Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Clean Water Action Asks COGCC to Protect Coloradoans From Fracking

For Immediate Release
November 30, 2011
Clean Water Action (
Contact: Gary Wockner, 970-218-8310


Fort Collins, CO – Yesterday, northernColorado based Clean Water Action sent a letter to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) through COGCC’s online comment tool asking for better protections against oil and gas fracking in Colorado. The letter contains three asks:
  1. Closing the "trade secret loophole".
  2. Disclosing the amount and source of water used for drilling and fracking.
  3. Placing "markers" in fracking fluids so that polluters can be held accountable.
The letter is here:

"Fracking is racing across northern Colorado – the entire region is being used as a huge guinea pig," said Gary Wockner, Program Director of Clean Water Action. "At a minimum, we need to close the trade secret loophole, find out how much water is being used in fracking, and mark fracking fluids so that polluters can be held accountable."

On Dec. 5, 2011, COGCC is holding a meeting to discuss new rules for fracking in Colorado. The meeting comes as drilling and fracking is moving into suburban neighborhoods across the Front Range, and as two oil companies – Anadarkoand Noble– just announced major new oil finds in the Niobrara Shale formations in northern Colorado. Weld County already has more active oil and gas wells – about 18,000 – than any other county in the U.S. Anadarko and Noble suggest they may drill a few thousand more wells over the next several years in northern Colorado.

Clean Water Action’s first request is to close the “trade secret loophole.” Earlier in 2011, Governor Hickenlooper announced that he wanted public disclosure of fracking fluids, but when the rules were proposed they contained a“trade secret loophole” where companies could avoid public disclosure.

“If we don’t close the trade secret loophole, this rule is meaningless,” said Wockner. “Governor Hickenlooper needs to see this promise through and make sure COGCC closes the loophole.”

Second, Clean Water Action wants drilling and fracking companies to disclose the amount of water they are using and the source of that water. In the last few months, considerable media attention has focused on drilling and fracking as a major user of water potentially adding more stress to Colorado’s water supply problems. Estimates range from a few hundred thousand to a few million acre feet of water will be needed for drilling and fracking over the next few decades.

“Nobody seems to know how much water drilling and fracking uses,” said Wockner. “Let’s go right to the source and have the drillers and frackers report their water use so that Colorado knows how much additional stress this will place on our rivers and farms which are already being drained and dried up.”

Finally, Clean Water Action asked that “markers” be placed in fracking fluids so that pollution can be traced to the source. 

“When pollution occurs, we need to hold polluters accountable,” said Wockner. “Putting chemical markers in fracking fluids will let the public and regulators know who caused the pollution and who needs to pay to clean it up.”

The public can comment through COGCC’s website here:


Please click HERE to post your comments/concerns.
Your voice is needed.

Below are the current listed comments. You can click on the blue link to read what each person has stated.

COGCC Rulemaking 2011
Submitted by (group or person) Date Received
Tracy Dahl 11/04/2011
Philip F. Incao, MD 11/07/2011
David Hayes 11/07/2011
David Hayes 11/08/2011
South Park Coalition 11/15/2011
Mary J. Talbott 11/15/2011
Noalani Terry 11/15/2011
Kerry Willson 11/17/2011
Michael Roach 11/18/2011
Cynthia Ziegler 11/18/2011
Todd Sheets 11/21/2011
Catherine Deuter 11/21/2011
Gusti Boiani 11/21/2011
Beth Barta 11/21/2011
Sue Navy 11/21/2011
Richard White 11/21/2011
Kim Sweitzer 11/21/2011
Holly Powell 11/21/2011
Charlie Hood 11/21/2011
Frank Coleman 11/22/2011
Bob Arrington 11/23/2011
Paul Potyen 11/23/2011
Russell Evans 11/23/2011
Alice Gustafson 11/23/2011
Lisa Bracken 11/25/2011
Kathleen Foos 11/25/2011
Mark Begay 11/25/2011
Anne Bliss 11/25/2011
Barbara Bernhardt 11/25/2011
Ralph D'Alessandro 11/25/2011
Karen Michaelis 11/25/2011
David Cale 11/25/2011
Claudette Konola 11/25/2011
JoAnn Moon 11/25/2011
Tom Phillips 11/25/2011
Peter Pierson 11/25/2011
Jon Schulz 11/25/2011
Deborah Stucklen 11/25/2011
Jeanette & Mark Sullivant 11/25/2011
Rein & JanVan West 11/25/2011
Joan Woodward 11/25/2011
Rick Blotter 11/28/2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

RELEASE: Colorado Supreme Court to hear Grand Valley Citizens Alliance vs Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission arguments


Sandy Borthick, Citizens for Huerfano County, 719-742-5702,
Ceal Smith, TIERRA Consultants, 719-256-5780,

Denver, CO - Citizen rights lawsuit to be heard by Supreme Court tomorrow.

Grand Valley Citizens Alliance vs Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) will be argued in front of the Colorado Supreme Court at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, November 30, 2011. The decision in this case will determine the rights of landowners, citizens and community groups in Colorado to directly request a public hearing with the COGCC on matters of oil and gas development. The hearing will be held at the Colorado Supreme Court, 101 West Colfax Avenue, Suite 800, Denver, CO 80202 (Directions / Map). Call: 303-837-3790 for more information.

You can learn more about this precedent setting case at: No. 09CA1195. - GRAND VALLEY CITIZENS ALLIANCE v. COLORADO OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION USA - GRAND VALLEY CITIZENS' ALLIANCE, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. COLORADO OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION; David Neslin, in his official capacity as Acting Director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Citizens for Huerfano County filed a related lawsuit against the COGCC and Shell Western Energy Production, Inc. (SWEPI) earlier this year and subsequently enjoined the GVCA case. Learn more about the CHC case here:

FRACTURED FUTURE - Does the natural gas industry need a new messenger?

CBC News

Posted: Nov 29, 2011

A series of special op-eds about the shale gas industry

Anthony Ingraffea is the Dwight C. Baum
Professor of Engineering and Faculty
Fellow at the David R. Atkinson Center
for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) at
Cornell University.Ingraffea is also the
president of Physicians, Scientists and
Engineers for Healthy Energy.
The university professor is visiting
New Brunswick in November and
December to discuss hydro-fracking.
The event is being hosted by the
Conservation Council of New
To hear the natural gas industry tell it, the only problem with natural gas is bad public relations.

“The public is skeptical of anything we say,” says Tisha Conoly-Schuller, president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association.

Her advice is for industry to get “other messengers to carry positive messages about oil and gas to a skeptical public,” and she touts university professors as the ideal: they “polled highest and are well-positioned in that regard.”

I am a university professor, but I’m certain Conoly-Schuller and her colleagues decidedly won’t like my simple message for them: “Tell the whole truth.”

And I’m only one of hundreds of critics delivering that message. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a self-confessed “early optimist on natural gas,” laments, “The industry's worst actors have successfully battled reasonable regulation [and] stifled public disclosure while bending compliant government regulators to engineer exceptions to existing environmental rules.”

In his New York Times commentary The Fracking Industry’s War On The New York Times – And The Truth, he goes on to note that, “Captive agencies and political leaders have obligingly reduced already meager enforcement resources and helped propagate the industry's deceptive economic projections. As a result, public skepticism toward the industry and its government regulators is at a record high.”

Continue reading...  Myths and reality, Other myths


Tisha Conoly-Schuller, president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association(COGA)

Debate On Halting NY Fracking Ban Reaches Endgame

Date: 30-Nov-11
Country: USA
Author: Edward McAllister

The final hearings on regulations that would end a ban on drilling for natural gas in New York state got under way on Tuesday in a packed auditorium at Sullivan County Community College.

In a last chance for communities to voice their views for and against a controversial drilling technique called fracking, about 300 people turned up, many of whom were left in the rain as the house spilled above capacity.

Advocates of fracking, which involves blasting chemical-laced water and sand into shale rock to release gas, told a rowdy, polarized audience that drilling would create jobs and boost New York's ailing economy.

Those against blamed it for contaminating water wells and threatening the safety of local communities.
Outside, signs read "Don't frack with our water" and "Jail the frackers".

Others disagreed. "We fight wars and import oil to get resources that we have at home," said Edward Allees, 88, from Jeffersonville, New York. "What is so special about New York that we can't drill here?"
New York sits atop the Marcellus Shale formation, the largest U.S. deposit of natural gas, which also stretches across parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

Governor Andrew Cuomo hopes to put an end to the drilling moratorium by next year as the New York Department of Environmental Conservation finalizes new regulations for the state.

Continue reading...

un•earthed - The Documentary: Coming Soon (VIDEO)

un•earthed: Hydraulic Fracturing in South Africa - The Documentary

In January 2011, production commenced on this highly anticipated South African independent documentary. un•earthed seeks to investigate plans of potential shale gas development and its method of hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo and broader regions. The project is committed to thorough, objective research and encouraging open and accurate discussion amidst heated debates currently unfolding in the country. After filming locally and abroad, un•earthed is currently in post-production and a massive release is expected in early 2012.
Twitter: @un_earthed


NSW farmer and coal miner agree in court

29 November 2011 | 06:52:06 PM                  
Source: AAP                                                 

Image: AAP
A farmer in the NSW Hunter Valley has agreed to give a mining company access to his land after the dispute ended up in court.

NuCoal Resources says it was taken to the Land and Environment Court by Jerry Plains farmer Ian Moore, who had refused to let the miner onto his land despite repeated attempts at arbitration.
At a special sitting of the court in Singleton on Tuesday, Justice Peter Biscoe granted the company access to drill three exploration holes on part of Mr Moore's 184 hectare farm.

NuCoal spokesman Patrick Southam described the outcome, which he said was agreed to by Mr Moore, as a win for common sense.

Peter Long, the lawyer for Mr Moore, said the court had made an order in favour of the company but Mr Moore had agreed to it because the judge had also addressed his concerns about drilling taking place through their groundwater.

"They would have preferred that no mining was on their land," Mr Long told AAP.

Continue reading...

Company Backs out of $45 Million Deal to Buy Troubled Wyoming Gas Field

by Abrahm Lustgarten
ProPublica, Nov. 29, 2011

Image: Getty Images
A deal to sell a controversial central Wyoming natural gas field has fallen apart amidst allegations that drilling there has caused water pollution [1].

Texas-based Legacy Resources backed out of a $45 million [2] deal to buy the field near Pavillion, Wyom., from EnCana last week, soon after the Environmental Protection Agency said it had detected cancer-causing benzene at 50 times the level safe for humans and other carcinogenic pollutants during its latest round of sampling.

The cancelled sale could signal difficulty for companies trying to turn over aging gas fields if there are environmental or health concerns related to their operations.

“Although Encana retained responsibility for any outcome resulting from the ongoing groundwater investigation undertaken by EPA, due to the continued attention surrounding the investigation, and uncertainty regarding further development, Legacy is not prepared to go forward with the transaction,” said EnCana spokesman Doug Hock, in an email to ProPublica.

Legacy Resources did not respond to a call requesting comment.

Legacy Resources announced it had agreed to buy EnCana’s Pavillion-area wells [3], which produce an estimated 13 million cubic feet of gas a day, on Nov. 1. At the time, the company also said it planned to drill new wells in Pavillion to tap the 45 billion cubic feet of gas it believes lies underground.

Continue reading...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Democrats Frack The Vote - (VIDEO)

For the hardcore political junkies out there — and really, you’re the ones reading this blog — here’s a look at the voting for the resolution backing a ban on hydrofracking at the fall meeting of the Democratic Party this afternoon. And it’s also an added bonus for the Robert’s Rules Of Order aficionados (you know who you are).

The vote for both the hydrofracking resolution and another measure backing a tax on those making $1 million and more were laid aside.

The scene below was in stark contrast to less than a hour earlier when Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke and drew a standing ovation when he walked in the door.


What the hell is wrong with these people? Why the hell is a vote count denied? The process has NOT worked the way it is supposed to work.

Friday, November 25, 2011

While Some Are Upset, Fracking Only Likely To Continue In Colorado

November 25, 2011

DENVER (CBS4) – As more and more energy companies begin to drill along the Front Range, communities in close proximity are taking notice and — in some cases — are extremely upset.

There has been a strong, public outcry recently from at least two suburban neighborhoods that are butted up against the cusp of the Eastern Plains. They have strong concerns about hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” which involves freeing oil from rock far below the surface.

It’s either happening or on the agenda for multiple energy companies.

While Colorado is no stranger to drilling, interest has spiked in untapped portions of massive oil reserves that lie far below the surface of the Front Range.

Continue reading...


Tisha makes us puke!  It's all about money, money, money for the State of Colorado.  Just look at her grin and get big eyes as if she was receiving it herself!  SICK!  What about the environmental hazards?  Why is the the State of Colorado approving the use of trillions of gallons of fresh, potable water to extinction in a dry state?  It is clearly sad that we are mining for something much less valuable than water.

please vote on poll below

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

EPA Response to Section 21 Petition on Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Chemicals

Good afternoon. Today, EPA is granting a portion of a petition submitted by 120 public health and environmental organizations asking the Agency to use its authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require companies to submit health and safety related information on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. While EPA has not granted the entire petition, consistent with the priorities identified in the President’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future and with the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board recommendations on steps to support the safe development of natural gas resources, EPA will launch a stakeholder and public engagement process to seek input on the design and scope of TSCA reporting requirements.

EPA is exploring an approach that would minimize reporting burden and costs, take advantage of existing information, and avoid duplication of efforts. EPA believes that the development of this country’s natural gas resources should continue to grow responsibly, building off the important work that has already been done by the states, the industry, and others to disclose crucial information to the American public.

More Background:

On August 4, 2011, EPA received a petition requesting that EPA require manufacturers and processors of oil and gas exploration and production chemicals to: 1) require toxicity testing (under TSCA section 4); and 2) maintain and submit records on these chemical substances and mixtures, and any data on environmental or health effects and exposures (under TSCA sections 8(a), 8(c), and 8)d)). Today’s response follows a Nov. 2 interim response which informed the petitioners that the Agency is not granting the request to require toxicity testing under TSCA Section 4 because the petition does not satisfy the requirements of TSCA to demonstrate the need for additional testing. Today, EPA notified the petitioners that the Agency is partially granting the TSCA Sect. 8(a) and 8(d) requests and will initiate a dialogue process to seek public input on the design and scope of TSCA reporting requirements.

For more information visit

David E. Giamporcaro
Industry and Small Business Liaison
Environmental Assistance Division
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
East Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (MC7408M)
Washington, D.C. 20460
Phone: (202)564-8107
Fax: (202)564-8813

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Colorado: Facing boom, Huerfano County citizens group makes push for tougher oil and gas drilling regulations

Posted on
by Bob Berwyn   
Summit County Citizens Voice

“We don’t want our communities to become yet another industrial sacrifice zone.”
~Ken Saydak

Fracking rigs are popping up like mushrooms,
and citizens of Huerfano County, Colorado
 are concerned about impacts to their communities
and the environment.
SUMMIT COUNTY — With the leasing of almost 40,000 acres of BLM mineral rights in Huerfano County, citizens are pressing their county commissioners to adopt tougher local oil and gas drilling regulations.

The commissioners this week voted to adopt new regulations following a boisterous public hearing, but those might not be tough enough. Dozens of residents expressed concerns that the regulations don’t go far enough to protect citizens from the harmful effects of natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

“These regulations may have been the best in Colorado in 1997, but are they adequate in 2011 to protect citizens from fracking in a high risk geological environment for drilling like Huerfano County?” said Sandy Borthick, a member of Citizens for Huerfano County, a recently formed 400-member group.

Huerfano County initially adopted the regulations in 2009 after Coal Bed Methane drilling caused widespread problems including explosions, contaminated drinking wells, water depletions and decimation of a local dairy farm.

At the time the commissioners titled the regulations to only apply to CBM. According to County Planner Steve Channel, the BOCC didn’t want to apply the regulations to “deeper drilling that had been operating for years in the county without incident.” Those drilling operations included several natural gas wells and a large CO2 gas well complex.

Continue reading...

please vote on poll below

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gas company whistle-blower details spills, errors

By Laura Legere (Staff Writer)

DIMOCK TWP. - On a bright fall day in 2008, Scott Ely arrived at the natural gas well a few hundred feet from his home to find work strangely stilled.
His fellow employees of Cabot Oil and Gas Corp.'s drilling subsidiary were watching the only thing moving: a huge plume of gas "like Niagara Falls going upwards" buffeting the drilling rig from below, he remembered.

The gas in the air was sickening.

"They told me they hit a methane pocket," he said. "We're waiting for Cabot to tell us what to do, whether we should try to punch through it or plug it."

They punched through it - a pocket of shallow gas about 1,500 feet down that pumped out the equivalent of 900,000 cubic feet of gas per day, according to a report later commissioned by Cabot.
When drilling was finished, muddy puddles on the pad bubbled with the gas seeping through the gravel.

"Right next to the wellhead it looked like 1,000 Alka-Seltzers going off," he said.

Mr. Ely, a GasSearch Drilling Services employee from spring 2008 until mid-2010, is one of more than a dozen Dimock residents suing the company because of what happened next: his family, including three small children, began to get cramps, rashes and headaches. Months after Mr. Ely noted something was not right with his water and first warned his employer to test it, a company representative asked his family to evacuate to a Tunkhannock hotel because dangerous levels of methane seeped into the home with every shower or load of laundry.

Now, state officials have found that Cabot met the obligations necessary for the driller to stop delivering replacement bottled and bulk water to 19 homes, including Mr. Ely's, where the methane tainting the water has been linked to Cabot's faulty wells.

Continue reading... 

"I said, 'So you want them to test where there's no hot dirt?' " he recalled. "He said, 'That's the idea.' "


Saturday, November 19, 2011

How Do You Feel About Natural Gas Drilling in Your State?

How do you feel about natural gas drilling in your state? We want you to share your thoughts with us.

Powering A Nation is an ongoing journalism project, led by students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The project focuses on telling stories about U.S. energy use in innovative ways. Since 2009, the the site has launched investigative multimedia reports about issues such as coal, renewable energy, the Gulf oil spill, and energy politics.

Learn more about natural gas drilling and other places your energy comes from at

Continue reading (More Images) ...

Our Take on Frack Fluid Disclosure: is a voluntary organization that asserts incomplete information and is a cloak for trade secrets and proprietary chemicals. Do not be convinced that this is transparent, it is not. It is by design, to be a pacifier for those who have little knowledge of the law and the exemptions of the oil and gas industry. Even if you work for the industry, you are like us, not aware of what is truly happening. The difference is; you are paid to NOT KNOW.

HERE are some of the fracking chemicals used that are NOT on the fracfocus website. Dr. Colborn has led the way in identifying these secret harmful chemicals.

please comment and vote on poll below

Thursday, November 17, 2011

VICTORY!!!!!! DRBC VOTE CANCELLED! Stay tuned for next steps. Another announcement in the morning.



All of your calls. All of your emails. Your pledges to swarm the DRBC in Trenton on November 21st.
All of your pressure and all of your strength.

You stopped fracking in the Delaware River Basin for now. You won this round. It is not a complete victory but it is a huge victory. You brought us back from the brink of total devastation.

What cancellation means: The DRBC doesn’t hold a meeting to vote down their regulations. I’ve only ever seen them vote to approve things. Which means they cancel the meeting if they no longer have 3 out of 5 commissioners voting in favor of fracking. Which is exactly what they have done. They don’t cancel meetings often, let alone votes.

Your voice made a tremendous difference. I am humbled, proud and beyond thankful.

Of course, in my wildest dreams...

Continue reading...

Delware River Keeper Letter - DRBC VOTES NO!

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