“Shalefield Stories” Released: Residents on the frontlines of fracking share stories of illness, water contamination, and more

Raleigh, NC — As the future of fracking in North Carolina hangs in the balance, residents in Pennsylvania, where drillers are already running roughshod, recounted their stories of illness, water contamination, and damage to their livelihoods from fracking and drilling operations. Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center released “Shalefield Stories” as the latest evidence that the controversial drilling practice should be kept far away from our water and communities.

“We’ve seen the environmental devastation of fracking add up across the country. But beneath the numbers are real people like Judy from Bradford County whose tap water became contaminated with barium and arsenic after the drillers started fracking on her land,” said Liz Kazal, field associate from Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center. “These are their stories, and it is our responsibility to heed their words of warning on fracking.”

Letting the data speak: Conservative ideology invites misery and illness

If you ever wanted a simple picture of the high human costs of conservative ideology, take a look at the three charts on this website.

So much for all their "pro life" happy talk. Republican extremists are killers, pure and simple.


Sign the petition to expand Medicaid in NC under Obamacare

If you work for an organization, you can get the organization to sign on to the ever-growing letter urging Governor McCrory to expand Medicaid under Obamacare to allow people making under $15,000 a year in income to get health coverage.

Today our friends at Action NC have a petition for individuals to sign too urging the Governor to act on this commonsense change, paid for entirely by the federal government for the first three years (the feds pay 90% of the costs into the future).

500,000 of our fellow citizens are counting on NC to let them get quality health care for the first time on January 1, 2014. Let's help.

Stringent regulations of fracking would not be enough

A three-year study by the award-winning, investigative on-line journal ProPublica indicates that strict comprehensive regulations of oil and gas drilling and, in particular, of hydraulic fracturing would not be enough to protect the drinking water, the health, and the public and private property of many Americans. The main reason is that the powerful oil and natural gas industry resists regulations by egregiously eroding them through the influence of well-paid lobbyists on state and federal politicians and agencies.

A significant case in point involves Class 2 injection wells, which the industry in order to save money and increase its profits has been using for many decades to dispose of toxic fluid wastes. According to ProPublica, “There are now more than 150,000 Class 2 wells in 33 states, into which oil and gas drillers have injected at least 10 trillion gallons of fluid.” The journal examined records summarizing tens of thousands of Class 2 well inspections. ProPublica examined also “federal audits of state oversight programs, interviewed dozens of experts and explored court documents, case files, and the evolution of underground disposal law over the past 30 years.”

Why is Congress Against Healthier School Lunches?

Jamie Oliver, TV’s the naked chef, famously campaigned for healthier school meals in the UK after discovering the unhealthy nature of the meals and being disgusted by the severe lack of healthy alternatives. He created a successful British TV show which documented his efforts as he took over the cooking for a school in Greenwich. Surprisingly, the campaign was successful and changed the types of food British schools offered.

He later tried to do the same thing in here in America, but received roadblock after roadblock and eventually his TV show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, was canned.  

North Carolina Planned Parenthood under attack

Crossposted on Amplify

Last Tuesday, the newly elected ultra-conservative NC State House voted on a new budget bill. Included in this budget were many ideological attempts to bring about a new era of social conservatism in the state; among them was the elimination of state funding for Planned Parenthood.

Toxic legislation alert: SB 48

This diary is the first in (what I fear to be) a voluminous series of reports on specific environmentally damaging legislation put forward by the reckless GOP majority in the General Assembly:

AN ACT to allow the use of risk‑based remediation to ACCELERATE the cleanup of contaminated Industrial sites for the purpose of limiting human and environmental exposure to safe levels, to protect current and likely future uses of groundwater, and to ensure the cost‑effective application of limited public and private resources.

We failed the people who cleaned up 9/11. Will we fail the people cleaning up the Gulf?

In the aftermath of 9/11, we saw thousands of workers develop devastating respiratory conditions and other illnesses as a result of exposure to toxic dust that filled the air in the days and weeks after the twin towers fell. To this day, these peoples' plight continues to add misery to the ongoing tragedy of 9/11. What makes it even worse is that these people were assured the air was safe.   As we all know now, it wasn't.

Today, sadly, history may be repeating itself in the Gulf of Mexico.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin Urges Citizens to Prevent Flu

Because it is an excellent safety precaution that saves lives and keeps insurance costs down, North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance Wayne Goodwin this past week received both his seasonal flu vaccine and also the H1N1 vaccine.

"Stay healthy, protect yourself and your family, and fight the flu before you get it," said Goodwin.

He also urged kids and adults alike to wash hands very frequently and thoroughly, to keep your hands away from your eyes and nose, and to sneeze into the bend of one's arm or otherwise cover one's mouth.

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