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A Quick Whirl Around The Fracking World


*NE to rock. Willie Nelson and Neil Young will be performing at “Harvest the Hope Concert,” a benefit for Bold Nebraska and the Cowboy and Indian Alliance in their continued opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline. Date: September 27th, a tad over 27 years since Nelson and Young performed together at Farm Aid-3 in 1987. Hosts: Landowners Art and Helen Tanderup who live near Neligh, NE and have stood up to TransCanada by refusing to grant easement for the pipeline. Update: Aw, shucks, tickets already sold out!

*Fracking USA. The FracTracker Alliance provides a cool interactive map (among many others), showing fracking activity state-by-state.

*Safer oil railcars, for real? The US Department of Transportation wants to phase out the old, dangerous DOT-111 railcars, but “the oil industry and leasing firms,” who own almost all the cars, reportedly are slow-going the process  (costs too much, doncha know). In sharp contrast, environmentalists and others are demanding existing cars be banned straightaway in order to protect the public.

*Gulf of Mexico oil and gas exploration should be getting underway right quick like, with the feds selling “more than 400,000 acres in the Gulf . . . off the Texas coast for oil and gas exploration and development.” While adding $110 million to US coffers (yep, a paltry $110 million), and letting BP get back into the game, this sale also accelerates use of fracking which is needed to penetrate the ancient Lower Tertiary that is packed with dense rock.

*Los Angeles, CA City Councilmember Paul Koretz, noting the huge amounts of water fracking requires, the transformation of that water by fracking into “toxic sludge” which can contaminate the water supply, has called on Gov. Jerry Brown to declare an immediate moratorium on fracking. Particularly urgent during the state’s continuing historic drought.

*Over in Richmond, CAChevron looms large and is supplying a largesse of $1.6 million to put its candidates on the City Council and in the Mayor’s office. That’s $15 and some small change for each of the city’s 106,516+ residents. But there is a catch: candidates taking the money have to publicly acknowledge that fact–and not everybody in Richmond digs being a “company town.”

*NC’s Mining and Energy Commission is beginning public hearings on fracking. In June, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed a bill legalizing fracking after a bitter two-year fight, but opposition continues—“State officials have fielded hundreds of safety concerns, ranging from water supply contamination to waste management.” Touted as a big boon for the state budget and jobs, turns out “the expected economic impact . . . is relatively small.” Ah, NC, “A Better Place To Be?”

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