Monday, October 31, 2011

Nature Is the 99%, Too - Someone Got Rich and Someone Got Sick - #OccupyEarth

Thursday, October 27, 2011
by CommonDreams
Chip Ward

Occupy Earth: What if rising sea levels are yet another measure of inequality? What if the degradation of our planet’s life-support systems -- its atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere -- goes hand in hand with the accumulation of wealth, power, and control by that corrupt and greedy 1% we are hearing about from Zuccotti Park?  What if the assault on America’s middle class and the assault on the environment are one and the same?

Money Rules: It’s not hard for me to understand how environmental quality and economic inequality came to be joined at the hip. In all my years as a grassroots organizer dealing with the tragic impact of degraded environments on public health, it was always the same: someone got rich and someone got sick.

The struggles that I was involved in to curb polluters and safeguard public health, those who wanted curbs, accountability, and precautions were always outspent several times over by those who wanted no restrictions on their effluents.  We dug into our own pockets for postage money, they had expense accounts.  We made flyers to slip under the windshield wipers of parked cars, they bought ads on television.  We took time off from jobs to visit legislators, only to discover that they had gone to lunch with fulltime lobbyists.

Naturally, the barons of the chemical and nuclear industries don’t live next to the radioactive or toxic-waste dumps that their corporations create; on the other hand, impoverished black and brown people often do live near such ecological sacrifice zones because they can’t afford better.

Similarly, the gated communities of the hyper-wealthy are not built next to cesspool rivers or skylines filled with fuming smokestacks, but the slums of the planet are. Don’t think, though, that it’s just a matter of property values or scenery.  It’s about health, about whether your kids have lead or dioxins running through their veins. 

"It’s a simple formula, in fact: wealth disparities become health disparities."


And here’s another formula: when there’s money to be made, both workers and the environment are expendable.  Just as jobs migrate if labor can be had cheaper overseas, I know workers who were tossed aside when they became ill from the foul air or poisonous chemicals they encountered on the job.

The fact is: we won’t free ourselves from a dysfunctional and unfair economic order until we begin to see ourselves as communities, not commodities.  That is one clear message from Zuccotti Park.
Polluters routinely walk away from the ground they poison and expect taxpayers to clean up after them.  By “externalizing” such costs, profits are increased.  Examples of land abuse and abandonment are too legion to list, but most of us can refer to a familiar “superfund site” in our own backyard.  Clearly, Mother Nature is among the disenfranchised, exploited, and struggling.

Democracy 101: The 99% pay for wealth disparity with lost jobs, foreclosed homes, weakening pensions, and slashed services, but Nature pays, too.  In the world the one-percenters have created, the needs of whole ecosystems are as easy to disregard as, say, the need the young have for debt-free educations and meaningful jobs.  Extreme disparity and deep inequality generate a double standard with profound consequences.

If you are a CEO who skims millions of dollars off other people’s labor, it’s called a “bonus.”  If you are a flood victim who breaks into a sporting goods store to grab a lifejacket, it’s called looting.  If you lose your job and fall behind on your mortgage, you get evicted.  If you are a banker-broker who designed flawed mortgages that caused a million people to lose their homes, you get a second-home vacation-mansion near a golf course. If you drag heavy fishnets across the ocean floor and pulverize an entire ecosystem, ending thousands of years of dynamic evolution and depriving future generations of a healthy ocean, it’s called free enterprise.  But if, like Tim DeChristopher, you disrupt an auction of public land to oil and gas companies, it’s called a crime and you get two years in jail.

In campaigns to make polluting corporations accountable, my Utah neighbors and I learned this simple truth: decisions about what to allow into the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat are soon enough translated into flesh and blood, bone and nerve, and daily experience.  So it’s crucial that those decisions, involving environmental quality and public health, are made openly, inclusively, and accountably.  That’s Democracy 101.

The corporations that shred habitat and contaminate your air and water are anything but democratic.  Stand in line to get your 30 seconds in front of a microphone at a public hearing about the siting of a nuclear power plant, the effluent from a factory farm, or the removal of a mountaintop and you’ll get the picture quickly enough: the corporations that profit from such ecological destruction are distant, arrogant, secretive, and unresponsive.

The 1% are willing to spend billions impeding democratic initiatives, which is why every so-called environmental issue is also about building a democratic culture.   First Kill the EPA, Then Social Security: Beyond all the rhetoric about freedom from the new stars of the Republican Party, the strategy is simple enough: obstruct and misinform, then blame the resulting dysfunction on “government.”  It’s a great scam.  Tell the voters that government doesn’t work and then, when elected, prove it.

And first on the list of government outfits they want to sideline or kill is the Environmental Protection Agency, so they can do away with the already flimsy wall of regulation that stands between their toxins and your bloodstream. Poll after poll shows that citizens understand the need for environmental rules and safeguards.

Mercury is never put into the bloodstreams of nursing mothers by consensus, nor are watersheds fracked until they are flammable by popular demand.  But the free market ideologues of the Republican Party are united in opposition to any rule or standard that impedes the “magic” of the marketplace and unchecked capital.

The same bottom-line quarterly-report fixation on profitability that accepts oil spills as inevitable also accepts unemployment as inevitable. Tearing apart wildlife habitat to make a profit and doing the same at a workplace are just considered the price of doing business. Clearcutting a forest and clearcutting a labor force are two sides of the same coin.

Beware of Growth: Getting the economy growing has been the refrain of the Obama administration and the justification for every bad deal, budget cut, and unbalanced compromise it’s made.  The desperate effort to grow the economy to solve our economic woes is what keeps Timothy Geithner at the helm of the Treasury and is what stalls the regulation of greenhouse gasses.  It’s why we are told we must sacrifice environmental quality for pipelines and why young men and women are sacrificed to protect access to oil, the lubricant for an acquisitive economic engine.  The financial empire of the one percenters and the political order it has shaped are predicated on easy and relentless growth.
How, we are asked, will there be enough for everyone if we don’t keep growing? The fundamental contradiction of our time is this: we have built an all-encompassing economic engine that requires unending growth.  A contraction of even a percent or two is a crisis, and yet we are embedded in ecosystems that are reaching or have reached their limits.

This isn’t complicated: There’s only so much fertile soil or fresh water available, only so many fish in the ocean, only so much CO2 the planet can absorb and remain habitable. Yes, you can get around this contradiction for a while by exploiting your neighbor’s habitat, using technological advances to extend your natural resources, and stealing from the future -- that is, using up soil, minerals, and water your grandchildren (someday to be part of that same 99%) will need.

But the limits to those familiar and, in the past, largely successful strategies are becoming more evident all the time. At some point, we’ll discover that you can’t exist for long beyond the boundaries of the natural world, that (as with every other species) if you overload the carrying capacity of your habitat, you crash.

Warming temperatures, chaotic weather patterns, extreme storms, monster wildfires, epic droughts, Biblical floods, an avalanche of species extinction… that collapse is upon us now.  In the human realm, it translates into hunger and violence, mass migrations and civil strife, failed states and resource wars.

Like so much else these days, the crash, as it happens, will not be suffered in equal measure by all of us.  The one percenters will be atop the hill, while the 99% will be in the flood lands below swimming for their lives, clinging to debris, or drowning. The Great Recession has previewed just how that will work.

An unsustainable economy is inherently unfair, and worse is to come.  After all, the car is heading for the cliff’s edge, the grandkids are in the backseat, and all we’re arguing about is who can best put the pedal to the metal.

Occupy Earth:
Give credit where it’s due: it’s been the genius of the protesters in Zuccotti Park to shift public discourse to whether the distribution of economic burdens and rewards is just and whether the economic system makes us whole or reduces and divides us.  It’s hard to imagine how we’ll address our converging ecological crises without first addressing the way accumulating wealth and power has captured the political system.  As long as Washington is dominated and intimidated by giant oil companies, Wall Street speculators, and corporations that can buy influence and even write the rules that make buying influence possible, there’s no meaningful way to deal with our economy’s addiction to fossil fuels and its dire consequences.

Nature’s 99% is an amazingly diverse community of species.  They feed and share and recycle within a web of relationships so dynamic and complex that we have yet to fathom how it all fits together.  What we have excelled at so far is breaking things down into their parts and then reassembling them; that, after all, is how a barrel of crude oil becomes rocket fuel or a lawn chair.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Launching First Nationwide General Strike In America Since 1946


Rumors have been flying for a week that the Occupy protesters will be launching a nationwide general strike. We have been biting our tongue waiting for a formal decision.
Mother Jones tweets:
From our reporter at General Assembly just now MT@timmcdonnell: General strike passes with 1184 votes of approval
JackalAnon tweets:
The strike will occur on November 2nd.
One of the founders of the Tea Party – conservative Karl Denninger – supports the strike (and see this).
Occupy Wall Street in New York has also been considering a proposal for a general strike. And there are also rumors of a global general strike next year.

please comment and vote on poll below

As energy drilling moves into backyards, Colorado Front Range counties ponder regulations

One evening in January, El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen met with about 16 people in a constituent's living room to talk about the wave of oil and gas leasing that was sweeping the area.
"It was a new issue," Lathen said. "I explained the county didn't have any regulations on oil and gas drilling."
In August, Lathen was part of a town-hall meeting on oil and gas leasing, and this time nearly 400 people packed a meeting room.
The arc between those two meetings in El Paso County — which is now drafting oil and gas regulations — reflects what is happening up and down the Front Range.
County meetings and town halls have drawn hundreds of residents, citizen groups have formed, and Elbert, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, like El Paso, are preparing to adopt oil and gas development rules.
"We are fast-tracking rules," said Arapahoe County Commissioner Fred Weddig. "We felt like we are playing catch-up."
The trend, however, has provoked concern from state regulators and the industry.
"Colorado already has the most comprehensive rules in the nation," said Tisha Schuller, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, a trade group. "County rules could completely stifle the industry."
David Neslin, director of the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, said, "We believe oil and gas development is most effectively and efficiently regulated at the state level."
The wave of oil and gas leasing was sparked by the discovery of oil in the Niobrara formation, which stretches from southern Colorado into Wyoming.
To get at the oil requires the use of cutting-edge drilling techniques and hydrofracturing, or fracking, in which millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped into the well under pressure.
Focus on homeowners
The activity in the counties is being driven by the feeling that they are ill-prepared to cope with a drilling boom and that the state regulations don't address some residents' worries.
"We are trying to regulate an industrial activity in what is basically a residential area," said Joe'l Lambe, a Douglas County homeowner.
Lambe helped found Landowners Alliance for NE Douglas County, or LAND, to deal with oil and gas leasing issues.
Neslin said state rules enable it to put additional conditions on permits in more developed areas — and counties can participate as a "local designee" in the permitting process.
Some homeowners and local officials say that isn't enough.
"There are questions of quality of life," said Jill Duvall, a homeowner who organized the Elbert County Oil and Gas Interest Group, or ECOGIG. "There are questions about protecting property values. The state rules focus on drilling a well."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Management of Exploration and Production Waste from Fracking - Discharging into state waters is allowed


a. General requirements.

(1) Operator obligations. Operators shall ensure that E&P waste is properly stored, handled, transported, treated, recycled, or disposed to prevent threatened or actual significant adverse environmental impacts to air, water, soil or biological resources or to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with the concentration levels in Table 910-1, with consideration to WQCC ground water standards and classifications.

(2) E&P waste management activities shall be conducted, and facilities constructed and operated, to protect the waters of the state from significant adverse environmental impacts from E&P waste, except as permitted by applicable laws and regulations.

Reuse and recycling. To encourage and promote waste minimization, operators may propose plans for managing E&P waste through beneficial use, reuse, and recycling by submitting a written management plan to the Director for approval on a Sundry Notice, Form 4, if applicable. Such plans shall describe, at a minimum, the type(s) of waste, the proposed use of the waste, method of waste treatment, product quality assurance, and shall include a copy of any certification or authorization that may be required by other laws and regulations. The Director may require additional information.

b. Waste transportation.

(1) E&P waste, when transported off-site within Colorado for treatment or disposal, shall be transported to facilities authorized by the Director or waste disposal facilities approved to receive E&P waste by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. When transported to facilities outside of Colorado for treatment or disposal, E&P waste shall be transported to facilities authorized and permitted by the appropriate regulatory agency in the receiving state.

Waste generator requirements. Generators of E&P waste that is transported off-site shall maintain, for not less than five (5) years, copies of each invoice, bill, or ticket and such other records as necessary to document the following requirements A through F:

A. The date of the transport;

B. The identity of the waste generator;

C. The identity of the waste transporter;

D. The location of the waste pickup site;

E. The type and volume of waste; and

F. The name and location of the treatment or disposal site.

Such records shall be signed by the transporter, made available for inspection by the Director during normal business hours, and copies thereof shall be furnished to the Director upon request.

Produced water.

(1) Treatment of produced water. Produced water shall be treated prior to placement in a production pit to prevent crude oil and condensate from entering the pit.

(2) Produced water disposal. Produced water may be disposed as follows:

A. Injection into a Class II well, permitted in accordance with Rule 325.;

B. Evaporation/percolation in a properly permitted pit;

C. Disposal at permitted commercial facilities;

D. Disposal by roadspreading on lease roads outside sensitive areas for produced waters with less than 3,500 mg/l TDS when authorized by the surface owner. Roadspreading of produced waters shall not impact waters of the state, shall not result in pooling or runoff, and the adjacent soils shall meet the concentration levels in Table 910-1. Flowback fluids shall not be used for dust suppression.

E. Discharging into state waters, in accordance with the Water Quality Control Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.

i. Operators shall provide the Colorado discharge permit number, latitude and longitude coordinates, in accordance with Rule 215.f, of the discharge outfall, and sources of produced water on a Source of Produced Water for Disposal, Form 26, and shall include a U.S.G.S. topographic map showing the location of the discharge outfall.

ii. Produced water discharged pursuant to this subsection (2).E. may be put to beneficial use in accordance with applicable state statutes and regulations governing the use and administration of water.

F. Evaporation in a properly lined pit at a centralized E&P waste management facility permitted in accordance with Rule 908.


Produced water reuse and recycling. Produced water may be reused for enhanced recovery, drilling, and other approved uses in a manner consistent with existing water rights and in consideration of water quality standards and classifications established by the WQCC for waters of the state, or any point of compliance established by the Director pursuant to Rule 324D.

(4) Mitigation. Water produced during operation of an oil or gas well may be used to provide an alternative domestic water supply to surface owners within the oil or gas field, in accordance with all applicable laws, including, but not limited to, obtaining the necessary approvals from the WQCD for constructing a new "waterworks," as defined by Section 25-1-107(1)(X)(II)(A), C.R.S. Any produced water not so used shall be disposed of in accordance with subsection (2) or (3). Providing produced water for domestic use within the meaning of this subsection (4) shall not constitute an admission by the operator that the well is dewatering or impacting any existing water well. The water produced shall be to the benefit of the surface owner within the oil and gas field and may not be sold for profit or traded.

d. Drilling fluids.

(1) Recycling and reuse. Drilling pit contents may be recycled to another drilling pit for reuse consistent with Rule 903.

(2) Treatment and disposal. Drilling fluids may be treated or disposed as follows:

A. Injection into a Class II well permitted in accordance with Rule 325;

B. Disposal at a commercial solid waste disposal facility; or

C. Land treatment or land application at a centralized E&P waste management facility permitted in accordance with Rule 908.

Additional authorized disposal of water-based bentonitic drilling fluids. Water-based bentonitic drilling fluids may be disposed as follows:

A. Drying and burial in pits on non-crop land. The resulting concentrations shall not exceed the concentration levels in Table 910-1, below; or

B. Land application as follows:

Applicability. Acceptable methods of land application include, but are not limited to, production facility construction and maintenance, and lease road maintenance.

ii. Land application requirements. The average thickness of water-based bentonitic drilling fluid waste applied shall be no more than three (3) inches prior to incorporation. The waste shall be applied to prevent ponding or erosion and shall be incorporated as a beneficial amendment into the native soils within ten (10) days of application. The resulting concentrations shall not exceed those in Table 910-1.

iii. Surface owner approval. Operators shall obtain written authorization from the surface owner prior to land application of water-based bentonitic drilling fluids.

iv. Operator obligations. Operators shall maintain a record of the source, the volume, and the location where the land application of the water-based bentonitic drilling fluid occurred. Upon the Director’s written request, this information shall be provided within five (5) business days, in a format readily reviewable by the Director. Operators with control and authority over the wells from which the water-based bentonitic drilling fluid wastes are obtained retain responsibility for the land application operation, and shall diligently cooperate with the Director in responding to complaints regarding land application of water-based bentonitic drilling fluids.

v. Approval. Prior Director approval is not required for reuse of water-based bentonitic drilling fluids for land application as a soil amendment.

e. Oily waste. Oily waste includes those materials containing crude oil, condensate or other E&P waste, such as soil, frac sand, drilling fluids, and pit sludge that contain hydrocarbons.

(1) Oily waste may be treated or disposed as follows:

A. Disposal at a commercial solid waste disposal facility;

B. Land treatment onsite; or

C. Land treatment at a centralized E&P waste management facility permitted in accordance with Rule 908.

(2) Land treatment requirements:

A. Free oil shall be removed from the oily waste prior to land treatment.

B. Oily waste shall be spread evenly to prevent pooling, ponding, or runoff.

C. Contamination of stormwater runoff, ground water, or surface water shall be prevented.

D. Biodegradation shall be enhanced by disking, tilling, aerating, or addition of nutrients, microbes, water or other amendments, as appropriate.

E. Land-treated oily waste incorporated in place or beneficially reused shall not exceed the concentrations in Table 910-1.

F. When a threatened or significant adverse environmental impact from onsite land treatment exists, operators shall submit a Site Investigation and Remediation Workplan, Form 27, for approval by the Director. Treatment shall thereafter be completed in accordance with the workplan and Rules 909. and 910.

G. When land treatment occurs in an area not being utilized for oil and gas operations, operators shall obtain prior written surface owner approval.

Other E&P Waste. Other E&P waste such as workover fluids, tank bottoms, pigging wastes from gathering and flow lines, and natural gas gathering, processing, and storage wastes may be treated or disposed of as follows:

(1) Disposal at a commercial solid waste disposal facility;

(2) Treatment at a centralized E&P waste management facility permitted in accordance with Rule 908;
(3) Injection into a Class II injection well permitted in accordance with Rule 325; or

(4) An alternative method proposed in a waste management

What about radioactive materials that are pulled from the mining process?  Yes, we are aware of radioactive tracers that have a half-life of approximately 100 days, but we are referring to the natural radioactive uranium that is also mixed in with the produced water and other fluids. Is there a test the COGCC uses to determine the presence of radioactive materials?  If so, what does the industry do with the radiactive laden liquids?


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Noble Energy impacts groundwater in Boulder County,CO - Volume of 'toxic' water spilled unknown?

Noble Energy Inc., files a spill incident report with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission indicating their mining operation that employs the methods of fracking, has impacted groundwater.

It is very disturbing to know that Noble Energy Inc. does not know how much 'toxic' produced water and or any other substances may have been discharged on the ground. In addition, the operator has not recovered any amount of the potentially toxic liquids that may have been released. Is the oil and gas industry that careless that they do not have adequate instruments that sound an alarm, measure volume loss, or even have spill mitigation techniques in place thus preventing adverse environmental and human health impacts?

An additional element of concern is this area  where the spill occurred is used for agricultural purposes.  What kind of product is being grown? Where does it go for re-sale? Who consumes it? Is the product fed to livestock that are being sold and later consumed?  What are the real impacts?

It's surreal that an industry with so much money cannot figure out how to prevent these types of failures. Please read the reports below to make your own determination. You can bet there will not be a fine, or if there is, it will not match the impact that was done to the environment and potentially adverse human health impacts caused from mining using fracking methods.


API Number: 05-013-06048 Name:KANE #20-10
Location: SENW 20 1N 69W Lat: 40.03831 Long: -105.14341
Operator #: 10120 Operator Name: NOBLE ENERGY PRODUCTION INC
Inspection Date: 5/5/2007 Inspector: JIM PRECUP
Inspection was: Unsatisfactory

Insp. Type: PR Insp. Stat: PR Reclamation (Pass, Interim or Fail): P&A (Pass/Fail):
Brhd. Pressure: Inj. Pressure: T-C Ann. Pressure: UIC Violation Type:
Violation: Y NOAV Sent: N Date Corrective Action Due: 12/30/2007 Date Remedied:

Field Inspection Comments and Observations

Insp. Comment Inspection/Violation Comments

Date Rec'd: 10/11/2011 Report taken by: BOB CHESSON
DocNum: 2216603 API number: 05-013 -06048 Facility ID: 206553

Operator Information

Address: 1625 BROADWAY STE 2200 ATTN: TED BROWN DENVER , CO 80202
Phone: (303 )389-3600 Fax: (303 )595-7403
Operator Contact: TODD CULLUM

Description of Spill:

Date of Incident: 10/4/2011
Type of Facility: TANK BATTERY
Well Name/No. KANE 20-10 Fac. Name/No.
County Name:BOULDER
qtrqtr: SENW section: 20 township: 1N range: 69W meridian: 6

Volumes spilled and recovered (bbls)
Oil spilled: Recvrd:
Water spilled: Recvrd:
Other spilled: Recved:
GW Impact? Y Surface water impact? N Contained within berm? N
Area and vertical extent of spill: - X -
Current land use: AGRICULTURE
Weather conditions: CLEAR AND HOT
Soil/Geology description HARGREAVE FINE SANDY LOAM, 3-9% SLOPES
Distance in feet to nearest surface water: 425
Depth to shallowest GW: 5
Wetlands: 160 Buildings: 1400
Livestock: Water Wells: 510
Cause of spill:
Immediate Response:
Emergency Pits:
How extent determined:
Further Remediation
Prevent Problem:
Detailed Description:

Other Notifications
Date Agency Contact Response

Denver police use force on Occupy protesters - rubber bullets, pepper balls and more

Associated Press
via Yahoo

DENVER (AP) — A tense standoff between protesters and authorities near the steps of the Colorado Capitol erupted into a clash Saturday that resulted in a surge of demonstrators being met with police force that included reports of pepper spray and rubber bullets.
The situation downtown escalated when some supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement marching in a group of about 2,000 tried to advance up the Capitol steps.

About eight officers scuffled with a group of protesters, according to The Denver Post (, and police confirmed to the newspaper that they used pepper spray and either rubber bullets or pepper balls to break up the crowd.

Denver police spokesman Matt Murray said protesters knocked an officer off his motorcycle and other officers were kicked by demonstrators.

Murray said seven protesters were arrested, including two for assault and one for disobedience. He said some demonstrators had received medical treatment on the scene, but no one had been taken to a hospital.

Mike Korzen, 25, said he was among the protesters whom police dispersed with rubber bullets and pepper spray.

"I was standing there with my hands behind my back," Korzen said, using a water bottle to wash pepper spray from his eyes.

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In Response To The Oakland Shooting Of Scott Olsen OccupyMARINES Request The Following

Source: anonops

Our Brother Marine Corps Veteran Scott Olsen Remains In The Hospital Under Critical Condition From Sustaining A Blow To The Head From An Oakland Police Department Riot Officer Projectile Early Wednesday Morning October 25, 2011.

OccupyMARINES Have Watched Closely The Response From The OPD, The Mayor, The Governor, And All Others Involved In The Oakland Attack On Peaceful Demonstrators; We Have Observed These Pathetic Cowards Refuse Responsibility For Their Actions That May Very Well Alter The Course Of Our Brother’s Life. Additionally, Many Other Police Departments Nationwide Deploy Similar Riot Tactics Against Demonstrators Honoring The OWS 8, A Peaceful Declaration Of Assembly; We Will Organize Peacefully Against These Departments.

In Response To The Oakland Shooting Of Scott Olsen OccupyMARINES Request The Following:
  • The GOP Cowards Responsible For Influencing This Event Be Brought To Justice. Track Names And Photos Of Each And Email Them To Us

  • Identify The 300 OPD Riot Officers By Name, Photo, And Badge Number With Boots On The Ground Engaging In Illegal Excessive Force Acts Against Peaceful Americans For Prosecution.
  • Identify The Officer Responsible For Harming Scott Olsen By Name And Photo For Prosecution.

  • The Honorable Resignation Of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan And Acting Police Chief Howard Jordan.

  • A Public Apology From California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. For The Unlawful Injury Of Our Brother Scott Olsen.

We Fully Intend To Make An Example, Legally And Peacefully, Of The Cowards Associated With Harming An American Veteran. We Will Not Stop Until Our Aforementioned Demands Are Met In Their Entirety.

God Be With Scott Olsen, We Pray A Speedy Recovery For Him And His Mother.

Semper Fidelis Scott Olsen

Keep Pushing Forward America We Support You.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Environmental Groups Concerned About Senate Impact Fee

NPR State Impact
Scott Detrow
Oct. 28, 2011

The direc­tors of five envi­ron­men­tal advo­cacy groups — Clean Water Action, Delaware River­keeper Net­work, the Sierra Club’s Penn­syl­va­nia branch, Earth­works and Pen­nEn­vi­ron­ment — have sent a let­ter to state sen­a­tors, in advance of next week’s vote on a nat­ural gas impact fee.

They’re con­cerned about SB 1100’s “model ordi­nance” lan­guage, which would bar munic­i­pal­i­ties from receiv­ing fee money, if they past strict reg­u­la­tions on drilling. The groups also want to see stronger envi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions and setbacks.

Octo­ber 28, 2011

Dear Mem­bers of the Penn­syl­va­nia State Senate:

We are writ­ing con­cern­ing Sen­a­tor Scarnati’s bill to address Mar­cel­lus Shale issues, SB 1100, which was recently amended and voted out of Appro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee. Our orga­ni­za­tions have two con­cerns we would like to draw to your attention.

First, the signed orga­ni­za­tions of the attached let­ter (sent to all mem­bers of the leg­is­la­ture on June 3, 2011) are writ­ing you to reaf­firm our posi­tion that we strongly OPPOSE any efforts to limit a municipality’s abil­ity to pro­tect itself, to weaken or stan­dard­ize munic­i­pal zon­ing author­ity, to pun­ish com­mu­ni­ties that choose to exer­cise their rights, or to give the Attor­ney Gen­eral the power to cir­cum­vent a tra­di­tional court process and deter­mine the fate of munic­i­pal zon­ing laws.
Munic­i­pal­i­ties all across Penn­syl­va­nia are work­ing to enact or have enacted mea­sures designed to pro­tect the envi­ron­ment and health, safety, and wel­fare of their com­mu­ni­ties and its res­i­dents in light of the rush to drill for nat­ural gas in the Mar­cel­lus Shale. In addi­tion, Penn­syl­va­nia Supreme Court rul­ings have made it clear that the state Oil and Gas Act does not pre­vent munic­i­pal­i­ties from apply­ing zon­ing codes to gas wells.

Our pre­vi­ous let­ter referred specif­i­cally to a pro­vi­sion in the orig­i­nal ver­sion where the receipt of rev­enue from an impact fee was tied to adop­tion of a model zon­ing ordi­nance. Recently, efforts have begun to amend this leg­is­la­tion. Whether nego­ti­a­tions result in the preser­va­tion of this “one size fits all” pro­vi­sion or pro­duces new lan­guage that would attempt to weaken a municipality’s abil­ity to pro­tect its res­i­dents, the result is still the under­min­ing of the cen­tral pur­pose of local ordi­nances: to address the par­tic­u­lar needs and con­cerns of munic­i­pal­i­ties, which vary greatly with regard to nat­ural resources, pop­u­la­tion loca­tion and den­sity, com­mer­cial sec­tors, and other aspects.

We request that you stand with us and your munic­i­pal­ity in this cause and encour­age your lead­er­ship to do the same. It is essen­tial that we pre­serve a municipality’s abil­ity to deter­mine what is best for their com­mu­nity and its’ res­i­dents and we hope you will call for the strongest decision-making pow­ers pos­si­ble for local communities.

Sec­ond, we are con­cerned that the cur­rent lan­guage in the amended ver­sion of SB 1100 does not pro­vide enough pro­tec­tion for Pennsylvania’s drink­ing water sup­plies. Both the recently released Cen­ter for Rural Penn­syl­va­nia study and the pre­vi­ously pub­lished Duke Uni­ver­sity study found that drink­ing water wells had increased con­t­a­m­i­na­tion when Mar­cel­lus Shale gas wells were drilled within 3,000 feet of the water sup­ply. Unfor­tu­nately, the cur­rent lan­guage only increases pri­vate well set­backs to 500 feet and pub­lic water sup­ply set­backs to 1,000 feet.

While SB 1100 does increase the zone of pre­sumed con­t­a­m­i­na­tion to 3,000 feet, a set­back of at least that dis­tance, and ide­ally 5,000 feet, would pro­vide real pro­tec­tion to res­i­dents. Increas­ing the zone of pre­sumed con­t­a­m­i­na­tion pro­vides landown­ers with greater legal rights; how­ever, in prac­tice many res­i­dents are unaware of their rights and as a result can­not ben­e­fit from this change. While it is pos­i­tive that more res­i­dents would receive replace­ment water sup­plies under this change, it would be far more ben­e­fi­cial to sim­ply pre­vent the con­t­a­m­i­na­tion from tak­ing place through a set­back pro­vi­sion. Replace­ment water sup­plies are a bur­den on res­i­dents and often result in a loss of prop­erty value.

We would urge you to sup­port a greater set­back for pri­vate and pub­lic drink­ing water sup­plies, with 3,000 feet being a min­i­mum dis­tance that is sci­en­tif­i­cally backed and 5,000 feet as an even more pro­tec­tive setback.

Thank you for your atten­tion to this issue.

Senate panel approves Marcellus environmental amendment

Scranton Times-Tribune
Robert Swift
Oct. 27, 2011

HARRISBURG - A key Senate committee approved environmental protections for Marcellus Shale drilling Wednesday while negotiations continue in the chamber over an impact fee on drilling and restrictions on local zoning ordinances for drilling activities.

The Appropriations Committee voted unanimously for what senators labeled a comprehensive amendment addressing such varied issues as natural gas well setbacks from water sources and response procedures in case of emergencies.

Several of the amendment's provisions mirror or even exceed recommendations offered by Gov. Tom Corbett's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, while others would put into law regulations that were adopted last year by the Rendell administration, said Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-25, Jefferson County.

The Senate plans to consider more amendments to the measure next week and then vote on an entire bill that includes an impact fee before a break for an Election Day recess, said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-9, Chester.

The approved environmental amendment would...

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Boulder County, Colorado oil and gas well count - Are there more than you thought?

Below is a complete list of all wells in Boulder County, Colorado with their respective status, field name, API number (well ID), and operator name.

Boulder County, Colorado

AL - Abandoned location (169 wells)
DA - Dead & Abandoned (107 wells)
PA - Plugged & Abandoned (141 wells)
DM - Domestic Well (1 well)
PR - Producing (active well) (301 active O&G wells in Boulder County)
SI - Shut in (5 wells)
TA-Temporarily Abandoned (1 well)
UN - Unknown (5 wells)
XX - Well status not reported (34 wells)

764 oil and gas wells exist in Boulder County, Colorado and 301 of those are active and producing oil and gas wells according to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) website (28 OCT 2011)

Now you have accurate data...