EARTHblog » Aaron Mintzes
June 21, 2013
On Tuesday, I travelled to Harrisburg, PA to attend a rally co-sponsored by a number of our friends at Clean Water Action, Delaware Riverkeeper, Berks Gas Truth, Gas Truth of Central PA, PennEnvironment, and Sierra Club PA. Organizers hosted the rally to bring attention to continued lack of resolution of water contamination cases across the state that may well be linked to gas drilling. Underscoring the need for more information and action is the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) recent statement that it has documented of twenty-five cases of water contamination of private water supplies from natural gas development. But a records request by the Times-Tribune revealed the actual number of cases of contaminated water supplies at 161. And of course, with inadequate oversight and enforcement of the gas industry, it could be higher. Time will tell.
June 20, 2013
Last month, I blogged about the impending scoping discussions at the US Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (US EITI). US EITI belongs to an international movement that provides credibility to companies and governments where the flows of money between them gets reported and reconciled. Members of a Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) comprised of representatives from industry, government, and civil society met last week to begin discussions about which revenue streams belong in the mix. Oil and gas revenues are a no-brainer. Companies that extract oil and gas from public lands pay royalties to the Federal Government. The Department of Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) carefully tracks these payments and conducts regular audits to ensure accuracy. The tricky part is what to do about hardrock minerals (gold, silver, copper, uranium etc.)