News and Video From the May 19th March Against Fracking

The following is reposted from www.croatanearthfirst.com

Raw Footage of the march (speeches towards middle):

NC Fracking Foes March in Raleigh (<—- Click to see Channel 5video)

Channel 17 News Coverage: Anti-Fracking Forces March

UNC Seminar on Health Affects

SEMINAR TITLE:  “Hydrofracking: Public Health Issues and Impacts”

SPEAKER:   Trevor M. Penning, Ph.D. WHEN:  Wednesday 23 May, 2012; 1:30 PM WHERE:  Rosenau Auditorium (Room 133)
The UNC-CH Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility is pleased to announce the Seminar “Hydrofracking: Public Health Issues and Impacts”, to be presented by Trevor M. Penning, Ph.D. Dr. Penning is The Thelma Brown and Henry Charles Molinoff Professor of Pharmacology, Professor of Biochemistry&  Biophysics and OB/GYN, and Director of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology at the University of Pennsylvania. His research is related to how polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) cause cancer in humans. Access to the live webcast of the seminar will be available on the UNC CEHS website. of Fracking.

 

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Join Us To March Against Fracking Saturday May 19th

Join us in the capital to march through downtown Raleigh and raise awareness about the resistance to fracking in North Carolina.  We’ll be assembling near Nash Square around 11:30 a.m. and  around 12 noon marching to the Legislative Building at 16 West Jones Street.  We encourage folks to bring musical instruments: drums, violins, trumpets, colorful banners and signs, puppets… anything that will make this fun.  The march is family friendly and fully permitted.  If your group would like to officially sign onto the march as a co-sponsor contact us at dontfracknc@riseup.net or call 919-200-0061 for more details.  We encourage everyone to share this event on their facebook or on listserves they are on.  This date is within the legislative session that begins in May where legislators plan on disregarding public outcry by legalizing fracking and wastewater injection in our state.  It’s time to let them know we won’t let this happen here.  See you in the streets!  This event is also co-sponsored by Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League & Cumnock Preservation Association.

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So Much For Waiting Two years

 FrackUpdate: April 14-17
Sen Rucho’s Terrible Bill: Legalize Fracking, Undermine Local Control

Sen. Rucho and colleagues rolled out their proposal for oil and gas this week, and it’s even worse than we feared.  It would immediately allow exemptions from state rules preventing high pressure injections and horizontal drilling for gas extraction and even waste injection, making fracking a “done deal” in NC, with a vulnerable two year moratorium on permits. The bill would create a new Oil and Gas Board that would conflict with DENR authority for environmental protection, and undermine local control of oil and gas activities.MORE DETAILS AND ACTION STEPS IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS!

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April 22, 2012 · 10:30 pm

Bill Legalizing Fracking in 2014 to be Voted on in May

As legalization grows near, what will you be doing to stop fracking?  Join us in a March in downtown Raleigh this May to say no to hydraulic fracturing.  E-mail dontfracknc@riseup.net to get involved.
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Article below by Craig Jarvis – cjarvis@newsobserver.com

RALEIGH — A state Senate committee on energy policy on Wednesday approved a proposal to legalize fracking in North Carolina in a little more than two years, and during that period establish a new regulations to ensure the environmentally sensitive process of natural gas extraction is done safely.

The unanimous vote by the five-member committee advanced a package of three bills dealing with fracking, criticizing federal energy policy while urging opening exploration off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean, and establishing a pilot program to grow fuel-producing grasses. The bills will be introduced in the General Assembly’s short session in May.

Fracking is slang for hydraulic fracturing, which extracts natural gas from deep underground by drilling down and then horizontally and shooting pressurized water, sand and chemicals into shale formations.

Committee chairman Sen. Bob Rucho, a Republican from Mecklenburg County, said the comprehensive legislation is an important step for the future economy of North Carolina. He said it would ensure that energy exploration and production is developed in an environmentally responsible manner.

But environmental groups were critical of the proposed fracking legislation. They favor the approach recommended last month by a bipartisan trio of House members who called for delaying fracking until more is known about the risks, at least several years down the road.

“It’s like driving a car 90 mph down the freeway with no brakes, no safety belts and a cliff looming ahead,” said Molly Diggins, executive director of the state’s Sierra Club chapter.

Diggins said she’s concerned that the proposal would invalidate local ordinances, prohibit public disclosure of industry records for two years, ease restrictions on groundwater contamination, weaken the regulatory powers of the state Department of Natural Resources and the state Environmental Management Commission, and create a new regulatory board that includes industry representatives.

Elizabeth Ouzts, state director of Environment North Carolina, said the emphasis on energy development should be on wind and solar resources. “It’s a shame and shows Sen. Rucho and his committee are out of touch with the rest of North Carolina.”

The Clean Energy and Economic Security Act would establish four new government entities: an energy jobs council, an interagency task force to develop compressed natural gas fueling facilities, a joint legislative commission to oversee energy policy, and – most importantly – an oil and gas board that would regulate the industry.

Rucho said he met with Gov. Bev Perdue on Tuesday and gave her an overview, and that others would be sitting down with her to discuss the package in more detail. Perdue has come out in favor of fracking, but vetoed an energy bill last year because it ordered her to enter into a compact with Virginia and South Carolina about offshore exploration and revenue sharing. This bill would soften that requirement: Instead of a compact, the governor would have to develop a “strategy” with those neighboring governors, and report back to the General Assembly by the end of this year on how to develop a regional compact. The governor would also be “strongly encouraged” to join a coalition of coastal state governors that has called for a coordinated effort on energy issues.

A spokesman for the governor said Perdue continues to believe that fracking must be done in a way that protects health and safety.

Rucho said he and others have also been meeting with Rep. Mitch Gillespie, a Republican who called for the go-slow approach, and House Speaker Thom Tillis in hopes of getting similar legislation through the House. Rep. Mike Hager, a Republican from Rutherfordton and a fracking proponent, said after the meeting he thinks it stands a good chance in the House. He said he thinks the proposal allows plenty of time to ensure fracking is safe and regulated.

“We think two years is pretty slow,” Hager said. “If I’m not mistaken, this is a process that has been in existence since the late 1940s or early 1950s. How much longer do we need to take?”

Rucho praised the report DENR issued earlier this year concluding that fracking could be done safely as long as the proper regulations were in place. He said the legislation will continue to be revised and will likely end up with even more safeguards than DENR recommended.

The package of proposed laws came out of four meetings by the Legislative Research Commission’s Committee on Energy Policy Issues, and its work is now done. Besides Rucho, its members were Sen. Harris Blake, a Republican from Moore County; Sen. Thom Goolsby, a Republican from New Hanover; Sen. Bill Rabon, a Republican from Brunswick, and Sen. Michael Walters, a Democrat from Robeson.

Jarvis: 919-829-4576

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Join Us in Protesting the DENR Report!

Join Croatan Earth First! in Protesting the DENR Report!
Tuesday  March 20th : Meet at the Wicker Center in Sanford by 6 p.m. at 1801 Nash St.
Tuesday March 27th:  Meet outside East Chapel Hill High School by 6 p.m. at 500 Weaver Dairy Rd.

Help us spread the word, link to this page on your facebook!

DENR Shale Gas Report Released

Contrary to the industry’s history and all common sense, DENR has concluded that fracking “can be done safely in NC,” …  “as long as the right protections are in place.” We disagree!  Every fracking operation around the country has shown the opposite to be true: spills, blow-outs, toxic chemicals in the aquifers and rivers, city water supplies contaminated, cattle deaths, drinking water wells contaminated, strange neurological diseases and cancers developing in affected communities…  We are unwilling to accept these risks for a small economic boom that will bust in the following 40 years.  That’s not even one lifetime, and the people and animals living in the Piedmont will the experiencing the consequences many years into the future.  Natural Gas energy is an unacceptable trade-off.  Links to the documents are below for your perusal.  After this report, it’s important for every person who doesn’t want their land and water to be fracked to show up for these meetings and speak their mind.  Join our demonstrations outside and go inside with a prepared speech.  The land, water, animals, communities, and future generations in North Carolina are depending on you to speak out!


DRAFT Full Report(31MB)
DRAFT Executive Summary(201k)
DRAFT Recommendations and Limitations (470k)

From DENR press release:

“State Environmental Agency Issues Draft Report on Hydraulic Fracturing

RALEIGH – Hydraulic fracturing can be done safely in North Carolina as long as the right protections are in place prior to issuance of any permits for the practice, according to a draft report issued today by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The report also notes the need for more information on groundwater resources in the area where drilling for shale gas may occur before making final decisions on environmental standards.

The report issues the department’s findings following a study of the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of shale gas exploration and development in North Carolina. This study was directed by Session Law 2011-276, which required DENR to study the issue of oil and gas exploration in the state and to specifically focus on the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas. The draft report was issued today ahead of two public meetings scheduled for later this month. The final report to the General Assembly is due May 1.
…..
Findings from this draft report will be presented first in a public meeting to be held at the Wicker Center 1801 Nash Street  Sanford, NC 27330 on March 20, 2012, from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. The second public meeting has been scheduled for March 27, 2012, and will take place in the auditorium of East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill at 500 Weaver Dairy Rd. from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Both meetings will also be streamed live online at https://its.ncgovconnect.com/denr_shale_gas/.

The same information will be presented at both meetings, and public comments will be accepted at both meetings as well as via mail and email. Written comments on the draft report will be accepted through April 1, in addition to any feedback received at the two public meetings. Written comments can be sent via email to  Shale_gas_comments@ncdenr.gov; or through the mail to NCDENR, attn: Trina Ozer, 1601 MSC, Raleigh, NC 27699.”

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Fracking: ACT 13, The Worst Is Coming

Article by Steven Rosenfeld, from Alternet.org

Pennsylvania, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed and where the U.S. coal, oil and nuclear industries began, has adopted what may be the most anti-democratic, anti-environmental law in the country, giving gas companies the right to drill anywhere, overturn local zoning laws, seize private property and muzzle physicians from disclosing specific health impacts from drilling fluids on patients.

The draconian new law, known as Act 13, revises the state’s oil and gas statutes, to allow oil companies to drill for natural gas using the controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking, where large volumes of water and toxic chemicals are pumped into vertical wells with lateral bores to shatter the rock and release the hydrocarbons. The law strips rights from communities and individuals while imposing new statewide drilling rules.
 
“It’s absolutely crushing of local self-government,” said Ben Price, project director for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which has helped a handful of local communities—including the city of Pittsburgh—adopt community rights ordinances that elevate the rights of nature and people to block the drilling. “The state has surrendered over 2,000 municipalities to the industry. It’s a complete capitulation of the rights of the people and their right to self-government. They are handing it over to the industry to let them govern us. It is the corporate state. That is how we look at it.”
 
Needless to say, Pennsylvania’s top political leadership—Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Republican-controlled legislature—see Act 13 as a pro-business, clean-energy bill creating jobs, revenue and improving environmental laws surrounding drilling. That the 174-page bill was essentially rammed through the legislature over objections from local officials, environmentalists and a handful of legislators who said it not only turned “300 years of local zoning upside down,” but exposed the state to liability from wells, was irrelevant. “This growing industry will provide new career opportunities that will give our children a reason to stay here in Pennsylvania,” Corbett said, when signing the bill into law on February 14.
 

Click here to read more of this article by Steven Rosenfeld

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Public Hearings: Sanford March 20th, Chapel Hill March 27th

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February 16, 2012 · 11:32 pm