After a sixth fracking explosion injured a worker and sent a tank flying 100 feet, government has shut down a repeat offender drill company based in West Virginia with a cease and desist order and a violation notice. The orders come as America's main oil and gas trade group prepares to launch yet another aggressive campaign to promote non-renewable energy.
Repeat environmental, safety, and human rights offender, at least since 2010, Jay-Bee Oil and Gas has been shut down after its latest "fraccident" (fracking accident) when a worker was injured in an explosion that sent a tank flying last week.
The Office of Oil and Gas reported it had not found any contaminants in the nearby Big Run Creek. The grassroots group Occupy The Hollers, however, measured the creek's conductivity 7,050 microsiemens per centimeter, indicating high salt content. Most streams have conductivity between 50 and 1,500 microsiemens.
The shut down is a victory for the West Virginia-based Occupy The Holler group. This victory, as too many these days for rights defenders, has been at the cost of human suffering.
Cost, in both human and monetary terms, seems of little concern to the oil and gas industry as it pays for TV ads to convince the public that fracking is safe and the best progress since sliced bread.
"The public just needs to be educated," the Occupy group says on its website. "I heard the gas companies have spent almost a billion dollars to spread their propaganda …. All we have is the word of mouth."
Environmental attorney Stuart Smith reported Thursday that the US oil industry’s main trade group is launching a new campaign to promote energy production.
The Occupy The Holler's YouTube video (above) is a response to gas industry commercials "where everything is happy, safe and clean from the perspective of someone who lives in the frack zone," the group says. "But, that is not how it is out here."
"Our land is being plundered," West Virginia's Occupy The Hollers says. That's the same cry of humanity heard from corners across the globe.
Across the planet -- from Louisiana's oil and gas sinkhole disaster at Bayou Corne, to the ongoing BP Gulf of Mexico catastrophe, to mining on Australia Aboriginal sacred spaces, to Japan's Fukushima -- Big Energy's devastation of Earth is increasingly becoming hazardous to human health and safety.
[Also see Arkansas-based video and article by Dupré: The Fracked Faulkner Cover-up: House Explosions, Suicides, Miscarriages]
Environment rights and human rights go hand in hand
The Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Oil and Gas issued the violation notice and the cease and desist order to Jay-Bee Oil and Gas Tuesday to stop its fracking operations at the site.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has cited Jay-Bee for 21 environmental violations since 2010.
The federal Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the company for 38 worker safety violations.
"The incident suggests that environmental and worker safety violations often go hand in hand," reporter Gayathri Vaidyanathan of E&E, EnergyWire wrote Wednesday.
The Associate Press reports that the government notice said there's a danger the fracking fluids that leaked could contaminate a fresh water supply and that the "DEP did not say what kind of fluid was in the tank."
It is known that: 1) the tank contained 1,575 gallons of fluids, and 2) some of those fluids spilled onto the soil when the tank exploded and went flying, injuring a worker.
Smith has noted that radioactive wastewater in the "Halliburton-developed extraordinaire," fracking, "is dumping radiation with impunity across the country."
For survival, human rights workers globally are defending their environment.
The famous prophecy of the Cree Indians is, “When the last tree is cut down, when the last fish is eaten, and when the last stream is poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money.”
Eating money is a notion that is still too popular.
Sources: Associated Press, E&E, EnergyWire, Miami Herald, Occupy The Hollers, Cree Indians, Stuart Smith
Photo Credit: Occupy The Hollers
Video Credit: Occupy The Hollers, YouTube