Driven mad by oil & gas

Posted: August 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

New study shows how fracking will contaminate water; industry touts “future” solutions to global warming

Oilfield services giant Schlumberger publicly acknowledges:

1) that global warming is real and

2) that the rise in average land and ocean temperatures over the last 150 years is very likely due in part to the greenhouse effect caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide accumulation from burning coal, oil, and gas.

This is where it gets weird, however: “We believe there is sufficient evidence of the potential seriousness of the issue to start preparing future solutions.”

Protesters chant at the gate of Schlumberger’s fracking supply depot in Horseheads, NY, Aug. 11. Schooled in the art of being arrested, they waited in vain for trucks hauling fracking sand to try to breach their ranks. (Photo: Shaleshock)

“Potential seriousness?” A rise in temperature on this planet of even one or two degrees definitely has serious consequences … although, to be sure, they are not felt equally across the planet.

“Future solutions” is a bit more of a giveaway: What they’re saying is they don’t have any solutions now.
Schlumberger notes on its website, “One promising solution is carbon capture and storage (CCS), where CO2 is captured from concentrated sources such as power stations and stored in underground geological formations.”

You see, the thing is, carbons are ALREADY stored in underground geological formations … in the form of oil and natural gas. And that is how nature has taken care of the problem.

So now, in southern New York State, Schlumberger equipment is most likely going to be used to pump water far into the ground to break up rock and release carbons, in the form of natural gas, from the Marcellus shale formation. And along with the natural gas, carbon dioxide and carcinogenic chemicals such as benzene are also going to be released.

And … doggone, wouldn’t you know? The industry has been basing an argument that fracking is a safe practice on the theory that the rock will hold the drilling fluids … which will have picked up toxic chemicals in the fracking process … are impermeable.

And now here comes a study using computer modeling that shows this rock is quite permeable … that the carcinogenic soup that is the fracking solution WILL end up in the groundwater and … eventually … in we, the people.

“Simply put, [the rock layers] are not impermeable,” said study author Tom Myers, an independent hydrogeologist whose clients include the federal government and environmental groups.

“The Marcellus shale is being fracked into a very high permeability,” he said. “Fluids could move from most any injection process.” More on the study here.

Of course NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to move forward with permitting fracking in some portions of New York State … even though surveys show that most of the people of the state are against it. And why is that?

Ultimately … it’s because corporations like Schlumberger … which has been a real moneymaker for investors in the past … are beholden only to the stockholders … insofar as they are stockholders. I mean, if a bunch of Schlumberger shareholders were to die of cancer because of the company’s activities … well never mind all that.

What needs to be done is to put the power back into the hands of the people of the state of New York and taken back from corporations which cannot … by definition … have a conscience. And amending the Constitution of the United States (, etc.) is part of that.

The other thing is to learn how to use less fuel, to make that part of the culture, and to envision a postcarbon future. Somehow.

Read more: Related story from Natural Resources News Service


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