Travel the world

Colorado Earthquake Fracking Sucks

We’ve been talking for months on our GreenJoyment site about the dangers of fracking.

This is an oil industry practice where they pump water, arsenic (AS IN POISON), sand and other toxic substances deep into the earth.

This creates pockets under the ground, where natural gas and oil fills in and can be sucked out/retrieved.

In other words, fracking sucks.

In many peer-reviewed studies, fracking has been shown to poison water supplies and damage/destroy plant life growing above ground.

There has also been much speculation that fracking is related to much of the increase of seismic activity on the planet.

Today I learn, (while we are in Verdello, Italy), that Colorado, (where Carrie and I are from,) has experienced it’s biggest earthquake since 1967.

Not coincidentally, Colorado has not had this kind of earthquake activity since the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Not coincidentally, oil companies have recently drastically increased fracking practices all over Colorado, but particularly in Southern Colorado

Colorado actually had quite a few earthquakes in the 60’s.  Several studies were published which demonstrated that the government’s pumping of nuclear waste deep underground at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (and places like it) were causing these shifts.

What can Colorado do about it?

  • Buy electric. Build solar. Colorado experiences 300 days of sunshine a year.
  • Change buying habits to buy and use less stuff built on the premise that oil will always be available and unlimited.
  • Vote for people who will move to actually prevent this kind of practice.

I usually reserve this kind of commentary for our GreenJoyment site.

But this is an environmental issue which is (potentially human-caused) earthquakes hit the state where Carrie and I are from.

In studies which (not coincidentally) are sponsored by the oil/natural gas industry, fracking has been shown to be safe.

The industry has moved to discredit groups of people who are making documentaries about what is going on.

In fact, the EPA released a study in 2004 which showed that fracking was a safe practice and wouldn’t harm drinking water supplies.

research the agency published in 2004, which concluded that the process of hydraulic fracturing did not pose a threat to drinking water. The 2004 report has been widely criticized, in part because the agency didn’t conduct any water tests in reaching that conclusion

The 2004 report was used by the Bush administration and Congress to justify legislation exempting hydraulic fracturing from oversight under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The exemption came to be known in some quarters as the “Halliburton loophole” and has inhibited federal regulators ever since.

If fracking actually is safe, why does the industry (as well as the big companies behind this) fight actual independent studies every time someone tries to get one commissioned?

Why do they work to discredit anyone who questions the practice of fracking?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/08/fracking-study-denied-in-_n_820242.html
http://durangoherald.com/article/20110208/NEWS01/702089938/-1/s
http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/02/energy-depth-says-gaslands-star-lied-about-colorado-fracking
http://www.9news.com/news/local/article/214995/188/Windsor-residents-worried-about-fracking-near-their-homeshttp://www.greeleytribune.com/article/20110424/NEWS/704249995
http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_18661141

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo.—U.S. Senator Mark Udall says there is no reason to worry about the use of hydraulic fracturing to free up oil and gas deposits if it’s done properly. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves injecting vast amounts of water and chemicals to open deeply buried gas formations.
People living near drilling areas have complained about water and air quality.  According to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent ( http://bit.ly/n7X4uN), Udall says it’s a safe technology that has resulted in a lot of home-grown energy being produced.

“Home-grown energy”? That’s political jargon for “Stuff that was here long before we were that we’re not able to easily remove without sand, water, and poison blasting our way into the earth”.

“Home-grown jobs” might also come into play on this as political jargon.  There are so many more jobs to be had if the same kind of interest and investment is generated around solar and wind energy.

People in this part of the state have been fighting fracking for months.

http://www.huerfanojournal.com/node/3230
http://www.shelltosea.com/content/colorado-shell-gets-ok-fracking-spanish-peaks

The approval process was fraught with controversy, as the planning and zoning commission refused to let members of the public speak at preliminary meetings on the approval. Scott King, chair of the commission, threatened to forcibly remove citizens from meetings, according to Ceal Smith, of the San Luis Valley Renewable Communities Alliance.
When audience members protested this action, King responded with, “So sue us,” according to Smith.
The group, Citizens for Huerfano County, requested a public hearing with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, but was turned down because the request did not come from a local government body.

http://www.realaspen.com/article/685/EPA-selects-Colorado-site-as-part-of-ongoing-study-of-fracking-impacts-on-drinking-water

Oil and gas industry officials maintain that fracking, in which water, sand and undisclosed chemicals are injected deep into gas wells to force open tight sand and rock formations and free up more gas, has been going on for decades without a documented case of groundwater contamination. Critics charge that’s because the industry has been allowed to keep the chemicals used in the process secret for proprietary reasons there’s no way of knowing for sure.

Let’s say I’m just a planet loving greenie. Fine.

But do you think it’s good to be pumping arsenic into the ground and releasing methane and natural gas into man-made underground pockets in an effort to extract natural gas from under the space where people live?

I would love to find out who funds this publication, and if the lines match up with fracking practices in the map on page 3.

Do you think it’s good to leave poisoned “recovered” water sitting on the surface while it waits to be taken away for treatment?

And do you think it’s good to do so with potential water contamination risks, in particular in an area of the state where water is already scarce?

The groups in support of fracking are large, have big money, and are well-connected.  They say that the “technology” to do this is more than 65 years old.

I’m suggesting that it’s time for this “technology” to be retired.

Fracking sucks.

10 thoughts on “Colorado Earthquake Fracking Sucks

  1. JGirl

    THANK YOU!!!!!! I PRAY that more people become aware of what is going on with fracking. I have been following it for about 6 months now. Evil coporations… I will continue to make a stand by NOT depending on new goods, and will strive to drastically decrease my automobile fuel usage. SOMEDAY I will heat my house with WOOD…

    1. strive4impact Post author

      Hey JGirl,

      Thanks for your comments and glad you’re aware of the issues associated with fracking. I noticed a couple of things in your comment. You use the word “someday”. Someone once told me something about someday. “Someday never happens.” The same guy (John Addison) also told me a story about how “Most people’s *somedays* become a handful of people’s every days.”

      If you truly want a home heated by wood, they’re not hard to find. Just set a date by when you will live in a home heated by wood. Along these lines, one of my goals in the next 3 years (by end of 2014) is to have a property where I can experiment and learn about solar heating, cooling with nothing but fans and tubes under the ground, solar electricity, and gardening throughout the year (even during cold Colorado winters. I may also have a woodstove in my house, but I plan to maximize the use of the sun as much as possible for both heating and electricity.

      Have you heard of Earth Ships (Homes powered almost exclusively by the sun and earth through thermal mass)? Did you know you can spend the night in one and learn all about how they work?

      Also, out of curiosity, how did you find CarrieAndJonathan.com?

      In any case, thank-you for your comment and for being an aware person!

  2. Marth

    Wasn’t I the one that told you about the earthquakes in S.E. CO??
    I was to drive through, almost at the epi-center just in about 3 days
    when I heard there had been 8 earthquakes there and one was a 6.3 as
    I recall. Well, I still went south that direction, but more near the
    border line to Kansas, & then through SW Okla south down to see my
    son in Austin, that has HUGE FIRES RIGHT NOW BURNING EAST AND WEST
    OF AUSTIN. In fact, I was in Bastrop just this past Tuesday before the
    horrible fire destroyed hundreds of homes & those are such sweet people
    there!! Now there is a huge fire west of Austin at Dripping Springs, a
    darling little country tourist town!!! Our governor Rick Perry even held
    a “prayer meeting” before he decided to run for Presid. & 3 days later,
    we got sprinkles of rain–the 1st ALL SUMMER for some of us. (Of course, our great news never even mentioned the REAL REASON FOR THE PRAYER MEETING; they turned it into something political!!!) My grass
    is ALL HAY AND DEAD as is a lot of my flowers!! I’m putting water by my back fense to try to help the poor little wild animals & the birds. It’s just awful. We’ve NEVER HAD A RAIN PROBLEM IN THIS AREA. In fact,
    Houston is famous for all our FLASH FLOODS & we usually have more water than we want. Farmers are all selling their cattle and animals, etc.
    SO, IF YOU PRAY, PRAY FOR RAIN FOR TEXAS!!!!
    So, back to the earthquakes. The last 2 summers there have been
    a lot of earthquakes between Ft. Worth & Dallas, TX., one was a 6.3!!!! The water up there also taste AWFUL & people can’t stand to drink the stinking stuff, and everyone suspects it’s all due to ALL THE OIL AND GAS DRILLING UP THERE. Of course, those people will NEVER admit it’s their fault, but I THINK IT IS and everyone that lives up there & are MOVING OUT OF THERE, THINKS THAT IS THE PROBLEM ALSO!! I almost bought
    a house in Grapevine, just above the large earthquake (I don’t think
    anyone was hurt, but not sure), but after the earthquakes & people that had moved warned me about the stinking water, I CHANGED MY MIND.

    1. strive4impact Post author

      No, I read about them online, but it is really tragic that this is going on. What do you think can be actually done to slow/stop the practice of fracking on a global scale?

  3. Marty

    People MUST attend council meetings and voice their concerns with all the prof they can find. PERSONALLY try to use less oil & gas. I now own a Prius & try to drive slow enough to use the electric as much as possible. I keep my air on 78-79 & I use fans. When I was younger, I tried to grow vegetables, etc. A recent computer report stated that tests show that all vegetables contain massive amounts of pesticides and are telling people to only buy organic. People MUST DO THAT AND LET THE STORE MANAGERS KNOW how you feel. I am amazed at how few people even bother to SPEAK UP ABOUT ANYTHING. I’m still on the campaigne to ask every restaurant manager where the seafood is from and I tell them I will NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM ASIA where all the major restaurants get their seafood, & I heard the head of the FDA ADMIT (after TV stations proved it was dangerous) the seafood is full of chemicles and sewage & is uneatable, and yet they’ve done nothing to stop the imports (only 1%,some claim 2%, is ridiculous) of all incoming imported food is tested for anything. Thailand also has an amoeba that I have gotten from BOILED SHRIMP, and the doctor there told US that it’s common there & many people die from this. That’s why they sell it to us SO CHEAP. The upper class in Asia buy THEIR SEAFOOD FROM ALASKA (50% of Alaska’s exports!!) How many restaurant managers in America know this—NONE THAT I’VE QUESTIONED. I’m sure we NEVER TEST FOR THIS Amoeba, only e-coli & Salmonella, and yet, we recently had a 16 yr. old in FL, and a young man in KY DIE FROM A MYSTERIOUS AMOEBA & the doctors GUESSED it might be from some lake they were in, but NO ONE EVEN SUGGESTED IT WAS THE SAME AMOEBA FROM SEAFOOD SOLD IN AMERICA THAT WE GOT FROM BOILED SHRIMP IN BANGKOK in one of the nicest tourist hotels in town. If you did not get this, consider yourself lucky, but I will no longer take that risk. I have walked out of MANY an American restaurant when they can not tell me where the food is from. One TV station tested Pork from asia & they found RAT MEAT mixed in with the pork!!!
    How about that?? Other countries are NOT interested in OUR HEALTH or LIVES, and obviously neither are most of our restaurants. IF the manager tells you the food is from World Foods or International foods, that tells you it’s ASIA!

  4. Kathy

    I imagine they are really getting rid of their toxic waste while they’re at it, just like they do with fluoride. http://youtu.be/LLWk3cBnHOg
    With everything else going on, it gets harder all the time to write it off as coincidence, accident, ignorance or even greed. Sinister, cruel and anti life is more like it.
    What to do is obvious, dismantle the governments that say it’s ok to destroy and protect those who destroy earthly living things. These “people” obviously don’t live here on this earth or they are somehow immune to the damage and destruction they reap upon it.
    It seems doubtful that humans will be able to take a stand. We’ve been fragmented,individualized, drugged, poisoned and lulled to sleep. No one takes much notice until it comes to their own door and by then it’s too late.
    Fracking is just a tiny part of the bigger picture of the same ugly things going on in many different ways.
    Maybe they are just trying to bring people down in spirit and preoccupying us to prevent us from evolving or finding out the truth about what we are and what we can be.
    Or it’s the old trick of creating all these problems that will make people accept a predetermined “solution” – a change people wouldn’t ordinarily accept. Probably both.

  5. Are U Serious

    I see you have traveled a lot, I hope you did not take a plane or from anything powered by nasty carbon based fuels.

    You must have taken a sailing ship.

    What type of vehicle do you drive, I hope it is a Volt.

    1. strive4impact Post author

      Hey “Wall Street Pirate/Are U Serious”,

      Thank-you for your comments.

      I will have to re-read this post, but I think I said that man-made earthquakes and man-made water contamination are a serious threat to humans.

      I will double check to see if I said “nasty carbon-based fuels” somewhere in the post, because you seem to have put some meaning behind this post that I didn’t intend.

      Also, I do need to do more research on this topic, and probably should have before writing this post.

      All of that having been said…

      We have traveled a lot. We’ve been fortunate to do this. We usually book the cheap seats on available planes which are already flying but often less full. We usually fly on days of the week when planes are going anyway, but fly less full. Our self-chosen (and aggressively worked on) non-commuting lifestyle from 2005-2010 allowed us to do this.

      Neither of us has owned a car since September 2009.

      In 2010, both Carrie and I walked to work, or took the bus to work, for 5 months, every day. For the last three months of 2010 and first 2 months of 2011, we lived within 3 blocks of both of our workplaces, so we walked.

      It’s just a guess, but I would say I easily walked 1,200 miles (3+ miles/day) in 2011 alone.

      Now that we are back in the US, my wife takes the electric light rail to her job here in Denver every day. My job has me answering the phone and working online from home. We moved into an apartment complex that was close to public transportation so that we could get anywhere we needed to go without driving.

      We still do not own a vehicle.

      We have been looking at the Nissan Leaf, but our apartment complex has yet to install charging stations, and we intend to wait to buy our home, because we believe an additional dip will happen in the real estate market before it recovers.

      Just out of curiosity, what gave you the impression I was saying “Oil is bad”?

      What I was saying is the the means of extraction gives me cause for alarm. Pumping millions of gallons of salt water deep underground at incredibly high pressures, and including in that water a mixture of chemicals that the oil and gas industry calls “trade secrets”, but includes poisons like arsenic… That seems like a very dangerous practice to me.

      This is especially true when those poisions are pumped underneath people’s homes (deep underneath, I realize), and do have the ability (whether by human mismanagement or simple physics) to pollute wells, groundwater and (according to the governments of several countries and states), cause minor earthquakes.

      Generally speaking, of course oil and natural gas plays a crucial role in the life we all lead today, and an increasingly important role.

      But even though oil is abundant on the planet (Canadian tar sands for example), the process of extraction is becoming ever more dangerous, and ever more costly (both in development and in cleanup). This makes our current human dependence on oil unsustainable.

      Fracking is an old technology, but horizontal bores are relatively new. As well, the current levels of explosives and pressurizations are infintely greater than what’s been used in the past. No one knows, for sure, that humans are not causing significant long-term damage with this practice, not to mention the links to earthquakes all over the world from underground pumping.

      I believe this makes the cost of fracking higher than what is reported, both in human cost today and in lost opportunity in the future.

      If we would like to have a world that is peaceful and balanced, it’s important to transition from our current path of unsustainable development into a model that is more based around the natural resource wealth that comes in such abundance and is simply not being harvested in the way it could be.

      Perhaps that’s what I should have said, and left it at that.

      But again, I am curious… what is it that I said in this post that made you think I was saying “nasty carbon-based fuels”?

  6. DBM

    You guys need to get on some serious medication. There is no amount of water that can be injected into wells to affect fissures. Also you are so blinded by your own feel good BS that fail to even conceive of other stronger influences that are the actual cause like the fact that back in 06 the earth stopped wobbling putting a tremendous strain on the earths crust. Since then we have experienced a huge increase in earthquakes and volcanic activity worldwide. Iceland, lower rim if the pacific ring of fire, Siberia, Hawaii (increased activity on the big Island and a new underwater volcano) increased seismic activity under Mt Rainer, and in the middle east around Iran.
    And I see you like your energy sucking computers and I’ll bet you drive a gas sucking car and use heat in the winter and AC in the summer. News flash!! there is no such thing as an energy fairy so deal with the fact that until we discover a better energy source gas and oil will be what we use.

    1. strive4impact Post author

      Hi DBM,

      It’s nice to meet you too. You’ve clearly already formed a strong opinion about who we are (or at least who we appear to be to you) from having read 1 blog post on a controversial topic here on our site. I’m not sure there’s much that can be done about that at this point, though I do wish people would be less quick to make snap judgments about others. Regardless, I thank you for the time you took to read this post and comment on our site, and I wish you the best in your endeavors.

      Kind Regards,

      Jonathan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.