Fracking Is Significantly Dangerous, Elon Musk Says (Video)

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Elon Musk points out that fracking is significantly dangerous, in a quick explanation at a recent conference. He sums up the immensity of the danger and then leads into the need for electric cars that do not use fossil fuels.

You can also watch AFP’s video on this segment of the talk on YouTube.

Regardless of all else regarding the climate (which is plenty!), fracking is NOT safe — it spurs earthquakes, creates horrible waste that can show up in the drinking water (and even make it flammable). It is simply not “natural.” It is, in fact, taking the “natural’ out of this idea of natural gas.

Tina Casey covers this despicable process well, in one of her many reports trying to wake up America, “Fracking Water Contamination And Earthquakes R 4 Realz, Sez Science-Denying Scientists,” pointing out, “Fracking involves pumping massive volumes of chemical brine underground at high pressure. Consequently, it involves massive volumes of chemical-laden wastewater.”

Related stories & videos:

Fracking In US Is Biggest Red Herring In The History Of Oil

Why New York Banned Fracking

Fracking An Inconvenient Truth

Oklahoma Earthquakes and the Rise of Fracking

California Loses Earthquake Crown to Oklahoma

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Cynthia Shahan

Cynthia Shahan, started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. Words can be used improperly depending on the culture you are in. (Several unrelated publications) She has a degree in Education, Anthropology, Creative Writing, and was tutored in Art as a young child thanks to her father the Doctor.

Cynthia Shahan has 946 posts and counting. See all posts by Cynthia Shahan

70 thoughts on “Fracking Is Significantly Dangerous, Elon Musk Says (Video)

  • uneducated opinions by people that prefer to make statements that they presume to be fact. I especially like the part where we re told we need more electric cars. Folks, the electricity either comes from coal or hydrocarbons. Wind, water and other alternatives fuels are negligible. It takes more energy (hydrocarbons) to create the electricity then transfer it to an inefficient battery system to run a car than it does to burn the fossil fuel as gasoline. So we are going to need more hydrocarbons. Where are they going to come from?

    • Let’s see.

      How about we install a lot of wind turbines and solar panels and fill our “tanks” with zero carbon hydrocarbons.

      (Why do you seem to know so very, very little?

      Do you know that last year Denmark got 40% (actually 39.1%) of their electricity from wind. That the year before Iowa got more than 25% of their electricity from wind?

      That’s what happens when you install a lot of wind turbines. Same thing happens when you install a lot of solar panels. You get to drive around with bunches of those zero carbon hydrocarbons.

      • T Boone Pickens thought about this a few years ago. He tried to get a wind farm up and running in west Texas. The problem is you have to install those inefficient government subsidized turbines and panels in places where there is wind and sun. Then you have to use transmission lines to get the electricity to areas that do not have those two “natural resources”. If you think you are paying a lot of money for power now, wait until fossil fuels are no longer produced.

        • No, T. Boone was hoping that a new transmission line would come by his piece of real estate.

          It didn’t. His wind farm was not built. The turbines were installed elsewhere.

          You have no idea how expensive coal produced electricity is, do you?

          • yes, and I am not a fan of coal. Natural gas is a much better way to go. “Hoping”? That is too funny. A guy like T Boone does not hope. He just didn’t realize that gas would get cheap again and drop from $12/mcf down to $3/mcf. That my friend is a result of the fracturing process that unlocked additional hydrocarbons so we could decrease our dependency on foreign imports. The transfer of wealth from the US to foreign oil nations is staggering and wind, water and solar is not going to end it. Perhaps nuclear…..

          • Still kind o’ low on facts. Go read the T. Boone history.

            Gas didn’t kill Boone’s farm.

            As I told you, the turbines he had purchased went to other farms were transmission was in place.

            NG is a placeholder for storage. Doesn’t have a long term future, only so much can be squeezed out of the rocks.

            The big drop in gas prices was a supply bubble. If followed a drilling investment boom. Learn some history.

            Oh, and nuclear has been priced off the table.

          • i do not need to read history, especially when it is written by tree huggers. The gas bubble was a result of fracturing. Horizontal drilling began around 2000 and by 2008 was in full swing. That was when T Boones dream began to fail. Your suggestion that T Boone was hoping for anything is ridiculous. Do you believe he would actually spend billions just hoping someone would build a transmission line? I have been in the oil indstry for over 35 years so I do have a lot of first hand knowledge that is not tainted by the media. evidently you information is based on what you read. Good luck with that.

          • Beep!

            Sorry, you lose. The farm was not built due to lack of transmission. Falling gas prices came later.

          • you are the one that said it was not built due to him hoping a transmission line would be built. Read your comments. I said an inherent problem with wind is it needs to be close to the grid. And falling prices for gas was in 2008, just when T Boone realized he was priced out of the market due to falling prices and a recession. He then decided that natural gas was a much more viable option. You need to read a bit more or better yet talk to someone in the industry that has first hand knowledge and not learn from the media that is tainting with misinformation thus causing you to be just as uninformed. I bet you bought a copy of Gasland just so you could educate yourself on the oil and gas industry.

          • proves exactly what I was saying. I attended the COGA convention in Denver early 2008 when T Boone was the guest speaker and laid out his plans in front of several thousand of us attending the convention during the keynote luncheon address. His economics were based on $12+ per mcf for gas. By late 2008 the gas price had plummeted almost overnight to less than $4. That was not due to a instant gas bubble but rather the realization that our gas reserves had a step change increase due to horizontal drilling and fracturing. Incidentally, fracturing is NOT a recent development as the video suggests. Another misleading misinformation bit. The first wells were fractured using napalm (gelled hydrocarbons) back in 1947. T Boone dropped his plans for wind power and began pushing for natural gas fueled vehicles as a result of the now cheap natural gas and his realization that we could become much more independent on foreign oil because we now had a way to unlock the hydrocarbons contained in source rock (shales). All the oil we had produced up to horizontal drilling and fracturing had leached its way from these shales over the thousands of years and was the easy picking stuff. It was now pretty much gone and foreign oil was our only choice. It is a matter of cost and what the American people will support. They talk the talk, but when it gets down to it, tell them they are going to be rationed on electricity because the wind isn’t blowing this week. And don’t start on “wide spots” in the system that can store electricity for those days when wind power is unavailable due to weather. We will be on a hydrocarbon powered energy system well past your and my life times. It is cheaper and whether anyone wants to admit it, that is what they are wanting…cheaper. Get used to it and accept it.

          • What’s the current price of electricity from a recently built CCNG plant?

          • Oh, and that’s some fancy reading turning ” One year later on July 8, 2009, The Wall Street Journal reported that Pickens had postponed plans to build his Texas wind farm because necessary transmission capacity wasn’t yet available. His company had not been successful in attracting financing to build the new lines.” into “proves exactly what I was saying”.

          • You know, I was following that project pretty closely as it became public and while Pickens worked to get access to transmission. I read the news the day it was clear that the line wasn’t coming his way.

          • agreed, but then he tried to go elsewhere but realized natural gas prices had fallen enough that no matter where he went he was going to lose big time. So he dropped the idea in favor of the more economical fuel source, natural gas. People will not pay more for energy just because it comes from the sun or the weather. While it is a nice idea, it is not economically the cheapest energy source. Talk to one of the inner city residents and ask them if you can raise their electric bill even 10% if it is all from wind or solar. And the largest usage of electricity is in those areas, not in the country side. There are more people living in Houston, Texas than the entire state of Iowa and they use coal and natural gas for an energy source.

          • No, his wind farm plans stalled out and then he got interested in NG for transportation. I remember watching an interview right after the wind farm was toasted. Pickens talked exclusively about NG for transportation. Not about electricity generation.

          • I never said he was going to build natural gas power plants. I said he dropped his idea because there was a more favorable (economically) power source which was natural gas. He was going to sell wind electricity but he could not compete with natural gas so he went a different direction and business model.

          • You can claim that but anyone who was following events as they rolled out knows you are blowing smoke.

          • Wow Bob, that sounds like a fact based statement if I ever heard one. I suppose and equally impressive retort would be “you too!”.

        • I guess Warren Buffet must be crazy bye is investing BILLIONS into RE system.

          • Buffet is not crazy but do you really believe the majority will be able to buy such a system? A few that live in remote areas might because it is possibly a better choice. But what about inner city people? They each gonna have one? Or is the local government going to tax everyone out of existence to build systems for the general population. Face it folks, unless we are willing to make huge sacrifices we have put ourselves into a dependency on cheap energy called fossil fuels.

          • No, the majority will buy the output.

            They’ll have cheaper electricity and improved health.

          • ok, obviously discussing this with a liberal treehugger. Live in your dream world and wait for things to happen to you then wonder what happened and how can I get someone else to pay for it. That is all. I will now leave this discussion to those that suck up this stuff and think they can live without cheap energy when they are barely making ends meet now without the government helping out.

          • Never mind the fact that hydrocarbons are heavily subsidized by the big “govment” you hate so much in ten years or less solar without subsidies will be far cheaper than coal or any other form of hydrocarbons. It is not a question of if this will happen but when. Solar in 1977 was $77 dollars per watt, now it is less than $.077 cents per watt and the price of solar still dropping fast. I for one am all in favor in doing all we can to speed this process up by heavily investing in the technologies of the future so we can cheap, clean electricity in the future. Remember, hydrocarbons like coal and oil are finite resources, as they become more scarce the price will go up. This cheap oil fracking bubble is a short term solution to a long term problem.

            So you MR. Not a treehugger can continue on your little tirade of ad hominem attacks about liberal treehuggers and big government all you want. The simple fact of the matter is the future will be powered by the technologies of the future like solar and wind, and not the dinosaur technologies of the past that the Luddites like yourself can’t seem to let go of.

          • why don’t you let go of hydrocarbon based power right now? You have the ability or are you to dependent on your cheap power source? I dare you to go strictly solar. If oil is so repugnant, ride a bicycle to work and burn candles. Oh wait, they are made from hydrocarbons just like your pesticides, paints, plastics, etc that will NEVER come from solar or wind power. If you can explain how you can paint your house using solar power I am all ears, otherwise SHUT UP!!

          • Oil and Natural Gas should be utilized to make plastics, paints, etc. They are indeed a finite resource which the human race has been squandering by sending them up in smoke. Electricity can be produce cheaper from wind and soon from solar. Combine that with battery storage systems (rapidly being developed) and there is no need for fossil fuel fired production facilities. If you have experience in the Oil and Gas Industry you KNOW that fracked gas and oil rapidly drop off in production rates after a few years. That’s known as a “Bubble”. Economics drives everything and will soon determine how electricity is produced throughout the planet. Transportation Systems are readily adapting to cheaper power (Have you heard of the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla?). Power those vehicles with P V produced battery recharge and you have Zeoro air emissions. Are you AWARE of Climate Change? Have you heard the term Megastorm used on the news? Those events are the new normal due to theexcessive amount of heat energy we have dumped into the atmosphere as a result of burning hydrocarbons in massive quantities for decades. Take the scales off from your eyes and get aclear look at the real world.

          • You see Larry, you prove my point about the uninformed talking about things they don’t know about. It is not a “bubble” unless you are talking about what is on your shoulders. It is called “drawdown” and I know all about it.

          • The NG drilling boom was clearly a bubble event. And it popped like a bubble.

          • no Bob it didn’t pop because it was a bubble. The oil and gas industry has had ups and downs for a hundred years as supply and demand changes. There was a need for domestic drilling when oil was $100 a barrel and when it dropped into the $40’s it was cheaper to import again. There goes our wealth back overseas once more. For the last two years we actually reversed our decline in oil production and were slowly gaining some ground. There were people that didn’t like that, most of them foreign. Go figure. So now we are losing our production capabilities not because the oil and gas is not there but because “someone” has made it uneconomical to produce. This is simple economics, not rocket science or a bubble event. I have to laugh at that bubble comment thing each time i see it. We have enough natural gas for well over 100 years into the future. We just do not need to produce anymore right now.

          • And after your final, final, final post you post your final, final, final, fial post and then I see down the page you post your final, final, final, final, final post followed by your final, final, ….

          • Please, no more of your creative history posting.

            Fracking was developed. (With government money, IIRC.) That opened up new sources of natural gas, money was being made, investment capital rushed in, more wells were drilled than supply required. Prices dropped due to a supply surplus. The drilling bubble popped and rigs left the gas fields.

            Let me show you a picture of bubble inflation and popping.

          • I see you engage in the same name calling you found so repugnant a few comments back. Must have run out of fuzzy “facts” to spew

          • yes Larry, I am afraid after a period of time even I get worn down by the sheer stupidity of some posters.

          • Oh, and I wish to thank you and your family for providing me with a great career in the oil and gas industry as you continue to use hydrocarbons for your everyday living. Keep it up so I can enjoy my lifestyle supplied by those like you that claim oil is bad but use its’ downstream products almost every minute of your life.

          • You seem to forget that oil, and natural gas are finite resources, and we will use up all our reserves in the near future. I guess Global Warming doesn’t concern you. All you care about is the money you made in the dirty fossil fuel industry. Wind and solar power will be here forever and provide jobs, that will keep our environment clean. It’s a shame that oil industry supporters like you must defend our use of dirty fossil fuels. Is money worth the horrible environmental destruction, we are doing to the planet?

          • So is the sun but like fossil fuels it is going to be around a while longer. If alternative fuels were so cheap we would already be doing it. Without government subsidies the industry is a hobby at best

          • Why should renewables not be subsidized when fossil fuels and nuclear have been subsidized to a much larger level?

            You in favor of an unlevel playing field?

          • Sir, you are a fossil fool. Solar power alone could provide 100 times our need for electricity. Throw in wind, geothermal, wave, biogas from landfills, and farms, and we could get 100% of our electricity from clean renewable energy in 15 years. Simply dismissing someone who disagrees with your nonsense as a liberal treehugger proves you lost the argument. Denmark gets 39.1% from wind power. Thank god they didn’t have a brainless leader like you, or they never would have achieved such a high penetration of wind power. We don’t need dirty fossil fuels.

          • Isn’t Denmark more broke than we are? Plus, they had no choice, no petroleum reserves like us

          • Denmark’s nominal GDP was estimated to be $333,238 million, the 32nd largest in the world. It has the world’s lowest level of income inequality, according to the World Bank Gini (%),[8] and the world’s highest minimum wage, according to the IMF.[9] As of June 2010 the unemployment rate is at 7.4%, which is below the EU average of 9.6%.[10] As of 28 February 2014 Denmark is among the countries with the highest credit rating.

            There is no net foreign debt


            Sounds to me that Denmark is doing OK.

          • Correct. I meant to add something about the small size/population of Denmark which makes its 32nd spot even more impressive.

    • We can’t burn fossil fuels any longer, we have climate problem.

    • Even if electric cars get their energy from dirty coal plants, the electric cars are still cleaner for the environment. Cleantechnica has covered this extensively. Denmark gets 39.1% from wind. Germany 30% from renewables. Norway 98% from renewables, mostly hydro. So many countries already get high penetrations from clean renewable energy. Renewable energy is growing fast so more electricity will come from it in the future, so electric cars are a better option for the environment. Also, if you put solar on your home, you charge your car for free.

      • Actually not. EVs charged from 100% coal are a bit higher in CO2 than efficient ICEVs. Non-CO2 is a problem even with 40% coal as we have on US grids.

        EVs aren’t the problem, obviously. The problem is that we have more work to do on getting coal off our grids.

        Put an EV in your garage and panels on your roof. That’s clean ridding.

      • Then why don’t we? Because it costs too much and it would harm our fragile economy

        • What would harm our fragile economy?

          Saving taxpayers $140 billion to $242 billion in health care costs by moving away from coal?

          Replacing our aging out coal and nuclear plants with renewables which as cheaper than new coal and nuclear?

          Adding more wind and solar which brings down the cost of electricity?

          Reducing and stopping our use of imported petroleum, thus keeping billions more cash within our national boarders?

      • Haha, what a stupid argument. Don’t you have to count the coal plant emissions as pRt of your electric car carbon footprint?

        • Yes, it is counted. just Google for
          “Beyond Tailpipe Emissions Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles”
          And click on the first DOE gov page.

          It allows you to count all the upstream emissions and calculates based on how much electricity is generated from coal power in that area.

        • The RE solar thing can work OK. I have 15 KW PV and 17 KW thermal. Push extra to the grid, charge my electric car, and have free energy. Investment is paid for soon and beats any stock purchase (except maybe, Apple and Tesla)! Allowance for return of deferred pollution costs the fossil fuelers dump on a gullible public would move the country and the whole world into tho solar age with positive economic basis. Stumping for carbon and nuke power is simply stupid and short sighted. It is possible to deny it, but no one can change it for very long. Wake up and join in the fun.

    • It doesn’t matter what you believe you cant stop the tide and it’s
      turned..Big Capital see’s whats coming down the line hence the mass
      exodus from fossil interest and booming in renewable sectors..Natural
      gas will be the the last to go but it’ll follow coal and oil I doubt
      it’ll make it another 40 years.

  • I can tell I am on a liberal website. I hate big oil is all over it. Most of you must have this as your homepage

    • Well, it’s a renewable energy site so encountering a bit of distaste for oil should come as no surprise.

      As far as the liberal part, it is a site that puts a heavy emphasis on facts and, as we all know, reality has a well-known liberal bias.

      • BTW, you think anyone has figured out that you take pride in being anti-nature?

        • Arent hydrocarbons part of nature?

          • Too much of anything may still kill you.

            Natural does not equal safe for humans.

            The toxic, hellish atmosphere of Venus is still “natural”… but you wouldn’t want to live there. Nor would you want live on an Earth with a significant change in our climate.

          • True Joe, but I wouldn’t want to be electrocuted either. yet here we are using electricity and discussing it like it is the most important thing on earth.

          • Even if 100% of our energy came from the electric grid… that won’t increase the amount flowing through you. It is not like you breath electricity, nor does our climate react to the amount of watts being transferred.

            Carbon dioxide and emitted pollutants are another matter. Their global quantities matter to everyone.

          • The most important thing on Earth?

            No, we could live without electricity. We did for hundreds of thousands of years.

            But since we have to move off fossil fuels electricity is certainly an important topic and a main topic of discussion on this site. If that bores you then why not look for a site that discusses flint knapping?

          • Do you wish to be taken as a serious person or should we dismiss you as one more candidate for village fool?

      • Bob, that is the “joke of the day”. Thank you for making me laugh about liberals and reality used in the same sentence. I suppose you also believe creating jobs for ISIS as the liberal spokesperson for the State Dept so eloquently stated is a good thing and will make them like us. I on the other hand missed the nuance.

        • Reality is not your friend.

          Look at the places where young men are engaging in violence. In almost every one of them you will find a place where jobs are scarce.

          Poverty and desperation is a major driver of problematic behavior.

    • I’m not liberal, so you’re wrong on that count. It covers clean technology news, which is of significant interest to a large group, and obviously conservatives too, otherwise why are you here?

      Not everybody loves the Conservative parties love of Big Corporations, even among their own voter base.

  • Relying primarily on natural gas to replace coal has significant risks. Investing instead in renewable energy and energy efficiency would provide substantial benefits.
    While switching from coal to natural gas offers some near-term air quality and cost benefits, there is growing evidence that an overreliance on natural gas poses signifcant risks to consumers, the economy, and the climate.
    The price of natural gas has a history of volatility, with potentially significant consequences for consumers and the economy. As a fossil fuel, natural gas does not offer a long-term solution to global warming.
    In contrast, renewable energy and energy efficiency provide virtually emissions-free power at stable and affordable prices, provide substantial economic benefits, and allow states to invest in innovative clean energy technologies close to home.

    -Union of Concerned Scientists

  • As my final, final, final post I just want to say I never spoke against renewables unlike the obvious dislike for hydrocarbons stated by the other posters. I am for anything that is better and does not hurt the economy because we are forced to use it even though it is more expensive. Hydrocarbons will be around for a while longer. Those of you that are unappreciative of the oil industry that has given you warmth for your homes and fuel to run cars and trucks to supply the stores from which you purchase food and other goods, all i can say is you are shortsighted and do not see the reality of the world. Shame on you. Finally, I only took exception to the inaccuracy of the statements made in this report and video. It is a lie to say fracturing is significantly dangerous just as much as it is for me to say wind power kills thousands of birds each year through blade strikes. I love birds and do not want to see them harmed. Perhaps big screens on the windmills??

    • I’m sure those tied to steam power felt the same, unappreciated as the IC engine came into it’s own and sucked all the oxygen out.

    • Have any idea what fossil fuel caused climate change is doing to birds?

      Probably not.

  • Musk said (about 1:28) that fracking may increase the accessible reserves of oil and gas by an order of magnitude (i.e. a factor of 10). I had no idea it was so much, but Musk’s the kind of guy who would have done his homework. Anyone got anything to confirm or refute Musk’s figures there?

Comments are closed.