Contains the keyword opinion

Frack off, Shell!, Pugh, Lewis , The Daily Maverick, (2011)


A moratorium on hydraulic fracturing has been under effect in South Africa since April, 2011.

On Friday 25 March, environmental activist Lewis Pugh delivered a passionate call to action at a public lecture in Cape Town. He implored South Africans to stand up for our rights – particularly the right to water, and the right to a healthy environment – and take on corporate bullies like Shell. If you care about the Karoo, if you care about our country, keep reading...

Ladies and gentlemen, that is what is at stake here today: our children's future. And that of our children's children.

There may be gas beneath our ground in the Karoo. But are we prepared to destroy our environment for five to ten years worth of fossil fuel and further damage our climate? Yes, people will be employed – but for a short while. And when the drilling is over, and Shell have packed their bags and disappeared, then what? Who will be there to clean up? And what jobs will our children be able to eke out?


Now Shell will tell you that their intentions are honourable. That fracking in the Karoo will not damage our environment. That they will not contaminate our precious water. That they will bring jobs to South Africa. That gas is clean and green. And that they will help secure our energy supplies. When I hear this, I have one burning question. Why should we trust them? Africa is to Shell what the Gulf of Mexico is to BP.

Shell, you have a shocking record here in Africa. Just look at your operations in Nigeria. You have spilt more than 9 million barrels of crude oil into the Niger Delta. That's twice the amount of oil that BP spilt into the Gulf of Mexico. You were found guilty of bribing Nigerian officials, and to make the case go away in America, you paid an admission of guilt fine of $48 million. And to top it all, you stand accused of being complicit in the execution of Nigeria's leading environmental campaigner, Ken Saro-Wira, and eight other activists. If you were innocent, why did you pay $15.5 million to the widows and children to settle the case out of court?

Shell, the path you want us to take us down is not sustainable. I have visited the Arctic for seven summers in a row. I have seen the tundra thawing. I have seen the retreating glaciers. I have seen the melting sea ice. And I have seen the impact of global warming from the Himalayas all the way down to the low-lying Maldive Islands. Wherever I go, I see it.

Now is the time for change. We cannot drill our way out of the energy crisis. The era of fossil fuels is over. We must invest in renewable energy. And we must not delay.

Shell, we look to the north of our continent and we see how people got tired of political tyranny. We have watched as despots, who have ruled ruthlessly year after year, have been toppled in a matter of weeks. We too are tired. Tired of corporate tyranny. Tired of your short-term, unsustainable practices. We watched as Dr Ian Player, a game ranger from Natal, and his friends, took on Rio Tinto (one of the biggest mining companies in the world) and won. And we watched as young activists from across Europe, brought you down to your knees, when you tried to dump an enormous oil rig into the North Sea.

Shell, we do not want our Karoo to become another Niger Delta. Do not underestimate us. Goliath can be brought down. We are proud of what we have achieved in this young democracy, and we are not about to let your company come in and destroy it.

So let this be a call to arms to everyone across South Africa, who is sitting in the shadow of Goliath: stand up and demand these fundamental human rights promised to you by our Constitution. Use your voices – tweet, blog, petition, rally the weight of your neighbours and of people in power. Let us speak out from every hilltop. Let us not go quietly into this bleak future.

Let me end off by saying this: you have lit a fire in our bellies, which no man or woman can extinguish. And if we need to, we will take this fight all the way from your petrol pumps to the very highest court in this land. We will take this fight from the farms and towns of the Karoo to the streets of London and Amsterdam. And we will take this fight to every one of your shareholders. And I have no doubt, that in the end, good will triumph over evil. DM

Lewis Pugh is a lawyer and environmental activist. He belongs to the Treasure the Karoo Action Group.

See: Aragom Eloff.  Ivo Vegter vs. the Fracking Fringe. 2011-04-18.

See: Julienned DuToit. Fracking the Karoo - The People Say No! 2011-01-31.

See: Robert Brand. South Africa Endorses Plans For Karoo Gas-Drill Freeze, Ending Shell Hopes - Bloomberg. 2011-04-21.

See: Donald Paul.  Drill Baby Drill. 2011-04-18.

Fracking Canada, Craig , Fracking Canada, (2011)


Ontario has a new blog:

Stop Fracking Ontario is a web project to inform and promote activism against fracking in Ontario, and in the surrounding region, and elsewhere.

This project is an all-volunteer non-partisan effort that is not tied to any one organization. We will need a broad coalition of citizens to apply ongoing pressure which could stop the fracking industry.

We also need to support a range of positive alternatives, so we can phase out natural gas.

See: Nelson, Joyce. “Ugly Reality of Fracking.” Greenmuze, April 19, 2011.

Fracking the Karoo - The People Say No!, du Toit, Julienne , Fracking the Karoo - The People Say No!, (2011)


“Do you know what fracking the Karoo is like?” demanded Esme Senekal of Somerset East. The people from Royal Dutch Shell and their consultants didn’t reply, their faces impassive.

“It’s like you coming and drilling holes in our mother, and then leaving us to look after her and take her to hospital. Leave the Karoo alone!

“This is the last piece of holy nature in this country. No money is worth this. You can’t replace pristine nature with money.”

The surrounding sunburnt Karoo farmers, not a group usually given to high emotion, loudly applauded her.

The public meeting, organised by Shell’s consultants, Golder Associates (slogan: “Engineering Earth’s development, protecting Earth’s integrity”), was held at the Somerset East Town Hall, and started with a prayer to protect God’s creation, nature.

Most of the attendees bowing their heads were farmers who face the possibility of losing everything if, heaven forbid, shale gas is found under their farms – or for that matter, anywhere in the Karoo.

See: Aragom Eloff.  Ivo Vegter vs. the Fracking Fringe. 2011-04-18.

See: Donald Paul.  Drill Baby Drill. 2011-04-18.

See: Lewis Pugh. Frack Off, Shell!. 2011-04-05

See: Robert Brand. South Africa Endorses Plans For Karoo Gas-Drill Freeze, Ending Shell Hopes - Bloomberg. 2011-04-21.

Full Steam Ahead: Albany Rally 3/24/11 Requesting Governor Cuomo to Expand Scope of draft SGEIS per Executive Order No. 41, Hang, Walter , (2011)



Update on Event:

...More than 125 activists gathered from all over New York. We heard many moving speakers, including, but not limited to: Sandra Steingraber, Bob Boyle, Wes Gillingham, Legislative Representatives Barbara Lifton, Donna Lupardo, Liz Krueger, Brian Kavanagh, Danny O'Donnell, Michelle Schimel, Deborah Glick, Aileen Gunther and Tom Abinati as well as Catherine Hughes and Gene Stilp, an emissary from Pennsylvania's beleaguered gas fields, among notable others.

After the Rally, the crowd snaked from the "Well" in the Legislative Office Building all the way to the Capitol next to the Hall of Governors where Governor Cuomo's office is located. As we ascended the staircase, our chant of "NO FRACKING WAY" began to reverberate off the stone walls.

By prior agreement with highly accommodating New York State Troopers, the crowd gathered in the beautiful and historic War Room. The high-volume chant went on and on and on for nearly an hour, maybe longer. The floor in the War Room was shaking. People, including at least one minister, were dancing and banging on anything that could make noise. It was totally unbelievable. Albany was buzzing today at the performance of the "leather lung choir!!!" Rock on.

Check out "War Room protest: ‘No fracking way’" a video posted by the Albany Times Union. It will knock you on your butt.

See also: Nancy Hickling. "Local Protesters Travel To Albany To Rally Against Hydrofracking." WBNG News. 2011-03-24.

See also: Erin Connolly. "Rally to expand hydrofracking impact study." TWEAN news channel of Albany: Capital Region YNN. 2011-03-25.

...Commissioner Martens acknowledged that we had presented new data that had not been incorporated into the woefully deficient originally draft SGEIS or the Executive Order proceeding. He was entirely gracious and said he was still in the process of being briefed about the many aspects of revising the Draft SGEIS per Executive Order No. 41. He said no decision would be made in our meeting about allowing public comment regarding how DEC should go about revising the Draft SGEIS. He offered to meet again with the group.

Original Report. 2011-03-22

We are Full Steam Ahead for a Noon Rally this Thursday, March 24, 2011 at the New York State Capitol (West Capitol Park, Swan Street Steps) requesting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to expand the scope of the Marcellus Shale draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS).


Neither rain nor snow nor sleet will keep us from our momentous Rally tomorrow in Albany to request Governor Cuomo to expand the scope of the Marcellus Shale draft SGEIS.

Since inclement weather is predicted, we are moving our Rally indoors. Please gather at 12:00 Noon in the "Well" of the Legislative Office Building. See map below. Just walk into the LOB from the Concourse of the Empire State Plaza. The Well is just past the elevators. You can't miss it.

This large cavernous space will showcase our event to Legislators, staff and lobbyists. It is ideal for our purposes. Thank you, Assemblywoman Lifton, for all your assistance on our behalf.

In addition to the highly notable individuals and groups I mentioned yesterday, we will be joined by Shaleshock, Committee to Protect the Finger Lakes, Cortland Drilling Awareness Coalition, Tompkins County Legislator Pam Mackesey and Catherine Hughes of New York City Community Board One, which passed a major resolution last evening in support of expanding the scope of the draft SGEIS.

I am pleased to let you know we will be joined by State Legislators, physicians concerned about gas drilling threats to public health, NYPIRG, NYRAD, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Sierra Club: Atlantic Chapter, acclaimed ecologist, Sandra Steingraber, and legendary environmental activist and author, Robert H. Boyle, who revealed GE's contaminated the Hudson River with PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).

Most importantly, grassroots activists and groups will be gathering at the Capitol from all over New York...

Thank you so much for your strong support.

--Walter Hang

See: New York State Assembly Passes Moratorium on Hydrofracking | Governor Vetoes Bill.

See: Watchdog: New York State Regulation of Natural Gas Wells Has Been "Woefully Insufficient for Decades."

See: Leaked EPA Documents Expose Decades-Old Effort to Hide Dangers of Natural Gas Extraction.

See: Protests urge fracking fluid ban.

See: Meeting of Manhattan Community Board #3 held on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 6:30 at IS 131, 100 Hester Street.

See: Bruce Baizel Testimony to the City of New York

Gas drilling figures are downright scary, Foster, William M. , (2011)


William M. Foster / Auburn | Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 3:00 am | (4) Comments

“Call your legislators today and say ‘absolutely not.’  No toxic dump wells in the Finger Lakes!”

William M. Foster


Whether you are for it or against it, hydrofracking will significantly alter our way of life, and it’s possible that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will make the decision to the end the current moratorium on June 1. Write or phone — tell him no.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that natural gas drilling companies will drill 71,000 wells along the southern border of the state from Binghamton to Buffalo and up into the Finger Lakes. To frack one well, it takes on average 4 million gallons of water and 250,000 pounds of chemicals. Each well will be fracked on average six times, which in essence means 24 million gallons of water and 1.5 million pounds of chemicals. When you multiply that by 71,000 wells, the numbers are staggering.

Compounding the issue, gas drilling companies are not required to disclose what they use in the fracking fluids nor are they required to follow any of the federal environmental laws put in place to protect public health and our drinking water.

In Pennsylvania, where hydrofracking is in full swing, state regulators have issued more than 1,400 serious violations in the past two years, including contamination of drinking water and chemical spills.

There’s no reason to doubt the same problems will occur here. Are we expecting our first responders to show up to well blowouts and truck accidents without full knowledge of the hazardous materials involved?

We should all be aware that these companies will be trying to site 10,000 feet deep injection wells to “dump” their toxic waste in just as they have done in other states. It’s too expensive for them to do it any other way. We subsidize them by getting to keep their toxic waste.

Call your legislators today and say “absolutely not.”  No toxic dump wells in the Finger Lakes!

Call your state and local legislators and tell them to stop this from happening — now.

In closing, I have used the  DEC SGEIS report on hydrofracking as a guide. My family has lived in this community for more than 100 years but I’m not sure that living here with these changes is possible.

William M. Foster


Foster is a former member of the Auburn City Council

See: Natural Gas Firms Cited for "Significant Non-Compliance With Auburn Sewer Use Law".


See: Christopher Caskey. "Rally planned against gas well water in Auburn." The Citizen. 2011-05-26.

See: Scott Rapp. "Auburn group hopes protest sways city to stop taking wastewater from natural gas drilling." The Post-Standard. 2011-05-29.

See: Editorial. "Our View: Moratorium, study needed on wastewater." The Citizen. 2011-05-29.

Gasland vs Big Oil and Gas, Ardakani, Azita , Lovesocial Communications: Social Media Marketing for Causes & Corporations, (2011)



Playing Dirty

If you have not seen Gasland, take some time to watch it. You can view it on HBO, or purchase from Amazon. The trailer can be seen here: Gasland Trailer.

Now this movie has made its way to the Oscars and as exciting as that is, the Natural Gas Industry is now in full attack form doing whatever it takes to tear this nomination apart.

This works because people that see this movie are touched. They are touched because they have been directly affected by hydraulic fracturing or they want to be a voice for those that have been and don’t want to become a silent statistic as well.

Energy In Depth, a group sponsored by a coalition of natural gas companies, sent a letter to the Academy asking that Gasland — a film about a controversial mining technique called hydro-fracking — be removed from the Documentary Feature category.

It is a good thing that they are reacting so publicly, as they are bringing far more attention to the film and the issue at hand. Josh issued an open letter to the media today, responding to the natural gas industries attempt to slam Gasland. You can read Josh’s letter here on in our Facebook Notes “An Open Letter from Josh Fox.”

Join our communities on Twitter & Facebook and become apart of this conversation, it is one of the most important that you will have.

Azita Ardakani {Founder of Lovesocial}

Edit-Neil Zusman, 2011-02-10

See: Energy in Depth | Mixplex

See: Gasland - The Debate

See: Onshore Drilling Disasters Waiting to Happen: An Interview With 'Gasland' Director Josh Fox | The Nation

Hydrofracking in New York State: Poll Shows No Consensus, Marist Poll , Home of the Marist Poll: Pebbles and Pundits, (2011)


Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as hydrofracking, is the process of extracting natural gas from underground rock formations.  And, it’s increasingly becoming a topic for debate in New York State.  Where do New Yorkers stand on the issue?



Click Here for Complete May 17, 2011 NYS NY1/YNN-Marist Poll Release and Tables

No Consensus

Photo by Neil Zusman

According to this NY1/YNN-Marist Poll, New Yorkers divide on the issue.  41% oppose hydrofracking while 38% support it.  A notable 21% are unsure.  Similar proportions of registered voters statewide share these views.

Regionally, there’s no majority on either side of the ledger.  47% of those upstate are against hydrofracking while 37% support it.  39% in New York City oppose the process while 35% favor it.  However, in the suburbs of New York City, 46% are for hydrofracking while 36% are against it.

There are partisan differences on this question.  While pluralities of Democrats — 47% — and non-enrolled voters — 46% — oppose the process, nearly half of Republicans — 49%– support it.

“Many New Yorkers have yet to weigh in on this issue,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  ”The question is what will happen to the public’s opinion about hydrofracking as both sides make their case.”

See:Table: Support for Hydrofracking in NYS

See: Environmental Advocates New York

See: Action Center | Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP America)

See: New York State Assembly Passes Moratorium on Hydrofracking | Governor Vetoes Bill

See: Regulation Is Lax for Water From Gas Wells

See: Catskill Citizens | More Damning Evidence About Fracking

iLoveMountains, , -- End Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining, (2011)


Organization web site features a widget that shows how you are connected to mountaintop removal where you live.

You Can End Mountaintop Removal.

Mountaintop removal is a radical form of coal mining in which entire mountains are literally blown up -- and it is happening here in America on a scale that is almost unimaginable.

Please take a moment to learn more about mountaintop removal mining -- and then join us by taking action to stop it.


See: Welcome to Rogers Neighborhood | House Passes Dangerous Budget in the Dark of Night

See: GOP Budget Amendments Would Destroy Health, Economy, Planet.

See: Michael Cusack O'Connell. (film). Mountaintop Removal.

Meet the Gas Geezers, Stephens, Maura , Counterpunch, (2011)



This weekend, as 10,000 energetic, bright young people are converging on Washington, DC, for PowerShift 2011, a geezer* is waging an all-out assault on their future.

Eighty-two-year-old Texas fossil-fuel-pushing megabillionaire T. Boone Pickens has, incredibly, essentially written a bill called the NAT GAS Act (“New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions,” H.R. 1380), to switch fleet vehicles such as buses and interstate trucks to “natural” gas.

Pickens has been working the Hill, White House, airwaves, and editorial boardrooms for some time. He’s got buddies like MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan gushing over him and Joe Nocera writing oily op-ed odes to nat gas in the New York Times. And Pickens has somehow managed to sell President Obama and an astonishing number of Congress members on the myth that nat-gas is a homegrown wonder fuel “bridge” from dirty foreign oil to a clean energy future...

Natural Gas Firms Cited for "Significant Non-Compliance With Auburn Sewer Use Law", Public Notice , Auburn Citizen, Auburn, NY, (2011)



See: Christopher Caskey. "Rally planned against gas well water in Auburn." The Citizen. 2011-05-26.

See: Scott Rapp. "Auburn group hopes protest sways city to stop taking wastewater from natural gas drilling." The Post-Standard. 2011-05-29.

See: Editorial. "Our View: Moratorium, study needed on wastewater." The Citizen. 2011-05-29.

Email correspondence between William M. Foster, Auburn, NY and Fracking Resource Guide.  The public notice published in the Auburn Citizen on April 1, 2011 follows at the end of this post.

Hi Bill,

I saw your letter in the 5/17 Auburn Citizen and the group letter that had several signatories including Margaret Foster. I wanted to post these letters to Fracking Resource Guide, with you as the author. I looked for a picture of you online and couldn't find one.  I also looked for pictures of the plant.


There are pictures of closups of various sump pumps, etc. not necessarily yours in Auburn here:

Do you know where I can find or take a picture of the Auburn facility in close-up?
Here is what I found on the type of plant by Koester Industries.  It's called a gravity thickener...


Here is my search:

If the link breaks in the mail, here is the search in short form:

If this does look like your plant, let me know.



The email correspondence began with this:

william m foster sent a message using the contact form at

Dear Sirs - we are a recently formed group opposed to hydrofracking in
the finger lakes - we would like to distribute a copy of your report to
a number of organizations in cayuga county  - would this be ok with you?

The Marcellus Accountability Project (MAP) is here:

It is run by Bill Podulka, an engineer at Cornell.

My site does not have the authority to re-distribute original content -
it serves as a digital library.  I write annotations for many of the
articles.  You are welcome to print, email and/or link to any of the
material in this collection, of which MAP is one of the articles.

I try to present information that is accurate, useful and inspired in my
choice of articles in the collection.  The issues of hydrofracking go
beyond the well sites and touch on larger environmental, health, and
legal concerns.

Since my mission is to curate and distribute, I welcome your inquiry and
wish you

Best Regards,
Neil Zusman

-----Original Message-----
From: Neil Zusman []
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 8:52 AM
Subject: Re: [Info] marcellus accoutability project

On 4/11/11 11:01 AM, Morgan-Foster Agency wrote:
Dear Neil - thank you for responding to my request - I have contacted Mr. Podulka's group and hope he will give us a favorable reply. We came together after NY Times article indicating that Auburn's Treatment Plant "cleans" fracked water. We are going to next Thursday's 4:30 Auburn Council Meeting to try to put an end to this practice.  Bill Foster

-----Original Message-----
From: Neil Zusman [] 
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 1:00 PM
To: Morgan-Foster Agency
Subject: Re: [Info] marcellus accoutability project

Hello Bill,

You might also wish to contact Water Hang of Toxics Targeting:


Neil - thanks - my niece has e-mailed a letter Mr. Hang sent to Gov Cuomo
concerning Auburn Plant. Will be an interesting Thursday.  Bill Foster

Letter from Auburn citizens to the City of Auburn, N.Y.

We are here tonight to speak about the public notice and article that appeared in the March 31st edition of The Citizen. The public notice lists eight companies that failed to comply with the city's wastewater treatment plant regulations. Six of those companies are natural gas drilling firms. The notice states that for all of 2010, many of these natural gas companies failed to submit quarterly self-monitoring reports.

The city called their attention to it a year later. Within that time frame , the city took in over 16 million gallons of gas drilling wastewater.

The notice mentions that the companies submitted required certification that the drilling water did not come from hydraulic fracturing , or hydrofracking , in the Marcellus Shale .

Can we verify this? How do we know that this is the case apart from taking natural gas companies at their word? Is that all it is--a certificate submitted a year after the fact that the city's plant did not take a radioactive toxic mix that no wastewater treatment plant is equipped to handle?

We have little faith in the integrity of the natural gas industry.

According to a March 1 article in the New York times, in Pennsylvania natural gas drilling companies aren't even required to track what they dispose or where they dispose their wastewater. Chesapeake Energy, one of the companies listed in the public notice for failure to comply, is hydrofracking in Pennsylvania. We have watched as natural gas executives blatantly lied to a congressional committee that the chemicals used in hydrofracking are safe .

Chemicals like benzene, toluene, methanol, formaldehyde--known carcinogens and neurotoxins.

The natural gas industry says there is no evidence that hydrofracking has contaminated drinking water while people in Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and other states can now light their tap water on fire and suffer from severe health issues.

Bluntly put, the natural gas industry has no incentive to tell the truth. They are free from federal and state laws that protect public health and prevent hazardous materials from entering public water . These companies have been exempt from any responsibility to disclose what chemicals they use…

...We say no more.

Beth Cuddy, Terry Cuddy, Patty Beer, Bill Foster, Taylor Price, Theresa Walsh, Ann Foster, David Foster, Walt Aikman, Roger Beer, Teresa Foster, Devon Roblee, Andy Roblee, Laura Coburn, Steve Gamba, Brian Landers, Marisol Landers, Bodhi Landers, Amy Chamberlain, Jesse Reich, Peter Cramer, Diane Sauso, Chris Sauso, Dia Carabajal, Lee Ballard, Matthias Ballard, Vera Carabajal, Nate Vitale, Julie Vitale, Vanessa Carpenter, Nick Diego, Lisa Hoff, Beth Ann McCarthy, Jennifer Balyszak Herbert, Laurel Ullyette, Jennifer Kulis Starr, Dustin Orofino, Kelly L. Woodman, Don Miller, James Cantu, Jessica Cantu, Jesse Kline, Tom Yaglowski, Chuck Mason, Steve Kline, Rob Morphy, Carrie Gregg, Lois Brazak, Bradley Molloy, Jaeseena Bertot, Thomas Tracy, Matthew Smith, Joan House, Susan Marteney, Doug Ward, Renee Ward, Ian Connerly, Barbara Moody, Blaine Moody, Stephen Stomps, Steve Coleman, Judy Coleman, Rhonda Miller, Dean Aversa , Mike Trapani, Joe Librandi-Cowan, Penny Pitman, Mary Nellenback, Anne Mlod, Janah Autovino, David Autovino, Margaret Foster, Tracy Crandall Herman, Jim Van Arsdale, and Betsy Alexander,...

See: Gas drilling figures are downright scary