Tag Archives: michigan

Fracking Creates Water Scarcity Issues in Michigan

6 Jun

by Friends of the Au Gres-Rifle Watershed / EcoWatch

Westerman gas/oil well, Kalkaska County, MI. Photo courtesy of Respect My Planet.

Westerman gas/oil well, Kalkaska County, MI. Photo courtesy of Respect My Planet.

Concerns about the impact to local groundwater by massive water use—on a scale never before seen in Michigan fracking operations—are coming to a head, as the plan for Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. to use 8.4 million gallons of water to fracture a single well has been stymied by a lack of water on site.
Instead, the company is trucking water—nearly 1 million gallons of it in just one week—from the City of Kalkaska’s water system to meet its needs. This one fracking operation today is using more water than Kalkaska is using for all its needs over the same time period.

Continue reading

Updates from Michigan Fracking Protest

25 Oct

One of the balloon banners in the Lansing Center 10/24

Prosecutor caves to pressure and drops the felony charges. Everyone is now out without bail! [Read original story about their action here]

 15 people left the Mineral Rights Auction protest at the Lansing Center yesterday and headed to the office of Stuart Dunnings, the Ingham County prosecutor. Although he refused to process our friends yesterday because they were being held on felony charges, at today’s arraignment no felony was brought up. All are being charged with a misdemeanor- Disrupting a Public Meeting. National Lawyers Guild lawyers have stepped up to represent everyone arrested. Court fees and other legal costs are still needed, so if you haven’t had a chance, please donate.

The felony that 5 people were threatened with is a frequently used Michigan statute called “Resisting and Obstructing” (R&O).  While we are all happy that our friends are out and not being charged with this 2 year felony, it’s important to remember how many others are still locked up with this charge.  The law defines obstructing as “knowing failure to comply with a lawful command.”  So, even if a person is stopped for nothing (other than racial profiling for instance), and does anything the cop doesn’t like or is the least bit different from what the cop says, they can be charged with this felony.  In one Michigan county up to 25% of people in the local jail are there for R&O and no other charge.  For us in Michigan we feel that we have to make prison abolition a part of our struggles, and this has been a good reminder of that.

Groups Protest Tar Sands Oil on Spill Anniversary

27 Jul

Vacuum crews work to remove tar sands oil near the spill site, August 2, 2010. (Photo courtesy U.S. EPA)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — On the second anniversary of the costliest onshore oil spill in U.S. history, environmental groups held rallies in several states Wednesday to raise concerns about transporting tar sands oil in underground pipelines.

Demonstrators walked along the riverfront in Battle Creek, near the southwestern Michigan site where a pipeline ruptured in 2010 and spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River. Others staged “We Are the Kalamazoo” events in other states to rally opposition to new and expanded pipelines Continue reading

Enbridge Expansion and Oil Spill Anniversary Protest Today in Lansing

18 Jul

State House Lansing Michigan

Dozens gathered in the Michigan state capitol today to protest the expansion of the Enbridge oil pipeline that cracked and leaked over 800,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Marshall, Michigan on July 25th, 2010 – “…the costliest inland oil spill in history.”

Groups including The National Wildlife Federation, We Are the Kalamazoo, and Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition, met with state representatives to protest the planned expansion of the very same pipeline to pump more than three times the oil through it – 8oo,ooo barrels a day.

According to National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman, Enbridge had discovered the defects, five years previously, in the pipe that caused the massive spill but took no measures to correct the problem Continue reading

Protestors at Michigan’s Fracking Auction

8 May


LANSING – An auction of state-owned oil and gas rights on 109,000 acres across lower Michigan, including Oakland County, was briefly disrupted this morning by anti-drilling demonstrators.

One protester, who stood up as bids were being taken and began to talk over the auctioneer, was taken into custody for disturbing the peace.

A group of 50-100 protesters picketed outside the state building where the auction was being held, many of them from Barry County, where much of the acreage being offered today is located. The focus of much of their opposition is to a drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, which leads to contamination of water resources.

After the auction got under way, a group of demonstrators circled the building to an area outside of the auction room and began to chant and pound on makeshift drums and windows. After about 30 minutes, state and city police moved them to a sidewalk about 40 feet from the building.

Inside, several other demonstrators were escorted from the room after standing up and loudly objecting to the proceedings. One person was led away by conservation officers as she shouted, “We need to ban fracking!”

Several other anti-drilling activists registered to bid in the auction, and said they hoped to be able to purchase some of the leases and prevent development.

First Step Towards Fracking in Michigan, DNR Auctions Rights to 109,000 Acres

4 May

Hydraulic Fracturing Comes to Michigan – Auction May 8, 2012

On May 8, 2012, the Michigan DNR will auction mineral and oil rights to 109,000 acres of Michigan public land. This opens public lands to
oil and gas drilling and the highly toxic, water-intensive practice of hydraulic fracturing, and other extractive industries.

The May 8 State of Michigan Oil and Gas Lease Auction includes state land from 23 counties with Oakland, Barry, Gladwin, counties and the UP among the biggest losers of public land and health.

Here is the Maps of all auction Parcels:

Here is the Auction Notice: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/PropPubNotice_379340_7.pdf

Get Involved:

Please call the Oil and Gas Lease Management Unit of the DNR at 517-373-7663 to express your concerns.

May 8 Lansing Protest

The May 8 auction will open for bidder registration at 8:00am with the auction beginning at 9:00am at Constitution Hall, 525 West Allegan, Lansing. At 7:30am many concerned Michigan residents are meeting in front of Constitutional Hall, to protest this auction.

If you are interested in this outdoor protest please call Maryann at 269-267-3278

If you are interested in making your voice heard directly in classic EF! style please call Elizabeth at 248-462-0906

If you are interested in purchasing the mineral rights in order to keep your community unpolluted please call Kathy at 248-790-6278

If you want to get involved and live in Northern and Eastern Michigan please call LuAnn at 231-547-2828

More Information

In Barry County alone, the DNR is offering 211 numbered parcels totaling over 23,400 acres, with an average size of 111 acres per offering. With a typical oil and/or gas well requiring 40 acres, the Yankee Springs Recreation area could potentially become home to hundreds of wells, and with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, this means deep, multi-directional drilling and the injection of toxic chemicals under area wetlands, streams, lakes, and recreational land.

The DNR is offering large parcels of land in Thornapple and Irving Townships directly north and west of Middleville, as well as most of Yankee Springs and some portions of Orangeville and Rutledge Townships. Bodies of water contained in these parcels include the eastern shores of Barlow and Gun Lakes as well as all surrounding land and waters of Shaw Lake, Bassett Lake, Baker Lake, Chief Noonday Lake, Payne Lake, Williams and McDonald Lakes, Long Lake, Hall Lake, Turner Lake, Deep Lake, Otis Lake, and all connecting waterways, recreational trails, and land.

Check www.BanMichiganFracking.org for updates

Environmental, Public Health, and Water Hazards Involved with Oil / Gas Drilling and Hydro-Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing:

  • Drinking Water Contamination (Methane migrating into water supplies)
  • Site Contamination (Toxic drilling muds buried in on-site pits)
  • Excessive Water Withdrawals (Wells use hundreds of thousands to millions of gallons of water per day, harvested from on-site water wells drilled alongside oil/gas wells.)
  • Poisonous Gases (Sour Gas wells emit and sometimes leak poisonous Hydrogen Sulfide.)
  • Earthquakes (Such as those caused in Ohio, due to deep injection wells where toxic fracking fluids are injected because these toxic chemicals cannot be disposed of above ground.)
  • The potential for toxic fracking fluids (known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and chemicals that cause neurological damage) to leak during on-site mixing and operations, and/or from deep injection wells used to bury these toxins.

Enbridge Oil Spill Whistle-Blower Trial Updates

25 Apr

 July 2010, more than a million gallons of tar sands crude spilled into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. This is the largest inland spill in US History. A fired cleanup worker with a dark past claims he was ordered to cover up oil to meet federal deadlines. His case went to trial last week.

Even today two years later, one can still scoop up handfuls of Tar Sands Oil from the marshlands surrounding the river. The communities living around the river are still sick with nerve damage and other illnesses related to the chemicals diluting the Tar Sand Oil. Enbridge still claims the river is clean.

On Earth covers the story of the Enbridge spill, and its attempted cover up in a four part series. Click here for the full series.