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*** UPDATED x1 *** Fun with numbers

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

* From a press release…

Thousands in Illinois Urge State Reps To Oppose SB 1715 on Statewide Day of Action Against Fracking

MoveOn Members in Illinois Launch Campaigns Urging State Legislators and Governor Pat Quinn to Support A Ban on Fracking

ILLINOIS - On Thursday, May 30th, MoveOn members from Illinois will be mobilizing as part of a statewide day of action against hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. Activists are urging their state legislators and Gov. Quinn to oppose SB 1715, unless a one-year moratorium and the creation of a task force to study the effects of fracking in the Illinois are added into the bill.

As of this writing, the statewide petition has a mere 1,436 signatures. The other online petitions listed in the full press release have a total of 485 signatures. So, they’ll probably break 2,000 by tomorrow. “Thousands” will be accurate, I suppose, but not truly descriptive.

*** UPDATE *** From…

Hi Rich —

I just saw your piece referring to all the MoveOn members in Illinois who are starting and signing petitions on fracking.

Thanks for covering their activism. Just wanted to clarify one thing — there are currently 46 different petitions on the subject of fracking started by MoveOn members in Illinois, for a total number of 10,955 unique signatures on all of those petitions. As we noted in the advisory, 32 distinct House districts are targeted by these petitions.

You can view them here:

Please let me know if you have questions.


Stefanie Faucher

OK, I stand corrected.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* Meanwhile, large-scale fracking has apparently begun in southern Illinois before the regulations have kicked in

(AP) — State records indicate that high-volume oil drilling already has begun in Illinois, where lawmakers and others are scrambling to pass a bill to establish regulations for a practice that has generated intense national debate as energy companies push into new territory.

Carmi-based Campbell Energy LLC submitted a well-completion report last year to the Department of Natural Resources voluntarily disclosing that it used 640,000 gallons of water during hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” of a well in White County. A regulatory bill awaiting a vote by state lawmakers — but not yet written at the time the well was drilled — defines “high-volume” as the use of 300,000 gallons or more of fluid during all stages of fracking. […]

Brad Richards, vice president of the Illinois Oil and Gas Association, said he wasn’t surprised to learn of the Campbell well but stressed that the company did nothing wrong. And although the volume of fluid it used was a lot compared with what has traditionally been used in Illinois — the typical “frack” has been 100,000 gallons or less — it pales in comparison to states like North Dakota and Pennsylvania, where it’s not unusual for drillers to use 2 million to 8 million gallons of fluid in a well, he said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Steve - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 1:02 pm:

    Yeah, we are Illinois. We’d rather not have jobs! Yeah. We are the leader in decline. Yeah. Instead of focusing on fracking, how about shutting down things in Illinois that don’t work…. The list is long. Imagine a world without public_____ ( you fill in the blank).

  2. - JoeVerdeal - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    It was nice to see the picture of the “sit-in” participants in front of Governor Quinn’s office the other day. Brought back memories of the late 1960’s.

    Wacky never goes completely out of style in some quarters.

  3. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 1:19 pm:

    Rich said,

    “Thousands” will be accurate, I suppose, but not truly descriptive.”

  4. - Mouthy - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 1:20 pm:

    Fracking has been going on in Southern Illinois for decades. I know a person in the business 35 years ago. People act like this is something new…

  5. - Mouthy - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 1:21 pm:

    Make that “knew” a person….

  6. - New Name - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    I like my water en fuego, thank you very much.

  7. - Chavez-respecting Obamist. - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 1:24 pm:

    I’m not convinced fracking that close to the New Madrid is a good idea, but I’m not completely against it either. I think I might be if I lived down there.

  8. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    - New Name - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    “I like my water en fuego, thank you very much.”

    Slide 8:

  9. - Just Observing - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 1:43 pm:

    === Thousands in Illinois Urge State Reps To Oppose SB 1715 ===

    I bet it is thousands if you include those that are quietly in their minds urging their reps.

  10. - anon sequitor - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    Mouthy, I invested in a fracking well more than 25 years ago. It started out very good, but like a lot of Illinois wells, it became a “stripper” within a year or two. Nice short term paycheck. though.

    Nothing new here. Keep moving.

  11. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 2:17 pm:

    Ok, where does 640,000 gallons of water go after it is injected? To the sky? Nope, it’s a sealed process. Even if 99% of the water used is recovered, a percentage fracking wastewater becomes part of the ecosystem where it is used, with all the other liquids generated from the practice.

  12. - dazed & confused - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    Remember, it’s not over until the frack lady sings. I can’t wait to hear the sound of her sweet voice so we can get this bill passed to create some jobs in this state.

  13. - DanL60 - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 2:30 pm:

    Tens of protesters.

  14. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    - a percentage fracking wastewater becomes part of the ecosystem where it is used, with all the other liquids generated from the practice. -

    Most of it remains trapped in the shale. This is actually one of my concerns, as this essentially wastes the water forever.

    However, we have a lot of water in Illinois, and I think the benefit of using more natural gas vs. petroleum and coal outweighs this concern.

  15. - JoeVerdeal - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 2:50 pm:

    —-it’s not over until the frack lady sings—-

    I love it, dazed & confused….!!!!

    Good one.

  16. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 2:54 pm:

    The complete combustion (i.e., oxidation) of natural gas (CH4) generates Carbon Dioxide (a green house gas)and steam (i.e.,H2O, also a green house gas).

  17. - Allen Skillicorn - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 2:55 pm:

    Yeah, 10,955 peoples against clean burning Nat Gas.

    Lets get off coal first folks…

  18. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 3:03 pm:

    Keyser - No doubt natural gas isn’t a completely clean fuel, but it’s greenhouse gas emissions are about half those of burning coal.

    Also, the extraction and transportation produces less emissions, it’s a lot cleaner to transport gas by a pipeline than coal by diesel burning trains or trucks.

    I’ve said it before, it’s not the end all be all solution, but it’s a much better bridge than what we’re doing today.

  19. - Nosmo King - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 3:10 pm:

    =Most of it remains trapped in the shale. This is actually one of my concerns, as this essentially wastes the water forever.=

    Well, not “forever”. Someday, when water is as scarce as oil, Illinois jobs will be created to extract that water from the shale. See, we Illinois DOES care about jobs.

  20. - Nosmo King - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 3:12 pm:

    @Steve =Imagine a world without public_____ ( you fill in the blank).==

    Restrooms? That would be a bummer.

  21. - Downstate Illinois - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 3:17 pm:

    Well if MoveOn is against fracking it must be bad. Obviously, we can’t keep doing something we’ve been doing for 50 years without any major problems. Who needs 50,000 jobs anyway.

  22. - New Name - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 3:32 pm:

    Perhaps I quoted too liberally from Cincinattus’ link to Popular Mechanics to prove him wrong.

    Rich just deleted my response.

    Here’s a redacted version that doesn’t quote from Popular Mechanics.


    Right back atcha Cincinattus. Some of the better-known videos of flaming water faucets in fracking areas are the result of naturally occurring gas pockets. (The natural gas is why the frackers are in the area after all.)

    But others are a direct result of fracking.

    Curiously, one of the groups most heavily promoting counter-claims that flaming water faucets are somehow fakes is something called “America’s Natural Gas Alliance”.

    I wonder if they’re on the side of the frackers or the people who live in those areas… Hard to tell.

    And while freshwater aquifers may be protected by thousands of feet of rock in deep-drilling sites, toxic surface spills have definitely poisoned groundwater previously used for drinking and regulators are investigating whether or not shallow-drilling sites are causing leaks of toxic fracking fluid into aquifers.

    Again, not all fracking poisons water supplies, but some fracking operations clearly do.

    From your own link to Popular Mechanics — claims #4 and #7 debunk your debunking.

  23. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 4:04 pm:

    Here are some fun numbers: Cubs 9, Sox 2, bottom of the 7th. Navarro just hit his second HR of the game, a 3 run shot.

  24. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 4:23 pm:

    My natural gas factoid serves two purposes. First, while fracking uses large volumes of water to open tight rock formations, the released hydrocarbons, when collected and burned, create steam (i.e.,water). So, does a fracked well then ultimately produce more (or less) water (i.e., steam) than is used to make the well productive? For the general case, I don’t know; the answer most likely varies from one well to another. Secondly, USEPA has made the case, accepted by SCOTUS, that CO2 is a pollutant per the Clean Air Act. This is because CO2 is a recognized green house gas that is thought by many to be responsible for climate change, or warming, take your choice. The conundrum here attaches to the fact that steam (water vapor) is also a green house gas. Water vapor is actually a more potent green house gas than carbon dioxide. Thus, the reasoning that finds CO2 to be an air pollutant must logically also find that steam (water) is an air pollutant. If so, the Clean Air Act should seemingly also regulate the emission of steam (water). Am I missing something here?

  25. - jake - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 5:04 pm:

    To Keyser Soze–

    Yes, you are missing something. Nature has very efficient systems for regulating the amount of water vapor in the air, so the effect of human activity in releasing water vapor into the air is essentially negligible. The systems for regulating carbon dioxide are not nearly as robust, so human emissions of carbon dioxide have produced, and are continuing to produce, significant increases in the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.

  26. - Mouthy - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 5:07 pm:

    Darn 47th, I was going to watch the game tonight. Oh well, at least the Cubs are winning….

  27. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 29, 13 @ 10:09 pm:

    Here’s a fun number: three straight Hawks wins.

    Hey Detroit, no cup for you. Coffee is for closers!

  28. - Sunshine - Thursday, May 30, 13 @ 7:42 am:

    When I was in the oil business in 1982-89 we employed Fracking on nearly all our oil and gas wells. We used acid and sand with water injected under very high pressure. It was very effective.

    If wells are properly completed, Fracking can be safe. However… many wells in Southern Illinois were not properly completed and many fresh water zones in the area are contaminated with brine water from lower, higher pressure formations.

    Fracking should not be permitted in wells within 1,000 feet of the lowest fresh water zone. But, in many cases that that is below the shale bearing natural gas and oil.

    It’s a tough call at best, has the potential for far greater production, but has great risk to fresh water zones.

    Add to this issue the fact that a great portion of the oil will leave the country for higher dollar sales overseas.

    We need to include in any Fracking legislation the provision that all oil and natural gas produced in Illinois from Fracking should be sold in the US or taxed heavily by Illinois if not.

    I think the primary point of increased oil production is less dependency on foreign oil? What helps assure us of the oil staying in the US? It is an illusion, much like the Keystone Pipeline. Nearly all that oil is destined for “tax free” export out of Texas. Little if any actually stays in the US.

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