Category Archives: International News

Life around New Mexico’s gas wells: how fracking is turning the air foul | The Guardian

fracking poisons the air

Shirley ‘Sug’ McNall in front of a production gas well in Aztec, New Mexico. “We live in a toxic community,” she says. Photograph: Jeffrey Barbee

Leaked methane and other toxic gases are polluting the air with serious health risks for local communities whose fortunes depend on oil and gas in the shale boom state.

“My daughter has asthma. She is not the only one around here, something is wrong here, our air quality shouldn’t be this way.”

Shirley “Sug” McNall is leaning up against a fence staring at a natural gas well about 40 meters from a playground behind the primary school where her daughter used to teach in Aztec, New Mexico. She believes that the gas industry and the explosion of fracking in her state is responsible for serious impacts on local air quality which are affecting people’s health.

Her fears were boosted last year when Nasa satellites identified a methane bubble over Aztec visible from space. The bubble suggests that during drilling and production the natural gas industry is not capturing all of the gas they unlock from deep in the ground and significant amounts of this methane and other chemicals are leaking into the sky. McNall believes that other more dangerous gasses are being released too.

Northern New Mexico’s San Juan county has been the centre of intense fossil fuel extraction for decades. Here, oil, gas and coal are all pulled out of the ground. Until now, many people blamed only the coal for the bad air. That was before people like McNall and three of her friends – who call themselves the “Four Grams” – got involved and started waking people up to the danger of the 20,000 wells in their community.

Please click here to continue to original article on The Guardian website.

It’s official: New York State bans fracking, citing risks to land and health

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 11.52.06

More good news! 

New York State has officially banned the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas, citing its potential impact on health and the environment. The state has long had a de facto ban on the practice, known as fracking, which has unlocked vast quantities of natural gas and natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale fields in neighbouring Pennsylvania and Ohio.

In a statement released Monday, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation spelled out a number of concerns associated with shale gas development – including the impact on ground water and surface water from leaks and spills, and air pollution from increased truck traffic. It concluded there are “unavoidable adverse environmental impacts” and “significant uncertainty” remaining regarding the level of risk to public health that would result from permitting high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York. And hence, Governor Andrew Cuomo officially prohibited the practice.

Please click here to continue to original article 

US EPA report confirms fracking pollutes water

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 08.23.47

Despite investigation weakened by oil and gas industry obstructionism, EPA confirms what communities living with fracking have known for almost a decade | Earthworks.org

June 4, 2015

Washington DC — In a watershed moment, today EPA announced fracking does pollute drinking water with the release of  the draft final version of its study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources. Congress commissioned the study in 2010 in response to increasing public questions about the risks posed to drinking water by the unconventional oil and gas boom. In 2004, an EPA study concluded that hydraulic fracturing does not threaten drinking water. From that conclusion, Congress exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The 2004 study was maligned within the EPA and by independent scientists. The current study was intended to revisit the conclusions of the 2004 study. “Today EPA confirmed what communities living with fracking have known for years, fracking pollutes drinking water,” said Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel. She continued, “Now the Obama administration, Congress, and state governments must act on that information to protect our drinking water, and stop perpetuating the oil and gas industry’s myth that fracking is safe.”

Please click here to continue reading the Earthworks article.

Visit the EPA website to read the report in full – please click here

World Health Organisation on fracking: Outlining serious health/environmental hazards

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 08.15.25

To read the WHO’s SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH SECTORAL BRIEFING in full please click here.

New study raises possible link between fracking and radon levels

fracking radon

Radonland: Fracking Radon

The Marcellus shale is particularly rich in radium and radon. Solution mining it via high volume fracking is tantamount to mining radium and radon. Increases in radon are now so common in Pennsylvania that even the EPA is proposing to something about it.

Fracking Link? High Radon Levels Found in 300,000 Pennsylvania Homes

April 9, 2015 – Levels of radon, an invisible, odorless radioactive gas, have been rising measurably in Pennsylvania since the controversial practice of fracking started there, researchers reported Thursday. The study cannot directly link fracking with the raised radon levels. But whatever is going on, residents need to be aware of the rising levels of the gas and take action to get it out of their homes, the researchers say. Radon levels were higher in homes near where there were more of these wells.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., killing an estimated 21,000 people a year. It occurs naturally in many types of rocks, and many people who have bought or sold a home will be familiar with the radon test on the basement or ground floor. Pennsylvania has notoriously high levels of radon, and Joan Casey of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues set out to assess all the different sources of radon on Pennsylvania homes over time.

32-page Report: Predictors of Indoor Radon Concentrations in Pennsylvania, 1989–2013

Fracking & Polyacrylamide: Crucial research by Prof. David Smythe | TalkFracking.org

Cuadrilla say the only chemical they use during #fracking is Polyacrylamide, which they claim is completely safe.  However, Polyacrylamide is made of Acrylamide; a highly toxic chemical. Even the smallest amount of water contamination can lead to cancer, nerve problems and decrease of lifespan.  http://www.davidsmythe.org/frackland/?p=66 #TalkFracking

Crucial research by Prof. David Smythe…this is essential information to counter the ‘only safe chemicals’ BS constantly repeated by Lord John Browne, Francis Egan, Gerwyn Llewellyn Williams and other ‘Mother-Frackers!’

#TalkFracking
Cuadrilla say the only chemical they use during fracking is Polyacrylamide, which they claim is completely safe. However, Polyacrylamide is made of Acrylamide; a highly toxic chemical. Even the smallest amount of water contamination can lead to cancer, nerve problems and decrease of lifespan.

New York bans fracking over ‘significant health risks’ | Reuters

New York state will ban hydraulic fracturing after a long-awaited report concluded that the oil and gas extraction method poses health risks, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration said on Wednesday.

New York Environmental Commissioner Joseph Martens said at a cabinet meeting he will issue an order early next year banning fracking, which has been under a moratorium since 2008. Once that happens, New York will join Vermont as the only states to completely prohibit fracking.

The decision ends what has been a fierce debate in New York over the benefits and pitfalls of fracking, a process that involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into a well to extract oil or gas. Many in the state saw gas drilling as a key economic resource while others argued it was too dangerous.

The state’s health commissioner, Howard Zucker, said there is not enough scientific information to conclude that fracking is safe.

The potential risks are too great, in fact not even fully known, and relying on the limited data presently available would be negligent on my part,” Zucker said.

Please click here to continue to the full article on Reuters.com.

Congressman Introduces Bill to Ban Fracking on Public Lands | Food & Water Watch.Org

fracking contaminates water and damages health

Drilling and fracking come with many problems, including water contamination, air pollution, earthquakes and massive amounts of methane leakage – something that could have catastrophic impacts on the climate. Workers on fracking sites are also subject to accidents, exposure to toxic chemicals and terrible working conditions. These issues are largely impossible to regulate, as evidenced by a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, which found that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to inspect more than half of the specified “high priority” wells, which required more attention to prevent water and environmental contamination, drilled from 2009 through 2012.

“Federal lands should be preserved for the public good,” said Representative Mark Pocan. “There are serious safety concerns around fracking and it should not be allowed on our pristine public lands specifically set aside for conservation. As we learn more about fracking’s impact on the environment and people living near fracking wells, one thing is clear, the process can be harmful and the effects are not fully understood. We should not allow short-term economic gain to harm our environment and endanger workers.”

“I share Rep. Pocan’s serious concern about hydraulic fracturing, which has been shown to contaminate water sources, increase methane emissions, and even to cause earthquakes,” said Representative Jan Schakowsky. We owe it to our children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren, to ensure the protection of public lands. This bill – in banning fracking on those lands – helps us follow through on that important promise.”

Please click here to continue to full article on Food & Water Watch.Org

”When they reach 500 wells, we won’t have any land for our animals. They stole what is ours.” | Truth-Out.org

Oil driller in General Roca, Rio Negro, Argentina.

Oil driller in General Roca, Rio Negro, Argentina.

Shale Oil Fuels Indigenous Conflict in Argentina

Campo Maripe, Argentina - The boom in unconventional fossil fuels has revived indigenous conflicts in southwest Argentina. Twenty-two Mapuche communities who live on top of Vaca Muerta, the geological formation where the reserves are located, complain that they were not consulted about the use of their ancestral lands, both “above and below ground.”“More or less 160 wells have been drilled here,” Campo said. “When they reach 500 wells, we won’t have any land for our animals. They stole what is ours.”

“They say fracking and everything aboveground doesn’t pollute…maybe it’ll be a while but we’ll start seeing cancer, skin cancer, because of all the pollution, and we’ll also die of thirst because there won’t be any water to drink,” said Mabel Campo.

Please click here to continue reading original article on Truth-Out.org

Fracking site accident leaves 1 dead, 2 injured in Colorado

EU Fracking Boom Becoming Less Likely | OilPrice.com

Anti-Fracking EU

‘The farmers understand – the corporations using fracturing liquid that poses a threat to ground-water reservoirs have a tendency to waltz in, make their money, and leave, while their children have to grow up on poisoned land’

Pro-fracking campaign in the global media is fading fast. A year or two ago the extraction method suitable for the Arizona desert was presented as a key component of the EU’s energy security policy by high-ranking officials in the European Commission. Many large corporations that announced an influx of investment into Eastern European fracking projects between 2010 and 2013 are now gradually reducing the scope of their planned work. Their decision was prompted by environmental and political problems that receive insufficient coverage in the industry media. It’s becoming clear that fracking technology can’t be brought to the EU “as is” from the United States.

Recently published data by Rice University, Texas indicates that simple recycling of the tainted waste water is not safe, OilPrice.com writes. A year or two ago supporters of hydraulic fracturing used to preach about “green innovations in the shale revolution” with the passion of small-town televangelists, but now, after the publication of new data, they have switched tactics and simply remain silent about environmental problems. Yet concerned citizens of New York City are more aware. “Making fracking safe is simply not possible, not with the current technology, or with the inadequate regulations being proposed,” Louis Allstadt, former executive vice president of Mobil Oil, said during a news conference in Albany called by the anti-fracking group Elected Officials to Protect New York.

Please click here to continue reading original article on OilPrice.com

France Cements Fracking Ban | The Guardian

A law prohibiting fracking for shale gas has been upheld by France’s constitutional court, citing environmental protection

Anti-fracking protesters in La Petite Brosse, outside Paris. Photograph: Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Images

Anti-fracking protesters in La Petite Brosse, outside Paris. Photograph: Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Images

France’s constitutional court has upheld a ban on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the law against the energy exploration technique known as “fracking” is a valid means of protecting the environment. The court in Paris said on its website on Friday that the 2011 law “conforms to the constitution” and is not “disproportionate”.

France banned fracking in 2011 and cancelled exploration licences held by companies including Schuepbach and Total SA, the country’s biggest oil company, after protests by environmental groups. “It’s a judicial victory but also an environmental and political victory,” French environment minister, Philippe Martin, said today after the ruling. “With this decision the ban on hydraulic fracturing is absolute.”

Please click here to continue reading original article on TheGuardian.com

 

Workers at Fracked Wells Exposed to Benzene, CDC Warns Amid Mounting Evidence of Shale Jobs’ Dangers

Shale jobs are deadly

 

For years, the oil and gas industry has worked to convince Americans that the rush to drill shale wells across the country will not only provide large corporations with lavish profits, but will also create enormous numbers of attractive and high-paid jobs, transforming the economies of small towns and cities that greenlight drilling. The industry’s numbers are often picked up by policy-makers and politicians who back drilling, in part because talk of job growth is an especially alluring idea in the wake of the 2008 ‘financial collapse’.

But numerous independent studies have conclude that the industry vastly overstated the number of jobs that fracking has created, and that the economic benefits have been overblown. A growing body of research suggests that not only does the industry create fewer jobs than promised, the jobs that are created come with serious dangers for the workers who take them. Research made public late last month suggests that some of those jobs may be even more hazardous to workers than previously believed, calling into question the true benefits of the boom.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released preliminary results from its workplace hazard evaluations at unconventional oil and gas wells – and they show that workers can be exposed to high levels of benzene during fracking flowback. A striking 15 of 17 samples were over workplace limits set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH standards are often used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to gauge whether a chemical exposure is illegally high.

Please click here to continue reading original article on Desmogblog.com

Study shows health risks to babies born near fracking sites | ShaleMarkets.com

Preliminary Studies Show Potential Health Risk For Babies Born Near Fracking Sites.

Fracking health effects on babies

Can fracking operations cause health problems or birth defects in babies who are born near wells? Preliminary scientific research says that it might and that more research needs to be done as oil and gas production booms across the country.

According to a report in Bloomberg News, scientists are calling for more research into how the process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, impacts the environment, and how those impacts interact with genetics in unborn children living near wells. Fracking is a controversial yet popular technique used to stimulate natural gas wells underground by inject high-pressure water, sand, and chemicals miles-deep into subsurface rock, effectively cracking or “fracturing” it, making the gas easier to extract.

Fracking has been so controversial in part because of how quickly the practice is spreading in the United States without much scientific information regarding the potential impact on public health. A good number of studies look at the environmental impacts of fracking on air and water supplies, but there are few that look directly at the long-term health and quality of life of nearby residents.

Please click here to continue reading original article on ShaleMarkets.com.

Doctors Outraged By Claims That Health Officials Ignored Residents Sickened By Drilling | ThinkProgress.Org

frackcancer

Pennsylvania doctors, nurses, and health policy experts are calling for a statewide investigation into claims that the state Department of Health has a policy of telling its employees never to talk to residents who complain of negative health effects from fracking, according to a letter sent to state Gov. Tom Corbett and other elected officials on Tuesday.

The letter — spearheaded by the groups Physicians for Social Responsibility, Alliance of Nurses for Health Environments, and PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center, and signed by more than 400 individual health professionals — says doctors and nurses statewide are “very concerned” about a story published in NPR’s StateImpact Pennsylvania this June. In that story, two retired employees of the health department said they were instructed not to return phone calls from citizens who said they may be experiencing sickness from fracking and other natural gas development.

Please click here to continue reading full article.

Audit of fracking fluids highlights data deficiencies | Chemistry World

fracking chemicals dangerous and toxic to health

A US survey of almost 250 chemicals used in fracking has identified potentially harmful compounds and exposed a lack of information about them that is hampering efforts to understand fracking’s environmental impact…
What information is the government not releasing, what has it to hide?
Keep Britain Safe, keep saying NO to Fracking until it is BANNED

 Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, involves pumping high-pressure water into shale formations kilometres beneath the ground to break the formations apart, releasing the gas and oil they contain. In the US, fracking operations have regenerated the domestic oil and gas industry, boosting production and driving down energy prices. The US chemical industry has also benefited from cheaper feedstocks, such as ethene, giving it a competitive edge over other regions.Governments and chemical companies in other countries are hopeful that fracking might be similarly fruitful outside the US. However, the potential environmental costs of fracking have also brought criticism and resistance from campaign groups and the public. In particular, the effects of chemical additives used as part of the fracking process have raised concerns – formulations whose precise ingredients are often protected as proprietary information.

Please click here to continue reading original article on the rsc.org website.

Germany proposes BAN on fracking

Fracking-Threatens-Quality-of-German-Beer

”Protecting drinking water and health holds the highest value for us.” – Barbara Hendricks, German Environment Minister

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, in conjunction with Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs, plan to propose a partial moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for the next seven years. Please click here to read original article on the Environmental Working Group website.

New York’s highest court upholds rights of towns to BAN FRACKING | EarthJustice.org

New York upholds right of towns to ban fracking

HUGE NEWS! In a resounding victory that will ripple across the nation, New York’s highest court has just upheld the right of towns to ban fracking within their borders! Our attorneys represented the small town of Dryden, NY in a furious legal battle with the oil and gas industry, and in the end justice prevailed!

Dryden’s defiant stance in the war against fracking has already inspired hundreds of communities across the country – from Texas to California – to enact their own fracking bans. The movement is catching fire but the oil and gas industry has tried time and time again to extinguish the people’s will. We hope this huge court victory in New York will embolden even more communities across America to stand up to fracking even when their federal and state officials refuse to!

Please click here to continue reading original article on the Earth Justice website.

Another disaster, another reason to BAN FRACKING | 7 News

Crews Battle Fire at Natural Gas Well Pad

4079393_G

Calls came into the 7 newsroom just after 10 o’clock Saturday morning, on what we thought may have been a natural gas well pad fire. Once we arrived on scene we were told that wasn’t how the fire started. Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles. 

We quickly learned that we couldn’t get close to the sight, because the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol evacuated residents who live on Long Ridge Road. About 20-25 homes were evacuated.

Please click here to continue to original article on the 7 News website.

Residents near fracking poisoned in their sleep | TXSHARON

Fracking poisons people

New research from the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SWPA-EHP) used an aggressive indoor air monitoring program to show that particulate matter spikes at night while residents are sleeping inside homes near fracking-enabled drilling.

This is not news to anyone who lives near fracking sites. They know the air emissions always and conveniently get much worse at night. In Texas it’s very difficult to get the TCEQ to respond to complaints at night. When they respond the next day or in the next few days, the air has cleared.

Please click here to continue reading original article on TexasSharon.com.

Tagged

Scientists: Tests prove fracking to blame for flaming Texas wells | International News

 

For the past two years, News 8 has aired a series of stories of flames shooting from water wells in Parker County. Dangerous levels of methane gas somehow found its way into the water supply.

Please click here to continue to original news article (link will open in new window).

FOUR MILE landslide…at FRACKING operation, Colorado

The title of this article pretty much sums up the facts.

A massive 4 mile X 2 mile X 250ft deep landslide, which has left three people missing, occurred just East of Collbran Colorado. The landslide area contains the only nearby FRACKING INJECTION WELL operation. Indeed it is the only injection well operation for miles, which is DIRECTLY at the landslide location, and explains why/how men were sent out to check on the location….

The people got the power! Fracking suspended in Bentley victory | ABC News

Bentley Blockade

Metgasco drilling licence WITHDRAWN…due to lack of public consultation. If same is applied in UK…ALL Unconventional Gas Licences WILL be WITHDRAWN!

Below article from ABC news: 

Whispers started circulating around the Bentley protest site at dawn.

Just after 7am the Minister for Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts announced that the NSW Office of Coal Seam Gas had suspended Metgasco’s Rosella exploration licence.

Mr Roberts said the company had failed to undertake genuine and effective community consultation, as required under the licence.

On the same morning he also announced that he had referred the approval process for the well to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) after receiving information concerning shareholdings and interests in Metgasco Limited.

New South Wales Police announced shortly after that it had cancelled an operation involving up to 800 police, scheduled for early next week when Metgasco’s rig was expected to arrive at the drill site.

The news came as sheer disbelief to hundreds of protesters who have been camping on the neighbouring farm for several months.

It was followed by jubilation; singing, dancing and joyful embraces.

Campaign organisers claim the decision is a direct result of their persistence.

Jill Keogh has been protesting at the Bentley Blockade for more than two months.

“I am really passionate about looking after the water and the air and all of those natural systems for my great grandchildren, my grandchildren and my children,” the 76-year-old Federal woman says.

Please click here to read original article on the ABC news website (link will open in new window).

‘Straight From The Horse’s Mouth’: Former Oil Exec Says Fracking Not Safe | MP News

Retired Mobil VP confirms technology is dangerous and untested.

In a message “straight from the horse’s mouth,” a former oil executive on Tuesday urged New York state to pass a ban on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, saying, ‘it is not safe.’

“Making fracking safe is simply not possible, not with the current technology, or with the inadequate regulations being proposed,” Louis Allstadt, former executive vice president of Mobil Oil, said during a news conference in Albany called by the anti-fracking group Elected Officials to Protect New York. Up until his retirement in 2000, Allstadt spent 31 years at Mobil, running its marketing and refining division in Japan and managing Mobil’s worldwide supply, trading and transportation operations. After retiring to Cooperstown, NY, Allstadt said he began studying fracking after friends asked him if he thought it would be safe to have gas wells drilled by nearby Lake Otsego, where Allstadt has a home. Since that time, he’s become a vocal opponent of the shale oil and gas drilling technique.

“Now the industry will tell you that fracking has been around a long time. While that is true, the magnitude of the modern technique is very new,” Allstadt said, adding that a fracked well can require 50 to 100 times the water and chemicals compared to non-fracked wells.

He also noted that methane, up to 30 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, is found to be leaking from fracked wells “at far greater rates than were previously estimated.”

Please click here to read original article.

Family awarded $3 MILLION after court finds fracking left them sick with horror side effects | MailOnline

Severe: Emma would wake up covered in blood because of the nosebleeds she suffered which began in 2008

 

  • The Parr family of Decatur, Texas, first complained of falling ill in 2008 – after Aruba Petroleum began fracking operations near to their ranch
  • Bob and Lisa Parr and their daughter Emma developed nosebleeds, nausea, rashes and asthma
  • Some of their livestock were born with deformities after the Parr’s land was contaminated
  • They launched a lawsuit against the energy firm – which went to trial
  • The jury sided with the Parr family – a first in fracking lawsuits in the US

A Texas family have won a nearly £3 million judgement against an oil giant after claiming that fracking operations near their 40-acre ranch left them suffering severe health side-effects. In what is believed to be the first successful legal action against a shale operator, Bob and Lisa Parr sued Aruba Petroleum for damages for a raft of illness they and their daughter Emma have suffered from for almost six years. They convinced a jury that the company’s hydraulic fracturing operations had contaminated their water and land in Decatur leaving them suffering nosebleeds, nausea and rashes.

Please click here to continue to the full article  (link will open in new window)

Methane emissions from fracking vastly underestimated by EPA – study

AFP Photo / David McNew

The Environmental Protection Agency is under fire for underestimating the amount of methane gas emitted during natural gas operations, including fracking, thanks to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The study has 13 co-authors from several academic and research institutions, and used an aircraft to identify large sources of methane and quantify emission rates in southwestern Pennsylvania in June 2012. The authors discovered that emissions rates per second were 1,000 times higher than those estimated by the EPA for the same time period.

Please click here to continue to original article

Ohio: Direct links between fracking and earthquakes confirmed | Alternet

A high pressure gas line crosses over a canal in an oil field over the Monterey Shale formation where gas and oil extraction using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is on the verge of a boom on March 23, 2014 near Lost Hills, Calif.

Ohio has been investigating recent tremors near Youngstown, in the northwestern part of the state. The geologists found that the high-pressure injection of water and fracking compounds into the underground rock formation known as the Utica Shale have likely stressed a previously unknown fault. Please click here to continue reading (link will open in new tab).

The 10 Scariest Chemicals Used In Fracking | Business Insider

fracking well

In 2005 the Bush administration and Congress used the study to justify legislation of the “Halliburton loophole,” which exempts hydraulic fracturing from Safe Drinking Water Act. Legislation also exempted the practice, used in 90 percent of U.S. natural gas wells, from the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.

ProPublica investigations, however, found fracking to be the common thread in more than 1,000 cases of water contamination across seven states, including dozens of cases of well failures in which the concrete or steel meant to protect aquifers cracked under high pressure.

A 2011 congressional report on the chemicals used in hydraulic fracking, states that the 14 leading hydraulic fracturing companies in the U.S. injected 10.2 million gallons of more than 650 products that contained chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or listed as hazardous air pollutants.

Please click here to read original article

Germany’s Environment Minister: ‘Make Fracking Illegal’

68447acc03f43f174738c8570800e00794a9a63a82e9f724127820b9eb94baea

 

Germany’s environment minister has called for the controversial gas extraction technique known as “fracking” to be made illegal. Her comments came ahead of an emergency energy summit.

The country’s 16 state premiers were set to meet on Tuesday evening in Berlin in an attempt to smooth over disagreements around the financing of the country’s switch over to renewable energy, known as the Energiewende. Fracking involves blasting water mixed with sand and chemicals at high pressure into rocks, releasing the gas.

“Unlike the USA, our country is densely populated and small,” Hendricks told the Passauer Neue Presse on Tuesday. She added that not only would a successful commercial fracking industry in Germany be “wishful thinking” but that “a rethinking of our energy policy should take us away from fossil fuels – no matter where they come from.”

Please click here to continue to original article (link will open in new window)

France Upholds Ban on Fracking | The New York Times

1383306_10153361137630301_1612865239_n

BRAVO, FRANCE! In a huge blow to fracking, France’s highest court has just upheld the country’s ban on fracking, defeating a legal challenge from an American company.

Schuepbach Energy, a US-based company, tried to overturn the French Parliament’s decision to ban fracking, but the high court’s ruling ensures that fracking will have no place in France. The stunning defeat is the latest reminder that unlike the US, fracking is facing an uphill battle in Europe, where growing unease over environmental concerns has led a number of governments to rein in the practice.

To read the featured article from the New York Times, please click here (link will open in new window).

The Fracking Industry’s Contempt for the Public Is Finally Coming to Light | Alternet | Alison Levy

Exxon CEO and unlikely ‘fractivist’ Rex Tillerson
Photo: World Economic Forum

Recent disclosures reveal little else but a interest in making profits.  

Phrases like, “natural gas,” “cleaner than coal,” “energy independence,” and “radical environmentalists” were deployed to create a popular mandate for shale gas development, and to discount fracking critics. While it seems likely that gas-industry spin doctors honed these deft marketing terms prior to the nationwide explosion in fracking, neither reporters nor the public have been privy to the behind-the-scenes machinations, until now. This past week a leak, a report and a lawsuit have given a rare glimpse of what the gas industry really thinks about the public (easily manipulated), environmentalists (extremely effective) and fracking (not in my backyard). Click here to continue reading (link will open in new window).

Exxon CEO: Don’t frack in my backyard | RT

Exxon Mobil CEO and Chairman Rex Tillerson.(Reuters / Kevin Lamarque )

The CEO of ExxonMobil – the top producer of natural gas in the US – has joined a lawsuit that challenges the construction of a water tower connected to hydraulic fracturing operations near his Texas home, given that it may reduce the property value. Click here to continue reading (link will open in new window).

Fracking CEO claims fracking is safe…before filing lawsuit to stop fracking near his own home

Executive fracker

Exxon CEO Joins Lawsuit Against Fracking Project Because It Will Devalue His $5 Million Property
by Rebecca Leber | EcoWatch

As ExxonMobil’s CEO, it’s Rex Tillerson’s job to promote the hydraulic fracturing enabling the recent oil and gas boom, and fight regulatory oversight. The oil company is the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S., relying on the controversial drilling technology to extract it.

The exception is when Tillerson’s $5 million property value might be harmed. Tillerson has joined a lawsuit that cites fracking’s consequences in order to block the construction of a 160-foot water tower next to his and his wife’s Texas home.

Read the full story by clicking here (link will open in new window).

Shale gas drilling’s dirty secret is out | Josh Fox | Guardian.com

Workers at a natural gas well site near Burlington, Pennsylvania, in April 2010.

Workers at a natural gas well site near Burlington, Pennsylvania. Residents in Dimock, PA are convinced their water has been poisoned by fracking. Photograph: Ralph Wilson/AP Photo

The EPA’s findings about fracking’s contamination of ground water have sent a shockwave through a gas industry in denial | Josh Fox | The Guardian.com.

Read full article here (link will open in new window).

Tweets by @frackfreewalkdn