Moratorium Now!

February 16, 2012

STOP the unbridled assault upon our communities and their environments:

Let common sense prevail!

SIGN Moratorium Petition here:



Somewhat random thoughts on the election

November 4, 2010

The Democrats deserved it. There was no “change”. From the very beginning it was clear. If it were really change: Pelosi would have jettisoned Murtha – and O’Bama would have fired Geithner. If it were really change, the Inauguration would have been more modest.

And the notion of the Jonas Brothers hiding in the White House to surprise Malia and Sasha O’Bama on their first night there, is patently elitist.

Leadership is not trash talk or spin, photo-ops or junkets. It is first and foremost, setting example.

The Democrats and the Republicans have turned into a professional wrestling act. They attack and boast. Good versus Evil. We suck it up like adolescents. It seems we are stuck in a culture based on immaturity.

The campaign ads were despicable. They insult us all. If your solutions are so vapid or nonexistent that you have to throw mud, what kind of person are you? Certainly not a leader. None of you!

As far as the Marcellus Play, it is up to the citizens to demand a moratorium as the only sane plan. The politicos won’t do it on their own, the gravy train is too sweet.


“natural” gas is NOT “clean energy”

October 15, 2010

From the Safe Water Movement’s petition to support a total ban on gas drilling in low-permeable deposits in New York State:

1. With a failure rate of between 2 to 8 percent, horizontal drilling and hydrofracking pose an unacceptable risk to our drinking water and the quality of groundwater, aquifers, lakes and streams.

13.Recent preliminary assessments reveal that “natural” gas is not “clean energy” but rather just another polluting, non-renewable fossil fuel contributing to global warming”

Links about dirty gas:

The Dirty Truth Behind Clean Natural Gas (from the National Wildlife Federation)

Gas is dirty energy and may be dirtier than coal ( regarding Australia)

The Dirty Truth Behind Hydrofracking (from Environmental Graffiti )

The Dirty Truth Behind The New Natural Gas ( from Kentucky Rural Water Association) ( a comprehensive overview )

The Dirty Secret of Shale Gas (from Motley Fool)

Public Health Impacts of Oil & Gas ( from No Dirty Energy )
(Take the PLEDGE)

Cornell’s Howarth Warns EPA… (good links )


fracadelia

October 7, 2010

The amount of gas drilling vehicle violations in the Northern Tier were no surprise to many.  Operation FracNET was a three day, five county State Police enforcement initiative that inspected 1,135 trucks with a reported focus on  residual waste trucks.  The results:  959 citations, 208 trucks placed out of service, 64 drivers taken out of service.   “The most common problems involved faulty brakes, exterior lighting issues and hauling permit violations.”  Glad to see the industry has been on top of things. 

By any management metric, these are sadly laughable results.  The three day enforcement was a brief and thin view into the daily complex operations of the gas play .  Do the same compliance rates exist throughout this industrial system? 

It is chaos.  It is bedlam.   Trucks upon trucks of traffic, blasting here, drilling there, fracking there, and there.  A thousand critical details go by each day without sufficient oversight. 

This  State Police initiative is welcome and appreciated.  It certainly makes a case for the lack of control the industry has on its transportation sector.  One can only extrapolate this dismal record to other aspects of  management’s purview.

Please note, there have been previous initiates with much the same disheartening results. Guess we taught them a thing or two. They won’t dare violate the law again…
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The corporation is not a person, it is a machine, it reads only numbers. It is fueled by numbers. It is run by numbers. It will die by numbers.

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This severance tax debate is comical. Some legislators applaud it as a hedge against environmental calamity. It is like getting a cancer injection and crying out  “Hooray! I have medical insurance!”

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“The gas industry wants the Senate to give them all  Pennsylvania properties which now have no gas leases.”   

– Clearville’s Blog

Clearville says:  Contact PA Senators before October 12, 2012, the gas industry wants properties with NO GAS LEASES!

STOP FORCED POOLING!
 
Senate emails:

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“If you love the Creator, you’ll love His Creation”

– Jonathan Meritt


Even if

July 14, 2010

Even if one manages the drilling like an angel, and has the luck of God… even if, there are inspectors hanging from every rig… and ten feet of regulations at each worker’s side, even if… even if…

It will not change the inexorable facts that with each fracking: we retire millions of gallons of drinking water from the earth’s scarce supply, and we saturate the air with pollutants.  Also, we horizontally fracture miles of rock  below us, and fill those sharded caverns with a toxic slurry of brine, radioactivity, and nasty chemicals.  That is the present state of reality.  Even if we don’t want to believe it.


water is a closed system

June 14, 2010

This planet is a terrarium orbiting the sun. The flaming star casts a million terawatts of energy upon us each day. Earth has been given all that it needs. We will either thrive, or render this terrarium useless. We make our own destiny. It is insanity to let big conglomerates dictate the condition of this planet. And, it is cowardice.

Each fracking leaves approximately 4.5 million gallons of water sequestered beneath the earth – taken out of the water cycle – never to be replaced. For every 420 horizontal frackings, the equivalent of the Huntsville Reservoir is polluted and left underground (1.9 billion gallons). Water that has touched the lips of our ancestors, now gone from the equation.

Oh, we may see it again, but next time as a spoiler of our diminishing clean water supply.


Selective Citizens’ Voice

May 30, 2010

The Citizens’ Voice chose a holiday weekend Saturday to squeak out its opinion that: Drilling’s OK, but commonwealth must be protected. Below is their piece followed by my letter to them.

Development of the Marcellus Shale gas formation has followed lines that generally have applied to resource extraction throughout the nation’s history.

There are substantial economic benefits and substantial environmental costs. Folks doing the actual extraction work hard and play hard, bolstering the local economy but not always in accordance with local cultural and behavioral standards. Some people profit; some people suffer losses through affected property values. The government plays catch-up because the industry drives the market and the technology.

All of that has played out in the early days of the Marcellus Shale Development. Yet there also is a broad, sensible and achievable consensus that the gas can be extracted in a way that boosts the economy without devastating the environment.

The problem is that the political debate, as political debates often are, has been driven from the ends of the spectrum rather than the middle.

As a bill in Harrisburg to establish an 8 percent “severance” tax on gas extraction has begun to move, for example, anti-tax Republicans have claimed that it would stifle further development of the Marcellus Shale field. It’s a remarkable assertion, because similar taxes just about everywhere that gas drillers operate have done nothing of the kind. Rather, those taxes are considered by the industry as part of the cost of doing business.

The plan is for an 80-20 split of the proceeds among the state government and affected local governments, which could use the money for regulatory enforcement and to mitigate the impact on roads on other infrastructure.

In Harrisburg this week, state police contended that crime has increased in drilling areas, a downside to the boom that few had anticipated. That requires continued vigilance, and also is a good argument for the severance tax, part of which could be directed to law enforcement in affected areas. It also should be an incentive to expedite the training of more local workers for jobs in the expanding industry.

Industry estimates indicate that gas extraction could be a major industry across much of Pennsylvania for as long as a century. Lawmakers should move now to ensure that the commonwealth at large benefits from the boom, and that the environmental and social costs are mitigated.

Not OK

Regarding your May 29 editorial titled “Drilling’s OK, but commonwealth must be protected”: You conclude by stating “Lawmakers should move now to ensure that the commonwealth at large benefits from the boom, and that the environmental and social costs are mitigated.”

To mitigate means to lessen. I guess more crime is OK, just not too much? Dead aquifers are OK, just not too many? You also claim there is a “broad” consensus that this gas extraction can be done without “devastating the environment”. Just where is this broad consensus? In the clubhouse?