British censorship on criticizing fracking overturned


Greenpeace anti-fracking ad banned

By Sofia Lotto Persio in Britain:

Ban on anti-fracking ad overturned

Thursday 22nd September 2016

Greenpeace celebrates as ban lifted

GREENPEACE celebrated yesterday as a ban on a campaign advert claiming that fracking would not cut energy bills was overturned.

The environmental campaigners had put out an ad in January last year urging people to sign a petition against fracking for shale gas, claiming it “threatens our climate, our countryside and our water. Yet experts agree — it won’t cut our energy bills.”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) originally banned the ad following a complaint by pro-fracking peer Lord Lipsey due to “significant division of informed opinion on the issue.”

Baron Lipsey is a Blairite on the far right of the Labour party, who used to be a Murdoch press journalist.

Has the noble Lord Lipsey ever complained about untrue advertising by any multinational corporation?

Has the Advertising Standards Authority ever banned the misleadingly green logo of the British Petroleum polluters?

Has any Big Tobacco fat cat ever been punished for advertisements falsely claiming that smoking is supposedly healthy?

If there was a Guinness Book of Records for the most absurd rulings ever issued, the UK advertising watchdog’s decision to ban a Greenpeace anti-fracking ad would surely be given pride of place in the 2015 edition: here.

However it has now reversed the decision following an appeal from Greenpeace, conceding that experts, including those from the UK Energy Research Centre and from the government, believe that “a meaningful reduction in domestic energy bills was highly unlikely and/or was limited to a small number of potential scenarios.”

“We therefore considered the claim as it was likely to be interpreted by readers had been substantiated and was not materially misleading,” ASA ruled.

Greenpeace fracking campaigner Hannah Martin said: “As the government desperately resorts to offering cash bribes to shore up support for this controversial industry, this decision will be a reminder that the benefits of fracking are, at best, uncertain whilst the side-effects are stark.”

She also called on Prime Minister Theresa May to reverse policies that had harmed the renewable energy sector and back those technologies.

Ms May announced on Tuesday that Britain will ratify the Paris agreement on climate change before the end of the year, committing the country to limit the increase in global average temperature to 1.5°C.

Her predecessor David Cameron was an enthusiastic supporter of fracking, saying it would boost energy security, create jobs and cut energy prices, while anti-fracking activists are worried about its effects on people’s health and the environment.

One of the areas at risk of fracking is Lancashire, where the local council denied an energy firm permission to frack in the area.

The decision may be overturned by Westminster on appeal, so a local group of anti-fracking mothers and grandmothers calling themselves Nanashire have pleaded to the Queen to keep Britain frack-free.

“It has to do with protecting our youth,” Tina Rothery from Nanashire said.

They will be demonstrating at the Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace [in London] on September 27.

UK advertising watchdog admits it was wrong to ban Greenpeace fracking advert: here.

Support Native American anti-fracking pipeline action, petition


This video from the USA says about itself:

Native Woman Bitten By Dogs DEBUNKS Media Falsehoods

8 September 2016

How to help: here.

TYT Politics Reporter Jordan Chariton spoke with Ta’Sina Sapa Win, a water protector who was bitten by private security attack dogs during a #NoDAPL protest a few days earlier. She discussed the biased media coverage surrounding the protests, as well as what the Dakota Pipeline would do to her people and the environment.

Standing Rock protest grows with thousands opposing North Dakota pipeline. People from across North America join fight that tribal leader says is ‘not going to end any time soon’: here.

From Our Revolution, Bernie Sanders‘ movement in the USA today:

A pipeline for fracked oil that would go from North Dakota to Illinois must be stopped. Bernie Sanders issued a call to action to stand with activists who are fighting the Dakota Access pipeline.

Will you add your name to stop this pipeline?

I AGREE!
Stop this Pipeline

An oil company is trying to build a pipeline for fracked oil all the way from North Dakota to Illinois. It would carry some of the dirtiest oil on the planet and present a tremendous threat to our planet’s fight against climate change.

It’s called the Dakota Access pipeline, and it must be stopped.

Activists led by farmers and Native American tribal nations are fighting the pipeline with both grassroots activism and legal tools. Bernie Sanders issued this call to action to support their work:

“The major global crisis facing our planet today is climate change. The vast majority of scientists tell us that climate change is real, it is caused by humans and it is already causing devastating problems. They say that if we do not aggressively transition our energy system away from fossil fuels toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy, the planet we leave our children will be a much less habitable place.

“Like the Keystone XL pipeline, which I opposed since day one, the Dakota Access fracked oil pipeline will transport some of the dirtiest fuel on the planet. Regardless of the court’s decision, the Dakota Access pipeline must be stopped. As a nation, our job is to break our addiction to fossil fuels, not increase our dependence on oil. I join with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many tribal nations fighting this dangerous pipeline.”

When people stand together, we can defeat the greed of the biggest fossil fuel companies. That’s why today we’re asking you to stand with the activists, farmers, and tribal nations opposing the Dakota Access pipeline.

Add your name to say you oppose the construction of this fracked oil pipeline.

Something shocking happened this weekend to the Lakota and Sioux activists who have been protesting the pipeline in North Dakota. The private security firm hired by the pipeline company attacked the activists with dogs and pepper spray.

This is a dangerous escalation by a company that is apparently so desperate to build its $3.6 billion pipeline for fracked oil it would attack peaceful activists.

Because the pipeline would go through their land, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other nations have been leading prayer protests for months. Farmers and activists in the way of the pipeline have fought the oil company too.

But it’s incumbent on all of us to stand up to this pipeline. For the tribal nations who would have their lands endangered, for the farmers and residents who would have their water threatened, and for all of us who need to fight the effects of climate change.

The good news is that we can win: just this week, another pipeline that would move dirty oil was canceled after months of pressure from activists. Now we must stop this one too.

The first step you can take is to speak out and say you oppose the Dakota Access pipeline and stand with the activists trying to stop it.

Say you stand with activists who oppose the Dakota Access pipeline for fracked oil. Add your name now and help stop this pipeline.

When we all stand up to big corporations who want to profit off climate change, we can win. Thanks for taking action.

In solidarity,

Jeff Weaver
Our Revolution

Fracking and earthquake in Oklahoma, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Fracking Blamed For 5.6 Earthquake In Oklahoma

4 September 2016

Five months before Saturday’s 5.6 magnitude temblor in central Oklahoma, government scientists warned that oil and natural gas drilling had made a wide swath of the country more susceptible to earthquakes: here.

Oklahoma shuts down fracking water wells after quake rattles Dallas to Dakotas: here.

Wastewater cap could dunk Oklahoma quake risk. Rising volume of underground injections had caused seismic activity to skyrocket. By Thomas Sumner, 2:36pm, November 30, 2016: here.

Anti-fracking march at US Democratic party convention tomorrow


This video from the USA says about itself:

Sandra Steingraber Will Join the March for a Clean Energy Revolution at the DNC in Philly, July 24

23 June 2016

Sandra Steingraber, noted biologist, author, activist and science advisor to the Americans Against Fracking coalition, explains why she’ll be at the March for a Clean Energy Revolution at the Democratic National Convention. July 24, Philadelphia City Hall, 12 pm. Join Sandra in Philly and be a part of the #CleanEnergyRevolution! Learn more at CleanEnergyMarch.org.

See also here.

Wikileaks emails: Democratic officials ‘plotted to expose Bernie Sanders‘ as an atheist. The details were revealed in one of almost 20,000 emails published by Wikileaks: here.

The Democratic party is engulfed in controversy on the eve of its convention after a “furious” Bernie Sanders demanded someone be held accountable for an apparent plot by officials to smear him and promote his rival, Hillary Clinton: here.

Sanders Calls DNC Leak ‘Outrageous,’ Calls For New DNC Chair. The leak showed Democratic officials strategizing how to undercut Sanders’ presidential campaign: here.

Save #BearsEars National Monument proposal from drilling & offroad abuse: here.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and fracking in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Vs. Hillary: Who Will Stop the Fracking?

10 March 2016

Fracking causes water contamination, Bernie Sanders says “no” to fracking, Steve Horn of DeSmogblog.org says, Hillary has received over 4.5 million in campaign funds from the fossil fuel sector and that stops her from pulling the plug on fracking.

UNDERSTANDING HOW DIRE THE LOW DEMOCRATIC VOTER TURNOUT NUMBERS ARE. Basically, unless they’re “feeling the Bern,” they’re not showing up in droves. [Zach Carter, HuffPost]

UK support for fracking hits new low. Just 19% of people back fracking while public support for renewables has surged to 81%, government poll shows: here.

Anti-fracking protest in Manchester, England


This video from England says about itself:

6 October 2015

Anti-Fracking Nanas – Frack Free Lancashire – Manchester Anti-Austerity ProtestTory Party Conference

By Steve Sweeney in Manchester:

Climate activists rally for change

Thursday 8th October 2015

ACTIVISTS across Britain joined a No to Fracking! Save our Solar! protest at the Tory Party conference yesterday.

The rally, which was timed during Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech, was held as the Tory conference drew to a close.

They chanted: “David Cameron hear us say — fracking no way” as drums, whistles and sirens accompanied them in a noisy protest.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Aaron Kiely said it was an “incredible achievement” that anti-frackers have managed to keep the country “frack-free” for four years — despite government plans to fast-track its introduction.

Fracking is dirty, dangerous and threatens our communities,” he told the crowd.

“We need climate jobs. The government has cut support for solar energy which has cost 20,000 jobs.

“This is clearly not the right thing. We need investment in green industry.”

Addressing the rally, Campaign Against Climate Change’s Martin Empson said that the Tories think that the free market will solve climate change “but what the free market really brings you is Volkswagen.

“We don’t want to be left to the mercy of the free market, we want state intervention, investment in green jobs and eco-friendly homes.”

He went on to stress the importance of keeping up the pressure and building a mass movement of ordinary people to be part of a European climate protest in Paris scheduled for November.

New South African film about fracking


This video from South Africa says about itself:

Unearthed: Official Trailer

5 June 2014

Unearthed, an independent South African feature documentary, investigates fracking in the United States – the technology’s place of origin – in order to understand what this new method of gas extraction could mean for the semi-arid Karoo and other countries who are considering its implementation.

This film by Jolynn Minnaar, born in the Karoo, is about Shell plans for fracking in the Karoo.

Unearthed won the Best South African Film Audience Award; and other awards.

Britain: Taxpayers to fund hundreds of fracking boreholes across the country. Drilling of holes to monitor ground movement and water pollution slammed as an attempt to dupe public over shale gas safety: here.

Britain: Fracking risk compared to thalidomide and asbestos in Walport report. Historic innovations that have been adopted too hastily with grave unforeseen impacts provide cautionary examples for potential side effects of fracking, says report by government’s chief scientist Mark Walport: here.

GOV. CUOMO BANS FRACKING IN NEW YORK Citing health reasons, Governor Andrew Cuomo put a statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, which is more commonly known as fracking. [NYT]

PROTESTS against efforts to exploit shale gas reserves spread from remote and sparsely populated southern Algeria, where they began at the weekend, to the regional capital Tamanrasset today: here.

USA: WATCH: Nebraska farmer silences oil and gas committee with invitation to drink water tainted by fracking: here.

Shell fracking threatens Argentinean wildlife


This is a video of Friends of the Earth in the Netherlands, about fracking by Shell corporation in a nature reserve in Patagonia, Argentina.

Translated from Friends of the Earth in the Netherlands:

Shell wants to do fracking, even in pristine Patagonia

May 17, 2014

Despite billions of dollars in losses on their current shale gas program in the U.S., Shell is keeping its blinders on. The company now even wants to drill for shale gas in a national park in the south of Argentina. It is an area with unique plants and animals, where small-scale goat farmers make a living in the arid steppe. Also this is an area where the original inhabitants of Argentina, the Mapuche, are still trying to live like their ancestors. Friends of the Earth went to investigate and found that Shell in Argentina is playing fast and loose with the environmental rules.

Shell are fracking in an area which has been declared by the rangers to be a specially protected area. Friends of the Earth also found an abandoned container with waste water at an abandoned drilling site – a major risk to condors and other birds, which may mistake the toxic water for potable fresh water.

Heavy tank trucks and choked vegetation

Friends of the Earth has visited the area this month, and spoke with residents who increasingly suffer from the activities of major oil and gas companies. Increasingly, vegetation is cleared for the construction of roads and drilling locations. Heavy tankers drive back and forth to the wells, causing major dust problems. This smothers vegetation, the food for their goats. For local farmers it is increasingly difficult to provide food for their herds, but they are not offered any compensation.

We have guests next week from Argentina who visit to talk about their opposition to drilling in the Netherlands and their experiences with Shell. This will include them speaking at a public meeting about resistance against fracking in Eindhoven on Wednesday [21 May 2014].

Fracking for shale gas in a drought prone national park

Later tonight the TV current affairs program Eén Vandaag will show images of Shell‘s fracking drilling in Patagonia. We also filmed ourselves – and have put a short selection in the video. Coming soon with more pictures ( ! )

The technique which allows Shell to drill for shale gas brings a lot of additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It is not only CO2, but also the much more potent methane. If Shell would like to export shale gas from Patagonia to major markets, such as Asia or Europe, then it must also be converted to liquefied natural gas (LNG) – in which Shell is investing eg in Nigeria. The conversion to LNG makes the CO2 intensity of fossil fuel again considerably larger .

This not only increases the environmental impact significantly, but also the financial risks relating to such investments. The former chief executive of Shell called the multi-billion investment in U.S. shale gas the biggest mistake of the company.

See also here.

This is a video from Argentina about this nature reserve, Auca Mahuida; and the fracking there.

Its wildlife includes Pampas cats.

This is a Pampas cat video.

The new report is called Heading south – The dash for unconventional fossil fuels in Argentina.

These 6 indigenous women in Argentina have put their bodies on the line to stop fracking: here.

New Report: Offshore Fracking Threatens California’s Ocean, Air, Seismic Safety. 10 Widely Used Fracking Chemicals Endanger Marine Life, Analysis Finds: here.

Wildlife in Argentina and Chile: here.

Kentucky fracked fish, not Kentucky Fried Chicken


This video from the USA says about itself:

Fracking Spill Likely Caused Death of Kentucky Fish

NewsyScience

29 Aug 2013

A study released Wednesday found a fracking fluid spill likely caused widespread death of fish in a Kentucky stream.

From Reuters:

Spilled Fracking Fluid Likely Killed Kentucky Fish

(Reuters) – Hydraulic fracturing fluids that spilled into a Kentucky creek in 2007 likely caused “widespread death or distress” to fish, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has revitalized U.S. oil and gas production in recent years but also prompted charges that it damages the environment, causes minor earthquakes and contaminates drinking water.

The USGS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated a study of Acorn Fork, a small Appalachian creek in southeastern Kentucky, following a release of fracking fluids from nearby natural gas wells in 2007 and after a local resident complained that fish had been dying.

“Hydraulic fracturing fluids are believed to be the cause of the widespread death or distress of aquatic species in Kentucky’s Acorn Fork … ,” the agency said in a statement dated Aug 28.

The fish in question were the blackside dace, which is on a federal list of threatened species, and the more common creek chub and green sunfish.

(Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)

This video from the USA says about itself:

Blackside Dace at CFI 2011

These incredible little minnows have just about reached peak spawning condition! Blackside dace, Chrosomus (formerly Phoxinus) cumberlandensis, are found in small streams tributary to the Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky. Many of these streams are heavily impacted by coal mining! These and many other species of minnows often spawn in association with larger, nest-building fishes like stonerollers and larger chubs. Notice, we have a male stoneroller in with these to perhaps help stimulate spawning. We have also constructed a “chub nest” of pebbles for them to spawn over.

Fracking lifetime gag order for Pennsylvania children


This video from the USA is called Stephanie Hallowich discusses water issues due to hydraulic fracturing.

By Philip Guelpa in the USA:

Gas drilling company imposes lifetime gag order on Pennsylvania children

8 August 2013

Two children, ages 7 and 10, were barred from publicly discussing the health effects of hydrofracking, as part of a 2011 settlement made between their parents and an oil drilling company, according to a court transcript made public last week.

The transcripts clearly showed that the children’s’ parents, Stephanie and Chris Hallowich, believed they signed an agreement binding their children never to speak about the case or hydraulic fracturing, because they said they needed to settle with the drilling company, which was poisoning the local water supply, in order to move their children out of the area.

The Hallowich family brought legal action against Range Resources, a major gas drilling company, for polluting their domestic water supply as a result of the company’s use of hydraulic fracturing near their home to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation, which underlies a large portion of Pennsylvania and adjacent states.

Mr. and Mrs. Hallowich said that the pollution, emanating from four wells, gas compressor stations and a 3-acre wastewater impoundment adjacent to their 10-acre farm, was making the family sick, but they were financially unable to leave their home. Increasingly desperate to escape the poisonous environment in which they were living, the parents ultimately agreed to a settlement with the company, which included an order preventing their children from speaking on the issue of fracking.

According to the court records, Peter Villari, the Hallowich’s lawyer, asked them, “You both understand and accept that as written the settlement agreement may apply to your children’s First Amendment rights as well?,” to which Mrs. Hallowich replied, “Yes.”

Villari continued, “And you accept that because you, as adults and as legal guardians and parents of these children, are accepting these terms and conditions because you believe it is in the best interests of not only them but your family?,” to which Mr. Hallowich replied, “Yes, and health reasons. We needed to do this in order to get them out of this situation.”

Drilling companies typically seek to silence claims that their activities have caused health injuries to local residents through a combination of intimidation and cash settlements, which typically include confidentiality agreements that prevent the injured parties from speaking publicly.

In this way the drilling companies seek to suppress public disclosure of the true extent of health problems caused by fracking at relatively minor cost, allowing them to publicly maintain the claim that the extraction of gas by hydraulic fracturing is safe.

The Hallowich case is the first reported instance in which not only the adults, but the under-age members of the family as well are subject to a gag order, and sets yet another precedent for the destruction of democratic rights by corporations.

The family’s lawyer told the judge, “I, frankly, your Honor, as an attorney, to be honest with you, I don’t know if that’s possible that you can give up the First Amendment rights of a child.” He said that his research had turned up no examples of prior cases in which gag orders were imposed on children.

Federal and state governments have also gone to great lengths to support the energy industry and minimize public knowledge of the health dangers of fracking. For example, in 2012, under Pennsylvania’s right-wing Republican governor, Tom Corbett, a major promoter of hydrofracking, the state legislature passed a law which, in effect, is a gag order against the entire medical profession in the state.

The law allows doctors to ask companies carrying out hydrofracking activities to provide them with lists of the chemicals being used in order to diagnose individual poisoning cases, but requires that they sign confidentiality agreements that would effectively prevent doctors from sharing such information with their colleagues. This, renders difficult if not impossible epidemiological studies which could identify patterns of disease related to fracking.

Although Range Resources has subsequently made statements suggesting that the gag order is not legally binding on the children, the legal settlement agreement has not been altered, and stands as a precedent which corporations will seek to draw on in the future.

Vast swaths of Pennsylvania forests were clear-cut circa 1900 and regrowth has largely been from local native plant communities, but a team of researchers has found that invasive, non-native plants are making significant inroads with unconventional natural [shale] gas development: here.

California politicians have called on the US federal government to investigate hydraulic fracturing off the California coast, where new oil leases have been banned since 1969: here.

West Virginia landfills will accept unlimited amounts of often-radioactive fracking waste: here.

Fracking in Romania: An investigative journalism project on Romanian government’s shale gas agreements with Chevron: here.

Will fracking open #Africa to more #corruption? Here.

UK: Furious environmental campaigners have accused Prime Minister David Cameron of being “a cheerleader for the fracking industry” after he urged the public to get behind the controversial gas-extraction process: here.

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — U.S. oil company Chevron has suspended exploration for shale gas in northeastern Romania after hundreds of anti-fracking protesters tore down fences: here.

Shaken by “frackquakes,” Texans demand halt to wastewater wells: here.

Exxon CEO comes out against fracking project because it will affect his property values: here.