MDN Weekly Update – Dec 11, 2011: Ban Fracking?

poll resultsMDN wanted to see what your attitudes are about government’s role in promoting (or not) renewable energy sources. A even split between those who think government should have no role, and those who believe the government should promote, but not require, use of renewable sources. This poll was one of the least voted on in recent months, meaning either the issue just doesn’t stir up much interest among MDN readers, or (more likely) the poll question could have been written better! Let’s see if we might improve this week’s poll question. 

What should government’s role be with regard to renewable energy sources?

No role in promoting/requiring renewables (41%, 67 Votes)
Promote (not require) renewables (40%, 66 Votes)
Require use of renewables (19%, 30 Votes)

Total Voters: 163

This Week’s Poll: Ban Fracking?

The latest public relations attempt to turn the word “fracking” into a pejorative—firmly implanting a negative concept in people’s minds—is the release of draft findings from the Environmental Protection Agency from a study they have done in Pavillion, Wyoming that supposedly ties hydraulic fracturing to chemical contamination of local water supplies. That is what the headlines are trumpeting, and that is the impression that will be left with the vast majority of people who don’t read much beyond the headlines. And that’s unfortunate, because, as Paul Harvey used to say, there’s “the rest of the story” in Pavillion (see this MDN story for our initial analysis).

MDN will not repeat what we’ve already said on the topic, but rather for this week’s poll, take the pulse of MDN’s readers on their views as to whether or not high-volume (uses lots of water) horizontal hydraulic fracturing should be banned. Let’s just get it out there on the table. Ban it? Or not? That’s certainly where anti-drillers are headed—they want a complete and total ban. They are not interested in safeguards, and frankly they aren’t interested in allowing any more exploration for fossil fuels on U.S. soil (or offshore). That was abundantly clear at recent New York DEC hearings on proposed new drilling regulations.

What say you? Ban fracking? Or allow it? Please vote now on the right side of any page in the site.

Below are the most recent “top 5” lists and the calendar of Marcellus related events for the next two weeks.

Happy reading,
Jim Willis, Editor

Five Most Viewed Stories This Past Week (Dec 4th – Dec 10th)

  1. Pavillion, WY – Smoking Gun that Proves Fracking is Unsafe? (12/9/11)
  2. Shell’s Major Shift to Natural Gas, US Gas-to-Liquids Plant? (12/7/11)
  3. Gas Drilling’s Death by 1,000 Stalls in NY (12/5/11)
  4. Has Fracking Killed the Renewable Energy Movement? (12/6/11)
  5. Shell, One Other Company Close to Cracker Plant Announcement (12/7/11)

Five Most Viewed Stories Last 30 Days (Nov 10th– Dec 10th)

  1. Major Discovery – Chesapeake Energy Strikes Oil (and Gas) in Ohio’s Utica Shale (7/29/11)
  2. Picture of Hypocritical Anti-Driller at Recent NY DEC Hearing (11/22/11)
  3. List of 78 Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid in Pennsylvania (6/30/10)
  4. New Website Shows Maps with Permits, Wells, Pipelines & More (11/30/11)
  5. New Waterless Fracking Technology Tested in TX (11/21/11)

MDN Calendar (Dec 11th – Dec 24th)


New York




  • Anonymous

    I started out as pro drilling and have not reached the point where I think it should be banned altogether.  Where was this desire to keep government out of the process when behind closed doors Dick Cheney created the halliburton loophole.  I think the public has a right to know exactly what chemicals are being used  and to what degree of concentration and the debate could start there.  You know water is not a renewable resource.  Man cannot live without water be he could certainly go another six months to a year without shale gas while we decide  whether there is more that can be done to protetct the environment. Let’s eliminate the halliburton loophole and start from there.  I know there are other industries who pollute either by  accident or by choice but none of them are exempt from the clean and safe water acts.  Whether environmental damage occurs as the result of a miscalculation or circumvention of policiy the taxpayer pays a large portion of the price monetarily and environmentally.  I hate to stand in the way of progress but Marcallus shale has been under American soil for 380 million years anditi is not going anywhere.  What is one more year if need be.

  • Anonymous

    OUCH, DICK CHENEY. That’s it then. The discussion is over. Lets just bend over and let the EPA and your big GOV buddies ruin our businesses, our livelihood and curtail our need for energy independence. As far as I can see all the environmentalist and big government people are in the Saudi’s pockets. But, ouch, Dick Cheney, wow…..

  • Anonymous

    Is that all you read was Dick Cheney? How about gas drilling being exempt from clean and safe water acts?  It is about WATER safe clean drinkable WATER.  You may think that being tied to foreign oil is working hardships on our country and it does.  But if we poison our own drinking supply we are fracked. I am not against utilizing our own resources.  But it scares me that they went behind closed doors to sidestep important protective legislation and as a result they can pump undisclosed chemicals in undisclosed concentration under extremely high pressure under ground. I am not concerned about owls, ants, and toads.  I am concerned about the health of people in my community.  If fracking has been happening for all these years and it is safe why do they run commercial telling us that they are using the same chemicals we find in toothpast, dishsoap and laundry detergents.  Tell us exactly what is being forced into the ground and at what levels of concentration.  Quit treating us like children.  Do they not want us to klnow because then we could do testing to establish a baseline and be able to point to chemicals after drilling that weren’t in the water prior to drilling.  DrillecRay it is responses like yours and the avoidance of the real issue that have pushed me from pro-drilling to apprehensive. I wish that the exmption from CLEAN and SAFE water legislation was enegineered by someone other than Cheney cause then you might have given a meaningful response. But it is what it is. Dick Cheney former vice president and former Halliburton chairman created the Halliburton loophole and did so behind the backs of the American people and that may very well be the biggest obstacle facing hydrolic fracking.

  • Anonymous

    Not to worry maverick47, new and proven technologies are being brought to the forefront very soon. All this worry about the use of water and chemicals will soon be a thing of the past. Seems Gasfrac ( Google this company) finally got their act together and hired new CEO Zeke Zeringue. He was with Halliburton for 28 years, including being President of the company. He has a great track record of building and promoting small emerging companies, which Gasfrac is right now. Gasfrac’s state of the art method of using LPG ( Liquefied Petroleum Gas) to extract the gas will take over the present methods and put to sleep all the worry the Anti’s have been whining about. For example,Chemicals being used, storing them ,excessive water use from our streams, Cracker Plants to separate the chemicals after fracking is completed, transportation dangers bringing them to the plants, excessive road wear, etc. This companies methods bypass all of the above, the LPG I believe is 90-95 % recoverable after fracking is completed and can be reused immediately. It has also been proven to extract up to 20% more Natural gas from wells than the present method too!! Like everything that’s New its first met with a big ” NO’. Then needs time for people to absorb it, get educated about it, then finally say OK. The Tioga County Landowners association ( NY) has embraced Gasfrac’s methods of extraction as a safe, environmentally friendly, and most productive  alternative to any other method. 

  • Anonymous

    Amen. Now we just need The Andy and Joe show to get on board the Gasfrac train and ride it into prosperity for all NYs and the people of the US. Let’s show all of the big gas companies NYs Southern Tier is open for business and accepting partnership offers!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Where is all the water used in fracking coming from?  Where will and how much will it cost to store the “produced water”?  How will the NORM be removed and stored from the drill cuttings?
    If extracting this shale gas is supposed to make us energy independent, why are we building pipelines to ports to have the gas exported?  If fracking is so safe, why is the industry fighting any attempt to regulate it and overturn the Halliburton Loophole?  How much will it cost to monitor the spent wells?  If the well casings only last 80 years, who, how much will it cost and how will those spent wells be sealed?  Will the well pads be restored to their original natural state after the well is spent?  How much will that cost and who is going to pay for it?  Where are all the jobs created for people who live in the shale gas areas?

  • Anonymous

    Blueflame, don’t you think that ifgasfrac was the answer that it would in widespread use.  Plus gasfrac stock has gone down persistantlynfrom $14 a share to below $7 per share.  Why hasn’t anyone addressed the Halliburton loophole, othet than drillmecRay who merely made some noises that were supposed to, I guess exonerate Dick Cheney for avoiding sunshine laws t sidestep Clean and Safe water legislation.  All I want is for someone to explain why we would gamble with the most precious fluid on earth and where did Dick Cheney get the authority to exempt one industry from a law that protects water from all industries