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...
Keeping Our Eyes on the Ball
May I remind you what this  election is about? Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, unprecedented presidential powers, unmatched incompetence, unparalleled corruption, unwarranted eavesdropping, Katrina, Enron, Halliburton, global warming, Cheney’s secret energy task force, record oil company profits, $3 gasoline, FEMA, the Supreme Court, Diebold, Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004, Terri Schiavo, stem cell research, golden parachutes, shrunken pensions, unavailable and expensive healthcare, habeas corpus, no weapons of mass destruction, sacrificed soldiers and Iraqi civilians, wasted billions, Taliban resurgence, expiration of the assault weapons ban, North Korea, Iran, intelligent design, Swift boat hit squads, and on and on.
This election is about that, but much more—it’s about honor, dignity and comity in this country. It’s about the Constitution, which gives us this great nation. Bush ran on a pledge of “restoring honor and integrity” to the White House. Instead, he brought us Tom DeLay, Roy Blunt, Katherine Harris, John Doolittle, Jerry Lewis, Richard Pombo, Mark Foley, Dennis Hastert, David Safavian, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, Karl Rove and an illegal and immoral war in Iraq. People, it’s up to you.
Government Agency Watchdog.
Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC) is Montana’s environmental “watchdog.” It has successfully influenced state and federal agencies for more than three decades, monitoring issues from old growth forest protection, to standards for coal bed methane development, to air and water pollution permits. When all else fails, MEIC utilizes litigation to ensure that environmental laws are complied with.
Promoter and Protector of the Constitution. MEIC works hard to uphold the valuable rights afforded by Montana’s Constitution, including the inalienable right to a clean and healthful environment, the right to participate in and know about government operations, and the right to have all lands disturbed by the taking of natural resources reclaimed.
Respected Media Source. MEIC has a long history of working with the mass media to raise public awareness and understanding of key environmental issues. Through writing opinion pieces and making its staff available to the press, MEIC makes sure that critical issues receive the attention they deserve. MEIC provides a nonpartisan perspective, and is consistently quoted in a variety of Montana and national newspapers and other media.
Grassroots Advocate and Public Educator. MEIC assists individuals and local organizations facing environmental problems by providing information, organizing and tactical advice, and technical assistance. MEIC also has an active membership ready to submit comments, attend hearings, and go to pubic rallies when needed."
For now, read "Marcellus Shale: Asking Tough Questions of the Oil and Gas Companies" by Claudia Detweiler, "Lies and Broken Promises" by Jon Bogle, which both expose the bias and inaccuracies the "Penn State Report" and other economic impact studies.
And read this assessment by Robert W. Howarth, of Cornell University, who writes, "natural gas far less attractive than other fossil fuels in terms of the consequences for global warming."
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.
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 http://frack.mixplex.com/contact. 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? Hello, The Marcellus Accountability Project (MAP) is here: http://www.tcgasmap.org/ 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 http://frack.mixplex.com
From: Neil Zusman [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
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 [mailto:email@example.com] 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: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/contact_us Regards, Neil
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,...
Energy companies believe they can more than triple the production of tar sands oil, but one of the main constraints is delivery: unless the tar sands fields are linked by pipeline to more markets, there is a limit to how much they can grow.
That barrier could soon be removed. The United States is already the biggest consumer of tar sands oil, and to expand the supply, companies have decided to build a new $7 billion pipeline that will stretch 2,000 miles from Alberta to Texas. We need to resist the siren call of a pipeline that will prove dangerous to our health and environment.
Decisions about pipelines rarely attract a lot of attention, yet they should, because they open up lands for gas and oil development. And every time we expand our fossil fuel infrastructure, we lock ourselves into a string of costly and potentially dangerous consequences...
See: Senator Mike Johanns. "Keystone XL Pipeline - Issues"
Southern Tier Landowners Coalition, Groups, and Associations. Includes online petition to support natural gas exploration.
"Southern Tier landowners are encouraged to join a Southern Tier Landowners Coalition, Group, or Association to negotiate better gas leases, obtain higher signing bonuses and royalties, and protection of your property and the environment."
The Tioga County Landowners Group was organized in the summer of 2008 for the express purpose to educate ourselves and our members about the mineral right opportunities.
We are an organization of 1600+ families who own 111,000+ acres of land in Tioga County, NY. At this time there are 75,000 acres available for immediate lease with additional acreage that will be available in the near term. A small percentage of our existing population is currently under lease.
We seek a drilling partner who is fair and equitable, will be sensitive to our property, our community, and the environment. In exchange, you will be partnering with a coalition who is ready and willing to work with a responsible drilling partner towards a successful outcome for us all.