Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why Fracking is New and Different

You may or may not be an advocate of natural health. Whichever--it always pays to keep an open mind about information, especially when the information deals with a subject so portentous as fracking for natural gas.
The following information is from the Alliance for Natural Health-US, and tells why fracking is very different from the old methods of collecting natural gas in Pennsylvania. I have, by the way, found ANH-USA very good about providing information relating to their sources. We, the readers, can follow them online and read the articles and books they read in preparing their own articles. You will still have to come to your own conclusions, but you don't have to settle for simply believing or disbelieving this one organization.
In a recent article the editors took on the assertion that fracking is merely "a refinement of a very old technology."
To the ANH-US editors, there is a vast difference between the old, slow gas wells that dotted the Commonwealth for decades and modern exploratory techniques. Here is what they have to say about it:
"The old method of natural gas extraction was simply to dig a hole straight down into the trapped natural gas, which sits in a kind of natural reservoir, and then capture that gas as it takes the path of least resistance up to the surface. The modern method of hydraulic fracking is radically different. New drilling technology allows a hole to be dug straight down and then be turned sideways and extended in multiple directions horizontally. Here is a diagram:

(Diagram omitted here.)

"The holes are then pumped full of water, sand, and chemicals at very high pressure. This literally splits the rocks open to capture natural gas that was stuck inside them.

"The concrete and steel well linings used in hydraulic fracking frequently rupture under the violence of this mining method, and the 2005 Halliburton Exemption exempts these wells and sites from the Clean Water Act and other regulatory laws."

The url for the complete article is:

This particular article alludes to, but does not dwell upon, the wholesale pollution and destruction of scarce water by fracking. It also does not dwell upon how the combination of fracking techniques and the legal doctrine of Eminent Domain may make it possible for a corporation to siphon the gas out from under your feet, whether or not you give permission. Presumably you would be in a better position if you owned the mineral rights to your land, but it will take a lawyer to advise you on mineral rights.

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