March 21st, 2011
A hauling company was recently charged in Pennsylvania with dumping wastewater from fracking into waterways and mine shafts.
You can always count on the natural gas industry to tell you how careful they plan to be with the dangerous chemicals associated with fracking. You can also count on federal legislators to believe that putting regulations in place will be enough to protect the environment and the public from fracking chemicals. Yet, here we are, looking at a newspaper article that proves that careful is never enough. Pennsylvania prosecutors have charged a man for dumping fracking wastewater and sludge into various locations throughout six counties from 2003 to 2009. Robert Allan Shipman of Allan Waste Water Service, Inc., seems to have provided an answer to the question: What happens to the fracking fluid after it’s no longer needed. Read the full article…
March 16th, 2011
Members of the House and the Senate have reintroduced bills to regulate fracking. This is a good step towards protecting consumers from the dangers of hydraulic fracturing and eventually banning it altogether.
Members of the House and Senate have reintroduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, otherwise known as the FRAC Act. Now that the natural gas industry seems to have a solid foothold in the Marcellus Shale region, as well as in the Southwest, federal lawmakers are still attempting to regain some oversight and transparency in fracking operations. But will this third attempt to establish legislation that would properly regulate fracking be enough to ensure safety and protect essential resources, particularly for those who live close to drilling sites? Read the full article…
March 11th, 2011
We need a federal ban to ensure that hydraulic fracturing doesn’t threaten drinking water anywhere in the United States.
If you’re following the fracking debate closely, it’s been a rather busy few weeks chock full of media coverage. Today, Pro Publica published an interview with Benjamin Grumbles, former EPA assistant administrator for water during the Bush years, who suggests that Congress should revisit the exemption of fracking from the Clean Water Act. That’s big news considering the EPA initially declared that fracking did not pose a threat to our drinking water. It’s especially big news for those of us who support an outright ban on fracking, which we are calling for this week.
Fracking threatens our water — water we use for drinking, farming and bathing — and the speed with which the industry is developing drilling sites while federal and local governments slowly figure out what to do is disconcerting. The interview with Grumbles reveals much about the rocky road that has brought us to this point.
Here’s a snapshot of last week’s (Feb 27 – March 4) speed round on fracking: Read the full article…
February 25th, 2011
OMG, it's Mark Ruffalo! At a screening of Gasland, the charming Ruffalo takes time out for a photo with Food & Water Watch staff member Lauren Wright. Ruffalo will be wearing a water drop lapel pin at the Oscars to get people talking about protecting our water. Photo contributed by photographer Ian Hall.
We don’t usually think too much about the Academy Awards around here. (Well, I guess that’s not entirely true since Food Inc. was nominated last year.) But this year, we have good reason to look forward to the good ‘ole Oscars. Gasland, a documentary by Josh Fox about the negative impacts of natural gas drilling or fracking, was nominated for Best Documentary Film. Food & Water Watch regularly sponsors screenings of the film and we’d like to offer Josh a hearty congratulations for creating a powerful film and for bringing attention to this critical issue. We are proud to be associated with this project.
Not to brag or anything, but we have some interesting news to share about a recent bonding experience with another nominee, Mark Rufflao, who will be walking the red carpet on Sunday thanks to his supporting role in “The Kids are Alright.”
We know that there are many who might suggest that Mark is a rather handsome fellow, one who makes causally flummoxed look positively polished — he is. And the lucky few who meet him might offer that he’s exuberant and charming — yep, he’s that too. But he’s also quite the activist when it comes to something we at Food & Water Watch hold very dear: water. We had the chance to talk briefly with both Mark and Josh at a screening of Gasland in the District of Columbia last week. They have been busy organizing support for a ban on fracking in New York State where Mark lives with his family. Mark is also trying to make a difference by promoting the issues of protecting clean water and water as a human right. Read the full article…
February 24th, 2011
The Delaware River Basin provides water for drinking and food production to 15 million people. Fracking in this region could carry long-term consequences.
Two of our organizers were in Trenton, New Jersey today, attending the third of three hearings on the issue of fracking in the Delaware River Basin. The hearings, hosted by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), were established to provide opportunities for the members of the public to comment on the effects of natural gas drilling in this portion of the Marcellus Shale region. Food & Water Watch Eastern Region Director Jim Walsh and organizer Karina Wilkinson gave two statements and joined many others who are urging the commission to ban natural gas drilling.
The Delaware River Basin provides water for drinking and food production to 15 million people in the northeast — that’s 5 percent of the nation’s population. But energy companies don’t see the basin as a sustainer of life; they see it as a source of enormous profits. Their plans to drill for natural gas in this region could carry extreme long-term consequences for people in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Read the full article…
February 8th, 2011
The vetoed natural gas pipeline project in New Jersey would have transported gas from the ocean to shore over approximately 53 miles of pipeline.
Check off a small but critical victory for our organizers in New Jersey. Governor Christie announced that he would veto the construction of a liquefied natural gas port off the coast of New Jersey. Liberty Natural Gas was planning the project, which would have included an onshore pipeline (9.2 miles) and a submerged pipeline (44 miles) to carry gas from an underwater port to the shore.
Christie’s quote of the day sounds like it could have come straight from one of our own press releases: “Offshore LNG poses an unacceptable risk to the state’s residents, natural resources, economy, and security.”
Congratulations to our Jersey crew for their part in stopping the project. This is a campaign they have been working on for some time, and it’s helped develop our program and presence in New Jersey.
Congratulations to our New Jersey organizers on a great victory!
December 21st, 2010
Last week, soon-to-be-former New York Governor David Paterson surprised many when he vetoed the fracking moratorium and signed an executive order that creates loopholes that could allow some kinds of fracking to continue. Paterson explained that, “Enacting this legislation would put people out of work…,” referring to jobs associated with drilling. But, there’s another labor force that’s threatened by fracking: upstate New York farmers. Read the full article…
December 14th, 2010
Outgoing New York Governor David Paterson vetoed the hydraulic fracturing moratorium legislation, going against the votes of the State Legislature, and issued an executive order that allows fracking for specific types of drilling.
Lame duck and outgoing New York Governor David Paterson made a surprising move over the weekend when he chose to veto the hydraulic fracturing moratorium legislation approved by the State Legislature and instead issued an executive order that allows fracking for specific types of drilling. While the moratorium on new drilling will be extended, which is good, the moratorium is only applied to hydraulic fracturing for horizontal drilling, which is bad. Paterson’s veto weakens regulations, makes things a bit more confusing and creates opportunities for the continued use of hydraulic fracturing for vertical drilling— just what energy companies were wishing for this holiday season. Read the full article…
November 18th, 2010
Pittsburgh has become the first place in Pennsylvania to ban the drilling of natural gas. On November 16, the Pittsburgh City Council voted unanimously to establish the “first-in-the-nation ordinance,” to prevent drilling of natural gas — also known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking — within the city limits. This is in direct conflict with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which permits drilling. Some point to the promise of economic opportunities and jobs that the natural gas industry could bring to the region . But many believe that those opportunities are not guaranteed, and that the risks of drilling far outweigh the benefits. Pittsburgh demonstrated that it would rather invest in a long-term future, one that is free from health and environmental risks. Read the full article…
November 10th, 2010
The E.P.A. subpoenaed nine drilling companies, including Halliburton, to find out exactly what chemicals they use for hydraulic fracturing. Eight of them, not including Halliburton, are cooperating and will provide the requested information by early December. Halliburton replied that it will “endeavor to complete its response” by the end of January. Does Halliburton think they are an exception to the rule? Oh, wait… they actually are the exception. Read the full article…