CA hugely benefits from fracking boom that drives enviros nuts

CA hugely benefits from fracking boom that drives enviros nuts

Gas+PricesHaving seen a gallon of gas drop to $3.09 at a Valero or two — after a summer in which gas prices fell instead of their usual habit of increasing in July and August — I think it’s beyond obvious to note that Californians are huge beneficiaries of the shale/fracking boom driving U.S. oil production higher and higher. This oil renaissance is one of the biggest economic stories in the world. This is from the New York Times:

HOUSTON — Falling gasoline prices have sent oil company stocks tumbling, but oil experts say the boom in American energy production shows no signs of slowing down, keeping the market flush with crude and gasoline prices low.

Even after a drop of as much as 25 percent in oil prices since early summer, several government and private reports say that it would take a drop of $10 to $20 a barrel more — to as low as $60 a barrel — to slow production even modestly. …

The Energy Department this week reported that only 4 percent of shale production in North Dakota, Texas and other states needed an oil price above $80 a barrel for producers to break even on investments. One reason is that improved efficiencies in hydraulic fracturing and other modern production techniques have increased the output of each new well month after month in recent years.

Did you note the matter-of-fact, hysteria-free way the NYT refers to fracking? Quite pleasant compared with California’s newspapers, where all enviro reporters with one exception never even mention that the Obama administration considers it safe. Or that the environmental movement basically didn’t say squat about hydraulic fracturing — using underground water cannons to blast away rock and access oil and natural gas reserves — for the first 60 years it was used.

Only when fracking became far more efficient (and cleaner) in the past six or seven years has it emerged as something greens love to hate — and even then the greenest president in history won’t buy in.

Fracking: Sit back and enjoy the CA freakout

So as the U.S. oil boom continues, California residents who like good news and who don’t like the quasi-religious extremism of many environmentalists will have to listen to evidence-free wailing from people who benefit enormously from fracking. They’ll shout themselves hoarse about its evils and pursue local bans, as seen in various communities around the state.

This would normally annoy me because I think fracking is being slandered and that it would be great for California. But I’m now doubtful it will ever come to pass in a major way in a place where the green religion is so strong. Anyone who started a petition drive for an anti-fracking California ballot initiative would have millions of dollars quickly pouring in from the usual billionaire lefties. I’m surprised some lefty consultant doesn’t start up such a drive without even having a client first; it wouldn’t take long to find a deep-pockets patron.

So instead, I will choose to enjoy the discomfiture of CA greens as fracking continues to be one of the world’s great economic phenomena, despite their stern and pious disapproval. Outside of California, billionaire lefties don’t stand a chance against public opinion (very, very, very pro-cheap energy) and Big Oil. Schadenfreude is going to be fun.

But I will also enjoy the CA green freakout because the longer that fracking goes on without anything close to a Love Canal-level enviro disaster, the tougher it will be for the public to take seriously the sky-is-falling rhetoric from fracking haters.

The traditional, much dirtier, much less efficient version of hydraulic fracturing that was used from the 1940s until 2006 or so didn’t lead to a Love Canal. If one happened now, it would in goofy ways be akin to a religious miracle.


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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 30 October, 2014, 08:53

    So how has URBAN fracking brought down the price of gas? I’m missing the connection. High pressure urban fracking around our underground water sources is a new and untested science. After what took place in the Gulf of Mexico I personally don’t want Big Oil fricking or fracking anywhere close to where I live. Not worth the risk. If they contaminate our water supply or cause a seismic event all of us could be screwed. The gov frauds have been telling us for years that the objective is to become LESS dependent on fossil fuels. 40 years later not much has changed. Now we’re fracturing the earth’s crust in MAJOR metropolitan areas where millions of people live to find more liquid gold. Enough is enough. And I ain’t no whacko environmentalist. I am a realist.

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 30 October, 2014, 12:37

      I have no worries about fracking LIC, it has been around for over for over forty years, and besides water has always stood side by side with oil, gas, lead, and every element on Earth. 🙂

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 30 October, 2014, 14:41

        But they haven’t been fracking in urban areas where millions of humans call home, Donkey. That adds tremendously to the risk. It’s a new science in densely populated areas. And, yes, it’s possible to contaminate the underground water supply with the highly pressurized fracking method that’s used. I don’t know about you. But I don’t want oil mixed in with my drinking water, even if it’s American oil! And there seems to be more evidence that fracking may be a catalyst for seismic events. We get enough earthquakes as it is. We don’t need man-made ones! 🙂

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        • Chris Reed
          Chris Reed 30 October, 2014, 15:23

          Sigh. LIC, fracking occurs hundreds of feet under the water table. It has been around for many decades without the gloom-and-doom stuff coming true. Yes, it has been done in urban areas for decades — Huntington Beach and the South Bay in L.A.

          Reply this comment
          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 30 October, 2014, 18:57

            8 states have reported fracking fluid seeping into their underground water sources. Gas rises from the fluid and can easily contaminate our drinking water. And in 2011 a study in Northern England tied earthquakes directly to fracking operations. So, no. It’s not safe. No safer than what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. You thought drilling holes in the ocean to obtain oil was safe at one time too. Didn’t you? Big Oil greed knows no bounds. They’ll do anything for money. Even contaminate the water that comes out of your facet if the payoff is big enough.

  2. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 30 October, 2014, 14:38

    Gas prices ALWAYS go down before a big mid-term election. ALWAYS. This started under W Bush and its usually the result of some heavy horse trading with the saudis vis a vis the spot oil price. It is done under the theory that the ONLY life variable that penetrates the average american land-whale’s conciousness is the cash price of gasoline…They may be right, but I think the traction of this particular tactic is only at most 30%….If you don’t believe me, watch: gas (and oil) will rebound sharply 1-2 weeks after the Nov.2 elections.

    Reply this comment
    • Chris Reed
      Chris Reed 30 October, 2014, 15:25

      Hi, Bill.

      1 Gas prices aren’t down this time because of the Saudis. They’re down because of surging domestic production.

      2. Gas prices normally go up during the summer because of seasonal fuel restrictions and higher demand. Not this summer. Why? Surging domestic production.

      Reply this comment
      • Bill Gore
        Bill Gore 30 October, 2014, 17:37

        Hi Chris-
        As to the cause of lower oil prices, I guess it depends on who you read.

        Doubtless, you are correct in that domestic oil production has surged in the last two years due to the technological advances in fracking and directed horizontal drilling. However, the domestic fracking revolution is actually quite tenuous, as it was revealed two weeks ago that these companies have been grossly overestimating their proven and probable reserves, utilizing a loophole in the law to present one set of figures to the investing public and another much lower set in footnotes to the SEC. Additionally the draw down/pumping profile of these wells, particularly in the Marcellus, are horrific: a burst of new production followed by a rapid draw down. Many of these companies will wink out of existence if oil goes below 80.

        My observation on the fortuitous timing of oil/gas price declines with important mid-term elections stands. The saudis definitely have an agenda in their neighborhood and they need our muscle to acheive these aims. Our elite, on the other hand, wants to win elections, so they meet in the middle.

        So, watch oil after the election. My prediction is it springs back up to above 100…..

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 30 October, 2014, 18:51

          You’re correct, Bill. It’s manipulated for political gain. How many times has gas shot above the $4.25 mark without any real logical explanation for the price hike? Numerous times. And with the elections right around the corner and the dems in BIG trouble at the polls – no surprise to me at all that it’s temporarily down. And your prediction is spot on. Mark my words. 2 weeks after November 4th I predict gas in California will be back to $3.70 and gradually increase from there. Fracking has nothing to do with it.

          Reply this comment
  3. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 30 October, 2014, 14:52

    People think $3/gal is a fantastic bargin. Just goes to show how easily the human being is manipulated and brainwashed. I can remember when gas cost $0.25/gal. Heck, just a matter of 8 years ago I could buy a gallon for about $1.90/gal in California! Gas in my neck of the woods is still about $3.30. IMO that’s no bargain. Big Oil has made out like bandits. The pols manipulate the price via laws and regulations to feed their sugar daddies with obscene profits. Virtually nothing has been done to wean us from the gas nipple in the last 70 years. I figure I’ll be a slave to it until the day I die. Enjoy your ‘cheap’ $3.30 gas while it lasts. It’ll be back up to $5/gal in no time! They’ll blame it on the mid-east conflicts or refinery fires, whether it’s true or not!

    Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 30 October, 2014, 20:13

    Another carpetbagger codger giving us an ancient history tome-

    Reply this comment
  5. David barron
    David barron 30 October, 2014, 22:34

    Years ago in construction, we used to say, Out of work? Hungry? Eat an environmentalist!
    Today, in Los Angeles, we say, Out of work? Hungry? Start an affordable Housing Project under the Housing and Community Investment Dept.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 31 October, 2014, 09:00

      Hey david, don’t you know? The pols have turned California into the poverty capital of the country. The US census bureau has crowned us the Queen of Poverty. All the parasites who make money off the poor are in hog heaven and will be for years to come. But what do you expect? The borders are wide open. Go down to San Ysidro and look across the border at dusk. There are 300 or more illegals milling around over by the Tijuana fence on any given night waiting for the sun to go down so they can walk across the border. All are dirt poor. Then the pols give them CADL’s and enact the “Trust Act” that basically says that once an illegal makes it across the border and is arrested for serious crimes over and above immigration or labor law violations, that local jailers are PROHIBITED from turning them over to the Feds for deportation!!! heh. So if you were a dirt poor Mexican eating rice and beans in Mexico and living in a cardboard shack in the hills, what would you do? You would follow the incentives, right? Walk north and leech off the Americans to get your free health care, free education, free nutritious food, etc… Poverty is the new money maker for the ruling class. If you are in the business of build housing projects in LA – you are sitting in the catbird’s seat!!! 😀

      Reply this comment
  6. Ted Steele PhD
    Ted Steele PhD 31 October, 2014, 19:40

    Fracking– 600 chemicals injected at super high pressures under the water table—- what could possibly go wrong?



    Reply this comment

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