Business Owner – Ellenville, New York
The Catskill Mountainkeeper, an offshoot of the NRDC, is essentially at war with Upstate New York’s working class over development of economic resources.
Let’s talk some common sense about hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
There are huge reserves of natural gas and oil trapped in shale strata from 4,000 to 10,000 feet under the earth’s surface. In the past it was not viable to use because it could not be recovered in sufficient quantities. What made it viable is fracking, combined with horizontal drilling.
Hydraulic fracturing is accomplished by injecting a mixture of hydrochloric acid into the gas and oil bearing strata at very high pressure. The extreme pressure opens fissures in the shale and then the hydrochloric acid dissolves the limestone in the shale, opening pathways for the oil and gas to flow to the collection pipes. The chemical reaction of the acid and limestone results in the neutralization of the acid and formation of calcium chloride and carbon dioxide. Real bad stuff, according to the progressive socialists like the Catskill Mountainkeeper who oppose the use of carbon based fuels.
Can We Apply Some Common Sense Please?
Let’s take a closer look. Calcium chloride, a naturally occurring salt, is used in food processing like pickles and potato chips, and is regularly used on our sidewalks and roads as a melting agent. That horrible “green house gas,” carbon dioxide, is the basis of photosynthesis that combines carbon dioxide, sunlight, water and minerals to grow grass, trees, corn, wheat, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, kale and many things essential to our existence, and discharges oxygen into the atmosphere which allows animal life to exist. The opposite of plants, when we breathe we take oxygen from the atmosphere and expel carbon dioxide, water and fertilizer. Amazing how plant and animal life work in an ecosystem.
Let’s also look at the method of getting the acid solution down to the gas bearing shale strata. Water bearing strata ends about 1,000 feet below the earth’s surface and the gas bearing strata starts at a minimum of 4,000 feet down and usually 6,000 or 7,000 feet down. Multiple, concentric high pressure steel pipes are inserted in the drill hole and high strength concrete grout is injected between the casings. So, high strength steel casing with concrete grout penetrate through the thousand feet of water bearing rock and then go another few thousand feet deeper through rock to get to the gas bearing shale strata.
I once was given a tour of the Cargill salt mines under Cayuga Lake.
Some 2,400 feet under the lake there is a 12 foot layer of pure salt evaporated from an ancient sea. A complete crushing plant has been built down there. The plant is constructed of mild steel, complete with expanded metal walkways with hand rails. The temperature is a constant 77 degrees maintained by the molten core of the earth.
A two inch layer of salt dust covers everything, but there is no corrosion because there is no moisture. And that is only 1,400 feet lower than the water bearing strata. Most gas wells have four or five thousand feet of dry rock separating the gas bearing strata from your well.
Why Is There Such Hysteria from Catskill Mountainkeeper?
What is the reason for the hysteria of the Catskill Mountainkeeper (Ramsay Adams, son of John, the NRDC founder and Rockefeller man)? Our wells are protected by multiple steel pipes encased in high strength grout and 5,000 feet of solid, dry rock. When the fracking liquid is removed from the well it is transported, under rigid control, to a processing plant. This process is being successfully done across the United States and Canada.
And, what is the result of this fracking operation? Over the last two years our gas prices have dropped by $1.50 per gallon. The price of home heating fuel is dropping and we are not paying $100 a barrel for oil two oceans away to people who want to destroy us and our way of life. That money is now spent in this country.
The areas of Pennsylvania and other states that allow fracking have full employment and people are migrating there for good paying jobs. Young people graduating high school in Pennsylvania have jobs to start their lives while local kids here in this part of New York have to move away or stay at home with their parents and collect food stamps and EBT cards. Maybe, if we can reduce the cost of energy, we can start building things again so our kids will have jobs. When I was growing up in Ellenville, we all had summer jobs and many worked after school. There are no jobs for kids now, and consequently they develop no skills to enable them to earn a living and contribute to our society. We are in trouble.
Look what has happened in Ellenville over the past decade. Several hundred good jobs have moved out of town, state and country. New York State has the highest taxes in the United States. People and businesses are moving out as fast as they can. New York State is rated as the worst State in the country for retirement. We need help and we have natural gas that will create jobs, pay taxes and reduce our cost of living.
But the Catskill Mountainkeeper does not have to be concerned about that. He lives in luxury in the Rockefeller enclave on the Upper Beaverkill and preaches to us about the evils of low cost fuel. I wonder what fuel, and how much, he uses to heat his home? I wonder if he heads to a family home in the Carribean when it gets real cold? I wonder if the only job in town for his kid is at McDonalds. I wonder if his mother can’t afford groceries because her heating bill has gone up $200 a month and limits her food so she can feed her dog.
This is the hypocrisy of the progressive left. Sacrifice and difficulty should only be experienced by the working class while the privileged head south and the dependent sector turns up their thermostats.
Maybe more of us should take Governor Cuomo’s advice. Remember him saying, “If you are a conservative or gun owner, you are not welcome in New York.” Many can’t move because they are upside down on their mortgages because of the destructive policies of the progressive socialists.
Every day more people are walking away from their homes and moving to other States to start over again.
Keep on pluggin’ Catskill Mountainkeeper.
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