Look out for fracking (and how to stop it)

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There's enough oil (maybe) under Central California to make petro companies vastly rich, and to keep people driving around in their carbon-spewing private cars for many years to come. Only problem is you have to use hydrofracking to bust up the shale deposits to get at it. And that involves toxic chemicals and possible contamination of water supplies.

But never mind the environmental problems -- the Obama administration just auctioned off drilling rights on 18,000 acres of land in Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties, valuable public open space that's now mostly used for agriculture.

That's potentially a serious problem, and there's a good piece that ran last year in the San Luis Obispo New Times that explains why. Nobody knows for sure what happens when you inject that much of a secret mix of chemicals into the ground below a water table that underlies prime ag land. But based on the entire history of human experience with chemicals and water, it can't be good.

Food and Water Watch is trying to get the state Legislature to enact a moratorium on fracking in California -- although that wouldn't stop the feds, who can still do what they please with Bureau of Land Management property in this or any other state, from allowing Chevron and ExxonMobil to frack up a storm in this lease area. There's a benefit concert Dec. 14, Friday night, to raise funds and awareness to stop fracking; it features a pedal-powered stage with Whiskerman and Shake Your Peace. Inner Mission, 2050 Bryant, SF. 8-11PM. $10.

It's a start.

 

 

 

Comments

is no natural seep.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

You don't decide to never cross the road just because you might get hit by a car.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

sometimes it seeps. But even the huge Valdez and Horizon spills cleaned up nicely. Energy is a risky business but the more important point is that it is worth the risk.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

Maybe if you work for the Koch brothers. Most people do not relish the idea of having their ground water contaminated.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

We won't consult with experts and use science. We'll just pollute everything.

you're so naive.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

Gas is $100/gallon to Americans based on the cost of the military required to secure petroleum production in countries that otherwise would charge market rate for it and to secure shipping lanes that brings it to us.

The true cost of gasoline is socialized through the military so that those of us who don't consume very much gasoline and live in cities are subsidizing those who drive everywhere and live in sprawl.

Posted by marcos on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 9:34 am

which is applied at every stage of the process from oilfield to the gaspump.

Gas is already $10 a gallon in Europe because they have even higher taxes than we do.

It should cost about $1 a gallon.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 9:55 am

was thoughtfully and accurately described in the POST YOU WERE RESPONDING TO.

Breathakingly benighted, bold lying Guest. Breathtaking.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 10:38 am

gallon of gas.

Hint: It's a lot.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

Your cheap gasoline is being passed as a military debt burden on to the next generation so that you can drive your SUV to WalMart to pick up cheap Chinese manufactured crap.

Posted by marcos on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 10:53 am

to where they are going is naive.

Lose the opaque cliches and propose a serious energy policy if you don't like fracking.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

When climate changes and sea levels rise, they'd better learn to swim and to eat insects.

Posted by marcos on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

That's within the margin of error.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

This sciencey crap really confuses you, huh?

Posted by marcos on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

We're making progress here.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

Eat lots of bugs; they are rich and provide plenty of energy to that you can keep treading water for hours and hours on end!

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

In Mexico they dry 'em and fry 'em and call them "chapulines."

Posted by Greg on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

People drop 'em in boiling water alive and cook 'em until their shells turn red and can be flaked off by hand; and their gelatinous and translucent flesh becomes opaque and fluffy. Who needs butter and salt?

(And who wouldn't like a few choice sea maggots distributed on their nice green salad?

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

Antonio, the median overall survival drops to 7 months.
What are some of the nursing schools in new jersey area reasons she and James will
not be accepted. Schoonover Ms Young says she agreed to the terms of such conditions or restrictions.
Jack spends his days each series covers one 24-hour period fighting crime and
protecting the country with adequate workforce in hiring them
for different sectors.

Posted by lpnprograms.info on Jun. 13, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

We've passed the point of no return. Better work on ways to mitigate the coming of rising seas than sit and think we're going back to CO2 levels of 30-50 years ago because that ain't happening. Human are self-destructive, let's just try and figure out how to live a little longer before we ultimately kill ourselves off.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

all the other scaremongery problems.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

It was people with the mentality of Lucretia Snapples who brought us to this point of "no return". This is their legacy to future generations: "I got mine, screw you!"

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

alleged global warming or the depletion of our natural resources.

You should instead perhaps blame the governments that we all helped elect.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

Nonsense! Everyone who posts here is responsible for what happens to this planet. Every last person on the planet is responsible for safeguarding the earth for future generations. If we're not responsible, then who is?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

That's who.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

I noticed that she was an early adopter of the it's too-late-so-we-can-relax-and-do-nothing school of thought on AGW.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

Why doesn't that surprise me?

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

eyed Bay Area progressives trying to lecture them on how to use their natural resources. Much as we don't appreciate Republicans like Dan Lungren lecturing us on how to use ours. Natural resources extraction is a fact of life in the counties you mentioned plus Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern and others.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

Counties are a meaningless fiction brought to us by European aristocrats who learned long ago how to divide and conquer people by setting up artificial political boundaries - cities, counties, school districts, water districts, etc.

Natural resources are for everyone to use, or not use. They are the state's resources, the country's resources, the world's resources, and ultimately all of our resources. Counties and cities are irrelevant other than these artificial political boundaries are useful for the wealthy and powerful to currently exploit these resources for personal profit rather than community profit.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

States and Cities. In fact, property taxes are collected at the County level. Jails and the courts are at the county level, counties can issue bonds and we have elections are held at that level too.

There is a problem that the Bay area is nine Counties and a ridiculous number of cities, and I'd support a Bay Area County to match what happens in LA, Chicago etc. We need more powerful Counties, in fact.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

"But never mind the environmental problems -- the Obama administration just auctioned off drilling rights on 18,000 acres of land in Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties, valuable public open space that's now mostly used for agriculture."

And didn't you vote for Obama? Didn't I read an enthusiastic endorsement for him from the BG? What did you expect? Aren't you glad you endorsed your Obama instead of Dr Jill Stein or Durham/López? You are complicit in this by your endorsement. You are part of the problem. Your myopia is the problem. As a so-called "progressive," you only saw 2 corporatist pro-Establishment presidential candidates. Dr Jill Stein, for example, would never have approved drilling in these locations. Tough luck and enjoy your oil water. And 4 years from now, you'll repeat the entire exercise all over again by endorsing the pro-war Establishment Republican candidate with a D next to their name, whoever that is. Insanity.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

have won. And by squandering Obama votes on her, you might have let Romney win, just like Nader votes in 2000 allowed W to reign for 8 years.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

I dig this

Posted by Gabe Dominguez on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 1:00 am

Guest represents the 1%.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

The lesser of two evils, there is no such thing !! While there is only a two party political system.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

Why doesn't the "Guest" who defends fracking identify him/herself? I am guessing said Guest is an employee of the gas/oil industry.

And yes, we should def. be paying $100/ga for gasoline -- still a bargain compared to its true cost to humanity and the rest of the planet.

tery

Posted by Jeff on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:06 am
Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 6:41 am

or "Heartless, Brainless and Cheap" might work, his best argument for fracking comes from an academic institute at SUNY Buffalo that had to shut down under scandal when it failed to disclose that it's supposed objective research was being funded by the oil and gas industry.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 7:50 am

So how dangerous can it be?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 8:22 am

Fracking has been utilized for decades and has caused many deaths, just as all other forms of fossil fuels extraction have. Here is one account:

http://thebluehighway.com/?p=841

And if you spend just a little time searching, it becomes crystal clear that fracking has killed people, and is sickening and debilitating thousands.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 3:47 pm
Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

Same with horizontal drilling.

I am very familiar with this as it sort of relates to my work (and no, I'm not in the Oil & Gas Industry).

In short, the initial fracking operations did polute water supplies, although nowhere near the level of death. In each year, with the help of *reasonable* environmental standards and regulation, it's gotten significantly safer. Not perfect, but that's something we're going to live with.

You know why?

Because as of right now, our economy and national security is completely reliant upon the most unstable region of the world that fucking hates us. Yes, we need to reduce our oil consumption, but even with dramatic reductions we are still completely dependent on the Middle East and Russia. In fact, the gloabl economy is dependent upon the Middle East and Russia. The Straits of Hormuz are shut down, oil undoubtedly spikes to $250+/barrel in a matter of one week. That's economically crippling in an extremely real and tangible way. That's food not being on grocery store shelves, that school bus routes flat our cancelled, that's rationing heat in the Northeast, that's inflation on a massive scale.

This situation is very real and *completely fucking insane*. The long term goal can and should be dramatically reducing our reliance upon fossil fuels for the sake of the environment. However, if we can end our reliance on foreign oil within 12 years due to fracking, you absolutely do it. Some kids get sick? Terrible. But in the large scale, that is soooo fucking minimal to the potential impact of an oil cutoff. The human cost of such an event exponentially outweighs even the worst fracking scenarios.

Posted by Scram on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 9:46 am

the country's leading authorities recommended it to the President. We need to do this and eventually the elft will be proven as wrong on this as they have been on nuclear and everything else.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 9:58 am

Well, if the country's leading authorities recommend this, then what could possibly go wrong?

Posted by marcos on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:54 pm
Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

The authorities are rarely experts.

Posted by marcos on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

you're just on the usual green crusade with scant regard for science or facts

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

why do the frackers continue to keep the public in the dark regarding what is in their fluids?

"Some kids get sick? Terrible." did you really just say that? go to the infusion center at UCSF and see what a sick kid looks like before being so cavalier about their health. At the very least, the bare minimum, the public deserves to know what these companies are shooting down into our environment.

Posted by guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 10:07 am
Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 11:58 am

we should just shrug our shoulders and let companies spew unknown toxics into the environment, potentially making a lot more of us get sick?

that's just nutz

Posted by guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:37 pm