Archive for the ‘Unconventional Gas Drilling’ Category

Postcards From Pennsylvania’s Sacrifice Zone

June 22, 2012

Grace Under Extreme Fracking Pressure

In case you didn’t notice, Pennsylvania already has a “Sacrifice Zone.”

Don’t believe it? Then I suggest you ask Rebecca Roter, who discovered months ago that her home is to be engulfed by the heavily industrialized business of shale gas production. Since then, Roter has been doing everything possible to obtain information on the scope and nature of a planned, GP-5 permitted compressor station project near her home in the Susquehanna region. She’s determined to protect the land she loves from air pollution, pipelines, noise, clear-cutting and truck traffic, but so far her efforts have only been stymied by the PA Department of Environmental Protection and other state agencies.

Roter recently initiated the Facebook Group, Constitution Pipeline Ferc Comments Needed NOW! PA NY eminent domain is coming! which is devoted to finding a path to real environmental protection from this project for her region. The group is currently petitioning the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to mandate Dispersion Studies and regular ambient testing for this facility. (more…)

The Other Riverdale

June 22, 2012

Been reading Wendy Lee’s heart-wrenching coverage of events surrounding the eviction of residents from the Riverdale Mobile Home Park in Jersey Shore, PA. It’s surreal to me that this is happening in Pennsylvania, USA, and the lamestream media has basically ignored the story. Thankfully, Dr. Lee and others have recorded their impressions of the injustices there.

Whether or not you think Aqua has a right to develop this facility, and syphon 3 million gallons of fresh water per day from the Susquehanna River Watershed, what happened in Riverdale is not only emblematic of the dramatically altered nature of police enforcement in Pennsylvania, it’s also a troubling reminder that a private entity owns the public’s fresh water supplies. Above all, it calls into question who has more value in our society, corporate citizens or individual citizens? We already know who has more political clout. (more…)

That’s What She Said…

June 16, 2012

Listening to Pro-Drilling Landowners in Northeastern PA

Since Tim Darragh’s article, Pennsylvania Lobbying for DRBC Fracking Rules appeared in The Allentown Morning Call on thursday, there’s been a surprising dirth of Comments on the topic. StateImpact gave Darragh’s piece a shout out yesterday, and hopefully that will help raise awareness that the Delaware River is still very much endangered. Maybe it’s an apathetic readership? Or perhaps Patrick Henderson is effectively skirting media radar detection in their outright determination to drill in the Delaware right now, literally at any cost. (more…)

Crying the Bans

May 31, 2012

Fracking Opposition Worldwide

A number of countries have taken action to curtail “seam gas fracking,” yet the fight to permanently protect land, air and water from extreme fossil fuel extraction rages on. Here, an overview of the global state of fracking opposition, brilliantly compiled and regularly updated by Johnny Linehan at FrackingHell (UK).   (more…)

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 Marcellus-Shale.us. 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:

(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…)

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…)

Marcellus Workplace Injuries on the Rise

March 29, 2012

Get Lawyered Up!

I was first introduced to attorney Jon Ostroff years ago, when he married my treasured pal, Amy. He left an impression on me as the type of guy who prefers mediation over litigation. In other words, he was one of the least litigious lawyers I’ve ever met. When I last saw Jon, a while back, his good-natured, altruistic energy was focused on an orphanage in Cape Town, South Africa that he and Amy had recently adopted. Today, thanks to their family’s intelligent, caring efforts, Love to Langa, is a flourishing foundation which has helped create many a happier, healthier childhood.

Fast forward to the Fracking Boom, and my pleasant surprise at finding Ostroff Injury Law focusing its energy on providing legal recourse for those injured by industrial Marcellus shale gas drilling. (more…)

CNNMoney Breaks the PA DEP Enforcement Code

March 14, 2012

Caveat Emptor: DEP Not Required to Report Gas Drilling Violations to Landowners

Violations at Pennsylvania Mar­cel­lus Shale gas drilling well pads and asso­ci­ated infra­struc­ture occur at an average rate of 12-a-day, according to Iris Marie Bloom, director of Protecting Our Waters in Showdown Expected at the SRBC Corral by Susan Phillips of StateImpactPA. Some violations are more serious than others, but one thing they all have in common: the PA Department of Environmental Protection is not required to notify landowners of any violations on their leased properties, even though they’re on the line for damages. (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…)