Sounds From A Shakedown? American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard Wants Feds To Back Off.

Jack Gerard, American Petroleum Institute President

“The most important thing is to do no harm…. Don’t overreact and do anything that would impede or discourage what we see going forward state by state today.”
API President Jack Gerard’s message to the Federal Gov’t [NY Times]

You can read the full article on the NY Times Green Blog.


During Natural Gas Production, Up To 9% Of The Methane Is Farted Into The Atmosphere.

Pulling my own finger methane releasing natural gas wells.Just as we were breaking up with dirty coal and starting a new cleaner relationship with natural gas comes news of a gas problem. It turns out the process of capturing natural gas is not as efficient as we thought and that 4-9% of the methane we fracture from the ground is released into the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is much more potent than carbon dioxide. From Nature:

“The researchers, who hold joint appointments with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado in Boulder, first sparked concern in February 2012 with a study suggesting that up to 4% of the methane produced at a field near Denver was escaping into the atmosphere.

Industry officials and some scientists contested the claim, but at an American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, California, last month, the research team reported new Colorado data that support the earlier work, as well as preliminary results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah suggesting even higher rates of methane leakage — an eye-popping 9% of the total production. That figure is nearly double the cumulative loss rates estimated from industry data — which are already higher in Utah than in Colorado.”

How do we fix the gas problem? According to the Nature article, the EPA issued standards in April 2012 to reduce the amount of air pollution created during the natural gas extraction process. What can you do now? Consume less. [Nature via e360]


Fracking = Enema For The Earth. So Does Super-Fracking = Two-Handed Prostate Exam For The Earth?


If critics already think fracking is bad, theoretically, super fracking would be super bad,”
Kirk Sherr, President of Regester Larkin Energy NA

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a technique that sends a high-pressure injection of millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals into the earth in order to break apart petroleum-saturated rock.Fracking Graphic/Illustration by Al Granberg - click to enlarge. As the rocks crack, fossil fuels are released at a rate that is greater than by drilling alone. Fracking’s foes have pointed out the negative environmental impact of the technique on ground water, air quality and as the possible cause of local earthquakes.

Now we’ve got super-fracking to look forward to. It’s basically the same idea as fracking except when it’s super, it involves deeper blasting and/or the creation of wider pathways in order to extract harder to reach fossil fuels. Two companies leading this effort are Baker Hughes Inc. and Schlumberger Ltd. and their new fracking methods are called DirectConnect (deeper) and HiWay (wider) respectively.

So earth-damaging fracking might be replaced by a new even more powerful anti-hero, super-fracking. This could be the only bizarro comic book story where the villain is who we’re rooting for. [Bloomberg]