Hydrofracking and the American Propagandist

 Has the advent of the internet advanced Americas collective intelligence or has the internet made us one of the most ignorant nations in the world?  Never in our history has so much information been available to the fingertips of anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection, unfortunately much of this "information" is misleading propaganda or outright lies.

My generation grew up trusting in text books and encyclopedias, every home had a set of "Britannica" or "Funk & Wagnalls" in the bookshelf. We marveled at them as children, scanning through photos of far away places and trusting as factual the information they presented.

 Then along came the internet with its collective wealth of "information". For a population that has trusted information text books and encyclopedias throughout its history, it was only natural for many of us to believe information obtained on the internet as "factual". Our mindset has always been "it must be true or they could not write it"

Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure there is an infinite wealth of factual information now available to us all, but propagandist have taken advantage of the internet as a means of delivering their  agenda to the minds of millions, inciting anger & instilling fear as their most trusted tactic.

Again many of my generation believe "if it's in print then it must be true"

Hydrofracking is as an example of this in the petroleum industry today.  A misinformed and outright deceived general public is mounting on the bandwagon of 'anti fracking" at the moment. Lies and propaganda meant to instill fear and inflame the public runs rampant on the internet and in biased liberal newspaper columns and articles across the country. Petroleum industry haters & bashers capture the headlines around the internet everyday.Democrats, out of touch with reality seem to think "Fracking" was just invented in the last few years when in fact it has been done safely for over 60 years!

Our history, our heritage and our greatness as a nation was built with petroleum. All modern wars since World War I have been fought and won by petroleum. With petroleum we have protected the freedom of our nation. Our oil and gas reserves and the wildcatters that have discovered them are directly responsible for our greatness. Freedom to move about the country in automobiles in search of the American dream is powered by petroleum. Americas interstate highway system, started as a vision of President Eisenhower, enabled the movement of goods in our country on an unprecedented scale that has contributed to our manufacturing superpower status. No matter where you are right now, anything within your reach that was manufactured was made possible by petroleum.

Over the last century thousands upon thousands of oil and gas wells have been drilled in America to fuel our great nations prosperity. These wells have one thing in common


That is a fact-there is no debate nor any chance that the statement is some sort of propaganda. Wells drilled in America have been fracked for over 60 years.

 Bloggers and liberal newspapers like The New York Times want you to believe that 'Hydrofracking" is something new that presents untold  dangers to all Americans, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Still my generation and others of Americans are on the bandwagon insisting that all "hydrofracking be stopped now." Liberal bloggers and newspapers want you to believe that no studies have ever been conducted to determine if fracking can be done safely when IN FACT many studies over the years have concluded that fracks performed with current safeguards are completely safe. the EPA conducted a study during the Bush-era that confirmed all results of countless previous studies which was


In fact, with over 60 years of hydrofracking countless thousands of oil and gas wells in America there is not 1 single instance where fracking has been proven to contaminate ground water. Propagandists like The New York Times do their best to instill fear with unfounded claims but they cannot quote a single report in over 60 years that's shows hydrofracking has contaminated the groundwater through the wellbore.

Newspapers and bloggers search out individuals that have tap water in their homes that will ignite from the faucet in attempts to shore up their claims against fracking. Claims they know are unsupported and false. Other homeowners in the areas where this occurs explain that this condition existed long before drilling and fracking started in their areas-in fact it has existed since the first water well was drilled over 100 years ago!

 These areas contain shallow formations of coal that produce what is known as "Coal Bed Methane" (a form of natural gas) These coal beds are  fractured from naturally occurring geological processes. The coal bed methane has been migrating to the surface here for centuries, entering the groundwater as it nears the surface.

Still the anti fracking propaganda continues and an American public, ignorant to the facts, continue to mount the bandwagon in protest according to the master plan by alternative energy Democrats and other liberals that continue their attempts to incite anger against an industry that built America and powered the industrial revolution with our reserves of fossil fuels.

To remain free as a nation, to remain a world leader in manufacturing and to create prosperity for our children, Americans must see through the liberal propaganda and outright lies that the media so willingly spreads in support of the liberal agenda and embrace the spirit of petroleum exploration that made America the greatest nation on earth.

Comment by Sherry Hart on July 20, 2011 at 8:45am

We who live in the Marcellus Shale region are very aware of the truth in what you say, Curtis.  It is furthered by other groups with agendas who don't care if the anti-drill arguments are based on fact.  As long as it furthers their agenda, they could care less and will assist in propagating the misinformation.  Add to that the local media who have found a new angle and will post every alleged incident to drive up their advertising dollars because negativity sells.

Case in point regarding the media: A couple months back a young hair stylist residing in Bradford County PA, Crystal Stroud, started spouting off that she was suffering medical problems because of living in close proximity to a natural gas well.  She alleged she was suffering from barium poisoning which was causing, among other things, her hair to fall out.  It was front page news for many of the local papers as well as regional groups and she was the "star" of many anti-drill demonstrations, including at least one at the state capitol.  Within the last couple of weeks, it was determined by the State's DEP that, first, her symptoms had occurred before they had even fraced the well, and second, barium had not been used in the drilling process on this particular well.  Of course the final determination of drilling nor fracing being the cause of her woes has been relegated to the back pages of those same newspapers if they seen fit to print it at all.

Of course, all this anti-drill (anti-American energy productivity, if you ask me) started with the young movie producer, Josh Fox.  Where his money came from for the first Gasland is suspect, but unproven.  Oh, yes, did you notice - first Gasland... HBO has apparently seen fit for him to film a second mocumentary by giving him $750,000.  I'm behind on getting my next blog out, but in the scheme of things, with NY's release of the newest SGEIS regulations and some other advocacy and information sharing activities, I haven't been able to fit it in just quite yet.  However, he is "hard at work" getting footage for his next film...  will try to fit in some writing this weekend.

But I diverge... How I wish Curtis wasn't so spot on with this blog.  The general public is just NOT getting the overall big picture.  Complacency and apathy are our enemy, folks.  If you think this isn't true, just do an Internet search on NY and "fracking".  Special interest groups have succeeded in keeping drilling at bay with a moratorium in that state for three years and are continuing to fight it every step of the way.  They have taken on not just the drilling and fracing though, they take on ANYTHING that has to do with NG production - pipelines, waste disposal, water withdrawals, drilling permits...

Sorry for going on and on about this, but NY's craziness has trickled over to PA, with communities attempting through various ways to ban drilling.  Their goal is to take it nationwide.  I believe the chances of this occurring are little to none, but I am also tired of all the suspicion regarding my husband's industry when, especially given the financial state of our nation, many ignorant people are trying to keep American from using their own resources and, quite possibly, keeping us from being a market player with a commodity we might have enough of to sell to other countries.

(Stepping of Soapbox now...) good day!

Comment by Chris Keilberg on July 20, 2011 at 9:59am It should also be pointed out that many the ominous sounding chemical names the anti-frac propaganda folks point to are actually FOOD GRADE components purchased from the same suppliers and batches that provide them for many foods and beverages on grocery store shelves. Comment by Drilling Ahead on July 20, 2011 at 5:51pm

Here is a "Topix" post from Dave in Middleburh New York-Wonder why the New York times didn't interview this guy for thier story?

I have a 500' water well which has Naturally occurring natural gas in my water.
You can light the gas on fire from the faucets or in a jar after filling it. There are three things I would like to do, one is to vent off the gas to make the water safe to use in the house. Two, to use the vented gas from the well water, and three to suck out the gas from the well itself to use.

Now I'm a plumber by trade so I know much about how things work and have many ideas in my head but would like some real ideas that have worked before by others who have done this before to save me time experimenting what will work.

I know I can vent the gas with a steel tank that has a vent on the side that is used for the old type well tank that has a bleed back to maintain the level of air in the tank but not use it in that way but to vent out the gas. But how do I get the gas into another tank to use the gas? I need some ideas on this.
I also thought of buying a large 3000-5000 gal plastic tank and pumping up the water and let it settle off the gas and then somehow take off the gas from the top of the tank to use but not sure about that. Then I could use the water from the bottom of the tank with another pump. Now there is another well that is not being used that I thought I could pump the water from the deep well with gas in it in to the shallow well and get the gas out of that well from it rising up to the surface or by putting a vacuum on that well also and use the second shallow well for the water for the house.

Getting the gas out of the well; I don't think there is any presser coming out of the well, so I am going to try to use an old compressor to suck out the gas by putting a vacuum on the top of the well casing. I need some ideas on this and I also thought I may have to pump off the water so that the gas can get out. If I pump the water off how do I do this if the well goes dry and I have the pump running on all the time how do I put it on a cycle to not burn out the pump?

Should I drill the well deeper. Now the well was drilled to 500' and hit no water and then drilled a little bit more and hit water with the gas in it. Should I drill it deeper so that the water goes lower in the well so the gas will rise up out of the well?

I hope someone can give me some ideas on these matters and thank you for your help

Here is a link to the entire topic Comment by Sherry Hart on July 20, 2011 at 7:10pm

Curtis and Behind_Timez,

We live less than 20 minutes from Dimock and my husband's rig did much drilling throughout the Springville-Dimock area, so I am well acquainted with not just the technical sides of the issues surrounding the area, but also have friends in that area.  One of my friends, Loren Salsman, resides in the "Consent Order" area and regularly shares his water results with me.  For more of Loren's take on it, see his Letter to the Editor: (Wow is that a long link!).

In fact, it's one of my pet projects working with the residents of Dimock in getting the truth out from there.  As BTz stated, lessons were learned the hard way regarding the geology, which led to an extra string of casing being added.  Please know some of the residents, extremely unhappy with how their town was being portrayed in the media, have taken it on themselves to give tours of the local area to NYS and other officials.  Most of these people go away, shaking their heads and stating, "That was not what we have been led to expect".  Loren himself, shares his water quality testing reports (required on a regular basis), and the water is returning to the shape it was prior to the high methane content.

Another group, Enough Already, got its origins fighting the same water pipeline expansion mentioned in Loren's letter to the editor.  Their efforts successfully resulted in the pipeline project being taken off the table.  They continue to work with both O&G companies and state legislative bodies in the best interest of ALL involved.  That's a far cry from most of the "concerned citizens" groups who simply work against any drilling.

As I've said before, I've seen the darndest actions and heard the oddest statements from environmentalists over the years (I have 13 years of working in various ways with the industry or being in or "married" to the patch), but I some of the things I have heard out here would be damned laughable if they weren't being taken so seriously.

Comment by Overshot on August 1, 2011 at 10:53pm

Actually Behind_Timez, your statement

"coal bed methane and natural gas, which are not the same thing at all"

is not accurate.   Methane is methane is methane (CH4), no matter where it is sourced.  It is the principal component of natural gas.  The difference between CBM and what we term natural gas is the primarily the source material and process.   The gas that lights our kitchen ranges, water heaters and CNG vehicles has some mixture of more complex hydrocarbons and indicator gas (mercaptan), but in its purest form is simply methane.

But I digress.   The whole point of Gasland is the same thing that Michael Moore does with his tripe, to stir up an emotional response with a lot of allegation and misinformation.   What little factual content that was presented in the movie is unrelated to the issues it proclaims to be representing.  If you really want to see a crowd of anti frack people get their knickers in a knot, ask the following two questions after the movie has completed and the Q/A period has started.

1) Why do they show drilling rigs when the hydraulic fracturing process occurs during the completion phase of the well?   Is it because they don't understand the different phases of well development, or is there another reason that they haven't communicated?

2) (This is a bit more technical, so it sometimes is lost on the particular audience).   How is it that well fractures that are occurring 1000's of feet below the surface (~10K out here in western ND, eastern MT) can reach aquifers that are only 100's of feet below the surface?    The blank looks on the faces and the results babble of half-baked explanations are the fodder of great fiction.   (If someone CAN explain to me how we can create fractures that reach that far, please contact me, I have a whole herd of engineers that want to talk to you).

The American public is not as dumb as the MSM would like to have us think, a lot of people have figured out that this is just FUD being spread by the same people who trumpeted the cause of the Spotted Owl against the timber industry on the west coast (BTW, a fine appetizer if prepared properly, but not nearly enough for a meal).  When people learned the truth about that weak species, this same crowd's credibility when down the crapper.   What needs happen now is the bully pulpit they have in the MSM needs to collapse and the TRUTH,  the bare naked TRUTH needs to be reported.


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