Occupy Wall Street-Mark Ruffalo


Dear friends,

I think you’re going to like this video:

Last week, actor Mark Ruffalo took “the people’s microphone” at Occupy Wall Street — not to promote a new movie, but to issue a powerful call to action. In under three minutes, Mark connects the dots between the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, fracking, Occupy Wall Street, and the big action planned in DC for November 6th. Mark’s speech captures exactly the kind of energy we’ll need to win this fight.

Click here to watch Mark’s video, and click here to share it on Facebook.

People across the country have been feeling frustrated: frustrated with the corporate control of our democracy, frustrated with the rising levels of pollution in our atmosphere, and frustrated by the lack of a movement powerful enough to turn the tide. We are seeing that frustration reflected in the #occupy events that are growing throughout the country — but frustration alone is not enough.

As Mark says in the video, the task ahead of us is to “turn our grief into winnable action. November 6th is a winnable action!”

The November 6th action in DC is shaping up to be a historical mobilization for this movement. As Mark describes it, “We’re going to make a Human Chain around the White House — to remind Obama to unlink his arms with the corporations, the gas and oil industry, and entwine his arms with the people that he is in charge of taking care of.”

Sounds like a plan to me.

Let’s do this,

Jamie Henn, 350.org

 


QUESTIONS and MORE INFO

Where can I get more information about the November 6th action in DC?

You can sign up here and get more logistical info right here.  Also, tonight at 8 PM Eastern Time, Bill McKibben will be hosting a live video chat to talk about what we need to do before November 6th to make this action even bigger. To join in, just go to www.tarsandsaction.org/video-chat at 8 PM Eastern and press play.

What is “fracking”?

Hydraulic fracturing, AKA “fracking”, is is a method of gas extraction that involves injecting highly-toxic chemicals deep underground to fracture rock formations. There are significant concerns about the effects of fracking on drinking water quality, air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Who is this Mark Ruffalo guy?

You probably recognize him from popular movies — recently he’s been in “The Kids are All Right”, “You Can Count on Me”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, and more. Recently, Mark has emerged as a powerful spokesperson and campaigner for the anti-fracking movement.

What is the people’s microphone — and why is everyone repeating what Mark says in the video?

At Occupy Wall Street in New York, amplified sound (speakers, megaphones, etc. ) are prohibited, so people have gotten creative in order to make their voices heard. When someone uses the “people’s mic”, a speaker will say a line, and then everyone in earshot will repeat it and amplify it so the larger group can hear. It can be a bit slow going, but it’s proven to be a powerful tool for the direct democracy that’s at work at #occupy events around the country.

 


350.org is building a global movement to solve the climate crisis. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for email alerts. You can help power our work by getting involved locally and donating here. 

What is 350? Go to our website to learn about the science behind the movement.


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Insiders Sound an Alarm Amid a Natural Gas Rush


This is a compilation of two articles by Ian Urbina on the economics of Marcellus Shale drilling that appeared in the New York Times. These articles examined the profitability of shalel-gas drilling and whether shale-gas development is an investment bubble. Web links for the individual articles.

 

 

NYTimes-Urbina-Economics-Series

Gasland by Josh Fox


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How does hydraulic fracturing work?
Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.

What is horizontal hydraulic fracturing?
Horizontal hydrofracking is a means of tapping shale deposits containing natural gas that were previously inaccessible by conventional drilling. Vertical hydrofracking is used to extend the life of an existing well once its productivity starts to run out, sort of a last resort. Horizontal fracking differs in that it uses a mixture of 596 chemicals, many of them proprietary, and millions of gallons of water per frack. This water then becomes contaminated and must be cleaned and disposed of.

What is the Halliburton Loophole?
In 2005, the Bush/ Cheney Energy Bill exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act. It exempts companies from disclosing the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing. Essentially, the provision took the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) off the job. It is now commonly referred to as the Halliburton Loophole.

What is the Safe Drinking Water Act?
In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was passed by Congress to ensure clean drinking water free from both natural and man-made contaminates.

What is the FRAC Act?
The FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness to Chemical Act) is a House bill intended to repeal the Halliburton Loophole and to require the natural gas industry to disclose the chemicals they use.

How deep do natural gas wells go?
The average well is up to 8,000 feet deep. The depth of drinking water aquifers is about 1,000 feet. The problems typically stem from poor cement well casings that leak natural gas as well as fracking fluid into water wells.

How much water is used during the fracking process?
Generally 1-8 million gallons of water may be used to frack a well. A well may be fracked up to 18 times.

What fluids are used in the fracking process?
For each frack, 80-300 tons of chemicals may be used. Presently, the natural gas industry does not have to disclose the chemicals used, but scientists have identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.

In what form does the natural gas come out of the well?
The gas comes up wet in produced water and has to be separated from the wastewater on the surface. Only 30-50% of the water is typically recovered from a well. This wastewater can be highly toxic.

What is done with the wastewater?
Evaporators evaporate off VOCs and condensate tanks steam off VOCs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The wastewater is then trucked to water treatment facilities.

What is a well’s potential to cause air pollution?
As the VOCs are evaporated and come into contact with diesel exhaust from trucks and generators at the well site, ground level ozone is produced. Ozone plumes can travel up to 250 miles.