Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

October 22, 2012

Stumptalk: Shale oil and gas

By Jerry McDonough
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — Recently there was a seminar given in a local community concerning the supposed environmental dangers of hydraulic fracture drilling, or “fracking,” used in the pursuit of oil and gas independence for America through innovative technology. I was tempted to attend, but I decided I was tired of hearing the same tired, scientifically unproven claims by the progressive environmentalists and government ideologues. For some unknown reason, energy independence for America is a threat to these people. Now the same tired environmentalists are once again in a tizzy. It seems the U. S. Geological Society (USGS) has announced that there is a 95% chance the Marcellus Shale formation that straddles the northeastern United States may hold a staggering 84 trillion cubic feet (tfc) of recoverable natural gas and a 5% chance it holds 144 tfc. The initial 2002 estimate was two tfc. Plus, the formation may hold anywhere from 1.5 billion to 6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.

It seems that as the efficiency of the horizontal drilling technology evolves upward the results also increase. Plus, there are no taxpayer funded subsidies like there are for inefficient “green” energies like solar and wind. It is all private investment. Those who preach the gospel of “the world is running out of fossil fuel” are proven wrong yet again which further irritates them.

First the progressive environmentalists proclaimed natural gas to be the savior of the environment, but since so much has been discovered they now proclaim that it endangers the atmosphere and “fracking” endangers the water supply. Of course, there is no scientific proof to back their claims meaning we must take them at their word because they know so much more than we the unwashed know. Presently, some progressives in Congress are demanding that the “evil” Halliburton Corp, the inventors of the “hated” “fracking” technology, spell out exactly what is in the chemical used to “frack”. The “evil” Halliburton has already made public the mixture used. It is 90% water, 9.5% sand and 0.5% chemicals such as sodium chloride (table salt) and citric acid (citrus fruit juice). The progressives state that the waste water produced by “fracking” is loaded with “highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium” all without any proof whatsoever.

The progressive arguments are like throwing mud against a wall hoping some will stick! Progressives also would have the average citizen believe that even though “fracking” occurs thousands of feet deep and drinking water aquifers are hundreds of feet deep with solid rock in between, this technology pollutes and otherwise disrupts the water supply. Progressives would have us believe that water not only flows uphill, but through solid rock too. Again the public is told to accept the progressive findings on faith because they have no proof.

Penn State University researchers, no friend of common sense for they preach the gospel of global warming, found that Marcellus Shale has already produced 44, 000 jobs in Pennsylvania and added $4 billion to the economy in 2009, plus 13,000 jobs in West Virginia and $1 billion to their economy. Further development of the Marcellus Shale should produce 300,000 new jobs and $25 billion added to the regional economy in the next ten years.

It all makes one wonder what other road blocks the progressives will dream up... and why.