• Fracking Chemicals May Disrupt Hormonal Activity

    Twelve chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” operations to extract natural gas all showed endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) activity in laboratory cell studies, researchers report.

    Moreover, surface and ground water samples from sites near spills at controversial drilling operations contained higher levels of the 12 EDCs than samples from control sites.

    “While these chemicals were selected because of their suspected or known EDC activity, very few had been shown to have direct receptor activity,” the researchers write."Thus, this is the first demonstration of antiestrogenic or antiandrogenic activity for most of these chemicals."

    The surface and ground water samples from “sites that have experienced some kind of spill related to natural gas drilling had on average about two-times the endocrine-disrupting activity than [samples from] sites that had not experienced a spill,” senior author Susan C. Nagel, PhD, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, told Medscape Medical News.


    “The use of [hydraulic fracturing] has dramatically increased over the last 20 years,” and the number of natural gas wells in Colorado has increased almost 10-fold, Dr. Nagel said. Importantly, in 2005, hydraulic fracturing was exempted from multiple federal-regulatory acts including the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act.


    Hormonal activity was measured using a gene assay in human cell lines.

    Of the 12 chemicals analyzed, 1 (bisphenol A) exhibited estrogenic activity, 11 had antiestrogenic activity, 10 had antiandrogenic activity, and none had androgenic activity. To the researchers’ knowledge, this is the first report of antiestrogenic activity of 10 chemicals, including 3 types of ethylene glycol, as well as novel antiandrogenic activity in 6 chemicals, including naphthalene.

    In the second part of the analysis, of 39 unique water samples, 89% exhibited estrogenic activity, 41% exhibited antiestrogenic activity, 12% exhibited androgenic activity, and 46% exhibited antiandrogenic activity.

    Moderate-to-high estrogen- or androgen-receptor activities were measured in water samples from the Garfield County spill sites. Moderate-activity levels were also measured in samples collected from the Colorado River, the drainage basin for the region. In contrast, very little receptor activity was measured in water samples where there was no or sparse drilling.

    “We identified EDC activity of several individual chemical components used in natural gas operations that may contribute to the activity that we measured in water,” the researchers summarize. They call for more impact studies: “There is evidence that hydraulic fracturing fluids are associated with negative health outcomes, and there is a critical need to quickly and thoroughly evaluate the overall human and environmental health impact of this process.”

    #fracturation_hydraulique #santé #gaz #eau

  • Hormone-disrupting chemicals found in water at fracking sites,0,5154343.story

    Water samples collected at Colorado sites where hydraulic fracturing was used to extract natural gas show the presence of chemicals that have been linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer, scientists reported Monday.

    The study, published in the journal Endocrinology, also found elevated levels of the hormone-disrupting chemicals in the Colorado River, where wastewater released during accidental spills at nearby wells could wind up. [...]

    The process [of fracking] is exempt from some regulations that are part of the Safe Drinking Water Act, and energy companies do not have to disclose the chemicals they use if they consider that information a trade secret. [...]

    Over the last three years, researchers have assessed more than 700 chemicals that could be used in the fracking process and estimated that about 100 are known or suspected EDCs [endocrine-disrupting chemicals]. [...]

    Research into fracking’s possible effects on public health is in its early phase, and Nagel and other scientists said the study was a first step that warranted follow-up work

    #eau #sante #gaz_de_schiste #fracturation_hydraulique

  • ConocoPhillips wins first regulatory approval of fracking in the North - The Globe and Mail

    A Canadian energy regulator has given a major oil and gas company permission to produce oil using a controversial technique in the Northwest Territories.

    The National Energy Board gave ConocoPhillips Co. the right to drill two wells and then use horizontal fracturing, known as fracking, methods to extract oil out of shale rocks. This is the first time the NEB has authorized a company to frack in the North.

    #arctique #canada #énergie

  • E.U. to allow arms embargo for Syrian rebels to lapse - The Washington Post

    The coalition has yet to discuss its participation at Geneva, according to Haitham Maleh, a veteran opposition figure.

    Maleh, in a telephone interview, blamed meddling from the representatives of outside powers “out in the hallway,” which he said has slowed the talks and is further fracturing the coalition.

    “There is a struggle among the groups themselves, and by others taking certain groups to the side and talking to them, that is not helping,” he said. “Everybody has their own interests and nobody is putting Syria first.”

  • Parfait.

    La #fracturation_hydraulique est « littéralement sans danger quand elle est bien faite »,

    The controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing carries “literally no risk” if done correctly, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said during a conversation that covered his support for natural gas extraction at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference at the Aspen Institute on Tuesday.

    Et « la science sur l’impact de la #fracturation_hydraulique est loin d’être réglée »

    Hickenlooper said the science on the impacts of fracking is far from settled, and the focus should be on getting “better, more persuasive facts.” He said once there is an accepted set of facts about fracking, opponents and proponents will have a baseline for reasonable discussion and compromise.

    Via @davidsirota

  • Important article du NY Times : A Battle for Syria, One Court at a Time

    While the bloody civil war to oust Mr. Assad grinds on, the various factions arrayed against him are already struggling to reinvent most institutions, including courts, schools, mosques and local administrations. Given that Syria seems to be fracturing into ever-smaller pieces where local warlords hold sway, it is hard to generalize. But there is no question that the Islamic extremists who have gained admiration and respect for their battlefield feats are trying to translate that into authority over society as a whole.

    A Shariah Board — as the religious courts are called — recently ordered a secular critic lashed. In mosques, Islamists have pushed moderate clerics off the pulpit — at least once in mid-sermon — replacing them with speakers who harangue worshipers on topics like the evils of hair gel. In one Islamic school, first graders were urged to grow up to become jihadist fighters, said Azzam Khanji, head of education for Aleppo’s Revolutionary Transitional Council, a sort of government in exile for liberated portions of the city.

    The court system serves as a prime example of the contest for a postwar Syria. As crime has proliferated after government control vanished in many areas, Syrians clamored for security. Rebel leaders, particularly Islamists, responded by opening dozens of courts.

    “It is almost the fashion to have your own courthouse now,” complained Mazen Jumaa of the lawyers association, which monitors the new courts. The association was formed in 2011 to defend young people whose first peaceful antigovernment protests led to the uprising.

    The group found that in many cases, fighters lacking training in Shariah, or Islamic law, not to mention civil law, handed down death sentences to government supporters with little or no defense. Commanders of the more secular Free Syrian Army were not much better, the group discovered.

    Une fois que tu auras lu ça, retourne lire les mignonnes fadaises qu’a publié hier le NPA sur les miracles de l’autogestion dans les zones « libérées » :

  • NunatsiaqOnline 2013-03-08: NEWS: Huge Arctic sea ice crack, below-average ice extent for 2013: data center

    Huge Arctic sea ice crack, below-average ice extent for 2013: data center

    “The 2013 fracturing is quite extensive”
    This NASA satellite image shows the crack in the Arctic sea ice which extends from Ellesmere Island to Barrow, Alaska.
    This NASA satellite image shows the crack in the Arctic sea ice which extends from Ellesmere Island to Barrow, Alaska.
    Arctic sea ice extent for February 2013 was 14.66 million sq/ km. The magenta line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for that month. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. (IMAGE COURTESY OF THE NSIDC)
    Arctic sea ice extent for February 2013 was 14.66 million sq/ km. The magenta line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for that month. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. (IMAGE COURTESY OF THE NSIDC)

    Brittle Arctic sea ice and less Arctic sea ice formation: that’s what characterizes Arctic sea ice during the coldest period of 2013.

    A broad area of sea ice fractured off the coast of Alaska and Canada in February, leaving a crack from Ellesmere Island to Barrow, reports the Colorado-based National Snow and Ice Data Center.

    #arctique #climat

  • How Rural America Got Fracked | Ellen Cantarow (The Nation)

    March in Wisconsin used to mean snow on the ground, temperatures so cold that farmers worried about their cows freezing to death. But as I traveled around rural townships and villages in early March to interview people about frac-sand mining, a little-known cousin of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” daytime temperatures soared to nearly eighty degrees—bizarre weather that seemed to be sending a meteorological message. In this troubling spring, Wisconsin’s prairies and farmland fanned out to undulating hills that cradled the land and its people. Within their embrace, the rackety calls of geese echoed from ice-free ponds, bald eagles wheeled in the sky and deer leaped in the brush. And for the first time in my life, I heard the thrilling warble of sandhill cranes. (...) Source: The Nation

  • As eco-terrorism wanes, governments still target activist groups seen as threat - The Washington Post

    “It was scary,” said Kessler, who is a national organizer for the nonviolent environmental group Rising Tide North America. He said the agent approached him this past fall and said that the FBI had received an anonymous complaint and were looking into his opposition to hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” The bureau respected free speech, the agent told him, but was “worried about things being taken to an extreme level.”

    the broad definition of domestic terrorism the FBI uses contributes to the number of investigations. According to its 2002-05 terrorism report, “A terrorist incident is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

    As a result, any act aimed to intimidate an individual or corporation that has a political or social goal qualifies.

    #environnement #terrorisme #surveillance #etats-unis

  • Oil Executive: Military-Style ’Psy Ops’ Experience Applied - US Business News - CNBC

    a gathering of professionals to discuss “media and stakeholder relations” in the hydraulic fracturing industry — companies using the often-controversial oil and gas extraction technique known as “fracking.”
    CNBC has obtained audiotapes of the event, on which one presenter can be heard recommending that his colleagues download a copy of the Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency manual. (Click below to hear the audio.) That’s because, he said, the opposition facing the industry is an “insurgency.”