• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Meet the Town That's Being Swallowed by a Sinkhole

Unitedwestand13

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
20,672
Reaction score
6,245
Location
Sunnyvale California
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
This is big news.

Meet the Town That's Being Swallowed by a Sinkhole | Mother Jones

About once a month, the residents of Bayou Corne, Louisiana, meet at the Assumption Parish library in the early evening to talk about the hole in their lives. "It was just like going through cancer all over again," says one. "You fight and you fight and you fight and you think, 'Doggone it, I've beaten this thing,' and then it's back." Another spent last Thanksgiving at a 24-hour washateria because she and her disabled husband had nowhere else to go. As the box of tissues circulates, a third woman confesses that after 20 years of sobriety she recently testified at a public meeting under the influence.

"The God of my understanding says, 'As you sow, so shall you reap,'" says Kenny Simoneaux, a balding man in a Harley-Davidson T-shirt. He has instructed his grandchildren to lock up the ammunition. "I'm so goddamn mad I could kill somebody."

But the support group isn't for addiction, PTSD, or cancer, though all of these maladies are present. The hole in their lives is a literal one. One night in August 2012, after months of unexplained seismic activity and mysterious bubbling on the bayou, a sinkhole opened up on a plot of land leased by the petrochemical company Texas Brine, forcing an immediate evacuation of Bayou Corne's 350 residents—an exodus that still has no end in sight. Last week, Louisiana filed a lawsuit against the company and the principal landowner, Occidental Chemical Corporation, for damages stemming from the cavern collapse.

Texas Brine's operation sits atop a three-mile-wide, mile-plus-deep salt deposit known as the Napoleonville Dome, which is sheathed by a layer of oil and natural gas, a common feature of the salt domes prevalent in Gulf Coast states. The company specializes in a process known as injection mining, and it had sunk a series of wells deep into the salt dome, flushing them out with high-pressure streams of freshwater and pumping the resulting saltwater to the surface. From there, the brine is piped and trucked to refineries along the Mississippi River and broken down into sodium hydroxide and chlorine for use in manufacturing everything from paper to medical supplies.

What happened in Bayou Corne, as near as anyone can tell, is that one of the salt caverns Texas Brine hollowed out—a mine dubbed Oxy3—collapsed. The sinkhole initially spanned about an acre. Today it covers more than 24 acres and is an estimated 750 feet deep. It subsists on a diet of swamp life and cypress trees, which it occasionally swallows whole. It celebrated its first birthday recently, and like most one-year-olds, it is both growing and prone to uncontrollable burps, in which a noxious brew of crude oil and rotten debris bubbles to the surface. But the biggest danger is invisible; the collapse unlocked tens of millions of cubic feet of explosive gases, which have seeped into the aquifer and wafted up to the community. The town blames the regulators. The regulators blame Texas Brine. Texas Brine blames some other company, or maybe the regulators, or maybe just God.

Bayou Corne is the biggest ongoing industrial disaster in the United States you haven't heard of. In addition to creating a massive sinkhole, it has unearthed an uncomfortable truth: Modern mining and drilling techniques are disturbing the geological order in ways that scientists still don't fully understand. Humans have been extracting natural resources from the earth since the dawn of mankind, but never before at the rate and magnitude of today's petrochemical industry. And the side effects are becoming clear. It's not just sinkholes and town-clearing natural gas leaks: Recently, the drilling process known as fracking has been linked to an increased risk of earthquakes.
If there were ever a reason to oppose fracking, this story provides a good reason.
 

CalGun

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
7,039
Reaction score
3,268
Location
Denio Junction
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Other
I can't wait till they bring Fracking to Monterey Bay and the eco wack jobs not ape nuts over it.
 

clownboy

DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
26,087
Reaction score
10,860
Location
Oregon
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
i missed how this sink hole is related to fracking
would you please explain that correlation
It's related to modern mining methods where the concern is geological system damage of which fracking is one of those modern mining methods.
 

Unitedwestand13

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
20,672
Reaction score
6,245
Location
Sunnyvale California
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
It's related to modern mining methods where the concern is geological system damage of which fracking is one of those modern mining methods.
My dad is a engineering geologist so these kind of story's relate to his line of work.

If anything should raise alarm bells over the damage caused by improper mining techniques, it has to be these sinkholes.
 

justabubba

long standing member
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
51,079
Reaction score
32,770
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
It's related to modern mining methods where the concern is geological system damage of which fracking is one of those modern mining methods.
and has fracking been found to be responsible for such ecological problems? if so, please point them out
 

CanadaJohn

Canadian Conservative
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
28,630
Reaction score
20,383
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
If you ask me, Louisiana needs some people in political and public service management who can look beyond their noses at development and ensure that good practice is followed and bad practice isn't allowed.

You need only look at the destruction over a few decades of the Louisiana wetlands through development that led to the Katrina hurricane disaster and the breach of the levies to know these people couldn't manage a fruit stand let alone a city or state.
 

clownboy

DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
26,087
Reaction score
10,860
Location
Oregon
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
and has fracking been found to be responsible for such ecological problems? if so, please point them out
Right from the OP:
Recently, the drilling process known as fracking has been linked to an increased risk of earthquakes.
If you're not familiar with this, google it and educate yourself. Where it comes to fracking, the possible links with earthquakes are as troubling as the chemical pollution of the land and the water.
 

CanadaJohn

Canadian Conservative
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
28,630
Reaction score
20,383
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
My dad is a engineering geologist so these kind of story's relate to his line of work.

If anything should raise alarm bells over the damage caused by improper mining techniques, it has to be these sinkholes.
Well, it's pretty convenient to blame sinkholes on mining, particularly in this case - however, how do you explain all the sinkholes in Florida recently?
 

clownboy

DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
26,087
Reaction score
10,860
Location
Oregon
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Well, it's pretty convenient to blame sinkholes on mining, particularly in this case - however, how do you explain all the sinkholes in Florida recently?
Some have other causes, however, we know for certain the cause of this one and others like it.
 

WCH

Believer
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
30,944
Reaction score
9,014
Location
The Lone Star State.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
The moral to the story is don't live atop a sinkhole...anywhere. And if you do and some nice corporation wants to buy you out....take it.

Remember the guy in Florida that was eaten by a sinkhole? They never found his body and it wasn't caused by fracking.
 

clownboy

DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
26,087
Reaction score
10,860
Location
Oregon
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Yeah whose bright idea was to drill for oil on top of a salt cavern
I'm sure it seemed good at the time, and for years it was a win. But there's one thing we know with ceratinty - given time, ALL wells fail. For some reason folks forget this when faced with immediate benefit.
 

justabubba

long standing member
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
51,079
Reaction score
32,770
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Right from the OP:
tell us how this link to earthquakes has been established and what the detrimental effects have been


If you're not familiar with this, google it and educate yourself. Where it comes to fracking, the possible links with earthquakes are as troubling as the chemical pollution of the land and the water.
i have already done so, which is why i ask my questions
i am not suggesting that more monitoring should not be provided by the government to assure the fracking does not have negative consequences on landowners off of the fracking site, but please share with us the data which proves fracking to be a harmful process
 

iliveonramen

Pontificator
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
11,257
Reaction score
5,710
Location
On a Gravy Train with Biscuit Wheels
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Well, it's pretty convenient to blame sinkholes on mining, particularly in this case - however, how do you explain all the sinkholes in Florida recently?
Florida's sinkholes are a result of the weathering or dissolution of limestone or dolomite. Florida is basically sand on top of a lot of limestone.
 

CanadaJohn

Canadian Conservative
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
28,630
Reaction score
20,383
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Florida's sinkholes are a result of the weathering or dissolution of limestone or dolomite. Florida is basically sand on top of a lot of limestone.
It's why I mentioned it so that the assumption isn't that mining is the cause of sinkholes in general.
 

iliveonramen

Pontificator
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
11,257
Reaction score
5,710
Location
On a Gravy Train with Biscuit Wheels
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
It's why I mentioned it so that the assumption isn't that mining is the cause of sinkholes in general.
Yes...definitely true, not every sinkhole is due to mining. This one definitely is though. The company drilled too close close to the edge of a salt dome which caused a sidewall of the dome to collapse.
 

Moot

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
39,177
Reaction score
14,390
Location
Utah
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed

CanadaJohn

Canadian Conservative
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
28,630
Reaction score
20,383
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Yes...definitely true, not every sinkhole is due to mining. This one definitely is though. The company drilled too close close to the edge of a salt dome which caused a sidewall of the dome to collapse.
Which goes back to my point about lax oversight on the part of the State of Louisiana and the people charged with approving and managing such things. It could simply be an unavoidable accident but likely it was simple negligence with horrible consequences for innocent people.
 

iliveonramen

Pontificator
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
11,257
Reaction score
5,710
Location
On a Gravy Train with Biscuit Wheels
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Which goes back to my point about lax oversight on the part of the State of Louisiana and the people charged with approving and managing such things. It could simply be an unavoidable accident but likely it was simple negligence with horrible consequences for innocent people.
No I agree...to be honest I wouldn't want fracking anywhere around me even if that's irrational. There's just a tendency for un-planned for side effects in almost anything. At the same time...yeah...facking as of now is supposedly safe by a lot of different reports. Mining is safe as well.

Of course like you mention...lax regulations with -fracking or mining equals disaster.
 

Fisher

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
17,002
Reaction score
6,913
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Well, it's pretty convenient to blame sinkholes on mining, particularly in this case - however, how do you explain all the sinkholes in Florida recently?
Those are largely believed to be the result of the erosion of the soft rock underground over thousands, if not millions of years.
 

clownboy

DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
26,087
Reaction score
10,860
Location
Oregon
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
tell us how this link to earthquakes has been established and what the detrimental effects have been



i have already done so, which is why i ask my questions
i am not suggesting that more monitoring should not be provided by the government to assure the fracking does not have negative consequences on landowners off of the fracking site, but please share with us the data which proves fracking to be a harmful process
If you truly had already done so all your questions would have been answered. So do so, really this time and stop wasting my time. OR you can just look at the threads you participated in and see that all that info has been sourced and posted already. Do your own homework.
 

clownboy

DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
26,087
Reaction score
10,860
Location
Oregon
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
No I agree...to be honest I wouldn't want fracking anywhere around me even if that's irrational. There's just a tendency for un-planned for side effects in almost anything. At the same time...yeah...facking as of now is supposedly safe by a lot of different reports. Mining is safe as well.

Of course like you mention...lax regulations with -fracking or mining equals disaster.
ALL mines eventually fail. That should be planned for going into each and every project as well as increased regulation and montioring.
 
Top Bottom