Quantcast
Fracking | Food & Water Watch - Part 10
Victory! Cleveland passes resolution against antibiotic misuse on factory farms. more wins »
X

Welcome!

You're reading Smorgasbord from Food & Water Watch.

If you'd like to send us a note about a blog entry or anything else, please use this contact form. To get involved, sign up to volunteer or follow the take action link above.

Blog Categories

Blog archives

Stay Informed

Sign up for email to learn how you can protect food and water in your community.

   Please leave this field empty

Blog Posts: Fracking

August 27th, 2012

Environmental Defense Fund: Stop Your Sell-Out to the Gas Industry

Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter

By Wenonah Hauter

Updated 9/2/12*

I have news for the Environmental Defense Fund: the fracking activist community is shocked that you received $6 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies to advocate for fracking regulations. And we aren’t going to stand for it.

EDF says that they’ll be working for “responsible” regulation in 14 states. Of course, this is just double speak that means swooping into states where there is a strong grassroots movement against fracking and shilling for the oil and gas industry. They will claim to represent environmentalists while they promote regulation that is so weak even the gas industry can live with it.

Of course, everyone in the environmental movement knows that this is EDF’s modus operandi. In fact, for years, public interest advocates have rolled their eyes and complained to one another in private about how EDF undercuts their work time and time again. But, everyone is afraid to speak out because they might upset funders, who are turned off by disagreements among environmentalists.

Read the full article…

Posted in ,,  |  15 Comments  | 
August 21st, 2012

There’s No “Safe” Fracking, Governor Cuomo

By Alex Beauchamp

Update: Check out coverage of our commercial in The New York Times here.

If you’ve seen our commercial (above) running in New York State, you know that 6 percent of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) wells fail immediately, and 50 percent—yes, that’s half—fail over 30 years. That means if Governor Cuomo proceeds with his proposal to open up five counties in New York State to fracking, our water will be contaminated by this dirty process within a single generation.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with Josh Fox, Oscar-nominated director of Gasland, on this ad running on network and cable TV stations in the Southern Tier—which will cover the five counties that the Governor is considering handing over to the oil and gas industry as sacrifice zones. The ad urges New Yorkers to call Governor Cuomo and tell him that there is no such thing as “safe fracking.”

Read the full article…

Posted in ,,  |  7 Comments  | 
August 15th, 2012

As a Yogurt Craze Boosts New York’s Dairy Industry, Fracking Could Can It

By Seth Gladstone 

Some things just don’t mix well. Like drinking and driving. Or rain and parades. So as Governor Andrew Cuomo seeks to encourage and expand dairy production in New York State to meet a growing demand for yogurt, he’d do well to avoid things that might hamper those efforts – things that don’t mix well with dairy production. Things like fracking.

At the Capitol today, Gov. Cuomo brought together hundreds of dairy industry professionals for what he has billed as a “Yogurt Summit,” an opportunity to discuss ways to bolster New York’s yogurt production as nationwide demand for the creamy treat – particularly Greek-style yogurt – grows.

Gov. Cuomo is right to be looking at ways to help New York’s dairy farmers and the struggling upstate economy with solutions based on agricultural sustainability and smart land use. But wouldn’t common sense dictate that he also consider factors that could hamper the very business he’s looking to promote? Cuomo’s foolhardy push to open his state to the dangers of fracking is directly at odds with his quest to increase dairy production in New York.

Read the full article…

Posted in ,,  |  3 Comments  | 
August 7th, 2012

A Texas City Resorts to Building a Water Reclamation Plant; Meanwhile, Oil and Gas Companies Get a Free Pass to Groundwater

Ban Fracking!In Big Spring, Texas, residents will soon recycle their wastewater into drinking water, thanks to a new $12 million water reclamation project. Treating what is essentially sewage, the so-called “toilet to tap” method faces publicity challenges. Not only will the water from this plant recirculate to Big Spring, after extensive treatment, water will supply the nearby oil towns of Midland and Odessa. Built by the Colorado River Municipal Water District (CRMWD), the plant will only supply 1.5 to 2 million gallons of water per day (compared to the 36 million that the district uses daily). To me, this seems to show just how scarce water resources are in the district, which includes the phrase “Think Before You Waste!” in its press release logo.

Read the full article…

Posted in ,  |  No Comments  | 

Are You Down With the Global Frackdown?

By Mark Schlosberg

On September 22, people across the world will be coming together for a day of action — a Global Frackdown — to call for a ban on fracking to protect our communities. Will you join us?

Drilling and fracking for natural gas and oil poses a direct and immediate threat to our drinking water, air, health and communities. Over the past couple of years as our movement has grown, the oil and gas industry has been ramping up its massive multi-million dollar PR campaign to convince the public and elected officials that its dirty energy is clean. Its time to fight back with a Global Frackdown!

As a movement to ban fracking, we have collectively achieved a tremendous amount. Working together just in the past year, we have: passed over 200 local measures across the United States to ban fracking, stopped fracking in Bulgaria, France and the state of Vermont, pushed for moratoriums in multiple regions in Europe, obtained a moratorium on fracking in South Africa, defeated state legislation that would have expanded fracking (like stopping plans to open the Delaware River Basin to fracking) and worked to stop pipelines and facilities to export fracked gas from coast to coast.

This fall, the oil and gas industry will be escalating its pro-fracking propaganda even further and our elected officials — some of whom are running scared — need to hear the truth in a powerful way from their constituents. It’s time to expose the oil and gas industry’s propaganda for what it is. It’s time to hold our elected officials accountable. It’s time for a Global Frackdown!

Communities are already coming together to organize actions as part of the Global Frackdown. From New Mexico to North Carolina and California to New York, events are being organized across the United States. In Europe, actions are already being planned in France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden and Belgium. They’ll include flash mobs, rallies, human signs calling for a ban on fracking and screenings of Gasland. In the coming weeks, these events will be put on a map at www.globalfrackdown.org, but in the meantime, you can go here to sign up an event in your community.

The Global Frackdown is supported by Food & Water Watch, Environment America, Democracy for America, 350.org, Friends of the Earth US, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace USA, Global Exchange, Ecologistas en Acción, Council of Canadians, Josh Fox (whose film Gasland has fueled the movement), and a host of other organizations across the world. Organizations large and small can add their name to the growing list of partners here.

Building on the powerful Stop the Frack Attack action in Washington, D.C. last weekend, three major events are happening in the U.S. over the next two months. From August 25-27, people will gather in New York to urge Governor Andrew Cuomo to not allow fracking in New York. On September 20 and 21, our friends at Protecting our Waters are organizing Shale Gas Outrage to protest a major industry conference in Philadelphia. And the Global Frackdown will follow on September 22.

Our opponents get their power from their deep financial resources and their ability to divide us. We have the power of our voices, our communities and our collective action. The next couple of months promise to be a powerful, unifying and exciting time for our movement against fracking. Add your voice to this effort and Get Down with the Frackdown — take action to ban fracking on September 22.

August 3rd, 2012

Water in Colorado Still Going to the Highest Bidder (Hint: It’s Not Your Local Farmer)

By Katherine Boehrer 

Join the Movement to Ban FrackingBack in April, the Associated Press reported on the competition between farmers and the natural gas industry in an auction of unallocated water resources. Even then, climatologists calculated that 98 percent of Colorado was in a drought, as low snowpack and warm temperatures persisted. Water users across the state, including farmers, scrambled to secure adequate resources for the coming summer. 

Increasingly, farmers are competing with oil and gas companies as more water intensive drilling practices are used for unconventional drilling and fracking. This year “companies that provide water for hydraulic fracturing at well sites were top bidders on supplies once claimed exclusively by farmers.” Though the industry still uses only a small fraction of the water used for agriculture in the state, many are concerned about a power shift in which drilling companies are more likely to be able to pay for water than farmers. The auction has already seen a rise in average prices, as bidders become more willing to pay extra for the water they need. Read the full article…

Posted in ,,  |  No Comments  | 
July 30th, 2012

National Rally on Fracking Hones In on Governor Cuomo

By Wenonah Hauter

John Fenton from Pavilion, Wyo. and Josh Fox tell Governor Cuomo: Don’t Frack NY (at the Stop the Frack Attack Rally, July 28, 2012.)

Last Saturday at the Stop the Frack Attack rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., you could easily have convinced yourself you were at an anti-fracking rally in Albany. There were so many signs urging people to call Governor Andrew Cuomo that it is clear concerned citizens across the country have their eyes on New York. And it wasn’t only New Yorkers at the rally saying that if Governor Cuomo allows fracking in New York he will never be president. Folks from across the country are looking to Governor Cuomo as our best chance to stop the spread of fracking.

D.C. may be four hours from New York, but in some ways it wasn’t surprising that so many activists from other states are concerned about what Governor Cuomo will do. Fracking is a drilling process that pumps millions of gallons of water laced with chemicals into the ground to obtain oil and natural gas. By now many across the country are familiar with the risks fracking poses to our drinking water, our air and our quality of life. Further, many have seen the disturbing images from Pennsylvania of people who can light their tap water on fire.

It’s no secret to activists from all over that New York is our best chance to make a real stand against the oil and gas companies. Unlike Pennsylvania or Ohio, New York isn’t controlled by extreme right-wing politicians. Perhaps more importantly, the oil and gas companies are not yet completely entrenched in all layers of government in the state like they are in so many other parts of the country. Given all this, it should make banning fracking in New York a pretty simple proposition.

There’s just one problem. Governor Cuomo has presidential aspirations in 2016. If there is one thing we all know about running for president, it’s that it takes a lot of money. The governor thus finds himself in a classic dilemma. On the one hand he doesn’t want to go against the oil and gas companies because he will need their money to run a viable presidential campaign. On the other hand, he can’t afford to completely alienate his base and still win the nomination.

The message in D.C. this weekend was clear. The progressive base in New York, and across America, is adamantly opposed to fracking. It’s time for Governor Cuomo to realize that some things are more important than money. He may think he can’t afford to anger the oil and gas companies just four years before he runs for president, but the reality is he can’t afford to enrage the progressive base by accepting fracking. Governor Cuomo must not allow fracking in any part of New York. 

Posted in ,,,  |  1 Comment  | 
July 20th, 2012

Senate Considers Running Natural Gas Pipeline through NYC

By Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region Director

Originally appeared on EcoWatch.org

Right now, the Senate is weighing whether or not to approve a pipeline through the Gateway National Recreation Area, which covers large portions of Brooklyn.

The Senate is considering HR 2606, a bill allowing construction of a pipeline to transfer flammable natural gas near one of the most densely populated regions of the country. There are of course issues surrounding construction of the pipeline itself, but this project will also deepen New York’s dependence on fracking.

Let’s start with the problems around building a pipeline through New York City. This project will obviously be disruptive to Brooklyn residents, but the pipeline also goes through the Gateway National Recreation Area. This park, constructed for the enjoyment of all New Yorkers, will now face the potential negative ecological effects from the construction and maintenance of this pipeline.  

The environmental risks of this pipeline are clear. But there is also a substantial risk to public health. The risk of explosion is all too real—whether due to human error, a natural disaster or our dependence on companies to regulate themselves. In 2010, a pipeline exploded in Bruno, California, killing eight people and destroying 38 homes. Clearly, the potential for catastrophe is huge when planning a pipeline so close to the most densely populated region in the country.

The biggest problem with this pipeline, though, is it will increase our dependency on fracked natural gas. At a time when we should be moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, we are instead pulling out all the stops to increase our reliance on fossil fuels. Just what does more fracking mean for New York and the country?

More drilling and fracking for shale gas means more contaminated drinking water. Drilling and fracking have led to contaminated drinking water supplies across the country, whether from spills and discharges of fracking wastewater or from underground migration of contaminants into aquifers. Perhaps worse, drilling and fracking leave an underground legacy of pollution that creates long-term risks to water resources.

More fracking means accelerated climate change. Although natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, recent studies have shown that energy from fracked gas is as bad as and potentially worse than coal, in terms of driving global climate change. So we can expectcostly sea level rise, more severe storms and unprecedented droughts and floods even sooner.

More fracking means local air pollution problems, too. Air monitoring in Dish, Texas detected high-levels of carcinogens and neurotoxins after drilling started in that community. Air monitoring in Colorado has demonstrated increased cancer risks for those living near drilling and fracking operations.

The good news is that it’s not too late. There’s still time for Sen. Chuck Schumer to stand up and take a strong stand against this destructive pipeline. Not only will this project pose significant environmental and health risks on its own, it will also deepen our dependence on fracked natural gas, with all the attendant environmental and public health risks. The solution is clear, Schumer should oppose this pipeline and support a ban on fracking.

Posted in ,,  |  2 Comments  | 
July 17th, 2012

ExxonMobil CEO Rants Against People Who Care About the Planet

By Wenonah Hauter

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch

For anyone concerned about climate change, Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil’s CEO, has the fast and easy solution: he wants you to just stop worrying about it. All those statistics, warming trends, rising ocean levels and severe weather events are nothing more than a little “fear factor” according to a speech given by Tillerson last month.

Isn’t Fear Factor a game show in which people engage in risky and irresponsible behavior in the pursuit of money? So maybe what he said is true. Global warming is caused by people like Tillerson who engage in risky and irresponsible behavior in the pursuit of money.

Tillerson accuses environmental and consumer advocacy groups of fear-mongering when it comes to drilling and fracking for oil and gas, and he believes the general public doesn’t have enough aptitude for math and science to comprehend the drilling process or to determine whether or not it’s safe. But the “inconvenient truth” for Tillerson is that the science is not on his side. Two peer-reviewed scientific studies this year -– one in the journal Ground Water and another in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences -– have highlighted that the scientific question is no longer if drilling and fracking will end up contaminating vital aquifers, but when. Furthermore, there is a growing scientific consensus that natural gas is as bad as and may even be worse than coal when it comes to climate change.

But what was truly offensive about the CEO’s recent comments is that he held out fossil fuels like oil and gas as the “God pod’s” (as the executive suite at ExxonMobil’s headquarters is known) Godsend to the world’s poor:

[The poor] need fuel to cook their food on that’s not animal dung. There are more people’s [sic] health being dramatically affected because they don’t even have access to fossil fuels to burn. They’d love to burn fossil fuels.

Contrary to Tillerson’s self-serving missive, people are not dying to use fossil fuels, they’re dying from using fossil fuels. If the resources were available there are many sustainable technologies that could be employed to improve the quality of life for people in the developing world, including cooking. The last thing impoverished people anywhere need is exposure to more toxins.

In fact, the World Health Organization attributes about 2 million deaths per year to air pollution tied mainly to the continuing use of fossil fuels. A recent report put out by the Better Future Project covers a whole host of other detrimental impacts on human health, the environment, global security and the world economy from out-of-control fossil fuel dependence.

The people of the United States are not immune to the heavy burdens caused by fossil fuel use, so it seems likely that those burdens would travel wherever consumers use energy. A National Academy of Sciences study finds that our own addiction to fossil fuels costs the U.S. about $120 billion each year in health costs and results in 24,000 deaths annually in this country alone, and that’s with some of the toughest air pollution controls in the world in place. The human and environmental health toll in developing nations with few or no environmental regulations would rise almost as fast as Tillerson’s profits.

Tillerson believes that the best way to adjust to climate change is not by decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels, but through wondrous feats of engineering. And just when you think the arrogance couldn’t get worse, the CEO of the largest revenue-generating company in the world wants your government and your tax money to create and fund the technological workarounds needed to address the multitude of harms caused by his ongoing peddling of his very profitable product.

Among Rex Tillerson’s other endearing opinions…

  1. The public is ignorant: The industry’s biggest challenge “taking an illiterate public and try to help them understand why we can manage these risks.”
  2. Water scarcity is not a problem (if you can move it around as you wish). “There is plenty of water; it’s just not in all the right places.” 
  3. The media is lazy. “Journalists act irresponsibly when they report on negative impacts of shale gas drilling because it scares the public.” 

If Rex Tillerson really cared about the world’s poor he’d stand up and say what is no longer deniable: the longer we rely on oil, coal and gas, instead of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, the worse our lives will be.

Posted in ,,  |  No Comments  | 
July 13th, 2012

From Pete Seeger, Praise for One Gov. Cuomo and a Fracking Warning for Another

By Seth Gladstone

In the annals of American populist activism, there are few individuals who have been more engaged or been more pervasive than Pete Seeger. His vehement opposition to fracking is a logical stance from the man who has come to define the fight for responsible and responsive government in America.

Seeger, the folk singer, television host and prolific political activist, has penned and performed many of the protest songs that are synonymous with the key social movements of the 20th century. From his musical calls to action with Woody Guthrie and Peter, Paul & Mary during the Vietnam War to his politically-minded comedy routines on network television over the decades, Seeger was out front and in full voice on any number of popular (and sometimes not so popular) causes over the years.

  Read the full article…

Posted in ,,  |  3 Comments  | 
Page 10 of 19« First...8910111213...Last »