May 2, 2013
From global politics to the workplace to personal relationships, progress isn’t possible without trust. Last week, a gas industry group—with a bit of a boost from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) —struck a blow against public trust in New York’s review of the impacts of high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
April 26, 2013
The highly anticipated study is out. The EPA has just released a new draft of its study on the impacts of the Pebble Mine to the Bristol Bay fishery – the largest wild salmon fishery on Earth. The kicker?
The new draft identifies even larger impacts to the salmon fishery from the proposed Pebble Mine than before.
At the maximum sized mine studied by the EPA (6.5 billion tons), the study finds that even under routine operation, the mine would likely result in:
- the loss of up to 90 miles of streams from the mine footprint alone,
- harm to up to 35 miles of streams from reduced stream flow, and the
- loss of 4,800 acres of wetlands.
April 25, 2013
While boarding my flight at DFW to the Gasland 2 premiere in New York City, I can not help but reflect on the last eight years, and how it came to be that I would be a part of a film that would make such a huge impact around the world. How is it that a small town boy from Oklahoma, a welder's son, would be invited to a movie premiere in the big apple?
I reflect further back to my roots of growing up in a small Oklahoma oil boom town, and the strange journey that my life has taken after graduating from the Oilton, OK High School. My mind drifts back to my childhood and helping my father, who would work on the oil well pump jacks for extra money, which became some of my earliest memories. How did I go from growing up in an oil field to becoming one of the oil and gas industry's largest critics?
By Alan Septoff
April 24, 2013
Thanks to two great stories by E&E’s Mike Soraghan, we know that the Harvard Law School has evaluated FracFocus.org and found government (and the public) shouldn’t rely upon it.
In short, Harvard says FracFocus is inadequate for at least three reasons:
- It is hard to determine when and if companies make disclosures.
- The data contained within FracFocus isn’t vetted – it consists of whatever the company reports.
- Secrecy claims made by companies aren’t vetted – FracFocus allows for unchallenged and extremely broad disclosure exemptions made at the company’s discretion.
April 16, 2013
The formation of the Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) illustrates much that’s wrong with today’s fracking debate.
By attempting to address the need for stronger standards, the effort validates claims that existing state oversight of oil and gas extraction is inadequate to protect impacted communities.
But CSSD also validates local communities’ mistrust of fracking supporters by excluding drilling-impacted communities from the CSSD formation and decision-making structure. The CSSD has publicly launched a plan to certify drilling, but has not publicly disclosed its verification process.