November 2020 Report To Stakeholders

NOV. REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS

By SAVE CARBON COUNTY

PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 12/01/2020


The Trump administration is rushing forward on a roll back of bird protections.
The administration is proposing to limit regulation of industries that engage in
practices that kill migratory birds. Such practices include wind turbines that knock
birds from the air, electrocution of birds on power lines, and oil field waste pits
where birds die in toxic water. Existing regulations also ensure that large scale
tree cutting does not occur during the nesting season. The protections are
included in the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act which protects birds ranging from
hawks and eagles to seabirds, songbirds and sparrows. The proposed change
would allow harms to protected birds as long as the harm was not “intentional.”
Industry operations currently kill an estimated 450 million to 1.1 billion birds
annually.


Oil and gas companies, including Pennsylvania’s fracking companies, are
declaring bankruptcies at a pace not seen in years driven under by a pandemic
that has slashed worldwide demand and by competition from renewable energy
sources.
According to industry analysts, almost 250 oil and gas companies could
file for bankruptcy by the end of 2021 which is more than the previous five years
combined. As these companies face economic challenges they spend less on well
maintenance creating environmental consequences. Fracking sites often have
leaking tanks, pipelines and wells. With less money, these leaks go unaddressed.
Even worse, as companies go into bankruptcy, they simply walk away and leave
well sites abandoned. These orphan wells continue to damage the environment
by leaking methane which can warm the planet 80 times as much as carbon
dioxide when measured over a 20-year period. The cost to plug a typical fracking
well is approximately $300,000. States typically require a bond to ensure that
wells are capped and well sites are cleaned up. Pennsylvania only requires a bond
of $2,500 for each well. Pennsylvania requires unused wells to be plugged but
companies can often avoid the expense by selling off the well to smaller
companies or by accounting work arounds. North Dakota has gone from zero to
336 orphan wells in just the last two months. Pennsylvania, which is second only
to Texas in fracking production, will undoubtedly be hard hit, leaving taxpayers to
fund the clean-up.


Save Carbon County is a member of a regional and two-state effort to stop the PennEast/UGI
pipeline. Local information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop the Fracking Pipeline.” Regional Information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop PennEast Pipeline.”

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