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Today three men from the same family lost their lives when a pulling unit exploded in Upton County. It is unknown at this time what caused the explosion. But it could have been caused by armor piercing fracking explosions.

What is known is that armor piercing explosives called "perf guns" are required for fracking. Here are some things I've learned about "perf guns."

  • These armor piercing charges are used to blow holes through the steel casing pipe, cement casing and into surrounding shale. Sometimes the charges accidentally go off on the surface causing serious accidents.
  • One study limited to 3 suppliers prior to the shale BOOM, found 94 accidents, 49 injuries and 29 deaths due to perf guns.
  • Cell phones can set off a "perf gun."
  • Pulling units lower "perf guns" in place and retrieve them.
  • This is happening in neighborhoods where children play.

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And suddenly there was Chris Faulkner.

He just appeared oozed like an oily fog without the little cat feet onto the fracking scene. Who is he and where did he come from were questions asked. Real oil men don't just materialize, they are bred and raised or, at least, groomed.

Chris Faulkner of Breitling Energy: Who are you?

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Fracking started in my back yard and has spread like a virus around the globe.

Scarred by twelve years spent working in the oil and gas industry, in June 1996, I moved to paradise in the middle of nowhere in Wise County Texas where--€“unknown by me€--Mitchell Energy was experimenting trying to figure out how to frack oil and gas from the Barnett Shale formation about 8,000 feet deep in the earth. According to Congressional testimony (video), the two technologies, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, were "married" in 2002 right in my backyard. These two technologies release the gas that is tightly packed in the rock formation lying deep under a 16 county area in North Texas called the Barnett Shale. The coupling of two old technologies, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, has fueled a new, national and international drilling boom.

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An intercepted email from the California Independent Petroleum Association shows what the fracking industry has planned for Bakersfield, California residents who show up for a Gasland II screening Saturday evening.

The May 3rd screening hosted by Clean Water Action, the Sierra Club of Kern and Earthworks at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2216 17th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301, starts at 5 pm.  But, according to the email below, industry plans to fill the church to capacity early so locals won't have seats.

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When you present the evidence to six people who know nothing about fracking, they find fracking guilty.

I wrote a diary on Daily Kos when Lisa Parr's doctor found drilling chemicals in her blood and lungs. That was back in 2010 when I still had hope that fracking could be done right. I've learned since then that it can't.

Today, a jury of their peers awarded Bob and Lisa Parr $3 million dollars in their fracking lawsuit against Aruba Petroleum. The Parr's attorneys said this was the first fracking case to ever go to trial. I'm trying to verify that.

Bob and Lisa Parr were neighbors to Tim and Christine Ruggiero in Wise County. I was there, in the Ruggiero kitchen, the day Lisa discovered that her timeline of doctor’s visits matched–exactly–Christine’s timeline of releases from the Aruba gas wells on her property.
Like Tim and Christine, Bob and Lisa shared all their information with me and I developed it into a case study for presentation to the EPA at Research Triangle Park and later to Gina McCarthy before she was EPA Administrator. The situation at the Parr's and Ruggiero's homes was so horrific, I even took Cynthia Giles, top enforcement officer for the EPA to see for herself. The Parr's case study was added to others and published by Earthworks in Flowback: How the Texas Natural Gas Boom Affects Health and Safety.
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Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 12:17 PM PDT

Fracking goes on trial today

by TXsharon

Aruba Petroleum--remember them--is going to trial today. They are saying this is the first fracking trial in the U.S. and I was there, up close and personal, the whole time.

Bob and Lisa Parr were neighbors to Tim and Christine Ruggiero in Wise County. I was there, in the Ruggiero kitchen, the day Lisa discovered that her timeline of doctor's visits matched--exactly--Christine's timeline of releases from the Aruba gas wells on her property.

Aruba Petroleum well venting 200' from Ruggiero home.
This picture shows an Aruba Petroleum well venting on Tim Ruggiero's property.
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In California, oil companies are increasing earthquake risk by injecting billions of gallons of oil and gas wastewater a year into hundreds of disposal wells near active faults around Los Angeles, Bakersfield and other major cities, according to a new report released from Earthworks, the Center for Biological Diversity and Clean Water Action. A boom on hydraulic fracturing in California would worsen the danger of earthquakes, the report finds, by greatly increasing oil wastewater production and underground injection. Extracting the Monterey Shale’s oil could produce almost 9 trillion gallons of contaminated wastewater, the report estimates. That could expose California to a surge in damaging earthquakes like those seen in Oklahoma, Texas, and other states experiencing rapidly increased fracking and wastewater production.

In addition to exposing the fact that millions of Californians live in areas threatened by oil industry-induced earthquakes, the report found that a majority of California’s active oil industry wastewater injection wells are near recently active faults:  

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David Quast worked for Philip Morris from 1997 to 1998 as manager of media affairs. He still brags about writing their Youth Smoking Prevention program that was designed to subtly lure youth to smoke.

Quast now has a new gig as California field director for Energy In Depth, where he is attempting to lure Californians to fracking.
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I was there in Bartonville, Texas with Rex and Dick.

The first time Rex Tillerson and Dick Armey addressed the Town of Bartonville about the water tower whose toxic emissions and activities would trespass onto their property causing health problems, loss of enjoyment of property, water contamination and diminished property value, I was there. It was a night I will never forget and this is how I remember it.

Edit: Upon looking at the minutes from March 15, 2011, I see that Rex did not speak first. I think his presence was so large that, in my memory, it stood out. Also it may have been the Armeys who spoke about their view and such. The surreal-ness of the whole event has meshed it all together in my memory but the general gist of the comments--this industrial infrastructure will harm my property value and the enjoyment of my private property--remain the same. And the gist echoes the comments made that night by Tillerson's neighbors who were requesting a moratorium on new drilling permits. Everyone wants to preserve their property value and enjoyment of their private property.

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The U.S. has seen a precipitous increase in shale oil and gas extraction over the past decade that would be impossible without the coupling of two old technologies, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing aka fracking. The courting and subsequent marriage of these two technologies took place in my Wise County Texas backyard.

Areas in the middle of America--Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia--that have been usually earthquake free have seen a significant increase in earthquakes during the past decade, which relates to the increase in fracking and injection of massive amounts of flowback and produced water.

A naturally-occurring rate change of this magnitude is unprecedented outside of volcanic settings or in the absence of a main shock, of which there were neither in this region” (Ellsworth et al, 2012).  Link
A new study refers to the shale oil and gas boom as "fracking industrialization." I like that term. I used information from the study Fracking Industrialization and Induced Earthquakes: The Mechanisms that Connect the Disposal of Fracking Wastewater into Deep-Injection Wells to a Significant Increase in Midcontinent Seismic Activity for part of this blog post.

Updated with link to full study.

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Hoping no one would notice, Obama picked noon on Christmas Eve to release the Inspector General (IG) report that justified the EPA's Imminent and Substantial Endangerment Order in the Range Resources' Parker County water contamination case.

The IG's in-depth investigation findings:

  • EPA was right to issue the order.
  • Withdrawal reasons are unclear and questionable.
  • Recommends monitoring of Range Resources' testing because the quality is questionable.

I just want to gloat for a moment and say: I told you so!

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Last year I blogged about a new study: the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms that exposure to “air pollutants–in some cases for a single day–increases the chance” of heart attack. From that study I learned that the heart is the most vulnerable organ to air pollution.

A newly released study focused on industrial pollutants found that congenital heart defects are strongly associated with mixtures of toxic air pollutants. The list of toxins are the same toxins people are being exposed to in shale oil and gas areas.
Environmental toxins linked to heart defects

DALLAS, Nov. 17, 2013 — Children’s congenital heart defects may be associated with their mothers’ exposure to specific mixtures of environmental toxins during pregnancy, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

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