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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
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 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
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 says of the ruling. “I consider it an unfair decision that is further restricting me– to keep me from exposing Cabot and the gas industry.” Cabot spokesman George Stark says the company is pleased with the outcome.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
New Oil & Gas Industry Intel Network Circumvents FOIA law
Earth Island Journal
Adam Federman

Now the public has no way of finding out what kind of information is being circulated among network members or with the federal government What if the private sector banded together to create its own intelligence sharing networks exempt from FOIA law and public accountability? In the last decade a number of different industries ranging from financial services and health care to nuclear energy and defense have created what are known as Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs). They allow member companies to share information anonymously without fear that it will be subject to FOIA requests or anti-trust violations. Now the oil and gas industry is getting in on the act.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Overflow Crowd of Chatham Residents Get What They Came For: Resolution Against Pilgrim Pipeline
Tap into Chatham
Ed Barmakian

CHATHAM, NJ - There was standing-room only - and some out-of-room overflow standing as well - as hundreds of Chatham residents descended upont the Borough of Chatham Council meeting Monday night to demand a resolution opposing the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline. Chatham residents got what they came for with an affirmative vote by the council to draw up a resolution opposing the oil pipeline. The resolution, which has broad support of the council, needs to be drafted and presented in written form before it can be officially approved at the Nov. 24th meeting.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Standing by Those Who Stand in the Way of Fracking Infrastructure
Food & Water Watch
Wenonah Hauter

It all began taking shape back in March of 2013, when Sandra Steingraber – the noted biologist, author, educator and advisor of Americans Against Fracking – and 11 other courageous individuals were arrested for blockading the entrance to a natural gas compressor station on the banks of Seneca Lake, in the environmentally sensitive Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. These so-called “Seneca Lake 12” were simply doing what countless other Americans have done over generations when they knew their health and safety were threatened, when their elected leaders weren’t there to help, and when they had no other choice: they stood up for their neighbors, their families and themselves, and were hauled off to jail. Sandra spent 10 days behind bars after defiantly refusing to pay a fine.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Tompkins Municipal Leaders Host Frack Conference
Ithaca.com


The Tompkins County Council of Governments is cosponsoring an upcoming day-long conference examining the issue of collateral damage from hydrofracking, and how communities can protect themselves. The conference, entitled Collateral Damage from Fracking: Coming together to protect communities, will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15 at Textor Hall on the Ithaca College campus. Conference registration is open through November 9. The conference will examine successful attempts to protect local communities, through presentations by local officials, activists, and lawyers who have been involved in successful efforts to protect their communities. Presentations will focus on practical protection strategies that can be employed if fracking is legalized in New York State, and also to minimize dangers related to gas storage and transport.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Study links Alberta earthquakes to fracking
CBC News
Kim Trynacity, Alicja Siekierska

Natural Resources Canada (NRC) registered a small, 3.0 magnitude earthquake that was “lightly felt” from Three Creeks to St. Isidor in northern Alberta at 11:14 p.m. MT on Nov. 2. NRC said on its website there were no reports of damage, and that “none would be expected.” Jeff Gu, a seismologist at the University of Alberta, said the earthquake could have been caused by shifting rock formations in the region — but adds there could be another possible explanation. “Certainly that region is not immune to earthquake faulting, but I would say having actual earthquakes in that area is relatively recent, relatively new,” he said.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
New Oil & Gas Industry Intel Network Circumvents FOIA law
Earth Island Journal
Adam Federman

Now the public has no way of finding out what kind of information is being circulated among network members or with the federal government What if the private sector banded together to create its own intelligence sharing networks exempt from FOIA law and public accountability?  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Fracking can begin in Illinois
PHYS.org
Julie Wernau

Haul out the oil rigs, fracking can begin in Illinois. An obscure arm of state government cleared the way Thursday for oil and gas drillers to apply for permits to begin fracking in Illinois, which could find itself the center of an oil boom by next fall if the energy firms that have leased land here begin to drill. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules moved forward regulations that govern hydraulic fracturing, a drilling process that injects water, chemicals and sand at high pressure into shale rock to unleash oil and gas.   [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
London Assembly says no to fracking
Business Green


The London Assembly's environment committee has launched a scathing attack on Mayor Boris Johnson, accusing him of taking a "regressive" approach to London's environmental challenges and rejecting his calls for fracking in the capital. In a motion issued late last week, the Environment Committee said the mayor had "abjectly failed" to tackle the biggest environmental challenges facing London during his six year tenure, including reducing carbon emissions, curbing air pollution, and delivering a more decentralised energy system.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Fracking Debate: UK Upper House to Look at Shale Gas Sovereign Wealth Fund
International Business Times
Nigel Wilson

The UK's House of Lords is set to consider plans to establish a sovereign wealth fund for revenues raised from future sales of shale gas. Britain's upper house will consider the proposal, revealed by the government over the weekend, during a session in London on Monday (10 November).  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Senate’s Dean Skelos touts fracking and charters
New York Post
Carl Campanile

Republican state Senate leader Dean Skelos had a message Sunday for Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de?Blasio: Frack, yeahand Charter ho! Skelos, who will soon again be in the Senate majority, vowed in a radio interview to promote hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, along with other conservative-favored causes, such as the expansion of charter schools and tax cuts.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Britain plans for future of shale oil, gas industry
Taipei Times


The British government on Saturday said that it would establish a sovereign wealth fund with the proceeds from extracting natural gas from shale. The announcement, which might be seen as premature because no shale gas production is likely to occur in the near future, is another step by British Prime Minister David Cameron’s administration to encourage development of a shale gas industry and overcome public opposition to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. British  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
EDITORIAL: Push back against Pilgrim Pipeline
Daily Record
Editorial--Donovan Richards

The folks at Pilgrim Pipeline say they want to work cooperatively with residents whose properties might be torn apart by their proposed billion-dollar underground pipeline from Linden to Albany, N.Y. But if those residents don’t want to come along nicely, Pilgrim’s leaders are ready to play hardball. They are threatening residents with condemnation so the company can force its way onto whatever properties it chooses to conduct its surveys.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Rock The Gate Line-Up Expands To More Than 60 Acts
The Music


Anti-fracking fund-raiser Rock The Gate has followed up last month's inaugural line-up announcement by adding esteemed artists such as the legendary David Bridie (of My Friend The Chocolate Cake), Stiff Gins and indigenous rapper Radical Son, taking the total number of performers up to 66, spread across an impressive seven venues. The event, held in collaboration with anti-fracking alliance Lock The Gate, will further complement existing headliners such as Pete Murray and The Herd with performances not only from musicians such as prodigious activist/rapper/MC Holley Somerville Knott, but comedians too, including Sean Choolburra, Glover & Sorrensen, and Mic Conway & Robbie Long.   [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Recipient of environmental award to keynote NPRC meeting
Billings Gazette
Zach Benoit

Helen Slottje has spent the last four years crafting a successful legal strategy utilizing zoning laws to prevent oil and gas fracking from entering communities across New York, and she hopes an upcoming speech can help do the same for Billings. “The communities are on the front lines of the impacts (of hydraulic fracturing),” she said. “Communities have always had the right to make local decisions that affect the places where this might happen. They’re the people who bear the costs and the burdens of this, so they should have the right to make decisions that impact that.”   [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Washington County Board of Supervisors to call for disclosure of fracking chemicals
Tricities.com
ALLIE ROBINSON GIBSON | BRISTOL HERALD COURIER

ABINGDON, Va. — Now that they’ve allowed natural gas well drilling in Washington County, some supervisors want to make sure they know what’s going into the ground. A resolution to support a state requirement that all chemicals used in ground drilling and hydraulic fracturing — fracking — be disclosed and landowners notified of the chemicals is on the table for Wednesday night’s Board of Supervisors meeting.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Anti-frackers make presence felt at Boulder County oil and gas moratorium meeting
Daily Camera
Joe Rubino

When the Boulder County Commissioners held a meeting to gather public input on a possible extension to the county's moratorium on oil and gas development in December 2012, anti-fracking activist delayed that meeting for half an hour engaging in chants that chased the commissioners from the hearing room. In June 2013 the commissioners finally voted to extend the moratorium—which pertains specifically to unincorporated portions of Boulder County--for 18 months, stretching until Jan. 1, 2015. On Monday the county held another public meeting to gather input on whether or not an additional extension is in order, and while the attendees did not disrupt the proceedings this time around, the avalanche of anti-oil and gas sentiment was perhaps even more forceful than it was in 2012.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Sapping the sweet spots: How long will US energy boom last?
Al Jazeera America
Peter Moskowitz

In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said that the U.S. had a supply of natural gas “that can last America nearly 100 years.” But that unbridled optimism, shared by the natural gas industry as well as politicians who want to see the U.S. become more energy independent, is worrying a growing group of activists and analysts who say U.S. oil and gas production may start declining in a matter of years as drillers run out of sweet spots in U.S. shale reserves and are forced to explore less productive — and less lucrative — regions. “Most of the wells right now are going into sweet spots,” said David Hughes, who authored a report released this week on the future of oil and gas production from the Post Carbon Institute, a green energy think tank. “You’re going to have to go into other parts of the reservoir eventually.”   [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Texas official ignores voters’ ban on fracking
Grist
Sara Bernard

As predicted, mere hours after the first-ever fracking ban passed in Texas, industry reps took to the courts. By 9:09 a.m. on Nov. 5, both the Texas Oil and Gas Association and the Texas General Land Office had filed lawsuits that aim to prevent the city of Denton from enacting its ordinance on Dec. 2 — and Texas legislators are already drawing up plans to make future fracking bans like this one illegal. The blowback here, of course, is because Denton is sitting on top of the Barnett Shale — one of the country’s largest natural gas fields — and those who’re doing the drilling would like to continue, thank you very much. The lawsuits argue that a city can’t override the state’s authority to regulate the oil and gas industry. So, in the meantime? Business as usual, according to The Dallas Morning News:   [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Tracking Frackers From the Sky
Smithsonian
Richard Schiffman

Ever since the natural gas boom took off in Pennsylvania in 2006, some people living near the drilling rigs have complained of headaches, gastrointestinal ailments, skin problems and asthma. They suspect that exposure to the chemicals used in the drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, triggers the symptoms. But there’s a hitch: the exact locations of many active fracking sites remain a closely guarded secret. Brian Schwartz, an environmental epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and his colleagues have teamed up with Geisinger Health System, a health services organization in Pennsylvania, to analyze the digital medical records of more than 400,000 patients in the state in order to assess the impacts of fracking on neonatal and respiratory health.   [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
DEC Issues Draft Permit Conditions for LPG Storage
WENY


ALBANY, NY (WENY) -- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued draft permit conditions regarding a proposed liquid propaone gas storage facility on Seneca Lake. The draft permit conditions contains requirements and obligations that would be imposd on Finger Lakes LPG Storage, LLC, if the project is approved. According to the DEC, the release of the draft permit conditions doesn't mean the project will be approved. The project has garnered much public interest and protest over the past few years. An issues conference is scheduled for February 12th, 2015 at the Horseheads Holiday Inn to see if an additional hearing is necessary. An administrative law judge set a deadline of today to issue draft permit conditions for both the applicant and public to review.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Oil facility won't expand
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany An oil terminal company whose expansion plans at the Port of Albany have been under continued state scrutiny last month quietly dropped plans to add a rail-to-river unloading facility on the Hudson River about 90 miles south of the Capital Region. Massachusetts-based Global Partners withdrew plans before the state Department of Environmental Conservation to expand its oil terminal facility in New Windsor, Orange County, so that oil could be moved from massive crude oil tanker trains onto vessels to continue downriver to coastal refineries.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
New reports clash over safety of fracking
Nuvo
Rocky Asutsa

The federal law regulating how oil and gas companies that use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to inject fracking fluids into the ground is too lax, an environmental group says in a new report. The Environmental Integrity Project said in the report released Oct. 22 that, by being silent on chemicals that are more toxic than diesel, the Safe Water Drinking Act provides a loophole that lets companies legally inject chemicals into the ground. The report details the use of chemicals with higher benzene concentrations than was allowed before the law was amended. It decried the lack of regulation for non-diesel based fracking fluids that had “higher benzene concentrations.” The Environmental Protection Agency says that benzene consumed in drinking water may over time cause anemia and that it is a carcinogen. Data in the report were gathered through a voluntary industry-run website, Frac Focus, where companies post information about the content of fracking fluids. “Some companies are using other drilling fluids, non-diesel fluids, that contain benzene and ethyl benzene in much higher concentrations that you would see in diesel,” Eric Schaffer, Environmental Integrity Project executive director, said in a conference call to mark the release of the report.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Ohio County Holds Off On Fracking Due To Low Oil Prices
Huffington Post AP


ASHTABULA, Ohio (AP) — Officials in northeast Ohio say drilling in shale deposits is on hold due to decreasing oil prices. The Star-Beacon in Ashtabula reports (http://bit.ly/1EutxFe ) that although geographic studies have shown there are large shale deposits throughout Ashtabula county, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is on hold due to economic reasons.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Cuomo: Fracking is a 'divisive' issue
Legislative Gazette
AP

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reflected on the hot-button issue of hydraulic fracturing after voting in suburban Mount Kisco last week. At the Democratic governor's polling place, about 70 supporters chanting "four more years!" drowned out about two dozen anti-hydraulic-fracturing protesters.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Will Cuomo decide on fracking?
NCPR
Karen DeWitt

Nov 10, 2014 — Now that elections are over, supporters and opponents of hydrofracking wonder what will be Governor Andrew Cuomo’s next move on the long stalled gas drilling process in New York State. New York has had a de facto moratorium on fracking for several years. In recent comments, Governor Cuomo said he is awaiting results of a more than two-year health review being conducted by his administration. During a debate in October Cuomo said the review would be completed by the end of the calendar year. But just one day before elections, Cuomo seemed to be again moving away from that date. He said an end of the year deadline was set between him and former Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah.   [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Are Fracking Workers Being Poisoned on the Job?
The Nation
Michelle Chen

Last week's Republican election victories will set the stage for more stagnation in Washington, but might also grease the skids for some of the most controversial energy ventures at ground zero in the climate change debate: the long-stalled Keystone XL Pipeline project, and the booming hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," industry. But one thing that might put the brakes on the dirty fuel rush is the mounting research evidence linking oil and gas extraction to massive health risks for workers and communities. A new study published in Environmental Health reveals air pollution data on major, in some cases previously underestimated, health risks from toxic contamination at gas production sites related to fracking. Air samples gathered around "unconventional oil and gas" sites by community-based environmental research teams contained unsafe levels of several volatile compounds that "exceeded federal guidelines under several operational circumstances," and that "Benzene, formaldehyde, and hydrogen sulfide were the most common compounds to exceed acute and other health-based risk levels."  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
In Denton, a vote ends very little
Fuel Fix
Michael Brick

If there were a contest for the lowest degree of finality conferred by any item on the electoral ballots last week across America, the judges would have to give serious consideration to the proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing in the North Texas city of Denton. The referendum on the technique — which flushes hydrocarbons from the earth with injections of water, sand and chemicals — produced the first localized ban anywhere in Texas, the source of roughly a third of the country’s oil and gas. Several years of increasingly bitter local politics in the making, the ban is set to take effect December 2. If it does – and that’s a considerable if – hydraulic fracturing would become a misdemeanor within city limits. The rule would have to find its place amid a patchwork of other local regulations, including a moratorium on new drilling. The measure has already drawn two formidable legal challenges, one from the Texas General Land Office and the other from the Texas Oil & Gas Association. Christi Craddick, chair of the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas, has indicated plans to keep approving state permits in the city. And state lawmakers have made noises about overriding the ban with legislation. Denton officials, for their part, have pledged to defend their new ordinance in court.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Fracking Linked To Alberta Earthquakes, Study Indicates
Huffington Post


Carmen Langer had just left his bed to grab a drink of water when he felt his house northeast of Peace River, Alta., begin to shake. “At first I thought I wasn’t feeling very good that day... and it was just my blood sugar, but no, it shook pretty good,” Langer said about the Nov. 2 incident.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Another New Mexico county eyes oil, gas drilling restrictions amid pending federal court fight
The Republic
AP

LAS VEGAS, New Mexico — 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 10, 2014
Wild ride for natural gas signals volatile winter ahead
cnbc
Patti Domm

Natural gas futures swung wildly before closing lower for the first time in 10 sessions, signaling a volatile winter ahead for the commodity. The December natural gas futures contract closed at $4.255 per million British thermal unit, down 3.6 percent, after shooting up to $4.544 in overnight trading. Natural gas had been up more than 25 percent from its October low. Traders said midday reports that temperatures may not be as severe as expected in a cold snap expected across the U.S. weighed on prices.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Pittsfield Mayor Denies Conflict of Interest on Pipeline
iberkshires.com
Joe Durwin

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Daniel Bianchi is rejecting claims he has committed an ethics violation by publicly supporting the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion. Local environmental activist Michael Muadin says Bianchi's affiliation with Global Montello, which has had supplier agreements with the Kinder Morgan and its subsidiaries for years, represents a conflict of interest with regard to his political support of their controversial proposed Northeast Energy Direct Project. "He remains in bed with the energy industry that is trying to force this pipeline on the people and their land," says Muadin, in a statement. "He needs to immediately recuse himself from any formal executive actions related to this pipeline."  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Special Report: Landowners to fight eminent domain
Brattleboro Reformer
John Herrick

Philip Beliveau opened a map of his planned 19-lot subdivision over a pile of books and outdoor magazines, and then slid his finger along a line indicating the location of a proposed natural gas pipeline through his 58-acre property in St. George. "The gas line goes through here. It's actually touching a couple of lots," he said. "What does that say about the prospective buyers of the lots? Is it going to reduce the value?" Beliveau, 57, works seasonally as a ski instructor and sells bikes and equipment from his home. After five years of careful planning - mapping out septic capacity and wetland boundaries on his property - he is now re-evaluating a planned $2.5 million subdivision that would help to fund his daughter's college education and his own retirement.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
Environmental Groups in Utah File Against Approved Natural Gas Pipeline
Oil & Gas 360


Groups say Bureau of Land Management was wrong to approve project The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the Sierra Club have filed an appeal challenging a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decision in Utah, last Friday. The two groups say that the BLM was wrong to approve Fidelity Exploration & Production’s pipeline in the first place. “BLM’s decision to consider Fidelity’s gathering pipeline system in isolation, and not take into account the environmental impacts from other projects necessary to make the gathering system work, is a textbook violation of environmental laws,” Landon Newell, staff attorney for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance told KSL Utah.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
What Tom Wolf Said He Would Do On Environmental Issues
PA Environment Digest


In May, then candidate Tom Wolf gave the Pennsylvania Environmental Council answers to questions on important environmental issues. Among them, he was asked what he would do during the first 100 days in office.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2014
PEC Urges DEP To Create A More Robust Oil & Gas Well Inspection Program
PA Environment Digest


In comments on DEP’s proposed Oil and Gas Program Enforcement Policy, the PA Environmental Council Friday called on DEP to create a more robust compliance inspection program for oil and gas wells which it says the Department does not now have.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
DeSmogCAST Episode 2: Midterm Elections Fallout, #KMFACE and the Fossil Fuel Industry in Kids' Classrooms
De Smog Blog
Carol Linnitt

This week’s episode of DeSmogCAST covers the fallout of the U.S. midterm elections and what a GOP-led Congress will mean for climate action and the Keystone XL pipeline. Hosted by DeSmogBlog contributor Farron Cousins, our DeSmog cast – featuring Carol Linnitt, Brendan DeMelle and Steve Horn – also takes a look at fracking bans in several U.S. states, the hilarious success of the #KMFACE campaign, and the importance of community organizing in the face of growing fossil fuel influence in our lives. We discuss Chevron’s ‘Fuel Your Schools’ campaign currently taking place in schools around Vancouver’s lower mainland.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Dominion ad rhetoric posing as argument
News Leader


Dominion's Nov. 6 full-page ad is a model of rhetoric posing as argument. It uses diversion and weasel words for calculated deception. For example, one of its 11 "myths" is that natural gas "speeds up" climate change, a carefully chosen verb. It diverts attention from the fact that natural gas still contributes to climate change and ignores the argument that gains from use of cleaner burning gas are offset by pollution from its production by fracking. All the gas in this pipeline will be fracked, and the pipeline encourages more fracking.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Gates Mills voters reject anti-fracking bill of rights; Mayfield Road redevelopment alarms business owners: Best of the Beat
Cleveland.com
Sara Dorn

Gates Mills, Ohio — Voters denied an anti-fracking bill of rights in Tuesday's midterm election, according to unofficial results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, after nearly a year of wrangling between village officials and a group of residents over how to prevent drilling. And in Mayfield Heights, business owners were shocked and concerned to learn about the city's pending plans for a 15-acre mixed-use shopping complex on Mayfield Road.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Energy Pipeline: Voters nationwide weigh in on fracking, water measures
Greeley Tribune


Voters in Denton, Texas, banned fracking. Louisiana voters approved money for an artificial coral reef development fund. In Alaska, voters restricted mining in Bristol Bay. But in North Dakota, a measure to provide millions of dollars in oil and gas tax revenue for conservation projects across the state failed overwhelmingly.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Low Gas Prices Haven't Slowed Domestic Drilling — Yet
NPR


Oil prices have fallen by more than a quarter since June, and most analysts expect they'll stay low for a while. That poses a problem for shale oil in particular, which has fueled the U.S. oil boom in recent years. Because shale oil is more expensive to drill than conventional oil, prices have to stay relatively high for it to be profitable.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Denton, Texas, Rejects Fracking but State to Continue Drilling Permits
Insurance Journal


A state agency that regulates oil and gas will continue issuing permits to companies seeking to drill in Denton, despite residents passing a ban to prevent further hydraulic fracturing in the north Texas city. At an event sponsored by the Texas Tribune, Railroad Commission Chairwoman Christi Craddick said she was disappointed in the measure’s approval and that she’ll continue issuing the permits, The Dallas Morning News reported.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Victory for Beyond Extreme Energy at FERC
Future Hope
Ted Glick

“The people gonna rise like the waters, Gonna calm this crisis down. I hear the voice of my great granddaughter Saying shut FERC down right now.” Who would have thought it? On Friday morning, November 7th, for 2 ½ hours, the determined and courageous nonviolent activists of Beyond Extreme Energy shut down the DC headquarters of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC. All three entrances to the building were successfully blockaded, and virtually no one was getting in. By 9 am there were about 150 FERC employees massed on the sidewalks in front of FERC, waiting for the police to clear away five fracking fighters who had successfully locked down at 7 am with lock boxes across the driveway into the FERC parking garage. The driveway had been the route used by police to funnel FERC employees into the building for the four days previous when BXE activists had successfully blockaded the two pedestrian entrances.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
More sensitive MEMS reader to detect Benzene leaks in fracking operations
Ferret
Isaac Leung

PERTH-based Panorama Synergy says its LumiMEMS reader will help monitor potentially hazardous operational by-products in hydraulic fracturing Benzene is a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical, but regulators have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove the claims of chemical release into the environment, because Benzene is difficult to detect before it reaches dangerous levels in the environment.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Five Earthquakes Strike Within Minutes Of Each Other In Northern, Central OK
News9 OK
MATTHEW NUTTLE

OKLAHOMA CITY - A rash of earthquakes erupted in counties across northern and central parts of Oklahoma, Sunday night. Five earthquakes in all were recorded between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., the most of which occurred near the town of Medford, Okla. The first earthquake was recorded four miles to the northwest of Perkins, Okla., in Payne County, at approximately 8:11 p.m. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured this quake as a 2.9 magnitude event.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Meet The Folks On The Front Lines Of Fracking In California
De Smog Blog


The oil and gas industry has worked very hard to push the narrative that fracking is completely safe, and that any opposition is led by a small group of full-time activists.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Fracking on hold in Ashtabula County
Star Beacon
Warren Dillaway

The future of drilling in Ashtabula County shale deposits is on hold because of basic economics, according to area political leaders keeping an eye on the issue that could eventually bring dollars into the area.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Yawuru people camp out in opposition to Buru Energy's fracking plans in Canning Basin
ABC News
Erin Parks

Broome locals opposed to a fracking program planned in the Canning Basin are gearing up for a wet season camp-out to try to stop Buru Energy's work in the area. In recent weeks, the company has cleared more than 100 hectares of land to lay a grid of seismic testing lines in the area 70 kilometres from Broome.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Karoo Fracking: SA Coal’s low methane content doesn’t augur well for its Shale Gas
Biz News
Mike McWilliams Blog

I am very pessimistic about the proposed Karoo Fracking exploration prospects. No, the reasons why I am not optimistic about the Fracking model is because I suspect it will not yield the bounteous benefits we are told it will. Notwithstanding the strong possibility that government cadres will skim huge kickbacks from anyone foolish enough to spend the money on a scheme that can be expropriated whenever the government wishes, I believe the actual gas potential of the shale underlying the area will not be as productive as that found elsewhere in the world.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Amherst fracking protestors take to town hall steps
Truro Daily News


A peaceful protest against the Town of Amherst accepting 30 million gallons of treated fracking waste water and disposing of it through it sewage treatment plant started with a modest group of fifty protestors on Friday but grew as the hour approached noon. Their reasons for opposing the proposal put forward by Atlantic Industrial Services were many, but all were united by the issue.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Fracking Fluids Market Poised to Reach $20.4 Billion by 2018 - Report by MarketsandMarkets
Digital Journal


The report "Fracking Chemicals Market by Fluid & Well Type, and Chemicals - Global Trends & Forecasts to 2018", defines and segments the fracking fluid and chemicals market with an analysis and forecast of the volumes and revenue. The fracking fluids market revenue will grow to $20.4 Billion by 2018, with a CAGR of 9.6% to 2018.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2014
Commentary: Impact of fracking eludes us
Times Union
Wes Gillingham

While the gas industry continues to mislead the public about the harmful health and environmental impacts of unconventional natural gas development (also called hydraulic fracturing or fracking), evidence of its dangers is mounting. The latest revelation comes with the publication last week of a report on the impact on air quality from gas and oil extraction, processing and distribution in six states, including our own. The report, convened by Coming Clean, a collaborative of more than 200 groups working on environmental health issues, presents data from air samples collected around natural gas compressor stations and other facilities in New York, Arkansas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wyoming, using the same equipment and methods that federal and state agencies use. The results document an array of hazardous chemicals in the air around these sites, often at levels far higher than traditional federal health and safety standards, and in some cases in concentrations that pose an immediate health threat to anyone exposed.   [Full Story]

Nov 8, 2014
LeBrun: A win is a win, as margin shrinks
Times Union
Fred LeBrun

'I am not a scientist,' says our chief executive. He's going to leave any fracking decision to the experts. OK, hands up on how many believe him? Already we've seen that his administration has tried to torture a study on methane contamination of water to get more benign results. So which way are we likely to go? Even though there's little to no money in fracking New York's Marcellus Shale at this time, and little actual interest by the fracking industry, and countless sound scientific reasons for leaving the 6-year moratorium in place for the foreseeable future, Cuomo seems to have the itch. You can see it coming. If he goes ahead with a pilot project — the nose of the camel under the tent — all hell will break loose. It will be amusing to watch how he choreographs the announcement so as to redirect the rage of a pretty passionate citizenry elsewhere.  [Full Story]

Nov 8, 2014
A Cold War Brews Between Saudi Arabia and Texas
Alcalde
Isaac Barchas & Michael Webber

In addition to the war the U.S. and its coalition partners are waging against the Islamic State, there’s another conflict brewing in the Middle East—the intensifying oil battle between Saudi Arabia and Texas. The fracking boom has pushed Saudi Arabia, the world’s cheapest major producer of hydrocarbons, to a very difficult choice. Either lose market share to upstart Texans, whose shale production is on the rise, or carpet-bomb the markets with cheap oil, hitting the pocketbooks of Wall Street investors who need high oil prices to get their money back.   [Full Story]

Nov 8, 2014
ANOTHER PIPELINE PLAN FOR NATURAL GAS LIQUIDS
WCLU


The alarm is ringing again for Kentuckians who already stopped one potentially hazardous pipeline project. Public backlash plugged plans for the Bluegrass Pipeline, which included building 180 miles of new pipeline to help transport natural gas liquids from the Northeast to the Gulf Coast. Now, less than a year later, another pipeline for the fracking industry is in the works - this time to repurpose the Tennessee Gas Pipeline to move natural gas liquids. Environmental advocate Chris Schimmoeller calls it "a far different beast" from natural gas.   [Full Story]

Nov 8, 2014
Britain Plans for Future of Shale Oil and Gas Industry
The New York Times
STANLEY REED

LONDON — The British government said on Saturday that it would establish a sovereign wealth fund with the proceeds from extracting natural gas from shale. The announcement, which may be seen as premature because no shale gas production is likely to occur in the near future, is another step by the government of Prime Minister David Cameron to encourage development of a shale gas industry and overcome public opposition to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  [Full Story]

Nov 8, 2014
The Way of the Warrior: How To Stop A Pipeline
Common Dreams
Abby Zimet

With a newly elected Congress gearing up to pass Keystone, the inspiring story of the Unist'ot'en Camp, an indigenous resistance community established in northwest Canada to protect sovereign Wet'suwet'en territory and blockade up to 10 additional proposed pipelines aimed at expanding Alberta Tar Sands operations. The Uni’stot’en Clan, which has families living in cabins and traditional structures in the direct pathway of the Northern Gateway and Pacific Trails fracking lines, argues that "since time immemorial" they have governed Wet’suwet’en lands, which thus remain unceded and not subject to Canadian law "or other impositions of colonial occupation" - an argument that has been sustained in court cases, and bolstered by the camp's recent peaceable ejection of a drilling crew..   [Full Story]

Nov 8, 2014
New report finds majority of frac sand mines committed environmental violations
Allison Geyer
LaCrosse Tribune

More than half the frac sand companies operating in Wisconsin have violated Department of Natural Resources regulations, manipulated local governments or engaged in “influence peddling and conflicts of interest,” a study by an advocacy group has found. The Land Stewardship Project, a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable agriculture, released this week a 30-page report that compiled and analyzed public data and news reports on Wisconsin’s booming frac sand industry.  [Full Story]

Nov 8, 2014
Astorino: Fracking industry didn’t support me
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Rob Astorino, the pro-fracking candidate in New York's gubernatorial race, said Friday he received little support from the industry he wants to see grow. As part of his jobs plan, Astorino, the Republican candidate, said during the campaign that he would lift New York's six-year fracking moratorium and expand the state's energy industry.   [Full Story]

Nov 8, 2014
In Denton, Texas, voters approve 'unprecedented' fracking ban
Los Angeles Times
MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE

Voters approved bans on hydraulic fracturing in California, Ohio and Texas this week, most notably in a north Texas town at the heart of the nation's oil and gas boom. The fracking ban in Denton, a college town of 121,000 about 40 miles north of Dallas, passed with 59% of the vote.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Uncommon tactics
Denton Record-Chronicle
Nathan D. Battaglia

n the emotionally charged run-up to their lopsided victory on Tuesday, political organizers for Frack Free Denton and their allies employed some weird weaponry against their well-financed oil and gas industry adversaries. A behind-the-scenes look at the anti-fracking campaign reveals how a relatively tiny group of combatants relied on creative tactics and political gimmickry to outmaneuver pro-fracking forces that outspent them 10-to-1. Their arsenal included puppet shows, flash mob-style improvisational dances and coffin races. The strategy worked. Voters approved the ban 59 percent to 41.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Environmentalists Hit Lawmakers over Contributions from Illinois Fracking Proponents
The Illinois Observer


(Chicago) – A panel of Illinois lawmakers this week came under criticism for their approval of new Illinois fracking rules. The Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, a powerful, bi-partisan panel of House and Senate lawmakers charged with approving administrative regulations proposed by the Governor, on Wednesday approved new Illinois fracking regulations in order implement a new, controversial Illinois fracking law approved more than a year ago. Environmental activists slammed lawmakers for giving final approval to the rules, arguing that they are beholden to fracking industry proponents.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Pipeline Developer "Seriously Considering" Moving Route To N.H.
NHPR
Sam Evans-Brown

Kinder Morgan, a natural gas pipeline developer, says it is seriously considering an alternative route for a major new pipeline that would bring the line up into New Hampshire. The new route would bury the pipeline almost entirely under power lines in existing rights of way. Currently, the expansion to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline network is proposed to run through Northern Massachusetts, where it has sparked the concerns of residents.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Mitch McConnell Says His Top Priority Is To ‘Get The EPA Reined In’
ThinkProgress
ARI PHILLIPS

On Thursday, incoming Senate Majority Leader and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell said that when it comes to serving his home state, his top priority is “to try to do whatever I can to get the EPA reined in.” In his first one-on-one interview since his landslide re-election for a sixth term, McConnell told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he is convinced that coal has a future and that he feels a “deep responsibility” to stop the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide emissions at coal-burning power plants. He said he won a number of coal-producing counties for the first time this election, but that it was a “disappointment” that the state House didn’t go to the GOP on Tuesday night as it would have helped him in his crusade to block the Obama administration’s efforts to promote low carbon, clean energy.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Fracktivists Protest NPR's Ties to Natural Gas Industry
The Indypendent


Washington DC - About 25 activists descended on NPR's national headquarters in Washington Thursday afternoon to protest the network's corporate Sponsorship from ANGA, a trade association for natural gas drillers (frackers). Protestors chanted, sang, and marched through the courtyard of the building, while a live broadcast was aired on the internet featuring interviews with several participants from the Beyond Extreme Energy week of actions. "In exchange for an undisclosed sum of money, NPR hosts like Steve Inskeep, Audie Cornish, and Melissa Block routinely read misleading and outright false statements that encourage listeners to “think about” the benefits of fracked gas," explained Drew Hudson of Environmental Action. "Not only are these ads offensive and inappropriate on public radio, they take up valuable air time at a moment that NPR has decided to cut it's energy and environment reporting staff by 80%" NPR has consistently maintained that the ANGA sponsored messages do not influence coverage. But organizers pointed to numerous examples where other outlets or event their own affiliates had covered stories about fracking, while NPR remained silent.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Gov. Cuomo likely to focus on hydrofracking, 2016 in second term
WSKG
Monica Sandreczki

During his first term in office, Governor Andrew Cuomo spent quite a bit of time on upstate development. He also recently promised to make a decision on hydrofracking before year’s end. To get an idea of the impact on our region of a second Cuomo term, WSKG talked with Jim Twombly, a political science professor at Elmira College.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
#KMFace photos mock Kinder Morgan claim that facial expressions are a form of "assault"
Vancouver Observer


Anti-pipeline protestors took to social media to post their best #KMFace, following Kinder Morgan’s court case against residents yesterday, where the lawyer stated that the protestors’ angry snarls are “not just intimidation," but "actually assault.” Kinder Morgan’s lawyer led a legal assault against environmentalists in a B.C. Supreme Court Wednesday to try and get its $5.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion back on track. “You can see the expressions on faces. Picture 10 is important for that,” said corporate lawyer William Kaplan, referring to photo exhibits.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Week of Anti-Fracking Action Culminates with Blockade, Arrests Outside Federal Building
Common Dreams
Nadia Prupis

As the week of climate action known as Beyond Extreme Energy came to a close in Washington, D.C. on Friday, activists blockaded the entrance to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) building for the fifth day in a row in a final push to fight the commission's approval of fracking projects around the country. People also marched to the D.C. Department of Transportation building to demonstrate against policies that activists say will expand the use of coal, oil, and gas exports in Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Add Toxic Air Pollution To Growing List Of Problems With Fracking
DeSmogBlog
Mike G

The threat posed by fracking to water quality is an issue receiving a lot of attention lately (see here, here, and here, for instance), as is the looming collapse of the fracking boom. But the Center for Environmental Health, suspecting that the whole story wasn't being told, partnered with 15 different local, state, and national organizations to study fracking's impact on the air we breathe, and the results are not pretty.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Denton’s ban won’t stop fracking permits, Railroad Commission chairwoman says
The Dallas Morning News
MARISSA BARNETT

AUSTIN — Despite Denton’s vote to prohibit fracking, the state Railroad Commission plans to continue giving permits to companies wanting to drill there, the agency’s chairwoman said Thursday. Christi Craddick, a Republican, said she was disappointed that voters adopted the ban on hydraulic fracturing — a technique of drilling deep into the ground to release oil and gas. But she took a confrontational swing in response: “I believe it's my job to give permits, not Denton’s. ... We’re going to continue permitting up there because that’s my job.”  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Election Over, Will Cuomo Decide on Fracking?
WAMC
Karen Dewitt

Now that elections are over, supporters and opponents of hydrofracking are wondering what will be Governor Andrew Cuomo’s next move on the long-stalled gas drilling process in New York State. New York has had a de facto moratorium on fracking for several years. Most recently Governor Cuomo has said he’s awaiting results of an over two years-long health review being conducted by his administration. During a debate in October, Cuomo said the review would finally be completed by the end of the calendar year.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Santos says fracking inquiry would put South Australian investment at risk
The Guardian


South Australia’s Liberal opposition is putting investment at risk by calling for an inquiry into fracking, says the oil and gas producer Santos. The Liberals will move next week to establish a parliamentary select committee to examine the effects of fracking in the state’s south-east, saying it will ease concerns about the practice. But the state Labor government and industry groups have rubbished the proposed inquiry, saying it would put billions of dollars of investment at risk.   [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
NC ponders offshore drilling for natural gas
Robesonian
Michael Blesecker

RALEIGH — Officials from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia met privately Thursday with federal regulators and groups funded by oil and gas companies to discuss plans for drilling off the Atlantic coast. A coalition of environmental groups sought to be allowed inside the Mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Five-Year Program meeting, which was held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.   [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Philadelphia energy hub debate centers on city’s gas works
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI

Business leaders are calling on the Philadelphia City Council to reconsider spiking a deal to sell its city’s gas works. Meanwhile, some environmental groups are celebrating it as a small victory in their fight against plans for an energy-centric future for Philadelphia. Business leaders bemoan lack of “political will” Philadelphia Gas Works is not just the company that provides the city’s residents with natural gas for their stoves and heaters.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Pilgrim Pipeline accused of harassing Morris residents
Daily Record
William Westhoven

Representatives of Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings are trying to intimidate private landowners along possible routes for its proposed oil pipeline to gain access to their property for surveys and studies, according to the Eastern Environmental Law Center. Law center attorney Aaron Kleinbaum, on behalf of the Sierra Club, sent a letter to Pilgrim Pipeline attorney J.S. Lee Cohen demanding that the company “cease and desist” making “wrongful legal and factual claims” in writing to landowners in several towns who previously have denied the company property access.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
Fracking in Lancashire 'may affect mental health', report finds
BBC
Elaine Dunkley

Living near fracking sites could affect mental health and wellbeing, according to a new report. The report, by head of Public Health Lancashire Dr Sakti Karunanithi, looked into the potential health impacts if fracking was permitted in Preston.  [Full Story]

Nov 7, 2014
No, Americans did not just vote to “drill, baby, drill!”
Grist
Ben Adler

The short answer: No. Only 34 percent of eligible voters came out to the polls on Tuesday, down from 58 percent in the 2012 presidential election and 41 percent in the 2010 mid-term. To claim any kind of mandate from an election that drew just a third of the eligible public would be a stretch. The long answer doesn’t look much different, for three main reasons: First, most voters didn’t vote. Second, those who did were unrepresentative of the general electorate. And third, the exit polls don’t suggest that voters’ choices for candidates even reflected their preferences on issues or parties.   [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Plug the leaks About 600,000 tons of methane gas leaked into the Texas atmosphere last year.
Houston Chronicle
Editorial

Years ago, Houston's oilman Jim West, nicknamed "Silver Dollar Jim" for his habit of gleefully tossing silver dollars at passersby on the street, enjoyed throwing away money, but most oil and gas entrepreneurs these days would prefer to find their fun elsewhere. But throwing away money is exactly what they're doing when they ignore emissions of methane, the primary component of oil and gas.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Illinois Approves Secret Fracking Rules: IL Enviro Council Thrown Under Bus, Grassroots Hold Line
Huffington Post
Jeff Biggers

On the heels of the nation's fastest growing coal mining rush, a state legislative committee chaired by Sierra Club champion Sen. Don Harmon officially unleashed fracking in Illinois today, approving the final regulatory rules in secret, as legislators essentially dumped the concerns of compromising lobbyists with the Illinois Environmental Council and Sierra Club in closed-door meetings. Despite the historic and embarrassing loss for the Chicago environmental groups, downstate grassroots group who have rallied tens of thousands of participants to protest fracking regulatory flaws defiantly called for direct actions to "resist this with our bodies, our hearts and our minds," according to farmer Blaze Smith, and continued to hold the line against the long-time denounced fracking regulatory machinations. "The rules were negotiated behind closed doors, without meaningful scientific review," said Annette McMichael with Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment. "We are not allowed to review the new rules until Nov. 15 when they are posted on the Illinois Register. There is no doubt they will be woefully inadequate to protect Illinois residents from the known harms horizontal fracking has brought to residents across America."  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
U.S. Natural Gas Exports Will Fire Up in 2015
Bloomberg Businessweek
Zain Shauk

On an otherwise barren strip of the Louisiana coast, a crew of more than 4,000 workers has spent the past two years building what will be the largest supercooling facility for natural gas in the U.S. When it’s finished late next year, Cheniere Energy’s (LNG) Sabine Pass liquefaction terminal will begin chilling natural gas to -260F so it can be loaded onto tankers and sold to customers in Europe and Asia. It will be the first facility to export natural gas from the contiguous U.S. The first phase of the Sabine Pass project will cost more than $12 billion and seemed unlikely after Cheniere bet the wrong way on the U.S. natural gas market. In 2008 it spent $2 billion to build an import terminal that quickly became useless when abundant natural gas in the U.S. ended demand for imports, cutting the price from $13 per million BTUs to less than $3 in the U.S.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
New Pennsylvania natural gas pipeline planned
Morning Call
Sam Kennedy

So much natural gas is gushing from western Pennsylvania and neighboring states that investors want to build yet another cross-state pipeline. Sunoco Logistics Partners LP announced Thursday it will invest about $2.5 billion in a Mariner East 2 pipeline to transport natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica Shale in western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to the Marcus Hook industrial complex along the Delaware River just outside Delaware.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
More Natural Gas To Electricity Stations Coming
WNEP


NICHOLSON TOWNSHIP — The Marcellus Shale region is about to add even more plants to convert natural gas to electricity. A Pennsylvania power company is planning nine new plants.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
WV DNR selects highest bidders for Ohio River gas drilling rights
The State Journal
Sarah Tincher

The West Virginia Department of Commerce has selected three winning bidders for drilling rights for six miles of state-owned land under the Ohio River in Pleasants and Wetzel counties. The state Division of Natural Resources, a branch of the Department of Commerce, is currently in negotiations with Gastar Exploration Inc., Statoil USA Onshore and Triad Hunter subsidiary Magnum Hunter Corp.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Bush Family and Its Inner Circle Play Central Role in Lawsuits Against Denton, Texas Fracking Ban
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

On November 4, Denton, Texas, became the first city in the state to ban the process of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) when 59 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of the initiative. It did so in the heart of the Barnett Shale basin, where George Mitchell — the “father of fracking” — drilled the first sample wells for his company Mitchell Energy. As promised by the oil and gas industry and by Texas Railroad Commission commissioner David Porter, the vote was met with immediate legal backlash. Both the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) filed lawsuits in Texas courts within roughly 12 hours of the vote taking place, the latest actions in the aggressive months-long campaign by the industry and the Texas state government to fend off the ban.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Oil line tactics spark anger Pipeline company denies letter sent to owners hints at power to condemn property
Times Union
Rick Karlin

Albany A proposed $1 billion oil pipeline from northern New Jersey to Albany is years away from completion, but it's already fueling controversy. Opponents of the Pilgrim Pipeline project said on Thursday that the company's lawyers are sending threatening letters to homeowners that hint at condemnation proceedings if they don't let company representatives on their properties for surveys. "Nothing is more frightening to a homeowner when someone says to you, 'We are going to condemn your land,'" said Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club's New Jersey chapter, in a phone conference.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Cuomo uncertain if climate change part of fracking study
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday he does not know if the state's health and environmental studies of fracking will account for the effects of natural gas drilling on climate change. He said he has not had a “wholesome discussion” with the health department about what it has purportedly been exploring during the last two years. He said in an interview on "The Capital Pressroom" that he was not certain if climate change, or greenhouse gas emissions, would be accounted for in the state review. “I would assume that they would, but you know, as I've said, I'm not a scientist, so in life I believe, know what you don't know,” he said. “This is not what I do. I'm a lawyer, and it is what they do, so I'm leaving it to them.”  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
50 Arrested in Protests Against Federal Agency "Rubber Stamping" Fracking
The Real News


JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Protesters in D.C. are pointing their finger at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, also known as FERC. They say the regulatory agency, under President Obama's administration, is rubberstamping fracking gas projects without proper oversight and will eventually be detrimental to the environment.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Chesapeake subpoenaed by DOJ, states over royalty payments
Seeking Alpha
Carl Surran

Chesapeake Energy (CHK -0.3%) discloses that it has received subpoenas from the U.S. Justice Department and states seeking information on its royalty payment practices to mineral owners.CHK is facing several lawsuits from landowners and others who say it has underpaid royalties for natural gas and natural gas liquids through the use of improper deductions or below-market pricing.CHK, which also is being probed by the DoJ and states over possible antitrust violations related to land purchases, says it is responding to the subpoenas.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Groundbreaking Air Quality Study Demonstrates the Power of Citizen Science
Discover
Arvind Suresh

Editors Note: This is a guest post by Gwen Ottinger, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University. She has done extensive research on community-based air monitoring and community-industry relations around oil refineries. She is author of Refining Expertise: How Responsible Engineers Subvert Environmental Justice Challenges (NYU Press 2013). A study released last week in the journal Environmental Health breaks new ground in our understanding of the environmental effects of fracking—and shows the power that citizen science can have in advancing scientific research and promoting political action. Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) production, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking), can affect water and air quality. Researchers, including citizen scientists, have studied its impacts on water extensively. But we don’t know a lot about how air quality is affected, especially in nearby residential areas, according to the study, “Air concentrations of volatile compounds near oil and gas production.” Part of the problem is where most academic researchers take samples. Too often, they choose monitoring locations based on the requirements of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, which look for regional, not local, effects of pollution. When looking at air quality around UOG production operations, they may select sites opportunistically, based on where they can gain access or where they can find electricity for their monitoring equipment. This approach, however, may not produce data that is representative of the actual impact of fracking on air quality.   [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Grants to help cap abandoned gas wells in Ohio Township and Kilbuck
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Len Barcousky

State fees on new natural gas drilling sites will cover most of the costs of capping two old wells in Ohio Township and Kilbuck. The Commonwealth Financing Authority will give $140,000 to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for the project in its Toms Run Nature Reserve, which is in the two townships.   [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
After election, pressure builds on Cuomo for fracking decision
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Advocates on both sides of a debate over New York's fracking marotorium are turning up pressure on Andrew Cuomo to make a decision, after having stalled long enough to get his re-election out of the way without any major controversy. By Wednesday morning, environmentalists were calling for more study on fracking, and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, fresh off a record performance for his party, all but dared the governor to lift the moratorium. Meanwhile, energy industry officials said Republican victories in the State Senate and elsewhere showed the state was ready for natural gas drilling.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Three of four proposed fracking bans fail in the Utica Shale
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Daniel Moore

Local bans on hydraulic fracturing mostly failed on election night — at least in eastern Ohio, where natural gas production in the Utica Shale has been booming and where voters in four municipalities had the option to prohibit it. Fracking opponents on Tuesday got a lone victory in Athens, where voters approved the ban by an overwhelming 78 percent. Meanwhile, Gates Mills, Kent and Youngstown voted down their measures.   [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Where Do Fracking Fluids Go? Scientists Create the First Detector
Bloomberg Businessweek
Caroline Winter

Despite the concerns about wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, it can be difficult to keep track of where the drilling fluids end up. Now a team of researchers claims to have figured out how to trace leaks and spills of fracking fluids—and even detect their presence in treated water. The method, detailed in a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, relies on identifying a specific combination of geochemical characteristics unique to fracking wastewater.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Planned Sunoco pipeline will quadruple gas liquids traffic
Philadelphia Inquirer
Andrew Maykuth

Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. announced Thursday it will build an enormous $2.5 billion pipeline project that will quadruple the volume of Marcellus Shale natural gas liquids moving through the Philadelphia area.   [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Fracking can begin in Illinois
Chicago Tribune
Julie Wernau

Dust off the oil rigs, fracking can begin in Illinois. An obscure arm of state government cleared the way Thursday for oil and gas drillers to apply for permits to begin fracking in Illinois, which could find itself the center of an oil boom by next fall if the energy firms that have leased land here begin to drill.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Kale or fracking? Farmers and corporations fight it out for water
The Guardian


In California, fracking is taking the water that farmers need. It’s no anomaly. There is a water conflict looming between industry and agriculture Which would you rather have: lettuce and carrots for your salads, or affordable gasoline for your car? Affordable food prices or affordable electricity?   [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
Fracktivists launch rapid response after Cuomo remarks
Times Union
Rick Karlin

Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier on Thursday said didn’t know if the climate change issue would play into currently ongoing studies about the potential health and environmental impacts of hydrofracking, were it to occur here in New York. Noting that he’s not a scientist, Cuomo said “I’m leaving it to them,” referring to those conducting the studies, as to whether climate change would be looked as a potential impact. That generated a quick response from Food and Water Watch as well as Concerned Health Professionals — two anti-fracking groups.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2014
As U.S. Fracking Bans Increase, So Do Lawsuits
National Geographic
Wendy Koch

Legal skirmishes are mounting as more U.S. municipalities, including four in Tuesday’s midterm elections, ban the controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Two lawsuits were filed Wednesday, only hours after 59% of voters in Denton, Texas, adopted the Lone Star state’s first fracking ban. The city, a 45-mile drive northwest of Dallas, sits atop the Barnett Shale, one of the nation’s largest natural gas fields and a prime fracking site. Fracking blasts huge volumes of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, deep underground to blast apart shale rock and release oil and gas molecules trapped in the ore.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Climate Quietly Wins Midterm Victory
National Journal
Jason Plautz

Environmental groups got few of the results they'd hoped for Tuesday night, losing big both on the national level and in governors' races. But there was one surprising winner from the races: The Northeast's multistate carbon-trading plan.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
In North Dakota, Oil Industry Will Now Have A Harder Time Drilling On Tribal Land
ThinkProgress
ARI PHILLIPS

On Tuesday, tribal residents in North Dakota elected a leader who is committed protecting the environment from the industry’s rapid expansion. At the same time, North Dakotans voted strongly against a measure that would have redirected five percent of the state’s oil extraction tax revenue toward conservation activities. The “North Dakota Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment,” otherwise known as Measure 5, was defeated by a wide margin, with around 80 percent voting no. The fossil fuel industry vehemently opposed the measure, with Steve Adair, campaign chairman for Measure 5, telling ThinkProgress last week that outside oil groups such as the Washington-D.C. based American Petroleum Institute, were running their opposition “like a U.S. Senate campaign.”  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
California County Bans Fracking, Despite Deluge of Oil Industry Cash San Benito Victory Puts Pressure on Gov. Brown to Halt Fracking Statewide
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

HOLLISTER, Calif.— Voters in San Benito County approved a ballot measure Tuesday that will ban fracking and other extreme oil-extraction techniques, despite a massive ad campaign funded by the oil industry. Fracking is a controversial technique, used in thousands of California oil and gas wells, that blasts huge volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals into the earth to fracture rocks. Anti-fracking measures also passed in Denton, Texas, and Athens, Ohio. “The oil industry’s millions were no match for San Benito County voters determined to protect their air and water from fracking pollution,” said Hollin Kretzmann of the Center for Biological Diversity. “But every California community deserves the same protection, so Gov. Brown needs to act now to halt fracking’s toxic threat to our health and environment.”   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
So many reasons for NC to forget about fracking
News Observer
John J. W. Rogers

The word “fracking” seems to have stirred up more furor in North Carolina than the actual process itself. The only place in the state where actual fracking is possible centers on Lee and adjoining counties. They are in the Sanford sub-basin of the Deep River basin, which developed about 200 million years ago when the Atlantic Ocean opened. As North America and Africa pulled apart to form the ocean, small “rift basins” developed in eastern North America. These basins accumulated small amounts of organic material, and the Sanford sub-basin contains poor-quality coal.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
New Study Finds Life-Threatening Formaldehyde Levels at Fracking Sites
Center for Effective Government
Amanda Frank

People living near fracking sites have reported health problems for years, with symptoms ranging from respiratory ailments to birth defects. But because air and water quality are often not monitored near fracking sites, surprisingly little is known about the overall public health impacts of the gas drilling process. To help fill the knowledge gap, a new study explores air quality at fracking sites across several states and finds numerous instances of toxic chemicals above national safety standards.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
St. Tammany group unveils anti-fracking TV commercial
Times-Picayune
Bob Warren

The League of Women Voters of St. Tammany on Wednesday (Nov. 5) unveiled a television commercial it hopes will "reframe' the raging debate about an oil company's proposal to explore for oil near Mandeville using the controversial fracking method. The commercial essentially opposes the proposal, playing on a theme of protecting the environment for future generations.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Herhold: What will be Jerry Brown's legacy?
San Jose Mercury News
Scott Herhold

FRACKING -- The governor has come under pressure from fracking opponents, who want to stop the controversial method of releasing oil and gas in the Central Valley. Brown has signed a modest law, which takes full effect in 2015, that requires fracking companies to notify nearby property owners, get a permit from the state, conduct groundwater testing and disclose the chemicals they use. Meanwhile, several local governments put anti-fracking ordinances on Tuesday's ballot. Brown has asked for a comprehensive study to be completed next year. But don't count on the governor to adopt the environmentalist position easily.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Waking the Sleeping Giant
Bismarck Tribune
Maxine Herr

With all eyes on the Williston Basin's Bakken and Three Forks formations, attempts to drill four natural gas wells in Emmons and McIntosh counties in south central North Dakota certainly come with challenges.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Voters Weigh In on Fracking, Water Measures
Climate Central
Bobby Magill

Election Day on Tuesday in many parts of the country wasn’t just about having a say on candidates for Congress and local government. Climate, environment and energy issues were prominent on ballots, too, in some states. Voters in Denton, Texas, banned fracking. Louisiana voters approved money for an artificial coral reef development fund. In Alaska, voters restricted mining in Bristol Bay. But in North Dakota, a measure to provide millions of dollars in oil and gas tax revenue for conservation projects across the state failed overwhelmingly.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Texas energy group asks court to halt fracking ban
Seattle PI
Emily Schmall

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A North 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 will likely be watching closely.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Mendocino County voters ban fracking
Press Democrat
Glenda Anderson

Mendocino County voters have overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative banning fracking in the county, joining San Benito County in saying no to the controversial method of extracting oil and gas from deep within rock formations.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Texas City’s Fracking Ban Challenged by Energy Group
Bloomberg
Andrew Harris & tom Kororsec

The Texas city where commercial fracking was born was sued by an industry group and a state agency to overturn a local ban on the practice less than a day after voters approved it. The suits followed yesterday’s decision by Denton voters, by an 18-point margin, to become the the first Texas municipality to enact such a prohibition.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Denton Voters Do What Mike Moncrief Said Couldn’t Be Done
Forth Worth Weekly
Jeff Prince

Former Mayor Mike Moncrief told Fort Worth residents a decade ago that natural gas drillers would sue any city attempting to ban the hydraulic fracturing process. Moncrief’s near manic support of gas drilling seemed weird in that it was a partnership at least partly based on a fear of being sued. Fort Worth was like the timid little schoolboy who befriends the bully to avoid being beaten.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
NC panel eyes unannounced fracking inspections
Seattle PI
Jonathan Drew

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Members of a state commission who oversaw public hearings on fracking are recommending that rules be revised to allow unannounced inspections of hydraulic fracturing operations, according to a report released Wednesday.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Will GOP Try To Fast-Track Keystone XL Pipeline?
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Now that Republicans have taken control of the Senate in addition to the House of Representatives, the attacks on the environment they’ve long advocated for will most likely rise to the top of the congressional agenda.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Denton fracking ban passed in landslide
The Dallas Morning News
Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

Denton became the first Texas city to ban hydraulic fracturing Tuesday after a citizen-driven proposition cruised to a landslide victory at the polls. The election garnered national attention, and the ban is likely to set off a long legal fight. “The City Council is committed to defending the ordinance and will exercise the legal remedies that are available to us should the ordinance be challenged,” Mayor Chris Watts said in a written statement.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Green Party rises, at the expense of Working Families
Capital New York
Jessica Bakeman

ALBANY—The Green Party appeared to be the big third-party winners in Tuesday’s elections, climbing two spots on the ballot for the next four years, while Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Party was poised to just squeak by with the 50,000 votes necessary to join the ballot. With nearly 165,000 votes, the Green Party, which served as an outlet for liberal protest votes, bypassed another progressive group, the Working Families Party, as well as the Independence Party, according to unofficial results from the state Board of Elections. While the W.F.P.’s more than 113,000 votes will keep it on the ballot, the party is poised to fall further down the list, weakening its influence.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
California Voters Deal A Major Blow To Fracking
Huffington Post
Carley Schwarts

In a victory for proponents of clean energy, two out of three California counties voted to ban fracking Tuesday despite a lobbying campaign by oil and gas corporations for the opposite. Voters in San Benito and Mendocino counties approved measures that prohibit the controversial practice, which involves injecting a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the ground in order to extract natural gas. Both counties lie on the Monterey Shale, a gigantic rock formation beneath the earth's surface that's estimated to contain more than 10 billion barrels of oil. Voters in Santa Barbara county, where oil and gas companies spent $5.7 million in support of fracking, defeated a similar initiative.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Fracking Bans Pass in Denton, Texas, Two California Counties and One Ohio Town
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

With a record number of fracking issues on local ballots in California, Texas and Ohio, the outcome was decidedly mixed. Of the eight measures—three in California, four in Ohio and one in Texas—four passed and four failed.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Will Oil Industry Learn From Texas Town's Fracking Ban?
Forbes
Loren Steffy

As residents in Denton, Texas, voted to become the first city to ban hydraulic fracturing, I found myself thinking about another city far to the south: Galveston. Fifty-nine percent of voters in this college town 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 5, 2014
Industry sues over Denton fracking ban
The Dallas Morning News
James Osborne

Litigation over the passage of a a hydraulic fracturing ban in Denton Tuesday night has already begun. The Texas Oil and Gas Association filed for an injunction in state court in Denton Wednesday morning to stop the ban from being implemented.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Enviros remind Cuomo that fracking is still an issue
Times Union
Rick Karlin

Environmental Advocates is out with a sort of “Congratulations but don’t forget we’re still watching” message to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, focusing on the still-unresolved question of hydrofracking. They want him to start yet another study of the practice. It’s one of several issues that Cuomo as well as lawmakers will likely be navigating come January — think debates over the minimum wage, oil trains, abortion rights, Common Core and of course the budget. Here is the EA statement from their Executive Director Peter Iwanowicz:  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Split Decision by Voters on Local Fracking Bans
The New York Times
Clifford Kraus

HOUSTON — The small city of Denton, Tex., voted to ban hydraulic fracturing in Tuesday’s election after a hard-fought battle between environmentalists and local oil companies in the heart of natural gas country. But nationwide, local initiatives to ban or restrict the oil and gas production process lost as many elections as were won. Voters in Youngstown, Ohio, a Rust Belt city sitting atop vast deposits of natural gas, sent a proposed ban to a landslide defeat. The campaign in Denton captured national attention because no municipality in Texas had ever banned hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and the city, which is a college town, sits on the northern edge of the Barnett shale field, one of the country’s largest.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Voters Ban Fracking In Texas, California, And Ohio
DeSmogBlog
Mike G

Yesterday's elections sent several more climate deniers to a dirty energy money-rich Congress, where they're already sharpening their knives and preparing to cut the centerpiece of President Obama's climate agenda, the EPA's Clean Power Plan, to shreds. Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, summed it up succinctly: “With a tremendous amount of spending, the Koch Brothers have literally purchased the best Congress they could buy. It is now up to President Obama to pursue aggressive executive action on our pressing environmental issues, including climate change and clean water protections.”  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Dominion pier project target of Election Day protest
The BayNet News


Protesters descended on Solomons on Election Day to voice their concerns over Dominion’s Cove Point liquefaction project. About 2 dozen protesters arrived by bus to march in front of construction equipment and occupy the sidewalk in front of Calvert Marine Museum for a few hours. Dominion is constructing a temporary pier for offloading large equipment destined for the liquefaction plant a few miles up the road in Cove Point. The protest centered at the entrance of the site, where a backhoe was busy burying cable lines and dump trucks steadily moved in and out of the property.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Denton Residents Get Ready For Fracking Legal Battles
CBS DFW
Joel Thomas

DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Randy Sorrells drives his four wheel ATV across the Denton pasture where his horses and cattle were grazing. “There’s the first gas well ever drilled out here,” he says pointing at a cluster of red, metal pipes and valves behind a chain link fence.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Breaking: Denton, Texas Hit with Lawsuits After Landslide Victory on Fracking Ban
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

Less than 24 hours after Denton became the first Texas city to ban fracking within city limits, the city is being sued. The Texas General Land Office and the Texas Oil and Gas Association are the first to challenge the new ordinance. Denton voters passed the fracking ban by a 59-to-41 percent margin, becoming the first Texas city to ban fracking.   [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2014
Athens Passes Fracking Ban, Three Other Ohio Cities Don't
InsideClimate News
Zahra Hirji

The college town of Athens, Ohio voted by 78 percent to outlaw fracking and related activities on Tuesday, standing in stark contrast to three other towns in the state that failed to pass similar measures. Athens joined the north Texas town of Denton and two southern California counties, San Benito and Mendocino, in pushing back against the fracking boom on election day.   [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Leaked Transcript Gives Oil Lobbyist Taste of His Own Medicine
InsideClimate News
Lisa Song

The public got a rare glimpse into the covert and hardball strategies used by some oil and gas companies when a lobbyist's candid remarks were leaked to the New York Times and Bloomberg News last week. The leak made the lobbyist the victim of his own tactics.   [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Dominion unit wants FERC to begin review of 34-mile proposal
Daily Progress


RICHMOND — Dominion Transmission Inc. is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin its environmental review of the company’s proposed $500 million Supply Header Project in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The 34-mile pipeline project would pump an additional 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day between Dominion Transmission facilities and the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
More activists arrested as climate demonstration continues at FERC
E & E Newswire
Hannah Northey

John Abbe hadn't heard of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission until a few weeks ago. Like many protesters rallying before the agency in Washington, D.C., this morning, he's now convinced the little-known commission is rubber-stamping a wave of gas projects tied to a national oil and gas boom. Abbe actually set out from California eight months ago with more than 600 activists on a cross-country trek to raise awareness about climate change -- a movement that led him and other protesters to FERC's doorstep today. "We were hitting all cylinders on the climate crisis," said Abbe, a lanky, bearded man wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word "endangered," a backpack and tennis shoes.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Scientists see fracking as cause of quakes
The Bellingham Herald
SEAN COCKERHAM

WASHINGTON — Evidence is growing that fracking for oil and gas is causing earthquakes that shake the heartland. States like Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Ohio are being hit by earthquakes that appear linked to oil and gas activity. While the quakes are far more often tied to disposal of drilling waste, scientists also increasingly have started pointing to the fracking process itself. “Certainly I think there may be more of this that has gone on than we previously recognized,” Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin Holland told colleagues last week.   [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
What Wolf’s win means for energy and the environment
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

Now we know. Democrat Tom Wolf will indeed be taking the reins from Gov. Corbett in just over two months. For the first time since 1954, an incumbent Pennsylvania governor did not either win re-election or cede power to someone from their own party. That’s an historic loss for Pennsylvania’s GOP, which has been supportive of the gas industry, so reaction to Wolf over Corbett broke down along predictable lines.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
New York proactive on oil trains
Albany Times Union
Joe Martens & Joan McDonald Opinion

The unprecedented boom in crude oil transport by rail throughout the United States, and through the Port of Albany in particular, has heightened fears that derailments and accidental releases could jeopardize public safety and cause environmental harm. Those concerns are real, given the tragedy at Lac Megantic in July 2013, and subsequent accidents which released thousands of gallons of crude oil to the environment.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
The Fracking Boom Has Been An Economy-Sapping Information Blackout
Real Clear Markets
John Tamny

The sharp decline in the price of a barrel of oil from over $100 last summer to $80 has predictably generated all manner of commentary as to its cause. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of it is wholly false. Some have suggested that the drop signals a weaker global economy for what is very much a global commodity, and then others have pointed to increasing supplies of the commodity thanks to "fracking" as the source of the decline. Both miss the real story by a mile.   [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Opposition to offshore L.N.G. facility gears up
Capital New York
David Giambusso

By the end of this year, developers of a controversial offshore liquefied natural gas plant are expected to release an environmental impact statement for the project, starting the clock for federal approval and the potential veto of governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo. Opponents on Long Island and in New York City and New Jersey are already planning their attack.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Can Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins Make Cuomo Oppose Fracking?
The American Prospect
Justin Miller

He's certainly made it an issue. But progressives are divided on whether his gubernatorial bid could harm the Working Families Party.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Falling Oil Prices Make Fracking Less Lucrative
NY Now
Jeff Brady

Oil prices are down than more than 25 percent since June and are staying low for now. Drivers may appreciate that, but for oil companies, it's making some of the most controversial methods of producing oil less profitable — and in a few cases, unprofitable. Most of the world's oil is selling for about $80 to $85 a barrel now. But not all oil is created equal. In the Middle East, it's cheaper to produce, at a cost of less than $30 a barrel on average, according to the Norwegian firm Rystad Energy. But in the Arctic, producing a barrel costs $78 on average. From Canada's oil sands, it's an average of $74 a barrel. And because those are averages, some companies have costs that are higher — which means there could be drillers currently producing crude at a loss.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Pipeline Meeting In Columbia County
WAMC
Dave Lucas

Local officials, representatives from pipeline company Kinder Morgan and local citizens met last week in Columbia County to talk about a proposed gas pipeline. Nearly 200 landowners across Schoharie County could be impacted by the pipeline in one way or another.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Acid mine drainage: Could it be used for fracking?
Eaglefordtexas.com
Daniel Moore | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — From the road, it looks like any other waste water treatment plant tucked into a remote hillside in southeastern Butler County. But a closer look reveals it’s bringing in not sewage but bright-orange groundwater from an abandoned coal mine nearby. With fracking as an impetus, it could be the next step in solving one of the state’s biggest contamination problems. The treatment plant, which formally kicked off operations last week in Clinton Township near Sarver, collects contaminated drainage from Fawn Mine Number 91, a defunct mine now owned by ArcelorMittal Pristine Resources, Inc. It removes the iron and sulfate and churns out water clean enough to be used for industrial purposes, said Carolyn Kotsol, CEO of Winner Water Services, Inc.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Tax Breaks for BC Frackers Reach over $1 Billion
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

The government of British Columbia has extended more than $1 billion in the form of tax credits to largely foreign-owned oil and gas companies fracking vast expanses of northern B.C. over the last five years. According to the B.C. auditor general's 2014 summary financial statements report, the province delivered $587 million in incentives to the fracking industry alone last year and $412 million in 2013. The payments were all deducted from royalties. Shale gas producers such as the Malaysian-owned Progress Energy or Houston-based Apache now pay the province a modest fee or royalty for the right to mine B.C.'s northern gas fields, which are owned by the citizens and First Nations of British Columbia.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Marcellus Shale Fracking Rush Brings Worries of Boom-Bust Cycle
DeSmog Blog
Sharon Kelly

Across the U.S., the shale gas industry's arrival has been marked by wariness, not only of the environmental impacts associated with fracking, but also due to the oil and gas industry's long history of flashy booms followed by devestating busts. In towns across the state, the lingering effects of past economic downturns – the flight of manufacturing, the 2008 financial collapse, the slow erosion of the auto and steel industries – have left communities eager for jobs, but also experienced with job loss.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Drilling's safety exemptions and how they got there
EE News
Mike Soraghan

In 1983, troubled by the high death rate in the oil field, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration set out to impose a set of worker safety rules on drilling companies. The effort backfired. As OSHA officials ushered the proposal through the process, they agreed to exempt drilling from other new rules on noise protection, machine safety and preventing explosions. Those topics, they said, would be covered in the pending oil and gas rulebook. But when that proposal died, drilling companies wound up exempt from a suite of basic worker protections.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
PUBLIC LANDS: Drilling companies flood BLM with proposals to burn, vent gas
E&E Publishing
Phil Taylor

Oil and gas companies are seeking a major increase in permits to vent or burn natural gas from wells on federal lands without paying royalties, according to data obtained by Greenwire. The data suggest a growing amount of taxpayer-owned natural gas is literally going up in flames as companies focus development in oil plays, particularly in New Mexico and North Dakota. Over the past three years, industry applications to vent or flare gas -- rather than capture it, send it to market and pay federal royalties -- have risen nearly threefold, according to the data from the Bureau of Land Management. In the past decade, those applications have risen nearly 2,400 percent. The data come as BLM seeks to rewrite a 34-year-old rule to keep more natural gas in pipelines and ensure a fair return to the U.S. Treasury (Greenwire, March 20).  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Marshall County judge issues temporary order blocking gas drilling near chemical plant
Daily Journal AP


CHARLESTON, West Virginia — A Houston company's plans to drill for natural gas near a Marshall County chemical plant are on hold. A Marshall County circuit judge late last week issued a temporary restraining order blocking gas drilling, or fracking, by Gastar Exploration Inc. near Axiall Corp.'s chemical manufacturing plant at Natrium. A full hearing on the matter is scheduled for Nov. 12.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Citizens group's lawsuit dismissed against Rochester Hills over oil, gas drilling
Crain's Detroit
Chad Halcom

A citizens group’s lawsuit against Rochester Hills and Traverse City-based oil exploration company Jordan Development Co. LLC is dismissed, an Oakland County judge ruled today. Don’t Drill the Hills Inc. brought the lawsuit in May involving a January 2013 lease deal that Jordan signed with the city of Rochester Hills for oil and gas exploration rights under the city-owned Nowicki Park and Tienken Park as well as under a city-owned cemetery. The city property accounts for 15 percent of the total Jordan lease deal, with the rest leased from private landowners.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Attorney: Judge's ruling against Rochester Hills group in oil drilling lawsuit ‘cruelly ironic'
Macomb Daily News
Paul Kampe

n Oakland County Circuit Court judge has ruled in favor of the City of Rochester Hills in a lawsuit brought by residents upset officials signed over the rights of city-owned property to an oil company without asking residents. Don’t Drill the Hills, a grassroots group, accused city leaders of violating the city’s charter by approving oil and natural gas leases to Traverse City-based Jordan Development Company in 2013 without first holding a public vote. The group alleged the city council, including Mayor Bryan Barnett, broke a 2011 charter amendment stipulating city-owned parks cannot be sold or leased without a vote.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Scientists see fracking as cause of earthquakes in heartland
eaglefordtexas.com
Sean Cockerham

WASHINGTON – Evidence is growing that fracking for oil and gas is causing earthquakes that shake the heartland. States such as Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Ohio are being hit by earthquakes that appear linked to oil and gas activity. While the quakes are far more often tied to disposal of drilling waste, scientists also increasingly have started pointing to the fracking process itself. “Certainly I think there may be more of this that has gone on than we previously recognized,” Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin Holland told colleagues last week. In addition to what Holland has seen in Oklahoma, a new study in the journal Seismological Research Letters concludes that fracking caused a series of earthquakes in Ohio a year ago. That follows reports of fracking leading to earthquakes in Canada and across the Atlantic in the United Kingdom.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Low oil prices could hurt drillers carrying high debt
Marketplace Economy
Scott Tong

Oil prices are down a whopping 28 percent since mid-June. That’s great if you’re a consumer, not so much if you’re a driller. During the boom, drillers that fracked for what’s called shale oil spent more money than they brought in. And they made up the gap by borrowing. Which was fine when oil sold for a high price.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Fracking & Agriculture Clash In Colorado's North Fork Valley
KVNF
Laura Palmisano

The United States is the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer. North Dakota and Texas are experiencing an oil boom. And many other states are seeing natural gas production increase through hydraulic fracturing. Colorado has nearly 53,000 active wells. But, the state’s energy boom is a source of tension. There's a new alliance of farmers and food producers trying to keep fracking from taking place in the North Fork Valley, an agricultural area in Western Colorado known for its organic farms, orchards, and vineyards.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Texas town votes on whether to ban fracking in its birthplace
Reuters
Marice Richter

DALLAS, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Voters on Tuesday were deciding whether to ban hydraulic fracturing in the North Texas college town of Denton, which could become the first city in the Lone Star State to outlaw the oil and gas extraction technique behind the U.S. energy boom. The referendum has pitted oil and gas operators and mineral rights owners against residents of this city of 123,000, who say their homes and lives are being encroached on by work that can be noisy and overwhelm roads with heavy truck traffic. If hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, were banned in Denton, it would be a highly symbolic setback for the energy industry in Texas, the top crude producer in the United States.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Cuomo: Hydraulic fracturing is 'divisive' issue
WPTZ AP
AP

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. —New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reflected on the hot-button issue of hydraulic fracturing after voting in suburban Mount Kisco. At the Democratic governor's polling place, about 70 supporters chanting "four more years!" drowned out about two dozen anti-hydraulic-fracturing protesters. The noisy crowd stood behind police ropes Tuesday at a Presbyterian church. Cuomo arrived with his girlfriend, TV chef Sandra Lee. After voting, Cuomo acknowledged hydraulic fracturing is a "very hot" and "totally divisive issue." He said opinions are split 50-50 among "equally committed" sides.   [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Photo Essay: The scene from inside a Calgary fracking research lab
Alberta Oil
Geoffrey Morgan

Inside the workspace of a fracking research center, a group of lab coats huddle around a beaker of dirty water mixed with a few drops from an eyedropper filled with vinegar. A few more drops are added, this time from another chemical compound, and then a few more before the water turns from murky brown to light blue and transforms into a viscous paste. “It’s like flubber,” says David Browne, Trican Well Service Ltd.’s vice-president of communications and marketing, referring to the 1997 Robin Williams film. The hydraulic fracturing fluid being mixed in front of him at Trican’s southeast Calgary completions research center has indeed become like flubber – a gel compound with the consistency of mayonnaise – albeit without the ability to move on its own like in the Disney film.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
EPA Further Delays Hydraulic Fracturing Study as Controversy Builds
JD Supra
Ronald Farley

EPA’s current estimate of the completion time for a draft of its study of the risks posed by hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to drinking water is now projected by the agency to be developed in early 2015. This is based on comments in a letter originating from EPA’s Region 8 office stating that the study on the risks posed by fracking to drinking water won’t reach draft final form until “early 2015”. [Region 8 Letter]  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Falling Oil Prices Make Fracking Less Lucrative
NPR
Jeff Brady

Oil prices are down than more than 25 percent since June and are staying low for now. Drivers may appreciate that, but for oil companies, it's making some of the most controversial methods of producing oil less profitable — and in a few cases, unprofitable. Most of the world's oil is selling for about $80 to $85 a barrel now. But not all oil is created equal. In the Middle East, it's cheaper to produce, at a cost of less than $30 a barrel on average, according to the Norwegian firm Rystad Energy. But in the Arctic, producing a barrel costs $78 on average. From Canada's oil sands, it's an average of $74 a barrel. And because those are averages, some companies have costs that are higher — which means there could be drillers currently producing crude at a loss.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Communities find little success in resisting fracking infrastructure
AlJazeera America
Peter Moskowitz

Amy Nassif thought petitioning her Pennsylvania school board to vote against drilling near her two children’s school would be enough — but even without the board’s approval, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approved the permits. “I was completely shocked at the total disregard for the safety of the community,” she said. “They have active-shooter drills at the school, they have drug free zones, but we can’t protect our kids from this.” In March the Pennsylvania-based company Rex Energy proposed drilling for natural gas under the Mars Area School District’s campus, where about 3,200 elementary, middle and high school students from four surrounding municipalities attend classes each weekday.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Meet the mom leading the fight against fracking in Santa Barbara
Grist
Tara Lohan

A block from Rebecca Claassen’s home is a sliver of paradise. Mountains stoop nearly to the water’s edge. Lanky palm trees pitch gently in the breeze. Herons stand statue-still in the dunes. Claassen has stolen a few moments with her daughter here at Carpinteria State Beach, 12 miles south of Santa Barbara. Down time with family is a rarity for her in the last four months. Today, 3-year-old Hazel Claassen takes advantage, giggling as she tacks up and down the beach, stopping to inspect a dead bird, get a feel for a fistful of sand, and cart rocks from one pile to another. Soon Claassen will drop Hazel at day care and Claassen will be on to the office. She’ll respond to a flood of emails, rally volunteers for weekend activities, and call residents to get the vote out for what has become an all-consuming cause: Measure P.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Fracking: coming to a London borough near you?
EnergyLIveNews
Vicky Ellis

A new energy firm says it has applied to the Department of Energy and Climate Change for a licence to hunt for shale gas in London. Called London Local Energy, it was founded a month ago by vocal fracking supporter Nick Grealy, who runs No Hot Air. One area it could hydraulically fracture or “frack” for shale gas is the Park Royal Industrial Estate near Willesden, reported the BBC. He told the Harrow Times: “What is important to us is the fact this it local energy for London.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Massive Dumping of Fracking Wastewater into Aquifers Shows Big Oil’s Power in California
OB Rag
Dan Bacher

As the oil industry spent record amounts on lobbying in Sacramento and made record profits, documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity reveal that almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater were illegally dumped into Central California aquifers that supply drinking water and irrigation water for farms. The Center said the wastewater entered the aquifers through at least nine injection disposal wells used by the oil industry to dispose of waste contaminated with fracking (hydraulic fracturing) fluids and other pollutants.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Fracking wastewater proposal studied by Amherst and Dieppe
cbc news


A second Maritime community is now in talks with a Nova Scotia company to take in 30 million litres of treated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations. About 100 people turned out to a public meeting in Amherst, N.S., on Monday night for more information about a possible deal with Atlantic Industrial Services of Debert, N.S. A similar deal has been debated about 65 kilometres away in Dieppe, N.B., for several months. Amherst Mayor Rob Small said on Monday at the public meeting that he supports the idea of bringing the treated wastewater to his town from Debert.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Falling Oil Prices Reveal America's Fracking Trap -- And Saudi Arabia's Continued Energy Dominance
Huffington Post
Alexis Crow

LONDON -- The end of the shale boom is nigh. The recent plunge in oil prices reveals an economic and geological reality that some brave industry analysts depict, but which power brokers in Washington, Houston and on Wall Street fail to accept. With low energy prices, the U.S. shale revolution is unaffordable. In contrast with producing conventional oil and gas in the Middle East, the cost of producing shale gas and light tight oil in the United States is simply unsustainable. Far from leading America to a future of energy independence, the fracking boom has locked the country into a high-cost game. And despite surging oil production in North Dakota's Bakken Shale and Texas' Eagle Ford Shale, America continues to rely on OPEC oil to meet its transport needs. In fact, Saudi imports to the U.S. have remained steady amidst the shale gale in the last few years. Those journalists who envision a "world without OPEC," and geopolitical risk experts who question an "end of the Middle East," had better think again.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Fracking And Toxic Air
Huffington Post
Molly Rauch

A new study, published this week in the journal Environmental Health, identifies potentially hazardous concentrations of air pollutants near some oil and gas operations in five states. The research shines a light on what some communities face as US oil and gas development accelerates. The United States is now the leading natural gas producer in the world. The number of natural gas wells in our country has increased by more than 80% since 1990. There are now half a million natural gas wells in the US. Countless communities are living side by side with well pads, compressor stations, and pipelines -- some for the very first time. In a years-long collaborative project, residents in Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming were trained to take air samples, which were lab-tested for dozens of volatile organic chemicals.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Douglas Shire Council locks the gate against fracking
The Newsport
Boyd Robertson

Douglas Shire Council (DSC) has today voted unanimously to become a ‘Lock the Gate’ council and oppose all attempts at coal seam gas mining and ‘fracking’ projects within the boundaries of the shire. DSC is the first council in Far North Queensland to adopt such a policy. The proposal was brought before council's general meeting today by deputy Mayor Abagail Noli, in association with CSG Free North Queensland, a subgroup of the Lock the Gate Alliance, a national-level association opposed to fracking and coal seam gas (CSG) mining. CSG projects involve pumping high-pressure liquids deep underground to fracture or ‘frack’ layers of rock and release coal-seam gas, which can be used as an energy source. The process of fracking, however, has been linked to environmental impacts including contamination of water tables. Lock the Gate takes its name from what it sees as the only viable method to keep mining companies from gaining access to farmland under exploratory permits issued by the State Government. Council will also support and encourage neighbouring councils to also oppose CSG projects.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Upper Burrell residents take sides on drilling
Triblive
Liz hayes

Upper Burrell residents Monday told supervisors they're worried how the board might change the township's regulations regarding where Marcellus shale natural gas drilling can occur. But they don't all fear the same thing. Many worry supervisors will further restrict where drilling can occur, preventing residents from leasing their land to drillers. Others want drilling to be more restrictive to protect the township's rural environment.   [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
First Air Monitor in Heart of Texas Fracking Boom Gets Delayed
InsideClimate News
David Hasemyer

The installation of the first air monitor in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale region of south Texas has been delayed following a review of the proposed site by the Texas Historical Commission. The location selected for the air monitor is on the grounds of the 90-year-old Karnes County courthouse of Karnes City, a community of slightly more than 3,000 in the center of the drilling hotbed. It was supposed to begin operating by the end of October.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
OIL AND GAS: Drilling's safety exemptions and how they got there
E&E Publishing
Mike Soraghan

n 1983, troubled by the high death rate in the oil field, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration set out to impose a set of worker safety rules on drilling companies. The effort backfired. As OSHA officials ushered the proposal through the process, they agreed to exempt drilling from other new rules on noise protection, machine safety and preventing explosions. Those topics, they said, would be covered in the pending oil and gas rulebook. But when that proposal died, drilling companies wound up exempt from a suite of basic worker protections. "It's mind-boggling to me how many safety standards they're exempt from," said Dennis Schmitz, a trainer who leads the MonDaks Safety Network, a group of safety officials from companies in the Bakken Shale region. "What's the culture that creates?"  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
On Election Day, Fracking Is on the Ballot
Newsweek
Zoe Schlanger

Across the country, a smattering of small towns are voting Tuesday on whether or not fracking companies can drill for oil and gas within their bounds. In some cases, those energy companies are spending large sums to sway the vote.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Tom Wolf beats Tom Corbett to become Pennsylvania governor
YDR
Ed Mahon

Democratic leaders in Philadelphia told Tom Wolf in the morning and early afternoon that the voter turnout looked good. Still, the first-time candidate for public office said he felt the same way he did when he would finish a final exam and wait for the grade to come back. "I'm nervous. I have butterflies. I hope this turns out well," Wolf said during a campaign stop at a Philadelphia restaurant early Tuesday afternoon. He later added, "I studied hard. I worked hard. It's up to the voters." The voters came through for him.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Proposed pipeline dominates congessional race in Lancaster County
Fox 43


A big race in our area this election day is for the 16th Congressional District, which covers parts of Lancaster and Chester Counties. Republican incumbent Joe Pitts has held the seat since 1997. He is being challenged this time around by Democrat Tom Houghton. Houghton is a practicing attorney and has political experience as a former state representative and township supervisor. Houghton was out on Tuesday asking for last-minute support. Incumbent Congressman Joe Pitts was also out at the polls in Lancaster County. The long-time lawmaker is a Vietnam War veteran has served the 16th District for nearly two decades. The hot button issue of this race is a proposed natural gas pipeline which, if approved and built, would run across much of the land in the district. Many people who live in the area have been very vocal, speaking out against the project.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Groups challenge Moab pipeline decision
Deseret News
Amy Joi O'Donoghue

MOAB — Two environmental groups say the Bureau of Land Management was wrong to approve a natural gas collector line network north of Moab and officially filed an appeal challenging the decision. Both the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the Sierra Club say the planned pipeline system on public lands near Dead Horse Point State Park and Island in the Sky area of Canyonlands National Park should have been considered in conjunction with the main pipeline that went in, the Dead Horse Lateral. “BLM’s decision to consider Fidelity’s gathering pipeline system in isolation, and not take into account the environmental impacts from other projects necessary to make the gathering system work, is a textbook violation of environmental laws,” said Landon Newell, staff attorney for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. “As a result, BLM significantly underplayed the impacts from swelling oil and gas development in this remarkable landscape.”  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Opposition to offshore L.N.G. facility gears up
Capital New York
David Giambusso

By the end of this year, developers of a controversial offshore liquefied natural gas plant are expected to release an environmental impact statement for the project, starting the clock for federal approval and the potential veto of governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo. Opponents on Long Island and in New York City and New Jersey are already planning their attack. The project, called Port Ambrose, is being developed by Liberty Natural Gas. It would import liquefied natural gas and deliver 400 million cubic feet of natural gas to Long Island and other areas during peak demand periods. Part of the project includes a 22-mile pipeline connecting to an existing pipeline between New Jersey and Long Island. Its stated purpose is to ease transmission bottlenecks that sent gas prices soaring during last winter's polar vortex. Environmentalists are opposed to the project, mainly because it further promotes hydrofracking and contributes to global warming. Liquefied natural gas, or L.N.G., is natural gas that is cooled and condensed to a potent liquid form for shipping. It is then "regasified" and delivered through pipelines.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
VIDEO Pipeline Lessons #1 Richard Kuprewicz- safety issues
Delaware Riverkeeper


BRISTOL, PA - As the number of natural gas pipelines being proposed or installed increases the Delaware Riverkeeper Network is releasing a series of videos to engage and inform the public. The videos discuss the impacts of pipelines and expert information the public should be aware of as well as information on the public process. According to Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum, “Our goal is to protect our communities, our River, our public and private lands, and our environment from the inevitable and permanent damage pipelines inflict. As we’ve seen with the proposed PennEast Pipeline project, residents are wary of promises made about safety and environmental safeguards. These videos will help residents ask pipeline companies the hard questions that need to be answered, learn more about the process that regulates pipeline construction and how to work together to fight these projects.”   [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Early tally in Denton favors ban on fracking
statesman.com
Ralph K.M. Haurwitz

figures Tuesday evening. Fifty-nine percent voted for a fracking ban, while 41 percent were opposed, according to the partial tally compiled by election officials. Denton, which is north of Fort Worth and Dallas, sits above the Barnett shale, a rock formation suffused with natural gas. The drilling boom has brought jobs, income and tax revenue, but many residents say they’ve had it with the noise, truck traffic, air pollution and general disruption.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Investment in Solar Stocks Crushed Big Oil
Energy Policy Forum
Deborah Lawrence

n October, 2014, Deutschebank issued a report stating that solar will reach grid parity in 36 of fifty US states by 2016. Solar has already reached parity in 10 states that currently account for 90% of solar electricity generation. Moreover, Deutschebank estimates that further installed capacity will grow as much as 6 fold in the next 3-4 years. This is truly “game changing” in that unlike shale gas or tight oil, solar capacity has virtually no limits. And therein lies the jewel. Solar, like wind, is not a fuel. It is a technology. And as we know, technologies typically become more efficient and more cost effective over time and with scale. The cost of photovoltaic cells has dropped 99% over the past twenty five years while the cost of coal, oil and natural gas has risen 450% in half that time. But most impressively, solar is already at parity with hydrocarbons although it enjoys only a tiny market share at present.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
San Benito County's Measure J: Voters back anti-fracking plan
San Jose Mercury News
Howard Mintz

San Benito County voters on Tuesday approved a groundbreaking ballot measure that outlaws the controversial oil extraction technique known as fracking. San Benito County residents heavily supported Measure J, overcoming the oil industry's well-funded opposition campaign. A similar measure in Santa Barbara County, backed by environmentalists there, appeared to be heading to defeat. San Benito County attracted attention across California by placing the closely watched measure on the ballot to outlaw hydraulic fracturing, the oil-extraction technique known as fracking that has stirred environmental debate nationwide.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2014
Denton voters approving state’s first ban on hydraulic fracturing
Star-Telegram
MAX B. BAKER

DENTON — In a state where the oil and gas industry is king, Denton on Tuesday was poised to become the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing with voters approving a grassroots initiative against the controversial drilling method. With 37 of 39 precincts reported by late evening, about 59 percent of voters in this college town of 123,000 had cast ballots for an ordinance that will drastically restrict drillers’ attempts to tap the rich natural gas reserves within the city limits. Calling the ordinance unconstitutional, state and industry officials have pledged to contest it in court and state lawmakers have said they may pass legislation to block it.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Judge finds state, feds did not jointly investigate 2010 Marcellus well site leakage
pennlive
John Beauge

WILLIAMSPORT — There is no evidence a joint federal-state investigation was conducted into the 2010 leak of an estimated 50,000 gallons of wastewater from a series of tanks at a Marcellus Shale well site near Hughesville, a Lycoming County judge has found. Monday's ruling by Judge Marc F. Lovecchio rejects the argument of a Texas natural gas company that state and federal investigators worked together as a team. Four meetings between federal and state officials over a three-year period do not establish they were working as a team, he wrote.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Delaware Riverkeeper Network unveils Pipeline Lessons video series
News Eagle


BRISTOL, PA - As the number of natural gas pipelines being proposed or installed increases the Delaware Riverkeeper Network is releasing a series of videos to engage and inform the public. The videos discuss the impacts of pipelines and expert information the public should be aware of as well as information on the public process. According to Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum, “Our goal is to protect our communities, our River, our public and private lands, and our environment from the inevitable and permanent damage pipelines inflict. As we’ve seen with the proposed PennEast Pipeline project, residents are wary of promises made about safety and environmental safeguards. These videos will help residents ask pipeline companies the hard questions that need to be answered, learn more about the process that regulates pipeline construction and how to work together to fight these projects.”   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Mystery of Oil Field Fugitives Closer to Being Solved
Climate Central
Bobby Magill

Fugitives are escaping oil and gas fields across the country. It’s well known who the fugitives are, but exactly where they come from and how many there are has long been murky. The oil field fugitives aren’t people, of course, but gases — methane, benzene, toluene, xylene and other volatile organic compounds. Some of them cause cancer. Methane, like carbon dioxide, is a greenhouse gas that meddles with the climate, forcing a lot of warming in the atmosphere. These gases are fugitives because they’ve been found leaking from oil and gas fields, which is one the biggest criticisms of the hydraulic fracturing and shale oil and gas boom sweeping Pennsylvania, Texas, and large swathes of the West today.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Cuomo: Voters making a statement on fracking, Common Core
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled the state Monday to make a last-minute pitch for a second term, making stops for campaign rallies in Times Square, Albany and Buffalo. The incumbent Democrat spoke to a packed room of a couple hundred, many of whom were local public officials or otherwise involved in Albany-area politics or government. Election Day is Tuesday, and Cuomo and Astorino will be on the ballot with three third-party candidates, including the Green Party's Howie Hawkins.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Drilling the Land of the Ancients
Aspen Journalism
Paul Andersen

CHACO CANYON - The roads radiating out from Chaco Canyon stretch out across mesa tops toward distant mountains. These roads, which average 30 feet wide, were highways of foot travel for people who had neither the wheel nor the horse. The Chacoans built their roads over a thousand years ago to bring people to their great houses for ceremonial rites and community gatherings. These roads also enabled the Chacoans to haul timbers for construction, bringing enormous logs hefted by human labor from the Chuska Mountains, 50 miles away.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
In Texas, an Unlikely Battleground Over Fracking
Wall Street Journal
Leslie Eaton

From a distance, this city’s fight over hydraulic fracturing looks like the same ideological debate that has divided Americans for the last five years: Is fracking a force for good or evil? But on the ground in Denton, where voters will decide Tuesday whether to ban fracking, the battle sounds quite different—and possibly more troublesome for the energy industry as it keeps moving closer to where people live.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Natural Gas Makes Largest Gains Since June
Wall Street Journal
TIMOTHY PUKO

NEW YORK—Natural gas prices burst back above $4 with their largest day of gains since mid-June as a rush of early winter cold has traders expecting rising demand for the fuel. Cool Canadian air is likely to spill over everything east of the Rockies by week’s end, creating the first jolt of heating demand for what had been a tepid market, weather forecasters and analysts said.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Stopping A Pipeline Before It Starts
Environmental News Network


wo weeks ago I attended a local Sierra Club meeting as follow up to the People’s Climate March. The meeting covered a range of topics from the actual attendance of the march (in the 400,000s), to affordable solar panel options like Solar City, and the governor of our fine states decision to remove us from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Of all the issues discussed, the discussion of the proposal for the construction of a pipeline to transport oil through my state really struck me. The pipeline, which is being proposed by the Pilgrim Pipeline Company, will connect from Albany, New York to Linden, New Jersey. The pipeline will be bi-directional and transport oil and refined petroleum products. The oil, which was extracted by fracking, is originally from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal comparing oil from 86 locations around the world, Bakken is the most explosive.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Amherst area residents say no to accepting fracking waste water
Amherst News
Darrell Cole

AMHERST – Disposing of waste water used in hydraulic fracturing does not sit well with Amherst area residents. © Darrell Cole - Cumberlandnewsnow.com Retired engineer Ron Patterson explains Amherst’s plan to dispose of waste water used in hydraulic fracturing to Jerry and Kaye Hannah. More than 200 people came out to an information session to voice their concerns with the town’s plan to dispose of the treated water from Debert in its new waste water facility on the marsh. Other news Cumberland museum to honour veterans at Remembrance tea Arthritis Society offering fee Taoist tai chi session on Nov. 19 Walking track at stadium changes hours this weekend due to skating event Garden club hosts fern presentation Blue Rodeo frontman talks benefits of music fest Finding Huckleberry Finn in Amherst The world comes to Parrsboro Local weather More than 200 people crowded into the Amherst fire hall Monday to voice their displeasure at the possibility of treated waste water used in oil and gas exploration in Kennetcook in 2007 and 2008 could be disposed of through the town’s new waste water treatment plant on the marsh over the next two years. They were also angry with the process Amherst’s town council is using to disperse the information and gather public input. “This is a farce, it’s ridiculous how they’re going about it,” said Amherst resident Linda Cooper, who is also a marine biologist. “The process they’re using is flawed and everyone is annoyed. The unseemly haste to this is so suspicious, it’s very unseemly.” Cooper said making $500,000 over two years really isn’t very much money if there’s any remediation needed down the road. “Amherst has spent a lot of time and effort on developing an economic development plan. I think being known as a dumpsite for fracking for Atlantic Canada is not the economic development profile Amherst wants to champion.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Federal Reserve Policy Keeps Fracking Bubble Afloat and That May Change Soon
DeSmog Blog
Steve Horn

In August 2005, the U.S. Congress and then-President George W. Bush blessed the oil and gas industry with a game-changer: the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Act exempted the industry from federal regulatory enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. While the piece of omnibus legislation is well-known to close observers of the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) issue — especially the “Halliburton Loophole” — lesser known is another blessing bestowed upon shale gas and tight oil drillers: near zero-percent interest rates for debt accrued during the capital-intensive oil and gas production process. Or put more bluntly, near-free money from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. That trend may soon come to a close, as the Federal Reserve recently announced an end to its controversial $3 trillion bond-buying program.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Toxic Chemicals Found in Air Near Oil and Gas Wells
Weather.com
Annie Hauser

Oil and gas development sites are spewing toxic, cancer-causing gases into the air, according to new research, which adds to the limited, yet growing, evidence that these sites affect not only area nearby water quality, but also that of the air. "This is a significant public health risk," Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany-State University of New York and lead study author, , referring to the possibility of cancer cases linked to these sites 10 or 15 years down the line.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Judge queries all sides in suit over Mora County drilling ban
Albuquerque Journal
Scott Sandlin

The word “fracking” came up only a few times during the five hours of oral argument in federal court Monday on an oil company’s challenge to a Mora County ordinance intended to forestall the practice – or indeed any kind of oil and gas extraction. U.S. District Judge James O. Browning posed lots of questions to attorneys for the Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary SWEPI, which is challenging the constitutionality of the Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance of 2013. He did the same to an attorney representing both Mora County and a land grant group seeking to intervene in the action.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
25 People Arrested At DC's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Protesting Gas Infrastructure Projects
Latin Post
Rebecca Myles

.At three entrances to FERC, activists blocked entrances by linking arms or sitting down in front. At the main entrance, organizers had installed a model town, "Blockadia," with protesters representing the town's people and prevented employees from entering the building. "The object of the blockade art is to give FERC no other option but to destroy the town and families in order to get to work," Kim Fraczek of Sane Energy Project of New York said.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Protesters arrested at Finger Lakes gas storage facility
Legislative Gazette AP


Protests at a natural gas storage facility in a depleted Finger Lakes salt mine on Wednesday led to the arrests of 10 people, including a leader of the anti-fracking movement in New York. Joseph Campbell of We Are Seneca Lake said the group has been blocking gates each day since Thursday at Houston-based Crestwood Midstream's operations in Watkins Glen. They're opposed to Crestwood's planned expansion of natural gas storage in depleted salt mines. The expansion has Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval. Opponents say the natural gas storage project and another to store propane in salt caverns would bring heavy industry, truck traffic and a risk of disastrous accidents to a region that thrives on tourism, agriculture and winemaking  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
FERC faces heightened scrutiny as gas projects proliferate
E & E Newswire
Hannah Northey

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission these days is drawing a crowd of companies promoting projects linked to the U.S. natural gas boom and protesters who say the agency blithely greenlights too many pipelines, export terminals and other gas infrastructure. Foes of a FERC-approved export terminal at Cove Point, Md., recently rallied at FERC's Washington, D.C., headquarters, wearing matching shirts and waving signs mocking the panel's handling of gas projects. Activists are staging similar protests this week at the agency's headquarters.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Blockades Challenge Fracking's Assault on 'All That Sustains Life'
Common Dreams
Nadia Prupis

Activists on Monday attempted to shut down fracking sites and a federal building in New York, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. as part of a series of environmental actions that kicked off around the country last week. The protests, part of the eight-month, 3,000-mile Great March for Climate Action, saw at least 25 people arrested Monday morning as activists blockaded all entrances to the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) building and shut down business for more than two hours. FERC’s move to "rubber-stamp" fracking projects throughout the East Coast is "incompatible with all that sustains life on Earth, including our climate system and clean water, air, and land," Environmental Action said in a press release before the protest.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Oil Industry Set to Ignore “Final Warning” on Climate Change
Common Dreams
Andy Rowell

The “clock is ticking”. “Little time left”. The “Starkest Warning Yet”. The “Final Warning”. Just four of the headlines from around the world of yesterday’s UN report on climate change. As the headlines suggest, the UN yesterday issued their latest and most definitive warning about climate change yet. Let’s not forget we have been here before and that the scientists have been warning for years – decades even – that we have to disinvest from fossil fuels if we have any chance of avoiding 2 degrees warming.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Activists Halt Construction of Cove Point LNG Export Terminal
Popular Resistance


In a show of opposition to the recent federal approval of Dominion’s Cove Point natural gas export terminal on the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland mother Kelly Canavan locked herself to a piece of equipment at a construction site in Solomons integral to the project. Canavan is the president of AMP Creeks Council, a small nonprofit organization that focuses on land use and zoning policy. She is also part of Stopping Extraction and Exports Destruction (SEED), an umbrella group of mid-Atlantic activists fighting energy extraction and exports. “The AMP Creeks Council has been opposing this project through several lawsuits for about a year,” Canavan said. “Now that FERC is poised to preempt any further victories we might be awarded in Calvert County, and Maryland officials at every level continue to support Dominion instead of residents, we are forced to take this stand. This is a peaceful protest to call attention to the carelessness and injustice that have characterized the course of this project from the beginning.”  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
How 3,500 Voters in North Dakota Could Put the Brakes on America's Biggest Fracking Boom
Mother Jones
Tim McDonnell

The run-up to tomorrow's midterm elections has seen an unprecedented spending surge from environmental groups. Climate and energy issues—from fracking in Colorado to coal mining in Kentucky—have taken center stage. But a far less prominent political fight in North Dakota is poised to have an outsized impact on America's biggest oil boom. The Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, on the shores of Lake Sakakawea in the northwest part of the state, is home to roughly half of the 14,000 members of the Three Affiliated Tribes of Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. The community sits atop roughly one-third of an immense treasure-trove: The Bakken Shale, the oil formation that is home to North Dakota's ongoing fracking boom. Tomorrow, MHA Nation members will head to the polls to elect a new chairman—the tribal administration's chief executive. Out of about 8,000 eligible voters, 3,500 are expected to turn up tomorrow, according to a spokesperson for the Tribal Election Board.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Cuomo hasn’t discussed fracking review with health commissioner
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that he has not yet discussed New York’s review of hydraulic fracturing with the state’s acting health commissioner since the previous commissioner resigned in May. IMG_5237Speaking to reporters after a campaign rally, Cuomo was asked about his comments during the gubernatorial debate last month, in which he said the state’s fracking review would be completed by the end of the year. But there are various components to the state’s review, which was first launched in 2008 and includes both the state’s Health and Environmental Conservation departments, and Cuomo said Monday he wasn’t sure exactly which parts would be completed by year’s end.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Federal Reserve Policy Keeps Fracking Bubble Afloat and That May Change Soon
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

n August 2005, the U.S. Congress and then-President George W. Bush blessed the oil and gas industry with a game-changer: the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Act exempted the industry from federal regulatory enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. While the piece of omnibus legislation is well-known to close observers of the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) issue — especially the “Halliburton Loophole” — lesser known is another blessing bestowed upon shale gas and tight oil drillers: near zero-percent interest rates for debt accrued during the capital-intensive oil and gas production process. Or put more bluntly, near-free money from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. That trend may soon come to a close, as the Federal Reserve recently announced an end to its controversial $3 trillion bond-buying program.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Drilling Accident Contaminates Water in Doddridge County, DEP says
West Virginia Public Radio
Glynis Board

In September, drilling for shale gas in Doddridge Country went wrong when operators accidentally drilled into one of their own wells that was engaged in production. West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection confirmed late last week that the accident contaminated water wells. The DEP issued citations to Antero Resources for breaching of their own wells. The incident occurred at Antero’s five-well Primm Pad in Doddridge County, 641 feet below the surface. When operators realized there was a problem they went to investigate the surrounding community to look for indications of any adverse effects. They found “artesian flow” around three wells which, in this case is when water is under pressure to the point that it flows up out of the ground.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Fracking ban divides Denton
Fuel Fix


As Election Day nears in this small city 30 miles north of Dallas, a wary unease has settled over the early voting on a local referendum of national significance. If passed, the proposition would be the first to completely ban the petroleum extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing in one small corner of the great oil and gas boom state of Texas.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Fracking on ballot in 4 Ohio cities on Tuesday
Columbus Business First
Tom Knox Blog

Four Ohio cities are looking to votes to help them clamp down on fracking. Athens, Gates Mills, Kent and Youngstown make up half of the U.S. communities petitioning voters with proposals to ban oil and gas drilling within their borders. That number is the highest ever, Inside Climate News reports.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Direct Democracy Tackles Fracking, GMOs, Pesticides on Election Day
PR Watch
Rebekah Wilce

Initiatives Would Ban Fracking and Address Management Public Water Resources Citizens will vote on banning or suspending fracking -- the controversial process for extracting methane gas from shale deposits -- and how to address water use in cities and counties in California, Ohio, and Texas.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Hawkins blasts Cuomo on fracking study; Meadows calls for new blood in Assembly
The Villager
Lincoln Anderson

Howie Hawkins, the Green candidate for governor, warns that Andrew Cuomo will likely allow hyrdofracking in some form soon after Tuesday’s election. “Cuomo, if he was going to ban fracking, he would have done it by now,” Hawkins declared last week outside the historic Stonewall Inn, on Christopher St. “Now this study will be done before the end of the year — but after the election.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Politicians urged to back fracking
Blackpool Gazette


Dozens of Lancashire business people attended a conference where campaigners called for politicians to get behind Lancashire’s shale gas proposals. Cuadrilla is proposing to drill at two sites on the Fylde coast – at Roseacre and Little Plumpton. A decision on whether they can is due at the end of the year.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Nonstop Electioneering Could Sway Last-Minute Decisions on Denton Fracking Ban
Dallas Observer
Emily Mathis

On the last day of early voting in Denton, the Denton Civic Center parking lot was abuzz with one of the most controversial, high-cost issues in Denton history: The fracking ban. The city is considering what would be the state's first citywide ban on fracking. In a state that has eagerly embraced heightened oil and gas drilling in recent years, the passage of the ban would send a powerful message of local environmental concerns to drilling companies across the country.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Midterm election: Ohio governor promises more taxes on fracking
Christian Science Monitor
Nick Cunningham

The midterm election in Ohio is a referendum on the future of fracking in the state. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio appears poised to win re-election on a promise of expanded oil and gas drilling coupled with increased taxes on the industry.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Interim Study Looks at Correlation Between Disposal Wells and Earthquakes
KOSU Tulsa
Kate Strum

An interim study examines the correlation between wastewater disposal wells and earthquakes in Oklahoma. The hearing brought together geologists from the Oklahoma Geological Survey, the Corporation Commission, and Oklahoma State University to lay the groundwork for future legislation through the sharing of information.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Toxic Chemicals Found in Air Near Oil and Gas Wells
Weather Channel
Annie Hauser

Oil and gas development sites are spewing toxic, cancer-causing gases into the air, according to new research, which adds to the limited, yet growing, evidence that these sites affect not only area nearby water quality, but also that of the air. "This is a significant public health risk," Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany-State University of New York and lead study author, told U.S. News, referring to the possibility of cancer cases linked to these sites 10 or 15 years down the line.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Environmental Issues Loom In Local State House Race
WGCU
Ashley Lopez

Among the very few contested seats in Southwest Florida this November is Florida House District 76. In this race, environmental issues like fracking and water quality are playing a big role.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Fracktivist tour guide will not be punished for Hawkins' visit to Pennsylvania gas wells
Legislative Gazette
Roger Hannigan Gilson

Vera Scroggins, the anti-fracking activist from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, who led Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins on a tour of fracking sites two weeks ago, will not be punished for violating an injunction two weeks banning her from such activities.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Fracking Threatens to Crack Politics Divisions within Colorado highlight a long-term political issue that affects many states
Scientific American
David Biello

The city of Boulder wants to block fracking in the Rocky Mountain state. The liberal enclave has banned the combination of directional drilling and cracking subterranean rock with high-pressure fluids known as fracking within its city limits. And local Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis wanted to enable other communities in Colorado to follow suit.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Drilling In ANWR Likely To Resurface If GOP Wins Congress
NASDAQ
Chris Dalby

The Republican Party has a very clear vision for America’s energy independence, which could become America’s vision for energy independence if polls suggesting the GOP will take control of the U.S. Senate in next week’s midterm elections prove correct. (They have held the majority in the House of Representatives since 2010.)   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Rotten odors rouse citizen sleuths in Pennsylvania gas patch
Grist
Heather Smith

The badges cost $14 apiece. Rebecca Roter walked around the perimeter of the fences surrounding the natural gas compressor facility in her Pennsylvania community, flipping their switches to “on.” The badges had been designed to measure formaldehyde levels in the workplace, so they had a clip at the top that could be attached to a pocket or a shirt collar. The landscape around her offered neither of these, so Roter just clipped them to whatever was nearby: trees, fences. Inside the station, someone — a security guard, maybe? — stood and watched her.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
EnLink completes purchase of Gulf Coast pipeline assets
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

DALLAS,November 3, 2014 — The EnLink Midstream companies, EnLink Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE:ENLK) (the Partnership) and EnLink Midstream, LLC (NYSE:ENLC) (the General Partner) (together “EnLink”), today announced that the Partnership completed its previously announced acquisition of Gulf Coast natural gas pipeline assets including the Bridgeline system (“the natural gas assets”) from Chevron Pipe Line Company and Chevron Midstream Pipelines LLC.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Governor’s Order, Fiscal Code Allowing More Drilling On DCNR Land Challenged Again
PA Environment Digest


The Delaware Riverkeeper Network Thursday filed a petition in Commonwealth Court against Gov. Corbett and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources challenging Executive Order 2014-03 issued May 23, 2014 titled Leasing of State Forests and State Park Land for Oil and Gas Development. According to the Petition for Review: “Petitioners challenge the constitutionality of the Commonwealth’s decision to attempt to balance the state budget by leasing state park and forest land for industrial shale gas development.”  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Mystery of Oil Field Fugitives Closer to Being Solved
Climate Central
Bobby Magill

The oil field fugitives aren’t people, of course, but gases — methane, benzene, toluene, xylene and other volatile organic compounds. Some of them cause cancer. Methane, like carbon dioxide, is a greenhouse gas that meddles with the climate, forcing a lot of warming in the atmosphere. These gases are fugitives because they’ve been found leaking from oil and gas fields, which is one the biggest criticisms of the hydraulic fracturing and shale oil and gas boom sweeping Pennsylvania, Texas, and large swathes of the West today.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Parents fight to protect school zones from drilling dangers
WSB-TV
Jacqueline Fell

Mars township parents are on the front lines of the fracking war in Pennsylvania. Mars-area mother Amy Nassif says gas wells planned to go in about a half-mile away from her daughters' schools are too close for comfort The State Department of Environmental Protection approved Rex Energy's plan to drill on a Middlesex property. Nassif is worried about her kids’ health and says she is also worried about an accident.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
BREAKING: Fracking Protesters Barricade Entrance To FERC Offices In D.C.
Weasel Zippers


A protest today at the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee. So far 25 have been arrested and more are coming. The protest was organized by liberal group “Environmental Action”. Protesters setup barricades outside the FERC offices to prevent employees from entering the building.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
IPCC Sounds Fresh Alarm as Fossil Fuel Interests Tighten Grip on Congress
InsideClimate News
John H. Cushman Jr.

The leading international network of climate scientists is urging a rapid shift away from fossil fuels, just as allies of coal, oil and natural gas industries in the United States appear poised to tighten their grip on Congress—where opposition to cleaner energy is already entrenched. That outcome of Tuesday's midterm election would spell trouble for advocates of a strong international climate accord. Treaty negotiations are supposed to pick up in the next few months and culminate in Paris just over a year from now.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
What New York can learn from North Dakota: the dark side of fracking (Commentary)
The Post-Standard
Kandi Mossett

As children we are often taught basic life lessons about survival, such as not to make deals with strangers that involve getting in their cars or not to accept large amounts of money or gifts from a stranger without expecting they'll want something in return. Yet that's exactly the deal that proponents of fracking are putting forward: We'll give you unlimited energy, money and high paying jobs, they say, with no downside. Tapping into concerns about climate change, energy companies are even encouraging the ridiculous notion of fracking as a solution to global warming and a bridge to cleaner energy. Day by day, though, we're learning that the upsides of fracking are far less than what producers advertise, and the downsides are numerous and often devastating. In North Dakota, present day tribal headquarters of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations, the oil and gas corporations once again promised a deal that sounded too good to be true. We soon found out that it was, and New Yorkers should see North Dakota as yet another warning sign to reject the gas industry's promises.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Breaking: 25 Arrested Shutting Down FERC Office in DC
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Nearly 100 people from across the country participated in a nonviolent direct action protest this morning shutting down the office of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington, DC. Today’s action was led by some of the Great March for Climate Action marchers who arrived at the nation’s capital on Nov. 1 after a 3,000-mile cross country walk from Los Angeles, California to Washington, DC. Police say 25 people were arrested this morning.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
Utilities Couldn't Kill Distributed Solar, So Now They're Co-Opting The Business Model
DeSmogBlog
Mike G

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they… steal your business model? Solar energy is booming: More than half a million US homes and businesses have gone solar, some 200,000 in just the last two years alone. The Solar Energy Industries Association estimates that in the first half of 2014, a new solar installation went up every 3.2 minutes.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
15 Arrested Protesting Gas Storage Facility in NY’s Finger Lakes Region
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Fifteen people were arrested this morning blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility on the shore of New York’s Seneca Lake. This action marks the beginning of the third week of protests trying to stop major new construction on the gas storage facility authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2014
‘Climate Change Alarmists’ Want to Turn People Gay, Says Religious Right Leader
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Anti-gay activists are sounding increasingly unhinged as marriage equality sweeps the U.S. Climate deniers are sounding increasingly unhinged as evidence piles up that we’ve got to do something about the way we’re ravaging our planet.   [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2014
Natural gas glut in Appalachia keeps pushing prices downward
TribLive
David Conti

Lower gas prices and a production glut in Appalachia aren't deterring the biggest drillers in the Marcellus shale. Companies continue to report surging production in their quarterly statements, and several are forecasting growth into next year.   [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2014
LIaquifer's drinking water could be threatened by pumping, fear officials,experts
Newsday
JENNIFER BARRIOS

The region's purest, most protected source of drinking water couldbecome contaminated and infused with saltwater if New York City and a NassauCounty water district are able to pump from the ancient Lloyd aquifer underLong Island, local officials and experts fear. The Lloyd, lying along the bedrock deep under geographic LongIsland, already is becoming increasingly salty and unfit to drink at the edgesbecause of overpumping to slake the human thirst for water. Now, as New York City readies a plan to begin pumping anew fromits shuttered network of Queens wells -- which includes four sunk in the Lloyd-- and an inland Nassau County water district attempts to become the firstnon-coastal community to surmount a state moratorium on drilling into theLloyd, policymakers and experts are viewing the moves with concern. "TheLloyd is special, it's limited, and it should be held as a reserve for coastalcommunities, period," said Sarah Meyland, director of the Center for WaterResources Management at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury. Long Island is a federally designated sole-source aquifer region,meaning the Island's 2.8 million residents rely solely on the undergroundaquifer system for drinking water.   [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2014
Effects of climate change ‘irreversible,’ U.N. panel warns in report
The Washington Post
Joby Warrick and Chris Mooney

The Earth is locked on an “irreversible” course of climatic disruption from the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the impacts will only worsen unless nations agree to dramatic cuts in pollution, an international panel of climate scientists warned Sunday. The planet faces a future of extreme weather, rising sea levels and melting polar ice from soaring levels of carbon dioxide and other gases, the U.N. panel said. Only an unprecedented global effort to slash emissions within a relatively short time period will prevent temperatures from crossing a threshold that scientists say could trigger far more dangerous disruptions, the panel warned.   [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2014
IPCC report warns greenhouse gas levels at highest point in 800,000 years, identifies fossil fuels as cause of recent increases
ABC Australia
Jake Sturmer

The world's top scientists have given their clearest warning yet of the severe and irreversible impacts of climate change. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its synthesis report, a summary of its last three reports. It warns greenhouse gas levels are at their highest point in 800,000 years, with recent increases mostly due to the burning of fossil fuels.  [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2014
The Simpsons: “Opposites A-Frack” Frack frack frack—and hug
AVClub
Dennis Perkins

Monty Burns is one of the greatest all-time TV villains, his position at the center of all Springfield’s evils allowing him to embody whatever plutocratic wickedness the Simpsons’ writers want to take a whack at. This week, Monty’s all about padding his inestimable wealth with fracking, the controversial method of extracting natural gas from permeable shale and—here, I explained it better elsewhere. The Simpsons—prickly writing genius John Swartzwelder aside—comes down generally on the liberal side of any issue, so it’s not surprising that “Opposites A-Frack” finds Burns at fault for wanting to frack the hell out of Evergreen Terrace. Or that Homer would find his boss’ overtures (to act as the folksy, Joe the Plumber, Promised Land shill for the big frack) attractive, at least until the humanistic pleas from Lisa and Marge shake the scales from his eyes.   [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2014
Arrested protesters include author, retired Air Force officer
Finger Lakes Times
David L. Shaw

READING — A renowned biologist and author, an 86-year-old activist, a retired Air Force officer and a mother and son were among the 10 protesters arrested Wednesday during a blockade of the Crestwood Midstream gas storage facility. Seven were arrested at the north gate after blocking a truck from entering the property. They were charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.   [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2014
To fight fracking bans, oil firms heavily outspend environmentalists
SF Gate
David R. Baker

With a population of just 55,000 scattered among its hills, San Benito County seems an unlikely threat to California’s oil industry. But come Tuesday, voters there will decide whether to ban fracking, acidizing and other “high-intensity” forms of oil extraction within the county’s borders. And the industry isn’t taking the challenge lightly.  [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2014
Air Pollution Risks Near Fracking Sites - New Study and Report Fracking is Fine (Just Hold Your Breath
Re-energize Bussafo
Charles Mrgulis

Now there’s a new fracking problem. There has been much attention to water pollution risks from fracking, but there has been less research into air quality around fracking sites. A new study, co-authored by CEH’s Research Director Caroline Cox and published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health, shines light on fracking air pollution risks.  [Full Story]

Nov 1, 2014
If adopted, Denton fracking ban would face legal tests
Star-Telegram
Max B. Baker

Denton Mayor Chris Watts says that if his city adopts a fracking ban Tuesday, it won’t be the end of the story, but the beginning. The oil and gas industry, the state and landowners are already threatening to try to block enactment of the anti-hydraulic-fracturing measure — the first proposed in Texas — if voters approve it Tuesday. “It may be just the beginning for us,” said Watts, an attorney. “The vote is not the end of the story. It may just be the beginning. It may be decided at the courthouse or at the statehouse.”   [Full Story]

Nov 1, 2014
Towns across the country are blocking energy companies from fracking
ABA Journal
Lauren Etter

On a hot June summer day this year, residents from the small farming town of Dryden, in upstate New York, gathered in front of the local courthouse to celebrate. The state's highest court had just ruled that their town could ban oil and gas development, including a controversial drilling method known as fracking. The people cheered and held up large banners scrawled with the words "No frack!" and sunflower-shaped signs that read "Home rule." "We did it!" proclaimed one Dryden resident in a news release the day of the ruling. Over the past three years, the towns of Dryden, near Ithaca, and Middlefield, about 100 miles to the east, had been engaged in all-out legal warfare with the oil industry. In 2011, the two towns passed ordinances banning oil and gas development within city limits. The industry swiftly sued, saying that such bans were pre-empted by a state statute permitting oil and gas development.   [Full Story]

Nov 1, 2014
To fight fracking bans, oil firms heavily outspend environmentalists
San Francisco Chronicle
David R. Baker

With a population of just 55,000 scattered among its hills, San Benito County seems an unlikely threat to California’s oil industry. But come Tuesday, voters there will decide whether to ban fracking, acidizing and other “high-intensity” forms of oil extraction within the county’s borders. And the industry isn’t taking the challenge lightly. San Benito is one of three California counties with fracking bans on this week’s ballot. And together, oil companies including Chevron Corp. and Occidental Petroleum have spent $7.7 million to defeat them. That’s more money than California’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, Neel Kashkari, has raised during his entire campaign.  [Full Story]

Nov 1, 2014
Butler Township advisory board to address drilling issues
Tribune-Review
Rick Willis

Butler Township commissioners have established a citizens' advisory committee to act as a community liaison about shale drilling for natural gas at the Krendale Golf Course. The committee, which has yet to be named, will be chaired by Jillian Ramsay Stern, a member of the county Democratic committee and township resident. It includes Larry Christie, the township's fire marshal, and Jesse Hines, the zoning officer. “We want this board to come out with facts that are not tainted. There is no doubt it has been one-sided,” said Joe Hasychak, the commissioners' chairman. Members of a citizens' group called the Section 27 Alliance have protested the golf course drilling site at length during commissioners' meetings. The well pad would sit about 550 feet from the nearest house — only 50 feet beyond the state-mandated limit for residential setbacks.  [Full Story]

Nov 1, 2014
Why Dr. Evil Is Targeting Anti-Fracking Activists as ‘Big Green Radicals’
EcoWatch
Gary Wockner

The Oct. 30 New York Times ran a story about how the oil and gas industry and its high-priced lobbyist/publicist Richard Berman are personally targeting Colorado activists who are working in anti-fracking campaigns. The story is based on a secretly recorded speech given by Berman and his colleague to industry officials in Colorado Springs in 2014 during which he described how the industry was going hard negative and using personal attacks against activists and how the industry must prepare for an “endless war” against environmentalists about fracking.  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
The Biggest Ship in the World (Though It Isn’t Exactly a Ship)
The New York Times
Robert Sullivan

It’s called Prelude, and it’s bigger than big. More than 530 yards long and 80 yards wide, it was constructed with 260,000 metric tons of steel, more than was used in the entire original World Trade Center complex, and it’s expected to displace 600,000 metric tons of water, or as much as six aircraft carriers. Even the paint job is huge: Most big vessels dry-dock every five years for a new coat, but Prelude’s paint is supposed to last 25 years. It will produce more natural gas than Hong Kong needs in a year. And it’s so big that you can’t really photograph it, at least not all at once. The photographer Stephen Mallon spent two days on cranes, one fore and one aft, taking more than a thousand pictures. Later, editing software was used to stitch hundreds of them together to create the composite image you see here. What makes this giant liquefied-natural-gas enterprise feasible, paradoxically enough, is the miniaturization its construction represents. It’s much smaller than landlocked equivalents — imagine shrinking your local refinery until it fits on a barge. Shell Oil, which has the biggest stake in the project, describes Prelude as more environmentally friendly than an onshore site. There are no estuaries under threat, no shorelines to run pipe across and reduced risks to population centers, given the explosiveness of natural gas. And it is designed to ride out extreme weather, thanks to three giant 6,700-horsepower thrusters that can turn it into the wind and waves. “These are the things that the naval architects had to worry through,” says Robert Bea, co-founder of the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, at the University of California, Berkeley. “It works like a big-ass weather vane.”  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
More study needed on fracking and health impacts
NPR Innovation Trail
Reid Frazier

For years, a growing number of people living near gas wells have claimed fracking makes them sick. Now, several studies are raising alarms that health effects from fracking are real. But as The Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier reports, a debate is underway over how much evidence is 'enough' to make conclusions about fracking's health impact. A team of researchers at the University of Colorado recently looked at more than 100,000 birth records in the state from 1996 to 2009. They calculated how far each of the mothers lived from an oil or gas well. Lisa McKenzie was the lead author on thestudy. “What we found was mothers with the most wells around their homes, and closest to their homes, had a 30 percent higher chance of having congenital heart defects than mothers with no wells around their homes,” McKenzie says.  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
‘US fracking extremely dangerous, poses cancer threat’
RT News


The way that oil and gas fracking is practiced in the US is dangerous to public health exposing people living around wells to respiratory infections, cancer and a reduction in brain activity, David O. Carpenter, environmental health expert, told RT. Scientists have discovered dangerously high level of cancer-causing chemicals in the air around fracking wells in five different states in the US. A report revealed that levels of benzene, hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde were many times above American air pollution limits and were detected within residential areas near to fracking sites. RT spoke with David O. Carpenter, author of the study to find out how dangerous fracking is for health.  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
DeSmogCAST Episode 1 Drilling Down: Fracking, Lobbying and the U.S. Midterm Elections
DeSmogBlog
Carol Linnit

This week DeSmog is launching its inaugural episode of DeSmogCAST, a weekly newscast featuring our writers, experts and invited guests. Each week we’ll discuss breaking stories and engage in analysis of politics, energy and environment issues in the U.S., Canada and around the world. In this episode, hosted by DeSmog contributor Farron Cousins, our team discusses Steve Horn’s recent story on the new Post Carbon Institute report that calls into question t  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
Oil Rout Seen Diluting Price Appeal of U.S. LNG Exports
Bloomberg
Ann Koh & Christine Buurma

Oil’s collapse is eroding the appeal of potential U.S. LNG exports to Asia as it cuts the cost of competing supplies linked to the price of crude.  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
Record Number of Anti-Fracking Measures on Nov. 4 Ballots
InsideClimate News
Zahra Hirji

Eight towns and counties across the country are taking their health and environmental concerns about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to the ballot boxes next week. That's apparently a record number for a single election day, according to experts who spoke to InsideClimate News.  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
A County Resents Oil Drilling, Despite the Money It Brings In
The New York Times
AMAN BATHEJA

GARDEN CITY, Tex. — Dennis Seidenberger has farmed cotton for 49 years in this close-knit community 40 miles southeast of Midland. Farming is a way of life that he passed on to his son, and one that he hopes will stay in the family for generations. But his outlook has changed over the past three years as a surge in oil drilling has transformed Glasscock County, where he lives. “They’ve totally ruined our way of life here,” Mr. Seidenberger said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it.”  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
Secret Tape Exposes Fracking Industry Playing Dirty
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

But one industry executive had enough. The anonymous executive leaked a tape to the New York Times of a June event in Colorado Springs at which Berman and Jack Hubbard, a vice president at Berman & Company, were soliciting money from oil and gas executives for the Big Green Radicals effort, telling them that they needed to exploit fear, greed and anger, and to stoke resentment against environmentally-minded celebrities. The executive told the New York Times the presentation left a bad taste in his mouth.   [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
US LNG Exports would boost economy, but lead to higher energy prices says EIA
Hellenic Shipping News


This report responds to a May 29, 2014 request from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (DOE/FE) for an update of the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) January 2012 study of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export scenarios. This updated study, like the prior one, is intended to serve as an input to be considered in the evaluation of applications to export LNG from the United States under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act, which requires DOE to grant a permit to export domestically produced natural gas unless it finds that such action is not consistent with the public interest. Appendix A provides a copy of the DOE/FE request letter.  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
Kinder Morgan slaps Burnaby residents with multi-million-dollar lawsuit
Vancouver Observer
Mychaylo Prystupa

Texas-based Kinder Morgan has hit several Burnaby residents and two SFU professors, who have spoken out against the company’s pipeline test work on Burnaby Mountain, with a multi-million-dollar lawsuit according to the defendants' lawyer. SFU professor Stephen Collis received the 1000-page stack of legal papers at his university office, just before he went out to teach his literature class late Thursday. “Personally, you feel pretty freaked out – when they start saying $5.6 million in damages, and all this jazz.”  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
Watch Jon Stewart Welcome His Newest Advertiser: The Koch Brothers
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart traveled to Texas this week to broadcast from Austin, offering Texas-based guests and commentary. But one advertiser that cropped up on the show this week may be having second thoughts.  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
Oil and Gas Industry's "Endless War" on Fracking Critics Revealed by Rick Berman
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

Leave it to Washington's top attack-dog lobbyist Richard Berman to verify what many always suspected: that the oil and gas industry uses dirty tricks to undermine science, vilify its critics and discredit journalists who cast doubt on the prudence of fossil fuels. In a speech at an industry conference in June, surreptitiously recorded by an energy executive, Rick Berman, the foremost go-to guy for Republican smear campaigns, gave unusually candid advice to a meeting of drilling companies.  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
3 California Counties Voting on Fracking Bans
ABC News
Ellen Knickmeyer

Voters in three coastal California counties vote Tuesday on whether to ban fracking and other intensive oil production, even as slumping prices globally are leading companies to start to scale back on production. Chevron, ExxonMobil and other oil companies have donated about $7 million to try to defeat the fracking bans in Santa Barbara, San Benito and Monterey counties. In Santa Barbara and San Benito counties, the ballot measures would ban not only fracking — a method of injecting water and chemicals into rock at high pressure to force out oil — but one of the most commonly used drilling methods in the state, steam injection.   [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
The Impact of Fracking in the United States
TeleSur
Opinion

A boon for the U.S. domestic oil and gas production or an environmental menace to local populations?   [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2014
Anti Fracking Protesters Gather In Downtown Binghamton
WICZ Fox


Anti-fracking protesters greeted Astorino as he came to the Holiday Inn Arena in Downtown Binghamton. They are criticizing Astorino for not only his pro-gas stance but also what they are calling a broken promise when Astorino didn't tour fracking sites in Pennsylvania. Astorino said at his rally if he is elected he will allow fracking within 90 days of taking office under regulations recommended by state agencies.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO WIND?
City & State
WILDER FLEMING

Anyone paying attention to New York’s renewable energy sector will have noticed the emphasis placed on solar power by state government in the past few years. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NY-Sun program—a $1.5 billion, 10- year commitment—has provided a reassuring bedrock for the industry, luring companies to the state with incentives, and encouraging businesses and residents to get in on the action as well. The idea is to shepherd the fledgling solar market to a self-sustaining place, and advocates and entrepreneurs alike are encouraged by what they see as a solid commitment to the technology from the governor’s office.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Eric Schneiderman receives big bucks from hydrofracking investor
NY Daily News
Ken Lovett

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has voiced reservations about hydrofracking, has received more than $100,000 from a billionaire Leonard Blavatnik and his company Access Industries Holdings LLC have donated $140,000 to Schneiderman's campaign since, making him the incumbent Democrat's fourth largest donor, according to an analysis by the New York Public Interest Research Group. Blavatnik's company is a privately held industrial group with major holdings in the oil and gas industry.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Hard-Nosed Advice From Veteran Lobbyist: ‘Win Ugly or Lose Pretty’ Richard Berman Energy Industry Talk Secretly Taped
New York Times
Eric Lipton

WASHINGTON — If the oil and gas industry wants to prevent its opponents from slowing its efforts to drill in more places, it must be prepared to employ tactics like digging up embarrassing tidbits about environmentalists and liberal celebrities, a veteran Washington political consultant told a room full of industry executives in a speech that was secretly recorded.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Second lawsuit filed to halt drilling in state parks and forests
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI AND SUSAN PHILLIPS

An environmental group has filed a lawsuit challenging the Corbett administration’s plan to lease more state park and forest land for oil and gas development. The Corbett Administration lifted a moratorium on new leases in state parks and forests with an executive order last May to help plug a budget gap. The lawsuit filed by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network is the first to challenge that executive order directly, but is the second suit aimed at preventing more drilling on state lands. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s challenge, filed Thursday in Commonwealth Court, is based on the state’s environmental rights amendment and is a direct result of the Riverkeeper’s successful challenge of Act 13. In that case, the Supreme Court invoked article 1, section 27 of the state constitution, also referred to as the environmental rights amendment, to strike down key aspects of the state’s new drilling law. The Riverkeeper’s latest challenge of Corbett’s executive order could serve as a test case for how the courts continue to interpret the state’s environmental rights amendment.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Fracking emits more formaldehyde than medical students experience from dead bodies
The Telegraph
Sarah Knapton

Fracking can pollute the air with carcinogenic formaldehyde at levels twice as high as medical students experience when dissecting dead bodies, a new report has found. Tests around shale gas wells in the US also found that levels of benzene were up to 770,000 higher than usual background quantities. The quantities were up to 33 times the concentration that drivers can smell when filling up with fuel at a petrol station. Levels of hydrogen sulfide, were also up to 60,000 times an acceptable odour threshold.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Eric Schneiderman receives big bucks from hydrofracking investor
New York Daily News
Ken Lovett

Leonard Blavatnik and his company Access Industries Holdings LLC have donated $140,000 to Schneiderman's campaign since, making him the incumbent Democrat's fourth largest donor, according to an analysis by the New York Public Interest Research Group. Blavatnik's company is a privately held industrial group with major holdings in the oil and gas industry. Schneiderman as attorney general has not taken a formal position on hydrofracking, though he has said there needs to be clear evidence it is safe before the state should allow it. He also has sued gas drilling companies. A lawsuit he filed in 2011 claiming the federal government did not properly study the impact of fracking in the Delaware River basin was eventually dismissed.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
BREAKING: Raging Grannies Blockading Entrances and Exits of WA Department of Ecology
Earth First! Newswire


UPDATE: The blockade is in its third hour!!!! Way to go grannies! Currently, seven members of the Seattle Raging Grannies are blocking the entrance to the Department of Ecology headquarters, stalling traffic and preventing employees from entering work. The groups are sitting in rocking chairs chained together across the Department’s vehicle entrance. They are telling workers that the Department is closed today for a “Workshop on How to Say No to Big Oil.” Today’s action coincides with hearings on a controversial study on the safety of oil trains conducted by the Department of Ecology. Hundreds are expected in Olympia to express concern at the study’s narrow scope and omission of risks to the environment or treaty rights.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Owners of organic farm withdraw compressor station appeal
Ellwood City Ledger
Suzanne Elliott

NEW SEWICKLEY TWP. -- The owners of an organic farm in New Sewickley have dropped their challenge of a township decision that would allow a compressor station to be built in an agricultural zone next to their business. Don and Rebecca Kretschmann said Wednesday evening they have withdrawn their appeal after receiving assurances from supervisors chairman Duane Rape that the township is updating and will continue to update its zoning ordinances about what can and cannot be constructed in an agricultural zone.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Russia, Ukraine fail to reach gas agreement at EU talks, negotiations to continue Thursday - agencies
Reuters


Oct 30 (Reuters) - Ukraine and Russia have failed to reach a gas agreement at their overnight talks with the European Union, with more negotiations to take place Thursday evening, the news agency RIA Novosti cited Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying. "The negotiations are not yet over, we've just finished a long discussion on documents that must be prepared based on the results of the talks," the agency cited Novak as saying early on Thursday in Brussels.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Most allowed back home after fracking-well blowout in eastern Ohio
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

From his fishing boat on a rural Jefferson County pond, Mike Poole could see the natural-gas wellhead less than a tenth of a mile away. Poole spent part of his Tuesday afternoon on that boat with a friend and his dog. The well, at that time, was just part of the landscape. By Tuesday evening, though, it had forced him from his home in Bloomingdale, Ohio.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Toxic Chemicals, Carcinogens Skyrocket Near Fracking Sites
US News and World Report
Alan Neuhauser

The spikes almost certainly will lead to a cancer increase in surrounding areas, a study author says. Oil and gas wells across the country are spewing “dangerous" cancer-causing chemicals into the air, according to a new study that further corroborates reports of health problems around hydraulic fracturing sites. “This is a significant public health risk,” says Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany-State University of New York and lead author of the study, which was published Thursday in the journal Environmental Health. “Cancer has a long latency, so you’re not seeing an elevation in cancer in these communities. But five, 10, 15 years from now, elevation in cancer is almost certain to happen.”  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Air near fracking sites carries cancer risk, study finds
Times Union
Brian Nearing

lbany Tests of air around homes near natural gas drilling wells and other production equipment in five state found potentially carcinogenic levels of chemicals, according to a study that involved a researcher from the University at Albany. Published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health, the study examined air pollution around gas production sites in Pennsylvania, which has been awash in a gas hydrofracking boom for about seven years, as well as Wyoming, Arkansas, Colorado and Ohio. "All the attention being paid just to pollution to water from fracking has been misplaced," said David Carpenter, lead author of the study and director of the Institute for Health & The Environment at the University at Albany. "Our tests show that the air around gas sites is much more dangerous."  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Governor’s Executive Order Allowing Drilling Of State-Owned Lands Challenged in Court
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Press Release

Harrisburg, PA: The Delaware Riverkeeper Network filed in Commonwealth Court against Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources challenging Governor Corbett’s Executive Order 2014-03 issued May 23, 2014 titled Leasing of State Forests and State Park Land for Oil and Gas Development. According to the Petition for Review filed October 30, 2014: “Petitioners challenge the constitutionality of the Commonwealth’s decision to attempt to balance the state budget by leasing state park and forest land for industrial shale gas development.” “The Governor’s Executive order will invite, inspire and spawn a wave of industrial development both in our state parks and forests and right up to its edges – turning once natural areas and beautiful communities into industrial zones, irreparably harming the water, air, recreation and the natural resources of both present and future generations” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and a Petitioner on the case.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
In Pa.'s Governor Race, It's Drill, Baby, Drill...and Tax, Maybe, Tax
Inside Climate News
Katherine Bagley & Lisa Song

In the swing-state race largely seen as a microcosm for the nation, the issue of fracking's environmental impacts is largely a no-show. Fracking has become a prominent issue in this year's Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, energizing ads, debates and campaign appearances.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Hearing continues on proposed natural gas compressor station in New Sewickley
Times Online
Suzanne Elliott

NEW SEWICKLEY TWP. -- After more than four hours of testimony and debate Tuesday night, it is still not known whether a natural gas compressor station will be constructed next to an organic farm in New Sewickley Township.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Fighting for Climate Justice in the Finger Lakes
Gandhi earthKeepers
George Payne

The planet is in peril. Oceans are becoming more acidic thus threatening major populations of marine life. The entire planetary hydrologic cycle is on the verge of collapse. Species are dying off at unprecedented rates. Soil erosion, pollution and toxicity are impacting the resilience of the biosphere, and fundamentally altering our DNA. Some scientists say that the very engines of evolution are broken. So, while communities around the world are taking immediate and dramatic action to meet the challenges of this crisis, the village of Watkins Glen, NY, the State of New York, and the Federal Government are, by their inaction, pretending that catastrophic global heating doesn’t exist. It appears that they have all bowed down to an energy leviathan in Houston, who has plans to takeover salt caverns thousands of miles away from Texas, and replace their ancient deposits of brine with enormous amounts of propane and butane. The displaced brine will be stored and contained in a 14-acre lined surface pond with a capacity of 2.19 million barrels, or 91.9 million gallons. The project involves the construction of a new rail and truck transfer facility consisting of a six-rail siding capable of allowing the loading and unloading of 24 rail cars within 12 hours and a truck loading station capable of loading four trucks per hour. This depot will be able to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year round, bringing trucks and train cars filled with propane and butane in and out of this facility in a constant cycle. (http://www.fltimes.com/news/article_178b8fee-37b1-5183-9ba2-99f892a15eb8.html)  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
In Denton, tension mounts ahead of fracking ban vote
The Dallas Morning News
James Osborne

DENTON — Voters filed in and out of the civic center with typical small-town friendliness, trading greetings before heading home to dinner. But in the parking lot a man wearing wraparound sunglasses and a T-shirt urging residents to vote down a fracking ban was irate. He pointed to a group of women in lawn chairs 30 feet away, chatting happily in sun hats and handing out fliers to voters. “One of their friends just came over here and demanded to know where I live,” the man, who would identify himself only as Joseph, said last week. “I’ve been out here two days. And I’ve had 30 people come up to me already, asking me the same thing. They want to know my name, how much I’m being paid and what my address is.”  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
5-State Study Finds Unsafe Levels of Airborne Chemicals Near Oil and Gas Sites
InsideClimate News
Jamie Smith Hopkins

Dirk DeTurck had a years-old rash that wouldn't go away, his wife's hair came out in chunks and any time they lingered outside their house for more than an hour, splitting headaches set in. They were certain the cause was simply breathing the air in Greenbrier, Arkansas, the rural community to which they'd retired a decade ago. They blamed the gas wells all around them. But state officials didn't investigate. So DeTurck leapt at the chance to help with research that posed a pressing question: What's in the air near oil and gas production sites?   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Pennsylvania Congressman Launches Investigation Into His State’s Fracking Rules
Think Progress
Jeff Spross

A Pennsylvania congressman just launched an investigation into how his state deals with fracking waste, the Center for Public Integrity reports. Rep. Matt Cartwright, a first-term Democrat representing Pennsylvania’s 17th congressional district, sent a letter to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Wednesday, requesting “information about the state regulatory process for monitoring the handling and disposal of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) waste.”   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Fracking-fueled recall petitions in St. Tammany never took off
NOLA.com
Robert Rhoden

The controversy over fracking in St. Tammany Parish is still going strong after surfacing in April, but the political recall efforts spawned by the issue never went anywhere. In May, a small group of citizens announced it had started recall petitions against Parish President Pat Brister and all 14 members of the Parish Council, saying the parish officials were not doing enough to fight a proposed oil drilling and fracking project northeast of Mandeville. The recall efforts have been all but invisible ever since.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
YSU faculty group supports anti-fracking ballot issue
Vindy.com


A group of 20 science faculty at Youngstown State University are urging city voters to cast ballots in favor of the anti-fracking Community Bill of Rights charter amendment. These faculty members today made the same statement in May when city voters rejected the amendment for the third time.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Fracking In North Carolina
WUNC
Laura Lee & Frank Stasio

Earlier this year, a new law lifted the ban on fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, in North Carolina. Legislators said fracking permits could be issued as early as this coming spring. The process, which extracts natural gas from deep within the earth, is a controversial one. Opponents say allowing fracking here could cause air and water pollution and adversely affect vulnerable populations. Advocates say fracking could bring economic prosperity and jobs to the state.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Fracking debate continues Planning Commission kicks matter to its next meeting
News Review
Leslie Layton

Butte County planning commissioners debated an ordinance to ban the oil and natural gas extraction process known as fracking last week, finally tabling a measure they said might be purely symbolic. And if an ordinance that would ban fracking in Butte County is a symbolic gesture—as some argue—the importance of the symbolism to the state’s oil-and-gas industry was clear at the Oct. 23 meeting. The commission faced upfront industry lobbying from statewide groups opposed to the ban.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Bare-Knuckled Advice From Veteran Lobbyist: ‘Win Ugly or Lose Pretty’
The New York Times
Eric Lipton

What Mr. Berman did not know — and what could now complicate his task of marginalizing environmental groups that want to impose limits on fracking — is that one of the energy industry executives recorded his remarks and was offended by them. Read the speech Here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/31/us/politics/31lobbyist-docs.html?_r=1  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Fracking protesters accuse police of intimidation campaign
The Conversation


Although only a small area of land has been offered to companies exploring the potential for fracking in the UK so far, much more is likely to come. But opposition to fracking is growing – and growing fast. More than 180 local groups are already in operation, which is somewhat inconvenient for a government wanting to go “all out for shale”.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Most allowed back home after fracking-well blowout in eastern Ohio
Eagle Ford Texas
Laura Arenschield

evacuated after the well ruptured on Tuesday night, spewing natural gas and methane into the air. Jefferson County’s emergency-management officials worried about what those gases could do to people and homes. Methane can become explosive in small amounts and can cause headaches and dizziness.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Fracking north-west London: bidding firm promises 'minimal disruption as possible'
Get West London
Ian Proctor

fracking firm may drill a test well in already industrialised Park Royal in order to explore for gas trapped deep underground in north-west London, a boss of the business has told getwestlondon. London Local Energy has applied to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for a licence to extract shale gas in a swathe of London stretching from Harrow in the north-west corner to Westminster in the south-east boundary - an area inhabited by about 1million people across parts of nine boroughs.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Another Fracking Health Threat
Huffington Post
Michael Green

You may have been shocked by this recent headline: "Dead babies near oil drilling sites raise questions for researchers." But those who are following the national debate about fracking are all too familiar with the concerns community members have about pollution from this new drilling technology. In fact, our report on health risks to infants, children and pregnant women living near fracking operations found serious reasons for concern. As the CEH report notes, chemicals used in fracking and/or created by fracking operations have been linked to low birth weight, birth defects, respiratory problems, infertility and cancer, among other serious problems.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
InsideClimate News Wins EPPY Award for Fracking Investigation 'Big Oil + Bad Air' 'Big Oil + Bad Air' reveals the dangers of releasing toxic chemicals into the air from oil and gas drilling.
Inside Climate News


The journal Editor & Publisher announced Wednesday that InsideClimate News, the Center for Public Integrity and The Weather Channel won a 2014 EPPY Award in the category of Best Investigative/Enterprise Feature on a Website for "Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale: Big Oil + Bad Air on the Texas Prairie."   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Fracking is driving UK civil and political rights violations
Ecologist
Jess Elliot & Damien Short

Extreme energy in the UK is arousing extreme reactions, write Jess Elliot & Damien Short. On the one side stand citizens committed to preserving the quality of the local and global environment. And against them, a government determined to let fracking rip, and police forces prepared to ignore legal norms to suppress the growing popular resistance.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Anti-Fracking Protest Held in Downtown Lansing
WILX


People against fracking rallied outside the Lansing Center today. They say they'll try again next year to get enough signatures for a ballot proposal banning fracking in Michigan.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Fracking - human rights must not be ignored!
Ecologist
Anna Grear

Just as the UK Government is stirring up public anger against human rights, writes Anna Grear, its fast-track development of shale gas and oil shows that we need these legal protections more than ever. A new report shows how the 'dash to frack' is endangering our most cherished rights - to health, water, security and life.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Fracking may release cancer-causing air pollution – study
RTCC
Megan Derby

Fracking wells may release cancer-causing chemicals into the air, a community science study has found. Residents trained to take air quality samples recorded high levels of benzene, hydrogen sulphide and formaldehyde near shale gas extraction sites in the US.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Fracking emits more formaldehyde than medical students experience from dead bodies High levels of cancer-causing chemicals was found in the air around fracking sites in the US
The Telegraph
Sarah Knapton

Fracking can pollute the air with carcinogenic formaldehyde at levels twice as high as medical students experience when dissecting dead bodies, a new report has found. Tests around shale gas wells in the US also found that levels of benzene were up to 770,000 higher than usual background quantities.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Midterm elections' impact on U.S. energy, environment agenda
Global Post
Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The 2014 U.S. mid-term elections could shake up Congress in the midst of two major transformations in energy and environmental policy. A boom in the production of shale oil and gas has turned the United States into an energy superpower, putting the country on course to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil producer.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Denton's fracking ban: Is it a reasonable prohibition or the taking of mineral rights?
Dallas Business Journal
Nicholas Sakelaris

If Denton voters adopt the fracking ban on Nov. 4, should the city expect a stack of lawsuits on the steps of City Hall on Nov. 5? If you ask opponents of the ban, they promise years of costly court battles challenging the city's authority and asking for millions of dollars in compensation for unrecoverable minerals. This would be the first time a Texas city has voted to ban fracking, so other cities in Texas and around the country will be paying close attention.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2014
Nova Scotia firm pitches fracking wastewater plan to Dieppe Dieppe Mayor Yvon Lapierre says council still has questions for Atlantic Industrial Services
CBC News


Atlantic Industrial Services sent officials to Dieppe this week to begin answering questions from city politicians over the company's plan to dump 30 million litres of treated fracking waste water into its sewer system. The company is seeking approval to ship three tanker truck loads of wastewater every day, five days a week, for two years from its facility in Debert, N.S.   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Md. gubernatorial candidates differ starkly on key environmental issues
Washington Post
Darryl Fears

The two men competing to become Maryland governor have starkly different views on key environmental issues in a state that is weighing fracking and wind farm projects and an off-shore natural gas pipeline, and where costly efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay have generated heated debate. Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, the Democratic nominee, says he will continue to embrace the $15 billion plan put in place by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) to restore the bay’s health by 2025.   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Grassroots group aims to limit Mansfield fracking
WFAA
Todd Unger

MANSFIELD -- A grassroots effort aimed at restricting fracking has popped up in yet another Texas town. The Mansfield Gas Well Awareness group is pushing for enhanced regulation at fracking sites within city limits after hearing complaints from citizens about noise, aesthetics and potentially harmful health effects.   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Anti-pipeline group stop at Charlottesville-area Democratic, Republican offices
Times Dispatch
Bryan McKenzie

About a dozen Nelson County residents protested a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline Wednesday, stopping at the local offices of Democratic and Republican lawmakers to urge them to oppose the project.   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Anti-fracking group looks beyond ballot initiative toward continuing efforts
Athens News
David DeWitt

The Bill of Rights Committee that has an anti-fracking proposal going to city of Athens voters Nov. 4 said in a press release last week that passage of Issue 7 is just the beginning. Following a visit from Mansfield (Ohio) Law Director John Spon, a proponent of a similar bill of rights law that was passed in that Mid-Ohio city in 2012, BORC spokesperson Dick McGinn said that further city ordinances will be needed to carry out the full intent of Issue 7.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Ohio wants its slice of fracking's oil wealth
MarketPlace
Scott Tong

The American fossil-fuel boom has spawned debates on what to do with this wealth. Ohio finds itself in the middle of one right now. The state’s Republican governor, John Kasich, is proposing to raise oil and gas taxes, to ensure the riches don’t all go to workers and companies based out of state. “His view is, this is some sort of a rip-off,” says Ohio State economist Mark Partridge. “That these energy resources are transported out of the state of Ohio, used and refined in other places. And all the profit and wealth goes to these other places and it leaves Ohio.”   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Fracking Evacuation Raises New Concerns In Ohio
WBNS 10TV
Jim Heath

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Last night barricades went up, and people moved out, after a mandatory evacuation went out in Jefferson County after a frack well leaked natural gas and fluid into the air. "It's powerfully toxic if it gets in your community and neighborhood and you're breathing it," said Carolyn Harding, an anti-fracking activist. "I'm not afraid of it. What I am afraid of is that we are going to embrace it so fast, so furiously that we will create too many sacrifice zones.   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Liberal fracking moratorium pledge may contain loophole Premier Brian Gallant's latest comments focus only on hydraulic fracturing, not other types
CBC News
Robert Jones

There’s confusion about how a promised Liberal moratorium on fracking will apply to existing shale gas sites in New Brunswick, with hints from Premier Brian Gallant that non-hydraulic fracturing might not be as objectionable to his government as fracking that relies on water.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Aquifer played role in oil well decision
Pantagraph
Kevin Barlow

BLOOMINGTON — Concerns about contaminating the Mahomet Aquifer prompted Members of the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals to reject a special-use permit for oil drilling on a site near Downs. The board voted 6-0 Monday against recommending the permit to the County Board, which has the final say. Members said the project did not meet county standards for such a request, citing the likelihood that it would be detrimental to the health, safety, morals, comfort or welfare of the public.   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Pennsylvania Congressman Launches Frack Waste Investigation as Concern Rises
InsideClimate News
David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

In a reflection of growing national concern about the disposal of oil and gas waste, a Pennsylvania congressman launched an investigation Wednesday into the way his state regulates the discarding of the unwanted, often toxic material. Rep. Matthew Cartwright, a first-term Democrat from eastern Pennsylvania, wants to know more about how the contaminated leftovers from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are regulated. In an email exchange with InsideClimate News, Cartwright said "preliminary reports indicate there are big gaps in protections and oversight that the federal government might have to fill."   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Hydropower May Be Huge Source of Methane Emissions
Climate Central
Bobby Magill

Imagine nearly 6,000 dairy cows doing what cows do, belching and being flatulent for a full year. That’s how much methane was emitted from one Ohio reservoir in 2012. Reservoirs and hydropower are often thought of as climate friendly because they don’t burn fossil fuels to produce electricity. But what if reservoirs that store water and produce electricity were among some of the world’s largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions?   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Anti-Fracking Leader, 9 Others Arrested At Upstate Protest
CBS New York


WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A leader of the anti-fracking movement in New York state was among 10 people arrested Wednesday during protests at an upstate natural gas storage facility, located in a depleted Finger Lakes salt mine. Joseph Campbell of We Are Seneca Lake said the group has been blocking gates each day since Thursday of last week at Houston-based Crestwood Midstream’s operations in Watkins Glen. They are opposed to Crestwood’s planned expansion of natural gas storage in depleted salt mines. The expansion has Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval. Opponents said the natural gas storage project and another to store propane in salt caverns would bring heavy industry, truck traffic and a risk of disastrous accidents to a region that thrives on tourism, agriculture and winemaking.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Gas wastewater likely triggered 2011 quake in Colorado: USGS
Reuters
LAURA ZUCKERMAN

(Reuters) - Underground disposal of wastewater from gas production likely triggered a moderate earthquake in Colorado in 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Wednesday in a study that may fuel debate over the impact of the U.S. energy boom. The finding in the Journal of Geophysical Research is the latest research suggesting the injection into wells of wastewater generated by oil and gas extraction can induce earthquakes. Researchers believe fluids seep into seismic faults and cause them to slip, triggering temblors.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
DEC: Judge to review LPG facility
The Chronicle-Express
Derek Ek

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has scheduled a proceeding before a judge that could finally decide whether Crestwood’s controversial LPG storage facility on Seneca Lake will be permitted. The DEC announced Wednesday that an issues conference will be held Feb. 12 at the Holiday Inn Express in Horseheads before an administrative law judge. The issues conference will determine if there are “significant and substantive” issues that require an adjudicatory hearing. If so, the judge would hold the hearing at a later date.   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Area law schools adjust curriculum to meet oil and gas industry needs
TimesOnline
Suzanne Elliot

The continued growth of the regional oil and natural gas industry has led to area law schools altering course offerings to meet the rising demand for specialized legal help. The University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University schools of law and West Virginia University College of Law have all adjusted curriculum in the past three years as Marcellus and Utica shale production continues to grow and the industry matures, in the hope that their graduates will find good-paying jobs in the field.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Geology Experts Confirm Fracking Risks
Santa Barbara Independent


Unfortunately, if you repeat a lie often enough, it begins to seem like the truth. One such oft-repeated myth, propagated with the help of millions of dollars of outside oil money, is that “there is no risk of fracking” in Santa Barbara County so we don’t need Measure P to protect us. The reality, however, is that some of the most experienced local geology experts, many of whom have worked for oil companies and taught and researched in the field of geology for decades, confirm that Santa Barbara County is very much at risk, and we absolutely need Measure P to protect the area from a massive increase in under-regulated unconventional oil extraction, a boom that is already beginning to take shape and poses an existential threat to the local environment.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
How to Monitor for Fracking Air Pollution
Environmental Technology


Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, has become an increasingly popular method of extracting gas and oil from shale rock over the last decade. The process involves injecting water at high pressure to fracture rocks and allow gas to flow out. However, there are now a number of concerns that fracking may contribute to air pollution and further increase risks to human health. This month, the state of Texas has responded to these concerns by installing the first air monitoring station in the Eagle Ford Shale in Karnes County, a prominent area for fracking activity near the city of San Antonio. - See more at:   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
10 Arrested as Human Blockade Continues Protesting Methane Gas Storage Facility
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

After blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood methane gas storage facility on the shore of New York’s Seneca Lake for two days last week, including a rally with more than 200 people, the human blockade continues.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Teachout Will Give Financial Support To Senate Dems
State of Politics


A Democratic-controlled Senate, she said, could lead to the passage of a hydrofracking moratorium as well as the creation of a public financing system. In many cases, Teachout says these races are simply coin tosses. “I don’t think people realize how close these races are and the truth is, we don’t know. If anybody tells you they know what’s going to happen, they’re lying.” she said.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Material Risks: How Public Accountability Is Slowing Tar Sands Development
Oil Change International


A new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Oil Change International quantifies for the first time the financial and carbon impact of public opposition to pipelines and other expanded investment in tar sands production. The report, “Material Risks: How Public Accountability Is Slowing Tar Sands Development,” presents market analysis and industry data to support its estimates on lost sales revenue to the tar sands industry as public opposition creates delays and project cancellations. The report also describes other market forces that are putting tar sand developers at a growing disadvantage.   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
U.S. Energy Policies Based on Inflated Fracking Predictions: Post Carbon Institute Report
AlterNet
Julie Dermansky

Economic predictions about the fracking industry's potential growth have for the most part gone unquestioned — until now. A new report from the Post Carbon Institute exposes highly inflated forecasts and concludes that the amount of oil that can be tapped by hydraulic fracturing cannot be maintained at the levels assumed beyond 2020.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
OH. Frack ! Ohio to Displace Fracklahoma as World Capital of Frackquakes ?
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

Move over Fracklahoma, there’s a new frackquake contender, Ohio, who is fast catching up as a frackquake epicenter. Not just on disposal wells, but on the fracks themselves. Fracking related earthquakes in eastern Ohio now top 1,000 Before 2011 three Ohio Counties: Harrison, Mahoning and Trumbull had no known earthquakes. Since then, the earthquake total is over 1,000. All of the earthquakes were human induced due to fracking for shale gas. The quakes are restricted to four locations, two housing injection wells and two fracking well pads.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Hurley Town Board OKs ban on use of fracking fluids on town roads
Daily Freeman
William J. Kemble

HURLEY >> The Town Board has approved a resolution prohibiting fluids from the natural gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, from being used on town roads as a de-icing or dust control agent. The board voted 3-1 in favor of the resolution at a meeting Monday, with Councilman John Dittus opposed and Councilman John Gill absent.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
TAR SANDS PRODUCERS FACE A CONSTELLATION OF RISKS
Energy Policy Forum
Deborah Lawrence

A new report issued today by The Institute for Energy, Economic and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Oil Change International addresses the constellation of risks facing tar sand producers. For the first time, the financial impacts of campaigns such as public accountability surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline have now been quantified together with many other extenuating issues facing tar sands producers. It is estimated that various campaigns have cost the industry approximately $30 Billion since 2010. Energy Policy Forum’s Deborah Lawrence Rogers was a co-author. Read the report in its entirety here  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
PA Congressman launches frack waste investigation
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

The state’s new acting secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection, Dana Aunkst, has lots of questions to answer regarding how the state oversees frack waste disposal and transportation. On Wednesday, Congressman Matt Cartwright, a democrat from Schuylkill County, sent Aunkst a 3-page letter seeking information as part of an investigation into how states monitor waste generated by shale gas drilling. The states have responsibility for the waste because it’s exempt from federal oversight. The investigation comes on the heels of a report released by the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s office in July, which criticizes the DEP’s role in protecting drinking water from contamination by gas drillers.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
New York State Allows Water Grab
DC Bureau
Peter Mantius

PAINTED POST, N.Y. — Barely a football field away from John Marvin’s modest house, 42 black railcars full of water sit waiting for the signal to begin rolling south to supply fracking drill pads across the Pennsylvania border. When the water train lurches and clanks through the village — often at pre-dawn hours — it sounds ear-splitting whistles at each street crossing. “How is everybody supposed to sleep at night?” asked Marvin, who tends his stroke-slowed wife in the family living room. “And what happens if they deplete our water supply? Do we go to water rationing?” Painted Post siphons water from a shallow, rain-dependent aquifer it shares with several neighboring communities, including the town of Corning. In 2012 the village signed a five-year deal reportedly worth up to $20 million with a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell to sell up to 1 million gallons a day used to frack Shell’s natural gas wells in Pennsylvania. The village has called the sale a routine disposal of “surplus property.”   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Vermont Governor Who Banned Fracking Supports Fracked Gas Pipeline
Think Progress
Carl Gibson

MONTPELIER, VERMONT — Despite Vermont becoming the first state in the U.S. to ban the practice of fracking more than two years ago, Vermonters are, to this day, willfully risking arrest to stop more fracking infrastructure from coming into their state  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Fracking Firm Applies To Drill Under London Fracking could go ahead under Number 10 Downing Street
International Business Times
Nigel Wilson

An energy firm run by a pro-fracking media commentator has applied for licences to frack in London. London Local Power (LLP,) run by Nick Grealy, has sought permission to frack at three sites. Two of the proposed locations cover a stretch of land from Harrow in north-west London to an area close to Downing Street in central London. The third licence would cover part of south London.  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
City of Fort Collins, Colorado, Appeals Ruling Striking Down Fracking Bans
JD Supra Business Advisor
Justin Winquist

The week of September 22, the Fort Collins, Colorado, City Council voted to appeal a decision rendered last month that struck down the city’s fracking ban. The North America Shale Blog previously covered that decision here.   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Anti-Fracking Activist in Court
PA Home Page


Montrose, Susquehanna County- An anti-fracking activist, in Susquehanna County Court as Cabot Oil and Gas looks to bar the woman from areas near their wells. Longtime anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins, in a Susquehanna County courtroom on Tuesday. Cabot Oil and Gas corporation, wants Scroggins found in contempt of an injunction and barred from areas near its well sites. Eyewitness News Reporter Eric Deabill is in Montrose.   [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Toxic Mix From Ohio Fracking Pipeline Catches Fire
Firehouse
Laura Arenschield

Oct. 29--A pipeline carrying condensate, a toxic substance produced during natural gas and oil processing, caught fire in eastern Ohio early this morning. It burned several acres of Monroe County woodland before the pipeline pressure dropped low enough for the fire to burn itself out  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2014
Feds asked to start review of W.Va.-Va. pipeline
Washington Post
Associated Press

ROANOKE, Va. — Developers of a proposed interstate natural gas pipeline have moved to begin a federal review of the project. Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week to initiate the agency’s pre-filing process.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Fracking company applies for London licence
BBC News


A new energy firm run by pro-fracking pundit Nick Grealy says it has applied for licences to frack in London. London Local Power (LLP) has applied for permission to frack three blocks of land, two of which cover an area from Harrow in the North West to near Downing Street in central London. Mr Grealy told the BBC the company had secured funding for the first year of works and had no shortage of backers.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Fracking: In the path of the ‘shale gale’
Financial Times


Divisions among Democrats in Colorado highlight how shale gas has become a toxic issue, writes Barney Jopson 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/0/6d93d494-5dc5-11e4-b7a2-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3HXlrZycn T he oil company had hoped that by taking only written questions from the residents, it could keep a lid on their emotions. But it was only seconds after the chief executive of Great Western Oil & Gas began the Q&A with the people of Windsor, Colorado, that the lid blew off. Before Rich Frommer could read out the first submission, Connie Reifschneider rose from her fold-up chair to interrupt him. “I’m shaking because I’m angry,” she said.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Shale gas report due date debate
Times Union
Casey Seiler

Albany The end-of-the-year due date for the completion of the Health Department's report on the potential impacts of hydrofracking isn't Gov. Andrew Cuomo's deadline. Clarifying what the governor said in last week's gubernatorial debate, his office on Tuesday said that acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker was the one who determined the timeline for the submission of his agency's work on the controversial natural gas drilling technique. "The health commissioner indicated that the study will be completed by the end of the year, so that's when the governor expects it," said Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Eastern Ohio pipeline hauling toxic mix catches fire
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

A pipeline carrying condensate, a toxic substance produced during natural gas and oil processing, caught fire in eastern Ohio early this morning. It burned several acres of Monroe County woodland before the pipeline pressure dropped low enough for the fire to burn itself out. No one was injured, and no residents had to leave their homes, said Phillip Keevert, Monroe County’s Emergency Management Agency director.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Editorial: Sales pitches tool up on need for natural gas pipeline
Daily Hampshire Gazette
Editorial

Every campaign season, interests from outside Massachusetts pony up to buy messages that mold public opinion. It is the American way in modern politics and it isn’t limited to issues decided on Election Day. Some campaigns, like the effort to build a new pipeline across Massachusetts, face different deadlines. Pipelines connect dots on a map. Before taking on faith messages from a new campaign called the Coalition to Lower Energy Costs, residents should connect some other dots. Here are two: ? Anthony Buxton. He is the Maine lawyer and lobbyist now serving as spokesman and general counsel for the coalition.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Nova Scotia approves disposal of five million litres of fracking waste
Brandon Sun


HALIFAX - An additional five million litres of treated hydraulic fracturing waste water will be disposed of at a Nova Scotia cement plant following a successful pilot project earlier this spring, the province's environment minister said Tuesday. Randy Delorey said he has approved a request from Atlantic Industrial Services to use the waste water at the Lafarge plant in Brookfield. The waste water is left over from drilling that occurred seven years ago. It will be used as a coolant in a kiln at the Lafarge plant and evaporated at 700 degrees Celsius after naturally occurring radioactive materials are put through a process called reverse osmosis. A previous pilot project of two million litres showed evaporation is a viable disposal solution for the province's existing hydraulic fracturing waste water, Delorey said.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
With students watching, Cayuga County Legislature sets public hearing on fracking byproducts law
Auburn Citizen
Ryan Deffenbaugh

AUBURN | When it was time to call October's Cayuga County Legislature meeting to order, it was the not the voice of Legislature Chairman Michael Chapman that sounded through the county chambers. Instead, it was Korey Kline's, a senior at Cato-Meridian High School. Kline was at the meeting along with hundreds of other students from local high schools as part of the county's annual Student Government Day. High school students were matched up with either legislators or representatives from the various branches of the Cayuga County government to spend a day in the life of a civil servant.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Scientists blame oil drilling for spike in number of baby deaths in Colorado town, but residents say its they depend on it
Daily Mail


Air pollution from oil and gas wells in Utah is being linked to the deaths of 13 infants last year - a rate six times higher than the national average. But the midwife who raised the alarm about the possible link has been targeted by threats and vandalism because drilling has helped the area in question prosper and kept thousands of people employed since the 1940s. The city of Vernal has 12,000 oil and gas wells, and some scientists whose research focuses on the effect of certain drilling-related chemicals on fetal development believe it could be the reason for the spike in infant deaths.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Arlington To Allow More Gas Drilling
CBS DFW


ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Arlington has allowed plans to go forward for more natural gas drilling despite two recent small earthquakes in the area. It’s not welcome news to some homeowners who are worried new drilling would put their homes in danger. “I have a young child. Yes, I’m definitely concerned about issues like that. But I think it’s for all of our children in Arlington. This is something we need to look into carefully,” said resident Ranjana Bhandari.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Town of Burns considering ban on oil, gas drilling
Olean Herald
Darlene M Donohue

BURNS — Town of Burns lawmakers will seek public input Wednesday night on banning hydraulic fracturing. Lauren Oliver, town supervisor, told the Times Herald on Monday that the town board is considering a ban on oil and gas drilling, including “hydrofracking.” The town has had a moratorium on oil and gas drilling for the last two years, but a public hearing is necessary to gauge the residents’ opinion on permanent ban, he said, adding the right for a municipality to choose to ban drilling was recently upheld by New York State’s Court of Appeals. According to court documents, it was upheld by 5-2 decision on June 30.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
La Habra Heights group files signatures for initiative to ban oil drilling, fracking
Whittier Daily News
Mike Sprague

LA HABRA HEIGHTS >> Members of the oil opposition group Heights Oil Watch on Monday submitted 515 signatures for an initiative that would stop the drilling of new wells for oil and gas, prohibit the reactivation of old wells, and create a ban on fracking. Of the 515, the group needs only 377 verified signatures in order to qualify for the March 3 City Council ballot, said City Manager Shauna Clark. “I’m happy with the one-week time frame we had available that we were able to get as many signatures as we did,” said Mike Hughes, the group’s president.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
The Vancouver Sun: Potential ban on LNG pipelines converting to oil
Energy City.ca


The B.C. government says it will block companies from converting any future natural gas pipelines into pipelines that could carry oil or diluted bitumen. The Vancouver Sun is reporting Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman says he has prepared new cabinet regulations that would effectively ban any company from building a natural gas pipeline and then, in the future, trying to “reverse” it to carry oil to the coast. The Sun story says the move is primarily to address concerns raised by First Nations whose territories could be impacted by natural gas pipelines built to feed proposed liquefied natural gas projects on the northwest coast.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
FERC Explores Polar Vortex Impact on Grid
ECT.coop
Cathy Cash

A repeat of last winter’s polar vortex is not in the forecast, but the impact of that extreme, sustained cold could be felt this winter with higher natural gas prices. That’s the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s staff assessment of the energy market for winter 2014-15. Below average natural gas storage, lower coal stockpiles, regional gas pipeline restrictions and increased reliance on natural gas for electricity are the haunting effects of the polar vortex that heightened energy consumption last winter, the FERC staff assessment said. These conditions are reflected in the current energy market. “Natural gas prices across most of the U.S. are between 15 and 30 percent higher than last September, primarily as a result of lower storage inventories,” the assessment said.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Vast generation gap on energy issues
Houston Chronicle
Chris Tomlinson

Young people are ready to pay higher prices for energy to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment, according to a new University of Texas poll, providing evidence of a vast generation gap on energy policy. Cynics may argue that the willingness to pay more for a cleaner environment is simply youthful idealism, but it could also reflect the outlook of people who are growing up in a more crowded world and therefore are more exposed to pollution and health problems. This is the generation with the highest rate of asthma ever recorded.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
N.S. approves plan to use fracking waste at cement plant
CTV News


HALIFAX -- Another five million litres of treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater will be disposed of at a Nova Scotia cement plant. Environment Minister Randy Delorey says he's approved a request from Atlantic Industrial Services to use the wastewater at the Lafarge plant in Brookfield. The wastewater is left over from drilling that happened seven years ago. RELATED STORIES Fracking ban bill is badly flawed, environmental coalition says N.S. introduces legislation for indefinite moratorium on fracking It will be used as a coolant in a kiln at the Lafarge plant and evaporated at 700 Celsius after naturally occurring radioactive materials are put through a process called reverse osmosis.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Should Fracking Be Banned?
KQED
Andrea Aust

Do Now Should fracking be banned? Why or why not? Introduction On Tuesday, November 4, 2014 three counties in California will decide by ballot whether or not to ban hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking.” It’s steeped in controversy, from the amount of water it uses to how and where that water–and added chemicals–are eventually disposed. In California, fracking is used mainly for the production of oil, but in other parts of the country it is used to mine natural gas. Fracking is one part of the process that brings an oil or gas well into production; that is, to allow oil and gas to be released from rocks underground and brought to the surface. During fracking, water, along with sand and chemicals, is injected into a well that may extend hundreds or thousands of feet beneath the surface. Pumping this watery mixture into the ground at high pressure causes cracks, or fractures, in the rocks. The sand in the mixture works to hold the cracks open, allowing the oil or gas to escape. Then, the fluid returns to the surface, bringing with it the sought-after oil, often additional groundwater, and other materials, such as salts and heavy metals. Oil is separated from the “produced” water, then the water is injected back deep into the rocks in a disposal well.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
ENVIRONMENTALISTS PROTEST FOR BAN ON FRACKING
The Daily Record
MARC KOVAC

COLUMBUS — Environmental advocates continued to urge Gov. John Kasich to ban horizontal hydraulic fracturing-related activities in the state, protesting outside the downtown hotel where the governor offered a midday speech. About half a dozen members of Radioactive Waste Alert and Food & Water Watch held signs proclaiming "Don't Frack My Water" and shouted at luncheon attendees, hoping to draw attention to the potential negative environmental impacts of horizontal drilling and oilfield waste disposal.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Stink Pink
Huffington Post
Phil Brown

Mainstream breast cancer organizations have been pushing "think pink" for everything imaginable, including lots of products that involve some of the same chemicals implicated in causing breast cancer. Eloquent essays and speeches by women's health leaders like Barbara Ehrenreich have been joined with the environmental health perspective of organizations like Breast Cancer Action and Breast Cancer Fund, to "think before you pink."  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Texas Oil And Gas Companies Must Now Research An Area’s Earthquake History Before Drilling
Think Progress
Katie Valentine

Oil and gas companies in Texas must now research seismic data for a given area before they can receive a permit to drill disposal wells, according to new rules from the Texas Railroad Commission. The agency, which is in charge of regulating oil and gas activity in the state, adopted new rules Tuesday that require oil and gas companies to “include a printed copy or screenshot” of the seismic data for the area they’re proposing to drill in their permit application. The seismic data will include instances of previous earthquakes in the 100-square-mile region around the proposed drilling site, and will help the Texas Railroad Commission determine what spots might be too risky for disposal of fracking waste. The rules also allow the agency to change, suspend or end a company’s permit for well disposal if the well is “likely to be or determined to be contributing to seismic activity.”  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Texas amends waste disposal rules for fracking
Fox 29


AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Railroad Commission has amended rules for disposal well operators amid concerns that high-pressure injections can trigger earthquakes. As of Nov. 17, disposal well operators must research U.S. Geological Survey data for a history of earthquakes within 100 square miles of a proposed well site before applying for a permit. The commission, the state's oil and gas regulator, can also modify or rescind a well permit if scientists determine a well is likely contributing to seismic activity. The amendments come as states grapple with how to respond to public anxiety over the risks of disposing of vast amounts of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Harming Kids? Town Residents Say Fracking a Health Hazard
CBN News
Heather Sells

DENTON, TX -- Across the country, oil and gas wells in places like Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Texas are behind what's known as the "shale revolution." A horizontal drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is the catalyst. It blasts rock with chemicals and sand, allowing access to reservoirs thousands of feet underground.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Four Ohio communities to vote on community bills of rights
Ohio.com
Bob Downing

From the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Defense Fund today: A record number of Community Bills of Rights citizens’ initiatives banning shale gas drilling and fracking are on the ballot in Ohio municipalities this November 4th. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) drafted each of the rights-based initiatives for Athens, Youngstown, Gates Mills, and Kent. Residents requested CELDF’s assistance to protect themselves from fracking and related activities, such as fracking wastewater injection wells, as both entered the state several years ago.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Activists Accuse Komen Foundation of Pink Washing Fracking Corporation
Uprising


The Susan G. Komen Foundation is in the news again and it’s not for a good reason – again. This time the nation’s leading foundation raising money for breast cancer research and awareness, has been shamed by activists for partnering with a company engaged in the controversial practice of fracking or hydraulic fracturing – a form of gas and oil extraction that uses toxic chemicals and contributes to pollution and climate change. The fracking company, Baker Hughes, showed off its partnership with Komen by proudly displaying drill bits painted bright pink with the tagline, “doing our bit for the cure.” The company is distributing a 1000 such bits to oil fields all over the world. The trouble with this obvious case of pink-washing is that some of the very same chemicals such as Naphthalene and Lead, that Komen Foundation lists on its website as potentially cancer-causing chemicals, are used by fracking companies to drill for oil and gas.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Election 2014: Governor’s candidates fractured over how to tax fracking
New Castle News
John Finnerty

Drillers seriously started fracking in Pennsylvania seven years ago, launching a swell in natural gas production that also tapped new sources of cash for the state. But the industry’s growth — and how to tax it — also has stirred ongoing controversy for Gov. Tom Corbett. And it now represents a key point of contention between the first-term Republican as he runs for re-election and his Democratic rival, businessman Tom Wolf. “Gov. Corbett’s record demonstrates that he is committed to not only raising new revenue from natural gas operators ... but that his first priority is protecting the environment,” said Patrick Henderson, Corbett’s energy adviser. “For three years prior to Gov. Corbett taking office, the only real discussion in Harrisburg was simply about raising new money.” Corbett has raised money from gas drillers, too, Henderson noted, collecting $630 million since he’s been in office. But environmentalists dispute Corbett’s record. They assert he’s too closely allied with the industry, at the expense of accountability. Even as the Corbett administration touts its oversight of the industry and penalties it has sought against law-breaking drillers, critics say most of the state’s regulation effort was in place before Corbett took office in January 2011.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Fracking company applies for London licence
BBC


A new energy firm run by pro-fracking pundit Nick Grealy says it has applied for licences to frack in London. London Local Power (LLP) has applied for permission to frack three blocks of land, two of which cover an area from Harrow in the North West to near Downing Street in central London. Mr Grealy told the BBC the company had secured funding for the first year of works and had no shortage of backers. The government has just closed licence applications for fracking in the UK.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Local bans on fracking up for vote in Utica Shale
EagleFordTexas.com
Daniel Moore

In this fall’s midterm races, hydraulic fracturing enjoys political support from many conservatives and liberals. President Barack Obama often touts it as a reason for new found energy independence. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, and Tom Wolf, his Democratic challenger, have generally disagreed only on how to tax it. Yet pockets of resistance to the extraction technique commonly known as fracking, which has revolutionized the oil and gas industry, have appeared in local governments across Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Mexico, California and even industry-friendly Texas. This fall, ballot issues in four Ohio towns above the Utica Shale formation — Gates Mills, Athens, Kent and Youngstown — ask voters to approve a community bill of rights that effectively outlaws natural gas drilling.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Cartels Can Make Fracking In Mexico Expensive And Dangerous
90.9 wbur


Next year, Mexico will open its energy sector to foreign investors for the first time in more than 75 years. Companies based in neighboring Texas stand to make a fortune by unlocking oil and gas trapped in Mexican shale plays, by means of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Getting at those hidden riches though could prove not just expensive, but dangerous. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Andrew Schneider of Houston Public Media reports.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Karoo fracking by winter 2016
News 24


Cape Town - The first exploratory drill head could be biting its way down through Karoo rock in search of shale gas by as early as mid-2016, according to the mineral resources department. Speaking to Sapa after briefing MPs on shale gas exploration licences, deputy director general for mineral policy Mosa Mabuza said hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, could start 12 to 18 months after licences were issued. Earlier, members of Parliament's land and mineral resources select committee heard the licences could be issued by July-August next year.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
When the Shale Runs Dry: A Look at the Future of Fracking
DeSmogBlog
SharonKelly

If you want to see the future of the shale industry — what today's drilling rush will leave behind — come to Bradford, Pennsylvania. A small city, it was home to one of America's first energy booms, producing over three quarters of the world's oil in 1877. A wooden oil rig towering over a local museum commemorates those heady days, marking the first “billion dollar oil field” in the world. But times have changed dramatically in Bradford. Most of the oil has been pumped out, leaving residents atop an aging oil field that requires complicated upkeep and mounting costs. Since its height in the 1940's, Bradford's population has steadily declined, leaving the city now home to only 8,600 people, down from over 17,000. The story of Bradford these days is a story of thousands of oil and gas wells: abandoned, uncapped, and often leaking.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Fracking Has Changed the Energy Policy Debate
Real Clear Politics
Adam O'Neal

Few policy objectives over the last half-century have proven as tantalizing for presidents as the call to achieve energy independence. In 1973 -- as a gasoline shortage consumed the nation -- President Richard Nixon outlined Project Independence 1980, “a series of plans and goals set to insure that by the end of this decade, Americans will not have to rely on any source of energy beyond our own.” Gerald Ford, in his 1975 State of the Union address, called for “a massive program” to ease demand and increase supply “to achieve the independence we want by 1985.” Jimmy Carter, more modestly, aimed for the United States to cut its dependence on foreign oil by half by the end of the 1980s.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Council Leader Voices Concerns Over Bath Fracking
NOW Bath


The Leader of the Council has told a national environmental conference of his concerns about fracking and how it could damage Bath’s natural Hot Springs. Councillor Paul Crossley yesterday told the Shale Gas Environmental Summit in London about how shale gas operations and hydro fracturing – commonly known as ‘fracking’ – could damage the supply of water to the Hot Springs. “The World Heritage City of Bath is home to the UK’s only natural Hot Springs. I have deep concerns about the fracking process and the possible damage to the supply of water the springs and the knock-on impact on the city as a major tourist attraction,” said Cllr Crossley. “The springs are the life blood of this city, which is cherished worldwide.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Astorino postpones tour of Penn. fracking site
SF Chronicle


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Republican candidate for governor in New York is putting off a visit to a Pennsylvania drilling site designed to highlight the benefits of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. A spokeswoman for Rob Astorino says the drilling operator didn't want reporters to be included and that the visit will be postponed until after Election Day.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
‘No fracking will take place on that site’ says chief behind California Quarry project as plans are unveiled
Daily Echo
Jim Durkin

SCORES of Purbeck residents attended an information event yesterday, outlining plans to explore for gas and oil from Swanage’s California Quarry. The drop-in event, at the town’s Mowlem Theatre, was organised by InfraStrata plc – the company behind the proposals.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Hurley Town Board OKs ban on use of fracking fluids on town roads
Daily Freeman
William J Kemble

HURLEY >> The Town Board has approved a resolution prohibiting fluids from the natural gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, from being used on town roads as a de-icing or dust control agent. The board voted 3-1 in favor of the resolution at a meeting Monday, with Councilman John Dittus opposed and Councilman John Gill absent. “We’re getting close to the chance for snow and ice,” town Supervisor Gary Bellows said. “This will insure that we will not have fracking fluids on the Hurley highways this year.”  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
O'Brien, Funke face off in final debate
Democrat & Chronicle
David Riley

With just a week before the Nov. 4 election, Democratic state Sen. Ted O'Brien and his Republican challenger, Rich Funke, faced off Monday night in their only televised debate, sparring over negative campaign ads, abortion and who's tied to downstate political interests. WHEC, or News10NBC, hosted the debate in the 55th Senate District race. Anchor Scott Kilbury, who moderated the forum, noted at the outset that Funke was a longtime sportscaster and news anchor for the station before retiring. The debate became most heated during a back-and-forth about campaign ads, with both candidates accusing the other of going negative first. Funke said O'Brien should have condemned a third-party ad that attacked Funke's views on women.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Debate held in Katherine sinks into gas exploration method fracking
abc.net.au


The exploration for gas and shale oil was again the focus of a community debate held in Katherine last night. Since several companies began operating in the Northern Territory, using equipment that fractures rock underground, some pastoralists and environmental groups have spoken out against the practice. The debate featured representatives from the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, NT Department of Mines and Energy, Environment Centre NT, Environmental Defenders Office and the NT Cattlemen's Association (NTCA).   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Moyne takes leading role in uniting councils against fracking
The Standard
Sean McComish

MOYNE Shire is leading a charge of Victorian councils against unconventional gas. Three councils, including Moyne Shire, put forward an anti-fracking motion that was passed at a gathering of council bosses in Melbourne at the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) last week.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Extraction taxes are on the ballot
High Country News
Jonathan Thompson

Something strange is happening in Wyoming economy. There’s an extraction boom, without jobs. Oil production in the Powder River Basin, formerly one of the nation’s hottest coalbed methane zones, has gone up from 38,000 barrels per day in 2009 to 78,000 per day earlier this year. An October report from the state’s Economic Analysis Division says that after the economy was battered by low natural gas prices during recent years, the oil industry is helping bolster it, “backed by about twice as many applications to drill as the previous year.”Yet the state’s overall employment remains stagnant. The number of jobs in the mining and logging sector, which includes oil and gas workers, grew by a mere .9 percent since this time last year, and it was already low due to the devastating natural gas price slump.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
BP: Tone Deaf to the End
Huffington Post
Robert Cavnar - opinion

Last week Geoff Morrell, a senior executive at BP, wrote an opinion piece for Politico, which perpetuated the continuous tone deafness exhibited by the global oil giant since their Macondo well blew out on April 20, 2010, instantly killing 11 men, injuring many other crew members and, lest we forget, flowing an estimated 5 million barrels of oil and untold natural gas over a period of 87 days. During that 87-day period, BP managed to avoid capturing (and measuring) the total flow from the well, even though they had vessels and equipment on site to do so. Who knows why; we do know this, though -- environmental fines are based on volume of oil spilled. BP has argued that, since total flow rate was never measured we have no way of calculating the volume. To this day the company disputes the US government's estimate of 4.2 million barrels spilled into the Gulf, arguing that it was half that. Obfuscating the volume is especially critical to BP today since federal judge Carl Barbier ruled in September that the company was guilty of gross negligence, which will cause the environmental fines to multiply to as much as an estimated $18 billion should the government's spill estimate stick.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Fracking: In the path of the ‘shale gale’
Financial Times
Barney Jopson

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/0/6d93d494-5dc5-11e4-b7a2-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3HURWEigN T he oil company had hoped that by taking only written questions from the residents, it could keep a lid on their emotions. But it was only seconds after the chief executive of Great Western Oil & Gas began the Q&A with the people of Windsor, Colorado, that the lid blew off. Before Rich Frommer could read out the first submission, Connie Reifschneider rose from her fold-up chair to interrupt him. “I’m shaking because I’m angry,” she said. The family-owned oil company’s plans would turn her neighbourhood of bike-riding kids, pastureland and wild deer into a health hazard scarred by drilling rigs, trucks, noise, dust and chemical pollutants, she said. “How can you and your family, with any conscience at all, disrupt and possibly ruin the lives of so many other families by drilling in such close proximity to so many homes?” Mr Frommer was already wealthy and his only concern, she said, was to enrich his family further. “Answer this please: when is enough money enough?”   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
State proposes limit on liquefied natural gas facilities
LoHudNews
Jon Campbell

Facilities storing liquefied natural gas would be capped at a maximum of 70,000 gallons under a new proposal Tuesday from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC last year proposed lifting the state's decades-old ban on storing liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which was first implemented in the 1970s after a deadly explosion on Staten Island. But the DEC's originally proposed regulations, which drew support from the gas industry and business groups and extensive opposition from anti-fracking organizations, did not include a limit on the size of potential storage facilities.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Texas residents want tighter drilling regulations
Sun Herald
MAX B. BAKER AND ROBERT CADWALLADER

MANSFIELD, TEXAS — When Tamera Bounds and her husband moved into their house six years ago they were looking for a place to retire, but one where their nine grandkids would enjoy visiting. Their 2,600-square-foot home on the northwest edge of town seemed perfect because it backed up to a green belt where they could sit on the back porch, drink a little wine and watch the cattle graze. Then a gas drilling rig moved in and Bounds said her tranquil life went up in a cloud of fumes.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Railroad Commission orders oil companies to check seismic data before drilling
Dallas News
James Osborne

The Texas Railroad Commission ruled Tuesday that oil and gas companies must check local seismic data from the U.S. Geological Survey before opening a new waste disposal well. The new rule follows a series of small but unexpected earthquakes almost 12 months ago around the North Texas town of Azle in the natural gas rich Barnett Shale. The earthquakes are under study by scientists at Southern Methodist University to determine if they were induced by nearby injection wells used to dispose of drilling waste. The railroad commission came under pressure from Azle residents and legislators earlier this year to move without definitive findings, which could be years away. Changes Tuesday also asserted the railroad commission’s right to shut down or deny an injection well if it were determined to potentially cause earthquakes.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Macomb approves anti-oil drilling moratorium
The Voice
Nicole Tuttle

On Oct. 22, the Macomb Township Board of Trustees adopted a resolution enacting a moratorium on all natural resource extraction activities for six months, earning applause from a group consisting of residents of Macomb and Shelby townships. At a Sept. 24 board meeting, a resolution to create a moratorium on well drilling was discussed by Lawrence Scott, the township’s attorney. Scott said he had emailed a revised resolution to the board and certain items had been removed pursuant to advice from the board. Township Clerk Michael Koehs had asked Scott if the moratorium could stop someone who received a permit from the state to drill. Scott said that it would not. A motion in favor of adopting the resolution was made on Sept. 24 by Macomb Township Treasurer Karen Goodhue, but failed for lack of support.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Drilling for oil and gas is on the decline in Michigan
Michigan Radio
Peter Payette

News of a decline might sound surprising since there has been so much excitement and controversy over horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," in recent years. But not many high-volume, horizontal wells were actually drilled since 2010, and the company that led the recent fracking boom has left the state. That leaves the industry and its watchdogs wondering where new action will come from.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Drilling Deeper: New Report Casts Doubt on Fracking Production Numbers
Huffington Post
Steve Horn

Post Carbon Institute has published a report and multiple related resources calling into question the production statistics touted by promoters of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"). By calculating the production numbers on a well-by-well basis for shale gas and tight oil fields throughout the U.S., Post Carbon concludes that the future of fracking is not nearly as bright as industry cheerleaders suggest. The report, "Drilling Deeper: A Reality Check on U.S. Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil & Shale Gas Boom," authored by Post Carbon fellow J. David Hughes, updates an earlier report he authored for Post Carbon in 2012. Hughes analyzed the production stats for seven tight oil basins and seven gas basins, which account for 88-percent and 89-percent of current shale gas production.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Will winter rescue gas stocks and prices?
Power Source
Anya Litvak

EQT chief executive Dave Porges, who last week was bemoaning the low natural gas prices that the oil and gas company has experienced over the past six months, is wishing for some cold weather. The good news is that winter is coming, EQT’s executives told analysts during the Downtown-based company’s earnings call. Holly Stewart, an analyst with Howard Weil Inc., sympathized. “We’re sure hoping for that winter,” she said. “Yeah, no kidding,” Mr. Porges replied. Yet that much anticipated winter, which the Energy Information Administration is projecting to be 12 percent warmer than last year’s, might not bring a dramatic rebound to Marcellus Shale gas prices or the gas company’s stock price.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Watch LNG methane gas spill in action and the environmental impact it can cause
Vancouver Sun
Rob Shaw

The basic physics of LNG - A demonstration about what happens to the environment when LNG, methane gas spills or burns.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
VT GAS PIPELINE PROTESTERS OCCUPY GOVERNOR’S OFFICE
VT Digger
John Herrick

MONTPELIER — Hundreds of environmental protesters occupied the governor’s office on Monday, demanding that Gov. Peter Shumlin reverse his support for the natural gas pipeline through Addison County, and oppose any other fossil fuel infrastructure projects in Vermont. State regulators approved the project last December, and the company began construction this summer. The protesters danced, sang and played instruments to protest Vermont Gas’ 41-mile pipeline from Colchester south to Middlebury.   [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
The Revolution That Wasn’t: Why the Fracking Phenomenon Will Leave Us High and Dry
Post Carbon Institute
Asher Miller

A new, landmark report shows that hopes of a long-term golden era in American oil & gas production are unfounded. America’s energy landscape has undergone a dramatic shift over the last decade—literally and figuratively—as a result of the widespread use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). Whole areas of the country have been transformed in a matter of months, while the fossil fuel industry has reversed the decades-long decline in crude oil production and increased natural gas production to record highs. Thanks to shale gas and tight oil (“shale oil”), by 2013 annual crude oil production was 24% higher and natural gas was 20% higher compared to just ten years earlier.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2014
Evacuations Lifted, Scene Secured at Jefferson County Well Pad Site
WTRF NEWS 7 WV


A release from the Jefferson County 911 Center states: "As of 6:45 Wednesday morning, the emergency at the well pad site on Twp Road 184 in Jefferson County is over. The site is secure and danger has passed. All evacuations have been lifted and all residents may return to their homes" Stay with 7News for any further updates on this story ORIGINAL STORY: A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for a two mile radius after a gas well head was sheared off by crews working at a site near Cross Creek Twp. 187 and County Road 26. The order has been issued by the Jefferson County Office of Homeland Security and EMA.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Drilling Deeper - A Reality Check on US Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil and Shale Gas Boom
Post Carbon Institute
David Hughes

Abstract Drilling Deeper reviews the twelve shale plays that account for 82% of the tight oil production and 88% of the shale gas production in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reference case forecasts through 2040. It utilizes all available production data for the plays analyzed, and assesses historical production, well- and field-decline rates, available drilling locations, and well-quality trends for each play, as well as counties within plays. Projections of future production rates are then made based on forecast drilling rates (and, by implication, capital expenditures). Tight oil (shale oil) and shale gas production is found to be unsustainable in the medium- and longer-term at the rates forecast by the EIA, which are extremely optimistic.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council tells London conference fracking could destroy Bath's world famous Hot Springs
Bath Chronicle
Nancy Connelly

Bath’s world famous hot springs, which bring in millions of pounds from tourism to the city every year, could be badly damaged if fracking is allowed to go ahead, a conference in London heard today. Leader of Bath and North East Somerset council Paul Crossley travelled to the capital to address the Shale Gas Environmental Summit, and explain how a fracking licence for Bath could be disastrous for our biggest tourist attraction.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Experts will debate fracking Monday in Farmers Branch
Dallas Business Journal
Nicholas Sakelaris

Two high-profile experts will debate the merits of hydraulic fracking Monday at Brookhaven College Geotechnology Institute in Farmers Branch. Pro-fracking filmmaker Phelim McAleer will debate Calvin Tillman, the outspoken former mayor of DISH who took on the oil and gas industry in that town.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
New report discovers some permitted fracking chemicals are more dangerous than diesel
Hydrogen Fuel News


Not all dangerous chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations need to be disclosed. A recent report – “Fracking’s Toxic Loophole” – that was released by the Environmental Integrity Project, describes how there is a major loophole in the regulations that govern fracking because while permits are required for diesel fuel if it is used in wells, other petroleum-based products that have higher toxicity levels than diesel, can be used without permits or safeguards.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Future of Fracking Not Nearly as Bright as Forecasted
EcoWatch
Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog

Post Carbon Institute has published a report calling into question the production statistics touted by promoters of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. By calculating the production numbers on a well-by-well basis for shale gas and tight oil fields throughout the U.S., Post Carbon concludes that the future of fracking is not nearly as bright as industry cheerleaders suggest.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
The Politics of Fracking: Polarization in New York State
EcoWatch
Hayley Martinez

In September, The Earth Institute hosted Tanya Heikkila and Chris Weible of the University of Colorado Denver for a seminar on The Political Landscape of Shale Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing in New York. The seminar was attended by students, faculty and staff from across Columbia, and members of the local community. Professors Heikkila and Weible presented the results of their study, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, looking at fracking perceptions in three study sites: New York, Texas and Colorado. The following is an overview of the results.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
4 Reasons Natural Gas Is a Bridge to Nowhere in the Caribbean
EcoWatch
Jesse Morris & Kaitlyn Bunker, Ph.D., Rocky Mountain Institute

Caribbean island residents pay some of the highest retail electricity prices in the world. Most islands generate 90 - 100 percent of their electricity by burning expensive imported diesel or heavy fuel oil in large generators. Thus Caribbean electricity users pay between $0.20 and $0.50/kWh (kilowatt hour). By comparison, the average for mainland U.S. residential customers is $0.13/kWh; in Hawaii, where they burn oil for much of their electricity, the average is $0.39/kWh.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Flawed studies can make you sick
EARTHWORKS
Nadia Steinzor

The idea that “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” may sometimes work on a personal level—but it couldn’t be further from the truth for communities living on the frontlines of gas development. Yet the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) doesn’t seem to have any problem hiding information from the people who most need it. News broke this week that the basic conclusion of a widely touted DEP study on air pollution near gas wells and facilities—that detected contaminants wouldn’t trigger health problems—was wrong. As revealed through court depositions, DEP didn’t calculate the health hazards of most of the chemicals it tested for and no one with expertise in toxicology or health reviewed results. This on top of the welll-documented fact that DEP’s equipment was calibrated so high that many contaminants appeared “undetected,” and that DEP clearly stated in the study report that the testing was too limited to tell whether chronic health impacts might occur. Such shoddy work certainly erodes public trust in a public agency. But the bigger problem is that missing information and lax oversight are linked to very real health and environmental impacts, as Earthworks recently documented in Blackout in the Gas Patch: How Pennsylvania Residents are Left in the Dark on Health and Enforcement.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Natural gas production soars in W.Va.'s Northern Panhandle as drilling increases
Daily Journal
Associated Press

WHEELING, West Virginia — Natural gas production in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle has soared as drilling has increased in the Marcellus and Utica shales. The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register (http://bit.ly/1w8phJ1 ) reports that state data show natural gas production in Ohio County jumped from 84,000 cubic feet in 2011 to 22.6 billion cubic feet in 2013.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Energy Companies Are Spending Millions to Fight Local Fracking Bans Because They're Terrified
New Republic
Cole Stangler

When the nation's shale-drilling boom began six years ago, few Americans knew how oil and gas companies were able to extract such vast quantities of oil and gas with historic efficacy. Fewer, for that matter, even cared. Today, the industry's relentless pursuit of shale rock is hard to ignore. So too are the studies that link its preferred extraction technique, hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), to water contamination, air pollution, earthquakes, and greenhouse gas emissions. These concerns have led dozens of local governments—from Colorado to New York and Pennsylvania—to ban fracking outright. Voters in two California counties and in Denton, Texas, may add to that tally next week, when they decide whether to outlaw fracking. City and county-level ballot initiatives may seem like small beans, but the energy industry's response suggests otherwise. In each race, it's ludicrously outspending its opponents—fearful, perhaps, if these voters can beat the fracking industry at the ballot box, it would signal to other threatened communities that these sorts of fights are worth picking.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
U.S. Energy Policies Based on Inflated Fracking Predictions: Post Carbon Institute Report
desmogblog
Julie Dermansky

Economic predictions about the fracking industry's potential growth have for the most part gone unquestioned — until now. A new report from the Post Carbon Institute exposes highly inflated forecasts and concludes that the amount of oil that can be tapped by hydraulic fracturing cannot be maintained at the levels assumed beyond 2020. The report, “Drilling Deeper: A Reality Check on US Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil & Shale Gas Boom,” says inflated forecasts from the Energy Information Administration have fostered a lack of urgency to transition to renewable energy. The report also looks at the oil industry's increased pressure to relax restrictions on fracking and change oil and gas export rules.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
North Texas Town Could Become First In The State To Ban Fracking
NPR
Mose Buchele

In Texas, early voting is underway ahead of the Nov. 4 election. In the north Texas town of Denton, that means people are deciding whether they want to ban the oil and gas drilling method known as "fracking." The outcome of that vote will have repercussions across the state.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Environmental benefits of LNG exaggerated in absence of strong policies to combat climate change: Pembina Report
VanCouver Sun
Larry Pynn

The environmental benefits of LNG exports are being exaggerated in the absence of strong policies to combat climate change, a report Monday by the Pembina Institute concludes. The report seeks to put the lie to the B.C. government’s claim in its February 2014 throne speech that exporting LNG is the “greatest single step British Columbia can take to fight climate change.” Proponents of LNG terminals and pipelines have also used their environmental assessment applications to argue that greenhouse gas emissions from their projects are not significant, the report finds. The primary argument is that LNG exports allow reductions in coal use for electricity generation in Asia, leading to lower greenhouse gas emissions.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Finally, a Way to Hold Frackers Responsible for Water Pollution
Care2
Kevin Mathews

Environmentalists have been pretty darn confident that fracking leaks are responsible for polluting nearby waterways. Surely, it’s not a coincidence that when fracking wells go up, dangerous toxins start appearing in the water supply. Actually proving that the fracking companies are responsible, however, has been a whole problem in itself. For some time, the fracking industry has relied on plausible deniability to continue its harmful practices, but that might not work anymore thanks to a new scientific discovery. An all-star team of researchers from Dartmouth, the French Geological Survey and Stanford University have discovered a way to easily identify the source of a particular contamination. This discovery is welcome progress, and certainly will be helpful in holding fracking companies responsible for their messes.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
The Overnighters (4 stars) Jesse Moss's oil fracking documentary exposes the myth of the American dream
List Film
Nikki Baughan

Ostensibly a portrait of one man's kindness, The Overnighters paints a far broader picture of the realities of modern life: environmental change, worker migration, the decline of community, the increasing wealth divide and, perhaps most fundamentally, the fallacy of the American dream. The notion that any man can pull himself up by his bootstraps is fundamental to the nation's psyche, and yet proves a fantasy for most. When the people of Williston are faced with the reality that pursuing a fair chance may come with distasteful baggage, they soon turn their backs on the constitutional and religious morals to which they pledge such allegiance.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
More symptoms of health problems near fracking
Beta Wired


Research conducted from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, United States, has found a higher incidence of symptoms of certain health problems reported by people living near natural gas wells, mostly operated by hydraulic fracturing, a technique popularly known as fracking. The study is published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, National Institutes of Health, a group of institutions under the government of the United States. Little is known about the environmental impact on public health and certain techniques of extraction of natural gas, including fracking, applied close to residential areas.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Poisoned by the shale? Investigations leave questions in oil tank deaths
EE News
Mike Soraghan

KILLDEER, N.D. -- Dustin Bergsing was 21 and six weeks a father when he arrived here at Marathon Oil Corp.'s Buffalo 34-12H well pad, a square of red gravel carved into a low hill. By dawn, he was dead. A co-worker found him shortly after midnight, slumped below the open hatch of a tank of Bakken Shale crude oil. It was Bergsing's job to pop the hatch and record how much was inside. An autopsy found he died of "hydrocarbon poisoning due to inhalation of petroleum vapors."  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Pennsylvania-N.Y. pipeline clears key federal hurdle
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—A pipeline that will bring more of Pennsylvania's fracked gas to New York cleared another key federal hurdle on Friday. The Constitution Pipeline will run 124 miles from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania to Schoharie County, which is west of Albany.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Algonquin Pipeline hot issue in 40th Senate District
The Journal News
Elizabeth Ganga

A project to replace the Algonquin Pipeline in parts of Rockland, Westchester and Putnam has become a hotly-contested issue in the race to be the next state senator from the 40th District. Residents around the region have protested the project, which will replace the existing 26-inch diameter pipe with a 42-inch pipe and reroute it in some spots. Republican Terrence Murphy and Democrat Justin Wagner, and the parties and outside groups that have been pouring money into their race, have seized on the issue to galvanize voters.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Officials Join Forces to Bash Pipeline at Peekskill Rally
The Examiner
Rick Pezzullo

Representatives from municipalities directly affected by a proposed expansion of natural gas pipeline banded together Saturday in Peekskill to vehemently oppose the controversial project. “This pipeline is frightening. It is not safe for our communities,” said Courtney Williams, a cancer research scientist and member of Concerned Peekskill Residents (CPR). “This pipeline is bad for animals, wetlands, humans, particularly for children and the elderly,” said Nancy Vann of Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion. “We all stand together. We’re a family of cities and towns.”  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Gov. Corbett Signs Bill Weakening Stream Buffer Requirements Into Law
PA Environment Digest


Gov. Corbett Wednesday signed into law House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) that environmental groups say weakens DEP requirements for stream buffers in Special Protection Watersheds. It is now Act 162.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Gov. Corbett Signs Bill Authorizing 1-House Veto Of PA Climate Plan
PA Environment Digest


On Wednesday, Gov. Corbett signed into law House Bill 2354 (Snyder-D-Fayette) which authorizes a one-House of the General Assembly to veto any greenhouse gas emission reduction plan required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is now Act 175.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
CAC: DEP Extends Comment Period On Oil & Gas Enforcement Policy Changes
PA Environment Digest


Kurt Klapkowski, Director of DEP’s Bureau of Oil and Gas Planning and Program Management, told the DEP Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday the agency will be extending the public comment period for proposed changes to the Oil and Gas Program Enforcement Policy until November 18. (formal notice)  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
House Republican Policy Committee Discusses Opportunities For Natural Gas
PA Environment Digest


The House Republican Policy Committee held a hearing Wednesday at Bucks County Community College Upper Campus in Perkasie to learn about the potential benefits of using Pennsylvania’s natural gas.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Companies lobby Cuomo administration state for pipeline approvals
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Two companies that want to bring more natural gas into New York have been lobbying the Cuomo administration and state regulators for approval of new pipeline projects. The lobbying efforts come as the state has delayed a decision on fracking.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Fracking’s Slow-Motion Train Wreck Revealed In New Report
Clean Technica
Tina Casey

If you are one of those people who smell the stench of bust behind today’s fracking-fueled oil and gas boom, the Post Carbon Institute has an early Christmas present for you. In its latest report, the organization makes the case that US shale oil and gas reserves will peak and drop off rapidly, long before officially predicted by the US Energy Information Agency.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Uncertainty still looms over fracking in Illinois
The Southern


More than 15 months after Gov. Pat Quinn signed fracking legislation into law, uncertainty still hovers over the future of the controversial industry in Illinois. Fracking supporters claim rule making for the legislation has been held up by a cumbersome commenting process set up by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources while fracking opponents view the delay as necessary to ensure a "dangerous" practice is made as safe as possible.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
St. Tammany Parish can proceed with fracking lawsuit, judge rules
Times-Picayune
Robert Rhoden

BATON ROUGE - St. Tammany Parish's lawsuit seeking to block fracking can move forward, a judge ruled Monday (Oct. 27), rejecting the state's request to dismiss the case. Judge William Morvant of the 19th Judicial District Court made his decision after hearing about 40 minutes of oral arguments from attorneys for the parish and the state Department of Natural Resources' Office of Conservation.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Scientists find a way to make fracking less horrible for the environment
Engadget
Jon Fingas

Using fracking (hydraulic fracturing) to get oil or gas may fulfill energy needs, but it has a nasty impact on the environment. Among other things, it leaves behind extremely salty water. However, scientists at both MIT and the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals have found technology that could soften the blow. Their approach filters output water through multiple stages of electrodialysis, which uses electrical charges to pull salt through a membrane. This wouldn't make the water drinkable, but it would be reusable -- and that, in turn, would reduce or even eliminate the need for fresh water beyond an initial supply. Oil and gas wells wouldn't deprive local communities of nearly as much drinking or farming water, and they wouldn't have to dispose of quite so many contaminated liquids.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Satellite Dishes Can Turn Toxic Waste From Fracking Into Clean Water
Gizmodo
Sarah Shang

In the past few years, earthquakes in Oklahoma have been on the mysterious rise—the state has had more earthquakes than even California. Why? One big fat finger has been pointed at fracking, in which toxic wastewater is injected into wells that can leak and lubricate faults. We clearly need a better solution for this wastewater, and that solution may involve satellite dishes.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
On the Fracking Ban-Wagon in Denton The North Texas town will soon decide whether to become the first city in Texas to ban fracking.
Texas Observer
Priscila Mosqueda

One day in August 2013, Alyse Ogletree was turning onto her street in a new, unfinished development in Denton when she saw them. Across from her new home: tall, bulky walls that looked like tan sheets attached to rusting metal poles. She had no idea what to make of them. What were they hiding? Weeks later, she got her answer. Eagle Ridge Energy left a notice on her door explaining that the fracking company would be drilling a natural gas well across the street. The walls, the notice explained, were meant to reduce the noise. Alyse and her husband Lance, both in their 20s, had just bought their spacious brick home two years before, never expecting to discover their savings had gone into a house that would eventually have an industrial nightmare for a neighbor.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Judge: St. Tammany fracking case deserves judicial review
WWITV
Ashley Rodrigue

BATON ROUGE, La. - A Baton Rouge judge said Monday that while he doesn't have the authority to decide a case that could have a big impact on the possibility of fracking on the northshore, he said the issue is worth considering and deserves judicial review.   [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Marcellus expert says more scrutiny needed of fracking near Marshall chemical plant
Eagle Ford Texas
Ken Ward, Jr.

One of the nation’s best-known experts on the Marcellus Shale concluded that more investigation is needed before a Houston firm is allowed to move forward with natural gas wells near the site of a “near-catastrophic” fracking incident at a Marshall County chemical plant. Penn State geologist Terry Engelder, who did groundbreaking work about the gas reserves available in the Marcellus formation, testified in a Pennsylvania case in which Axiall Corp. was trying to delay and force a more detailed review of its plans for hydraulic fracturing wells at Axiall’s manufacturing plant in Natrium.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2014
Group urges fracking moratorium in Windsor
Coloradoan
Adrian D. Garcia

A Boulder lawyer and an anti-fracking activist told people gathered Thursday evening in Windsor that they should learn more about the oil and gas industry, organize and not rule out asking the town to impose a moratorium on fracking.   [Full Story]

Oct 26, 2014
Hearing hears only one resident
New Castle News
Mary Grzebleniak

More than a dozen people signed up to speak against a new wellpad in Pulaski Township. But township solicitor Richard Harper determined only one of them — a woman who lives within 200 feet — would be allowed to testify.  [Full Story]

Oct 26, 2014
Offshore Drilling: Big Oil Hits a Gusher of Oil and Gas Discoveries
Motley Fool
Matt DiLallo

Big oil might be reeling from plunging crude oil prices, but that's not stopping these companies from drilling for oil offshore. This week, the industry hit the jackpot, announcing several major oil and gas discoveries around the world. Let's take a quick trip around the world to see where big oil made the discoveries that will fuel the world in the years ahead.   [Full Story]

Oct 26, 2014
2-county district planned to track fracking water
Hattiesburg American
Associated Press

LIBERTY, Miss. — Amite and Wilkinson counties plan a two-county water district to oversee the use of billions of gallons of water that will be needed for hydraulic fracturing at oil wells.   [Full Story]

Oct 26, 2014
This man wants to stop America’s salad bowl from being fracked
Grist
Tara Lohan

His latest crusade is something of a surprise, even to himself. Not the running for office part, but the one where he became outspoken about the risks of fracking — the oil and gas industry’s controversial practice of blasting water, sand, and chemicals underground at high pressure to release oil and gas. He got “suckered into the dark world of giving a crap,” he tells me, tongue-in-cheek. At first Mitchell, a career military guy and aerospace engineer, might seem an unlikely person to become an anti-fracking activist — but that’s only if you have a limited view of fracking’s impacts, and Mitchell doesn’t.  [Full Story]

Oct 26, 2014
Letter: Say no to fracking; say yes to Eldridge
Times Herald Record
Ramsay Adams--Letter to the Editor

This November, voters have a clear choice. One of the candidates in the race for New York’s 19th Congressional District, supports fracking and the other opposes it. I am voting for Sean Eldridge because as a small business owner, and father of two in Sullivan County, I am concerned about the threat fracking poses to our drinking water.   [Full Story]

Oct 26, 2014
Dead babies near oil drilling sites raise questions for researchers
Denver Post
Nancy Lofholm

For some reason, one that is not known and may never be, Beau and a dozen other infants died in this oil-booming basin last year. Was this spike a fluke? Bad luck? Or were these babies victims of air pollution fed by the nearly 12,000 oil and gas wells in one of the most energy-rich areas in the country? Some scientists whose research focuses on the effect of certain drilling-related chemicals on fetal development believe there could be a link.   [Full Story]

Oct 26, 2014
Political giving goes green
Crains New York


In the battle to control the New York state Senate, the real estate industry is spending big to help Republicans, while teachers' unions are lavishing funds on Democrats. But oddly, the two sides have lately been pouring money into the same outside group: the New York League of Conservation Voters' political action committee, which is aiding Republican and Democratic Senate candidates.   [Full Story]

Oct 26, 2014
For 4th time, Youngstown voters asked to ban fracking
Vindy.com
David Skolnick

Youngstown voters have rejected the anti-fracking Community Bill of Rights charter amendment three times, but supporters says they won’t give up even if it’s defeated again in the Nov. 4 election.   [Full Story]

Oct 26, 2014
Drilling Deeper: New Report Casts Doubt on Fracking Production Numbers
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog

Post Carbon Institute has published a report and multiple related resources calling into question the production statistics touted by promoters of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).   [Full Story]

Oct 26, 2014
Egypt slated to get Israeli natural gas
New Europe


US company Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group, which are in control of one of the largest natural gas basins off the coast of Israel - the Tamar field - announced their intention to sign an export deal with Egypt.   [Full Story]

Oct 25, 2014
Colorado task force tours Weld County drilling, fracking sites
Bakken.com


The tour was meant to give a fact-based foundation for the group Gov. John Hickenlooper tasked with reconciling the state’s financial interest in a healthy oil and gas industry with some voters’ claim that drilling fracking is harmful to the environment and to surrounding landowners. Over 4 1/2 hours, members of the task force and other concerned parties peppered Anadarko employees and Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission officials with questions about water use, noise levels, effects on agriculture and disclosure of chemicals used.  [Full Story]

Oct 25, 2014
Komen acceptance of drilling-linked money raises ire
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Katelyn Ferral

n the race to raise awareness and find a cure for breast cancer, there is division among advocates. Supporters of Breast Cancer Action are protesting the decision of fellow breast cancer awareness group, Susan G. Komen, to accept a $100,000 donation from Baker Hughes, the Houston-based supplier of equipment for the oil and gas drilling industry. Baker Hughes CEO Martin Craighead is scheduled to present the check to Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker at the Steelers game at Heinz Field on Sunday.   [Full Story]

Oct 25, 2014
Revised Butler Township rules won't apply to Krendale Golf Course drilling
TribLive
Rick Wills

Any change in Butler Township's zoning ordinance will be too late to stop fracking at the Krendale Golf Course, township officials said. The township commissioners voted unanimously last week to have the solicitor draft a revised zoning ordinance to prohibit fracking in residential areas.   [Full Story]

Oct 25, 2014
Methane Leaks Wipe Out Any Climate Benefit Of Fracking, Satellite Observations Confirm
Energy Collective


Satellite observations of huge oil and gas basins in East Texas and North Dakota confirm staggering 9 and 10 percent leakage rates of heat-trapping methane. “In conclusion,” researchers write, “at the current methane loss rates, a net climate benefit on all time frames owing to tapping unconventional resources in the analyzed tight formations is unlikely.”  [Full Story]

Oct 25, 2014
Oil and gas and earthquakes
Bakken.com
Zach Koppang

Numerous studies have found earthquakes to be connected with hydraulic fracturing, and Ohio oil and gas regulators are dealing with the implications, reports Columbus Business First. Earthquakes have been linked to wastewater disposal wells, or the injection of fracking fluids back into the earth, but the quakes created are generally too low magnitude for people to notice. One instance, near Youngstown, Ohio, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) determined there was “a probable connection to hydraulic fracturing near a previously unknown microfault,” prompting more strict monitoring rules.   [Full Story]

Oct 25, 2014
Marcellus expert says more scrutiny needed of fracking near Marshall chemical plant
The Charleston Gazette
Ken Ward Jr.

One of the nation’s best-known experts on the Marcellus Shale concluded that more investigation is needed before a Houston firm is allowed to move forward with natural gas wells near the site of a “near-catastrophic” fracking incident at a Marshall County chemical plant. Penn State geologist Terry Engelder, who did groundbreaking work about the gas reserves available in the Marcellus formation, testified in a Pennsylvania case in which Axiall Corp. was trying to delay and force a more detailed review of its plans for hydraulic fracturing wells at Axiall’s manufacturing plant in Natrium. “There are certainly things that can be done to gather more information that would help in understanding,” Engelder testified during a June hearing in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. “One would hope that information would be gathered.” Engelder and another Axiall expert, petroleum engineer Brun Hilbert, testified concerns that Gastar’s wells could lead to a repeat of an incident last year that Axiall blames on high-pressure fracking fluids being used by another company, Triad Hunter, to release natural gas from the Marcellus Shale at a well site across the Ohio River.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Outrage Continues at Susan G. Komen’s ‘Frack for the Cure’ Pinkwashing Campaign
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in what seems to be getting to be a regular occurrence, it’s bringing unwanted awareness to the activities of Susan G. Komen for the Cure (SGK), the behemoth of breast cancer charities, founded in 1982.  [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Astorino postpones tour of fracking sites
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has postponed a visit to fracking wells of Pennsylvania because, he says, energy companies won't allow journalists to accompany him. Instead, his campaign said, he will visit the sites after the Nov. 4 election. Earlier this month, Astorino promised to visit fracking sites in Pennsylvania. He is a supporter of the industry and a significant part of his economic program is based on allowing a robust fracking industry to grow in New York. Astorino has said that, if elected, he would allow fracking to begin in New York within 90 days.  [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
BASF, an Industrial Pillar in Germany, Leans Abroad
The New York Times
STANLEY REED and MELISSA EDDY

Industry leaders criticize Berlin for not adopting policies that might bring down fuel costs, including allowing exploration for shale gas. A big impediment to encouraging shale development is that extracting the gas often involves hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which environmentalists oppose. BASF has a unit, Wintershall, that is the largest oil and gas producer in Germany. The company has large exploration tracts for shale gas in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Mr. Schwager, the BASF executive, estimates that fracking could produce enough shale gas to either satisfy Germany’s own needs for 10 years or maintain current gas production levels for a couple of centuries. But the company has been prevented from drilling for the fuel because of concerns about water pollution and other hazards. Even its conventional gas operations, Germany’s largest, have been hobbled by a moratorium on fracking, Mr. Schwager says.  [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Crude Oil Transport Project Halted In California After Environmentalists Sue
DeSmogBlog
Mike G

Back in August, DeSmog reported on California environmentalists stopping “stealth carbon bombs” in their communities. Now they're celebrating another victory as a dangerous—and illegal—crude oil transport project in Sacramento has been halted as well. According to a report by the Sacramento Bee last March, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District first caught InterState Oil Company, a fuel distributor, offloading ethanol without a permit in the fall of 2012. Inspectors with the AQMD then caught InterState transloading crude oil from trains to trucks bound for Bay Area refineries in September of last year, again without a permit.  [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Coalition pushes for natural gas pipeline
The Boston Globe
Jay Fitzgerald

The battle over building natural gas pipelines in New England is escalating. A new coalition of large industrial users of electricity is planning to launch a cable television ad blitz next week that pushes for new pipelines in New England to boost the flow of natural gas to the region and, the group says, lower energy prices. The Coalition to Lower Energy Costs — whose formation was spearheaded by a Maine lawyer with ties to a Texas company that wants to build a new gas pipeline in Massachusetts — plans to start running 30-second TV ads on Monday on NECN, MSNBC, CNN, Discovery, History Channel, and other cable channels. The lawyer, Tony Buxton, would not disclose how much the coalition is spending on the campaign, but said the commercial will run hundreds of times during the  [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
NPR Guts Its Environment And Climate Reporting Team, Becomes ‘Part Of The Problem’
ThinkProgress
Joe Romm

NPR has gutted its staff dedicated to covering environmental and climate issues. Given the nation’s and world’s renewed focus on the threat posed by unrestricted carbon pollution, this baffling move is already receiving widespread criticism from scientists and media watchers. It is “a sad commentary on the current state of our media,” as one top climatologist told me. Katherine Bagley broke the story for InsideClimate News. She reports that earlier in 2014, NPR “had three full-time reporters and one editor dedicated” to cover environmental and climate issues within NPR’s science desk. Now, shockingly, “One remains — and he is covering it only part-time.”  [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Astorino postpones tour of fracking sites
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has postponed a visit to fracking wells of Pennsylvania because, he says, energy companies won't allow journalists to accompany him. Instead, his campaign said, he will visit the sites after the Nov. 4 election.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
EPA chief: Public tired of debating climate change
The Hill
Peter Sullivan

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy said Friday that the public does not want more "debate or discussion" about climate change, but government action. "First, people overwhelmingly consider climate change to be a problem—and they want action, not more debate or discussion," McCarthy said in a speech at Georgetown University.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
NPR Reduces Its Environment Team to One Reporter
Inside Climate News
Katherine Bagley

NPR says move to shift reporters off the environment beat was driven by an interest to cover other fields more in depth. NPR has cut back on the number of staffers focused solely on the environment and climate change. Earlier this year, the news outlet had three full-time reporters and one editor dedicated to covering the issue within NPR's science desk. One remains—and he is covering it only part-time.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Tool to detect ‘frac fluids’
IOL SciTech


Cape Town - Scientists have developed a geochemical tracer which can identify whether the fluids used in shale gas fracking – which include toxic chemicals – have been released into the surrounding environment and the water supply.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Landfill drops request for tenfold radiation increase
Detroit Free Press
Keith Matheny

Gov. Snyder has convened a panel looking at regulations on disposing of technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive materials A Wayne County hazardous waste landfill, under scrutiny for taking other state's low-activity radioactive wastes from oil and gas fracking, has withdrawn a request to state regulators to increase its allowed radiation limits tenfold.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Outrage Continues at Susan G. Komen’s ‘Frack for the Cure’ Pinkwashing Campaign
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in what seems to be getting to be a regular occurrence, it’s bringing unwanted awareness to the activities of Susan G. Komen for the Cure (SGK), the behemoth of breast cancer charities, founded in 1982.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Companies Are Fracking With Harmful Chemicals Through Regulatory Loophole
Think Progress
Katie Valentine

Oil and gas companies are using a loophole in federal regulations to use dangerous chemicals in hydraulic fracturing operations without a permit, according to a new report. The report, published this week by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), found that some oil and gas companies are using petroleum-based liquids in their fracking operations, liquids that can contain harmful chemicals like benzene.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Legislative panel signs off on new rules for fracking
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sean Whaley

CARSON CITY — A legislative panel on Friday signed off on new rules for oil and gas companies to follow for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Nevada. The Legislative Commission approved the regulations submitted by the state Division of Minerals. The Commission on Mineral Resources in August approved the regulations, which have drawn protests from opponents who are concerned the process could lead to groundwater contamination and excessive use of groundwater in drought-stricken Nevada.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Baker Hughes Fights Breast Cancer With Pink Fracking Drill Bits
Triple Pundit
Eric Justian

Paint it pink. Why not? The pink-ification of just about everything to raise breast cancer awareness may have run up against its limits with pink oil drill bits. In a world with pink AR-15s, pink trash bins, pink soup cans, and pink everything else now Baker Hughes, a leader in hydraulic fracturing equipment, is painting pink 1000 drill bits used in fracking. The reason? To raise breast cancer awareness among the hard working mostly-men in oil fields.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Colorado’s fracking regulators aren’t regulating
Grist
Heather Smith

Now, a new study by Tara Opsal and Tara O'Connor Shelley — two sociologists at Colorado State — suggests that the Hector Zertuches of this world are pretty rare in the landscape of the fracking boom. Both researchers specialize in something called “green criminology” — more or less, how societies respond to environmental crimes. In this study, Opsal and O’Connor Shelley downloaded 2,444 individual oil- and gas-related complaints from a database maintained by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). They began trying to contact the original people who had submitted the complaints (not all included contact information), and managed to set up interviews with 65 of them, all over the state.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Fracking drives growth in sand mining, health questions
Green Bay Press Gazette
Sean Cockerham

WASHINGTON – Demand is exploding for the huge amounts of sand used in fracking, creating a windfall for mines from Texas to Wisconsin but leading to worries about the health impacts of breathing silica dust.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
Cuomo delays NY fracking study release until after election
NY Post


Gov. Cuomo is promising to release the longest-awaited study of his administration — an analysis of the health impacts of fracking — but only after the election.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
What it’s like to have 30 oil & gas wells as neighbors
Grist
Tara Lohan

The first thing Don Martin asks me is if I want the little picture or the big picture. Big picture, I tell him, and he leads me from the gate of his apartment complex to the driveway of his next-door neighbor. Martin’s neighbor is Freeport McMoRan, a company worth $30 billion. Freeport’s property beside Martin is just one tiny sliver of an empire that spans continents and includes some of the largest gold and copper mines in the world.  [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
‘80 by 50’ legislation gets first hearing in City Council
Capital New York
David Giambusso

Legislation to codify an 80-percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 inched closer to passage Thursday during a hearing of the City Council's environmental protection committee. The legislation has 40 co-sponsors, giving it a veto-proof majority. But actually achieving the task of reducing greenhouse gases will prove difficult: To get to an 80-percent reduction, virtually all of the city's one million buildings will have to go through a costly retrofitting process to become more energy efficient.  [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
'Bomb trains': A crude awakening for Richmond, Calif.
Aljazeera America
Audrea Lim

Local activists try to halt the shipment of explosive Bakken crude oil through their neighborhoods RICHMOND, Calif. — The streets are quiet in Lipo Chanthanasak’s neighborhood on the outer edge of this city’s downtown core. Each of the small houses is painted a variation of beige and separated from the road by a neatly kept lawn, as if to highlight the scene’s utter normalcy. But half a mile west are the BNSF Railway tracks and the Kinder Morgan rail facility, which quietly began receiving trains of Bakken crude last year.   [Full Story]

Oct 24, 2014
It’s Tough To Turn Frack Water into Profits
Living on Earth


Oil and gas fracking produces huge volumes of dirty, difficult to handle wastewater. Now businesses are developing technologies to clean it up. But Reid Frazier of the Allegheny Front reports profits can be elusive.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
12 People Blockade Entrance to Compressor Station Protesting Methane Gas Storage Project
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

A dozen people put their bodies on the line today in a last-resort protest to stop a major gas storage expansion project that has been authorized to begin construction tomorrow on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes. The protesters formed a human blockade in front of the Texas-based Crestwood Midstream company gate, shutting down the Finger Lakes facility from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Report's editing may have helped Cuomo administration
Times Union
Bruce Ferguson

The federally funded United States Geological Survey has been producing reports on the natural sciences for well over a century and enjoys a reputation for objectivity. But an investigative report by Scott Waldman posted on Capital New York suggests that on at least one occasion objectivity may have been sacrificed to serve the political aims of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In 2011, the USGS conducted a baseline study to detect the presence of methane in private water wells in the Southern Tier, a region of the state the Cuomo administration was considering opening up to hydraulic fracturing. The study was important, because if it could be shown that methane was already present in water wells prior to drilling, then the industry would be insulated from claims that shale gas extraction was to blame. If water contamination spiked after drilling, that would point the finger at the gas companies. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided more than $150,000 to help pay for the $250,000 study.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Fracking companies use loophole to avoid permits for dangerous chemicals, report say
Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

Federal laws meant to protect drinking water require fracking companies to get a permit before using diesel fuel in the drilling process. That permit is important: Diesel contains chemicals that can cause cancer and damage nerve tissues. The permits regulate the length and depth of concrete and steel well casings that keep those chemicals from reaching groundwater.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
More protests over gas storage along Seneca Lake
Star Gazette
Jeff Murray

About 20 members of Gas Free Seneca stood in front of the gate of Crestwood Midstream in the Schuyler County on Thursday to protest the proposed LPG storage facility along Seneca Lake. The protest in the Town of Reading was a prelude to a planned rally by the same group Friday in front of the Crestwood facility. Protesters said they are willing to risk arrest to get their point across about opposition to the gas storage plan, but there was no police presence at the event.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Dozens Blockade Entrance to Compressor Station Protesting Methane Gas Storage Project
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

More than two dozen people put their bodies on the line today in a last-resort protest to stop a major gas storage expansion project that has been authorized to begin construction tomorrow on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes. The protesters formed a human blockade in front of the Texas-based Crestwood Midstream company gate, shutting down the Finger Lakes facility from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Corbett approves bills on stream buffers and carbon plan
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

Governor Corbett signed a pair of bills dealing with two hot-button environmental issues. The first would eliminate stream buffer requirements for the state’s cleanest waterways. The second measure gives legislators a role in crafting a federally-mandated carbon reduction plan–a top priority for the state’s coal industry. The stream bill removes the 150 feet buffer requirement between new developments and Pennsylvania’s cleanest streams. It was supported by the Pennsylvania Builder’s Association. The law only applies projects that need stormwater discharge permits and are adjacent to the state’s “high quality” or “exceptional value” streams – a small percentage of waterways. Supporters have said the buffers amounted to eminent domain that restricted landowners. Environmental groups criticized the measure as a step backwards.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Scientists can now see fracker’s “fingerprints” all over polluted water
Grist
Madeleine Thomas

People are getting sick all across fracking country, and many are blaming their mysterious illnesses — headaches, excruciating rashes, even liver damage — on the chemicals oil and gas companies have been pumping into the earth. But thanks to trade-secret laws, which allow companies to stay mum about the chemicals in their fracking fluid, it’s been difficult to pin the blame on the practice — until now that is. Researchers from Dartmouth College, Stanford University, and the French Geological Survey claim they’ve created a tool that detects a specific chemical fingerprint unique to fracking fluid, allowing scientists to pinpoint fracking as a culprit in water pollution.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Texas Drillers Lead the Nation in Pumping Benzene into Earth, Which Is Not Good
Dallas Observer
Amy Silverstein

Slip through the right series of loopholes and it can be perfectly legal to inject benzene into oil wells. Naturally, drillers in Texas figured this out thousands of gallons of benzene ago. Using data disclosed by the oil industry, a new report calculates all the benzene that is legally going into wells across the country. There's a lot, it turns out, and it's mostly in Texas. The winner of the benzene race is San Antonio-based BlackBrush O&G, which injected a fluid containing as much as 48,000 gallons of benzene into a well in Dimmit County. In second place is Discovery Operating Services, a company that pumped 1,000 gallons of benzene into 11 wells across Midland and Upton counties.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
When Will EPA Meet with Residents Harmed by Fracking?
Food & Water Watch
Emily Wurth Blog

For over a year now, residents from communities affected by drilling and fracking for natural gas have tried to meet with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Specifically, residents from three affected communities – Dimock, Pennsylvania; Pavillion, Wyoming; and Parker County, Texas—have tried to meet with McCarthy to discuss the EPA’s failure to complete the critical investigations into the connection between their contaminated drinking water and the gas development in their communities.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Report Details White House, Environmentalists Action To Stop Fracking Boom
Daily Caller
Michael Bastasch

President Obama has long been touting the U.S. oil and natural gas boom as the product of his administration’s “all of the above” energy plan. But a new report from Senate Republicans claims the White House supports oil and gas drilling publicly while partnering behind the scenes with eco-activists to regulate it out of existence.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Public Trust in Pennsylvania Regulators Erodes Further Over Flawed Fracking Study
InsideClimate News
Lisa Song

Pennsylvania regulators used flawed methodology to conclude that air pollution from natural gas development doesn't cause health problems. The revelation has further eroded trust in an embattled state agency. The news was first reported Monday by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The paper cited court documents that show how air quality studies conducted by the Department of Environmental Protection in 2010 and 2011 failed to analyze the health risks of 25 chemicals. The studies also didn't report some instances where high pollutant levels were detected. The evidence came from statements of two DEP scientists who were deposed in a lawsuit. Their depositions call into question the report's conclusion that the air sampling found no health risks from shale development.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
“Fracking’s Toxic Loophole”: Report Calls for Repeal of Halliburton’s Loophole
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Glynis Board

A new report has just been published that identifies large amounts of toxic chemicals legally used in the oil and gas industry—such chemical-use in any other industrial application is regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Not so for the gas industry.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Andrew Cuomo uses “I’m not a scientist” line as cop-out on fracking
Salon
Lindsay Abrams

I’m not a scientist”: It’s not just a cop-out for climate deniers anymore! New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo trotted out the much-maligned non-answer in a debate Wednesday night, Buffalo news station WIVB reports, when asked whether he supports lifting the state’s six-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. “I’m not a scientist,” Cuomo said. “Let the scientists decide. It’s very complicated, very controversial, academic studies come out all different ways. Let the experts decide.” Which is all well and good, except for the fact that it’s not the scientists who are in charge of making decisions like, say, whether or not to allow fracking in New York.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Fracking Discussed at Lone Gubernatorial Debate in New York
NGI Shale Daily
Charlie Passut

The issue of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) came up during the only debate scheduled among the candidates running for governor in New York, in a race that two polls predict should be an easy win for the incumbent, Democrat Andrew Cuomo.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
2014 Governor’s Race: Face off over the sweet spot on taxing Marcellus Shale
State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

Here’s something Governor Tom Corbett and his democratic challenger Tom Wolf agree on: Each calls Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale natural gas a “game-changer” for the state’s economy. But they disagree on how to get the most out of the gas boom for all Pennsylvania residents. Comparisons to Texas keep coming up in the race. And natural gas production has recently put Pennsylvania second only to Texas. So how exactly does Texas tax the gas drillers, and how is it different in Pennsylvania. StateImpact Pennsylvania drills down into the sometimes taxing and dull fiscal policy to get at the answer.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
California's Fracking Controversy
Huffington Post
Harlan Green

Will a "Yes" or "No" vote on Measure P (the measure that bans all forms of enhanced drilling techniques, including steam injection and fracking) have an impact on Santa Barbara County's property values? This may be one of the biggest concerns for this California County's voters in November.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Corbett signs bills addressing gas transparency issues
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

Governor Corbett has signed two bills providing more transparency for people who have leased their property for natural gas drilling. A landowner advocacy group calls the measures “helpful” but says more action is needed.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
California's Fracking Controversy
Huffington Post
Harlan Green

Will a "Yes" or "No" vote on Measure P (the measure that bans all forms of enhanced drilling techniques, including steam injection and fracking) have an impact on Santa Barbara County's property values? This may be one of the biggest concerns for this California County's voters in November. With nearly 7,000 new wells proposed locally, there is concern for the loss of property values - on top of environmental concerns related to fracking and other high intensity petroleum operations. A Calgary and Duke University study of property values near shale gas wells notes a ten percent drop in values, but with fracking operations in place, values dropped some 22 percent. "Whether or not fracking causes groundwater pollution, people fear the risk enough that property values have dropped for homes with drinking-water wells near shale-gas pads, according to new research," writes Forbes in an article entitled Pollution Fears Crush Home Prices Near Fracking Wells.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Public Trust in Pennsylvania Regulators Erodes Further Over Flawed Fracking Study
Inside Climate News
Lisa Song

Raw data showing high concentrations of certain polllutants at gas operations and health risks of 25 chemicals were left out of the state's studies. Pennsylvania regulators used flawed methodology to conclude that air pollution from natural gas development doesn't cause health problems. The revelation has further eroded trust in an embattled state agency.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Viewpoints: California leads the way on stopping gas pipeline leaks
Sacramento Bee
Opinion: Mike Langford & Kim Glas

Thirty-seven states have programs to speed up repairs and replacement of problem sections of the gas distribution system. Most recently, California enacted a leak mitigation approach from which the whole country can take a lesson.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
FEDS, STATES CONTINUE TO SHORTCHANGE DELAWARE RIVER BASIN COMMISSION
NJ Spotlight
Jon Hurdle

Steve Tambini wants to ensure continuing clean water for the 15 million people who live in the Delaware River Basin, but he isn’t sure he will have the money to do so. The new executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission -- which aims to coordinate management of water supply and quality among the basin states of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware -- is running the interstate agency without federal funding, and without some of the money that’s due from member states.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
In New York Governor’s Debate, Cuomo Repels Astorino’s Jabs With His Own
The New York Times
Thomas Kaplan

Mr. Astorino vowed to allow hydraulic fracturing, and criticized Mr. Cuomo for delaying a decision on whether to allow the contested form of natural gas extraction. Mr. Cuomo accused Mr. Astorino of having it both ways, offering what seemed like a rehearsed zinger that called attention to Mr. Astorino’s signing of a bill banning fracking wastewater from being treated or used to de-ice roads in Westchester. “When he goes upstate, he’s Sarah Palin — ‘Drill, baby, drill!’ ” he said. “When he goes home to Westchester, he’s Mark Ruffalo.”  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
A Bad Omen for Oil Stocks?
Wall Street Daily
Karim Rahemtulla,

U.S. oil and natural gas rig counts just dropped for the second time since August. Why is that significant? A drop in the number of rigs is usually an indication that the companies doing the drilling and exploring are less sanguine about future prospects. But the two biggest oil companies’ CEOs are putting on a happy face, saying their production is actually going to increase. Are these CEOs lying about their prospects, or is something else going on? Digging Deeper Into Data Rig counts are a measure of the number of active rigs that are developing or drilling for oil or gas. Between February 2012 and this past September, rig counts for the oil industry increased by more than 33%. This reflects the boom period for oil production in the United States. On the other hand, natural gas rigs fell from almost 2,000 a few years ago to around 300 today.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Andrew Cuomo: ‘I’m Not A Scientist’ When It Comes To Fracking
ThinkProgress
Jeff Spross

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) would like everyone to know that he, too, “is not a scientist.” Interestingly, Cuomo put a bit of a twist on the refrain. Unlike the Republican lawmakers and candidates who have taken up the line as their standard response to the question of whether manmade carbon emissions cause climate change, the Governor used it to dodge the question of what should be done about fracking.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Governor, open your eyes on fracking
Albany Times Union
Eric Weitman, Commentary

On the morning of Sept. 9, something unexpected happened: Gov. Andrew Cuomo answered a question related to fracking clearly and definitively, in front of cameras and reporters for the whole world to hear. In a parking lot, I asked him if he would take a tour of fracking sites in Pennsylvania, to witness firsthand the devastating impact fracking has on families and communities. To my great surprise, he said "yes."   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Mars Home for Youth asks board to reconsider fracking opposition
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sandy Trozzo

As Rex Energy prepares to operate as many as six gas wells on private property approximately a half mile from Mars Area schools, those on both sides of the issue continue to press the school district. During the board’s October meetings, requests came from both sides of the controversial gas wells.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
37 eco-groups ask governor to ban fracking in Florida
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL—Thirty-seven consumer, health and environmental advocacy organizations submitted a letter today to Governor Rick Scott expressing concern over the State’s unwillingness to take a position on fracking, even with the various comprehensive studies conducted on its potential public health impacts throughout the county. The letter, which contained over two dozen groups from across the state and a collection of national groups, comes days after a statewide march on the Governor’s beachfront home, calling for clean water and renewable energy. The main request: Ban drilling, fracking and acidizing in Florida once and for all.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
'Fracking' fight heats up ballot in Santa Barbara
89.3 KPCC


Environmentalists and the oil industry will be keeping a close eye on a ballot measure in Santa Barbara County this November. Measure P seeks to prohibit what its authors call "high-intensity" oil extraction techniques — the oil industry calls them "enhanced." Regardless of the name, the methods essentially extract hard-to-reach gas and oil trapped between rock layers. Chemicals identified as toxic are often used, and that's led to growing concern among environmentalists.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Anti-fracking protesters in 'lock-on' protest at Horse Hill oil drilling site
Get Surrey
Fergus McEwan

Anti-fracking protesters camped by a drilling site near Horley chained themselves together outside the entrance on Wednesday morning (October 22). Two women took part in a 'lock-on' - using a tube to join their arms together - that blocked the entrance to the Horse Hill site, where oil was recently found following weeks of exploration.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
This fracking protest is more like Bonnaroo than Occupy
Grist
Sara Bernard

On a bone-dry October day in Oakland, Calif., activists from Food and Water Watch, UC Berkeley’s Students Against Fracking, and a group of folk singers called the Occupellas gathered to celebrate the third annual Global Frackdown. Food and Water Watch launched the Global Frackdown in September 2012 in an effort to eventually ban fracking worldwide. On Oct. 11, more than 250 anti-fracking events took place on all seven continents.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Cuomo Says Fracking Study Will Be Out by Year's End
WXXI
Karen Dewitt

During Wednesday’s only gubernatorial debate, Governor Cuomo said that the long awaited health review on potential dangers of hydrofracking will be completed by the end of the year. Cuomo, answering a question on whether fracking, which is on hold in New York, will begin in the next four years if he’s re elected, says an over two year old health review will be concluded by the end of the year, though not before Election Day. He says he’s told experts at his Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation to “give me a report”.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
‘Fracking tax’ in play in Pennsylvania governor race
Aljazeera America
Jake Blumgart

Wolf’s campaign promise is dependent upon a huge pot of untapped revenue, which could be found in the gas wells of the Marcellus Shale. Pennsylvania is the only state with an active natural gas extraction operation that does not tax the actual product (although impact fees are assessed on the wells to mitigate the costs incurred by local communities). In the first half of 2014, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, $9.6 billion of gas was extracted from Pennsylvania wells; judging by those numbers, it is estimated that a 5 percent severance tax (which is assessed on the removal of non-renewable resources) could bring in over $1 billion in revenue — roughly the equivalent of what Corbett cut from education aid.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
New Mexico rule changing fracking water reuse eyed
KOB4
Associated Press

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) - State environmental regulators are considering a proposed rule that would allow the reuse of produced water in oilfield drilling operations. New Mexico Environment Department Secretary David Martin told Hobbs News-Sun this week that the department is working with the Oil Conservation Commission on the new rule that could help cut fresh water consumption by industry.  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Astorino -- 'Adamant' fracking opponents should vote for Hawkins
PostStar


Adamant opponents to hydrofracking should vote the Green Party line not the Democratic line, in the governor’s election, said Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino. “For those who are adamantly opposed no matter what -- no matter what the science says, they are adamantly opposed -- then Howie Hawkins is the guy they need to vote for,” Astorino said Thursday in a meeting with The Post-Star editorial board. “He’s got principle and I’ve got principle. We have different conclusions on fracking, but at least we stand for something.”  [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Penn Twp. board OKs fracking regulations
TribLive
Chris Foreman

Under new regulations that now are in effect in Penn Township, Marcellus shale drilling rigs and fracking ponds are banned from residential and commercial areas — but companies are allowed to conduct horizontal drilling across almost all of the township.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
State Bar, Environmental Law Section Presents Update on Fracking Regulations
JDSupra
Michael Mills & Shannon Morrissey & Stoel Rives

The California State Bar, Environmental Law Section hosts an annual conference which welcomes attorneys and students from across the state to learn and discuss cutting edge environmental law issues. This year’s Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite featured an insightful panel on hydraulic fracturing regulation. The panel, held on Sunday, October 19, was titled “Recent Developments in the Regulation of Fracking at the Federal, State, and Local Level.” The four panelists each shared their experience and differing viewpoints in relation to their law practice.   [Full Story]

Oct 23, 2014
Protestors urge gubernatorial candidates to find alternatives to fracking
WBFO 88.7
Avery Schneider

Before the gubernatorial candidates started volleying debate points, citizens were volleying protest slogans. Outside of the WBFO-WNED studios, shouts for second amendment rights – mostly aimed at Governor Cuomo – were just as loud as chants against fracking for natural gas.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
W.Va. Senator Pushes to Prevent Radioactive Fracking Material From Entering State
Your 4 State
Nate Stewart

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - The natural gas industry is growing, and so is the amount of waste it generates. There's also an increasing problem with disposing of that waste, and even talk of using the LCS landfill in Hedgesville for that purpose. "Pennsylvania has put a moratorium in dumping this radioactive fracking waste into their landfills," said West Virginia Senator John Unger. "West Virginia is looking at somehow disposing of the fracking waste here."   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Geochemical Tracers Can ID Fracking Flowback Fluids
Environmental Protection


The National Science Foundation reports scientists have developed tracers that can identify hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids that have been spilled or released into the environment, and they have been field-tested at a spill site in West Virginia and downstream from an oil and gas brine wastewater treatment plant in Pennsylvania.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Hurley Town Board considers ban on use of fracking fluid as road de-icer
Daily Freeman
William J. Kemble

HURLEY >> The Town Board on Monday is expected to review a proposal to ban the use of fluids produced in the gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as a de-icing agent on town roads.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Former Environment Agency head to lead industry-funded fracking task force
Edie Energy


The risks and benefits of fracking for the UK are to be examined by a "independent" task force, led by the former head of the Environment Agency, Lord Chris Smith, and funded by shale gas companies.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
California fracking fight draws big money
FuelFix
Joshua Cain

A pair of ballot measures that would ban “high-intensity” oil and gas drilling operations in two California counties is getting a lot of attention from the oil and gas industry, with an industry-backed group pouring millions into an opposition campaign. Measure P in Santa Barbara County would ban a list of techniques for unlocking underground oil and gas reservoirs, most notably hydraulic fracturing. The group sponsoring Measure P, Santa Barbara County Water Guardians, said the processes should be banned because of concerns over the chemicals used and because “the threatened proliferation of new wells threatens the County’s famed scenic vistas, robust tourism industry and quality of life.” Measure J in San Benito County listed similar concerns in its ballot text.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Methane Leaks Wipe Out Any Climate Benefit Of Fracking, Satellite Observations Confirm
Think Progress
Joe Romm

Satellite observations of huge oil and gas basins in East Texas and North Dakota confirm staggering 9 and 10 percent leakage rates of heat-trapping methane. “In conclusion,” researchers write, “at the current methane loss rates, a net climate benefit on all time frames owing to tapping unconventional resources in the analyzed tight formations is unlikely.”  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Global Frackdown: Communities across Canada demand a stop to fracking
Rabble.ca
Emma Luz

Last week, over 300 events were organized in 34 countries for the Global Frackdown, an international day of action initiated by our U.S. allies at Food and Water Watch to ban fracking. Leading up to the Global Frackdown, the Council of Canadians released a poll that revealed that 70 per cent of Canadians want a national moratorium on fracking.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
New reports target fracking
Bakersfield Californian
John Cox

A pair of studies released separately Wednesday shone an unfavorable light on fracking, with one claiming oil companies are skirting a ban on underground diesel injections and the other saying minority neighborhoods in areas including Kern County could be affected by expansion of the controversial technique.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
New $3.7B gas line proposed for Ala., Ga., Fla.
The Clarion-Ledger
Ray Henry

ATLANTA – A proposal to build a $3.7 billion pipeline system carrying natural gas into Florida is raising complaints from Georgia residents — including media mogul Ted Turner — who say they’d face environmental costs while others get the benefits. Spectra Energy Partners LP and NextEra Energy Inc. are seeking federal permission to build the Sabal Trail and the Florida Southeast Connection, about 600 miles of pipeline bringing natural gas from a hub in Alabama, across southwest Georgia and to power plants in Florida. If approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the system would start operating in mid-2017.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Natural gas fueling station gets grant in Pa.
Herald-Mail Media
Jennifer Fitch

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A grant announced Wednesday will support development of a compressed natural-gas fueling station for vehicles traveling in the borough of Chambersburg. State Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin/Cumberland, said in a news release that the Commonwealth Financing Agency will allocate a $591,000 grant to Sunoco Inc. to install a fueling station. That station will serve businesses and motorists with vehicles that run on natural gas.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Summit Natural Gas asks to meet with Maine regulators on $150,000 sewer drilling fine
Bangor Daily
Darren Fishell

PORTLAND, Maine — Summit Natural Gas of Maine has requested a meeting with state regulators over a recommended $150,000 fine stemming from state inspections that found the company damaged sewer lines during pipeline installations in the Kennebec Valley. An attorney for the company said in the request that the company “takes the [Maine Public Utilities Commission’s] allegations and concerns very seriously” and that it has already implemented some of the commission’s recommendations.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Expert examines fracking royalties on leases in Virginia
Fredericksburg.com
Cathy Dyson

An official with a national association that looks out for the rights of property owners during gas and oil drilling says landowners in the Fredericksburg area have signed a “fairly typical” lease that allows the “lowest possible” royalty rate available.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Marshall County chemical maker wary after ‘near-catastrophic’ fracking inciden -
WV Gazette
Ken Ward, Jr.

As the Tomblin administration considers a plan to allow natural gas drilling under the Ohio River, a major chemical maker in Marshall County has been fighting a proposal for hydraulic fracturing near its plant, citing a “near-catastrophic” gas-well incident last year that might be linked to geologic conditions beneath the river.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Cuomo: Fracking study done by ‘end of the year’
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

BUFFALO—Gov. Andrew Cuomo turned a few heads at the WNED-TV studio when he appeared to set a deadline on the state’s ongoing review of hydraulic fracturing, saying the state’s long-running analysis of the technique should be completed “by the end of the year.” CuomoDebateThe state first launched a review of large-scale hydrofracking for natural gas in 2008, and the technique has been on hold in New York since. In September 2012, Cuomo’s administration tasked the state Department of Health with completing a separate layer of review, which continues today. When asked about his remark after the debate, Cuomo repeated it. “I said it should be done by the end of the year,” Cuomo said. “But I have previously said we expect it to be done by the end of the year.”  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
In Debate, Cuomo And Astorino Engage, On Topic Or Not
State of Politics


There were four candidates on stage, but both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino sought to make the only scheduled debate of the campaign about them. The candidates for governor squared off in an hour-long debate on Wednesday evening with topics ranging from the governor’s handling of the defunct Moreland Commission To Investigate Public Corruption, upstate economic development, hydrofracking and medical marijuana. But both Cuomo and Astorino came ready to blast each other and largely ignore Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian Michael McDermott.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Fracking Threatens Millions of Californians
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

A new report shows that 5.4 million Californians—more than 14 percent of its 38.3 million population—live within a mile of an oil or gas well, and almost four million of those, or nearly 70 percent, are Hispanic, Asian or African-American, according to a new Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report Drilling in California: Who’s at Risk? Non-whites make up slightly more than 40 percent of California’s total population.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
U.S. Fracking Boom Prompts Oil Industry to Push for Crude Exports
EcoWatch
Valerie Brown

Oil and coal producers in the U.S. are planning to use mile-long tanker trains to transport vast quantities of fossil fuels to the coast through areas that environmental groups believe should be protected.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Law to ban fracking byproducts in Cayuga County tabled
Auburn Pub
Ryan Deffenbaugh

AUBURN | A law that would ban the use of hydrofracking byproducts on Cayuga County roadways will most likely not go to a public hearing next month after it was tabled by the Cayuga County Ways and Means Committee. The resolution, tabled in a 5-2 vote, was to set a notice of public hearing on the new law. The public hearing for the law — which bans the use of brine, oil waste or natural gas waste on properties or roads in Cayuga County, as well as in any waste management or wastewater treatment facility operated by the county — would have taken place in November.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Fracking ban legislation knocked by some environmentalists Province moving ahead with legislation banning high-volume hydraulic fracturing with exception
CBC News


"I feel betrayed by my government," says Evelien VanderKloet, who isn't sugar coating her disappointment with the bill. "The legislation that's been produced is insulting. It overrides the lack of social license to frack and it tells us that we should accept a watered down version of a prohibition. And I just think that we can do so much better than this."  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Burden of the Boom: Who Will Pay the Price for Fracking in California?
NRDC Switchboard
Miriam Rotkin-Ellman Blog

From polluted skies to contaminated drinking water and hazardous waste, communities of color in California get way more than their fair share. If the oil and gas industry gets their way, drilling – and the environmental and health threats from fracking, acidizing, and other technologies – will be piled onto communities already staggering under smoggy skies and unsafe water.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Craft brewers join the fight against natural gas pipelines
Grist
Mason Adams

On a recent afternoon, visitors packed into Blue Mountain Brewery, one of three craft breweries in Virginia’s idyllic Rockfish Valley. Couples and families spilled out of the restaurant onto patios and into gardens, sipping Full Nelson Pale Ale, Kölsch 151, Original Nitro Porter, and more. Above them, the low-hanging clouds that obscured Afton Mountain’s upper ridges couldn’t mute the bright reds, oranges, and yellows exploding on its slopes. The brewery is just four miles below Rockfish Gap — the mountain pass that marks the southern entrance of Shenandoah National Park, the passage of the Appalachian Trail, and the point where Skyline Drive becomes the Blue Ridge Parkway. But there’s a storm brewing in this autumnal paradise, as evidenced by a sign in front of the brewery that’s become quite common in the Blue Ridge Mountains of late: “No pipeline.”  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
More than 5 million in state live near oil or gas well, report says
Los Angeles Times
TONY BARBOZA

More than 5 million Californians — most of them in Los Angeles and Kern counties — live near an oil or gas well, and expanding drilling in the state could increase their exposure to health risks, according to a report released Wednesday by a national environmental group.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Green groups say EPA underestimates methane leaks from fracking
AlJazeera America
Peter Moskowitz

D.J. Parker has been selling methane-trapping systems to oil and gas producers for over 30 years, and as unconventional drilling technologies like hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have skyrocketed across the U.S., particularly under Barack Obama’s administration, Parker’s business has grown. “Over the last 15 years we’ve seen a marked increase in voluntarily capturing emissions,” said Parker, the vice president of operations at Tescorp. “Then in 2012 inquiries really increased … There are two things driving it. One’s economic. The other’s the [Environmental Protection Agency].” The EPA has become increasingly concerned with reducing the methane emissions inherent in the oil and gas production and distribution process. In 2012 the agency announced that by 2015, drillers would be required to use green completion technology to capture methane during the drilling completion process — the stage after drilling, when oil and gas starts to flow out of the well. Vapor recovery systems turn methane into liquid that can be sold, providing an economic incentive.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Economists See Holes in G.O.P.'s Post-Election Wish List
The New York Times
JACKIE CALMES

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio has been promoting a roster of 46 House-passed jobs bills that Republicans say could finally make it to Mr. Obama’s desk if voters put them in charge of the Senate for the first time in the president’s tenure. On Twitter, Mr. Boehner’s hashtag for the initiatives is #StuckInTheSenate. The list includes measures to approve the Keystone XL pipeline; expand offshore oil drilling; block federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”; and open national forests to timber companies. Also making the cut were lesser, parochial measures, like water projects in central Oregon and the San Joaquin Valley of California, and rules allowing business owners to record any phone calls or meetings with federal regulators.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Fracking Companies Using Toxic Benzene in Drilling: Group
Bloomberg Businessweek
Mark Drajem

Some companies breaking up underground shale rock to free trapped oil and gas are using benzene, which can cause cancer, an environmental watchdog group said today. Benzene isn’t banned in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, although diesel is restricted because regulators determined it may have carcinogens, including benzene. Drillers need a permit before using diesel in the mixture that’s blasted underground to free trapped hydrocarbons. The Environmental Integrity Project today said at least six fracking fluid additives contain benzene.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Report: Fracking companies use loophole to avoid permits for dangerous chemicals
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

Federal laws meant to keep drinking water safe require fracking companies to get a permit before using diesel fuel in the drilling process. Diesel contains a number of chemicals that cause cancer and nerve issues, and the permits are supposed to regulate the length and depth of cement and steel well casings that keep those chemicals out of groundwater.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Anti-fracking activist and gas company head back to court
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

63-year-old anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins will be back in court next week facing fines and possible jail time in an ongoing fight with one of Pennsylvania’s biggest gas drillers, Cabot Oil & Gas. Cabot wants Scroggins to be held in contempt of court for allegedly violating an order to stay away at least 100 feet away from its work sites. A hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday in Susquehanna County.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Supporters of Fracking Ban Face New Wave of McCarthyism in Denton, Texas
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

In Denton, Texas, a college town north of Dallas that sits atop the Barnett Shale formation, the fight over a referendum banning fracking within city limits is in the final stretch. The local ballot initiative has global implications, with the energy sector watching closely. The turmoil in Denton reflects a growing national debate between those concerned with health and quality of life issues, and others who claim the fracking industry is America’s answer to economic growth and energy independence.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
These teens are taking their climate lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court
Grist
Sam Bliss

Those feisty, litigious climate-hawk kids just won’t go away. Back in 2011, we wrote about a group of witty whippersnappers that filed a lawsuit against the federal government. The premise: The government must take action to protect the atmosphere for future generations. On Oct. 3, those same five teenagers, represented by Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust, filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a legal lifeline to keep the case alive.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Inquest told gas drilling has gone back to 'dark old days'
The Logan Reporter
Adam Davies

AN EXPERIENCED drilling rig manager in charge on the day a young man was killed has told a coronial inquest into the man's death that although he was given the title of safety manager with a promotion he had not been told what it meant. He said he received no formal training from his employer AJ Lucas in his new role or any details about what it entailed. Lockyer Valley man Cameron Brandt Cole, 24, was killed on August 14, 2009, when a two-tonne pipe rack fell off the side of a semi-trailer at a Santos drilling site about 51km east of Injune.  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Cuomo: Fracking study due at end of the year
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday evening that the long-awaited state health study on fracking will be completed within the next three months. The study is “due at the end of the year,” Cuomo said during the only debate of the gubernatorial election.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
‘Near-catastrophic’ blowout leaves chem firm wary
The Charleston Gazette
Ken Ward Jr.

As the Tomblin administration considers a plan to allow natural gas drilling under the Ohio River, a major chemical maker in Marshall County has been fighting a proposal for hydraulic fracturing near its plant, citing a “near-catastrophic” gas-well incident last year that might be linked to geologic conditions beneath the river. Atlanta-based Axiall Corp. has been waging a legal battle to stop Gastar Exploration from fracking natural gas wells that Gastar had drilled on Axiall property under leases Gastar obtained from PPG Industries, the former owner of Axiall’s chlorine and caustic soda plant at Natrium, located along the Ohio near the Marshall-Wetzel county line. Axiall says it is concerned about a repeat of an August-September 2013 incident it blames on high-pressure fracking fluids being used by another company, Triad Hunter, to release natural gas from the Marcellus Shale at a well site on the other side of the river. In court documents, Axiall lawyers say increased underground pressure from the fracking at Triad Hunter traveled under the river and somehow made contact with brine wells Axiall uses to obtain saltwater, one of the key materials used in its manufacturing process. Axiall says those pressures led to a blowout in which one of its brine wells at its plant “began spewing flammable natural gas.” No injuries were reported, but parts of Axiall’s brine production were closed for more than six months for repairs and the company had to set up several large flares to burn off excess natural gas. Axiall was “fortunate to have been able to limit the environmental impact of the Triad Hunter incident and avoid bodily injury or loss of life due to a natural gas explosion or other disaster,” the company says in court records. In a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania, Axiall lawyers asked that Gastar be forced to conduct far more extensive underground investigations to determine if its gas operations pose a threat of a similar incident, and that it be required to submit more detailed plans for avoiding any damage to the Axiall facility. “Gastar’s plan to blindly stimulate these wells by injecting fluid at extremely high pressure in order to ‘rubble-ize’ the Marcellus Shale is careless, dangerous, shortsighted and in breach of the lease agreement that permits Gastar to explore for and extract oil and gas in that area,” lawyers for Axiall subsidiary Eagle Natrium LLC argued in court filings. Axiall lawyers said the company “supports the responsible development of natural gas” but that “extra care must be taken” when operating in the vicinity of its saltwater wells, which “are essential to the continued operation of a billion-dollar chemical plant that employs 500 people.” Lawyers for Gastar responded that the company had “carefully studied and planned its drilling and fracturing operations in the Marcellus Shale” and that “potential” or “possible” risks were not enough to warrant the “sweeping, mandatory injunction” that Axiall sought. On Tuesday, Allegheny County Judge Christine Ward issued a two-page order that denied Axiall’s motion for a preliminary injunction to stop Houston-based Gastar from fracking wells at the Natrium site. The order said a more detailed court opinion would be filed later. Mike McCown, chief operating officer for Gastar, said his company is pleased with the decision “as we have continually believed the allegations were without merit.” Axiall officials would not comment on the decision or on whether the company plans to appeal. The legal battle between Axiall and Gastar comes amid continued citizen concerns about the effects on the environment and on small, rural communities of the Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling and production boom in Northern West Virginia. In recent weeks, critics of the boom have focused their attention on Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s proposal to lease rights for private companies to drill and produce natur  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Fracking Companies Using Toxic Benzene in Drilling: Group
Bloomberg
Mark Drajem

Some oil and gas drillers are using benzene, which can cause cancer, in the mix of water and chemicals they shoot underground to free trapped hydrocarbons from shale rock, an environmental watchdog group said today.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Fracking and the irresponsibility of the Government of Spain
Los Verdes
Joan Francesc Peris

Since the end of 2013 in Spain fracking to search for subsurface gas, a fossil fuel that is embedded in the bedrock thousands of feet deep, is allowed. The government of Spain’s Popular Party, once again dodged the democratic, economic, social and political debate on this new system of exploration and extraction of fuel, and using their majority in the Senate of the Spanish Parliament through a vote disposal introduced in the las minute in a law to guarantee power an amendment to the law 34/1998 of the hydrocarbon sector and enabled the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and, by extension, all air, sea or land means necessary .  [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
New Poll: New Yorkers Overwhelmingly Support Fracking Moratorium — And Clean Energy
Renewable Energy World
Kate Sinding, NRDC

Last month, NRDC engaged a nationally recognized opinion research firm to conduct polling in New York State to evaluate public attitudes about fracking and clean energy. Importantly, this is the first statewide poll in at least two years — and perhaps ever — to directly ask residents their views of the now six-year-old de facto moratorium on fracking. The results were overwhelming: Nearly 8 in 10 New Yorkers support the moratorium, and support crosses geographical, ideological and racial divides. At the same time, respondents showed tremendous support for renewable energy.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Fact-checking the debate: Some stretching of truth
Buffalo News
Barbara O'Brien

Candidates of all stripes will put the best face on their own deeds and assign the worst scores to their opponents. Here’s how the truth was pushed and pulled in Wednesday’s fast-moving debate, mostly by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Republican challenger Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive. Astorino’s statement that it’s time to allow fracking in New York: As Westchester county executive, Astorino found reason for concern. Astorino, as Cuomo pointed out Wednesday, signed a county law in December 2012 banning the disposal of waste from natural gas drilling within Westchester’s borders. Other New York counties have adopted similar measures. As for fracking’s effect on job creation, average annual employment in Pennsylvania’s oil and natural gas industry increased by some 15,000 workers from 2007-12, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a sizable number, but not enough to give jobs to the 641,000 unemployed New Yorkers that Astorino mentioned. While Cuomo has made no decision on fracking, by letting his state Health Department continue to examine the matter, he encouraged the consumption of natural gas by agreeing that the coal-fired power plant in Dunkirk should convert to natural gas. “In my opinion it has nothing to do with a decision on fracking,” Cuomo said last year.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
NEW REPORT: FRACKING COMPANIES ARE EXPLOITING THE HALLIBURTON LOOPHOLE TO INJECT TOXIC CHEMICALS
Environmental Integrity Project
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite a federal ban on the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing without a permit, several oil and gas companies are exploiting a Safe Drinking Water Act loophole pushed through by Halliburton to frack with petroleum-based products containing even more dangerous toxic chemicals than diesel. For example, a drilling company in West Texas injected up to 48,000 gallons of benzene (a carcinogen) into the ground just last month.   [Full Story]

Oct 22, 2014
Inquest told gas drilling has gone back to 'dark old days'
Morning Bulletin
Adam Davies

AN EXPERIENCED drilling rig manager in charge on the day a young man was killed has told a coronial inquest into the man's death that although he was given the title of safety manager with a promotion he had not been told what it meant. He said he received no formal training from his employer AJ Lucas in his new role or any details about what it entailed. Lockyer Valley man Cameron Brandt Cole, 24, was killed on August 14, 2009, when a two-tonne pipe rack fell off the side of a semi-trailer at a Santos drilling site about 51km east of Injune. He died more than three hours later while on the way to hospital.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
New Data Sheds Light on Well Contamination in Pennsylvania
Texas Tribune


Data released by regulators from Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection included more than 200 cases involving water wells that may have been contaminated by wastewater from drilling involving conventional gas wells as well as shale gas wells. The data was released following numerous lawsuits and open-records requests by news outlets, including The Associated Press. (Water Online)  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Voters Cast Ballots in First Ever Push to Ban Fracking in Texas
kwbu
Mose Buchele

From StateImpact Texas: For Cathy McMullen, the reasons to ban fracking in Denton are as obvious at the drilling rig that sits on the corner of Masch Branch and Hampton Road on the northwest side of town. It’s big, it’s noisy, and she believes it vents toxic emissions into the community. The site is, however, not very close to any houses. “I’ll show you where this exact same thing was sitting by someone’s home,” she says.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
EPA to Senator Inhofe: Sorry, yes, we will be looking into fracking and water safety
Colorado Independent
John Tomasic

Oklahoma’s U.S. Senator James Inhofe, one of the oil-and-gas industry’s top champions on Capitol Hill and one of the country’s most high-profile deniers of the science of climate change, has been handed a predictable defeat by the Environmental Protection Agency. Inhofe had hoped to prevent the EPA from evaluating potential threats to water sources posed by oil-and-gas hydraulic fracturing and looking into how states can manage those risks. He wrote a series of letters to the agency demanding it turn away from the plan. But in a letter to Inhofe Monday, EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. reminded the senator that the Inspector General’s office is designed to function independently from Congress — partly to isolate it from politics and special interest pressure — and that he respectfully rejects the senator’s request to drop the fracking research.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
A fracking scandal: police and energy firms cosy on up -
New Internationalist
Josh Allen

Anti-fracking activists in Greater Manchester and West Sussex have been left concerned, but not surprised, by the results of a long-running Network for Police Monitoring (NetPol) investigation into a series of secretive agreements signed between their local police forces and private companies exploring the viability of fracking in their areas. These ‘Memorandums of Understanding’, uncovered through the persistent use of freedom of information (FoI) requests, appear to set out a working relationship between police covering the Barton Moss (Salford) and Balcombe (West Sussex) fracking test sites and the commercial interests engaged in the testing.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Gary Finch and Diane Dwire battle for Assembly seat over fracking, minimum wage and women's issues
Syracuse.com
Tim Knauss

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Veteran state Assemblyman Gary Finch, R-Springport, did not anticipate the heavily funded opposition he has faced this year from Democratic opponent Diane Dwire. That's why Finch gave away more than $20,000 in September - roughly half of his entire campaign fund at that point - to help other Republican candidates. He sent the money out just as state Democrats were beginning to pour money into Dwire's campaign. Now, despite serving 15 years in the Assembly, Finch, 70, says he is the underdog. As of Friday he was scrambling to raise enough money to put some ads on TV.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Howie Hawkins Claims Gov. Cuomo Edited USGS Fracking Report
TWC News
Bill Carey

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Green party candidate for governor, Howie Hawkins, said Andrew Cuomo has been caught, again, meddling with official documents. "The point I want to make today is that if you look at actions and not just words, it's evident that Andrew Cuomo has been as pro-fracking as Astorino talks about," said Green party candidate for governor, Howie Hawkins. Hawkins said voters need to look closely at recent developments in the fracking debate. In particular, claims that a U.S. geological survey report sought by the Cuomo administration on hydrofracking was edited to cut criticism of fracking's impact on the environment.   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
SF forest fracking leases could spur BLM suit
Albuquerque Journal
Andy Stiny

A coalition of local and national environmental groups say they intend to sue the federal Bureau of Land Management if that agency moves ahead with a lease sale of Santa Fe National Forest lands Wednesday for oil and gas hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking. The oral auction will be at the BLM State Office at 9 a.m. at 301 Dinosaur Trail in Santa Fe. “Parcels will be awarded to qualified bidders offering the highest acceptable bid” with a minimum bid of $2 per acre, according to a BLM news release.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
What impact can fracking have on our health?
WBNG
Caroline Coggin

A press conference was held Tuesday afternoon to call for a halt to the Department of Health's review of fracking hazards. Speakers said they have already written to Governor Cuomo's 500 largest campaign contributors asking them to safeguard public health and the environment. Participants warned that the DOH has conducted their analysis on fracking in secret without any opportunity for review or public comment. "Everyone wants good jobs, everyone wants a viable economy," said President of Toxics Targeting Walter Hang. "We have to realize that New York State's policy is that we don't want to harm the economy and the jobs because we harm the environment."  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Denton fracking vote is a measure of anger over drilling company tactics
Star Telegram


As an exercise in lawmaking, the vote underway in Denton on whether to ban hydraulic fracturing within the city limits has its flaws. Opponents are right that, if the ban is approved by voters and enacted by the City Council, resulting lawsuits could force its repeal. But as an exercise in voicing frustration with oil and gas company tactics over the years and the failure of city leaders to aggressively protect the interests of neighborhoods, the campaign for a ban has already been wildly successful. Proponents achieved that goal by getting the measure on the ballot. When they accomplished that, the drilling companies and their supporters took extreme interest.   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Fracking tracking breakthrough to hold frackers responsible for pollution
Treehugger
Christine Lepisto

In work supported by the National Science Foundation, researchers have identified new tracers that can identify fracking fluids in the environment, and even differentiate fracking flow-back water contamination from pollution caused by other types of oil and gas wells. It turns out poor fracking operators leave their 'fingerprints' at the scene of their crimes. The 'fingerprint' in this case takes the form of specific profiles of boron and lithium enrichment as the fracking water comes into contact with boron- and lithium-rich clays 1 to 2 miles below the surface.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Texas pipeline company pays $306,570 in fines for multiple Marcellus violations
Pennlive
John Beauge

WILLIAMSPORT — A Texas company has paid two fines totaling $306,570 for multiple violations during the construction of two Marcellus Shale natural gas pipelines in three counties in 2012 and 2013. The state Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday said Regency Marcellus Gas Gathering of San Antonio had paid the fines for violating the Clean Streams Law, Dam Safety and Encroachment Act and agency regulations. The pipeline construction and remediation work was performed by PVR Marcellus Gas Gathering LLC of Williamsport, which was later was acquired by Regency, DEP said.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Fracking May Be Dangerous To Nearby Residents
Water Online
Sara Jerome

Fracking sites may threaten the health of local residents, according to new research. "Those who live in close proximity to fracking sites exhibited a greater likelihood to suffer [health] problems than those who lived farther away from natural gas wells, according to a new study of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale region," RT reported.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Spectra officials present alternate pipeline route, compressor station sites at open house
Albany Herald
Carlton Fletcher

ALBANY — While Spectra Energy officials said Monday that the company’s consideration of alternate routes for a natural gas pipeline and locations for a compressor station projected to be located in parts of Dougherty County is an indication that they’re listening to the citizens of the community, opponents of the pipeline called Spectra’s public unveiling of those alternate locations “nothing but negotiating tactics.” ##A number of Spectra employees took part in a community information open house at the Hilton Garden Inn Monday evening, offering interested citizens a closer look at a proposed alternate route — labeled the “Sasser Alternative” — for the 460-mile pipeline and two alternate locations for a compressor station used to push up to a billion cubic feet of natural gas through the pipeline each day.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Dougherty County Commission considers anti-pipeline resolution
Albany Herald
Carlton Fletcher

ALBANY — A Dougherty County Commissioner asked the members of that body Monday to support a resolution formally opposing the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline that is expected to come through the county. ##District 2 Commissioner John Hayes called for a resolution in opposition of the pipeline at the commission’s business meeting Monday morning. ##“The folk we’re charged with servicing are asking this commission — they’re asking me — to bring to you a request for a resolution opposing the pipeline,” Hayes told commissioners. “These citizens are fiercely and vehemently opposed to the pipeline, and this battle (to stop it) is a long way from over.”  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Pitts wants head of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to meet with Lancaster County residents about gas pipeline concerns
Lancaster Online
Ad Crable

U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts has asked the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to come to Lancaster County and hold a “town-hall style” meeting to hear residents’ concerns over a proposed natural gas pipeline. “I believe it is very important that my constituents be given the opportunity to express their concerns directly to a FERC decision maker,” Pitts wrote to FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Landowners say ET Rover pipeline may impact burial ground, landing strip
M Live
Jiquanda Johnson

MUNDY TWP, MI -- The Judson Farm has been owned by the same family since 1834. The land, 40 acres, used to have mills and now produces beans for harvest. It's on the route of a controversial proposed natural gas pipeline. At one time it had a native American settlement, the landowner says, and some say there is an undocumented cemetery on the property that family members didn't want disturbed. The Saginaw Chippewa tribe in Mount Pleasant, which tracks possible burial sites, could not immediately confirm a native American cemetery on the farm. "My husband's great-great-great-grandfather used to own a mill and there used to be an Indian town there," said Irene Judson. "Michigan State University requested to come dig around, but I figured why should we let them disturb graves?"  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
New York State Sends Letter to North Dakota Governor Dalrymple Supporting Proposed Regulations to Decrease Crude Oil Volatility - A New NYSDEC Press Release
NYS DEC
Press Release

Treating Crude Oil to Remove Volatile Gases Before Transit by Rail Will Protect New Yorkers and Communities Near Rail Lines Across the Country State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens and state Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald today sent a letter to North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple in support of proposed North Dakota state regulation changes that would require oil producers to remove volatile gases from Bakken crude oil prior to shipping the crude oil across the country by rail, further protecting New Yorkers who live and work near rail lines. "In light of the devastating incidents in Quebec and North Dakota, there is no doubt that we need to make it safer to ship crude oil across the country and through New York State," DEC Commissioner Martens said. "One of the best ways to do this is to take action at the source, before the oil is shipped through our communities. North Dakota has proposed stronger precautions on this kind of rail shipments, that will benefit everyone who lives or works near a crude oil transport line - including New Yorkers. We urge North Dakota to act swiftly on these regulations to make communities safer and more protected from oil train accidents."  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Guest Viewpoint: Truth of Seneca Lake project hidden
Ithaca Journal
Sandra Steingraber

My parents collected Reader's Digest Condensed Books. I read them all, discovering, only years later that "condensed" meant "abridged." "Jane Eyre" was a darker tale than I knew. Excising unpleasantries from literature is an old practice. To create The Family Shakespeare in 1818, publisher Thomas Bowdler eliminated prostitutes. Lady Macbeth cries, "Out, crimson spot!" Such tamperings seem quaint, but the impulse to delete problematic truths is apparently alive and not confined to fiction.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Grandmother Charged with Harassment After Trying to Speak About Fracking at Public Meeting
Public Herald
Joshua B. Pribanic

Rose Marie Grzinzic is neighbor to the “Lamb’s Farm Storage Facility,” a fracking wastewater site known locally as the “tank farm.” It’s one of 28 WMGR123 permits issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) allowing roughly 40 yellow trailers to hold up to 756,000 gallons of wastewater produced by Chesapeake Appalachian on the surface for the next six years. Directly downhill hill from the storage facility, Rose Marie has a pond where she and her sister have stocked fish. It’s where her grandchildren and great-grandchildren swim. “Shear the top of the hill off, that dump site is parallel with my pond,” Grzinzic says. “There is a possibility of a leak somewhere — I don’t like it. My daughter already moved out with her two children because she worked for Chesapeake and she drove a freshwater truck. She told me, regardless of how careful you are, you deposit or pick up anything off that truck, it leaks.”  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
'That stuff can get you so fast' -- deadly gas on the rise in oil fields
E & E Newswire
Mike Lee

Temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit froze the valve on the back of Greg Bish's frack truck. To thaw it, he fetched a blowtorch and put the 4-inch flame to the metal. The explosion blew him 75 feet, over a 7-foot-tall barbed-wire fence, and killed him. It might seem dangerous to apply a propane torch to the back of a large metal tank holding natural gas production waste, as Bish did that morning in 2010 just outside Elderton, Pa. But in the oil and gas industry, it's not unusual.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Pennsylvania fines company $306,570 for pipeline violations
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

From the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection today: WILLIAMSPORT -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced it has fined Regency Marcellus Gas Gathering LLC of San Antonio, Texas, $306,570 for multiple violations of the Clean Streams Law, Dam Safety and Encroachment Act and state regulations during the construction of two natural gas pipelines in 2012 and 2013. The pipeline construction was performed by PVR Marcellus Gas Gathering LLC of Williamsport, Lycoming County, which was later acquired by Regency.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Infrared videos show Denton oil and gas air pollution still unaddressed by regulators
EARTHWORKS
Press Release

Denton, TX -- Newly released infrared videos taken over the past three months show that oil and gas air pollution is ongoing, chronic, and unaddressed in Denton, Texas despite assurances of safety by industry. The videos make visible normally invisible volatile organic compounds emissions (VOCs) -- such as carcinogens like benzene. “These videos prove to Denton residents that, even as they go to the polls bombarded with industry promises of ‘responsible drilling’, those promises are empty.” said Earthworks’ Texas organizer Sharon Wilson. She continued, “Instead, we’re getting polluted with ongoing, long-term exposure to poisonous volatile organic compounds.”   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
In Key Midterm Races, Democrats Sound Like Republicans on Climate Issue
InsideClimate News
Katherine Bagley

Democrats are justifiably worried about holding onto control of the United States Senate in the midterm elections Nov. 4. Most forecasts have Republicans winning seven seats for a 52-48 advantage, which would almost certainly spell doom for any action on climate change. But here's the real catch: Even if Democrats win the Senate by a slim margin, climate action could still be foiled for the next few years by members of their own party.   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Natural Gas as 'Bridge Fuel' Is Excellent Political Solution But Fails As Climate Solution
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA

“We cannot solely rely on abundant gas to solve the climate change problem. The climate change problem requires a climate change solution. Abundant gas could be great for any number of things, but it is not going to solve the climate change problem.” This statement was made by Haewon McJeon, the lead author on a new study published last week by Nature magazine, which concluded that cheap abundant natural gas will actually delay any efforts to reduce carbon emissions.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Calif. fracking ban proposal draws millions in oil and gas industry spending
Post Gazette
Reid Wilson

A local ballot initiative in California’s Santa Barbara County that would prohibit some forms of energy extraction, including hydraulic fracturing, has attracted the attention of the oil and gas industry — making it one of the most expensive local ballot initiatives in history. The initiative, Measure P, would ban what it dubs “high-intensity petroleum operations,” including practices like fracking and acid well stimulation treatments, from unincorporated land inside the county. It has backing from environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the Community Environmental Council, unions and the Democratic Party.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
E.P.A. faults state on funding of pollution program
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

The state Department of Environmental Conservation's “Title V” air pollution permitting program incurred debt that grew to $16 million by 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency's Inspector General found. The underfunding, if it still affects the program, could harm public health because it leaves inadequate monitoring of polluting facilities, according to the report.   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Scientists Develop New Tool to Track Fracking Pollution
Green Action News


DURHAM, N.C. – Scientists have developed new geochemical tracers that can identify hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids that have been spilled or released into the environment. The tracers, which were created by a team of U.S. and French researchers, have been field-tested at a spill site in West Virginia and downstream from an oil and gas brine wastewater treatment plant in Pennsylvania. “This gives us new forensic tools to detect if ‘frac fluids’ are escaping into our water supply and what risks, if any, they might pose,” said Duke University geochemist Avner Vengosh, who co-led the research.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Fed Measures on Crude Oil Fall Short, Put Hudson River at Risk
Huffington Post
Paul Gallay Opinion

Last May, we wrote about how the Hudson River Valley has become a virtual pipeline for the transport of highly flammable Bakken crude oil in unsafe DOT-111 railcars--the same tankers whose derailment has caused numerous explosions across the U.S. and the death of 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Canada. Since then, very little has changed, which means the situation has just gotten worse.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Environment New York Endorses Twelve Candidates for 2014 Elections
Environment New York
Press Release

New York, NY – Environment New York, a statewide environmental organization, announced today the endorsement of twelve candidates for federal office. The candidates are Timothy Bishop (NY-1), Patricia Maher (NY-2), Steve Israel (NY-3), Kathleen Rice (NY-4), Nydia Velasquez (NY-7), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Domenic Recchia (NY-11), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Sean Eldridge (NY-19), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Dan Maffei (NY-24), and Louise Slaughter (NY-25).   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Massachusetts Tops California as Most Energy-Efficient State, while Arkansas, D.C., Kentucky, and Wisconsin are Most Improved
ACEEE
Patrick Kiker

Top 10 States are MA, CA, RI, OR, VT, CT, NY, WA, MD, and MN; 5 States Most in Need of Improvement are ND, WY, SD, MS, and AK Washington, D.C.—Governors and lawmakers in state capitals across the nation continue to take major steps to lower energy costs, reduce pollution, and save consumers money by increasing their states’ energy efficiency, according to the findings of the 8th edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Voters Cast Ballots in First-Ever Push to Ban Fracking in Texas
State Impact Texas
Mose Buchele

For Cathy McMullen, the reasons to ban fracking in Denton are as obvious at the drilling rig that sits on the corner of Masch Branch and Hampton Road on the northwest side of town. It’s big, it’s noisy, and she believes it vents toxic emissions into the community. The site is, however, not very close to any houses.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
U.S. Carbon Emissions Rise Despite Efforts to Combat Climate Change
EcoWatch
Rachel Cleetus

In a troubling sign, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released today show that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose 2.5 percent in 2013, from 5,267 million metric tons in 2012 to 5,396 million metric tons in 2013. This increase comes after two years of declining emissions. Market trends on their own are clearly insufficient to achieve sustained, sharp reductions in heat-trapping emissions: we need strong policies that drive renewable energy and energy efficiency.   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Texas’ Top Toxicologist: EPA’s New Smog Regulations Unnecessary, Just Stay Indoors
ThinkProgress
ARI PHILLIPS

Texas’ chief toxicologist is arguing that the EPA shouldn’t tighten ground-level ozone, or smog, rules because there will be little to no public health benefit. Dr. Michael Honeycutt heads the toxicology division of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the state agency tasked with protecting Texans from pollution.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
[NY] State won't ban tankers
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Opponents of crude oil trains at the Port of Albany claimed the state has the power to immediately ban the most common type of tanker cars — called DOT-111s — from entering the port loaded with flammable oil, according to a petition filed Tuesday with state Department of Environmental Conservation. DEC disagreed, but such a step would make Albany the first place in the country to bar the aging tankers, which in derailments have been prone to rupture, leading to fires and explosions, said Chris Amato, a staff attorney with EarthJustice, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental legal group that filed the petition.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
A host of chemicals emissions are seeping from oil and gas operations
The Denver Post
Mark Jaffe

A host of chemical emissions seep are seeping from oil and gas drilling pads with different ones coming from different places in the operation – from the wellhead to tanks to valves, according to a new study. “The hope is that this helps us understand what kinds of emissions are coming from which equipment on a site,” said Carsten Warneke, a University of Colorado researcher and lead author on the study. The data will may help regulators better manage oil and gas field emissions.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Surprising turn in Pinelands pipeline battle
Philadelphia Inquirer
David O'Reilly

he Senate Judiciary Committee's decision last week to hold up Gov. Christie's two nominations to the Pinelands Commission surprised many watching the process, and had environmental groups declaring a victory. "We are going to hold the vote," State Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari, the chairman, declared with a bang of his gavel seconds after Robert S. Barr and Dennis Roohr finished answering questions Thursday. "I was surprised," said Jaclyn Rhoads, assistant executive director of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, adding that Scutari had said at the start of the hearing he would call for a vote. Rhoads and other environmental leaders chalked up the turn of events to their lobbying. They told lawmakers they believed the nominees were chosen to reverse a previous commission vote denying permission for a gas pipeline through protected Pinelands. "My take was that a number of senators were very concerned that these nominations were an attempt by the governor to get the pipeline through," she said, referring to an effort by South Jersey Gas to win a waiver from the Pinelands Commission to build 10 miles of the 22-mile-long gas pipeline through protected forest. "We won today," said Jeff Tittel, executive director of the Sierra Club of New Jersey. "It was a victory for the Pinelands and democracy."  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Energy firms challenge DEP's method to calculate fines
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Laura Legere

Energy companies facing multimillion dollar fines from Pennsylvania regulators over leaks from their pits and pipelines are challenging the state Department of Environmental Protection’s method of calculating those penalties. In separate cases in different state legal venues, Philadelphia-based Sunoco Logistics Partners and Downtown-based EQT Corp. are asking judges to reject DEP’s interpretation of the Clean Streams Law, which the companies say regulators are using to pad fine totals. The dispute centers on whether violations end when a leak is plugged or whether they continue until all residual contamination stops spreading into state waters.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Tanker tumbles over embankment
The Daily Review
ALEXIS BORTLE

SHESHEQUIN TOWNSHIP - First responders from multiple municipalities arrived on the scene of a water tanker truck which had careened off the side of the road while traveling down Ghent Hill in Sheshequin Township Monday morning. According to volunteers on scene, the tanker was carrying a load of "brine" water which is used during the hydrofracking process. "Fracking" is done throughout Bradford County, including eight active well heads in Sheshequin Township alone, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. At approximately 8:45 a.m., Bradford County dispatch informed area emergency responders that a tanker truck had veered off the roadway and had flipped at least once. The driver of the vehicle made clear efforts to stop the truck, judging by the length of black skid marks lining the roadway, before the vehicle tumbled over the deep embankment on the south side of the road.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Komen is supposed to be curing breast cancer. So why is its pink ribbon on so many carcinogenic products?
The Washington Post
Karuna Jaggar

Breast cancer giant Susan G. Komen has found its strangest bedfellow yet in one of the world’s largest oilfield services corporations, Baker Hughes. The two have teamed up for a second year to distribute 1,000 pink drill bits to oil fields worldwide. Each drill bit, which burrows thousands of feet underground to tap fossil fuel reservoirs, is “shipped to the drill site in a pink-topped container containing information packets with breast health facts, including breast cancer risk factors and screening tips,” according to energy news site FuelFix.com. These pink drill bits deliver not only barrels of oil, but also good PR and money: Baker Hughes gets to claim it cares about women’s health, and Komen will receive a check from the Houston-based company for $100,000. The campaign has even come up with a cute tagline: “Doing their bit for a cure.”   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Environmental Issues Become a Force in Political Advertising
The New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT and ASHLEY PARKER

WASHINGTON — In Michigan, an ad attacking Terri Lynn Land, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate, opens with a shot of rising brown floodwaters as a woman says: “We see it every day in Michigan. Climate change. So why is Terri Lynn Land ignoring the science?” In Colorado, an ad for Cory Gardner, another Republican candidate for Senate, shows him in a checked shirt and hiking boots, standing in front of a field of wind turbines as he discusses his support for green energy.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Pennsylvania sees record lawsuit
vindy.com
MICHAEL RUBINKAM AP

Pennsylvania environmental regulators are pursuing a record $4.5 million fine against a gas driller over what they describe as a major case of pollution from a leaking waste pit. The Department of Environmental Protection filed a civil complaint against EQT Corp. on Oct. 7, accusing the Pittsburgh-based company of polluting streams and groundwater and harming trees and other vegetation around its impoundment in Duncan Township, Tioga County. The company has been uncooperative during the investigation and “fails to recognize the ongoing environmental harm” from its impoundment, Acting DEP Secretary Dana Aunkst said in a statement.   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Former Environment Agency head to lead industry-funded fracking task force
The Guardian
Damian Carrington

The risks and benefits of fracking for the UK are to be examined by a “independent” task force, led by the former head of the Environment Agency, Lord Chris Smith, and funded by shale gas companies. “We will assess the existing evidence, ask for new contributions and lead a national conversation around this vitally important issue,” said Smith, who as chair of the Environment Agency oversaw key fracking regulation. “The Task Force on Shale Gas will provide impartial opinions on the impacts, good and bad, that the exploitation of shale gas will have on the UK.”   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Scientists Just Discovered How To Determine If Water Contamination Comes From Fracking
Climate Progress
Emily Atkin

A team of U.S. and French scientists say they have developed a new tool that can specifically tell when environmental contamination comes from waste produced by hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking. In peer-reviewed research published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology on Monday, the researchers say their new forensic tool can distinguish fracking wastewater pollution from other contamination that results from other industrial processes — such as conventional oil and gas drilling. Fracking is a controversial oil and gas well stimulation technique that uses a great deal of water, mixed with chemicals, to extract oil and gas from miles deep underground. Once the rock is fractured by the high pressure fluid, fossil fuels follow the fracking fluid to the surface. The disposal of this often-radioactive water mixture, known as “fracking fluid,” is widely considered to be one of the biggest environmental threats that fracking poses, along with the emissions of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Scientists Just Discovered How To Determine If Water Contamination Comes From Fracking
ThinkProgress
EMILY ATKIN

A team of U.S. and French scientists say they have developed a new tool that can specifically tell when environmental contamination comes from waste produced by hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking. In peer-reviewed research published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology on Monday, the researchers say their new forensic tool can distinguish fracking wastewater pollution from other contamination that results from other industrial processes — such as conventional oil and gas drilling. Fracking is a controversial oil and gas well stimulation technique that uses a great deal of water, mixed with chemicals, to extract oil and gas from miles deep underground. Once the rock is fractured by the high pressure fluid, fossil fuels follow the fracking fluid to the surface. The disposal of this often-radioactive water mixture, known as “fracking fluid,” is widely considered to be one of the biggest environmental threats that fracking poses, along with the emissions of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
High pollution levels found near Ohio gas wells
SF Gate
Mark Gillispie AP

CLEVELAND (AP) — A study in a rural Ohio county where oil and gas drilling is booming found air pollution levels near well sites higher than those in downtown Chicago. A team from the University of Cincinnati and Oregon State University placed 25 monitors as close as one-tenth of a mile from gas wells in Carroll County, about 100 miles south of Cleveland. The monitoring occurred over a three-week period in February. The monitors detected 32 types of hydrocarbon-based compounds, some of which are found in vehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke and are produced when materials are burned.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
PUBLIC LANDS: Sportsmen seek room for wildlife amid drilling push
E&E Publishing
Phil Taylor

PICEANCE CREEK, Colo. -- When Bill Wille went hunting in the Piceance Basin in the 1980s, it wasn't long before he bagged a trophy buck. "Don't be upset," Wille would tell hunters who returned empty-handed. "Tomorrow, we'll have another crack at the monster." Mule deer then were plentiful in the Piceance Creek Basin between Rangely, Meeker and Rifle, numbering upward of 30,000 animals. A license to hunt deer in these rugged mountains of pinyon and juniper trees could be purchased over the counter. But these days, mule deer numbers are only half as large, and hunters wait years to draw a tag to shoot one. As deer numbers shrank, oil and gas companies -- aided by new drilling technologies and rising demand -- boomed. They cleared hundreds of well pads, transforming the basin into one of North America's biggest gas plays.  [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
What impact can fracking have on our health?
WBNG
Caroline Goggin

A press conference was held Tuesday afternoon to call for a halt to the Department of Health's review of fracking hazards. Speakers said they have already written to Governor Cuomo's 500 largest campaign contributors asking them to safeguard public health and the environment.   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
Josh Penry and Kristin Strohm: First Couple of Colorado Fracking Front Groups
DeSmogBlog
Jesse Coleman

A Greenpeace investigation has uncovered close ties between a Colorado political couple and at least six oil and gas industry front groups that have been fighting state regulations designed to protect the health of its citizens and the environment.   [Full Story]

Oct 21, 2014
PA now ranked 50th for job growth since January 2011
Keystone Research Center
Press Release

Pennsylvania’s rank for percent job growth since January 2011 has fallen to last place among states, based on employment data for September 2014 released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In September, Pennsylvania lost 9,600 jobs while the state’s unemployment rate fell from one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.7% (view the fact sheet http://keystoneresearch.org/sites/default/files/KRC_JobRanking_Sept.pdf). The Keystone Research Center’s Aug. 28 report The State of Working Pennsylvania 2014 (at http://keystoneresearch.org/state-working-pennsylvania-2014) documented that the commonwealth’s economic recovery has taken longer and been more painful than necessary because of misguided state and national policies. “Today’s numbers drive home emphatically that you can’t cut your way to prosperity,” said Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of Keystone Research Center. “We were ranked in the top 10 for job growth in 2010. Then tens of thousands of layoffs in education, and the state’s postponed investment in infrastructure and delayed acceptance of Medicaid expansion dollars delivered a body blow to Pennsylvania’s recovery, the effects of which are still being felt. In recession and recovery, Pennsylvania needs a balanced, creative policy and state budget approach that fuels the state’s economic engine, not an unbalanced one that slams on the brakes.”   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
UN officials 'shocked' by Detroit’s mass water shutoffs
AlJazeera America
Laura Gottesdiener

Surrounded by a frenzy of cameras, Detroit resident Rochelle McCaskill explained her predicament to a team of United Nations officials on Sunday: The numbers simply didn’t add up. Out of her $672 monthly disability check, McCaskill spends $600 rent, she said, leaving her unable to pay the city’s water bills, which have skyrocketed to more than twice the national average. “They need a category for those of us who cannot pay,” said McCaskill, whose water was shut off this summer as part of a wave of disconnections that, block by block, have left thousands of city residents without running water. The city turned off McCaskill’s water despite the fact that she had been paying down her $540.10 water bill in increments and that she suffers from MRSA, a contagious infection that the NIH considers a “serious public health concern” and requires frequent bathing.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
SAFETY: The drilling industry's explosion problem
E&E Publishing
Mike Soraghan

Temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit froze the valve on the back of Greg Bish's frack truck. To thaw it, he fetched a blowtorch and put the 4-inch flame to the metal. The explosion blew him 75 feet, over a 7-foot-tall barbed-wire fence, and killed him. It might seem dangerous to apply a propane torch to the back of a large metal tank holding natural gas production waste, as Bish did that morning in 2010 just outside Elderton, Pa. But in the oil and gas industry, it's not unusual. The oil and gas industry has more deaths from fires and explosions than any other private industry, according to an EnergyWire review of federal labor statistics. It employs less than 1 percent of the U.S. workforce, but in the past five years it has had more than 10 percent of all workplace fatalities from fires and explosions.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Land records show many state parks could see mining, drilling
eaglefordtexas.com
Randy Ludlow The Columbus Dispatch

About 40 percent of Ohio’s natural treasures — its state parks, forests and wildlife and nature preserves — could be undermined in the quest to remove valuable coal, oil, natural gas and other minerals. Mineral rights owned by other parties could permit mining or drilling in parts of 18 state forests, 24 state parks and 53 natural areas, according to an analysis of state land records by The Dispatch. Even the parcel holding one of the crown jewels of Ohio’s park system — Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park southeast of Columbus — potentially could be drilled for oil and natural gas.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
CLIMATE: FERC, greens spar over 'cursory' reviews of gas projects
E & E Publishing
Hannah Northey

Climate change activists have opened a new front in their fight against fossil fuels at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They are pressing the agency to examine the impact of projects tied to the U.S. natural gas boom on global warming. They say the National Environment Policy Act, or NEPA, requires such assessments before projects move on. FERC disagrees.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Suit threatened over possible lease sale of 20,000 acres in Santa Fe National Forest
Wisconsin Gazette


A broad coalition of local and national conservation groups announced plans to sue the federal Bureau of Land Management if the agency proceeds with the sale of 13 parcels — almost 20,000 acres of public lands — in the Santa Fe National Forest for oil and gas fracking. The BLM has received more than a 100 letters protesting the sale and challenging the agency’s failure to consider potentially serious impacts to the area’s air, water, wildlife and surrounding communities.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Guess how much BLM land is open for drilling?
Durango Herald
Deborah Courson Smith

DENVER – Ninety-four percent for gas and oil development, 6 percent for everything else. An analysis from The Wilderness Society shows that the Bureau of Land Management has made almost all its land within Colorado available for development. Nada Culver, director of the society’s BLM Action Center, said the stats prove that the gas and oil industry has an unfair advantage. “Right now, every other use has to kind of fight for a chance,” she said, “while oil and gas seems to have the deferred seat at the top.”  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Eastern Cherokee Band Forbids Fracking on Its Sovereign Lands
Indian Country
ICTMN Staff

Invoking tribal health and cultural survival, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has declared a ban on fracking on its sovereign land in what is today North Carolina. “The Eastern Band of Cherokees will not permit or authorize any person, corporation or other legal entity to engage in hydraulic fracturing on Tribal trust lands,” reads part of the text of a resolution passed unanimously by the Tribal Council last month and signed into law by Principal Chief Mitchell Hicks on September 10. “The State of North Carolina is without legal authority to permit hydraulic fracturing on Tribal trust lands.” Tribal officials cited the importance to preservation of the woodland habitats that are the underpinning of tribal health and culture.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Berkeley Earthquake Expert Links Fracking To Quakes On The ‘Tectonic Timebomb’
CBS SF Bay Area


But along with trying to predict Mother Nature’s timing of quakes, researchers are also looking into how hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can impact geological events.... Allen told KCBS that a great earthquake is imminent in an area that’s been referred to as a “tectonic timebomb” and that danger lies in how close the epicenter is to populated areas and pointed to the Loma Prieta as an example.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
SA Liberals defend vote to block 'fracking' inquiry despite election pledge
ABC News
Malcolm Sutton & Tom Fedorowytsch

The South Australian Opposition says it voted against a Greens inquiry into unconventional gas despite its election pledge to support one because the terms were too broad. It sided with the government on Friday to vote down the Greens' motion for a parliamentary inquiry into unconventional gas.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Texas voters to Denton to vote on municipal fracking ban
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

It's a Nov. 4 election vote that is getting lots of attention in Texas and beyond. The city of Denton, Texas, is voting on a municipal ban of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Such a vote in the college town near Dallas is unheard of in Texas.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Following his fracking tour, Hawkins outlines energy plan
Legislative Gazette
Roger Hannigan Gilson

Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins wants New York to transition to 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030, part of a larger plan he outlined to The Legislative Gazette after returning from a tour of one of Pennsylvania's most heavily hydrofracked counties.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
What does fracking smell like?
News 24
Andreas Wilson-Spath

With fracking for shale gas likely to become a reality in many parts of South Africa, it’s a perfectly reasonable thing to ask. Does fracking have an odour? Supporters will tell you that their pet technology is properly housetrained and does not give off any disagreeable scents. While that may be true for the most part, if you happen to live in an area targeted by the fracking industry, expect a significant increase of dust and diesel fumes in the air as hundreds of trucks will be shipping equipment and fracking fluid back and forth 24/7.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Was decision over Lancashire’s fracking plans right?
Lancashire Evening Post


A small majority of people say a decision to reject fracking plans in Lancashire was the wrong one. Following the decision by Fylde Council to reject plans submitted by Cuadrilla Resources, the Evening Post asked readers online if they supported the decision.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Divestment campaign urges customers to boycott banks which support fracking and fossil-fuel industry
The Independent
Tom Bawden

Customers of Britain’s biggest banks are threatening to close their accounts unless the institutions cut all ties with coal, tar sands, fracking and other fossil-fuel industries as part of a new campaign launched today.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Lawmakers Study Possible Link Between Earthquakes and Fracking
KOSU Tulsa
Kate Strum

A week from Tuesday, an interim study conducted by state representatives Cory Williams and Jason Murphey examines the correlation between wastewater disposal wells and the rise in earthquakes.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Anti-fracking camp on Wrexham drilling site
News North Wales


ANTI-fracking campaigners have set up camp on land in Wrexham. A ‘community protection camp’ has settled in at the proposed site for test drilling for coal bed methane at Commonwood Farm, Borras.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Renewables better than fracking in slashing US emissions
Click Green


Wind power, not shale gas, was the biggest single cause of the fall in US carbon emissions from coal use, according to new Greenpeace analysis published today. The findings, based on figures by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), contradict the established narrative that touted shale gas as the biggest single factor in bringing down US emissions in recent years.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Metgasco says the NSW Government did not have the right to suspend a controversial gas drilling licence at Bentley
ABC News
Jamelle Wells

Mining company Metgasco has argued that the New South Wales Government did not have the right to suspend a controversial drilling licence. Metgasco has taken the NSW Government to court over the cancellation of the gas drilling licence at the Rosella well at Bentley near Lismore, in northern NSW.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Wasted energy
News Gazette


Lethargy has turned to litigation in what has become a battle to get state bureaucrats moving on the fracking issue. It's been nearly two years since a bipartisan legislative majority passed and Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation authorizing a new means of energy exploration in Illinois.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
GAO: Allowing Oil Exports Could Drive Gas Prices Down Even Further
Daily Caller
Michael Bastasch

Removing restrictions on the export of crude oil would boost the economy, increase U.S. oil production and lower gasoline prices, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Pa. studies on shale-site air emissions incomplete, according to court documents
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

Three widely cited state studies of air emissions at Marcellus Shale gas development sites in Pennsylvania omit measurements of key air toxics and calculate the health risks of just two of more than two dozen pollutants.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
State studies on shale-site air emissions incomplete, according to court documents
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

Three widely cited state studies of air emissions at Marcellus Shale gas development sites in Pennsylvania omit measurements of key air toxics and calculate the health risks of just two of more than two dozen pollutants. State regulators and the shale gas drilling industry over the past four years have repeatedly used the regional studies to support their positions that air emissions from drilling, fracking wastewater impoundments and compressor stations don’t pose a public health risk. The revelations about the shortcomings of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s short-term air sampling reports are contained in sworn depositions by two DEP air program employees who worked on them.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
To Stop a Pipeline, Citizens Deploy Hundreds of Letters, and a Shotgun 'My brother in law told [the pipeline survey team] to leave and they did. He had a
InsideClimate News
David Hasemyer

'My brother in law told [the pipeline survey team] to leave and they did. He had a shotgun with him so they left quickly.' People living along the proposed route of a natural gas pipeline through Michigan have been bombarding federal regulators with letters opposing the project planned by ET Rover Pipeline Company LLC. In the face of mounting opposition in one county, ET Rover, a subsidiary of Houston-based Energy Transfer Partners, quietly revised its plan and rerouted the pipeline north though two counties that were surprised to suddenly be dealing with the project. The letter-writing campaign was directed at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the federal agency that will decide the project's fate. FERC is the lead agency responsible for conducting environmental reviews of proposed interstate pipelines, and as part of the process it allows time for the public to weigh in with comments.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Red wines on the rise in New York
Messenger Post News
Julie Sherwood

NAPLES — The credit for popular red wines — think Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, among others — often goes to California. But a combination of climate change, expertise in New York’s wine industry and awareness are beginning to change that. “With varieties that 30 or 40 years ago we never would have thought of growing here, now I scratch my head and say, ‘Well, that can be done,’” said Tim Moore, winemaker and co-owner of Inspire Moore Winery and Vineyard in Naples. Moore, originally a winemaker from California and former director of grower relations at Constellation Brands, said the rise in the reds locally is something he relishes. “Our winery focuses on a lot of red,” said Moore. Consumers are surprised when they taste reds made from grapes in the Finger Lakes, he said: “They can’t believe it’s a New York red.”  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
North Dakota working to reduce natural gas flaring
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

About one-third of the natural gas North Dakota has produced in recent years has been flared rather than sold to customers or consumed on-site. The rapid growth in North Dakota oil production, which rose from more than 230,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in January 2010 to more than 1,130,000 bbl/d in August 2014, has led to increased volumes of associated gas, or natural gas that comes from oil reservoirs. These increased volumes require additional infrastructure to gather, process, and transport gas volumes instead of flaring them.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
First Wind, Now Gas: Tax Breaks Face Scrutiny
Texas Tribune
Jim Malewitz & Neena Satija

Susan Combs, the state comptroller, stirred controversy last month when she said Texas’ growing wind energy industry should “stand on its own two feet.” “Billions of dollars of tax credits and property tax limitations on new generation helped grow the industry, but today they give it an unfair market advantage over other power sources,” said Combs, a Republican, upon the release of a study meant to illustrate how energy policy affects Texans’   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Duke researchers identify tracking tool for fracking fluids
News Observer
John Murawski

Duke University researchers said they have identified a new method to trace leaks and spills of fracking fluids by using a novel geochemical fingerprinting technology. In a study published Monday, the six scientists write that they are the first to describe the tracer method, which can pinpoint highly diluted remnants of the industrial fluids in waterways and other drinking water sources   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
California looks to curb methane emissions
McClatchyDC
SEAN COCKERHAM

WASHINGTON — Pressure is growing on regulators in California and Washington, D.C., to crack down on methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is accelerating the warming of the planet. Methane, the main component of natural gas, escapes into the atmosphere through leaks in drilling operations and pipeline delivery. Sometimes the gas is vented or intentionally burned as waste by oil companies, particularly in the Bakken fields of North Dakota. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering new rules to target methane emissions from oil and gas, which account for a quarter of the methane emissions in the United States, according to the agency.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Berkeley Earthquake Expert Links Fracking To Quakes On The ‘Tectonic Timebomb’
CBS SanFrancisco


SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — As the Bay Area marked the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake on Friday, there was no shortage of reminders of the power of Mother Nature and the promise of other big quakes to come. But along with trying to predict Mother Nature’s timing of quakes, researchers are also looking into how hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can impact geological events. KCBS In Depth cohosts Jane McMillan and Ed Cavagnaro spoke with Dr. Richard Allen, director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, who is working on an earthquake warning system.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
State promises to provide fracking documents by Nov. 3
Finger Lake Times
David L. Shaw

GENEVA — The latest promise from the state Department of Health is to provide all requested documents on a hydrofracking health impact assessment to the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association by Nov. 3. That’s the latest development in a two-year battle between SLPWA and the DOH over a Freedom of Information Law request for documentation on the controversial issue.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Natural Gas Is Leaking And Warming The Climate
FiveThirtyEight Science
BROOKS MINER

The way U.S. cities move around natural gas may be contributing more to climate change than anyone appreciated: The pipes are leaking, and some are leaking a lot. About a third of the natural gas we consume is delivered to homes and businesses, where it fires appliances like furnaces, boilers, ovens and cooking stoves. To transport this gas, most urban areas have extensive networks of underground pipelines, many of which were built decades ago. Although big leaks are hard to miss (they smell), small leaks can go undetected. How much natural gas leaks out before it gets to the furnace in your basement? Until recently, no one had thought much about this.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Fracktivists Split on Supporting Hickenlooper
Aspen Public Radio
Elise Thatcher

Many fractivists across Colorado felt deeply betrayed by Governor John Hickenlooper this summer, when he announced a grand bargain over fracking. After meeting with members of the oil and gas industry and environmental groups, everyone agreed to drop ballot measures for and against drilling… instead agreeing to a statewide task force. Now fractivists are faced with a tough choice in the upcoming election. The gubernatorial race has turned razor thin, and they must decide whether to vote for Hickenlooper, or accept a more drilling friendly Republican administration.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
U.S. Oil Exports Would Worsen Global Warming, Government Auditors Say
InsideClimate News
John H. Cushman Jr.

Allowing United States oil producers to export crude would not only sway markets at home and abroad, it would also worsen global warming and present other environmental risks, the Government Accountability Office said in a new survey of experts. "Additional crude oil production may pose risks to the quality and quantity of surface groundwater sources; increase greenhouse gas and other emissions; and increase the risk of spills," said the report.   [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Regulations Could Douse North Dakota Gas Flares
Climate Central
Bobby Magill

Burning crude oil as gasoline in vehicles is already one of the world’s biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions, and one of the United States’ largest sources of crude oil is the Bakken shale in North Dakota. NASA satellite images showing bright lights in the Bakken fields illustrate a side effect of crude oil production there that is also problematic for the climate. All the light coming from those fields are thousands of flames burning off, or flaring, natural gas.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Energy Department: U.S. must act now on methane emissions
Fuel Fix
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — The United States can’t afford to wait until it understands the amount of methane escaping from oil and gas wells, pipelines and infrastructure before plugging those leaks, officials said Monday. “We know enough to act,” said Judi Greenwald, a deputy director for climate, environment and efficiency at the Energy Department, during a panel discussion Monday. “There are uncertainties about methane emissions — and part of the administration’s strategy is to improve our numbers — but we know enough to take some action, and this problem may be easier to solve than many characterize.”  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Renewables not shale biggest driver in US emissions cuts, study finds
BusinessGreen


Renewable energy, not shale gas, has played the biggest role in reducing US emissions, according to new analysis from Greenpeace's Energydesk site. Many energy and political commentators have argued that a surge in US shale gas production has help replace dirty coal-fired power stations, helping the world's former largest emissions cut emissions 16 per cent since 2007.  [Full Story]

Oct 20, 2014
Duke professor finds fracking footprint
News & Record
Taft Wireback

DURHAM — A prominent Duke University researcher contributed to a recent discovery that makes it easier to say what role the controversial technology of hydraulic fracturing plays in water pollution. Duke geochemist Avner Vengosh worked with other American and French scientists in identifying what they believe is the unique, chemical “fingerprint” left behind by the relatively new process of extracting natural gas from shale. “So if there is contamination, we can tell the source,” Vengosh said. “Once you see this kind of water in the environment, you will be able to say, ‘Yes, this is fracking.’ ”  [Full Story]

Oct 19, 2014
Their View | Finding ways to limit methane leaks
Centre Daily Times
Opinion/Editorial

The Obama administration spent all summer mulling new measures to cut air pollution from the booming natural gas industry. Now federal officials are nearing a decision on whether and how to limit emissions from wells, storage tanks and other places from which gas can leak. Whether you believe that the country’s fracking boom is an economic godsend or an environmental disaster — or both — you should favor measures to limit the industry’s effects on the atmosphere. Unlocking vast natural gas reserves trapped in U.S. shale rock formations has drastically cut the cost and price volatility of the fuel in the United States. That has kept energy costs down, encouraged domestic and foreign manufacturers to invest here and reduced the burning of coal, a much dirtier fuel. On the other hand, natural gas produces some carbon dioxide emissions when burned — about half those of coal — and is a potent greenhouse gas in its own right when it escapes into the air unburned. That’s because it contains a lot of methane, which, when allowed to escape uncombusted, is dozens of times more potent a warming agent than carbon dioxide. Methane from various sources now accounts for 9 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and that number is rising with the expansion of domestic drilling.   [Full Story]

Oct 19, 2014
North Dakota health official: Methane could be next environmental issue for oil industry
Daily Reporter
Josh Wood

WILLISTON, North Dakota — Methane emissions will likely be the next big environmental issue to face North Dakota's booming oil industry according to a top official at the state's Department of Health. Dave Glatt, chief of the Department of Health's environmental health section, said federal regulations could be on the horizon due to the increased attention to emissions of the greenhouse gas from the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups.   [Full Story]

Oct 19, 2014
Oldest Horizontally Fracked Wells Are World's Biggest Leakers.
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

The frackers are spinning the news about the methane hot spot in the coal bed methane fields saying that it “predates’ the shale fracking boom. It certainly predates fracking shale gas, but does not predate fracking. It fact, it is the birthplace of horizontal fracking for gas. Therefore it is the most likely place to be leaking methane. And it is. Leaking. Big time. Thanks frackers. “Methane hotspot seen from space predates shale gas fracking boom. NASA and University of Michigan scientists analyzed satellite data from 2003 to 2009, and a map of their results shows a bright red spot at the Four Corners, which is most likely related to coal bed methane extraction there, as it predates the boom in shale gas fracking. Living On Earth. 19 October 2014.” Those coal bed methane wells are the granddaddies of the fracking boom, they were the first commercial horizontally fracked wells in the world. The source rock just isn’t shale. Big fracking deal. Two major corrections to the report of the methane leaks seen from space – the coal bed methane wells are by no means “conventional” wells. In fact, they are the oldest “unconventional” commercially horizontally fracked gas wells in the world.   [Full Story]

Oct 19, 2014
Can Climate Change Unite The Left?
Popular Resistance
Naomi Klein

To avoid catastrophe, we must seize corporate polluters’ wealth. And to do that, we must change everything. In December 2012, Brad Werner—a complex systems researcher with pink hair and a serious expression—made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. But it was Werner’s session that was attracting much of the buzz. It was titled “Is Earth F**ked?” (Full title: “Is Earth F**ked? Dynamical Futility of Global Environmental Management and Possibilities for Sustainability via Direct Action Activism”). Standing at the front of the conference room, the University of California, San Diego professor took the crowd through the advanced computer model he was using to answer that rather direct question. He talked about a whole bunch of other stuff largely incomprehensible to those of us uninitiated in complex systems theory. But the bottom line was clear enough: Global capitalism has made the depletion of resources so rapid, convenient and barrier-free that “earth-human systems” are becoming dangerously unstable in response. When a journalist pressed Werner for a clear answer on the “Is earth fucked?” question, he set the jargon aside and replied, “More or less.”   [Full Story]

Oct 19, 2014
Land records show many state parks could see mining, drilling
Columbus Dispatch
Randy Ludlow

About 40 percent of Ohio’s natural treasures — its state parks, forests and wildlife and nature preserves — could be undermined in the quest to remove valuable coal, oil, natural gas and other minerals.   [Full Story]

Oct 19, 2014
Fracking ban on the ballot in tiny San Benito County has big statewide implications
San Jose Mercury News
Paul Rogers

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA -- When President Ronald Reagan was pushing for offshore oil drilling on the edges of Monterey Bay in the mid-1980s, Santa Cruz voters fought back, approving a ballot measure that banned construction of all storage tanks, pipelines and other oil equipment in the city.... Now, nearly 30 years later, the same David vs. Goliath tactic is being used farther from shore. Activists in San Benito County have placed a closely watched measure on the Nov. 4 ballot to outlaw hydraulic fracturing, the controversial oil-extraction technique known as fracking.   [Full Story]

Oct 19, 2014
Tompkins postured to oppose Seneca hydrocarbon storage
Ithaca Journal
Andrew Casler

The Tompkins County Legislature's Planning, Energy, and Environmental Quality Committee unanimously recommended that lawmakers formally oppose a planned hydrocarbon storage site adjacent to Seneca Lake.  [Full Story]

Oct 19, 2014
Fracking ban on the ballot in tiny San Benito County has big statewide implications
Monterey Herald
Paul Rogers

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA -- When President Ronald Reagan was pushing for offshore oil drilling on the edges of Monterey Bay in the mid-1980s, Santa Cruz voters fought back, approving a ballot measure that banned construction of all storage tanks, pipelines and other oil equipment in the city. The small protest vote was soon copied by 25 other coastal communities, from San Diego to Fort Bragg, helping to kill the oil industry's drilling plans.  [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
Future Investments in Fossil Fuels Look Dim
EcoWatch
Kieran Cooke

Like most central bank governors, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, chooses his words carefully. So the financial community—and government policy makers—sat up and took notice earlier this month when Carney, addressing a World Bank seminar on corporate reporting standards, said he was concerned about investments in fossil fuels.   [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
Tax Credits for Energy Industry Are Under Scrutiny
New York Times
Jim Malewitz & Neena Satija

AUSTIN — Susan Combs, the state comptroller, stirred controversy last month when she said Texas’ growing wind energy industry should “stand on its own two feet.” “Billions of dollars of tax credits and property tax limitations on new generation helped grow the industry, but today they give it an unfair market advantage over other power sources,” said Ms. Combs, a Republican, upon the release of a study meant to illustrate how energy policy affects Texans’ wallets.   [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
Placement of Butler Township well pad questioned
TribLive
Rick Wills

Opponents and even some township officials who voted for Rex Energy's plans to drill for natural gas at Butler Township's Krendale Golf Course are unhappy. The proposed well pad is barely outside the state-mandated set-back from residential areas, and opponents and officials like Joseph Hasychak, chairman of the township's board of commissioners, say they are even less happy because they realize the drilling might have been prevented.   [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
Southern Illinois Land Owners File Lawsuit Over Fracking
Tristate Homepage


Fracking in the tristate remains a hot topic after southern Illinois land owners file a lawsuit against governemnt officials earlier this week. People in downstate Illinois say they've waited long enough. They believe the Department of Natural resources is intentionally slowing down their ability to frack and Illinois Congressman John Shimkus agrees. He says it's a political calculation and after election season, he expects the chokehold on fracking in southern Illinois to loosen. Shimkus says the industry has the ability to revitalize local economies.   [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
Earthquake data underscore fracking risk
Rocky Mount Telegram


It was either an ironic coincidence or a portent of things to come that nearly 200,000 North Carolinians last week participated in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills just a few days after a geological study linked hydraulic fracking to more than 400 tremors last year in Ohio.   [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
Fossil Fuel Lobby Spent $213 Million Last Year to Influence US, EU Politicians
DeSmogBlog
Chris Rose

Fossil fuel industries spent an estimated $213 million lobbying U.S. and European Union decision makers last year, according to a new report published by Oxfam International on Friday. In the U.S. alone, the estimated 2013 bill for lobbying activities by fossil fuel interests amounted to $160 million, said the report called Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance. In addition, the 40-page report said, the global fossil fuel sector receives approximately $1.9 trillion in subsidies each year.   [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
New rules could limit methane emissions’ effects on the atmosphere
The Washington Post
Editorial

THE OBAMA administration spent all summer mulling new measures to cut air pollution from the booming natural gas industry . Now federal officials are nearing a decision on whether and how to limit emissions from wells, storage tanks and other places from which gas can leak. Whether you believe that the country’s fracking boom is an economic godsend or an environmental disaster — or both — you should favor measures to limit the industry’s effects on the atmosphere.   [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
Construction authorized at Freeport LNG
Fuel Fix
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators on Friday cleared the way for construction at a planned natural gas exporting facility at Quintana Island, Texas. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorized Freeport LNG to start initial site preparation and begin building liquefaction and pre-treating facilities at its planned export terminal. But the agency told Freeport LNG it cannot work on an electric line to the pretreatment plant, another pipeline to deliver gas and other equipment at the site until it satisfies environmental mitigation requirements. It is another step forward for the multi-billion-dollar project, designed to take advantage of soaring U.S. production of natural gas and Asian demand for the fossil fuel.  [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
$100 Million in Taxpayer Subsidies to Big Oil Promote Fracking in California
BuzzFlash
JACKIE MARCUS

At a time when California is literally on fire from a global warming drought, when the state is running out of water in several regions, as reported in the New York Times: With Dry Taps and Toilets, California Drought Turns Desperate, the last thing we (I am a resident of the Golden State) need is for the oil industry to contaminate our limited fresh water with dozens of toxic chemicals to use for the development of thousands of new fracking wells that would defile and poison our beautiful landscape along the central coast of California. That’s why organizers from Santa Barbara Water Guardians, Food & Water Watch, and San Luis Obispo Clean Water campaigned to establish an initiative to ban new fracking – Measure P - development starting from Santa Maria through Santa Barbara to Carpinteria for the November 4th ballot. Three weeks of hard work paid off. Three hundred volunteers and 20,000 signatures later—they successfully got the initiative off the ground.  [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
View: Conservation, Pope Francis and fracking
The Journal News
Carol De Angelo

In an argument against fracking in New York, ROAR cites the pope's exhortation that 'This is our sin, exploiting the Earth and not allowing her to give us what she has within her.'  [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
Now the UN is intervening in Detroit's water conflict. Could thirsty cities riot?
The Guardian
Rebecca Burns

Angry protests over water provision have shaken cities around the world, and may determine whether access to clean drinking water is a taxable municipal service – or a basic human right t is not only privatisation that concerns people: so does exporting water. In Marfa, Texas this summer, residents protested against the city’s decision to sell water to fracking companies. They mobilised in the streets and parked cars and trucks in front of fire hydrants as a symbol.  [Full Story]

Oct 18, 2014
Senators speak out against Kinder Morgan’s natural gas pipeline project
The Berkshire Eagle
Clarence Fanto

LENOX -- U.S. Sen. Edward Markey has put the Kinder Morgan energy giant and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on notice -- he plans to closely scrutinize the company’s controversial proposal for a Tennessee Gas Co. high-pressure pipeline through more than 40 Massachusetts communities, including eight in Berkshire County. "I will make sure that Kinder Morgan and our federal regulators are using the most up-to-date information and are completely transparent about whether this pipeline will be used to export the natural gas to foreign markets and that the interests of the people are put before the interests of the oil and gas industry," the Massachusetts Democrat told The Eagle in an e-mail message this week. Markey’s statement came in response to a written appeal from the Lenox Select Board last week seeking intervention by federal lawmakers to block Kinder Morgan from using a proposed pipeline route that would cut through the town’s watershed and reservoir system as well as the heavily used, town-owned Kennedy Park.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
North Dakota well leaking oil, gas and water
WHEC
Associated Press

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Workers are attempting to contain an out-of-control oil well in North Dakota, authorities said Friday. North Dakota regulators said a well near Watford City in the western part of the state has been leaking oil, gas and water since Thursday. The Oil and Gas Division said 300 barrels of oil and water have been contained and recovered at the well location. They described the incident as a mechanical failure at a wellhead. An unknown amount of mist also moved off of the well location. Regulators said they are trying to figure out where the mist settled.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
Gas pipeline expansion should alarm homeowners
The Washington Post
Marcia Greenberg

Homeowners and communities are unprepared for an invasion of their cherished private yards and public spaces. The Mid-Atlantic region is facing an expansion of natural gas transport infrastructure that threatens communities’ health, safety and homes. With increased hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and plans to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), the gas industry needs supporting infrastructure. Beyond drilling wells, energy companies are building compressor stations and laying thousands of miles of pipelines. The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America has estimated that from 2011 to 2035 the industry must build nearly 15,000 miles of subsidiary lines — each year.   [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
Army corps eyes impact of [Constitution] pipeline on environment
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has raised new concerns about the potential environmental impacts of the proposed Constitution Pipeline, and is directing the project’s planners to complete provide more data. The federal agency listed its concerns in a letter to the Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC that was released this week by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the panel of White House-appointed regulators that will decide whether the proposed $700-million project is licensed. FERC is expected to determine next Friday if it will issue a final environmental impact statement for the 124-mile subterranean pipeline, which would send natural gas extracted from northeastern Pennsylvania to two existing pipelines in the Schoharie County town of Wright. The pipeline is projected to carry enough gas to power some 3 million homes.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
The Great March for Climate Action
EcoWatch
Ki Coulson

Uncharacteristic Los Angeles rains weren’t enough to dampen the spirits of The Great March for Climate Action at the launch of this epic journey. Luckily, there was a break in the rains long enough for a dry and inspiring rally at Wilmington Waterfront Park. Behind the stage, stretched across the horizon, towered an oil refinery and the Port of Los Angeles. More than 1,000 people were in attendance at the launch, and the group departed with the marchers to walk the first 2.5 miles. The power of hundreds marching in the streets brought local residents to their windows and yards in support.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
Energy companies, environmentalists fund Denton fracking fight
The Dallas Morning News
MARISSA BARNETT

AUSTIN — The battle over Denton’s proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing is the latest showdown between environmentalists and oil and gas companies. The companies have been pumping big money into the campaign against the November ballot measure, collecting five times as much as the group that called for the measure. According to the latest reports filed with the state, more than half of the donations to the ban-supporting group came as in-kind contributions from Earthworks, an environmental group based in Washington. An Earthworks spokesman said that the money used for the contributions was raised through an online fundraiser and that nearly all of it came from Denton residents.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
Small Texas Fracking Company Earns Title of Worst Energy Sector Polluter
AllGov


t’s not Chevron, ExxonMobil or Shell whose wells were found to leak the most methane in 2012. Instead it was a small company, Halcón Resources, which won the title for allowing the highest percentage of the gas to escape into the atmosphere. Halcón’s wells sent 6.5 metric tons of methane into the air for each million cubic feet of natural gas produced at its fracking wells in 2012. Second and third on the list were two other small producers, Bill Barrett Corp., emitting 4.4 metric tons; and Unit Corp., emitting 4.3 metric tons. It’s not until you get to fourth place until you hit one of the major oil companies, ConocoPhillips, which spewed out 3.5 metric tons of methane per million cubic feet of natural gas. Methane is among the worst greenhouse gases, 86 times as bad as carbon dioxide. So much of it is emitted during the fracking process that it can make the total environmental impact of using natural gas approach that of coal in its effect on the atmosphere.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
Austin Plan for Renewable Energy at Odds With Utility
The New York Times
NEENA SATIJA

AUSTIN — Late this summer, Austin’s City Council trumpeted its commitment to a progressive energy policy by calling for a dramatic expansion in solar power generation, earning accolades from environmental advocates across the country. But the city-owned utility, Austin Energy, has balked at the council’s proposal and said it would be too expensive for ratepayers. And since then, a debate has ensued over how to be politically progressive and economically practical at the same time. Resolution 157, which council members passed in August amid controversy, directed Austin Energy to make sure that 65 percent of the city’s energy needs are met with renewable resources in just over a decade. In less than three years, the resolution adds, the utility should strive to completely replace power generation from an old natural gas-fired plant with solar power.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
Join Beyond Extreme Energy Actions in DC
EcoWatch
Tim DeChristopher and Rev. Lennox Yearwood

After the historic and inspiring People’s Climate March and Flood Wall Street actions showed the potential of our growing movement, discussion is taking place about how to put that power into action. The power demonstrated on the streets of New York was a signal that we are big enough and strong enough to take our government out of the grip of the fossil fuel industry. Without question we need to step it up and organize campaigns and actions that are at the scale and boldness needed, including multi-day direct action at specific targets.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
NASA Confirms A 2,500-Square-Mile Cloud Of Methane Floating Over US Southwest
DeSmogBlog
Mike G

When NASA researchers first saw data indicating a massive cloud of methane floating over the American Southwest, they found it so incredible that they dismissed it as an instrument error. But as they continued analyzing data from the European Space Agency’s Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography instrument from 2002 to 2012, the “atmospheric hot spot” kept appearing.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
Fracking: the explosive truth
The Telegraph
Geoffrey Lean

The Government's Infrastructure Bill, allowing firms to frack deep under homes without their owners' permission, will further inflame protestors No one would accuse David Cameron or George Osborne – in the decades-old jibe – of being watermelons, green on the outside, but red on the inside. But could they possibly be, shall we say, grapes, concealing militantly verdant souls under deep blue façades? Ridiculous? Well let’s remember that both took strong environmentalist positions before the last election. And now reflect that no one – despite stiff competition from protesters, regulators, and the industry itself – has done more to create public antipathy to fracking than them. Then, this week, the Government took action to make its most disliked initiative even more unpopular. Perhaps the preposterous proposition has some fleeting attraction after all.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
Fish and Game Cop Tries to Gag Fracking Activists and is Shut Down by Boise PD
EnviroNews Idaho
Blair Koch

Boise, ID — An oil and gas lease auction on Oct. 15, 2014 by the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) was delayed for about 30 minutes as protesters went back and forth with state officials concerning their right to silently protest the event. Reporters at local EnviroNews Idaho have witnessed similar silent protests in the past conducted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE) during IDL’s oil and gas tract auctions without incident. Previous auctions have been held at the IDL’s office in Boise but this oil and gas tract sale was hosted by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, due to it’s larger conference room.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
WAFarmers seek more fracking safeguards
Farm Weekly
Rachael Andrews

http://www.farmweekly.com.au/news/agriculture/agribusiness/general-news/wafarmers-seek-more-fracking-safeguards/2714942.aspx  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
DiNapoli considers the divestment question
Capital New York
David Giambusso

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli entertained the idea of fuel-based divestment during Wednesday night's debate with Republican challenger Bob Antonacci. Environmental advocates throughout New York state have been lobbying DiNapoli to dump fossil fuels from the state's $176 billion pension fund, part of a small but growing national trend among public pensions, universities and churches.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
World trapped by ‘Toxic Triangle’ that puts profit for the few ahead of a sustainable future for all
Oxfam International
Press Release

People around the world are trapped in a ‘toxic triangle’ made up of short-term financial investors, timid governments and fossil fuel companies, which threatens to push up global temperatures, putting 400 million people at risk of hunger and drought by 2060, Oxfam warns today. Oxfam’s new report Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance shows that this ‘toxic triangle’ supported spending of $674 billion on fossil fuels in 2012 - at this current rate, $6 trillion will be spent by fossil fuel companies to develop the industry over the next decade.   [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
First responders in Philadelphia prepare for oil train accidents
State Impact PA
Katie Colaneri

Officials from at least seven government agencies, the railroad CSX and the refinery in South Philadelphia responded to a faux fiery train accident on a rail bridge in the city’s downtown Friday morning. While there was no real emergency, the scenario was based on a minor derailment that happened in January that left six tanker cars intact, but leaning across the Schuylkill Arsenal Bridge.   [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
In our opinion: Cuomo must answer for fudged report
The Daily Star
Editorial--Donovan Richards

This whole hydrofracking controversy has been roiling our local — not to mention state and national — politics for quite some time now, and the last thing we need is for the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo to muck things up even more. But that is precisely what has happened in the wake of some good reporting by the Capital New York website that revealed serious shenanigans by the administration.  [Full Story]

Oct 17, 2014
Energy East Pipeline: TransCanada’s Keystone XL on Steroids
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Thwarted so far in its attempts to build the Keystone XL pipeline to carry its Alberta tar sands bitumen oil south across the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico, the TransCanada Corporation has announced that it will submit an application “within weeks” to construct its proposed, even more massive, pipeline east across the Canada continent, according to the Vancouver Observer.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
A political guide to Cuomo’s appellate court options
Capital
Colby Hamilton

When Governor Andrew Cuomo delayed a decision on whether to renominate Victoria Graffeo to the state's Court of Appeals two weeks ago, he dismissed the idea that party politics might influence his choice. "That’s just not a factor when it comes to making these selections," Cuomo said. Yet the choice Cuomo faces is, unavoidably, one with major partisan implications.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Chesapeake Energy selling 435 wells to Southwestern Energy for $5.4 billion
Market Watch
Chelsey Dulaney

Chesapeake Energy Corp. has agreed to sell a portfolio of 435 wells on the Marcellus and Utica shale formations to rival Southwestern Energy Co. for about $5.38 billion, a move that could help the struggling natural gas company reduce its mammoth debt.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Solar Shares Slide on ‘Psychological’ Link With Oil Price
Bloomberg
Christopher Martin

Plunging oil prices are shifting investor sentiment away from renewable energy and helping drag down shares in solar energy, said Gordon Johnson, an analyst at Axiom Capital Management in New York.   [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Anti-fracking activist faces fines and jail time in ongoing feud with gas firm Company claims the Pennsylvania woman showed ‘blatant disregard’ for injunction banning her from being near well sites
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

An oil and gas company is seeking fines and jail time for a peaceful anti-fracking activist in Pennsylvania, according to court documents. In a motion filed this week, lawyers for Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation, one of the biggest operators in Pennsylvania, asked the Susquehanna County court to find longtime activist Vera Scroggins in contempt of an injunction barring her from areas near its well sites.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Gas boom from unrestrained fracking linked to emissions rise
Business Green
Damian Carrington

New analysis shows abundant gas would cut energy prices but squeeze out renewable energy, and would likely increase overall carbon emissions An unrestrained global fracking boom that unleashes plentiful and cheap gas will not tackle global warming by replacing coal and cutting carbon emissions, according to a comprehensive analysis that takes into account the impact on the rest of the energy supply.   [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
NC regulators agree to hear case for fracking air pollution rules
Facing South
Sue Sturgis

The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission, the group charged with crafting state regulations for oil and gas drilling, has agreed to consider an environmental advocacy group's petition for protections from toxic air pollution emitted by fracking operations.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Haber grilled on fracking position
The Island Now
Bill San Antonio

Democratic state Senate hopeful Adam Haber on Tuesday said that despite his support of a statewide moratorium on hydrofracking, he approves the use of the gas extraction method “in states that have more sheep than people.”  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Colorado fracking ban sparking nationwide conversation
Eagle For Texas
Ross Torgerson

A hot-button issue garnering nationwide appeal is currently taking place in the state of Colorado. According to an article by the Denver Business Journal in 2012 and 2013, voters in five Front Range cities approved bans on fracking within their jurisdictions. That ruling came as a result of resident’s concerns over oil and gas companies conducting operations within close proximity of homes, schools and neighborhoods.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Delay in Illinois fracking permitting spurs suit
WAND TV
Jim Suhr

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Landowners in southern Illinois' Wayne County are suing the state, saying its lengthy process before issuing permits for high-volume oil and gas extraction is costing them money. The lawsuit filed Wednesday on behalf of seven households names Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller.   [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Helis’ fracking proposal now open for public comment
Eagle Ford Texas
Marissa Hall

The long-debated hydraulic fracturing project proposed by Helis Oil & Gas aimed for St. Tammany Parish is now officially open for a period of public comment, according to Robert Rhoden for the Times-Picayune.   [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
West Leechburg revises proposed amendment to zoning ordinance for oil, gas operations
Trib Live
Braden Ashe

West Leechburg officials are proposing a set of rules for oil and natural gas operations while a tentative agreement for drilling beneath borough property is revisited. A public hearing was held Wednesday for the proposed amendment to the borough's zoning ordinance.   [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Natural Gas Offers Little Benefit in Fight against Global Warming Natural gas's impact as a bridge fuel to a cleaner energy future has been oversold, new research suggests
Scientific American


Natural gas will not be a bridge fuel to a post-carbon future in the absence of an overarching climate change policy, according to a study published yesterday in the journal Nature. That's because the fuel is likely to displace low-carbon renewable energy sources as well as coal from the energy mix, the study finds.   [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Pilgrim Pipeline project criticized in West Milford
North Jersey.com
Ann Genader

West Milford Environmentalist Renee Allessio said she and others will oppose the construction of the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings LLC across northern New Jersey when the company holds an Oct. 21 public hearing at the Kinnelon Municipal Courthouse, 130 Kinnelon Road, Kinnelon, at 7:30 p.m.   [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
DOMINION ADMITS THE TRUTH: COVE POINT PLANT COULD EXPLODE, TRAPPING NEIGHBORS
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Mike Tidwell

Finally, Dominion Resources is admitting the truth: Its massive gas export facility in southern Maryland could indeed blow up and threaten innocent nearby neighbors. In fact, Dominion is now planning to build an emergency evacuation road to help some – but not all – of the potentially trapped victims. For the last couple years, Dominion has sworn up and down on its stack of documents that its Cove Point fracked-gas export plant in southern Maryland would pose zero threat to families nearby. In fact, in a brazen open letter to the community, Dominion wrote: “As the federal safety review found, in the unlikely event of an emergency at the terminal, it would pose no threat to those outside the facility’s boundaries.”   [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
NY court rejects bid to revive fracking ban case
CBS6- ALBANY


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York's highest court has rejected an attempt by the oil and gas industry to revive its fight against local fracking bans. In a precedent-setting decision last June, the Court of Appeals ruled that communities have the right to use local land-use authority to prohibit oil and gas operations within their borders. On Thursday, the court denied a motion by the trustee for bankrupt Norse Energy to reargue its case against the town of Dryden.   [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
IN FIRST STEP OF LEGAL BATTLE, GROUPS CHALLENGE COVE POINT LNG EXPORT PROJECT’S FEDERAL APPROVAL
Earthjustice


Washington, D.C. — Environmental and community groups took the first step late yesterday in a likely legal battle against a controversial liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility. On behalf of Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Sierra Club, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Patuxent Riverkeeper, and Potomac Riverkeeper the environmental law organization Earthjustice filed a motion for rehearing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), demanding the agency withdraw its approval of an LNG export facility proposed at Cove Point in southern Maryland. The filing positions the groups to sue the agency to challenge FERC’s inadequate environmental review of the project. Groups also filed a motion for a stay, urging FERC to halt further construction on the $3.8 billion project. The agency approved the project on September 29 over the objections of opponents who argued the massive facility, proposed by Dominion Resources, will spur air and water pollution from fracking across the mid-Atlantic region and, according to federal data, could contribute more to global warming over the next two decades than if the Asian countries importing the facility’s LNG exports burned regionally-sourced coal.   [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Rumbles of New Scrutiny as Quakes Continue to Surge in Oklahoma
NPR State Impact OK
JOE WERTZ

Oklahoma’s earthquake surge and possible links to oil and gas activity have been studied in scientific papers, discussed at heated town-hall meetings and explored regulatory hearings. The quakes are now triggering some rumblings at the state Capitol. About 4,000 earthquakes have shaken Oklahoma this year, data from the Oklahoma Geological Survey show. Most of the quakes have been small — roughly 10 percent were 3.0-magnitude or greater, the threshold at which seismologists say the temblors are likely perceivable.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Landowners sue over fracking delay
Chicago Tribune
Julie Wernau

But on Tuesday, Marc Miller, the head of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, testified that the agency would not issue fracking permits until rules governing fracking are codified. On Wednesday, Pollard and a dozen other landowners filed suit against Miller and Gov. Pat Quinn in Wayne County circuit court, claiming the state's delay in issuing fracking permits is akin to an illegal land grab.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
In search of safety, utilities bring in experts: each other
Fuel Fix
Robert Grattan

HOUSTON — The American Gas Association is taking a page from the nuclear and airline industries in a new push to make pipelines and utilities safer. The Washington, D.C.-based association announced yesterday that it would launch a peer-review program designed to have natural gas companies critique each other’s safety policies and practices. The goal, AGA officials said, is honest feedback from those who share a deep knowledge of safety issues, because they deal with the same problems. Peer review safety programs have been used for some time in other industries. The nuclear industry, for example, uses a particularly in-depth review program conducted by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Oil, Gas Companies Lobby White House To Block Hydraulic Fracturing Rule
Bloomberg
Ari Natter

Oct. 15 — Representatives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Halliburton, Chesapeake Energy Corp. and other oil and gas producers met with White House officials and urged them to not to proceed with a final rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands, online meeting records show. The rule, which was proposed by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management and is being vetted by the White House Office of Management and Budget, will have a significant impacts on the industry, and its effects have not been adequately analyzed, according to an American Petroleum Institute handout distributed at the meeting.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Court Files: Coal CEO Robert Murray Unearths Lease from Aubrey McClendon's New Fracking Company
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

DeSmogBlog has obtained a copy of a sample hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) lease distributed to Ohio landowners by embattled former CEO and founder of Chesapeake Energy, Aubrey McClendon, now CEO of American Energy Partners. Elisabeth Radow, a New York-based attorney who examined a copy of the lease, told DeSmogBlog she believes the lease “has the effect of granting American Energy Partners the right to use the surface and subsurface to such a great extent that it takes away substantially all of the rights attributable to homeownership.”  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Calls for extended moratorium on fracking
WBNG
Rebecca Bowyer

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Concerned Health Professionals of New York and Citizen Action called on the state to extend moratorium on fracking. The Concerned Health Professionals are a broad coalition of medical organizations and experts. In July, the group released a public compendium of the scientific, medical and media findings that came out of recent studies into hydraulic fracturing. The compendium is a 70-page detailed document and is considered by the group to be a living document, which means that, in theory, it will be revised and updated every six months.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Hawkins tours area, hits Cuomo on fracking
Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

COOPERSTOWN — Taking his campaign for governor to the heartland of New York’s home-rule movement, Howie Hawkins on Wednesday eagerly pointed out that he is the only candidate in the race to favor a statewide ban on natural gas drilling.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
NY court rejects bid to revive fracking ban case
Washington Times
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York’s highest court has rejected an attempt by the oil and gas industry to revive its fight against local fracking bans. In a precedent-setting decision last June, the Court of Appeals ruled that communities have the right to use local land-use authority to prohibit oil and gas operations within their borders. On Thursday, the court denied a motion by the trustee for bankrupt Norse Energy to reargue its case against the town of Dryden.   [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Residents complain political ad lists their names without permission
Denton Record-Chronicle
Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

Residents have complained about a full-page color ad on the back page of Wednesday’s Denton Record-Chronicle, saying they did not give permission for their names to be used in a political ad. The ad claimed that 8,000 Denton residents do not support the proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing, a reference to the plebiscite petition Denton County Taxpayers for a Strong Economy submitted to the Denton City Council on July 15. The ad listed 350 names of people urging residents to vote no in the upcoming election.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Southwestern Energy signs $5.375 billion deal for Chesapeake Marcellus acreage, wells
Pittsburgh Business Times
Sam Kusic

Southwestern Energy Co. has signed a deal to acquire 413,000 net acres in West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $5.375 billion, Southwestern announced Thursday morning. Included in the deal are 256 producing Marcellus and Utica wells and 179 unoperated or nonproducing wells that tap those shales. The wells yielded a net production of 336 million equivalent cubic feet of gas per day in September, the company said.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Study finds natural gas no cleaner than coal
Al Jazeera America
Tarek Bazley

A new study published in the journal Nature has concluded that the growing use of natural gas will result in an overall increase in global carbon dioxide emissions - rather than the decrease claimed by some analysts. The recent boom in the use of natural gas has been driven by the development of new technologies, in particular fracking and horizontal drilling.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
Cuomo book-signing draws protesters and some fans
Capital New York
Laura Nahmias

At Governor Andrew Cuomo’s book signing Wednesday evening at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square, there were more anti-fracking protesters outside the store than customers inside buying his memoir, All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life. At 5:45 p.m., more than an hour before the Manhattan event began, nearly a dozen police officers, a dozen anti-fracking protesters (their numbers would grow significantly) and a half-dozen reporters had gathered along the sidewalk outside the store. Reporters and protesters were kept behind a metal police barricade before eventually being escorted to the store’s fourth floor, where the signing would take place. There, guests were divided along two rope lines. First in line were 35 to 40 “V.I.P.s,” including some with close ties to the governor’s office, such as SUNY trustee and former Clinton administration official Richard Socarides, ABNY chairman and real estate mogul Bill Rudin, and former New York City Republican mayoral candidate George McDonald.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT AGAINST FRACKING IN S.AFRICA
CNBC Africa
Jay Caboz

Fracking could be the 100 billion US dollar energy game changer that Africa needs at the risk of destroying the Karoo. It’s has sparked conflict before a drill has touched the earth. Like his fellow 3,000 farmers, Dickie Ogilvie won’t let fracking vie without a fight. Ogilvie gave up teaching to help his wife, Colleen, take over her brother’s farm, Doorndraai, 100 kilometers south west of Graaff Reinet. His fears have led him to pledge 3 rand for every hectare on his 14,000 hectare farm to fight fracking in court. Most farmers across the Karoo are as trenchant as him.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
FRACKING: ONE MAN’S MEAT IS ANOTHER MAN’S POISON
CNBC Africa
Jay Caboz

Every day, they fight cutting winds and soaring temperatures in bone-dry valleys to nurture their stock. To the visitor, the Karoo is a barren place between Cape Town and Johannesburg. Here the communities are small, Twitter is scarce and there are more goats than people. Soon there could be more rumbling trucks than goats. This is all because of a mining method called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It’s been hailed a savior of the United States (US) economy, during the 2008 recession, making it one of the largest producers of natural gas in the world. It is now on its way to South Africa, because the government and oil and gas companies believe, beneath the Karoo, lies an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas; enough to fuel the country’s economy for up to 20-30 years. It could also bring 100 billion US dollars and thousands of jobs.  [Full Story]

Oct 16, 2014
FORTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, THE GOVERNMENT USED SUBTERRANEAN NUKES TO DIG FOR NATURAL GAS
Vice
Josiah M. Hesse

On the afternoon of September 10, 1969, Chester McQueary laid his belly onto the dirt of rural Rulison, Colorado. A few seconds later, a nuclear bomb two and a half times the size of the one that dropped on Hiroshima exploded less than two miles below him. As a 33-year-old anti-nuke hippie, McQueary was protesting the blast, an experimental operation attempting to retrieve natural gas from deep below the earth. A five-mile quarantine zone had been set up around the site with the understanding that the blast would not go off if humans remained within the boundary. But the project had experienced repeated delays already, and despite McQueary and his crew setting off smoke flares to announce their presence, the 40-kiloton nuclear device was, in fact, detonated.  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Booming Natural Gas Won't Slow Global Warming Natural gas burns more cleanly than coal, but that's not enough to reduce global carbon emissions, researchers say.
US News
Alan Neuhauser

Natural gas won’t save us. Despite the lofty claims of industry groups and President Barack Obama, the so-called natural gas revolution will not discernibly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, putting the globe no closer to averting catastrophic climate change, according to five independently developed models conducted by teams of researchers around the world and summarized in a new paper Wednesday.  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Fracking boom could mean up to 12% more carbon emissions
The Conversation
Erik Bichard

The consistent message from those who would seek to exploit shale gas is that it has three distinct advantages over existing forms of fossil fuel energy: it is cheap, it has a lower influence on global warming, and it reduces the reliance in foreign imports. In the UK the ability of shale gas to replace substantial amounts of other energy sources is unproven. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says even high levels of shale gas extraction by the middle of the century would still only leave shale on an equal footing with gas, coal and oil.  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
How breast cancer research benefits from fracking and other abominations
The Guardian


Baker Hughes, a maker of fracking drill bits, has produced them in bright pink to support breast cancer research. Here’s how to tell if your company is a philanthropic hypocrite  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Waynesburg officials investigate dumping of fracking wastewater
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

Waynesburg officials and the state Department of Environmental Protection are investigating the dumping of up to 4,000 gallons of what is believed to be fracking wastewater into the Greene County borough’s sewer system. The fluid dump was discovered on the morning of Sept. 30 by workers at the Waynesburg Sewage Treatment Plant who noticed a spike on sewage flow meters and a gray, milky substance flowing through the plant, according to Bryan Cumberledge, assistant borough manager.   [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Fracking firm lodging appeal after council rejects its planning application West Sussex county council refused application by Celtique Energie for oil and gas exploration near South Downs national park
The Guardian
Press Association

West Sussex county council’s planning committee refused the application by Celtique Energie for oil and gas exploration near Wisborough Green, a conservation area just outside the South Downs national park, in July. The refusal, thought to be the first time a council had rejected a planning application by a fracking company, was welcomed by local campaigners and environmentalists.  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Series of small quakes linked to fracking
Columbus Dispatch
Julie Carr Smyth

A new study says fracking triggered hundreds of small, unnoticeable earthquakes in eastern Ohio late last year, months before the state first linked seismic activity to the much-debated oil-and-gas extraction technique. The report, which appears in the November issue of the journal Seismological Research Letters, identified nearly 400 tremors on a previously unmapped fault in Harrison County between Oct. 1 and Dec. 13, 2013.   [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Sole Debate in Race for New York State Comptroller Is Gentlemanly
The New York Times
JESSE McKINLEY

There were a few moments of feisty discussion, particularly on issues that the comptroller has little say over — like fracking, which Mr. Antonacci supports and Mr. DiNapoli does not — and a central responsibility of the job: deciding where the state invests its money.   [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
NEIL YOUNG: IMPEACH OBAMA – FOR FRACKING
Breitbart


On Tuesday’s broadcast of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” rock legend Neil Young was asked, based on his views of the Iraq war under President George W. Bush, which at the time Young deemed to be an impeachable offense, if President Barack Obama’s military actions in Iraq and Syria against ISIS warrant impeachment as well. Instead Young said Obama should be impeached for another offense – for allowing fracking in the United States. Partial transcript as follow:  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Yates County Opposes Gas Storage in Reading
Finger Lakes Daily News


The Yates County Legislature passed a resolution Tuesday in opposition of gas storage in salt caverns along Seneca Lake in neighboring Schuyler County. The vote was 12-2. Following over 45 minutes of public comment from residents of the county and others within the region, legislators had a short discussion and voted against Crestwood Midstream's proposed gas storage facilities in the town of Reading. Following the vote, the legislature received a standing ovation.   [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Natural gas boom will not slow climate change – study
RTTC
Megan Darby

Natural gas burns more cleanly than coal and advocates say it can provide part of the answer to climate change. In the US, a glut of cheap shale gas has driven a switch away from coal, helping to cut its carbon emissions. New techniques such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to get gas out of the ground have opened up new areas of exploration. But researchers across five countries have found a global dash for gas will not, on its own, slow global warming.f  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
The Risks of Cheap Water
NY Times
Eduardo Porter

This summer, California’s water authority declared that wasting water — hosing a sidewalk, for example — was a crime. Next door, in Nevada, Las Vegas has paid out $200 million over the last decade for homes and businesses to pull out their lawns. It will get worse. As climate change and population growth further stress the water supply from the drought-plagued West to the seemingly bottomless Great Lakes, states and municipalities are likely to impose increasingly draconian restrictions on water use. Such efforts may be more effective than simply exhorting people to conserve. In August, for example, cities and towns in California consumed much less water — 27 billion gallons less —than in August last year. But the proliferation of limits on water use will not solve the problem because regulations do nothing to address the main driver of the nation’s wanton consumption of water: its price. “Most water problems are readily addressed with innovation,” said David G. Victor of the University of California, San Diego. “Getting the water price right to signal scarcity is crucially important.”  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Marcellus Shale production may surpass 16B cubic feet daily in November
Pittsburgh Business Times
Sam Kusic

he U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that Marcellus Shale gas production will exceed 16 billion cubic per day in November, revising a previous estimate that production might surpass the mark this month. In September, the administration forecasted production would reach 16.06 billion cubic feet per day this month. But in the more recent estimate, issued on Tuesday, it said production might actually be around 15.8 billion cubic feet per day. It projected that production would reach 16.04 billion cubic feet per day next month. The estimates are based on rig counts and production.  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Lawmakers urge truck-safety summit for Marcellus Shale industry
Pittsburgh Business Times
Paul J. Gough

Two state lawmakers want a summit on truck safety in the wake of recent accidents and incidents involving Marcellus Shale vehicles. State Sen. Tim Solobay, D-Canonsburg, and state Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Waynesburg, said they've heard plenty of complaints about trucks going to and from natural gas drilling sites. "It looks like we have a lot of incidents involving individual drivers and independent contractors, but there is a bigger picture developing, and that’s what we want to look at," said Solobay in a prepared statement Tuesday. "We’re asking everyone with vehicles on the road in the region to examine their procedures and help us find a solution that preserves both economic growth and public safety."  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Sixteen for '16 - Number 16: No Tar Sands, No Offshore Drilling, No Hydraulic Fracturing and Definitely No More Coal
EIN Newsdesk
Salvatore Babones, Truthout

In this series, sociologist Salvatore Babones previews 16 topics that should be on every progressive's agenda for 2016. Global warming is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. (1) It's very simple, really. Digging things up and burning them takes carbon out of the ground and puts it into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere trap warmth through a well-understood and universally accepted mechanism called the greenhouse effect. (2) Human beings really are on course to extract all fossil fuels, wherever they are, anywhere in the world. No deposit of oil, coal or natural gas is too deep, too remote or too diffuse to keep us from getting it out of the ground and burning it. Anything existing in or on the surface of the earth that can be burned, will be burned. Case in point: the Canadian tar sands. Tar sands are "a combination of clay, sand, water, and bitumen, a heavy black viscous oil." (3) They are mined in giant, open-pit mines or by pumping hot water into the ground to scald the oil out of the solid rock. The Athabasca tar sands are at the heart of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, which former NASA scientist James Hansen famously called "game over" for the earth's climate. (4) Tar sands may be about as bad as things get for the environment, but conventional sources of fossil fuels aren't that much better. Who could forget the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 4.9 million barrels of oil were released into the ocean as a result of this single accident. (5) As if this weren't extreme enough, along came fracking. Hydraulic fracturing - "fracking" - involves the pumping of millions of gallons of chemical-laced water into the ground in order to crack open rocks so that tiny bubbles of natural gas trapped inside them can be liberated and brought up to the surface. Does this sound like a good idea? Thousands of fracking-induced earthquakes say no. (6) Sensible or not, fracking is economical for two reasons only. First, in the 1990s, the development of directional drilling made it possible to drill a gas well that follows the contours of the narrow shale formations in which shale gas is trapped. (7) Second, in 2005, Congress specifically exempted "hydraulic fracturing operations" from regulation by the EPA. (8) Frackers can poison your water and you have no right to know about it, never mind do anything about it. Josh Fox's 2010 documentary Gasland made flammable drinking water and exploding kitchen taps a staple of internet video entertainment. But 2010 was just the beginning of the fracking boom. Natural gas extraction from the Marcellus shale formation (on which Fox's land sits) expanded by more than 650 percent between 2010 and 2014 - and is still growing rapidly. (9) And then there's coal. It is hard to believe that such a thing as "mountaintop removal mining" actually exists, but there it is. Mountaintop removal mines approved between 1992 and 2002 were projected to destroy at least 1,200 miles of streams, and the EPA estimates that mines approved between 2002 and 2012 will have roughly the same impact. (10) Mountaintop removal started before 1992 and continued after 2012, so well over 2,400 miles of streams have presumably been written off. They won't be coming back. Neither will the mountains. That's the thing about mountains: No one is building new ones, at least not in our lifetimes. Entire mountains the size of small cities are being destroyed forever in return for a maximum of 10 to 15 years of mining productivity. (11) That is nothing short of madness - unless, of course, you like to hunt elk or play golf on the newly flattened land. (12) At least three golf courses have been built on former mountaintop removal mining sites across Appalachia. (13) Tar sands, offshore oil, shale gas and coal mining: All this means carbon, and carbon of the worst kind. Forget about 2 degrees Celsius and forget about mere "climate change"; the way things are going, the earth will be a Venus-like hell planet before we're through with it. If Hollywood is right, whenever aliens invade the earth, the USA comes to the rescue. The United States made the world safe for democracy in World War I, defeated fascism in World War II and undermined communism while avoiding World War III. President George W. Bush launched a global war on terror that President Obama is still fighting today. Maybe it is time for a different kind of war, or better yet, a plan. We need a plan to stop global warming, if not now, then soon. We need to get out of our cars, and to do that we need to relearn how to live together in ways that don't require cars. We need to keep the earth's remaining fossil fuels firmly in the ground. We need to burn less and plant more. It is almost certainly too late to prevent catastrophic global warming. It is perhaps not too late to save the earth itself. If government of the people, by the people and for the people is not to perish from the earth, then there must be an earth. It is our responsibility to work together to ensure that there is.   [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
This New Study Explains Why Fracking Won't Solve Climate Change
Mother Jones
Tim McDonnell

For President Obama, fracking is a key weapon against global warming. Abundant natural gas, he said in his State of the Union address this year, is a "bridge fuel" to ubiquitous renewable energy—the key to securing economic growth "with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change." Not everyone agrees. In fact, the debate over whether natural gas is the antidote to our deadly addiction to coal, or a faux climate change solution that will stall the clean energy revolution, is one of the most hotly contested environmental questions of the day. It has produced a host of recent studies examining complex questions about global energy markets and the specific chemistry of various greenhouse gases. The latest volley in that debate is out today in a new paper in Nature.  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Scientists Say Fracking Will Not Lead to Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions
EcoWatch
Alex Kirby

The argument that fracking can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is misguided, according to an international scientific study, because the amount of extra fossil fuel it will produce will cancel out the benefits of its lower pollution content.  [Full Story]

Oct 15, 2014
Maloney, Hayworth find common ground on environment
Pughkeepsie Journal


BEDFORD – Former Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth said Tuesday she would be an environmental advocate within the Republican majority in the House if she's elected in November. Freshman Democratic Rep. Sean Maloney, whom Hayworth is seeking to unseat, agrees Hayworth's environmental stances rank her high among House Republicans. But he said that means little given that Republicans have made the House "one of the most radical" in history and have made repeated efforts to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate for air and water quality  [