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[PASSED] Restrictions on Hydraulic Fracturing

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United Massachusetts
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[PASSED] Restrictions on Hydraulic Fracturing

Postby United Massachusetts » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:58 pm

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Restrictions on Hydraulic Fracturing
Category: Environmental | Area of Effect: All Businesses | Proposed by: United Massachusetts

The General Assembly:

Aware of its commitment to ensuring the safety and sustainability of all means of energy production, to protect the populations affected by them,

Declaring that hydraulic fracturing unfortunately fits neither of these constraints, instead imperiling the health and well-being of many populations, while consuming an unconscionable amount of water,

Noting that hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as "fracking", may lead to the contamination of groundwater, thereby toxifying soil, marshlands, riverine and coastal fisheries, and drinking water sources, introducing sickness in sapient beings, livestock, and wild animals,

Aware that, since hydraulic fracturing requires such large amounts of water, local communities, particularly those in drought-plagued regions, are often left with an insufficient supply of clean water,

Further noting the strong correlation between fracking and increased seismic activity,

Frightened that fracking releases a significant amount of methane, a greenhouse gas far stronger than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere,

Trusting the ability of the energy sector to extract energy in a way that avoids the environmental hazards of fracking,

  1. Defines, for the purposes of this resolution, "hydraulic fracturing" as a method of fossil-fuel extraction in which pressurized liquids are inserted into the crevices of underground rocks at high pressures, in order to release the natural gas or oil contained therein,

  2. Prohibits the practice of hydraulic fracturing in all areas of World Assembly member-states which are in or within close range of land inhabited by populations of sapient beings, to the extent that the practice:
    1. poses a demonstrably significant threat of contamination thereto,
    2. harms the water resources demonstrably neccessary to ensure the health of local communities,
    3. and/or poses significant risk of other strongly detrimental health effects, according to the World Health Authority, to said populations of sapient beings,
  3. Clarifies that the policy laid out in Section 2 still applies when the region of effect crosses national boundaries.


EDIT ONE: Per Sierra Lyricalia, reworded preamble
EDIT TWO: Added a line about earthquakes, per Sciongrad
EDIT THREE: Reformed definition to specify fossil fuel extraction, per Imperial Polk County
EDIT FOUR: Per Bible Baptist Republic, amended definition
EDIT FIVE: Limited ban to areas of population and agriculture, per Arakakuar (or however you spell that)
EDIT SIX: Used threat of contamination to define "close range", per Potted Plants United (because I don't know how to spell Arakakuar :p )
EDIT SEVEN: Changed Style in Definitions, per Imperium Anglorum
EDIT EIGHT: Major Overhaul, per many
EDIT EIGHT.ONE: Changed wording (currently 3321 characters)
EDIT NINE: Clarifies restrictions apply across borders.
EDIT TEN: Added toxic to requires clause, per Separatist Peoples
EDIT ELEVEN: Added consent restriction to section 2, per SP
EDIT TWELVE: Removed Section 3, per SP
EDIT THIRTEEN: Prohibited fracking in national parks
EDIT FOURTEEN: Removed Section 3, this is starting to feel like a wikipedia edit war...;P
EDIT FIFTEEN: Prevented possible meta-gaming violation, per Wallenburg
EDIT SIXTEEN: Got yelled at by SP, cut down words
EDIT SEVENTEEN: Fixin' stuff, per Wallenburg
EDIT EIGHTEEN: Caved on 2D to SP
Last edited by Ransium on Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:15 am, edited 44 times in total.
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Separatist Peoples
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:01 pm

"The main thrust of this is water conservation as a rationale for banning an effective extraction tool. As this makes absolutely no consideration for nations who don't suffer from widespread draught conditions and therefore suffer no issue with fracking, we oppose. Nations with water conservation issues will regulate themselves. Don't throw us water-flush nations into the mix with them."

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Postby Sciongrad » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:06 pm

"Perhaps make some effort to connect hydraulic fracturing with transnational consequences. For example, seismic activity is supposedly a side-effect of hydraulic fracturing. These measures may have consequences for other nations that elect not to permit hydraulic fracturing if the extraction is being done near a border. I would narrow this in scope then to prevent fracking where the extraction might cause consequences in other nations. An absolute ban on fracking seems like domestic meddling to me, but I am not wholly opposed to the idea if you hone in on some international element."
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Sierra Lyricalia
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:36 pm

United Massachusetts wrote:Noting that the practice, commonly referred to as "fracking", inevitably leads to the contamination of groundwater, thereby toxifying soil, marshlands, riverine and coastal fisheries, and drinking water sources, thus introducing sickness in sapient beings, livestock, and wild animals alike,


"Yeah, I gotcher 'not an international issue' right here," Steph growls, making an exaggerated wanking motion with her left hand. "'Oh, but-'" she starts, in a sarcastic falsetto obviously intended to evoke some bedwetting economist begging someone to please think of the children gas mining companies, "'Oh, but internal procedures are none of your business! If we wanna shit in our own streams and poison our own children, that's our concern!' Bah!" she sneers at the end, waving her hand in utter contempt and dismissal.

"Listen, even if that shit's true, the chemicals used simply don't respect international borders; and that's just the ones their cheap-ass captive regulators bother to disclose! There is absolutely room for WA action on this, and I hope the Assembly manages to figure that out. I'd suggest the author flesh it out some more to help make that happen."
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:46 pm

Yea, we're not going to support a ban on hydraulic fracturing in all member nations.

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The Greater Siriusian Domain
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Postby The Greater Siriusian Domain » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:26 pm

Teran Saber: "While we ourselves have no use for this crude method of resource extraction and recognize its harmful effects on the local environment, we also recognize that natural gas is an important fuel source for post-industrial age nations to be able to transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable and clean forms of energy. While not truly clean by any means, natural gas burns cleaner and more efficiently than coal or oil, and without the tar and ash concerns of the former. Conventional coal and oil plants can be converted to run on natural gas so that the plants can still run while infrastructure is gradually rebuilt to utilize nuclear and renewable energy. We believe that the widespread reduction of emissions, which has an effect on a global scale, is more than worth the potential localized damage. You can't have a local ecosystem if the planet itself is rendered uninhabitable."

"As such, the Greater Siriusian Domain is opposed to this proposal on principle. Do not allow short-term problems blind you to long-term benefits."
Last edited by The Greater Siriusian Domain on Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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United Massachusetts
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Postby United Massachusetts » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:18 am

Sciongrad wrote:"Perhaps make some effort to connect hydraulic fracturing with transnational consequences. For example, seismic activity is supposedly a side-effect of hydraulic fracturing. These measures may have consequences for other nations that elect not to permit hydraulic fracturing if the extraction is being done near a border. I would narrow this in scope then to prevent fracking where the extraction might cause consequences in other nations. An absolute ban on fracking seems like domestic meddling to me, but I am not wholly opposed to the idea if you hone in on some international element."

Interesting here. How though, is one to define "close to the border"? I'll look into this

Thanks to everyone for the feedback so far. I knew an outright ban wasn't going to work.
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Queen Yuno wrote:You have a very contradictory rep yourself, [UM].
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New Cla
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Postby New Cla » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:19 am

Maybe make it affect mining only?

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Imperial Polk County
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Postby Imperial Polk County » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:02 am

Drane enters the debate hall, speaking very quietly into his cell phone. "No, ma'am, I'm certain, it's right there in the definition. Yes, 'as a method of energy extraction.' It won't affect their business at all. Right. Okay, I'll let you know. Thank you, ma'am."

He pockets his phone and addresses the author.

"Ambassador, you had us worried there with that title. There are other uses of hydraulic fracturing that do not have the same detrimental environmental effects as 'fracking' for oil or natural gas. For example, small-scale 'fracking' can be used to increase the flow of potable water from underground wells. I'll offer my conditional support to this effort provided that your target industry remains unchanged, and it continues to affect only the extraction of fossil fuels." He scans the proposal. "Other than that, the only comments we have is that the 'Further' in the fifth clause should be italicized, and if you only have one term to define, you should" -- Drane scribbles on his copy and hands it to the author -- "format it this way."

  1. Defines, for the purposes of this resolution, hydraulic fracturing as a method of fossil fuel extraction in which a mixture of water and other fluids is inserted into the crevices of rocks beneath the ground at high pressures, in order to release the fossil fuels contained therein;

  2. Prohibits the practice of hydraulic fracturing in all World Assembly member-states, tasking each of them with the investigation and subsequent prosecution of violators in good faith with the mandates of this resolution.
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Postby Araraukar » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:48 am

OOC: Can anyone remember the latest ruling/agreement on whether All Businesses should be equal to Strong strength, if the category didn't have AoEs? Because I remember the evidence some mod gave about why it could be even mild, but that's usually been disagreed with by GA regulars...

Sciongrad wrote:"For example, seismic activity is supposedly a side-effect of hydraulic fracturing."

IC: "It's also a side-effect from using deep groundwater reserves - the so called "fossil groundwater" - faster than they can be renewed. Would you like to ban that too? Because I would happily help you there; watering what is basically a desert in terms of the ecosystem's water budget1, to grow tomatoes there2 is just idiotic."

1OOC: A Fun Fact: An area is a desert by definition if more water evaporates than rains down. Water can come into the area from other sources, like rivers or groundwater.

2Like Spain in RL... which is why I boycott the cheap Spanish fruits and veggies. It's an ecosystem/human suffering disaster in progress, but nobody's doing anything about it, because the locals are mostly poor people who can't afford legal help to stop the agricultural companies from fucking up the land and water where they live; it's not just overuse of groundwater, it's also the pesticide/fertilizer runoff.
Last edited by Araraukar on Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Fauxia » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:19 pm

“Heck no. We will support regulation of fracking, but an outright ban is fracking stupid.”
Last edited by Fauxia on Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Whovian Tardisia » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:25 pm

Fauxia wrote:“Heck no. We will support regulation of fracking, but an outright ban is fracking stupid.”


Ambassador Pink, who has somehow snuck a drum kit into the chamber, is heard playing:

*ba-dum tss*
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The Bible Baptist Republic
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Postby The Bible Baptist Republic » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:05 pm

A quick question on the definition:

Defines, for the purposes of this resolution, hydraulic fracturing as a method of fossil-fuel extraction in which a mixture of water and other fluids is inserted into the crevices of rocks beneath the ground at high pressures, in order to release the natural gas or oil contained therein,

Would not a liquid or a liquid mixture that contains no water then be permissible for use to extract fossil fuel as it would not meet the proposed definition of hydraulic fracturing?
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United Massachusetts
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Postby United Massachusetts » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:08 pm

The Bible Baptist Republic wrote:A quick question on the definition:

Defines, for the purposes of this resolution, hydraulic fracturing as a method of fossil-fuel extraction in which a mixture of water and other fluids is inserted into the crevices of rocks beneath the ground at high pressures, in order to release the natural gas or oil contained therein,

Would not a liquid or a liquid mixture that contains no water then be permissible for use to extract fossil fuel as it would not meet the proposed definition of hydraulic fracturing?

Correct, though I am not aware of such a mixture used in fracking. One would have to go to extensive lengths to dodge this one.
Fauxia wrote:“Heck no. We will support regulation of fracking, but an outright ban is fracking stupid.”

How do you propose we start "regulating" then? I like Sciongrad's idea about banning it in border communities. What else?
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Queen Yuno wrote:You have a very contradictory rep yourself, [UM].
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Davelands wrote:(UM tries to slip another one by)
Wallenburg wrote:You've got to be the most ignorant person on this Discord.
Davelands wrote:Remember that United Mass is extremely on the religious right side. Look for hidden gotcha's for later. He is playing a long game with proposals...
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Sierra Lyricalia
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:13 pm

United Massachusetts wrote:
The Bible Baptist Republic wrote:A quick question on the definition:

Defines, for the purposes of this resolution, hydraulic fracturing as a method of fossil-fuel extraction in which a mixture of water and other fluids is inserted into the crevices of rocks beneath the ground at high pressures, in order to release the natural gas or oil contained therein,

Would not a liquid or a liquid mixture that contains no water then be permissible for use to extract fossil fuel as it would not meet the proposed definition of hydraulic fracturing?

Correct, though I am not aware of such a mixture used in fracking. One would have to go to extensive lengths to dodge this one.
Fauxia wrote:“Heck no. We will support regulation of fracking, but an outright ban is fracking stupid.”

How do you propose we start "regulating" then? I like Sciongrad's idea about banning it in border communities. What else?


OOC: Mandatory public disclosure of all ingredients, including chemical composition, of any substance(s) injected beneath the surface, if the total ban is off the table.
Last edited by Sierra Lyricalia on Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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United Massachusetts
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Postby United Massachusetts » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:15 pm

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:
United Massachusetts wrote:Correct, though I am not aware of such a mixture used in fracking. One would have to go to extensive lengths to dodge this one.

How do you propose we start "regulating" then? I like Sciongrad's idea about banning it in border communities. What else?


OOC: Mandatory public disclosure of all ingredients, including chemical composition, of any substance(s) injected beneath the surface, if the total ban is off the table.

Do you believe that such a ban is off the table, politically speaking? I'm sorry, I'm somewhat new to this still
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Queen Yuno wrote:You have a very contradictory rep yourself, [UM].
Sanctaria wrote:We get it. You're pro-life.
Davelands wrote:(UM tries to slip another one by)
Wallenburg wrote:You've got to be the most ignorant person on this Discord.
Davelands wrote:Remember that United Mass is extremely on the religious right side. Look for hidden gotcha's for later. He is playing a long game with proposals...
"Stat crux dum volvitur orbis"
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The Great Boom
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Postby The Great Boom » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:20 pm

I support the resolution, and I applaud you for keeping it concise and effective. My suggestion is to broaden the definition of fracking. Fracking as a very new process relative to other methods of gas extraction. The science is still in development and will likely change significantly in years to come. Broader language in the operative clauses would go a long way to prevent corporations from developing slightly different, and possibly more damaging, methods that aren't covered under this ban. I'll support it with or without this change, but I highly suggest that you try and prevent as much gas extraction as possible, not just our current most common method of fracking.
Last edited by The Great Boom on Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sierra Lyricalia
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:22 pm

United Massachusetts wrote:
Sierra Lyricalia wrote:
OOC: Mandatory public disclosure of all ingredients, including chemical composition, of any substance(s) injected beneath the surface, if the total ban is off the table.

Do you believe that such a ban is off the table, politically speaking? I'm sorry, I'm somewhat new to this still


IIRC a ban was tried once before, and failed. On my phone atm so not gonna try to look it up, but it's possible a total ban would fail miserably. Then again, you don't know til you try it. If the very limited feedback so far here is any indication, it's an uphill battle at the very least, and possibly hopeless, but I don't wanna discourage you from trying it if the electorate's opinion on environmental affairs has changed sufficiently since then. If you have the wherewithal to run a solid campaign, it's gotta be worth a shot, right? But I'd secure GCR delegate support before finalizing anything.
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United Massachusetts
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Postby United Massachusetts » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:24 pm

The Great Boom wrote:I support the resolution, and I applaud you for keeping it concise and effective. My suggestion is to broaden the definition of fracking. Fracking as a very new process relative to other methods of gas extraction. The science is still in development and will likely change significantly in years to come. Broader language in the operative clauses would go a long way to prevent corporations from developing slightly different, and possibly more damaging, methods that aren't covered under this ban. I'll support it with or without this change, but I highly suggest that you try and prevent as much gas extraction as possible, not just our current most common method of fracking.

I believe I have defined fracking in a brief and correct way. What instances of fracking does my definition not cover?
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WA Affairs Minister, The East Pacific
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Queen Yuno wrote:You have a very contradictory rep yourself, [UM].
Sanctaria wrote:We get it. You're pro-life.
Davelands wrote:(UM tries to slip another one by)
Wallenburg wrote:You've got to be the most ignorant person on this Discord.
Davelands wrote:Remember that United Mass is extremely on the religious right side. Look for hidden gotcha's for later. He is playing a long game with proposals...
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The Bible Baptist Republic
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Postby The Bible Baptist Republic » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:30 pm

United Massachusetts wrote:
The Bible Baptist Republic wrote:A quick question on the definition:

Defines, for the purposes of this resolution, hydraulic fracturing as a method of fossil-fuel extraction in which a mixture of water and other fluids is inserted into the crevices of rocks beneath the ground at high pressures, in order to release the natural gas or oil contained therein,

Would not a liquid or a liquid mixture that contains no water then be permissible for use to extract fossil fuel as it would not meet the proposed definition of hydraulic fracturing?

Correct, though I am not aware of such a mixture used in fracking. One would have to go to extensive lengths to dodge this one.
Fauxia wrote:“Heck no. We will support regulation of fracking, but an outright ban is fracking stupid.”

How do you propose we start "regulating" then? I like Sciongrad's idea about banning it in border communities. What else?


I'm not a chemist or geologist but I'm sure if I could see that possible work around someone somewhere with the requisite knowledge and vested interest to make it work is working on that work around. May I suggest either scrubbing mixture of water and other fluids and replacing it with pressurized liquids or adding the phrase and/or other non-aqueous liquids?
-- Ambassador Robert Make-Me-An-Instrument-Of-Your-Worship Conklin, Bible Baptist Republic

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The Great Boom
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Postby The Great Boom » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:31 pm

It also comes to mind that fracturable gas doesn't exist in all nations, and in some nations, it exists too deep in the earth for modern technology to reach. You need a certain kind of geological and environmental makeup to produce the gas. The final operative clause "tasks [WA member nations] with the investigation and subsequent prosecution of violators." I assume that "investigation" means investigating whether or not fracking is occuring at all, which would be an unnecessary burden for WA nations without any applicable gas resources at all. What do you think about adding a clause allowing a nation to submit verification paperwork showing it has no applicable gas resources, which would exempt it from investigating violations? It seems like the current resolution, as it's worded, would require the Great Boom (which has no gas resources of any kind) to investigate our oil companies - small as they may be.
Last edited by The Great Boom on Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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United Massachusetts
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Postby United Massachusetts » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:36 pm

The Great Boom wrote:It also comes to mind that fracturable gas doesn't exist in all nations, and in some nations, it exists too deep in the earth for modern technology to reach. You need a certain kind of geological and environmental makeup to produce the gas. The final operative clause "tasks [WA member nations] with the investigation and subsequent prosecution of violators." I assume that "investigation" means investigating whether or not fracking is occuring at all, which would be an unnecessary burden for WA nations without any applicable gas resources at all. What do you think about adding a clause allowing a nation to submit verification paperwork showing it has no applicable gas resources, which would exempt it from investigating violations? It seems like the current resolution, as it's worded, would require the Great Boom (which has no gas resources of any kind) to investigate our oil companies - small as they may be.

Are violations not reported to a nation before an investigation? If a nation does not receive said reports (as there is not any applicable gas), there is no need for an investigation in the first place. Such is an entirely reasonable interpretation of the text.
The Bible Baptist Republic wrote:
United Massachusetts wrote:Correct, though I am not aware of such a mixture used in fracking. One would have to go to extensive lengths to dodge this one.

How do you propose we start "regulating" then? I like Sciongrad's idea about banning it in border communities. What else?


I'm not a chemist or geologist but I'm sure if I could see that possible work around someone somewhere with the requisite knowledge and vested interest to make it work is working on that work around. May I suggest either scrubbing mixture of water and other fluids and replacing it with pressurized liquids or adding the phrase and/or other non-aqueous liquids?

Sure, I'll replace it with pressurized liquids.
United Massachusetts
World Assembly Mission

Pro-Life Social Democratic Catholic
Ambassador: Bishop Alexander Pierce

WA Affairs Minister, The East Pacific
Assistant: Father Carl Sullivan

Fmr. President, Right to Life
Queen Yuno wrote:You have a very contradictory rep yourself, [UM].
Sanctaria wrote:We get it. You're pro-life.
Davelands wrote:(UM tries to slip another one by)
Wallenburg wrote:You've got to be the most ignorant person on this Discord.
Davelands wrote:Remember that United Mass is extremely on the religious right side. Look for hidden gotcha's for later. He is playing a long game with proposals...
"Stat crux dum volvitur orbis"
"The Cross is steady while the world is turning"


User avatar
Araraukar
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 12326
Founded: May 14, 2007
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Araraukar » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:46 pm

OOC: You might get more traction with this, if you made the ban/strict restriction to only apply near places where people live, or culturally/agriculturally important sites. Since the issues seem to mostly be about groundwater contamination and earthquakes. Though how you'd prove that the earthquake was solely because of the fracking operation, is... err, difficult. (I know, I know, depth of epicenter, type of waves, etc., but to prove it with 100% surety is damn near impossible.)
"I've come to appreciate boring bureaucracy much more after my official execution..." - Johan Milkus, acting ambassador in the absence of miss Leveret
Giovenith wrote:And sorry hun, if you were looking for a forum site where nobody argued, you've come to wrong one.

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United Massachusetts
Minister
 
Posts: 2147
Founded: Jan 17, 2016
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby United Massachusetts » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm

Araraukar wrote:OOC: You might get more traction with this, if you made the ban/strict restriction to only apply near places where people live, or culturally/agriculturally important sites. Since the issues seem to mostly be about groundwater contamination and earthquakes. Though how you'd prove that the earthquake was solely because of the fracking operation, is... err, difficult. (I know, I know, depth of epicenter, type of waves, etc., but to prove it with 100% surety is damn near impossible.)

Interesting. Hmm...We add that to the border issue, the labelling, etc. and we're starting to get somewhere
United Massachusetts
World Assembly Mission

Pro-Life Social Democratic Catholic
Ambassador: Bishop Alexander Pierce

WA Affairs Minister, The East Pacific
Assistant: Father Carl Sullivan

Fmr. President, Right to Life
Queen Yuno wrote:You have a very contradictory rep yourself, [UM].
Sanctaria wrote:We get it. You're pro-life.
Davelands wrote:(UM tries to slip another one by)
Wallenburg wrote:You've got to be the most ignorant person on this Discord.
Davelands wrote:Remember that United Mass is extremely on the religious right side. Look for hidden gotcha's for later. He is playing a long game with proposals...
"Stat crux dum volvitur orbis"
"The Cross is steady while the world is turning"


User avatar
United Massachusetts
Minister
 
Posts: 2147
Founded: Jan 17, 2016
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby United Massachusetts » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:59 pm

Better? At any rate, how do we define "close range"?
United Massachusetts
World Assembly Mission

Pro-Life Social Democratic Catholic
Ambassador: Bishop Alexander Pierce

WA Affairs Minister, The East Pacific
Assistant: Father Carl Sullivan

Fmr. President, Right to Life
Queen Yuno wrote:You have a very contradictory rep yourself, [UM].
Sanctaria wrote:We get it. You're pro-life.
Davelands wrote:(UM tries to slip another one by)
Wallenburg wrote:You've got to be the most ignorant person on this Discord.
Davelands wrote:Remember that United Mass is extremely on the religious right side. Look for hidden gotcha's for later. He is playing a long game with proposals...
"Stat crux dum volvitur orbis"
"The Cross is steady while the world is turning"


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