The op-ed below (We Don’t Need Another Superfund Site) expresses the sentiments of many in Bucks County. Putting toxic wase processing in a floodplain on the banks of the Delaware is foolish. The reason these things are subject to regulation and permitting is because they are dangerous and require public permission for the risk.[pdf-embedder url=”http://nofrackingbucks.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/23_Bucks-County-Courier-Times__A__10.pdf” title=”23_Bucks County Courier Times__A__10″]
The legislators and courts of Pennsylvania are on the side of the fossil fuel developers and are supporting the development of pipelines through privately owned lands. Using the sovereign power of eminent domain to take the land from its owners, the state enables pipeline developers to get their toxic product to market. This is not for the benefit of the people of Pennsylvania, but for the special interests that are extracting the natural gas and selling it for profit.
When eminent domain is used to provide highways, public transportation, or the delivery of needed utilities people generally grudgingly accept that it is justified for the greater good of all. But this is not even remotely the case here. There is a surplus of gas. The new pipelines have a purely commercial purpose. And that purpose is not in the public interest. Burning that gas, or making plastic from it, anywhere on the planet creates hazards to health that will persist for generations. It should stay in the ground, and Pennsylvania should not be compelling people to sell their land for pipelines.
We can’t help but sympathize with Ellen Gerhart and others whose lives and homesteads are being savaged. (Click to read article)
For the same reasons that you don’t want a locomotive in your backyard you probably don’t want a pipeline compressor station. This article describes the problems with noise and pollution of the air. Sometimes citizens are asked to deal with the harm done because it is in the larger public interest to allow such things. But pipelines do not qualify for such sacrifice. Continue reading
Gerrymandering is one of the anti-democracy tactics politicians use to protect themselves from accountability for the favors they do for the energy industry. Here is an opportunity to speak up for yourself and your community.
Fair legislative districts, where your vote is equal to everyone else’s, are fundamental to a government by the people and for the people. One of the biggest causes of dysfunction in our Pennsylvania state government is gerrymandering where the politicians pick their voters thus gaming the system to preserve their power. Coupled with the influence of energy money it has been a detriment to all citizens of PA. Here’s a chance to do something good.
It’s popular these days for politicians to talk about “regulatory overreach” and how it puts a damper on business. Here is an example of lax regulators allowing the drilling industry to save a buck by dumping drilling waste on roads instead of disposing of it safely — if safe disposal is even possible.
The writers at State Impact document a case in point …
Is anybody looking out for the public interest in PA? We are allowing drilling, fracking, and extraction with little revenue to the commonwealth. We are tolerating the environmental damage and health problems these activities are proven to cause. We are condemning private land to build a vast network of 30,000 miles of pipeline. And who benefits? Not the locals, not the residents of the state. All of this permitting is done so that the energy industry can collect gas, liquefy it, and ship it overseas to be burned.
The glut of gas on domestic markets has made gas cheap. That’s bad for the energy business, and it makes it harder for green energy sources to compete. Our public interest dictates that we wean our economy from carbon. Alternative energy creates more jobs and gives our kids a chance for a healthy future.
Think about this when you vote.
It’s certainly worthy of the headlines it is getting. If indeed the final regulations prevent drilling in the Delaware River Basin, that is a very good thing. But the idea of discharging millions of gallons of poisoned water into the Delaware is bad. “Dilution is not the solution.” If fracking wastewater can’t be made pristine again, it should not go into the river we drink from.
If you fill a vertical pipe with water, the weight of the water produces pressure at the bottom of the pipe. That’s why we have water towers. A typical water tower is about 100 feet tall and produces about 40 to 50 pounds of pressure at ground level.
Imagine if you could build a water tower 10,000 feet (2 miles) high. The pressure would be 4,000 to 5,000 pounds. A deep well is like a tall water tower. The pressure at the bottom is equal to about half a pound a foot for each foot. That is the kind of pressure it takes to fracture rock layers. Deep disposal wells create that sort of pressure in the rock without the help of pumps because of the sheer weight of the water poured in at the top. Unlike the fracking process which last hours or days, the disposal well pressure is unrelenting. Over months and years and decades and centuries it is still there. The consequences are unpredictable. But Oklahomans have a pretty good idea what some of them are.
Think about a hydraulic jack. A small piston or pump produces a high pressure per square inch. My travel trailer weighs 12,000 lbs. Yet I can lift it with a little bottle jack. (Click the picture to learn how it works.)
The deep well shaft is analogous to the pump part of the jack. The miles of subterranean porous rock surrounding that well are like the lifting piston. The drilling company would like us to believe that nothing will happen when they add tons of polluted frack waste water to the well. Good luck with that. Their little company, all its owners, and all its employees may be long dead, but that well will still be there trying to lift the miles of earth around it.
It is well known that fracking endangers the environment and health of local communities, but the energy industry lobby has successfully concealed the extent for many years. Recently the Federal regulators conceded that fracking has damaged aquifers, and now thanks to investigative reporting, evidence of citizens’ complaints has been made public for scrutiny. (Read more)