Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Court Rules Antiwar Activists Can Sue Government Spies

Wednesday, 26 December 2012 10:52By John Glaser, | Report

A federal appeals court involving antiwar activists who were secretly infiltrated by US military spies has ruled in favor of the activists, marking the first time a court has endorsed the people’s ability to sue the military for violating their First and Fourth Amendment rights.

“Declassified documents obtained by Students for a Democratic Society and Port Militarization Resistance,”reports Democracy Now, “revealed a man everyone knew as ‘John Jacob’ was in fact John Towery,” who was assigned by the government to spy on the Washington state-based antiwar groups.

Towery was dispatched from a “fusion center,” or intelligence center, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s post-9/11 anti-terrorism surveillance powers.
In October, the Senate Homeland Security subcommittee reviewed more than 600 reports that had come out of these so-called fusion centers and found the giant bureaucracy surrounding the program produced almost nothing that had to do with countering terrorist threats.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dr. Theo Colborn's Letter to President Obama and the First Lady

Dear friends and colleagues,
I recently gave a presentation at a TEDxMidAtlantic event in Washington DC in which I read a letter I sent to the President and First Lady of the United States. In this letter I remind them of the current epidemics of endocrine-related disorders and describe how the laws that were supposed to protect us have let us down. I close with two practical suggestions for the President to take action.

Please take a minute (actually 16 minutes) to view this, and if you agree, share it with everyone you know

You can also copy the link and paste it in a message directly to the President here:
Best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday season,
Theo Colborn 

More information on endocrine disrupting chemicals can be found at

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Attend Boulder County commissioners meeting on oil & gas development in Boulder County

December 13, 2012, 3 pm, Boulder County Courthouse, Pearl and 13th, 3rd floor
Meeting begins at 4:00 pm, but we must arrive early as we expect representatives from the oil and gas industry to fill the room, as they're known to do. Meet at 3 pm, downstairs at the Lazy Dog restaurant, corner of Pearl and 14th, across from the county courthouse.  

If unable to attend, contact County Commissioners and tell them you pledge to defend Boulder County!
Defend Your Rights, Your Health, Your Community, Your Property Value, this beautiful place we call home, and our children's future! 

Please forward...



MUST READ!! Get the truth, not the corporate spin!

Statement regarding direct action at the Boulder County Commissioners' December 4 public hearing on oil and gas development:

Statement on So-Called “Mob Intimidation” of Encana Representative at Boulder County Commissioners’ December 4, 2012 Public Hearing on Oil and Gas Development

Statement from Wendy Leonard, Cofounder of Erie Rising, about Encana representative Wendy Weidenbeck's intimidation tactics in Erie, Colorado 

Statement from Boulder County resident Rod Brueske about being dismissed by Encan representative Wendy Weidenbeck (and others) when he called about a "hissing" well near his home operated by Encana. 


MUST SEE VIDEO!! Democracy in action!
Check out this inspiring video of the direct action:

Statements about Direct Action 

Statement from Angela Monti Fox, founder of, Mothers for Sustainable Energy, and mom of Josh Fox, creator of the documentary Gasland

Non-violent direct action and civil disobedience are historically effective methods to assert and claim our rights. They have played a vital role in our democracy, securing fundamental rights we enjoy today. The oil and gas industry, and the state working on their behalf, is trampling our rights. The peaceful direct action that occurred at the December 4, 2012 Boulder County Commissioners' hearing was democracy in action against a system of oppression that must be dismantled. - Shane Davis,, Longmont

I will not stand by and allow the beauty of my family and community to be systemically assaulted by government and industry. As a father and a nurse, as a citizen of Boulder County, I will so everything within my power to keep our community safe, healthy, and sustainable. The risks are too great. The future generation is too important. - Cliff Willmeng, East Boulder County United, Lafayette

The County Commissioners say their hands are tied because they must abide by sate law. Those laws came from a corrupt political system that values the profit of multinational corporations over the health and well being of people, communities and the environment. I will not stand by to allow the place I call home to be industrialized and my children poisoned." - Diana Devine, Colorado, Mothers for Sustainable Energy, Boulder

The Independent Press, Telling it like it is! Don't believe the corporate spin!

Article by Joel Dyer of the Boulder Weekly 
Boulder County Commissioners, Can You Hear Us Now?
Anti-fracking activists are turning up the volume, and for good reason

Article in Denver Westwood
Fracking Protest in Boulder: "Mob harrassment" or a great moment of community togetherness?

Sign the Pledge of Resistance 
to Continued Hydraulic Fracturing in Colorado!

Endorsed by: 
Josh Fox, creator of the documentary Gasland 
Bill McKibben, author, celebrated environmental activist, founder of 
Dr. James Hansen, world renowned climate scientist and climate change activist 
Dr. Robert Howarth, Professor, Cornell University, leading researcher on environmental impacts of fracking 
Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, Professor, Cornell University, leading researcher on environmental impacts of fracking
Shane, leading researcher on impacts of fracking in Colorado  
Wes Wilson, whistleblower on EPA's failure to regulate fracking, featured in Gasland Phil Doe, federal whistleblower and environmental activist
Daryl Hannah, actress and climate change activist
And many more!



Join the movement! To volunteer or be added to our email list, contact 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Rod Brueske Comments on Encana's Wendy Weidenbeck

On April 26, 2012 at 7.09 p.m. the ross g well 1100 ft. from my family's home started to hiss loudly! After it had been hissing for about 20 minutes, I called Encana, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, and County Commissioner Deb Gardner. The only call returned to me was Wendy Weidenbeck at 8:10 p.m. and she said,  and I quote, "Mr Brueske, don't call us if you smell gas around your home, our gas does not stink." So much for Encana's motto, "courtesy matters." The next day, due to my persistence, state inspectors found the wellhead leaking carcinogenic emissions and other equipment failures.

Rod Brueske

Erie Rising Mom Comments on Encana's Wendy Weidenbeck

An Erie Mother on Wendy Wiedenbek

Recently in the news, Encana's Spokeswoman, Wendy Wiedenbeck, has been portrayed as the innocent victim of attacks from oil and gas opponents.  We have seen video footage of individuals shouting at Ms. Wiedenbeck as she left the Boulder County Commisioners' Meeting earlier this week, letting her know that that the oil and gas industry is not welcome in our city.

But I would like to share with you a different side of Ms. Wiedenbeck. About a year ago, I met Ms. Wiedenbeck after attending a Board of Trustees meeting in Erie, Colorado. After learning of Encana's plans to drill 8 wells for oil and gas right next to my children's elementary school, I joined forces with three other moms to create Erie Rising. We pleaded with Ms. Wiedenbeck, as mothers to another mother, begging her to ask her company, Encana, to halt operations next to our childrens' school. We learned that these operations emitted large volumes of VOC's into the air that our children breathed, were likely to contaminate our ground water and surface water, and would put our children at an increased risk for respiratory and neurological disorders, as well as cancer.  Ms  Wiedenbeck said that despite our protests, Encana would continue with plans to drill next to the school.  We pleaded our case to our Mayor and Board of Trustees. It was four long months of attending every town meeting involving discussions around oil and gas in Erie. Ms. Wiedenbeck never missed a single one.  She came with her colleagues and the oil and gas industry representatives filled up half of our town hall whenever there was a potential vote regarding oil and gas operations in Erie.

Ms. Wiedenbeck presents herself as meek and innocent when speaking at the podium at a town or city hall meeting or in front of a camera. However, behind the scenes she is a very different person.  We have witnessed first-hand Ms. Wiedenbeck in a yelling match during a board meeting intercession with our town administrator, AJ Krieger. She has pursed her lips and shaken her head at our Mayor while mouthing the word "no" before he voted on a moratorium for oil and gas activity in our town. She has told the board that she would look into a non-toxic fracking fluid, air testing around wells in Erie and promised that Encana would not use benzene in their operations in Erie. However, there are no plans for Encana to use the available non-toxic fracking fluid or to do air testing.  Encana used Trimethlbenzene and crystalline silica among many other toxic chemicals to fracture the eight wells (FracFocus 2012) next to our elementary school. The Global Community Monitor has since identified crystalline silica on a wipe sample taken at our school's organic garden. Ms. Wiedenbeck continues to say that Erie Rising's approach has been based on fear rather than facts, and that any health problems the children of Erie are having are based on anecdotal evidence and haven't been proven. However, our fears are based on facts as the scientific evidence is vastly proving. Ms. Wiedenbeck has chosen to be the spokeswoman for an industry that is poisoning our water, our air, our soil and consequently our health and the health of our children. If Ms. Wiedenbeck has no problem sleeping at night knowing that she is in some way responsible for this tragedy, then she can handle a few angry mothers and fathers telling her to get out of town.

Wendy Leonard,
Erie Rising

Angela Monti-Fox - The Mother's Project Responds to Boulder County Direct Action

Statement of support for Boulder Colorado citizens organizing against a hydrafracting invastion by the oil & gas industry.
As the brave citizens of Boulder Colorado oppose unjust laws, which if they were implemented would lead to wholesale devastation of the one of Colorado’s most beautiful and life sustaining counties, opposition to their bravery mounts as the oil and gas  industry attempts to discredit and undermine their efforts. 
As a person who has personally witnessed the health destroying aspects, especially for children, of hydraulic fracturing in places like Erie, Colorado, Bradford County Pennsylvania and Pavilion Wyoming through the contamination of fresh drinking water, I commend and support the people of Boulder in their attempt to protect their lives and the lives of their children.
These are ordinary citizens whose character is without question.  Any attempt to portray them as other then who they are is a discredit to our democracy and to our right to assemble and defend ourselves against injustice.
Respectfully sumitted,
Angela Monti Fox, Founder
 Angela Monti Fox, M.S., LCSW
Phone: 646 519 1076
Facebook: Mothers for Sustainable Energy
Facebook: TheMothersProject.OrgColorado-mothers for sustainable energy

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hidden Climate Threat - Not so Hidden Really?

Methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, is escaping in vast volumes from oil and gas fields in the United States, Russia and other countries.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Statement on So-Called “Mob Intimidation” of Encana Representative at Boulder County Commissioners’ December 4, 2012 Public Hearing on Oil and Gas Development

Sent anonymously -

The incident involving Ms. Wiedenbeck, a public relations representative of Encana, is being exaggerated, sensationalized, and flat out misrepresented. We have reviewed three videos of the incident and spoken with several witnesses. We are confident any video of the incident will reflect this statement.

Far from being followed in the dark to her car by a mob, Ms. Wiedenbeck was escorted from the County Courthouse one block to her car by a Boulder police officer and two Boulder County security guards. Four or five residents followed Ms. Wiedenbeck and heckled her with statements like "it's not okay to poison our children."  At no time was Ms. Wiedenbeck physically threatened or personally attacked. Nobody pounded on the windows of her car or blocked it. 

One of the hecklers was a father whose family is literally being poisoned by Encana. Emotions were running understandably hot. This family lives in Boulder County, invested their savings into what they thought would be a bucolic lifestyle, raising children and chickens and growing their own food. They are now living a nightmare.
Encana is drilling all around them and was recently fined for one of their toxic fluid tanks emitting carcinogenic VOCs that were trespassing onto this family's property, into their children's lungs, and contaminating their crops.
Another family in Boulder County had silica sand from a nearby hydraulic fracturing operation, which can lead to the fatal lung disease silicosis when inhaled, blown onto their property, inhaled into their lungs and coating their crops.
The County Commissioners have consistently ignored these family's repeated and documented requests for a meeting!
We find it deplorable that the County Commissioners are sensationalizing the brief ‘heckling’ of the Encana representative while ignoring these family's documented pleas.
The real story here is that residents of Boulder County are being bullied and poisoned by Encana and the County Commissioners are ignoring it. It should be expected that people are going to be telling the truth with the same audacity that gas and oil profiteers are willing to tell their lies.
"If your child's life is threatened, do you stop to ask a politician if it's legal to save your child’s life?" - Julia Butterfly Hill

Statement on Direct Action at Boulder County Commissioners’ December 4, 2012 Public Hearing on Oil and Gas Development

Sent from HYDRAE
On December 4, 2012, a mom of two toddlers from Lafayette, a dad of two teenage girls from Louisville, a mom of two teenage boys from Boulder and an auntie from Niwot, participated in an act of peaceful direct action at the Boulder County Commissioners’ hearing on oil and gas development.

These upstanding and courageous citizens are so concerned about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on our health, quality of life, community well-being, this place we call home, our property values, and our children’s future that they accepted the risk of arrest to raise awareness that Boulder County is about to become a sacrifice zone to the oil and gas industry.

We are facing an industry that is run amok, wreaking havoc on our planet, poisoning our children’s very life support systems and decimating communities in which they operate, coupled with a corrupt political system that prioritizes corporate profits over people’s and the planet’s well being. Not only Boulder County, but Colorado, the U.S. and, indeed, the entire planet is under assault from the oil and gas industry. As the industry moves full speed ahead with the fracking boom, people across Colorado, the U.S. and worldwide are organizing to defend themselves and their communities against the abuses of the oil and gas industry.

In the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson, “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty.” Time and time again throughout our nation’s history, people who stood their ground for justice were mocked and ridiculed only to eventually become celebrated. Sometimes the right thing to do is take a stand against unjust laws. Now is one of those times! With climate change and the poisoning of our life support systems, the urgency has never been more profound.

Community members have participated in the public process as structured by the Boulder County commissioners for the past year. The public’s overwhelming opposition to hydraulic fracturing and pleas to the commissioners to take a stand have fallen on deaf ears. The commissioners say their hands are tied and they must follow state law. Hence, the commissioners directed staff to update the county’s regulations concerning oil and gas extraction.

County staff has been working in collaboration with the oil and gas industry and the state regulatory agency, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), tasked with both regulating and promoting oil and gas extraction (a clear conflict or interest) to update the county’s regulations. The County Commissioners are now preparing to lift the moratorium.

The COGCC has failed to prevent or mitigate adverse environmental and human health impacts in accordance with their mission statement. According to an analysis of 1,000 spill reports to the COGCC, 43% of all operator spills in Colorado resulted in groundwater contamination, 57% of all protective berms failed to prevent secondary industrial liquid waste migration, 2.4 billion square feet of surface has been contaminated. In Weld County, from 2003-2012, a combined 1.7 million gallons of toxic water and oil releases were never recovered. The Laramie-Fox Hills Aquifer in Greeley was contaminated with toluene and thermogenic gas by an oil and gas operation in 2009, and the list goes on.

Hydraulic fracturing releases carcinogenic emissions into the air, contaminates ground water and aquifers, and compacts and contaminates the soil. Many scientists believe the methane emissions associated with hydraulic fracturing are worse for global warming than coal.

Communities where hydraulic fracturing takes place are overrun by semi-truck traffic. The industry’s transient worker population leads to pressure on the rental market, drives down vacancies and drives up rates. It is well documented that crime rates increase where these transient worker populations are located. The heavy industrial, toxic process of hydraulic fracturing decreases property values, and there are issues with lenders not wanting to make loans on property with or in proximity to wells, as well as insurance companies not wanting to insure. Costs such as road wear and tear are externalized to the community. Wells must be monitored and maintained into perpetuity, placing the cost on future generations.
Oil and gas extraction is inherently a boom and bust industry, leaving behind environmental and economic ruin.

Hydraulic fracturing enjoys exemptions from many federal level environmental laws, such as the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and more. You would think that would raise a few…thousand…red flags!

Hydraulic fracturing uses 5-10 million gallons of water per frack, and wells can be fracked multiple times. With the chemicals added and the elements the water interacts with deep inside the earth, including naturally occurring radioactive materials, the water is turned into toxic waste that must be permanently removed from the hydrological cycle. This toxic waste water is deposited into “injection wells” bored into the earth (a whole, horrible topic unto itself). Our planet has a finite amount of fresh water, upon which life depends. Turning it into toxic waste is a crime against humanity.

Hydraulic fracturing is an inherently dangerous, heavy industrial, toxic process with risks that include catastrophic and irremediable damage to the environment and public health. These risks cannot be properly resolved, nor can they be mitigated through regulation. Pursuing regulation, as the commissioners are doing, is sanctioning the poisoning of our air, water and soil, along with the myriad other detrimental impacts of oil and gas extraction, including hydraulic fracturing, to our community. Allowing this to happen in our community (or anywhere) is unconscionable.

The direct action at the December 4 hearing entailed a mic check, a call and response action, whereby somebody reads a prepared statement, broken down into short pieces, and the crowd repeats each piece. Nearly everyone in the packed hearing room participated by repeating the words of those leading the mic check, and it unfolded into a beautiful symbolic action of the people asserting their will in the face of unjust laws and a corrupt political system that prioritizes profit over the well-being of people and the planet. It was a beautiful thing!

The mic check started out: “We are the people of Colorado and Boulder County. We are here to announce that the time has come and gone for you to recognize that hydraulic fracturing cannot be permitted in Boulder County.” The Pledge of Resistance to Continued Hydraulic Fracturing in Colorado (, which was recently released and has over 1,000 signatures already, was also read as part of the mic check. The Pledge of Resistance is endorsed by world renowned scientists and others. Use the link to see the full list and sign the Pledge.

Some youth who had signed up to read a prepared statement during public comment were inspired to use their statement to lead a mic check of their own. Upon conclusion of their mic check, somebody yelled out “who is going to run the meeting,” as the commissioners had left the room. “We are,” said a 13-year-old boy, and what followed was spontaneous inspiration.

As they sat in the commissioners’ chairs, the boy proclaimed, “we are the future, but we are also the present…and we are fighting for our future.” He went on to say, “we pledge to protect the air, the water, the soil for future generations to come.“ It was a magically symbolic gesture unfolding before us. Imagine if it was our County Commissioners doing the right thing at this critical moment in time and taking a stand in the face of unjust laws and a corrupt political system. The young man went on to say, “alright, everybody who wants to ban fracking, put your hand in the air.” The yays had it! Everyone in the packed hearing room (except for the oil and gas representative, we suspect), put their hands up. The room then erupted with chants of “ban fracking now.”

The commissioners returned to the room and the meeting resumed. Everyone who spoke during public comment, which lasted several hours, spoke in opposition to fracking, save the representative of Encana, a multinational oil and gas corporation that has 56 approved permits to drill and frack wells in Boulder County sitting with the COGCC waiting for the moratorium to be lifted. Encana was recently fined for poisoning Boulder County residents (see attached statement on so-called “mob intimidation”). Up to 1,800 wells could be drilled in unincorporated Boulder County alone, not including wells within municipalities within the county. It would mean the industrialization of Boulder County! There are currently 14 hydraulic fracturing operations taking place in Boulder County, including some on open space.

In the end, the commissioners extended the moratorium until January 24 so they can review the regulations one more time. But there is no such thing as safe and responsible fracking! Each of them made comments that they’d like to revisit the setback regulation, how far a well must be from homes and other inhabited structures. State regulations require a 350’ setback, however there is a loophole for existing wells, some of which are located in people’s backyards. Each of them suggested that perhaps 500’ or 1,000’ would be more appropriate than the state mandated 350’. In suggesting a 500’’ or 1000’ setback, the County Commissioners are committing an egregious breach or trust with the citizens they are sworn to protect.

Commissioner Toor cited “sound science” as the reason he contradicted the will of the people (70% of Boulder County residents oppose GMOs on open space) and voted to increase GMO crops on open space. In a strange turn of events, he is pulling numbers out of thin air, based on no science at all, concerning protecting the public from the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

The only health impact assessment of hydraulic fracturing to date was done by the Colorado School of Public Health, under the direction of Dr. Lisa McKenzie. The plug was pulled on the study when the findings began to turn out unfavorable to the oil and gas industry. Governor Cuomo recently cited the findings in that study as the reason he was delaying a decision about hydraulic fracturing in New York. The McKenzie study revealed that people living within ½ mile of a well have a 66% increased chance of developing cancer.

It is unconscionable for the Boulder County Commissioners to mislead the public that they are protecting public health with a 500’ or 1,000’ setback. Those are literally random numbers that are not based on scientific findings. In fact, they fly in the face of the science there is documenting the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

To add insult to all this injury, literally, our constitutional rights are being violated.
Article 2, section 3 of our state constitution says, All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights… [including] the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.

Article 15, section 8 states, "the police power of the State shall never be abridged or so construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in such a manner as to infringe the equal rights of individuals…

It is unconscionable for the Boulder County Commissioners to ignore this litany of abuses and allow this to happen to our community. Everything that makes this a place we love to call home is threatened. Everything! The urgency has never been more profound than now. This is one of those moments in history when it is time to take a stand. 

Part II coming soon...

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