Monday, October 22, 2012

"The Story of Stuff" Weighs In

"A carcinogen-dependent, accident-prone industry has no business setting up shop next to schools and neighborhoods. It has no right to use our communities as its factory floor."

The Story of Stuff Project

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Flare Erupts Out of Control in Texas

Published on Oct 20, 2012 by GARDAPTX On October 2nd, 2012 on Berry Oil lease "Gardendale No10", a flare used for burning off gases into the atmosphere erupted in flames. Smoke and fire shot hundreds of feet into the air almost an hour before Berry Oil employees could shut off the flow of fuel. Apparently, no one was injured in the blaze, but it's notable that Berry Oil plans to drill over 300 wells within the 12 square miles of Gardendale, TX, population 2,200. Berry plans some wells as near as 130 feet from homes and families. Oil industry insiders have described Berry Oil as merely a "bad player". GARDAP would agree with that assessment. You see, we judge Berry, not by what their hired, apologist PR firm, KGB Texas, says about Berry, but rather, what Berry actually does to our community. There is a gathering storm in Gardendale, and the central question still remains: who will be the next Berry Oil casualty?

After the Boom in Natural Gas

The New York Times has published an article today (Clifford Krauss and Eric Lipton) which tells another sad story related to the gas industry. What happens after the drilling is finished and the roughnecks leave town? Here is what is happening in Louisiana where the Haynesville Shale is located: Click here.

"The bust has certainly hit the Haynesville hard. Some local landowners, having spent their initial lease bonuses, are now deeply in debt. Local restaurants and other businesses are suffering steep losses now that so many drillers have left town."

At its peak, Chesapeake Energy ran 38 rigs in the region.  It has drilled more than 1200 wells into the Haynesville (Louisiana and Texas). Now only 2 rigs are in use. The drillers drilled so many wells and extracted so much gas that they have driven the price of natural gas to near-record lows.  The NYT article explains who is making a lot of money and who is suffering financially now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Where the Energy Jobs Are

For years, the dirty energy industry has warned of massive job losses if the nation switches to clean energy. It's dead wrong. Max Wei, Shanda Patada, and Daniel Kammen of the University of California at Berkeley reviewed fifteen recent studies on the job-creation potential of various energy sources and found that renewables generate more jobs per unit of energy delivered than do fossil fuels.  For a calculator showing how many jobs could be created under various assumptions, see (See the links on this site.) Figures shown here represent jobs per megawatt and include jobs in construction, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance.

Anybody surprised- beside me?

Hay Fields Ruined By Nearby Gas Drilling in Western New York

In the small village of Arcade in western NY, a farmer learned the hard way just how serious the gas industry is in fixing things when disasters occur.  His hay fields were healthy and productive.  He depended on them to feed his animals.  But now his fields are ruined due to a drilling accident.  No one had to fix the problem, not the industry or any public entity. He has to buy his hay now.  His story is a sad one, but many people are being hurt by this industry in similar ways. 

Read more here.

Arden Landfill, Washington, PA

Click here to see a list of landfills in Pennsylvania that accept Marcellus drilling waste.  We just don't have adequate facilities to deal with the vast amount of fracking waste which will need to be disposed of.  Landfills leak, and they take up enormous amounts of land which could have been used for food production.  These landfills become superfund sites.  And what about air pollution?  Would anyone care to have one of these nextdoor to a home or school? This fracking waste is radioactive. We are dreaming if we think this will work out well.

The Beginning of the Constitution Pipeline (PA)

Even if you don't know a lot about gas pipelines, well pads, or compressor stations, you can appreciate what you are seeing here in this aerial video of the Williams Central Station.  Look at the contrast between the beauty of the fall foliage, the bright green fields, and the surrounding natural environment versus the well pads and compressor station which are destroying this beauty at so many levels, both above ground and underground.  The eye can only see a small portion of the destruction, but it is enough to fill me with dread.  All this industrialization- and for what?  A few years of fossil fuel extraction.  Before long, we will be forced to find sustainable alternatives.  Meanwhile we are still hellbent on destruction of the planet. Why?  We are ruled by corporations, and these corporations are filled with selfish, greedy people who care nothing about the planet.  Can this be refuted?  I think not.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bradford County Farmer: What happened to our family and farm

Dairy Farmer in Bradford County tells her story of Contamination after gas drilling...

This is Carol French's Story-- part 1--

Status Update By Carol French

What have We Done Nearly 30% of the rural farm land located in Bradford County, Pennsylvania was already leased prior 2006. We and 50% of the county decided to lease our land for an average $5- $85/per acre. It would take two more years before the gas companies would convince another 10% to lease their land at $2,500 or more/per acre. During this leasing process, you could feel the excitement. It was the talk of the town. There were suggestions made that if a gas well was drilled on your property you would become the next “shaleionaires.” Everyone was to prosper, new roads, jobs, additional money from leasing and royalties.
It was too good to be true!
By the spring of 2009 there was uneasiness among the farmers that had had a gas well drilled on their property. The local newspaper was reporting contamination found in water wells, death occurring on a gas pad and the farmer was facing the fact that he could lose his farm due to a lawsuit based on the gas companies operation. For myself, I was thinking that our lucky neighbor was going to become the next Millionaire, because they had the gas well drilled on them. Soon my mind changed.
Those farmers were facing penalties lodged against them, due to their land becoming industrial use instead of agricultural use.
Landowners found themselves seeking legal advice, only to find that the attorneys were not experienced in Oil & Gas law, and had a conflict of interest. Example: If the landowner could not afford the attorneys fee, the attorney would simply attach his name to the royalty interest for payment. My neighbor (Carolyn) and I attended a presentation by a professor from Penn State University. He made a statement, saying that we must sacrifice; it was our patriotic duty to assure our Country would be independent from foreign oil. I could not wrap my mind around what he was saying.
Was there legislation insuring that our natural resources would stay in this country? What did he mean we would have to sacrifice?

In December, 2010 – January 2011, three gas wells were drilled near our farm. Farm land was getting ripped up like old material for a patch work quilt. In the middle of 2011, five more gas wells were drilled, surrounding our farm. Two of the gas wells were less than 4,000 feet away. My water changed March 15, 2011. Our water appeared pearly white. Then it had a layer of green moss settling on top of a 1/4 inch of sand as the water would become gelatin like. By October 2011, my daughter became ill. She had a high fever, diarrhea, weight loss of 10 pounds in 7 days, and severe pains in her abdomen. At the hospital they found her liver, spleen and her right ovary was extremely enlarged. Our neighbor living north of us had the same health issues after her water changed in March of that year, except her spleen burst three days after she went to the hospital.
We knew our daughter would have to leave Pennsylvania in order to have a chance of a healthy, normal life.
She moved to Tennessee. We don’t drink the water or the milk from our cows. We still have to bathe in it. Our state agency (Department of Environmental Protection) refuses to test our water; therefore the gas company will not provide water for our cows and my family. I now believe I understand what he met by “we are to sacrifice”

It is October 3, 2012.  Many that quit their previous job to work for the gas related companies are now unemployed.
We have become “prudent partners” with the gas company, by signing a lease, now are finding ourselves responsible for their debts (Mechanics Leans).
There are for sale signs in the yard of a contaminated farm. The farm lost 80%-90% of its value, possibly losing his milk market, and who will buy his cows? Many living in Bradford County have “changed” water, depending on the gas companies to provide water for their families and farms. This has become a huge, expensive burden to the gas companies. Some of the gas companies operating in Bradford County have chosen not to pay for the water bill, resulting in no more water deliveries to the effected families. Other residents have been given water filtration systems, resulting in additional cost to the resident.
We were given a chance to dream, not knowing the true value of what lie so far beneath our land. Not aware of the type of operations that would be conducted on our land. We believed in the false promises made by the gas industry.
Now I wonder, will these private gas companies produce natural gas for this country or produce natural gas for sales overseas, selling to the highest bidder. This would crush the theory of “sacrifice for our country allowing independence from foreign oil”. I keep asking myself, what have we done?

New York Times Publishes Photos of Fracking

October 11th the New York Times published this photo essay of scenes of hydrofracking and other related operations such as flaring and pipelines. There are also photos of people who have been severely impacted by the natural gas industry: the collateral damage, the ones who have no say, the ones who don't matter to the Big Gas people. These photos are beautifully done, very professional, breathtaking if it weren't for the destruction they show. Aerial photos are so revealing! Wide shots give us all a glimpse of the devastation we can't always see otherwise.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vera took this video last night on her way home. Can you imagine what it must be like to see this happening not far from your home? It is alarming. What is being emitted into the air here? This can't be healthy, can it? There are homes nearby. Vera wrote: Taped 10-9-12. Saw this tonight on my way home. Flaring on Valley View Rd., but seen from Laurel Lake Rd., and something I hadn't noticed before. Looks like Gas Fumes comes up off the two flares. Franklin Twp. , Susquehanna County, Pa. Why is this being allowed ?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Louis W. Allstadt On Gas Drilling In New York State and the SGEIS

Lou Allstadt discusses the enormous inadequacies of the New York State SGEIS. His talk can also be viewed here: For an excellent article on this topic, click HERE. Lou Allstadt is a former Mobil Oil Corp. executive. Initially a proponent of gas drilling, he now is "convinced the economic prospects are largely hype and that the state's environmental regulators are disturbingly unprepared to deal with the side effects of such an invasive industrial activity."