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Protests all over the world.

EPA WISTHLE BLOWERhttp://desmogblog.com/2013/08/05/censored-epa-pennsylvania-fracking-water-contamination-presentation-published-first-time

Exclusive: Censored EPA PA fracking water contamination presentation published for first time
DeSmogBlog has obtained a copy of an Obama Administration Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fracking groundwater contamination PowerPoint presentation describing a then-forthcoming study’s findings in Dimock, Pennsylvania.

The PowerPoint presentation reveals a clear link between hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for shale gas in Dimock and groundwater contamination, but was censored by the Obama Administration. Instead, the EPA issued an official desk statement in July 2012 – in the thick of election year – saying the water in Dimock was safe for consumption.
http://desmogblog.com/2013/08/05/censored-epa-pennsylvania-fracking-water-contamination-presentation-published-first-time

Power point presentation to the article: Exclusive: Censored EPA PA Fracking Water Contamination Presentation Published for First Time
http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Dimock%20report.pdf

http://democracyctr.org/

Full article: global movement pdf doc.


Anti extractivism – http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/09/2011926162439549434.html
The article is interesting is describing the issue for citizen to deal with government transient character and the power of corporations.
lt keeps up on this struggle and highlights the undermining of democracy. It also offers link to the type of retaliation some extractivists are subjected to.

Global anti fracking group on the card http://www.iol.co.za/business/business-news/global-anti-fracking-group-on-the-card-1.1236181?showComments=true

 Doctors Urge U.S. to Block Gas Export Terminals

Report and signatures of 107 people – pseexports

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/13/doctors-urge-u-s-to-block-gas-export-terminals/?partner=rss&emc=rss

Declaration
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statement sandra steingraber - health
Statement on Preliminary Findings from the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project Study Press Release by Larysa Dyrszka, MD; Kathleen Nolan, MD, MSL; and Sandra Steingraber, PhD, August 27, 2013

http://concernedhealthny.org/statement-on-preliminary-findings-from-the-southwest-pennsylvania-environmental-health-project-study/

statement sandra steingraber – health

 

RIO 20 +
Presentation by DeborahRogers

final declaration of the Climate Space held in Tunis during the last World Social Forum.
This final declaration is endorsed by the facilitator organisations of the Climate Space.

You can find the different versions on http://climatespace2013.org :
in english : http://climatespace2013.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/to-reclaim-our-future-we-must-change-the-present-our-proposal-for-changing-the-system-and-not-the-climate/

Declaration Facilitators CS Final pdf

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Statement on

Shale Gas Europe event “Public acceptance and the role of industry”

by Geert Decock, Policy officer Food & Water Europe.

Brussels – The oil and gas industry is going in overdrive in 2013 to sell shale gas and fracking to Brussels-based policy-makers and the European public. Today, Shale Gas Europe – an initiative by Chevron, Cuadrilla, Halliburton and others – is hosting an event in Brussels, entitled “Public acceptance and the role of industry”, as part of its campaign to improve the image of unconventional extraction methods. Despite such campaigns, shale gas continues to face an uphill battle for public acceptability in the EU. Surveys show that Europeans remain wary about the prospect of a shale gas project in their area. And early exploration efforts for shale gas have met stiff resistance from residents. There is a groundswell of public distrust vis-à-vis the reassuring messages of the oil and gas industry. Food & Water Europe feels strengthened in its conviction that the EU can and must avoid the negative impacts associated with drilling thousands and thousands of shale gas wells across Europe. Europeans support an aggressive investment in renewables and energy efficiency, Brussels should listen.

Below is just a snapshot of the many voices, who reject shale gas as part of Europe’s energy mix. A Eurobarometer survey from January 2013 demonstrated that 74% of Europeans would be concerned, if a shale gas project came to their area. In a local referendum in November 2012 in Costinesti, Romania, where Chevron holds exploration licenses, 94,4% of the voters voted against hydraulic fracturing. In October 2012, thousands of Spaniards took to the streets in Santander and Vitoria to protest against exploration activities in Northern Spain.

“Shale gas is promoted as a potential game changer for Europe’s energy supply. Yet, many uncertainties remain”, said Food & Water Europe policy officer Geert De Cock. “The EU still lacks an updated EU-wide regulation for unconventional fossil fuels. The carbon footprint of natural gas remains an open question due to our limited understanding of the fugitive methane emissions involved in unconventional gas extraction. Governments have not drawn up plans on how to treat large volumes of heavily contaminated flowback water. In this context, it should come as a surprise that European citizens remain wary about unconventional gas and fracking”.

Food & Water Europe holds that European governments are putting the cart before the horse, by allowing exploration and extraction to go ahead without a detailed analysis of the risk and negative impacts of large-scale shale gas activities. Until all the climate, environmental and health impacts are adequately addressed, we believe that no further shale gas and other unconventional gas activities should proceed. We call on all Member States to suspend all ongoing activities, to abrogate permits, and to place a ban on any new projects, whether exploration or exploitation.

######

Food & Water Europe works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

Contact: Geert De Cock tel. +32 (0)2 893 10 45, mobile +32 (0)484 629.491, gdecock(at)fweurope.org

Geert Decock

Policy Officer – Food & Water Europe
Tel: +32 (0)2 893 10 45
Mobile: +32 (0)484 629 491
Email: gdecock@fweurope.org
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @FoodWaterEurope

Website: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/europe/

US
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Don’t frack Illinois
As the Illinois General Assembly voted on its controversial bill on hydraulic fracking last Friday , Sandra Steingraber and the people of Illinois released their Fracking Manifesto … The new Illinois Fracking Regulatory Bill being praised as a “national model” contains no worker safety provisions even though the fatality rate among oil and gas field workers is seven times higher than all industries and in some circumstances allows industry to force non-consenting owners to give access to the industry.

Also note the comments about ‘frack sand’ mining in the manifesto. …

http://www.dontfractureillinois.net/a-fracking-manifesto-from-the-people-of-illinois-to-the-nation/

Sandra Steingraber , a well known scientist, made a statement that Inergy is guilty of TOXIC trespass.

This is a must read, a powerful statement by Sandra Steingraber on her sentencing over trespass on private property owned by the Inergy company. She blocked access to a compressor station site that is being constructed in order to prepare explosive hydrocarbon gases, propane and butane, for storage in abandoned salt caverns that are located beside and beneath Seneca Lake.
http://www.the-leader.com/newsnow/x987010447/Inergy-protesters-refuse-to-pay-fines-head-to-jail

Watkins Glen, N.Y. —
Sandra Steingraber and two other activists refused to pay a trespassing fine for a protest at the Inergy property near Watkins Glen, and instead took 15-day jail terms.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/raising-elijah-by-sandra-steingraber/sandra-steingraber-prepared-sentencing-statement-for-the-reading-town-court-apri/571372119549941

Sandra Steingraber: Prepared Sentencing Statement for the Reading Town court, April 17, 2013
by Raising Elijah by Sandra Steingraber (Notes) on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 9:17pm
Your Honor, I am not a lawyer. I am a biologist and a human being. I am also a mother of a 14-year-old and an 11-year-old. I bring all these identities to your courtroom tonight.
I am guilty of an act of trespass. On March 18, I willfully stood on private property owned by the Inergy company and blocked access to a compressor station site that is being constructed in order to prepare explosive hydrocarbon gases, propane and butane, for storage in abandoned salt caverns that are located beside and beneath Seneca Lake.
In my field of environmental health, the word trespass has meaning. Toxic trespass refers to involuntary human exposure to a chemical or other pollutant. It is a contamination without consent. It is my belief, as a biologist, that Inergy is guilty of toxic trespass. Inergy has been out of compliance with EPA regulations every quarter for the past three years. In spite of this, Inergy applied for, and has received, from the state of New York a permit to discharge, every day, an additional 44,000 pounds of chloride into Seneca Lake. That’s 22 tons a day. That’s 8000 tons a year. Seneca Lake is a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Those industrial discharges trespass into the bodies of those who drink it.
Additionally, Inergy’s planned 60-foot flare stack will release hazardous air pollutants, including ozone precursors, as will the fleets of diesel trucks hauling propane. This kind of air pollution is linked to heart attack and stroke risk, preterm birth, and asthma in children. Thus does Inergy trespass into our air and lungs. I see this as a real danger to my 11-year-old son, who has a history of asthma. We live 15 miles to the east—directly downwind—from this facility.
Inergy’s plans to industrialize the lakeshore will bring 24/7 light and noise pollution into a tranquil community. These forms of trespass also have health consequences, including increased risk for breast cancer and elevated blood pressure.
And because Inergy is building out infrastructure for the storage and transportation of greenhouse gases obtained by fracturing shale, Inergy trespasses into our climate and contributes to its ongoing destablization at a time when the best science show us that we need to be rapidly moving away from fossil fuels of all kinds.
Lastly, the risk of catastrophic accidents from the storage of liquefied petroleum gases in salt caverns is real. It has happened in at least 10 previous occasions. The 14-acre sinkhole in Belle Rose, Louisiana, which is now making headlines, was caused by a collapsed salt cavern. It sent crude oil gushing up into surface water and natural gas into groundwater.
As a biologist, I have submitted expert comments and petitions about Inergy’s application for permits to both the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. However, I am hampered in my efforts to judge the structural soundness of the salt caverns because the company that owns them insists that the scientific research that documents the history of these caverns—at least one of which sits on a fault line—is a trade secret.
Your honor, how can geological history become proprietary information? Without access to data, how can any member of the public evaluate the risks we are being compelled to endure by the repurposing of salt caverns into giant underground cigarette lighters?
In closing, my actions were taken to protest the trespass of Inergy into our air, water, bodies, safety, and security. My small, peaceful act of trespass was intended to prevent a much larger, and possibly violent one.
The people of Bellrose, Lousiana, are now facing relocation after the catastrophic collapse of the salt cavern there. Family homes are being abandoned. And the signs on the front lawns of the empty houses read, “No trespassing.”
To bring attention to such hazards for the Finger Lakes–and for the act of protecting water, which is life itself–I trespassed. It was an act of civil disobedience. For that, and because I have deep respect for the rule of law, which Inergy company does not, I am willing to go to jail.

Ban Fracking campaign from Ireland to New Mexico – http://ecowatch.org/2013/ban-fracking-ireland-new-mexico/

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-10/hoaxer-defiant-despite-facing-up-to-10-years-jail/4459208

Movies
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A shocking film showing the power of the corporations (murder, rapet etc)http://www.hotdocs.ca/film/title/the_devil_operation

Marcellus Shale Reality Tour movie


France, Lazan: – day of action, peaceful protest


Action Song from the Ardeche


New York – Surprising video on fracking and its dangers


My water is on fire tonight


Energy Justice Network (Network Natural Gas Opponents)- http://www.energyjustice.net/naturalgas/
Natural gas fact sheet – http://www.energyjustice.net/naturalgas

Energy Justice is the grassroots energy agenda, supporting communities threatened by polluting energy and waste technologies. Taking direction from our grassroots base and the Principles of Environmental Justice, we advocate a clean energy, zero-emission, zero-waste future for all.

We aim to empower the grassroots through various tools including community organizing support and advice, student organizing, digital networks, research on corporations and technologies, limited legal and technical guidance, and our mapping project.

 

EPA WISTHLE BLOWER – http://desmogblog.com/2013/08/05/censored-epa-pennsylvania-fracking-water-contamination-presentation-published-first-time

Power point presentation to the article: Exclusive: Censored EPA PA Fracking Water Contamination Presentation Published for First Time
http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Dimock%20report.pdf

The Netherlands
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gasvrijland

Gasvrijland Boxtelhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYXCgd5rNHk&feature=youtu.be
Dutch info film against fracking August 2013

UK
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See Fracking Matters Newsletters 117, 118 for more news (and UK news)
reporter Helen Savage, a Balcombe resident
All on Jessica’s website thanks!
http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/from-a-balcombe-resident-vanessa-vine-frack-free-sussex
From a Balcombe resident by Helen Savage, August 3, 2013, FrackFreeSussex
As a Balcombe resident I would like to alert you to the door to door, ‘Lock the Gate’ survey undertaken by a team of 17 people over many hours, which came out as 85% against, 9% unsure and 6% pro-fracking.
(…) The above video is a document of this important declaration.150-200 people coming from Balcombe today to join the protest is as accurate as we’ll get on numbers, certainly over 150. We sang our version of Jerusalem as we walked and with the protestors down there.This shows the strength of feeling in a village of approx 2000 residents.
The government are making it too easy for fracking to take place, having originally said we will have tighter controls and regulations than in the US, now we find that the government are using recent bills to enable them to rush this through the planning process without due consideration to communities involved. Not only this, but now, possibly because the process is taking a long time here in Balcombe, George Osborne is saying permits will be able to go through in as little time as 2 weeks.
We were not consulted about this drilling rig, the planning permission was on a tree on a fast road where no-one stops outside of Balcombe. (…)

(…)  Why is our MP not shouting more loudly about this? He tells us he ‘cannot speak up in parliament,’ but his statements are ill-informed and betray a complete lack of understanding of his constituents wishes in Balcombe.

Austria
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Now the first info events of the local oil and gas company OMV are done and we were there.
Attached you can find our press photograph.
The name of our community is “SCHIEFESgas Weinviertel statt Gasviertel” which means that the land we are living is well known for producing very good wine. Therefore the name Weinviertel which, if you would translate it, means “wine-quater”. We do not want to be altered into a “gas-quater” (Gasviertel).

We are collecting signatures against this project. Attached you can also find a photo of possible drilling sites in our land…  Nothing will be as it is now…

There are shale gas resources already discovered in the north-east of Austria a region called “Weinviertel”, the OMV, the leading austrian oil drilling corporation, is interested in fracking there and develop a method that does not use toxic chemicals but only kind of “starch”.
this week they presented the project the first time to the public. they want to start test drillings this summer, but they have not submitted a request to the official institutions yet.

Their time scale is:

– test drillings starting in 2012
– assessment of technical feasability in 2015
– assessment of economical feasability 2019/2020
– earliest Start of large scale drilling: 2019/2020.

The population is split between people who are influenced by the company as they are already a big employer in the region and many people who are concerned about the risks of fracking as well as people who are concerned about climate change and those who want to see first priority to renewable energy.

Politically the situation seems difficult: The environment Minister said “No” to drilling with “actual technology”, which means that he left the backdoor open to change his opinion, however he is without formal power. The economic Minister wants to examine the situation first, before making a decision, his opinion is more important as it is the economic ministry that can approve an application by the OMV or not. The mayors of the affected communities are still neutral, however their opinion seems to be crucial in order to get stronger opposition against the project.

——————————-

Dear friends in Europe,
we have reached an important target in our anti-shale gas campaign in Austria on 02.03.2012. Two governing mayors of the towns Herrnbaumgarten and Poysdorf announced that they will not give their
permission for the two planned test-drillings at the beginning of 2013. This means that we reached our fist target, the immediate project stop.
http://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_20120302_OTS0184/frank-und-riegelhofer-zuschiefergasabbau-
im-weinviertel-fordern-richtigstellung-des-sachverhalts

This target was reached because of the massive resistance against the shale gas project of the following groups: farmers, wine-farmers, tourism stakeholders and a lot of people who have given their sign against
this project. So as a result the oil and gas drilling company OMV announced that the project will be stopped after a dramatic loss of public confidence due to wrong and poor information strategy. Our major target now is to force the government to change the law so that dangerous shale gas exploration will be banned in the future.

Updatee 10.03.2012:
At the moment we have the feeling that our major politics are playing on time so that the situation calms down. Next year we have federal state government elections. Since the head of our federal state government called for a compulsory environmental investigation process 3 weeks ago nothing has happened. Before the Greens called for a discussion regarding shale gas 3 times in the federal state government but the discussion was rejected 3 times by all other partys.
We want to take part in the process of developing the change in the mining law.
One week after the OMV announced that they will freeze the project the town Poysdorf where one of the two test-drillings would have been done the local politics have given official news that they are not able to effort to build the planned street for a big event next year. This event is called “bread and wine”.

How did we manage to achieve an immediate project stop:
-) contacted a politician of the leading conservative party and we gave him the attached presentation (this
guy is responsible for tourism)
-) via this guy the information about shale gas reached the head of our federal state government
-) The conservatives (ÖVP) are holding the absolute majority and we think due to a lot of signs for our anti shale gas campaign and the fact that there are elections next year, they started fearing to lose too much
votes if they would stay inactive.
I thank all of you for your important work against shale gas exploration. Each ban in other countries helps us to reach the target here in Austria. Together we will protect our homelands.
Bye and sunny wishes
Andreas Czezatke – activist and campaigner
www.weinviertelstattgasviertel.at

Power Point Presentation – http://ubuntuone.com/6JJKJbNMcAL3NKaIDl5Ed4
Dear fracktivists all around Europe,
I will share some photos of a really nice action our local group did at
the end of September. After this action (maybe the reason or not) the
oil and gas drilling company in Austria announced to stop the shale gas
project.

http://www.weinviertelstattgasviertel.at/blog-3/photos/index.html

www.weinviertelstattgasviertel.at

France
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Reporter from France
According to the French law of July, a Committee of assessment for fracking will be created in the next weeks. The main goal of this committee is clearly to make fracking acceptable.A decree project was communicated this week and now we know more about the make-up of this cimmitee. Next to administration or local authorities members will sit at this comitee 3 NGOs representatives, 3 companies representatives and 3 representatives for salaried employees of companies…

Lastly, 3 experts will be chosen by French industry ministry…

We thus known in anticipation the committee conclusions.

a fracking process without chemicals, like in Austria

http://www.ejolt.org/2012/09/global-frackdown-on-fracking-companies/

By Maxime Combes

A silent global shale gas (and shale oil) revolution has been underway since 2001, mainly in North America. Although Europe accounts for only 5% of global estimated reserves of shale gas, Europe has sparked the interest of oil and gas companies, after United States and Canada, and before China and other countries. Many European states have granted exploration permits thinking that their country could be part of this new unconventional oil and gas Eldorado. In Europe, Polish shale gas deposits could contain 5.3 trillion cubic meters in all, according to the US department of energy1. France is the second European country for its potential for shale gas development. But the plans of the gas companies have not panned out as planned. Polish shale gas deposits are much smaller than estimated2 and some drilling projects have already been abandoned3. Moreover, in July 2011, France became the first country in the world to ban fracking, the dangerous drilling technique used to extract gas and oil from shale, followed shortly after by Bulgaria, in January 2012. Here is a brief X-ray shot, deliberately not exhaustive, of the French battle between the pro-fracking companies and lobbies and the huge citizens’ movement fighting against fracking.
Citizens uprising to frack down the fracking method
In the autumn of 2010, very few people in France were aware of what some call “the shale gas revolution”. A little over a year later, few French people can claim to have never heard of it. In March 2010, Le Monde announced that the government of Nicolas Sarkozy had delivered three exploration licenses for “liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons” exploration in the South of France to the companies Total (the Montelimar permit) and Schuepbach (Villeneuve de Berg and Nant permits). Located in a region devoid of conventional gas and conventional oil, these permits have been called “shale gas permits” while French law only recognizes permits for “liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons” exploration. At the time and until late fall 2010, very few articles had been published on the subject and only a few whistleblowers have tried to alert citizens, associations, politicians, etc.
It was not until late 2010 – early 2011 that a huge citizens’ movement against shale gas /oil and against fracking began to form in France. Up till the demonstration of more than 15,000 people in Villeneuve de Berg4 in February 2011, which sounded the first warning shot of the resistance to come, mobilization had mainly consisted of the formation of small citizens’ groups who organized public meetings and published informational materials. Yet soon, the town-hall meetings in impacted communities were packed to overflowing, and very often, there were more participants in these meetings than inhabitants in the villages, especially in Ardèche, Gard, Aveyron, etc. Conceded without any public debate or real environmental investigation on the effects of the techniques used, the three permits have worried local communities beyond environmentalists: hunters, anglers, cavers and “ordinary citizens” were part of this first alert phase.
The film Gasland by Josh Fox5, explaining the implications of fracking in various regions of the United States, has been aired thousands of times in long, short or modified versions. As elsewhere, the sincere and powerful images of this film have generated deep emotions and a desire not to let fracking and shale gas extraction happen in local regions. The scene in the film where landowner Mike Markham ignites gas from a well water faucet in his home with a cigarette lighter due to natural gas exploration in the area is a far more effective argument against fracking than any report or speech.
The economic, technical and geological facts of the debate were disseminated and knowledge spread at an incredible speed, in a process similar to that around the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (TCE) in 2005. Today, many activists have become unparalleled experts on extraction technologies, despite the lack of any background or training in that area. They know by heart all the arguments from scientific studies explaining the consequences of the exploitation of shale gas. As many examples indicate in the United States, Canada, England and elsewhere, the exploitation of shale gas has led to countless cases of chemical and toxic pollution, health consequences for the populations, the wasting of drinking water, destroying lands, earthquakes, and major greenhouse gas emissions.
As the three licenses already mentioned are located in areas with water scarcity, two of the main critiques against these projects related to the use of water and water pollution. Fracking uses large amounts of compressed water, sand and chemicals to free natural gas from its geophysical reservoirs. Fracking can also cause the contamination of surface and groundwater (including drinking water) with toxic chemicals used in fracking fluids, and increasing the concentration in such water of methane and hazardous and radioactive materials that naturally occur in shale. Because vast quantities of fresh water are required in fracking operations, fracking involves pumping vast amounts of freshwater underground, much of which becomes irretrievable and / or contaminated.
First law in the world that prohibits fracking
The very broad initial alliances build in France have forced many politicians from all sides, and from both the local and the national levels, to take very clear positions against fracking and shale gas, without waiting for instructions or decisions from their various Parisian headquarters. These positions taken by local elected officials have often been transformed into pledges by local authorities. The Parisian establishment, both in government and in business, was surprised and overwhelmed. They proved incapable of countering the surging movement and its demands. When ministers began to call for a pause or moratorium on the issuance of permits, the local groups, assembled in their National Coordinating Council, were already demanding the cancellation of all existing permits.
While improving their knowledge on the subject and discovering the intricacies of mining legislation, local groups soon came to understand that there were not three permits but 64 permits for “liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons” exploration, many of them located in the Paris region, to explore and extract shale oil, and held by companies such as Vermilion and Toreador. Unable to counter the immediate demands of the movement, the ministers and the government came up with misleading statements (such as “French-style fracking”), or resorted to rhetorical dodges (a “moratorium” that wasn’t a true one), in an effort to avoid addressing the actual situation.
For their part, the members of parliament, caught short by a debate they had not seen coming and didn’t have a handle on, ended up submitting four different bills to the Parliament. Once these had gone through the legislative mill, the proposal that came out was considerably watered down, compared to the expectations and demands of the movement (Law of July 13, 2011). Although hydraulic fracking has been banned, it has not been precisely defined, which gives free rein to new interpretations and formulations. The law leaves open the possibility for experimentation under the guise of scientific research and improvement of knowledge. This misuse of science is a breach into which research labs and companies tied to the oil and gas industries will move. Although many permits should have fallen victim to this law and been cancelled, only three6 – in the regions with the greatest mobilization – had been definitely canceled by early October 2011.
If the configuration of forces was sufficient to result in the cancellation of these three permits, that was in part due to the fact that the citizens’ mobilizations were complemented by legal action challenging the methods of licensing, or their legal grounds, etc. Often scattered, and uncoordinated, or even at cross purposes, some of these legal actions have clearly contributed to the cancellation of the three permits, with the combined files being far too consistent for the government to take the risk of upholding the permits. This legal work continues with regard to the remaining permits, particularly oriented towards obtaining all necessary information in order to have a comprehensive map of the existing permits and their weaknesses.
Towards an energy transition? Which one and with whom?
Of course, many people were initially mobilized to protect their own territory. Not as a NIMBY– “not in my backyard” approach – but in a way that questions sovereignty over the local territory and land use planning. Such an approach amounts to re-politicizing spatial planning by formulating an alternative that inextricably mixes together the local and the global, the territorial and what we could call, from a French perspective, the universal, or “the commons”. The French movement against shale gas and oil fracking has included an international dimension from the outset. First, because the principal mobilizing tool, the film Gasland, was shot in the US. But also because the mobilizations in Quebec, which achieved a semi-moratorium, were used as a point of reference. A common language made it easy for French people and French local groups to read news coming from Quebec and to forge links with local Quebec groups. Soon, the slogan “Neither here nor elsewhere” became widespread. Following the achievement of the law banning fracking, interest in learning more about the situation in other countries has steadily increased. Many links have been forged, initially interpersonal ones, then some group twinning, especially between French and Quebecois groups has emerged. Now, a new step has been initiated: structuring these links and the building of a European, or even an international coordination, of the grassroots movements. After the meetings we organized in Marseilles (France) during the Alternative World Water Forum FAME (march 2012) and in Rio (Brazil) during the People’s summit (June 2012), each with participants coming from several countries, the next step is the Global Frackdown day that will be held on the 22nd of September.
The fact that this movement is not only locally rooted in defending local territories was crucial to broaden the mobilization towards the necessary energy transition we need. But this step was neither easy nor obvious. This broadening of the debate, which shifted many lines of demarcation, has given rise to two main different political orientations. One line that remains focused more narrowly on shale gas and shale oil fracking, deepening the mobilization and anchoring it more deeply through dissemination, education, strengthening of groups, and extension of the territorial presence, etc. Another focused more on proactive work to broaden the mobilization to support global energy issues. Between deepening and broadening, as everyone knows, problems, as well as tensions, may arise. These problems and tensions were aggravated by the lack of time for debate. With a mobilization which quickly grew to major size and got results quickly, it was extremely difficult to take time to organize work and debate between and within the groups, and between the groups and the national organizations.
Very soon, the idea of organizing a big rally in the summer of 2011 was discussed. Initially seen as a show of force – a huge anti-fracking Larzac7 – the initiative was abandoned in part because of practical difficulties, such as lack of time and materials, venue problems, etc., and political problems, such as what form it should take once the law prohibiting fracking had been passed. The idea of such a gathering was taken up by other local groups who had offered to host the Lezan meeting on “energy transition”, in which ATTAC France, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and others were all involved. Some of the groups, the Ardèche8 coordination group, for example, did not wish to join this initiative, since they considered the issue too broad with respect to the goals of the shale gas mobilisation. On the other hand, the promoters of this meeting wanted to encompass the entire range of energy issues, even at the risk that, after Lezan, a slower and more reduced process of “convergence” would result9.
But in the end, the Lezan meeting was really key to mix several issues with anti-fracking debates such as with climate issues for example. Many French people present there have discovered the Cochabamba declaration10 on climate change and the rights of Mother Earth at that time. Linking fracking with climate requires us to define what we want as an energy transition. In order to limit global warming below 1,5 degrees Celsius, and thereby prevent dangerous climate change, fossil fuels must be phased out as quickly as possible. Energy sobriety, energy savings, renewable energies and a significant reduction of CO2 emissions will provide the only viable path to an environmentally sustainable and healthy future. The Lezan declaration proposes to engage an energy transition without delay, implying moving towards sobriety and efficiency, stopping the race for fossil fuels and immediate reduction of greenhouses gas emissions up to the requirements stipulated in the Cochabamba people’s agreement. Exploiting unconventional fossil fuels such as shale gas, shale oil and coal bed methane will increase total greenhouse gas emissions and consequently global warming.
One year later, the tension between broadening and deepening is still in evidence, but it is being overcome, for faced with reality, everyone is gradually realizing that broadening and deepening can only be carried out in conjunction. After a year and a half of mobilization against shale gas and oil fracking, it is necessary to broaden the issue. Because a better understanding of technology and industry practices involves expanding the focus from “shale gas and oil fracking” to include such issues as deep offshore drilling in the Bay of Marseille (Mediterranean Sea) or in French Guyana. But also because when opposing dirty energy sources, the energy debate is structured in such a way that it is necessary to be able to present an alternative, both technologically, where the limits are quickly visible, and politically, with a view towards the energy transition, and the transformation of society. On the other hand, it is gradually becoming clear that enlargement can only work provided if it is carried out by the majority and, especially, by strengthening the foundations of the movement and its local roots. Especially because the battle is not over and the oil and gas lobbies will surely come charging back.
Current challenges: fracking down the oil and gas lobbies to implement a citizens energy transition
The corporations, such as Total, have not abandoned their struggle, or the permits they had or still have. They are stepping up their initiatives and communications operations to regain political momentum, backed by some very helpful experts and media pundits. Pro-fracking articles are flooding the media. Le Monde, one of the most famous French newspapers, even dared to publish a report on shale gas exploitation in Texas based on a press trip organized by Total11, after publishing two editorials asking to reopen the debate on shale gas by insinuating that they could facilitate French energy independence. UFIP, the organization that represents all the oil activities carried out in the French metropolitan territory is suddenly being invited to appear on television and radio shows. And at the same time the new Leftist government hesitates. Hollande has reiterated his opposition to fracking while still leaving the door open for extraction by other methods and possible scientific experiments. What are the tactics pursued by the lobbies and the oil and gas companies? Reopen the debate, insinuate doubt, while using the weaknesses of the existing law to obtain permission to drill and carry out experimental exploration. This could be termed the strategy of “fait accompli”.
The wording of the law that does not define what is fracking along with the ambivalence of the French administration has thus laid the ground for the next showdown. Many companies are not saying they will use fracking, but only that they will stimulate the bedrock or other circumlocutions, so permits that should have been canceled because of the law are still pending. On the other hand, the French administration published in March 2012 a report recommending to evaluate “shale gas” resources in France and to develop scientific tests using fracking to improve techniques. They want to drill and circumvent the law under the pretext of scientific research. While many independent studies in the United States would be sufficient to show the problems caused by the exploitation of shale gas.
Faced with this public relations strategy of oil and gas lobbies, citizen mobilization persists and develops where it was least expected. As there are a large number of exploration and drilling permits still valid, but less publicized than the three mentioned above, some of them have given rise to new citizen protests in 2012, near the French Riviera (departments of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône), and the departments of Savoy, etc. For example, every village in Var affected by the Brignoles permit, has its own citizens’ group and this is the largest citizen’s mobilization seen in the history of this department, usually to the right of the political spectrum. They logged their first victory when former President Sarkozy decided not to extend the Noble Energy permit for prospection at a layer of gas less than 50 km away from beaches that accommodate millions of bathers, and from the valuable nature reserve the Camargues. Thousands of people who planned to demonstrate against the permit renewal on April 8 celebrated this small victory, which has yet to be confirmed12.
More recently, a license held by Shell, Total and Tullow Oil to explore oil deep offshore off the coast of Guyana has sparked controversy. The new Socialist government has dithered, blocking drilling before changing its mind under pressure from the oil lobby to authorize them. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister´s shuffling of the minister of environment is being seen as a clear signal to facilitate the operations of oil and gas companies. These new debates could be a stepping stone to move from the singular issue of fracking – proven to be too dangerous and already banned – towards a broader campaign to ‘leave the gas and oil in the soil’. Probably a few steps in between will be needed, such as getting an international or a European moratorium on shale gas and shale oil extractions, maybe banning fracking worldwide and banning off-shore drilling in fragile places, no matter which technique is used.
By Maxime Combes
Membre d’Attac France, de l’Aitec, et engagé dans le projet Echo des Alternatives (www.alter-echos.org)
This article is a preview of the contents of the upcoming EJOLT report#6 featuring initiatives around the world to leave the oil in the soil and the gas under the grass, to be released in November 2012.
2According to the Polish National Institute of energy, exploitable deposits do not exceed 346 to 768 million cubic meters, 7 to 15 times less than expected initially.
6The permits delivered to Total and Schuepbach
7A place well known for many years of struggling against a military camp
8A French department which has experienced one of the largest mobilizations
9Here is the final statement of this meeting : http://www.convergenceenergetique.org/Declaration-de-Lezan-Gard-le-28
10The declaration was drafted and approved during the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth held in Cochabamba in Marc 2009, in presence of more than 30 000 people of more than 140 countries. http://pwccc.wordpress.com/

 

Bulgaria
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Not only in Poland, but also in Bulgarian, where huge Shale gas fields are assumed, people woke up and are demanding a referendum
http://naturalgasforeurope.com
http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/category/news-by-country/other-countries/bulgaria

Bulgaria seeks clarification on shale gas drilling http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/bulgaria-seeks-clarification-in-environment-impact-of-shale-gas-drilling-3486

Exporting the anti-shale revolution – http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/exporting-the-anti-shale-revolution-3049

Fracking news: Bulgarian protest – http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/fracking-news-bulgarians-protest-against-shale-gas-exploratio/ (10 Dec 2011)

www.bankwatch.org

2011_11 The EIB’ energy policy review process final

Thousands protest Bulgaria ‘fracking’ plans
Several thousand Bulgarians demonstrated across the country on Saturday against plans for shale gas exploration by US companyChevron that they say could harm the environment.

About 1,000 youngsters marched along the streets of the capital Sofia, beating drums and blowing whistles as “a wake-up call to all Bulgarians,” an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.

They urged people to push the government to impose a ban on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”, the most commonly used method for shale gas exploration that opponents say might contaminate drinking water.

The protestors marched on the government buildings carrying banners saying “No to shale gas, Yes to nature”, and “Chevron go home” to protest the US company’s plans to extract shale gas in the European Union’s poorest member.

Similar-sized demos were held in the northeastern region of Dobrudzha, where Chevron wants to operate, as well as in the Black Sea cities of Varna and Burgas, Plovdiv in the south and Pleven to the north, national radio reported.

Environmental pressure group Fracking Free Bulgaria said Saturday it had obtained a promise from parliamentary speaker Tsetska Tsacheva for lawmakers to consider a moratorium on fracking for shale gas.

Similar legislation was already passed in France last June.

Fracking, which uses high pressure injections of water, sand and chemicals to blast through rock to release oil and gas trapped inside, has been widely used in the United States.

Bulgaria, which depends almost totally on Russian natural gas deliveries via Ukraine, has seen its shale gas potential as a possible way to diversify supplies.

Bulgaria’s government granted Chevron last June a five-year testing permit to explore a potentially huge field near Novi Pazar in northeastern Bulgaria.

The country’s reserves are estimated at between 300 billion and one trillion cubic metres of shale gas, Energy Minister Traicho Traikov had said, citing data by companies.

Environmental groups claim that some preliminary drilling was already done in the northeast as well as in the Black Sea shelf but the government has not confirmed this.

2012/1/16 Borislav Sandov <borislav.sandov@gmail.com>
The demonstration on 14.01.2012 was great:
Location: Sofia
http://vimeo.com/35082026
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/14/bulgaria-shalegas-protests-idUSL6E8CD1YP20120114

Location: Plovdiv
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2SjeARLKLKM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc1EQeWgOA0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_lc8cBbQGw&feature=player_embedded

Location: London
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtZWO477X50

Copenhagen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJEk2H_5qBc&feature=context&context=G228aec6AUAAAAAAAAA
and 10 more cities in Bulgaria.

We had demanded from the very beginning (last summer) moratorium and then a ban in the legislation.

So, the ruling party GERB promised last Friday, they will support such a process.Today, at 16h (+1h CET) they have to prove it, and then in Wednesday they have to confirm as a decision of the Parliament.

Bulgaria to  Postpone Shale gas development –  http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/bulgaria-temporary-shale-gas-moratorium  (16 Jan 2012)

open letter

http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/bulgaria-anti-shale-gas-hydraulic-fracturing-letter?utm_source=Natural

Thousands protest Bulgaria ‘fracking’
plans
Several thousand Bulgarians demonstrated across the country on Saturday against plans for shale gas exploration by US companyChevron that they say could harm the environment.
About 1,000 youngsters marched along the streets of the capital Sofia, beating drums and blowing whistles as “a wake-up call to all Bulgarians,” an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.
They urged people to push the government to impose a ban on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”, the most commonly used method for shale gas exploration that opponents say might contaminate drinking water. The protestors marched on the government buildings carrying banners saying “No to shale gas, Yes to nature”, and “Chevron go home” to protest the US company’s plans to extract shale gas in the European Union’s poorest member. demos were held in the northeastern region of Dobrudzha, where Chevron wants to operate, as well as in the Black Sea cities of Varna and Burgas, Plovdiv in the south and Pleven to the north, national radio reported. Environmental pressure group Fracking Free Bulgaria said Saturday it had obtained a promise from parliamentary speaker Tsetska Tsacheva for lawmakers to consider a moratorium on fracking for shale gas. Similar legislation was already passed in France last June.Fracking, which uses high pressure injections of water, sand and chemicals to blast through rock to release oil and gas trapped inside, has been widely used in the United States.Bulgaria, which depends almost totally on Russian natural gas deliveries via Ukraine, has seen its shale gas potential as a possible way to diversify supplies. Bulgaria’s government granted Chevron last June a five-year testing permit to explore a potentially huge field near Novi Pazar in northeastern Bulgaria.The country’s reserves are estimated at between 300 billion and one trillion cubic metres of shale gas, Energy Minister Traicho Traikov had said, citing data by companies.Environmental groups claim that some preliminary drilling was already done in the northeast as well as in the Black Sea shelf but the government has not confirmed this.There are shale gas resources already discovered in the north-east of Austria a region called “Weinviertel”, the OMV, the leading austrian oil drilling corporation, is interested in fracking there and develop a method that does not use toxic chemicals but only kind of “starch”. this week they presented the project the first time to the public. they want to start test drillings this summer, but they have not submitted a request to the official institutions yet.
Their time scale is:

– test drillings starting in 2012
– assessment of technical feasability in 2015
– assessment of economical feasability 2019/2020
– earliest Start of large scale drilling: 2019/2020.

The population is split between people who are influenced by the company as they are already a big employer in the region and many people who are concerned about the risks of fracking as well as people who are concerned about climate change and those who want to see first priority to renewable energy.

Politically the situation seems difficult: The environment Minister said “No” to drilling with “actual technology”, which means that he left the backdoor open to change his opinion, however he is without formal power. The economic Minister wants to examine the situation first, before making a decision, his opinion is more important as it is the economic ministry that can approve an application by the OMV or not. The mayors of the affected communities are still neutral, however their opinion seems to be crucial in order to get

Spain
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Videos of the 2 big demonstrations held in Santander (2000 people) and
Vitoria (6000 people) on october 6th 2012

http://vimeo.com/51062343
http://www.fracturahidraulicano.info/noticia/videos-manifestaciones-6-octubre.html

Poland
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For more than 50 days now, Polish peasants are blocking the installation of Chevron in Zurawlow (Poland).
The transnational company claims to have all the permits needed to carry out its projects in order to explore and exploit shale gas. According to local residents, permission to seismic work ended at December 6, 2013, while permission to drill was canceled in June 2012.
A few months earlier, Chevron had temporarily given up its project, after a very strong local mobilization (cf. the documentary Drill baby drill).
Please find a short interview with the director of this documentary, Lech Kowalski, very active and present on the scene since the beginning of the mobilization
Here in English : http://alter-echos.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Interview-Lech-Kowalski-v-ENG1.pdf

http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/protesters-try-and-boost-polish-anti-shale-movement-3760?utm_source=Natural

Romania
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Police disperse anti-fracking protesters at Chevron exploration site in Romania
16 Oct
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6X-dE-PtspY

http://rt.com/news/chevron-gas-search-romania-329/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome

On the 3rd of October, Chevron obtained the authorization for the construction of a drilling rig in Pungesti, near Silistea village.
Local people declared that a part of the ground where Chevron wants to drill for shale gas was donated to the Church and there is no permission from them for Chevron to use the land. National authorities claim that they have only approved the exploration phase, but it is common knowledge that the last phase of exploration implies hydraulic fracturing and also, the law allows Chevron to go on to the exploitation phase without further approval from the authorities.
Dafora, the company which will drill for Chevron has started to bring in the equipment in trucks. Workers from Chevron, Dafora and MIF SA Târgu Mures came with trucks and accompanied by personal guards from SGG on Monday morning.
Hundreds of people from the villages nearby, Silistea, Pungesti and others took to the streets to oppose the exploitation. The riot police was immediately called and immediately took the side of the company. Due to the poor road infrastructure, the truck drivers and other Dafora employees needed to use small wooden blocks to pass through the mud. The people didn’t let them do this and prevented them from advancing to the site. Later in the evening, people from closest cities like Barlad, Vaslui and Iasi joined the villagers and decided to make a human chain in the way of the truck and other heavy machinery.
The trucks were then parked in the yard of the brother of the vice-president of the Local County Council from Vaslui.
The people set up a tent and were planning to spent the night in the field, one km away from the nearest village.
You can find photos and a video here: http://www.vrn.ro/au-venit-sa-instaleze-sonda-revolutie-la-pungesti

On Tuesday morning, 150 riot police officers came to Pungesti and 200 people went back to the site for the drilling rig. In the afternoon 100 people were still there and the trucks were no where in sight. The villagers improvised a tent right in front of the site and called activists in Bucharest and other cities to send them tents, sleeping bags and this evening some will be sent to Barlad from Bucharest.

On Wednesday, the riot police intervened to send away the 200 people who were blocking the access of two excavators. Five people were sick and needed first aid. The riot police didn’t let the ambulance come in for minutes in a row. Two persons were hospitalised and other three were consulted and stabilized on site. An upstream connection was dressed up from Pungesti. Some images from Pungesti clashes here :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6X-dE-PtspY

In the afternoon and evening solidarity protests took place in Cluj and Bucharest from where other citizens left by train to Pungesti with supplies. This time the protests in Bucharest was more firm and bitter, knowing that injured people resulted from the brutal actions of the jendarmes. On Saturday, October 19 – Global Frackdown Day – a major protest will be organized in Pungesti and two buses and several cars will be going from Bucharest and even more people will be coming from Galati, Buzau, Iasi, Vaslui, Constanta in solidarity with those from Pungesti and to send a clear message that hydraulic fracturing in the exploration and exploitation of shale gas will not be allowed to take place anywhere in Romania. In the afternoon the protests will take place in Barlad with a human chain around the city hall. The local council from Pungesti made in spring a local decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in the villages but through pressure from the County Council and through political channels, the decision was canceled and the oldest member of the council (for 23 year he was a respected member of the local council) was excluded. He was also once the mayor. The people will take this decision into their own hands and on Saturday the people will sign, vote for the restoration of this decision.
Today Chevron announced a temporary interruption of its activities in the area of Pungesti, but this isn’t satisfactory because Chevron obtained permits to drill in other villages from the same perimeter Barlad and detains concessions for other three perimeters in Dobrudgea where seismic tests begun.


September 1st, over 15,000 Romanians
protested against Europes biggest open-cast cyanide gold mining project in Rosia Montana. The figure is a preliminary one (how much information we gathered by this time from the 40 municipalities in the country and abroad where protests took place).
The last decision of the Government on 27th August, to submit a special bill in Parliament to allow the Rosia Montana mining (even by disregarding many  environmental, property and other civil rights laws) and signing for the commencement of exploration, development and exploitation of shale gas were the reasons for many Romanians to attend the meetings.
In Barlad County antifracking protests were scheduled weeks ago for this day. Almost spontaneous the anti cyanide protests were spotting the country with the largest gathering in Bucharest. The protest meeting was turned into occupying the main street and than marching to the Govern Square and continued late in the evening…Thousands of Romanians rallied across the country, in other cities but most Tv channels ignored us! or tried to minimize the number of participants

Those images are from Bucharest :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZFqgwrkP5w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Eqlo2nbqhs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mT2OXyS3ZU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzFoomCDSIw

romania give chevron

Romania gives Chevron green light to explore shale – “BUCHAREST
(Reuters) –
U.S. oil major Chevron won approval to drill exploration
wells for shale gas in three areas in eastern Romania, local news
agency Mediafax reported on Thursday. Romania’s leftist government
initially opposed shale gas when it took power in 2012 but has since
became a supporter in view of potential economic benefits from any
major discovery. Mediafax said the decision was taken by the Technical
Assessment Committee of the Environment protection agency of the town
of Vaslui. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that
Romania and its neighbors Bulgaria and Hungary could between them have
538 billion cubic meters of gas, which would be enough to cover
Romania’s consumption for almost 40 years.” (Reuters)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/11/us-romania-shale-chevron-idUSBRE96A0PJ20130711

Comment by a campaigner from Romania
This is not something new. Despite winning elections with an antifracking promise, since last December they have shown strong will to start exploring (please take note that the agreements are granted for both exploring and exploiting). And it is not Chevron only: all the companies that are granted with exploration & exploitation agreements according to Oil Law may look for conventionals and unconventionals, as the law is not distinguishing between the two.
EIA are not mandatory for any of them yet, as below the amount of 500.000 cm/day production.

Please note that: ENVI (= EU committee on the environment) has now already voted
for a legal clarification, i.e., that EIA are mandatory for Fracking-projects and that the EU-Parliament will vote over this issue in September

Thousands of Romanians protested on Monday (27 May)against plans by the US company Chevron to explore for shale gas in eastern Romania. This the seventh large protest in Barlad area.
a short movie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL6zNl9YkOE&feature=youtu.be
pictures
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.475667212502629.1073741833.303463706389648&type=1
and an article in english
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/27/thousands-of-romanians-protest-chevron-fracking/
Georgeta Ionescu

PROTEST IN ROMANIA

Activists Blockade Chevron Fracking Site in Eastern Romania – http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/08/activists-blockade-chevron-fracking-romania/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=ef1d2276f4-Top_News_7_8_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-ef1d2276f4-85321873

Finally some good news for the protesters in Pungesti. See article below.
This issue of local control will continue to surface in the EU. Having lobbied against a dedicated legal framework to shale gas, industry may be shooting itself in the foot … it is not because top politicians declare that shale gas is in the “national interest” that the constitution and the laws of a coutry can be pushed aside. Happy to see that rule of law also applies to Chevron in Romania.
——————————————————————————————————————————————-

http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/romania-vaslui-county-commune-court-shale-exploitation

Communes in Romania’s Vaslui County Win Court Battle Against Shale Exploitation

The citizens of Vaslui County had their first court win in the battle against shale gas exploitation via hydraulic fracturing.
At the end of last week, the Vaslui Court House issued the motivation of a decision made in December that ruled in favor of the local council of the commune Al. Vlahuta in their dispute with the Prefecture.
The local council of the commune challenged the decision of the Prefecture that canceled the decision of the local council to forbid fracking.
This is one of 14 communes that have issued such decisions. The decision of the court in this case is surprising because 10 communes have lost cases against the Prefecture.
Furthermore, ruling Judge Elena Gabriela Aionitoaie put forward an interesting fact explaining how the Oil Law (invoked by Chevron supporters) does not mention anything relating to unconventional gas.
Judge Aionitoaie demonstrated another important fact: in the case of shale gas, Local Units have the right to decide if they will allow or not exploitation in their area. In current Romanian legislation, shale gas is not mentioned as being of ‘national interest’.
Al. Vlahuta Commune solicitor Oana Iovu added by stating “in the case file there is no expert report to show that in the area there are hydrocarbon deposits of this nature that must be exploited, against the will of the local administration.”
Even if this decision can be appealed in 15 days, the fact that a court of law, after careful examination of the legal context of the dispute, has ruled in favor of those who reject shale gas exploitation and exploration means an unexpected victory for the people of Vaslui County.
The fact that the court has looked carefully through the case file and to the legal framework for shale gas exploration has produced a new ruling. The law of local public administration (215/2001), the oil law (238/20054) and the Romanian Constitution, where it is mentioned what is of national public interest, were analyzed and the court has established two very important aspects: first, the court found that Al. Vlahuta commune has the right to issue decisions to forbid shale gas exploration and exploitation by unconventional means and did not exceed its powers; and second, that national public interest is invoked by Chevron supporters, is not mentioned in any Romanian law with regards to shale gas. This decision is not final and can be appealed to the superior court.
Meanwhile, the same decision was issued by the courts in Vaslui in the case files of another two communes, Pogona and Suletea. They have also challenged in court the canceling of the decisions of the local councils to forbid shale gas exploration. The reasons given by the courts were the same, that shale gas is not found in the oil law and was not declared of national interest and, in this case, the local council has the power to decide.
For the time being, Romanian authorities and Chevron representatives are not commenting on the new situation that could lead to a modification of the oil law to allow shale gas exploitation or to the blocking of this important economic activity by decisions of the local councils.
Chevron’s position remains dedicated to dialogue as expressed by Cam Van Ast, External Communications Advisor for Onshore Europe.
George Epurescu, a representative of Romania fara EI (Romania without THEM) reiterated court findings and commented, “authorities have begun, by fraud and illicit methods, shale gas exploration and avoided the debate in the local communities. The Constitution mentions that the resources of the underground are on public property, not of the state. Public property is divided into state’s property and the property of the local units. In case of shale gas, they are not mentioned in the law as a national interest, so they belong to the local units, namely the commune.”
Silviu Molnar

4 April 2013

from the frontline

Solidarity with Pungestihttp://www.foeeurope.org/Solidarity-with-Punge%C5%9Fti-071213

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Nj96pMF1hWS1pvQzRLdlRMeGM/edit?usp=sharing

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1Nj96pMF1hWY2pRTy15X2FhSDQ/edit?pli=1

A very good article about the situation in Romania

 Is this the way to go for Europe? Don’t you turn your eyes away from this situation, thinking as Mike Hill does, that it’s just the Communist heritage that’s allowing this to happen. We all sense this is much more than this and that this is an experiment made to be used as a showcase by Chevron and other big companies to show what they understand as “being good neighbours” and “protecting the environment”.
We have to learn from mistakes of the past: as fascism has taken over Europe some 80 years ago, I sense corporate fascism now being developed as an experiment in Romania has the power to spread accross Europe. Dont’ think that “democratic institutions” will be there to help. Democracy is, as Josh Fox so well makes the point, strongly undermined by fracking industry all over the world. What we have seen in Canada, with the Mi’kmaqs being shot with rubber bullets, is part of the same horrifying war scenario the industry is declaring war against communities (as we cannot even really speak of national governments, as they have long ceased to be there for the citizens, so the war is now between companies and the citizens, with national governments being enablers for the companies).
I definitely think that right now any opinion about “regulating fracking” definitely runs counter the idea of outright BAN! Fracking is a new form of fascism taking over the world as we speak about regulations, EPA studies and so on! We have to use clearer words against it, not only from environmental point of view, but also from bare Human Rights view and Democracy! This aspect has been neglected so far in all the debates and it’s exactly what we need to get people to react. Democracy and Human Rights cease to be just meaningless words when you stop having them! This is why right now I think this is the most important aspect to use to ban fracking – the attack to Democracy and Human rights! Pungesti, Mi’kmaq and UK cases, and especially the affected communities in the USA, and to a lesser extend Poland, are our best illustraters of this very dangerous trend of corporate fascism of the oil and gas industries!

Romania gives Chevron green light to explore shale – “BUCHAREST
(Reuters) –
U.S. oil major Chevron won approval to drill exploration
wells for shale gas in three areas in eastern Romania, local news
agency Mediafax reported on Thursday. Romania’s leftist government
initially opposed shale gas when it took power in 2012 but has since
became a supporter in view of potential economic benefits from any
major discovery. Mediafax said the decision was taken by the Technical
Assessment Committee of the Environment protection agency of the town
of Vaslui. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that
Romania and its neighbors Bulgaria and Hungary could between them have
538 billion cubic meters of gas, which would be enough to cover
Romania’s consumption for almost 40 years.” (Reuters)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/11/us-romania-shale-chevron-idUSBRE96A0PJ20130711

Comment by a campaigner from Romania
This is not something new. Despite winning elections with an antifracking promise, since last December they have shown strong will to start exploring (please take note that the agreements are granted for both exploring and exploiting). And it is not Chevron only: all the companies that are granted with exploration & exploitation agreements according to Oil Law may look for conventionals and unconventionals, as the law is not distinguishing between the two.
EIA are not mandatory for any of them yet, as below the amount of 500.000 cm/day production.

Please note that: ENVI (= EU committee on the environment) has now already voted
for a legal clarification, i.e., that EIA are mandatory for Fracking-projects and that the EU-Parliament will vote over this issue in September

There are hundreds of pictures, from many cities in Romania, where people raised their concerns on fracking, yesterday on April 4th.
Although not all the meeting received authorization from the local mayors, many citizens protested peacefully, and showing that antifracking became an important issue on public agenda.
Thank you for all those who showed their solidarity with Romanians on this day, in other EU capitals.

National Tv Channel:
http://stiri.tvr.ro/proteste-in-toata-tara-fata-de-exploatarea-gazelor-de-sist_29011_video.html#view

Reuters Agency:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/04/us-romania-shale-chevron-idUSBRE9330S320130404

You can see more photos here; http://www.demotix.com/photo/1932877/anti-fracking-protests-takes-over-28-cities-romania

You can read more about it here:http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article1322421.ece

Local media and international media stayed close and, though the national media is doing its best to ignore us, we’ve reached much more people through local media.

Press release from Stop Fracturare

On the 4th of April, people from 28 towns in Romania took to the streets to protest against hydraulic fracturing, a highly polluting method, after the country’s Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, changed his mind regarding a moratorium on shale gas and after the Government approved several operation agreements for the exploration/development/exploration of shale gas in large areas of the country. Romanian communities in Copenhagen and Strasbourg also joined the protests and activists in Bulgaria, Belgium, The Czech Republic and Australia protested in front of Romanian embassies. Foreign correspondents from French and Belgian press agencies were also present in Barlad, the first city where American company Chevron announced it will first start drilling.

The mainstream Media did its best not to report about the protests during prime time news, but local media covered the story intensively with all local newspapers writing about it and spreading the news that opposition against shale gas is strong.
Only three national channels reported on the news and included a debate: RealitateaTV, DigiTV and the national television.

Protesters consider that this day only marks the start of a nationwide campaign to inform people accurately and correctly about the risks of shale gas, something that the Government and the National Agency for Mineral Resources are not doing.

Until now, the Government has approved 10 operation agreements and has signed contracts with foreign companies, which can now pursue the exploration/exploitation of shale gas in Romania.

The protesters ask for the annulment of the Governmental decrees approving the exploration, exploration and development agreements. They also ask for a national ban on hydraulic fracturing. The protesters also denounced the predominant influence of corporations over Romanian legislation, and the high-level corruption of the Romanian government, and they fight for the right to a clean environment, the right to a healthy life and the right to information.

In several towns, the protests were declared illegal by local authorities and in some of them, the local authorities even tried to intimidate and harras the organizers in order to discourage them from protesting. However, given the amplitude of the movement and the many national and international „eyes“ that were looking at the protests, the authorities had no choice but to let the people protest freely. In Bucharest, the country’s capital, 400 hundred people protested while the riot police was hardly in sight, an institution known for its abuses. Thousands of people protested in the other 27 towns, including Barlad where the entire community is against the exploitaion and has protested many times before.

The protests are organized by local teams of volunteers coordinated at national level. The protests are backed by 80 non-governmental organizations, including the Environmental Coalition and Romania Without Them Association.
Contact us at:
George Epurescu, Tel: +40757653983; Diana Iftodi, Tel: +40745591421
E-mail: stopfracturare (at) gmail (dot) com, gepurescu (at) yahoo (dot) com ; Web: http://stopfracturare.ro/
==========================================================
Photos of the event can be viewed at this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/441981515876644/?fref=ts

Some television coverage at: http://stiri.tvr.ro/proteste-in-toata-tara-fata-de-exploatarea-gazelor-de-sist_29011_video.html#view

this is one of the two on-line petitions in Romania:
and another one:
I shall collect further data and documents for paper signatures collected.
 Georgeta Ionescu


The security had to lock the doors during a conference to keep the anti-frackers out– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpIdyqWkCRg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Ukrainian
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Львів’янам розповідатимуть про енергозбереження
17 липня у Львові експерти «ЕкоЦентру» проведуть інформаційний тур «За безпечну енергетику!».
Про це повідомляють учасники туру кореспонденту ІA ZIK.

Експерти Національного екологічного центру України за підтримки Фонду розвитку демократії ООН їздять містами західного регіону України, де планується або вже видобувають сланцевий газ. Це, зокрема, такі міста як: Перемишляни, Золочів, Калуш, Рогатин, Івано-Франківськ, Галич…

Команда з десяти осіб розповість львів’янам про шкоду для людини та довкілля від видобутку нетрадиційного газу.

«Найбільший ризик – це все ж таки міграція хімічних речовин до водоносних горизонтів. Наукові дослідження підтверджують, що це може відбутись протягом кількох років. Ці хімічні речовини руйнують ендокринну систему людини. В першу чергу це впливає на онкологію, призводить до невиношуваності, проблем з фертильністю, вади розвитку у дітей. Тобто найбільш вразливими до них є діти, вагітні жінки та тварини», – розповіла про шкоду видобування газу з допомогою гідравлічного розриву пласта (крекінг) експерт «ЕкоЦентру» Олена Міскун.

У Львові захід проводитиметься протягом дня, 17 липня. Організатори порадять як заощадити електроенергію та власні гроші, як боротись з видобуванням сланцевого газу у власному місті чи районі,розкажуть про досвід впливових країн світу та наочно продемонструють приклади енергозбереження: сонячні батареї, концентратори…

Lviv residents talk about energy conservation
July 17 in Lviv experts “EcoCenter” hold informational tour “for safe energy!”.
This is reported by the correspondent of IA tour participants ZIK.

Experts of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine with support of the development of the UN Democracy travel cities of Western Ukraine, where it is planned or already producing shale gas. This includes cities such as Peremyshlyany, Zolocev, Kalush, Rohatyn, Ivano-Frankivsk, Galich …

The team of ten people tell Lviv citizens about the dangers to humans and the environment from unconventional gas.

“The biggest risk – is still migration of chemicals in aquifers. Scientific studies show that this can happen for several years. These chemicals destroy the human endocrine system. This primarily affects oncology, nevynoshuvanosti leads to problems with fertility, malformations in children. That is the most vulnerable to them are children, pregnant women and animals “- said about the dangers of gas production using hydraulic fracturing (cracking) expert” EcoCenter “Elena Miskun.

Lviv event will be held throughout the day on July 17. Organizers advise how to save energy and their own money, how to deal with the extraction of shale gas in your own city or neighborhood, talk about the experience of powerful countries and clearly demonstrate examples of energy saving: solar panels, hubs …
———————–
Olexi Pasyuk Central Asia Coordinator CEE Bankwatch Network National Ecological Centre of Ukraine mob: +380 50 5711684 opasyuk@bankwatch.org, http://www.bankwatch.org http://www.necu.org.ua

Egypt
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Egypt - global resistance

Winning against the odds – How an Egyptian community stopped BP in its tracks. – See more at: http://platformlondon.org/2013/06/25/winning-against-the-odds-how-an-egyptian-community-stopped-bp-in-its-tracks/#sthash.xRc2FnoA.dpuf

South Africa
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Group takes DMR to court over fracking
– http://www.news24.com/SciTech/News/Group-takes-DMR-to-court-over-fracking-20111024.
The group in South Africa is now challenging the high court in Pretoria in
its bid to gain information on prospective gas mining in Karoo by Shell.

Canada
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NEW BRUNSWICK
Sad news from Canada this evening, 40 arrested, rubber bullets and pepper spray reported at antifracking campaigners. http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/40-arrested-as-shale-gas-protesters-clash-with-rcmp-in-eastern-new-brunswick-1.1500986

10 Must-Share Images, Scenes and Far-Flung Shows of Support in the Mi’kmaq Anti-Fracking Protest
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/10/22/10-must-share-images-scenes-and-far-flung-shows-support-mikmaq-anti-fracking-protest

Some of you may have been following the anti-fracking blockade led by the Elsipogtog community in New Brunswick since September. The RCMP stepped in this morning and there are reports of the use of rubber bullets and tear gas. The Chief, Council and a local journalist have been arrested. Please help get the word out and stand in solidarity!

You can follow what’s happening on:
Twitter: @APTNNews or with hastag: #elsipogtog

Facebook: Shale Gas Alerts NB https://www.facebook.com/groups/112468105590081/?hc_location=stream

APTN news: http://aptn.ca/pages/news

WARRIOR SOCIETYhttp://halifax.mediacoop.ca/video/warrior-society-call-support-elsipogtog-seizure-fr/19272
On “Colombus Day”, a day which celebrates 521 years of genocide and oppression of Indigenous peoples, the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society has released the following video call for support.

MUST WATCH (warning, offensive language first few seconds), 1:22 Min. Long row of snipers.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10153336761370274&set=vb.636290273&type=2&theater

“This is a camera. This is a camera, it’s a camera get your gun off me. It’s two cameras.
“Well, there’s children here too. Hey, this is a phone. Get your guns off me, this is a phone. Hey, this is a phone, I have no gun.
“I don’t have a gun, it’s a phone.
“Hey, put your gun down, this is a phone, I have two phones.
“Get me out of your scope

Mi’kmaq Blockade – http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/video/mikmaq-blockade/19330

Women of Blood Tribe block Murphy Oil’s fracking in Canada
Contributed by: the EF! Journal

Kainai Nation, Southern Alberta—Members of the Blood Tribe; Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Lois Frank, and Jill Crop Earred Wolf were arrested September 9, 2011 and charged with trespass in their own community on Blood Tribe land by tribal law enforcement and RCMP, after parking their cars in front of Murphy Oil’s fracking development site and vowing not to move until plans of fracking for oil and gas are stopped.

Women of Blood Tribe block Murphy Oil’s fracking in Canada
The women are part of the Kainai Earth Watch and have been active advocates to stop the fracking due to the major threat to human health, wildlife and livestock and the irreversible damage to the land and water on the Blood Reserve and surrounding areas.
Although they could have been booked and released from the tribal jail Friday evening, the chief, instead, held them all night and released them September 10, with the threat, that if they continued their blockade and protest each person would be arrested, charged and fined $1,500.
In late 2010, Kainaiwa Resources Inc. (KRI) quietly signed off on a deal with the Calgary-based junior mining company Bowood Energy and the US company Murphy Oil. In exchange for the $50 Million, Bowood Energy and Murphy Oil gained a five-year lease to roughly 129, 280 acres, almost half of the Blood’s reserve, for oil and gas exploration.
Plans for construction begin this week. More actions are planned—and they are calling on more people to join them.
If you are interested in helping to support this action, find out more at
http://protectbloodland.ca/
http://www.gopetition.com/petition/42138.html

Jessica Ernst
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Ernst, a 54 year old scientist with 30 years petroleum industry experience, is suing the Alberta government, Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and EnCana for negligence and unlawful activities.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1g0iJblMc0&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xRQt3Q0xPc&feature=share

Read the story in : get up

Our last chance to prevent fracking in the Delaware River Basin

 

Tar sands action  – we won
!

Australia
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Today, (6 March 2013) Lock the Gate Alliance have launched Call to Country. ” a call from the heart of this country, and the people who love it, to demand real action to restrict inappropriate coal and gas mining. Our new mapping shows that 437 million hectares of our land is covered by coal and gas licences or applications. That’s more than half of Australia and an area 18 times the size of Great Britain. Even our greatest international tourist icons are not safe, with at least 11 of our 16 National Landscapes at threat.”

It calls on the Australian federal government to:

1. Put in place an urgent moratorium on coal seam gas and other unconventional gas mining.
2. Create no-go zones to protect productive agricultural land, national tourism icons and all residential dwellings from coal and gas mining.

3. Strengthen the Federal environment laws to exclude coal and gas mining from important water sources, cultural heritage sites and sensitive environment areas.

4. Put in place national standards on coal and gas pollution and enforce compliance.

5. Stop using taxpayers’ money to provide handouts to big coal and gas corporations and make the miners pay their fair share in taxes.

6. Reject current development proposals for coal ports, mega-mines, dams and unconventional gas wells in significant areas.

7. Conduct research into greenhouse gas emissions from mining and make sure they are properly accounted and fully paid for.

8. Hold a Royal Commission to investigate the management of coal and gas resources by all Australian governments.

To read more download visit http://www.lockthegate.org.au/calltocountry      and download the briefing note

Lock the Gates

A huge protest rally/march of more than 4,000 people in Murwillumbah on Saturday was told by the head of the national anti-CSG movement the effective tactic would be used against the mining companies to ‘send them packing’.

Read more :
http://echonetdaily.echo.net.au/block-the-gate-on-csg-rally-told/?pid=43

Last nights ABC lateline  (24 Oct 2012)
Check out last night’s ABC Lateline for the latest on the expansion of shale gas exploration in the Kimberly region of Western Australia.
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline
We were interviewed over the chemicals used there. There was so little knowledge about this among the community and local government, very worrying.

I can only wonder where the USEPA estimated water needs for standard Shale gas fracking – requires 7.7 – 38 megalitres (2-10 million gallons) per hydraulic fracturing and a well may be fracked many times – will come from.

Buru Energy provided no data on volumes of chemicals used in the 3 hydraulic fracturing they have already undertaken but based on standard 0.5-2.0% chemical additive to fracking fluid, (0.5 -2% of approx. 2,385,000 litres of water they stated they would use) it would mean approximately 12,000 – 47,000 litres of chemical additives were used in 3 small exploratory fracks.

Of course these are rough figures but give you an idea of the quantities used.

Lock the Gate appears to be a fitting name for Australia’s protest movement against hydraulic fracturing. It took activists years to identify threats to public health from “fracking,” a classic case of getting mobilized only after the proverbial horse has escaped.

GlobalFocusAustralians in the rural reaches of Queensland greeted fracking with gusto when the northeastern state’s political leaders began about seven years ago to tout the profit potential of the unconventional extraction method that blasts sand, water and chemicals into coal and shale seams. Ambitious projects were drafted. More than 4,500 wells were drilled in barely two years, and work has begun on a 250-mile pipeline from the gas fields to Gladstone Harbor and a massive liquefaction facility there. Once construction of the port complex on Curtis Island is completed in 2014, gas will be converted to liquefied natural gas and shipped north to energy-hungry Asian neighbors.

It wasn’t until the buildup got into full swing about three years ago that locals began complaining of distressing side effects of fracking. Activists claim drinking-water aquifers have been contaminated, groundwater depleted and greenhouse gases released along a three-mile stretch of the Condamine River, which at times appears to be boiling.

Dredging in Gladstone Harbor has been blamed for disease outbreaks among fish and mud crabs. Marine scientists attribute the sickness to toxic metals being stirred up from the seabed. Port developers say the defects and deaths were caused by an excess of fresh water from seasonal flooding.

“What was a wonderful fish nursery has turned into an industrial harbor, with ships that will be driving straight through the Great Barrier Reef,” said Matt Landos, a University of Sydney researcher and private consultant in aquatic animal health.

A greater irritant for Australians, Landos said, is the lack of information being provided on the environmental and health costs entailed in the race to make Australia the No. 1 LNG exporter in the world by 2020.

Gas output in historically coal-dependent Australia took off in the last decade, beginning with undersea extraction off the northwestern coast. It quickly swept to the more populous east coast with the discovery of major coal-seam deposits in the Bowen and Surat basins that extend from Queensland into New South Wales.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration in its 2011 world energy outlook reports that Australia, already the fourth-biggest exporter of LNG, has the largest proven natural gas reserves in the Asia-Pacific region, with 110 trillion cubic feet. It has nearly four times that volume in technically recoverable shale gas, the agency estimates, leaving it well positioned to fill the booming energy needs of the region.

Queensland’s new premier, Campbell Newman, campaigned on a platform of support for the LNG buildup but insisted before his election in March that it wouldn’t be “at any cost,” that the agricultural state’s farmland had to be protected.

But activists charge that pursuit of the gas bonanza has been unbridled. And the acrimony has only intensified since the appointment of rancher John Cotter as “gas sheriff,” charged with resolving disputes between landowners and gas industry interests. Cotter’s son, John Jr., is founder of a private company that does consulting and project management in mining operations, including contracts with the multibillion-dollar Queensland Curtis Project expanding coal seam fracking and helping build an underground pipeline.

Lock the Gate Chairman Drew Hutton accuses the Cotters of having an “intolerable” conflict of interest and calls the appointment “a most appalling, short-sighted decision,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported last month.

Landos accuses the Queensland government of being blinded to the environmental threats of expanded fracking by “starry-eyed economic forecasts” of Australia emerging as the new LNG global powerhouse.

“It’s a false accounting that doesn’t take into consideration the costs of environmental cleanup,” the veterinary scientist complained in a telephone interview from Sydney. Expectations of jobs and export income, he added, “are leading to tremendous enthusiasm among our politicians to push the industry forward with minimal impediment.”

He worries that the all-out drive for LNG dominance will destroy coastal fisheries and damage sites of natural beauty in exchange for an economy dependent on gas that could be exhausted in 25 years.

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization warned the Australian government in June that its rapid LNG development plan was posing “a significant risk” to the Great Barrier Reef, which has been under World Heritage protection since 1981. It extends from Gladstone Harbor northward along the Queensland coast and would be traversed by gas exporting ships headed for China, Japan and Taiwan.

UNESCO asked the Queensland government to provide assurances by February 2013 that port development will be brought under control and the reef protected, warning that otherwise the site may be designated as “in danger,” a shaming censure for any First World national steward.

Campbell, the state premier, responded to the world body report with assurances that the environment would be protected, “but we are not going to see the economic future of Queensland shut down.”

Lock the Gate and other anti-fracking groups have exploded over the last year as farmers have seen their water tables drop and their land littered with mine tailings, said Mariann Lloyd-Smith, a lawyer and senior advisor to the International POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) Elimination Network. The groups seek clarity on what is being injected into the coal seams. Companies often refuse to disclose such information, saying the formulas are industrial secrets.

Groups such as Australia’s National Toxins Network have been collecting data on pollution and waste to use in legal challenges that have become so prevalent that some fracking companies are giving up and handing in their exploration permits, Lloyd-Smith said.

Unlike in the United States, where property owners hold the rights to resources beneath their land, the Australian government owns everything below the topsoil. The Gasfields Commission has the authority to compel landowners to accommodate energy exploration, typically resulting in compensation of about $1,500 per well, Lloyd-Smith said. That’s turning out to be too little to clean up the mess once drilling is over, driving up opposition across Australia.

Temporary bans on fracking in the two states south of Queensland -– New South Wales and Victoria –- have been enacted in response to public demands for investigation of environmental damage claims.

“When one farmer locks his gate, the companies have the right to take the case to arbitration or to the courts, and they often do. But when 100 farmers lock their gates, it’s a case of diminishing returns for the companies,” Lloyd-Smith said. “It’s that sort of consolidation of the community opposition that to a degree is winning the battle.”

“To a degree” may be the operative assessment, as energy industry leaders are fighting back. In aspeech in Melbourne this month, ExxonMobil Australia President John Dashwood blamed the fracking bans on “those who run agendas on emotional messages.” He pointed to reduced greenhouse gas emissions as a tangible benefit from replacing coal-generated power with natural gas from shale and coal seams.

With more than $500 billion in LNG-purchase commitments from Asian neighbors already on the books, even the more vociferous cries of fracking opponents are being drowned out by the drilling and blasting from new wells cropping up by the dozens each week.

As Hutton of Lock the Gate recently warned, “The Queensland environment is going to die a death of 1,000 cuts with this industry that it cannot control.”

Follow Carol J. Williams at www.twitter.com/cjwilliamslat

Photo: Protests against the proliferation of coal-seam gas fracking have swelled in size and number in recent months as farmers, ranchers and rural residents confront industry and government leaders over the alleged polluting side effects of the unconventional gas extraction process. This protest last spring targeted plans to frack in New South Wales. Credit: Courtesy of Andrya Hart

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