Drilling industry ignores history, tries to overturn toxic pit rule

January 28, 2010 • Alan Septoff

Yesterday, New Mexico state legislator Thomas Taylor -- acting on behalf of the oil & gas drilling industry -- introduced a bill that would rescind the hard-won regulations protecting water and public health from toxic oil and gas waste pits.

The 2008 rules require lining all oil & gas waste pits.  They also prohibit waste pits entirely when groundwater is within 50 feet of the surface.

"Closed-loop" or "pitless" systems actually save drillers money -- on the order of 3% per well -- according to testimony before the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission.

Hopefully the New Mexico legislature hasn't forgotten its responsibility to its citizens and their health, or the drilling industry's history of contaminated groundwater.

If not, this bill will die and quick and well-deserved death.

For more information:

Target yanks farmed salmon, will only sell wild Alaska salmon

January 28, 2010 • Alan Septoff

This is great news for Bristol Bay, and the fisherfolk and communities that rely upon it.

Big court victory for Canadians, Canada’s environment

January 22, 2010 • Alan Septoff

Canada's Supreme Court rules that federal government, industry can't avoid rigorous environmental analysis of mine proposals through administrative chicanery.

Mountaintop removal on the Colbert Report

January 20, 2010 • Alan Septoff

"That's why when I go to the dentist, I have him remove my teeth through the top of my head."
(video after the jump)

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Gwen Lachelt talks fracking on NPR’s Science Friday

January 9, 2010 • Alan Septoff

Today on NPR's Science Friday our Gwen Lachelt and industry's Kathleen Sgamma discussed hydraulic fracturing with Ira Flatow.

You can download the audio file here.


New Interior oil & gas drilling policy is encouraging

January 8, 2010 • Cathy Carlson

EARTHWORKS applauds the Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey for their initiative to bring balance to the Nation s oil and gas program . For the past decade, there was an unprecedented run on the federal lands by big energy companies, securing oil and gas leases at bargain basement prices and speculating on the federal estate at the expense of the taxpayer and other resources.