“Teh kitteh” photo is there to get all you facebooker’s attention. More about the kitteh later.
ACT 13 ONE-SIZE FRACK ZONING
As you know, the zoning provision in Act 13 was struck down by the PA Supreme Court last month. PA Governor Tom Corbett and the fossil fuel industry aren’t happy about it.
Well, just when you thought it would be safe to celebrate the victory, it may be short-lived. In a last ditch effort, and scrambling for any legal hand hold, Corbett (and we assume with the backing of his fossil fuel handlers) is asking the PA Supreme Court to “reconsider” their decision.
What does this mean? It means Corbett wants a do-over.
In a press release, Corbett’s General Counsel James Schultz claims the court ““made its own sweeping factual findings regarding the impact of Act 13″ without giving the state an opportunity to present its own evidence.”
Jordan Yeager, an attorney with Curtin & Heefner LLP representing a group of the challengers in the case, told Law360 that the administration’s argument ran counter to the position they’d taken throughout the litigation of the case.
“It is disingenuous for the Corbett administration to now claim that this case could not be decided without further factual development,” he said. “Throughout the litigation, the administration’s lawyers argued the exact opposite: that this case could be decided on the law and on the record already established before the Commonwealth Court. This was the ground they wanted the case decided on until now when the result hasn’t gone their way. The Supreme Court got it right in finding Act 13 zoning provisions unconstitutional.”
The decision was previously tied at 3-3, between 3 Democratic Justices and 3 Republican Justices, then Chief Justice Ron Castille (R), changed his mind. We don’t know what prompted this. Castille won his bid in November 2013, and has been retained as a PA Supreme Court Justice, so there’s little evidence of political motives for his decision on the zoning provision in Act 13. Perhaps his decision came from a more personal experience with the fossil fuel industry? At this point we can only guess.
I’m unable to find historical data regarding the number of times a motion to reconsider has been filed and how many times it has been granted, so it’s difficult to figure out Corbett’s odds of success. That The fact the PA Supreme Court declared the one-size-frack zoning unconstitutional was a HUGE surprise to all as it was generally assumed the ruling would side with the fossil fuel industry.
Will PA Supreme Court reconsider their decision? They surprised us all once, they could surprise us again.
The motion was dated January 2, 2014, and the Corbett legal team has requested the PA Supreme Court to respond within 17 days. Assuming this means 17 business days, we would expect a response around January 27, 2014. Mark your calendars and keep an eye on the news.
FOSSIL FUEL DRILLING AND WATER CONTAMINATION
You may have noticed I’ve started using the terms FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY and FOSSIL FUEL DRILLING as opposed to natural gas industry or natural gas drilling. This is because the industry is not just drilling and fracking for natural gas, they are also going after oil. Additionally there is a push to promote coal again. (See THE FOSSIL FUEL CAROUSEL).
Perhaps the largest issue in the whole fracking mess is that of water contamination. We know the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) depends on data being reported by the fossil fuel industry. This includes production, reporting of spills/leaks, drill cutting and frackwater waste and listing the chemicals used to create the frack cocktail.
So, yes, this a case of the fox calling up Farmer Brown and saying the chickens are just fine and dandy.
The fossil fuel industry has long held the position that “fracking doesn’t cause water contamination”, however we know it depends on how you define “fracking”. (See: ANATOMY OF A SHALE SOCKPUPPET).
ABC News ran an AP story written by Kevin Begos, which considering it’s Kevin Begos, confirms the water contamination due to fossil fuel drilling in 4 States.
The AP found that Pennsylvania received 398 complaints in 2013 alleging that oil or natural gas drilling polluted or otherwise affected private water wells, compared with 499 in 2012. The Pennsylvania complaints can include allegations of short-term diminished water flow, as well as pollution from stray gas or other substances. More than 100 cases of pollution were confirmed over the past five years.
Do the math: 499 complaints in 2012 + 398 complaints in 2013 = 897 complaints filed with DEP. These are complaints we know about as reported by AP/Begos.
Meanwhile…. among the findings in the AP’s review:
— Pennsylvania has confirmed at least 106 water-well contamination cases since 2005, out of more than 5,000 new wells. There were five confirmed cases of water-well contamination in the first nine months of 2012, 18 in all of 2011 and 29 in 2010. The Environmental Department said more complete data may be available in several months.
— Ohio had 37 complaints in 2010 and no confirmed contamination of water supplies; 54 complaints in 2011 and two confirmed cases of contamination; 59 complaints in 2012 and two confirmed contaminations; and 40 complaints for the first 11 months of 2013, with two confirmed contaminations and 14 still under investigation, Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mark Bruce said in an email. None of the six confirmed cases of contamination was related to fracking, Bruce said.
— West Virginia has had about 122 complaints that drilling contaminated water wells over the past four years, and in four cases the evidence was strong enough that the driller agreed to take corrective action, officials said.
— A Texas spreadsheet contains more than 2,000 complaints, and 62 of those allege possible well-water contamination from oil and gas activity, said Ramona Nye, a spokeswoman for the Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees drilling. Texas regulators haven’t confirmed a single case of drilling-related water-well contamination in the past 10 years, she said.
While the focus tends to be on water contamination, we also need to look at air contamination from the midstream infrastructure. This would include compressor stations, metering stations, gathering lines and glycol dehydration plants.
I urge you to watch Fundamental Chemical Toxicology with Exposure Related to Shale Gas Development, Presented by Dr. David Brown.
This was posted on January 4, 2013 by a friend on Facebook who lives in the gaslands of Australia.
I want to share a gas field experience with you all, you don’t need to comment, in fact I would prefer you didn’t, this is just an insight. Those of you who have followed my posts will know the impact this industry has had on my grandchildren.
For a few weeks I have intermittently complained on FB about a stink, a creosote type smell, that burns your eyes, gives you a headache, burns your nose, makes it hard to breathe, in fact a little while ago I said it scared me enough to contemplate fleeing in the middle of the night. So back to this week, 3 days ago my littlest granddaughter walked out to the deck saying “my nose just started bleeding” with blood running down her face and dripping on her shirt and shorts all the way down to her feet and a trail behind her.
You add that to our youngest grandson banging his head on his pillow saying”my head hurts”, he is a beautiful strong little boy who will pick himself up after tripping and dust himself off saying “I’m all right”.
Then add that to 2.30 this morning when Cathy calls me to come over because our second youngest grandson is having a Grand Mal seizure.
Pretty big coincidence hey.
So this morning I’m here to tell you how helpless and hopeless I feel today, how the tears stream down my face as I type, how the surge of anger and frustration makes my body shake. So, I don’t want sympathy, I don’t want help, I’m not looking for solutions, this is not the reason for the post. I want to warn you, this is life in a gas field, look to the USA to see your future if we don’t stop this.
We are one individual family, we are part of a group of families in a developing gas field, as this develops we will become one of hundreds and then thousands. Don’t help me, we are a proud and independent family, this is our problem, no one else’s. But please help the rest of Australia, please, no one should have to endure this in our Nation, what happened to True Blue.
At a time like today my thoughts turn to my list, the list compiled in my mind of those most responsible for this evil that has been done to us. One day I may extract true eye for an eye justice from some of those on my list, are you on my list, you better hope not, because one day, you just never know. Be warned, and again, share this if you like, comment on your own shares but not on this post, it is a vivid warning of what is coming to you all.
After reading this, all I could ask is how many more stories like this are out there and NOT being told, or listened to?
As of December 17, 2013, the List of the Harmed has 2,507 entries of individuals and families impacted by drilling/fracking process across the United States. How many before enough us say too many?
ANTHONY CUGINI – NETL
Anthony Cugini, the former Director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), was indicted by a Pittsburgh, PA Grand Jury on obstruction of justice charges in November of 2013. He was arraigned on December 9, 2013, and entered a plea of not guilty.
In a Pittsburgh Post Gazette Letter to the Editor, Ronald Demicheli of Bethel Park rose to Cugini’s defense. In the letter Demicheli states Cugini’s indictment stems from doing good works:
“…he was suspected of using industry contacts to help the Holy Family Institute and trying to cover it up and showing favoritism toward Phipps Conservatory. Let me quote that old adage, “No good deed goes unpunished.” If Anthony is guilty of anything, it may be of being overzealous to do good. Anthony is one of the most Christian, decent human beings I have ever known. That is more than I can say for the people who stabbed him in the back, carrying out their own personal agendas.”
Is it a case of “no good deed goes unpunished” or something more? If that’s the case, then why the hush hush.
From the time it was first reported about the US Department of Energy (DOE) probe and even to today, the reason for the probe and investigation has remained under wraps.
We have Demicheli claiming it’s because of Cugini’s charity work, and the Pittsburg Post Gazette reports it as “Sources have said that the investigation dealt with Mr. Cugini’s use of industry contacts to help the Holy Family Institute to raise money toward a possible new school for underprivileged youth.”
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette doesn’t identify the sources, but the paper did report: (emphasis added)
Asked whether the underlying probe was complete, Mr. Cugini’s attorney, Jerry Johnson, said: “I would have no reason to believe it’s not over.”
He declined to comment on the nature of the underlying investigation, but said he didn’t expect that additional charges would be filed against Mr. Cugini. He said he suspected that the former energy official’s charity work “certainly could” continue, and added that he was working for a family business.
Very telling. DOE investigation is NOT over, and again we don’t know the nature of the underlying investigation. Everyone is keeping very quiet.
Smells like there is more to this than just “doing good deeds”. I wouldn’t be surprised if a deal is made in exchange for Cugini’s cooperation.
The spot on his pink nose is “food smutz” as he loves to dive into bowl.
A Balinese is a long-haired version of a Siamese.
We adopted him from a friend of ours who has a farm, and regularly ends up with cats being dumped. In Zephyr’s case, his mom was pregnant when dumped.
We also have two other cats adopted from our friend.
I could go on about how awful it is to dump cats and dogs, but you know this. Support your local shelters, and rescue groups. Adopt don’t buy!
©2014 by Dory Hippauf