January 2, 2013
The new Matt Damon movie, Promised Land, has top-notch actors, great dialogue, beautiful scenery and a plot twist.
I’m thrilled that Hollywood and celebrities have arrived on the fracking scene. I’m grateful that in the process, they’ve shined a light on the fracking skullduggery practiced by many companies.
But know this: Promised Land is far from an exaggeration. Rather, the movie merely scratches the surface—just barely—of the predatory mafia-esque tactics used by the fracking industry.
They could make a whole new movie, if they chose to include the full range of tactics that fracking companies employ, like threats, intimidation and military PSYOPS in our neighborhoods.
How do I know? The frackers told me themselves.
December 31, 2012
This week we returned from a walk on the beach and learned that a dear friend had died at only 39 years old. Rebecca Tarbotton, executive director at Rainforest Action Network, was lost in a tragic drowning accident on December 26. The world lost a fierce hero for the rights of communities and a sustainable environment this week.
Before coming to Earthworks, I worked closely with Becky at RAN, and as we both became directors of our organizations, we leaned on each other for support and advice. Becky was a leaders’ leader; she could hold her own in corporate boardrooms and dive bars; we worked side by side on issues large and small. Her tenure at RAN included remarkable success.
December 20, 2012
When the State of California announced with great fanfare back in May that it was going to develop regulations for fracking, many of us assumed that meant some sort of system by which the oil and gas companies would be held accountable to state agencies and the public.
Unfortunately, that was wishful thinking; the state's draft fracking regulations take the public health of Californians and put it in the hands of Chevron (CVX), Occidental (OXY) and other oil and gas companies.
That’s because the state’s draft regs -- released this week by the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), -- do not hold oil and gas companies accountable.
December 12, 2012
Yesterday, New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he will lead a seven state coalition intending to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for not following through on its obligations under the Clean Air Act. The Attorneys General from New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont take issue with the EPA’s new air rules on hydraulic fracturing in large measure because they do not do enough to curb climate change.
December 7, 2012
Politicians decide policy; scientists help inform policy decisions by explaining the world we live in. So, it’s disappointing to hear politicians accuse scientists of playing politics. The most recent example of this involves a letter a number of senior GOP House members sent to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The letter openly questions the scientific objectivity of a little known agency within HHS called the (I’m not making this up) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).