ICYMI: Important News Stories from the Last Few Weeks

October 16, 2014 –

From time to time, we’ll bring you important news stories, new reports, and other relevant information about irresponsible oil and gas development locally, regionally, and nationally. Here’s the latest:

DeSmogBlog – Confirmed: California Aquifers Contaminated With Billions Of Gallons of Fracking Wastewater
Nine injection wells–used to dispose of fracking waste water–pumped nearly 3 billion gallons of tainted water into an aquifer used for drinking and irrigation water.  “[H]alf of the water samples collected at the 8 water supply wells tested near the injection sites have high levels of dangerous chemicals such as arsenic, a known carcinogen that can also weaken the human immune system, and thallium, a toxin used in rat poison.”   READ MORE

EcoWatch – Scientists Say Fracking Will Not Lead to Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions
“The argument that fracking can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is misguided, according to an international scientific study, because the amount of extra fossil fuel it will produce will cancel out the benefits of its lower pollution content.”  READ MORE

NPR – In Texas, Traffic Deaths Climb Amid Fracking Boom
“The death toll on Texas highways had been falling for decades, as car companies built safer vehicles. But that trend shifted into reverse as the boom in fracking began to heat up.”   READ MORE

New Report – Analysis Shows that Oil & Gas industry has Access to Nearly 90% of Federally Managed Land
“An analysis of public lands management plans across western states shows the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is favoring oil and gas development over other legally mandated uses of our shared lands. Nearly 90% of lands being managed by the BLM are open for leasing under Resource Management Plans with only 10% available to be managed for recreation, wilderness, conservation, and cultural and historic values.”  READ MORE

Bloomberg  Drillers Piling Up More Debt Than Oil Hunting Fortunes in Shale
Bad investments in oil and gas: for public health, for the environment, and sometimes for shareholders, too.  “Companies are paying a steep price for the gains. Like Halcon, most are spending money faster than they make it, an average of $1.17 for every dollar earned in the 12 months ended on June 30.”  READ MORE

High Country News – Extreme Makeover, the BLM Episode
“No,  Planning 2.0 is not outdated tax software for your 1998 dinosaur of a PC. It’s the Bureau of Land Management’s attempt to add sanity, balance and nimbleness to the unwieldy and time-consuming process…”   READ MORE

Mother Jones – Halliburton Fracking Spill Mystery: What Chemicals Polluted an Ohio Waterway?
“On the morning of June 28, a fire broke out at a Halliburton fracking site in Monroe County, Ohio. As flames engulfed the area, trucks began exploding and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals spilled into a tributary of the Ohio River, which supplies drinking water for millions of residents. More than 70,000 fish died. Nevertheless, it took five days for the Environmental Protection Agency and its Ohio counterpart to get a full list of the chemicals polluting the waterway. ‘We knew there was something toxic in the water,’ says an environmental official who was on the scene. ‘But we had no way of assessing whether it was a threat to human health or how best to protect the public.'”  READ MORE

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