Fracking the Eagle Ford — TCEQ’s nondenial

September 30, 2013 • Alan Septoff

Energy in Depth responded to our report on TCEQ's regulatory malfeasance: Reckless Endangerment while fracking the Eagle Ford - Government fails, public health suffers and industry profits from the shale oil boom.

Rather than respond on the substance, EID chose to attack Earthworks.

To paraphrase Isaac Asimov, ad hominem attacks are the last refuge of those without a leg to stand on.

The central revelations of the report are not in dispute:

House Balks at Privatizing Public Lands for Foreign Mining Companies

September 30, 2013 • Aaron Mintzes

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives at the last minute unexpectedly scrapped a scheduled floor vote on HR 687, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act. This bill privatizes protected public lands, enjoyed by campers, hikers, and climbers, sacred to the Apache people and turns them over to foreign mining corporations.

This is the 12th time Congress has considered this bill. Each time a new version appears, the opposition grows. Native American tribes, local communities, and environmental groups have demonstrated near universal opposition. The fastest growing source of opposition comes from Republican members of the House whose districts serve Native American communities. Many conservative Democrats too have expressed strong reservations.

Why Anglo walked away from the planet’s richest undeveloped gold deposit

September 27, 2013 • Jennifer Krill

The BusinessWeek story asks Why Miners Walked Away From the Planet's Richest Undeveloped Gold Deposit and partly answers its own question.

We appreciate the shout-out. But we also want to make it clear that the Bristol Bay Protection pledge and market pressure from the No Dirty Gold campaign are just one part of a broad effort in which dozens of tribes, conservation groups, and business played a part. Credit is due to this diverse coalition of Native Alaskans, commercial and recreational fishermen, chefs, students, and many others.

Triple Divide history lesson

September 24, 2013 • Nadia Steinzor

While driving through eastern Ohio yesterday, I stopped for a stroll along the Cayuhoga. In the language of the First Americans, the name meant “crooked river.” For other Americans born centuries later, the name would come to mean “the river that caught on fire from pollution.”

The famous Cayuhoga fire of 1969 was blamed on heavy oil slicks, and was one of several that afflicted the river during more than a century of unregulated industrial waste dumping. The image of the river burning has been credited with a surge in the environmental movement and the political support needed to pass the Clean Water Act.

Fast-forward to September 2013, as Ohioans turn out in the hundreds to watch different images of rivers threatened and rivers defended—this time in the form of Triple Divide, a documentary about the damage caused by shale gas development.

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House Passes Mining Bill Limiting Community Rights

September 20, 2013 • Aaron Mintzes

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed HR 761, the poorly titled National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013. Every member of the House Majority voted for it joined by fourteen House Democrats.

Begging for Data from the Oil and Gas Industry

September 16, 2013 • Bruce Baizel

Why the new EDF report doesn’t mean natural gas is a climate friendly fuel

The Environmental Defense Fund, partnered with the oil and gas industry, published a paper yesterday that reports the results of direct measurements of methane emissions from 27 natural gas well completions (out of more than 20,000 well completions that occur in any given year).

The EDF report released today is a direct response to the challenge identified by Howarth: we need direct measurements of methane emissions from all natural gas development to make informed decisions about the climate impacts of natural gas. Unfortunately, the EDF report does not get us what we need.

What is most notable about today’s report is that the methane measurements were all made at sites offered by the industry participants – they were not a random sample of typical gas well sites.  Participating companies cherry-picked sites for the study, and the scientists went and studied them.

Anglo American Pulls out of Pebble Mine

September 16, 2013 • Shreema Mehta

Big news today -- Anglo-American canceled its investment in the Pebble copper and gold mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The departure is great news for anyone who cares about preserving natural wilderness, but most of all for Alaska Native communities who depend on the Bristol Bay watershed for their livelihoods.

California Comes out of the Fracking Closet

September 12, 2013 • Jennifer Krill

Senator Fran Pavley’s (D – Agoura Hills) bill to regulate fracking and acidizing for oil and gas passed the California Assembly by a vote of 47-17 yesterday. Earthworks had initially supported SB 4, but we withdrew our support after the bill was weakened at the last minute by the oil and gas industry and California’s surprisingly pro-drilling Governor Jerry Brown, just days before it came to a floor vote.