Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Day In Dimock, PA

A preview of coming attractions, brought to you by the oil and gas industry. (October 2009)

If corporations were to consider the future generations, could they rape the land and make people sick? Corporations exist to make money. The planet and the human beings who live on it now, to say nothing of the next generation or seven generations to come as the Iroquois took into account, mean nothing to corporations. We are collateral damage, nothing more.

In November, a group of families from Dimock brought a lawsuit against Cabot Oil. Read about it here.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Seven generation sustainability is an ecological concept that urges the current generation of humans to live sustainably and work for the benefit of the seventh generation into the future.[1]

"In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation... even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine."

—Great Law of the Iroquois

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Make It Go National!

Drill rig on Moody Road, Bradford County, PA, July 2009
Photo: Carol Manuel

The Trouble With “Drill, Baby, Drill”

I’m not looking to host a debate about whether or not the US should do more to encourage drilling here in America.

On one side, we have the oilmen, who would look to drill enough holes to turn the entire continent into a block of Jarlsberg cheese. On the other side, there are the treehuggers who are so wrapped up in their ideology that the dangers of foreign oil dependence is entirely beyond their comprehension. My personal opinion is that the right path, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle.

That said, ProPublica gives us reason for concern today…

Pennsylvania residents whose streams and fields have been damaged by toxic spills and whose drinking water has allegedly been contaminated by drilling for natural gas are suing the Houston-based energy company that drilled the wells. A worker at the company is among the 15 families bringing suit.

The civil case, filed Thursday in U.S District Court in Scranton, Pa., seeks to stop future drilling in the Marcellus Shale by Cabot Oil and Gas near the town of Dimock.

Cabot is a public company, and is one of many natural gas and oil concerns currently converging on Pennsylvania’s natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale. This is a development that could impede future projects in this and other shales should the story happen to go national.


PA Residents Sue Gas Driller (ProPublica)



Monday, November 16, 2009

The Gathering Line from The National Alliance For Drilling Reform


Gathering Line - a special pipeline that transports gas from the field to the main pipeline.

The Gathering Line is a round-up of oil & gas drilling news brought to you by National Alliance for Drilling Reform (NA4DR), a broad alliance of grassroots activists from states across the nation that are affected with drilling development.

Amy Goodman interviews of Toxics Targeting, an Ithaca, NY-based environmental database firm which released a report last week, uncovering 270 documented hazardous chemical spills which occurred over the past thirty years. PA's own Department of Environmental Conservation's database contained records of fires, explosions, wastewater spills, well contamination, and ecological damage related to gas drilling. Take a moment to watch the interview Amy Goodman Interviews Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting. Mr. Hang is calling on NY Governor David Paterson to withdraw the Draft Supplemental Geologic Environmental Impact Statement, citing woefully inadequate reporting which will not come close to protecting the environment, water, and public health. This is a must-see interview! Visit Gas Wells Are Not Our Friends to find out more from Peacegirl!

Would you consider this a small footprint?See the effects of 40 years of drilling!Read it at Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths.

Gas drilling is destroying Pennsylvania's wilderness. The Pennsylvania Wilds include more than 2,000,000 acres of publicly owned virgin forest, clear mountain streams and abundant wildlife. Read about how these public lands are being violated and watch Splashdown for public action you can take soon to defend the Allegheny National Forest, part of the Pennsylvania Wilds.

TXsharon continues to follow the abuses of Aruba Petroleum in a Barnett Shale backyard and Wednesday the Wise County Messenger picked up the story--don't miss the comments. It's all on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Colleyville tables application for first well site. See story at Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling.

Sue Heavenrich writes about problems with a local compressor station in upstate New York at the "Marcellus Effect." Industrial drilling in Marcellus is impact enough, but without local zoning rural areas are open to invasion by other industrial uses too, including compressor stations. You'll find more on the "Marcellus Effect".

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Amy Goodman Interviews Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting

Walter Hang, President of Toxics Targeting, an environmental database firm in Ithaca, New York, talks to Amy Goodman in this riveting video. Toxics Targeting went through the Department of Environmental Conservation’s own database of hazardous substances spills over the past thirty years. They found 270 cases documenting fires, explosions, wastewater spills, well contamination and ecological damage related to gas drilling. Many of the cases remain unresolved. The findings are contrary to repeated government assurances that existing natural gas well regulations are sufficient to safeguard the environment and public health. New York State is considering allowing for gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale watershed, the source of drinking water for 15 million people, including nine million New Yorkers. Mr. Hang is calling on Gov. Paterson, who has embraced natural gas drilling as New York's best hope for economic recovery, to reject the Draft Supplemental Geologic Environmental Impact Statement just issued in October on the grounds that it is deeply flawed and does not adequately address the documented accidents and incidences which have occurred due to gas drilling activity.

The SGEIS was done because the gas drilling industry needed further review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). A Generic Environmental Impact Statement was finalized in 1992. However, new technology, referred to as slick water hydrofracking, now being used to drill in tight gas reservoirs such as the Barnett Shale (TX) and the Marcellus Shale (PA,NY,WV,OH), is causing a great deal of concern amongst environmentalists and residents who live atop these shale formations. Public hearings are now in progress for the Draft SGEIS. The public comment period has been extended to December 31, 2009. After considering public inputs, the state will decide on additional parameters to be applied to gas drilling and will then issue well permits for gas well development.

To read the testimony of John Hanger, Acting Secretary of the PA Department of Environmental Protection, speaking before the Senate Majority Policy Committee about the Marcellus Shale formation, go here.

After the findings of Toxics Targeting, will the State of New York take seriously the possible, and perhaps probable, costs of drilling on the environment, the public health, and quality of life in New York State?

Does it make sense to destroy essential resources such as water and soil in order to extract one resource- natural gas? Are we to drill first and ask questions later?

*Thinking about buying a home? Check out this free internet map, compliments of Toxics Targeting, to see if there are any toxic problems nearby.

Monday, November 9, 2009

This Week's Gathering Line from the National Alliance for Drilling Reform

Gathering Line - a special pipeline that transports gas from the field to the main pipeline.

The Gathering Line is a round-up of oil & gas drilling news brought to you by National Alliance for Drilling Reform (NA4DR), a broad alliance of grassroots activists from states across the nation that are affected with drilling development.

Splashdown wants to encourage everyone to get behind the 2 Action Alerts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and all inflowing waterways. 1. You can send an easy click message to Congress to urge them to join in sponsoring this critical Clean Water legislation. 2. Beginning Nov. 9th, public input (also easy click to comment) is being sought on strategic plans for President Obama's Executive Order for cleaning up the Bay. So please, hop to it!

TXsharon continues to report from a backyard in the Barnett Shale. Despite all the local and national press on drilling related toxins, carcinogens and neurotoxins in our air, Aruba Petroleum Refuses a Simple Step to Improve Barnett Shale Air and thereby recklessly and willfully endangers public health and safety. Read it on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

The New Energy Army Pickens Proposes to force his plan upon the nation Read it at Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths.

Peacegirl writes about the situation in Clearville, PA, where compressor stations are causing serious environmental problems. Read Compressor Stations Wreak Havoc in PA. Watch two videos, and see for yourself what it looks like to have tiny oily spots on every surface, every plant, farm equipment, a pond- everywhere. It is unbelievable! See the cemetery adjacent to a Clearville compressor station where local residents hope someday to "rest in peace." They are wondering if that day will come sooner rather than later because of the serious health threats they now fear from the gas industry. Who will help the residents of Clearville? Is the PA DEP doing its job? Visit Gas Wells Are Not Our Friends. Reader comments are always welcome.

Sue Heavenrich reports on a recently released report about drilling accidents in NY 270 Drilling Accidents in NY So Far Read about that and and more at

Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling urges everyone to read the Environment Texas study to learn how excessive waste of fresh water and toxic chemicals gas drillers use in the extraction of the gas are threatening our drinking water in the Barnett Shale area.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Compressor Stations Wreak Havoc in PA

Compressor stations are causing a lot of problems in Pennsylvania. This video was taken after a release of an oily substance from Steckman Ridge Compressor in Clearville, PA, on August 23, 2009. The owners of this farm are fearful that their land is hopelessly contaminated, and they don't know what is in the oily substance they found sprinkled all over everything: their farm equipment, the hay wagon, their crops and plants, their pasture land, their blueberry bushes, their springfed pond. They found soot on their roof. The pond has an oily scum on it. Their plants wilted after this incident. They are asking: Is our farm safe or not?

Clearville farmers have watched their animals die- two cows, a horse, many cats, and all of their hens. There are three compressor stations, all within 10 miles. According to the DEP, air tests are not done around compressor stations, despite many requests from residents who live near them. Is the air safe in Clearville? The residents are worried.

Chemist Wilbra Subra calls compressor stations, used in the gas drilling process, "mini-refineries." Dr. Subra's work has included studying the air quality around compressor stations in Dish, TX, where extremely high levels of benzene, toluene, and other carcinogenic and neurotoxic compounds were found "hanging in the air." Residents of Dish have been forced to breathe in these toxins for the past few years since gas drilling has come to their community. Will Clearville develop the same problems? People want to know the answers. Does any industry have the right to "do business" if it means polluting the air, soil, and water?

An article
by Nastassja Noell reports on the incident in Mt. Pleasant, PA, when the Nancy Stewart compressor released a stream of high pressured natural gas for over an hour- a supposedly "normal operational procedure." Raw natural gas was escaping from a pipeline with such force that it caused nearby homes to shake. Martin O'Lear, who lives about a quarter mile from the compressor said,
It sounded like a rocket taking off. My eyes started to burn, and then I started to cough which lasted through the afternoon and night. I've lived here for 34 years and never before had my eyes start to burn when I stepped outside.
In another instance, Spectra CNG sprayed Omala Oil RL 329 over surrounding fields. A week later, the company told residents not to eat any of their crops and to wash their skin thoroughly. The DEP came a week later to test surface water near the compressor station and found at least two cases where toluene was present. This meant that toluene may be in the air. How are residents going to know for sure? Are their children safe? Are their animals safe?

Read more
here about the problems in Clearville and how the DEP is not willing to take serious measures to protect the public. (Warning: Strong language.)

This video shows footage of a huge compressor staton in Clearville, PA, just up the hill from a cemetery. Rest in peace, anyone?


NPR Interview Reveals Health and Environmental Concerns about Gas Drilling

Rene Montagne, host of Morning Edition, and reporter, John Burnett, raise questions about the natural gas industry on NPR.

Vast new natural gas fields have opened up thanks to an advanced drilling technique. While natural gas is a cleaner burning fuel than coal or petroleum, extracting it is still hard, dirty work. Some people who live near the massive Barnett Shale gas deposit in north Texas, have complaints. Health and environmental concerns are prompting state regulators to take a closer look.

Read the full transcript here.


Monday, November 2, 2009

This Just In: The Gathering Line From the National Alliance For Drilling Reform

Gathering Line - a special pipeline that transports gas from the field to the main pipeline.

The Gathering Line is a round-up of oil & gas drilling news brought to you by National Alliance for Drilling Reform (NA4DR), a broad alliance of grassroots activists from states across the nation that are affected with drilling development.

This week's Gathering Line is too scary for Halloween

Peacegirl writes about gas drilling in Bradford County, PA. Welcome To Bradford County, PA, calls attention to an article in the Fall 2009 issue of Save the Bay, the magazine of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation which features the North Branch Susquehanna River in Bradford County. From the blog Gas Wells Are Not Our Friends where your comments are always welcome.

Aruba Petroleum is drilling a Barnett Shale gas well in the backyard of Tim and Christine. Their property was taken, it's value diminished, they were threatened and now Aruba Petroleum spilled toxic drilling waste a few feet from where their daughter plays. Another tale (with VIDEO) about the Victims of the Shale on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Allegheny State Forests Littered!! Park Management Tries To Bring Drilling To A Halt And Are Met With IntimidationRead it at Cheap

Tricks and Costly Truths.

Today’s environmental horrors could lead to a scary Sci-Fi future. Drilling Santa Fe offers an excerpt from Apocalypse Soon by Laura Paskus.

Meanwhile, Splashdown says, Kiss myGas!

Williams Petroleum wants to pipe drilling waste water under our homes in Flower Mound, TX to a huge tank farm. Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling we discovered an alternative that is safer and greener. Williams claims to be a "good neighbor." Here's their chance to prove it.