The Fracking News: “Responsible Drilling is a Myth”

“Responsible Drilling is a Myth” — Bob Myers, Director of Environmental Studies, Lock Haven University.

The Fracking News
The increased attention from the vandalism @ Yellow Creek has produced increased press coverage around CHC and our overall fight. It also introduced me to a great independent radio station, Rustbelt Radio. Check out their story on on CHC and our campaign (our story is at about 8 min, following a description of the Building Change workshop

The EPA held their second of three regional hearings on proposed air pollution regulations related to Marcellus Shale. They’re good regulations, and CHC members are in Pittsburgh to testify.  It’s not too late to get your voice heard – take action here!!

Speaking of violations – the cement well casings which prevent methane and other materials from coming up Marcellus Wells are failing. It could be that new casings regulations put into place in Feburary are resulting in more write-ups – but the EPA violations reports discuss methane bubbling up. That’s a problemCases of methane seepage like these keep occurring, and if other records are unsealed, there will likely be more.  

People out in the Pocconos are fed up with violations too – this time of natural gas pipelines.  Wanna be conservation zone driller EQT is in the pipeline business too

This past Monday the Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission held it’s second hearing in Pittsubrgh. State and local officials, scientists, academics and citizens were united in their concern and opposition to drilling in PA. Said one former DEP exec, “It saddens me that some of the environmental progress made during my career will be lost.” 

Speaking of the DEP – they’ve released details about their restructuring.  Sec. Krancer also released this statement regarding the changes. According to former DEP head John Hangar, the centralization of the Oil and Gas bureau is a bad idea, as it puts that division out of step with the rest of the DEP which relies on a regional structure. There also seems to be no commitment to getting away from fossil fuels. There’s also the ongoing concern that no matter how you slice it – slashed funds at time of skyrocketing environmental risk reduces effectiveness

The lawsuits have been flying – New York will see the court cases on fracking bans first. NY has a similar Oil and Gas Act which puts those bans in confict with state regulation. There are other recent cases in PA involving the industry suing governments for environmental protection laws, another decision reversing a ban on drilling in Alleghaney National Forest.  And in Susquehanna county, there’s an important conversation about whether or not shale is a mineral.
At least the industry is getting some scrutiny, the Department of the Interior is reviewing whether any of the 175 Marcellus Shale gas wells drilled in Pennsylvania state forests or other permitted or planned well developments on publicly owned land violates a 1964 federal land conservation law.
A professor at Penn State gives a sobering look at the realities of the benefits of shale drilling.  I hope the people looking at the Utica shale remember this.  I also hope the folks thinking about their Utica, or their Marcellus will read this article about leases and regrets. 

Speaking of eco-terrorists – this guy should go to jail.
Seems like I always hear about religious leaders arguing with one another; at least they agree with us.
Finally, remember Tom Smith, of Indiana County? He led the lobbying effort to have all coal mining permitted in the conservation zone back in 2003. He also said that it’s not possible to drill without violations (factually incorrect according to DEP records) and that we shouldn’t worry so much about them. He’s running for Senate.
One Response to “The Fracking News: “Responsible Drilling is a Myth””
  1. Nice writing style. I look forward to reading more in the future.

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