Daily Archives: April 20, 2011

Major Fracking Accident in Pennsylvania…

I’ve posted before on the dangers of Fracking (the horizontal drilling in the Marcellus Shale for natural gas using toxic fluids called “hydrofracturing”) and have been questioning the gubernatorial primary candidates in WV, where fracking is about to expand from where it now stands, asking what they are going to do to protect citizens.

If you have seen the film “Gasland” then you know what the real dangers are… and no one seems to have solutions to protect our water and air.

This from WNEP in Bradford County, PA (not far from us  West Virginians):

Officials said thousands of gallons of fluid leaked over farm land and into a creek from a natural gas well in Bradford County.

Now there is a massive operation underway to contain the spill of drilling fluids.

The rupture near Canton happened late Tuesday night, contaminating nearby land and creeks.

The blowout happened on the Morse family farm in LeRoy Township outside Canton, a farming community.

Chesapeake Energy officials said a piece of equipment on the well failed.
Now a major response is underway to stop the leak of frack fluid and get control of the well.

Water is gushing from the earth at the Chesapeake well pad.  It has been all hands on deck to put a stop to the leak of fracking fluid that, according to company officials, spilled thousands and thousands of gallons into nearby land and waterways.

“We’ve been able to limit the flow. We’re still doing additional work to regain full control,” said Brian Grove of Chesapeake Energy. He added there is no telling yet how much of that extremely salty water mixed with chemicals and sand has impacted the nearby Towanda Creek, but no gas has escaped into the air.

“The biggest thing is the footprint on the environment. Well obviously this is a big footprint,” said neighbor Ted Tomlinson. “It’s one of those things that happens. Gotta live with it, I guess.  Here to stay.”

Neighbors like him were asked to leave their homes as a precaution. Some did, and some did not.  “Our family’s been on this corner a long time and expect to stay and expect a good-faith effort from Chesapeake so that we can live here,” Tomlinson added.

His concern is for his drinking water well just several football fields away from the blownout gas well.

“That’s typically everyone’s concern in the area, is well water,” Tomlinson added. We don’t want all that other stuff. We want to keep on drinking it.”

Keep your eyes on this one and see when we get the politicians AND corporations in lying mode.

Oil Spill Anniversary Celebration… Let’s Hear It For BP…

HuffPo rightly points out,it is the one-year anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill and, so far, Congress has passed no oil spill bills. None. Nada. No Siree.

They have held at least 60 hearings. 150 or so bills have been introduced, then no action was taken. And, of course, oil lobbyists have swelled the balances of their American Express cards lunching with our lawmakers as they defend the people that John Boehner said would pay every dime of the cleanup costs in the Gulf. They haven’t.

Of course, what is the importance of protecting our coastal citizens from the dangers of offshore drilling when you can be working hard on destroying health care, eliminating taxes for multi-millionaires or getting control of women’s bodies? Especially when, by ignoring the oil spill situation, you can help fund your campaigns.

BP, for instance, has now given out $29,000.00 to various Federal campaigns… and while more has gone to Republicans, they have not left Democrats out, either.

From HuffPo:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee each received $5,000 from BP last month.

Indiana Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky got $3,000, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) bagged $1,000.

and this is probably just the start of it. BP, on average, donates $200,000.00 to influence elections each round.

There was a comment in HuffPo that asked if there was any difference between these kind of payments and those of Mexican drug cartels to Mexican politicians to keep hands off the thriving drug business. Frankly, I don’t see it.

This is just another example of corporate control of the government and another triumph of American Capitalism.

Addendum to yesterday’s Bob & Ray Post…

I neglected to mention in yesterday’s piece on Bob & Ray their contribution to advertising and marketing. Beginning in the late 1950s with their Piels Beer ads, where they played the voices to animated characters Bert and Harry Piel, the two became involved in radio and television commercials for a wide range of products and services.

The Bert & Harry Piel ads (only seen in the Northeast) were created by Young and Rubicam and were animated by the very creative studio UPA (famous for the Gerald McBoingBoing cartoons and others.) Here is what I believe was the first one:

Bert and Harry were so popular that they’d be included in the TV listings, so people could tune in just to see them. The ad campaign was changed though, when Piels realized that, although people loved the commercials, beer sales showed that they weren’t attracting any new customers.

This led, however, to the formation of their marketing company, Goulding Elliot Greybar (so named because their offices were in the Greybar Building in NYC). Among the projects they were known for was a series of testimonial ads for the radio industry, encouraging people to keep a transistor radio handy for emergencies. They also did ads for Underwood Deviled Ham, Interwoven Socks, Alcoa Aluminum, Glidden Paints and Cumuloft Carpets. These were added to by the parodies they did of radio ads which were sometimes hard to distinguish from the real things.