fracking general

Government Fails, Public Health Suffers & Indistry Profits


In an unprecedented investigation of oil and gas operations and government oversight in Texas’s Eagle Ford Shale, Earthworks reports a toxic mix of irresponsible industry operators and negligent regulators, and the families who suffer the consequences - Read report here.


Germany Wants To Ban Fracking


Germany is seeking a ban on shale gas and oil drilling over the next seven years because of worries that the practice could pollute drinking water and damage the environment. Read full story.

Ohio Fracking Protest

Groups Demand Ohio Injection Well Be Closed


Concerned Citizens Ohio and CHEJ contend that the Kovach injection well in Shalersville Township, OH has improperly received wastes for years to be injected into rock formations underground. The groups are asking the U.S. EPA to issue an immediate order to stop further injection. and filed a complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency against an injection well in northern Portage County for allegedly accepting millions of gallons of drilling wastes improperly. Read more here.


Obama Stop Exporting Our Energy


Some people support fracking for the issue around jobs while others are totally opposed. I’m not going to talk about that debate but rather about the larger issue that gets lost in the overarching debates. One “talking point” that consistently resonates with the American people is they want to be energy independent. The public buys into this position put out by the fracking industry. Yet it’s a lie because you can’t have energy independence if you are exporting the resources. The fact is that the U.S. economy, in order to grow, must have an abundance of low cost energy. To keep our energy prices low it makes no sense for President Obama to approve export terminals for natural gas.

If we allow our resources to be exported overseas to other foreign markets then our domestic costs of gas will increase, there is no debate over that, and instead of attracting new industry both our jobs and economic opportunity will continue to move out of this country. In the Asian market the worker costs are low because they don’t pay a living wage or offer benefits to workers in many of the countries that U.S. gas will be sold. However, their energy costs are high.

If we stop the export of our gas to other nations America might be in a better position to attract new industries or at a minimum keep and expand the industries we have. Exporting is a foolish idea that provides the opportunity for corporations who are selling the gas to make huge profits while keeping America in a less competitive edge. Why does this make any sense to our leaders in Washington?

CHEJ has been very supportive of groups working to prevent fracking harms. Additionally, we have supported the efforts of groups like Chesapeake Climate Action Network who are fighting the export terminal in Maryland. At this time that terminal has received a delay while the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the departments that contributes to assessments of LNG projects, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a 30-day extension to conduct a review of Dominion Resources Inc’s Cove Point liquefaction project. The additional time “will allow the agency to compile comments from its regional associate internal reviewers and the required need for EPA headquarters’ review,” the EPA said in a June 3rd letter to FERC.

It is time that Americans stand up and speak out louder to the administration about jobs. We want our low costs energy to stay in America to create the economic incentive to attract new industry and to keep and expand our existing industries. Our men and women have fought too many wars over oil and energy let’s to do what the gas industry is saying in their propaganda making America Energy Independent by keeping our gas in America. There is no way we can achieve energy independence when we ship our energy resources out of the country. So get involved and tell the White House no to export, whether you are opposed to fracking or supporting fracking we can likely agree that shipping our energy resources overseas is a bad idea.

tooth fairy

Dental x-ray = fracking waste??


From my friend Terry

If I had a dollar for every “dental x-ray” misdirection I’ve heard in nearly 40 years of fighting nukes.  Here are a couple answers to that trash talk:

We don’t get dental x-rays daily.  Far from it.

Dentists make us wear lead shielding even on the head, exposing only a focused area for zapping.

They and their assistants either wear shielding or step outside the lead-line room when taking radiographs.

Dental x-rays remain the topic of some controversy as to the strength of gamma radiation used – i.e., whether they are excessive levels.

Dental x-rays are not directed at breasts, internal organs, brain cavities, etc. etc.

The radioactive particles used in dental x-ray machines are never going to be allowed to routinely find their way into groundwater or the surrounding air after attaching themselves to windblown microscopic particles.

The radiation in dental x-ray machines is bound up with other elements and not water-soluble.  The radium in fracking waste is water-soluble and if it escapes into groundwater and is consumed by human or animal, it lodges in the tissue. Radium is misinterpreted by the human body as being calcium and readily absorbs into bones.  The result? Bone cancer.

Everyone associated with use of medical and dental x-rays has to have specialized training and a license to administer such technology – and must understand in the course of training do’s and don’ts which are aimed at protecting human health and minimizing exposure. For radioactive waste which they apparently admit is comparable in dangers to dental x-ray isotope material, there are no permits required whatsoever. And a random sampling of frack driller workers and associated truck drivers will reveal little to no understanding of the dangers.  Even the disposition of radioactive material in Ohio dumps is not required to be recorded or disclosed. When they spill it on the roads or there’s a nasty accident, no one knows what is being spilled. Trucks carrying radioactive fracking waste are supposed to have specific signage by state law.  It is often not obeyed.

Landfills are not required by ODNR or OEPA to measure radiation in waste about to be dumped, or to keep records if they do. So excuse me if I’m not the slightest bit reassured by someone else’s unexamined, mindless repetition of something that someone with a financial stake in misdirection told them. They have no better idea how radioactive the landfills are becoming than the general public.

Every last isotope of medical and dental radiation must be inventoried, catalogued, measured and a cradle-to-grave paper trail created and maintained to show where it is disposed of (completely the opposite of fracking waste), down to geopositioning coordinates in the landfill.  It is disposed of at great expense in specially-designed repositories at a cost 100 times or more the tipping fee at Ohio commercial municipal dumps for a comparable quantity of fracking waste (which likely is as radioactive, or more so).

It will take 5000 years for the radium in fracking waste to decay to harmless levels, which is why dental and medical x-ray wastes are disposed of in facilities believed to have the stability to store for thousands of years.  The Thorium-232 which is often found in fracking waste, incidentally (and which is not used in medical x-rays), will take a bit longer to decay to safe levels: 14,500,000,000 years. Yes, billion.  Several times longer than the estimated remaining time the Earth is expected to exist.


Fracking pit

NC Wants to Jail Anyone Who Discloses Fracking Chemicals


This is one of the most outrageous bills yet. The North Carolina proposed bill would also prevent local governments from passing any rules on fracking and limit water testing that precedes a new drilling operations. Read more.

Community Organizing



Russ Dondero

Over the years, I’ve been privileged to have met many famous people who have engaged in our national political life – AJ Muste, William F. Buckley, Jr., Gene McCarthy, William Sloane Coffin, Carlos Fuentes to name just a few.

But meeting with and talking to Lois Gibbs was an incredible experience because like Rosa Parks it wasn’t her station in life which has earned her such respect and notoriety but her determination to confront injustice most would have ignored.

Her message to those of us who want to organize to address pollution issues be it in urban, suburban or rural Oregon must follow three strategic rules

  • Good science is the first place to start to combat those who have been given what amounts to a license to pollute by government agencies like DEQ;
  • Develop good law by asking the right question – not how do you stop the damage from the polluter but how do you make industry safe for its employees and neighbors?
  • Advocates for change must first speak out and then organize.  And as they organize they must learn how to think “outside the box” of conventional politics. Read More from Russ.

Soil Samples from Contaminated Sites

Fracking Companies Disclose Chemicals: What Does This Mean for Environmentalists, Frackers and Everyone Else?


While fracking has been going on for years, many of the chemicals used in the process were considered by industry and regulators to exist under the umbrella of proprietary chemicals or “trade secrets”.  When mixed with water and sand the mixture is pumped deep underground to break apart rocks  to facilitate gas extraction.

Recent pressure from environmental advocacy groups and regulators has prompted fracking companies to release 100 percent of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid chemicals as well as their health impacts.  Many of these chemicals are toxic and the lack of transparency by most of the industry has instilled worry in communities living with fracking.

What one public health researcher at the University of Pittsburgh calls “a step in the right direction” is going to take months to implement, but some hope that this will lead to more transparency by the fracking industry.

While some fracking companies do release proprietary compounds on, the exact concentrations and health impacts are not clearly outlined.  Some 25 states already mandate that chemical compounds be released to the public, and many hope  this move by industry will bring about broad-based transparency and expanded efforts to educate the public.

The industry-backed American Petroleum Institute calls this mandate from the EPA “unnecessary and duplicative” as “chemical information is already available to EPA … [and] state regulators”.  The seemingly antiquated sentiment expressed by oil and gas’ main lobbying group leaves out one thing: people.  People like you and me can’t readily access this information and certainly can’t understand its’ scope of importance.  What does Tetrakis Hydroxymethyl-Phosphonium Sulfate mean to you? Yes, to industry insiders this compound and its role might be easily understood but to me and I’m assuming other non-industry folks it sounds scary and disruptive.

I’m not alone in feeling this way.  Many are calling for the processes and implications of fracking to be presented to the communities this invasive practice is harming to be more accessible.  While this legislation is a step forward it is indicative of a growing movement against the industry’s hands off approach to energy development.  More and more communities are standing up and demanding that the full scope of health, community and social impacts be investigated and taken into account.


Granted Right To Know -Oil Trains Through Your Community


This Order is issued to all railroad carriers that transport in a single train in commerce within the United States, 1,000,000 gallons or more of UN 1267, Petroleum crude oil, Class 3,[1] sourced from the Bakken shale formation in the Williston Basin (Bakken crude oil). By this Order, DOT is requiring that each railroad carrier provide the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) for each state in which it operates trains transporting 1,000,000 gallons or more of Bakken crude oil, notification regarding the expected movement of such trains through the counties in the state. Read More.