Tag Archives: infrastructure

Why the new K&H #3 Injection Well is Wrong

By Bernhard Debatin

ODNR NEEDS TO CONDUCT A PUBLIC HEARING

As documented by Acfan, a permit application for the new K&H 3 injection well at the existing K&H facility is currently pending. This would make the K&H facility the largest such operation in Ohio. Over the past years, Ohio has become a major importer of fracking wastewater from other states, due to its low taxation rates and lax regulations. Injection wells in Ohio are not monitored by the (more stringent) federal EPA, but by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Oil and Gas Resources, which has laxer regulations and less oversight. Coincidentally, ODNR also profits from the wastewater dumping, as it rakes in the fees for it. 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

Is leasing your oil rights a personal or community decision?

By Kevin Smyth

This piece that was originally published in the Athens News Reader’s Forum of Jan. 23, 2012

One of the more troubling things about the fracking controversy is the notion that the decision to frack is a private decision and not a community decision. If it’s going to affect community air, water, roads and quality of life, then it is a community issue, isn’t it? So what is going on here?

Ecologist Garrett Hardin’s famous 1968 article, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” describes a situation where a number of shepherds are sharing a large pasture. One of the shepherds reflects thusly: “this pasture is huge. I could put out a few more sheep, and no one would even notice. It wouldn’t make any difference at all. And I could sure use the income.” And so he adds a few sheep to the pasture. Continue reading

Concerned About Fracking? — Part 3: Community Disruption — Who Pays the Bill?

By Bernhard Debatin

The fracking frenzy comes, as we have seen, in waves. First, there’s the leasing frenzy with landmen going from door to door, and lawyers and gas companies trying to make their leases palatable to the landowners. Second, the drilling operation with an invasion of workers and the installation of drilling pads and rigs, freshwater reservoirs, waste-water impoundments, and other construction. Third, the actual fracking and the ensuing gas or oil production, which can stretch over some years. Another wave, running parallel to the fracking activities and literally creating its own shockwave, is the disposal of the fracking fluids into injection wells, or — by way of the surface application loophole (see also ORC 1509.226) — as dust and ice control on public roads.

Whose Benefits and whose Costs?

While fracking obviously has some economic benefits for involved individuals, companies, and communities, critics have pointed out that the expected benefits are vastly overstated by the industry and the Ohio government. Continue reading