Saturday, July 21, 2012

David Letterman's Deranged Rant on Fracking


Watch David Letterman's two-minute rant above on the "greedy oil and gas companies of this country" who are trying "to squeeze every little last ounce of oil and gas out of previously pumped wells by injecting the substrata of our planet with highly toxic, carcinogenic chemicals which seep into the aquifer and hence into the drinking water of Americans. The Delaware Water Gap has been ruined, the Hudson Valley has been ruined, most of Pennsylvania has been ruined; Virginia, West Virginia has been ruined; Colorado has been ruined; New Mexico has been ruined. They're poisoning our drinking water. Ladies and gentlemen, we're screwed."

Letterman starts by saying "I'm not smart enough to understand fracking."  He should have stopped there, it was the only intelligent and truthful part of his deranged diatribe.

42 Comments:

At 7/21/2012 11:54 AM, Blogger jorod said...

The liberal media is making a coordinated attack on conservatives and capitalism. The other day Jay Leno referred to Senator Sununu as a Romney surrogate. That's a liberal media phrase.

 
At 7/21/2012 12:24 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

highly toxic, carcinogenic chemicals...?
__________________

He's clueless about hydrocarbon engineering, about chemistry, and, of course, about economics.

Solar-powered cars, anyone?

 
At 7/21/2012 2:21 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

I liked David Letterman in that movie Total Recall as Johnny Cab.

 
At 7/21/2012 2:27 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

LOL...How much did Letterman steal from CBS? And he calls others greedy.

 
At 7/21/2012 2:57 PM, Blogger hancke said...

It is interesting that US corporate profits represent 14% of GDP while state and federal government spending are at 39% of GDP. Of course it's the corporations that are greedy.

Same goes for gas and diesel. Oil companies see about $0.02/gallon in profit and government taxes an average of $0.48/gallon. Greedy oil companies!

The missing question of Letterman's rant is why are oil companies utilizing these techniques to extract oil and gas? What is the alternative? Is Letterman going to ride his bicycle to work or take the subway?

 
At 7/21/2012 4:29 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Letterman is still on the air?!?!

 
At 7/21/2012 4:52 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

The phrase "toxic drilling" should only be applied to David Lettermans treatment of interns.

 
At 7/21/2012 4:53 PM, Blogger Scott Drum said...

Let's see now. Oil companies' profits add about two cents to the cost of a gallon of gasoline. The never-greedy government adds about 56 cents to the cost in my state. Exactly who is the "greedy" party?

 
At 7/21/2012 5:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos

"Letterman is still on the air?"

Hard 2 say. I don't know anybody wh:o watches. Him. I only catch annual guest Darlene Love @ Christmas singing " Baby Please Come Home".

 
At 7/21/2012 7:31 PM, Blogger bart said...

Regardless of the truth about fracking, many people and greenies feel that way - and it's a major threat to fracking in general.

 
At 7/21/2012 7:48 PM, Blogger bart said...

By the way, I really don't know and haven't done enough research to have an opinion about how "bad" fracking is.

My only point is that those type of opinions are quite a danger to fracking and energy independence,

 
At 7/21/2012 7:56 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

By the way, I really don't know and haven't done enough research to have an opinion about how "bad" fracking is.

My only point is that those type of opinions are quite a danger to fracking and energy independence,


If the drillers follow industry practices there is no problem with the process as far as the water tables are concerned. The trouble comes from the fact that the energy investment in drilling and fracking the wells tends to be around the same or more than the energy produced by the wells.

 
At 7/21/2012 8:14 PM, Blogger hancke said...

Much of the bad press about fracking should be credited to the saltwater disposal wells instead of production drilling. The only investigations here in the Barnett Shale were centered around disposal wells. The large companies typically are not involved in drilling or operating disposal wells.

 
At 7/21/2012 8:28 PM, Blogger bart said...

If the drillers follow industry practices there is no problem with the process as far as the water tables are concerned.

"If" is precisely one of the major points. You recall the Valdez, Macondo and dozens of other huge messes I trust...

 
At 7/21/2012 9:11 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

"If" is precisely one of the major points. You recall the Valdez, Macondo and dozens of other huge messes I trust...

There is risk in all activities. To eliminate the risk all you have to do is stop producing oil and gas.

 
At 7/21/2012 9:14 PM, Blogger kmg said...

NG exposes the fraud of the global warming nuts, as NG cuts CO2 emissions more than anything else.

Yet they are against it...

Frauds. All of them.

 
At 7/21/2012 9:21 PM, Blogger bart said...

There is risk in all activities.

Which is precisely one of my points.

We know that there is a very active environmental movement, and that's a substantial risk in the fracking area.

 
At 7/21/2012 9:23 PM, Blogger bart said...

NG exposes the fraud of the global warming nuts, as NG cuts CO2 emissions more than anything else.


Drought, temperature, weather cycles - long term, since 1900

 
At 7/21/2012 11:28 PM, Blogger christopher said...

Water is more precious than oil. This cannot be argued. If we all had to greatly curtail our use of oil as a luxury, we could manage. It would not be comfortable, social agenda would need reform, but we could manage. We could not, however, last a single week without clean water. Now, having said that water is more precious than oil, it is interesting to see corporations like Nestle buying huge swaths of land with fresh water springs in NY and PA. In addition, the government has been known to declare eminent domain over privately owned property in favor of a corporation seeking to gain ownership of potential ground waters. Can it be ore obvious ? You can't eat gold, you can't drink oil.

 
At 7/22/2012 2:55 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Letterman starts by saying "I'm not smart enough to understand fracking." He should have stopped there.

No, he should have stopped four words before THAT.

From his wiki entry:
"He originally had wanted to attend Indiana University, but his grades weren't good enough, so he decided to attend Ball State University"

Ummm. Not to denigrate IU, but they're HARDLY an elite college. How the hell bad did his grades have to be?

*I* was a remarkably lackluster student and still managed high b's and a's in high school, while taking honors courses.

 
At 7/22/2012 3:47 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>>> You can't eat gold, you can't drink oil.

You can use oil to purify water. Duh.

Get enough energy and you can MAKE water. Rarely is that likely to be effective, but your Precautionary Principle doesn't work any more here than any other instance where it's ignorantly applied, which is usually ALL of them.

Top 10 Myths about Fracking

In particular, note #4.

The Hard Facts About Fracking

Both are from Popular Mechanics, which, unlike PopSci, hasn't become an ultraliberal Green-CRIS rag pushing AGW with lies you'd be ashamed to tell your worst enemy.

 
At 7/22/2012 5:46 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I always enjoy when a celebrity starts a monologue with "I'm no expert, but..." and then proceeds to tell us what we should think.

 
At 7/22/2012 9:00 AM, Blogger WP Knabe said...

If all the water supplies Letterman cites have been "ruined," where is the death and destruction one would assume would follow? There have been over 100,000 wells hydro fracked. Where are the bodies?

 
At 7/22/2012 1:13 PM, Blogger Ken said...

bart,

Which is precisely one of my points.

Is it? If it was you would also mention the risk of NOT using fracking to extract oil.

 
At 7/22/2012 1:32 PM, Blogger bart said...

Is it? If it was you would also mention the risk of NOT using fracking to extract oil.


Any other words or statements that you'd like to wrongly assert for me?

 
At 7/22/2012 2:43 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Water is more precious than oil. This cannot be argued. If we all had to greatly curtail our use of oil as a luxury, we could manage. It would not be comfortable, social agenda would need reform, but we could manage. We could not, however, last a single week without clean water. Now, having said that water is more precious than oil, it is interesting to see corporations like Nestle buying huge swaths of land with fresh water springs in NY and PA. In addition, the government has been known to declare eminent domain over privately owned property in favor of a corporation seeking to gain ownership of potential ground waters. Can it be ore obvious ? You can't eat gold, you can't drink oil.

You fail to account for marginal utility. When we talk about value we do not mean about exchanging all of the water in the world for all of the oil. We simply mean exchanging one barrel of oil for one barrel of water. Given the fact that oil is much more scarce than water it is valued at a much higher price by the market. This is the kind of bad thinking that we seek to avoid.

 
At 7/22/2012 2:44 PM, Blogger VangelV said...


If all the water supplies Letterman cites have been "ruined," where is the death and destruction one would assume would follow? There have been over 100,000 wells hydro fracked. Where are the bodies?


There are no bodies and very little damage. Letterman is doing a performance piece because he is an artist. As such he has little concern or desire for truth if that truth gets in the way of the story.

 
At 7/22/2012 7:25 PM, Blogger Ken said...

bart,

Any other words or statements that you'd like to wrongly assert for me?

I just like to see little boys like you get all spun up. It's so cute to see the virtual stamping of feet.

 
At 7/22/2012 7:30 PM, Blogger bart said...

Please keep up the personal attacks, it's quite illuminating about who you really are, and how you have nothing other than them.

 
At 7/22/2012 8:39 PM, Blogger jorod said...

Liberal comediennes never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

 
At 7/23/2012 2:19 PM, Blogger Tom said...

T Boone Pickens said on TV recently there has never been a documented case of contaminating groundwater from fracking. I have heard of no evidence to the contrary.

 
At 7/23/2012 2:48 PM, Blogger bart said...

I'd love to hear Pickens and someone without a vested interest do an in depth investigation of the claims of contaminated water documented in "Gasland".

 
At 7/23/2012 4:52 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I'd love to hear Pickens and someone without a vested interest do an in depth investigation of the claims of contaminated water documented in "Gasland".

That film was debunked a long time ago. The producer forgot to mention that many of the areas where the water could be set on fire had no wells near them and no fracking and that the same phenomenon had been documented for decades before shale drilling.

http://www.energyindepth.org/debunking-gasland/

 
At 7/23/2012 5:07 PM, Blogger bart said...

While I'm certain (and was when I viewed most of it) that some or even much of it was spun, I did see more than one instance of drilling rigs or wells near where *new* water fires were occurring.

I'm definitely not a greenie, but it strains credulity that there are zero instances of fracking that have caused significant damage.

Bottom line for me is that all the factual evidence on *both sides* is not in yet.

 
At 7/23/2012 5:21 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Fracking has been around for 100 years, and has been used commercially since the 1940s. Since then, fracking has been used to extract gas and/or oil from more than one million wells, so I think we're talking about a pretty time-tested technology here.

 
At 7/23/2012 5:31 PM, Blogger bart said...

It still strains credulity that there are zero instances of fracking that have caused significant damage, especially given that the technology has changed so much in the last 10 years - let alone 100.

You also noted super fracking being on the horizon.

Please note that I'm not against fracking, I simply and literally don't know about the intermediate or long term picture (using current or recent technologies) and I don't think anyone does.

A very extreme analogy is thalidomide in the 60s... and again, I only bring it up because I don't think anybody truly knows the real long term effects of fracking using recent technologies.

 
At 7/23/2012 7:45 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

While I'm certain (and was when I viewed most of it) that some or even much of it was spun, I did see more than one instance of drilling rigs or wells near where *new* water fires were occurring.

I'm definitely not a greenie, but it strains credulity that there are zero instances of fracking that have caused significant damage.

Bottom line for me is that all the factual evidence on *both sides* is not in yet.


You can't prove a negative. But if there is evidence of any problem with fracking I would like to see it. It is no more of a problem than ordinary drilling so the rules should not be very different. If you look you will find that the problems have to do with spilled wastewater, not the drilling or fracking process itself. Those problems are easy to avoid.

As for water being set on fire near wells you have to ask if you could do that before the wells were drilled. Gas moves up through natural fractures just as it always has. Seeps of oil and gas are common in areas where you have an organic source rock and no cap rock in place to hold the hydrocarbons in place.

 
At 7/23/2012 7:50 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

It still strains credulity that there are zero instances of fracking that have caused significant damage, especially given that the technology has changed so much in the last 10 years - let alone 100.

You also noted super fracking being on the horizon.

Please note that I'm not against fracking, I simply and literally don't know about the intermediate or long term picture (using current or recent technologies) and I don't think anyone does.

A very extreme analogy is thalidomide in the 60s... and again, I only bring it up because I don't think anybody truly knows the real long term effects of fracking using recent technologies.


The worry for drillers is the cementing and casing. As long as that is done properly for a well there is little chance of contamination. (That is as true for conventional wells as it is for shale wells.) There is no justification for banning fracking or horizontal wells on an environmental basis and as hard as the EPA has looked it has not been able to find a problem with the process. If you argue that we should stop fracking you have to oppose conventional production for exactly the same reason. Actually, the depth of shale wells makes them safer because you are much further away from being able to harm the water table.

 
At 7/23/2012 8:11 PM, Blogger bart said...

If you argue that we should stop fracking you have to oppose conventional production for exactly the same reason.

I'm not.

 
At 7/23/2012 10:27 PM, Blogger RollCast said...

You tell jokes and mug for TV, Dave. Stick to what you know. Having a life that has been devoted to trivia must be discouraging at this point in your life, but you don't have the mental discipline to do much more. Tell a joke, Dave. Make a funny face.

 
At 7/24/2012 2:46 PM, Blogger joerob said...

Letterman has a personal interest in this issue. He owns a large ranch in Montana near the Rocky Mountain front and he is quietly bankrolling an effort to get wilderness designation for the adjoining area---- which of course would preclude the evil oil drilling. With this in mind, it is easy to see the motive he has to demonize Big Oil and fracking in particular.

 
At 7/24/2012 2:49 PM, Blogger joerob said...

Letterman has a personal interest in this issue. He owns a large ranch in Montana near the Rocky Mountain front and he is quietly bankrolling an effort to get wilderness designation for the adjoining area---- which of course would preclude the evil oil drilling. With this in mind, it is easy to see the motive he has to demonize Big Oil and fracking in particular.

 

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