Las Vegas Sun

November 20, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Overstating an energy ‘crusade’

President Barack Obama’s recent embrace of natural gas can barely be called a “crusade,” (“Why Las Vegas is crucial in Obama’s natural-gas crusade,” Jan. 26). According to Project Vote Smart, President Obama has never used the words “hydraulic fracturing” in his public statements and directly referenced “shale” gas only once domestically prior to his State of the Union address. In contrast, a search for “solar” leads to four pages of results and a search for “wind” leads to seven.

While he travels the country visiting his preferred stimulus-backed enterprises, the president has never seen for himself how these operations are run. Yet still he has the audacity to take credit for the private sector’s embrace of this technology. A crusade would require tangible actions and rhetoric in support of responsible natural gas development.

Based on his total lack of interest, it is evident the president does not genuinely care about development of this resource.

The author is the energy and environment legislative specialist at The Heartland Institute in Chicago.

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  1. A search for The Heartland Institute will tell you where this post is coming from. Consider the source and ignore it.

  2. It would be helpful if President Obama stated in a straightforward manner, his position on energy and energy policy. Does he support natual gas development other than fracking? Does he support Fracking? Does he support bringing heavy oil from Canada via a pipeline through the US to the gulf coast? Does he support developing our closer in offshore oil deposits and tapping Anwar in Alaska?

    I believe the answer to all these questions is 'no' but the President is worried that many Americans don't agree with all those 'no's'.

    It's always tough to get any politician to tell you what he or she really thinks, but President Obama's lack of candor on this vital issue is really very poor leadership. He should make his views clear and see if Americans agree with them.

    Michael

  3. Why is the Sun publishing propaganda from an unreliable source not even in the state?

  4. Michael,
    Instead of staring up into the sky and asking why you could go here:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy

    There now, that wasn't hard was it? Would you like someone to clean up your messes after you as well?

  5. Mark,

    I always know what I'm going to get with you. The website is a 'general' statement on energy policy, which all White Houses issue. The specifics I asked about are not addressed there. The President has made it 'very' clear that he supports green energy. Fine. I'm good with that. When it comes to fossil fuel development, the President is much less clear about his views. It may or may not be popular but we deserve to know his views on the issues I highlighted and others.

    Michael

  6. Ideologically speaking...

    Birdie and I are, well...birds of a feather
    so much so I've been accused of BEING birdie
    and I couldn't agree more...

    "man o man...
    this newspaper has fallen...
    fallen badly...
    i know i just just read an article or two at most now...
    before i used to read virtually everything...
    too bad...
    so sad..."

    It's ALL about the clicks now.

    The ranting, raving, lunatic fringe has also spoiled what was once a semi-enlightening Sun comments section.
    'Moderator'? Oh, please.
    Shirley, you jest!

  7. Mikey,
    "Safe and Responsible" mean anything to you?

  8. gmag39,

    Which "ranting, raving, lunatic fringe" are you referring to? Left, right or both?

    I agree with you that the fringe elements have drastically altered the comments environment.

  9. Mark,

    If President Obama thinks that certain fossil fuel development is unsafe or not responsible, let him specifically say so, explain why, and name the fuels and development he deems unsafe and not responsible.

    Why is this never done? Because it leads to the following question, which is quite difficult to answer in a way that would satisify most Americans: If you put 'off limits' the development of all these fossil fuel, non green sources of energy, how are we going to satisfy our needs without the cost of energy going through the roof?

    I understand the environmentalists and their commendable effort to save the environment. But like in so many other areas, because some group believes they know best and the 'stupid Americans' just won't agree, rather than have an honest debate, they don't fully explain what they want and the consequences of doing that, because to do so might mean that the needed support just would not materialize.

    Michael

  10. Thank you Frank for your post, while you brought up the subjects, do you really feel it was wrong for president Bush not to invade Afghanistan and hunt down those terrorist who attacked our country? Even Franklin D. Roosevelt had no problem declaring war on Japan after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Your opinion is Bush should have done nothing? You are entitled to it, that is why those who fight fight for it. As for Fracking, here is some info you can check out: (from http://www.fracturedappalachia.org/for-l...) Now we get to the meat of the controversy. The first is what are these chemicals? If you google "what's in frac fluid" you'll find lists of these chemicals posted by Halliburton, Chesapeake, EQT, and other companies. And, yes, a check of the MSDS shows some are pretty nasty. This brings up the second part of the controversy which is that this is somehow unregulated. The injection of this fluid mixture for the purpose of inducing fractures in an oil or gas reservoir to stimulate production is not regulated under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act. This is mainly because, especially in a gas well, the fluid is injected, and then as much as possible is removed from the underground reservoir so that gas may be produced. What is regulated under the Clean Water Act and Amendments is the treatment and disposal of the used frac fluid when it is brought back to the surface. The spent frac fluid must either be treated, a potential burden to local waste water treatment facilities, or it must be disposed of in a permitted disposal well (i.e., permitted as an EPA Class I UIC disposal well).

    Problems with this fluid can occur if there is a spill, the induced fractures could communicate with pre-existing wellbores, fractures, or faults and reach shallower USDWs, or the stimulation could "go out of zone", fracture the reservoir seal, and propagate upward to USDWs. It is also possible that the casing in the well could be poorly cemented and the fluids under pressure could migrate upward along the wellbore itself. There are several tools for the simulation and design of fracture stimulation treatments and tools for realtime monitoring of the progress of the stimulation while it is being pumped.

    We all await your comment and response to these issues you have brought up.

  11. boftx...

    I'm pretty sure you know without asking what I'm talking about; but there's some on both ends of the spectrum. TOO MUCH with the personal attacks that go unchecked, and RELENTLESSLY putting down those you don't agree with politically or philosophically, and then hammering on it INCESSANTLY.

    Most of your commentary, for example, I enjoy, if not necessarily agree with.

  12. gmag39,

    Thanks for the kinds words, and the respect is mutual. And thanks for clarifying your statement.

    I was pretty sure that was what you meant, but the wording could be taken by some (who are in fact the ones being referred to) as applying only to the "other" side and I wanted to have it spelled out for them.

    I would not be surprised if the Sun gets tired of the escalation of bitterness and hatred and downright rudeness and takes steps to limit it, again.

    I have no idea how I'm going to tie this post to the main topic other than by saying I have to take anything said by Mr. Obama with a grain of salt this close to election time.