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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Fracking vital to manufacturing

President Donald John Trump's visit to Beaver County, Pennsylvania, put the spotlight on an often overlooked benefit of hydraulic fracturing: the boost to America's chemical industry that fracking provides.

He spoke at Royal Dutch Shell’s multibillion-dollar ethane cracker plant, which when opened will turn natural gas into feedstock for plastics.

Cheap feedstock may prove to be a better benefit than the energy independence that fracking provides.

This cracker is in the heart of the Marcellus shale formation in Appalachia that fracking has tapped into. This has revived the oil and gas industry along the Ohio River, West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Those states competed to land the cracker in the hopes of attracting chemical plants.

Charleston, West Virginia, was once a chemical industry giant. It provided more jobs than the coal industry did. We had hundreds of PhDs living here. But Bhopal killed Union Carbide (which began in the Charleston area) and with it, Charleston's chemical industry.

I doubt we will get that back but certainly the Wheeling area will because of its proximity to Pittsburgh. Beaver County actually is closer to Wheeling than Pittsburgh is.

The Tribune-Review reported, "President Donald Trump recounted his administration’s efforts to improve American manufacturing and the economy during his speech inside Royal Dutch Shell’s multibillion-dollar ethane cracker plant in Beaver County.

"He said when the cracker plant is completed, it will transform natural gas from Pennsylvania into plastic 'stamped with the very beautiful phrase, Made in the USA.'

"The crowd inside the plant responded with a thunderous chant of USA. USA. USA.

"'Your future has never looked brighter or better,' Trump said to people in Western Pennsylvania and Appalachia. 'When this plant opens, 600 American workers will get full time jobs with great pay to support a family.'

"The Shell plant will produce small, plastic pellets that make up many popular consumer goods.

"Trump spoke for nearly an hour. He said that on his first day in office, he ended the war on American energy. Trump said that if Hillary Clinton had won in 2016, projects like the cracker plant would not be advancing and the natural gas, coal and steel industries would be far worse off."


The mediocre media reported President Trump took credit for the cracker. He did not. Let's go to what he said.

President Trump said, "On my first day in office, I ended the war on American energy. And that’s common sense, I think. You know, that’s common sense."

And he said, "They wanted to take away our wealth.

"That’s what the Paris Accord would have done. It would have taken away our wealth.  It wasn’t for us; it was good for others. It wasn’t for us. We had to pay money to other countries that are very substantial countries. They wanted to take away your wealth. They didn’t want you to drill. They didn’t want you to frack. They didn’t want you to do steel. They wanted to take away your wealth."

Fact-check: TRUE.

The attacks on carbon-based fuels would have ended fracking and swept the Pennsylvania Shell ethylene cracker plant into the dustbin of history. Shell would have abandoned the project.

Electing President Trump stopped that nonsense.


  1. New York sits on top of that formation and refuses to frack. Fredo's brother is as dumb as he is. - GOC

    1. I do not believe Fredo's brother is dumb. He is a cowardly bully particularly afraid of the left wing of the Democrat Party. This is especially true after Cynthia Nixon got nearly 35% of the votes during the last Dem primary for NY Governor.

      I still believe he harbors the dream of being drafted to run for President in 2020 and the fracking ban plays well with those who would make that decision -- the wealthy donors in NY and California.

    2. I wonder if the fact that fracking would benefit upstate/central/western NY state doesn't play a part. It's the Albany and NYC crowd that hates the idea. The upstate faction is more Republican while the capital and NYC faction is Democrat.

    3. Fracking is detrimental to the environment as are fossil fuels. Our oceans are full of plastic. Trump could care less about jobs. He is all about lining his pockets with money from the fossil fuel oligarchs.

    4. Leftists are detrimental to the environment as are democrats. The current crop of hopeless hopefuls could care less about jobs and Americans. They are all about lining their own pockets with money from China and Iranian oligarchs. FIFY

    5. Unknown: The plastic is from China and India. Why not protest them. I assume you would get rid of fossil fuels and destroy our standard of living and since Russia and China would not, we would be defenseless against them. The nUS has done more to decease carbon/pollution by just being more efficient such as burning NG from fracking and horizontal drilling.

  2. What's the status of that $84 billion cracker in West Virginia that Trump promised?

  3. I'm curious if we'll ever get back to burning waste for energy.
    If someone develops a good method for clean burn, we could recycle a lot of the plastic we have in the landfills.
    Might also be able to license the method to Asian countries to reduce the amount of plastic they flush down the rivers to the sea.
    It'd be especially good if they could burn those evil, wicked, bad, and nasty plastic straws into kilowatts.

    1. The problem with waste burning is that it concentrates pollutants in a small area. The high "smoke" stacks of the past, probably not allowed today, was to disperse the pollutants. Announced today is a method to destroy plastic with enzymes.

    2. There is a way to burn trash properly and safely for the environment:

    3. AnonymousAugust 14, 2019 at 6:40 PM: Your link does not address the actual problems with the burning of the waste. Appears that it blows out to sea. Bag houses with other processes and the treatment of the ash is needed as is indicated and is being done. Our problem is not knowing what is in the trash and too much of harmful pollutants are released. This facility appears to be away from a populated area, but the ocean will still receive the potentially dangerous to life pollutants which will be concentrated in a small area.

  4. Having our former Governor Rick Perry as Energy Secretary doesn't hurt either. President Trump made a fine choice there - notice that Energy is never one of the "problem" Departments.

    Perry would make a good president to follow Trump in 24. They have many of the same important qualities: Perry is also an honest man, is very good at standing up against the Left, and a true patriot who loves America.

  5. Unknown,

    So you would support a massive push to nuclear?

    Say 100 gigawatts per year (200 500mw plants) for the next 10-15 years.

    All plants build to identical designs like the navy does.

    Sign me up! Glad to have you on board.

    If not nuke, if not fossil what else is there?

    John Henry

    1. Yep, nuclear is the way to go if you do not want fossil fuels.

      The US Navy has a long history of operating safe, smaller reactors.

      We have a mountain all ready to store any waste.

      But, alas the luddites, aka Democrats, want us to all go dark.

  6. For those, perhaps like Unknown, who think that solar can replace fossil or nukes or even provide any significant portion of our energy output.

    AES has a solar plant and a coal plant on the same site in Guayama Puerto Rico.

    The amount of land occupied by the coal plant is significantly less than that occupied by the solar field.

    The solar plant has a nameplate capacity of 20MW. Because it only generates electricity about 5 hours a day, on sunny days, it has an actual effective capacity of about 5mw. When it generates and when it doesn't is non-controllable except by God and nature.

    The coal plant has a nameplate capacity of 454mw. It does have to go offline for maintenance at times but that can be scheduled. Say 5% capacity loss, the Coal plant is effectively about 425mw.

    Day in, day out without regard to weather or time of day.

    I've had people tell me about the wonderful battery technologies. And they are. They have a lot of use in utilities for manageing peaking loads, balancing and more. But they can't make solar power last through the 18 hours of the day that the sun isn't shining.

    So, Unknown, or anyone else, besides Nuclear, besides fossil (coal, NG, oil) what else you got?

    Most importantly, watcha got that will scale?

    John Henry

  7. The link above has a satellite photo in comments #11b that shows the site with solar and coal side by side.

    John Henry

  8. A great article. Now can someone explain why the GOPe #neverTrumpers supported Hillary in the 2016 election? Our Nation would have ceased to exist at the end of her eight year term.

    1. You are displaying your drama queen tendancies, randy.

      "Our Nation would have ceased to exist at the end of her eight year term."???

      Do you truly feel the need to bang that limp noodle?

      That ass-umption that all would be submitted to by all?

      That all would be enforced by all?

      Who do you imagine Americans to be, all queslings? All submissive lackies? All agressive goons, thugs, violent enforcers of the malevolent elite cretins?

      Your perspective is so totally dependent upon political that you omit the real life factors upon which no politics can render dominantly effective.

      You got your eyes on the horse's ass and you are not sitting in the cart!!!

      Real life factors control politics. Real life politics.

      MAGA is real life.

      The politics of any not MAGA are not controlling anything.

      That is why they wail, scream, pout, screech, pander, provoke, etc. They want to control what cannot be controlled.

      Voluntarily complying is not quite the same as total submission.

      We, the law abiding, abide by choice as much and as often as by submitting.

      The hilariously absurd concept of a "scofflaw" is only insisted upon being taken seriously by the obessed to control all cabals. You know, the graft guzzlers.

      Any Constitutional null laws are quite worthy of being scoffed at and not submitted to. And to not be enforced.

      After all, if you do not exercise your Rights under the Constitution, the graft guzzlers will take that as an invitation to disregard you as having any rights at all.

    2. Uhmmm , Randy is correct.

      Sedition and Treason.

      Those two tried to get Hillary in the presidency.

      Those two were commited and aided by Democrats and the GOPe.

      For anon to deride Randy and claim MAGA is highly suspect.

    3. Well, tex, you not so good at reading.

      The ending of randy post is the subject of the reply comment.

      So, no, randy not correctomundo on that.

      Not on 8 years of clintonista nonsense.

      Not on even 4 nasty bitch years of clintonista nonsense.

      And not on that end of our nation drama queen posturing nonsense.

      Or were you, tex, intending to go belly up at the mere thought of the awesome powers of the clintonistas?

  9. When USA president visit Beavery country he told to the beavery residency citizenship peoples that USA country stand with you in any situation we support you and always help your countries people.
    "He said when the cracker plant is completed, it will transform natural gas from Pennsylvania into plastic 'stamped with the very beautiful phrase, Made in the USA.'

  10. The hilariously absurd concept of a "scofflaw" is only insisted upon being taken seriously by the obessed to control all cabals. You know, the graft guzzlers.

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