Fracking Hawaii

SUBHEAD: Drilling for geothermal may leak toxins into our aquifers.

By Henry Curtis on 30 January 2013 for Disappeared News -

Image above: There are people thinking about fracking Hawaii. From (

Across the country there are community uproars about fossil fuel companies using pressurized water and toxic chemicals to rip apart underground rock formations to extract oil and gas. The companies believe that the chemicals used should be protected as trade secrets. They are using political muscle to exempt themselves from disclosure and liability. They assert that the resultant earthquakes, aquifer contamination and health impacts are, like climate change itself, a figment of imagination of a few misguided alarmists.

Hawai`i State Senator Ruderman wrote Senate Bill 375 that would ban the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Hawaii.

State Senator Solomon heard the bill and then tried to kill it without voting to kill it. Other Senators pointed out that when there is disagreement in a Committee there must be a public vote that is recorded. Senator Solomon said she wants to review the Senate Rules and has put off the committee vote until next week.

Don Thomas, a geochemist and director of the University of Hawaii’s Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, and a long-time paid consultant with Puna Geothermal Ventures, sees no need to strengthen environmental protections, although he notes that “it is conceivable that we will find thermal areas in Hawaii where permeability is extremely low and where hydrofracking could potentially make something economically viable."

On January 25, 2013 HELCO filed with the Public Utilities Commission a 270 megabyte Proposed Geothermal Request For Proposal. Consultants with a company that will bid for the right to build the largest geothermal power plant in the State has called Ruderman’s bill "embarrassing."

Susan Petty, president of Seattle-based AltraRock Energy points out that geothermal hydro shearing is different from oil and gas fracking, In reality, the definitions are almost identical. Hydraulic Fracturing uses pressurized fluids to create fractures in rock layers. Hydro Shearing uses pressurized fluids to create fractures in fractured rocks. Susan Petty added that "the big issues are with getting the natural gas into aquifers. In geothermal, there is no natural gas.” Obviously there are different impacts.

Drilling for oil or gas may leak oil or gas into aquifers. Drilling for geothermal may leak geothermal fluid into aquifers. The potential for Puna geothermal wells to contaminate water aquifers was noted decades ago in a Hawai`i geothermal EIS.



Anonymous said...

FYI; The concern's are heavy metals, and salts, stuff like Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Cobalt, Nickel, Zink, XXX Thalium XXX, Copper, in combination with borate, and sodium, affecting human health, and or agriculture, and or native plants. Some of these present some lethal combinations.

Sidnie Zari said...

Hydraulic Fracking is dangerous to any and all living species. The Hawaiian Islands are being exploited by Monsanto and others as we speak. Their contaminants are altering our bodies, our children, our animals and our flora. Please stand against Fracking of the Hawaiian Islands.
Sidnie Zari
75-1236 Keopu Mauka Drive, Holualoa, Hi. 96725

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