Fracking waste contaminated water harms foals.Scan107
Citing unfavorable business climate and COVID-19 Elcon has withdrawn its application for a toxic wastewater facility on the banks of the Delaware. Many of us voiced out protests repeatedly at hearings and public meetings. The siting of the facility was seriously flawed and the the application had many serious deficiencies.
We should remember that the permitting process exists to allow things to be done that are generally not allowed. Often private interests seek permits that are clearly not in public interest, and which, if granted, would degrade the quality of life and impose risks to the environment. We celebrate the decision to withdraw, it was an ill conceived project from its inception.
My family has deep roots in the original Chautauqua — my wife calls it summer camp for grownups. For many decades people have pilgrimaged to this small community for intellectual, spiritual, and physical renewal. Alas, COVID-19 forced cancellation of the program on Chautauqua Lake near Jamestown, New York.
But be of good cheer, it’s free and you can participate from home starting Monday.
|Don’t miss the Chautauqua Lecture Series …Climate Change: Prioritizing Our Global and Local ResponseHow we talk about climate change is rapidly shifting. But amid the ongoing political debates, how are we — and should we be — responding? All events are at 10:45 a.m. unless noted.Monday, June 29: Christine Todd Whitman, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, on “Government, Economics and Climate”Tuesday, June 30: Janis Searles Jones of Ocean Conservancy on “The Ocean and the Climate: How to Save Both”Wednesday, July 1: Katharine Wilkinson of Project Drawdown on “How to Reduce Greenhouse Gases”Thursday, July 2: Former UN official Amb. Christiana Figueres on “The State of Global Environmental Action”Please note a special start time of 11:30 a.m. for this programFriday, July 3: Geoffrey Kemp and Amb. Barbara K. Bodine discussing “The Geopolitics of Climate Change and the Environment”|
Conversation over lunch or coffee is a big part of the Chautauqua Experience. At Pennswood, the community where I live, we are organizing Zoom/Conference Call discussion groups for those interested. If you want to participate in one of these, please use the contact form to let me know.
You probably saw the news that air pollution increases the risk of fatal outcomes with COVID-19. We have all experienced the surprising improvement in air quality with the shutdown of industrial operations and the reduced automobile traffic. In china it was dramatic.
It’s a wakup call. Fossil energy needs to be phased out and fracking’s cheap fuels are the economic enemy of renewables because they kill the market for innovative technology. Despite the adverse market effects both wind and solar have become competitive.
I’m pleased that journalists are picking up on the obvious.
Opinion | Coronavirus May Kill Our Fracking Fever DreamAmerica’s energy independence was an illusion created by cheap debt. All that’s left to tally is the damage.
Living in these areas of the US raises your risk of death from coronavirus, study saysCNN’s Jake Tapper reports.
Pollution made COVID-19 worse. Now, lockdowns are clearing the air.Even before the coronavirus, air pollution killed seven million people a year. Will today’s cleaner air inspire us to do better?
When a government agency grants a permit, it is usually allowing something that is potentially or actually harmful or dangerous. Permits for the construction of public utilities are supposed to weigh the convenience and necessity of the greater public against the harm done to individuals.
Pipelines require a clear right-of-way for their construction and the government delegates its sovereign power to take land by eminent domain to corporations. Takings are supposed to be compensated to make those affected whole. But it’s rare that the compensation is satisfactory or sufficient for the loss of quiet enjoyment of one’s home or business property.
The Mariner East Pipeline is in the news again because people allege construction is harming them. And what public interest justifies this? Who needs the products it carries? Not the US public. It’s for off-shore producers of plastics and other fossil fuel products.
Thanks to big dollar lobbying by the industry, our legislators are not representing us the public. And the permits to do harm get issued for no good public purpose.
Rural landowners are often deceived into thinking that the sale of the extraction rights to the shale gas under their property will provide effortless bounty and security. There are some nasty consequences of selling those subsurface rights. The article below is not news to anyone who has browsed this site. But if you need to be reminded, read on.
Here is yet another example of how our representative government is failing to protect the common good and serve the interests of We the People:
The Falls Township supervisors did the right thing despite the prospect of being sued by Elcon. They voted unanimously to deny Elcon’s application.
Any applicant has the right to seek relief from the courts, and Elcon is no exception. Their decision to do so will be based on a number of considerations:
- The cost in time and money.
- The prospect of prevailing.
- Collateral decisions by PA DEP.
- The costs of complying with construction codes and a hostile enforcement body.
- Ongoing citizen opposition.
Environmental organizations should now prepare to put their money behind Falls should there be litigation. It’s not just the Elcon matter. At issue is the constitutional right of townships to act to protect the environment. Prevailing in a litigation will discourage those who wish to dismiss locals who oppose such things as pipelines, fracking, and other dangerous uses of land.Elcon
The Trump Administration is loath to admit that climate change is real and is man-made. I was surprised to see this article in WaPo this morning. One can only hope that the weather extremes and related human catastrophes have become too horrendous for denial to persist as a viable strategy for fossil-backed politicians.
I should not need to explain why this is relevant to fracking, but I will. Fracking and the pipelines that bring its products to market disrupt the lives of those in their path, damage air quality, pollute the water, and consume precious freshwater resources. Energy producers seek to justify the use of our government’s sovereign powers (land condemnation, permitting for pollution, etc.) on the basis that it is a public necessity akin to highways and railroads. Clearly, this is not the case in Pennsylvania. There is a glut of natural gas produced and distributed by thousands of existing wells and about 50,000 miles of existing pipelines. Moreover, the products produced by the extraction of this fossil energy will produce MORE GLOBAL WARMING. And, because they are so cheap, they will discourage the development and deployment of renewable energy.
Read more at the Washington Post.