” Be ashamed to die before you have scored a victory for mankind” – Horace Mann
And,Jay Sweeney hates no one.
Here is an announcement from Jay Sweeney(Chair of the Green Party of Pa.):
Calling on those who wish to live in harmony with the Earth and protect the planet from assault, abuse and devastation!
Please join us on Earth Day, April 22, 2013, as we call on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to fulfill its mission to “protect Pennsylvania’s air, land and water from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment” and to “work as partners with individuals, organizations, governments and businesses to prevent pollution and restore our natural resources.”
Join us as we gather at DEP’s regional offices in Harrisburg, Norristown, Meadeville, Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport to demand:
• The resignation of DEP Secretary Michael Krancer for failure to fulfill the DEP mission
• No more permits for gas wells, compressor stations, pipelines, water withdrawals and other infrastructure related to natural gas, coal or oil extraction
• No more toxic secrets — full disclosure of water test results and other studies done by the DEP
• Justice for those harmed by the oil and gas industry
• The reopening of the DEP Office of Energy and Technology Deployment to develop solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies
I believe the arrest of Josh Fox was woefully under-reported on local and network television, and in local print media. Myself ,and others, have not observed any local or national television coverage of this fiasco. A search of their websites was equally fruitless.
I have seen no coverage today, either.
I should mention, I do not get the cable news channels. But my focus here is on the local and mainstream media.
If I am accurate (even partially), for many NEPA citizens – the incident never happened.
Instead we were offered super bowl recipes, groundhog abuse, sports adoration, celebrity worship, weather obsession, and (“unfortunately”) there was little time left for actual news. This small window of news programming gives censorship an excuse: “Gee whiz , we just can’t cover everything!”
Josh’s arrest was news. It was big news.
He is a national figure who lives nearby in Wayne County. He is a Sundance Film Festival winner and an Oscar nominee. “Fracking” is an issue widely known and debated in our region. It threatens each of us in various ways. What’s not to report??
He was hand-cuffed and his constitutional rights were denied him.
That should always be big news in a democracy.
What puzzles me is the lack of information about the arrest on the ABC News website. I did a search, “Josh Fox Arrested” and came up with nothing. Josh Powell – Yes. Josh Fox – no. This is especially surprising given that an ABC film crew was present at the same hearing and also denied “permission” to film the hearings. They complied. Josh did not. He stood up for journalistic and constitutional rights.
Here is an update from Rueters:
Gasland Director Josh Fox Released After D.C. Arrest; Feb. 15 Court date set
”…no subcommittee rule or regulation should prohibit a respectful journalist or citizen from recording a public hearing.” – Josh Fox
I am reminded of all the meetings Audrey Simpson has recorded. Thanks Audrey. You are a hero.
Imagine a large, large pile of fools, simpletons, dolts, bullies, nitwits, miscreants, narcissists, ne’er do-wells, sociopaths, posers, oligarchs, theocrats, ass kissers, and bull-shitters. Imagine it 272 feet tall, peaking at the top like a dog’s stool.
Call it The Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
On January 24th, the BIG PILE adopted House Resolution 535 by a unanimous vote of 193-0. The Resolution declares the year 2012 as the “Year of the Bible” and goes on to state:
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives declare 2012 as
the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania in recognition of both
the formative influence of the Bible on our Commonwealth and
nation and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.
On so many levels this is wrong.
First, it is unconstitutional.
Secondly, it is intellectually incongruent. It asserts the notion that our government’s behavior ought to be based on a particular “holy book”. Isn’t that the problem in Afghanistan?
Also, it is hypocritical. The Pennsylvania legislature’s behavior has been blatantly antithetical to the bible values I know – especially, to those passages which call for the stewardship of God’s creation. Not the desecration of it.
Further, it is sadly dismissive (and, therefore, inaccurate and inherently divisive) of all the other belief systems which helped establish our collective ethos.
And, it is an incredible waste of public time and resources.
Are you looking for an alternative to WVIA Radio?
Tired of hearing commercials for the fracking interests?
Sick of don’t-rock-the-boat radio programming?
Angry with the likes of Kelly and Sordoni?
Then tune in to WFTE at 90.3 FM and 105.7 FM.
They looked up
and saw a star
burning in the east
not all that far
and to the earth
it gave great fright
as the pounding continued
both day and night
go to hell
go to hell
go to hell
go to hell
Mammon is King
and life is to sell
New Environment Bulletin Number 387
Syracuse, N.Y (June 27, 2011)
It is possible that either The Wyoming Valley Sanitation Authority (WVSA) or The Lower Lackawanna Sanitation Authority (LLSA) will build a treatment plant for hydraulic fracturing (frack) waste water, adding to their existing facility. WVSA is adjoining Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a block away from the Carey Avenue Bridge, and LLSA is in Duryea, both on the Susquehanna River. Either one or both of these plants could treat a large proportion of the frack water from Northeastern Pennsylvania and South Eastern New York.
WVSA has looked into this possibility carefully and has dropped plans for now mainly because of the truck traffic it would cause in residential neighborhoods. If either of these plants treat frack water in the future, it may be transported to these plants on 5000 gallon tanker trucks at the rate of one truck every five minutes, maybe day and night. Indeed a million gallons of frack water a day could be coming to Wyoming Valley. And what is in this water? This is how Dr. Thomas Jiunta1 describes the chemicals added to the water:
“over 300 of them in an average fracking solution, have been revealed by scientists, to be at least 75 percent hazardous to our health, including many cancer-causing substances. Not only are the additives carcinogenic and proven endocrine disrupters, but unfortunately the fracturing process causes normally underground toxic organic and inorganic substances and heavy metals to come to the surface. These include volatile organic solvents naturally found underground such as the methane extracted and also compounds, such as benzene, toluene and propane. They also include heavy metals which are trapped in the shale and are then soluble in the mixture that comes back up including: Lead, arsenic, mercury, barium, chromium and strontium. In addition, brine is extracted which ranges from sea water type salinity to six times this salinity. Radioactive elements which are normally found under ground, are brought up.”
With all of those trucks passing through towns in the valley for decades into the future, there are bound to be leaks, spills and catastrophic crashes. In addition we need to guard against air pollution from the water being processed at the our local sanitation authorities. Laura Legere, Staff Writer for the Citizen’s Voice2 reported: “a centralized impoundment that holds the waste water from 10 wells could theoretically release 32.5 tons of methanol into the air each year – meaning it could qualify as a “major” source of toxic air pollutants under federal rules.” We can expect that waste water from many more than ten wells will be held at the treatment facility, and so we are threatened by toxic air pollution in the Wyoming Valley.
The function of the treatment plant at our sanitation authorities would be to separate chemicals from the frack water, and then ship it back to be reused in the drilling operations. The sediment from this process will contain these hazardous chemicals. According to published reports the plan is to deposit the sediment in state approved land fills. These chemicals such as elements arsenic, cadmium and radium last for thousands of years, while a typical land fill holds waste for only twenty years, after which it leaks into the environment. Thus the land fill solution to waste storage may be only temporary, and future generations will be saddled with our waste again. To illustrate this issue consider radium.
Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D.3 studied the radioactivity on rock pieces in the flow back from drilling operations and concluded the following:
* Radioactivity in Marcellus is 20 times higher than background.
* Radium-226 is soluble in water and is in waste water
* Drilling fluid is reused many times and some Radium-226 can accumulate each time.
* Ra-226 is a carcinogen so causes cancer.
* This could cause landfill workers to be exposed.
* 1600 years is the half-life of Ra-226,
Since the radioactivity of individual trucks may be below the ability of landfill radiation detectors to measure, large amounts of radio activity in the waste may not be detected until they build up over time in the landfill.
Resnikoff further concludes:
Workers at a landfill where drill cuttings are dumped can be expected to exceed the health-base dose limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the NRC.
Based on calculations radiation exposures received by a future resident farmer of the land at the landfill will exceed allowable regulatory limits.
Radioactive scale cuttings and fluids are more appropriately deposited in a radioactive land fill designated for this disposal.
Thus we can conclude that the typical land fill with a 20 year lifetime may be inadequate to protect the environment from these hazardous and radioactive chemicals. Resnikoff recommends use of a nuclear waste land fill which is designed to hold for 1000 years. (Is that enough time, given a 1600 year half-life of the radium?) Also the constantly reused frack water can be expected to become increasingly radioactive. Indeed radioactivity in the truck parts, in particular in rust builds up over time, so that the drivers may become increasingly threatened with excess radiation exposure and may need to be considered nuclear hazardous material workers and regulated as such.
In conclusion, if we get to the point of having a million gallons per day of Marcellus Shale drilling waste water processed in the valley, we will need to take many precautions to avoid its health and environmental threats.
(1) “Letter to the Editor”, Thomas Jiunta Wilkes-Barre, PA: Citizens Voice (May 13, 2010)
(2) “Wastewater: A risky business” Laura Legere (Staff Writer) Wilkes-Barre: Citizen’s Voice, June 22, 2010.
(3) “Radioactivity in Marcellus Shale,” Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D., 526 W. 26th Street #517, New York, NY 10001 : Radioactive Waste Management Associates, (May 19, 2010).
See also: “Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement On The Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Regulatory Program” NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Mineral Resources, Bureau of Oil & Gas Regulation 652 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Albany, NY 9 (September, 2009).
June 1, 2011
There will be tens of thousands of gas wells drilled and fracked over the next two decades using slick water horizontal hydrofracking
This Massive-Scale Gas Drilling Will Bring You:
Lower Property Values
Polluted and Unusable Water
The loss of rivers of water to the earth deep below.
Toxic Waste (heavy metals, carcinogens, brine and radioactive materials) (10 to 30 tons of chemicals per well)
Open Waste Pits
Carcinogens Left Underground
Depleted Water Habitat
Loss of Farmland
Loss of Tourism
Disrupted Wildlife Habitat
Higher Crime Rate
Choking Truck Traffic
Lower Quality of Life (why do you love this place?)
Loss of habitat
Dubious Farm Products
Increased Health Costs
Increased Infrastructure Costs
Educate yourself and take action!
Don’t be fooled by the propaganda you see on television and billboards.
All this is happening within the context of:
Machine-like Corporate values (IE the maximization of profit)
Political values (IE re-election is the god)
Mismanagement and disregard for the community (see Accidents and Violations Section here and elsewhere).
Then mix in weakened laws, a depleted DEP, and rapid expansion.
Isn’t this a case for MORATORIUM!?
Don Williams of the Susquehanna River Sentinel sent me this encouraging news from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.
(It is ironic that Chesapeake carries the same name as the very place it threatens. It is an old totalitarian tactic. Wolves in sheep’s clothing.)
Attorney General Gansler Notifies Chesapeake Energy of the State’s Intent to Sue for Endangering the Health of Citizens and the Environment
BALTIMORE, MD ( May 2, 2011) – Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today announced that he has sent a letter to Chesapeake Energy Corporation and its affiliates, notifying the companies of the State of Maryland’s intent to sue for violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). On April 19, thousands of gallons of fracking fluids were released from a well owned and operated by Chesapeake Energy into Towanda Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River, which supplies 45% of the fresh water in the Chesapeake Bay. In his letter, Attorney General Gansler notified the company that at the close of the required 90-day notice period, the State intends to file a citizen suit and seek injunctive relief and civil penalties under RCRA for solid or hazardous waste contamination of soils and ground waters, and the surface waters and sediments of Towanda Creek and the Susquehanna River. The State also intends to seek injunctive relief and civil penalties under the CWA for violation of the CWA’s prohibition on unpermitted pollution to waters of the United States.
Chesapeake Energy owns and operates numerous natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale, including the Atgas 2H well in Leroy Township in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. At approximately 11:45 p.m. on April 19, 2011, essential components of the Atgas 2H well failed, causing tens of thousands of gallons of fracking fluids to be released. These fluids escaped Chesapeake Energy’s inadequate containment, crossed over neighboring farm fields, and entered into Towanda Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River, which flows into Maryland. The Susquehanna River supplies drinking water for approximately 6.2 million people and sensitive fish populations like the American shad and striped bass are moving into the Susquehanna flats at this time of year. Exposure to toxic and carcinogenic chemicals in unknown quantities creates a risk of imminent and substantial endangerment to humans using Pennsylvania and Maryland waterways for recreation and to the environment.
“Companies cannot expose citizens to dangerous chemicals that pose serious health risks to the environment and to public health,” said Attorney General Gansler. “We are using all resources available to hold Chesapeake Energy accountable for its actions.”
Towanda Creek, located in central north Pennsylvania, is a tributary of the Susquehanna River, which provides 45% of the fresh water in the Chesapeake Bay. It is situated above the Marcellus Shale, an underground rock formation that spans portions of Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. The Marcellus Shale is estimated to contain 250-500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, a valuable energy resource. Natural gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale are extracted through a process of vertical and horizontal drilling known as hydraulic fracturing, “hydrofracking,” or “fracking.” This process involves the injection of fluids containing a mixture of water, chemicals, and other compounds into a well that has been drilled into the Marcellus Shale, fluids that, at high pressure, can fracture rock formations in the shale and release natural gas, which can then be extracted. These fluids are referred to as “drilling fluids, “fracturing fluids,” or “fracking fluids.”
Although the precise mixture of these fracking fluids is not known, a recent Congressional study found that they contain 750 chemicals and other components, including several extremely toxic compounds. High levels of these contaminants remain in the fracking fluid that returns to the surface as wastewater after a well has been hydrofracked. This wastewater, referred to as “flowback water,” is then contained at the well site, either to be recycled or hauled away for disposal. Flowback water also contains high levels of radioactive materials. The New York Times has reported that both industry and EPA confidential studies indicate that these materials “cannot be fully diluted in rivers and other waterways.” Radioactivity levels in Pennsylvania fracking wastewater have sometimes been thousands of times above the maximum allowed by the federal standard for drinking water.