Environmental Consultant and Engineer
West Palm Beach, Florida
Energy and environmental issues have long been solved according to political correctness instead of by experts; with our new President that may change.
The results of 2016 Presidential Election – Republican President [without elected political experience but a successful billionaire developer and entertainment entrepreneur] and Republican Majority in Senate and House of Representatives [enabling appointment of moderate-conservative Supreme Court Justices] – reflects a victory for the private sector and a blow to political correctness. Given this dominance of political philosophy in all branches of government, forthcoming federal legislation and actions should apply fact-based, sound business and economic principles plus peer-review science to address our Energy and Environmental Issues.
Bans on Hydraulic Fracturing [fracking] on state level (e.g. New York) and local level (e.g. Denton TX, Monterrey CA) are not based on peer review science.
A review [analysis and evaluation] of regulatory and governmental scientific peer reviews shows that Hydraulic Fracturing [HF] does not pose an environmental and/or health threat – when practiced according to sound engineering principles.
Earthquakes are not caused by HF but by the application of deep-well disposal of wastewater associated with this technology. Rather than disposes of these liquid wastes their Reuse and Recovery should be practiced,
Methane Leaks and emissions occur due to inadequate well integrity. The remedy includes improved cementing practice with in-place monitoring. Minimize the effect of pipe line leaks by ensuring that well casing is placed adequately above aquifer level. When the vertical well portion is placed one mile or more below the surface the risk to water resources is minimal but more shallow wells pose a higher risk. Well design and construction should include proper well casing, cementing and monitoring.
Applying sound engineering practice based upon lessons-learned state regulatory requirements [TX, PA], standard-setting agencies [American Society of Testing and Materials, American Petroleum Institute] and certification by licensed Professional Engineer [same as requirements for deep well installations based on Gulf of Mexico Macando Oil Spill].
Public policies that reflect control of GreenHouse Gases e.g. Carbon Dioxide may be based upon misunderstanding of current peer review science.
Recent peer review articles [April and May 2016] reflect a shift in scientific opinions on Global Warming and Climate Change.
Articles, appearing in American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS] peer review publication, Science, question Methane Emission Control app[lied to Oil and Gas [USEPA regulation] and the effect of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation [AMOC] or Atlantic Conveyor belt causing sea level rises not melting of icebergs due to global warming.
A review of such recent peer review would place the debate about Global Warming and Climate Change within the Scientific and Technical Community. Policy Makers should be expanding their advisory teams to include experts capable of interpreting published articles to ensure a rational and logical debate.
Such an approach should be applied to national political issues – forming platforms of nominated candidates. Relying on professional politicians as advisors on such technical issues will not generate meaningful debate nor establish sound governmental policies. Using empirical results, to refute the concerns of Global Warming and Climate Change, poses a stronger argument than subjective rhetoric.