Recalling What Fracking is Really Like on the Ground

by Duane Nichols on August 1, 2015

Down Fracking’s Memory Lane – Remembering What Some Would Rather Forget

Commentary by S. Tom Bond, Concerned Citizen of Lewis County, WV, July 30, 2015

Remember when horizontal slickwater fracking began? How it was a triumph of private enterprise, when in fact it had been invented at Morgantown WV in the US Department of Energy facility.

Remember how they have just wanted the government to get out of the way so they could do their thing? And how George P. Mitchell was actually supported by government grants, and how it took the industry a couple of years to catch on to the thing after he showed it would work? That still isn’t mentioned in standard short references about Mitchell. Government invention and subsidy contravenes “the Gospel of Big Business.”

Remember how they said “fracking” was 60 years old? Implying it was the same process that Halliburton used to gain it’s position and employ the backroom bard Richard Cheney? And speaking of Cheney, remember the US Energy Policy Act of 2005? And the sneaky industry meeting called by Vice-president Cheney (acting as Big Daddy to the President) that came before the bill, where the energy executives decided they wanted to obliterate the protections in law about clean air, safe drinking water, clean everything. How it reduced taxes on the industry? Made biofuels viable and increased world grain prices? The result is now called the “Cheney Loophole.” Hillary Clinton called it the “Dick Cheney lobbyist energy bill.”

Remember the claim, “We never did anybody any harm.” Now it is shown by science that people anywhere near fracking are subject to air pollution from a bouquet of toxic chemicals, and assaulted by the smells, and sent to the hospital more frequently than people living further away. Now people can take pictures of the layer of pollution in fracking areas, and scientists can measure it and connect it with safety hazards? Asthma, low birth rates and “natural” abortions, all are related to fracking.

Remember how it didn’t harm ground water? But there were plenty of pictures of forlorn people holding up containers of gunky stuff that had come out of their wells. And the drillers went ahead and put out “water buffalos,” out of the kindness of their hearts, then abandoned them when they left the neighborhood? Analysis showed there was a wide variety of pollutants affecting health in well water afterwards. Many endocrine disrupters are known in fracking fluids and vanishingly low concentrations are required to have an effect.

Remember when it began, how they got their water to drill? Picked it up where ever they could, sometimes reducing the stream flows to the point where wild life was affected? In one case at least it was stolen from a public water system. And how the waste water was dumped where ever it was convenient? In the creeks, in abandoned mines, through municipal sewage treatment plants.

They even spread it on roads to control dust, where it promptly was washed into adjoining streams by the next rain. They brought a microorganism from Texas in uncleaned waste water trucks. That organism contaminated Dunkard Creek, near Morgantown, and killed off the wildlife. (Some 40,000 fish and other creatures.)

Now we read about the danger of radiation in streams in fracking areas.

The pumping of the huge quantities of water through pipelines from rivers and disposal are now somewhat improved. But by pumping frack liquid waste down wells, thousands of gallons per day, day after day which go into the barely visible cracks in the rocks at depth, miniearthquakes result. And, some of these earthquakes are significant, maybe all.

What the U.S. frackers are doing is sucking our limited reserve through a bigger straw – to export. This will leave us to import somewhere down the line – think about who gets the fortunes to be made by this development, and where it leaves our children and grandchildren? Energy “independence” now, disaster a generation or two down the line. The claims that all the pipelines are for U.S. home use are obviously camouflage. All roads once lead to Rome, now all pipelines lead to the sea.

Europe is way ahead of us. Both French and Dutch companies are forbidden to frack in their own countries. Denmark kicked the French company Total out after ONE DAY of fracking and is going to all wind power in the next few years. Spain, with lots of sunshine, is big on solar.

D’ya suppose it is possible to live without fracking?


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DivestUK says "" (7/11/15)

Letter from Laurie David, Founder of “The Stop Global Warming Virtual March”

Dear Fellow Marcher (July 30, 2015):

Ten years ago, I had an idea to build a large grassroots movement demanding solutions to global warming. With the help of friends and mentors including NRDC founder John Adams, former NRDC president Frances Bienecke, Senator John McCain, and Robert Kennedy Jr., a giant march on Washington to stop global warming was born, but on the internet instead of on the streets, combining our voices into one loud, clear cry for action.

The Stop Global Warming Virtual March has had three basic goals: to get Americans to admit that global warming is real; to acknowledge that we are causing it; and to demand meaningful solutions from our government and business community. We have been driven by a belief that the issue of climate change is not political, it is moral, and by a faith that large numbers of people acting together can change the world.

We have fulfilled our mission to help raise awareness, but it is clear there is more work to be done to put the country on a path towards a renewable energy future. Work that requires new tactics, and a new partner on the front lines of the next phase of this fight.

I am pleased to announce that will be joining forces with, who will be taking the lead to continue our work.

The, co-founded by author Bill McKibben, is working to build a global movement to take on the climate crisis. Their online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are coordinated by a global network active in over 188 countries.

You might know from their campaign to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and their work to divest public institutions everywhere from fossil fuels. All of‘s work leverages people power to dismantle the influence and infrastructure of the fossil fuel industry, and to develop people-centric solutions to climate change. New tactics for a new day.

I am so grateful to everyone who has contributed to our efforts from the beginning, all of the friends, co-workers, featured marchers, and partner organizations, especially Tides. But most of all I am thankful for you.

We started with the idea to use the power of the internet to build a coalition, but the true power of our movement is you, individuals who recognize that we are all contributors to global warming and we all need to be part of the solution.

Thank you. Keep marching, Laurie David, Founder of


Fossil Fuel Divestment: Building the Movement Around the World

>>> Update article from &, July 11, 2015

On Saturday 11th July, over 250 divestment activists came together in London for ‘Fossil Fuel Divestment: Building the Movement’, sharing their campaigning skills, inspiring stories from across the country, and the occasional cup of tea.

Really great images emerging from the big meeting in London today! You guys are leading the world!   — Bill McKibben, July 11, 2015

The event was organised by in partnership with The Guardian and hosted speakers from Carbon Tracker, BP or not BP, Divest London, ShareAction and Community Reinvest and many others.

If you had a company with a warehouse where 2/3 of the stuff inside couldn’t be sold, would you invest in it?   — Sam Gill, July 11, 2015

The day opened with an introduction to the divestment movement so far – featuring talks from activists involved in local government, university and faith campaigns, as well as The Guardian discussing their “keep it in the ground” campaign. In the afternoon, 15 workshops explored divestment in detail – from finance to creative action planning to media training. A colour-coded sticker system (don’t ask!) and plenty of refreshment breaks allowed campaigners to find each other and have the conversations vital to building our movement!

“I’ve seen the apartheid movement, this is much bigger” – Keith (member from the audience) — divestlondon, July 11, 2015

Missed the event? No fear! We have collated all of the resources from the day so they are publicly available.

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U.S. Natural Gas to be Exported, Higher Prices Projected

July 30, 2015

Natural Gas Awakening From U.S. Shale Slumber as LNG Shipments come On-Line From an Article by Naureen Malik and Christine Buurma, Bloomberg News Service, July 30, 2015 After years of languishing in a shale-induced coma, the U.S. natural gas market is waking up. Seasonal price swings will intensify as the country begins shipping liquefied natural [...]

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A Plea to West Virginians – Consider Peaceful Civil Disobedience as an Alternative

July 29, 2015

A Plea to West Virginians: Throw off your oppressors before surrendering or joining the exodus, get educated and fight – peacefully – against the powerful interests which control The Mountain State From an Article by Michael M. Barrick, Appalachian Chronicle, July 20, 2015 Alum Bridge, WV – The recent admission by Secretary Randy Huffman of the [...]

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Drilling Rig Count Down in Various Shale Regions from Last Year

July 28, 2015

Baker – Hughes releases weekly & annual shale drilling rig count From Pittsburgh Business Times, July 27, 2015 The number of drilling rigs in the Marcellus Shale stayed steady last week, although it’s down significantly from a year ago. There were 59 rotary rigs working the multistate Marcellus Shale play as of July 24, according to [...]

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Spreading Mesospheric Ice Clouds Shine at Night

July 27, 2015

Noctilucent Clouds, Methane & Climate Change From an Article by Damond Benningfield, StarDate Today, July 26, 2015 If you live at high northern latitudes, you might see some eerie clouds at this time of year. They show up for a little while in deep twilight, and shine electric blue. And they appear to have a [...]

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Our EARTH is in the Balance of Unseen Forces

July 26, 2015

President Obama Releases First Blue Marble Earth Photo in 43 Years From an Article by Lorraine Chow,, July 21, 2015 NASA’s new Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has released a stunning, new Blue Marble photo for the first time in four decades, prompting President Obama to tweet a gentle reminder “that we need [...]

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Update: Radioactivity in Western Penna. & Monongahela River

July 25, 2015

Mystery continues over radioactivity in Western Pennsylvania stream From an Article by Reid Frazier, NPR StateImpact-PA, July 24, 2015 The PA-DEP is investigating high radium readings along Ten Mile Creek southwestern Pennsylvania. The photo shows Ten Mile Creek, a stream that snakes through Greene County, which Ken Dufalla regards as one of his favorite fishing [...]

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Concerns Expressed About WVU Utica Shale Assessment

July 24, 2015

Looking at the WVU Assessment of Technically Recoverable Gas in the Utica Shale From an Article by David Hughes, Post Carbon Institute, July 21, 2015 Last week, members of the media breathlessly reported—based on a new study published by West Virginia University (WVU) entitled A Geologic Play Book for Utica Shale Appalachian Basin Exploration—that the [...]

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Dip in CO2 Emissions Primarily due to Economic Slump — Urgent Dangers Remain

July 23, 2015

Economic slump, not gas boom, responsible for drop in CO2 From an Article by Space News Daily, United Press International, July 23, 2015 Irvine CA (SPX-UPI)  – The 11 percent decrease in climate change-causing carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. between 2007 and 2013 was caused by the global financial recession — not the reduced [...]

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