Author Topic: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory  (Read 191 times)

bandretaco

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« on: December 24, 2017, 01:48:32 AM »
August 20, 2013: <strong class="bbc">"We need to interrupt them even getting it on the agenda."  </strong><em class="bbc">-Opponents line up to talk against fracking on Allegheny County park land <ul class="bbc"> Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory



David Varnavas

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 03:13:25 AM »
Seems like someone smells money for upgrades to the park.   My area it is the farmers and ranchers wanting the same to pay off debts.   We've got just one well 1.5 miles off in open treeless land.   It was the exploratory well folks we had the most difficulty with.   When the exploratory well went, the fracking well left behind is more on a flex schedule with all the lights off if idle.   These people were useful with the protected lights if we told them there's an observing site nearby. 

Together with the park developments, I hope your Allegheny County do exactly what the State of Colorado didn't do when gaming was permitted, via voter approval, within this nation.   The taxed profits of the gaming profits went to developments in the country parks, although not for future maintenance of those developments.   It took awhile after closure and decreased services of those parks to fix that issue. 

Joe

Edmund G Kline Dark Site

kahrorisupp

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 106
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 02:34:52 PM »
We have the same problem here. Not only is the proposed fracking site very close to our club dark site, but also very close to The Wilds, the largest conservation area for endangered species in North America. A federal agency has halted plans to auction off mineral rights, but drilling in the Muskingum County forest still might happen.

heelmiliso

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2017, 06:01:16 PM »
Let's get something straight out front!From a light pollution perspective, fracking is a non-issue!gFracking (hydraulic fracturing) is a drilling technique and has no impact on the amount of light pollution generated by a drilling operation.I'm not trying to get into the fracking/anti-fracking issue here but for goodness sake, if you're going to complain about light pollution, don't muddy the waters by playing up the fracking frenzy that is currently in vogue.  Fracking has nothing to do with the light output of a drilling operation!

Chad Shepard

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 01:57:08 PM »
You could've have fooled me. Have you seen the latest nighttime satellite images showing the gas flaring that's been going on in N. Dakota? It's nothing to NOT be concerned about.http://thinkprogress...ons-from-nat...Yeah, I know, it's Think Progress, but that doesn't change the fact that it's going on and that it's more than visible light pollution. The image speaks for itself.

Akida Holland

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 97
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 02:21:18 AM »
Quote
You could've have fooled me. Have you seen the latest nighttime satellite images showing the gas flaring that's been going on in N. Dakota?
It's nothing to NOT be concerned about.

http://thinkprogress...ons-from-nat...

Yeah, I know, it's Think Progress, but that doesn't change the fact that it's going on and that it's more than visible light pollution. The image speaks for itself.

Someone has fooled you, and it isn't me.

Nowhere in the above reference is fracking even mentioned - not once.  The issue here is not the technique used to extract the oil/gas from the strata.  The issue is the method chosen to dispose of the unwanted byproduct  (natural gas) and the light, and other forms of, pollution caused by this disposal method.

My point is that the term "fracking" is presently being used as a catch phrase any time someone wants to indict the oil industry.  I guess the mentality is "Everyone knows the term 'fracking' so we'll use it to get attention, whether it is applicable or not".

The image may "speak for itself", but it isn't mentioning fracking.

reaipasjime

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 04:25:23 PM »
Quote
"The issue here is not the technique used to extract the oil/gas from the strata.  The issue is the method chosen to dispose of the unwanted byproduct  (natural gas) and the light, and other forms of, pollution caused by this disposal method."

So, by use of an analogy, let's see if I got you straight:
What you're trying to tell us is that, It's not cows, sheep, or horses  eating grass and hay that's the problem. The problem is all of the flop they produce.Last I checked, you can't have one without the udder.

Stanley Edwards

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 132
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 09:52:16 AM »
Well said sir!  . My thoughts too!

nisatourpo

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 10:20:55 AM »
"Last I checked, you can't have one without the udder"OK, one more time.....It's certainly true that you can't have flaring without drilling.However, it is certainly true that you CAN have drilling without flaring.The oil company could decide to "dispose" of the gas in a better way, or they could arrange to pipe it to a collection point and sell it. North Dakota could also tighten up their very loose regulations on gas disposal.I deplore the excesses that the oil industry perpetrates in its desire for profit.  I also deplore the loss of dark skies due to any source of unnecessary light.The ONLY point I have been trying to make is that the title of this thread (and others) are blaming the wrong boogie man.It's NOT fracking that threatens the Wagman observatory!  It's the light pollution caused by oil drilling.  That pollution would exist whether or not fracking were used in the drilling process.It's NOT fracking that's causing the light pollution in North Dakota resulting from flaring. It's the irresponsible disposition of the gas byproduct that's the cause.  This byproduct would exist whether fracking was employed or not in the drilling process.I'm just saying let's get our terminology correct if we want to complain about something.  Irresponsibly blaming fracking for the observatories light woes doesn't further our cause.  Rather, it diminishes our efforts and gives our opponents ammunition to use in rebutting our arguments.  Light pollution caused by drilling operations is a real and significant issue.  If we trivialize it by simply jumping on the "fracking is evil bandwagon", we may make the anti-fracking zealots happy, but we won't be doing our cause any good.Just sayin'.

Ivan Deane

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2018, 06:55:11 PM »
Quote
[quote..... The oil company could decide to "dispose" of the gas in a better way, or they could arrange to pipe it to a collection point and sell it.......The ONLY point I have been trying to.... make is that the title of this thread (and others) are blaming the wrong boogie man...... Just sayin'.
I have no knowledge of what exactly is threating Wagman, however in PA/NY/OH, etc, it *is fracking* that is the LP issue.... because that is the only tech that can bring the gas out, and is the only method that will be used on large-scale.Flaring in PA (and NY if drilling is allowed) will end when the pipelines are put in, but the companies have been drilling while there is little effort on putting in pipelines.However, as I brought up in a recent post relative to Cherry Springs Dark Sky Park, the real long-term LP issue is not the flaring, or even the lighted drill towers. It's the introduction of industrial scale development into previously very low population wild forest, and its related lighting, that provides the long term threat of increased LP and sky glow.Again, "fracking" is the only deal in town in the last remaining dark sky areas in a large part of this multi-state area. The wells need to be re-fracked every few years (already doing it in PA), there is massive need for support equipment and facilities and related lighting. Does other mining and industrial development offer the same LP threat? Yes of course, but there is nothing other than frack'ing happening on anywhere near this level in large regions. In deed, the rural population of NY and PA has been *declining* for decades, and this can only reduce LP.

abtempoecar

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2018, 11:53:53 PM »
From my dark site, I can see light pollution from the drilling towers up-lighting.  And of course there is more truck traffic on the roads.When they are flaring the methane, it brightens up the whole sky.  I cannot image to the east when the flaring is going on.  I think there will be limits on methane flaring in the future as they can both profit off the collected methane and decrease any environmental impact of the methane.  The cow analogy is a good one.  Our local drillers claim that methane and heavy metals were always in the ground.  Therefore they are not responsible for them. Drilling tons of holes into the ground didn't cause it, it was always there. I guess you see the problem with that logic.

acoplochop

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2018, 02:53:07 AM »
This thread has been interesting.  I am going to wade in at my peril. The newances of wording. Each uses wording that makes sence to them. All industry wants to be seen in the best light (pun intended),  both figuratively and actually. In order to ascertain if one is threatened by "fracking", you look at what is happening. There is light polution from flaring and drill platforms. This is a given. Why is the light there?  Because they need to drill and remove the byproduct. Would they drill for the oil and gas currently in the ground by conventional means?  Not likely as it is very uneconomical. That removes root cause as drill platform for strictly oil exploration. This makes the root cause fracking wells. If it were not for the need of the wells to perform this function then there would be no problem. What is the likelihood of changing the mind of the nations hunger for oil?  Not much.  We do need to work on how to mitigate the effect of the light pollution. I am Not sure how to proceed. Health and safety will trump good night skies.

suppsilzuning

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2018, 01:41:01 PM »
There really is no "way to proceed" on this issue, short of the establishment of a consortium of amateur astronomers with more legal hired guns, more money and thus more politicians in their pockets than the oil interests, which is simply not going to occur. Look around; the rule of law is gone in this country, and has been for some time. We will see a dimunition in light pollution from fracking rigs when there is no more money to be made from them, and not a moment sooner.Fred

justgegentcal

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2018, 10:16:43 PM »
Quote
OK, one more time.....

It's certainly true that you can't have flaring without drilling.

However, it is certainly true that you CAN have drilling without flaring.
Won't disagree with that statement.
However the fact remains there is plenty of flaring going on and around fracking sites. And yes, fracking is happening in NW North Dakota. With the price of oil being 30 times that of Natural Gas, producers have little or no incentive to invest in the infrastructure to save, store, transport, or utilize NG.   What a waste!

Whether the gas is being produced from fracking or is the by product of conventional drilling, the price of NG will drop even more with more oil production, the incentive to store/utilize NG disappears, and with that comes more flaring. In fact, expect more flaring to intentionally drive the price up or "stabilize the market". Fracking or drilling, call it what you want, the result is the same, but you are right, the practice of flaring won't end until producers are forced to properly deal with the by product, but I don't expect any one will be holding their breath.

  https://www.ceres.or...a-natural-ga...

opalytun

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Fracking threatens to cripple Wagman Observatory
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2018, 08:40:56 PM »
Quote
This thread has been interesting.  I am going to wade in at my peril. The newances of wording. Each uses wording that makes sence to them. All industry wants to be seen in the best light (pun intended),  both figuratively and actually. In order to ascertain if one is threatened by "fracking", you look at what is happening. There is light polution from flaring and drill platforms. This is a given. Why is the light there?  Because they need to drill and remove the byproduct. Would they drill for the oil and gas currently in the ground by conventional means?  Not likely as it is very uneconomical. That removes root cause as drill platform for strictly oil exploration. This makes the root cause fracking wells. If it were not for the need of the wells to perform this function then there would be no problem. What is the likelihood of changing the mind of the nations hunger for oil?  Not much.  We do need to work on how to mitigate the effect of the light pollution. I am Not sure how to proceed. Health and safety will trump good night skies.

I agree with this.  While I'm disappointed with many of the aspects of gas drilling, and believe that the drillers aren't as environmentally conscientious or honest as they could be.  The alternatives are worse.  Recently some very dirty coal plants were shut down in western PA.  These were responsible for creating a cancer pocket in my region.  Now that they are gone, many lives will be saved at the expense of some light pollution.  The increase in natural gas production allowed this to happen. 

The difficult part is that drillers are used to getting their way.  They claim they don't have to abide by local ordinances.  These include light pollution ordinances.  I have a sense that they have the power to do whatever they want.  If they don't prove to be responsible, then we will be the ones who suffer.