Tag Archives: Antifracking

Woodstock Town Board First in State To Adopt Resolution in Support of Criminalizing Hydraulic Fracturing

The Town Board of Woodstock, New York at its meeting on January 15 reviewed and adopted a resolution in support of a NY State law to criminalize hydraulic fracturing and related activities. The Town will submit its resolution supporting NY Public Law #1 to the New York State Legislature for implementation. Some 40 citizens in attendance resoundingly supported the decision.

This resolution is in support of NY Public Law #1, which makes hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas and all related activities crimes under the state penal code. NY Public Law #1 was conceived and drafted by Sovereign People’s Action Network (SPAN), a local Ulster and Greene county group and FrackBustersNY, a statewide organization.

This is the third step that town of Woodstock leaders have taken in their attempt to prevent hydraulic fracturing from despoiling their historic town and, with this recent action, throughout New York State.  “The town has prohibited fracking through its land use ordinance,” pointed out Jay Wenk, a Town Councilman, “and also prohibited the use of frack-waste fluids for de-icing town roads”.

Linda Leeds of SPAN and FrackBustersNY helped to inform fellow Woodstock residents and the town board of the importance of this new resolution.  “Activists in other towns with bans in place are asking their municipal officials to draft their own Resolutions in support of statewide criminalization of hydrofracking. We anticipate that this will be the first of many similar Resolutions sent to our Albany Legislators,” she said.

SPAN and FrackBustersNY are available to work with other municipalities wishing to take this important step to protect themselves and their future.

The two groups applaud Woodstock Town Supervisor Jeremy Wilber and Council Members Cathy Magarelli, Bill McKenna and Jay Wenk for their foresight and leadership (Member Ken Panza was absent), and for acting in the best interests of all residents and the environment everyone depends on for survival.

Learn more about NY Public Law #1 and sign the statewide petition at SovereignPeople.net and FrackbustersNY.org.

From EcoWatch: Meet Anthony Ingraffea—From Industry Insider to Implacable Fracking Opponent

By Ellen Cantarow

Why, exactly, is high-volume slickwater hydraulic fracturing such a devastating industry? How best to describe its singularity—its vastness, its difference from other industries and its threat to the planet?

When I interviewed Dr. Anthony Ingraffea—Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering, Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University and president of Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, Inc.—I realized that his comments were perhaps the clearest, most compactly instructive of any I’d heard on fracking. So I expanded the original interview to include Ingraffea’s reflections on his odyssey from an industry insider to an implacable fracking opponent, with his descriptions of the fascinating nature of 400 million-year-old shale formations and what, precisely, corporations do when they disrupt these creations of nature.

Ingraffea is perhaps best-known for his co-authorship of a Cornell University 2011 study that established the greenhouse gas footprint of fracking as being greater than that of any other fossil fuel including coal. The lead-investigator for Methane and the Greenhouse-Gas Footprint of Natural Gas from Shale Formations, often called “The Cornell Study,” was Robert Howarth, David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Microbiology. A third co-author was research aide Renee Santoro.

Ingraffea has been a principal investigator on research and development projects ranging from the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through Schlumberger, Gas Research Institute, Sandia National Laboratories, Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, General Dynamics, Boeing and Northrop Grumman Aerospace. Having been an industry insider for so long, he’s a formidable opponent of anyone who dares to go against him in a debate about high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

His passion for social justice has infused his teaching. He has promoted the entry of women and minorities into engineering. Among his teaching awards are the Society of Women Engineers’ Professor of the Year Award in 1997 and the 2001 Daniel Luzar ’29 Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Engineering. He organized and directed the Synthesis National Engineering Education Coalition. Its mission: improving undergraduate engineering education and attracting larger numbers of women and minorities to the field.

Those who have watched Ingraffea in action know him for his simplicity and clarity, his refusal to indict his opponents on any but rigorous scientific grounds, the logic with which he demolishes them and his sense of humor. Several years ago, towards the end of a long talk in Pennsylvania (see video below), Ingraffea mentioned that on Halliburton Corporation’s website the corporation lists hydrochloric acid (HCl) among its fracking chemicals. Halliburton also notes that HCl is commonly used in preparing black olives.

See the original article here

Watch the video:

From the Responsible Drilling Alliance: Former Worker Blows the Whistle Video

Study: The Cost of Fracking: Environment Maryland Documents the Dollars Drained by Dirty Drilling

Firing a new salvo in the ongoing debate over the gas drilling practice known as “fracking,” Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center released a report documenting a wide range of dollars and cents costs imposed by dirty drilling. As documented in “The Cost of Fracking,” fracking creates millions of dollars of health costs related to everything from air pollution to ruined roads to contaminated property.

“The environmental damage from fracking is bad enough, but it turns out that this dirty and dangerous form of drilling imposes heavy dollar and cents costs as well. And that is all the more reason we must keep Maryland free from fracking,” said Tommy Landers, Director of Environment Maryland.

“It’s time to ban fracking. Even with regulation, any economic gains will not offset the damage done to our environment. It’s time to focus on renewable solutions like offshore wind—solutions that will bring more jobs and less environmental degradation, solutions that focus on
the well being of Main St. rather than the profits of industry,” said Delegate Shane Robinson of Maryland’s 39th District.

“From start to finish, fracking is too risky for Maryland. Governor O’Malley and the Maryland Legislature should call for a ban on fracking across the state,” said Miranda Carter, Mid-Atlantic Organizer for the group Food & Water Watch.

While the report documents a wide range of costs imposed by fracking, Environment Maryland is particularly concerned about what water contamination would mean for Maryland. Fracking operations contaminate drinking water sources in many ways – from spills to leaking waste pits to methane from drilling itself.

In Dimock, Pennsylvania, fracking operations contaminated the drinking water wells of several households for roughly three years, perhaps more. Just providing 14 of those families with temporary water cost more than $100,000. Providing a permanent new source of clean drinking
water would have cost an estimated $11.8 million.

In addition to water cleanup costs, the report shows that fracking damage exacts other tolls on communities – from road repairs to health costs to emergency response.

“The health of Marylanders and others throughout the region is already at risk. We deserve better, and our children and grandchildren deserve better,” said Kristen Welker-Hood, ScD RN.

The report includes the following examples of such costs:

  • Health: in Arkansas’ Fayetteville Shale region, air pollution from fracking operations impose health costs estimated at $9.8 million in one year. In Texas’ Barnett Shale region, those costs reach $270,000 per day during the summer smog season.
  • Roads to Ruin: With fracking operations requiring thousands of trips by trucks and heavy machinery, a Texas task force approved $40 million in funding for road repairs in the Barnett Shale region.

Moreover, as with previous extractive booms, fracking will impose long-term costs as well. As noted in the report, the coal boom in Appalachia left Pennsylvania with an estimated $5 billion cost for cleaning up acid mine drainage.

The Costs of Fracking report comes before the 2013 legislative session, in which Del. Robinson plans to introduce an outright ban on fracking in Maryland.

“We already know about fracking’s damage to our environment and health. These dollars and cents costs are one more reason to reject this dirty drilling practice,” concluded Landers.


You can view the findings of the study HERE

Study: Impacts of Gas Drilling on Human and Animal Health

Read the findings of Bamberger and Oswald’s study on the impacts of gas drilling on Human and Animal Health HERE

Video: Ban Fracking in NewYork Says Sandra Steingraber and the Horseflies

A Message to Friends after Great Talisman Action

June 27, 2012


The Coalition to Protect New York was well represented in today’s grassroots action at the offices of Talisman Energy, Inc., in Big Flats, New York. Members of CPNY and at least 29 affiliated or allied organizations joined with Shaleshock Direct Action Alliance to tell the behemoth fracking corporation, which has been cited with 300 violations while fracking just 200 wells in Pennsylvania, that the people of the Southern Tier and all of New York will not be fracked.

Led by young activists from Shaleshock Direct Action Alliance, some 115 people from the five “sacrifice zone” counties of Chemung, Chenango, Broome, Tioga, and Steuben, joined by allies from nearly a dozen other counties around New York State, held a peaceful rally and songfest at Talisman’s regional headquarters. Several people from the region, including a nine-year-old girl named Fenya, spoke, and poetry and song rounded out the day.

The message was simple: We will not allow fracking here. We cannot. This is our lives you are playing with, Talisman and your cronies. We will not step aside so you can come in and destroy everything we care about. This is just the beginning of a summer full of actions that will make it clear we are willing to put our bodies on the line to protect our water, air, food supply, properties, and quality of life.

Each speaker was greeted with enthusiastic applause. Not surprisingly to many in the crowd, someone in authority at Talisman hustled all the employees into a center section of the building, telling them “not to look at those people [us] outside.” There they huddled throughout the 45-minute peaceful protest, not to be seen again.

We can only surmise that, much like Governor Cuomo, who refused to face the grassroots who gathered to greet him with a similar message in Corning on April 27, the Talisman people were too chicken to face us, look us in the eye, and tell us they’re planning to frack us no matter what we want or how much we will be harmed by this foul and vile industry.

Our retort: No matter how rich and powerful you are, you are waging war on us and our families. We will fight you to the end, and we will win. Because this is a moral and ethical issue as well as a personal one. There will be no fracking in New York State. This is not negotiable.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the organizers (You Rock!) and to all who joined today (Antifracktivists are the best people in the world).
Please let’s keep each other informed about upcoming actions. We’ll let you know about ours and hope we will all support each other’s efforts. We are all in this together!

Groups we counted today (let us know if we missed yours, and forgive us!):

CONTACT: Maura Stephens, Maura@coalitiontoprotectnewyork.org, 607-351-3766


From The Huffington Post: Safe Hydrofracking Is the New Jumbo Shrimp

By Sandra Steingraber

Posted: 06/04/2012 6:57 pm


Oxymorons in the gas patch.

On May 2, an alliance of citizen groups from around the nation issued a call to action against unsafe gas and oil drilling and announced a national rally to take place on the West Lawn of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on July 28. Called “Stop the Frack Attack,” this national day of action promises to “bring thousands to the nation’s capitol to demand greater government responsibility and corporate accountability for harm that existing oil and gas development causes.”

Their press release includes statements from members of affected communities that decry the ongoing devastation that fracking creates, denounce the recklessness of the fossil fuel industry, speak to the need for more government oversight, and call for a clean energy future. Notably, the words banmoratorium,prohibit, or any other synonym for cease and desist, appear nowhere in the announcement–except for that single verb in the banner, “Stop the Frack Attack.” Which does not seem to be quite the same as sayingstop fracking.

The question is, are they, in fact, the same?

In other words, with an insistence on best practices, could drilling and fracking operations be made safe enough to be sited in densely populated communities — or even sparsely populated communities — without making the people who live there feel they are living in a war zone?

Or do regulations simply build time bombs with longer fuses?

Is there a benign way to blow up the bedrock and capture the hydrocarbons trapped inside?

Or is fracking inherently dangerous, with no systems of monitoring and enforcement sufficient to make this shock-and-awe form of energy extraction coexistable with farming, ranching, schoolyards, fly fishing, camping, commuting, pregnancy, pollination systems, and mortgage agreements? (Just to provide a few examples.) Or with breathing, sleeping, good health, and a source of clean drinking water? (To provide a few more.)

I’m not throwing stones at the organizers of the July 28th rally. Throughout the Stop the Frack Attack website, you can see the careful framing, the thoughtful messaging, the thread-the-needle attempt to be inclusive of groups who are positioned at various points along the antifracking continuum. The positions of antifracking groups range from the stance that fracking should be classified as a criminal act to the opinion that, with better regulations in place, fracking can be done responsibly. The organizers are aiming for an epic turnout. What animates them, and their several dozen endorsing organizations from across the nation, is a shared belief that, as currently practiced, fracking is a menace.

And that is a true thing. Last summer, while traveling across the country, I witnessed the catastrophe that is fracking. I spent some time in northeastern Ohio, where the waste from fracking operations in Pennsylvania comes for burial and causes earthquakes that shake the land. I visited Wisconsin, where strip-mining of sand for fracking operations is turning communities inside out and filling the air with crystalline silica, a lung carcinogen.

In drought-crippled Texas, I watched a fracking truck filled with precious fresh water roll past a hand-lettered sign that read “I need water. U haul. I pay.” The gas wells had water. The people didn’t.

I was run off the road by a fracking truck in the North Dakota badlands, where a fragile petrified forest stands next to drill rigs and waste pits. I read the church news in western Wyoming, where members of the clergy decried the fracturing of God’s creation.

And I was at the courthouse in Salt Lake City on the day that antifracking activist Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in federal prison for the nonviolent disruption of an (illegalauction of public land to the gas and oil industry. Before he was hauled away by marshals, Tim said to the judge, “This is what love looks like.”

So, I’m on board with the unifying message of Stop the Frack Attack.

But the side-stepped question of whether fracking is reformable or innately, irredeemably bad is an important one. The answer determines the list of demands. Reformation or abolition?

My current belief is that safe fracking is an oxymoron even with the best of laws and with their strongest enforcement. At the very least, we should call a national time-out and assess the results of the experiment that has already been set in motion.

Here are some emerging findings that I see as particularly alarming because, if corroborated by further study, they signal that fracking suffers from unmanageable, intractable problems:

Evidence that fracking mobilizes radioactive materials, including radium-226 and uranium. The problem of radioactive gas appears particularly important for Marcellus Shale in New York State. The natural gas itself contains radon, which is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. (Tobacco is first.) With no safe level of exposure to radiation, the health risks of fracked gas are borne by urban consumers with gas stoves and furnaces as well as by residents living near drilling and fracking operations or the waste dumps where drill cuttings are buried.

Suggestions that fracking fluids can migrate underground much faster than previously appreciated and enter drinking water supplies via intersecting cracks, fissures, and faults.This nightmare scenario, long scorned by the industry as preposterous was given new life by a study published online last month by the journal Ground Water, which used interpretive modeling to trace potential contaminant pathways from fractured shale to drinking water aquifers.

The presence of airborne silica in the gas fields. New research presented before the Institution of Medicine roundtable on the health effects of fracking shows that the workers who carry out hydrofracking can be exposed to levels of crystalline silica dust that exceed the recommended safe limit by a factor of ten. Fracking operations rely on silica sand to prop open the rocky fractures created by blasts of high-pressure water and chemicals. These openings allow the gas to flow out. Silica dust is like asbestos fibers: when unconfined, it is prone to flying around, is inhalable, and is deadly. Do we really want it released upwind of schools and neighborhoods where children are present?

The release of native gases, including benzene, during drilling operations. Gas- and oil-suffused bedrock contains many toxic hydrocarbons, some of them volatile gases. As soon as a hole is drilled into these formations, these fugitive native gases, as they are called, can escape – before fracking even begins and long before the wellhead is connected up to pipelines. Benzene is an all-purpose carcinogen, linked to leukemiabreast cancer, and children’s cancers. It’s also a cause of birth defects.

Thus, to Shakespeare’s list in Romeo and Juliet – “O heavy lightness! Serious vanity!… cold fire, sick health!” — please add safe fracking. It’s pretty ugly.

Sandra Steingraber is the author of Living Downstream, published in second edition by Merloyd Lawrence Books/Da Capo Press to coincide with the release of the documentary film adaptation. This essay is one in a weekly series by Sandra exploring how the environment is within us.


See original article here


Benefit to Support Local Frack Bans: Sunday, January 29, 2012

Let’s not forget to have fun while we’re fighting the big fight!



Sunday, January 29 (4-8 pm)

The Rongovian Embassy

One Main St, Trumansburg, NY 14886

It’s a “FUN RAISER!” Music by the Yardvarks & Funky Frack-Free Radicals (Harry Aceto & Friends), guest speakers, appetizers, cash bar. Mingle & dance… Bring your friends and stay for dinner! ALL ARE WELCOME, no matter where you live. By supporting this cause, you’re supporting ALL NY towns.

It’s a FUND RAISER, too! In September 2011, Anschutz Gas Co. from CO sued the Town of Dryden, NY. The case is pending, but whoever loses it will appeal, and it probably won’t be resolved for a year. Since that decision will impact all NY towns, the Town of Ulysses is leading a coalition of municipalities to shore it up. They’ve agreed to participate in an Amicus (“friend of the court”) Brief. This legal action supports the notion that NY towns, by exercising their right of “Home Rule,” CAN indeed ban fracking and other heavy industrial activities by enforcing local zoning laws.

As Ken Zeserson, one of the organizers, said, contributing to this legal work “simultaneously assists our compatriots in other towns, and, at the same time, strengthens the likelihood our Ulysses’ law will prevail if a suit is brought against our town.”

EVENT ORGANIZERS: Coalition volunteers of Concerned Citizens of Ulysses and Back To Democracy. http://www.ccofulysses.org ; http://www.backtodemocracy.org :

Judy Abrams, Michelle Bamberger, Michael Dineen, Anne Furman, Robert Oswald, Jane Penrose, Jan Quarles, Ken Zeserson.

EMAIL CONTACT: ccu.ulysses@gmail.com

DONATE: If you can’t attend, but would like to support the right of NY towns to ban fracking, please send a check payable to “Town of Ulysses,” noting “CCU” in the check memo. The mailing address is: Town of Ulysses, 10 Elm St, Trumansburg, NY, 14886. All donations will be much appreciated.

RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/214032372022196/

Hope to see you there!




2012 Hydrofracking Day of Action in Albany: Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 Hydrofracking Day of Action in Albany

Join residents and organizations from across the state to rally and talk with legislators about hydro-fracking.

The day will start with a rally in the New York State Legislature and will be followed with legislative visits. Come join us on this exciting day to bring your voice to Albany and express your concerns about hydro-fracking.