Posts tagged: gas

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

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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.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S BLOG

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
18 January 2011, 12:00 PM
New studies—and many blogs—outline yet another benefit of cycling

Everyone is in favor of bikes and biking, or almost everybody. Riding a bike is good for your health, keeps you fit and slender, gives you that important aerobic exercise, plus it’s fun. And it saves gasoline, thus reducing dependency on foreign (and domestic!) oil. And it helps in a small way in the fight against global climate disruption (aka global warming or climate change, take your pick). What’s not to like?

One notable exception is the new Speaker of the House, Mr. Boehner, who is quoted in Grist  thusly, “I think there's a place for infrastructure, but what kind of infrastructure? Infrastructure to widen highways, to ease congestion for American families? . . . But if we're talking about . . . bike paths, Americans are not going to look very kindly on this.”

View David Lawlor's blog posts
11 January 2011, 5:29 PM
New university study is a how-to guide for achieving a clean energy future
The Challicum Hills Wind Farm near Victoria, Australia.

By now, we all know the refrain. Sure, politicians and pundits tell us, it would be swell to make the switch to clean energy, but such a move is infeasible at any time in the near future. No, they say, we must not stray from our well-hewn path of environmental destruction paved by fossil fuels. Maybe one day solar, wind or geothermal energy will make sense, but when it comes to power generation—unless you’re a misguided hippie or you live in Reykjavic—we’re sticking with coal and natural gas.

Well, apparently a contingent of patchouli-scented Icelandic expatriates at Australia’s University of Melbourne isn’t going along with the fossil fuel industry’s talking points. As JP Siegel reports on the TriplePundit blog, a group affiliated with the university, Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), has developed a comprehensive plan to meet the nation’s energy needs with 100 percent renewable sources by 2020.

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View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
30 November 2010, 6:33 PM
State Assembly Approves a Time-Out on Fracking

New Yorkers should be proud of their lawmakers today.

On their first day back in session, members of the New York State Assembly voted to approve a temporary moratorium on the controversial form of gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." (No word on whether Jay Z's "Empire State of Mind" was blasting in the halls of the Capitol during the late-night vote.)

This shows that leaders in New York are taking seriously the concerns associated with fracking—a technique in which millions of gallons of chemically-treated water are blasted into the earth to force gas from underground deposits.

The bill, already approved by the state Senate, now heads to outgoing Gov. David Paterson for his signature. Unfortunately, the governor has been sending mixed signals about whether or not he will sign the bill into law. If you live in New York state, now would be a good time to call Gov. Paterson at (518) 474-8390 and urge him to do the right thing before he leaves office.

View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
12 November 2010, 5:49 PM
Controversial gas drilling technique hits primetime television

Art imitated life on CBS's hit crime show CSI last night. The episode, titled "Fracked," delved into the water-polluting form of gas drilling in which millions of gallons of chemically-treated water are blasted into the earth to extract gas from underground deposits.

The episode summary goes like this:

Two men are murdered right before exposing a natural gas company for poisoning residents in a farming town, and the CSIs must discover who is responsible for their deaths.

It's fiction, of course. But parts of the plot line were lifted straight from the headlines: poisoned wells, flaming faucets, sick people, dying animals, silenced residents. The scriptwriters even took care to include expository dialogue explaining how hydraulic fracturing is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Very true. And very scary.

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View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
11 November 2010, 2:08 PM
Strange bedfellows, cheesy marketing schemes, hot dog humans
Starving grizzly bears are increasingly clashing with humans over food. Image courtesy of stock.xchng

Enviros and drillers become fracking bedfellows in regulator debate
New York's Department of Environmental Conservation is so ill-prepared to regulate gas drilling in the state that both the gas industry and environmental organizations agree that the department should be re-staffed, according to an investigation by the DC Bureau. That, in addition to a number of other environmental challenges that gas drilling presents, should make for quite a fracking mess for New York's next governor, Andrew Cuomo, when he arrives in the office on Jan. 1.

Department of Agriculture takes the cheese
Fast food chains like Domino's Pizza and Taco Bell are piling cheese onto their products to boost consumer sales, all at the urging of the USDA, according to a recent New York Times piece. The agency's marketing creation, Dairy Management, charged with "vigorously promoting" dairy products, has been working with businesses to increase American cheese consumption by creating cheese-strosities like the Domino's Wisconsin, a pizza that comes with six cheeses on top and two stuffed in the crust. Apparently the agency didn't get its own memo, which found that when it comes causing obesity and heart disease, the cheese stands alone.

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View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
05 November 2010, 1:49 PM
Compostable Canadians, childish owl snatchers, mainframe mind games
Owls are being targeted by Harry Potter fans in India. Photo courtesy of stock.xchng

BP's negligence could prove to be explosive, again
Maintenance of BP's Alaska operations is woefully neglected, according to an internal maintenance document reported on by ProPublica. The document shows that almost 150 BP pipelines on Alaska's North Slope got an F from the company and that many of the pipes are "worn to within a few thousandths of an inch of bursting." Based on this most recent report, it's not hard to see why Earthjustice is working to keep BP and others from drilling even more in the Arctic.

FritoLay Canada bites back at complaining consumers
Last month, amid consumer backlash and 50,000 plus Facebook fans who couldn't hear anything over a noisy SunChips compostable bag, SunChips owner Frito Lay buried its compostable chip bag, replacing it with the original, everlasting bag. But Frito Lay Canada stood its ground, according to Grist, launching a consumer awareness program that includes an offer for free earplugs, which is good news for those who can't hear the environmental concerns of an unrecyclable bag over their own self-interest.

View Shirley Hao's blog posts
01 November 2010, 4:54 PM
Invasion of the goats, coming to a weed-choked lot near you

It’s finally happened. The job outsourcing phenomenon has moved to another level. Forget outsourcing jobs to other countries—now they’re being outsourced to other species.

Portland, OR, is just the latest urban area to join the hip (and sensible) species outsourcing trend. Quiet the noisy, gas guzzling, carbon polluting lawn mower. Leave those toxic herbicides on the store shelf. It’s time to call in the goats.

Photo of goat. Credit: William A. Clark.

Here's looking at you, kid. Credit: William A. Clark.
View David Lawlor's blog posts
27 October 2010, 11:42 AM
Study says hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus shale pollutes water

Bombs, nuclear power plants and groundwater. What do they all have in common? Well, according to a new study published by the University at Buffalo (UB), the answer could soon be uranium.  

The study conducted by UB geologist Tracy Bank shows that hydraulic fracture drilling, or fracking, in the Marcellus shale deposit on the East Coast of the United States will result in the pollution of groundwater with uranium. Bank found that naturally occurring uranium trapped in Marcellus shale is released into groundwater following hydraulic fracturing, a practice of pumping high-pressured water and chemicals into rock formations to break up and release elements; in this case, natural gas.

Explains Bank:

"We found that the uranium and the hydrocarbons are in the same physical space...that they are not just physically—but also chemically—bound. That led me to believe that uranium in solution could be more of an issue because the process of drilling to extract the hydrocarbons could start mobilizing the metals as well, forcing them into the soluble phase and causing them to move around."

Bank’s hypothesis proved correct once samples of Marcellus shale were tested in the laboratory. The implications of the study are significant.Polluting groundwater with uranium, a toxic metal and radioactive element, could cause serious human health impacts if the uranium made its way into municipal drinking water systems or emitted toxic radon gas near communities.

It seems the oil and gas drilling industry would rather not acknowledge the water pollution associated with hydraulic fracturing. Which is why Earthjustice is fighting on Capitol Hill to close a loophole exempting the industry from the Safe Drinking Water Act, challenging backroom deals between government regulators and the oil and gas industry, and fighting for the strongest possible regulations to protect clean air and water supplies.

View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
15 October 2010, 12:39 PM
Bug warfare, cutting prostitution, BPA blues, civil servant car shares
It turns out airplane emissions will kill you before airplane crashes. Photo courtesy of Stock.Xchng

Humans won't fly high on airplane emissions

View Tom Turner's blog posts
05 October 2010, 10:52 AM
White House meanwhile will reinstall solar collectors on the roof

You may have seen pictures of hundreds of huge fuel transport trucks stranded on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The border was closed by the Pakistani government following a drone attack that killed several suspected terrorists. The trucks are a handy target for marauding insurgents, who sneak in and torch them under cover of darkness.

There may be something of a silver lining, however.

The Pentagon has just announced that it is hurrying to test portable solar-electric gadgets—generators, low-energy lights, and so on—to replace the diesel and kerosene generators the convoys were sent to resupply with fuel. It's all here in The New York Times.