Hydraulic Fracturing: What Is It? Is it New? Is it Safe?

   Will Your Government Allow You To Find Out?
Hydraulic Fracturing, or ‘Fracking’ gets a lot of people excited and some people afraid and therefore a good number mad enough to do things that can get them in serious trouble.  Is it worth all the fuss?  Is fracking a new and dangerous thing that the greedy oil companies have recently made up just to make even more profits and steal even more of your money?  It seems this is the thought behind many people’s suspicions.  So, let’s settle some of these questions.

I think one of the first things to settle is the fact that we all seem to love to use oil.  We use it in our cars, we use it to heat our homes whether in fuel oil or natural or propane gas and some of us use it to cook with.  Some are fortunate enough to use a lot of it to fly around the country or world in airplanes.  We use it every day in more ways than we can even imagine – have you ever tried to do without using plastics?  More and more of us use it for a fire to warm ourselves with, but the main area we have a noticeable and daily use of it is to fuel our cars to take us many places. I don’t think it’s the greed of oil companies that makes us do any of this, especially driving around in our cars.

Second, let’s address whether or not the practice of fracking is new.  It is not.Some hydraulic fractures even form naturally, which makes it as old as the shale it exists in.  The first experimental use was in 1947 and the first commercially successful applications were in 1949.  As of 2010, it has been estimated that as many as 60% of all new oil and gas wells worldwide were being hydraulically fractured. Many of the people who seem to be the most concerned about the practice of fracking and also seem to think it is a new thing were very likely not even born in 1949.

To address the question of whether or not your government will allow you to find out, this article will have to give you to opposing answers.  Locally, your county commissioners have voted not to allow fracking in Granville County and you probably didn’t know it and didn’t see any public discussion of that.  A longer public comment from the Republican County Commissioner will follow this article.  The other part of the answer comes from the US Geological Survey, a bureau of the Department of the Interior and will describe hydraulic fracturing with a video and other information:http://energy.usgs.gov/OilGas/UnconventionalOilGas/HydraulicFracturing.aspx

Another link with a more detailed video from the North Dakota Energy Forum:

And finally, an update from your Granville County Commissioner Tim Karan, who addresses fracking along with cell phone tower placement and Sasquatch sightings in North America:

With October 2013 in the rear view mirror, the highlights from the month surround wireless telecommunications. The Granville County Board of Commissioners reviewed and approved four new cell towers located on the following Roads: Henry Huff , Alvis Brooks , Horseshoe, and Walters. These, including one approved two months ago on Beaver Dam, bring us to five new towers being constructed in Granville County. I believe that Granville is behind the curve on wireless proliferation because of (1) a moratorium that was in place in the early to mid 2000s; and (2) our low population.
The Board also approved a Resolution Opposing Hydraulic Fracturing in Granville County on a 6-1 vote. As you may guess I was the 1. I asked if our Environmental Advisory Committee that proposed the resolution had explored both sides of the argument or if they had studied non-hydraulic fracturing, both of which being answered in the negative. This, coupled with the fact that The General Assembly through HB74 prohibits counties from passing new environmental rules, prompted me to vote against the resolution. During the public hearing there were a few people who made comments for the record which included widely disputed facts about fracking and global warming. I did not neglect to mention in my remarks that it is a fact that there are over 1500 documented cases of Sasquatch sightings in North America.