methane production


The last excuse by the industrialists and their mouth pieces just went out the window. They totally bought the cancer and smoking defensive fall back approach. First they said that Climate Change wasn’t happening. Then they said we couldn’t “prove” it and came up with “scientists” that refuted it. Then they said it wasn’t as “bad” as what we were saying. Finally they said, “Well China isn’t doing it so why should we?”. So I am sure now they will say that any carbon tax or carbon emissions limit will be TOO MUCH. You heard it here first.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120242/us-and-china-reach-agreement-climate-change

 

Environment

November 12, 2014

The World Has Waited for the U.S. and China to Take Action on Climate Change. They Just Did.

By

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Wednesday commitments to reduce both countries’ greenhouse gas emissions. The surprise announcement, which came while Obama visits Beijing this week, is the clearest sign yet the two countries are serious on climate change.

After months of negotiations with China, Obama has pledged the U.S. to cut emissions between 26 and 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. This is double the pace of carbon cuts the U.S had already pledged to reach by 2020.

But China’s commitments might be even more unexpected, because it is the first time the growing economy has committed to a year for capping its emissionsseen as a crucial step for avoiding the worst-case scenarios of global warming. Xi pledged this will happen around 2030, though it will try to reach this peak as early as possible. China also agreed to increase the share of energy that doesn’t come from fossil fuels to 20 percent by 2030.

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Go there and read. More next week

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Actually falling oil prices are not good because cheaper oil and gasoline means more of it gets used, thus more global warming. Still if there is a silver lining this would be it.

 

http://www.npr.org/2014/11/04/361204786/falling-oil-prices-make-fracking-less-lucrative

Falling Oil Prices Make Fracking Less Lucrative

Oil prices are down than more than 25 percent since June and are staying low for now. Drivers may appreciate that, but for oil companies, it’s making some of the most controversial methods of producing oil less profitable — and in a few cases, unprofitable.

Most of the world’s oil is selling for about $80 to $85 a barrel now. But not all oil is created equal. In the Middle East, it’s cheaper to produce, at a cost of less than $30 a barrel on average, according to the Norwegian firm Rystad Energy.

But in the Arctic, producing a barrel costs $78 on average. From Canada’s oil sands, it’s an average of $74 a barrel. And because those are averages, some companies have costs that are higher — which means there could be drillers currently producing crude at a loss.

Here in the U.S., the oil drilling boom is due largely to technologies like hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, used to force oil from shale formations deep underground. Producing this oil, Rystad figures, costs an average of $62 a barrel.

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Wisconsin Energy (abbreviated here as WE abbreviated on the SEC as WEC)  is buying Integrys Distribution Network which includes Chicago. So the 2 big questions this raises is 1) Will this have an effect on Chicago’s electric rates and  renewable goals. and 2) will the WE offer Chicago a new and improved natural gas deal? We shall see. Ameren must be wondering the same sort of things. Below are a short article link and then a longer treatment.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wisconsin-energy-to-buy-integrys-energy-in-91-bln-deal-2014-06-23-7911444?siteid=bulletrss

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-wisconsin-energy-to-buy-integrys-in-91-billion-deal-20140623,0,3548279.story

Peoples Gas parent Integrys being bought for $5.7 billion

WEC Energy Group the merged company will be headquartered in Milwaukee, with “operating headquarters” in Chicago, Green Bay and Milwauke.

It was just before Christmas that Gale Klappa, chairman and CEO of Wisconsin Energy Corp., asked Charlie Schrock, his counterpart at Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group Inc., out to dinner.Sitting in a restaurant in Chicago, Klappa didn’t mince words with the head of the parent company for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.

“The first thing on my mind that I opened with in my discussion with Charlie is when you look at what the combined company would become in what is clearly a consolidating industry,” he recalled. “Size, scale and the ability to take advantage of the economies of scale is becoming more important.”

On Monday, six months after that dinner, the two CEOS were together again, announcing a $5.7 billion merger agreement that will create an energy company with more than 4.3 million metered electric and gas customers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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And if you do not believe me, then go to the links below and read what they say.

http://www.dangersoffracking.com/

http://theweek.com/article/index/261337/more-proof-that-fracking-is-dirtier-than-advertised

As for what I think:

Hydraulic Fracturing is a drilling process that drills oil and gas wells into shale formations and produces what is referred to as “ tight petroleum fluids”. Principally oil and methane. This process begins by drilling a typical vertical well.  The drill bit is then turned to drill horizontally and moves as far as 3 miles. Then the well is cased with concrete and a slurry of liquids are prepared. We will come back to that discussion in a bit because the fluids pumped into the bore hole are very special. Once the drill is extracted it is replaced with special pipe that is flexible enough to make the turn and has holes in it which are temporarily plugged with ping pong ball  like ball bearings. Once that is done, the fluids  are piped down the well under extremely high pressure. These fluids blast the bearings out of the way and the fluids escape from the pipe and pulverizes the surrounding rock. Then the danger of fracking begins. Because of the  physics of pressure, the fluids  which are now in front of the flow of the oil and methane burst back to the surface and must be contained. After that the dangers only grow. These risks include: Pollution risks, Health risks, Death risks and Financial risks.

The health risks are many. The groundwater risks arise from the fracking itself and the type fluids used. The fluids are extremely toxic.  While I can”t say what exactly are in the fluids because the drilling companies refuse to release them, everyone admits that toxics like diesel fuel, hydrochloric acid, silica, and antifreeze are involved.  For a list of the thousand of chemical used please see  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_additives_for_hydraulic_fracturing .   Will the fluids remain in the area fracked and will the oil and gas flow towards the well head if other avenues are available? This is something no one can guarantee. If even small amounts of the fracking fluids do not return through the bore hole then ground water contamination is possible and well water contamination is all but guaranteed. Surface contamination comes in the form of produced water contamination on the ground and in the nearby waterways. Many wild catters want to just dump those waters in waste pits or worse yet dump them in larger stream and rivers. Even tank storage is problematic. Transportation to a disposal site risks many types of accidents. I believe that all these fluids should be recycled. They contain radioactive materials, heavy metals and poisons like arsenic. Finally there is air pollution. This come in the form of methane and benzene. Many wild catters want to flare the methane and only deal with the oil. This guarantees that methane will be released and methane is one of the most potent green gases around. Exposure to benzene can be lethal as will be discussed later and will lead to lung damage and many cancers.

Some of the health risks were discussed above but there are a set of studies to be considered. You can find these studies easily online but in their gist they ask the question, “Are children in fracking zones healthy”?  The answer is NO. In general children that live within a ten mile area of fracked wells have many more health problems than children that live farther away. Please see this list for a discussion of benzene on human health – http://www.allenstewart.com/practice-areas/gas-property-damage/chemicals-used-in-fracking/   If that is true then how healthy can the adults be? But fracking is so new that it is hard to tell. I know in my heart that taking that plunge over that cliff is not worth the danger. We need to stop now.

Then there are risks of death to the nearby humans. Is that extreme? Not in the least. The increase in the large truck traffic alone and the attendant violations of trucking laws will destroy roads and lead to a large increase in traffic accidents leading to increases in deaths. And of course there will be deaths directly relating to the increase in drilling activity. Drilling for oil is inherently dangerous and the industry has its own mortality rate. We have already seen large numbers of deaths due to train wrecks involving trains pulling tanker cars holding fracked oil. Because of the trapped gases in fracked oil it is a lot more explosive. Who wants to die a fiery death? While pipeline leaks could have been discussed anywhere, the problems of pipelining unconventional oil are clear. Since the oil must be heated under pressure to physically move through a pipeline, any leak means the oil cools rapidly and latches on to anything in its path. Especially if it falls into water it will not float and it must be dug out of the bottom. Wherever it lands it begins to release its toxic chemicals including the ever present benzene. While no deaths have yet occurred, fracking possess the possibility of causing major calamities. The first are earthquakes. Today there is no doubt that fracking can cause earthquakes. The questions is when will they cause a major one? So far no earthquake caused by fracking has been greater than a 4.5 earthquake, so we continue to pray they stay small. Then there is the question of Bhopal On The Prairie. This was not a concern of mine but many people who live near old coal mines raised it with me at events I attended. They said, “What if they frack near an old coal mine or an old uncapped oil well” both of which Illinois has in abundance? Well the answer is, all the stuff that should go up the nrw well bore hole will spew out into the general environment. If you are anywhere near that the methane will kill you. This is unlikely but just one incident could kill many people.

Ever wonder why oil men refer to their business as a “Boom and Bust” business? It is because of their Financial Risks. These risks are not limited to the investors and the drillers themselves. First and foremost any property owners near these wells will see their property values go to zero and if you hold a mortgage on any such property you will be in debt for a worthless property. There is also a growing push to send the fracked oil and its refined products overseas. This means that oil prices will rise and the cost of gasoline will follow along. But ultimately it is the case that  wildcat fracking is a Ponzi Scheme and that costs investors the most money. Small drillers raise money well by well but when the first one “comes in” they divert some of the profits to the next well which enriches themselves. Because fracked wells have such a short life expectancy (possibly as short as 3 years) eventually the level of those losing money on their investments climb and the driller declares bankruptcy leaving those newest investors holding huge losses. Not only that but it leaves the State of Illinois and individual property owners holding the bag for any damages that remains. This also leads to market manipulation on insider information because the upcoming bankruptcies are an open secret in the oil and gas industry itself.

I must end with a plea for Illinois to stop this. Fracking is nothing but a case of gluttony gone wild. These are not resources we need to exploit now. We could leave these resources for future generations that may need them. But in our general lust for fatter and fatter energy girths we will be looked on by future generations with mortification. Again, shame on everyone in Illinois.

Doug Nicodemus

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Go there and read. More next week in a more timely fashion,

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OK ok. So I meant that they invaded them financially. This actually is very important because it means several things. The sanctions used against Russia will not work because Putin is committed to maintain Russia’s position as Gas Pump to the World. And there are many willing partners that unlike America think much farther ahead to their commodity futures. This shift east so to speak will force Europe to shift hard west. I am unclear whether Russia is preparing to cut lose Iran and Syria. I think not because they really value their deep water port, but it may be forced upon them.

 

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-03-24/news/48523911_1_sechin-rosneft-magadan

Russia offers India crude oil supplies, stakes in blocks

PTIMar 24, 2014, 09.41PM IST

NEW DELHI: As the US and Europe try to isolate Moscow over its action in Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trusted lieutenant Igor Sechin today courted top Indian officials, offering to ship its vast crude oil reserves and stakes in oil and gas acreages.

Sechin, who heads Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil company, led a delegation of about two-dozen officials to meet Oil Secretary Saurabh Chandra seeking to expand ties with New Delhi

“India is a very important country for Russia. We have a very efficiently run project with ONGC…now we want to expand our cooperation,” Sechin told PTI after the meeting.

The Russian state oil major offered Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) a stake in nine offshore oil and gas blocks in the Barents Sea and one in the Black Sea.

“We are (also) looking at supplying crude oil to Indian refineries,” he said, adding that Rosneft produces 200 million tons of crude oil a year.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I get this question all the time. The argument is always the trade off argument. We get jobs and cheap fossil fuels but  the environment is degraded. And boy and how. Destroyed is more like it but we do not even get the results that the fracking industry promised. Did I mention it is cold outside?

http://www.startribune.com/business/241382091.html

Record high prices for propane, natural gas in some markets as cold snap saps fuel supplies

  • Article by: JONATHAN FAHEY , Associated Press
  • Updated: January 21, 2014 – 6:12 PM

NEW YORK — A second fierce blast of winter weather is sapping fuel supplies in many regions and sending prices for propane and natural gas to record highs.

Higher natural gas prices are also leading to sharply higher wholesale electricity prices as power utilities snap up gas at almost any price to run power plants to meet higher-than-normal winter demand.

Propane users will get pinched the most. Those who find themselves suddenly needing to fill their tanks could be paying $100 to $200 more per fill up than a month ago. Homeowners who use natural gas and electricity will see higher heating bills because they’ll use more fuel. But prices won’t rise dramatically because utilities only buy a small portion of the fuel at the elevated prices.

A swirling storm with the potential for more than a foot of snow clobbered the mid-Atlantic and the urban Northeast on Tuesday. The snowstorm will be followed by bitter cold as arctic air from Canada streams in, causing homeowners to crank up the thermostat.

Record high prices for propane, natural gas in some markets as cold snap saps fuel supplies

  • Article by: JONATHAN FAHEY , Associated Press
  • Updated: January 21, 2014 – 6:12 PM

NEW YORK — A second fierce blast of winter weather is sapping fuel supplies in many regions and sending prices for propane and natural gas to record highs.

Higher natural gas prices are also leading to sharply higher wholesale electricity prices as power utilities snap up gas at almost any price to run power plants to meet higher-than-normal winter demand.

Propane users will get pinched the most. Those who find themselves suddenly needing to fill their tanks could be paying $100 to $200 more per fill up than a month ago. Homeowners who use natural gas and electricity will see higher heating bills because they’ll use more fuel. But prices won’t rise dramatically because utilities only buy a small portion of the fuel at the elevated prices.

A swirling storm with the potential for more than a foot of snow clobbered the mid-Atlantic and the urban Northeast on Tuesday. The snowstorm will be followed by bitter cold as arctic air from Canada streams in, causing homeowners to crank up the thermostat.

Michael McCafferty, a propane expert at Platts, an energy information provider, said the wholesale spot price of propane rose 70 percent between Friday and Tuesday to a record $2.45 per gallon. Both the size of the jump and the price itself he called “unprecedented.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

 

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No Frackers will go to jail if they violate WHAT LAWS? IDNR might as well give away the state of Illinois to being totally trashed. Where will the Fracking start? In our State Parks?

Day 49   1/2/13

Topic:  Fines penalties, suspensions and revocations

For regulations to work, levied fines must exceed the financial benefit a company gains by violating the rules. None of the rulemaking sanctions meet this criterion. This results in the other 150 pages of rules being essentially meaningless because they will be ignored.   The draft rule sanctions place the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (HFRA)  on the road to failure before the first permit is issued.

Examples:

  1. Section 1-100(b) of the law specifies misdemeanor and felony criminal charges for a number of violations of the law.  Yet there are NO criminal charges in the rules
  2. In Section 1-60(a)1-6 of the law, there are six (6) grounds for suspension or revocation of a permit.  These are re-listed with a 7th in section 245.1100 of the rules.  But the very next  section of the Rules–245.1110–reduces the grounds for an immediate permit suspension to one: “an emergency condition posing a significant hazard to the public health, aquatic life, wildlife or the environment.” This is the most stringent requirement of the seven grounds listed in section 245.1100.  Why bother to list seven possible grounds for permit suspension or revocation in section 245.1100 if you then require the Department to identify the most stringent criteria for an immediate suspension.
  3. Section 1-60(b) of the law requires a much lower standard of proof to suspend, revoke or deny a permit than the rules (245.1110).  Under the law, the Department need only serve notice of its action (to suspend, revoke or deny), including a statement of the reasons for the action.
  4. In the law, if a well operator’s permit has been suspended, the burden of proof is on well operator to prove that the identified problem is “no significant threat to public health, aquatic life, wildlife, or the environment” [Section 1-60(d)].  In the rules, this phrase becomes something IDNR must prove before ordering a permit suspension [Rule Section 245.1100(b)3A].
  5. Sections 1-100 and 1-101 of the law have some stiff penalties that accrue on a daily basis until the reason for the fine is corrected.  These fines can go as high as $50,000 per violation and up to $10,000 per day.  These are replaced by fines so trivial ($50-$2500) that it will cost the IDNR more to impose and collect a fine than the dollar value of the fine itself.

Revisions Needed:  Return to the standards of the law with regard to fines, penalties and revocations.

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Go there and comment. We are done with this.
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What the hell would the public know about their own self interest. Everybody outside of Chicago is just dumb hicks anyways.

Day 29 12/13/13 

Today’s Topic:  Who a potentially affected party must petiton in order to participate in a hearing.

Section 245.270 Public Hearings

The Act’s provision affording public hearings are critically important to ensuring that the public has the ability to fully understand hydraulic fracturing permits that may affect them, and challenge them if appropriate. We are therefore concerned that some aspects of the draft rules governing hearings could potentially undercut the robust public participation envisioned in the statute.

Section 1-50(b) of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act says any person having an interest that is or may be adversely affected [by a fracking permit], can petition the Department for participation in a hearing.

But Subsection 245.270(a)(6) of the Rules raises the bar, requiring the request for hearing to be served upon the Hearing Officer, the Department, and the ap

Why are we even messing around with this stuff. Colorado already demands recycling and Oklahoma make drillers bottle the natural gas. Why are we providing a lower standard of treatment of the Earth then other places.

 

Today’s Topic:  Discrepancies between the law and the rules on how long open-air pits can be used to store flowback.
  • Go to: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/OilandGas/Pages/OnlineCommentSubmittalForm.aspx
  • Click the button: Subpart H: High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing Preparations and Operations (245.800-245.870)
  • In the “Section” dropdown box, click: Section 245.850  Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid and Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Storage, Disposal or Recycling, Transportation and Reporting Requirements
  • Submit your comment/s (below)
  • Click “Submit”
Section 1-75 of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulator Act mandates that “excess hydraulic fracturing flowback captured for temporary storage in a reserve pit as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection must be removed from the well site within 7 days.”
But Section 245.850 of the proposed rules states, “Any excess hydraulic fracturing flowback captured for temporary storage in a reserve pit as provided in Section 245.825 must be removed from the well site or transferred to storage in above-ground tanks for later disposal or recycling within 7 days after completion of high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations.”
Problem:  The amendment of “after completion of high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations” opens the door for the potential abuse of emergency pits.  Storage in closed tanks can be costly for the industry.  An unscrupulous operator wanting to cut costs could simply claim that there was more flowback than expected and end up using open pits for storage for the duration of the fracking process.
The clear intent of the statute is to ensure that wastewater is stored in tanks except in the emergency event of an unforeseeable overflow, in which case it is preferable that the overflow go to a pit than simply spill on the ground. But in such event, the overflow is expressly required in the statute to be removed within a week. Through omission and misinterpretation, the regulations are not implementing this statutory directive.
Section 245.210(a)(11), requires that an applicant submit a Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids and Flowback Plan.  The plan does not include requirements to ensure that tank capacity is accurately calculated. Without such method, there is nothing in the regulations to prevent operators from underestimating the size of the tanks they need, so as to make routine use of the reserve pit for the resulting overflows. Operators presumably have an economic incentive to do so in order to hold down the cost of tank storage.
Compounding this incentive is the Department’s weakening of the statutory directive that fluids deposited in a reserve pit be removed within 7 days (Section 1-75(c)(5). The regulations fail to require such prompt removal, allowing, at subsection 245.850(c), the overflow to remain in the reserve pits until 7 days “after completion of high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations.” Certainly on a multi-well pad, hydraulic fracturing operations can continue for a month or more, meaning that the flowback fluid could be left sitting in the reserve pit, creating environmental risk, for much longer than a week.
Revisions needed:  First, require that drillers anticipate appropriate sized tanks for sufficient storage of flowback and produced water by establishing a method for tank capacity calculation. Second, clarify that wastewater must be removed from the pit within 7 days of the event that triggered the use of the pit rather than 7 days after fracking operations are complete, in accordance with the law.
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When we got in the faces of the 5 renegade environmental groups, they claimed that IDNR would tighten up things to take in our concerns. So far that ain’t been ahappening. We will just have to see what happens after the comment period closes.
Today (Tuesday, 12/10/13)  is Day 26 of the Comment Period of IDNR.   Getting tired of making comments?  We understand.  But if we don’t fight, the industry will win because their fingerprints are all over these rules.  Fight back.  Make a comment today.
Today’s Topic:  IDNR’s Duties and Responsibilities to Protect the Citizens of Illinois
Comment:
In Section 1-130 of the regulatory statute, the legislature granted IDNR authority to adopt rules to carry out the legislature’s purposes.
There are at least two legislative purposes in the regulatory statute:
  1. To allow horizontal fracking in Illinois,
  2. To approve horizontal fracking conditionally based on the safeguarding of public health and public safety, and the protection of the environment.
This purpose is set forth explicitly in two places in the regulatory statute–Section 1-75(a)(2) and Section 1-53(a)(4).  IDNR has acknowledged 1-75 verbatim, in Section 245.800(2) of the proposed rules: “All phases of high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations shall be conducted in a manner that shall not pose a significant risk to public health, life, property, aquatic life, or wildlife.”
But IDNR has changed the legislature’s language in Section 1-53(a)(4) of the proposed rules, lowering the standard explicitly created by the legislature.  Section 1-53(a)(4) of the legislation states: “The Department shall issue a high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing permit, with any conditions the Department may find necessary, only if the record of decision demonstrates that: the proposed hydraulic fracturing operations will be conducted in a manner that will protect the public health and safety and prevent pollution or diminution of any water source.”  The key phrase there is”will be conducted”.  Clearly the intent of the statute is that fracking will only be allowed if it is conducted in a safe manner.
IDNR’s proposed Section 245.300 changes the legislative words “will be conducted” to “as proposed, are reasonably expected to be conducted”.  This lowers the standard and is inconsistent with the legislature’s stated purpose.  “Will be conducted” is a mandate; “reasonably expected to be conducted” is not.
If hydraulic fracturing outcomes in Illinois mirror effects of other states, we can “reasonably expect” that the industry will cut corners and violate standards.  There have been over 3000 violations in PA since 2009 and they are not minor violations.  They involve infractions such as:
  • 224 violations of “Failure to properly store, transport, process or dispose of residual waste.
  • 143 violations of “Discharge of pollutional material to the waters of Commonwealth.
  • 140 violations of “Pit and tanks not constructed with sufficient capacity to contain pollutional substances.
The residents of Illinois are depending on IDNR to protect their health, their safety, and the safety of their water, air, and soil.  IDNR needs to return the legislation’s intent and mandate that hydraulic fracturing operations will only be conducted in a manner that will protect the public health and safety and prevent pollution or diminution of any water source.”
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alt

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