Pipeline Spills Cause Long Lasting Impacts

Gillibrand Amendment (#48) would have closed the Halliburton Loophole

Amendment 48 was supported by Clean Water Action – Earthjustice – Earthworks – Environmental Integrity Project — League of Conservation Voters – Natural Resources Defense Council — Sierra Club – Western Organization of Resource Councils

Amendment 48 would allow EPA to regulate fracking (hydraulic fracturing) under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Fracking (aka hydraulic fracturing) involves the injection of fluids, often containing toxic and/or carcinogenic chemicals, into oil or gas wells at very high pressure. These pressurized fluids are used to crack open the underground formation to allow oil or gas to flow more freely and increase production.

Fracking is occurring in approximately 35 states. According to The Wall Street Journal, more than 15 million Americans live within a mile of a well that has been drilled since 2000. Fracking is linked to contamination of drinking water in communities around the country, and state rules vary widely. Regardless of which state they live in, all Americans deserve to have their water protected by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

Yet, in 2005, Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing from the SDWA to benefit Halliburton and other fracking companies. It’s time to reverse this hand-out to special interests.

Closing the Halliburton Loophole would not ban fracking, mandate a new process, or require disclosure of proprietary trade secrets or confidential business information.

Closing the Halliburton Loophole would allow EPA to provide a minimum federal standard to protect drinking water, prohibit drinking water contamination, and ensure better scientific understanding of the threats of fracking. Fracking is linked to drinking water contamination around the country, but every state has different standards with varied strength, effectiveness and enforcement.

For example, between 2008 and early 2014, Pennsylvania state regulators found 248 incidents where oil and gas companies damaged private water supplies. But according to state records, hundreds of other water complaints have undetermined causes or the causes have not yet been determined.

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, approximately half of the total U.S. population and 95% of our rural population obtain drinking water from underground water sources. Federal regulation is essential to ensure that there is a consistent federal standard to prohibit endangerment of drinking water sources.

Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D – NY) offered Amendment 48 (remove the Halliburton loophole). Defeated 35 to 63.

Senator Tom Udall (D – NM) offered Amendment 77 (renewable electricity standards). Defeated 45 to 53.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D – ND) offered Amendment 133 (renewable energy tax credits). Defeated 47 to 51.

Senator Ed Markey (D – MA) offered Amendment 178 (oil spill liability trust fund). Defeated 44 to 54.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R – AK) sponsored Senate Bill S.1, Keystone XL Pipeline Act. Adopted 62 to 36, as amended, at the end of the day on January 29, 2015.

A Veto is Action Against Climate Change!


Texas City Pipeline Fire 1/14/15

America’s Disastrous History of Pipeline Accidents Shows Why the Keystone XL Vote Matters

From an Article by Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, Huffington Post, January 18, 2015

It’d be easy to discount the Senate vote over the Keystone XL pipeline as mere political theater but that’d be a mistake. Build Keystone XL and you build on a long and disastrous history of pipelines in America.

A new analysis of federal records reveals that in just the past year and four months, there have been 372 oil and gas pipeline leaks, spills and other incidents, leading to 20 deaths, 117 injuries and more than $256 million in damages.

The new data adds to a June 1, 2013 independent analysis of federal records revealing that since 1986, oil and gas pipeline incidents have resulted in 532 deaths, more than 2,400 injuries and more than $7.5 billion in damages.

Check out this new time-lapse video that includes every “significant pipeline” incident in the continental United States — along with their human and financial costs — from 1986 to October 1, 2014. On average one significant pipeline incident occurs in the country every 30 hours, according to the data.

So what would happen if Keystone XL is built? The U.S. State Department estimates Keystone XL could spill up to 100 times during its lifetime.

One difference between Keystone XL and the vast majority of other pipelines that have spilled is that it will be carrying tar sands oil, which has proven very difficult, if not impossible, to clean up. A 2010 spill of tar sands oil in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, for example, has yet to be cleaned up despite four years of effort. Another tar sands spill in 2013 fouled an entire neighborhood in Arkansas. Federal regulators have acknowledged that Keystone XL, too, will spill.

TransCanada’s existing Keystone I tar sands pipeline has reportedly leaked at least 14 times since it went into operation in June 2010, including one spill of 24,000 gallons. The State Department’s environmental reviews have pointed out that spills from Keystone XL are likely. The pipeline will cross a number of important rivers, including the Yellowstone and Platte, as well as thousands of smaller rivers and streams.

Yes, politicians are looking to score political points in their vote on Keystone XL. But in the rest of the world, this is no game and if Keystone XL moves forward, the losers will be streams, rivers, wildlife, water, our climate, and, ultimately, all of us who depend on them.  << See also: www.FrackCheckWV.net >>

Brooke County WV Ethane Pipeline Explosion


The False Promise of Fracking Jobs & Local Jobs

January 28, 2015

The false promise of fracking and local jobs From an Article by Susan Christopherson, Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University, January 27, 2015 In a surprise decision that led to consternation in the oil and gas industry and elation among fracking opponents, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in December banned fracking in [...]

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Ethane Pipeline Explosion in Brooke County WV Affects PA & TX

January 27, 2015

ATEX Ruptures, Limiting Key Appalachian Ethane Deliveries From an Article by Jamison Cocklin, NGI News Daily, January 26, 2015 A section of Enterprise Products Partners LP’s (EPP) Appalachia-to-Texas Express (ATEX) pipeline, which entered commercial service a year ago, ruptured and caught fire early Monday, limiting service on a critical ethane outlet that serves the Marcellus and [...]

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Rebuilding WV Roads Impacted by Shale Gas Industry

January 26, 2015

To: WV Legislature; From: Steve Conlon (Wetzel County, WV) Subject: Rebuilding gas industry impacted roads Sent via Email:  January 23, 2015 It is encouraging to see some concern about our gas-industry impacted roads. HB 2080 is obviously a response to this need,  a condition and a situation which is beyond the abilities of the WV Departent of [...]

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Residents Oppose Port Ambrose LNG Project Near NYC

January 25, 2015

Fracktivists Fight Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal Near NYC From an Article by Ben Adler, Grist.com, January 23, 2015 New York state’s fracking fight has moved offshore. And now the key players include not just New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo but also New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. New York’s famously dedicated anti-fracking activists, who last year [...]

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What happens to Fido when fracking comes to your neighborhood?

January 24, 2015

Your pets could be in trouble in the shale region if they: breathe air, drink water, or enjoy being alive From an Article by Amelia Urry, Grist Magazine, May 5, 2014 Fracking can ruin a lot of things: landscapes, rivers, ecosystems, the climate, your health and safety and that of your family. But have you [...]

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An Historical Perspective on Oil & Gas Leases and Extraction Damages

January 23, 2015

Why damages “never” occur in oil and gas extraction! Commentary by S. Tom Bond, Retired Chemistry Professor & Resident Farmer, Lewis County, WV The human animal is a creature of habit. Analysis of our behavior involves the expenditure of energy, which is abhorred by our animal nature; and so custom, precedent and habit, lag behind [...]

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Radioactive Chemicals in Fracking Wastewater Accumulate in Living Creatures

January 22, 2015

Fracking Wastewater is Radioactive and Can Become Dangerous A new “explainer” from animator Josh Kurz and reporter Reid Frazier, Allegheny Front, Pittsburgh, PA From the creative team that brought you our last video, “The Secret Life of Soot,” it’s an entirely new way to look at salty, dirty fracking waste water. Just why is fracking [...]

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Natural Gas Pipeline Company Worker Killed on the Job in Marshall County, WV

January 21, 2015

One pipeline worker dead in Moundsville industrial accident From  News 9 Report by WTOV, Steubenville -Weirton, January 11 2015 Moundsville, WV — The incident happened just before two PM Saturday afternoon on January 10th at a construction site just off WV Route 2 and Long Run Road. The worker was employed by the Snelson Company, a [...]

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