By Marrianne Lavelle for Inside Climate News – In the wake of helping defeat two recent ballot measures that could have reined in fracking in Colorado, the state’s oil and gas industry is leading a campaign to sharply limit future citizen initiatives. A so-called Raise the Bar question will be asked on the Colorado ballot on Nov. 8. It is being promoted as a way to make the controversial process of amending the state constitution more fair. But as the proponents’ motto implies
By Lorraine Chow for Nation of Change – The Wichita Eagle noted from the study that this man-made quake, which hit 40 miles southwest of Wichita and felt as far away as Memphis, likely came from just one or two nearby wells. The publication ominously noted that, “one of those two wells, operated by SandRidge Energy, is still injecting water at the same level as when the earthquake occurred two years ago.”
By Kevin Gosztola for Shadow Proof – At a private meeting with the Building Trades Council, Hillary Clinton bashed environmentalists who oppose natural gas fracking and insist the United States must keep all fossil fuels in the ground. She said these environmentalists need to “get a life.” A transcript of a part of the meeting, which took place on September 9, 2015, was published by WikiLeaks. It was attached to an email from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s account, which he claims was hacked.
By We Are Seneca Lake. READING, NEW YORK — In a decision likely to have broad implications for hundreds of We Are Seneca Lake defenders, Judge David Brockway dismissed trespassing charges against six local business owners due to insufficient evidence. The 12-hour trial took place in the Town of Reading Court on September 30. In addition, four of the business owners were found guilty of disorderly conduct for preventing a vehicle from passing through the gates of Crestwood’s gas storage complex on Route 14 in Reading, NY. Attorney Gibson will appeal that decision. “We saw in the testimony that the officers arrested these people without any direct knowledge that they actually were on private property,” said Sujata Gibson, defense attorney. “We are considering a federal lawsuit to ensure that this type of apparently politically motivated mass arrest and prosecution cannot continue to take place.”
By Staff of Broad Alliance – As one of the so-called “dragon ships” arrives in Grangemouth (September 27, 2016) carrying fracked gas from the United States, the great and the good of Scotland have been invited to a ritzy celebration at INEOS’ shiny new HQ. But the Broad Alliance sees nothing to celebrate. Instead we share this plea from a community affected by this dirty business
By Mike Ludwig for Truthout. Environmentalists are warning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that its draft plan to continue allowing oil and gas companies to dump unlimited amounts of fracking chemicals and wastewater directly into the Gulf of Mexico is in violation of federal law. In a letter sent to EPA officials on Monday, attorneys for the Center for Biological Diversity warned that the agency’s draft permit for water pollution discharges in the Gulf fails to properly consider how dumping wastewater containing chemicals from fracking and acidizing operations would impact water quality and marine wildlife. The attorneys claim that regulators do not fully understand how the chemicals used in offshore fracking and other well treatments — some of which are toxic and dangerous to human and marine life — can impact marine environments, and crucial parts of the draft permit are based on severely outdated data. Finalizing the draft permit as it stands would be a violation of the Clean Water Act, they argue.
By Mark Hand for DC Media Group – Former Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon may no longer be with us, but his old message about anti-fracking activists continues to echo in the meeting rooms of industry conferences. Five years ago, McClendon, who died in a car crash in March, told the audience at the Shale Gas Insight conference in Philadelphia that life would be cold, dark and hungry if the protesters outside the Philadelphia Convention Center succeeded in stopping shale gas drilling.
By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – Two pipeline corporations have announced plans to merge, raising the hackles of climate activists who say the deal “would be bad news for energy consumers and terrible news for the clean energy revolution on which the future of our planet depends.” Canadian pipeline behemoth Enbridge said Tuesday that it plans to buy Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp. for stock worth $28 billion, creating what CBC News calls “a North American energy infrastructure giant.”
By Joshua Frank for Counter Punch – When one thinks of earthquakes, what comes to mind is usually the vast fault line straddled lands of southern California or the great subduction zones off the coasts of Chile and Japan. Surely, it isn’t the cattle fields of Texas or the rolling plains of Ohio and Oklahoma. Natural disasters in the central and southern United States typically blow in with the winds in the form of deadly tornadoes and storms. Yet, thanks to the insatiable rush to tap every last drop of oil and gas from the depths of the earth’s crust, earthquakes are fast becoming the new norm in “fly-over country”.
By Larry Buhl for Desmog Blog. New and protracted battles in the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) war are breaking out across Pennsylvania and other states near the Marcellus Shale over pipeline companies’ use of eminent domain. The fiercest battle pits Philadelphia-based Sunoco Logistics against homeowners in the path of a pipeline that crosses Pennsylvania. In a controversial move invoking eminent domain, Sunoco aims to seize private lands to make room for a pipeline extension that would move highly volatile liquids (HVL) used in the making of plastics from the Marcellus Shale region to eastern Pennsylvania. With an air of inevitability, opponents say, Sunoco is planning to move ahead with Mariner East II, a retrofit and extension of an existing east-west pipeline that was once used to ship gasoline westward from Philadelphia’s refineries.
By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams – Oklahoma was hit with a 5.6-magnitude earthquake on Saturday, with reports of tremors felt in six neighboring states—making it one of the strongest quakes in Oklahoma’s history and fueling a growing consensus that the cause lies with wastewater disposal from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. CNN reported that the event also rattled Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Nebraska, and Iowa, citing geophysicists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), who said it “occurred as the result of shallow strike-slip faulting.”
By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams – Around the world, resistance is growing to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as more and more communities line up to ban the controversial fossil fuel extraction method from their lands. On Tuesday, Victoria, Australia’s Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the state is set to introduce a permanent ban on all onshore unconventional gas exploration, including fracking and other methods like gas mining, making it the first state in the nation to do so.
By Zahra Hirji for Inside Climate News – Two anti-fracking initiatives did not get enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot, Colorado officials announced on Monday, giving the oil and gas industry its latest victory over communities seeking to exert local control over fracking. This was the second time Coloradans concerned about the environmental, public health and economic impacts of hydraulic fracturing and related oil and gas activity have tried to restrict the industry through ballot initiatives.
By Simon Davis-Cohen for Desmog – For years, local Ohioans have been told by courts and elected officials that they have no control over fracking — “it is a matter of state law.” However, groups of determined residents are refusing to accept this argument, taking steps to establish local democratic control over what they see as vital societal questions of health, safety, and planetary survival. But not without resistance from their own governments.
By Desiree Kane an Anthony Rogers-Wright. Philadelphia, PA – Today environmental activists, Indigenous youth, and other concerned citizens disrupted a Politico event sponsored the American Petroleum Institute, the leading American trade group of the fossil fuel industry. The event, “Energy and the Election at the DNC”, featured prominent Democratic lawmakers and energy advisors including, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Ed Rendell, former PA Gov., Trevor Houser, Hillary For America Energy Policy Advisor, and Heather Zichal, former Obama climate official. More than a dozen activists were forcibly removed from the event after openly criticizing the fossil fuel industry and entrenched political leaders. Additionally, activists dropped a 400-sq-foot banner from the building across the street, and picketed the entrance to the event as it began.