Calvin Tillman, former mayor of Dish, TX, is speaking to fracking affected communities in California this week, from July 24th through July 26th. Calvin's story has been featured in the films Gasland and Gasland II. He will be talking about his own experiences with fracking, effects on public health and the environment, and property rights.
Pennsylvanians whose health and quality of life have been disrupted by gas development certainly have a personal “dog in the fight” for better industry oversight and accountability. But they might not have expected help in that quest from the state’s fiscal watchdog—who yesterday strongly criticized the ability of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to track problems and respond to the public.
In a report on DEP’s protection of water quality in the face of shale gas drilling, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale detailed serious lapses in how DEP works with drillers who have caused water pollution; communicates investigation results to residents; registers citizen complaints; conducts inspections of gas sites; and tracks waste.
Earthworks is part of a multistakeholder group working to develop the world's first certification system for more responsible mining. Today, the group releases the first draft of the standards for public comment. Here's a message from the committee about these groundbreaking standards.
Today, the EPA released its long-awaited plan for restricting mine waste disposal in Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed - a crucial step towards protecting the world's most proflific wild salmon fishery and the 14,000 hardworking fishermen who depend on it. Alaska Native Tribes and commercial fishermen petitioned the EPA to use its authority to protect the fishery in 2010.
"It's been a long time coming," said Luki Akelkok, chairman of Nunamta Aulukestai, an association of ten Native Tribes and corporations, in a press release today.
Today, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a mark up on the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (HR 5078) and the Regulatory Certainty Act (HR4854). Key to understanding the intent of these bills is knowing the language of Washington DC pretext. “Overreach” is the favored buzzword used by some to describe anything the Administration wants to do to protect public health and the environment. “Certainty” means allowing the polluters to do anything they want while absolving them from regulation.
I spent eight hours in Denton on Tuesday night at a city council hearing to consider a ban on fracking in city limits, and during that time, I saw the oil and gas industry do what they do best. And that’s not drilling and fracking, folks. It’s bullying, lying, spreading propaganda and fear mongering. Their behavior and dirty tricks were abysmal and fooled no one who mattered; even the Council called them out on it.
The good news is that I also saw the people of Denton, nearly 100 of them, stand up and speak for their rights to clean air, and to quiet neighborhoods, and healthy kids. The bad news is that the city council listened to the industry suits, wearing nice shoes and representing oil and gas companies and mineral rights owners intent on profiting from other people’s misery. At 3AM, the city council voted against a ban, sending the question to the ballot measure in the fall.