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Dec 22, 2014
Drilling Industry: People In Harrisburg Changed, Not The Impact Of A Severance Tax
PA Environment Digest


Representatives of Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the PA Independent Oil and Gas Association Tuesday held a press conference to again express their opposition to a severance tax on natural gas production. “Some things have changed in Harrisburg, but the crippling impact a severance tax would have on jobs, the economy, and Pennsylvania’s future have not,” said Stephanie Catarino Wissman, API-PA Executive Director. “Priority number one for Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf should be encouraging even more energy driven economic growth. Yet his proposal for a new severance tax threatens to stifle energy production and the jobs that go with it.  [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2014
Sen. Brewster Details Severance Tax For Education, Local Governments
PA Environment Digest


Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny) Tuesday said he will soon introduce a plan that would earmark revenue from a new shale gas extraction tax for public schools while retaining current well impact fees that support local government operations. “My ‘Extraction for Education’ proposal is simple, reasonable and credible because it uses the proceeds of an extraction tax to support education,” Sen. Brewster said. “Yet it also retains funds that are currently generated from impact fees for use by local and state government. Pennsylvania taxpayers, school children, teachers and others who are involved in the education community have paid a high price because the Corbett administration has failed to embrace a responsible shale gas extraction tax.”  [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2014
New York Dept. Of Health Recommends Fracking Ban
PA Environment Digest


The New York Department of Health has completed its public health review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing and Acting DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker recommended Wednesday that high-volume hydraulic fracturing should not move forward in New York State. Dr. Zucker announced his findings and recommendations at a Cabinet Meeting in Albany.   [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2014
EP Publishes Interim Final Policy Implementing Mandatory Stream Buffer Changes
PA Environment Digest


The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 20 PA Bulletin asking for comments on an interim final policy implementing Act 162 of 2014 relating to mandatory stream buffer requirements. The policy takes effect December 20, but DEP is asking for public comments by February 18. As drafted, the policy applies to erosion and sedimentation permits in special protection watersheds, although the language in Act 162 authorizes DEP to require forested stream buffers in any watershed in the Commonwealth.  [Full Story]

Dec 20, 2014
What the Frack Happens Now New York ?
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

The noises you are hearing from the frackers are the death throes of a massive PR machine that is now slowly grinding to a halt for lack of funding. Sure, they will still run the TV Gas Blonde ads, the shills in Albany will mouth the party line as paid, their accomplices in the press will chastise the Governor, and they will keep some 4th rate stringer on the down-sizedpayroll in Albany, but for all intents and purpose, it’s over for the frackers in New York and they know it. Get used to The New Unfracked Normal under Governor Cuomo. As long as Cuomo is in office and/or gas is below $8 mcf, there will be not one well fracked in New York. Enjoy that while you can. I sure will, because when gas goes above $8 mcf, a solar panel in a rain forest will be more cost effective. Let’s take these preposterously bellicose threats in order of their comedic potential:  [Full Story]

Dec 20, 2014
Whistleblower at Jordan Cove LNG-terminal site warns of contaminated soil
The Oregonian
Ted Sickinger

A biologist and environmental inspector who worked at the site of the massive liquefied natural gas terminal proposed for Coos Bay told federal regulators this week that project engineers were ignoring and possibly hiding contaminated soil issues at the site. Barbara Gimlin was employed by SHN Engineers & Geologists as a biologist and environmental compliance specialist on the Jordan Cove Energy Project from March 2013 to April 2014. She says she supports the project, but resigned as a matter of professional integrity after being ignored and reprimanded by supervisors when trying to take required compliance steps after contaminated soil was excavated, moved and reburied in a berm during testing.  [Full Story]

Dec 20, 2014
New York’s Conservative Fracking Ban
The Daily Beast
Jay Michaelson

New York blinks in the face of uncertainty and bans hydraulic fracturing. The reasons may be a lot more boring than you think. The state of New York has banned fracking—for now, anyway. Environmentalists have cheered, the fracking industry has scowled, and for the most part, coverage of the decision has focused on the political factors weighing on Governor Andrew Cuomo: the timing of the report’s release, six weeks after Cuomo won re-election; the governor’s uncharacteristic “I’m just doing what the experts say” rhetoric; and so on.  [Full Story]

Dec 20, 2014
Brilliant Fracking Advice For Towns Considering A Ban
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

From my fellow GAZPROM operatives, Team Slottje. If your town is thinking about banning fracking under its zoning laws do it. Simply put, the DEC’s proposed change in the SGEIS may just address one type of HVHF well – over 300,000 gallons. If “gallons” means water, then HVHF fracking with a gelled propane (ie. Napalm) clusterfrack might be a loophole. (Not fracking likely, but we will watch for any wormholes the DMN might sneak in). What happened on Wednesday is not an “extension of the moratorium” or “permanent” it is merely a proposed regulatory change for one type of well. Nothing less. Nothing more.  [Full Story]

Dec 20, 2014
How fracking got stopped in N.Y.
Press Connects
Tom Wilber

In certain places in New York, Wednesday's news of the state's ban on fracking inspired public celebration. When a manager at GreenStar Natural Foods Market in Ithaca announced the news over a loud speaker, people in the store began applauding, cheering, shouting and hugging. "People had worked for this for so long," said Dawn Lodor, an assistant manager at the store, which helped organize opposition to shale gas development.  [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
Pilgrim execs fire back at N.J. Assembly's resolution opposing pipeline
NJ Advance Media
Claude Brodesser-Akner

TRENTON — Pilgrim pipeline executives are chafing at the state Assembly's just-passed resolution to oppose its controversial $1 billion, 178-mile long oil and gas pipeline, claiming its primary sponsors "did not meet with representatives of Pilgrim to learn firsthand about the project," a charge the measure's sponsors deny.  [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
5 takeaways for PA following New York’s fracking ban
NPR State Impact PAR
MARIE CUSICK

After more than six years of studying the issue, New York decided to ban fracking this week. Officials there cited environmental and health risks. The state’s acting health commissioner, Howard Zucker, said there wasn’t enough research to know for sure if fracking poses a health threat, but he wasn’t comfortable recommending it. “There are many red flags because scientific issues have not yet been comprehensively studied through rigorous scientific research at this time,” Zucker said.  [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
Gas drilling draws citizen scientists to the field
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI

Joanne Martin stands on the muddy bank of Brady Run, a stream in Beaver County in western Pennsylvania. To get there, she crawled down a steep gravel slope, ducking low tree branches and stepping over dead brush. Martin has been coming to Brady Run for three years to test the water for signs of pollution from natural gas drilling. There’s a producing well pad just about a half a mile from here.  [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
North Dakota Moves to Ease Oil-and-Gas Radioactive Waste Rules Dramatically
InsideClimate News
Zahra Hirji

North Dakota regulators recently announced plans to bump up the state's allowable oil-and-gas radioactive waste disposal limit by tenfold. The current threshold is one of the strictest in the country, at 5 picocuries per gram. That's roughly the equivalent of the natural radiation levels found in North Dakota soil. Consequently, many companies truck their waste out of state to places with higher limits, including the neighboring Minnesota and Montana.  [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
Science in the spotlight as New York state bans fracking
Science Magazine
Puneet Kollipara

Scientific findings—and a lack of them—played a starring role in a controversial decision earlier this week by Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to essentially ban the natural gas extraction technique known as fracking in the Empire State. The 17 December decision rested heavily on a state health department report that reviewed dozens of studies of the potential human health impacts of oil and gas development and found cause for concern. “I looked at this process with the same critical eye I always use in medicine,” said Howard Zucker, a physician and New York’s acting health commissioner, at a Cabinet meeting that covered the issue. During the discussions, Zucker displayed numerous scientific papers that he said highlighted how multiple facets of shale gas production, including drilling, trucking, and wastewater disposal, could potentially harm human health. He also lamented a lack of data on some risks. Precaution was the best course, Zucker suggested in recommending a hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, ban.  [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
The Alarming Research Behind New York's Fracking Ban
The Atlantic
NICHOLAS ST. FLEUR

The battle over untapped natural gas in New York State appears to have reached its end. Following an extensive public health review of hydraulic fracturing, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a complete ban on the oil and natural gas harvesting practice in the state on Wednesday. The 184-page report, conducted by the New York State Department of Health, cites potential environmental impacts and health hazards as reasons for the ban. The research incorporates findings from multiple studies conducted across the country and highlights the following seven concerns:  [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
White House NEPA guidance could trigger change at FERC
E & E Newswire
Hannah Northey

The Obama administration's release yesterday of new proposed guidance for how climate change should factor into federal environmental reviews could prompt changes at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, analysts say. The proposed guidance could encourage FERC, which conducts reviews of gas pipelines, compressor stations and export terminals, to expand its scope of upstream and downstream effects of projects as was done with the Keystone XL pipeline, said Christi Tezak, managing director of research at ClearView Energy Partners LLC. "If you look at the language that [the White House Council on Environmental Quality] used, talking about how central greenhouse gas emissions are to a [National Environmental Policy Act] review, we think that could encourage FERC to take a more Keystone-like approach to their reviews, to ask applicants to look upstream and downstream and address these issues in some fashion," Tezak said. At issue is the new guidance CEQ proposed yesterday addressing how federal agencies should consider greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change when conducting reviews under NEPA. CEQ first released draft guidance in 2010 but never issued a final plan, a delay that frustrated some environmentalists (E&ENews PM, Dec. 18). The draft guidance will be available for public comment for 60 days. CEQ yesterday also finalized its proposal to encourage federal agencies responsible for conducting environmental analyses under NEPA to undertake "programmatic" reviews where possible. The guidance could result in slower permitting at FERC if the agency requires applicants to take a closer look at upstream and downstream effects, but it’s not clear FERC would be quick to adopt programmatic environmental reviews, Tezak and other analysts at ClearView Energy Partners LLC said in a note yesterday. FERC, they said, currently evaluates energy infrastructure as industry-driven "doors" between resources and markets rather than as part of an agency-sponsored program. Programmatic reviews are frequently used for oil and gas leases administered by federal land managers, but FERC maintains individual projects don’t fit that type of review, Tezak said.  [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
Environmentalists make their post-fracking plans
Capital New York
SCOTT WALDMAN

ALBANY—It was a scene that would have been unthinkable just three days ago. A few dozen activists representing nearly all of the state's major environmental groups held a rally on the Million Dollar staircase at the state Capitol on Thursday. This time, instead of gathering to protest Governor Andrew Cuomo's position on fracking, they were there to praise him, for his decision Wednesday to impose a permanent prohibition on the controversial practice in New York. Their “Don't frack with our water” signs had the word “Thanks” pasted on front in big red letters. And they repeatedly cited his "bold leadership" and "political courage."  [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
Senator Avella – The One Guy Who Got It Right
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

From the git-go, one politician in Albany got fracking right on literally every issue – and had the gumption to say so and the integrity to actually do something about it. My pal Senator Tony Avella not only hosted hearings and forums on virtually ever aspect of the issue – health, regulations, economics – to get the facts out on fracking in New York, but he also sponsored key legislation to do something about it. Bravo Senator Avella. The Best Senator The Frackers Couldn’t Buy. SENATOR AVELLA JOINS ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS IN PRAISING HISTORIC HYDROFRACKING BAN & CALLING FOR COMPLETE PROTECTION FROM FRACKING DANGERS   [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
Reed: Congress May Override State Fracking Ban
State of Politics


GOP Rep. Tom Reed on Friday raised the possibility of the federal government exploring ways of superseding Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to prohibit hydrofracking in the Southern Tier. Reed, who represents the area of the state where natural gas deposits are especially rich, told Fred Dicker on Talk-1300 this morning the federal government could have the authority to overrule the ban, which will be formally put in place by the state Department of Environmental Conservation next year. Reed compared the move to a federal telecommunications measure that overrode local zoning on the placement of satellite dishes. “So the federal government could have a role here,” Reed said. “Obviously when we talk about energy, we’re talking about our energy security and that has national implications.”  [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
RFK, Jr. and Josh Fox Chime in on New York Fracking Ban Victory
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Last night on Thom Hartmann‘s Best of the Rest of the News, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., president of Waterkeeper Alliance, and Thomas Linzey, co-Founder of the Community Legal Defense Fund, joined Hartmann to talk about the dangers of fracking and the New York fracking ban. On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that his state will ban fracking after acting New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said that an examination of the fracking process found that it presented significant public health risks. He said that “The potential risks are too great. In fact, they are not even fully known.”   [Full Story]

Dec 19, 2014
New York Says No to Fracking: State Bans Drilling Following Grassroots Outcry over Public Health
Democracy Now!


New York has become the first state in the nation with major natural gas deposits to ban the oil and gas extraction process of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, citing potential risks to public health. Fracking involves blasting sand, water and toxic chemicals deep into shale rock to release oil and gas, a process which can poison water supplies and pollute the air. Following a two-year study, New York Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said fracking was too risky. We speak to biologist, activist and author Sandra Steingraber, co-founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking. Also joining us is Cornell University professor Tony Ingraffea, president of Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy. TRANSCRIPT  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Feds delay decision on methane mandates
Fuel Fix
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency is waiting to make a decision on whether — and how — to boost regulation of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector until the new year. The agency had been working under a Dec. 21 deadline under the Obama administration’s methane strategy, which tasked the agency with deciding how best to reduce methane pollution from the sector this fall.   [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Obama Sets Guidelines for Climate Review in Agency Decisions
Bloomberg
Mark Drajem

The Obama administration proposed guidelines that require agencies to consider climate change in reviewing of government actions, the latest of a string of environmental directives after Democrats lost control of Congress. The Council on Environmental Quality in the White House issued the long-delayed plan for treating greenhouse-gas emissions today. It won’t exempt any individual project on the ground it won’t change overall trends of climate change. “Diverse individual sources of emissions each make relatively small additions to global atmospheric GHG concentrations that collectively have huge impact,” according to the council’s guidance. Following midterm elections that cost Democrats control of the Senate, President Barack Obama issued orders to protect the environmental that have drawn fire from Republicans. Obama reached a landmark deal with China to control greenhouse-gas emissions, and his Environmental Protection Agency proposed far-reaching rules for cutting down on smog. The EPA is set to issue long-delayed rules for the handling of coal ash tomorrow. The guidance issued today would apply in required environmental reviews that federal departments and agencies conduct before they make decisions, such as approving a pipeline or rejecting a land-use plan. The guidelines may cover highway construction, government grants, coal sales from federal lands or timber leasing.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
White House Floats New Climate Guidelines for Energy, Infrastructure Development
National Journal
Ben Geman

The White House unveiled draft plans Thursday to ensure that federal agencies evaluate how certain energy, mining, construction, and other projects and policies will affect climate change before they move forward. The White House Council on Environmental Quality plan is meant to guide federal agencies as they review projects under the National Environmental Policy Act, a 44-year-old law that demands analyses of the environmental footprint of various decisions and projects that require federal approval. NEPA reviews are applied to projects and actions such as federal offshore drilling lease sales, highways, construction projects, pipelines, and others.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Editorial: New York wisely skips hydrofracking
The Journal News
Editorial

New York has functioned with a de facto ban on hydraulic fracturing since 2008. On Wednesday, the state made it official. The decision stemmed from scientific data (or the lack thereof) that left too many unknowns about environmental impact. Economic factors came into play, too. But a pile of expected lawsuits will claim politics was at the root.   [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Elmira-area reaction to casino, fracking decisions
Star Gazette
Bob Jamieson

A decision announced Wednesday to grant a full-fledged casino license for Seneca County, not Tioga Downs in Nichols, surprised and disappointed Southern Tier leaders. Meanwhile, New York's decision to keep a ban on hydraulic fracturing delighted environmental advocates while elected leaders called it the wrong decision.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
A Chat on New York’s Shale Gas Ban with Anti-Fracking Superhero Mark Ruffalo
The New York Times
Andrew C. Revkin

On Twitter early this morning, I had a productive exchange about Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s decision to ban shale gas development in New York with Mark Ruffalo, the actor best known for playing the Marvel comic character Hulk.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Could New York's Fracking Ban Have Domino Effect?
National Geographic
Wendy Koch

New York's decision to ban fracking for health reasons could reverberate beyond the state, bolstering other efforts to limit the controversial method of drilling for oil and natural gas. While two dozen U.S. municipalities and at least two countries, Bulgaria and France, have also adopted bans, states have been slower to act. Fracking opponents say New York, which surprised them Wednesday with the boldest move of any state so far, will change that.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Keepin’ it in the Ground: New York Shale Gas by the numbers
Oil Change International
Lorne Stockman

This week’s historic decision by New York Governor Cuomo to ban high-volume fracking in New York State comes as the local health risks of fracking are becoming increasingly clear. The decision followed the release of a long awaited New York Health Department study that acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, said had found “significant public health risks” associated with fracking. Opening up New York to fracking would have allowed the exploitation of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, gas that should now be left underground where it belongs. We consulted the Rystad Energy UCube database to estimate how much gas would have likely been produced in New York by 2050. This is what we found. Almost 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas would potentially have been extracted between 2015 and 2050. That’s about 20% of U.S. consumption in 2013. At it’s projected peak, in 2038, New York would have been producing around 713 million cubic feet per day, which is only about 1% of average daily U.S. consumption in 2013.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Not Just Public Lands: Defense Bill Also Incentivizes Fracked Gas Vehicles
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

DeSmogBlog recently revealed how Big Oil's lobbyists snuck expedited permitting for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) on public lands into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2015, which passed in the U.S. House and Senate and now awaits President Barack Obama's signature. A follow-up probe reveals that the public lands giveaway was not the only sweetheart deal the industry got out of the pork barrel bill. The NDAA also included a provision that opened the floodgates for natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in the U.S.—cars that would largely be fueled by gas obtained via fracking. The section of the bill titled, “Alternative Fuel Automobiles” (on page 104) lays it out:   [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Wolf: New York’s fracking ban is “unfortunate”
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI

Democratic Governor-elect Tom Wolf says New York made the wrong move by banning fracking. New York State health officials say there isn’t enough evidence to show whether or not gas development has an impact on public health. Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker wrote in a report released Wednesday that “absolute scientific certainty” is “unlikely to ever be attained,” which is why his department said it could not recommend allowing natural gas development in the Empire State.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
What New York’s fracking ban means for drilling along the Delaware river
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

The surprise decision by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban fracking and prevent the development of Marcellus Shale gas in that state could have ripple effects in eastern Pennsylvania. New York issued a lengthy scientific report on potential health and environmental impacts Wednesday. And Cuomo’s subsequent decision could mean a permanent ban on drilling in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, where the Delaware River Basin Commission has authority to regulate shale gas drilling.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Shock in Southern Tier of New York as Hopes of Gambling and Fracking Both Die
The New York Times
JESSE McKINLEY

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — To get a sense of the deep disappointment felt by many here at the twin killings of two potentially lucrative dreams, hydraulic fracturing and a new luxury casino, one needed to look no further than the front-page headline of Thursday’s edition of The Press & Sun-Bulletin. It was two letters, in red type: “NO!” That cry could seemingly be heard all along New York State’s Southern Tier, which borders Pennsylvania and has long been one of the state’s most stubborn economic laggards. In recent years, both hydraulic fracturing — known as fracking — and casinos had been posited as potential economic saviors here, where residents and leaders have watched with envy as neighboring Pennsylvanians dived into both industries.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Oil and Gas Declines: Wastful Spending?
Energy Policy Forum
Deborah Lawrence

Have you have ever wondered why climate talks stall every time? There is an answer. According to the IEA, International Energy Administration: “…governments have direct influence over energy sector investment…through retained ownership of more than 70% of global oil and gas reserves or control of nearly half of the world’s power generation capacity, via state-owned companies.” It gets worse. IEA states: “Less than half of the [estimated] $40 trillion investment in energy supply [will go] to meet growth in demand, the larger share is required to offset declining production from existing oil and gas fields and to replace power plants and other assets that reach the end of their productive life.”  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Cuomo: Risks outweighed fracking jobs
Democrat and Chronicle
Joseph Spector

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday defended the state's decision Wednesday to ban large-scale hydraulic fracturing, saying the state can't jeopardize the public's health for the jobs the drilling could create. He said the Southern Tier, which would have been the primary beneficiary of fracking, can achieve economic development without the risks associated with high-volume hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Environmentalists Are Gearing Up for the Next Phase of New York's Fracking Wars
Vice
Peter Rugh

When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing on Wednesday, environmentalists were elated. After six years of relentless protests against fracking, the findings of the state Health Department's report confirmed what activists have been saying all along: That the potential environmental consequences—the threat of flammable water, dangerous hydrocarbon emissions near drilling sites, radioactive waste—are too costly for the state to ignore.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Why New York’s fracking ban is a victory for communities everywhere
Salon
Lindsay Abrams

Fracking took a beating yesterday, when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on the heels of a stern recommendation from the state’s acting health commissioner, announced his intention to ban the unconventional drilling method. But even if he’d failed to do so, frackers would’ve been effectively barred from a large number of the state’s communities, anyway. That’s because, during the excruciatingly long years that the state spent weighing the issue, a team of lawyers quietly helped individual towns use zoning ordinances to keep the industry out, regardless of what state and federal law says. When Salon spoke with one of those lawyers, Helen Slottje, in April, she and her husband, David, had successfully passed such laws in 172 towns. In June, the state’s highest court affirmed their right to do so. Now that New York state has said it won’t allow fracking within its borders, their fight’s become redundant — at least so far as fracking goes. Speaking with Salon Wednesday night, Slottje was thrilled about the decision, but said that she’s by no means ready to stop fighting. There are still a lot of other infrastructure projects to take on, after all: pipelines and gas storage facilities, for example, that are “equally if not more devastating” to communities. And they’re already going national: “There are communities across the country that are looking to emulate New York’s model of home rule and local control over gas drilling decisions,” Slottje said, with an enthusiasm that has been building since the June Court of Appeals decision.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Quebec Just Shut the Door on Shale Gas Development (For Now)
Vice
Simon Van Vliet

The oil and gas industry was dealt another blow in Quebec this week, as Quebec's environmental review board the Bureau des audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) released its assessment report on shale gas. The report points out that the social and environmental risks and costs of shale gas exploitation would outweigh its anticipated economic benefits. "That's what we've been saying all along," Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA) president André Bélisle told VICE. He said the report basically confirms "all recommendations and questions raised by AQLPA" about the potential risks for air, water, and soil quality of shale gas development in the densely populated areas along the St. Lawrence River. In response to the report, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard announced Tuesday that he did "not see the interest in developing [the shale industry]." He went on to say, "If there's no segment of the population that approves of the practice then I don't see the interest in developing it," effectively shutting the door on the shale industry in Quebec and signalling a temporary win for opponents of shale gas extraction.   [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Cuomo’s choice to ban fracking driven by science, politics
Shale Gas Review
Tom Wilber

Tonight, I was scheduled to cover a town board meeting in Windsor, New York, where officials were going to review a plan to change their zoning to allow fracking. The process for a zoning change promised to be long and contentious, and was necessary in light of a recent court ruling putting the decision of whether and where to drill in the hands of local governments. Things changed dramatically this afternoon, when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would ban shale gas development statewide due to unacceptable health risks. Cuomo’s position, backed by a long-awaited report from the state Department of Health, is a departure from his earlier position that he would allow fracking where local governments favored it. Reporters, pundits and the public they serve are still getting their minds around Cuomo’s emphatic decision, which came after more than six years of policy review. While it puts the matter to rest, many questions remain: What are the legal consequences? Do industry lawyers and supporters, who have been beaten at every turn in their efforts to bring shale gas to New York, have another challenge in them? Or is this the end of the line?  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
After protests, Cuomo sides with environmentalists
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—The Cuomo administration's long-delayed decision to prohibit fracking in New York has emboldened environmental advocates, and inflamed business groups. Environmental groups saw the decision as the beginning of a new era in New York, which allows them to shift their attention to a future powered by renewable energy sources, and focus their energies on other issues, like reliance on fossil fuels and specifically the infrastructure and oil trains that transport fracked gas.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
On fracking and casinos, Cuomo says, buck stops elsewhere
Capital New York
Jimmy Vielkind

ALBANY—Wednesday brought two legacy-defining actions for Governor Andrew Cuomo, who would have the public believe he had nothing to do with either. The governor, a Democrat, wasn't even present when a five-person panel recommended casinos be built in Schenectady, Sullivan County and the Finger Lakes community of Tyre. And he sat impassively at an open cabinet meeting as two his appointees—acting health commissioner Howard Zucker and Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner Joe Martens—recommended that the state not allow natural gas hydrofracking, citing public health “red flags” and a lack of scientific data supporting its safety. Each decision was contentious, and will have major statewide implications. They will also have political implications. And rather than own them, Cuomo—the self-acknowledged "control freak"—is at pains to demonstrate that in these cases, he exerted no influence at all.  [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Amid Tension, Texas Mulls Oversight of Urban Drilling
Texas Tribune
Jim Malewitz

Turns out, oil and gas drilling makes some city slickers cranky. The Railroad Commission of Texas is mulling how to beef up oversight of oil and gas operations in cities, aiming to ease tension between the industry and growing numbers of urban Texans who find themselves living next to well pads, compressor stations and disposal wells.   [Full Story]

Dec 18, 2014
Fracking Ban in New York Paves the Way for Other States
EcoWatch
Wenonah Hauter Opinion

Fantastic news came from the state of New York this week when the Cuomo administration announced its decision to ban fracking in the state. This exciting decision is a tribute to everyone who has worked so hard in New York to protect the state from the ravages experiences elsewhere from fracking.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Cuomo’s choice to ban fracking driven by science, politics
Tom Wilber Blogspot
Tom Wilber

Things changed dramatically this afternoon, when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would ban shale gas development statewide due to unacceptable health risks. Cuomo’s position, backed by a long-awaited report from the state Department of Health, is a departure from his earlier position that he would allow fracking where local governments favored it. Reporters, pundits and the public they serve are still getting their minds around Cuomo’s emphatic decision, which came after more than six years of policy review. While it puts the matter to rest, many questions remain: What are the legal consequences? Do industry lawyers and supporters, who have been beaten at every turn in their efforts to bring shale gas to New York, have another challenge in them? Or is this the end of the line?  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
New York plans to prohibit fracking
USA Today
Jon Campbell

Fracking is out in New York. New York's health and environmental commissioners Wednesday rejected the prospect for "high-volume hydraulic fracturing" in New York -- better known as "fracking" -- saying that health risks, the potential of local bans and limited available land would outweigh the benefits of the controversial drilling technique. The conclusions by the state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker brings to an end the state's uncertainty over whether it would proceed with fracking. The state has had a de facto moratorium since 2008.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Pennsylvania energy producers not fazed by New York fracking ban
Pittsburgh Business Times
Sam Kusic

Even if Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration had decided to open the door to development of New York's Marcellus Shale fields and allow hydraulic fracturing, it's not so certain that producers would have rushed there, according to one energy company official. Jim Tramuto, vice president of governmental and regulatory strategies for Southwestern Energy Co., which operates in northern Pennsylvania across the border from New York, said producers want to be in places where they are welcomed and can have a working relationship with regulatory agencies. "New York just does not provide that environment," Tramuto said.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
New York State Bans Fracking
Pro Publica
Abraham Lustgarten

When natural gas companies first pressed into New York in 2008, state environmental regulators barely understood the process of "hydraulic fracturing." Today, six and a half years after ProPublica first raised concerns that the drilling could threaten both the state's water supply and its residents' health, Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned the process across the state. The ban makes New York, which holds large natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale, the largest and most significant region to bow out of the nation's energy boom because of concerns that its benefits may be outweighed by the risk. The decision comes after a long-awaited report from the state's Health Department this week concluded that the fracking would pose health risks to New Yorkers. It also follows an exhaustive state environmental review effort that began the day after ProPublica's first story in July 2008.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Report Claims Negative Impacts of Marcellus Shale Drilling
90.5 Essential Pittsburgh
Jessica Nath

While the population in Marcellus Shale drilling towns has not increased, crime, housing costs and other negative impacts have. That’s according to the left-leaning Keystone Research Center and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s report "The Shale Tipping Point: The Relationship of Drilling to Crime, Truck Fatalities, STDs and Rents in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio." Mark Price, Keystone Research Center labor economist, said they first interviewed local officials and residents and community groups to get a sense of what they were seeing about the human and social impacts of drilling. “And that sort of case study work then informed this sort of report which is we then went and scoured what government data sources we could track down that would address some of the issues that folks brought up,” Price said.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
New York to Ban Fracking; Environmentalists Cheer
ABC News
Mary Esch AP

Handing environmentalists a breakthrough victory, New York plans to prohibit fracking for natural gas because of what regulators say are its unexplored health risks and dubious economic benefits. New York, which overlies part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation that has led to a drilling boom in Pennsylvania and other nearby states, has banned shale gas development since 2008, when the state began an environmental review of the drilling technique also known as hydraulic fracturing. Wednesday's announcement, though not final, means a ban is all but etched in stone. "Never before has a state with proven gas reserves banned fracking," said Deborah Goldberg, an attorney with Earthjustice, adding that the decision "will give courage to elected leaders throughout the country and world: Fracking is too dangerous and must not continue." Industry and its supporters expressed outrage at the decision.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Now, Cuomo says humans contribute to climate change
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—In the wake of the state's decision not to allow fracking, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said for the first time that be believes that human activity has played a role in the climate change that has produced extreme weather events in New York. "I believe human activity is a factor in climate change," Cuomo said, when asked about his position at an event announcing the administration's fracking position. "To what degree, I don't know."   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Washington governor proposes cap on carbon pollution
Washington Post
Associated Press

SEATTLE — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed a cap-and-trade program that would require industrial polluters to pay for every ton of carbon they release. The Democrat outlined the program on Wednesday as part of a broader package to help the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Inslee says the plan would raise nearly $1 billion for transportation, education and other needs in its first year.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Citing Health Risks, Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York State
New York Times
Thomas Kaplan

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of debate over a method of extracting natural gas. Fracking, as it is known, was heavily promoted as a source of economic revival for depressed communities along New York’s border with Pennsylvania, and Mr. Cuomo had once been poised to embrace it. Instead, the move to ban fracking left him acknowledging that, despite the intense focus he has given to solving deep economic troubles afflicting large areas upstate, the riddle remained largely unsolved. “I’ve never had anyone say to me, ‘I believe fracking is great,’ ” he said. “Not a single person in those communities. What I get is, ‘I have no alternative but fracking.’ ”   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
With Unresolved Health Risks and Few Signs of an Economic Boon, Cuomo to Ban Gas Fracking
New York Times
Andrew C. Revkin--Opinion

It had been clear for years, as I wrote in 2012, that there was little political or economic impetus to act quickly, even though I felt (and still am convinced) that gas extraction from shale can be done safely and cleanly if properly regulated. I would have preferred an approach allowing some carefully supervised drilling where communities were supportive — which Cuomo had pondered several years ago. See my conversation with Josh Fox, the director of “Gasland,” for more on my view. But for a governor, data on drilling risks are just one of a host of considerations. The issue is similar to President Obama’s quandary on the Keystone oil pipeline. (It’ll be interesting to see if low oil prices prompt the president to tip the balance there toward rejection. On Tuesday, Obama announced he was barring oil and gas exploration in Alaska’s Bristol Bay.)  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
New York State Just Banned Natural Gas Fracking
Vice News
Matt Smith

New York State won't allow the use of hydraulic fracturing to drill for natural gas after a state review found too many "red flags" raised by the controversial technique, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday. High-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) has fueled a nationwide boom in US natural gas production over the past decade. But critics say that the large amounts of toxic chemicals used in the process pose a serious threat to drinking water supplies, wildlife populations, and agricultural production.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Big change in a New York minute
Earthworks
Nadia Steinzor

When it comes to statements on fracking by elected officials, my motto is usually “stunning but not surprising.” Yesterday, that was replaced by “surprising and stunningly amazing”—thanks to New York Governor Cuomo’s decision to prohibit shale gas drilling in the state. In the lead-up to the announcement at a cabinet meeting—which dropped the jaws of even the most ardent frack watchers—Cuomo reiterated his longstanding position: the science and experts, not “emotion,” would rule the day. He then passed the baton to Joe Martens, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), who summed up the clear facts: any presumed benefits from jobs and revenue generated by drilling would be limited—and far outweighed by the serious threats to water and air quality.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Drilling tax could cripple state economy, gas industry warns
Bakken.com
Amy Worden

HARRISBURG — Three days after the newly-elected Senate majority leader opened the door to negotiations on a natural gas drilling tax, industry leaders reiterated their stand that such a tax would harm the state’s economy. Additional taxes would have a “crippling effect on jobs” said Stephanie Wissmer, executive director of the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Senators propose pipeline impact fee
Citizens Voice
Robert Swift

HARRISBURG — Two senators are pushing for a state gas pipeline impact fee to drive revenue to communities affected by environmental and safety issues due to pipeline construction. Sens. John Rafferty, R-Collegeville, and Andrew Dinniman, D-West Chester, plan to formally introduce this legislation when the new session starts next month. The proposed fee would be levied on firms building new transmission and gathering lines for natural gas and oil. They introduced a similar bill as the previous session ended last October. Residents are being affected by pipeline construction as the natural gas industry grows, the senators said in a memo to colleagues.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
'Pinhole' leak in U.P. gas pipeline raises fears
Detroit Free Press
Keith Matheny

A pinhole leak in a controversial petroleum pipeline running through the Upper Peninsula released an undetermined amount of natural gas liquid that dispersed into the atmosphere north of Manistique, near the Indian River, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Tuesday. A spokesman for Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge, which operates the Line 5 pipeline, however, said it was not a leak, but a "pinhole-sized defect, observed in the weld of the pipe," during a planned investigation of the pipeline Dec. 8. Leak or defect, the incident heightened concerns among some people about a 61-year-old stretch of the pipeline that runs underwater through the Straits of Mackinac, and what a spill there could do to the Great Lakes.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
EU bans oil and gas drilling in Crimean shore
World Bulletin


The European Union will widen its ban on investment in Crimea to target Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration, EU officials said on Wednesday, tightening sanctions first imposed over Moscow's annexation of the region. At a summit on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, EU leaders meeting in the European Council will announce the punitive measures that are also expected to be coordinated with similar steps by the United States, officials have told Reuters. The investment ban, the latest in a series of measures since July, is also designed to show that despite a dive in the Russian rouble's value, there will be no lifting of sanctions unless Moscow drops its support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Drilling industry warns of closures with fines
9News
Associated Press

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - Colorado oil and gas industry leaders say new fines for rule violations could lead in some cases to companies shutting down or curtailing operations. An attorney for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association industry group told regulators penalties should be waived for minor infractions. The commission is considering the new fine structure to comply with a state law passed this year and an executive order by Gov. John Hickenlooper. The law raises the daily penalty limit from $1,000 to $15,000 for each violation and requires commissioners to assess a penalty for each day a violation occurred.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Families flee out-of-control natural-gas leak at eastern Ohio fracking well
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

About 25 families in eastern Ohio have been unable to live in their houses for the past three days because of a natural-gas leak at a fracking well that crews cannot stop. Bethany McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the state agency that regulates oil and gas, said crews lost control of the Monroe County well on Saturday. Families were evacuated from about 25 houses within a 1.5-mile radius of the well, located near the Ohio River about 160 miles east of Columbus. The well is not on fire, but the gas could be explosive. “There’s still a steady stream of natural gas coming from the wellhead,” McCorkle said yesterday. The well is operated by Triad Hunter, a Texas company that also has offices in Marietta in southeastern Ohio.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Groups protest sale of drilling rights in Utah archaeological areas
The Salt Lake Tribune
Brian Maffly

With the Bureau of Land Management poised to offer new oil and gas leases in the heart of southeast Utah’s archaeological stronghold, various groups are demanding the agency reconsider 10 parcels slated for auction in February because it has not adequately documented cultural resources on them. "These parcels are located amidst one of the densest concentrations of cultural resources in Utah, if not the American Southwest. These cultural resources are sacred to several Native American tribes, including the Hopi," wrote Amy Cole, of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in a protest to the BLM. Friends of Cedar Mesa and the National Parks Conservation Association joined the protest, asking BLM state director Juan Palma to "defer" leasing decisions on parcels covering 11,027 acres mostly in and around Montezuma Canyon.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Cuomo to Ban Fracking After Health Department Calls It Unsafe
Bloomberg
Martin Braun

(Bloomberg) -- The New York state Health Department said fracking for natural gas can’t be done safely, dooming prospects that Governor Andrew Cuomo will end a six-year moratorium. Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said at a cabinet meeting in Albany today that studies on the extraction technique’s effects on water, air and soil are inconsistent, incomplete and raise too many “red flags” to allow. “I consider the people of the state of New York as my patients,” said Zucker, a medical doctor. “We cannot afford to make a mistake. The potential risks are too great. In fact, they are not fully known.”  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Bristol Bay: Obama blocks drilling where no one really wanted to drill anyway
Christian Science Monitor
Jared Gilmour

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT ENERGY VOICES Bristol Bay: Obama blocks drilling where no one really wanted to drill anyway csmonitor icon Editors' Picks 4 Free Issues EMAIL MORE President Obama has made Alaska's Bristol Bay off limits to oil and gas drilling. Green groups applauded the move, but the oil and gas industry's response was muted. A sign of compromise? Sort of. By Jared Gilmour, Staff writer DECEMBER 17, 2014 Environmental Protection Agency/Reuters/FileView Caption President Obama blocked oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Bristol Bay Tuesday, his latest push for conservation and environmental protection during his final two years in office. Environmentalists cheered the move, but industry’s response? Meh. Energy firms’ relative acceptance of the ban is perhaps a small sign of compromise amid the age-old balancing act of economic growth with environmental conservation. But there’s another explanation for indifference toward this particular restriction: Oil and gas firms have shown little if any interest in developing Bristol Bay in the first place. Even pro-drilling Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska shrugged off Obama’s move to close the bay to oil and gas leasing.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Gov. Cuomo Makes Sense on Fracking
The New York Times
Editorial

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced a statewide ban on the extraction of natural gas using a controversial drilling process called hydraulic fracturing. This was not an easy decision, but it was the right one. Many geologists and industry believe that the deep shale formations underneath the state’s southern tier, known as the Marcellus Shale, contain bountiful supplies of natural gas. But extracting the gas, the governor concluded, carried — at least for now — unacceptable risks to the environment and human health. In making what amounted to his first major decision since his re-election last month, Mr. Cuomo embraced the conclusion of state health officials that important health issues remain unresolved and that it was impossible to declare that hydraulic fracturing is safe for the environment or human health.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks
New York Times
THOMAS KAPLAN and JESSE McKINLEY

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of uncertainty over the disputed method of natural gas extraction. State officials concluded that fracking, as the method is known, could contaminate the air and water and pose inestimable dangers to public health. That conclusion was delivered during a year-end cabinet meeting Mr. Cuomo convened in Albany. It came amid increased calls by environmentalists to ban fracking, which uses water and chemicals to release oil and natural gas trapped in deeply buried shale deposits. The question of whether to allow fracking has been one of the most divisive public policy debates in New York in years, pitting environmentalists against others who saw it as a critical way to bring jobs to economically stagnant portions of upstate. Continue reading the main story Related Coverage Opponents of fracking rallied outside Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s fund-raiser in Manhattan on Monday. New York Towns Can Prohibit Fracking, State’s Top Court RulesJUNE 30, 2014 Still Undecided on Fracking, Cuomo Won’t Press for Health Study’s ReleaseDEC. 16, 2013 Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat who has prided himself on taking swift and decisive action on other contentious issues like gun control, took the opposite approach on fracking. He repeatedly put off making a decision on how to proceed, most recently citing a continuing — and seemingly never-ending — study by state health officials. On Wednesday, six weeks after Mr. Cuomo won re-election to a second term, the long-awaited health study finally materialized. In a presentation at the cabinet meeting, the acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, said the examination had found “significant public health risks” associated with fracking. Holding up scientific studies to animate his arguments, Dr. Zucker listed concerns about water contamination and air pollution, and said there was insufficient scientific evidence to affirm the long-term safety of fracking. Dr. Zucker said his review boiled down to a simple question: Would he want to live in a community that allowed fracking? He said the answer was no. “We cannot afford to make a mistake,” he said. “The potential risks are too great. In fact, they are not even fully known.” New York has had a de facto ban on the procedure for more than five years, predating Mr. Cuomo’s election. Over the course of his first term, the governor at times sent conflicting signals about how he would proceed. In 2012, Mr. Cuomo flirted with approving a limited program in several struggling Southern Tier counties along New York’s border with Pennsylvania. But later that year, he bowed to entreaties from environmental advocates, announcing instead that his administration would start the regulatory process over by beginning a new study to evaluate the health risks. Polls showed public opinion divided over the issue, and the governor felt pressure from both sides. Mr. Cuomo had focused a great amount of attention on trying to improve the economic climate upstate, and fracking appeared to offer a way to bring new life to struggling areas atop the Marcellus Shale, a subterranean deposit of trapped gas that extends across much of New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Mr. Cuomo’s Republican opponent in the election this year, Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, promised to allow fracking, and he accused the governor of squandering an opportunity to help upstate regions. Continue reading the main story Recent Comments Chip Dillard 1 minute ago Dear Governor Cuomo:Thank you.Sincerely,Venezuela,IranRussia &Saudi Arabia Kim 1 minute ago EXCELLENT MOVE, the states that do it with no thought will suffer in the long run, with contaminated water, and air....let alone ruining the... JustAGuy 1 minute ago It's reassuring to know that I can continue to order a glass of "New York-style" tap water without all the extra flammable pollutants (which... See All Comments Write a comment But the governor has also faced strong opposition from groups worried about the effects of fracking on the state’s watersheds and aquifers, as well as on tourism and the quality of life in small upstate communities. Opponents were aided by celebrities like Yoko Ono, who drew attention to their cause. As he traveled around the state, Mr. Cuomo was hounded by protesters opposed to fracking, who showed up at his events and pressed him to impose a statewide ban. The governor’s uncertain stance on fracking also hurt his standing with some liberal activists. Pledging to ban fracking, Zephyr Teachout, a law professor, won about a third of the vote in the Democratic primary in September, a strong showing that Mr. Cuomo later attributed in part to support from fracking opponents. Complicating matters, dozens of communities across New York have passed moratoriums and bans on fracking, and in June, the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled that towns could use zoning ordinances to ban fracking. Recognizing the sensitivity of the issue, Mr. Cuomo both affirmed the fracking ban on Wednesday and tried to keep some distance from it, saying he was deferring to the expertise of his health and environmental conservation commissioners. Nevertheless, environmental groups cast the governor as a hero. Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, said Mr. Cuomo “set himself apart as a national political leader who stands up for people” over the energy industry. Advocates of fracking accused him of giving in to environmentalists’ efforts to stoke public fears. Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, said, “While industry will find opportunity elsewhere, our hearts go out to the farmers and landowners in the Southern Tier whose livelihoods in New York State are in jeopardy  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
New York Governor Cuomo to Ban Fracking in State, Citing Health Threats
DeSmogBlog
BRENDAN DEMELLE

Several news outlets and the Twittersphere are abuzz with the news that New York State is set to ban fracking in 2015. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced the forthcoming ban — making permanent the existing moratorium — during a year-end cabinet meeting. The primary reason cited by the Cuomo administration is health concerns related to the extremely controversial, water- and chemical-intensive fracking process. According to The New York Times, the acting state health commissioner Howard Zucker, said, “I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York.” Zucker then made a simple argument in support of the decision. “Would I live in a community with [fracking] based on the facts that I have now? Would I let my child play in a school field nearby? After looking at the plethora of reports behind me … my answer is no.”  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
New York State Department of Health Completes Review of High-volume Hydraulic Fracturing Acting DOH Commissioner Zucker Recommends Activity Should Not Move Forward in New York State
NYS DEC
Press Release

DEC Commissioner Martens Will Issue a Findings Statement Early Next Year to Prohibit High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing The state Department of Health has completed its public health review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) and Acting DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker recommended that high-volume hydraulic fracturing should not move forward in New York State. Dr. Zucker announced his findings and recommendations today at a Cabinet Meeting in Albany. "I have considered all of the data and find significant questions and risks to public health which as of yet are unanswered," said Dr. Zucker. "I think it would be reckless to proceed in New York until more authoritative research is done. I asked myself, 'would I let my family live in a community with fracking?' The answer is no. I therefore cannot recommend anyone else's family to live in such a community either."  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Breaking: Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York State
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

In a victory for environmental, health and community activists, fracking has been banned in New York state. That was the conclusion reached at a public, livestreamed meeting of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet in Albany today. Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation Joseph Martens issued the order, following a report on his own findings and a strongly cautionary report from Dr. Howard Zucker, commissioner of the Department of Health, who compared the unknown health impacts of fracking to those of secondhand smoke, once considered benign.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
New York State Just Banned Fracking
Mother Jones
Tim McDonnell

After years of wrangling between environmentalists, lawmakers, and fossil fuel companies, New York's top public health administrator said he would ban fracking in the state, citing health risks. From the New York Times: The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks. "I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York," said Howard Zucker, the acting commissioner of health.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Health Department Report on Fracking in New York State
The New York Times


The Cuomo administration decided to ban hydraulic fracturing after concluding that the method posed inestimable public-health risks.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
With fracking banned in New York, what happens to landowners, leases?
The Post-Standard
Glenn Coin

Albany, N.Y. -- New York's decision to ban fracking because of health concerns has raised a number of questions about what happens next. Here are some of the questions and the best answers we could put forth today. What happens to landowners who have leases with gas companies? Nothing right now. The leases, which generally have time limits, will continue to stay in effect or end on their scheduled expiration dates. "It will not have a direct impact," said Joe Heath, a Syracuse lawyer who has worked with landowners who wanted to end their leases.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
NY environmental commissioner: I will ban fracking in New York
The Post-Standard
Glenn Coin

Update: The state health department just released the 184-page fracking health report. Albany, N.Y. -- New York state's environmental commissioner said today he will ban fracking in New York. DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said a five-year study by DEC on fracking will be released next year. "I will then issue a legally binding findings statement prohibiting (fracking) in New York state at this time," Martens said at Gov. Andrew Cuomo's year-end cabinet meeting.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Environmentalists Across the Nation Hail NY Ban on Fracking
InsideClimate News
Katherine Bagley and Zahra Hirji

The ban does not prohibit fracking-related infrastructure planned for New York, and local activists vow to continue the fight. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo surprised environmentalists Monday when his administration banned hydraulic fracturing in the state, citing public health concerns. The move puts an end to years of heated debate between activists and the oil and gas industry—and could help buoy the case against fracking in hundreds of similar fights happening across the United States. "This is an overwhelming victory," Sandra Steingraber, an environmental health expert and fracking activist in New York, told InsideClimate News. "Fracking is able to roll over so many communities because people are told it is inevitable. This decision emboldens us all. It shows this fight is winnable."  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
With sub-$60 oil, fracking and tar sands losses threaten the whole financial system
The Ecologist
Paul Mobbs

A new financial crisis is threatening to dwarf the 'subprime' mortgage debacle, writes Paul Mobbs. Cheap money from central banks has fuelled some $1.3 trillion of risky investments in high-cost 'unconventional' oil and gas. Now, with oil sinking below $60, all that paper is turning to junk - and that's putting the entire economic system at risk.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
NY Health, Environmental Chiefs: No Fracking
WAMC-


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration will move to prohibit fracking in the state, citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique. Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday that he is recommending a ban. Cuomo says he is deferring to Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker in making the decision. Zucker and Martens on Wednesday summarized the findings of their environmental and health reviews. They concluded that shale gas development using high-volume hydraulic fracturing carried unacceptable risks that haven't been sufficiently studied.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
New York bars fracking but Cuomo keeps his distance
Politico
Elana Schor

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ended years of suspense, delighted environmentalists and frustrated the gas industry Wednesday by moving to block fracking in his state. But the Democrat also gave himself plenty of political cover, which could come in handy if he ever chases the White House. Cuomo showed his hand on fracking after a years-long study by his health department found potential public health risks from the production technique that has powered an oil and natural gas boom in states from Pennsylvania to Texas. Yet even as he wowed his party’s anti-fossil-fuel base, the governor placed the decision in the laps of his health and environmental advisers.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Is New York governor's ban on fracking grounded in science? (+video)
Christian Science Monitor
Jared Gilmour

To frack, or not to frack? That was the question facing New York, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) decided not to. Governor Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York would prohibit fracking over health and environmental concerns. The ban ends years of uncertainty in the state over hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – the controversial practice that injects a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals underground to unlock stores of natural gas and oil trapped inside shale rock. Few environmental issues have inspired as much animosity and disagreement as fracking. Environmentalists say fracking can contaminate drinking water, cause earth tremors, and encourage reliance on emissions-heavy fossil fuels.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
New York Wildlife Can Breathe Easier Thanks To Fracking Ban
The Dodo
Ben Guarino

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a ban on fracking, citing health risks. "I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York," announced Howard Zucker, New York's acting health commissioner, on Wednesday, The New York Times reported. Though the extent of harm to wildlife is unclear, there's no question that fracking has the potential to damage the ecosystem. The chemicals used to remove natural gas from shale deposits are corrosive, and when introduced into environment — as what happened when frackers in Kentucky illegally discharged an acid mixture into a stream in 2009 — the results can be devastating. The conservation group Center For Biological Diversity warns that fracking puts fish, birds and other animals in danger from contamination.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Fracking in New York: State Health, DEC Officials Recommend Against
Time Warner Cable News
Nick Reisman

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Fracking is out in New York. The state's health and environmental commissioners have turned down the future of hydrofracking in New York state, citing health concerns as one of the reason for their decision. After years of indecision, debate and protest, the long awaited decision on hydrofracking was made Wednesday as members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's cabinet explained that the state will move to ban the process. "I cannot support high-volume hydrofracking in the great state of New York," said acting Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. A highly anticipated review of the controversial natural gas drilling method's health impacts was finally released on Wednesday at a meeting of the governor's cabinet. The verdict: Zucker found the process raises too many red flags.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Predictably, Reaction to Fracking Ban Mixed in Southern Tier
Time Warner Cable News
Carmella Mataloni

The Southern Tier has been the epicenter for debate on fracking for years, and Wednesday, state health and environment officials dealt a significant win to those who oppose the natural gas exploration method. Carmella Mataloni has more on the location reaction. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it himself: Fracking is a very emotional topic that is riddled with technical questions that he simply cannot answer. That's why he turned it over to members of his cabinet Wednesday, who in turn said there are too many questions that remain unanswered, and made a recommendation to ban fracking in the state. "I cannot support high volume hyrdofracturing in the great state of New York," said state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. It's topic really hits home for people in the Southern Tier. Those opposed to fracking said this decision is a win for people throughout the state, while supporters said the region is missing out on significant growth opportunities.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
New York fracking ban reverberates nationally
Al Jazeera America
Peter Moskowitz

NEW YORK — The news took even the most seasoned environmental activists by surprise: after years of review, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York State would ban hydraulic fracturing. “I can barely contain myself,” said Nadia Steinzor, the eastern coordinator for national non-profit Earthworks. “Even though Cuomo recently said he was going to make a clear decision, we were not expecting something as exciting and straightforward as this.” New York State’s decision comes two years after the state’s Department of Health initiated a review of the possible health impacts of hydraulic fracturing, a process in which thousands of gallons of water is mixed with chemicals and sand and pumped deep into the earth to break up gas-rich shale rock formations. The process has been approved in dozens of states across the U.S. and has often been touted by supporters as an economic boon to struggling regions, including next door in Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Dryden lawsuit weighed on New York fracking ban
Ithaca Journal
Andrew Casler

ITHACA – Dryden's landmark court victory on hydraulic fracturing weighed heavy as New York officials announced Wednesday that the state won't allow fracking. In June New York's highest court issued a decision in Norse Energy v. Town of Dryden. The court decided that local governments have the right to ban fracking. Dryden Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner — who oversaw the town as it unanimously banned fracking on Aug. 2, 2011 — said Wednesday that she was thrilled to learn that Dryden played a role in New York's fracking ban.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Launch 'Week of Respect and Resistance' Protests in Opposition to Expansion of Fracked Natural Gas Pipeline
btlonline
Melinda Tuhus

Grassroots groups from four states along the proposed route of the Spectra Energy company’s fracked natural gas pipeline expansion project, which cuts through New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, are organizing a coordinated “Week of Respect and Resistance.” The protest actions in opposition to the project are being held between Dec. 13 and 19. Activists are participating in rallies, visits to the offices of elected officials to urge them to oppose the project and non-violent civil disobedience actions where they’ll risk arrest.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2014
Lawsuits Over New York Fracking Ban Unlikely, Experts Say
Huffington Post
Daniel Wiessner

ALBANY, N.Y., Dec 17 (Reuters) - When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on fracking in New York on Wednesday, he predicted "a ton of lawsuits" against the state. But that is unlikely as the end of a drilling boom has left the industry in no mood for a fight, industry experts and lawyers said. "I think most of the companies in the industry are disinterested in fighting," said Brad Gill, the executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, a trade group. Six years ago, before the start of a lengthy New York moratorium on hydraulic fracturing of natural gas, the governor might have been right. But since then, the fracking phenomenon has turned from mania to mundane.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard Rejects Shale Gas Exploitation On Fracking Concerns
Huffington Post
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says he is not interested in exploiting the province's shale gas reserves. He tells the CBC's French-language service that Quebecers are largely against hydraulic fracturing. Couillard made the comments shortly after Quebec's environmental review board concluded the environmental and social risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," outweigh the financial benefits.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
The five major health threats from fracking-related air pollution
Click Green


A growing body of evidence shows that people both near and far from oil and gas drilling are exposed to fracking-related air pollution that can cause at least five major types of health impacts, according to a new comprehensive analysis of scientific studies to-date by the US Natural Resources Defense Council. The health impacts include respiratory problems, birth defects, blood disorders, cancer and nervous system impacts, raising serious concerns for workers and people living closest to wells, as well as entire regions with high volumes of oil and gas activity. “The health risks from fracking are not limited to what’s in our drinking water—oil and gas operations are also poisoning the air we breathe,” said NRDC senior scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman. “While industry continues to try to sweep the impacts of fracking under a rug, the science keeps revealing serious health threats—for workers, families living nearby and entire regions with heavy oil and gas activity.”  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
New coalition forms to fight pipeline
The Recorder
RICHIE DAVIS

Franklin Land Trust and seven other environmental organizations around the region have formed a coalition to fight the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline, hiring a Boston regulatory attorney who specializes in energy issues. The new group, calling itself Northeast Energy Solutions, was created to analyze, advocate and work on public education about not just TGP’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct project, but also other energy infrastructure development, says land trust Executive Director Richard Hubbard. The coalition has hired Vincent DiVito, a former energy lawyer for the state and a former U.S. assistant energy secretary, to analyze the case being made by TGP and parent company Kinder Morgan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and make counter arguments about the 430-mile pipeline.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
New York City Council Members Take Stand Against Fracking
The Epoch Times
Arleen Richards

NEW YORK—The city is making its presence known in the battle to keep hydraulic fracturing out of the state. A new bill, expected to be introduced Wednesday, will effectively ban hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in New York City. Council members Ben Kallos, Helen Rosenthal, and Costa Constantinides are sponsoring the bill to support the local municipalities in upstate New York that have successfully banned fracking in their towns. They hope that other municipalities will be encouraged to amend local laws as well.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
REPORT: Five Major Health Threats from Fracking-Related Air Pollution
NRDC
Press Release

Most Comprehensive Analysis of Science To-Date Identifies Potential Health Risks and Communities Most Impacted SAN FRANCISCO (December 16, 2014) – A growing body of evidence shows that people both near and far from oil and gas drilling are exposed to fracking-related air pollution that can cause at least five major types of health impacts, according to a new comprehensive analysis of scientific studies to-date by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The health impacts include respiratory problems, birth defects, blood disorders, cancer and nervous system impacts, raising serious concerns for workers and people living closest to wells, as well as entire regions with high volumes of oil and gas activity.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Jay looks back on 30 years in the Senate
The Charleston Gazette
David Gutman

He said that as coal and steel industries have diminished in the state, natural gas has picked up some of the slack, but that presents its own problems, with huge tanker trucks on small bridges and the environmental problems associated with fracking around aquifers. “What they do is sort of hit and run,” Rockefeller said. “They come in for a couple weeks and build a platform and put up a drilling tower and then they go on to the next state to do it elsewhere, so there’s no type of relationship or tie to the community.”   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Map of Syracuse shows where natural gas is leaking from National Grid pipes
The Post-Standard
Tim Knauss

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Researchers using methane-sniffing equipment mounted on cars this year discovered more than 200 locations in the city of Syracuse where natural gas is leaking from old utility pipes, contributing to greenhouse gas pollution. A map of Syracuse methane emissions has been published today by the advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund, which partnered with utility company National Grid to study the leaks.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
The largest vessel the world has ever seen
BBC News
David Shukman

Climbing onto the largest vessel the world has ever seen brings you into a realm where everything is on a bewilderingly vast scale and ambition knows no bounds. Prelude is a staggering 488m long and the best way to grasp what this means is by comparison with something more familiar. Four football pitches placed end-to-end would not quite match this vessel's length - and if you could lay the 301m of the Eiffel Tower alongside it, or the 443m of the Empire State Building, they wouldn't do so either. In terms of sheer volume, Prelude is mind-boggling too: if you took six of the world's largest aircraft carriers, and measured the total amount of water they displaced, that would just about be the same as with this one gigantic vessel.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Report on Fracking's Health Risks Underscores Need for Cuomo to Extend Moratorium
NRDC
Kate Sinding

Just over a month after his re-election, Governor Cuomo has been making waves on fracking—telling reporters in recent days that he will make a major decision before the end of the year. With a moratorium in place since before he came into office, the Governor has long-vowed to let sound science be his guide on fracking. This hasn’t stopped the oil and gas industry from keeping the pressure on. But recent polling shows that the people of the state have appreciated his steadfastness—with nearly 80 percent of New Yorkers support an ongoing moratorium (including majorities from both political parties, and in the counties most likely to be fracked). A new report out today from NRDC continues to pile on the reasons why now is not the time for the Governor to cave to industry pressure.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Gas storage protesters arrested at Crestwood gates
Star Gazette
Ray Finger

About 40 arrests were made Tuesday at the gates of Crestwood Midstream during a protest of a gas storage facility near Seneca Lake. Watkins Glen Village Police said there were 39 arrests, but Doug Couchon, who was among those arrested Tuesday, put the number of arrests at 41. At a press conference held after the protests Tuesday, Couchon, who also was arrested at a protest on Nov. 21, spoke about the evolution of the We Are Seneca Lake movement that has been conducting what it calls an ongoing civil disobedience campaign to stop the expansion of methane gas storage in underground salt caverns in the town of Reading.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Forget Oil. Here Are The More Insidious Things That Polluted America's Air and Water This Year
Climate Progress
Emily Atkin

This year, three billion gallons of waste were injected into California’s underground aquifers. Eighty millions pounds of toxic grey goop were spilled in a North Carolina waterway. Clouds of thick, black, oily dust coated children’s playground equipment in Chicago’s southeast side. Like every year, 2014 saw a wide range of environmental pollution from fossil fuel development. But there was no BP-scale well blowout, no Lac-Mégantic-sized crude oil train explosion. Instead, many of this year’s major fossil fuel disasters came from a more insidious source — not the fuels themselves, but the waste products they create. These are essentially the leftovers from fossil fuel development: wastewater from oil and gas drilling, coal ash from coal burning, and petroleum coke from tar sands refining.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Activists stage sit-in at Sen. Whitehouse's office to protest gas pipelines; 1 arrested
Providence Journal
ALEX KUFFNER

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A dozen environmental activists held a sit-in demonstration at the Rhode Island office of U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on Tuesday to urge him to come out against the expansion of natural gas pipelines in Burrillville and elsewhere in New England. The members of Fighting Against Natural Gas (FANG) and Fossil Free Rhode Island oppose the proposed expansion of pipelines because the projects would bring more gas to New England from shale fields accessed through the controversial method of hydrofracturing, which is commonly known as fracking. They also say that continuing the region’s reliance on natural gas will only exacerbate climate change.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Report: Fracking resolutions make case for tougher ethics laws
Politics on the Hudson
Jon Campbell

The circumstances surrounding several Southern Tier town boards and their position on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas make the case for stronger statewide ethics laws, according to a government watchdog organization. The New York Public Interest Research Group on Tuesday released a report examining 59 resolutions passed by town boards opposing local bans on fracking, the controversial technique used to pull natural gas out of underground shale formations. The group highlighted a number of “possible conflicts,” many of which had drawn interest from the state Attorney General’s office in late 2012. Those included landowners with gas leases serving on Broome County town boards in Colesville, Sanford and Windsor, all of which passed the resolution in 2012.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Greek Shipowners Splash the Cash on Liquefied-Natural-Gas Carriers
Wall Street Journal
COSTAS PARIS

LONDON—Greek shipowners, closely followed in the shipping industry for their investment choices, have splashed a record $1.8 billion this year to buy 11 new LNG carriers. The owners are betting that falling energy prices will spur demand for such vessels as European countries move to became less dependent on Russian gas pipelines. The U.S. is also expected to start exporting liquefied natural gas in substantial volumes in 2018. At around $200 million apiece, LNG carriers cost at least three times as much as other types of vessels of similar size. But while the market for ships such as container vessels, tankers and dry-bulk carriers is marred by overcapacity reaching up to 25% above demand, leading to unsustainable freight rates, LNG carriers are usually linked to lucrative contracts that stretch to more than 10 years, racking in substantial earnings for their owners.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Falling oil fails to dampen drilling demand in Northeast B.C.
Alaska Highway News
David Dyck

Fears that collapsing oil prices might squash the appetite for drilling land in the Peace Region seem to be unfounded — for now. While last month’s year-high of $209 million in Crown Petroleum and Natural Gas Public Tender auctions proved to be too much to beat (Brent Crude was trading at about $75 then), that didn’t stop Thursday's auction from pulling in the second highest sale for 2014, even as Brent tumbled to $61.85/barrel. The average price per hectare was $1,719, and the most expensive parcel was 1,295 hectares bought for $5.8 million by Sekani Resources Ltd. Eight of the 38 leases up for sale broke the $1 million mark, and 14 of them were not sold due to no bids being placed, or no reasonable offers made. December’s $38 million in revenue brings the total amount the provincial government has seen from oil and gas land sales in the whole of 2014 jump to $328 million.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Is fracking polluting the air?
USA Today
Doyle Rice,

Toxic air pollution from fracking causes a wide spectrum of health problems for Americans across the country, an environmental group charged in a report released Tuesday. "The health risks from fracking are not limited to what's in our drinking water -— oil and gas operations are also poisoning the air we breathe," said senior scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which produced the report. The report said Americans who live near oil and gas drilling wells are exposed to fracking-related air pollution in the form of chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
OSHA issues hazard alert for fracking and drilling
WyoFile
Mike Soraghan, E&E reporter

Originally published December 10, 2014, by Environment & Energy Daily. Contact E&E for permission to republish. The nation’s worker safety agency wants oil and gas workers to know that breathing frac sand isn’t the only dangerous thing at a drilling site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration posted an alert this month detailing “Hydraulic Fracturing and Flowback Hazards Other Than Respirable Silica.” Those hazards are plentiful. Oil and gas has long had a fatality rate many times higher than average, and among the highest of any industry. The activities covered in the alert go well beyond the specific practices of fracturing and flowback. They include dangers while driving and erecting rig towers, in addition to fracturing activities such as perforating and pressure pumping. It also warns of the dangers of explosions and poisonous hydrogen sulfide during flowback operations.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
St. Marys officials: Companies look to influence natural gas zoning
The Bradford Era
Colin Deppen

ST. MARYS — A natural gas company with sizable local holdings is looking to get involved in St. Marys’ attempts to regulate the industry, according to the municipality’s solicitor. During Monday’s meeting of St. Marys City Council, solicitor Tom Wagner said Seneca Resources Corp. has announced it will offer recommended amendments to a proposed city zoning ordinance regulating Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling there.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Planning commission weighs options to deal with fracking
The Journal


The King George Planning Commission agreed Dec. 9 to give three options to the board of supervisors for possibly revising the county ordinance that deals with exploratory drilling for oil and/or natural gas. There was some disagreement about the wording, and commissioners will review language changes one more time at their Jan. 13 meeting prior to putting it to a vote. The concern is about natural gas drilling, called fracking. Fracking is an industrial drilling process to create fractures in rock formations thousands of feet underground by injecting chemicals into cracks in the ancient shale to allow gas to be extracted.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Drilling Deep Into Northwestern New Mexico's Oil And Gas Industry
KUNM
Laura Paskus

Over the next few months, I’m going to be exploring natural gas drilling and the burgeoning oil industry in northwestern New Mexico for KUNM. It’s an ambitious series, but I’m looking forward to learning how drilling affects the local economy, as well as the state of New Mexico’s coffers. What’s happening in the region right now is new and different from the natural gas drilling that’s occurred in the San Juan Basin for more than half a century. (And even though “fracking” has become a national phenomenon, it’s been happening here in the Land of Enchantment for decades.) The industry brings hundreds of millions of dollars into the state, but it also comes with impacts to public health, the environment, communities, and water resources. Throughout the course of this series, I’ll also be exploring how decisions are made, what the planning process is like, and how things like spills, blowouts, or accidents are handled.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Archaeologists Worry As Drilling Approaches Chaco
KUNM
Laura Paskus

The oil and gas industry in New Mexico is a big deal. It supports the state budget with hundreds of millions of dollars each year. But there are impacts, too – on air quality, water, public health and even cultural sites. In the first installment of KUNM’s new series Drilling Deep, we explore northwestern New Mexico – and the Chacoan landscape. To reach Chaco Culture National Historical Park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you hang a left off highway 550 near Nageezi, New Mexico and head south.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Quebec won't drill for shale gas anytime soon: Couillard
CJAD


Premier Philippe Couillard says he is not interested in exploiting the province's shale gas reserves. He tells the CBC's French-language service that Quebecers are largely against hydraulic fracturing. Couillard made the comments shortly after Quebec's environmental review board concluded the environmental and social risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking,' outweigh the financial benefits. Fracking is a process whereby a pressurized fluid is injected into shale rock in order to crack the rock and release underground natural gas deposits. The environmental review board noted that fracking risks contaminating surface and underground water basins and that citizens living along the St. Lawrence River are against the practice. Quebec imposed a moratorium on drilling exploratory fracking wells in 2011.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
As pipelines proliferate, Pennsylvania sees next phase of gas boom
StateImpact PA
Marie Cusick

The surge in drilling has meant trillions of cubic feet of natural gas are being pumped out of Pennsylvania every year. And now billions of dollars are flooding into the state for new pipeline projects to move that gas to market. It’s the next phase of the fracking boom: energy companies are building their own sort of interstate highway system—a network of pipelines. “A sense of urgency” Matt Henderson, of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, says more than $10 billion in pipeline projects have already been announced for Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Obama signs order withdrawing Alaska's Bristol Bay from offshore oil and natural gas drilling
Star Tribune
Dan Joling AP

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he's removing more than 52,000 square miles of waters off Alaska's coast from consideration for oil and gas exploration or drilling. The president said in a video announcement that Bristol Bay and nearby waters, covering an area roughly the size of Florida, would be withdrawn from consideration for petroleum leases. He called Bristol Bay one of the country's great natural resources and a massive economic engine. "It's something that's too precious for us to be putting out to the highest bidder," Obama said. Bristol Bay has supported Native Americans in the Alaska region for centuries, he said.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Obama Blocks Oil and Natural Gas Drilling in Alaska’s Bristol Bay
Wall Street Journal
Amy Harder

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama announced Tuesday he is indefinitely blocking oil and natural gas drilling in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, a move that drew cheers from wildlife groups and muted reaction from oil and gas proponents. In a video message posted online, Mr. Obama cited the environmental and economic benefits of Bristol Bay’s natural habitat, including how it provides 40% of the nation’s wild-caught seafood, as reasons why drilling shouldn’t be allowed. “It’s something that’s too precious for us just to be putting out to the highest bidder,” Mr. Obama said. The announcement comes just weeks before the administration intends to release its draft plan for what federal waters it proposes to open up to energy development.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
PA lawmaker floats new severance tax proposal as industry pushes back
StateImpact PA
Susan Phillips

State senator Jim Brewster plans to introduce a bill that would enact a 5 percent tax on Marcellus Shale gas production, and dedicate all of that revenue toward education. The western Pennsylvania lawmaker, from McKeesport, says the tax would generate between $700 million to $1 billion for public schools. “My ‘Extraction for Education’ proposal is simple, reasonable and credible because it uses the proceeds of an extraction tax to support education,” Brewster said in a release posted today on his website. His plan would maintain the current impact fee, which helps fund local municipalities that bare the brunt of natural gas drilling. Brewster says gas producers would be able to claim a credit for the impact fee, while all of the proposed tax would get funneled to education.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
The Brief: Getting at the Roots of the Denton Fracking Ban
Texas Tribune
John Reynolds

The Tribune's Jim Malewitz tries to get at, in a piece also published in Politico Magazine, the root causes that spurred the town of Denton to approve a ban on fracking last month. "So, how did a North Texas town come to reject a tool that has been instrumental in the state’s economic well-being?" wrote Malewitz. "It seems it was equal parts concerns about health and the environment and a good dose of NIMBY." Malewitz takes on the argument that college students in Denton were responsible for passage of the fracking ban. What he found instead was the ban was more broad-based than the "blame the college kids" argument would suggest. "Both Republican Greg Abbott ... and the ban prevailed in 11 of Denton’s biggest 33 precincts," wrote Malewitz. "Roughly 25,000 votes were cast in the fracking question and those opposed to fracking outpaced supporters by some 4,400 votes. Denton would have still passed the measure by 412 votes even if voters younger than 30 were disregarded. Voting data also shows that the average age of a voter was 52."  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
No fracking for 3 to 5 years, CNY officials ask Gov. Cuomo
syracuse.com
Glenn Coin

Syracuse, N.Y. -- A group of local elected officials today called upon Gov. Andrew Cuomo to extend the state's moratorium on fracking while more studies are conducted. The co-coordinator of Elected Officials to Protect New York, Julie Huntsman, a town of Otsego council member, said more than 400 studies have shown fracking has detrimental health effects. The group wants to see a moratorium on fracking for three to five years while more studies are conducted. "We elected officials who are sworn to protect our communities and look out for their best interests are standing with the scientists and the health officials on this," Huntsman said. "There is ample evidence to justify an extended moratorium." Cuomo said Monday he will release a long-awaited Department of Health study on fracking and have a "clear" decision on fracking by the end of the month.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Frack-down: Cops sought names of attendees at university debate on fracking
RT


Amid an increase in incidences of police attempting to infiltrate various public meetings and events, a university in Kent revealed that police had requested a list of people expected to attend a public debate on fracking. Canterbury Christ Church University had attempted to do what many institutions of higher learning have done before: debate the advantages or disadvantages of a particular social practice. In this case, fracking. What made this event a bit different from previous ones, however, is that the university received a request from the local police to provide a list of guests expected to attend the event, the Guardian reported.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
New York's Casino, Fracking Decisions Expected Soon
TWC News
Geoff Redick

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Gambling and gas: they are two subjects you might not draw many similarities between. In New York State, however, they are tightly intertwined. "They're both part of a grand economic plan for the state," acknowledged Siena College macroeconomics professor Aaron Pacitti on Tuesday. Pacitti spoke with Time Warner Cable News a day ahead of a planned meeting for the New York State Gaming Commission's Facility Location Board expected to announce its recommendations Wednesday for up to four casino locations in the state. At the same time, New Yorkers are anxiously awaiting word from the State Health Department, following word from Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday that the agency is finishing up its report on the viability of hydrofracking. New York has held the controversial natural gas drilling method under moratorium for six years, in order to better study the associated environmental and public health risks. Both casinos and hydrofracking have been hated and heralded by opposing groups, either as a path to social and environmental doom, or a shortcut to economic prosperity. "I think they're both misguided, I think they'll accomplish a lot of very bad things for the state," offered Pacitti on Tuesday, speaking from twelve years' experience as an economics researcher. "The benefits are short-lived, and politicians play the short game, not the long game." On casinos, Pacitti said it doesn't matter where Wednesday's recommendation would place three or four gambling facilities in New York. "Especially with the competing casinos in surrounding states," he noted. "All of these companies are going after the same number of dwindling dollars. They can't all win." On fracking, aside from his own environmental views, Pacitti said that any energy source that is finite, like fossil fuels, can provide economic lift, but only in the short-term. "When we're thinking about energy policy, we need to be thinking fifty or a hundred years ahead," Pacitti said. "With fracking, we'll see job growth in five to ten years, and we'll see income levels go up; and then, I think that's likely to be reversed shortly thereafter." But of course, casinos were up to the public, which supported them in a statewide referendum. Whether to lift the statewide ban on industrial hydrofracking, is a matter which will likely be decided by publicly-elected legislators. Just across campus at the Siena College polling center, the numbers reflect a torn statewide populace. "On casinos we see the economic potential benefits, pushing the needle of public opinion over the midpoint," said research director Don Levy on Tuesday, referring to past Siena polls on the subject. "Relative to fracking, we don't see that. People continue to weigh the environmental dangers, versus the economic benefits."   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Gov. Cuomo May Soon Have Decision on Hydrofracking in NYS -
TWC News
Bill Carey

Governor Cuomo may be nearing a decision on hydrofracking in New York State. As Bill Carey reports the hint of a decision has again fired up opponents of fracking, especially those in local governments. SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- If one thing has been clear from the start of Andrew Cuomo's tenure as Governor, it's the political danger of trying to resolve the issue of hydrofracking. Cuomo bought some time, delaying decisions while ordering his health department to continue studying safety issues. That report now is ready and Cuomo is nearing a decision. "We're kind of wondering what sort of Christmas or New Year's surprise we might have within the very short term," said Otsego Town Councilor Julie Huntsman. Elected officials from across the state are again asking the governor for a delay. They say there are more studies to be done.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
NYPIRG: Fracking regulations rife with problems
CBS6albany


ALBANY -- The New York Public Interest Research Group is slamming local ethics and open government laws. The group released a new report on Tuesday about fracking called "Drilling Down." The report accuses towns that adopted resolutions in support of fracking of doing so in a 'Wild West' environment under the cloud of possible conflicts of interest. In light of the accusations, the report also calls for sweeping changes. NYPIRG says many local governments in the Marcellus Shale drilling region would face tremendous pressure from residents and businesses on both sides of the debate.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Report on Fracking's Health Risks Underscores Need for Cuomo to Extend Moratorium
NRDC Switchboard
Kate Sindig

ust over a month after his re-election, Governor Cuomo has been making waves on fracking—telling reporters in recent days that he will make a major decision before the end of the year. With a moratorium in place since before he came into office, the Governor has long-vowed to let sound science be his guide on fracking. This hasn’t stopped the oil and gas industry from keeping the pressure on. But recent polling shows that the people of the state have appreciated his steadfastness—with nearly 80 percent of New Yorkers support an ongoing moratorium (including majorities from both political parties, and in the counties most likely to be fracked). A new report out today from NRDC continues to pile on the reasons why now is not the time for the Governor to cave to industry pressure.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
The Science on Fracking Is In: Not One Well!
Huffington Post
Mark Ruffalo

While filming a new movie in London, I learned that the sole shale gas well in the nation -- just a few hours north of me -- has triggered two earthquakes, suffered a "structural integrity failure," and risked poisoning water supplies. That's right: the only fracking well in the United Kingdom failed and caused two earthquakes! This news is a stark reminder of what's at stake in my home state of New York, where newly re-elected Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that he will soon make an announcement about fracking.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Ban Fracking: 140+ Signatures on letter to Governor Cuomo
cnycentral.com
Sarabeth Ackerman

SYRACUSE -- Hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is a process of using various chemicals and machinery to pull out natural gas from deep within the earth that's used for energy. Right now, an answer on fracking in our state is closer than ever. A decision from the Governor is promised before the end of the year. And, now elected officials are taking action by sending a letter to Governor Cuomo encouraging him to enact a ban. "Take that positive step. Do the right thing," says Julie Huntsman, Co-coordinator of Elected Officials to Protect New York. Elected officials from Syracuse and other parts of New York met at city hall Tuesday to urge Governor Cuomo to take a step back. They're asking for more research and proof that drilling in New York won't impact New Yorkers negatively.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Fracking decision coming soon
Binghamton Homepage


Albany (WIVT) - We will likely have a decision about whether New York State will move forward with fracking by the end of this month. That news comes from Governor Andrew Cuomo was spoke on the radio program called the Capitol Pressroom. Cuomo said he expects the ongoing health review of the impacts of fracking to be done by December 31st. Cuomo has said that the study will determine if the drilling process will be allowed in New York State where there has been a 6-year moratorium on the controversial drilling technique.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Report Finds Local Votes on Fracking Resulted in Apparent Conflicts of Interest
WXXI News
Karen DeWitt

A reform group studied votes taken by local governments across the state on whether to allow hydro fracking, and found numerous potential conflicts of interest that they say could have tainted the outcome of the votes. The New York Public Interest Research Group studied 59 municipalities that have voted to permit hydro fracking in the past few years, if New York State eventually approves the process. They found numerous questionable activities, including local elected officials holding gas leases and town attorneys who also represented oil and gas companies. NYPIRG’s Blair Horner, says under the state’s lax local lobbying laws, most of the behavior is allowed.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Town of Burns bans fracking
Olean Times Herald
Darlene M. Donohue

BURNS — Hydraulic fracturing, as of late last week, is prohibited in the town of Burns. Town officials voted in favor of a local land-use law to ban hydrofracking on properties in the town by a vote of 3-2 during a meeting held Thursday, Town Supervisor Lauren Oliver said Monday. He added the decision came after several months of discussion, including public hearings, regarding the proposed law.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
U.S. to unveil plan to curb oil and gas sector methane soon: sources
Reuters
Valerie Volcovici

(Reuters) - The Obama administration as soon as Wednesday will announce its plans for curbing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, which the United States must do to meet its 2020 target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, people familiar with the issue said Tuesday. The government reaffirmed that goal last week at U.N. climate talks in Lima. The Environmental Protection Agency said it would announce its administration-wide methane strategy by the end of the fall. Administrator Gina McCarthy hinted recently that the agency will combine voluntary actions with some regulation, which would need to be finalized by 2016.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Regulators Pan Study on Methane Gas in Wells
Texas Tribune
Jim Malewitz

Texas regulators say they put little stock in recent research suggesting that poorly drilled gas wells are allowing methane to seep into a North Texas aquifer, and will not re-examine the high-profile contamination case. “There are no plans to reopen the investigation,” Ramona Nye, spokeswoman for the Railroad Commission of Texas, said Friday. A peer-reviewed study published in September in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science concluded that drilling was partially responsible for methane contamination that has tainted drinking water wells in Parker County. The wells, which sit near Barnett Shale drilling sites, are at the center of a years-long saga that thrust a Parker County neighborhood, and mortgage-broker-turned-activist Steve Lipsky, into the national discussion about the impacts of oil and gas drilling.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Obama Protects Bristol Bay, Alaska from Future Oil and Gas Drilling
Newsweek
Zoe Schlanger

In a YouTube video released Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama announced a ban on future oil and gas drilling in Bristol Bay, Alaska by way of a Presidential Memorandum. Bristol Bay is one of the most productive wild salmon fisheries in the world, and is surrounded by sensitive tundra. Environmental groups and Native Alaskans have been working for years to secure protection for the area. “Bristol Bay has supported Native Americans in the Alaska region for centuries," Obama said in the video announcement. "It supports about $2 billion in the commercial fishing industry. It supplies America with 40 percent of its wild-caught seafood."  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2014
Pipeline meeting draws big crowd Harmful effects of natural gas lines, asserting municipal rights the focus
Monadnock Ledger
Ashley Saari

MASON Pipeline meeting draws big crowd Harmful effects of natural gas lines, asserting municipal rights the focus Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder » By Ashley Saari Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Monday, December 15, 2014 (Published in print: Tuesday, December 16, 2014) Email Print Comments (0) Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on gmailMore Sharing Services 8 MASON — So many citizens showed up to Saturday’s meeting on the proposed Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline that would run through town that organizers had to turn some away. In all, more than 150 people from multiple towns filled the Mason Elementary School, to standing-room-only capacity, to hear talks advocating against the pipeline. The pipeline, as proposed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Inc., a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, would be co-located along existing powerlines through Mason, Rindge, New Ipswich and Greenville, among other southern New Hampshire towns. Earlier this month, Tennessee Gas named the southern New Hampshire route as its preferred route, taking the place of a previously proposed route that would have run along existing pipelines in northern Massachusetts.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Thomas County on alternate pipeline route
Times Enterprise
Patti Dozier

THOMASVILLE — Thomas County is not on a proposed natural gas pipeline traversing expanses of Florida, Georgia and Alabama, but it is on two alternate routes. Thomas County is not on the proposed route submitted by Sabal Trail Transmission to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in late November for consideration of approval. Thomas County commissioners were not aware of the pipeline until lifelong Thomas County resident Alton Paul Burns addressed the board recently with concerns. The earth does not belong to us, Burns told commissioners, adding that gas, oil and coal extraction are taking a toll on Mother Nature.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Doctors, scientists, engineers calling for fracking moratorium
Legislative Gazette
Richard Moody

Health professionals and scientists are raising awareness about the possible negative effects of allowing hydraulic fracturing in New York, and are calling on the governor to extend the moratorium an additional three-to-five years. The call follows the release of a new study in an environmental health journal, which looked at evidence showing the negative effects of fracking operations on reproductive and developmental health.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Miscarriage and stillbirth linked to fracking chemical exposure
Ecologist
Tamsin Paternoster

Fracking for oil and gas uses a wide range of chemicals that disrupt reproductive function in both sexes, writes Tamsin Paternoster. Now an academic study has found a powerful correlation between stillbirth, miscarriage, low sperm count, and exposure to fracking chemicals. In Glenwood Springs, Colorado, mothers have been suffering from an unusually high rate of miscarriage and stillbirths. A newly published study has concluded that 70% of cases lived greater than 15 miles from an active well created as a result of fracking and directional drilling. The remaining 30% were between 5 to 8 miles from the nearest active well.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
One PA ecosystem enters the court fray over fracking waste
Watchdog
Rachel Martin

PITTSBURGH — In a sparsely populated township in western Pennsylvania, one ecosystem is attempting to enter a court battle in its own name. In Grant Township, Pennsylvania General Energy wants to convert one of its fracking wells into a waste disposal well. It received a permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection agency in March.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
United States: Lessons From The Denton, Texas Fracking Ban
Mondaq
Jack R. Luellen

The city of Denton, Texas become the first Texas city to have votes approve a ban on fracking, and by a fairly (and surprisingly large margin). Now the questions turn from whether the initiative would pass to can it be implemented and what will be the legal ramifications. To answer the first, the Texas Railroad Commission, the state body responsible for oil and gas regulation in Texas, has made it clear that it believes the regulation of and licensing for oil and gas operations is a function of the state government, not local municipalities. Christi Craddick, the chairwoman of the Railroad Commission stated definitely that it was her job to issue permits and that the state would continue to issue permits, without regard to the Denton ban.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Police asked university for list of attendees at fracking debate Canterbury Christ Church University says it refused to hand over list, and Green party councillor criticises police request
The Guardian
Rob Evans

Police asked a university to hand over a list of members of the public who were due to attend a public debate on its campus. Canterbury Christ Church University, which had invited experts to debate the merits of fracking in an open forum, refused to hand over the list, and the police request has drawn sharp criticism, with one of the panellists branding it deplorable.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Yale Study Finds Americans Ignorant of Health Impacts From Global Warming
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

When the average American thinks about how climate change-caused global warming could affect their health, what do they think of? Not much, apparently, according to a new study, Public Perceptions of the Health Impacts of Global Warming, just released by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. The study is based on the results of a survey, Climate Change in the American Mind. The researchers found that Americans largely haven’t thought about the health impacts of global warming at all.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Why America Should Invest in Renewables, Not Fracking
EcoWatch
Callie Roberts, Duke U.

So, should we hail shale as an innovative, safe step toward energy security? Should we “frack, baby, frack” instead of “drill, baby, drill?” Well, no. A Cornell study determined that if our country used shale gas for twenty years, we would be worse off than if we continued to use conventional coal and oil. Here’s why: fracking was initially hailed because burning gas produces half the carbon dioxide emissions as burning coal. But, methane gas, which leaks uncontrollably during the lengthy extraction process, traps 25 times the solar radiation as CO2. The carbon cuts are far outweighed by the increased flux of methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas, into our atmosphere, in terms of global warming. We simply do not comprehend the ramifications of fracking: the degrading effect on water, the ecological damage, the dumping of mining waste products, the escape of huge amounts of methane, nor the more discrete impacts like ecosystem fragmentation.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Cuomo: Fracking decision on track for end of year
Politics on the Hudson
Jon Campbell

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he expects a decision on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas will be made before the end of the year, suggesting that the Department of Health’s fracking review will reach some sort of determinative conclusion. FrackPACuomo has been asked twice about the fracking report in recent days, telling reporters last Friday that he expects the long-awaited report from the Department of Health to be completed by year’s end.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Cuomo Promises ‘Major Decisions’ On Fracking, Casinos
NY State of Politics


Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday in a radio interview said there will be “major decisions” made both on hydrofracking and the siting of casinos by the end of this month. Cuomo, interview on The Capitol Pressroom this morning, said the long-awaited health review on hydrofracking is still on track to be sent to his office by the end of this month.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Editorial: State is not ready to regulate fracking
Times Herald-Record
Editorial

It’s possible that the state Health Department will conclude that there is no way to frack in safety, sending the issue into the courts for challenges and into the Legislature, which could ignore the report and rescind its earlier prohibitions. Nobody knows for sure, but there is a good chance that the study will conclude that the state could allow fracking to some extent if it is “done right,” a phrase that reasonable proponents of the practice have long assumed to mean done with the right amount of regulation, enforced by the right amount of scrutiny. If that is the case, the state is going to be plummeted into an immediate crisis because as the state comptroller reported last week, the department responsible for all that scrutiny is nowhere near ready to provide it.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Clock running on fate of L.N.G. facility off Long Island
Capital New York
David Giambusso

The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Maritime Administration have issued a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas facility, starting the regulatory clock on the fate of the controversial offshore facility. Over the next two months, the public will have the opportunity to comment on the project. Since its first iteration in 2012, the project has come under increasing criticism from local environmental groups and local elected officials. The first application drew thousands of comments.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Impose fracking ban in New York, say Syracuse, Onondaga County officials
Syracuse.com
Glenn Coin

Syracuse, N.Y. -- A consortium of elected leaders around the state, including Onondaga County, are calling upon New York state to impose a three- to five-year ban on fracking. Elected Officials to Protect New York says it has about 850 members, and plans to hold a news conference in Syracuse Tuesday to urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to impose the moratorium.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Fracktivists react quickly to Cuomo’s remarks
Capitol Confidential
Rick Karlin

Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier Monday said he expects a ‘major decision’ on fracking (as well as casinos) by the end of this month and that has started what will likely be a cascade of statements, criticism and cries from both sides of the issue. The governor’s remarks came in an interview with Susan Arbetter’s Capitol Pressroom radio show. He said: “By the end of the year we should have positions on both that are clear and we’ll start the new year with some major decisions under our belt, so to speak.”   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
How Big Oil Lobbies Got Permission for Fracking on Public Lands Included in the US Defense Authorization Act
Global Research
Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog

The U.S. Senate has voted 89-11 to approve the Defense Authorization Act of 2015, following the December 4 U.S.House of Representatives’ 300-119 up-vote and now awaits President Barack Obama’s signature. The 1,616-page piece of pork barrel legislation contains a provision — among other controversial measures — to streamline permitting for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) on U.S. public lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a unit of the U.S. Department of Interior.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
KFOR: Oil company proposing drilling and fracking just south of Lake Hefner
News OK
KFOR

OKLAHOMA CITY,Okla.- Pedestal Oil plans to present a proposal at a public meeting Thursday that will make oil drilling and fracking just south of Lake Hefner possible. Some are already voicing their concerns, but as of right now, nothing is for sure yet. The trails and lake here at Lake Hefner could soon have a new backdrop on the horizon.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Low Gas Prices Could Cost Fracking Companies Big
CBN News
Mark Martin, Dale Hurd

However, could fracking become a victim of its own success? Lower energy prices have been an early Christmas present for consumers, but they also hurt companies that drill for oil. And with oil prices now below $60 a barrel and likely to go lower, fracking is facing a challenge.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Fracking provides few benefits to Quebec, environmental review says
Montreal Gazette
Geoffrey Vendeville

The benefits of shale gas development in Quebec may not be worth the risks, the province’s environmental assessment agency concluded in a 540-page report released Monday. The Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement determined there is no proof hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” would be advantageous for Quebec.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
First Texan city to ban fracking set to defend legal challenge Denton officials say hydraulic fracturing constitutes a public rights obstruction
The Irish Times
John Holden

The first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – has promised to defend its decision against a lawsuit by the Texas Oil and Gas Association. Officials in Denton, a college town about 50km north of Dallas, say fracking causes “conditions that are subversive of public order and constitutes an obstruction of public rights of the community as a whole”.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Pennsylvanians divided on fracking's local effects
Tioga Publishing


A Pennsylvania environmental advocacy group is calling for a moratorium on further fracking on state lands after releasing a report Dec. 11 concluding that fracking is a “far-reaching” threat to parks and forests in the state. The group, PennEnvironment, claims that Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration is largely to blame for incursions into what they claim should be protected land. But Patrick Henderson, Corbett’s deputy chief of staff, denied the group’s allegations and said the report was filled with inaccuracies. “The Corbett Administration has engaged in an unprecedented level of public involvement to date and worked to limit the surface impact of any potential future development,” he wrote in an email.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
DOT doesn’t use fracking liquid on roads
Albany Times Union
Tim O'Brien

Q: With the first snow of the year, there were road reports of salt and “brine” applied to the roads. Last winter there were reports that “fracking” brine might be used by some area DPW”s. What is the source of the brine, what is in it, and where is it being applied, how and by who? A: The state is not using liquid from hydrofracking on roads, said state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Carol Breen.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Things get soggy in the oil patch
Deal Pipeline
Jamie Mason

Even before the price of oil dropped below $60 on Dec. 11 -- a five-year low -- restructuring professionals had split the oil-and-gas industry into lists of haves and have-nots. On the elite side are such giants as ExxonMobil Corp., whose CEO and chairman, Rex Tillerson, told CNBC earlier this month that oil can drop to $40 a barrel before the company would feel any ill effects. On the other side are a passel of oil-and-gas explorers and developers that have borrowed heavily to pull stuff out of the ground, but had other obstacles to contend with even before barrel prices fell.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
PA Budget Policy Center: Severance Tax Would Bring In At Least 3x Drilling Impact Fee
PA Environment Digest


A severance tax on natural gas, which every other major gas-producing state already has in place, will generate significantly more revenue for Pennsylvania than the current impact fee, even at lower gas prices, according to an updated analysis by the PA Budget and Policy Center. In 2015-16, a 5 percent severance tax would yield $675 million at a natural gas price of $2.67 per thousand cubic feet (MCF) – two-and-a-half times the estimated impact fee of $270 million.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Cuomo promises more clarity on fracking
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated Monday that his administration will take a clearer position on hydraulic fracturing by the end of the year. Cuomo reiterated that a long-awaited health study on the effects of fracking will be completed by year's end, during an interview Monday morning on "The Capitol Pressroom." And while he has repeatedly said the state Department of Health will release the study, which has been delayed for about two years, he has never before stated that it will come with his final position on the issue.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
3-2 decision bans fracking in Burns Passions kept in check in light of Town Board's resolution
The Tribune
Ryan Papaserge

CANASERAGA — Like last month's Burns Town Board meeting, the general public filled Canaseraga Village Hall Thursday night to offer their opinions on the ongoing fracking debate. However, when the board passed a local land use law banning the extraction of natural gas and petroleum in the town by a 3-2 vote, the throngs in attendance left the hall as quickly as they arrived, except for the deputy from the Allegany County Sheriff's Office who was there to keep things in order.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Report Says Most Oil & Gas Companies Fail to Disclose Fracking Practices
Breaking energy
Jon Hurdle

U.S.-based energy companies are mostly failing to disclose their management of hydraulic fracturing operations that could have negative environmental impacts, according to a survey published last Thursday. The survey, by a group of investment advisers and shareholder advocacy organizations, found about three-quarters of 30 oil & gas companies surveyed are not fully disclosing their practices on areas like air and water quality, use of toxic chemicals, and waste management, in a way that would help shareholders make investment decisions.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Should Americans Be Wary Fracking?
WLRN
Joseph Cooper, Bonnie Berman, Richard Ives & Paul Leary

12/15/14 - Should Americans be wary of hydraulically fractured mines? You might be more aware of the term “fracking,” as it pertains to natural gas removal. Join us for Monday’s Topical Currents when we discuss both pro & con fracking. Our guest this hour is Wall Street Journal energy reporter Russell Gold. He written a book about the hotly contested topic, “The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World.” That’s Topical Currents Monday at 1pm.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Fracking Advocates Urged to Win Ugly by Discrediting Foes
Hellenic Shipping News


As he took the floor at the tony Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, the veteran Washington public relations guru had an uncompromising message for oil and gas drillers facing an anti-fracking backlash. “You can either win ugly or lose pretty. You figure out where you want to be,” Rick Berman told the Western Energy Alliance, according to a recording. “Hardball is something that I’m a big fan of, applied appropriately.”  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Fracking near Preston: Health charity objects to Cuadrilla plans
Blog Preston


A medical charity has called for fracking near Preston not to go ahead due to concerns about the health of local residents. Dr David McCoy, director of Medact, has written to Lancashire County Council as part of the consultation process on the Cuadrilla plans for Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road. He warns the fracking process would “pose unacceptable risks to the health and well-being of local residents.”  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Australian indigenous groups to fight fracking
Shale Energy Insider
James Perkins

Indigenous communities in Australia’s Northern Territory have formed a co-operative group, NT Frack Free Alliance, which has been established to fight proposals for fracking on their land. The group met for the first time in Darwin and expressed concern at possible proposals to allow shale gas extraction on their lands. Speaking at the first meeting, an individual from the Balachni said, “we’re going to talk to the Government, to say that we don’t want any fracking or mining on our country“.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Stanford professor discusses techniques for minimizing environmental impacts of fracking
Phys.org


Natural gas from hydraulic fracturing generates income and, done well, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and water use compared to coal and even nuclear energy. However, widespread use of natural gas from fracking could slow the adoption of wind, solar and other renewables and, done poorly, release toxic chemicals into the environment.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Fracking giant showing cracks
Business Report
David Wethe Houston

POLITICAL turmoil from Russia to West Africa helped push 1 000 workers out of their jobs at the world’s largest fracking company. Halliburton plans to make the job cuts immediately in the eastern hemisphere as it strives to cope with an industry fallout brought on by oil prices at a five-year low, the Houston-based company said yesterday. The world’s second-largest oilfield-services provider plans to take a $75 million (R868.7m) restructuring charge in the fourth quarter as it cuts headcount and activities globally, Halliburton chief financial officer Mark McCollum told analysts and investors. Economic sanctions in Russia and the weaker rouble are part of the problem.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2014
Industry, enviros dissect mess of litigation as year closes
EE News
Ellen M Gilmer

Ask lawyers their biggest fear, and most will say uncertainty. The past year of sprawling oil and gas litigation delivered just that: an unsettled scorecard that ensures only a slew of new lawsuits to come. On litigious issues ranging from contract disputes to regulatory compliance to environmental concerns, attorneys from both industry and the environmental community are having a tough time saying who came out ahead. Though certain 2014 decisions delivered emphatic legal victories for each side, the collective result is a mixed bag for stakeholders to sort through -- all with high-stakes implications for policy, property and investments.  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
Major new gas find off Israel’s Mediterranean coast Royee field could be Israel’s third largest and create competition for Noble-Delek monopoly.
Haaretz
Eran Azran & Reuters

A new natural gas field off Israel’s Mediterranean coast may hold about 3.2 trillion cubic feet of gas, about one third the size of the giant Tamar field, its two Israeli partners said Sunday after conducting a 3D seismic survey of the area.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
Industry Backed Bill Could Force Mineral Owners to Sell
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Ashton Marra

As lawmakers return to town this week for their final interim session of 2014, they'll learn more about a practice in the natural gas industry companies want them to approve through legislation: forced pooling. Kevin Ellis, president of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, explained to lawmakers during a November meeting, when companies prepare to drill a well they create a giant rectangle of land parcels and then negotiate with each mineral owner within that rectangle for their gas rights.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
Congressman Mark Pocan Introduces Bill to Ban Fracking on Public Lands
Indy Bay
Food & Water Watch

Washington, D.C. – On December 10, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) introduced a bill to ban fracking for oil and gas on federally owned, public lands with Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09). This is the strongest federal bill against fracking introduced in Congress to date. Along with the introduction of the bill, Food & Water Watch released the results of a national poll conducted by Lake Research Partners, which finds that 48 percent of Americans oppose fracking on public lands, while only 41 percent support it. This is consistent with a Pew Research Center poll released earlier this month that found the percentage of Americans who support increased fracking overall at 41 percent, down from 52 percent in 2012. Drilling and fracking come with many problems, including water contamination, air pollution, earthquakes and massive amounts of methane leakage – something that could have catastrophic impacts on the climate. Workers on fracking sites are also subject to accidents, exposure to toxic chemicals and terrible working conditions. These issues are largely impossible to regulate, as evidenced by a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, which found that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to inspect more than half of the specified “high priority” wells, which required more attention to prevent water and environmental contamination, drilled from 2009 through 2012.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
A Climate Accord Based on Global Peer Pressure
New York Times
Coral Davenport

LIMA, Peru — Shortly before 2 a.m. on Sunday, after more than 36 straight hours of negotiations, top officials from nearly 200 nations agreed to the first deal committing every country in the world to reducing the fossil fuel emissions that cause global warming. In its structure, the deal represents a breakthrough in the two-decade effort to forge a significant global pact to fight climate change. The Lima Accord, as it is known, is the first time that all nations — rich and poor — have agreed to cut back on the burning oil, gas and coal.  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
Soto Files Bill to Prohibit Fracking in Florida
The Ledger
Bill Rufty

LAKELAND | State Sen. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, whose district includes a portion of Polk County, and Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, have filed a bill in the Legis­lature to prohibit hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial method of obtaining oil or gas. Soto said the situation is particularly detrimental to Florida because of the high water table and the potential for chemicals used in fracturing the ground to get at oil or gas to contaminate the Floridan aquifer.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
County discusses fracking possibility
Bakken.com
John Rohif

CLINTON — Waste being generated by gas and oil fracking was a main topic discussed by the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency during its meeting Thursday. In a Regional Collections Center meeting, which Director Brad Seward attended, the problem of gas and oil fracking was one of several topics discussed. The materials from the fracking are more of a problem in the western part of the state, but Seward said it is a possibility it will be a problem in Clinton County.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
Revealed: How Big Oil Got Expedited Permitting for Fracking on Public Lands Into the Defense Bill
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

The U.S. Senate has voted 89-11 to approve the Defense Authorization Act of 2015, following the December 4 U.S. House of Representatives' 300-119 up-vote and now awaits President Barack Obama's signature. The 1,616-page piece of pork barrel legislation contains a provision — among other controversial measures — to streamline permitting for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) on U.S. public lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a unit of the U.S. Department of Interior.  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
On this pipeline, Christie has no comment
NorthJersey.com


Governor Christie has voiced strong support for the Keystone XL pipeline extension that would cross the middle of the United States, but he has been decidedly quiet on a proposed oil pipeline that could cut across a large portion of New Jersey. Christie’s stance on the 178-mile Pilgrim Pipeline, which could run between Linden in Union County and Albany, N.Y., is crucial because state governments, rather than Washington, would have to approve it, energy experts and federal officials say.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
Triad Hunter Commences Well Control and Safety Operations on the Stalder 3UH Well Following Blowout
CNN


Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation (NYSE: MHR) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRC) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRD) (NYSE MKT: MHR.PRE) (the "Company" or "Magnum Hunter") is reporting today that the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Triad Hunter, LLC ("Triad Hunter"), has experienced a loss of control of a well, the Stalder 3UH, located in Monroe County, Ohio. Triad Hunter lost control of this well at approximately 2:00 p.m. EST on December 13, 2014. The previously drilled and completed Stalder 3UH well had been temporarily plugged and abandoned in preparation for the drilling of three additional Utica horizontal wells on the Stalder pad. However, despite numerous precautionary measures taken in connection with the temporary plugging and abandonment operation, the well began to flow uncontrollably while recommencing production operations.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
Magnum Hunter subsidiary loses control of well
Houston Business Journal
Olivia Pulsinelli

Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. (NYSE: MHR) reported Dec. 14 that a subsidiary lost control of a Utica well in Monroe County, Ohio. Triad Hunter LLC lost control of Stalder 3UH at approximately 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Dec. 13. The natural gas well, which had been drilled and completed previously, had been temporarily plugged and abandoned as the company prepared to drill three other horizontal wells on the Stalder pad.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
Fracking: Florida uilities want you to pay
The Tampa Tribune
JAMES L. ROSICA

TALLAHASSEE — The drilling process known as fracking holds promise in helping the United States achieve energy independence, but it has also drawn concern for its potential to cause widespread pollution of underground water supplies. Now, two of Florida’s top utility companies — Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light — are adding fuel to the fires of debate over fracking with proposals to shift the high cost of exploration from their stockholders to their customers.  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
Capturing Carbon as a Byproduct of Running a Fuel Cell
New York Times
Matthew L. Wald

DANBURY, Conn. — The more that engineers look, the more they find unexpected ways to capture carbon dioxide, a gas that scientists say threatens global climate stability. Until now, most efforts to capture carbon have been expensive, in dollars and in energy. A coal-fired power plant that grabbed carbon before it escaped into the atmosphere would lose an enormous portion of its energy output in the process.  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
Fracking: Florida uilities want you to pay
Tampa Tribune
James L. Rosica

TALLAHASSEE — The drilling process known as fracking holds promise in helping the United States achieve energy independence, but it has also drawn concern for its potential to cause widespread pollution of underground water supplies. Now, two of Florida’s top utility companies — Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light — are adding fuel to the fires of debate over fracking with proposals to shift the high cost of exploration from their stockholders to their customers.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2014
Indigenous groups band together to stop fracking on their land
ABC News
Jane Bardon

Remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory are gearing up for a public relations battle with the oil and gas industry over fracking. Aboriginal communities opposed to hydraulic fracturing projects on their land have formed an alliance.  [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2014
DEP considers air study at Tunkhannock fracking sand facility
Pocono Record
Brendan Gibbons

State environmental regulators could use Tunkhannock as a case study to measure how facilities that handle hydraulic fracturing sand affect air quality. The Department of Environmental Protection has never before sampled the air for silica sand near a transfer facility like the one D&I Silica LLC proposes near the intersection of Route 6 and Route 92 in Tunkhannock, spokeswoman Colleen Connolly said.   [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2014
Encana shuts down operations at Erie fracking site 'An early Christmas present for us all'
Daily Camera
Sam Klomhaus

Encana Oil & Gas announced Friday night that it plans to cease operations at the Pratt well site in Erie until noise issues with the current rig can be resolved. Residents in the area had complained in recent days that noise from the location is causing them to lose sleep. State regulators told the Camera on Wednesday that noise levels at the site exceed state-mandated levels, despite new mitigation efforts announced this week.  [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2014
Move Over, California: Oklahoma Now Leads the Nation for Most Earthquakes
Reader Supported News


klahoma is best known, in the realm of natural disasters, for an abundance of tornadoes. However, it appears the state has a new natural disaster on its hands and it comes in the form of earthquakes. As of December, Oklahoma official outranks California for the most earthquakes in the nation. The Woodward News reports that earthquakes are happening on a weekly basis in Oklahoma and range in severity. Woodward County Emergency Manager Matt Lehenbauer told the publication that Oklahoma has officially passed up California regarding the prevalence of earthquakes. In fact, earthquakes are becoming part of everyday life for Oklahomans.  [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2014
Gas field drillers, activists seek statewide rules for wells
Tribune-Review
Katelyn Ferral

There are more regulations for cutting hair than for drilling water wells in Pennsylvania. To cut hair, you must hold a cosmetologist degree, pass an exam and get a license that outlines how you can practice. To drill a well and install a water pump, you need only register drilling equipment with the state. The absence of statewide rules governing how water wells are built and who can drill them have united some unlikely allies — environmental activists and gas drilling companies, who say rules are needed to reduce the risk of groundwater contamination in the middle of the gas drilling boom. More than 3 million rural and suburban residents in Pennsylvania rely on a private well for drinking water, and about 20,000 wells are drilled each year in the state, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.  [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2014
28 People evacuated after natural gas [well] leak in Monroe County [WV]
WTOV9


MONROE COUNTY, W. Va.- The leak occurred at the Triad Hunter pad, off of State Route 2 and 255 in Sardis, this afternoon. Monroe county EMA officials say 28 homes within a mile and half out from the pad have been evacuated for safety reasons.   [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2014
California Communities Fighting Back Against Prospect Of 25-Fold Crude-By-Rail Increase
DeSmogBlog
Tara Lohan

Ed Ruszel’s workday is a soundtrack of whirling, banging, screeching — the percussion of wood being cut, sanded, and finished. He’s the facility manager for the family business, Ruszel Woodworks. But one sound each day roars above the cacophony of the woodshop: the blast of the train horn as cars cough down the Union Pacific rail line that runs just a few feet from the front of his shop in an industrial park in Benicia, California. Most days the train cargo is beer, cars, steel, propane, or petroleum coke. But soon two trains of 50 cars each may pass by every day carrying crude oil to a refinery owned by neighboring Valero Energy. Valero is hoping to build a new rail terminal at the refinery that would bring 70,000 barrels a day by train — or nearly 3 million gallons.  [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2014
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
The Indypendent
Tom Badwen

The collapsing oil price that is reshaping the global economy could derail the green energy revolution by making renewable power sources prohibitively bad value, experts have warned. Oil tumbled below $60 a barrel for the first time in more than five years yesterday – a fall of 44 per cent since June. It is forecast to fall further.  [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2014
Most residents speak against gas pipeline proposed for Southern Oregon
Ashland Daily Tidings
Vickie Aldous

The overwhelming majority of residents at a public hearing on a proposed natural gas pipeline through Southern Oregon spoke against it, but plumbers, electricians and construction workers said the project would bring needed jobs. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held the hearing Thursday evening at Central Medford High School.   [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2014
Algonquin pipeline work would require clearing parkland
The Journal News
Elizabeth Ganga

he project to replace more than 15 miles of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline through northern Rockland, Westchester and a corner of Putnam will significantly impact a state park, a county park, several local green spaces, a Boy Scout camp and other recreation facilities. In order to pull out the old sections of 26-inch pipeline and replace them with 42-inch pipe, workers will have to clear substantial areas of forest to be able to move and stage equipment, potentially felling mature trees, affecting wildlife habitat, disrupting recreation and crossing wetlands.   [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2014
Environmental groups unite to oppose pipeline
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Environmental groups from four states have formed a coalition to oppose Spectra's proposed Algonquin Incremental Market pipeline. The pipeline runs through New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Environmentalists have opposed the pipeline because it will transport gas from Pennsylvania's fracking industry. The pipeline is seen as a key source of gas for the New England market, where utility bills have spiked because of a lack of pipeline capacity. New England states have been pushing for more pipeline capacity. The environmental groups will host a “Week of Respect and Resistance,” with protests from December 13 to December 19 in opposition to the project.  [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2014
NEW OIL DISCOVERIES FADING AS COSTS SKYROCKET
Energy Policy Forum
Deborah Lawrence

Global economic growth and expansion will not be possible if we rely on hydrocarbons only. In fact, the contraction of global growth rates since about 2006 are directly correlated to the higher cost of hydrocarbon extraction which has occurred since that time. It is also of note to realize that 2006 marked the high point for production globally. Industry has spent literally hundreds of billions of dollars in a desperate attempt to increase production but to no avail. In fact, a staggering $700B was spent in 2013 globally on CAPEX for oil and gas only to discover a mere 4.5 months worth of potentially new product at current consumption levels. To demonstrate the extreme rise in costs, one needs to only look at figures from 2006 when CAPEX numbers were running at about $250B per annum globally. In seven short years, CAPEX had trebled while production had fallen. 2013 by the way was 50 year low for new discoveries. And 2014 is not looking much better.  [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2014
Can A Pair Of Republican Congressmen Make The House Fold On Climate Change?
ThinkProgress
ARI PHILLIPS

Two House Republicans have voiced concern over climate change in the last week, with one of them even proposing a bill seeking to address the issue. These Republicans, Chris Gibson from New York and Congressman-elect Garret Graves from Louisiana, are sticking their necks out for their beliefs and their constituents’ concerns in a setting where they are could easily get chopped off. Emboldened by their midterm gains and bolstered by powerful lobbying networks like the American Legislative Exchange Council and corporate interests such as the Koch Brothers, the vast majority of Republicans have retrenched into their denial of climate change and distaste for environmental regulations. Does it matter then these two are trying to speak out over the din of despair?  [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2014
Environmental groups unite to oppose pipeline
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Environmental groups from four states have formed a coalition to oppose Spectra's proposed Algonquin Incremental Market pipeline. The pipeline runs through New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Environmentalists have opposed the pipeline because it will transport gas from Pennsylvania's fracking industry.   [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2014
Congressmen require FERC to report on capacity zone
Capital New York
David Giambusso

A bipartisan group of New York legislators has inserted language into a federal spending bill that would require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to make quarterly reports on a much-maligned lower Hudson Valley capacity zone. Sen. Charles Schumer, and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, both Democrats, joined with Republican Rep. Chris Gibson in drafting and inserting the language into the $1.1 trillion spending bill approved by the House Thursday night. It is currently being debated by the Senate.   [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2014
Plant expansions fueled by shale gas boom to boost greenhouse gas, toxic air emissions
Center for Public Integrity
Talia Buford

The state of Louisiana says it will allow the facility to release up to 10.6 million tons of greenhouse gases and 3,275 tons of volatile organic compounds such as benzene, a carcinogen, into the atmosphere each year. This is on top of the 963 tons of pollutants that were discharged into the air by Sasol and other companies within the 70669 ZIP code last year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2014
Sierra Club opposes fracking plan
Baltimore Sun
Opinion

recent article reported that the Sierra Club "praised the administration's conclusions" regarding opening the state to fracking ("O'Malley administration sets out path to fracking in Md.," Nov. 25). lRelated On fracking, O'Malley betrays his supposed principles OPINION On fracking, O'Malley betrays his supposed principles SEE ALL RELATED 8 This is an inaccurate representation of our position. cComments Got something to say? Start the conversation and be the first to comment. ADD A COMMENT 0 The Sierra Club is opposed to fracking. Fracking has caused damage in communities across the country by polluting our air and water, and contributing to the destabilization of our climate.   [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2014
#lohudreacts: Fracking for New York?
The Journal News


The state's review of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is due for completion by the end of the year. It's a political hot potato, and the pressure has been on the Cuomo administration and state Department of Health to finally determine New York's regulations for the process. Even if New York OKs fracking, the state's highest court has determined that municipalities have to permit the process by zoning rules. That court decision came after several upstate communities banned the practice, absent a state ban. The court upheld the bans, which set a precedent that fracking needed to be part of zoning laws, either an approved use or banned activity. So if New York decides to permit large-scale hydraulic fracturing, towns will still have to amend zoning laws to clarify whether fracking is welcome.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Representatives Pocan and Schakowsky Introduce Bill to Ban Fracking on Public Lands Representatives Pocan and Schakowsky Take the Strongest Federal Action to Date Against Fracking in the U.S.
eNews Park Forest
Press Release

Washington, D.C. –(ENEWSPF)—December 11, 2014. Yesterday, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) introduced a bill to ban fracking for oil and gas on federally owned, public lands with Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09). This is the strongest federal bill against fracking introduced in Congress to date. Along with the introduction of the bill, Food & Water Watch released the results of a national poll conducted by Lake Research Partners, which finds that 48 percent of Americans oppose fracking on public lands, while only 41 percent support it. This is consistent with a Pew Research Center poll released earlier this month that found the percentage of Americans who support increased fracking overall at 41 percent, down from 52 percent in 2012.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Fracking Scorecard: 2014 Investor Report Shows Few Energy Companies Willing To Disclose Practices With New Focus on Methane Leakage Concerns, Shareholder Assessment Grades 30 Oil & Gas Cos; BHP Billiton in 1st Place for Fracking Disclosure; Exxon and Chevron Near Bottom.
Investorideas


A handful of the 30 largest oil and gas companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking', have improved their standing in an annual investor scorecard analyzing whether companies report their practices and progress in reducing risks of their fracking operations. However, the majority of oil and gas companies continue to receive failing scores, preventing investors from accurately assessing how, or whether, these companies manage key risks of fracking, including use of toxic chemicals, water consumption and water quality, waste management, air emissions, and community impacts  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Windsor council requests more info on fracking wastewater disposal
Nova News Now
Ashley Thompson

WINDSOR — Windsor’s town council is asking staff to research the latest information regarding the safe disposal of fracking wastewater. The topic was discussed at a committee of the whole meeting Dec. 9. Coun. Laurie Murley said she recently read a letter in the provincial newspaper that suggested Windsor would be the ideal place to process the fracking wastewater from holding ponds in Kennetcook.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Energy company's work halted at well near Moraine State Park in Butler
Tribune-Review
Bill Vidonic

The state Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday ordered an energy company to stop building a truck access area near a controversial well site about a mile from Moraine State Park in Butler County. XTO must immediately stop any work, except to stabilize the area, until all required permits and authorizations are obtained, according to the DEP.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
The Fraser Institute: Fracking Bans May Needlessly Deny Canadians the Fruits of Natural Resource Development
Market Wired
Fraser Institute--Press Release

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Dec. 11, 2014) - Decisions on hydraulic fracturing should be based on realistic appraisals of risk, so Canadians are not unnecessarily denied the benefits of their natural resources, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank. The study, Managing the Risks of Hydraulic Fracturing, examines the economic potential of energy resource development via hydraulic fracturing (sometimes referred to as "fracking") in Canada, and the often-repeated claims made by fracking opponents.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Ohio Valley activist groups working against fracking
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Late in November, representatives of citizen groups from West Virginia and Ohio gathered in Huntington, W.Va., to discuss the growing threats to the Ohio River Basin, which provides drinking water for five million people. The impetus for the meeting came from the dramatic rise in the oil and gas industry’s activities and proposals slated for the Ohio River Basin. The industry is proposing to build docks and barge toxic, radioactive waste along the Ohio River. The waste is generated by the deep shale hydraulic fracturing (fracking) method of extracting natural gas. Millions of gallons of liquid waste would be unloaded at dock sites for transport to injection wells in Southeast Ohio. The Coast Guard has yet to announce approval of barge transport for this kind of industrial waste, but such facilities are already being permitted and built along the river.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Study: Abandoned wells could be significant source of greenhouse gas
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

A new study out this week shows that Pennsylvania’s abandoned oil and gas wells could be a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions. Pennsylvania is littered with old oil and gas wells that date back to the 1860’s. Unmapped and unmonitored, these wells can turn into pollution pathways for oil, gas and brine. About 12,000 of an estimated 300,000 wells have been found and plugged. But the peer reviewed report out this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows even the plugged wells are leaking methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Mary Kang is the lead author on the study.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Colorado GOP Push For Payment During Fracking Bans
CBS Denver


DENVER (AP) — Colorado House Republicans will propose legislation requiring counties that ban fracking to pay mineral owners for losing their ability to develop their property. The House GOP said Thursday that Rep. Perry Buck of Windsor will be introducing the bill in the session that begins next month.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Canada's fracking province
DW


In Canada's Alberta province residents have grown used to the sound of constant drilling and fracking. Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) is a technique used to remove gas or oil from shale rock. But it’s a controversial practice. While gases continue to burn off the thousand-odd hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells, locals are blaming a litany of health complaints on fracking air pollution.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
CSU team investigates fracking fluid
Coloradoan
Sarah Jane Kyle

A CSU-led research team that analyzed more than 200 research papers, studies and literature about hydraulic fracturing found that there's still not enough research to fully understand the environmental implications of the process.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Health worries pervade North Texas fracking zone
The Center for Public Integrity
Jamie Smith Hopkins

DALLAS—Propped up on a hospital bed, Taylor Ishee listened as his mother shared a conviction that choked her up. His rare cancer had a cause, she believes, and it wasn’t genetics. Others in Texas have drawn the same conclusions about their confounding illnesses. Jana DeGrand, who suffered a heart attack and needed both her gallbladder and her appendix removed. Rebecca Williams, fighting off unexplained rashes, sharp headaches and repeated bouts of pneumonia. Maile Bush, who needed surgery for a sinus infection four rounds of antibiotics couldn’t heal. Annette Wilkes, whose own severe sinus infections were followed by two autoimmune diseases. They all lived for years atop the gas-rich Barnett Shale in North Texas, birthplace of modern hydraulic fracturing. And they all believe exposure to natural gas development triggered their health problems.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Far More Americans Trust EPA Over Congress To Set Pollution Standards
ThinkProgress
Jeff Spross

House Republicans sometimes describe the Environmental Protection Agency as a kind of rogue outfit; a threat to the American economy that hides its methods and needs to be “reined in.” But according to a new survey by the American Lung Association, far more Americans trust the agency over Congress to deal with pollution. The poll was conducted in November and covered 1,000 respondents, and had a margin of error of 3.1 percent. Among other questions, it specifically asked voters whether “scientists at the EPA should set pollution standards” or if “our elected representatives in Congress should set pollution standards, not unelected bureaucrats at the EPA.” Forty-six percent agreed with the first statement “much” and another 22 percent agreed with it “somewhat,” for a total of 68 percent support (69 percent by the pollster’s calculations, when rounding is presumably factored in). Furthermore, even among Republicans, EPA scored more trust than Congress, with 60 percent saying the agency should set the standards versus 31 percent saying the legislature should do it.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
ASIA MARKETS Oil Plunge Dims Outlook for LNG Projects
The Wall Street Journal
ROSS KELLY

SYDNEY—Investors in giant gas-export terminals from Australia to Canada are facing the prospect of losing billions of dollars plowed into the projects as plunging oil prices darken the outlook for the industry. Unless they recover, weaker oil prices could wipe out returns for companies such as Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which have committed nearly $250 billion combined in liquefied-natural-gas projects over the past seven years to meet rising Asian demand for the cleaner-burning fuel. LNG is natural gas compressed into liquid form inside huge refrigeration units, enabling it to be shipped on tankers to places unconnected by pipeline.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Review finds environmental impact and toxicity of biocides used in fracking still largely unknown
Phys.org


A Colorado State University-led research team has completed the most comprehensive review to date of the environmental fate and toxicity of the biocides most commonly used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. Researchers analyzed more than 200 research papers, studies, and other literature to critically evaluate the current knowledge on how these chemicals may enter the environment, whether they are likely to degrade or persist, and if they or their degradation products may pose a risk to human health and the environment. The team also pinpointed various areas in which more research is urgently needed and identified the pros and cons of potential biocide alternatives. The critical review article, "Biocides in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids: A Critical Review of Their Usage, Mobility, Degradation, and Toxicity," was recently published in the prestigious journal Environmental Science &Technology.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Investor scorecard has mixed results for shale drillers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Anya Litvak

Several shale drillers operating in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale were recognized for good industry practices in a second annual scorecard issued by a coalition of investment firms and advocacy organizations that push for disclosure of risks around oil and gas operations. The groups, including As You Sow, Boston Common Asset Management, Green Century Capital Management, and the Investor Environmental Health Network, evaluated the public disclosures of 30 companies tapping shales in the U.S. and Canada.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
New Analysis And Science Answer Governor Cuomo’s Fracking Concerns
WAMC
Dave Lucas

Health professionals and scientists are out with two new independent summations of the risks and harms of shale gas development and hydraulic fracturing. The two documents were formally released Thursday at the Legislative Office Building in downtown Albany. Saying the science should speak for itself, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in an election season debate that the long-awaited health impact study into hydraulic fracturing would be released before the end of the year. The state has remained under a de facto moratorium for several years — a delay that has allowed activists on both sides of the issue to mobilize.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Residents oppose natural gas compressor station proposed in Madison County
The Post-Standard
Elizabeth Doran

Madison County residents are fighting a proposed natural gas compressor station to be located in Georgetown, saying they are worried it will be dangerous to their health. The facility, along with one proposed in Horseheads, would be built along Dominion Transmission Inc.'s existing transmission pipeline. A compressor station helps push natural gas through underground pipelines, boosting efficiency.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Dem bill would ban fracking on federal land
The Hill
Timohy Cama

A House Democrat introduced a bill aimed at prohibiting hydraulic fracturing for oil or natural gas on federal land. The bill, which advocates call the strongest federal anti-fracking bill to date, is aimed at a controversial oil and gas recovery technique that environmentalists say can harm groundwater, drinking water, flora, fauna and air quality. Drillers, leasing public land, pump sand, water and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to recover more oil and gas from shale.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Colorado GOP Push For Payment During Fracking Bans
CBS Denver


DENVER (AP) — Colorado House Republicans will propose legislation requiring counties that ban fracking to pay mineral owners for losing their ability to develop their property. The House GOP said Thursday that Rep. Perry Buck of Windsor will be introducing the bill in the session that begins next month.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Review finds environmental impact and toxicity of biocides used in fracking still largely unknown
PHYS.org


A Colorado State University-led research team has completed the most comprehensive review to date of the environmental fate and toxicity of the biocides most commonly used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. Researchers analyzed more than 200 research papers, studies, and other literature to critically evaluate the current knowledge on how these chemicals may enter the environment, whether they are likely to degrade or persist, and if they or their degradation products may pose a risk to human health and the environment. The team also pinpointed various areas in which more research is urgently needed and identified the pros and cons of potential biocide alternatives.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Halliburton lays off 1,000 employees in Eastern Hemisphere
Fuel Fix
Collin Eaton

HOUSTON — Oil field giant Halliburton said Thursday it is laying off about 1,000 employees across multiple regions in the Eastern Hemisphere, effective immediately, a day after a company executive said it expects a $75 million restructuring charge in the fourth quarter. The announcement comes as oil prices have plummeted in recent months. U.S. benchmark crude West Texas Intermediate fell below $60 for the first time in five years on Thursday.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
U.S. lawmakers give preview of coming oil export fight
Reuters
Timothy Gardner

(Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers gave a preview on Thursday of a looming fight next year on lifting the ban on crude exports with supporters saying it would sustain the drilling boom and others questioning its impacts on industry and fuel prices. In a House of Representatives hearing on the ban, Texas Republican Joe Barton said exporting oil would boost the economy, lower gas prices, and help give allies alternative oil supplies to Russia.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Groups from Cortlandt to Massachusetts Plan Protests Against Pipeline Expansion
Peekskill-Cortlandt Patch
Lanning Taliaferro

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is due to release its Final Impact Statement on the Algonquin Incremental Market pipeline expansion. The pipeline carries natural gas under pressure from the fracking fields of Pennsylvania to the markets and ports of New England. AIM would expand segments of Spectra Energy’s current pipeline through Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties and add and enlarge monitoring and compressing stations, Opponents of the project are staging a week’s worth of protests from New York to Rhode Island.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Oil, Natural Gas Drillers Lag in Disclosing Risks
Bloomberg
Jim Polson

While a handful of shale drillers including BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) are providing better information to investors on the risks posed by fracking, industry wide efforts still fall short. Oil and natural gas producers that use hydraulic fracturing offered incomplete information on their operations, according to a report today by a coalition of investment firms and advocacy groups. Using public data from August 2013 through September 2014, the report rates disclosures from 30 drillers on toxic chemicals, water and waste management, emissions and community impacts.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Long Beach City Council opposes LNG project Calls on Governor Cuomo to veto Port Ambrose plan
Long Island Herald
Anthony Rifilato

The Long Beach City Council is opposing a company’s plan to build “Port Ambrose,” a liquefied natural gas terminal in the Atlantic Ocean 19 miles southeast of Jones Beach, citing environmental and security concerns. The council is urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a letter to veto the Liberty Natural Gas project, saying that an LNG terminal would negatively impact the barrier island’s ecology and residents’ quality of life, while also causing safety and security concerns.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Proposal would let ND landfills accept more radioactivity in oilfield waste
INFORUM
Mike Nowatzki

BISMARCK – Oilfield waste with elevated levels of radioactivity could be dumped in North Dakota’s landfills instead of having to be trucked out of state, under proposed rules being announced today by the state Department of Health. The rules strive to set a reasonable standard, based on science, in response to growing concerns about hauling and disposal of radioactive waste generated by oil and gas drilling.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Dutch fracking ban extended to 2016
Interfax Energy Natural Gas Daily
Annemarie Botski

"This means the current moratorium… which was already in place, is extended until 2016," Mariska van de Sanden, associate at law firm Bird & Bird Netherlands, told Interfax.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
'Fracking frenzy' - how the shale gas industry is threatening the planet
Ecologist
Friends of the Earth Europe

The world is in the grip of a 'fracking frenzy that threatens us for centuries to come with polluted aquifers, runaway climate change, destruction of biodiversity and worthless 'sub-prime' investments. Just as the world must make the transition to a sustainable future, our 'leaders' are determined to make this last losing throw of the fossil fuel dice.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Fracking Green Chemistry Roundtable Launched
Environmental Leader


Apache, Dow Chemical and Marathon Oil are among the members of the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute’s newly formed roundtable to identify opportunities for the oil and gas industry to use green chemistry and engineering in hydraulic fracturing. The ACS GCI Hydraulic Fracturing Roundtable is open to new members; to be considered a founding member companies must apply by Dec. 31.   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2014
Fed Bubble Bursts in $550 Billion of Energy Debt: Credit Markets
Bloomberg
Christine Idzelis and Craig Torres

The danger of stimulus-induced bubbles is starting to play out in the market for energy-company debt. Since early 2010, energy producers have raised $550 billion of new bonds and loans as the Federal Reserve held borrowing costs near zero, according to Deutsche Bank AG. With oil prices plunging, investors are questioning the ability of some issuers to meet their debt obligations. Research firm CreditSights Inc. predicts the default rate for energy junk bonds will double to eight percent next year.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
State agency blocks Texas oil company from withdrawing water from Amite River Sierra Club, organizations had been holding meetings
WDSU
Juan Sanchez

An estimated 12.6 million gallons of water intended for use in fracking will no longer be withdrawn from the Amite River in East Feliciana Parish. Representatives with the Sierra Club were notified this week that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries had denied the request from Comstock Resources, which is an oil company based out of Texas.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Injection wells in faults could trigger earthquakes, Devon executive chairman says
Tuls World
Ziva Branstetter

Although Devon Energy’s Larry Nichols said Wednesday that he doesn’t think fracking causes earthquakes, he said he believes that injecting the resulting wastewater into existing faults could trigger them. Speaking to the Tulsa Rotary Club, the co-founder and executive chairman of Devon Energy Corp. was asked whether fracking, or hydraulic fracturing during drilling, causes earthquakes. The $32 billion company is one of the largest natural gas and oil producers and independent processors of natural gas in North America.   [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Wolf taps former DEP secretary for policy chief
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor-elect Tom Wolf has tapped former state environmental protection secretary John Hanger to be his Secretary of Planning and Policy. In this high-ranking post, Hanger says he will help the governor develop and implement his policy agenda, which includes plans for a severance tax on Marcellus Shale drilling and reinstating a moratorium on new oil and gas leasing in state parks and forests.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Crisis looms at DEC Comptroller's report questions agency's ability to function with reduced staff, funding
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany A budget crisis is brewing at the state Department of Environmental Conservation after years of staff cuts and declining state spending papered over with temporary federal stimulus aid, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli warned in a report issued Wednesday. Looking back to 2003, the report said "DEC staff has declined while funding has barely kept pace with inflation and now is projected to decline." And fiscal plans by Gov. Andrew Cuomo call for cutting state funds available to DEC during the next three years.   [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Delaware River Basin Commission meeting becomes forum for PennEast Pipeline foes
Hunterdon County Democrat


WASHINGTON CROSSING, Pa. — Yesterday at its first meeting since deciding to exercise jurisdiction over the PennEast Pipeline project, the Delaware River Basin Commission commissioners heard from the opponents of the project. The proposed pipeline would transport natural gas from Luzerne County, Pa., to Mercer County, N.J., crossing beneath the Delaware River into Holland Township and continuing through Hunterdon County.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Wine And Gas Battle It Out In Northern US
OilPrice.com
Nick Cunningham

Wine and gas tend not to mix. In upstate New York, a midstream oil and gas company is running into stiff local opposition for its plans to build natural gas infrastructure. Crestwood, a Texas-based company, has proposed plans to build natural gas storage facilities on Seneca Lake, a picturesque site in the heart of New York’s wine country.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Erie fracking: Regulators say Encana drilling noise violates state rules Oil and gas company says it is 'committed' to reducing sound levels
Daily Camera
Joe Rubino

It's not as much the audible sound that gets to Tiffany Taskey as it is the rattling inside her Erie home that has her up in arms about Encana Oil & Gas drilling in her neighborhood. "My house physically vibrates," Taskey, who lives in the 1900 block of Alpine Drive in the Vista Ridge subdivision, said Wednesday. "You know when you drive with the back windows down and your front windows are up and the car vibrates and it hurts your ears? That's what it's like in my house 24/7."   [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Guar beans prove to be vital to United States fracking, food industries
Trib Live
Katelyn Ferral

In the supply chain of the modern frack job, the fluid used to expel gas from underground shale has been a flash point. Fracking fluid contains water, sand and a cocktail of chemicals but its success in shattering shale has often hinged on a bean that also is used as a preservative in baked goods and to thicken beverages.   [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
ExxonMobil sees plentiful natural gas, oil far into future
Akron Beacon Journal
Jonathan Fahey

NEW YORK (AP) — North America, once a sponge that sucked in a significant portion of the world's oil, will instead be supplying the world with oil and other liquid hydrocarbons by the end of this decade, according to ExxonMobil's annual long-term energy forecast. And the "almost unspeakable" amount of natural gas found in recent years in the U.S. and elsewhere in North America will be enough to make the region one of the world's biggest exporters of that fuel by 2025, even as domestic demand for it increases, according to Bill Colton, Exxon's chief strategist.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Natural gas drilling contractors agree to pay workers in Pa., W.Va. nearly $4.5m in back wages
Greenfield Reporter
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, West Virginia — Natural gas drilling contractors working in the Marcellus Shale have agreed to pay nearly $4.5 million in back pay to 5,310 workers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia after an investigation that found violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, federal officials said. A majority of the violations involved improper payment of overtime. Some salaried employees did not receive an overtime premium because they were misclassified as exempt from the law's overtime provisions, the U.S. Department of Labor said Tuesday in a news release.   [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Drilling rules to be reworked Public hearing set for next week on rewrites
Denton Record-Chronicle
Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

Denton City Council members have said little publicly about the latest rewrites to rules for natural gas development since adopting a moratorium on new permits earlier this year. During the council’s work session Tuesday afternoon, City Attorney Anita Burgess called the latest drafts “complicated.” But neither the staff nor the council offered much more on what’s coming before taking their discussion over natural gas development into closed session.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Swan Lake gas rights sale worries residents
Alaska Highway News
Jonny Wakefield

The province is selling the right to drill for petroleum and natural gas beneath Swan Lake and in nearby areas – a move that has Watson and nearby residents concerned. On Nov. 5, the ministry of natural gas development gave notice it was selling natural gas rights in the area, including beneath the lake, which lies on the Alberta border.   [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
A global natural gas boom alone won't slow climate change
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
H. Holger Rogner

The ongoing shale gas revolution in the United States, dubbed a “game changer” by many experts, is the result of a surge of innovation that is extracting huge amounts of natural gas from shale deposits once thought to be inaccessible. It has reversed a decade of declining domestic gas production and brought enormous economic benefits to American consumers and businesses: natural gas prices that dropped by two-thirds within 12 months after widespread fracking began and have risen only slightly since then, hundreds of thousands of new jobs, a renaissance of investment in new manufacturing capacities, and improved energy security. The rise of shale gas has had an environmental benefit as well—greatly reduced carbon dioxide emissions, because generating electricity by burning natural gas emits less than half as much carbon dioxide as burning coal.   [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
LNG Export Facility Announced In Southwestern Louisiana
PR Newswire


CAMERON PARISH, La., Dec. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Venture Global LNG announced today it is developing a liquefied natural gas export facility, the Calcasieu Pass Project, in southwestern Louisiana, which will bring hundreds of jobs to the local community. "I am honored to officially announce the Calcasieu Pass Project that will deliver reliable, safe, low-cost LNG exports to the world," said William Wicker, CEO of Venture Global LNG at a press conference in Cameron Parish today. "Louisiana is leading the way in industrial development and job creation, and we are proud that the project will create high quality, high-paying jobs and revenue for the state." The Calcasieu Pass Project, south of the city of Lake Charles, will be built, operated and manufactured in Louisiana, and will create 1,500 construction jobs, 326 indirect jobs and 100 permanent jobs for the community.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Review finds environmental impact and toxicity of biocides used in fracking still largely unknown
Colorado State University
Press Release

FORT COLLINS - A Colorado State University-led research team has completed the most comprehensive review to date of the environmental fate and toxicity of the biocides most commonly used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. Researchers analyzed more than 200 research papers, studies, and other literature to critically evaluate the current knowledge on how these chemicals may enter the environment, whether they are likely to degrade or persist, and if they or their degradation products may pose a risk to human health and the environment. The team also pinpointed various areas in which more research is urgently needed and identified the pros and cons of potential biocide alternatives. The critical review article, “Biocides in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids: A Critical Review of Their Usage, Mobility, Degradation, and Toxicity,” was recently published in the prestigious journal Environmental Science &Technology.   [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Congressman Widens Inquiry Into Fracking Waste in Northeast and Midwest
InsideClimate News
David Hasemyer

A Congressional investigation into the way states regulate the disposal of the often toxic waste generated during the fracking of oil and gas has expanded. Rep. Matthew Cartwright, a Democrat from eastern Pennsylvania, launched the investigation in October by singling out his home state for the inquiry. Now Cartwright, a member of the House Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, has broadened the probe to include Ohio and West Virginia. Those states generate waste from hydraulic fracturing as well as accepting waste from other states, including Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Plant expansions fueled by shale gas boom to boost greenhouse gas, toxic air emissions
The Center for Public Integrity
Talia Buford

WESTLAKE, La. — Stacey Ryan already knows where he'll be buried. It will be in Perkins Cemetery, the same place his mother and father were laid to rest after dying from cancer. It's where his aunts, uncles, grandfather and great-grandfather are interred, having been felled by various malignancies, diabetes, and ailments of the heart, respiratory system and pancreas. Most of Ryan's family is there, along with almost everyone else who ever died in Mossville, an unincorporated area founded by freed slaves. Soon, the cemetery may be all that is left.   [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Hard Times in a Boom Town: Pennsylvanians Describe Costs of Fracking
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

If you're looking for the shale gas boom, northeastern Pennsylvania is the place to start. The Marcellus is the largest and fastest growing shale gas play in the U.S. and more than half of its 50 most productive wells were drilled in Susquehanna County in the northeast. Susquehanna and neighboring Bradford County produced 41 percent of all Marcellus gas this June. While drilling is down in other shale gas plays across the US, with major oil companies selling off their stakes and CEO's expressing regret for buying in, the Marcellus has bucked some of the downward trends so far. A recent report from the Post Carbon Institute, “ Drilling Deeper: A Reality Check on U.S. Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil and Shale Gas Boom,” has grave warnings about the Energy Information Administration's figures nationwide, concluding that two-fifths of the shale gas the agency expects to be produced between now and 2040 will likely never materialize. While many high-profile shale gas plays have already peaked in terms of gas production per well, the Marcellus appears to be an outlier in terms of productivity, researcher David Hughes concludes.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Pennsylvania Ecosystem Fights Corporation For Rights In Landmark Fracking Lawsuit
Public Herald
Melissa Troutman

For the first time in United States history, an ecosystem — a watershed, to be exact — has filed to defend itself in a lawsuit. The suit aims to reverse a local ban on the injection of fracking wastewater. Little Mahoning Watershed in Indiana County, Pennsylvania recently filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit to defend its own rights to exist and flourish. But watersheds can’t hire lawyers or speak, so how can one defend its rights, and do watersheds even have rights? The Little Mahoning Creek waterway flows through Grant Township, where elected officials unanimously passed a “Community Bill of Rights Ordinance” in June 2014 which declared “the rights of human and natural communities to water and a healthy environment,” including what’s commonly called “the rights of nature.”  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
US EPA Appears to Put TSCA Fracking Rule On Ice
Environmental Law Diary
J. Tom Boer

A November 2014 report on anticipated regulatory actions by the US Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) indicates that development of a potential rule requiring manufacturers and processors of fracking chemicals to report chemical data, including health and safety studies, is a low priority and is unlikely to be pursued by EPA in the short-term. In 2011, a coalition of environmental groups petitioned EPA to promulgate a rule specific to fracking chemicals and mixtures used in oil and gas exploration and production. The petition asked the agency to regulate fracking chemicals pursuant to its authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”). More specifically, the petition asked EPA to adopt a rule:  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Mark Ruffalo: 11-Year-Old Demands Climate Action With Vow of Silence Pledge
EcoWatch
Mark Ruffalo

I am writing to tell you about a brave 11-year-old boy named Itzcuauhtli (eat-squat-lee). I first saw him in videos with his brother Xiuhtezcatl (shoe-tez-cot), performing hip-hop inspired by their love for the Earth and their indigenous roots. In September, I had an opportunity to meet him at the People’s Climate March in New York City, and I was impressed by his passionate voice.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
FIRED: Texas Oil and Gas Regulators Say They Tried to Enforce Rules, Lost Jobs
InsideClimate News
David Hasemyer

PEARSALL, Texas—During their careers as oil and gas inspectors for the Texas Railroad Commission, Fred Wright and Morris Kocurek earned merit raises, promotions and praise from their supervisors. They went about their jobs—keeping tabs on the conduct of the state’s most important industry—with gusto. But they may have done their jobs too well for the industry’s taste—and for their own agency’s. Kocurek and Wright, who worked in different Railroad Commission districts, were fired within months of each other in 2013. Both say their careers were upended by their insistence that oil and gas operators follow rules intended to protect the public and the environment.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Fracking and Lima climate talks slammed at Nature Rights Tribunal
The Guardian


Thirteen judges meet in Peru to hear accusations that the rights of ‘Mother Earth’ are being violated It’s difficult to know what was more moving or arresting. There was the Ponca lady, Casey Camp-Horinek, starting to cry as she spoke about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, on her people in what she called “occupied” Oklahoma in the US, and saying “We’re having a funeral a week... We’re this close to being fracked to death.” Then there was Kandi Mossett, from North Dakota, a fracking “victim who wasn’t able to come”. She appeared on the projector and broke down too, telling how “these radioactive frack socks [that are] off the charts on the Geiger counters” are being dumped and found by children who say things like, “Hey, we’re catching bugs with our nets.” That was right after Shannon Biggs, the executive director of Movement Rights, had explained that fracking in the US is destroying lives, livelihoods, groundwater, rivers, farms, prairies, communities and landscapes, as well as causing “earthquakes where earthquakes don’t exist” and poisoning “millions and millions and millions” of gallons of water that are “taken out of the hydrological cycle forever”.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Goodrich Petroleum exploring sale of Texas shale assets
Fortune Magazine
John Kell

Shale producer becomes the latest company to distance itself from expensive projects as oil prices tumble. Shale oil producer Goodrich Petroleum is exploring a sale of the company’s South Texas assets, the latest sign that U.S. oil-and-gas producers are trimming their sails as oil prices dip.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
EPA: 8,000-gallon gas pipeline cleanup to last weeks
Greenville News
Tonya Maxwell

BELTON – Work near Belton to clean up an estimated 8,000-gallon gasoline leak from a major distribution pipeline likely will continue through December, an official monitoring the rural site said Wednesday. Passing motorists on Monday reported dead vegetation and a gas odor near Lewis Drive and West Calhoun Road, and crews later found a pinhole-sized leak in the pipe, buried four-feet deep. Owned by the Plantation Pipe Line Company, the 26-inch diameter pipe runs 3,100 miles from Louisiana to Washington, D.C., and the leak was discovered about a mile outside of Belton, company officials said. It is operated by Kinder Morgan, the country's largest energy infrastructure company.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2014
Citizens Take Monitoring Into Own Hands as Eagle Ford Shale Boom Continues Undaunted
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

Hugh Fitzsimons lll, a buffalo rancher on the outskirts of Carrizo Springs, Texas, cautiously watches the fracking industry’s accelerating expansion. His 13,000-acre ranch is atop the southwestern part of the oil-rich Eagle Ford Shale, which stretches from Leon County in northeast Texas to Laredo, along the Mexican border. During the last two years Fitzsimons has watched the fracking boom transform a rural locale into an industry hub. Desolate dirt roads are now packed with truck traffic, and commercial development to service the growing industry has sprung up along state highways, creating air and noise pollution.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
BofA Sees Global LNG Entering Multiyear Bear Market on Supplies
Bloomberg
Isis Almedia

Global liquefied natural gas prices will enter a “multiyear bear market” as production outpaces demand, according to Bank of America Corp. Supplies of the super-chilled fuel will rise as projects start in Australia at the turn of this year and U.S. plants begin exports by the end of next year, Sabine Schels, head of fundamental energy strategy at the bank, said at a press briefing at the bank’s offices in London today. LNG production may outstrip demand by 10 percent by 2020, according to consultant Berkeley Research Group.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Harper Rules out Crackdown on Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Tyee
Jeremy J. Nuttall

Falling oil prices have made the possibility of placing restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions for the oil and gas sector a "crazy" endeavour according to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Harper said Canada would not unilaterally impose restrictions on the industry. The prime minister made his assertion during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday when, once again, he was pressed by the New Democrats on when emission limits, promised since 2007, would be introduced.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
LNG boom over as China looks to sell out of long-term deals
Reuters
Oleg Vukmanovic and Henning Gloystein

MILAN/SINGAPORE, Dec 10 (Reuters) - China's state-controlled energy giant Sinopec wants to sell some long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) import deals as a slowing economy makes them unprofitable, sources say, signalling the end of a five-year boom fuelled by rising Chinese demand. Asia's thirst for energy has helped drive a "dash for gas" in producer countries from Australia to Canada, with LNG emerging as the fastest growing fuel source since the beginning of the century on the back of soaring Chinese imports.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Chevron Delays Drilling Budget Until Next Year Amid Oil Rout
Bloomberg
Joe Carroll

One week after Chevron Corp. (CVX) began pumping oil from a half-billion barrel discovery under the Gulf of Mexico, its annual capital spending plan is on hold until next year amid the worst crude slump this decade. The second-largest U.S. energy producer “is still in the process of reviewing and evaluating its capital and exploratory expenditure plans and will release its 2015 budget as soon as these plans are final, most likely in early 2015,” spokesman Kurt Glaubitz said in a telephone interview today. Chevron, which normally releases its capital budget for the upcoming year in mid-December, has $150 billion in major oil and natural gas developments in progress at more than a dozen sites around the world. Those projects are key to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Watson’s goal of raising production by a fifth in the next three years.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Leaks from natural gas drilling are falling, study finds
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Methane leaks from natural gas drilling and production have fallen from the last estimate more than a year ago, according to a study sponsored by the industry and an environmental group. Leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, now represent 0.38 percent of production volumes, according to the study released Tuesday.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Extend hold on fracking
Times Union
Kate Sindig Commentary

This much is certain about Gov. Andrew Cuomo's second term: He'll be inaugurated on January 1. But it remains disquietingly unclear what he plans to do about the risky gas extraction technique called fracking. So far, he has kept in place a de facto fracking moratorium dating back to 2008, before he became governor. Does he plan to continue that wise posture, letting science be his guide in making a decision? Or should New Yorkers expect an unpleasant surprise, like outgoing Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's inexplicable Thanksgiving week decision to lift a three-year fracking moratorium, putting residents' health and safe drinking water in jeopardy? The right path for New York is the former. That's why a coalition of community and environmental groups — including the Natural Resources Defense Council — launched the "Not One Well" campaign last week, calling on the governor to keep the moratorium in place for at least three to five more years.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Town of Andes bans fracking waste
Watershed Post
Julia Reischel

With a unanimous vote, the town board of the Delaware County town of Andes passed a local law banning oil and natural gas waste on Tuesday, Dec. 9, according to Tom Joyce, the Andes town board member who drafted the law. The new law bans the sale, acquisition, storage, handling, treatment and processing of natural gas waste and oil waste within Andes town limits. It includes specific provisions on applying fracking waste to all roads within the town and disposing of such waste in the town dump or in the town wastewater treatment plant. The new law joins Andes' prohibition on natural gas drilling and other heavy industry, which was passed in 2013. Proponents of the law see it as a way to prevent fracking and other kinds of heavy industry from entering the small, rural Delaware County town.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
LNG Boom Over?
Maritime Executive


China's state-controlled energy giant Sinopec wants to sell some long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) import deals as a slowing economy makes them unprofitable, sources say, signalling the end of a five-year boom fueled by rising Chinese demand. Asia's thirst for energy has helped drive a "dash for gas" in producer countries from Australia to Canada, with LNG emerging as the fastest growing fuel source since the beginning of the century on the back of soaring Chinese imports. But just as long-planned projects start to come on stream China's economy is stuttering, which is likely to crimp demand and pull down domestic gas prices to levels that make imports unprofitable.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Falling oil prices could hobble B.C. LNG industry
Business Vancouver


Unlike in Alberta, where falling oil prices is unequivocally bad news, in B.C., $70-per-barrel oil is more of a good news-bad news story, economists say. What is more important for B.C., with its aspiration of developing a liquefied natural gas industry, is natural gas prices – and those have also been inching down where it counts most, in Asia. There are pros and cons to low oil prices. The average consumer benefits from lower gas prices, and exporters also benefit, because the Canadian dollar moves with oil prices, and a low Canadian dollar is good for exporters – but not so good for anyone buying U.S. goods.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
HUGE CAPEX IN OIL AND GAS HAS NOT PAID OFF
Energy Policy Forum
Deborah Lawrence

Corporations display impressive photographs in annual reports of drilling rigs in deep water, oil sands extraction in remote regions or aerial shots of mega projects such as the Kashagan field. Such projects were necessary because the low hanging fruit of conventional, easy to reach hydrocarbons has been exhausted. To the industry’s credit, it has put its best face forward, extolling the wonders of its technology together with an incessant insistence on plentiful reserves. Though such insistence is questionable at best. In doing this, however, the industry has incurred debt of ~ $600 billion since 2005 in its ever voracious hunt for replacement energy. That is approximately a threefold rise in less than a decade.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
State to study effects of frack sand at Wyoming County site
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

The Scranton Times-Tribune reports state environmental regulators are looking at using a site in northeastern Pennsylvania to study how the sand used in hydraulic fracturing affects air quality. A company called D&I Silica LLC is planning to build a transfer facility for frack sand in Tunkhannock Township, Wyoming County. Sand is an important ingredient in most fracking fluid recipes. It’s mixed with chemicals and water and blasted deep underground where the tiny grains help keep cracks in the shale rock open allowing the natural gas to seep out. Breathing in silica dust can lead to silicosis, which has long been a hazard for workers in construction and manufacturing. But concerns have shifted in recent years to workers in the oil and gas industry. Local residents are also worried about the risks the transfer facility could pose.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
What's not in a name? This agency's actual duties
Houston Chronicle
Michael Brick

AUSTIN - At the Capitol, certain things come easy. Anyone can glide through security with a licensed handgun. Lawmakers can always find a highly compensated conversation partner in the lobby. And consensus gathers roundly for resolutions honoring everyone from Merle Haggard to Jared the Subway sandwich guy to Leroy and Jackie Palmer of San Angelo, who celebra  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Federal Investigators: Chemical Industry Has A Safety Crisis
State Impact Texas
Dave Fehling

It’s been a tragic couple of years for some people who work around dangerous chemicals in Texas. “Fertilizer plant on fire, there was an explosion; we have several buildings that have been destroyed,” said a dispatcher to first responders headed to a fertilizer business in the city of West. It was on the evening of April 17, 2013. Ten volunteer firefighters would be among the 15 people killed by the explosion.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Activists protest Nevada public land auctions for fracking
Los Angeles Times
JOHN M. GLIONNA

A coalition of activists on Tuesday protested outside the office of the federal Bureau of Land Management in Reno to decry an auction of huge tracts of public land for private oil and gas exploration that they claim damages the environment and guzzles water in a time of drought. Wearing blue and carrying empty jugs to signify the loss of water, protesters said that auctioning leases on 189,000 acres of public lands in the state’s eastern reaches had angered Nevadans of all social stripes and politics to speak out against fracking, which they say threatens public health, wildlife and quality of life.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
PennEast pipeline opponents pack DRBC meeting
The Intelligencer
Freda R. Savana

Dozens of PennEast pipeline opponents told the Delaware River Basin Commission on Tuesday it should not permit the proposed $1 billion project to move forward. During a crowded meeting at the Washington Crossing Historic Park in Upper Makefield, homeowners, children and environmental group representatives voiced strong concern about the 108-mile pipeline, set to run from Luzerne County to Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and cutting through Upper Bucks County.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Delaware River Basin commissioners hear from public during review of PennEast pipeline
Lehigh Valley Live
Pamela Sroka-Holzmann | The Express-Times

More than 40 people Tuesday afternoon raised concerns the route of a controversial, natural gas pipeline would impact water resources during a meeting held by the Delaware River Basin Commission. The multi-state agency aimed at protecting the Delaware River watershed in November announced plans to conduct a review of the PennEast Pipeline currently proposed to cut through a large swath of the watershed. The commission is just one of an estimated 30 agencies conducting similar reviews. PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC, a consortium of energy businesses including a subsidiary of Reading-based UGI Corp., announced plans in August for the 108-mile pipeline extending from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, to Mercer County, New Jersey.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
BLM responds to anti-fracking protest
Fox Reno


RENO, Nev. -- A protest against the auction of gas and oil leases on public lands was held outside the Bureau of Land Management office in Reno on Tuesday. In the clip above Fox 11's Gianna Giorgi interviews a BLM representative for the company's view on the controversial issue. The auction will sell more than 150,000 acres in Lincoln and Nye counties in the BLM's Ely district. Protest organizers say the rather than gas and oil leases it was is a fracking lease auction. Frack Free Nevada and Nevadans Against Fracking are asking the BLM to cancel the sale to protect water, people, and wildlife from what they call the dangers of fracking.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Move Over California: Oklahoma Now Leads The Nation For Most Earthquakes
Inquisitr


Oklahoma is best known, in the realm of natural disasters, for an abundance of tornadoes. However, it appears the state has a new natural disaster on its hands and it comes in the form of earthquakes. As of December, Oklahoma official outranks California for the most earthquakes in the nation. The Woodward News reports that earthquakes are happening on a weekly basis in Oklahoma and range in severity. Woodward County Emergency Manager Matt Lehenbauer told the publication that Oklahoma has officially passed up California regarding the prevalence of earthquakes. In fact, earthquakes are becoming part of everyday life for Oklahomans. EarthquakeTrack shows that today Oklahoma has already experienced eight earthquakes today alone (must be 1.5 magnitude or greater to be counted). Oklahoma has experienced 46 earthquakes in the past seven days, 188 earthquakes in the past month and 1,354 earthquakes in the past year.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
With EPA set to tackle methane, patterns emerging in emissions data
SNL
Sarah Smith

As the U.S. EPA prepares to offer clearer guidance on oil and gas industry methane emissions reductions, long-standing debate over the reliability of the sector's emissions data is beginning to give way as patterns emerge in recent research on the releases' sources and magnitude. Extensive variability across time, equipment and geography has challenged researchers' ability to accurately tabulate and clearly communicate the level of methane emissions, David Allen, a University of Texas at Austin chemical engineering professor, said at a Dec. 8 event in Washington, D.C.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
DNR Is Developing New Permit For Frac Sand Wastewater
Wisconsin Public Radio
Rich Kremer

The Department of Natural Resources is writing up a new permit to better handle wastewater leaving frac sand mines and processing plants. DNR Water Division Administrator Russ Rassmussen said the state’s general wastewater permit doesn’t properly address muddy water leaving frac sand operations because it was designed for gravel pits and quarries. The new permit being developed would be specific to the industry.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Jessica Ernst Fracking Battle: Alberta Will Not Appeal Court Ruling
Huffington Post
The Canadian Press

ROSEBUD, Alta. - Alberta will not appeal a court ruling that says a woman can sue the province over hydraulic fracturing that she alleges has so badly contaminated her well that the water can be set on fire. Jessica Ernst began legal action against Alberta's energy regulator and Calgary-based energy company Encana (TSX:ECA) in 2007, and amended her statement of claim in 2011 to include Alberta Environment. Last month, Chief Justice Neil Wittmann of Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the government's application to strike it from the lawsuit.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Scientist with deep industry ties being considered for key EPA job
Center for Public Integrity
David Heath

A scientist with deep ties to the chemical industry is one of two finalists to lead the office at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that determines which chemicals can make people sick, and in what doses. Michael Dourson is being considered to direct the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), whose scientific reports are used by the EPA and states to draft regulations to rid air, water or soil of toxic chemicals.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Methane leaks from fracking lower than EPA estimate: studies
Washington Examiner
Zack Colman

The oil and gas industry is cheering a pair of studies that show that less methane than estimated is leaking during the fracking process, which it says validates the climate change benefits of using natural gas to generate electricity. Tracking methane that escapes during fracking is central to the debate on whether burning natural gas to produce power yields fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal. While natural gas is half as carbon dense as coal, methane is at least 20 times more potent at trapping heat. Environmentalists say a leakage rate of 3 percent could erase the climate benefits of natural gas. The joint Environmental Defense Fund and University of Texas-Austin studies showed that the leakage rate from fracking wells falls below that mark. Overall, those leaks account for 0.38 percent of the lifecycle of natural gas emissions.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Abandoned wells can be 'super-emitters' of greenhouse gas
Princeton University
John Sullivan

Princeton University researchers have uncovered a previously unknown, and possibly substantial, source of the greenhouse gas methane to the Earth's atmosphere. After testing a sample of abandoned oil and natural gas wells in northwestern Pennsylvania, the researchers found that many of the old wells leaked substantial quantities of methane. Because there are so many abandoned wells nationwide (a recent study from Stanford University concluded there were roughly 3 million abandoned wells in the United States) the researchers believe the overall contribution of leaking wells could be significant.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Eco Alert: Warming Pacific May Release Greenhouse Gas Sealed for Millions of Years
Daily Galaxy


Sonar image above shows methane bubbles rising from the seafloor off the Washington coast. The base of the column is 1/3 of a mile (515 meters) deep and the top of the plume is at 1/10 of a mile (180 meters) depth. The gas is trapped in frozen layers below the seafloor. New research from the University of Washington shows that water at intermediate depths is warming enough to cause these carbon deposits to melt, releasing methane into the sediments and surrounding water. Still unknown is where any released methane gas would end up. It could be consumed by bacteria in the seafloor sediment or in the water, where it could cause seawater in that area to become more acidic and oxygen-deprived. Some methane might also rise to the surface, where it would release into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas, compounding the effects of climate change. Researchers found that water off the coast of Washington is gradually warming at a depth of 500 meters, about a third of a mile down. That is the same depth where methane transforms from a solid to a gas. The research suggests that ocean warming could be triggering the release of a powerful greenhouse gas. “We calculate that methane equivalent in volume to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is released every year off the Washington coast,” said Evan Solomon, a UW assistant professor of oceanography. He is co-author of a paper to appear in Geophysical Research Letters.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Scientists Track Down Serious Methane Leaks In Natural Gas Wells
North Country Public Radio
Christopher Joyce

Scientists are looking for ways for fracking to be less damaging. New fracking technology hass produced a natural gas boom, but it also poses a specific environmental problem. There are more gas leaks from wells, and it's hard to find out where the worst of those leaks are coming from. NPR's Christopher Joyce reports on a study out today with some answers. CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: Hydraulic fracturing created this gas boom. The technique fractures rock deep underground that releases gas. It's mostly methane that comes up through a well to a concrete drilling pad. And that pad is one place where you get leaks. Leaks are bad because methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. It warms the atmosphere. Dave Allen wants to stop these leaks.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
New Study Measures Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Production and Offers Insights into Two Large Sources
University of Texas


AUSTIN, Texas — A team of researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and environmental testing firm URS reports that a small subset of natural gas wells are responsible for the majority of methane emissions from two major sources — liquid unloadings and pneumatic controller equipment — at natural gas production sites. With natural gas production in the United States expected to continue to increase during the next few decades, there is a need for a better understanding of methane emissions during natural gas production. The study team believes this research, published Dec. 9 in Environmental Science & Technology, will help to provide a clearer picture of methane emissions from natural gas production sites. The UT Austin-led field study closely examined two major sources of methane emissions — liquid unloadings and pneumatic controller equipment — at well pad sites across the United States. Researchers found that 19 percent of the pneumatic devices accounted for 95 percent of the emissions from pneumatic devices, and 20 percent of the wells with unloading emissions that vent to the atmosphere accounted for 65 percent to 83 percent of those emissions.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Study ties outsize methane emissions to some oilfield equipment
Fuel Fix
Jennifer Dloughy

WASHINGTON — As federal regulators mull new mandates to curb methane leaks from the oil sector, new research suggests two major sources are techniques to dislodge fluid from wells and the pneumatic devices used to control valves at the sites. The research from the University of Texas at Austin, with support from the Environmental Defense Fund and 10 natural gas companies, reveals that a large portion of methane emissions from oil and gas production can be traced to small subset of outlier wells and equipment. For instance, about 19 percent of the pneumatic devices monitored by the research team accounted for 95 percent of the emissions from pneumatic devices. And 20 percent of the wells that vent emissions to the atmosphere during “unloading” operations designed to dislodge fluids accounted for 65 to 83 percent of those emissions.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Breaking News: Much of White River National Forest off limits to future oil and gas drilling
Aspen Daily News
Collin Szewczyk

Much of the White River National Forest including the controversial Thompson Divide will be off limits to future oil and gas development under a new environmental impact statement issued Tuesday by the U.S. Forest Service. According to a record of decision (ROD), 194,123 acres will be administratively available for oil and gas leasing on the WRNF. But 800,555 acres are listed as being legally closed to oil and gas leasing and 1,281,726 acres will be closed for oil and gas leasing through management direction, states the ROD, which was written by Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams in explaining the rationale behind choices that led to the new environment asessment.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
City council aligns oil drilling regs with state after residents complain about lack of input
Aurora Sentinel
Rachel Sapin

AURORA | Aurora will make changes to local oil and gas regulations to allow for taller vapor towers and to put the city on the same page as what the state requires, despite protest from some residents about the lack of public input. On Monday Aurora City Council voted unanimously to allow oil and gas companies to build 31.5-foot vapor towers, and to defer to Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for regulations concerning setbacks, noise and spill containment. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has the authority to regulate oil and gas drilling, while the city can only regulate the land use impacts such as truck traffic.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Op/Ed: Fracking poisons more than groundwater
Chadds Ford Live
Op Ed

As Greenpeace revealed a few years ago when it published leaked internal documents from Exxon, the energy industry has for decades spent vast sums to convince the public that extracting and burning fossil fuels is safe, that global warming is a myth and that we have no alternatives to the status quo. Industry propaganda has pervaded radio, television, print, and the Web, and their messaging is always “Trust us; we’re doing things right.” This public relations assault has polluted our air, water, media, regulatory agencies, and politics. Now they’re compromising universities and organizations that, at one time, actually fought to protect the environment. At a recent symposium at Swarthmore College on the topic of hydraulic fracturing — also known as fracking — The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, The Nature Conservancy, and Consol Energy participated in a debate about this controversial energy extraction process.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Kent campaigners to deliver letter against fracking to 10 Downing Street
kentnews.co.uk
Jamie Weir

Anti-fracking campaigners from Kent will join national activists to hand deliver a letter to 10 Downing Street tomorrow (December 10). The letter - which is being delivered on the UN’s Human Rights Day - to Prime Minister David Cameron has been signed by 205 UK residents groups in support of a report calling for a moratorium on fracking on human rights grounds. One of the campaigners who will make the journey is Julie Wassmer who is part of East Kent Against Fracking. She said: “There is a democratic deficit on the issue of fracking in this country. We did not vote for fracking and it is clear to us that the government seeks to ignore the widespread opposition to fracking in the UK due its overriding commitment to shale.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Hogan knocks Maryland’s departing governor for ‘midnight hour’ decisions
Washington Post
John Wagner

Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday renewed his objections to outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) issuing major regulations and taking other controversial actions in the waning weeks of his tenure. “I’m very opposed to all of these important decisions being made in the midnight hour of this administration,” Hogan told reporters following a meeting in Annapolis with the state’s five Republican county executives. “I think it’s a mistake. I think the people of Maryland have voted to go in a different direction.” In recent weeks, the departing Democratic administration has put forward controversial new rules intended to curb pollution from farms and pledged to offer a series of regulatory safeguards that would limit the conditions under which hydraulic fracturing could take place in Western Maryland.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Tunkhannock could become frack sand case study
Times Tribune
Brandan Gibbons

State environmental regulators could use Tunkhannock as a case study to measure how facilities that handle hydraulic fracturing sand affect air quality. The Department of Environmental Protection has never before sampled the air for silica sand near a transfer facility like the one D&I Silica LLC proposes near the intersection of Route 6 and Route 92 in Tunkhannock Twp., spokeswoman Colleen Connolly said. D&I, a subsidiary of Hi-Crush Partners LP, ships fine quartz sand of uniform size from its mine in Wyeville, Wisconsin, to shale oil and gas basins all over the U.S., including the Marcellus.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Some boreholes found to produce 1000x more carcinogens than advised for human health
Bakken.com
Zachary Toliver

When it comes to emissions from hydraulic fracturing, scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) state that not all boreholes are the same and have implemented new technologies to find what truly makes the difference in air pollutants. Science Daily featured research conducted by scholars from KIT who used mobile measurement equipment to analyze gaseous compounds emitted by the extraction of oil and natural gas in the United States. For the first time, according to the report, organic pollutants emitted during a fracking process were measured at a high temporal resolution using a vapor capture system. The KIT researchers focused on aromatic hydrocarbons in air, such as carcinogenic benzene, that are damaging to human health. Maximum concentrations were found in the waste gas plumes of boreholes. Measurements came back in variants from low to high. Some extraction plants emitted up to about a hundred times more benzene than others. The highest value of carcinogenic hydrocarbons were observed to be 1,000 times greater than the typical mean standards in urban air.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Thermal wells point to ‘worst case’ leaks from the deep
The Edmonton Journal
Margaret Munro

VANCOUVER — The water burbles out of the earth carrying evidence of its underground voyage. It’s come from depths of up to five kilometres, bringing plenty of heat, gas and chemicals with it. Bright green and orange mats of micro-organisms grow on rocks where the water tumbles from the thermal springs in the mountains adjacent to areas of active hydraulic fracturing in northeastern B.C. and the southern Yukon. The water is not from the fracking operations, but the springs show fluids can – and do – naturally make the trip to great depths. They are like a “worst case scenario” showing that “communication” with the shale gas zone is possible, says Steve Grasby, a federal scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada, who has bushwhacked in to nine thermal springs where natural cracks and faults extend deep underground.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Technology-dependent emissions of gas extraction in the US
Science Codex


Not all boreholes are the same. Scientists of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) used mobile measurement equipment to analyze gaseous compounds emitted by the extraction of oil and natural gas in the USA. For the first time, organic pollutants emitted during a fracking process were measured at a high temporal resolution. The highest values measured exceeded typical mean values in urban air by a factor of one thousand, as was reported in ACP journal. (DOI 10.5194/acp-14-10977-2014) Emission of trace gases by oil and gas fields was studied by the KIT researchers in the USA (Utah and Colorado) together with US institutes. Background concentrations and the waste gas plumes of single extraction plants and fracking facilities were analyzed. The air quality measurements of several weeks duration took place under the "Uintah Basin Winter Ozone Study" coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The KIT measurements focused on health-damaging aromatic hydrocarbons in air, such as carcinogenic benzene. Maximum concentrations were determined in the waste gas plumes of boreholes. Some extraction plants emitted up to about a hundred times more benzene than others. The highest values of some milligrams of benzene per cubic meter air were measured downstream of an open fracking facility, where returning drilling fluid is stored in open tanks and basins. Much better results were reached by oil and gas extraction plants and plants with closed production processes.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Sage grouse scares off BLM oil, gas bidders in Nevada; all but 1 of 97 go unsold at auction
The Republic
AP Scott Sonner

RENO, Nevada — U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say all but one of 97 new oil and gas leases offered at auction in Nevada went unsold because of uncertainty about future protection of the sage grouse. About two dozen anti-fracking protesters rallied outside the Reno auction Tuesday against the energy exploration they say would be conducted with hydraulic fracturing that threatens Nevada's groundwater. But BLM Minerals Adjudication Chief Patricia LaFramboise told The Associated Press it was concern about the potential federal listing of the sage grouse that scared off all but one bid from six representatives of the oil and gas industry.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Federal government missing in fracking wastewater debate
rabble.ca
Emma Lui

Communities in Atlantic Canada are currently dealing with the fallout of fracking projects that occurred prior to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia's moratoriums. There are two New Brunswick communities, Saint John and Dieppe, that are exploring plans to treat fracking wastewater in their municipal wastewater treatment plants and to discharge the waste in local rivers connected to the Bay of Fundy. This summer, Atlantic Industrial Services (AIS) pitched a proposal that would see the town of Dieppe treat 30 million litres of "treated" fracking wastewater into its sewer system. Dieppe Mayor Yvon Lapierre is waiting for the results of an environmental impact assessment being conducted by the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government. Concerned citizen Daniel Goudreau told CBC, "It will then be dumped in a municipal water system that serves Dieppe, Moncton and Riverview.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2014
Report: Businesses 'surprisingly relaxed' about water impacts of fracking
edie.net


Key stakeholders in the use and procurement of shale gas appear unconcerned about the potential impacts of fracking on water pollution and water resources, according to a new report from a sustainability consultancy firm. Related articles Emissions from 10 food and drinks companies 'higher than Scandinavia' Protesters occupy field near Cuadrilla's proposed fracking site in Blackpool Study reveals fracking risk to drinking water Scotland shale gas and oil reserves 'modest' compared with England Shale gas review: Energy efficiency remains 'national priority', experts argue Ricardo-AEA surveyed 352 senior executives from relevant industries including energy-intensive companies, local and central governments and oil-and-gas firms and found that relatively few executives are concerned about the water impacts of fracking. The findings are surprising given the media coverage of fracking and reports like this one from the World Resources Institute which said that fracking poses a 'significant risk' to freshwater supplies across the globe  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Low Oil Prices Are Putting The Freeze On Fracking Projects Around The World
Business Insider
Shane Ferro

The collapse of oil prices may have a bigger impact on the shale boom than anyone realizes. The biggest threat may not be to the existing wells in the US, but the untapped resources around the world. According to Bloomberg, "Russia, China, Australia, Mexico and Argentina hold some of the [world's] richest shale reserves," but haven't yet invested in the fracking technology to drill them. Because the price of oil isn't high enough to cover the costs, there's just no economic incentive to start.   [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Is natural gas a 'bridge' to a hotter future?
Science Codex


Washington, D.C.-- Natural gas power plants produce substantial amounts of gases that lead to global warming. Replacing old coal-fired power plants with new natural gas plants could cause climate damage to increase over the next decades, unless their methane leakage rates are very low and the new power plants are very efficient. These are the principal findings of new research from Carnegie's Ken Caldeira and Xiaochun Zhang, and Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures that compares the temperature increases caused by different kinds of coal and natural gas power plants. Their work is published in Environmental Research Letters. There is an ongoing debate among people concerned with power plants and the future of energy policy and greenhouse gas emissions.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Gas line aims north
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Faced with growing opposition in the Berkshires, a Texas-based energy company is proposing to detour more than 50 miles of a planned natural gas pipeline route to the north through three towns in Rensselaer County. Houston-based Kinder Morgan proposed the change in paperwork filed Monday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as part of plans to transport hydrofracked gas from Pennsylvania into northern Massachusetts and Boston. Called the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, the project has been drawing increasing attention since becoming public this spring. Opponents in Columbia County have been rallying against it, and this summer a coalition of local and regional lawmakers in Massachusetts also came out against the pipeline because of environmental, economic, public safety and public health concerns.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Texas Oil and Gas Regulators Say They Tried to Enforce Rules, Lost Jobs
Inside Climate News
David Hasemyer

PEARSALL, Texas—During their careers as oil and gas inspectors for the Texas Railroad Commission, Fred Wright and Morris Kocurek earned merit raises, promotions and praise from their supervisors. They went about their jobs—keeping tabs on the conduct of the state’s most important industry—with gusto. But they may have done their jobs too well for the industry’s taste—and for their own agency’s.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Suddenly, It’s Raining Gas Projects and Tax Breaks
Bacon's Rebellion
Peter Galzka

Suddenly it seems to be raining natural gas pipelines and snowing millions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives for rich electric utilities. Dominion Resources, the powerful and politically well-connected Richmond-based utility, apparently is getting $30 million in public money from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Revitalization Commission without apparently asking for it to help build a new natural gas-fired generating plant in Brunswick County. The information was broken by the Associated Press.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Health Dept. ‘anticipates’ fracking review by end of month
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

The state Department of Health on Friday said it is working toward finishing an ongoing review of hydraulic fracturing by the end of the month, reiterating the timeline casually mentioned by Gov. Andrew Cuomo during an October debate.   [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
CONSTITUTION PIPELINE PREMATURE WITH EMINENT DOMAIN
NO FRACKING WAY
DORY HIPPAUF

Copy/paste articles about the eminent domain proceedings with regards to the Constitution Pipeline have appeared in “mainstream media”. I call them copy/paste articles because they originate from skimpy coverage by the Associated Press (AP) with no reporter cited. Pennsylvania-New York gas pipeline developer threatens to seize land through eminent domain, | by Associated Press | December 07, 2014, -New York pipeline developer threatens to seize land | By The Associated Press | Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014 Shale gas pipeline developer threatens to seize land | By The Associated Press | 12/07/2014 See: Constitution Gas Pipeline Threatens Landowners With Condemnation | by Chip Northrup on December 5, 2014 for what reporting should look like. The power of eminent domain does not allow the pipeline company to trespass on private property. And Williams does not yet have the power of eminent domain.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Fuel to the fire? Fuel exports soar under Obama
Knoxville News Sentinel
DINA CAPPIELLO

GARDI SUGDUP, Panama (AP) - As the Obama administration makes headway at home in the fight against global warming, it has helped stoke record exports of fossil fuels that are contributing to rising levels of pollution elsewhere. U.S. exports of diesel and gasoline have doubled since President Barack Obama took office, and the carbon embedded in them has meet political goals by taking it off America's pollution balance sheet. But that does not necessarily help the planet. The U.S. is sending more fuel than ever to other parts of the world, where efforts to address resulting pollution are just getting underway, if advancing at all.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Big Oil hits the brakes on shale spending
CNN Money
Matt Egan

he American oil rush is starting to feel the heat. With oil prices in free fall, the fear is that hunting for new shale in the U.S. may just not be that profitable. ConocoPhillips (COP) became the first major U.S. oil company on Monday to reveal that it is slashing spending for 2015. There are expectations that more energy companies will follow.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Collapsing energy prices show the uncertainty of future riches from LNG
The Guardian
Greg Jericho

ast week companies associated with energy prices took a hammering on the stock market due to a fall in global oil prices. It led to a 2% fall in the ASX200 on Monday that effectively put the stock market back where it was 12 months ago. The falls hit those companies involved in oil and gas projects and brought into sharp relief the challenges for Australia’s LNG industry. The 2% fall on the stock market was not in itself a major cause for concern, but coming off the back of a 1.5% fall on the previous trading day, it meant 3.5% was wiped off the value of the market in two days – making it the worst two days since September 2011:  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
W.Va. OKs fracking under Ohio River; critics leery
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

West Virginia has opened the Ohio River to fracking. The state government announced that companies can ask to drill beneath the Ohio River for natural gas and oil. Those companies would pay the state a per-acre fee as well as royalties on the oil and gas. It is a move that could bring millions of dollars into West Virginia, which has tapped into its rainy-day fund to prop up its budget.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Shell Oil May Nix $90M Settlement With Polluted Town Because It Wasn’t Kept Secret
ThinkProgress
EMILY ATKIN

Shell Oil Co. is reportedly reconsidering its offer to pay $90 million to residents of a California town with widespread soil contamination, saying they had wanted the settlement to be kept confidential. According to a Law360 report, Shell attorney Deanne Miller told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Highberger on Friday that his refusal to keep the terms of the agreement secret left the case unsettled. On Thursday, Shell withdrew its application for a “good faith” settlement with the plaintiffs in Carson, California, who claim they’ve been plagued with cancer, blood disorders, and other illnesses from exposure to benzene, methane, and other hazardous chemicals in petroleum.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Environmental Groups File Legal Challenges to Offshore Fracking in California
Truthout
Mike Ludwig

Last summer, a Truthout investigation revealed that federal regulators had approved the use of fracking technology on offshore oil platforms in the Pacific Ocean. Environmental groups are now taking legal action challenging the offshore fracking approvals under federal law. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a "notice of intent to sue" with federal regulators on December 4 alleging they violated federal law by rubber-stamping approvals for fracking operations in the Santa Barbara Channel without reviewing and revising federal drilling plans and evaluating the potential impacts that fracking could have on the marine environment.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Abandoned oil and gas wells emit 'significant' methane
France24


MIAMI (AFP) - A significant amount of the potent greenhouse gas methane may be leaking into the atmosphere from abandoned oil and gas wells, according to a study in Pennsylvania out Monday. The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is based on direct measurements of methane outflow from and near 19 abandoned oil and gas wells in the northeastern US state. Researchers at Princeton University in New Jersey and Stanford University in California took nearly 100 measurements over the course of seven months in 2013 and 2014, and found that all the wells they studied emitted methane, whether they were in forests, wetland, grassland, or river areas.   [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Letter from the Finger Lakes A Natural-Gas Storage Facility Sparks Protests in Watkins Glen
Wine & Spirits Magazine
Richard Figie

Winemakers in the Finger Lakes have sympathized with the water-worries of their colleagues in California. Now they have worries of their own. Abandoned salt-mine caverns along Seneca Lake are being converted into a natural-gas storage and transport hub for the northeastern U.S., an industrial development that wineries fear will pollute the lake and discourage tourism. Wine tourists have become the engines of economic vitality in the central Finger Lakes, and nearly 100,000 people rely on Seneca Lake for drinking water. More than 50 wineries surround Seneca, the heart of Finger Lakes wine country. Eighteen of them are located in Schuyler County at the lake’s southern end, where Houston-based Crestwood Midstream began work on its facilities in late October. At that time efforts to block the project on town, county and state levels had failed and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave its approval. As construction began, protesters showed up to block truck entrances. Crestwood called in county police on October 29. Since then the grassroots organization We Are Seneca Lake (WASL) has staged weekly, non-violent demonstrations resulting in almost 100 arrests for trespassing, among them two winery owners: Will Ouweleen of Eagle Crest Vineyards on Hemlock Lake and Phil Davis of Damiani Wine Cellars on Seneca. Protesters have ranged in age from 19 to 90. They have faced either a $375 fine or 15 days in jail, although as their numbers increase, jail terms have begun to soften.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Martin O’Malley, long-shot presidential hopeful, is a real climate hawk
Grist
Ben Adler

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is nothing like any pop culture stereotype of a politician. He’s not a boyishly charming airhead like George W. Bush or The Simpsons’ Mayor Quimby, or a blunt, lovable grandpa like Joe Biden or The West Wing’s Jed Bartlet. He’s not even that much like the fictional politician based partly on him, The Wire’s Tommy Carcetti, who like O’Malley became the unlikely white mayor of majority-black Baltimore. O’Malley has none of Carcetti’s sleazy slickness. O’Malley comes across more like the sort of engaged administrator you would hire to turn around a moribund government agency. In January, O’Malley will leave office after eight years because term limits prevented him from running for a third term. He will likely run for president in 2016, despite low name recognition and a lack of classic charisma. But whatever his seeming political deficits, he has won a steady stream of elections, made tangible progress in governing, and earned respect from progressives, including climate hawks.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Study finds ‘significant’ methane leaking from abandoned wells
Fuel Fix
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — As the Obama administration nears a decision on whether — and how — to clamp down on methane leaking from active oil and gas operations, new research suggests abandoned wells may be a significant source of the potent greenhouse gas. The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focuses on 19 representative abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, it can be extrapolated to the approximately 3 million across the country. And while federal regulators are now concentrating on methane emitted during oil and gas production, the new study conducted by researchers with Princeton University suggests that accumulating leaks from abandoned wells over decades may be a bigger problem.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Oil Trains at Junction in North Dakota
The Wall Street Journal
CHESTER DAWSON

Fracking Companies Await Regulator’s Decision on Stabilizing Crude Before Shipment Energy producers in North Dakota are expected to face new regulations soon on treating their crude oil if the state’s chief energy regulator follows through this week on promised standards aimed at ensuring that Bakken Shale crude oil can be more safely shipped by rail.   [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
New battlefront for petrochemical industry: benzene and childhood leukemia
The Center for Public Integrity
Kristen Lombardi

ATHENS, Georgia — It was December 29, 1998, six years after Jill McElheney and her family had moved next to a cluster of 12 petroleum storage tanks. Jill was escorting her son Jarrett, then 4, to the doctor again. He had spent the day slumped in a stroller, looking so pale and fatigued that a stranger stopped her to ask if he was all right. It was an encounter Jill couldn’t shake. For the previous three months, she had noticed her once-energetic preschooler deteriorating. He complained of pain in his knee, which grew excruciating. It migrated to his shoulder and then his leg. His shins swelled, as did his temples. At night, Jarrett awoke drenched in sweat, screaming from spasms. Jill took him to a pediatrician and an infectious-disease specialist. A rheumatologist diagnosed him with anemia. Now, as Jarrett lay listless, Jill found herself back at the pediatrician’s office. Tests confirmed a blood count so low that she was instructed to get him to an emergency room immediately. Within hours she was at a hospital in Atlanta, some 65 miles from her home in Athens, watching nurses rush in and out of Jarrett’s room. Doctors identified a common form of childhood leukemia. “I heard the words,” Jill recalled, “and I only knew the bald heads and the sadness.” In the waiting room, family members heard more unsettling news: A neighbor’s child also had developed leukemia.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Boom: North America's Explosive Oil-by-Rail Problem
The Weather Channel and InsideClimate News
Marcus Stern and Sebastian Jones

Regulators in the United States knew they had to act fast. A train hauling 2 million gallons of crude oil from North Dakota had exploded in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people. Now they had to assure Americans a similar disaster wouldn’t happen south of the border, where the U.S. oil boom is sending highly volatile crude oil every day over aging, often defective rails in vulnerable railcars. On the surface, the response from Washington following the July, 6, 2013 explosion seemed promising. Over the next several months, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued two emergency orders, two safety alerts and a safety advisory. It began drafting sweeping new oil train regulations to safeguard the sudden surge of oil being shipped on U.S. rails. The railroad industry heeded the call, too, agreeing to slow down trains, increase safety inspections and reroute oil trains away from populous areas.   [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Fracking chemicals’ untold threat to reproductive health
Salon
Lindsay Abrams

There’s a lot we don’t know about the potential health impacts of fracking operations on the people who live in their vicinity. But researchers say we should start paying attention. In a new paper published in the journal Reviews on Environmental Health, researchers led by the University of Missouri’s Susan Negel conducted a review of some 150 papers published over the past 40 years examining the effects that chemicals commonly injected into the ground during the fracking process, and elements that are consequently released from the rocks, have on human health. Of the more than 750 chemicals known to be used in fracking, they found, at least 130 are potential endocrine disruptors, meaning they interfere with people’s hormones: the researchers list reduced semen quality, infertility, miscarriage, impaired fetal growth and low birth weight among the potential threats. Fetuses and small children, they emphasized, could be particularly at-risk. Taken together, the authors say, the evidence suggests that people who live near fracking wells — over 15 million Americans reside within a mile from one – should be monitored for chemical exposure and any health problems.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Special report: Leaking oil and gas wells across Canada ‘a threat to the environment and public safety’
Vancouver Sun
Margaret Munro

Serge Fortier has been trying for years to raise awareness about leaking oils and gas wells along the St. Lawrence River. Nothing has been quite as effective as setting them on fire. “The reaction came very rapidly,” says Fortier, an environmental activist whose fiery demonstration near Ste-Francoise has prompted the Quebec government to acknowledge it has a problem — one that regulatory officials are often not keen to discuss. In Alberta, where old wells have been uncovered in schoolyards, backyards and at shopping malls, officials are saying little about a well that has now turned up at Calgary’s airport, which is in the midst of a $2-billion expansion.   [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
State Ethics Commission belatedly completes review of NC fracking board
News Observer
John Murawski

RALEIGH — More than two years into the task of writing the state’s fracking standards, all but two of the members of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission have been flagged for a potential conflict of interest. Chairman Vikram Rao received the 14 ethics evaluations from the State Ethics Commission last month and disclosed them Friday at the Mining and Energy Commission’s regular monthly meeting in Raleigh. The potential conflicts for a dozen members of the Mining and Energy Commission – one of the state’s most polarizing government boards – include energy stock investments and energy consulting work. Also included: real estate ownership in Lee County, the epicenter of the state’s shale gas zone, where drilling could get underway as early as next year.   [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Deadline nears on fracking decision
wgrz.com
Jon Campbell

ALBANY –Gov. Andrew Cuomo surprised supporters and critics alike in October, when he casually mentioned during a debate that the state's long-awaited report on the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing is "due at the end of the year." With just weeks remaining in 2014, the state Department of Health reiterated Friday that it anticipates finishing up the report -- which has been in the works since 2012 and will determine the fate of large-scale fracking in New York -- by month's end. Still, advocates on both sides of the contentious issue are left wondering whether Cuomo will stick to his word. And if history is any guide, further delays are possible: a decision has been repeatedly delayed.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Collapsing energy prices show the uncertainty of future riches from LNG
The Guardian
Greg Jericho

Last week companies associated with energy prices took a hammering on the stock market due to a fall in global oil prices. It led to a 2% fall in the ASX200 on Monday that effectively put the stock market back where it was 12 months ago. The falls hit those companies involved in oil and gas projects and brought into sharp relief the challenges for Australia’s LNG industry. The 2% fall on the stock market was not in itself a major cause for concern, but coming off the back of a 1.5% fall on the previous trading day, it meant 3.5% was wiped off the value of the market in two days – making it the worst two days since September 2011:  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Fracking for New York?
LoHud
Opinion

The state Department of Health, charged with a detailed review of hydraulic fracturing, could, finally, release its findings by the end of the month. But, thanks to a state court decision and New York's strong Home Rule tradition, even if the state says yes to the controversial process for mining shale gas, municipalities will likely still be able to say no  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Companies’ oil drilling plans unchanged
Aspen Daily News
AP

GRAND JUNCTION — Two major Colorado natural gas producers who have turned their attention to drilling for oil elsewhere say they’re continuing to pursue that strategy for now even as oil prices drop, but they still plan to be flexible so they can renew their focus on natural gas development if natural gas prices improve. “We like having different investment options,” said WPX spokesman Kelly Swan, because the western Colorado Piceance Basin is so rich in natural gas opportunities.   [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
Former Secretary of Energy Speaks Out Against Fracking
EcoWatch
Gary Wockner

Dear Former Secretary of Energy Frederico Peña, Thank you for speaking out against fracking, fossil fuels and climate change! I read your lengthy interview on the topic posted on the Boulder, Colorado, Daily Camera news site here. As a former U.S. Secretary of Energy, you are in a unique position to speak out and make a difference on this extremely important issue.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2014
New Obama State Dept Top Energy Diplomat Amos Hochstein A Former Marathon Oil Lobbyist
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

The U.S. State Department recently announced that Amos Hochstein, currently the special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs, will take over as the State Department's top international energy diplomat. Hochstein will likely serve as a key point man for the U.S. in its negotiations to cut a climate change deal as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), both at the ongoing COP20 summit in Lima, Peru and next year's summit in Paris, France. Some conclude the Lima and Paris negotiations are a “last chance” to do something meaningful on climate change.  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2014
Northern Territory fracking report to be released as environmental fears grow
The Guardian
Helen Davidson

Adam Giles says the government will look to publish report on environmental risks once it has been considered by cabinet The Northern Territory government will look to releasing the results of an inquiry into fracking, the chief minister, Adam Giles, has said amid public concern about the impact of a growing resources industry. The inquiry, conducted by a retired diplomat and public servant, Allan Hawke, received more than 130 submissions in its examination of the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing, a controversial process used to extract gas from below ground. The chief minister received the final report a week ago, he told Guardian Australia. “I’m still going through the report which is hundreds of pages long,” he said. “The government will look to release the report once it’s been considered by cabinet.”  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2014
More municipal bans on fracking pose setback to domestic energy boom
FOX NEWS


The surge in domestic-energy production that has created millions of new jobs and abundant natural gas and oil is now facing a potential setback, with cities across the country imposing bans on the widely-used deep-drilling process known as fracking. At least three U.S. cities and two counties in the November elections voted in favor of such a ban. And courts in Pennsylvania and New York have recently ruled in favor of letting cities have some control over the drilling.  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2014
Ohio’s natural gas boom brings flurry of pipeline construction
The Toledo Blade
JON CHAVEZ

A huge supply of natural gas in the shale of northern Appalachia is igniting a mega-boom in gas pipeline construction in Ohio, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 1940s. “You have interstate, intrastate, local utility service lines upgrades, collection lines for oil and gas utilities, and lines for gas-fired electric utilities. Altogether, there will be 38,000 miles of pipeline development in Ohio over the next decade,” said Dale Arnold, director of energy services for the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation. “I tell people you might not see shale and oil drilling development in your area like in the eastern part of the state, but with pipelines and development, it’s coming your way.”   [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2014
Letter to the Editor: Stand Up for Property Rights Against Pipeline
The Schoharie News
Robert Neid

Landowners who have not signed easement agreements are urged to do the following: · Post “No Trespassing” signs. · Deny pipeline crews access to your property. · Call the police if pipeline crews come on your property without your permission. · Ask your neighbors to watch your property when you are not home, photograph any unauthorized activity by pipeline crews, and call you if someone tries to trespass. · Document any activity by pipeline crews on or near your property – take video or photographs, and record dates, times, license plate numbers and what activity occurs. · Discuss your situation with an attorney experienced in eminent domain.  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2014
Shale gas pipeline developer threatens to seize land
The Washington Times
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The developer of a $750 million natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania into New York has threatened to seize land from reluctant landowners through eminent domain. A letter obtained by the Albany Times Union (http://bit.ly/12SNKHQ ) tells landowners who have refused to sell rights of way for the Constitution Pipeline that they have until Wednesday to accept offered prices. After that, developers will take them to court to force such sales for possibly less money.   [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2014
Fossil-fuel lobbyists, bolstered by GOP wins, work to curb environmental rules
The Washington Post
Tom Hamburger

Oil, gas and coal interests that spent millions to help elect Republicans this year are moving to take advantage of expanded GOP power in Washington and state capitals to thwart Obama administration environmental rules. Industry lobbyists made their pitch in private meetings last week with dozens of state legislators at a summit of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an industry-financed conservative state policy group.  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2014
Marcellus Life: A small town in Elk County struggles with rules for shale gas drilling
Public Source
Natasha Khan

About a dozen St. Marys officials, outfitted with baggy blue jumpsuits, earplugs and white plastic hard hats, recently visited a Seneca Resources well pad on a wooded hilltop to see what fracking is all about. This part of Pennsylvania, about 120 miles northeast of Pittsburgh in Elk County, has been relatively untouched by shale drilling. But people see it coming in two test wells Seneca has there now, with more wells in the future. The usual characters are at play: Drillers promising money, jobs and a seat at the table; residents with concerns about the changes coming to their quiet town of about 13,000; and local officials with some power over where drilling occurs. That power was restored last year when portions of Act 13, the state’s law governing oil and gas drilling, were thrown out by the state’s Supreme Court. Previously, Act 13 had created statewide rules that allowed gas development in all zoning districts, as long as certain criteria were met.  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2014
In the judge's arena...
The Odessa File
Charlie Haeffner

Odessa, December 7, 2014 -- I was perusing tweets today related to the ongoing protests at the gates of the Crestwood energy firm -- the protests opposing the storage of methane and proposed storage of propane and butane in abandoned salt caverns near Seneca Lake -- when I happened upon some by Faith Meckley. She's the youngest of the protesters, a 19-year-old Ithaca College journalism student. Her tweets were environment-oriented for the most part, although she touched base on the New York City chokehold case, too. Naturally enough, she also mentioned the Crestwood protests and the court cases that have arisen from them. One of her entries dealt with protester Kelsey Erickson, a 23-year-old Cornell University graduate sentenced to 15 days in jail by Reading Town Justice Raymond Berry after Erickson pled guilty Wednesday night to trespass on Crestwood property and declined to pay her fine. "When Kelsey refused her fine," Meckley wrote, "Judge Berry called her brave and wished her luck."  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2014
Extraction Oil & Gas profits from small holdings big players ignored
The Denver Post
Mark Jaffe

Colorado's Niobrara shale is dominated by a few large oil and gas companies, but 28-year-old Matt Owens had an idea of how to navigate around the big boys. Owens took the idea to his old Highlands Ranch neighbor Mark Erickson, and Denver-based Extraction Oil & Gas LLC was born. "It started out at the beginning with a very modest strategy," said Erickson, 54, the company's CEO. "The idea was a cleanup, ground-floor strategy of leasing what hadn't been taken by anyone else." The plan was backed by New York-based Yorktown Partners, a venture capital firm focused on the energy sector. And the lease acreage kept growing.  [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2014
Bucking party, Gibson says he’ll introduce bill that says humans help cause climate change
The Fray
James Nani

GOP Congressman Chris Gibson wants to introduce two bills that will acknowledge climate change, human’s role in it, and help phase in government subsidies away from fossil fuel and into renewable energy, he said Saturday. I caught Gibson at the Old Dutch Church’s indoor farmer’s market in Kingston on Saturday and asked him about the resolutions, which were first reported by National Journal reporter Ben Geman. Gibson said he plans to introduce a two-part resolution that will first acknowledge changing weather patterns throughout the country, laying out the science and facts that back it up.  [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2014
Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General
The New York Times
Eric Lipton

The letter to the Environmental Protection Agency from Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma carried a blunt accusation: Federal regulators were grossly overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in his state. But Mr. Pruitt left out one critical point. The three-page letter was written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of Oklahoma’s biggest oil and gas companies, and was delivered to him by Devon’s chief of lobbying. “Outstanding!” William F. Whitsitt, who at the time directed government relations at the company, said in a note to Mr. Pruitt’s office. The attorney general’s staff had taken Devon’s draft, copied it onto state government stationery with only a few word changes, and sent it to Washington with the attorney general’s signature. “The timing of the letter is great, given our meeting this Friday with both E.P.A. and the White House.” Continue reading the main story RELATED COVERAGE Former Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Investigating Former State Attorney GeneralNOV. 21, 2014 Lori Kalani, a lobbyist, was invited by Attorney General Pam Bondi of Florida to recuperate at her home after surgery. The invitation followed a free plane ride for Ms. Bondi.Link Shows How Lobby Firm Cultivates InfluenceNOV. 9, 2014 Chris Koster announced curbs on campaign donations.Missouri Attorney General Puts Limit on ContributionsNOV. 19, 2014 Donations Are Assailed by Hopefuls in New YorkOCT. 31, 2014 Chris Koster, the attorney general of Missouri.Missouri Attorney General May Face Inquiry Over Money From LobbyistsOCT. 29, 2014 Emails detail interactions between the office of Attorney General Pam Bondi of Florida and a law firm trying to sway her.Courting Favor: 'The People's Lawyers': Lobbyists, Bearing Gifts, Pursue Attorneys GeneralOCT. 28, 2014 Mr. Whitsitt then added, “Please pass along Devon’s thanks to Attorney General Pruitt.”  [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2014
Community divided over Cove Point natural gas terminal
The Washington Post
Max Ehrenfreund

Pete Ide readied lures on the deck of his fishing boat and talked about the old gas terminal off in the early morning darkness, somewhere down the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Ide thinks local government played a poor game of hold ’em against the gas company, with hundreds of millions of dollars on the table. “We, Calvert County and Maryland, had all the cards,” the fisherman said. “We folded a full house to their pair.” The company, Dominion Resources, began work in October at Cove Point, the shipping terminal that the company plans to convert into an export facility for natural gas. The ambitious $3.8 billion project will involve about a thousand workers a year over several years.  [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2014
Will Cuomo meet his self-imposed fracking deadline?
Ithaca Journal
Jon Campbell

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo surprised supporters and critics alike in October, when he casually mentioned during a debate that the state's long-awaited report on the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing is "due at the end of the year." With just weeks remaining in 2014, the state Department of Health reiterated Friday that it anticipates finishing up the report -- which has been in the works since 2012 and will determine the fate of large-scale fracking in New York -- by month's end. Still, advocates on both sides of the contentious issue are left wondering whether Cuomo will stick to his word. And if history is any guide, further delays are possible: a decision has been repeatedly delayed.  [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2014
More municipal bans on fracking pose setback to domestic energy boom
FOX NEWS


The surge in domestic-energy production that has created millions of new jobs and abundant natural gas and oil is now facing a potential setback, cities across the country imposing bans on the widely-used deep-drilling process known as fracking. At least three U.S. cities and two counties in the November elections voted in favor of such a ban. And courts in Pennsylvania and New York have recently ruled in favor of letting cities have some control over the drilling.   [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2014
Guardian Journalist Fired for Reporting on Israeli Gas Interests
Earth First! Newswire
Nafeez Ahmed

After writing for The Guardian for over a year, my contract was unilaterally terminated because I wrote a piece on Gaza that was beyond the pale. In doing so, The Guardian breached the very editorial freedom the paper was obligated to protect under my contract. I’m speaking out because I believe it is in the public interest to know how a Pulitizer Prize-winning newspaper which styles itself as the world’s leading liberal voice, casually engaged in an act of censorship to shut down coverage of issues that undermined Israel’s publicised rationale for going to war. Gaza’s gas I joined the Guardian as an environment blogger in April 2013. Prior to this, I had been an author, academic and freelance journalist for over a decade, writing for The Independent, Independent on Sunday, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New Statesman, Le Monde diplomatique, among others.   [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Broadview Heights activists sue Ohio Gov. John Kasich and state over gas, oil wells
Plain Dealer
Bob Sandrick

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio – A local activist group that opposes oil and gas wells in residential neighborhoods has sued the state of Ohio and Gov. John Kasich in an attempt to stop drilling here. Mothers Against Drilling in Our Neighborhood, based in Broadview Heights, says the city's Community Bill of Rights – which voters approved in 2012 and which bans future wells – supersedes a state law that allows drilling. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, says the U.S. and Ohio constitutions guarantee the rights of citizens to govern themselves locally and protect their communities – in this case, from detrimental effects of oil and gas wells.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
GOP backs Keystone pipeline, but local Republicans balk at one in their own backyard
NJ Advance Media
Ben Horowitz

On the national stage, plenty of Republicans have lined up to support pipelines as a good way to transport oil and gas. Pipelines are safer than some other ways of transporting resources, good for business and good for the American economy, they argue. But in the case of the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline — which would carry oil on a 178-mile route from Albany, N.Y., to Linden — towns that vote Republican are among those lining up in opposition to the plan.   [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
House Republican Plans to Introduce Pro-Climate-Science Bill
National Journal
Ben Geman

A Republican House member is battling the skepticism toward climate-change science that's common in GOP ranks. And he wants to put lawmakers on record in the process. Rep. Chris Gibson said Thursday he plans to introduce a resolution on climate change that will help others "recognize the reality" of the situation. Gibson said the extreme weather he has witnessed in his own upstate New York district supports the science, and he wants to be a leader in spurring recognition of changing weather patterns. "My district has been hit with three 500-year floods in the last several years, so either you believe that we had a one in over 100 million probability that occurred, or you believe as I do that there's a new normal, and we have changing weather patterns, and we have climate change. This is the science," said the two-term lawmaker who was reelected in November.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
The Trouble With Cheap Oil
The New Yorker
MICHAEL SPECTER

Just before the turn of the millennium, I met a man who had recently invested a fortune in wind power. He said he wanted to do all that he could to slow the course of climate change. He was also convinced that, as the world began to run out of oil, alternative sources of energy would offer a unique entrepreneurial opportunity. “Oil prices will fluctuate for a while,” he told me. “But, eventually, they can only move in one direction. Up. Oil is a finite resource and, as supplies dwindle, the costs will have to rise. That will make alternatives like wind power much more attractive.”  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Ann Craft's Fracking Nightmare: A Top Lawyer's Startling Counsel
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

In fall 2013 Brent O'Neil*, a veteran global oil and gas driller, went in search of a lawyer to help his mother, realtor Ann Craft. For the last two years she's been embroiled with a fight with the province's regulators over two separate incidents as exclusively reported by The Tyee yesterday. In 2012, a seismic-like event lifted up the deck of his mother's mobile home in central Alberta. It damaged her property and even changed the topography of her land.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Oil Drillers to Accept Some EPA Rules to Avoid Curbs on Methane
Bloomberg
Mark Drajem

A lobbying group for oil producers including Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) said it would accept proposed rules on pollution from oil wells in order to head-off a broad federal standard for methane leaks. The American Petroleum Institute, which has fought U.S. mandates on everything from smog rules to renewable fuel quotas, said it is willing to meet Environmental Protection Agency limits on the release of smog-forming compounds from hydraulically fractured wells. Such rules are in place for gas wells, and the EPA is considering expanding them to oil wells.   [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
6 Jailed, 9 Arrested in Ongoing Fight Against Methane Gas Storage
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

New York’s Town of Reading courtroom was full Wednesday night when 19 people were arraigned after being arrested for blockading the gates of Crestwood Midstream in an ongoing “We Are Seneca Lake” campaign protesting the storage of fracked gas along the shores of Seneca Lake.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Slide in Oil Prices Is Mostly a Blessing
The New York Times
James B. Stewart

This year, the precipitating factor has been the waning of threats of disruption from Russia and the Middle East, slowing economies in Europe and Asia and, above all, a surge in production from the United States and Canada. “This time, the innovation is fracking,” said Philip Verleger, president of an energy consulting firm and former director of the Office of Energy Policy in the Treasury Department. “The sudden surge in U.S. oil production has profoundly changed the dynamics of the markets. The oil exporters have lost a third of the market they thought they’d have in 2014.” OPEC met on Thanksgiving, but shocked markets when its members didn’t even pay lip service to the need for production cuts or price discipline. The price of oil, traded on international markets, fell about 6.5 percent that day. “Their strategy is to let prices fall and squeeze out the higher-cost producers,” Mr. Verleger said. “It’s a battle for market share.”   [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Big-Picture Study Of Fracking Operations Suggests Even Small Chemical Exposures Pose Risks
Huffington Post
Lynne Peeples

April Lane's work often brings her to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she monitors pollution from natural gas production sites around the area's rich shale reserves. Exposure to toxins, she says, have left her with chronic headaches, nausea and a hesitancy to have more children. "I've decided having another baby is probably not going to happen for me. I'm too scared of what the health effects might be," said Lane, 28, of Little Rock, a mother of one and an environmental health advocate who has led citizen groups in tracking threats from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations. A paper published Friday in Reviews on Environmental Health may give credence to her personal suspicions. The paper suggests that even tiny doses of benzene, toluene and other chemicals released during the various phases of oil and natural gas production, including fracking, could pose serious health risks -- especially to developing fetuses, babies and young children.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
New Report Highlights Fracking's Global Hazards
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

A new report, issued the same day the latest round of global climate negotiations opened in Peru, highlights the fracking industry's slow expansion into nearly every continent, drawing attention not only to the potential harm from toxic pollution, dried-up water supplies and earthquakes, but also to the threat the shale industry poses to the world's climate. The report, issued by Friends of the Earth Europe, focuses on the prospects for fracking in 11 countries in Africa, Asia, North and South America and Europe, warning of unique hazards in each location along with the climate change risk posed in countries where the rule of law is relatively weak.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Gas Pipeline Threatens Landowners With Condemnation
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

The good folks at the Constitution Pipeline (yet another catchy Tea Party name !) are sending out threatening letters to landowners along the planned Right of Way threatening them with “eminent domain”, ie. condemnation. Kind of a Christmas surprise:  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Onset Data Loggers Gather Baseline Water Quality Data in Potential Natural Gas Fracking Site
Digital Journal


Hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting water and chemicals into shale to release natural gas, holds promise for addressing both energy and employment challenges in the United States. Experts estimate that the Marcellus Shale in New York and Pennsylvania alone could satisfy as much as 14 years of U.S. natural gas consumption and create nearly a quarter million jobs. However, hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as "fracking," also brings risk of environmental contamination from salty flow-back water containing potentially toxic and carcinogenic chemicals.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Pipeline opponents target permit for compressor station
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

Opponents of the Constitution Pipeline are stepping up their scrutiny of the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s role in reviewing permit applications needed by the natural gas transmission system and a Schoharie County compressor station that would move gas through the underground pipe. DEC has the authority to review applications for an air quality emissions permit required by the Iroquois Gas compression station in the town of Wright, officials said. The pipeline project will also need to secure from the agency a water-quality certification, a protection-of-waters permit, a water-withdrawal permit and a freshwater-wetlands permit for crossing state-protected wetlands, said a spokesman for DEC, Peter Constantakes. The evaluation of those permit applications is one of the final hurdles facing the $683 million pipeline project, which won approval Tuesday from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the White House-appointed panel with oversight of interstate natural gas transmission lines.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Fracking in N.Y. would face local zoning hurdles
Ithaca Journal
Tom Wilber

Even if Gov. Andrew Cuomo approves shale gas development, natural gas drilling probably won't begin until towns update zoning laws to allow fracking, according to lawyers and planners. Towns that want to permit fracking may face a lengthy, complicated and contentious process involving public hearings, deliberation, and resolutions. The outcome likely will vary town to town, even in regions pegged "fracker friendly" by industry proponents and landowner groups. The fallout comes from a decision from the state's high court last July that upheld fracking bans in the towns of Dryden in Tompkins County and Middlefield in Otsego County.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Study Links Fracking to Infertility, Miscarriages, Birth Defects
US News and World Report
Alan Neuhauser

The controversial method of oil and gas development behind the U.S. energy boom may pose potent risks to children and pregnant women. A new study links shale oil and gas development to a host of developmental and reproductive health risks, and says the processes involved – including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking – pose a particularly potent threat to what researchers called "our most vulnerable population." “Children, developing fetuses, they’re especially vulnerable to environmental factors,” says Ellen Webb, the study's lead author and an energy program associate at the Center for Environmental Health. “We really need to be concerned about the impacts for these future generations.” The risks from exposure to toxic chemicals, heavy metals and radioactive materials include a parent's worst nightmares: “infertility, miscarriage or spontaneous abortion, impaired fetal growth, and LBW,” the study found, referring to low birth weight. The report also sounded an alarm about possible birth defects and long-term chronic conditions the, symptoms for which may not emerge for years.   [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Pipeline developer turns on pressure
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Days after federal regulators approved plans for a $750 million pipeline to carry hydrofracked natural gas from Pennsylvania into New York, many reluctant landowners along the 124-mile route got letters from developers threatening to seize access to land through eminent domain. A copy of the letter, obtained by the Times Union, tells property owners who have refused to sell rights-of-way for the Constitution Pipeline that they have until Wednesday to accept offered prices before developers take them to court to force such sales for possibly less money. Sent from the Philadelphia office of the national law firm Saul Ewing, the letter also warned that Constitution Pipeline Co. crews can show up on private property, whether owners agree, starting Thursday to conduct surveys or other tests. The company wants pipeline construction to begin early next year so gas can start flowing by winter 2015 or 2016.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
In face of opposition, company to reroute gas pipeline
The Boston Globe
Jay Fitzgerald

Stung by intense local opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline winding through western and central Massachusetts, a Houston energy company said Friday that it will pursue an alternative route that bypasses many Massachusetts communities by veering north and shooting across southern New Hampshire. Kinder Morgan Inc. said much of the alternative path would follow existing rights-of-way along utility lines in the two states, meaning it would cross fewer residential properties and undeveloped lands. Kinder Morgan plans to file the new route on Monday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has final say on gas pipelines in New England.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
ALEC looks to shred EPA regulations
AlJazeera America
Naureen Khan

WASHINGTON — The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) forged ahead with a new agenda at a D.C. Hyatt this week. Despite an exodus of corporate sponsors, who have balked at its policies and tactics, the nonprofit honed plans to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, roll back energy regulations and give the stage to climate change deniers. With ties to the billionaire Koch brothers, ALEC promotes free-market principles and has since 1973 served as a forum for corporate members and predominantly Republican state legislators to collaborate on legislation — often behind closed doors. ALEC’s policy task forces, made up of public officials and private sector representatives, formulate and debate “model policies,” which are then reviewed by the organization’s board. If approved, the laws will be introduced in state legislatures across the country.   [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
In NY Tourist Haven, Arrests Continue at Methane Storage Project
InsideClimate News
Zahra Hirji

Nine people were arrested Thursday near Seneca Lake, N.Y., for blockading the entrances of an energy facility owned by Crestwood Midstream Partners LP, which received federal approval this fall to expand its methane storage operations there. Since protests began on Oct. 23, the earliest possible day the company could have kicked off construction, 92 people have been arrested. Many are from the local activist group We Are Seneca Lake.   [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2014
Doctors, scientists, engineers calling for fracking moratorium
Legislative Gazette
Richard Moody

Health professionals and scientists are raising awareness about the possible negative effects of allowing hydraulic fracturing in New York, and are calling on the governor to extend the moratorium an additional three-to-five years. The call follows the release of a new study in an environmental health journal, which looked at evidence showing the negative effects of fracking operations on reproductive and developmental health.   [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Benzene and worker cancers: 'An American tragedy'
The Center for Public Integrity
Kristen Lombardi

Documents lay bare petrochemical industry’s $36 million 'research strategy' on carcinogen Internal memorandums, emails, letters and meeting minutes obtained by the Center for Public Integrity over the past year suggest that America’s oil and chemical titans, coordinated by their trade association, the American Petroleum Institute, spent at least $36 million on research “designed to protect member company interests,” as one 2000 API summary put it. Many of the documents chronicle an unparalleled effort by five major petrochemical companies to finance benzene research in Shanghai, China, where the pollutant persists in workplaces. Others attest to the industry’s longstanding interest in such “concerns” as childhood leukemia.  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Wolf likely to make shale gas severance tax an early priority
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Michael Sanserino

HARRISBURG — Gov.-elect Tom Wolf will enter office next month facing Republican majorities in the state Senate and House of Representatives that grew as a result of the most recent election. But he should find support for one of his biggest campaign pledges — to impose a severance tax on natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale. And it’s growing more likely that the tax proposal will top his legislative agenda at the start of his term, according to a panel of politicians and pundits that met Wednesday in Harrisburg.  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Inside Big Oil’s ‘Conspiracy’ to Kill West Coast Climate Laws
Moyers & Company
John Light

What do Oregonians for Sound Fuel Policy, Californians for Energy Independence and Save Our Jobs all have in common? They’re all astroturf organizations that were “activated” by one fossil fuel lobbying group to derail green initiatives in West Coast states. Bloomberg Businessweek, which is usually not prone to hyperbole, called it a “conspiracy.”  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Fracking Open Letter to State Officials
Park Slope Food Coop


"As New Yorkers, yes even though we are urban New Yorkers, we want to preserve New York State farms. Please insure that we are not wondering about whether the grass fed cows we buy were drinking contaminated water and breathing the air fouled by numerous enormous trucks that will support the hydrofracking process itself. I guarantee that our members will not want the fruits and veggies that come from farms in an industrial area. What about the dairy products and the beer etc.? They will ask their employees to look elsewhere and we will. Will we be alone? Absolutely not, many stores will follow."  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Follow the Sand to the Real Fracking Boom
TIME Magazine
James Stafford

When it takes up to four million pounds of sand to frack a single well, it’s no wonder that demand is outpacing supply and frack sand producers are becoming the biggest behind-the-scenes beneficiaries of the American oil and gas boom. POPULAR AMONG SUBSCRIBERS Interstellar, Where No Movie Has Gone Before Subscribe The Last Men of Steel Review: Interstellar’s Wonder of Worlds Beyond Demand is exploding for “frac sand”–a durable, high-purity quartz sand used to help produce petroleum fluids and prop up man-made fractures in shale rock formations through which oil and gas flows—turning this segment into the top driver of value in the shale revolution.  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Stupidity of Pink Fracking Fully Exposed on The Daily Show
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Even Susan G. Komen’s own website shares the chemicals from fracking that are linked to breast cancer, but it didn’t stop them from partnering with oil and gas giant Baker Hughes, which donated $100,000 to Komen in October for the “Doing Our Bit for the Cure” campaign where 1,000 fracking drill bits were painted pink. The viral post on EcoWatch, written by breast cancer survivor and fracking activist Sandra Steingraber, exposed the hypocrisy of this campaign. Now, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart takes this outrageous partnership to new heights.  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
SAFETY: Feds warn of danger from well-site chemicals
E & E Newswire
Mike Soraghan

HOUSTON -- Federal officials are trying to sound the alarm about the dangers of airborne petrochemicals that blow out of tank hatches at oil well sites. They say they have found startlingly high levels of the chemicals, which can quickly disorient workers, causing them to pass out or even die. "Everybody we talked to said they'd experienced lightheadedness or weakness in the knees, or it had happened to someone they knew," said Todd Jordan, director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Health Response Team. "That's something that can't be dismissed."  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
The Nightmare of Ann Craft: Fracked, then Poisoned Albertan says drilling buckled her property. Then the real misery started.
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

Ann Craft is a self-described strong willed and caring Irish woman who has been selling real estate in Central Alberta for 19 years. But now she is getting rather upset. "I'm more than pissed off. I'm appalled."   [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Local activists, Earthworks file to intervene in frack ban cases
Denton Record-Chronicle
Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

The Denton Drilling Advisory Group and Earthworks filed motions in court today to join the city of Denton in defending its ban on hydraulic fracturing. Attorneys for the local activists and the national nonprofit advocacy group that helped them pass the ban prepared petitions in intervention for both lawsuits filed by the state and the oil and gas industry that challenge the ban’s constitutionality. Cathy McMullen, president of the Denton group, has said the group believes they have the grounds to step in and help defend the ban. The Denton group incorporated about a year ago as an educational nonprofit. They sought help drafting the original petition to ban fracking, an initiative under the city’s charter, and worked for months to gather the signatures needed and then organize the campaign to get the measure passed.  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
a protesting Finger Lakes vintner may be headed to jail
Wine Spectator


• The clash between wine and gas in New York's Finger Lakes has reached a boiling point. Protesters of a proposed expansion to a gas-storage facility on Seneca Lake are being arrested in droves (92 bookings and counting), and now prominent vintners are among them. On Dec. 1, Phil Davis, co-owner of Damiani Wine Cellars, along with one of his employees, was arrested for trespassing—protests have taken the form of blocking the entrances to the gas-storage facility of Crestwood Midstream. (There were eight others arrested that night, but as Davis told Unfiltered, "They're blocking the gates again today. It's been ongoing. [Police] have been picking up 10 or 12 people every day.") At their arraignments, protesters who pleaded guilty can pay a fine of a few hundred dollars—or take 10 to 15 days behind bars. "I think I'm going to go to jail," Davis said, to the surprise of co-owner Lou Damiani, who was also in the conversation. "The statement's got to be made. It's intolerable what they're proposing. It takes a lot to make me boil over, but I'm boiling over now." How did we get here? In 2009, Crestwood, a Texas company, put forth a proposal to expand gas storage in salt caverns in the town of Reading, on property they own. The proposal would add 450 million cubic feet of natural-gas storage to existing stores and introduce 2.1 million barrels of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage. "They're trying to make this into a major, major operation. And along with that, major truck traffic, major rail traffic, flare stacks, compressors that run 24 hours a day. It just doesn't work with what we're trying to develop around here," said Davis. A representative from Crestwood previously told Wine Spectator that such fears of industrialization were overblown. "We're just coming to really be in the Finger Lakes after a couple hundred years of trying to grow grapes and make wines," said Damiani. "It's renewable; it's sustainable; you can pass it on to future generations. We feel you cannot do both things—you cannot industrialize the area and then still have a viable wine-tourist industry."   [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Crisis Consultant Says Environmental Activists in it for the Money
DeSmogBlog
Kevin Grandia

In a newsletter to clients titled “Defending Your Company Against an Activist Attack,” Randal Simonetti from the consulting firm EFP Rotenberg, opines that in order to successfully combat an attack by an environmental group you must, “first consider the driving motive that supports the attacker's existence.” According to Simonetti that driving motivation is money. “Funding is a primary driver of any activist organization's behaviour,” writes Simonetti.   [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
UIL ends its bid for owning PGW
Philadelphia Inquirer
ANDREW MAYKUTH

UIL Holdings Corp. has withdrawn its $1.86 billion offer to buy Philadelphia Gas Works, ending Mayor Nutter's ambitious two-year effort to privatize the nation's largest municipal gas utility. The Connecticut utility announced Thursday it was pulling the plug on the deal, moribund since City Council President Darrell L. Clarke's surprise announcement Oct. 27 that the city's legislative body would not hold hearings or a vote on the proposal.   [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Environmental Groups File Motion to Intervene in Defense of Denton Fracking Ban
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Just days after attorneys representing Denton, Texas submitted their initial responses to two legal complaints filed against Denton — the first Texas city ever to ban hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) — environmental groups have filed an intervention petition. That is, a formal request to enter the two lawsuits filed against the city after its citizens voted to ban fracking on election day. Denton Drilling Awareness Group and Earthworks are leading the intervention charge, represented by attorneys from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Earthjustice. The drilling awareness group runs the Frack Free Denton campaign.   [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Mansfield group confronts officials, drillers over fracking
WFAA
Todd Ungar

MANSFIELD — The state's first ban on fracking took effect in Denton this week. The movement now appears to be spreading south to Mansfield, where there was a showdown over possible new regulations on Wednesday night. But instead of a shouting match or anger, most of the discussion and the presentations appeared to be a positive step forward for the latest Texas community to deal with growing concerns over fracking.   [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
First Texas City to Ban Fracking Cites "Public Nuisance" in Lawsuit Response
De Smog Blog
Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog

Attorneys representing Denton, Texas, the first city to ban hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in state history, have issued rebuttals to the two lawsuits filed against Denton the day after the fracking ban was endorsed by voters on election day. Responding to lawsuits brought by attorneys with intimate Bush family connections — with complaints coming from both the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Oil and Gas Association — the Denton attorneys have signaled the battle has only just begun in the city situated in the heart and soul of the Barnett Shale, the birthplace of fracking.   [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Ohio bill’s fracking provisions could clash with federal law
MidWest Energy News
Kathiann M. Kowalski

The Ohio Senate began hearings this week on a bill that could let oil and gas companies skirt current laws dealing with disclosure of chemical hazards to local communities and water withdrawals from the Lake Erie watershed. The Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 490 in November, and the Ohio Senate could vote on the bill as early as next week. If passed in its current form, the bill could face challenges under federal law.  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Fracking Fracas in Court Environmental Law Group Sues Federal Agency Over S.B. Channel Drilling Permits
Independent
Kelsey Brugger

The Environmental Defense Center (EDC) filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday alleging that the oversight agency known as the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) hastily approved 51 oil drilling permits to allow acidizing and fracking from six offshore oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel.  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Nature Agency to investigate risks of fracking Report will address potential environmental risks of a method that has already been banned by several countries
The Copenhagen Post


tarting next month, the Danish Nature Agency will begin its investigation into the environmental consequences of fracking, the extraction of shale gas. The independent study will seek to inform the Danish public, many of whom are in opposition to Total's shale gas project in northern Jutland, about the possible dangers.  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Indigenous group goes to UN over fracking
Yahoo News


A Queensland indigenous group says it's so fed up with the state government not consulting with them about fracking on their traditional lands that it's taking its case all the way to the United Nations. The Mithaka people of the state's southwest say they've asked the UN's Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to investigate the Queensland government's "ongoing failure" to consult with them about oil and gas exploitation and fracking on their lands.   [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Protesters push past security at Northern Territory Minerals Council summit; Talks to consider fracking and future of uranium mining
Yahoo News
Joanna Crothers & Jesse Dorsett

Protesters against the McArthur River Mine have pushed past security and into a major mining conference in Darwin. More than six police officers carrying tasers moved inside the Darwin Convention Centre where the Minerals Council summit was being held on Thursday.   [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Texas study finds chink in U.S. shale gas armor
UPI
Daniel J. Graeber

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A study of shale natural gas plays in the United States finds some of the predictions for long-term growth may be overly optimistic, the journal Nature reports. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects shale natural gas production to increase through 2040. Advances in hydraulic fracturing, the drilling practice known commonly as fracking, has given energy companies a way to coax gas out of shale rock deposits that were previously out of reach.   [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2014
Energy Pipeline: Dry fracking could be a water-saving game changer
The Greeley Tribune
Allison Dyer Bluemel

However, McLennen said the use of gel petroleum presents safety considerations which would require new expenditures and precautions to avoid injury. “They are very expensive and because of the explosive properties of the substances used, they can be very dangerous,” said Encana’s Media Relations Manager Doug Hock. Hock said that due to the gel’s relatively recent appearance in the oil and gas world, very few companies know about its definite benefits and disadvantages or have done research into its applications on individual formations. “In speaking with our chief of completions, he tells me that completely waterless fracs are seldom done,” Hock said.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Denton fracking ban goes into effect as city responds to lawsuits
Southeast Texas Record
Marilyn Tennissen

The ban on hydraulic fracturing in the city of Denton went into effect Tuesday, despite objections from a state agency and an industry group. City-Of-Denton_logo The north Texas town voted Nov. 4 to ban the process known as “fracking” within the city limits. Residents claim the process – which uses water, sand and chemicals under high pressure to force more oil out of depleted wells or rock formations – is dirty, noisy and hazardous and may even be causing earthquakes.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Abita Springs files new lawsuit in St. Tammany fracking dispute
Bakken.com
Marissa Hall

Abita Springs is adding its own lawsuit to the obstacles Helis Oil & Gas Co. must overcome in order to drill in St. Tammany Parish. According to Faimon A. Roberts III for The Advocate, the town filed a suit with the state court in St. Tammany on Monday in an effort to stop the company from drilling in a nearby town just 10 miles away. Helis’ proposal to use horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing near Mandeville has gotten an immense amount of opposition, from citizens to the St. Tammany Parish Council. The recent public hearing even drew ‘Vampire Diaries’ star Ian Somerhalder, a St. Tammany native, to speak on the matter. The council has its own lawsuit against the company which recently received the go-ahead in the Baton Rouge District Court.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Duke: Fracking to save money could cost first
WTSP
Mark Rivera

St. Petersburg, Florida — It's a new possibility from Duke Energy - getting into the fracking business to save you money. But it's a move that could cost you money up front if Duke chooses to pursue it. It's a move that could the possibility of Duke Energy raising rates to frack out of state.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Md. county wants more study on impact of fracking
WTOP


OAKLAND, Md. (AP) -- A western Maryland county is seeking more information on the local impact of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The Times-News of Cumberland reports (http://bit.ly/1zjsgxu ) that the Garrett County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to endorse the findings of a local advisory commission that has been studying the issue. Garrett County holds most of the Marcellus shale gas reserves that could be tapped under regulations recommended by a state panel.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
EDC Sues on Offshore Fracking & Acidizing LAWSUIT DEMANDS PUBLIC TRANSPARENCY, ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS FOR OFFSHORE ACIDIZING AND FRACKING DRILLING PERMITS
EDHAT
Environmental Defense Center

The Environmental Defense Center (“EDC”) filed a lawsuit today challenging the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (“BSEE”) failure to provide for public or environmental review prior to approving 51 oil drilling permits authorizing the use of acid well stimulation (“acidizing”) and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from offshore oil platforms located in the Santa Barbara Channel.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Landowners appeal Crowder’s ‘fracking’ decision
BND
Elizabeth Donald

A group of landowners protesting over state regulations on “fracking” have appealed a decision by a Madison County judge. Last month, Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder denied a request for a preliminary injunction against new rules from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The suit, brought by a group of Southern Illinois landowners, alleged that the rule-making process was flawed, that IDNR did not consider scientific studies and denied the public a chance to address the information relied upon to draft the rules.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Feds Sued Over Santa Barbara Fracking Permits
ABC News


An environmental group sued the federal government on Wednesday for approving the use of hydraulic fracturing ? fracking ? on oil platforms off the Southern California coast. The federal lawsuit by the Environmental Defense Center alleges the U.S. Department of the Interior and two of its subsidiary agencies approved 51 permits to drill from oil and gas platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel without properly conducting environmental studies or permitting public comment.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
NC fracking rules may not all pass muster
News Observer
John Murawski

North Carolina's fracking regulations may not all pass muster in their final review this month before the proposed safety rules are forwarded to the state legislature for approval by Jan. 1, a deadline set by state law. A staff recommendation issued Wednesday to the N.C. Rules Review Commission said three of the 124 rules require more public hearings and should be rejected by the rules panel at this time.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Two Lawmakers Want To Ban Fracking In Florida
Climate Progress
Katie Valentine

Two Florida state senators introduced legislation this week to ban fracking in their state, citing concerns about environmental impact and potential damage to water supplies. State Senators Darren Soto (D) and Dwight Bullard (D) filed a bill on Tuesday that, if adopted, would prohibit hydraulic fracturing in Florida. In a press release announcing the legislation, the senators said that Florida’s natural beauty, major tourism industry, and underground aquifers would be at risk if fracking becomes common in Florida.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
There is no safe fracking, Mr. O'Malley
Baltimore Sun
Wenonah Hauter Opinion

Gov. Martin O'Malley's announcement that the state will move forward with establishing regulations for hydraulic fracturing — fracking — in Maryland leaves behind a terrible legacy. He has secured his place in history as the one who opened up the state to the inherent risks of the practice, which involves horizontal drilling and the fracturing of underground rock with pressurized water and chemicals to release gas deposits, despite Marylanders' growing opposition to it.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Court battles make revenue from new leases in state parks, forests ‘unlikely’
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI

Pennsylvania won’t be able to rely on revenue from new natural gas leases on state lands to help plug a nearly $2 billion shortfall, according to the state’s top budget official. Secretary Charles Zogby laid out Pennsylvania’s financial woes at a briefing Wednesday, noting some of the one-time stopgaps in Governor Tom Corbett’s $29 billion budget will not come to fruition. Among them is Corbett’s plan to raise $95 million by expanding natural gas leasing in state parks and forests which is facing two simultaneous Commonwealth Court battles. “With that matter tied up in the courts, it’s very much unlikely that we will see that resolved in time for this fiscal year to be accounted in our spending plans,” Zogby said.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Landowners appeal Crowder’s ‘fracking’ decision
Belleville News-Democrat
Elizabeth Donald

A group of landowners protesting over state regulations on “fracking” have appealed a decision by a Madison County judge. Last month, Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder denied a request for a preliminary injunction against new rules from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The suit, brought by a group of Southern Illinois landowners, alleged that the rule-making process was flawed, that IDNR did not consider scientific studies and denied the public a chance to address the information relied upon to draft the rules.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Feds Sued Over Santa Barbara Fracking Permits
ABC NEWS
Associated Press

An environmental group sued the federal government on Wednesday for approving the use of hydraulic fracturing ? fracking ? on oil platforms off the Southern California coast. The federal lawsuit by the Environmental Defense Center alleges the U.S. Department of the Interior and two of its subsidiary agencies approved 51 permits to drill from oil and gas platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel without properly conducting environmental studies or permitting public comment. The permits, issued mainly within the past two years, allow the use of fracking or acid well stimulation at six platforms off the coasts of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The procedures involve injecting large amounts of water, acid and other chemicals into the ground to fracture or dissolve rock.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Localities have a say in fracking, experts say
Richmond Times-Dispatch
REX SPRINGSTON

Localities can exert considerable control over a controversial form of gas and oil drilling called fracking, experts said Wednesday. Through their zoning laws, localities can, for example, keep fracking away from schools and residential areas, said Gregory Buppert, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, a conservation group. Molly Ward, Virginia’s secretary of natural resources, said state agencies can regulate fracking, but she agreed that localities also have considerable control.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
There is no safe fracking, Mr. O'Malley
The Baltimore Sun
Wenonah Hauter

Gov. Martin O'Malley's announcement that the state will move forward with establishing regulations for hydraulic fracturing — fracking — in Maryland leaves behind a terrible legacy. He has secured his place in history as the one who opened up the state to the inherent risks of the practice, which involves horizontal drilling and the fracturing of underground rock with pressurized water and chemicals to release gas deposits, despite Marylanders' growing opposition to it.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
'Not One Well' gas campaign launched Drilling opponents act to head off talk of "sacrifice zones"
Albany Times Union
Casey Seiler

A coalition of groups opposed to the controversial natural gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing have launched the "Not One Well" campaign. The effort is designed to head off the possibility Gov. Andrew Cuomo might approve a limited pilot program to allow fracked wells in Southern Tier communities with the approval of local elected officials.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Putin scraps plans to build major gas pipeline to Europe
Washington Post


In a measure of the dramatically reshaped relations between Russia and the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin has scrapped plans for a major new natural gas pipeline to Europe. The surprise move on Monday deprives the Kremlin of a tool that would have increased Russian political influence over southeastern Europe and detoured natural gas around Ukraine, leaving it more vulnerable to Russia. Putin’s decision came after European Union leaders intensified their opposition to the plans because of the grinding conflict in Ukraine. Putin said Russia would build a smaller pipeline to Turkey instead of the bigger project, for which construction started two years ago, to funnel large quantities of Russian gas underneath the Black Sea to Europe. The cancellation appeared to end an era, at least for now, in which Russia pursued grand, expensive infrastructure projects in Europe that gave it political clout through energy supplies.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
PROFITS VANISH FOR SHALE EXPORTERS
Energy Policy Forum
Deborah Lawrence

Natural gas prices continued to fall today closing at $3.84. This is not surprising. It is a fact that U.S. demand for natural gas is considerably less than supply and has been for a number of years. Shale gas exportation was seen as the industry’s best chance to move domestic natural gas prices upward. Such speculation has no doubt contributed to propping up gas prices in expectation of future exportation. But a funny thing happened on the way to the market…   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
World's most corrupt industries
CNN Money
Ivana Kottasova

Drilling for oil and digging for minerals can be dirty, in more ways than one. Known as the extractive sector, oil and mining tops a new list of the world's most corrupt industries. Construction and transportation make up the top three, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
NC DOT wants fracking companies to fix roads
Charlotte Observer


RALEIGH, N.C. North Carolina could require companies to pay to repair roads after fracking operations. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported (http://bit.ly/1wqyY7o ) the agency's suggestion to state lawmakers Tuesday was met with some criticism. Republican Sen. E.S. Newton of Wilson said concerns about North Carolina's roads must not hamper drilling operations. Newton is a member of the Legislative Commission on Energy Policy. 0 comments NC DOT wants fracking companies to fix roads The Associated Press Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 03, 2014 RALEIGH, N.C. North Carolina could require companies to pay to repair roads after fracking operations. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported (http://bit.ly/1wqyY7o ) the agency's suggestion to state lawmakers Tuesday was met with some criticism. Republican Sen. E.S. Newton of Wilson said concerns about North Carolina's roads must not hamper drilling operations. Newton is a member of the Legislative Commission on Energy Policy. "We want to get this industry up and moving," Newton told transportation officials. Drilling operations use dump trucks, tanker trucks and 18-wheel rigs that can damage the two-lane country roads in the rural counties where shale gas exploration is expected. Transportation engineer Brandon Jones said the agency could require that companies carry a bond of $100,000 per mile of road used for their equipment. Fracking could start as early as next spring when the state's rules go into effect for energy exploration. The Department of Transportation is supposed to submit a report by Jan. 1 on the impact that fracking might have on rural roads. Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/03/5358401/nc-dot-wants-fracking-companies.html#storylink=cpy   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Duke Energy Mulls Fracking Charge Utility wants customers to pay for natural gas exploration
TAMPA BAY TIMES
IVAN PENN

Duke Energy is pondering the high-risk natural gas exploration business, and it wants customers to pay for it. Already, state regulators are considering a proposal from Miami-based Florida Power & Light to charge its customers as much as $750 million a year for a fracking exploration project in Oklahoma that the utility said could help lock in fuel prices for years and save customers money. Duke is watching closely and could follow suit if FPL gets its way. Here's the real bottom line: Florida utilities currently do not profit from the cost of fuel used to run their power plants. The utilities bill customers for their fuel costs as a pass through charge. But the fracking deal would allow the utilities to earn profits on the fuel that powers their plants along with revenue from the construction of the facilities and the electricity they generate. FPL's proposal would be the first effort by the state's utilities to charge customers for fracking exploration. "This is socialism," said Mark Cooper, a senior fellow for economic analysis at Vermont Law School. "This is plain and simple national socialism in Florida. They have no risk. Why should ratepayers bear that risk?" Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, put it this way: "If it goes bad, it's all on the back of the customers. Instead of using their own corporate dollars, they want to use ratepayer money. This is part of the same narrative: The utilities are out of control."  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Texas Town's Fracking Ban Takes Effect Amid Challenges
CNBC


Topher Jones, of Denton, Texas, Edward Hartmann, of Dallas and Angie Holliday of Denton, held a campaign sign supporting a ban outside city hall, in Denton, Texas last November. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez Topher Jones, of Denton, Texas, Edward Hartmann, of Dallas and Angie Holliday of Denton, held a campaign sign supporting a ban outside city hall, in Denton, Texas last November. A small Texas hamlet north of Dallas has become the first municipality in the state to ban fracking, pitting a town located where fracking was perfected against the powerful energy industry. Voters in the university town of Denton approved a ban on November 4 which took effect Tuesday. The ban could be a test case for other cities around the country that want to ban fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, which injects a brew of water, sand and chemicals into rock to release hydrocarbons. The practice is the linchpin of a surging energy industry in the United States, but it has been linked to a host of environmental issues, including causing earthquakes. Topher Jones, of Denton, Texas, Edward Hartmann, of Dallas and Angie Holliday of Denton, held a campaign sign supporting a ban outside city hall, in Denton, Texas last November. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez Topher Jones, of Denton, Texas, Edward Hartmann, of Dallas and Angie Holliday of Denton, held a campaign sign supporting a ban outside city hall, in Denton, Texas last November. A small Texas hamlet north of Dallas has become the first municipality in the state to ban fracking, pitting a town located where fracking was perfected against the powerful energy industry. Voters in the university town of Denton approved a ban on November 4 which took effect Tuesday. The ban could be a test case for other cities around the country that want to ban fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, which injects a brew of water, sand and chemicals into rock to release hydrocarbons. The practice is the linchpin of a surging energy industry in the United States, but it has been linked to a host of environmental issues, including causing earthquakes. Denton's ban has been challenged by the Texas Oil and Gas Association, which has asked a district county court to declare it invalid and unenforceable. On Monday, Denton's attorneys filed a legal brief that called fracking a "public nuisance," according to The Texas Tribune. Included among the nuisances, the lawyers said, are "noise, increased heavy truck traffic, liquid spills, vibrations and other offensive results."   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Fracking ban goes into effect in its birthplace
RT News


An unprecedented ban on fracking went into effect Tuesday in Denton, Texas, a town of 123,000 located on top of the natural-gas goldmine that is the Barnett shale formation, the birthplace of the much-maligned oil and gas extraction method. Denton voters approved the ban last month, making it the first city or county to do so in the energy-rich, fracking-heavy state of Texas.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Fracking critics launch ‘Not One Well’ campaign
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

Environmental and anti-fracking groups on Wednesday launched a new campaign targeting Gov. Andrew Cuomo as his administration nears a final decision on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. An array of fracking critics are partnering on the latest effort, which urges Cuomo to allow “not one well” as the state Department of Health wraps up its review of the much-debated technique used to help extract gas from underground shale formations.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Ahead of DOH report, anti-fracking forces gird for battle
Times Union
Casey Seiler

A coalition of groups opposed to the controversial natural gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing on Wednesday launched the “Not One Well” campaign, designed to squash the possibility that Gov. Andrew Cuomo might move ahead with a limited pilot program that would allow fracked wells in Southern Tier communities where elected officials approve such development. That option was first floated in the summer of 2012, to deafening disapproval from anti-fracking forces who described such regions of potential drilling as “sacrifice zones.”  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Fracking boom could go bust faster than Obama thinks
Grist
Tim McDonnell

President Obama is fond of touting America’s vast trove of natural gas—and the energy (read: economic growth) it can provide—as a reason to support fracking. “Our 100-year supply of natural gas is a big factor in drawing jobs back to our shores,” he told a gathering at Northwestern University in October. You can hear that same optimism about U.S. natural gas production from Democrats, Republicans, and of course, the industry itself. The conviction that America can fuel its economy by churning out massive amounts of natural gas for decades has become a core assumption of national energy policy. But what if it’s wrong?  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Natural gas: The fracking fallacy
Nature
Mason Inman

The United States is banking on decades of abundant natural gas to power its economic resurgence. That may be wishful thinking.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Studies Raise Red Flags About Hazardous Compounds in Fracking Fluid
Truthout
Roger Drouin

The fracking boom continues to sweep across the country. Industry efforts are set to expand the unconventional method of oil and gas extraction to new frontiers such as Illinois and North Carolina. In Nevada, the industry has won initial approval to start drilling across a 580-acre swatch of public and private land, and this month federal officials announced they will allow some fracking in George Washington National Forest - the largest national forest in the eastern United States.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Anti-frackers launch media blitz
Legislative Gazette
Jessica Piccinini

Grassroots organization Frackaction, along with other groups opposing hydraulic fracturing in New York state, announced the launch of a new advocacy, social media and advertising campaign called "Not One Well" in Albany on Wednesday, Dec. 3. Frackaction Director Julia Walsh said the campaign would include radio and online advertisements, as well as a billboard right here in the Capital Region spreading the organization's message, culminating in what could be the largest anti-fracking rally to date during Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State Address on Jan. 7.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
NOT ONE WELL
Capital Tonight
Liz Benjamin

A review from the state Health Department on the controversial gas-drilling process known as fracking could come as soon as the end of this year. Governor Cuomo has said he’s waiting to make a decision on fracking until after that review comes out. With a decision approaching, activists have now started a new anti-fracking campaign: Not One Well. Cornell professor of engineering Tony Ingraffea and Kate Sinding from the Natural Resources Defense Council joined us to explain.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2014
Citizens stand up for the future of Seneca Lake region
Star Gazette
MICHAEL DINEEN

In his recent Guest Viewpoint, Michael Gilbert presents himself as the representative voice of the local community. He's indignant that a group of "professional protesters" and "out-of-towners" would have the temerity to question Crestwood's plans to turn Watkins Glen and its bucolic surroundings into the "gas storage and transportation hub of the Northeast" (to quote the company's own press release).  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Fracking Democracy Gassing the American People
CounterPunch
PHILLIP DOE

Gas warfare was invented and used by both sides during WWI. The French used it first. Eventually, mustard gas became the preferred method of mayhem. It had little smell, worked slowly, and terrorized the troops. Poison gas was the first instrument of war to be termed a weapon of mass destruction. Gas warfare was outlawed in 1925, but the prohibition has been regularly disregarded by warring nations, including our own. Over the 4 years of WWI, casualties numbered over one million, with about 91,000 soldiers, less than 10 percent, dying directly. The long-term death count from later health complications is unknown.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Feds OK Constitution Pipeline
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted today to approve the $683 million Constitution Pipeline, a 124-mile subterranean project that would stretch from northeastern Pennsylvania through hundreds of parcels in Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie counties. Also unanimously approved by FERC was the so-called Wright Interconnect Project, an expanded compressor station in the town of Wright in the northeastern corner of Schoharie County. The Constitution would terminate there, with its gas going into two existing pipelines also connecting at the Wright facility.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Oil Investors at Brink of Losing Trillions of Dollars in Assets. Gore: It's That Road Runner Moment
Bloomberg
Alex Morales

A major threat to fossil fuel companies has suddenly moved from the fringe to center stage with a dramatic announcement by Germany’s biggest power company and an intriguing letter from the Bank of England. A growing minority of investors and regulators are probing the possibility that untapped deposits of oil, gas and coal -- valued at trillions of dollars globally -- could become stranded assets as governments adopt stricter climate change policies.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Russia Decision to Drop Pipeline Puts EU in Tough Spot
Wall Street Journal
Gabriele Steinhauser, Sean Carney and Emre Peker

BRUSSELS—The European Union sought Tuesday to deflect responsibility for Russia’s plan to abandon an ambitious natural-gas pipeline through Europe amid questions about whether the project was truly dead. Russian President Vladimir Putin ’s surprise announcement that he would drop the South Stream pipeline under the Black Sea to Bulgaria in favor of an alternative route through Turkey put the EU in a complicated spot. Brussels has been working to reduce Europe’s heavy reliance on Russian energy, an effort that took on added urgency this year with the conflict in Ukraine—a major transit country. But until alternative suppliers have been secured, European countries, particularly in the southeast, remain vulnerable to any cutoff in shipments. While the route via Turkey could supply gas to Bulgaria, Greece and other countries in the region, it won’t be as extensive as South Stream, which was to stretch as far as Austria.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Putin cancels new natural gas pipeline to Europe in a surprise move
Washington Post
Michael Birnbaum

MOSCOW — In a measure of the dramatically reshaped relations between Russia and the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday scrapped plans for a major new natural gas pipeline to Europe, a surprise decision that came as the ruble slumped to an all-time low against the dollar. The move deprives the Kremlin of a tool that would have increased Russian political influence over southeastern Europe and detoured natural gas around Ukraine, leaving it more vulnerable to Russia. Putin’s decision came after European Union leaders intensified their opposition to the plans because of the grinding conflict in Ukraine.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
LNG terminal proposal could turn Dodge Cove, B.C. into ghost town
cbcnews
George Baker

A small village on B.C.'s North Coast is on the verge of becoming a ghost town with news that a massive liquefied natural gas terminal will be built next door. FULL COVERAGE B.C. LNG stories and issues Dodge Cove is situated on Digby Island, which is a short boat ride from Prince Rupert. About 40 people live in the community, and there are no paved roads, no cars and no stores. The international energy company Nexen Energy has picked Digby Island for a proposed $20 billion LNG terminal with the goal of shipping 10 to 20 million tons of LNG from B.C. to Asia each year. The CBC's George Baker paid a visit to the residents of Dodge Cove to hear about the tough choice they face: live right next to an LNG terminal — or get out of Dodge. "I believe that this area will be almost unlivable," Digby Island resident Tommy Spiller told Baker.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Boxer makes one last push for climate-change agenda
SF Gate
Carolyn Lochhead

Sen. Barbara Boxer opened a push Tuesday for a bipartisan bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the handful of days before she forfeits the gavel of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee to a Republican who wrote a book calling climate change a hoax. Incoming committee Chairman Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma is expected to lead an attack on President Obama’s main anti-global warming measure, a rule that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. Boxer said Republicans will have enough votes come January to pass legislation to try to thwart the new rule, but promised that Obama would veto any such attempt.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
White House: U.S. Has ‘Moral Obligation’ To Help Communities In Warming Arctic
Think Progress
Emily Atkin

In just a few months, America will have the unique position of leading the Arctic Council, an international panel tasked with addressing the most important issues facing the Arctic region. On Tuesday, the Obama administration released some preparation material for that position: a blog post discussing the moral imperative to help citizens living within the Arctic Circle, especially those who are being forced to relocate due to rapidly warming temperatures and sea level rise. The blog post, written by U.S. special representative for the Arctic Admiral Robert Papp, Jr., sought to remind people of the myriad challenges facing Alaska and other Arctic nations because of climate change. The effects of climate change are more severe in the Arctic environment than they are in the rest of the world — the atmosphere is warming twice as fast; the ocean is rising quickly and coastlines are eroding; essential features of the ecosystem like glaciers, sea ice, and tundra are rapidly disappearing.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
NCDOT wants fracking companies to repair damaged roads
News Observer
JOHN MURAWSKI

RALEIGH — North Carolina could require energy exploration companies to pay to repair state roads after a fracking operation is completed, state transportation officials told lawmakers Tuesday. Drilling is heavily dependent on dump trucks, tanker trucks and 18-wheel rigs that chew up the kinds of two-lane country roads that criss-cross North Carolina’s rural counties where shale gas exploration is expected to get underway. But Republican Sen. E.S. “Buck” Newton of Wilson warned that North Carolina’s road maintenance protections must not impede drilling. Newton is a member of the Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy. “We want to get this industry up and moving,” Newton told transportation officials. “I don’t want our process to be more onerous.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Different pipeline route, same need
Lowell Sun
Opinion

Different pipeline route, same need The Lowell Sun UPDATED: 12/02/2014 07:23:24 AM EST0 COMMENTS Now that Kinder Morgan has all but scrapped its plans for a natural-gas pipeline along northern Massachusetts, we assumed the major roadblock to this project had been removed. A route following existing power-line easements in Southern New Hampshire now appears to be the preferred route -- one Kinder Morgan is expected soon to make official in a report to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The New Hampshire pipeline would still move through parts of Western Massachusetts before turning north at Northfield. It then would travel along Southern New Hampshire to Pelham before ending in Dracut. Thus those opposed to the original route -- which went through the towns of Ashby, Townsend, Pepperell, Dunstable, Groton and Tyngsboro -- likely have been spared their feared environmental impact. But not so fast. Many opponents apparently want to contest any pipeline, no matter where it's built. And removing what appeared to be their main concern won't stop them.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
State Sen. Shirley Turner introduces resolution opposing $1 billion PennEast natural gas pipeline
NJ.com
Brendan McGrath

A local lawmaker has introduced a resolution in the state senate opposing the $1 billion PennEast natural gas pipeline that is planned to cut through Mercer and Hunterdon counties. Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) said she has received an onslaught of calls from constituents since August, when PennEast announced its proposal for the 100-plus mile pipeline. Turner represents Hopewell Township and West Amwell, two of the towns the pipeline is proposed to run through, but said she thinks opposition will also come from legislators other than those whose districts are directly affected. “I think most of my colleagues are concerned about the health of our state,” Turner said. Turner said she is worried about how the project would affect the environment, specifically the water supply.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Northeast gas pipelines turn two-way as region becomes major producer
Fuel Fix


HOUSTON — Natural gas pipelines in the northeast are increasingly heading in both directions, as many midstream companies are look to make the most of lines facing declining use. According to a new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, pipelines companies have planned modifications that will allow 8.3 billion cubic feet of gas per day to leave the Northeast via bidirectional flows. If those projects are completed, about 32 percent of natural gas capacity running into the Northeast could be two-way capable by 2017, the report concluded. Overall, the pipeline capacity of the northeast is rapidly expanding. In 2013, EIA figures indicated that the Northeast had about 25 billion cubic feet of capacity per day for shipments from Canada, the Midwest, and the Southeast. The report highlights plans to build as much as 35 billion cubic feet per day of additional capacity that will the growth of natural gas production in the Northeast. Still, usage on some of the major pipelines that have traditionally brought gas into the region is down. The EIA estimated that among a group of lines that total 60 percent of the gas flows into the Northeast, gas flows were down between 21 percent and 84 percent in 2013 compared to 2008. Those lines included ANR Pipeline, Texas Eastern Transmission, Transcontinental Pipeline, Iroquois Gas Pipeline, Rockies Express Pipeline, and the Tennessee Gas Pipeline.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Pennsylvania fines gas drilling company for wastewater tank explosion, spill that hurt worker
Daily Journal
AP

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania environmental regulators are fining Houston-based Cabot Oil and Gas for a storage tank explosion and wastewater spill at a gas drilling site. The Department of Environmental Protection said Tuesday it fined Cabot $120,000 for the January incident at its Reynolds well pad in Susquehanna County. Officials say vapors in the headspace of the wastewater tank ignited and caused the Jan. 11 explosion, rupturing the tank. The Times-Tribune of Scranton reports (http://bit.ly/11QSlsT ) that inspectors found that a worker checking the level of fluid in the 21,000-gallon wastewater tank ignited the vapors while using his cellphone as a flashlight.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Frack, no — despite report on possible economic benefits and safety claims
Frederick News Post


An exhaustive study suggests that hydraulic fracturing could be a safe and economically beneficial initiative for Western Maryland. “Could be” is the operative phrase, and it’s a deal-breaker for us. The Maryland Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission took three years to study the economic and environmental feasibility of permitting “fracking” in Western Maryland. The Maryland Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources have just released a draft report that reviews and evaluates the commission’s findings. The MDE/DNR report is essentially in agreement with the Marcellus commission’s two major conclusions. First, that fracking could create positive economic opportunities for Western Maryland. Second, that the controversial process of extracting natural gas from rock formations could be accomplished without unacceptable risks to people and natural resources. That second conclusion is dependent on a range of best practices, rigorous monitoring and inspections, and rigid enforcement.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Tiny California county provides template for anti-fracking campaigns
Mankato Free Press
Julie Cart Los Angeles Times

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif. — If you were plotting the epicenter of a daring trend or gathering the vanguard for a revolutionary charge, San Benito County might not be the first place you’d start. One of the state’s smallest counties, it’s a retro snapshot of turn-of-the-century rural California: agrarian, stoic, striving. But after a stunning election victory, residents of this farming region find themselves on the sharp edge of a growing movement to ban hydraulic fracturing via local voter initiatives. Fracking opponents here were vastly outspent by oil companies that fought a measure to ban well stimulation techniques such as fracking, acidizing and steam injection, along with conventional drilling in some areas. With just $130,000, the homegrown campaign managed to draw 57 percent of San Benito County voters to the polls in a low-excitement midterm election. They held off oil companies that spent nearly $2 million opposing the initiative.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Feds OK Constitution Pipeline
Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted today to approve the $683 million Constitution Pipeline, a 124-mile subterranean project that would stretch from northeastern Pennsylvania through hundreds of parcels in Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie counties. Also unanimously approved by FERC was the so-called Wright Interconnect Project, an expanded compressor station in the town of Wright in the northeastern corner of Schoharie County. The Constitution would terminate there, with its gas going into two existing pipelines also connecting at the Wright facility. The federal commissioners, in sanctioning the projects, stated flatly that they disagreed with the assertion of a local grassroots opposition group, Stop the Pipeline, that the project is unnecessary. The commissioners also said that the pipeline planners have adopted steps to minimize adverse economic impacts on landowners impacted by the project. FERC noted that Stop the Pipeline, in comments filed in September, indicated Constitution has not signed easement agreements with many landowners and argued the benefits of the project do not outweigh harm to these landowners.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
U.S. sees voluntary emissions cuts as key to a climate change accord
LA Times
NEELA BANERJEE

The United States is championing a new international approach to cutting greenhouse gases that offers the best chance of prompting countries to take action to avert the worst effects of global warming, the nation's chief climate negotiator said Monday. The comments by the State Department's Todd Stern came as United Nations negotiations began in Peru to develop the framework for an international accord to curtail heat-trapping emissions and adapt to changes already occurring on the planet. The final agreement is expected to be signed in Paris next December.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Green energy sector jobs surpass total oil sands employment
The Globe and Mail
Richard Blackwell

Canada’s green energy sector has grown so quickly and has become such an important part of the economy that it now employs more people than the oil sands. About $25-billion has been invested in Canada’s clean-energy sector in the past five years, and employment is up 37 per cent, according to a new report from climate think tank Clean Energy Canada to be released Tuesday. That means the 23,700 people who work in green energy organizations outnumber the 22,340 whose work relates to the oil sands, the report says.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Keystone Antagonist Steps Down as Head of Climate Group 350.org
Bloomberg
Jim Snyder

Bill McKibben, a chief antagonist of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, is stepping down as chairman of the environmental group 350.org that he helped create. McKibben, an author and climate advocate, said the move will give him more time to write and to organize campaigns. He’ll remain as a senior adviser to the New York-based group that pushes for action to combat climate change.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
NCDOT wants fracking companies to repair damaged roads
Charlotte Observer
John Murawski

RALEIGH North Carolina could require energy exploration companies to pay to repair state roads after a fracking operation is completed, state transportation officials told lawmakers Tuesday. Drilling is heavily dependent on dump trucks, tanker trucks and 18-wheel rigs that chew up the kinds of two-lane country roads that criss-cross North Carolina’s rural counties where shale gas exploration is expected to get underway. But Republican Sen. E.S. “Buck” Newton of Wilson warned that North Carolina’s road maintenance protections must not impede drilling. Newton is a member of the Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
A death in the Bakken: Worker's family rejects drug conclusion
E & E Newswire
Mike Soraghan

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- One thing is clear: Brandon Belk should have been wearing an oxygen mask. After that, there's a long list of questions. It starts with a big one. Why did he die? There's the mix of solvents and petroleum gunk he was breathing while cleaning a frack tank two days before his death in July 2013. When federal worker safety inspectors showed up, they found the working conditions dangerous.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
EPA's comment dilemma: so many voices, so little time
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Anya Litvak

It would take 71 Environmental Protection Agency employees spending all their workdays from now until June to read all the comments submitted to the agency’s Clean Power Plan thus far, assuming a modest 5-minute limit per comment. For some, five seconds will do: “Don’t [expletive deleted] this up, [expletive deleted],” was the concise directive of one commenter. Other comments may require a kick-back of the old recliner. The 89-page “risk analysis” from the Electric Power Research Institute, which explains why EPA’s calculations of the benefits of its rule are incorrect and exaggerated, isn’t exactly a quick read. The tally of comments stood at about 1.6 million, which doesn’t include “the hundreds of thousands of comments that came in last week and those that are coming in today,” wrote Janet McCabe, the acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, in a blog post on Monday. The comment period for the Clean Power Plan was scheduled to close Monday at 11:59 p.m.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Groups urge Cuomo to consider fracking's effect on climate change
Capitol Confidential
Matthew Hamilton

He may not be a scientist, but a coalition of groups wants Gov. Andrew Cuomo to at least listen to climate scientists when considering whether to approve hydraulic fracturing. More than 75 groups, many of them environmental organizations, sent a letter to Cuomo Tuesday urging him consider climate change as his administration continues to study the controversial practice. The thrust of the letter is a continued call from the groups to ban fracking. “We write from a place of great concern about your statement on the Capitol Pressroom on November 6, 2014, that you are uncertain if your administration’s fracking health review will include climate impacts,” the groups, which include Citizen Action of NY, the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, the New York Public Interest Research Group and New Yorkers Against Fracking, write. “Science is clear that natural gas drilling, fracking, and associated infrastructure pose a very significant negative impact to the climate.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
State Senators File Anti-Fracking Bill
CBS Miami


the state to just say no to fracking. Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, and Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, have filed legislation to ban fracking in the state to protect the water supply, environment and robust tourism economy. “Florida is home to scenic beaches, wonderful springs and the legendary Everglades. This natural beauty, in turn, fosters a strong tourism industry, annually attracting many new residents to our shores. It must be preserved” said Senator Soto. “We Floridians also get the vast majority of our water supply from ground water through the Floridan Aquifer. This critical water source must be protected from pollution to assure ample, clean water for future generations.”  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Cabot Oil and Gas fined $120,000 for explosion and spill
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

he state Department of Environmental Protection has fined Cabot Oil & Gas $120,000 for a storage tank explosion and spill. The incident occurred January 11 at the Reynolds well pad in Jessup Township, Susquehanna County. “This was a serious incident that injured an employee and resulted in a spill of approximately 2,835 gallons of production fluid from a 21,000-gallon storage tank,” DEP Director of District Oil and Gas Operations John Ryder said in a statement. “Some of this fluid escaped containment and impacted soil off the well pad.” The DEP cited the company for violations of the Oil and Gas Act and regulations, Solid Waste Management Act, and Clean Streams Law. Cabot has since remediated the spill.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Founding Father of Fracking Boom Is Crying the Blues
Eco Watch
Anastasia Pantsios

The price of a barrel of oil has been dropping steadily due to decreasing demand and a glut of oil on the market, thanks in large part to the fracking boom in the U.S. Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, announced it wasn’t going to cut back on production. The announcement sent prices down to less than $70 a barrel, creating financial worries for some banks and a billionaire whose wealth depends upon the success of fracking.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
How a ruby-red Texas town turned against fracking
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

The fracking ban that comes into effect on Tuesday in the heart of Texas might never have happened at all, if industry had not insisted on fracking beside a local hospital, a children’s playground, and the 100-year-old farmhouse that was Cathy McMullen’s retirement dream. That brought fracking a step too far. McMullen believes such overreach – typical under the Texas regulatory framework – helped turn a ruby-red Republican town against fracking. Despite industry objections – and death threats for McMullen and other activists, Denton voted by 60% to ban fracking last month. The victorious activists like to call their fight David v Godzilla, because the oil industry is so powerful in Texas. That fight is not over yet.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Sue Thy Fracking Neighbor
No Fracking Way
Dory Hippauf

What do you do when your water goes bad, your health deteriorates, and your once peaceful life has been upended by gas drilling operations near your home? The obvious answer is to sue the drillers. This is what the Lauff family in Mt. Pleasant Pennsylvania did. In November 2014, the Lauff family filed a lawsuit naming Range Resources – Appalachia LLC, and their contractors Markwest Liberty Midstream And Resources LLC, Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., The Gateway Engineers Inc., New Dominion Construction Inc., And Highland Environmental LLC as defendants. So what makes this case so different than others filed against drilling companies? The Lauff family also names the Carter family as defendants. The natural gas operations in question reside on land LEASED by the Carter family to Range Resources.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Oil price swoon may be political boon for energy industry
Politico
Elana Schor

After years of boom times, American oil producers are suddenly under the gun of an OPEC price war and may soon be looking for help from a friendly Republican Congress. The global oil cartel decided to test U.S. drillers’ mettle on Thanksgiving Day by leaving its production target unchanged in the face of slumping demand, in what news reports from Vienna called a bid by Saudi Arabia to undermine America’s shale boom. The decision deepened an oil price swoon that began in July, and signs of a slowdown in domestic drilling are already emerging — but so are omens that oil producers plan to seize on their troubles to press Washington to approve more of their policy goals.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
32% of gas pipeline capacity into Northeast could be bidirectional
Energy Global


Spurred by growing natural gas production in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, the natural gas pipeline industry is planning to modify its systems to allow bidirectional flow to move up to 8.3 billion ft3/d out of the Northeast. As of 2013, the industry had the capacity to transport 25 billion ft3/d of natural gas from Canada, the Midwest, and the Southeast into the Northeast. In addition to these bidirectional projects in the Northeast, the industry plans to expand existing systems and build new systems to transport natural gas produced in the Northeast to consuming markets outside the region. Flows on ANR Pipeline, Texas Eastern Transmission, Transcontinental Pipeline, Iroquois Gas Pipeline, Rockies Express Pipeline, and Tennessee Gas Pipeline accounted for 60% of flows to the Northeast in 2013. Flows on these pipelines in 2013 were between 21% and 84% below 2008 levels, with the largest percentage decline occurring on the Tennessee Gas Pipeline. In 2014, the Tennessee Gas Pipeline and the Texas Eastern Transmission began flowing gas both ways between states along the Northeast and Southeast region borders. As a result of these pipelines being underutilised, the pipeline companies have announced plans to modify their systems to allow for bidirectional flow, adding the ability to send natural gas out of the Northeast region:  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Oil price plunge may reshape congressional debates around gas tax, crude exports
E&E News
Nick Juliano

If oil prices continue their plunge, it could refocus the congressional debate over expanding U.S. energy commodity exports, potentially opening the door for a gasoline tax increase and shaping arguments around biofuels mandates and vehicle efficiency rules, current and former lawmakers, aides and analysts said yesterday. Oil prices have been trending downward since June and plunged sharply after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said Thursday that it would maintain current output. That move was seen as an effort by Saudi Arabia and other large producers to keep market share amid the massive growth in U.S. oil production over the last several years, much of which is being extracted from shale formations where production is more expensive. The dramatic price fluctuation has roiled commodity markets and kindled fears that some U.S. drilling companies may not be able to break even at lower prices, causing them to retreat from some more expensive shale oil plays or otherwise adjust their business plans (EnergyWire, Dec. 1).  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Oil Price Collapse Poses Threats to U.S. Shale Gas Boom
Power
Thomas Overton

The drop in world oil prices, given added impetus by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC’s) decision on Nov. 27 not to cut production, may pose a threat to shale gas production in the U.S. Crude oil prices have fallen substantially since reaching a peak of around $110/barrel this past July, hitting a low of $67/barrel after the OPEC announcement. Though OPEC’s move is widely viewed as an attempt to squeeze the booming U.S. shale oil sector—which has higher production costs than OPEC nations—it carries potential repercussions for natural gas as well. With shale now providing the largest share of U.S. gas production, according to the Energy Information Administration, several factors may combine to rein in the booming U.S. shale gas sector.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Duke Energy considers charging customers to explore fracking
Tampa Bay.com
Ivan Penn

The utility is pondering the high-risk natural gas exploration business, and it wants customers to pay for it. Already, state regulators are considering a proposal from Miami-based Florida Power & Light to charge its customers as much as $750 million a year for a fracking exploration project in Oklahoma that the utility says could help lock in fuel prices for years and save customers money. Duke is watching closely and could follow suit if FPL gets its way. Here's the real bottomline: Florida utilities currently do not profit from the cost of fuel used to run their power plants. The utilities bill customers for their fuel costs as a pass through charge. But the fracking deal would allow the utilities to earn profits on the fuel that powers their plants along with revenue from the construction of the facilities and the electricity they generate. FPL's proposal would be the first effort by the state's utilities to charge customers for fracking exploration.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
New Brunswick to bring in fracking moratorium
Metro News
Kevin Bissett

FREDERICTON – The premier of New Brunswick says his government will introduce legislation for a moratorium on fracking for shale gas during the fall legislative session that begins Wednesday and he wants it passed by Christmas. The Liberals, who won a majority government in the September election, campaigned on a promise to bring in a moratorium, saying more information is needed before allowing shale gas fracking to continue. Premier Brian Gallant said his government will refuse to approve permits for hydraulic fracturing if the legislation is not passed by the end of the year.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
FPL wants customers to pay millions for fracking project
News Press
Mary Wozniak

Florida Power and Light wants its customers to pay $750 million annually for a proposed partnership with an Oklahoma company to frack for natural gas in Oklahoma. Meanwhile, State Senators Darren Soto (D-Orlando) and Dwight Bullard (D-Miami) today filed legislation to ban fracking in Florida. The power company wants customers to pay because they will save on their fuel bills in the long run, according to the Associated Press. The Public Service Commission is expected to rule on the power company's proposal by the end of December. The state senators filed the bill to pre-empt any such fracking attempts in Florida, according to a statement from Michelle DeMarco, communications director of the Florida Senate Democratic Office.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Fracking ban starts in Texas city near where technique pioneered
Reuters
Marice Richter

Dec 2 (Reuters) - The first ban on new hydraulic fracturing in Texas went into effect on Tuesday in the city of Denton, a month after voters deemed the oil and gas extraction method behind the U.S. energy boom a community nuisance. The Texas Oil & Gas Association, an industry group, and the Texas General Land Office filed a lawsuit shortly after voters in the city of 123,000 approved the ban on Nov. 4. The lawsuit aims to allow the technique known as fracking, widely used in the top crude and natural gas producing state in the country. "Whatever happens next will take place in a courtroom," said Ed Ireland, executive director of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, a group aligned with producers.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Hillary Clinton pokes fracking monster in conservation speech
RT


Possible presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has continued to distance herself from the Obama administration with a mild criticism of “fracking”, the process that has attracted the wrath of Americans across the country. Without climbing too far out on a political limb and alienating both sides, Clinton expressed restrained concern about the fracking boom in a speech to the League of Conservation Voters in New York on Monday. “I know many of us have serious concerns with the risks associated with the rapidly expanding production of natural gas,” Clinton told the crowd. “Methane leaks in the production and transportation of natural gas pose a particularly troubling threat so it is crucial we put in place smart regulations and enforce them – including deciding not to drill when the risks to local communities, landscapes and ecosystems are just too high.”  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Brian Gallant promises hydro-fracking moratorium bill by Christmas
CBC.CA


Premier Brian Gallant says his government will introduce legislation to impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing before Christmas. Gallant made the promise on Tuesday in an interview with CBC News ahead of tomorrow's Throne Speech. There's been speculation about exactly what a moratorium will allow  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Texas Cities Fight Big Oil Over Fracking
KTRH.COM


A ban on fracking goes into effect Tuesday in the North Texas town of Denton. It's part of a larger push by local municipalities against big oil due to an increase of seismic activity in the region. Linda Stokes is mayor of the small hamlet of Reno, which passed stiff regulations against disposing of fracking waste water earlier this year. “They need to prove to us beyond a shadow of a doubt that the drilling and the fracking and the disposal wells do now cause earthquakes,” Stokes tells KTRH News. The city of Denton went one step further -- a voter-approved ban on fracking. “You've got citizens who felt our ordinances were ineffective because of maybe some particular state doctrines, and they were able to put together this petition based upon our charter and get it approved,” says Denton Mayor Chris Watts. Watts says a pair of lawsuits have been filed by oil lobbyists since the ban was approved last month.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Lots to Learn from Nova Scotia's Fracking Ban
rabble .ca
Evelien Vanderkloet

After years of work by people on the frontlines of fracking and fracking waste, of research by citizens and government employees, of mobilizing people to reject fracking, and weeks of jumping through legislative hoops, this Friday Nova Scotia’s ban on fracking passed through the legislature and officially became law. To the dismay of many, this law falls short in several ways. It does not include a definition of the ‘high volume hydraulic fracturing’ it seeks to ban, it specifies fracking in shale formations while excluding other extreme fossil fuel extraction processes, it gives the minister of environment undue power to end the ban when he or she sees fit, and it doesn’t mention the need for community consent before fracking can take place. Of course it should be celebrated that we have this ban in the first place. We banned fracking! What a feat! That win can be attributed to nothing but community mobilization, fearlessly speaking out, dedicated research and reporting, and coordination across the province. Let’s also recognize that, like our movement, this ban is not everything we need it to be. Like Naomi Klein said about the People’s Climate March in New York, this fracking ban is a reflection of our movement – on the right track, but not quite grasping the need for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels that facilitates equality and the re-invigoration of our communities.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
N.B. Premier Brian Gallant wants fracking moratorium in place before Christmas break
Financial Post


FREDERICTON — New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says his government will introduce legislation for a moratorium on fracking for shale gas during the upcoming legislature session and he wants it passed by Christmas. The Liberals, who won a majority government in the September election, campaigned on a promise to bring in a moratorium, saying more information is needed before allowing shale gas fracking to continue. Gallant says if the legislation isn’t passed by the Christmas break, he’ll reconvene the legislature early in the new year. Bruce Fitch, the Opposition Progressive Conservative leader, says he is reserving judgment until he sees the legislation.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Denton Defends Its New Fracking Ban
KERA News
AP

Texas’ first fracking ban has taken effect in Denton, which is located over a large natural gas reserve. Voters in the North Texas city passed the ban last month. An industry group and the state's General Land Office responded quickly with lawsuits seeking an injunction in District Court to stop it from being enforced. A court battle could determine whether any city in Texas can rebuff the oil and gas industry and still thrive. Denton's City Council has pledged to defend the ban. Bolstered by oil and gas companies, the ban's opponents raised nearly 20 times more than supporters.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Hard Times in a Boom Town: Pennsylvanians Describe Costs of Fracking
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

Expectations ran high when the boom first began. In 2010, 60 Minutes introduced a new word to the national media – “shale-ionaires,” or landowners who made millions simply by leasing their land for drilling. “Once a well is built and producing, royalty checks start popping up in the mailbox,” explained 60 Minutes anchor Leslye Stahl. “It can last years and add up to many more millions.” But even in the most productive shale play in the country, these early hopes have often been dashed, with some landowners reporting that leasing has already wound up costing them money.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Following fracking ban, Denton pushes back in court
Foxdfw.com


DENTON, Texas (AP) -- The city of Denton pushed back Monday against lawsuits by oil interests and the Texas General Land Office intended to stop a voter-approved fracking ban from going into effect. The city filed a motion asking that the Land Office's lawsuit be moved from Austin district court to Denton. The Land Office has alleged the ban violates its rights as the statewide manager of mineral interests. Denton also argued against a separate lawsuit filed by the Texas Oil and Gas Association, saying the group has not made clear its arguments that existing state authorities pre-empt any local attempts to regulate oil production. The oil and gas association argues Denton didn't have the authority to ban fracking because state authorities regulate it. In its motions, Denton said its voters banned fracking within city limits because drilling trampled on their rights and created several problems. "Such conditions include, but are not limited to, noise, increased heavy truck traffic, liquid spills, vibrations and other offensive results of the hydraulic fracturing process that have affected the entire Denton community," the city said.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
Hillary Clinton Wades Into Debate Over Fracking But Avoids Keystone XL
Think Progress
Ari Phillips

Speaking to an influential gathering of environmental leaders on Monday, Hillary Clinton expressed concerns relating to the natural gas boom but continued to eschew commenting on the politically explosive Keystone XL pipeline. In a 10-minute speech at a fundraiser for the League of Conservation Voters in midtown Manhattan, Clinton scolded climate deniers, praised green technology, stood behind market-based solutions to limiting greenhouse gas emissions, and said both the science and political challenges associated with climate change are “unforgiving.” “There is no getting around the fact that the kind of ambitious response required to combat climate change is going to be a tough sell at home as well as around the world,” Clinton said.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
The Only Fracked Site in the United Kingdom Suffered Structural Failure
Vice News
Ben Bryant

The UK's only hydraulically fractured shale gas well suffered a previously unreported structural failure, emails obtained by VICE News reveal. The damage to the Preese Hall site in Lancashire, discovered earlier this year, was contained within the well and there is no evidence that it caused methane or fluids to leak into the atmosphere or surrounding rock formation. However, its public disclosure has prompted calls for the UK to rethink its fledgling fracking industry. Green Party parliamentarian Caroline Lucas renewed calls for the UK to abandon fracking and told VICE News that the revelations "cast serious doubt" on the government's assurances of its safety.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2014
The uncertain science of fracking
Business Vancouver
Peter McKenzie-Brown

Environment is now top of mind for executives who don’t want to end up liable for pollution Much of the opposition to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry revolves around the process of hydraulic fracturing, called fracking, that is used to access the gas. Dave Russum, of Deloitte LLP’s petroleum consultancy, offers a graphic description of how modern fracking works, but you first have to think of the horizontal well as being like a foot. “Between the heel and the toe of a horizontal well you isolate an interval close to the toe and frac that region,” Russum said. “Then you move back towards the heel, isolate another interval and do another frac.”  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Hillary Praises Fracking, Stays Silent on Keystone
Daily Beast
David Freedlander

At a speech to an environmental advocacy group, Clinton came out in favor of fracking—and ignored the controversial pipeline project. At a speech to the League of Conservation Voters in midtown Manhattan Monday night, before hundreds of deep-pocketed donors, Hillary Clinton praised the environmental legacy of Teddy Roosevelt, touted the prospect of new green technologies, and had warm words for Barack Obama’s aggressive efforts to combat climate change. Absent from the former Secretary of State’s speech? Any sense of where she stood on the controversial Keystone pipeline project, or what she would do differently as president to steer the nation towards a more sustainable future.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
OPEC’s War on Fracking Is Good News for the Rest of Us
The New Yorker
John Cassidy

The biggest news over Thanksgiving weekend was a sharp drop in the price of crude oil, which followed a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, at a meeting, in Vienna, not to try and stabilize prices by reducing its production quotas, at least for now, and let the market find its own level. While not entirely unexpected, OPEC’s choice had a dramatic impact. Since Thursday, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate, a light crude that acts as a market benchmark, has fallen by more than ten dollars—taking it back to levels last seen in the global recession of 2008–2009. At one point on Monday, in London trading, it fell below sixty-four dollars, although it subsequently rebounded a bit. These falls are just the latest in a series over the past few months. Since June, when the price topped a hundred dollars a barrel, it has fallen by about forty per cent, giving lie to predictions that we would never see cheap oil again.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Update: Utility “still considering” Albany pipeline project
Times Union
Eric Anderson

The Pilgrim Pipeline project, which would carry Bakken crude south from Albany to Linden, N.J., and refined oil products north from Linden to Albany, suffered what the New Jersey Sierra Club described as a “major setback” after it said PSE&G, a public utility in New Jersey, denied Pilgrim access to its existing right-of-way. But PSE&G on Monday afternoon appeared to dispute the Sierra Club’s assertion. “PSE&G is still considering the project and has not yet made a final decision,” said Kate Vossen, a PSE&G spokeswoman. Asked whether the Sierra Club’s assertion was premature, Vossen replied, “That’s correct. We are still considering the project – nothing final yet.” The 178-mile pipeline would be buried on a route between Albany and Linden, N.J., and be capable of carryiing 200,000 barrels of crude per day southbound from Albany and 200,000 barrels of refined petroleum such as jet fuel, gasoline and home heating fuel northbound daily  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Hillary Clinton avoids Keystone at conservation group event
Politico
Maggie Haberman

NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton gave a sweeping speech on the environment Monday night, criticizing “those who doubt the science of climate change” and strongly praising President Obama’s record – without ever mentioning the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. “The science of climate change is unforgiving, no matter what the deniers may say,” Clinton said during a nearly 30-minute speech at a dinner hosted by the League of Conservation Voters, criticizing the “old false choice between protecting our environment and growing our economy.” She argued for the need to boost economic growth while finding new energy bridges to move away from fossil fuel dependence.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Hillary Clinton says fracking carries risks in conservation speech
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

Hillary Clinton has offered mild criticism of the fracking boom that has spread across the US under Barack Obama’s presidency, drawing another small distinction with his administration. Clinton, who has yet to declare she is seeking the presidency, kept the bulk of her speech to a League of Conservation Voters dinner in New York resolutely vanilla. But she did express concerns about the environmental costs associated with natural gas and went so far as to suggest there may be places where it was too dangerous to drill at all. “I know many of us have serious concerns with the risks associated with the rapidly expanding production of natural gas,” Clinton told the crowd on Monday night.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
The Fed Asks: What Do Banks Do with All that "Fracking" Money?
Value Walk


A December 1st report from Liberty Street Economics highlights that banks that are seeing increased deposits due to the ongoing fracking boom are lending out very little of their growing cash hoard. Liberty Street’s Matthew Plosser points out that banks in fracking boom areas are converting about 75% of their additional deposit funds into short-term investments and only loaning out around 25%.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
No fracking rebellions here
News & Record
Doug Clark

Reno isn't the first small town in Texas to rebel against the fracking industry. Its residents feel they shoulder much of the burdens and get few of the benefits. North Carolina legislators may have anticipated this attitude by writing a law that denies local governments any say in how the industry operates in their jurisdictions. They can't write any regulations specific to their needs or interests and can't impose any local fees or taxes to cover the costs of particular problems.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Lawsuit Challenges Radioactive Fracking Waste Facilities in Ohio
Truth-Out
Mike Ludwig

Cheryl Mshar lives less than a mile from a fracking waste processing facility in Youngstown, Ohio. She worries that the air she breathes is polluted with chemicals and even radioactive contaminants. State regulators did not hold a public meeting before allowing the waste facility to begin operating earlier this year, so Mshar and her neighbors never had a say in the deal, until now. Two environmental groups filed a lawsuit on November 19 on behalf of Mshar and other residents challenging the temporary approval of 23 fracking waste facilities in Ohio, where critics say lax regulations have helped the state become a popular destination for the contaminated leftovers of the fracking process.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Saudi Arabia Declares Oil War On U.S. Fracking, Hits Railroads, Tank-Car Makers, Canada, Russia; Sinks Venezuela
Seeking Alpha
Wof Richter

When OPEC announced on Thanksgiving Day that it would maintain oil production at 30 million barrels per day, chaos broke out in the oil market, and the price of oil around the globe spiraled into a terrific plunge. The unity of OPEC, if there ever was such a thing, was in tatters with Saudi oil minister smiling victoriously, and with a steaming Venezuelan oil minister thinking of the turmoil his country is facing [OPEC Refuses to Cut Production, Oil Plunges off the Chart].   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Toxic Fracking Waste Water Injected into Clean Water Aquifers in Drought-stricken California
Inhabitat
Colin Payne

What’s California’s government doing to help combat the state’s recent record-setting water shortages? According to NBC Bay Area, it’s letting oil and gas companies pump waste water from oil fracking into underground aquifers that could have been used for clean drinking water or irrigation. Such activity is supposed to be off-limits (and the aquifers should be protected by the EPA), but according to the California Department of Conservation it may have been the result of an error in the process.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Oil company sold wastewater for use as fracking water
Jamestown Sun
Forum News Service

WILLISTON — The Williston City Commission approved a contract for the city’s wastewater to be sold to Oasis Petroleum for use as hydraulic fracturing water.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
'Thirsty' Global Fracking Industry Puts Water, Environment, Communities at Risk
eNews Park Forest
Press Release

Multinational oil and gas companies are moving into increasingly vulnerable countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia where the ecosystems, communities, and authorities are even less able to cope with the impacts of fracking and shale gas extraction, according to a new report from Friends of the Earth Europe.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Maryland’s fracking rules up in the air
News Observer
Washington Post Editorial

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) plans to lift a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” next month, regulating rather than prohibiting a controversial drilling process that energy companies have used to retrieve massive quantities of natural gas from shale rock formations. But Western Maryland landowners looking for drilling royalties and local laborers looking for jobs should check their excitement. The rules that the outgoing governor plans to impose on Maryland fracking would be so tough that they would make it impossible for drilling to begin in the next two years and would diminish the likelihood that operations will happen in earnest after that. Larry Hogan, the incoming Republican governor, has promised to review “every single one” of O’Malley’s regulations. That’s warranted – but his review should be based on the evidence. He must take care not to go too far in the other direction, scrapping many good proposed rules because some might be too strict.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Shale gas increasing threat to climate, environment, communities worldwide
FOE Europe
Press Release

As world climate talks open in Peru today, new research shows how fracking is likely to further accelerate climate change, destroy water sources and infringe on communities' rights worldwide unless urgent action is taken to stop the 'dash-for-gas'. The report, from Friends of the Earth Europe, maps the expansion of the shale gas industry outside Europe and North America with examples of 11 key countries on three continents. It finds that multinational oil and gas companies such as Total, Shell and Chevron are moving into increasingly vulnerable countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia where the ecosystems, communities and authorities are even less unable to cope with the impacts of extraction. (Report in CCSE Learn More)  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Slow going, so far, on ambitious state renewables plan
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

Shortly after he was first elected governor, Andrew Cuomo laid out an ambitious plan to reconfigure markets and support innovative projects that promised to make New York an undisputed leader in use of renewable energy. But as of the end of his first term, the state has yet to see significant progress toward the plan’s goals.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Greene County wells show 7.2 million gallons of potentially toxic fluid
Greene County Messenger
Susy Kelly

That’s the estimated number of gallons of kerosene, a variety of toxic diesel fuel, being legally used in fracking fluid in Greene County, according to chemical disclosure registry FracFocus. Compared to Fayette County, which saw the use of 230,171 of the same chemical over three years, Greene County’s figure is staggering.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Gas flare to light up part of Washington County
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

A massive, noisy natural gas flare will be visible next week in western Washington County, illuminating the first well that Range Resources Inc. drilled into the Utica Shale formation in five years. The flaring, an increasingly rare event in the Marcellus Shale gas play, is scheduled to begin Dec. 7 and will burn brightly for as long as a week at Range Resources’ well pad on property that the Claysville Sportsmen’s Club owns in Donegal Township, just east of Dutch Fork Lake.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Methane study: EPA study to drill down into emissions
Sydney Morning Herald
Peter Hannam

The state's chief environmental regulator has quietly begun a year-long study of fugitive methane emissions in a bid to calm community concerns about the coal seam gas industry. Believed to be the first of its kind, the CSIRO study is tracking methane emissions across the seasons from 12 NSW sites, ranging from wetlands and landfills to the three main CSG gas fields and coalmines.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
17 Arrested Fighting Fracking Infrastructure
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Protests continued today at the Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility where 10 Schuyler County residents were arrested for trespassing. Today’s protest is part of a sustained, ongoing, non-violent civil disobedience campaign against the storage of fracked gas along the shores of Seneca Lake, a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. There have been 83 arrests so far during the “We Are Seneca Lake” civil disobedience campaign, now entering its sixth week.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
The American Oil Boom Won't Last Long at $65 Per Barrel
Bloomberg Businessweek
Matthew Phillips

PEC’s idea is to try to knock out U.S. shale producers by driving prices lower than they can afford. That way Saudi Arabia, the cartel’s biggest exporter, can keep its market share in the U.S. But the damage to its fellow oil exporters could be severe. In Russia, for example, the ruble is plummeting. Iraq is already having trouble fighting ISIS, and lower oil prices won’t help. Libya is in chaos. Venezuela’s economy, already on life support, depends on oil for 95 percent of its export revenue. Iran’s oil minister on Friday told Bloomberg News that he has doubts the strategy will even work: “There’s no fact or figure to say that shale production will definitely decrease,” he said.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Fracking battle spreads
Denton Record-Chronicle
Emily Schmall

RENO, Texas — A Texas hamlet shaken by its first recorded earthquake last year and hundreds since then is among communities now taking steps to challenge the oil and gas industry’s traditional supremacy over the right to frack. Reno Mayor Lyndamyrth Stokes said spooked residents started calling last November: “I heard a boom, then crack! The whole house shook. What was that?” one caller asked. The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed that Reno, a community about 50 miles west of Dallas, had its first earthquake.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Pipeline Projects Over-Promise and Under-Deliver on Jobs
Huffington Post
Trevor Greene

"Under-promise and over-deliver" is a concept politicians would do well to master early in their careers. The three pipeline companies currently trying to ram through their projects in the face of massive protests have gotten the concept, but in reverse. Enbridge, Kinder Morgan and Transcanada Pipelines have all trumpeted the creation of thousands of jobs their star-crossed projects would create, but a closer look reveals the massive scale of their over-promising and under-delivering. Enbridge boasts of the creation of 3,000 jobs at the peak of construction of its Alberta-to-B.C. Northern Gateway pipeline, but the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says the pipeline will create 1,850 construction jobs per year for three years and a "handful of permanent new jobs" when complete.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
China's carbon goal a tough sell in coal country
Houston Chronicle
Jack Chang, Associated Press |

TANG COUNTY, China (AP) — The black slabs of coal came in by the truckload through this dusty valley in northern China, slated to power cement and steel plants, heat the houses of poor farmers and even grill skewers of lamb and beef.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
As Keystone XL stalls, another pipeline network moves quietly forward
WBEZ
Shannon Heffernan

The Keystone XL has been in the news a lot lately. The controversial pipeline would carry tar sands oil, a form of crude that is booming in North America. The southern section of the pipeline is already built, but protests have raged over the northern section and the State Department has been hesitant to approve it. The Keystone XL’s fans say tar sands oil can make us a more energy independent country. But environmentalists oppose it, saying tar sands oil is especially dirty and will accelerate climate change. But while Keystone XL has stalled, another tar sands project are happening under the radar. “While all the focus has been on Keystone XL, Enbridge has used existing pipelines and new pipelines next to existing pipelines to create the same system,” says Carl Weimer, Executive Director of the Pipeline Safety Trust.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
EPA flooded with climate rule comments
The HIll
Timothy Cama

The Obama administration has received more than 1.6 million comments on its proposed rule to limit carbon emissions on power plants. The massive number of comments submitted before Monday’s deadline highlights the intense interest from both environmental groups hailing the rule as an historic effort to curb climate change, and business and energy groups who argue the sweeping regulations will choke the economy.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Dominion fine worries opponents of future pipeline
WVGazette.com
Rick Steelhammer

In light of the consent order, opponents of Dominion’s planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline are already voicing their concerns about the company’s ability to protect the environment as the multi-state pipeline crosses steep mountain ridges, streams and public lands as it makes its way through West Virginia. The G-150 pipeline, which Dominion recently sold, extends from northern Brooke County through Ohio County and into Marshall County,where it terminates at Dominion’s new natural gas processing complex being built at Natrium. According to the consent order, state Department of Environmental Protection inspectors began issuing notices of violation of state water quality laws to the pipeline company in October 2012, when sediment deposits were found in Battle Run in Ohio County. Later in 2012, inspectors found slips along the pipeline route that allegedly allowed sediment to accumulate in Sims Run and in unnamed tributaries of Little Tribble Creek, Grave Creek, Bartletts Run, Leach Run and Little Toms Run in Marshall County. During a March, 2013, inspection, DEP officials determined that sediment problems persisted at Sims Run and tribut   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Gas pipeline company shows alternative route in NH
News Telegram
George Barnes

Kinder Morgan is expected to make an announcement next week on the route of its proposed natural gas pipeline, which could have a significant impact on property owners in northern Central Massachusetts. What the announcement will be is still unclear, but the company has already put out a map showing an alternative route in New Hampshire. The alternative would move the pipeline north, just west of Warwick and well before it reaches Orange and other Central Massachusetts towns. It would cross into New Hampshire through Winchester, N.H. The company has indicated the route would mostly follow existing utility lines across southern New Hampshire, returning to Massachusetts just before Dracut.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Natural gas utilities carry weight of pipeline inspections
Eagle Ford Texas
Mike Wereschagin

Two men dangled in a metal bucket off the West End Bridge, suspended more than 60 feet above the Ohio River by a long, hydraulic arm attached to a truck on the roadway. The contracted truck driver threaded the extension bucket arm between two of the steel supports that hold up the span. One worker watched for trouble from the bridge deck; another floated in a small boat on the water, just in case. “We want the public to be safe. I want my guys to be safe,” said Mark Murtha, a foreman for Peoples Natural Gas, which owns a 20-inch gas main that’s attached to the underside of the bridge. Below him, the inspectors checked the steel gas line for holes, rust — anything that might let the explosive gas into the air. Murtha’s crew inspects gas mains on 200 bridges each year, some of them several times if temperatures drop low enough. A Tribune-Review investigation found that state and federal regulators employ far too few inspectors — about 500 total — to cover the country’s 1.3 million miles of mains that distribute natural gas directly to customers. Nearly 500,000 leaks were reported on those lines last year. The federal government has 135 inspectors responsible not only for those customer distribution lines but high-pressure, interstate transmission lines. Texas leads the nation with 48 inspectors; California is second with 35. But some states, like Delaware and North Dakota, have just one or two inspectors.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
South Stream: Russia cancels major gas pipeline (+video)
Christian Science Monitor
Suzan Fraser and Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press

ANKARA, TURKEY — Amid spiraling tensions with the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Monday that Moscow is spiking a multibillion dollar gas pipeline project for southern Europe and will focus instead on boosting its energy ties with Turkey. Moscow will increase gas supplies to Turkey across the existing pipeline and later could build a new link and possibly work with Turkey on creating a gas hub on the border with Greece, Putin said.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Vermont Gas Systems welcomes opportunity to open dialogue with concerned landowners group
Bennington Banner
Press Release

South Burlington -- Vermont Gas Systems (VGS) today announced that it will open a direct dialogue with a group of landowners who have raised concerns about the proposed extension of Vermont's natural gas infrastructure into Addison County and about the company's negotiations with landowners. The group includes landowners who have met with Governor Peter Shumlin to discuss their concerns. "VGS seeks a fair, reasonable, and respectful agreement with every landowner whose property lies within the gas pipeline route approved by the Vermont Public Service Board," said VGS Vice President Jim Sinclair. "We look forward to meeting this group of landowners and working with them to achieve positive outcomes. We will not ask the Public Service Board to begin new eminent domain proceedings until we have exhausted our efforts to reach amicable agreements."  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
First Phase of Global Fracking Expansion: Ensuring Friendly Legislation
Inter Press Service
Carey L. Biron

Multinational oil and gas companies are engaged in a quiet but broad attempt to prepare the groundwork for a significant global expansion of shale gas development, according to a study released Monday. Thus far, the hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) technologies that have upended the global gas market have been used primarily in North America and, to a lesser extent, Europe. With U.S. gas production in particular having expanded exponentially in recent years, however, countries around the world have started exploration to discern whether they, too, could cash in on this new approach.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
Fracking a "Nuisance," Denton Tells Court
The Texas Tribune
JIM MALEWITZ

One day before its first-in-Texas ban on hydraulic fracturing is set to take effect, Denton called the oil and gas extraction technique a “public nuisance” that the North Texas town has the right to regulate. “Those activities have caused conditions that are subversive of public order and constitute an obstruction of public rights of the community as a whole,” Denton’s attorneys wrote in a legal brief filed Monday. “Such conditions include, but are not limited to, noise, increased heavy truck traffic, liquid spills, vibrations and other offensive results.”  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2014
People need to know their governor is looking out for them
Legislative Gazette
Alan Chartock

When politicians take money for their campaign coffers, they owe something back. That's because there is honor among, well, politicians and lobbyists. If you see tons of money going to politicians from the real estate industry, you'd be foolish not to think that the people who own hotels and other big buildings want something back for their bucks. As Festus Haggen used to say on Gunsmoke, "Don't you see?" Now everyone is waiting to see whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo will allow hydrofracking in New York state. Cuomo is brilliant at both political strategy and fund raising (about $45 million for the last campaign) but he is caught up in a huge pincer movement between those who hate the idea of potentially polluting our water and further despoiling our air and those who want to make a buck from fracking. My hero, legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, put it to Cuomo this way: "Your father was perhaps the best governor New York state ever had and if you take the money that they want to give you for going along with fracking and injuring people for generations to come, you will go down as perhaps the worst." Those were pretty powerful words and I suspect they left Cuomo reeling.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Attorneys to help Denton residents defend fracking ban
Star-Telegram


Cathy McMullen, leader of the grassroots group that successfully pushed for the city ban on hydraulic fracturing, said the group plans to be an intervenor in lawsuits filed to challenge the ban passed by voters Nov. 4. She said the group will be helped by attorneys with various areas of expertise, something they plan to announce this week. “It’s a group of high-powered attorneys familiar with these kind of cases,” McMullen said.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Fracking encroaches on national parks Pennsylvania’s incoming governor should do more to protect our natural treasures
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Matt Elliott & Valerie Naylor

Hundreds of millions of visitors travel to America’s national parks each year to take in their magnificent landscapes, to watch wildlife in their natural habitat and to walk in the footsteps of our shared heritage. There are looming threats to our parks, and oil and gas development is one of them. This threat has come quickly to the commonwealth and is knocking at the door of the Delaware River Basin, home to three national parks including the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, Middle Delaware National Scenic River and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Radiated soil another concern in Marcellus Shale fracking
Times Leader
Joe Sylvester

In August, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reported 243 water wells were contaminated by gas drilling statewide. Videographer Scott Cannon, during a program on fracking he presented at American Legion Post 477 in Pittston on Nov. 13, said 20 percent to 80 percent of chemicals put in the ground during fracking for natural gas stay in the ground. But there is another adverse effect to the way drillers fracturing rock in the Marcellus Shale in the search for natural gas. Water and chemicals used to break shale in the hydraulic fracturing process mix with brine and radiated soil already in the ground, so the water comes up worse than when it went in and can’t be put back into the ecosystem, Cannon said  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Texas towns test oil and gas supremacy on fracking
Washington Post
Associated Press

Reno and other cities are taking their lead from Denton, a university town north of Dallas where the state’s first ban on fracking within city limits takes effect Tuesday. The Denton ban has become a “proxy for this big war between people who want to stop fracking and people who want to see it happen,” said Michael Webber, deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. It also has become a referendum on Texas cities’ rights to halt drilling.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Fracking encroaches on national parks Pennsylvania’s incoming governor should do more to protect our natural treasures
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Matt Elliott & Valerie Naylor

Hundreds of millions of visitors travel to America’s national parks each year to take in their magnificent landscapes, to watch wildlife in their natural habitat and to walk in the footsteps of our shared heritage. There are looming threats to our parks, and oil and gas development is one of them. This threat has come quickly to the commonwealth and is knocking at the door of the Delaware River Basin, home to three national parks including the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, Middle Delaware National Scenic River and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Shale gas fracking under review in Tasmania
ABC News
Jane Ryan

Land owners and environmental law experts in Tasmania are using a state review of unconventional shale gas mining to ensure the rights of farmers and their neighbours. Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining using the fracking technique - where underground rock is hydraulically fractured - has sparked protests in Queensland and New South Wales.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Maryland Governor O’Malley is Ready to Allow Fracking in His State
Care2
EcoWatch

Outgoing Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has frequently been mentioned as a top-of-the-list contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, should Hillary Clinton’s bid fail to materialize. But he just made himself more controversial within the party—and raised the ire of environmentalists—with his announcement that he is ready to allow fracking in the state, where it has so far been banned.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
GRANTHAM: 'US Fracking Is A Very Large Red Herring'
Business Insider
Myles Udland

Jeremy Grantham is not a believer in the shale fracking boom. Earlier this month, we highlighted Grantham's full quarterly letter to GMO clients, in which he said, among other things, that the US shale boom has been "a very large red herring." So while some say the fracking boom has has helped keep oil prices low and aided the US on its path to energy independence, Grantham thinks it might have set us on a path to nowhere. "Its development has been remarkable," Grantham writes. "It will surely be seen in the future as a real testimonial to the sheer energy of American engineering at its best, employing rapid trials and errors – with all of the risk-taking that approach involves – that the rest of the world finds so hard to emulate. Similarly, it will always stand out as remarkable proof that, so late in the realization of the risks of climate change and environmental damage, the U.S. could expressly deregulate such a rapidly growing and potentially dangerous activity."  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
2 Of America's Important Shale Basins Are Now In The Red
Business Insider
WALTER KURTZ, SOBER LOOK

Although OPEC's decision to maintain current crude production quotas was not entirely unexpected (see post), the market reaction was violent. WTI crude fell by 10% over the last two days of the week. At $66 per barrel North American producers have real problems on their hands. While Eagle Ford is still profitable, both Bakken and Permian Basin are in now the red.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Russian Money Suspected Behind Fracking Protests
The New York Times
ANDREW HIGGINS

PUNGESTI, Romania — Vlasa Mircia, the mayor of this destitute village in eastern Romania, thought he had struck it rich when the American energy giant Chevron showed up here last year and leased a plot of land he owned for exploratory shale gas drilling.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Other Texas towns join Denton in challenging fracking
The Dallas Morning News
EMILY SCHMALL

RENO — A Texas hamlet shaken by its first recorded earthquake last year and hundreds since then is among communities now taking steps to challenge the oil and gas industry's traditional supremacy over the right to frack. Reno Mayor Lyndamyrth Stokes said spooked residents started calling last November: "I heard a boom, then crack! The whole house shook. What was that?" one caller asked. The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed that Reno, a community about 50 miles west of Dallas near Paris, had its first earthquake.  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Watchdog report: Brine use on roads debated
Democrat and Chronicle
Steve Orr

You can swim in it, make taffy with it, even soak your Thanksgiving turkey in it before you pop it in the oven. But does brine — salt water — have any place on our roads? Many highway maintenance officials say yes, defending brine as a valuable weapon in the fight against ice and snow and, in summertime, to hold down dust on dirt roads. As much as several million gallons of well-production brine are applied annually to roads in Monroe and roughly two dozen other upstate counties, according to state officials and data compiled by environmental groups.  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Pequannock on record opposing Pilgrim Pipeline
North Jersey.com
Joe Phalon

PEQUANNOCK – The Township Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing the Pilgrim Pipeline, joining the growing number of municipalities aiming to stop the proposed Albany-to-Linden oil pipeline. "This town is opposed," said Mayor Melissa Florance-Lynch. "This is the first step."  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Obama’s Argument Against Keystone XL Pokes Holes in Industry's Argument to Lift Crude Oil Export Ban
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA

Larry Summers, former secretary of the treasury and top economic advisor to President Barack Obama, has strongly advocated to lift the crude oil export ban. And he has a compelling, if not necessarily fact-based, argument. “Permitting the exports of oil will actually reduce the price of gasoline,” Summers told an audience at the Brookings Institute on September 9th. This argument for lifting the crude oil export ban is also pushed by the American Petroleum Institute, prominent Republicans and the Government Accountability Office.  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2014
Radiated soil another concern in Marcellus Shale fracking
Times Leader
Joe Sylvester

In August, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reported 243 water wells were contaminated by gas drilling statewide. Videographer Scott Cannon, during a program on fracking he presented at American Legion Post 477 in Pittston on Nov. 13, said 20 percent to 80 percent of chemicals put in the ground during fracking for natural gas stay in the ground. But there is another adverse effect to the way drillers fracturing rock in the Marcellus Shale in the search for natural gas. Water and chemicals used to break shale in the hydraulic fracturing process mix with brine and radiated soil already in the ground, so the water comes up worse than when it went in and can’t be put back into the ecosystem, Cannon said.   [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2014
Oil Boom Leads To Crime Spike In East-Central Wyoming
Huffington Post


DOUGLAS, Wyo. (AP) — Law enforcement officials in east-central Wyoming say they're seeing more crimes committed by workers newly arrived to the area's booming oil fields and don't have enough police and jail space to handle the problem. Serious crimes including aggravated assault and larceny are up 17 percent in the Douglas area since 2009, according to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.   [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2014
Election win puts rural San Benito County on anti-fracking map
Los Angeles Times
Julie Cart

If you were plotting the epicenter of a daring trend or gathering the vanguard for a revolutionary charge, San Benito County might not be the first place you'd start. One of the state's smallest counties, it's a retro snapshot of turn-of-the-century rural California: agrarian, stoic, striving. But after a stunning election victory, residents of this farming region find themselves on the sharp edge of a growing movement to ban hydraulic fracturing via local voter initiatives.  [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2014
The Fracking Rush Hits a Pothole
Truthout
Emily Schwartz Greco

Ever heard of Bryan Sheffield? The baby-faced tycoon enjoyed a brief blast of fame a few months ago when he became one of those rare non-tech billionaires under 40. What ignited his rise to the ranks of Americans with money to burn? He owns a company called Parsley Energy Inc. that extracts oil and natural gas using the highly polluting technique known as fracking. Sheffield's fortune hit the billion-dollar milestone when Parsley went public in May. But a sudden plunge in oil prices quickly spiked the young Texan's newfound status, trimming Sheffield's fortune to a more modest $750 million.   [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2014
Lack of government inspectors leaves gas pipeline inspections to utilities
Tribune-Review
Mike Wereschagin

Two men dangled in a metal bucket off the West End Bridge, suspended more than 60 feet above the Ohio River by a long, hydraulic arm attached to a truck on the roadway. The contracted truck driver threaded the extension bucket arm between two of the steel supports that hold up the span. One worker watched for trouble from the bridge deck; another floated in a small boat on the water, just in case. “We want the public to be safe. I want my guys to be safe,” said Mark Murtha, a foreman for Peoples Natural Gas, which owns a 20-inch gas main that's attached to the underside of the bridge. Below him, the inspectors checked the steel gas line for holes, rust — anything that might let the explosive gas into the air.   [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2014
Alaska lawmakers hold private gas project meetings
Seattle PI


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska lawmakers, legislative staff and gas-line consultants attended private meetings and signed confidentiality agreements about the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project. The private meetings were held Friday and lasted more than two hours, the Alaska Dispatch News reported (http://goo.gl/srGCJn).  [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2014
In NC, fracking nears, ready or not
News Observer
Ned Barnett

After 18 months of meetings, hearings and revisions, the state Mining and Energy Commission has settled on a set of rules to regulate fracking in North Carolina. The rules are based on public hearings, some 200,000 public comments and the lessons learned from problems elsewhere. They aim to protect the environment from the dirty process of hydraulic fracturing, the high-pressure pumping of a chemical-laced fluid underground to break up shale deposits and release natural gas.   [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2014
Critics blast plan for drilling near Adobe Town OKLAHOMA COMPANY WANTS TO DRILL UP TO 17 NATURAL GAS WELLS
Star Tribune


Environmentalists are assailing a plan by an Oklahoma-based company to drill up to 17 natural gas wells near the colorful badlands of Adobe Town, in Wyoming's southwestern desert. Samson Resources' plan calls for development of about 117 acres near the Adobe Town Wilderness Study Area, managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.  [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2014
Range Resources sued over Pennsylvania drilling
Tulsa World
Associated Press

McDONALD, Pa. — A couple who say their water was contaminated by natural gas drilling and leaks from a drilling wastewater pond near their property have sued oil and gas company Range Resources. The lawsuit by Christopher and Janet Lauff, of McDonald contends they had to forgo well water and connect to a public water line, for which they have not been compensated by Range Resources Corp.  [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2014
Can Biotech Save Natural Gas Producers Billions in Flaring Costs?
Motley Fool
Maxx Chatsko

The energy boom produced by shale formations across the United States has led to many favorable developments. The United States is the world's top oil producer, gasoline prices have fallen below $3 per gallon across the country, natural gas has pushed dirtier and less-efficient coal power plants out of commission, and top-producing states have added tens of thousands of jobs in a matter of years. But, as with any technology, several glaring negatives must also be considered.   [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Train cars derail near Olive Street
Times-Tribune
Brendan Gibbons

Three train cars derailed and tipped on their sides near Olive Street in downtown Scranton Friday morning. The cars were hauling hydraulic fracturing sand north to Carbondale on Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority track, authority president Lawrence Malski said.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Here Are The Breakeven Oil Prices For Every Drilling Project In The World
Business Insider
Myles Udland

Oil is getting slammed. On Thursday, OPEC announced that it would not curb production to combat the decline in oil prices, which have been blamed in part on a global supply glut. And now that oil prices have fallen more than 30% in just the last six or so months, everyone wants to know how low prices can go before oil projects start shutting down, particularly US shale projects.   [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Fracking a 'Violation of Our Basic Human Rights', Argues New Report
DeSmogBlogUK
RICHARD HEASMAN

A hard hitting report commissioned by the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation was delivered this week to David Cameron and called on the government to investigate the impact of fracking on the rights of individuals. The report cites human rights liabilities for the British government if fracking is to commence commercially across the UK. It was co-authored by the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment as well as the Environment and Human Rights Advisory and the Human Rights Consortium at the University of London.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Concerns LNG exports could cause spike in domestic gas prices
ABC Australia
Marlina Whop

The price of domestic gas is likely to rise dramatically as the Queensland gas sector begins exporting from Gladstone, say analysts. The first shipment of chilled natural gas is due to leave from Curtis Island near Gladstone in central Queensland within weeks. In the past three years, Santos, the BG-Group and the Australia Pacific Venture have made liquefied natural gas (LNG) a dominant new force on Curtis Island.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Bill 6 moratorium on fracking passes in Nova Scotia
Rabble.ca
Brent Patterson

The Council of Canadians is pleased that Bill 6 -- which places a legal moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing -- has passed in Nova Scotia. The bill passed on November 14 with the governing Liberals and opposition New Democrats voting in support of it. The Progressive Conservatives voted against the legislation.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Range Resources sued over Pennsylvania drilling
WRAL


MCDONALD, PA. — A couple who say their water was contaminated by natural gas drilling and leaks from a drilling wastewater pond near their property have sued oil and gas company Range Resources. The lawsuit by Christopher and Janet Lauff, of McDonald, contends they had to forgo well water and connect to a public water line, for which they've not been compensated by Range Resources Corp.   [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
One Man is Dead Following a Well Pad Accident
WTRF NEWS 7 WV
Jon Renforth

TYLER COUNTY, W.Va. - 7 News has learned one man is dead following an accident at the Antero Well Pad in Tyler County. The accident happened around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon at the well pad on Braden Hill Rd.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Will the Denton frack ban stand?
San Antonio Express-News
Jennifer Hiller

Earlier this month, Denton became the first Texas city to pass a ban on hydraulic fracturing, the well-completion technique that’s responsible for the U.S. shale boom.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Fracking Risk Compared to Thalidomide and Asbestos in Walport Report
Guardian
Adam Vaughan

Historic innovations that have been adopted too hastily with grave unforeseen impacts provide cautionary examples for potential side effects of fracking, says report by government’s chief scientist Mark Walport  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Fracking industry about to crash
Daily Kos


Oil prices continued to crash yesterday after OPEC decided to not cut production. Oil prices have fallen below $70 for the first time since 2010. We've been trained to think that falling oil prices is a plus for the economy. But that's only true when you aren't the largest crude oil producer in the world, because then you have to think about jobs in the oil business. Then it gets more complicated. It gets even more complicated when you consider that we produce some of the most expensive oil in the world.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Fracking risk compared to thalidomide and asbestos in Walport report
The Guardian
Adam Vaughan

Fracking carries potential risks on a par with those from thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos, warns a report produced by the government’s chief scientific adviser. The flagship annual report by the UK’s chief scientist, Mark Walport, argues that history holds many examples of innovations that were adopted hastily and later had serious negative environmental and health impacts. The controversial technique, which involves pumping chemicals, sand and water at high pressure underground to fracture shale rock and release the gas within, has been strongly backed by the government with David Cameron saying the UK is “going all out for shale”.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Fracking a 'Violation of Our Basic Human Rights', Argues New Report
De Smog Blog
Richard Heasman

A hard hitting report commissioned by the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation was delivered this week to David Cameron and called on the government to investigate the impact of fracking on the rights of individuals. The report cites human rights liabilities for the British government if fracking is to commence commercially across the UK. It was co-authored by the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment as well as the Environment and Human Rights Advisory and the Human Rights Consortium at the University of London.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
The Real Costs of Fracking
Counter Punch
Allison Wilson

The first researchers to systematically document ill health in livestock, pets, and people living near fracking drill sites were Michelle Bamberger and Robert Oswald. Bamberger, a veterinarian, and Oswald, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell University, used a case study approach–looking at individual households–to search for possible effects (Bamberger and Oswald 2012).   [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Stop Fracking in Our Big Blue Backyard - Frack Free Kapiti
Scoop Politics
Press Release

OMV have been Fracking in Our Big Blue Backyard since 2009 - Frack Free Kapiti say CLOSE THEM DOWN! Evidence given at the EPA hearing of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at sea blows the industry accepted line that fracking is not happening offshore in New Zealand right out of the water.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Mel Norton says no fracking wastewater deal made in Saint John Energy Minister Donald Arseneault says a possible wastewater deal was discussed in a meeting
CBC News


Saint John Mayor Mel Norton says he did not make any deals for the city to accept wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations. Norton issued a statement on Friday in response to comments made by Energy Minister Donald Arseneault after they met earlier this week to discuss the impacts that the Liberal government's moratorium on shale gas is having on Saint John.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2014
Fracking Blamed for Series of Earthquakes in Texas City
AllGov


Those who live in states other than California often spout the refrain, “Yeah, but at least we don’t have earthquakes!” Residents of Irving, Texas, won’t be able to use that phrase anymore since at least five quakes, which might have been caused by fracking, hit the area in less than a week. The first, and so far the biggest, was a 3.3 magnitude temblor last Saturday. There was a 2.5 on Sunday, followed by a 2.2 and a 2.3 on Monday and a 2.7 on Tuesday.  [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2014
OPEC Rocked by US Fracking, Can't Cut Production
Money News


OPEC took no action to ease a global oil-supply glut, resisting calls from Venezuela that the group needs to stem the rout in prices. Futures slumped the most in more than three years. The group maintained its collective production ceiling of 30 million barrels a day, Ali Al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, said after the 12 nations met in Vienna. Brent crude dropped as much as 8.4 percent in London, extending this year's decline to 35 percent.   [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2014
OPEC Policy Ensures U.S. Shale Crash, Russian Tycoon Says
Bloomberg
Will Kennedy and Jillian Ward

OPEC policy on crude production will ensure a crash in the U.S. shale industry, a Russian oil tycoon said. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept output targets unchanged at a meeting in Vienna today even after this year’s slump in the oil price caused by surging supply from U.S shale fields.  [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2014
Unsafe Levels of Formaldehyde in Air Around Arkansas’ Fayetteville Shale
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

Results from air samples taken in the Fayetteville Shale show notably elevated levels of formaldehyde, a suspected human carcinogen that can cause respiratory and reproductive problems as well as birth defects — but citizens still have little faith U.S. regulators will step in to prevent further threats to human health. The tests were conducted by an Arkansas community group trained by Global Community Monitor to use equipment and methods certified by federal agencies to collect the air samples. Citizen groups in Colorado, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wyoming were also trained for the community-based participatory research.   [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2014
Venezuela says shale oil is a disaster
Yahoo News
Reuters

VIENNA (Reuters) - Shale oil is a disaster for climate change, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Thursday as OPEC prepares to decide on oil output policy. "The U.S. is producing in a very, very bad manner. The shale oil, I mean it is a disaster from the point of view of climate change...," Ramirez told reporters.  [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2014
Five Earthquakes in Four Days: Is Spate of Texas Earthquakes Connected to Nearby Fracking Operations?
Global Research
Derdre Fulton

The city of Irving, Texas has experienced five earthquakes in four days, leading some critics to blame increased seismic activity on nearby fracking operations. The first earthquake, Saturday night, was a magnitude 3.3 quake that was felt by hundreds of North Texans. A 2.5-magnitude quake hit on Sunday, followed by two more on Monday, magnitudes 2.2 and 2.3. And a fifth 2.7-magnitude earthquake was reported Tuesday evening just east of the University of Dallas campus.  [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2014
College students may have played part in Denton passing fracking ban
News-Journal


Did college students tilt the outcome of Denton’s vote to ban hydraulic fracturing? That question has stirred debate since the city — home to the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University — became the first in Texas to ban the oilfield technique that sparked a drilling boom and spawned tension in some urban areas.  [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2014
Poll reveals two-thirds of local residents want halt on fracking
Click Green


The overwhelming majority of people in Lancashire want a moratorium on fracking until more research is available on the impacts of the controversial industry, with many shale sceptics poised to reflect their opposition at the ballot box, a new survey shows. The fresh poll of 500 Lancashire residents released today shows nearly two thirds (63%) are in favour of a fracking ban, with an even stronger majority (69%) saying more time should be allowed for a public debate to take place before planning authorities decide on drilling licences.  [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2014
Getting to the core of fracking debate
Wells Journal


ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners are challenging would-be MPs to go underground to understand the complicated geology of the former Somerset coalfield. Gas Field Free Mendip have already taken Wells Conservative hopeful James Heappey caving, and sitting Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt has already been underground.   [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2014
Ineos facing fracking backlash
Falkirk Herald
James Trimble

In the 20th Century it was the extraction of plentiful supplies of oil and gas from the North Sea that promised a bright future for UK industry and the economy. Now at the dawn of the 21st Century it is the reportedly- plentiful pockets of shale gas, used to produce ethane, beneath the ground which hold the answer to the big industrial energy question over the coming decades.  [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2014
Anti-Fracking Campaigners Evicted From Borras Site
Wrexham


The eviction of the anti-fracking ‘protector’ protest camp in Borras is currently underway. Eviction from the site began at around 8:30am, with North Wales Police and other vehicles assembling by the Commonwood site. Many campaigners took to Twitter regarding the situation, with one person tweeting to say ‘bailiffs present now’.   [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Minn. Regulators Issue $85,000 Frac-Sand Fine on Tiller Corp.
InsideClimate News
Zahra Hirji

Last week, Minnesota regulators quietly issued a major fine of $85,000 against frac sand operator Tiller Corp. for a long list of violations, including emitting unsafe levels of toxic dust. That's the largest penalty levied against a frac sand company in the state in at least three years. And it's the second largest fine issued to any industry by regulators at the state's Pollution Control Agency this year.   [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Maryland Governor O’Malley Is Ready to Allow Fracking in His State
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Outgoing Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has frequently been mentioned as a top-of-the-list contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, should Hillary Clinton’s bid fail to materialize. But he just made himself more controversial within the party—and raised the ire of environmentalists—with his announcement that he is ready to allow fracking in the state, where it has so far been banned.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Fracking review panel membership questioned
The Telegram
Ashley Fitzpatrick

An independent panel tasked with reviewing the use of hydraulic fracturing in western Newfoundland, named just over one month ago, is being challenged on its purpose, alleged biases and expertise Natural?Resources Minister Derrick?Dalley says the criticism is misplaced. Newfoundland and Labrador has maintained a ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing in onshore oil and gas exploration and development operations since November 2013. In August,?Dalley announced an independent panel would review the controversial oil well stimulation technique, and report to government. The panel was named Oct. 10 and given one year to file its report.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Two draft proposals hope to keep Florida from becoming fracking’s new frontier
Orlando Weekly
Erin Sullivan

Could Florida become the next frontier for hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”)? Environmentalists, who are already concerned about the state’s fragile water supply, fear that it could, and this week they’re trying to get out ahead of the situation before the 2015 Legislative session begins in Tallahassee. Last week, two independent efforts to draft legislation to regulate fracking in Florida were unveiled in Orlando. One, drafted by state Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, would ban the practice outright, declaring that “a person may not engage in hydraulic fracturing in this state.” The other, drafted by students at the Barry University School of Law and the League of Women Voters of Orange County, is a comprehensive proposal that would limit where, when and how fracking could take place in the state.   [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Report concludes Maryland can safely 'frack'
Baltimore Sun
David A Vanko Opinion

Maryland agencies have concluded that natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) can be accomplished without unacceptable risks, but only if a suite of best practices is required, monitoring and inspections are rigorous, and enforcement is ironclad. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released their conclusions yesterday in a draft report written in close consultation with the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission. If the state chooses to issue permits for fracking in the Marcellus Shale, it is imperative first to write new regulations that incorporate the results of this careful work. Without the safeguards recommended in the report, people and the environment will be exposed to unnecessary risks. If the results are ignored, public trust will be undermined.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Fracking decision postponed for January
E&T
Tereza Pultarova

A decision date on two proposed shale gas exploration sites in Lancashire will be made next year as more consultation is needed, Lancashire County Council said. The two sites in the Fylde area of west Lancashire are of interest of energy firm Cuadrilla, who has applied for a planning permission to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas from up to four exploration wells. Councillors are set to make a decision on both applications, with drilling likely to start several months later if approved and the fracking to follow. Planners had already agreed with Cuadrilla that the application at Roseacre Wood in Inskip would be decided by 31 January and have now also agreed that the application for Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, will be decided by the same date. It had previously been agreed that the Preston New Road application would be decided by 31 December.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Obama to Introduce Sweeping New Controls on Ozone Emissions
New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is expected to release on Wednesday a contentious and long-delayed environmental regulation to curb emissions of ozone, a smog-causing pollutant linked to asthma, heart disease and premature death. The sweeping regulation, which would aim at smog from power plants and factories across the country, particularly in the Midwest, would be the latest in a series of Environmental Protection Agency controls on air pollution that wafts from smokestacks and tailpipes. Such regulations, released under the authority of the Clean Air Act, have become a hallmark of President Obama’s administration. Environmentalists and public health advocates have praised the E.P.A. rules as a powerful environmental legacy. Republicans, manufacturers and the fossil fuel industry have sharply criticized them as an example of costly government overreach. The proposed regulation would lower the current threshold for ozone pollution from 75 parts per billion to a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion, according to people familiar with the plan. That range is less stringent than the standard of 60 parts per billion sought by environmental groups, but the E.P.A. proposal would also seek public comment on a 60 parts-per-billion plan, keeping open the possibility that the final rule could be stricter. Public health groups have lobbied the government for years to rein in ozone emissions and said the regulation was one of the most important health decisions Mr. Obama could make in his second term. “Ozone is the most pervasive and widespread pollutant in the country,” said Paul Billings, a senior vice president of the American Lung Association. William Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, said, “Ozone is not only killing people, but causing tens of millions of people to get sick every day.” But industry groups say that the regulation would impose unwieldy burdens on the economy, with little public health benefit. “Air quality has improved dramatically over the past decades, and air quality will continue to improve under the existing standards,” said Howard Feldman, director of regulatory affairs for the American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies for the oil industry. “The current review of health studies has not identified compelling evidence for more stringent standards, and current standards are protective of public health.” The proposed ozone rule comes as the longstanding battle over Mr. Obama’s use of the Clean Air Act to push his environmental agenda is erupting in Congress and the courts. The ozone rules are expected to force the owners of power plants and factories to install expensive technology to clean the pollutants from their smokestacks. Next year, the E.P.A. is expected to make final two more historic Clean Air Act rules aimed at cutting planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. Those rules, which are intended to curb pollutants that contribute to climate change, could lead to the shutdown of hundreds of power plants and freeze construction of future coal plants.   [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
FERC directs LNG facility applicant to disclose climate change impacts, as urged by Sabin Center
Columbia Law
Jennifer M. Klein, Esq.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) recently directed a company seeking to build a natural gas facility to submit information regarding potential climate change impacts on the facility. FERC’s instructions come after the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law (“SCCCL”) submitted letters to the agency regarding its legal obligation to consider future climate conditions when reviewing proposed projects. Louisiana LNG Energy, LLC (“LLNGE”) is seeking approval from FERC to build and operate a liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) facility in Plaquemines Parish, a hurricane-prone area at the southernmost tip of Louisiana. Last month, FERC announced its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (“EIS”) for the project. SCCCL submitted comments regarding the scope of the proposed EIS. SCCCL explained FERC’s obligation under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) to address projected sea level rise and associated increases in flooding and storm surge in connection with the planned LNG facility and urged FERC to consider measures to ameliorate projected physical impacts.   [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
U.S. EPA: We need tougher ozone standards
CNN Money
Gina McCarthy

For 44 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defended the American people's right to breathe clean air by setting national air quality standards for common air pollutants. Successful public health protection depends on the latest science. Think of it this way: If your doctor wasn't using the latest medical science, you'd be worried you weren't getting the best care. That's why the Clean Air Act requires EPA to update air quality standards every five years, to ensure standards "protect public health with an adequate margin of safety" based on the latest scientific evidence. So today, following science and the law, I am proposing to update national ozone pollution standards to clean up our air, improve access to crucial air quality information, and protect those most at-risk -- our children, our elderly, and people already suffering from lung diseases like asthma.   [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Fine reduce by $780,000 in illegal-dumping case in Noonan
Bismarck Tribune
Lauren Donavan

Even while North Dakota public officials defend themselves against this week’s series by the New York Times which was critical of the state's handling of transgressions in the oil field, it turns out the state’s top regulator recently negotiated a fine for the largest-ever illegal dump of radioactive filter socks from $800,000 down to $20,000. Oil and Gas Division director Lynn Helms signed the deal last week with Zenith Produced Water LLC, after the Burke County operator was linked to illegally dumped socks found in February in an abandoned gas station in the tiny town of Noonan and another dump site outside town.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
State officials denounce New York Times report
Bismarck Tribune
Nick Smith

State officials Tuesday denounced a months-long investigative report conducted by the New York Times that ran last weekend as being an inaccurate portrayal of how state has regulated the oil and gas industry in recent years. Multiple North Dakota landowners were featured, one who said the report revealed a side of the industry most North Dakotans either aren’t aware of or choose to ignore. The New York Times story paints a broad, negative picture of North Dakota’s regulatory regime as being overly lenient toward industry. It alleges a cozy relationship between industry and the Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s office as well as with the North Dakota Industrial Commission, the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Health.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Losers Blame College Voters for Denton Fracking Ban
The Texas Tribune
JIM MALEWITZ

Did college students tilt the outcome of Denton’s vote to ban hydraulic fracturing? That question has stirred debate since the city – home to the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University – became the first in Texas to ban the oilfield technique that sparked a drilling boom and spawned tension in some urban areas. Overall, the vote wasn’t close. Nearly 59 percent of voters supported the ban, even though its opponents – buoyed by contributions from energy companies – spent far more money. That margin, the ban’s supporters say, amounted to a mandate.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
A Holiday Fracking Tale of Two Governors: Maryland vs. New York
NRDC
Kate Sinding

This Thanksgiving, what I am most grateful for (aside from my family, of course) is that I live in a state with a governor who has so far stood strong against the pressures from the oil and gas industry and continued to hold fracking in abeyance. New York’s Governor Cuomo has sagely maintained a de facto fracking moratorium that has been in existence since 2008, before he took office as governor. In honoring that moratorium, he has steadfastly insisted that he will let science guide the state’s ultimate policy decisions on this high-impact gas extraction technique, promising to protect the health and water of all New Yorkers. That’s exactly the right posture, and for it I am thankful. Our recent polling suggests approximately 80% of New Yorkers share that sentiment.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
A Terrible Rumor About Fracking Wrecks Scientific Research
io9
Mark Strauss

Researchers recently published a study about how to trace fracking fluid. The idea was to figure out how to identify potential groundwater contamination. And then the media spin cycle created a giant mess. The problem was a media rumor that all the fluid used in hydraulic fracturing operations is harmless. But the scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder had never reached that conclusion.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Group's proposed fracking moratorium for Allegheny County parks to go on council agenda
TribLive
Aron Aupperlee

A citizens group opposed to drilling for natural gas under Allegheny County's parks succeeded in placing a two-year moratorium before county council. County solicitor Andrew Szefi and council Chief Clerk Jared Barker certified that the ordinance and petition submitted by Protect our Parks complied with county law, according to a letter Barker sent council members this week.   [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
EIA: Shale Gas Destroyed Traditional Gas in 2013
Explorationworld.com
Ian Hanner

A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that in 2013 gross withdrawals of natural gas reached a new high, with gas from shale operations making up the largest portion of U.S. production for the first time. According to the EIA, an independent energy statistics arm of the Department of Energy, total natural gas gross withdrawals in the U.S. surpassed 82 billion cubic feet per day in 2013. The EIA defines natural gas gross withdrawals as, “a measure of full well stream production including all natural gas plant liquids and nonhydrocarbon gases after oil, lease condensate and water have been removed.”  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
North Sea drilling ‘must double’ to maximise fuels’ recovery
The Courier
Graham Huband

Drilling activity in the North Sea must double over the next 20 years if oil and gas recovery from the UK Continental Shelf is to be maximised. A new report by business advisory firm Deloitte also said a “cultural shift” was required in the industry if the basin was ever to reach its full potential. The report, which was collated to gauge reaction to the Wood Review, said the new industry regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (Oga), the government and firms operating in the region needed to accept and adapt to the North Sea’s ‘new reality’. Respondents showed strong support for Oga’s introduction with the main concerns raised being the tax environment governing the offshore sector.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Cayuga County Legislature decides to hold off on vote for natural gas drilling waste ban
Auburn Pub
Ryan Deffenbaugh

AUBURN | If the Cayuga County Legislature is to ban the use and treatment of natural gas waste in the county in 2014, it will have one more meeting to do so. At Tuesday night's full Legislature meeting, the body elected to hold off on a vote for a local law that would ban the use of production brine from natural gas extraction on county roadways and the treatment of the production waste in county facilities. Following a spirited public hearing, the Legislature voted to send the local law back to the Health and Human Services Committee next month, where amendments to wordings in the law will be reviewed.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
South Strabane approves Range Marcellus drilling site
Observer Reporter
Scott Beveridge

outh Strabane Township supervisors Tuesday approved Range Resources’ plan to begin a new Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operation in the municipality, setting 46 conditions on the project before it gets under way next year. The conditions, which range from sound limitations to parking restrictions, were something the Southpointe-based company “could live with,” said its representative Jim Cannon, who attended the township board meeting. Cannon said Range representatives would be willing to meet with residents near the drill site off Kopper Kettle Road if they complain about noise. He said Range would monitor the sound and “take the next step.” “We’re trying to make it as safe as possible,” Supervisor Jack Keisling said.   [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Lone Star College building 'rig' to train oil workers
Houston Chronicle
Mihir Zaveri

On 18-acres of an old oilfield near Tomball, construction workers will soon begin to build a new rig, but they're not trying to strike oil. Instead, the steel tower and platforms will be the newest classroom of sorts of the Lone Star College system's oil- and gas- drilling training program, providinga hands-on experience for would-be roustabouts to hone their skills in darkness, rain and heat.  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2014
Feds authorize state LNG exports to free trade countries
The Alaska Journal of Commerce
MOLLY DISCHNER

The U.S. Department of Energy will allow the proposed Alaska LNG Project to export liquefied natural gas from the North Slope to free trade agreement countries, but the project is still waiting for permission to export to non-FTA countries. The primary market for Alaska LNG exports is the non-FTA countries, such as Japan, China and India, although a project could also send some LNG to South Korea, which is an FTA country.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Just passing through: the story of fracked gas, the Northern Pass, and tar sands in New Hampshire
Monadnock Ledger Transcript
Jason Reimers

With no east-west interstate and a wild northern section, New Hampshire has long been more of a destination than a pass-through state for human travelers. However, fossil fuels are passing through all the time. Several existing pipelines already carry natural gas and oil through New Hampshire, and many companies want to increase and diversify the fuels and electricity flowing through New Hampshire, most of which would be passing through on its way to somewhere else. These projects include the Northern Pass, a pipeline carrying Pennsylvanian natural gas, and pipelines carrying Canadian natural gas and tar sands oil. Northern Pass gets all the press. The Northern Pass is a proposed 180-mile power line through New Hampshire that has been proposed by PSNH, Northeast Utilities, and Hydro-Quebec. I have heard from a credible source that an area of Quebec larger than New Hampshire would be (or already has been) flooded to generate the electricity. On this side of the border, we have yet to see if the Northern Pass will be built and, if so, whether all or part of it will be buried. Interests as diverse as U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests have called for burial of the lines. As for pipelines, an existing pipeline brings natural gas from Canada to Portland, Maine, passing under the New Hampshire towns of Berlin and Groveton (and others) along the way.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
USEPA Finalizes Amendments to GHG Reporting Regulations for the Oil and Gas Sector and Proposes Additional Subpart W Revisions for Comment
National Law Review


On November 13, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) finalized revisions to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) for the petroleum and natural gas systems source category. 40 C.F.R. part 98, subpart W (subpart W). The final revisions also revise the general provisions (subpart A). The revisions include changes to: Calculation methods simplified or clarified Liquids unloading, completions and workovers, blowdown vents, flaring, gas distribution Optical gas imaging added to detect emissions from compressor stations Amendments to monitoring and data reporting requirements Additions to missing data procedures Best Available Monitoring Methods removed, with some transition time Reported data aligns more closely with monitored data  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Rainmaker Resources Ltd. Drills High Quality Frac Sand on the Bray Property, Arkansas
Junior MIning Network


CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Nov. 25, 2014) - Rainmaker Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:RMG) ("Rainmaker") is pleased to announce results of lab testing from its 20-hole sonic drill program on the Bray Property, Izard County, N-C Arkansas. From the test work, all samples met or exceeded the standards for roundness, sphericity, acid solubility and crush resistance. Rainmaker has entered into a binding Letter Agreement with Arkansas Silica LLC ("ASL") to acquire an Option to Purchase the 304-acre Bray Frac Sand property, located in NE Arkansas. ASL has entered into an Option to Purchase Agreement (the "Option") with the landowners, dated May 30, 2014. This Option gives ASL the right to purchase the property outright for CAN$1,100,000 on or before January 5, 2015.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Still time to offer opinions on compressor station State DEP extends public comment period on Forks Township proposal
WFMZ.com


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - A public comment period for air quality plan approval on the proposed Easton compressor station has been extended by two weeks by the state Department of Environmental Protection. DEP will accept written comments until 4 p.m. Monday. The application for plan approval was submitted in January by Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. to make modifications to its existing station, which actually is located in Forks Township, Northampton County.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Natural gas compressor opponents plan informational meeting
The Morning Call


Residents opposed to proposed plans by Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. to enlarge a compressor station in Forks Township will hold an informational meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the Forks Township Municipal Building. Columbia Gas wants to enlarge its existing compressor on Klein Road, replacing two turbines with two natural gas-fired compressor turbines, an emergency generator and ancillary hearting source, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. DEP held a public hearing on air quality plans on Nov. 10. It has extended the public comment period until 4 p.m. on Dec. 8, according to a press release.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Greater sage-grouse buffer zones may ruffle feathers in Western states
Washington Times
Valerie Richardson

DENVER — The Greater sage-grouse and Westerners may be able to coexist, but it’s going to be an increasingly tight squeeze. A review issued by the U.S. Geological Survey found that the Greater sage-grouse ideally needs a 3- to 5-mile buffer zone between its breeding area and human development, which could mean anything from a hydraulic fracturing tower to a 4-foot fence.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Deal protects most of Colorado's gas-rich Roan Plateau from drilling
AZ Central
Dan Elliot - AP

Most of the wild and gas-rich Roan Plateau in western Colorado will be off-limits to drilling under a compromise announced last week by conservation groups and an energy company. Bill Barrett Corp. will give up its right to drill for natural gas on about 56 square miles in 17 parcels it had leased from the federal government atop the plateau. That will protect wildlife, forests and sagebrush country from development. Two other parcels that Barrett leased, covering 7 square miles on the plateau's top, will be freed up from a 6-year-old lawsuit. Drilling could begin in two to four years, after environmental studies and permits are complete, officials said.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Borger driller agrees to pay reduced OSHA fine
Amarillo Globe News
Jim McBride

A Borger company cited for 13 alleged serious safety and health violations at a Channing oil drilling site has agreed to pay a reduced fine after meeting with federal regulators. Earlier this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Monday proposed a $46,200 fine against Spradling LP, a limited partnership, over a series of violations the agency said occurred at Rig No. 4 on Travelers oil lease in Channing. The inspection was sparked by an anonymous complaint of unsafe working conditions, Labor Department spokesman Juan Rodriguez said.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Situation 'Grave' for Global Climate Financing, Report Warns
InsideClimate News
Elizabeth Douglass

Current spending remains 'far below even the most conservative estimates' of what's needed to curb and adapt to climate change, study finds.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Gov’t Data Sharpens Focus on Crude-Oil Train Routes
Pro Publica
Isaiah Thompson

A ProPublica analysis of federal government data adds new details to what’s known about the routes taken by trains carrying crude oil. Local governments are often unaware of the potential dangers they face. The oil boom underway in North Dakota has delivered jobs to local economies and helped bring the United States to the brink of being a net energy exporter for the first time in generations. But moving that oil to the few refineries with the capacity to process it is presenting a new danger to towns and cities nationwide — a danger many appear only dimly aware of and are ill-equipped to handle.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Shale gas wells largest source of NG production in 2013
The Trucker.com


Total U.S. natural gas gross withdrawals reached a new high at 82 billion cubic feet per day in 2013, with shale gas wells becoming the largest source of total natural gas production, the Energy Information Administration reported. Natural gas gross withdrawals are a measure of full well stream production including all natural gas plant liquids and nonhydrocarbon gases after oil, lease condensate, and water have been removed. According to the Natural Gas Annual, gross withdrawals from shale gas wells increased from 5 billion cubic feet per day in 2007 to 33 in 2013, representing 40 percent of total natural gas production, and surpassing production from non shale natural gas wells.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Concerns raised about drilling under Ohio River
WTOV 9


  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
A Potent, Overlooked Greenhouse Gas
NY Times
Editorial

Five years ago in Copenhagen, President Obama pledged to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. In Beijing a few weeks ago, as part of a landmark agreement with China, he went one better by pledging a 26 percent to 28 percent cut by 2025. The first target will be hard to reach — and the second virtually impossible — without a determined effort on his part to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Methane, the major component of natural gas, accounts for roughly 10 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in this country, but its chemical properties make it a more potent heat-trapping gas in the short run than carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. Although methane emissions are also produced by landfills and agricultural operations, the easiest to control are the methane leaks that occur in the drilling and transmission of natural gas and, to a lesser extent, oil. These emissions are expected to rise substantially as industry continues to exploit old and new natural gas deposits through the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Residents challenge legality of drilling in neighborhoods
Bakken.com
Liz Hayes

Allegheny Township’s Zoning Hearing Board on Dec. 3 will be asked to consider whether permitting Marcellus shale gas wells in residential zones is legal. Three Willowbrook Road residents challenged the “substantive validity” of township zoning that permits oil and gas wells in all districts, including residential neighborhoods. Their challenge was triggered by horizontal drilling permits issued by township Zoning Officer Susan Teagarden and the state Department of Environmental Protection. The permits were issued Oct. 6 to CNX Gas Co., a subsidiary of Consol Energy Inc., for the “Porter 1K” well site. The site is on farmland owned by John and Ann Slike, who live on nearby Watson Road. The neighbors — Dee Frederick, Beverly Taylor and Patricia Hagaman — said they didn’t know about plans for a natural gas well next door until July when a CNX representative gave them paperwork indicating their water wells would be tested in case problems occur later.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Maryland Governor proposes stringent fracking regulations
State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

Marcellus Shale natural gas deposits lie beneath just a tiny sliver of western Maryland. But with three years worth of review, the state issued a 104 page report Tuesday detailing the pros and cons of fracking, along with recommendations for some of the most stringent rules in the country. Maryland’s Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Study was conducted by the state’s Department of Environment, and Department of Natural Resources at the behest of the outgoing governor, Martin O’Malley. It’s unclear what will come of the proposal because the newly elected incoming governor-elect, Republican Larry Hogan, has criticized the lack of drilling in the state’s two shale gas counties.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Maryland Governor Is Officially Ready To Allow Fracking In The State
Climate Progress
Emily Atkin

Maryland’s outgoing Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley announced on Tuesday that he will soon release proposed regulations for fracking — regulations that when finalized will officially allow natural gas drilling in the western part of the state. The historically environmentally-friendly governor said the regulations when issued would be strict, going above and beyond to restrict drilling in certain locations and including strong protections from drinking-water contamination and air pollution. “We’re committed to ensuring that Marylanders have access to the economic opportunities associated with fracking, while also putting the most complete practices into place to ensure the highest level of protection for Maryland residents.” O’Malley said in a statement to the Baltimore Sun.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Canada's Northwest Territories hold big natural gas reserves, report says
Reuters Africa


CALGARY, Alberta Nov 25 (Reuters) - Canada's Northwest Territories, including its Arctic islands and the adjacent Beaufort Sea, hold more than 1.2 billion barrels of crude oil and 16.4 trillion cubic feet of marketable natural gas, the National Energy Board (NEB) said on Tuesday. The NEB, the industry regulator, also estimated the region holds 53.3 million barrels of natural gas liquids. The crude oil total is minor compared with the U.S. Energy Information Administration's estimate of Canada's total proved reserves of 173.11 billion barrels, but it is nearly 25 percent of the EIA's estimate of the country's natural gas reserves of 68.17 trillion cubic feet. The report by the NEB was the first in which it analysed discovered oil and gas resources in the Arctic islands as well as the Northwest Territories mainland.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
O'Malley administration sets out path to fracking in Md.
Baltimore Sun
Timothy Wheeler

Capping more than three years of study, the O'Malley administration declared Tuesday that hydraulic fracturing for natural gas can be done safely in Western Maryland, but only after regulations are tightened to reduce air and water pollution and protect residents from well contamination, noise and other disruptions associated with an anticipated drilling boom. The state Departments of Environment and Natural Resources released a draft final report proposing new rules for "fracking," as the drilling technique is often called, and recommending legislation to stiffen penalties for spills and to levy a tax on any gas extracted to address impacts on affected communities.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
O’Malley administration to propose Md. gas drilling regs
Washington Times
David Dishneau - Associated Press

CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) — Outgoing Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley said Tuesday his administration will propose some of the nations’ toughest regulations next month governing the extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus shale rock formation underlying parts of far western Maryland through the drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It remains to be seen whether Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan, who takes office Jan. 21, will heed the recommendations developed by a state commission. Hogan said he hadn’t seen the report but said he would try to move forward with drilling in an environmentally sensitive way.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
ODNR Sued for Radioactivity at Dump Sites
The Intelligencer
Casey Junkins

ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Seeking to prevent what they believe is harmful radioactive natural gas fracking waste from being dumped at 23 sites across Ohio, including at least three in Belmont County, environmental advocacy groups are suing Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. "For loosely regulated frack waste processing and dumping to be allowed on such a huge scale spells disaster for Ohio," said Alison Auciello of Food & Water Watch, which is one of the plaintiffs. "The ODNR has unlawfully moved forward to approve these facilities without the input of the public, which these rules are intended to protect in the first place."  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
MARCELLUS SHALE: 'Topsy-turvy' legal landscape in aftermath of nixed Pa. drilling law
E&E Publishing
Ellen M. Gilmer

ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP, WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. -- Just send over a moving truck, and Bob Taylor will be on his way. After 22 years in rural Allegheny Township, 76-year-old Taylor and his wife Beverly, 71, are afraid the natural gas well slated for their neighbor's land will spell an end to their quiet lifestyle. "I'm just so disgusted," Taylor said from his house about 30 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. "This is our dream home, and they're ruining it." It's no surprise that Consol Energy Inc. subsidiary CNX Gas Co. took an interest in the area. Allegheny Township sits atop the Marcellus Shale formation, where hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have sparked a nationwide gas boom. But after judges tossed an industry-friendly state zoning law last year, the Taylors thought the area around their home would be off limits to drilling.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Fitch: Gas Supply Near 5Y Avg but Less Shale Drilling A Concern
Market Watch
Fitch - Press Release

NEW YORK, Nov 25, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Natural gas storage has largely recovered from the inventory depletions that followed last year's polar vortex winter despite the recent burst of cold weather in the US and related drawdown in gas inventories (-17 billion cubic feet (BCF)), according to Fitch Ratings. Following last year's event, total gas inventories dipped below 850 BCF at the end of March 2013, far below their five-year average of approximately 1.8 trillion cubic feet. Strong supply growth since that time has allowed for rapid rebuilding of inventory. Fitch expects natural gas prices to remain subdued over the next several years, excluding short-term volatility from weather-related demand. Several factors are likely to drive this trend in North America, including: large amounts of associated gas coming from liquids shale plays; continued improvements in well designs and completion technology, which should help lower the marginal cost of supply; and the fact that many onshore producers can earn a full return on their cost of capital at historically lower prices.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Allegheny Twp. residents challenge legality of drilling in neighborhoods
Tribune-Review
Liz Hayes

Allegheny Township's Zoning Hearing Board on Dec. 3 will be asked to consider whether permitting Marcellus shale gas wells in residential zones is legal. Three Willowbrook Road residents challenged the “substantive validity” of township zoning that permits oil and gas wells in all districts, including residential neighborhoods.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
MARCELLUS SHALE: 'Topsy-turvy' legal landscape in aftermath of nixed Pa. drilling law
E & E Newswire
Ellen M Gilmer

ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP, WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. -- Just send over a moving truck, and Bob Taylor will be on his way. After 22 years in rural Allegheny Township, 76-year-old Taylor and his wife Beverly, 71, are afraid the natural gas well slated for their neighbor's land will spell an end to their quiet lifestyle. "I'm just so disgusted," Taylor said from his house about 30 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. "This is our dream home, and they're ruining it."   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Much of nation’s natural gas now comes from shale
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

Much of the natural gas in the United States now comes from shale gas wells, according to information released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Seven years ago, shale made up just 8 percent of the overall gas production for the United States, but last year it accounted for 40 percent of production– it’s now the largest single source of gas in the country.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Fossil fuel divestment: slippery transition or financial shock?
Bloomberg
Angus McCrone and Nathaniel Bullard

Market economies have two, apparently contradictory, characteristics. One is the ability to prosper despite periods of hectic transition. The other is to slip on banana skins on a regular basis. Frequently, those banana skins can be spotted in advance but the markets slip on them anyway. During the course of 2014, a view has begun to take hold that the current configuration of the energy sector may be a sizeable banana skin, waiting to ambush the world economy. At best, the crash is a decade or so away, say proponents of this view, at worst, it may already be right under our feet.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Vivian Krause and Richard Berman’s Oil Industry Playbook
DeSmogBlog
WARREN BELL

He had no idea he was being taped. So when influential Washington, DC, political consultant Richard Berman talked about strategy and tactics to the oil and gas industry’s Western Energy Alliance in Colorado Springs this past June, he didn’t mince words. “This is an endless war,” Berman said. The secret tape was published in the New York Times a few weeks ago, released by a displeased oil industry executive, on condition of anonymity. As he urged industry reps to employ tactics like digging up embarrassing tidbits about environmentalists and liberal celebrities, Berman also made one emphatic point: “People always ask me one question all the time, ‘How do I know that I won't be found out as a supporter of what you're doing?’ We run all of this stuff through non-profit organizations that are insulated from having to disclose donors. There is total anonymity. People don't know who supports us. We've been doing this for 20-something years in this regard.”  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Were weekend quakes caused by fracking?
WFAA
David Schecter

IRVING -- No damage, but lots of questions. That's generally the story of North Texas earthquakes, an area not historically prone to tremors. The United States Geological Survey says there were three earthquakes in Irving in the last three days. A fourth 2.2-magnitude earthquake hit just before midnight Monday. SMU Seismologist Brian Stump says there was actually a fifth late Saturday, that was much smaller.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Freeport LNG secures financing, clears way for construction
Fuel Fix


Freeport LNG has secured financing for two of three liquefaction trains, clearing the way for construction to begin on one of only a handful of natural gas export terminals authorized by federal regulators. Now that the company has successfully closed on its financing commitments, crews can start work this week on the plant in Quintana, Texas. In a ceremonial groundbreaking earlier this month, CEO Michael Smith said he hoped to launch construction by Thanksgiving. The privately owned company plans to pay for most of the project — about $8.4 billion — with loans borrowed from an array of Japanese banks. The remaining $2.54 billion will come from two Japanese firms — Osaka Gas Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co. — that previously contracted to buy the liquefied natural gas.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
Clues Show How Green Electricity May Be in 2050
Climate Central
Bobby Magill

Clues to the United States’ energy future are everywhere, if you know where to look. By 2050, the technology will likely be available to provide 80 percent of the country’s electricity from wind, solar and other renewable sources.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
How oil ate the heart of North Dakota
Grist
Heather Smith

Nothing completes a quiet morning drinking coffee and reading the paper like a multi-part investigative saga of pollution and the fracking boom in North Dakota, and boy howdy, did The New York Times deliver this weekend. In the two-part series, investigative reporter Deborah Sontag brings up one example after another of ways that pollution in North Dakota is on the rise. There’s the old filling station filled with illegally dumped and radioactive oil filter socks. There’s the train crash that spilled 400,000 gallons of crude last year. And the pipeline leak that went undetected for an unknown period of time — it spilled 865,200 gallons into a nearby wheat field and cattle ranch, out of a pipeline that hadn’t been inspected for eight years.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
State, bankers grapple with selling efficiency
New York Capital
David Giambusso

As state regulators and private vendors scramble to ramp up the use of renewable energy throughout New York, one crucial element of cutting the state's reliance on fossil fuels is proving elusive: energy efficiency. Unlike solar panels, wind turbines or energy storage systems, efficiency isn't something you can hold or see, but requires something of an act of faith in order to make a financial investment. Because of that built-in risk, state officials and finance experts say, finding a way to push the private market into financing efficiency projects will be difficult.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2014
What North Dakota Would Look Like if Its Oil Drilling Lines Were Aboveground
The Upshot
Gregor Aisch

More than 11,000 oil wells have been drilled in North Dakota since 2006, covering the state’s agricultural landscape. In all, almost 40,000 miles of well bores have been drilled underground to connect the fracking operations to surface wells. Laid end to end, they would circle the Earth about one and a half times. On Sunday, The New York Times published a monthslong investigation by Deborah Sontag and Robert Gebeloff into North Dakota’s conflicted relationship with its booming oil industry. In the process of reporting that article, we obtained the locations of every oil drilling line of every well in the state.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
How Grassroots Efforts Against Fracking Are Succeeding
Truthout
Walter Brasch

For the first time since high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as non-conventional fracking, was developed, more Americans oppose it than support it. According to a national survey conducted by the independent non-partisan Pew Research Center, 47 percent of Americans oppose fracking, while 41 percent support it. This is a 7 percent decline in support from March 2013, and a 9 percent increase in opposition. The poll also reveals those who support fracking tend to be conservative men over 50 years old with only a high school education, and living in the South. However, support for fracking has decreased in all categories, while opposition has increased.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
200 attend fracking collateral-damage conference
Ithaca Journal
Andrew Casler

ITHACA – A conference at Ithaca College on combating fossil fuel infrastructure build-out in New York drew 200 participants from 36 counties, according to organizers. The conference drew panelists who ranged from local government officials to lawyers and grassroots organizers who said New York state is becoming a vast and treacherous maze of pipelines, compressor stations, storage and export facilities.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
As fraud allegations mount against Chesapeake Energy, so does frustration
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

Landowners who have been accusing natural gas driller Chesapeake Energy of stealing their money say Harrisburg is doing little to stop it. Most of the company’s Pennsylvania operations are in Bradford County. It’s a rural area stretching along the New York border; it has more Marcellus shale gas wells than any other part of the state. StateImpact Pennsylvania first talked with landowners there in June 2013.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Amherst rejects fracking wastewater deal Company that treats the water offered the town half a million dollars to dump it in their sewage system
CBC News


Amherst has decided against taking in 30 million litres of treated fracking wastewater, the bulk of it from shale gas operations in New Brunswick. The company that treats the water offered the town half a million dollars to dump it in their sewage system. Officials initially said yes to the plan, but changed their minds after hearing opposition from residents.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
'Routine' planning hearing raises questions about L.A.'s oversight on oil drilling
KPCC
Molly Paterson

A City of Los Angeles zoning administrator will consider approval for expanded oil drilling work at the Freeport McMoRan-owned Jefferson Drill Site tomorrow, in what has historically been a routine hearing. West Adams neighbors who seek full environmental review of operations there say the hearing is anything but.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Newfoundland fracking committee “not about” climate change
Shale Energy Insider
James Perkins

The recently formed Newfoundland and Labrador fracking review panel will not be considering the role that climate change has in the fracking debate “as a priority”, as its chair clarified the purpose of the panel as a review of the hypothetical use of fracking in the province. The review panel has until October 2015 to deliver a final report on its findings with a recommendation as to what extent, if at all, the provincial government should permit fracking.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Fracking Brings Up Concerns About More Quakes In Nevada
KNPR
Regina Revazova & Nikole Robinson Carroll

Nevada is no stranger to earthquakes. In fact, the U.S. Geological Society ranks it the fourth most seismically-active U.S. state behind Alaska, California and Hawaii. But a recent swarm of tremors in the northern part of the state hasn't gone unnoticed, especially since hydraulic fracturing was approved for the state in September.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Should fracking be banned in Kent? Here are the results...
Canterbury Times


After a thrilling fracking debate at Canterbury Christ Church University last week, hundreds of voters gave their opinion on shale gas fracking in our poll. According to our voters, fracking should be banned, but where? More than 600 readers cast their votes in our poll which asked whether fracking should be banned in Kent. Around 39% of them said that fracking should indeed be banned in Kent whilst a little over 5% said it shouldn't be barred.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Fracking is given the green light in U.S. national forest
Hydrogen Fuel News


Hydraulic fracturing could soon occur in the George Washington National Forest. Last week, the United States Forest Service approved a plan that set up regulations that will allow energy companies to carry out fracking within certain regions of the enormous George Washington National Forest, which spans 1.1 million acres, straddles Virginia and West Virginia, and is the biggest national forest in the eastern half of the U.S that is visited by 3 million people annually.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Anti-fracking protesters found guilty of obstructing road at Crawberry Hill, near Walkington
Hull Dail Mail


FIVE anti-fracking campaigners have been found guilty of obstructing a public highway during protests at the Crawberry Hill site near Walkington. Samantha Atkins, Sarah Hockey, Thomas Burke, Richard Howarth and Christopher Ridden’s peaceful protest became unlawful on August 2. Read more: http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/Anti-fracking-protesters-guilty-obstructing-road/story-24646930-detail/story.html#ixzz3K2EB2znL Follow us: @hulldailymail on Twitter | HullDailyMail on Facebook  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
COGA files complaint over Broomfield fracking moratorium
Times Call


The Colorado Oil & Gas Association today filed a complaint for declaratory judgment to invalidate Broomfield's ban on hydraulic fracturing. Measure 300, which passed by 20 votes in November 2013, imposed a five-year moratorium on fracking in Broomfield. In three prior decisions this year, Colorado district courts struck down voter-approved fracking bans in Longmont, Lafayette and Fort Collins.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Fracking Brings Up Concerns About More Quakes In Nevada
KNPR
Regina Revazova & Nikole Robinson Carroll

Nevada is no stranger to earthquakes. In fact, the U.S. Geological Society ranks it the fourth most seismically-active U.S. state behind Alaska, California and Hawaii. But a recent swarm of tremors in the northern part of the state hasn't gone unnoticed, especially since hydraulic fracturing was approved for the state in September.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR HYDRAULIC FRACTURING
Human Events
Isaac Orr

One of the most important issues this election cycle was energy development, especially as it pertains to hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” Because government regulation of oil and natural gas development primarily occurs at the state level, the results of several statewide elections will significantly affect hydraulic fracturing. In some cases, the elections will result in a change of policy; in others they may bring more of the same. Here is a snapshot of some of the likely changes coming for Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Moab energy company testing fracking method near Dead Horse Point, Canyonlands
Salt Lake Tribune
Brian Maffly

A Moab energy company is testing a novel method of fracking at its booming oil field outside Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point State Park. The experimental extraction method — injecting oil rather than chemical-laden water underground — has shaken environmentalists already worried about the industrialization of a scenic area.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Oklahoma Ignores Link Between Record Number of Earthquakes and Fracking Wastewater Disposal Wells
Truth-Out
Julie Dermansky

As Oklahoma continues to experience more earthquakes than California this year, residents are questioning why regulators haven’t taken any meaningful action to guard against increased seismic activity. The US Geological Survey (USGS) says that wastewater injection into deep geologic formations, a part of the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process, is a likely contributing factor to this increase in quakes. The phenomenon, known as “injection-induced seismicity,” has been documented for nearly half a century, according to the USGS.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Roseacre Wood fracking: Environment Agency 'minded to grant' permits
BBC


The Environment Agency (EA) says it is "minded to grant" energy firm Cuadrilla permits to frack during exploration for shale gas in Lancashire. After an initial consultation, the agency has issued a "draft decision" outlining the conditions under which they would allow fracking at the Roseacre Wood site near Elswick. A second round of consultation begins on Monday and will run until 6 January.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Frac sand news roundup: Sandy winds a-blowing
Wisconsin Watch.org
Taylor Chase

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Board’s chairman has ordered DNR staff to respond to a petition calling for a comprehensive study of the environmental impacts of frac sand mining in the state. The petition was organized by Midwest Environmental Advocates and signed by 1,100 people. October 29 Wisconsin Public Radio Several residents near the Northern White Sands mine in Utica recently filed complaints with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency about sand from the Texas-based company’s operation blowing into their yards and homes. They fear winter’s winds will make things worse. November 1 News Tribune.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Timeline slips for some oil and gas regulations
Fuel Fix
Jennifer A Diouhy

WASHINGTON — From offshore drilling to methane emissions, the Obama administration is delaying some planned rules that will affect the oil and gas industry, while announcing new measures on the horizon. The update came courtesy of the Fall 2014 “Unified Agenda,” which is a rough outline of the rules federal agencies are drafting and their plans for putting those new regulations in place. Some of the timelines are ambitious, and it is common to see the dates for action published in twice-yearly editions of the Unified Agenda slide over time. Still, it is the best federal government overview of what’s on tap.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Amherst says no to fracking wastewater
Truro Daily News
Darrell Cole

Town discontinues discussions with Atlantic Industrial Services AMHERST – Amherst is walking away from talks with a Debert company about accepting treated wastewater used in hydraulic fracturing in Hants County several years ago. Other news Upper Stewiacke artist to exhibit at Marigold for first time New outlet for local crafters, artisans and the like Spending for a rainy day Colchester Historical Society’s Archives a treasure trove of information Upper Stewiacke artist to exhibit at Marigold for first time Weekend concert to feature stories of Mary Interest in local brewery sparks tour of potential site First-degree murder charge laid in Catie Miller disappearance, police rule case a homicide During a closed door meeting on Sunday, staff provided an update on the negotiations. At the end of that discussion, council opted to end the process rather than move forward with a public meeting next month with Environment Minister Randy Delorey and a potential vote in mid-December.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Drilling the Caribbean: Indigenous Communities Speak Out Against Oil and Gas Exploration in Honduras
Upsidedownworld.org
SAndra Cuffe

In 2013, the Honduran government granted BG Group oil and gas exploration rights in a 35,000 square kilometer block off the coast of the Moskitia. Miskitu and Garifuna community leaders are speaking out to defend their territories from oil and gas activity. In contrast to Belize and Costa Rica, where environmental NGOs, scientists, and others formed powerful national alliances to fight oil exploration, in Honduras, Indigenous opposition is as of yet largely unheard and unsupported. Source: Beacon Inez Eduardo Arzú finds a patch of shade and sits next to the wall a small wooden home in the coral reef cay community of Chachahuate. The clear, turquoise Caribbean waters surrounding the archipelago sparkle in the midday sun. The Afro-Indigenous Garifuna residents of the Cayos Cochinos off the coast of Honduras and their mainland sister communities have fought long and hard for their rights to live and fish in the cays.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
The Crappy Mom Manifesto: Letter to Fellow Mothers from the Chemung County Jail
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

Last month extreme fossil fuel extraction and I were both recipients of an accusatory outburst by my 13-year-old. “I hate fracking!” he said, half yelling, half sobbing. “Fracking turns you into a crappy mom!”  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
‘Monster’ Fracking Wells Guzzle Water in Drought-Stricken Regions
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

The fracking industry likes to minimize the sector’s bottomless thirst for often-scarce water resources, saying it takes about 2-4 million gallons of water to frack the average well, an amount the American Petroleum Institute describes as “the equivalent of three to six Olympic swimming pools.” That’s close to the figure cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Ohio town, seeking to limit drilling, is latest at odds with state
Midwest Energy News
Kathlann M. Kowalski

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is siding with two oil and gas companies in a court case challenging a Cleveland suburb’s ban on oil and gas drilling within city limits. The November 12 motion is the latest step in a series of cases where different branches and levels of Ohio government have faced off against each other. At issue is the extent to which each can limit how and where drilling and related activities take place.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Anti-CSG groups says use of radioactive materials should be disclosed
Sydney Morning Herald
Peter Hannam

Radioactive material is being used at some coal seam gas drilling sites in NSW and Queensland, raising concerns about potential health and environmental impacts. A radiation management licence issued to US-based drilling company Halliburton shows it is permitted to use caesium-137, a radioactive isotope, for drilling by AGL at Gloucester, in the northern Hunter Valley and for Santos in the Pilliga forests near Narrabri.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Cuomo abstains from global warming ‘debate’
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Governor Andrew Cuomo frequently sounds the alarm about the “new normal” of extreme weather. He's talked about it in the aftermath of Hurricanes Sandy, Irene and Lee as he toured flooded villages and destroyed homes and roads, and during last year's snowstorms and extended cold snap. But while he acknowledges changing weather patterns, which politicians on both sides of the aisle have done for years, he's always careful not to link those changes to human-caused global warming.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Chevron wants to fund science class. What could go wrong?
Grist
Sam Bliss

Chevron’s Fuel Your School program allows K-12 teachers in participating districts to request a chunk of petro-change to implement classroom projects, particularly in STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering, and math. In participating areas, the company contributes $1 toward projects and equipment for every fill-up of at least 30 liters (about 8 gallons) at a local Chevron station. That way, drivers can feel good about buying gasoline, and, in a horrifyingly ironic twist, kids can thank their elders for burning a fuel whose emissions are wrecking their future! And what does Chevron get in return? A little air time with the kiddos! Check out the company’s propaganda video:  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Tx Oil Industry Open to Fracking/Earthquake Probe
WOAL


The Texas Oil and Gas Association says it is open to an investigation into the connection between hydraulic fracking and earthquakes which have become more common in Texas since the widespread practice of shale fracking began in 2009, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports. "The oil and natural gas industry agrees that recent seismic activity warrants robust investigation to determine the precise location, impact, and cause or causes of seismic events," Todd Staples, the President of TXOGA and the former Texas Agriculture Commissioner, told Newsradio 1200 WOAI.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Compressor stations reason for concern?
Recorder
Richie Davis

DEERFIELD — When Tom and Ben Clark of Clarkdale Fruit Farm and learned a month or so ago that Kinder Morgan was changing its preferred route for its proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline project south from a path that would have cut across their peach orchard, they were relieved, at least on a personal level. Then came the news that a compression station to re-pressurize the natural gas that would be pumped from Wright, N.Y., to Dracut, north of Lowell — a station that earlier maps seemed to show as being in Conway — might instead be sited within a mile of the farmhouse where Ben lives with his wife and young child.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
The problem with fracking
MARKETPLACE
Scott Tong

Slumping oil prices are wrecking life for drillers around the world, particularly high-cost producers now struggling to make a profit ... like the U.S. American oil from shale, which comes out of the ground through fracking, is pricey to extract. On top of that, sources of oil become mere trickles within a year or two.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Editorial: Utah should be less willing to be a lab rat
The Salt Lake Tribune
Editorial

The eagerness with which Utah accepts its role as the favorite lab rat of the fossil fuel industry should be troubling to everyone who lives here. State agencies seem eager to approve attempts by various corporations to find experimental — and, by definition, dangerous — methods of extracting the very last drop of petroleum and petroleum-like substances from Utah. This as the price of oil globally declines, the threat of carbon emissions and other side-effects of fossil fuel dependency grows and Utah’s promise as a hotbed of solar, wind and other renewable sources of energy lies mostly underexplored. To the south, a Moab company called Fidelity Exploration has been trying out a new method of hydraulic fracturing — aka "fracking" — as a way to get some oil wells of declining value to boost their production. The Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining approved the operation. But area residents who are worried about the impact fracking might have on nearby Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse State Park reasonably protest that there has been no real review, by any level of government, of whether the operation is safe.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2014
Fitch: Freeport Approval Moves US Closer to LNG Exports
Business Wire


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The recent final approvals and construction groundbreakings for several liquid natural gas (LNG) export facilities along the Gulf Coast will make US LNG exports a reality in the near term, Fitch Ratings says. This week the US Department of Energy (DOE) approved Freeport LNG's Expansion and liquefaction facility. Freeport and Cameron LNG (expected rating of 'A-' with a Stable Rating Outlook) have broken ground on export facilities and Sabine Pass is in advanced construction, moving the US closer to becoming a major exporter of LNG. DOE recently stopped reviewing non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) export applications. Instead it will only act on applications after the review required by the National Environmental Policy Act has been completed and suspend its practice of issuing conditional decisions prior to final authorization decisions. While we believe this may quicken the pace of approvals, the actual timing and overall number of approvals remain unknown.  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
Monster Wells: Hundreds Of Fracking Wells Using 10-25 Million Gallons of Water Each
De Smog Blog
Mike Gaworecki

While the oil and gas industry likes to claim that fracking is not an especially water intensive process, a new report has found that there are more than 250 wells across the country that each require anywhere from 10 to 25 million gallons of water. The American Petroleum Institute suggests that the typical fracked well uses “the equivalent of the volume of three to six Olympic sized swimming pools,” which works out to 2-4 million gallons of water.   [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
Light Texas earthquake fuels fracking fears
Columbus Dispatch
Jim Forsyth

light earthquake shook the Dallas-Fort Worth area in northern Texas on Saturday night, leaving no known damage or casualties but stirring concern about the potential of the area’s oil and gas fracking industry to generate seismic activity. The magnitude 3.3 earthquake struck about 9:15 p.m. local time near the Dallas-Irving city line, said Dale Grant, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.   [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
Anti-fracking groups want permits revoked at 23 Ohio sites
Times Reporter
Jon Baker

Two environmental groups have filed suit against Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, seeking to revoke permits that have been granted to 23 facilities that store, handle, process or recycle hydraulic fracturing — or “fracking” — wastes.   [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
It's David vs. Two Goliaths in Texas Fracking Fight
Inside Climate News
David Hasemyer

"Don't mess with Texas," says the advertising slogan that has grown into a defiant unofficial state motto. After a recent historic vote to ban fracking in the college town of Denton—and industry's lightning-fast response—the new refrain might read: "Don't Mess With Big Oil and Gas." That's the bottom line for business and legal experts who surveyed the landscape after 59 percent of Denton's voters approved the ban.   [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
Judge denies bid to halt Ill. fracking rules
KSDK


EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois judge has denied a bid by landowners group to put Illinois' new rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling on hold. Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder rejected the request for a preliminary injunction on Friday. That was three days after she heard arguments about the rules meant to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
As fracking looms, NC officials worry about road damage
News & Observer
DANIEL SALAZAR

Some of the quiet country roads of central North Carolina might not be so quiet much longer. The first permits for natural gas exploration in the state could be issued in the spring, and N.C. Department of Transportation officials are trying to assess how the state’s rural roads will be affected by thousands of truckloads of chemicals, water, sand and mechanical equipment associated with hydraulic fracturing or fracking.   [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
Solar and Wind Energy Start to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels
The New York Times
Diane Cartwell

For the solar and wind industries in the United States, it has been a long-held dream: to produce energy at a cost equal to conventional sources like coal and natural gas. That day appears to be dawning. The cost of providing electricity from wind and solar power plants has plummeted over the last five years, so much so that in some markets renewable generation is now cheaper than coal or natural gas.  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
Small quake shakes Dallas area, stirring fracking critics
Reuters
JIM FORSYTH

(Reuters) - A light earthquake shook the Dallas-Ft. Worth area of North Texas on Saturday night, leaving no known damage or casualties but stirring concern about the potential of the area's oil and gas fracking industry to generate seismic activity. The magnitude 3.3 earthquake struck about 9:15 p.m. Central time on Saturday, said Dale Grant, an geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
Where Oil and Politics Mix
The New York Times
DEBORAH SONTAG

TIOGA, N.D. — In late June, as black and gold balloons bobbed above black and gold tables with oil-rig centerpieces, the theme song from “Dallas” warmed up the crowd for the “One Million Barrels, One Million Thanks” celebration. The mood was giddy. Halliburton served barbecued crawfish from Louisiana. A commemorative firearms dealer hawked a “one-million barrel” shotgun emblazoned with the slogan “Oil Can!” Mrs. North Dakota, in banner and crown, posed for pictures. The Texas Flying Legends performed an airshow backlit by a leaping flare of burning gas. And Gov. Jack Dalrymple was the featured guest.  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
Where Oil and Politics Mix After an unusual land deal, a giant spill and a tanker-train explosion, anxiety began to ripple across the North Dakota prairie.
New York Times
Deborah Sontag

TIOGA, N.D. — In late June, as black and gold balloons bobbed above black and gold tables with oil-rig centerpieces, the theme song from “Dallas” warmed up the crowd for the “One Million Barrels, One Million Thanks” celebration. The mood was giddy. Halliburton served barbecued crawfish from Louisiana. A commemorative firearms dealer hawked a “one-million barrel” shotgun emblazoned with the slogan “Oil Can!” Mrs. North Dakota, in banner and crown, posed for pictures. The Texas Flying Legends performed an airshow backlit by a leaping flare of burning gas. And Gov. Jack Dalrymple was the featured guest.   [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
It's David vs. Two Goliaths in Texas Fracking Fight 'The question that has to be resolved is where does the regulatory power rest?'
Inside Climate News
David Hasemyer

"Don't mess with Texas," says the advertising slogan that has grown into a defiant unofficial state motto. After a recent historic vote to ban fracking in the college town of Denton—and industry's lightning-fast response—the new refrain might read: "Don't Mess With Big Oil and Gas."  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
Who is winning, losing in Texas shale boom? Local 2 Investigates details economic gains, new environmental research
Click 2 Houston
Lauren Sweeney

KARNES CITY, Texas - To see why so many people are moving to Texas, you need to drive three and a half hours southwest from Houston. The Karnes City sign listing a population of 3,457 greets you as Texas Highway 80 runs right into the heart of the quaint community. But since 2012, that population has likely swelled to two or three times that size.   [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2014
The trouble with flaring: oil companies work to install pipelines as landowner concerns mount
Casper Star Tribune
BENJAMIN STORROW

Robin Aquilia began feeling a dull pressure between her eyes this summer, about the time flickering flares from oil rigs, new wells and a nearby gas plant appeared on the horizon near her home northeast of Cheyenne. Aquilia isn’t sure if the flares and her headaches are related, but she is concerned by the timing.  [Full Story]

Nov 22, 2014
The Downside of the Boom
The New York Times
DEBORAH SONTAG and ROBERT GEBELOFF

WILLISTON, N.D. — In early August 2013, Arlene Skurupey of Blacksburg, Va., got an animated call from the normally taciturn farmer who rents her family land in Billings County, N.D. There had been an accident at the Skurupey 1-9H oil well. “Oh, my gosh, the gold is blowing,” she said he told her. “Bakken gold.” It was the 11th blowout since 2006 at a North Dakota well operated by Continental Resources, the most prolific producer in the booming Bakken oil patch. Spewing some 173,250 gallons of potential pollutants, the eruption, undisclosed at the time, was serious enough to bring the Oklahoma-based company’s chairman and chief executive, Harold G. Hamm, to the remote scene.   [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
Fracking industry suing over drilling bans
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

As fracking spreads in the United States, voters in more and more cities are banning drilling, waste disposal and other practices associated with deep-shale oil and gas wells. But those bans have prompted lawsuits filed by state governments or the oil and gas industry raising a legal question: Who gets to say where fracking can happen?  [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
Dozens of Activists Arrested in Battle Against a Fracking “Gateway Drug” in New York
In These Times
Molly Bennet

Tens of thousands of years ago, as massive sheets of ice moved across river valleys in what’s now west-central New York, they cut 11 deep grooves that eventually became the Finger Lakes. Some 390 million years before that, in the sea that once covered the Appalachian Basin, algae and other organic matter mixed together with mineral particles and settled, a black sludge that was transformed over millions of years into the Marcellus Shale, the gas-rich rock formation that stretches from New York down to West Virginia. And as the sea dried up, it left behind huge deposits of salt, which began to be mined in the nineteenth century, creating a honeycomb of hollowed-out caverns deep underground. Today, this geological history is at the heart of a battle being waged by Finger Lakes residents to stop two proposed gas storage projects they believe pose a grave risk to the ecology of region and the people who live there—projects that, in the words of biologist   [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
Fracking waste lawsuit waged
Coshocton Times
Patrick O'Neill

ZANESVILLE – A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Franklin County court claims Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources illegally approved 23 fracking waste facilities, including one in Coshocton County and three in Muskingum County. Lea Harper, director of the Fresh Water Accountability Project, helped launch the lawsuit against the state, and claims the ODNR "illegally issued Chief's Orders" by allowing facilities to operate "without regulating radioactivity" on fracking waste. Chief's Orders were not required before February 2013.   [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
David Suzuki writes letter to grandson arrested at Kinder Morgan protest on Burnaby Mountain
The Vancouver Sun
Jenny Uechi

"He is a role model for young people today, inspiring them to get involved in issues of their future," Suzuki writes of his grandson, who was arrested on Thursday.   [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
Steingraber, Boland and Micklem Sentenced to 15 Days in Jail for Protesting Methane Gas Storage
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Renowned author, biologist and advocate Sandra Steingraber, PhD, U.S. Air Force veteran Colleen Boland (retired) and avid environmentalist Roland Micklem headed to the Chemung County jail Wednesday evening after pleading guilty and refusing to pay a fine in New York’s Reading Town Court. Judge Raymond Barry issued the maximum jail sentence of 15 days.  [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
TCEQ memo proves toxic chemicals are being released in the Eagle Ford Shale
KENS 5 San Antonio
Barry Davis

When Lynn Buehring and her husband Shelby bought their modest home in Karnes county, they were planning on living out their lives there. But Lynn said those years may be much shorter than she expected. She believes the oil industry is killing her. Since the fracking boom, Buehring said she has developed respiratory problems and often feels other effects when dark clouds of smoke belch from oil & gas facility flares. It's so bad, she said, at times she has to run inside and put on a gas mask to prevent the smells from literally taking her breath away.  [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
Controversial Marcellus Shale Gas Pipeline Threatens Delaware River Basin and Rural Communities in the Northeast
Huffington Post
Joy E. Stocke & Kim Nagy

"Have you heard about the pipeline?" From the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian basin in Pennsylvania, where the fracked gas boom is in full force, to Trenton, New Jersey, just south of Washington's Crossing--where, on December 25, 1776, General George Washington and his troops made their famous crossing and launched the Battle of Trenton--the question moved from neighbor to neighbor in the communities along the pristine upper reaches of the Delaware River, one of the healthiest watersheds in the United States. Rumor became fact on August 12 when a consortium of companies including utility giants UGI, AGL Resources, and NJR Pipeline Company, calling themselves PennEastPipeline Co., LLC, announced that they are seeking Federal approval to launch a one-billion-dollar project to build a three-foot (36 inch) diameter pipeline with easements of one hundred feet across (equal to a third of a city block) to run from the Marcellus Shale through wetlands, farmland, and preserved open space with a projected start date of January, 2017.  [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
It’s Time for Obama to Tighten Rules on Gas Leaks
The New York Times
Andrew Revkin

Environmental groups with varied stances on the merits of natural gas and the controversial extraction method best known as fracking have endorsed a set of cost-effective steps the Obama administration could take to stanch gas leaks from wells and other gas and oil facilities. Such emissions contribute to harmful local air pollution and — because the main constituent of natural gas is heat-trapping methane — global warming. The steps are laid out in “Waste Not: Common Sense Ways to Reduce Methane Pollution from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry,” the summary of a forthcoming report aimed at shaping new standards for methane pollution that the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to issue later this year.  [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
How Americans Came to Oppose Fracking
WANDERINGS
Walter Brasch

For the first time since high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as nonconventional fracking, was developed, more Americans oppose it than support it. According to a national survey conducted by the independent non-partisan Pew Research Center, 47 percent of Americans oppose fracking, while 41 percent support it. This is a 7 percent decline in support from March 2013, and a 9 percent increase in opposition.  [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
New York Activists Turn to Civil Disobedience As Last Resort to Fight Regulatory Capture
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA

Award-winning author and anti-fracking activist Dr. Sandra Steingraber is going to spend Thanksgiving in jail. And it won’t be her first stay there. She spent last Earth Day there as well. She is returning to jail in upstate New York after her arrest for being part of a human blockade at the gates of the Crestwood Midstream gas storage facility on the shores of Seneca Lake in New York. And despite the upcoming holiday about giving thanks, Steingraber has a message for anyone who wants to thank her for her efforts to protect the waters of Seneca Lake, a source of drinking water for 100,000 people - “Don’t thank me, join me.”   [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
Sandra Steingraber: Why I am in Jail
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

reakfast in the Chemung County Jail is served at 5 a.m. This morning—Friday, November 21, 2014—it was Cheerios and milk plus two slaps of universally-despised “breakfast cake.” Along with trays of food—which are passed through the bars—arrive the morning rounds of meds for the inmates who take them. Now comes my favorite time of day in jail—the two quiet hours between breakfast and 7 a.m. before the television clicks on and we are ordered to make our beds and the loud day begins. Between the end of breakfast and 7 a.m., most women go back to sleep. Now I can hear only the sounds of their breathing—different rhythms all—and, on the far side of the steel door—the occasional voices of the C.O.s (correction officers, a.k.a. the guards) and the walkie-talkie orders they themselves are receiving.  [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2014
Texas oil company pleads guilty to dumping wastewater into Gulf
WWLTV
David Hammer

NEW ORLEANS -- A Texas oil company has pleaded guilty to knowingly dumping oily wastewater into the Gulf near Plaquemines Parish for more than two years, saving it $1.5 million in disposal costs in the process, according to federal court documents. Xplor Energy SPV-1 Inc. agreed to pay a $3.1 million fine, admitting in a plea deal that it knew about faulty lines that leaked oil and brine into Breton Sound, and also knew that the wells it was using to dispose of oil-production waste products under the seabed were not actually big enough to hold all of the pollutants being injected into them.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Methane rules crucial to U.S.-China agreement -- report
E & E Newswire
Jean Chemnick

If U.S. EPA plays its regulatory cards right, it could halve methane from the oil and gas sector in about five years and at the cost of only 1 percent of the sector's annual revenue, helping to fulfill President Obama's climate commitments in the process. That's the message major environmental groups sought to drive home today with a report timed to influence EPA's decision on whether and how to regulate the sector's methane -- which is due in the next four weeks. The report was sponsored by the Clean Air Task Force, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club with the backing of the Environmental Defense Fund, Earthjustice and Earthworks. All hope EPA will announce plans by Dec. 21 to use Section 111 of the Clean Air Act to limit methane leakage from new and existing oil and gas wellheads, leaky production and transportation infrastructure, pneumatic devices, compressor stations, and liquid unloading -- the devices that keep oil and gas flowing from the wellhead.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Interview with Richard Kauffman: “It’s about availability of financing, not cost of financing.”
SunWindEnergy


Richard Kauffman is supervising New York’s entire energy portfolio, including the New York State Department of Public Service, the New York Power Authority, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and the Long Island Power Authority. Under his leadership, New York has launched the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) (link is external), a far-reaching restructuring of regulations for the energy industry, and committed US-$ 5 billion through 2023 to support local renewable energy and efficiency markets. Not least, he has overlooked the establishment of the New York Green Bank (link is external) and a $1 billion investment in the NY-Sun solar initiative. S&WE: Governor Cuomo introduced you as New York’s energy czar in January 2013 and since then you seem to be on a mission to fundamentally reform New York State’s energy sector. Originally active in the private sector in finance, what made you switch from Washington overlooking federal energy policies now to the state level?   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
NRG Seeks to Cut 90% of Its Carbon Emissions
The New York Times
DIANE CARDWELL

Nonetheless, Mr. Crane said, the company will continue to develop natural gas plants and, while retiring some coal plants and converting others to natural gas, it will not be abandoning the coal business. “I would hate to see the country sort of turn its back on coal,” he said. “I think we, alone or with the Chinese, have to direct our attention to capturing the carbon.”  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Pipeline road maps ignite local officials' ire
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

Maps of the roads that would be used by heavy trucks to build the Constitution Pipeline reveal that dozens of Delaware County streets would be traversed regularly while equipment is moved and a pathway is dug for the subterranean natural gas infrastructure. “It looks like one big spiderweb all across our town,” said Davenport Town Supervisor Dennis Valente, voicing his chagrin with the extent of potential impacts from a project he says will not benefit his and surrounding communities. “It’s anywhere between 75 to 80 percent of our roads that are marked for heavy equipment,” Valente added “It is going to have a profound impact on Davenport.”  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Investigation Exposes Revolving Door Between Fossil Fuel Lobbyists and Politicians
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

There was much speculation about Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu‘s motivation for pushing the first full Senate vote this week on approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Some revolved around her trying to improve her chances in the Dec. 6 Senate runoff against Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy (neither candidate got a majority on Nov. 4). Others say she’s likely to lose anyway and that her grandstanding was directed at oil and gas companies that might provide a lucrative landing spot for her after she leaves the Senate in January.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Earthquakes on the rise; scientists warn of larger quake possibilities
FOX NEWS-Oklahoma City
Keaton Fox

OKLAHOMA CITY - While the actual quakes may be centered just north of Oklahoma City, the state capitol has been the epicenter lately. This study held by Oklahoma lawmakers was looking into the connection between oil and gas activity and earthquakes. "It looks like someone hit our county with a shotgun with as many holes that are being punched in payne county with hydraulic fracturing and injection wells," said one speaker. It's been such a dramatic increase the state and seismologists like Austin Holland can barely keep up. With 4,600 quakes this year alone so far, it averages to 14 quakes a day. "It's pretty remarkable how many significant earthquakes we've had," Holland said.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Report: America could power itself 100 times over with solar energy
The Washington Post
Chris Mooney

It is widely known that among all the sources of alternative energy, the one with the greatest potential is solar. How could it be otherwise? Staggering amounts of solar radiation strike the Earth each day; the only trick is capturing more of it. In a new report, the Environment America Research and Policy Center seeks to visualize and quantify this potential as it pertains to the United States. The report argues that the U.S. "has the potential to produce more than 100 times as much electricity from solar PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) installations as the nation consumes each year." It adds that every single state could generate more solar electricity than its residents currently consume.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Fate of fracking in New York still unclear weeks after Election Day
The Post-Standard
Glenn Coin

Binghamton, N.Y. -- The 2014 election was seen as a key watershed in the debate over fracking in New York. Conventional wisdom held that after the election, Gov. Andrew Cuomo would finally make a decision bound to be unpopular with somebody. There has been no announcement yet, and the state moratorium on fracking imposed in 2008 remains in effect. Syracuse.com talked to both sides of the fracking debate on what the Nov. 6 elections mean for the future of fracking, and what might happen next in New York.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
North County-Adjacent La Habra Heights Puts an Oil Fracking Ban Before Voters
OC Weekly Blogs
Matt Coker

The La Habra Heights City Council voted Thursday to place the initiative, which would also ban the reactivation of existing oil wells, on the March 4, 2015, ballot for voters in the Los Angeles County city with a population of 5,000 and change.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight to Court
The New York Times
John Schwartz

A group of Harvard students, frustrated by the university’s refusal to shed fossil fuel stocks from its investment portfolios, is looking beyond protests and resolutions to a new form of pressure: the courts. The seven law students and undergraduates filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts against the president and fellows of Harvard College, among others, for what they call “mismanagement of charitable funds.” The 11-page complaint, with 167 pages of supporting exhibits, asks the court to compel divestment on behalf of the students and “future generations.”  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Halliburton merger means uncertain future for Baker Hughes fracking disclosures
Fuel Fix
Ryan Holeywell

HOUSTON — Baker Hughes won wide praise last month when it began implementing a more transparent way of revealing the ingredients in its hydraulic fracturing fluids. But the future of those disclosures is unclear now that Halliburton — which has lately been lobbying against those types of disclosures — is poised to acquire Baker Hughes.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
California environmental groups call for tighter fracking controls They claim billions of gallons of fracking wastewater may have illegally ended up in aquifers as state testing continues
Aljazeera America
Haya El Nasser

Environmental groups are renewing calls for stricter regulations on fracking now that they claim to have new evidence that almost 3 billion gallons of wastewater might have ended up in Central California aquifers that supply water for drinking and irrigation. The State Water Resources Control Board issued orders to seven oil production companies last July to immediately shut down 11 waste water disposal wells “to avoid potential harm to a limited number of groundwater aquifers in Kern County.” Two of the wells have since been reinstated.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Groups Sue Ohio Governor for Illegally Making State a Fracking Waste Dump
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Two environmental watchdog groups have sued Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), charging that they illegally approved 23 facilities to handle the handling, storage, processing and recycling of fracking waste, bypassing the official rulemaking process. The lawsuit was filed by the Fresh Water Accountability Project and Food & Water Water Watch in the Franklin County court.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Crestwood Blockaders Sandra Steingraber, Colleen Boland, Jailed
PR Newswire


WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Renowned author, biologist, advocate Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. and U.S.AF veteran, Colleen Boland (retired) joined Roland Micklem (86) yesterday evening and plead guilty in Reading Town Court, refusing to pay fines. Judge Raymond Barry issued maximum jail sentences of 15 days to each. Earlier the same afternoon nine additional arrests were made including winery owners and local business leaders trespassing at Texas-based Crestwood Midstream's gas storage facility gates on the west shore of Seneca Lake. The civil disobedience campaign continues into its fourth week with fifty-two total arrests. Today's blockade shut down the facility for over seven hours. Over six hundred concerned citizens have signed a pledge to resist the fracked-gas infrastructure build out.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Town of New Paltz takes formal stand against Pilgrim Pipeline proposal
Daily Freeman
William Kemble

The Town Board has adopted a resolution opposing the proposed 178-mile Pilgrim Pipeline that would run, in part, along the Thruway corridor.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Natural Gas Exports: Introduction
Republic Report
Kevin Grandia

A growing body of research confirms that shale gas production, including the gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing (”fracking”), is a significant source of greenhouse gas pollution and a growing threat to human health and the environment.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Fracking loses an election deep in the heart of Texas
The Hill
Erik Movar

Denton, Texas is a suburb of Dallas that has seen its share of drilling and fracking over the years. Some 272 active oil and gas wells are within the city limits, and another 212 wells immediately surround the town. But on Election Day, city residents handed the oil industry a huge defeat: A new ballot initiative passed decisively, prohibiting the practice of fracking within the corporate limits of Denton.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Fate of fracking in New York still unclear weeks after Election Day
Syracuse.com
Glenn Coin

Binghamton, N.Y. -- The 2014 election was seen as a key watershed in the debate over fracking in New York. Conventional wisdom held that after the election, Gov. Andrew Cuomo would finally make a decision bound to be unpopular with somebody. There has been no announcement yet, and the state moratorium on fracking imposed in 2008 remains in effect.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
New report: EPA can quickly cut methane from oil, gas industry
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

WASHINGTON (November 20, 2014) — A new report from leading climate advocates today shows how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can cut climate warming methane pollution in half, while dramatically reducing harmful, wasteful air pollution from the oil and gas industry at the same time, by issuing federal standards for methane pollution based on available, low-cost technologies and practices.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Germany to leave door ajar for fracking - draft law
Reuters


Nov 20 (Reuters) - Germany's government plans to stop short of an outright ban on the controversial technique of fracking for gas, bowing to pressure from industry, according to the latest draft of a law from the environment ministry seen by Reuters.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Groups sue state over 'illegal' fracking-waste permits
Columbus Dispatch
Randy Ludlow

State officials illegally have approved 30 permits allowing the storage and treatment of fracking waste, two environmental groups claimed in a lawsuit filed in Columbus yesterday. The lawsuit asks the Franklin County Court of Appeals to revoke the permits, thus closing the waste-handling sites, and order the Department of Natural Resources to create legally required rules regulating the operations.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Danger 101: Oil trains pass near Rockland schools
The Journal News
Khurram Saeed

WEST NYACK – The more Sarah McTasney learns about trains hauling explosive crude oil through Rockland, the more worried she gets. The single mother of two is most alarmed about the railroad track that runs less than a quarter-mile from her 8-year-old daughter's school, West Nyack Elementary. "They are unsafe and they are 1,200 feet or less from our kids," McTasney said.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
How Oil and Gas Industry Could Cut Methane Pollution in Half
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

Leading environmental groups—Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, and Clean Air Task Force—released a summary report today to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laying out how the agency can cut methane pollution in half with low-cost technologies and practices. The report, Waste Not: Common Sense Measures to Reduce Methane Emissions from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry, shows how the U.S. EPA must meet its obligations under the Clean Air Act by requiring the oil and gas industries to halt methane emissions. The full report will be available later this fall.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Legal Experts Say Pipeline Companies Can't Yet Claim Eminent Domain
Public News Service


EWISBURG, W.Va. - Pipeline companies who want to build lines through West Virginia and neighboring Virginia have told some landowners they can survey on their land without the landowners' permission. Legal experts, however, say those companies don't have that right - yet. Attorney Joe Lovett with Appalachian Mountain Advocates says pipelines can only claim eminent domain, and the right to survey without permission, when they prove their projects serve a genuine public need. He says the pipeline companies in question haven't done that.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Oil and gas methane rules can help U.S. meet new climate targets -report
Reuters
Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON Nov 20 (Reuters) - The Environmental Protection Agency can cut methane emissions from oil and gas production in half with new national standards, a move that could help the United States meet new pollution cutting targets pledged in a climate deal with China last week, a new report recommends. The EPA is expected decide by the end of the fall whether to issue mandatory standards for reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector as a part of President Barack Obama's broad climate action plan. Environmental groups the Clean Air Task Force, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club, have told the EPA that directly targeting methane rather than secondary volatile organic compounds, which the agency currently regulates, is more effective and can help the U.S. make steeper greenhouse gas emission cuts.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2014
Hazards of Open Pits for Storing Wastewater From Fracking Is Focus of New Study
InsideClimate News
David Hasemyer

Unlined open-air wastewater pits brimming with the toxic leftovers of fracking and other types of oil and gas development are threatening California's air and water quality, according to a study by two national environmental organizations. A visit to a series of wastewater pits in California's Central Valley that sickened researchers prompted the study, according to the authors. Oil and gas drilling has been generating vast amounts of waste in the region for decades. The report was issued by Clean Water Action and Earthworks, both based in Washington, D.C.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Regulators Are Failing To Protect Californians From Oil And Gas Development
DeSmogBlog
MIKE GAWORECKI

Two new reports show that California regulators are failing to enforce basic measures to protect the public—particularly in the most vulnerable communities—from the impacts of oil and gas development. The FracTracker Alliance has a new report showing that there are 352,724 children in California who attend a school within one mile of an oil and gas well, including at least 217 wells using fracking, acidizing, and gravel packing as a stimulation technique.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
DRBC to Review PennEast’s 1 Bcf/d Pipeline Proposal
NGI Shale Daily
Charlie Passut

Although a de facto moratorium remains in place against oil and natural gas development in the Delaware River Basin, a proposed pipeline for Marcellus Shale gas that would cut across the basin needs to pass the muster of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC).  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Seneca Lake Sheriff Claims Protestors Are “Outside Agitators”
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

Sheriff refuses to arrest local prominent business owners. Which might frack up his “outside agitator” scenario. Watkins Glen, NY – Area business owners and winery owners are among 12 people currently blockading at Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility gates on the shore of Seneca Lake. They are now in their third hour of shutting down both entrances on Route 14. This action follows eight arrests yesterday and ten on Monday as the ‘We Are Seneca Lake’ civil disobedience campaign continues a 4th week of blockades to stop the gas storage facility. All total, 43 arrests have now occurred at the gates of Crestwood since the campaign began on October 23.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Another step for Chemung County landfill expansion
Star Gazette
Ray Finger

The final environmental impact statement for the proposed expansion of the Chemung County landfill in the Town of Chemung is now available online for review. Also available online are the public hearing transcript and public comments relative to the final environmental impact statement.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Frackers are terrorizing school kids in California
Grist
Brentin Mock

Rodrigo Romo’s daughter is afraid because of the oil and gas drilling activity happening around her school, Sequoia Elementary School in Kern County, Calif. She has trouble sleeping at night and has difficulty focusing in class because she doesn’t know what the industry’s pollution might be doing to her and her classmates. Romo doesn’t know how to answer when she asks him if they’re going to be OK.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
A Carbon Tax Could Bolster Green Energy
New York Times
Eduardo Porter

A couple of years ago, the smart money was on wind. In 2012, 13 gigawatts worth of wind-powered electricity generation capacity was installed in the United States, enough to meet the needs of roughly three million homes. That was some 40 percent of all the capacity added to the nation’s power grid that year, up from seven gigawatts added in 2011 and just over five in 2010. But then a federal subsidy ended. Only one gigawatt worth of wind power capacity was installed in 2013. In the first half of 2014, additions totaled 0.835 gigawatts. Facing a Congress controlled by Republicans with little interest in renewable energy, wind power’s future suddenly appears much more uncertain. “Wind is competitive in more and more markets,” said Letha Tawney at the World Resources Institute. “But any time there is uncertainty about the production tax credit, it all stops.” Wobbles on the road to a low-carbon future are hardly unique to the United States. In its latest Energy Technology Perspectives report, the International Energy Agency noted that the deployment of photovoltaic solar- and wind-powered electricity was meeting goals established to help prevent temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the average in the preindustrial era, the limit agreed to by the world’s leaders to avoid truly disruptive climatic upheaval. In the same report, however, the organization noted that other technologies — bioenergy, geothermal and offshore wind — were lagging. And it pointed out that worldwide investment in renewable power was slowing, falling to $211 billion in 2013, 22 percent less than in 2011. These wobbles underscore both the good news and the bad news about the world’s halting progress toward reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are capturing heat in the atmosphere and changing the world’s climate. The good news is that humanity is developing promising technologies that could put civilization on a low carbon path that might prevent climate disruption. These technologies allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to pass new rules aimed at achieving a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from American power plants by 2030, compared with 2005. They allowed President Obama last week to promise that the United States would curb total greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 — a big step that, White House officials say, can be achieved without further action from Congress. And they allowed China to commit to start cutting emissions after 2030. The bad news is that civilization is mostly not yet on such a low carbon path. While promising technologies to get there have been developed, it is unclear whether nations will muster the political will and mobilize the needed investments to deploy them. New energy technologies have become decidedly more competitive. The United States’ Energy Information Administration projects that the levelized cost of onshore wind energy coming on stream in 2019 — a measure that includes everything from capital costs to operational outlays — could be as little as $71 per megawatt-hour measured in 2012 dollars, even without subsidies. This is $16 less than the lower cost projection four years ago for wind energy coming online in 2015. Continue reading the main story Similarly, projections for the levelized cost of energy from photovoltaic solar cells have tumbled by more than 40 percent, much faster than the cost projections of energy from coal or natural gas. Challenges remain to relying on intermittent energy sources like the sun or the wind for power. Still, experts believe that hitching solar and wind plants to gas-fired generators, and using new load management technologies to align demand for power with the variable supply, offer a promising path for aggressively reducing the amount of carbon the power industry pumps into the atmosphere, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the nation’s total carbon dioxide emissions. And new Energy Information Administration projections to 2040 show prices for renewables falling even lower. By then, electricity from photovoltaic solar plants could be generated for as little as $86.50 per megawatt-hour, without subsidies. In some areas wind-based plants could produce it for as little as $63.40. Nuclear energy is also becoming more competitive. Without any subsidies, new-generation nuclear power coming on stream in 2040 could cost as little as $80 per megawatt-hour, all costs considered. This is only marginally more expensive than electricity produced with coal or natural gas, even without the added cost of capturing the carbon dioxide. And there are much more optimistic cost assessments out there than the Energy Information Administration’s. But for all the optimism generated by cheaper renewable fuels, they do not, on their own, put the world on the low-carbon path necessary to keep climate change in check. Progress is faltering on several fronts. The precipitous fall in the prices of photovoltaic cells from 2008 to 2012 pretty much stopped in 2013, after rapid consolidation of the industry. The International Energy Agency now projects that installed global nuclear capacity in 2025 will fall 5 percent, to 24 percent below what will be needed to stay on the safe side of climate change. And carbon capture technologies, which will be essential if the world is to keep consuming any form of fossil fuel, remain hampered by high costs, meager investment and scant political commitment. “The unrelenting rise in coal use without deployment of carbon capture and storage is fundamentally incompatible with climate change objectives,” noted the International Energy Agency in its Technology Perspectives report. Despite the falling costs of renewable energy in the United States, the Energy Information Administration’s baseline assumptions project that in 2040 only 16.5 percent of electricity generation will come from renewable energy sources, up from some 13 percent today. More than two-thirds will come from coal and gas. Without some carbon capture and storage technology, drastic climate change is almost certainly unavoidable. What is necessary to get us on a safer path? White House officials trust that the administration has the tools, including fuel economy and appliance efficiency standards, the Environmental Protection Agency’s new limits on power plant emissions and regulations to limit other greenhouse gases. Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Yet the Energy Information Administration’s projections suggest how hard the task will be. Though they were developed before the Environmental Protection Agency issued its new rules, they included hypothetical outlines that could mimic some of its effects. In one, coal power plants were decommissioned more quickly; in another, subsidies to renewable energy were kept until 2040. In another, the price of renewables fell faster than expected. None of them did much to move the carbon dial. There is one tool available to trim carbon emissions on a relevant scale: a carbon tax. That solution, however, remains off the table. If a carbon tax were to be imposed next year, starting at $25 and rising by 5 percent a year, the Energy Information Administration estimates, carbon dioxide emissions from American power plants would fall to only 419 million tons by 2040, about one-fifth of where they are today. Total carbon dioxide emissions from energy in the United States would fall to 3.6 billion tons — 1.8 billion tons less than today. By providing a monetary incentive, economists say, such a tax would offer by far the most effective way to encourage business and individuals to reduce their use of fossil fuels and invest in alternatives. Is this enough? No. This proposal still leaves the United States short of the 80 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions that the White House is aiming for and that experts consider necessary by 2050 to prevent climatic havoc. But at least it’s in the same order of magnitude. Most important, perhaps, the Energy Information Administration’s estimates make clear that the real constraint lies not in our ability to develop the necessary technologies but in our political will to deploy them.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
A Sustainable Solution for the Corn Belt
New York Times
Mark Bittman

It’s hard to imagine maintaining the current food system without Iowa. Yet that state — symbolic of both the unparalleled richness of our continent’s agricultural potential and the mess we’ve made of it — has undergone a transformation almost as profound as the land on which cities have been built. A state that was once 85 percent prairie is now 85 percent cultivated, most of that in row crops of corn and soybeans. And that isn’t sustainable, no matter how you define that divisive word. It’s easy enough to argue that one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world could be better used than to cover it with just two crops — the two crops that contribute most to the sad state of our dietary affairs, and that are used primarily for animal food, junk food and thermodynamically questionable biofuels. Anything that further entrenches that system — propped up by generous public support — should be questioned. On the other hand, if there are ways to make that core of industrial agriculture less destructive of land and water, that is at least moving in the right direction. For now, many Midwestern farmers believe they are maximizing income by growing row crops in what is best called industrial fashion. (Many prefer the word “conventional,” but as common as it is we do not want chemical farming to be the convention.) This near monoculture, for the most part, fails to replenish soil, poisons water, increases flooding and erosion, spills carbon, robs indigenous species of habitat and uses fossil fuel resources at unnecessarily high rates. Despite this, for the last several years the economic pressure has been on farmers to plant more and more, even in marginally productive areas, land that requires more work and greater applications of chemicals for fewer benefits. Incredibly, there is a scientifically informed, direct and effective planting tactic that can mitigate much of this. Called STRIPS, for (ready?) “science-based trials of rowcrops integrated with prairie strips,” it means just that: Take around 10 percent of your farmland (in most cases, the least productive part), and replant it with a mix of indigenous prairie plants. Then sit back and watch the results, which are, according to researchers and even some farmers, spectacular. Lisa Schulte Moore, a researcher at Iowa State University, has been working on the principles behind STRIPS for more than 10 years. (In 2003, she worked with Matt Liebman and Matt Helmers, two other pioneers in making contemporary American agriculture more sensible; I wrote about Liebman’s work a couple of years ago.) “It’s well-known that perennials provide a broader sweep of ecological function than annuals,” she told me last week, “so our hypothesis was that if you put a little bit of perennials — a little bit of prairie — in the right place, you get these disproportionate benefits. That is, without taking much land out of production, you get a lot of environmental benefit.” Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story The research has produced impressive numbers: If you convert 10 percent of a field of row crops to prairie, soil loss can be reduced by up to 95 percent, nutrient loss by 80 to 90 percent, and water runoff by 44 percent. Biodiversity nearly quadruples, and some of those species are pollinators, predators of pests, or both. And, unlike some ecological management techniques, the process is not expensive. In general, reports Moore, seven years into this process, “Though science is messy, it’s amazing how clear our results are.” By the end of the year, there will be 17 commercial farms integrating prairie strips in Iowa and Missouri — a mere 1,000 acres or so (the corn/soy belt is about 170 million acres this year), although the program is increasing rapidly. And because it’s difficult to find fault with it, the approach has the potential to unite farmers and environmentalists in a way that few other things do. Continue reading the main story Recent Comments Urizen 59 minutes ago The current, unsustainable agricultural practices are the result of corporate control of agricultural policy making, which is the result of... C. ANDERSON 59 minutes ago I can understand how strategically locating strips of perennial prairie plants can reduce both water run off and soil loss by wind erosion.... Francis 59 minutes ago No. of Santa Cruz, Bolivia; tropical strips are interspersed in some sugar cane fields; result, higher humidity for cane, more... See All Comments Write a comment Among the first adopters was Seth Watkins, a “conventional” (his description) farmer of corn and soybeans who uses his crops to feed his cattle near the southwestern Iowa town of Clarinda. His explanation of the system is eye-opening: “There’s a lot of land we’ve been farming that was never intended to be farmed, and those areas of poor production are perfect for prairie strips. You do that, and it doesn’t reduce overall production, and it increases environmental benefit.” (He also loves the way it looks.) Watkins claims that his profit has gone up “because there’s land where you can lose a dollar an acre on corn.” In recent years, many Iowa farmers have believed that if they weren’t 100 percent “in” corn, they weren’t doing a good job. Because of the pressure to plant, many of them have expanded their cultivated areas beyond where it makes sense, creating erosion and runoff problems. Iowa is among the major contributors to the Gulf of Mexico’s “dead zone,” a direct result of fertilizer runoff into the Mississippi water system, and half of Iowa’s topsoil has been lost. Some common solutions to these problems — like terracing, or simply patching areas where runoff is extreme — are expensive and/or temporary. But the STRIPS experiment seems to demonstrate that being 90 percent “in” results in unheard of environmental benefits with little or no sacrifice to the bottom line. And, says Watkins, “I’ve felt for years that environmentalists and farmers should be friends, and we are starting to see that in Iowa.” Prairie strips are both cheap and permanent, and they come with little opportunity cost. There does not seem to be an argument against them, other than that they make an imperfect — or even destructive — system less so. But while we’re figuring out a better way to do things on a big scale in the Midwest, this is a sensible interim step.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Forest Service will limit fracking near capital
Columbus Dispatch
wire service

WASHINGTON — Oil and gas development will be limited in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia, the U.S. Forest Service said yesterday in a long-awaited decision over an area that’s home to the headwaters of rivers that provide drinking water for at least 4 million people in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The million-acre national forest in western Virginia sits on the eastern edge of the Marcellus shale formation, whose vast deposits of natural gas have touched off a drilling bonanza in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The oil industry says any natural gas could be extracted with little damage to the national forest and its waters.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Introducing "Natural Gas Exports: Washington's Revolving Door Fuels Climate Threat"
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

DeSmogBlog's Steve Horn and Republic Report's Lee Fang have co-written an in-depth report on the influence the government-industry revolving door has had on Big Oil's ability to obtain four liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permits since 2012 from the Obama Administration. Titled “Natural Gas Exports: Washington's Revolving Door Fuels Climate Threat,” the report published here on DeSmogBlog and on Republic Report serves as the launching pad of an ongoing investigation. It will act as the prelude of an extensive series of articles by both websites uncovering the LNG exports influence peddling machine. The report not only exposes the lobbying apparatus that has successfully opened the door for LNG exports, but also the PR professionals paid to sell them to the U.S. public. It also exposes those who have gone through the “reverse revolving door,” moving from industry back to government and sometimes back again.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline
NY Times
CORAL DAVENPORT and ASHLEY PARKER

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday defeated a bill, 59 to 41, that would have approved the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, rebuffing a Democratic colleague, Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, who had hoped to muscle the legislation through in advance of her uphill runoff election fight back home. The battle over approving the pipeline, which will carry petroleum from the oil sands of Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas, ultimately became a proxy war for the Louisiana Senate seat, where Ms. Landrieu and Representative Bill Cassidy, a Republican, are locked in fight for votes in their oil-rich state ahead of a Dec. 6 runoff election. Ms. Landrieu — who, if re-elected, will lose her coveted position as chairwoman of the Energy Committee when Republicans take the Senate majority next year — spent the past few days working furiously to round up Democratic support for her bill, which she had hoped would be her last, best chance of holding on to her Senate seat.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Native Americans Arrested Following Keystone XL Pipeline Vote
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Anyone following the Keystone XL pipeline vote in the Senate yesterday heard what appeared to be chanting or singing in the background when the final tally of 41-59 was announced, signaling that approval of the pipeline had failed to clear the bar of 60 votes and that congressional approval of the pipeline was delayed for the time being.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
NRC says Algonquin Pipeline no risk to Indian Point
The Journal News
Elizabeth Ganga

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has concluded that a new 42-inch natural gas pipeline crossing the property of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan will not add significant risks to the safety of the reactors. The new section of the Algonquin Pipeline will come across the Hudson River from Rockland County and cross the Indian Point property about a quarter-mile south of the reactors. The new pipeline is part of a multi-state project to increase the amount of gas to New England.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Limited fracking in national forest seemingly won't affect Lynchburg's reservior
News Advance
Justin Faulconer & Alex Rohr

The U.S. Forest Service’s plan to make most of the George Washington National Forest unavailable for the type of oil and gas drilling known as fracking appears to have lifted a concern from Lynchburg officials on potential threats to public drinking water.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Fracking and insurance: Here's what it means for homeowners coverage
Property Casualty 360
Alice Holbrook

The method of natural gas drilling known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has caused controversy across the U.S. Advocates argue that it promises increased energy independence. For others, it means environmental catastrophe. In the ongoing debate, two things are for sure. The practice is responsible for much of the recent spike in natural gas production in the United States, and homeowners are often caught in the middle.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Feds approve fracking in massive Washington National forest
RT


A federally sanctioned decision announced this week will mean fracking can soon occur within portions of the largest national forest in the eastern half of the United States. On Tuesday, the US Forest Service greenlighted a plan that installs rules that will let energy companies conduct hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, within the massive multistate George Washington National Forest.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Health care, gas drilling industries await Gov.-elect Wolf’s footprint
Eagle Ford Texas
Alex Nixon & David Conti

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf is expected to push for change affecting two high-profile industries in Pennsylvania — natural gas production and health care — when he takes office in two months. The York County Democrat successfully campaigned on a number of policy differences with Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, including a pledge to extract more tax revenue from natural gas drillers and fully comply with the Affordable Care Act.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Peters Township weighs zoning options for drilling
Observer-Reporter


McMURRAY – Peters Township Council is working on an update of its zoning ordinances to allow natural gas drilling in certain areas, and Tuesday had a preliminary discussion with the planning commission and township officials ahead of a January public hearing. There was a consensus on at least one thing: Council should remove the mineral extraction overlay districts, which place industrial zoning within residential areas.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Lawmaker wants more answers on Marcellus shale worker safety issues
Metro News
Chris Lawrence

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As the prevalence of natural gas drilling grows in West Virginia some state lawmakers are taking a closer look at the safety of those working on the drilling pads in the Marcellus shale. Several lawmakers raised concerns during an interim legislative committee meeting Wednesday on the safety standards for gas drilling. The industry is defending against critics who believe the standards are not nearly stringent enough and made comparisons to the coal industry.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
PA Department of Environmental Protection citing Sunoco for drilling clay into creek
WTAE


FINLEYVILLE, PA —The state Department of Environmental Protection says it expects to fine Sunoco Logistics for 5,300 gallons of drilling clay that a subcontractor accidentally released into a southwestern Pennsylvania creek two months ago. he (Washington) Observer-Reporter says Sunoco hired the subcontractor to do horizontal drilling on a 53-mile natural gas pipeline that crosses Washington and Westmoreland counties.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Pipeline opponents urge Conestoga officials to enact anti-pipeline law
Lancaster Online
Elaine J. Jones

Conestoga Township supervisors Tuesday vowed to take action in early December on a proposed anti-pipeline law. There are no technical issues with the legislation intended to stop a natural gas pipeline from bisecting Conestoga Township, according to a township solicitor. Attorney Jim Thomas said the rights-based ordinance, which was presented to the board of supervisors earlier this month, "should be accepted or rejected as is."   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
Oil Drilling Plans Near L.A. Neighborhood Prompt Calls for Review
KCET


Residents of Porter Ranch on Tuesday demanded a full environmental assessment of a Long Beach company's proposal to expand oil drilling operations in the Santa Susana Mountains from 18 to 30 wells. Community activists raised concerns ranging from groundwater contamination and health risks to increased earthquake hazards in objecting to The Termo Co.'s request to add the wells to its North Aliso Canyon Field, north of the Santa Susana ridgeline.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2014
CLA claims victory over fracking liability
Farmers Weekly
Isabel Davies

An amendment could be added to the Infrastructure Bill to ensure landowners are not left liable if something goes wrong with fracking, following pressure from the Country Land and Business Association. The CLA has lobbied the government for a number of months over the issue as liability was omitted from the government’s response to the fracking consultation.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Report: Pipeline incident occurs every 30 hours in U.S.
The Wisconsin Gazette


With the U.S. Senate seet to vote on the Keystone XL pipeline today (Nov. 18), an analysis of federal records reveals the destructive toll of pipelines in the United States. In just the 16 months, there have been 372 oil and gas pipeline leaks, spills and other incidents, leading to 20 deaths, 117 injuries and more than $256 million in damages. The new data adds to a June 1, 2013, independent analysis of federal records revealing that since 1986, oil and gas pipeline incidents have resulted in 532 deaths, more than 2,400 injuries and more than $7.5 billion in damages.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
As fracking looms, North Carolina officials worry about road damage
The Fresno Bee
Daniel Salazar

WASHINGTON — Some of the quiet country roads of central North Carolina might not be so quiet much longer. Earlier this year, the state legislature voted to end a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, an extraction technique known as fracking, where water, sand and chemicals are pumped deep underground to release fossil fuels from shale rock. Gov. Pat McCrory said the state had sat on the sidelines of gas exploration for too long.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Forest Service praised for drilling restrictions in G.W. National Forest
The Washington Post
Jenna Portnoy

RICHMOND — Environmental groups and officials praised the U.S. Forest Service on Tuesday for restricting future oil and gas drilling to a small portion of the George Washington National Forest, while some expressed disappointment that any fracking could be allowed. A final plan released Tuesday allows all forms of drilling — including the controversial high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — in about 16 percent of the popular national forest, which comprises 1.1 million acres in Virginia and West Virginia.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Monster Wells: Despite Drought, Hundreds of Fracking Sites Used More Than 10 Million Gallons of Water
Environmental Working Group
Soren Rundquist

When it’s confronted with the growing concern about the vast volumes of water used in hydraulic fracturing of gas and oil wells, industry tries to dodge the question. The American Petroleum Institute (API) points out that drilling wells with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology, commonly called “fracking,” consumes far less water than other commonplace activities such as raising livestock, irrigating crops or even watering golf courses. According to the Institute, the amount of water used to frack one natural gas well “typically is the equivalent of three to six Olympic swimming pools.”1  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Russia-China Deal Could Kill U.S. LNG Exports
OilPrice.com
Kurt Cobb

Russia and China have signed two large natural gas deals in the last six months as Russia turns its attention eastward in reaction to sanctions and souring relations with Europe, currently Russia's largest energy export market. But the move has implications beyond Europe. In the department of everything is connected, U.S. natural gas producers may be seeing their dream of substantial liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports suffer fatal injury because of Russian exports to the Chinese market, a market that was expected to be the largest and most profitable for LNG exporters. Petroleum geologist and consultant Art Berman--who has been consistently skeptical of the viability of U.S. LNG exports--communicated in an email that Russian supply will force the price of LNG delivered to Asia down to between $10 and $11, too low for American LNG exports to be profitable. Now, let's back up a little. U.S. natural gas producers have been trying to sell the story of an American energy renaissance based on growing domestically produced gas supplies from deep shale deposits--now being exploited through a new form of hydraulic fracturing called high-volume slick-water hydraulic fracturing.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Bird Mortality in Oil & Gas Fields
The Marcellus Effect
Sue Heavenrich

Pepper Trail may be the only full-time forensic ornithologist. He works for the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab in Ashland, Oregon. On November 3 he visited the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to talk about the sort of work he does. Trail documents evidence of crimes against birds. That can include anything from smuggling endangered species to trade in feathered craft items. One of the most common kinds of evidence he gets – accounting for a quarter to a third of all his cases – is oiled birds.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
More Than 300 A Year: New Analysis Shows Devastating Impact of Pipeline Spills
Common Dreams
Deirdre Fulton

'There’s no way to get around the fact that oil and gas pipelines are dangerous and have exacted a devastating toll on people and wildlife,' attorney says   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Chemical-loaded water is main output of US fracking industry
BizNews
John Kemp

LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – The biggest product of the U.S. petroleum industry is not oil, gas or condensate but water — billions and billions of gallons containing dissolved salts, grease and even naturally occurring radioactive materials. In 2007, when the shale revolution was still in its infant stages, the U.S. oil and gas industry was already producing more than 20 billion barrels of waste water per year, according to researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory(“Produced water volumes and management practices in the United States”, 2009).  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Fracking Approved in Largest National Forest in Eastern U.S.
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Despite strong opposition from both elected officials in the affected areas and environmental groups, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has approved fracking in George Washington Forest. Objections to the plan came from members of Congress from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Washington D.C. city council, which passed a resolution opposing it in March. McAuliffe reiterated his opposition before a meeting of the state’s Climate Change and Resilience Commission in September.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
The Hip-Hop Battle on Fracking and Climate Chang
National Journal


Common's newest track began with a conversation about water pollution. "We're in the studio, and we're talking about how bad the water is and this drought in Southern California where you've got the reservoirs drying up. We're looking at pictures online and we're saying, 'We're in trouble,'" said producer Malik Yusef. "When we talked about some of the obvious problems, he said, 'This is real.' It's one of these situations where you have to ask what we can do."  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Breaking: Senate Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

The Senate voted this evening to reject the Keystone XL pipeline that would have carried Alberta tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The measure failed by a vote of 41-59. Sixty votes are required to pass a bill out of the Senate. The project has been stalled for six years due to widespread public opposition.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Pennsylvania gets no property tax from expanding pipelines
State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

While Pennsylvania gains no tax revenue from expanding pipelines, that’s not the case across the river in New Jersey. The Allentown Morning-Call reports on how the proposed Penn East pipeline is expected to generate $54,000 for Delaware Township, New Jersey, and $329,000 each year to the local county and school district. But on the Pennsylvania side of the river, the towns, counties and school districts hosting new pipelines get zero tax dollars from the project. That’s because Pennsylvania charges no property tax on oil and gas operations, which includes an exemption for pipelines.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Delaware River Basin Commission to review $1 billion PennEast natural gas pipeline project
NJ.com
Mary Iuvone Brendan McGrath

The Delaware River Basin Commission will review the $1 billion PennEast natural gas pipeline project proposed for the region, officials said in a letter released Tuesday. DRBC Executive Director Steven Tambini said that after an internal review of materials submitted by PennEast, the commission has determined that the project is subject to its review. The letter was in response to a request by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, which asked the DRBC to intervene in September. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is one of the main opponents of the pipeline, which would carry natural gas about 100 miles from northeastern Pennsylvania through Hunterdon County to Hopewell.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Texas plant cleared for LNG exports
UPI
Daniel J. Graeber

FREEPORT, Texas, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- With federal approval in hand, construction should start in December on a liquefied natural gas export facility in Freeport, Texas, the lead company said. Freeport LNG Expansion announced it received final authorization from the Department of Energy to send gas from its planned facility on Quintana Island off the coast of Texas to countries that don't have a free-trade agreement with the United States. The first two trains -- facilities that cool gas to liquid form -- should enter into service before the start of the next decade. Freeport LNG will have three trains.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Jordan Cove LNG in Coos Bay could quickly become one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in Oregon
The Oregonian
Ted Sickinger

A proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos Bay could quickly become one of the largest, if not the largest emitter, of greenhouse gases in Oregon, federal data shows. Jordan Cove Energy Project is seeking state permission to release 2.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and equivalents annually, equal to 3 percent of the state's greenhouse emissions during 2013. In the short run, Jordan Cove's emissions would still be well below those of Portland General Electric's coal plant in Boardman. But that plant is slated to shut down in 2020. Depending on what other plants are approved to replace Boardman, Jordan Cove could become the largest emitter in the state if it operated near capacity. The relative scale of the emissions emerged when The Oregonian compared data contained in the federal environmental analysis of the Jordan Cove project with emission reports for the state's major polluters for the last several years.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Obama Administration Protects George Washington National Forest From New Oil and Gas Drilling
Think Progress
Clare Moser

In one of the most closely-watched decisions the Obama Administration has made over how to balance conservation and energy development in a national forest, the U.S. Forest Service announced on Tuesday it will not allow new oil and gas leasing and drilling in the 1.1 million-acre George Washington National Forest in Virginia. The decision protects the majority of Forest against industrial development in areas that supply drinking water supply to 4.5 million residents of Washington D.C., Richmond, VA, and surrounding areas. Tuesday’s final plan states that, “with the exception of existing leases, no lands are available for federal oil and gas drilling.”  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
EPA to increase methane monitoring for oil and gas
Bakken.com
Zach Koppang

In an effort to track climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving to require oil and gas operators to improve how methane leaks are measured, reports Pennsylvania StateImpact, a reporting project of National Public Radio member stations. Carbon dioxide has long been the target in the fight against global warming, but methane is more harmful in the short-term. As drilling for oil and gas continues across the nation, more methane is escaping into the atmosphere. Speaking to a room full of students at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said that fracking operations don’t need to intensify global warming. McCarthy said, “It’s about using some tremendously creative new technologies that actually allow us to remotely look at all this work that is going on across the U.S. and figure out where those leaks are, where those releases are, and how best to change our operations to get at a significant source of carbon pollution.”  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Huge Amounts of Carcinogenic Chemicals Contaminate Air Near Fracking Sites
Global Research
Julie Wilson

It seems as though, with each day that passes, yet another health and environmental hazard is identified as being linked to hydraulic fracking, the process of injecting more than 200 chemicals at high pressure into the ground, shattering rock and releasing one America’s most valued resources, natural gas. Hydraulic fracking continues to be proven more dangerous than scientists imagined, with the latest research unmasking unthinkable health effects in residents living near a fracking site. Only through observation have scientists begun to learn exactly which chemicals are being injected at high pressures into the earth, as the industry believes proprietary rights trump the public’s right to know about which chemicals make up fracking mixtures.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Tar Sands Outlook: Costly Opposition, In Perpetuity
Energy Policy Forum
Tom Sanzillo

The bottom line on the financial analysis we published last week around Canadian tar-sands development is that public opposition has cost and will continue to cost the industry billions of dollars in lost revenues. These are not untold billions. Our analysis shows that half of these lost revenues from 2010-2030 — $17 billion — have come or will come from public opposition that has forced delays or cancellation in developing the tar sands. These are real, material risks. For their business model to work, tar-sands producers will require improved access to global markets, and better prices for what they’re selling. Current transportation bottlenecks are a major factor in the industry’s inability to get higher prices. More pipeline capacity would provide the access they seek and a crucial revenue boost to improve profit margins, stock performance and to meet company growth projections.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Mayor de Blasio, Please Add Climate Change to Your Progressive Agenda
Huffington Post
Josh Fox

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the shock and dismay of progressives at the losses suffered in the mid-term elections in the best possible way: by telling them to stiffen their backbones. I couldn't agree more. Democrats have bent over backwards to appear "moderate" or mainstream, weakening what could be truly progressive positions and in some cases completely abandoning their morality (and their base) altogether. The result has been low enthusiasm, low turnout and democratic bloodletting. Mayor de Blasio is urging democrats to have a sincere, profound and truly progressive vision for the future, based on guts, values and true passion for people's rights and equality, not to wishy-washy themselves into oblivion. He understands that elections are all about passion -- the party that has it wins. Right now the Tea Party has passion -- never mind that they are the party of crazy; never mind that they lambast science and reason at every turn. They have passion to equal their campaign cash and they are winning.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
In Compromise Plan, Limited Fracking Is Approved for National Forest in Virginia
The New York Times
TRIP GABRIEL

Drilling for oil and natural gas will be mostly off-limits in the largest national forest in the East, whose streams bring drinking water to Washington and Richmond, Va., the federal government said Tuesday. But in a reversal of an earlier proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing throughout the forest, the controversial technique can go forward on privately controlled land in the George Washington National Forest, which rises in the mountains west of Charlottesville, Va. The decision was a compromise that allowed some fracking while closing 90 percent of the forest to fracking and conventional drilling, which the earlier proposal would have permitted. In an unusual outcome, groups on all sides — industry, environmentalists and the governor of Virginia — claimed victory in the compromise management plan, years in the making.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
House Passes Bill That Makes It Harder For Scientists To Advise The EPA
ThinkProgress
EMILY ATKIN

While their Senate colleagues were engaged in a fiery debate over the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline, the House on Tuesday quietly passed a bill that environmentalists say would hamper the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to use the best scientific information when crafting regulations to protect public health and the environment.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Family Blames Environmental Violations for Illness
FOX NEWS- San Antonio


By: Erin Nichols: Krystal Henagan used to live across the highway from the Vulcan Materials Company ready-mixed plant off Highway 1604 and O’Connor Road. According to Henagan, once her family moved there, they started feeling sick. "Rheumatic fever, flu-like symptoms, cough, I started losing my balance," said Henagan. “My 4-year-old son had several mucus plugs in his lungs and even though we were treating it with medication, the symptoms weren’t going away.” Henagan said her neighbors were sick too with similar symptoms. "I just knew that it wasn't right," she said. Henagan discovered a thick layer of dust kept making its way into her home.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Schumer and Gillibrand to vote against Keystone
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand will both vote against the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday, their offices confirmed to Capital. The pipeline vote in the Senate is expected to be extremely close, with 59 supporters as of Monday—one vote shy of the 60 needed to prevent a filibuster.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Cleaning up the fracking mess
Al Jazeera America
Stephanie Becker

t was Dale Carnegie who made popular the phrase, “If you have a lemon, make lemonade.” And that’s the kind of transformation a couple of smarty pants brothers are hoping to make in an industry that’s taking a bit of a drubbing these days. The problem: leftovers from fracking. Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It’s a technique used to extract natural gas and petroleum from the rock way below the earth’s surface. The way it works is a fluid – a mixture of toxic chemicals, water and sand - is pumped down a pipe into the ground under enormous pressure, cracking the rock and allowing the gas and oil to flow back up the pipe. The gas and oil are separated from the water. Then the left over water, or frack waste water is trucked to another site and pumped into even deeper underground holding wells called injection or disposal wells.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Hydraulic fracturing to be permitted in GW National Forest
Penn Energy
Brock Vergakis AP

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Environmentalists and energy boosters alike welcomed a federal compromise announced Tuesday that will allow fracking in the largest national forest in the eastern United States, but make most of its woods off-limits to drilling. The decision was highly anticipated because about half of the George Washington National Forest sits atop the Marcellus shale formation, a vast underground deposit of natural gas that runs from upstate New York to West Virginia and yields more than $10 billion in gas a year. The federal management plan reverses an outright ban on hydraulic fracturing that the U.S. Forest Service had proposed in 2011 for the 1.1 million-acre forest, which includes the headwaters of the James and Potomac rivers. Those rivers feed the Chesapeake Bay, which is the focus of a multibillion-dollar, multistate restoration directed by the Environmental Protection Agency. A total ban would have been a first for America's national forests, which unlike national parks are commonly leased out for mining, timber and drilling. But some environmentalists were pleased that at least some balance was struck between energy development and conservation.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Judge Hears Arguments Over Fracking Injunction
WSILTV.COM
Associated Press

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois judge is mulling over whether to grant a preliminary injunction to stop new rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling from taking effect. A group of landowners filed a lawsuit last week, claiming the Department of Natural Resources violated several procedures as it wrote rules to implement a state law regulating hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking. Among the allegations is that the DNR didn't consider scientific studies and there was no agency representative available to answer residents' questions at public hearings.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
US allows limited fracking in Virginia national forest
Bangor Daily News
Reuters

The U.S. Forest Service said Tuesday it approved limited hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and natural gas in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia and West Virginia. The Forest Service said in a release its plan limits the amount of land available for oil and gas leases to 10,000 acres, down from 995,000 acres under the forest’s previous management plan. The forest consists of 1.1 million acres. The 10,000 acres already had been leased under the previous Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, which was last revised in 1993, the Forest Service said. Despite the existing leases, the service said the forest has never been a supplier of natural gas and there has been no recent expression of interest in exploring or developing forest land for that purpose.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Environmentalists back forest mining limits
NewsLeader
Calvin Trice

tate and local environmentalists praised the U.S. Forest Service's final management plan released Tuesday for prohibiting oil and gas drilling on nearly all the national forest land, though concerns remain about land in Highland County leased to companies for mining. A 2011 Forest Service plan to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, inside forest boundaries would have applied only to the horizontal techniques used to extract natural gas from shale formations.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Abita Springs to withdraw from St. Tammany chamber of commerce over group's support of oil industry
NOLA.com
Kim Chatelain

The town of Abita Springs is withdrawing its membership from the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce because of the business group's stated support of the energy industry. In a letter to chamber officials, Abita Springs Mayor Greg Lemons said he interprets the chamber's position as veiled support of the controversial proposal by Helis Oil to drill and frack for oil near Mandeville. The Northshore Business Council and Greater New Orleans Inc. have both issued statements recently in support of the oil and gas business. The statements were made against the backdrop of heated community debate over the merits and risks of Helis' fracking proposal. Helis, of New Orleans, wants to drill a well near Mandeville and use the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process to extract oil from an ancient layer of shale known as the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
'Monster' Fracking Wells Guzzled 3.3 Billion Gallons Of Water In Drought-Stricken Areas, Environmental Report Finds
International Business Times
Maria Gallucci

Hundreds of massive oil and gas wells in the United States guzzled 10 million to 25 million gallons of water each through the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process, a study found. Many of those wells were drilled in Texas, where large swaths of the state are suffering exceptional or extreme drought. More than 3.3 billion gallons of water was used to drill 261 “monster wells” in the 3 1/2-year period from April 2010 to December 2013, according to the Tuesday report by Environmental Working Group, a Washington research and advocacy group. About two-thirds of those fracking operations were in drought-stricken areas in Texas, Pennsylvania and Colorado.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Ohio Elections Yield Mixed Results on Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans
JD Supra
Andrew Doggett

Last week’s Election Day in Ohio produced victories for fracing supporters and opponents alike. Proposed hydraulic fracturing bans were on the ballot in four different municipal contests. Voters in one city, Athens, approved a ban, while similar legislation was rebuffed in three other municipalities. Looming in the background of these referenda, however, is the Ohio Supreme Court’s anticipated decision in Monroe Falls v. Beck Energy Corporation, which could determine the extent of localities’ authority to regulate fracing activities. The ban in Athens, a city in the southeastern part of the state, passed in resounding fashion with 78% of the vote. There, voters endorsed legislation that prohibits fracing as well as the transportation of wastewater from any such operations.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
No fracking, we're German! Berlin reiterates moratorium on drilling
RT


Germany says it is not going to loosen restrictions concerning its moratorium on fracking. A report in Der Spiegel had said the government was considering making it easier to extract shale gas and allow test drilling. Said the Government on Monday it Has no Plans to Lift Ban on the fracking, Reuters Reported. Currently there are only plans to allow fracking at a depth below 3,000 meters to ensure that the water supply does not become contaminated. The effective ban is popular with Germans as the process of hydraulic fracturing involves pumping water and chemicals through drill holes at a high pressure to try and open rocks that may contain gas.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Halliburton lobbies White House on fracking rules
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Officials from oil and gas drilling services giant Halliburton Co. lobbied White House officials this month on the Obama administration’s proposed hydraulic fracturing rules. The Halliburton representatives complained that the Interior Department’s proposed rules for fracking on federal land do not go far enough in allowing Halliburton to keep secret the chemicals it uses in fracking. Requiring certain disclosures of the chemicals that fracking companies use was one of the main focuses of Interior’s rules proposed in 2013.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Thousands Of California Kids Attend School Near Fracking — And Most Of Them Are Minorities
Think Progress
Emily Atkin

More than 350,000 of California’s six million schoolchildren attend school within one mile of active oil and gas drilling, and most of those kids are minorities, according to a report scheduled to be released Tuesday by the non-profit FracTracker Alliance. FracTracker’s California program director Kyle Ferrar paired oil well data sets from the California Department of Conservation Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources with state school district and enrollment demographic data, and found two key trends: One is that a large number of California children attend school within close proximity to oil and gas development, including fracking. And the second is that those schools closest to oil and gas operations are predominantly Hispanic and non-white.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
As fracking booms, waste spills rise — and so do arsenic levels in groundwater
PRI
Reid Frazier Adam Wernick

“Our well water is so good,” says the resident of Cecil Township, a Pennsylvania town just south of Pittsburgh. “I mean, it’s delicious, it’s cold, and there are no water bills.” But she's worried it may not stay that way for long. Dumont lives near a potentially leaky "impoundment," a site where energy companies store the waste from hydraulic fracturing. The process, commonly called "fracking," uses high-powered jets of water and chemicals to cut through soil. There are now 8,000 fracking wells in Pennsylvania, producing billions of gallons of "frackwater" — and an average of more than one wastewater spill per week so far this year.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Fracking to be allowed in largest national forest on US east coast
The Guardian
AP

Over the objection of environmental groups and Virginia’s governor, a federal management plan released on Tuesday will allow a form of natural gas drilling known as fracking to occur in parts of the largest national forest on the east coast. The US Forest Service originally planned to ban fracking in the 1.1m-acre George Washington National Forest, but energy companies cried foul after a draft of the plan was released in 2011. It would have been the first outright ban on the practice in a national forest. “We think we’ve ended up in a much better place, which is we are allowing oil and gas drilling,” Robert Bonnie, the US Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary for natural resources and environment, told the Associated Press in a telephone interview.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Concerns, protests over Ohio fracking
Vindy.com


An update on lawmaker action and other activities at the Ohio Statehouse related to horizontal hydraulic fracturing: Protest: About a half-dozen members of Radioactive Waste Alert and Food & Water Watch protested outside a downtown Columbus hotel where Gov. John Kasich offered a pre-election speech. The environmental advocates are seeking a ban on horizontal hydraulic fracturing-related activities in the state. “We’re out here today to demand that Gov. Kasich give us answers on how he’s going to protect us from the toxic radioactive waste from fracking and how we can move forward with an honest debate about whether or not we should be fracking in the first place,” said Alison Auciello, an organizer with Food & Water Watch. Severance Tax: During that same speech, Kasich again smacked out-of-state oil and gas companies, industry groups and Republican lawmakers for refusing to back his proposed increase to severance taxes, saying he would continue to fight to implement higher rates on fuel produced via horizontal hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Lower Oil Prices Slow Fracking, but Kill Solar
American Thinker
Bill Gunderson

Environmentalists should be ecstatic. The Saudis are doing for them what they have tried and tried and tried to do for themselves, but could not: Stop fracking. But their green smiles are quickly turning into frowns as more and more enviros recognize the same lower oil prices that hurt fracking are killing their most treasured darlings: Solar and wind power. Today fracking -- pumping sand and water at high pressure to release copious quantities of oil and natural gas from hard to reach places -- is on the verge of turning the United States from an energy importer to energy exporter.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Opponents against pipeline say lawsuit isn't out of the question
WDBJ.com
Shayne Dwyer

BLACKSBURG, Va. - It was a packed house in Blacksburg Monday night to find out what rights property owners along the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline route truly have. Angela Stanton, co-founder of Preserve the New River Valley, organized the event that drew residents from all over Southwest Virginia. "We want them to feel empowered about their property rights," Stanton said. "We really want them to understand what they can do to protect their land."  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Hearing set for natural gas pipeline from Vermont to northern NY paper mill
Daily Journal
AP

ELIZABETHTOWN, New York — A large turnout is expected for a public hearing on a proposed natural gas pipeline from Vermont to a northern New York paper mill. Tuesday night's hearing in Elizabethtown is the only New York hearing scheduled for the proposed Vermont Gas Systems pipeline to International Paper's Ticonderoga mill. New York's Public Service Commission will conduct the session on the 10-inch-diameter pipeline that would run under Lake Champlain. The Vermont Public Service Board has already conducted hearings. Environmental groups from Vermont oppose the pipeline, saying it would not benefit Vermont and would continue a use of fossil fuels.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
A Forest Threatened by Keystone XL
NY Times
ANDREW NIKIFORUK

ENVIRONMENTALISTS typically fret about the prospect of adding monstrous new amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if the Keystone XL pipeline is approved, and for good reason. Bitumen, the low-grade petroleum in Canada’s tar sands that would be carried by the pipeline to the United States, emits an estimated 17 percent more greenhouse gases overall than an average barrel of crude refined in America, according to a report earlier this year by the Congressional Research Service.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Officials: Pipeline project will need additional review
WFMZ TV


WEST TRENTON, N.J., - In the wake of public input, officials say the proposed PennEast Pipeline will be subject to additional review before it can move forward. The Delaware River Basin Commission says it has received multiple requests from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, as well as hundreds of letters from individuals. Read more from WFMZ.com at: http://www.wfmz.com/news/officials-pipeline-project-will-need-additional-review/29799194 Connect with us... Facebook/69WFMZ or @69News   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Federal regulator warns reversing pipeline flow to handle new oil, gas could result in spill, website reports
NOLA.com
Mark Schleifstein

Even as the U.S. Senate considers a vote on building the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S., the federal agency that regulates pipelines is warning that a new money-saving trend of reversing the flow of oil and natural gas in existing pipelines or changing the product they carry could threaten the pipelines' safety, according to InsideClimate News. Reporter Elizabeth Douglass wrote that a Sept. 12 notice from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration represents the first time the agency has officially cautioned industry about these potential safety problems. The warning addresses increased practices of restarting, reversing or reworking pipelines to handle Canada tar sands oil, such as would be carried by Keystone, or in other pipelines being developed to handle increased oil and gas supplies in the U.S.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
What Does the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline Entail?
NY Times
Coral Davenport

Q. What is the Keystone XL pipeline? A. The Keystone oil pipeline system is designed to carry up to 830,000 barrels of petroleum per day from the oil sands of boreal forests in Alberta, Canada to oil refineries and ports on the Gulf Coast. About half of the system is already built, including a pipeline that runs east from Alberta and down through North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. The State Department is now reviewing a proposed 1,179-mile addition to the pipeline, the Keystone XL, a shortcut that would start in Hardisty, Canada and diagonally bisect Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. From Steele City, Neb., the addition would connect to existing pipelines to the Gulf  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
New governor, legal delays might imperil plans to drill under public lands
Power Source
Laura Legere

The election of a new governor combined with delays caused by a legal settlement might imperil plans by Gov. Tom Corbett and the legislature to raise $95 million by signing new natural gas leases on public lands this fiscal year. Gov.-elect Tom Wolf, a Democrat, campaigned on a pledge to reinstate the ban on new oil and gas leases in state parks and forests that was in place from October 2010 through this May. His inauguration is Jan. 20. That leaves little time for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to evaluate proposals by drilling companies, especially since the state agreed not to sign any leases while the Commonwealth Court considers an environmental group’s legal challenge to the way the state raises and spends revenue from oil and gas wells on public lands.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
WPX to divest from Marcellus Shale as profiting from gas proving more difficult
Times Tribune
Brandan Gibbs

WPX Energy Inc. will divest from the Marcellus Shale with no plans to drill any new wells in Pennsylvania for the foreseeable future. The Tulsa-based company spun off from Williams Companies Inc. in 2011. Its new CEO, petroleum engineer Rick Muncrief, joined the company in May and took a hard look at WPX’s assets, spokeswoman Susan Oliver said. WPX will now focus on developing its acreage in the oil and natural gas liquids fields of Colorado, North Dakota and New Mexico, she said. “The decision was made to divest of the Marcellus asset because we get a better return with drilling for oil and natural gas liquids than the dry gas here,” she said. Its decision came as no surprise to Lou D’Amico, president and director of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2014
Conservationists applaud keeping George Washington National Forest lands closed to drilling, fracking
Augusta Free Press


Local conservation and community groups expressed support for today’s decision from the U.S. Forest Service to make the George Washington National Forest unavailable for oil and gas drilling, except for a small portion of the forest already under gas lease or subject to private mineral rights. The long-term forest management plan, released today, makes clear that no additional GW lands will be opened up to leasing and drilling, while existing gas development rights remain unaddressed by the plan. On this 1.1-million acre forest, only around 10,000 acres are currently under gas lease and 167,000 acres are subject to private mineral rights. There is no gas drilling on the GW currently. “This decision protects the existing uses and values of the special George Washington National Forest,” said Sarah Francisco, senior attorney at the southern environmental law center. “As a native Virginian who grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, I’m pleased that the U.S. Forest Service has done the right thing and recognized that the George Washington National Forest—a beloved place for our entire region—deserves protection.”  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Talisman Said in Talks to Sell Marcellus Pipelines
Bloomberg
Matthew Monks

A deal valuing the assets at more than $1 billion could be announced within three weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. An agreement hasn’t been finalized and Talisman could still select another buyer, the people said. Regency is controlled by billionaire Kelcy Warren’s Energy Transfer Equity LP. (ETE) U.S. pipeline operators have been aggressively making acquisitions to better handle a surge in U.S. oil and gas production. Talisman, under pressure from activist Carl Icahn, has announced plans to sell assets in the U.S., Canada and Norway to cut costs and boost profits. Talisman rose 2.3 percent to C$6.56 today at the close in in Toronto, giving the company a market value of about C$6.8 billion ($6 billion). Regency Energy rose less than one percent to $29.66 in New York.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Experts Exploring Link Between Natural Gas Drilling & Earthquakes
CBS Pittsburgh
David Highfield

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Some places that rarely have earthquakes are having them now, and officials have linked some of them to fracking or related activities. While Marcellus Shale drilling has meant billions of dollars for Pennsylvania, across the state line in Ohio it’s also meant some shaking, according to state experts.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Some Lancaster County groups lukewarm about free money from pipeline company
Lancaster Online
Ad Crable

Lancaster County groups may not be lining up with open arms to receive conservation gifts under a first-ever grant giveaway announced by the builder of a controversial proposed pipeline. Williams and hired consultant The Conservation Fund have invited more than a dozen groups to attend a preliminary “focus” meeting Tuesday morning at Millersville University. But not all the groups invited for the competitive process will be attending.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Scottish coalition of environmental and community groups unite to oppose fracking
Shale Energy Insider
James Perkins

A new coalition of Scottish community and environmental groups has urged the Scottish government to introduce a moratorium on fracking, in an editorial letter written to the Scottish Herald. Led by Concerned Communities of Falkirk (CCoF) and Friends of the Earth Scotland, the coalition has argued that the threats from shale gas extraction are “impossible to regulate away” with a total ban the only viable option.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
40% of Wisconsin ‘Frac Sand’ Producers Violated Environmental Rules
ZME Science


The bloom of fracking has led to a boom in silica extraction, and the state enjoyed a major economic growth, with thousands of new jobs and a new, thriving industry. However, there have also been negative results. People are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential negative impact that fracking has on the environment, and ultimately, on their health. Many argue that rules and regulations are minimal, and enforcement is practically non existent. This study seems to back that up.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Four more earthquakes rattle south-central Kansas over the weekend
Wichita Eagle
Associated Press

ANTHONY Four more earthquakes were reported in south-central Kansas during the weekend. No serious injuries or damage was reported. The U.S. Geological Survey says the largest quake was a 3.8-magnitude earthquake that was centered northwest of Anthony in Harper County early Saturday. Two 3.1-magnitude quakes hit just northeast of Anthony on Sunday, one about 3 a.m. and the other about 8:30 p.m.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Bought by Halliburton, future unclear for Baker Hughes’ fracking disclosure policy
State Impact PA
Katie Colaneri

The drilling industry awoke Monday morning to the news that two major oil field services firms would become one. Halliburton will buy Baker Hughes for $34.6 billion, a union that EnergyWire reports will “create a powerhouse in the hydraulic fracturing business.” Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger are the three biggest suppliers of oil and gas development tools and technology, including the chemicals used to frack wells. That’s why it made headlines last spring when Baker Hughes announced it would adopt a new policy of disclosing “100 percent” of its fracking fluid recipes and phasing out the use of “trade secret” claims. Drillers that are Baker Hughes’ clients have begun posting the information to the website FracFocus.org as of Oct. 1  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Popular Illinois park at center of struggle over sand used in fracking
WQAD
Shane Simmons

Starved Rock State Park continually lures more than two million visitors every year, from all around the United States, to nearly 3,000 scenic acres in LaSalle County, Illinois. “It reminds me of Yellowstone National Park,” said Allen Trendler, who traveled with his wife, Rita, from Florida to relish Starved Rock State Park’s beauty. Known for it’s steep canyons, hiking trails and beautiful views, the park is stuck in the center of an ideological tug-of-war between conservation and development. At the center of the issue is silica sand: It forms the beautiful canyons, and it’s also used in manufacturing and is a valuable resource for the process of hydraulic fracturing.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Natural Gas Futures Surge on Cold Weather
Wall Street Journal
Christian Berthelsen

Natural gas prices on Monday soared to their biggest one-day gain in nearly nine months, as traders and investors braced for below-normal temperatures that are expected to stoke demand for the heating fuel. The arrival of frigid weather early in the season is reviving concerns that another brutal winter could strain the nation's natural-gas supplies. Last year's severe cold led to record gas consumption by businesses, households and utilities and a sharp runup in prices. Over the weekend, several weather forecasters revised downward their projections for temperatures in the eastern U.S. during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. That has spurred analysts and traders to draw comparisons with last winter, which also ended up being unexpectedly cold and a drag on economic growth generally. Natural gas for December delivery jumped 8% to $4.341 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That's the largest one-day dollar and percentage gain since Feb. 19, when gas prices hit their high for the year amid rapidly dwindling supplies.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
New pipelines here, nationwide trigger demand for personnel
Chron.com
Alice Adams

Delivering crude oil, natural gas and refined petroleum products (such as gasoline, jet fuel and heating oil) reliably, safely, efficiently and economically, pipelines move nearly two-thirds of the oil and petroleum products transported annually. Pipelines extend from the Texas Gulf Coast across the country, reaching essentially every major consumption market east of the Rocky Mountains. Intrastate pipelines in Texas account for 45,000 of the total miles of natural gas pipelines in the state - and the growth of the liquefied natural gas industry has created need for additional pipeline capacity. "Texas' pipeline industry is a key component of our energy infrastructure and our nation's ever-growing energy needs," said Thure Cannon, president of Texas Pipeline Association, "and due to a dramatic increase in the state's oil and gas production, demand for additional pipelines is expected to increase."  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
FERC Issues Draft Environmental Review for Jordan Cove LNG and Pacific Connector Pipeline
Breaking Energy
ENERKNOL RESEARCH

On November 7, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Jordan Cove Energy Project LP’s proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal at Coos Bay, Oregon and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP’s proposed natural gas transmission pipeline between Malin, Oregon and the Jordan Cove terminal.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Pipeline Alert From Federal Regulator Is First of Its Kind
Inside Climate News
Elizabeth Douglass

Reversing oil and natural gas pipelines or switching the product they're carrying can have a "significant impact" on the line's safety and integrity—and "may not be advisable" in some cases, federal regulators told pipeline companies in a recent advisory. The alert is the first time the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has officially cautioned the industry about potential safety threats from restarting, reversing or reworking pipelines to handle Canadian tar sands oil and the surge in U.S. oil and natural gas supplies. If not handled properly, those changes can increase the risk of pipeline leaks and ruptures, the Sept. 12 notice said.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Pipeline will pump Eagle Ford gas to Mexican market
Eagle Ford News
Zachary Toliver

NET Mexico Pipeline Partners LLC announced today that a pipeline which will move natural gas produced from the Eagle Ford Shale to Mexico is officially open for business. San Antonio Express-News reported today that the 120-mile pipeline is ready to export natural gas to Mexico’s booming energy market. Since Mexico has lacked the means to develop their own natural gas reserves, the new importing project is sure to help with exponential growth in the country’s energy consumption. Energy demand has increased four times as much as the overall economic growth at times within the past ten years.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Mothers Push for Bold Climate Action
Huffington Post
Ellen van Bever

New natural gas pipelines are not an easy fix for our high electricity prices. In fact, they are dangerous options that threaten to lock us into fossil fuel dependence and tip the scale to runaway climate change. It is time for our politicians to recognize this and take bold action to make Massachusetts a clean energy state. As mothers we cannot stand by while Massachusetts makes energy decisions that neglect scientific evidence and condemn our children to an uncertain future marred by climate change. The myth of natural gas as a clean, nontoxic energy source has been unraveling inexorably over the past decade. Scientific studies increasingly call into question the purported benefits of natural gas over coal. One reason is the unknown amount of methane that leaks during the production, transmission and distribution of the fuel. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, anywhere from one to nine percent of extracted gas leaks in the form of methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. While we appreciate the political difficulties of facing this reality, it is clear that natural gas is not the safe energy choice for our children and grandchildren and our reliance on it only delays the development of clean and renewable sources.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Edelman’s TransCanada Astroturf Documents Expose Oil Industry’s Broad Attack on Public Interest
De Smog Blog
Brendan DeMelle

Documents obtained by Greenpeace detail a desperate astroturf PR strategy designed by Edelman for TransCanada to win public support for its Energy East tar sands export pipeline. TransCanada has failed for years to win approval of the controversial border-crossing Keystone XL pipeline, so apparently the company has decided to “win ugly or lose pretty” with an aggressive public relations attack on its opponents.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Edelman’s TransCanada Astroturf Documents Expose Oil Industry’s Broad Attack on Public Interest
DeSmogBlog
BRENDAN DEMELLE

Documents obtained by Greenpeace detail a desperate astroturf PR strategy designed by Edelman for TransCanada to win public support for its Energy East tar sands export pipeline. TransCanada has failed for years to win approval of the controversial border-crossing Keystone XL pipeline, so apparently the company has decided to “win ugly or lose pretty” with an aggressive public relations attack on its opponents.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
10 Arrested as ‘We Are Seneca Lake’ Protests Continue
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Ten people were arrested Nov. 17 for blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility on the shore of New York’s Seneca Lake. This protest marks the fourth week of the “We Are Seneca Lake” campaign to stop the major expansion project at the methane gas storage facility where plans are underway to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Halliburton to Buy Baker Hughes for $34.6 Billion
NY Times
Michale J De La Merced

Updated, 1:16 p.m. | Halliburton agreed on Monday to buy Baker Hughes for about $34.6 billion, uniting two big oil field services providers in a friendly deal only days after a hostile takeover battle appeared imminent. But the tie-up raises questions about whether the takeover will survive antitrust scrutiny, given the level of consolidation that it promises within the oil production services business. Under the terms of the transaction, Halliburton will pay 1.12 of its shares and $19 in cash for each Baker Hughes share. That was valued at about $78.62 as of Nov. 12, the day before news of their discussions became public. The deal came after an announcement by Baker Hughes on Friday that its bigger rival had submitted a list of board nominees after talks between the two companies broke down, suggesting that Halliburton was willing to go hostile.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Trading Up? Just how far-reaching would a new Asia-Pacific trade deal be?
Politico


Looking ahead to the next Congress, Republicans on Capitol Hill see trade as one issue where they actually, maybe, possibly might be able to compromise with the White House. In fact, it’s many of Obama’s fellow Democrats who have expressed opposition to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which, if signed, would bring the United States into a new economic pact with 11 Asia-Pacific countries. (“NAFTA on steroids,” some have called it, and not admiringly.) While the politics of the potential deal remain uncertain, the scale of it is clear: huge. Together, the TPP member countries would account for roughly 40 percent of global GDP and one-third of worldwide trade. On a trip to Asia and Australia last week, President Obama called the potential agreement “a historic achievement.” The stakes are high, and the potential enormous. But what might we be overlooking or failing to anticipate? Politico Magazine asked leading thinkers around the country to tell us the biggest unintended consequence of the agreement—whether the implications for 2016 presidential politics, domestic reform in China or marine fisheries—and here’s what they told us.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
High cost of cheap gas
RT News


The environmental problems caused by fracking in America have been well publicized, but lesser known are the gas industry’s plans for expansion in other countries. This investigation, filmed in Botswana, South Africa, Alaska and North America, reveals how fracking plants are quietly invading some of the most protected places on the planet - including Africa’s national parks. Deep in the Kalahari Desert, fracking ops take place across the migration routes of Africa’s largest elephant population - threatening their survival. Plans to allow fracking in the Karoo in South Africa, a region of natural beauty, have been condemned as “completely irresponsible.” Water is extremely scarce and people are concerned about an industry that sucks up and potentially pollutes the little available water there is.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Environmentalists Brace for Battles with Congress
Bloomberg
Lisa Lerer

Environmentalists are happy with everything that's going on in Washington. Except for Congress. Last week, President Barack Obama announced both a landmark deal with China to cut carbon pollution and a $3 billion pledge to a new international fund aimed at helping poor countries adapt to climate change. Those historic initiatives followed a far-reaching administration plan to limit emissions from power plants, nationwide fuel efficiency rules, and a number of federal measures to promote efficiency, renewable energy, and protect public waters. But in the U.S. Capitol, environmentalists are more besieged than ever—and the onslaught is starting under Democratic control.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Caroline official questions fracking's impact
Progress Index
Cathy Dyson

Wightman has researched fracking enough to know that drilling brings a lot of infrastructure with it. Estimates vary from 400 to 1,400 truck trips needed to haul rigs, equipment and chemicals to each well. One drill site can have multiple wells on it, and trucks haul sand and chemicals to the site — and contaminated fracking water away from it — as long as the wells are in production.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Missouri Natural gas supply called “robust” (AUDIO)
Missouri Net
Bob Priddy

The Natural Resources Department says Missouri is on top of sizeable quantities of “unconventional” energy resources. A study done for the Missouri Energy Initiative says advances in the last fifteen to twenty years in fracking, pipeline construction, and horizontal drilling mean new supplies of natural gas eventually will be used commonly to create electricity and fuel vehicles. State energy director Lewis Mills says natural gas is increasing as a power-generating source, but not as rapidly as it is in some other states. But he says it is growing as a transportation fuel.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Marcellus Watch: LPG storage plan needs to stand trial
The Leader
Peter Mantius Opinion

After five years of secrecy and deception, it’s time to throw the bright light of day on a proposal to store liquid petroleum gas, or LPG, in abandoned unlined salt caverns next to Seneca Lake. Long overdue sunlight must finally be allowed to shine on the caverns’ history. To do that, the state Department of Environmental Conservation — with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s guidance — will need to order Crestwood Midstream’s proposal to stand trial.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
CLARK TOWNSHIP WARNS ABOUT MISLEADING PILGRIM SURVEYING CLAIMS
Coalition to Stop Pilgrim Pipeline


TAPintoClark reports that Clark’s Business Administrator has a warning about Pilgrim Pipeline’s dealing with local residents: Residents who receive notification from Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC indicating that the company has federal permission to access their land for surveying purposes should be aware that is not the case. Township of Clark Business Administrator John Laezza said, “The only person who has a right to give someone permission to go on their property is the property owner himself.”   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Why is it hard to get anywhere on fracking? Because people are too full of themselves.
Washington Post
Chris Mooney

In a new study just out in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, Kaitlin Toner Raimi of Vanderbilt University and Mark Leary of Duke show that on both sides of the fracking debate, those with more extreme views (either in favor of fracking, or against it) have a higher level of "belief superiority," meaning that they think their views are more “correct” than the views held by other people.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Germany government reiterates its ban on fracking
Reuters


Nov 17 (Reuters) - Germany said on Monday it has no plans to lift a ban on fracking, following a report in news magazine Der Spiegel that it was considering lowering the hurdles for shale gas extraction to allow test drilling. At present, Germany only plans to allow fracking below a depth of 3,000 metres (yards), to ensure that there is no danger to ground water supplies. Der Spiegel had reported that this depth boundary would be scrapped.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Waterless fracking getting trial run at Utica well in Ohio
Columbus Business First


A waterless fracking company is finally seeing its unique method put to work in Ohio's Utica shale play, and executives think the state's rules bode well for the technique. The outcome could have big implications for the credit-crunched company.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Boulder County to side with Longmont in case over fracking ban
Eagle Ford Texas


Boulder County commissioners have authorized the county attorney’s office to side with Longmont in its legal battle over the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s challenge of the city’s voter-approved fracking ban. Commissioners Cindy Domenico, Deb Gardner and Elise Jones voted on Thursday to have the county attorney’s staff file a friend-of-the-court brief supporting Longmont’s appeal of a Boulder District Court judge’s July ruling that overturned a prohibition against the use of hydraulic fracturing in any oil and gas operations within the city limits.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
DEP Official: Radiation Levels in Fracking Waste Safe
WV Public Broadcasting
Ashton Marra

State lawmakers were updated Monday morning on a study the Department of Environmental Protection began earlier this year. That study focuses on the level of radioactive material in drill cuttings from horizontal fracking sites.... “Are these cuttings radioactive? Yes, they are at very low levels,” he told lawmakers.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2014
Fracking commission finishes its rules
Indy Week
Bill Ball

As expected, the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission completed its proposed regulations for the natural gas drilling industry on Friday. Also expected, many environmental activists are not happy with the results, which state lawmakers are expected to finalize next year. Read the recommended rules here.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
30,000 people demand that Big Oil Brown halt offshore fracking
Indy Bay
Dan Bacher

This rampant fracking has only become possible because of the cozy relationship between federal and state regulators and the oil industry, the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento. The American Lung Association's Center for Tobacco Policy and Organizing has just released a new report revealing that the oil industry spent $70 million on lobbyists in California since 2009.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
New Mexico county OKs drilling ordinance
News-Journal


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — As a federal judge considers the constitutionality of one New Mexico county's efforts to ban oil and natural gas development, commissioners in neighboring San Miguel County voted Wednesday in favor of imposing some of the strictest requirements on hydrocarbon exploration in the country. The unanimous decision was made as several dozen people crowded into the commission chambers.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Researchers assess emissions from Colorado oil and gas fields
Denver Post
Mark Jaffe

The shale drilling boom that is sweeping across the country and unlocking vast oil and gas reserves also has unleashed a wave of air pollutants. Scientific studies from research groups around the country are documenting higher emissions of volatile chemicals, including methane and air toxins, than estimated by state and federal regulators.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Green groups and communities unite to fight gas rush
Herald Scotland
Rob Edwards

A new coalition of 26 community and environmental groups is urging the Scottish ­Government to ban fracking for shale gas and drilling for underground coal-gas. The groups, led by Concerned Communities of Falkirk (CCoF) and Friends Of The Earth Scotland, are demanding a moratorium on unconventional gas development in Scotland, saying risks to public health, staff and the environment are "impossible to regulate away."   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
40% of Wisconsin 'frac sand' producers violated environmental rules, study says
McClatchy DC
Zahra Hirji

More than 40 percent of frac sand producers in Wisconsin have broken state environmental rules in recent years, according to a new report. This isn't the case of a "few bad apples" disregarding the law, said Bobby King, an organizer who contributed to the report by the Land Stewardship Project, an advocacy group. "It's an industry that's willing to routinely violate rules that are designed to protect communities, protect air quality, protect water quality," he said.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Local government may help environmentalists fight fracking
KPAX
David Jay

BILLINGS - The people have the power to fight fracking through local government by using zoning laws. That's one of the points made by the Northern Plains Resource Council's keynote speaker at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Saturday. Environmental Attorney Helen Slottje spoke at the group's annual meeting, saying citizens can lobby city and county government to keep out fracking for oil and gas development.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
New attention on tracking fracking
NCPR
Lucy Martin

Critics of hydrolic fracturing, or “fracking,” generally have two main objections. 1) The practice puts groundwater at risk. 2) The chemicals used have adverse effects on the environment and human health. Other concerns come to mind too, such as: could cause earthquakes, uses up too much valuable fresh water and continues reliance on carbon fuels which contribute to climate change.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Lenox weighs $20K membership in nonprofit to challenge pipeline route
The Berkshire Eagle
Clarence Fanto

LENOX >> To mount a more effective challenge of the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. route through the town's watershed, town leaders may join a new coalition led by environmental activist Eleanor Tillinghast of Green Berkshires, a Great Barrington-based nonprofit. Subject to Select Board approval, the result would complement town efforts to ramp up state protection of the reservoirs and surrounding land under a provision of the state constitution. During the board's regular meeting last week, Tillinghast described the benefits to the town through a strength-in-numbers legal strategy. The town would pay $20,000 to join NE Energy Solutions, the recently created nonprofit coalition, Tillinghast said.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Low gas, oil prices put drag on Utica
Canton Rep
Shane Hoover

Falling prices for oil and natural gas have put Utica Shale drillers near the break-even point for new wells, meaning next year could bring acreage sales and even a slowdown in exploration, while consumers get a break on fuel costs.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Urgency grows for Obama’s regs agenda
The Hill
Lydia Wheeler

Time is fast running out on President Obama’s regulatory agenda and proponents of stronger health and safety protections are pressing the administration to redouble efforts to cement a host of new rules before it is too late. With a unified Republican Congress soon to be to be sworn in, public interest groups expect the president’s last two years in office to be fraught with conflict as the administration tries to secure its legacy.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Walton Family, Owners of Walmart, Using Their Billions To Attack Rooftop Solar
DeSmogBlog
MIKE GAWORECKI

A recent trend has seen utilities deciding that since they haven't been able to beat back the rise of rooftop solar companies, they might as well join them (or at least steal their business model). But the Walton Family, owners of Walmart as well as a stake in a manufacturer of solar arrays for utilties, aren't ready to give up the fight. A new report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has found that, through their Walton Family Foundation, the Waltons have given $4.5 million dollars to groups like the American Enterprise Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and Americans for Prosperity—groups that are attacking renewable energy policies at the state level and, specifically, pushing for fees on rooftop solar installations. The head of ALEC has even gone so far as to denigrate owners of rooftop solar installations as “freeriders.”  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
4 workers die after chemical leak at Texas plant
Gettysburg Times
Associated Press

LA PORTE, Texas (AP) — Four workers were killed and one was injured Saturday during a hazardous chemical leak at a DuPont industrial plant in suburban Houston, company officials said. The chemical, methyl mercaptan, began leaking from a valve around 4 a.m. in a unit at the plant in La Porte, about 20 miles east of Houston. Plant officials said the release was contained by 6 a.m. Methyl mercaptan was used at the plant to create crop-protection products such as insecticides and fungicides, according to DuPont. The cause of the leak was not immediately known.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Obscure Nebraska Panel May Hold Sway Over Keystone XL Pipeline
Huffington Post
Grant Schulte

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Congress is suddenly scrambling to vote on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but the fate of the oft-delayed $5.4 billion project could still wind up in the hands of an obscure commission in Nebraska that regulates telephones, taxi cabs and grain bins.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Pipeline foes meet in Fitchburg, vow resolve
Telegram & Gazette
Lynne Klaft

FITCHBURG — It was a meeting of the minds of those who will be affected by the proposed Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline — landowners, conservationists, legislative and local municipal representatives — more than 400 of them, exchanging information, lending expertise and experience, and forming action groups to oppose the pipeline. The Stop the Pipeline Statewide Summit was held at the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School on Saturday with people from four states attending — New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Hundreds rally against natural gas pipeline Project could affect Northern Massachusetts
The boston Globe
Associated Press

FITCHBURG — Several hundred people from three states packed a high school auditorium Saturday to rally against a proposed pipeline that would carry high-pressure natural gas across Northern Massachusetts. Protesters from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York staged the ‘‘Stop the Pipeline Statewide Summit’’ at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School in Fitchburg. The crowd included elected officials, environmental activists, and landowners whose property the pipeline would cross or pass near.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Why don't some state officials want you to read this report on 'green’ energy jobs?
The Columbus Dispatch
Dan Gearino

The study, obtained by The Dispatch, was conducted by ICF International of Fairfax, Va., and Wright State University near Dayton. Among its findings: • Ohio had 31,322 jobs in the state’s “alternative energy economy” as of 2012, a number that is larger than other commonly cited studies. • More than one-third of the jobs were for goods and services related to energy efficiency. • Solar power was tied to more jobs (5,619) than any other renewable-energy source.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Researchers assess emissions from Colorado oil and gas fields
The Denver Post
Mark Jaffe

The shale drilling boom that is sweeping across the country and unlocking vast oil and gas reserves also has unleashed a wave of air pollutants. Scientific studies from research groups around the country are documenting higher emissions of volatile chemicals, including methane and air toxins, than estimated by state and federal regulators. Scientists have been combing shale regions from Pennsylvania to Texas, Utah and Colorado, measuring leaks from tiny valves and using satellites to assay the air over entire regions. "There are a whole lot of hydrocarbons coming out of these wells," said Pieter Tans, a senior scientist with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder. "They are contributing to air pollution on the Front Range." Colorado is on pace to have another record-setting year for oil production based on state data, and as the rigs, tanks and pipelines move closer to homes, concerns over the industry's impacts grow.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Upstate New Yorkers fear gas caves could blow wine, tourism industries
AlJazeera America
Peter Moskowitz

In Watkins Glenn — an idyllic part of upstate New York best known for its Finger Lakes, fall foliage and wine — activists worry it could soon be known for something less appealing: industrial disaster. Protesters in the area are engaging in civil disobedience to stop the expansion of a gas storage facility that stores fracked gas from Pennsylvania in old mined-out salt caves, claiming it presents a safety risk to local residents, an environmental danger to the Finger Lakes region and an economic threat to the area’s wine and tourism industries. “We do not want the crown jewel of the Finger Lakes and the font of the wine industry turned into a massive gas station for the fracking industry,” said Sandra Steingraber, a prominent anti-hydraulic-fracturing activist and environmental studies professor at Ithaca College who was one of about a dozen protesters who have been arrested several times during continued protests, most recently on Nov. 3, for blocking the entrance to the storage facility.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Pequannock considers opposition to pipeline
North Jersey.com
Joe Phalon

The proposed Pilgrim Pipeline is proving unpopular with Pequannock people. "There is absolutely no reason we want this pipeline going through Pequannock," said Councilman Rich Phelan.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Poland’s shale gas dreams put on hold
Financial Times
Henry Foy

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ffa09b60-6036-11e4-98e6-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3JKh32XHh Poland’s much-hyped shale gas boom could take as long as six more years to become commercially viable, as foreign oil and gas companies abandon their exploratory plans, citing bureaucratic tangles and an unfriendly investment climate. Poland dreamt of domestic shale gas providing both an alternative to relying on politically unpalatable Russian energy and a windfall to state tax coffers.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2014
Fed Up With FERC: The People Declare Greed "Not in the Public Interest"
Truth-Out
Anne Meador

During the first week of November, hundreds of people from around the country flocked to a little-known federal agency on First Street in Washington, DC. Each with their own story of tainted water and air, health problems, fear for their lives and communities, and concern for the climate, they followed a path to the source of their troubles: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).   [Full Story]

Nov 15, 2014
Oil Dispute Takes a Page From Congo’s Bloody Past
The New York Times
JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, Democratic Republic of Congo — The trouble started when a British company suddenly appeared in this iconic and spectacularly beautiful national park, prospecting for oil. Villagers who opposed the project were beaten by government soldiers. A park warden, who tried to block the oil company, SOCO International, from building a cellphone tower in the park, was kidnapped and tortured. Virunga’s director, a Belgian prince, was shot and nearly killed hours after he delivered a secret report on the oil company’s activities.   [Full Story]

Nov 15, 2014
Alberta Landowner Appeals Constitutional Issue in Fracking Case
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

Can provincial legislation protect the state and "block an individual from seeking a remedy for breach" of her fundamental rights and freedoms under the nation's Charter of Rights? That's the question that lawyers representing Alberta oil patch consultant Jessica Ernst have now posed to the Supreme Court of Canada in a special legal filing known as application for leave.  [Full Story]

Nov 15, 2014
Interactive Map: Find Out How Your State Ranks on Renewable Energy
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

What states are moving ahead on clean energy and what states are lagging behind? A new interactive map released by Earthjustice lets you see at a glance.  [Full Story]

Nov 15, 2014
Fed Up With FERC: The People Declare Greed "Not In The Public Interest"
OpEd News
Anne Meador

During the first week of November, hundreds of people from around the country flocked to a little-known federal agency on First Street in Washington, DC. Each with their own story of tainted water and air, health problems, fear for their lives and communities, and concern for the climate, they followed a path to the source of their troubles: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Maggie Henry, a farmer from Ohio, pointed the finger at FERC for approving a natural gas pipeline on the farm her family has worked for 100 years. "I'm here all week, because [FERC is] rubberstamping these permits without taking anything into account," said Henry. "There is a 40" transmission line that is 30 feet outside my front door. In March, we had a 4.0 earthquake. I was two miles from that epicenter. My drywall is cracked, the integrity of my basement wall is gone. It leaks like a sieve in the rain."  [Full Story]

Nov 15, 2014
Mark Ruffalo hears U.S. boy's silence on Toronto film set
Toronto Sun
JOE WARMINGTON

TORONTO - A boy in Boulder, Colo. has stopped talking in protest over what he believes is a poor global response to climate change. But on a film set at the corner of Dupont St. and Davenport Rd., there’s a movie star who just couldn’t stop talking about it.  [Full Story]

Nov 15, 2014
Steffy: Industry's bad manners led to Denton fracking ban
Houston Chronicle
Loren Steffy

As residents in Denton voted last week to become the first community in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing, I found myself thinking about another city far to the south: Galveston. Fifty-nine percent of voters in Denton, northwest of Dallas, voted for the ban. The decision is significant because of its location. The process we know today as fracking was developed not far away, in the same Barnett Shale formation that has attracted drilling companies to Denton.   [Full Story]

Nov 15, 2014
Illinois One Step Closer to Hydraulic Fracturing
Tristate Homepage


The fracking industry will tell you this has been a long drawn out process that nearly drove away business for good. "Preferably would have happened a lot soon, but the old saying better late than never," said Seth Whitehead with Energy In-Depth. But no one in the fracking industry is jumping for joy just yet. "It's not like anybody's spiking the ball in the end zone. I think it's more of a sense of relief."  [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
Fracking falls out of favor, even as Americans embrace Keystone XL
Washington Post
Aaron Blake

But while Keystone is popular by about a two-to-one margin, environmentalists appear to be making progress on another key front: fracking -- a.k.a. hydraulic fracturing, or the process of injecting liquid into the ground at high pressure in order to extract oil or natural gas. As of March 2013, the Pew Research Center showed Americans approved of this technique by 10 points, 48-38. As of today, they oppose it, 47-41.   [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
Chesapeake Energy Faces Subpoena on Royalty Payment Practices
ProPublica
Abrahm Lustgarten

The Justice Department’s inquiry comes after a ProPublica investigation and years of complaints from landowners who say they have been underpaid for leasing land to the energy giant for drilling. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating how Chesapeake Energy pays landowners for the natural gas it drills on their property, according to disclosures made earlier this month in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The probe comes after years of complaints by landowners that they are being underpaid, and an investigation by ProPublica, which found the company was using the fees it had been been paying those landowners to repay billions of dollars of hidden corporate debt instead.  [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
DOE permits LNG exports to non-FTA countries from Freeport terminal
Oil & Gas Journal
Nick Snow

The US Department of Energy authorized LNG exports to countries not having a free-trade agreement with the US from Freeport LNG Expansion LP and FLNG Liquefaction LLC’s Quintana Island terminal and liquefaction plant in Texas. DOE ruled such exports would be in the national interest in two separate orders. Its Nov. 14 decision came after the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorized second phase liquefaction and modernization projects at the installation in a July 30 order. The Freeport LNG group’s application was evaluated after it completed a review for the installation under the National Environmental Policy Act.  [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
Company eyes compressor station near Horseheads
The Leader
Derrick Ek

Dominion Transmission Inc., a natural gas storage and transportation company, is seeking permission to build a $45 million compressor station off State Route 13 near Horseheads. It’s a key piece of a larger plan by Dominion to boost pressure through its pipelines in upstate New York and bring more gas to Northeast markets. However, the project is facing opposition over emissions concerns. Dominion calls the plan the New Market Project, and is beginning the review process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.   [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
Democracy at Its Best: Boulder County Extends Fracking Ban
EcoWatch
Gary Wockner

As I sat in the hearing room of the Boulder County Commissioner yesterday I witnessed citizen-led democracy in action. In a unanimous vote, three Boulder Colorado County Commissioners voted to extend the moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the county for the next three-and-a-half years. The three Democratic party women not only voted against fracking until July 1, 2018, they did so with strong language and gusto as tens-of-thousands of wells loom just across the border in neighboring Weld County waiting to invade the Boulder County landscape.  [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
Moniz Sees Room for Compromise on LNG Exports
CQ
Geoff Koss

Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz confirmed Friday that he is negotiating with Sen. John Hoeven , R-N.D., on legislation intended to speed up the application review process for liquefied natural gas» exports. Hoeven this week abruptly pulled the bill ( S 2638 ) from a Thursday markup by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee after Moniz called him to express concern about the timeline the bill mandates for the Energy Department. Hoeven said Thursday his decision to delay a committee vote will kick the issue to the next Congress, given the unlikelihood of finding floor time for debate during the lame-duck session. Hoeven’s legislation would require DOE to make a “public interest” determination on exports within 45 days of the submission of an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In a brief interview with CQ Roll Call after announcing $425 million for supercomputing technologies, Moniz said DOE needs a completed environmental review — conducted by FERC to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (PL 91–190) — before it can make the public interest ruling required under the «Natural Gas» Act of 1938 ( PL 75-688 ).  [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
House Vote in Favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline an Act of War
Lakota Voice
Wica Agli

Rosebud, SD – In response to today’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to authorize the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, the Rosebud Sioux Tribal President announced that the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) recognizes the authorization of this pipeline as an act of war. The Tribe has done its part to remain peaceful in its dealings with the United States in this matter, in spite of the fact that the Rosebud Sioux Tribe has yet to be properly consulted on the project, which would cross through Tribal land, and the concerns brought to the Department of Interior and to the Department of State have yet to be addressed.  [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
Report: Drillers spent millions on lobbyists, politicians
WHTM ABC Harrisburg
Dennis Owens

Marcellus Shale drillers have been pumping gas out of Pennsylvania and money into Harrisburg, according to a new report from Common Cause PA, a non-partisan government integrity advocacy group. Marcellusmoney.org shows that the gas industry spent $41 million on lobbyists and another $8 million on political contributions in Pennsylvania between 2007-14. "That's a lot of money and it buys a lot of access to power," said Barry Kauffman, executive director of Common Cause PA. Kauffman says the fact that the commonwealth is the only state with fracking that doesn't have an extraction tax and allows drilling on game lands and in state parks is proof that drillers' money has influenced public policy counter to the public's wishes.  [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
Waste Water from Oil Fracking Injected into Clean Aquifers
NBC- Bay Area
Stephen Stock, Liza Meak, Mark Villarreal and Scott Pham

State officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump nearly three billion gallons of waste water into underground aquifers that could have been used for drinking water or irrigation. Those aquifers are supposed to be off-limits to that kind of activity, protected by the EPA. “It’s inexcusable,” said Hollin Kretzmann, at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. “At (a) time when California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, we’re allowing oil companies to contaminate what could otherwise be very useful ground water resources for irrigation and for drinking. It’s possible these aquifers are now contaminated irreparably.”  [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
Kerosene in fracking fluid: It's toxic but legal
Times online
Susy Kelly

In the last three years, 230,171 gallons of kerosene — a petroleum distillate with chemical components that are toxic to humans and wildlife — were used in fracking fluid in 129 wells throughout Fayette County. And it was all within the letter of the law. “They are environmental terrorists,” according to Ken Dufalla, president of the Greene County chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA), a grassroots natural resource conservation society.  [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
Prison Officials Seeking Ways to Recruit and Retain Guards
The New York Times
BRANDI GRISSOM

Such recruiting tools are becoming a necessity. At the William G. McConnell Unit in Beeville, the turnover rate skyrocketed to 62 percent in 2012 from 28 percent in 2006, according to department data. As turnover increased, so did the rate of violent incidents in the prison. In 2006, there were about 12 incidents per 100 inmates; five years later, there were more than 30 incidents per 100 inmates. The trend is mirrored at other prison units near shale deposits and the refineries that process the oil harvested from them.  [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
Natural gas industry rains cash for state lawmakers' campaigns, lobbying efforts
Tribune-Review
Rick Wills

The natural gas industry spent nearly $50 million on campaign contributions and lobbying in Pennsylvania since 2007, giving it unwarranted influence over lawmakers, according to two advocacy groups that have been criticized for their opposition to gas drilling. The groups' report claims the industry contributed $8 million to candidates and spent $41 million on lobbying between 2007 and June of this year. “Pennsylvania has to get control of political money. It is one of 11 states with no limits on personal campaign contributions. Our goal is to let people know about this,” said Common Cause Pennsylvania Director Barry Kauffman. Topping the list is Gov. Tom Corbett, whom Common Cause Pennsylvania and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania identified as getting $2.08 million from 2007 through Oct. 20. Of that, $1.56 million was from industry employees and $526,652 from industry political action committees.  [Full Story]

Nov 14, 2014
Profile in Cowardice: Senator Don Harmon Fracks Illinois
Huffington Post
Will Reynolds

Don Harmon is known as en environmental leader in the Illinois State Senate. His last facebook post before election day is about an environmental award given in his district to the village of Franklin Park. A few days after celebrating sustainability in the Chicago suburb, he condemned large parts of downstate Illinois to an environmental and public health disaster that will have deadly consequences.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Why the Deal is Not a Hallelujah for the Planet The US/China Climate Pact: a Requiem for the Kyoto Treaty
CounterPunch
Peter Lee

I suppose the fact that I can still be amazed at the magnitude of botched mainstream misreporting is a sign that I still retain a sense of childlike wonder. A HUGE deal is being made out of the US-China climate change agreement. The hoopla is ludicrous. The U.S. makes a statement about its determination to achieve non-binding targets, the PRC talks about its determination to achieve non-binding targets.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Pittsfield City Council votes in opposition to Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. plan
The Berkshire Eagle
Jim Therrien

PITTSFIELD >> The Pittsfield City Council has voted 8-1 to join some three dozen other communities in the state voicing opposition to the proposed $6 billion Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. project. The council had been urged by the Berkshire Environmental Action Team to take a vote on the issue, which a number of towns along the proposed gas pipeline route across Massachusetts to Dracut have done.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
1 Killed, 2 Hurt At Weld County Fracking Site
CBS Denver


WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - An accident at a fracking site killed one worker and injured two in Weld County on Thursday. Matthew Smith, 36, of Brighton, died when a high-pressure water valve that had frozen overnight ruptured with extreme force.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Oil pipeline planned; opponents set forum
Poughkeepsie Journal
Craig Wolf

NEW PALTZ – Developers are proposing an oil pipeline to be built to carry flammable product from the western Bakken shale fields down through the Hudson Valley, including Ulster and Orange counties. Opposition has already arisen. A forum has been set for Monday by 10 local groups who see problems with the plan, which would require traversing through many private properties in populated areas. The forum is at 7 p.m. Monday at SUNY New Paltz in Lecture Center 104, according to a notice from Citizens for Local Power, one of the sponsors. Jen Metzger of that group, who is also a Rosendale town councilwoman, said the Rosendale board adopted a resolution of opposition to the pipeline Wednesday.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Inside the blockbuster climate deal with China
MSNBC
Chris Hayes

John Holdren, the president’s top adviser on science and technology, and activist Josh Fox discuss the game-changing climate deal.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Courts Will Take Up Case Of Fracking V. Drilling
KERA News
Jim Malewitz

Dear Texas, welcome to Fracking 101. Your professors? Texas judges. Denton’s vote last week to ban hydraulic fracturing within city limits drew a national spotlight, but resolved little in the bitter Barnett Shale dispute. Just hours after health and environmental advocates proclaimed victory, two opponents – the Texas Oil and Gas Association and Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson –challenged the ban in court. But this much is clear: The legal wrangling will give Texans a free course on the widely misunderstood oilfield technique that put Texas at the forefront a national energy boom.   [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
What Oklahoma Can Learn From a Municipal Ban on Fracking in Texas
State Impact OK
Joe Wertz

Driven by water worries, safety questions and quality of life concerns, residents in Oklahoma and states other the country have pushed for citywide bans on hydraulic fracturing. Many of those efforts have proved successful, but, in the end, fracking bans might be more about lawyers than voters.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
L.A. lawmakers press for action on fracking ban despite new report
Los AngelesTimes
Emily Alpert Reyes

Two lawmakers who want Los Angeles to bar hydraulic fracturing and other kinds of "unconventional drilling" at oil and gas wells are pushing back after city staffers cast doubt on the idea, urging them to swiftly draw up rules that would bar such practices. The Los Angeles City Council voted in February to start drafting rules that would prohibit hydraulic fracturing -- commonly known as fracking -- and other kinds of "well stimulation" techniques until adequate environmental safeguards are adopted by state and federal governments.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Fracking no 'silver bullet' for emissions cuts or energy security There are no scientific reasons to ban fracking in Europe but questions remain over its potential, European science academies have said
The Guardian
Press Association

There are no scientific or technical grounds to ban fracking in Europe but it will not be a “silver bullet” to improve energy security or cut emissions, European science academies have said. Measures such as replacing potentially harmful additives and disclosing the chemicals used in the fracking process to the authorities had greatly reduced the environmental impact of the process, they said.   [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Board of Supervisors tables fracking resolution in Washington County, Va.
WCYB
Calian Gray

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - Fracking regulations were back up for discussion in Washington County, Va. on Wednesday night. The Board of Supervisors met to decide on a resolution that would tell the state what information they think gas companies should have to disclose when they drill. The fracking resolution would be an official opinion by the Board of Supervisors. The draft version stated they want the Commonwealth to require gas companies to disclose any and all chemicals used in the process.   [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
A New Poll Finds More Americans Oppose Fracking Than Support It
Climate Progress
Jeff Spross

A clear majority of Americans now oppose hydraulic fracturing, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center. And while most voters still support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, support is slipping there as well. Hydraulic fracturing — colloquially known as “fracking” — is a process for extracting oil or natural gas from shale formations, in which a mix of water and various chemicals is pumped under intense pressure into the well after it’s been drilled.   [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Fracking Accident Kills 1, Injures 2 in Colorado
ABC News


An accident at a hydraulic fracturing site in northern Colorado killed one worker and seriously injured two others Thursday, authorities said. The three men were trying to heat a frozen high-pressure water line at the oil or gas well site when it ruptured, Weld County sheriff's Sgt. Sean Standridge said. One man was hit by a stream of water and died from the impact.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Texas Regulators Sidestep Connection Between Fracking Industry and Earthquakes
De Smog Blog
Julie Dermansky

New rules for Texas injection wastewater well operators offer no relief to people impacted by more than 30 earthquakes that hit Azle, Reno and Springtown almost a year ago. Many buildings in the three small cities, 50 miles west of Dallas, Texas, suffered broken windows, cracked walls, damaged plumbing and foundations.   [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
30,000 People Urge California's Gov. Brown to Halt Offshore Fracking Petition Asks Governor to Protect Coastal Treasures From Fracking Pollution
Yuba Net
Center for Biological Diversity

SACRAMENTO, CA, Nov. 12, 2014 — Citing fracking pollution’s threats to coastal communities and marine wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity today delivered a petition signed by more than 30,000 people urging Gov. Jerry Brown to halt offshore fracking in California’s coastal waters. “California’s coast is a natural treasure, upon which millions of people and animals depend. But now oil companies are threatening entire ecosystems by intensifying drilling with toxic fracking techniques,” the petition says. It urges Brown to “act now to halt this dangerous practice and preserve our oceans for future generations.”  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
New report counts more than 13,000 renewable energy jobs in Pa.
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI

A new report shows the renewable and alternative energy industry supports more than 13,000 jobs in Pennsylvania. The Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance and Energy Entrepreneurs – the two nonprofit organizations that put out the report – are touting it as the first full accounting of these jobs, which are not tracked by the state.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
A New Poll Finds More Americans Oppose Fracking Than Support It
ThinkProgress
Jeff Spross

A clear majority of Americans now oppose hydraulic fracturing, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center. And while most voters still support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, support is slipping there as well. Hydraulic fracturing — colloquially known as “fracking” — is a process for extracting oil or natural gas from shale formations, in which a mix of water and various chemicals is pumped under intense pressure into the well after it’s been drilled. This fractures the rock, allowing the oil or gas to flow to the surface. Development of the process over the last decade or so has lead to a boom in North American fossil fuel production, but it’s also come along with a host of problems — studies suggest at least ten percent of the chemicals used in the fracturing fluid are toxic, posing a threat to drinking water; people who live near fracking wells are more likely to become sick thanks to the pollution; methane leaks from the industry exacerbate global warming; and the process may even trigger earthquakes.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Power plant plans assailed
Times Union
Katelynn Ulrich

Albany Approximately 30 Tompkins County residents and anti-fracking activists gathered in the Capitol on Thursday to protest a plan to convert the Cayuga Power Plant from its coal-fired system to running at least partially on natural gas. Thursday marked the last time the state Public Service Commission will meet before the Dec. 1 deadline it set for the plant owners, who proposed the conversion, to negotiate a plan with New York State Electric and Gas.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Fracking blast kills one Halliburton worker, injures 2 in Weld County
The Denver Post
Jesse Paul and Mark Jaffe

MEAD — One worker was killed and two were seriously injured Thursday when a frozen, high pressure water line ruptured at a Weld County oil well site. The workers were trying to thaw the line when the accident occurred, officials said. The Anadarko Petroleum Corp. well was being hydraulically fractured, or fracked, by the Halliburton Co. and the workers were Halliburton employees. Anadarko said it was suspending all fracking operations in the area pending a review of the accident.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
4.8 quake shakes Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas
USA Today
Michael Winter

A magnitude-4.8 earthquake Wednesday shook up parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, the strongest of eight temblors that rattled the seismically active region over 24 hours. The moderately strong quake, which was relatively shallow at 3.4 miles deep, struck at 3:40 p.m. CT near the Sumner County community of Conway Springs, about 30 miles southwest of Wichita along the Oklahoma border, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The jolt was felt across much of the state and as far away as Tulsa, Okla., about 170 miles away. Some Arkansas residents also reported the shaking.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Anti-fracking rally set for Nov. 18 in Harrisburg
Times Leader


HARRISBURG — Pennsylvanians Against Fracking will mark the election of Tom Wolf with a rally on the Capitol steps on Nov. 18th. Pennsylvanians Against Fracking is a new statewide coalition of organizations, business and institutions calling for a ban on fracking. Coalition partners and concerned citizens will gather in Harrisburg for a rally to “Clean Up Pennsylvania,” to rid state government of dirty energy money and speed the transition to clean energy alternatives.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Fracking 'collateral damage' talk planned in Ithaca
Ithaca Journal
Andrew Casier

ITHACA – Communities that outlawed hydrofracking remain endangered by natural gas extraction outside their borders, according to an Ithaca group that's hosting a conference on the topic Saturday. The conference, "Protecting Communities from Fracking's Collateral Damage," is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Ithaca College. The conference has reached its enrollment capacity and more than 200 people are registered, according to conference planning board chairwoman Ellen Z. Harrison of Caroline.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Amid protests, executives discuss hydrofracking at Buffalo meeting
Buffalo Business First
David Bertola

As the downtown Buffalo work day was winding down on Nov. 12, it was just getting started for a group of about 25 environmentalists. They had gathered around 4 p.m., just outside Hyatt Regency Buffalo at the corner of Pearl and West Huron Streets to protest the practice of hydrofracking, and messages that area industry execs share about the safety of the process. Inside the hotel, executives from the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York had gathered for their annual meeting, held Nov. 11 and 12.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Eagle Crest Vineyards launches anti-fracking label
Democrat and Chronicle
Sheila Livadas

Eagle Crest Vineyards in Conesus, Livingston County, has released No Frackin' Way, a series of wines aimed at helping environmental groups carry on their opposition to hydraulic fracturing and related activities in New York state. "These are not new wines," says Eagle Crest co-owner Will Ouweleen. Instead, the Hemlock Lake winery chose to feature its three best sellers in the series: Midnight Moon, a red blend made from Noiret, Marechal Foch and Chancellor grapes; On-no-lee, a Cayuga White wine; and Queen of the Vine, a blush made from Isabella and Iona. "I wasn't sure if we would be granted federal label approval," adds Ouweleen, referring to the anti-fracking label. "But we were – without issue, in a speedy fashion."  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Fracking emissions still high despite regulations Study: Rapidly expanding gas, oil hard to keep up with
Durango Herald
Peter Marcus

DENVER – Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, once again hit the spotlight in Colorado on Thursday, with a report suggesting air-quality regulations are not keeping up with the industry’s rapid growth.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
U.S. May Need Stronger Power Plant Rule, New Methane Regulation to Meet Pledge
Bloomberg
Dean Scott

The U.S. would need to regulate methane from the oil and gas sector and wring more greenhouse gas emissions cuts from its plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants to meet President Barack Obama's new pledge to cut U.S. emission by at least 26 percent by 2025, analysts told Bloomberg BNA Nov. 12. The Environmental Protection Agency is currently reviewing whether to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas drilling and plans to announce its approach this fall.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Delaware River: Effects of modern life and industry on waters
Daily Record
Susan Bloom

With more than 14,000 members, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network is a 26-year-old nonprofit organization based in Bristol, Pennsylvania, which works to ensure the health and cleanliness of the Delaware River and its larger watershed. The Daily Record interviewed Maya van Rossum, Delaware Riverkeeper, and Beth Styler Barry, executive director of the Musconetcong Watershed Association, to learn more about the Delaware River, how modern life and industry have affected the river and its watershed, and how Pennsylvania-based fracking activities may pose new threats to the entire water system.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2014
Power line offers bigger benefits than pipeline
Des Moines Register
Opinion Bill Leonard

A couple of lines being drawn across the map of Iowa could have a big impact on our economic and environmental future. One is a proposed 343-mile pipeline to funnel an ocean of crude oil from North Dakota to a redistribution point in southern Illinois. The other is the Iowa segment of a 500-mile transmission line carrying wind-generated electricity from northwest Iowa turbines to a redistribution point in northern Illinois. The pipeline is sought by Energy Transfer Partners; the power line proposal comes from Rock Island Clean Line. Both are based in Texas. Each has filed for approval by the Iowa Utilities Board. It is not an “either-or” issue. Each could be accepted or rejected. But there are enlightening contrasts between the two proposals.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Video: Crumbling Concrete – Failing Bridges? Hudson River at Risk From Crude Oil Transport
Riverkeeper
John Lipscomb

In this video, Riverkeeper follows up on a tip about crumbling concrete foundations at two rail bridges that are traversed by freight trains – including those hauling volatile Bakken crude oil – along the Hudson River banks. Riverkeeper’s John Lipscomb used a small boat to visit the two bridges, located just south of Storm King Mountain on the western bank of the river. He photographed and videotaped conditions at the foundations: crumbling concrete, vertical cracks, exposed rebar, and bolts that have loose or missing nuts. He also photographed badly eroded concrete foundations of a rail bridge that crosses high above the Rondout Creek in Kingston.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Sublette leak spilled 21,000 gallons of produced water
WyoFile
Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

State environmental regulators are tracking a spill of 21,000 gallons of tainted water from an oil and gas operation pipeline on the Pinedale Mesa. The Department of Environmental Quality has told QEP Resources, Inc. of its options to clean up the spill, which was discovered Oct. 26. QEP may be able to clean the area up voluntarily, according to a Nov. 6 letter to the operator. DEQ could cite the company with a violation if the company does not clean up the spill. Several variables, including whether groundwater was polluted, factor into the cleanup, the DEQ letter said.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Pittsfield Mayor and Environmental Group File Complaints Amid Pipeline Debate
Time Warner Cable News
Jim Vasil

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- A proposed natural gas pipeline is leaving the Berkshires divided; in particular, a mayor, who is for the pipeline, and an environmental group against it. Two complaints were filed on Monday as a result, including one by the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT).   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Groups Sue U.S. State Dept. to Stop Alberta Clipper Tar Sands Pipeline
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Yesterday the Washington Spectator ran an investigative piece tearing the veil of secrecy from the Alberta Clipper pipeline project, a plan by Canadian mining company Enbridge to build a pipeline nearly equal in length and capacity to the Keystone XL to transport tar sands crude oil to the Gulf of Mexico for refining and exporting. With the U.S. State Department’s cooperation, Enbridge found a loophole to circumvent the legal approval process needed to cross the international Canadian/U.S. border. And, by keeping a low profile, it managed to avoid the public outcry that has stalled Keystone XL for six years. The moderately strong quake, which was relatively shallow at 3.4 miles deep, struck at 3:40 p.m. CT near the Sumner County community of Conway Springs, about 30 miles southwest of Wichita along the Oklahoma border, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The jolt was felt across much of the state and as far away as Tulsa, Okla., about 170 miles away. Some Arkansas residents also reported the shaking.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Industry Responds to Denton, Texas Fracking Ban
EcoWatch
Carl Pope

This may be the shortest blog I’ve ever written. On Election Day, voters in a number of cities and counties voted on whether to severely restrict or ban oil and gas development—the oil industry poured millions of dollars in an effort to avoid these restrictions. In Richmond, California Chevron spent $3 million to gain control of the city council; this overreach backfired and Chevron’s slate was trounced. In San Benito County, $2 million wasn’t enough to stop a ban on fracking and other intensive oil extraction technologies. Mendocino County also said “no.” But in Santa Barbara a $5 million oil industry campaign did prevail, as a similar fracking ban was blocked. Drilling bans in three of four Ohio towns voting on the issue also failed. The moderately strong quake, which was relatively shallow at 3.4 miles deep, struck at 3:40 p.m. CT near the Sumner County community of Conway Springs, about 30 miles southwest of Wichita along the Oklahoma border, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The jolt was felt across much of the state and as far away as Tulsa, Okla., about 170 miles away. Some Arkansas residents also reported the shaking.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Fracking sand in oilfields stirs up a serious health risk for workers
Denver Post
Nancy Lofholm

Health concerns about oil field fracking have been focused on the mixed brew of chemicals injected into wells. But it is another innocuous-sounding substance — sand — that poses a more serious danger to workers. Government overseers of workplace safety first highlighted the problem three years ago and issued a hazard alert a year later warning that high levels of fine quartz sand around fracking operations could lead to silicosis and other lung illnesses.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Pros, cons of fracking debated for hours in St. Tammany
WWL TV
Ashley Rodrigue

MANDEVILLE, La. -- About 300 people, many with signs and shirts showing their stance, converged on Lakeshore High School Wednesday night to talk fracking. For nearly four hours, representatives from Helis Oil, the company hoping to use the drilling method in St. Tammany Parish, as well as attorneys for concerned citizens, told the Commission on Conservation, which oversees drilling in the state, why their view on the project was the one to consider most when deciding whether the project should continue.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Jessica Ernst Can Sue Alberta, Encana Over Fracking On Her Property, Says Judge
Huffington Post
Canadian Press

ROSEBUD, Alta. - A judge has ruled an Alberta woman can sue the provincial government over hydraulic fracturing that she says has so badly contaminated her well with methane that the water can be set on fire. Jessica Ernst began legal action against Alberta's energy regulator and Calgary-based energy company Encana (TSX:ECA) in 2007, and amended her statement of claim in 2011 to include Alberta Environment.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Group sues to block fracking rules from being published
Chicago Tribune
Julie Wernau

group of residents from southern Illinois is suing the governor and the director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in an attempt to block the publication of rules governing horizontal hydraulic fracturing. The lawsuit, filed Monday in Madison County, says the state agency didn't give the public ample notice during the rule-making process, failed to use scientific studies in crafting its first draft of the rules and "left members of the public scrambling" to review and comment on the rules before they were published.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Sierra Club says Pilgrim can't condemn property in Kinnelon
NorthJersey.com
Deborah Walsh

Representatives of the New Jersey Sierra Club contend that Pilgrim Pipeline cannot automatically condemn the property of homeowners unwilling to allow the company entry to their property so survey work can be done. Last week, the Sierra Club reacted to a letter from DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole LLP, one of the law firms representing Pilgrim, which was sent to a Parsippany homeowner. The property owner had declined to allow Pilgrim entry to their property for the completion of survey work that will allow Pilgrim to determine the route of the pipeline that is proposed to run from Albany to refineries in Linden. At an Oct. 21 meeting in Kinnelon, Pilgrim officials said about one-third of the pipeline will be located in New Jersey and cross over 607 parcels of land, with 23 of those lots being located in Kinnelon. In the Oct. 17 letter sent by Pilgrim's legal team to a Parsippany property owner, it stated that "Pilgrim is a pipeline company established under New Jersey law, and because of that status it has the power to condemn private property. Part of the power to condemn is the ability to enter private land to perform surveys and investigations." The letter further states, "If we are unable to obtain your agreement for initial inspections by that date (Oct. 31), Pilgrim has instructed our law firm to apply to Superior Court for an order to allow entry for initial inspections. We sincerely hope to avoid the cost, expense, and time investment of such formalities. We very much hope to reach a mutually acceptable solution."  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Chatham Borough Council to formally oppose Pilgrim Pipeline as demanded by residents
Independent Press
Marianne Ivers

CHATHAM - The Monday, Nov. 10 council meeting was packed as residents came to voice their strong opposition to the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline development. At the end, the vocal and interactive residents got what they demanded - a draft ordinance to oppose the pipeline plan as well as the denial of permitting Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC access to conduct a survey on borough property. The council decisions were preceded by a presentation by Katey DePinto and Dawn Ferguson who have formed a "Chatham Citizens" group opposing the positioning of the crude oil pipeline through the Chathams. They were accompanied by former council member Len Resto and Ken Dolsky of Parsippany who has been instrumental in the similar citizen action in his town. Albany based Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC is a start-up venture which is planning to install 18" and 16" bi-directional pipeline system to transfer 400,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil from Albany to Linden, on a daily basis. The shut-off valves are planned for every 10 mile intervals.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Fossil Fuels With $550 Billion Subsidies Hurt Renewables
Bloomberg Businesswekk
Alex Morales

Fossil fuels are reaping $550 billion a year in subsidies and holding back investment in cleaner forms of energy, the International Energy Agency said. Oil, coal and gas received more than four times the $120 billion paid out in incentives for renewables including wind, solar and biofuels, the Paris-based institution said today in its annual World Energy Outlook.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
The US-China climate deal is a big deal, but read the fine print
Al Jazeera America
Peter Moskowitz

“The goals set here, those are incompatible with investments in fossil fuel infrastructure,” said Ganapathy. “[Clean coal] is just biting around the edges of the problem.” Another section of the agreement mentions natural gas production as a way to reduce emissions. But not mentioned in the agreement is methane, the powerful gas that can make natural gas drilling a bigger greenhouse gas emitter than coal if not properly controlled. “We continue to be concerned about methane,” said Wenonah Hauter, the director of environmental group Food and Water Watch. “That’s being ignored in this agreement, which means this action is just more promotion of fracking under the guise of climate action.”  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Finalized Behind Closed Doors, Illinois Fracking Regs Face Further Challenge
InsideClimate News
Katherine Bagley

The fight against hydraulic fracturing in Illinois will go on even after a panel of lawmakers approved regulations last week that could jumpstart the controversial drilling practice in the state, environmental activists said. The state's action is expected to accelerate development of one of the last major, largely untapped American fossil fuel reserves, the New Albany Shale. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the underground formation may hold as much as 3.79 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas and 142 million barrels of oil. Until this point, fracking in the state has been allowed, but slow to develop. The industry has reportedly been hesitant to commit to drilling without knowing the regulations they face. Meanwhile, the state Department of Natural Resources has held off approving permits until the final draft of its regulations were accepted.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Fracking numbers add up to environmental nightmare
Times Union
Heather Leibowitz,

New Yorkers continue to wait with bated breath for the Health Department's study on fracking, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo says will come by year's end. But does New York really need this study to decide its fate? Scarcely a month goes by without some new fracking incident adding to the toll of damage done. Just over a year ago, we published our findings in a report called "Fracking by the Numbers." In the report, we looked at key measures of risks to our water, air, land and climate.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
‘Fracking firms to push ahead with drilling till money is involved’
RT
Opinion

As long as there is money to be made, fracking firms will continue with the supported of the UK government, which has been corrupted by fossil fuel money making the drilling for shale gas profitable, George Barda, environmental campaigner, told RT.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Poll: U.S. Support Slipping for Fracking, KeystoneMore Americans now oppose fracking than favor it, and backing for KXL has also declined.
National Journal
Clare Foran

American enthusiasm for fracking and the Keystone XL pipeline is waning, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.... The partisan split over the pipeline has also intensified. Just 43 percent of Democrats currently favor construction, compared with a 54 percent majority in 2013. Among Republicans, 83 percent now support Keystone XL, a poll result that is nearly identical to the 2013 survey.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
In Climate Deal With China, Obama May Set 2016 Theme
New York Times
Coral Davenport

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s landmark agreement with China to cut greenhouse gas pollution is a bet by the president and Democrats that on the issue of climate change, American voters are far ahead of Washington’s warring factions and that the environment will be a winning cause in the 2016 presidential campaign.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Nukes and Shale Win The Day in U.S.-China Climate Deal
Bloomberg
Joe Carroll and Jim Polson

The tougher measures may also extend a lifeline to nuclear operators struggling to survive amid rising costs, aging reactors and declining profits. The biggest immediate beneficiary will be gas as utilities that burn coal are forced to speed their shift to fuels that spew less greenhouse gas into the skies, said Skip Aylesworth, who manages about $2.3 billion at Hennessy Advisors in Boston. “The bulk of it is going to be replaced by natural gas plants,” Aylesworth said. “It’s good for wind and solar too, but percentage-wise, the new power generation that’s come online this year is running about 60 percent natural gas.”  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Kansas to deploy seismic gear in aftermath of quake
The Topeka Capital-Journal
Tim Carpenter

Gov. Sam Brownback authorized expenditure of $85,000 for six seismic monitoring stations Wednesday in response to a magnitude-4.8 earthquake with an epicenter southwest of Wichita in Sumner County. The U.S. Geological Survey reported activity at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday was centered eight miles south of Conway Springs, about 33 miles outside Wichita. The earthquake had a depth of 3.4 miles. The region also was hit by a series of less intense temblors.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Did gas drilling contaminate his water? Centre County man is frustrated at his government's response: Analysis by Matt Zencey
PennLive
Matt Zencey

The first letter from Donald Ludwig arrived last year in late October. Addressed to various media and public officials, the lines of small handwriting crammed together gave a detailed account of strange things happening to his well water and to his health.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
San Miguel County approves drilling ordinance
KOB 4


LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) - San Miguel County commissioners have voted in favor of an ordinance that imposes some of the strictest requirements on oil and natural gas exploration in the country. The unanimous vote came Wednesday during their regular meeting in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Several dozen people were in attendance.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
San Miguel County commissioners approve ordinance to restrict oil, gas drilling
Daily Journal
Susan Montoya

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — As a federal judge considers the constitutionality of one New Mexico county's efforts to ban oil and natural gas development, commissioners in neighboring San Miguel County voted Wednesday in favor of imposing some of the strictest requirements on hydrocarbon exploration in the country. The unanimous decision was made as several dozen people crowded into the commission chambers.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
'Vampire Diaries' Star Opposes Proposed Fracking
ABC News


Ian Somerhalder, star of The CW series "Vampire Diaries," has publicly shown his opposition to a proposal to set up a fracking well in St. Tammany Parish. Somerhalder attended a public meeting Wednesday at Lakeshore High School, where many in the crowd waved signs against fracking, Nola.com/The Times-Picayune reported ( http://bit.ly/1tJ2CNU ).   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Study: Many common chemicals found in fracking fluid
USA Today
Trevor Hughes

BOULDER, Colo. — Fracking fluid used to help boost oil well production contains many of the same chemicals found in toothpaste, laundry detergent and laxatives, a new study says. Scientists from the University of Colorado-Boulder obtained and tested fracking fluid samples from five states. Drilling companies zealously guard the specific recipes for their fluid, which helps fracture underground rock deposits to release trapped oil and gas that otherwise wouldn't come out. The technique, although long used in the industry, has gained new popularity over the past decade and allows drillers to extract oil and gas from areas that would otherwise be dry.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Environmental expert opposes LNG
Guampdn.com


Editor's Note: This is the final article in a four-part series on GPA's plan to move to liquefied natural gas. A plan to convert Guam's power supply from fuel oil to liquefied natural gas cannot be done without an impact to the island and atmosphere, according to an environmental expert. The Consolidated Commission on Utilities, which oversees the island's water and power utilities, voted last month to move forward with a liquefied natural gas conversion plan drawn up by the Guam Power Authority  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Fracking won't cut bills and ministers 'oversold' shale gas benefits, experts say
The Telegraph
Emily Gosden

Ministers must "stop banking on this idea that shale is going to be plentiful and cheap", Government-funded UK Energy Research Centre says Fracking won’t cut energy bills and ministers have “oversold” the benefits of UK shale gas exploration, Government-funded experts have warned. In a report on Wednesday, academics at the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) said shale gas had been wrongly “heralded as the solution to our security of supply concerns”. Instead of “banking on shale” the Government should support investment in more gas storage facilities to prevent prices spiking in the event of supply crises, the experts, who are independent but taxpayer-funded said. Speaking ahead of the report’s launch, Professor Jim Watson, UKERC director, said: “Where the government has gone wrong is just talking this whole thing up… as if it was going to reduce consumer bills and tackle our energy security problems in a substantial way any time soon. I think that was very premature. The framing of it was oversold.” Prime Minister David Cameron declared last year that fracking had “real potential to drive energy bills down” and that Britain was going “all out for shale”, while the Chancellor George Osborne has been similarly enthusiastic and last weekend announced plans for a sovereign wealth fund.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Blackpool and The Fylde College to be national fracking college
BBC


Blackpool and The Fylde College (B&FC) has been named as the national training centre for the fracking industry, the government has announced. Mathew Hancock, Minister of State for Business, Enterprise and Energy will reveal details in a visit to its Bispham campus later. It will serve as the UK hub for the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas, the minister said. Other colleges around the country will serve as "spokes" for the hub. The college will deliver advanced qualifications, up to and including honours degree programmes, for engineers and technicians. It has provided training for the offshore oil and gas industry since the 1970s.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Liberals move for late debate on fracking inquiry, chooses optional sitting day of Parliament



The South Australian Opposition has formally moved to set up a parliamentary inquiry into unconventional gas exploration in the state's south-east. But the Liberals moved to debate the subject on December 10, an optional sitting day for Parliament that the Government says is unlikely to proceed if there is little on the agenda. The motion's passage through the Lower House is also reliant on the support of two independent MPs, Geoff Brock and Martin Hamilton-Smith, who both sit on Labor's Cabinet. State Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said the mining industry was furious with Opposition Leader Steven Marshall over the inquiry. "The man whose two seats from becoming Premier of South Australia is flagging to the entire world that he is anti-gas, he's anti-oil and he's anti-business," he said. "That scares them and that worries them. "The oil and and gas sector, the mining sector, employ 15,000 people in this state and he's putting all that at risk."   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Why Does the U.S. Still Need So Much Fracking Oil?
Energy Collective
John Miller

The U.S. has relied on petroleum oil as a growing and major energy source since the early 1900’s. Today, the U.S. consumes about 20% of total world crude oil production, and petroleum has been the largest source of U.S. energy supplied and carbon emissions since the 1950’s. Despite the oil shortages and energy crises since the 1970’s and implementing numerous energy security & independence Federal policies, the U.S. still relies on petroleum for the majority of total energy supplies today. Why does the U.S. continue to primarily rely on petroleum oil to supply the majority of energy for all Residents and the overall Economy? And, how can the historic reliance on petroleum energy supplies be substantially reduced in the future? Brief Petroleum Oil History – U.S. primary energy supplies have evolved since the 1800’s. The original primary fuel, wood/biomass, was initially displaced by coal. Petroleum oil begin displacing small amounts of coal beginning the late 1800’s and eventually outpaced coal’s consumption and growth during the first half of 1900’s. This was due primarily to ‘internal combustion engine’ (ICE) technology developments. ICE technologies expanded rapidly within the Transportation and Industrial Sectors, which led to petroleum fuels becoming the major source of energy supplies. As petroleum based technologies evolved, the consumption of petroleum oil grew throughout the 1900’s. Refer to Figure 1. Figure 1 – U.S. Primary Energy Consumption by Source Image Data Source – EIA Table 1.3 and historic AER data. Note: Renewables includes Hydro, Wind/Solar, Geothermal and Biomass/Biofuels. Due to a rapid expansion of liquid motor and heating fuels, U.S. petroleum oil consumption began exceeding coal by 1950. Petroleum consumption continued to increase substantially until the mid-1970’s. While the 1970’s-1980’s energy crises and follow-up Government policy actions definitely helped curtail the growth in petroleum consumption, its use did not peak until 2005. The combination of energy policies and the 2007-09 economic recession contributed to the peaking and recent years’ decline in petroleum consumption. U.S. crude and petroleum oil supplies sources have varied significantly over the past century. Refer to Figure 2. Figure 2 – U.S. Crude and Petroleum Oil Supply and Demand Image Data Source – EIA Field Production, Petroleum & Other Liquids Overview, and Natural Gas Liquids. Prior to World War (WW) II the U.S. was almost totally independent of World crude and petroleum oil markets. Following WWII rapidly increasing petroleum oil demand and peaking of domestic crude oil and natural gas liquids production by the 1970’s led to the U.S.’s increasing reliance on foreign imports. As a result, U.S. net imports increased very significantly since 1950, but fortunately peaked in 2005. The successful development of hydraulic fracturing and other technologies have led to substantial increases in U.S. domestic (tight) oil & natural gas (liquids) production from large shale reserves in recent years. These increased petroleum oil production levels in combination to declining consumption have led to a very rapid decline in net imports since 2005. End-use Sector Petroleum Consumption – Petroleum oil has been produced and used for a wide variety of applications over the past century. As different technologies and markets for consumer fuels and petroleum based goods were developed and expanded, each End-use Sectors’ consumption has grown and changed over the years. Refer to Figure 3. Figure 3 – U.S. Petroleum Oil Consumption by End-use Sector Image Data Source – EIA Tables 3.7a-c. Following WWII U.S. petroleum consumption grew in all End-use Sectors until the oil shortages and energy crises of the 1970’s-early 1980’s. Since these energy crises the combination of market changes and new Government policies helped reduce and stabilize petroleum consumptions in all End-use Sectors except Transportation. After a brief decline in Transportation Sector petroleum consumption following the economic recession in the early 1980’s, consumption continued to increase until just before the 2007-09 economic recession. Since 2007 the Transportation and Industrial Sectors’ petroleum consumption has trended downward. Recent Changed to U.S. Petroleum Oil Consumption Mix – As the types and efficiencies of different petroleum technologies have evolved, so have the mix of petroleum fuels and products changed in recent years. Refer to Figure 4. Figure 4 – U.S. Petroleum Consumption by Fuel Type, 2005-2013 Image Data Source – EIA Table 3.5 Note: ‘Gasolines’ includes aviation gasoline, ‘Kerosenes’ includes jet fuels, ‘Distillates’ includes motor diesel and No.2 (heating) fuel oil (F.O.), and ‘Other Petro(leum) Oils & Gases’ includes lubricants, petrochemical feedstocks, solvents, waxes and different petroleum products not included in the other types of petroleum (propanes-thru-asphalt). Between 2005 and 2013 total U.S. petroleum consumption dropped by about 1,800 thousand barrels per day (KBD). With the exception of Propanes (P/P mix), which actually increased by about 450 KBD or 14% during 2005-13, all other types of petroleum oils declined during the same period. Residual F.O. and Asphalt petroleum consumptions declined the most or by 65% and 40% respectively. This was due to fuels switching (Residual F.0.-to-natural gas) and reduced usage (large reductions in highway/roads asphalt pavements infrastructure maintenance). The consumptions of gasolines, kerosenes and distillates all declined (4%/7% for gasolines/distillates and 18% for kerosenes) over the past 8 years. Primary Contributing Factors Towards Reduced Petroleum Oil Consumption 2005-13 – Over the past eight years the petroleum consumption of each End-use Sector has changed due to a broad range of factors. The most significant factors for reduced petroleum consumption in recent years appear to be due to a combination of increased energy efficiency or reduced usage, increased production and consumption of alternative renewable fuels, and fuels switching to alternative (non-petroleum) fuels. Refer to Figure 5. Figure 5 – Major Contributing Factors to Reduced End-use Sector’s Petroleum Consumption, 2005-13 Image Primary Data Source – EIA Tables 2.2-2.6 Figure 5 illustrates the Transportation and Industrial Sectors have experienced the greatest petroleum consumption reductions, followed by the Power Sector. The largest contributing factors are due to ‘reduced usage/increased efficiency’ and ‘fuels switching from petroleum oil-to-natural gas’. Both these factors contributed to about 35% each (Btu basis) of total reduced petroleum consumption 2005-13. Displacing petroleum with renewable energy, primarily biofuels, contributed to 30% of total reduced petroleum consumption over the past 8 years. The single largest factor and Government policy to reduced End-use Sector petroleum consumption 2005-13 is due to increased Transportation CAFE standards. The second largest petroleum consumption reduction factor/policy is due the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS). Increasing biofuels blending standards have displaced far more petroleum than all other renewables combined within the U.S. including Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). Fuels switching from petroleum-to-natural gas is the third largest factor to displacing petroleum consumption. This factor has been primarily influenced by lower free market natural gas prices in recent years. Can the U.S. Substantially Reduce Future Petroleum Oil Consumption? – U.S. total petroleum consumption has decreased by 1,800 KBD 2005-13 or almost a 9% since 2005. If similar consumption reductions were sustainable, the need for future crude oil imports and increased domestic production would be substantially reduced. The EIA, unfortunately, projects (AEO2014) that U.S. total petroleum consumption will possibly increase by another 300 KBD or1%-2% 2013-30. This projection is based on existing CAFE, RFS, RPS and other alternative Federal and State energy policies, and a 53% GDP growth in the overall economy and 42 million (13%) increase in total U.S. population 2013-30. Reducing U.S. petroleum consumption and associated carbon emissions by levels similar to recent Power Sector carbon standards (30% of 2005 levels by 2030) is likely much more challenging than current policies that appear to focus primarily on reducing coal consumption. What changes in U.S. Government policies will likely be needed to substantially reduce the consumption and the continued need for very large volumes of petroleum oil in the future? Review of the EIA AEO2014 projection indicates that the Transportation, Power and Residential/Commercial Sectors’ petroleum consumption should decrease by 9%-15% 2013-30. Due to a large increase in GDP the Industrial Sector’s petroleum consumption is projected to increase by 27% over the next 17 years. This factor is likely to be the most challenging to significantly reducing future U.S. petroleum consumption. Short of adopting Government policies that drive Manufacturing of durable goods off-shore (i.e. carbon leakage) or potentially cause another major economic recession, encouraging reduced Industrial Sector petroleum consumption will be difficult. More value added policy actions should generally include further encouraging increased energy efficiency and the production-consumption of increased renewable fuels. Existing and future Power Sector increased renewable energy (wind/solar) will definitely help since about 30% of Industrial Sector total energy consumption comes from the Power Sector (including power losses). By expanding existing thermal efficiency upgrade policies and encouraging the installation of new clean (heating) energy systems, the Government could further reduce future Residential and Commercial Sector’s petroleum fuels consumption. Besides continued growth of major appliance efficiencies (HVAC SEER example) and increased building sealing/insulation policies, the Government should strongly consider other alternative technologies to displacing petroleum heating fuels. Potentially attractive options include replacing No.2 (heating) F.O. with electric heaters or heat pumps. In addition, encouraging installations of geothermal heating systems needs to by substantially expanded. All of these potential solutions to displacing petroleum heating fuels could very feasibly reduce Residential and Commercial Sectors’ consumptions by 30% over the next 17 years. The largest consumer of petroleum, the Transportation Sector, should be the major priority for Government policy focus and expansion. To substantially reduce current total petroleum should begin with aggressively expanding CAFE and possibly RFS standards. The most recent CAFE standard probably needs to be doubled up to about 100 mpg. This will require a massive expansion of AFV’s and EV’s. Electric power currently (2013) consumed by EV’s only accounts for 0.1% to total Transportation Sector energy consumption. The current fleet of EV’s will need to be massively increased by about 200-fold (250 thousand up to about 50 million) to approach a future 30% Transportation Sector petroleum consumption reduction. The likelihood of increasing current the U.S. EV fleet up to 50 million over the next 17 years will very likely be infeasible. The alternative of massively expanding other AFV’s that operate on non-petroleum fuels will be similarly challenging as a massive EV fleet expansion policy. Besides the technology innovations still needed to produce substantially greater volumes of cost effective biofuels (in compliance with RFS full-lifecycle carbon emission standard), alterative fueling infrastructures need to be substantially expanded. Consumers must also be persuaded to fuel/operate their FFV’s primarily on alternative fuels such as E-85. Such a FFV policy strategy has the added advantage of solving the current ethanol ‘blend wall’ constraint problem, but the probability of success will still be difficult to determine in the near future. In Conclusion – So, how long will the U.S. continue to require huge volumes of domestic ‘tight oil’ production and large levels of foreign imports? Significantly reducing the need for future U.S. petroleum energy supplies requires a substantial expansion of existing Federal energy efficiency/alternative energy policies and possibly developing new cost effective policies. Residential, Commercial and Power Sectors’ petroleum consumption can be very feasibly reduced by at least 30% in 2030 based on currently available technologies. The major challenges will be the Industrial and Transportation Sectors. Reducing the Industrial Sector’s need for petroleum fuels and feedstocks without forcing large percentages of U.S. Manufacturing overseas (substantial carbon + jobs leakage) and putting the U.S. economy at considerable future risk will be difficult and must be manage very carefully. Massively expanding the Transportation Sector’s AFV/EV fleets and expanding alternative ‘advanced biofuels’ production will be equally onerous. Based on the pace of recent successful and potentially promising technology developments it could possibly take many decades or until about mid-century to actually reduce total U.S. petroleum consumption by 30% from 2005 levels. All of these reduced petroleum consumption policies and actions will still face one major constraint that is rarely covered in political arenas today, population growth. The U.S. population is projected to increase up to at least 400 million (26%) 2013-2050 (Re. U.S. Census Bureau Figure 2 data). This expected Consumer base growth appears to directionally validate the EIA’s AEO projections of no significant total U.S. petroleum consumption reduction in the foreseeable future. Your thoughts and ideas on how to better reduce future U.S. petroleum consumption? » Login or register now to comment! Authored by: John Miller Energy Consultant, Researcher and Professional Engineer. 35 years experience in the petroleum & energy businesses. Education: Chemical Engineering/Chemistry/Business degrees. Experience: energy process design/operations & management, projects development & management, energy business/policies developments & research, and optimizing energy facilities and supply ...   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Ambient Water Seeks to Alleviate Water Scarcity Issues in Key Fracking Regions
Reuters


Ambient Water Seeks to Alleviate Water Scarcity Issues in Key Fracking Regions Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:48am EST * Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release. Ambient Water Seeks to Alleviate Water Scarcity Issues in Key Fracking Regions Company Identifies Texas, California, Louisiana and Other Regions for Implementation of Proprietary Atmospheric Water Generation Systems SPOKANE, WA--(Marketwired - Nov 12, 2014) - Ambient Water (OTCQB: AWGI), a leading provider of atmospheric water generation systems for extracting water from humidity in the air, today identified specific regions throughout the United States which would immediately benefit from onsite Ambient Water atmospheric water generation systems to reduce the draw on municipal resources in water-starved locations where fracking and drilling occurs. For example, California possesses one of the potentially largest natural gas plays in the Monterey Shale. However, as referenced by a recent Industrial Water World article, historically, the cost of oil shale mining was considered too expensive to efficiently fit into the gasoline production business model, but new production methods including fracking is changing that picture. In Texas, a notoriously dry region, hot summers and water shortages are creating unhealthy competition between farmers and shale-gas developers. This is causing controversy in some regions, such as Louisiana, where the Sierra Club reported that regulators had to order oil and gas companies to stop taking groundwater from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer after it started to run dry. Ambient Water believes it can address these water shortage issues by implementing its proprietary 'Ambient Water 400' and 'Ambient Water 20K' atmospheric water generation systems onsite at these drilling and fracking locations. Just recently, the Company announced its plans to place the Ambient Water 400 at Applied Cryo Technologies' Houston facility. The installation, designed as a field test to evaluate water produced and power consumed by the system, will yield results that will be used to position the technology for future use in other oil and gas applications. "The conditions surrounding droughts and water shortages in multiple regions around the country provide Ambient Water with a significant market opportunity to make a difference for local communities, and the oil and gas developers utilizing the region," said Keith White, CEO of Ambient Water. "Following our first commercial implementation in Houston, we are confident that once the data is reviewed showing the level of water produced, and cost efficiency of doing so, that we will soon begin addressing other regions of the country." Ambient Water's patented atmospheric water generation technology literally makes water out of thin air, transforming humidity into an abundant source of clean water near the point of use. With multiple systems already commercially available or in development, the Company's technology produces clean and fresh water for a host of commercial industries including process water for hydraulic fracking in the oil and gas industry and agriculture, while also providing fresh drinking water for homes, offices, and communities. A full list of features and specifications of the Ambient Water 400 can be found here. About Ambient Water, Corp. Ambient Water pioneered atmospheric water generation technology for extracting water from humidity in the air. Drawing from the renewable ocean of water vapor in the air that we breathe, the Company's patented technology cost-effectively transforms humidity into an abundant source of clean water near the point of use. The scalable and modular systems can be configured for a number of water-sensitive applications ranging from oil and gas exploration to vertical farming. The systems can also be configured to produce high quality drinking water for homes, offices, and communities. For a thirsty planet on the verge of a water crisis, Ambient Water makes clean water out of thin air. To learn more about Ambient Water, visit our website at http://www.AmbientWater.com. Safe Harbor Statement Matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "may," "intend," "expect" and similar expressions identify such forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those contemplated, expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. These forward-looking statements are based largely on the expectations of the Company and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. These risks include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties associated with: the impact of economic, competitive and other factors affecting the Company and its operations, markets, products, and prospects for sales, failure to commercialize our technology, failure of technology to perform as expected, failure to earn profit or revenue, higher costs than expected, persistent operating losses, ownership dilution, inability to repay debt, failure of acquired businesses to perform as expected, the impact on the national and local economies resulting from terrorist actions, and U.S. actions subsequently and other factors detailed in reports filed by the Company.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Kerosene in fracking fluid: Toxic but legal
Herald-Standard
Susy Kelly

n the last three years, 230,171 gallons of kerosene, a petroleum distillate with chemical components that are toxic to humans and wildlife, were used in fracking fluid in 129 wells throughout Fayette County, and it was all within the letter of the law. “They are environmental terrorists,” according to Ken Dufalla, president of the Greene County chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA), a grassroots natural resource conservation society. While the industry reports that the pressurized fluid used to create fractures in a layer of shale some 6,000 to 8,000 feet beneath the earth’s surface is safely contained in the steel- and cement-cased wells, Dufalla, who has a degree in chemistry, says over the last four years he’s collected data from waterways in Fayette and surrounding counties showing flowback has entered the waters. “It is a problem, and it’s going to get worse.” In February, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clarified its position on the use of diesel fuel, saying that no diesel fuel may be used in fracking fluid without a permit from the federal government. The EPA specifically outlined five additives according to chemical abstract service (CAS) number that require permits, and all are variants of diesel fuel. Diesel fuels are considered particularly dangerous by the EPA because all variants contain some amount of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX), which are highly toxic even in small amounts. According to the chemical disclosure registry FracFocus, companies who are drilling in Fayette County are using another petroleum distillate or diesel fuel variant, a type of kerosene identified as CAS #64742-47-8, in nearly every well that’s been fracked and reported to FracFocus. That CAS number is not among the five which are regulated by the EPA. The Groundwater Protection Water Council, which, along with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, manages FracFocus, explained in its 2014 report that gas companies use various chemical additives in frack fluid for efficiency purposes and to prevent corrosion and leakage. CAS #64742-47-8 is listed as a friction reducer in the FracFocus reports. Companies like Schlumberger and Sigma Aldrich who sell this additive include in their product information Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) that describe the substance’s toxicity and emergency procedures. Sigma Aldrich’s information on CAS#64742-47-8 says it is “toxic to aquatic life.” It advises customers not to let the product enter drains. “Discharge into the environment must be avoided,” the MSDS says. The industry advocacy website energyfromshale.org states hydraulic fracturing is safe and carefully regulated, and Scott Perry, deputy secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) oil and gas division, agrees that the industry is well-monitored in Pennsylvania. “PA is the leader in enforcement,” said Perry. “Whenever we have spills or impacts to the environment, DEP has a sophisticated response.” He also agreed that diesel fuels are among the most dangerous components in fracking fluid, although the use of those specifically regulated additives is permitted by the EPA when companies have submitted geotechnical information and emergency management plans. While the federal government has set standards for the use of diesel fuels, states have the option of enacting stricter enforcement, and Perry said the DEP would like to see the use of all diesel fuels — including CAS#64742-47-8 — eliminated in the state at some point. DEP enforces the terms of drilling permits by regularly inspecting sites and issuing Notices of Violation (NOV) when companies are not in compliance. “The enforcement action is just one part--equally important is proper remediation,” said Perry. “DEP has established criteria that these sites need to be cleaned up to meet.” “Our clean up program is rigorous. Flowback spills go through a process using accredited labs testing the soil and water,” he went on to say. “They remove contaminants until the site is safe.” Cross-referencing reports of NOVs issued to unconventional wells in Fayette County listed on the DEP’s website against information from FracFocus indicating the use of kerosene in fracking fluid, there were at least six wells that both used kerosene and were cited for environmental, health and safety violations, meaning there was an event that had an impact on the environment. Those six wells used a total of 59,544 gallons of CAS#64742-47-8 in fracking fluid. One well, Grant 16H, located in Redstone Township and operated by Chevron, was fracked in June 2011, and used 52,427 gallons of kerosene, a fraction of a percent of the millions of gallons of fluid used, which consists mainly of water and sand. The DEP issued environmental, health and safety NOVs to Chevron in the same month, for discharging pollutional material into the water and failing to properly control waste to prevent pollution. By August 2011, the DEP listed the violations as resolved, and Chevron paid a $6,000 penalty two months later. According to DEP’s data, there were three other wells with similar violations that cannot be found in the FracFocus database. One of those wells, Orr 33 in Washington Township and operated by Atlas Resources LLC, was cited for failure to properly store, transport, process or dispose of residual waste, and later paid a $15,250 penalty. “Once we issue an NOV, it requires the operator to provide a response for how they will correct it and prevent it from happening again within 10 days,” said Perry. “As long as they are working on compliance, they can proceed, but if we believe it’s not being resolved, we would take additional steps.” Perry explained that the goal of the DEP is not to stop fracking activity, but to monitor companies that have secured permits to work and give them opportunities to come into compliance. The DEP takes into consideration the level of harm to the environment, the length of time the non-compliant activities go on, and the mentality of the gas companies — whether or not they are being willful, negligent or reckless. “When you’re drifting into criminal actions,” Perry said, “that would prompt a unilateral action from the department.” At that point, the DEP would involve the state Attorney General’s office, he said. According to Perry, the DEP monitors those companies with more frequent or severe violations closer than those who consistently play by the rules. “We’re like a cop on the beat,” he said. “We know who to keep an eye on.” For Dufalla, a man with 67 years under his belt as a park ranger in southwestern Pennsylvania, the damage already done is hard to ignore. “Frack water is definitely getting into our water,” he said. “I am a die-hard fisherman. I used to fish below the Clyde Mine discharge (into the Monongahela River). I used to catch fish galore,” said Dufalla. After unconventional gas drilling took off, he said, “white bass disappeared, striped bass disappeared, wall eye disappeared. I quit fishing from there.” Dufalla said the gas companies are guilty of obfuscating the truth, that they are deceptive about the ability of fracking fluid to make it into the waterways. “How the DEP lets this go through is beyond me,” he said. “There’s so many flaws.” Dufalla said the water testing he’s done weekly for the last four years tells the story. For example, he said bromide is an identifier of fracking waste and the discharge coming from the Cumberland, Emerald and Clyde mines shows high levels of bromides. “We’re dealing in facts,” he said. “We can go to court and prove what we have.”   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Fracking no silver bullet for energy security or climate change, study says
Business Green
Will Nichols

Natural gas could help reduce emissions until renewables deployment is more widespread, but investment in gas infrastructure could result in the fossil fuel outstaying its welcome, scientists have today warned in a report that also accuses the British government of over-hyping the potential for a domestic shale gas industry. Research by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) suggests more gas will be needed globally to replace coal in parallel with increased renewables investment if the world is to limit global temperature rise to 2C, in line with international agreements. However, it adds that the benefits to the climate are dependent on gas use declining in the late 2020s and early 2030s and having no major role beyond 2035 without carbon capture and storage. "Gas could play an important role in tackling climate change over the next 10 to 20 years," said Dr Christophe McGlade of UCL, who led the modelling work. "But its role varies across the world, and advocacy of gas as a transition fuel needs a convincing narrative as to how global coal consumption can be curtailed and be replaced by low-carbon energy sources." The UK has been insulated against global supply shocks, such as those caused by the Russia-Ukraine crisis and conflict in the Middle East, by virtue of its own supplies, trading with Norway, and reliance on the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. But as North Sea production dwindles, UKERC says the country will rely more and more heavily on external sources, compromising security of supply. David Cameron has been keen to develop the UK's shale gas reserves, providing a series of tax breaks for operators and proposing a generous compensation scheme for communities hosting drilling rigs. But UKERC says the fact that shale operations will remain few and far between over the next decade means it has little role to play in providing a "bridging fuel" towards full energy system decarbonisation. As such, it argues the government should focus on rapidly expanding investment in alternative low-carbon energy sources and bolstering gas storage capacity to help cushion consumers from short term disruptions. Prof Jim Watson, UKERC research director, told BBC News that ministers were guilty of over-selling claims that shale gas would boost UK energy security and help reduce bills when there was little grounds for such optimism. "It is very frustrating to keep hearing that shale gas is going to solve our energy problems - there's no evidence for that whatsoever... it's hype," he said. "It's extraordinary that ministers keep making these statements. They clearly want to create a narrative. But we are researchers - we deal in facts, not narratives. And at the moment there is no evidence on how shale gas will develop in the UK." The report was seized on by green groups as evidence UK shale gas is not a "magic bullet answer" to concerns over energy security or a long term solution to climate change. "Gas will certainly have a role to play for the next few years, but this mustn't lead us down a high-carbon, dead-end street," said Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth. "The best way to build a safe, clean energy future is investment in energy efficiency and developing the nation's huge renewable power potential." However, the government remains committed to accelerating the development of shale gas in the UK and this week floated proposals for a new shale gas sovereign wealth fund. Meanwhile, Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock will today announce a £1.5m initiative to establish a National College for onshore oil and gas in Blackpool. Jointly funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the onshore oil and gas industry, the National College will deliver training programmes for prospective onshore oil and gas engineers and other specialists  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Gas fracking hopes 'premature'
Halifax Courier


Energy experts have criticised the Government's "premature" assertion that fracking for shale gas would transform Britain's energy supplies. While gas can be a "bridging fuel" in the shift to a low-carbon economy, it would not be long before the fossil fuel became part of the problem rather than the solution in helping tackle climate change, they warned. The Government has said it is going "all out for shale", suggesting the unconventional gas source in the UK could bring down energy prices, improve security of supplies, and boost the economy in areas it is found such as the north west of England. But experts from the UK Energy Research Centre said the Government should not bank on shale. Professor Jim Watson, of the University of Sussex, said there was nothing wrong with exploring for shale gas as long as it was compatible with policy goals, including cutting emissions to tackle climate change. But he dismissed suggestions there could be a second industrial revolution based on shale in the near future as not substantiated by evidence. "I think where the Government has gone wrong is talking this whole thing up, in the early days when it first came on the agenda, as if it was going to reduce consumer bills and tackle energy security problems in a substantial way any time soon. "That was very premature and shale developers played a part in talking it up," he said. Professor Mike Bradshaw, of Warwick Business School, said it was now recognised that shale gas in Europe was not a game changer. "Shale gas is being positioned by some as a solution to our security of supply problem, but an increasingly realistic evaluation of shale gas potential in the UK would say that it probably has a part to play, but it's a modest part, and certainly unlikely to compensate for declining UK continental shelf production." Christophe McGlade of University College London said: "There's no evidence there will be a huge boom in the UK. Absolutely explore but stop banking on it being plentiful and cheap." Th ey were speaking as they launched reports on the challenges for the UK in the global gas market and whether gas could play a role as a transition fuel as the world shifted towards a low-carbon economy. Prof Bradshaw said there was a role for gas to be a "bridge" to a clean energy system by replacing more polluting coal-fired power stations. But without technology to capture the emissions from gas-fired power plants, gas consumption would have to peak globally and start to fall dramatically by the middle of the next decade if emissions are to be curbed enough to prevent dangerous climate change. Even with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, gas will play a stronger role as a transition fuel in some parts of the world than others. In the UK, there will be limited opportunity to replace coal with gas, as the UK's dash for gas since the 1990s means the country is already "well into our gas bridge", Prof Watson said. Gas consumption in the UK has already peaked, and new gas-powered stations will be used as back-up for intermittent supplies of renewable energy. The UK's power sector needs to be decarbonised by 2030, with the rest of the world not far behind, to tackle climate change. Moving on from using gas, two-thirds of which is used for heating homes and in industry, will require measures such as low-carbon heating systems, considering district heating schemes and reducing demand by improving energy efficiency. Prof Watson criticised the Government's move to scale back energy-efficiency schemes last year in response to concerns about consumer bills, saying: "They should have done the opposite, should have increased the ambition of these projects, not reduced them." The experts also called for more investment in gas storage schemes to protect consumers against short-term supply disruption and price rises as the UK's dependence on gas imports continues to grow. A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "Shale gas has got great potential to be a domestic energy resource to make us less reliant on imports and open up a wealth of job opportunities. The opportunity is too big to ignore." Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2014, All Rights Reserved.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Gunnison sage grouse gets federal protection to prevent extinction
The Denver Post
Bruce Finley

ederal wildlife officials on Wednesday committed to the ecological rescue of the Gunnison sage grouse, which has been forced to the brink of extinction by development in the West. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe declared the grouse officially threatened under the Endangered Species Act, rebuffing last-minute appeals by Colorado leaders who contend voluntary protection is sufficient to save it.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Clean Tech Could Generate More Growth Than Fossil Fuels: Study
Clean Technica
Stephen Edelstein

Clean tech has obvious environmental benefits, but could it have economic benefits as well? The push by world governments to lower carbon emissions is viewed by some as financially hazardous, demanding considerable investment in new technologies in an economy that always seems to be in some state of distress.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Court won't let Alberta quash landowner's fracking lawsuit
CALGARY HERALD
JASON MARKUSOFF

The Alberta government cannot claim immunity against a lawsuit by a landowner who claims an energy company’s operations contaminated her drinking water supply. The new ruling allows Rosebud-area resident and oilpatch consultant Jessica Ernst to move forward with her multimillion-dollar actions against Encana’s hydraulic fracturing and Alberta Environment’s oversight, and could clear the way for similar claims by other landowners, her lawyer said. The judge who refused Alberta’s bid to dismiss the Ernst lawsuit also ordered the province to pay triple her legal costs, after multiple attempts to quash her claims. It’s Chief Justice Neil Wittmann’s “sign of displeasure that they kept trying to knock her out with legal objections,” said Ernst lawyer Murray Klippenstein.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
The Big Climate Deal: What It Is, and What It Isn't
Huffington Post
Bill McKibben

1) It is historic. John Kerry was right to use the phrase in his New York Times oped announcing the deal: for the first time a developing nation has agreed to eventually limit its emissions, which has become a necessity for advancing international climate negotiations. 2) It isn't binding in any way. In effect President Obama is writing an IOU to be cashed by future presidents and Congresses (and Xi is doing the same for future Politburos). If they take the actions to meet the targets, then it's meaningful, but for now it's a paper promise. And since physics is uninterested in spin, all the hard work lies ahead.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
LNG exports could increase production and price of gas, report says
Fuel Fix
Robert Grattan

HOUSTON — Liquefied natural gas exports could mean more gas production, more economic growth and an increase in consumer prices, according to a government analysis. The report, released at the end of October and rehashed Wednesday in a subsequent analysis, is intended to serve as a yardstick to help evaluate applications to export LNG from the United States. Those permits require the export project to be in the public interest. The analysis presented several different scenarios where the U.S. exported LNG, ranging from exporting a cumulative 30.6 trillion cubic feet by 2040 to a high of 101.6 trillion cubic feet of LNG exports.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Liberals move for late debate on fracking inquiry, chooses optional sitting day of Parliament
abc.net.au


The South Australian Opposition has formally moved to set up a parliamentary inquiry into unconventional gas exploration in the state's south-east. But the Liberals moved to debate the subject on December 10, an optional sitting day for Parliament that the Government says is unlikely to proceed if there is little on the agenda. The motion's passage through the Lower House is also reliant on the support of two independent MPs, Geoff Brock and Martin Hamilton-Smith, who both sit on Labor's Cabinet.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Shale Gas Unlikely to Reduce Energy Bills as Government "Oversells" Benefits of Fracking
International Business Times
Finbarr Bermingham

The UK government has "oversold" the potential of fracking, with shale gas unlikely to make Britain self-sufficient in gas. Research from the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), a government-funded body, found that the country's shale gas reserves are unlikely to reduce consumer energy bills and encouraged officials to invest in gas storage facilities to prevent price spikes. "Where the government has gone wrong is just talking this whole thing up... as if it was going to reduce consumer bills and tackle ur energy security problems in a substantial way any time soon. I think that was very premature. The framing of it was oversold," said the UKERC director, professor Jim Watson.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
40% of Wisconsin 'Frac Sand' Producers Violated Environmental Rules, Study Says
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirji

Over 40 percent of frac sand producers in Wisconsin have broken state environmental rules in recent years, according to a new report. This isn't the case of a "few bad apples" disregarding the law, said Bobby King, an organizer who contributed to the report by the Land Stewardship Project, an advocacy group.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2014
Texas energy group asks court to halt fracking ban
New Zealand Herald
AP

DENTON, Texas (AP) " A Texas city that sits atop a natural gas reserve is preparing for an extended court battle after voters made it the first in the state to ban further hydraulic fracturing " a fight that cities nationwide considering similar laws likely will be watching closely. An energy industry group and the state's little-known but powerful General Land Office responded quickly to the measure Denton voters approved Tuesday night, filing a petition Wednesday in district court seeking an injunction to stop the ban from being enforced.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Judge Rules Landowner May Sue Gov't in Landmark Fracking Case
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

A landmark lawsuit that challenges the lax regulation of hydraulic fracturing in Canada has just scored a major victory. In a lengthy decision, Alberta Chief Justice Neil Wittmann dismissed all key arguments made by the government of Alberta against the lawsuit of Jessica Ernst, including the fear that it may unleash a flood of lawsuits against a government that is heavily dependent on hydrocarbon revenue. The Alberta government argued that Ernst's $33-million lawsuit had no merit; that the government owed no duty of care to landowners with contaminated water; and that the government had statutory immunity.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Fracking: Time to end US “wild west” wastewater treatment
Water World
Tom Freyberg

By reusing wastewater onsite, operators of hydraulic fracturing wells (fracking) can save nearly $2 per barrel of water used. With the US fracking industry estimated to produce up to 500 million barrels of wastewater per year, this could lead to a $1 billion saving nationwide if operators switched to reusing wastewater onsite. However, currently only 14% of water consumed is reuse onsite at fracking operations, according to a new report from Bluefield Research. With water supplies increasingly at risk, tighter regulations emerging in key states and costs of disposal on the rise, water treatment and re-use is expected to increase substantially, accounting for 27% of total produced and flowback water by 2020, the report said.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Boulder County urged to continue drilling ban
AP via Colorado Public Radio


Boulder County commissioners are being urged to continue a ban on new oil and gas development in unincorporated parts of the county. The moratorium is set to end on Jan. 1, 2015 and commissioners plan to vote Thursday on whether to continue it.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Texas messes with Denton
AlJazeera America
Gregg Levine

A week after a historic vote to ban hydraulic fracturing (or fracking — the controversial drilling method that forces oil and gas from shale formations with pressurized water, sand and a host of chemicals), Denton, Texas, has been told the state will continue to issue drilling permits within the city limits. “It’s my job to give permits, not Denton’s,” said Christi Craddick, chairwoman of the Railroad Commission of Texas. “We’re going to continue permitting up there because that’s my job.”  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
The gavel in distress: Larimer County judge denies request
Bakken.com
Ross Torgerson

A Larimer County judge has denied the city of Fort Collins’ request to stay his decision overturning the city’s 5-year fracking ban, according to Erin Udell of The Coloradoan. The decision was made last week. This decision comes only three months after another Larimer County judge overturned Fort Collins’ five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. The moratorium would have stopped new wells from being fracked within city limits for five years while the city performed a study on the health impacts of fracking. Both rulings are a blow to voters in Larimer County, who have aggressively campaigned in the past to keep the five-year ban in place.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Defenders of Appalachia rally against gas pipeline bound for North Carolina
The News Tribune
Sean Cockerham

WAYNESBORO, VA. — Fred Powell was born under the misty mountain ridges that hug southwest Virginia , beneath the Appalachian Trail and where Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive turns into the Blue Ridge Parkway, in a farmhouse his great-great-grandfather built in 1832. Time passes slowly in the rolling green landscape. Part of the so-called “Breadbasket of the Confederacy” during the Civil War, farmers have long worked the land, raising cows and crops, joined in recent years by wineries and craft breweries that attract day-trippers from the college town of Charlottesville.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Dominion notifies uncooperative landowners
News Leader
Calvin Trice

A law firm for Dominion has mailed a letter to landowners who have refused access to their property to survey for the utility’s proposed $5 billion pipeline project urging property owners to grant access to study on their land to avoid legal action. A form letter mailed this month repeats the company’s request to allow technicians onto private land to determine the best route for the 550-mile pipeline project that would run through Augusta County.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
East Allegheny to allow drilling exploration
triblive
Patrick Cloonan

East Allegheny school board unanimously gave EQT the green light Monday to explore up to 170.28 acres of district-owned property for possible natural gas drilling. “If it is advantageous to the district, it is worth exploring,” board president Gerri McCullough said. Exploration may focus primarily on lots near Logan Middle School.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Countries Are Spending $88 Billion A Year On Finding New Fossil Fuel Reserves
Climate Progress
Katie Valentine

Some of the world’s largest economies are spending billions each year to find new regions to drill, frack and mine for fossil fuels, according to a new report. The report, published Tuesday by Oil Change International and British think tank Overseas Development Institute (ODI), found that G20 nations — a group of major developed and developing economies that includes the U.S., China, India and the E.U. — are spending $88 billion annually on fossil fuel exploration. That’s more than double the $37 billion spent on fossil fuel exploration — a term that includes finding new reserves of fossil fuels as well as expanding existing drilling and mining sites — by the world’s largest 20 oil and gas companies in 2013. It’s also almost double the investment that the International Energy Agency says is needed to power the world by 2030. And, the report notes, this type of investment is unwise if the world wants to keep warming to 2°C, a target that will require leaving at least two-thirds of untapped fossil fuel reserves in the ground.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Another New Mexico county eyes drilling limits
Carlsbad Current-Argus
AP

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) - Another New Mexico county is considering a measure to severely restrict oil and gas drilling. The San Miguel County Commission is expected to vote on an oil and gas drilling ordinance that imposes some of the strictest requirements on hydrocarbon exploration in the country, the Las Vegas Optic reported (http://goo.gl/lJiLeH). The proposed ordinance to be considered Wednesday would restrict oil and gas exploration to a sparsely populated eastern part of the county in northeast New Mexico.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Presentation to compare coal mining and fracking
Wilkes Barre Times Leader
Roger DuPuis

PITTSTON — Scott Cannon, an advertising and video production professional, will present a multimedia program called “The Similarities Between Coal Mining and Fracking,” at 7 p.m. Thursday at the American Legion, 203 Vine St., Pittston. In addition to the health and environmental issues of both fossil fuels, the presentation will cover current issues in Luzerne County and the potential dangers to the Susquehanna River from two proposed pipeline routes, 1.7 miles from the Knox Mine Disaster. The presentation is free and open to the public.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Air Force, Anti-Fracking Veteran Risks Jail, Stands Her Ground
PR Newswire


WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Colleen Boland (retired) joins renowned anti-fracking author, biologist Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., to form a human blockade of Crestwood's proposed fracked-gas salt cavern storage facility on Seneca Lake. On Wednesday, October 29, Boland, Steingraber and eight other protesters linked arms and formed a human blockade at the gates of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream as an Amrex Chemical tractor-trailer attempted to enter. The driver at first stopped about twenty yards in front of the protesters, then pulled up to within two feet of the human blockade and revved the engine. "We were not intimidated, but it was a cold day and you could feel the blast of heat coming from the engine. We held fast until the Schuyler County sheriffs arrived and cuffed us," says Boland. Most of the blockaders were charged with trespass and disorderly conduct. Crestwood's own documents confirm their intent to use the facility to store and transport natural gas fracked out of the Marcellus shale.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Australia’s shale hot spot may face fracking probe
Natural Gas Daily
Sara Stefanini

Concern about hydraulic fracturing is gaining momentum in one of Australia’s most prospective states for unconventional gas. The opposition party in South Australia is calling for an inquiry into the drilling technology – sparking a backlash from industry. South Australian (SA) Liberal MP Troy Bell told local media last week he would move for an inquiry to answer concerns from landholders about the widening use of fracking in the Cooper Basin. The state’s energy minister and industry heavyweights fired back, saying such an inquiry would jeopardise investment in the state and go against the government’s message that it is ‘open for business’.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Fracking in the Northern Territory: What’s the rush? Let’s wait and see
Crikey
Michelle Hughes

Many thanks to Dr Rosalie Schultz, member of Doctors for the Environment, for this piece regarding the latest developments regarding “fracking” in the Northern Territory. Dr Schultz writes: I recently spoke on behalf of Doctors for the Environment Australia to the Commissioner on the Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in NT, Mr Allan Hawke. This Inquiry was established in April 2014 to provide information to the NT government on a range of issues related to hydraulic fracturing “fracking”. It will report by the end of 2014. Meanwhile, fracking is already underway in NT and continues as the Commissioner conducts the Inquiry.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
NC fracking rule revisions readied ahead of vote
Washington Times
Jonathan Drew, Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has several more days to suggest changes to proposed fracking rules before what panel leaders hope is a swift final discussion and vote. Commission vice chairwoman Amy Pickle said Monday that she is “cautiously optimistic” that the panel will wrap up its final discussion and vote at the Friday meeting without it spilling over into a backup date next week. The state Legislature will have the final say on the rules during its session that begins in January.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Disagreement on legal authority complicates local fracking bans
Power Source
Daniel Moore / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Last week in eastern Ohio, where natural gas production in the Utica Shale has been booming, voters in three towns rejected ballot proposals to ban hydraulic fracturing. While Athens overwhelmingly passed a fracking ban, Gates Mills, Kent and Youngstown voted down their measures. The ballot issues highlight the disparity in responses among local officials who are befuddled by the complicated legal baggage of prohibiting a practice that some say is solely regulated at a state level. Bans could legally embroil areas where drilling companies operate, especially with the Ohio Supreme Court soon to rule on the ability of local authorities to regulate fracking.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Fracking regulations too strict, say Glasgow academics
BBC


Leading energy engineers from Glasgow University have called for regulations on fracking to be relaxed. In a new report, two academics said current limits on vibration are so strict that if applied elsewhere they would prevent buses driving past homes. They also said the risks of serious earthquakes were lower than feared. But critics said any relaxation would be deeply unpopular, and would suggest that shale gas firms' interests were being put ahead of local communities.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Canada: Nova Scotia Poised To Outlaw Fracking
Mondaq
Alan Harvie

The Nova Scotia Legislature has resolved to ban "high-volume, hydraulic fracturing" in Nova Scotia. On October 30, 2014, Bill 6, An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act, received approval of the Committee of the Whole House to be passed into law on a future date. Bill 6 will prohibit "high-volume hydraulic fracturing" in shale unless exempted by regulation for the purpose of testing or research. What exactly is "high-volume hydraulic fracturing" is to be make clear in future regulations. This summer an independent panel of experts asked to review hydraulic fracturing by the Nova Scotia government recommend further study before the practice is allowed. The panel felt that it did not have enough information on the regional shales in Nova Scotia to decide if hydraulic fracturing should be allowed, and called for further research and a period of "reflection, dialogue and discussion".  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Has Washington Just Shot Itself in the Oily Foot?
Land Destroyer Report
William Engdahl

November 11, 2014 (William Engdahl - NEO) - By now even the New York Times is openly talking about the secret Obama Administration strategy of trying to bankrupt Russia by using its oil-bloated Bedouin bosom buddy, Saudi Arabia, to collapse the world price of oil. However, it’s beginning to look like the neo-conservative Russia-haters and Cold war wanna-be hawks around Barack Obama may have just shot themselves in their oily foot. As I referred to it in an earlier article, their oil price strategy is basically stupid. Stupid, as all consequences have not been taken into account. Take now the impact on US oil production as prices plummet.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Exhibition - Fracking PA
SOMD.com
Boyden Gallery SMCM

The exhibition, Fracking PA: Documentary Practice and Environmental Activism, considers the relationship between documentary practice and environmental activism with a focus on the environmental, social and cultural impacts of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in Pennsylvania. The exhibition features work by filmmakers, Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman, and photojournalists Bill Crandall, Mandy Kendall, and Crystal Vander Weit. Free and open to the public. Boyden Gallery is located on the 2nd Floor of Montgomery Hall on the St. Mary's College of Maryland campus.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
The $88 Billion Fossil Fuel Bailout for Oil, Gas and Coal Exploration
EcoWatch
Andy Rowell

Many developed nations talk about ending our addiction on fossil fuels, about the need for radical cuts in carbon dioxide in order to avoid catastrophic climate change and yet, at the same time, they continue to subsidize the exploration of fossil fuels.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Hydraulic fracturing rules expected; delay frustrates Illinois farmers
Agribews
Nat Williams

FAIRFIELD, Ill. — The extended rules-making process defining the terms under which hydraulic fracturing will be allowed in Illinois may finally be coming to an end. David Wright and numerous other farmers in Wayne County hope it isn’t too late. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules was expected to submit the final draft of regulations governing the so-called “fracking” industry on Nov. 6. But some landowners — who could rake in bushels of bucks if land they leased to energy companies includes a honey hole of oil and natural gas — fear their ship may have sailed.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
New Halliburton office manages the flow of precious sand
Houston Chronicle
Ryan Holeywell

Halliburton officials say a new "war room" will help the oil field service company manage the flow of billions of pounds of sand from mines to well sites across the country, as producers use ever-increasing quantities of the substance to boost production. Based at the company's north Houston headquarters, the sand center allows Halliburton to monitor the transport of sand, a critical component of the energy industry's operations, as it travels roadways and railways en route to drilling sites.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Seismic opposition to British shale study
UPI
Daniel J Graeber

LONDON, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A call from academia to loosen the rules for the fledgling British shale industry could lead to "shock waves" of opposition, an advocacy group said Tuesday. Researchers at the University of Glasgow said existing regulations that mandate a halt to hydraulic fracturing operations if minor tremors are recorded are too stringent. The regulations, they say, place restrictions on tremors equivalent to a passing truck.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Wobbling on Climate Change
The New York Times
PIERS J. SELLERS

GREENBELT, Md. — I’M a climate scientist and a former astronaut. Not surprisingly, I have a deep respect for well-tested theories and facts. In the climate debate, these things have a way of getting blurred in political discussions. In September, John P. Holdren, the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, was testifying to a Congressional committee about climate change. Representative Steve Stockman, a Republican from Texas, recounted a visit he had made to NASA, where he asked what had ended the ice age:  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
TEXAS CITIES ARE LOSING CONTROL OF FRACKING
The American Spectator
Josiah Neeley

Overall, conservatives in Texas had a very good election night last week. Republicans took all the statewide offices, as indeed they have in every election since 1994, and claimed virtual supermajorities in both the state house and senate. Even a ballot measure on a light rail project in liberal Austin went down to defeat. Yet in the midst of this dominance of common sense came one ominous result. Voters in the city of Denton approved a ballot measure banning all hydraulic fracturing within city limits. While municipalities have banned fracking in states ranging from Colorado to Pennsylvania, Denton represents the first time a city in energy-loving Texas has done so. And unless swift action is taken, it may not be the last.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
The Fall of U.S. Fracking?
Wall St Daily
Karim Rahemtulla

The U.S. oil industry has taken a beating from the recent drop in oil prices, which have plunged more than 25% since the summer. Oil and oil service stocks across the board have been bruised… but none more so than those related to the fracking industry. You see, fracking is an expensive process compared to conventional oil extraction techniques – a situation that became grave three weeks ago, when Saudi Arabia decided to try to run U.S. oil out of business by dropping the price of its crude oil. Now, it looks like fracking may be the first casualty in this worldwide oil war.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
PennEast Pipeline offering grants to nonprofits
The Intelligencer
Freda R. Savana

PennEast Pipeline Co. is offering grants to nonprofits along the route of the company’s 105-mile proposed natural gas pipeline to benefit emergency and other public safety and environmental initiatives. “PennEast is committed to building strong partnerships with communities by supporting their projects and respecting their concerns for a more prosperous future,” explained an email about the Community Connector Grants sent to Durham Township manager Joe Kulick late last week from Alisa E. Harris, a PennEast spokeswoman.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
DEC issues conditions for Seneca Lake LPG storage
StarGazette
Jeff Murray

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has issued draft permit conditions for the Finger Lakes LPG Storage LLC's proposed liquid propane gas storage facility that would use existing underground salt caverns. The release of the draft permit conditions is not an indication that DEC will approve the permit, according to the DEC. It is the next step leading to an issues conference Feb. 12 at the Holiday Inn Express in Horseheads.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Disagreement on legal authority complicates local fracking bans
Power Source
Daniel Moore

Last week in eastern Ohio, where natural gas production in the Utica Shale has been booming, voters in three towns rejected ballot proposals to ban hydraulic fracturing. While Athens overwhelmingly passed a fracking ban, Gates Mills, Kent and Youngstown voted down their measures. The ballot issues highlight the disparity in responses among local officials who are befuddled by the complicated legal baggage of prohibiting a practice that some say is solely regulated at a state level. Bans could legally embroil areas where drilling companies operate, especially with the Ohio Supreme Court soon to rule on the ability of local authorities to regulate fracking.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Environmental Activists File Complaint Against Pittsfield Mayor Over Pipeline
WAMC
Jim Levulis

Environmental activists in Berkshire County have filed an ethics complaint against Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi for his support of Kinder Morgan’s planned gas pipeline expansion. It alleges Bianchi is violating ethics laws because he still works for energy company Global Montello.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Source: Senate Democrats Consider Keystone Vote to Help Mary Landrieu A vote in favor of the controversial pipeline could help Landrieu in her runoff election.
Bloomberg
Kathleen Hunter

Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Senate Democrats are looking at taking a vote in the lame-duck session that starts today to force approval of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline, a party aide said, a move that may bolster Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu’s re-election chances.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Pennsylvania’s frack ponds now number more than 500
State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

In 2005, Pennsylvania had 11 frack water pits. Just eight years later, aerial maps show that number has jumped to 529. It’s unclear how many of these sites store fresh water used for fracking, and how many store the toxic wastewater that results from oil and gas drilling operations. The Department of Environmental Protection could not provide the data to public health researchers working with Geisenger on an NIH funded health impact study. So the researchers turned to the nonprofit data sleuths from SkyTruth, who have documented the impoundents with the help of NASA’s satellite imagery and citizen scientists from around the world. Smithsonian.org recently reported on how the project was initiated by public health researchers from Johns Hopkins:  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Columbia gas compressor will "poison" Forks, residents say
WFMZ
Tom Coombe

FORKS TWP., Pa. - Not all of the 75 people at Monday's public hearing spoke, but they all seemed to agree on one thing: the Columbia Gas Corp. proposed expansion of a local compressor station is bad for their community. Earlier this year, the company filed plans with the state Department of Environmental Protection to upgrade its existing compressor in the township by building two new turbines and adding a new gas-fired emergency generator. Read more from WFMZ.com at: http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/columbia-gas-compressor-will-poison-forks-residents-say/29651600 Connect with us... Facebook/69WFMZ or @69News Read more from WFMZ.com at: http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/columbia-gas-compressor-will-poison-forks-residents-say/29651600 Connect with us... Facebook/69WFMZ or @69News  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Rich countries subsidising oil, gas and coal companies by $88bn a year
The Guardian
John Vidal

Rich countries are subsidising oil, gas and coal companies by about $88bn (£55.4bn) a year to explore for new reserves, despite evidence that most fossil fuels must be left in the ground if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change. The most detailed breakdown yet of global fossil fuel subsidies has found that the US government provided companies with $5.2bn for fossil fuel exploration in 2013, Australia spent $3.5bn, Russia $2.4bn and the UK $1.2bn. Most of the support was in the form of tax breaks for exploration in deep offshore fields.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Airman-turned-activist arrested for 'civil disobedience'
Air Force Times
Kristin Davis

Retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Collen Boland will mark Veteran's Day with a vigil outside Schuyler County Jail in New York tonight. That's where a fellow veteran is serving a 15-day sentence for refusing to pay a fine for trespassing — and where she too may end up following a court appearance scheduled for next week.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Protesters Block Federal Agency for Five Days Straight
AlterNet
Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

For five days in a row this week a federal agency was blockaded by protesters, delaying workers, sending a strong message of demands and resulting in scores of arrests. Did you hear about the blockades in the corporate, mass media? The blockades were just a driveway's distance from CNN, just around the corner from NPR and in a mass media center, Washington, DC. Do you wonder why they did not report that there were blockades outside of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)? The protests were because FERC has been rubber stamping fracked gas infrastructure permits without considering the environmental and health impacts, especially ignoring climate change, and ignoring the views of the communities. Gas companies are very big advertisers in the mass media.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Propane storage plan moves ahead
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Watkins Glen The state Department of Environmental Conservation has taken a tentative step toward a long-planned and increasingly controversial underground liquefied propane storage facility in the Finger Lakes region near Watkins Glen. Opponents have staged protests outside the site during the last several weeks, leading to mass arrests. DEC was careful to say in its news release — issued late Monday after regular business hours — that draft permit conditions issued for the project "in no way indicate that the project will ultimately be approved."   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Vote on fracking rules could come on Friday
Robesonian
Johnathan Drew

The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has several more days to suggest changes to proposed fracking rules before what panel leaders hope is a swift final discussion and vote. Commission Vice Chairwoman Amy Pickle said Monday that she is “cautiously optimistic” that the panel will wrap up its final discussion and vote at the Friday meeting without it spilling over into a backup date next week. The state Legislature will have the final say on the rules during its session that begins in January.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Denton, Texas, ban on fracking has not settled the issue, website reports
Times-Picayune
Robert Rhoden

Last week's election results in Denton, Texas, were clear. By a vote of 14,881 to 10,495, citizens voted to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the city limits. The ban is set to take effect Dec. 2, meaning fracking would become a misdemeanor, the website Fuel Fix reports.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Ministers' shale gas 'hype' attacked
BBC
Roger Harrabin

Ministers have "completely oversold" the potential of shale gas, energy experts say. Researchers from the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) told the BBC promises of lower prices and greater energy security from UK shale gas were “hype” and "lacking in evidence".  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2014
Round Two for Gov. Cuomo
The New York Times
Editorial

The decision on whether to authorize hydraulic fracturing for extracting natural gas along the state’s southern tier has been on hold pending a State Health Department study of the effects on the environment and human health. The study is due by the end of the year, and some environmentalists say there has been very little public input. The governor will make enemies no matter what direction he moves in, but before moving at all he should insist on a comprehensive and credible analysis. Mr. Cuomo cannot get away with blaming a Republican State Senate for lapses in this progressive agenda, since he helped make that Republican majority possible. He has shown himself to be a canny political tactician, and he’ll need to be to deliver on his promises.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
A proposal to save the middle class … by cutting carbon pollution
Grist.org
David Roberts

During the climate-bill fights of 2009-10 — how long ago they seem! — my main interaction with fans of the policy known as “cap and dividend” was listening to them complain about the Waxman-Markey bill. They were one of many factions in the climate coalition who thought they had the extraordinary luxury of derogating actual, live climate policy proposals in favor of fairy-tale alternatives. After all, everyone knew by then that America was going to do something about climate change, right? Why not dig in one’s heels on wonky policy distinctions, like a petulant child incensed at receiving the wrong brand of toy? Of course, we now understand that the American Clean Energy and Security Act was the one credible chance at comprehensive climate legislation we are likely to see in the U.S. for the next decade at least — by which time our emissions should have peaked if the world is to have a chance at avoiding disastrous climate changes. It was our shot. There’s a good chance it never could have passed the Senate even with unified support from climate hawks, but we’ll never know, will we?  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Angry Canary Islanders brace for an unwanted guest - the oil industry
The Guardian
Stephen Burgen

In most places the news that you’ve struck oil would be cause to crack open the champagne. But not in the Canary Islands where Spain’s biggest oil company Repsol is due to begin drilling off Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. “Our wealth is in our climate, our sky, our sea and the archipelago’s extraordinary biodiversity and landscape,” the Canary Islands president, Paulino Rivero, said. “Its value is that it’s natural and this is what attracts tourism. Oil is incompatible with tourism and a sustainable economy.”  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Court permanently bars activist from gas sites
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

A Susquehanna County judge has ruled that 63-year-old anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins will be permanently barred from setting foot on Cabot Oil & Gas sites. Scroggins has been a thorn in the company’s side for years. She hosts a lot of citizen gas tours around Susquehanna County where Cabot has most of its operations. The company says she has repeatedly trespassed on its property and poses a safety risk. “I’d like to appeal it,” Scroggins