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« Shale Sheet Fracking

Before We Were Oil Tycoons

By Mike Costarella (Contact)

Published February 26, 2012

Back in early 2010, we all heard Congressman Tim Ryan, fresh back from the trip to the Earth Summit in Copenhagen, talking about developing partnerships with green technology companies around the world and encouraging our young people to enroll in programs that will be the “jobs of the future”. The topic of the day was to create vocational programs that would provide the skills needed to fully embrace the technology of reusable wind and solar energy.

So we were all set to embrace the green future, in the midst of a global economic melt down our children were to be prepared to meet the opportunities of this new green technology. Directly after the earth summit, and in response to fears that Democrats would take our guns, our congressman and some other democrats were at a fishing and game club trip sponsored by the National Rifle Association. They were all walking through the beautiful green Ohio woods. And then they spotted a new wild game. All of the sudden they were shooting at some food when up from the ground come some bubbling crude. Oil that is. Texas Tea. Well the next thing you know, ol Tim's a millionaire, his financial adviser said, Tim get away from here, Utica Shale is the place you ought to be. So he loaded up the Denali and bought stock in BP.

In all seriousness folks, the thought of the oil and natural gas industry making investment in our area and creating jobs in the process has the potential to be a very good thing. I see the old broken down steel mills being demolished and piled onto some landfill. The protestors and organized groups have traded the fight against construction and demolition debris landfills, for a fight against earthquake producing brine injection wells. It is true that with all industries and financial fortune, there are trade-offs with environmental protection.

My thoughts are that with enough study and integrity, our politicians, local and state officials can chart a fine course that will allow the oil and natural gas industry to flourish here but only in a way that protects us from its environmental down sides. The Pickens plan, defined by billionaire oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, states the use of natural gas as a short term fix to our nation's energy strategy. In the long run, the Pickens plan states that wind, solar, and other reusable power will be our solution to the shortage. Therefore, it is also crucial that our government limit the amount of our natural resources that are turned into global commodities. And in tandem, continue the research and development into truly reusable forms of energy and conservation.

I invite you to voice your opinions and ideas on this very important issue for our valley. Do you believe the oil and natural gas should be permitted to continue as is, or should additional regulation and taxation be considered for the larger goal of achieving safe path to national energy independence.


1bobwilliamspilot(2 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

I believe we have enough regulations that are hard enough for the industry to understand without any more. I would like to see supply and demand drive the shale fracking industry and not have any additional laws or taxes to hinder its success or be blamed for its failure. The current regulations for oil and gas should be used for shale fracking as well. What other regulations are needed? Why more taxes? It will only drive up the cost to the end user. Bob Williams, Girard, OH

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2juanita1944(34 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

is the drilling stopped..........period in our area,,,,,I'm renewing my house insurance......i need to know if i need earth quake insurance........living on a fault is no fun.....I'm scared crapless.....oh got the results from all me tests......now I'm really going to make sure my house can be lived in after I'm gone.......a few of my kids will have a home....to live in....i pray it is still here for them........god bless the children......

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3Dan_Moadus(33 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

As Bob said, why additional regulations? We have used fracking for decades in our country with minimum hazard. We also shouldn't be taxing the industry simply because we can. All that is needed is a watchful eye, and common sense use of our resources.

And as far as spending money on training people to work in the renewable energy field, shouldn't we first have a renewable energy field? The efforts to push so called clean energy jobs would be laughable if it were not so sad. No such industry exists without government subsidies. These efforts make about as much sense as training our youths to become "jet pack" mechanics just because someone saw one fly at a sporting event.

There has never been a successful, so called, clean energy installation that has ever replaced a conventional generating plant. Someday they will exist, but until that day arrives we should stop kidding ourselves about alternative energy.

The only money that should be spent on this should be for basic research, until feasible solutions are found to insure its practicality.

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4susie(3 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Subsidies? Do you know how many subsidies the Oil and Gas Industry receives as well as favorable regulations due to the MASSIVE amounts of money paid to elected officials. (Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.as...)
And the benefits the Industry receives from government funded research?

Private Profit at Public Cost!
We have the best government money can buy! (And it's not our money!) We don't have a fracking problem, we have a democracy problem...

And REGULATIONS... Weak and out dated...
See Neogap.org for resources. I am copying the document "Why Regualtions Can't Protect us" here (in 2 comments because of number of word limits)

Why Regulations Can’t Protect Us
Carl Arnold, NY (un-naturalgas.org weblog), edited & updated for Ohio by Ron Prosek,www. neogap.org
• No regulation can prevent the extraordinary squandering of fresh water, 5! million gallons
average per well, 100 percent of which becomes contaminated — permanently — and removed
from the natural water cycle. This in an era of critically diminishing supplies of fresh water in
the US and around the world. Energy corporations anticipate drilling many tens of thousands of wells in Ohio in the Marcellus and Utica geological formations. Add to this the number they may drill in other shales and sandstones.
• No regulation can prevent the salts, heavy metals, and radioactive substances loosened by
the fracking process from coming up with the fracking fluids.
• No regulation can stop up to 65 to 90 percent of the toxic fracking chemicals from remaining
• No regulation can prevent these chemicals, salts, heavy metals and radioactive substances,
now loosened and mixed by the fracking process, from becoming a toxic underground plume
that can wangle its way into existing fissures as well as into new fractures created by the
• No regulation can predict or control the underground migration of these toxic plumes.
Similar plumes are already oozing under Sublette County, Wyoming; Endicott, New York; and
Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
• No regulation can predict or control the time frame — years, decades, millennia? — over which such plumes will migrate.
• No regulation can prevent the deterioration of the steel and cement casing intended to protect drinking water over the decades and centuries ahead.

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5susie(3 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

2nd page of Why Regulations Can't Protect Us
• No government entity, in this era of economic challenge, can scrape together the billions of dollars needed to construct and maintain industrial waste treatment plants (reverse osmosis or dialysis), which do not exist anywhere in this state, that might be able to filter the toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and radioactive materials from fracking waste.
Huge amounts of “brine,” from Pennsylvania are already being dumped into Ohio injection
wells, such as the one in Youngstown that caused a 4.0 earthquake on December 31, 2011.
• No regulation can create safe procedures or safe locations for permanent storage of waste —
even if the economy could support the very expensive construction and maintenance of
appropriate industrial waste treatment plants. Once supposedly filtered, the remaining toxic
waste still must be put somewhere. The “produced” waters that continue to flow from wells
during gas production are too saline to be treated and must be stored somewhere.
• No regulation can avoid the risk from high-pressure disposal in injection wells — of
potential leakage and aquifer contamination, or of earthquakes. Tremors from such activity
have already caused damage in Ashtabula, Ohio, and in Youngstown, Ohio. Authorities are
presently investigating swarms of quakes in Celburne, Texas; Guy, Arkansas; and Gassaway,
West Virginia that may be caused by fracking fluid disposal in injection wells.
• No regulation can require that gas produced will contribute to “energy independence.” The
gas will be shipped overseas if it’s more profitable to export than to sell domestically. At
present, Asian, European and Canadian corporations already own significant pieces of U.S.
drilling companies, land and leases — thus, some profit and resources may already be going
beyond our borders.

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6susie(3 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

3rd Page of "Why Regulations Can't Protect Us"

• No regulation can guarantee enforcement. Without 24/7 oversight, drillers will not obey the
grossly inadequate rules now in place to safeguard the safety and health of people, other living
things, or the environment. A trail of ruined lives and landscapes is documented in thousands
of articles, many YouTube videos, and several films, one of which — Gasland — was nominated for an Academy Award and was named “Best Documentary” at the Sundance Film Festival.
Even though Ohio has issued permits for more than 100 frack (deep shale) wells, the legislature has required ODNR to fund its budget solely from fees it collects from entities it regulates, an obvious conflict of interests. The approximately 32 inspectors now employed is a number ludicrously inadequate to deal with the level of industrialization the drillers have planned. That’s 32 inspectors for some 235,000 wells, and this includes only 100 of the tens of thousands more frack wells that are projected for the years to come.
• Only a drastic change in existing law can thwart eminent domain abuse. Ohio’s particularly
vicious form called “mandatory pooling,” forces landowners who do not wish to lease to be
forced into drilling units. Until mandatory pooling is abolished, citizens’ and communities’
rights are going to be overridden by powerful corporations and their allies in state government.

(edited and updated February 2012)

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7juanita1944(34 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

i just read susies comments...she put into words what i couldn't...thank you....but she is right...after the over seas companies use us and our land for their profit....what do we do with whats left....our water will be bad..we'll have to move.......our houses will be in holes......our families will not be as close as before......if they want to kill americans? why not poison us with our own water and land....it's like another war in science fiction.they can't control our people...so why not treat us like dirt..or get rid of our good water and land......it seems like war to me.......our land is paying for it........soon we the people will pay for it.......when they leave we have to figure a new way to live..it is a horror story.....but look at it....i see nothing left for us to use....on our land it will all be gone....no farming no parks ..nothing left and their overseas laughing well we took them......god save america and the people....our children will suffer......we did fight for freedom once.....lets keep it.....poison coming out of the earth at our feet doesn't sound good to me...God protect us

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8Dan_Moadus(33 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Wow! Suzie, maybe we should all just return to living like the Amish. How do you feel about all the roads and highways. Just think of all the foliage and fauna that is now buried under poisonous concrete and asphalt.

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