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Apr 12, 2011


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Andrew Brod

At least Berger gets one side of the issue right. This is about jobs, hence the trade-off is jobs vs. dirty water and other environmental problems. Tillis claims that improved energy independence is another benefit of natural gas obtained via fracking, but that's something that should be ignored because it's a de minimus factor on North Carolina's cost/benefit ledger.

It's jobs vs. health/environment, not jobs/energy independence vs. health/environment.

A lot of money is going to be thrown at this issue. The high prices that are inducing producers to find new technologies and (in this case) new energy sources are precisely what will fund the lobbyists' seminars and the white papers that are probably being placed on legislators' desks as we speak. But those high prices are also what could finance reasonable remediation of the environmental risks of fracking (assuming remediation is possible).

Account Deleted

Did you notice that the former chief technical officer for Halliburton is now at a think tank in Raleigh and will be making the presentation today? I am off to Berger's campaign finance records to see what mining interests gave him cash. Unless somebody else has already done that.

Account Deleted

Also, New York seems to be further along in the process and could serve as a model for what we might see here soon.

This quote I think sums it up nicely:

It's jobs and the environment. Not one or the other," she told Gannett. "I'm sorry, you're not allowed to create jobs for short-term gain while destroying clean water in the state of New York for the future.


Hypocritical words from legislative leadership?

Say it ain't so!

The previous story was in Jan 2011.

So, less than 3 months for an about face?


Andrew Brod

Jeff, I noticed the Halliburton connection, and I was going to comment on it until I saw that former Sierra Club lobbyist and DENR Secretary Bill Holman is in on the presentation as well. So the lawmakers shouldn't get a one-sided view of the issue.


The danger of Fracking is the disposal of the fluids used in the process which are very toxic.

The preferred method is pump the used fluid into areas that have already been emptied of their hydrocarbons. At 5000+ feet below the ground it's safe as the water tables are typically in the first few hundred feet.

That works well in sedimentary rock formations but it is absurd to think about using it in the highly crystalline metamorphic rock that underlies most of NC.

Andrew Brod

What's the geological difference, Hugh? More vertical fissures and channels in metamorphic rock? That is, greater opportunity for the used fracking fluids to migrate upward?

Fred Gregory

I am no geologist and had only one semester at Chapel Hill but I can still recognize a

War On Science

Anti-Fracking Enviros Attempt to Silence NY State's Top Staff Geologist
Ronald Bailey | April 4, 2011

[comment redacted; please link and quote, but don't reprint someone else's work in its entirety. Thanks.]

Andrew Brod

By all means let's get the science right, without muzzling. But for what it's worth, the geologist in question isn't NY's "top geologist," but one of a number of staff geologists working for the state. In other words, he's not the State Geologist but rather a state geologist. He certainly appears to be appropriately credentialed, and hence his views should carry some weight. But he's also an employee of an organization that appears to have doubts about his public pronouncements. Maybe that means something; maybe not.

The New York State Council of Professional Geologists takes no position on fracking, saying "the benefits must be assessed relative to the potential environmental costs." I think that's all anyone's saying, and it implies that Fred's cheerleading for fracking puts the cart before the horse. Let's get the science right, then decide.

Steve Harrison

We've got a couple of top-notch geologists here as well (who work for the NC DENR, no less) who are also big cheerleaders for fracking.

While I do have a lot of respect for geologists, if you were to ask them to make a list of valuable natural resources, I'm afraid water would fall somewhere around 14th, well below crude oil, natural gas, bituminous coal, etc.

Fred Gregory

Who is cheerleading, Andy.? Maybe Ed Cone by posting, in its entirety, that misleading PSA propaganda by Pope and her " Clean Water for NC " in a shameful attempt to scare people about the fracking process. Usual starve the the children and old people meme. Sheesh !

Below I am pointing out cold hard facts about the abundance of gas to be tapped .If you want to call that cheerleading.. Rah Rah Rah, Phil Berger he's our man. If he can't do it nobody can. Sis boom bah !!

What The Frack

"Just how big are the stakes in the fight over fracking? In its Annual Energy Outlook 2011 [PDF] report, the Energy Information Administration estimates that the United States possesses 2,552 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of potential natural gas resources, of which for 827 Tcf resides in shale formations. Shale gas reserves are more than double the estimate published last year. The EIA notes that at the 2009 rate of U.S. consumption (about 22.8 Tcf per year), 2,552 Tcf of natural gas is enough to supply approximately 110 years of use. The EIA further notes that shale gas supplied 14 percent of the gas used in the U.S. in 2009 and projects that it will constitute 45 percent of U.S. total natural gas supply in 2035. In addition, burning natural gas produces half the greenhouse gases that coal does and the EIA projects that supplies will be so abundant that the price should remain low for the next 20 years. That’s if fracking is not banned."

It's safe and clean also.

“Fracking” Pollution Claims Found to be False

"After conducting a comprehensive study of claims of natural gas production polluting a ranch owner’s aquifer and drinking water, Colorado state regulators concluded the operations undertaken by Pioneer Natural Resources in Las Animas County, Colorado caused no negative water impacts.

In a similar case, Texas state regulators absolved natural gas production of responsibility for diminished water clarity in residential water wells."

Ed Cone

I would be delighted to learn that fracking is clean and safe, and that it would be so when practiced in the specific geography of my home state, and that it would be subject to laws that have undergone the serious review that GOP leadership said just months ago was long overdue.

Let's get facts, then decide.

Andrew Brod

Maybe fracking does has more economic benefits than environmental costs in Colorado and Texas. I certainly can't claim otherwise. I might be suspicious of regulatory capture in Texas, but Colorado is a bit more environmentally oriented. Anyway, what those states have concluded is informative but not definitive. What does the cost/benefit picture look like in North Carolina? I know what Fred's answer is, but I'd just as soon hear from someone who hasn't prejudged the issue.

But while Fred, an admitted non-geologist, is a mere cheerleader, I wouldn't say the same of the NCDENR geologists. I'm not saying they're right or wrong, but their opinions reflect expertise, not cheerleadery.

Account Deleted

As long as we can have Fred's water and that of his family when the frackers ruin water for others, I am fine with it.

Fred Gregory


Is it personal with you or what ?

Well for an intellectual that comment was totally lame.

Buy a rain barrel for your bomb shelter but better stay away from my water.

Or build a cistern in less than 2 minutes


Billy Jones

Actually Fred, if you are so positive that fracking is safe then you should have no problem with the rest of us using your water if it just happens that you're wrong. I mean, you are telling us fracking is safe-- right?

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