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To Frack Or Not To Frack

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To Frack Or Not To Frack

To Frack Or Not To Frack
August 02
17:52 2019

Because the industrial world runs on petroleum-based fuels and other products, oil is a highly-valued world commodity. Under the Trump administration, the United States has become the largest crude oil producer in the world.

President Trump takes credit for reinvigorating domestic fuel outputs and achieving energy dominance. This distinction did not come easily. Here is a brief timeline of recent events that have resulted in record-high energy yields in the country:

  • On June 1, 2017, President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the terrible Paris Climate Agreement
  • President Trump ended the war on coal by striking costly Obama-era regulations such as the Stream Protection Rule (on February 16, 2017) and the Clean Power Plan (replaced by the Affordable Clean Energy rule ([ACE] on June 19, 2019)
  • President Trump has taken action to open up our Nation’s abundant natural resources, including legislation signed on December 22, 2017, to open up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge for energy exploration
  • The Department of the Interior sold 28 onshore oil and gas leases at auction in calendar year 2018, producing an all-time-high $1.1 billion in revenue
  • President Trump has paved the way for more energy infrastructure development, ensuring American energy can be delivered to the market
  • The Trump Administration approved by Executive Order signed in January 2017 the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines, and the New Burgos Pipeline on June 29, 2017
  • President Trump signed two Executive Orders to cut red tape that was holding back the construction of new energy infrastructure such as pipelines
  • The Trump Administration has streamlined permitting for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals

U.S. crude oil exports almost doubled in 2018 and reached a record average of 2 million barrels a day. Coal exports reached their highest level in five years in 2018. The nation has become a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.

All of this energy dominance comes at a cost to the environment.

On December 11, 2018, the Bureau of Land Management (BML) announced a lease sale for more than 150,000 acres of public lands for fossil-fuel extraction near Arches and Canyonlands national parks which lie in a vast, untouched, pristine, western desert.

Fracking will be permitted near Bears Ears, Canyons of the Ancients and Hovenweep national monuments, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Utah residents protested the lease sale at the state Capitol which includes property within 10 miles of world-renowned protected lands.

Ashley Soltysiak, who directs the Utah Sierra Club, spoke for many environmentalists:

“Utahns have demonstrated their commitment to transition away from dirty fossil fuels through clean energy resolutions passed in municipalities across our state. Yet, these commitments continue to be undermined by rampant oil and gas lease sales, which threaten our public health, public lands, and economy. While Utah’s recreational and tourism economies continue to flourish, these attempts to develop sacred cultural, environmental, and recreational spaces for dirty fuels remain a grave and growing threat. Utah is our home and the reckless sale of our public lands with limited public engagement is simply unacceptable and short-sighted.”

Ryan Beam, a public lands campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity, is opposed to fracking, an industrial process that breaks apart rock formations deep underground to extract fossil fuels such as oil and methane gas, in the Utah canyonlands:

“These red-rock wonderlands are some of the West’s most iconic landscapes, and we can’t afford to lose a single acre. Fracking here will waste precious water, foul the air and destroy beautiful wild places that should be held in trust for generations to come.”

Hydraulic fracturing – fracking – is a technique which recovers gas and oil from shale rock by drilling down into the earth and directing a high-pressure water mixture at the rock to release the gas inside.

Water, sand, and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure. This process lets the gas flow out to the head of the well. The process can be carried out vertically but it is more common to drill horizontally to the rock layer, creating new pathways to release gas or to extend existing channels.

The term “fracking” refers to how the rock is fractured apart by the blast of the high-pressure mixture.

Since 2005, more than 100,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled and fracked in the United States.

Opponents of fracking say that the process drains water: 3.6 million gallons are used every time a well is fracked – which can happen many times to a producing well. Also, large quantities of unidentified and potentially toxic chemicals are being flooded underground and very likely seeping into our drinking water and aquifers.

Drinking water contamination has been linked to fracking in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Ohio, Wyoming, New York, and West Virginia.

Worst of all, the oil and gas industry has no plan or clue to dispose of the billions of gallons of contaminated waste fracking water.

About Author

Jean B

Jean B

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2 Comments

  1. TxnByBrth
    TxnByBrth August 06, 05:13

    Guess I’m gonna but stock in the bottled water markets.

    Reply to this comment
  2. TxnByBrth
    TxnByBrth August 06, 05:14

    Guess I’m gonna invest in the bottled water markets…

    Reply to this comment

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