As we come to the end of the Earthworks 25th year, I’d like to give Gwen Lachelt, the founder of the Oil & Gas Accountabilty Project, a final word.
Earthworks became the organization it is today after Mineral Policy Center – founded by Phil Hocker – merged with OGAP.
The latest example of drilling industry hypocrisy?
Norse Energy’s lawsuit against the administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for supposedly taking too long to finish its review of drilling impacts before deciding whether to allow horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing for shale gas in New York.
Last Thursday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling vindicating the rights of citizens and communities to choose where drilling can or cannot occur in our neighborhoods.
The case, Robinson Township et al vs. the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania et al. overturns part of Act 13 - the part prohibiting local zoning restrictions, which are essential to keeping industrial gas operations out of neighborhoods or other areas and protecting residents from pollution, noise, light, traffic, and other impacts. Those prohibitions are why Earthworks and partner organizations worked so hard to defeat Act 13 from the get-go.
In October, Energy Corporation of America's CEO, John Mork, made a huge mistake. In a press conference, he declared that he would like to "bring something like the Bakken" to areas surrounding Red Lodge, on the flanks of Beartooth-Absaroka Wilderness, and then added salt to the wound and announced that it would "fundamentally change these areas the way it has changed other areas of the United States."
Mr. Mork is exactly right -- it would fundamentally change these areas. If his plans succeed, folks can expect to see changes in the scenic landscape, and in crime rates, road conditions, the affordability of rent and food, and perhaps most importantly, changes in the clean water and air currently enjoyed in the area.
When we brought your signatures, comments and questions to NPR, I expected to meet with the Ombudsman, Edward Schumacher-Matos, and talk about our concern that the fracking industry's sponsorship is polluting NPR's coverage of energy and the environment. We didn't expect to spend an hour explaining the science of fracking, climate change, and water pollution to the CEO of NPR - Paul Haaga Jr. But when our team (including PA Fracktivist extraordinaire Karen F. and Lauren P. from our partner Earthworks) got off the elevator, that's exactly who was waiting to meet with us and that's exactly what we did talk about.
Esta es la primera parte en una serie especial explorando el lado personal de los organizadores de Earthworks.
En noviembre del 2013, organizadores de Earthworks tuvieron la oportunidad de visitar Pavillion, Wyoming, el caso mas infame y más conocido por la contaminación de agua que existe en los Estados Unidos. En el año 2011, la EPA emitió un informe preliminar, el cual ataba directamente el fracturamiento hidráulico a la contaminación de las aguas subterráneas en el área. En su informe, la agencia determino que los productos químicos utilizados en el fracturamiento hidráulico alcanzaron los acuíferos a través de vías subterráneas. La agencia dijo: "contaminación del agua subterránea con componentes tales como los que se encuentran en Pavillion son típicamente inviable o demasiado caros para remediar o restaurar".
In November, 2013, Earthworks staff had a chance to visit one of the most well known cases of water contamination from fracking – Pavillion, WY. In 2011, the EPA issued a preliminary report, directly tying fracking to groundwater contamination in the area. In its report, the agency found that chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing most likely reached groundwater through subsurface pathways. It went on to state: “Groundwater contamination with constituents such as those found at Pavillion is typically infeasible or too expensive to remediate or restore.”
This year, we present an alternative gift guide: The No Dirty Gold Holiday Gift Guide. Check it out to learn more about the true costs of our gifts -- and about what we can do to say No to Dirty Gold.