New Fracking Bill being introduced will eliminate hazardous chemicals loophole.

                   As any normal person knows Fracking is very contreversial. Fracking is well known for polluting natural water and land areas. There are at least 23 known carcinogens used in the Fracking process and 5% of all wells fail immediately. The failure is caused by a leak in the concrete. The Natural Gas Drilling Industry refuses to recognize any of this. They are also not required to list the chemicals used because of an exemption in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa) and U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Ca.) introduced a bill to end the chemical exemption. The Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion Regulations Act (CLEANER) takes aim at eliminating the hazardous waste exemption. The Bill currently has 43 co-sponsors, all Democrats. The Bill faces an uphill battle because of the Republican majority in the House.

The RCRA was amended to exempt waste from the production and development of oil, natural gas and geothermal waste. This has allowed the Fracking Industry to run amuck. They have destroyed whole habitats, as well as families drinking water in everyone of the 34 states they are currently drilling in. Republicans have defended the Natural Gas Drilling Industry high and low. They have gone so far as trying to remove the Federal EPA from their state. They have knowingly lied to the press, releasing contaminated water tests to homeowners and telling the press that there was no pollution.

The industry has spent millions of dollars on lobbying. Governor Tom Corbett (R-Pa) has recieved about $1.5 million dollars from the Natural Gas Drilling Industry. When a lawmaker recieves that much money from an industry, how can they be expected to make the correct decisions for the people. I thought it was illegal to recieve money from a business that you would make legislation for. Conflict of Interest. But for now the Fracking Industry has a free pass to pollute our water and destroy our environment. It is good knowing someone is trying to hold them accountable.

This isn’t my grandparents America.

                 Our grandparents would not recognize the America we live in. The Government has let the people down now more than ever. Fracking is causing pollution to water and air across the country and Natural Gas Drillers are not being held responsible.

Because of an exemption in the Clean Water Act, Natural Gas Drilling Companies don’t have to report the chemicals they use. The Federal EPA does not control what happens in states, that is left mainly to the states EPA. Across the country the EPA was pressured to stop their investigations. Corporate money has shown its true hold on our government in the Fracking issue.

President Obama, who I am an ardent supporter of has done nothing for these Americans who are suffering. Democrats have done little more and Republicans share more of the guilt than any party. The lack of action from the Obama administration really bothers me. I know Democrats are not perfect, I have said so on many occasions. But this is an issue they should be perfect on. To let a government agency like the EPA be shutdown by corporate interests is inherently wrong.

The people have lost their voice in many cases. We lost it to lobbyist throwing money at Legislators and then pulling their puppet strings. The people don’t control our government, large entities like the Koch Brothers, ALEC, NRA and Exxon Mobile seem to control our everyday life. The Supreme Court exacerbated this problem with their Citizens United decisions. Corporations have the rights of people, but don’t get punished like the people when they break the law. The corporations have had their thumb on our head long enough. It is time for this to change.

Governor Corbett has to defend another pro-business law.

                Governor Tom Corbett is yet again defending another of his Bills. Several of his Bills, which helped make up his conservative agenda, have been found unconstitutional or dismissed by the Commonwealth Court. This time it is his Gas Royalty Bill. Another pro-business Bill from a man who refuses to tax Natural Gas Drilling Companies and gave businesses another $310 million tax break in his new budget. While at the same time cutting funds from Education and Health Care.

Critics of the Bill contend that it undermines landowners negotiating rights. It gives an unfair advantage to Natural Gas Drilling Companies. Many landowners in Pennsylvania have negotiated drilling contracts so companies can get at the Marcellus Shale.

The Bill enjoyed overwhelming support from the Republicans who control the Pennsylvania legislature. Democrats fought against, but like many issues they have fought against the Republican majority will dismiss Constitutional rules to get what they want. Corbett signed the Bill without public comment. Corbett believes the law enhances the efficiency of oil and gad drilling. He also says the Bill will limit environmental damage and protect landowner rights. Governor Corbett said fracking doesn’t cause pollution, in fact the EPA stopped investigating it. That is odd he mentions pollution.

This law like most of Corbett’s other proposed laws, is pro-business. Corbett uses rhetoric to disguise them as helping people. This is designed specifically to help drilling companies get at all of the Marcellus Shale natural gas. The Fracking process which is used to bore horizontally underground that extend thousands of feet from the vertical well bore. This law allows them to cross property lines as well. Fracking is widely known for causing environmental pollution, as well as making people sick. There are at least 23 known carcinogens in the fluid used to Frack. Why isn’t the EPA investigating Fracking Companies and chemicals? Could it be lobbying companies have bought off the top levels of government?

New Gas Drilling Legislation on Governor Corbetts desk weakens negotiating rights for landowners.

            New Oil and Gas Drilling Legislation seriously weakens landowners negotiating rights with Fracking Companies. The National Association of Royalty Owners said last minute changes to a Senate Bill would allow drilling companies to use decades old mineral leases to force current landowners to accept Marcellus Shale drilling under their property.

Trevor Walczack, Vice President of the association’s Pennsylvania chapter, said Corbett shouldn’t sign the bill. Although his group normally favors oil and gas drilling. Unfortunately Governor Corbett’s history suggests he will side with Natural Gas Drilling Companies, he has sided with corporations more often than not. Walczak said the bill would ultimately be similar to forced pooling. A drilling company can force some landowners to accept drilling if many of the surrounding households have agreed.

The Legislation would apply to people with existing oil or gas leases. Heirs to leases signed many years sgo for traditional drilling would be forced to accept fracking. Which can extend under neighbors lands and the neighbor would be forced to accept Fracking on their land as well. Fracking has led to a Natural Gas boom in Pennsylvania and millions of dollars in royalties for leaseholders.

Pollution caused by Fracking has been well documented in States that have had Fracking for several years. Water from a faucet catching on fire, cancer clusters, headaches among many other symptoms from the pollution. The EPA does not have clearance to check the chemicals used for Fracking. But samples taken have shown at least 23 known carcinogens. Governor Corbett has basically let these Natural Gas Drilling companies to drill in Pennsylvania tax free. Republicans and Democrats in the State House and Senate have been at odds about Fracking for quite some time. It figures our Pennsylvania lawmakers would try to take away citizens negotiation rights. Why not pollute and make billions while not paying a dime? That is where this is headed.

2014, the year we remove Governor Corbett from office.

              Governor Tom Corbett took office in 2010 and no one really knows how. I don’t know anyone who voted for him. Pennsylvania generally votes democrat. We voted for President Obama by about 6% points. Corbett has a pretty spotty record since taking over as governor and he is behind in the polls to any Democratic challenger.

He has cut funding to education, instead of taxing Natural Gas Drilling, which could easily make up the money for education. He has been implicated in receving illegal benefits from these companies. He has also recieved over $1 million from Natural Gas Drilling Companies since becoming governor. Under his watch Pennsylvania is ranked 49 in the country in job creation.

His once popular privatization of the State’s Liquor Stores is losing steam. His Pension Reform Plan has been deemed unconstitutional. It seems every move that he makes is wrong for the state. As a typical Republican he is blaming the people for the lack of jobs, saying that companies cannot hire people because they cannot pass a drug test. He is out of touch with his constituents.

Democrats in the state have attempted to keep his radical agenda in check. Voting to keep his more extreme measures in check, while attempting to work with him on his more bipartisan bills. His attempt to give education money back the year before election stinks of desperation. Hopefully our state votes intelligently this time around and removes One Term Tommy from office. He is in office to help corporations make more money and protect them from responsibility. Just look at the Frackers who are free to do as they will. This is Corporate Pennsylvania now.

Fracking Secrecy Denied.

             A judge ruled recently in favor of journalists seeking access to information about a fracking pollution case. Judge Debbie O’Dell-Seneca reversed an order by a Washingto County court sealing the record in a case in which a Pennsylvania family sued several gas companies over property damage and health impacts related to air and water pollution from nearby Natural gas operations. The Pittsburgh Post Gazzette and the Observer-Reporter had intervened in the case to unseal the records.

          Earthjustice, the non-profit environmental law firm, submitted anamicus brief supporting the newspapers on behalf of Philedelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, Dr Bernard D Goldstein, Dr Walter Tsou, Dr Jerome A Paulson, Dr William Rom, Dr Sandra Steingraber, Dr Simona Perry, Dr Robert Oswald, Dr Michelle Bamburger, Kathryn Vennie and Earthjustice. The doctors, scientists and advocates argued in favor of greater transparency about natural gas operations and their health effects.

             Earthjustice attorney, Mathew Gerhart said ” This case pitted the Natural Gas Industries insistence on secrecy against the history committments of the courts to public access to judicial proceedings. The courts ruling affirmed the importance of public access to the courts. This is a victory for everyone who believes we need more information and health consequences of frackin.”

                     Michelle Bamburger and Robert Oswald published a peer reviewed paper linking fracking with illness and the death of livestock. They cited 24 cases in 6 states, all the cows died or suffered serious health or reproductive problems after being exposed to fracking chemicals. The paper described cases of cows dalling sick, appearing to recover then a year later giving birth to still born calfs, to swelling limbs, infections, tails falling off and a healthy herd of 17 dropping dead 1 hour after fracking fluid spilled into their pasture.

               The latter herd had died of necropsy- respiratory failure with circulatory collapse. Petroleum hydrocarbons were found in their small intestines and lesions in their tracheas, lungs, livers and kidneys. Vasculitis, inflamation in the walls of the blood vessels . When blood vessels get inflamed they get narrow, making it more difficult for blood to flow through them. Sometimes they close off completely, cutting of all circulation, which can lead to a tail falling off.

              The Natural Gas Industry is very displeased with this ruling, leading many to believe that they are hiding something bigger. Transparency cannit hurt a company that is not polluting. This is a victory for the little guy.

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Is Fracking a necessary evil in Pennsylvania?

           Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is the propagation of a fracture in a rock layer by pressurized fluids. Induced hydraulic fracturing, hydrofracturing, is a technique used to release petroleum, natural gas (including shale gas, tight gas & coal seam gas) or other substances for extraction. It is widely used in the midwest, as well as in the Marcellus Shale line on the east coast.

            There are more than 600 chemicals involved in natural gas production & they are often left unclassified by companies. Some of the chemicals found seem harmless, such as water, sand, salt & citric acid. But there others that are quite dangerous. BTEX compounds, benzene, toluene, xylene & ethylbenzene wich are found in gasoline & are known human carcinegines. Diesel fuel contains toxic constituents, including BTEX compounds. Lead which is listed as a hazardous air pollutant by the Clean Air Act & a contaminent in the Safe Drinking Water Act. Hydrogen flouride which is listed as an air pollutant in the Clean Air Act, as well as absorption of any kind of a substantial amount will cause death. Naphthalene which is listed as a hazardous air pollutant in the Clean Air Act. Sulfuric acid which is corrosive to all body tissue. Crystalline silica which is harmful if inhaled, as well as a known cancer causer. Formaldehyde which is another known human carcinegen.

           The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has taken quite a bit of criticism for providing what critics see as incomplete water quality test results to owners who are concerned about pollution from nearby fracking operations. The Pa. DEP has filed a claim air pollution has gone down because of fracking . Marcellus Drilling News recieved a copy of official numbers filed by the Pa DEP to the EPA. While aur pollution has gone down statewide, the numbers show that areas with alot of Marcellus Shale drilling  air pollution numbers have gone up.

              The Pa. DEP has blamed much of the water pollution on pre-existing conditions. Federal regulators generally do not get involved in state procedures. The Pa. DEP has recently been accused of purposely ignoring portions of its own drinking water testing results that may have demonstrated toxic metals linked with fracking. The DEP also prevented field officers from issueing contamination determination letters directly to residents, having all such letters sent to the head office in Harris burg first.

              While the midwest seems to have more occurrences of pollution of peoples drinking water than Pa., it shoukd also be said that they were fracking out there longer. There are instances of cancer, unexplained illnesses, higher than normal chemical levels in urine & tap water catching on fire. What has been noticed on the east coast is difficulty breathing when entering homes, there have also been legions found with little explanation for them. They have found Phenol levels as high as 34 in urine, where there should be none. But as of now the data is incoclusive for possible diseases or death in Pa.

            With alk this in mind pkease remember in 2010, there were 783 natural gas drilling companies in Pa. 80% of thosr companies paid ZERO taxes & others were allowed to claim under the much lower personal income tax. These natural gas drilling companies said they paid $1 billion in taxes, where in truth they paid less than $80 million. Our esteemed Govener Corbett recieved over $1 million sibce govener & ovet $300,000 while Attorney General.

           It seems to me money buys you freedom to poison people in Pa. Our government protection doesnt exist. Those near these drilling facilities should contact federal regulators & plead for help. Or possibly ban together & do so. Just another reason for Pa. to vote Corbett out. Lets get rid of this dirty man.

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