Saturday, February 02, 2013

Earth to Cowboys

This is earth calling cowboys.  Your state of New Mexico is in a record drought.  You should not be suing the Forest Service for cutting back your grazing allotments if you want the landscape to survive.  You sound like a bunch of mewling kittens when you complain the Forest Service Ranger in your district doesn't like you because you don't respect her.  And don't forget, the state's water supplies come from these forest watersheds and they are not yours to devastate.  Grow up and be responsible.

Earth to oil and Gas industry.  Why would anyone in their right minds object to revealing what potentially dangerous chemicals are being injected into the ground during fracking?  Yet you are trying to kill Brian Egolf's bill in Santa Fe to require you to fess up!  Here is a compromise.  Any oil man who supports killing this bill should allow the Sierra Club to inject the same chemicals under said oil man's home.  If it is good for everyone else then it is good for you!

1 comment:

Bubba Muntzer said...

I was just remembering the other day what went on when I drove for an oil field company. There's more to that fracking than what they pump down in the well. That's what you hear about from environmentalists, but I don't know if they know the whole story yet.

Those fracked wells, both gas and oil, pump up a mixture of water and oil, or water and gas as the case may be. I assume it's mixed with water because they've fractured the shale down there and everything just runs together.

That mixture also contains the drilling fluid, a grey slimy substance which is basically diesel fuel mixed with who knows what chemicals. When I hauled that, in fact, we picked it up from a chemical company, which just bought the diesel fuel and prepared the mix.

But what I did most of the time was haul away that wastewater. It's separated from the oil or gas right there at the well. The oil or gas goes into a pipeline and the dirty water, which is what they call it, goes into storage tanks there at the well site. We'd hook our lines up to those tanks and fill up our tanker trailers, which held about 100 barrels, or 7,500 gallons, and then drive to a disposal facility.

Those were places where someone had drilled down into a deep aquifer, which I was told was below the aquifer where they take drinking water from. They just pumped that dirty water into that deep aquifer.

At one place we were at, my supervisor told me it was a salt water aquifer so not fit for drinking. But who knows?

There was always a line of semis waiting at any of those wells. They could only pump it into the ground so fast or the well would get full, and part of the job was knowing who was taking dirty water and who wasn't.

I worked in the Marcellus shale field along the NY-PA border and over in Oklahoma, all around Weatherford.

But as I say, who knows? I do know that that contaminated water is being pumped underground constantly. I don't know if those aquifers will ever mix or if so how long it will take, or if constantly pumping more wastewater down there, which is probably increasing the pressure on the aquifer, will affect anything. I don't know what will happen if there's any shifting down there, as occurs in earthquakes.

I do know that in places where they have done a lot of fracking there are lots of little earthquakes, and there was a pretty good sized one on the other side of Oklahoma City last year. I've read that we have lots of small quakes up there around Farmington, where there's a lot of oil and gas drilling and where you see the fracking rigs all the time. Most of them are painted red and say Haliburton on the them.

I don't get the sense that there's as much monitoring of the situation up there as in the Marcellus field, which, because it's in the area where New York City and a lot of the East Coast gets their water from, has drawn the interest of a lot more people.

I know, too, that there is a lot of pressure to get rid of that wastewater because the well is pumping it out continuously. A driver in PA got in trouble for dumping his load in the Susquehana River. He was probably just some guy who was under pressure, and people do stupid things in situations where their livelihood depends on it.

It's all driven by the need to get that gas and oil out of the ground, and by all the money involved in that and by all the livelihoods involved. There's greed at the top, or fear of losing a lot of money, because there's a lot of money sunk into all of it, and then just regular people who need a paycheck, who have families and bills coming in.

And of course no one knows what will happen because we've never done this before.