Hi readers. Everywhere people gather with no television playing and no cell phone calls to attend to the US citizenry conversations eventually get around to fracking. Drilling oil and gas wells horizontally into shale and fracturing the deposition to release energy producing minerals.
Heck, I’d never heard of it until a couple of years ago, when my neighbor began telling me about the amazing oil discoveries in Texas now reaching production. Oil reserves larger than the combined deposits everywhere else on the planet.
At first I was skeptical, and I couldn’t imagine what fracking was. But one thing I discovered immediately was the fact everyone who knew the word was possessed of a certainty about whether it was a dangerous risk to one or another environmental facet.
When I visited Eddie Brewer in Andrews, Texas while waiting for the VA to try figuring out what manner of health problems I’d given myself I found he’d educated himself about it. A neighbor was drilling a number of wells so’s to sell water to drilling companies for use in fracking. And Eddie was concerned about depletion of his household water well.
It was through Eddie I first became fundamentally acquainted with what’s involved. And with him I watched a number of television documentaries on the subject of fracking and groundwater contamination. I didn’t come away with a deep understanding of the risks, and I doubt anyone actually can lay claim to a thorough understanding of those. But at least I was able to comprehend the basics.
And gradually became cognizant of how much BS was coming from the mouths of people who didn’t understand those basics in the form of almost religious opinion, either for, or against fracking.
So, even though I don’t have a good reason for doing so beyond curiosity, I recently decided to devote some time to learning about it. Just enough to decide whether I’d have an opinion if I were smarter and better informed than I am. I started by watching two movies currently streaming on Netflix: Gasland, and FrackNation. What would appear at first glance to be a way of getting both sides of the viewpoints.
Unfortunately, Gasland turns out to be a fraud. Which doesn’t mean a strong stand opposing fracking mightn’t be valid. All it means is that Gasland was a deliberate nest of lies and misrepresentations intended to propagandize unfavorably about fracking.
However, here are some other videos giving both sides of the subject. I’ve watched them carefully and learned a lot. But I still can’t figure out whether I have an opinion. Or, if I have an opinion, what it might be. I’ve graduated from not having an opinion out of total ignorance, to not having an opinion knowing a good bit more, and being more acutely aware of how much a person with an opinion ought to know. Which most of us don’t.
FrackNation vs Gasland
The Director of ‘FrackNation’ Fights Back!
Dr. Ingraffea Facts on Fracking
FrackNation the documentary that exposes Joshua Fox as a liar?
WARNING Fracking An Inconvenient Truth Watch Learn about Fracking Shale Gas what they dont say
If you watch it all and discover yourself to be without an opinion, I’d guess you’ve learned a great deal more than you knew beforehand.
It’s really difficult to form an independent opinion on fracking. As to all the studies: that’s the usual thing. The conclusions depend on who pays for it. In Germany we have the saying, “Wes Geld ich hab’, des Lied ich sing.” = “Whose money I take, this person’s song I sing.” That much for “independent” scientific studies.
But let me add my own ideas, as I’m directly concerned. Our move from Karnes City to Fredericksburg was mostly caused by the oil boom in the Eagle Ford Shale. Karnes County is one of the centres of that boom, and in the last two/three years the quality of life has deteriorated a lot there. Ok, the oil boom brings money into a formerly poor country. But for what price? The roads have become outright dangerous down there, with deadly accidents having risen 1000% in about 5 years. I, who like bicycling, have not been on my bike there for more than 2 years. It’s life threatening. The traffic has become intolerable. About two years ago, my wife was sitting on our front porch one morning and counted 75 18-wheelers thundering past on the highway in just 30 minutes!
That oil boom is really two sided for us: without it, we would not have wanted to move, but only because of it we have the money to buy the new property here in Fredericksburg. It’s a boon and a bane at the same time.
As to the dangers: they’re definitely there – as with all technology and Murphy’s law. What can go wrong, will go wrong. But some of the dangers are exgggerated, to my mind, some depend on where the fracking is. Different formations underground, I mean. One real problem is the water. As one well takes between 800,000 and 1,000,000 gallons of water to frack, and we down here alraedy have severe water shortages, that really depletes the water table. Thne there’s the disposal of the used water. It has to go somewhere. So it is pumped back into the earth, with all its chemicals. It might or it moght not, in the long run, pollute the ground water. I don’t know. Also, the well, if it’s noit properly done, can leak. I havn’t heard of any leaking down here in the south, but it’s early days yet. Who knows what will happen in ten or twenty years. Another real problem are the pads. Even after drilling and frackingm, they need to remain for the pumps or well heads, and they really dot the landscape. Just use Google Earth to see all those white dots. And there’s all that gas that’s simply flared off as there are only a few pipelines that can carry it. Not only that that does pollute the air, it’s also a waste of a most precious natural resource.
Well, be it as it may we won’t get around it. Mankind in its insatiable hunger for energy will sooner or later use every little drop of oil there is.
Sorry about rambling on and on.
Have a good one,
Hi amigo. Sorry to hear how it was down in Karnes City. About all I can figure is that things were going to get worse anyway, even without fracking, and maybe them getting worse with fracking will mean they have enough money in their pockets to buy water at roughly the same price per gallon as gasoline. Gracias, j