Monday, June 28, 2010

A Colossal Fracking Mess

A pump vacuums runoff from a spill in Dimock, PA
[Photo credit: Carol Manuel]

The latest issue of Vanity Fair highlights the disaster that Dimock, PA, has suffered due to natural gas drilling.  Read the story here.

Anthony Ingraffea of Cornell University: Hydrofracking Part III

Part III of Dr. Ingraffea's talk on hydrofracking.

Watch Part II of this talk here.  Part I is here.

Dr. Ingraffea: Hydrofracking Part II

Part II of a talk by Dr. Anthony Ingraffea of Cornell University, and an expert in hydraulic rock fracturing.  You may be surprised at what he has to say about what is happening in the Marcellus Shale.

Watch Part III of this talk here. Part I is here.

Dr. Ingraffea Teaches the Hydrofracking Basics: Part I

Anthony Ingraffea, PhD, gave a talk in Penn Yan, NY, on March 2, 2010.  Here is Part I of that lecture (running about 8 minutes).  Dr. Ingraffea received his PhD in rock fracture mechanics, a field which is almost unknown today, and few people have this rare degree.  Dr. Ingraffea worked at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, for 33 years, in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.  He did research in hydraulic rock fracture in particular.  He has also served as princial investigator for such organizations as NASA, Kodak, the U. S. Army, IBM, Schlumberger, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Boeing.

In this talk, Dr. Ingraffea focuses on hydrofracking and the Marcellus Shale.  He has a unique way of explaining the process in a very understandable way.  And he highlights the dangers of the process which he has studied and researched for decades.

Watch Part III of this presentation here. Part II is here.

Gas Drillers Have It Made: PA Taxpayers Foot the Bill

This from PennFuture:

Tax breaks for gas drillers

In Pennsylvania, gas drillers don't pay property taxes on the value of the natural gas as they do in Texas and other states. And thanks to the 2005 Energy Policy Act, passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, almost all the costs of drilling can be directly deducted from drilling companies' taxes. The Intangible Drilling Costs tax deduction allows companies to directly deduct 70 percent of costs including wages, supplies, site preparation, fuels, chemicals and other equipment needed for drilling. Pennsylvania taxpayers foot the bill when they pay their federal income tax.

Marcellus Shale: Help! There's a Landman At My Door!

You can sign up online at Landman Report Card to read reports about landmen all over the country.  You can submit your own reports of your experiences, too.

How does this site help me?

By signing up as a user of LRC, you gain access to our database of landmen and oil companies' profiles, as well as reviews written by people who have previously encountered these landmen. You can view these reports and use them as a guide for future encounters. In addition, you will be able to write reports of you own regarding landmen you've interacted with. By contributing to the site, you are helping others who may be in a similar situation. By being a site user, you will also gain the privilege of contacting other users and being contacted for additional questions or to share your experiences.

How would I benefit as a user?

As a user, you are eligible to write reports on landmen you've had encounters with. These reports will greatly aid in expanding the site's database, which in turn can help you, and others like you, in making informed decisions. You will also have the option to contact other users and be contacted for additional questions or to simply share your experiences.

To view a report on a landman who visited a landowner in PA, click here.

For a crash course on what to do when confronted by a landman (or landwoman!), go here.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Josh Fox Interview About "Gasland" on NOW

Watch this interview!  Josh Fox tells his story about the long journey he made across the country to learn about the real effects of hydrofracking and other related issues surrounding gas drilling. Twenty plus minutes is all it takes.

Gulf Oil Disaster: Views from the air

This video was taken by John L. Wathen.  The images and commentary are heart-breaking.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Natural Gas Drilling: Know the Drill Video

Chris Bateman made this short video in May of 2010, travelling through NE Pennsylvania and talking with local residents who have been seriously affected by the gas drilling industry.  Their lives have been basically disrupted beyond repair, in other words, ruined.  Listen to what they have to say.  Bad water- can't bathe, can't do laundry, can't drink from the faucet.  Can't sell home.  Afraid of explosions from methane migration.  Is this a viable way of life?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Marcellus Shale: Another Gas-related Accident in Tioga County,PA

Tioga County, PA
Two men were flown by medical helicopter to Guthrie Medical Center on June 18th with injuries suffered when a pressurized pipe burst as they were connecting it at a drilling site in Galeton.  This site is located on Lick Run Road. Cindy Kalbach lives nearby on Elk Run Road and heard the sirens coming up her street.  She was understandably very concerned, wondering what was happening, and worried about her property if, for example, there was a fire.  She said the gas company Ultra Resources, Inc., did not answer calls on its emergency lines.  She cited the constant lack of communication and unwillingness to help neighbors know what to expect.  Ironically she says that she was approached by Ultra a week ago about signing a gas lease. That is one thing that will never happen, she said.  Watch the video of Cindy speaking. Personal stories tell it best. Ms. Kalbach says the peaceful, tranquil life she once had has been taken away.  Quiet, fresh air- all gone.  She is left with a scratchy voice from the dust and exhaust fumes.

The environmental manager of safety operations from Ultra, a Houston-based gas drilling company, would not specify what type of accident occurred at the well site, nor would he divulge the extent of the injuries suffered by the two men.

Click here to find out more about gas drilling in Tioga County.

Click here for a report by Samantha Martinez.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Marcellus Shale: Pipelines Are Next, Eminent Domain On the Table

Photo credit: Carol Manuel

Pipelines like this one in Asylum Township, Bradford County, are being installed in many places, and the gas industry may, in fact, be able to rely on eminent domain to access right-of-way.  The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is considering at least one application from a gas pipeline company seeking public utility status. Laser Marcellus Gathering Company, LLC, hopes to obtain a certificate of public convenience from the PUC "to operate as an intrastate natural gas pipeline providing gathering and transportation services to unaffiliated producers."  Under consideration is a 30-mile long pipeline to connect gas wells in western Susquehanna County and the Southern Tier of New York to the Millenium Pipeline at a location in Broome County, NY.  Future projects may include additional delivery points to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline and the Stagecoach Natural Gas Storage Facility in PA.  Property owners may be forced against their will to surrender right-of-way via emminent domain.  Hearings at the PUC are to take place in July.

Read the whole article here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Keith Olbermann: Tony Hayward, BP CEO, Speaks

"This is not our accident." "I would like my life back." These are comments Tony Hayward has said in the last few weeks since the horrendous blowout in the Gulf of Mexico last month. This video speaks for itself.

Natural Gas Drilling: Chilling Images of Drilling's Perils

Catskills waterfall

At a recent showing of Josh Fox's award-winning documentary, "Gasland,"  people had two questions on their minds:  Is the risk [from gas drilling] worth the reward?  What's the alternative?  This New York Times article by Peter Applebome portrays a fair and balanced view of the issues which are being debated. It is worth reading.  Laurie Spaeth of the Chenango Delaware Otsego Gas Drilling Opposition Group ( said, "As impressive as the technology is, there are going to be accidents.  What they're doing here is not quite as extreme as what they were doing in the gulf [of Mexico], but it clearly has the same potential for devastation."

Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Natural Gas Drilling: Let's Be Careful

Tom Taylor, Chris Holder, and Peter Gamba of Upstate New York have written this fantastic song!

Democrat and Chronicle Cartoon: Welcome to the Marcellus Shale

From the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York

Caption: "Here's a quiet place to recover from that deep sea oil spill!"

Sign:  Welcome to the Marcellus Shale- Deep drill here!
Man's shirt reads:  Trust Us X-traction

From the Philadelphia Daily News

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Disaster: If It Were In Your Backyard

See what the oil spill catastrophe would look like where you live in this interactive map.  This is an eyeopener.  Move the oil spill to your hometown and see how big an area will be covered. 

Gas Drilling: Another Deadly Pipeline Explosion in Texas

It has been a deadly few days in Texas.  Two natural gas pipeline explosions took the lives of 3 gas drilling workers.  The latest blast occurred today (6/8) in Darrouzett, Texas (270 miles northeast of Lubbock).  In addition to the two who were killed, three workers were injured, but not seriously.  Five men were moving clay from a pit near the pipeline when a bulldozer struck it, causing the explosion.

Watch the VIDEO REPORT here.

Marcellus Shale Gas Blowout in North Central PA: Reporter Is Threatened With Being Shot and Arrested

Enjoying a boat ride on the Western Branch of the Susquehanna River, Clearfield County, Central Pennsylvania

Michael Morrill reports at The Daily Kos that he was threatened and told he might possibly be shot and/or arrested if he didn't leave.  He was trying to investigate the gas well blowout last week in Clearfield County, PA .  Read his astounding account of what happened to him when he showed up during the clean-up with a Flip camera.  The extent to which several gas employees pursued and harrassed him is quite surprising.  We should all know that this is happening. Here is an excerpt from Morrill's diary:
They told me that I was on property owned by Punxsutawney Hunt Club, and the members didn't appreciate trespassers They told me, in a veiled threat, that I should leave now, and as long as I was heading out I would probably not get shot.
Read a related article here.  "PA halts drilling by company after gas accident"

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Yorker Cover: "Five weeks later..."

"Five weeks later..."
A picture is worth a thousand words.  Barry Blitt's New Yorker cover this week is a powerful response to the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  Blitt, whose work appears regularly in the magazine, will publish "The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn," an illustrated children's book, next year.

Check out the New Yorker here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Marcellus Shale: Another Leak in PA Forces Evacuation At Campground

A well rupture in Clearfield County, PA, spewed drilling fluids for 16 hours before emergency officials could stop it.  EOG Resources runs the well.  They capped the well.  The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction in the immediate area which remains in effect until further notice, according to report. According to a PEMA news release, the well which was in the frack process ruptured, spilling water and unignited wet gas.  [The water referred to here would typically contain toxic chemicals.  It is NOT "just water."]   No one was injured.

Readers, if you have a few minutes, be sure to watch the video from Pittsburgh Channel 4 Action News here.  I think the usually compliant media is beginning to report more negative news about gas drilling.  This video includes how actual people view the gas drilling industry.  Highly recommended.

The PA DEP report from today is here.

Here is an update on the accident.
A one-mile radius of Moshannon State Forest was evacuated Friday morning after a gas well ruptured near the Punxsutawney Hunting Club. The leak happened at a Marcellus drilling operation on McGeorge Road in the forest. The gas well is owned by EOG Resources Inc., officials said.

Around 10:30 a.m., officials were checking camps to make sure all campers were evacuated around the site of the leak. Officials said they were dealing with gas leaking into the air.

According to state Rep. Bud George's office, initial reports from Process Equipment Manufacturers' Association said three of four wells were secured. The other well was releasing frack water and unignited wet gas, which caused the evacuation. Officials said an estimated 1 million gallons of frack water was uncontrolled as of 11 a.m. in the area of exit 111 on Interstate 80.
Amy Mall of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) offers even more vital information about this disaster here. Check this out!  It is really important in regard to the chemicals that were released in this state forest. For example, Amy explains what wet gas is, and it is probably not what you think.

BP: Billionaire Polluter

Democracy Now!’s Anjali Kamat visits the town of Phoenix, Louisiana on the east bank of Plaquemines Parish, an area that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She speaks to Reverend Tyronne Edwards, a pastor and longtime community activist who spearheaded efforts to rebuild the largely African American fishing community after Katrina. In the aftermath of the BP oil spill disaster, Rev. Edwards is at the forefront of getting Washington, DC to pay attention to the needs of his community, whom he calls the "forgotten people" of Plaquemines Parish.

Read Amy Goodman's Truthdig article here.
Less than a week after British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon drilling platform expploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and unleashing what could be the worst industrial environmental disaster in U. S. history, the company announced more than $6 billion in profits for the first quarter of 2010, more than doubling profits from the same period the year before.

Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now!,"  a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 800 stations in North America. She is the author of "Breaking the Sound Barrier," recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

BP CEO Tony Hayward: "I want my life back."

Poor Mr. Hayward!  His life has been so stressful since his gas company suffered that terrible oil spill.  He wants his life to get back to normal.  Will the people along the Gulf Coast ever get their lives back to normal?  Not likely.  And they don't have a CEO's bank account to fall back on, do they?  BP must pay ALL the damages, including the lost careers of fishermen and others who now have no jobs, no income, and no hope for recovery anytime soon if ever.  Some of these desperate people are working for BP to help clean up the oil.  They are working for $5 an hour (under a special legal arrangement), and they are getting sick from the chemicals.  They had to sign an agreement that they would not talk to reporters.  And when they are taken to the hospital, BP confiscates their clothes.  Might there be some damning evidence on those clothes that BP doesn't want anyone to find out about?  All this was reported on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! program aired June 2nd.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tennessee Gas Pipeline: The 300 Line Project

Here is the Project Summary.

When will Federal Energy Regulatory Commission complete its review?

Plans call for a pre-filing application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to be filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the fall of 2008. The initial review process could range from 12 to 18 months to complete. Following that, Tennessee expects to file a full application to construct the project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in July 2009. If approved, the project would be built in two phases.

Following receipt of all applicable approvals, construction may begin as early as July 2010. The project is planned to be in service by November 2011. Public outreach, which began in the summer of 2008, will continue throughout construction of the project.