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DOE shale gas report: a potential blueprint for action

By Lauren Pagel

August 11, 2011

Energy Department logoToday the Department of Energy's shale gas advisory panel formed at the request of President Obama issued its interim report.

Frankly, it s better than we expected. Given the lack of community representation amongst the panel, we were concerned that the panel would ignore the obvious negative impacts of natural gas in favor of industry rhetoric.

Instead, the panel recognized the serious impacts that shale gas production has on water, air and public health.

We hope that this report is a wake up call to the Obama administration, and that they begin to pay attention to both the panel recommendations and the recent history of inadequate state attempts to regulate natural gas production. This report should serve as a blueprint for responsible oversight of shale gas drilling.

Three of the most important recommendations of the interim report:

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Tagged with: fracking, hydraulic fracturing, regulation, energy department, shale gas panel


Over 80 jewelry companies now signatories of the Golden Rules

By Nick Magel

August 9, 2011

Gold rings

Four new jewelry retailers have announced their decision to shun irresponsibly mined gold and seek cleaner sources of gold and precious metals.

Brilliance Jewelry, Since1910.com, Jon R. Fox Jewellers, and Do Amore Jewelery, joined the other 77 jewelry companies and retailers in signing the No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules for responsible sourcing of precious metals.

The list of Golden Rules signatories now includes more than 80 jewelry retailers representing over $14 billion in annual US jewelry sales, or nearly a quarter of total sales.

"The world is a different place then it was when we were founded in 1910. It is the responsibility of all of us to see that it remains a clean and humane environment for future generations." -- Michael Gross, President of Since1910.com.

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Tagged with: dirty gold, jewelry retailers, golden rules, jewelry


Congressional threats to air, water will return in the fall

By Lauren Pagel

August 5, 2011

U.S. Capitol DomeThis week, Congress adjourned for their month long August recess without voting on the Interior and Environment appropriations bill that included dozens of anti-environmental amendments. These amendments threatened wild lands, clean air, clean water and public health. Many of you spoke out against this unprecedented assault, and for that I thank you.

Unfortunately, the fight is not over. When Congress returns in the fall, they will once again turn to the appropriations process and the anti-environmental riders that now seem to always go along with that process.

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Tagged with: congress, grand canyon, uranium, department of interior, anti-environmental riders, appropriations


Anglo American suing to prevent local Alaskans from voting on Pebble Mine

By Bonnie Gestring

August 3, 2011

Although Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll has repeatedly promised that the company wouldn't go forward with the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay if local communities don't support the mine, the company is suing to prevent local Alaskans from voting on a ballot initiative in October about whether they want the mine.  (See the ad from Alaska natives urging her to keep her promise.)

The ballot measure, if approved, would prevent the planning commission from issuing a development permit to any large resource extraction activity that would have a significant adverse impact on salmon-producing streams. Ironically, Cynthia Carroll has also promised that the mine wouldn't go forward if it would harm salmon. 

The issue is of international significance.  The massive mine is proposed at the headwaters of Bristol Bay in the Bristol Bay Fishery Reserve - home to the world's largest and most valuable wild salmon fishery, which produces roughly 50% of the world's commercial supply of wild salmon.  A recent peer reviewed risk assessment found  concluded that the risks to wild salmon populations from such mining are very high, and that it is cause for significant concern regarding the long- term abundance and sustainability of salmon in the region.

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Tagged with: bristol bay, anglo american, pebble, cynthia carroll


A Day in the Gas Patch: What Happened Today in Argyle Texas

By Sharon Wilson

August 3, 2011

Yesterday, just before I left to speak at the Dallas Drilling Task Force public meeting, I received an email from the ABCAlliance. The contents of that email changed what I planned to say to the task force.

Here's what I said: I am Sharon Wilson. I live at XXX. I lived for sixteen years in Wise County where fracking the Barnett Shale was born. I worked in the oil and gas industry for twelve years. I now work for EARTHWORKS' Oil and Gas Accountability Project. I work with the people who are impacted by natural gas extraction.

How many of you have read Flowback: How the Texas Natural Gas Boom Affects Health and Safety? [Shockingly, not many hands went up and my question was met with looks of bewilderment.] I hope all of you will read it because it documents what has happened to families and communities in the Barnett Shale. It includes letters of concern from scientists, doctors and toxicologists.

I planned to tell you some stories from Flowback. But just I received an email that changed my plan. I receive emails like this all the time. Here is What Happened Today in Argyle, Texas.

From the email:

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Tagged with: air pollution, barnett shale, greenhouse gas emissions, argyle texas, williams petroleum


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