Archive for the ‘Stop Fracking PA!’ Category

Erie PA – Fact Free Zone?

November 3, 2011

It’s here. We’re not going to run out of it. It’s clean, and it’s renewable,” said PA DEP Secretary Michael Krancer of Marcellus shale gas to a meeting of 100 Rotary Club members in Erie last week. Seriously? The PA DEP secretary called natural gas a ‘renewable‘ resource? How far will gas industry spin extend? Shale gas is not a renewable resource, by any stretch. Will this administration stop at nothing to exploit this fossil fuel as rapidly as possible? Their heedlessness is galling, especially considering public outcry, but you can read all about it in this nifty bit of coverage by Jim Martin in The Erie Times-News, DEP Secretary, in Erie, calls Marcellus Shale ‘a blessing under our feet’

Thanks for covering the meeting, Jim!

Letter to The Enforcement Secretary

November 3, 2011

Fight for Our River  –  Re-designate The Delaware!

It’s time for public officials to hear from the public. Legislation is flying through Harrisburg, and lawmakers need to be aware that a growing number of constituencies are concerned about the toxic threat posed by industrial gas drilling. Urge them – today – to value clean water over dirty fossil fuels, to protect our existing high water quality, and to ensure ongoing protections in the face of an unprecedented Shale Gas Boom.

DEP Secretary Michael Krancer has said he’s the boss who wants to hear whatever you think he doesn’t want to hear. He is a public official, after all, and perhaps the most pivotal figure aside from the governor when it comes to establishing the policies and enforcing the new regulations that may, or may not, protect my family’s drinking water. So I take this as an open invitation. You should, too. (more…)

Support Clean Water Candidates in Pennsylvania on November 8th

October 31, 2011

VOTE FOR FRACTIVIST-FRIENDLY LEADERSHIP

A recent post on Protest Shale Gas Drilling informed me about a new Facebook page, Marcellus at the Polls. The new page is a compilation of candidate information, a consummately useful 2011 environmental voter’s guide to PA, NY, OH, and WV – the Marcellus Shale states. Click on “docs” at the top of the page to learn more about Fractivist friendly candidates in your neck of the woods. You’ll find a wealth of links, current comments and topical information. Then, be sure to exercise your franchise at the polls on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. (more…)

Is Central PA Ready for a Rachel Carson Autumn?

October 24, 2011

I’ve never been to Happy Valley though I think a lot about Penn State. Since posting about fracking on state college campuses last month, I keep wondering where is The Left? Aren’t college campuses supposed to be hotbeds of liberal thinking? I know some schools are more conservative than others, but in public institutions such as state universities, shouldn’t there at least be a viable progressive contingent?

I’m happy to say, I’ve finally stumbled upon the nerve center of progressive discourse at State College, in the form of Sustainability Now Radio – a well-established website and weekly radio show, Fridays from 4 to 5 pm on TheLion.fm/listen 90.7fm WKPS. It’s worth a listen, and their blog is definitely worth a read. That’s where I first viewed this seriously harrowing video of a western PA mom, (more…)

Delaware Riverkeeper Won’t Support “Politically Palatable” Citizens Commission Report

October 21, 2011

The following is a press release from The Delaware Riverkeeper Network:

Delaware Riverkeeper Resigns From Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission

For Immediate Release, Contact: Maya K. van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, 215 369 1188 ext 102

October 20, 2011, Bristol, PA – Days before the Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission is scheduled to release its final report and recommendations, Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, resigned from her post as a Commissioner for the group. (more…)

Liquified Natural Gas Stinks More Than Pipeline Gas

October 10, 2011

The Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) supply chain is generally more energy and greenhouse gas intensive than the supply chain for pipeline gas because of the extra processing steps. If Pennsylvania becomes a major LNG exporter, we will essentially be exporting the primary benefit of using this cleaner burning fossil fuel while bearing all the nasty environmental hazards and downsides of drilling for, processing and transporting it. (more…)

Save The Delaware, Seriously

October 5, 2011

UPDATE: The DRBC announced today that it will postpone the October 21 meeting date to vote on the new gas regulations. The meeting is now scheduled for November 21, 2011.

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ORIGINAL POST: The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) will vote on October 21, 2011 whether to open the “Special Protection Waters” of The Upper Delaware to industrial shale gas drilling. If new DRBC regulations are passed, the current moratorium on hydraulic fracturing will come to an end, and fracking will begin in earnest in the Delaware River watershed region. (more…)

Aqua America to Supply Susquehanna Basin Water to Gas Drillers

September 30, 2011

BrynMawr, PA-based Aqua America is one of the nation’s largest water and wastewater treatment companies, serving over 3 million customers across 12 states. Their largest water customer is Exelon Energy. Soon, though, Marcellus Shale gas drillers may provide an even larger revenue stream. Aqua will see tidy profits selling the Susquehanna River Basin water it pulls in Lycoming county to gas drillers in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier. It’s simply good business to accommodate them by laying 18-miles of 12-inch pipe. (more…)

DRBC Set to Vote on Fate of The Delaware

September 27, 2011

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is the only government entity standing between industrial shale gas drilling in the “Special Protection Waters” of the Delaware River watershed region and the 15.6 million people living downstream in Southeastern PA who rely on this river for drinking water. In September, the DRBC held its final public hearing on the issue of rules for horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware Basin in West Trenton, NJ. At least they held it, right? The hearing was called for 1:30pm, but Food & Water Watch, Protecting Our Waters, and other water action groups had a protest going by noon. The upshot: The DRBC is currently scheduled to vote on whether to allow fracking in the Delaware River Basin on November 21, 2011. (more…)

Frack U.! Governor Corbett Supports Drilling on PA State College Campuses

September 19, 2011

UPDATE [November 8, 2011] On Sunday, November 6, Bill Schackner reported in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that the Cal U Student Association had been quietly negotiating a mineral lease deal. Read the details in his article, Drilling on Campus: Marcellus Shale boom puts colleges at crossroads It’s the first of two parts. Here is Part II: Corporate funding of Marcellus Shale studies at universities raises alarms by Reid R. Frazier and Olivia Garber

ORIGINAL POST:

When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett [R] first spoke of leasing state college and university land to gas drillers, he was addressing a meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Trustees at Edinboro University in March, 2011. He was suggesting a way to soften the economic blow of $650 million in proposed cuts to Public Higher Education, cuts which amounted to a stunning 50% off the prior year’s budget. Cuts that were in addition to the universally repellant $550 million already slashed from Basic Education funding. When Corbett made his seemingly casual suggestion, however, he wasn’t grasping at political straws. He was sowing the seeds of new fiscal policy. (more…)

Voice of Reason, Or Equivocation? Seamus McGraw Stirs Shale Gas Debate

September 13, 2011

If you live in Pennsylvania, and you haven’t read it yet, download/buy/borrow The End of Country right now. Done? Author Seamus McGraw is not only well-informed, he’s irreverent and blunt. To wit, his recent post on Facebook: “I’ve long argued that the two most dangerous chemicals that are used far too liberally in the fracking process are testosterone and adrenaline.”

As a man who facilitated the leasing of his mother’s land to Chesapeake Energy (testosterone), he is often perceived to be a part of the problem by angry fractivists (adrenaline). I would suggest that here’s a guy, a self-proclaimed environmentalist and early biofuel user, who understands the very real dangers of fracking, (more…)

Toxic Floodwaters In Pennsylvania Raise New Questions About Fracking – Updated

September 10, 2011

UPDATE, September 23, 2011:

Since posting below, PA DEP officials have gone on record insisting that “no chemicals” used in hydraulic fracturing or toxic wastewater produced were spilled during the recent catastrophic flooding in Pennsylvania, which occurred as a result of back-to-back hurricanes Irene and Lee. State officials have also suggested that the photo linked in the initial post (below) is inauthentic. Okay. But the fact is, we have only their word for it. Scott Detrow reports in StateImpact that gas drillers weren’t required to report any incidents due to a “loophole” in state regulatory policy. I know, right? How dumb is that? And these are the guys who are going to protect The Delaware River Watershed, drinking water source for 15.6 million people. (more…)

Anti-Fracking Conference Draws Hundreds Despite Epic Flooding In Philadelphia

September 8, 2011

Wake The Village! Again

This morning, I sat in traffic for nearly three hours. Record flooding, mudslides and downed trees blocked the way of nearly every commuter in the region. It was a nightmare. I was late for the Freedom from Fracking Conference in Center City, and I was ticked. I arrived just in time to catch hydrogeologist Paul Rubin’s workshop, Our Aquifers, Our Drinking Water: Casualties of Gas Development (more…)

Frack-to-School: Several Pennsylvania School Districts Lease Land To Gas Drillers

August 31, 2011

Pennsylvania’s smallest – and most vulnerable – citizens deserve clean air and methane-free water fountains when they go to school, right? Are we seriously at the point where we’re knowingly exposing school children to toxic air pollution, potential water contamination and massive truck traffic? Apparently, we are. (more…)

Fracking: Another Bad Word Your Kid Picked Up at Camp?

August 20, 2011

The kids are home! Camp was great, and once again there’s a wait at Ruby’s Diner. It’s that pleasant interim between peak summer and back-to-school. Last week, on a trip to New England, my husband took us on a tour of the overnight camp where he spent six glorious summers in his youth. It was heartwarming to see him share his memories with our camp-aged son as he endeavored to warm him up to the idea of maybe going there, too. It was all I could do not to go around picking up the wet towels. I could totally see why it’s one of his “happy places.” (more…)

Frack Waste Decimates Stand of West Virginia Forest

August 17, 2011

In a controlled test conducted by the US Forest Service initiated in 2008, frack waste was applied to a contained 1/4-acre of deciduous forest in West Virginia. I’ve been saying it for months, “Test, Baby, Test.” By that, I meant independent baseline testing (more…)

Mudslinging or Mud Blowout: Susquehanna County, PA – Updated

August 5, 2011

The once pristine “high value” Laurel Lake Creek north of Allentown in Silver Lake Township, Susquehanna County is now the site of the latest Fraccident in Eastern Pennsylvania, according to Department of Environmental Protection officials. The persistent mud blowout was caused when Laser Northeast Gathering Co., LLP crews were tunneling beneath the “protected” waterway to lay a gas pipeline on Friday, July 29, 2011. Mud continues gushing today, one week later. (more…)

Schuylkill County Marcellus Task Force Takes Proactive Approach

August 1, 2011

The Schuylkill County Marcellus Task Force was established by the Schuylkill County Board of Commissioners in May 2011 to determine how they would deal with shale gas drilling issues. Last week, according to Leslie Richardson in republicanherald.com, the task force was talking roads, education, taxes and water withdrawals with Lt. Governor Jim Cawley. It’s not so much a matter of drilling in Schuylkill County, as the shale is much deeper there, rather it’s concern over pollution, truck traffic and jobs. The county has one landfill that accepts cuttings and other solid waste, and in June, 2011, Rausch Creek Land LP of Valley View. PA applied to withdrawal up to 100,000 gallons from an abandoned mine in Porter Township for hydrofracking operations elsewhere in the state. (more…)

Got Water? Pennsylvania Is Home to Over 1,000,000 Private Water Wells

August 1, 2011

Pennsylvania has more fresh water wells in private use than any other state in the US. We also have an abundance of natural, mineral-laced springs. Most of these wells and nearly all of the springs, however, exist undocumented. That means, if you use a well, the Department of Environmental Protection has no record of your water’s baseline composition, and it probably doesn’t even know your well exists.

Many water advocates in the state recognize that this one of the weakest links in the DEP’s plan to regulate, and therefore enforce, the shale gas drilling industry. After all, how can they determine if a homeowner’s water has or has not been polluted when they do not know the quality that existed before gas drilling began, right? If you’re a water well owner, don’t let it come to that. Make sure your water quality is tested and certified, and becomes part of public record. This could be especially important of you are seeking to sell your home in the future, as any potential buyer could be denied financing if your well water quality is in question. (more…)

Local Leaders Leach & Gerber: Getting Gas Right

July 26, 2011

One of the most objectionable items in the new Pennsylvania budget is deep cuts to the Department of Environmental Protection – over $165 million. How can this be? Hydrofracking is ramping up at a record pace, particularly in the watersheds in the Northeast. The DEP has approved a record-breaking 2,461 new drilling permits since January 2011, and with 1,512 overall inspections in 2010, we totaled 2,754 known violations. Clearly, the need for stronger regulation and enforcement has never been greater. (more…)