Archive for the 'Making Democracy Work' Category

Oil and Gas Industry Influence: It’s not just the Drinking Water Study!

By John Noël, National Oil and Gas Campaigns Coordinator – Follow John on Twitter (@Noel_Johnny)

Today Inside Climate News and Desmogblog published unsettling details on the oversized influence of the natural gas industry over EPA’s long awaited Study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources. Thousands of documents made possible by a Greenpeace Freedom of Information Act request detail just how lopsided the relationship was between companies, namely Chesapeake Energy and Range Resources and the EPA – specifically when trying to reach an agreement on potential prospective cases studies. The idea behind prospective case studies was for EPA to monitor the operations of a natural gas well from beginning to end, including baseline water quality samples before drilling began. This type of case study seems like a critical and non-controversial aspect of any study designed to identify potential impacts to drinking water from fracking operations. That was not that case. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Right Side of History with a Commonsense Veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

By John Noel, National Oil and Gas Campaign Coordinator – Follow John on Twitter (@Noel_Johnny)

Today we are thrilled to hear the President vetoed S.1, a bill which would approve the Keystone Pipeline and put millions at risk of groundwater contamination while significantly increasing carbon pollution from the dirtiest oil on the planet.

The risk of spills from the pipeline are  put squarely on the backs of landowners, farmers and Native American communities in the pipelines path, while the benefits of the project are concentrated to a few in the fossil fuel industry. Clean Water Action applauds this great news and commends the prolonged grassroots movement that led the call to deny the pipeline and instead chart a course for a truly clean energy future.

California’s Oil and Gas Injection Mess

By Andrew Grinberg, California Oil and Gas Program Manager – Follow Andrew on Twitter (@AndrewBGrinberg)

AG Blog post imageThis is one of the most outrageous things we’ve heard in a long time. As California faces one of the worst droughts in recorded history, State officials have disclosed that California has allowed the injection of oil and gas wastewater and other contaminated fluids into aquifers that are suitable to be used as drinking water. Oil and gas wastewater is nasty stuff, high in salinity, toxic chemicals and sometimes containing radioactive material. New data just revealed that the wastewater from fracking in California contains cancer-causing benzene and other toxic chemicals hundreds of times the legal limit for drinking water.

The last thing we want is for these chemicals to end up in our drinking water, but as of now oil companies are continuing to inject even more waste into the aquifers. Outrageously, the state agency in charge of overseeing these operations (the Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources or “DOGGR”), has continued to allow these waste injection activities, despite identifying more than 2,000 wells that are actively injecting into federally protected sources of drinking water. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in your couch?

By Susan Eastwood – Follow Susan on Twitter (@SCEastwood)

Credit: Arlen, PhotoPin

Credit: Arlen, PhotoPin

Most of our home furniture is padded with foam to make it comfortable. In the past, high levels of flame retardant chemicals were added to the foam in furniture and baby products to meet the outdated furniture flammability standard known as Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117). These chemicals do not provide a significant fire safety benefit and they are associated with serious health issues, including cancer, hormone disruption, and learning disorders[1]. Babies and young children are most vulnerable to the toxic effects of these chemicals since their bodies and brains are still developing.

One of the main sources of flame retardants in your home is the couch. Flame retardants escape and end up in the dust and air, increasing as the foam gets older and starts to break down. Toddlers have the highest levels of exposure because of their hand-to-mouth behavior and proximity to the floor where dusts settles. Biomonitoring studies on children have shown extremely high levels of flame retardants in their blood[2]. The chemicals are washed into the water supply and cause damage to wildlife and water quality[3]. Read the rest of this entry »

Colorado Needs Clean Water – Testimony at Wednesday’s Bicameral Hearing

By Sara Lu, Colorado Director – Follow our Colorado Team on Twitter (@CleanWaterCO1)

Wednesday, the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a joint Congressional hearing on EPA’s proposal to close loopholes in Clean Water Act protections for small streams and wetlands. I was proud to hear Clear Creek County Commissioner Tim Mauck make a compelling case for this overdue proposal to protect clean water. Tim pushed back on many of the myths opponents of this common sense rule have trotted out since it was proposed in March 2014.

Commissioner Mauck, a second-term member of the Clear Creek County Commission in Colorado gave persuasive testimony about the importance of healthy streams and wetlands to Colorado, our businesses and our natural resources.  Protecting these vital water bodies has been a priority for Clean Water Action for over decade. Thank you Tim for your powerful testimony!

You can read Tim’s statement here and learn more about yesterday’s hearing and our campaign to protect all of our water here.

New Standards Will Protect the Most Vulnerable

Rosanna Esparza, Kern County Oil and Gas Program Organizer

Oil and Gas Operations

Oil and Gas Operations

The majority of Californians live in counties with unhealthy air. But nowhere is the air unhealthier than in the San Joaquin Valley.

The San Joaquin Valley has never met the federal health standards for smog. Never. In fact, Valley residents face some of the worst smog pollution in the country. If you live in Kern County, home of the largest oil fields in California, the air you breathe may put your health at risk. Residents face a host of pollutants and toxic chemicals from the oil & gas industry, smog-forming emissions from fuels, vehicles, machinery and engines.

How bad is it? Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve got your local impacts for you…right here.

By Michael Kelly, Communications Director – Follow Michael on Twitter (@MichaelEdKelly)

The City of Alexandria wants to #ProtectCleanWater

The City of Alexandria wants to #ProtectCleanWater

Today the House and Senate are getting together for a bicameral hearing about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to protect the drinking water for more than one in three of us. EPA’s proposal is strong, common sense, and backed up by science. It supported by mayors from Boston to Austin, legislators from Connecticut to California and Americans from Pittsburgh to Pueblo.

So, naturally, Congress is doing everything it can to make sure EPA can never finalize its proposal to protect clean water. Read the rest of this entry »

Tweet to #ProtectCleanWater today!

By Michael Kelly, Communications Director – follow Michael on Twitter (@MichaelEdKelly)

Tweet With Us to #ProtectCleanWater

Tweet With Us to #ProtectCleanWater

More than 800,000 people called on the Environmental Protection Agency to protect clean water in 2014. Hundreds of thousands did the same in 2012. And 2010. And in the aughts. And every time you ask people whether we should have strong safeguards for the water we drink, the answer is a resounding “YES”.

So, what’s up with Congress?

As Bob wrote yesterday, the War on Water is back and many in Congress want to make it impossible to protect streams and wetlands. Which is weird because it’s the opposite of what Americans want.

Well, we can’t let that happen (Learn more here).

We need to make sure our Senators and Representatives know just how much we want to protect clean water. So today were kicking off a social media blitz to show our elected officials that we expect them to stand with us to protect streams and wetlands, not polluters to protect corporate revenue streams. Join in to #ProtectCleanWater. Read the rest of this entry »

War on Water Starting Again

By Bob Wendelgass, President & CEO - Follow Bob on Twitter (@BWendelgass)

The hearing on EPA’s rule to restore Clean Water Act protection to small streams is just the opening salvo in a renewed War on Water. Clean Water Action will be in the thick of the fight…and we’ll need your help to win!

I say ‘renewed War on Water’ because this isn’t the first time polluters have attacked the Clean Water Act. Way back in 1972 when the Act was first passed, they convinced President Nixon to veto the bill. Fortunately Congress overrode the veto. Read the rest of this entry »

15,000,000 Pounds of Toxic Waste Every Day

By Jennifer Peters, National Water Campaigns Coordinator – Follow Jennifer on Twitter (@EarthAvenger)

A year ago today, a storm water pipe beneath a Duke Energy coal ash pond near Eden, NC broke and spewed an estimated 140,000 tons of toxic ash and contaminated waste water into the Dan River. 140,000 tons is certainly a lot of pollution, but what you might not know is that coal-burning power plants across the country discharge an estimated 15,000,000 pounds of toxic waste water in to our nation’s rivers, lakes and bays every day. That’s the equivalent of a Dan River-sized coal ash spill happening every 18.6 days or approximately 20 times a year.

In fact, no other industry comes even close to polluting our nation’s waters with this amount of toxic waste. Wastewater from coal plants contains a toxic brew of heavy metals, arsenic, nutrients and other nasty chemicals that are known to be harmful to humans and aquatic life. And the 15,000,000 pounds a day (or 5.5 billion pounds a year) is only a rough estimate of what we know based on permitted discharges. In reality, many of the ponds where plant wastewater is stored are unlined and unmonitored and, all too frequently, leak or fail. Read the rest of this entry »

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