Cape Town - The shale gas under the Karoo is a blessing from God, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters told MPs on Thursday.
Speaking at the end of debate on her department's budget vote in the National Assembly, she said it was Ascension Day, "when Jesus ascended to heaven to sit next to God".
Peters then suggested it would be wrong not to use hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, to exploit the resources God had left behind.
"It would be wrong for us to not use the resources that God left us with. This is a blessing that God gives us, and we need to exploit for the benefit of the people."
The people of the Karoo were "going hungry", she said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Peters told a media briefing at Parliament that if economical quantities of shale gas were proven to exist under the Karoo, "let us extract it".
She said it had to be extracted safely.
Cabinet is expected to receive a report on shale gas exploration in the Karoo by the end of July.
Peters told journalists on Wednesday: "It is my wish and prayer on a daily basis that when the report is tabled… it will say to us the gas is there, and you can extract it safely for the benefit of the people of South Africa."
Reply to the Minister of Energy — and to all Citizens of South Africa
Dear MINISTER OF ENERGY, I will take YOU on on that one !!! If Shale gas a gift from God - What is SUN ENERGY, then ???
- Please STEP DOWN now, you have done ENOUGH DAMAGE already !!!
In the following sentence:
"Peters then suggested it would be wrong not to use hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, to exploit the resources God had left behind."
- the word "exploit" actually means "PLUNDERING the resources of the Earth".
We could use these resources much more wisely later when we have found a much safer way to 'harvest' these treasures.
In the mean time we should look forward to build more SOLAR, WIND and WAVE Power Stations.
- Nuclear Power is just not the way to go to either - far too dangerous, too expensive, too much radiation, too much problems with spent fuel rods, ….. !!
- Anybody even thinking in that DIRECTION needs his/her MIND READ !! Japan has already SWITCHED OFF their last Nuclear Power Station and Germany is on the way there, too.
- Why can we in South Africa never learn anything from HISTORY ???
Is the School System to blame for that, or do we have to search for the problems some where else?
I would not like to see half way through the building phase of a Nuclear Power Station that the quoted price is already DOUBLING !
However with SOLAR TECHNOLOGY the prices are continuously coming DOWN and the Quality and Efficiency is going UP.
What is THAT telling us ?
This tells us that, when we would be buying into SOLAR ENERGY, manufacturing it in higher quantities could even further help to reduce the price and create more jobs. But not only that, it could make it possible for everybody in South Africa to gain from SOLAR TECHNOLOGY, even if that is only for SOLAR WATER HEATING for the time being followed by PHOTO-VOLTAIC POWER GENERATION, later.
A WIND or SOLAR SYSTEM is decentralized and can GENERATE ELECTRICITY right where it is NEEDED - NO NEED FOR LONG and EXPENSIVE OVER-LAND LINES - and NO PROBLEMS with large scale POWER OUTAGES, when the NUKE POWER PLANT would go down, and no need to be close to the sea either, where there is enough cooling water!
- By the way, WHICH OTHER PROBLEMS and FURTHER DAMAGES (SIDE-EFFECTS) is the HEATED SEA WATER actually causing to the already fragile conditions of mother Earth, as it already is?
(SOLAR, WIND & WAVE) POWER to the PEOPLE of South Africa, for a DEMOCRACY and a DEMOCRATIC VOICE - not a dictatorship !!!
Watch more Earth Focus at http://www.linktv.org/earthfocus
An original investigative report by Earth Focus and UK's Ecologist Film Unit looks at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale. From toxic chemicals in drinking water to unregulated interstate dumping of potentially radioactive waste that experts fear can contaminate water supplies in major population centers including New York City, are the health consequences worth the economic gains?
Marcellus Shale contains enough natural gas to supply all US gas needs for 14 years. But as gas drilling takes place, using a process called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," toxic chemicals and methane gas seep into drinking water. Now experts fear that unacceptable levels of radioactive Radium 226 in gas development waste.
Fracking chemicals are linked to bone, liver and breast cancers, gastrointestinal, circulatory, respiratory, developmental as well as brain and nervous system disorders. Such chemicals are present in frack waste and may find their way into drinking water and air.
Waste from Pennsylvania gas wells — waste that may also contain unacceptable levels of radium — is routinely dumped across state lines into landfills in New York, Ohio and West Virginia. New York does not require testing waste for radioactivity prior to dumping or treatment. So drill cuttings from Pennsylvania have been dumped in New York's Chemung and other counties and liquid waste is shipped to treatment plants in Auburn and Watertown New York. How radioactive is this waste? Experts are calling are for testing to find out.
New York State may have been the first state in the nation to put a temporary hold on fracking pending a safety review, but it allows other states to dump toxic frack waste within its boundaries.
With a gas production boom underway in the Marcellus Shale and plans for some 400,000 wells in the coming decades, the cumulative impact of dumping potential lethal waste without adequate oversight is a catastrophe waiting to happen. And now U.S. companies are exporting fracking to Europe.
(Earth Focus: Episode 27) In this episode of Earth Focus, unregulated interstate radioactive waste dumping in the US is exposed in the investigative report "Fracking Hell", and Guardian correspondent Jonathan Watts is interviewed about his new book When a Billion Chinese Jump. Watts travelled more than 100,000 miles across China, looking at cancer villages, toxic air and water pollution and issues that may affect China's ability to feed itself. Watch more Earth Focus at http://www.linktv.org/earthfocus
NOTE: THE ANIMALS IN THE VIDEO HAVE RECEIVED EXTENSIVE VETERINARY CARE. DISTEMPER HAS NOT BEEN FOUND TO BE THE CAUSE, ACCORDING TO VETERINARIANS IN THE AREA. Bakken Watch hired an independent lab to test the air quality on a remote farm in western North Dakota. The air sample canister was placed outside in the yard. The family says that they are sick, as well as livestock and other animals on the farm. The test reveals chemicals that should not be in the open air in such a remote location. There are many fracking operations in the immediate area of this farm. Viewer discretion is advised.
A video by Scott Cannon http://gdacoalition.org On July 31st, 2011, a group of Democrat and Republican community leaders boarded a bus to travel an hour north to see, hear, and feel the negative effects of gas drilling.
This is the tour the gas companies don't want you to see.
Sure, there are a few millionaires made from gas drilling, but for every millionaire, there are countless other who are lied to, have their rights stripped away, and are inconvenienced beyond reason, all for the sake of a "bridge" fossil fuel that will eventually run out.
We encourage everyone to take a trip through gasland. Talk to people, notice the traffic, look at the once beautiful landscape, and ask yourself, "Is this what I want? Is this what I want for my children and grandchildren?"
Marcellus Shale Reality Tour (Part 2) - Dimock Day Trip
A video by Scott Cannon On January 10, 2012, I drove to Dimock Pennsylvania to find out what's going on with the DEP and the EPA's investigation on the water well contamination alleged by Cabot Oil & Gas
Methane in three private water wells in Lenox Twp. seeped there from a flawed natural gas well drilled by Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., state environmental regulators have found.
An investigation by the Department of Environmental Protection determined that the gas migrated from at least one of three Marcellus Shale wells on the Stalter well pad about a half-mile west of Interstate 81 in Susquehanna County.
Read the notice of violation HERE
The gas was found seeping into three water supplies in August. A fourth water well for a hunting cabin is still being evaluated, DEP spokesman Daniel Spadoni said.
Video from inside one of Cabot's gas wells showed that a string of steel casing meant to seal off the aquifer from contaminants was improperly constructed, according to a notice of violation sent by DEP in September.
Methane was also found between the cemented strings of casing in all three gas wells on the Stalter pad, a sign state regulators view as evidence of flaws in a well's construction.
The dissolved methane in one nearby water supply jumped from 0.3 milligrams per liter before drilling began to 49 milligrams per liter on Aug. 16 and 57 milligrams per liter on Aug. 18, according to the violation notice.
Cabot installed methane detection alarms in three homes and vented the three affected water wells to keep the methane from accumulating and creating an explosion risk. The company is also delivering replacement drinking water to two of the homes, Mr. Spadoni said. The methane in the third water well has decreased so the home does not require an alternate water supply, he said.
Cabot spokesman George Stark said Friday that the company submitted a detailed response to the DEP and is working with regulators on the issue.
"Cabot is committed to safe and responsible operations and takes matters like this very seriously," he said. "We believe in fact-based, scientific research to guide any necessary corrective actions."
Department regulators sent Cabot a violation notice on Sept. 19, but neither the department's public eFACTS compliance database nor its monthly oil and gas violations report noted the inspection or violations until last week, when a Times-Tribune reporter asked about the investigation.
DEP policy requires the oil and gas program to update the eFACTS database within 10 working days of completing an inspection or mailing a notice of violations.
Mr. Spadoni said the missing information was "an oversight."
Marcellus Shale Reality Tour (Part 3) - EPA comes to Dimock
A video by Scott Cannon http://www.gdacoalition.org
U.S. EPA Says New Data Motivated More Testing of Dimock Wells
The U.S. was "compelled to intervene" and test water in Dimock, Pennsylvania, after data from Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. showed hazardous substances in drinking-water sources, the Environmental Protection Administration said.
The explanation was in a Jan. 31 letter from Mathy Stanislaus, EPA assistant administrator for solid waste and emergency response, and Shawn Garvin, an agency regional administrator, to Dan Dinges, Cabot's chief executive officer. Dinges had said the EPA's decision to test 60 wells and provide water to four homes in the area caused confusion and undercut President Barack Obama's stated commitment to natural-gas drilling.
"We did not take this step lightly but felt compelled to intervene when we became aware of monitoring data, developed largely by Cabot, indicating the presence of several hazardous substances in drinking-water samples, including some at levels of health concern," according to the letter, which the EPA provided to Bloomberg News. "Our actions have been only guided by science."
Garvin and Stanislaus said the data available is "incomplete and of uncertain quality," warranting further testing.
Dimock residents claim that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, by Cabot (COG) polluted their water wells and have sued the Houston-based company in federal court. Cabot disputes the allegations. The drilling technique involves injecting millions of gallons of chemically treated water underground to shatter rock and let gas flow.
In a Jan. 26 letter to the EPA, Dinges said the agency had presented "no credible evidence to suggest that its new sampling initiative is a wise use of resources." Cabot had provided more than 10,000 pages of data based on testing at more than 2,000 wells in the Dimock area, Dinges said.
Later, in a statement, the company said the information that prompted the EPA's review doesn't "accurately represent the water quality."
On Dec. 6, 2011, residents presented additional information to the agency, including results from Cabot testing, that "warranted further evaluation of the situation," Garvin and Stanislaus wrote. They said the EPA operated as a critical backstop to state oversight and would use its authority "prudently and sparingly."
To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Snyder in Washington at ten.grebmoolb|42redynsj#ten.grebmoolb|42redynsj
Marcellus Shale Reality Tour (Part 4) - Gas Well Flaring
Julie Sautner takes us to see a gas well flaring and talks about their current situation with water deliveries from the EPA. Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition. Some YouTube clips used by permission from YouTubers veraduerga and hammerfly. Recorded on February 17, 2012
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