Look out for fracking (and how to stop it)


There's enough oil (maybe) under Central California to make petro companies vastly rich, and to keep people driving around in their carbon-spewing private cars for many years to come. Only problem is you have to use hydrofracking to bust up the shale deposits to get at it. And that involves toxic chemicals and possible contamination of water supplies.

But never mind the environmental problems -- the Obama administration just auctioned off drilling rights on 18,000 acres of land in Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties, valuable public open space that's now mostly used for agriculture.

That's potentially a serious problem, and there's a good piece that ran last year in the San Luis Obispo New Times that explains why. Nobody knows for sure what happens when you inject that much of a secret mix of chemicals into the ground below a water table that underlies prime ag land. But based on the entire history of human experience with chemicals and water, it can't be good.

Food and Water Watch is trying to get the state Legislature to enact a moratorium on fracking in California -- although that wouldn't stop the feds, who can still do what they please with Bureau of Land Management property in this or any other state, from allowing Chevron and ExxonMobil to frack up a storm in this lease area. There's a benefit concert Dec. 14, Friday night, to raise funds and awareness to stop fracking; it features a pedal-powered stage with Whiskerman and Shake Your Peace. Inner Mission, 2050 Bryant, SF. 8-11PM. $10.

It's a start.





US and, so far at least, none of the fears you express have materialized. the technology is continually improving and addressing many of the original concerns.

The fact that even a left-wing President is approving it's use satisfies most of us.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

and then think the exact opposite.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

Have you been to North Dakota and seen fracking in operation?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

Liar, liar, water's on fire.

Posted by Eddie on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

Of course injecting a toxic soup of millions of gallons poisonous chemicals into shale, to blow it apart and extract equally toxic fossil fuels, severely pollutes our watersheds.

To begin to get the real story about both the hazards and coverups of those hazards (instead of a cotton candy fairy story from a Wall Street owned financial media corporation) start at the well footnoted info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_hydraulic_fracturin...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

against almost any fporm of fossil fuel, your comments can be taken with a proverbial pinch of salt.

Again, not one person has died from fracking. I'll bet more people have died at Occupy and Green Party protests, than from fracking.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

since large amount of oil and gas lie quite near the surface and not at the levels where hydraulic fracking is necessary. Various types of extraction methods featuring steam, water and fire have all been used in CA's oil fields for around 100 years now.

Just to be clear Eric - are you opposed to both hydraulic AND steam fracking or only one?

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

which is why his predictability invalidates his arguments.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

I looked up so called 'steam fracking'. There is only one mention of it, and it is linked to a video. The text around the video claims the process is nontoxic, but watching the video reveals that corrosive acid injection is used in the process.

Most importantly, even if the injection process -were- clean, what comes out -after- the injection, petroleum, natural gas, and myriad toxic and radioactive materials naturally occurring in the fracked rock and shale, certainly is -not- clean and will contaminate the watershed.

Anyone who goes to the site that I provided above will see that it is exactly this trickery of focusing only on the injection and not on the effluent (what comes out of frack holes after injection) that fracking corporations are using to deceive the public and decision makers on the toxicty of fracking.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

That is kinda the idea Eric.

Personally I'd rather have the US in a position of less dependence on Middle East oil supplies, which has proven so ruinous for our foreign policy in so many ways. Shale gas has proven to be revolutionary in revitalizing our energy and industrial bases in this country - it's really quite amazing.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

So, to boil what you saying down to its essence, what you believe is that we should poison our own air, land, water and global atmosphere in order to gain independence from foreign oil.

Reminds me of burning the village to save it...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

see little real evidence of any harm done by fracking - just the usual suspects postulating the usual scaremongering and hoping some of it sticks.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

Here is a site with several very detailed accounts of fracking wreaking havock on people, and animals.


There are hundreds of such sites all over the web, which are clearly not hyped, and are very sober, reasonable accounts of the devastation caused by fracking.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

Since you admit you're in the Green Party, it's clear where your bias is.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

bias indicates a conflict of interest based in gain, usually financial gain

otherwise there is no particular reason to be biased

since green party members don't have any financial interest in putting forward their views, these blithering 'bias' accusations are nothing but foaming at the mouth in lieu of debate

why don't you respond to his post with an actual argument high-blood-pressure-face

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

admitting that you are biased from the outset. If you wouldn't believe a NeoCon on principle, then why would you any more believe a Green Party fanatic?

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 16, 2012 @ 7:04 am

that ideology is no basis for proof on either side, that leaves only assessing the actually links that any of you cite as proof, instead of assessing your dippy and equally biased assertion that no one should trust the green party simply because they are biased to a given point of view


everyone has a biased point of view, genius

the question is who is citing sufficient proof

so your two year old style pointing of fingers based on political ideology is therefore irrelevant

you are telling us that if a tea party ditto-head cites an article in the New York Times it is true, and if a green party member cites the same fucking article, he has a progressive bias and so it isn't true

do you get how moronic that makes you look?

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 16, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

boldly admits their intrinsic bias is not worth the paper it's not written on.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 6:49 am

they were citations of actual independent first hand evidence

thank you for confirming that you don't realize how idiotic you look to others when you open your mouth

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

SELECTIVE idnependent reports, chosen for the purpose of furthering an agenda rather than a genuine inquiry into the truth.

Hence, worthless.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

What does that have to do with the clear validity of those reports, which clearly show that fracking is causing severe damage to the environment and public health?

Demonizing the poster of facts doesn't negate those facts.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 11:15 am

id just like to point out you can not use steam fracking on shale you can only use hydro fracking and that goes for anything but Diatomite. Diatomite is the only formation you could steam frack because of its absorbent properties.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 11:21 pm

"...satisfies most of us." You mean the oil and gas industry that you work for? "...none of the fears you express have materialized." And the sky isn't blue, it's pink. No really - it looks blue but it's pink.
It's not hard to get educated about what fracking is really doing. Too bad pro-fracking trolls roam the SFBG. We need Warren G and Nate Dogg to regulate. Here's a brief video to introduce you to fracking:

Posted by Gabe Dominguez on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:57 am

Here is another excellent video which synopsizes the problems with fracking in just 17 minutes.


Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

Be honest - you don't want any oil or natural gas drilling or mining anywhere. You're also big on local control until, as in the communities of the CV who depend on extractive industries, the locals are too canny to be convinced by your propaganda - then you feel perfectly entitled to tell them how to live their lives.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

article critical of fracking, he bookmarks it and quotes it. every time he sees an article favorable to fracking, he ignores it and pretends it doesn't exists.

Somehow we are supposed to believe that all the government's experts are wrong and a toady little liberal in SF is right. Not very likely.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 6:10 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

He cites 100% of the articles that criticize fracking and 0% of the articles that support it.

Hardly a coincidence.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 17, 2012 @ 6:50 am

What does that have to do with the validity of the articles?

The articles show facts which make clear that fracking is severely harming the environment and public health.

Demonizing the poster of facts doesn't negate those facts.

Also, your idiotic notion that someone who is arguing a position needs to also cite articles that oppose his position, or he is somehow not credible, is frankly, laughable.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 11:20 am

and the previous comment is particularly absurd -- and revealing.

The claim that people are biased because they take some position without concurrently promoting a countervailing argument -- no matter how specious -- is analogous to the mechanism by which the mass media is controlled.

Every time some progressive action is being reported, modern journalists are trained to offer even the most absurd counterclaims from reactionaries as "balance."

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

somebody's loyalties and intrinsic agenda when deciding how mught or little weight to attach to their commentary. So I would, for instance, choose an independent study over a study funded by either the energy industry or a known hater of the energy business.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

... facts doesn't negate those facts."

What I said -- that you are strangely seeming to contest -- is that holding an opinion favoring one side does not equate to being biased.

Anybody heard from marcos lately?

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

There's a post over on the housing/muni thread that is 100% Marcos, but it's anonymized.

For the record, I don't think Eric was demonized - that's a poor chocie of words. I simply think that his vested interest in the topic was brought out into the open so that his contributions could be seen in that context.

If there were 50 studies showing fracking was safe, and 50 showing it to be unsafe, how much we trust the reports that a post cites may critically depend on who is doing the selection, don't you think?

I wouldn't expect Eric's pick to be any less biased then, say, Exxon's.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

assessing the applicability and balance of the facts that they present in a case, but facts qua facts are immutable.

In all cases a decision cannot be arrived at without assessing the specific facts and arguments from those who hold opposing views.

The assessment of specific biases of the parties is only useful once it is determined that a particular side is prone to making discredited arguments; that's how the scales are calibrated to yield a correct result contrary to that which numerical appearances might suggest.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

involved when collating and presenting facts. So the CEO of Exxon might come up with one set of "facts", while Eric comes up with a very different set of "facts".

What we really need are facts chosen by those who don't have any skin in the game and, on that basis, neither the CEO of Exxon or Eric qualify. They are both soiled and tainted by their inherent bias.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

regard to questions of matters that we cannot personally have any hope of understanding. That is when we most properly look for unbiased -- and educated -- people to tell us what to think.

In other cases, using an approach which tends to discount the opinions of those who have strong opinions -- which are indeed often completely supported by observable truth -- falls short of accuracy.

Truth cannot be learned from balancing opposing numbers and seeking the center.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

when the noise from both extremes is eliminated.

And I would assume that Obama has based his decision only after taking a range of opinions, including no doubt some poster children for both extremes here. His own government experts and scientists would no doubt have carried weight as well, and it's hard for those of us who really don't understand the science to credibily aver either way.

But noting the agenda of participants to the debate does appear to be a prudent precaution for anyone caring about adopting a reasoned and dispassionate position.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

The reason is that the left owes allegiance to the Enlightenment from which it is descendant, and Enlightenment thinking is unified by the reverence for facts. Wingers are far more likely to make spurious arguments. Always.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

that people who happen to agree with you are somehow more "right". It's bias like that that we are criticizing here.

Just the facts ma'am.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

What I am stating is that righties are more likely to abandon facts for rhetoric when such do not serve them because they are completely results-oriented.

Progressives, on the other hand, hold the values of the Enlightenment to heart; they are thus less prone to make illogical arguments based on spurious facts. Its in their make-up to be truthful.

I hold my own conduct in this regard to be exemplary of exactly such an ethic. I never knowingly make false arguments; I simply can't bring myself to do it.

If I can't support my position with facts, the worst I'll do is be quiet about it hoping some idea will come to me in the future. Righties just start uncontrollably spewing nonsense in such circumstances.

Posted by lillipublicans on Dec. 19, 2012 @ 3:09 pm


Here's a video of what happened when a local Virginia water supply was affected by fracking. Californians may get to demonstrate this little trick in a few months!

Posted by Guest on Dec. 14, 2012 @ 9:01 am

for 60+ years already.

Shit happens.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

other parts of the US and the world.

Oops, I mentioned it.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

Yeah, fracking is just great! The coolest things is- you can light your drinking water on fire! Right out of the faucet! Imagine how thrilled your guests will be when you have them over for dinner and you flambe their steaks under cold running water. How cool is that! Thanks Big Oil! We love you.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 15, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

U are stupid as shit go on the net and look up water tables in North Dakota I like to see u live there and have drink of there well water.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 31, 2013 @ 7:04 am

cited in your linked article was just shut down by SUNY Buffalo. The reason: the research was being underwritten by the fracking industry.



Thanks for providing a compelling example of the corruption of academia by corporate interests.


Posted by Eddie on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

activities like fracking have become much safer. That's why it's use is becoming much more common both in the US and overseas. People have said the same scaremongering things about every type of oil and gas extraction for 100 years. But unless you want to pay $100 a gallon for gas, this is what we need to do.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 3:05 pm
Posted by Eddie on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

You want to plug those up too?

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Dec. 13, 2012 @ 3:49 pm