Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Marcellus Shale: Susquehanna County Residents Accept "Growing Pains"

Flaring operations in Susquehanna County
Photo used with permission

Read how some residents of Susquehanna County are able to rationalize about the great benefits of the gas drilling industry while seemingly ignoring the downside of this misguided search for energy. What are they looking at?  Restaurants are thriving. The stone quarry business is going great guns. Heavy equipment rentals are through the roof. School districts are getting money which keeps shortfalls for education at a minimum.  Roads are being improved.  Welding companies and the trucking industry are in full swing.  Rental units are full. A restaurant patron in the Stables Restaurant said of the gas industry:
Plain and simple, it's a plus.  It's going to improve a lot of people's lives.
What are we missing here?  Citizens For Clean Water, a Montrose-based group, syas that drilling in the area continues to wreak havoc on the water supply and atmosphere. Its director, Vera Scroggins, stated:
We have eco-system and habitat destruction from all of the infrastructure, with pipelines and noise from the compressor stations and well sites.
Habitat loss, noise pollution, water contamination,  pipelines, light pollution, wells within 300 feet of homes and within 100 feet of waterways, truck traffic, flaring- what about these issues?  Are they being addressed along with those "good effects"? 

I am constantly amazed at how people will act against their own best interests.  The proper way to approach the gas industry is:  research, science, and then action.  We are doing it in reverse.  Public health and the environment should be taken into account.

Click on this link to read the Rocket-Courier article.  LINK

Stop the Megaloads Now: Alberta Tar Sands Need US Help

Monstrous machines over wild and scenic Idaho and Montana highways will destroy the wilderness and roads. Exxon is destroying our natural resources while taking in $40 billion a year in profits. They destroy our public lands which we own and pay taxes on.

Block Exxon's Tar Sands Operations!

Health Effects of Natural Gas Drilling: Sandra Steingraber, PhD

PhD distinguished scholar in residence at Ithaca College, Sandra Steingraber speaks at the New York Assembly Public Hearing on Health Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing Techniques, Thursday, May 26. The audio is a little hard to hear, but listen carefully! Dr. Steingraber has a PhD in Biology from the University of Michigan. Her book, "Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children In an Age of Environmental Crisis", is worth checking out.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Marcellus Shale: Shift Happens

Gas drilling and healthy living?
Dimock, PA
Used by permission
Is healthy living compatible with shale gas extraction?  Spectra Energy Watch has published an article entitled "Shift Happens" which suggests that public opinion may indeed be shifting in regard to the advisability of continuing down the path of shale gas drilling.  Apparently gas companies are starting to get worried.  The testimony of people whose lives have been destroyed, whose health has been seriously affected, whose property has been irreversibly damaged,  is having a major impact on public opinion.  Will the shattered lives of these people serve as a warning to all of us to reconsider the direction we are taking?  Will our national energy policy, now determined by gas company CEOs and their corporate boards,  veer off the present path to a saner, healthier, and sustainable future?  The nuclear industry lost the confidence of the public after Three Mile Island, and billions of dollars that had been invested were abandoned.  David Ciarlone, manager of Global Energy Services for Alcoa, said,
It's been 30 years since Three Mile Island, and nuclear is just gaining traction again...Without significant changes, shale gas, like nuclear power, could be more remembered for promises made than hopes realized.
Read the article here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Professor Ingraffea Lecture: Development of Natural Gas from Shales

Well Head on Well Pad
A presentation by Cornell Professor Dr. Anthony Ingraffea. Dr. Ingraffea's presentation evaluates myth and facts concerning some of the more notable issues involved in development of unconventional natural gas wells in shale formations. The presentation was sponsored by Penn State Eco-Action and the Sierra Club Moshannon Group.

May 10, 2011

Professor Ingraffea addresses myths and realities of slick water, high volume fracturing from long laterals.  The four myths he included were:
  1.   Fracking is a 60-year-old well-proven technology.
  2.   Gas migration from faulty wells is a rare phenomenon.
  3.   Use of multi-well pads reduces surface impact.      
  4.   Natural gas is a clean fossil fuel.
All of these statements contain a kernel of truth, according to Ingraffea.  However, he explains why each of these myths is flawed in major ways.  After hearing his talk, one has a better understanding of the real truth.  The problems with these mythic statements are highlighted in detail.  Ingraffea uses data from the gas industry whenever possible to prove his points.  He insists that all statements be backed up by peer-reviewed scientific research.

This video presentation is two hours long.  It took me 4 sittings to get it all.  I took notes!  It is well worth the time if you have the motivation.  I hope you will watch it.

View Dr. Ingraffea's lecture here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Flaring in Susquehanna County, PA

King Site; Cabot Gas Site; Dimock, Pa. ; 1 and 1/2 miles from Elk Lake School; very loud-- like jet engines on the runway; can be heard miles away; houses nearby right around this site; goes on for 24 hours for several days; horrible; videotaped on 5-14-11.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Marcellus Shale: You Be the Judge- Interviews With Bradford County Residents

Lawyer Todd J. O'Malley interviewed local people in Bradford County, PA.  These people, the faces of fracking, are sick, their children and babies are in jeopardy of becoming sick, their dreams have been shattered.  Why?  Because they live near gas wells, and most of them have suffered the loss of their water wells which are now ruined with no chance of getting their good water back.  They drink bottled water.  They cannot cook or wash with their bad water.  Their lives are turned upside down.

To visit O'Malley's website, click here.  There you will find links to recent articles related to the problems caused by un-natural gas drilling.  A sandbox within feet of a wellhead?  Gas company says this poses no problem.  Read more and watch the You Tube videos.

*I get no money from Todd O'Malley!  I just like the work he is doing in Bradford County to help those in need.  We have never met.  We need more people like him to work with families in distress due to Big Oil/Gas Greed.

Read about the lawsuit O'Malley filed in April on behalf of Bradford County residents who have been harmed by gas drilling here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Sights and Sounds of Natrual Gas Drilling: Susquehanna County, PA

Gas Drilling in Beautiful Susquehanna County, PA from VeccVideography on Vimeo.

Air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution, they all come with the territory.  Welcome to an industrial zone, aka a sacrifice zone, because every single gas well site has the potential to becomes superfund site after all is said and done. Remember Love Canal?


Sign at Love Canal Protest:  We have better things to do than sit around being contaminated.

Going Green Can Work For a Clean Enviroment

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of the world's leading climate scientists convened by the United Nations, has found that renewable energy could account for 80% of the world's energy supply within four decades.

This counters the corporate media line constantly blasted at us that we have to keep using oil, coal and nuclear because natural clean energy sources are not ready to carry the load. The reason they lie like this on behalf of their owners, board members and advertisers is that their masters can't figure out a way to own and control the sun and wind, instead forcing the masses to pay them money each month for dirty power that is produced to profit the ruling Forces of Greed at great public expense.

Taken from Liberty Underground news service.  To join and receive posts from Liberty Underground, send e-mail with "join" in the subject (e-mail is linked above).

To join the Liberty Underground talk group, click here.

Tell your friends about LUV News because some people just don't get it. ☻

Monday, May 9, 2011

Frack Pit Love Song

Download song at http://www.kriskitko.com. Kris Kitko's song about toxic frack waste pits. For more info about fracking, especially in North Dakota: http://www.bakkenwatch.org. (This link sometimes doesn't work on the first click; try again and you should be taken to the Bakken Watch site.) Thanks to Texas Sharon for submitting photos: http://txsharon.blogspot.com/. JOIN the effort to stop fracking for oil and gas before it's too late. Proceeds from download sales go to Bakken Watch, North Dakota's only fracking awareness non-profit.

Gas Drillers Destroy Archeological Sites In a Matter of Minutes

What's 9,000 years of history stacked up against a gas well?  Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette reports that an excavation at a Westmoreland County (PA) site occupied by Monongahala Indians produced abundant evidence of two villages and allowed researchers to piece together the violent end of the later settlement at the hand of invaders who sacked it, massacred its inhabitants and burnt houses and food stores, according to William Johnson, who served as an adviser to the project. Last year Mr. Johnson returned to the dig site.  He was stunned by what he found:
"There is a drill rig and catchment basin sitting on half the village," said Johnson, who received a doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh and served as senior prehistoric archeologist for Michael Baker Jr. Engineering, Inc. "You have something there-- which is better than you get with [excavations of] other villages-- that has been destroyed by drilling."
Pennsylvania's state laws offer little or no protection from archeological resources.
How often do we consider archeological sites as part of our valuable natural resources?
Mike Kotz, a Washington County vegetable grower with an interest in the artifacts he has found while farming his land is concerned about the destruction of land by gas drilling. He says
A bulldozer can destroy 9,000 years of history in 15 minutes.
One more sad example of how corporations can move in and do whatever they wish for all intents and purposes. Are we going to buy into the philosophy of former president George W. Bush when asked about his legacy? He said he isn't concerned about his legacy. By the time people figure that out, he said, "I'll be dead."   Will we show concern for our children and grandchildren by taking care of the environment in all its aspects, including areas where our history is entombed?

Bin Laden: Financed and Trained By the US

The news of the apparent murder/execution of bin Laden has been met with jubilation by many Americans.  I do not share this emotion.  Amy Goodman, in her 2004 book, The Exception To the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them, writes
After 9/11, Osama bin Laden became a household name across the globe. But for decades before the attacks, his name was familiar to a small, powerful group in Washington. The reason? Osama bin Laden was financed and trained by the United States.
Goodman explains that bin Laden was "the answer to Washington's prayers" in the 1980s when the US government tried to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan. Between 1982 and 1992 we spent $3 billion training and arming Islamist radicals to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. It was the largest US covert operation since WW II.

The US aided and trained the Afghan mujahedeen, or holy warriors, months before the Soviets invaded. President Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, had no regrets about the operation. He was asked about this in 1998, and he responded:
What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Goodman states: "Brzezinski got his answer on 9/11."

Osama bin Laden was a paymaster for the Afghan mujahedeen. The bin Laden family brought in millions of dollars for the war. The US was happy about this help since the Soviet Union was our chosen enemy then. But after the break-up of the Soviet Union and the devastation of Afghanistan, we had no more need of the Islamic groups who had helped us. So we cast them off. In 1991, when 540,000 US troops arrived in Saudi Arabia to fight in the Persian Gulf War, we became enemies to bin Laden. He fell out of favor. He ended up in Afghanistan and became patron to the Taliban. That's how he came to hate the US.

This information was gleaned from Amy Goodman's book, The Exception To the Rulers, Chapter One: Blowback. Goodman used the heading:  Our Guy: Putting the U-S-A in "Usama".

I have friends who have said that bin Laden deserved to die because he killed 3000 Americans on 9/11.  You don't hear much about the thousands of US soldiers who have died and thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan who have been killed and millions more severely injured and made into refugees, all in an effort to get bin Laden- to avenge the loss on 9/11.  I personally would have preferred to have captured bin Laden alive and to have tried him in a court of law.  This would have created an important historical record at least.  The US says it stands for law and order.  Wouldn't this have been more in keeping with our stated beliefs?

Everything is connected.  Our foreign policies, the wars we are now engaged in, globalization, oil, all are related.  So our actions in regard to Osama bin Laden have everything to do with  the natural gas/oil corporations and their control of governments worldwide.  The neoconservative notion of American Empire underlies what we see in the headlines.  Visit the website of The Project for the New American Century.

Members of the PNAC: Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen,  Midge Decter,  Paula Dobriansky,  Steve Forbes, Aaron Friedberg,  Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney,  Fred C. Ikle, Donald Kagan,  Zalmay Khalilzad,  I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz,  Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld, Vin Weber, George Weigel, Paul Wolfowitz

Do you recognize any of these names?

Sometimes it is necessary to zoom out from the un-natural gas industry destruction of our country and look at the big picture.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Message

Used by permission
Stevo says OK ☺

Commissioner Mark Smith, Bradford County, PA, Is 100% Correct!


Commissioner Mark Smith blasts the DEP on gas well inspections

BY JAMES LOEWENSTEIN (Staff Writer)Published: May 7, 2011
Towanda Daily Review

TOWANDA - Only "a pretty low" number of gas wells being drilled in the Marcellus Shale are being inspected by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the chairman of the Bradford County commissioners said.

"The DEP needs to take a look at how they are inspecting these (gas well) sites, at how many people are actually on site inspecting, and at how many sites are actually being inspected, which is pretty low," Mark Smith, chairman of the Bradford County commissioners, said in a recent interview with news and editorial staff from The Daily Review.

"Drillers are able to drill a lot of wells without any oversight, and that's not the correct way to do things," Smith said.
However, DEP spokesperson Katy Gresh on Friday denied Smith's assertion that well sites are not being inspected.

"If Commissioner Smith can point to specific examples of well sites that are not being inspected, we would like to hear about it, and we would investigate that," Gresh said. "I find that very hard to believe."

Smith said that more inspections might be able to prevent more spills at well sites and more blowouts.
He said the rate at which well permits are issued by the DEP may need to be scaled back. "I think that the number of permits issued ought to reflect the number of inspectors that are able to do the job," Smith said. "I don't think they should be permitting sites at a breakneck speed when none of the inspectors would be able to keep up with it. I think that the (rate of) permitting ought to match what they're able to achieve at a personnel level."

In a discussion of water pollution problems occurring locally, Smith said: "I think they (the DEP) should be on top of these things. I think they should be on top of these well casings. They're just not able to inspect them all." Smith also faulted the decision made a couple of years ago by then-DEP Secretary John Hanger to have the DEP do the permitting for erosion and sedimentation control at gas well sties. Prior to that decision, the permitting had been done by county conservation district offices, he said.

"I think that the erosion and sedimentation permitting that was pulled from the county level at the conservation districts should be restored so that we have some local boots on the ground, taking a look at every single one of these sites. And right now, those approvals for erosion and sedimentation, for instance, are done all at DEP, and they are approved on paper. There's no site verification for any of it. That's completely lacking."
Gresh also said: "If Commissioner Smith has facts to back up his assertions, we are willing to listen, but his political rhetoric about the DEP's commitment to the environment is ill-placed. A fact which Commissioner Smith may not be aware of is that since 2008, our Oil and Gas staff has more than doubled. Our team of inspectors are vigorously enforcing regulations as we work to oversee this industry in an environmentally and economically conscious manner."

Regarding Smith's comments about the DEP's permitting for erosion and sedimentation controls, Gresh said: "Commissioner Smith may misunderstand the role conservation districts played in permitting. Again, if he wants to discuss the facts, we are willing to listen and the (governor's) Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission will continue to welcome any suggestions he would like to offer."

However, Gresh declined to specify how Smith might be misunderstanding the role the conservation districts had played in the permitting. Regarding the permitting of erosion and sedimentation controls by the DEP, Gresh also said: "when we find violations at well sites, we have a record of taking strong enforcement action."

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com


Gas Drilling Waste Moves through Sunbury (PA) to Ohio

Bound for Ohio via Sunbury, PA
In Sunbury's Caketown neighborhood, Moran Industries has been moving drill cuttings from trucks to train cars and shipping them to an undisclosed location in Ohio.

The trucks contain a mixed substance that gives off a strong chemical odor and appears to have soil, rock, mud, and woodchips in it, according to information published by Pennsylvania from Below .

The people who live near this transfer station are very concerned about the health effects of breathing the air. Moran Industries bought property for this new facility for $525,000 after demolition of a manufacturing plant that had polluted the neighborhood for 40 years.  One resident said that "everybody in this neighborhood that has died has died of cancer."

Ohio allows residual waste to be dumped as cover on top of landfills.  This is unlawful in PA. In PA this kind of toxic waste must be disposed of inside a landfill, or buried on the drill site.  Not any better of a solution really.  Moran says that the gas industry is lobbying to have PA's regulations changed to be more like those in Ohio.

Read more here.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day


PA DEP Says: "We can't tell you yet..."

Towanda Creek was contaminated by this spill.
Photo credit: Don Williams
Remember the 30,000 gallons of wastewater that spilled at the Atgas 2H well in Leroy Township, Bradford County, PA, April 19th?    PA DEP sent a violation notice to Chesapeake Energy demanding answers.  The deadline for a response from the gas company was April 29th. However, DEP spokesman Daniel Spadoni said:
We are not making this information available at this time as we need to carefully examine it as part of our on-going review of the blowout.
Chesapeake Energy is supposed to supply information as follows:
1)what chemicals and other materials were used at the well, 2)what failed at the wellhead and caused the spill, 3)what exactly spilled into the environment, and 4)why it took Chesapeake 12 hours to bring a well control specialist to the site from Texas when a similar firm is located in Pennsylvania.
In my opinion, chemicals used during fracking should be right on the computer and should therefore be available at any time for any reason.  Many of these chemicals are toxic for humans, animals, and plants.  We should know what we have been exposed to without waiting for weeks.  Are we being kept in the dark unnecessarily?

Read the article from the Towanda Daily Review here.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Endocrine Disrupters: Updated List From TEDX

There are about 800 chemicals known to be used in gas drilling that are called endocrine disruptors.  Take a look at this list here

Endocrine effects include direct effects on traditional endocrine glands, their hormones and receptors (such as estrogens, anti-androgens, and thyroid hormones), as well as signaling cascades that affect many of the body’s systems, including reproductive function and fetal development, the nervous system and behavior, the immune and metabolic systems, the liver, bones and many other organs, glands and tissues.

So if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant,  have an immune system-related illness (such as MS, ALS, lupus, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, gluten sensitivity, diabetes Type 1),  liver disease, or osteporosis, etc., stay away from gaslands wherever they are.  Young and old alike are at risk around gas wells.  I am not a doctor, but this is just common sense.

Take a look at the list of endocrine disruptors used in gas drilling.  It is an eye-opener.

Gas Wells Can End Up Anywhere

2009 near Independence, PA
Washington County near Pittsburgh

Yes, drilling sites can end up anywhere.  A Medal of Honor soldier, killed in Vietnam,  is buried to the right of this veteran's gravesite.

The Hidden Fumes of Gas Drilling


This video (no sound) shows a condensate tank, part of a gas well, which functions to separate liquids and other materials from saleable gas. These tanks emit the unwanted by-products into the air. Note the building in the background. It is a school. The video following the initial normal color image is in black and white and was taken by the EPA with a special camera that makes normally invisible hydrocarbons visible. These hydrocarbons are harmful. Note the prevailing winds carrying the emissions toward the school. These invisible emissions add to the greenhouse gas footprint of gas.

from: http://www.DamascusCitizens.org


Gas Wells Drilled Near Schools, Hospitals

Today's Towanda Daily Review reports on a study by PennEnvironment which found that Marcellus Shale gas wells have been permitted or drilled within two miles of 320 day care centers, 67 schools, and 9 hospitals in Pennsylvania.  State law restricts drilling within 200 feet of an occupied building, but local and state officials have introduced bills and ordinances to expand that buffer.

The study found that one day care is 400 feet from a permitted well site and one school is 9 feet away.  The closest hospital to a gas well is ½ mile.  Proximity to gas processing plants and compressor stations was not included in the study.

The recent gas well accident in Bradford County, during which thousands of gallons of flowback spilled out into farm lands, streams, and Towanda Creek,  points to the danger of anything living, plant, animal, or human,  being near a well site.  Basic brain work would tell us that putting wells next to schools and other facilities where people are is wrong.

Read the article from the Towanda Daily Review here.

Mother's Day Proclamation

Ruth Shippee (my mother) at the helm of the Fair Dinkum, cruising on the Erie Canal
(also in the picture: Bruce Manuel and Robert Shippee)
 Until we as a nation cease to thrive on and promote war all over the world, until we cease our empire-building,  we will continue to destroy the earth through fossil fuel extraction until there is nothing left.  Julia Ward Howe wrote a proclamation for Mother's Day in 1870.  She implored all women to seek peace and justice.

Julia Ward Howe's "Mother's Day Proclamation" was based on her experiences as a wife and mother throughout her suppressive marriage and the atrocities she witnessed while living through the Civil War. It was her belief that women should have more social responsibility beyond tending to her husband, and she used her gift of prose to spread the message:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

"We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

In honor of Ruth Betty Shippee, born September 3, 1923
Dedicated to peace and justice all her life and
Still going strong!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
Mother of six