By Lauren Pagel
April 20, 2011
On May 4th, a comment period ends on a long-fought battle to protect the delicate ecosystem outside the Grand Canyon from uranium mining.
The Grand Canyon, the crown jewel of our National Park system, has been increasingly threatened by mineral development in recent years. Most, if not all, of these claims are for uranium. The Grand Canyon is threatened because uranium mining, like other metals on public lands, is governed by the antiquated 1872 Mining Law -- a law which has no environmental standards; a law which makes mining a priority over all other uses of public lands.
In 2009, over 100,000 public comments caused the Department of Interior to create a two-year moratorium on mining around the Grand Canyon -- a moratorium that is about to end. The Obama administration is poised to issue a decision that will determine whether or not the sensitive ecosystems around the Grand Canyon will be protected for another 20 years.
Our goal is to collect 250,000 comments in support of protecting 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon from mining, and I urge you to take action to help us reach our goal.
By Alan Septoff
April 19, 2011
Denton Record Chronicle - Group calls for water oversight: new report criticizes gas drilling practices
CBS Dallas-Fort Worth - Report: Texas Not Protecting Residents From Gas Drilling Dangers
Houston Chronicle's FuelFix - Report: Texas nat gas regulators fall down on job
Fort Worth Star Telegram - Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project seeks more drilling oversight
Dallas Informer - Report: Texas Not Protect Residents From Gas Drilling Dangers
April 15, 2011
UPDATE: news coverage
Texas has long been the capital of the U.S. oil and and gas industry. But the U.S. natural gas boom has brought a new wave of drilling activity to the state, with thousands of drilling rigs and production facilities puncturing the landscape of the region around Fort Worth, known as the Barnett Shale. The new boom and the state s industry-friendly regulatory system mean that Texas is failing to protect residents from the hazards of gas drilling and production.
That s what the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability says in a new report, Flowback: How the Texas Natural Gas Boom Affects Health and Safety. The report, available online at bit.ly/TXOGAP-flowback, finds that authorities either lack the resources to deal with the air pollution, water contamination and other problems that accompany natural gas production; are limited in their response by inadequate laws and regulations; or continue in the long Texas tradition of favoring the oil and gas industry at the expense of citizens.
By Lauren Pagel
April 13, 2011
Yesterday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on the environmental and health effects of natural gas drilling. As with most hearings on Capitol Hill, each side had it s own view on the impacts of natural gas and how best to mitigate those impacts.
The fact that some still deny the potentially destructive impacts of this industry is still shocking to me. One only has to visit a gasland community to see the very real effects.
I was heartened by two of the statements made by Bob Perciasepe, the Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
First, he firmly stated that companies that use diesel fuel for hydraulic fracturing without a Safe Drinking Water Act permit are breaking the law.
Second, when asked about new data around greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas, he said that the forthcoming report by Cornell researchers is an important piece of information that we need to bring into the discussion.
April 12, 2011
As the spring temperatures climbed, they streamed into the park and kept on coming. Hundreds of people from across New York State gathered in Albany for a Fracking Day of Action to collectively ask policymakers to do what it takes to safeguard vital water resources, public health, and the environment from dirty gas drilling.
Many of us also became Water Rangers as part of the launch of a public awareness and media campaign supported by the Clean Water Not Dirty Drilling network. The campaign invites New Yorkers to become part of the growing team of citizens taking action to protect our water and communities from dirty drilling.
Endorsed by over 40 national, state, and grassroots organizations, the Day of Action reflected a growing movement of citizens concerned about the damaging impacts of a rush to drill in other states. We collectively showed determination to ensure that communities and the environment are protected before industrial gas development occurs (and even consider that it not occur at all).