The polar vortex, the crippling North Pole hurricane that is turning boiling water turn into snow and wreaking havoc with air-travel across the nation, is also threatening oil production and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, from North Dakota to Texas. That ironic twist is hitting anti-environmentalist climate change deniers right where it hurts.
Even though some of our leading intellectual minds have argued that global warming could not possibly cause cold weather, climate scientists beg to differ. According to the actual experts, increasing temperatures have led to arctic melt, which has warmed up the temperature in the North Pole. The warmer air, in turn, has caused the polar vortex, usually confined to the cold northern region, to travel south, enveloping us in its icy furor. An icy furor that is having a little fun at the expense of oil companies, as the freezing temperatures have taken a bite out of production. Reuters reports:
Analysts are bracing for a possibly worse than usual impact on output from the state, that could affect operations of companies such as Continental Resources, Marathon Oil and Hess Energy. The companies did not immediately reply to questions about operations on Monday... Freezing temperatures affected production in the Permian Basin in west Texas in December, with companies like Pioneer Natural Resources reporting cuts in their oil and gas output.
The freezing weather is not only blocking oil drilling and fracking, but bringing oil prices down. The environmental effects of fracking are disputed, but recent reports of the practice contaminating water sources have emerged, and international organizations are saying that U.S. investment in hydraulic fracturing is making the country seem like it doesn't care about global warming, as fracking leads directly to the burning of more fossil fuels, which contribute directly to climate change.
So oil drillers get blamed for global warming... global warming causes the polar vortex... the polar vortex shuts down the oil companies. It's the circle of drilling. The polar vortex is set to pass in a few days, but who knows when, and at what force, it will return. We have a feeling Mother Nature is not messing around.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.