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Fracking & Light Pollution in PA

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#1 DSL72

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:37 PM

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=EfJ9KwGKKkM

Toward the end of the 2 minute video, an ugly view, looking east from Cherry Springs.

Then there's the Chicago-sized light dome in North Dakota:

http://www.houstonto...cking-boom-l...

#2 csrlice12

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

Fracking Light Pollution (pun intended) is not just a problem in PA. Colorado is being overrun by Fracking oil companies; they put one Fracking well within 1/2 mile of our Astro Society's Dark Site....Lit the dark site up like a Christmas tree, you could read your star charts without any lights. And now, people are on TV News setting their kitchen/bathroom faucets on fire.......

#3 George N

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:03 PM

There have currently been around 2 to 3 thousand frack wells drilled in PA, somewhere between 30 and 60 in Potter County (66 approved permits), which has Cherry Springs International Dark Sky Park.

The plan, for the next 50 years, is to drill 140,000 gas wells in PA. BTW, they have to re-frack the wells every 3 years or so to keep the gas flowing. They have to create the gas lines and pumping stations to get the gas out of all of these wells. They light the pumping stations for ‘security’. Welcome to the future.

At least the state owns much of the land around CSSP, and the drill rights for much of the private land in the area within 10 miles of the park. They are trying to buy up the drilling rights on the remainder. They plan on not allowing drilling in the immediate vicinity of the park.

#4 csrlice12

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:27 PM

Just read an article here in CO and the people are fighting further fracking in many locals...

#5 mountain monk

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:07 PM

For the background on what is happening in N. Dakota, see:

http://www.nytimes.c....html?pagewa...

According to the World Bank, the US has moved to fifth place in gas flame luminance (after Russia, Iran, etc). Gas flaming also pumps more carbon dioxide in the air, of course. In MHO, the IDA has not paid sufficient attention to this issue. We have already lost two dark areas in Wyoming--the NE corner and the Upper Green River Basin. The high rent Eastern press is filled with stories of no housing in Wyoming, the coming huge problems in Utah and Colorado, etc. in addition to the disaster in N. Dakota. The issue cuts across the usual political lines and it will be a formidable foe. Almost everything is on the side fracking: money for framers and ranchers, big money are business, tax monies for some states, energy independence, major job production (it is virtually impossible to be unemployed in N. Dakota or Wyoming)... The only groups who seem concerned are astronomers, a few environmentalists, and social workers. And for those considering retirement to the Four Corner area--take a close look at the new light pollution maps. Grim.

This is worthy of attention for all those who love dark skies.

Dark skies.

Jack

#6 mountain monk

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:25 PM

And gas is $2.49 in Casper, WY. Anybody upset at that?

Dark skies.

Jack

#7 csa/montana

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:29 PM

Ummm, let's stay with LP discussion not gas pricing. :)

#8 Plan9

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:34 AM

The only groups who seem concerned are astronomers, a few environmentalists, and social workers.


Jack, I share your concern, but I think this may be getting some more widespread attention now.

E.g., CNBC article (this is about the amount of flaring and states like N. Dakota being visible from space now).

Bill

#9 FirstSight

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:31 PM

Ummm, let's stay with LP discussion not gas pricing. :)


The price of gas is light pollution.
:whistle: :step:

#10 mountain monk

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:50 PM

Plan9: Thanks for the link--much appreciated.

First Sight: Indeed, literally.

Dark skies.

Jack

#11 mountain monk

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:17 PM

And the problem will soon arrive in California--see this:

http://www.newtimess...ilent-oil-rush/

The main deposits lie between L.A. and San Francisco. That will sure be a bummer for California astronomers--as though the don't already have enough trouble with light pollution. Sort of like the opening scenes of Blade Runner.

Dark skies.

Jack

#12 herrointment

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 06:14 PM

And herein Wisconsin, home of numerous frac sand mines that run 24-7, the light domes mark each facility.

Let's hope the money is worth it.

#13 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

Why do they feel they have to light up every facility? Lighting does not equal security!

#14 csrlice12

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

They need the lights in case that invisible, odorless gas tries to escape....it's worth money dontchaknow......

#15 George N

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:04 PM

Why do they feel they have to light up every facility? Lighting does not equal security!


As far as I know they only light up the drill pads when work is being done there. The lights shining up on the drill rig are required by Fed regulation, and from what I’ve been told by the workers, they are absolutely necessary to their work. The lights come back when they need to re-frack the wells every 3 years or so. I don’t think that the gas flaring keeps up after a well is first finished. At least around Cherry Springs, the gas companies have agreed not to flare on dark weekends.

Perhaps nearly as bad are all of the lights on the many trucks bringing water, taking out brine, etc. Two years ago I experienced a convoy of 30 or more who staged right outside Cherry Springs Park and then drove down a dirt road next to the park around 3 am. It took the convoy a good 15 to 20 minutes to clear.

I’ve been told (but not seen) that they light up the central pumping stations on the gas lines. I assume that that is for “security”. While not “light pollution” (but perhaps annoying to observers), they have to run big diesel engines 24/7 to keep the pressure in the wells. That never goes away.

#16 zippeee

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

Welcome to my world. I'm certain that my fellow Albertans will attest to the fact that we suffer from this 'industry fed, light dome plague' worse than anybody else. Just look at the LP map . . . Alberta is basically outlined. We only have 3.5 million people here and for a province the size of Texas, that's an awful lot of light to be throwing out.

Posted Image

Every time I go to my darksite, I notice another small light dome. :bawling:

#17 herrointment

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:41 PM

Wow. I don't think of Canada and LP in the same sentence.

Then again I never thought I'd see oil money in Wisconsin.

We can all hope for the best!

#18 jwheel

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:04 AM

Here at the McDonald Observatory in West TX we have seen a little increase in light pollution. The main cause is from fracking that is happening to the north of us around the Pecos area. It is a very small amount but noticeable.

Joe Wheelock

#19 GeneT

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:25 PM

Welcome to my world. I'm certain that my fellow Albertans will attest to the fact that we suffer from this 'industry fed, light dome plague' worse than anybody else. Just look at the LP map . . . Alberta is basically outlined. We only have 3.5 million people here and for a province the size of Texas, that's an awful lot of light to be throwing out.

Posted Image Every time I go to my darksite, I notice another small light dome. :bawling:


Sad--truly sad. :confused:

#20 northernontario

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:04 PM

Why do they feel they have to light up every facility? Lighting does not equal security!


:waytogo: :waytogo: :waytogo:

jake

#21 mountain monk

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:31 PM

The March, 2013, issue of National Geographic Magazine contains an article--"American Strikes New Oil"--that serves as a good introduction to fracking and its many ramifications.

Dark skies.

Jack

#22 BoldAxis1967

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:42 PM

Just saw this thread. Very late, but had to write something.

The larger point here is: What can we do about it? Who will listen and who will even care. These problems require solutions that are on a massive scale. Large sums of money are required to fund political interests groups that can influence politicans at all levels of government. The problem is so massive that the ball is half way down the hill and picking up steam. Consider this: For all the efforts put into the environmental movement success has been minimal if one looks at the whole. Forest, bird populations, amphibian populations etc. are crashing. I hate to sound so negative but without someone or group with the energy (physical and mental)to start a movement the only thing we can do is complain. What is needed is an Al Nagler type to start a movement. But, we should be under no illusion, 99% of people do not know there is a problem and if they did I doubt that more than 3 or 4% would care.

#23 George N

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 02:25 PM

....... I hate to sound so negative but .....we should be under no illusion, 99% of people do not know there is a problem and if they did I doubt that more than 3 or 4% would care.


Well, we need to remember: there have been some successful anti-LP efforts related to frack’ing in PA. For example, the gas companies have agreed to not do “burn-off flaring” in the general area of Cherry Springs Dark Sky Park during dark-of-the-moon weekends. Also, the state has made some considerable effort to buy up drilling rights in the immediate vicinity of the park, (and owns much of the land around it). They plan on not allowing frack’ing near the park. My understanding of “near” is as being within about 10 miles or so.

I remain cautiously optimistic that anti-LP efforts related to frack’ing can be successful in PA. At least at this point the gas companies want to be as accommodating as possible, and the local governments in Potter County are well aware of the economic importance of the many visitors that Cherry Springs brings in. The park manager noted recently, that before the Dark Sky Park designation, the park’s camping area was often empty, and now it is full every weekend – even full moon weekends.

#24 BoldAxis1967

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 02:48 PM

That is good news! :) Maybe there is at least a ray of sunshine in all of this. Winning small battles does account for something and is very meaningful. It sounds like you were directly involved and I commend your efforts.

We, the country, need policies and to set long-term goals. Unfortunately, the past 30 has seen an unwillingness to do so. To a certain extent our failure to set long-term energy and environment goals has led to the need for Fracking and hence the light pollution problem is part of the mix.

#25 hokkaido53

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 08:19 AM

Just saw this thread. Very late, but had to write something.

The larger point here is: What can we do about it? Who will listen and who will even care. These problems require solutions that are on a massive scale. Large sums of money are required to fund political interests groups that can influence politicans at all levels of government. The problem is so massive that the ball is half way down the hill and picking up steam. Consider this: For all the efforts put into the environmental movement success has been minimal if one looks at the whole. Forest, bird populations, amphibian populations etc. are crashing. I hate to sound so negative but without someone or group with the energy (physical and mental)to start a movement the only thing we can do is complain. What is needed is an Al Nagler type to start a movement. But, we should be under no illusion, 99% of people do not know there is a problem and if they did I doubt that more than 3 or 4% would care.


From what I've read lately, much of America's "new oil strike" isn't going to be used by Americans. It will be sold and shipped overseas. In other words, it won't affect the price of gas or decrease our dependence on foreign oil.

Here are some articles on the subject:

http://ecowatch.org/...rt-natural-gas/

http://www.dontfract...build-19-new...






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