What a lady! Always a joy, never a dull moment. It was …

Comment on Michele Castagna, 1944 – 2016 by Jim Cleary.

What a lady!
Always a joy, never a dull moment.
It was a pleasure to know her. Always a joke when assisting her on or off a flight.
Rest in peace, Michelle.

Recent Comments by Jim Cleary

‘Trump win opportunity to re-assess defence policies’
No worry about China ever attacking Australia. The way you are selling it off they will own it all soon.

LETTER: Why do some cockies like fracking?
Barkley Magpie: I understand your frustration with the Fracking subject. However, I do suggest you take an interest in what has happened in North America regarding the subject.
We all know that the Fracking companies involved over here, will be some of the same companies attempting to push the Fracking issue along.
You must also know that these companies will attempt to use similar if not the same Fracking methods used here. You will also be aware that Haliburton are possibly one of the companies trying to Frack in the NT.
With that in mind I suggest you read the following article which will show just what lengths will be taken to get what these companies want.
I only hope that those in power will have the guts to take a very hard look at past records of companies before they will allow the spoiling of what is a very fragile ecosystem throughout the wonderful NT.

LETTER: Why do some cockies like fracking?
As mentioned previously, the main concerns here now are earthquakes, water pollution, and disposal of water and chemicals that return to the surface during the fracking process.
Minor quakes in Oklahoma and North Dakota have been traced back to fracking.
Water pollution in rivers and catchment areas also caused by fracking is also major concern.
Considering all of your water is artesian there is no way fracking can take place without the water table being disturbed in some way.
Consider that everything that is pumped into the ground is dispersed though the various rock strata below. Over here the fracking companies state that they drill at least 5000 ft below the water table so therefore it cannot affect the water table. That is a load of crap because once that product is pumped under pressure into the ground there is no control where it will finish up.
Waste water and chemicals returning to the surface during fracking have to be collected and disposed of.
At the moment there is concern with the amount of waste product that is being stored and in some cases is leaching back into the ground. In some instances they are running out of storage areas.
Then of course there is the damage that is being caused to the roads by the heavy equipment.
Over here most of the fracking is carried out in locations that are populated and can be viewed from a distance.
In the NT, who is going to monitor the clean-up and damage done to the area around the drill sites? In most cases it would be a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.

Is Labor Gunner have a fracking problem?
The point of who will benefit most from fracking should not be the point of contention.
There is only one winner and it is not the Territorians.
The focus should be on the damage that will be done to the Territory water supply.
As mentioned in past letters, the problem the fracking companies are facing over here now, are all environmental.
In many cases it’s far too late as the damage has already been done.

Majority stick to ‘no’ on fracking moratorium
Having lived in Alice for 30 years I am disappointed to read that a moratorium will not be held regarding fracking.
Here in the USA, in the past two years there is the ever increasing call for moratoriums in cities and counties. There has been a growing campaign against fracking not only in Colorado but in many other states.
Recently the public are becoming more active in challenging the oil companies to the point that we are now being bombarded with TV campaigns advising us just how good fracking is for the country.
The oil companies are stating that the USA is now the # 1 supplier of natural gas in the world and will shortly become the # 1 supplier of oil in the world. All of this based on fracking.
All of the recent challenges to fracking have been bought about by the public starting to ask questions and demanding the truth be told about the problems caused by fracking.
Simply put, people now are finding out what happens when the oil companies move in and take over. They are now finding out that the oil companies can move in and frack wherever they think there might be oil or gas. As the people do not have the rights to the minerals under the grounds, the oil companies can move in and frack on your property.
As a past resident of Alice I am fully aware of the water situation. There are no snow fields or rushing rivers to help replenish the millions of gallons of water used for fracking.
Everything you have is artesian, below the surface, so, when fracking takes place drilling will pass through the water table into the rock below. Then the chemicals, water and sand will be pumped down under high pressure to fracture and split the rock to allow the oil and gas to escape.
In the following article you will get a better idea as to what happens to the water used.
Fracking removes millions of gallons of precious freshwater from the water cycle.
Each well uses between two and five million gallons of locally freshwater which will be permanently contaminated by ground contaminants and toxic chemicals contained in the fracking fluid.
About half of this water returns to the surface, where it is stored in steel containers until it can be injected deep underground in oil and gas waste wells.
No one is entirely sure what happens to the other half of the water used in the process. Our best guess is that the water remains underground, though there are indications that at least some of this toxic cocktail makes its way back into the water supply.
Then there are the chemical used for fracking.
For many years the chemicals used in fracking have been a secret held by each oil company base on “proprietary information”.
For further info see http://fracfocus.org/major-improvements-fracfocus-announced
You will see from this article just how much can be hidden from the public. Some identified chemicals include naphthalene, which destroys red blood cells, and ethylene glycol, which can damage the kidneys, nervous system, lungs and heart. So, enjoy you glass of water!
Recently Obama changed the rules where fracking companies must disclose the chemicals they use while operating on government land only. This will effect approximately 90,000 wells. As you can imagine this has caused an uproar amongst the major companies. The American Petroleum Institute said the rules will impose new costs and lead to delays. They are now going to fight the decision in court.
In some cases it has been found that they even used diesel in place of the water for fracking.
Again taken from another article regarding the use of diesel.
Energy companies have used thousands of gallons of diesel to frack for oil and gas without obtaining the necessary permits required under federal law, according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project. The watchdog group’s review of industry and federal data from 2010 to 2014, released Wednesday, found 351 wells in 12 states that used diesel in fracking.
So, you can imagine what it might be like if diesel were to enter the Territory water basin. Imagine what could happen if it were to get into the water that is in use for the fruit and veg growing in the area. Again, all of this water is from underground.
Then there is the disposal of the water mixture that returns to the surface during the Fracking process.
With the water used in fracking about half it will return to the surface. This has to be stored somewhere until it can be disposed of. Recently we had a bad storm north of Denver. There was a lightning strike which hit one of the storage tank locations. This caused an explosion and fire.
There are cases where it has been illegally pumped into rivers, then there are some states that allow it to be pumped back underground and stored in empty gas or oil locations underground. In some cases the oil companies pay so much for the amount based on a barrel.
As you know others have tried to turn the Territory into a nuclear waste dumping ground. So, I can bet there will be a similar situation regarding the fracking waste.
As I said earlier I am a past resident and this really has nothing to do with me. However I am someone who knows what it is like to live in the Alice and the surrounding locations. I have driven the south road many times and can only imagine what it might look like with fracking rigs and storage tanks along the way. Here in Colorado you only have to drive north along Interstate 25 and there they are, these Jack Pumps, Donkey Pumpers, (many different names), fracking rigs and oil tanks. These are even placed within housing sub divisions.
If fracking is allowed in the Territory, I would ensure that the oil companies are responsible for any damage to the highways and roads. Until you see it you cannot imagine the heavy vehicles and additional traffic that is required for fracking. Any intersection of their access road crossing a highway or normal road should be the responsibility of the oil company to repair and maintain.
It is true that fracking can bring jobs and growth to some areas. But at what cost.
If you can, try and view “Arial America, North Dakota” a Smithsonian TV program or the “Boomtowners” on the Smithsonian channel. These programs show the pros and cons of fracking. Of course as happens, boom towns can turn into ghost towns!
So that is my comment on the matter. I just hope you all stick together and make a stand.
Just remember, the cost of gas and petrol will not come down because of fracking! It is simply a way for the major companies to make more money at the expense of everyone else.

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