Sunday, August 3, 2014

How a club of billionaires is trying to outlaw US oil & natural gas production

Fracking of oil & natural gas wells has been essential to production in the United States for over 60 years and has an equally long safety record. Oil and gas reservoirs are typically located several thousand feet below the surface where fracking takes place, whereas groundwater is obtained from much more superficial levels of only a few hundred feet. The US Department of Energy, US Geological Survey, and industry testing have found no evidence over the past 60 years of contamination of groundwater from fracking, which is done at much greater depths. “Fracking” has been performed more than 2.5 million times worldwide since the 1940s without a single verified case of groundwater contamination, according to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. The process has been improved upon continuously since then.

Without fracking of reservoirs, the US oil & gas boom would quickly come to a halt, the economic boom to the entire economy, jobs, low-cost energy advantages to industry, and the poor would disappear, most wells would become uneconomic to produce, and would quickly deplete production. Almost all oil and gas wells in the US require fracking at completion and then additionally several times during their lifetime. If fracking is outlawed, instead of increasing independence from OPEC and on track to be energy independent by 2030, the US would instead become entirely dependent upon foreign sources of oil & natural gas and beholden to foreign powers for energy security

Even if you are a true believer in climate catastrophe, fracking provides cheap natural gas with half the CO2 emissions of coal, acting as an essential bridge to the future. Other inconvenient truths include: fracking has cut CO2 emissions 4 times faster than Obama's failed cap & trade legislation and U.S. carbon emissions have been on a declining trend thanks to fracking.

But, according to a US Senate Report, a secretive cabal of billionaires and their foundations are attempting to outlaw US oil and gas production through the back door by outlawing essential fracking. Despite lack of any scientific evidence that fracking is harmful, these organizations pay scientific whores to create dubious papers and reports claiming fracking is harmful to humans and animals, and then provide these bogus reports and millions in support to green groups to collect signatures for local and state initiatives to ban fracking on ballots around the country. 

From Forbes:
The Senate Billionaire Report looks at the efforts in New York and Colorado to prohibit and hamstring hydraulic fracturing:
A pseudo-grassroots effort to attack hydraulic fracturing has germinated from massive amounts of funding by three foundations: Schmidt Family Foundation, Tides Foundation and Park Foundation…In typical secretive billionaire donor fashion, the foundations’ funding was funneled through fiscal sponsors. Funding through these intermediary organizations, such as the Sustainable Markets Foundation (SMF) and Food & Water Watch, create distance between the wealthy foundations and alleged community-based outfits…
One scheme, led by the New York-based Park Foundation and California-based Schmidt Family Foundation, provides numerous grants to the New York-based SMF, which serves as the fiscal sponsor for multiple New York groups engaged in this effort, including Water Defense, Frack Action and Artists Against Fracking. During 2011, SMF gave $147,750 to Water Defense. The following year, SMF funneled a $150,000 grant “to support Water Defense” from Schmidt. Notably, Water Defense was founded in 2010 by actor Mark Ruffalo, who has an estimated net worth of $20 million and was listed on Time Magazines’ 2011 “People Who Mattered” for his anti-fracking efforts. In 2011, SMF gave Frack Action $324,198, with $150,000 stemming from Schmidt grants to SMF. Ironically, one of the Schmidt grants specified that $100,000 go “to support Frack Action’s grassroots campaign fighting for a ban on horizontal hydraulic fracturing” (emphasis added).

However, the mere funding from the California-based Schmidt demonstrates Frack Action’s campaign is anything but grassroots. In 2012, SMF received $185,000 for Frack Action through grants from Park and Schmidt. While the amount of money funneled to Yoko Ono’s Artists Against Fracking cannot be identified, as SMF’s 2012 IRS Form-990 is unavailable, Artists Against Fracking’s now-removed website directs donations to SMF.
This process is illustrated here:

Let's examine one of the anti-fracking papers funded by shadowy green groups and published in a pay-for-play "journal" called "New Solutions" published by for-profit "Baywood Publishing Company." This paper is the source of the propaganda published yesterday at uber-liberal propaganda rag

Fracking’s untold health threat: How toxic contamination is destroying lives

"America's natural gas boom has real consequences for children and animals, researchers tell Salon"

The "study" cited in the Salon article in fact says 
"Although reports of petroleum hydrocarbon exposure in humans [8-14], primates [15], and several other species, including ruminants [16-26], horses [27], wildlife [28], and a dog [29], have been cited in the literature, there are few reports on exposure of animals to gas operations, and to our knowledge, no case reports on exposure of humans to hydrocarbon gas operations [30]. 

"This study is not an epidemiologic analysis of the health effects of gas drilling"

The "study" then goes on to describe 3 anecdotal case reports of cattle illnesses and deaths within 300 feet to 5 miles from oil and natural gas drilling operations. The "study" conveniently assumes these cattle illnesses and deaths were caused by fracking without any evidence:

"Basic diagnostics were done, but no cause of death was determined." 

and then concludes 

The most striking finding of our investigations was the difficulty in obtaining definitive information on the link between hydrocarbon gas drilling and health effects.

Although the lack of complete testing of water, air, soil and animal tissues hampers thorough analysis of the connection between gas drilling and health, policy changes could assist in the collection of more complete data sets and also partially mitigate the risk to humans and animals. Without complete studies, given the many apparent adverse impacts on human and animal health, a ban on shale gas drilling is essential for the protection of public health

Pure unadulterated junk science propaganda designed to fool the public into believing fracking is causing an "untold health threat and destroying lives" and that "a ban on shale gas drilling is essential for the protection of public health."


WSJ: Fracking has done more for the poor than all of Obama's ministrations combined

Study: Fracking is cleaner than conventional methods of gas production

North America is the fastest-growing energy production region in the world

Has billionaire Tom Steyer figured out that voters don't care about the climate change scam?

Report: Rising oil & gas production is adding $1,200 per year in discretionary income to average US family

Global Warming Solved: All we need is 14,600 additional nuclear power plants or 146,000,000 wind turbines

EU plans to waste $7 trillion on climate policies that will make no noticeable difference

WSJ Op-Ed: We have to kill eagles with wind turbines in order to save them

New report shows wind power doesn't reduce CO2 emissions

New study finds wind farms last only 50% of claimed lifetime

Optimistic long-term projections show renewable energy will be 3 times more expensive than fossil fuels

Inconvenient truth: Fracking has cut CO2 emissions 4 times faster than Obama's failed cap & trade legislation

The Renewable Energy Reality Check

The green dream is not compatible with billions of the poor in search of higher living standards
America's New Energy Security

'Green Jobs' vs. Real Energy Jobs

Anti-Fracking Laws vs. Property Rights. Cue the lawyers

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