Sunday, November 23, 2014

Note to Fracking Protesters

It's getting quite heated in the US.  This is seen as a local neighbourhood issue in the quiet countryside, and people are going to jail.  But this is not a local issue, people!  Fracking itself is scrupulously clean, in fact they are just washing the dirty, oily shale, and carting everything away.

I do not want to dip into horrible US politics, but this is a national issue.  They are fracking with water because it is cheaper.  If they were fracking with propane then you would have to let them, without protests.  The main issue is that the fracking waste is uncontrolled, and zooms across the state border.  There, any sleazy operator can do with it what they will.  It's in their interest to let it leak on the roads, or inject it into leaky wells.  Or go to Oklahoma, where anything goes.

So, you protesters have to raise the cost of using water in fracking.  This is done by finding out who is the big guy distributing and refining the product and embarrass them for using 'dirty oil'.  After all, this is being done for Canada and the oil sands, and that's nothing compared to the fracking waste.

Sooner or later, Oklahoma is going to have a really big earthquake.  That will rattle the whole Midwest.  Is it just an OK issue?

*This is my last word on the subject, protester people.

**Final word on the protesting aspect (too much depressing politics), with which I have engaged heavily on g+.  As always, I shall continue to make fun of injection earthquakes.  :)

Extra reading:  “America did not do it right, so let’s do it right here. If we found it was impossible to frack in the UK because, say, there are lots of faults in the rocks, that would come out.”

Additional thought:  We went through this 30 years ago in Ontario with toxic waste.  Basically, if used engine oil was uncontrolled, it was hauled away in a leaky truck.  I remember following one of those on the Trans Canada.  :(  If it is registered at the source, then they recycle the engine oil.  All toxic waste must be registered at the source, and slated for licensed treatment or disposal.  My greatest fear is that if a giant earthquake closes OK, then this stuff goes to worse places.

Another final, final word:  This is big money.  I think the difference between being responsible, and 'wild west' is a million dollars a hole (1 significant digit).  The externalities (unpaid cost to society) are ten times that.  Forget insecticide, carbon, all that other stuff, this is the issue of the moment.  (Fin!)

Dallas M3.3 earthquake - walks like a duck

They were pretty ruthless in chopping down the well for Azle, now it looks like fracking waste again near Dallas.  Oh well, they have a seismologist now.  This is coming up quite fast, so he better get a move on.

ps.  There must be a huge amount of fracking waste building up for them to try this.  I can imagine acres of trucks.  Uncontrolled water fracking has led to this, and it pushes up the price for disposal astronomically.  A bit like cocaine piling up at the Mexican border.  Since the waste is uncontrolled, this leads to 'underground' activity.  In the future, we'll be surprised where this stuff ends up.  :)

More extra reading:  According to accountability project estimates, companies along the east coast can save more than $500,000 by transporting 4,150 cubic feet of waste solids to Ohio rather than dispose of them at local site specializing in radioactive material.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Uber is not a race to the bottom

Today, a famous Toronto newspaper columnist tore into Uber, based on the fact that the founder is an obnoxious pirk.  They all are, down there, and we need some of those in Toronto.  I mean, we have Conrad, but he's kind of useless.

Now, columnists really are in a race to the bottom, as we see here.  His economic analysis is based on the pre- Industrial Revolution cottage industry.  Taxi drivers in Toronto are like that, since all the medallions are held by Conrads.

As I have mentioned to my good buddy, John Tory, Uber is a 'free-rider' in two things:  insurance, and congestion charges.  But I don't think they are any worse than the typical Toronto business, single person car commuter, who has a free (tax-deductible) downtown parking spot.

I foresee the day when we all are forced to have a provincial sealed gps unit, probably run by the insurance industry.  Congestion charges will be automatically forwarded to the City for transit.  Uber will pay just like everyone else, but their quality is controlled by reviews and choice.  Thus, if you really want to be picked up by a high-rated BMW, then you choose to wait for another minute or two.  And the driver can choose not to pick up a notorious drunk puker.  You have no choice and no reviews for taxi drivers, who pick you up in a barfy car with broken seats.

I just did this because my daughter used Uber while visiting in Palo Alto.  It was great service, totally safe for a single woman.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pouring Fracking Waste on the Road - New York State


So, the next time you're behind that brine truck, trying to get through that snow storm, think of the glorious stuff you are breathing.  I'm sure it's worth at least a pack or ciggies or two.

So, now I've found a worse way to dispose of frack waste than injecting in Oklahoma.  I was always joking to people that they can't just dump it into the local creek, because that would instantly kill everything, and somebody might get it on YouTube.  Just pour it onto the road, who will know?

I was looking this stuff up, because one of my wild correspondents was claiming they were going to inject it into the Attica salt wells that once caused a giant earthquake.  Her friend went to jail trying to stop this, and I would find it very interesting, but we'd really have to wait for the seismicity.  Unless they inject it directly into these brine salt wells, and instantly suck it up again for the roads.  :)

So, everybody in New York State, start checking your hair samples for exotic isotopes and such.  I mean, your employer is going to use hair samples for cocaine use, just add some extra tests to the list.

Now, in Ontario, I'm sure they are using just good old Windsor salt, and not importing the exotic stuff from NY, or maybe they are?

Update:  They've probably stopped pouring it on the roads by now.  I did find that they weren't going to inject it into leaky salt caverns, but they want to store propane there.  That's fine, they do it with natural gas, and it's pretty obvious if it blows out.  So, if you want to protest fracking, go for the waste.  :)

M4.3 earthquake Alabama

That's completely out of the blue.  I have no idea whatsoever on that one, and it's too early in the morning to look up historic seismicity.  Would be funny if there were any injection around there.  There is no focal plane solution.

Whoa!  Dying a discount death, now M3.8  One person felt it.  Sucks when you have no seismometers.

Addition:  Strike-slip with a normal component.  Nobody felt it, yet they have a solution, so I would guess this is quite deep, mid-crust, totally 100% organic.

More:  Epicentre felt it as intensity 2, here is the housing stock, so now I'm putting the earthquake at 30 km depth.  Sheesh!  :)