Two Arrested Protesting Fracking Wastewater Injection Well
Two Youngstown, OH community members were arrested today at a nonviolent protest and rally at a fracking wastewater injection well site in Niles, OH. The two protesters were arrested for blocking trucks from entering the well site while holding a “Fracking Hurts Communities” banner. More than 50 people from Ohio and Pennsylvania attended the rally.
“The state of Ohio has refused to protect its communities from fracking," said Chris Khumprakob, who was arrested during the protest. "Hydraulic fracturing is poisoning our community and endangering our health, so we've come together today as a community to symbolically cleanse our water and take a stand for our health. The state government won't protect our well-being, so we've decided to protect it ourselves,”
Despite the harmful effects of injection wells, including poor air quality and contaminated drinking water, the state of Ohio has so far sided with fracking companies, according to members of FrackFree Mahoning Valley.
Fracking wastewater injection wells have been linked to many earthquakes, including a magnitude 4.0 earthquake in Youngstown on New Year's Eve in 2011 and more than 11 subsequent earthquakes since the placement of injection wells in the area. Last year, Weathersfield Township and the City of Niles banned injection wells, but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) still permitted this well. According to Ohio Revised Code, the ODNR has “sole and exclusive authority” to permit drilling operations in the state, regardless of what is agreed upon at the local municipal level.
“The Weathersfield Township trustees and Niles city council are attempting to protect the health and safety of our residents by banning injection wells, but the state of Ohio won’t listen to them," said John Williams, a McDonald, OH resident that was arrested at the protest.
"This is just another example of the state government choosing corporate wealth over community health. We stand together with our city council to say that we do not want this toxic trespasser put in place.”
While Williams and Khumprakob blockaded the road leading to the well site, the rest of the protesters participated in a water blessing led by Reverend Monica Beasley-Martin.
“Clean water is essential for mankind’s continued survival," said Rev. Beasley-Martin. "Like the Prophet Jeremiah before me, there is a burning fire, shut up in my bones, that compels me to speak out against this planned destruction of our water supply. We are not expendable!”
The residents of Niles do not stand alone in their efforts to ban fracking. Today’s event is just one example of a broad-based movement sweeping across Ohio and many other parts of America. Legislation has been introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives to ban fracking wastewater underground injection wells until Jan. 1, 2015.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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