As the ongoing Porter Ranch disaster shines a spotlight on the dangers of aging natural gas infrastructure around the country, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and environmental experts are now arguing that the leaking well serves as "yet another example of the urgent national need to transition away from fossil fuels."
A those calling for a total nationwide ban on "fracking" (i.e. shale gas) need to consider that there few conventional gas reserves left in the US. So if any US-wide ban on fracking will essentially be a ban on natural gas production. Such a ban will need to include massive assistance to homeowners to switch from gas to some other (more expensive) way of heating their homes and workplaces. For utilities, it would mean a massive switch back to coal - particularly to cover all the electric home heating. Of course, there is nuclear, but anyone opposing fracking also regards nuclear power as the devils spawn. They also oppose wind unless it is in someone else's back yard.
Shale gas production needs to be far better regulated - including control of methane emissions, but a total ban is simply not practical. Cars once polluted terribly too - and they are still a major source of GHG's, but did anyone ever call for a ban of cars? No, but ever tighter regulations have been imposed. But come to think of it, I think banning all private cars from all US urban areas (as many European cities are doing with their congestion fees) - and phasing the ban outward to suburbs as it becomes practical is splendid idea and probably more doable than a ban on fracking, but once again massive public investments in alternatives (public transit) will be needed.
This shows the ONLY hope We have is Bernie!!! Go BERNIE!!!!
Banning fracking is of now left up to the states. So far New York is the only state that has permanently banned fracking. Natural gas has replaced a lot of coal so banning fracking would mean increased burning of coal. There are no good options.
Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of formerly fresh water now containing some witches brew of proprietary and highly toxic chemicals into drilled wells in order to fracture the underlying geological structures so that gas can fill the caverns created by the fracking process. The main issue I have with this is the destruction of the underground water tables and the disposal of the fracking solution to the surface where it runs into creeks and streams and also seeps into the ground from the surface. Sometimes it is injected back into "storage" wells in order to "dispose" of it. My question is this. Why must high pressure water containing toxic chemicals be used for this process. Why can't a well be drilled and then have a large charge of explosives lowered into the well and detonated? Why would this not serve the same purpose -- that of creating a cavern for the surrounding gas deposits to seep into?
Here are three stories just from my city alone. These stories span four years, the newest story is first. I may not be aware of all of the things that my city is trying to do to correct these problems, or has already done to correct them however, how much time do we have until like Porter Ranch, our luck runs out?
SCHOOL DISTRICT AT ODDS WITH GAS COMPANY – STUDY CONFIRMS PIPELINES A DANGER TO STUDENTS.
This is what happens when you privatized a public utility. Southern California Gas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, and they are a Fortune 500 Company. This is a holding company, a business and is not subject to California utilities regulation. However, they still can be brought to heal with enough public pressure.
WE pay our gas bills, and we pay our taxes. Southern California Gas and Sempra receive a good deal of our money and tax breaks and we should be getting more bang for our buck. The bang I want is not my local school someday blowing up in to the sky and taking the children with it.
Those who do not understand what taxes are, and are not then let me say this, taxes are how we take care of a nation and its people. However, our taxes are being used to bomb and kill thousands of people around the world.
Afghanistan is the longest running wars in the history of the world. What for? When are we going to ask that question? Terrorism is an ideology.
THE POWER OF ONE – MOVIE (1992)
St. John: Any ideology that needs to attack the thing that least threatens it is an ideology that will not outlive its own generation. Inclusion and not exclusion is the answer.
Have you ever heard of.....wait for it......sunlight?
No, not in western Pennsylvania in January.
And presuming you are talking about home solar, even with a good sunlight supply, do you think everyone is rich enough, or lives in a suitable dwelling to install solar? And what do you do at night?
The way hydrofracking works is that a well is turned horizontal once the producing shale strata is reached. The horizontal part of the well runs in a direction that allows it to intersect the maximum number of existing natural vertical joints and fractures and horizontal bedding planes. The horizontal well casing is perforated with a tool that uses shaped charges to punch holes in the casing. High pressure fluid with sand is pumped down the well, the pressure widens the existing fractures and creates some new ones extending from the existing fractures. The sand then keeps the fractures propped open (the pressures at depth would normally close them otherwise).
There is no way that explosives could accomplish what was described above.
But yes, it is hard to believe that such a cocktail of secret toxic chemicals really need to be added to the water and sand aside from chemical companies peddling stuff that actually has minimal benefit. But the worst pollutants in the fracking fluid is naturally occurring stuff - oil, salts, bromides, and radioactive substances that naturally occur in the shale. All this comes up the well after the pressure is relieved and the fluid is ejected from the well by the natural gas pressure or gas injected down the well. This companies claim that all this briny oily fluid either gets re-used at other wells or gets injected into deep disposal wells (9000 ft. deep) in nearby eastern Ohio. Yes, one of these wells in Youngstown did cause a M4.5 earthquake a couple years ago to answer redravensound's question.
Private ownership of motor vehicles, and the "right" to drive as much as they can afford to drive, is what defines the middle class. Taxpayers have fought every effort since the 1970s to invest in the sort of modern mass transportation system that would be necessary to reduce traffic. High oil prices can damage political careers, as can efforts to reduce fuel consumption. That makes this problem very, very difficult to address. Frack, or go to war, or both? America's thirst for fuel is insatiable. The US has actually been ready to transition to alternative energies for decades, but powerful oil companies have successfully set up one roadblock after another.
Breaking: Germany BANNED fracking & shuts down all nukes by building 1M 100-panel solar homes.
So can California ban fracking & shut Diablo.
Sell your gas house & Build 100-panel solar homes.
I wish there had been a link to these newly uncovered documents...
Actually, Germany replaced their nuclear power with coal imported from the US and nuclear electricity imported from France.
My "gas house" would sell for about $80K. That won''t even buy half of the price of a small (also gas heated) townhouse in the city neighborhood I had hoped to move back to for retirement until the rich yuppies from California and New York took it over, jacking home prices through the roof - much less a 100-panel solar home.
Oh how I long for the days when Pittsburgh was an unfashionable rust belt town.
"[T]he tremendous surge in output and consequent fall in price due (in large part) to innovations in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have pushed natural gas prices below their historical averages. Adjusted for inflation, natural gas prices are just about as low as they’ve been over the last 25 years."
Quote from Institute for Energy Research. Part of the low price is due to over supply in the US, a condition that fracking has contributed to.
Absolutely, in fact obviously we need to reinvigorate bygone days of yore (and gore) and revive Project Plowshare. We should start using nuclear explosions for useful things again, like getting quickly depleted and highly-destructive-in themselves amounts of gas out of the ground. Mountain Top Removal is for amateurs. We should be removing bottomlands and well, most of the Earth's crust, and using it, like the all-parts-of-the-buffalo thing.
You presume too much, of things not in evidence.
At night? In January? Or all the time: You have a widely geographically dispersed aka distributed system, of efficiency, solar PV, passive solar, 24/7 solar thermal, ACES, onshore and offshore wind power, hydro power, and other clean safe renewables. Combined with batteries (coming down in price like GMO polar bear meat on white bread at a Greenpeace convention) and pumped storage, and rational, more ecological lives, we can in the next 5-8 years supply every person on Earth with all the energy s/he needs--even those in East Mckeesport. We simply need to do it.
Climate Mobilization. http://www.theclimatemobilization.org
These are not primarily individual solutions; we need to transform our way of life as a society, through political action. Though it has to be inspired by, informed by and integrated with personal change both inner and outer, the solutions here are political and worldwide, cultural, infrastructural, and other.
Not sure why you're taking a contrarian position here, Yun. It's not like you.
No, after the horrifying (and ongoing) calamity at Fukushima, Germany's people demanded that their nuclear industry be shut down, and they've more than half succeeded already, with plans to finish by 2022. It's a remarkable achievement, though it's still not the best that can be done.
Even better, they've replaced fossils and nukes they've eliminated--the fuels of the 19th and 20th centuries--almost entirely with the energy of the present, and the future: efficiency, wind and solar. After only a 5 year effort, the 4th largest economy in the world is now 40% powered by clean safe renewable energy--and that number continues to go up. Germany now has a more stable grid than France and other neighbors, does not import any net energy from France, rather, exports it, as do Denmark and Norway, both virtually 100% powered by renewables (though since a lot of that is sold they also burn stuff). (France, by the way, is considering reducing or eliminating their nukes, too). Any coal that's come online in Germany since Fukushima was done out of previous contractual necessity and will soon be obsolete, as wind and solar are both competitive in price and going down, while coal and other fossil and nuke fuels are only going to go up. The massively unstable markets we have now are temporarily messing with this trend at some times, in some places, but the medium and long term trends are unmistakeable and inescapable.
And by the way, this is the only kind of house I can imagine having anywhere close to 100 standard solar panels: http://www.fwtx.com/sites/default/files/images/Lowrance-6652.jpg
Straw person arguments don't do any of us any good.
By the way, both Norway and Denmark as well as other countries are so far along, and see so little trouble ahead that they're already carrying out the transformation of their transport systems as well, tying them into the grid through a switch to EVs (Norway already has the highest per capita EV ownership in the world). That will actually help them with the operation of their grid, as public and private vehicles can serve as mobile batteries. As trains and other transit take over from grossly destructive, inefficient and inequitous plane, truck, and private car-based transport, the rights of way (and land wrecked by mining etc.) will add to the places renewable energy can be gathered from, used directly for transport, storage and community needs. People in all 3 of these countries and other making the same transitions live much better lives than people in the US; to not take their models and apply them here is insane, inane and despicable. Since the US has hundreds of times the renewable resources of any of those countries, and in a fantastic mix across the continent, it's criminal that we didn't become completely energy-independent based on our own renewables decades ago.
50 countries now supply at least half their electricity with clean safe renewable energy. 14 of those are over 90%.
Germany supplies more power than it uses, but Germans import and export energy for profit. http://www.renewablesinternational.net/german-power-exports-up-by-62-percent/150/537/68613/
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/science/earth/denmark-aims-for-100-percent-renewable-energy.html The article talks about "problems" coming up but in reality, the only problem revealed is the conflict between a profit-oriented economic system and meeting the real needs of people and the Earth.
Yes, a ban on cars .... as a matter of fact, how about a BAN ON OUR WAY OF LIFE IN GENERAL.... In other words, why is it so hard for us to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX and create a WHOLE NEW SOCIETY... that wouldn't require anyone to rely on a car.... I live in a rural area... I hate driving anymore... stopped the job I had partly because of that... but, we REALLY DO NOT HAVE TIME... to come up with new techno fixes.... What we do need, is to MASSIVELY CUT EMISSIONS RIGHT NOW... BY POWERING DOWN.... AND .... anyone at the top... I guess... 5% of the U.S Pop... who has made a killing off fossil fuel and other related businesses/ stock market money.... should have to give up half or more of their money.... and ... GIVE IT THE BOTTOM UP... DISTRIBUTE FUNDS so that people can buy land, stay home, grow food and live.. ... not run off to some advertising agency, some factory, some other job that only really creates co2 in order to make a pay check... as for health care, we can make arrangements for that... allow for ambulances... firetrucks... etc....
No more planes for the rich to run off for their flits around the world... no more business red eyes.... no more flying professional sports teams around the country or the world... no more building massive sports stadiums... even for the Olympics.... HEY PEOPLE .... IT IS TIME TO GET DOWN TO SERIOUS BUSINESS...
I ONLY HAVE IDEAS... I AM NOT A CITY PLANNER OR AN ENGINEER AND SO I DO NOT GET PAID AS ONE.... but there are people out there who are... and do get paid big bucks to do this type of things.... and our leaders... making lots more than I do... but can't find their way out of a paper bag....
I am sick and tired of hearing stupid, puny, small minded solutions to climate change issues... there are ways to change our selves in very fundamental ways in order to STOP OUR OWN EXTINCTION.... we may still loose a whole lot of people.... but maybe we can save our species and others... to start over....
Just think about it... think about the what we do that is not necessary.... and what we buy that is really frivolous.... if we really WANT TO FIX THIS... WE NEED TO STOP PUSSY FOOTIN' AROUND AND JUST DO IT...
THE SCARIEST THING ARE ALL THOSE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS.... SHUT THEM DOWN NOW... IT TAKES 40 YEARS OR MORE TO DO SO... WE NEED TO GET STARTED... NOT MAKE MORE.... THE STUPID PEOPLE ARE BUILDING MORE AND ONE MAY BE COMING TO THE AN EMPTY SPACE NEAR TO YOU...
Well that is where activism comes in. Those in the know are all being just too freaking nice. Revolution is the solution. When people unite, things start happening.
Then there are so many ill-informed and miss-informed people who know what the media does not tell them about the technologies that are available. I am no teckie, but I know that in the northern climates solar can be used some of the time. That is what storage batteries are for. There is also wind technology.
If this country was dedicated to helping its people they would install solar power everywhere….but nooooooooo. There has to be a profit for the private sector.
“As we now understand all too well, it is what is privately owned, not what is held in common, that faces destruction by avarice, bringing the rest of us down with it.” – Noam Chomsky, The Nation’s – 150 year edition published April 2015 - Page 190.
This debacle has not been aired hardly at all in the US media!! Wonder why??? people of LA are being used as an experiment and have no say in their contamination or illness! Jerry Brown is a criminal and should be charged with criminal negligence and deceit!! His sister is on the board of SOCA so he is complicit in the crime!!! A-Hole!!!