Oklahoma’s Largest Earthquake Linked To Oil And Gas Industry Actions 3 Years Earlier

When the oil and gas industry abruptly changes the rate of wastewater injection at a disposal well, the shift in pressure can affect earthquake risk, a new study of the large earthquake that damaged Pawnee, Oklahoma, suggests. Credit: J. Berry Harrison III via News 9 Oklahoma

By Zahra Hirji for Inside Climate News – The strongest earthquake in Oklahoma’s history likely was caused by oil and gas operators injecting vastly increased amounts of toxic wastewater underground three years before it struck, a new study suggests. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed injection data from the most active disposal wells in the area where the 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit last September. They found that there had been a sudden and dramatic increase in the amount of wastewater injected in the first half of 2013 at some of the wells. That contributed “a fair amount of stress on the fault and would have accelerated the natural faulting process significantly,” said Andrew Barbour, a USGS geophysicist who led the study. The research was published Tuesday in a special edition of the journal Seismological Research Letters that focused on the earthquake, which struck the town of Pawnee on Sept. 3, damaging dozens of buildings. The findings expand on the growing consensus among scientists that the earthquake spike rattling America’s midsection is linked to the oil and gas drilling boom.

Millions Now At Risk From Oil And Gas-Related Earthquakes


By Zahra Hirji for Inside Climate News – The new forecast also identified high risk in two other areas where oil and gas wastewater disposal takes place: a small area in northern Kansas, as well as an area called Raton Basin along the Colorado-New Mexico border, which experienced two earthquakes above magnitude 4.0 last year. The researchers identified a new area of risk of man-made quakes, in western Texas, compared to last year. Meanwhile, the risk of damaging events in northern Texas largely disappeared compared to 2016. The USGS scientists said at the recent press conference that they did not know why this was the case and that Texas officials are studying the issue. The threat of man-made earthquakes tied to oil and gas activities extends to states excluded from the forecast. For example, researchers have identified likely man-made earthquakes in multiple areas of oil and gas development in California. And state officials in Pennsylvania last month announced a series of four small earthquakes observed in April 2016 that they say was linked to a nearby fracking pad.

Exxon Adviser Resigns Over Oil Giant’s ‘Targeted Attacks’ On NGOs

Sarah Labowitz, a co-director of New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, served on Exxon Mobil’s External Citizenship Advisory Panel since 2014.

By Chris D’Angelo for The Huffington Post – A research scholar at New York University has resigned from Exxon Mobil Corp.’s External Citizenship Advisory Panel, citing what she calls the oil giant’s “targeted attacks” on environmental groups under former CEO Rex Tillerson’s watch. In a letter this week to Exxon Mobil Foundation president Ben Soraci, Sarah Labowitz expressed her disgust with the company’s continued assault on organizations investigating whether Exxon covered up the risks of climate change. Labowitz, a co-founder and co-director of New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, told The Huffington Post that she has studied many companies facing serious public criticism, often in her field of human rights.

New Data Undermine Oil And Gas Industry’s Pipeline Safety Claims

A pipeline warning sign in Louisiana. (Photo by ilouque via Flickr.)

By Sue Sturgis for Facing South – In the debate over construction of new oil and gas pipelines, industry representatives have long argued that pipelines are safer than other methods for moving fossil fuels over long distances. Take for example the recent statement a spokesperson for the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana — a project spearheaded by Energy Transfer Partners, the same Dallas-based company behind the highly contentious Dakota Access Pipeline — made to The Advocate of Baton Rouge. The Bayou Bridge Pipeline would carry oil from a terminal in Nederland, Texas, across South Louisiana to refineries and export terminals near New Orleans.

Movement Gears Up To Stop Trump’s DAPL Pipeline

Actress Shailene Woodley, fourth from right to right, Riley Keough the eldest grandchild of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, actress Susan Sarandon and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe member Bobbi Jean Three Lakes, right, participate in a rally outside the US District Court in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers to protect their water and land from the Dakota Access Pipeline.

By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed executive orders advancing the controversial Keystone XL (KXL) and Dakota Access (DAPL) pipelines, prompting a tsunami of outrage and vows of bold resistance from the Indigenous activists, climate campaigners, and countless others who have fought against these projects. The Associated Press confirmed the orders had been signed after earlier reports citing anonymous officials indicated they were in the works. Many environmental groups who fiercely fought against both projects were quick to condemn the move, declaring, as 350.org did, “We have no alternative but to resist.”Progressive lawmakers and climate groups echoed that promise, issuing a chorus of statements condemning the president for “putting the profits of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the future of the planet.”

California City Wins $22 Million Against Shell Oil Over Toxic Drinking Water

The city of Clovis won its more than three-month-long civil trial against the chemical manufacturing giant Shell Oil Co. over the cleanup of a toxic chemical found in drinking-water wells around the city of 108,000 people. MARK CROSSE Fresno Bee file

By Andrea Castillo for McClatchy DC – The city of Clovis won its more than three-month-long civil trial against chemical manufacturing giant Shell Oil Co. over the cleanup of a toxic chemical found in drinking-water wells around the city of 108,000 people. The chemical is 1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, which is a waste product from making plastic. TCP was in farm fumigants last used in the 1980s, which were injected into the ground to kill tiny worms called nematodes. A jury on Wednesday awarded the city nearly $22 million, finding that Clovis residents were harmed by the design of the fumigant, that Shell did not prove the benefits of its product outweighed the risks, and that those risks were known at the time it was sold.

International Implications Of Trudeau's Kinder Morgan Pipeline Approval

courtesy of Abdallahh on Flickr under creative commons

By Kevin Grandia for Desmog Blog – Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision this week to approve a major expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline has negative implications that go well beyond the borders of the Great White North. Canada is currently the largest supplier of oil to the United States. We export more oil to the US than Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico combined. We are a secure, stable and reliable trading partner with the US for a product that can make or break their economy. Right now, Canada has almost zero ability to transport its oil to anywhere other than the United States.

How To Fight Big Oil: Join Your Neighbors

By Joe Brusky / Flickr.

By Sarah van Gelder for Yes Magazine – The last few weeks and months have seen major victories for communities resisting oil trains, coal terminals, pipelines, and strip mines. This is big news at a time of an out-of-control climate crisis—this July and August tied as the hottest months ever recorded. Could these stories represent our best shot at taking on the giant corporations and banks that are trying to build new fossil fuel projects at a time when we need to be phasing out carbon-based fuels?

Joining Trend, NY Suspends Review Of Oil Train Terminal Permit

New York regulators have suspended the application of a major oil-by-rail terminal project pending review of potential environmental, health and climate change impacts. Credit: STEEVE DUGUAY/AFP/Getty Images

By Zahra Hirji for Inside Climate News – New York environmental regulators have suspended their review of two proposals to renew and expand operations at a Port of Albany oil terminal until Global Partners LP addresses a laundry list of concerns over environmental, public health, safety and climate change. Officials at the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) told the company in a letter on Sept. 16 it has three months to provide plans for the following…

Pipeline Leaks 250,000 Gallons, Causing States Of Emergency In Alabama And Georgia


By Alejandro Dávila Fragoso for Think Progress – A pipeline leak of at least 250,000 gallons of gasoline in a rural Alabama county is expected to affect fuel prices in the coming days across multiple southern states and the East Coast. The leak already prompted two states of emergency Thursday stemming from fuel shortage concerns. The oil leak was first discovered a week ago in rural Shelby County — just southeast of Birmingham, Alabama.

#NoDAPL Water Protectors Attacked By Dogs & Pepper Spray


By Indian Country Today Media Network. North Dakota – A group of nearly 100 people crossed onto private land to stop bulldozers that were clearing land for the Dakota Access pipeline on September 1. Construction was shut down for the day on Saturday as private security guards from Dakota Access LLC arrived with barking guard dogs to push back the crowd of water protectors, including women, children and horses. It was reported that company security guards used pepper spray in addition to canine units. In a statement released in a live-stream on Facebook, Red Warrior Camp leaders said that at about 3pm on Saturday September 3, “water protectors successfully stopped pipeline construction as it reached Hwy. 1806 through nonviolent direct action and mass assembly.”

Northwest Tribes Band Together To Stop Oil-by-Rail

Solidarity with Quinault Nation in Hoquiam, Washington on July 8, 2016. Photo by John Duffy / Flickr.

By Ralph Schwartz for Yes Magazine – There’s no such thing as a good place for an oil-train derailment, but this year’s June 3 spill outside Mosier, Oregon, could have been worse if the 16 oil cars had derailed and caught fire even a few hundred feet in either direction. The derailment was just far enough away from populated areas, including a nearby school and mobile home park, that no injuries resulted, and the amount of oil that spilled into the river was limited. If it had happened another mile-and-a-half down the tracks, the damaged tank cars would have tumbled directly into the Columbia river during the peak of the spring Chinook salmon run.

Call On Congress To End $4 Billion Annual Oil Industry Subsidies


By Sharon Kelly for Desmog – In an open letter sent to Congress today, a coalition of 40 national taxpayer, labor, environmental and other groups called on the federal government to repeal almost $4 billion in annual tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, calling them wasteful and lambasting Congress for subsidizing activities that will make climate change worse. The groups called on Senators to support the FAIR Energy Policy Act, which would slowly phase out nine special tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry.

Newsletter: Making Protest Personal; Take It To Their Homes

BXE protest at Norman Bey home by Jimmy Betts

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Protests at homes of public officials and corporate CEOs is a common tactic used widely because it can be very effective. The response of Barrasso shows it is working and should continue. As Saul Alinsky, author or Rules for Radicals, pointed out “any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical.” Such protests have to be nonviolent and conducted in a way that does not inconvenience neighbors but educates them about why the protest is occurring. These tactics seek to personalize the issue, to make it less abstract than a federal agency. The campaign should keep their focus on the people responsible, not let up, continue to escalate and make the person isolated and unpopular. The goal is to maintain constant, escalating pressure so the official pays a heavy personal price for their actions.

Putting Class Back In Class Warfare

JOhn Sellers Disobey

By Inequality.org, You have probably seen the work of the Other 98%, but you may not have known who was behind it. Flash mobs at the Target store, guerilla projections at Koch brothers meetings, marching against the Tea Party. Their social media posts and info-graphics, video animations and creative direct actions abound our internet feeds.John Sellers One of the sparks behind this movement is veteran organizer John Sellers. Sellers got his start working with Greenpeace, climbing buildings, hanging banners, and sailing the high seas. Later he co-founded the Ruckus Society, teaching creative direct action skills to campaigners from around the world. Lately, he’s been organizing the “Kayaktivist” protests in the Pacific Northwest against Shell Oil’s arctic drilling. He is co-founder of the Other 98%, a social media and creative action powerhouse with the goal of “Kicking Greedy Corporate Asses for the Harder Working Classes.”