Day 113: What To Do When Elected Officials Ignore You, @GovernorTomWolf Still Silent About Harm From Fracking

Public Herald Executive Director Melissa Troutman poses with a letter and package containing documents from Dorene Dougherty's appeal of a fracking permit near her home.

Public officials swear an oath to protect the people they serve. But what happens when your officials make decisions that put your health, home, or life at risk? UPDATE (March 30, 2015 11:00 AM Eastern): According to 9-year […]

Oil & Gas Worker Deaths Increase Over 100 Percent Since 2009

Oil and gas worker on a rig during a shoot for the fracking documentary Triple Divide. photo: jbpribanic

On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands by Andrew Schneider & Marilyn Geewax for NPR  Blue-collar workers, hit hard by automation and factory offshoring, have been struggling to find high-paying jobs. One industry does offer opportunity: As baby […]

Part 1 of “Fracking Road Trip” Series: Truthout Documents Fracking Across the States

A frack sand processing plant in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin. photo: Mike Ludwig

The Mines That Fracking Built by Mike Ludwig for This story is the first installment of Truthout’s Fracking Road Trip series on the wide-reaching impacts of the fracking industry.   The bluffs rise up gently from the rolling […]

Fracking’s “New Saudi Arabia”

Mississippi River from Fire Point Overlook, Allamakee County. photo: J. Stephen Conn

Sand Land: Fracking Industry Mining Iowa’s Iconic Sand Bluffs In New Form Of Mountaintop Removal A collaborative report by Steve Horn of DeSmogBlog and Trisha Marczak of Mint Press News Within immediate vicinity of a central battleground of the […]

Watched: Jacquelyn Kingsley saw “Triple Divide”


Triple Divide is a tremendously moving film. To hear landowners and farmers speak of having their land rights and human rights violated was powerful and upsetting. I appreciate their willingness to honestly describe what they're going through. Their testimonies, along with the demonstration at the beginning of the film of how fracking representatives approach landowners, give audiences an idea of our collective vulnerability to the manipulations and deceptions of an uncaring and immoral industry. However, at the end of the film, one man's clarion call reminds us that we can always develop our collective strength. I love the bold and inspiring declaration of the landowner who says he will not succumb without a fight. That's what we all have to do to the extent that we are able: intelligently and peacefully resist. I think it's great that the film emphasizes the importance of high quality and exceptional streams and bodies of water that are being threatened by fracking operations and a lack of state protection. Perhaps the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) should be prosecuted for failing to punish industry/ company violations of the commonwealth laws in its state and endangering these vital water sources, aquifers, and thus the public health. Hopefully, residents will place more pressure on the DEP to execute its responsibilities in a more transparent and timely fashion. Triana Energy should refer to themselves not as "21st Century Explorers" but as 21st Century Colonizers. In fact, all of the natural gas companies depicted in the film could be labeled as 21st Century Colonizers as their profit-driven and short-term interests drive their destructive exploitation of already established communities.

Despite History of Environmental Protection, California Lags on Fracking

Fracking for shale gas in the US. photo: Nigel Hawtin

Hydraulic Fracking in California: New Report Addresses Wastewater and Potential Water Impacts by Jayni Foley Hein for Legal Planet: The Environmental Law and Policy Blog   Today, Berkeley Law released a new report on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in California, […]

Watched: Elisabeth Hoffman saw “Triple Divide”

Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman talk about their film “Triple Divide” at a Butler Area Public Library screening. photo: Michael Bagdes-Canning

I drove through Pennsylvania on the turnpike early Saturday. Past the billboards for “Affordable coal energy: Increasingly green and always red, white and blue” and “Wind dies, sun sets. You need reliable, affordable, clean coal electricity.” Past the giant wind turbines on the mountain ridge near Somerset. I picked up my brother in Pittsburgh, a frack-free zone, and headed for the western Pennsylvania premier of the film “Triple Divide” at the Butler Area Public Library. This part of the state is not frack-free. “Triple Divide” the documentary is impressive and disturbing storytelling about the free-for-all that is fracking in Pennsylvania. Triple divide the natural phenomenon sends the waters in fracked Potter County, Pa., into three North American watersheds. At this juncture, the Allegheny River heads west to the Ohio River and eventually to the Gulf of Mexico, the Genesee River finds its way north to Lake Ontario, and the west branch of the Susquehanna River winds southeast through Maryland and into the Chesapeake Bay. As filmmaker Melissa Troutman says in the movie’s narration, “For the triple divide, everything is downstream.” These rivers form the ecological foundation for life in the region, not to mention providing drinking water for millions in and beyond the region.

The Hand that Feeds, The Mouth that Eats…


More Than a Matter of Opinion: Ed Rendell’s Plea for Fracking Fails to Disclose Industry Ties by Justin Elliott for ProPublica Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell took to the New York Daily News op-ed pageWednesday with a message to local officials: […]

Trailblazers: List of the Harmed Gets Mapped

David Headley, appearing in List of the Harmed, stands in front of dumpsters filled with his contaminated land. The soil and rock awaits test results for radioactivity to determine its suitability for deposit in a landfill. Meanwhile, it sits on David's property. © J.B.Pribanic

Fracking can leave an unsightly, uneven, and dangerous trail - altered earth, polluted water, toxic waste, and neighbors with reported health problems ranging from dizziness to death. Jenny Lisak, co-director of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air (PACWA), curates reports of people impacted by shale gas extraction and development in the “List of the Harmed.” The list is ever-growing and gives names, locations, and symptoms as reported by those exposed to the shale gas industry’s negative effects. As of March 20th, 2013 there are 1,123 reported incidents on the “List of the Harmed.” FracTracker, a nonprofit that offers shale gas-related data storage, analyses, and mapping, recently visualized the “List of the Harmed” in an interactive map. “Part of the reason the FracTracker Alliance wanted to map the list is because it helps people understand the geographic distribution of incidents. We find that putting data on a map provides people with an intuitive understanding of impacts that are being felt in their communities in ways that columns and rows of raw data sometimes do not convey,” explains Matt Kelso, Manager of Data and Technology at FracTracker.