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On Hydraulic Fracking & Water Pollution

I think you need to read the new CEREs Study on Water Use for Fracking at https://www.ceres.org/resources/reports/hydraulic-fracturing-water-stress-growing-competitive-pressures-for-water/view  Whether the risks of accidents or leaks have or have not contaminated acquefers, land or watersheds are hotly contested on all sides.  That being said I have seen no studies estimating the cost of procuring the water needed to frack, the recycling, treatment or long term storage of water used for fracking.  So were is all of this water going to come from?  How much will it cost to transport, use, treat, recycle and dispose of this "produced", "flow back", or "used water?"  Even if none of it leaks out or spills in this industrial scale drilling and gas treatment operation.  If well casings only last 25-30 years, what happens then?  What is the cost of monitoring and replacing the well bore casings?  No one has studied or estimated the cost of that.  This is looking more and more like what has happened to nuclear power.  We don't have a solution to the waste problem there and the existing plants are wearing out.  I can recall growing up in the 50's and 60's when the nuclear and electric power industries told us that nuclear power was "safe, clean and economical" and also that it would be "too cheap to meter."  We have been sold a bill of goods that fracking is safe, "that we need this natural gas for our energy independence" and as a "tranistion fuel" because "renewable energy is not ready or developed enough to meet our energy needs."  If that is true, which I don't think is true, then why is the gas industry petitioning to build or transform 19 ocean seaport terminals for the export of natural gas from fracking?  The burden of proof on the safety, economics and reliability is on the gas industry.  After reading the "Drilling Down" series in the New York Times, the reports and stories on the StateImpact.npr.org/pennsylvania, the book "Fracking in Pennsylvania:Flirting With Disaster" by Wlater Brasch, viewing the movies "Split Estate", "Gasland", "FrackNation" and finally the research studies of Dr. Mark Jacobson of Stanford University and Dr.Mark Delluchi of the University of California at Davis the only conclusion that I can come to is that fracking is too dangerous for our environment, health and safety.  Fracking is too expensive to be conducted safely without adverse impact on global weather, public health and public drinking water.  And in conclusion fracking is totally unnessary for our energy needs anywhere on planet Earth.  We have the technology, the science, the resources, raw materials, capital and know how to create a renewable energy system for the whole world by 2030, without the need or use of fossil fuel or nucleear power.  What we are lacking is the political will because the centralized utilities, fossil fuel and nuclear power industries have bought our elected government leaders and brainwashed the public to believe that the world is not ready for renewable energy and that if we stop subsiidizing fossil and nuclear power and transition to a more sustainable power system that we will all "starve and freeze in the dark."  A renewable, sustainable, decentralized electrical, solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectic, tidal, river current, hydrogen fuel cell, pumped hydoelectric, battery storage, mass transit, conservation,biomass fuels and energy efficient system is a threat to their profits and their dominant power in the world.  The status quo will not yield without a fight.  I am not alone in that conclusion,  There are more of us who are convinced of this.  I hope we havve enough time to change course and reverse the climate disruptions by transitioning to a "soft energy path."

May 3, 2013    View Comment    

On U.S. Natural Gas Capacity Must Peak Soon To Achieve Sustainable Pathway

I think we need to bring in the work of Amory Lovins of the Rocking Mountain Institute.  He still sees the need for using natural gas as a "transition fuel".  He believes in using biomass fuel for vehicles, generating electricity and other energy needs until we have a "smart grid", efficient appliances & machines, insulation and a more diverse energy capacity base, make us more resilient and independent of centralized electrical utility grid distribution and generation systems. Natural gas can still come from decomposing landfills, abandoned coal mines, and biomass generation plants and existing oil and gas wells drilled without fracking.

Converting methane to hydrogen, using it to fuel vehicles, generation of electricity are all som of the possible uses of this biomass product.  Pumped storage, batteries, generating hydrogen for storage to be burned later or used for fuel for a vehicle are part of the solution to the energy struggle.

December 15, 2012    View Comment    

On U.S. Natural Gas Capacity Must Peak Soon To Achieve Sustainable Pathway

Has anybody looked at the data and analysis of Jacobson and Di Lucci from their Nov. 2009 Scientific American article or their two articles published in the March 2011 issue of Energy Policy?  Their thesis is that we can transition to renewable energy by the year 2030, worldwide, without fossil fuel or nuclear energy with existing technology.  They suggest that we can meet our energy needs by a combination of solar, wind, tidal, hydrogen, hydroelectric, geothermal, conservation, mass transit, smart electric grid, energy efficiency, recycling, reduction of solid wastes, insulation and other smart technologies.  They address raw material extraction, production, planning, coordination, infrastructure, government legislation, political instability, shipping, terorism, and regulations.  They even have calculated their figures without considering the use of biomass fuels, feed lot, sewage and landfill or coal bed extraction of methane.  Physicist Emory Lovins at the Rocky Mountain Institute has made similar calculations but still incorporates natural gas and methane capture from existing biomass, animal feedlots, land fills and other normal non fracking sources for his plan. There conclusion is that we lack the political will to make this transition because of the financial and political power of the fossil, nuclear and utility industries control of the Federal and State Governments and the media.  If we can put a man on the moon and return him safely in a decade, we can solve the energy problem, climate change and global warming.  We have to or spaceship Earth is doomed and all of it's lifeforms on it.

December 15, 2012    View Comment