Interior Department Releases Proposed Rules for Fracking on Public Lands

By Aaron Mintzes

May 7, 2012

On Friday afternoon, the United States Department of Interior (DOI) released their proposed rules to govern hydraulic fracturing on public lands.   Many of us in the environmental community eagerly anticipated the release of these rules because they signal the second clear indication of how the Obama Administration would regulate fracking.  The Environmental Protection Agency had earlier released rules related to air emissions from natural gas facilities.  Although most fracking regulation occurs at the state level, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management has jurisdiction over an enormous acreage and therefore sets the standard for how the states might approach the issue.

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It’s déjà vu all over again: bad New Mexico legislation rears its head in Colorado

By Gwen Lachelt

May 4, 2012

Colorado State Representative Jerry Sonnenberg has introduced House Bill 1356 that would prohibit local governments from receiving state severance tax funds if they “in any way restrict or delay” oil and gas development.

This bill is all but dead but if you live in Colorado call your State Representative and Senator and urge them to vote no on HB 1356. Not only does this regressive legislation need to be killed before the 2012 legislative session ends this month but also Colorado needs to hear loud and clear that we don’t ever want to see the likes of this bill again.

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Is Chesapeake Energy Merely an Example of Virtual Reality?

By Deborah Rogers

May 3, 2012

We have been watching the demise of Chesapeake Energy (CHK) unfold. In addition to the news of $1.1 billion in unreported loans, Reuters has now exposed a $200 million hedge fund which Aubrey McClendon ran from the headquarters of Chesapeake Energy. This hedge fund invested in the same commodities that Chesapeake produces. Further, Senator Nelson has now called for an investigation by the Department of Justice to look into possible fraud and price manipulation.

The issues of corporate governance, potential fraud, the use of off balance sheet financing and the complexity of financial engineering has been nothing short of breathtaking. But I think we need to step back and examine the full import and implications of shale gas economics because Chesapeake may simply be a microcosm of a more systemic anomaly which is much broader and more problematic.

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The National Fracking Day of Action

By Aaron Mintzes

May 2, 2012

Come join us July 28th at the Capitol!

Sign up at

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Deja Vu: Newmont’s annual meeting held amidst growing mine conflicts and clean water fights

By Nick Magel

April 26, 2012

Yesterday I attended Newmont Mining Co.’s annual shareholder meeting. The meeting took place in a small hotel banquet room in a Wilmington, DE hotel. The Denver-based company has held its annual meeting here ever since 2007 after meeting in Denver became a lightening rod for annual protests against their irresponsible mining operations. However, while Newmont may have hidden away from protestors outside their meetings, they continue to face criticism inside their shareholder meeting.

Earthworks went up to the meeting to voice our concerns regarding Newmont’s continued lack of a robust community consultation and a free prior and informed consent (FPIC) policy for their mine projects, most recently at their proposed Minas Conga project in Peru. Here’s our statement and question to the Newmont Board of Directors:


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