Is there a "green" way to frack?

An erstwhile chair of the Rainforest Action Network says yes

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Michael Klein is an unlikely oil industry executive. He's also an unlikely environmental activist. For many years, the wealthy San Franciscan was a major donor and chair of the board of the Rainforest Action Network, an environmental organization famous for agitating aggressively against timber giants, coal companies, air polluters, and the dirty energy financiers of Wall Street.

But Klein stepped down from that role, and has since helped form a company called Hydrozonix, which might be called a "green" fracking enterprise.

Klein's company seeks to eliminate the use of two particularly nasty fracking-fluid chemicals, known as biocides and scale inhibitors, while giving companies a way to treat and recycle wastewater fluid. Hydrozonix just completed its first year of operations, with 12 systems up and running in Texas oil fields. Does this mean Klein has crossed over to the dark side? "It was never an easy decision," Klein told us. "I never thought I would tell anybody that I'm in the oil business." He hasn't exactly turned into a climate change denier. "I believe we have to stop using carbon-based fuels as soon as possible," Klein says without hesitation, "and find the political will to put a price on carbon." He also supports a temporary moratorium on fracking. But he claims he's only trying to make fracking "dramatically safer" in the interim, because "until we stop subsidizing [fossil fuels], the alternatives are at a severe disadvantage." But since entering the biz, he's no longer convinced by the arguments made by proponents of fracking bans who cite health and safety concerns. "I've come to the conclusion that if best practices are used, it's ... considerably safer than deepwater drilling," he told the Guardian. "I do believe it can be done without concerns about contaminating aquifers or poisoning everyone."

Comments

As with the energy business in general, technology has eroded the environmental objections.

And always will. Brains always outsmarts fear and ignorance.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 6:08 am

There Is Definitely No Such Thing As 'Green' Fracking

A recent Cornell study shows that fracked natural gas creates even worse green house gas emissions than coal. See http://inhabitat.com/updated-cornell-study-shows-fracking-causes-more-gl...

And in the case of oil, a fossil fuel which each of us knows full well must be immediately and rapidly phased out of use, there is no justification whatsoever to drill for more of it using -any- method.

On the subject of 'green' fracking, there cannot be such a thing, because the rock itself that is being cracked to get gas and oil out of it, contains myriad natural toxins and radioactive materials that are also released in the fracking process; including the obvious - the natural gas and petroleum themselves - which, guess what, are toxic...

So it is simply impossible for fracking to be clean or 'green' and California should ban fracking immediately.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

And yet you changed your mind on CleanPowerSF....

Posted by Richmondmam on Apr. 19, 2013 @ 5:17 am

Other advocates and I are simply organizing to get CleanPowerSF back onto its proper course, to be based on a foundation of hundreds of megawatts of renewables and efficiency, which, as they are installed, will create jobs for thousands of local workers.

The only thing we are opposing is the current preliminary plan being put forward by the SF Public Utilities Commission staff; a plan which will take CleanPowerSF in the wrong direction if adopted.

This is actually nothing new. Several times over the last decade, SFPUC General Manager Barbara Hale and her 'Power Enterprise' staff (who possess almost no experience in installing modern integrated renewable energy programs whatsoever) foolishly detour the program badly in the wrong direction, afterwhich it becomes the job of activists to get the program steered back on track.

We support the CleanPowerSF program wholeheartedly. But we don't support the way that the SFPUC staff is currently proposing to implement it.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 19, 2013 @ 11:52 am

humankind is no longer dependent on clean groundwater to survive.

Posted by *Spells "Evian," backwards on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

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