Doggy politics is ten times worse than human politics, trust me! This year’s candidates for county commissioner are in full swing! Some are new dogs, some are old dogs– and there’s like a whole kennel full of them! My cousin Elsa (the one with four legs) and I have been talking about politics a lot lately. We’re wondering what each candidate thinks about the natural gas industry.
We’re wondering if any of the candidates know the difference between (1) hydraulic fracturing and (2) unconventional directional drilling and (3) slickwater hydraulic fracturing. Believe it or not, humans, these terms are quite different from each other– even though they basically all sound like they say “fracking” in a fancy way, these words mean… (1) a process that’s been around for 50 years and (2) a recent development in technology that allows drilling horizontally into shale beds at very great depths and (3) a very new development, only recently combined with #2 for its widespread commercial use in the last few years, in which chemicals are added to water to make it “slick” so that it enhances rather than deadens natural gas release from shale formations. To all of these distinctions, make sure you’re reading data and asking questions about high-volume operations, as PA’s fracking operations are certainly also unconventional in the millions of gallons of water used per site.
In other words, this “fracking” word is very generic and actually confuses things. Politicians who support fracking might erroneously claim that it’s been safely used for 50 years when they’re talking about PA fracking. If dogs know you can’t compare apples to oranges, then why don’t humans know this? I’ll tell you the answer: the words being passed around make it seem like those apples and those oranges are the same thing.
So, those are the kind of conversations Elsa and I have been having lately. Neither of us has decided for whom to vote. If you have suggestions, please let us know.