Resources

== GAS & OIL - GENERAL:  Good general resource citizens' websites (articles, news, resources, personal stories)

ProtectGemCounty.org
Damascus Citizens for Sustainability
Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition
Mansfield Gas Well Awareness
Marcellus-Shale.us (esp. for photo documentation)
Preserve the Bear Tooth Front
Texas Sharon's Bluedaze
PSYOPS - gas industry conference on how to win the "war" against "insurgents" (citizens who oppose industry taking over their towns/lives) and schmooze the public - important information about how any mega-industry (and government) might operate
Basic Information: Emissions from the Oil & Natural Gas Industry (from the EPA:  a useful diagram showing The Natural Gas Production Industry from the well to the home)
Timeline of a Shale Play (or conventional drilling, for that matter)
Understanding Drilling Technology
Oil and Gas Drilling/Development Impacts (The whole range of impacts for those who aren't dazzled by the dollar signs)
Fractured Country - An Unconventional Invasion (video:  "Our life has been devastated..."; "Living in a gas field?  I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy...  This is hell"; "I've never been an activist - I've never been an environmentalist - but it's like, this is of a scale that is beyond comprehension..."; "They only tell you the good part about it... until they start..."; "Representatives of the gas companies, you know that they're lying... because their lips are moving"; "This industrializes your region - your whole region turns into a factory, a gas factory"; "Once that industry comes into the area, your land is virtually unsellable"; "Our country's being destroyed before our eyes" - in Australia's vast farmlands and scenic landscapes, "the gas companies want it all" for coal seam gas development, which is fracked the same way shale is - an excellent film that mirrors modern gas development in the U.S. [and happens to be a beautiful travelogue as well - see it before it's ruined])
This Is Our Country: Living with the Wild West Oil Boom (video:  "We're being sacrificial lambs for the rest of the country", says one native N.Dakota rancher.   "It's never going to be the same.   I think they've destroyed some of the most beautiful land there is. ...People who have been here for generations are selling out and leaving." A 3rd-generation horsewoman says: "There is really no plan that includes people...and our way of life."  Farmers are now very much second-string.  Elders who are leaving their beloved home in disgust:  "All of a sudden, it's only oil that counts."  Then there's the "theft, vandalism, drug rings, prostitution, assaults & homicide" and traffic...  30% of all the gas produced there is flared off into the air - and then there's the water use and contamination...)
The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking (FoodAndWaterWatch.org's 2015 publication discussing water, land, air pollutants and other impacts/risks - an excellent introductory overview, with 300+ citations)


== G&O HEALTH IMPACTS:
COMPENDIUM OF SCIENTIFIC, MEDICAL, AND MEDIA FINDINGS DEMONSTRATING RISKS AND HARMS OF FRACKING (UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND OIL EXTRACTION) - OVERVIEW HANDOUT (.pdf - contains link to the Compedium online:  a compilation of peer-reviewed articles as well as investigative studies; most pertain to conventional drilling as well; includes human and animal health, environmental, economic and community effects)

Human health risks:
HEALTH RISKS/HARMS HANDOUT (.pdf)
List of the Harmed
Warning from Wyoming (video:  Presentation of rancher John Fenton)
Hydraulic Fracturing Linked to Increases in Hospitalization Rates in the Marcellus Shale Region, According to Penn Study ("PA residents in counties with high well density more likely to be admitted for suite of ailments. ...Cardiology and neurologic inpatient prevalence rates...were significantly higher...  Hospitalizations for skin conditions, cancer, and urologic problems were also associated with the proximity of dwellings to active wells.")
Birth Outcomes and Maternal Residential Proximity to Natural Gas Development in Rural Colorado
Dead Babies Near Oil Drilling Sites Raise Questions for Researchers
Fracking Proximity Associated with Lower Birth Weight
Pennsylvania Study Links Fracking to Health Hazards in Fetuses, Infants, and Young Children
Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals Found in Water at Fracking Sites
Human Development Could be Harmed by Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Released During Natural Gas Extraction ("...These activities have potential for environmental release of a complex mixture of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that could potentially harm human development and reproduction. ... Additionally, there is strong evidence of endocrine disrupting chemical mixtures having additive [cumulative] effects...")
Toxins Found in Fracking Fluids and Wastewater, Study Shows ("While they lacked definitive information on the toxicity of the majority of the chemicals, the team members analyzed 240 substances and concluded that 157 of them - chemicals such as arsenic, benzene, cadmium, lead, formaldehyde, chlorine, and mercury - were associated with either developmental or reproductive toxicity.  Of these, 67 chemicals were of particular concern because they had an existing federal health-based standard or guideline, said the scientists, adding that data on whether levels of chemicals exceeded the guidelines were too limited to assess.")
High Levels of Dangerous Chemicals Found in Air Near Oil and Gas Sites (Report on a 5-state study:  "In 40 percent of the air samples, laboratory tests found benzene, formaldehyde, or other toxic substances associated with oil and gas production that were above levels the federal government considers safe for brief or longer-term exposure.  Far above, in some cases.")
Gas Compressors and Nose Bleeds: A New Study Connects Health Issues with Rural Gas Compressor Pollution ("...Spikes in air toxins around the compressor coincided with residents’ adverse health symptoms. ... Asthma, nosebleeds, headaches, and rashes were common among the 35 participants in 8 families living within one mile of the compressor.  Those symptoms are also frequently reported around gas fracking sites...  Of particular concern were elevations of fine particulate matter...  High PM 2.5 levels also double the risk of a newborn having autism if the mother is exposed during her third trimester...  To attain permits, pipeline companies use analysts who manipulate projected emissions levels to make them acceptable by Environmental Protection Agency standards.")
Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford: Government Fails, Public Health Suffers and Industry Profits from the Shale Oil Boom (Investigative report on communities in Texas and the failure of regulatory agencies to respond to widespread health complaints clearly related to G&O development)
American Medical Association Blasts Secret Shale Records ("'Keeping the names of the chemicals secret is preposterous,' said Todd Sack, a physician in Jacksonville, Fla., and author of the AMA’s policy. 'It places an unreasonable burden on physicians.  The AMA feels that if companies are going to be responsible petroleum and gas explorers and extractors, they need to disclose the chemicals they use and do better water testing.  That’s not a radical position. ... If we don’t know what chemicals are being used at specific well sites, ... physicians and public health officials can’t do their jobs.'")
Air Pollution and Natural Gas Operations: An Exploratory Study of Air Quality Near Natural Gas Operations (article + TED video:  About a study "to assess air quality in a rural western Colorado area where residences and gas wells co-exist. ...Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) and their concentrations were highest during the initial drilling phase" - many of which have "multiple health effects, including 30 that affect the endocrine system, which is susceptible to chemical impacts at very low concentrations...  Selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were at concentrations greater than those at which prenatally exposed children in urban studies had lower developmental and IQ scores.")
US Health Professionals Call for Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Infrastructure to Protect Public Health  ("The construction of oil and gas projects such as unconventional fracking, pipelines, compressor stations and export terminals which pollute with cancer and disease-causing chemicals is akin to an uncontrolled health experiment that is destroying communities and risking lives of residents.  These projects also harm the workers who build and maintain them.  For the health of all who are involved, health professionals demand that this unethical ‘experiment’ stop.")
Industry Deals With Dangers of Fracking Sand ("The disease dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, but it continues to kill workers today.  Oil and gas is the latest industry to face its threat.  Silicosis...", caused by regularly breathing in even small amounts of fine-grained sand, like that used in fracking and which is blown all around the neighborhood.

Harms to pets/stock/wildlife:
Animals as Sentinels of Human Health in Hydraulic Fracking ("Animals can be used as sentinels of human health because of more frequent exposure to air, soil, and groundwater and more frequent reproductive cycles." - discusses problems of non-disclosure agreements [gag orders on people who have been "bought off"], questionable food safety, multiple routes of exposure, and lack of testing on the ability to even know how prevalent health detriments are)
Study Suggests Hydrofracking Is Killing Farm Animals, Pets (FYI, all such studies are hampered by industry "...due to incomplete testing, proprietary secrecy from gas drilling companies regarding the chemicals used in hydrofracking, and non-disclosure agreements that seal testimony and evidence when lawsuits are settled.")

Dangerous industry-related jobs:

GasWork: The Fight for CJ/s Law (Josh Fox, producer of the Gasland films, has also researched the harms continually being done to workers in the gas fields)
Most Dangerous Oil Industry Jobs Are Not What You Would Think (many drivers working in both gas & oil fields are involved "in highway crashes involving over-worked and fatigued employees driving in company vehicles after long shifts.")
The 3 Most Risky Jobs in the Oil and Gas Industry ("According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in the US, about every three days an oil and gas worker was killed on the job in 2012, 2011 and 2010. In 2012 nonfatal accidents increased from a five-year low of 1,400 in 2011 to a five-year high of 2,600.")
Four Ways Fracking Can Be Dangerous for the People Who Do It (some also for conventional drilling, such as exposure to chemicals; specific to fracking, silica sand respiration - and certain chemicals not used in conventional well development)
Oil, Gas Industry Creating Jobs, But Not Always at Benefit of Locals
Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Dangers (workers and emergency fire/medical personnel can be exposed to this commonly used sense-of-smell-paralyzing lethal gas)
Safety Hazards Associated with Oil and Gas Extraction Activities ()
First Responders Not Trained for Gas Well Emergencies

Public health/safety costs:

Nations Worry Methane Will Undercut Economic Benefits of Gas ("...The energy being promoted as one of the solutions to fighting climate change is contributing to the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. ... Methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide, another greenhouse gas...  Flaring natural gas from oil wells, which produces carbon dioxide, is a far more visible way the industry emits greenhouse gases. ... The methane seeping from production, processing and transport installations like valves, pumps and pipes is less obvious. ... Conference discussion of methane leakage came in the midst of an industry offensive by the biggest oil companies to promote natural gas as the cleanest fossil fuel.")
The Real Cost of Fracking: How America's Shale Gas Boom Is Threatening Our Families, Pets, and Food book (Details costs of animal illness and death in drilling zones, inability to reproduce -- "An associated problem is the potential introduction of toxicants into the food supply directly from crops or exposed animals (from meat, milk, eggs, or cheese) or indirectly through rendering, where animals' flesh and bones are turned into products used to feed other animals or, in some cases, humans (through the production of lard from animal fat). ...The effects of industrialized gas drilling have the potential to affect people in areas far from active drilling regions. ... In addition to animals, children are inadvertent sentinels.  Because of their higher metabolic rates and immature neurologic and detoxifying systems, children are at higher risk of developing adverse health effects from environmental hazards...")
Study Links Natural Gas Wells with Hospital Visits ("Researchers collected data from seven different insurance providers for the three counties" and found - no surprise - that "he more natural gas wells in an area, the more of its residents end up in the hospital.")
Report: Hundreds of Gas Wells Drilled Near Schools, Hospitals (wells and compressor stations, processing plants, and heavy traffic routes)
Oil Industry Accidents Put North Dakota Hospital $1.5 Million in Debt

Quality of life:
Living Next to a Natural Gas Well (video:  a woman in rural Salem, West Virginia has filmed what she sees/hears outside her front door - a 24/7 drilling rig and appurtenances; also details traffic problems:  continual delays, a pet killed, accidents, cracked walls from truck vibrations)
Locals to Big Oil: We Want Our Town Back! (Money... but housing shortages, town worker shortages, increased traffic and accidents, ripped up roads, increased noise, increased crime -- "Now, the once-solitary road plays host to semi trucks at all hours of the day.  Many drivers throw trash out their windows as they speed by.  Lawlar said she even came home one evening to find a truck driver urinating on her lawn.  'The quiet peaceful country life as we know it is a thing of the past...'"  Another woman "said she used to feel safe because she lived across the street from a police officer.  But then she found out that someone siphoned the gas out of his police car in the middle of the night.  Now, she won't even let her kids play in the yard.")
As Oil Floods Plains Towns, Crime Pours In ("...Reports of assault and theft have doubled or even tripled, and the police say they are rushing from call to call, grappling with everything from bar brawls and shoplifting to kidnappings and attempted murders. Traffic stops for drunken or reckless driving have skyrocketed; local jails are spilling over with drug suspects. ...Waves of new residents inevitably mean more traffic crashes and calls to 911." - rise in crime reported as from 32-855%)
Place-Based Perceptions of the Impacts of Fracking Along the Marcellus Shale ("Fracking disrupts residents' sense of place and identity, creating social stress")
Natural Gas Extraction: Issues and Policy Options (Study of community and environmental impacts, by the Nat. Agricultural & Rural Dev. Policy Ctr.)


== G&O ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS:
Loopholes for Polluters ("The oil and gas industry is exempt from key provisions of seven major federal environmental laws -- allowing practices that would otherwise be illegal.")
Loophole Allows Many Dangerous Chemicals in Fracking Fluids to Go Undisclosed: Report ("The Halliburton loophole" = exemptions from existing federal environmental protections for other industries and private parties:  "When it comes to environmental pollutants, sometimes what's legal is what's most worrying.")
American's Dirtiest Secret: How Billions of Barrels of Toxic Oil and Gas Waste Are Falling Through the Regulatory Cracks ("Concern over fracking... gets most of our collective attention these days. But this industry practice is not the only or largest contamination problem our nation faces as the result of oil and gas development. In fact, the oil and gas industry's other contamination problems are so large, they have literally been deemed impossible to prevent or even clean up by both industry and government. As a result, and unimaginable tonnage of contamination is being placed into our environment every year thanks to the near total lack of regulations over oil and gas exploration and production wastes.")
Chemical and Toxic Materials That Come with Hydrofracking
Natural Gas's Toxic Waste (4 annotated documents)
Drilling Boom Spilling Wastewater: Brine, Saltwater Can Be More Harmful Than Oil (Sample spills of up to 40million+ gallons in N. Dakota, New Mexico, California, Montana, & Texas, damaging rivers, water supplies, and thousands of acres of land - "Concentrated brine, much saltier than seawater, exists in rock thousands of feet underground.")
Pit Pollution (a rundown on negative environmental/animal effects on open pit storage for oil/gas liquid and solid wastes)

Harm to precious water:
4 States Confirm Water Pollution from Drilling ("Associated Press review of complaints casts doubt on industry view that it rarely happens")
Hydraulic Fracturing Water Use Variability in the United States and Potential Environmental Implications graphic (Way more water is used - and contaminated - for fracking than for vertical or directional drilling)
42,800 Gallons of Fracking Fluid Boiled Over - Spewing into the Streets, Sewers and Streams of Arlington Texas
Seismic Testing: A Short Guide to Protect Your Water (There are risks to seismic testing, among them:  "...There have been reported cases of well water issues arising afterwards...  Use of explosive devises, which create shot-holes in the ground, can create access to surface contaminants into groundwater if not properly filled in, and it is possible seismic waves sent out by thumper trucks can mobilize sedimentation into a well or cause well integrity problems." - residents in New Brunswick noted "that a seismic program had recently been completed just prior to loss of water in 60 homes.")
Dangerous Levels of Radioactivity Found at Fracking Waste Site in Pennsylvania ("In July [2013], a [fracking "flowback" fluids] treatment company in New York state pleaded guilty to falsifying more than 3,000 water tests." - though NY had a ban on fracking, the state accepts disposal fluids from Pennsylvania.  "Elevated levels of chloride and bromide, combined with strontium, radium, oxygen, and hydrogen isotopic compositions, are present in the Marcellus shale wastewaters...")
Drillers Fracking at Much Shallower Depths Than Widely Believed (Almost 7000 publicly-recorded wells, in 27 states, have been fracked at less than a mile deep, i.e., directly in the vicinity of drinking water aquifers:  "Using well data from the website FracFocus spanning 2008-13, the researchers found well depths ranged nationwide from deeper than 3 miles to as shallow as 100 feet. ... [And] for most states, company reporting to the online registry is voluntary.")

Air and soil pollution:
The Lowdown on Gas Compressor Blowdown: The Dirty Truth of Unreportable Emissions ("These pipelines have been protected by the feds under the authority of the Natural Gas Act that has allowed them to operate under the radar of pretty much every environmental law. ... About 50 billion cubic feet (Bcf) [of methane] per year is lost from compressor fugitives (does not include the lube oil being emitted – and it is sizable)" and "7.0 Bcf per year is lost from compressor venting" from the ~1650 U.S. compressor stations in the transmission/storage phase - add to that the ~40,000 compressors in the production/processing phase prior to that.)
Fracking Wells Could Pollute The Air Hundreds Of Miles Away
Natural Gas and Polluted Air (from storage and processing facilities)
Methane Leaks in Natural-Gas Supply Chain Far Exceed Estimates, Study Says (Study of natural gas gathering facilities and processing plants)
Fracking can cause nearby abandoned wells to leak methane: study
The Rising Amount of Radon in Pennsylvania Air
In Shadow of Oil Boom, North Dakota Farmers Fight Contamination ("One county's infertile lands off a test case of the long-term effects of wastewater spills" - wastewater is known locally as "saltwater" because of its high salinity - "'You never see a saltwater spill produce again,'" said one affected farmer. "His brother Pete recently testified before the state legislature...that he lost five cattle after they drank contaminated water from a reserve pit...  ...The region has a long history of contamination and a plethora of aging wells, tanks, pipelines, disposal sites and other infrastructure left from North Dakota’s earlier oil booms in the 1930s, 1950s and 1980s." - what there is to look forward to.  "'If they report every spill, this whole freaking industry would shut down' - [said] a well operator.")
Oil and Gas Production Wastewater: Soil Contamination and Pollution Prevention (a review article detailing effects on soil and soil properties of the myriad types of contaminants used in drilling/fracking fluids and found in "produced water" brought up from the depths; also mentions some clean-up technologies that can be used for flow-back fluids)
Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control and Gas Drilling Operations ("One of the major concerns that could be faced by landowners during any gas drilling operation is the potential land disturbance caused by all of the equipment, drilling pads, roadways, and pipelines. ... Many gas drilling operations in the Marcellus Shale area disturb a large amount of earth for the drilling equipment, water trucks, water storage facilities, support apparatus, and gathering and transmission pipelines.")
Subsurface Transport of Oilfield Wastes (includes soils information)
We Are Eating Drilling & Fracking Waste ("'About 1.2 barrels of solid waste are created with each foot drilled, according to the American Petroleum Institute.' ... 'There are a lot of naturally occurring toxics that are brought up.  It is often radioactive. ... This comes up with metals and BTEX (Benzene, Tolulene, Ethylbenzyne, Xylenes) carcinogens plus the mystery additives which companies refuse to disclose.' ...Cows grazing on 'dump farms' have elevated levels of hydrocarbons. ... The most economical disposal method is to dump the waste on agricultural land. ... Farmers are paid to let companies spread what they are told is 'good fertilizer' on their fields." - and then there's the water runoff from these fields, and breathing it all in...  "'...In southeast British Columbia, the waste was so expensive to deal with.  They did tests.  Their waste was killing the fish, and yet they still dumped the waste directly into the waterway there.  That’s a prime fishing area, so again people are drinking and eating the waste.'”)

Earthquakes:
Azle Earthquakes Likely Caused by Oil and Gas Operations, Study Says
Man-Made Earthquakes Update
US Report Offers Frank Discussion on Fracking-Induced Earthquakes ("The 150-page document produced by a group of drilling states, seismologists, academics and industry experts matter-of-factly references links between fracking or deep-injection wastewater disposal and earthquakes, something the industry has danced around in the past.")
Fracking-related Earthquakes (about quakes from both fracking itself and from use of injection wells)
Shell and Exxon's €5bn Problem: Gas Drilling That Sets off Earthquakes and Wrecks Homes ("Groningen does not sit on any fault lines, and before Shell and Exxon Mobil arrived, it had no history of seismic activity.  But the earthquakes that ruined Heite’s house and many others are, everyone now accepts, manmade.  Manuel Sintubin, professor of geodynamics at Leuven University in Belgium explains:  “When you extract gas, it changes the pressure in the gas reservoir and causes compaction in the reservoir sandstone, which causes earthquakes.” - earthquakes from conventional extraction, not from fracking, not just from wastewater injection)
Satellites Help Link Texas Earthquakes to Wastewater Injection, Scientists Say (Geophysicists have used satellite-based sensing technology to prove that, and how, wastewater injection wells have been causing earthquakes in oil & gas areas)
S&P: Fracking and ‘Man-Made’ Earthquakes Are A Credit Risk ("...'The potential for property damage from increased incidences of earthquakes may be a liability for the energy and insurance industries, lenders, property owners, and real estate investors.'")
 
Fire/explosions:
First Responders Not Trained for Gas Well Emergencies
Gas Line Explodes in Weld County (one example:  a rural Colorado gas line on fire, causing evacuations within a 2-mile radius)
Natural Gas Plant Explosion (video:  The way it is when something goes wrong:  a Mexican compression station explosion caught on film)
Gas/Oil Well Explodes From Lightning Strike In Denton, TX (video:  Right in a residential neighborhood)
What a Pipeline Breach Looks Like ("...The protocols indicate that fire companies can do NOTHING while the pipeline has pressurized gas in it and the affected section must be isolated completely including up and downstream valves and compressor station(s) involved.  In this instance it means first responders had to stand by and watch it burn for 34 minutes before the pipeline was shut down.  Only after that could they start fighting individual fires of houses and trees.")
Safety: The Drilling Industry's Explosion Problem ("The oil and gas industry has more deaths from fires and explosions than any other private industry. ...It employs less than 1 percent of the U.S. workforce, but in the past five years it has had more than 10 percent of all workplace fatalities from fires and explosions.")
BOOM: North America's Explosive Oil-by-Rail Problem (video:  about why oil - and gas - being shipped by railroad is so dangerous:  aging RR infrastructure, and the widespread use of old tanker cars, designed for non-flammable oils, for transport of flammables)

Fracking/no fracking is moot:

THE FRACKING OR NOT ISSUE AS A SMOKE-SCREEN HANDOUT (.pdf)
Research - Wellbore Integrity and Leakage ("Wells that slowly seep gas upwards outside the casing ... are commonplace. ...Leaky wellbores and the very long-term maintenance of wellbore integrity remain issues, for two major reasons:  Emission of greenhouse gases (methane, perhaps a small amount of ethane); Entry of methane into the shallow aquifers where it may undergo geochemical deterioration and degrade the quality of the groundwater making it unfit for human consumption.")
Utah Tops List of Oil, Gas Wells Not Inspected by Federal Officials ("They are among about 1,400 priority wells that went unexamined in 13 states.  The wells are deemed high pollution risks or are located near national forests and fragile watersheds.")


== G&O PROPERTY IMPACTS:

Huntley Law Firm letter: Generic Mineral Lease and Issues Raised

Mortgage/insurance jeopardy:
MORTGAGE EFFECTS HANDOUT (.pdf - includes information prepared by Idaho Dept. of Lands for an Idaho senator... but not put on the IDL website)
INSURANCE EFFECTS HANDOUT (.pdf)
PNC Mortgage letter: Partial Release Requirements (for mineral rights leasing = "releasing a portion of your property") ("...Transfer of all or part of the property or interest in the property without PNC's written prior consent is a violation of your mortgage and may result in PNC requiring immediate payment in full of all sums secured.  Failure by PNC to invoke this right is not a waiver of such right and PNC reserves the right to invoke it at a later time." [e.g., even up to just before you've paid it in full])
Fracking Boom Gives Banks Mortgage Headaches ("...The oil rush may cause big headaches for some unlucky banks. ...[Some] are refusing to make mortgages on land where oil or gas rights have been sold to an energy company. ...The [standard] mortgage agreement says homeowners can sell an oil or gas lease to an energy firm with prior consent from a lender, but May says, 'I don't know any lenders who are granting that right now.' ...Banks are in a bind...  On one hand, they must follow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac policies, but they don't want to add dozens of foreclosed homes to their books.")
At the Intersection of Wall Street and Main: Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Residential Property Interests, Risk Allocation, and Implications for the Secondary Mortgage Market ("...Americans need a safe home more than we need fossil fuel extracted from beneath it. ... If a homeowner experiences loss or property damage or is named as a defendant in a lawsuit from someone else who experiences the loss, the homeowner may be on his or her own defending the claim. ... Mortgages contain [limiting] covenances to protect and preserve the lender's collateral."  When damage occurs, this "could create ripple effects for investors in the secondary mortgage market..." which contains 90% of all residential loans.)
Oil & Gas Mineral Rights: Lease Impacts on Mortgages to Vary (Mortgage warning during first forced pooling process in Idaho)
Gas Company Financing is Preventing Residents from Getting Mortgages ("Chesapeake has mortgaged the mineral rights on over 1,000 properties on which it has a gas lease in Bradford County, in order to fund its drilling operations...  'The mortgage is technically on the mineral rights, but it has to be filed on the property...'.")
NYState Bar Assoc. Journal article: Homeowners and Gas Drilling Leases: Boon or Bust? ("...Aside from arguments about the relative safety of the extraction process are issues not often discussed, such as the owner's potential liability and the continued viability of the mortgage. ... All mortgages...prohibit hazardous activity and hazardous substances on the property.")
Oil & Gas Exploration and Production: What Does This Have to Do with Residential Mortgages? ("As a result of the potential risks and uncertainty associated with gas exploration, drilling and production, some lenders will not purchase or issue mortgage loans on residential properties where the borrower does not own the mineral rights or has entered into a gas lease.")
How Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Typically Handle Requests to Create Oil, Gas, or Mineral Leases on Residential Properties ("...Entering into an oil, gas, or mineral lease on a property that is subject to a mortgage owned or guaranteed by FMae or FMac without prior approval generally will be considered an act of default...")
Mortgage Lenders Increasingly Worried About Fracking (Pt. 2: "...The mortgage industry, recognizing how drilling adds risk and reduces value, is beginning to tighten policies on lending on properties that have wells on or near them, or that are subject to leasing.")
Mortgages and Gas Leases (annotated documents)
Poisoned Water or Poisoned Mortgages? What Home Buyers Need to Know about Oil and Gas Leases ("I have some great lawyers who speak to my first home buyer’s class.  They bring smart and reasoned answers to the class’s questions.  Each one points out the pros and cons of every decision.  They work hard not to come down on one side or another.  But to a one, they have said to my classes, 'I would never buy a house anywhere near an oil or gas lease.'")
The Deck Is Stacked Against Property Owners Who Seek Compensation for Damages Done by Oil and Gas Drilling (Pt. 3:  It's "difficult for property owners to receive compensation for damages to their property, either through their homeowners insurance, or from drilling companies.  Increasingly insurers are removing coverage for oil and gas drilling from their policies.")
Nationwide Statement Regarding Concerns About Hydraulic Fracturing (insurance)
Fracking and Insurance: Here's What It Means for Homeowners Coverage
Loss of Homes: FEMA Halts Flood Assistance for Properties with Gas Leases ("FEMA indefinitely banned the use of hazard mitigation assistance money for properties that could eventually host horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, even if the leases don’t allow for development on the surface.")

Do you have property rights??:
Eminent Domain: A Citizen's Reflection on Eminent Domain & the Domestic Energy Cartel (eminent domain may be used for storage facilities and pipelines but usually involves buying out citizens' properties; a similar abrogation of private property rights comes from State-sanctioned forced pooling as well as uncompensated use of private split estate surface lands)
Surface Owners Beware! ("What constitutes 'reasonably necessary' uses?  Some examples include entering the property, building roads, using caliche found on the leased property, installing pipelines to transport products from the lease, storing of equipment, and injecting saltwater in disposal wells.  Further, absent contractual provisions [or state rules] to the contrary, an oil company can select the locations of wells and pipelines to be placed on the property without input from the surface owner." -- "Under Texas law, unless specified otherwise, ...groundwater is part of the surface estate, even though it is located below the surface.  Because of this, like the other portions of the surface estate, an oil company can use that amount of groundwater “reasonably necessary” to explore and produce minerals on the land." - !)
See 'Forced pooling' and you, and What are split estates?, in G&O MONEY below

Lease snags and negotiation:
Learning Too Late the Perils in Gas Well Leases
Help! There's a Landman at My Door! A Crash Course on What to Do
Landowners Getting Trampled in Gas Rights Rush
Landman's Sleazy Handbook Found ("This is a section of a ‘land man’s handbook’ on how to acquire oil/gas/mineral leases using false claims, misinformation, careful wording, half-truths, lies, and lying by omission.  It clearly demonstrates that the oil and gas industry know exactly what they’re doing, and are completely aware of the ground water contamination, radiation, loss of property, loss of property value, and loss of quality of life.  They know exactly how this industrialization will ruin a community." - forewarned is forearmed)
Seismic Testing: Issues for Landowners
HELPFUL LEASING QUESTIONS HANDOUTS (.pdf)
Mineral Leasing
Ten Oil & Gas Lease Clauses You Want
Checklist for Negotiating an Oil and Gas Lease
Learning Too Late the Perils in Gas Well Leases
Natural Gas Lease Forms and Addendum
Texas Sample Oil and Gas Lease and Surface Use Agreement
111,000+ Oil and Gas Leases collected by the NYTimes
Division of Royalties: Who Gets What? (Energy & Mineral Law Institute white paper explaining the legal ins and outs of oil & gas royalties; includes some information on effects of leasing on heirs' estates)

On public lands as well:
Public Lands Oil and Gas Lease Tracker: 2014 Summary ("National public lands that have been leased for oil and gas - and who's buying the leases" in 7 Western states out of the 27 states where public lands are so leased by the BLM - "Over 15 percent of the lands leased in the seven Western states - or 94,517 acres - were acquired with a minimum bid of only $2.00 per acre."  And this doesn't include State lands...)
Who Owns the West?  Oil & Gas Leases:  Big Access, Little Energy - the Oil and Gas Industry's Hold on Western Lands ("...This nearly unfettered opportunity to drill [on federal lands] in 12 western states has done nothing to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil.")
Plan Shows Regulatory Agency and Fracking Industry in Cahoots to Promote Drilling in State Parks (Ohio's Dept. of Natural Resources "...seemed to be acting like a marketing firm for the oil and gas industry instead of the agency charged with regulating oil-and-gas drilling in Ohio to protect human health and the environment. ... 'This is an unprecedented collusion between oil and gas companies and the agencies that regulate them.  This isn’t just bad news for our parks and forests, it’s bad news for our democracy'..." - not uncommon, just inadvertently revealed)
Oil Companies Are Drilling on Public Land for the Price of a Cup of Coffee. Here’s Why That Should Change. ("Renting public land to some of the wealthiest corporations in the world for as little as $1.50 an acre per year is irrational. ...Antiquated pricing rules have given these energy companies access to federal lands at prices that ignore decades of inflation, as well as many environmental and health costs of fossil fuel production. ...Those bargain prices give private companies a windfall while depriving American taxpayers of a fair return from energy production. Instead, the public has been left to pay for many of the social and environmental costs of fossil fuel operations, from road damage to respiratory problems. ...In some cases, former hiking and scenic areas are converted into production sites and access roads.")
Gone with the Wind: How Taxpayers Are Losing from Wasted Gas ("Oil and gas companies drilling on federal lands are losing a significant amount of natural gas. In their drilling operations, they are consuming free-of-charge gas worth billions of dollars while some gas is also being leaked into the atmosphere from drilling equipment. Historically, these companies have paid royalties on only a tiny fraction of this lost gas, and the Department of the Interior (“DOI”) does not have a system to track those losses.")
Report: State Regulations Allow Rampant Natural Gas Waste ("...Research shows state oil and gas regulators are falling short in controlling venting (deliberate emissions to the air), flaring (burning at the well site), and requiring maintenance to leaky infrastructure.  State oil and gas rules do not cover most sources of waste and don't use key management tools like conditions on permits.  These shortcomings threaten public health because dangerous pollutants are released alongside methane.  They squander energy that could be used by homes, schools, and businesses, and rob public treasuries of royalty revenue.  This waste also harms other resource values and makes an outsize contribution to climate change.")
On Public Land, a Gas Company Takes Private Control (video/article - "I shouldn’t have to be asked what I’m doing on public land.”

What about alternatives?:

The Tesla Battery Heralds the Beginning of the End for Fossil Fuels  ("Whole communities could build microgrid power-supply systems around such a 10 MWh energy-storage system, fed by renewable-energy generation (wind power or rooftop solar power), at costs that just became supercompetitive. ...Now the fossil-fuel companies...will be on the defensive, fighting the new normal of cheaper renewable supplies and storage. Instead of asking, 'can we have our own energy system?' communities will be asking, 'why can’t we have it?'")
100% Electric Transportation and 100% Solar by 2030 (video:  "Oil is going to be disrupted...  The car market is going to shrink by 80%; so oil is going to be hit twice, with two waves of disruption:"  all-electric cars, which all auto manufacturers are expected to bring to market soon, and self-driving cars, which are also being worked on across the board and will obviate the need for car ownership for most people.  Then there's solar:  "Despite all the media stuff you hear about crisis in solar, it's been growing, worldwide, by 43% per year since the year 2000. ...By 2030, all the world's energy will be solar..." - whereas "Oil has gone up 35X since 1970" and solar has improved on the cost of petroleum by 5355X, of natural gas by 2275X, of nuclear by 1540X, of coal by 900X.)
More US Solar Jobs Than Oil + Gas Extraction & Pipeline Jobs (Combined) in 2015 ("...The solar workforce in the US grew 20% in 2015 - for the third straight year...  Altogether, the US solar industry added jobs roughly 12 times faster than the other parts of the country’s economy added jobs" - 35,052 of them, to toal 208,859)
New York Is Trading Fracking for Solar Panel Kits ("New York State banned fracking earlier this month, pitting energy policy against public health like never before.  With fracking officially off the table, New York is focusing its energy efforts elsewhere.  A $1 billion solar initiative provides a not-so-subtle hint as to where.")
This Will Give You Hope: Developing Countries Are Racing to Install Wind and Solar ("These countries, like the rest of the world, still largely rely on fossil energy - but their trajectory is unmistakable.  Over the same  period, from 2009 through 2013, they added just 10 percent to their fossil energy capacity, but 91 percent to their clean energy capacity, according to Pew. ... 'This...ought to be a priority for the United States for export reasons.'")
Denmark Just Produced 140% of Its Electricity Needs with Renewable Wind Power (It was quite windy, but "...on the day when [over] 140% of the power needs were produced, the systems weren’t even functioning at 100% of their potential power. ...Denmark is well on its way to potentially producing half of its electricity from renewables.")
Solar Trillions book by Tony Seba (Through an overview of each type of energy, explains why solar is the only energy industry, clean or not, that can ramp up to fill the coming demand for energy worldwide; especially useful explanation of the common but less efficient PhotoVoltaic technology vs. the growing array of desert Concentrated Solar Power installations that store energy overnight in underground "batteries" of liquified salt - energy which can be transmitted over thousands of miles without significant power loss)


== G&O FINANCIAL IMPACTS:

How the taxpayer pays:
The Domestic Oil & Gas Industry’s Current Debt Problem: A New Chapter of an Old Book ("A number of highly levered companies have recently announced their inability to find buyers willing to offer adequate prices, including Midstates Petroleum Company, Inc., Alta Mesa Holdings, LP  [the major Idaho player] and Quicksilver Resources Inc.  The ability to raise new, albeit expensive, debt may determine if a company will have additional time to improve the health of their balance sheet.  Once all strategic alternatives have been exhausted, a financial restructuring may be the only alternative." - that's a euphemism for bankruptcy, wherein only the biggest lenders to the company are repaid while the little contracting companies are stiffed and may collapse [as happened in Payette Co., ID when Alta Mesa cheaply snapped up the original driller's assets but not their debts], and the counties/state = taxpayers are left holding the bag for any infrastructure and environmental damages not covered by bonds)
Idaho Company Fined $900,000 for Violating Oil Regulations (And if, being near or in bankruptcy, they don't have $900,000 in assets?? - the State taxpayers, having already been forced to expend tax dollars on suing the company, will be left to pay even more.)
Oil And Gas Wells Are Leaking Huge Amounts Of Methane, And It’s Costing Taxpayers Millions
Fossil Fuel Subsidies: Overview (from Oil Change International, Exposing the True Costs of Fossil Fuels:  "There are a lot of activities under this simple definition—tax breaks and giveaways, but also loans at favorable rates, price controls, purchase requirements and a whole lot of other things. ... In the United States, credible estimates of annual fossil fuel subsidies range from $10 billion to $52 billion annually, yet these don’t even include costs borne by taxpayers related to the climate, local environmental, and health impacts of the fossil fuel industry.")
Severance Tax on Natural Gas Can Help Fund Clean Energy Investment in Pennsylvania - But Must Not Prolong Reliance on Fossil Fuels ("...Even when resource extraction activities are regulated, they have significant environmental, health, and social impacts, and therefore impose significant costs on the public and on state and local governments.  The point of a severance tax on natural gas is to ensure that such costs are paid by the industry and reflected in the price of its product - to reduce the costs that are 'externalized' and borne by the public through health and community impacts." - i.e., the point is not to generate "free money" for the State nor, by keeping the tax low, to make the taxpayers fund the flourishing of the gas industry.)
Oil Market Tests Banks' Ability to Weather Losses ("Low oil prices are rattling global markets and destabilizing economies around the world. They are also posing one of the first big tests to the United States banking system since the financial crisis.  Banks of all sizes are marking down the value of loans and setting aside reserves to absorb additional losses as oil producers struggle to pay their debts. ...The worst pain for the banks may lie ahead. While many banks have reduced credit lines to oil producers, some lenders are loath to cut off financing entirely for fear of forcing energy companies into bankruptcy, according to energy lawyers and consultants." - which diminishes banks' stockholders' profits and pushes the banks that much closer to needing bailouts... from taxpayer dollars)
Energy Boom-Related Traffic Crashes Cost Billions (2015 "study reveals just how closely petroleum activity appears to be linked to collisions on crowded, crumbling roads in those regions.  The report...also puts a multibillion-dollar price tag on those crashes.  Researchers say the information should help Texas lawmakers consider ways to tackle the sometimes-deadly downside of boom times, such as whether to pour more money into fixing dangerous roads." - crash injury costs go way up too)

Hidden costs/liabilities to cover:
LEASING LIABILITIES HANDOUT (.pdf)
Learning Too Late the Perils in Gas Well Leases
Mortgage Company Agreements Hold Up Mineral Drilling Royalties for Some
Unfair Share: How Oil and Gas Drillers Avoid Paying Royalties
Overcharges in the Hydrocarbon Industry (inappropriate charges tend to be subtracted from royalties)
Bradford County Ramps Up Campaign for Gas Royalties Bill (In PA:  "For years people in the region have complained some drilling companies charge exorbitant, and possibly fradulent fees for processing gas– leaving landowners with little to no royalty money. In some cases, people have received notices their royalty account has a negative balance, saying they owe thousands of dollars to drilling companies. 'It’s what I call ‘the great royalty rip-off,’ says Bradford Commissioner Daryl Miller (R).'")
Post-Production Deductions from Royalty Governing Natural Gas (discussion thread in Natural Gas Forum for Landowners)

'Forced pooling' and you:
FORCED POOLING HANDOUT (.pdf)
Forced Pooling: When Landowners Can’t Say No to Drilling
State Laws Can Compel Landowners to Accept Gas and Oil Drilling
Forced Pooling: Both Sides of the Story
Neighbors in Lawrence County [Pa.] Sue to Keep Drillers Away (May 2014:  "'...We own the property and pay taxes on it.  If we don't want to sell our mineral rights, we won't. Under the constitution we have that right.' ...The Pittsburgh attorney representing the three landowners ... said Hilcorp's proposal is unconstitutional and violates the state's eminent domain code because it would take private property for Hilcorp's private, for-profit, enterprise. ...'Fracking under someone's land where you don't hold a lease, cracking the rock under that land is I think different than the capture rule, which allows drillers to drain gas and oil from a common reservoir under adjacent properties.'") - AND THE FOLLOW-UP...
Gas Drilling Company Withdraws Application for Forced Pooling in Western Pennsylvania (They didn't want to continue spending money on fighting the challenge to the constitutionality of the forced pooling law, because they'd just spent so much on securing leases.  Interestingly, Hilcorp said that "...oil and gas production will continue on its leased property in that area.  It will reorganize production units to exclude unleased tracts" - i.e., they can effectively work without forced pooling, if not so conveniently.)

What are 'split estates'?:
SPLIT ESTATE HANDOUT
(.pdf)
HOW TO SEARCH TITLE RECORDS HANDOUT (.pdf)
Special Report: U.S. Builders Hoard Mineral Rights Under New Homes
'Split Estate' Documentary
A Personal Story: Tim and Christine Ruggiero, Wise County, Texas ("Surface right owners are a mere nuisance and are expendable.")
U.S. Builders Hoard Mineral Rights Under New Homes
How Can I Locate Who Owns the Mineral Rights Under My Land?

Loss of homes/values:
LEASING QUESTIONS / PROPERTY DEVALUATION  HANDOUT (.pdf)
LEASES USED TO FINANCE DEVELOPMENT COMPANIES HANDOUT (.pdf)
Drilling Can Dig into Land Value ("One year to the day after a company set up its drilling rigs on their land in eastern Wise County, Tim and Christine Ruggiero confirmed the depth of their loss.  Originally on the 2010 tax rolls for $257,330, their home and 10-acre horse property are now worth $75,240.")
Fracking the American Dream: Drilling decreases property value
How Drilling Tramples on Property Rights and Lowers Home Values
Drilling Through Peace and Prosperity
House Values Will Be Hit by Fracking, Warn Estate Agents ("A survey of 60 estate agents ... has found that they believe fracking is likely to wipe tens of thousands of pounds off the values of nearby properties and make homes harder to sell." - no different in Britain than in the U.S., where experience already informs realtors of such negative effects)
Frac Sand Land: Incredible Story of Vanishing Hills (video:  Specialty sand mines in Wisconsin, where property values dropped by half in mining and truck transport areas)
How Drilling Tramples on Property Rights and Lowers Home Values ("...More than 15 million Americans now live within a mile of an oil or gas well.  There’s now clear evidence that drilling destroys property values.")

 
+    [ C.A.I.A. literature (all our handouts in one place) ]