Thursday, February 27, 2014

DEQ: Flares and Pumps Should Not Have Bad Odors

According to Michigan DEQ's Kristy Shimko, oil pumps should not smell like oil, and flares should not have any bad odor, Smelling pumps might have technical issues, and smelly flares do not burn properly. The DEQ depends on the public to be informed if, where and when pumps or flares smell bad. Please do not hesitate to contact Kristy by phone or email. If the DEQ does not receive complaints, they suppose that everything is OK. It is up to us citizens to report any discomforts, nuisances and such!
Contact details:
Kristy Shimko
Covering Jackson, Hillsdale and Lenawee Counties
Michigan DEQ
Office of Oil, Gas, and Minerals
Lansing District Office
phone: 517-242-6847

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Informative Oil and Gas Meeting Held at the Lenawee County Heath Department

The Lenawee Health Department responded to my request to discuss potential health issues of the intensifying oil and gas operations in and around Adrian and invited me to a meeting that they arranged bringing in the Michigan DEQ past Friday, February, the 21st. I asked Mayor Jim Berryman, Sister Elise from the Adrian Dominicans, and John Kuschell, and my wife Amy to join me and luckily all could make it. It was a very informative meeting. I will report in details after receiving answers to some clarifying questions I send to the DEQ.


Dear Friends,

Below is a link to a very inspirational 30 minute documentary on sustainable and spirited farming - a success story from rural India. Please spread to your friends.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Outrageous Injustice

3 ordinary citizens exhibited their right of peaceful nonviolent action in a democratic country resulting in receiving a 2 year prison sentence while the polluters of Enbridge causing the worst pipeline accident in American history in Marshall, Michigan are still running free.

Vicci Hamlin, Lisa Leggio and Barbara Carter took courageous and peaceful action to block the construction of a dangerous tar sands pipeline. Now they're being held without bail and are facing prison time.

I just signed this petition calling for their release. I think you should too:

Where am I living? Definitely NOT the land of the free!

Michigan House Votes to Give Sweetheart Deal to Oil Drillers for Valentine’s Day

LANSING—The Michigan House of Representatives today passed a controversial bill package that gives oil and gas companies new powers to construct pipelines on private property over the objections of Michigan landowners, while giving new tax breaks to industry. HB 4885 (Nesbitt), HB 5254 (Outman), HB 5255 (Stallworth), and HB 5274 (Pettalia)  are designed to encourage so-called enhanced oil recovery operations, which entail pumping carbon dioxide (CO2) into closed oil wells to extract previously unattainable oil. Under the proposed legislation, oil and gas companies would get a 40% break on the oil severance tax while taxes on drilling for gas would be reduced by 20%.
“These bills hurt taxpayers, landowners, and threaten water supplies while giving  taxpayer handouts to the oil and gas industry,” said Mike Berkowitz, Legislative Director for the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “Fundamentally, we should not be giving tax breaks to an oil industry that is putting our water at risk and making record profits.”
Supporters of the industry-backed proposals say there will be environmental benefits from carbon sequestration during the oil recovery process that is promoted as part of the bill package.  Those claims, however, ignore the damage that will likely result from expanded drilling in environmentally sensitive areas.   Moreover, any benefits from carbon sequestration must be weighed against disruptive new pipeline construction, well conversions required to accommodate the process, additional air pollution as well as costs and environmental impacts of increased transport of oil.  The combination of increased combustion of oil and other impacts means the bill package will likely result in the release of more greenhouse gases.  

“These bills pose an alarming new threat for all local Michigan residents who are facing aggressive oil, gas and related pipeline construction in their communities.   Sierra Club strongly opposes giving new eminent domain authority to private oil and gas companies at the expense of the rights of private property owners and the public” said Anne Woiwode, Director of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter.  “The recent expansion of oil and tar sands pipelines in Michigan has led to many private landowners witnessing pipeline construction within a few yards of their homes or businesses.  Giving oil and gas companies more ability to take lands for the transportation of fossil fuels and pipeline development is the wrong decision for Michigan, for clean water, and for property owners.”

The bills now head to the Michigan Senate.


 The Sierra Club is the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization, with over 150,000 members and supporters in Michigan. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Tar sands protest group appeals to Obama after 3 members jailed

Environmentalists face two-year sentences for protest against pipeline involved in 2010 Kalamazoo River spill

Pipeline protest  
Rod Sanford/Lansing State Journal/AP

President Barack Obama traveled to Michigan's Ingham County on Friday to sign the recently passed farm bill at Michigan State University, less than an hour's drive from the site of a major inland tar sands oil spill. A group of local environmentalists hopes to use the president’s visit to warn him of the potential dangers of tar sands oil ahead of his final decision on Keystone XL and other proposed pipeline projects.

Read the entire story here:

More Info about MICATS in the Lansing Online News and the Earth First Journal and through their own website at:

4 states confirm water pollution from drilling

Associated Press review of complaints casts doubt on industry view that it rarely happens.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — In at least four states that have nurtured the nation's energy boom, hundreds of complaints have been made about well-water contamination from oil or gas drilling, and pollution was confirmed in a number of them, according to a review that casts doubt on industry suggestions that such problems rarely happen.

(c) 2012 Katie Orlinsky

Read the whole story here