Thursday, May 23, 2013

Is fracking the US for LNG (liquified natural gas) the answer to Japan's energy needs?

Trailer for "Gasland", Josh Fox's documentary film that details the 
fracking industry's ecological impact on rural America

The largest natural gas drilling boom in American history is drastically impacting the natural landscape and small town culture of the rural United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has let loose a drive to exploit American shale gas deposits, the so-called "Saudia Arabia of natural gas" now increasingly marketed for export to keep prices (and profits) high.  The cost: earthquakes and hazardous water contamination.

Fracking involves injecting massive amounts of water mixed with toxic chemicals (including benzene and lead) at high pressure into the ground to fracture shale rock, thereby releasing natural gas. The toxic chemicals and methane seep into nearby drinking water, contaminating it and making it combustible. In Pennsylvania and Appalachia, radioactive Radium 226 is released during fracturing; creating radioactive fracking waste (too radioactive) for hazardous waste dumps).

Fracking chemicals are linked to bone, liver and breast cancers; gastrointestinal, circulatory, respiratory, developmental as well as brain and nervous system disorders.

Via Gasland
"But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown."
Moreover, is fracking the US for LNG (liquified natural gas) the answer for Japan's energy needs and a path to a "nuclear-free" Japan? And at what cost to rural communities and family farmers throughout the US?

Via Texas Sharon, a website run by rural Texans negatively impacted by fracking:
We get the impacts, Japan gets the gas: Japan buys into shale gas boom:

This explains why so many Japanese news stations have been in the Eagle Ford Shale recently. Most of the stations did not want to learn about impacts or talk to people who are suffering. They wanted happy stories for happy Japanese people who will happily cook their noodles and warm their buns using Texas gas. Only one group is interested in the impacts.

On Friday, while Texans were too busy being happy about the weekend, Obama approved another permit to export our domestic fracked gas...

This contract is for 20 years to export up to 1.4 billion cubic feet per day. Two of Japan’s largest utilities have contracts to buy LNG from the Texas facility for 20 years.

A massive infrastructure buildout and, with the rapid decline rates of fracked shale gas wells, lots more drilling will be required to meet the demands of this contract.

Texans get the impacts to air, water and land, Japan gets the gas, the Fracking Mafia gets the profit.
The Sierra Club on the TPP, Japan, and fracking:
Japan -- the world’s largest importer of liquefied natural gas – is seeking to import the dirty fuel from the United States. Exporting natural gas would raise domestic energy prices, harm the middle class and U.S. manufacturing, and significantly increase the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. That means we’ll be paying the price here, with more fracking in our backyards, near our schools, and next to our hospitals – only to help a handful of big gas companies profit by shipping natural gas overseas.

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