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Oil and Gas Drilling Comes East

Issue 5 > July 30, 2008

Oil & gas development in the Marcellus Shale

Credit: Catskill Mountainkeeper
Credit: Catskill Mountainkeeper

The Marcellus Shale, a natural gas reserve which runs through parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, is currently experiencing a huge boom in exploration and extraction. Many concerned residents have called and written EARTHWORKS with questions regarding this new drilling.

And we expect more questions. Gov. David Patterson (D-NY) and the New York State legislature recently simplified the application process for natural gas development, so a torrent of applications for drilling permits is expected.

People are right to be concerned. The technique used to extract the gas in the Marcellus Shale is hydrofracking, which has been known to contaminate water supplies in New Mexico and Colorado with toxic material and cancer-causing agents.

The Oil & Gas Accountability Project has a report which explains what this means for residents in the area and other concerned citizens. This is in addition to OGAP’s ‘Oil & Gas At Your Door? A Landowners Guide to Oil & Gas Development’. For more information, click here: [Learn More]

EARTHWORKS testifies against AZ land exchange bill

Earlier this month, EARTHWORKS Southwest Circuit Rider, Roger Featherstone, testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forest on S. 1862, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2008.

EARTHWORKS opposes the bill, which would transfer thousands of acres of public lands to foreign mining companies to facilitate the construction of a large copper mine. If the land exchange were to take place, Oak Flat Campground, a popular recreation area for residents and an important cultural site for the Western Apache. For more information on the potentially devastating effects of this ill-conceived land exchange bill, click here: [Learn More]

U.S. approves ban on Burmese gems

On July 22, the US Senate unanimously approved a bill to ban US corporations from importing Burmese gemstones. Civil society groups have welcomed this move as means of pressuring the Burmese government to stop abusing human rights in Burma. The legislation was supported by Jewelers of America, which represents more than 11,000 jewelry stores nationwide.

Major retailers such as Tiffany’s and Bulgari have already implemented policies banning use of rubies, jade, and other gems from Burma. The policy of not sourcing gems from Burma is also in alignment with the Golden Rules’ position on human rights and operations in conflict zones.

Recycle your cell phone from home

Do you have old cell phones and PDAs in a desk drawer somewhere? Don’t thrown them away, recycle them!

Throwing them away puts toxic metals into the environment, while recycling reduces the need for more mining.

If you use EARTHWORKS’s recyclemycellphone.org website, you can even recycle your phone from home for free.

You can also set up a recycling program in your community to help benefit a local charity! [Learn More]