Category: environment

GOP Legislators Trying to Kill Clean Energy in Pennsylvania

In this day and age, with all we’ve learned about climate change and the disastrous effects it’s already having on our Commonwealth, it’s hard to believe there can be this kind of stone age thinking ‘under the dome’ in Harrisburg, Pa, led by none… Continue Reading “GOP Legislators Trying to Kill Clean Energy in Pennsylvania”

Don’t Expect Protection

Pennsylvania Senator Katie Muth hosted a hearing last week, CLOSING THE HAZARDOUS WASTE LOOPHOLE IN PA, where we learned once again why citizens jokingly say the initials D.E.P. (short for Department of Environmental Protection) stand for “Don’t Expect Protection.” Of course it’s no laughing… Continue Reading “Don’t Expect Protection”

National Solar Tour this weekend

The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) national tour, both in-person and virtual, takes place Saturday and Sunday. Learn more here. US map of locations Established in 1954, ASES is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that advocates for sustainable living and 100% renewable energy by sharing information,… Continue Reading “National Solar Tour this weekend”

PetroChem Pancakes with a dash of Nurdles

Apparently it wasn’t a 3-day pancake breakfast that had staff at a Beaver, Pa. childcare facility smelling pancake syrup last week. According to the September 28, 2021 story “DEP cites Shell for ‘malodors’ outside cracker plant construction site – ‘Strong’ smell ‘like pancake syrup’… Continue Reading “PetroChem Pancakes with a dash of Nurdles”

Wildfire Worries for Ancient Trees

Photos of fire workers wrapping the ‘largest living tree on Earth’ in silver fire retardant foil got me thinking, and worrying, about the awe-inspiring trees we saw during our visit to the ‘Avenue of the Giants‘ in Humboldt Redwoods State Park in northern California,… Continue Reading “Wildfire Worries for Ancient Trees”

Earth to Nick

Oblivious to toxic waste pollution and the devastation from climate change, Pennsylvania politicians continue to put frackers first! Washington County commissioners have never been shy about their diehard, all-in support of the oil and gas industry, even in the face of an endless stream… Continue Reading “Earth to Nick”

Old Growth Forest Destruction

Imagine going into an art museum full of old masterpieces and laying waste to them with a chainsaw. Unthinkable, right? Now imagine those same masterpieces are living, breathing things, the last stalwarts standing tall against climate change. Yesterday’s story in the Seattle Times, B.C.… Continue Reading “Old Growth Forest Destruction”

Natural Gas Widowmaker

With an increasing dependence on natural gas for electricity generation, one has to ask what this will mean to future consumer prices. Simon Casey of Bloomberg posted a story and chart yesterday, ‘Widowmaker’ Natural Gas Spread Doubles as Traders Eye Winter – “Natural gas… Continue Reading “Natural Gas Widowmaker”

One Step Forward

In a hard-fought bid to make Pennsylvania the first major fossil fuel state to adopt a carbon pricing policy, Governor Tom Wolf’s plan to fight climate change passed its last regulatory hurdle yesterday with the IRRC (Independent Regulatory Review Commission). The 3-2 party-line vote… Continue Reading “One Step Forward”

Smart Choice In Ohio

Good news out of Columbus, Ohio on Monday, concerning the decision to quit using radioactive de-icer on state roads The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is finally acting, following lab tests that were done by the ODNR just over 4 years ago, that included… Continue Reading “Smart Choice In Ohio”

Lungs Of The Globe

“While most of the climate crisis attention is focused on land, many of the best fixes are offshore.” A new post by Ian Urbina, “Saving the Planet While Ignoring Two Thirds of It” puts an interesting twist on what our planet Earth faces as… Continue Reading “Lungs Of The Globe”

Barium, Chloride and Strontium, Oh My!

A study published in SCIENCE (PDF) last week is said to be the first linking surface water contamination to fracking, the layman’s term for hydraulic fracturing, which is used to produce oil and gas from shale, like the Marcellus Shale which underlies a large… Continue Reading “Barium, Chloride and Strontium, Oh My!”

America’s Radioactive Secret

Justin Nobel, Science Journalist for ROLLING STONE, DeSmog, and other US magazines and investigative sites, presents his findings on the radioactivity found in oil and gas development during a Delaware Riverkeeper webinar. Begins at the 11:20 mark of video: More: TENORM: Stories on Fracking’s… Continue Reading “America’s Radioactive Secret”

Are Green Lawns Really Green?

Sometime in the late-70’s we saw the widespread emergence and acceptance of home lawn care featuring “blanket spray” treatments for home lawns, using a steady dose of fertilizer and insecticides. Keeping up with the Joneses next door became the standard. A lush green lawn,… Continue Reading “Are Green Lawns Really Green?”

Death by a Thousand Spills

Reading the weekly news of the oil and gas fracking industry in the United States reminds one of an old expression, “Death by a thousand cuts,” with the similarity being the cumulative effect of multiple smaller events. With the oil and gas industry, another… Continue Reading “Death by a Thousand Spills”

Wildfires And Box Fans

As shocking as the evening television news videos have been of the wildfires across the western United States and Canada, yesterday’s story in the Seattle Times, by Christine Clarridge, used a Mordor comparison in her title: “Like Mordor: A Central Washington town had the… Continue Reading “Wildfires And Box Fans”

Brown Foam

When the frackers began to ramp- up their fracking activities in our county, just over a decade ago, my greatest pollution concerns were for our streams, rivers and lakes. It made perfect sense then, and even more sense now, as we have seen repeated… Continue Reading “Brown Foam”

Poisoning Pennsylvania

We had yet another ‘Stuck on Stupid’ moment this week when news emerged about the use of ‘Forever Chemicals’ in hydraulic fracturing of shale oil and gas wells. Approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency! This comes on the heels of past revelations about… Continue Reading “Poisoning Pennsylvania”

Its the Beetles!

Along with Independence Day, Lightning Bugs, and the heat and humidity in western Pennsylvania, July brings back the Beetles! Not the singing type, more the chewing type. These buggers are primarily known for the lawn damage they cause, which seems especially noticeable on lawns… Continue Reading “Its the Beetles!”

More Frac Fluid Fears

While the oil and gas industry is attempting to rebrand some of its fracked gas as being more ‘green,’ and to spin ‘unnatural gas’ in a more positive light, yesterday’s newspaper stories reminded those of us who follow fracking of their long- running, and… Continue Reading “More Frac Fluid Fears”

Going Solar With Large Trees

When we first landscaped our house, nearly 40 years ago, we made sure to plant a large growing Maple on the west side. That planting location came very close to the concept of planting a large deciduous tree on the southwest side of a… Continue Reading “Going Solar With Large Trees”

Lightning Bugs Are Back

While some call them Fireflies or Glowworms, we’ve always called them Lightning Bugs. Here in southwestern Pennsylvania they seem synonymous with the 4th of July, for the timing of their annual nocturnal appearance. True to form, it was nice to see their blinking yellow… Continue Reading “Lightning Bugs Are Back”

Extreme Heat

The dark red colors on yesterday’s weather map of the Pacific Northwest exemplified the harrowing tale of climate change, with several states and part of Canada, setting new records for extreme heat under what is called a ‘heat dome.’ One recent tweet included this… Continue Reading “Extreme Heat”

Death To Lawns?

The perfect home lawn has been the illusive goal of many, and rarely achieved for any length of time by most. You see, new lawns have what is known as a “honeymoon period,” which could be compared to the “7 year itch,” since that’s… Continue Reading “Death To Lawns?”

Fracking With Fitz

Following a recent protest in front of the City County building in downtown Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald made a few erroneous statements to the Press, according to a recent story by Eric de Place, a research fellow at the Ohio River… Continue Reading “Fracking With Fitz”

Compressor Stations

The progression of Marcellus Shale oil and gas development, processing, and export in western Pennsylvania has gone like this: 1. Seismic Surveys – Widespread exploration began with seismic surveys, that used “thumper trucks” and shot holes with explosive charges, to determine what the underground… Continue Reading “Compressor Stations”

Nonfunctional Grass

In all my many years of landscaping and lawn maintenance, I had never heard the term “nonfunctional grass” until yesterday. That’s the term being used to describe certain turfgrass areas, actually 31 percent of the turf in the Las Vegas area, which can no… Continue Reading “Nonfunctional Grass”

Fracking Setbacks

As more peer- reviewed health studies are completed around unconventional gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing across the United States, more mothers, doctors, and local citizens are calling for greater setbacks from these industrial- grade activities that are used to drill and frac Marcellus Shale… Continue Reading “Fracking Setbacks”

4 Million Reasons

Our Washington County, Pennsylvania has a long, disturbing history when it comes to football field sized impoundments, 15 to 20 feet deep, which are used by the oil and gas industry to ‘hold’ their liquid waste, or should we say, are supposed to hold… Continue Reading “4 Million Reasons”

Code Orange Doubleheader

The weather is playing a doubleheader in the Pittsburgh region this weekend, with Sunday being the second of back- to- back CODE ORANGE weather alerts. Code Orange days cause problems for young children, the elderly, and those with respiratory issues like asthma, emphysema, and… Continue Reading “Code Orange Doubleheader”

Savings and Savings

A recent blog by Barry Kresch, of the EV Club of Connecticut, had this catchy headline: “Tesla Police Vehicle Saves Westport Tens of Thousands of Dollars.” Big Oil doesn’t want to read this story! According to a detailed analysis, the Tesla Model 3 not… Continue Reading “Savings and Savings”

TENORM Mountains

You’ve probably heard of the Allegheny Mountains. Also known as the Appalachian Mountain Range, it extends 400 miles through Pennsylvania, and several other states. As famous as those mountains are, Pennsylvania is now becoming known more for the 30 new “mountains” that it’s creating,… Continue Reading “TENORM Mountains”

Canada’s Best

Andrew Nikiforuk’s headline says it best, “The Brutal Legal Odyssey of Jessica Ernst Comes to an End. The Alberta landowner fought an epic battle against fracking interests.” Jessica shares her amazing story on her blog: Ernst v. EnCana Corporation. Andrew Nikiforuk knows her story… Continue Reading “Canada’s Best”

Pennsylvania Fracking Reform

Pennsylvania legislators and our Attorney General are promoting new, overdue legislation, to help protect Pennsylvanians from the drilling and fracking of the unconventional oil and gas industry. PUBLIC HERALD has been head and shoulders above the rest of the media outlets, in reporting the… Continue Reading “Pennsylvania Fracking Reform”

The Fracking Sandbox – Part 2

In my Saturday May 22 blog ‘THE FRACKING SANDBOX’ we looked at frac sand, from cradle to grave, so to speak. And on that second point, I’m not even sure I pointed out how much of this sand, contaminated by hydraulic fracturing, ends up… Continue Reading “The Fracking Sandbox – Part 2”

Returning The Favor

There was a lively debate going on in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, eight years ago, regarding the potential leasing of the DEER LAKES PARK gas rights. Concerned citizens filled the chambers of multiple Allegheny County Council meetings, in an attempt to get a ‘No’ vote… Continue Reading “Returning The Favor”

On Deaf Ears

My persistent efforts, and extensively researched comments, were shared with our Washington County commissioners over the past decade, and did nothing to prevent our premiere county park from being used as a ‘cash cow’ to produce revenue, from oil and gas drilling and fracking.… Continue Reading “On Deaf Ears”

Republicans Love Fracking

A group of environmental reporters, recently polled Pennsylvania legislators, for their reactions on the results of some disturbing health studies, both past and present, regarding those citizens who live in close proximity to unconventional oil and gas well drilling and fracking, primarily in southwestern… Continue Reading “Republicans Love Fracking”

Crypto Climate Change

Who knew that the next wave of destructive mining would gobble up huge amounts of electricity, further delaying our transition from fossil fuels? Yup, Bitcoin mining. The new energy hog. For those who don’t understand how this 21st Century “mining” works, and why it… Continue Reading “Crypto Climate Change”

Fracked By Zoning

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court will hear arguments on an important case on fracking, as it relates to residential zoning, this Monday. Those who have followed fracking closely in Pennsylvania, over the past decade, recall alarming legislation that was passed by our state legislature, known as… Continue Reading “Fracked By Zoning”