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danps's picture

John Podesta's heroic battle against straw men and the politically marginalized

A White House adviser had some harsh words for the environmental movement last week, but seemed more interested in sidelining them than addressing their concerns.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Commissioners pipeline meeting: strategy and why it's worth the bother

Thoughts on how to approach public events, and why to do so even if the prospects for success don't look good.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Commissioners' meeting background: Pipelines, fracking and peering underneath the rock

Pipelines are increasingly being used for fracking, and companies are not hesitant to use strong arm tactics to get the land they need for them.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Naturally occurring, but not with wanderlust

A recently concluded investigation into a contaminated water well appears to have not looked into a key possibility.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read below the fold...

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ODNR meets with public on Nelson wells

Ohio's natural resources agency met with concerned citizens about a proposed cluster of injection wells last week. It was billed as an informational session, and it was - but maybe not in the way intended.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Activism in the spaces in between

It can be difficult to write about activism in an open-ended effort like the one against fracking. It isn't like a campaign where all the activity is geared toward election day, at which point everyone will know who won and who lost. It's different even from an issue like the Keystone XL pipeline, which is a single (continent-spanning) contiguous piece of infrastructure, and which will ultimately get a definitive yes or no.

Fracking involves lots of activity in communities dotted across the nation. There are big shale plays in some parts of the west, some parts of the Midwest, some parts of the east, and so on. But nothing connects those dots, and that makes it hard to give the thing a sense of its nationwide scope. Coverage will tend to be on a smaller scale, which makes it easier to dismiss it as a purely local or parochial concern. Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Away from energy independence, and towards energy freedom

Two of the more loaded words in contemporary politics are independence and freedom. Despite their similarities in meaning they get used in very different ways. Independence is used in a more national sense, which might be natural because of its prominence in what is arguably our founding document. It doesn't seem like it is possible to disparage independence in our discourse. Even a word like patriotism, while generally well regarded, has qualifications. Independence is all good though, so anything you can attach to it is improved by the association.

This has played out for years now with the much-invoked phrase "energy independence." The latest calls for it began in the wake of 9/11 as a way to argue for policies that would remove our need to import oil from abroad. It made sense on the face of it: We send our money to oil-rich states, states that in some cases fund groups hostile to America. Buy from them and you're funding the terrorists, went the argument. (This is simply a description of what leaders put out for public consumption, not an endorsement of it.) Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Testing water and building community

Last summer I wrote about the Sierra Club's Water Sentinels program for testing water. Our town's anti-fracking activists have been using it at their homes for a while now, but around the time of my post we also began free monthly water testing for the community. We are careful to emphasize several caveats, though. The most important is that the testing is not comprehensive or EPA certified; it is not meant to be a substitute for a certified test. It measures a handful of items and is only meant to give a basic idea of water quality. Similarly, the testing would almost certainly not be admissible in a court of law; anyone with an eye on future court cases should go with an EPA certified lab. Read below the fold...

Refreshing to Have Jill Stein as a President with Spine!

Jill Stein is a “citizen-politician” who refuses to behave herself.

Dr. Stein refuses to stay in the campaigning bull-shit bubble.

She doesn’t suffer fools or play the crony let’s-screw-the-99% game.

Someone on a website recently called Jill Stein “the best presidential candidate you’ll never hear about”.

Jill Stein is a Boston physician (Harvard educated) and veteran activist and candidate with the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party
. Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Trustees reject symbolic statement on fracking and home rule

The trustee meeting I attended Tuesday actually began over hundred years ago. In 1910 Ohio voters approved the calling of a constitutional convention, and in 1912 a whole series of amendments were adopted. The Ohio History Central link goes to a short but very good summary, and it's definitely worth taking a minute to read it. Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Communities rally against toxic fracking waste

On Wednesday communities held Freedom From Toxic Fracking Waste rallies to raise awareness on one of the largest environmental risks from fracking: dealing with the waste it produces. Read below the fold...

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ODNR official: we'll let the public know what's happening after you can no longer object

The fracking industry has dramatically increased its activity in Portage county recently. In some cases the activity is unmistakably tangible (more on that next week), but the real action at the moment seems to be preparing the ground for the deluge. Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Shalersville speaks out against fracking

[Dan is being wicked modest here, since he's involved in the pushback against fracking (as are a lot of people scattered across the country, if you read the D - x and counting series, which covers them as an import way that citizens exercise their rights (and duties)). Dan's effort is also connected to the series we ran on non-violence. And Corrente has been [lambert blushes modestly] ahead of the game in the fracking effort, ever since PA_lady published her series back in 2010. --lambert]

On Tuesday a group of Shalersville residents attended a meeting of its trustees to voice their objections to fracking. Video of all the statements can be seen at the Shalersville No Fracking web site. There was a three minute speaking limit so the clips are short. (If you cannot watch video where you are, this is a rough transcript of my own remarks.) Here is just one of them, and note how the resident talks about her opposition to fracking from both a technical and visceral perspective. There are logistical, technological and environmental reasons to not want a fracking operation in your town, but there are emotional ones too:
Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Home rule goes up against the fracking industry - and the political system

The fight against fracking in Ohio comes at a time when the state is approving new wells at a rapid pace. Local activists are organizing in an environment where the ground is constantly shifting under their feet - sometimes literally.

Anti-fracking activism has been influenced by developments both inside the state and beyond. At a recent public anti-fracking meeting a representative from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) described the experience of activists in western Pennsylvania several years ago. Read below the fold...

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