By Gary Lasky
Fresno County is targeted for fracking—a form of oil and gas extraction in which fluids are pumped underground with sand and, frequently, toxic chemicals to release oil reserves.
Released in January, the film Promised Land features Matt Damon as a gas company huckster who sells fracking to a fictional small town in Pennsylvania. In real life, as in the film, a gold-rush mind-set prevails in northern Pennsylvania. Cash-starved farmers in a depressed economy see potential for a huge windfall from leasing their land for fracking to Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Gas.
With oil prices holding steady at around …[Read the details]
By Tom Frantz
You have to see it to believe it. Our air district does not keep our health in its best interests. Instead, it claims new pollution is good for us.
There is a Kern County power plant project currently going through the permitting process at the California Energy Commission. It will be a huge source of new air pollution.
This power plant, called Hydrogen Energy California (HECA), proposes to force impure hydrogen gas out of coal from New Mexico and fire it as fuel in a boiler. It will capture some of the carbon …[Read the details]
By George B. Kauffman
Earth Day, the world’s largest secular holiday and the only event celebrated by more than a half billion people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities is sponsored by many national and international organizations with outreach programs showcasing the positive contributions that environmental science makes to improve the health of our planet and its citizens.
In 1969, the wide extent of the anti–Vietnam War demonstrations convinced the late U.S Senator Gaylord Nelson (D–Wis.) and U.S. Representative Pete McCloskey (R–Calif.) to organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment, leading them …[Read the details]
By Tom Frantz
The San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District is a public health agency run by a Governing Board of local politicians including names such as Judy Case of Fresno County, Steve Worthily of Tulare County and Skip Barwick of Visalia. Their stated goal, purpose and mission is to provide healthful air for our lungs. To do this, they are mandated to make whatever rules are necessary for our horrible air quality to meet federally set health standards.
But there is a huge conflict of interest on this Governing Board. As elected officials, …[Read the details]
By Tom Frantz
More than obesity and poverty, polluted air is shortening the lives of Central Valley residents. The marginal cost of our early deaths and degraded quality of life is around $6 billion per year.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (aka the air board) should be fired. To put it simply, the air board refuses to take responsibility for our continued failure to meet federal air quality standards. Instead of saving lives with effective rulemaking, the air board makes excuses about unreasonable standards from the EPA or pollution from China. It claims …[Read the details]