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Frackers, not EPA, are dodging water contamination issue

By Alan Septoff

January 8, 2013

CORRECTION: An important part of this blog post is incorrect. One fracking company, Chesapeake Energy, has volunteered to take part in a prospective (before drilling/fracking and after) case study with EPA.

  The AP ran a story yesterday titled EPA's Fracking Study May Dodge Water Contamination Frequency Issue. That title is misleading.

Because if EPA’s final draft doesn’t address the frequency of water contamination, it will be fracking companies -- not EPA -- that did the dodging.

Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources, is the first extensive federal scientific inquiry into the impacts of fracking.  Earthworks applauds it.

As part of that study, EPA wants to test groundwater quality near an oil or gas well drill site, before drilling/fracking and after.  It’s only common sense that a study of fracking’s impacts on water would involve testing whether fracking impacts water.

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Wisconsin’s Mining Moratorium Under Attack

By Al Gedicks and Dave Blouin

January 4, 2013

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the mining industry have begun a major lobbying effort to overturn Wisconsin’s landmark Mining Moratorium Law. The law, also known as Wisconsin’s “Prove it First” law, was developed to address the problem of acid mine drainage from metallic sulfide mining.

The law requires that before the state can issue a permit for mining of sulfide ore bodies, prospective miners must first provide an example of where a metallic sulfide mine in the United States or Canada has not polluted surface or groundwater during or after mining. So far, the industry has not been able to find a single example where they have mined without polluting water. A recent study of metallic sulfide regulation in the Great Lakes region by the National Wildlife Federation (www.Nwf.org/Mining Report) called Wisconsin’s “Prove it First” regulation an exemplary law.

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No exaggeration, Promised Land is just the beginning.

By Sharon Wilson

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.

 

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In Becky Tarbotton’s death, we have lost a dear friend

By Jennifer Krill

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.

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California - now the state of ‘Frack Baby Frack’?

By Jennifer Krill

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.

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