Judge makes double-shocker decision on hydraulic fracking fluids

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The fracking industry won a big decision in Wyoming this past week, because a judge decided to be an industry puppet and decided to ignore protections for people and the environment. It was a shocking, double-whammy decision.

With this decision, the industry can continue to keep secret the chemicals it mixes into its friggin’ fracking concoction.

And why did this judge make this decision? My jaw dropped when I read the following paragraph from the AP article:

Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking has ruled that Wyoming’s state oil and gas supervisor was correct to withhold the ingredient lists as protected trade secrets.

So can any product manufacturer in the country now decide to stop posting ingredients on food labels? Can the tobacco industry now include more harmful ingredients in its products and strip the list off labels? If this Wyoming judge has his way, they can just all hide behind “trade secrets.”

If we see a wave of people getting sick after eating some product, the manufacturer can merely refuse to tell the public what the problem might be. It’s a trade secret.

But there was at least one piece of news in the article that was not shocking at all. Halliburton was involved in arguing against disclosing the ingredients in fracking fluids.

So once again, GREED wins and we loose. Once again, we see firm evidence of the power some corporations have over not only the federal and state governments, but also over the court system. Corporatism is taking a deeper and deeper hold over our country and this story offers another key piece of evidence.


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Game On – Beer drinkers vs. the Fracking Industry

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I don’t drink any sort of alcoholic beverages at all, but a lot of people do – a lot of people. And certainly there are tons of beer drinkers in the United States.

An article on Grist.org hit the Pack News Wire this morning, concerning the concern that beer makers in New York State have over the pollution of groundwater by the practice of natural gas fracking. I’m hoping that when beer drinkers are pitted against BIG GAS, we’ll finally see some action. And the one thing that might negatively impact a massive group of politicians is taking away their drunk sessions at fancy parties.

As it stands now, very little is standing in the way of BIG GAS or BIG COAL, in their mission of destroy mountains and suck the life out of the environment. BIG GAS does not even want to wait for the development of any, possibly-safer drilling methods or for studies to be completed on the full and long-term impacts of fracking.

There are people in this country who don’t care how much big industry pollutes the land, air and water. These people believe corporate profits should always be held in higher standing than the health and welfare of our children and their future. And these same people certainly don’t give a hoot about the impacts on wildlife and their habitat.

But now – maybe – it’s game on … Fracking vs. Beer.


Fracking a threat to wildlife and domestic animals – Of course it is

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The Center for Biological Diversity is rightfully concerned with the impact of natural gas fracking on wildlife, particularly for wildlife in California, in an editorial on its website.

It suggests the drilling can and very well is affecting wildlife and domestic animals – such as horses, cats and dogs. From fish kills in Pennsylvania to deaths and serious illness in pets and farm animals five states to degradation of habitat and more, examples are listed on the website.

We need to learn more about fracking. More research is needed – much more. This is not the sort of thing we should allow before this research is in.



Another example of how weak the EPA is

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Some politicians have been calling for a shutdown of the Environmental Protection Agency. Others are at least calling for pull-back of regulations and EPA oversight. These people claim the EPA has been overstepping its bounds and has been holding back economic development.

The facts clearly oppose these notions and today we have another example of how weak the EPA really is.

The Associate Press reports a homeowner in Weatherford, Texas was seeing strange things happening with their water, back in 2010. The EPA seemed to be ready to act with an emergency order. But two years later, the agency dropped the effort and is refusing to explain the reason behind the move.

The Associated Press has obtained a report it says indicates the EPA changed course, despite scientific evidence against the company drilling for natural gas nearby – Range Resources. Under pressure from the industry and politicians, the EPA intentionally fumbled the ball away.

Once again, profit wins over the general welfare of the public and our environment.

Energy company is land-grabbing for fracking rights

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Reuters is reporting that Chesapeake Energy Corp is using a process known as land grabs to secure natural gas fracking rights on private property, sometimes against the will of the landowners.

The Reuters piece includes the following sentence that sums up the topic: “” This June, after petitioning a Texas state agency for an exception to a 93-year-old statute, the company effectively secured the ability to drain the gas from beneath the Bhandari property anyway — without having to pay the couple a penny. “”

And the news agency found that the Texas agency has rejected only five of Chesapeake Energy’s 1,628 requests for similar exceptions.

Satire Saturday: Big Oil CEO says “Frack This”

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Because blogging about serious topics such as animal cruelty cases, greyhound racing, dog fighting and puppy mills can be all too serious at times, we will meet here on the weekends for Satire Saturdays (and sometimes Sundays). On occasion, we could all use a little lighthearted relief.

Headline: Big Oil CEO defends oil spills

The Story: Oily Wellian, the CEO of Big, Rig & Gig Oil Company stepped before the microphones for a Saturday-afternoon press conference, to defend the proposed Keystone Pipeline and drilling onshore, offshore and anywhere there’s bare spot on the Earth’s surface.

In front of a huge sign with the company slogan, “Where There’s a Drill, Get Out of the Way,” Wellian opened the proceedings with a strong statement.

“Oil is natural and it’s clean and it has gotten a bad wrap for far too long,” Wellian said. “Hell, I shower in 10W-40 three times a weak.”

It didn’t take long for the subject of natural gas fracking to gush from a reporter’s mouth, in particular the health hazards of fracking chemicals.

“Our studies have indicated that fracking fluid is actually great for reducing cholesterol,”  Wellian said. “And do you have heartburn? Well, why not fight fire with fire – by downing a flask of fracking fluid before having a smoke.”

A CNMSNFX reporter quickly broke in to challenge Wellian’s claims, asking, “Would you suggest from your opening statement that the Gulf Oil Spill was good for the skin of the animals trapped in the muck? You couldn’t be that uncaring of the animals, could you?”

“I can be as uncaring as the best of them,” Wellian shot back. “But trying to use flattery won’t change how I feel about you media types.

“To answer your question, yes – and we’re trying to get some of the major human cosmetic companies and canine product manufacturers to distribute our skin-care line. One I’m really excited about is X-On Hair Conditioner.”

The press conference ended abruptly when ice crystals began to form on the floor of the auditorium, seconds after Wellian shouted, “I’ll admit oil spills are bad for wildlife and humans when Hell freezes over.”

AM Pack Line Headlines: Fracking, horse slaughter, factory farming, etc

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ONE – The EPA has released a report stating the polluted groundwater in a Wyoming town is caused by chemicals used in the fracking process, in drilling for natural gas.

From the NBC article – “” Doug Hock, a spokesman for EnCana Corp., which owns rights to the Pavillion-area field, slammed the draft report. “The synthetic chemicals could just have easily come from contamination when the EPA did their sampling, or from how they constructed their monitoring wells.” “”

That’s good enough for a Pack of Putrid Punditry Award. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla) also earns the award for being more concerned with the gas companies than the health of the people who live in the area. He claims the report is premature and not based on sound science. He calls it part of “Obama’s war on fossil fuels,” forgetting that Obama has opened up new areas for oil drilling, which puts more wildlife at risk. Not really a position taken by someone looking for a war on fossil fuels.

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Fracking chemicals found in aquifer in drilling region of Wyoming

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Surprise – Surprise – Fracking chemicals have been detected, in a big way, in the aquifer for the town of Pavillion, Wyo.

But wait. The TV ads (propaganda) out of Exxon claim it’s all safe and wonderful to drill for natural gas. The drilling sites are contained and there’s no way the groundwater is polluted by drilling. Right?

Really – No. And if you believe the Big Oil propaganda, I’m sure the town of Pavillion will sell you bottled drinking groundwater by the truckload. Go ahead – Buy some and drink it down with your breakfast, lunch and dinner.

From the ProPublica story

“” “”

(The residents claim) hydraulic fracturing in particular — has caused their water to turn black and smell like gasoline. Some residents say they suffer neurological impairment, loss of smell, and nerve pain they associate with exposure to pollutants.

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Jobs, yes – but at what cost?

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Big Oil and Big Coal have taken to spreading some really expensive and extensive propaganda that translates to – ‘let us pollute, destroy nature and wipe out wildlife populations as we see fit, because we supply jobs.’

We need the jobs and certainly the country needs far more jobs. But why can’t our great country, at this time of fantastic technological advancements, turn more to clean jobs? Why does it have to be this false choice, where job creation is presented to the public like a hostage inside a bank robbery. (Imagery comparison intended)

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More on the pollution connection from natural-gas fracking

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Wells in Bradford County, Pa. have been found to contain pollution from a blowout at a natural gas drilling operation nearby.

The EPA did some testing and discovered polluted wells but it will predictably act slowly in response to the findings. After all, profit has to be the first priority – right? I mean. all those donations to politicians have to be taken into account, first and foremost.

Check out the smirk on this ExxonMobil geologist’s face as he talks about how safe and great natural gas fracking is. I can’t turn the TV on without seeing this ad.

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