California legislators are always looking for ways to fill their slush funds to buy votes. They saw an opportunity when the demand for fracking began to grow through out the nation. Democrat’s first move was to try and ban fracking in California. Senate Bill SB-4 was sponsored by state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Los Angeles to ban most fracking. But, then some smarter folks in the party saw an opportunity to capture some cash for their vote buying slush funds. The bill was modified to allow more fracking, but increases the cost of fracking. It was signed into law on Sept. 20, 2013 by Gov. Jerry Brown.
However, SB-4 rules, the permits, and cleaning requirements, and potential fines, could restrict production by 50% according industry leaders. Industry claims fracking could face extinction because new regulations “will mean that either acid cleaning must be conducted 3-4 times per year at $25,000+ each time,” plus $20,000 for permits for each fracking injection.
SB-4 mandates cleaning three times a year, with three permits of $20,000 each for every required cleaning. Industry would be required to pay $60,000 per year, for each fracked well. There you have it, more than enough money to enable a little graft to fund those Democrat vote buying slush funds.
But, the oil and gas industry is not taking this laying down, they have adopted and refined some Russian technology, that makes SB-4 meaning less. It is called Plasma Pulse Technology or PPT for short. What is PPT?
“Plasma Pulse is an easy-to-deploy technology that uses vibrations, or electrically generated plasma impulses to reduce viscosity, increase permeability and improve flow of oil and gas to the surface for extraction. The technology is designed to improved production costs effectively and without resorting to acidization, hydrofracking or other environmentally harmful processes.”
“PPT is a small tubular device on the end of a long wire that is lowered into an oil well shaft to as deep as 12,000 feet. Once a computer triggers the device, it sends a microsecond burst of heat horizontally up to about three-quarters of a mile that loosens oil from its surrounding rock. PPT only requires about 500 watts, or about the same energy as a hair dryer, to perform this operation,” according to an article in CalWatchDog.
So far, this technology does not require expensive permits under SB-4, as SB-4 focused on the use if water and chemicals.
“Because plasma pulsing is undertaken without using any chemicals or water – the two primary targets of California’s new restrictions – there is no need for a permit. In fact, according to Propell Technologies, all you need is a wire-line truck and a laptop computer.”
California is may yet be a player in developing clean, cheap and permit-free oil and gas from new and existing oil fields. The question is for how long? As the gap between the cost of fossil fuel productions and alternative energy, mainly wind and solar, grows we can expect more pressure by the environmental wackos in Sacrament to raise the cost of PPT and generate an opportunity for some vote buying slush funds. Stay Tuned.
H/T to CalWatchDog for the PPT story.