Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Wolf: New York’s fracking ban is “unfortunate”

At a press conference in Kingston, Pa., governor-elect  Tom Wolf called New York's ban on fracking "unfortunate."

Katie Colaneri/StateImpact Pennsylvania

At a press conference in Kingston, Pa., governor-elect Tom Wolf called New York's ban on fracking "unfortunate."

Democratic Governor-elect Tom Wolf says New York made the wrong move by banning fracking.

New York State health officials say there isn’t enough evidence to show whether or not gas development has an impact on public health. Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker wrote in a report released Wednesday that “absolute scientific certainty” is “unlikely to ever be attained,” which is why his department said it could not recommend allowing natural gas development in the Empire State.

At a press conference Wednesday in Northeast Pennsylvania, which is home to some of the most lucrative gas wells in the state, Wolf called New York’s decision “unfortunate.” He says he believes fracking can be done safely.

“I want to have my cake and eat it, too. I don’t want to do what New York did,” he said. “I want to do what I think we can do here in Pennsylvania and that is have this industry, but do it right from an environmental point of view, from a health point of view.”

It is a position, Wolf said, that has not gotten him credit from either hard-lined environmentalists committed to a ban on fracking or with the state’s natural gas industry.

Marcellus Shale Coalition President Dave Spigelmyer said in a statement that while he appreciates Wolf’s support for the industry, the coalition “looks forward to working with the governor-elect on common sense policies that will help bolster Pennsylvania’s position as a top natural gas-producing state.”

Although he opposes a statewide ban on fracking in Pennsylvania, Wolf supports a moratorium in the Delaware River basin and on new leasing in state parks and forests.

The incoming governor would not get into specifics, but said one of his priorities will be to create a health registry that would monitor impacts in heavy drilling areas. That idea was proposed under the outgoing Corbett administration in 2011, but the legislature never allocated funding to the state Department of Health to do the work. The proposal was also opposed by the industry.

Following revelations in June that the DOH had practices in place that muzzled employees on the issue of drilling, some environmental groups and public health professionals called for the state to recommit to plans for a health registry.

As of Wednesday, the DOH has logged 76 drilling-related health complaints since 2011, but has said the substance of those complaints cannot be made public.

Again, without elaborating on specific policies, Wolf said his administration would be “open and transparent about what our health challenges are” and is directing some members of his transition team to review New York’s health report.

“What we’ll find is in the absence of good regulations, in the absence of a strong concern for health, you have problems,” he said.

Comments

  • Fracked

    “Unfortunate”????? Unfortunate for whom???

    • Fracked

      I have waited to hear what Tom Wolf would have to say after the NY announcement. I was hoping it would be more of “we will look really hard at the impacts and demand the industry prove they do no harm” meanwhile new water wells are being drilled for the families that agree to behave and go along with the gas company and others haul in their water. I am very very disappointed and hope the rest of PA WAKES UP!

    • paulroden

      Unfortunate for the gas industry. What do you expect him to say after accepting $273,000 dollars from the gas industry? He needs the tax revenue from the extraction tax, which I don’t think will pass the Republican controlled legislature. They are more anti-tax, anti-regulatory and anti-government minded then the previous Assembly, with even fewer Democrats. There are more Tea Party type Republicans. So good luck with the extraction tax.

  • Clarity

    I think it is very fortunate for residents of New York State. Who cares if it’s good for the economy when it pollutes the air and water. If you can’t even drink the water what’s the point??? These people don’t seem to care about the health of their children nor their own health for that matter. It’s very selfish! Money blinds them.

    • floridanativee

      You may want to list an example of fracking causing ground water contamination to prove your point.

      • CitizenSane1

        Stop playing a game of semantics. We’re all way beyond that. It’s not the “fracking process” itself that causes ground water contamination and methane leaks into aquifers and into the atmosphere. It’s the cumulative process itself that has been falsely labeled “fracking”. Failing well casings, drilling through an aquifer for the initial well bore, cumulative spills, well blow-outs, leaking flow-back impoundments, and the industry trying to cut corners and minimize their drilling operation costs by illegally dumping toxic flowback into streams and on roadways – especially when it’s raining. So, in the narrow sense, you’re correct that “fracking does not cause ground water contamination”. The entire process of unconventional high-volume/slick water horizontal drilling, and limits of cement well casings, do. Since you asked for an example – In Pennsylvania, the PA/DEP has 243 “documented cases” of ground water contamination directly linked [proven] to unconventional horizontal shale gas drilling. See for yourself. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/29/3477184/pennsylvania-fracking-water-contamination/

        • floridanativee

          I never bother to open any thinkprogress links. I see you could not come up with any examples. The famous 243 PA were complaints. Not a single one was proven.

        • James Brotherton

          Here is an analysis I copied when the DEP report first came out. It addresses PA well water quality in general and the data from the report. The author chose to remain anonymous because of all the internet kooks.

          Let’s look at some PA water facts. 3.5 million people in PA get their drinking water from over 1,000,000 private wells. Around 20,000 new wells are drilled in PA each year. According to date from the Rural Conservancy, 40% of all PA private fresh water wells do not meet at least one federal water standard. This suggests that over 400,000 fresh
          water wells are unsafe, and 8,000 new unsafe water wells are drilled each year in PA. Why is it that 243 water sources
          damaged over a period of several years . . . . that’s about two per month . . are such a tragedy and raise so much ire, when there are 8,000 wells per year, or around 22 new wells per day, put into service without meeting federal water standards? Where’s the outcry over these public
          health hazards?

          And by the way, it’s not 243 wells that are contaminated by natural gas development.

          I would encourage people to actually dig into the list provided by the PA DEP regarding cases of water
          contamination. The list has 243 entries, but when I actually downloaded and read the DEP letters linked from the list I found 198 distinct water sources for which there are complaints. Due to the poor administrative processes
          pointed out recently by the auditors, it’s sometimes difficult to figure out what the DEP has done. I counted 123 wells, 26 springs, and could not identify the water source for 49 others. DEP letters indicate that 82 of the 198
          complaints, or 41%, have been resolved. 42 of those were resolved with no action required: lab testing indicates that the water quality returned to normal with no further action required. There are 116 complaints, or 59%, where
          the DEP letters available on line do not indicate that those issues have been resolved. That may mean that those issues remain, or it may mean that DEP did
          not include the final resolution letters in the material available. I suspect that the number resolved is less than the number of outstanding issues, but I can’t say for sure any particular number.

          In reviewing all the letters, it looks to me as if the changes made in the rules and regulations in 2012 have
          made a difference in DEP reporting. The format and amount of detail in the letters varies by DEP district office, but in general the newer the report is, the more detail it has.

          In 89 of the individual cases the reports have enough data to look at the DEP response time. In these 89 cases, where both the date of the complaint and the date of the first DEP
          on-site visit and collecting a sample for lab analysis is available, 45% of the initial lab samples were taken on the day the complaint was received. 75% of the cases had at least one lab sample taken within 12 days of the initial
          complaint. That could be better, but I was pleasantly surprised by the 45% sample rate on the same day the complaint was made. I have no data on the distances between DEP offices and sample locations, since the names and addresses have been redacted from the letters.

          Things I learned from reading
          these letters:

          1. Springs are vulnerable to contamination from nearby (especially upslope) road construction and failing
          impoundment linings. Springs are also vulnerable to drill cuttings migrating via surface water flow into spring boxes. These can and are fixed easily.

          2. A number water supplies were restored by drilling new wells or drilling existing wells deeper.

          3. There were at least six cases of spilled or leaking flowback fluid (bad liners in containment). These were all on the surface or in the surface water. All of these were corrected/mitigated.

          4. There are no determinations (that I could see) that indicated any migration of water from the deep layers
          where hydraulic fracturing takes place to the surface. The reports are available, take a look. I might be wrong.

          What is clear is that the DEP has tried to determine what happened, who is responsible, ran lots of lab tests, and has been willing to tell the public that “gas well drilling has
          impacted your water supply”. Good for them. DEP is willing to say “we are still looking to find the source” and also to tell folks when tests indicate that the methane in their water is from previously existing shallow sources, not natural
          gas development. DEP is also going after companies that are slow to provide remediation. DEP may not be as fast to respond as we all might like, when it comes to making the companies respond, but they have to get lawyers and judges involved to produce “Orders” if the companies do not get the hint. It’s also clear that each DEP office does things a bit differently, and that needs to be fixed.

          So from the data available, it appears to me that DEP has on the order of 120 unresolved (or resolutions not reported) cases, out of a total of 198 individual water sources, since 2009. PA generates about 22 new fresh water wells per day, on average, that do not meet at least one federal water standard. Looks to me like drilling fresh water wells poses a much more significant public health hazard than natural gas
          development.

          • CitizenSane1

            There is a difference between biogenic methane in small fractional quantities of less then 3 ppm and thermogenic methane that can only come from fossil fuel deposits and has appeared as high as 60+ ppm in people’s drinking water within two miles of unconventional shale drilling. Isotope testing by the DEP, the EPA, and private licensed geologists have been able to determine the difference.

          • James Brotherton

            I’m not denying that poor well casing has led to contamination; it has. There are far more cases, however, of people not hiring professional hydrologists when sinking a new water well, and sinking that well through a methane bed or coal seam. The isotopic identification is the actual proof. The ppm measurement is just a possible indicator. There are plenty of examples of high methane readings in the wells that were sunk into methane and coal beds.

          • http://www.crackineverything.com/ DeanMarshall

            Again, you are just blowing smoke James! Do they pay you to lie for them? Seriously! Here is the simple case, I will use small words and you can read slow so you have a chance to understand…… People drank safe water from many farmstead wells for generations. Drilling began on nearby hillsides. Water came out of taps fizzing, brown, or black, or grey, slimy, plastic like scum on the surface, odors of Diesel fuel, rotten eggs, and metallic taste. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THOSE HOUSEHOLDS! Deny it, Minimize it, poo-poo it all you want. You are full of shit dude!

          • James Brotherton

            For someone as condescending as you are, I’d expect you to present some sort of case that follows what I said in my post. The first sentence says that I agree about poor well casing leading to contamination. What part do you not understand? How is that denying the incidents? Instead of being a snarky d-bag, try not to be so emotional about this. In the cases of actual contamination, homeowners that have threatened legal action have been compensated by the drillers.

          • Jim Young

            I live about 5 miles from the Stringfellow Acid pits, the ones they stopped dumping toxic waste into over 40 years ago, and have been trying to clean up for 27 years. They added another $25 million in equipment recently (last couple of years). The victims may have gotten settlements with nondisclosure agreements to keep the health impacts secret, but people like a tow truck driver repossessing cars in the area, told me of the young cancer victim in one family, in a story that seemed too common in the area.

            In short, I don’t trust very many of the industry scientists in geology, etc that depend on industry self-reported data. I damn well won’t ask a geologist about health or epidemiology either. Why don’t you try asking the experts in the real areas of concern rather than the ones with direct or indirect financial interests?

          • James Brotherton

            I’ve been in the field of chemical safety for over 20 years now, so I really don’t have to depend on others to grasp what is at stake here. I often review scientific studies that deal with health and the environment and am continually amazed by how much shoddy work slips through the peer review cracks. I don’t work for the oil and gas industry. My family lives in Northern Colorado, so I have a great deal of interest in fracking and its potential impacts.

          • Jim Young

            Seems it took a lot to get the DEP to collect data given employee reports of being told not to, so I doubt the data collected is little more than the tip of the iceberg.

            PSU’s Dr. Sue Brantley, in a very small part of her presentation, How Fracking Impacts Our Water: The Pennsylvania Experience,” April 9th at UCR. admitted she didn’t have anywhere near the data (from a health perspective, or even industry self-reported data) to make the comprehensive evaluation of the risks. One reason was non-disclosure agreements that she said residents “wanted,” perhaps to “protect” their property value. I took that to mean, they were afraid no one would want to pay a good price for land they either found was already contaminated or had been by fracking related pollution.

            Seems there is a huge imbalance in data collection (DEP appointees resisted as much as possible), with as much as possible positive PR on the profitable geological side, and the absolute minimum on health and environmental risks, so much so that the mere claim that there had never been a documented case had to raise bright red flags. Who could believe anything is so perfect?

            If they can make such an outrageous sounding claim, then it seems a far harder look is required on the thoroughness of the inquiries, especially if no trusted agents get to see the non-disclosure agreements that might tell a very different story.

          • James Brotherton

            The non-disclosure agreements only apply to cases that were settled out of court, where the homeowners received compensation. I’m not doubting Dr. Brantley’s expertise, but to say that she doesn’t have a vested interest in conducting more research is a stretch. Researches usually call for more research because it means more funding. I can accept that, but I see if for what it is. I agree that perhaps more data are needed that pertain to actual contamination. I think DEP is sorting through that right now and trying to differentiate between the reports they received over the past couple of years, and actual incidents of contamination from drilling activities.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522786448 Scott Cannon
        • floridanativee

          Debunked. Sorry

          • CitizenSane1

            By who? Energy in Depth, or Marcellus Drilling News? I see you offered no evidence to support that they were, as you put it, “debunked”.

          • airTHATiBREATHE

            Where and how was this debunked? Fracknation? I’ve seen a recent letter of determination myself from the Harford PA area! They had pretesting done before drilling and DEP determined the company was at fault. Complaint
            # 308755, dated November 21st of this year. So the numbers are increasing. Contact DEP if you really want to know the truth. I’m sure you won’t. Stay in the land of willful ignorance.
            Seems whatever they are doing can’t be done safely since they haven’t yet learned from their mistakes.
            There has been enough frackcidents in my community and poor air quality too, that shows it is not safe! They
            say it can be done safely but why isn’t it? Companies approaching 1000 violations but rarely receive any fines that matter if they get one at all and are allowed to retain permits and continue to “oops”, while receiving tax breaks and subsidies to do so! Meanwhile we will continue to be forced to be guinea pigs in this experiment, while our new Gov adds a health registry, adding many more to the “List of the Harmed”. An exodus to NY to live may be in order!

          • floridanativee

            See link above

          • airTHATiBREATHE

            So the DEP is wrong and PR front groups for the industry are right?

          • floridanativee

            Those are DEP complaints, not instances of actual contamination from fracking. Just list several actual instances of ground water contamination from fracking.

          • airTHATiBREATHE

            “Fracking”‘s natural gas production activities have caused proven cases of well water contamination. If you are going to be stuck on semantics let’s seem them produce NG by only the frack! I gave you one of the complaint number which the DEP determined the company was at fault.so do the work yourself. Contact DEP! Oh here’s another recent one in Wysox, Bradford County, Complaint # 300692 that also had pretesting and DEP determined the company was at fault per determination letter dated November 13, 2014. Then there is the newest one in Dimock, Susquehanna County, determination letter dated Oct 28, 2014, Complaint #301074, company also at fault. Enjoy your homework! How many people need to have impacts to their air, water and ultimately health before it’s determined unsafe or is safe as long as you are the one not being impacted or perhaps gov-elect Wolf?

          • paulroden

            He is a study suppressed by the gas drilling industry about gas wells being drilled in Wyoming by the same companies drilling in PA. http://www.epa.gov/region8/superfund/wy/pavillion/EPA_ReportOnPavillion_Dec-8-2011.pdf or to the List of the Harmed: http://pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/the-list/ Or read the report Dr. Zucker gave with his presentation in Governor Cuomo’s Cabinet Meeting:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/nyregion/cuomo-to-ban-fracking-in-new-york-state-citing-health-risks.html

            Or how about a recent study using the PA DEP’s own data by Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, a oil drilling geologist from Cornell University published in the proceedings from the National Academy of the Sciences: http://www.pnas.org/content/111/30/10955.short
            The evidence continues to mount up against fracking, not to mention it’s impact on global warming and climate change. And you can add to that the fact that there is little study of the radioactive radon in the fracked gas, the cost and impact of storing the fracking waste water and drill cuttings and earthquakes caused by deep well injection of fracking wastes. If the chemicals used in fracking are so safe, why are the gas drillers exempt from complying with the provisions of the Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Drinking Water, and Resource Conservation and Reclamation Acts by the Energy Policy Reform Act of 2005, the so called Halliburton Loop Hole? What is the industry trying to hide by saying the chemicals are “proprietary” if they are so safe and can be found under your kitchen sink, garage or basement workshop? I don’t think most people have benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene in their homes among the hundreds of other toxic, carcinogenic, endocrine disruptive and mutagenic chemicals in their fracking fluids. Any way you look at it, fracking is too dangerous, too expensive to be conducted safely and totally unnecessary for our energy needs.

          • floridanativee

            Link to EPA Sec stating that there has never been a singel case of contaminated groundwater from the fracking process.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4RLzlcox5c

            Your Ingraffea is a known hack and the fact that you did not know this speaks volumes of your lack of knowledge. Now I am waiting for a link to one of the 243 cases you keep lying about to be proven. Don’t have to do all 243 just one will do. Remember Yoko Ono is not considered a valid source.

          • Jim Young

            Jackson said there wasn’t a single documented case, not that here were no cases. There will never be a “documented” case as long as the industry can keep them from documenting it. I refuse to depend on the pencil pushers and go to ask the workers in the field (who aren’t allowed to document, on the record, what they see first hand, if they want to keep their jobs).

            Would you care to invite a panel of experts that include Dr. Cathles, and Ingraffea, to a surprise visit to a drilling site, ask the workers exactly what they are doing, and compare it with what locals see? How about the experts just sit back and let the locals ask the workers what’s being done, so neither side gets to spout the talking points, and the “experts” be required to answer the on-site observers and workers.

            P.S. If the NSA wants to spy on us, ask them to verify there are no coverups by industry, and the non-disclosure agreements are not hiding critical public health information.

          • floridanativee

            Just link to a documented case. The last two EPA Secretaries have said there hasn’t been any, Are they lying or is it just you?

          • Jim Young

            What part of they won’t document what is really happening did you not understand? Yes they told the deceptive, narrow, unrepresentative, finely parsed, and useless for real protection from hazards, “truth.”

            The moon is not made of cheese, is also the “truth,” for whatever you think that is worth.

          • floridanativee

            So now you are saying the EPA is lying about fracking? Does your tin foil hat protect you?

          • Jim Young

            Twist, twist, twist. They didn’t lie, they didn’t document it.

          • floridanativee

            They spent millions on trying to prove it. As good little libtards they would have loved to ban fracking. They sampled every one of the Central PA wells the lawyers drummed up for Gasland and found nothing. You guys are continuing to rant and rave about the wells EPA approved. Methane has been in wells for 200 years. Now if you still think fracking has caused ground water contamination in PA, just link to the actual study. NO BS websites either.

          • Jim Young

            Given experience with people in the field, observing the situation in person, and industry scientists, I wouldn’t trust the industry scientists who base too much on industry self reported data.

            I know you will never quit insisting the industry supporters are as pure as the driven snow, so I won’t try to change your mind. Any others that might have some suspicions that all is not what they purport it to be should watch http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/6392/Heavy-Metal–A-Mining-Disaster-in-Northern-Quebec and see if a similar industry snow job can be believed. Maybe a visit to the area and eating the fish, drinking the water, and visiting the graves of the dead , might inspire a closer look through the smoke screen.

            Keep on shilling if you like, but I’m not buying it unless I see far different results in the field.

          • floridanativee

            So you think the EPA who says after millions spent trying to squash fracking are undustry scientist? That is strange. You believe that wacko funded websites, but not the EPA?

          • Jim Young

            Go to the physical sites and ask the eye witnesses, no web sites of any type need be used (unless you use them to find out where to go).

            And, no I don’t believe politically appointed administrators that over rule, and rewrite the professional, honest agent staff submissions.

            Do you believe anyone if your eyes and ears indicate otherwise?

          • floridanativee

            I do not believe your eyes and ears when so many environmentalist have a long history of lying about things, I read daily from workers in the oil patch who are profracking, You inability to produce any proof tells me you don’t have any. Prove it and maybe you can change my mind.

          • Jim Young

            I suggest everyone go see for themselves before they settle their minds on what to believe. I’d be wasting my time trying to prove anything to anyone that won’t go see for themselves (which is what I hope other readers will do, whether you will or not).

          • floridanativee

            Most people are unable to go see for themselves on most subjects. Modern man has to take in many opinions and filter them through their own experiences. I have read many posting from people working in the oil industry and all have differed from what you report. I am unable to go see for myself, so I am left with the choice of believe all of them or just you. I choose to believe all of them.

          • JimBarth

            I see that you, yet another pro fracking anonymous blogger (what moral cowards are you all?), call those who oppose fracking ,”libtards”, which I imagine is your movement’s less than witty combination of “liberals” and “retards”?
            Should we be reduced to calling you a “conservaturd”, or a
            “conservatard” in response? Do you think this is an enlightened way to interact, or, don’t you folks hiding under anonymous blog names care about enlightenment, or, anything but insult?

          • floridanativee

            Libtard.

          • James Brotherton

            The study about Pavillion, WY, was not suppressed. EPA gave up on it because it used poor sampling techniques when analyzing the water. The data were invalid.

          • floridanativee

            So once again you are unable to post any active links of what you claim. Shameful.

          • floridanativee

            So you didn’t actually read the information. Typical.

          • airTHATiBREATHE

            Natural Gas Now post was from Marcellus Drilling and the author was hoping for fracking in NY. He is not from PA and his purpose is to show how great it would be for NY and debunk negative impacts, just like Energy in DEPTH. Contact DEP and do a RTK request etc. Like I said I bet you won’t!

          • floridanativee

            The negative impacts exist only in the computers of the antifrackers and reports bought and paid for by Putin and the UAE.

          • Chip Des

            TYPICAL A -HOLE RESPONSE!!!!

          • airTHATiBREATHE

            Where and how was this debunked? Fracknation? I’ve seen a recent letter of determination myself from the Harford PA area! They had pretesting done before drilling and DEP determined the company was at fault.
            Complaint # 308755, dated November 21st of this year. So the numbers are increasing. Contact DEP if you really want to know the truth. I’msure you won’t. Stay in the land of willful ignorance.
            Seems whatever they are doing can’t be done safely since they haven’t yet learned from their mistakes. There have been enough frackcidents in my community and poor air quality too, that shows it is not safe! They
            say it can be done safely but why isn’t it? Companies approaching 1000 violations but rarely receive any fines that matter if they get one at all and are allowed to retain permits and continue to “oops”, while receiving tax breaks and subsidies to do so! Meanwhile we will continue
            to be forced to be guinea pigs in this experiment, while our new Gov adds a health registry, adding many more to the “List of the Harmed”.
            An exodus to NY to live may be in order!

          • paulroden

            No one has asked about the earthquakes caused by deep well injection of fracking wastes or studied the impact of radioactive radon in the fracked gas. We can extrapolate from the health impact of the uranium miners out West during the Cold War and from the homeowners who built their homes on uranium mill tailings in the landfill or in the concrete for their foundations that many more members of the public will contract lung cancer. You and I can’t sell or buy a home without testing and mitigating for radon. The radioactive half life is 3.8 days. It takes 10 half lives or 38 days for the radon to decay to low enough levels. I doubt the gas industry is storing the gas for 38 days. The main source of natural gas now is the Marcellus and Eagle Ford Gas fields. They are pumping it to market here in the Northeast and we are all guinea pigs in a massive public health experiment. And of course the gas industry will dismiss any public health concerns, because of their greed. All they care about is the maximizing of profits.

          • James Brotherton

            You get more radon exposure from a brick house (naturally occurring in brick) than you do from fracking.

          • paulroden

            The late Sister Rosalie Bertell, Ph.D., a health physicist, did some of the original research on the health impact from low level radiation. But a more recent study shows that the amount of radiation from the radon in the natural gas is not safe. There is no safe level of radiation. The impact of radiation is culminative. So not being able to vent the radon from your stove, furnace or hot water heater is not good for your health. Bricks, your land, your kitchen counter tops and your basement don’t help matters any. And people are breathing this in right now. No warning, no studies, no public knowledge of the fact. Just the usual poo, pooing and dismissal as “harmless.” That is a lie. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2012/1159/ There is no way to filter this gas out as it is an inert gas, it is colorless and odorless. If there is no fracking, no radon. And because of cost, I seriously doubt the gas drillers are storing gas for 38 days for it to decay. It would cut into their almighty profits and we can’t do that. Can’t have “burdensome regulations” by the EPA, DEP or OSHA interfering with their business operations. The “unregulated, invisible hand of the free market,” can’t be interfered with and it will fix all problems.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522786448 Scott Cannon

            He doesn’t want the truth. None of them do.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522786448 Scott Cannon

            Debunked seems to be a fossil fools favorite word, yet you show no credible examples. Sorry

          • floridanativee

            If these alleged 243 complaints actually were contaminated, then you should have no trouble proving that the were. Stop you lying.

      • paulroden

        You can start right here in the previous reports on the State Impact Page: stateimpact.npr.org/Pennsylvania/, or to http://concernedhealthny.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/CHPNY-Fracking-Compendium.pdf , which is part of Dr. Zucker’s reports to Governor Cuomo’s Cabinet Meeting. Or the
        “Drilling Down Series” in the New York Times at: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/DRILLING_DOWN_SERIES.html
        ; and finally http://thesolutionsproject.org
        / or rmi.org/. After reading the evidence, the only sane, rational, compassionate and
        environmentally responsible policy decision to make is to outlaw fracking once
        and for all. Fracking is too dangerous,
        too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. If the Germans can switch to renewable energy
        by 2050 all the while shutting down their nuclear power plants by 2022, so can
        we. They are not “starving and
        freezing in the dark” nor “wrecking their economy”, contrary to
        the energy industries propaganda.

        • floridanativee

          By the way. if you kept up to date with the news you would know that Germany’s alternative energy program is in shambles and they are building new coal plants. They pay double what we pay for electricity and four times that of China. Please detail where you get your own electricity from.

          • paulroden

            Any scientist or engineer or public health doctor who comes out against fracking is automatically attacked and discredited. You are a hack for the gas industry or you have been duped! Dr. Ingraffea, used to work for the oil and gas industry. He is a Ph.D. geologist being published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That is a peer reviewed scientific journal. But science and facts don’t seem to matter to the gas drillers, only money. You can’t drink money! I get my electricity from wind and solar. I drive a hybrid car. I have cut my electricity bill by turning down my thermostat, putting in thermal pane windows, insulation plugging leaks in the cracks, and switching to more efficient appliances and light bulbs, LED’s and CFL’s.

          • Angrywhitey

            So you are for natural gas use but against fracking?

          • paulroden

            I am against the use of fracking to extract natural gas. The only form of methane that we should use is that which is coming from feedlots, landfills and methane biodigestors. We need to stop burning fossil fuel, but if it is escaping into the atmosphere, it is better if it is burned or put to some use rather than just have it escape. It is 40 times worse as a green house gas than carbon dioxide. Fracking also releases radon, which comes from the radium and uranium that are in the drill cuttings and the strata of the rock from which it is extracted. Radon is one of the tags or indicators of when they turn the well bore horizontal and if they have reach deep enough to frack the rock.

          • Angrywhitey

            We don’t know if .0002 parts methane is worse than .0001 (or whatever the numbers), when it comes to the “greenhouse” effect. We also don’t have the same rocks in all areas, so what may be true in PA, is not be true in TX when it comes to Radon: http://web.archive.org/web/20071231195400/http://eetd.lbl.gov/IEP/high-radon/USgm.htm

          • James Brotherton

            Ingraffea is a civil engineer, not a geologist.

            http://www.cee.cornell.edu/people/profile.cfm?netid=ari1

          • floridanativee
          • Jim Young

            Says you. I have met him and other experts on both sides. I believe what I can see, hear, smell, and converse with in person, and in a comprehensive context. While Dr. Ingraffea was willing to share the stage with others like Dr. Cathles, also from Cornell, the public affairs office would rather cancel scheduled presentations by the academics that support the industry, than allow Dr. Ingraffea to challenge their sponsor’s positions (or versions of “facts”).

      • Chip Des

        YEA, EINSTIEN, IT;S CALLED DIMOCK, PA!!!! AND MANY OTHER SITES SO CUT THE CRAP OUT AND GET SERIOUS YOU SEEM TO BE A PAID TROLL!!!!

        • floridanativee

          Please link to one scientific paper or EPA statement indicating that fracking cause well contamination in Dimock PA. Stop you lying and prove it.

      • TCinPhilly

        Towns in Northeastern PA have had their water poisoned. They are no longer able to farm their land.

        • floridanativee

          Why do you repeat such crap? Lets see the data. Link to it below. Unable to farm the land is a new lie, Congratulations. I thought I had heard them all.

      • Dana Leigh Dolney

        269 cases of water contamination by gas extraction according to the DEP count, and they are barely able to even handle counting, let alone investigating harm. Imagine if they actually did their job of protecting and not just facilitating the industry. I am sure we would find many more.

        • floridanativee

          That was 243 and they were complaints prompted by lawyers. Not a single one proven. There has been methane in wells in that are going back over 200 years. If you have some proof of one being caused by fracking, link to the proof. In the mean time, stop your lying. Your are what is called an useful idiot.

  • env121

    Tom just doesn’t get it. You CANNOT do this process safely.

    • floridanativee

      It is being done safely in many states right now.

      • Roscoe McCloskey

        You may want to list an example of one state in the US where this practice is being done safely. You can’t do that because there is not one state where this is true, but I still want to see what your deluded mind comes up with.

        • just asking

          Roscoe while not expressing a view one way or the other on fracking;
          your question applied to another scenario may give you something to think about.

          Can you list a state where driving is safe?

          • Chip Des

            YOU DONT GET CANCER FROM DRIVING!!!! GO TO DR.SANDRA STIENGRABBR, DR. THEO COLBORN, PROFF. INGRAFFEA WHO WAS A GAS EMPLOYEE FOR 30 YEARS AND SAYS IT’S NOT POSSIBLE FOR FRACKING TO BE DONE ANYWHERE!!! SO WISE UP!!!

          • James Brotherton

            Sandra Stiengraber and Theo Coburn are not credible scientists. Neither in Ingraffea. They are all well-known anti-shale zealots. Yelling in caps doesn’t add to your argument; it only makes you look emotional.

          • paulroden

            No amount of scientific data or research studies seems to convince you or anyone else that fracking is bad. The industry doesn’t care about the environment or the public. Why do you trust them and discredit any scientist, engineer or public health official who presents the data and connects the dots? You are probably being paid to do this. We are not. Think for yourself. Stop carrying the water for these greedy companies. We and our descendants will have to pay the price for the clean up, not these companies. That is what the timber, coal, oil and first generation of gas vertical well extractors left for us in PA.

          • James Brotherton

            Actually, Paul, I’m a chemist and have a great deal of interest in fracking because my family lives in Northern Colorado. There is such a thing as bad science and I’ve seen a lot of it with respect to studies on fracking. I don’t trust any scientist that does not use sound scientific methods. I also don’t rely on statistical modeling or other data manipulation techniques.

          • JimBarth

            It is always interesting when a person appears out of nowhere to (repeatedly in this thread) participate in an internet blog, especially one as informedly written, as StateImpact Pennsylvania. I would have to believe that my Brotherton, James is an oil and energy fellow from Texas, who finds it in his financial interest to begin to participate in such blogging in PA, perhaps a Commonwealth in which his employer, and he, have strong financial interests? I’m only raising these personal points because he has the gall to attempt to denigrate the integrity and credentials of Theo Colborn, Sandra Steingraber, and Anthony Ingraffea. Ms. Colborn, and Mr. Ingraffea., were and are two of the most articulate and informed critics of High Volume, Slick Water, Multi-Stage Hydraulic Fracturing and Horizontal Drilling into Shale that exist. Their science was/ is not formed by being “anti-shale”, but rather their “anti-shale” stance was arrived at by science. Dr. Steingraber has focused on the health impacts that have mushroomed in these extraction areas and has been documented over the past 9 years, and this is a major reason why NYS just banned fracking in NYS. I feel sorry for the citizens/residents of Colorado, Texas, and Western PA, many of whom suffer, so that Mr. Brotherton, and his relatives, may continue to profit from their connections to this polluting industry.
            I imagine Mr. Brotherton has appeared at our internet door, because he is concerned about his income. That fear of his is not a valid reason to attempt to undermine the character, credentials, and work, of such sterling people as Colborn, Ingraffea, and, Steingraber.

          • James Brotherton

            I’ve been participating in fracking discussions for several years. I have an interest in the topic because my family lives in Northern Colorado and I happen to be a chemist. You and your ilk always use the “must be a shill” tactic whenever someone disagrees with your nonsense. I have no ties to oil and gas. I have the gall to call shoddy science into question because I know the difference between good science and bad science. I’ve seen studies coming from Colborn and Steingraber that don’t even pass the red face test. Ingraffea’s work is primarily based on models that use faulty assumptions. The only study using actual measurements at the source is being conducted by University of Texas at Austin and is co-funded by the Environmental Defense Fund and EPA.

          • JimBarth

            I know you have been commenting for a while, as you and I traded emails on an article out of a Seattle, or a Portland newspaper, over a year ago (unless that was the person I refer to below with your same name). I know you think you are an expert, and that you think very highly of yourself. You and I disagree on most all things relating to shale gas/oil extraction, as well as the 85,000 chemicals industry is allowed to put into our air, water and earth, in the US, without study.
            As for the shill part, that has to do with the content of your comments themselves. I asked if you were the fellow out of Texas, who on Linkedin identifies himself as oil and gas. I’m glad to know you are not, but, since you i.d. yourself as a chemist, are you invested in oil or gas? I still imagine you living in Texas, and if not, a western state that lives and breathes with the extraction industry. After all, the chemical industry is very related to oil and gas, and the fact that there are about 85,000 chemicals that have not been researched by anyone in the public health sector, and which industry is allowed to use anyway, is a major reason why the citizens of the U.S. are in such a negative health impact scenario. Theo Colborn, whose research, and whose organization, TDEX, has done so much to bring to the attention of the world the issue of endochrine disruption, may be the subject of ridicule from the likes of you, and Jim Inhofe, but, to the rest of an appreciative world, we adore her. What a surprise. People who make their living in the chemical industry find her work offensive.

          • James Brotherton

            Jim, I’ve been very transparent about my background. I don’t claim to be an expert in oil and gas, but I do a lot of reading about it from a wide variety of sources, because I’ve found the claims by industry and environmental groups tend to be exaggerated. Although most of my family still lives in Colorado, I actually live in Northern Virginia and have been on the East Coast since the mid-80s. I have no investment in oil and gas outside of my general 401k stuff, which I do not direct. The times in which I’ve interjected my opinions are when people post something that is either not accurate or if they are being rude. For example, your claim that there are 85,000 chemicals in commerce that have not been researched is flat out inaccurate. That is a falsehood perpetuated by some of the more extreme environmental groups like NRDC for years. There have never been that many chemicals in commerce at any given time. You can verify the number of chemicals in commerce through the EPA web site by going to the Chemical Data Reporting page. There, you will see that there are less than 10,000 chemicals in commercial amounts during any given year. If you visit the National Library of Medicine website and go to the ToxNet page, you’ll find an abundance of hazard and toxicity information about thousands of chemicals. As for Theo Colborn, she did very little original research in the area of endocrinology. Most of her work was based on a low-dose theory from a study that originated at Tulane University. That study was retracted from the peer reviewed literature because nobody could replicate the findings and the original researchers’ methods were called into question.

          • 1jane1

            Anthony Ingraffea. .
            Dr. Ingraffea’s research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes. He and his students performed pioneering research in the use of interactive computer graphics in computational mechanics. He has authored with his students over 200 papers in these areas. He has been a principal investigator on over $35M in R&D projects from the NSF, NASA Langley, Nichols Research, NASA Glenn, AFOSR, FAA, Kodak, U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, IBM, Schlumberger, Digital Equipment Corporation, the Gas Research Institute, Sandia National Laboratories, the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, General Dynamics, Boeing, Caterpillar Tractor, and Northrop Grumman Aerospace.
            http://www.cee.cornell.edu/people/profile.cfm?netid=ari1

          • James Brotherton

            I’m very familiar with Ingraffea and his work. A lot of it has been called into question even by his own colleges at Cornell. Just because someone has a PhD is a particular field, doesn’t mean they are expert in other fields.

          • Nick C

            Drs. Steingraber, Theo Coburn, and Ingraffea are, without any doubt, credible scientists! To deny this truth is to deny reality. They are also good citizens and stewards of our land.

          • HarryWiggs

            Please tell us why those folks mentioned are ‘not credible.” We’ll wait for your learned and academic words….

          • James Brotherton

            Because I’ve read studies they have conducted and all too often the results cannot be repeated using the same methods. They also have a tendency to make up their own protocols and not following well-established scientific methods. Ingraffea’s work has been called into question even by his own colleagues at Cornell, because he uses made-up default values in his modeling.

          • HarryWiggs

            Documentation, for your above assertions, please. If no support for your ad hom, it’s just your opinion. That leaves about 13 thousand other climate scientists and organizations that agree with Ingraffea and the others. Or, are they ALL in on the conspiracy?

          • James Brotherton

            Climate scientists? Theo Colborn was a zoologist. Ingraffea is a civil engineer. Steingraber is a biologist. None of these folks is an expert in climate science, so I don’t know where you’re going with this.

          • JimBarth

            In your biased, pathetic opinion, you describe (dismiss) Theo Colborn as a “zoologist”, when the more full description, taken from Wikepedia (and there are many other more definitive sources) reads: “Colborn earned a PhD at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Zoology (distributed minors in epidemiology,toxicology, and water chemistry); an MA in Science at Western State College of Colorado (fresh-water ecology); and a BS in Pharmacy from Rutgers University, College of Pharmacy. In 1985, Colborn received a Fellowship from the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress. From there, in 1987, she joined the Conservation Foundation to provide scientific guidance for the 1990 book, Great Lakes, Great Legacy?, in collaboration with the Institute for Research and Public Policy, Ottawa, Canada at the request of the Canada/US International Joint Commission. She established and directed the Wildlife and Contaminants Program at World Wildlife Fund, US. She also held a Chair for three years, starting in 1990, with the W. Alton Jones Foundation, and was given a three-year Pew Fellows Award in 1993.[3]

            Colborn served on numerous advisory panels, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board, the Ecosystem Health Committee of the International Joint Commission of the United States and Canada, the Science Management Committee of the Toxic Substances Research Initiative of Canada, the U.S. EPA Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee, and the EPA Endocrine Disruption Methods and Validation Subcommittee. She published and lectured extensively on the consequences of prenatal exposure to synthetic chemicals by the developing embryo and fetus in wildlife, laboratory animals, and humans.[3]

            In 2003 she founded a non-profit, TEDX, to carry on the work of providing objective, technical information about endocrine disruption and related low-exposure hazards for academicians, policy makers, government employees, community-based and health support groups, public health authorities, physicians, the media, and individuals”.

          • James Brotherton

            Like I said, her expertise is zoology. What do you think water ecology curricula entail? Talk about pathetic. All you can do is cut and paste. You believe anything you read as long as it conforms to your environmental extremism. You obviously can’t form an opinion outside of your green realm. If you actually knew anything about science, you’d realize that zoology and a BS in pharmacy doesn’t make her an expert in climate science, hydraulic fracturing, toxicology or geology. Her work in the endocrine field is largely dismissed by toxicologists, the actual experts in the field, but I wouldn’t expect you to know anything about that. Let’s just agree to disagree and move on, since you don’t seem capable of holding a civil conversation.

          • James Brotherton

            Harry, I should have clarified that they are no more credible outside their areas of expertise than you or I.

          • http://www.crackineverything.com/ DeanMarshall

            So these Highly educated professionals are not credible, yet you, James, in your infinite wisdom, should be believed when you say “everything is fine”??? Your only valid point so far is that you know someone who likes their JOB in drilling. (No mention of the proven fact that Gas/oil workers are routinely exposed to concentrations of toxic substances at much higher levels tolerated in any other workplace in America?

          • James Brotherton

            Well, Dean, I happen to have over 20 years experience in the field of chemical safety, so besides being trained as a chemist, I have a lot of experience in the field. Just because someone is highly educated, it doesn’t mean they are expert in everything. A PhD in zoology doesn’t make one an expert in geology or climate science. What I am calling into question is the fact that these folks often go beyond their expertise without being called into question. Outside of their expertise they are often wrong.

        • James Brotherton

          My family lives in Northern Colorado where there is a lot of fracking going on and they’re doing just fine. Northern Colorado has one of the healthiest populations in the country. My wife’s family lives in northwestern PA, right in the middle of everything fracking and they too are doing just fine. In fact, after several years of unemployment, my wife’s cousin has a job he loves working for a drilling company.

          • Hope Forpeace

            “there is a lot of fracking going on and they’re doing just fine”

            “A 2013 study published in Endocrinology – “Estrogen and Androgen Receptor Activities of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Surface and Ground Water in a Drilling-Dense Region” – found water samples near Colorado gas drilling sites using hydraulic fracturing showed the presence of chemicals linked to infertility, birth defects, and cancer, at higher levels than areas where fracking was not taking place. The study also found elevated levels of the hormone-disrupting chemicals in the Colorado River, where wastewater released during accidental spills at nearby wells could wind up.”

            http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Colorado_and_fracking#Water_contamination

            You might want to look up what happened in Weld county – also:

            Fracking blast kills one Halliburton worker, injures 2 in Weld County
            http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_26930029/one-dead-following-fracking-accident-weld-county

            Jared Polis sues to stop fracking next to his Weld County property

            Boulder congressman seeks restraining order against energy firm

            http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_23733454/jared-polis-sues-stop-fracking-next-his-weld

            “My wife’s family lives in northwestern PA, right in the middle of everything fracking and they too are doing just fine. ”

            NEPENN is where one of the largest fracking water contamination case happened:

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-02/cabot-s-methodology-links-tainted-water-wells-to-gas-fracking.htm

          • HarryWiggs

            Yea, right: I live there, too, and not a *lot* of folks can set their tap water on fire…YET. And there are indeed studies done in Weld County that are beginning to indicate levels o toxic chemicals in well-water, upon which many tens of thousands depend on, up here.

          • James Brotherton

            People have been able to set their tap water on fire for decades in Colorado, because very often they sink their water wells into shallow methane beds.

          • http://www.crackineverything.com/ DeanMarshall

            You Sir are a poor Liar! The evidence proves you wrong and so does common sense! Using that worn-out Rhetoric that “people have been able to set their tap water on fire….” is a smarmy, disingenuous cover-up of the truth. Shallow methane beds do leach into Some wells in some locales. The Methane that has contaminated Many wells in many locations near drilling operations has the isotopic “fingerprint” of deep Thermogesic Methane. You seem to take us for fools which is foolish on Your part. The Chemicals are showing up everywhere the waste is stored, transported, dumped illegally , and spilled in “accidents” at well pads and by tanker wrecks in our rural mountains. Colorado is “fine”? Pa is “fine”? You are a cretin and an ignoramus! Go pound Frack sand up your ass!

          • James Brotherton

            You, Dean, are obviously an emotional train wreck. I suggest you talk to a professional hydrologist some time and learn a little about the quality of well water in PA. Don’t take my word for it. I’m just a lowly chemist and don’t know anything about science. You may also learn a little about the fact that methane in well water is not a new phenomenon. In an earlier post I agreed that there have been incidents where poor well casing led to water contamination; however, in your frequent hissy fits you must not have been able to comprehend that sentence. Yes, accidents do occur. That’s why I and other rational people believe in robust regulations and strong enforcement. Your ilk, on the other hand, resort to name-calling and emotional outbursts but don’t really present anything constructive to address problems with fracking.

          • http://www.crackineverything.com/ DeanMarshall

            The industry cannot be controlled by regs that are impossible to enforce. There are too few inspectors for too many ongoing violations. NYS simply does not want to be ruined like my once beautiful home of Penna.!

          • James Brotherton

            How do you think Pittsburgh was able to clean up its air pollution over the years? Remember when you couldn’t hang laundry out to dry? It’s because of regulation and enforcement. It’s not an overnight process, but it does and has worked in many areas.

          • GibbyD

            WHAT A BUNCH OF BULL !!!! HERE ARE SOME TESTIMONIES OF THOSE IN THOSE PLACES WHERE YOU LIE AND SAY EVERYTHING IS ” JUST FINE ” . http://pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/the-list/ OVER 6 THOUSAND SO FAR TESTIFYING OF THE HARM THEY RECEIVED RELATED TO THE WHOLE PROCESS OF FRACKING .

          • GibbyD
        • Fred Sheehan

          Driving or riding within a motor vehicle imposes risk. I choose to accept those risks. . My choice is not to have a gas well and containment pond next to or on my property and accept the demonstrated risks. I will be subject to the risks regardless. More significantly, motorists are required to purchase insurance to compensate for loss of and damage to property and lives. What insurance is the gas and oil industry required to have? None. Instead the industry has often engaged in endless litigation to avoid financial responsibility for damages which government agencies have assigned to their operations, destroying people’s finances and their quality of life.

      • Chip Des

        hey florida, is this what u want for tourism? CANCER CAUSE THATS WHAT I HAD!!!! IT WAS DRILLED WELL OVER 50 YEARS AGO!!!!
        METHANE AND NOW RADIOACTIVE PARTICLES IN EVEN ‘”PRE FRACKING” ARE NOW RUINING OUR WELL WATER IT CAN NEVER BE DONE SAFELY!!!!! BUY ME OUT IF YOU LIKE IT SO MUCH!!!!

        • floridanativee

          Proof?

          • Suzan Day

            You can’t prove where cancer comes from but polluting the water doesn’t make it better. I know of a well in a friends home that was made unfit to drink and would have made them sick if they didn’t have the gas company fix it.

          • floridanativee

            You may want to show the EPA as they say it doesn’t happen.

      • Susan Wheadon

        Where?

      • Ann DeLucia

        Wrong read Shalefield Stories at friendsoftheharmed.com
        It’s not safe and never will be!

        • floridanativee

          I try to avoid alarmist wacko blogs. The EPA Secretary says that there has never been a case of fracking causing ground water contamination. Is she lying to Congress. If you can prove this, please let me know and I will turn her in. That is criminal/

      • Fred Sheehan

        If the definition of “safely” is that there have been no explosions that have catastrophically damaged property and lives, then it is being done safely. If the definition is that it has not contaminated water supplies and air with toxic elements or compounds, or subjected motorists to dangerous road conditions, or exposed emergency responders to risks due to the need to extinguish fires, it has not been conducted safely. If the standard of safety includes not damaging property values due to, for example, demonstrated risks of loss of well water supplies without provisions for providing alternative permanent supplies of potable water, then it is not being done safely.

        • floridanativee

          The EPA has stated that there have been NO documented cases of ground water contamination. NONE. If you have some, then please post them. I am not talking about undocumented complaints found by the lawyers walking the neighborhoods. The oil and gas industry provides millions of good paying jobs and virtually every American uses their products. The gas companies have built and improved thousands of miles of roads and provided millions of dollars of tax money. The leases have saved hundreds of family farms and allowed the next generation to stay on the land. The fees have given those emergency responders you complain about much needed new equipment that is available for all citizens. If you only look at the bad side, that is all you will see. You must be fair and balanced.,

    • Fred Sheehan

      As a result of the planned review, that may very well be Tom’s conclusion.

  • Robert West

    what a nitwit he is

  • Valerie Baker

    Let’s hope, Governor Wolf and Anthony Ingraffea, become very close friends.

    • paulroden

      And if Governor Cuomo can convince Governor Elect Wolf to change his mind about thinking his decision to ban fracking is “unfortunate”, we have a chance of stopping fracking in the Delaware River Basin. Sounds just like what former PA Governor Ed Rendell said after the 115 -81 vote by the PA State Democratic Committee on June 15, 2013 calling for a moratorium on anymore fracking in the Marcellus Shale until the industry can prove that it is safe. Rendell said that vote should be rescinded and was unfortunate. Fortunately, Governor Cuomo saw the light after feeling the heat from us in the environmental movement. Well so far Vermont, and Pennsylvania are banning fracking and the Governor of Delaware is against fracking. So we have 47 more states to go. There are more of us then there are of them. They may have bought Governor Wolf for $238,000 dollars in campaign contributions, but we out number the frackers. If the government doesn’t ban fracking, then it will be up to us to stop it with our bodies or shut down the government until they do. The next fight besides the Inauguration on Jan 20 in Harrisburg will be in March in Trenton, NJ at the Delaware River Basin Commission. They can put a stop to fracking on the PA side of the Delaware River, now that NY has banned it on their side of the river in the Marcellus Shale.

  • JimBarth

    It is Governor-elect Wolf’s statement that is “unfortunate”. When I voted for him as a clear improvement over Corbett, I certainly expected the future Governor to keep a very open mind and eye to science (as there is no such thing as “safe and responsible” shale gas extraction, it is an inherently polluting heavy industry), and to conduct or support full, open and fair health assessment studies, along with an environmental impact study. This approach took five years for NYS to eventually reach the conclusion that HVSWMSHF into shale is not compatible in proximity to living beings, period. Mr. Wolf’s current approach is less “I want to have my cake and eat it, too”, than “let them eat cake”. He shows a callous disdain for the fate of the victims of the last 9 years in PA extraction zones, with his current approach, and PA residents need him to seriously, and quickly, attend to their health and welfare. I applaud his stance on State Parks and the Delaware River Basin, but the current extraction zones need immediate and forceful action. Let us hope he changes tune on the rest of PA soon, and let us continue to actively support the fractivists in the SRB, along with Washington, Greene, and other counties in PA.

  • TinaMc.

    Welcome to Pa. Where money and greed trump health and human compassion.

  • winterarrives

    “the coalition “looks forward to working with the governor-elect on
    common sense policies that will help bolster Pennsylvania’s position as a
    top natural gas-producing state.”” That’s the disheartening thing, I’m sure Wolf will be all ears for the coalition but will not speak with and visit impacted areas.

    • paulroden

      So come to Harrisburg, Tuesday, Jan 20th, 2015 to tell Governor Wolf at his inauguration to ban fracking now and listen to Governor Cuomo of New York.

  • CitizenSane1

    Two points here that need to be understood and taken seriously in PA:
    http://pacitizensane.blogspot.com/2014/12/new-york-bans-fracking-what-about.html

    1) “Wolf’s spokesman Jeff Sheridan says the incoming governor continues to oppose a ban on fracking.”
    * Meaning he is committed to allow fracking to continue in PA.
    2) “Governor-elect Wolf will work to strengthen the rules governing drilling, increase enforcement of the rules, hire more inspectors, and create a health registry to monitor health issues,” he wrote in an email.”
    *In other words, Wolf will allow PA residents to be used as ‘lab rats and guinea pigs’ as Wolf ‘monitors’ the already well documented health impacts in PA and other states. That is like saying, there is an acceptable number of people who will become seriously, chronically ill, and may even die, that is fair exchange for the tax revenue fracking may generate for the state. I submit that Wolf can not possibly “strengthen the rules governing drilling” when there is no regulatory model that exists anywhere that demonstrates that it can be regulated safely, and as history has taught us that whenever a state becomes dependent on an activity for tax revenue, enforcement becomes more lax in order to encourage more of that activity to generate more tax revenue. PA residents and activists need to wake-up and realize that their “seat at Wolf’s negotiating table” is meaningless. At best it will result in more empty, feel-good, and toothless regulatory language intended to quell the growing resistance to unconventional oil and gas extraction and allowing it to continue as Wolf “monitors health issues” as more people, including our children, become seriously ill, and die.
    *It’s important to remember that Tom Wolf accepted $273,000 in direct “campaign contributions” from the oil and gas industry, and currently sits on the board of, and is a major shareholder in the IREX Corporation, a construction company that stands to profit by building the Keystone XL Pipeline, as does Tom Wolf personally.

    Wolf’s *severance tax will not cost the oil and gas industry one dime as it will ultimately be passed on to the consumers in rate increases. What it will do is create a “cash cow” for the state to milk and become dependent upon as a source of revenue for “other programs” and essentially institutionalize unconventional oil and gas exploration, extraction, and development. Keep in mind, Wolf is first and foremost a “businessman”, and as such, will do what he believes is necessary to generate more tax dollars. In order to accomplish that, we will soon see more regulations “on paper” and enforcement become even more lax than it already is.

    (*The Act 13 impact fees were not allowed by law to be passed on to the consumers and had to be absorbed by the industry, and would have expired over time. This rule does not apply to any severance tax which will be in place forever.)

    The ONLY way to stop this industry from advancing and expanding in PA is for the people to begin adopting “home rule charters” ASAP that will render weak and corrupt township supervisors powerless so communities can enact Community Rights based ordinances that will by-pass the ineffective regulatory agencies like the *DEP, the **EPA, and ***FERC making them irrelevant.

    (*The PA/DEP is funded by the PA Department of Oil and Gas whose operating revenue is generated from “permit fees” for oil, gas, and coal extraction. **The EPA is funded by congress, and congress is now funded by the energy industry lobbyists. ***FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is NOT a true federal agency since they receive $0 in congressional funding, and 100% of their funding from the oil, gas, and coal industry, the very industry whose activities they are commissioned to “regulate”!)

    I would also like to point out that the job of “regulatory” agencies is to issue permits that will allow a measured destruction of the environment by simply attempting to control “the rate of damage”, without controlling “the amount of damage” in order to allow destructive industrial activities to continue.

    It’s the classic example of the “fox guarding the hen house”, which is exactly how it is meant to be. The regulatory system has been designed to keep concerned citizens trapped inside the “regulatory box”, navigating the rules that in most cases were written by the industry, implemented by agencies funded by the industry, and supported by politicians who are either deeply invested in, and/or stand to profit personally from the industry’s continued expansion (like Tom Wolf), or reliant on “campaign funding” from the industry to get elected/re-elected (like Tom Corbett) and/or the corrupt pro-industry shills in both parties in the house and the senate whose “campaigns” were funded by the oil and gas industry.

    • paulroden

      From the Rendell Administration to out going Governor Corbett or “Governor Corporate”, like I call him, the PA DEP, DOH, and the DCNR have had their budgets and staff cut. The DEP gas well inspectors had to send their findings to the Governors office before issuing citations. The DOH(Department of Health) was told not to respond or call back citizens calling or complaining about shale gas drilling concerns or speak to the public at forums or meetings about fracking. And to top it all off the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources had to rely primarily on revenues from gas drilling permits to run the department’s overseeing state parks and forests. Camping fees, parking fees, fishing and hunting license fees or other “user fees” are not enough to protect state parks, forests and gaming lands. That is why under Governor Corporate, I called the DEP the “Don’t Expect Protection” department, the DOH the “Don’t Offer Help” and the DCNR, the “Department of Consumable Natural Resources. Governor Wolf will have to do a lot to change this and has limited resources In which to do so.

  • Lisa DeSantis

    Tom Wolf’s pro-fracking non-ban is “unfortunate.”

  • Steve Todd

    Regardless where one stands on this issue, supporting a moratorium in one watershed, while not supporting same in all watersheds is logically vacuous, and needs explained to We The People.

    • paulroden

      It takes one watershed and a battle at a time. We also have to stop the pipelines, the compressor stations, the salt cavern storage sites, and the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) export terminals, building renewable energy, retrofitting buildings, capturing methane from land fills, feedlots and sewage treatment plants, installing smart grid and micro grids, fuel cells, wind turbines, mass transit, biomass fuels, tide, river current, pumped hydroelectric storage, geothermal, and solar panels to finally stop the dirty energy industry.

      • Angrywhitey

        What if the watershed is 5,000 feet away from drilling? What if no one uses the water for drinking?

        • paulroden

          The problem is, especially out West and in California, there has been a drought for several years now, and their is a shortage of water for agricultural and domestic use. There is also the problem of waste disposal. Once the chemicals are mixed with the water, the water can never ever be cleaned or used again. It is destroyed. It is unfit for human, animal or plant consumption. The chemicals can’t be distilled, filtered or separated or chemically treated to rend the liquid harmless or make it fit for consumption. The water is trashed. It is called an anisotropic mixture. The boiling point of water and the VOC’s(volatile organic compounds) are too close to the boiling point of water to be separated by fractional distillation. I don’t think anyone should be drinking benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene or xylene, commonly known as BTEX, among the 600 plus chemical feast compounds in fracking fluid. Accidents, spills, well pads, cracks, fissures in the rock and leaks from tanker trucks do not allow or follow property boundaries. Fluids go the path of least resistance downhill. Animals and plants still drink and are exposed to the wastes or leaks and then we being further up the food chain consume the milk, the cheese, the yogurt or meat. 5,000 feet will not stop the migration of chemical spills.

          • Angrywhitey

            Anyone who is ever looked at a column of earth or had a basic understanding of geology would realize that in that 5,000 foot layer are multiple non-potable water zones & solid rock, that would indeed stop any migration. And the water being used is not always potable, so your arguments re: CA drought don’t really apply either! Are you an almond grower or something: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/08/almonds-demon-nuts/379244/

  • rockjockpa

    Well the commissioner says that he is unsure if fracking is harmful, but they are going to ban it anyway… OK, class: What NY industry has the highest death rate per thousand and pollutes the most water? That’s right, Agriculture. For the sake of children and grandchidren, we MUST ban farming NOW!

  • AlSever

    Vote with your feet and move to pristine New York City. Or that pristine wilderness in the Delaware watershed–Chester! Most houses have no windows or doors but most street corners have a pack of native predators waiting for human prey.

  • DoryHippauf

    It’s unfortunate PA has yet another Governor has chosen to sacrifice the people of Pennsylvania for money. Instead of learning from Pennsylvania’s past mistakes of the lumber boom, oil boom and coal boom, Wolf is determined to repeat them.

  • Dan Ferrell

    like just about everything , wall street is going to settle the matter…..the shale gas industry is in debt up to their eyeballs, leveraged out, propped up by ponzi like schemes of financing…..investors will pull their support , they already are due to the crash in oil and gas prices…..they can’t make money fracking unless prices are way up from what they are now, and, they were desperately hoping the exporting of it would save them, but, even that is falling apart now…..it’s a sinking ship, smart money already knows that….russia’s deal to send ng to china was a big nail in frackers coffins….not to mention sure to come restrictions on emissions causing climate change, there is going to be trillions in what is called “stranded assets”……and, of course, the fastest growing energy industry, solar, will soon make it all mute point….renewables make too much sense for homeowners and businesses, technology gets more efficient, and, hence, cheaper….whereas fossil fuels consistently diminish, which raises prices…..it’s common sense really, why would people invest in something that is going the way of the steam locomotive? the industry is on a treadmill right now, trying to keep up, but, they are failing…the price to frack is too high for the return on investment……just a matter of time….if you invest, get out while you can, and, put your money into stocks like SolarCity, fuel cells, etc…..or, keep believing a bunch of texas slicksters , up to you…

    • Dan Ferrell

      solar has dropped in costs 70% in just the last five years…..and, everyday they are making improvements…once people realize they can produce their own energy on their own roof or backyard for free, game over…..and, heat and cool their homes with geothermal, no one will use natural gas anymore…it’s a sinking ship , get out while you can….

  • AlexPA

    Wolf isn’t welcome in NE PA anywhere north of Kingston so that better be his upper boundary. Everything else is his extraction colony where we can be sacrificed for his criminal pursuit of shale gas. Article 1 Section 27 of the PA Constitution: “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

  • tke265

    Dec 28th 7:pm join me on wnbf radio 1290 at 7:pm with an exclusive on NY’s fracking ban and the health professionals who are both PHD holders in Chemistry and Practicing prominent medical Dr.s http://www.wnbf1290listenlive.com

    • Hope Forpeace

      I’d like to hear that – can you fix the link?

      • tke265

        Wnbfradio1290.com

        • Hope Forpeace

          This is the radio channel’s website: http://wnbf.com/

          If you go there and search your name, Vic, you get this: http://wnbf.com/?submit_button=&s=vic+furman

          None of those are the interview with Cathles – which is what I think you’re referring to? Yes?
          If you have the actual link, I’d sure love to hear that discussion! Thanks.

          • tke265

            http://www.Jlcny.org
            Upper left side JLC UNITED, cliq on the links to here the show

          • Hope Forpeace

            Fab – thanks – I’m looking for the Nov 2 debate with Cathles – I think you were involved – do you know about that?

        • Hope Forpeace

          Aw, man … you removed your comments about Vera on the Atlantic story! Why .. are you afraid I would screenrecord them? No, I’m glad you did – the stuff you were saying was disgusting.

  • Steve Todd

    I continue to see that Wolf supports a moratorium in the Delaware watershed until such time as O&G – on its dime and time – proves it safe there. Here and elsewhere, he opposed same protection in PA’s other watersheds. The Delaware has most of our wealthiest and most of our Dems…coincidentally. Regardless, it can’t be unsafe (or safety can’t be unknown) where the rich drink, but same process safe everywhere else. Maybe I am missing something, but if so, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf ought to explain to the Democratic Committeeman why he opposes the Democratic fracking moratorium plank which won placement in our Democratic Platform, by a comfortable majority.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522786448 Scott Cannon

    He says he’s sure we can frack safety. We don’t even have a definition of what “safe fracking” is. How much damage is acceptable before it is considered safe? Is Tom Wolf a structural engineer who knows how to prevent faulty well cement casings? Does he know how to prevent surface spills? The gas industry engineers can’t do it, what makes him think he can?

  • Peter Crownfield

    Wolf wants the revenue but doesn’t seem to care about all the people being made sick, the animals dying, the land being polluted, the food becoming toxic. This is what happens when politicians forget they are supposed to care for the people.

  • Suzan Day

    The precious water quality in Pennsylvania is in jeopardy as long as we allow fracking to continue. We can’t put a price on it I already know people that have had their wells polluted and it’s time to wake up!

  • TCinPhilly

    The RIGHT way to do this from an environmentally sound point of view is NOT TO DO IT! This is outrageous. And to say that the impacts are “uncertain” is ridiculous.

  • Douglas Shields

    THE “UNFORTUNATE” GOVERNOR-ELECT TOM WOLF

    In 2010, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the first city in the nation to ban fracking and for good reason; it isn’t safe. New Yorkers and Gov. Cuomo have come to the same conclusion.

    PA Gov.-elect,Tom Wolf (D), like his predecessor, Gov. Tom Corbett (R), doesn’t seem to care about that fact. Mr. Wolf views the shale money as his means to solve long standing structural budget and pension problems.

    Neither Mr. Wolf nor Mr Corbett seem to give a damn about the adverse health and environmental impacts we continue to suffer in Pennsylvania.

    It isn’t what you “believe” that counts Mr. Wolf. It’s what you know that matters. Once you know, you can’t not know.

    So, Mr. Wolf, what do you know about the threats to our health as a result of fracking? Do you, Mr. Wolf, “believe” that it’s worth trading our health, safety and welfare for money?

    http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2014/12/18/wolf-new-yorks-fracking-ban-is-unfortunate/

  • wendylynnelee

    What’s most striking about Pennsylvania Governor Elect Wolf’s claim in a State Impact interview is that Governor Cuomo’s decision to ban HVHF in New York State is “unfortunate” is Wolf’s admission that he “wants to have his cake and eat it too,” effectively acknowledging that Pennsylvania will not be able to protect the health of its citizens and promote the objectives of the carbon extraction industry. After all, when we use that language–have your cake and eat it too–what we generally mean is that you can’t.

    What Wolf makes clear is that “having his cake” is “protecting” the Delaware River Basin–the stronghold of his Democrat voting base–while continuing the sacrifice of the Susquehanna River Basin–”eating it too.” The difference between these two? Socio-Economic status–or to put it more plainly: the Susquehanna River Basin is home to poorer folks–and that makes them more dispensable.

    No doubt, the governor would deny this elitism–but he can’t.

    The very same reasoning applies to the state parks and forests: preserve (what’s left) of the “special places” of those who have the money and the leisure to enjoy them; make them into dioramas that a few folks can stroll through to convince themselves that we did something. Then, allow pipeline companies like Williams to convert a profit venture for LNG export like the Atlantic Sunrise into a “public utility” for the purposes of seizure via eminent domain for the rest of us–destroying our property values and despoiling our land and water.

    As for the creation of a health registry: our response should be nothing but disdainful incredulity. What is the purpose of providing a registry of more instances of contaminated wells and streams, blow-outs, asthma, cancer other than to insure that future historians shake their head is disgust at our greed? What good will it do us to know that we’ve been poisoned when all we can do is decry it–but not put an end to the assault?

    How many of the sick, dying, dead does Wolf need to see before he decides that the New York ban isn’t “unfortunate”?

    Do we really have any reason to trust Wolf–given the $273,000 he took in gas-soaked campaign donations–including money from IREX whose mission it is to gut the Clean Air Act–to make Department of Health (DOH) complaints concerning frack infrastructure “transparent”?

    Nope:

    (1) The item on the top of Wolf’s wish list is an extraction tax that will institutionalize the industry sewing it right into the tax base–making the gas thugs impossible–ironically–to extract, and making regulation even less likely since less oversight means more revenue.

    (2) Wolf says in the State Impact interview that he’s directing his transition team to review the New York Health Report. That, we have to say, would be laughable did it not portend ongoing tragedy. The Wolf transition team is an all-star cast right out of the gas industry (http://thewrenchphilosleft.blogspot.com/…/the-big-gas-wolf-…).

    The only thing more “unfortunate” than Governor Elect Wolf’s willful acts of blindness are the activists who still try to convince the rest of us that he can be persuaded to change his mind.

    Activist: folks who wring their fists, hold up signs, create petitions demanding change–and then go home and tell each other they did the best they could having accomplished little more than the consumptive waste of precious time and energy.

    Insurgent: what we need much more of.

    http://thewrenchphilosleft.blogspot.com/…/a-fireside-chat-b…

  • wendylynnelee

    Hi Jim–with all due respect you never had good reason to think he was “clear improvement” over Corbett. Just on one issue alone–taxing the industry–Wolf had already made his bed LONG before the election. And it was patently clear that safety was nowhere near the top of his concerns. Indeed, Wolf saw then what he sees now–a cash cow that will help insure his re-election. This, however, is a bribe–re-fund education through dollars quite literally extracted from the health and welfare of PA citizens:

    1. A tax on natural gas extraction via fracking will institutionalize the industry by making social programs dependent on its revenue stream. However much the industry resists it, they know that any tax will have this positive effect for them–and so their resistance is feigned and simply aimed at the lowest tax possible. The amount of the tax has no real bearing on the extent to which it institutionalizes the industry as part of the state’s internal revenue structure.

    2. Wolf is the best thing that could happen to the gas industry–far better than Corbett–because while the duped are celebrating Wolf’s imposing a tax, the industry will go about their dirty business as usual–but with the added bonus that they now have the cover of legitimacy behind a painless tax that will guarantee their presence in the state forever–or until they leave us a spent industrialized wasteland. Corbett could never have lent them this cover.

    3. Taxing the industry will actively encourage even less regulation. The formula is simple” Imposing a tax=insuring dependence of social programs=pressure to generate more revenue=pressure for the industry to make more money=weakening regulations. In other words, the more dependence, the more pressure to generate greater tax revenues, and because the tax as a percentage of profit is never going to amount to anything substantial, the thing that’s going to have to give is the regulations and their enforcement. When you add to this the fact that–as this article demonstrates once again–the regulations are meaningless and unenforceable now, just imagine what that will mean given the institutionalization of the industry. Welcome to Texas.

    4. Once the industry is institutionalized in the state’s tax structure, they will be able to exert pressure like never before. They will be in a position to level substantive threats of withdrawal and whoever is governor will cave to the threat precisely because essential social programs–and (thanks to Wolf) funding for education will now be tied to gas tax revenue. The regulations will then be enforced even less, more and more Democrats will jump on board for horrendous bills like the gutting of the state’s endangered species act–and representative like yourself will have paved the way for the future industrialization of the state including the further erosion of property rights, rights to clean air and water, rights to speak out against the industry. In short, an invitation to become part of the state’s essential economic wherewithal in an invitation to corporate hegemony.

    5. (1)-(4) can have only one conclusion: more fracking including all of its dirty and damaging infrastructure.

    I’m not suggesting that you’re on board with the proposed extraction tax (that he’s not going to get through the Republicans anyways)–but what I am saying is anyone who voted for the Gas Wolf had very good reason to know better–and very little excuse for promoting the false idea that he will change.

    He will not.

    Therefore, we must.

  • HarryWiggs

    Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker wrote in a report released Wednesday that “absolute scientific certainty” is “unlikely to ever be attained,”

    Ah….”absolute” certainty is unattainable, period, and *nothing* is absolute, certainly not WRT to science. However, one needs not to be 100% certain of whether or not a speeding train is going to mow you down, while you stand on the tracks and bleat for 100% certainty.”

    COMPLETE red herring, Mr. Zucker.

  • GibbyD

    Having Wolf as our next Pennsylvania Governor , is very unfortunate !!! BAN THE CANCER AND DEATH CAUSING HORIZONTAL FRACKING AND EARTHQUAKE CAUSING INJECTION WELLS !!!!!!!

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