By Alan Septoff
February 1, 2011
Caba as environmental movement as well as the National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining (the Mesa) are very concerned about a recent wave of death threats and crimes against members of El Salvador s anti-mining movement as well as other violent crimes recently committed in Caba as. Similar crimes in 2009 that went uninvestigated, including robberies, kidnappings, and death threats against members of Radio Victoria, ADES, ASIC, and the CAC all active organizations in Caba as mining resistance were a prelude to the murders of three activists, Marcelo Rivera, Ramiro Rivera and Dora Alicia Sorto Recinos. Please read more in-depth reports here.
Therefore, our allies are extremely concerned that the on-going state of impunity not only encourages the recent threats and crimes but could lead to more violence and murders in the near future.
By Lauren Pagel
January 28, 2011
Yesterday, the Greenwire (published in the New York Times)* erroneously reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new regulations for the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking).
What the EPA did do: use its website to highlight existing law that authorizes EPA to prevent the injection of diesel fuel underground during fracking. EPA took this step only after companies like Halliburton were caught doing so.
The EPA's authority to regulate the use of diesel to protect drinking water from oil and gas related pollution is actually well established.
By Lauren Pagel
January 28, 2011
Last week, I blogged about the EPA using its authority under the 2005 Energy Policy Act to regulate the use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing, and used a Greenwire story published in the New York Times on the issue to highlight the issue.
While the EPA is within its authority under current law to regulate the use of diesel in fracking as part of the current regulations for Class II wells under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), I do feel that the EPA could have gone about its announcement around this issue in a way that was more transparent.
By adding language to their website without an official announcement, the EPA kept the public and industry in the dark about something that did not and should not have been kept a secret.
It would have been in the public interest (and would have created far less controversy) if the EPA had created a participatory process with a public announcement regarding the regulation of diesel fuel used for hydraulic fracturing.
It would also have been in the public interest for the EPA to have begun to deal with this issue back in 2005 when the Energy Policy Act was passed and their regulatory authority to regulate this practice was made clear.
January 27, 2011
Much of the time, a winter storm keeps people snug at home but apparently not in Ohio when gas development is at stake. Nearly 300 residents and elected officials in Canton (Stark County) turned out last week for a debate on the issue. Even in a state with a long history of digging and drilling for fossil fuels, modern-day gas extraction is clearly something worth learning about.
And also worrying about, as industry trains its sights on both the Marcellus and the even deeper Utica shale, and newly elected Governor Kasich openly hopes that gas will be an answer to his budgetary prayers.
By Gwen Lachelt
January 26, 2011
Not only is the Roadrunner the state bird but also it s just a really cool critter. My office in Albuquerque has a stunning view of the Sandia Mountains and is close to city open space so I have the pleasure of watching roadrunners quite a bit from my office window. Roadrunners are both striking and comical (not unlike the legislative session at times). They d rather run than fly - they ve been clocked at speeds of 17 mph. And they catch and eat rattlesnakes. So I m naming my New Mexico blog postings in honor of the Roadrunner and in the spirit of keeping the coyote at bay!
A lot of our OGAP work on energy issues in the Land of Enchantment takes place 50 miles north of the Duke City in the City Different, Santa Fe. The state capitol, also known as the Roundhouse, as well as the state departments governing oil and gas and energy impacts, are located in Santa Fe.
I ve spent a considerable part of the past eight years running to Santa Fe and sitting in a hearing room with one small corner window participating in and witnessing the development of new safeguards to protect New Mexico s water, land, air and public health from oil and gas drilling and fracking. The 2011 New Mexico Legislative Session began last Tuesday with threats from the new Governor to throw out modest oil and gas protections like the Pit Rule. Neither striking nor comical, we take this threat seriously and will do all we can to keep New Mexico s common sense drilling rules in place.
I hope you ll join me in standing up for New Mexico s working farms, ranches, neighborhoods, public and tribal lands by following our blog and action alerts, writing and calling the Governor and legislators, coming to the Roundhouse for important committee hearings and supporting our work to uphold important safeguards like the Pit Rule.