Posts Tagged ‘fracking’

Dredging Up The Past

January 11, 2017

The Delaware River Basin didn’t suffer terribly during the Obama administration, but it didn’t exactly thrive, either. Thanks, Obama?

President Barrack Obama always seemed to understand that water is life, yet freshwater protection has not always been the divining rod in his decisions. If that were so, he would have banned fracking in the Delaware River Basin when he had the chance.

Donald Trump is a threat to every last watershed in the country, as he and his shale-happy appointees have promised to extract every last penny from an expensive and grossly overestimated supply. They honestly don’t care if you can set your water on fire. And if the result should be more costly access to a diminishing supply of safe, clean drinking water, then they’ll probably try to profit off that, too.

So, while the mainstream media is having its long overdue existential crisis, ordinary bloggers are left to chronicle Obama’s legacy and its impact on our drinking water supply, and to find new ways to help protect our precious fresh water. Me, I like lists.

Seven Things Obama Did – And Didn’t Do – For The Delaware River Basin …

# 7   He Left It At Moratorium

Obama could have banned fracking in the Delaware River Basin in 2011, but he didn’t.

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Physicians Warning: Fracking Is Harmful To Your Health

November 21, 2016

World class climate hoaxter, Donald Trump, may see Pennsylvania as just another pretty piece of shale, his for the grabbing, but a growing number of physicians and scientists are calling on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf [D] to enact a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

In October, the archly conservative Pennsylvania Medical Society was unanimous in its resolution calling for a moratorium on new shale gas drilling permits, voicing the need to create a statewide health impact registry. Their advice grows urgent as more peer-reviewed studies are published, and the data chronicling the human harm becomes more widely available.

“The medical society’s call for a moratorium came just a day before the release of a new study by the Yale School of Public Health that found numerous carcinogens used in fracking have the potential to contaminate the air and water of nearby communities and increase the risk of childhood leukemia,” reports Don Hopey in Doctors call for state ban on drilling and frackingPittsburgh Post Gazette, October 31, 2016.   (more…)

Trump Wins Presidency But Climate Keeps The Mandate

November 16, 2016

The Unlikely Path To Less Carbon …

Last week, The Donald won the election but not the popular vote. Days later, membership in the Sierra Club exploded faster than any time in its 124 year history. The country’s oldest and most iconic environmental preservation group is now more than 2.5 million members strong with considerably greater reach. 

Maybe it was because most sane people, and even some Trump voters, know that science has no agenda. They listen to climatologists, not lobbyists. Maybe it’s because they love the great outdoors, or they want to preserve our biosphere for future generations. Or maybe it’s because Mother Nature is the original nasty woman, and whether you accept the reality of climate change or not, she always bats last.

Sadly, the inmates have taken over the asylum. Trump is looking to run the country from his gilded New York City penthouse, sending his proxy to Washington via Mike Pence, who has already begun to seize executive power Dick Cheney-style (only his war is against women and he’s a much bigger dick.) Trump will also look to white supremacist, Steve Bannon, as senior policy whisperer. And because, in Trumplandia, conflicts of interest only apply to everyone else, our new Commander-In-Chief will be relying on fracking billionaire – and yuge campaign contributor, Harold Hammto head the Department of Energy transition team. He’s also considering Sarah “I can see Russia!” Palin for Secretary of the Interior. No joke. But, in perhaps what is the most egregious pick of all, Trump has named chief climate denier, old King Coal himself, Myron Ebell, to dismantle the EPA and overturn Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Windmills, Not Windbags

Thankfully, the world does not revolve around Trump Tower. The next four years will be rough, regardless of how many evil clowns Trump sends to Washington. No amount of dark money poured into GOP coffers, no degree of economic protectionism, will insulate his administration from global market forces. Trump will be compelled to follow the money. It won’t serve him to sit on his tiny hands and bet the entire U.S. energy future on extreme fossil fuel extraction while the rest of the world laps us in the development of sustainable energy.

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This is what Climate Policy Change looks like. Marrakech, November 2016

Should the Trump administration shun the Paris Agreement, should they renege on U.S. commitments, and ramp up fracking and Arctic Drilling, his government will be sued, and then there’s every possibility that the invisible hand of the free market will give him the finger. Trump may want to believe there’s a growing taste for coal, fracked gas and more carbon, but better, cheaper, more efficient alternatives already exist. The rest of the world’s markets are reshaping and retooling, surging forward on renewable energy, decoupling their economies from a rapidly diminishing supply of fossil fuels, and they recognize the clear danger of Trump’s ideas about energy.

The Donald has promised a lot of people a lot of jobs, and I can’t help but wonder, where does he think the best-paying, most secure and desirable incomes will come from? The clean energy sector has grown despite all the Republican efforts to squelch it. That says a lot about the strength, resiliency and sustainability of the clean energy market. To borrow that over-employed phrase, it seems like it’s already baked in.

UN Secretary-General BanKiMoon said he is “optimistic” that Donald Trump can be “made to see reason.” (I know, LOL, right?) Nevertheless, he asserts, “I believe that he understands that there are market forces already at work on this issue. And we need to harness these forces for good of the planet and all the species in this planet.”

Environmental activists are now striving to take the longview, and to not be discouraged – or worse – distracted by the present sideshow that is American politics. My only hope is that we can rely on the rule of law. Ours is a great Republic, and citizens should be able to look to the law to provide reasonable checks and balances for the powers that be. In the fight to conserve our natural resources, the courts have often served as the last bastion of protection for environmental human rights.

Still, I feel sick when I see what the orange menace is plotting. I’m repulsed by the small-mindedness under which he operates, and by how he and his crew of deplorables want to devalue important, vaunted U.S. institutions like the EPA. Sure, I know the fight for climate is a long one, longer and more complex than any one U.S. presidency. Plus, I refuse to be cowed by bullies. I also know I’m not alone. Think about Sierra. 

Think Global, Act Fast

Maybe you will Stand With Standing Rock and the Sioux Nation’s right to protect sacred water. Perhaps you side with Senator Sanders and the Climate Revolution? No matter how you contribute to the climate movement, we need to work smarter and faster, and we need good quality information. Not all news is created equal and some actions are more powerful than others. Here are a bunch of trusted resources. I share them in the hopes that they might help you in your efforts — solidarity!

For Climate, Fight Fracking

PA AgainstFracking:  Broad, statewide coalition of groups and individual members across Pennsylvania who are in support of stopping fracking through a statewide moratorium.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network:  Non-profit, membership organization dedicated to addressing “the issues, actions, regulations, legislation, policies, programs and decisions that impact the health of our Delaware River Watershed waterways and our ability to protect and restore them for the benefit of all.”

Food and Water Watch:  National group led by Winonah Hauter, leading public interest advocates and author of Frackopoly. FWW champions healthy food and clean water for all. Join FWW’s Clean Energy Revolution or help Ban Fracking Everywhere. Busy local chapters such as Food Water Watch in Philadelphia, Pa. love to hear from volunteers, will gladly put you to work!

Sierra Club:  Longtime conscientious objector to fossil fools, this group simply wants to #LeaveItInTheGround.

Friends of the Earth:  Global network of more than two million activists in 75 different countries. Several U.S. offices advocate in the halls of Congress, in state capitals, and with community groups around the country. Online petitions.

Earth Justice:  Because the Earth obviously needs a good lawyer.

NextGen Climate:  Founder, Tom Steyer, believes Climate Change is the most pressing issue of our time. Nextgen actively seeks to engage voters. 

News & Information:

StateImpactPA / NPR:  https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/

EcoWatch:  http://www.ecowatch.com/

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Don Hopey:  http://www.post-gazette.com

PA Against Fracking Newsroom:  http://www.paagainstfracking.org/newsroom/

ClimateWire by EENews:  http://www.eenews.net/cw

Democracy Now, Amy Goodman:  http://www.democracynow.org/

DeSmog Blog:  http://www.desmogblog.com/

PA Environmental Digest: Environmental news and headlines:  http://www.paenvironmentdigest.com/newsletter/

The Berks Gas Truth: Regularly updated links to headlines across Pennsylvania covering the great  fracking divide:  http://paper.li/BerksGasTruth/1369451548#!all

Delaware Riverkeeper’s BlogMaya van Rossum is an environmental champion, attorney and organizer: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/blog/

Laura Legere, freelance journalist:  https://twitter.com/LauraLegere

Oil Change International:  http://priceofoil.org/

ClimateChangeNews:  http://www.climatechangenews.com/

Follow Sierra’s Executive Director, Michael Brune, on facebook and feel like a climate  insider:  https://www.facebook.com/michael.brune.9

Protecting Our Waters: Northeastern U.S. water advocates:  https://protectingourwaters.wordpress.com/ 

Raging Chicken PressRefreshingly left, entirely raw truth spoken here:  http://ragingchickenpress.org/

@fractivista, all the #fracking headlines I can find, and why you should read on:  https://twitter.com/Fractivista

The Onion, because sometimes you just have to laugh:  http://www.theonion.com/

List by no means comprehensive, please feel free share your favorite resources and organizations in the Comments.

The Year Of The Ban – 2014

December 28, 2014

Fracking Bans Sweep Across North America, And That Was Just The Month Of December

A steady uptick in citizen activism, and a broadening awareness of hydraulic fracturing’s negative impact on everything from climate to wildlife to water, resulted in successful anti-fracking measures on ballots across North America in 2014. Then, in mid-December, the state of New York banned it. They’re not the first, Vermont holds that distinction, yet they are the first state with significant shale gas reserves to do so. People are pumped.

Naturally, the issue is emotionally charged. Shale gas development not only damages land, air and water, it destroys people’s lives. Fracking promises to be a factor in the upcoming 2016 Presidential race. Let’s make of sure of it.

Despite customarily downplaying the successes of the anti-fracking movement in the media, activists across the county have racked up a handful of amazing, longshot victories. Fracking bans were won, far and wide, and they can be found in the unlikeliest places.

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Gas Rules! By The Industry, For The Industry

July 27, 2012

“No Frack! Frack You!”

It’s okay to say it, it’s HBO… Actor Richard Belzer calls the Gas Industry out on its bullshit on Real Time With Bill Maher in March, 2011.

Say “No Fracking Way! at STOP THE FRACK ATTACK!

Saturday, July 28, 2012 in Washington DC

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…)

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…)

Faklempt Over Fracking in the Poconos: Jewish Overnight Camps Sign Leases

July 25, 2011

When I first read Josh Nathan-Kazis’ July 13 article in The Jewish Daily Forward, entitled Fracking Comes to Jewish Summer Camp, I was appalled that any children’s camp, or school or university, would lease their land for money, and expose children in our state to the horrible pollution associated with hydrofracking. Yet the Wayne Country property, home of the B’nai B’rith Perlman camp, is not the only one. About ten Jewish Camps, including the New Jersey Y, have already signed leases or entered negotiations with companies like Hess and Chesapeake. (more…)

Marcellus Advisory Commission Files Shale Drilling Recommendations

July 25, 2011

The Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, led by Lt. Governor Jim Cawley, has filed its long awaited report complete with 96 new suggestions. Many environmental groups agree that while the recommendations are a good start, they do not go far enough. To read the full recommendations, or a shorter summary, click here.

Berm, Baby, Berm! Freaked Over Fracking in Westmoreland

July 22, 2011

This week, Anthony Brino at SolveClimate News reported that residents near Beaver Run Reservoir in Westmoreland County are concerned over the risk of toxic pollution from a CNX frack wellpad which sits on a low-lying peninsula in the reservoir(more…)

Fraccidents Happen, Especially in Eastern PA

July 6, 2011

In 2010, drillers spent $33.5 million literally drilling the message that fracking is safe into the public’s collective pretty head. Horizontal hydraulic fracturing, however, is not an exact science. The end product, natural gas, is indeed a significantly cleaner burning fossil fuel, as it has fewer carbon emissions than oil or coal, but the process of blasting it out of shale a mile underground remains totally fraught.

The Fraccidents Map is the interactive website you hate to love. I check it like an analyst watches over stocks. I squint at the tiny pictures and contemplate rural landscapes tainted by gas drilling pollution. (more…)

Lower Merion: What’s in Your Water?

June 29, 2011

Testing the Tap in Montgomery County

Lower Merion Township Drinking Water originates in the Schuylkill River Sub-Watershed. The Schuylkill River is the largest tributary to the Delaware River. In a sense, our watershed is the hydrological little sister to big brother Delaware. The Schuylkill extends through several counties as it winds towards Philadelphia. The name is derived from a Welsh word meaning “hidden river.” (more…)

Energy Advisory Board Natural Gas Subcommittee Holds Public Meeting #1 in DC Today

June 28, 2011

The Energy Advisory Board Natural Gas Subcommittee on Fracking Issues didn’t foresee the flaring passions of Pennsylvanians when they convened a meeting at Jefferson College in Washington, Pa. a few weeks ago. Well, now they know, and they’ve taken the proactive step of scheduling two more, longer meetings at their DC offices. While the Committee is heavy on industry insiders, the meetings are open to the public. The first one is today, and the second will be held on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 10am. The Committee is also accepting emails and written comments. Let’s bombard them! Feel free to paste in the letter below. Take a moment to get your two cents in and you’ll be glad you did, promise. Thanks for speaking up!

email: shalegas@hq.doe.gov

or write: (more…)

“Irresponsible to Forgo a Drilling Tax” Says PA Budget & Policy Center

June 11, 2011

On Thursday, June 9, 2011, Michael Wood, Research Director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center testified before a House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing on Marcellus Shale in Philadelphia. To read the complete text of Woods’ testimony, visit: http://www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee

Here, a few highlights: (more…)