Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oil’s new world order

Daniel Yergin
October 28, 2011

For more than five decades, the world’s oil map has centered on the Middle East. No matter what new energy resources were discovered and developed elsewhere, virtually all forecasts indicated that U.S. reliance on Mideast oil supplies was destined to grow. This seemingly irreversible reality has shaped not only U.S. energy policy and economic policy, but also geopolitics and the entire global economy.

But today, what appeared irreversible is being reversed. The outline of a new world oil map is emerging, and it is centered not on the Middle East but on the Western Hemisphere. The new energy axis runs from Alberta, Canada, down through North Dakota and South Texas, past a major new discovery off the coast of French Guyana to huge offshore oil deposits found near Brazil....continued....

Test-case lawsuit on N.Y. town's drilling ban heads to court

 COMMENT:
"The People have a right to use the government closest to us –our municipalities – because, until the state and federal governments cease and desist from licensing and permitting state chartered corporations to deprive our unalienable rights in communities across America, we are on our own.

The People have unalienable rights. The state has no authority to issue permits to state chartered corporations that make it legal for them to violate the rights of the people.

This idea that people have rights and that the state has no authority to license violation of those rights, is the core principle, the underlying premise, for mounting a new civil rights movement for the legal recognition and protection of community rights.

••  Actions to adopt a Community Rights Protective Water Rights Ordinance that bans natural gas drilling-fracking, by the City of Pittsburgh City Council:  "Members of the city council recognized that when the state permits the drilling to occur, the state isn’t going to provide municipalities with the authority to prevent it. Accordingly, the council decided to create is own local structure of law, which directly challenges the authority of both the state – and the natural gas corporations empowered by the state – to drill within the city."
            Ben Price, CELDF

Colin Sullivan
November 3, 2011

 Attorneys in an upstate New York town revealed their legal strategy today for blunting a lawsuit from Anschutz Exploration Corp. that seeks to overturn a local ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

 The lawsuit challenges an attempt by the town of Dryden to determine for itself whether fracking can occur there. In August, the town's board changed its zoning laws to keep Anschutz and other companies out, voting to deny fracking operations within its borders.

 But the Colorado-based Anschutz drilling arm, owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, shot back with a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court, Tompkins County, that says only the state can regulate gas drilling.

 Lawyers for Anschutz claim the zoning ban is pre-empted by New York's Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law. They argue that Dryden's ban could set the stage in New York or in other states for a hodgepodge of regulations that would keep drilling in some communities but out of others.

 Dryden's counterargument is that it has the right to pass land-use regulations that say nothing directly about the technical side of natural gas drilling or exploration. Attorneys close to the case said Dryden has the right to decide for itself whether it wants heavy industrialization within its borders because of the direct impact on land use.

 "The rights of towns to zone out extractive mining is already very well-established in New York law," said Deborah Goldberg, an attorney with Earthjustice, which has filed briefs in the case but has so far been denied amicus, or "friend of the court," status.

 The attorneys and local activists held a press conference today in advance of a court hearing tomorrow on the merits of the lawsuit. The town has moved to dismiss the suit, claiming its local zoning rules are not pre-empted by the state.

 One way or another, Goldberg said she expects this case to make its way up the ladder in New York's judicial system.

 "Everyone knows this is going to go up on appeal no matter which way it comes out," she said.

 An attorney representing Anschutz, Thomas West of the West Law Firm in Albany, agreed that the case would be appealed regardless of the initial decision, establishing a precedent for local regulation of fracking. As for Dryden's legal case, he was dismissive.

 "I think the argument is extremely weak," he said, arguing that there is a clear difference in New York law between how mining and reclamation are zoned locally and how oil and gas drilling are regulated by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
>
 West said oil and gas laws "don't have the same carve-outs" as mining and reclamation. Municipalities can only regulate roads and local taxation when it comes to oil and gas drilling, he said.

 He also sees a broader dynamic in play that may emerge as the case proceeds. A given landowner has the right to lease his land for drilling, so if a town like Dryden can block such activity, to West, that constitutes a taking of the land.

 "If municipalities are successful in banning drilling, the next step would be for the landowners to sue the municipalities for taking," he said. "You've just had your property taken without just compensation."

 Locals see it differently. Martin Hatch, a volunteer on Dryden's local planning board, cast the town's position in a political light, stealing a page from Occupy Wall Street's anti-corporate credo. He said any group of citizens should have the right to block "an out-of-town billionaire swooping in and telling us what we can or can't do."

 "Nobody needs to tell anyone that people are tired of businesses around this country calling the shots," he said.


US ELECTROMAGNETIC WEAPONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS


Investigative Research

This research explores the current capabilities of the US military to use electromagnetic (EMF) devices to harass, intimidate, and kill individuals and the continuing possibilities of violations of human rights by the testing and deployment of these weapons. To establish historical precedent in the US for such acts, we document long-term human rights and freedom of thought violations by US military/intelligence organizations. Additionally, we explore contemporary evidence of on-going government research in EMF weapons technologies and examine the potentialities of continuing human rights abuses.....continued......

CELDF Community Rights Ordinance: Drilling ban to appear on Borough ballot

 Lucy Bryan Green
October 31st, 2011

When residents of the State College Borough take to the polls on Nov. 8, they will join several other Pennsylvania communities, including Warren and Peters Township, in casting ballots that have the potential to make history and spark controversy.

The citizens of these towns will, for the first time ever, issue popular votes on amendments to their town charters that include environmental bills of rights and bans on natural gas drilling.

These referendums are the fruit of a growing grassroots movement in which communities are asserting their right to self-government, in particular, the right to protect their natural resources. But the possibility that these measures violate Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Act has drawn opposition from drilling companies, state officials and local politicians.....continued......

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

Chip Ward
 October 27, 2011

 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....continued.....

Oil Boomtowns See Rise In Drunken Driving And Bar Fights, Threatening To Overwhelm Law Enforcement

EXCERPT:
"We definitely do drink a lot. I ain't going to lie," said Jordon Bourque, a 23-year-old pipe inspector from Lafayette, La., who was drinking beer at a bar in the Williamsport, Pa., area one recent night.

In the North Dakota boomtown of Williston, some bars have become rough, and the number of domestic-disturbance calls and arrests for such crimes as DUI, assault and theft in just the first half of 2011 was twice the total for all of 2010, said Busching, the sheriff.

Stories abound about friction between locals and out-of-towners, whether road rage incidents or fights over women.

Renee Daly, 27, of Montrose, Pa., said she knows of at least three marriages that ended when local women abandoned their husbands for gas-field workers.

COMMENT:
What have we heard from ranchers Gilbert Armenta and Chris Velasquez from San Juan County about increased crime: drunkenness, drug use, prostitution, and their community's needs for larger courthouses and increased law enforcement over the past 40-50 years since drilling for oil and gas overtook their agricultural county?

Appears the size of the Mora County Courthouse might be "just right," at least for the next 10 years, should the commission pass a regulatory oil and gas ordinance which permits drilling to take place.

 
11-26-2011

TOWANDA, Pa. -- In a modern-day echo of the raucous Old West, small towns enjoying a boom in oil and gas drilling are seeing a sharp increase in drunken driving, bar fights and other hell-raising, blamed largely on an influx of young men who find themselves with lots of money in their pockets and nothing to do after they get off work.

Authorities in Pennsylvania and other states are quick to point out that the vast majority of workers streaming in are law-abiding. But they also say the drilling industry has brought with it a hard-working, hard-drinking, rough-and-tumble element that, in some places, threatens to overwhelm law enforcement.

Some police departments are trying to hire more officers but are hard-pressed to compete with the industry for applicants...continued.......

WildEarth Guardians object to water-rights transfer: Group claims move will hurt existing downstream water rights, river ecosystem

EXCERPT:
"In the middle Rio Grande, including Socorro, water-right prices range from $12,000 to $15,000 an acre-foot.

The most expensive water rights are near water-strapped Las Vegas, N.M. An acre-foot there is going for $20,000 to $30,000, Turner [Albuquerque water broker Bill Turner] said."

COMMENT:
At prices in this range, it will be corporations and state and federal governments who will be able to afford such prices. These water transfers will not be by The People. This is the beginning for New Mexico, folks. Time to act in solidarity.

Staci Matlock
October 26, 2011

An environmental group is protesting a water-rights transfer from a Socorro farm to the city of Santa Fe.

WildEarth Guardians is protesting an application to transfer 163 acre-feet of water owned by Vannetta Perry of Socorro and to stop irrigating 54 acres of land. Irrigation water rights are valuable to cities and housing developments that need the rights to use water within the Rio Grande basin.

When the rights are transferred, the irrigated farmlands are fallowed.

The city is continuing to purchase water rights to offset the impacts on the Rio Grande of past groundwater pumping at the municipality's Buckman well field near the river...continued.....

KUNM Interview with Thomas Linzey, CELDF

Thomas Linzey is the senior legal counsel for the Community Legal Defense Fund, CELDF, He is speaking about corporate Constitutional "rights" and the inalienable rights of people and nature.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Faren Dancer, Unicopia Green Radio, interviews Thomas Linzey, CELDF

Listen to the interview with Thomas Linzey, senior legal counsel for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, CELDF,  on corporate Constitutional "rights" and community self-government            www.celdf.org

Faren Dancer, Unicopia Green Radio:
http://www.unicopia.org/gtr%20home.html

Saturday, January 21, 2012

High water use, contamination top list of shale gas concerns: Memo

EXCERPT:
"There is potential for water contamination from the use and disposal of drilling muds and fracturing fluids," Boothe wrote in the memo to Kent, dated March 8, 2011. "There is also a risk of natural gas or saltwater from the formation leaking into surface water, water wells or water aquifers.

"Other environmental impacts include but are not necessarily limited to air emissions (greenhouse gases and air pollutants), habitat fragmentation, and the increased traffic needed to transport water, chemicals, and equipment for shale gas production," Boothe wrote. "Further work is needed to assess the risks associated with shale gas development in Canada, including quantity of water used, surface and groundwater contamination, and emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants from shale gas facilities.

Kent announced in September that the government had launched two separate scientific reviews to examine the impacts of shale gas exploration. One review is being conducted by department officials, while the other will be conducted by the Council of Canadian Academies, a not-for-profit agency that provides science-based studies."

COMMENT:
Canada, a socialistic country, with a universal health care system, just might concern themselves with rising health care costs due to drilling, and take a strong stand regarding air and water contamination such as they did on indoor air quality concerns in the 1990s.


MIKE DE SOUZA
OCTOBER 24, 2011

OTTAWA --- Water use and contamination are at the top of the list of environmental concerns surrounding shale gas exploration in Canada, Environment Minister Peter Kent was told earlier this year in an internal memorandum released on Monday.

The advice, drafted by Environment Canada's top bureaucrat and deputy minister, Paul Boothe, acknowledged that the emerging industry is considered a "game changer" in the energy market, but it also noted that most sites are using millions of litres of water and hundreds of thousands of litres of unidentified chemicals that are injected in the ground at high pressure to extract natural gas from shale rock formations.

"There is potential for water contamination from the use and disposal of drilling muds and fracturing fluids," Boothe wrote in the memo to Kent, dated March 8, 2011. "There is also a risk of natural gas or saltwater from the formation leaking into surface water, water wells or water aquifers."

Several jurisdictions in North America, including Quebec and New York, have slowed down development to investigate the impacts of unconventional oil and gas exploration. Environment Canada also launched its own reviews this year, coinciding with the memo that was sent to Kent and released to Postmedia News through access to information legislation....continued......

Small-town politics take the national stage as Range challenges local drilling ordinance

EXCERPT:
"Range Resources, western Pennsylvania's dominant driller, is suing the township of South Fayette for an [regulatory] ordinance approved last November that prohibits surface drilling in the community's neighborhoods, parks, farms and school zones.  That regulation amounts to an illegal ban on natural gas drilling, the company argues....."

COMMENT:
A "regulatory" ordinance prohibiting drilling in community neighborhoods is challenged by industry. Would industry sue this community had they passed a "community rights-based ordinance" that prohibits natural gas drilling while protecting the citizens' inalienable rights?  The City of Pittsburgh passed such an ordinance December 2010, and is still protected today while countless "regulatory" bans are being challenged by industry across PA.........
 

October 24, 2011

An affluent Pittsburgh suburb has become a test case for drilling regulations across the Marcellus Shale region, thrusting small-town politics into the national limelight.

Range Resources, western Pennsylvania's dominant driller, is suing the township of South Fayette for an ordinance approved last November that prohibits surface drilling in the community's neighborhoods, parks, farms and school zones.

That regulation amounts to an illegal ban on natural gas drilling, the company argues, and is holding back development on leases set to expire at a time when the driller says it is short on cash. Range estimates that the township's reserves are worth $1.2 billion. That could bring $180 million in royalties to South Fayette landowners, the company estimates...continued......

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Tainted Water Well, and Concern There May Be More


By IAN URBINA
August 3, 2011

For decades, oil and gas industry executives as well as regulators have maintained that a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that is used for most natural gas wells has never contaminated underground drinking water.

Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of ExxonMobil, has said that there are no reported cases of a freshwater aquifer having ever been contaminated from hydraulic fracturing.

The claim is based in part on a simple fact: fracking, in which water and toxic chemicals are injected at high pressure into the ground to break up rocks and release the gas trapped there, occurs thousands of feet below drinking-water aquifers. Because of that distance, the drilling chemicals pose no risk, industry officials have argued.

“There have been over a million wells hydraulically fractured in the history of the industry, and there is not one, not one, reported case of a freshwater aquifer having ever been contaminated from hydraulic fracturing. Not one,” Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of ExxonMobil, said last year at a Congressional hearing on drilling....continued...

Drilling in Fast-Growing Areas Ushers in New Era of Tension

EXCERPT:
"Fort Worth has upward of 2,000 gas wells right in the city itself, with most of that growth within just the last five years. Pittsburgh, facing the prospect of urban drilling, forbade it last year by a vote of the City Council."

COMMENT:
Which city would you choose for your family?

There are two options for all communities when drilling is around the corner in your neighborhood:
•  Pass a regulatory ordinance which permits drilling in your community
•  Pass a community rights-based ordinance that includes a bill of rights protecting citizen birth rights to clean water, air, land and health and prohibits industry from harming these inalienable rights

Which would you choose?  Contact your commission and let them know.


Patrick Andrade
October 24, 2011

DENVER — The pattern is clear in the oil and gas business: drilling fields are going into new places. North Dakota, better known for growing wheat, is now booming with rigs. Fort Worth has upward of 2,000 gas wells right in the city itself, with most of that growth within just the last five years. Pittsburgh, facing the prospect of urban drilling, forbade it last year by a vote of the City Council [the council passed a CELDF community rights ordinance protecting citizen's birth rights to clean air, water, land, health and safety, and banned extraction of natural gas & hydraulic fracturing].

But few areas are facing the prospect of drilling’s new frontier more vividly than eastern Colorado, where 80 percent of this state’s population of five million people cluster in a line of cities and suburbs stretching out from Denver, Colorado’s capital and largest city.

A 90 million-year-old oil bed called the Niobrara — estimated to contain two billion barrels, locked in shale that in past drilling eras was considered too costly to extract — laces down from southeast Wyoming and Nebraska. And like a cowboy with Saturday-night pay in his pocket, ready to spend big and have a good time, the energy industry is riding into town to drill for it....continued....

The Fracking Industry's War On The New York Times -- And The Truth

EXCERPT:
"I [Robert F. Kennedy Jr.] confess to being an early optimist on natural gas. In July of 2009, I wrote a widely circulated op-ed for the Financial Times predicting that newly accessible deposits of natural gas had the potential to rapidly relieve our country of its deadly addiction to Appalachian coal and end forever catastrophically destructive mountaintop removal mining.

The industry's worst actors have successfully battled reasonable regulation, stifled public disclosure while bending compliant government regulators to engineer exceptions to existing environmental rules. 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. With an army of over 40,000 highly motivated anti-fracking activists in New York alone, popular mistrust of the industry is presenting a daunting impediment to its expansion.

 * The human health impacts of gas extraction on local communities may rival those associated with coal. A new study by Centers for Disease Control finds that breast cancer rates have dropped in every county in Texas, but have increased in the six counties with the heaviest natural gas air emissions.

Gas fracking flacks routinely make extravagant promises about bringing jobs and income to the depressed rural communities. If those jobs and royalties don't come -- the way they have not come for people in Bradford County, PA -- New Yorkers will be justifiably angry, as they wonder why the government and our panel did not protect them when there were so many warning signs"


Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
10/20/11
Superb investigative journalism by the New York Times has brought the paper under attack by the natural gas industry. That campaign of intimidation and obfuscation has been orchestrated by top shelf players like Exxon and Chesapeake aligned with the industry's worst bottom feeders. This coalition has launched an impressive propaganda effort carried by slick PR firms, industry funded front groups and a predictable cabal of right wing industry toadies from cable TV and talk radio. In pitting itself against public disclosure and reasonable regulation, the natural gas industry is once again proving that it is its own worst enemy.

A Music Youtube that explains "fracking"

New York State Senator Greg Ball (R, C)40th Senate District

EXCERPT:
“I can tell you right now that the pain that I’ve seen here today, and the pain that I experienced first-hand speaking with families and farmers in Pennsylvania, it will be over my dead body before I allow what happened in Pennsylvania to happen here in New York,” said Senator Ball speaking at a recent hearing on hydrofracking in Katonah, N.Y.

“I have seen first-hand the devastation caused in communities where gas companies were given a free pass,” said Senator Ball who recently toured Pennsylvania towns where hydrofracking is currently taking place. “Fourth generation landowners whose property values sustained 90% devaluation because of contaminated water wells. Farmers whose cattle suffered unexplained and unusually high still birth rates. So I will not roll out the red carpet for companies that are not willing to be held accountable,” added Ball.



August 30th,2011
Sen. BALL: “OVER MY DEAD BODY” WILL NY HAVE PENNSYLVANIA’S FRACKING PROBLEMS

State Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, is proposing legislation that would set up some rules and guidelines aimed at hydrofracking in New York state. Ball said he witnessed damage to private property during a tour of areas in Pennsylvania where hydrofracking for natural gas is occurring. His legislation is meant to protect property owners.

Rush to Drill for Natural Gas Creates Conflicts With Mortgages

EXCERPT:
"But bankers and real estate executives, especially in New York, are starting to pay closer attention to the fine print and are raising provocative questions, such as: What happens if they lend money for a piece of land that ends up storing the equivalent of an Olympic-size swimming pool filled with toxic wastewater from drilling?

Fearful of just such a possibility, some banks have become reluctant to grant mortgages on properties leased for gas drilling. At least eight local or national banks do not typically issue mortgages on such properties,lenders say."


Andrew Harrer
October 19, 2011

As natural gas drilling has spread across the country, energy industry representatives have sat down at kitchen tables in states like Texas, Pennsylvania and New York to offer homeowners leases that give companies the right to drill on their land.

Like many landowners, Marie McRae, who has a farm in Freeville, N.Y., says she was not aware she needed her lender's permission for a gas lease.

And over the past 10 years, as natural gas has become increasingly important to the nation’s energy future, Americans have signed more than a million of these leases..continued......

Forest Hills Council Unanimously Adopts Community Rights Ordinance That Bans Gas Drilling

EXCERPT:
  “I believe this is the most important decision we on Council will make this year… We have to do what we can on this issue, and I urge other boroughs to do the same."
              --- Devon Woods, Forest Hills Borough Council

  “Everybody’s definitely behind it. I think we owe it to the community and to future generations.”
              ---  Frank Porco, Council President

 October 19, 2011
By a unanimous vote, the Borough Council ofForest Hills, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, voted to adopt a Local Bill of Rights, along with a prohibition on natural gas extraction to protect those rights.

The bill, titled “Forest Hills Borough’s Community Rights and Protection from Natural Gas Exploitation Ordinance” establishes specific rights for Borough residents, including the Right to Water, the Rights of NaturalCommunities, the Right to a Sustainable Energy Future, and the Right to Community Self-Government.

The Ordinance was drafted in consultation with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund(CELDF).

•  Prior to the vote, Forest Hills resident and lead community proponent of the law, Elizabeth Donohoe remarked:
“I know the Council has been very diligent in its consideration of this subject. Speaking for many of your constituents --in fact, over 400 residents signed pages of a petition that is still in circulation -- I thank you for doing the work necessary to help you understand that a limited, conditional use ordinance will not protect this town from industries who are bent on extracting what they want from beneath our feet. Only by the banning of polluting industries from within the borders of our Borough will you -- our elected officials -- uphold the PA Constitution,which guarantees us the safety of our water and air. Because of an appalling abdication of leadership in Harrisburg, the protection of air and water fallson local municipal officials. On behalf of future generations, we very much appreciate your rising to the challenge represented by this unfortunate reality.”

•  Council member DevonWoods made these comments before Council took up the measure:
“This is something I feel very strongly about. I believe this is the most important decision we on Council will make this year. When I was a little girl, my family would go to the Laurel Highlands; we would eat watercress that we picked from the Loyal hanna River. I would no more dream today of letting my children do that than I would allow them to cross Ardmore Blvd. by themselves. The water has been affected by drilling.  Waangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who died recently has been on my mind. She tells a story of a hummingbird putting out a raging forest fire with drops of water from a lake as all the other woodland creatures look on, feeling powerless. 'What do you think you are doing?' she is asked. She replies 'I am doing the best I can...collectively it will make a difference.' We have to do what we can on this issue, and I urge other boroughs [counties] to do the same."

Following the unanimous vote, Council President Frank Porco said: "This was an easy vote. Our strategic plan is to make sure Forest Hills is viable 20 years down the road.”

The key prohibition enacted to protect the rights enumerated states: “It shall be unlawful for any corporation to engage in the extraction of natural gas within Forest Hills Borough, with the exception of gas wells and pipelines already installed and operating at the time of enactment of this Ordinance, provided that the extraction of gas from those existing wells does not involve any practice or process not previously used for the extraction of gas from those wells.”

In addition,the ordinance would make it “unlawful for any corporation to extract water from any source, whether surface or subsurface, within Forest HillsBorough, for use in the extraction of subsurface natural gas. It shall be unlawful for a corporation to import water into Forest Hills Borough for use in the extraction of subsurface natural gas. It shall be unlawful for any corporation to deposit waste water, “produced” water, “frack” water, brine or other materials or by-products of natural gas extraction activities, into the land, air or waters within Forest Hills Borough or within its external jurisdiction.”

The ordinance goes on to assert: “Corporations in violation of the prohibition against natural gas extraction, or seeking to engage in natural gas extraction shall not have the rights of “persons” afforded by the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions, nor shall those corporations be afforded rights under the 1st or 5th amendments to the United States Constitution or corresponding sections of the Pennsylvania Constitution, nor shall those corporations be afforded the protections of the commerce or contracts clauses within the United States Constitution or corresponding sections of the Pennsylvania Constitution.”

The bill also recognizes the right of the people to a form of government where they live “which recognizes that all power is inherent in the people, that all free governments are founded on the people’s authority and consent, and that neither individuals nor corporate entities and their directors and managers shall enjoy special privileges or powers under the color of state law which purports to make community majorities subordinate to them.”

The bill was modeled after the Ordinance drafted by CELDF and adopted on November 16th of last year by the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. West Homestead Borough adopted virtually the same Ordinance on May 10th,followed by Baldwin Borough on June 21st. Both municipalities are in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Mountain Lake Park, Maryland adopted the Community Rights gas drilling ban on March 6th of this year, and Wales, New York did so on June 14th, 2011. On July 20th, 2011, Wilkinsburg Borough, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania joined the movement to assert community rights over fracking corporations. A similar Community Rights Ordinance prohibiting the depositing or storage of frack-water was enacted last October by Licking Township in Clarion County, Pennsylvania.

In an earlier discussion of the measure, Council President Frank Porco commented “Everybody’s definitely behind it. I think we owe it to the community and to future generations.”

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, headquartered in Chambersburg, has been working with people in Pennsylvania since 1995 to assert their fundamental rights to democratic local self-governance, and to enact laws which end destructive and rights-denying corporate action aided and abetted by state and federal governments.

Canadian Plastics' Wilkinson makes case for converting plastic to energy in North America

EXCERPT:
"Could non-recycled plastics provide a cost-effective alternative to conventional energy? A new study out of Columbia University found that non-recycled plastics in the U.S. could provide energy to fuel 6 million cars annually and enough electricity to power 5.2 million households.

There are three basic groupings [or energy recovery], ..one grouping is something called solid recovered fuel and an example of that is taking mixed plastics and turning them into a fuel cube and then substituting that fuel cube for a dirtier fuel, like coal or petroleum, coke, in a cement kiln or an industrial boiler.


COMMENT:
From a Report by Greenpeace (attached):

"One of the larger concerns in burning hazardous wastes is the generation of new, sometimes exquisitely toxic chemicals during and subsequent to combustion—so-called products of incomplete combustion (PICs). Among the PICs that have been identified, dioxins and furans are commonly regarded as the greatest threat to public health and the environment. These and other POPs, including PCBs46 and hexachlorobenzene,47 are created when chlorine-containing materials are burned. Studies suggest that the populations of the U.S. and some European countries now carry body burdens of dioxins and furans that are at or near those levels at which health effects are known to occur in humans.48

• In Japan, where municipal waste contains relatively high levels of the organochlorine plastic, PVC, 67 high dioxin concentrations in soils surrounding a municipal waste incinerator were found to be “well correlated” with high cancer rates among the surrounding population.68

• A team of doctors reported elevated levels of these POPs in the breast milk of women who live downwind from certain incinerators in Germany.69

• U.S. federal and state agencies assessed the levels of dioxins in the blood lipids of people living near an incinerator burning waste from the manufacture of two organochlorine pesticides, 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T.70,71 Over a three-year period, concentrations of the most toxic form of dioxin, 2,3,7,8-TCDD, increased by an average of 25 percent among more than 60 percent of the study participants.72

• Authorities in Spain determined that, over a period of two years, dioxins in the blood lipids of people living near an incinerator burning urban wastes increased by 10 to 15 percent. In addition, their blood lipid levels of PCBs increased by about 5 percent.73

• In Canada, health officials advised against the consumption of wild game taken within a 30 kilometer radius of the Swan Hills PCB incinerator because of the accumulation of dioxins released from that facility.74"


Let us not turn a blind eye to the environmental destruction fossil fuels create in all stages from the initial extraction (contamination of air & water), manufacturing into product (release of toxic chemicals into the air and water), prospects of regeneration for energy replacement (release of toxic chemicals into the air and water, into the land, into human and animals tissues) and be swayed by a seemingly clever and benign way to further the industry's use of fossil fuels. GREEN renewable leadership continues to be lacking in this equation!!!

The mountains of toxic  products made from petroleum (fossil fuel) in the form of plastic containers (water bottles, baby bottles, yoghurt containers, plastic wrap, and bags), plastic building products (decking, siding, paneling, power tools, lawn mowers, chain saws, weed wackers) plastic clothing (nylon), dvds, alarm clocks, et al, are as toxic to the environment and all species if not more so given the synergistic impact as a result of incineration.

Fools we are, should we stand for industry and government to continue in this madness.  Fossil fuels, in any form, new, or discarded, have no place in a world where global warming is destroying all things living. The contribution to global warming from incineration is well understood--and so are the consequences.



October 18, 2011

Could non-recycled plastics provide a cost-effective alternative to conventional energy? During today's OnPoint, Greg Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and an adviser to the American Chemistry Council, discusses a new Columbia University study that found non-recycled plastics in the United States could provide enough energy to fuel 6 million cars annually and enough electricity to power 5.2 million households. Wilkinson addresses some of the environmental and economic concerns with waste-to-fuel practice....continued....

In North Dakota, Flames of Wasted Natural Gas Light the Prairie

EXCERPTS:
"Thirty percent of the natural gas extracted in North Dakota is flared off, like this gas near Ray.

“I’ll tell you why people flare: It’s cheap,” said Troy Anderson, lead operator of a North Dakota gas-processing plant owned by Whiting Petroleum. “Pipelines are expensive: You have to maintain them. You need permits to build them. They are a pain.”

COMMENT:
Ridding of these chemicals by burning them off into our atmosphere is one way to hasten global warming....with the oil and gas industry vying for the #1 or 2 position for the largest contributor to global warming in the world! And in the meantime, it is chocking the breath for millions.


Jim Wilson--The New York Times
September 26, 2011

NEW TOWN, N.D. — Across western North Dakota, hundreds of fires rise above fields of wheat and sunflowers and bales of hay. At night, they illuminate the prairie skies like giant fireflies.

They are not wildfires caused by lightning strikes or other acts of nature, but the deliberate burning of natural gas by oil companies rushing to extract oil from the Bakken shale field and take advantage of the high price of crude. The gas bubbles up alongside the far more valuable oil, and with less economic incentive to capture it, the drillers treat the gas as waste and simply burn it....continued....

Tell Us What's Being Done to Our Groundwater, Demand Albertans: Push for Transparency After Province Closed Once-Public Records on Aquifer Quality

Andrew Nikiforuk
17 Oct 2011

A retired chemical engineer is trying to get the Alberta government to divulge key water quality data on the province's critical groundwater resources -- a move that could shed more light on the impact of shale gas operations on Canadian aquifers.

Don Davidson, a former oil patch worker, says he got interested in the issue when groundwater experts with the Alberta Geological Survey and Geological Survey of Canada told him they couldn't get access to water chemistry reports on rural water wells.

"It was restricted by Alberta Health and Wellness," says Davidson, who is 65 and lives in Edmonton. Until recently, this information was publically available to all citizens. Without access to long-term data on water quality and contents, scientists can't determine any groundwater trends, explains Davidson: "I think that's wrong."
.continued...

Parched Texans Impose Water-Use Limits for Fracking Gas Wells

EXCERPT:
“The rumblings have definitely started in the last six months,” said Chris Faulkner, chief executive officer of Breitling Oil and Gas Corp., a closely held producer in Irving, Texas. “It used to be, ‘Are you going to contaminate my water;’ now the concern is, ‘You’re going to use up all my water.’”
October 06, 2011
By Mike Lee

 An intensifying drought in Texas is prompting limits on water consumption that for the first time target oil and natural gas producers.

Local water districts, which have authority to allocate water from subterranean aquifers, are adding a water-intensive production method called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to some of the pumping restrictions they’re imposing on farmers and small towns.

The city of Grand Prairie in the Barnett Shale in North Texas in August became the first municipality to ban the use of city water for fracking. Water officials for the Ogallala Aquifer in part of the Permian Basin included fracking when they approved the district’s first-ever restrictions on water use in July.

Even before the drought, water was a sensitive issue for gas producers, who now use fracking to develop about 85 percent of the wells drilled in Texas, according to state regulators..continued.......

High court ponders domestic well rights: Two cases challenge statute over constitutional grounds

Staci Matlock
October 13, 2011

New Mexico State Supreme Court justices are deciding whether a pivotal, decades-old state domestic well law violates the state constitution.

The five justices heard oral arguments Thursday in two cases challenging the state statute. Their final decision has far-reaching consequences.

If the justices find the state law is unconstitutional, the legality of tens of thousands of domestic wells in the state would be questionable.

If the court finds the state law doesn't contradict the constitution, a big question remains, one that the justices seemed to say the state Legislature would have to resolve: How to ensure an increasing number of wells don't impair the water available to people with priority rights.

The debate over how domestic wells affect farmers, tribes and others with the oldest, and most senior, water rights in New Mexico has deepened in the last several years as the number of domestic wells has proliferated and drought has further limited an already scarce resource..continued...

Hampton, New Brunswick, Canada, Blocks Seismic Testing Within Town Limits for Shale Gas

EXCERPT:
"They [council] received a standing ovation from residents in the gallery after the vote [to ban seismic testing].

Citizen groups and environmentalists have blocked roads and staged demonstrations at public meetings, government buildings and shale gas test sites in their efforts to halt development.

They are worried that groundwater supplies could be contaminated from hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking."

COMMENT:
When the elected officials act on behalf of the citizens to protect the health, welfare and safety of the citizens and environment, communities can join in solidarity and begin to live in harmony with their environment.  In the words of Julie Whitten, "Land, animals, soil fungi and rocks are not resources.  They are "the community to which we belong."


October 12, 2011
HAMPTON, N.B. - A town council in New Brunswick has voted unanimously to reject Windsor Energy's request to allow thumper trucks to conduct seismic testing *within Hampton town limits* for shale gas.

Councillors voted unanimously Tuesday night to block the testing after dozens of residents protested earlier in the day against shale gas exploration in the area.

They received a standing ovation from residents in the gallery after the vote.

Protests have been growing around the province over Premier David Alward's position to proceed with shale gas development.

Citizen groups and environmentalists have blocked roads and staged demonstrations at public meetings, government buildings and shale gas test sites in their efforts to halt development.

They are worried that groundwater supplies could be contaminated from hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

The process involves forcing a cocktail of chemicals, water and sand into a gas well to fracture layers of shale rock and release trapped pockets of natural gas.

Groups Sue After E.P.A. Fails to Shift Ozone Rules

COMMENT:
Another lawsuit.  When industry and our governments join hands and peal back or prevent human and environmental protection, what is left for the people to do?

A lawsuit.

WIll you wait until the situation gets this bad in your community, or will you work to PROTECT before the damage occurs?  It is your choice.  It is your voice!  There are options.


JOHN M. BRODER
 WASHINGTON — Five health and environmental groups sued the Obama administration on Tuesday over its rejection of a proposed stricter new standard for ozone pollution, saying the decision was driven by politics and ignored public health concerns.

The groups said that President Obama’s refusal to adopt the new standard was illegal and left in place an inadequate air quality rule from the Bush administration. Near the end of his presidency, George W. Bush overruled the Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific advisory panel and set the permissible ozone exposure at 75 parts per billion.

The current E.P.A. administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, wanted to set the standard at 70 parts per billion, near the maximum level recommended by the advisory panel. But President Obama rejected that proposal on Sept. 2, saying that compliance would be too costly and create too much regulatory uncertainty for industry. He ordered the E.P.A. to conduct further scientific studies and come up with a new proposal in 2013..continued.....

A look at Fracking

Your Options For your County's Oil and Gas Development:

1. Do nothing, and be drilled by the oil companies

2. Put in a regulatory oil and gas ordinance--this allows drilling in your community through a permit process and industry begins drilling once your elected officials give them "permission" through a "permit" to drill in your community. When damages occur, it will be up to the citizens to prove damage and take the oil industry to court for these damages be it contaminated water, air, ill or dying livestock or family members.  When water wells go dry, it will be the citizens' problems.

3. Put in a community rights ordinance--which contains a  Bill of Rights protecting citizen birth-rights to clean air, water, health and safety and PROHIBITS industry from harming citizens' inalienable rights. At the core of this community rights ordinance is the right to determine the community's destiny--Local Self-Government.  This is the premis upon which the suffrage and civil rights movement were based....and which ultimately resulted in changes to the U.S. Constitution.  A change to unjust laws written into the U.S. Constitution!

Which do you choose ?  If you choose number 3, call your commissioners and let them know you want a community rights-based ordinance passed in your community that protects the citizen's birth rights!


Tom McDonald
October 9, 2011

If Michael Moore had made Gasland, it  would have been wittier. Maybe Josh Fox, who produced the documentary after a natural gas company offered to lease his Pennsylvania land for drilling, was just too close to the story. To him, the threat of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, coming to his homeland and polluting his water and air was a personal affront.

Fracking is the injecting of water, sand and chemicals (including toxic chemicals) into underground rock formations to blast them open and release natural gas. Fox set out on a cross-country journey to see how communities are being affected by this natural gas removal process. He spent considerable time out west, where the industry has been drilling and fracking for years.
What he found was one horror story after another — contaminated water supplies, sick people and animals, court settlements to keep people quiet, and more — all framed into an indictment against the natural gas industry and its fracking operations....continued....

Fracking is toxic for kids, suit says.

LINDA SATTER
Sept 15, 2011

    A White County grandmother filed a federal lawsuit Monday on behalf of her 2- and 4-year-old grandchildren, who live with her in Bradford and who she fears may suffer ill effects from a nearby hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operation.

    The lawsuit names CUDD Pumping Services Inc., RPC Inc. and CUDD Energy Services, all Delaware corporations with offices in Atlanta and Houston, as defendants. It says the companies stirred up toxic contaminants while using fracturing on three natural-gas wells about 250 feet from the home of grandparents Kevin and Tina Scoggin at 708 Scoggin Road in August.

    Fracking is designed to create fractures in a strata of shale rock beneath wellheads. It involves shooting millions of gallons of a mixture of water and chemicals, including “poisons and carcinogens,” into a pre-drilled wellbore “at extremely high pressures,” the suit says...continued....

CELDF--Democracy Matters: Part III Corporate Constitutional "rights" and Democracy--Preemption

Democracy Matters Podcast - January 16, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters - we continue our month-long series on the history of corporate constitutional "rights." And, Part II of our interview with author and activist John Stauber on how corporate and governmental propaganda manipulate what we think about food, sludge, and even war.

CELDF--Democracy Matters: Part II Corporate Constitutional "rights" and Democracy--And corporations's use of Dillon's Rule used to override local law-making

Democracy Matters Podcast - January 9, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, the second in our month-long series on the history of corporate "rights." And a conversation with John Stauber, founder of the Center for Media and Democracy, on how corporate and government propaganda affect what we think about agriculture, sewage sludge, and even war.

CELDF--Democracy Matters: Part I Corporate Constitutional "rights" and Democracy and how corporations make sustainability illegal

 Democracy Matters Podcast - January 2, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, with the coming second anniversary of Citizens United decision, we begin this year with a month-long series on the history of corporate "rights" and how those rights interfere with sustainability. And Part II of our interview with Stoney Bird and Rick Dubrow of No Coal in Bellingham, WA, where there's growing opposition to coal trains. Why fighting the traditional "site fight" won't help them. 
www.celdf.org

Thoughts on Mora issues-Letter to the editor

EXCERPT:
"On another note: I was reading a publication put out by “The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund,” entitled, “How to Ban Fracking Despite Corporate Rights and State Preemption.” People wanted to know what “fracking” meant. Fracking simply means “messing with the natural elements, water being the most important.” There were two quotes that caught my eye. The first was, “Getting fracked is not inevitable unless we assume there’s nothing we can do. It’s not inevitable unless we are willing to surrender our fundamental rights without a fight.

In other words, if we as citizens sit around and do nothing, big corporations with money will come in and do as they please with our land and our water."

COMMENT:
Call your county commissioners and let them know you support the "Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance" and want them to vote on it now!
Commission chair:  Paula Garcia,  505 429 2621
Commissioner: Laudente Quintana,  575 666 2143
Commissioner: John Olivas (sponsoring this ordinance for the citizens of Mora County) (505) 379-5551


Rosalie Regensberg, Holman, Mora County, New Mexico
September 29, 2011

I would like to follow up on Alex Montoya’s letter to the editor (published Sept. 9) about the Help New Mexico office in Mora County.

As a prior elected official, I can truly say, that the Help office is one of the programs that has been of much help, and proved to be effective to those less fortunate, who are not lazy, but need a shove in the right direction. These people who go to the Help office are the same people who cast their votes on election day. So be very careful with labels. As the saying goes, “There (but for) the grace of God go I.”

On another note: I was reading a publication put out by “The Community Environmental Legal Fund,” entitled, “How to Ban Fracking Despite Corporate Rights and State Preemption.” People wanted to know what “fracking” meant. Fracking simply means “messing with the natural elements, water being the most important.” There were two quotes that caught my eye. The first was, “Getting fracked is not inevitable unless we assume there’s nothing we can do. It’s not inevitable unless we are willing to surrender our fundamental rights without a fight.”

Another quote by (author) Salley Kempton reads, “It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.”

I love my people, but they are hard to understand. They gave me such a hard time about the location of the solid waste, which is still in the same place anyway, but the majority seems to prefer not to get involved in such important issues, such as “fracking.”



Fire Shuts Shell'S Singapore Refinery

EXCERPT:
"Shell earlier shut down units in the vicinity of the fire and is flaring off hydrocarbons, saying, "The flare is a safety procedure and is no cause for alarm. There are no toxic vapors released."

"While there is no cause for alarm currently, those with respiratory problems should avoid the western part of Singapore near Bukom," said the agency.

COMMENT:
When flaring occurs, toxic hydrocarbons and other toxic chemicals are burned off the well-head and are emitted into the atmosphere.  Recently you read about the flaring taking place in North Dakota...some 30% of the methane is flared, or burned off into the atmosphere there.  The rate of asthma is skyrocketing in San Juan County as well, with the 60 years of oil and gas development toppling that New Mexico county.

Royal Dutch Shell is the same parent corporation that holds leases in Mora County, New Mexico.  When industry states that no toxic vapors are being released into the atmosphere in Singapore, you can count on the same set of lies that would be given to the people in Mora County.....

Royal Dutch Shell prides themselves in their safety record, yet incidents like the story below continue to occur around the world and at home.

SINGAPORE, September 29, 2011 (ENS) - A fire at Shell's Pulau Bukom refinery on an island near the Singapore mainland was extinguished late Thursday night, local time, after blazing intermittently for 36 hours. The massive fire sent plumes of black smoke high into the atmosphere.

Shell officials said earlier on Thursday that they are closing all refining units at the facility, Shell's largest petrochemical production and export centre in the Asia Pacific region. The procedure could take up to two days.

"We are focused on safety, and are going through the progressive shutdown of the refinery," Vice President for Manufacturing Operations Martijn van Koten told reporters.
Fire at Shell's Pulau Bukom refinery, September 29, 2011 (Photo credit unknown)

"The affected area has lengths of pipelines and connected pumps, and holds a mix of hydrocarbons. This was the reason for the erratic fire, sometimes waning and sometimes growing," Shell said in a statement Thursday...continued....

Is it Safe to Store Fracking Fluid Underground?

By Rich Bindell
September 29, 2011

When the EPA decided to prohibit the dumping the wastewater in streams, the oil and gas industry opted to truck it over to Ohio and inject it 8,000 feet in the ground.
 |
It’s not enough to have to worry about oil and gas companies building more and more shale gas wells in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. We also have to worry about them drilling wells 8,000 feet deep to store the leftover fracking fluid, like they do in Cambridge, OH, with a company called Devco.

Next door, in Pennsylvania, industry tried dumping the wastewater leftover from fracking into streams. When environmentalists questioned this disposal method, industry responded with claims that the streams dilute the chemicals enough to make such a method safe. Then the EPA decided to investigate the matter more closely and found that wastewater treatment plants couldn’t process the chemicals. When the EPA decided to prohibit the oil and gas industry from dumping the wastewater in streams, industry opted to truck it over to Ohio and inject it 8,000 feet in the ground in storage wells—permanent storage wells. Forever. Well, the hope is that it is forever...continued.....
EXCERPTS:
"Thirty percent of the natural gas extracted in North Dakota is flared off, like this gas near Ray.

“I’ll tell you why people flare: It’s cheap,” said Troy Anderson, lead operator of a North Dakota gas-processing plant owned by Whiting Petroleum. “Pipelines are expensive: You have to maintain them. You need permits to build them. They are a pain.”

COMMENT:
Ridding of these chemicals by burning them off into our atmosphere is one way to hasten global warming....with the oil and gas industry vying for the #1 or 2 position for the largest contributor to global warming in the world! And in the meantime, it is chocking the breath for millions.

Jim Wilson--The New York Times
September 26, 2011

NEW TOWN, N.D. — Across western North Dakota, hundreds of fires rise above fields of wheat and sunflowers and bales of hay. At night, they illuminate the prairie skies like giant fireflies.

They are not wildfires caused by lightning strikes or other acts of nature, but the deliberate burning of natural gas by oil companies rushing to extract oil from the Bakken shale field and take advantage of the high price of crude. The gas bubbles up alongside the far more valuable oil, and with less economic incentive to capture it, the drillers treat the gas as waste and simply burn it.

New Challenges to Gas Drilling: Pennsylvania Foes Seek to Pass Local Bans, but Would They Survive Court Tests?

EXCERPT:
"In Peters Township, an affluent community whose rolling hills are dotted with newly built homes, small farms and two country clubs, residents will vote this fall on a local bill of rights that would ban gas extraction, a move proponents say is necessary to guarantee residents the right to clean water and air."

COMMENT:
The work by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, CELDF, whose community rights protective ordinances are sparking the new civil rights and environmental movement across the United States, is gaining momentum as more communities insist upon their rights over those unequal rights of corporations. The unjust laws are being challenged strongly.....and change is coming.
 
BY KRIS MAHER
September 12, 2011
PETERS TOWNSHIP, Pa.—Challengers to natural gas drilling are taking a new approach in Pennsylvania, putting the rights of energy companies to drill in the massive Marcellus Shale basin on the ballot in what are believed to be the nation's first voter initiatives seeking to ban such activity.

In Peters Township, an affluent community whose rolling hills are dotted with newly built homes, small farms and two country clubs, residents will vote this fall on a local bill of rights that would ban gas extraction, a move proponents say is necessary to guarantee residents the right to clean water and air.

Scientists: Drilling threat to water--Municipal systems can't filter chemicals used in hydrofracking process

 BRIAN NEARING
September 16, 2011

ALBANY -- Dozens of scientists, including four from the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, warned Gov. Andrew Cuomo that it will be practically impossible for municipal drinking water systems to protect against chemicals used in natural gas hydraulic fracturing, also called hydrofracking.
>
Their letter to the governor, released Thursday, was signed by 59 experts from 18 states and seven foreign countries, included scientists from Cornell University, the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the State University at StonyBrook.
>
"We urge the state to reconsider its position that existing waterfiltration systems provide adequate protection against the risk of hydraulic fracturing, should materials from flow-back fluids migrate
to lakes, reservoirs, or groundwater used for municipal water supplies," the letter states...continued.....

Residents opposed to fracking meet in Cochrane

EXCERPT:
Nikiforuk said water is the most critical issue, not only for the sheer volume of water needed to frack but also what he claims are confirmed cases of well contamination in Alberta.

He said confidentiality agreements between landowners and oil companies have kept the issue from coming to light.

"The only time a landowner can stop a project is when you have 100 landowners saying 'No,' " said Nikiforuk."
By: Rachel Maclean
September 14, 2011

Residents from around Alberta gathered at the Cochrane RancheHouse Theatre on Sept. 10 to talk about the "dangers of fracking."

The free workshop was put on by Protecting Our Water and Ecological Resources Society (POWERS).

"We started POWERS and one of the reasons is to raise a voice for a moratorium (on fracking)," said Cochrane resident Patricia Pearsall from POWERS.

"We need to connect to Albertans to create that voice . . . . Our valley is being fracked to death."
..continued....

"Fact sheet about exposing children to hydraulic fracturing"

EXCERPT:
"While many of the chemicals used in the drilling and fracking process are proprietary, the list
includes benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylene, ethylene glycol, glutaraldehyde and other
biocides, hydrochloric acid, and hydrogen treated light petroleum distillates. These substances have a wide spectrum of potential toxic effects on humans ranging from cancer to adverse effects on the reproductive, neurological, and endocrine systems (ATSDR, Colborn T, et al, U.S. EPA 2009)."

COMMENT:
Will we tolerate this exposure for our children?  Or will we push back and say "no" to this insanity and stop this corporate invasion into our lives?  Our children deserve protection.  The only way to protect from this exposure is to stop it within our communities.

See also "PEHSU Information on Natural Gas Extraction and Hydraulic Fracturing for Health Professionals"-
by admin on September 3, 2011

    The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) Network encourage families, pediatricians, and communities to work together to ensure that children are protected from exposure to environmental hazards. Children are more vulnerable to environmental  hazards. They eat, drink, and breathe more than adults on a pound for pound basis.  Research has also shown that children are not able to metabolize some toxicants as well as adults due to immature detoxification processes.

 Here is a fact sheet for health care professionals on the dangers of exposing children to fracking and natural gas activity:

http://abcalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/hydraulic_fracturing_and_children_2011_health_prof.pdf

NASA Scientist, Religious Leaders Arrested in Tar Sands Protest

EXCERPT:
"NASA climatologist Dr. James Hansen was arrested today in front of the White House where he was demonstrating in opposition to the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline

"If the pipeline is to be built, you as president have to declare that it is 'in the national interest," wrote Dr. Hansen in an August 3 letter to President Obama along with 19 other scientists. "As scientists, speaking for ourselves and not for any of our institutions, we can say categorically that it's not only not in the national interest, it's also not in the planet's best interest."

Today, 60 religious leaders of many faiths were among the crowd, which also included CREDO Mobile president Michael Kieschnick, Greenpeace Director Phil Radford and 350.org Executive Director May Boeve.

"Climate change hurts the poor first," said Rose Berger, a Roman Catholic and lead Sojourners organizer for Tar Sands Action. "The tar sands development and the permitting the Keystone XL pipeline will worsen climate change and should be stopped."
 
COMMENT:
The photograph of the pipeline in the article represents a negotiated cost-cutting move taken by the Calgary-based corporation, TransCanada a few years ago.....how to make this fit within the budget during an economic downturn?.....cut the gauge of the steel in the pipes....and so they did!!!! (inside source at TransCanada)


WASHINGTON, DC, August 29, 2011 (ENS) - NASA climatologist Dr. James Hansen was arrested today in front of the White House where he was demonstrating in opposition to the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline that would bring thick crude oil from Alberta to refineries in Oklahoma and Texas. Dr. Hansen heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City and is a climate research scientist at the Earth Institute, Columbia University.

Arrests are continuing at the White House, where about 140 people gathered on the sidewalk as part of a two-week long sit-in to protest TransCanada's proposed 1,700 mile pipeline.
Dr. James Hansen is arrested protesting the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House, August 29, 2011 (Photo by Ben Powless)

The protest has led to the arrest of 521 people since August 20, when protestors began the Tar Sands Action sit-in at the White House. The protest will continue until September 3...continued....

When All is Sold Out, Who is Left to Carry the Lie?

 US Energy Department panel endorses shale fracking, suggests pumping ground with millions of gallons of chemical water will help save environment
Ethan A. Huff
August 30, 2011

(NaturalNews) Hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking," for the purpose of extracting natural gas from the earth involves flooding it with millions of gallons of chemical-laden water, a practice that by all
estimates is damaging the environment to some extent.

But a US Energy Department (ED) advisory panel, which happens to be padded with members connected to the natural gas industry, insists that fracking is safe, and even contends that it will help to lower the carbon dioxide emissions allegedly responsible for so-called climate change.

A recent report in The Washington Post (WP) explains the ED panel's notion that, despite continual outcry over fracking operations polluting rivers and groundwater supplies, natural gas fracking can safely continue as long as fracking companies agree to be more open about their actions, and comply with monitoring requirements that track environmental impact and make this information publicly available...continued...

The Real Frackasaurus Coloring Bookby Ben Price, Projects Director, CELDF

August 30th, 2011

On November 15, 2010, South Fayette Township in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania passed a zoning ordinance regulating the location of oil and gas extraction activities in the municipality. The ordinance was drafted by the Township and cleared by its Zoning Board in an attempt to protect from fracking as much of the community as possible through the land-use regulatory authority delegated to the Township by the State in the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC). What the Board of Commissioners adopted is an ordinance they cleared as to legality with their municipal Solicitor. They played it safe. They colored inside the lines.

One day later, on November 16, 2010, Pittsburgh City Council adopted a Local Bill of Rights Ordinance that bans corporations from extracting gas anywhere within the City. The Council Members decided not to surrender any part of the City to the frackers, arguing that all residents of the City have equal rights, and the Council Members had each sworn to protect the health, safety and welfare of all of the residents equally. Critics of the Ordinance said it is illegal and unconstitutional because it makes people’s rights trump corporate privileges recognized by the courts, and it challenges state laws that preempt local law-making and everybody knows state laws are superior to local ones. This community rights ordinance has the temerity to recognize the right to local self-government, the rights of natural communities and ecosystems, the right to water, and that corporate privileges are subordinate to the fundamental rights of members of the community...continued...

Oklahoma Family Fights Keystone Pipeline And Wins

EXCERPT:
"The family declined TransCanada's offers of compensation for the use of their land, and eventually refused to negotiate, at which point the company filed a legal claim for the right to run the pipeline through the property anyway."
 
COMMENT:
What if each family fought back and refused industry an easement through their property?


August 27, 2011
Sue Kelso fought TransCanada's plans to run its Keystone XL pipeline through her family's Oklahoma land. This week, TransCanada gave up.

Opponents of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline won a small and perhaps only symbolic victory this week when TransCanada abandoned an eminent domain claim on the property of an Oklahoma family.
The Calgary-based company is planning a $7 billion pipeline that would carry oil some 1,700 miles from Alberta's tar sands through six U.S. states to the Texas Gulf Coast. It had planned to run part of that pipeline across the southwest corner of a 180-acre slice of land belonging to 69-year-old Sue Kelso and her siblings, who were profiled in The Huffington Post last month...continued...

NO SAFEGUARDS IN PLACE FOR TOXIC FRACKING WASTE-OpEd

EXCERPT:
"A 2011 report released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee listed 750 additives, 29 of which are known carcinogens, that are routinely used by the scores of gas drillers who are poised to ship their toxic frack wastewater to Niagara Falls for treatment and discharge into the Niagara River.

Hang [Walter Hang is president of Toxic Targeting, Inc., an Ithaca, N.Y.-based consulting firm] contends that the Niagara Falls treatment facility is incapable of effectively filtering many of the toxic compounds, which vary according to the unique additive recipes employed by the scores of different drillers who could potentially send their frack water here.

"There is no place in the country as lax as Niagara Falls with respect to regulatory violations involving water quality," Hang told me in a phone interview. "The granular activated-carbon process is inadequate for filtering and removing the frack constituents."

Where Will "They", Dump It? / Who Are They?
Niagara River, already burdened with a toxicity beyond belief. So who cares, A Little More Poison, No Big Deal!
 
Opinion By James Hufnagel
The Niagara Falls Water Board, the Andrew Cuomo administration, local environmental groups and the media have all been strangely silent in the wake of a story first reported here two weeks ago detailing a massive plan to import toxic gas drilling wastewater for treatment and release into the Niagara River.

The saga began with the invention of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a technique that made possible a natural gas drilling gold rush presently centered around northwestern Pennsylvania. Drillers had been merrily dumping the used frack water into rivers, streams, lakes and ponds, or onto fields and along roads, and when they got busted for doing that, they began directing it to municipal water treatment facilities.

Then folks living along the Monongahela River near Pittsburgh were informed that they couldn't drink the water anymore because of contamination originating from an upriver treatment plant engaged in frack water processing.
..continued...