Tag Archives: fracking

Cleaning dirty gas enabling CO2 sales to dirtier oil producers

Note: This sentence pretty much sums it all up: “He’s betting hydrocarbon consumers will increasingly opt to trap emissions from natural gas, if not to help the environment then to duck potential government sanctions — or to sell CO2 at a profit.

Capturing carbon from gas used to extract tar sands–and using that gas to extract more tar sands!  We wish this one was for April Fools.

-The GJEP Team

By John Lippert, April 1, 2014. Source: Bloomberg

Drillers burn off the natural gas that surfaces with oil on a farm in North Dakota. Photo: Spencer Lowell/Bloomberg Markets

Drillers burn off the natural gas that surfaces with oil on a farm in North Dakota. Photo: Spencer Lowell/Bloomberg Markets

Andre Boulet, chief executive officer of Inventys Thermal Technologies Inc. in Burnaby, British Columbia, holds up a 6-inch piece of charcoal, showing how light passes through toothpick-sized air shafts. He says the crevices in this filter offer a cheap way to capture carbon dioxide before it ascends into the atmosphere and haunts future generations.

Boulet, who has spent $12 million on his seven-year-old company, predicts Inventys’s sales may reach hundreds of millions of dollars in five years — driven in part by North America’s natural gas boom, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its May issue.

President Barack Obama calls gas a bridge fuel for the U.S. economy. Power plants, factories and refineries are jumping onboard, lured by a 73 percent plunge in U.S. prices from 2005 to March 31. The country generated 28 percent of electricity with gas in 2013, up from 22 percent six years earlier, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Buoyed by gas, the fossil-fuel industry is trying to bask in a newfound green image.
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Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Hydrofracking, Tar Sands

Council of Canadians sends ExxonMobil CEO Fractivist Toolkit to help in his fight against fracking

Note: Here’s an update to a story we posted a couple of day ago about Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil CEO who filed a lawsuit to prevent the building of a water tower for fracking near his TX home. Enjoy! – The GJEP Team

By Emma Lui, February 24, 2014. Source: The Council of Canadians

If you’ve been following the news on fracking on social media, you will have likely come across a big story about a lawsuit against fracking in Denton County, Texas. And a key spokesperson against the project is ExxonMobil’s CEO Rex Tillerson. The Council of Canadians wanted to provide some tips to Mr. Tillerson about how to fight fracking in his community. Here’s the letter we sent him.

Rex Tillerson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
ExxonMobil
Corporate Headquarters
5959 Las Colinas Boulevard
Irving, Texas 75039-2298

Dear Mr. Tillerson,

I am writing to send you a copy of our Fractivist Toolkit: How you can take action to protect water and stop fracking. With all the media buzz  that you are fighting fracking in your neighbourhood, I thought you might find some helpful tips.

The Council of Canadians created the Fractivist Toolkit for people exactly in your shoes (minus the whole being CEO to one of the biggest fracking companies in the U.S. thing). In it you will find a summary of what’s happening in Canadian and Indigenous communities (but then again you’re no stranger to fracking in B.C. and Alberta!). You’ll also find tips on how to stop fracking in your community like how to lobby your governments, how to use social media (although your story sure is making the rounds already!) and talking points (and your advantage is you have the industry arguments down pat).

I also wanted to bring your attention to the list of Further Readings and Resources. There’s a section on Information for Landowners that lists resources like the guide Information About Landowner Rights and Fracking in the U.S. that may be particularly useful to you. Continue reading

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Exxon CEO comes out against fracking project because it will affect his property values

By Rebecca Leber, February 21, 2014. Source: Think Progress

CREDIT: AP/LM OTERO

CREDIT: AP/LM OTERO

As ExxonMobil’s CEO, it’s Rex Tillerson’s job to promote the hydraulic fracturing enabling the recent oil and gas boom, and fight regulatory oversight. The oil company is the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S., relying on the controversial drilling technology to extract it.

The exception is when Tillerson’s $5 million property value might be harmed. Tillerson has joined a lawsuit that cites fracking’s consequences in order to block the construction of a 160-foot water tower next to his and his wife’s Texas home.

The Wall Street Journal reports the tower would supply water to a nearby fracking site, and the plaintiffs argue the project would cause too much noise and traffic from hauling the water from the tower to the drilling site. The water tower, owned by Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation, “will sell water to oil and gas explorers for fracing [sic] shale formations leading to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards,” the suit says. Continue reading

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Mi’kmaq speaking tour appeals for solidarity with New Brunswick anti-fracking struggle

By Roger Annis, February 5, 2014. Source: Rabble.ca

Suzanne Patles and Coady Stephens speaking in Vancouver, January 24, 2014. Photo: Rabble.ca

Suzanne Patles and Coady Stevens speaking in Vancouver, January 24, 2014. Photo: Rabble.ca

It was standing room only in downtown Vancouver on January 24 as 250 people crowded into a meeting room at Simon Fraser University to hear two Mi’kmaq activists describe the ongoing fight in against gas fracking in the eastern Canadian province of New Brunswick.

Suzanne Patles and Coady Stevens are two veterans of the battle that has fought the frackers to a standstill and inspired continent-wide solidarity actions. The January 24 event was the beginning of a lengthy speaking tour that has them speaking across British Columbia and then moving on to Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in the coming weeks.

In B.C., they will speak in six cities and First Nations territories. In addition to Vancouver, they will speak in Squamish (Vancouver region), Victoria, Nanaimo, Kamloops (Neskonlith First Nation) and Moricetown (Wet’suwet’en First Nation, in north central B.C.).

On February 1, they joined the anti-fracking, Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en territory for three days. The camp was established last year to act as a spiritual and physical barrier to the proposed Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline and multiple, proposed gas fracking pipelines that would converge on the northern coast of B.C. Continue reading

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The anti-fracking activist barred from 312.5 sq miles of Pennsylvania

By Suzanne Goldenberg, September 29, 2014. Source: The Guardian

Anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins, left, talks with Yoko Ono, center, and Sean Lennon at a fracking site in Franklin Forks, Pennsylvania. Scroggins is also a videographer and self-appointed guide to the gas patch of northeastern Pennsylvania, where she lives in a single-wide trailer near a lake. Photo: Richard Drew/AP

Anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins, left, talks with Yoko Ono, center, and Sean Lennon at a fracking site in Franklin Forks, Pennsylvania. Scroggins is also a videographer and self-appointed guide to the gas patch of northeastern Pennsylvania, where she lives in a single-wide trailer near a lake. Photo: Richard Drew/AP

Vera Scroggins, an outspoken opponent of fracking, is legally barred from the new county hospital. Also off-limits, unless Scroggins wants to risk fines and arrest, are the Chinese restaurant where she takes her grandchildren, the supermarkets and drug stores where she shops, the animal shelter where she adopted her Yorkshire terrier, bowling alley, recycling centre, golf club, and lake shore.

In total, 312.5 sq miles are no-go areas for Scroggins under a sweeping court order granted by a local judge that bars her from any properties owned or leased by one of the biggest drillers in the Pennsylvanianatural gas rush, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation.

“They might as well have put an ankle bracelet on me with a GPS on it and be able to track me wherever I go,” Scroggins said. “I feel like I am some kind of a prisoner, that my rights have been curtailed, have been restricted.”

The ban represents one of the most extreme measures taken by the oil and gas industry to date against protesters like Scroggins, who has operated peacefully and within the law including taking Yoko Ono to frack sites in her bid to elevate public concerns about fracking. Continue reading

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Proposed fracking in national forest meets broad opposition

By Neela Banerjee, January 22, 2014. Source: Los Angeles Times
In the past, the U.S. Forest Service has made it a top priority to preserve the purity of the water in George Washington National Forest, but the land also has vast untapped deposits of natural gas. (U.S. Forest Service / January 7, 2014)

In the past, the U.S. Forest Service has made it a top priority to preserve the purity of the water in George Washington National Forest, but the land also has vast untapped deposits of natural gas. (U.S. Forest Service / January 7, 2014)

BRIDGEWATER, Va. — The headwaters of the Potomac River rise amid the hills and hollows of George Washington National Forest in Virginia. Small creeks dart past oak, white pine and hickory, become streams that nourish farmland and towns, and create a river that courses through two states and the nation’s capital.

About 4 million people depend on that water. For decades, the U.S. Forest Service identified preserving its purity as the top priority for the national forest. Now, the agency is considering allowing George Washington to become the first national forest to permit high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The million-acre forest sits on the eastern edge of the Marcellus shale formation, whose vast deposits of natural gas have touched off a drilling bonanza in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

All across the country, fracking’s risks and rewards have splintered communities. But the potential risk to George Washington National Forest’s water has drawn widespread opposition, including from most of the towns and counties nearby, members of Virginia’s congressional delegation and Washington’s mayor. The oil industry says any natural gas could be extracted with little harm to the national forest and its waters. Continue reading

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Judge rules Exxon must face criminal charges over 50,000 gallon fracking waste spill

January 3, 2014. Source: Think Progress

Fracking opponents protest before the Tom Corbett inauguration to become the 46th governor of Pennsylvania at the state capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011. Photo: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Fracking opponents protest before the Tom Corbett inauguration to become the 46th governor of Pennsylvania at the state capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011.
Photo: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Exxon Mobil Corp. subsidiary XTO Energy will have to face criminal charges for allegedly dumping tens of thousands of gallons of hydraulic fracturing waste at a Marcellus Shale drilling site in 2010, according to a Pennsylvania judge’s ruling on Thursday.

Following a preliminary hearing, Magisterial District Judge James G. Carn decided that all eight charges against Exxon — including violations of both the state Clean Streams Law and the Solid Waste Management Act — will be “held for court,” meaning there is enough evidence to take the fossil fuel giant to trial over felony offenses.

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General filed criminal charges back in September, claiming Exxon had removed a plug from a wastewater tank, leading to 57,000 gallons of contaminated water spilling into the soil. The Exxon subsidiary had contested the criminal charges, claiming there was “no lasting environmental impact,” and that the charges could “discourage good environmental practices” from guilty companies.

“The action tells oil and gas operators that setting up infrastructure to recycle produced water exposes them to the risk of significant legal and financial penalties should a small release occur,” Exxon said at the time.
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Fracking wins in disputed Mexican energy reform

December 15, 2013. Source: Weekly News Update on the Americas

The Mexican Chamber of Deputies voted 353-134 on Dec. 12 to approve a series of constitutional amendments providing the groundwork for President Enrique Peña Nieto’s controversial “energy reform” [see Update #1202]. The Chamber’s vote completed the amendments’ passage through Congress, since the Senate had approved the measures on Dec. 10. The required ratification of the changes by 17 of the 32 state legislatures is considered certain, since the main sponsors of the “reform,” the governing centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the center-right National Action Party(PAN), dominate the majority of state legislatures.

Opponents call President Peña Nieto’s program a de facto privatization of the state-owned oil and electrical companies,Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and the Federal Energy Commission(CFE). In addition to street demonstrations outside the building in Mexico City, the Chamber of Deputies debate on Dec. 11 and 12 was marked by theatrics inside, led by deputies from the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and the small leftist Labor Party(PT). Opposition deputies seized the podium at times, occasionally advising “reform” supporters to privatize their own mothers. While speaking against the amendments, PRD deputy Antonio García Conejo stripped down to his underwear to dramatize his claim that the measures would strip Mexico of its resources. At one point PRD deputy Karen Quiroga punched PRI deputy Landy Berzunza Novelo, who was taken to the infirmary. (La Jornada (Mexico) 12/12/1312/13/13;Milenio (Mexico)12/12/13)

By Dec. 15 the constitutional amendments had already been ratified by 13 state legislatures. As in Mexico City, the votes in the states brought out demonstrations by activists, many from the newly formed center-left National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party. In the western state of Jalisco riot police used tear gas to keep protesters from storming into the legislature, while legislators in the southeastern state of Campeche met in an alternative location to avoid the demonstrations. (LJ 12/15/13)
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Fracking chemicals disrupt hormone function

December 16, 2013. Source: The Endocrine Society

A controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses many chemicals that can disrupt the body’s hormones, according to new research accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, are substances that can interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system. EDCs can be found in manufactured products as well as certain foods, air, water and soil. Research has linked EDC exposure to infertility, cancer and birth defects.

“More than 700 chemicals are used in the fracking process, and many of them disturb hormone function,” said one of the study’s authors, Susan C. Nagel, PhD, of the University of Missouri School of Medicine. “With fracking on the rise, populations may face greater health risks from increased endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure.”
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Temporary Victory for Mi’kmaq! SWN Abandons Fracking Until 2015

elsiroundancefire

from APTN National News

A Houston-based energy company that has faced ferocious resistance from a Mi’kmaq-led coalition is ending its shale gas exploration work for the year, says Elsipogtog War Chief John Levi.

Levi said Friday that the RCMP informed him that SWN Resources Canada is ending its exploration work, but will return in 2015.

Levi said SWN and its contractors would be picking up geophones from the side of the highway today. Geophones interact with thumper trucks to create imaging of shale gas deposits underground.

“They are just going to be picking up their gear today,” said Levi. “At least people can take a break for Christmas.”

Demonstrations against the company escalated this week. Demonstrators twice burned tires on Hwy 11 which was the area where SWN was conducting its shale gas exploration.

SWN could not be reached for comment.

SWN obtained an extension to an injunction against the demonstrators Monday after arguing it needed two more weeks to finish its work. In its court filing, SWN claimed it needed about 25 km left to explore.

Levi said the Mi’kmaq community, which sits about 80 km north of Moncton, will be there again in 2015 to oppose the company. Levi said SWN will be returning to conduct exploratory drilling.

“We can’t allow any drilling, we didn’t allow them to do the testing from the beginning,” said Levi.

Levi said word that SWN is leaving is no cause for celebration just yet.

“We went through a lot,” he said. “We need some time for this to sink in and think about everything, think about what we went through…People did a lot of sacrificing.”

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