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Gas Industry Spin Can’t Cover Up Air Problems Associated with Fracking

air pollution spin by gas industryIt’s like the gas industry and their apologists are living in a different universe from the rest of us, when it comes to the risks from shale gas extraction via fracking.  Call it the “Spin Zone.”

At a Wall Street Journal conference last week, Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon told attendees: “I don’t know of any problem with air pollution from fracking in Fort Worth” Texas.  McClendon peevishly referred to air pollution concerns raised by Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay [whom McClendon refused to share the stage with] as “environmental nonsense.”  Since then, industry-sponsored posts like this and this argue against links between fracking and air pollution.

Well, read on.  Then decide who’s spouting “nonsense”:

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Temperatures could rise by 3C by 2050, models suggest

Temperatures to rise 3 degrees C by 2050Global temperatures could rise by 1.4-3.0C (2.5-5.4F) above levels for late last century by 2050, a computer simulation has suggested.
Almost 10,000 climate simulations were run on volunteers' home computers.

The projections, published in Nature Geoscience, are somewhat higher than those from other models. The researchers aimed to explore a wider range of possible futures, which they say helps "get a handle" on the uncertainties of the climate system.

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Fracking: Corruption a Part of Pennsylvania’s Heritage

FrackingThe history of energy exploration, mining, and delivery is best understood in a range from benevolent exploitation to worker and public oppression. A company comes into an area, leases land in rural and agricultural areas for mineral rights, increases employment, usually in a depressed economy, strips the land of its resources, creates health problems for its workers and those in the immediate area, and then leaves.

It makes no difference if it’s timber, oil, or coal. In the 1970s and 1980s, the nuclear energy industry promised well-paying jobs, clean energy, and a safe health and work environment. Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima Daiichi, and thousands of violations issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, have shown that even with strict operating guidelines, nuclear energy isn’t as clean and safe as claimed. Like all other energy industries, nuclear power isn’t infinite. Most plants have a 40–50 year life cycle. After that, the plant becomes so radioactive hot that it must be sealed.

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About That Dimock Fracking Study: Result Summaries Show Methane and Hazardous Chemicals

Dimock, Pennsylvania fracking testAlthough the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3 issued a statement last week that its preliminary tests of water samples near drilling and fracking sites in the Pennsylvania town of Dimock showed no health concerns, the group Water Defense and "Gasland" director Josh Fox went to Dimock to look at the EPA summaries themselves, which they say do report high levels of explosive methane, heavy metals and hazardous chemicals.

The issue is raising renewed controversy over the increasing growth of unconventional gas drilling and fracking and the uncertainty around health and safety regulations.

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Josh Fox Condemns Fracking About-Face By USDA

Josh FoxThe U.S. Department of Agriculture sparked the ire of hydrofracking opponents Tuesday, when it reversed its plans to require rural housing loans on properties with gas drilling leases to comply with the extensive environmental review required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Josh Fox, director of the hydrofracking documentary “Gasland,” was quick to take issue with the USDA's change of heart.

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Nuclear Risks at Bed, Bath & Beyond Show Dangers of Scrap

The discovery of radioactive tissue boxes at Bed, Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) stores in January raised alarms among nuclear security officials and company executives over the growing global threat of contaminated scrap metal.

As U.S. and European leaders tackle the proliferation of weapons-grade uranium or plutonium in countries like Iran and North Korea, industries are confronting the impact of loose nuclear material in an international scrap-metal market worth at least $140 billion, according to the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling. Radioactive items used to power medical, military and industrial hardware are melted down and used in goods, driving up company costs as they withdraw tainted products and threatening the public’s health.

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Fracking's Health and Environmental Impacts Greater Than Claimed

Fracking affects worse than thoughtThe natural gas industry defends hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, as safe and efficient. Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, a pro-industry non-profit organization, claims fracking has been “a widely deployed as safe extraction technique,” dating back to 1949.

What he doesn’t say is that until recently energy companies had used low-pressure methods to extract natural gas from fields closer to the surface than the current high-pressure technology that extracts more gas, but uses significantly more water, chemicals, and elements.

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