Monday, November 14, 2011

An Extreme Connection between Fracking and America's Cup

The connection between America's Cup (that race held at irregular intervals to determine whether the US's millionaire sailors are better than those from around the world) and fracking, the technique of injecting fluids under pressing into gas-containing formations of rock to release the gas trapped within, may be difficult to see at first, but stick with me, this is a story unlike anything you have seen that will have you laughing by the end. Unless you already know the connection, there is no way you can imagine what I will tell you here.

The use of fracking to produce petroleum gases is growing in the US and around the world. Polymer producers - those making polyethylene(s) in particular - are quite excited about this as a good amount of ethane is mixed in with the methane. Being too high in fuel content to burn, the ethane is separated from the methane and sold to be polymerized (after conversion to ethylene of course). One of the larger formations in the US being fracked right now is the Marcellus shale formation which underlies large swaths of Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia.

While plants are being built in the area to polymerize the ethylene made from the ethane, Sunoco wants to pipe the ethane through Philadelphia to the port, put in on Liquid Natural Gas tankers and float them to the Gulf coast for processing. But in order for this to occur, an Act of Congress was required. Not because of the risks associated with this option, but because of...well, I'll let the article directly explain the hoops that need to be thread and the cockamamie option that the US Congress took to solve the problem:
"... the LNG vessels that hold the supercooled liquid fuel in large spherical tanks now sail under foreign flags. A law known as the Jones Act requires that all ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports must be built, owned, crewed, and maintained by Americans. The ships Sunoco would charter are American owned and were built in the late 1970s in Massachusetts. But they were reflagged in the Marshall Islands in the 1990s. It requires an act of Congress to reflag the vessels as American, which would require them to use U.S. crews. [Senator] Toomey and Rep. Pat Meehan (R., Pa.) devised a novel way to reflag the tankers by including them in the America's Cup Act of 2011, special legislation that would permit 60 foreign vessels to participate in the America's Cup yacht race. The law is expected to receive final Senate approval and the president's signature this week, before the America's Cup race is scheduled to start Saturday in San Diego."

LNG tankers attempting to qualify for America's Cup? Can we really look forward to a ship such as this:

lining up against a ship such as this:

That would make for some lively TV coverage, wouldn't it? ("Oh no Jim, it looks like the catamaran got to close to the props of the tanker and that yacht is now flotsam for the fishes...")

Quite a connection, huh?


Eric F. Brown said...

My mind is boggled. That is truly out-of-the-box thinking.

Sherri Zimmerman said...

ARTICLE EXTRACT: by Sherri Zimmerman from article ~
The Fracking of America: New Website Devoted Exclusively to Tracking Our Most Urgent Environmental Threat
from the site of THe STUART SMITH BLOG:

"For those of you who have been living under a rock, fracking is a process that extracts natural gas from shale rock formations deep beneath the earth’s surface. Frackers inject highly pressurized fluid – water, sand and a witch’s brew of toxic chemicals – into the ground to create cracks and fissures in shale formations thereby releasing the oil and gas contained inside.

Sherri's words... IF ONE ONLY reads the 2nd sentence of the above statement which I am supposing is "Truth" -- than surely ANYONE can "see" simply how it HAS TO BE SURELY HARMFUL to US ALL... there is NO WAY to separate the chemicals of which one puts into the earth's soil FROM the actual process of retrieving the natural gases IF THIS IS THE WAY ITS BEING DONE!! NOT hard to figure this one out GUYS & GIRLS!!

(cont'd article)
"This dubious industrial practice is contaminating our water sources – from rivers to aquifers to residential wells – with known human carcinogens, like benzene and radium. It’s polluting our air. It’s severely depleting our local water supplies. It’s been tied to earthquakes in the United States and the United Kingdom. It makes drinking-water wells explode, and produces flammable tap water."

WOW was this NOT a movie at one time starring Julia Roberts?? fighting for the every day people who were dying & did DIE from the different ailments that took over their bodies due to the same kind of story-line as FRACKING???

Amazing... simply amazing... around & around we go.

Author Sherri Zimmerman

John said...

No, just too much of a landlubber.