The Fakest News of All: The Fracking Revolution

Experienced con artists — the people who write clickbait ads, manage political campaigns and shake down old people for what’s left of their life’s savings —  will tell you that people who get conned, want to be conned. Many, many people go through their lives straining to hear the magic words; “You deserve to be rich,” or “Someone has to win the lottery, why not you?” or “cure cancer with one simple trick.” And when they hear those words, they experience the irrational exuberance of long-denied, at-last-confirmed faith, and are likely to do anything they are asked to do by those who have fulfilled the prophecy.

That’s the way it has gone with one of the longest and most successful cons in American history — the New American Oil Revolution, aka the Fracking Revolution. “You deserve all the cheap oil you can use,” the frackers began to croon about a decade ago, “America deserves energy independence.” People who had always wanted those things, and thought they deserved those things, sat up and took notice as the con artists set the hook: “we can have it forever with one simple trick of technology.”

Fracking. The greatest con, ever. If you want to read almost ten years’ worth of fracking debunking, go to the Energy section of The Daily Impact and read your heart out. I have grown tired of writing the same things over and over, so I don’t do it much anymore,  but here’s a quick recap:

  • fracked oil is an inferior product with limited uses that can not be taken in by just any refinery, so its price is usually discounted below that of ordinary crude;
  • fracked oil is devilishly expensive to get out of the ground, as it requires enormous quantities of water, sand and toxic chemicals to break it loose;
  • fracking wells play out within four years (traditional wells get around 20 years, at least) which means that if you’re a fracker you have to find and start developing your next well the minute your current well is in production;
  • as a result of the tight margins and high capital expenses, virtually no one has made any money fracking oil. Really. They claim profits from individual wells, but all the profits and more are required to get the next well ready to go;
  • the only thing that has sustained the industry this long is the gullibility of the junk-bond and subprime-loan investors who still believe they deserve to get 20% interest on their investments, and will shovel money at anyone who promises it to them.

And the reason the hedge-fund gamblers still push the chips across the table to the frackers, as frantic and delusional as their bets have become? The gullible media, most of whom have bought whole hog the improbable story of the fracking miracle and an imminent return to energy independence. (They even got Hillary Clinton, who during the 2016 campaign developed some expertise on fake news, but still succumbed to this con. See: “Hillary Hallucinates Energy Independence,”  The Daily Impact, October 10, 2016)

As just one example of the mindless fluff being pumped out everywhere, all the time, by the corporate shills, check out CNN’s offering, “Here Comes the Next Wave of the US Oil Boom.” It’s like watching one of those TV commercial animations explaining how laxatives work. Wouldn’t it be great if things were that simple.

Where to get the real story? A few places, such as SRSrocco, (sometimes), and the like, have been consistently and strenuously trying to tell the truth all along, but have been drowned out by the “Happy Days” crowd.

For a reality check, take the time to read all of SRSrocco’s reports, MEDIA DELUDE AMERICANS: Shale Oil Production Suffers Massive Decline Rates, and the related US SHALE GAS INDUSTRY: Countdown to Disaster.

Fake news gives you a momentary thrill and distracts you until the speeding truck runs you over. The truth, in this case, won’t make us feel better, let alone setting us free. But it will prepare us to make better decisions in the future that is now bearing down on us, like for example getting off the road where the speeding trucks are.

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5 Responses to The Fakest News of All: The Fracking Revolution

  1. SomeoneInAsia says:

    QUOTE: ***Experienced con artists… will tell you that people who get conned, want to be conned.***

    I think there’s a reason why the truth often hurts, and why people therefore actually prefer to be conned. The reason is that often people have committed so much of themselves to something — have invested their heart and soul and resources and whatever in that thing — that the pain of learning that they’ve made a poor investment or commitment would simply be too much to bear. And in our story here, the object of our commitment is the modern industrial way of life. The truth may set you free, but before that it will make you miserable.

    I’m reminded of poor Linus from the Peanuts comic series and his unwavering belief in the Great Pumpkin. In a letter to the Great Pumpkin Linus wrote: “Everyone says you’re a fake, but I believe in you… P.S. If you really are a fake, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.”

  2. Denis Frith says:

    The fracking revolution is only one of a multitude of fake news. In combination they contribute to the great delusion that industrialized civilization can irreverssibly use up limted natural resources and irrevocably produce wastes to temporarily provide society with goods and services.

  3. Tom says:

    This topic led me on a 2 year investment of my time and energy [presenting the case against fracking to our local state senator, getting petitions signed in all types of weather (and with hostile deniers occasionally disagreeing) at farmers’ markets (where “allowed”) and other community sources] that ended with NOTHING CHANGING.

    It’s not that we didn’t have all the science spelled out in clearly written and easily understood language, it’s that most people were either ambivalent or didn’t want anything to change!

    Humans are by and large, to put it politely, FUCKING MORONS! Colinc has a phrase he brings up from time to time, as we run into this same scenario over and over again in trying to mitigate our common problems – “there are too many stupid people!”

    Not only are we so distracted that we can’t remember most of the information we see beyond a few minutes, but we’re on this treadmill-to-death “civilization” that robs us of our very LIFE, and has made the world a prison planet in the process.

    Lately, we’ve come to find out that pedophiles in high places rule the world, that we’re being poisoned with neonicotinoids in our water (but scientists “can’t say” what affect that will have on human health – because WE’RE the GUINEA PIGS – and they probably have to wait to get approval from the now conflicted EPA), and on and on.

    Every day it gets worse, but people REFUSE to see it! Oh, the big storms are happening OVER THERE, so I don’t have to worry . . .. Our tax dollars are going toward WAR, that nobody wants EXCEPT the military/industrial complex that’s making scads of money on destruction, death and making us more enemies in the process (so it can all continue)! Protest has been nullified by the CIA/NSA/Homeland (in)Security agencies, while our infrastructure continues to degrade and collapse.

    Fracking has been PROVEN to cause earthquakes (in OK, for one), poison wells, contaminate ground water, ruin streams and kill aquatic life – oh, and by the way, the wastewater from these operations is radioactive.

    All this to continue for another day, week, month, year in MISERY and DEPRESSION! Fun, eh?

    Thanks for this timely, well-written essay, Mr. Lewis.

  4. Mike Kay says:

    I happen to know of a family that once ran a productive ranch to the NW of here. They grew food, beef mostly. Cruel reality is that we must eat other life forms or perish, and they were involved in that, sustenance.
    Fracking turned their ranch into a checkerboard of pads, rigs, and open air retaining ponds for poisoned wastewater. Anything unfortunate enough to test that water for potability died, including the herd raised for food. In the end, mineral rights trump surface rights. You can try to take frackers to court, but it won’t regenerate the range, or create safe disposal for waste, much less return a wrecked aquifer to pre-fracked conditions.
    Last I heard this family was trying to raise awareness about the true costs of fracking: Like Tom said above, too many stupid people.
    I’m actually done talking sense to anyone. They just get mad, and want to make me personally liable for their righteous indignation. I’m sure that they will all be even better off once the wells play out, the earthquakes roll, and their tapwater comes out as sludge.
    The oil industry has the world in a death grip, and most folks assume that’s just the way it’s supposed to be.
    No, that’s just the way it is.

  5. Arnold Allison says:

    I got bit on my own (a small %) buying some hi dividend energy TRUSTS. They paid the div a few times and then the Judge shuffled the Company and declared the trust GONE! It appears that a trust is the weakest lump of business. Hi divs can look good but can be the new pump and dump.
    Arnie Allison