tagged w/ drilling
More concessions at the expense of our environment. Makes it hard for me to vote for people who do this. Our land isn't worth fighting for?More concessions at the expense of our environment. Makes it hard for me to vote for... more
The Ohio State House Wants to Open Your Parks to Fracking
Stop The Bill in the Senate
(A letter from food & Water watch to me today Please sign Ohio our water & our parks are now in grave danger and all Americans who would be on our Lakes,rivers ,tributaries, in our rest areas drinking our water that means YOU! Just look at the water coming out of Penn. yea kinda gross and its flammable yummy . I don't have to tell you where the Ohio river flows (into the ole Miss,) talk about disaster I recommend you watch the movie Gasland its free and will explain Fracking in all its depravity)-figgdimension
June 1, 2011
Dear Gregory ,
Enough is Enough
Tell your state senator to protect your water today!
Last week the Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", in our state parks. This risky drilling process will turn our pristine state parks into industrial parks, but we've got a chance to stop it in the state Senate. Can you contact your state senator today?
What will drilling in state parks mean for you? It could be devastating for Ohio's drinking water. Fracking is a type of gas drilling that injects millions of gallons of fracking fluids – a mixture of up to 600 chemicals, water and sand – into a well to create pressure that cracks open rocks underground, allowing gas to escape and flow into wells.
The process could have disastrous consequences if any of these contaminants make their way into the water supply through leaks, spills or careless injection. Residents in neighboring Pennsylvania have already experienced the negative effects of fracking on the environment, public health and their own water – houses have even exploded in residential areas due to the pressurized gas! Despite all this, the Ohio state legislature is poised to give the oil and gas industry free rein to drill in our public lands.
Ohio's legislators must put our drinking water ahead of the oil and gas industry's millions of dollars.
Tell your legislators to keep our parks safe from drilling today!
Thanks for taking action,
Midwest Region Director
Food & Water Watch
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.The Ohio State House Wants to Open Your Parks to Fracking Stop The Bill in the Senate... more
When was the last time an American president stood before an audience in a foreign country and announced that he looked forward to importing more of its oil? Answer: Just over a week ago, when President Obama joined political and business leaders in Brasilia in hailing the fact that their newly discovered offshore petroleum reserves might be twice as large as those in the United States. Americans “want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers,” Mr. Obama said.When was the last time an American president stood before an audience in a foreign... more
President Obama, it turns out, is not quite as ardently anti-oil as imagined. Only when it comes to American oil interests does The One get riled to the point of distraction.
The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil’s Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a “preliminary commitment” letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of increasing that amount. Ex-Im Bank says it has not decided whether the money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees. Either way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas.
If President Obama has embraced offshore drilling in Brazil, why not in the old U.S.A.? The land of the sorta free and the home of the heavily indebted has enormous offshore oil deposits, and last year ahead of the November elections, with gasoline at $4 a gallon, Congress let a ban on offshore drilling expire.
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/34752President Obama, it turns out, is not quite as ardently anti-oil as imagined. Only... more
This is a convenient story to throw out there after some peak oil cables hit the news...
But 'new drilling technique' and 'out of reach oil' = hazardous, meaning we're running out of easily recoverable oil and this won't be worth the destruction or cost, just like tar sands and deepwater drilling, as the Gulf Coast will attest. There are no new discoveries, just really bad techniques at getting very hard to get oil. We've been past peak for awhile. How much destruction has to happen before we realize it is not the solution to our energy problems?
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110209/ap_on_re_us/us_shale_oilThis is a convenient story to throw out there after some peak oil cables hit the... more
A Congressional investigation has revealed that oil and gas service companies are violating the Safe Drinking Water Act federal by pumping diesel into the ground as part of the fracking process.
Our former AINN colleague Andrew Restuccia at The Hill reports:
> The investigation found that 32 million gallons of diesel fuel or diesel fuel mixture has
> been injected into the ground as part of a controversial drilling practice known as
> hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The investigation found instances of diesel fuel
> use in 19 states from 2005 to 2009.
> The investigation was conducted by House Energy and Commerce Committee
> ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), House Natural Resources Committee
> ranking member Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.),
> ranking member of the Energy panel’s Oversight and Investigations subcommittee.
In a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson today Waxman, Markey and DeGette reported that although EPA requires permits for hydraulic fracturing that involves diesel none of the companies that admitted using diesel have sought or received permits.
> A key question is whether the unauthorized injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids
> containing diesel fuel is adversely affecting drinking water supplies. None of the oil
> and gas service companies could provide data on whether they performed hydraulic
> fracturing in or near underground sources of drinking water, telling us that the well
> operators, not the service companies, track that information.
Diesel is thought to be especially threatening to water supplies and is the only fracking chemical that is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.A Congressional investigation has revealed that oil and gas service companies are... more
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an emergency order accusing a Texas gas driller of contaminating an aquifer.
The EPA's letter Tuesday gave Range Resources of Forth Worth 48 hours to provide clean drinking water to affected residents and take steps to resolve the problem.
The EPA and the Texas Railroad Commission began inspecting wells in August after receiving complaints from residents in North Texas' Parker County. Explosive methane and other contaminants, including cancer-causing benzene, were found two wells.
The federal agency says Tuesday's order was issued because the state didn't respond quickly enough.
Range Resources denies being the source of the contamination. And the commission says its staff hasn't determined a source. The commission says Range is cooperating with its investigation and calls the EPA's order premature.http://c1.cleantechnica.com/files/2010/05/Natural_Gas_Fracking.jpg The U.S.... more
Pointing to the BP blowout and risks of a new environmental disaster, the Obama administration reversed itself Wednesday and promised not to pursue offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or anywhere else along the nation's East Coast.
LINK : http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101202/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spill_drilling;_ylt=Att0DSoXetUuBrFU7rI_9Pis0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFoaXBqZnM5BHBvcwMxMgRzZWMDYWNjb3JkaW9uX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNvYmFtYXJlamVjdHM-Pointing to the BP blowout and risks of a new environmental disaster, the Obama... more
PITTSBURGH: Today, the Pittsburgh City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance banning corporations from conducting natural gas drilling in the city.PITTSBURGH: Today, the Pittsburgh City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance... more
The Obama administration lifted the moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling on Tuesday, but it will be weeks or months before drilling resumes while industry and government regulators scramble to meet strict new rules intended to prevent another disaster like the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill.
link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/13/us/13drill.html?ref=politicsThe Obama administration lifted the moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling on... more
Actor turned environmental activist Mark Ruffalo speaks with Rachel Maddow about a dangerous form of gas drilling, known as hydro-fracking, that has contaminated water supplies across the US. The recent HBO documentary GASLAND explores this issue in greater depth.
Some people can even light their tap water on fire as it has been contaminated with methane gas and other chemicals from nearby drilling activity.
Mark Ruffalo works closely with the grassroots environmental group Frack Action. www.frackaction.comActor turned environmental activist Mark Ruffalo speaks with Rachel Maddow about a... more
"Extraction: The Plundering of the Amarakaeri Reserve", co-directed and produced by Ross Thomas and Jamie Roberts, provides first hand accounts from the indigenous Harakmbut tribe, living in the shadow of seismic oil exploration on their land deep in the heart of the Peruvian Rainforest. With their livelihoods and very existence in jeopardy, the Harakmbut are fighting back against their own Government and Texas based Hunt Oil to put an end to what they see as the decimation to the natural habitat they’ve hunted and fished upon for thousands of years. Extraction documents the sobering fact that U.S. companies are still in the business of pursuing the most vulnerable people and eco-bio diverse regions on our planet, all in the name of monetary profit."Extraction: The Plundering of the Amarakaeri Reserve", co-directed and... more
Breaking: In private email, Pa.’s Homeland Security chief pledges “support” to gas drillers, warns against groups “fomenting dissent.”An email obtained by City Paper suggests collaboration between the state Department of Homeland Security and gas drilling interests.(http://citypaper.net/blogs/clog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/james-powers.pdf)
The email, authored by Pennsylvania Homeland Security chief James Powers, was written in apparent error: addressed to a participant in anti-drilling forums, the letter indicates that Powers mistakenly mistook its recipient for someone associated with pro-drilling interests.
In the email (full text below), Powers warns against distributing information gathered by the Pa. DHS on anti-drilling activities, saying that: "We want to continue providing this support to the Marcellus Shale Formation natural gas stakeholders while not feeding those groups fomenting dissent against those same companies."
The "support" he speaks of consists at least partly of confidential updates on anti-drilling activists and activities. A report yesterday evening(http://www.propublica.org/article/do-environmental-extremists-pose-criminal-threat-to-gas-drilling) by nonprofit investigative journalism outfit Pro Publica broke the news that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Homeland Security included in its regular newsletter, the Pennsylvania Intelligence Bulletin, descriptions of various activities and gatherings of activists opposed to gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale(http://citypaper.net/blogs/clog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/PIBNo.13130August20101.pdf).
Included in a list entitled "Dates of interest" are a series of local meetings about gas drilling issues — a drilling ordinance in Cranberry County, a hearing in Damascus, Pa. on zoning regulations — as well as the recent screening in Philadelphia of the "controversial Gasland movie,"(http://citypaper.net/blogs/clog/2010/09/03/interview-josh-fox-director-of-gasland-screens-tonight-9pm-the-piazza/) a documentary by filmmaker Josh Fox on the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, the process used to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.
City Paper emailed Mr. Powers to confirm authenticity of the email and was contacted instead by Governor Rendell's chief spokesman Gary Tuma, who acknowledged that the email was authentic and said that the Pa. Dept. of Homeland Security was sharing such information with certain local interests – including gas drilling companies — because of "recent acts of vandalism" against drilling operations.
"There have been five acts of vandalism against Marcellus Shale drilling facilities," in the last two weeks, he said, "including two of which involved firearms ... shotguns fired at equipment."
A third incident involved theft, he said after being asked for details, and the other two were "minor incidents."
Tuma added that "There have been peaceful protests related to MS drilling by people who oppose drilling and the increased amount of drilling — certainly no one is trying to restrict the rights of peaceful protest conducted within the parameters of the first amendment."
Asked whether there have been any protests that were not peaceful, Mr. Tuma acknowledged, "There have not been any that I'm aware of."An email obtained by City Paper suggests collaboration between the state Department of... more
The oil and gas industry is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to keep a narrow focus in its study of how a drilling technique that involves blasting chemical-laced water into the ground may affect drinking water -- while environmental groups want the study to cover everything from road-building to waste disposal.
The issues will be aired Monday in two-minute speaking slots at an EPA hearing twice postponed last month because of security concerns over rallies and crowds anticipated in the thousands.
The hearing, the last of four around the country, will be held in two sessions on Monday and two more on Wednesday at The Forum in Binghamton, 115 miles southwest of Albany. The EPA is taking comment on how broadly to construct its study of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a technique for releasing natural gas from rock formations thousands of feet underground by injecting at high pressure millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals and sand.
Congress directed the EPA to take a new look at fracking as gas drillers swarm to the lucrative Marcellus Shale region beneath Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio and other shale reserves around the country. Concerns that the process can poison private wells and water aquifers have driven opposition, while the industry insists there's no evidence linking fracking to any contaminated water sources.
In Wyoming, which also has large shale reserves, the EPA has told residents in Pavillion, a farming and ranching area, not to drink water from about 40 nearby wells. Residents speculate their water supplies have been polluted by fracking, but the EPA's tests have been inconclusive.
Just last week, the EPA asked nine major gas drilling companies, including Halliburton Co., Key Energy Services Inc. and Schlumberger Ltd., to voluntarily disclose the chemicals used in fracking. Drilling companies, calling their chemical formulas proprietary, have largely sought to avoid that disclosure. Others that received information requests from the EPA include BJ Services Co., Complete Production Services Inc., Patterson-UTI Energy Inc., RPC Inc., Superior Well Services Inc. and Weatherford International Ltd.
Fracking is specifically excluded from regulation under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, in part because of a widely quoted 2004 EPA study that concluded the process posed no threat to drinking water sources. That study was widely criticized for, among other things, its narrow focus on coalbed methane deposits and its lack of independent field studies.
Environmental groups hope the new EPA study will validate their position that there are many risks that need to be addressed by regulators at the federal level. Beyond the fracking process itself, concerns have risen from environmentalists over the long-distance hauling, treatment and disposal of the resulting wastewater.
"We want the new study to be free of political and special-interest influence and based on science," said Craig Michaels, watershed program director for Riverkeeper, an environmental group whose stated mission includes safeguarding the drinking water supply of New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. "We want it to look not only at the fracturing of the well but the whole life cycle of drilling operations from road building to waste disposal and everything in between."
Gas drilling advocates oppose taking a broad view.
"Congress asked the EPA to look at a specific thing, which was the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water sources," said Stephanie Meadows, a senior policy adviser of the American Petroleum Institute. "That's where the focus and the limited dollars that EPA has been given to do this should remain."
Industry groups oppose having fracking regulated at the federal level, which API acknowledges would be more costly.
"We don't see the need for another level of oversight," Meadows said. "States have the authority to regulate this and have been doing that effectively for the last 60 years."
Even if the EPA study doesn't lead to new federal regulations, the information gathered will help states improve their own regulations, said Katherine Nadeau, a program director of Environmental Advocates, an Albany group that says it tries to protect air, land, water and wildlife and the health of all New Yorkers.
"That's why it's so important that they be as thorough as possible," said Nadeau, whose group is urging the EPA to look at the impact of natural gas exploration on air quality, communities, ecosystems and waterways as well as on drinking water. "We would be able to use the scientific results from these studies to set up better water and community protections here in New York as well as nationwide."
The Natural Resources Defense Council, which says it combines the grass roots power of 1.3 million members with the expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals, is urging the EPA to conduct numerous field studies in communities where known or suspected water contamination has been reported, such as Washington and Bradford counties in Pennsylvania.
NRDC senior attorney Kate Sinding said she would speak Monday about the need to do mapping studies of rock formations before and after fracking occurs to evaluate the potential for migration of contaminants through new and existing cracks.
Groups representing New York landowners with gas leases, frustrated by the slow pace of a Department of Environmental Conservation review of issues surrounding natural gas exploration in the Marcellus Shale region, want the EPA to keep its study narrow and finish it quickly.
The DEC has had permit approvals on hold since it started its review in July 2008, and some politicians and environmental groups want permitting further held up until the EPA study is complete.
"The hidden agenda of environmental groups is to delay it as long as possible," said Noel van Swol, president of the Sullivan-Delaware Property Owners Association. "This is all-class warfare on the part of weekenders and Hollywood types from New York City who want to keep this area as their playground and drive out those of us who have lived here all their lives."
He called the natural gas industry "the last best hope for this region," where jobs are in short supply and farms are struggling to survive.
The industry contends gas drilling has already brought millions of dollars in tax benefits and thousands of jobs -- with promises of thousands more -- in the vast Marcellus Shale region. Geologists say the Marcellus could become the nation's largest natural gas field.
Michaels said Riverkeeper would present the EPA with a report that documents "significant environmental impacts from natural gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing."
"I'm not sure there's any form of energy production that's completely risk-free," Michaels said. "But people are realizing that they're being exposed to dangers that they shouldn't be. People shouldn't have to sacrifice clean air and water for a clean energy supply."http://rlv.zcache.com/no_fracking_way_bumper_sticker_black-p128806122167121862trl0_400.... more
by Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium blogger
On Thursday, a manageable explosion on a Gulf Coast oil rig reignited fears founded by the BP spill and revived calls for a reassessment of the country’s drilling policies.
Just before 9 a.m. Thursday morning, the Vermilion Oil Rig 380 exploded. Unlike the Deepwater Horizon rig, this one was located in shallow waters. By late afternoon, a sheen of oil had been spotted, spreading a mile long from the burning rig; but by Friday morning the Coast Guard was saying the that was a mistake—there was no sheen.
Mariner Energy, the company that owns the well, said the fire burned off the oil used to power the well and was out by 3 p.m. The rig had seven actively producing oil wells, but they were quickly shut off after the fire began.
Media coverage and the spill
After more than four months of worry over the BP oil spill, the entire political apparatus—politicians and journalists, activists and lobbyists—shot into action at the news of the fire.
In April, when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, the media was slow to realize how serious a disaster the explosion represented. (The Mulch was as guilty as anyone else: the rig exploded April 20, but on April 23, this column featured the Cochabamba climate conference.) BP’s initial estimates of the spill’s volume, later increased by thousands of barrels per day, encouraged this impression.
On Thursday, however, the Vermilion story topped the agenda. Groups like the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity blasted out reactions, and as Andrew Restuccia reported at The Washington Independent, drilling opponents like Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) seized on the incident to push their legislative agenda.
“As the U.S. Coast Guard responds to this latest incident, we must redouble our efforts to accelerate the push for clean, renewable energy and end our nation’s dependence on oil,” Lautenberg said, in a statement.
Ticking time bombs in the Gulf
It looks like this explosion, unlike the one at BP’s Macondo well, will not extract a lasting price from the Gulf. That doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. Like the BP explosion, the Mariner incident shows the systemic risk that drilling requires. The system would benefit from better regulation and oversight.
Consider this image, from Mother Jones, that shows 33,000 miles of pipeline, 50,000 wells, and thousands of abandoned rigs.
At Earth Island Journal, Jason Marks puts Thursday’s explosion into perspective. “Sure, this incident is frightening, and in that sense it’s newsworthy,” he writes. “But the fact is that fires, explosions, spills, and blowouts aren’t all that uncommon in the Gulf’s industrial archipelago…accidents happen all the time in the ocean oil fields.”
Oil on the mainland
The ocean isn’t the only place where the industry presents a danger, either. Grist’s Jonathan Hiskes flags a recent spill in North Dakota totaling more than 1,000 barrels of oil. And the Michigan Messenger has been reporting for more than a month on the fall-out from a significant pipeline spill in that state.
It’s notable, however, that incidents like these aren’t getting as much attention as Thursday’s non-spill. They represent real environmental disasters for the communities affected, but because they’re more than 100 miles from BP’s well, their problems don’t raise the same fears.
Politicians like Lautenberg who want to clamp down on drilling would do well to keep playing off of those fears, however. By the time Congress was ready to respond to the BP incident, stories about the spill had become so routine as to be easily tuned out. Even if the Mariner explosion has a minimal environmental impact, the specter of Deepwater Horizon could breath new life into legislative efforts to limit drilling.
“The best outcome would be that the only lasting impact is political,” writes Change.org’s Jess Leber. “Let this incident— “accident” already seems too light —be more than just a reminder that the existing deep water moratorium needs to be in place longer….It should tell our elected officials they need to stop listening to inflated claims by the oil industry, and start looking at the evidence right before their eyes. All offshore drilling, in all its forms, needs to be re-examined at minimum.”
Should Obama lift the drilling moratorium?
The Obama administration has been making noise about lifting the drilling moratorium early, but perhaps this new incident will push the White House to reconsider. Over the past few months, president has had terrible timing vis-à-vis drilling: as soon as he made it a keystone of a compromise on the Senate’s energy bill, the BP spill happened. Now, just as his team has started making noise about lifting the ban, this explosion triggers memories about how bad the BP spill really was.
What if this explosion had triggered another oil spill? A temporary moratorium on new deep water drilling is not enough to make the entire endeavors of oil extraction a safe one. Mother Jones’ Kate Sheppard puts a fine point on it:
The moratorium was put in place so regulators could evaluate whether offshore drilling can be done safely. And despite the outcry from the industry, the moratorium is only temporary (six months), and it’s only on new exploratory operations. It doesn’t even touch the existing deep water platforms, or drilling in shallow waters. If anything, today’s news should be an indicator that we need to take the time to evaluate all offshore operations.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the environment by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Mulch for a complete list of articles on environmental issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Pulse, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.by Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium blogger On Thursday, a manageable explosion on a... more
Work has begun to drill a shaft down to the 33 trapped miners in Chile. They've already been 700m (2,300ft) underground for three weeks and could be stuck there for 4 months. Supplies were given to the miners, who were also allowed phone calls to families but experts were flown in from NASA to help access the possible help needed for the miners stuck in long term isolation.
"Quick-dry clothing has also been sent down, after some of the miners said they were suffering from skin conditions in the hot, wet conditions. Others have been sent mats to sleep on to protect them from the damp ground.
They have also been sent mp3 players to listen to music and a small screen, so they can watch football matches."-BBCWork has begun to drill a shaft down to the 33 trapped miners in Chile. They've... more
This is a short film about people directly impacted by the Gulf oil disaster, set on July 4th, 2010. It's a snapshot of America on its most important holiday.This is a short film about people directly impacted by the Gulf oil disaster, set on... more
While many countries throughout the world are seeking to boost their economies by pumping the oil within their borders, Ecuador is now set to receive $3.6 billion for leaving it in the ground. In a UN agreement that's the first of its kind, the country has committed to not drill in its Yasuni National Park -- one of the most biologically-diverse corners of the Amazon rainforest -- in exchange for a payment from wealthier nations. "The trust fund that we have just established is historic, not only for Ecuador but for the entire world," says one UN official.
It is estimated that 846 million barrels of oil lie beneath Yasuni National Park, a wildlife preserve home to pristine Amazon rainforest and a number of species found nowhere else on the planet. But by signing on to the agreement, the Ecuadorian government has promised not to explore the oil-rich region for at least a decade, thus preserving the region's rich biodiversity, for a while at least.
More at link.While many countries throughout the world are seeking to boost their economies by... more
Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in April, all eyes have been on BP and the growing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, but this uncomfortable exposure hasn't stopped big oil and gas companies from continuing their destructive practices in other parts of the country.
Thanks to federal judge's recent decision, however, they will be forced to suspend their plans for developing oil and gas wells on billions of dollars in leases in the Arctic waters of the Chukchi Sea.
Unfortunately, the judge's decision to halt Arctic drilling only temporarily suspends the leases while further environmental analysis is conducted. There is still a chance that this vital polar bear and whale habitat could be invaded by oil and gas companies.
Is there any way to drill in Arctic waters without endangering the environment? Vote in poll: http://ow.ly/2fGoASince the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in April, all eyes... more