Fracking with Propane

Fracking with Propane

The Gas Companies’ Latest Tactic to Bring Fracking to New York State

 A group of landowners in Tioga County in the Southern Tier of New York State have reached an agreement with gas drillers’ eCorp and GasFrac Energy Services to open up 130,000 acres to gas drilling and to use liquid propane gas (LPG) as a fracking agent. The coalition’s strategy appears to be to bypass the current de facto moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing through the use of this alternative fracking agent.

Our lawyers have advised us that New York law does not permit fracking with LPG because given its significant risk of adverse environmental impacts any application to use it would first require its own supplemental-generic or site-specific environmental impact statement. It is unfathomable that the state would consider allowing a process that forces explosive liquid propane gas underground under high pressure without first doing the proper environmental review.

What we do know is that this dangerous new technology resulted in two explosions/fires in 2011 – one left 3 workers hospitalized and one worker with second degree burns and the second, a flash fire, injured about a dozen workers, two of whom had to be evacuated to the hospital by helicopter. In a third incident, GasFrac Energy Services of Alberta Canada, the company who pioneered this technology, had to shut down the company for 2 weeks in January 2012 while they investigated a fire at a well site.
GasFrac has touted fracking with liquid propane as a major breakthrough because it eliminates the need for the millions of gallons of water that are needed to frack each well, however, it is not at all clear that fracking with liquid propane gas is any less threatening to the environment or to people’s health than water based fracking. There has been no independent empirical analysis or scientific studies done of the complete life cycle of the process and the only information about it comes from the company’s marketing materials, which claim, for instance, that it is a “green” alternative to water based approaches.

Also, the elimination of water does not eliminate the need to truck this highly explosive gas to the well sites, the need for chemicals in the fracking solution or the threat of air pollution. It doesn’t solve the problem of methane leaks and its highly combustible composition brings with it new levels of danger for both workers and residents. For more on the dangers of propane fracking, please see our website.

The bottom line is that fracking with liquid propane gas should not be allowed in New York State.

Texas Drought Cost $2 Billion More than Previously Thought

Texas Drought Cost $2 Billion More than Previously Thought
March 21, 2012, Huffington Post

HOUSTON — Agriculture officials say losses from Texas’ historic drought are more than $2 billion more than previously thought.

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service now estimates crop and livestock losses at $7.62 billion for 2011. The extension service’s preliminary estimate of $5.2 billion in August already topped the previous record of $4.1 billion in 2006.

Extension service spokesman Blair Fannin gave The Associated Press the data on losses Wednesday before it was publicly released.

Texas has a long history of drought. Since 1998, it has cost the state’s agriculture industry more than $14 billion.

2011 was the driest year in state history.

Global Warming Close to Becoming Irreversible

Global Warming Close to Becoming Irreversible
March 26, 2012, Scientific American
By Nina Chestney

The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.

LONDON (Reuters) – The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.

Scientific estimates differ but the world’s temperature looks set to rise by six degrees Celsius by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to rise uncontrollably.

As emissions grow, scientists say the world is close to reaching thresholds beyond which the effects on the global climate will be irreversible, such as the melting of polar ice sheets and loss of rainforests.

“This is the critical decade. If we don’t get the curves turned around this decade we will cross those lines,” said Will Steffen, executive director of the Australian National University’s climate change institute, speaking at a conference in London….