Gas Pipeline Explosion Kills 1, international protests

Gas Pipeline Explodes causing fatal injury
from San Francisco Chronicle
A gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, sending a 50 foot fireball high in the sky, killing at least one and injuring several dozen. This shows the problems with gas pipelines and the volatility of natural gas.

No New Wells in Monogahela
from Pittsburgh Live
Monongahela council took steps to relieve residents’ concerns about possible drilling sites for gas in the community.
A large crowd of residents attended yesterday’s council meeting and voiced those concerns in response to an erroneous report that Chesapeake Appalachia LLC would be opening Marcellus shale-drilling sites in the city.
The city and Chesapeake entered into a five-year agreement that netted the municipality a signing bonus of $35,315 plus 18 percent in royalty fees. Council announced the agreement at the Aug. 11 council meeting.
However, shortly after that came the report that Chesapeake was going to drill two wells in the city, one of which would be located near Mounds Park, on property owned by the fire department.
Councilwoman Claudia Williams, who negotiated the deal with Chesapeake, said the agreement included no plans for the company to drill new wells in the city.
She said that if the company wants to open any drilling sites in the city, it first has to negotiate with council.

Khimki protest occurs with minimal repression
from Christian Science Monitor
A small band of Moscow-area environmentalists fighting to prevent the destruction of a local forest by road-builders rallied on the Kremlin’s doorstep Thursday to ask President Dmitry Medvedev to honor his pledge to take their concerns into account.
In contrast to other recent Moscow protests, which have been broken up by massed ranks of riot police, Thursday’s gathering of a few dozen activists was allowed to meet peacefully in the central Slavyanskaya Square.
The group’s leader, Khimki businesswoman Yevgenia Chirikova, was permitted to deliver to Kremlin officials a petition urging Mr. Medvedev to stop the arrests of environmental activists and seizure of their newsletters by Khimki authorities and ensure that “honest” hearings on the issue are allowed to take place.
“We are facing a campaign of suppression, slander, and lies orchestrated by local authorities,” Ms. Chirikova says. “We tried to explain our position in a special edition of our newspaper a few days ago, but police seized every copy. Nine of our activists, and two journalists, are currently in court and facing prison sentences just for speaking out about this issue.”

Asaam activists stage sit in protest
from the Assam Times
The activists of Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) Nagaon wing alleged that the officials of the forest department are involvement with illegal timber traders and support them in the encroachment and destruction of forest in a large scale in most of the reserved forests in Nagaon district of Assam. At a sit in demonstration in front of Deputy Commissioner’s office in Nagaon on Thursday the organisation appealed to the state government to take action against the allegedly involved forest officers.
The activists alleged that the encroacher and the illegal traders who have been carrying out the destruction of the forests have a good relation with some of the influential leaders of the present ruling government of Assam. The president of AJYCP Nagaon wing Pradip Saikia and the secretary Prabin Ch. Das told that the officers and the officials of the forest department have been helping the illegal timber traders to run their business, for which most of the valuable trees of Salna, Siloni, Silghat, Bamuni, Kondoli, Daboka, Kaki, Lowkhowa and Amsoi has been destroyed. “The forest officials take money from the traders to continue their illegal practices”, as alleged by Prabin Ch. Das.
“The rapid cutting of hills, clearing forests to setup stone quarries has not only degraded the panoramic view of the area, but has become a major environmental issue. Despite of checking the illegal practice, the corrupted officials collects a handsome money & encourage the unscrupulous businessmen to run their trade”, as told by the Parishad. The activists demanded for the immediate enquiry against the forest officials. Further they told that the AJYCP had submitted a memorandum to Chief minister of Assam on September 3rd and if they don’t get any fruitful result, they would continue their agitation.

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