Archive for January, 2012

Public Schools vs. Shale Gas Pipelines

January 31, 2012

High Volume Gas Metering Station to be a Stone’s Throw from Northeastern PA Elementary, Middle and High School Campus

Chief Gathering LLC is going to build a gas metering station 1,300 feet from the Dallas Township Schools in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, according to The Dallas Post on December 11, 2011, and much to the dismay of residents opposed to industrial gas activity so close their children’s schools. (more…)

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The State of Obama’s Shale Gas Policy

January 25, 2012

It’s not 10am on the East Coast, yet much has been made of President Obama’s State-of-the-Union address last night. The president not only promoted Natural Gas, he essentially gave the government credit for developing Fracking technology! OMG. If there was one line that gave me Hope…

Amer­ica will develop this resource with­out putting the health and safety of our cit­i­zens at risk.

Sooner or later, President Obama will have to recognize the fact that Fracking is already putting the safety of our citizens at risk. (more…)

The United Shale-Shocked States of America

January 24, 2012

“You Can’t Drink Money”
Our kids have these placemats with the world map, the flags and the presidents. One has a colorful map of the states, and it reminds me how big America is. Few values, beyond freedom, justice and democracy, are ubiquitous to us all. Apparently, the right to clean water is one them. As gas drillers and misguided public officials are now discovering, when you mess with this basic, unifying element, people push back. One thing all shale gas drilling states have in common is that the Clean Water movement is rapidly building momentum. Across the Union, opposition is springing from all quarters, growing deeper and more diverse. Anti-fracking groups may have differing ideas about what to do with all this shale gas, and if fracking is ever okay, but together they’re galvanizing new interest in the environment, and the level of government protection our shared natural resources receive.

One point on which all groups can agree is perhaps best put by Ohio fractivist, Jenny Morgan, when she sings, “You can’t drink money.

Video posted by dearsusquehanna.blogspot.com. (more…)

Dimock Scores A Win, So Does The EPA

January 22, 2012

“Colossal Failure” of Governor Corbett and The PA Department of Environmental Protection

The EPA began delivering water to four families in Dimock PA on Friday, January 20, while they conduct further testing on 61 more households. The move signals a failure of Tom Corbett and the PA DEP to safeguard the water supply of citizens. Peacegirl posted a video of the Press Conference on Sunday, January 20, 2012 in Dimock, PA. Among the speakers introduced by Julia Walsh of FrackAction were Craig Sautner, who will be receiving EPA water, and Victoria Switzer, who will not.

Let science speak for itself… Well, I guess it has, hasn’t it?” Sautner said. (more…)

Fracked vs. Fiction, and the Very Real Need for a Moratorium in Pennsylvania

January 21, 2012

“Fifty Percent of Pennsylvania’s Land Mass (22,835 square miles) will become an heavily industrialized zone over the next fifty years…” *

“Wellbores, even perfectly sealed, will be thousands of times more porous than the rock between the shale and the surface, a multi-generational legacy of pollution could be the result.” *

“Three EPA studies have found that the migration of fracturing fluids into groundwater is unpredictable or has already happened.” *

POW!  Bam!!  Free Facts Fuel Democracy

Regularly circulating valuable links, articles and information, the venerable people at Protecting Our Waters are ever satisfying the public’s right-to-know about the impacts of industrial shale gas drilling on our fresh water supply. The group demonstrates that no matter how much money the gas industry spends on media and lobbying, they cannot captivate the national conversation. (more…)

Pro- or Anti-Fracking, Sabotage Takes Fight Too Far

January 17, 2012

From tampered valves to hacked databases, is Pennsylvania failing the character test?

Fracking has both friends and foes in PA, and lately it’s been getting kinda ugly out there. (more…)

You’re Fired! How Corbett Is Sacrificing State Parks & Game Lands to Gas Drilling

January 16, 2012

Blue Monday
Pennsylvania has leased a full one-third of its 2.1 million-acre forest system for oil and gas drilling – that’s 700,000 acres – and more than 130,000 acres are for Fracking.

Nevertheless, Don Hopey reported in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Governor Corbett has pink-slipped the Executive Director of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Citizens Advisory Council, Kurt Leitholf, “having determined that determined this position was no longer needed.(more…)

Bulgaria Leads EU Anti-Fracking Movement: Thousands Protest on Saturday

January 15, 2012

As Chevron Corporation moves in to frack the EU nation of Bulgaria, several thousands flooded the streets and squares of major cities, brandishing loaves of bread, beating drums and blowing whistles. The protest, which was organized by the grassroots environmental group, Fracking Free Bulgaria, was meant to be a wake up call to citizens: “No to shale gas, Yes to nature!” was the cry. Protestors were also calling on lawmakers to model France’s moratorium and “Ban Fracking Now!

Spectacular.

A few days prior to the protests, I received this information from the group:

“The title of the nationwide protest is “Bulgarians, rise up and defend your land!” and aims to make a wake-up call to all of the Bulgarians that are still not aware of the rising environmental catastrophy. (more…)

“One Chance” To Get Gas Right Says PA DEP Chief

January 12, 2012

On Tuesday evening, January 10, 2012 the PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary, Michael Krancer, once again put the onus on gas companies to protect our land, air and water. The secretary was speaking at Villanova University, at a presentation organized by PA Association of Environmental Professionals and The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and facilitated by Burack Environmental Law.

To the strident observer, it’s stunning how much faith Secretary Krancer places in the corporate good intentions of shale gas drillers. It’s as if he’s incognizant of the industry’s shoddy track record in Pennsylvania, and how they wracked up a whopping 1.8 average violations per inspection in 2011. (more…)

Fracking’s Invisible Spew Seen Clearly With Infrared

January 6, 2012

The Bay Daily is published by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which is deeply concerned with the immediate and cumulative environmental impacts of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. The Susquehanna River is the primary watershed for this already beleaguered, though no less beloved, bay. A recent Bay article by Tom Pelton, Video Investigation of Gas Drilling Sites Reveals Invisible Air Pollution, drew a lot of national attention because it is chock full of infrared footage of compressor stations and drilling sites, clearly showing what we can’t see with the naked eye but nevertheless inhale.

Throughout Pennsylvania, drillers are venting potent yet invisible toxins – Volatile Organic Chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene and toluene – into the very air we breathe. The infrared photos prominently display plumes of carcinogens billowing upwards into our skies. These chemicals are also condensing on our land, frosting our windshields, and finding their way into our crops and streams. (more…)

PA’s Largest Environmental Groups Oppose Scarnati’s Shale Bill

January 5, 2012

Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-25, Jefferson County, said Tuesday he hopes final passage of impact fee legislation can be achieved before Mr. Corbett’s budget address early next month, reports Robert Swift, Harrisburg Bureau Chief for The Times-Tribune in Senate GOP Leader Sees Crunch Time on Shale. Also according to Swift, Scarnati said, “If it isn’t done, it’s going to be an issue for 2012.” Let’s hope! This landmark piece of legislation should be the issue for 2012. (more…)

Aerial Fracking Photos: Say Goodbye to Rural PA

January 4, 2012

John Trallo works for Clean Water Action. He’s a Philly guy, originally, and an accomplished musician. He now hails from Sonestown, PA where he enjoys everything from Thoreau to Elvis Costello. A teacher, tavern philosopher and self-described loose cannon, Trallo has long been opposed to Fracking. He’s been actively engaged in raising public awareness about the need to protect Pennsylvania from the numerous planned and existing shale gas pipelines, gathering lines and compressor stations. Thanks to mutual acquaintance, we became Facebook friends (he has over 600 of them). Mr. Trallo doesn’t post a lot, but when he does, it’s well worth the click. For example, this photo essay Natural Gas Industry in Central PA, In and Around the Pine Creek Valley by Bill Crowell was recently added to his wall with the single, pithy comment, “This says it all.”

Warning: This 3:42 minute montage may cause a chronic lump in your throat and/or cause you to take immediate action.

EPA Says Dimock Water Requires More Testing, PA DEP Says Drink Up!

January 2, 2012
I love it when the EPA asserts itself. Inevitably, state officials accuse them of “overstepping” their “bailiwick,” but I take comfort knowing the feds’ attention is on the shale gas industry, scrutinizing their activities in our state, ensuring that the PA DEP is getting the job done right. Pro-gas conservatives have called the EPA “a jobs killer.” I say, let them hire more scientists! My fondest wish would be for the PA DEP and the EPA to do more than simply play nice in the sandbox, I’d like to see them work together in serious and concerted tandem. That would represent a truly functioning Republic, to my mind, though it seems less likely everyday. Luckily, we don’t have to pick a winner – yet.
Laura Legere, Staff Writer for The Times-Tribune has been covering Marcellus Shale drilling from the start. In her last article of what must have been a crazy-busy year, she reports on the EPA’s final salvo of 2011. (more…)