Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The First Fracking Case On Trial in Texas

Texas Sharon has an excellent blog, Bluedaze.  She has been intimately involved in the gas drilling problem in Texas since at least the early 2000s.  She helped me get started on my journey as an anti-fracking activist.  In this post she relates the stories of the Parr family and the Ruggierios who were neighbors surrounded by gas wells and the illnesses they all experienced.

Read much more here.

Flowback: How the Texas Natural Gas Boom Affects Health and Safety (2011)

Daily Kos coverage of this topic

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fracking the Marcellus Shale: A Quaker Perspective

What do Pennsylvanian Quakers think of Marcellus Shale fracking in their midst? Not much good.

Read more here.

"First they frack the community, then they frack the land."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Brine Truck Dumping on Road in Ft. Worth, TX

Yes, the methods of disposal of fracking waste are several, but one of them is illegal dumping.  It happens not only in Texas, but in Pennsylvania, North Dakota,  and New York, too.

Read more and see some photos here.

Thank you, Vera Scroggins, for bringing this video to my attention. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Old Gas Pipelines Are Failing: New Dangers Loom

The private company planning to buy Philadelphia Gas Works has promised to upgrade the city’s aging and leaking pipelines. A new report by SNL Energy shows just how big that task could be, ranking the city’s utility second worst in the nation for pipeline leaks.

The firm looked at data from the federal Office of Pipeline Safety showing that in 2012, PGW reported 5,464 leaks over its 5,762 miles of gas mains and service lines. That’s a rate of roughly one leak (0.95) per mile. PGW came in second to New York’s Con Edison, which reported 7,328 leaks over 7,301 miles of pipelines. Pittsburgh-based People’s Natural Gas ranked fifth.

Read more here.

Your Guide to Pipelines in Pennsylvania

Thousands of miles of new pipelines in Pennsylvania will have to be built to transport Marcellus Shale gas. The new pipeline construction will benefit those in need of jobs, and the companies that do the building. But some residents and local politicians worry about the environmental impacts, and say the current regulatory structure needs updating.

Nobody knows how many miles of pipeline already exists in the state. That’s because Pennsylvania does not have one regulatory authority that oversees intrastate gas pipelines. In fact, out of 31 states that produce natural gas, Alaska is the only other state, besides Pennsylvania, that doesn’t.

The New Pennsylvania: It's All About Natural Gas Development

Well pad next to a cemetery in Independence, PA

Pennsylvania has seen many new gas wells drilled since 2008.  The state has 46,000 square miles of land/water.  Here are a few facts about the drilling:

There are currently 14,413 permitted Marcellus gas
in the state located on 4,533 well-pads.
12,422 are horizontal wells, 8,109 are reported
as active, and 5,080 have reported production values.

In the past week, we've (MarcellusGas.org)  added 245 inspection
, bringing the total number of inspection
events at our site to 51,244.

So, if we averaged out the number of wells per square mile, it would come to 3 wells per square mile.  However, there are multiple wells on most well pads.  Another way to think about it: There is one well pad for every 10 square miles in PA.  Well permits continue to be applied for and issued.  This is only the beginning. Well pads are put in near schools, cemeteries, people's homes, nursing homes, just about anywhere. 

Well pads come with another bad thing:  pipelines and compressor stations.  These cause all kinds of pollution- air, soil, noise, water.  Eventually PA will look like a huge web covered with gas wells and the infrastructure needed for them.  It is indeed a grim vision for the future.  And in many cases, the future is now.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

New Power Plant Fueled By Natural Gas: Asylum Township, PA

One of the latest developments in the on-going "progress" associated with the natural gas industry- a power plant fueled by natural gas- is planned for a location in Asylum Township on Route 187 just outside of Wysox and not far from Wyalusing which is across the Susquehanna River.  Groundbreaking ceremony will be in May.  At a time when we should be looking toward sustainable sources of energy,  the corporate powers continue to pursue the wrong avenues for energy development, thus contaminating our planet more and more for the monetary profits, nothing more.


A blog post I wrote in 2010:

An EPA article mentions quite a few negative aspects of natural gas powered power plants.

I have seen a few pictures of such facilities, and they all look like monstrocities.  This plant in Asylum Township is being built in a former corn field, or something akin to it.  I imagine the former owner of the land made quite a bundle on the sale.  But in the long run, I don't think the effects will be good.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Living In Gasland: New Milford, PA

Published on Mar 28, 2014

Vera Scroggins writes:
This is what a friend of mine in New Milford, Pa., on route 492 , has to hear across from her on a gas well pad with only one gas well in production and Southwestern Energy started with this small, noisy, smelly flare the past two days and why??? are they having problems with pressure and need to relieve it !! This gas pad is on her neighbors property and it's within 400' of the neighbor's home....

Yesterday they did this for about an hour from 9am to 10am, then again around noon. This has been in production for 8 months now so I have no idea why they would be doing this, but they just started again today at about 5pm. Thought I'd share it...

Carol responds:  This noise is unacceptable near residential areas.  The air pollution from flaring is also significant and should not be tolerated near people's homes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Asylum Township, PA: A Gasland In Progress

Susquehanna River, Asylum Township, Bradford County, PA
Photo:  Carol Manuel

Asylum Township is located in Bradford County, PA.  Population (2010 census): 1058.  This township is comprised of a mere 26.4 square miles.  How many gas wells are located within this small area?  Forty active wells, 28 with reported production values!  There are 112 approved well permits as well.  The newest permit was issued this month: John Barrett BRA 5H. 

A very small area with 40 active gas wells says it all.  This is a GASLAND.  This is a beautiful rural, farming area turned industrial.  Gas drilling has literally overtaken the lives of the people who live there.  Water has been poisoned.  The air is poisoned.  The soil is poisoned.  And the prognosis is more of the same.  Will it be habitable in the future?  I doubt it. 

Vera Scroggins Speaks Out At Press Conference in Montrose, PA

Vera Scroggins vs Cabot Oil & Gas Hearing 3/24/14 

More information here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Dear Sister In the Fight: Reflections on Living In a Gasfield

My friend writes:

I live in Susquehanna County, but I will not shop here or participate in their Stepford wives activities-especially there free hot dog give aways. I drive the extra distance for everything now. Yes, I must pay taxes if I want to keep my home. I am torn between just giving them our home-who else would buy it? Would you move your family to a gasfield? Would you pay a price for a beautiful contemporary timberframe in the middle of all this? We moved here with the intent of participating and living in a lovely quiet part of the world. We saw art and artists. We saw organic farming and a few nice looking farms. The roads were quiet and the nights were heaven under the stars. We made friends, enjoyed neighborhood barbeques, hikes in the woods. I walked fearlessly and happily for miles each day with my big handsome dog. Now I will not walk these roads or woods. I do not know who lives in many of the places and many are empty. My community scorns me for keeping them from their gas wells. Sit down with the folks who maligned me and called us liars? What I know to be true of this place now is that the folks do not care about quality of life or truth or honor. They laugh at folks who care about clean streams and protected wetlands and wildlife. They ignore the science on air pollution. They do not want to know because I believe they have made their deal. They serve a different god and it is the gas lords.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fracking Fluids Sprayed on NYS Roads

Did you know that New York State uses frack fluids as a de-icer and dust suppressor on roads?  Pennsylvania allows this, too.  It should be banned.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Big Oil and Bad Air: Link Between Fracking and Toxic Air Emissions in Texas

Residents who live near areas of oil and natural gas fracking have long complained that the industry has poisoned their water with toxic chemicals. Now a new investigation is shedding light on another concern: air quality. The new report, "Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale: Big Oil & Bad Air on the Texas Prairie," is the result of an eight-month investigation by InsideClimate News, the Center for Public Integrity and The Weather Channel. We speak to David Hasemyer and Lisa Song, two of the reporters who worked on the investigation.

Aired February 27, 2014.

I heart Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman!