Engage ACT OUT! - How Low Will Fracking Go + If You Don’t Like Antifa, Watch This

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By Eleanor Goldfield for Occupy – This week on Act Out! we head to Camp White Pine to get you an update on the latest in the fight against the Mariner East 2 Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners. Elise Gerhart breaks down the recent hold on construction as we show you the criss-cross of pipelines already surrounding the Gerhart property – not to mention the entire state of Pennsylvania. With the help of FracTracker, we outline the dangers of existing and proposed pipelines due to the highly combustible nature of the gases carried in liquid form by these toxic pipelines. The real lowdown comes from an unbelievable ploy by ETP to smear and spread lies about pipeline resisters. In the case of fighting pipelines, truth really is stranger than fiction. Next up, we don’t have to see eye-to-eye, but in the wake of fascism’s rise, we DO need to agree on one basic thing. Hold your comments till the end and let’s just see if we can find some common ground in the midst of this divide and conquer storm. As long as we’re mutually against fascism and the rise of horrendous racism, bigotry and white supremacy in this country, we CAN work together – indeed, we must.

NY's Fracking Ban Was Supposed To Set A Precedent -- But Gov. Cuomo Is Going Back On His Word

Anti-fracking protesters gather outside of the auditorium before New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives his fourth State of the State address on January 8, 2014, in Albany, New York. (Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

By Ellen Cantarow and Dennis Higgins for Truthout – New York banned high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) two years ago, in a victory for persistent anti-fracking activists and a potential precedent for other states. Now, however, the state is poised to begin operating a power plant that will make fracking infrastructure fully operational throughout the state, completely undermining the ban. The $900 million power plant planned by Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) in Orange County, New York, requires permits for only two short pipelines before it may begin operating. CPV will be among the largest of New York’s nearly 500 gas- and oil-fired power plants. Like more than half of currently proposed electricity generation in the state, this power plant will burn fracked gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. Opponents charge that the plant is not needed and serves only to further push a warming world to the tipping point of climate-change catastrophe. On October 8, 2015, speaking with former Vice President Al Gore, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent in the next 13 years, but climate scientists and engineers tell us CPV will emit 7 million tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent pollution annually and add a full 10 percent from power generation to the state’s current greenhouse gas inventory.

Feds Back In Pa. ‘Gasland’ Town To Test Water, Air

This Feb. 13, 2012, file photo shows a Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. wellhead in Dimock, Pa. Federal government scientists are collecting water and air samples in the first week of August 2017 from about 25 homes in Dimock, Pa., a tiny, rural crossroads about 150 miles north of Philadelphia that became a flashpoint in the national debate over fracking, to investigate ongoing complaints about the quality of the drinking water. Associated Press

By Michael Rubinkam for The Sentinel – The federal government has returned to a Pennsylvania village that became a flashpoint in the national debate over fracking to investigate ongoing complaints about the quality of the drinking water. Government scientists are collecting water and air samples this week from about 25 homes in Dimock, a tiny crossroads about 150 miles north of Philadelphia. “Residents have continued to raise concerns about natural gas activities impacting their private water well quality,” the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry said Thursday in a statement to The Associated Press. Dimock was the scene of the most highly publicized case of methane contamination to emerge from the early days of Pennsylvania’s natural-gas drilling boom. State regulators blamed faulty gas wells drilled by Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. for leaking combustible methane into Dimock’s groundwater. Cabot, one of the largest natural gas producers in the state, has consistently denied responsibility, saying methane was an issue in the groundwater long before it began drilling. The ATSDR, a federal public health agency, said Thursday that it is “conducting an exposure investigation to determine if there are drinking water quality issues that may continue to pose a health threat.”

Weekly Rally For A Safety Study For Cove Point

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By We Are Cove Point. June 24, 2017 was a turning point for We Are Cove Point. After years of meeting with legislators and state officials to ask for a safety study (known as a Quantitative Risk Assessment or QRA) on Virginia-based Dominion Energy’s fracking refinery, power plant and gas export terminal being built in Cove Point, we learned that the Governor “supports the project and will not order a safety study.” We believe it is possible for the Governor to support the project and have concerns about the health and safety of the thousands of families living close to Dominion’s facility. We can’t accept “no” as an answer because this is the first facility of its kind anywhere in the world to be placed in such a densely-populated area.

Oscar-Nominated Actor James Cromwell Speaks Out Before Jail Time For Peaceful Anti-Fracking Protest

A sign held at an anti-Enbridge protest in Vancouver. (Photo: travis blanston/flickr/cc)

By James Cromwell and Pramilla Malick for Democracy Now! – AMY GOODMAN: Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell is reporting to jail at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time today in upstate New York, after he was sentenced to a week behind bars for taking part in a nonviolent protest against a natural gas-fired power plant. Cromwell says he’ll also launch a hunger strike. He’s one of six activists arrested for blocking traffic at the sit-in outside the construction site of the 650-megawatt plant in Wawayanda, New York, upstate, December 2015. The activists say the plant would promote natural gas fracking in neighboring states and contribute to climate change. James Cromwell is well known for his roles in some 50 Hollywood films, nominated for an Oscar in Babe, as well as a number of TV series, including Six Feet Under. I spoke to him Thursday along with one of his co-defendants who’s going to jail today, as well, Pramilla Malick, founder of Protect Orange County, a community group leading the opposition to the fracked gas power plant. She ran in 2016 for New York state Senate. I began by asking James Cromwell about why he’s going to jail today. JAMES CROMWELL: We are, all of us, engaged in a struggle, not to protect a way of life, but to protect life itself. Our institutions are bankrupt. Our leaders are complicit. And the public is basically disillusioned and disenchanted with the entire process.

‘We’ve Made History’: Ireland Joins France, Germany And Bulgaria In Banning Fracking​

Hildegarde Naughton, TD for Galway West

By Lorraine Chow for Eco Watch – McLoughlin also issued a statement that mentioned the impact of fracking in the U.S.: This law will mean communities in the West and North West of Ireland will be safeguarded from the negative effects of hydraulic fracking. Counties such as Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Clare will no longer face negative effects like those seen in cities and towns in the United States, where many areas have now decided to implement similar bans to the one before us. If fracking was allowed to take place in Ireland and Northern Ireland it would pose significant threats to the air, water and the health and safety of individuals and communities here. Fracking must be seen as a serious public health and environmental concern for Ireland. Environmental group Friends of the Earth Ireland celebrated the bill’s passage. “A day to celebrate. A day for #ClimatePride. The Irish parliament has passed a law to #BanFracking.

Lancashire Councillors And Residents Lock-Down Fracking Site

Credit: Kristian Buus

By Staff of Relcaim the Power – At 03.00hrs, a group of residents arrived at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire, where the drilling rig is expected any day now, and blockaded the entrance, locking themselves to heavy objects and preventing any vehicles from entering the site. Lancashire County Councillor Gina Dowding, who is one of the councillors taking part in this direct action, stated: “It’s abundantly clear that when it comes to fracking, local councils have been rendered weak and helpless. I feel I need to be here with the community to say that we won’t roll over and accept this. We are putting our bodies on the line because our voices haven’t been heard.” Fylde Borough Councillor for Warton and Westby, Julie Brickles, stated: “I’m sometimes called the anti-fracking councillor. I strongly disagree with this: I’m the pro-community councillor and Westby is my community. Residents are rightly scared and we have now run out of options.”

Governor Hogan: Energy Profits More Important Than Maryland Lives

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By Popular Resistance. Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland let it be known last week that he supports the Dominion Energy fracked gas export terminal in southern Maryland and will not order a safety study to determine the risks to the community. The people of Lusby, Maryland and other communities near Cove Point along with their allies have entered a new phase of their campaign now that Hogan has essentially said — your lives are less important than Dominion’s profits. The failure to examine the risks of the Dominion fracked gas export terminal in a Qualitative Risk Assessment is the height of irresponsibility and shows that people of Maryland, especially those in rural areas, they cannot count on Governor Hogan to treat them fairly or protect their safety. Take action to urge Governor Hogan to order a risk assessment. Call his office at 410-974-3901 and join us at the rally in Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis, this Monday, June 3, 2017 at noon.

Governor Values Gas More Than Constituents' Lives

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By Margaret Flowers for We Are Cove Point. Lusby, Maryland – For the past year, residents of Cove Point and their allies have petitioned Governor Larry Hogan with a very reasonable request: order a safety study (officially known as a Quantitative Risk Assessment or QRA) for the gas refinery, power plant and export terminal that Dominion Energy, a Virginia-based corporation, is building in Cove Point. Thousands of petitions have been delivered to the Governor. A letter signed by 84 organizations was delivered. Residents spoke personally with the Governor at parades and other events and met with his staff to present the concerns. On June 20, due to the lack of response from the Governor’s office, a small delegation traveled to Annapolis yet again to request the safety study.

Anti-Fracking Movement Emerges To Halt Argentina’s Natural Gas Boom

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By Brandon Jordan for Waging Nonviolence – It was a hot day in Houston, Texas, on April 26, but that didn’t stop nearly 200 people — representing mainly the oil and gas industry — from filling the luxury hotel known as The Houstonian. While the menu included extravagant meals, such as steak wrapped in bacon with bourbon sauce, the real draw was Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, who had a simple message: “Come invest in Argentina.” Macri, who met with President Trump in Washington, D.C. the following day, is positioning his country as the next potential market for natural gas. Argentina boasts one of the world’s largest shale gas reservations called Vaca Muerta, or Dead Cow. While hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, began in the region in 2013, Macri’s government intends to bring in more investments and expand production. Not everyone in Argentina, however, agrees with the government’s plans. Just a day before the event, the province of Entre Rios, located about 900 miles northeast from Vaca Muerta, became the first province in the country to ban fracking. While the province is not known for any oil exploration, it was hailed as a symbolic victory. “The act was the result of a growth of information [on fracking] that we shared among different sectors of society,” explained Luis Lafferriere…

Residents Demand Dominion Stop Treating Them As A Sacrifice Zone

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By Donny Williams for We Are Cove Point. “I don’t know a lot about the existing permit.” Those words shocked the crowd gathered last night for Maryland Department of the Environment’s “informational meeting” regarding Dominion’s permit to dump an average of 45,000 gallons every day into the wetlands around Cove Point. Spoken by Marjorie Mewbourn, MDE’s project manager overseeing this permit application, this sentence summed up a lot about the amount of information our state regulators had or were able to share. MDE seemed nervous as it tried to give a presentation about this permit to a crowd of about 60, which overflowed the “Dominion Cove Point LNG” meeting room where it was held in the Prince Frederick library and had people sitting on tables or wherever they could find space. However, residents didn’t let MDE get very far.

Newspaper Owned By Fracking Billionaire Leaks Memo Calling Pipeline Opponents Potential “Terrorists”

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By Steve Horn for Desmog Blog – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a report titled, “Potential Domestic Terrorist Threats to Multi-State Diamond Pipeline Construction Project,” dated April 7 and first published by The Washington Examiner. The DHS field analysis report points to lessons from policing the Dakota Access pipeline, saying they can be applied to the ongoing controversy over the Diamond pipeline, which, when complete, will stretch from Cushing, Oklahoma to Memphis, Tennessee. While lacking “credible information” of such a potential threat, DHS concluded that “the most likely potential domestic terrorist threat to the Diamond Pipeline … is from environmental rights extremists motivated by resentment over perceived environmental destruction.” The Washington Examiner is owned by conservative billionaire Philip Anschutz, a former American Petroleum Institute board member. His company, Anschutz Exploration Corporation, is a major oil and gas driller involved in the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in states such as Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Frackers Nearly Destroyed Me, Join Me In Fighting Back

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By Maggie Henry for Beyond Extreme Energy. Fracking has destroyed my business and laid to waste everything my husband and I have worked our entire lives to build, our children’s inheritances, keep the farm going yet another generation? All destroyed! In the fall of 2014 I traveled to DC to take part in a week-long nonviolent blockade of FERC. I was one of about 80 people arrested that week, and I’ve continued to be active ever since. BXE has been a lifeline for me. Being associated with like-minded individuals around direct action nonviolent protest is just incredible! The support is emotionally healing in a way I find difficult to describe. I’m planning to be in DC again in a couple of weeks to take part in BXE’s April 26-29 convergence and actions.

‘We Are Not Free’ – Pennsylvania Sues Communities For Banning Frack Waste

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By Melissa A. Troutman for Public Herald – As an elected official, it is Stacy Long’s sworn duty to protect her constituents. As a resident, and now as a supervisor of Grant Township in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, she and her fellow citizens have taken bold steps to fight against government and industry who want to force oil and gas waste into their rural community. “This isn’t a game. We’re being threatened by a corporation with a history of permit violations, and that corporation wants to dump toxic frack wastewater into our Township,” Long told Public Herald last year. In 2015, Grant Township adopted the nation’s first municipal charter establishing a local bill of rights with help from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF).

Beyond Extreme Energy Call In Days To Stop FERC Appointments

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By Staff of Beyond Extreme Energy – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is a proven rubber stamp for fracked gas pipelines. In 30 years the FERC Commissioners have only rejected one pipeline project. Right now, FERC is operating without a Quorum – it only has 2 Commissioners, not the needed 3. Until a new FERC Commissioner is approved by the Senate, the agency cannot issue the Certificates needed to approve fracked gas pipelines, compressors or LNG exports subject to its jurisdiction. This means communities are in a rare moment of protection. We need Congress to keep FERC in this power vacuum until steps are taken to replace it with an agency that’s about a just transition off fossil fuels. Any time now, President Trump will nominate new commissioners for Senate consideration and confirmation. Help us call on Congress to stop or delay Trump’s nominations, and to push for what we really need—a new agency dedicated to facilitating a just transition to an exploitation-free energy system based on locally controlled and distributed renewable sources.