Up in Flames

October 31, 2013 • Dusty Horwitt

A recent state report showed that oil and natural gas producers in North Dakota were flaring (burning it at the wellhead) 29 percent of the approximately 31 billion cubic feet of natural gas produced in the state in August.  That’s about nine billion cubic feet of natural gas that never made it into people’s homes to provide heat or into factories to produce goods.  To put this figure in perspective, the nine billion cubic feet of natural gas flared in a single month (more than $30 million at August natural gas prices) is enough to supply residential customers in North Dakota for most of an entire year. The state’s residential customers used 9.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2012 according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  Nor will private landowners collect royalties or the state collect production taxes on the flared gas.  Nationally, only one percent of natural gas is flared.

Retailers for Responsible Mining: Johanna Mejía

October 24, 2013 • Shreema Mehta

The No Dirty Gold campaign calls on retailers, from large department stores to small businesses, to sign the “Golden Rules,” pledging to commit to more responsible metals sourcing. Thus far, 94 retailers have signed on to the Golden Rules, and the list continues to grow. This is one of a series of occasional interviews in which we ask retailers about why they signed the pledge and how they work to implement the Golden Rules in their business. Note that the views expressed by retailers do not necessarily reflect the view of Earthworks.

Power Shift 2013

October 22, 2013 • Lauren Pagel

This weekend, Earthworks Eastern Program Coordinator, Nadia, and I attended Power Shift, a gathering of thousands of students and young people dedicated to fighting dirty energy and promoting a just transition to a clean energy future.

Over 6,000 people gathered in Pittsburgh, PA for 3 days of inspiration and education, followed by a march through the streets calling for an end to our dependence on fossil fuels. Fracking was a huge part of the discussion at Power Shift this weekend, with many impacted community members profiled as part of panel discussions and events.

Global Frackdown Day – Citizens Come Together for Responsible Energy Development

October 21, 2013 • Jhon Arbelaez

On October 19, citizens all over the world came together to call for a moratorium on fracking, as well as other oil and gas stimulation activities that threaten human health and the environment.

In Californiarecently passed SB4 aims to regulate this kind of oil and gas development.  But with Global Frackdown, citizens are instead calling for a moratorium on fracking --  perhaps because the track record of state enforcement across the country has shown state regulation is tantamount to no regulation at all. So with their call for a moratorium, communities are demanding their health be protected as a first priority, ahead of corporate profits.

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When government fails, people near fracking are left with few choices

October 18, 2013 • Sharon Wilson

When fracking happens there are documented impacts to people and the environment:.

  • Federal government has both failed to respond and has actively walked away from these impacts.
  • State regulators are guilty of malfeasance.
  • Documentation of harm is denied and kept secret.

This pattern repeats itself all across the United States and the globe.

California – Los próximos pasos

October 17, 2013 • Jhon Arbelaez

El 20 de septiembre del 2013, el gobernador de California, Jerry Brown, firmó la ley sobre normas para el fracking, la acidificación y otras técnicas de estimulación de pozos, las cuales no eran reguladas. Earthworks inicialmente apoyo la ley, presentada por la Senadora Fran Pavley, ya que existía una escasez de leyes básicas para proteger al público de la producción de petróleo por formas no convencionales. Earthworks retiro nuestro apoyo después que modificaciones al ultimo momento, pedidas por la industria petrolera, lograron restringir la ley, y redujeron su efectividad para la protección de la salud pública y el medio ambiente.

What’s Next for California

October 17, 2013 • Jhon Arbelaez

On September 20, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown, signed into law regulations on fracking, acidizing, and other well-stimulation techniques; in the state; all of which had gone unregulated until now. Earthworks initially supported the bill, authored by Senator Fran Pavley, because even though California is the fourth-largest oil producing state in the nation, we lack basic, common sense laws to protect the public from unconventional oil production. We withdrew our support after heavy lobbying by the oil and gas industry led to last-minute amendments, curtailing what the law will accomplish, and how effective it will be at protecting public health and the environment.

EagleRidge ignores fracking worker safety

October 16, 2013 • Sharon Wilson

We already know that EagleRidge is a terrible neighbor!

  1. An EagleRidge Operating worker was indicted in June 2012 on a felony charge of illegally dumping. City employees visiting the company’s well site in the 3100 block of Airport Road found a pump forcing contaminated water into a tributary of Hickory Creek. LINK
  2. EagleRidge was operating wells in Denton without a permit. LINK
  3. EagleRidge had a blowout in Denton that got "sanitized." LINK But it didn't stay "sanitized." LINK
  4. EagleRidge is drilling in a Denton neighborhood less than 200 feet from homes.
  5. EagleRidge is drilling in Mansfield and polluting air, violating sound ordinances and dividing neighbors. LINK