(246) The right backyard?

The matrix of issues regarding suburbia and energy merge nicely in this item from the Guardian.  Residential suburbs in Texas find natural gas fracking operations crowding towards them.  Sometimes they are resisted, sometimes acccepted.  Fracking of course is the process of getting at natural gas and oil from so called tight formations of shale.  Water and chemicals are injected into drill holes at high pressure, and some expense, to bust up the shale and release the hydrocarbon goodies  The result is a lot of exclamatory language about the United States turning a corner to energy independence.  This talk is less tangible a thing than the risk to drinking water and earthquakes already asociated with fracking.  Fracking also requires extra allotments of steel piping and capital compared to past efforts at extracting fossil fuels conventionally.  If fracking crashes it will remove one of the last schemes for supporting suburbia as we have come to know it.  Economic growth expressed as a suburban/consumer/automotive undertaking requires constant new inputs of cheap energy, particularly so that the credit/financial component of it all will continue to function and interest continue to be paid on debt.

When fracking came to suburban Texas: residents of Gardendale, a suburb near the hub of the west Texas oil industry, face having up to 300 wells in their backyards