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to human and marine life — can impact marine environments, and crucial parts of the draft permit are based on severely outdated data.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.
By Steve Horn for DeSmog Blog. Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) — the controversial horizontal drilling technique used to extract oil and gas in shale basins around the U.S. and the world — has sat at the center of the debate over the Democratic Party’s draft platform set for a vote at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) convention in Philadelphia July 25-28. That platform was drafted and debated by a 15-member committee, with four members chosen by DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, five by Bernie Sanders and six by presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. After a fracking moratorium clause failed in a 7-6 vote at the DNC Platform Committee meeting held in St. Louis, Missouri from June 24-25, an amendment calling for President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan not to incentivize fracked gas power plants also did not pass at the July 8-9 DNC Platform Committee meeting held in Orlando, Florida.
By Lee Fang and Steve Horn for The Intercept – WHEN MORE THAN 300 protesters assembled in May at the Holiday Inn in Lakewood, Colorado — the venue chosen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for an auction of oil and gas leases on public lands — several of the demonstrators were in fact undercover agents sent by law enforcement to keep tabs on the demonstration, according to emails obtained by The Intercept. The “Keep it in the Ground” movement, a broad effort to block the development of drilling projects…
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams. Philadelphia, PA – Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have conclusively shown that living close to fracking operations significantly increases asthma sufferers’ risks of attacks, adding urgency to the battle against fracking within the Democratic Party as it prepares to convene in Philadelphia next week. The study, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at 35,000 medical records in Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2012. The state has long been host to a controversial fracking boom, and many have clamored for politicians to pay attention to the industry’s irreversible damage to the land and human health. “This study’s findings confirm what we have known for years—that fracking is an inherently hazardous process that threatens human health and safety every day. More than 17 million Americans live within a mile of a fracking site, and they are all at risk,”
By Robby Diesu for Popular Resistance. Five activists took part in an action this morning to scale a pair of 60-foot flagpoles at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH, attaching a 625-square-foot banner. Three activists were arrested by the Cleveland Police Department. The team of activists involved in the fight against fracking and the immigration justice movement took action to show the interconnected nature of these fights for justice. Activists hope to demonstrate that while Trump is calling for the building of a wall with Mexico, social movements are breaking down the barriers that have prevented them from working together. “Through the power of direct action, our movements can and will stop the hateful rhetoric of Donald Trump, and continue to push Hillary Clinton to ban fracking and stop the deportations.”