Sunday, August 2, 2009

What you can't see may hurt you.

The below video link was sent to us by txsharon and is an official video from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality. It shows fugitive emissions from a natural gas well facility in the Barnett Shale. It was taken with a high-tech infrared camera and shows the invisible hydrocarbon vapors. This is what is going into our air everyday.

The American Lung Association recently gave Denton County an air quality grad of "F"
Beth Lutz returned to Denton from a California vacation, her eyes began itching and burning again. The constant irritation in her throat returned, too.
“I don’t know what’s in the air here,” Lutz said.
According to state and federal data, it’s ground-level ozone. And greenhouse gases. And other noxious elements.
The American Lung Association grades Denton County air quality an “F,” identifying about 37.6 percent of the population, more than 230,000 people, as being most at risk on days with heavy smog.

A recent report by Al Armendariz, Ph.D., Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, Southern Methodist University, "Emissions from Natural Gas Production in the Barnett Shale Area and Opportunities for Cost-Effective Improvements"
Mentions that natural gas is important but is greatly affecting public health and our environment. The study was conducted to come up with some options to drill for gas in a way that has less impact our our air quality.

Natural gas production in the Barnett Shale region of Texas has increased rapidly since 1999, and as of June 2008, over 7700 oil and gas wells had been installed and another 4700 wells were pending. Gas production in 2007 was approximately 923 Bcf from wells in 21 counties. Natural gas is a critical feedstock to many chemical production processes, and it has many environmental benefits over coal as a fuel for electricity generation, including lower emissions of sulfur, metal compounds, and carbon dioxide. Nevertheless, oil and gas production from the Barnett Shale area can impact local air quality and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The objectives of this study were to develop an emissions inventory of air pollutants from oil and gas production in the Barnett Shale area, and to identify cost effective emissions control options.

Sign-on to Support Dr. Aremendariz for EPA Region 6 Administrator

The Oil and Gas Accountability Project has been working hard to get the United States Government to make the Oil and Gas industry abide by the Clean Air and Water Act just like every other industry in the nation. Currently, Oil and Gas has many exemptions (Halliburton Loophole is just one) and it has become critical that they have to follow the rules and regulations that everyone else has.
They state the following:

The oil and gas industry has the financial and technological ability to "Do it Right." In some situations, companies will use better practices because it makes economic sense to do so. In other cases, however, industry is forced to innovate because they are pushed to do so by government regulations (e.g., new regulations may limit the allowable amount of air emissions).

Often, communities or landowners are not opposed to drilling - they simply want to ensure that it is done in a way that minimizes impacts to the environment and their lives.


Anonymous said...

The new nickname of your blog should be Spin Doctors.

In 2002 and 2003, before the vast majority of drilling began in the Barnett Shale, the DFW ranked among the worst polluting areas in the United States. I guarantee you that even before that, this area ranked very very high on this list of polluters. Do you think that this problem came out of nowhere, or came from one source?

I can guarantee you that drilling is not helping the problem. I can also guarantee you that there are very few things that are doing anything but hurting the problem, too.

Would you please stop spinning our pollution problem to further your agenda? You're right, drilling harms the environment. But so the daily traffic congestion on some of our most poorly designed roadways. Hey and if you think about it this way, so does the suburb that you live in. You create more pollution per capita because you drive a longer distance to go to work or go anywhere for that matter, on average.

Do you REALLY think that gas drilling makes even a dent in our air quality when you take into consideration factors such as automobiles and factories? Those are just two examples.

It really is mind boggling and frustrating to read your blogs. And no, not because it makes me think twice about what is going on.

Tammi said...

Where is your study? What are your credentials? You hide behind "anonymous" and expect people to take your comments seriously. I am pretty sure you are the same person that has tried to discredit just about every post on this blog in the last 2 weeks. I'll take the word of a SMU Professor, The American Lung Assoc. and the TCEQ any day over yours. Those who do the research, are qualified, and are not afraid to put their name on it. Dr. Al Armendariz did the study to come up with some solutions to help the Oil and Gas Industry with their air quality issues. Do you not want the industry to do the right thing? Yes, it may cost the gas companies more to do it right, but in the long run, everyone wins. If you are so frustrated with hearing about valid issues on this blog, then don't read it and stay in denial.

Anonymous said...

All it takes is a simple search to uncover official air pollution tests conducted through the years in cities across the U.S., and their associated rankings. I'll let you toil over discovering those; If you end up giving up, I might give in and hold your hand to the answer.

In response to your attempt to validate your opinion with what you believe to be credible sources.. Please go onto Google and type in "smu professor on gas drilling". Please read the articles explaining why many believe his research to be false. If you call me biased, then I'll just point you to the department that he teaches in, and ask you if you believe that he is biased. No one that supports this blog has acknowledged the fact that there are credible facts and credible sources to denounce this research. It's doesn't take a genius to understand why.. It hurts your cause. Because you all are so hellbent on stopping gas drilling, I know that you will skim over and/or ignore all of the information that suggests that your champion article is not valid, but do me a favor and give it a good read. And yes, I know that the industry attacked his study for being biased, and I know that the numbers were recalculated. What your plea amounts to is selectively putting regulation on an industry simply because you do not like that they operate in or near your neighborhood.

Yea, no kidding the TCEQ is against gas drilling. The first thing that I saw when I visited their website were articles urging citizens to conserve water and drive a clean "green" machine. You are blind to the fact that they are overwhelmingly biased towards your point of view for obvious reasons.

Even IF gas drilling caused as much pollution as automobiles, wouldn't it be more efficient and effective to lobby for those changes? It is a fact that automobile pollution continues to go up every year, while pollution from gas drilling is NOT here to stay and NOT going up year after year after year indefinitely. YOU care more about the gas drilling because it affects YOU. To put it into a different perspective, how about thinking outside of your immediate horizons. Look at the broad picture. I can PROMISE you that automobile and industrial pollution affects you FAR worse than gas drilling. But I get it. The gas drillers are "invading your homes and your space" as you see it. That must almost be equivalent to someone not treating your child with respect, or someone kicking your dog. I get it, it's personal.

But why don't you look at it from a different perspective for once, and see that your problem in your small world doesn't even come close to the entire scope of what is happening out in reality.

Tammi said...

If you really believe what you are saying is true, why are you hiding behind "anonymous"? Share your name and your links to the information and maybe someone will take you seriously. It sounds like you are afraid to let us know who you are. Is that because issues with gas drilling are personal (like you might profit from it in some way) to you too?

Anonymous said...

Why should who I am matter when it comes to what I am saying? You sound like one of those people that buys Advil just because it is Advil, even though cheaper store-brand is the exact same thing. You trust it. You don't trust me. I get it.

Just because you do not know who I am, why should you not listen to what I have to say? Words are words are words, regardless of who says them. Some of the most famous quotes are from anonymous sources. Welcome to the 21st century and the internet, the birth of widespread anonymity as we know it.

Instead of continually telling me to show myself, all I want you to do is sit back, read what I have to say, digest it, and change your perspective. I'm not saying that you have to believe every word that I say, that's fine if you don't. But understand the words, ideas, and facts that are bulging out of the computer screen at you. Look at it from a different point of view without bias.

Does it make you seethe that I won't reveal myself?

Tammi said...

If the Dallas Morning News or Star Telegram printed an article and didn't put their name on it, would anyone take the article seriously? A blank piece of information without a source? I have to believe most people would throw it in the trash.

jim said...

That's a cop-out if I've ever heard of one. There is no substitute for logic and good sense. If you read my posts, you'll find plenty of it. All that you have contributed to the discussion is a perpetual demand for me to reveal who I am, followed by loosely citing sources that you believe help your argument, while I have contributed line after line of original, logical thoughts and ideas.

I'm not telling you who I am, so get over it.