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Fracking fluid? Fracking?

Everybody remembers the recent shale well that blew up in Armstrong county, right? I was interested in teh mention of poisonous "frakking fluid" (misspelling intentional, thats how I first mentally translated the term on the news, it;s actually "fracking fluid" as in fracturing fluid, used to hydraulically fracture the deep shale which lets the trapped gas be collected.

Houston-based EOG, formerly part of Enron Corp., was drilling into the Marcellus Shale reserve, a hotly pursued gas formation primarily under Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio that some geologists believe could become the nation's most productive natural gas field.

There are more than 1,000 Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania alone, some of them within view of homes, farmhouses and public roads.

There were no homes within a mile of the well that blew out.

The accident happened just after the crew finished a process called hydraulic fracturing -- in which millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are blasted underground to shatter tightly compacted shale and release trapped natural gas. They were clearing out debris from the well when gas shot out of it, said Dan Spadoni, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection.

Workers evacuated the site and contacted county authorities, said John Sobel, a Clearfield County commissioner. The DEP said it wasn't notified until 1:30 a.m. -- more than five hours after the blowout.

The polluted water flowing out of the well and into the woods was stopped by a trench and a pump installed by a contractor, Spadoni said. Companies that specialize in securing out-of-control wells were called in, he said.

So some fellow made a documentary about fracking - here's a trailer for it - even the trailer tells you something.

GASLAND - (2010) Directed by Josh Fox. Winner of Special Jury Prize - Best US Documentary Feature - Sundance 2010. Screening at Cannes 2010.

It is happening all across America and now in Europe and Africa as well - rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from a multinational energy conglomerate wanting to lease their property. The Reason? In America, the company hopes to tap into a huge natural gas reservoir dubbed the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground—a hydraulic drilling process called fracking—and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.

But what comes out of the ground with that natural gas? How does it affect our air and drinking water? GASLAND is a powerful personal documentary that confronts these questions with spirit, strength, and a sense of humor. When filmmaker Josh Fox receives his cash offer in the mail, he travels across 32 states to meet other rural residents on the front lines of fracking. He discovers toxic streams, ruined aquifers, dying livestock, brutal illnesses, and kitchen sinks that burst into flame. He learns that all water is connected and perhaps some things are more valuable than money.

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You have to accept that we will drill and extract everything

Oh right, left out a point.

Something that's important to remember, is that it's not really a question of WETHER or NOT we are going to drill the Marcellus shale (and mountaintop-remove all the coal, and otherwise extract and burn every known in-any-way-cost-effective source of fossil carbon on this planet).

We will, global warming or no, because we just big-brained animals and we wont be able to stop ourselves as fossil carbon gets scarcer and scacer.

The question is, HOW WELL will we extract the Marcellus gas, HOW WELL will we drill the deep ocean oil, the Arctic oil, and the sulphuric and tarry oils, and HOW WELL will we dig and burn all the coal.

How well, and HOW FAST? Will we do it in a rush, based on blind greed and the unintelligent forces of the marketplace? (which, let us not forget, does blind and unintelligent things like blowing economic bubbles and crashes, and blind and downright stupid things like building millions of shoddy houses we didn't need because of the "invisible hands" most recent market bubble.)

Or will we do it with awareness of the cost/benefit ratios, the real risks, the real costs, and the long-term consequences to the people?

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