here are small children who grow up literally living in shit'.

  • Pro Libertate||

    See, those primitive cultures are there to entertain us and to remain pure in their poverty and cultural distance from Western ways.

  • ||

    Only white Westerners and Asians are allowed to progress socially and economically. All the brown people must remain in an unchanging state of primitivism for our amusement.

  • Zeb||

    Someone needs to tell Nat. Geo. and their ilk that the third world is not their fucking museum.

    It's great if they want to document the remaining primitive/pre-industrial cultures still left. But how about letting the people living in the shit huts decide how valuable keeping their traditional way of life is on their own?

  • robc||

    The guys that did the documentary on the tribe that worships QE2's husband as a God did this.

    They took a half dozen of them to England, showed them how people live there, etc.

    They pretty much said "screw modern living, its too much work" and went home.

  • Brandon||

    They chose to remain free to gambol across forest and plain?

  • MoreFreedom||

    One might say that "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" teaches those who aren't so wealthy, how to live better, including those living in dung huts provided they've access to a TV somewhere in the village.

    What National Geographic didn't do, was produce a program that shows people how to produce more.

    Of course, if your goal is to produce documentaries for Nat. Geo. then you might learn something by watching those programs with dung huts.

  • albo||

    In PA, the only traditional life in fracking regions is Steelers fandom.

    The Steelers still play (although not in the playoffs this year), so I'd say local traditions are preserved.

  • Sevo||

    The Late P Brooks| 1.7.13 @ 9:53AM |#
    "Yeah, but all that money paid to land owners is destroying their traditional way of life!"

    How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm...?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Cuomo has been sitting on the report while deciding whether to allow expansive fracking in the Empire State.

    It can't be very scientific if it doesn't conform to the consensus.

  • Free Society||

    I'm not opposed to fracking and 99% of the "enviromental concerns" are enviro-communist fictions. However, the use of fresh water being pumped into these wells seems to be an unfortunate waste of finite fresh water resources, since it pumps the water underground never to be used again in several human lifetimes. Am I wrong about this? Anyone have any good sources on freshwater wasting?

  • Bardas Phocas||

    My toilet?

  • $park¥||

    Maybe one day someone will invent a device that converts sea water (or any impure water) into fresh, potable water. One day...

  • MoreFreedom||

    They've invented it already, it's called a distiller. You probably mean a method to do it economically to compete with the cost of drinking water piped to your home.

  • Drake||

    I say rain is the worst waste of fresh water.

  • Spoonman.||

    Actually one of the big logistical problems with fracking is the enormous quantities of water that come back up.

    The water needs to be treated pretty thoroughly at that point, of course, but it does come back up and after treatment re-enters the surface water cycle; it doesn't just go down there forever.

  • Free Society||

    I read about that return water problem. That's part of the reason the frackers have incentive to pump the water deeper and seal off the former natural gas wells, to keep it from returning or leeching. By all accounts, water pumped into deep empty wells and sealed off beneath shale deposits does (intentionally) take that water out of the water cycle for extended periods of time. I'm sure a market solution will present itself, but for now it's just a pity.

  • Almanian.||

    You ever watch teh pron when a women gets a bunch of water up the ass or in her quim? It only stays for so long....

    Jes sayin'....


  • John Henry||

    I'm sure a market solution will present itself, but for now it's just a pity.

    Here you go.

  • Almanian.||

    So you're not familiar with "sand", "wetlands", "septic tanks" and other methods to clean and re-use water.


  • Hugh Akston||

    Also that thing where water evaporates and the shit that's suspended in it doesn't.

  • Almanian.||

    Who are you, who is so wise in the ways of science?

  • Free Society||

    It's a pity that we aren't talking septic tanks, sand or wetlands.

  • robc||

    Its a pity you think fresh water is a finite resource.

  • Almanian.||


  • WTF||

    You mean you shouldn't worry about running out of something that literally falls from the sky? The hell, you say!

  • MoreFreedom||

    Boone Pickens is buying up land for the water underneath it. Fresh water is limited, and mainly used for farming. We don't have market pricing for water, and government usually prevents one person selling their water rights to another. In some states, you have to buy the land that has the water rights to get use of the water.

    As a result of government over-regulation of water rights, much more water is wasted. Many existing farmers would like to sell some of their water, but cannot. So they waste a lot of it. It's a use it or lose it government law, so since farmers don't want to lose it, they irrigate fields with no crops.

  • Deano||

    "So they waste a lot of it. It's a use it or lose it government law, so since farmers don't want to lose it, they irrigate fields with no crops."

    Pouring water onto the ground is not wasting it. I evaporates and percolates back into the water table...where it came from.

  • Free Society||

    Oh is that so? Because rain exists, fresh water is infinite. Got it. I can see that I'm debating with some scientific heavy-weights here.

  • albo||

    Again, as for PA, we have tons of water to spare.

    New York does as well, so that's no excuse for them.

  • Zeb||

    Fresh water is not a finite resource. It may be scarce in some places, but it's not going away.

  • Hugh Akston||

    But the anti-fracking movie showed cows dying and flammable groundwater. I won't be convinced until I see a Hollywood movie that shows shale gas reducing carbon emissions over time. Maybe starring John Cusack.

  • Almanian.||




    Never mind.

  • albo||

    Methane has been in people's water wells since before Drake dug his first.

  • Zeb||

    And I wouldn't be the least bit surprised is sometimes leaky gas wells contaminate groundwater with methane. But it has nothing to do with fracking.

  • Almanian.||

    Gotta say this - I made the mistake (sort of) of watching the Crossroads with Johnny Winter playing/singing "Highway 61", and now I've had to watch it again several times, and canNOT get that song out of my head. He is absofuckingluely brilliant.

    It continues to cleanse my soul as I "work" (between REason breaks, of coursE).

    I highly recommend it. YouTube Johnny Winter'll be glad you did.

    PS Derek Trucks smiling like a little kid in the background playing rhythm is also worth the price of admission. What a fucking show...

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Part of men hopes these douches win. My n.g.wells are in and producing already. Cut off new production and the price of extisting natural gas soars. I don't care if oil goes to $150 a barrel; polish up another monocle dear!

  • John||

    And now you know why the environmentalists are nothing but tools of big oil. Who stands to gain the most from restricting oil exploration? Those who already own exploitable assets, that is who.

  • John Henry||

    And now you know why the environmentalists are nothing but tools of big oil.

    I think they are merely idiots. They would stop all drilling if they could. Fracking is used to get oil out of the ground as well as nat gas. They would see us all living at sustenance levels if they could.

  • Brandon||

    Did you mean subsistence?

  • John Henry||

    Did you mean subsistence?

    I did, thanks for the catch.

  • Killazontherun||

    Funny, Zinn never explained regulatory capture to Damon. Those Arab sheiks are merely a disinterested parties who want to see good, wholesome entertainment on the silver screen.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Someone needs to tell Nat. Geo. and their ilk that the third world is not their fucking museum zoo."

  • Canman||

    Someone needs to tell the greenies that this fracked gas is really unicorn farts.


    OMG what do I do with all the Carbon Credits I bought from AlGore????

  • KamikazeBullet||

    I prefer clean energy, it just sucks that solar panels can be so dam expensive. On a house to house basis, panels can be very effective. We need to make green technology profitable. Gas and oil will still have their uses for a while yet, but they can't last forever. Don't get me wrong, I don't buy the carbon footprint bs, but at the same time I recognize air/water pollution as a problem. Although that probably seem a bit hypocritical considering I live in the first world.

  • Redmanfms||

    We need to make green technology profitable.

    It would be profitable if the equipment were sold at prices people are willing to pay. Barring massive government intervention, it isn't.

    Although that probably seem a bit hypocritical considering I live in the first world.

    Fucking seriously? Go play in traffic fuckwit.

  • Frac Water Treatment||

    Great information, Fracking definitely has it's advantages - when the frac water is being treated afterwards, it's even better! :)


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