New Documentary on Hydrofracking in Utica March 16, 2012

Subject: Re: Important Documentary about Hydrofracking! Please Read.
One day the people who live in a small village located in far eastern
Poland near the Ukrainian border, an ecologically pristine agricultural
area called the lungs of Poland discover that Chevron, the world’s fourth
largest energy corporation, plans to build a shale gas well in their

Utica native and filmmaker Lech Kowalski was there to film the first ever
farmer rebellion against Chevron.

Please join us for,

The American premiere of Lech Kowalski’s new documentary film, “Drill Baby
Drill.” On Saturday March 16, 4 PM at The Uptown Theater, Utica, NY.

Mr. Kowalski, a residing in Paris, France will be present for the
screening and for the discussion and question and answer period that will
follow the 84 minute film.

Mr. Kowalski has won wide renown over his 35-plus years as an independent
filmmaker whose large body of work has won awards and been the subject of
retrospectives at several major international film festivals.

“Drill Baby Drill” was shown recently in the French Senate, on French and
German television (earning high ratings) and will be shown to the European
Parliament in April, prior to its theatrical release.

The film, made in Poland and in Pennsylvania, tells the story of a small
group of Polish farmers who band together to protect their land from shale
gas extraction (hydrofracking). 
It examines the effects that ongoing
drilling is having on farmers and their communities in PA. Its subject
matter should be of strong, immediate interest to citizens of New York
where energy companies are leasing land with similar plans. The film
raises important questions about corporate power and its effect on
democracy and about the tensions between our need for new energy sources
and the need to protect our land and water. The film’s power derives in
part from its refusal to provide easy answers to the questions it raises.

Admission is $5. Proceeds from this event will go to support The Uptown,
The Other Side and Hydro Relief Web. For more information call The Other
Side at 315 507-2093 or email us at

Christina Markoulis, Board Member of The Other Side

Poland dreams of energy independence — through fracking –

Poland dreams of energy independence — through fracking –

Gaz łupkowy – jak to się robi w Polsce (fracking in Poland) – YouTube

Gaz łupkowy – jak to się robi w Polsce (fracking in Poland) – YouTube.

U.S. Pushes to Cut Emissions That Speed Climate Change –

U.S. Pushes to Cut Emissions That Speed Climate Change –

U.S. Pushes to Cut Emissions of Some Pollutants That Hasten Climate Change

WASHINGTON — Impatient with the slow pace of international climate change negotiations, a small group of countries led by the United States is starting a program to reduce emissions of common pollutants that contribute to rapid climate change and widespread health problems.


A blog about energy and the environment.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to announce the initiative at the State Department on Thursday accompanied by officials from Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden and the United Nations Environment Program.

The plan will address short-lived pollutants like soot (also referred to as black carbon), methane and hydrofluorocarbons that have an outsize influence on global warming, accounting for 30 to 40 percent of global warming. Soot from diesel exhausts and the burning of wood, agricultural waste and dung for heating and cooking causes an estimated two million premature deaths a year, particularly in the poorest countries.

Scientists say that concerted action on these substances can reduce global temperatures by 0.5 degrees Celsius by 2050 and prevent millions of cases of lung and heart disease by 2030.

“This is very much in the win-win category — good on climate at the same time that it’s good on health, food production and energy,” said Todd D. Stern, the State Department’s special envoy for climate change.

“It’s not a negotiation over who takes what targets,” he said, “but a voluntary partnership aimed at producing tangible results in a relatively short period of time.”

The United States intends to contribute $12 million and Canada $3 million over two years to get the program off the ground and to help recruit other countries to participate. The United Nations Environment Program will run the project.

Officials hope that by tackling these fast-acting, climate-changing agents they can get results quicker than through the laborious and highly political negotiations conducted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or U.N.F.C.C.C. That process, involving more than 190 nations, grinds on year after year with incremental political progress but little real impact on the climate.

At the most recent United Nations climate summit meeting, in Durban, South Africa, negotiators agreed to try to produce a binding global climate change treaty by 2015, to take effect after 2020. Many scientists say that irreversible damage to the atmosphere will be done before then.

Soot, methane and hydrofluorocarbons, which are used in foam and refrigerants, have a short life span in the atmosphere, measured in weeks or years. By contrast, carbon dioxide, the primary cause of climate disruption, persists in the atmosphere for thousands of years — and its effects are much more difficult to mitigate.

Researchers have identified about a dozen ways to significantly control black carbon and methane emissions. Soot can be reduced by installing filters on diesel engines, replacing traditional cookstoves with more efficient models, modernizing brick kilns and banning the open burning of agricultural waste. Methane can be captured from oil and gas wells, leaky pipelines, coal mines, municipal landfills, wastewater treatment plants, manure piles and rice paddies.

The new initiative will provide money for developing countries to reduce short-acting pollutants and will try to raise additional public and private funds for new mitigation projects. Drew T. Shindell, a senior climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute on Space Studies, said that attacking short-lived climate agents could have immediate impacts.

“From a political point of view,” he said, “what’s really appealing about these measures is that a lot of the benefits are realized by those that take the action. If you reduce these emissions in the developing world, it’s the developing world that gets most of the benefits, by stabilizing rainfall and improving public health.”

Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, said that the initiative, if expanded and adequately financed, would have more impact on the climate than the United Nations climate change negotiations, at least in the near term.

“This is a formal declaration that we’re opening a second front in the climate war,” said Mr. Zaelke, who has been agitating for action on fast-acting climate change agents for years.

“We’d be fools to count on the U.N.F.C.C.C. for our salvation, though I wish it well,” he said. “This is a complement, not a substitute.”

Fluids spew from oil well – Alberta

 Fluids spew from oil well [comment:  more by the Alta Surface Rights
Group, below and at

By Advocate staff
Published: January 14, 2012 2:24 PM
Cleanup and investigation are underway on an oilfield accident that
officials thought was impossible.

Late Friday afternoon, Norm Waters was coming home from work in
Innisfail when he saw a plume of fluids spewing from the pump jack on
a oilwell near his farm, about 800 metres southwest of the point where
the Red Deer River flows into Gleniffer Lake.

Just over the hill from the well, operated by Calgary-based Wild
Stream Exploration, a crew from Canyon Well Services had been
conducting a hydraulic frac on a different oilwell, on behalf of
Midway Energy.

It appears early in the investigation that fluid from the Midway
Energy frac entered the Wild Stream well bore and created pressure in
the well, said Darin Barter.

Fluid recovered from the scene contained a mixture of nitrogen,
fracking oil and sand, said Barter.

ERCB and company officials are trying to determine if and how fluid
from one well bore was able to enter another.

[comment:  what bogus! ERCB and OGC, and industry KNOW that frac
communication events have been occurring for years, many in alberta!
ERCB summarized many frac communication events in their shale review
paper, released early 2011]

The farmer whose land was affected by the spill was away from home at
the time.

? Copyright . All rights reserved.

comment by jess – i dont think this article is up on the paper’s
website yet

Central Alberta’s leading online news source —
Blowout stirs questions
The blowout of a oil well during a frac job on a neighbouring well in
Red Deer County on Friday is raising nervous questions among rural

Norman Waters had just arrived home from work in Innisfail at 5 p.m.
on Friday when be noticed a plume of black fluid spewing from a pump
jack operating part way up a hill in his neighbour’s field, located
less than one kilometre southwest of the point where the Red Deer
River flows into the Gleniffer Lake reservoir.

On the other side of the hill, a crew from Canyon Technical Services
was conducting a hydraulic frac in a well operated by Calgary-based
Midway Energy Ltd.

Waters drove to the site and asked them to shut down the frac.

He then started calling emergency numbers, including the one for
Wildstream Exploration, the Calgary-based company whose well was
spewing fluid.

Both wells are now shut down, preliminary investigation and cleanup
are nearly complete and a thorough investigation was to start this
morning, said Darin Barter, a communications official with the Energy
Resources Conservation Board.

The first priority was to get the flow stopped and clean up the site,
Barter said on Sunday.

With that done, the ERCB and the companies involved are now trying to
determine exactly what went wrong.

Early examination of the spilled fluid indicates a mix of oil,
nitrogen and frac sand, said Barter.

However, the investigation has just begun, so there is possibility
that other findings may contradict any assumptions made in the
beginning, he said.

Both wells will remain shut in while investigators determine how
pressurized fluid from the frac was able to breach the Wildstream well
bore and whether or where miscalculations were made during the
drilling and servicing processes. It will also determine if changes
need to be made in the regulations governing those processes, said

Frozen ground has been a benefit to the site cleanup, preventing the
spilled fluid from seeping into the soil while no fluid made it to the
river, he said.

Professional engineer Shane Peet, chief operating officer for Midway,
said the fracking crew was in stage 15 of a 16-stage frac on his
company’s well when it appears to have “communicated with” the
Wildstream well at a depth of 1,850 metres.

Peet believes that pressure from the frac drove reserves in
Wildstream’s well up to the surface, along with fracking sand and fluids.

Costs of the investigation itself are part of the job for government
employees, said Barter.

Midway will be responsible for cleanup costs and damages, including
compensation to the landowner, said Peet.

Waters said he also called retired oilfield engineer Don Bester,
president of the Alberta Surface Rights Group, because he wanted to
know his rights as a landowner in relation to the spill, even though
it occurred in his neighbour’s pasture.

Bester and other members of the group visited and photographed the
site on Saturday morning.

The big issue for landowners is the potential for hydraulic fracking
to damage the fresh water aquifers from which they draw their water,
Bester said on Sunday.

Midway’s well bore would not likely have connected with Wildstream’s
bore, but that there could be natural fractures within the formation
that would have allowed the pressure from fracking one well to blow
out the other, he said.

However, he wonders how many similar spills have gone unreported
because they are held within the sites of the companies running the
fracs and are therefore not brought to the public’s attention.

“If these companies can’t control these fracs, what is the potential
to destroy a complete aquifer? We’re not convinced that these fracs
will stay in the formation that they were intended to frac.”

Destroying an aquifer would destroy fresh water sources for hundreds
of farmers, said Bester.

“What are we doing here, really? What are we doing?” he said.

Bester also said he also has questions about whether the plume sprayed
over the bank and into the river.

“When you can see oil dripping from the trees, you know d..n well what
happened over the bank.”

He and his companions did not go to the river because they would have
had to cross private property without permission.

Hydro Frack Blows Out a Producing Oil Well at Innisfail Alberta

/Hydro Frack, west of Innisfail , Alberta blows out an oil well ? of a
mile away./

*Hydro Frack Blows Out an Oil Well!*

On January 13^th , 2012 a producing oil well owned by Wildstream
Exploration blew out southwest of Innisfail Alberta. Three quarters of a
mile away Midway Energy was hydro fracking a horizontal well that from
preliminary information looks like it ran horizontally very close to the
oil well.

The farmer who first spotted the blow out reported there was a fountain
of crude shooting about thirty feet above the pump jack. He phoned the
ERCB emergency hot line but got no answer! He then quickly contacted
Wildstream Exploration and went up to the Midway frack site and got the
frack shut down. Unable to get any response from the ERCB, he then
phoned Don Bester of the Alberta Surface Rights Group. Bester was able
to contact the ERCB. Some of our board members went out there and did a
field inspection (thus the pictures).

It appears the oil misted over a large portion of the surrounding land
as the snow had a yellowish/brown tinge to it. Some oil misted into the
tree line to the south of the well. Cats were piling the snow and it was
being hauled away in gravel trucks.

A large pool of oil was being vacuumed up, with more being contained by
a  berm at a lower level than can be seen in the picture.

It is not certain what actually happened and the ERCB, say they are
investigating! The ERCB gave a press release implying the spill is
fracking fluid, no mention of crude oil…..which makes one wonder if
they have even been out there?…….it is definitely crude …..we were

It is possible when they ramped up the pressure, the fracking
fluids blasted through the rock into the oil well zone, putting so much
pressure on the oil pool that it blew the well out? It is important that
the ERCB gets to the bottom of this accident. They have always told us
this couldn’t possibly happen!

It appears they were wrong?

Maybe this “world class regulator” really doesn’t know very much after all?

If the frack fluids can rupture into another zone bearing oil, why
wouldn’t it do the same thing in an aquifier? With the new well spacing
rules for hydro fracking (October, 2011) , these type of wrecks could
become a regular occurence!

Is it time for some real regulations and a real regulator?


*The hydro-fracked well details from the ERCB website: *



DATE: 16 November 2011

DRILLING OPERATION                  WELL PURPOSE             WELL



MIDWAY HZ GARR 3-9-35-3                      0438991 FREEHOLD 990.5M
100/03-09-035-03W5/00 N  113.0M  E    470.6M RED DEER 3500.0M
DEV (NC)                                              GARRINGTON
HORIZONTAL                                         NEW PRODUCTION
MIDWAY ENERGY LTD. 03-16-035-03W5

Hydro-fracked well SW16-35-3-W5M

Hydro-frack well SW16-35-3-W5M

Oil well where the frack blew out

Frack communication blow out; cat piling contaminated snow

400 m from well; maximum reach of oil approximately 400 m

Oil and frac fluid being vacuumed up

Oil and frack fluid spray reached trees

Truck hauling out contaminated soil

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), the Brussels-based not-for-profit advocacy group.

Extracting shale gas, which can pollute groundwater and be environmentally damaging, represents a major new threat for public health in Europe, according to the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), the Brussels-based not-for-profit advocacy group.
A seminar organised by HEAL on Friday 7 October 2011 brought attention to the need for urgent EU action on this new extraction process, known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking. The lack of an assessment of the impact of fracking on environmental health is a particular concern. The meeting will help define the health and environmental implications of this new extraction process and identify the EU policy areas that are likely to be affected. (1)
“We firmly believe that fracking is the next big environmental health challenge,” says Genon Jensen, Executive Director of HEAL. “A top concern is the contamination of groundwater as a result of the hazardous chemicals used (2). Others are the air pollution generated by drilling compressors and trucks hauling huge amounts of water needed for hydrofracking, and the toxic wastewater the fracking leaves behind. With shale gas extraction well underway in Poland (3), prospecting taking place in the UK and several other European countries and fracking the subject of legislation in France (4), it is little wonder that this new process is galloping to the top of the EU agenda (5).”
Speakers at the meeting include Mihai Tomescu, Socio-Economic Analyst at DG Environment. The European Commission announced in early September that it intends to draft EU rules on the fracturing of shale gas. (6) Since then, the Commission has announced that no company has registered any of the 10 chemicals typically used to hydraulically fracture rocks for shale gas extraction for that use under REACH. (7)
Francois Veillerette, President of Generations Futures, a HEAL member, will tell the meeting about the findings of his new book, “Le vrai scandale des Gaz de Schiste” (The Real Scandal of Shale Gas in Europe). (4) He says that following ten years of widespread fracking in the USA, concerns can be summed up as “the use of dangerous chemical substances, contamination of groundwater, consumption of a large amount of water, and destruction of the landscape.” A study cited in the book shows that this mining process produces the same level of emissions of greenhouse gases as the use of coal.
Generations Futures and HEAL want to see urgent action taken. “”We now need a clear European ban on the exploitation of shale gas, oil and other source rock hydrocarbons,” Mr. Veillerette says.
In the US, 60 scientists with expertise in water treatment systems have signed a letter expressing concern should chemicals and other contaminants used in hydraulic fracturing end up in the water supply. They fear that municipal drinking water filtration systems are not designed to adequately remove such toxins. (8) The US-based TEDX Endocrine Disruptor Exchange report says that fracking fluid may contain include 300 chemicals out of which 40% are endocrine disruptors and a third are suspected carcinogens. Over 60% can harm the brain and nervous system. (9)
Since hearing about this problem last year, HEAL has worked to increase collaboration by bringing together activists, scientists and interested policy makers. In late 2010, American colleague, Dr Sandra Steingraber, an international environmental health scientist, whom HEAL brought attention to the problem during her address at a meeting in the European Parliament. She will now dedicate her recent Heinz Foundation prize to fighting fracking.(10)
Ms Jensen says. “Right now, the impacts of shale gas are only partially dealt with in over 35 pieces of legislation. So a top priority is to get shale gas systematically addressed under EU law so that it protects people’s health and our ecosystems.”

Notes for journalists

1. Shale Gas in the EU: “Health & Environment implications of Shale Fracturing for Natural Gas” on 7th October 2011 (Continuation of HEAL Annual General Meeting)
NGO Meeting on Shale Gas in the EU: Environment & Health implications of Shale Fracturing for Natural Gas (09:00 – 12:45)
09:00 – Welcome Genon Jenson, HEAL Executive Director
09:15 – Overview of issues and EU policy context
09.15 – Fracking from an NGO perspective: what’s at stake for health and environment? Lisette van Vliet, Toxics Policy Advisor, HEAL
09.25 – EU policies context for shale gas & issues considered Mihai Tomescu, Socio-Economic Analyst, DG Environment, European Commission
09:50 – Questions & Answers
10:00 – The Real Scandal of Shale Gas in Europe – French case study
10:05 – “Le Vrai Scandale des Gaz de Schiste” Francois Veillerette, Generations Futures (HEAL member organisation, France)
10:25 Questions and Discussion
10:40 Coffee break
For any questions concerning the event, please contact
Registration for the event is now closed.
2. A report by the Tyndall Centre in Manchester University found that “There is a clear risk of contamination of groundwater from shale gas extraction,” it concluded. “It is important to recognise that most problems arise due to errors in construction or operation and these cannot be eliminated.”
4. Marine Jobert and Francois Veillerette, “Le vrai scandale des gaz de schiste”, full details on website at
5. Two hearings in the European Parliament are planned during week beginning Monday 3 October 2011. ENVI hearing on the Parliamentary study on the impacts of shale gas on the environment and human health (Tuesday, 4 October, Item 16, ENVI/7/06759 (PE464.425)) and ITRE hearing on the prospects for shale gas in the EU (afternoon, Wednesday 5 October).
6. Agence France Presse, France 24, 9 September 2011, Brussels seeks EU shale gas rules: Oettinger
7. ENDS Europe, 23 September 2011, EC: fracking chemicals not REACH registered,
8. Letter from US scientists to New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo available at
10. Sandra Steingraber, The Heinz Award and What I plan to do with it, Her new book, Raising Elijah includes a whole chapter on fracking,


YouTube – Videos from this email

Ban Fracking in Ireland |

Ban Fracking in Ireland |

THE DAILY STAR :: Business :: Middle East :: Shale oil project raises environmental hackles in Israel

THE DAILY STAR :: Business :: Middle East :: Shale oil project raises environmental hackles in Israel.

How To Avoid The Oil Curse : Planet Money : NPR

How To Avoid The Oil Curse : Planet Money : NPR.  Sept 7, 2011. / FT Magazine – The Iraqi who saved Norway from oil / FT Magazine – The Iraqi who saved Norway from oil.

The Iraqi who saved Norway from oil

By Martin Sandbu

Published: August 29 2009 02:26 | Last updated: August 29 2009 02:26