Fracking

John’s post about fracking is interesting to me because the rural Southern Tier of New York State sits atop a huge deposit of natural gas that could be fracked, but hasn’t been, mainly because of strong, grassroots resistance. There are anti-fracking signs all over the city and towns here, and it was a big issue in one of the recent Congressional campaigns in the (former) 29th Congressional District, which covers most of the Southern Tier. I expect that shale gas will be drilled at some point in the future in New York, but only after we learn the lessons that the fuck and run drilling companies are teaching places like West Virginia.

During one of the campaigns when I lived in the 29th district, I ran a race blog and one of the conservative commenters claimed he used to live in the district but moved to some conservative southern state because of the onerous regulations and high taxes in New York. I don’t remember where he moved, but there just isn’t enough justice in the world to make it West Virginia.

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85 replies
  1. 1
    geg6 says:

    The only thing I found surprising about the situation in WV is that it hasn’t yet happened here in PA. That we know of.

  2. 2
    Comrade Jake says:

    In no small part due to the efforts of Tony Ingraffea at Cornell.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSWmXpEkEPg

    We’ve started to look into some of the science. The current thinking here at least is that most of the methane contamination is not due to the fracking itself so much as leaks near the surface of the well. Vengosh has been doing some really nice work on this.

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    Plus the Southern Tier has the Southern Tier Brewing Company.

    What an asset.

    ETA: They make the world’s best and most-coveted pumpkin beer, Pumking. So delish.

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @BGinCHI: I love most of their work, but with so much variety you’ll get some clinkers. Eurotrash Pils was awful, and their Creme Brulee Stout is undrinkable. And pumpkin beer, no matter whose, is just an abomination.

  5. 5
    Pincher says:

    But in all fairness, West Virginia is not exactly a conservative southern state.

  6. 6
    Mike E says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Plus, the bottles are too small! Too.

  7. 7
    Roger Moore says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    The current thinking here at least is that most of the methane contamination is not due to the fracking itself so much as leaks near the surface of the well.

    I assume that’s [ETA: the part about the contamination not being from the fracking] also true of contamination with fracking chemicals. The actual fracking takes place way below the water table, but the chemicals have to be pumped back out of the well and disposed of, and there’s plenty of potential for contamination in the process, especially when companies try to save a buck with improper storage and disposal techniques.

  8. 8
    BGinCHI says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It is your right to be wrong about pumpkin beer, so I’ll leave that alone.

    All breweries swing and miss at seasonals and specialty beers. ST does great work though. Very popular even here in target-rich Chicago.

    BTW, pumpkin beer each fall is a hugely popular and much-anticipated drinking phenom here in the city. This year pretty much all pumpkin beers were sold out before Halloween. I think we embrace this more than much of the rest of the country. When I was in Seattle at Xmas there were still pumpkin bombers available and at blow-out prices (from Rogue among others). This doesn’t surprise me, really, as we’re pretty sophisticated beer drinkers as well as being smart and good-looking.

  9. 9
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Yes, absolutely. Work here at Duke has largely been focused on methane contamination.

  10. 10
    Ronnie Pudding says:

    So what’s more common in the Southern Tier, anti-fracking sings or anti-SAFE Act signs (i.e., anti-gun laws)? Small town NY is littered with the latter. Here in suburban Rochester, we see a fair amount of both.

  11. 11
    srv says:

    LIberals get so uppity about their water having a little flavor.

  12. 12
    lol says:

    Fracking toasters.

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    @BGinCHI:

    This doesn’t surprise me, really, as we’re pretty sophisticated beer drinkers as well as being smart and good-looking

    As well as being the self-professed leaders in the study of humility.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Once again, the reason for all those “onerous regulations” is to protect the negative rights of a lot of people from the positive rights of assholes to make a fast buck and then leave dealing with the consequences of the actions of the assholes to others.

  15. 15
    Fuzzy says:

    Frackers should be fracked by sticking a pressure hose up their ass and see if what comes out of their mouth is drinkable. Start with the gas company CEOs please and move on to state legislators and governors who approve of it.

  16. 16
    Fuzzy says:

    Frackers should be fracked by sticking a pressure hose up their ass and see if what comes out of their mouth is drinkable. Start with the gas company CEOs please and move on to state legislators and governors who approve of it.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    Is unfettered capitalism the disease or is it just another symptom of the disease?

  18. 18
    WereBear says:

    one of the conservative commenters claimed he used to live in the district but moved to some conservative southern state because of the onerous regulations and high taxes in New York.

    It’s a reflex, like the legs of a pithed frog. They all say that.

    But when my not yet ready for Medicare mother broke her leg, thank heavens it was in New York. As I told her, (and she agreed,) “In Florida, they would have shot you like a horse.”

    Like my brother, who left the Adirondack Park to go back to Montana because they have “better” hunting regulations. But usually people with a grievance can specify, you know, details, chapter and verse.

    He couldn’t do that. Because it was that it was New York.

    I just wish wingnuts were MORE allergic to blue states.

  19. 19
    Elmo says:

    @BGinCHI:

    They also make a Creme Brûlée Stout that my wife covets beyond all other worldly goods. Even I like it, and I hate beer.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elmo: I like a good chocolate stout and also oatmeal stout. Never had a creme brulee stout but that sounds like a bridge too far.

  21. 21
    jon says:

    So the GOP wants to create jobs with a pipeline to deliver caustic Canadian oil to foreigners via ports in Texas and Louisiana. How about instead we build a pipeline that delivers water to West Virginia? It can be paid for with the billions in fines that Houston company will be paying for poisoning the water of 300,000 people.

    Jobs! And a pipeline that delivers water!

    Just have to find some water that isn’t poisonous.

  22. 22
    Elmo says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    HA! Chacon a son gout, as they say.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @jon:

    It can be paid for with the billions in fines that Houston company will be paying for poisoning the water of 300,000 people.

    Best laugh I’ve had so far today, thanks.

  24. 24
    khead says:

    A giant spill is a tragedy. A century of slowly pouring shit into the river is the cost of business.

  25. 25
    Xboxershorts says:

    The only lesson NY State could reasonably learn from the Fuck and Run operations in WV and PA is that there’s no economically viable way to do unconventional shale gas drilling safely.

    So don’t fucking do it.

    Signed,

    A resigned resident of the PA Marcelllus Region who can fill you with horror stories of this Fuck and Run industry.

  26. 26
    Xboxershorts says:

    @khead:

    A giant spill is a tragedy. A century of slowly pouring shit into the river is the cost of business.

    To wit: http://www.cardcreek.com/Other.....;k=sQSFwXC

  27. 27
    🎉 Martin says:

    @jon:

    It can be paid for with the billions in fines that Houston company will be paying for poisoning the water of 300,000 people.

    And WV will immediately give Houston exactly the same number of billions in tax waivers to keep them in state.

  28. 28
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elmo: Even I like it, and I hate beer.

    That’s because that swill isn’t beer. I don’t know what category it falls in, but if you were to draw Venn diagrams, there’d be no overlap of the circles.

    Good you’re not diabetic.

  29. 29
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    @BGinCHI: They make my favorite IPA too.

  30. 30
    Xboxershorts says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Plus the Southern Tier has the Southern Tier Brewing Company.

    What an asset.

    ETA: They make the world’s best and most-coveted pumpkin beer, Pumking. So delish.

    And the finest Chocolate Stout on the planet!

    Plus a really REALLY cool music venue!

    http://youtu.be/GYhnd_JXeb4

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Elmo says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Maybe, but my wife loves all dark stouts – not just the sweet ones. It does kinda taste like a beer milkshake, tho.

  33. 33
    BGinCHI says:

    @Corner Stone: We are the best at that too. Just ask Rahm.

  34. 34
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elmo: They say it, but sometimes they are wrong. There are some foodstuffs (drinkstuffs) that are crimes against nature, not matters of taste. Exhibit A: http://rogue.com/beers/voodoo-bacon-maple.php

  35. 35
    BGinCHI says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Keep fucking that lager chicken.

  36. 36
    scav says:

    @Elmo: Funny, I was suddenly thinking of the other direction — how to maybe get a little more bitter whatever into the desserts. There’s got to be a pie recipe already out there and some sort of Guiness pie, stout brownies . . .

  37. 37
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @BGinCHI: One of the ingredients of beer is hops. I prefer to taste that.

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    It’s still the pinnacle of hilarity that the company’s name is “Freedom Industries”.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937:

    They make my favorite IPA too.

    Obviously a sign you haven’t tried Pliny the Elder.

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    Can’t cook, can’t clean, can’t take a shower. How long could this possibly take to flush out of the system? Think about ice machines or refrigerators that have in-line water. Is it all that hardware just ruined?

  41. 41
    Xboxershorts says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Obviously a sign you haven’t tried Pliny the Elder.

    Good luck buying that east of the Mississippi…Russian River ships very little Pliny to this side…

    and…

    You should also seriously consider trying some of the STBC offerings before dismissing…
    I’m not kidding.

  42. 42
    Ruckus says:

    @RSR:
    At the end of the article it said that some farmers thought it would be OK for the water. And went on to say that one could always drink milk or soy milk. Except of course cows need water to make milk and soy milk has a large water content as well. Are some farmers that stupid?

  43. 43
    gene108 says:

    @jon:

    It can be paid for with the billions in fines that Houston company will be paying for poisoning the water of 300,000 people.

    If you fine job creators they will no longer be willing to invest in our country and take their job creating powers to other countries, like the Cayman Islands.

    Why do you hate America?

    Why do you love the Cayman Islands more than West Virginia?

    Suck it libtard.

    /sarcasm.

  44. 44
    GregB says:

    By the way, I am growing convinced that the Democrats will end up gaining many more seats in the 2014 election than we expect.

    There are so many stories about how they are not going to do well running in the mainstream media that it reminds me of the exact same drumbeat that occurred in 2006.

    Charlie Cook be damned.

  45. 45
    Ruckus says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Old saying, “It takes all kinds”.

    Thankfully!

  46. 46
    scav says:

    @Ruckus: Times have changed if the hard-bitten, rural, Leave Our Mineral Extraction Disaster Producers Alooone! crowd are suggesting Soy with a straight face. Can Chablis-sipping be far behind?

  47. 47
    BGinCHI says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I can appreciate liking hops, but I find they are often a one-note wonder. All of the jacked up hops beer just doesn’t make sense to me. They need to be balanced by something (or many things).

    I like interesting flavors in beer. Fruited beer for example can have residual sugar but it has to have acids to even things out. Beer should strive to be like wine, which the best of it does.

    Anyone else here tried the Rubus made by Birra del Borgo (Italy)? It’s a sour that’s not too sour, with raspberries. It’s really unbelievable. Hard to find and pricey but amazing. New Glarus in WI makes a cherry beer that is also amazing. Only available in the state though.

  48. 48
    Freemark says:

    @Xboxershorts: Sierra Nevada Torpedo may be the best IPA with large distribution.

    this description

    Torpedo is an assertive American IPA deep reddish-gold in color, with a smooth and bready malt presence and over-the-top hop aromas. The beer has a solid bitterness and a massive hop flavor, yet remains easy drinking with a pleasant dry finish.

    is spot on

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @BGinCHI: This blog, I tell you. It goes from talking about fanbois to framboise almost overnight. From a post about fuc…um, sexual contraception to fracking.

  50. 50
    Elizabelle says:

    At this very moment, Democrats are being inaugurated as Attorney General, Lt. Governor, and Governor of the great Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Welcome, Attorney General Mark Herring.

    It’s raining and foggy in Richmond, alas.

  51. 51
    Elizabelle says:

    Cooch’s reign of terror just ended. One minute ago. Woo hoo!

  52. 52
    BGinCHI says:

    @Freemark: Not sure how widely available it is, but Greenbush (from MI) makes a great beer called Closure. Lots of hops but also good malt.

    Here.

  53. 53
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    What’s even more hilarious is they don’t have a clue why that name is so hilarious.

  54. 54
    BGinCHI says:

    @Corner Stone:

    fanbois to framboise

    WIN.

  55. 55
    BGinCHI says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I assume it means “free to pollute.”

    I was betting the Kochs owned that company when this broke. Is it a private company? Anyone know?

  56. 56
    scav says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, here’s one of my other tabs — continues the Fracking theme with notes of amber. Oldest evidence of sex in flowering plants.

    Hard core warning, hot grains of pollen on stigma action captured.

  57. 57
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @BGinCHI: The balance argument, which I appreciate, can be thrown back at a lot of the current stouts and porters, which are being brewed so sweet as to eradicate any note of hops. Malt and sugar is all I get. Like Elmo said about that Creme Brulee Stout, it’s a beer milkshake. The pumpkin beers (which I think are at fad level now) are all about the spice, and since I can’t stand pumpkin pie, they really are out of bounds for me. There are lambics and sours I’ve tried and liked, but I find they have to be consumed in small doses. Drinking 750 ml of most any wine is not a problem at all, but drinking 750 ml of a sour? Hard to do.

    And I have yet to encounter a human who actually likes that Rogue Voodoo concoction.

  58. 58
    Xboxershorts says:

    @BGinCHI:

    @Freemark: Not sure how widely available it is, but Greenbush (from MI) makes a great beer called Closure. Lots of hops but also good malt.

    Slab Cabin from Otto’s Brew Pub in State College is another excellent IPA

  59. 59
    Corner Stone says:

    How much hate could Rep Issa actually possess in his shriveled up soul? The guy is worth $464M+ and yet shows up each week in Congress to lie about shit, unrepentantly.
    If I had that kind of scratch I think I could find other venues to explore.

  60. 60
    Elizabelle says:

    And now Virginia Governor Terrence R. McAuliffe begins his inaugural address. 72nd governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Oddly, third Catholic in a row. Former Governor McDonnell made that point in brief remarks (presenting the key?? Missed beginning…), very cordial, as he passed the key to a second Irish-American with five children and Catholic.

    Tim Kaine was the first of the three Catholic governors. He has three children, FWIW. And Tim is of Irish-American ancestry too. Never thought about that.

    Who knew we were becoming Massachusetts?

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @scav:
    Bet they start with wine in a box.

    “That’s some good shit, that is!”

  62. 62
    BGinCHI says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Same with me on sours. I usually find them too, well, sour. They need balance. Even when they have it I can only drink one. I’m mostly a wine drinker so with beer I only ever have 1 or maybe 2 a night, so I want something interesting. Just don’t drink sessional beers anymore. Agree with you on Porters, especially. Not too many folks get that right. I like a sweet stout if it also has some bitterness, hops or otherwise.

    Not sure where you live but try that Greenbush I mentioned. Terrific.

    Have you had Left Hand’s Sawtooth? Esp good on nitrogen draft.

  63. 63
    Elizabelle says:

    @GregB:

    By the way, I am growing convinced that the Democrats will end up gaining many more seats in the 2014 election than we expect.

    I think so too.

  64. 64
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @BGinCHI: I was going to Google them, but their web site returns a 509 error (bandwidth limit exceeded.)

    From this article http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201401100119 I’d surmise they are privately held.

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @scav: “In Cretaceous flowers, we’ve never before seen a fossil that shows the pollen tube actually entering the stigma,” said Prof Poinar.

    Scandalous!

  66. 66
    BGinCHI says:

    @Corner Stone: He’d be boosting cars if he had the balls to risk going back to the joint.

    He’s a recidivist.

  67. 67
    BGinCHI says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That would be my guess. Their lawyers are going to be fucking busy.

  68. 68
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Our Job Creators are really some awful human beings. That is not a flattering report.

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    I used to drink some beers, usually stouts, because they had some flavor and heft. Never could stand things like coors or butt light, they are useless wastes of water. But then I’ve also ordered vanilla milkshakes, plain water and white wine. You sound like my friend who was and is a beer snob. Sort of like a wine snob who always has to have their wine just so, opened and served in a certain way. Of course he had tasted a lot of beers and I got to find some really good ones through him but it seemed to take some of the fun out of trying new things, new tastes. Sure there are disasters sometimes but what would the world be if all we had was buttwiper or buttwiper lite? Plenty of people like those, or at least drink a lot of them.

  70. 70
    CaseyL says:

    I just tuned in to the Virginia Governor’s Inauguration. A First Nation – I don’t know which one – is drumming and dancing.

    … and now the benediction by a preacher man.

  71. 71
    Elizabelle says:

    @CaseyL:

    I think it’s the Pamunkey Indians.

    They arrive in December each year, bearing a dead deer in tribute too. Kind of cool to see the tradition continue.

  72. 72
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @BGinCHI: Since the components of Freedom Industries are LLC’s, I’d bet the Job Creators are pretty well insulated from liability here. I’d defer to one of our lawyers for the real scoop.

  73. 73
    beltane says:

    @Corner Stone: Unbelievable. These people contaminate the water supply of hundreds of thousands of people and the only thing they can do is express butthurt that the public is not giving them the sympathy they deserve.

  74. 74
    Xboxershorts says:

    @Elizabelle:

    bearing a dead deer in tribute too

    In NJ, it’s a severed horse’s head

  75. 75
    Elizabelle says:

    @Xboxershorts:

    You made me laugh. Well done.

  76. 76
    bewleys says:

    @Ruckus: Yes.
    Each season, after 40 years, they still don’t know which seed crops to use.
    If there wasn’t subsidies, and insurance most farmers would be bankrupt in a year.

  77. 77
    tybee says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I can appreciate liking hops, but I find they are often a one-note wonder.

    R-Amen

  78. 78
    CaseyL says:

    @Elizabelle: Thanks for the info!

    The dead deer tribute is cool. But I have an image in my head of people ceremoniously presenting an entire deer corpse to the Governor, possibly placing it (respectfully) on his desk.

    Is that how it’s done? My knowledge of meat processing is slim-to-nil, but I thought you had to butcher a kill immediately, or it would be unfit to eat.

    Do you know what happens to the deer afterward?

  79. 79

    @scav:

    I’ve made Guinness cupcakes before. It pairs very nicely with chocolate.

  80. 80
    Ruckus says:

    @bewleys:
    It was a rhetorical question. But you wouldn’t have known that I lived at the very edge of farm country for 11 years. Used to ride my bicycle for miles on back roads where the corn was higher than my head.
    I already knew the answer was, “Yes, most of them are.”

  81. 81
    muddy says:

    @CaseyL: I don’t know what they do in the Virginia tribute, but in general you have to take the gut sack out right away. The rest can stay together, and some people hang them for a while as with beef before going further. Altho when I see it the deer is hanging outdoors in appropriate weather, I don’t know if anyone does it inside. I have also helped to completely butcher one up while it was yet warm, on the picnic table. It’s tasty regardless.

  82. 82
    Elizabelle says:

    @CaseyL:

    Here’s a good blogpost with pictures of the deer presentation. (Former!!) Governor McDonnell received an 8 point buck last year. It was shot a few days prior on the Pamunkey Reservation’s lands, and brought to the governor hanging from a post.

    http://blogs.roanoke.com/polit.....ey-tribes/

    What happened to the deer last year, I cannot say, since the Transvaginal Bob family had long since fired the Executive Mansion’s chef for stealing food — which led to his singing loudly to the authorities about grifting by his former employers.

    Us Virginians are waiting with bated breath to see when and if our former chief executive and former first lady are charged by the feds. They scrammed out of the inaugural festivities plenty fast today.

    Back to the deer, though:

    In happier times, however, newly hired (but now fired and convicted and very sad) chef Todd Schneider was planning to butcher the deer and turn it into some tasty venison stew for the First Family, with leftovers going to charity.

    Nice pic here of the 2010 dead deer and some game birds too.

    In years past (long past), previous Virginia governors have been given beaver pelts as tribute too, but if the McDonnells are walking around in beaver hats or coats, that has so far gone unremarked.

  83. 83
    Freemark says:

    @Xboxershorts: I live in York, PA so I might be able to find that. If I can I’ll try it.

    For those who don’t like hop bitterness try Founders Breakfast Stout. DE-LIC-IOUS The only bad news is that it is seasonal and sells out quickly.

    description

    The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and Sumatra and Kona coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.

  84. 84
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Thanks, I knew there’d be people there long before me. Bittersweet would be good. Liking the thought of this Salted Beer Caramel Sauce too.

  85. 85
    rikyrah says:

    Jeff Gauvin @JeffersonObama
    Follow

    West Virginia chemical spill leaves 300,000 without tap water to drink or shower…..now that’s GOVT FREEDOM
    11:07 AM – 11 Jan 2014

    Stormy @StormyVNV
    Follow

    So, #Republicans & #TeaParty don’t regulations. W V chemical spill triggers widespread tap water ban http://www.reuters.com/article.....2T20140110 … #Environment
    10:48 AM – 10 Jan 2014

    RT America ✔ @RT_America
    Follow

    US House passed bill ravaging toxic-waste law – on same day as #WestVirginia chemical spill http://on.rt.com/bpw1vt
    9:48 AM – 11 Jan 2014

    Chad Sarno @Wanderer19
    Follow

    West Virginia chemical spill another black eye for ‘clean coal’ | The Raw Story http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....lean-coal/ … #p2 #uniteblue
    12:43 PM – 11 Jan 2014

    AATTP @AgainstTeaParty
    Follow

    #WestVirginia Chemical Spill Leaves 200K With Poisoned Water, While #TeaParty Pushes for MORE #Deregulation – at: http://ow.ly/sul9R
    12:20 PM – 11 Jan 2014

    Judd Legum @JuddLegum
    Follow

    Freedom Industries didn’t report spilling 5K gallons of a dangerous chemical into WV water supply. http://goo.gl/TUfBQN #stayclassy
    8:19 AM – 11 Jan 2014

    CNN Breaking News ✔ @cnnbrk
    Follow

    U.S. attorney’s office to investigate chemical spill that’s affecting water supply for 300K in West Virginia. http://cnn.it/1edDXgF
    11:41 AM – 10 Jan 2014

    Liberal Librarian @Lib_Librarian
    Follow

    WV in 2010: We don’t need stinking EPA regulations! WV in 2014: Please Feds, come help!!!
    12:42 PM – 11 Jan 2014

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