By Bruce Baizel
August 12, 2014
You can’t say that the politics of oil and gas in Colorado have been dull lately.
Last week, on the day that signatures for four statewide oil and gas ballot initiatives were due, Governor Hickenlooper announced with Representative Polis that the four initiatives would be withdrawn as part of a political deal.
August 12, 2014
What does it mean to be 'surrounded' by the fracking industry and oil and gas development? Is it a few wells in your neighborhood? A compressor station in your town?
For Pam Judy and her family in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania it's all that and more.
The Judy family’s home is 0.21 miles away from the closest well and 0.16 miles away from the Cumberland/Henderson compressor station. Within one mile of their home there are 16 unconventional and 21 conventional wells.
August 7, 2014
When a friend recently asked me how work was going, I told him about an investigative research project that Earthworks was finishing up. He responded with a quote by writer Kurt Vonnegut: “Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do the maintenance.”
That about sums up the central conclusion of our new report, Blackout in the Gas Patch: How Pennsylvania Residents are Left in the Dark on Health and Enforcement—that as Pennsylvania’s government rushes to expand fracking, it is failing to protect air, water, and health. In other words, the state is more than willing to build the gas and oil industry, but is far less interested in making sure it functions well.
August 6, 2014
This week’s devastating tailings dam failure at the Mount Polley copper mine in British Columbia released vast amounts of mine waste into streams, rivers and lakes in the headwaters of the Fraser River watershed. It will be some time before we know the full consequences of this mine failure, but it’s impossible not to draw comparisons with the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Both mines are large, open pit, copper porphyry mines at the headwaters of important salmon streams.
Ironically, the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP), the company behind the proposed Pebble Mine, has repeatedly pointed to the Fraser River as a watershed where mining and fish can coexist. Check out this video.
Even more so, Knight Piesold, the firm that provided designs for the tailings pond lifts at Mount Polley, also provided the designs for the tailings pond for the proposed Pebble Mine that PLP submitted to Alaska regulators.
August 4, 2014
Last week the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released their critique of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulation of oil and gas waste injection wells. The GAO found that EPA does not perform sufficient oversight and they inconsistently evaluate how states regulate this activity. Even when EPA wants to conduct oversight, GAO noted that EPA sometimes couldn’t because they never incorporated many state rules in to their federal regulations.