Texas communities travel to Austin to tell legislators: Put private property rights before the oil and gas industry
March 2, 2015
Denton/Fort Worth/Austin, Mar 2nd - Today dozens of citizens from fracking-threatened communities in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, College Station and San Antonio areas are getting on a bus to Austin to protect Texans’ homes and property by urging state legislators to vote down bills that threaten cities’ long standing authority to regulate oil and gas development within their boundaries
February 27, 2015
"Colorado Governor Hickenlooper’s task force was formed only because hundreds of thousands of Coloradans are outraged that communities cannot protect their homes or control fracking and oil and gas development within their boundaries. Because the task force’s recommendations don’t address these two issues, it must be judged a failure. And now we will see what hundreds of thousands outraged Coloradans will accomplish."
February 13, 2015
February 13, Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-3) today introduced the Hardrock Mining Reform and Reclamation Act of 2015 that would rewrite the 19th century law governing the mining of gold, copper, uranium and other hardrock minerals on federally managed lands.
IndustriALL, Earthworks, London Mining Network, LabourStart
February 5, 2015
London/Geneva/Washington, D.C., Feb 5th – This Valentine’s Day, IndustriALL Global Union, London Mining Network, Earthworks, and LabourStart are challenging the world’s biggest jewellery retailer Signet to demand that its major diamond and gold supplier, multinational mining company Rio Tinto, clean up its mining practices so that they respect worker rights, indigenous peoples and the environment.
With global sales of US $6 billion annually, Signet’s 1,400 Kay and Jared jewellery shops are in every US State, 1,600 Zales stores are throughout the US and Canada, and 500 H. Samuel and Ernest Jones shops are visible on UK high streets. The National Retail Federation anticipates that twenty-one per cent of US shoppers will gift jewellery to their loved ones on Valentine’s Day this year, fuelling US jewellery sales of nearly $5 billion.
The coalition is calling on Signet to abide both by its own Responsible Sourcing Policy, and its 2006 public endorsement of the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules for more responsible mining. Signet’s Responsible Sourcing Policy declares the company “committed to the responsible sourcing of our products and the respect of human rights, and we expect the same from our suppliers around the world.” Endorsement of the Golden Rules, endorsed by over 100 jewellery retailers around the world, commits signers to pressure their suppliers to come into compliance with the Rules -- which are drawn from broadly accepted international human rights laws and basic principles of sustainable development.
But Rio Tinto is a notorious violator of labour rights, communities, and the environment.
January 28, 2015
Earthworks applauds Senator Gillibrand’s efforts to give a silver lining to the Keystone XL dirty oil stormcloud by working to close the Halliburton loophole for fracking in the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Earthworks et. al.
January 26, 2015
CASPER, WYO.— Under a settlement agreement approved today, the Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission must adopt more rigorous policies for scrutinizing industry requests to keep the identities of fracking chemicals secret.
Under the agreement, the Oil & Gas Commission must require substantially greater factual support for oil and gas industry claims that the identities of fracking chemicals used in Wyoming qualify as trade secrets or confidential commercial information and are therefore exempt from state public disclosure requirements.
January 22, 2015
Jan 22, Kern County, CA - Today a coalition of citizens and environmental groups released California’s first analysis of air pollution from oil and gas pollution using infrared video analysis in combination with air sampling and health surveys of impacted communities. Making visible normally invisible pollution, the study revealed that the communities of Lost Hills and Upper Ojai are exposed to at least 15 distinct toxics released by oil and gas development.
January 20, 2015
“When it comes to fracking, the President has a hard time facing facts.
President Obama promised we wouldn’t frack unless we did it safely. But, after a long investigation of the state of fracking science, the New York State Health Commissioner found it so unsafe he wouldn’t want his children to live, play or study near it.
January 14, 2015
Today, the Obama administration announced plans to regulate methane pollution from oil and gas production for the first time.
January 6, 2015
“The increased penalties finalized by the COGCC are a significant step in the right direction. Because of these new rules, Coloradans can hope that when oil and gas companies are caught violating the law, they’ll actually be punished. And hope that the punishment will be consistent and significant enough to deter other potential violators.
Earthworks et. al.
December 17, 2014
Today New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joseph Martens, and Department of Health Commissioner (DOH) Howard Zucker announced that the state of New York would prohibit high-volume horizontal fracturing of shale after announcing the results of a state-commissioned scientific review of the health impacts of oil and gas development.
Mexican/International Coalition Urges Mexico’s Environment Ministry to Block Los Cardones Mine Proposal Within UNESCO Global Biosphere Reserve
Earthworks et. al.
December 16, 2014
La Paz, Mexico and Washington, D.C. –An international coalition of 34 civil society groups has urged Mexico’s central environment authority SEMARNAT to deny permits for the Los Cardones mine proposed by Mexican corporation Invecture. The groups demanded that SEMARNAT protect the Sierra la Laguna Mountains UNESCO Global Biosphere Reserve, its limited water resources, and the communities that depend on them. The coalition comprises of community organizations, and environmental and human rights groups based in Baja California Sur and around the world.
Earthworks et. al.
December 15, 2014
DENVER, CO -- Today Conservation Colorado, Earthworks, Sierra Club and Western Resource Advocates called on the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission to strengthen their staff’s proposed rules to implement HB 1356, bipartisan legislation Governor Hickenlooper signed into law in May to increase Colorado’s oil and gas fines and penalties for the first time in several decades. The COGCC considers finalizing the rules today and tomorrow.
Earthworks et. al.
December 4, 2014
Denton, TX, Dec. 4 -- The Denton Drilling Awareness Group (DAG) and Earthworks today filed intervention papers in two lawsuits seeking to overturn the Denton, Texas ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) that went into effect on Tuesday, December 2. DAG’s Frack Free Denton campaign, with Earthworks’ help, successfully secured passage of a ballot initiative making Denton the first Texas city to ban fracking. The groups are represented by the Texas local government law firm Brown & Hofmeister, and attorneys from national environmental organizations, Earthjustice and the Natural Resources Defense Council, are seeking court permission to participate as co-counsel.
Obama administration's 'all of the above' fracking decision for George Washington National Forest ignores water/climate concerns
November 18, 2014
Statement of Earthworks energy program director Bruce Baizel
"Unfortunately, allowing the use of fracking within a part of the George Washington National Forest is part of the Obama Administration’s embrace of oil and gas drilling, despite the water, air and climate pollution that is proven to come along with it.
November 12, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC—A report released today identifies significant risks associated with the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) mine proposed by Seabridge Gold in northwest British Columbia near the border with Alaska and upstream of Misty Fjords National Monument. It details a growing list of operational, legal, economic and political challenges facing the controversial project, which some analysts have compared to the proposed Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska.
November 5, 2014
"The passage of a fracking ban in Denton Texas is first and foremost a victory for Denton residents. It’s a victory for their families’ health, for their economy, and for their future.
But it’s also a victory for communities across the country.
October 28, 2014
Patagonia – The Hermosa silver mine proposed inside Patagonia, Arizona’s Municipal Supply Watershed could deplete the town’s drinking water and perpetually contaminate area groundwater with acid mine drainage, according to a new peer-reviewed report. Reviewed by a USGS scientist and released by the Patagonia Area Resource Alliance and Earthworks, the study also concludes that drinking water wells of surrounding residents are also threatened.
October 21, 2014
Oct 21st, Denton, TX -- Newly released infrared videos taken over the past three months show that oil and gas air pollution is ongoing, chronic, and unaddressed in Denton, Texas despite assurances of safety by industry. The videos make visible normally invisible volatile organic compounds emissions (VOCs) -- such as carcinogens like benzene.
Earthworks et. al.
October 16, 2014
Washington, DC – Today, 130 local, state and national organizations representing millions of Americans sent a letter to President Obama urging him to immediately begin a rulemaking process to curb methane pollution from oil and gas development, the nation’s second largest industrial climate polluter after power plants. Methane, the principal component of natural gas, is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20 year time period.
September 25, 2014
Statement of Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project Director Bruce Baizel
Earthworks and Nunamta Aulukestai
September 22, 2014
Dillingham, AK/Washington D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received 700,000 comments in support of its plan to use its Clean Water Act authority to restrict mine waste disposal from the Pebble Mine proposed in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. When combined with previous public input, over 1.5 million comments have been submitted in favor of Bristol Bay protection, including broad and diverse support from Alaska Native Tribes, commercial fishermen, hunters and anglers, businesses like CREDO Mobile, churches, conservation groups, restaurants, jewelers and investors.
Earthworks, et al
September 10, 2014
Denver, CO - A coalition filed an appeal on Wednesday to uphold the democratically-enacted ban on fracking passed by Longmont voters in 2012. Represented by the University of Denver Law Clinic, the groups Our Longmont, Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club and Earthworks filed the appeal to overturn a district court decision that places the interests of the oil and gas industry over the health and safety of local citizens.
Earthworks et. al.
August 28, 2014
Harrisburg, PA – Environmental and citizen organizations sent Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary, Chris Abruzzo a letter today challenging the agency’s response to issues raised in Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s DEP Performance Audit, released on July 22nd. The audit identified serious flaws in the DEP’s oil and gas monitoring and enforcement programs.
Dallas Morning News | Marissa Barnett
August 25, 2014
Read this article on the publishing site
AUSTIN — Lawmakers said Monday that they’re looking for money to add seismic monitors in areas with oil and gas production, following concerns about a series of earthquakes that rattled North Texas last winter.
For now, at least, it’s just a pipe dream. The Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas production, doesn’t have any plans in the works for more monitors or for permit surcharges to oil and gas operators.
State oversight allows flaring in North Dakota and Texas to emit greenhouse gases equal to 1.5 million cars
August 22, 2014
Aug 22 -- Today Earthworks released a new report showing that eliminating natural gas waste in two shale plays would have the same effect as taking 1.5 million cars off the road. The report is accompanied by an interactive map developed by SkyTruth showing flaring activity in the U.S. and around the world based on nightly, infrared satellite data.
Earthjustice, Earthworks, et al
August 11, 2014
Washington, D.C. — Earthjustice on behalf of Idaho Conservation League, Earthworks, Sierra Club, Amigos Bravos, Great Basin Resource Watch, and Communities for a Better Environment filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to issue key rules mandated by the Superfund Act (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or CERCLA)
August 7, 2014
Washington, DC - The environmental and health impacts of gas development have been connected for the first time with a lack of state oversight on a site-by-site basis in a new report released by Earthworks. A year in the making, Blackout in the Gas Patch: How Pennsylvania Residents are Left in the Dark on Health and Enforcement documents and analyzes the permitting, oversight, and operational record of 135 wells and facilities in seven counties--and identifies the associated threats to water and air that are harming the health of nearby residents.
August 5, 2014
This week’s devastating tailings dam failure at the Mount Polley copper mine in British Columbia, which released vast amounts of mine waste into streams, rivers and lakes, raised alarms with Alaska Native communities and conservation groups concerned about the proposed Pebble Mine. The groups are urging the EPA to finalize proposed mine waste restrictions in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed.
August 5, 2014
Portland OR – Today over 15,000 petition signatures were delivered to the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to support a mineral withdrawal for public lands in critical watersheds in southwest Oregon, including the North Fork Smith River, Baldface Creek, Rough & Ready Creek, and Hunter Creek.
These signatures build upon the request of a broad coalition of local and national conservation groups to withdraw these public lands from mining in response to proposals for nickel strip mining in the area.
Withdrawal of Colorado fracking ballot initiatives disappointing, community protection still possible through commission
August 4, 2014
DURANGO, CO: We are disappointed that Colorado’s environmental rights ballot initiative that would have allowed local governments to protect their citizens from the potential harms of oil and gas drilling has been withdrawn.
July 29, 2014
While we applaud the commitments made by the Department of Energy, labor unions, utility groups and other stakeholders, voluntary measures and new research initiatives don’t adequately protect communities and the climate.
These rules can be a first step down the road to limit dangerous methane pollution and begin to truly shift our energy systems away from an “all of the above” strategy to one that throws the full weight of our resources behind renewable energy.
Earthworks et. al.
July 24, 2014
Auditor General Issues Critical PADEP Audit: Pennsylvania Environmental Organizations Applaud Investigation’s Goals
Earthworks et. al.
July 22, 2014
Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania’s Auditor General office released a highly anticipated audit of the Department of Environmental Protection’s performance regarding shale gas development today. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale stated that the audit “…shows that the meteoric growth of the shale gas industry caught the Department of Environmental Protection unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints”. The report is available here: http://bit.ly/WxCXzk
Earthworks and Nunamta Aulukestai
July 18, 2014
Washington, D.C. – An unusual group of Alaska Native leaders, commercial fishermen, investors, jewelers and conservation organizations applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release today of its Proposed Determination - a detailed plan for restricting mine waste disposal from the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. The EPA has authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to restrict mine waste disposal that will harm important fisheries. Alaska’s Bristol Bay supports the largest and most productive wild salmon fishery in the world, supplying half of the world’s supply of wild sockeye salmon and generating 14,000 annual jobs and over $450 million in annual revenue.
Congressional initiative would end billions in public land and mineral giveaways, protect scarce water, create jobs
July 10, 2014
July 10, 2014, Washington, D.C. – U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (OR-4) and Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Ranking Member Raul Grijalva today introduced a long-needed overhaul of the 142-year-old law governing mining of minerals such as gold, copper and uranium on federally-managed public lands.
Earthworks and BJ's Wholesale Club
July 2, 2014
July 2nd – Today, BJ’s Wholesale Club, with 202 locations in 15 Eastern U.S. states, became America’s first independent wholesale club company to commit to responsible metals sourcing by endorsing the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules, a set of social, human rights, and environmental criteria set to improve metal mining practices around the world. BJ’s is also pledging to source their metals without harming Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed – the world’s largest wild salmon fishery.
June 6, 2014
Last night a Texas TV station broke the news that new independent analysis refutes the oft-repeated claim by the oil and gas industry that “there’s never been a confirmed case of fracking polluting drinking water”.
May 7, 2014
Ban garners almost as many signatures as voted in last election
EagleRidge response to evidence of their pollution exemplifies need for a ban
Denton, Texas, May 7 -- Today the Denton Drilling Awareness Group submitted for certification to the City Council 1,871 signatures in support of a fracking ban within Denton city limits. 2,200 people voted in the last municipal election.
“These signatures represent Denton citizens of every political stripe coming together to protect their homes and families from the fracking industry,” said Denton Drilling Awareness Group president Cathy McMullen. She continued, “I worked with the City for years to improve fracking oversight, to no avail. It’s clear this industry will do whatever it can get away with, and the City is paralyzed by the fear of the political consequences of reining it in. A fracking ban is our last and only option.”
Upon receipt of the petition, the City Secretary has twenty days to validate the signatures. Then the City Council must call a public hearing and within sixty days vote on the petition. If approved, it becomes law. If rejected, Denton registered voters consider it as a ballot initiative – likely during the November general election.
Earthworks and Environment America
April 28, 2014
Washington, D.C., Apr 28 -- The current draft of the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA), made public today, would add another special oil and gas industry loophole to federal environmental law. CICA, legislation that aims to “reform” the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), would block states and localities from requiring the oil and gas industry to reveal the toxics they inject through the water table during hydraulic fracturing. The legislation would also prohibit states or localities from regulating or banning toxic chemicals used in the drilling and fracking process, such as benzene and diesel fuel.
April 23, 2014
April 15, 2014
While we encourage the EPA to do everything within its power to stop methane emissions from oil and gas production, that is no substitute for dropping dirty fossil fuels replacing them with truly clean alternatives like conservation and renewable energy.
April 7, 2014
Earthworks applauds Rio Tinto’s decision to withdraw from the Pebble Mine proposal that threatens Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery.
March 28, 2014
"We applaud the White House for taking a first step to curb methane emissions, a climate pollutant that is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
The administration must follow Colorado’s lead and require the Environmental Protection Agency to directly regulate methane pollution from hydraulic fracturing and related drilling. The consequences, both globally and locally, are too dire to allow for self regulation.
Earthworks, Montana Environmental Information Center and Earthjustice
March 17, 2014
HELENA – Proposed mining exploration activities at the headwaters of Montana’s famed Smith River threaten to degrade water and further strain already low stream flows, according to a formal legal complaint filed in Montana District Court.
Conservation advocates, supported by Smith River outfitters, filed the formal complaint on Friday, March 14th against the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Tintina Alaska Exploration, Inc., alleging that DEQ failed to conduct an adequate analysis of the many environmental impacts associated with the Black Butte Copper Project, a copper exploration mine proposed by a subsidiary of Canada-based Tintina Resources, Inc.
Denton Drilling Awareness Group and Earthworks
March 14, 2014
Denton, TX (Mar 14) – Frack Free Denton today announced they have gathered substantially more than the required signatures to put their fracking ban initiative on the November ballot. Denton City charter requires signatures equal to 25% of votes cast in the most recent general election for an initiative to get on the ballot.
March 13, 2014
Hundreds of Oil Wastewater Wells Near Active Faults and Major Cities Already Raising Quake Risk for Millions of Californians
SAN FRANCISCO— Oil companies are increasing California’s earthquake risk by injecting billions of gallons of oil and gas wastewater a year into hundreds of disposal wells near active faults around Los Angeles, Bakersfield and other major cities, according to a new report from Earthworks, the Center for Biological Diversity and Clean Water Action.
March 5, 2014
Council resolution passes due to concerns controversial practice threatens DC water supply
Washington, D.C. -- The DC City Council yesterday passed a resolution opposing hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling for natural gas in the George Washington National Forest due to concerns that such development might contaminate drinking water supplies. The 1.1 million-acre forest, located in Virginia and West Virginia, contains headwaters of the Potomac River, the sole source of drinking water for the nation’s capital.
Earthworks, Global Witness, et al
March 5, 2014
A law proposed by the European Commission on responsible sourcing of minerals is not strong enough to prevent European companies’ mineral purchases from financing conflict or human rights abuses, and falls far short of expectations, campaigners said today.
Instead of putting forward robust legislation that would require a wide range of EU-based companies to do checks on their supply chains – known as due diligence – the Commission today announced voluntary measures that will only apply to companies importing processed and unprocessed minerals into the European market. The proposal covers companies involved in the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold sectors. The campaigners warned that the Commission’s proposal – an opt-in self-certification scheme available to a limited number of companies – is likely to have minimal impact on the way that the majority of European companies source natural resources.
February 28, 2014
Dillingham, AK & Washington, D.C.: Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it is invoking its Clean Water Act authority to assess permanently prohibiting or restricting mine waste disposal into Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. This decision puts on hold attempts to build the Pebble Mine, which would be North America’s largest open pit gold-copper mine.