astroturfing

#ForwardOnClimate: Battle within Sierra Club calling for fracking ban after 2012 $26,000,000 "House of Cards" gas donation debacle; Tea Party big oil astroturfing

The real question is: Can hydraulic fracturing ever be safe for our environment and public health?
Sierra Club’s Oil and Gas Policy: We have reviewed the Club’s Oil and Gas Policy, as revised February 2012, and are pleased that it clearly states the reasons the Club doesn’t support hydraulic fracturing because of many of the points addressed in this letter.
We do want to recognize that the policy also supports:
-Chapter advocacy for regional or state-wide moratoria
-Bans in specific local environmentally sensitive areas such as federal roadless areas, state parks and forests, designated wildlife areas, and municipal watersheds
-Local groups that call for a ban in their own communities
Given the investigative reporting that continues to provide concrete evidence of accounts of water contamination, people becoming seriously ill who live close to well sites that have been fracked, animals dying after exposure to hydraulic fracturing fluids, and the unknown health issues that will surface in the coming years, we are asking the Club to take a leadership role in calling for a nationwide ban on mining that uses hydraulic fracturing. If we take a leap of faith and call for a nationwide hydraulic fracturing ban, we will move closer to the goal of a clean and healthy energy future, but our planet requires that we act today. If we don’t, we will drag this issue out for an indefinite period of time, further endangering our environment and public health, and accelerating the climate crisis. We don’t have time to wait.
Sierra Club Poudre Canyon Group - January 31 2013

////// UPDATE TUES 2/19 AFTERNOON: See fractivist for material being drafted about this. 860 signers on petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/ask-sierra-club-to-lead-a-nationwide-ban... - also snippets: https://twitter.com/fractivist/status/303892739756531714/photo/1 https://twitter.com/fractivist/status/303899469118836737/photo/1 //////

////// UPDATE TUES 2/19 EARLY AM: I heard secondhand that the Sierra Club had been the principal roadblock to organizing direct actions on Sunday at the climate change mass gathering in Washington DC. On the Colorado side, stay tuned as wheels are definitely turning among locals. //////

Gauntlet: thrown. Demand: autonomy! It's always a little frustrating to see the world of big nongovernmental organizations getting squirrelly - and now the Chips are Down in Ft. Collins, Colorado as a local unit of the Sierra Club, supported by OccupyDenver, has called upon the national organization for an end to fracking -- in accordance with their members who are among other things terrified of getting poisoned by hundreds of chemical-injecting wells all over the state.sierraclub-throwdown-fracktivist.png

Plus "House of Cards" fans may recognize a certain continuity with NGO & fracking ties in this plotline, with Chesapeake Energy as the real-world SanCorp...

This is a rough quick post but it's a big enough deal to batch together material & wing it. This actually seems to be a serious showdown finally taking place within the Sierra Club over fracking, forced in Colorado.

If the national organization cracks down on Fort Collins Poudre Canyon Group, will possibly thousands of members break away from the organization? Plus, does this #forwardOnClimate Obama-oriented campaign really maneuver anyone into a position of political autonomy?

For the rather candid Obama view on natural gas see: 'Forward' on Fracking? Obama Scientist Makes Industry-Friendly Push for Gas Drilling Bonanza | Common Dreams

Signing the statement pressuring the national Sierra Club, posted in full below: the Poudre Canyon Group at Fort Collins, Colorado including: Shane Davis, Chair; Caroline Krumm, Vice Chair; John Gascoyne; Kerry Miller; Tyler Wilson

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As the more critical #forwardonclimate observers of the evening on twitter Sole & @anarchoAnon observed dynamics in the Colorado arena:

& much research credit due to these 2 accts spurring notice to this whole subject this evening. For some industrial strength doxing of fossil fuel executives & structures see: Anarcho Anon • d0x on Valero Energy Board of Directors #NoKXL & moar on the Tumblr.

Before getting to the Poudre Canyon Sierra Club material I also have to touch on some of the other issues - the "FORWARD" schema and assorted billionaires playing big games. Nothing blockbuster here but good to have in mind evaluating this whole murky scene.

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Environmental-activists-o-008.jpegFORWARD: Here, by the way is where the "Forward" in #forwardonclimate really comes from, as far as I can tell: the "Obama Climate and Clean Energy Legacy Campaign". I always like to trace these hashtags nowadays. [PHOTO SRC: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters - see Canada's environmental activists seen as 'threat to national security' | Environment | guardian.co.uk - not even getting into police madness vs oil protesters here].

In a loose network marked with a lot of zesty actions nationwide, would have more direct actions occurred from NGO members & oil opponents in the Washington "action" on Sunday if they were not operating inside this frame? They could have at least toured a panoply of K Street offices making zillions in this business. {this URL which is the first hit: action.sierraclub.org/site/PageNavigator/100Days.html redirects to : Stand with the Planet - not a horrible webdesign}

Anyway this is a pretty precise description of it: It's Not Dark Yet, But… [Michael Brune - January 14 2013]

[.....]Here's the challenge. In his first term, President Obama did more than any other president to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and scale up clean energy. But his administration is far from realizing its potential for strong action. In fact, the president has considerable authority that he has not yet fully used to help our country build a clean energy economy.

That's why today the Sierra Club is launching the Obama Climate and Clean Energy Legacy Campaign -- a joint effort across our campaigns to demand that the president tackle climate disruption with all the authority, determination, and ambition he can muster. Between now and Earth Day, we'll focus on 100 Days of Action to set the tone for this term's critical first year. We and our allies will host events across the country calling on the president to lead in this fight. The biggest of these, in Washington, D.C., on February 17, is shaping up to be the largest climate rally in American history.

You've been a part of the Sierra Club's biggest successes.Find out more about how we're going to succeed.

At this point, there's no longer any questionwhatPresident Obama should do. He should do everything he can. It is fair to ask, though, exactly what we think that is.

It's a lot. Here are five ways the president can lay the foundation today for a lasting legacy of climate action and clean energy:

  1. Hold fossil fuel polluters accountable for their pollution.
  2. Reject proposals to import dirty fuels like tar sands and stop the rush of fossil fuel exports, including liquefied natural gas export facilities and new coal export terminals.
  3. Double down on clean energy, with innovative financing and investment avenues for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
  4. Protect communities from future climate disasters and plan a robust and just response for those that do happen.
  5. Protect our lands, water, and wildlife from the impacts of fossil fuel development and climate disruption.

In the first months of his second term, President Obama will make many decisions that affect the climate future of this nation and the rest of the planet. We cannot afford to let him make the wrong ones. Join us in demanding that hetake a stand and make tackling climate disruption a top priority of his second term.

The other posts revolve on those five bullet points so there you have it. "Innovative financing and investment avenues", can I have some moar? Also definitely doesn't include shutting down fracking. Hence the calculation nationally to jettison this five-point thing and get real w frack chemicals poisoning their members or not.

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The Rather Big Natural Gas Sierra Club Scandal Thing: I'd almost totally forgotten the huge Sierra Club gas scandal in Feb 2012. The original story (obviously independent media shook this loose but Sierra made sure TIME dropped it): Corporate Crime Reporter: chesapeake02022012 // After Disclosure of Sierra Club’s Gifts From Gas Driller, a Roiling Debate - NYTimes.com // Sierra Club faces gas-cash fallout - Bob King - POLITICO.com // Alliance between natural gas industry, environmental groups fractures - Washington Post

The Mea Culpa-ish blog post: The Sierra Club and Natural Gas - Coming Clean

It's time to stop thinking of natural gas as a "kinder, gentler" energy source. What's more, we do not have an effective regulatory system in this country to address the risks that gas drilling poses on our health and communities. The scope of the problems from under-regulated drilling, as well as a clearer understanding of the total carbon pollution that results from both drilling and burning gas, have made it plain that, as we phase out coal, we need to leapfrog over gas whenever possible in favor of truly clean energy. Instead of rushing to see how quickly we can extract natural gas, we should be focusing on how to be sure we are using less -- and safeguarding our health and environment in the meantime.

The Sierra Club opposes any natural gas development that poses unacceptable toxic risks to our land, water, and air. We insist that the volume and content of all fracking fluids and flowback should be disclosed, and that all toxics should be eliminated. There should be proper treatment, management, and disposal of both fracking fluids and toxic flowback. Fracking should not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that drinking water is protected and that all cumulative impacts can be mitigated. And, of course, many beautiful areas and important watersheds across this country should be off-limits to drilling.

Exempting the natural gas industry from environmental protections was a terrible idea. It looks even dumber today, when the real risks that natural gas drilling poses to water supplies and critical watersheds are that much more apparent.

Ultimately, the only safe, smart, and responsible way to address our nation's energy needs is to look beyond coal, oil, and gas, and focus on clean, efficient energy sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal. It's clear to countries around the world that the most successful 21st-century economies will be based on using energy that is safe, secure, and sustainable. Let's get to work building that economy right here at home.

Well that is a decidedly capitalist way to look at the "green" world and probably the first critique is that capitalist thinking is not really going to wrap up this critical degradation of the biosphere.

Their page is entitled Beyond Natural Gas but it doesn't say "Beyond" in the menu tree in his blog version lol. [ good catch :D ]

goal-naturalgasmenufail-c.pngA Healthy Fear of Lawyers: The Sierra Club is also a party to various lawsuits - typical example: Sierra Club, Earthworks seek to back Longmont in oil/gas lawsuit - Boulder Daily Camera, which could help in that particular town.

The recent ugly fate of the original Texas Tar Sands Blockade via SLAPP intervention in court [with the inability of Rising Tide NGO to deflect Corporate Oil LawyerSpam correctly] it's probably important to look carefully at how 'coalition lawsuit stuff' really works.

As with the Southern Poverty Law Center and others, the lawsuit-joining strategy is a major PR chip in the system, and buttresses the authenticity of the system itself. The terrain of legal fights may cede ground that shouldn't be - or often, some of the lawyers can pressure for settlements which drag in more resistant clients because no one wants to see a fragmented front. [I don't know if I've described this well - just experience a backfired ACLU case to appreciate this problem]

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On the flip side we have AFP and the finest degree of Tea Party astroturfing. We also have to factor in the hardened ranks of brainwashed conservatives, and the oil-and-gas hot air world is decidedly Core. Colorado Ground Zero for Green Lobby’s War on Fracking | The Colorado Observer

“Some of this is NIMBY-ism, but a lot of this is national,” said Sean Paige, co-state director of Americans for Prosperity, which supports fracking. “Who’s really pulling the strings here? Those fanatics chasing that poor woman down the street–were those really local people? There’s no question that the tone and the sensational science are trickling down from national groups.”

Well locals are Nimbys and nationals are crazy so you can't oppose this awesome plan, well played AFP staffer. Americans for Prosperity is a direct Koch brothers front & it's great to have the tip of the hand here s to AFP's agenda. This just got nicely traced anew, see: Tea Party born from Koch Industries front group and Tobacco Money | PolluterWatch and the full study: ‘To quarterback behind the scenes, third-party efforts’: the tobacco industry and the Tea Party -- Fallin et al. -- Tobacco Control

See also recently from Greg Palast: Murkier Than Oil | VICE.

Rather spin-laden segment on ABCNews: An American Oil Find That Holds More Oil Than All of OPEC - ABC News

The industry oil shale association says: NOSA - Oil shale resource in the United States is enormous

In 2011-12 the United States Geological Survey (USGS) increased its estimate of the amount of shale oil contained in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming to over4-trillion barrels. Not all of the resource is recoverable. Informed sources, such as the U.S. Department of Energy, believe 500 to 800-billion barrels is a reasonable estimate. Commercial production of oil would not occur over night, but would evolve in a methodical manner over years to achieve production levels in the range of 1.5 – 2.0 million barrels per day (30 to 40% of 2012 oil imports from OPEC countries and 100% of the oil imported into the U.S. from OPEC Persian Gulf countries).

Jeremy Boak, PhD of the Colorado School of Mines is a co-author of the attached chart (based upon 2012 USGS data). He concludes the oil shale resource in Wyoming and Colorado dwarf’s conventional U.S. crude oil reserves (the solid orange line at the bottom of the chart), even before Utah is added to the mix.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) controls over 70% of the western oil shale resource. Access to this resource is being sought by firms interested in developing an oil shale industry.

Buffett vs Keystone XL The Billionaire Political Philanthropy angle: Another possible issue is that the effort to block the Keystone XL Pipeline will work to the benefit of billionaires -- those who also finance "social enterprises" and large activist concerns through foundations may find benefits from influencing political resistance to rival projects. Also it's not hard to find links between billionaires, NGO lobbyists and horrible ripoff schemes like "cap and trade" carbon market lobbying, the COP REDD+ plans to capitalize remaining rainforests etc. Arguably, Colorado shale probably benefits where the Keystone XL loses, though someone oldschool would really have to break this down.

While I lack solid economic data on this, liberal darling Warren Buffett's railroad, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) is moving lots of oil around from the US Bakken formation as well as carrying a good portion of the Canadian Alberta tar sands bitumen -- the railroad lines in Minnesota are just saturated these days with oil tank cars.

It is hard to tell if Buffett & BNSF win or lose from KXL political problems: May 2012 AP: Keystone XL: Warren Buffett Supports TransCanada's Pipeline. Jan 2012: Buffett’s Burlington Northern Among Pipeline Winners - Bloomberg. Flipside: Buffett would profit from Keystone cancellation - Washington Times. Jan 2012: Obama's Keystone XL Ban Makes Warren Buffett Richer - Investors.com. Either way, big money is up in the air & KXL's failure definitely would mean more development in Colorado.

Therefore any substantive effort needs to encompass not just KXL but the entire oil dependency system & all its players, and tracing big foundations & their oft-undisclosed major donors is necessary to determining if social movements are being used as cats-paws for big money.

[Side note: I don't see obvious links on him & the environmental realm, but Buffett's son Peter set up the Novo Foundation which is the big underwriter for V-Day NGO which did the #onebillionrising thing with a big ballroom event in NYC last week. See the latter pages of the annual report.]

Huffpo discusses the business angles re railroads: Warren Buffett On The Environment, Businesses Can't Take 'Shortcuts' // www.jm.com/sustainability/2011JMSustainabilityReport.pdf // More Buffett stuff: Pop History Dig » Warren Buffett and the environment

Another figure in this mix is Peter Ackerman who has been involved with Freedom House and bankrolling the International Center on Non-Violent Conflict. See Peter Ackerman: billionaire sponsor of toxic NGO’s « Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist. Arguably a classic guy in the Color Revolution complex [i.e. OTPOR, Gene Sharp stuff]: see - COLOR REVOLUTIONS AND GEOPOLITICS: Regime Change Inc.: Peter Ackerman's Quest to Topple Tyranny (2005) - links to NarcoNews and those revolutionary video games no one's ever played!

Plus, who is this guy, Thomas Steyer: Billionaire has unique role in official Washington: Climate change radical - Washington Post. And T. Boone Pickens was involved in funding other people too (remember his plan that involved getting control of massive amounts of water?)

They are coming out of the woodwork and I strongly recommend charting their roles via littlesis.org!

Finally, The Sierra Club Situation: The Sierra Club recently took the daring step of approving civil disobedience which has never been their style, after the Feb 2012 revelation that the org slammed coal while secretly taking millions from the natural gas industry in 2007-2010.

OccupyDenver posted this but I only just noticed. Occupy Denver Stands with Anti-Fracking Dissenters in Sierra Club | Occupy Denver | In Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

In Fort Collins, CO the Poudre Canyon chapter of the Sierra Club, with support of other chapters and members across the nation, has officially asked Michael Brune, the national director of Sierra Club, to call for a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” is an oil & gas extraction technique that is toxic and potentially lethal to all life within miles of the extraction well pad.

While Occupy Denver and the Sierra Club operate on radically different organizing principles, it is crucial to America’s future that mainstream environmental organizations like Sierra Club take strong stances against toxic oil and gas extraction methods such as hydraulic fracturing. We support any effort to hold environmental NGOs to their commitments to ecological protection, and also recognize that due to political inertia, pressure will need to be applied to these groups, both from within and from without.

It is known that the leadership of the Sierra Club is wary to call for a fracking ban, and may formally reprimand those calling for this ban, expel them from Sierra Club, or pursue litigation against them. Occupy Denver stands in solidarity with the call issued by the Poudre Canyon Sierra Club in Fort Collins, and calls on the national Sierra Club to do the right thing, enact their mission statement, and call for a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing. Anything short of a complete rejection of fracking would demonstrate that Sierra Club is an environmentalist group only on paper, willing to trade away their ecological principles for political convenience.

Ways you can help!
Sign this petition asking Sierra Club Director Michael Brune to lead a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing:

Share this letter – Poudre Canyon Group (Fort Collins) letter to Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune (In addition to being a good call to arms, this letter is a comprehensive collection of diverse research data proving the many dangers of fracking):

Call Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune at his office, (415) 977-5500 and ask him to call for a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Fax Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune at his office, (415) 977-5797 with the message:
“If your child’s life was in danger, would you pause to ask a politician if it is OK to save their life? What would John Muir do? It is time for Sierra Club to call for a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing.” Or another message of your choosing.

Occupy Denver calls on all Occupy networks to circulate this petition & letter from the Poudre Canyon Sierra Club group, and to participate in the call-in & fax-in actions listed above.

Solidarity to everyone everywhere fighting the toxic extraction industry

Here's that full letter - let's get Fracktivist on this NGO situation! FRACTIVIST - Assist, Reform and Protect!: Letter and Petition to Sierra Club's Michael Brune to Lead a Nationwide Ban on Fracking. This whole thing is absurdly informative and leaves very little wiggle room for the big national NGO types to blow off their concerns. I am posting the whole damn thing here because it's definitely important!

Letter and Petition to Sierra Club's Michael Brune to Lead a Nationwide Ban on Fracking

SIGN PETITION TO ASK SIERRA CLUB TO LEAD A BAN ON FRACKING (LINK)

January 31, 2013
Mr. Michael Brune
Executive Director
Sierra Club
85 Second Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Dear Michael:
The reason for our letter is to express our concerns about the hydraulic fracturing crisis in our country and in Colorado where we live, and the Club’s Oil and Gas Policy, as revised February 2012.
As you know, the impacts from hydraulic fracturing are both an environmental and a public health issue that crosses political lines, especially in communities that are being impacted from hydraulic fracturing operations. People from around the country are coming together to ask why their local, state, and federal governments are not helping to protect their communities from water contamination, air and noise pollution, public health issues, wildlife ecosystem destruction, and more.
The most powerless feeling for families is that they are unable to protect their health and that of their children from what’s happening in their own backyards when the oil and gas industry conducts hydraulic fracturing operations. This violates two key civil rights issues – the rights to safety and the rights to protection under the Civil Rights Act.
In addition, families cannot even protect the homes they live in if an energy company wants to exercise its mineral rights by drilling under a families’ property due to the Split Estate Law in Colorado. This law also impacts families’ ability to protect the surface rights that they own with their homes. The question is: Who is protecting the property rights of innocent families?
We believe that the environmental and public health impacts from hydraulic fracturing are a crisis of historic proportions in our country, a crisis that undermines our environmental laws, and the entire philosophy upon which the Sierra Club was founded.
As a result, we are asking the Club to take a leadership role in calling for a nationwide ban on mining that uses hydraulic fracturing.
Hydraulic fracturing is destroying our land, our air, our water, wildlife ecosystems, and public health. Additionally, it has a significant negative impact on the climate crisis. The following sample data and arguments supports our assertions:
Impacts on Water
We would like to discuss how hydraulic fracturing impacts our water quantity and quality:
In the National Wildlife Federation’s report from 2011 entitled: “No More Hydraulic Fracturing in the Dark: Exposing the Hazards of Natural Gas Production and Protecting America’s Drinking Water and Wildlife Habitat,” the following was reported under “Impacts on Water Quality and Supply:” (http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Energy-and-Climate/Drilling-and-Mining/Natural-Gas-Hydraulic fracturing.aspx)
“Each time that a well is hydraulically fractured, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water are required. As this procedure may be carried out many times, each well may therefore require several million gallons of water for hydraulic fracturing operations. This water normally must be withdrawn from nearby wells, lakes, rivers, or industrial or municipal water systems. Large-scale water withdrawals may result in reducing the flow of streams below levels acceptable for fish (such as brook trout) and other wildlife.”
Currently, hydraulic fracturing occurs in 34 states. Can we really afford for the oil and gas industry to have access to so much freshwater that should instead be protected for drinking water, ecosystem health, and growing our food? In the arid Intermountain West, many oil and gas companies are outbidding farmers for water. With the devastating drought that Colorado experienced last summer, and with predictions for continued drought due to the climate crisis, we really need to ask ourselves what the most beneficial use of our water really should be. We must also make it a priority to protect the health of our aquifers.
In Colorado, Initiatives 3 and 45 will be reintroduced in 2013, and were:
“Born out of the need to protect and provide for better access to Colorado’s water and preserve this precious resource now and into the future. The initiatives codifies the Public Trust Doctrine in Colorado’s Constitution and reaffirms the public’s ownership of Colorado’s water and the state as steward of the peoples’ property and is charged with its protection and enforcement of the public’s interest.” (http://protectcoloradowater.org)
Water Contamination

We are also very concerned about reports of water contamination from hydraulic fracturing operations. The following information was also reported in the National Wildlife Federation’s report referenced above, but there have also been many other documented reports of groundwater contamination from around the country:
“The process of releasing natural gas from layers of rock through hydraulic fracturing is believed to potentially lead to the migration of gases into other geological layers, including aquifers.”
“Groundwater near drilling wells has in fact been contaminated with methane, the main component of natural gas. This can pose a fire and explosion hazard; the health risks of drinking methane-contaminated water remain unknown. While some cases of methane in water may be due to other causes, a peer-reviewed study by researchers from Duke University found that water from wells closer to active natural gas drilling sites had higher concentrations of methane. The researchers sampled water from wells and found that “Methane concentrations were 17-times higher on average…in shallow wells from active drilling and extraction areas than in wells from nonactive areas.”
According to StateImpact, (http://stateimpact.npr.org), a project of National Public Radio, state environmental regulators in Pennsylvania blame methane migration for contaminated water wells in Dimock, Susquehanna County. They also found that:
Migrating gas is also the prime suspect for two problems that sprang up in May and June 2012: in Tioga County, a 30-foot geyser appeared along a road in Union Township, Tioga County. Private water wells also began overflowing, and gas puddles were discovered in a nearby creek. Similar problems surfaced 13 miles away in Leroy Township, Bradford County, where flammable puddles were discovered near a well drilled by Chesapeake Energy.”
Clean Water Action and the Poudre Canyon Group of the Sierra Club, based in Fort Collins, Colorado discovered the following data on water contamination for neighboring Weld County, Colorado: (http://www.cleanwateraction.org/files/publications/co/SC-CWA-to-COGA-2-27-2012.pdf)
From August 2003 - January 2012, 1,000 “Incident Spill Reports” for oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing were reported to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). Please note: the COGCC website only lists the 1,000 of the most recent reports. These publicly searchable reports, (http://cogcc.state.co.us/), reveal the following:
·       43% of spills have contaminated groundwater
·       3.1% of spills have contaminated surface water
·       43% of spills have resulted in, or been caused by, berm failures
A sampling of 60 of the 1,000 “Incident Spill Reports” reflects the following estimate of fluid contamination:
·       Up to 824,600 gallons of oil have been spilled and “unrecovered” in Weld County
·       Up to 383,600 gallons of produced water have been spilled and “unrecovered” in Weld County
·       Up to 547,400 gallons of “Other” fluid have been spilled and “unrecovered” in Weld County. (“Other” may include hydraulic fracturing fluids.)
These alarming results are for Weld County alone and do not reflect spills and groundwater contamination in the 41 other Colorado counties in which oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing occurs.  In addition, surface spills under 210 US gallons do not have to be reported to the COGCC, unless they affect “waters of the state.” Aren’t they all waters of the state, considering it’s all a part of the hydrological cycle and in need of our protection?
Produced Water
What happens to flowback and produced water (toxic liquid waste water) from hydraulic fracturing operations is shocking.
In Colorado, produced water that contains hydraulic fracturing fluids may be permitted for discharge into streams and surfaces, and can be sprayed on dirt roads to reduce dust. According to the EPA, “pollutants are discharged into surface waters such as rivers, lakes or streams where they can directly impact aquatic life and drinking water sources.” This is the result of some water treatment plants not having the ability to treat this type of wastewater. This data is referenced below:
According to Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s (COGCC) website,
“About 60% of the produced water in Colorado goes into deep and closely-regulated waste injection wells, 20% evaporates from lined pits and 20% is discharged as usable surface water under permits from the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission.”

“Evaporation is a common disposal method in the Piceance Basin, while surface discharges are common in the Raton Basin, where coal bed methane is produced, water production is significant, and the water meets or can be treated to meet surface discharge standards.”

“Produced water can also be sprayed on dirt roads to reduce dust, if authorized by the surface owner outside sensitive areas. It should not result in pooling or runoff and is supposed to meet allowable concentrations in Table 910-1. (COGCC Rule 907.c.2.D)”

According to the EPA, “Shale Gas Extraction – Industrial Effluent Guidelines – Fact Sheet dated October 2011:”

“Based on data provided by industry, it is evident that a portion of the injected fracturing fluid will return to the surface as “flowback,” sometimes called “produced water.” Up to one million gallons of shale gas wastewater may be produced from a single well within the first 30 days following fracturing.”

“These produced waters generally contain elevated salt content (often expressed as total dissolved solids, or TDS), many times higher than that contained in sea water, conventional pollutants, organics, metals, and NORM (naturally occurring radioactive material). Additional data show that flowback waters contain concentrations of some of the fracturing fluid additives.”


“While some of the shale gas wastewater is re
used or reinjected, a significant amount still requires disposal. Some shale gas wastewater is transported to public and private treatment plants, many of which are not properly equipped to treat this type of wastewater. As a result, pollutants are discharged into surface waters such as rivers, lakes or streams where they can directly impact aquatic life and drinking water sources…. EPA plans to propose new standards for public comment in 2014.”
Radioactive Tracers
Man-made radioactive tracers, along with the other substances found in hydraulic-fracturing fluid,combined with naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) from shale deposits, return to the surface as produced water. When NORM is concentrated or exposed by human activities, such as hydraulic fracturing, it is classified as TENORM (technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material).

According to the EPA’s website, (http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/tenorm/about.html):


“Many of the materials that are technically TENORM have only trace amounts of radiation and are part of our everyday landscape. However, some TENORM has very high concentration of radionuclides that can result in elevated exposures to radiation.”

“EPA is working to understand the problem and to develop effective ways to protect humans and the environment from harmful exposure to the radiation in these materials. Because TENORM is produced by many industries in varying amounts and occurs in a wide variety of products, it is a particularly challenging problem in the U.S. Although EPA and others working on the problem already have learned a good deal about TENORM, we still do not understand fully all of the potential radiation exposure risks it presents to humans and the environment.”

Class II Injection Wells
According to the EPA’s website, (http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/), there are approximately 144,000 Class II injection wells in the United States that inject over 2 billion gallons of brine every day. Colorado currently has 698 Class II liquid industrial waste injection sites.
When oil and gas are extracted, large amounts of brine are typically brought to the surface. Often saltier than seawater, this brine can also contain toxic metals and radioactive substances. It can be very damaging to the environment and public health if it is discharged to surface water or the land surface. By injecting the brine deep underground, Class II wells prevent surface contamination of soil and water.”
According to an investigative report published December 28, 2012 in the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the following was reported:
Over the past 13 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has exempted only the oil and gas industry from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act to allow the disposal of waste brine and hydrocarbon-containing fluids into drinking water aquifers deep underground. The injections are occurring east of Fort Collins in northern Weld County…”

A ProPublica investigation showed that the EPA has not kept track of how many aquifer exemptions have been issued nationwide, and records the agency provided ProPublica showed that many were issued in conflict with the EPA’s requirement to protect water that could be used for drinking. ProPublica found that about 1,100 aquifer exemptions have been approved by the EPA’s Underground Injection Control Program in its Rocky Mountain regional office in Denver.”

“In most cases, the EPA granted companies permission to pollute drinking water aquiferssaying that they are not “reasonably expected” to be used for drinking water because they are too deep and too expensive to tap, making such an operation “technically impractical.”

“But Colorado may be forced to look deep underground for new water sources as shallower aquifers are depleted and water becomes more scarce as the climate changes, said Mark Williams, a hydrologist at the University of Colorado-Boulder.”
“The plan Colorado currently uses to calculate its water needs and supply through 2050 was last updated in 2012; it says very little about underground sources of water and even less about the how climate change could potentially affect the state’s water supply.”

(The Surface Water Supply Index) SWSI ignored climate change entirely because the state didn’t have enough money to address such a complex issue, the report says. But considering the impacts of climate change is critical when determining the harm oil and gas wastewater injections are doing to deep drinking water aquifers,” Williams said.

“We’re sacrificing those aquifers. In 50 or 100 years, we may actually like to have that water, and it will not be available. That’s a water quantity issue. The region’s water supply experts who say the drinking water lurking 8,000 feet or deeper underground can’t be tapped today also say the future may demand it.”

In addition, Colorado’s largest aquifer, the Ogallala, was contaminated by an EPA known frack fluid and thermogenic gas from a mining operation that uses fracking processes. For more information, please visit: http://www.fractivist.blogspot.com/2012_10_01_archive.html
Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing
The House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Report: “Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing,” (http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov), details over 750 chemicals and other components used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Some of these chemicals are classified as carcinogenic and hazardous air pollutants. Given this, how can we, in good conscience, allow the use of these chemicals in our environment, communities, and neighborhoods?
Also, according to federal laws, the oil and gas industry does not have to disclose the chemicals they use in their proprietary hydraulic fracturing fluids. How these fluids and their effects are exempt from laws such as the Clean Water Drinking Act, the Safe Water Drinking Act, the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act is unacceptable. These laws were enacted to protect our environment and our citizens. Allowing the oil and gas industry exemptions under the Halliburton Loophole undermines our most important environmental and public health laws, and consequently collides with Sierra Club’s mission statement. Isn’t it time these outrageous, unlawful exemptions are eliminated?
Below are some highlights from the Executive Summary of the report referenced above:
“Between 2005 and 2009, the 14 oil and gas service companies used more than 2,500 hydraulic fracturing products containing 750 chemicals and other components. Overall, these companies used 780 million gallons of hydraulic fracturing products – not including water added at the well site – between 2005 and 2009.”
“Some of the components used in the hydraulic fracturing products were common and generally harmless, such as salt and citric acid. Some were unexpected, such as instant coffee and walnut hulls. And some were extremely toxic, such as benzene and lead.”
“Between 2005 and 2009, the oil and gas service companies used hydraulic fracturing products containing 29 chemicals that are (1) known or possible human carcinogens, (2) regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act for their risks to human health, or (3) listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. These 29 chemicals were components of more than 650 different products used in hydraulic fracturing.”
“The BTEX compounds – benzene, toluene, xylene, and ethylbenzene – appeared in 60 of the hydraulic fracturing products used between 2005 and 2009. Each BTEX compound is a regulated contaminant under the Safe Drinking Water Act and a hazardous air pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Benzene also is a known human carcinogen. The hydraulic fracturing companies injected 11.4 million gallons of products containing at least one BTEX chemical over the five year period.”
“In many instances, the oil and gas service companies were unable to provide the Committee with a complete chemical makeup of the hydraulic fracturing fluids they used. Between 2005 and 2009, the companies used 94 million gallons of 279 products that contained at least one chemical or component that the manufacturers deemed proprietary or a trade secret. Committee staff requested that these companies disclose this proprietary information.”
“Some of these chemicals, if not disposed of safely or allowed to leach into the drinking water supply, could damage the environment or pose a risk to human health. During hydraulic fracturing, fluids containing chemicals are injected deep underground, where their migration is not entirely predictable. Well failures, such as the use of insufficient well casing, could lead to their release at shallower depths, closer to drinking water supplies.” Although some fracturing fluids are removed from the well at the end of the fracturing process, a substantial amount remains underground.”
“While most underground injections of chemicals are subject to the protections of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Congress in 2005 modified the law to exclude “the underground injection of fluids or propping agents (other than diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities” from the Act’s protections. Unless oil and gas service companies use diesel in the hydraulic fracturing process, the permanent underground injection of chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”
“Hydraulic fracturing companies used 2-butoxyethanol (2-BE) as a foaming agent or surfactant in 126 products. According to EPA scientists, 2-BE is easily absorbed and rapidly distributed in humans following inhalation, ingestion, or dermal exposure. Studies have shown that exposure to 2-BE can cause hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) and damage to the spleen, liver, and bone marrow. The hydraulic fracturing companies injected 21.9 million gallons of products containing 2-BE between 2005 and 2009. They used the highest volume of products containing 2-BE in Texas, which accounted for more than half of the volume used. EPA recently found this chemical in drinking water wells tested in Pavillion, Wyoming.”
States with the Highest Volume of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids Containing 2-Butoxyethanol (2005-2009):
State
Fluid Volume (gallons)
Texas
12,031,734
Oklahoma
2,186,613
New Mexico
1,871,501
Colorado
1,147,614
Louisiana
890,068
Pennsylvania
747,416
West Virginia
464,231
Utah
382,874
Montana
362,497
Arkansas
348,959
Total
20,433,507
We are aware of the FRAC Act to repeal the Halliburton Loophole that was introduced in 2008 and reintroduced in 2011 by Representatives Diana DeGette and Jared Polis, both Colorado Democrats who also sponsored the original bill. The question we must ask is: Will repealing the Halliburton Loophole require the oil and gas industry to disclose the chemicals used in their proprietary hydraulic fracturing fluids? Disclosure is not enough.
Endocrine Disruption
Dr. Theo Colborn, founder and president of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), based in Paonia, Colorado, is an environmental health analyst, and is known for her research on the health effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Dr. Colborn’s website, (http://www.endocrinedisruption.com), details the chemicals used in natural gas operations and their health effects.  Her findings are disturbing and should be alarming to all of us.
After reviewing Dr. Colborn’s research, please consider the impacts in Colorado for a moment. There are over 49, 000 active oil and gas wells in Colorado and approximately 18,000 are located in Weld County. Some wells are located in neighborhoods and next to elementary schools and playgrounds.
Our own Sierra Club members and leaders live in communities surrounded by hundreds, and even thousands, of toxic fracking operations that use carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals to extract natural gas. The oil and gas operators fugitively emit and willfully release tons of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and hydrocarbon vapors from storage tanks, valves and nearly 900 parts and pieces of equipment that release fugitive emissions into their neighborhoods.
These toxic operations are close to the schools that their children attend and the playgrounds where they play. It is unethical and morally wrong that we are allowing this to happen when, according to Dr. Colborn’s research:
“Volatile organic compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, etc.,) and fugitive natural gas (methane), escape and mix with nitrogen oxides from the exhaust of diesel-driven, mobile and stationary equipment to produce ground-level ozone.”
We have a responsibility to do something about this - for the environment and for our members. These emissions must be monitored now, not in 2015, as the COGCC suggests.
Additional concerns regarding chemical exposure in our communities involve the current setback rules in Colorado. Currently only 150’ setbacks are required in rural areas and 500’ setbacks in suburban areas for oil and natural gas wells from homes, schools, and businesses. Is this really safe, considering our own state law has a Setback Loophole that allows re-entry and re-drilling of any completed well regardless of its proximity to a residential structure? In some subdivisions, there are active and producing well sites within 50-100’ feet of homes.
Workplace Safety
We must ask: How safe are oil and gas field workers who are exposed to the impacts of hydraulic fracturing?
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) identified:
“Exposure to airborne silica as a health hazard to workers conducting some hydraulic fracturing operations during recent field studies.”
That the exposure to hydraulic fracturing chemicals in an occupational setting needs to be examined to determine the acute and chronic effects on health. The exposure risks such as “transport, mixing, delivery, and potential accidents” have not been properly assessed.”
Air Pollution
Air pollution along the Front Range of Colorado is getting significantly worse and studies show that hydraulic fracturing is contributing to this problem.
In a study dated December 5, 2012 by the Colorado Department of Health and the Environment, we would like to call your attention to the following information provided under Table 5:
Average, speciated non-methane organic compounds (SNMOCs) concentrations were captured at 10 times those found in agricultural areas of higher oil and gas well pad density than in downtown Denver. This study clearly confirms the previous NOAA air chemistry study and Dr. Theo Colborn’s “Air Manuscript” chemical analyses of active oil and gas well pad chemical releases. The study also points to aggregate major point sources of pollution, which under the Clean Air Act, the oil and gas industry’s active well pads are considered “minor non-point sources” of pollution. This is a critical area that needs to be immediately addressed and stopped.
From the article entitled “Hydraulic fracturing’s Dirty Air Secret” dated November 15, 2012 on Earthjustice’s website: (http://earthjustice.org/blog/2012-november/fracking-s-dirty-air-secret)
“Oil and gas drilling is a contributor to ozone—better known as smog—on Colorado’s Front Range. Smog is a health problem. As the American Lung Association explains, ozone is "the most widespread pollutant in the U.S." and "is also one of the most dangerous." Smog causes shortness of breath; chest pain when inhaling; wheezing and coughing; asthma attacks; and increased need for people with lung diseases to go to the hospital to get treatment. And let's not forget death. Thousands of premature deaths occur every year due to ozone levels above the current health standard set by the EPA.”
“Thanks in part to the hydraulic fracturing drilling boom, smog has gotten worse in Colorado over the past couple of years. How bad? This summer was the worst Front Range smog year since 2006 with a month of unhealthy air days. State data for 2012 also show air in Greeley and Fort Collins north of Denver—near the heart of the hydraulic fracturing boom—exceeding health standards and getting worse.”
“And if that’s not enough, Rocky Mountain National Park was crowned the smoggiest national park outside of California this year. For the first time in the decade or so that the Park Service has records online. Can’t imagine that’s good for the tourism business, let alone the trees, wildlife and visitors.”
In an exploratory study of air pollution near natural gas operations conducted by The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (peer-reviewed and accepted for publication by Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal on November 9, 2012), the study’s abstract described the following:   (http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/chemicals.air.php)
“This exploratory study was designed to assess air quality in a rural western Colorado area where residences and gas wells co-exist. Sampling was conducted before, during, and after drilling and hydraulic fracturing of a new natural gas well pad. Weekly air sampling for 1 year revealed that the number of non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) and their concentrations were highest during the initial drilling phase and did not increase during hydraulic fracturing in this closed-loop system. Methylene chloride, a toxic solvent not reported in products used in drilling or hydraulic fracturing, was detected 73% of the time; several times in high concentrations. A literature search of the health effects of the NMHCs revealed that many had multiple health effects, including 30 that affect the endocrine system, which is susceptible to chemical impacts at very low concentrations, far less than government safety standards. 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. The human and environmental health impacts of the NMHCs, which are ozone precursors, should be examined further given that the natural gas industry is now operating in close proximity to human residences and public lands.”
A May 2012 study by the Colorado School of Public Health researchers discovered the following: (http://www.ucdenver.edu/about/newsroom/newsreleases/Pages/health-impacts-of-hydraulic fracturing-emissions.aspx)
“In a new study, researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health have shown that air pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing or hydraulic fracturing may contribute to acute and chronic health problems for those living near natural gas drilling sites. The report, based on three years of monitoring, found a number of potentially toxic petroleum hydrocarbons in the air near the wells including benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylene. Benzene has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a known carcinogen.”

“…Exposure to trimethylbenzenes, aliaphatic hydrocarbons, and xylenes, all of which have neurological and/or respiratory effects, the study said. Those effects could include eye irritation, headaches, sore throat and difficulty breathing.
"We also calculated higher cancer risks for residents living nearer to the wells as compared to those residing further [away]," the report said. Benzene is the major contributor to lifetime excess cancer risk from both scenarios."

In April 2012, the EPA announced updates to nationwide air quality protections to include oil and natural gas production. In the press release entitled, “Environmental Groups Praise EPA’s First-Ever Clean Air Protections for Hydraulic fracturing,” (http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2012/environmental-groups-praise-epa-s-first-ever-clean-air-protections-for-fracking), it’s important to note:
“The EPA’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) will benefit the health of Americans and our environment in many ways. The updated standards will result in major reductions in emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), toxic benzene and methane, a highly potent contributor to climate disruption. These pollutants are known to cause asthma attacks, hospital admissions, emergency room visits, cancer and even premature death.”
“Today’s announcement by the EPA is a major step forward. However, the two-and-a-half-year delay in reducing pollution from wellheads is an unnecessary setback because industry can meet those standards now.”

At the same time, the EPA left out methane emissions and in turn the Club filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of its members against the EPA.
From the same press release, we would also like to highlight your statement:
“EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is taking an important first step in closing loopholes for the natural gas industry and addressing dangerous air quality levels in and near frack-fields across the country,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club.
“The natural gas industry dumps massive amounts of air pollutants into our air every day, sickening families and children. An industry that touts its ability to efficiently drill thousands of wells thousands of feet into the earth is crying wolf when it claims it can’t build enough tanks to capture wellhead pollution. It’s time we clean up the natural gas industry’s dirty and reckless practices.”
The Climate Crisis
We are very concerned about how hydraulic fracturing is affecting the climate crisis.
As reported in the Journal of Nature on January 2, 2013: (http://www.nature.com/news/methane-leaks-erode-green-credentials-of-natural-gas-1.12123)
“Scientists are once again reporting alarmingly high methane emissions from an oil and gas field, underscoring questions about the environmental benefits of the boom in natural-gas production that is transforming the US energy system.”



“The researchers, who hold joint appointments with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado in Boulder, first sparked concern in February 2012 with a study suggesting that up to 4% of the methane produced at a field near Denver was escaping into the atmosphere…..”

“Industry officials and some scientists contested the claim, but at an American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, California, last month, the research team reported new Colorado data that support the earlier work, as well as preliminary results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah suggesting even higher rates of methane leakage — an eye-popping 9% of the total production. That figure is nearly double the cumulative loss rates estimated from industry data — which are already higher in Utah than in Colorado.”
And as stated on the Environmental Protection Agency website, methane gas is defined as follows: (http://epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/ch4.html)
“Methane (CH4) is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activities. In 2010, CH4 accounted for about 10% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Methane is emitted by natural sources such as wetlands, as well as human activities such as leakage from natural gas systems and the raising of livestock. Natural processes in soil and chemical reactions in the atmosphere help remove CH4 from the atmosphere. Methane's lifetime in the atmosphere is much shorter than carbon dioxide (CO2), but CH4 is more efficient at trapping radiation than CO2. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 on climate crisis is over 20 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.”

In the Scientific Case for Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change to Protect Young People and Nature, last revised March 23, 2012, (http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.1365), the following observations were made regarding fossil fuel emissions (please note: Dr. James Hansen is one of the researchers of this study)
“Maintaining a climate that resembles the Holocene, the world of stable shorelines in which civilization developed, requires rapidly reducing fossil fuel CO2 emissions. Such a scenario is economically sensible and has multiple benefits for humanity and other species. Yet fossil fuel extraction is expanding, including highly carbon-intensive sources that can push the climate system beyond tipping points such that amplifying feedbacks drive further climate change that is practically out of humanity's control. This situation raises profound moral issues as young people, future generations, and nature, with no possibility of protecting their future well-being, will bear the principal consequences of actions and inactions of today's adults.”
Many of us have seen the film “Chasing Ice.” It’s time for each one of us to ask a very important question: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, how concerned are you about climate crisis? Also, how concerned are you that our daily actions impact the vast majority of the world’s population that has not done a thing to contribute to the climate crisis – don't we have a responsibility and moral obligation to them to change the way that we live?
Making Hydraulic Fracturing Safer
Given that many of us depend upon oil and natural gas for our daily existence, there has been much discussion on what things could be done to make hydraulic fracturing safer including:
  • Full enforcement of our current environmental laws by the EPA
  • Disclosure of all proprietary fracking fluids
  • Repealing the Halliburton Loophole
  • Developing strict guidelines and imposing penalties when laws are not followed (accountability)
  • Providing the necessary inspectors to ensure compliance with all environmental laws and regulations. Currently Colorado has 17 inspectors to monitor over 49,000 active, plus 81,000 inactive wells
The real question is: Can hydraulic fracturing ever be safe for our environment and public health?
Sierra Club’s Oil and Gas Policy
We have reviewed the Club’s Oil and Gas Policy, as revised February 2012, and are pleased that it clearly states the reasons the Club doesn’t support hydraulic fracturing because of many of the points addressed in this letter.
We do want to recognize that the policy also supports:
·       Chapter advocacy for regional or state-wide moratoria
·       Bans in specific local environmentally sensitive areas such as federal roadless areas, state parks and forests, designated wildlife areas, and municipal watersheds
·       Local groups that call for a ban in their own communities
These changes to the 2009 Oil and Gas Policy were critical. Thank you for working towards these revisions – but we must do more.
Given the investigative reporting that continues to provide concrete evidence of accounts of water contamination, people becoming seriously ill who live close to well sites that have been fracked, animals dying after exposure to hydraulic fracturing fluids, and the unknown health issues that will surface in the coming years, we are asking the Club to take a leadership role in calling for a nationwide ban on mining that uses hydraulic fracturing.
If we take a leap of faith and call for a nationwide hydraulic fracturing ban, we will move closer to the goal of a clean and healthy energy future, but our planet requires that we act today. If we don’t, we will drag this issue out for an indefinite period of time, further endangering our environment and public health, and accelerating the climate crisis. We don’t have time to wait.
Sierra Club v. Morton 45 U.S. 727 (1972)
Sierra Club v. Morton was one of the most important environmental lawsuits ever pursued. Over 40 years ago, Sierra Club saw that Mineral King needed protection from a proposed ski area development. Simply, the natural world needed a voice and Sierra Club was there to provide it. The Club had the courage to stand up and challenge the Interior Department’s policies on developing Mineral King. We didn’t win but today we have another chance.
Throughout our country today, the natural environment is being destroyed through hydraulic fracturing operations, mountaintop removal mining, our individual and collection actions that contribute to our climate crisis, and a host of other issues.
The natural world needs our voice more than ever. Will the Sierra Club be courageous enough to stand up once more and be that voice for our natural world? Are we up to the challenge?
We think that the dissenting opinion of Justice William O. Douglas, in Sierra Club v. Morton, foretold the future that lies in front of us today. Below is an excerpt from his dissenting opinion:

“The critical question of "standing" would be simplified and also put neatly in focus if we fashioned a federal rule that allowed environmental issues to be litigated before federal agencies or federal courts in the name of the inanimate object about to be despoiled, defaced, or invaded by roads and bulldozers and where injury is the subject of public outrage. Contemporary public concern for protecting nature's ecological equilibrium should lead to the conferral of standing upon environmental objects to sue for their own preservation. This suit would therefore be more properly labeled as Mineral King v. Morton.”

“Inanimate objects are sometimes parties in litigation. A ship has a legal personality, a fiction found useful for maritime purposes. The corporation sole - a creature of ecclesiastical law - is an acceptable adversary and large fortunes ride on its cases. The ordinary corporation is a "person" for purposes of the adjudicatory processes, whether it represents proprietary, spiritual, aesthetic, or charitable causes.”

“So it should be as respects valleys, alpine meadows, rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, ridges, groves of trees, swampland, or even air that feels the destructive pressures of modern technology and modern life. The river, for example, is the living symbol of all the life it sustains or nourishes - fish, aquatic insects, water ouzels, otter, fisher, deer, elk, bear, and all other animals, including man, who are dependent on it or who enjoy it for its sight, its sound, or its life. The river as plaintiff speaks for the ecological unit of life that is part of it. Those people who have a meaningful relation to that body of water - whether it be a fisherman, a canoeist, a zoologist, or a logger - must be able to speak for the values which the river represents and which are threatened with destruction.....”

“The voice of the inanimate object, therefore, should not be stilled. That does not mean that the judiciary takes over the managerial functions from the federal agency. It merely means that before these priceless bits of Americana (such as a valley, an alpine meadow, a river, or a lake) are forever lost or are so transformed as to be reduced to the eventual rubble of our urban environment, the voice of the existing beneficiaries of these environmental wonders should be heard.”

“Perhaps they will not win. Perhaps the bulldozers of "progress" will plow under all the aesthetic wonders of this beautiful land. That is not the present question. The sole question is, who has standing to be heard?”

“ Those who merely are caught up in environmental news or propaganda and flock to defend these waters or areas may be treated differently. That is why these environmental issues should be tendered by the inanimate object itself. Then there will be assurances that all of the forms of life which it represents will stand before the court - the pileated woodpecker as well as the coyote and bear, the lemmings as well as the trout in the streams. Those inarticulate members of the ecological group cannot speak. But those people who have so frequented the place as to know its values and wonders will be able to speak for the entire ecological community…”

In 2008, Ecuador’s Constitution was the first to: “Recognize that ecosystems possess the inalienable and fundamental right to exist and flourish, and that people possess the legal authority to enforce those rights on behalf of ecosystems. In addition, these laws require the governments to remedy violations of those ecosystem rights.”
Ecuador broke new ground with the help of The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund that: “is working with communities throughout the United States and in countries worldwide to assist in crafting and adopting new laws that change the status of natural communities and ecosystems from being regarded as property under the law to being recognized as rights-bearing entities.” (http://www.celdf.org)
Our planet needs the Sierra Club’s mission in action to endure and now, more than ever, we have the responsibility to “protect the planet” like no other time in our lives.

As the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, as an activist, a father, and a human being, we call on your leadership to call for a nationwide ban on mining that uses hydraulic fracturing. We also ask that the Sierra Club lead the discussion on “The Rights of Nature,” and establish the protections needed to ensure the long-term sustainability and viability of ecosystems to flourish and to defend their fundamental rights to exist without compromise.


We believe that the spirit to act on behalf of the natural world, and the spark to be courageous and do what’s right - not only for ourselves but for the greater good - is alive in us and in our members. This is how the Sierra Club was born.


We hope that you will have the courage to lead our country in calling for a nationwide ban on mining that uses hydraulic fracturing, regardless of the politics, and to acknowledge that the rights of our natural environment are worth fighting for. We believe that both of these things are worth the fight and we are confident that hundreds of thousands of Sierra Club’s members will stand behind you – there is no doubt.

Sincerely,
Executive Committee
The Poudre Canyon Group
Fort Collins, Colorado
Shane Davis, Chair
Caroline Krumm, Vice Chair
John Gascoyne
Kerry Miller
Tyler Wilson                                                                                                                   
cc: Sierra Club Board of Directors


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Whew ok... Also, this Sierra Club FracTracker appears to be more-or-less abandoned: FRAC: Fracking Regulatory Action Center. If only someone would set up some tracker that kicked moar butt for these kind of things - and crowdsourced it! ;)

Anyway I am always down for some serious oil geopolitics -- a topic suddenly on the rise in America -- and right here we have a few classic fault lines developing. Frankly it has been tough to see relative newcomers to activist politics get snowballed by hucksters.

Where the Sierra Club decides to go with this will show pretty obviously if they are on the side of power & massive fossil fuel profit-taking, or the side of the environment & their assorted members who are going to certainly get poisoned by fracking projects in significant numbers.

If whole chapters of the Sierra Club bounce on the national Org over this matter, you could have a very strong and militant base for further environmental action. Could militant shards of the Sierra Club, including the old hippies of the Rocky foothills, kick some ass? Who knew? Your move, Club members! Make some hilarious hashtag before another damn billionaire makes one for you!

The Gentleperson's Guide to Forum Spies - for decoding astroturfing & malicious forum & Internet operations, trolls, sockpuppets, crapflooding & disinfo specialists

Reposting this as it's a much more handy summary than I could give. Neato! I think we're seeing this get more and more privatized as well -- I have a couple flagrant sockpuppets I know and love, they are like a handy little COINTELPRO weathervane. When talking Information Operations (not to mention spinstorms) this is stuff that should be right on hand.

******

The Gentleperson's Guide To Forum Spies - Via Cryptome.org - read cryptome every day if you're not already :)

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A sends:

The Gentleperson's Guide To Forum Spies (spooks, feds, etc.)

http://pastebin.com/irj4Fyd5

1. COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum
2. Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation
3. Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist
4. How to Spot a Spy (Cointelpro Agent)
5. Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression
______________________________________________________________________________________

COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum..

There are several techniques for the control and manipulation of a internet forum no matter what, or who is on it. We will go over each technique and demonstrate that only a minimal number of operatives can be used to eventually and effectively gain a control of a 'uncontrolled forum.'

Technique #1 - 'FORUM SLIDING'

If a very sensitive posting of a critical nature has been posted on a forum - it can be quickly removed from public view by 'forum sliding.' In this technique a number of unrelated posts are quietly prepositioned on the forum and allowed to 'age.' Each of these misdirectional forum postings can then be called upon at will to trigger a 'forum slide.' The second requirement is that several fake accounts exist, which can be called upon, to ensure that this technique is not exposed to the public. To trigger a 'forum slide' and 'flush' the critical post out of public view it is simply a matter of logging into each account both real and fake and then 'replying' to prepositined postings with a simple 1 or 2 line comment. This brings the unrelated postings to the top of the forum list, and the critical posting 'slides' down the front page, and quickly out of public view. Although it is difficult or impossible to censor the posting it is now lost in a sea of unrelated and unuseful postings. By this means it becomes effective to keep the readers of the forum reading unrelated and non-issue items.

Technique #2 - 'CONSENSUS CRACKING'

A second highly effective technique (which you can see in operation all the time at www.abovetopsecret.com) is 'consensus cracking.' To develop a consensus crack, the following technique is used. Under the guise of a fake account a posting is made which looks legitimate and is towards the truth is made - but the critical point is that it has a VERY WEAK PREMISE without substantive proof to back the posting. Once this is done then under alternative fake accounts a very strong position in your favour is slowly introduced over the life of the posting. It is IMPERATIVE that both sides are initially presented, so the uninformed reader cannot determine which side is the truth. As postings and replies are made the stronger 'evidence' or disinformation in your favour is slowly 'seeded in.' Thus the uninformed reader will most like develop the same position as you, and if their position is against you their opposition to your posting will be most likely dropped. However in some cases where the forum members are highly educated and can counter your disinformation with real facts and linked postings, you can then 'abort' the consensus cracking by initiating a 'forum slide.'

Technique #3 - 'TOPIC DILUTION'

Topic dilution is not only effective in forum sliding it is also very useful in keeping the forum readers on unrelated and non-productive issues. This is a critical and useful technique to cause a 'RESOURCE BURN.' By implementing continual and non-related postings that distract and disrupt (trolling ) the forum readers they are more effectively stopped from anything of any real productivity. If the intensity of gradual dilution is intense enough, the readers will effectively stop researching and simply slip into a 'gossip mode.' In this state they can be more easily misdirected away from facts towards uninformed conjecture and opinion. The less informed they are the more effective and easy it becomes to control the entire group in the direction that you would desire the group to go in. It must be stressed that a proper assessment of the psychological capabilities and levels of education is first determined of the group to determine at what level to 'drive in the wedge.' By being too far off topic too quickly it may trigger censorship by a forum moderator.

Technique #4 - 'INFORMATION COLLECTION'

Information collection is also a very effective method to determine the psychological level of the forum members, and to gather intelligence that can be used against them. In this technique in a light and positive environment a 'show you mine so me yours' posting is initiated. From the number of replies and the answers that are provided much statistical information can be gathered. An example is to post your 'favourite weapon' and then encourage other members of the forum to showcase what they have. In this matter it can be determined by reverse proration what percentage of the forum community owns a firearm, and or a illegal weapon. This same method can be used by posing as one of the form members and posting your favourite 'technique of operation.' From the replies various methods that the group utilizes can be studied and effective methods developed to stop them from their activities.

Technique #5 - 'ANGER TROLLING'

Statistically, there is always a percentage of the forum posters who are more inclined to violence. In order to determine who these individuals are, it is a requirement to present a image to the forum to deliberately incite a strong psychological reaction. From this the most violent in the group can be effectively singled out for reverse IP location and possibly local enforcement tracking. To accomplish this only requires posting a link to a video depicting a local police officer massively abusing his power against a very innocent individual. Statistically of the million or so police officers in America there is always one or two being caught abusing there powers and the taping of the activity can be then used for intelligence gathering purposes - without the requirement to 'stage' a fake abuse video. This method is extremely effective, and the more so the more abusive the video can be made to look. Sometimes it is useful to 'lead' the forum by replying to your own posting with your own statement of violent intent, and that you 'do not care what the authorities think!!' inflammation. By doing this and showing no fear it may be more effective in getting the more silent and self-disciplined violent intent members of the forum to slip and post their real intentions. This can be used later in a court of law during prosecution.

Technique #6 - 'GAINING FULL CONTROL'

It is important to also be harvesting and continually maneuvering for a forum moderator position. Once this position is obtained, the forum can then be effectively and quietly controlled by deleting unfavourable postings - and one can eventually steer the forum into complete failure and lack of interest by the general public. This is the 'ultimate victory' as the forum is no longer participated with by the general public and no longer useful in maintaining their freedoms. Depending on the level of control you can obtain, you can deliberately steer a forum into defeat by censoring postings, deleting memberships, flooding, and or accidentally taking the forum offline. By this method the forum can be quickly killed. However it is not always in the interest to kill a forum as it can be converted into a 'honey pot' gathering center to collect and misdirect newcomers and from this point be completely used for your control for your agenda purposes.

CONCLUSION

Remember these techniques are only effective if the forum participants DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THEM. Once they are aware of these techniques the operation can completely fail, and the forum can become uncontrolled. At this point other avenues must be considered such as initiating a false legal precidence to simply have the forum shut down and taken offline. This is not desirable as it then leaves the enforcement agencies unable to track the percentage of those in the population who always resist attempts for control against them. Many other techniques can be utilized and developed by the individual and as you develop further techniques of infiltration and control it is imperative to share then with HQ.
______________________________________________________________________________________

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

Note: The first rule and last five (or six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly within the ability of the traditional disinfo artist to apply. These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don't discuss it -- especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it's not reported, it didn't happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the 'How dare you!' gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method which works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such 'arguable rumors'. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a 'wild rumor' from a 'bunch of kids on the Internet' which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent's argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary 'attack the messenger' ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as 'kooks', 'right-wing', 'liberal', 'left-wing', 'terrorists', 'conspiracy buffs', 'radicals', 'militia', 'racists', 'religious fanatics', 'sexual deviates', and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism, reasoning -- simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent's viewpoint.

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could be taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough 'jargon' and 'minutia' to illustrate you are 'one who knows', and simply say it isn't so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man -- usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with - a kind of investment for the future should the matter not be so easily contained.) Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually then be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues -- so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the 'high road' and 'confess' with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made -- but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, 'just isn't so.' Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later, and even publicly 'call for an end to the nonsense' because you have already 'done the right thing.' Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for 'coming clean' and 'owning up' to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.

12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to lose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic which forbears any actual material fact.

14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best with issues qualifying for rule 10.

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.

16. Vanish evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won't have to address the issue.

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can 'argue' with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.

18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can't do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how 'sensitive they are to criticism.'

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the 'play dumb' rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon.) In order to completely avoid discussing issues, it may be required that you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations -- as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed and unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed. Usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim.

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by destroying them financially, emotionally, or severely damaging their health.

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.
______________________________________________________________________________________

Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist

1) Avoidance. They never actually discuss issues head-on or provide constructive input, generally avoiding citation of references or credentials. Rather, they merely imply this, that, and the other. Virtually everything about their presentation implies their authority and expert knowledge in the matter without any further justification for credibility.

2) Selectivity. They tend to pick and choose opponents carefully, either applying the hit-and-run approach against mere commentators supportive of opponents, or focusing heavier attacks on key opponents who are known to directly address issues. Should a commentator become argumentative with any success, the focus will shift to include the commentator as well.

3) Coincidental. They tend to surface suddenly and somewhat coincidentally with a new controversial topic with no clear prior record of participation in general discussions in the particular public arena involved. They likewise tend to vanish once the topic is no longer of general concern. They were likely directed or elected to be there for a reason, and vanish with the reason.

4) Teamwork. They tend to operate in self-congratulatory and complementary packs or teams. Of course, this can happen naturally in any public forum, but there will likely be an ongoing pattern of frequent exchanges of this sort where professionals are involved. Sometimes one of the players will infiltrate the opponent camp to become a source for straw man or other tactics designed to dilute opponent presentation strength.

5) Anti-conspiratorial. They almost always have disdain for 'conspiracy theorists' and, usually, for those who in any way believe JFK was not killed by LHO. Ask yourself why, if they hold such disdain for conspiracy theorists, do they focus on defending a single topic discussed in a NG focusing on conspiracies? One might think they would either be trying to make fools of everyone on every topic, or simply ignore the group they hold in such disdain.Or, one might more rightly conclude they have an ulterior motive for their actions in going out of their way to focus as they do.

6) Artificial Emotions. An odd kind of 'artificial' emotionalism and an unusually thick skin -- an ability to persevere and persist even in the face of overwhelming criticism and unacceptance. This likely stems from intelligence community training that, no matter how condemning the evidence, deny everything, and never become emotionally involved or reactive. The net result for a disinfo artist is that emotions can seem artificial.

Most people, if responding in anger, for instance, will express their animosity throughout their rebuttal. But disinfo types usually have trouble maintaining the 'image' and are hot and cold with respect to pretended emotions and their usually more calm or unemotional communications style. It's just a job, and they often seem unable to 'act their role in character' as well in a communications medium as they might be able in a real face-to-face conversation/confrontation. You might have outright rage and indignation one moment, ho-hum the next, and more anger later -- an emotional yo-yo.

With respect to being thick-skinned, no amount of criticism will deter them from doing their job, and they will generally continue their old disinfo patterns without any adjustments to criticisms of how obvious it is that they play that game -- where a more rational individual who truly cares what others think might seek to improve their communications style, substance, and so forth, or simply give up.

7) Inconsistent. There is also a tendency to make mistakes which betray their true self/motives. This may stem from not really knowing their topic, or it may be somewhat 'freudian', so to speak, in that perhaps they really root for the side of truth deep within.

I have noted that often, they will simply cite contradictory information which neutralizes itself and the author. For instance, one such player claimed to be a Navy pilot, but blamed his poor communicating skills (spelling, grammar, incoherent style) on having only a grade-school education. I'm not aware of too many Navy pilots who don't have a college degree. Another claimed no knowledge of a particular topic/situation but later claimed first-hand knowledge of it.

8) Time Constant. Recently discovered, with respect to News Groups, is the response time factor. There are three ways this can be seen to work, especially when the government or other empowered player is involved in a cover up operation:

a) ANY NG posting by a targeted proponent for truth can result in an IMMEDIATE response. The government and other empowered players can afford to pay people to sit there and watch for an opportunity to do some damage. SINCE DISINFO IN A NG ONLY WORKS IF THE READER SEES IT - FAST RESPONSE IS CALLED FOR, or the visitor may be swayed towards truth.

b) When dealing in more direct ways with a disinformationalist, such as email, DELAY IS CALLED FOR - there will usually be a minimum of a 48-72 hour delay. This allows a sit-down team discussion on response strategy for best effect, and even enough time to 'get permission' or instruction from a formal chain of command.

c) In the NG example 1) above, it will often ALSO be seen that bigger guns are drawn and fired after the same 48-72 hours delay - the team approach in play. This is especially true when the targeted truth seeker or their comments are considered more important with respect to potential to reveal truth. Thus, a serious truth sayer will be attacked twice for the same sin.

______________________________________________________________________________________

How to Spot a Spy (Cointelpro Agent)

One way to neutralize a potential activist is to get them to be in a group that does all the wrong things. Why?

1) The message doesn't get out.
2) A lot of time is wasted
3) The activist is frustrated and discouraged
4) Nothing good is accomplished.

FBI and Police Informers and Infiltrators will infest any group and they have phoney activist organizations established.

Their purpose is to prevent any real movement for justice or eco-peace from developing in this country.

Agents come in small, medium or large. They can be of any ethnic background. They can be male or female.

The actual size of the group or movement being infiltrated is irrelevant. It is the potential the movement has for becoming large which brings on the spies and saboteurs.

This booklet lists tactics agents use to slow things down, foul things up, destroy the movement and keep tabs on activists.

It is the agent's job to keep the activist from quitting such a group, thus keeping him/her under control.

In some situations, to get control, the agent will tell the activist:

"You're dividing the movement."

[Here, I have added the psychological reasons as to WHY this maneuver works to control people]

This invites guilty feelings. Many people can be controlled by guilt. The agents begin relationships with activists behind a well-developed mask of "dedication to the cause." Because of their often declared dedication, (and actions designed to prove this), when they criticize the activist, he or she - being truly dedicated to the movement - becomes convinced that somehow, any issues are THEIR fault. This is because a truly dedicated person tends to believe that everyone has a conscience and that nobody would dissimulate and lie like that "on purpose." It's amazing how far agents can go in manipulating an activist because the activist will constantly make excuses for the agent who regularly declares their dedication to the cause. Even if they do, occasionally, suspect the agent, they will pull the wool over their own eyes by rationalizing: "they did that unconsciously... they didn't really mean it... I can help them by being forgiving and accepting " and so on and so forth.

The agent will tell the activist:

"You're a leader!"

This is designed to enhance the activist's self-esteem. His or her narcissistic admiration of his/her own activist/altruistic intentions increase as he or she identifies with and consciously admires the altruistic declarations of the agent which are deliberately set up to mirror those of the activist.

This is "malignant pseudoidentification." It is the process by which the agent consciously imitates or simulates a certain behavior to foster the activist's identification with him/her, thus increasing the activist's vulnerability to exploitation. The agent will simulate the more subtle self-concepts of the activist.

Activists and those who have altruistic self-concepts are most vulnerable to malignant pseudoidentification especially during work with the agent when the interaction includes matter relating to their competency, autonomy, or knowledge.

The goal of the agent is to increase the activist's general empathy for the agent through pseudo-identification with the activist's self-concepts.

The most common example of this is the agent who will compliment the activist for his competency or knowledge or value to the movement. On a more subtle level, the agent will simulate affects and mannerisms of the activist which promotes identification via mirroring and feelings of "twinship". It is not unheard of for activists, enamored by the perceived helpfulness and competence of a good agent, to find themselves considering ethical violations and perhaps, even illegal behavior, in the service of their agent/handler.

The activist's "felt quality of perfection" [self-concept] is enhanced, and a strong empathic bond is developed with the agent through his/her imitation and simulation of the victim's own narcissistic investments. [self-concepts] That is, if the activist knows, deep inside, their own dedication to the cause, they will project that onto the agent who is "mirroring" them.

The activist will be deluded into thinking that the agent shares this feeling of identification and bonding. In an activist/social movement setting, the adversarial roles that activists naturally play vis a vis the establishment/government, fosters ongoing processes of intrapsychic splitting so that "twinship alliances" between activist and agent may render whole sectors or reality testing unavailable to the activist. They literally "lose touch with reality."

Activists who deny their own narcissistic investments [do not have a good idea of their own self-concepts and that they ARE concepts] and consciously perceive themselves (accurately, as it were) to be "helpers" endowed with a special amount of altruism are exceedingly vulnerable to the affective (emotional) simulation of the accomplished agent.

Empathy is fostered in the activist through the expression of quite visible affects. The presentation of tearfulness, sadness, longing, fear, remorse, and guilt, may induce in the helper-oriented activist a strong sense of compassion, while unconsciously enhancing the activist's narcissistic investment in self as the embodiment of goodness.

The agent's expresssion of such simulated affects may be quite compelling to the observer and difficult to distinguish from deep emotion.

It can usually be identified by two events, however:

First, the activist who has analyzed his/her own narcissistic roots and is aware of his/her own potential for being "emotionally hooked," will be able to remain cool and unaffected by such emotional outpourings by the agent.

As a result of this unaffected, cool, attitude, the Second event will occur: The agent will recompensate much too quickly following such an affective expression leaving the activist with the impression that "the play has ended, the curtain has fallen," and the imposture, for the moment, has finished. The agent will then move quickly to another activist/victim.

The fact is, the movement doesn't need leaders, it needs MOVERS. "Follow the leader" is a waste of time.

A good agent will want to meet as often as possible. He or she will talk a lot and say little. One can expect an onslaught of long, unresolved discussions.

Some agents take on a pushy, arrogant, or defensive manner:

1) To disrupt the agenda
2) To side-track the discussion
3) To interrupt repeatedly
4) To feign ignorance
5) To make an unfounded accusation against a person.

Calling someone a racist, for example. This tactic is used to discredit a person in the eyes of all other group members.

Saboteurs

Some saboteurs pretend to be activists. She or he will ....

1) Write encyclopedic flyers (in the present day, websites)
2) Print flyers in English only.
3) Have demonstrations in places where no one cares.
4) Solicit funding from rich people instead of grass roots support
5) Display banners with too many words that are confusing.
6) Confuse issues.
7) Make the wrong demands.
Cool Compromise the goal.
9) Have endless discussions that waste everyone's time. The agent may accompany the endless discussions with drinking, pot smoking or other amusement to slow down the activist's work.

Provocateurs

1) Want to establish "leaders" to set them up for a fall in order to stop the movement.
2) Suggest doing foolish, illegal things to get the activists in trouble.
3) Encourage militancy.
4) Want to taunt the authorities.
5) Attempt to make the activist compromise their values.
6) Attempt to instigate violence. Activisim ought to always be non-violent.
7) Attempt to provoke revolt among people who are ill-prepared to deal with the reaction of the authorities to such violence.

Informants

1) Want everyone to sign up and sing in and sign everything.
2) Ask a lot of questions (gathering data).
3) Want to know what events the activist is planning to attend.
4) Attempt to make the activist defend him or herself to identify his or her beliefs, goals, and level of committment.

Recruiting

Legitimate activists do not subject people to hours of persuasive dialog. Their actions, beliefs, and goals speak for themselves.

Groups that DO recruit are missionaries, military, and fake political parties or movements set up by agents.

Surveillance

ALWAYS assume that you are under surveillance.

At this point, if you are NOT under surveillance, you are not a very good activist!

Scare Tactics

They use them.

Such tactics include slander, defamation, threats, getting close to disaffected or minimally committed fellow activists to persuade them (via psychological tactics described above) to turn against the movement and give false testimony against their former compatriots. They will plant illegal substances on the activist and set up an arrest; they will plant false information and set up "exposure," they will send incriminating letters [emails] in the name of the activist; and more; they will do whatever society will allow.

This booklet in no way covers all the ways agents use to sabotage the lives of sincere an dedicated activists.

If an agent is "exposed," he or she will be transferred or replaced.

COINTELPRO is still in operation today under a different code name. It is no longer placed on paper where it can be discovered through the freedom of information act.

The FBI counterintelligence program's stated purpose: To expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and otherwise neutralize individuals who the FBI categorize as opposed to the National Interests. "National Security" means the FBI's security from the people ever finding out the vicious things it does in violation of people's civil liberties.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression

Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, compliant press and a mere token opposition party.

1. Dummy up. If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.

2. Wax indignant. This is also known as the "How dare you?" gambit.

3. Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors." (If they tend to believe the "rumors" it must be because they are simply "paranoid" or "hysterical.")

4. Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspects of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors (or plant false stories) and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.

5. Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nutcase," "ranter," "kook," "crackpot," and, of course, "rumor monger." Be sure, too, to use heavily loaded verbs and adjectives when characterizing their charges and defending the "more reasonable" government and its defenders. You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned. For insurance, set up your own "skeptics" to shoot down.

6. Impugn motives. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money (compared to over-compensated adherents to the government line who, presumably, are not).

7. Invoke authority. Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can be very useful.

8. Dismiss the charges as "old news."

9. Come half-clean. This is also known as "confession and avoidance" or "taking the limited hangout route." This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal "mistakes." This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken. With effective damage control, the fall-back position need only be peddled by stooge skeptics to carefully limited markets.

10. Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.

11. Reason backward, using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. E.g. We have a completely free press. If evidence exists that the Vince Foster "suicide" note was forged, they would have reported it. They haven't reported it so there is no such evidence. Another variation on this theme involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press who would report the leak.

12. Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely. E.g. If Foster was murdered, who did it and why?

13. Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or publicizing distractions.

14. Lightly report incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them. This is sometimes referred to as "bump and run" reporting.

15. Baldly and brazenly lie. A favorite way of doing this is to attribute the "facts" furnished the public to a plausible-sounding, but anonymous, source.

16. Expanding further on numbers 4 and 5, have your own stooges "expose" scandals and champion popular causes. Their job is to pre-empt real opponents and to play 99-yard football. A variation is to pay rich people for the job who will pretend to spend their own money.

17. Flood the Internet with agents. This is the answer to the question, "What could possibly motivate a person to spend hour upon hour on Internet news groups defending the government and/or the press and harassing genuine critics?" Don t the authorities have defenders enough in all the newspapers, magazines, radio, and television? One would think refusing to print critical letters and screening out serious callers or dumping them from radio talk shows would be control enough, but, obviously, it is not.

New Filez! BuStEd: I sense Astroturfing in the Occupy! UAW social media plan posted for "99% Spring" electioneering schema

BuStEd: I sense Astroturfing in the Occupy! http://the99spring.com/letter.html ~ LEAKED FILEZ! Got a nice tip. Pass it along, its all on the google!

A bunch of groups which are mostly dedicated to Democratic electioneering are doing a "99% Spring" campaign soon. This is no secret, but the files inadvertently left open on on the UAW site are useful to understand what is going on. Presumably this is partially about deflecting popular anger from Democrats thru the usual electoral fiefdom system. The upside is it appears these groups are at least becoming marginally more radical to remain relevant. It's probably good they are getting people out of the house to do some CD trainings, but how much this comes down to electioneering for the Dems while wrapping Occupy imagery around "the project" is at least one of the main questions.

this page is access controlled now but the google cache shows it was open at least as late as Feb. 16th -- the page was apparently http://www.uaw.org/articles/99-spring-materials Which gave google the URL for these static files on their site. I know its a pain to access-control the main drupal file folder once its already set up, which is why these URLS still work LOL:: www.uaw.org/sites/default/files/99springsocialmediafeed.docx ^ has embedded fancy flier art and facebook/twitter instructions

http://www.uaw.org/sites/default/files/99%20Spring%20Talking%20Points.docx
http://www.uaw.org/sites/default/files/99%20Spring%20release%20template....
http://www.uaw.org/sites/default/files/99%20Spring%20FYI.docx
http://www.uaw.org/sites/default/files/99%25%20spring%20launch%20letter%...
^ i think this is the same as the thing posted at
http://the99spring.com/letter.html

The hashtag for this project is #99spring . prepare yrself [facepalm].

the last PDF names the names, this release is public news last week but not really making big waves yet I think.

Jobs With Justice, Sarita Gupta United Auto Workers, Bob King National Peoples Action, George Goehl National Domestic Workers Alliance, Ai-jen Poo MoveOn.org, Justin Ruben New Organizing Institute, Joy Cushman & Judith Freeman Movement Strategy Center, Liz Butler The Other 98%, John Sellers Service Employees International Union, Mary Kay Henry Rebuild the Dream, Van Jones and Natalie Foster Color of Change, Rashad Robinson UNITE-HERE, John Wilhelm Greenpeace, Phil Radford Institute for Policy Studies, John Cavanaugh PICO National Network, Scott Reed New Bottom Line, Tracy Van Slyke and Ilana Berger United Steel Workers, Leo Gerard Working Families Party, Daniel Cantor Communications Workers of America, Larry Cohen United States Student Association, Victor Sanchez Jr. National Education Association, John C. Stocks Rainforest Action Network, Becky Tarbotton American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten Leadership Center for the Common Good, Brian Kettenring UNITY, Randy Jackson National Guestworker Alliance, SaketSoni 350.org, Bill McKibben and May Boeve The Ruckus Society, Sharon Lungo and Megan Swoboda Citizen Engagement Lab, James Rucker and Ian Inaba smartMeme Strategy & Training Project, Patrick Reinsborough Right to the City Alliance, Rachel LaForest Pushback Network, Brigid Flaherty Progressive Democrats of America, Tim Carpenter Change to Win, Bob Callahan Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Michael Leon Guerrero Campaign for America’s Future, Roger Hickey Fuse Washington, Aaron Ostrom Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, Jeff Ordower Citizen Action of New York, Karen Scharff Engage, Marianne Manilov United Electrical Workers Union, Bruce Klipple National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Pablo Alvarado Alliance for a Just Society, LeeAnn Hall The Partnership for Working Families, Leslie Moody United Students Against Sweatshops, Teresa Cheng

*****
Anyway here comes the astroturf brigade? Or are these people more vulnerable than the average consultant to radicalization?

Culture Jam Co-optation? For Lulz and Profit!
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