News and misc.

News from around the globe

NOT being updated regularly. Sorry!

NOTE: see ACFAN Fracking tab (pull down to Get Involved: Allies Near and Far) for other great resource sites.

NOTE: Use the ACFAN research/reports tab for INJECTION WELL materials.

NOTE: Pipeline breaks, tanker ship spills, rail accidents, refinery leaks (the latest into Lake Michigan adjacent to Chicago), and infrastructure explosions occur almost daily these days. Sorry we can’t keep up with all of them here.

For more, see Environmental Must-Reads, a daily blog of o&g and activist news, Catskills Citizens for Safe Energy, and Popular Resistance fracking-tagged news postings.

Solar jobs now more than oil, gas, and coal combined: Ecowatch 1-17

PA doctors’ association members unanimously call for moratorium on fracking: The state’s largest medical association has unanimously called for a moratorium on new shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing, and is urging the state to establish an independent health registry and initiate a study on its impacts on public health. The Pennsylvania Medical Society’s 300-member House of Delegates unanimously approved a resolution calling for the fracking moratorium, registry and research at its annual meeting on Sunday. Oct. 27, 2016

U.S.G.S. links 5.1 Oklahoma earthquake (Feb. 2016) to distant injection well 19 miles from earthquake epicenter.  Peer-reviewed study appears in online edition of Geophysical Research Letters. 10-24-16

Ohio frackers using more water: The Columbus Dispatch 2-8-16

Pa. water contamination turns out to be much higher than reported. 2-16

Yet another fracking operation engulfed in fire, sending billowing black smoke across the land.  And what is the fallout doing to the groundwater? Oklahoma 1-13-16

Los Angeles methane leak, the worst oil and gas industry disaster since the Gulf oil spill, finally declared a state of emergency and reported to contain radon as well as benzene and other carcinogens and neurotoxins. Reports including video interview with  Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. 1-16

4.8 quake strikes northern Alberta at fracking operation (not waste injection), shutting down fracking in northern Alberta.  1-14-16

20 “moderate” earthquakes, including two at 4.7 an 4.8 magnitude and at least one directly below fracking injection operations, strike Oklahoma in less than 10 hours.  Recent peer-reviewed research indicates the potential for fracking- and injection-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.” 1-7-16

Columbus Dispatch profiles the new Torch activist group, Torch Can Do!, and their fight to expose the dangers of the injection wells proliferating in SE Ohio. Unfortunately, the Dispatch omitted much information shared by the activists, including the lack of monitoring of injection wells by Ohio and the lack of aquifer mapping in SE Ohio. If injection well permitting in Ohio were subject to USEPA standards, this lack of mapping would prevent siting. 12-15

The Waynette carolers debut at Wayne National Forest Headquarters to sing, “Give us a ban on drilling now” and tell the Wayne it must comply with federal law and conduct an environmental impact study before deliberating further on any plans to allow fracking in the Forest. 12-15

Large study finds methane emissions from oil and gas operations in Barnett shale 90% higher than government assumptions. Coverage and background in Inside Climate News. 12-15

Stanford study documents U.S. roadmap to feasible and affordable clean energy: 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

Fracking poses potential threat to drinking water in Morgantown 11-15

NY Times: “The dangers of urban drilling” 11-15

Documenting air emissions from frack sites: Making the invisible visible 11-15

North Carolina County unanimously passes fracking moratorium 9-15

More than 100 Faith Leaders Call on Pennsylvania Governor Wolf to Halt Fracking, Act on Climate Change in Anticipation of Papal Visit 9-17-15

Beyond Extreme Energy starts two-week fast at FERC: No New Permits 9-8-15

Athens County Commissioners testing drinking water wells around county injection well sites. 9-10-15

Torch OH Residents Organize Sept. 3, 2015:

Concerned citizens gathered in Coolville Thursday evening to express their concerns with area injection wells. There is an operation just three miles north, next to the Torch rest stop on Route 50.

More than 30 citizens came together in the second meeting of Concerned Coolville Citizens. They heard State Representative (D) Debbie Phillips and Bern Township Trustee Roxanne Groff explain what current legislation lacks to control injection wells in southeast Ohio.

Every citizen shared a concern, or a horror tale of how the operation has impacted their lives. more…

USEPA urged by nearly 100,000 Americans to redo fracking study 8-28-15

When a breath is hard to catch: asthma, air quality, and oil and gas activities in Denton, TX August 2015

Marcellus drillers fined for contaminating 17 drinking water wells 8-15

Summit County, OH judge denies Nexus pipeline access to residents’ property 8-15

Texas man sues group of fracking companies after methane explosion in his water pump house severely burned his family, causing permanent damage 8-15

Torch OH residents speak out about noise, odors, and ground tremors surrounding K&H frackwaste injection facility near their homes  8-6-15

Engineer: EDF-sponsored University of Texas study underestimates national methane emissions at natural gas production sites due to instrument sensor failure.  Research article published in Energy Science and Engineering  and cited by New York Times.  8-5-15

Medina County group seeks charter government for November ballot

Akron Beacon Journal editorial board supports county officials’ role in regulating oil and gas activities that threaten their communities 7-15

Athens County Commissioners ask for statewide moratorium on new injection well permits, joining county commissioners and township trustees in Ashtabula, Stark, and Portage counties 7-2-15

Pa will stop using industry-run FracFocus database 7-15

Radiation at 60 times higher than legal limits found upstream of Pa. drinking water intake 7-15

For updates on the March 2015 oil dumping or spill  in Vienna OH, visit Frackfree Mahoning. Shutdown order of adjacent injection well operator, Kleese Development Associates, by ODNR here.

Drilling for horizontal well causes explosions damaging 70 homes and causing evacuations of 200 people in Albania. 4-6-15

Texas city forecasts all solar and wind-generated electricity by 1-17 based on comparative costs: “…When its staff examined their options last year, they discovered something that seemed remarkable, especially in Texas: renewable energy was cheaper than non-renewable. And so last month [Georgetown] city officials finalized a deal with SunEdison, a giant multinational solar energy company. It means that by January 2017, all electricity within the city’s service area will come from wind and solar power….” 3-29-15

3-24-15: “Today, we’ve seen two 4.0M earthquakes in Oklahoma, one 3.9M in Kansas, and now this 3.9 magnitude (3.8 revised) in Oklahoma again. All of the events today (in the midwest) have occurred at fracking operations. This most recent 3.8 magnitude is no exception – screenshot of the nearest frack wells shows the nearest wells just a few hundred to few thousand feet away.”

Three members of one family die in drill rig explosion in Texas. 3-11-15

‘Death in the San Juan Basin’: Navajo Women Combat Unregulated Oil and Gas Exploration 3-9-15

Louisiana family sues o&g companies for death of worker due to exposure to radioactivity in drilling pipes. “The defendants are accused of knowing the danger presented by the radioactive materials, failing to warn, failing to properly supervise, failing to test the pipe for radioactivity, failing to label the pipes with warnings of radioactive materials, carelessness, negligence and using defective production equipment.” 3-9-15

Lois Gibbs’ op-ed in The HillWe need leadership from Obama on fracking or history will repeat itself 3-5-15 

Bakken crude explodes near Galena IL in the third oil bomb train derailment in three weeks. 3-5-15

E-mails obtained by E&E News reveal that OK scientists were pressured to downplay earthquake-injection links 3-4-15

2.1 M earthquake strikes near injection well in SE Ohio, approximately 4 mi. east of Marietta, picked up by local seismic monitors. “‘There are some naturally occurring faults in the area. There is some injection well activity in that area,” according to an Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ spokesperson. Why would ODNR allow injection wells near faults? 3-5-15

3.8 m. earthquake  struck 1400′ from injection well in KS, following 4.8m quake in Nov. at same location 3-2-15

Two new analyses of EPA fracking studies and the influence of oil and gas industry giants on the process, documents, and results: DeSmogBlog and Inside Climate News. 3-2-15

NewsweekGas Industry’s Solution to Toxic Wastewater: Spray It on Roads. Excerpts: “…according to new research, the brine is anything but benign. Worse, states barely track it;…The brine used on roads comes from conventional oil and gas production, not hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking.’ But according to Duke University geochemist Avner Vengosh, the conventional drilling waste is nearly identical in many of its most toxic components to the highly controversial fracking waste. Vengosh says the levels of radioactive material found in conventional brine samples taken from New York are equal to levels he has seen in fracking brine, for example…” More… 3-2-15

Columbus Dispatch reports on political contributions by oil and gas industry to Ohio Supreme Court justices who voted against Munroe Falls’ right to protect from oil and gas industry: “Ohio’s oil-and-gas industry poured about $1.4 million into the campaign coffers of legislators and other state officials in 2013-14 — including about $8,000 for the justice who wrote the pro-industry ruling and $7,200 for another who concurred — a Dispatch computer analysis shows.” Read more…

Chevron quits fracking Romania after recently pulling out of Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine. 2-23-15

Ohio Supreme Court rules against Munroe Falls zoning in 4-3 decision. 2-18-15

West Virginia explosions and fire last days after derailment of train carrying millions of pounds of fracked North Dakota Bakken crude. 2-18-15 and more on oil bomb trains:, 12-14

Swarm of earthquakes in Oklahoma 2-5-15

American seismologist suggests larger earthquakes likely. 2-15

Canadian seismologist warns on fracking-induced earthquake risks. 2-2-15

Alberta 4.4 fracking-induced earthquake a new world record?

Ohio groups cry foul on ODNR interference in federal Emergency Community Right-to-Know law. 1-27-15

Five major pipeline ruptures in January 2015

Rachel Maddow: Another day, another pipeline explosion

Fracking-caused earthquakes confirmed in Ohio: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America: Mahoning earthquake of magnitude 3 and others of March 2014 linked to fracking. 1-6-15

IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) responds to flawed research that minimized environmental links to cancer. Most cancers are not caused by “bad luck.” (Duh!) Good analysis of the study’s flaws. 1-15

Monroe County plugged fracked well spews gas 50 feet into the air. Community evacuation lasted nine days. 12-22-14 And how much methane will have been released into the atmosphere with no penalty to the company? A no-fly zone of 3 miles radius and 5000 ft high was in effect. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced that XTO Energy, Inc., (XTO) a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, the nation’s largest holder of natural gas reserves, will spend an estimated $3 million to restore eight sites [in West Virginia] damaged by unauthorized discharges of fill material into streams and wetlands. XTO will also implement a comprehensive plan to comply with federal and state water protection laws at the company’s West Virginia’s oil and gas extraction facilities that use horizontal drilling methods.” 12-22-14 We wish Ohio law would support this kind of compensation!

NY’s fracking ban rocks “shale revolution’s” foundation

Citing health risks, NY bans fracking! 12-18-14

and on the same day…

Autism risk linked to particulate air pollution in Harvard School of Public Health study  Reuters 12-18-14

MarkWest fined $320,000 for 19 Ohio spills. Just the cost of doing business? How will the state use that money? 11-14

Climate and anti-fracking actions grow. 125 arrests in five U.S. actions in one early November week and more since.

Deerfield, MA health board prohibits Kinder Morgan’s Eastern Tennessee pipeline from being constructed within town borders, calling the project an “unreasonable risk to the health and lives of the residents of Deerfield.” 10-22-14

Eastern Cherokee Band Forbids Fracking on Its Sovereign Lands: Invoking tribal health and cultural survival, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has declared a ban on fracking on its sovereign land in what is today North Carolina. 10-20-14

Fracking companies use loophole to avoid permits for dangerous chemicals, report says. Columbus Dispatch 10-22-14. Report at Environmental Integrity Project.

Global Frackdown day: World unites to protect environment & health 10-11-14

California aquifers contaminated with billions of gallons of fracking wastewater 10-9-14

FEMA halts flood assistance for properties with gas leases 8-21-14

Maryland concludes fracking would have high likelihood of negative public health impacts, especially on air quality, healthcare infrastructure, occupational health, and social determinants of health. The report also concludes that fracking would have significant impacts on public health from cumulative exposures, frackwaste, and noise. Maryland currently has a moratorium on fracking. 8-14

Another official does an about-face when the contamination is going to be in his own back yardSen. Scarnati (PA) Turnaround on Shale Gas Drilling in His Home Watershed: “The Bore Hole Will be Abandoned” Aug. 13, 2014 Great article on power of organizing, persistence and sharing information with those in power.

AMP Creeks Council MD wins Cove Point LNG terminal court case against Calvert County 8-12-14: “The decision was the result of a legal challenge brought by the AMP Creeks Council. AMP Creeks filed suit to contest what it claimed was an attempt by Calvert County to illegally enact a “special law” to fast track Dominion’s pet project.”

Army Corps of Engineers grants extension of comment period to Aug. 24 for GreenHunter barge dock on the Ohio River in Meigs County, OH. Akron Beacon Journal. See front page for comment guidance and model comments. Please comment (again) by 8-24.

19,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid from fracking operation flood Oklahoma alfalfa field, possibly the largest acid spill from fracking ever. Acid has soaked into ground near creek as rain approaches. And the company says they’ll pay for the alfalfa for six years as if this will make it okay. 7-31-14

NBC4: Federal report exposes toxic chemicals released in Monroe County Ohio fire 7-14

1,000+ March in DC Demanding a Halt to Fracked Gas Exports and Cove Point MD LNG facility permitting. Sandra Steingraber’s speech. 7-13-14

The gas company that says it can take your backyard  Pa. residents fight Sunoco pipeline. 7-16-14

Energy Department numbers show liquified natural gas potentially worse for climate than coal 6-14

Increasing attention to high radioactivity levels in liquid frack waste, frack waste filters, drill cuttings, pipes and equipment, and the gas and other petroleum products themselves, much of it unmonitored, not tracked, not restricted and dumped as if “clean”…

Bloomberg Business Week, 4-16-14: “Oilfields are spinning off thousands of tons of low-level radioactive trash as the U.S. drilling boom leads to a surge in illegal dumping and states debate how much landfills can safely take…Shale often contains higher levels of radium…than traditional oil fields, [Abner] Vengosh said. [Fracking] displaces radium-tinged subterranean water that comes up through the wells, where it can taint soil and surface equipment. Radiation levels can build up in sludges at the bottom of tanks, pipeline scale and other material that comes in extended contact with wastewater….North Dakota landfills have installed radiation detectors to try to catch loads exceeding the state’s current limits. Anything higher must be trucked hundreds of miles to dumps in neighboring states that have less restrictive limits. More…

North Dakota headed for a superfund disaster? Bismarck Tribune 3-30-14: “A company official who specializes in radioactive waste says North Dakota risks becoming a superfund clean up site unless it takes decisive steps to deal with radioactive waste from Bakken oil production.”  More…

PA DEP: Drillers extract thousands of tons of ‘hot’ rocks in PA 3-29-14: “…During 2012, an estimated 4,175 tons of cuttings were radioactive, said Morgan Wagner, a state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman….Pennsylvania landfills last year accepted 785,000 tons of drill cuttings. Another 81,000 tons were shipped across the border into New York…Landfill operators have an incentive to accept that waste, [an attorney who represents residents who’ve been fighting to stop NY’s Chemung County Landfill from taking Pennsylvania’s drilling waste, Gary] Alexander said. Cuttings are four times heavier than normal garbage, and landfills charge by weight. That incentive also raises questions about how vigilant landfill operators are when it comes to identifying waste they should refuse, he said… ” More…

No, Fracking Is Not Making the U.S. More Secure, Jeremiah Goulka, The Prospect, 3-27-14. Reports claiming that shale is good for U.S. security turn out to all be industry-funded: 

…”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…

In light of ongoing geopolitical tensions in Russia, Ukraine and hotly contested Crimea, three (yes, three!) U.S.Congressional Committees held hearings this week on the U.S. using its newfangled oil and gas bounty as a blunt tool to fend off Russian dominance of the global gas market.

Though 14 combined witnesses testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power andU.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, not a single environmental voice received an invitation.

Using the ongoing regional tumult as a rationale to discuss exports ofU.S. oil and gas obtained mainly via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the lack of discussion on climate change doesn’t mean the issue isn’t important to national security types.

Indeed, the Pentagon’s recently published Quadrennial Defense Review coins climate change a “threat force multiplier” that could lead to resource scarcity and resource wars. Though directly related to rampant resource extraction and global oil and gas marketing, with fracking’s accompanying climate change and ecological impacts, “threat force multiplication” impacts of climate change went undiscussed.  More…

ODNR shuts down frack wells in NE Ohio after series of earthquakes, including a 3.0. These are Ohio’s first quakes linked to frack wells rather than to injection wells. Both have now occurred close to Youngstown. 3-10-14

Former BLM Deputy Director for Energy and Minerals responds to distorted picture of fracking in the Economist (3-1-14): Downsides to fracking 

The petrostate of America applauded ‘America’s example in granting mineral rights to individual landowners, so that the communities most disrupted by fracking are also enriched by it’ (2-15-14). In fact, the owners of millions of acres of land in America’s West do not own the mineral rights beneath their land, because these rights were either reserved by the federal government or granted to the railroads in the 19th century.

Furthermore, you said nothing about the downside of fracking. Fracking sites are huge operations with construction and drilling equipment, retention ponds and storage tanks for chemicals, water and hydrocarbons. Because these drilling sites serve many well bores that often must be fracked to promote the flow of oil and gas from tight formations they operate 24 hours a day.

Local air pollution from leaks of methane, benzene and other harmful hydrocarbons can cause serious health problems for nearby residents. Outdated state regulations allow these operations to be located only hundreds of feet from homes and schools, where residents receive no benefit or compensation for the disruption and the reduction in their property values.

Sandy Blackstone
Former deputy director for energy and minerals
United States Bureau of Land Management
Parker, Colorado

Los Angeles City Council approves creation of city fracking moratorium 02-28-14: Fracking for oil and gas will not be happening in Los Angeles any time soon after City Council members unanimously voted to ban the practice within city limits today. The vote passes the motion to the City Attorney’s office where it will be rewritten as a zoning ordinance before returning to City Council for a final vote. More…

The New York Times reveals North Carolina’s Republican government’s undermining of EPA led to last month’s Ash Spill, which put tons of coal waste into the Dan River. 3-1-14

Crude oil spill “closes down” the Mississippi River. 2-24-14

Exxon CEO sues against fracking in his neighborhood based on property values, health and nuisance. Great coverage by Josh Fox in interview on MSNBC (2-24-14) and a follow-up interview with Calvin Tillman on MSNBC 2-25-14 And from Council of Canadians, a letter to CEO Tillerson with a copy of their fractivist toolkit.

More than 800 people rally against gas export terminal in Baltimore’s largest environmental rally ever Ecowatch 2-21-14

UNCOVERED: Ohio government document reveals regulatory agency and fracking industry joint plan to undermine named opponents of drilling on state lands 2-16-14  UPDATE: Contrary to Kasich administration assertions, the plan involved the highest level Kasich appointees, including Craig Butler and other top Kasich aides.

More than 150 earthquakes shake Oklahoma in one week, according to Oklahoma Geological Survey. OK quakes have been linked in the scientific literature to injection and fracking wells (see citations at ACFAN injection well page) . 2-18-14

FBI comes to the door of academic and fractivist in PA, asks her to name names. Sounds like HUAC circa 1952.

Now It Is 7 Fossil Fuel Accidents In 4 Days. Mind-boggling. 2-16-14

One of these was at a Chevron facility in Greene County, PA. A worker was incinerated; the fire burned for days. Chevron distributed 100 pizza coupons in response. No kidding. More… 2-20-14

This year marks a major turning point in energy in America. Wind and solar power beats natural gas ‘fracking’ (hydraulic fracturing). With recent cost declines, they are the lowest cost new energy sources...” 2-8-14 More…

State Rep. Bob Hagan, concerned about regulation of frack waste, writes letter to OEPA and ODNR: “With Ohio’s expanding fracking operations, the notion that radioactive waste could make its way into Ohio’s landfills or waterways is increasingly realistic and alarming,” Rep. Hagan said in his letter to the Directors of the EPA and ODNR. “And yet, state officials reportedly have no plans to take the same precautions that are deemed necessary by our neighboring shale states…Once again, the oil and gas industry said ‘jump’ and Republicans in the legislature responded ‘how high?’” Rep. Hagan said. “Ohio families are left to worry about whether radiation will seep through the giant loopholes created in our state’s regulatory framework and into their backyards.” More…

Swarms of Earthquakes Shake Up Shale Gas Fieldsan article on increasingly common quakes associated with oil/gas extraction and injection wells around the globe. 1-14

TransCanada natural gas pipeline explodes near Winnipeg. A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada exploded and caught fire in a rural part of western Canadan early on Saturday, putting fresh focus on the firm’s safety record ahead of a crucial White House decision over a controversial cross-border project. More… 1-25-14

Fracking train derailment in downtown Philadelphia sparks fear and outrage. 1-21-14

Duke Fracking Tests Reveal Dangers Driller’s Data Missed Bloomberg 1-10-14

Chemical spill shuts down much of W.Va. capital (1-10-14) Influx of ER visits reported following lifted ‘do not use’ advisories 1-15-14 See ACFAN front page blog for updates, details, links to reports on criminal history of Freedom Industries, unfolding information on the multiple chemicals now known to have leaked, and parallels with fracking and its waste threats to drinking water supplies throughout the region: The Unfolding WV Elk River Spill Tragedy 1-22-14

This was one one of several chemical spills in the region that week. The Ohio River near Belpre, Ohio, experienced a “minor” [sic] fish kill after two chemical leaks from Kraton Polymers. And CBS reports 150 gallons of fuel oil leaking into the Delaware River. 1-16-14

Texas Supreme Court Favors Landowner Over TransCanada in Keystone XL Eminent Domain Case — Tar Sands Blockade 1-8-14

2,000+ New Yorkers Rally Against Fracking at Gov. Cuomo’s State of State Address 1-8-14

Illinois Residents Demand a Ban on Fracking 1-14

Massive solar plan wins bid over gasStar TribuneMinneapolis 1-2-14

Judge Rules Exxon Must Face Criminal Charges Over 50,000 Gallon Fracking Waste Spill in PA 1-3-14

Days before N.D. oil tanker train explosion, a unanimous Senate and nearly unanimous House vote were followed by a presidential signature opening Bakken area public lands to fast-tracked fracking. DeSmogBlog 1-7-14

Double Duty: Lines BLur When Lobbyists Invest, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 27, 2013: “Carol Andress, a lobbyist at the Environmental Defense Fund, has met with top government officials advocating a clean-air approach likely to help natural-gas companies. Ms. Andress also is an investor in stocks that could gain from such policies,.. The energy trades have earned her $16,600 this year,...” More…

The Statehouse Bubble Bursts: Illinois Revolts Against Fracking: Hearings throughout December reveal strong opposition to enabling legislation passed last summer. Will Reynolds in Huffington Post. 1-2-14

Chemicals Found In Water At Fracking Sites Linked To Infertility, Cancer. Excerpts from the study abstract: “Hundreds of products containing more than 750 chemicals and components are potentially used throughout the extraction process, including over one hundred known or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals.” and “The majority of water samples collected from sites in a drilling-dense region of Colorado exhibited more estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, or anti-androgenic activities than reference sites with limited nearby drilling operations.”  December 2013

On-the-job death rate skyrockets NPR 12-13

Forty-five fossil fuel disasters in 2013 the industry doesn’t want you to know about 12-13

Bill McKibben on climate and President Obama RollingStone 12-13

From Think Progress, Dec. 19, 2013: “Some major parts of Pennsylvania’s two-year-old Marcellus Shale drilling law are unconstitutional, the state’s Supreme Court decided Thursday. As the  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, the court voted 4 – 2 that a provision that allowing natural gas companies to drill anywhere, regardless of local zoning laws, was unconstitutional. Seven municipalities had challenged the shale drilling law, known as Act 13, that  required “drilling, waste pits and pipelines be allowed in every zoning district, including residential districts, as long as certain buffers are observed. The Court said Act 13 ‘fundamentally disrupted‘ the expectations of Pennsylvania residents living in residential zones, and that the provision wasn’t in line with Pennsylvania’s constitution or Environmental Rights Amendment, which guarantees Pennsylvanians the ‘right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.’

“’To describe this case simply as a zoning or agency discretion matter would not capture the essence of the parties’ fundamental dispute regarding Act 13,’ the ruling read. ‘Rather, at its core, this dispute centers upon an asserted vindiction of citizens’ rights to quality of life on their properties and in their hometowns, insofar as Act 13 threatens degradation of air and water, and of natural, scenic and esthetic values of the environment, with attendant effects on health, safety and the owners’ continued enjoyment of their private property.’” More…

Tanker with frack waste overturns in Youngstown; at least 500 gallons spilled. How much into creek is unknown.

New report on oil and gas campaign contributions to Congress, which are now at record levels. 12-13

Ohio protestors arrested for blocking toxic frack waste trespass in Youngstown 11-24-13

Criminalizing peaceful dissent around the globe 11-13

Pope Francis: Thou shalt not frack. 11-13

Obama administration approves cross-border pipeline that will take fracked gas to Canada to dilute tarsands bitumen. 11-19-13

Fracked gas pipeline explodes in Texas, smoke visible for 40 miles 11-14-13

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

Athens County Commissioners announce public meeting on injection wells, K&H2 application and Ginsburg, in response to ACFAN request. Meeting will be held Nov. 19, 7-9 p.m. at the Athens Community Center.

Fracking victim, Steven Lipsky, sued by Range Resources for defamation after proving his drinking water is flammable. Incredible and disgusting. 11-13

Drilling mud and frack chemicals destroy WV home 10-30-13

(Note: The above article misleadingly says the materials were “non-toxic” only because this industry’s chemicals are exempted from federal law. They are not actually non-toxic, only not regulated as the toxic materials they are. See Colborn et al., 2011 for more on the highly toxic drilling muds used for frack well drilling.)

Naomi Klein: How Science is Telling Us All to Revolt 10-29-13

A preliminary injunction against a PA activist prohibits her from going on land leased to Cabot. That means they can’t put her in jail. The land is leased to Cabot. 10-13

Air monitoring at WV well sites reveals high levels of benzene 10-13

New pipeline spill discovered by North Dakota farmer while harvesting his wheat: One of the largest onshore pipeline spills in recent American history — more than 865,000 gallons and five times the size of the Pegasus spill, this one of FRACKED OIL — was found in ND on Sept. 29. The spill covers over 7 acres. The governor didn’t know about it for six days. The National Response Center didn’t report it until Oct. 8. The farmer said he expects to be able to use the land again for farming in a few years?!

The company’s reassurances that the fluids are contained and won’t affect groundwater sound like Exxon’s claims that Pegasus bitumin didn’t get into Lake Conway. Will the FAA impose a no-fly zone in ND too? The spill was a result of deteriorated pipe, according to the company. Check out Yahoo News and Ecowatch or Desmog Blog for details. 10-11-13

Update, 10-25-13: North Dakota recorded 300 oil spills in two years without notifying the public. AP obtained records of 750 ‘oil field incidents’ after officials kept the massive September wheat field spill quiet until discovered by the farm owner.

“Brine” truck overturns on Int. 70 in eastern Ohio. No leakage reported (by this source, this time). 10-9-13

Responses to industry-funded study on methane leakage: Robert Howarth press release; a report on DesmogBlog on financial ties of authors and publishers to fracking industry; a summary of flaws by Americans Against Fracking; and an Ecowatch article with further links to the science. See also Public Accountability Initiative alert on additional conflicts of interest and a scientific critique of methods by Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy. 9-13

Colorado flood update: Denver Post reports 60,000 gallons of oil, gas, and frack chemicals have leaked as of Oct. 7, 2013.

A total of 17 separate releases resulting from recent Colorado flood damage — 26,385 gallons — of liquid frack waste collected at the surface of oil and gas wells — are being monitored as of October 8:  Huffington Post, 10-9-13

Colorado floods lead to major spills into rivers13,500 gallons of oil spilled along St. Vrain River; 5,250 spilled in South Platte. 9-19-13. Further spills suggest much worse news to come. No one is acknowledging that frack waste has also probably been released in large quantities from the many floating “storage tanks.”  9-20-13

Large quantities of frack waste flooding land and rivers in Weld and Larimer Counties, Colorado. There are over 20,000 wells in Weld County. Additional photos and video of pipeline rupture, floating frack waste tanks, and containment breaching by flooding, etc. 9-17-13

Frack waste storage tanks burn in lightning-caused fire in Texas 9-13

Lupo employee admits dumping frack waste twenty-four times, straight from storage tanks into storm drain accessing the Mahoning River. 8-29-13

..One of many spills and accidents that occur regularly. Check out Marcellus Outreach Butler for updated chronology

Ohio M.D. shares information on air pollution health impacts 9-13

USEPA cover-up of Dimock contamination revealed: DeSmogBlog 8-13

Texas community running out of water. The Guardian 8-13

Former Mobil exec blasts oil companies and addresses climate impacts of fracking. Excerpt: “Basically what the industry is doing is unloading all the costs of what it’s been doing onto the public. Just go out and build miles and miles of levees around New York City and build drainage systems and things like that. Obama is saying the same thing. We’ll go on producing natural gas and keep the cost low by having the taxpayers pick up the cost of dealing with the consequences of global warming. Obama proposed some very positive steps toward developing alternative energies but he is not addressing the impact that methane has on global warming…” 7-13

Two workers killed and others seriously burned in WV explosion. A month later, Antero proposals to prevent similar accidents deemed inadequate.  8-13

New Duke University study finds ethane and propane as well as methane in water wells associated with nearby shale extraction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 6-13

Alberta gas leak continues as extreme flooding prevents shutdown Global News 6-20-13

New report documents radioactivity in frack waste coming into Ohio 6-13

Perilous Grid: Pipeline owners have to carry less insurance than a car owner. 6-13

Cincinnati City CouncilAthens City Council and Athens County Commissioners support Ohio House Bill 148 to ban injection wells.  More at injection well page and here on why this ban is important to protect Ohio communities.

Yet another case of extensive intentional dumping of frack waste in eastern Ohio. How long was this going on and how much was dumped before the company was caught — by a tip to OEPA? And how many others are doing the same? 6-5-13  This company, which ODNR claims was shut down based on this dumping, still continues in operation. 6-8-13

Yet another compressor station explosion and fire, thirteen injured, two hospitalized. This one was at a Williams Company facility in Branchville, New Jersey. “The Pennsylvania DEP declined last month to impose any fines on Williams, despite Williams’ having caused an explosion and fire at their Lathrop Compressor Station in Springvale Township, Susquehanna County, PA last March.” 5-31-13

More than 9,000 gallons of undisclosed chemicals and Marcellus frack waste flood a PA horse farm and home by the same company that spilled 227,000 gallons in PA neighborhood in March. “The EPA has not issued penalties against Carrizo for the spill and is allowing the company to continue drilling at the site. Carrizo has more than 100 wells in Pennsylvania, and has received 48 violations. It is a publicly-traded NASDAQ company.” 5-4-13
Legal Fractures in Chemical Disclosure Laws: Harvard study reveals “serious flaws” in Frac Focus disclosure system (First link to study, second to press about it) “Why the Voluntary Chemical Disclosure Registry FracFocus Fails as a Regulatory Compliance Tool” 4-23-13

New story on yet another extensive, longterm intentional dumping case by a company with a history of violations: Lowellville Ohio story by Don’t you feel safe and well protected by state and federal regulations? Not.

Crude oil spews from broken pipeline into air, shutting down PA highway for five hours 5-1-13
EPA slams Keystone XL pipeline Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

New report finds Keystone would increase gas prices and reduce national security. 

Lawsuit against Obama administration and BLM over fracking national landsfollowing landmark court decision the previous week that declared a federal lease sale invalid for failing to address the risks of fracking.

Opponents of Keystone XL have submitted more than one million comments urging President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the State Department to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, following the publication of the latest deficient environmental review. There is a common message among the opponents of the pipeline: Keystone XL is all risk and no reward.

Tim DeChristopher: Champion of climate movement released and speaks with Amy Goodman on Earth DayDemocracy Now!

Report: Last 3 Decades of 20th Century Hotter Than Anytime in 1,400 Years

More than 1.1 million gallons — thirteen spills —  in thirty days, almost half the spills tar sands, most of the rest crude oil. 4-12-13 Not counted (too recent): more than 2500 gallons drained from a storage tank at a frack site in Tuscarawas County, OH into a drainage leading to Beaver Creek. 4-12-13 (How many others have there been that were “too small” for this tally?)

Export plans for Marcellus gas move ahead 4-3-13 So much for the energy independence lie.

And the math on exports and natural gas prices:Ecowatch 3-26-13

Forty homes evacuated after Exxon-Mobil pipeline rupture in Arkansas. Photos here. Exxon exempt from oil clean up fund because tar sands not classified as oil. Michigan’s experience with Enbridge rupture in 2010 documents health effects and high benzene levels. See updated coverage on ACFAN front page.

This comes on the heels of a 30,000 gallon tar sands spill in Minnesota.

And a more recent train derailment and spill of 16,000 gallons of crude oil in Ontario 4-4-13

And an even more recent 30,000 gallon spill into a Houston bayou 4-4-13

Frack well explodes in eastern Ohio. Blast could be felt three miles away. 3-16-13. And ANOTHER3-17-13 Cause of Columbiana County well explosion determined to be static electricity 3-19-13 Gas well explosion in TX, blast turns rig into “bottle rocket,” destroying a nearby truc3-18-13; Gas well explosion, Austintown, OH 4-2-13; And another  in a backyard in Damascus, OH, 4-4-13; Compressor station burns in Oklahoma 4-5-13; well blowout in TX, TWO WORKERS KILLED, two injured 4-5-13, Four injured, with three flown to burn center, in compressor station explosion and storage tank fire, Tyler County WV 4-11-13, TWO OF THE WORKERS INJURED IN THURSDAY’S EXPLOSION HAVE DIED: Marietta Ohio and PA WORKER have died, following Magnum Hunter compressor station fire, Wick WV 4-14-13; 4-17-13

More than half of U.S. faces moderate to “exceptional” drought: NOAA forecast 3-26-13  NY Times on extreme statewide Texas drought 4-6-13

New Frack Plant Faces Opposition, Councilwoman Aims to Halt Plan, another GreenHunter “Water” plan, Wheeling, WV 3-24-13 

KXL contractor has history of explosions, false job promises, and cover ups

Teresa Mills files petition to USEPA on behalf of Ohio citizens requesting USEPA take away Ohio’s authority over injection wells. 3-13

Study shows NY can meet energy needs through solar, wind, water, and geothermal by 2030. The abstract concludes, “The conversion would reduce NYS’s end-use power demand 37% and stabilize energy prices since fuel costs would be zero. It would create more jobs than lost because nearly all NYS energy would now be produced in-state. NYS air pollution mortality and its costs would decline by 4000 (1200–7600) deaths/yr, and $33 (10–76) billion/yr (3% of 2010 NYS GDP), respectively, alone repaying the 271 GW installed power needed within 17 years, before accounting for electricity sales. NYS’s own emission decreases would reduce 2050 U.S. climate costs by $3.2 billion/yr.”2-13 

Antero tank farm [sic] moves for no one Doddridge County WV: “…Now, 10 large water tanks, three water pumps and lights border the Trent property, guarding a well pad that has been fracked twice since drilling. ‘Everything I got is covered in mud, dust and fumes,’ said Trent. Although Antero supervisors and even Vice President Alvyn Schopp insisted the situation would be taken care of, months went by with no concern or contact to the family, Trent said, contrary to what Antero told local media….Trent took his fight to the local television station,…” 3-13

Mainstream news telling more and more stories like this: water and air pollution with obvious link to drilling, state-industry shirking of responsibility, state license to industry to pollute.

Commentary on Obama’s energy policy and nominees. Discouraging to put it mildly. 3-18-13

Federal appeals court rejects energy industry’s attempt to force Interior Department to issue 110 oil and gas leases in WY and UT 3-13

News of yet another fuel industry accident, toxic releases, continued flaring, and one man critically injured: LA barge-pipeline accident, explosion and continuing fire  as of 3-15

HUMOR!–there’s not much in this field…

Drilling mud flowing from well into WV creek. “Defined” as low-toxicity but no indication that the material has been tested for radioactivity, heavy metals, or other toxics. 3-14-13

Successes in Australia and Ireland. Read how community organizing and civil disobedience have led to halts to fracking in these nations. Inspiring! 3-13

And in this country: Police infiltrators egged on activists: wkuhf news, Austin 2-22-13

Desmogblog: “State Department Keystone XL Study Done by Oil Industry-Connected Firm with Big Tobacco, Fracking Ties” 3-13

Well blow-out in PA causes “thousands of gallons of fracking fluid to shoot out” at up to 800 gallons a minute. Seven homes were evacuated in the middle of the night. The toxic release is called a “fluid leak” in the headline. 3-14-13

Petition to USEPA filed by Teresa Mills on behalf of Ohio citizens claiming Ohio in violation of federal Community Right to Know laws: NBC4i Columbus and ACFAN press release post, 3-5-13

Citizens’ petition delivered to Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine calling for charter revocation of Ben Lupo businesses 3-6-13

WV case against landmen for fraud, SF Chronicle 3-2-13

23,000 gallons of crude oil flow from pipeline leak into TX stream, undetected until nearby residents see it in the water. (Note: 5500 barrels is 23,000 gallons, not under 20,000 as report claims.) 2-25-13

Dallas, WV 2-23-13: National Response Center reports that 336,000 gallons of toxic, radioactive frack waste were released into tributary of  Wheeling Creek when a valve was left open.  Reported on 2-22-13. Why can I not find any media coverage on this story?! …Update, 2-26: Okay, now NBC Columbus has covered it, responding to tip from us. (Note: WV DEP apparently took Noble Energy’s word for the amount spilled. NBC therefore gives a much lower figure than NRC report stated but still an outrageous 97,000 gallons.) And WV media, apparently alerted by NBC Columbus, finally also picked up the story.

MUNROE FALLS PLANS APPEAL TO OHIO SUPREME COURT ON LOCAL CONTROL OF GAS, OIL DRILLING OPERATIONS Suit raises question of whether cities should have home rule power 2-24-13

“A McMullen County [TX] family that has battled a pipeline company since 2009 continued to prevail in court last week….”, 2-24-13,  More…

One dead in WV frack site explosion 2-15-13. Further coverage here.

84,000 gallon frack fluid gusher halted in Colorado. Toxic frack release was one of six already this year in the state and one of “more than 2,000 spills over the past five years,..roughly 17 percent contaminating groundwater. Fracking wastewater frequently is listed among substances spilled into soil and water.” Read more: The Denver Post  2-14-13 

“Fracking Wastewater can be highly radioactive,” Timesonline, Beaver, PA 1-24-13

U.S. Coast Guard considering plan to allow toxic radioactive frack waste to be shipped along Ohio River by barge, 400,000 gallons per barge 2-7-13

Radioactive drill cuttings threaten groundwater from Toledo-area landfill

Shale Compressor Station Exceeds Pollution Standards by nearly 300%  1-30-13 Because the stations are classified as “minor sources,” their emissions are not monitored or regulated.

Associated Press: USEPA backs off holding driller responsible for methane migration in response to pressure from corp. 1-16-13

Gilman, J.B. et al, in NOAA study, find propane and other ozone precursors from gas and oil operations four to nine times higher in rural CO than in Houston, Texas, and Pasadena, California: “Source signature of volatile organic compounds from oil and natural gas operations in northeastern Colorado,”  Environmental Science & Technology1-13

New Matamoras man to stand trial for allegedly dumping 800,000 gallons of fracking wastewater into stream 1-4-13

Good film reviews of Promised Land: Ted Glick (Climate Connections) and Alex Lotorto (We are Power Shift)

Civil Society poll: Significant percentages of both Republicans and Dems don’t want fracking at the expense of clean water, have concerns about exports, and call for action on climate crisis, with 86 percent wanting leadership “on standing up to pressure from coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power lobbyists,” and “86 percent want it on shifting from coal and nuclear energy to wind and solar. Support for this approach exists across party lines, including 72 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Independents, and 97 percent of Democrats.” 1-10-13

Alberta leak from well into groundwater confirmed 12-21-12

Int. 77 in WV cooked. residents injured in NiSource pipeline explosion 12-11-12

Bloomberg News: University of Texas study tainted by conflict of interest, independent panel finds 12-7-12

WKYC TV: Structural damage in Portage County home linked to adjacent fracking operation12-6-12

Quebec ban challenged under NAFTA 11-25-12

NY Times lauds holding Massey Energy exec accountable for Big Branch deaths 12-1-12 Fracking Secrets by Thousands Keep U.S. Clueless on Wells 11-30-12

Prospective Ohio University student and parent speak out on impacts of injection and fracking wells on decision to come to OU

New York TimesPA lab omitted data on metals associated with fracking from reporting.

American Towns Fight Back Against Fracking 11-12

New England J of Medicine: Legislative interference in the practice of medicine in Ohio, PA, CO, and TX fracking laws 10-18-12

Tim DeChristopher is released from prison.                                                                     Powerful must-read recent statement by deChristopher HERE.  10-9-12

4600 gallons of frack waste spilled in PA recently

Images of oil spills since the Gulf disaster and news of new suit against Exxon for Yellowstone spill: Huffington Post

North Dakota Oil Fracking Creates Clash of Money and Devastation: A tale of haves, have-nots, illegal liquid waste dumping, bad air and one tribal nation’s story  9-22-12

San Francisco Weekly exposé Sept. 19, 2012

Leroy Township fields still bubbling with methane July 2012 (“The data suggests methane is entering the local fault/fracture system at a considerable depth and traveling laterally apparently thousands of meters before reaching the surface or a residential water well.”)

PA Court Reaffirms that Gas Company Profits Do Not Trump the Constitutional Rights of Pennsylvania Residents

Toxic Wastewater Dumped in Streets and Rivers at Night: Gas Profiteers Getting Away With Shocking Environmental Crimes Republican State Senator speaks out Alternet Aug. 2012

PressReleaseEmergencyUICNewRules ODNR Aug. 15, 2012

Deadly crashes in Texas fracking counties increase drastically

People flee toxic cloud from Halliburton fracking truck at neighborhood convenience store, 8-14-12

150 shut down fracking staging facility in NY for a day Aug. 11, 2012

Fracking fire in Oklahoma Aug. 2012

Worker killed in gas tank explosion in Bolivar OH July 2012

Chesapeake settles for $1.6 million for well contamination June 2012

NRDC: Cracks in the Foundation July 2012

Bradford County PA well failures reported July 2012

Ohio University Mineral Rights Committee recommends moratorium on leasing on most campuses. Adopted by OU Trustees 6-12


Marcellus Shale Drillers in Pennsylvania Amass 1614 Violations Since 2008
Pennsylvania Land Trust Association

Risky Business: An Analysis of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling Violations in Pennsylvania
Erika Staaf, PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center

“Brine” Spraying

Complete List: Localities that Permit “Brine” Spraying on roads
For further information go to

Powerpoint Presentations

Landowner Leasing Considerations: Unconventional Gas Wells
Carroll Concerned Citizens

Deep-Shale Gas Drilling: Concerns for Farmers and Rural Communities
Ohio Environmental Council

Weaverton New Matamoras Draft Permit to Install/Solid Waste storage and transport facility docs

Regarding a draft permit to install a solid waste facility on the Ohio River to ship materials by barge through the Ohio River (our drinking water) to distribute to Ohio landfills.  If the ban does not hold in NY, Weavertown is planning to accept solid waste (drill cuttings, contaminated equipment, etc.) from fracking operations in that state.  The facility will affect people not only living near the site but also along the path of transport, near landfills willing to accept this waste, and whose drinking water comes from these areas, from NY to Ohio.

List of wastes accepted (note oil/gas waste, though legally “non-hazardous” due blanket federal exemptions from regulation, are a direct threat to human health, life, and the environment)

Public notice Weaverton New Matamoras 8-12

Weaverton New Matamoras permit docs 06

Weaverton New Matamoras permit docs 07

Weaverton New Matamoras permit docs 08

Weaverton New Matamoras permit docs 09

Weaverton New Matamoras permit docs 10

Weaverton New Matamoras permit docs 011

Weaverton New Matamoras permit docs 012

Weaverton New Matamoras permit docs 13

Weaverton New Matamoras permit docs 14

Weaverton New Matamoras permit docs 015

Weaverton New Matamoras permit docs 16