January 14, 2015



Featured Post:Jan.14: On the heels of a report linking 77 earthquakes in Ohio to fracking, a Texas city in an area rife with drilling operations was hit with a wave of 11 earthquakes in 24 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. The most intense registered 3.6 on the Richter scale, well over the level at which people would feel it — the local 911 service received more than 300 calls from residents trying to figure out what was going on.

Irving-area earthquakesDallas Morning News

These recent quakes bring the total number to 26 since October in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. James Joiner reports at The Daily Beast that north Texas has seen more than a hundred quakes since 2008, when fracking operations began to ramp up, a dramatic increase from years previous.

Something similar is going on in neighboring Oklahoma, where, as we mentioned yesterday, there have been 586 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or greater in just one year — the most of any state in the contiguous U.S. in 2014. Between 1975 and 2008, the state only got, on average, three earthquakes of this magnitude per year.

Scientists are pretty clear that Oklahoma’s booming oil and gas industry holds a hefty chunk of the blame for the uptick in seismic activity. And now some residents of Irving — where, as it happens, ExxonMobil is headquartered — are asking questions too. From the Daily Beast article:

Irving itself has more than 2,000 [fracking] sites nearby, and some of the more than 216,000 state wide “injection wells” responsible for disposing of fracking’s wastewater byproduct are in close proximity. Located thousands of feet below the ground, these wells hold millions of gallons of chemically tainted h2o, and … the pressure and liquid combination can combine to “lubricate” fault lines. And that may well be what is happening in the Barnett Shale region around, yes, Dallas and Irving.Barnett Shale is the largest land-based gas field in Texas, with an estimated 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas just waiting to be hammered out of the ground … It’s a nearly bottomless potential bank account for corporations with the resources to drill and grind. But, as the people of Irving are now discovering, all of this poking and prodding is not without potential consequences.

Furthermore, seismologists warn that these drilling-related quakes have a good chance of getting worse as more and more wastewater is injected into to the ground. That’s bad news for the folks in Irving, Texas (and in Oklahoma, and Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and Colorado … ).



Videos: Footage of Deadliest Prison Riot in History Released– ‘Chilling Reminder’ for Corrections Officers

January 6, 2015

The Blaze:

Nine months. That’s at least how long a series of newly-discovered videos sat on YouTube largely unnoticed. And now one official in Ohio is calling them a “chilling reminder” of the dangers of working in the prison system.

The videos show the aftermath of the deadly Southern Ohio Correctional Facility prison riot in Lucasville, Ohio, in 1993. One guard and nine inmates were killed in the 11-day ordeal. It also cost about $40 million in damage.

(Source: YouTube)

(Source: YouTube)

The Associated Press explains what they show:

The videos feature a narrated tour of the devastation at the maximum-security prison.

The footage shows hallways barricaded by bed springs and upturned equipment, cellblocks littered with debris, graffiti and broken glass and rooms covered in bullet holes and blood. The narrator doesn’t censor the tour, showing the area where guard Robert Vallandingham was restrained and killed, passages where other guards taken hostage were held and beaten and escape and rescue routes taken by those who survived.

The three videos are about 90 minutes in length and were uploaded by someone going by Jason carver, who wasn’t available for comment to the AP. They were taken by a corrections officer (he refers to “we” in the videos), but it’s unclear if they had ever been made public before.

However Carver comments on one of the videos: “Excellent film footage never before released to the public!”

“The videos, taken by a corrections officer who provides running commentary, are a chilling reminder of the worst case scenario in corrections,” Joanna Saul, executive director of the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee, said in an email posting.

The videos surfaced while the committee was preparing a tour for new state lawmakers, the AP reported.

Watch below [CONTENT WARNING]: