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ABOUT WHATTHEFRACK.ORG

Whatthefrack.org is a program of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, an all-volunteer, grassroots organization that has been working to prohibit dangerous hydraulic fracturing (fracking) since 2008. Catskill Citizens provides one of the best websites in the country on fracking including an extensive Newsroom and a comprehensive Learn More section. Our Action Alerts make it easy for you to contact your elected officials in just a matter of seconds. Because we have an all-volunteer staff, all the money we raise goes directly into the fight against fracking. Please donate generously.

We support the American Clean Energy Agenda. Find out how your organization can also lend its support info@whatthefrack.org.

Contact:

info@whatthefrack.org

212 537 9249
PO Box 103 Fremont Center, NY 12736

UPCOMING EVENTS

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THE SOLUTIONS GRASSROOTS TOUR
TUESDAY, JULY 29th, 7:30PM
SUNY Oneonta, NY
Presented by Gasland Director Josh Fox, featuring Gasland's John Fenton and co-sponsored by Catskill Citizens & others.
Tickets $10 at door or via http://solutionsgrassroots.com
Theatrical production & workshop providing audience members with tools and resources to build renewable energy.

People's Climate March
Saturday & Sunday, September 20 & 21, 2014
New York, NY
In September, world leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.
Register at peopleclimatemarch.org.

FEATURED VIDEO




What you can do to prevent fracking.


HOME RULE AFFIRMED, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Take Action! It's over. New York's highest court has ruled towns have the right to ban fracking. The seventy-nine towns with bans in place no longer have to worry about being sued. Town boards that once feared expensive lawsuits are now free to take action—and pro-fracking municipal officials who have used lawsuit concerns as an excuse for inaction now stand exposed. Some towns are already moving to adopt new bans—and you can be sure that citizens all across the state will be showing up at town meetings and demanding protective ordinances.


Map by Karen Edelstein and FracTracker. (Click Photo to Enlarge)

In its decision, the Court of Appeals found that the state legislature has the right to pass a law that would invalidate local bans, but that seems unlikely in the current political climate. The big question is, what does the ruling mean for towns without bans? Well, that depends on who's elected governor this fall. There is widespread concern that if Governor Cuomo is reelected he will use the Court of Appeals decision to open New York to fracking while claiming he's respecting "the will of the people"—communities that want fracking can have it, and communities that don't can ban it. Zephyr Teachout, who is challenging Cuomo in the Democratic primary, is calling for a statewide ban, as is Green party candidate Howie Hawkins. The Republican candidate, Rob Astorino, has promised to frack New York on his first day in office.

Don't wait until it's too late. Demand a statewide ban now, before the elections, while we have maximum political leverage.

KEEPING FAITH: RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS DIVEST

Last week, the World Council of Churches, which represents 345 churches with a total of 590 million members, announced that it would no longer invest in fossil-fuel corporations and urged its member churches to follow suit. This is just the latest sign that faith communities are preparing to play a major role in combating climate change. In recent weeks, the Union Theological Seminary and Philadelphia-area Friends (Quakers) also announced they were shedding fossil-fuel investments.


© Erik McGregor erikrivas@hotmail.com

Faith leaders have also begun to speak out on environmental issues with the same moral fervor that is usually used to address human rights. In April, The Guardian published an op ed by South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu calling for an "apartheid style boycott" of the fossil fuel industry. Tutu wrote "people of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change." And Pope Francis has also signaled that stewardship of the planet is likely to be one of his signal issues as head of the Roman Catholic Church. Speaking at an Italian university, he termed the ruthless exploitation of the environment "our sin," and called sustainable development "one of the greatest challenges of our time."

Economic Impact of Shale Gas Drilling

Read Selected Documents Authored by Jannette M. Barth, Ph.D.

Can New York Learn from Texas?. Economist Jannette Barth's latest analysis of the economic impact of shale gas plays.

Read more about LNG exports by entering the word "exports" in the Search feature of our website.

Renewable Energy

CLICK HERE FOR CLEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY

Now you don't have to install solar panels or a wind turbine to go green. All you have to do is switch your electric bill to Pear Energy. Remember to enter the promo code: catskillcitizen, and Pear will donate $50 to Catskill Citizens.

LATEST NEWS

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Jul 28, 2014
Jul 28, 2014
    DEP: Auditor General Report Focuses On Recordkeeping, Water Kept Safe

    PA Environment Digest

    The Auditor General's Office Tuesday released the Special Audit of DEP's Performance in Monitoring Potential Impact to Water Quality from Shale Gas Development for the period 2009 through 2012, finding no instances where DEP failed to protect public health, safety or the environment with respect to ...  [Full Story]
Jul 28, 2014
Jul 28, 2014
Jul 28, 2014
Jul 28, 2014
Jul 28, 2014
    EnergyBuzz: Key Questions Need Answers in DOE Shake Up of LNG Permit Process

    Texas Lawyer
    Natalie Regoli, Brian Polley and John McGregor
    On May 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) shook up the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry by proposing changes to its permitting process. Instead of being able to directly apply to the DOE for a license to export LNG, LNG exporters would have to first complete the environmental r...  [Full Story]
Jul 28, 2014
Jul 28, 2014
    DEP must do better: The public is left with too many questions on drilling

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Editorial
    In the past seven years, oil and gas operations have damaged Pennsylvania water supplies 209 times. That sounds bad, and it is troubling for sure. But how bad? That’s not clear. The Department of Environmental Protection, in response to an open records request from the Post-Gazette, released a li...  [Full Story]
Jul 28, 2014
    BRITAIN TO EXPAND LAND AVAILABLE FOR OIL AND GAS DRILLING

    Columbus CEO
    Stanley Reed
    LONDON — The British government plans to make more land available for licensing for oil and natural gas exploration in the first such expansion since 2008. The move, which had been anticipated by the oil and gas industry, could prove to be a milestone in efforts by the government of Prime Ministe...  [Full Story]
Jul 28, 2014
Jul 28, 2014
    Company finds natural gas in southeastern ND

    SF Gate

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A company exploring for natural gas outside of western North Dakota's oil patch says it has found the resource but is far from determining whether it would be economical to start production.  [Full Story]
Jul 28, 2014
    The Truth About Natural Gas: A ‘Green’ Bridge to Hell

    EcoWatch
    Naomi Oreskes
    Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that led to it. Yet this is precisely what we are now trying to do with climate change policy. The Obama administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many environmental groups, and the o...  [Full Story]
Jul 27, 2014
    Is the Pennsylvania health department fracking-phobic?

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    RUTH McDERMOTT-LEVY and NINA M. KAKTINS
    Imagine you’re a parent living near a natural-gas fracking site in Pennsylvania when suddenly your child begins having nose bleeds and skin rashes. The pediatrician suspects some type of exposure from the nearby well, and you’ve heard stories on the news and from neighbors about health issues relate...  [Full Story]
Jul 27, 2014
    Local legislators say no to Kinder Morgan pipeline project

    The Berkshire Eagle
    Phil Demers
    A group of local and regional lawmakers has gone on record as formally opposing a proposed gas pipeline Kinder Morgan seeks to build across northern Massachusetts. In a statement released Friday, the lawmakers base their opposition on "environmental, economic, public safety and public health" con...  [Full Story]
Jul 27, 2014
    Oil, gas boom taps rush of ordinances and bans across the U.S.

    The Denver Post
    Mark Jaffe
    Development of oil and gas shale formations has sparked drilling from Pennsylvania to California, and that is leading to a new wave of local oil and gas ordinances and bans. Towns and cities — from Robinson Township, Pa., population 13,354, to Dallas, population 1.2 million — are enacting rules t...  [Full Story]
Jul 26, 2014
    EPA Is Failing To Stop Methane Leaks From Pipelines, Inspector General Says

    ThinkProgress
    KATIE VALENTINE
    The Environmental Protection Agency isn’t doing enough to prevent methane from escaping from natural gas pipelines, according to a new report from the agency’s internal watchdog. The report, published Friday by the EPA’s Inspector General, stated that in 2011, more than $192 million worth of natura...  [Full Story]
Jul 26, 2014
    Oil drilling in North Dakota raises concerns about radioactive waste

    Los Angeles Times
    NEELA BANERJEE
    Every weekday, about a dozen large garbage trucks peel away from the oil boom that has spread through western North Dakota to bump along a gravel road to the McKenzie County landfill. The trucks drive up to a scale flanked by something seldom found in rural dumps — two 8-foot-tall yellow panels t...  [Full Story]
Jul 26, 2014
    Adams couple faces fight in quest to drill on land near Mars schools

    Tribune-Review
    Bill Vidonic
    Kim and Bob Geyer have been in the center of a firestorm as a parents group fights Rex Energy's plans to drill for natural gas on the couple's 150-acre farm. The Geyers say they have a constitutional right to lease their land — which stretches from their home in Adams into adjacent Middlesex — for ...  [Full Story]
Jul 25, 2014
    Longmont’s Fracking Ban Tossed as Colorado Vote Looms

    Bloomberg
    Joel Rosenblatt and Jennifer Oldham
    A fracking ban in the city of Longmont, Colorado, was thrown out by a judge amid petition drives to hold a statewide vote in November on restricting oil and gas drilling that generate $30 billion a year. The debate over fracking, in which water, chemicals and sand are injected below ground to ext...  [Full Story]

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PIERCING THE VEIL

Take Action! Secrecy has always been at the very heart of shale gas production. The industry refuses to identify poisonous chemicals used in frack fluid, claiming the toxic brew a "trade secret." When fracking destroys the health, property, and peace of mind of families living near gas wells, the industry routinely hushes it up by paying compensation only after victims have signed nondisclosure agreements that prevent them from ever talking about what happened—even when the facts that are kept hidden might help protect the community at large.

All too often, state agencies have been complicit in this conspiracy of silence. New York's Department of Environmental Conservation misled the public, claiming that nitrogen and "a diluted soapy solution" were the only chemicals in fracking, at a time when scores of toxic chemicals were being injected underground in dozens of wells around the state. Betrayals of public trust such as this routinely go unpunished, but when government employees or ordinary citizens attempt to warn the public of health risks, they face retribution. In June, North Carolina became the latest state to make it a crime to disclose the chemicals in fracking fluid.


©Dana Duke

No state has done more to prevent the public from finding out about the real risks posed by fracking than Pennsylvania. Last week, a state appellate court upheld a law that prevents doctors from warning the public about the health problems associated with shale gas extraction. In another notorious case, a judge approved a legal settlement that imposed a lifetime gag order on two children ages seven and ten years old.

Recently, NPR revealed that Pennsylvania health officials were ordered not to assist people with health complaints related to fracking. Retired community nurse Tammi Struck claims she was ordered not to return phone calls from people voicing their concerns, and her story is supported by another health department employee (also now retired) who says fracking was a "taboo" subject in his office. A spokesperson for the state Department of Health has denied the charges.

Almost twenty years into the shale gas "revolution," and in response to a citizen's petition, the federal Environmental Protection Agency is seeking input from the public about what the fracking industry should be required to disclose and how the information should be made available. Take action now by sending a letter to the EPA demanding full and complete disclosure of all chemicals used in the fracking process.


BUYING SILENCE UPFRONT

In a tacit admission of just how destructive shale gas extraction can be, one drilling company is offering every family living near its gas wells $50,000 if they promise not to sue—for anything. Ever. The onetime payment is supposed to cover health problems, property damage, and a degraded quality of life due to the air pollution, noise, light pollution, foul-smelling odors and constant truck traffic that characterize extraction operations. What's truly unique about EQT Corporation's offer to residents of Finelyville, PA, is that's it also supposed to protect the company from lawsuits connected with drilling and pipeline operations that haven't even gotten underway yet. Gas-lease attorney Doug Clark remarked, "You're releasing for everything, including activity that hasn't even occurred yet. It's crazy."

Read the full story at ProPublica.


JOSH IS BACK!

Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director of Gasland and Gasland 2 is back with The Solutions Grassroots Tour, an interactive multimedia event designed to encourage communities to adopt renewable energy strategies. Catskill Citizens is proud to cosponsor the first performance workshop at 3:30 PM on Sunday, July 27th, at the Delaware Youth Center in Callicoon, NY.

A second performance is set for 7:00 PM on Tuesday July 29th at the Hunt Union Ballroom at SUNY Oneonta. A national tour will get underway later his year.

For details and tickets, go to The Solutions Grassroots Tour.

NEW ITEMS IN LEARN MORE

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Dryden & Middlefield Court of Appeals Decision Affirming Lower Court Decisions
    Decision June 30, 2014. "Manifestly, Dryden and Middlefield engaged in a reasonable exercise of their zoning authority as contemplated in Gernatt when they adopted local laws clarifying that oil and gas extraction and production were not permissible uses in any zoning districts."

Open Letter from members of Congress to Obama
    "To enhance our nations' energy security and reliability and to protect our environment, methane emissions must be reduced. Letter signed by 49 members of Congress. May 14, 2014

UP IN FLAMES: Taxpayers Left Out in the Cold as Publicly Owned Natural Gas is Carelessly Wasted
    Western Values Project, May, 2014.


    Impact of Industrial Wind Turbines on Residential Property Assessment In Ontario 2012 Assessment Base Year Study. Municipal Property Assessment Corp.

Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines
    US EPA Inspector General Report 14-P-0324 dated July 25, 2014

Fracking Brussels: A Who's Who of the EU Shale Gas Lobby
    Friends of the Earth Europe; author Rachel Tansey, published july, 2014

Shale gas and fracking: examining the evidence
    Gwen Harrison, Stuart Parkinson and Gary McFarlane; Published by © Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) in July 2014

Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review
    by Paul W. Parfomak Specialist in Energy and Infrastructure Policy November 19, 2013; Congressional Research Servide

DEP’s performance in monitoring potential impacts to water quality from shale gas development, 2009 - 2012
    PA DEP Special Performance Audit Report, July 21, 2014.

Development And Integration Of Renewable Energy: Lessons Learned From Germany
    Published by FAA Financial Advisory AG (Finadvice), July 2014 by Hans Poser, Jeffrey Altman, Felix ab Egg, Andreas Granata, and Ross Board

Cashing in on all of the above: U.S. Fossil Fuel Production SUbSidieS Under obama
    OilChange International, July, 2014. Researched and written by Shakuntala Makhijani, with assistance and contributions from Stephen Kretzmann and Elizabeth Bast.

?CATCHING THE WIND: STATE ACTIONS NEEDED TO SEIZE THE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY OF ATLANTIC OFFSHORE WIND POWER
    Authors: Catherine Bowes & Amber Hewett –– National Wildlife Federation, 2014.

Shalefield Stories: Personal & Collected Testimonies
    Personal & collected stories published by Steel Valley Printers, January, 2014.

Current High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing Drilling Bans and Moratoria in NY State Movements Against HVHF
    Map and list of areas where gas drilling bans and moratoria have been enacted. Posted July 13, 2014. Prepared by FracTracker.



COMPENDIUM OF SCIENTIFIC, MEDICAL, AND MEDIA FINDINGS DEMONSTRATING RISKS AND HARMS OF FRACKING (UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND OIL EXTRACTION)
    Concerned Health Professionals of NY, July 10, 2014. Contains evidence of risks of air pollution, water contamination, inherent engineering problems, radioactive releases, occupational health and safety hazards, noise pollution, light pollution, strees, earthquake and seismic activity, abandoned & active wells, flood risks, threats to agriculture and soil quality, threats to climate system, inaccurate job claims, increased crime rates, threats to property values and mortgages, inflated estimates of reserves and profitability, disclosure of serious risks to investors, and medical and scientific calls for more study and more transparency.

Broken Ground On the frontlines of a fractured landscape
    "Broken Ground" is a project of the David Suzuki Foundation. To learn more about environmental rights in Canada, visit: www.davidsuzuki.org/healthyenvironment Written by Alvin Singh and Alaya Boisvert, edited by Gail Mainster and Ian Hanington. Site by Point Blank Creative

Fracking in Carroll County, Ohio An impact assessment
    April, 2014 report by Policy Matters Ohio, provides impacts in cost and benefits.

pathways to deep decarbonization
    Interim 2014 Report by Sustainable Development Solutions Network a Global Initiative for the United Nations, July 8, 2014. The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is a collaborative initiative to understand and show how individual countries can transition to a low-carbon economy and how the world can meet the internationally agreed target of limiting the increase in global mean surface temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C).

Monitoring Forest Change in Landscapes Under-Going Rapid Energy Development: Challenges and New Perspectives
    Authors: Paul D. Pickell, Sarah E. Gergel, Nicholas C. Coops and David W. Andison Published July 2, 2014

Assessment and risk analysis of casing and cement impairment in oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, 2000–2012
    Authors: Anthony R. Ingraffeaa,, Martin T. Wells, Renee L. Santoro, and Seth B. C. Shonkoff "The identification of mecha- nisms through which methane may migrate to the atmosphere as fugitive emissions is important to understand the climate dimensions of oil and gas development." Published by PNAS.org

Video: Fracking Goes Global
    LinkTV--27 Minutes. (Earth Focus: Episode 52) US domestic gas production is on the rise because of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial method of extracting natural gas from shale rock by pumping millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals underground at high pressure. Environmentalists say this gas boon threatens water supplies and pollutes air. Now, as fracking expands around the world, so does growing resistance. Earth Focus looks at three countries on the new fracking frontline: South Africa, Poland, and the UK. Reported from South Africa by Jeff Barbee and Andrew Wasley (The Ecologist) from Poland and the UK. Posted June, 2014.

GLOBAL SHALE GAS AND THE ANTI-FRACKING MOVEMENT Developing Union Perspectives and Approaches
    Trade Unions for Energy Democracy and Cornell University The Worker Institute, June 2014

Monitoring Water Quality In Areas of Oil and Natural Gas Development: A Guide For Water Well Users
    The Colorado Water and Energy Research Center. This guide walks water well users through the process of measuring baseline groundwater quality and quantity. Posted June, 2014

Discussion Paper: Hydraulic Fracturing and Public Health in Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia Hydraulic Fracturing Independent Review and Public Engagement Process Lead Author: Dr. Frank Atherton Expert Panelists: Dr. Michael Bradfield, Kevin Christmas, Dr. Shawn Dalton, Dr. Maurice Dusseault, Dr. Graham Gagnon, Dr. Brad Hayes, Constance MacIntosh, Dr. Ian Mauro & Mr. Ray Ritcey Supporting Contributors: Margo MacGregor, Sarah Saunders & Dr. David Wheeler

To the Ends of the Earth: A Guide to Unconvential Fossil Fuels
    Corporate Watch, June 2014. W hat are they? Where are they found? How are they Extracted?Social and Environmental issues. Climate changec ompanies involved Resistance!

Hydraulic fracturing and the management, disposal, and reuse of frac flowback waters: Views from the public in the Marcellus Shale
    Authors: Gene L. Theodoria, A.E. Luloff, Fern K. Willits, David B. Burnett. Study Abstract published in Energy Research & Social Science, June, 2014.

CO2, Methane, and Brine Leakage Through Subsurface Pathways: Exploring Modeling, Measurement, and Policy Options
    Author: Mary Kang, Princeton University

Air Toxics One Report: Oil Companies Used Millions of Air-Polluting Chemicals in Los Angeles Neighborhoods
    An Analysis from the Center for Biological Diversity , Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles, Communities for a Better Environment, and the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment June 2014

New York Court of Appeals Dryden Middlefield Home Rule !
    No Fracking Way article by Chip Northrup on June 3, 2014. Includes video including Deborah Golderg of Earth Justice, the oral arguments and an interview with Helen Slottje. Links to press coverage on the trial.

Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas from the United States
    US Dept of Energy, National energy Technology Laboratory, Office of fossil Energy, May 29, 2014 report DOE/NETL-2014/1649. Authors: National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Timothy J. Skone, P.E.; Senior Environmental Engineer Strategic Energy Analysis and Planning Division Energy Sector Planning and Analysis (ESPA); Gregory Cooney, Matthew Jamieson, James Littlefield, Joe Marriott, Ph.D. Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.

Towards a Road Map for Mitigating the Rates and Occurrences of Long-Term Wellbore Leakage
    Authors: MAURICE B. DUSSEAULT, RICHARD E. JACKSON, DANIEL MACDONALD for University of Waterloo, May 22, 2014.

Post-ABC poll: EPA rules on greenhouse gases
    June 2, 2014 poll on EPA rules on greenhouse gases

Why Energy Forecasting Goes Wildly Wrong
    Oct 23, 2013 article by Steve Yetiv and Lowell Field in Journal of Energy Science

Beyond 2015: AN INNOVATION-BASED FRAMEWORK FOR GLOBAL CLIMATE POLICY
    by Matthew Stepp & Megan Nicholson, May, 2014. Center for Clean energy Innovation

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permitting and Pretreatment for Shale Gas Extraction Wastewater Frequently Asked Questions
    draft report issued March 7, 2014 by EPA Office of Wastewater Management

Runaway Train:The Reckless Expansion of Crude-By-Rail
    Oil Change International, May, 2014. This report tracks the rise of crude-by-rail in North America, detailing where crude trains are being loaded and unloaded, how many trains carrying crude oil are crossing the North American continent, and who is involved in this burgeoning trade.

Renewable Electricity Futures Study
    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Renewable Electricity Futures Study (RE Futures) is an initial investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the continental United States over the next several decades. This study explores the implications and challenges of very high renewable electricity generation levels—from 30% up to 90%, focusing on 80%, of all U.S. electricity generation—in 2050.

Updated Guidance, Increased Coordination, and Comprehensive Data Could Improve BLM's Management and Oversight
    GAO report dated May 2014

Natural Gas in Your Community Participating in Decision Making & Tracking Infrastructure a Clean Air Council handbook for residents
    Clean Air Council...Federal and state agencies, as well as environmental organizations, promote public participation in decisions that affect air quality and public health. From writing comments on proposed rules or permits, to speaking at public hearings, having input from the public is a critical part of the process for ensuring that decisions related to natural gas development prioritize public health and the environment.

Shale Gas Infrastructure Tracking and Participation Guide
    Clean Air Council. This guide contains step by step information about how to track natural gas operations and related rules and regulations, and how to effectively use this information to impact decision-making on permits, rules, and regulations. Posted May, 2014

PETITION: EPA MUST LIST OIL AND GAS WELLS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT AS AN AREA SOURCE CATEGORY AND SET NATIONAL AIR TOXICS STANDARDS TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH
    From Earthjustice, May 13, 2014

Health and fracking: Should the medical profession be concerned?
    This article attempts to summarise the health concerns and discuss them within the South African context. Published in the South African Medical Journal, May, 2014.

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