Fracking in Monterey County – all eyes on us

Can Fracking Bans Succeed in Oil and Gas Country? All Eyes Are on Monterey – WSJ

From a constant reader in North Dakota: “Today’s WSJ article about fracking in Monterey County caught my eye. The Bakken oil play propelled ND to the country’s #2 oil producer, second only to Texas. The Bakken is so successful entirely because of fracking; without fracking, Bakken oil is not accessible economically. Yet even here in pro-oil country, fracking has become controversial because of its impact on water.

Each well uses over 1 million gallons of water to frack. The water has to come from somewhere economically accessible, and the oil industry has engaged in controversial, highly questionable practices to gain access to that much water, a scarce resource in this area. One practice has been to buy off ranchers, pitting neighbor against neighbor. Once fracked, the ‘brine’ residue then must be disposed. It is highly salty; and it and the filtering equipment used in the fracking process are contaminated with above legal levels of radioactive waste. Salt water disposal wells, the source of the alarming earthquake activity in Oklahoma, have sprung up around the area, themselves replete with problems ranging from contamination to leaks to bankruptcy, leaving county taxpayers holding the bag. Radioactive waste disposal has been a source of continual problems in ND, numerous incidents of illegal dumping, costing counties multi-millions in clean-up costs. The State has dealt with this problem by raising the level of acceptable contamination, making it easier to dispose of the radioactive waste. Further, issues abound about the impact on our aquifers created by fracking; a pattern has been established demonstrating drying up residential and stock wells.

Fracking creates so many issues. Like Monterey County, the Little Missouri National Grasslands, where I live, is one of this country’s true natural treasures. The impact on our lives, our lands, our water, from the oil industry’s activities is real. I hope Monterey County protects itself.”

Best regards,

81flatrock81 adds this regarding where he/she lives and his/her understanding of the issue: “readers are welcome to contact me. [email is:] My ranch is located on the fringe of the Bakken play. My county, McKenzie County, is ND’s #1 oil-producing county. I have personally experienced all sides of the oil issue, from local ranchers’ perspectives about the advantages as well as disadvantages from oil activity, to local and state politicians/regulators/employees, essentially apologists for the industry, to industry actions and practices. Generally speaking, it appears to me that the bottom line is short-term money making, an irresistible elixir erasing sound judgment and rational thinking.”

11 thoughts on “Fracking in Monterey County – all eyes on us

  1. In addition to the waste disposal major issue, there is the problem of removing a fixed volume of gas from underneath the Earth’s surface.
    After this volume of gas is removed, what will be there to fill that empty space?
    Well, nothing.
    The Earth will eventually settle and cause what to happen?

  2. The oil companies tried fracking in Monterey county a few years ago and stopped because is geology here is not suited for it. Of all the restrictions in this measure, the ban on fracking will have the least impact. It is very deceptive to have “Ban Fracking” as its slogan when there is no current fracking, and then include a ban on new oil wells and a ban on reinjecting the stuff that comes up with the oil. They have given no thought to what will happen to the toxins that would no longer be allowed to go back where they came from. It would in fact be a greater danger to our drinking water to be shipping or storing the concentrated toxins.

  3. Only rational solution seems to be to keep it in the ground. Support DAPL along with other protesters working to do just that!

  4. The link at the beginning of this post took me to a sign in/register page for the WSJ. No thanks. Was able to get the article with the following search string.

    Monterey county fracking

    TODAY (11/4) the results of the search (Google) brings the article up to the top of the search. (“newer” news will bump it down so…)

    As for Prop Z – read it carefully. It seems to be a great example of the old “let’s see how confusing we can make this to the voters.. YES means NO, NO means MAYBE, MAYBE might mean YES if this,this and this happens before that happens.”
    Right. It all really depends on the stage of the moon and the price of tea in China. But we all know that! haha
    Didn’t we previously vote on “voting issue clarity” in the 80’s? That obviously didn’t stick!
    Can’t wait until the 9th. All this “talk” is making my wine sour and the stack of recycling is getting out of hand.

  5. Big Sur Kate – I’m a big fan and really appreciate what you did for us all during the fire. I’m really concerned about the anti-fracking rhetoric, however. As those in Big Sur who know me know, I care about our community and our environment and our country. Fracking is one of the best things that has come along in a long time to help both our environment and our country. It’s far from perfect but it’s getting better and it has already helped our environment by reducing the use of coal in our electric utilities. It has also helped our country and our world by reducing the enormous out-flow of dollars to the Middle East – an out-flow which financed terrorism world wide while causing a terrible balance of payments problem for the US.

    My business is financing new technology. I’m not an investor in any fracking technology or companies, but I know for sure that the fracking technology will keep getting better (new technologies always do). In the long run solar energy is great (it already provides virtually all of the power for my Big Sur home), but for the next decade, fracking will keep getting safer and cleaner and hopefully will keep displacing more coal and liquid petroleum which are much worse than natural gas for our environment. Both oil and natural gas have to come out of the ground too, and anyone who thinks it’s more dangerous to take a gas out of the earth than to talk a liquid or a solid simply isn’t thinking clearly.

    I hope this causes a few people to rethink their opposition to fracking.

  6. Hello Bob and everyone else: thanks for your thoughtful replies. Well first question is I didn’t know fracking was currently being done, where and how long? The other is Bob, can you tell me about this topic of when you remove gas, then we are left with nothing, that does concern me.

  7. interesting perspective bob pleaded. gives thought. none that i have given thus far. and from the lack of response giving others time to ponder.

  8. It’s a reasonable concern, but the gas is under pressure so it takes up very little volume. Then, when they frack, they drive sand into the openings so the natural gas can escape through the permeable sand. The sand is used to keep the cracks open so the gas can escape.

    To be clear I am not a geologist so I am not an expert on this. There are clearly people who are much smarter on this than I. I do know, however, that they do not leave open unfilled spaces. They fill them up with sand so that the gas can seep out over time. By comparison, coal mining and oil drilling actually remove something that is not compressible, so there is more real concern there. The oil and coal industries have learned how to manage this risk and how not to mine/drill where the geologies are wrong. Clearly the fracking industry has to learn the same kind of lesson.

  9. 99.9% of all things humans have created is not required.
    Doing nothing is the single most difficult thing for a human to accomplish.
    The big sur guide specifically states that doing nothing is one of the best things to do in big sur.

    Doing nothing is healthy and healing.

    Ban excessive human consumption.

  10. Leave No Trace, “Pack it in, Pack it Out.”

    This also applies to Industry, yet as history has shown, industry abandons what isn’t profit.

    Point Sur- Military.
    Lanai- Pineapple.
    Namu- Cannery.

    And many, many other Native Lands exploited and abandoned.


    Bob is wrong, probably not his fault… Misdirection is a very powerful influencing technique used by manipulators to create followers that then become enablers.

    “the sun, the moon and the truth cannot be hidden for long.”

    and the truth is?

    Pay attention and “follow the money.”

    In the year 2000 there were seven countries without a Rothschild owned Central Bank:

    North Korea

    The only countries left in 2003 without a Central Bank owned by the Rothschild Family were:

    North Korea

    The only countries left in 2011 without a Central Bank owned by the Rothschild Family are:

    North Korea

    Before September 11, 2001 there was a document drafted that created a plan to go to war with 7 countries over 5 years, that document was given to the president after 911 as testified by General Wesley Clark.

    Do the Math, Numbers never Lie.

  11. Thank you, Big Sur, for your exceptional comments!!
    To the people supporting Bob and/or his ideas; Did you miss the part where he states that “My business is financing new technology.” Soooo…. he DOES benefit from making people THINK fracking is ok…. follow the money and their minions….

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