Monday, April 30, 2012

Please sign the Water Bill of Rights Today
April, 30 2012


Americans have the right to safe, clean and accessible drinking water at replenishable levels. And the organizations in our community - including governments, corporations and nonprofits - have the responsibility to protect our water resources for me, my family, my community and for future generations.
I believe we have certain rights to our water and that both local and national governments must do the following to properly manage our water:
1. Quality. Monitor water sources and educate Americans about the presence and effects of chemicals and contaminants in our water, and inform people about the sources of, and possible threats to, their water.
2. Conservation. Support policies that replenish and sustain our local water resources for our entire community, and measure groundwater and surface water sources to guarantee proper monitoring and usage of public resources; where possible, provide incentives to businesses and individuals to conserve water resources; promote fair and equitable allocation of resources.
3. Consumption. Inform Americans about effective ways to moderate - or minimize - their personal consumption of public water resources, including the environmental effects of consuming bottled water, and to educate people about "hidden water."
4. Infrastructure. Support polices to upgrade and protect infrastructure systems to prevent economic loss from damaged systems, promote recycled water and provide safe, clean and consistent water resources for all in our community.

About this Petition

The Water Bill of Rights is a declaration that all Americans deserve access to safe, clean drinking water.
As depicted in Participant Media's documentary, Last Call at the Oasis, the United States faces a significant crisis in terms of water quality and quantity. Our aging infrastructure, overuse of chemical pollutants, and inefficient practices are wasting our most precious resource, and we must take action now. In the coming months, we'll be delivering this declaration to members of Congress and state governors and asking them to make water issues an ongoing priority.
Sign the Bill of Rights now to add your voice to this critical discussion.
After you sign the Water Bill of Rights, share it on Twitter and Facebook and ask your friends and family to join you in signing and invite them to learn more about the critical issues surrounding our water crisis.

Please sign the petition today.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


From the company that brought you 'An Inconvenient Truth', Food, Inc. and Waiting for "Superman"


LOS ANGELES: Don’t miss Erin Brockovich and Jessica Yu Q&As during opening weekend. Showtimes to be announced soon. 

NEW YORK: Best-selling author of “The Ripple Effect” Alex Prud’Homme will lead a Q&A after the 7:15 & introduce the 9:45 show on opening night, Friday 5/4. 

Developed, financed and executive produced by Participant Media, the company responsible forAN INCONVENIENT TRUTHFOOD, INC. and WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN”, LAST CALL AT THE OASIS presents a powerful argument for why the global water crisis will be the central issue facing our world this century.
Illuminating the vital role water plays in our lives, exposing the defects in the current system and depicting communities already struggling with its ill-effects, the film features activist Erin Brockovich and such distinguished experts as Peter Gleick, Alex Prud’homme, Jay Famiglietti and Robert Glennon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Directional Drilling Nightmare - Drill Bit Surfaces in a Nearby Field!

Source: Uploaded by  on Sep 22, 2011

Have a look at the water on the surface. The pressure builds and builds until the drill bit pops through the surface and spews fracking fluids for a hundreds yards or more.

BTW: We thought the shale was below the surface.  WTF were we thinking?

Priscilla Stuckey: A revolutionary law—for people and nature

April 23, 2012

This is a guest post by Priscilla Stuckey, a finalist in the TckTckTck Rio Blogger Prize competition. If you would like to see this entrant as the official TckTckTck blogger at Rio+20 this June, please help spread the word by sharing this post on your social networks.
My friend in the next county lives near a gas well. It’s a fracking well, where millions of gallons of toxic liquid are pumped a mile underground under high pressure to crack shale and extract methane. Her county holds 18,000 oil and gas wells, and her town of Erie, Colorado, once a peaceful village with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, now has more methane in its air than Houston, Texas, with its oil industry.
My friend’s son asked her recently, “Why are they doing this to us?”
What can she say? That corporations don’t care they are poisoning the air and water and causingearthquakes? That local governments won’t protect their citizens?
Thomas Linzey is an attorney who thinks the problem goes far deeper:

Local people don’t have the power to say no

Current law elevates the rights of corporations over those of local people. “Under our present system,” hesays, “it is perfectly legal for a small number of people within a corporation to override whole communities.”

Bakken Shale Drilling Activity 2010 [TIMELAPSE]

Uploaded by TheTimoneyGroup on Mar 1, 2011
Tweeted By: @OccupyGreed



Might we interest you in our backyard? Have a look at 18,000 active oil and gas wells in Weld County, Colorado. Absolutely SICK SHIT!

Crew Stops Flow of Gas at Well Blowout - Residents Evacuated

Source: WyoFile
April 27,2012

Natural gas is no longer venting from the Combs Ranch Unit 29-33-70 1H well north of Douglas as of 11:05 a.m. today (Friday), according to a state official.
Well control specialists Boots & Coots and oilfield services company Halliburton had initiated well-plugging efforts at 9:25 a.m. today at the Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) drilling location 10 miles north of Douglas, according to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC). The well had been venting gas since a blowout on Tuesday afternoon.
Chesapeake is one of several operators testing the Niobrara and other deep formations in the southern Powder River Basin for shale oil potential. The rig is owned by Canadian-based Trinidad Drilling (TSX:TDG).
“At 11:05 am April 27 OGCC field inspector reported that pumping of drilling mud continues into the Combs Ranch well and that the natural gas venting to the atmosphere as ceased, approximately 68 hours after the loss of well control and venting of natural gas occurred,” commission supervisor Tom Doll said in a prepared statement this morning. ” I will get another report before 2:00 pm today confirming the time venting ceased and the duration.  It is expected by then that the well capacity should be filled with drilling mud.”
No workers were injured in Tuesday’s blowout, according to company officials. The incident occurred at about 4 p.m. Tuesday as a crew was installing steel casing. Venting occurred at the mouth of the well below the rig. According to Chesapeake, the well also spewed oil-based drilling mud, which is mostly contained on location.
Well control specialists Boots & Coots (a division of Halliburton) was on location and prepared to implement plugging operations on Thursday morning, but had to delay the operation due to variable wind conditions that day, Chesapeake spokeswoman Kelsey Campbell told WyoFile. No local fire crews are on hand, said Converse County Emergency Management coordinator Russ Dalgarn, because Boots & Coots is prepared to fight a fire if there is an ignition.
Approximately 50 of the 70 residents living within a 2.5 mile radius of the Chesapeake well had voluntarily evacuated their homes on Tuesday evening.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Loveland's Centerra oil, gas lease on hold

Anadarko's drilling plans still under discussion, homeowners react

By Tom Hacker

Denver Post

Plans to seal a lease deal between Centerra developer McWhinney and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. to extract oil and gas from deep under the High Plains Environmental Center have been temporarily shelved.

Centerra general manager Jay Hardy said Monday that talks were ongoing between the developer of the 3,000-acre Centerra development in east Loveland and the energy producer that wants to tap reserves in the heart of Centerra.

Friday's scheduled closing of the lease agreement "has been postponed," Hardy said. "Our discussions are continuing."
Meanwhile, homeowners at Centerra expressed anger that they had not been informed of Anadarko's plan to drill vertically on a site near the eastern edge of Centerra, about a mile east of Interstate 25, and then horizontally to a zone about 7,000 feet under the interstate.

Longer-term plans, described in an email exchange among members of the environmental center board last week, call for drill sites on the west side of I-25, and more horizontal bores traversing Centerra to oil and gas deposits under the 275-acre nature preserve.

'Guiding Principles'

The conservation set-aside that McWhinney has made a hallmark of its development includes habitat for waterfowl, wildlife and native plants on land wrapped around Equalizer Lake and Houts Reservoir.

"I just remember why I bought here in the first place," said Carol Hall, a 10-year resident of the High Plains Village neighborhood on Centerra's western edge. "It was their environmental vision, and their concern for sustainability."

Hall, who serves on the board of the High Plains homeowners association, on Monday shared documents from McStain Neighborhoods, McWhinney's Boulder-based construction partner in the High Plains Village project.

She said they illustrated why she made her choice in 2002 to become among Centerra's first residents.

The nine "Guiding Principles of Centerra" include one that Hall highlighted in an email earlier Monday:


Here's a guiding principal: get the hell out of our neighborhoods!

Sierra Club Rejects Liquefied Natural Gas Export Terminal

April 26, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012



Home rule goes up against the fracking industry – and the political system

By: danps Saturday April 21, 2012 3:50 am

No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post
The fight against fracking in Ohio comes at a time when the state is approving new wells at a rapid pace. Local activists are organizing in an environment where the ground is constantly shifting under their feet – sometimes literally.
Anti-fracking activism has been influenced by developments both inside the state and beyond. At a recent public anti-fracking meeting a representative from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) described the experience of activists in western Pennsylvania several years ago.
Residents there began seeing lots of drilling sites, processing plants and other fracking infrastructure pop up. Neighborhood opposition responded through the regulatory process. Drillers needed permits, so locals educated themselves on permit writing. They enjoyed some early victories as improperly written permits were thrown out.
The wins were only temporary though. Drillers came back weeks or months later with rewritten permits that fixed the problems in the earlier ones. The new permits passed regulatory muster and the frackers moved in. At one point counsel for the companies jokingly thanked a CELDF representative for its help in putting together a bulletproof permit-writing process. As you might imagine, this was not the intended outcome.
The regulatory process may not be a suitable one for anti-fracking activists for other reasons as well. For one, regulations are not ultimately about protecting citizens; they are about legalizing harm. Regulation on, say, arsenic in drinking water is not based on the maximum amount that humans may safely consume, but on the maximum amount the industry can get legislators to allow. If they allow an amount that is unhealthy for humans or animals, those who suffer as a result have no legal recourse. The harm was permitted.
If you do not want the fracking to occur at all – if you think it is too unregulated, too opaque, and generally too hazardous – then fighting over regulation is a sucker’s game. You are not fighting over whether or not your community will expose itself to the tender mercies of the oil and gas industry, but over how much damage the industry will be allowed to do to it; and since the oil and gas industry is flooding the statehouse with lobbyists how do you think that fight will go?


New U.S. Fracking Emission Rules Unclear on Climate Impacts

Regulating emissions of methane from fracking to free natural gas will have important co-benefits in slowing climate change
U.S. EPA's pollution-cutting oil and gas rule will help cut emissions of a potent greenhouse gas without regulating it directly, say clean air advocates.
EPA released a final rule yesterday that requires new hydraulically fractured gas wells to use technology that will cut toxic substances and smog-forming pollution by 2015. As a co-benefit, the upgrades will also reduce methane -- a greenhouse gas with 30 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide -- by up to 1.7 million tons, said EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Gina McCarthy.
When it comes to cutting methane emissions from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, wells, "[EPA] isn't aware of any other technologies that are effective as this rulemaking," McCarthy said.
"The standards are practical, flexible, affordable and achievable," she said.
The New Source Performance Standards will mandate that all new wells install "green" completions, technology that separates gas from liquid hydrocarbons from the flowback of wells to cut pollution. Well operators could also flare, or burn, waste gas instead of releasing it directly into the atmosphere.
But because methane is only a co-benefit, it is not an enforceable requirement, said Stuart Ross, communications director for the Clean Air Task Force.
"We know there's a lot more that can be done for methane," he said.

Erie, at the epicenter of oil opposition

By Steve Lynn April 20, 2012

April Beach, Wendy Leonard, Jen Palazzolo
and Angie Nordstrum, in a field across from
their children's elementary school where
 oil-well drilling is planned.
ERIE — Angie Nordstrum can't stop worrying about the natural-gas wells planned a few hundred yards from Redhawk Elementary School, where her 7-year-old son is a student. 

"We have this wonderful little suburban utopia here and then all these gas wells infringe upon the community," Nordstrum said.

Nordstrum isn't alone in her worries. Anxiety over natural-gas drilling pervades this town on the Weld and Boulder county line. Some residents believe that hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technique that involves pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals to release gas from shale, has poisoned their air. 

They point to air-quality studies conducted in Colorado that have shown the presence of pollutants associated with oil and gas development. Others dislike the traffic and noise and what they say are unsightly wells.

Fracking operations began setting up in...

Continue reading...

Rules for Frackers: A primer on strategies the Gas Industry uses to become unwanted neighbors

April 20, 2012
Author’s Note:  The Rules for Frackers will be a series that highlights the tactics the Natural Gas Industry uses to gain access to shale plays across the country.  The series will focus on the economics, politics, profiteering and media and academic manipulation that is occurring in the Marcellus Shale Play and have been occurring in other shale plays around the country.

“If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes (truth) politics” – Banksy 

There is damning evidence that the natural gas industry is harmful for the environment.  Since 2009, residents in Dimock, PA have been holding to their claims that their tainted groundwater was caused by locally owned Cabot Oil and Gas wells, and those claims were vindicated when water testing results were released last month.  In what looks to have been a political stunt by EPA Region 3 Chief Lisa Jackson, the EPA prematurely released the water sampling data that was collected from over 60 homes, and in a report by Propublica, the EPA only looked at 10 samples of the whole data set.  The EPA reported there were safe levels of methane combined with ethane  inside some of the residents’ water wells, which proved that the methane migration was caused by drilling operations.  What angered families in Dimock were the facts the EPA did not release. 
Propublica, the first to report on the political stunt, reported that “the results showed that the ground water was contaminated with dozens of contaminants, and carcinogens and heavy metals that exceeded the agency’s ‘trigger level’ and could lead to illness if consumed over a period of time.”  The cancer causing agents, if consumed over long periods of time in small concentrations, were anthracene, flouranthene, pyrene, and benzene, an additive in diesel fuel.  Other chemicals found inside the ground water included: heavy metals such as chromium, aluminum, and lead, and salts associated with gas drilling such as bromide and strontium.
However, what is not visible are the strategies gas companies use to gain access to a shale play, and the mass profiteering conducted by industry shills and business owners.   Gas companies are employing strategies that are tearing apart communities, and they are playing a hand in destroying the primary housing market in the areas where they extract natural gas.  These strategies include preying on poor and minority communities to gain access to shale play, completely over estimating the amount of natural gas in a play, which leads to the buying out of politicians and the profiteering on a local level.

The Community and Profiteering

V Appalachia on April 22, 2012 at 10:56 am

Thanks, Sean and Dory for providing a very clear perspective of this inbred network and the tactics they repeat across our nation’s shale plays. The leasing strategies you cite were definitely used in my rural community.
Wondering if you’ve noticed this strategy used by gas industry landmen: in each community (or area corresponding to a potential drilling unit), persuade at least one landowner to sell their mineral rights outright. That way, there is always one property in the area over which any hope of local or landowner control is completely severed (by a Mineral Severance agreement). Executing this one-time payment to purchase mineral rights gives the lessees (drillers) additional leverage over all the other lessors (landowners) in the area. If any lessors have second thoughts about a drill rig near their homes, the lessee (drillers) can say, “Well, if you don’t cooperate, we’ll just put the rig on Mr. X’s land because we own his rights. Very divisive for communities.