Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Underground Cracks

 By Henry Curtis
Across the country there are community uproars about fossil fuel companies using pressurized water and toxic chemicals to rip apart underground rock formations to extract oil and gas. The companies believe that the chemicals used should be protected as trade secrets. They are using political muscle to exempt themselves from disclosure and liability. They assert that the resultant earthquakes, aquifer contamination and health impacts are, like climate change itself, a figment of imagination of a few misguided alarmists.

Hawai`i State Senator Ruderman wrote Senate Bill 375 that would ban the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Hawaii.

State Senator Solomon heard the bill and then tried to kill it without voting to kill it. Other Senators pointed out that when there is disagreement in a Committee there must be a public vote that is recorded. Senator Solomon said she wants to review the Senate Rules and has put off the committee vote until next week.

Don Thomas, a geochemist and director of the University of Hawaii’s Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, and a long-time paid consultant with Puna Geothermal Ventures, sees no need to strengthen environmental protections, although he notes that “it is conceivable that we will find thermal areas in Hawaii where permeability is extremely low and where hydrofracking could potentially make something economically viable."

On January 25, 2013 HELCO filed with the Public Utilities Commission a 270 megabyte Proposed Geothermal Request For Proposal. Consultants with a company that will bid for the right to build the largest geothermal power plant in the State has called  Ruderman’s bill "embarrassing."

Susan Petty, president of Seattle-based AltraRock Energy points out that geothermal  hydro shearing is different from oil and gas fracking, In reality, the definitions are almost identical. Hydraulic Fracturing uses pressurized fluids to create fractures in rock layers. Hydro Shearing uses pressurized fluids to create fractures in fractured rocks.

Susan Petty added that "the big issues are with getting the natural gas into aquifers. In geothermal, there is no natural gas.” Obviously  there are different impacts. Drilling for oil/gas may leak oil/gas into aquifers. Drilling for geothermal may leak geothermal fluid into aquifers. The potential for Puna geothermal wells to contaminate water aquifers was noted decades ago in a Hawai`i geothermal EIS.

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Fracking is FRACKING! Call it any name you like but its Fracking and its coming to Hawaii unless we stop it! The problem with this bill is that it does not ban it, it just means they have to jump through hoops to get a permit.

No Fracking in Hawaii please!

Barb C

Yes, Fracking is Fracking. (Thank you Barb.)

Claiming the chemicals used are trade secrets is like claiming a murder weapon is inadmissible because it killed someone.

What is happening is rampant law-breaking all over the place, not just fracking. Criminal acts all of a sudden being declared legal and legal acts (such as organic farming, reporting a crime, whistleblowing, etc) being declared illegal.

Bush got this ball rolling.

These assholes AND corporations that have money and believe theyʻre above the law are kind of hoping that we think weʻre just in a parallel universe or to close our eyes and ʻdonʻt lookʻ.

And those pathetic craps that we have to choose from at election time, well I donʻt think theyʻre smart enough to even be corrupt...that stupid. But donʻt get me wrong, there are too many that are.

Guess what? Ainʻt gonna happen.

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