Colorado readies for ‘all out war’ as anti-fracking measures advance to ballot

Fracking

Source: NaturalNews.com
Lauren McCauley
August 13, 2016

The government of Colorado has so far managed to quash efforts to halt the spread of fracking in that state, but come November, residents will finally have the chance to overpower the will of politicians and Big Oil and Gas.

(Article by Lauren McCauley, republished from Commondreams.org)

Petitioners on Monday submitted more than 200,000 signatures backing two separate initiatives to amend the Colorado constitution, specifically in regards to the controversial drilling method.

“This is a good day for Colorado, and it’s a good day for democracy,” said Lauren Petrie, Rocky Mountain Region director of Food and Water Watch. “These initiatives will give communities political tools to fend off the oil and gas industry’s effort to convert our neighborhoods to industrial sites. This is a significant moment in the national movement to stem the tide of fracking and natural gas.”

Initiative 78 would establish a 2,500-foot buffer zone protecting homes, hospitals and schools, as well as sensitive areas like playgrounds and drinking water sources, from new oil and gas development. This expands the current mandate of a 500-foot setback from homes and, according to Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED), is based upon health studies that show increased risks within a half mile of fracked wells and the perimeters of real-life explosion, evacuation, and burn zones.

Colorado regulators say that, if passed, Initiative 78 could effectively halt new oil and gas exploration and production in as much of 90 percent of the state.

Initiative 75 would establish local government control of oil and gas development, authorizing local municipalities “to pass a broad range of more protective regulations, prohibitions, limits or moratoriums on oil and gas development—or not,” according to the grassroots group.

This measure challenges a May ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court which said that state law overrides local fracking bans.

Various moratoriums or anti-fracking measures bans have been passed by the communities of Lafeyette, Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield, El Paso County, and Longmont—though many of these efforts were quashed by the Supreme Court ruling. Campaigners are hopeful that the initiatives would lay the foundation for many more.

Colorado’s Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, an infamous proponent of fracking, has voiced his strong disapproval of the ordinances.

The signature deadline was met Monday despite the fact that the citizen volunteers faced harassment and, as Common Dreams previously reported, a massive, industry-funded opposition campaign which included deceptive television ads telling citizens to “decline to sign” the ballot petitions.

Reporting by the Colorado Independent revealed the campaign to be “part of an orchestrated, multi-year effort by both Colorado-based and national energy giants. One of their front groups is Protect Colorado, which funded the petition-gatherer-of-doom TV ad and is actively seeking to thwart citizens from qualifying the two measures for the ballot.”

“Industry has been gearing up for this fight for five years,” Dan Grossman, Rocky Mountain regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund, told ThinkProgress. “This was kind of the pre-fight, the undercard… If either of these make it onto the ballot, we’re going to see a cage match — an all-out war.”

And the stakes are high. As the New York Times put it, should either measure pass, “it would represent the most serious political effort yet” to stop fracking in the U.S..

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office now has 30 days to authenticate the signatures before they make the ballot. The announcement is expected to be made by September 7.

Read more at: Commondreams.org

DNC Platform Endorses Fracking, Refuses To Recycle Leftover Food, Disavowing Party’s Key Principles

Democrats
Source: NaturalNews.com
Julie Wilson
July 28, 2016

Supporters of the Democratic Party have been abandoned, forgotten and left in the dust, as their purported representatives endorse policies that best serve their own interests, while completely ignoring the wants and desires of their constituents.

This was best illustrated at the Democratic National Convention, when the party made clear their decision to back the environmentally destructive practice known as fracking, giving full-fledged support to Big Oil and Gas.

Historically, Democrats have a reputation for at least pretending to care about the environment, promising to “protect America’s natural resources,” to regulate industry’s biggest polluters to ensure people have clean water, soil and air, and to do whatever it takes to label GMOs.

Bernie supporters flabbergasted by party’s decision to back fracking

But when it comes time to take action, the party falls flat, selling their souls to the very industries citizens are begging to be protected from.

Not only are Bernie Sanders’ supporters (who supported their candidate based mainly on his anti-establishment rhetoric) supposed to now back establishment queen Hillary Clinton, but they’re supposed to get behind fracking, too.

Thousands of protesters braved the scorching heat on Sunday as they marched through the streets of Philadelphia calling for an end to fracking – a process involving high-pressure injection of millions of gallons of water mixed with chemical additives into deep underground rock formations, releasing oil and gas reserves.

Multiple studies have linked fracking to water contamination, air pollution and potential changes in our atmospheric chemistry, creating genuine cause for concern, which seemed to be shared by the Democratic Party – that is until recently.

Flashback on fracking views

Both Clinton and Sanders publicly vowed to at least limit fracking, regulating the industry to ensure clean air and water. Sanders, in fact, unequivocally supported an outright ban on fracking, endorsing the “keep it in the ground” campaign, while vowing to stop future drilling on federal land.

“Some of the differences between the Clinton and Sanders camps are more on strategy than on substance: Both candidates believe in climate change and have said they want to work toward deploying renewable energy,” The Hill reported in June.

It’s now apparent that this does not include a ban on fracking.

“During a 9-hour meeting in St. Louis, Missouri on Friday, members of the DNC’s platform drafting committee voted down a number of measures proposed by Bernie Sanders surrogates that would have come out against the contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), fracking, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” according to Common Dreams.

The panel rejected “a national moratorium on fracking as well as new fossil fuel drilling leases on federal lands and waters.”

“[W]e are here today to tell the Democratic Party that their base wants to put an end to fossil fuels and to ban fracking,” Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said while attending the weekend march.

“We’re demanding a ban on fracking and an end to fossil fuel infrastructure and to keep it in the ground. It’s time to really demand what we want and not half-measures.”

Philanthropy not allowed at the DNC

Fracking isn’t the only issue Democrats flip back and forth on. The party that claims to care deeply about helping the poor, essentially refused to recycle leftover food at a welcome party for delegates at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

One of the delegates, who reportedly “went to bed hungry many a night,” grew angry after the caterer told him that donating the food to the poor “wasn’t allowed,” according to reports.

Democrats actively working against GMO-labeling

Democrats also betrayed their followers on the important issue of GMO-labeling. The promises began with Obama, who vowed to label GMOs during his campaign for presidency. But instead, he appointed Monsanto executives to the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The party again blocked GMO-labeling this summer, voting in favor of a bill that forces consumers to rely on QR codes obtained from their smart phones.

The legislation falls hugely short even for consumers who go the extra mile and check QR codes, because the decision about which GMOs will be labeled falls on the future secretary of the USDA, who will be appointed by the next president.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources:

Democrats.org

TheHill.com

DemocracyNow.org

Fracking Industry Dumping Radioactive Waste In Landfills, Exposing Homes & Schools To Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Fracking
Source: NaturalNews.com
Isabelle Z.
July 28, 2016

Most of us want to think of our homes and schools as safe places where families can pass time with minimal exposure to danger. Unfortunately, some residents and school students in Irvine, Kentucky, have suddenly found themselves in an environment more akin to Chernobyl than Appalachian Kentucky.

Denny and Vivian Smith live in the idyllic Estill County town situated near the Kentucky River on property that has belonged to their ancestors since the 1800s. Last August, the area was descended upon by a convoy of trucks that were transporting concentrated fracking waste from northern West Virginia to the Blue Ridge Landfill.

The trucks brought 400 tons of low-level radioactive waste to the facility, which is not permitted to accept this type of waste.

The landfill’s other neighbors? Estill County Middle School and Estill County High School, which have a combined enrollment of 1,200 public school students.

Neighbors and parents are outraged, and the community is demanding to know how this could have happened. State agencies are also asking a lot of questions.

Poor federal oversight and inconsistent state regulations

One big part of the problem is the poor and inconsistent federal oversight and mess of state regulations governing this kind of waste. There is no single government agency completely responsible for radioactive waste from horizontal oil and gas operations, leading the Center for Public Integrity to call it “orphan waste.”

Therefore, each state must figure out how to deal with. It. New York, for example, has banned fracking, but it does still allow waste disposal with very weak overnight. Meanwhile, Ohio has not formalized waste rules at all.

Hydraulic fracturing produces wastewater that measures in the hundreds of thousands of tons in the Ohio Valley area. The drilling process concentrates the radioactive materials that naturally occur deep inside the earth, and this waste is hazardous not only to the environment, but also public health.

A number of state agencies are now investigating the landfill for accepting this waste. Although it is not quite as hazardous as nuclear power plant waste, the Environmental Protection Agency admits that the radioactive materials that are found in drilling waste do pose risks.

The radioactive leachate can contaminate groundwater over time, and the radioactive dust carries its own set of problems. Worst of all, radioactive waste is known to last centuries, outliving the engineered lifespan of liners found in many landfills.

Vivian Smith said: “We are getting older and we feel like we’re kind of vulnerable to illnesses with what’s going on at the landfill.”

Like many people in the area, she is disheartened that this type of act was able to take place and wonders what could happen to the children attending the nearby schools.

“Knowing that there was nothing going on to protect us, I think it’s like the henhouse was not guarded and the fox got in,” she added.

This is just the latest example of how the inconsistency in state regulations ends up causing mistakes and general confusion.

EPA needs to do more

The EPA did recently take a step in the right direction by banning the disposal of fracking waste water at any publicly owned treatment works. This measure is aimed at preventing the contaminants contained in this waste, such as chemical additives and heavy metals, from entering public water systems.

However, this may not have a noticeable impact in places like Pennsylvania, where most energy companies have found other disposal methods following a call by former governor Tom Corbett to end the practice. Nevertheless, it should help deter new efforts to dispose of the waste at public plants during the future gas rushes that the state is bracing for.

Many western Pennsylvanian residents living along the Monongahela River still remember having to use bottled drinking water in 2008 and 2009 after fracking waste that was not properly treated was pumped into the Mon by municipal sewage plants when the natural gas boom first hit the area.

The Pennsylvania Director of environmental group Clean Water Action, Myron Arnowitt, said: “We are pleased to see EPA set clear rules to stop this practice. Pennsylvania residents have learned the hard way that when the oil and gas industry is allowed to use sewage plants as their dumping sites our water becomes undrinkable.” However, much more needs to be done to deal with the problem.

With so many potential sources of water contamination out there, many people are rightfully concerned about whether their own drinking water is truly safe for consumption. In light of this, Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, is leading an effort to test water samples from around the country for free. He has tested more than 200 samples so far, and instructions for submitting samples can be found on the EPA Watch website. The test results of the first hundred samples are published in the Natural Science Journal.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources include:

http://woub.org

http://woub.org

http://science.naturalnews.com/pubmed/11071686.html

http://naturalsciencejournal.com/

7/18/2016 – Large East Coast Virginia Fracking Earthquake – USGS Not Reporting?

Source: Dutchsinse
July 18, 2016

This stream is showing the past 48 hours of USGS reported M2.5 and greater earthquakes in the United States and Territories. Additionally showing M4.0 and greater activity internationally.

Toxic Chemicals Found In Bodies Of Residents Near Fracking Site

Source: RT America
July 14, 2016

For the first time ever, a study has proven that toxic chemicals used in fracking processes have made their way into the bodies of people who live around a fracking site. The study is called, When the Wind Blows: Tracking Toxic Chemicals in Gas Fields and Impacted Communities, and tracks the residents of Pavillion, Wyoming.

Air & Water Contaminated From Fracking In Wyoming Town, Study Finds

Source: RT America
June 28, 2016

Residents of a small Wyoming town have complained for decades of water pollution at the hands of the oil and gas industries, but they may now see some changes coming their way. A new study shows that not only the water, but also the air has been contaminated with byproducts of oil and gas extraction,. The study gives residents hope that federal and state authorities will pay attention to the health risks posed to the town which have been ignored for decades. RT America’s Alexey Yaroshevsky reports.

Shock Finding: Oil & Gas Industry Dumping Toxic Fracking Waste Into Public Water Treatment Plants Incapable Of Filtering Contaminants

Fracking
Source: NaturalNews.com
L.J. Devon
June 24, 2016

There’s an invasion underway, a constant onslaught of chemical attacks that are more sinister and more life-threatening than faraway armies with tanks. This chemical invasion is occurring on many levels today, and it impacts the cells of many unsuspecting people. The invasion is invisible to the eyes, but under the microscope it is ever so real.

This vicious invasion is taking place silently in the very water that the population drinks. The people who are impacted are clueless, oblivious and defenseless. They have no idea what’s going on, as fracking chemicals and displaced heavy metals invade their bodies, tainting their lifeblood and minds.

With cancers spreading, sleep problems mounting and mental health deteriorating, it’s very important for the people to know what kind of enemy they are up against. In a world where personal property and human health are no longer respected or protected, it’s important for people to know how to filter their water effectively for self defense.

Oil and gas industry a major contributor to the mental health problems of the day

The oil and gas industry is a major contributor to this vicious invasion. The toxic slew of chemicals left over after hydraulic fracturing are often taken to public water treatment plants that are incapable of filtering out the contaminants. For years, publicly owned treatment plants have received large amounts of fracking waste water that they cannot effectively treat. As a consequence, the waterways are filled with toxic byproducts, as the public is silently poisoned, every cell in their bodies under attack.

During the recent gas boom in Pennsylvania, fracking waste water was pumped right into the Monongahela River. In 2008 and 2009, towns along the river were instructed to use bottled water, since the water outside their homes and near municipal sewage plants was being poisoned.

In 2011, during the natural gas boom, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett called on oil drilling companies to stop sending fracking wastewater to public treatment facilities. At that time, the oil-drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing came under advanced scrutiny. Fracking wastewater contains a toxic slew of total dissolved solids, organic and inorganic chemicals, and technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM), that is very difficult to properly dispose of and filter out. Some of these compounding chemicals poison the water and land near drilling sites. Large amounts are taken to public treatment plants that are not even capable of filtering the waste water. When treatment plants fail to handle fracking waste, the toxic slew is discharged straight into the waterways. The wastewater can even inhibit the treatment plant from filtering out regular waste. This causes harmful byproducts to form in the water.

EPA admits new infrastructure is needed to process fracking wastewater

The Environmental Protection Agency is just now coming up with a rule to stop oil drilling operations from disposing of their fracking waste at publicly owned treatment works.

The EPA’s new rule intends to defend the public, but without the proper infrastructure to filter out the contaminants, fracking will only continue, the damage unrestrained. What will oil drilling companies do with their fracking waste water, as innovation for water treatment infrastructure is stifled? As the energy sector rushes to dispose of their toxic waste water, and with no incentive to innovate, tons of toxic waste water are going to end up in the environment – irrespective of the EPA’s good intentions. The EPA admits on its website: “This potentially harmful wastewater creates a need for appropriate wastewater management infrastructure and practices.”

Clean Water Action, an environmental group that supports the EPA’s new rule, said that oil drilling companies are finding new ways to dump their wastewater, sealing it in underground injection wells, running it through ineffective industrial treatment plants and “recycling” it.

Self defense against heavy metals and chemicals a top priority

If we don’t start taking at-home water filtration seriously, our ability to function on a day-to-day basis will continue to deteriorate. There’s already a monstrous chemical invasion taking place through our pesticide and herbicide intense agricultural systems. The more we accept this chemical inundation, the more we will decline – both physically and mentally.

Some of the most insane acts of violence that occur in our culture begin with a poisoned brain. How might toxic heavy metals and chemicals from fracking waste water, herbicides, pesticides, along with psychotropic drugs, contribute to mass shootings? As these chemicals disrupt the endocrine system of the human body, cause gut dysbiosis and destroy the nervous system, people’s behavior and thinking processes are altered in ways society cannot yet understand or fully comprehend.

With the above in mind, if you are concerned about what’s lurking in your town’s water, send in a sample to EPAWatch.org, and they’ll test it for your for free.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com