Natural Gas Developments

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bryan Walsh, environment and energy reporter for Time and the man behind the Ecocentric blog, to discuss recent natural gas news, from a report about its true carbon impact, T. Boone Pickens investing heavily, and fracking concerns.


Bryan Walsh

Comments [21]

JM from NYC

There are so many things wrong with hydro-fracking that it can't be given THE SHORT SHRIFT. Also, the mendacity on the part of the natural gas industry(along with its enablers) and the gross amounts of cash spent to propagate their agenda is "mind scrambling" ! PEOPLE---BEWARE THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE ENERGY INDUSTRY(COAL/NUKE/OIL/GAS). PS-very good source for was up in Albany on 4/11 to see the good the bad and the very ugly.

Apr. 15 2011 09:04 PM
Marilyn from NY

Some major banks have stopped issuing mortgages on properties with leases for mineral and oil/gas rights, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and other large financial institutions. This is a no-win discussion point. SO, they don't think it's safe enough to invest in....
Ever read the prospectus disclosure from Chesapeake to it's share holders? Or how's about all those 'jobs'

Apr. 15 2011 12:33 PM
Julie from NYC

Segment was introduced with a glib "for whatever reason" about renewable fuel not being produced at any scale. One important reason I just learned about is that energy companies, particularly oil companies, have bought up and shelved THOUSANDS of technology patents that would vastly improve efficient consumption of fossil fuel, as well as large scale production of renewable energy.

The 2 producers of the documentary "Gashole," Republicans, were on TV yesterday with startling examples related to fuel economy. (Why DON'T we have better gas mileage?!)

US patent law no longer serves our national interest if huge, global oil companies are allowed to buy up or squash technology simply to protect their profits--especially when our military protects their raw material at taxpayer expense!

Apr. 15 2011 10:46 AM
Peg from Southern Tier NY

Given that the world is hell bent on using all the fossil fuel asap - would you please do a segment on what we expect our grandchildren to use for energy and how we expect to get there?

Apr. 15 2011 10:31 AM
oil monkey

It should be noted that water contamination is only half of the problematic equation. The compressor stations, well-heads, etc. etc. all run on diesel and run almost continuously, creating air pollution issues (not to mention the leakage and other 'venting' issues).

Apr. 15 2011 10:29 AM

Help from listeners of both Brian and Leonard Lopate:

A few years ago, Leonard had some scientists on as guest discussing either solar power or alternative energy sources in general.

I was struck by one of the scientists stating that even with the low efficiences of the then current state of photovotaic panels that if every rooftop in NYC appropriate for solar panels being used to produce clean electricity that NYC would not only easily supply its own electricity needs but would power the surrounding suburban area. No, I don't recall how far into the suburbs, if the guest mentioned it. Surrounding metropolitan area, iirc, might also have been the area he mentioned.

But, I did email the Lopate show about this but got no reply, so I'm wondering if...I imained this? Does anyone else recall this statement?

I remember thinking about the contention between penthouse patios/gardens and using the space for solar panels as being one issue.

I'd appreciate any listeners' recollections on this.


Apr. 15 2011 10:28 AM

remember love canal?

Apr. 15 2011 10:27 AM
Karla Fisk from Inwood, Manhattan

I'm concerned that in describing the fracking process Brian Walsh didn't mention the highly toxic chemicals that are part of the brew that's exploded underground.

These chemicals quickly cause brain lesions, cancer, etc as a result of exposure in very small amounts.

The moratorium now only lasts until July 2011.

Apr. 15 2011 10:26 AM
Bob from Little Falls, NJ

You cannot POSSIBLY consider Natural Gas as "Green".
Pumping horrifically toxic chemicals into the ground to poison our water for eternity is so completely insane, I cant imagine how a single person could consider it - except maybe Dick Cheny.


Thanks WNYC

Apr. 15 2011 10:23 AM

Interesting the US is being called the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.

Taken to another aspect of Saudi Arabia, we could match their water issues, with ruining ground water meaning we could be come a nation with severe potable water issues.

Apr. 15 2011 10:23 AM
roman from ithaca

I grew up in NW Colorado. Over the last 5-10 years or so many natural gas pumps have been placed around the desert around those Utah/Wyoming/Colorado boarders (near Dinosaur Nat. Mon.). One of the touted benefits has been the small footprint of each tapped pump. However, I recent drove around that area and while an individual pump is possibly considered small, there are so so many of them their additive size must be very large. Are there statistics for this additive footprint?

Apr. 15 2011 10:22 AM

Question for guest -- I read recently that foreign companies are buying up natural gas leases and plan to liquify the gas and send it overseas.

So, we would get the best of being a Third World natural resources center: all the pollution, some of the jobs, little of the profits.

Does your guest know anything about this?

Apr. 15 2011 10:20 AM
Shefa Siegel from

The environmental concerns about effects of the natural gas rush always concentrates on hydrofracking.

There is another profound issue -- of immediate risk for local residents -- that this rush is based on the extraction of what were considered "marginal" deposits in previous decades.

Many of these deposits are what is called "sour," containing high levels of toxic hydrogen sulfide.

Please see my article on this subject:

Could you please ask your guests to comment on this issue of sour gas?


Shefa Siegel
Ph.D Resource Policy

Apr. 15 2011 10:18 AM
Employee from Manhattan

Brian - please talk ABOUT fracking rather than AGAINST fracking. Don't forget that you're an objective news organization. Gives us the facts and let us make up our minds.

Apr. 15 2011 10:15 AM
HA from Brooklyn

Hi Brian, as you surely well know, natural gas is a nightmare upstate and everywhere it's been extracted by means of hydraulic fracturing. These "wells" aren't sipping the gas cleanly out of the earth. The gas is imprisoned in tiny pockets in the bedrock we live on, which much be crushed with millions of gallons of our drinking water to which is added a toxic cocktail of poisonous substance. Water is irrevocably polluted, both underground and in what comes back up. Not to mention all the other horrendous externalities that are foisted on local communities, and lease buyers outright lying to landowners and farmers:

I could go on and on, but I cannot believe anyone is taking natural gas - yet another finite fossil fuel - seriously.

We have to MOVE to renewables. If we threw even a fraction of the money at wind and solar that we're throwing at carbon, we'd be in much better shape.

Apr. 15 2011 10:14 AM

no trucks yes rail

Apr. 15 2011 10:13 AM
Joshua from Brooklyn

Horrible effects of extraction aside, doesn't anyone else think that perhaps we should save this stock for the future? In light of our stunted progress on ending our addiction to petroleum, even if we are able to move away from oil on a consumer basis, our military with its heavy machinery will likely be dependent on it considerably longer than our commercial economy. Wouldn't it make sense to hold on to this supply as an insurance policy?

Apr. 15 2011 10:12 AM
JC SALYER from Manhattan

Uh... its called FRACKING. How can that possibly be good?

Apr. 15 2011 10:10 AM

Even if the politicians or residents won't really stand up to these Motherfrackers --
...what about Pocono's Deer Park and the other water marketers trading in clean drinking water? I haven't met many folks who still trust their tap water, and for good reason (outside UWS)... yet it seems like a world with UNPURIFY-ABLE WATER is one or two Frackcidents away...

Apr. 15 2011 10:10 AM
oil monkey

So what are we going to be doing with this natural gas? Using it to prepare for the day when gas peaks and declines (as conventional oil is doing now), or just burn it all up keeping 'business as usual' going just a little bit longer and hitting the wall that much harder down the line (while rendering upstate NY a poisonous industrial wasteland)?

Apr. 15 2011 10:10 AM
Karla Fisk from Inwood, Manhattan

The phrase "Saudi Arabia of natural gas" should be examined with great skepticism. Exactly how much natural gas can be fracked from the Marcellus Shale is a matter of hypothesis and speculation, part of the Marcellus "play": the gamble they hope will pay off.

This phrase was crafted by the natural gas industry's PR people to imply that everyone who allows fracking and/or sells their mineral rights will get buckets of money and be as rich as a Saudi prince.

Suspect, to say the least.

Apr. 15 2011 10:06 AM

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