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Gasland II

Post in 'The Green Room' started by webbie, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Watched it on HBO last night.

    Troubling. Very. Seems that history continually repeats itself and greed knows no bounds.

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  2. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

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    Haven't had the chance to watch it yet but am hoping to do so this weekend. I did happen to catch the young man who made the movie on Bill Maher's HBO program "Real Time" a few weeks ago. Very enlightening and troubling at the same time.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I met some people who lived in Montrose their entire lives - pillars of the community (teachers, etc.). They moved on and said that much of the area is not habitable any longer.

    Many of our most beautiful and natural areas are becoming pincushions - and for what reason? None, really. In fact, the oversupply has brought the price down so far that the producers are even losing money! As a result they are setting up to export a vast quantity of the stuff since it brings 3 to 4X the price overseas.

    I'm not against the use of nat gas - but I'd rather pay double the (currently super-low) price and have it done right.
  4. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    That's interesting (haven't watched the first or second movie yet), I'm a teacher in Montrose (lived here my entire life) and the only complaint is getting slowed down on the roads by water trucks from time to time.

    There is a lot of misinformation out there and the condition of this area is seriously being blown out of proportion by a minority of very squeaky wheels.

    ETA: What the future holds could be a mess, who knows. But for the record, as of now, life has not changed here despite what is being depicted.

    Ask away and I can tell ya, or take pics of whatever you want to see.

    By living here, I'll be the first to tell you I don't want these guys to mess up as I don't want to lose my hometown, however, things really are fine as of now.

    The lack of credibility in media truly frustrates me.

    pen
    NortheastAl and muncybob like this.
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    These folks are friends of some of my other contacts in the hearth industry and lived their entire life up there - moved to Florida recently and were lamenting some of the changes up there.
    I suppose it depends on where you sit. If I owned a farm and didn't want to lease it - and then had some of those wells and pads in view or had to pass them in my daily rides down the road, I'd be bummed.
    On the other hand, if I was getting money paid to me I'd probably be as quiet as many of them.

    In the movie they show how anyone who really complains pretty much has to settle - even against their will, and part of the settlement is they cannot ever again say a word.

    I'm not sure about eastern PA, but I've seen pics like this from NW Pa (this one is Arkansas). I can't imagine how one can "live on the earth" anywhere near areas such as this. That is, I wouldn't want to....
    [​IMG]

    Here are some cnn stories about western PA:
    http://money.cnn.com/news/specials/fracking_pennsylvania/

    The movie also details the costs beyond the local area - the amazing amount of methane leaking into the air, etc. which ends up making fracked gas dirtier than coal when it comes to greenhouse gases. The statistic is something like 50% of well casings fail within 20-30 years and 10-20% of them almost immediately.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, here's a pic of one place in PA.....this is 2009. There are tens of thousand more wells throughout the state now and tens of thousands more coming...

    [​IMG]
  7. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I own a 1/2 acre, I'm not getting poo. Once established, there really isn't much to see of these things. My friends owns 500 acres and has an active well on his property which I hunt. I shot my fall turkey within 100 yards of the pad as it's had no impact on the adjacent area. No terrible sounds, smells, etc, etc.

    I guess it depends on what one calls a concern. My whole childhood I watched farm after farm close down around here as they couldn't make money with the milk prices. As things got rough, they would heavily log woods, sell off some acreage for craptastic type developments, etc. With the money coming in from the gas industry, farm land is being maintained, the woods clearing down for pipelines is being done well with proper re-planting / erosion controls in place, roads that get heavy use are being rebuilt better than they have ever been, etc, etc.

    Bottom line, I am as concerned as you or anyone about methane release, contamination of water, etc, but there is a ton of misinformation out there that ruins the credibility of many sources IMO. Of the two situations that I know of personally where it originally looked like the gas companies may have screwed up water, it was proven by Pa's DEP that wasn't the case.
    NortheastAl likes this.
  8. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Not sure what that's a pic of, all of the pipelines are run underground around here.
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think those are pics of the wells and the paths that lead in to them???
    That's a lot of disturbed land.

    According to the movie and other sources, the problems are manifold and chances are you will never know many of them because the folks who have them are paid and cannot talk. It seemed, from the film, that many people nationwide have needed to have drinking water trucked in. They showed how the EPA was pretty much bought off at the highest levels...they told people water and air was safe, but then the lower level EPA workers told the locals to not drink the water - that they were told from the highest levels to simply ignore and bury the problems.

    The industry was caught on tape bragging about hiring psychological warfare experts and spending untold money on PR etc. - they also hired the original firm that promoted (lied) about cigarettes and cancer to do all the marketing and PR for the industry groups.

    Put it all together and add all that money and you and I are unlikely to ever know what is really happening - until it's too late.

    I'm with you on the economic benefits - but that's what angers me even more. Gas can be harvested better, but it will cost a few bucks more. But this boom, IMHO, is going to do the usual where the bill ends up getting paid by all of us well after the profits and fast money are made. The industry players readily admit that it is a game of keeping the expenses as low as possible - which means shortcuts, exemptions (as you know, the dangerous fracking chemicals are exempt from clear air and water regs due to Cheney)....

    That's my take - that, at this point, we know better and could do it right but won't.
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, those pics are well field.....here's one from out west. Out there they use 40 acre spacing - which is 16 per square mile. Not exactly what I think when I want to be 'home on the range".

    Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 9.24.40 PM.png
  11. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    That is the sad truth. In the meantime, fingers crossed is about all any of us normal folks can do.

    I have 3 life long friends and 2 family members who now work for the oil companies in various capacities (surveyor, wetlands specialist, land man, 2 operations specialists). The day they tell me it's time to put the for-sale sign up, I'll listen. Until then, as I live in the midst of this, I just don't see things as being bad off. As workers they are treated well, and when I probe for dirt a bit they honestly don't have any and don't avoid the topic. Hopefully the things I can't see (air / water) stay fine as well.
  12. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    It's 600 acres per unit here. Multiple wells can be placed on one pad without really increasing its size. With our landscape it's actually hard finding wells (We are known as the Endless Mountains region of Pa). I have 2 more wells that are within a 1/2 mile of the house that I simply can't get anywhere near to get a glimpse of. The closest well to me is only visible because I am friends with the landowner and I walk the dog past the well in the middle of his private property.
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Watch the film when you get a chance and let us know what you think. I'm sure that the number of people who have to sell and move are small compared to the number that live in these places, but the stories are still sad.

    All in all, I am more concerned about the big picture of the air (greenhouse gases) and water (those fracking fluilds, etc. have to go somewhere!) over the long term. It's silly for us to think of nat gas as the solution if it's not. As I said before, I'd rather pay much more for it and have fewer leaks. But that doesn't float with the way things are done now...
    pen likes this.
  14. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

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    I watched most of this movie last night when I got home from work. What I found most disturbing was the information the professor from Cornell University provided regarding the concrete casing of the wells themselves and their failure rate. Which partly explains why Methane is leaking from a good size portion of the natural gas distribution system all across the country.

    Also, I found the comments from the gentleman from Australia quite intriguing. He observed that this global push for natural gas extraction is the fossil fuel industry's last gasp as the world begins to transition away from dirty, non-renewable fuel.

    Finally, the information about how the gas industries push for liquified natural gas ports of distribution and how the pipelines being proposed are really an effort to aid exportation to overseas markets supports what many have suspected for a long time. That is that America's new found reserves of crude oil and natural gas will do very little to lower prices for domestic users in the long run. So any argument for increased drilling that includes lower prices domestically is really a red herring and not true. The Keystone crude oil pipeline being such an example.
  15. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't doubt that the prices are low - they already are and have been!

    But that's just the point! I'd rather middling prices and better wells. It's the new Gold Rush and the history of the old one shows that most people ended up broke.
  16. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    Here in central PA wells are popping up but at a much slower rate latley. The main hassles people speak of is the litter by some of the crew and the trucks on the road. So far the roads have been repaired to at least as good/if not better condition than when they got here. The Gasland movies are certainly one sided(I have not viewed either in their entirety) and are ushing a certain agenda. Frac Nation is another movie out there that tells the other side of the story.
  17. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The whole idea of "two sides" is always part of our dialog - and perhaps should not be. That is, the "side" which entails the future pollution of vast water supplies and continuous pollution of the air should be only one "side"...

    It goes without saying that certain sides are created when millions of people get a "free" or even relatively easy payday. That's no surprise. The famous activist Upton Sinclair noted that ""It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."


    To that I would add that it's human nature to move expenses elsewhere - whether dumping trash in the wrong places or not caring much about things that you can't see or directly feel.

    I like to think I am a third "side" - one of responsibility and care. I'd prefer that the price of the nat gas be much higher, which would result in more royalties for the land and mineral owners But I'd want some of that money to go toward having better wells and better monitoring as well.

    I can't imagine how people can be on a "side" which calls for all studies and science to be either ignored or, as in this case, purposely stopped because the corporations and their gubment allies don't want to take responsibility for their actions.

    We hear the talking point "for the children" so often in terms of leaving them debt, etc - perhaps we should hear it more in terms of leaving them a cleaner world and some energy! What's the worst that can happen if we slow down in poking these holes? Well, it seems that's more for later!
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I have a lease in Fort Worth in my name by default. As the trustee of my mother-in-laws assets the gas lease on her property came along for the ride. Brings in around $175 a month. I would pay $200 a month to not have to mess with the thing.
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think my daughter and the Sierra Club and many others have some egg on their faces since all this leakage stuff has been exposed. Not to say their hearts were/are not in the right place, but it's where the rubber meets the roads which is most important.

    My daughter (esquire) was in water pollution litigation before her current job. That involved municipalities spending literally BILLIONS of dollars to clean up or replace water polluted by corporations, many of them long gone or hidden under shells.

    One can only imagine that after the 50-75 years of this gas boom - that folks in the future will be cursing us for allowing it to affect both water and climate change to the degree it may.
    Stax likes this.
  20. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Haven't seen either GL or GL II, but have seen enough critiques of the first one to make it sound like a hack job.

    Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, but has a half life in the atmosphere of a decade or less.....any methane we emit will not still be around 50-75 years from now, nor will it acidify the ocean. If methane starts the death of coal a couple decades before RE seals the deal, our grandchildren will be aok with it.
  21. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think scientists are more worried about the climate change aspect of it - that is, it speeds the cycle at a rate 20X that of CO2. Whether or not big temperature swings are instantly reversible is in question. It would seem that weather somewhat feeds on itself.

    The larger question is whether, for 10 or 20% more, that methane can be greatly reduced.
    Another question is how much of the millions of gallons of fracking fluids containing carcinogens are going to end up in water and land.

    Do you have an accurate study of that? It would seem difficult if you are not allowed to know what is in it (other than from post-mortem activities).

    I'm sure only a few of these are dangerous - but the question is how dangerous and does the mix change once it is underground and mixed with gas liquids, gases, rock, water, etc.?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_additives_for_hydraulic_fracturing
  22. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    Don't forget to factor in changes in temperature & pressure when trying to figure out what is happening with those chemicals. Some of those bonds are going to change under temp/pressure changes, what gets pumped in may not necessarily be what exists after a temp/pressure change. Also try to ponder phase changes from liquid to vapour/gas, gets confusing fast. One for the scientists & engineers to ponder, too much math for me.<>

    Really we have no idea what may happen but forward we go with our foot on the throttle anyhow.

    Darn hard to build a model to test what may happen, way too many variables.
  23. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Eat, drink, be merry, and gas up. We can have it all, right now.
  24. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Of course I don't want to spill methane, HFCs, etc. I thought O's putting a target on those emissions over the last couple years was very savvy/sensible.

    I worry that NG a little more expensive than we have currently ($6-7/MMBTU) could be profitable enough to keep the frackers in business (and perhaps hugely expanded), not cheap enough to displace coal, and still cheap enough to undermine renewable energy. These issues are only of concern in a public policy vacuum where Mr market is the only driver.....we could end up 10-20 years hence with cheap energy (good), but leaked methane, polluted water, a lot more burnt coal and not a lot of RE.

    Both parties clearly 'want' shale gas and shale oil, the macro-economic boosts are too huge for any leader to ignore. The above issues can be dealt with by regulation if the govt was doing its job. IOW, frack with bore casing supervision and only approved fracking fluids/additives, press coal as in the Georgetown speech, and continue/expand RE supports.
  25. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    It's too easy and convenient to blame the govt. The govt is us, and so long as voters keep voting for those in Congress, and demand lowest possible energy prices, and the big money lobbyists sway Congress and by marketing sway voters to continue to demand what is unsustainable, we will get exactly what we want, along with polluted air, water and soil, and ultimately a poisoned earth for human life.
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