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Media


Earthworks is the only U.S. environmental nonprofit that focuses exclusively on the destructive impacts of resource extraction.

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Group Documenting Marcellus Gas Well Leaks

Public News Service | Dan Heyman

May 16, 2016
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Armed with a specialized thermal imaging camera, a group is traveling in the West Virginia Marcellus fields this week documenting natural gas leaks and pollution. 

Nadia Steinzor, eastern program coordinator for Earthworks, says the environmental group bought a forward looking infrared camera (FLIR) because most gas industry leaks of methane and volatile organic compounds can't be seen with the naked eye. 

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Tagged with: fracking, west virginia, cep


Feds Tighten First-Ever Methane Rules for Fracking, Pipelines

US News and World Report | Alan Neuhauser

May 12, 2016
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The Obama administration finalized and tightened the country's first federal rules limiting methane emissions from oil and natural gas sites Thursday.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, air pollution, methane


EPA Begins Crackdown on Methane Emissions

InsideClimate | Phil McKenna

May 12, 2016
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The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules on Thursday to significantly reduce methane emissions from new oil and gas facilities as well as those undergoing modifications. The regulations are the first federal standards aimed at curbing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, emitted by oil and gas production.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, air pollution, methane


Obama’s new oil & gas air pollution rule is a step forward for climate & communities

Earthworks

May 12, 2016

Today, the Obama administration finalized the first national standard to cut methane pollution from new and modified sources of oil and gas production. The rule will also cut associated pollution emitted with methane: volatile organic compounds like benzene, a carcinogen.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, methane


Earthworks Welcomes Two New Board Directors

Earthworks

May 9, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earthworks, an international organization that campaigns to protect communities from the negative impacts of resource extraction, announces the addition of two distinguished experts to its Board of Directors.

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Environmental groups sue over oil-field wastewater regulations

The Oklahoman | Adam Wilmoth

May 6, 2016
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Three environmental organizations this week sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asking for national rules and regulations on the handling and disposing of produced water and other waste products.

The Environmental Integrity Project, the National Resources Defense Council and Earthworks filed the lawsuit in federal court in Washington, saying federal regulators need to set national rules following produced water spills in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and earthquakes in Oklahoma and Texas.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, lawsuit, rcra


Groups sue EPA for failure to update oil, gas industry waste regulations

Topeka Capital-Journal | Morgan Chilson

May 4, 2016
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Three environmental organizations filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Environmental Protection Agency in a push for updated oil and gas industry waste regulations. They say outdated rules have led to an increase in earthquakes, groundwater contamination and other health and safety issues.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, lawsuit, rcra


Groups Sue EPA Over Dangerous Drilling and Fracking Waste

Earthworks | NRDC | Environmental Integrity Project

May 4, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A coalition of community and environmental organizations filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today calling for regulations to stop oil and gas companies from disposing and handling drilling and fracking wastes in ways that threaten public health and the environment.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, waste, lawsuit, rcra


Longmont fracking ruling: ‘Blow to democracy’ or ‘win for individual property rights’?

Longmont Times-Call | Karen Antonacci

May 2, 2016

The Colorado Supreme Court's decision that Longmont residents cannot unilaterally ban fracking within city limits prompted responses from around the state Monday.

The court upheld a previous ruling in a lawsuit brought against Longmont by industry group Colorado Oil and Gas Association, the state agency Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and operator Top Operating.

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Tagged with: fracking, colorado, ban


Colorado Court Strikes Down Local Bans on Fracking

New York Times | Michael Wines

May 2, 2016
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Colorado’s Supreme Court on Monday struck down local government prohibitions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, handing oil and gas companies a victory in a lengthy battle over energy production in the environmentally conscious state.

In separate rulings, the court said a moratorium in Fort Collins and a ban in Longmont were invalid because state law pre-empted them. A lower court had reached the same conclusion earlier

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Tagged with: fracking, colorado, ban


Colorado Supreme Court Strips the Constitutional Right To Enact Local Fracking Bans

Earthworks and partners

May 2, 2016

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Air pollution from gas drilling requires action in Pennsylvania

Times Leader | Nadia Steinzor

May 1, 2016
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With summer around the corner, it’s time to start getting outdoors. Key to enjoying the season is clean air – knowing that when you walk, play or work in the garden and yard, the breaths you take won’t harm your health.

Many Pennsylvanians live without this assurance – and not just in cities or industrial centers anymore. State data show increasing levels of pollution from natural gas wells, storage equipment, compressor stations and processing plants.

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Tagged with: air pollution, pennsylvania, methane


Methane Sleuths Monitor Seeping Gases From Oil and Gas Drilling

Dallas Observer | Julie Ryan

April 29, 2016
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Tagged with: fracking, texas, air pollution, citizens empowerment project


Last Year’s Goldman Prize Winner Was Murdered. Could This Year’s Winner Be Next?

Foreign Policy | Megan Alpert

April 27, 2016
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Máxima Acuña, the Peruvian campesina who just won a Goldman Prize for blocking a gold mine in rural Peru, broke down in tears as she described watching workers from the Yanacocha mining company run over eight of her sheep in their trucks four years ago. “I’m not crying out of cowardice, and I’m not crying because people feel bad for me,”  she told Foreign Policy in an interview last week in Washington. “I’m crying because of everything that I’ve suffered.”

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Tagged with: mining, peru, newmont, maxima


After years of public input, important step taken to protect health and the environment

Earthworks et. al.

April 21, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Environmental and citizen groups representing hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians welcomed today’s decision by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) to move revised oil and gas regulations toward final passage and implementation.

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, chapter 78


State commission OK’s new oil and gas regulations

State Impact PA | Marie Cusick

April 21, 2016
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A state commission has signed off on significant changes to rules governing Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry. The approval signals a final step in an often contentious, five-year effort by the Department of Environmental Protection to modernize drilling regulations.

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, chapter 78


Regulatory reviewers approve major update to Pa. drilling rules

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Laura Legere

April 21, 2016
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Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved a wide-ranging update to the state’s oil and gas drilling rules on Thursday, voting 3-2 that the changes proposed by the state Department of Environmental Protection are in the public interest.

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, chapter 78


Why Oklahoma’s getting serious about earthquakes

WFAA | Brett Shipp

April 20, 2016
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OKLAHOMA CITY - The U.S. Geological Survey recentlyreleased a study indicating North Texas faces an increasing risk of a damaging earthquake in the coming year.

Scientists blame man-made activity, specifically drilling-related saltwater injection wells.

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Tagged with: fracking, frackquakes, oklahoma


Independent Regulatory Review Commission vote on oil and gas regulations

Earthworks et. al.

April 19, 2016

For too long, oil and gas operators in Pennsylvania have conducted their activities under outdated regulations and limited oversight—factors that have helped spur ever-growing impacts on water, air, health, and communities.

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, chapter 78


Peruvian farmer wins 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for fighting world's 2nd largest gold miner to a standstill

Earthworks, SumOfUs.org

April 18, 2016

Cajamarca, Peru & San Francisco, CA -- Peruvian farmer Máxima Acuña de Chaupe today won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her ongoing fight to protect her home and community from the Conga mine. The announcement came as Newmont (NYSE: NEM) removed its proposed Conga gold mine in northern Peru from its list of reserves in its annual filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  

“We are happy that Newmont has finally faced facts and abandoned Conga,” said 2016 Goldman Prize winner Máxima Acuña de Chaupe, who has been embroiled in a struggle with the multinational mining company for control of her land. She continued, “The fact is our way of life, and the clean water we need to sustain it, is more important to us than Newmont’s new gold mine ever could be. We know from Newmont’s Yanacocha mine that, no matter their promises, we can’t have both the mine and our way of life.”

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Tagged with: gold mining, peru, newmont, fpic, conga, goldman prize, maxima


Updating mining law would protect tribes’ water, health

Native Sun News | Talli Nauman

April 13, 2016
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Tribes, local governing bodies and private groups at every level should declare support for proposed regulations and two new federal companion bills that lead to reform of the 1872 Mining Law, Montanaenvironmental policy advocate Bonnie Gestring told an audience observing World Water Day at the Dahl Arts Center here.

“These bills to modernize the 1872 Mining Law would require the mining industry, for the first time, to pay a royalty to the federal government for the minerals they extract from public lands," said Gestring, Northwest circuit rider for the nonprofit Earthworks.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872 mining law, 1872 reform


Is the IOGCC, Created by Congress in 1935, Now a Secret Oil and Gas Lobby?

InsideClimate | Lisa Song

April 11, 2016
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When Congress severely limited the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing in 2005, it was a victory for a quasi-governmental organization that has been quietly working for decades to restrict federal oversight of oil and gas

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Tagged with: fracking, congress, iogcc


Environmental and Citizen Groups Call Out Legislators on Oil and Gas Regulations

Earthworks | Clean Water Action

April 11, 2016

Environmental and citizen groups representing hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians submitted a letter to the members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Subcommittees urging support for the swift adoption and implementation of the revisions to Chapter 78 of the Oil and Gas Act for conventional operators and the new Chapter 78a for unconventional operators.

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, chapter 78


California Porter Ranch Gas Leak Killing Local Housing Market Sales

World Property Journal | Michael Gerrity

April 6, 2016
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According to a new study by RealtyTrac, the recent and unprecedented gas leak in Porter Ranch California is now having a devastating effect on the local housing market.

The Porter Ranch analysis shows that in the three months following the discovery of the gas leak in late October 2015, home sales in the Porter Ranch zip code (91326) plunged 44 percent while the share of all-cash sales spiked 50 percent during the same time period. Meanwhile, the median home sales price in Porter Ranch in the three months following the discovery of the gas leak dropped 1 percent.

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Tagged with: california, porter ranch, aliso canyon


Lawsuit challenges approval of Montana copper, silver mine

AP | Matthew Brown

April 4, 2016
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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmentalists are challenging U.S. Forest Service approval of a $500 million copper and silver mine in northwest Montana, citing concerns from state officials that it could drain surrounding waterways and potentially harm a species of trout protected under federal law

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Tagged with: mining, montana, lawsuit, montanore


Conservationists Take Legal Action to Protect Wilderness Rivers and Wildlife Threatened by Proposed Montanore Mine in Northwest Montana

Earthworks | Clark Fork Coalition | Save Our Cabinets

April 4, 2016

Missoula, MT – A coalition of conservation groups have filed suit to protect wilderness rivers and streams and threatened bull trout from the dewatering effects of the proposed Montanore Mine, a massive copper and silver mine that would excavate for ore under the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in northwestern Montana. The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Missoula.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, lawsuit, montanore


Obama Announces Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Sites

April 1, 2016

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Tagged with: natural gas, methane, energy department, phmsa, aliso canyon, underground storage


Water groups ask state supreme court invalidate evisceration of oil and gas pit

Earthworks et. al.

March 25, 2016

SANTA FE, NM — Yesterday, groups working to protect New Mexico’s water resources and wildlife asked the state Supreme Court to review the Martinez Administration’s “Pit Rule”. The Rule governs the storage and disposal of wastes at oil and gas drilling pits in New Mexico.

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Tagged with: fracking, new mexico, pit rule


New Analysis: Ignoring best practices, four BC/Alaska transboundary mines risk repeating Mount Polley disaster

Earthworks | MiningWatch Canada | Rivers Without Borders

March 22, 2016

In the midst of deliberations over the British Columbia Mining Code, an international coalition today released, Post-Mount Polley: Tailings Dam Safety in British Columbia, a new analysis revealing that four major BC mine projects in the Alaska/British Columbia transboundary region fail to implement the recommendations of the Mount Polley expert panel, risking similar mine waste containment disasters. The Mount Polley mine disaster, considered the worst mine disaster in Canadian history, occurred in August 2014, releasing over 25 million cubic meters of mine waste into the Fraser River watershed.

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Tagged with: mining, alaska, tailings, canada, mount polley, transboundary


Obama starts process to protect community health from existing oil and gas air pollution

Earthworks

March 10, 2016

“With today’s announcement, President Obama starts to get serious about oil and gas methane pollution.

Prior to this announcement, his Administration has largely focused on pollution from yet-to-be-built oil and gas facilities. This announcement is of enormous importance because it deals with the main problem - existing facilities.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, pollution, methane, existing sources


Colorado Sens. Bennet, Gardner urge law to spur cleanup at old mines

Denver Post | Bruce Finley

March 3, 2016
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Colorado's senators Wednesday urged fellow lawmakers to support "good Samaritan" legislation to spur voluntary cleanups at dormant mines polluting waterways around the West.

Sen. Michael Bennet also is pushing a more-ambitious reform of the nation's 1872 Mining Law to raise funds.

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Tagged with: mining, congress, 1872 reform


Gas Money Gone

Fort Worth Weekly | Peter Gorman

March 2, 2016
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When the landmen arrived in Fort Worth in 2007, they didn’t promise that every home owner would make a killing from leasing his or her land for natural gas exploration. But they did promise that every house would be getting free mailbox money monthly for 30 to 50 years, maybe a couple of hundred bucks per home, even if that home sat on only a 6,000-square-foot plot.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas


Colorado senators testify in support of good Samaritan legislation

Durango Herald | Edward Graham

March 2, 2016
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Leaking mines are an endemic problem in the West that far exceed the capabilities of the Eniveronmental Protection Agency to address alone, Sen. Michael Bennet on Wednesday told a committee discussing a planned bill that would allow organizations to help clean up abandoned mines.

“The bill will encourage states, local governments, nonprofits and companies to clean up abandoned mines,” Bennet said, citing the steps he and other lawmakers from Colorado have taken in working with stakeholders on all sides of the issue to craft the legislation.

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Tagged with: mining, congress, 1872 reform


Good Samaritan helps, but only 1872 Mining Law Reform will clean up 500,0000 abandoned mines

March 2, 2016

Statement of Earthworks Executive Director regarding tomorrow’s hearing before Senate Environment and Public Works Committe

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Tagged with: abandoned mines, good samaritan, senate, testimony, environment and public works


Montanore Mine seeks profit but squanders real treasure

Bonnie Gestring and Karen Knudsen

February 28, 2016
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The Cabinet Mountain Wilderness is a small gem in the northwest corner of our state that offers a rare glimpse of temperate forest, with towering red cedar, hemlock and moss-covered streams. This sliver of Wilderness is just 4 percent of the Kootenai National Forest, but it protects the headwaters of important river systems, provides refuge for native fish and wildlife, and is a lasting source of pristine water for those downstream.

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Tagged with: montana, montanore, cabinet mountain wilderness


New map, videos show Aliso Canyon only the tip of the iceberg

Earthworks

February 24, 2016

Washington D.C., Feb 24 -- Just as the worst methane leak in California’s history is sealed, and the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged the U.S. pollutes much more methane than previously estimated, Earthworks -- the group that filmed the videos revealing the scope of the methane disaster in Los Angeles County --released a map of 180+ infrared videos of oil and gas methane pollution events across the country.

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Tagged with: fracking, air pollution, methane


Long-stalled Montana mine gets conditional approval

AP | Matthew Brown

February 12, 2016
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BILLINGS (AP) — Montana environmental regulators granted conditional approval Friday to a long-stalled silver and copper mine proposed beneath a federal wilderness area, saying the developer must show before mining can proceed that the $500 million project won’t drain overlying creeks.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, cabinet mountains, cabinet mountains wilderness


State and Federal Agencies Approve Mine Underneath Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in Northwest Montana

Earthworks, Earthjustice et. al.

February 12, 2016

HELENA, MT --- State and federal agencies today approved the Montanore copper-silver mine proposed underneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in northwest Montana’s Kootenai National Forest. The mine project planned by Mines Management Inc. (NYSE-MARKET: MGN) will disturb more than 1,500 acres adjacent to the Wilderness and remove up to 120 million tons of ore from tunnels that extend underneath it. Despite the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) Record of Decision admitting that the full mine project will violate state water quality law, the Forest Service has nevertheless approved the full mine.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, montanore


Crooksville gas leak shows need for U.S. EPA to issue comprehensive oil and gas methane standards

Earthworks, Ohio Environmental Council, et al

February 3, 2016

On Monday night, hundreds of residents living in Crooksville, Ohio were evacuated from their homes when a natural gas transmission line spewed methane into the air near their village. Residents within a half mile radius of the leak were ordered to leave their homes and take up shelter at Crooksville High School.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, ohio, methane


Court Orders Environmental Protection Agency to Finalize Rules so Polluters Pay for Their Own Toxic Messes

Earthworks, Earthjustice et. al.

January 29, 2016

WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to stop letting polluters off the financial hook for contamination they caused. The judges directed the EPA to finalize long-awaited “financial assurance” regulations that will first apply to metal (hard rock) mining and other industries.

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Tagged with: mining, lawsuit, cercla, cercla 108b


Responding to Texas quake uptick, seismic study gets underway

Statesman | Asher Price

January 24, 2016

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, earthquakes, frackquakes


Skeptics remain after power plan Q&A

Denton Record Chronicle | Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

January 23, 2016
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A panel from Denton Municipal Electric fielded questions from a skeptical audience for nearly four hours Saturday over a proposal to replace the city’s current coal-fired power with new gas-fired power plants.

Questions and comments from the audience ranged from the pragmatic to the philosophical. They wanted to know why the city should build the plants knowing the rapidly changing energy market, the region’s poor air quality, the community’s stated values and the threat of climate change.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, denton, renewables


Earthworks statement on the Interior Department's Methane and Waste Reduction Rule

January 22, 2016

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Tagged with: blm, methane, interior department, lauren pagel, climate, oil and gas pollution, obama administration


Pennsylvania action on rules to cut methane pollution will help public health, address climate change

Earthworks, CATF, Sierra Club, NRDC

January 19, 2016

(Washington, D.C. – January 19, 2016)  National environmental advocacy groups today expressed gratitude to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf for acting on climate as he previewed rules that will cut methane pollution from the state's oil and gas sector. Pennsylvania, as the second largest natural gas producing state in the U.S., is a significant contributor of the man-made methane pollution that is warming the planet at an alarming rate as it worsens the state's already-poor air quality.

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, pennsylvania department of environmental protection, methane


Science panel faults EPA fracking probe for excluding baseline water testing

StateImpact PA | Jon Hurdle

January 13, 2016
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The Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark investigation into the impact of fracking on drinking water lacked baseline testing that would have made its results more illuminating, according to a scientific panel that assessed it, and independent analysts.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, pennsylvania, water


Watch: Infrared video shows Porter Ranch leak spew 50,000 kilograms of methane per hour

KPCC | Sharon McNary

December 9, 2015
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A black vapor plume boils up from a point on a hillside in Aliso Canyon and spreads as a low cloud, hugging the landscape, moved along by a breeze. It's footage from a camera calibrated to make gases that would normally be invisible show up on video.

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Tagged with: california, methane, porter ranch


Watch Methane Gas Eerily Float Over the Hills Near the Huge Porter Ranch Gas Leak

Curbed LA | Bianca Barragan

December 9, 2015
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Since Late October, a leak at a Southern California Gas Company facility in the Santa Susana Mountains has been spewing an incredible amount of methane gas, and the gas has been wafting into the nearby, wealthy Porter Ranch neighborhood, causing problems ranging from headaches to nosebleeds. SoCal Gas says it'll take weeks at least to fix the leak, and meanwhile they've relocated hundreds of people. To help people get a better idea of how dire the situation is, a cameraman working for environmental nonprofit Earthworks has captured images of a cloud of methane leaking from the Gas Company's Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site and crawling over the hills in the area. Armed with a "forward looking infrared camera calibrated to detect gases," the cameraman was able to make the gas—normally invisible to video as well as the naked eye—visible, says KPCC.

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Tagged with: california, methane, porter ranch


Watch 50,000 Kilograms of Methane Per Hour Gush From a Busted Pipe

CityLab | Laura Bliss

December 9, 2015
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What does a pipe spewing 50,000 kilograms of methane per hour look like? You’d never know, as the highly flammable gas is invisible to the naked eye.But in the northern San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, where a ruptured pipe has been pluming natural gas for nearly two months, residents finally have their chance to see.

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Tagged with: california, methane, porter ranch


Interior Secretary Jewell to testify on Gold King, mines at hearing

The Denver Post | Bruce Finley

December 8, 2015
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The Obama administration is weighing in on the problem of acid drainage from inactive mines, proposing a fee on companies working on public and private lands to raise funds for long-delayed cleanups

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Tagged with: mining, interior department, doi, 1872, animas


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May 16 | Public News Service | Dan Heyman
Group Documenting Marcellus Gas Well Leaks
May 12 | US News and World Report | Alan Neuhauser
Feds Tighten First-Ever Methane Rules for Fracking, Pipelines
May 12 | InsideClimate | Phil McKenna
EPA Begins Crackdown on Methane Emissions

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