Well, go figure.
Just as my little town gears up for a battle against the giant Kinder-Morgan Company and its proposed natural gas pipeline, we are told that our electricity costs are going to skyrocket by 37% this winter.
Why, you ask?
Well, obviously! Because there is a desperate shortage of natural gas, and that’s how the electricity is generated.
The big energy companies obviously figure that we’ll all panic at the high costs, and will immediately throw ourselves into supporting the pipeline.
The Tennessee Gas Pipeline (a subsidiary of said Kinder-Morgan) is supposed to stretch from upstate NY to almost the coast of Massachusetts, running through pristine wetlands, forests, fields and streams. If built, it will run right through neighborhoods, and even through backyards. You see, once the fossil fuel giants convince the government that we desperately need the natural gas, they will be allowed to take any property by eminent domain.
So what is a rural homeowner to do? I don’t want to pay 37% more for my winter energy! Yikes! Should I support the pipeline? Maybe we really do need more gas!
But that gas will be accessed through fracking. Is this process safe? I did some research, which was harder than you’d think. I dismissed any reports generated by either the gas industry or any environmental organization. I went to the NY Times, which ran a very non-committal pros and cons article, telling us that though there may be dangers, there may also be benefits. Here is an excerpt from the article: (NY Times: “The Facts on Fracking”)
“The fracking cocktail includes acids, detergents and poisons that are not regulated by federal laws but can be problematic if they seep into drinking water. Fracking since the 1990s has used greater volumes of cocktail-laden water, injected at higher pressures. Methane gas can escape into the environment out of any gas well, creating the real though remote possibility of dangerous explosions. Water from all gas wells often returns to the surface containing extremely low but measurable concentrations of radioactive elements and huge concentrations of salt. This brine can be detrimental if not disposed of properly. Injection of brine into deep wells for disposal has in rare cases triggered small earthquakes.
In addition to these local effects, natural gas extraction has global environmental consequences, because the methane gas that is accessed through extraction and the carbon dioxide released during methane burning are both greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change. New fracking technologies allow for the extraction of more gas, thus contributing more to climate change than previous natural gas extraction.”
Earthquakes? Unregulated acids and poisons in the water? Radioactive elements in the soil? And this article was neutral on fracking?!!?
But, gee, aren’t we in desperate need of natural gas?
Funny thing about that. I was watching the news on CNN the other day (you know, just to keep my blood pressure up, I track the beheadings and bombings and Ebola deaths). While watching the endless parade of “Breaking News” stories, I noticed that pretty much every 7-9 minutes, I saw an ad featuring happy, smiling people who were extolling the virtues of natural gas. And one ad in particular, by ChooseEnergy.Org, kept breathlessly informing us that “America is now the #1 producer of natural gas in the world!!”
So…..could it be?……Do you think that, possibly, just maybe……a giant multinational corporation and its giant multinational buddies might be putting the squeeze on us in Massachusetts, just so they can force through a dangerous, unnecessary pipeline in order to make even more money?
Shocking, isn’t it?
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8 thoughts on “Well, gee. What a coincidence.”
A couple of points: there is a serious contamination of ground water associated with fracking. But it’s not the chemicals used during the fracking that is the problem. It’s when those chemicals are stored long-term in deep-wells. According to studies done here in Texas by independent sources, earthquakes from the deep-well storage of used fracking chemicals are not all that rare. And the fact that the new earthquakes are considered “small” is a side-effect of placing the wells in locations that have NEVER before been prone to any earthquakes. Imagine what’s going to happen when they run out of “safe” places to put the wells. I wonder what size those earthquakes are going to be…
All great points, Daddy Bear. This is insanity, pure and simple. Windmills and solar panels anyone!!!???
Everything I’ve read about fracking makes me say “ARE YOU F’ING NUTS? What are you thinking???”
That said, part of my yard actually covers an underground natural gas pipeline. There are pipelines that criss-cross Virginia. We’ve got an acre of land that we can’t build or plant on. But it is a nice buffer between us and the neighbors. It’s a great soccer field and the deer love it (I can’t believe I can say something so very like George H.W. Bush, but there you have it.) So far it has not leaked or exploded. Of course, the pipeline predates our ownership — they didn’t take part of our land and put a pipeline under it.
The thing is, this proposed pipe will cut literally through wetlands, historic sites, several streams, farmland, and (at least in a few cases) the used backyards of families. And part of the reason that Mass claims it needs more gas is that so many of the existing pipelines, further south in the state, are leaking badly. And it only adds insult to injury when they tell us joyfully what we are currently exporting natural gas. Another unacknowledged truth here is that there are planned “offshoot” pipes running up through Maine into Canada. This gas is not intended for our use; it will be sold, just like the fuel in the famous XL Pipeline
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“The fracking cocktail includes acids, detergents and poisons that are not regulated by federal laws” That’s a key for me and I believe that they are not regulated because they are so deadly and dangerous that not even the lying liars in our government could find a way to approve them if and when they were ever asked to.
I believe that you are correct. I feel so totally helpless; this monstrosity is going to run right through this beautiful part of the country, just to make more billions for billionaires.
Isn’t this just so backwards and STUPID?! I saw a book on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night called This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein. I hope to read it soon, but it seems like her point generally is that we have to make some radical changes, and she did bring up pipelines on the show.
And another thing about these pipelines that I find funny are the political ads, specifically one smearing a Dem in our area, saying “he opposed the pipeline.” I’m like, is that something I should be enraged over? Who is mad about that!?
Oh, I love Naomi Klein!
I am just fascinated, in a sick sort of way, watching CNN and the BBC and the major papers all going crazy over ISIS. Keeping us all hopelessly distracted by false fears and making sure that we don’t start noticing what those in control are doing to us in the name of endless profits. Trying to support 350.org, Nofrackedgas, etc.