Category Archives: Hydrofracking

New York faces new fracking deadline

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo turned more than a few heads last night at a televised election debate held in Buffalo, New York, when he said that the state’s long awaited public release of its scientific and health analysis of fracking would be done by the end of the year. This, the only planned debate of the campaign, included Republican Candidate Rob Astorino, Green Candidate Howie Hawkins, and Libertarian Candidate Michael McDermott.

Astorino, the Westchester County Executive, aggressively supports fracking in New York because of what he characterizes as a “positive impact” on jobs and “economic development” in the state. He completely dismisses the environmental consequences. Astorino said that one of the “first acts of his administration” would be to kick down the regulatory doors so that fracking and extraction can begin immediately. Both Green candidate Hawkins and Libertarian Candidate McDermott would ban fracking because, they both agree, the science is in and the health consequences are clear.

NYS Governors Election Debate in Buffalo. Empty Chairs, Empty Heads. Empty Ideas - photo by Jay Burney

NYS Governors Election Debate in Buffalo. Empty chairs, mostly empty heads and empty ideas – photo by Jay Burney

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NYS White Man’s gubernatorial election debate in Buffalo, 23 October, 2014. Left to right–Republican Candidate Rob Astorino, NYS incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins, Libertarian Party Candidate Michael McDermott

The analysis that Cuomo spoke about has been at the center of attention and controversy since the state issued a series of Draft Environmental Impact Statements starting in 2011, and received a tidal wave of public comments focusing on the idiocy of opening up the state to the dangerous fracking industry. Initially Cuomo had promised that the analysis would be completed and released before the initial public comment period but backed down. It has been widely speculated that several generations of both reports indicate that fracking is not a scientifically provable safe technology.  The educated public knows that fracking is not safe to water supplies and human health. Subsequently Cuomo promised the release of the reports prior to this election. The reports have not been released and 10’s of thousands of New York citizens have bitterly criticized the lack of transparency involved in the creation of the health and science analyses.

“I am not a scientist” Cuomo, who is a lawyer, stated at the debate, “We have to let the scientists decide this issue.”  This may be an entirely disingenuous position, as the fracking debate in New York has been characterized by industry and state government viewpoints that include scientists for hire, academic investments by state funded institutions of higher learning, and well funded disinformation campaigns. We have known that the state decision would not be made until after this election.  We have been waiting for the release of the reports. Now we know that if Cuomo wins the election, he says that they will be released by the end of the year.

After that?

 

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Filed under Energy, Fracking, Great Lakes, Hydrofracking

Pinkwashed Fracking

Great image by James Wengler with article in Grist.

Great image by James Wengler with article in Grist.

It’s hard to be surprised by the absurdity of what companies latch on to ‘pinkwashing’ and team up with the Susan B. Komen foundation, especially after the documentary Pink Ribbon, Inc.

However, here’s one: a fracking company will be painting 1,000 drill bits pink to end breast cancer. At first, it just seemed absurd, but then I found an article by Steve Horn of DeSmogBlog, first published in Counterpunch and then picked up by Truth Out. Pinkwashed fracking actually has deep and developed roots it seems.

To be clear, “pinkwashing” only refers to the Komen foundation and how corporations–especially those hawking dubious products–buy in to it, not to legitimate work on breast cancer, or support of that work.

This fracking company wants to end breast cancer — wait, what?

By Liz Core, Grist, 8 Oct 8, 2014

October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” which means we’re going to be seeing a lot of pink ribbons and graphic tees shouting “save the ta-tas!” at us for the next three weeks or so.

Lucky for the ta-tas, there’s a fracking company ready to join the fight! On Oct. 2, Baker Hughes announced that they’d contribute $100,000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the largest breast cancer charity in the nation. In a press release, the company stated that it wanted to help “end breast cancer forever.”

Read the whole article here!

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Filed under Fracking, Hydrofracking, Media

Air emissions from open pit oil and gas waste threatens our health and well being

Four airborne and highly toxic chemicals associated with oil and gas wells and fracking sludge, (Benzene, Ethylbenzene, Toluene, and Xylene) are amongst those dumped in cheap and relatively unregulated waste disposal pits. Years ago the oil and gas industry lobbied Congress to exempt their waste from federal hazardous waste regulation.  The story below, “Pits of Despair” comes from the Center for Public Integrity and shared to us by New York State anti-fracking activist Sandra Steingraber. This story focuses on Nordheim, Texas and the exposure of that communities residents and children at a nearby school, to a 240 acre open pit dump that will receive millions of gallons of toxic sludge. But it could be your community.

A protest placard hangs on a fence a few hundred feet from where a 204-acre commercial waste facility is being developed. Signs voicing the discontent of the community pepper the landscape around the site and in the town of Nordheim. Eleanor Bell/Center for Public Integrity

A protest placard hangs on a fence a few hundred feet from where a 204-acre commercial waste facility is being developed. Signs voicing the discontent of the community pepper the landscape around the site and in the town of Nordheim. Eleanor Bell/Center for Public Integrity

 

Pits of Despair – Open Pits offer cheap disposal for fracking sludge, but health worries mount

Center for Public Integrity  David Hasemyer,  Zahra Hirji  October 2, 2014

NORDHEIM, Texas — School Superintendent Kevin Wilson tugged at his oversized belt buckle and gestured toward a field less than a mile from Nordheim School, where 180 children attend kindergarten through 12th grade.

A commercial waste facility that will receive millions of barrels of toxic sludge from oil and gas production for disposal in enormous open-air pits is taking shape there, and Wilson worries that the ever-present Texas wind will carry traces of dangerous chemicals, including benzene, to the school.

Read the whole story here

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Energy, Fracking, Human made disasters, Hydrofracking, Uncategorized

White House Council on Environmental Quality buries its head in sand on climate change ruling – DeSmog Blog

Over the past weekend Steve Horn published an important analysis of the recent federal decisions by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to not offer guidance to the federal agencies that it coordinates regarding energy policy and climate change. Industry pushback is given as a primary reason that the CEQ has dropped the ball.

Maybe organizers and participants at the September 17-24  Week of Action surrounding the People’s Climate March in New York can find a way to fit an objection into their busy “demands” list!

Photo from FOEI

Photo from FOEI

 Legal Case: White House Argues Against Considering Climate Change on Energy Projects
By Steve Horn, DeSmog Blog. August 31, 2014.

Just over a month before the United Nations convenes on September 23 in New York City to discuss climate change and activists gather for a week of action, the Obama White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) argued it does not have to offer guidance to federal agencies it coordinates with to consider climate change impacts for energy decisions.

It came just a few weeks before a leaked draft copy of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest assessment said climate disruption could cause “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”

 

Read the whole article here

Demand System Change!

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Coal, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, Greenwashing, Hydrofracking, Keystone XL, Media, Oil, Political Repression, Politics, Pollution, Tar Sands, Uncategorized, War, Waste, Water, World Bank, WTO

Fracking study finds new gas wells leak more

By Seth Borenstein, June 30, 2014. Source: AP

Photo from AP

Photo from AP

In Pennsylvania’s gas drilling boom, newer and unconventional wells leak far more often than older and traditional ones, according to a study of state inspection reports for 41,000 wells.

The results suggest that leaks of methane could be a problem for drilling across the nation, said study lead author Cornell University engineering professor Anthony Ingraffea, who heads an environmental activist group that helped pay for the study.

The research was criticized by the energy industry. Marcellus Shale Coalition spokesman Travis Windle said it reflects Ingraffea’s “clear pattern of playing fast and loose with the facts.” Continue reading

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Filed under Hydrofracking, Water

North Carolina panel OKs criminalizing disclosure of fracking chemicals

May 20, 2014. Source: News & Record

Natural Gas, frackingA bill that would make it a crime to publicly disclose the secret chemical mixtures that energy companies pump into the ground when fracking for natural gas is headed for a vote before the North Carolina Senate.

A pair of legislative committees on Tuesday quickly approved the bill, which could go to the full Senate floor as soon as Wednesday. The legislation aims to allow drilling to begin in the state next year, even if final rules and procedures are not yet in place.

Democrats and environmental groups accused Republican leaders of trying to fast track the legislation before opposition can build. The bill’s GOP backers said the issue has already been debated for years and that a state commission appointed in 2012 has already produced about 120 draft rules.

“It’s time to fish or cut bait,” said Sen. Buck Newton, R-Wilson, one of the legislation’s primary sponsors. “Are we going to talk it to death, or get into the business?”

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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Fracking, Hydrofracking

California drought gives boost to anti-fracking movement

By Haya El Nasser, April 11, 2014. Source: Al Jazeera America

California is known for the twin threat of natural disasters from drought and earthquakes, with both phenomena certain to give many residents serious concern.

But there is one group that is starting to reap serendipitous marketing ammunition from the state’s current historic drought and the ever-present worry of ground-shaking tremors: the anti-fracking movement.

“California faces two interlinked crises, a water crisis and a climate crisis, and fracking makes both of these problems worse,” said Kassie Siegel, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit conservation group.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing — a method of high-pressure injection of substances to extract oil from rock formations — has become a hugely controversial subject across the United States. Defenders of the process, especially the oil and gas industry, hail it as a solution to America’s energy woes. Critics say it is highly pollutive and contributes to climate change at a time when the country should be moving away from fossil fuels.
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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, Fracking, Hydrofracking, Water

US energy consumption, CO2 emissions up in 2013, new analysis shows

Note: More renewable energy.  More fossil fuels.  More CO2 emissions.  In America (sic), we just want more of everything, planet be damned!

-The GJEP Team

April 2, 2014. Source: ScienceDaily

Natural Gas, frackingAmericans used more renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy in 2013, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Each year, the Laboratory releases energy flow charts that illustrate the nation’s consumption and use of energy.Overall, Americans used 2.3 quadrillion thermal units more in 2013 than the previous year.

The Laboratory also has released a companion chart illustrating the nation’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Americans’ carbon dioxide emissions increased to 5,390 million metric tons, the first annual increase since 2010.
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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Hydroelectric dams, Hydrofracking, Nuclear power, Oil