A Fracked Earth News report.
Rising temps, rising seas, rising CO2 emissions–and rising anger
__In advance of the December climate summit in Paris, the UN says that, even though 146 countries have set ambitious goals, “by 2025 or 2030, global emissions are expected to still be rising by about 48 gigatons over 2010 levels. And the 2.0 C degrees cap? It’ll be exceeded, to 2.7 C, as things stand now.
__”We in the Pacific are innocent bystanders in the greatest act of folly of any age,” said Fijian prime minister as Pacific Island nations met prior to the UN climate summit. Not only are their homelands disappearing beneath their feet, but diseases such as dengue fever and typhoid are increasingly occurring.
__Australia’s Labor Party is in agreement with the Pacific Island nations, scheduling visits to Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Fiji and Niue. According to the UN, “as many as 4.1 million people are at risk from water shortages, food insecurity and disease across the Pacific”.
__Are you ready for this? Major discrepancy between what China’s been reporting and what it’s been doing. It’s actually been using 17% more coal than reported—emitting as much as “a billion more tons” of CO2.
__FYI: chart comparing CO2 emissions by US states in 2013. Who’s on first?
“The people united … “
__The Grant Township, Pennsylvania community joined together and passed The Grant Bill of Rights which “codifies environmental and democratic rights, and bans fracking wastewater injection wells.” A gas and oil industry suit brought this on.
__Kansas has decided to keep fracking wastewater-injection restrictions in place, rather than letting them expire, since they seem to “decrease the frequency and intensity of earthquakes.”
__Looks like Amherst, New York won’t be using what frackers call ’production brine’ to de-ice the roads.
__Fracking bans still running into Republican resistance in Florida, but anti-fracking forces continue the fight, including tracking the pro-frackers: “Keep the oil in the soil unless you want the bird dogs on your tail.”
__Fracking occurs within a half-mile of a Navajo K-8 public school—“and they’re also building a fracking wastewater plant right over the hill.” All this on federal and state land. Diné and environmental groups have sued for better study and planning by the US Bureau of Land Management. Closest air monitoring station? 50 miles away.
__They traveled from Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Texas to an EPA meeting in Washington, DC. They produced evidence of benzene, dichloromethane, cyclohexane, many other toxic substances in their water—some with isotopic matches from nearby gas wells. Despite their evidence and persistence, they feel the EPA and some state offices (including Texas’ Railroad Commission) stonewall them. They were allowed to speak for a few minutes each:
__Four years ago, a coalition of environmentalists and residents energetically resisted, so the US Bureau of Land Management disallowed oil and gas drilling in the Wayne National Forest, Ohio. New industry effort, very similar to the old effort, underway once again. Expect resistance.
__New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has subpoenaed “extensive financial records, emails and documents” from ExxonMobil relative to accusations they suppressed climate change risks since the late ‘70s.
__Canadians opposed to fracking are teaming up via video. “Community leaders, church groups and First Nations … in Vancouver” are learning from folks in New Brunswick who were successful in getting a provincial moratorium against fracking established.
__First Nations and local environmentalists are not pleased with Steelhead LNG’s pipeline plans in British Columbia, particularly since 75 of the pipeline’s 128 kilometers will have to be underwater, including under the Salish Sea.
__The Obama administration will not oblige TransCanada and pause review of the Keystone XL pipeline (h/t EE):
__US and European countries are promoting fracking and other methods of oil and gas extraction in Latin America, unwittingly promoting cooperation between “over 200 environmental, social, labor and political organizations from both continents” who oppose fracking and want Latin America to “be more than simply a pawn on an international energy chess board.”
__Major concern over proposed fracking for shale gas in England’s glorious Peak District. Greenpeace and others are imploring the local MP to vote against fracking, and are scheduling mass trespasses.
__Other areas at risk of fracking in England include Lincolnshire Wolds, the North York Moors and Howardian Hills. According to one opponent, “It is abundantly clear that this government is trying to force fracking on a reluctant nation using every trick in the book.”
__Fracking not allowed in the 4000 Sites of Special Scientific Interest in England. No word on whether the sites can be ringed by horizontal drills, however.
__Busted by FOIA in Scotland! The Glasgow City Council provided instruction to its “20,000 employees on potential terrorist threats” identified as “‘animal rights’, ‘environmental’ and ‘anti-nuclear.’”
__In Victoria, Australia one “senior state government MP has sought a permanent ban on the controversial practice of fracking,” in this instance, for coal seam gas. Much concern about the impact on health and drinking water, and farmers fear for their live-stock and livelihoods.
__In northern British Columbia, a creek is now so contaminated that the water cannot be used. Residents blame fracking for the landslide that poisoned the creek “with silt and heavy metals.” Provincial government will send “several government ministries [to] tour the slide zone.” Will protesters accompany them?
__Even birds flee areas where fracking goes on, particularly single-bore wells, though they will get a bit closer to multi-bore wells (cheaper for frackers). Many birds are “seriously threatened by climate change”; wind farms aren’t helping them, either.
__FWIW. Oil prices/ barrel this am: $46.22 New York, $48.68 Brent.
” … will never be defeated”
__Montanans “who fiercely love their land,” including “ranchers, Northern Cheyenne tribal members, Amish farmers and others” are determined to keep the coal in the ground, contrary to politicians and regulatory agencies. They’re fighting Arch Coal’s plans to mine some 120 billion tons of Montana coal. Recent meeting proves their mettle.
__”It’s a fight we can win!” Strong tradition of Montana opposition to extractive industries, including coal:
__Peabody Energy maneuvers to get what it can as it enters bankruptcy, first dumping retiree obligations onto Patriot Coal, a spinoff. But now Patriot, too, is in financial jeopardy. So, Peabody “is quietly seeking to get out of paying for any of its remaining agreed-upon obligations” to its 12,000 retirees and their families. Lawsuits ahead?
__ Movement afoot for “collective right of veto” by Australian communities over property use, currently under state control. It’s a struggle to assert farmers’ “moral rights” over coal seam case companies’ “legal rights,” lest “the ruination of arable farms and scarce water reserves” occurs.
__Paul Ehrlich on the impact of Australia’s coal extraction:
__They walked 180 miles—pushing children in wheelchairs—from Cerro de Pasco to Lima, Peru. A huge open-pit mine dominates their community, sickening residents with lead and other poisons, contaminating waterways and land. Their deep poverty is intensifying, their government says it will help, but hasn’t. Hence, their March of Sacrifice. Vivid photos, videos.
— Juana Trujillo (@Maribel_tp22) September 17, 2015
__59 South African gold mine workers have banded together to sue their employers for the silicosis and tuberculosis that now afflict them. Once they can no longer work, they are simply let go with no compensation, no medical care. 32 mining companies such as Anglo American and Gold Fields are involved.
Assorted Grrrrrs and Smilies
__Remember BLM’s wild horse sale back last summer, the one we feared? Almost 2,000 of the horses were taken to a Mexico slaughterhouse, despite BLM’s responsibility to find safe homes for them.
__Why didn’t the US EPA ban glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup), an endocrine disruptor associated with “cancer, infertility, and diabetes”? Because they relied “almost entirely on pesticide industry studies,” and delayed the process for almost 20 years.
__By 2017, 10% of Tanzania’s home, and “all health centres and dispensaries” will have light, and at night, too, thanks to solar cells and storage batteries.
__Japan has far too many golf courses. Solution? Turn the excess into solar farms!
__Inside the Doomsday seed vault, which has released seed—for the first time ever—so that agricultural research can continue with seeds from war-ravaged Syria:
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