Fracking

Fracking is Safe, Says New York State Health Department

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Just another fake environmental apocalypse

Spooked by left-wing environmental activists, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been dithering over whether or not to approve the production of natural gas by means of hydrofracking from the Marcellus Shale formation in his state. Activists are trying to block approval by claiming that fracking can cause health problems. Today, the New York Times is reporting that a study done a year ago by the state's Health Department finds that fracking can be done safely. The Times notes:

The state's Health Department found in an analysis it prepared early last year that the much-debated drilling technology known as hydrofracking could be conducted safely in New York, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times from an expert who did not believe it should be kept secret….

The eight-page analysis is a summary of previous research by the state and others, and concludes that fracking can be done safely. It delves into the potential impact of fracking on water resources, on naturally occurring radiological material found in the ground, on air emissions and on "potential socioeconomic and quality-of-life impacts." …

"By implementing the proposed mitigation measures," the analysis says, "the Department expects that human chemical exposures during normal HVHF operations" — short for high-volume hydraulic fracturing — "will be prevented or reduced below levels of significant health concern."

The Times also reports that a much longer Environmental Impact Statement—1,500 pages—is still being compiled.

Of course, these studies are largely excuses for delaying decisions made politically painful by activist misinformation campaigns. Unless the studies find (which they won't) that fracking causes massive cancer outbreaks and pollutes thousands of water wells, activists will simply dismiss inconvenient information and try to provoke fear and uncertainty among citizens using whatever junk science they can gin up.

If oil and gas production actually resulted in detectable health risks, it would already be apparent. Why? Because something like 75,000 conventional oil and gas wells have been drilled in New York since the late 1800s, and 14,000 of them are still active.

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  1. Frack yeah.

    1. No, America, frack yeah!

      1. Galactica, frack yeah?

  2. Who’s gonna ignore the Science now?

  3. I’ve been amused by the almost universally liberal movie reviewing class that’s been saying about Promised Land, “Well, there’s preaching, and then there’s PREACHING. Enough already.” And each one of them still can’t help themselves in their review, as they also without failure point out “even though I agree…”.

    1. Because the way that movie reviewers feel about a technology is what matters…

      I mean, why would anyone give a rat’s ass whether they “agree”?

      1. Listen, they have to agree, or else no one would invite them to parties, and the newspaper would fire them.

        It would be like saying you find Judith Butler’s views on gender to be bullshit

        1. Do I want to know who Judith Butler is?

          1. Stay blissful in your ignorance.

          2. No, not really.

            But should you ever need to know: Basically Butler’s big thing is that gender is a purely social construct, and what your “gender” is is all about how you “preform” it. So if you have lady parts but dress and act like a man, you are “masculine”. I think she also might be the whole “gender as a spectrum” thing. So, you aren’t male/female, you are a “masculine of center” person (example: A bull dyke is a “masculine of center” person).

            In terms of acting, it is actually a really interesting idea. In terms of Feminist and Gender studies, where it is generally taught, it is fucking retarded.

  4. Fracking is Safe Says New York State Health Department

    But Matt Damon told me it isn’t safe!

    1. Matt Damon can go frack himself.

    2. The pothead duuude down the street told me he was against fracking too. So I asked him what it was. In about 120 words he managed to tell me it had to do with gas wells, water and “chemicals.” What kind of chemicals might he mean, I wondered? “You mean Hydrogen hydroxide? Dihydrogen Monoxide? Universal solvent? Hydroxic acid? Stuff like that?”
      “Yeah, duuude!”

      1. Pot users: Still sadly making a very good case for pot being illegal.

        1. I’d like to think that I make a pretty good case for it being legal. I just find things really funny when high.

          1. If there’s one thing to be jealous of people in the 1890s for, it is the fact that you could walk into an apothecary, pick up some cannabis, opium, and cocaine, and then saunter down the street and hire a prostitute with your head held high.

            1. …then pull your pistol out of your pocket and shoot it in the air to celebrate…

            2. AuH2O| 1.3.13 @ 12:34PM |#

              If there’s one thing to be jealous of people in the 1890s for…

              WHEN MEN KNEW HOW TO WEAR A @#$#*@ MONOCLE!!!!

            3. If there’s one thing to be jealous of people in the 1890s for, it is the fact that you could walk into an apothecary, pick up some cannabis, opium, and cocaine, and then saunter down the street and hire a prostitute with your head held high.

              You still can hang your head high. Unfortunately you may be in handcuffs at the time.

        2. Still sadly making a very good case for pot being illegal.

          The assumption being that the dude would have been any more coherent sans THC in his bloodstream.

  5. Good Lord don’t tell Matt Damon! How will he make more douchebaggy movies like “Promised Lnad”?

    1. He doesn’t need any help from science. See “Good Will Hunting”. And any of the Bourne sequels he was in. (The first one, while only stealing the conceit “badass superspy loses his memory in Europe and his government tries to kill him”, was a pretty good action flick that at least had the flavor. Now if they’d had the guts to make the second one — Bourne v. Bourne in Hong Kong/China — that would be the ultimate action movie.)

    2. If you really want to see Douchebaggery In Action, watch Mark Ruffalo discuss fracturing sometime.

  6. Unless the studies find that fracking anthropomorphic CO2 causes (which they won’t) massive cancer outbreaks and pollutes thousands of water wells rising sea levels, widespread flooding, mass extinctions, severe droughts, crop failures, and an increase in severe weather activists will simply dismiss inconvenient information and try to provoke fear and uncertainty among citizens using whatever junk science they can gin up.

    Its almost like there’s a pattern here.

    1. There is a pattern. You’re in the good company of creationists, vaccine denialists, AIDS denialists, alternative medicine proponents, and chemtrailists.

      1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        Oh god you’re like my dream idiot, drawn up just to amuse me. Please be stupider, I know you can.

      2. Projection, JP, projection. Idiots are well known for it.

      3. Avert your eyes! He doesn’t embrace the orthodoxy!

      4. Nope. You’re in the camp of Lipid Hypothesis supporters.

      5. You forgot flat-earthers and to say that next Dean will profess that pi is exactly 3. Don’t want to deviate from the script.

    2. TEH SYENSE IS SETTELED!!!11!!! DENYER!!!!! HERETIC!!!!1!!!!!!

  7. “….activists will simply dismiss inconvenient information and try to provoke fear and uncertainty among citizens using whatever junk science they can gin up.”

    Bailey, I thought this was an article on fracking, not AGW.

    1. Just another fake environmental apocalypse

      The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ?H. L. Mencken

      You just can’t repeat Mencken often enough.

      1. Amen, Brother Ben!

  8. a copy obtained by The New York Times from an expert who did not believe it should be kept secret

    Who is obviously on the payroll of Big NatGas!

  9. “activists will simply dismiss inconvenient information and try to provoke fear and uncertainty among citizens using whatever junk science they can gin up.”

    sort of like the global warming fanatics

  10. Unless the studies find that fracking causes (which they won’t) massive cancer outbreaks and pollutes thousands of water wells,

    The fact that it doesn’t cause a bajillion cases of cancer (or even a dozen) and doesn’t pollute well will not prevent the extremists from saying that it does.

  11. For as cheap as Natural Gas is right now, I’m a little surprised the auto industry isn’t leaning this way over the electric nonsense. There are quite a few gas stations that sell propane. I wouldn’t think it that hard to do NG?

    Anyone familiar with the barriers to the market(other than the gubmint)?

    1. Natural gas vehicles have some serious barriers:

      (1) Infrastructure. How are you going to get all that natural gas to individual stations, and store it?

      (2) Retail delivery. How is the average schmoe going to manage to transfer high-pressure gas to his vehicle without any catastrophic fuckups?

      It makes a lot of sense for fleets (which is where you see it now, and which could be expanded greatly). For retail markets? A much bigger challenge.

      1. Infrastructure: They deliver NG right to my house. I see the bill every month.

        Retail: We need to cull the herd anyway. Don’t sweat it.

        1. Put my auto fuel on my home heating bill? I like it.

        2. There’s a big difference between the infrastructure to deliver NG to your house, and the infrastructure necessary to deliver it at the pressures and volumes needed to fill a fuel tank on a vehicle.

          1. It costs money to convert vehicles to NG, and then you have to find places to dispense it when you’re driving.

            If the price differences between gasoline and NG gets high enough for long enough, people will start to switch.

      2. (3) Energy density. Liquified natural gas has 2/3rds of the energy per volume that oil does.

        (4) Flow rates. For all the hoopla over fracking, the US still produces only 80 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, about a quarter more than the long-term average (chart numbers are monthly). That’s not nearly enough increase to fuel a serious switch.

      3. Infrastructure is always the bitch.

        Seems like cross country trucking would be the correct entry point. I would think that the bigger truckstop chains, like Flying J…, would be interested in going there. Most have plenty of room for another tank. Not sure how to get that ball rolling without inducing evil to the system.

        The real tripwire would be if you could cheaply develop a vehicle that could run on either.

        1. Check out Clean Energy. They are building the infrastructure for a national network, using their own (not gov’t!) money.

          http://www.cleanenergyfuels.com/

          I also saw the CEO on Mad Money about 4 weeks ago, and they are developing a system to deliver nat gas from your house into your car, back up generator, etc. It has to go through alot of safety testing to pass gov’t approval, though.

          1. They are building the infrastructure for a national network, using their own (not gov’t!) money.

            Well then, they must be stopped! Bureaucrats can’t afford to allow average shmoes to actually accomplish something like this without their “help”. People might get the impression that the government bureau bumbs are useless knobs, and we can’t have that now can we?

            1. *bureau bums…

            2. WTF?

              All the government has to do is scream “You didn’t build it”, and that’s settled: it belongs to the government.

      4. Not sure the challenges are that great:

        1-Very extensive delivery system is in place to get nat gas to many homes and businesses for heat.
        2-They can learn just like they learned to handle gasoline, an extremely unstable chemical.

        1. Gasoline isn’t that unstable. If you drop a lit match into a bucket of gasoline it just puts the fire out.

          1. You go try that Tulpa. Diesel, not gasoline.

            1. I don’t know about diesel, but I’ve seen it done with a lit cigarette and unleaded gas with my own (bulging, wide open) eyes when I worked at a gas station many years back. If liquid gasoline ignited, we wouldn’t need carburetors or fuel injection.

              1. Depends on how long the gasoline has been evaporating in the open air, and how high above the bucket the match is when you drop it.

                If you pour gasoline on a charcoal BBQ grill, you better light it soon after pouring the gas, and stand back a few feet when you toss the match, because it goes WHOOOOOOOOMPH! Instant inferno.

                There’s a reason why people buy the more expensive lighter fluid — much harder to maim yourself.

          2. Try it sometime for me, would you? Given that gasoline vapor + air is nicely flammable and given the partial pressure of hydrocarbons at STP, I’ve always had some pretty serious doubts that little trick will end well.

            1. I havent tried it, but without significant oxygen, gasoline aint lighting.

            2. It works. Gasoline vapor isn’t flammable over 5% concentration at standard pressure (one of the cool things I learned from taking Orgo from a former arson investigator). The vapor profile is such that you’ll get essentially no vapor ignition from dropping a match or cigarette into a bucket. The heat of vaporization sucks all the energy out of the ignition source.

              1. From what I understand, the “best” way of lighting gasoline is to soak a paper towel in gas and then put the match on that.

                1. The best way is matches over the edge of a puddle.

        2. Not saying it can’t or shouldn’t be done, just saying it won’t be cheap or easy.

          And there is a big difference in handling a flammable liquid and a pressurized flammable gas.

          1. Full Service NG stations = Full Employment!!!

            1. I use my child labor for that.

          2. Meh.

            Slap the thing on the thing and rotate the thingy. Not rocket surgery. Even liberals, with the proper four to six months of training, could be taught to use it.

            1. Knowing how to use it isn’t the problem. The problem is doing it when you’re rushed to get to work, or your kids are whining about not getting the Webkinz they wanted at the store, or the gazillion other distractions that people have while pumping gass.

              1. I’m sure you could easily design the nozzle so it will not turn on without an air gas-tight seal.

    2. There are a number of fleets that have switched to NatGas at least in part. When you replace your entire stock every five to seven years, its not crazy to do. Most of these fleets are short-haul with their own depots. As a private citizen, you pretty much have to know where your next LNG station is. If you just have a commuter car, that’s fine, but the second you go off your usual route, its a bitch.

      1. Someone will write an app for that.

    3. I knew a farmer who had his truck converted. He switched back. I asked why.

      Someone hit him at an intersection and the tank came loose and turned into a rocket. That scared him.

      I pointed out that the tank on his current vehicle was filled with an explosive liquid. I got a blank stare.

      1. Gasoline tends to be at just over 1 atm (if the temp is warm, you’ll get some vapor overpressure), CNG stores at 3600psi which is 245 atm. Note that he didn’t say it turned into a fiery rocket. The pressure alone is enough to send it flying like a rocket, even if it doesn’t autoignite.

        Also the range tends to be about 65% of gasoline powered vehicles.

      2. After Hurricane Isabel the neighbor’s idiot boyfriend was burning a pile of wood debris. Evidently it wasn’t burning fast enough for him as he was throwing gas from a can onto it. Finally he fumbled the can into the fire and it exploded, giving him quite a scorch. It also threw burning wood through his car window and it went up in smoke. Very entertaining.

        1. I hope alcohol was involved.

        2. Was he drinking the gas before he put it in the fire?

  12. Fracking’s been done for decades with a good safety record in Texas. Of note, the Texas Rail Road Commission is the drilling regulator down there, and they are a Holy Terror. They delight in locking up polluters and levying crushing fines for negligence. Hopefully, New York can find a similar level of meanness.

    1. Re: Jersey Patriot,

      Fracking’s been done for decades with a good safety record in Texas.

      But just to keep ourselves on the same page here, fossil fuels are still the work of the Devil and we’re simply too prosperous for our own good. Correct?

  13. They delight in locking up polluters and levying crushing fines for negligence.

    They do seem to have a bit more of a boner for small independents than for the real Big Oil types.

    1. Big oil doesn’t have a problem following TRRC rules, small independents (operating shoestring) do. Other states don’t have the ability to really nail anyone smaller than a major so all those small violators slip through the cracks. Which is why it’s hilarious when the EPA nails Texas on stuff. It’s simply a matter of data availability. Texas knows what’s going down in its state alot better than other state regulators.

    2. They do seem to have a bit more of a boner for small independents than for the real Big Oil types.

      Surprise, surprise, surprise!

  14. Liberals really are insane. If fracking works, and it appears that it will, we are all going to get rich. It might actually fund their beloved welfare state.

    1. Doubtful. Frackers are losing their shirts and consuming their capital over gas prices this low. They’re still pumping to try to keep their cash flow going. The break-even point is more like $7-$8.

      That’s not nothing – it’s still energy – but it’s not a price that’s going to mean hookers and blow for all.

      1. The US will be the world’s number one oil producer by 2020. And endless seven dollar gas is a huge thing for the country.

        We will no longer depend on the middle east for our oil in the future.

        1. No, the US will not be the #1 oil producer. It may be the #1 liquid fuel producer – though I doubt it – but that’s something else. Nor are oil and gas interchangeable.

          As for oil, it is basically fungible. US-produced oil will always closely track the world price of oil because you can put it on a boat and ship it to the highest bidder. If Saudi Arabia goes down in flames, your price at the pump goes up even if your oil is piped from North Dakota.

          1. No. number one oil producer

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/ri…..t-by-2035/

            The International Energy Agency has today published its World Energy Outlook and, according to the IEA, the United States is on track to become the number one oil producer in the world by 2020.

            The report further indicates that by 2035, the US will reach energy self-sufficiency and go from being an importer of oil?we currently import 20 percent of our total energy needs from other nations?to a net oil exporter.

            And sure oil is fungible. But when you are producing more oil than you are consuming, when the price goes up, your economy benefits from the price increase more than it is hurt by it. The reason why oil shocks are so bad for us now and in the past was because we got most of our oil from overseas. So an increase in price meant we shipped more money and wealth out of our economy. Now, an increase in price will mean a shift in wealth within our economy not a decrease in its overall wealth.

            Put it to you this way, when the price of oil goes up, the price at the pump in Russia goes up too. But Russia is still better off with higher oil prices because they are a net exporter.

            1. Even the majors have called BS on this. It assumes the US both declines in consumption and Saudi Arabia collapses in production. The actual amount of oil increase in the US is unlikely to exceed (excluding ngls) the 1970 peak of 9.5 million. The US currently uses around 18million/day btw.

      2. How about just for me?

      3. Private losses funding public gains…what’s not for a liberal to love? Anyway, many operators are now going after oil and condensate and selling the associated gas just to help offset. If oil drops too low however, the whole game falls apart.

    2. But that would be funding it without taxing the rich. Got to tax the rich whether it bring in more tax dollars or not.

    3. I own 1/3 of a NG lease in NE PA. The enviros have had it tied up for 5 years because of it’s proximity to the Delaware River. My Uncle has a well farther west and is seeing some coin. I’d be nice to see some of this wealth get freed up, but I’m not holding my breath.

    4. But cheap natural gas means less interest in wind and solar and those electric cars the Stonecutters are holding back.

      Cheap gas will help the working man’s heating bill, which liberals should applaud, but it will push back the day that all of mankind will be rid of dirty industry and live together in peace and harmony in tents, like the noble native Americans, which liberals don’t like.

    5. Its an Old v New split. The Old Leftism, of the New Deal variety, came out of a period of poverty, so they realized that you had to have a goose laying golden eggs to keep funding your state. It also helped that they had no problem getting into bed with the golden geese and creating oligopolies. This is where the unions are coming from.

      The 60/70s New Left came out in a time of prosperity- prosperity that they either took for granted or tried to actively reject out of idiotic Rousseau-ianism. This is where the environmentalists are coming from.

      Actually, to finally use my poi-sci degree: The New Deal Left is Hobbesian. The state of nature is nasty, brutish, and short, and thus you need big institutions like government or corporations to protect you from the vagaries of nature.

      The New Left is into Rosseau, and believe that the state of nature is beautiful and ideal and spiritual and we should return to it soon (poor people first, though)

      1. Nice summing up. It’s utopianism, and it’s like the New Left hasn’t read any of its history of failure.

        And they’re dragging us along on their insane journey.

      2. What do you think gave them those ideas?

  15. Across the imaginary line separating NY from PA there are thousands of unconventional wells. Many of these were drilled under a liberal Democrat governor and a liberal DEP secretary.

    The thing is, PA was able to begin fracking before environmental weenies could grab the dicks of D politicians and start vigorously yanking. It’s safe. It’s lowered my heating bill. Tons of jobs–private sector jobs, which are needed in PA’s northern tier and southwest.

    1. Back before they realized we had a ton of it, the enviros used to love natural gas. Natural gas was the clean alternative to the evil coal and oil. Having a CNG fleet was the green thing for cities to do. Then fracking came along and natural gas became a real alternative and a way to prosperity. And the enviros immediately turned on it. They are not about the environment. They are about making as many people poor as possible.

      1. Mie drinkin watur iz on firez!

        Henna?

      2. Why are they so mean? I’d really like to learn how people come to the opinions they have, especially the destructive ones.

  16. Amen. Preach it. Drove by a ton of oil wells between Loving, NM and Pecos, TX a few days ago, eighteen wheels galore on a two lane highway in the middle of nowhere, and was like huzzah for civilization.

    1. I like the word “huzzah!” We need to bring it back and use it more often.

      HUZZAH!

  17. I saw the preview for that awful-looking Matt Damon fracking movie at a showing for the Hobbit with my brother. After they started talking about fracking killing livestock and grass I couldn’t resist saying “Oh, another fantasy movie!” He’s ultra-left like the rest of my family, so that didn’t go over well.

    Also, apparently the film was partially bankrolled by the United Arab Emirates government. Hmm…

    1. Hmmm, now why would the UAE want to bankroll a movie that clearly intends to do to the natgas industry what The China Syndrome did to the nuclear power industry. Hmmm….

      1. Doubly interesting in that the UAE’s neighbor Qatar is the 3rd largest producer of NatGas. And the UAE is paying shitloads of cash to US, Korean, and Japanese nuclear energy companies to develop an industry there.

        A little “sibling rivalry”?

  18. whatever junk science they can gin up.

    the term “junk science” appears to have been claimed by the, for lack of a better word, anti-environmentalist side. From Peter Huber’s “Galileo’s Revenge: Junk Science In The Courtroom” to Steve Milloy’s “junkscience.com”. Liberal skeptics really hate Steve Milloy.

  19. the studies find that fracking causes (which they won’t) massive cancer outbreaks and pollutes thousands of water wells, activists will simply dismiss inconvenient information and try to provoke fear and uncertainty among citizens using whatever junk science they can gin up.

    …and of course, propoganda films starring MAAAAATTTT DAAAAAAMON!!!

  20. If oil and gas production actually resulted in detectable health risks, it would already be apparent. Why? Because something like 75,000 conventional oil and gas wells have been drilled in New York since the late 1800s and 14,000 of them are still active.

    The effects on mental health are clear.

  21. Perfectly safe…As long as you trust oil companies who’ve been so above board and would never risk safety for a profit…BP, Chevron, Shell, TransOcean, Noble…. And of course, just don’t have an open flame around your sink. Maybe a ‘No Smoking within 25 Feet’ sign in your kitchen, bathroom and near any external faucets like they post at gas stations?

    1. …And so long as you trust a state health department finding. I’m searching in vain for the part where any part of this study was conducted by a gas company, but I can’t seem to find it.

  22. Here is the problem with Reason magazine. It lives in a bubble of right now. You see at one time people though DDT and Asbestos were safe as well. Ignoring them and the example they set isn’t going to help anyone in the future. You see the problem is the future evidence that we collect that is the problem. It often tells us that say Atrazine causes cancer when at one time, they said it was safe so much so that someone would drink a glass of it in a commercial. People have a good reason to be skeptical about fracking.

    1. Then there was that one time people thought DDT was super dangerous, so they banned it and rates of malaria in Africa skyrocketed. Then DDT was found to be not that dangerous.

      Here is the problem with Michael Langdon. He lives in a bubble right now. You see he doesn’t seem to know how to write sentences. He assumes that because some other things were eventually found to be dangerous, fracking must also be dangerous, despite a total lack of evidence. He doesn’t know how logic works.

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