Little known fracking fact: it’s costing us in ice cream

Here's a story from an interesting blog on the Utica Shale, a story on five facts about fracking that you may not know — and a chart. Veteran environmental reporter Bob Downing of the Akron Journal maintains this blog,and said that it gives 10-15k hits a week — impressive. 

For those of us on the Left Coast, think these two may be the most relevant of these facts about fracking from this particular story:

"It makes your ice cream more expensive.

One component of the small percentage of fracking fluid that is not sand or water is guar gum. This natural product of the seeds of the guar plant is also used to improve the texture of ice cream. A chart of guar gum prices since 2000 looks like this:

Guargumprices

Ice cream and other foods that utilize the product have seen significant increases in cost. For those of us with a sweet tooth, this alone may be reason enough to be wary of any more rapid expansion of fracking.

The biggest environmental threat could be from the amount of water used, not chemical contamination.

If the benign nature of guar gum and the small percentage of chemicals used in fracking fluid has you believing that the environmental concerns have been massively exaggerated, think again. Fracking just one well uses somewhere in the region of 3 to 8 million gallons of water. Using 2011 data, this article by Jesse Jenkins calculates that to mean that the amount of freshwater consumed by all the shale wells in the U.S. was about 0.3 percent of total U.S. freshwater consumption. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but in a world where water scarcity is becoming more of an issue it has to be considered as fracking use spreads."

Okay then! Wouldn't it be interesting to know exactly how much more ice cream costs? There's a story we haven't seen. A little gimmicky, but would be interesting to know. 

On the slightly more important water question, talked to a professor at Carneige Mellon briefly about water, and she said that frack jobs can use brackish water — but 3-8 million gallons per job? Is that true in California? Holy cow.  

[From those wild-haired radicals at OilPrice.com.]

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