Blogs » The nature of things » Fracking and the drought: Both will be around for awhile


In case you've been living on the moon for the past year, you may have noticed things have become a bit parched in the Lone Star State.

When it stopped raining soon after I moved here last year, I began to wonder if it was something I'd done - imagine my relief to find the whole state is afflicted with this lack of water. Or not. Anyways, fine scientific minds are always concluding things when they get together and some of the best climate experts in the business got together at a conference in Fort Worth and agreed that the drought is definitely here through spring.

Again, if this whole drought thing is news to you, it's being caused by consecutive La Nina episodes in the Gulf. Whenever La Nina shows up, it tends to mean a dry year for Texas. The bad news is history shows La Nina will be back next year too, so there's no telling how long the drought will last.

In other news, the demand for hydraulic fracturing chemicals is predicted to surge over the next few years. Researchers say the demand for the chemicals used when fracking a well will only increase. As drilling in shale oil and natural gas wells continues to increase, the chemicals used to get the hydrocarbons flowing from the dense rock formations are just going to get more popular.

On a decidedly different note, the federal government has undone the de facto ban on horse slaughter imposed in 2006. According to the Christian Science Monitor, it's a way of dealing with the increasing number of neglected and abandoned horses. People just started sending the animals to Mexico and Canada after the ban, so it's also an attempt to get the practice regulated again, since it isn't going away.