Fracking saving the planet!

August 25th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Ronald Bailey at Reason blogs:

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions at 20-Year Low Thanks to  

In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

Many of the world’s leading climate scientists didn’t see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. …

Both government and industry experts said the biggest surprise is how quickly the electric industry turned away from coal. In 2005, coal was used to produce about half of all the electricity generated in the U.S. The Energy Information Agency said that fell to 34 percent in March, the lowest level since it began keeping records nearly 40 years ago.

It is fracking that has opened up the shale gas. The Greens should be promoting fracking, not trying to ban it.

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27 Responses to “Fracking saving the planet!”

  1. ChrisM (101 comments) says:

    Greens are all over the place like a mad woman’s shit in their arguments on this:
    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2012/08/16/smith-gets-it-wrong-on-fracking
    Gareth can hardly contain his glee in thinking he found an error in Nic Smith’s paper.
    The Greens don’t like carbon, no matter what. Their view is we all need to get back to the bucholic existance of two hundred years ago when all was happiness and peaceful.

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  2. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Thank frack for that! [clearly]

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  3. Paulus (2,559 comments) says:

    All Lies –

    We The GAA Party (GreensAgainstAnything) are always right, so there.

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  4. Spam (596 comments) says:

    But… But… The jackalman found an article that showed that fracking emits more greenhouse gasses than coal, so clearly you are lying!

    The fact that the article was written by an anti-fracking activist (and has been thoroughly debunked) is incidental, because apparently a new Zealand company that once did some fracking later had a pipeline leak.

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  5. rg (200 comments) says:

    It is logical to support fracking but since when have the Green Party ever been logical and more to the point when have the Greens ever be callled to account by the media for their lack of logic.

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  6. Ross12 (1,264 comments) says:

    It is the same with the Green’s hypocrisy about nuclear power. If they believe AGW is real they should support nuclear power as the best alternative solution to power generation. But as usual they are great at with doom and gloom problems but never have any practical solutions.

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  7. Alan Johnstone (1,080 comments) says:

    Carbon Dioxide isn’t a pollutant, it’s what trees need to live.

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  8. Mark (497 comments) says:

    The green party is anti-human and think we should exist in a hell on earth like Combodia during the times of Pol Pot.

    The still love his teachings but are unwilling to say so.

    A vote for the green party is a vote for death,

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  9. Peter (1,664 comments) says:

    They’re the smart party, don’t you know.

    Meaning we are just not smart enough to get their “vibe”. Or something.

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  10. Pongo (371 comments) says:

    The Grens hate this with a vegance, if there is abundant cheap supplies of a low carbon fuel there whole reason for existing disappears.
    They rely on us thinking the world will suffer an environmental catastrophe, if it’s averted it’s The Greenswho will suffer unimaginable devastation not mother earth. Good news all round I say.

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  11. hj (6,719 comments) says:

    U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions at 20-Year Low Thanks to Fracking
    ……
    1.Weren’t we supposed to discover an alternative to fossil fuels by now (rather than deny C02 is a greenhouse gas.
    2. the graph shows natural gas produces less ghg than coal but we still produce far too much.
    3. Fracking has it’s own problems such as aquifier contamination and prehaps methane.
    4 Bottom line National still believes economic growth can continue with our given state of technology and ghg is something we can ignore.
    5. resource depletion is still a problem. The oil price will have to double in 10 years to justify production ; airline fuel was 15% of budget 10 years ago now is 30%.

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  12. hj (6,719 comments) says:

    I love you guys!

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  13. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    An Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4mile swim, a 112mile bicycle ride,
    and a full marathon run (26 miles, 385 yards).

    A Half-Ironman Triathlon consists of a 1.2mile swim, a 56mile bicycle ride,
    and a half marathon run (13 miles, 192 yards, one foot, six inches).

    Since Iron has atomic number 26, and alumin[i]um atomic number 13,
    would it be appropriate to describe Half-Ironman events as “Alumin[i]um
    Man” events?

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  14. hj (6,719 comments) says:

    This is a guest post by Sadad al-Huseini, now a petroleum consultant and formerly executive vice president of Saudi Aramco for exploration and production, and is a response to the recent article in PIW (Petroleum Intelligence Weekly) by Leonardo Maugeri on his new study Oil: the Next Revolution, challenging his optimism about future oil supplies* (PIW Jul.2’12). This article originally appeared in the July 23, 2012 edition of PIW.
    - TOD editor “aeberman”

    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-08-22/don%E2%80%99t-count-revolution-oil-supply

    *http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/07/monbiot_says_peak_oil_predictions_wrong.html

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  15. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    This was noted Twelve months ago by the energy traders in NY, it is because natural gas is very cheap and is cheap to extract from the ground. The US has hundreds of years of supply under ground and the Canadians have more. It is replacing oil, which the middle east is pissing blood over, which means that oil is holding up in price by thin air. It is all to do with perceived weak US dollar.There is more to come on this.

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  16. Rightandleft (655 comments) says:

    The Greens have some shockingly anti-scientific policies, like their position of GM crops/food and nuclear power. Some of their policies make good sense to me and are actually quite libertarian, like legalising pot, keeping the drinking age at 18 and stopping schools from illegally extorting parents for unpaid voluntary donations. But then they come up with crazy stuff like opposing fracking or expanding and entrenching race-based voting.

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  17. DJP6-25 (1,308 comments) says:

    Jimbob 3:39pm. In the current National Review online, there’s something else the ‘Greens’ would oppose. There’s an article entitled Legalize Methanol by Robert Zubrin.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  18. flipper (3,834 comments) says:

    HJ…..
    Did you not realise that in real terms oil/gasoline is now (still) cheaper than it was 30 years ago? Kiwiblog carried this ex-Stuff post just last week.

    And terms of other matters (flase flags!) you have raised,try The Belmont Club piece by Georege Will:

    “The modern disaster cycle began in 1972, when “when we were warned (by computer models developed at MIT) that we were doomed. We were supposed to be pretty much extinct by now, or at least miserable. We are neither. So, what went wrong?” Will asks.

    “That year begat “The Limits to Growth,” a book from the Club of Rome, which called itself “a project on the predicament of mankind.” It sold 12 million copies, staggered the New York Times (“one of the most important documents of our age”) and argued that economic growth was doomed by intractable scarcities.
    The modelers examined 19 commodities and said that 12 would be gone long before now — aluminum, copper, gold, lead, mercury, molybdenum, natural gas, oil, silver, tin, tungsten and zinc …

    “Technological innovations have replaced mercury in batteries, dental fillings and thermometers; mercury consumption is down 98 percent, and its price was down 90 percent by 2000. Since 1970, when gold reserves were estimated at 10,980 tons, 81,410 tons have been mined, and estimated reserves are 51,000 tons. Since 1970, when known reserves of copper were 280 million tons, about 400 million tons have been produced globally, and reserves are estimated at almost 700 million tons. Aluminum consumption has increased 16-fold since 1950, the world has consumed four times the 1950 known reserves, and known reserves could sustain current consumption for 177 years. Potential U.S. gas resources have doubled in the past six years. And so on.
    The modelers missed something — human ingenuity in discovering, extracting and innovating.”

    ……,and so on in greater detail!.

    But for the definitive debunking of all the “we run out of this shit”…. read

    The Ultimate Resource 2
    by Julian L Simon (with an appreciation by Milton Friedman) ISBN 0-691-00381-5

    By the way, did you know that someone once predicted there would be no more trees?

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  19. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    Jimbob#

    As a Saudi Prince once said – “Mankind did not move on from the stonage due to lack of stone.”

    When oil moves up in price it makes what seemed unafordable before -gas for example- as afordable now. It is simply the result of supply and demand.Market behaviour.Price will dictate that we won’t run out of anything as the last remaining flecks of any commodity will make them as rare as the Mona Lisa.The price would be about the same – priceless.But long before that, oil will become unaffordable for general use.

    The Greens instead are totalatarian.Our kids, if they value their freedoms should hate them with every breath till the end of time.

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  20. flipper (3,834 comments) says:

    The price of gasoline (Stuff 25.08.2012):

    Petrol not as costly as in 1981

    ANNA TURNER

    Last updated 07:36 25/08/2012

    Despite record petrol prices, drivers are paying less at the pump in real terms than three decades ago, a Canterbury University academic says.

    On Tuesday, Z Energy raised the price of 91 octane by 3c a litre to just under $2.23 and the price of diesel by 3c to just under $1.57.

    The Automobile Association said the change meant petrol prices were now 1c above the last record, in May 2011. Diesel, at $1.56 a litre, was still some way off the 2008 record of $1.92 a litre.

    The rise caused grumbling by many Cantabrians, but senior economics lecturer Eric Crampton said petrol was more expensive in 1981.

    “Back then, petrol prices were less than 60c a litre. While that sounds wonderful, when you adjust for inflation, that is $2.46 per litre in today’s dollars – much more than we are paying now,” he said.

    “While petrol prices have increased substantially recently, they are not hitting ranges where I would expect substantial adverse consequences.

    “Also, people now buy cars that are far more efficient than the ones available even a decade ago, so the cost of driving per kilometre has not risen as substantially as the price rise in petrol over the last few decades.”

    Crampton said if petrol prices continued to increase it could have significant consumer effects, but that would be offset by growth in export markets. “People get very excited about petrol prices because they see them every day while driving. I’m far more worried about inflation in housing costs in Christchurch,” he said.

    Z Carlton Corner manager Urzula Ploszaj said people had been complaining about the price rise.

    “We do have customers complaining that it’s gone up and seeing other places are cheaper,” she said.

    “We’re the first to go up now, so it’s worse, whereas when someone else rises first they come here. It’s not good for us; we get a bad reputation. Everyone rises eventually.”

    Canterbury University professor Simon Kingham thought the rise in fuel prices provided the perfect opportunity for people to use a cheaper alternative that also “improves their health and reduces pollution”.

    “Previous behaviour change when fuel prices increase shows that people travel by car less to save money,” he said.

    “Increases in the use of the bicycle have been seen in such situations. The good thing about biking is that it is actually something people like.”

    Z Moorhouse manager Mukul Kumar said people had not changed their fuelling habits because of the price rise.

    “We do have people complain. We always have people complain, but most people understand it happens. They still fill up a tank.”

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  21. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Harriet – I found your post strangely arousing.

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  22. Stamper (32 comments) says:

    Flipper 5:17pm
    9 years ago an expert said we would have no bananas in 10 years time due to disease;
    another doom scenario which will be a fail.

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  23. The Peanut Monster (19 comments) says:

    That’s not stopping the Republican Party pushing for mass drilling in Romney’s energy plan. Apparently he wants the US to be energy independent by 2020. That’s alot of fracking and drilling…

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  24. hj (6,719 comments) says:

    In May 2010 the US Council of Scientific Society Presidents wrote to President Obama urging great caution against a national policy of developing shale gas without a better scientific basis for the policy. This umbrella organisation which represents 1.4 million US scientists argued that, because of methane leakage, shale gas might actually aggravate global warming, rather than help to mitigate it.(33)

    In January 2011 a report by the UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change made the same argument based on research into US drilling sites. They also said there was no evidence of a switch from coal to gas in the US – they found it was being burned in addition to coal.(34)

    Then came the first peer-reviewed study, by academics at Cornell University, which suggested that, because of methane releases caused during fracking, shale gas had a carbon footprint that could be as much as 20% higher than coal.(35)
    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-07-05/fracking-%E2%80%93-tale-gas-and-greed-and-global-warming

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  25. hj (6,719 comments) says:

    “The potential for natural gas is enormous,” President Obama said in a speech earlier this year.(8) But what he didn’t say in that speech was that in the US, which is much further down the shale gas road than anywhere else, there’s considerable controversy over the environmental implications of fracking.

    In 2009 Wyoming failed to meet federal standards for air quality for the first time in its history partly because of the fumes containing benzene and toluene from gas wells. In Texas a hospital operating in six counties with some of the heaviest drilling reported a 25% asthma rate for young children in 2010, more than triple the state rate of 7%.(9)

    Gas has seeped into underground drinking-water supplies in at least five US states.(10) In the town of Bradford in northern Pennsylvania, where two homes exploded at the end of last year, entire streets have been fitted with gas detectors as a precaution against methane gas migration.(11)(12)

    In April a gas well exploded in Pennsylvania sending toxic chemicals into the local river and forcing the evacuation of nearby homes.(13) A number of US towns have had to warn locals to boil tap water before drinking after water treatment plants were compromised by bromides in waste water from gas-drilling projects.(14)

    In the early days of the fracking boom companies refused to disclose the chemicals they were using. Then, when reports started emerging of highly toxic flowback water from the wells polluting water supplies, they were forced to change their tune.(15) State regulators in Wyoming and Texas have now ordered that drillers disclose all chemicals used.(16, 17, 18)

    Caudrilla, the company fracking near Blackpool in the UK, say they’re using just three chemicals, all of them present in food and cosmetics.(19) The makers of the recently released documentary “Gasland” say they’ve identified 600 chemicals used in US fracking operations, many of them carcinogenic.(20) A recent report by Democratic members of Congress found that drilling companies sometimes injected chemicals that even they could not identify. It also found that more than 650 of the chemicals used in fracking were carcinogens.(21)
    etc

    more to come no doubt

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  26. Spam (596 comments) says:

    Then came the first peer-reviewed study, by academics at Cornell University, which suggested that, because of methane releases caused during fracking, shale gas had a carbon footprint that could be as much as 20% higher than coal.(35)

    Then came several other peer reviewed studies, one also written by academics at Cornell (who had experience relative to the field, rather than Robert howarth (who is a marine ecologist paid by anti-fracking activists)) that thoroughly debunked that first paper.

    I actually read Howard’s paper: find one example of bad practice, assume it happens everywhere, so extrapolate it across all wells. It was that transparently bad.

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  27. Thrash Cardiom (298 comments) says:

    Petrol not as costly as in 1981

    Who cares what people were paying 31 years ago. My wallet is hurting now!

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