Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Practice of Fracing

Having worked at a gas plant for the last ten years, I feel that I am qualified to throw my opinion in the ring about the practice of Fracing. I have been conflicted for years on what is and isn't the best way to take care of Mother Earth and still maintain human quality of life.

Admittedly, there are damages to Mother Earth through any kind of energy production. Natural gas and oil production uses huge rigs (requires diesel to run)to create deep holes in the earths surface. They put foreign metal casings down those deep holes. They run metal tubing into the casings and fill the void between the casing and the tubing with cement. At the bottom of the hole, they perforate the casing and the tubing to allow the gas to flow. Mother Earth counters by producing minerals and paraffin that clogs the tubing and the perforations. Producers must inject chemicals to clean out the tubing and clear the perforations. These chemicals flow into the local water system.

The oil and gas industry has spent billions of dollars counteracting that water damage. When oil and gas are extracted, water is extracted , as well. The "produced water" is treated to removed the chemicals and re-injected into the earth. This not only aids in continued production, but also returns the clean water into the eco-system. This whole process is monitored heavily by the EPA and other governmental agencies, as well as by the producers themselves. No producer wants a eco-disaster. It's just not good for business.

My point here is, while fracing and other production practices may cause some damage to the environment, the government and the producers are minimizing that damage adequately. They use all known resources to control risks to the health and well-beings to humans. While accidents have and will continue to happen, in the grand scheme of things the positive outweighs the negative.

Now, for the naysayers.....As long as we continue to ....

1. Jump in our Prius (gasoline and electrical powered)
2. Drive to the neighborhood store every day to buy
a. gallon of milk (produced by using electricity to run the milking machine and petroleum to make the jug :)
b. loaf of bread (produced by using electricity and/or propane (a by-product of natural gas), petroleum based plastic wrapper)
c. Vaseline (petroleum based)
d. or any of over 6000 products that are petroleum based

... we will need to produce oil and gas as much and as quickly as we can.

This is a consumer based society. As long as we continue to have the need to produce oil and gas, producers will use whatever means is necessary to fill the need.

The answer is increased pressure on society to discontinue consumerism, to promote recycling, self production of food and other needs, and provide funds for adequate green research to come up with other energy sources