May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What The Frack Is Up With Fracking Anyway?

It’s been made abundantly clear that the Democrat Party, Barack Obama and their environmental supporters do not want affordable energy for US citizens, energy sector jobs, or to reduce oil imports from countries that hate and want to destroy the United States. Besides putting the kibosh on the Keystone pipeline, shutting down energy production on federal lands and offshore, they’re against fracking. The federal lands bit is important because Obama and his energy people are claiming production is up in America, and it is, but only on private land. He then takes credit for increasing oil and gas production. Energy Sec Steven Chu in 2008: "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." Last I heard gas there was around $8 per gallon. Then there was Obama’s comment his energy policies would necessarily raise energy prices.

The Leftists want everybody to do with less; less energy, gas, utilities, housing, oil, freedom, income. But they want to do with more; taxes, spending, regulation, curtailing the Constitution, and living large on the citizens' dime. That they want to not only curtail fracking, but stop it all together, indicates to me it must be a good thing.

Leftists would have us believe this process of getting energy from the ground irreparably destroys the environment. Here’s how the process works. There are giant machines that look like robots that drill holes 5 inches in diameter a few thousand feet down. That’s where the gas shale is. Here’s an amazing bit of technology; it turns 90 degree and continues on. Now that the pipe is in there, it pumps sand and water at high pressure and it fractures the shale releasing the gas. The fractures are measured in millimeters.  The water opens the fractures and the sand keeps them open. When I worked as a roughneck, we pumped “mud” while we drilled that kept the hole open. There’s some other chemicals called biocides that work like chlorine in a pool. It keeps bacteria and algae from growing. There are a few other chemicals added into the mix, like polymers to keep things from getting sticky.

The Democrat Party, Leftists, Barak Obama, Steven Chu, environmentalists and the rest of course get all up because of the chemicals, and they claim it gets in the ground water. It’s pretty tough for that to happen since the aquifers are separated by impermeable rock of several hundred feet. I know from my oil patch experience there’s some tough rock down there. We would have to trip out (pulling the bit out is called a trip), change to a harder bit, and the drilling would slow to a crawl. Hated that part because we had to do make work during that time. The actually drilling was much more exciting.

The biggest challenge is what to do with all that water that has sand and chemicals in it. Anti energy Leftists would have you believe it’s just pumped out onto the ground and seeps back in polluting everything. Doesn’t happen. Just a side note, some other chemicals already in the ground gets activated, such as potassium salts and arsenic to name a couple. There’s no denying there’ some very bad stuff, combining to make some worse stuff. Leftists are concerned about how to dispose of all that nasty concoction. Because they don’t bother to keep up with energy technology they have the idea that drilling is the same now as back in the original boom days. Of course it’s not, but that doesn’t fit into their regressive nihilist worldview. It's not disposed by just pumping it out onto the ground.

The gunky nasty water is actually processed and cleaned. After the nastiness is removed, the cleaned water is used again. Recycling! Actually the EPA has enthusiastically approved the process. Of course the Jurassic Press won’t report this. The fracking industry has done everything, and then some, going above and beyond environmental controls and processing.

One last note on the process. A lot of the machines doing the fracking are solar powered. 

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