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Old 09-15-2014, 03:40 PM
 
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“They found that proximity to fracking increased the likelihood of low birth weight by more than half, from about 5.6 percent to more than 9 percent. The chances of a low Apgar score, a summary measure of the health of newborn children, roughly doubled, to more than 5 percent.” [1]


A study released today, Monday, by the National Academy of Sciences has determined that fracking has contaminated drinking water in Pennsylvania and Texas. [2]

However they were careful to point out the nuance that the process of fracking itself was not the cause (supposedly)—only the inevitable failure of cement casings later put in place. However this amounts to a sizable percentage as some 5 to 7 percent of new oil and gas wells leak, and as wells age that figure increases to something like 30 to 50 percent. Moreover those wells at greatest risk of leaking are those drilled horizontally—i.e. most all fracking wells. [3]

Meanwhile back home in Colorado, scientists from Brown University and the Colorado School of Public Health have indicated that living in proximity to fracking wells is bad for one's health. That there is a strong correlation between such proximity and congenital heart defects in children.
“Births to mothers in the most exposed tertile [an exposure level equal to 125 wells within mile of the home] had a 30% greater prevalence of CHDs [congenital heart defects]…than births to mothers with no wells within a 10-mile radius of their residence.” [1]
So, not just one's water affected in a bad way.


1) 'Evidence Is Mounting that Fracking Causes Birth Defects,' New Republic
Colorado fracking study: Evidence it Causes Birth defects is mounting | New Republic

2) 'Drinking water contaminated by shale gas boom in Texas and Pennsylvania,' The Guardian
Drinking water contaminated by shale gas boom in Texas and Pennsylvania | Environment | theguardian.com

3) 'Shale Gas: How Often Do Fracked Wells Leak?' Frack Check WV
Shale Gas: How Often Do Fracked Wells Leak?
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Idunn wrote: Meanwhile back home in Colorado, scientists from Brown University and the Colorado School of Public Health have indicated that living in proximity to fracking wells is bad for one's health.

As usual, scientists are the last ones to know what the common folk have intuitively known all along.
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:12 PM
 
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Wink Villainy by any other name

"That's the difference between governments and individuals. Governments don't care, individuals do."
— Mark Twain




Vera Scroggins crime seems to lie in inconveniencing the powerful, as in providing a greater transparency to their despoilment of Pennsylvania. [1]

Something the fracking concern of Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation most assuredly does not like. To the extent that they sought to have her banned from 310 square miles of the state. In which they failed, the scope of that being down-sized by the courts. But still to the extent of being no closer to any of their oil access roads than 100 feet, regardless whether that on a public road or private property. If this last seems a trespass upon a citizen's right to public right of ways, and landowners to their own property.

Yet Ms. Scroggins has remained defiant, continuing to escort tours so that others might witness what Cabot Oil is up to. If maintaining in doing so that she has not violated the injunction Cabot Oil was able to secure.

Cabot Oil doesn't like this one bit, and in now claiming she stood on a road within 100 feet of one of their access roads is seeking to more or less destroy her. They are asking a Susquehanna County court to find her in contempt, with Cabot Oil seeking to have her pay fines, be sent off to jail—AND pay Cabot Oil's legal costs and attorney fees, which might well effectively bankrupt her.

All this for not trespassing on their property, only publicizing what they are up to.

If the same standards applied to Ms. Scroggins in Weld County, Colorado, there would be precious few places in the county in which she could travel, as many oil installations and their access roads are quite close to public roads.


1) 'Anti-fracking activist faces fines and jail time in ongoing feud with gas firm,' The Guardian
Anti-fracking activist faces fines and jail time in ongoing feud with gas firm | US news | theguardian.com
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Old 11-09-2014, 04:21 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,329,397 times
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Wink Weedwacker Logic

"Well, you know, you can either win ugly or lose pretty."
— Berman and Company




On June 25, 2014 a number of energy executives gathered in Colorado Springs for a strategy conference. This with not only an eye on the upcoming November elections, but ongoing how best to further their interests. At this Western Energy Alliance conference were representatives from Anadarko Petroleum, Halliburton Company, ExxonMobil, Devon Energy, and Noble Energy. [1]

Speaking to the august assemblage were Rick Berman and Jack Hubbard of Berman and Company. In their own words, 'Berman and Company is a dynamic research, communications, advertising, and government affairs firm … Berman and Company isn't your average PR firm. Our mission is to "change the debate," not simply contribute to it.' [2]

The audio transcript of this meeting was leaked to The New York Times by a participant, as "It just left a bad taste in my mouth."[2] That complete transcript as text can be accessed from The New York Times. See reference number two.

Berman and Company act as consulting mercenaries. As they would also explain, their opponents, in such as the Sierra Club, can have plenty of money and determination on their side as well. It seems that Rick Berman is a stickler for transparency, at least insofar as having his facts accurate. If how they might be used a different story entirely.

But a brief story first. Mr. Berman's associate, Jack Hubbard relayed the following tale during the conference. I'll paraphrase a good deal of it, but the gist remains. We'll call it the tale of Weedwacker Logic:
A fellow meets an old friend, who suggests he return to college and get a degree, in order to be more successful. This fellow likes the idea, so he does.

But with no idea of what to study. In discussion with the dean towards this, the dean suggests a number of courses he might take, including one in logic. He doesn't understand, what is logic?

'The dean says, "You know what logic is, you learn certain facts that takes you to a conclusion, and that conclusion can take you to another fact, and so on. And you can build up a real awareness of something that you never knew before."

Still kind of clueless. So the dean gives this fellow an example. He asks him if he has a weedwacker. Why, yes. Okay, so then the dean asks if he has a lawn. Yes. Then if a lawn, a house to go with it? Yes. Then since the house, presumably a family? Yes, again. So you are married? Yes. Thus if married, a heterosexual? Indubitably, yes.

'The dean says, "Do you see how this goes? One thing leads to another. This is the logic in all this. It's why they call them logical conclusions."

All fine and good, with this fellow not only now engaged with school and better possible future, but logically so. Two weeks later he happens upon his friend again. Explaining that he is fine, and even taking a class in logic.

'His friend says, "Really? He says, "what is logic?"

'He says, "Oh. You don't know what logic is? Let me explain it to you." He says, have you got a weedwacker?"

His friend replies, no.

'He says, "Well, then you must be gay."


Long ago, I too once took a class in logic. Our textbook was execrable, and something that only a math major could love; there was a first paragraph of decipherable english, followed by the remainder of that book being largely full of mathematical equations. Something I never could follow or read much of. But that class was still worthwhile, with myself having learned one key thing from it: Namely, that one can make a perfectly logical argument FOR ANYTHING.

No idea if Rick Berman ever studied logic, but whether having read him or not certainly a disciple of Niccolò Machiavelli. Seemingly not as unprincipled as the fictional character of Frank Underwood of 'House of Cards,' but it seems the truth of any matter relies on how he will ultimately wish to spin it.

In example, that in strategy the science in a debate doesn't really matter. That the public won't really understand it anyway. So more a question of how one frames a debate.

"… often times, you're going to get into people get overwhelmed by the science and 'I don't know who to believe.' But, if you got enough on your side you get people into a position of paralysis about the issue.

You get in people's mind a tie. They don't know who is right. And you get all ties because the tie basically insures the status quo." [2]


That one wishes to always be on the offensive, thus not responding but framing any debate. To this end using such methods as humor, also in neutralizing one's opponents.

"… and by the way we like to use humor. Some of you have seen our stuff on the fracking side.

We like to use humor because humor doesn't offend people and at the same time they get the message. If you want to have a really hard-hitting message, that's fine. Sometimes that's very appropriate. Sometimes we do that. But wherever possible I like to use humor to minimize or marginalize the people on the other side." [2]


Another tactic being repetition. As well the difference between pubic opinion, which might not be able to be altered, versus the far more useful public judgement.

"You know, when people hear about something, they have to hear about it more than once for that to get in their head. We have to achieve something that I call common knowledge." [2]


Mr. Berman provides an example of, related, common knowledge. Or how the public would view the relative risks of driving to DIA versus flying out of it. And the common perception, 'knowledge,' that of course it is safer to fly.

'And I would say, "Well, how do you know? You particularly. Where did you find out its more dangerous?"

'And you would say, "I don't know. I've heard that. I've heard it a lot of times. Everybody knows that."

"I would say, that's right. that's common knowledge. And that comes from people hearing something enough times from enough different places, people repeating it to each other, that you reach a point where you have solidified your position." [2]


As related to fracking, being the focus of this conference, in how such as common knowledge can be manipulated to best effect one's ends.

"If we can solidify the position on drilling, fracking, etc. We have achieved something the other side cannot overcome because it's very tough to break common knowledge." [2]


Mr. Berman's associate, Jack Hubbard, steps in. Explaining that a favored tactic is to sideline one's opponents.

"Take the typical Berman and Company model, in terms of undermining these folks credibility, and diminish their moral authority." [2]

"So, our website is biggreenradicals.com, and there is a significant Colorado [italics mine] page. And what we do on that site, I'm going to show you the online video in a minute, but in the right-hand column we dig-into every group. We list their money. We list their funders. We list their radical positions. And then we do have a section on every single activist. Their rap sheets, their criminal records that they have. We're really making this personal. We're trying to make it so they don't have any credibility with the public, with the media, or with the legislators." [2]


Colorado, by the way, is viewed by many interests as an important bellwether and swing state. Players involved, as well opposed by those at this conference, are such as the Sierra Club and Food and Water Watch. There is a great deal of outside money involved, often using shell organizations to remain anonymous to the public.

Mr. Hubbard goes on to explain the nature of what is going on, or that this, "… the endless war you guys are going to be facing in this state." [2]


As tactics to use, Mr. Hubbard notes:

"The next thing you know, you're trying to play defense against multiple initiatives that are very different and very complex. And the public, frankly, doesn't have the time or the brain to understand them all.

So, what we wanted to do is that we wanted to brand the entire movement behind this as not being credible, and anti-science." [2]

"Since this is a public venue, I'm not going to go into details as to what we're doing. I will only say you probably have seen some of our work going after some folks through some other organizations and entities, and we're going to keep it up…" [2]

"This offensive campaign that is designed to attack is not a positive campaign…

But this is something that quite frankly, a lot of people leave on the table. I've had clients say to me, "Well you know, I don't really want to attack, that's not who we are." I say, "Well, you know, you can either win ugly or lose pretty."' [2]


Mr. Berman takes over again to elucidate some of the finer points of such warfare. That in framing such a discussion one is not particularly interested in the facts of the matter, other than in use as PR, aiming instead for that visceral.

"Another north star, if you will … I was convinced you could not get into people's heads and convince them to do something as easily as you could get into their hearts or into their gut to convince them to do something … The first one is fear, the second one is love, the third is anger, greed has to deal with, 'I want it. I want to get something out this for myself.' And the fifth one is sympathy … So if you think about how we get people. It's one of those five emotions. If you can tap into two of them, you are that much better off. The two that resonate best with people, and that we're trying to use in this particular campaign is fear and anger." [2]

"Fear and anger have to be part of this campaign. If you want to win, that's what we're going to do. We're not going to get people to like the oil and gas industry over the next few months." [2]


Furthermore, that this is a contest with no end. They view environmental opponents as in the game to win, with deep pockets. So that no one election or series of politicians will ever answer the question.

"So it is an endless war.

We're in a game, think of it, someone was using a sports metaphor before. We're in a game with no clock. The game never ends. You move the ball forward, maybe the ball comes back. But the game never ends." [2]


Insofar as money, that its source should best usually remain opaque to the pubic. That Berman and Company will never reveal their clients, and as a matter of policy most of these clients preferring to use shell organizations to remain totally anonymous.

"People [i.e. as in companies] always ask me one question all the time, 'How do I know that I won't be found out as a supporter of what you're doing?'

We run all of this stuff through nonprofit organizations that are insulated from having to disclose donors. There is total anonymity. People don't know who supports us." [2]


That the science, the facts in a matter really do not matter. Or that someone coming up with a pithy bumper sticker will prove far more effective in swaying public opinion than an opponent studying the matter for, say, 6 months and then issuing a fact-based 17 page report (who few are likely to read or much understand).

"… people hear the word 'fracking' and they already don't even like it. I know we can't do anything about it right now. But semantics are very important in these debates. We have in some campaigns actually changed the terms of the debate because just changing the term changes people's reaction to it." [2]

"We're always aiming with our message for the people in the middle. I don't try to appeal to the people who already believe in us. And I don't try and convince people who are never going to agree with me, so I'm always playing the middle." [2]


So what might one deduce from such a conference? For one, that the citizens of Colorado face determined, often foreign, opponents who have only their own interests at heart, and who play to win. In a contest without end, financed by a great deal of money. Employing modern day gunslingers (consultants) whose—if perhaps abiding by the letter of the law—only concern seems to be to win at any costs.

As to whether fracking is inimical to the interests of Colorado and her citizens or not is entirely beside the point. It is a question of power and money. The 'debate' is framed in those terms, never mind science or welfare, only what will work and return that desired to those with enough money and influence to have their way.

"And I can tell you for the most part, when our stuff is working its very viral and people are passing it along. People, who don't like something, don't pass it on to other people. They just don't like it and send you a nasty note." [2]


One might send that nasty note, to their politician of choice, or another. Maybe the satisfaction in that. But as far as influencing what is being done, they are way, far and away beyond us.




1) 'Win ugly or lose pretty': ‘Dr. Evil’ lobbyist teaches US oil and gas execs to play dirty,' RT
'Win ugly or lose pretty': ?Dr. Evil? lobbyist teaches US oil and gas execs to play dirty ? RT USA

2) “Endless War” and Other Rallying Points,' The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...docs.html?_r=0

Last edited by Idunn; 11-09-2014 at 05:43 PM..
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:59 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 26,945,154 times
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Sadly, this is the way of modern American "sound bite" politics. Do not think for one minute, however, that the people on the other side of this debate are not employing the same tactics.

One thing that I learned is that lobbying and "PR" firms like Berman & Co. are completely mercenary. They could easily "flip" and be on the other side of the issue--it just depends who is writing the check. Lawyers, by the way, are the experts at this. I've been involved in litigation over the years where an attorney was on my side in one case, and was on my opponent's side in the next case. And made their fee on both of them.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,778 posts, read 17,487,410 times
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jazzlover wrote: I've been involved in litigation over the years where an attorney was on my side in one case, and was on my opponent's side in the next case. And made their fee on both of them.

Similar to the war mongering weapons manufacturers selling weapons to BOTH sides of the 'conflicts' manufactured by their politician puppets who dole out the corporate welfare.
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:35 PM
 
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Wink If only around here

“The takeaway that I get from the data is that there are serious questions about public health,” the governor, Andrew Cuomo, said.' [1]


New York state has banned fracking within its borders. This after 120 New York communities had previously banned fracking on their own, as well a five-year state-wide moratorium. But this present decision and for-now permanent ban on fracking in New York comes after a comprehensive two-year study on the matter.

Which, it might be pointed out, is hardly definitive. But raising a number of troubling concerns. As New York health commissioner Howard Zucker said, “I cannot support high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York … There are many red flags.” Adding, “Would I let my child play in a school field nearby? After looking at the plethora of reports, my answer would be no.” [1]

Asked why other states had not come to similar conclusions, Mr. Zucker pointed out “The fact is that many of those states didn’t bring their health teams to the table.” [1]

States, for instance, like Colorado. Where fracking is rampant, the television airwaves polluted with misleading pro-fracking industry ads, and local politicians seem more concerned with money than the welfare of either Colorado's environment or its citizen's health and well being.



1) 'New York state to ban fracking over 'red flags' to public health,' The Guardian
New York state to ban fracking over 'red flags' to public health | Environment | The Guardian
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:02 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,242 times
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Friends in Farmington, NM fought hard against a fracking well less than a mile from their home, and within 100 feet of the San Juan River, during 2011. Because the mayor and city council were largely in favor of new revenue, the well went in anyway.

That's what now happens in a town founded as a farming, settlement and transportation hub in 1901. Big money talks. Individual citizens are unimportant to politicians and industry, except at election time and as consumers.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:52 PM
 
1,548 posts, read 1,093,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lecycliste View Post
Friends in Farmington, NM fought hard against a fracking well less than a mile from their home, and within 100 feet of the San Juan River, during 2011. Because the mayor and city council were largely in favor of new revenue, the well went in anyway.

That's what now happens in a town founded as a farming, settlement and transportation hub in 1901. Big money talks. Individual citizens are unimportant to politicians and industry, except at election time and as consumers.
Farmington wouldn't be on the map today if not for Gas and Oil.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:48 PM
 
22,802 posts, read 41,723,115 times
Reputation: 23085
Default Oklahoma Supreme Court to allow Lawsuits on Fracking Quakes

Excerpt from the story: "The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that homeowners who have sustained injuries or property damage from rampant earthquakes they say are caused by oil and gas operations can sue for damages in state trial courts, rejecting efforts by the industry to block such lawsuits from being decided by juries and judges. .... the 7-to-0 ruling opens the door for homeowners in a state racked by earthquakes to pursue oil and gas companies for temblor-related damage."


Seems only logical, that people are allowed to seek redress for grievances or damages.
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