Monday, October 31, 2011

Hydrofracking: Rochester, NY, Forum, October 2011

This is the quick way to look at the Rochester forum held at Temple B'rith Kodesh, October 23, 2011. You can click on selected portions of the forum for easy viewing as time permits. This was an excellent forum, full of information we all need. Time is of the essence, friends. The NY DEC is in the process of deciding our future. Will high-volume, slick water horizontal hydrofracking be allowed in New York State? Permitting may commence as soon as early 2012.

How Hydraulic Fracturing Will Impact Rochester (NY)
Panelists: Anthony Ingraffea, PhD, PE, professor, Cornell University
                 Jannette Barth, PhD, economist
                 Roger Downs, NYS lobbyist for the Sierra Club, Atlantic

Click here to check it out.

Visit R-CAUSE   (Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale gas Extraction), organizers of this event.

For help in writing your letter to the NY DEC, click here.  The public comment period has begun and will continue through December 12, 2011.  I am working on my comment, and I encourage everyone to submit something, too.  We are encouraged to address only one issue.  So pick the one you are most concerned about.

Submit your letter to the NY DEC ASAP!

Living the Drill: Bradford County Farmers Share Gas Drilling Experiences (Part 3))

Part 3 of a talk by Carol French and Carolyn Knapp, both of Bradford County, PA, who have been severely impacted by the natural gas industry. They both leased their property. Are they happy they leased? Watch and decide for yourself! Bottom line: They know whereof they speak, and they are passionate about the topic. Why? Because their lives are affected on a daily basis and their livelihoods depend on the success of their farms.

Video from Essential Dissent.

Living the Drill: Bradford County Farmers Speak Out (Video Part 2)

Carol French and Carolyn Knapp, dairy farmers from Bradford County PA, describe how gas drilling has affected their lives, families, farms, and community, and relay warnings and advice to New York residents.

Video from Essential Dissent.

Living the Drill (video): Deposit, NY, Meeting on Gas Drilling

State Theatre
Deposit, NY

Introduction by Mark Ohe.

Despite some initial rowdiness (and a couple of F-Bombs) from the audience, Laurie Stratton gives a preliminary presentation as to how leaseholders and local communities can expect to be treated by gas drilling companies.

[With apologies for the sound interference- It's worth watching inspite of that!]

I admire Laurie's composure in the face of rude, crude people. The disruptive people did get sorted out very quickly.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gas Worker Drinks Tainted Coffee: Treated Frack Water Used To Brew!

If you work on a well site, you might want to buy your coffee off-site.  A gas worker inadvertently put a jug of treated frack water in the break room at a Dimock worksite in June.  Coffee was brewed using this toxic water.  It made a worker sick for about 5 days.

Read the story here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Homicide Charge In Crash That Killed Elmira Woman

On Friday morning, October 21st, Lauralee Michelle Widmer of Elmira lost her life to a drunk driver. She was 36 years old.

Jackson Township, Pa. — A Texas man is facing a vehicular homicide charge in connection with Friday morning’s crash in Tioga County, Pa. that killed an Elmira woman...Davidson works in the natural gas industry and is an employee of T3 Energy Services, located in Elmira, according to Pennsylvania State Police. He was driving a company truck at the time of the accident, according to police... (The Corning Leader)

Read more here.

Yes, I know that accidents happen everywhere.  Yes, I know that people other than gas drillers drive drunk and abuse drugs.  Yes, I know that this accident is not the fault of the gas industry- not directly anyway.  So please refrain from posting comments that say these things.  I've heard it all quite a few times.  These gas employees work 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off.  They have a lot of time on their hands.  They are far away from their families.  They populate the local bars.  The police in Bradford County have said so.  These jobs invite problems.  The gas industry does add many problems to living in gasfields. 

Check here and here.

A quote from the DA of Bradford County: (August 2011)

In Bradford County, Pa., drunken driving arrests are up 60 percent. Criminal sentencing was up 35 percent in 2010. And in Towanda, the county seat, DUI arrests were up 50 percent.
Why? The frenzy of Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling, which has boosted the economies of some of Pennsylvania's smallest and most rural counties in recent years, has also led to rapid population swells and -- by extension -- more crime.

"Economic boom equals crime boom," said Daniel J. Barrett, the district attorney of Bradford County, which borders southern New York.

Read more:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Zombies Occupy Dimock: A Halloween Walk

Exploding water wells, broken promises, gas drilling gone bad!

Sunday, October 30th, 4 p.m.
Meet at Dimock Baptist Church

PADEP has agreed to allow Cabot Oil & Gas to stop providing fresh water to the people in Dimock who have contaminated water. This sets a precedence for water contamination cases in PA.
What if this was YOUR water?
All Zombies are invited to Dimock to join in a walk to illustrate what happens when the gas industry leads State policy.  Come in a costume or come as you are. We will meet for Kabot Kool-aid at the Dimock Baptist Church at 4 and walk down Carter Rd. to the site where a water well blew up on New Year's morning, Jan 1, 2009. We will then return to the church for a viewing of the film" Frac Attack!" and refreshments.  Shuttles will be available from the church to Carter Rd. and back.  Map for the church location can be found here.
Dimock Baptist Church
State Route 2024
Dimock, PA 18816
More information here.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sandra Steingraber Speaks: Living Downstream Highlights

Common Hour: Living Downstream (Highlights) from Franklin & Marshall College on Vimeo.

"Every other breath you take is brought to you by the ocean's plankton." Find out why this matters to those in an audience in central Pennsylvania - or anywhere on earth. Franklin & Marshall College has posted both a two-minute "highlights" video as well as Sandra's recent full hour-long talk. Short video linked here; full-length talk to follow.
Ecologist, cancer survivor and author, Sandra Steingraber is an authority on the environmental links to cancer and human health and presents cancer as a human rights issue.

To watch a full version, click here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Join the Scavenger Hunt To Find Abandoned Wells in PA

There are thousands of unmapped, abandoned oil and gas wells in PA.  Help find them!  Kick off is November 1st! 

The hunt will end when every abandoned well is properly plugged in Pennsylvania!
Help locate and photograph these wells!

The mission is:

To promote awareness by photographing these wells and matching the photos with the GPS locations on a Google map that will be easily accessible for online viewing.

To call upon our state government to recognize the hazards posed by these wells and provide the resources to plug them adequately.

Pennsylvania is home to thousands of orphan, abandoned, and un-plugged oil and gas wells. Over the years thousands have been left behind, abandoned by the oil and gas industry. Many have been left unplugged. Some wells were inadequately plugged years ago with pine trees or cement that has deteriorated or cracked over time.

Orphan, abandoned, unplugged, or improperly-plugged wells may and often do act as a conduit, or pathway, allowing methane or other fluids to travel to the surface. These wells have the potential to significantly contaminate and harm the environment. Many abandoned wells have not been located. The DEP has records on just over 140,500 wells.

Some experts estimate that more than 325,000 wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania since 1859.
You will need a digital camera and a GPS device (or a GPS-enabled mobile phone) so that you can record the GPS coordinates of the well. You will also need to consult the following link to Pennsylvania's DEP map of these orphan and abandoned oil and gas wells.
(Note: many of these wells have the GPS coordinates listed.)
You can also view the location of the known Orphan and Abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania by visiting the map here.
To view the GPS coordinates on the Fractracker map, click on the "i" next to the magnifying glass and then click on a marker.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Huge Conflagration in Waxahachie, TX: Fracking Chemicals Explode

The Magnablend plant in Waxahachie, TX, was the scene of a huge explosion and fire on Monday, October 10th. Management at the plant may have tried to downplay the severity of the emergency. EPA officials said no harmful chemicals had been detected in the air. But a day later on Tuesday, more information was coming out. The plant was primarily producing a dangerous cocktail of chemicals blended specifically for hydrofracking, according to out of Dallas/Fort Worth.

The fire is under investigation. No specifics about the cause of the fire is being disclosed yet. News 8 reporters noticed 8 railroad tanker cars parked next to the burned out plant. Hazardous materials placards on 7 of them indicated that volatile chemicals may have been involved. The plant owner, a Mr. Pendery, was not interested in answering questions about these toxic chemicals. He ignored the reporter's questions as he walked to his car and got in.

Even the Waxahachie Fire-Rescue Chief was not aware that 80% of what Magnablend produces is fracking chemicals. EPA officials said they had no idea what was produced at this site. Furthermore, in violation of federal law, the company has not filed a risk management plan.

Read the article here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kerr Well Pad at Night: Susquehanna County

Do you want to see what fracking operations really look like?
The workers tried to get Vera, the videographer, to stop filming, told her she couldn't because they didn't want negative media. She was standing by the side of a public road, and was not trespassing.

Taken at night at 10:15 on 10-8-11. Lots of smoke and hellish scene and sounds.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Another Explosion on PA Well Pad: Second Accident in Two Days

By Jim Hamill

5:18 p.m. EDT, October 7, 2011
For the second time in two days there has been an emergency at a
natural gas drilling site.

Thursday's was in Bradford County. Today there was one in Lycoming
County. State environmental officials said there was an explosion at an Anadarko well pad north of Jersey Shore. Emergency crews responded along Dam Run Road at the Larry's Creek Fishing and Hunting Club a little after noon.

Authorities said a gas production unit, something similar in size to a
backyard shed, exploded. A spokesperson for Anadarko Petroleum said no one was hurt in the explosion and all operations were taken offline.

DEP officials said some gas escaped, but soon after the equipment
safety mechanisms worked. Newswatch 16 was not able to see the site, but the Larry's Creek site has six gas well pads.

According to Anadarko, production at the entire site has been shut down until a complete investigation is done to make sure it is safe. DEP and Anadarko are looking into what caused the explosion and what if any impacts it's had on the environment.

Larrys Creek

Accident on PA Well Pad Injures Worker

A gas well worker was airlifted to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA, October 6th, after an emission of gas under pressure, described by Chesapeake Energy as "an inadvertent release of pressure."  The incident occurred in Terry Township, Bradford County, PA.

Well, I would be surprised if Chesapeake would say this was done on purpose.  Of course, it was inadvertent, just like all spills and accidents resulting in injuries, deaths, and illness.  Does that make it more acceptable?

The newspaper article described what a resident close to the accident felt:
Spring Lake Road resident Larry Shenk, who lives about a half mile away from the well site, said he was walking out of his house onto his porch, when he heard a loud boom, followed by about 15 seconds of a whooshing sound, which sounded like air blowing.
I believe this well was put in in 2009 and was a producing well.  The injured man was performing routine maintenance at the site. 

Read the whole article here.

The road near our summer homestead
Photo: Carol Manuel
Note:  This incident is personal for me because it happened just 10 miles south of our family summer homestead in French Azilum.  French Azilum is being destroyed by gas drilling.  I say this because any beautiful place which is turned into an industrial zone is, by definition,  destroyed.  It becomes a Sacrifice Zone.  There are many such zones in our country and more on the way.  All for greed and profit.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Flood Victims in PA Can't Find or Afford Housing

Pennsylvania residents who lost their homes to Tropical Storm Lee more than three weeks ago are having a tough time finding affordable housing, or any housing at all, because workers in the area's natural gas drilling boom have filled nearly every room, this according to an article by Michael Rubinkam, Associated Press.  Read the article here.

I find this to be reprehensible.  The problem has been there for a long time, but the storm has exacerbated it to extreme levels.  Gas workers are taking up almost all motel rooms and apartments and houses.  The gas companies hoard entire motels, such as the Towanda Motel.  They lease the rooms for extended periods.  Drive by the parking lots of many motels and you will see license plates from Texas and Oklahoma.  It is a real occupation.  I find this to be unacceptable.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

David Rovics Performs His Song "No Fracking Way"

From Garden-concert at Alværn, Nesoddden by the Oslofjord August 8. 2011.

More about David Rovics here.

I just came home from a concert by David Rovics in Rochester, NY.   If you haven't experienced a Rovics concert,  you must try to catch up with him.  His songs are riveting, intense, and show a thorough knowledge and understanding of world events, both current and in history.  David Rovics is a class act.

No Seismic Testing Sign

Click the sign to enlarge.

This sign is by law, a binding and sufficient legal notice that will hold up in court. If you don't want seismic testing contucted on, or under, your property, post it. Never be afraid to stand up for your rights.

If you've signed a seismic testing letter and no longer wish them to do this testing on your property just contact the company.

It is also recommended that you post signs on your property that prohibit seismic testing so there is no error by Geokinetics or any other company as to your wishes.