December 16, 2010
This poem is from a collection: “Gas, Fire, and Water from Marcellus Shale”, a collection of poems and drawings of John Bromberg’s sculptures by Richard Aston which has the aim of making people aware of the time involved in the life cycle of gas from Marcellus shale (100 million years), and acquire an appreciation for the water which is threatened by the process of drilling for and extracting the gas. What right do we have to use all this gas in one century? How will this process affect future generations? A thematic poem goes:
How long has it been since you felt the sun, turned toward it, put out a flower, fed a flighty thing after your nectar?
How did you bear the weight pressing on you, the millions of years, the rocks and the sea?
Was it me you were fixing to attend,
I who burn you,
use the energy that you stored so long, all of it for me?
For what purpose?
To go where?
John Bromberg is a prolific artist working in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Richard Aston published most of the poems, primarily in the region.
Leave a Comment » | Marcellus Shale, NEPA, poems | Tagged: john bromberg, pine, poem, richard aston | Permalink
Posted by qazse
December 10, 2010
We must try every possible (and impossible) avenue, strategy, tactic, and maneuver we can think of to stop the ruination of Pennsylvania by the gas drilling industry. Whether it is a protected species or place. Whether it is super inflated performance bonding. Or, perhaps, the discovery of forgotten laws. Moratoriums, and rights ordinances. Political and populist activism. Consciousness raising, demonstrating, civil disobedience … There is no one way. When you are in a fight, you don’t use just one hand. You use your whole body and spirit to defeat the invader.
Here is a letter to a state representative, asking that Harveys Lake be considered “exceptional”. While it can be argued that all bodies of water are exceptional, the state does have that designation to consider as a solution for this particular body of water. Why not try it?
It has come to our attention that DEP issued a drilling permit on Dec. 3rd for a gas well on Sterling Farms in Wyoming County. This is about a mile from our lake. It is inconceivable that an agency charged with protecting our environment could issue a permit for drilling within such close proximity to the lake.
I see in today’s Citizens’ Voice that the state is nearing a decision on making Silver Lake (also a glacial lake) a designated “exceptional value” watershed, which will prohibit gas drilling activities in that area. For the life of me, I can’t understand why the citizens need to be pointing out to the DEP where these exceptional water sheds exist! Do they do any research before handing out these drilling permits?
A single accident like the one in Clearfiled County in June can potentially destroy Harveys Lake. This would be a crime of significant proportions.
Throughout the years, DEP has had a great deal of influence on protecting our lake. Our public sewer system was state mandated, as is the current moratorium on any new connections to this system. Residents are experiencing difficulty in obtaining permits from DEP to build docks on their shoreline property because of the potential to harm plankton. We have our own ordinance banning the use of port-a-potties/job johnnies because of the potential leakage into the lake. It is ludicrous to allow gas drilling so close to this lake!
I am asking for your immediate attention as I consider this a matter of urgency! Please do whatever you can to stop this madness. Harveys Lake is the state’s largest natural freshwater lake and is pristine. If that doesn’t qualify it for “:exceptional value” status, I don’t know what does! – Michell’e Boice (letter to Representative Karen Boback)
3 Comments | "fracking", Boback, community, environmental pollution, extraction economy, gas drilling, Harveys Lake, hydraulic fracturing, Marcellus Shale, NEPA, Penn's Woods, Pennsylvania | Tagged: Fracking, Harveys Lake, Marcellus Shale | Permalink
Posted by qazse
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…
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.
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!”
“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!
“If you love the Creator, you’ll love His Creation”
– Jonathan Meritt
Leave a Comment » | "fracking", eminent domain, forced pooling, freedom, industrial zone, Marcellus safety, Marcellus Shale, moratorium, NEPA, PA, Penn's Woods, Pennsylvania, pollution, severance tax, Susquehanna River, trucks, Un-natural Gas, violations, Wyoming Valley | Permalink
Posted by qazse
October 6, 2010
Thursday, October 7 at 7pm
State of Pennsylvania
The WILK Talkers
Marcellus Shale Drilling, Whom Do You Trust?
At the WVIA
100 WVIA Way, Pittston, PA 18640
570-826-6144 | 570-344-1244
Call for reservations
Friday October 8 at 7 pm
Room D001 Academic Center
Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA
An exceptional educational opportunity co-sponsored by RDA and the Clean Water Institute. Speakers:
Professor Anthony Ingraffea, P. E. and Ph.D. in Rock Fracture Mechanics. Head of Cornell Univesity’s Rock Fracture Group and Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering at of Cornell. Dr. Ingraffea’s research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes.
Professor Michael C. Boufadel, P.E., Ph.D. and Hydrologist. Chair of the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering at Temple University. Head of the University’s Center for Natural Resources Development and Protection (NRDP). Dr. Boufadel focuses on large-scale studies of water and air quality accompanied with advanced modeling to provide the best available technology.
Bring along a pro gas development friend for a lively post presentation discussion. Free Admission.
Friday October 15 at 7 pm
At Kingston Township Municipal Building
Public Information Meeting on Gas Drilling
more info to come
2 Comments | "fracking", calendar, Marcellus Shale, NEPA | Permalink
Posted by qazse
October 5, 2010
David Naro’s Comment:
October 2, 2010 at 7:49 pm (Edit)
The number of jobs the drilling has created is extraordinary. I have a degree in conservation biology and I’m a 100% supporter of domestic energy and jobs. I feel it’s a shame you don’t want to lower the unemployment rate, especially in NEPA. Oh, the claim that drilling contaminates water is BS. Check out junkscience.com
October 3, 2010 at 10:48 pm
Thank you for commenting. I, too, am a supporter of domestic energy and jobs. I consume local milk, cheese, beer, produce, and whatever else I can support. I patronize local restaurants and businesses rather than the chain invaders. I have not been perfect, but I am becoming more mindful and resolute with each day
Rather than turning back to the mines, perhaps this region should move forward into the green, local, and organic future. People want to know their family’s food is safe. Our shores are awash in plastic and our soil is polluted with insecticides, herbicides and God knows what else. Our government refuses to require corporations to reveal when genetically modified organisms are used in a product. These concerns will not go away.
Energy bills continue to increase There are always promises to lower them. But dirty energy – the kind where you blast open a mountaintop, or shatter shale a mile below – is costly and leaves a sad legacy.
NEPA ought to be manufacturing (jobs), shipping (jobs), installing (jobs), and retrofitting (jobs) alternative systems such as solar, wind, geo, and small hydro. We have good universities, experienced manufacturers, and excellent trades people. We are at a hub of transportation routes.
I believe that horizontal fracturing is a nasty business. Even if we managed it perfectly (how often is that done?) we cannot escape the fact that each fracking leaves millions of gallons of fresh water polluted and left underground. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands of frackings and you have a significant body of toxic slurry sloshing its way around a shattered system of bedrock. This once fresh water will no longer be part of our water cycle. But it will forever be a threat.
It is time we practiced human scale, not corporate scale.
11 Comments | "fracking", biocides, corporations, extraction economy, jobs, Marcellus Shale, Mother Earth, NEPA, Penn's Woods, policy, pollution, sustainability | Permalink
Posted by qazse
September 10, 2010
Hello, this is Pennsylvania DEP Secretary John Hanger inviting you to vacation here in Pennsylvania. There are so many things to do in the Champagne State: Take an intoxicating and romantic trip down the bubbly Susquehanna. Milk a dead cow! Come visit one of our many new and exciting theme parks such as Cabot Patch or EnCana Land!
Remember, liberty began and ended right here in Penn’s Woods. See you soon!
Leave a Comment » | "fracking", community, Constitution, democracy, eminent domain, forced pooling, Hanger, horizontal fracturing, liberty, Luzerne County, Marcellus Shale, NEPA, PA, Penn's Woods, Pennsylvania, Susquehanna River, Wyoming Valley | Permalink
Posted by qazse
August 24, 2010
Gas Stock was an act of defiance. It signals that despite the odds, the politicos, the Westmoreland Club, the silence of the Sierra Club, the co-opting of Penn State, the compromising of Penn Future, the dearth of lawyer support, the PUC, the lobbyists, the campaign contributions, the advertisements, the unemployment, the bankrupt governments (desperate to close their budgets), the SRBC, the DEP, the Oil and Gas Act, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and on and on … the movement will not give up.
Clean air and clean water are our constitutional right:
The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people. -Article I of the Pennsylvania State Constitution, Sec. 27
Beyond that, we owe it to our children and grandchildren.
And to those of you who follow the Bible: remember, you are called upon to be stewards of God’s creation. Don’t let covetousness cloud your decisions – do the right thing. (God created a garden, not an industrial zone)
7 Comments | "fracking", air contamination, community, community contamination, Constitution, democracy, EnCana, extraction economy, forced pooling, GAS STOCK, hydraulic fracturing, industrial zone, NEPA, NEPA Citizens in Action, Oil and Gas Act, Penn's Woods, politics, pollution, secret ingredients, State Constitution, Susquehanna River, Wyoming Valley | Permalink
Posted by qazse
July 28, 2010
they are in charge.
and the uninspired,
they call the shots.
see only themselves…
Do you love this world
and rejoice in it?
Or do you relish the smell of diesel?
Do you love
Or do you love
this privileged form of governance?
(It seems the difference
between God and a fallen preacher.)
1 Comment | "fracking", air contamination, community contamination, Delaware River, democracy, eminent domain, Fairmount Township, forced pooling, FrackMountain Poems, freedom, gas lease, horizontal fracturing, Huntsville Dam, hydrocarbons, industrial zone, maximization of profit, Mother Earth, NEPA, NoCana, Penn's Woods, Pennsylvania, poems, State Constitution, Susquehanna River, Un-natural Gas, Wyoming Valley | Permalink
Posted by qazse
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.
3 Comments | "fracking", air contamination, Ceasetown Dam, community, cost externalization, eminent domain, extraction economy, Fairmount Township, Gasland, Halliburton loophole, horizontal fracturing, Huntsville Dam, hydrocarbons, industrial zone, lobbyists, Luzerne County, miscellaneous, moratorium, NEPA, Penn's Woods, Pennsylvania, politics, radioactive mud, secret ingredients, water, water contamination, Wyoming Valley | Permalink
Posted by qazse
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.
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?
4 Comments | "fracking", Back Mountain PA, Ceasetown Dam, community contamination, Constitution, eminent domain, Halliburton loophole, horizontal fracturing, hydrocarbons, industrial zone, lobbyists, Marcellus Shale, miscellaneous, moratorium, NEPA, Penn's Woods, Pennsylvania, pipeline, politicians, pollution, radioactive mud, secret ingredients, Susquehanna River, Un-natural Gas, water contamination, Wyoming Valley | Permalink
Posted by qazse