Link here. [Notes below in brackets, are my comments in response to the Forbes article.]
Without fracking, North Dakota’s boomtimes would come to a neck-wrenching halt.I wouldn't bet the farm that the EPA is going away on this issue. Even Helms' response to the Bismark Tribune article was not all that reassuring.
Helms may be guilty of a bit of hyperbole in his assessment of the EPA’s intentions on fracking. [That's what Keystone XL folks thought.]
Analysts at Tudor, Pickering & Holt in Houston think the only worry could be over the practice of fracking with diesel fuel. In North Dakota drillers often use diesel in their fracks because it is a good lubricant even in frigid Dakota winters.
Even though the concentrations of diesel used are less than .1% of the millions of gallons of frack fluids injected down a well, the practice gets special scrutiny. According to the Safe Drinking Water Act, once diesel is mixed into a frack job the well is subject to special permitting requirements that don’t apply if there’s no diesel involved. So, says Tudor, Pickering, Helm’s concerns would only apply to the diesel-frack subset. [Forbes misunderstands: this is no longer science; this is political. The president is up for re-election; in the polls he loses by a margin equal to the number of environmental votes in swing states.]
As for a blanket federal ban on fracking? The analysts figure that not even Washington bureacrats [sic]suffer such severe “cranial rectosis.” Stop fracking, and nat gas prices would surge from $3.37 per thousand cubic feet today to $12, in a heartbeat. [Which would be a win-win for everyone: wind energy advocates and natural gas investors alike. Oh, the consumer, you ask? Has the consumer ever been a player in these issues? They weren't when they closed the Gulf. They weren't when they shut down Keystone XL.]
As for a blanket federal ban on fracking? The analysts figure that not even Washington bureacrats [sic] suffer such severe “cranial rectosis.” Stop fracking, and nat gas prices would surge from $3.37 per thousand cubic feet today to $12, in a heartbeat. [It will. Who wants mineral oil in their drinking water? Even though mineral oil is prescribed by pediatricians for oral intake for babies with constipation.]
By the way, is there a new spelling for bureaucrats? Twice in that article "bureaucrats" was misspelled, at least the way I was taught. At least Forbes spells "fracking" correctly.
If you think fracking is going to be banned in the US, and think that natural gas will go from $3 to $12 overnight, what do you do?
Don't worry, be happy, buy COP. From another 2009 Forbes story:
It's been a tough year for ConocoPhillips. In January it took $34 billion in writedowns on its 20% stake in Russia's Lukoil and its 2005 acquisition of U.S. natural gas player Burlington Resources. It also overpaid in a $8 billion deal for gas assets of Australia's Origin Energy. With gas prices plunging further since then, bottoming out below $3 per million BTU last month, neither deal has looked smart.By the way, what famous investor has a huge stake in COP? A hint: he's the same fellow that, by virtue of owning the BNSF railroad, benefitted from the Keystone XL project falling through.