Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment
S.O.S.: The EDF Move

Dr. Anthony Ingraffea confirms that the new "Center for Sustainable Shale Development/CSSD" is a masterful pr move on the part of EDF, Fred Krupp. We should merely ignore it, that the so-called 15 standards amount to a hill of beans. Fortunately, Sierra came right out with a criticism of it nationally. Unfortunately, now that Teresa Heinz Kerry's husband is Secretary of State (poised for possible approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline), her former position against fracking might have changed and Heinz Endowments is one of the environmental funders of CSSD.

But worse, EDF has been positioning itself since April 2011 to undermine the science of Cornell University's Robert Howarth, Renee Santoro, and Anthony Ingraffea peer-reviewed study that predicts that methane is the dirtiest fossil fuel, worse than coal. Ingraffea met with Fred Krupp and Mark Brownstein a year ago but Krupp and EDF are on a mission to completely discredit their findings and a full blown national campaign to do so will launch on April 26. We need to be ready to counter their campaign with a national one of our own.

EDF has been trying to kill coal, good, and elevate methane to a national hero level as a bridge fuel, bad. You've perhaps been seeing the national press report EDF's repeated references to their 3.2% figure of intentional and fugitive methane emissions on the atmosphere, that anything less than that is acceptable and the industry's aim of reducing it soon to 1%. An exact figure is never possible, only a range is scientifically appropriate, and the present range of actual measured methane releases to the atmosphere are starting to indicate that the entire life-cycle rate to be higher than 3.2%, e.g. the peer-reviewed work of NOAA/U of Colorado. Reducing any emission rate would require enormous capital investment to repair leak sources, and require years to complete, for a methane supply of only a few decades at most, when we are running short on years to avert even more serious climate change impacts.

EDF stated a year ago that Howarth, Santoro, Ingraffea predictions are wrong and is conducting their own life cycle study of all methane emissions. However, a one year study is not a long-term, comprehensive study as it claims to be. Ingraffea asked for Cornell to be on the team but was refused. Another EDF ploy is to co-opt the funding sources of some of the shale gas opposition groups. University of Texas, Duke, Boston U are participating on the EDF study with Bloomberg funding it with $6 EDF does not accept money from industry. David Allen, University of Texas, is heading the study which includes 9 major industry players David Allen is scheduled to present the EDF study's finding at none other than Cornell University on April 26: how's that for "in your face?"

EDF had counted on the support of NRDC and Sierra but the Chesapeake/Sierra scandal dissuaded Sierra's support and NRDC unconscionably remains on the fence. We need NRDC to be castigating EDF and Heinz, vociferously. Everything needs to be done to persuade Frances Beinecke to protect our interests and the environment. Their refusal to do so cannot continue.

You've noticed that The New York Times has silenced Ian Urbina on his Drilling Down series about methane. And its environmental editor with whom Ingraffea met to challenge that NYT is not "down the middle" stated his prime source of information on the issue is Fred Krupp. The CSI/Environmental Working Group American Clean Energy Agenda Boston meeting next Tuesday and Wednesday on natural gas exports and water will hopefully also address the key issue of countering the soon to be released EDF emissions study. 100 grassroots groups are already signed up to attend and we need to press the sponsors to include in their agenda this other critical issue.

Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment -