Category Archives: Global Warming

The Ethics of Fracking

By Bernhard Debatin

As controversial as it is, fracking is not often discussed in terms of its ethics. The 37 minute-long video The Ethics of Fracking, by the Scott Cannon and the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, provides a good discussion of the various ethical issues of fracking. It shows that fracking leads to a number of ethical problems and serious side-effects, ranging from the contamination of drinking water, to air and noise pollution, to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and to disrupting communities and creating long-term risks and costs for our society.

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The Fracking Boom: Hundred Years of (Self-)Deception

By Bob Sheak

President Obama has echoed the oil and gas industry’s claim that the U.S. has a 100-year supply of natural gas, mostly from shale formations. And these claims will make the U.S. energy independent, a new Saudi Arabia. This claim has been challenged by Richard Heinberg, J. David Hughes, and others, at the website The Post Carbon Institute and sites like shalebubble.org. Continue reading

Economic Benefits and Risks of Fracking

Presentation given at the Watershed Summit in Athens, Ohio, on September 7, 2013

 

By Bernhard Debatin

When oil and gas industry, lobbyists, or politicians talk about fracking, they usually show us an economic wonderland. Fracking, we hear, does not only solve our energy problems, it also creates an economic boom of unheard of dimensions. And we hear it is clean, easy to recover, and has almost no negative side effects.

New technologies in oil and natural gas drilling do indeed make possible to extract huge amounts of non-conventional oil and gas from shale formations at a profitable rate, which is why fracking is celebrated as a “game changer” for the U.S. energy supply and the economic revival. Large areas in the U.S. have become the location of an ever-accelerating fracking boom. In addition to the Marcellus Formation, which covers most Appalachian states, such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York, fracking is also taking place at a large scale in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, North Dakota, Montana, Texas, and recently California. Continue reading

Fracking, Security, and Global Warming

We’re fracking our way to a warmer and less stable world

By Bob Sheak

Oil and gas corporations, their trade associations, mass media outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, and numerous pundits continue to report there is a new day unfolding in the energy future of the U.S. Indeed, they sometimes say it’s a revolution in the making. It’s now feasible to mine hitherto unreachable or unprofitable sources of “unconventional” oil and gas. As a result, massive, environmentally devastating mining of tar sands in Canada expands, with a proposed and controversial pipeline to carry the partly processed oil from Alberto to Texas. Drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic, multiple off-shore locations drill ever-more deeply into the ocean floor and beneath it. As far as mining for shale gas and oil goes, the situation is described with words such as gushers, or bonanzas, or energy independence.

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