Tag Archives: Fracking

Drillinois!: Is Fracking Coming to the Land of Lincoln?


by Whitney Pitcher

Over the last week, I’ve posted a few posts on the AGU/O4P Illinois4Palin page on some state legislation that is being discussed in Springfield right now-namely conceal and carry and pension reform. Additionally, our state is considering legislation outlining regulation of fracking. While the regulation is very strict, it is a far cry from a New York like moratorium. I wanted to share this post here because, if passed, it may be one of the few bright spots in our mess of a state. It would allow the creation of thousands of jobs in southern Illinois, an area of the state politicians too often ignore. Imagine that; energy development and economic improvement going hand-in-hand? Sounds familiar.

Illinois often doesn’t seem to produce much more than corrupt politicians,but behind the graft and crime, Illinois ranks 11th in energy production in the country. According to the Energy Information Administration, Illinois produces more nuclear energy and ethanol than any other state in the country.  Beyond the reactors and car booze, Illinois runs in the middle of the pack (twenty-sixth) when it comes to development of natural gas. That could change with the new technology that is booming in places like Texas and Pennsylvania –fracking.

In December, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce released a study indicating that fracking for natural gas could has much as a nearly ten billion dollar economic impact and bring tens of thousands of jobs to southern Illinois.  Fracking has yet to be even tested in the New Albany shale of southern Illinois, but the Chamber hopes that their research will provide the necessary impetus to move things forward legislatively. The study evaluated drilling costs, but not specifically the cost of regulations, royalties or taxes, nor did it assess any oil that may be present in the shale.

A few months ago, a southern Illinois Democratic legislator, energy developers, and environmental groups sat down to draft a plan that would aim to appease all involved:

After years of clashing over the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the oil industry and environmentalists have achieved something extraordinary in Illinois: They sat down together to draft regulations both sides could live with.

If approved by lawmakers, participants say, the rules would be the nation’s strictest. The Illinois model might also offer a template to other states seeking to carve out a middle ground between energy companies that would like free rein and environmental groups that want to ban the practice entirely.


The Natural Resources Defense Council supported a failed attempt at a fracking moratorium last year. So with lawmakers clearly ready to allow fracking in southern Illinois, the NRDC wanted to ensure there were significant safeguards, including making drillers liable for water pollution, requiring them to disclose the chemicals used and enabling residents to sue for damages.

“One of the positive things here has been the table to which a wide range of interests have come … to address the risks in an adult way,” said Henry Henderson, director of the NRDC’s Midwest office. “We have gotten over the frustrating chasm of ‘Are you for the environment or for the economy?’ That is an empty staring contest.”

Negotiations took place over four or five months, primarily at the Statehouse in meetings led by state Rep. John Bradley, a Democrat who lives in the area where fracking would occur, participants said.

Bradley whittled negotiators down to a core group — four from industry, four from environmental groups, plus representatives from the attorney general’s and governor’s offices, regulatory agencies and lawmakers, said Mark Denzler, vice president of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.

That group was pared even further for the toughest negotiations, which included discussions with outside technical experts on complicated issues, said Ann Alexander, an NRDC senior attorney.

“I won’t say there weren’t times that voices got raised a little bit, but … it’s a very good model of cooperation,” Alexander said. “It beats the (typical) model of having drafts furtively circulating … or emerging at the last minute when nobody has had a chance to read them.”

A bill with robust bipartisan support is currently being discussed in committee the Illinois House. The bill has extensive regulatory provisions on permitting , environmental restrictions and liability, and transparency of development. Governor Quinn has even voiced is support for fracking in his budget speech onWednesday.

The bill still needs to pass through committee, the House as a whole, and the Senate before arriving at the Governor’s desk. To be sure, the bill does includes rather strict regulation that will impact producers. However, it has the potential to produce clean natural gas and provide jobs for many–something that states like with fracking moratoriums, like New York, have yet to do. For a state known for ineptness, this could be a small step in the right direction.

Useful links:

HB 2615: Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation Act

House member contact list

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2 Trillion Barrels of American Oil: Why Wealthy Arab Oil Sheiks Are Funding Matt Damon’s Anti-Fracking Propaganda Film

While total world resources of oil shale are conservatively estimated at 2.6 trillion barrels, The United States sits on TWO TRILLION barrels of that crude. More than all of the crude that was ever produced worldwide since the petroleum age began.

By Gary P Jackson

Matt Damon and his fellow travelers have a new propaganda film about to debut. Radicals, like Damon, dead set against anything that will benefit America, are extremely opposed to hydraulic fracturing, a proven method of unlocking oil buried deep beneath the earth’s surface. Fracking, as it’s called, is the key to making America 100 percent energy independent. Unfortunately these Anti-American stooges are working overtime to stop fracking nationwide.

Lachlan Markay at The Heritage Institute writes:

A new film starring Matt Damon presents American oil and natural gas producers as money-grubbing villains purportedly poisoning rural American towns. It is therefore of particular note that it is financed in part by the royal family of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

The creators of Promised Land have gone to absurd lengths to vilify oil and gas companies, as Scribe’s Michael Sandoval noted Wednesday. Since recent events have demonstrated the relative environmental soundness of hydraulic fracturing – a technique for extracting oil and gas from shale formations – Promised Land’s script has been altered to make doom-saying environmentalists the tools of oil companies attempting to discredit legitimate “fracking” concerns.

While left-leaning Hollywood often targets supposed environmental evildoers, Promised Land was also produced “in association with” Image Media Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, according to the preview’s list of credits. A spokesperson with DDA Public Relations, which runs PR for Participant Media, the company that developed the film fund backing Promised Land, confirmed that AD Media is a financier. The company is wholly owned by the government of the UAE.

The UAE, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has a stake in the future of the American fossil fuel industry. Hydraulic fracturing has increased the United States’ domestic supply of crude oil and natural gas in areas such as the Bakken shale formation and has the potential to increase domestic production much more in the foreseeable future. That means more oil on the market, and hence lower prices for a globally traded commodity.

Fracking is boosting the country’s natural gas supply as well. While the market for American natural gas is primarily domestic, the Energy Department recently approved Cheniere Energy’s plan to export about 2.2 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas per day from Louisiana. The Department is considering LNG export applications from seven other companies.

A strong global market presence for American natural gas could also work to the UAE’s disadvantage. The Arab nation ranks seventh worldwide in proven natural gas reserves. For instance, Japan’s energy imports are expected to rise significantly over the next five years. The country is currently a major importer of UAE natural gas. If it decided to import more LNG from the United States to accommodate its increased energy demands, it could deal a blow to the UAE economy.

Another source of competition might come from other industries that use natural gas to manufacture other products. As American gas grows cheaper the United States becomes a more attractive destination for industries that manufacture petroleum-intensive products. The UAE, meanwhile, has invested billions attempting to shore up its own share of the plastics and chemicals markets, both of which rely on petroleum products and are likely to gravitate towards the cheapest sources of those products.

All of this suggests a direct financial interest on the UAE’s part in slowing the development of America’s natural gas industry. Pop culture can be a powerful means to sway public opinion. While Promised Land, like anti-fracking documentary Gasland, appears to inflate the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, it may have an impact on the public’s view of the practice.

More here.

Recently Phelim McAleer ripped Damon in the New York Post:

Matt Damon and John Krasinski ran into a big problem while making their film “Promised Land”; how they solved it tells us a lot about Hollywood.

Some time ago, the two actors decided to make a movie about fracking — a method of getting once-inaccessible oil and gas out of the ground that has become the bête noire of many environmentalists.

The two wrote a screenplay they said was about “American identity . . . and what defines us as a country.

It was the usual Hollywood script. We all know the . . . drill: Damon’s character works for an “evil” oil company. He comes to small-town America and sells locals a dangerous bill of goods.

Then he encounters two problems — his corporate heart is melted by an attractive local woman and Krasinki’s character, an environmentalist, reveals the oil company plan to exploit, pollute and leave.

Shocked townspeople feel betrayed. Damon is conflicted — will he go with the company and his career, or with his heart and ride back into town in his white SUV, denounce the oil company and save the day?

The filmmakers were so pleased with the script that they announced it would be promoted as a potential Oscar winner.

But then came trouble.

I broke the news that “Promised Land” was about fracking and now I can reveal that the script’s seen some very hasty rewriting because of real-world evidence that anti-fracking activists may be the true villains.

In courtroom after courtroom, it has been proved that anti-fracking activists have been guilty of fraud or misrepresentation.

There was Dimock, Pa. — the likely inspiration for “Promised Land,” which is also set in Pennsylvania. Dimock featured in countless news reports, with Hollywood celebrities even bringing water to 11 families who claimed fracking had destroyed their water and their lives.

But while “Promised Land” was in production, the story of Dimock collapsed. The state investigated and its scientists found nothing wrong. So the 11 families insisted EPA scientists investigate. They did — and much to the dismay of the environmental movement found the water was not contaminated.

There was Wolf Eagle Environmental Engineers in Texas, a group that produced a frightening video of a flaming house water pipe and claimed a gas company had polluted the water. But a judge just found that the tape was an outright fraud — Wolf Eagle connected the house gas pipe to a hose and lit the water.

Other “pollution” cases collapsed in Wyoming and Colorado. Even Josh Fox, who with his Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland” first raised concerns about flammable water, has had to admit he withheld evidence that fracking was not responsible.

These frauds and misrepresentations created huge problems for the Damon/Krasinski script about “what defines us as a country.”

So, according to sources close to the movie, they’ve come up with a solution — suggest that anti-fracking fraudsters are really secret agents employed by the fossil-fuel industry to discredit the environmental movement.

In the revised script, Damon exposes Krasinski as a fraud — only to realize that Krasinski’s character is working deep undercover for the oil industry to smear fracking opponents.

Hollywood is worried about declining theater audiences; it’s blaming the Internet and the recession. But the real problem might be closer to home.

More here.

You might ask why an oil rich nation like the United Arab Emirates would throw money at a hack Hollywood film filled with lies about fracking. Well, the answer is pretty simple. The United States has more oil reserves than the entire Middle East combined. An estimated THREE TIMES MORE Enough oil and natural gas to make the United States 100 percent energy independent for the next 300 years.

And this DOES NOT take the 2 TRILLION barrels of shale oil in to consideration, which increase the centuries worth of oil we have in reserve.

We’ve written extensively about this. One report I like to cite is from Kiplinger’s:

The U.S. is sitting on the world’s largest, untapped oil reserves — reservoirs which energy experts know exist, but which have not yet been tapped and may not be attainable with current technology. In fact, such untapped reserves are estimated at about 2.3 trillion barrels, nearly three times more than the reserves held by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) nations and sufficient to meet 300 years of demand — at today’s levels — for auto, truck, aircraft, heating and industrial fuel, without importing a single barrel of oil.

Think about that, 300 years worth of oil and natural gas, without importing a single drop of oil or cubic foot of natural gas! This is on top of the estimated 250 years worth of coal reserves we have. The reports says “at today’s levels.” That was in 2008. Our demand has actually dropped since then, due to both the poor economy, as well as more fuel efficient vehicles. So 300 years isn’t a hard number. Could be more, and if our economy ever restarts, could be a little less. Either way, it’s incredibly significant.

Fracking is the key to this oil and gas, as much of it is locked away in shale. The United States has almost all of the world’s shale oil. Only one Middle Eastern nation, Jordan, has shale.

When we start tossing out big numbers, numbers in the trillions, it’s hard for most of us to comprehend, myself included, so to put this into perspective, there is more oil in the United States, just waiting to be unlocked, than all of the crude oil ever produced, since the world started producing oil. A lot more.

There are an estimated 2.6 trillion barrels of shale oil world wide. The United States has 2 trillion of those barrels. The chart below shows just how much shale oil we have, compared to the rest of the world.

Now Matt Damon’s bunch isn’t the only one bought and paid for by the OPEC cartel. As I reported a few days ago, it’s likely President Barack Obama was bought and paid for by OPEC years ago. In April Obama signed an Executive Order that targeted fracking.

It’s insane. Shale oil is a blessing. It solves all of our energy problems, and has been proven safe. We hear a lot about the shale in the western states, but Texas has massive shale as well. Recently the Austin-American Statesman had a story talking about the incredible economic boom in South Texas. The Eagle Ford shale is rich in natural gas, a clean, green super fuel that is the key to the future. It’s a surprisingly fair and unbiased article and worth the read.

Shale is not only the key to energy independence, it’s the key to our economic survival. Recently the AGA released a study that says 344,000 new jobs have been created. Good paying, durable jobs. The report also says customers have realized nearly $250 billion in savings because of this shale gas. As a certain politician once said: “ A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you are talking real money!” $250 billions in savings is certainly real money!

Back in April I wrote:

As you know, massive quantities of clean natural gas are locked away in shale deposits across the country. In March of 2011 Whitney Pitcher wrote an extensive report outlining all of the oil and natural gas deposits ready to be harvested.

While there are trillions of barrels of oil waiting to be tapped, the one number that stood out to me was the 1.67 QUADRILLION cubic feet of natural gas sitting in the Arctic. Another staggering number is found in the Green River Formation in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. There is said to be 1.5 trillion barrels of oil, or 6 times what is held in all of Saudi Arabia.

There is so much oil in the Bakken Shale deposits in North Dakota, private investors are looking to build a $1.8 billion pipeline from North Dakota to Oklahoma. A hefty investment and a huge jobs program at a time we need a huge jobs program.

Anti-American forces are doing everything in their power to stop the United States from being energy independent. It’s immoral and despicable. Hydraulic fracturing is just as safe as any other form of energy production. This has been proven over and over. As usual, those opposed to America’s strength and progress have to resort to massive lies to try to get people to buy what they are selling.

Matt Damon and his sort love to pretend they are all high and mighty, and just looking out for you, but the truth is, they are nothing more than paid stooges for America’s enemies. Let’s not forget that a significant amount of the money we send to the Middle East ends up funding terrorists who in turn kill Americans and our allies around the world.

Let’s also not forget, that thanks to Barack Obama, imports from Saudi Arabia are up 20 percent this year. Saudi Arabia has been a leading exporter and financier of terrorism for decades. Most of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. The only reason the United States didn’t invade that country when we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, is oil. If we didn’t need their oil, we wouldn’t tolerate the evil produced in Saudi Arabia, or any of the Middle Eastern nations.

It’s time for the American people to stand and declare they will no longer accept these lies about American oil, and will no longer tolerate a government that is actively stopping the nation from being 100 percent energy independent. We must replace every single politician that stands in the way of America’s successful future, starting with Barack Obama.

Stand up and be heard, America’s very survival depends on it!


Filed under In The News, Politics

Obama Doing All He Can to Stop America From Being Energy Independent: Now Targeting Fracking

By Gary P Jackson

On Friday, with little fan-fare, Barack Obama signed an executive order that targets one of the real success stories in energy exploration, shale.

As you know, massive quantities of clean natural gas are locked away in shale deposits across the country. In March of 2011 Whitney Pitcher wrote an extensive report outlining all of the oil and natural gas deposits ready to be harvested.

While there are trillions of barrels of oil waiting to be tapped, the one number that stood out to me was the 1.67 QUADRILLION cubic feet of natural gas sitting in the Arctic. Another staggering number is found in the Green River Formation in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. There is said to be 1.5 trillion barrels of oil, or 6 times what is held in all of Saudi Arabia.

As reported earlier, there is so much oil in the Bakken Shale deposits in North Dakota, private investors are looking to build a $1.8 billion pipeline from North Dakota to Oklahoma. A hefty investment and a huge jobs program at a time we need a huge jobs program.

In the same report I noted that out of the 2.6 trillion known barrels of shale oil in the world, 2 trillion barrels of that oil is in the United States.

We are in a perfect place to be totally energy independent, and yet, Barack Obama is doing everything he can to stop this from happening. It’s immoral and borders on the criminal. We’ve written dozens of articles outlining the corruption and cronyism going on within Obama’s many “green” projects. We see a new report almost daily of an Obama regime funded company going out of business, after stealing millions, if not billions of tax payer dollars.

The fact is “green” energy, for the most part, isn’t economically viable. They only live because governments …. local, state, and federal, pour billion of dollars into them in the form or subsidies, tax incentives, and outright loans. Take away the tax payer subsidies, and they are gone.

We are $15.631 trillion in debt. That’s $49,846.40 for every man, woman and child in the United States. Our unfunded liabilities are $114.692 trillion or $369,729.60 per person. Dear hearts, you and everyone else in America owe a whopping $419,576. You can buy a really nice home for that. Two in fact, depending on where you live. And the numbers are growing by the minute.

Politicians like Obama have taken your future from you. They’ve stolen your future, your kids’ future, and their kids’ future. And frankly, we have nothing to show for it.

All of this must stop.

Unlike all of these “green” fiascoes, oil and gas exploration doesn’t need massive government subsidies to survive. Just the opposite, in fact. Oil companies pay incredible amounts of taxes, as they should. Obama’s plan steals tax payer money and gets nothing but failure in return.

Energy production, if allowed to grow, will created millions of good paying, durable jobs. It will add billions of dollars to the treasury in the form of taxes. As exploration grows, and infrastructure is needed, the jobs created in the industry will also see other jobs created as well. You’ll need more people to service the workers in the industries. More restaurants, more stores, more houses. Every one of these new jobs will also add tax dollars to the cause.

For some reason, Obama is dead set against anything that will actually grow the economy. It’s like he is purposely tying to destroy it instead.

For more on what Obama is trying to do with his latest scheme, check out The Hill.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about natural gas as well as fracking. Here’s what you need to know about natural gas, as a motorfuel, and why many people, including myself, see it as a real bridge to the future.

Vehicles powered by liquefied natural gas, propane or compressed natural gas run cleaner than cars with either gasoline or diesel in the tank. According to the Department of Energy, if the transportation sector switched to natural gas, it would cut the nation’s carbon-monoxide emissions by at least 90 percent, carbon-dioxide emissions by 25 and nitrogen-oxide emissions by up to 60.

Some people worry about water quality in areas of shale exploration, but we are learning it’s not the problem alarmists claim.

Shale has a radioactive signature—from uranium isotopes such as radium-226 and radium-228—that geologists and drillers often measure to chart the vast underground formations. The higher the radiation levels, the greater the likelihood those deposits will yield significant amounts of gas. But that does not necessarily mean the radioactivity poses a public health hazard; after all, some homes in Pennsylvania and New York have been built directly on Marcellus shale.

Tests conducted earlier this year in Pennsylvania waterways that had received treated water—both produced water (the fracking fluid that returns to the surface) and brine (naturally occurring water that contains radioactive elements, as well as other toxins and heavy metals from the shale)—found no evidence of elevated radiation levels.

Conrad Dan Volz, former scientific director of the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities at the University of Pittsburgh, is a vocal critic of the speed with which the Marcellus is being developed—but even he says that radioactivity is probably one of the least pressing issues. “If I were to bet on this, I’d bet that it’s not going to be a problem,” he says.

Texas has passed a law requiring developers disclose what is in the fluid used in fracking, look for other states to follow suit.

Under mounting pressure, companies such as Schlumberger and Range Resources have posted the chemical compounds used in some of their wells. Texas became the first state to pass a law requiring full public disclosure. This greater transparency has revealed some oddly benign ingredients, such as instant coffee and walnut shells—but also some known and suspected carcinogens, including benzene and methanol.

Even if these chemicals can be found under kitchen sinks, as industry points out, they’re poured down wells in much greater volumes: about 5000 gallons of additives for every 1 million gallons of water and sand. A more pressing question is what to do with this fluid once it rises back to the surface.

In Texas’s Barnett Shale, wastewater can be reinjected into impermeable rock 1.5 miles below ground. This isn’t feasible in the Marcellus Shale region; the underlying rocks are not porous enough. Currently, a handful of facilities in Pennsylvania are approved to treat the wastewater. More plants, purpose-built for the task, are planned. In the meantime, most companies now recycle this water to drill their next well.

It’s claimed that fracking contaminates groundwater. We’re finding it doesn’t, however, surface spills are another story.

In the past two years alone, a series of surface spills, including two blowouts at wells operated by Chesapeake Energy and EOG Resources and a spill of 8000 gallons of fracking fluid at a site in Dimock, Pa., have contaminated groundwater in the Marcellus Shale region. But the idea stressed by fracking critics that deep-injected fluids will migrate into groundwater is mostly false.

Basic geology prevents such contamination from starting below ground. A fracture caused by the drilling process would have to extend through the several thousand feet of rock that separate deep shale gas deposits from freshwater aquifers. According to geologist Gary Lash of the State University of New York at Fredonia, the intervening layers of rock have distinct mechanical properties that would prevent the fissures from expanding a mile or more toward the surface.

It would be like stacking a dozen bricks on top of each other, he says, and expecting a crack in the bottom brick to extend all the way to the top one. What’s more, the fracking fluid itself, thickened with additives, is too dense to ascend upward through such a channel.

EPA officials are closely watching one place for evidence otherwise: tiny Pavillion, Wyo., a remote town of 160 where high levels of chemicals linked to fracking have been found in groundwater supplies. Pavillion’s aquifer sits several hundred feet above the gas cache, far closer than aquifers atop other gas fields. If the investigation documents the first case of fracking fluid seeping into groundwater directly from gas wells, drillers may be forced to abandon shallow deposits—which wouldn’t affect Marcellus wells.

The bottom line is shale deposits are a highly viable source of oil and natural gas. Fracking is a reasonably safe method of energy development, and actually contributes to the economy.

We can’t allow America to continue on the course that Barack Obama and his party has set us on. We are more dependent on foreign oil, not less. We are sending almost a trillion dollars a year out of the country, much of it to nations that not only hate us, but use that money we send directly against us. It’s insane.

Energy security is also national security. Energy security is also financial security. We must demand energy security and demand it now.

To learn more about fracking, and shale in general, check out EnergyFromShale.org


Filed under In The News, Politics