What the Frack?

See entire June 8, 2011 newsletter

(Author’s note: I have a big announcement in the next section of this newsletter but I had to get this fracking conversation out of my head because I really DON’T think it’s all about me. So please read this and then read on.)

Three years ago, I guarantee you, I had no earthly idea what fracking was. I doubt that I even knew there was such a word and if I had heard it, I probably thought someone was substituting it for profanity. I think my life was simpler then but that was then and this is now. What I know now is just enough to make me dangerous, so reader beware.

“Horizontal hydrofracking,” commonly referred to as fracking, is deep-shale natural gas drilling that uses high-pressure injection of water, sand and chemicals to release the trapped gas.

Sounds good, mostly water and sand, high-pressure but then there’s that chemical part. And when you start “digging” you start reading about fairly well-documented spills, blowouts, leaking wells, and other accidents and release of contaminants. You research a little more (down the rabbit hole we go) and find out that it doesn’t appear that gas companies are under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And if you dig deeper and deeper and deeper, you still can’t find out EXACTLY what those chemicals are and your mind starts to wander/wonder. Why won’t they tell us EXACTLY what they are and their impact to the land that is being fracked?

When one keeps doing the rabbit hole thing, it’s easy to find reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, industrial disasters and explosions now commonly referred to as “fraccidents.” Could I make that up? So it comes as no surprise that every environmental group in this country is against fracking, that a movie (Gasland) was made about the horrors of the impact of fracking on humans, animals and the earth, that it could make a grown man cry, and that the number of lawsuits throughout the country is growing rapidly.

So we should all hate fracking, right? I am so very, very sorry but you are going to have to make up your own mind. Enter one Don Siegel, a Syracuse University hydrology professor who says he has enough scientific evidence to prove that drilling for natural gas in the state of New York was a better choice than almost any alternative. From what I can find, Siegel doesn’t work for a gas company, presents some compelling data about why we need to continue to tap into the cleanest and most abundant source of fossil fuel, and is very perplexed about why people continue to resist natural gas drilling. If you want to put your brain on “what is my opinion of fracking” overload, I encourage you to read the entire article like I did.

So what do I think? I think I am suspicious of big companies who won’t disclose what chemicals they are using in their fracking process. I wish they would just tell us and honestly disclose what the risks are (it’s that dreamer thing again) and what they are doing to minimize them. I think I am suspicious of many big companies because they are solely bottom line driven and will crush the little guy in the blink of an eye for earnings per share and if they think no one is looking. I also think that many radical groups often try to use fear to make their points or win our support for their position, frequently leaving out the other side of the story and omitting facts that may help us make informed decisions. Give me the whole story and let me make up my own mind. And I think some days I just get tired of thinking. What do you think?

THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
Mrs. Green is moving her radio show – to the Internet! After nearly a year of researching, meetings, talking with “experts” from around the country, researching more, and letting facts get in the way, we are taking Mrs. Green’s World’s talk radio show to the Internet. Our first show from the Mrs. Green in her new studioMrs. Green’s World Radio Network will be streaming live on July 2nd at 12:00 PM Arizona Time.

Our first guest will be Deron Beal, founder of Freecycle. Deron started Freecycle by sending emails out to a dozen or so friends, inviting them to come by his place and take some “stuff” he had accumulated – for free. Truth be told, Deron was a collector of all known things that were rapidly taking up any available living space, and his wife said – enough already! The Freecycle network is now made up of 4,949 groups and has over 8,514,235 members around the world. We can only hope that the magic of Freecycle is contagious and that Mrs. Green’s World will follow happily in their footsteps to spread the good green word around the globe.

Please mark your calendars to join Mrs. Green at 12 o’clock on Saturday, July 2nd on your computer, iPhone or Android! Oh the places we will go – again!