Monday, February 27, 2012

Social and Ethnographic Impact of Gas Drilling

Simona Perry, PhD, addresses the EPIC NO FRACK EVENT held at Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, on June 25, 2011. She worked with people in Bradford County, PA, collecting their stories in regard to natural gas drilling(Mellon Foundation Project). She covers social, psychological, and political effects of gas drilling in Bradford County. Twenty-five minutes well spent if you have the chance.

Monday, February 20, 2012

PA Farmer Blockades His Road To Stop Drilling Vehicles

From Protecting Our Waters:
“I just witnessed a farmer, Mike Bennett of Bennett Farms and Greenhouse up above Big Run, take some unilateral action to blockade the drilling trucks on the Big Run-Prescottville Road that runs through his vegetable farm,” reported farmer Stephen Cleghorn of Jefferson County, PA on February 17th. “People are getting pretty fed up with how these drillers operate,” he commented.

Read more here...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Josh Fox: Case Dismissed!

To Preserve Our Rights, We Must Stand Up For Them.
by Josh Fox

This morning, the charge of "unlawful entry" brought against me was dismissed without condition. The US Attorney dropped the case, finding it baseless and without merit. Although this is a personal victory and I am very grateful and relieved at the US Attorney's decision, it serves as a painful reminder that we do not have rights unless we exercise them.........

Read Josh's response here.

My Dear Susquehanna: French Azilum, PA

I know this landscape very well.  It is French Azilum in Bradford County.  If you look carefully, you can see the effects of the gas drilling industry. Well pads, water impoundments, frac water treatment facility.  They are all there in this snapshot.  And this is all just getting started.  What a sad of the most precious places on earth for me is being invaded, yes, raped, by people who want the money.  My family summer home is being contaminated slowly but surely.  That's the Susquehanna River winding through this picture.  It is the most polluted river on the east coast already.

A family song we have been singing for decades goes like this:

Old Frenchtown, how we love the dear old name!
There's no other place can ever be to us the same.
Through this world we may wander up and down,
But always, we'll be coming back again to old Frenchtown.

Camp Hutchinson, French Azilum, PA
My sacred spot

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hydrofracking Exposed: Photojournalists Visit Dimock, PA

Carter Road, Dimock, PA
Two college students from RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), photojournalists Ellie and Lauren visited Dimock, PA, and Silver Lake, PA, on February 10-11, 2012, to learn for themselves about the effects of hydrofracking on this area.  They have done a superb job of capturing the essence of what Gasland is all about.  Their concern for this beautiful area of Pennsylvania and their dedication to opposing hydrofracking everywhere is inspiring.

Day One, Part One
Day One, Part Two: Carter Road
Day Two: Silver Lake

Saturday, February 11, 2012

PA Businessman Convicted of Illegal Wastewater Dumping For Years

Bridge over Ten Mile Creek, Greene County, PA

Words fail.  This man, Robert Shipman, 50, of Holbrook, Greene County, PA, illegally dumped millions of gallons of waste across Western Pennsylvania counties for more than six years.  Millions of gallons of toxic waste for more than six years.  This man instructed his employees to mix various wastes together into a "cocktail," and then dump the mixture illegally.  Drivers were told to leave their water valves open at gas wells to allow production water toflow onto the ground and into nearby waterways.  This activity typically happened after dark or during heavy rains.  Drivers were also told to park their vehicles in the garage at Shipman's business and dump the water into a floor drain, which led to a nearby stream.  One of the streams affected was Ten Mile Creek in Greene County.

Read the article here.

There is no way to describe the heinous actions of this man.  I think evil is the best word I can think of.  And he will perhaps spend 30- 60 days in jail which is a standard range sentence.  Furthermore, Shipman stole more than a quarter of a million dollars from clients through overbilling and illegal dumping.  He will have to pay a $100,000 fine and court costs and be required to make a $25,000 donation to an environmental group.  None of these punishments is adequate.  Not even close.

DEP Halts Fracking Job After Gas Well Failure in PA

Two weeks ago a natural gas well being fracked by Carrizo Oil and Gas went out-of-control, causing a spill of waste fluids on a well pad in Forest Lake Township, Susquehanna County, according to a newspaper report by Laura Legere:

Two valves failed at the Baker 4H well the afternoon of January 30th.  Here is the DEP violation report:

There were three violations in these areas: Oil and Gas Act, Solid Waste Management Act, and the Clean Streams Law.  There was an "unpermitted discharge of residual waste onto the ground."  The residual waste is another phrase for frac fluid.  There are big fines for each of these violations.  However, no fines have been levied yet, and most likely will never be imposed.

Natural gas drilling cannot not be done safely.  There will always be spills, leaks, and explosions- always.  The ground is always contaminated- always.  The air is always contaminated- always.  The degree of contamination varies, but there are always chemicals getting into the air, soil, and water.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Leroy, NY, Gas Spill in July Near School Where Illness Occurred

From CNN Health Page: LINK

This report says that there was an accidental spill at one of the gas well pads near the Leroy school last July just a few weeks before the first student became ill.  Nothing conclusive yet, but these reports must be followed up.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What Does the Gas Industry Do To Our Roads: Amazing Video from PA

Silver Creek Rd., Franklin Twp., Susquehanna County; The worst road conditions before or since gas drilling in our area. It's a paved road running east and west and for about four miles and the road's edge is breaking down, chunks of road lifting up, as if an earthquake has happened.

Vera, who took this video, has demonstrated the severity of the road damage in PA. She also shows how dangerous it is to be a local resident and try to drive on this old country road. You take your life in your hands. The huge trucks keep going by her in both directions constantly. This is a great video that gives us a sense of what life is like in Gasland. Not too good if you ask me. It looks very stressful at best. And people have been killed on roads similar to this one.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Orange Bag Drops From the Sky: Seismic Testing

A 700-pound bag of electronic equipment dropped on to a woman's deck recently.  I would say this could have done a lot of damage to the house or to her and her granddaughter.  I guess accidents do happen.  However, this one could have been avoided with a little more brain work in my opinion.  Read more....

The woman is a gas drilling proponent.

Friday, February 3, 2012

More on the LeRoy, NY, Mysterious Illness Case

Read a post about the LeRoy, NY, case of an illness cluster involving high school students.

LINK  Excellent photos.

Meet "Tricky."

Denton, Texas, Goes For Fracking Moratorium

Go, Denton!

Josh Fox Arrested In the People's House

"Josh Fox, whose HBO documentary "Gasland" raised questions about the safety of the natural gas drilling technique known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was handcuffed and led away on Wednesday as he tried to film a House Science Committee hearing on the topic...".* The Young Turks host breaks it down.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Academy Award Nominated Josh Fox Is Arrested At a Public Hearing at the U.S. Capital

Shame, shame on Andy Harris, Republican representative from Maryland. He had Josh Fox arrested rather than allowing him to film the hearing on hydrofracking and the EPA study on water contamination in Pavilion, Wyoming. Transparency? A thing of the past to Rep. Harris.

In a stunning break with First Amendment policy, House Republicans directed Capitol Hill police to detain a highly regarded documentary crew that was attempting to film a Wednesday hearing on a controversial natural gas procurement practice. Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, can be heard at the end of the clip asking Republican Chairman Andy Harris (R-Md.) to halt the arrest and permit the man to film the public hearing.