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June 1, 2009

EPA to Prevent Us From Accessing 500 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas

Evidence continues to accrue that the energy shortages and consequent worsening economic situation we can expect in the near future are being deliberately created by our government:

Any day now, we expect to see another grab at the throat of our domestic energy supply — to be buried in Waxman-Markey's addition of further price restrictions on the demand side. These stalwart friends of energy innovation are specifically coming after something called "hydraulic fracturing" — yet another clever approach that would allow us to extract much more energy now lying underneath American soil. The process involves pumping water, sand, and some viscous material maybe two miles down a well to create tiny fissures in the rock bed, allowing previously trapped natural gas to flow to the surface. Jobs are created, energy prices ease — all of that here, in the good ole U. S. of A. — as opposed to providing more jobs for (and more power to) Russia, Iran, Libya, and others who continue to be enriched by our backward energy policies.
For faux-fans of domestic energy innovation, hydraulic fracturing is the latest menace that must be contained — for the same reason that previous breakthroughs have been demonized and restricted: we could get an enormous amount of energy by using it!
A U.S. Geological Survey report in 2002 suggested that the four states of the Marcellus Shale region (PA, NY, OH, WV) could be sitting atop as much as 1.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. People took notice. But those trillions were scattered across an area of 50,000 sq. miles — still a lot of gas in absolute terms, but spread over an area the size of Greece, and about as practically. Alas, maybe we'd better wait for new technology, or a new application of existing technology.
Which didn't take long. Last year brought a new assessment by another set of pointy-heads, and with drastically different findings. It turns out the actual resource base of the Marcellus is closer to 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas than to 1.9 trillion. A lot closer. And thanks to new advances in drilling technology pioneered on the plains of Texas and Oklahoma, 50 trillion cubic feet of it could be extracted almost immediately. A trillion dollars' worth of American natural gas for the market … or continued undue influence granted to Russia, Iran, Libya. … Tough call.
If coal's emissions — as opposed to the energy potential of its vast reserves — were really the issue for greens, surely they would support hydraulic fracturing, right? Applying this technology would, in the emission reductions or avoidances it would engender, achieve the ostensible goal of the cap-and-trade rationing scheme — to the extent that the gas produced would replace coal or coal-fired power. So greens are big fans, right?
Silly rabbit. No.
Instead, next week, Rep. Diana DeGette (D., Colo.) is expected to slip a 97-word amendment into what was a 670-page cap-and-trade bill (that has since ballooned to 1,000 pages, reportedly — because, as James Hansen notes, it takes a lot of pages to buy votes for such an odious enterprise). This gem would give the EPA the regulatory reins over hydraulic fracturing — which, if you've ever had to deal with them, and if you've read the newspapers lately, is code for stopping it.

Energy creates wealth, wealth creates power. People with power are difficult to control. Consequently, energy production will be suppressed and overtaxed all the more excessively as we descend further into totalitarian statism, aka Hope and Change.

The pious environmentalist rhetoric is farcical, as opposition to clean natural gas and nuclear energy proves. Democrat energy policy has one objective: to hold us down.

On a tip from Byron.

Posted by Van Helsing at June 1, 2009 8:34 AM


Liberals will go on to block hydraulic fracturing without comment, while conservatives will go on to discuss the potential, difficulties and merits of the technology in the usual one-sided conversation.

Posted by: Fiberal at June 1, 2009 8:47 AM

Thank God we sensible Americans elected Sarah Palin to office, all that gas and oil on our land is only 9 years off now. What? oh, damn.

Posted by: Eric at June 1, 2009 11:15 AM

Here in PA, the Marcellus Shale debate is something I hear about frequently. Usually once every two weeks there's a discussion in Harrisburg about it that gets some state news coverage. Personally, I think it makes good sense that we extract from it. It'd be good for the state, it might create some jobs here and there, the "frac fluid" is supposed to be basically clean and safe, and natural gas burns fairly cleanly, too.
So of course, there's no way it'll happen.

Posted by: Murff at June 1, 2009 11:24 AM

Time totaly eliminate the EPA and other goverment burraracies

Posted by: SPURWING PLOVER at June 1, 2009 11:25 AM

How will we recharge all those mandated electric cars without WORKING power plants? Liberals claim to be far smarter than conservatives, yet they refuse to consider such questions.
HINT: Even the most advanced solar and wind generaters will not work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Posted by: KHarn at June 1, 2009 2:14 PM

Theres talk of drilling off the west coast but as usial the greenfreaks and their cohorts in CONgress and the imperial senate will oppose it all

Posted by: Flu-Bird at June 1, 2009 9:11 PM

I guess spending trillions on imported hydrocarbons is just another way to spread the wealth around.

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at June 2, 2009 4:41 AM

How many TRILLIONS of cubic feet?
Maybe this can help put it in perspective:
"One Btu is the heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. Ten burning kitchen matches release 10 Btu. A candy bar has about 1000 Btu. One cubic foot of natural gas has about 1031 Btu. A box 10 feet deep, 10 feet long, and 10 feet wide would hold one thousand cubic feet of natural gas. Approximately 22 percent of the energy consumption of the U.S. comes from natural gas. Slightly more than half of the homes in the U.S. use natural gas as their main heating fuel.

Natural gas is also an essential raw material for many common products, such as: paints , fertilizer, plastics, antifreeze, dyes, photographic film, medicines, and explosives. We also get propane when we process natural gas. Propane is the fuel many of us use in our barbecue grills.
Natural gas has thousands of uses and industry depends on it. It's used to produce steel, glass, paper, clothing, brick, electricity and much more!
Homes use it too. More than 62.5 percent of homes use natural gas to fuel stoves, furnaces, water heaters, clothes dryers and other household appliances. It is also used to roast coffee, smoke meats, bake bread and much more."

Sourced from

Posted by: Murff at June 2, 2009 4:48 AM

The same sort of thing is going on in Western Colorado. Natural gas production is on the decrease mainly due to increasing regulations. Moonbatty Guvnuh Bitter is no friend to the natural gas industry. Fewer wells are being drilled. Companies are moving on to other states. The well paying jobs are going with them. The gas companies pay lots of propery taxes and help fund education and pay for road improvements and other municpal costs. Homes and apartments are unusually vacant. It's a boom or bust economy. Yes, there is an impact on the environment and the companies need to held accountable, but to regulate jobs out of existence is wrong.

Posted by: Graycat at June 2, 2009 7:18 AM

there are many reasons why aquiring gas this way creates resistance. First off who wants these big rigs all over the landscape.
Ever seen a gas field? Or smelled it? Or heard it? Second, fracturing gas uses several chemicals, waste pits, etc. It can contaminate water supples{and has}. Big trucks and equipment come and go at all hours of the day. Bringing noise and dust. Large acreages are permantly changed for the rig sites. And thier are many rig sites scatterd around a gas field. And the pumps, and pads remain when they leave. The rigs are noisy. Give off bad smells. I get the feeling that as long as it's somebody elses backyard, you think it's great. I don't think leveling another appalachian mountaintop for coal, so you can run your 60 inch TV, or drilling in every last of the few wild places left, so you can drive your beamer for a few more months, or ruining someones rural quiet, and beauty, and ground water, for a few more years of gas, is worth it. We simply can't keep doing this. If "moonbattery" means caring about more than the immediate needs of this generation, and it's desire to use up, and consume everything of beauty and value, yea, I guess this conservative fellow, is a "moonbat".

Posted by: brierrabbit3030 at June 2, 2009 8:17 AM

We'll wait till the votes are in then drill like mad.
Remember those "terrorist hunting permits"?
Howzabout Moonbat permits. Open season, no limit
Just sayin. Not really a hater.
I just really dont like watching America go away while other countys buy us up. Were being run into the ground by folks who should go find a country thats allready "their way" so they can relax and enjoy it. I like working hard and aquiring junk I dont need but makes me happy.

Posted by: czuch at June 2, 2009 10:31 AM

Everybody is a moonbat some way or another. Didja see the hemp house. That will have natural views too. Like Grandma in the morning...
I dont have a 60 inch tv and dont want one. I have hot rods and want to drive them. I did when it took $60 to fill it and will curse when it does again. Dont complain when we have the resources available but cant access them and you have to lick the boot of your opressor.

Posted by: czuch at June 2, 2009 10:38 AM

We simply can't keep doing this. If "moonbattery" means caring about more than the immediate needs of this generation, and it's desire to use up, and consume everything of beauty and value, yea, I guess this conservative fellow, is a "moonbat".
LOL...why didn't you just come clean and sign your post with your Green Peace affiliation. Your talking points are the same ones used to annoy passersby I heard on campus the other day in Austin.
All of you earth firsters are such hypocrites...when you can prove that you will live with no fossil fuels whatsoever in your daily life, then you have the right to shout it out. As far as your description of a "gas field" you really just need to drop the Moonbat preamble and go to check out the Barnett Shale around Ft. Worth Tx. Try and go with an open mind and you just might see why the good people around the Marcellus Shale are excited with the prospect of drilling for our own natural gas.

Posted by: zappatrust at June 2, 2009 10:52 AM

I remember standing on the floor of a big rig in Texas about 1980 - during the first oil embargo. It was about 3 am, and I could see half a dozen other rigs from there. It was quite beautiful.

A few years later the price of oil collaped, 80% of the rigs shut down, and about 500,000 oil field folks lost their jobs. I don't remember the Democrats being too concerned.

Drilling the well takes from a few days to a few months. The frac job is usually a few hours. A big one is something to see - and feel. Big, high pressure, pumps.

Frac fluid is mostly water, mixed with a gel (think snot) that carries a prop material, usually sand. The pump pressure creates a vertical fracture in the rock undergound, and the proppant is forced into the crack, which holds it open when the pump pressure is removed. The crack might be a half-inch wide.

A lot of very sophisticated chemistry goes into designing the gel, so that it effectively carried the sand into the fracture and then dissolves, so as not to impede the flow of gas back out of the well. All this is going on at perhaps 7500 PSI and 250-350 deg F.

I think wells are less of an eyesore than windmills, or cell phone towers for that matter. And they produce power when the wind doesn't blow.

Most of the anti-energy folks strike me as quite naive. Everything they take for granted - food, transportation, the surplus to operated libraries and parks, is based on relatively cheap energy. And China builds a dirty coal power plant a week.

Posted by: Old Guy at June 2, 2009 8:57 PM