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Trading pennies of cash for pounds of problems?

By Nadia Steinzor

February 2, 2011

Say I decide to change my job, and figure that with a higher salary I ll be set. But a few years later, I m in financial hot water: I forgot to calculate the tripling of commuting costs and the car, clothing, and entertaining required by my new position.

Pretty shortsighted and irresponsible of me, right? But somehow when the gas industry uses the same method to peddle its wares, all too many policymakers plagued by budget woes are dazzled and eager to buy.

Take the widely touted 2010 study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute that promises hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in revenues in the Marcellus Shale region. Oops! It didn t even look at costs associated with gas development, like road and bridge repairs, declines in farming and tourism, or reduced property values and taxes. The same fuzzy math guided a recent report funded by the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association that glowingly assessed jobs and money coming, and still to come, from gas drilling in that state.

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Tagged with: drilling, marcellus shale, economics, gas development


Denounce death threats against El Salvadoran anti-mining movement

By Alan Septoff

February 1, 2011

An action alert from our friends at MiningWatch Canada:

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.

Current situation:

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Tagged with: el salvador, miningwatch canada, death threats


EPA working within current law to regulate diesel in fracking fluid

By Lauren Pagel

January 28, 2011

UPDATE | UPDATE II

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.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, hydraulic fracturing, safe drinking water act, sdwa


EPA, diesel, fracking, and transparency: a clarification.

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.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, hydraulic fracturing, new york times, greenwire


Gas industry attempts snow job in Ohio

By Nadia Steinzor

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.

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Tagged with: drilling, marcellus shale, ohio, gas


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