Anti-fracking fervor builds in CA even as it lifts U.S. economy, stature

Anti-fracking fervor builds in CA even as it lifts U.S. economy, stature

Fracking-ban1-300x248Anti-fracking sentiment in California continues to build, and we’re likely to see a spate of local moratoriums aimed at blocking the oil-drilling process in many cities and counties. This is happening even in places not normally associated with petroleum production, as this Orange County Register story makes clear.

In Brea, residents started researching fracking, gathering information about polluted water wells and increased seismic activity in other areas across the country, such as Oklahoma, where scientists have linked wastewater injection wells with an increased number of earthquakes.

Initially, Fujioka – the Brea fracktivist – didn’t even know fracking was happening near homes and schools, but she soon found out using online mapping tools.

So, Fujioka scheduled a meeting before the City Council. It transformed into a presentation by the main driller in the region, LINN Energy.

At an alternative meeting, 100 residents showed up seeking information on fracking. Another meeting followed, this one sponsored by Cal State Fullerton and paneled by academics and industry representatives, at which 500 residents sought information.

Residents in other Orange County cities are joining the movement. At the very southern end of the hills, Yorba Linda activists are just getting started. Karen Hill, an active member of Brea Congregational United Church of Christ, an anti-fracking hotspot, believes fracking will contaminate groundwater near her community, even though most water is imported.

Given that the California media still refuse to report that the Obama administration considers fracking safe, this alarmism isn’t that surprising.

But what’s also interesting is that the international and national media increasingly have figured out that fracking has been profoundly good for the U.S. economy. This is from a Financial Times analysis of how cheaper energy was helping U.S. exporters:

The price gap has led to a 6 per cent average increase in US manufactured product exports, the IMF wrote in its twice-yearly World Economic Outlook. […]

Lower prices for natural gas favour energy- and gas-intensive industries, such as steelmaking, oil refining, and nitrogen fertiliser production. The International Energy Agency has previously warned that Europe will lose a third of its share of global energy-intensive exports over the next two decades because its energy prices will remain stubbornly higher than those in the US.

And then there’s this remarkable development. At a time when international opinion of the U.S. seems to be largely negative and even baffled — a president sending mixed messages for years will do that — fracking has created a positive aura around the U.S.

New York Times: Fracking ‘gust’ lifts U.S. reputation

Who says so? Lots of analysts and academics, including the Harvard professor who popularized the idea that nations wield not just military might but “soft power” that influences global opinion. This is from the New York Times:

It has become fashionable to note a decline of American global power and influence, but don’t tell that to the energy experts.

Many see increased domestic production of oil and gas as driving more muscular United States energy diplomacy, power that exists in curious tandem with the Obama administration’s efforts to wean the world off fossil fuels.

“The rapid rise in U.S. oil and gas production, together with the decline in oil consumption and the elevation of climate change as a priority, is completely scrambling the way policy makers think about energy diplomacy,” said Michael A. Levi, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Joseph S. Nye Jr., the Harvard professor who articulated the notion of “soft power” in international affairs, sees a “shale gale” propelling America’s status: “If you are attracted to a country or any leader, a lot has to do with the feeling, ‘Do they have momentum? Is the wind in their sails or are their sails flapping?’ We’ve got a gust.”

Carlos Pascual, a former senior American diplomat, agrees. Increased energy production “strengthens our hand.” he said.

Will California’s vast Monterey Shale ever be tapped to add to this U.S. momentum? I’m not optimistic. But if it does happen, it would produce more middle-class jobs for California than any dozen government initiatives.

And it would also yield vast new revenue. Which state has seen the sharpest percentage increase in education spending in recent years? The state that has the lowest unemployment and the fastest economic growth.

That would be North Dakota, global ground zero for the fracking revolution.


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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 13 October, 2014, 12:15

    Call me nervous nellie – but drilling down through the earth’s crust with enormous psi pressure in populated urban environments is risky business, as this is a relatively new science. By no means is it far fetched that it could contaminate the urban water supply or even set off seismic events. I understand that there has been experimental fracking in the La Habra area – and by coincidence – not long ago it was the epicenter of a 6 pointer. Do you want to roll that dice to extract more oil? Not me!!! If we live in a true democracy I think something as important as this should be put on the ballot and let the people decide, once all the evidence is put on the table. You screw with mother nature and watch out for the unintended consequences. The human animal is not that smart. Look at all the chaos we have created at all 4 corners of the earth. How do you expect me to trust a bunch of numbskulls who can’t even balance a budget and turn most of what they touch to crap? So they tell me fracking is safe and I’m supposed to believe them?? LOL! Pull my other thumb too!!! 😀

    Reply this comment
  2. Chris Reed
    Chris Reed Author 13 October, 2014, 14:21

    It is not a new approach or “relatively new science.” It is 70 years old and has been used on 1 million wells.

    Enviros didn’t mind when it was inefficient. It was used massively in the 1970s.

    Now it is mega-efficient, and they keep inventing new things to blame it for.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 13 October, 2014, 14:41

      “It is not a new approach or “relatively new science.” It is 70 years old and has been used on 1 million wells.”

      Not in heavily populated urban environments it hasn’t! Look how BP screwed up in the Gulf of Mexico! You think they aren’t capable of a fracking screwup just as large in the middle of a metropolis with millions of human lives at risk? At some point it’s not all about the money, Chris.

      Btw, I’m no environmental wacko. But I am not at war with the greenies either. I listen to them and don’t immediately discount their viewpoints. If what they say makes good sense, I’ll support it. If Big Oil wants to frick and frack up in the Ozarks – go right ahead. Just stay the heck out of my backyard! Put this issue up the vote of the people! It’s our lives they’re screwing with!

      Reply this comment
    • NTHEOC
      NTHEOC 13 October, 2014, 22:01

      Chris says,
      It is not a new approach or “relatively new science.” It is 70 years old and has been used on 1 million wells.
      Oh Chris,It still remains a dangerous operation and there have been well blowouts, for example, for as long as there has been drilling. Flaring, venting, pollution from processing plants, etc. will go on regardless of any improved regulation!!

      Reply this comment
  3. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 13 October, 2014, 14:31

    Look at all the damage these Phd’s and wiz kids from BP did to the Gulf of Mexico! That too was under control until it wasn’t anymore. You’re playing high risk games here. All it take is ONE major screwup and you’ve got a major catastrophe on your hands. I remember waiting in the gas lines for 2 hours on even/odd days to fill up the tank in the 70’s. At that time the government promised us that we would perfect new clean sources of energy and stop relying on oil production. 45 years later we’re stuck in the same damn rut. Sooner or later the Ivy League and Hahverd educated imbeciles will completely destroy the planet in their quest for more petrol dollars. Mark my words. Some day these nimrods go one step too far and screw something up that we won’t be able to fix.

    Reply this comment
  4. Queeg
    Queeg 13 October, 2014, 19:50

    Ah……it’s the globalists fault. Feel better now telling you’all.

    Reply this comment
  5. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 13 October, 2014, 21:21

    A worker was boiled alive and the only punishment the fracking company got was a $300 fine. That is reason enough for me to hate them.

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 13 October, 2014, 21:54

    Frackin BS!! Its all about the money to made for big oil and they could careless about the harm it can possibly do. Just like the big pharma companies pumping as many meds into you as possible, its about the money. just like the big food companies pumping chemicals into the food we eat, its cheaper and more profitable! Up to 600 chemicals are used in fracking fluid, including known carcinogens and toxins such as lead,uranium,mercury,ethylene glycol,radium,methanol,hydrochloric acid,formaldehyde!! So During the fracking process, methane gas and these types of toxic chemicals leach out from the system and contaminate nearby groundwater!! But hey, its a money maker so who cares and these companies have enough money to hide the dangers.

    Reply this comment
  7. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 14 October, 2014, 09:23

    Fracking— Hmmmm—–600 plus chemicals being injected at high pressure below the water table?


    Reply this comment
  8. Chris Reed
    Chris Reed Author 14 October, 2014, 14:06

    The Obama administration, the greenest administration in history, says fracking is safe, that it’s just another heavy industry that needs regulation but is not the equivalent of underground strip-mining.

    Obama’s Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell in the NYT:

    Anticipating criticism from environmental advocates, she said: “I know there are those who say fracking is dangerous and should be curtailed, full stop. That ignores the reality that it has been done for decades and has the potential for developing significant domestic resources and strengthening our economy and will be done for decades to come.”

    This is one of those classic Internet non-debates where it is actually a hindrance to have read up on the topic. Being informed doesn’t help.

    C’mon, y’all, come back with more of the 600 chemicals crapola and anecdotes and keep ignoring the view of the Obama administration and regulators under every prez since Carter.

    1 million wells? They don’t count. They just don’t.

    Reply this comment
    • T Mind of Ted Your God
      T Mind of Ted Your God 14 October, 2014, 20:22


      I have NO idea what basis you make the claim that the Obama admin is the greenest in history– that’s just a silly statement. Greener that the Jackson administration? Nixon? Please…

      Nexty—- Just use your common sense Chris—- 600 chemicals injectyed at high pressure below the water table—- you honestly can’t think of dangerous outcomes from that using just your common sense and experience?

      Back in 1912 the planets finest engineers and builders built the safest and most unsinkable ship EVER built.

      The RMS Titanic sunk on it’s maiden voyage.

      Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 14 October, 2014, 14:24

    Again Chris, these Frackin companies have enough money to hide the dangers, always have and always will! You throw enough money at any administration and the regulators turn a blind eye. Just look at the Koch Bros, they had enough money to put in a Wisconsin governor with no College degree and the first thing he did was retract all the regulations and fines they had been under for the pollution their industry was causing!! I guess you won’t be satisfied until babies are being born with three heads around the fracking areas……

    Reply this comment
  10. Queeg
    Queeg 14 October, 2014, 18:47

    Before frack was tortise and before that Frank’s buffalo chicken tasting spotted owl…..before climate change was global warming before that the mini ice age….

    Just a recap-

    Reply this comment

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