Archive for April, 2012

Smell You Later

April 30, 2012

The Clean Air Council Is Having a Frack Attack in Pennsylvania

Clean Air Council (CAC) has launched a legal blitz to force EPA engagement on the critical air issues associated with natural gas operations in Pennsylvania. Frank Finan breaks down the issue with infrared footage from a compressor station in Northeast PA, appropriately set to “Power” by Kanye West.

Untold Emissions

CAC is focused on forcing full compliance with the Clean Air Act from the Fracking Industry. The Frack Attack Objectives:

  • Emissions inventory
  • Repeal of major exemptions
  • Proper permitting
  • Meaningful air monitoring
  • Enforcement of permits

“PA DEP: Your authority to forsake Pennsylvania’s air quality lies on shaky ground.”   – Your Friends at The Clean Air Council

Follow Frack Attack actions at For more information, contact CAC staff attorneys Jay Duffy, or David Presley

What Fracking Really Looks Like

April 28, 2012

Massive Industrialization Cannot Be Concealed

Nor do Shale Gas Drillers even try. Massive deforestation and rapid land fragmentation in Pennsylvania, much of it on Public Lands, is difficult to wrap your head around, yet our legislators are permitting it, literally. “I’m going up in a helicopter,” my friend, drilling injury lawyer Jon Ostroff declared. My own fear of flying aside, I’m glad when more people get a firsthand look at what is happening “out there” in what was once the Wilds of PA. Naturally I want prosperity for all 67 counties in the Commonwealth but, obviously, extreme fossil fuel extraction is not a sustainable way to achieve it.

When I seek a bird’s eye view of the Marcellus, I visit It’s chock full of dramatic photos, many of which have become the iconic images of a gas boom gone wrong. Recently, Elisabelle Bourgue shared this small screen gem with Protest ShaleGas Fracking:


Sign The Petition!

April 27, 2012

Want to stop dirty drilling? 


PA CLAW is a coalition of grassroots organizers and organizations working for a moratorium on Fracking for natural gas and its infrastructure across the state of Pennsylvania through various coordinated statewide campaigns and actions.


New Rules! For Marcellus Drilling, Explained

April 26, 2012

PennFuture Presents Just The Fracts on PA Act 13, The Marcellus Shale Act

Of the major environmental organizations opposed to Fracking in Pennsylvania, few push harder than Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, or PennFuture. This vibrant non-profit has been fighting for environmental justice since its inception, and in 2009 the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) named PennFuture as its official representative in Pennsylvania. Their tagline, “Every environmental victory grows the economy” resonates because sustainable energy must also be economical in order to generate sufficient demand. PennFuture has a long, distinguished history but it’s more interesting, perhaps, to know what the group is doing right now.

According to George Jugovic Jr., President & CEO:

  • We’re working to replace old, outdated dirty sources of power with clean, renewable Pennsylvania-made electricity.
  • We’re fighting factory farm pollution.
  • We’re helping to stop damage from mining and drilling.
  • We’re protecting watersheds from sprawl and pollution.
  • We’re reducing global warming pollution.
  • We’re watchdogging state government.
  • We’re providing $2 million per year of free legal services to protect the environment.

Putting ACT 13 In Layperson’s Terms (Thank You)

On April 23, 2012, Susan Philips posted a link to a pdf of PennFuture’s new Fact Sheet in Plain Language Version of Pennsylvania’s New Drilling Law Published. The Fact Sheet covers the highlights (lowlights, really) of the new Marcellus Shale Law. I found it very helpful in my attempt to understand just how badly Governor Corbett has undercut the Commonwealth with the bill he and Senator Joe Scarnati strong-armed Philadelphia area democrats to vote for. So here it is, in its entirety: (more…)

Leach Wants To Amend Marcellus Act STAT!

April 25, 2012

PA Act 13 Puts Gas Drillers Between Doctors & Patients

Less than a week after Governor Corbett signed Act 13, The Marcellus Shale Act, in February 2012, Dr. Walter Brasch posted his seminal three-part paper, FRACKING: Pennsylvania Gags Physicians, on As PA Act 13 transformed the outmoded PA Oil and Gas Code, Brasch shed light on the fact that Corbett’s new rules compel doctors to withhold vital information from patients in their care, inhibiting recovery, in order to keep Gas Drillers’ trade secrets. The Fractivist drumbeat has been banging on the issue ever since. Mainstream media, and state legislators, have certainly heard the noise. (more…)

Vote Pro-Earth in The PA Primaries – Tues 4/24

April 20, 2012

Don’t Forget to Vote on Tuesday!

Here’s the list of pro-Earth candidates we need to support. They have vowed to stand firm against the gas industry in PA. Democrats, one and all!

For the most current list, please visit (more…)

No Riverdale Evictions, Yet…

April 19, 2012

In The Post-Facebook Era, There’s No Excuse for Bad Corporate Behavior

[UPDATE: ay 4, 2012] This report from Protecting Our Waters:

Bad news: the residents of Riverdale Mobile Home Park (on the Susquehanna River near the town of Jersey Shore, PA) have received word from Aqua America subsidiary Aqua PVR’s hired realtor that they will, in fact, be evicted — oops, I mean, have their water and sewer services cut off and have the offer of a token relocation fee of $2,500 removed, on June 1st.  It costs at least $6 – 10K to move a mobile home, so Aqua appears to be willing to force some of these families into homelessness, and all of them deeper into poverty, rather than delay construction of their $24 million water withdrawal facility. Riverdale residents also keep hearing persistent rumors that they will be allowed to stay, so it’s very hard for them to cope or to know what to do.  (more…)

Frack Waste Causing Fish Cancer?

April 17, 2012

The cool, clean headwaters of the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers, in the mountainous northern reaches of Pennsylvania and Southern New York, are home to countless species, including birds, reptiles, mammals and aquatic life. Among PA’s wild inhabitants, eagles are the most high-profile, turtles are legendary and trout among the most well loved. Personally, I’m intrigued by the diverse populations of mollusks filtering the fresh water we drink, swim in, and use to grow or food. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is home to eight of the 297 recognized fresh water mussels species found in North America. (more…)

Aqua America’s Unquenchable Thirst

April 17, 2012

Major Withdrawals, Major Impact

[UPDATE, April 19, 2012]:  Drought has come early…. Stateimpact.PA reports: SRBC Suspends Water Withdrawal in 5 Counties and Susquehanna River and Its Tributaries Hit Drought Levels by Donald Gilliland in The Patriot-News.

Marcellus effect: SRBC Temporarily Suspends Water Withdrawals

[Original Post]:  Once fresh water is used for fracking, it can never be safely returned to the watershed. You simply can’t filter out heavy metals and radioactive isotopes like Radon 226. The only thing the water is good for is more fracking. Permanently removing many millions of gallons of fresh water from the Susquehanna and Delaware River basins will leave our region more vulnerable to drought. Small streams, the water tables they inform, and the many private wells which rely on them, will dry up that much faster. Depleted water tables may also contain heavier concentrations of naturally occurring substances already present. (more…)

Giant Solar Spill at Marshall University

April 14, 2012

Just when I’m despairing (again) that today’s college campuses have become hotbeds of gas industry indoctrination, I come across this excellent guest editorial by Katie Quinonez in The Parthenon, the student newspaper of Marshall University, a 175-year old liberal arts institution in Huntington, West Virginia with over 10,000 students.

Natural gas: Ruining Your Drinking Water and Livelihood

A carnival will take place today on Buskirk Field with the purpose of “educating” the student body and faculty about natural gas. BeHerd Marketing Agency, America’s Natural Gas Alliance, EdVenture and the World’s Strongest Man 2006 are responsible for this misleading event. (more…)

Cabot Gets a Slap on the Wrist

April 9, 2012

PA DEP Sends Cabot Oil & Gas a Stern Letter About Dimock

On March 9, 2012, the PA Department of Environmental Protection sent a certified letter to Mr. Phil Stalnaker, Vice President & Manager-North Region Cabot Oil & Gas. Basically, they found the company’s reporting on the 2008 water contamination in Dimock, PA to be significantly lacking. The report, prepared by URS Corporation, a global company based in SanFrancisco CA, has such “deficiencies” that DEP has been unable to review it, and therefore take any real action. Seems to me, DEP and Cabot have been dragging this dance out long enough.

DEP’s Jennifer Means, Environmental Program Manager of the Eastern Oil & Gas District, wrote the letter.  She highlights the Department’s four main complaints: (more…)

The Simplest Way To Save The Delaware

April 8, 2012

The simplest way to ensure lasting protections for the fresh water resources of 15.6 million people is to raise the status the Upper and Middle Delaware River to “Exceptional Value” (EV). It would also help to ensure that EV or High Quality (HQ) tributary streams remain un-fragmented. At any rate, drillers seem to be getting along without having to drill in yet another precious watershed.

A statewide moratorium on new Unconventional Shale Gas Drilling permits in Pennsylvania might seem like a long-shot, but I gladly signed the Pennsylvanians for Clean Land Air and Water (CLAW) Petition. A ban on Fracking in the Delaware River Watershed ought to be more feasible, but as the CLAW signatures are rapidly accumulating, it occurs to me that maybe I’m just being cynical. (more…)

Poisoning Pennsylvania’s Breadbasket

April 6, 2012

Just Add Sunshine…

If a stream dies, does anybody hear? Life in Boiling Spring Run in Central, PA ceased decades ago, yet while local residents have been reporting illegal dumping for years, the PA DEP has ignored the problem. Until 2009, that is, when DEP took samples, then declared the test results “Confidential.” (more…)

Introducing Fractivist Barbie™

April 5, 2012

Hulk, he’s my hero but Fractivist Barbie totally rocks! Our dear ole’  petroleum-based gal tackles Fracking fabulously, taking to the streets of Trenton, NJ to fight intrepidly for what she knows is right.

Unlike my plastic composition, the human beings I love are made of water, and rely on water for their very existence. Contaminating drinking water with known toxic chemicals for the supposed benefit of natural gas made no sense at all.”  Video uploaded by BarbieAndKenSpeakOut for (more…)

Uncle Sam Tackles Frack-Frack-Fracking

April 2, 2012

“We refuse to take the risk cuz our town is quaking up!”

Family friendly video uploaded by YouTube User PeterAlsop on March 24, 2012: “Uncle Sam and the local community confront the ‘fracker’ about what the fracking procedures are doing to their water. They point out that ‘we live here! And we notice you’re not fracking in your own city, where you and your children live!’ Besides, the point isn’t just keeping the water clean, but just creating jobs is not the way to provide a better world for the children, … but no more fossil fuels, regardless of jobs or profit! Our environment can’t take it! We need to be putting all our resources into renewable energy sources! Uncle Sam knows that the American people can work this out!”

PA’s Deadly Secrets & “Shale Gas Porn”

April 1, 2012

If you were looking for a way to poison the drinking water supply, here in the Northeast you couldn’t find a more chillingly effective and thorough method of doing so than with hydraulic fracturing,” wrote Paul Hetzler, a former environmental engineer with the NY Department of Environmental Conservation in The Watertown Daily Times in December, 2011.

Paula Clair of Garrison, NY cites Hetzler in her thoughtful Op-Ed piece, Don’t Sacrifice Water For Profits, in on March 31, 2012, writing: “Water is life. There is no life without it. Don’t let big oil/gas sacrifice our state, our homes and our health for their profit.” Clearly, Clair gets it. She’s awake, and questioning the source of her water. Her words reflect the growing public concern for watersheds, fresh air and food supplies. The Natural Gas Industry may be saturating our commercial airwaves with slick ad campaigns, but we the people have YouTube!

An Anti-Fracker’s Playlist…  (more…)