Archive for the ‘shale gas pollution’ Category

Pennies From Heaven, Pollution From Hell

November 19, 2014

Recently, my son wrote an essay about hidden costs. He discussed the heavy toll that certain industries, like factory farming and clothing manufacture, take on humanity and our environment when they externalize their true costs. Naturally, it got me thinking about the external costs of fracking.

One of the biggest hidden costs of Marcellus shale gas development will be a significant reduction in the number of clean, fresh drinking water supplies for future generations.

PA watersheds have endured a history of environmental degradation from a variety of sources such as logging, agricultural run-off and acid mine drainage, to name just a few. But while it’s true that many threats to our water supplies are long-standing, we can’t ignore the fact that they now face a much more serious, imminent threat.

The instances of fresh water contamination in Pennsylvania have increased dramatically since hydraulic fracturing began.

As fracking booms, waste spills rise — and so do arsenic levels in groundwaterReporter: Reid Frazier, Writer: Adam Wernic, Living on Earth, Public Radio International, November 18, 2014.

How can we not worry? The business of shale gas is predicated on taking public risks for the purpose of private gain. All it requires, apparently, is a pricey ad campaign and couple of slick publicity stunts.

(more…)

Superstar Fractivists, Hottest New Films, and Too Much Truth For The Gas Industry To Handle

June 17, 2014

Virtual Anti-Fracking Filmfest, 2014

When Pennsylvania’s own anti-fracking superstar, Elizabeth Arnold, went on tour in Britain to warn people about the problems faced here and in other shale gas drilling states, she gave this highly informative 20-minute interview. (more…)

Big Poisons, No Plan: List of PA Streams with Frack Fluid Spills

April 15, 2014

Van Wagner teaches Environmental Science at Lewisburg High School in Pennsylvania. He’s also an accomplished country-folk musician who has donated his time to teach music to kids at Pennsylvania summer camps. I came across this compelling plea on Wagner’s website:

“I have played music at several summer camps for children who are cancer survivors.  Camp Victory / Camp Dost and Camp Can-Do to name a few local examples.  These children are amazing.  I’m always amazed how grateful they are to me for spending a few hours simply singing with them.  It is I who should be thankful.  These children have smiles worth their weight in gold.  They are filled with joy and know more about love and friendship than most adults.  I challenge any fracking advocate to donate some time at one of these camps.  While there sit down at the dinner table with these kids and try to explain to them why grown-ups want to put more cancer causing chemicals in our environment because of things like energy, stock values and jobs.   (more…)

Frack Bans Expanding

March 4, 2014

Progressive Measures Across U.S. Aim for Local Protection of Land, Air and Water Resources

Leave it to LA to make a big splash. The city of angels just became the largest U.S. city to approve a zoning ordinance against hydraulic fracturing and other well stimulation methods, and the vote was unanimous.

City council unanimously voted Friday afternoon to send a moratorium motion to the city attorney’s office to be written as a zoning ordinance. It will then return to council for a final vote,” reports Brandon Baker in Breaking: Los Angeles Passes Fracking MoratoriumEcoWatch News, February 28, 2014.

I’ve been updating the List of Bans Worldwide page regularly. Thankfully, the list will never be finished. Bans against hydraulic fracking, shale gas processing and waste disposal are proliferating. Pennsylvania has 17 local bans and a statewide moratorium in the works, and many democratic gubernatorial candidates agree with the growing call for a permanent ban in state parks and the Delaware River Watershed. New Jersey has 33 anti-fracking actions currently gaining momentum, and New York has a staggering 218, including a strong statewide moratorium measure. When the tiny town of Marcellus, New York seeks a fracking ban and the right to local zoning, the irony pretty much abounds.

Seems wherever fracking goes, vigorous grassroots opposition springs to life. High volume hydraulic fracturing is a developing industrial technology, and as it expands into more populous regions, shale gas drillers are finding that most people object to noxious air pollution, water contamination, explosions, blow outs, spills, truck traffic, light pollution and earthquakes caused by the injection of millions of gallons of radioactive toxic waste – water that was once fresh, clean and potable. Turns out, no one – not even Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson – wants to live in an industrial sacrifice development zone.

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The Big Ban Theory

A lot of very talented people are working hard to make clean air, non-industrialized un-fragmented land, and protected public water supplies a reality. Luckily, Food and Water Watch keeps a list of their efforts. It’s grown to 407 measures passed in the U.S., and counting.

I’m With Rex Tillerson, Ban Fracking  #ImWithRex via David Fischer

FWW also maintains a handy interactive map.

Plus, here’s yet another budding ban from Texas:

Denton, Colorado: Group seeks ban on fracking, Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe, Denton Record-Chronicle, February 18, 2014

 

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via Moms Clean Air Force

There’s No Replacin’ A River Basin

November 26, 2013

It’s Time To Save The Delaware River From Fracking, For Good

Food & Water Watch wants you to know that the Special Protection Waters of the Delaware River Basin are more endangered than ever.

For the past two years, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has upheld a moratorium on fracking in the Delaware River Basin due to massive public outcry. But right now, Carol Collier is calling for a strategy around gas drilling in the basin before she retires as executive director in March. Join us by telling President Obama and the governors of NY, NJ, DE and PA that the only strategy we support is a ban on fracking!

Gas drillers want in. They want to produce and transport, and to frack, baby, frack. DRBC’s Collier has indicated that she intends bring a new drilling “strategy” to a vote before departing her post. It may be her idea of a legacy, though I certainly wouldn’t want all those undisclosed chemicals on my conscience.

President Obama – the man who campaigned on a pledge for a sustainable energy future yet now favors the term “energy independence” – may well deliver the deciding vote on the DRBC via the federal Army Corps of Engineers. Conscience, per se, probably won’t factor much into that decision.

As ever, the only way to protect the Delaware River Basin from the massive impacts of shale gas industrialization is with massive pubic outcry.

Permanent Protection 

Start by adding your name to the the growing list of Americans who oppose expanding our dependence on fossil fuels, along with any plans to allow shale gas drilling the Delaware River Basin. Sign the Food and Water Watch letter addressed to President Obama and the governors of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, Protect the Delaware River Basin With a Ban on Fracking

Let legislators know that the only long-term strategy for protecting the Delaware River Basin is a permanent ban on fracking.   (more…)

Philadelphia Water Drive Starts Today!

September 24, 2013

Pennsylvanians Take A Local Stand To Support People Impacted By Fracking

Imagine finding your tap water has suddenly turned milky, red, or black and sludgy. Imagine taking a shower and finding that it burns your nostrils and stings your skin. Imagine learning that your well water is laced with industrial pollutants such as benzene, toluene and formaldehyde.” -ShaleGasOutrage.wordpress.com

Over 1,000 complaints like these have been filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection through the end of 2012. PA DEP has determined that 161 water wells have been contaminated as a result of hydraulic fracturing, with more tests results inconclusive or disputed. And the complaints keep coming. In these impacted households, tap water is no longer safe for consumption, yet the nearest water utility line is often many miles away. People are forced to rely on bottled water to meet their daily water needs. Large blue “water buffalos” have become ubiquitous across the Marcellus Shale region.   (more…)

USGS Warns Of Disinfection Byproducts From Treatment Of Produced Waters

September 6, 2013

You don’t have to be a hydrogeologist to understand the severity of the U.S. Geological Survey’s most recent warning. As the number of suitable sites for deep wastewater injection wells dwindles, and production in the Marcellus ramps up, pressure is mounting on municipal water treatment plants to deal with all the frack waste. But as every good sewage plant operator knows, what goes in, must come out.

Technical Announcement: Disinfection of Energy Wastewater Can Lead to Toxic Byproducts

Contact Information:

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Office of Communications and Publishing

12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, MS 119, Reston, VA 20192

Mike Focasio 703-648-6808

Alec Demas 703-648-4421

Released: 9/4/2013  —  Wastewater treatment plants that process waters from oil and gas development were found to discharge elevated levels of toxic chemicals known as brominated disinfection byproducts, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.    (more…)

Ode To ‘Joy Of Fracking’

July 25, 2013

GrowthBusters wants you to know “what’s cooking in the public debate about fracking” so they made this “fair use sampling” of video clips about one the most important public debates currently raging across Colorado and the United States.

Frack-Free TV:  Lives and groundwater are routinely destroyed yet the shale gas industry keeps on drilling, spending millions to buy the silence of those impacted, and often their real estate, too. Big Gas has also been spending hundreds of millions in advertising to convince you that these Americans don’t exist.

Thing is, they do.

#ThinkAboutIt

Dear President Obama, Please Meet With Citizens Impacted By Fracking

July 11, 2013

Right after the release of Gasland II on HBO, Josh Fox sent this letter to President Obama, and he asked fellow fractivists to share it, too.

Finally got to see the film, and I felt relieved and recharged because Fox has successfully captured, in granular detail, an accurate portrait of big energy fracking U.S. democracy, and a fossil-free movement that is growing larger and ever more determined. The complexity of images, information, and emotions validated my impression of the shale gas invasion over the past few years, both in Pennsylvania and around the world. Given that this form of extreme fossil fuel extraction is ramping up exponentially worldwide, and entire regions of my home state are being transformed into endless industrial zones, the request seems pretty damn reasonable. Sharing!

Request to President Obama: Please meet with the Scientists and Families in GASLAND, Part II

Josh’s letter to President Obama, July 8th, 2013:

Dear President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary Moniz, Heather Zichal and Valerie Jarrett,

I write to request a meeting with you and families directly impacted by oil and gas drilling and fracking—as documented in Gasland Part II—to…gether with a small group of scientists and engineers who are also featured in the film.   (more…)

Think About It – Cement Won’t Last Forever

June 21, 2013

Energy From Shale is yet another generic new front group created by America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) to advertise the illusion that the highly polluting process of shale gas production is really shiny, clean and green. They recently launched their first PR effort, asking us to “Think About It.” Believe me, ANGA, I have.

Even when done correctly, fracking cannot be done safely. 

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All cement wellbore seals, every last one of them, will fail over time. Cement simply doesn’t last forever. Steel can crack. Even if drillers get everything exactly right the first time, cement will become porous due to heat and pressure. Earthquakes, whether caused by nature or deep waste injection wells, hold the potential to damage seals. In about 50-60 years tops, according to gas industry estimates, most wellbore seals will fail, eventually enabling pathways for fluids and gases to communicate  with aquifers, geological formations or the environment.

Image Credit: George E. King Engineering, March, 2009

This is an aspect of the drilling issue that simply cannot be ignored. When it comes to the future security of our drinking water supplies, this is the crux of it.

Now, It’s About Gas. Ultimately, It’s About Water.

It’s not roulette. It’s a certainty,” Gasland II filmmaker and citizen of the United States, Josh Fox, recently said on HBO’s Real Time With Bill MaherThis is a problem the gas industry can’t fix.”

Headless Fed: EPA Punts Fracking Study

The good news is, drillers have the technology to reseal and replug failed wellbores. The bad news is, they have to do it fairly often. More than 5% of wellbore seals fail immediately.    (more…)

161 Reasons You Can’t Trust The DEP

May 22, 2013

Pennsylvania State Documents Reveal Rampant Water Contamination In Gas Sacrifice Zones  

Several excellent articles have been posted recently about the inadequate, often shoddy, records keeping practices of The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. They’re linked here and shouldn’t be missed. Bottom line is, if you think PA DEP is actively protecting Pennsylvania’s water supplies from the impacts of shale gas drilling, think again.

In Open Records Case Produced Untracked Drilling Documents The Times-Tribune, May 19, 2013, Laura Legere writes:

Scattered records kept by the state Department of Environmental Protection offer one answer to a key question in a new age of fossil fuel extraction in Pennsylvania: How many water supplies have been damaged by drilling?

Gas proponents might continue to insist that gas drilling has never damaged a single water supply, yet we now know there are plenty of instances where it has. As it turns out, PA DEP knows this, too, though they had to be sued to produce the evidence. They claimed, unsuccessfully, that the public records requested by The Times-Trbune were “too burdensome” to find. In The Times-Tribune’s Sunday Times Review of DEP Drilling Records Reveals Water Damage, Murky Testing Methods, Legere reviews the pages eventually furnished by the civil servants of this hyper-reluctant state agency:
“State environmental regulators determined that oil and gas development damaged the water supplies for at least 161 Pennsylvania homes, farms, churches and businesses between 2008 and the fall of 2012, according to a cache of nearly 1,000 letters and enforcement orders written by Department of Environmental Protection officials and obtained by The Sunday Times.”

The Times-Tribune editors have even included a detailed groundwater complaints map with the help of the genius geeks at FracTracker.org, “a non-profit organization that collects, shares and visualizes data related to the oil and gas industry.

Drilling Complaints Map, The Times-Tribune, May 19, 2013.   (more…)

“Domestic” Does Not Necessarily Mean “Renewable”

May 16, 2013

Texas Ethanol Bill Uses Semantics To Lipstick The Shale Gas Pig   

Using “alternative” as bridge label, a bipartisan group of misguided Texas congressmen have decided to redefine the term “Renewable” as it applies in the Federal Renewable Fuels Standards Act to include ethanol from fracked shale gas. Last time I checked, natural gas was a fossil fuel, and shale gas was considered an extreme fossil fuel.

The legislation, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Pete Olson of Texas, is examined in Bill Would Let Natural Gas-Based Ethanol Qualify As Renewable by Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Chron.com, May 16, 2013:

Olson’s bill responds to commercial interest in producing ethanol from natural gas, amid questions about the ability to efficiently and cost effectively to transform plant material into ethanol that can be blended into fuel.”   (more…)

“Drillers Paradise” A Brand New Anti-Fracking Anthem

May 10, 2013

You Best Get Out Their Way…   

Urban Disaster Records, producer of From The Frontlines, released this powerful new music video today. “Drillers Paradise” was written and composed by veteran gasfield videographer Jay Wilcox and Indie acoustic musician Dylan Storm.

 

Much of “Drillers Paradise” Was Filmed In Marcellus Hell. Video by Jay Wilcox and Dylan Storm, published on May 10, 2013.

After touring, filming and witnessing the devastation, intimidation and corruption that goes hand in hand with the giant fracking corporations this song was born…Special thanks to Penni Patches Pixie Laine and the Butler Hoopers…pass this on cause ‘They use payoffs to buy off all the fools’……. “

I’ve listened to it a dozen times already, and it just keeps getting better!

Please Share wildly, and be sure to give it a thumbs up on YouTube.

Best Documentary On Fracking Ever

May 6, 2013

Triple Divide  – Trailer

Visit TripleDivideFilm.org to get your sustainably-produced DVD of the highly acclaimed new film Triple Divide – considered essential viewing by Organizations United for the Environment.

At TripleDivideFilm.org, you’ll also find more information on Public/Private screenings in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio.

Find even more local screenings at Triple Divide on Facebook.

Largest Petition Ever Submitted In Pennsylvania

April 30, 2013

And It Calls For A Fracking Moratorium

April 30, 2013 is an historic day.

Today, a coalition of environmental organizations and anti-fracking activists deliver the largest petition ever submitted to the Pennsylvania state legislature. It calls for a moratorium on new shale gas drilling permits in Pennsylvania.

The petition, Protect Pennsylvania From Gas Drilling, includes the names and signatures of more than 100,000 Pennsylvania residents, and it sends a stunning message to state legislators and the shale gas industry. This is what it says:   (more…)

Everyday People, Harmed Everyday

April 15, 2013

Pennsylvania Stands Witness To The Adverse Impacts of Shale Gas Drilling

More than 1,208 individuals have gone on record (to date) on The List of The Harmed. The list is meticulously compiled by Jenny Lisak of The Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air. It’s got to be a full time job, as the number of people harmed easily keeps apace with drilling.

Even a list as long as this can’t do justice to the people whose lives have been ruined along with their land, air and water.

Ready or not, Americans have to make a choice. They can believe the slick TV ads, buying into the false promise of safe shale gas, or they can try to understand what impacts large-scale, industrial hydrofracking really brings to our ecology, landscapes and the communities who inhabit them. They can listen to the experiences of people living in the new gaslands of Pennsylvania, and not just the stories that grab headlines, but the common, garden variety suffering wrought by a single extreme extraction industry.

Postcards From The Sacrifice Zone 

Rebecca Roter and Frank Finan listen. They listen to their neighbors and friends, and they speak out. They relay the stories they hear, and they encourage others to share their experiences, too.

Document Your Shale Related Health Complaint with the PA Dept of Health is an open facebook event inviting people to:

Stand witness, encourage friends and family with skin rashes, upper respiratory problems, etc that appear shale related to DOCUMENT your experiences in your own voice, let a volunteer health advocate make sure the Dept of Health DOES ITS job and takes your shale related health complaint. Help save the next generation, so the claim cannot be made there are no health impacts in shale corridors. Impacted individuals can call Volunteer Health Care Advocate Celeen Miller 215-680-1452, 215-249-3619, 800-200-2229 to report complaints. Call Dr McKenzie, 215-662-2354, University of Pennsylvania, Occupational Medicine, for treatment.

Max Chilson, As Told By Frank Finan:   (more…)

Krancer Dabbles In Climate Denial, Throws Wide-Mouth Bass Under Bus

February 25, 2013

Global Squirming

We know the Marcellus Shale Coalition never put it to a vote, but does Pennsylvania DEP Secretary, Michael Krancer, believe that climate change might determine the new “price of doing business” in our state?

On February 20, 2013, at a Pennsylvania House Budget Hearing, Rep. Scott Conklin [D-77th, Centre County] asked the Secretary exactly that, but the newly bearded Krancer didn’t want to answer.

Published on Feb 20, 2013

Rep. Conklin deserves kudos for asking about the cost of climate change. So does Rep. Matt Bradford [D- 70th, Montgomery County] for following up, as State Impact Pennsylvania’s Marie Cusick reports in DEP Secretary Michael Krancer Clarifies Views on Climate Change, February 21, 2013:

“Climate change. Is it real?”

“Representative, I couldn’t be more clear,” Krancer replied, “the lowering of greenhouse gases and carbon emissions is a good thing.”

“You couldn’t be more opaque!” shouted Bradford.

And, so, the question remains: Is Pennsylvania’s rush to frack increasing or decreasing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere?

Methane may be a cleaner fuel to burn (until it explodes) but it’s certainly not a clean fuel to frack from the ground. One glimpse at this infrared video of gas production sites shows how much gas is released, intentionally and otherwise.

Are we really willing to bet it all on gas drillers best practices, minimal air sampling and lousy DEP record-keeping? This seems ignorant and brash when our planet is so perilously close to an atmospheric carbon tipping point.

Pennsylvania deserves better.

“Witnesses criticized the state Department of Environmental Protection for failing to enforce drilling regulations. Some residents in drilling areas brought what they consider as evidence — jugs of orange-brown tap water.”

“As committee member Rep. Kevin Boyle of Philadelphia County said Tuesday, ‘I apologize for DEP. As Pennsylvania citizens, you deserve better.’ ”

Many times over the last few years, we have reached out to the DEP for help, with little or no success,” Headley said. His family has had issues with contaminated water and grass that refuses to grow, as well as issues with a pipeline going in under their stream, he said. “I think DEP stands for ‘don’t expect protection,’ ” Headley said.

At issue is whether deliberate actions by state officials are letting Texas gas industry robber barons do more damage to the environment than was done by coal industry robber barons in the last century, and are endangering people’s health in the process. As I reported in September, I submitted several questions to DEP, in writing, about new DEP rules supposedly designed to protect the environment. Many of the rules, it seemed to me, did the opposite. For example, DEP now allows fracking fluids to accumulate in pits that are only 20 inches above groundwater tables. I’m still waiting for answers.

There is no uniformity within the scientific community on how much the warming is occurring,” said Krancer, “And there’s no agreement about how much is attributable to the human part of it and how much is attributable to other factors.

DEP Throws Wide Mouth Bass Under The Bus   (more…)

Click Here For Stickers, Signs and The Best AntiFracking Slogan Ever

February 18, 2013

Buying and Telling 

It’s difficult to pick one favorite, but four-out-of-five fractivists agree the ultimate anti-gas image is by Artist/Activist LMNOP. based in Brooklyn, NY.

Only You Can Prevent Faucet Fires – No Fracking
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Click here for links to more cool clean energy signage.

More, More, More!

February 9, 2013

The Art of Anti-Fracking Comes of Age

Lately, it seems like anti-fracking artistic expression is exploding out of gaslands everywhere. Maybe the message is mainstreaming? You know when Yoko Ono starts speaking out, the cause is officially big. She may be polite and petite, but she’s got a mighty big bullhorn and she’s obviously peeved.

Sad truth is, the harsh light of reality is unkind to the invasive, destructive processes of shale gas production and frack waste disposal. Across the country, there’s a heightened demand for clean, sustainable energy and increasing local efforts for conservation. Artists, filmmakers, videographers, photographers, musicians, writers and poets have become so passionate about this cause, they’re shouting from their respective rooftops. And voyeurs, if they’re anything like me, are left wondering what we can possibly do when a single industry is systematically destroying our water tables, air quality, and the loamy soil beneath our feet?

We can live without gas but we can’t live without water. It’s the stuff of life pulsing through our veins. Frack with that, and people tend to go hardcore. So go on, get schooled, and enjoy a sampling of the creative contributions inspired by the shale gas boom, in what is rapidly becoming the biggest public push-back the world has ever seen.

“C’Mon EPA, We’re Worried For Our DNA”  

What lurks deep beneath Sesame Street? It’s a scary place yet this video is suitable for all ages.

Published on Dec 21, 2012 by John Duarte. Composed by Luvtouch Music. For more information, visit http://www.john-duarte.com and http://www.john-duarte.com/blog.

Give It To Me, Gov

Since New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has declined meet to with Yoko Ono as of yet, she has taken the truth to television. Ono makes it easy for Cuomo – and all the world – to see what’s wrong with Fracking in her new ad.   (more…)

We Are What We Frack: The Animal Farm

February 3, 2013

The Impacts of Drilling on Human and Animal Health

Groundbreaking Study Presented 

Researchers Robert Oswald PhD & Michelle Bamberger, MS, DVM  offer viewers “a general introduction to the potential hazards associated with shale gas development. Specifically, it will draw on the descriptive epidemiology and case studies of Drs. Bamberger and Oswald to examine how and why animals can be used as sentinels for human health.

Harbingers of Human Wellbeing

Published on Jan 30, 2013, Continuing Medical Education (CME) Activity Jointly Sponsored by Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy and the Medical Society of the State of New York. Source: YouTube

 


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