Is There Schizophrenia About Fracking?

by Gray Reed & McGraw
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Schizophrenia : A mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by impaired emotional responses. Common symptoms include delusions, such as paranoid beliefs; hallucinations and disorganized thinking.

Somebody is crazy, or at least very, very wrong, about the hydraulic fracturing debate.

Earthquakes and Fracking

In the controversy over “frackquakes”, brave small-town citizens are standing up to the rapacious oil drillers and their regulatory co-conspirators. Or, a outsiders are stirring up the locals and meddling in matters not of their concern.

Ecowatch sees it this way: Texans’ opinions about fracking are changing. The damage from “frackquakes” is “considerable”, including a 5.7 magnitude frackquake near Prague, Oklahoma. This turns fracking into a property rights issue and communities, even in Texas, have had enough. About 1,000 “concerned citizens” packed a public meeting about frackquakes near Azle. There was an “uproar” when the Railroad Commissioner holding the meeting announced a study of the issue but refused to answer questions. The leaders of the opposition are pleased that the local protestors are mad.

Meagan Baker in Energy in Depth sees it differently: “Fear and misinformation” are used to link fracking and earthquakes. Leading the protestors in Azle are national organizations such as Earthworks and Downwinders at Risk, funded by out-of-state “big money foundations”.  An essay by Cliff Frolich of the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics noted a correlation between injection wells and small quakes that are not harmful. A study by the National Research Council concluded that only a small fraction of injection and extraction activities have induced seismicity at levels noticeable to the public. These findings are similar to studies by the US Geological Survey, US Department of the Interior, and state geologists from Oklahoma and Colorado.

Water Use and Fracking

USA Today reports that in a recent study Ceres says the overuse of freshwater in fracking operations is a terrible threat to water-starved regions of the United States. Fifty-five percent of wells requiring hydraulic fracturing are in drought-stricken areas and half are in regions under “high or extremely high water stress”. The focus of the article is that the use of fresh water in fracking diminishes the availability for other uses. 

Triple Pundit  adds to the alarm by quoting huge volumes for use in fracking but none for other, more intensive, uses. (Where is the context?)   

Here is the entire Ceres report

In Forbes, David Blackmon questions Ceres’ point of view and impugns their motives. The report focuses on the threat on water sources imposed by fracking, without casting similar aspersions on other sources of water use.

Energy in Depth piles on, attacking Ceres as failing to take into account the effect onthe environment of  water use by chemical, mining, electric power, agriculture, food and beverage, textiles, semi-conductors and construction materials industries. Example: The amount of water used by fracking amounts to 1.3 percent of the amount used in carwashes.

So Who’s Crazy?

If you believe science trumps emotion and alarmism in these matters, you gotta figure the anti’s are the crazies. or are they, if their audience isn’t paying attention to the details?  

It was 50 years ago this month that the Beatles first arrived in America, in a revolution as big as fracking. Not convinced? Compare the 1963 Beatles to the number 1 hit of 1962.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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