Category Archives: Educational

How to write a submission to the Victorian government

You have until this Friday afternoon 10 July 2015 to get a submission in.

This is the best chance we will ever have to knock this toxic industry off before it gets a foothold in our state. Please write a brief submission by close of business Friday. A short letter is all that is required.

Below are some suggestions on how to write a submission to the Victorian Government’s Unconventional Gas Mining Inquiry

Tips are in red font colour. Terms of Reference are in black

By Cam, Friends of the Earth, and Alison, Frack Free Moriac

Submission Tip Sheet

Start by introducing yourself (a little bit about who you are/ where you live / what you do for a living / why you’re concerned about unconventional gas mining)

Make it clear in your opening statement that you do not support any form of unconventional gas mining (including coal seam gas, tight gas, shale gas and underground coal gasification)

If you live in a community that has conducted a survey, mention these results and that you and your community have removed the social licence for this industry to operate in your area and that you will never support it, no matter the potential regulations put in place.

When writing a submission it would be best to address all (of the following) terms of reference, but you can add/ remove the issues that matter to you.

(ADD – That’s right, if the terms of reference do not cover all the issues you want to talk about, then add them in, this is allowed and will strengthen your submission)

Don’t forget to recommend that Victoria ban all unconventional gas drilling permanently (and the benefits of a total ban eg. giving certainty to existing industry (agriculture & tourism), making Victoria a more attractive place for investments in these industries plus new investments such as renewables. Which will create more long term jobs in sustainable industries.


1.
The prospectivity of Victoria’s geology for commercial sources of onshore unconventional gas.

Talk about why we would put at risk water, farmland, community health, food security, environment and jobs in other sectors such as agriculture & tourism for little or no financial gain.


2.

The environmental, land productivity and public health risks, risk mitigations and residual risks of onshore unconventional gas activities.

We can all go to town in this section, make references to peer reviewed studies if you like or the experiences of those in the US and Queensland and that the impacts felt in QLD will be even worse here due to our more densely populated region.


3.
The coexistence of onshore unconventional gas activities with existing land and water uses

A key issue relating to this industry is the question of its likely impacts on agricultural production and domestic and export market requirements.

Use figures from local council and government websites to show what our existing industries (agriculture in particular) are worth to the states economy and the potential for growth here and why that cannot happen if unconventional gas mining goes ahead.

If you’re a farmer talk about how the infrastructure required for gas wells (all weather access roads, cleared well pads, compression stations, evaporation dams) would make the day to day running of your farm unviable. 

(a)
Agricultural production and domestic and export market requirements

If you are a farmer, food producer or work in the agriculture industry please answer point (a) in as much detail as possible. 

(b)
The legal rights of property owners and the impact on property values; and

(c)
Any implications for local and regional development, investment and jobs

Point (c) is very important and something that we can all answer as we will all be impacted. Also the state labor government say they are a ‘jobs’ government so we need to show them and give them examples of why UCG will not create jobs but put at
risk jobs in other sectors.


4.
The ability of potential onshore unconventional gas resources contributing to the State’s overall energy sources

Unconventional gas is a fossil fuel. By definition, unconventional gases are harder to extract than conventional gas.

(a)
an ability to provide a competitive source of energy and non energy inputs for Victorian industries

(b)
An affordable energy source for domestic consumers

Because they need to be fracked to release the gas from the coal seam or rock, the energy cost of the gas is high compared with conventional LNG. Additionally, with the government plans to export massive volumes of gas through ports in QLD, Victorian consumers will be competing with international energy prices in
coming year. So UCG is unlikely to be an affordable energy source for consumers. A much better option is to look at ways we can reduce our need to use gas (for instance through ensuring better energy efficiency standards in new homes and a government funded energy efficiency retrofit program for existing houses etc

(c)
Carbon dioxide emissions from these sources;

Use examples of emissions and fugitive emissions from UCG comparing these to renewable energy sources. Air pollution from gas treatment plants is also important to mention and it’s human health impacts.


5.
The resource knowledge requirements and policy and regulatory safeguards that would be necessary to enable exploration and development of onshore unconventional gas resources

Give examples of why this industry (regardless of regulation) has failed to be proven safe elsewhere. Put forward that the industry has had a long time to prove that their practices are safe and yet have been unable to do so. Talk about why the industry, however much it can reduce it’s risks by regulation will always pose a rick and any risk is too great.

(a)
Further scientific work to inform the effective regulation of an onshore unconventional gas industry, including the role of industry and government, particularly in relation to rigorous monitoring and enforcement, and the effectiveness of impact mitigation responses; and

(b)
Performance standards for managing environmental and health risks, including water quality, air quality, chemical use, waste disposal, land contamination and geotechnical stability;


6.

Relevant domestic and international reviews and inquiries covering the management of risks for similar industries including, but not limited to, the Victorian Auditor-General Office’s report Unconventional Gas: Managing Risks and Impacts
(contingent upon this report being presented to Parliament) and other reports generated by the Victorian community and stakeholder engagement programs.

   


How to lodge a submission

Submissions can be sent via email: epc@parliament.vic.gov.au or ESubmission on the government website: www.parliament.vic.gov.au/epc/article/2636

Written submissions can be sent via post to:
Keir Delaney, Secretary, Environment & Planning Committee Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne VIC 3002

Closing date for submissions: Friday 10 July 2015.



Examples for inspiration

» Click here to download six examples of submissions, for your inspiration.

They were compiled by Frack Free Moriac, who wrote: “You are welcome to use the attached submissions, you’ll just have to put your name and address at the bottom, before sending. The submissions can be personal, how you feel about this industry. It can be technical, quoting research, or just concerns you have. You may like to edit some of the attached submission, to suit you.”


» Click here for a tip sheet which Friends of the Earth have put together (which includes how to lodge the submission), a draft submission from Cam Walker (this is to be used as a guideline, do not copy-paste) from Friends of the Earth, and an email from Ali from the Frack Free Moriac group – for your inspiration.


» Click here for an easy submissions format by Ellen Sandell.


It is important that the submission is in your own words.

Every submission against the industry will help – and shows the Government how many VOTES are at stake here. It only needs to be short and from the heart.

Interesting reading

» If you would like to see submissions already posted by Victorians, go to www.parliament.vic.gov.au/epc/article/2636



You could also mention…

CSG is a hit and ruyn assault on families, communities and agricultural land. CSG is the asbestos of our time.


Health Impacts

• local children have near universal and sever skin irritations and asthma which worsens with proximity to the gas fields. Severe and recurrent nosebleeds are common.

• Severe neurological effects: McCarron found one third of children at Tara had parasthesia (abnormal sensations and numbness) and some had “abnormal movements” (central nervous damage).

• Severe effects on the unborn: US studies have shown 100% increase in neural tube defects and 30% increase in congenital hear defects. Other studies have shown under we

• Huge increase in particulates which are class one carcinogens

• Wide range of toxic chemicals which show levels 10-100x above safe levels

• Existing health reports have suffered from poor methodology such as being based on affected people volunteering information only or intermittent testing which was discontinued, and are also hampered by the confidentiality agreements


Enviromental Impacts

• release of very potent green house gases including methane, that nullify any GHG saving associated with the transition from coal to gas

• unconventional gas extraction uses masses of water, draining our scarce water resources

• aquifer contamination with toxic chemicals

• release of naturally occurring BTEX compounds and other contaminates into the atmosphere and into groundwater

• “produced water” is left in ponds that will inevitably leak or spill or sprayed on local roads

• multiple earthquakes are associated with fracking and csg globally

• toxic acid rain which strops paint off cars (Ph 4.36 McCarron)

• failure rates of gas wells increase each year


Agricultural Impacts

• contamination of water (flammable water) with toxic chemicals, leading to poisoning of livestock and contamination of our high quality agricultural industry products

• increase in groundwater and soil salinity

• depletion of groundwater

• contamination of water (flammable water) with toxic chemicals


Community Impacts

• immediate community impacts include division and mistrust, then falling property values as the industrial process occurs and health impacts start to bite, agriculture being impacted, followed by families being bought out under confidentiality agreements, and communities being closed or relocated.

• unconventional gas extraction has near universal local disapproval, is strongly resisted, and proceeding is against communities self determination

………………………

We need jobs but not ones which poison our children and destroy our future.

………………………

Where to look for more information

Lock the Gate, Australia
» cloudfront.net/lockthegate

» www.lockthegate.org.au/reading

USA
» www.facebook.com/Lock.The.Gate.Alliance

New York
» www.health.ny.gov/press/reports/docs/high_volume_hydraulic_fracturing.pdf

United Kingdom
» www.frack-off.org.uk






Petitions

Now that you are at it – your support in shape of a comment and your signature is needed here as well:

Friends of the Earth’s petition: Ban UCG in Victoria
www.melbourne.foe.org.au/ban_ucg_in_victoria

Petition: “All Victorians: WRITE A SUBMISSION TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT BANNING ONSHORE UNCONVENTIONAL GAS IN VICTORIA”
www.change.org/p/all-victorians-write-a-submission-to-the-state-government-banning-onshore-unconventional-gas-in-victoria






» Read more: Put a submission together and send it off before 10 July



Time to let Council know what YOU think is… right now!

Have your say
Make sure you have your say if you do not wish to have fracking in Geelong. Even a sentence or two counts, by email, online or in the mail.

Closing date for submissions to Council is today, Friday 26 September 2014.

» Council’s submission page

» How to make a submission: Step by step guide by Alan Manson



Petition to councillors
Also, we encourage you to sign this petition if you would like to put your signature under our letter to Council asking our Councillors to call for a permanent ban on fracking in Victoria.

» Sign the petition: www.frackfreegeelong.org/petition

Hints for your submission

• Your submission doesn’t have to be detailed, but it should be heart felt.

• You are better off picking a couple of points with a bit of explanation than having a lot of points with no explanation at all. Think of the person reading them.

• Try to provide an acknowledged source to back up your point(s) – as shown on this page, there are NO shortage of these. Also see: www.climatesafety.info/gasrush

• Don’t just copy something you see here. Use your words. Say why you are concerned and feel free to offer alternatives.


Inspiration for your submission

If you would like to send a letter to Council about fracking, but feel unsure about what you should write, below are some ‘talking points’ you could elaborate on. Your submission should be personal and unique, in order to count as a submission.

For instance, you could simply state that,

“Council should not allow industry practices to be deployed in City of Greater Geelong that will pollute air, waste vast quantities of water, cause 24/7 noise and light pollution, over-stress our roads, could irreversibly contaminate aquifers and even trigger earthquakes.

There is no reason why Council should allow gas mining in our municipality now that we can get our energy from renewable energy sources which are safe, better for both climate and environment, and create sustainable jobs in the region.”



Share

When you have written a submission, please share it with us so we can post it on this page in order to inspire others.



A4 flyer
A4 flyer

This A4-flyer contains information about where they might frack in Geelong, and also how to send a submission to council with your opinion on fracking in Geelong.

Print a few copies of this flyer and hand around your neighbourhood. But let us know about it if you do this, so we can coordinate what is happening. About 1,600 flyers were letterboxed in Grovedale and Waurn Ponds on 15 September.

Also, copy what you find relevant, paste it in an email and forward it to your friends, family, colleagues and network.

» If you would like to make amendments in the text, download this open Word Document





Examples of submissions


Below are some examples of what people and groups have submitted to Council – for your inspiration. We advice you not to copy-paste, but to tell your own story. Tell Council what you believe is the most important to take into consideration in this matter.


Submission by Frack Free Geelong

SubmissionbyFrackFreeGeelonThis submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 26 September 2014 at 1pm:

pdf-ikon-STORT


 

 


Submission by Geelong Sustainability

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 25 September 2014:

Dear Rodney Thomas,

Any new activity proposed for the Geelong region needs to be considered in the light of current visions and goals. Geelong Sustainability submits that Geelong and surrounds should be known for its clean green economy, and that there is no place for fracking within that. Various vision statements have been created for the Geelong region, and many centre around creating a clean green future. Underpinning this is our region’s natural environment – our beaches and parks are generate a thriving tourist economy. The region’s wine and fine food industries have built upon the image of the Surf Coast and Bellarine as beautiful natural areas. There is strong demand for real estate in the because of the open spaces and relaxed lifestyle.

As organisations such a Cleantech Innovations Geelong and Future Proofing Geelong indicate, Geelong city does not sit apart from this image. Geelong Sustainability has long advocated that while climate change presents a global crisis, Geelong is uniquely positioned to be part of the solution – by manufacturing clean green technology.

Climate change is an undeniable reality. The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are now higher than they have been at any time for hundreds of thousands of years. Scientists believe that the Earth is reaching the point beyond which we no longer have a safe climate. The effects for our region alone will be significant – higher sea levels, more frequent bushfires, more severe heatwaves, more droughts and threats to food security. A drastic reduction in the production of greenhouse gases (particularly carbon dioxide and methane) is required. This will require a transformation of our electricity generation and transport industries, among other things.

Recent job losses notwithstanding, Geelong still boasts a manufacturing sector. We have technical skills and expertise, coupled with the presence of a world class university that is focused on local partnerships. Geelong could and should be manufacturing components for wind turbines, solar panels and components for solar thermal power stations. The basic ingredients for all of these are steel and glass, which are mainstays of our current production. In addition Geelong is one of few cities to have hosted an automotive industry. Geelong has made its name as a manufacturer of passenger vehicles, but it could be producing electric vehicles.

Now let us view fracking within this context. Fracking has a number of physical effects both on the surface environment and the water table down below. The Geelong region’s clean green image has been painstakingly built up through a number of marketing campaigns – but perceptions can change quickly. Damage to Geelong’s water table, on the other hand, could be with us for many decades.

The onshore gas extraction industry exposes our local community to a range of environmental, health-related and psychological impacts and risks which must be considered.

The purpose of fracking is to extract methane gas which can be burned to provide power or heating. But this is not clean or ‘green’ technology. Methane is non-renewable, and produces greenhouse gas when burned. It is marketed as being more “environmentally friendly” than coal due to its lower greenhouse emissions when burned. What is often discounted is the amount of fugitive emissions caused by fracking – i.e. methane that escapes directly into the atmosphere. When methane escapes directly it has a high global warming potential, negating the so called “environmentally friendly” effects.

The so called environmental benefits of producing methane gas through fracking are questionable, and represent the wrong approach. Any new infrastructure related to power generation should be based around zero emission sources – particularly solar and wind.

The power production of the future will not reduce greenhouse gases, it will avoid producing them. Groups such as Beyond Zero Emissions have shown that a power grid comprising largely solar thermal, solar PV and wind could provide Australia’s electricity needs with zero greenhouse emissions. Geelong should play a central part in this.

Geelong is currently experiencing the trauma caused by the moving on of a number of large corporations (e.g. Ford, Alcoa). According to the best wisdom of the day, Geelong actively recruited and attracted these companies. These companies brought economic benefits over many decades and helped establish Geelong as an industrial city, but now they are departing.

We could choose to attract a new industry – fracking – to our region. No doubt the industry will spruik that they bring jobs and investment. Perhaps they will – for ten years or so, while each well is operating. Electric vehicles, wind and solar, on the other hand will be needed in perpetuity, as will the jobs they create.

Dave Campbell
President
Geelong Sustainability

pdf-ikon-STORT

» This submission was republished on this page with permission from Geelong Sustainability. The original document is found on: www.geelongsustainability.org.au (PDF)



Submission by Dr Quentin Farmar-Bowers

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 25 September 2014 at 1:30pm:

“Dear Sir / Madam
I would like to make a submission about the proposed onshore gas extraction program south of Geelong. I have copied this email to the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Mr Russell Northe, MP.

I think the gas extraction program should not go ahead.

I do not see any benefit for the region nor for Australia in allowing this kind of gas development. This energy project is a negative for everybody:

(1) even for the shareholders of the fracking companies (as the opportunity cost is higher than investing in more modern energy technology companies).

(2) And negative for the banks loaning them the money because there is a backlash against them that will grow in years to come (ethical investing options, divestment in fossil fuel industry … like the recent move by the Rockefeller Foundation, the World Council of Churches and Superfunds [such as HESTA]).

(3) And a backlash against the governments who sanction these projects, when people see the physical devastation and ill health they cause.

(4) For the people in the region who will lose agricultural productivity and suffer from ill health because of the pollution and impossibility of getting compensation down the track.

(5) For the property developers in adjacent areas who find their housing estates have lost value. (6) And finally, for everybody and every ecosystem on the planet as this gas production process and consumption produces more CO2e than coal.

I would like to see a permanent ban on this industry in the region (State and Australia if possible). I don’t think it has any positive value and will cause a lot of harm.

I see this harm in terms of:

· Disruption to farming in the region both now and for decades to come because of the contamination of soil through the disposal of salt and fracking chemicals, the contamination of soil through fugitive methane and other (toxic) hydrocarbons, the contamination of ground water through chemicals, the contamination of surface water and soil from heavy metal and radioactive chemicals that will be brought up in the returned well water (placed in evaporative ponds or irrigated onto farmland or used on roadways for dust suppression), and the use of existing water resources for mining liquids.

· Contamination of air through dust and hydrocarbons released from well-heads and seeping through the ground. This contamination may last decades and may increase in future when well-head capping structure and well linings fail. The cost of resealing these numerous wells is likely to be many times the Geelong city’s total budget for the whole region. The proposed gas field is up-wind of Geelong and very close to the enormous housing subdivisions taking place between Geelong and Torque. If the gas project goes ahead these housing developments should be deferred and safer areas set aside for housing.

· There will be premature deaths from air, soil and water contamination and there may also be birth defects.

· There will be little if any economic gains for the region as the shareholders (who are likely to get dividends) are mostly overseas. The jobs in the Geelong region will be short lived but this income (and the tax they will pay) will be offset by the loss of farming income and by the increase health cost for local people. The gas companies may not be in a position to provide compensation in the decades to come, so compensation will come (if it comes at all) from community money via state and federal governments.

· The burning of the gas will increase global warming wherever it is burnt….and we know that Australia, being a hot and dry continent with its main cities on the coast, is especially vulnerable to even a small increase in warming and sea level rise and reduced rain fall.

· This gas is actually worse for CO2e emissions than coal because of the ongoing fugitive emissions and because of all the energy used in getting it out of the ground, transporting it to ports (in Queensland) shipping overseas then transporting it within these foreign countries to factories and shops.

· If in future, an Australian Government commits us to a global CO2e target, the ongoing fugitive gases (mainly methane with 72 times the warming forcing of CO2 over 20 years) will have to be taken into account. This means that Australian businesses will have to reduce their CO2 pollution further than they would have had if the gas fracking industry had not existed. In other words, Australian businesses and Australians will be left an ongoing legacy from the short lived gas fracking businesses.

· The externalities of this gas are not included in the price…if the full costs were included, the gas would never be able to find a buyer. However, the subsidy Australia is providing the fracking industry means they will be able to sell the gas. So this industry is a massive market failure. And as far as global warming is concerned, it is a classic mal-adaption.

Thanks for this opportunity to comment.

Dr Quentin Farmar-Bowers”


Submission by Centre for Climate Safety

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 26 September 2014:

pdf-ikon-STORT



Submission by Anthony Gleeson

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 25 September 2014:

pdf-ikon-STORT



Submission by Doug Rolfe

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 25 September 2014:

“I lived in Geelong for 32 years from age 7 until moving to a rural property in the Surf Coast Shire 9 years ago. We have strong existing connections to Geelong through family, church, schools and community organisations.

I am strongly opposed to onshore natural gas extraction in any area. It is an inappropriate industry.

I have worked in the oil industry at the beginning of my career and have BSc (Hons) in Chemistry. I have recently worked with a local Catchment Management Authority in analysis of water quality of local rivers. I was part of the community reference group for the Geelong Geothermal Power Project.

Apart from the obvious damage to the surface of the land, the CSG and associated industry in northern Australia and in the USA have a history of damage to local aquifers. COGG should seriously investigate the situation in the Condamine River in QLD and other rivers in northern NSW and QLD before allowing this industry anywhere near the aquifers in our area or the Barwon River.

Natural gas extraction by ‘unconventional’ methods has been strongly associated with high levels of fugitive emissions of methane. This means that overall carbon footprint of methane (natural gas) extracted by unconventional means is no better than for coal. The work of Dr Isaac Santos and Dr Damien Maher at Southern Cross University has been crucial in showing that gas companies have not carried out the monitoring necessary to track these emissions. (eg. http://scu.edu.au/coastal-biogeochemistry/index.php/70/)

The majority of gas being extracted is intended for direct export and is of little benefit to the local community. I would recommend inviting Dr Mark Ogge from the Australia Institute to brief Council on the financial problems associated with this industry.

The impact of unconventional gas exploration and extraction on rural communities is devastating. The concerns of the community are not based on irrational fears. There has been enough evidence of the destructive nature of this activity that typical ‘law abiding’ farmers are having to resort to blockading their properties in acts of civil disobedience. The Surf Coast communities of Moriac, Mt Moriac, Paraparap and Freshwater Creek recently declared themselves ‘gasfield free’ with between 92-97% of the community signing on to say they reject this industry. There was strong support from Local Council, State and Federal politicians attending. We are looking for the same leadership and support from the Geelong City Council.

Geelong needs to pursue a future based on renewable energy resources and ‘clean tech’ manufacturing. Unconventional gas extraction is a dead-end technology being pursued for the financial benefit of few, to the detriment of the broader community.

Doug Rolfe”


Submission by Alan Manson

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au and also sent carbon copy as an individual emails to the 13 councillors:

“Dear Mr. Mayor,

The issue on Fracking greatly concerns me, and I also have concerns that councillors may not receive all the facts related to Fracking that if known, would immediately draw the conclusion that Fracking is unsafe to the environment and the community, and is therefore unacceptable to allow in the Geelong region.

Although I have a copy of my submission attached for your attention, if you can’t find the time to read it, then please do yourself a favour by clicking on the two links below and take just a few minutes to see how bad Fracking really is and how it is likely to impact the Geelong region adversely.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email.

Kind regards,
Alan Manson

» Fracking or drinking water? That may become the choice
www.nbcnews.com

» Voices from the Gaslands – Megan’s Story
www.lockthegate.org.au/megan

» Submission: Onshore Natural Gas (Coal Seam Gas – Fracking) in the Geelong Region (PDF, 10 pages)”

pdf-ikon-STORT

 



Submission by a Frack Free Geelong supporter

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 26 September 2014 at 4pm:

“To The Mayor & All CoGG Councillors & All Others to Whom This Should Concern

Under NO circumstances do I agree to any form of Fracking or investing of such an industry in Geelong or Victoria….The more I learn of this industry, the more this is so blatantly obvious to everyone that it is a very harmful, destructive, dangerous, damaging industry on every level.

There is NO way I & thousands of others around the country who understand how damaging Fracking is, will allow these companies in Victoria….regardless of the approved licences. There will be massive blockades at record levels, I can guarantee it…..numbers are growing, word is spreading, we will go to every house like those in Moriac, Mt Moriac, Freshwater Creek & Paraparap if we have to.

If Council do not join with Surf Coast Council, Barwon Water & Residents to stand for keeping Geelong & Victoria Frack Free, I & many will be informing & undertaking steps to gather evidence regarding current property value, full health checks, water quality with pre testing of methane & chemical levels & water & noise quality….as base line measurement to prepare & prove damages for legal action against Council, the State & Federal Government if necessary.

I am a single mother who was born in Geelong & lived here my whole life. I am appalled that these Fracking companies have ever been allowed to enter our beautiful country & have exploratory licences even granted……all behind our backs to destroy my property value, health, water & air quality & job prospects.

Every Council member needs to see the movie Gasland

& the movie filmed in Australia, Fractured Country

To further summarise the issues specifically I’d like to state known facts:

– Fracking has not been proven safe to either the environment or to those living in it – flora, fauna and people.

– Fracking relies on large volumes of heavy trucks and machinery entering and leaving local communities 24/7/365.

– Should any of the trucks carrying highly toxic chemicals become involved in a traffic accident, this could create a toxic spill that will need to be cleaned up. Unless the cleanup is 100% effective, the community may be in danger from the remnants of the spill. I understand the chemicals being used cause ill health and cancer.

– The industry does not employ locals or bring any benefit to the local economy.

Further, I am stunned we are even having to be made to go through this process of submissions, when our neighbouring Council in the Surf Coast did their own investigations & simply decided, long ago to keep the area Frack Free. Why……because it is a NO BRAINER. There is nothing to gain, only to lose as our number 1 industry in this Region being Tourism, with the Great Ocean Road & Otways being the biggest Tourist destination outside of Melbourne for domestic & international visitors.

See stats from Tourism Victoria under what’s their main purpose for coming.
www.tourism.vic.gov.au/research/domestic-and-regional-research/domestic-visitation.html…this demonstrates the enormity of Tourism in our Region & how important it is to us the residents of Geelong as the gateway to the Surf Coast & Great Ocean Road & therefore important to all the residents (our neighbours) in that region also.

Deciding anything other than to keep Geelong & Victoria Frack Free will destroy us economically, socially, agriculturally, affecting health, jobs, food, water levels & quality, air quality, property values etc.

We as a Region, State, Country & Planet need to be ONLY focusing on Sustainable, Renewable, Socially Conscious, Peaceful (not connected to wars & violence), Clean Green business, industry & manufacturing.

On Tuesday 23 Sept 2014 many leaders of the World met to discuss this very issue based on worldwide concern on our values, priorities, plans & goals in this area. Our Prime Minister chose not to go, the world is watching us. We Geelong & Victoria have an opportunity here to be the leaders in Sustainable Renewable Manufacturing etc we are among one of the sunniest countries in the world & are one of the most arid countries in the world. We can not sustain industries raping our land, planet & people of a sustainable life through mining & war any longer.

Mr Di Caprio summed it up perfectly on Tuesday at the UN Climate Summit in New York please watch & really listen to what he is saying:

Thank you for the opportunity to state my strong views to keep Geelong & Victoria Frack Free permanently & for our region & state to focus on Sustainable, Renewable, Clean Green enterprises only.”

 



Submission by Nat Cowdell

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 26 September 2014

“Dear councillors,

I write to you as a very concerned lifelong resident of Geelong on the issue of fracking.

In the last 2 years I have taken the time to educate myself on many environmental issues including the extremely dangerous process of gas extraction known as fracking. I have learnt about the process itself and the effect it has had on towns that have been fracked and the picture is very clear – allowing gas companies to frack Geelong would be catastrophic for our region. The risks to our precious land and water supply, the health risks to our residents, the list goes on.

But apart from the innumerable negative effects it would directly have on Geelong, there is simply no sense to fracking. The simple fact is gas can no longer be extracted from the ground conventionally or unconventionally. The burning of fossil fuels is causing global warming which is creating an unstable climate. Geelong is not immune to the effects of climate change. Quite the contrary – we are a bayside town!!! We can help protect our beautiful town by making smart choices. Geelong has such a wonderful opportunity right now for clean energy technology manufacturing. Geelong is more than ready to be a ‘Clean Tech Hub’.

Councillors – you have the power to help create a safe, resilient, frack-free future for Geelong. Please use that power.

Yours sincerely,

Natalie Cowdell”



Submission by a Frack Free Geelong supporter

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 20 September 2014

pdf-ikon-STORT



Submission by a Frack Free Geelong supporter

“Dear City of Greater Geelong Councillors,

I am a mother who is extremely concerned about the world in which my children and grandchildren will grow up if we continue to use fossil fuels as energy sources.

Unconventional gas is a fossil fuel which the vast majority of the latest peer-reviewed science is telling us must remain in the ground if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change.

We have alternatives in clean renewable energy sources like the sun and the wind which will not only be safer, but also will provide new jobs in Geelong and district.

Geelong is at a crossroads. We can continue with fossil fuels which have served us well in the past, but which the rest of the world is now rejecting, or we can lead our state and country by embracing a clean energy job rich future.

Choose wisely, COGG councillors! Please protect you citizens and reject this invasive, toxic industry.”



Submission by a Frack Free Geelong supporter

“Dear Councillors of the City of Greater Geelong

I appreciate the opportunity to have a say on this very important issue. I congratulate the City of Greater Geelong for this initiative.

I am particularly concerned about the health impacts on going down the path of onshore gas exploration and extraction.

The usually conservative Australian Medical Association (AMA) has urged caution, saying we just don’t know enough about the health impacts to proceed at this stage. Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) and the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) go a little further and suggest a ban until the industry is able to prove that it is safe.

The health concerns come from most aspects of the gas industry’s practices:

– The mix of dangerous chemicals which are forced under pressure deep into the earth

– The fear of contamination of drinking water sources

– The impact of people living near the wells and being exposed to airborne pollutants 24/7

– The impact on mental health of seeing the area being turned into an industrial zone.

– The contribution this fossil fuel has to runaway climate change at a time when the latest peer-reviewed climate science is screaming out that we must leave all fossil fuels in the ground if we want a safe climate future.

I am deliberately focussing only on some of the health impacts in my submission. I know there are many others.

With all these concerns about the negative impacts of this industry, I can’t understand why we would be thinking of embracing unconventional gas in this area. There are alternatives, like clean renewable energy – wind, solar and wave energy, to name just three – which have none of these concerns and also have the potential to provide many more – and sustainable – local jobs in these times of high unemployment in City of Greater Geelong.”




 

Reasons why we don’t need to frack for gas

1) The local community bears the burden while the profits go elsewhere:

Gas prices go up not down – will have export parity price. Price in Asia is much higher, so gas companies won’t accept lower domestic price.

Industrial zone: Lights noise 24/7. Many more truck movements on our roads. Landscape mutilated by industrial gasfield zones. Tourism ruined. Real estate value drops

Local pollution from fugitive emissions, toxic chemicals, mining equipment and particulates from diesel powered equipment.

Risky gambling with drinking water and health. Impact on people living nearby and workers who are exposed to the chemicals and pollution. (A study which recently came out of Yale University found that people who lived near oil and unconventional gas operations had greater respiratory illnesses and skin rashes than those who lived further away.)

Water contamination: accidents happen. The industry claims – but at the same time won’t guarantee – that water contamination won’t happen. Evidence both from Queensland and the United States shows that this is happening.

Chemical use: Industry only mentions the least offensive ones – vinegar, ‘many of the chemicals are under people’s sinks’, or ‘chemicals used in making icecream’. Very few of the chemicals they use have been tested for health effects on people and animals, let alone when they are used in combination.

• Excessive use of water on the driest continent. The vast quantities of water needed to release oil and gas by fracturing rock formations are not available in large areas with the richest deposits – posing major challenges to the future viability of fracking. (According to a report by the World Resources Institute, 38 per cent of the areas where unconventional gas and oil is most abundant is arid or already under severe water stress – and the 386 million people living in these areas need all the spare water they can get.)

• What to do with produced waste water? Naturally occurring toxic chemicals and radio active elements which have been trapped in the rocks which are fractured are released with the gas. These plus 60 percent of the initial injected chemicals are returned to the surface. Not even reverse osmosis can remove some of these. Often these are just put into the local sewerage treatment system. Even the chemicals and elements which reverse osmosis can remove still have to be disposed of. They don’t just vanish. Where to?



2) Fracking is intergenerational theft, short-sighted and amoral. Here’s why:

• Unconventional gas mining is only profitable because costs of cleaning up and climate damage are not part of the equation. The mining industry has a century-old history of not cleaning up after itself.

• Investment in gas ming removes focus and economy from the transition to renewables and sustainable jobs. Every dollar spent on gas is one we don’t get to spend on renewables – slows down the transition to a post carbon world.

• Unnecessary detour. According to the latest peer-reviewed climate science we MUST leave fossil fuels in the ground if we want to avoid runaway climate change. The Climate Panel of the United nations, IPPC, reports using more urgent language at each successive report to say we must stop burning fossil fuels if we want future generations to have a safe climate.

• Gas mining jobs are not needed here, there are many more jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and that is the path we need to invest in. In California, for every job lost to fossil fuels, 50 new jobs have been created in energy efficiency.

Not cleaner than coal: Recent peer-reviewed science from Cornell University is raising serious doubts about the industry’s claim that it is cleaner than coal – fugitive emissions at every stage of its extraction through to use – methane is much worse in terms of greenhouse gas emissions than CO2.


Summarising:
What drives the gas mining industry forward is a desire to make profits. Local communities in Queensland are seeing the devastating consequences of this industry: Only a few people benefit financially from it, and they are not held accountable by authorities to pay the bills for the damage they create in the ground as well as in the air. See Tara in the Western Darling Downs for nightmarish health and community impacts.

‘Facts’ and ‘the science’ is being used as an argument for allowing onshore gas mining. Like the ‘fact’ that there has never been a ‘proven case’ of contamination of ground water because of fracking. Not true. Facts and science can be manipulated and deliberately mis-communicated and many other myths which are being created to delay the inevitable transition away from fossils fuels over to renewables.

You must ask yourself: Can the branch of CSIRO working on unconventional gas – which Council and media often refers to as the official ‘science’ on gas mining – be relied on to be impartial when they are funded by the unconventional gas industry?

If you find this ‘fact claiming’ rhetoric game a waste of time, then just stick to some of the 100 percent indisputable arguments why unconcentional gas mining must be permanently banned, such as, for instance:

• Gas is a fossil fuel and a greenhouse gas. Methane, which leaks in the gas production, is a fossil fuel and an extremely potent greenhouse gas. The greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels we flood our atmosphere and oceans with are damaging our planet to a point where it is getting really dangerous. It could get out of hand for humanity within the life time of our children.

• Fossil fuels are not just dangerous to the climate. They are dangerous to our health. Gas can explode. Gas production involves a lot of risks. Renewable energy sources don’t involve any such health risks.

• Gas prices are rising. More fracking won’t make gas cheaper to the consumer. On the contrary, prices are expected to triple soon. Meanwhile, prices on renewables are dropping – and will continue to drop.

• Why keep investing in a fossil exploration and exploitation such as gas when what we urgently need to invest in is modern and clean, renewable energy technology? There comes a time when we must say ‘stop it’, and that time is now.



» For more information about onshore gas extraction, see gas fact sheets, links to reports, videos, listen to a locally produced podcast, and find more information on: www.climatesafety.info/gasrush as well as here on this website.

» Send your submission to Council before 26 September 2014 on: www.geelongaustralia.com.au/yoursay

Reminder: CoGG submissions end date is on Friday

By Alan Manson, frackfreegrovedale@gmail.com, 19 September 2014

Hi everyone,

This is a reminder that one week remains to get a submission into the City of Greater Geelong council that says you want them to oppose Fracking.

Making a submission is quite easy.  Simply do the following:

 

  1. Create a new email
  2. Type in the ‘Subject’ area ‘ATTENTION Rod Thomas – Fracking Submisssion
  3. Address it to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Then write an introductory paragraph.

  1. In the body of the email write a sentence or two that makes reference to the following points:
  2. Fracking has not been proven safe to either the environment or to those living in it – flora, fauna and people.
  3. Fracking relies on large volumes of heavy trucks and machinery entering and leaving local communities 24/7/365.
  4. Should any of the trucks carrying highly toxic chemicals become involved in a traffic accident, this could create a toxic spill that will need to be cleaned up.
  5. Unless the cleanup is 100% effective, the community may be in danger from the remnants of the spill.
  6. I understand the chemicals being used cause ill health and cancer.
  7. The industry does not employ locals or bring any benefit to the local economy.
  8. When finished, include your first and last name in the email – together with your postal address.  You can add a telephone number if you wish.
  9. Please send the email as soon as you can.



Helpful points about the negative issues associated with Fracking

You don’t have to add anything here in you submission if you don’t want to.  The information below aims to help you appreciate the variety of issues facing communities that allow Fracking to become a part of their community.

  1. The casings of the well do not always provide a good seal between the pipe and the terrain.  This causes leaks of methane and other elements to enter the environment or the water aquifer – therefore poisoning what they come into contact with.
  2. Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORMs) in the form of uranium are brought to the surface during drilling.  This hazardous material is not always identified and disposed of properly.
  3. Evaporation ponds often leak wastewater back into the ground, thereby contaminating the aquifer from above.
  4. Mining operations continue 24/7, which involve:
  5. Very bright electric lights illuminating the plant, which disrupts the community and the wildlife during their sleeping period.
  6. Trucks moving in and out of the site day and night cause continual noise and disrupt sleep.
  7. Other noises being emitted into the community from the operations area cause community concerns.
  8. Each fracking operation requires millions of litres of the local community’s drinking water.  In Victoria (which is prone to drought) our community cannot afford to deplete our water supplies at such a rate.  Any requirement like this would become unsustainable very quickly.
  9. The toxicity of the chemicals used in each fracking operation becomes airborne.  This affects children initially and then adults.  The first sign of young children being affected is that they start bleeding from their ears and their nose.  Some have also been reported as bleeding from their anus.
  10. 06-mummy-why-am-i-bleeding

  11. The gas taken from the local community does not benefit anyone in the community.  The only beneficiaries are the mining companies (their shareholders) and the government.
  12. The fracking operations do not create any significant local employment.
  13. 09-tara-fracked-landscape

  14. The terrain becomes scarred with well heads and pipelines that connect the well heads to the compressor stations.  In this, the mining operations turn the once beautiful farm-land into an industrial gas-land.
  15. Flames can be lit from the methane in domestic taps if a Frack well seal fails and water contamination occurs.
  16. 10-water-flare

  17. Centralised compressor sites compress the gas into liquefied form for transport.  Such a facility:
  18. Runs 24/7
  19. Operates at levels ranging from 70dB (lawn mower levels) to over 90 dB (rock-band levels) only 100 metres away.
  20. The noise can travel a great distance.
  21. It is impossible for people, animals or wildlife to live in the area of a compressor station.
  22. Land and houses become affected by the fracking’s operations in one form or another.  This causes people to want to sell and move away, but if the property price has plummeted because there are no buyers (and their mortgage still needs to be serviced) then this initially causes mental health issues such as Depression, followed by the relationship breakdown of the people, which can lead people to commit suicide.

 

Is this what we want for Victoria?

NOW is the time to make your voice heard as it will be too late after ‘The Frackers’ move in next door.

map-st-lukes

Corner Barrabool & Scenic Roads Highton
 

 


Further Information

Therefore, if you would like to confirm some of the claims made above, I have provided some links below that you may like to check out.  I have not viewed them all – but quite a few.  Please check them out for yourself.

If you can assist with a submission, please do it this weekend.

Many thanks!

 

Alan

 

 


West Australian farming family concerned about water supply from fracking – watch the video!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-09/local-concerned-about-water-supply-from-fracking/5660454

 

Concerned Health Professionals of New York – The compendium

 

ABC Coal Seam Gas by the Numbers

 

a Landowners guide to hydraulic fracturing

 

NTN: Toxic chemicals in exploration & production of gas from unconventional sources 2013

 

NTN: symptomology of a gasfield; independent health survey of Tara rural residential estates & environs 2013

 

NTN: hydraulic fracturing in CSG mining – risk to our communities, environment & climate

 

Life cycle of CSG projects, technologies & potential impacts report for NSW officer of the chief scientist & engineer.

 

Initial report on the independent review of CSG activities in NSW

 

ABC: Santos fined $52,000 for pollution breach

 

The Australia Institute – fracking the future

 

The Australia Institute – is fracking good for your health

 

environment America: fracking by the numbers

 

ABC news: high gas prices

 

Pennsylvania’s proven cases of contamination

 

The Victorian Gas Market Taskforce Report

Peter Reith’s Industry Biased Report

 

Top Ten NY Drilling Problems

 

Medical Society Resolutions re Gas Drilling and Hydrofracking

 

Chemical and Biological Risk Assessment for Natural Gas Extraction in New York

 

Oil & Gas Inspections – Violations – Enforcements, Division of Oil and Gas Management;

 

DEP Oil & Gas Reporting Website

 

2010 Permit and Rig Activity Report, Division of Oil and Gas Management

 

fracking will cause irreversible damage council of WA

 

Excellent video titled, ‘Truth about Fracking’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7XgoekcrBw#t=83

 

Residents worry urban drilling will turn downtowns into oil towns. The energy extraction method known as fracking is moving into midsize cities – and not just on the fringes. Drilling for oil and gas isn’t new in rural or even suburban areas, but as extraction companies move into cities, it’s raising a new set of concerns. All Things Considered, NPR. 4 September 2014.

Belleville disposal site center of controversy over fracking, radioactive waste. Wayne Disposal Inc., a private landfill operation, is caught in the tug of war over energy policy in Michigan as well as other states. It has been here for several decades handling wastes that can’t be stored in a normal solid waste landfill. Detroit News, Michigan. 4 September 2014.

IRS set to clarify who qualifies for tax-favored status in the shale patch. It’s just a joke to anyone in the energy world, but it turns out to be an illustrative one. Why couldn’t a McDonald’s restaurant chain in the shale patch – or any food provider – form a master limited partnership, thus avoiding the federal corporate income tax? EnergyWire. 4 September 2014.

The crux of determining fracking’s safety. For people who live in close proximity to the current oil and gas boom, are there health risks? It’s a question people are asking from Colorado to Texas and from Pennsylvania to North Dakota, as more and more communities find themselves in the midst of unprecedented energy development. Greeley KUNC Radio, Colorado. 4 September 2014.

Hillary Clinton’s hard choices on energy. It has been more than six years since Hillary Clinton has been required to weigh in on domestic political issues. But as she steps back onto the political stage, the potential 2016 presidential candidate will have to make some “hard choices” on a handful of thorny issues. One of those is on energy issues. MSNBC. 4 September 2014.

Dangerous crude could still travel in misclassified tank cars, TSB says. Canada’s transportation safety agency is raising concerns that dangerous crude oil could still be travelling by rail inside misclassified tank cars, despite assurances from the federal government that the problem has been fixed. Globe and Mail, Ontario. 4 September 2014.

US mulls methane limits for fracking operations. New rules forcing oil and gas producers to cut emissions of potent greenhouse gas methane could be introduced in the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief admitted yesterday. Business Green, United Kingdom.4 September 2014.

Kansas task force: No clear answers as to what’s causing quake increase. There is insufficient research available to say what has caused an increase of earthquakes in Kansas, primarily in the south-central area, a governor-appointed task force concluded in a report that was made available this week. Wichita Eagle, Kansas. 4 September 2014.

Water supply big fracking fear. Virginia officials made it clear that protecting the Potomac aquifer – which supplies water to the Fredericksburg region and half of Virginia – will be their top priority, if any companies want to drill for natural gas in the region. Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, Virginia. 4 September 2014.

Green groups in Jerusalem laud collapse of oil shale project. The Jerusalem District Committee for Planning and Building has voted to thwart the pilot drilling project of Israel Energy Initiatives. IEI executives voiced hopes of bringing energy independence to Israel by means of secure and non-polluting technologies, but environmentalists slammed the plans as anything but safe. Jerusalem Post, Israel. 4 September 2014.

Judge to rule next week in Nevada fracking case. A federal judge plans to decide next week whether to block the release of oil and gas leases in Nevada that critics say will be used for hydraulic fracturing and cause more environmental harm than the Bureau of Land Management admits. Associated Press. 4 September 2014.

What you need to know about the new fracking rules. Illinois lawmakers promised thousands of jobs when they approved fracking last year. But drilling companies are still waiting for the go ahead. We’re now one step closer after the Illinois Department of Natural Resources released its latest rules last week. Carterville WSIL TV, Illinois. 4 September 2014.

Fracking views separate candidates for governor. Democratic candidate for governor Zephyr Teachout said Wednesday she would ban gas drilling because it threatens the environment. Republican Rob Astorino would promote it to boost jobs. Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, after three years of consideration, hasn’t made up his mind. New York Newsday, New York. 4 September 2014.

Telescope builders warn on possible clashes with ‘frackers.’ The builders of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope in the Northern Cape hope to co-exist with shale gas prospectors, but if needs be will invoke new astronomy laws to protect their interests, MPs heard on Wednesday. South African Press Association, South Africa. 4 September 2014.

High-volume fracking to be banned in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia will introduce legislation to prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing for onshore shale gas this fall, Energy Minister Andrew Younger said Wednesday. CBC Canada. 4 September 2014.

Ban fracking from national parks, say majority of UK public. Fracking should be completely banned from national parks, according to a strong majority of the UK public. The Guardian. 4 September 2014.

Opposition to pipeline is voiced. PennEast says the exact route of a proposed natural gas pipeline it wants to build is still unknown. The proposed project may still be in its preliminary stages, but the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network believe they know enough about it to level criticism. Hopewell Valley News, New Jersey. 4 September 2014.

Residents beat gas company in Lycoming County zoning case. Some Lycoming County residents prevailed in a zoning fight with a gas company, one of the first such battles since the Supreme Court overthrew portions of the state’s oil and gas law. Scranton Times-Tribune,Pennsylvania. 4 September 2014.

DEP: Two water contamination cases in Washington Co. A report released by Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection shows just two residential water sources in Washington County have been affected by natural gas drilling in nearly seven years, prompting a local environmental group to question those findings. Washington Observer-Reporter, Pennsylvania. 4 September 2014.

Trans Energy facing criminal charges over drilling pollution. A St. Marys-based natural gas company that agreed to a $3 million civil penalty is also facing federal criminal charges related to its dumping of material from its drilling operations into West Virginia streams without first obtaining a required permit, court records showed Wednesday. Charleston Gazette, West Virginia. 4 September 2014.

Pipeline is safest way to deliver natural gas. Other environmental groups argued that the state should be pushing renewable energy sources and facilitating offshore wind and onshore solar, as if the state couldn’t – and shouldn’t – do both. Natural gas is by no means perfect. But it’s far better than what we’re using now. Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, Virginia. Editorial, 4 September 2014.

No energy leadership in Nova Scotia fracking fumble. By opting to try to make the fracking controversy go away, the Liberal government has chosen peace and quiet over the harder but ultimately more productive path laid by David Wheeler’s panel on hydraulic fracturing of unconventional gas and oil resources in this province. Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia. Editorial, 4 September 2014.

Fracking banned. The provincial government’s message to Bluenosers on Wednesday was essentially: Fracking banned in Nova Scotia! That’s a lot catchier than: Fracking banned in Nova Scotia … until we decide not to ban it anymore! However, the latter message would seem more sincere. Sydney Cape Breton Post, Nova Scotia. Editorial, 4 September 2014.

‘Energy Summit’ shows who’s driving Utah’s bus. According to new research, the views of the average citizen have a near zero impact on public policy, mass interest groups have very little, but the two groups that essentially get what they want from lawmakers are rich individuals and business groups. Utah could be the poster child for this study. Salt Lake Tribune, Utah. Opinion, 4 September 2014.

Bromide: A pressing issue to address in China’s shale gas extraction. At the dawn of massive production of shale gas, China should pay particular attention to bromide. Poor management of bromide-containing wastewater would potentially cause contamination of China’s already limited drinking water resources. Environmental Science & Technology. Opinion, 4 September 2014.

Nova Scotia opts for doom and gloom over progress in fracking decision. Here in Nova Scotia, doom and gloom are good. The energy industry, which every Nova Scotia government heralds as a critical element to this province’s fiscal recovery, has got the message: The fracking door is closed. Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia. Opinion, 4 September 2014.

$5B natural gas pipeline may run through Virginia. Dominion Resources and other partners are proposing a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with the rapidly growing supply of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, Virginia. 3 September 2014.

6 things to watch when Hillary heads to Vegas. Hillary Clinton is about to give her first energy and climate speech of a publicity tour that many believe is the springboard to a presidential campaign. National Journal. 3 September 2014.

EPA may force drillers to cut methane leaks, chief says. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering rules that would force oil and gas producers to cut methane emissions, its chief said, stepping up efforts to curb the most potent greenhouse gas linked to climate change. Bloomberg News. 3 September 2014.

Dominion, Duke propose $5b natural gas pipeline. Dominion Resources, Duke Energy and other partners are proposing a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with the prodigious supplies of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.Associated Press. 3 September 2014.

Water shortages pose larger than expected threat to shale gas. Water shortages pose a bigger threat to the global shale oil and gas industry than is widely realised, according to one of the most detailed studies to date of how much water is available at some of the world’s most promising shale sites. Financial Times, United Kingdom. 3 September 2014. [Registration Required]

Limited water presents challenge for natural gas fracking. Extracting natural gas for energy from shale rock deep underground requires lots of water, but much of the world’s shale gas is in regions where water is already scarce, including part of California, according to a study issued Tuesday. Los Angeles Times. 3 September 2014. [Registration Required]

Water access may stonewall shale boom, report finds. Energy producers face fierce competition for scarce water resources as they look to expand North America’s shale gas boom into regions that are facing stresses due to overuse or inadequate supplies of fresh water. Globe and Mail, Ontario. 3 September 2014.

Water shortages could limit spread of fracking worldwide. The fracking boom has arguably been the biggest energy story in the United States over the past decade. Among other things, cheap shale gas from fracking has pushed down electricity prices and curtailed US carbon-dioxide emissions. So why hasn’t the shale boom spread elsewhere? Water is one major constraint. Vox. 3 September 2014.

Forum targeting proposed PennEast gas pipeline set in Lambertville, New Jersey. In New Jersey, two environmental groups are inviting Hunterdon County-area residents to learn more about a 30-inch pipeline proposed for this area that would carry natural gas extracted by fracking the Marcellus Shale near Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Hunterdon County Democrat, New Jersey. 3 September 2014.

Shell urges Obama to end 40-year oil export ban. The chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell has urged Barack Obama to lift America’s 40-year ban on oil exports. Ben van Beurden told a conference in the US that the move would make the global energy system more stable. The Telegraph, United Kingdom. 3 September 2014.

King George, Virginia, planners to review drilling ordinances. In an effort to maintain “ultimate control” of any natural gas drilling that might take place in their locality, the King George supervisors on Tuesday directed the Planning Commission to review the county’s zoning ordinances. Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, Virginia. 3 September 2014.

Fair Lawn, New Jersey, considering ban on fracking. The New Jersey borough of Fair Lawn’s governing body is working on an ordinance that would ban fracking and related activities within borough borders for five years. Bergen County Record, New Jersey. 3 September 2014.

Study to look at financial impact of gas boom. Researchers are looking at whether money from the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom helps children and families in regions where companies are drilling. Associated Press. 3 September 2014.

A rush to judgment on fracking. The BLM’s decision to use results from a new study as proof that fracking is safe represents a rush to judgment, environmentalists say, and provides yet another example of a regulatory agency bending over backward to appease industry rather than protect the public and the environment. East Bay Express, California. 3 September 2014.

McAuliffe backs natural gas pipeline, disappointing environmentalists. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Tuesday unveiled plans for a 550-mile natural gas pipeline through three states, a proposal that won him kudos from the energy industry but criticism from environmental activists who had considered him an ally. Washington Post. 3 September 2014. [Registration Required]

Resetting the energy debate won’t be easy, despite premiers’ pact. Last week’s provincial agreement has the potential to reset the energy debate by reminding us what Canada stands for — a moderate approach that strikes a balance between promoting energy development and improving environmental protection. Financial Post. 3 September 2014. [Subscription Required]

Planning Committee nixes oil fracking program. The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee on Tuesday rejected a plan to erect a pilot facility to produce oil from shale in the Judean lowlands. Haaretz, Israel. 3 September 2014.

Study to look at fracking’s impact on water supply. Lawmakers and others are expected to gather at the Capitol next week for an interim study on the impact fracking has on the state’s water supplies. Tulsa World, Oklahoma. 3 September 2014.

Oil and gas wastewater pits draw fine for toxic releases. A commercial facility that disposes of oil and gas waste in Eastern Utah has been fined $50,000 for releasing excessive amounts of benzene and other volatile organic compounds without a state air emissions permit.InsideClimate News. 3 September 2014.

California oil train bill heads to governor. The bill is the last of several steps taken by the Legislature this summer to deal with safety concerns about the growing phenomena of 100-car oil trains rolling through California cities. Sacramento Bee, California. 3 September 2014.

Quit dragging feet on fracking. We would all be wise to join the fight against climate change. But a stronger Illinois economy is essential as well. Let’s get fracking. Chicago Sun-Times, Illinois. Editorial, 3 September 2014.

America is at a crossroads on energy. Texas and the entire country stand at an historical crossroad of two conflicting, incompatible forces. On one side is the game-changing upsurge in oil and gas production achieved through technological innovations first developed in Texas. On the other side is federal policy to supplant oil, natural gas and coal – now supplying over 80 percent of U.S. energy. Houston Chronicle, Texas. Editorial, 3 September 2014.

Fracking’s water woes: Drink or drill? As fracking is set to go global, one research organization warns that some of the best plays around the world are in areas that are already facing water shortages. Fortune. 2 September 2014.

Earthquake hazard linked with deep well injection in Alberta. Rural Albertans have been saying for years they can feel tremors under their feet near oil and gas activity, especially around areas of hydraulic fracturing – also known as fracking. CBC Canada. 2 September 2014.

Van Buren landfill seeks tenfold increase in radiation allowances. A hazardous waste landfill near Belleville that has gained the attention of Michigan lawmakers for accepting low-activity radioactive oil and gas fracking waste from other states is seeking approval for a tenfold increase in allowable radiation levels in the materials it receives. Detroit Free Press, Michigan. 2 September 2014.

Consent, sharing crucial on fracking file. Entrusting communities with the power and responsibility of a final say on fracking recognizes social consent is a real issue. This is a more dynamic and democratic way of dealing with a complex issue like fracking than slapping on a moratorium. Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia. Editorial, 2 September 2014.

Fracking Georgia O’Keeffe country’ Back in the 1940s, as Georgia O’Keeffe mined the Black Place for inspiration, oil and gas drillers were already penetrating the region’s geologic formations in search of hydrocarbons. This is the San Juan Basin gas field, where some 40,000 wells have been drilled. High Country News. Opinion, 2 September 2014.

Study finds more arsenic in wells near drilling. North Texas water wells within two miles of active gas drilling sites contain higher concentrations of arsenic and other carcinogens, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Associated Press. 1 September 2014.

Report riles fracking foes. The California Council on Science and Technology released an independent report Thursday, concluding that, based on scientific evidence, the environmental impacts of the oil drilling technology known as fracking (short for hydraulic fracturing), are “relatively limited.” Orange County Register, California. Editorial, 1 September 2014.

The evidence is in, so ban fracking. If anyone in New York was still buying the utopian vision being sold by the oil and gas industry regarding fracking — free energy! new jobs! no risk! — a flood of recent news should end the delusion once and for all. New York Daily News, New York. Opinion, 1 September 2014.

Fracked off – natural gas victims flee Colorado’s toxic air. A general contractor in Colorado’s Grand Valley, Duke Cox says the first time he became aware that drilling for gas might be a problem was back in the early 2000s when he happened to attend a local public hearing on oil and gas development. Ecologist. 31 August 2014.

Fracking fire points out failings. Three years ago, before the shale-gas industry started booming in Ohio, oil and gas companies had permits for five hydraulically fractured wells in Monroe County. As of June 28, the day a well pad caught fire there, oil and gas companies had permits for 135 wells that either had been or could be hydraulically fractured. Columbus Dispatch, Ohio. 31 August 2014.

Amid oil and gas boom, Colorado continues role as earthquake lab. In an area peppered with wells pulling energy resources from below ground — and many pumping wastewater from the process back into it through injection wells — an old question resurfaced: Could the same geological tinkering that has revved a formidable economic engine also trigger potentially damaging earthquakes? Denver Post, Colorado. 31 August 2014.

Colorado fracking ban scorecard: 3 ruled illegal, 2 remain. Three out of five Front Range cities’ bans on hydraulic fracturing in the last few years have been struck down by district court judges in recent weeks, and two others still stand. Both Boulder and Broomfield still have fracking bans in place. Denver Business Journal, Colorado. 31 August 2014.

Iowa counties stick to home to win fights over frac sand mining. A group of northeast Iowans effectively is keeping large frac sand mine companies from mining silica-rich sand in their county by building a consortium that set aside politics and focused on dealing with the matter locally, instead of with state intervention. Iowa Watch, Iowa. 31 August 2014.

Provincial review: press pause on fracking in Nova Scotia. Hold off on fracking, says a provincial report released today. The Wheeler report on hydraulic fracturing says more research and discussion is needed before the natural gas resource extraction method is employed in the province. Hants Journal, Nova Scotia. 31 August 2014.

Shale drillers’ landfill records don’t match those of Pennsylvania DEP. EQT Corp. told the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that it sent 21 tons of drill cuttings from its Marcellus Shale wells to area landfills in 2013. But landfills in southwestern Pennsylvaniatold a different story. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania. 31 August 2014.

Commission adopts fracking regulations for Nevada. A state panel has approved regulations guiding oil and gas exploration companies’ use of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, in Nevada. Associated Press. 31 August 2014.

Consider all the impacts of hydraulic fracturing. While environmentalists are quick to point out the negative side effects of fracking, it is important to keep in mind the possible effects of not fracking. Higher prices at the pump, a slowing of the overall economy, and susceptibility to oil shocks from trouble in the Middle East would all have to fall into that category. Livingston Daily Press & Argus, Michigan. Editorial, 31 August 2014.

Environmentalists like Tom Steyer see Colorado as key in election. Environmentalists in Colorado may have lost a rallying cry this year when efforts to limit fracking didn’t make the ballot, but that hasn’t stopped eco-activists from painting a big green bulls-eye on the state.Denver Post, Colorado. 30 August 2014.

Environment: New California fracking report leads to more questions than answers. The battle over fracking probably won’t die down until humankind slurps up the last of the planet’s fossil fuel resources, and a new report by a California agency probably will intensify the debate. Summit County Citizens Voice, Colorado. 30 August 2014.

Louisiana approves request to establish drilling and production unit near Mandeville. Louisiana’s Office of Conservation has approved Helis Oil & Gas Co.’s request to establish a 960-acre production unit near Mandeville, clearing the way for the company to seek a drilling permit for its controversial drilling and fracking proposal. New Orleans Times-Picayune, Louisiana. 30 August 2014.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources issues long-awaited fracking rules. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources released a long-awaited plan Friday to regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling that supporters hope could bring an economic boost to southern Illinoisbut environmentalists fear may be too lenient. Associated Press. 30 August 2014.

White House reviews federal-land fracking rules. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has started to review new regulations for hydraulic fracturing on federal land, the last step before the rules can be made final. The Hill, District of Columbia. 30 August 2014.

Rules for fracturing on public lands likely this year. The Obama administration is on track to impose new mandates governing hydraulic fracturing on public land by year-end, a move that will test the White House’s ability to appease worried environmentalists without derailing the drilling boom bolstering the U.S. economy. Houston Chronicle, Texas. 30 August 2014. [Subscription Required]

Fracking rules headed for final steps in Illinois. The rules for hydraulic fracturing are headed for the final steps in Illinois; the Department of Natural Resources has made their changes to the fracking rules. They will now need a legislative committee to sign off before the state can start issuing permits. Carterville WSIL TV, Illinois. 30 August 2014.

Conway, Massachusetts, residents take aim at safety, contents of pipeline. The safety of the community and questions about the contents of natural gas that will flow through a proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline dominated a special Selectboard meeting in Conway, Mass., Thursday night. Greenfield Recorder, Massachusetts. 30 August 2014.

Coal seam gas project divides residents of NSW’s Gloucester Valley as blockade begins. The Gloucester Valley in mid-north New South Wales is bracing for an invasion of protesters over the state’s first new coal seam gas project in more than five years. Australia ABC News,Australia. 30 August 2014.

Current study will not address health impact concerns. A current Irish assessment of the impact of fracking is not addressing health concerns. Share That’s according to anti-fracking campaigner, Eddie Mitchell of the Love Leitrim group. Dublin Irish Independent, Ireland. 30 August 2014.

DEP finds 243 water sources contaminated by gas exploration. Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has released a final tally of the number of water sources damaged by natural gas drilling since 2008. According to the tally, the department found that 243 water sources have been contaminated. Pittsburgh Business Times, Pennsylvania. 30 August 2014.

DEP cites 243 cases of well water contaminated by drilling wastewater. The state is out with new information about how many private drinking water wells have been contaminated due to drilling activities. It comes six years into the natural gas boom. Pittsburgh KDKA TV,Pennsylvania. 30 August 2014.

State issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules. Stricter requirements for disclosing the use of chemicals are part of new proposed rules issued by the state Friday as part of the process of regulating fracking, the high-volume oil and gas drilling method that proponents hope will bring a surge of jobs to Illinois. Associated Press. 30 August 2014.

Fracking industry officials donating to Rauner. Oil producers, drilling companies and geologists frustrated with the slow process of implementing rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling are putting their money behind Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner. Springfield State Journal-Register, Illinois. 30 August 2014.

Colorado town to ask higher court to uphold its fracking ban. Leaders of a Boulder, Colorado suburb on the front lines of the fight against gas drilling recently voted 7-0 to appeal last month’s court ruling that overturned the city’s ban on fracking. InsideClimate News. 30 August 2014.

Fracking poses little risk of air and water pollution, report finds; BLM to restart oil and gas leases. The Bureau of Land Management has announced plans to resume leasing for fracking in California at the same time it has released a report finding fracking methods aren’t fouling air and water and don’t raise the risk of earthquakes in the state. Los Angeles KPCC Radio, California. 30 August 2014.

Fracking views may hinge on cash. Chalk one up for the anti-fracking lobby. Although the final report by the Nova Scotia Independent Review Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing isn’t shutting the door on future development of so-called unconventional gas and oil, it has concluded thatNova Scotia isn’t ready for it right now. Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia. Opinion, 30 August 2014.

New study shows gas workers could be exposed to dangerous levels of benzene. A new study out this month reveals unconventional oil and natural gas workers could be exposed to dangerous levels of benzene, putting them at a higher risk for blood cancers like leukemia. Benzene is a known carcinogen that is present in fracking flowback water. StateImpact Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania. 29 August 2014.

Pennsylvania releases details of cases of drinking well contamination from drilling. Six years into a natural gas boom, Pennsylvania has for the first time released details of 243 cases in which companies prospecting for oil or gas were found by state regulators to have contaminated private drinking water wells. Associated Press. 29 August 2014.

Colorado judges tossing out one fracking ban after another. For the third time in a month, a Colorado judge has thrown out a city’s ban on hydraulic fracking, ruling that it conflicts with state laws. Daily Caller. 29 August 2014.

Congressional Staffers inspect Bakken. 15 state and national congressional staffers spent time this week, inspecting the Bakken region to find out how North Dakota’s natural resources can impact public policy. Bismarck KXMC TV, North Dakota. 29 August 2014.

California senate approves bill requiring oil industry to report water use. The California state Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a bill requiring oil companies to report how much water they use in their drilling operations and the water’s source, a move that comes amid a severe statewide drought. Reuters. 29 August 2014.

Rochester Hills, Shelby Township groups continue push for action on oil and gas drilling. Weeks and months before the moratoriums on oil and gas drilling were recently passed in Shelby Township and neighboring Rochester Hills, there were groups of concerned residents making their voices heard. Oakland Press, Michigan. 29 August 2014.

Debate in Conway over pipeline proposals. It was a night of debate in Conway during a Kinder Morgan presentation, as the company hoped to convince residents of the need for a natural gas pipeline. Springfield WWLP TV, Massachusetts. 29 August 2014.

Fracking money flows to Rauner. When Gov. Pat Quinn signed sweeping legislation last year to regulate hydraulic fracturing, he was joined by business groups in saying the controversial oil and natural gas drilling process would mean thousands of jobs in hard-hit rural areas of downstate Illinois. Decatur Herald & Review, Illinois. 29 August 2014.

Nova Scotia energy minister hopes to make decision on fracking within month. Nova Scotia’s energy minister is promising a quick decision on the status of hydraulic fracturing after receiving a report Thursday that says it shouldn’t be allowed for the foreseeable future.Canadian Press. 29 August 2014.

UPDATED: Interim injunction granted against anti-frackers. A High Court judge has ruled against anti-fracking protesters following legal action started by energy giant Cuadrilla. Blackpool Gazette, United Kingdom. 29 August 2014.

Fracking may endanger groundwater in California. Fracking for oil in California happens at shallower depths than previously realized and could pose a risk to precious groundwater supplies, according to a federally commissioned report released Thursday. San Francisco Chronicle, California. 29 August 2014.

Flaring: the dark side of the oil boom. The flaring of natural gas in the Eagle Ford Shale makes for spectacular images. And it is slowly killing Texas and the world. San Antonio Express-News, Texas. Editorial, 29 August 2014.

Don’t shut door on fracking in Nova Scotia. There’s still far too little known about risks and benefits, along with a towering wall of public distrust to scale, for the provincial government to allow any development of unconventional gas and oil resources in Nova Scotia through fracking. At least for now. Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia. Editorial, 29 August 2014.

Editorial: Good news on the Marcellus shale front. Drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale formation, fittingly, was the topic of the day at the state Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Business Summit at The Greenbrier. But not only are people talking about the Marcellus shale, but they are investing in developing it. Charleston Daily Mail, West Virginia. Editorial, 29 August 2014.

GUEST COLUMN: Loveland’s fracking vote not just a local matter. Residents of Loveland recently voted against a citywide ban on the energy extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Far from being a local matter, their decision could have dramatic consequences for millions of Americans. Colorado Springs Gazette, Colorado. Opinion, 29 August 2014.

Some drillers tread lightly. Fracking fights loom in Texas and Colorado. Drillers’ reactions couldn’t be more different. Business Week. 28 August 2014.

Fracking rules to be unveiled Friday. Highly anticipated rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing in Illinois are to be unveiled Friday. Once the rules go into effect, Illinois hopes to become the center of the next oil boom. Chicago Tribune, Illinois. 28 August 2014.

Judge tosses out Lafayette’s voter-approved fracking ban. A Boulder District Court judge on Wednesday issued a ruling tossing out the charter amendment passed by Lafayette voters in November banning fracking in that city. Boulder Daily Camera, Colorado. 28 August 2014.

Chamber summit readies West Virginia for ‘tidal wave’ from future of gas. Spouting statistic after statistic, natural gas executives made the case for tying West Virginia’s economic future to their industry at the annual West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Business Summit Wednesday. Charleston Gazette, West Virginia. 28 August 2014.

COGA ‘disappointed’ with Longmont council’s move. The Colorado Oil & Gas Association weighed in Wednesday afternoon on the Longmont City Council’s decision Tuesday night to continue to appeal a court ruling that would negate a ban on fracking within the Longmont city limits, a ban put in place by Longmont voters in 2012. Longmont Daily Times-Call, Colorado. 28 August 2014.

DEP orders drilling company to clean up water supply in Stahlstown. The Department of Environmental Protection has put a drilling company on notice after drinking water was contaminated by gas drilling wastewater in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh KDKATV, Pennsylvania. 28 August 2014.

Gas drilling regulatory costs come under fire. Several employees and representatives of the natural gas industry in Southwest Virginia said Wednesday that they are concerned the state Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy might be over-regulating the industry with its review of some policies. Bristol Herald Courier, Tennessee. 28 August 2014.

Settling the Earth. In the past 75 years, Texans have grown accustomed to the sights, sounds and smells of oil and gas exploration. But earthquakes? That’s another matter. Longview News-Journal, Texas. Editorial, 28 August 2014.

The public deserves information about New Jersey’s oil trains. Oil must travel, and the practicality of rail transport over pipelines (or barges and trucks) deserves a robust debate for as long as our oil dependency persists. Newark Star-Ledger, New Jersey. Editorial, 28 August 2014.

Ruling requires native tribes’ consent for energy projects. Canada has gone from laggard to leader with respect to these important humanitarian and environmental rights. Our U.S. Supreme Court would do well to follow this example. San Francisco Chronicle, California. Opinion, 28 August 2014.

Technology will reduce need for flaring. The oil and gas industry continues to develop new techniques to reduce flaring and emissions within the Eagle Ford Shale, and in some cases has been able to completely eliminate the need to flare at the well site. San Antonio Express-News, Texas. Opinion, 28 August 2014.

Loose fracking rules could sink North Carolina. The draft rules on fracking in North Carolina are rife with loopholes that favor the drillers and could endanger the public health and the environment. Durham Independent Weekly, North Carolina. 27 August 2014.

Winter storms in Westcountry ‘convinced public that man-made climate change is real’, says survey. More than a quarter of people say the winter floods that hit Britain and swamped swathes of the Westcountry strengthened their belief in man-made climate change, a survey has found. Plymouth Western Morning News, United Kingdom. 27 August 2014.

Longmont City Council votes unanimouly to appeal judge’s decision on fracking ban. The Longmont City Council Tuesday night voted 7-0 to appeal Boulder County District Court Judge D.D. Mallard’s ruling in July that struck down the city’s ban on fracking within city limits.Longmont Daily Times-Call, Colorado. 27 August 2014.

Hundreds of fracking opponents cite potential harm to water sources. Water matters, they said. More than 100 like-minded people — many from Stokes, Forsyth and Yadkin counties — signed up to speak during one of three public hearings held in North Carolina this month on proposed rules that will govern shale-gas exploration. Winston-Salem Journal, North Carolina. 27 August 2014.

Sanford no longer backing fracking. In Sanford, where the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission held a public hearing on a draft of the state’s fracking regulations, opponents of the controversial drilling practice are waving small red flags, their ire given a menacing edge by protesters’ thumping drums and whistles outside the Wicker Civic Center. Durham Independent Weekly, North Carolina. 27 August 2014.

Fracking matter to go to voters but not until June 2016. Voters will have their say on an initiative aimed at banning hydraulic fracturing in Butte County, Calif., but the measure won’t go on the ballot until June 2016. Oroville Mercury-Register, California. 27 August 2014.

Glenelg Shire has declared itself a coal seam gas free zone. The western Victorian council passed a motion unanimously last night to remain free of any unconventional gas exploration. Seven southwest and 19 Gippsland communities have already declared themselves as “gas field free”. Melbourne Weekly Times, Australia. 27 August 2014.

Labour demands tougher fracking controls. LABOUR has demanded tougher regulations before ‘fracking’ is allowed to go ahead, to give people “confidence” that the technology is safe. Amendments were tabled to a parliamentary Bill to strengthen protections against water contamination and damage to the environment. Priestgate Northern Echo, United Kingdom. 27 August 2014.

State determines wastewater from gas drilling contaminated drinking water in Westmoreland County. The state Department of Environmental Protection has officially determined that drinking water at a third residence is contaminated by WPX Appalachia LLC’s leaky Marcellus Shale gas drilling wastewater impoundment near Stahlstown, Westmoreland County. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania. 27 August 2014.

Still too early to say OK to fracking. We find ourselves in no rush to join North Dakota, Texas, Pennsylvania and other states that have to deal with fracking’s uncertain effects on health, the economy and the environment. Oneonta Daily Star, New York

Health and fracking – what are the risks? For people who live in close proximity to this country’s current oil and gas boom, are there health risks? It’s a question people are asking from Pennsylvania to North Dakota, from Colorado to Texas, as more communities find themselves in the midst of unprecedented energy development. Wyoming Public Media, Wyoming

People near ‘fracking’ wells report health woes. People living near natural-gas wells were more than twice as likely to report upper-respiratory and skin problems than those farther away, says a major study Wednesday on the potential health effects of fracking. USA Today

Fracking workers exposed to dangerous amounts of benzene, study says. Some workers at oil and gas sites where fracking occurs are routinely exposed to high levels of benzene, a colorless gas that can cause cancer, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety. Los Angeles Times

Residents living nearer natural gas wells report more health symptoms, Yale study says. People who live closer to natural gas wells, including those that were drilled using “fracking,” or hydraulic fracturing, report more health symptoms than those who live farther away, according to a study reported today by Yale University researchers. Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio

Health and fracking – what are the risks? For people who live in close proximity to this country’s current oil and gas boom, are there health risks? It’s a question people are asking from Pennsylvania to North Dakota, from Colorado to Texas, as more communities find themselves in the midst of unprecedented energy development. Wyoming Public Media, Wyoming

Pennsylvania releases updated details on water contamination near drilling sites. Pennsylvania regulators found an array of contaminants in the roughly 240 private water supplies they said were damaged by oil and gas operations during the past seven years. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania

Unearthing drilling risks. A bill sponsored by State Rep. Greg Vitali (D., Delaware) provides for basic disclosure and study of the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing and the chemicals used in the process. But its reasonable goals face stiff opposition in Harrisburg. The Corbett administration and too many legislators seem to fear inconveniencing the gas industry with taxes or regulation. Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania

Federal government should hold off on leasing public lands for fracking. The Bureau of Land Management should wait to approve additional fracking on federal lands as well until the environmental risks have been fully studied. San Jose Mercury News, California

 

Material Safety Data Sheet for Ammonia Solution, Strong; Mallinckrodt Baker (April 22, 2008) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/a5472.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Methanol; Mallinckrodt Baker (September 8, 2008)

http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/m2015.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Ethanol, Absolute; Fisher Scientific (March 18, 2003) http://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/89308.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for 2-Propanol; Mallinckrodt Baker (September 16, 2009) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/p6401.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Butyl Alcohol, Normal; Mallinckrodt Baker (September 15, 2008) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/b5860.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Mercaptoacetic Acid; Mallinckrodt Baker (August 20, 2008) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/m1157.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Acetophenone; Mallinckrodt Baker (Februray 22, 2006) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/a0566.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Sodium Perborate; Mallinckrodt Baker (August 20, 2008) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/s4634.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Ammonium Persulfate; Mallinckrodt Baker (January 11, 2008) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/a6096.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Hydrochloric Acid, 33 – 40%; Mallinckrodt Baker (November 21, 2008) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/h3880.htm

Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Glutaraldehyde (CAS NO. 111-30-8) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Inhalation Studies;National Toxicology Program (NTP), (TR-490. September 1999) NIH Publication No. 99-3980. http://ntp-server.niehs.nih.gov/htdocs/LT-studies/tr490.html

http://www.npr.org/2014/09/03/345556505/residents-worry-urban-drilling-will-turn-downtowns-into-oil-towns

 

 

Cost of fracking simply too high

The debate about onshore gas extraction often becomes a debate about scientific measurements and facts, safety and risks. But to understand why gas mining is such a bad lousy and undesirable way to produce energy, you must first have a clearer picture of what the alternative to gas is: Renewable energy. The advantages of renewables are just as important to bring into the debate as the disadvantages of the unconventional gas production.


Dr Anthony Ingraffea does just that in this presentation, where he focuses on the methane leakage in the unconventional gas extraction method and on the move to renewables.

“When the dust clears and the science is done, somewhere around five and six percent of all the natural gas that is produced today never gets burned, it gets vented. And that is really bad for climate change.”

» The slides he shows can be seen here (though in different order): Ingraffea_NYS_Green_Building_Conference_march_2014.pdf


how much time do we have

When all environmental and human costs are included, the cost of fracking is simply too high, explains Dr Anthony Ingraffea. He not only talks about the local effect on water, the health repercussions and the global effect on the climate, he also goes in depth with what an alternative vision to New York’s energy future would look like. And why it makes better sense economically.

Dr Anthony Ingraffea asks for a rational cost-benefit analysis of onshore gas extraction.
“Let’s talk about risk,” he says: “Accidents will happen. How do you cost the risk?”

According to Anthony Ingraffea, rejecting onshore gas extraction is about moving renewables faster to relay climate change. He explains what could be an alternative to shale gas for New York State, how New York could run on 10 percent (4,000) onshore wind turbines, 40 percent (12,000) offshore wind turbines, 10 percent concentrated solar, 10 percent solar PV plants, 6 percent residential rooftops, 12 percent commercial government rooftops, 5 percent geothermal, 0.5 percent wave, 1 percent tidal and 5.5 percent hydro.

“We will be an all electricity state. This can be done. And it will create roughly 58,000 permanent fulltime jobs. Reduce airpollution mortality. 4,000 people in New York die from air emissions.
Now you are sitting there saying, ‘Hey, wait a minute! That is the heck of a lot of work!’
Compared to what?
50.000 to 100.000 wells? That is the hell of a lot of work! 8.000 to 16.000 pads? That is a lot of cement, concrete, a lot of earth moving, a lot of CO2. 500 to 1,000 compressor stations? Thousands of miles of new pipelines, thousands of incidents of well water contamination, increase of New York’s contribution to global warming… and this is the kicker: a hundred tons of steel per well, and once they put it down there, it is gone forever. Whereas anything you build on the surface is recyclable.”

“Renewables will stabilize energy prices and improve energy security. We own the wind, the sun, the water. Their fuel cost is zero. It is cost effective. The $486 billion price tag is paid off entirely in health-cost and climate-cost savings of $36 billion per year over 14 years. Emission decreases would reduce 2050 climate costs by billions of dollars per year.”


Dr Anthony Ingraffea argueed against the proposition that “New York State and/or Starkey Township should allow High Volume Shale Gas Extraction” at a debate sponsored by the Town of Starkey held on 23 January 2013 at the high school auditorium in Dundee, New York, USA.


Dryden – the small town that changed the fracking game

Inspirational 10-minute video – important for all citizens in farmlands, villages and cities of the world. Watch it. Share it.



As this video shows, there are other ways to move forward than through politicians and the media – and they start in our own street, in our own neighbourhood – they start with ourselves, our families and our neighbours.

The story which is being told in this video from the United States is similarly taking place in hundreds of other cities and residential areas in Australia. This is something that takes place wherever the fracking industry pushes forward – and there are many examples of successful results: It IS actually possible to keep the gas industry out of the way, to put a lock on the gate and say: NOT HERE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

But it is a waste of time and energy to start knocking media and politicians on the doors. The way things work these days, we must – and we are indeed able to – for a moment completely to let the media and the politicians out of the picture.

They do not understand what’s going on or what is at stake – and they are too busy with their self-indulgent navel-gazing and short-term economic prospects to take an interest in what the consequences are. They’ll wake up eventually, but only when you and I, the concerned citizens, have managed to create the change and the popular movement that is needed.

So instead, work from ground up: with Facebook, emailing, letterboxing and meetings, go door to door and talk with your neighbours. It starts there.

You might, for example, knock at your closest neighbour’s door today and invite her/him/them over to take look at this video. It takes just 10 minutes – and then you are engaged and moving forward with this. The journey has begun, and it won’t stop until we have a permanent ban on fracking in our region.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Lee Ziesche, Gasland Grassroots Coordinator, wrote:

“It’s rare you watch a video and think “wow that’s what democracy looks like” but that’s what I thought when I saw this Earthjustice video. And it’s exactly why we want to share it with you today, as our video of the week.

Watch Our Video of the Week: Dryden – The Small Town that Changed the Fracking Game

Through good old fashioned organizing like neighbor talking to neighbor, and a great legal team in Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, the citizen’s of Dryden were able to take democracy back and ban fracking.

I was a field organizer on the 2012 Obama Campaign, and while I’m often deeply upset about the administration’s view on fracking, I’m still grateful I was apart of the campaign because I learned a powerful lesson that has guided my work ever since. And it came straight from the President himself.

On a nationwide staff call leading up to Election Day Barack President said, “I still believe that neighbor talking to neighbor is worth more than any amount of corporate spending. “

That sentence sums everything I believe about the anti-fracking movement.

The citizens of Dryden have proven the President’s words to be true. Dozens of other communities across the world, who have passed bans or moratoria, have proven his words to be true. And even those who couldn’t keep fracking out, but now know new neighbors or have become activist for the first time are proving his words to be true.

The industry wants people to feel isolated, like they have no choice but to sign a lease. They want to fracture communities and stay in control.

But if we get organized and talk to our neighbors, we can build something they can’t buy.

I hope this video inspires you as much as it did me to keep up the fight. We are truly building something worth more than any corporation’s yearly profits.

Please watch and share tour video of the week with your community.

What you’re doing is democracy at work.

Thanks and have a great weekend,

Lee Ziesche, Gasland Grassroots Coordinator”

» www.blog.gaslandthemovie.com/?p=610


Permission to drill: the maps

On the maps below, you can see where authorities have given the mining company Lakes Oil permission to drill for gas exploration. the area covers wineries and reserves, as well as the Waurn Ponds campus of Deakin.

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Click on map to zoom in

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Click on map to zoom in

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Click on map to see larger size map
Click on map to see larger size map



LINKS TO HIGHER RESOLUTION MAPS

» Close-ups of the border areas in Geelong
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» Overview
www.frackfreegeelong.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/PEP163overview.jpg

» Older map where the borders are not accurate
www.frackfreegeelong.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Geelong-and-AngleseaPEP163.pdf


When the state government grants a licence to a company, existing legislation throughout Australia allows that company to mine anywhere within that licence, even if it is on private land. In order to maintain good public relations, most mining companies try to gain permission from land-holders, but in reality a land-holder has no legal right to stop mining from occurring on their land.



frack lines 3.ai

An artist’s impression




» Join the movement against fracking in Geelong



USA: Breakthroughs on fracking

“People should see and hear the truth before they find themselves living next door to dirty drilling.”

Martin Sheen’s Breakthroughs program on PBS television recently released an expose on fracking featuring Environment America. As the debate over dirty drilling continues to mount, the Breakthroughs piece could reach as many as 60 million viewers in all 50 states.

“Fracking is taking a terrible toll on our environment and our health,” said John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment America. “People should see and hear the truth before they find themselves living next door to dirty drilling.”

Shot on location in Pennsylvania – epicenter of the fracking frenzy.

 

 
» Read more:
www.livinggreenmag.com