One year ago in August, a mine waste dam failed. The breach sent 24.4 million cubic meters of a liquefied mixture of toxic heavy metals and other chemicals into the Fraser River watershed in British Columbia, Canada. To help prevent further toxic catastrophes, over 3 dozen environmental and social justice groups including Earthworks, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace sent a letter today to the United Nations Environment Programme urging the agency to call for global review and regulations to address threats posed by similar dams at existing and proposed mines around the world. As the global authority on environmental protection, UNEP can not only bring much-needed attention to this problem, but also develop international guidelines and assist countries to respond to this growing threat.
Recent comments by Jerry Brown were bold indeed for an elected state governor, especially one whose state currently is one of the top producers of oil and gas:
“One-third of the oil that we know exists as reserves can never be taken out of the ground. Fifty percent of the gas can never be used. [Yet] we have very powerful opposition that spends billions on trying to … elect troglodytes and other deniers of the obvious science,” Brown said.
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a series of commonsense requirements designed to control the health-harming toxic air emissions from new and modified oil and gas sources. These steps will result in the industry utilizing more of their cost-effective technologies to capture leaks, flares, and other releases from wells, pipelines, and other gas infrastructure that contribute to climate change, increased asthma rates, smog, and other serious health concerns.
Today, the Obama administration released its proposed rule to limit air pollution from fracking and other oil and gas operations. The Methane Pollution Standard is the first limits on methane emissions from new and modified facilities including well pads, compressor station, storage facilities and other infrastructure
I was invited this week to offer my comments at a press conference on a study by CNA, a nonprofit research and analysis organization located in Arlington, VA on the expected impacts of shale gas development in the Delaware River Basin. This study was unique in that it looks across a broad range of impacts, uses a common basis of well and well pad influences, and derives projections based on actual past production data in the Marcellus and the key drivers of that production.
Last Wednesday, the US experienced one of its worst mining-related disasters in decades, and it’s received a lot of attention both here in Colorado and nationally. There’s been no shortage of name calling and blaming, but few seem to be speaking of the bigger picture: how can we learn from this and write policies and regulations that stop this from happening again?
First they dreamed of building a city, now they dream of drilling for oil. The Kanter family, aka real estate moguls of southern Florida, that is. And the location they have in mind is the acreage they own in the Everglades—a unique natural environment deemed globally significant because of its diverse wildlife, vegetation, and ecosystems.
One year ago, thanks to the generous support of Earthworks members, we bought a FLIR Gasfinder camera to expose otherwise invisible air pollution from fracking and drilling operations.
With this camera, we are able see what industry is trying to hide, and show that fracking isn't clean or safe. We put the results of this technology in the hands of everyday citizens living with oil and gas in their backyard so they can see what's really going on and demand action.