“Gaswork” Documentary Speaks to Fracking Issues

by Duane Nichols on November 3, 2015

Real Issues Confronting Industry & EPA

NOTICE – See “Gaswork” in Buckhannon on November 5th

From April Keating, Mountain Lakes Preservation Association, October 27, 2015

In case you haven’t seen it on social media yet, “Gaswork: The Fight for CJ’s Law” will be shown on Thursday, November 5 at 7 p.m. at Lascaux Micro-Theater in Buckhannon, WV. Thanks to Bryson Van Nostrand for making his theatre space available. Members of the Bevins family will be speaking, and there will be a Q & A afterward. Come out and learn what you can do to support safer drilling practices!

See also this video: https://vimeo.com/141045811

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Buckhannon, WV – Press Release: For Immediate Release, October 27, 2015

On Thursday, November 5, at 7 p.m., there will be a free showing of “Gaswork” at Lascaux MicroTheatre in Buckhannon, WV, located in Traders’ Alley behind Fat Tire Cycle on Main St. The film describes dangerous worker conditions in the oil and gas field. Numerous injuries and deaths result from poor safety practices on rigs all over the country. The oil and gas field has a higher death rate than all other industries.

“Gaswork” opens with the story of CJ Bevins, a Buckhannon native who died on an unsafe rig in New York, then goes on to investigate worker safety and chemical risk in the industry. Many workers who were interviewed have been asked to engage in unsafe practices, such as cleaning drill sites, transporting radioactive and carcinogenic chemicals, and steam cleaning the inside of condensate tanks which contain harmful chemicals, often without safety equipment.

A member of the Bevins family will be present to speak about that family’s experience and answer questions after the showing.

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Impacted Landowners Demand EPA Revise Flawed Fracking Study

From an Article by Winonah Hauter, EcoWatch.com, October 30, 2015
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board met this week to review the agency’s draft assessment of the impact of fracking on drinking water resources, but the largely academic exercise got a dose of reality from residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania; Pavillion, Wyoming; and Parker County, Texas who have fought for years to get U.S. EPA to act.

Inexplicably, their cases of contamination were excluded in the thousands of pages that make up the EPA’s assessment. Given only five minutes each, the residents demanded that the EPA stop ignoring their cases.

Fracking-affected residents came to Washington, DC this week to confront the U.S. EPA over its failed fracking report. From left to right: Ray Kemble, an affected landowner and former gas industry worker from Dimock, Pennsylvania; Steve Lipsky, an affected homeowner from Weatherford, Texas; and John Fenton, a rancher and affected landowner from Pavillion, Wyoming. Photo credit: Craig Stevens

Ray Kemble, an affected landowner and former gas industry worker, testified, “In 2008, gas drilling caused my water to become poisoned. The Pennsylvania DEP and the EPA confirmed this contamination, but abandoned us in 2012 and did not even include us in their long-term study. I am here today to demand that EPA recognize us, include our case in this study, and reopen the investigation.”

John Fenton, a rancher and affected landowner in Pavillion also spoke out. “When EPA launched its national study of fracking’s drinking water impacts, we thought they’d look first here in Pavillion where they’d already found pollution. But instead they ignored us without explanation. Science means taking the facts as they are. But EPA seems to be intent on finding the facts to support the conclusion they’ve already reached—‘fracking is safe.’”

Steve Lipsky, an affected homeowner in Weatherford, Texas added that “EPA omitted my case from their national drinking water study,” and then asked, “Is that science? Whose side is EPA on?”

“We have tried for years now to get the EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to meet with impacted residents across the country to hear their stories and to come up with ways that the agency can help those being harmed,” said Craig Stevens, 6th generation landowner and member of Pennsylvania Patriots from the Marcellus Shale. “This has still not happened and we deserve better.”

“While the EPA spent years conducting this study only to claim in their press releases that water contamination from fracking ‘is not widespread or systemic,’ I have been receiving calls on a regular basis from people across the state of Pennsylvania whose water and air has been polluted by this industry and who are paying the price with their health,” said Ron Gulla, an impacted resident from Hickory, Pennsylvania. “I have been trying to help people who are being poisoned by this industry for years, while our federal agencies who are tasked with protecting these people has failed them.”

It was vital that the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board hear these voices from the front lines, from people who have to deal with their water being poisoned. Not only has the agency been unresponsive, and failed to uphold its own basic mission to protect human health and the environment, the EPA—or perhaps more accurately the Obama Administration—misrepresented its own study when it claimed that “hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources and identifies important vulnerabilities to drinking water resources.”

Some of the Scientific Advisory Board members are listening, with one member describing the EPA’s topline finding as “out of left field” and a “non sequitur relative to the body of the report.” But at the same time, the oil and gas industry is well represented on the board—several repeatedly used “we” and “industry” interchangeably as they chimed in in defense of fracking.

The EPA has been unresponsive and is failing to uphold its own basic mission to protect human health and the environment. It’s time for the agency to finally step up and serve the people, not the oil and gas industry. They could start by having a face-to-face with Administrator Gina McCarthy and affected individuals, rather than pretending they don’t exist. And the Obama administration must stop greenwashing fracking and acknowledge that it’s a dirty, polluting source of energy that harms our water, our climate, and our communities.

See also: www.FrackCheckWV.net

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Colin Taylor (6/8/15) November 3, 2015 at 11:58 am

EPA Confirms Once And For All That Fracking Poisons Drinking Water

By Colin Taylor • June 8, 2015

As use of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) expands across the nation, many have questioned its value in relation to the damage that it causes to the environment and the risks it poses to public health. Those fears have been vindicated in a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report confirming that fracking contaminates drinking water. On top of that, heavy fracking in states like Oklahoma have been literally triggering earthquakes that are stronger and more frequent than previously endured.

In Pennsylvania, over 234 private drinking wells have found to be contaminated with methane gas and other toxic heavy metals, in addition to those that simply went dry or were rendered entirely undrinkable. In New Mexico, chemicals from fracking pits have contaminated water sources over 421 times; Colorado has reported over 340 leaks or spills from toxic wastewater pits.

The exponential growth of the fracking industry has left many states unprepared to deal with the consequences.

Pennsylvania’s Inspector-General found that the rapid expansion of the industry “caught the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints.”

The chemicals pumped into the ground to forcibly release the gas contained within it are exempt from federal disclosure laws, so citizens are left unaware of just what chemical brew is being pumped into their drinking water.

Fracking wells also contribute heavily to the drought conditions prevalent across the Southwest United States. Each well requires two to nine million gallons of water, and have turned over 250 billion gallons of freshwater into poisonous and occasionally radioactive wastewater since 2005. In one Texas county afflicted by drought, fracking accounted for one-third of all water usage, leaving some towns entirely without water. Frackers continue to guzzle water of of aquifers in Texas, where nearly fifteen million people live under some form of water rationing.

The effect on traditional Texas farmers has been crippling. “Ranchers dumped most of their herds. Cotton farmers lost up to half their crops. The extra draw down, coupled with drought, made it impossible for local ranchers to feed and water their herds”, says local farmer Buck Owens, from Barnhart, TX, a town which entirely ran out of water.

Local citizens are not pleased with the excesses of the fracking industry, but Republican legislators don’t care. Governor Greg Abbot recently signed a bill banning local towns from attempting to regulate fracking or ban it entirely, in a complete flip-flop on the usual rhetoric about “small government”. Oklahoma has followed suit, despite the 300% increase in earthquakes.

Many governors and legislators have turned over our lands, both public and private, to the fossil fuel industry, leaving them to rape the environment as they will, to poison our drinking water and leave us thirsty, no matter that cost to our businesses and livelihoods. It is long past time we dealt with these atrocities and put limits on the amount of our water that fossil fuel companies can use, force them to pay to clean up their own messes, and to take away the colossal subsidies which lets them make off with billions in profits.

See also: http://www.FrackCheckWV.net


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