March 8, 2016
The hardrock mining (think gold, copper, uranium, rare earths) trade lobby has made a career of trying to convince Congress that the the federal mine permitting process is so burdensome as to chase away those who would otherwise invest in mineral development in the United States. When asked for proof of this “problem” they point to the interminable permitting process for new mines: they claim it can take the better part of a decade to permit a mine.
March 7, 2016
Norway is a country known for both its affluence and progressive policies. But despite its sterling reputation, its government makes a highly destructive allowance to the mining industry: it permits mining operations to allow the direct dumping of toxic mine waste into the country’s famous fjords.
March 2, 2016
Every day, an average adult takes about 20,000 breaths to get the oxygen needed for survival. Unfortunately, for the growing number of people living near oil and gas development, that many breaths also provides ample opportunities to take in health-harming pollution.
The shale boom of the last several years has intensified drilling in many places and introduced it in others, adding onto previous drilling and bringing the number of active oil and gas wells nationwide to 1.1 million in 2014.
No wonder oil and gas field residents keep asking basic questions: “What’s in my air?” and "Why is it making me sick?” Yet both the regulators who oversee the oil and gas industry and the policymakers who determine its course respond only with partial, ambiguous answers. They don’t regularly monitor the air directly around well sites and facilities, accurately track the emissions generated, or use the right health standards to judge risks to residents.
February 22, 2016
Last August, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a draft of their long-awaited study of water pollution from fracking. Readers of the 1000+ page voluminous report were treated to a parade of horribles describing numerous incidents of water contamination from across the country.
February 12, 2016
For the past year I have been travelling the country exposing otherwise invisible air pollution from fracking and fracking-related development. In 2014, Earthworks was able to buy a FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) Gasfinder 320 camera thanks to the generous support of our members and donors. This camera is the gold-standard of oil and gas pollution detection. Industry and government alike use the same model camera and have the same certification I do to operate it. The camera detects methane and about 20 different volatile organic compounds that are health-harming and climate polluting.