Author: LindaLee

Morning Feature: Digging Deeper into Hydrofracking, Part 2

The media have begun to pay attention, but federal and state governments still lag in regulation of fracking. How can we help? (More) Yesterday in Morning Feature we discussed the process and the risks of hydrofracking, a process used to extract natural gas from deep underground. The comments were excellent and I encourage you to read them. Today we’ll look at what kind of attention fracking is getting and what we can do as individuals and as grassroots organizers to regulate this latest episode of drillers gone wild. A Google search for “fracking” yields 1,730,000 hits. Business Week, CNN Money, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, The Christian Science Monitor, and CBS News all have worthwhile articles on fracking. The Environmental Protection Agency Key to addressing fracking now is the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has introduced a plan to study the effects of fracking on drinking water and ground water. The SAB plans to review the draft plan March 7-8, 2011. Consistent with the operating procedures of the SAB, an opportunity will be provided for stakeholders and the public to provide comments to the SAB during their review. The Agency will revise the study plan in response to the SAB’s comments and promptly begin the study. Initial research results are expected by the end of 2012 with a goal for a report in 2014. On November 9, 2010, EPA announced...

Read More

Morning Feature: Digging Deeper into Hydrofracking, Part 1

Natural gas ads says it burns cleaner than oil or coal. Maybe so, but the hydrofracking process used to get natural gas is not clean. (More) Digging Deeper into Hydrofracking, Part 1 Digging Deeper explores multiple sources to invite ongoing conversations on complex topics. This week’s Digging Deeper topic is hydraulic fracturing, also known as hydrofracking or fracking, a process used to extract natural gas from deep underground. Today we discuss the process and its risks. Tomorrow we ask what we can do about it. What Is Hydrofracking? I first saw Josh Fox on PBS’s Now in March of 2010. Fox is the producer of the award-winning documentary Gasland. What I remember most is the video clip of a man lighting the running water from his kitchen faucet with a cigarette lighter. It made a huge impression on me and made fracking one of those topics I decided to follow. Hydrofracking is a process of drilling to release natural gas from a layer of rock deep (8,000 ft. down) in the earth. The typical drinking water well is 1,000 feet deep. A combination of lots of water, sand and a cocktail of chemicals is sent down under pressure to fracture the rock and release the gas. Due to advances in technology, the fracking wells are drilled vertically and then also tunneled horizontally. There is a great graphic with more...

Read More

Midday Matinee – A Piece of History

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. My cousins are active in a country church. It was started by the largely Swedish pioneers who settled this land and many of the members live on and farm “century farms” meaning the same land has been in the same family for at least 100 years. One of their members was out antiquing and found an old quilt. It was made of all white cloth with names embroidered in red. The one date on the quilt is 1917. She brought it into the church for “show and tell.” All the names are of former members of the church with a few Reverends at the bottom corner. As people looked at this piece of history, they could find their grandparents and great-grandparents names. The kids were, with help finding great-greats. Lots and lots of the names end in ‘son.’ This sort of generational continuity is an increasingly rare phenomenon. When people here ask “where are you from?” they can guess by your answer how much you may or may not share their values. A big value for many of them is a strong attachment to the land and to this place. They are also fiscal conservatives. Nebraska is the only state capitol that was paid for when it was finished in...

Read More

Midday Matinee – Making Mistakes

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. We have all learned what we know partly by making mistakes. Some are boneheaded blunders of no redeeming quality but others are good mistakes. What makes for a good mistake? 1. It was made in pursuit of the vision of the organization. 2. You learned from it. 3. You shared your learning. This code for making mistakes was created to encourage people to share their mistakes and what they learned. Too often our reaction to a mistake is to groan and try to hide it. After all, maybe you’ll luck out and no one will notice. The problem with that is of course other people will probably make the same mistake you did. My great uncle Walter had this saying. Some people never learn from their experiences. Other people learn from their experiences and smart people can learn from the experiences of others. Walter contended that if you dropped the “l” off of learn you had a nice strategy for making money. There is a story about the old days of IBM. A man had made a very expensive mistake. He was called into Tom Watson’s office, expecting to be fired. They talked about what he had done wrong. Finally the man asked if he would be fired. Watson’s reply...

Read More

Midday Matinee – Where did your Sense of Compassion come from?

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Someone asked me today, where my sense of compassion came from. It had me thinking about my mom. When I was a kid, my cousins lived on a farm. I thought it was paradise to visit them in the summers. They had a Shetland pony, a dairy cow, pigs and chickens. As a city kid it was like visiting another world. When I was in 7th grade, my dad drove by their house on a sales trip and brought home an orphaned piglet. My dad thought it would be great for show and tell and all the city kids could see a little baby pig. My uncle the farmer reassured my dad that a runt would not live long enough for us to become attached, but probably long enough to make it to show and tell. (What were they thinking?) The pig did make it to show and tell and was a very big hit. He was dressed in doll clothes as befit his new status as a city pig. We all took turns feeding him with a baby bottle. My dad made him a little fenced area in the basement that went over the drain. The pig spent lots of time being treated like a new and exotic...

Read More