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Donny, you're out of your element...
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I am an avid window seat flyer, this is one of my bibles, I highly recommend it if you like geology and geography


There's nothing about what I saw flying back from Boston the other week in the bible here. During the night flight there is an expected light void from about Toronto/Buffalo to Spokane, It's a pretty interesting flight most of the time, if you leave early evening, you fan out along the Berkshires, into the Adirondacks, Finger lakes, straight over Niagara falls and great lakes and then typically it is dead dull for the next 120 minutes, in part as you loose all daylight. (If you get a full moon it gets interesting again when you fly straight over Glacier NP, the Rockies, and into the channelled scablands and Cascade crest.) Not anymore, there's something disturbing now to look at.

You hit North Dakota, and once there was darkness and now, holy smokes, there is now about a 500 square mile area of bright and irregularly spaced lights. Not dense lights like you see in a city, but spread out, each light probably an eighth to half mile between the others.

I looked it up later as it made little sense to me. Those lights are from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. And lights is one way to describe them, the other is they are burnoff flairs from oil fracking. The want the oil, they pump chemicals into the shale to frack it out, and they burn off the natural gas that comes with it as it is "too hard to store."

This is so depressing when you think about all that energy burned because we're too lazy/incompetent to figure out some way to store it

Here's a satellite view.



And a link to the article that goes on to describe this process at multiple oil fields around the globe. Jeezus, all that energy, gone. What a waste.

http://geology.com/articles/oil-fields-from-space/
 

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Waste of NG certainly doesn't qualify as conservation. Burning it off is a complete waste. Seems if they can make a hole to frack they should be able to collect and store the escaping gases.

Sounds like a wonderful opportunity for the EPA to develop sequestering methods designed specifically for this. Cool it on-site to condensate and sell it...or give it away to industrial taxpayers who fund the EPA. That way they could actually support their AGW efforts with useful results. An important and economically beneficial reason to re-direct the EPA's scientists into figuring out how to collect, store, and redistribute a needed product.
 

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Donny, you're out of your element...
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Waste of NG certainly doesn't qualify as conservation. Burning it off is a complete waste. Seems if they can make a hole to frack they should be able to collect and store the escaping gases.

Sounds like a wonderful opportunity for the EPA to develop sequestering methods designed specifically for this. Cool it on-site to condensate and sell it...or give it away to industrial taxpayers who fund the EPA. That way they could actually support their AGW efforts with useful results. An important and economically beneficial reason to re-direct the EPA's scientists into figuring out how to collect, store, and redistribute a needed product.
Absolutely, on the other hand EPA scientists are probably underfunded and marginalized into regulatory maintenance roles rather than creative thinking. Put it this way if I was a petrochemical engineer I would not be super thrilled to be sending my resume to the EPA because the pay would suck and the political hassles would be huge...

The oil companies probably view this issue similarly to how I view escaping gas when I pop a can of soda open, the gas just gets in the way of the fuel.

What we need is a kind of prize like they did for the Space X program.... $20 million for the team that figures out how to do it with patent/license/royalty rights...
 

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Couldn't agree more...Trouble is I doubt any EPA funded scientists are underfunded. The military is underfunded, the VA is underfunded, the border patrol is underfunded, the FBI and CIA are underfunded. The EPA, I doubt it!

The EPA has become a "shut it down" agency. That's what they do, there is nothing constructive or useful if they aren't looking specifically for solutions.
 

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BigDog
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Klick, I think you misunderstand the role of the EPA, if you think they are responsible for developing resource extraction methodologies for private industry. The government is responsible to us, the citizens, to monitor the environment and enforce regulations that our representatives have enacted. They can impose restrictions, within the latitude permitted by the laws they are charged to enforce, but the private industries are responsible for developing the means to stay within the constraints we have imposed on them to protect our environment.

I have long felt that flaring natural gas off of wells is not only a waste of resources but a flagrant environmental abuse. We ought to enact laws that require the petroleum industry to develop ways to contain that gas before they begin drilling. The oil is worth more than enough to make it worth their while. In the long run, the value of the natural gas will more than pay for the development of the means to capture and, ultimately, sell it. However, pressure for short term profits in the absence of regulations preventing it, lead to the gas field flaring that is ubiquitous today.
D
 

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Make my day
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It shouldn't be governments job to tell you how to do this. The EPA's job is to make sure you don't F things up when you're doing it.

It's corporate greed that made them necessary in the first place. "Shut it down" tell you can do it responsibility!

Why should I have to pay for government super fund sites created by unscrupulous corporations? Or live with my public resources trashed by people who think they have the right to use them without paying for them.

I'm sorry if you think the bad old govment is being such a bully. Maybe look at why those laws were written, instead of blaming the enforcer.
 

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You guys conveniently forget that the government is supposed to be us. Any time a governmental agency, funded by us, does something that damages us it's doing something wrong. There is no us or them. It's we and we fund the EPA therefore WE need to benefit from the EPA. If we don't we are wasting our funding! Economics! And I understand the relationship too well, that's the problem Richard.

Too bad we can't understand that the EPA is us. We fund it and we should demand that it work for us. The USA is an incorporation of states and the people residing in those states. The federal government and it's agencies should absolutely be looking out for and working with industry and private business to make sure things work out for our benefit. That means the Fed should absolutely invest the resources they confiscate specifically to improve the lives of the population who pay their bills. Think again Richard and Jeff, we are us, we are not them. Even polluters are us, not them.

There should never be an us or them because them is us. Our Federal Government has chosen to make itself a them instead of an US! We provide way more funding than is needed and none of it ever goes into finding ways to make natural resource extraction beneficial. That is a huge problem!
 

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I guess I never benefitted from any EPA Superfund clean up or preemptive enforcement of someone/thing that was in the process polluting. I would have imagined that was the literal definition of benefitting. Silly me.

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I guess I never benefitted from any EPA Superfund clean up or preemptive enforcement of someone/thing that was in the process polluting. I would have imagined that was the literal definition of benefitting. Silly me.
Maybe you would have if the EPA had been on their toes and made sure the Superfund cleanup wasn't needed. You guys are looking at this backasswards. If you pay and you don't benefit you are hosed. I'm tired of being hosed when solutions are never considered from EPA's perspective.
EPA is them, we are us. All them wants is we's money. Getting in early and finding solutions is an after-thought. Why isn't it a fore-thought?

If jobs are created somewhere outside our familiar sphere we benefit. If resource extraction can be done with less habitat destruction we all benefit. It's not us vs. them, it's us vs. us and the EPA could help but isn't interested. Some of us don't think the EPA should be interested until the damage is done. We should refuse to accept that type of idiocy.
 

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Dick Cheney made it so EPA has no authority over fracking through the clean water act.
Does that mean EPA has the authority to stop NG release from fracking holes? If so EPA has failed miserably. If EPA cared to be ahead of this stuff they would be. As is they are a useless agency and should be defunded. Until they prove they can and will improve our lives we won't have a use for the EPA.
 

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While I'm continuing with definitions. Preemptive enforcement means dealing with something before it's an issue. Aka "ma(king) sure the Superfund cleanup wasn't needed"

I think there is a different type of idiocy you should be concerned about than the EPA. Enjoy the rest of the thread. I'm done.

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Soon to be abolished by Trump, why worry about it!
 
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Does that mean EPA has the authority to stop NG release from fracking holes? If so EPA has failed miserably. If EPA cared to be ahead of this stuff they would be. As is they are a useless agency and should be defunded. Until they prove they can and will improve our lives we won't have a use for the EPA.
I am certainly no expert on the nuances of the law, but I don't belive the EPA has any authority over fracking operations.

Sadly enough
 

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Every refinery in the world flares off waste gas. I have had conversations with several people in the refining biz and they say it is not "cost effective" to do so. Some refineries have put in flares gas recovery units in recent years but with the price of oil now, getting extraction companies to do it on fracked wells would take an awful big stick. The logistics would be a nightmare. We could find another way to transport ourselves that doesn't involve internal combustion engines.
 
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Couldn't agree more...Trouble is I doubt any EPA funded scientists are underfunded. The military is underfunded, the VA is underfunded, the border patrol is underfunded, the FBI and CIA are underfunded. The EPA, I doubt it!

The EPA has become a "shut it down" agency. That's what they do, there is nothing constructive or useful if they aren't looking specifically for solutions.
The US military is not in any true sense of the word underfunded. Our budget is larger than the next three biggest militaries' combined. I know you think we should spend even more on it, and there we differ, but to say it's underfunded is just incorrect.
 
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