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    Blue on Blue in CA – Eco-glitterati versus the unemployed

    Blue on Blue in CA – Eco-glitterati versus the unemployed

    Agenda-driven journalism is poised to pit two Democratic constituencies against each other in my home state of California.

    Americans are becoming aware that there is an “oil boom” in this country, courtesy of the technology behind the fracking of oil shale.  California’s Monterey Shale Formation, which is a “vast source rock” that contains potentially billions of barrels of oil, could be a significant source of job and wealth creation for the Golden State.

    However, as Chris Reed of Cal Watchdog notes, getting Californians to support this development means they need to be informed that it is very feasible to extract the oil in an environmentally sound manner.  He questions whether the state media is going to take this approach:

    But will California’s environmental journalists bother to read beyond the NRDC press releases? Will they talk to the experts who say not only is fracking environmentally safe, but its increasing sophistication is also making it steadily cleaner? Will they share with their readers that fracking has been “massively” used since the 1970s without the catastrophes we’re now warned about? Will they acknowledge that if the Golden State chooses not to join the revolution, it is likely to be an outlier, because states and nations where green energy is less of a religion are lining up to take advantage of the fracking revolution?

    My answer to Reed: It depends on which blue constituency California media decides to back. The choices are the cocktail-party eco-glitterati or the underdog, impoverished unemployed citizens.

    Walter Russel Mead has a similar perspective, but instead of media support, he looks at the options the Democrat Party has:

    Does California’s Democratic Party come down on the side of low income Californians, who desperately need the jobs and state services new oil extraction will fund? Or does it come down on the side of a green lobby that is heavily backed by some of the wealthiest people in the state? To what extent does the wealthy coastal elite control the future of the inland poor in California? Can the GOP use the issue as a wedge to rebuild its credibility in a state it once dominated? Will black gold bail out big blue California?

    Bring lots of popcorn. This is going to be a terrific show.

    My sense is that our media will be siding with the eco-activist glitterati, as they host swankier events. That is why our state citizen groups are now working to get the real facts out to the unemployed “blues”.

    A fact that may work for the shale-development side: Governor Jerry Brown is an oil baron.

    So, in addition to popcorn, pour a glass of California chardonnay or one of our San Diego microbrews and enjoy the blue on blue fireworks.


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    hutch1200 | February 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Ragspierre, most wells are drilled on hill/mountaintops. I know. I have a well on my property, clean water and a job working for a driller. Jobs in NEPA are hard to find. Ask Biden why they moved away when he was 7. Of course he still is 7!
    I could barely pay the taxes on my 71 acres, and all our dairy cattle and equipment were sold when I was a teen. Land poor is the term. Many ppl are off welfare, and Oxy/Heroin ODs are down too. Ppl have seed money for a biz and money for college…like never before. Now, north of Scranton (solid D) it is boom times.
    As far as safety goes, we used to turn a well pump off at some homes and light smokes from the sink. Methane in wells is somewhat common around here..long before drilling.
    What I earn by working, doesn’t cover my taxes from nice royalty checks. But man, It’s good to WORK!

      Ragspierre in reply to hutch1200. | February 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Please! I’ve built locations, drilled wells, fracked wells, moved drilling rigs, worked production, sold drilling ventures, etc. I’ve been all over the oil field.

      Kentucky and Pennsylvania are a LITTLE mountainy. Kulifornia is VERY mountainy. Note that the exploratory wells being drilled are around the Bakersfield area (a VERY old oil field). Flat, but breaking into hills. You’ll find a lot of locations on those hills, but most wells were drilled years back under a completely different set of economies.

      The Monterrey Shale is NOT a good fracking prospect. It is NOT a good horizontal drilling prospect. Some wells have shown good production increases from hydrofluoric acid (a VERY nasty acid) treatment.

      So, while there is oil in them thar hills, the economics of getting it are dubious at this time. Building a location or a pipeline on those hills is expensive. Building either in the actual mountains is MUCH more expensive. A BIG part of that is the regulatory/environmental craziness of Kulhifornia.

        Estragon in reply to Ragspierre. | February 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm

        Monterrey shale is certainly not suitable for “fracking” as it is normally practiced – and protested. The shale formations are not horizontal, they are sloped and irregular. Typical fracking might or might not loosen it up, but there is no guarantee it would make it easier to extract.

        Still, the history of the oil industry is that when they know lucrative reserves are present, they will find a way to get to them. Whether or not the political class in California would allow it is a different question, of course.

          Ragspierre in reply to Estragon. | February 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm

          Imaging technology is a HUGE advance in oil and gas exploration.

          As Dr. Sowell has pointed out in debunking the stupid myth of “peak oil”, it is a prime example of Malthusian fallacy. When market prices rise for the resources, and new technologies make extracting them less expensive, people will find a way to get them to market at a profit…safely and responsibly.

          The “magic” of markets…when they are allowed to work.

    Subotai Bahadur | February 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    1) there will be no “cage match” between the Coastal Elites and the Serfs over this. The entire issue will be hushed up by the media, with the only mention of oil and frac-ing being horror stories. In any case, to the Coastal Elites, the only Serfs they care about are the new majority Hispanics. If they took part in an economic boom caused by oil, it would endanger the Democrat majority by reducing the welfare rolls. They have already written off non-Hispanics.

    California is a lost cause. For as long as it remains part of the US, it will be a disaster. [I do not rule out a separatist movement based on the racist and revanche-ist La Raza Unida and Nation of Atzlan and their ilk.] That movement would be the real cage match. For if the separatists gain ground, it means new faces replacing the current Coastal Elite. That will be fought literally to the death, and the Left is not real good at separating race and politics. If that happens, I have a recipe for sesame five-spice popcorn; and I will make up a huge batch to munch on while I watch.

    Putting resources into California, politically or financially, is a fool’s game. It will be wasted. The only remaining path left is to try to make sure that we do not finance them, and to be ready so that loved ones have a safe place to start over when they leave there. My daughter and her family are small business owners in California, and are being pressed to the wall. They know that they always will have a roof over their heads and food to eat if they have to bail out of California.

    2) Insufficiently Sensitive | February 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

    With the president of REI as Interior Secretary, you can absolutely bet that there will be as little energy used or developed in this country as can be arranged by the Feds. Her predecessor was a Colorado Senator and his brother was the Congress-critter for the energy rich West Slope of Colorado; so that they had to be exposed to business and energy and at least pretend that they were not the enemy at election time. Jewell is a true-believer and you can expect the Green equivalent of the Inquisition.

    I have been buying from REI since I was in college, and still do occasionally for my son who climbs, caves, and hikes. Or at least I did till this morning. If the president of REI becomes part of the Regime, probably I don’t want to put money in their pocket. That is a path that maybe other Conservatives should follow; pour encourager les autres.

    Subotai Bahadur

    TrooperJohnSmith | February 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Cut off the supply of fossil fuel to California, and watch The People refine the environmentalists and beautiful people into petroleum by-products.

    Hell, half of Hollywood’s elites are dinosaurs, and this is just the next logical evolutionary step in their journey to immortality.

    /sarcasm (as if I needed to indicate such)

    BannedbytheGuardian | February 6, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    My autocorrect will not allow me to type f rack ing .

    However the chances are better for succes in areas that have been coal mined previously or at least within living memory of the locals. We have some exploratory & model setups & there are a few blah blah no coal gas signs but it is laughable as the train rolls by full of coal & coke & the ships are lined up waiting to load up .

    It would be too big an ask of California. They would prefer to live on mung beans & wait for royalties from their very soon to be blockbuster projects.

    Btw why is there no Hispanic Hollywood churning out the films . Who w that guy with Zorro? Surely he could have a talk show if horse riding is a bit too upper class for a Mexican to be doin in Cali?

    […] Blue on Blue in CA – Eco-glitterati versus the unemployed Agenda-driven journalism is poised to pit two Democratic constituencies against each other in my home state of California. Americans are becoming aware that there is an “oil boom” in this country, courtesy of the technology behind the fracking of oil shale. California’s Monterey Shale Formation, which is a “vast source rock” that contains potentially billions of barrels of oil, could be a significant source of job and wealth creation for the Golden State. […]

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