Posts tagged: gas

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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
31 March 2011, 5:56 AM
One year after Gulf oil spill, he calls for expansion of drilling

As oil and gas prices again climb in response to Middle East travails, the phrase “Drill, Baby, Drill” has re-entered the national conversation—but it’s President Obama who did the uttering this time. And it sounds like he means it.

Obama mentioned the mantra Tuesday night in a speech about energy independence that came across like the opening shot in his 2012 bid for reelection. Alluding to “D,B,D,” the president said this is no time to be caught up in meaningless rhetoric that stampedes us to nowhere.

We have to end our national addiction to oil, he warned, giving environmentalists brief hope that he was pushing a clean energy agenda. But, before environmentalists could start feeling too warm and fuzzy, the president made clear that he meant… foreign oil. Curing that particular addiction, sez the prez, means we must start drilling domestically—offshore, onshore, in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, too. The Alaska mention stirred some hope among drilling enthusiasts there about the potential for drilling the Arctic.

Just one year after the worst human-caused oil spill in our history, Obama said we’ve learned our lessons and it’s time to start applying them—with deepwater drilling rigs. And, right on cue Wednesday, Shell Oil was celebrating its receipt of the first new deepwater oil drilling permit in the Gulf of Mexico since the BP oil spill.

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View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
25 March 2011, 9:39 AM
Lead gardens, oil-covered lies, hot flash chemicals
Nuclear power has come under scrutiny in recent weeks. Photo courtesy of redjar.

Nuclear power industry experiences public fallout
As the nuclear crisis in Japan worsens, concerns about nuclear power's safety are spreading, prompting news agencies to take a second look at the inherently risky technology. As the Christian Science Monitor recently reported, last year U.S. nuclear plants had at least 14 “near misses” that occurred with “alarming frequency” and jeopardized human safety. In addition, Mother Jones recently created an eye-opening chart that lists the location of nuclear plants across the country and their proximity to nearby cities using data from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Despite these concerns, many of the world's governments remain largely unphased, except Germany, which has stepped up to the plate by declaring its plans to stop using nuclear power. Sehr gut!

Senator Jeff Bingaman throws gas on oil-drilling lies, lights a match
While many politicians are busy peddling the false claim that the U.S. must drill more to bring down gas prices, last week Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) broke with the ranks by declaring that domestic policies like carbon and oil drilling regulations have little to no effect on the price at the pump, reports Grist. That's because oil prices are set on the global market, which is much more affected by things like, say, Middle East unrest. This indisputable fact has led Bingaman to the remarkably frank conclusion that to “ease the burden of high prices for U.S. consumers when oil prices are determined mostly outside our borders...[we need to] become less vulnerable by using less oil.”

View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
15 March 2011, 1:28 PM
Bill in Congress would end chemical secrecy loophole in Safe Drinking Water Act

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but secret gas drilling chemicals don’t belong in drinking water.

That’s exactly the kind of sentiment that makes it very inconvenient for Dick Cheney’s buddies at Halliburton who want to use secret chemicals to extract gas from the earth – a controversial method known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”

You see, the pesky Safe Drinking Water Act kept getting in the way. So they asked for special treatment from Congress. And in 2005 they got it.

But today, members of Congress said, “Enough is enough,” introducing bills in both chambers of Congress that would close the Halliburton loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act.

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View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
11 March 2011, 2:30 PM
The rest of us left wondering: is that even constitutional?
Meet Bradford Energy CEO C. Alan Walker. He calls the shots.

Fresh off his state’s radioactive river scandal, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has once again landed in hot water (no pun intended) over a line in his proposed budget which hands the energy executive he appointed to head the state's economic development agency "supreme" decision-making power to fast-track gas drilling permits in the state.

The man who would be king is Bradford Energy CEO C. Alan Walker (no word on whether he's related to a certain Wisconsin governor). He’s given $184,000 in campaign contributions to Corbett (naturally). Also worth noting is that Corbett took more gas industry contributions than all his competitors combined during his recent election.

View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
10 March 2011, 5:16 PM
Gas drilling and air quality in Wyoming
Pinedale Anticline Natural Gas Field, Upper Green River Valley, Wyoming. Photo Courtesy of SkyTruth.

Which has a worse smog problem ? The car-choked sprawling megalopolis of Los Angeles? Or the wide open plains of Wyoming?

If you guessed LA, you’d be wrong. It’s actually Wyoming.

This depressing tidbit comes courtesy of the oil and gas industry, which is in the midst of a drilling boom that has left the air in Wyoming and other areas cloaked in smog and hazardous air pollutants.

View Chris Jordan-Bloch's blog posts
01 March 2011, 1:34 PM
NY Times investigation uncovers more dirty secrets about fracking

The recent New York Times investigation into the dangers posed to our air and water by fracking is a must-read. The meat of the investigation deals with radioactive material in wastewater from the fracking process and its possible migration into our lakes and rivers. The paper's findings are alarming to say the least, here are just a few:

  • More than 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater were produced by Pennsylvania wells over the past three years, far more than previously disclosed. Most was sent to treatment plants not equipped to remove many of the toxic materials in drilling waste.
  • At least 12 sewage treatment plants in three states accepted gas industry wastewater and discharged waste that was only partly treated into rivers, lakes and streams.
  • Of more than 179 wells producing wastewater with high levels of radiation, at least 116 reported levels of radium or other radioactive materials 100 times as high as the levels set by federal drinking-water standards. At least 15 wells produced wastewater carrying more than 1,000 times the amount of radioactive elements considered acceptable.
View Liz Judge's blog posts
18 February 2011, 4:15 PM
House lawmakers continue to slash essential protections for the American public

As I write this, members of the House of Representatives continue to debate and move their way through votes on hundreds of amendments to the chamber's government spending bill. The voting and debate has been a marathon process, stretching from morning through late at night for the last three days, and looks to carry on until late tonight or tomorrow.

Once the amendments are voted on and settled, the whole House will cast a final vote on the entire bill package with all the passed amendments. Then the Senate takes its turn, crafting a spending bill of its own. The two chambers must then confer and agree on one bill that funds the federal government by March 4 -- or the government must shut down until its spending and funding sources are settled.

The amendments that the House is currently considering are wide-ranging. They aim to cut government spending by cutting the funding streams of hundreds of government programs. So, instead of ending those programs through legislation and appropriate voting, many members of the House are seeking to delete the programs by wiping out the funds that keep them going.

View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
16 February 2011, 4:55 PM
Actor Mark Ruffalo and GASLAND Director Josh Fox speak out on gas drilling
Mark Ruffalo, flanked by Gasland Director Josh Fox and Gasland Producer Trish Adlesic at the film's DVD release party in December

As Oscar season enters full swing, two nominees are taking a break from the action in Hollywood to visit Washington, D.C. tomorrow (Thursday) and educate the public and members of Congress about the dangers of gas drilling. Director Josh Fox is up for a Best Documentary award for GASLAND, a searing indictment of the hazards associated with the controversial gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) – in which drillers blast millions of gallons of chemically treated water into the earth to force gas from underground deposits.

Fox is joining Best Supporting Actor nominee Mark Ruffalo, whose home in New York's Catskill Mountains is in the path of an gas drilling rush in the Northeast, to make the case on Capitol Hill that Congress needs to step in and protect public health and the environment from risks associated with gas development.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
15 February 2011, 3:53 PM
Legislative amendments target air, water, public lands and wildlife

Teabag by teabag, the anti-environment faction in the House of Representatives has filled its federal government spending bill with amendments that will cripple protections for our water, air, natural resources, wildlife and public health. 

Not since the darkest days of the Bush administration have we seen such an onslaught on the environment—and the hits are still coming. By mid-day today (Tues., Feb. 15), the list has grown to include attacks on a number of endangered species, including wolves and salmon, and on the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to keep lethal pollutants out of the air we breathe and the water we drink. Some amendments are outright handouts to our nation’s worst polluters.

The spending bill will fund the government so that it can continue operating after March 4, but first the Senate must pass the bill. Today, Pres. Barack Obama warned that he would veto the bill as constructed.

The following is a list of the most harmful provisions and amendments proposed so far:

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View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
27 January 2011, 11:10 AM
Fracking travels from the little screen to the big screen and back again
Josh Fox's critically acclaimed documentary GASLAND was nominated this week for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.

I don’t want to jinx anything, but we’re positively thrilled to see GASLAND—the truth-telling/irreverent film about toxic gas drilling—get an Oscar nod for best documentary. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for? It’s readily available on DVD. And there are more and more community screenings being organized every week.

Apparently industry’s none too happy about the Academy Award nomination. And, as you can tell from this indulging piece in the New York Times, they’re pretty unembarrassed about coming across as total spoilsports.

Well, if I was an oil and gas executive, I’d be peeved too. The ugly truth about this controversial form of gas drilling—known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”—has been getting lots of screen time, from Josh Fox’s critically acclaimed documentary to an episode on the popular CBS crime show CSI.