The perfect storm:
High unemployment - people hurting
Oil companies - corporate greed
This leads to states and cities opening up their states to the unknown dangers of fracking because of the financial opportunities – to hell with the environmental issues.
Most of the time – most people associate fracking with gas exploration – but I think it’s important to bring this up also:
March 2, 2011
The technique called hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) that is increasingly being used to extract natural gas is drawing widespread attention, concern, and media coverage across the country. Next up: oil fracking.
As fracking for gas has proven successful from an industry perspective, companies extracting oil are jumping on the fracking bandwagon. Their method is very similar to that used for natural gas, and therefore may pose some of the same health and environmental risks.
The other thing that people think is that this fracking is necessary for the US Energy market.
A statement from an interview this week regarding the fracking in North Dakota (my emphasis):
He said North Dakota is a learning laboratory for oil development here and in other states.
“What we need is pipeline to get oil to water so we can export it. People ask me which pipeline I support and I say I’m going to support all the pipelines to get rid of that differential,” Hamm said.
I’m guessing they aren’t talking about Lake Superior – so the nearest water to EXPORT the North Dakota fuel – would be the Gulf of Mexico.
To read some more about the Bakken fracking issues I would strongly suggest this blog.
Reason being, is that other cities in North Dakota (and outside of North Dakota) want to get in to the oil greed as noted in this article (my emphasis):
May 01--A three-man committee of the Grand Forks City Council quickly approved a plan Monday to spend $75,000 in unspent city sales tax collections to woo businesses in the Oil Patch to expand to Grand Forks.
The first spending of the Bakken Initiative's funds -- about $17,000 -- will be to send several city officials and local business leaders to the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck on May 22-24, Gershman said.
Already, the city has leased a booth at the conference for $10,000, using money from city administrator Rick Duquette's budget.
"We are not talking re-location, we are talking expansion," Gershman said, emphasizing Grand Forks is not trying to "cannibalize" business from western North Dakota.
The potential is much greater to create jobs here for business rooted in the oil boom, he said.
As of Monday, a record 210 rigs were drilling new oil wells in North Dakota, according to state officials. Oil production has been setting records every month for three years and is expected to match Alaska's output this spring and make North Dakota the nation's second-leading crude-producing state behind Texas.
The Williston Basin is the hottest oil play in North America and expected to last 20 years or more, oil company officials and state regulators say.
"These companies can expand into Montana or Canada," Gershman said. "We want to keep them in North Dakota."
I’m probably pretty sure that the residents of the City of Grand Forks could have found any other way to spend that "$75,000 in unspent city sales tax collections".
Which companies is he talking about?
A little more about the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck [my notes]:
Top executives from Continental Resources [ALEC member], Whiting Oil and Gas and Marathon Oil [ALEC member], were headliners Thursday the final of the three-day Williston Basin Petroleum Conference.
A little bit about ALEC member Continental Resources:
Continental Resources is a multi-billion dollar company that is involved in a huge fracking operation in North Dakota.
And this little piece is another example of tax payer money being used to increase corporate profit.
According to Ed Shadid, Continental Resources grew 40% in 2010.
“These jobs are going to be created anyway,” Shadid insisted.
The state is also giving economic incentives to Continental Resources.
Shadid stated that this economic incentive had nothing to do with this move from Enid to Oklahoma City.
“This $7.2 million is just a token,” he said
State Economic incentives - eh?
For a company that saw 40% growth in 2010?
Only $7,2 million that Oklahoma probably needs for their roads or schools.
And a little bit about Whiting:
Whiting Petroleum Corporation is a Denver-based, independent oil and gas company that explores for, develops and acquires crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids primarily in the Rocky Mountain, Permian Basin, Mid-Continent, Michigan and Gulf Coast regions of the United States. The Company’s largest projects are in the Bakken and Three Forks plays in North Dakota and its Enhanced Oil Recovery (“EOR”) fields in Oklahoma and Texas.
And from the literature of ALEC member Marathon Oil
Hydraulic fracturing, or"fracking," has been safely used to stimulate production in more than one million oil and gas wells over the past 60 years. Recent advances in the method have helped free oil and gas locked in tight shale rock formations across the U.S. These include the Bakken (North Dakota), Eagle Ford (South Texas), Haynesville (East Texas) and Anadarko Woodford (Oklahoma) shale formations where Marathon has operations.
North Dakota is our neighbor to the west.
I wonder if Minnesota is now stepping into line for the fracking greed.
I wonder what Minnesota and fracking will have in common.
I wonder what Minnesota, fracking and the American Legislative Exchange Council will have in common.
ALEC has several pieces of legislation either supporting fracking or then – may favorite - legislating keeping the chemical makeup of the fracking substance secret.
Some of the chemicals in fracking mixtures are known or suspected carcinogens. In order to protect the industry from disclosure, ALEC has crafted legislation that would provide large loopholes for companies wanting to protect “trade secrets.”
Another thing related to fracking is - fracking sand mines - which look like this on the landscape of Minnesota - The beautiful "Land of 10,000 Lakes":
For more great info on fracking sand mines and the issues associated with them – check out this story, and be sure to watch the video at the bottom.
And then you have this:
I see the Minnesota Senate has turned down the anti-local control bill, which would have prevented local governments from enacting moratoria on proposed development in their locales. If the bill had been approved, recent county decisions by Goodhue, Wabasha and Winona to pass moratoriums on silica sand fracking until they studied options would no longer be allowed if the Governor had signed the bill into law
That snip is talking about:
House File 389 is authored by Reps. Beard (R-Shakopee), Quam (R-Byron), Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park), Sanders (R-Blaine)
That legislation might be considered unimportant, since it didn't pass - BUT :
I wonder how long it will be before ALEC member Beard resubmits that piece of legislation?
Minnesota State Rep. Michael Beard was in to attendance of the Bismarck Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck.
Rep. Michael L. Beard (R-35A), ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Member
Snips from Beards legislative news webpage:
For my part, I have introduced two de-regulatory reforms
At the end of the day, the Legislature’s prime concern is to provide our private sector job creators with a competitive business climate.
Now that Beard is back from the oil conference, I wonder when we will hear Beard (MN-ALEC) say:
What we need is pipeline to get oil to water so we can export it. People ask me which pipeline I support and I say I’m going to support all the pipelines
"We are not talking re-location, we are talking expansion,"
"These companies can expand into Montana or Canada," - . "We want to keep them in Minnesota."