Tag Archives: drilling

New ban fracking bill in Florida: help it pass

The fifth or sixth year could be the charm, as a fracking ban was among the first 100 bills filed in the Florida Senate. Here’s who you can call to help get this bill passed.

matrix acidization
Source: Leong, V.H. & Ben Mahmud, H. J Petrol Explor Prod Technol (2019) 9: 753. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13202-018-0496-6.

Florida S.B. 200 would ban all forms of fracking, including matrix acidization. It was introduced by Sen. Bill Montford and passed unanimously the committee he chairs, on November 4, 2019.

Two days later, an article appeared in Forbes claiming matrix acidization is not really fracking: Continue reading

Fracking is causing global rise in methane pollution

So bad even the fossil fuel industry press is reporting it: Nick Cunningham, OilPrice.com, 18 August 2019, Shale’s Dark Side: Methane Emissions Are Soaring,

Figure 1: methane emissions rising since 2008, and it's fracking
Figure 1 from the study: Methane emissions are rapidly rising since 2008, and carbon 13 signatures show it’s not cows, it’s not swamps, it’s not coal, which is crashing: it’s fracking.

A new study finds that shale oil and gas is behind the global rise in methane pollution over the past decade, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

The study, published in Biogeosciences, was able to separate methane emissions from conventional versus unconventional drilling, as well as methane from other “biogenic” sources, such as agriculture or wetlands. “This recent increase in methane is massive,” Robert W. Howarth of Cornell University, the author of the study, said in a statement. “It’s globally significant. It’s contributed to some of the increase in global warming we’ve seen and shale gas is a major player.”

Methane emissions rose Continue reading

Water amendments passed 2018-11-06

The obvious water constitutional amendments passed resoundingly in both Florida and Georgia.

FL 9 and GA 1, Water Amendments

By well more than the required 60%, Continue reading

Georgia and Florida Constitutional Amendments 2018-11-06

Two Georgia state constitutional amendments are relevant to clean water, of those on the ballot tomorrow in the November 6, 2018, General Election. And in Florida, vote Yes on Florida Amendment 9, to ban offshore oil and gas drilling.

In Georgia I recommend:

  • Yes on 1, the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment
  • No on 2, appointing instead of electing some judges

Below is why.

Yes on GA 1, Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment

Yes on GA 1

For the title, summary, and detailed constitutional changes, see Continue reading

Sabal Trail preparing to drill under Withlacoochee River in Georgia 2016-10-05

Update 2016-10-23: Aerial photography and videos: US 84 HDD Withlacoochee River Sabal Trail 2016-10-22: what is that yellow thing in the river, and is that round thing you’ve marked a sinkhole?

Approved Access Road, CAUTION, No Trespassing, 30.7873010, -83.4457610 Where would you guess Southeast Directional Drilling is based? Nope: Arizona. And the TRW truck has a Texas license plate. So much for local jobs where Sabal Trail is preparing to drill under the Withlacoochee River in Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia, between Valdosta and Quitman.

Here is a playlist of WWALS videos, followed by a google map, and still pictures: Continue reading

Truck surveying at Withlacoochee River Lowndes County side

Follow this link for videos, more pictures, and a google map.

HDD equipment truck at Withlacoochee River Lowndes County Sabal Trail site

Follow this link for videos, more pictures, and a google map.

Fossil Fuel and Nuclear Greed in Florida: Far Beyond Sabal Trail

The extent of the greedy grasp of the fossil fuel industry for more last-gasp profits before solar and wind power take over is usually hidden because the projects get approved individually, often by different agencies. Here’s at least a partial list of such projects (and nukes) that Waterkeeper® Members or Affiliates oppose in Florida.

Spectra’s Sabal “Sinkhole” Trail is not just one pipeline; it’s the camel’s nose under the tent for its conjoined twin pipelines, its ugly stepsister pipelines and LNG export operations, and its stepchildren the “modernized” new natural gas plants.

Anybody want to help draw a map of all this?

Continue reading

Sabal Trail will monitor Suwannee River HDD –FERC in issuing certificate

In issuing certificates yesterday, FERC called out the Suwannee River and a nearby (unnamed) spring as the one place where drilling by Sabal Trail would require monitoring during construction. Why should anybody believe Sabal Trail’s monitoring? And what about after construction, like that Spectra pipeline that blew up under the Arkansas River last May?

Now it’s even more relevant for Suwannee County (and Hamilton County) Commissioners to object to Sabal Trail. Don’t forget to sign the petition to ask members of Congress to object.

243. The final EIS concludes that impacts on groundwater from overland construction will be short term and localized, and mitigated by implementation of the applicants’ construction and restoration plans and adherence to Commission staff recommendations, now included as conditions in Appendix B of this order. Moreover, Commission staff identified only two springs within 0.5 mile of overland pipeline construction in the karst sensitive areas of Georgia and Florida, the nearest of which is about 1,000 feet from the project. Based on these distances and considering that impacts on groundwater resources that could occur in conjunction with overland construction would be temporary, minor, and localized, the final EIS concludes, and we agree, that overland construction would not significantly impact the Floridan Aquifer.

244. Regarding the impacts of HDD crossings over groundwater, Commission staff identified five of the 26 HDDs proposed by Sabal Trail as occurring through karst bedrock within the Floridan Aquifer. Sabal Trail sited these HDDs installations in karst sensitive areas to avoid constructing near major springs and public water supply wells.

245. The final EIS describes the detailed site-specific geotechnical and geophysical studies conducted by Sabal Trail to characterize the karst geology at these five HDD crossings.210 None of the five HDD crossings will occur in a public wellhead protection area, encounter mapped cave systems, or occur within 0.5 mile of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd magnitude springs.211 The HDD crossings will be located within 0.5 miles of two 4th magnitude springs, one of which is hydrologically upgradient from the proposed HDD and, therefore, is unlikely to be affected by HDD activity. The other 4th magnitude spring is approximately 0.2 mile downgradient from the HDD crossing of the Suwannee River in Hamilton and Suwannee Counties, Florida, and will be subject to a site-specific monitoring plan during construction.

210 Id. [FEIS] at 3-4 to 3-12.

211 Springs are classified according to the volume of flow per unit time. A 1st magnitude spring discharges more than 64.6 million gallons of water per day (mgpd); a 2nd magnitude spring discharges between 6.46 and 64.6 mgpd; a 3rd magnitude spring discharges between 0.646 and 6.46 mgpd; and a 4th magnitude spring discharges between 100 and 448 gallons per minute. See final EIS at 3-30.


You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Sabal Trail can leak into rivers and cause sinkholes according to its own Karst Mitigation Plan

You can believe what Spectra’s Andrea Grover said in the VDT today, or you can believe more from Sabal Trail’s own Karst Mitigation Plan, which says they already lost drilling fluids from test drillings under the Withlacoochee River between Brooks and Lowndes Counties, and if they cause a sinkhole they can’t fill they’ll “monitor” it. How will they do that if a sinkhole forms under the pipeline under the river, or it breaks or explodes, like a Spectra pipeline did in Little Rock, Arkansas in May of this year?

As filed in the FERC DEIS, Karst Mitigation Plan, in Section 7.3.2., on page 31 of 31:

  • If drilling fluid loss downhole affects nearby springs or rivers and complete drilling fluid loss to the formation cannot be prevented, reaming operations will continue and the affected waterbody will be monitored in accordance with the Best Drilling Practices Plan for the Sabal Trail Project.

Not just for pilot holes: drilling fluid loss is quite possible during reaming for the actual pipe hole. And this drilling fluid can contain lubricants with unspecified ingredients.

Sabal Trail knows about fracture traces such as Continue reading