April 15, 2011
UPDATE: news coverage
Texas has long been the capital of the U.S. oil and and gas industry. But the U.S. natural gas boom has brought a new wave of drilling activity to the state, with thousands of drilling rigs and production facilities puncturing the landscape of the region around Fort Worth, known as the Barnett Shale. The new boom and the state s industry-friendly regulatory system mean that Texas is failing to protect residents from the hazards of gas drilling and production.
That s what the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability says in a new report, Flowback: How the Texas Natural Gas Boom Affects Health and Safety. The report, available online at bit.ly/TXOGAP-flowback, finds that authorities either lack the resources to deal with the air pollution, water contamination and other problems that accompany natural gas production; are limited in their response by inadequate laws and regulations; or continue in the long Texas tradition of favoring the oil and gas industry at the expense of citizens.
By Lauren Pagel
April 13, 2011
Yesterday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on the environmental and health effects of natural gas drilling. As with most hearings on Capitol Hill, each side had it s own view on the impacts of natural gas and how best to mitigate those impacts.
The fact that some still deny the potentially destructive impacts of this industry is still shocking to me. One only has to visit a gasland community to see the very real effects.
I was heartened by two of the statements made by Bob Perciasepe, the Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
First, he firmly stated that companies that use diesel fuel for hydraulic fracturing without a Safe Drinking Water Act permit are breaking the law.
Second, when asked about new data around greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas, he said that the forthcoming report by Cornell researchers is an important piece of information that we need to bring into the discussion.
April 12, 2011
As the spring temperatures climbed, they streamed into the park and kept on coming. Hundreds of people from across New York State gathered in Albany for a Fracking Day of Action to collectively ask policymakers to do what it takes to safeguard vital water resources, public health, and the environment from dirty gas drilling.
Many of us also became Water Rangers as part of the launch of a public awareness and media campaign supported by the Clean Water Not Dirty Drilling network. The campaign invites New Yorkers to become part of the growing team of citizens taking action to protect our water and communities from dirty drilling.
Endorsed by over 40 national, state, and grassroots organizations, the Day of Action reflected a growing movement of citizens concerned about the damaging impacts of a rush to drill in other states. We collectively showed determination to ensure that communities and the environment are protected before industrial gas development occurs (and even consider that it not occur at all).
April 11, 2011
As people seek sustainable alternatives to leaving their unwanted electronic products on their shelves or in the trash, the popularity of electronic waste recycling is building. It is important to prevent electronic waste from entering landfills because it contains metals such as lead and mercury that could potentially damage water and soil quality and impose harmful effects on human health.
However, some consumers are experiencing difficulties finding a convenient venue to recycle their e-waste. Although many small recycling programs exist, the US doesn't have a comprehensive, easy way for people to recycle e-waste, especially large items such as televisions and computers that are expensive to ship.
By Lauren Pagel
April 7, 2011
Just recently, the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (NAT GAS Act) was introduced in Congress to provide incentives for natural gas production. And, once again, the NAT GAS Act aims to increase our use of natural gas without addressing the impacts of natural gas on communities and water supplies across the country. This legislation also increases our reliance on another fossil fuel by creating new infrastructure for natural gas, keeping us dependent for years to come.
While natural gas may be cleaner burning than other fossil fuels, like coal, it comes with a host of environmental and public health problems. Polluted water and air threaten people that live in gasland communities. The natural gas industry is exempt from many of our bedrock environmental laws, ranging from the law that governs the fate and transport of our hazardous wastes to the law that governs our drinking water sources.