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.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Drillers Still Drooling Over The Delaware

June 24, 2013

Can A Watershed Get A Little Respect?

[Updated]

Few headlines instill more angst among Delaware River watershed activists than the one I read this morning:

Wayne County Commissioners Urge Quick End To Drilling Ban by Steve McConnell, The Times-Tribune, June 22, 2013

Who are these people? And why do they think they have the right to force a heavily industrial deep shale extraction process into a highly protected watershed which supplies drinking water to 17 million people from New York City to Wilmington, Delaware? It would seem this handful of county commissioners is ready to risk it all, for roughly 5% of the U.S. population, while shushing valid environmental concerns with the vague promise of jobs. Who’s gonna want the jobs if you can’t drink the water?

Tell DRBC: Pennsylvania’s Last Frack-Free Watershed Deserves A Permanent Ban!
Read the rest of this entry »

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.    Read the rest of this entry »

Ways and Memes: PA Lawmakers Seek To Ban Photography Of Gas Drilling Activity

June 17, 2013

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but apparently it says a lot more when it’s a photo of frackers fracking. In Pennsylvania recently, the battle to control the images used to depict the national debate over shale gas drilling has officially heated up.

In February, 2013 PA House Bill 683 was proposed by nine Pennsylvania lawmakers – Reps. Gary Haluska [D-73rd], Carl Metzgar [R-69th], Stephen Barrar [R-160th], M. K. Keller [R-86th], Dick Hess [R-78th], Dan Moul [R-91st], Mike Fleck [R-81st], C. Adam Harris [R-82nd] and Tom Murt [R-152nd]. Steve Todd was among the first to report it in his February 26 post, PA State House Judiciary Committee: NO on HB683. This bill would prohibit people from photographing oil and gas operations because they are occurring on agricultural lands. By fracking farmland, gas drillers would gain new impunity under a piece of anti-whitsle blower legislation, commonly known as an “Ag-gag.”

Yes, you’re reading it correctly. PA HB683 would make it illegal to photograph images of gas drilling operations – the good, the bad, the mundane and the incendiary.

And in case you’re wondering, Pennsylvania has about 63,163 farms. That’s roughly 7.8 million agricultural acres out of the total 29.5 million acres in Pennsylvania, which ranks 20th in the U.S. for agricultural production.

HB683 makes it illegal to photograph a farm, a cow, a horse, sheep, goats, pigs, haystacks, tractors, chickens, corn fields, pumpkin patches, vegetables, fruits, and natural gas wells. Fracktivists have been filming frack sites, FROM PUBLIC ROADS, their videos are invaluable in documenting fracking’s destruction of PA.”                          ~ MarcellusProtest.org

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Credit: Marcellus Protest 

The bill is currently in committee, but environmentalists are keeping an eye on it. HB 683 is exactly the sort of legislation the PA GOP tucks into other bills and passes late at night.

Unsurprisingly, HB 683 has its roots (tentacles?) in similar ALEC-sponsored legislation proposed in other states. Dory Hippauf relates its absurdity in Arresting Monet – AG-GAG Pennsylvania House Bill 683, Blog.ShaleShockMedia.org:

HB683 is modeled after ‘proposed legislation’ written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wish lists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations.

PLEASE SIGN ON to the PETITION To Say NO to HB 683 HERE.

And if you have more time, please CONTACT YOUR PA STATE REP.

Meme’s The Word   Read the rest of this entry »

Got Civil Rights? Flaunt Them In Harrisburg With Josh Fox on June18th

June 15, 2013

Now We’re Cookin! (But Not With Gas)

CALL TO ACTION!  

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Rally In Harrisburg With Gasland II Filmaker Josh Fox  

Tell Pennsylvania Governor Corbett, “No More Cover Ups for the Drillers!”

Tuesday, June 18 – 12 Noon

Pennsylvania State Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg PA

Please join Clean Water Action, Delaware Riverkeeper Network and many others. Read the rest of this entry »

Hey PA Dems, Quit Fracking Around!

June 14, 2013

UPDATE via Mark Dodel: June 16 2013

SUCCESS!!

” Yesterday in Lancaster, PA, the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee voted 115 to 81 for a resolution calling for a moratorium on all frack drilling in Pennsylvania. This was a vote for the health and safety of Pennsylvanians and our environment against the out of state billionaires and corporations who own Corbett and the DEP.” 

Resolution can be read here:

http://www.monroepadems.com/images/files/Moratorium_Fracking_Resolution.pdf

Read More:

6.15.13 PA State Democratic Committee Passes Resolution to Support Fracking Moratorium by Wendy Lee, Raging Chicken Press.

And here:

FIRST STEP: PA DEMS PASS FRACKING MORATORIUM by Dory Hippauf, Shaleshock

[ORIGINAL POST:]

                             CALL TO ACTION!

           Tell the PA Dems, “STOP FRACKING NOW!”

    Saturday, June 15th  –  Lancaster Convention Center

A coalition of concerned democrats will deliver a widely supported resolution to the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee which is meeting on Saturday, June 15th in Lancaster, Pa. They will address the party’s emerging policies towards shale gas production, urging them a second time to support Senator Jim Ferlo’s proposed Statewide Natural Gas Drilling Moratorium. Scroll down, or click here for a link to the action and resolution, written by Sue Lyons of Monroe County, Pa.

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Use Discretion, Win Elections!

It’s time for the PA Dems to stop being out of step with the majority of Pennsylvanians and out of touch with the damage fracking is doing to our communities, natural resources, health, safety and climate!   Read the rest of this entry »

Meet Victoria Adams

June 8, 2013

She’s Not Who They Think

I once wrote a post entitled Jesse White 4 Prez.  I’d like to take it down, but I won’t. Doesn’t seem honest. The only post I’ve ever deleted was about a Facebook troll named Victoria Adams. I’m reposting it now.

I took a lot of grief for that 2012 post, and rightly so. I’d made accusations with no proof. I was operating on instinct, and while many of the fractivists I communicated with at the time didn’t disagree with my suspicions, it was wrong of me to single her out. Surely, she was spooked? Within hours of my naming Victoria Adams a troll, she disappeared from the Internet. Every last post, every comment, gone. So I left my apology up for about twelve hours then, scorched and regretful, I disappeared it, too.

I never thought we’d know who Victoria Adams really was.

Read the rest of this entry »

Frack-Free Film Festival

May 29, 2013

Suddenly, A New Genre:  Independent Films About Fracking

Cool art house theater or screen porch screening, there’s a whole crop of new films that reveal the true stories of fracking and the impact of industrial shale gas extraction on people, land, air and water. There are so many new movies, you could spend the whole summer watching them, and why not? Here’s my current Don’t Miss list – please share your reviews and recommends.

Groundswell Rising Rough Cut Ready, Almost!

Susan Lyons recently posted on StopFrackingPA! that a “Rough Cut debut of Groundswell Rising sold out at Pocono Community Theater. Got there too late to get a seat. Hope to see the final version soon.”

Mark Dodel replied: “Actually we ended up watching Dear Gov Cuomo. The final print of Groundswell Rising wasn’t finished in time to get it to the theater I had never seen the Cuomo movie so it worked out. They will reschedule Groundswell soon.

Groundswell Rising, Protecting Our Children’s Air And Water, the new documentary from Emmy Award-winning Resolution Pictures, captures the passion of people engaged in a David and Goliath confrontation. They stand together, challenging a system that promotes profit over health. We meet mothers, fathers, scientists, doctors, farmers and people from all sides of the political spectrum taking a hard look at energy extraction techniques not proven to be safe. With the Oil and Gas industry’s expansion of fracking seen as a moral issue, this provocative documentary tracks a people’s movement, a groundswell rising towards reason and sensitivity, to protect life, today and tomorrow.

For information on upcoming screenings, visit www.groundswellrising.com

Split Estate

Imagine discovering that you don’t own the mineral rights under your land, and that an energy company plans to drill for natural gas two hundred feet from your front door.    Read the rest of this entry »

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.   Read the rest of this entry »

“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.”   Read the rest of this entry »

“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.

Ban v. Moratorium: What Pennsylvania Fractivists Want

May 7, 2013

TELL THE PA DEMS – Stop Fracking, Start Using Common Sense

Political actions are monumental labors, but when they strike the right chord, they’re anything but laborious. They unite the grassroots, attract support from big greens and inspire new voices. Successful actions activate the rusty apparatus of democracy, and they tend to take on a life of their own.

CALL TO ACTION! – Tell the PA Dems, “STOP FRACKING NOW!”

Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee Meeting 

on

Saturday, June 15th in Lancaster, Pa.

PLUS A Week of Anti-Fracking Actions!   June 3rd – June 8th

In step with Stop The Frack Attack’s National Week of ActionTell The PA Dems “STOP FRACKING NOW!”  will include a week of local lobbying and recruiting efforts, and culminate in strong, united representation at the next State Democratic Committee policy meeting on June 15, 2013. Here’s why the action was created (from the Event Description):

A member offered a resolution calling for a moratorium on fracking at their last meeting. The resolution never made it to the floor. A revised version will be offered this time and we think it deserves a floor vote. 

Senator Jim Ferlo is introducing a moratorium bill. Berks Gas Truth helped deliver over 100,000 signatures calling for a moratorium to the Governor’s office on April 30th. It’s clearly time, actually way past time, for a moratorium, so why do the PA Dems hang onto the severance tax/regulation stance that is as outmoded as fossil fuels?

The party sets the platform on which candidates run. We can’t go into the 2014 campaign with our only alternative to Corbett a string of candidates who are still willing to give Pennsylvania to the drillers, as long as they pay a little in the process. We deserve better than that! Our natural resources deserve better. Our state constitution says so! Now it’s time for the Democratic Party to chime in and throw their support behind a moratorium.

For time and location, plus updates on accompanying actions, please visit the event on Facbook:  Tell the PA Dems, “STOP FRACKING NOW!

Read the rest of this entry »

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:   Read the rest of this entry »

Now Showing! GASLAND 2

April 22, 2013

(Plus a Cartoonishly Failed Attempt at Distraction) 

UPDATE [4.23.13]:  Excellent interviews and reviews, pouring in:

Fight Against Fracking: ‘The battle in New York has inspired people all over the world to keep fighting’ by Katie Van Syckle, Rolling Stone.

~

Josh Fox’s ‘Gasland’ Sequel Opens, a Tour Through a Land of Abandoned Homes and Broken Promises Gasland Part II contends that an industry should not be allowed to break what it cannot fix by Alison Rose Levy, Alternet, published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org

[ORIGINAL POST]

Yesterday was the long awaited premier of Josh Fox’s new documentary, Gasland Part II at The Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Can’t. Wait. To. See. It. Some initial tweets about the film, shared by Marcellus Protest and fans:

Gasland 2 is an essential and worthy follow up to the original. More emotional and just as disturbing.

Congratulations to Josh Fox on inspiring premiere of your powerful & timely new film at Tribeca.

Part 2 just premiered at Tribeca Film Fest NYC. An absolute must see on fracking, govt, corps. + We, the people.

Still choked up by Gasland Part 2. Even more powerful, urgent + compelling than first one.

Until the new documentary comes to Philadelphia, and it will, I’ll have to content myself with these videos of the Q&A Session that followed the screening, published by sailorsmoon9:

  Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Time To Mother Earth

April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day, 2013! 

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As they say, every day is Earth Day. What Will You Do To Protect The Planet Today?

There are EARTH DAY RALLIES TODAY at DEP Offices ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA!    Read the rest of this entry »

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:   Read the rest of this entry »

5 Things U.S. Must Do To Keep Sucking At Fracking

April 13, 2013

Forbes Contributor, Jeff McMahon, Joins Hal Harvey In The Methane Fact Bubble   

Speaking at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy on Thursday April 11, Hal Harvey, CEO of the lobby firm Energy Innovation and former Energy Advisor to Clinton and H. W. Bush, offered up his playbook for frackers. On April 12, Forbes contributing writer, Jeff McMahon, covered Harvey’s speech in the article, “5 Things U.S. Must Do To Win At Fracking.” I wasn’t there, but I’m guessing it must have been a bit like preaching to the choir.   Read the rest of this entry »

“Some Risks” Are Actually Unacceptable Sacrifices

March 10, 2013

This photo is from Gloria Forouzan, Marcellus Shale Protest. She found it on the inarguably vile FracPride facebook page. Good luck it finding now.

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From the ‘FracPride’ FB page, grabbed it before they take it down: I heard that they were pumping at 8500 psig when the 7″ production casing parted, the surface casing parted above that and the Frac Head, BOP’s and all that came with landed square in the middle of the Cased Hole Truck. Have not heard about fatalities.

Read the rest of this entry »

Delaware River Basin Commission Drops The Ball, Again

March 8, 2013

Environmental Organizations Disrupt DRBC Meeting,

Demand A Resolution On Pipeline Oversight

Despite the wildly banging gavel, The Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum would not be silenced at the March 6 Delaware River Basin Commission public hearing – not until she had given full voice to the resolution proposed by numerous environmental groups in the basin. Only then did she yield the floor, and it was to the incredible harmony of the 70 or so activists in attendance singing This Land Is Your Land.

Try as DRBC might, even with a formal acknowledgement of  the March 1 letter signed by 67 organizations and a petition signed by thousands of citizens, the Commission can no longer fallback on its routine deferral of pipeline oversight. While the DRBC would continue to kick the can down the road, chainsaws are whirring, and trees are already being felled by the thousands as forests are fragmented for new pipeline routes. This is no longer acceptable to watershed stakeholders, nor was it palatable to the majority of people in that meeting room.

van Rossum delivered their message with succinct, breathtaking force:

“A failure to act is a decision not to act.”

Thank you, protestors. Thank you, Delaware Riverkeeper, for standing up for our right to a clean, safe watershed.

Somebody has to do something to protect these waters,” Joe Zenes, Pike County PA resident. Posted by Delaware Riverkeeper Network, March 7, 2013

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network and concerned citizens from four states vented their anger at the Delaware River Basin Commission when the agency refused to take action to regulate shale gas pipelines in the watershed. The protestors shutdown the meeting at one point.”   Read the rest of this entry »