Environmental injustice: Appalachia, already an impoverished sacrifice zone of extraction industries, is slated to become the center of yet another. Extraction and dirty industries have not benefited Appalachia (or south Texas!), and this new plan won’t either. Food and Water Watch: Appalachia to be another Petrochemical Sacrifice Zone. Sept. 2018
Public health consequences of fracking: Hays J, and Shonkoff S. (2016) Toward an Understanding of the Environmental and Public Health Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Development: A Categorical Assessment of the Peer-Reviewed Scientific Literature, 2009-2015. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154164
Competition for shrinking window of low salinity groundwater: Environmental Research Letters · October 2018, DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aae6d8: Our findings illustrate that groundwater stores are being depleted not only by excessive withdrawals, but due to injection, and potentially contamination, from the oil and gas industry in areas of deep fresh and brackish groundwater.
No penalties for 90% of pipeline blasts: E&E News, 11-15-18: “Since the beginning of 2010, interstate pipelines have exploded or caught fire 137 times, according to an E&E News analysis of interstate pipeline enforcement and incident data. In about 90 percent of those cases, PHMSA sought no fine.” More…
Solar jobs now more than oil, gas, and coal combined: Ecowatch 1-17
More on the number of jobs in fracking (does not assess jobs destroyed by fracking): Pa “Governor Corbett’s office cooked the books.” Less than 29,000 (less than half a percent of state employment) rather than the 250,000 jobs claimed by Corbett were in fracking-related employment in early 2015. Since then, unemployment in heavily fracked counties has become higher than in counties with more sustainably-based economies. 1-22-16
20 “moderate” earthquakes, including two at 4.7 an 4.8 magnitude and at least one directly below fracking operations, struck Oklahoma in less than 10 hours (weather.com). Recent peer-reviewed research indicates the potential for fracking-induced quakes to reactivate faults and cause major quakes. The recent swarms in Texas and Oklahoma are also threatening the local economy, a new Standard & Poors report suggests: “The earthquake trend will continue to have sharp economic consequences for home and business owners, mortgage lenders, insurance companies, and investors exposed to real estate in earthquake affected areas.” Experts predict bigger, more damaging earthquakes will occur. 1-7-16
The economics and corruption of FERC, the body that approves pipelines — with a 100% approval rate since 1986. It is funded 100% by industry. 1-16
New report: Clean economy a key economic driver of job growth in NW North America 12-1-15
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on the corporate profit, government subsidies, political tyranny, and people driving the toxic assaults on our communities and nation: Ecowatch 9-15.
Stanford study: U.S. roadmap to feasible and affordable clean energy August 2015: This study presents roadmaps for each of the 50 United States to convert their all-purpose energy systems (for electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) to ones powered entirely by wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). The plans contemplate 80–85% of existing energy replaced by 2030 and 100% replaced by 2050, Energy and Environmental Science (Energy Environ. Sci.), 2015, 8, 2093–2117
IMF Report: Fossil fuel companies impose more in climate costs than they make in profit with link to the report July 2015
Fracking town’s desperate laid off workers: “They don’t tell you it’s all a lie.” The boom and bust in North Dakota has trapped people there, with little hope of work or escape. Evelyn Nieves, Alternet 3-28-15
Global Shale Fail: The “global fracking boom has in large part been based on false premises and accompanying false promises. EIA‘s role here is crucial, serving as an entity which often initially trumpets the estimated reserves of shale basins and then quietly back-pedals with downgrades months or years later. As reported previously on DeSmog, John Krohn — former communications director for industry front group Energy in Depth — now serves as a spokesman for EIA..” 3-27-15
Stranded Assets in Oil and Gas a Reality: Stranded assets of o&g are not just due to climate change. Because wind and solar have become competitive, o&g extraction is fast becoming just a bad investment. Energy Policy Forum 3-15
Economic impacts of liquified natural gas exports on consumers 1-15
A new study, an update of the Compendium of Scientific, Medical and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking by the Concerned Health Professionals of NY, looks at results of numerous studies to arrive at its conclusions, exploring sixteen areas of potential harm from fracking. ‘A significant body of evidence has emerged to demonstrate that these activities are inherently dangerous to people and their communities,’ it says. ‘Risks include adverse impacts on water, air, agriculture, public health and safety, property values, climate stability and economic vitality.'” 12-14
The people of Seneca Lake speak out on economic impacts and threats from natural gas storage and compressor infrastructure
The Frackonomics Con Job about to be Exposed (we hope): “The numbers for the fracking industry have never really added up, but according to an Oct. 9 Bloomberg article the amount of lies and deception is a bubble waiting to burst.” 10-10-14
How Fossil Fuels Make Inequality Worse 9-14: Good summary of issues and recent research, including high capital intensiveness, short-term profit to the wealthy and high externalities (costs inflicted, often disparately heavily on the poor and minorities). Some quotes:
“…As for the payoff, a study from Headwaters Economics found that oil and gas drilling don’t even raise incomes when they come to town — in fact, they lower them. Looking at the period from 1980 to 2011, the study found that longer periods of specialization in oil and gas meant lower per-capita incomes, more crime, and lower educational achievement. Per capita income was found to be as much as $7,000 lower in counties with a long-term focus on drilling compared to those that only experienced a year of it….
The oil and gas industry is one of the most capital-intensive there is, with the majority of its investment going to physical capital and comparatively little going to the workers…
In addition to the negative externalities of fossil fuel consumption — the costs of pollution and climate change impacts, for instance — extracting fossil fuels also makes rich people richer, while employing fewer people than other industries, especially when compared with green jobs.”
July 10, 2014: Concerned Health Professionals of New York just released a major compendium of the scientific, medical and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking, including air, water, health, economic, and climate impacts, fully referenced and very current with over three hundred citations. The Compendium and its executive summary are available on the Concerned Health Professionals of New York website.
Fact sheet: Actual jobs created in Ohio in oil&gas (and logging and mining): 80/year for past ten years. 2013. Peoples Oil and Gas Collaborative, Ohio
Myth of the Local Fracking Boom: Denton TX short video: why fracking produces extremely limited economic benefits and high costs to the local economy 3-14
…”It should come as no surprise then that all of the think tanks issuing reports and commentary proclaiming fracking’s supposed national security benefits and giving only short shrift to climate change and water security were directly or indirectly funded by the oil and gas industry as well as private equity and investment funds with big fossil fuel stakes. Some even take money from industry lobbyists. CNASreceives funding from the fracking industry’s lobbyist and public relations outfit, the American Natural Gas Alliance. The Institute for 21st Century Energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a fossil fuel lobbying project at the country’s biggest lobbying shop, a/k/a the “Chamber of Carbon,” directly funded the RAND study.” More…
From Energy Policy Forum, THE COST OF CARBON AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Cambridge University in the United Kingdom has come out with estimates of the costs of shale extraction on climate. According to the Guardian: “Shale frackers operating in Britain should be paying £6bn a year in taxes by the middle of the 2020s to compensate for the damage wreaked on the environment.” While the Europeans place a cost of carbon emissions at about $100/ton, the U.S., which has no carbon tax, implicitly costs out carbon in the capital markets at only about $28/ton. But the researchers at Cambridge think that methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas, should be costed far higher. The Guardian states: “The social impact of methane has been less well studied…but the best estimate for this much more powerful greenhouse gas is a little over $1,200 a tonne.” More from the Guardian. 1-27-14
Where the Jobs Are: “natural” gas creates 1.12 jobs per megawatt of energy produced vs. 32.71 jobs produced by solar voltaics: graphic. (“Figures shown here represent jobs per megawatt and include jobs in construction, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance.”) More on successes of wind and solar at Ecowatch.org’s Ecobusiness pages.
The Fix in Fossil Fuels (Harvard Magazine, Jan-Feb ’14 issue): “THE UNITED STATES is wasting more than $4 billion a year by giving oil and gas companies tax breaks that do not benefit consumers or the economy, says Joseph Aldy, assistant professor of public policy at the Kennedy School of Government and a former special assistant to the president for energy and environment. This special treatment for the fossil-fuel industry, he points out, adds to the national debt and maintains the country’s dependence on a finite natural resource that produces greenhouse gases.” More… See also the report on which this article is based.
A Big Fracking Lie: The extreme risks to people, economy and climate of the Obama plan to export liquified fracked gas, by Bill McKibben and Mike Tidwell, Politico, 1-14: “…The ‘inconvenient truths’ on liquefied gas also come—in different forms—from the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and elsewhere. On the economic side, a study commissioned by the DOE last spring found that exporting U.S. gas would raise the fuel’s price here at home. It’s basic supply and demand. More buyers overseas will drive up our domestic price by as much as 27 percent, according to the DOE. And that increase will reduce incomes for virtually every sector of the U.S. economy, from agriculture to manufacturing to services to transportation. No wonder manufacturers like Dow and Alcoa are resisting this emerging U.S. export policy for gas, forming a coalition called ‘America’s Energy Advantage’ to push back. The DOE found that only one economic sector wins from gas exports. You guessed it: the gas industry!…” Read more: politico.com
Seven Things Everyone Knows about Energy That Just Ain’t So–2013 edition –Kurt Cobb, ResourceInsights 12-29-13
Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations. This peer-reviewed study exposes the major sources of funding of climate deniers in the U.S. and the methods used to hide this funding. The paper, by Robert J Brulle, professor of sociology and environmental science at Drexel University, was published in Climatic Change, Dec., 2013.
New report from Headwaters Economics: “Long-Term [fossil-fuel] Energy Development Has Negative Impacts on Western Counties“: “For counties that participated in the early 1980s oil and gas boom, per capita income declines with longer specialization. The longer the duration of oil and gas specialization, the higher the crime rate. For counties that participated in the early 1980s oil and gas boom, educational attainment declines with longer specialization. – See more.
The fracking/real estate conundrum, Are home value declines near wells another multi-billion dollar subsidy for oil and gas industry?, a Boulder Weekly article (12-12-13) by Joel Dyer, discusses peer-reviewed research on real estate values and subsidies to fracking industry hidden in the real estate losses assumed by homeowners: “The Boxell study concluded, ‘The results of this analysis strongly suggest that the presence of oil and gas facilities can have significant negative impacts on the values of neighboring rural residential properties.’
“At this point, the only reason that oil and gas companies can drill close to or even within communities is because outdated state laws regarding surface damages which exclude real estate value losses to nearby homeowners are, in fact, acting as a multi-billion dollar subsidy for the world’s most profitable industry.”
Federal Investigation Reveals Massive Taxpayer Giveaway to Oil and Gas Drillers, NRDC switchboard blog: “Today the General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigatory arm of the federal government, released findings of a new investigation concluding that the Department of Interior (DOI) has failed to ensure that U.S. taxpayers are being fully compensated for revenues generated by drilling activities on their public lands. Arguably worse, despite decades of recommendations and studies that have established that DOI has been negligent in addressing this taxpayer rip-off, GAO investigators learned recently that DOI officials decided to basically throw in the towel and abandon a series of remedies that were in the works that would have attempted to address this inequity…” 12-17-13
New report on oil and gas campaign contributions to Congress, which are now at record levels. 12-13
Clean renewables (wind, solar, geothermal…) can power the world. How to get there? 11-13
and another economic review 12-13
and a related letter to the editor, Athens Messenger, 1-14
American Banker: Growing number of banks will not provide mortgages to land with oil and gas leases or with mineral rights severed. Bankers also note loss of value to neighboring properties: “‘We’d have to tell their neighbors, ‘We’re sorry, your property value just went down.'” 11-13
“Already the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador have introduced moratoriums on fracking. Nova Scotia has banned fracking while undertaking a review. Unifor is now pushing for a national moratorium.
Unifor is raising concerns about the safety and environmental risks associated with fracking as well as the lack of informed consent by First Nations about fracking activities on traditional lands.
In the statement unanimously passed by the 25-person Unifor National Executive Board, the union expressed support for the non-violent protest efforts by First Nations to resist fracking activity on their lands. The Unifor National Executive Board is made up of elected representatives from across the country and a variety of economic sectors, including energy.
‘Unconventional gas fracking has the potential to have catastrophic effects on our environment and economy. The safety risks are also a major concern for our union,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Just because we can carry out this activity does not mean we should. We must enact a national moratorium on fracking activity.’
Dias also noted that it would be folly for Canada to reorient our entire energy infrastructure around a short-term surge in an unsustainable energy supply.” more…
Bell’s Beer sues Enbridge as threat to its business interests and in violation of state law. 7-13
“HUGE CAPEX = FREE CASH FLOW? NOT IN SHALES” 6-13 Deborah Lawrence Rogers, Energy Policy Forum: “The oil and gas industry has made tremendous promises regarding shale gas and oil, most of which are, unfortunately, dropping by the wayside. We were promised production “for decades to come” though actual production numbers belied this. We were promised energy independence while the wells were screaming down their decline curves. We were promised jobs, while renewables were quietly booking considerably more jobs per kilowatt than oil and gas. Three times as many to be exact. Perhaps such poor performance from oil and gas is precisely the reason for the hyperbole.
Nevertheless, an interesting article from Bloomberg touches on another aspect of shale production: sustainability. Fiscal sustainability…” Read more…
Economic costs of health impacts Deborah Rogers, 4-13
Natural Gas prices will skyrocket if fracked gas is exported— all signs indicate it will be: “…The British company Centrica announced that it had signed a $15 billion, 20-year ‘landmark’ agreement with Cheniere Energy Partners, which would allow it to export enough from the U.S. to supply just under 2 million British homes each year….” 3-26-13 More on the export projections 2-13
Groups oppose exports: …”U.S. Department of Energy is currently reviewing proposals for 16 export facilities. If all of these facilities were approved and developed, they would export a volume of gas equal to almost half of the natural gas currently produced in the U.S.” More…. 3-12-13
Fracking’s economic impact on dairy farming, a Penn State study, and a review of the literature and open letter from a NY dairy farmer, critiquing NY Farm Bureau’s support of fracking 4-13
“Fracking’s future an illusion at best: Strip away ‘possible’ and ‘speculative’ reserves, add in surging demand and costs, and a century’s worth of resources plunges to 11 years’ worth of supply.” More… The shell game of industry forecasts and speculation… Toronto Star, 2-22-13
Quantifying the health and environmental benefits of wind power to natural gas, Donald McCubbin and B.K. Sovacool, Energy Policy 53 (2013) 429–441. From conclusion: “The overall costs of electricity generated by natural gas are greater than those from wind energy when human health and environmental externalities are quantified. It remains likely that over time the relative difference will widen, making the use of wind energy even more favorable.”
Unanswered Questions about the Economic Impact of Shale Gas Exports Economist Jannette Barth, PhD., 12-12 — Dr. Barth analyzes the recently released study by NERA, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy and which will guide federal policy unless challenged, as Dr. Barth’s analysis shows is clearly warranted.
The Costs of Fracking, Penn. Environmental Research Center, Sept. 2012
Getting Real on Jobs and the Environment, Sept., 2012 On the importance and benefits of investing in green energy. One example, “…investments in fracking create only about 6.5 jobs per $1 million in spending, about half the level of jobs per dollar generated by the green stimulus programs and less than one-third what would result through focusing green investments in relatively labor-intensive areas such as building retrofits and public transportation. But beyond this is the fact that both of these energy paths will deepen our dependence on burning fossil fuels long into the future.”
Yes Magazine: Economics of Romney energy plan: Is there a better way?
Piping profits: the secret world of oil, gas and mining giants: the game is more rigged than most would like to admit. Also see Ecowatch on impacts of tax havens. Aug. 2012
False Promises and Hidden Costs Food and Water Watch March 2012
Drilling Deeper in the Jobs Claim
The Actual Contribution of Marcellus Shale to Pennsylvania Job Growth
Stephen Herzenberg, Keystone Research Center
Solar and Wind jobs in Ohio: a report 1-12
The Economic Value of Shale Natural Gas in Ohio
Weinstein and Partridge, The Ohio State University, December 2011
Homeowners and Gas Drilling Leases: Boon or Bust?
New York State Bar Association Journal
Shale Jobs Figures and Economic Benefits Greatly Exaggerated by Industry
Buckeye Forest Council
Exposing the Oil and Gas Industry’s False Job Promise for Shale Gas Development: How Methodological Flaws Grossly Exaggerate Jobs Projections, Food and Water Watch
Pipe Dreams: What the Gas Industry Doesn’t Want you to Know about Fracking and U.S. Energy Independence, Food and Water Watch
Texas home value plummets due to drilling Dallas News, 2010