Every month new evidence implicates horizontal hydraulic fracking

We need to ban fracking; it’s a matter of public health

Guest Editorial from Dr. Val Arkoosh, Penn Live, November 7, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to infect Pennsylvanians and hurt our communities, it is hard to focus on anything else. But as a physician and public health professional, I will not sit back and watch the lack of urgency in Washington on the other escalating public health crisis hurting Pennsylvanians: climate change. This is both an issue of public health and Pennsylvania’s economic future.

Treating patients over two decades, I came to realize that many of the things most impacting them were things outside the exam room and climate change is one of the clearest examples.

People are dying from extreme heat and certain diseases are showing up where they’ve never been before. There are kids who can’t drink water in their neighborhoods or play outside because the air is too dirty for them to breathe. And Pennsylvanians, including in recent months, are being killed in extreme weather events.

But just as we’ve seen COVID deniers undermining the science behind vaccines and masks, we see politiciansin Washington who refuse to accept the science behind climate change or refuse to treat it like the urgent health crisis it is. President Biden is making climate change a domestic priority and repositioning the U.S. as a leader again. But we also have a serious problem in Washington when one U.S. Senator can kill meaningful methane emission rules in the spending bill that could put us on a stronger path.

It is time to be bold. Our kids’ futures, our economic growth, and our national security depend on it. We need to ban fracking, starting with an immediate ban on all new permits and quickly banning fracking near homes and schools. We need to hold polluters accountable for the harm they are doing in our communities. We also need robust testing of water near homes and schools around fracking sites.

Last year, Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a grand jury report , which detailed testimony of dozens of Pennsylvania homeowners who live near fracking sites. The reports reinforced what we’d been hearing for years — children with nosebleeds and chronic fatigue, families with nausea and dizziness, dead livestock, and sludge clogging well-water pumps.

And following an alarming analysis by Physicians for Social Responsibility on the use of PFAS or “forever chemicals” in fracking sites in six other states, an analysis by the Philadelphia Inquirer found that between 2012 and 2014 at least eight Pennsylvania fracking wells used these dangerous chemicals, which have been linked to major health hazards like cancer and low birth weight.

Beyond the clear public health need, this is also about taking the future of our Commonwealth’s economy into our own hands so we can ensure the green jobs of the future are created here in Pennsylvania, not in other states and not in China. Pennsylvanians deserve our share of the sustainable clean energy jobs we are creating today and will create tomorrow.

It just makes sense for our economy and where we know this is headed. For decades, we have seen industries in Western Pennsylvania get the rug pulled out from under them — just look at what’s happened with coal and steel. If we don’t accept the fact that the same will be true of fracking jobs, we risk getting left behind.

Investments in clean energy like solar and wind, efforts to make our infrastructure more energy-efficient and sustainable, and electrifying public transit will create manufacturing jobs here at home and ensure we can lead the way in this fight. We need to incentivize the production of these technologies in American factories by union workers, and give workers in the fossil fuel industry the training to enter this workforce, building the clean energy economy of the future.

Banning fracking will not solve every problem, but it will prevent people from getting sick and must be a priority in creating a healthier Pennsylvania and tackling this climate crisis.

It will take someone with my health background and experience to fight for these pro-public health policies in the U.S. Senate, which needs a science truth-teller right now more than ever. We can’t let ongoing attacks on science and facts hold us back in this fight. I won’t.

>> Valerie Arkoosh, MD, MPH, is the chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.


Renewable Energy plans are evolving — Source: IEEE Spectrum

BASF bundles Renewable Energy activities under New Subsidiary

Authored News from Jonathan Lopez, ICIS, November 25, 2021

MADRID (ICIS)–BASF is to start up a subsidiary to bundle its renewable energy activities, effective 1 January 2022, the German chemicals major said on Thursday.

The new subsidiary has been named BASF Renewable Energy GmbH. It will be headquartered at BASF’s flagship facilities in Ludwigshafen and will be led by Horatio Evers, previously responsible for the development of renewable energies at BASF.

BASF said it aims to gradually replace fossil fuel-based electricity to greener sources of energy produced in-house as well as signing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with energy suppliers.

“[BASF’s] electricity consumption in Europe will increase from the current level of around nine terawatt hours of electricity from fossil generation annually to the point where at least three to four times as much electricity from renewable sources will be needed to reach the net zero goal,” said the chemicals major. “BASF Renewable Energy GmbH is tasked with supplying the European sites with these additional volumes in line with demand.”

BASF has set a target to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2030, compared with 2018 levels, and aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. On Wednesday, the company said the new subsidiary would employ around 80 employees, with a reporting line direct to the company’s CEO Martin Brudermuller.


See Also: CONSOL Energy Announces Direct Operating Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets, Seeks 50% Improvement in 5 Years, Net Zero by 2040, CONSOL Energy Inc., PR Newswire, October 13, 2021

CANONSBURG, PA. ~ CONSOL Energy has advanced its Forward Progress sustainability initiative with the announcement of targets to reduce its direct operating greenhouse gas emissions. The Company has set an interim goal to reduce its direct operating greenhouse gas emissions (referred to as scope 1 and scope 2 emissions) on an absolute basis by 50% over a five year period (or by the end of 2026), compared to 2019 baseline levels and measured as the rate of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emitted. In addition, the Company announced its long-term efforts to achieve net zero direct operating greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 or sooner if feasible.

“Since becoming an independent company in 2017, we’ve prioritized ESG and outlined goals to enhance employee safety, reduce environmental impacts, and create sustainable value,” said CONSOL Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Brock. “We continue to emphasize those ESG aspects of greatest impact to CONSOL, our stakeholders, and the environment. Developing direct operating greenhouse gas emission reduction targets puts our ESG approach into action and reflects our Board of Directors’ and management team’s dedication to continuous improvement.”

CONSOL Energy’s interim greenhouse gas emission reduction target is expected to be achieved through multiple initiatives, including energy management and operational efficiency efforts. Primary to achieving this goal is the expansion of the Company’s methane destruction program, which has been piloted at the Pennsylvania Mining Complex since 2017. Our pilot program has proven that this endeavor will lead to meaningful direct operating emissions reductions. CONSOL’s long-term ambition envisions multiple initiatives across our entire operating footprint, starting with full-scale deployment of methane abatement equipment. The 2040 target is also expected to be informed by the Company’s strategic initiatives and partnerships, which aim to develop the technologies needed to achieve global aspirational greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. While the targets announced today are limited to direct operating greenhouse gas emissions, CONSOL continues to invest in research that could positively impact indirect (or scope 3) emissions in the future, if successful. This includes, for example, the Company’s U.S. Department of Energy sponsored 21st Century Power Plant project and multiple projects seeking to develop advanced building materials from coal, which support a reduction in indirect emissions.

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NEW STUDY ~ US Must Tackle Marine Plastics Pollution ‘From Source to Sea’

December 2, 2021

United States Can No Longer Ignore Our Plastic Pollution Crisis — Huge Threat to Oceans & Planet From an Article by Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams News, December 1, 2021 The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study found that the U.S. is responsible for about a quarter of the plastics that enter the world’s [...]

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WEBINAR 12/2 — Impacts of Pollution & Climate Change on Mental Health

December 1, 2021

Pollution’s mental toll: How air, water and climate change shape our mental health From the Announcement by Ryan Clover, Halt the Harm Network, November 28, 2021 ​A presentation & live discussion with Douglas Fischer and Kristina Marusic of Environmental Health News on the mental health impacts of oil & gas industry — December 2nd @ [...]

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OMG ~ “Woke Capitalism” Allegations in Defense of Coal & Fracking [??]

November 30, 2021

West Virginia Treasurer Puts Banks On Notice For ‘Woke Capitalism’ From an Article by Steven Adams, Wheeling Intelligencer, November 24, 2021 CHARLESTON, WV — State Treasurer Riley Moore is leading West Virginia and a coalition of states to put banks on notice for playing politics with taxpayer dollars. In a press release and video released [...]

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Coal Country Commentary ~ Our Future is Clearly Renewable Energy

November 29, 2021

Coal supporters continue to mislead on future of renewable energy Op-Ed Commentary Letter by Allan Tweddle, Charleston Gazette, 5/26/21 The statements by the coal adherents in a story in Tuesday’s Gazette-Mail surely are based on their GOP (“Greed Over People”) obsessions. They obviously do not care about their children, if they have any, or any [...]

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MICROPLASTICS — Warnings for Chesapeake Bay and Other Waterways

November 28, 2021

Microplastic pollution in Virginia coastal waters becomes increasing concern From an Article by Emmie Halter, Cavalier Daily, Univ. of Virginia, November 28, 2021 Microplastic waste has become a serious threat to the ecosystem — plastic pollution in particular has grown exponentially in the past decade within Virginia, leading to disruption of the Chesapeake Bay and [...]

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Coal Country Commentary ~ Black Lung Disease Blots Out Good Lives

November 28, 2021

Heartbreaking stories from coal country | Op-Ed Commentaries Letter to Editor by Allan Tweddle, Charleston Gazette, February 25, 2021 The testimony last year to the Mine Safety and Health Administration from West Virginia coal miner Gary Hairston that, at age 48, he was diagnosed with incurable black lung due to coal dust exposure in his [...]

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DC Webinar Nov. 29th on “Eminent Domain for Pipelines” — 1 to 2:15 pm

November 26, 2021

“Landowners for Fairness” Presents a DC Webinar for all Interested Persons Announcement from the Greenbrier River Watershed Association, Lewisburg, WV, November 29, 2021 Join landowners from around the country to hear from FERC Commissioner Allison Clements; for a Congressional staff panel on eminent domain legislation; for a national update on pipeline litigation; updates on major [...]

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Wild Turkeys in Maryland Headed West … nope going back East

November 25, 2021

Support Withdrawn for Western Maryland Secession From an Article by Brenda Ruggiero, Garrett County Republican, October 28, 2021 QAKLAND, MD — Garrett County, along with Allegany and Washington, made national headlines when lawmakers released letters requesting that Western Maryland become part of West Virginia. Since that time, though, members of the group have withdrawn their [...]

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