Compromises developing in conflict over fracking

That’s the observation from William P. Barrett in his article at Forward – Fracking’s Resilience – with compromise afoot, environmental and political objections to the controversial energy extraction technique are likely to fade.

There are several indications that some compromises are developing that would allow fracking to continue and still meet the concerns of some people who are currently critical of the technology.

Check out the article for a survey of several indicators.

The article also points out several rounds of the battle of the documentaries. A healthy debate is underway.

Good article. Check it out.

One thing I didn’t like about the Forward article is the accompanying illustration which adds a spin that isn’t present in the text.

The scale of the illustration is way off. It shows the horizontal pipe almost touching the water aquifer. The methane easily seeps the very small distance between the well and the water. The methane has to travel less than twice the diameter of the well bore to contaminate the drinking water.

Water tables are usually a few hundred feet down. The horizontal drilling is typically 8,000 or 12,000 feet below the surface.

I pulled out a ruler for some measurements. In the illustration, the bottom of the water table ranges from 22 cm to 30 cm below the surface. The water table is from 0.2 cm to 1 cm above the horizontal drilling. If the illustration were in scale, the horizontal drilling would have to be 800 cm or 1.2 meters down the screen, not 32 cm. On the other hand, it isn’t possible to include an illustration that is 3 feet tall. Still, I wish the illustration had been drawn differently.

 If you follow my blog, the article will be well worth your time. Just skip the illustration.

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