Fracktured News

March 30, 2010

Another wrist slap for blatant disregard: Drilling Without a Permit

A Tragedy:

Fatal Accident: Woman Killed in Tioga County Crash – Gas Drilling Truck Driver at Fault

an ironic juxtaposition which I had read just the day before the accident: A Sobering Journey to an Inspiring Conference

Janine Dymond of the local Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition is featured in this article: Despite outcry, county eyes Moon Lake Park drilling as money-maker

Good news for starving and homeless lawyers! link here

A Nationwide Petition: SEE PETITION HERE:

More!More!More! 26 wells drilled in Bradford County in February

Letter from the Fields of Factories:

Dear Rep. Pickett, The roads in Dimock continue to deteriorate on a daily basis due to the heavy truck traffic generated by the operations of Cabot Oil & Gas Co. Repairs being made are not keeping up with the pace of damage. I observe drivers on a daily basis swerving into oncoming traffic to avoid entire sections of missing roadway. This issue needs to be addressed before someone gets injured. Cabot’s operations have been suspended by the State in the past due to environmental violations. The State should take immediate action to order Cabot’s vehicle’s off our roads until they repair them. Our citizens health and safety should not be put at risk due to the profit motivated operations of this company. Charles Winschuh, Dimock Township.


Science should trump finance in a sane world, but nooooooo…

March 29, 2010

By way of Susquehanna River Sentinel here is an enlightening article by a scientist, Robert Howarth, who is the David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology at Cornell University He is an “internationally known expert on environmental issues and water quality”. (article source:)

But go ahead and listen to light weight politicos like Urban, Rendell, and Cheney.  All they ever see is their own political interest.  None of them ever had an original thought which went beyond manipulation.  Go ahead and ask one, “Hey Dick, give me an original solution.”  Guaranteed it will be ideological, self-serving, transparent, and tired.

Read and think:

Natural gas is marketed as a clean fuel with less impact on global warming than oil or coal, a transitional fuel to replace other fossil fuels until some distant future with renewable energy. Some argue that we have an obligation to develop Marcellus Shale gas, despite environmental concerns. I strongly disagree.

Natural gas as a clean fuel is a myth. While less carbon dioxide is emitted from burning natural gas than oil or coal, emissions during combustion are only part of the concern. Natural gas is mostly methane, a greenhouse gas with 72 times more potential than carbon dioxide to warm our planet (per molecule, averaged over the 20 years following emission). I estimate that extraction, transport and combustion of Marcellus gas ? together with leakage of methane ? makes this gas at least 60 percent more damaging for greenhouse warming than crude oil and similar in impact to coal.

The most recent method of hydro-fracking is relatively new technology, massive in scope and far from clean in ways beyond greenhouse gas emissions. The landscape could be dotted with thousands of drilling pads, spaced as closely as one every 40 acres. Compacted gravel would cover three to five acres for each. New pipelines and access roads crisscrossing the landscape would connect the pads. Ten or more wells per pad are expected. Every time a well is “fracked,” 1,200 truck trips will carry the needed water.

Drillers will inject several million gallons of water and tens of thousands of pounds of chemicals into each well. Some of this mixture will stay deep in the shale, but cumulatively, billions of gallons of waste fluids will surface. Under current law, drillers can use absolutely any chemical additive or waste, with no restrictions and no disclosure. Recent experience in Pennsylvania indicates regular use of toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic substances. Out of 24 wells sampled there, flow-back wastes from every one contained high levels of 4-Nitroquinoline-1-oxide, (according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation). It is one of the most mutagenic compounds known. Flow-back wastes also contain toxic metals and high levels of radioactivity extracted from the shale, in addition to the materials used by drillers.

Industry tells us that surface and groundwater contamination is unlikely, since gas is deep in the ground and drilling operations are designed to minimize leakage. Nonsense. The technology is new and understudied, but early evidence shows high levels of contamination in some drinking water wells and rivers in other states.

Accidents happen, and well casings and cementing can fail. The geology of our region is complex, and water and materials under high pressure can move quickly to aquifers, rivers and lakes along fissures and fractures. Flow-back waters and associated chemical and radioactive wastes must be handled and stored at the surface, some in open pits and ponds unless government regulation prevents this. What will keep birds and wildlife away from it? What happens downstream if a heavy rain causes the toxic soup to overflow the dam? What happens to these wastes? Adequate treatment technologies and facilities do not exist.

What about government regulation and oversight? The DEC is understaffed,underfunded and has no history with the scale and scope of exploitation now envisioned. Federal oversight is almost completely gone, due to Congress exempting gas development from most environmental laws, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, in 2005.

We can be independent of fossil fuels within 20 years and rely on renewable green technologies, such as wind and solar. The constraints on this are mostly political, not technical. We do not need to sacrifice a healthy environment to industrial gas development. Rather, we need to mobilize and have our region provide some badly needed national leadership toward a sustainable energy future.

Lead into the sustainable, organic, regional-centric economic future? Nah… let’s go back to the mines, the usury, the elitism… it makes perfect non-sense… and so the fools continue to rule us…


Public Meeting on Gas Drilling

March 25, 2010

On Wednesday,  March 31 st, the Dallas United Methodist Church is sponsoring a public information meeting from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on the process of gas drilling which is coming to this area.  Speakers from the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition (formerly the Luzerne County Citizens for Clean Water) and NoDrill NEPA will address issues such as the community impact of the drilling industry here and elsewhere.  Also presented will be local legislative and township initiatives presently in progress and how you can help.  An open discussion will follow.

The church is at 4 Parsonage Street, Dallas, PA 18612


Yet another spill story:

March 24, 2010

Here is a developing story from Dimock, PA  by the WC Examiner: Drill site spill subject of investigation

Also from the WC Examiner is this story EPA initiates hydraulic fracturing study It quotes U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, D-Dimock: “Ensuring our community has safe drinking water in the midst of our natural gas boom is of significant concern to me and my staff and I welcome the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that it will conduct a comprehensive study to review the effects of hydraulic fracturing.”

Yet Carney continues to be non committal regarding the Frac Act which would end most of the exemptions for hydraulic fracturing in the Safe Drinking Water Act. He’d rather “study” it for the next two years than empower his constituents to know what is being infused into, and spilled upon, his home town’s lands.


Landmen, they seem to lie for a living

March 23, 2010

Here is an email I received from a local resident.  Please circulate. Printed with permission, (emphasis mine) it speaks for itself:

Dear Mr. Baldwin,
I had not taken too much interest in the natural gas drilling in our area until I was approached by two gentlemen on Saturday asking us to allow a pipeline for gas to go through our property.  They offered us $23 per linear foot, which would amount to about $20,000 to $25,000. They wanted a 50 foot right-of-way through our property on Upper Demunds Road.  They said they would return on Monday with the paper work to be signed.  After doing a little research, I realized this was something I did not want on my property.  I contacted my neighbors after having been told they were “receptive to the idea.” One neighbor had no idea about the drilling – he figured he may as well make some money if everyone else was.  My other neighbor had not been contacted and went through the roof when I told her about the plans.  We both agreed that we did not want our properties disturbed in any way, shape, or form.  I e-mailed the gas man, and he promptly replied and increased the offer to $30,000.  I answered that I was a coal miner’s granddaughter who had seen mine subsidences and strip mining rape Wyoming Valley.  I told him that no amount of money would change my mind.  He did not return to my property today.  I am sure someone on this road will grant them permission to cross their property, but I will fight them tooth and nail to preserve the pristine environment that I love so dearly.

Thanks for listening,
Emily Sallitt,
Upper Demunds Road, Dallas


Frack House

March 22, 2010


Poetry Project – Citizens Beware!

March 21, 2010

Citizens Beware!

Gas drilling companies
don’t play fair –
they pollute
our water,
soil and air.

– by Jerry Walkowiak