Fracking and Climate News from Wednesday, February 13, 2013.
Tip: click the bolded header to be quickly directed to that area of summary. Follow the links for the full stories.
Washington DC: A historic act of civil disobedience just before what is said to be the largest climate rally in history in Washington DC. 48 civil rights and environmental leaders from communities across the nation were arrested on Wednesday February 14, 2013 for refusing to move from thorough in front of the White House.
Colorado Governor drank fracking fluid from Halliburton and “lived to tell about it”. Now drink it over long periods of time, asshat. Oh, and be sure its laced with the naturally occurring toxins within the shale formation.
Frack Nation showing with filmmaker Phelim McAleer has a heated Q&A. Mr. McAleer feels “liberals” support “the oppression of gas and women.” The liberals do this by buying Saudi Arabian oil.
A “hydraulic failure” caused the “flowback” (frack waste) spill in Fort in Fort Collins area. 4.09 million gallons of water were used by Halliburton to fracture the well. The total amount of frack waste is still unknown, but estimated to be around 84,000 gallons.
Governor Cuomo (D-NY) has allowed February 27th deadline to lapse, buying the state more time to determine the best course of action for oil and gas drilling in the state. Gov. Cuomo is being praised by environmentalists—and the genuinely concerned citizens of the state and criticized by industry and pro-drilling citizens.
Sanford, New York board issues gag order on fracking opponents. Catskill Citizens for Clean Energy issued a lawsuit against the town on Tuesday, February 12 for violation of their first amendment right to free speech.
Lawmakers are criticizing the Brown administration’s oil and gas regulations for not being “tough enough” to protect the environment, health, and public safety.
Senator E.S. “Buck” Newton of Johnston, Nash, and Wilson counties is the co-sponsor of a piece of legislation designed to lift the statewide moratorium on fracking quickly. He wants to make sure the state looks “attractive” to oil and gas companies by offering them the lower taxes than any other state.
Penn State University professor discusses Susan L. Brantley discusses her studies of hydraulic fracturing.
National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) president, Frances Beinecke, sends a message to congress encouraging tougher regulations of the oil and gas industry. She feels that people and communities should have a say and seems to feel the government has an obligation to protect the health and safety of the people.
““The threat to our planet’s climate is both grave and urgent,” said civil rights activist Julian Bond. “Although President Obama has declared his own determination to act, much that is within his power to accomplish remains undone, and the decision to allow the construction of a pipeline to carry millions of barrels of the most-polluting oil on Earth from Canada’s tar sands to the Gulf Coast of the U.S. is in his hands. I am proud today to stand before my fellow citizens and declare, ‘I am willing to go to jail to stop this wrong.’ The environmental crisis we face today demands nothing less.”” Full Story Here.
“Hickenlooper was in Washington D.C. to encourage Congress to leave regulating natural gas extraction up to the states. The Democrat has long sided with energy companies that fracking can be safe and needn’t involve the federal government. He touted Colorado as a “national model” in how states can properly regulate fracking.” Full Story Here.
FTM Note: Wouldn’t you know that Ohio says the same thing as Colorado- “model” legislation the rest of the nation should follow. Both states strip local municipalities of their vote—Yet the state is somehow not being overly forceful? But if the federal government were to get involved, that’s too invasive?
Oppose fracking . . . and oppress gays and women?: Metroland
“After a screening of his pro-fracking film Fracknation at the Egg on Monday (Jan. 11), filmmaker Phelim McAleer took questions from the audience. At one point the Q&A got heated as McAleer shamed “liberals” for their support of foreign oil. He said that buying Saudi Arabian oil was in effect supporting the oppression of gays and women. He addressed the audience: “I thought the left was in favor of gay rights? I though the left was in favor of women’s rights?” The film was funded with $212,265 from a Kickstarter campaign.” Full Story Here.
FTM note: Dear Phil McAleer, The United State gets most of its oil from Canada and South America. Most of us opposed to fracking are not in support of “foreign oil”, we’re in support of renewable energy sources. Furthermore, there are conservative citizens concerned with fracking. Get your fracking facts straight.
“Brockman said that the flowback returning to the surface includes fracking fluid and a lot more: All the hydrocarbons — crude oil and natural gas — the well was drilled to produce.
The EPA fact sheet says the flowback contains a high volume of volatile organic compounds and air toxics including benzene, ethylbenzene, and n-hexane.
“The EPA estimates that uncontrolled hydraulically fractured wells may emit 240 times the amount of hazardous air pollutants as an unfractured well,” according to another EPA document. “The concern is that once the well has been hydraulically fractured, the large amount of fluid returns up the well bore to the surface where it was vented, releasing large amounts of hydrocarbons and chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process into the air.”” Full Story Here.
“Since then, the issue has only intensified across the state, with Cuomo, a Democrat, facing pressure from his party’s base and an aggressive, well-organized movement of anti-fracking activists. Statewide polls have only complicated the matter for Cuomo, with a Siena College survey this month showing an even split among fracking supporters and opponents.
Cuomo received praise from environmental groups for his administration’s decision to allow the Feb. 27 deadline to lapse, which will require the DEC to re-propose the regulations and subject them to 45 days of public comment and a hearing.” Full Story Here.
Town board imposes gag order on residents concerned with fracking
“Naturally, those fracking opponents weren’t too happy about the board’s pro-drilling actions, and they were vocal about it during the board’s public comment sessions, leading to the gag order. Herbert Kline, an attorney who represents Sanford, told the Associated Press, ”People who were against fracking had, in the minds of the town board, monopolized discussion in the public participation portion of prior meetings to the extent that very little other business could be accomplished.”
You know what? Tough. Again, speaking as someone who has spent thousands of hours in public meetings, that’s what happens when people have strong opinions about issues that matter to their lives, their families, and their community: they want to talk about them, and they wanted their elected decision makers to listen. And for people who live in the Marcellus Shale region, it’s hard to imagine an issue more vital to their health and homes than fracking. Mike Mustante, one of the Sanford residents prevented from speaking out, told NRDC that by gagging him, the town board “ended any chance that I might have to affect the future value of my home, or the quality of the air I breathe, or the water I drink.” That’s the kind of thing a guy won’t shut up about.” Full Story Here.
“Although the proposed rules, released in December, would require energy companies to disclose many of the chemicals they inject deep into the ground to break apart rock and release oil, some lawmakers said the regulations should go further, including advance notice to nearby landowners and water monitoring around fracking operations.” …
“Oil companies say they have used the technology safely for decades in California. Nevertheless, representatives testified that they supported mandatory reporting to allay public concerns.” Full Story Here.
FTM Note: Notice the use of “many chemicals” as part of the requirement? Yeah, not all of the chemicals, and those need-not concern you! They are proprietary trade secrets that may or may not negatively impact your health- you have no right to know about them! *Additionally note the sarcasm in this note.
“But Newton stressed the urgency of attracting energy exploration, noting it can take several years of lead time to develop a shale gas drilling operation. North Carolina has several disadvantages, which Newton’s bill is intended to remedy with favorable conditions for the industry.
Among North Carolina’s drawbacks are the uncertainty of the quantity of natural gas here and the state’s lack of experience in energy exploration. Additionally, the depressed global price of natural gas has resulted in a dramatic falloff of drilling activity nationwide, from a high of 1,606 wells in September 2008 to 428 wells on Feb. 1, according to a legislative staff memo prepared for Wednesday’s hearing.
Newton’s bill seeks to compensate for those shortcomings by taxing shale gas developers at a lower rate than other states. The bill suggests a severance tax on a sliding scale that is indexed to the fluctuating market price of natural gas at the wellhead. The severance tax would pay for regulatory staff and enforcement.” Full Story Here.
“About 50 people attended the “Hydraulic Fracturing of Shale and Water Quality” lecture sponsored by the Rutgers Energy Institute yesterday at the Wright-Rieman Auditorium on Busch Campus to listen to a seminar by Pennsylvania State University Professor Susan L. Brantley about her research on hydraulic fracturing.
Hydraulic fracturing is a mining technique energy companies have used since the ’40s to extract natural gas from rocks, and is utilized especially in places like Pennsylvania where Brantley said she has done most of her work.” Full Story Here.
““I have never seen a single issue that has frightened, antagonized and activated people across this country like the practice of fracking,” NRDC president Beinecke told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Referring to the industry practice of stimulating oil and gas production by injecting a mix of chemicals, water and sand into underground rock formations, Beinecke said:
“Families are angered and frustrated by their inability to control fracking in their towns, and sometimes on their own property. They want to know that their water is safe, their air is clean and their lands and farms are protected. They want to know their children are healthy.”
Beinecke’s comments captured a troubling truth for the oil and gas industry, which to a large extent has been caught off guard by the mounting public hostility to fracking, or hydraulic fracturing. Fracking is now used in the vast majority of drilling operations and has opened up vast new domestic reserves of oil and gas previously locked in shale formations. As Beinecke noted, a December Bloomberg poll found that 66 percent of U.S. respondents believe there should be more aggressive government oversight of fracking, a majority that surged by ten points in just the previous three months.” Full Story Here.