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Feb 13, 2016
Mark Ruffalo: There’s No Fracking That Can Be Done Safely
EcoWatch
Mark Ruffalo

This weekend I have the pleasure and honor of coming to London for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards for Spotlight, a film honoring the victims of a terrible injustice and celebrating exceptional journalism that brought the story to light. I’m also taking this opportunity to lend my voice to residents of Lancashire who are fighting to prevent another kind of injustice, drilling and fracking in their neighborhoods.   [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
Leaking Well Temporarily Plugged as New Questions Arise About SoCal Gas’ Actions
InsideClimate News
Phil McKenna

A relief well succeeded in stemming the flow of methane, but the gas company has not halted the flow of criticism for its handling of the leak.  [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
Trial Date Nears in Fracking Suit Against Cabot
Bloomberg
Bruce Kaufman

Feb. 9 — A seven year-old fracking suit by dozens of Pennsylvania homeowners allegedly harmed by Cabot Oil's natural gas drilling operations will advance to trial Feb. 22 in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The rebuttable presumption that a well operator is presumed responsible for pollution of a water supply within 1,000 feet of oil or gas operations will apply to this case, Judge Martin C. Carlson's Feb. 5 opinion said. The court rejected Cabot's argument that the presumption, from 58 Pa. Const. Stat. Ann. §3218, only applied to administrative enforcement actions brought by the state.  [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
Despite Supreme Court Decision, Clean Energy Revolution Continues to Grow
EcoWatch
Mary Anne Hitt

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear—while the Supreme Court’s decision to put a temporary hold on the Clean Power Plan was disappointing, it won’t revive the fortunes of the coal industry, slow the transition to clean energy or cripple progress toward meeting the climate commitment the U.S. made in Paris last year. Tuesday’s decision means the Supreme Court is temporarily pausing the Clean Power Plan from going into effect, while the courts consider the merits of the case. As that legal process unfolds, likely into 2017, something else will continue unfolding as well—the steady progress of the Sierra Club and our allies to retire coal plants and replace them with clean energy. As we outlined in a report released late last year, our strategy gives us a pathway to meet our climate targets, even as the Clean Power Plan makes its way through the courts.  [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
SoCalGas fixes gas leak that gushed methane into Los Angeles for 16 weeks
The Guardian
Associated Press

Though well needs to be permanently sealed and inspected, announcement marked first time leak has been under control since it was reported in October A blowout at a natural gas well that gushed uncontrollably for 16 weeks and drove thousands of residents from their Los Angeles homes was plugged on Thursday, a utility said. The leak is expected to cost Southern California Gas Co, a division of Sempra Energy, at least $250m, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While the well still needs to be permanently sealed with cement and inspected by state regulators, the announcement marked the first time the leak has been under control since it was reported 23 October.  [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
Bills would halt Michigan fracking, require chemical cocktail disclosure
The Ann Arbor News
Garret Ellison

LANSING, MI — It's not us, fracking. It's you. House Democrats want Michigan to dump high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial oil and gas extraction practice that some lawmakers want to temporarily halt until updated regulations are passed in the wake of a failed petition drive last year to place a statewide ban on the 2016 ballot. Democrats say that, while vertical fracking has been used for years in Michigan, the newer technique of horizontal fracking requires updated regulations that better address the chemicals and massive volumes of water used in the process.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Porter Ranch gas leak stopped, officials say
Los Angeles Daily News
Gregory J. Wilcox,

The massive gas leak at Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon storage field above Porter Ranch that since October has forced an estimated 15,000 residents to flee the communityhas been halted, SoCalGas officials declared today. “We have ... begun the process of sealing the well and permanently stopping the leak.” said Jimmie Cho, SoCalGas senior vice president of gas operations and system integrity, and SoCalGas incident commander. “I was very glad we achieved this for the community and our customers. And I am most pleased that we did it without any safety incidents with the workers who have been working on this from day one.”  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Here’s What Happened to the Exxon-funded EU Think Tanks After It Pledged Not To Fund Climate Denial
DeSmogBlogUK
Kyla Mandel

This is the second part of DeSmog UK’s series mapping Exxon’s ties to EU think tanks and lobby groups. Here we explore what happened to Exxon’s EU think tank ties after it pledged to stop funding climate denial. Pressure is mounting on ExxonMobil to explain why the oil giant funded climate denial around the world years after its own scientists established global warming was real. Exxon has a long history of funding climate denial and last September it was revealed that it did so despite a full scientific knowledge about the impacts of manmade climate change in the 1970s’ and ‘80s. This prompted the New York Attorney General to subpoena ExxonMobil to “determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how those risks might hurt the oil business.” A similar investigation has also been launched in California. These revelations tell us what Exxon knew. The investigations in New York and California are asking ‘what did Exxon do?’   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Gas Free Seneca And Supporters Rally In Albany
WNEP
Logan Wilson

Albany, N.Y. (WENY) -- A coalition of business owners, local politicians and the group Gas Free Seneca were in Albany Thursday to reiterate there stance against liquid petroleum gas being stored along Seneca Lake. They represented more than 400 businesses that oppose the gas storage plan. "We implore the Governor to take a precautionary approach that evaluates the independent science, and the potential negative impacts to our economy, the environment and public health when making a decision about this ill-conceived plan," said Yvonne Taylor, the Vice President of Gas Free Seneca. The coalition has fought against Texas based company Crestwood Midstream storing LPG & natural gas at their facility in Reading. Finger Lakes winery owner Rick Rainey joined the coalition to tell the Governor that storing gas at Crestwood goes against everything he and his father have accomplished in New York's wine industry.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
SCOTUS Conservatives Give the Kochs What They Want and Ruled Against Humanity
Politicus


It is curious that although America generally has pathetically poor voter participation in elections, a couple of state primary elections are more than sufficient to distract the public’s attention from extremely important news. Tuesday night, or Wednesday, were no different and while people were intent on the results of one small state’s primary results, they missed the news that the Koch-surrogates on the Supreme Court issued a ruling that reveals their contempt for the Earth’s population; like typical Koch Republicans.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Even President Obama is freaking out about these fracking earthquakes
Raw Story
Sarah K. Burris

President Obama signed an executive order last week that has gone largely unnoticed by the mainstream media. The order amended the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 which was originally intended “to reduce the risks of life and property from future earthquakes” in all 50 states. This was before hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” became a common practice for oil and natural gas drilling. Since fracking has become more popular, earthquakes have increased from single digits in the early 2000s to 584 quakes in 2015 alone.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
CRBI hosting public information meeting about fracking in Floyd County on Feb. 18
Rome News-Tribune
Press Release

The Coosa River Basin Initiative will host an informational meeting on Thursday, February 18 for local property owners to better understand their mineral rights and to discuss concerns associated with fracking, a controversial drilling technique used to extract fossil fuels found in underground shale formations.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
The Latest: Fracking tax not on legislative leaders' agenda
WRAL


Republican and Democratic leaders of the state legislature say now is the not the time to change Ohio's tax on oil and gas drillers, saying it could be problematic to the industry.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
State democrats to present new bill package on high volume fracking
WLNS


LANSING, MI. (WLNS) – New drilling projects and pipelines crossing the state have brought the topic of fracking into the minds of Michigan residents.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Conservationists aim to stop lease sale, worried about fracking in East Texas national forests
Red River Radio
Kate Archer Kent

Dozens of environmental and conservation groups from East Texas and across the nation are calling on the Bureau of Land Management or BLM to stop an April 20 sale of federal oil and gas drilling leases on more than 36,000 acres, mostly in Texas.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Natural Gas Becomes a Fracking Mess
Floyd County Times
Emily Schwartz Greco

The Porter Ranch disaster may erase the industry’s undeserved reputation as a clean energy source.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Is Detroit becoming a national dumping ground for hazardous waste?
MLive
Gus Burns

DETROIT, MI -- Balancing economic growth with environmental safety is often precarious. Theresa Landrum lives in the Detroit's Delray neighborhood, once dubbed the most polluted area in Michigan.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
8 Things California Gov. Brown Doesn’t Want You to Know
EcoWatch
Linda Capato Jr.

One year ago, we did something pretty dang incredible. Over the course of a few months, we coordinated a massive march and rally to highlight that fracking is not only insane and dangerous, but that our water, our climate and our communities in California are in danger from fossil fuel extraction and suffering as a result. More than 8,000 people converged in Oakland for the largest-ever mobilization against fracking in U.S. history.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Chesapeake Energy Corporation Collapse May Have Domino Effect on US Pipeline Companies
Business Finance News
Sam Hanson

US midstream oil pipeline companies might be at risk, as oil producers look to restructure their debts. Many of these companies are master limited partnerships (MLP), which charge toll from the exploration and production (E&P) sector to move and store their oil and gas supplies. These have long-term contracts with the E&P companies, such as Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), one of the largest gas exploration business. On Monday, the Chesapeake stock fell as low as $1.51 a share, as it was rumored to hire Kirkland and Ellis, a law firm, to restructure its $9.8 billion debt. This created tension for the midstream oil companies, as Alerian MLP (NYSEARCA:AMLP), an index for oil and gas pipelines, fell 10% during the same day trade.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Sullivan County Legislator Wants County Study on Compressor Station
TWC News
Jackson Wang

Sullivan County may soon be taking a closer look at the potential impact of a natural gas compressor station in Eldred. TWC News' Jackson Wang has the latest. MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- Sullivan County Legislator Nadia Rajsz is asking the county attorney to draft a resolution for a study on the potential impact of a compressor station in Eldred. This comes after several residents spoke out against the planned facility, which is linked to the Millennium pipeline. “The studies will include all of the emissions ... [and] that they will study the chemicals that are being emitted and their adverse effects on health,” Rajsz said. She says towns in that area have drafted their own resolutions calling for full environmental and health impact studies. Now she's hoping the county will do the same. The study would be conducted by an independent group, approved by both the county and Millennium. "With this resolution, we can impress upon Millennium that they need to do some studies, health assessment studies, and hopefully just not put the compressor station in there," Rajsz said.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Landowners win eminent-domain case against defunct Bluegrass Pipeline proposal
Lexington Herald-Leader
JACK BRAMMER

FRANKFORT Landowners who had opposed efforts to put a natural gas liquids pipeline across 13 Kentucky counties were victorious Thursday in the Kentucky Supreme Court. The state’s highest court decided not to review a May 2015 ruling from the Kentucky Court of Appeals that said Bluegrass Pipeline LLC did not have the power of eminent domain because it was not a utility regulated by the state Public Service Commission. Since the Supreme Court decided not to review the appeal, the appellate court’s decision stands, said Tom FitzGerald, attorney for Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
17 House Democrats Introduce ‘Keep It In the Ground Act’ to Prohibit New Fossil Fuel Extraction on Public Lands
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and 16 other members of Congress introduced today the Keep it in the Ground Act. If passed, the bill would reduce carbon emissions by permanently barring new fossil fuel leases on all federal public lands and in federal waters.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Environmentalists protest pipeline with Valentine's Day cards
Buck County Courier Times
Kyle Bagenstose

As the saying goes, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. But which is more useful to protest pipelines: turmoil or tulips? Environmentalists tried the latter this week as they continued their quest to have the Delaware River Basin Commission hold an expansive review of the proposed PennEast pipeline. Groups including the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Clean Air Council and the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club arrived at the DRBC’s February meeting carrying bouquets and oversized Valentine’s Day cards signed by opponents of the proposed 114-mile pipeline. The meeting was held in Washington Crossing State Park, Upper Makefield.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Lawyers suggest oil firms could be litigated like Big Tobacco
E & E Newswire
Robin Bravender,

A Democratic senator and several lawyers today suggested that oil companies could be treated like Big Tobacco in court. Sharon Eubanks, a former Justice Department attorney who won a major victory against tobacco companies in a racketeering case, thinks the fossil fuel industry could be treated similarly. "Exxon Mobil funded climate denial around the world years after its own scientists had established that global warming was real," Eubanks said today at an event hosted by the American Constitution Society in Washington, D.C. "Its campaign of misinformation was one that it conducted not alone, but through an association with others to help carry out its message of doubt even though its internal documents and records made clear that Exxon's own scientists had concluded that carbon pollution caused climate change and other environmental harms and continued to dispute scientific findings linking carbon pollution and climate with the knowledge that their assertions were false," added Eubanks, who now works at Bordas & Bordas. Eubanks said oil companies could be held liable -- as were tobacco companies -- under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. "To do so would not be overreaching," she said.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
California's New Methane Rules Would Be the Nation's Strongest
InsideClimate News
Lisa Song

California resident testifies at a public hearing over efforts to stop the Aliso Canyon methane leak, which has drawn attention to the wider issue of methane leaking from oil and gas production. Credit: David McNew/Getty Images California proposed new regulations to curb methane from the oil and gas industry last week, adding momentum to a state and federal push to reduce emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas. If enacted, California's rules would be the strongest in the country, outpacing similar efforts from the Obama administration and several other states, said Dan Grossman, an expert on state oil and gas programs at the Environmental Defense Fund.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Phila. judge: Pipeline suit can proceed
Philadelphia Inquirer
Michaelle Bond

A Philadelphia judge has ruled that an environmental advocacy group and Delaware County landowners can proceed with legal action to try to stop Sunoco Pipeline from using eminent domain for its latest project. "This is a great victory for Pennsylvania residents and landowners," Joseph Otis Minott, executive director and chief counsel of the Clean Air Council, said in a statement Wednesday. Sunoco is expected to appeal the ruling to Superior Court   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
No shale natural gas or oil deposits in Cumberland County, samples show
Fayette Observer
Andrew Barksdale

Soil samples taken last spring in Cumberland, Hoke and Scotland counties indicate there are no oil or natural gas deposits deep below the ground, the state's Department of Environmental Quality says.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
ONGC aims for new drilling contracts in cost-saving drive: Sources
Reuters


Oil and Natural Gas Corp hopes to agree new cheaper drilling contracts for its western offshore fields, two sources involved in the matter said, in its biggest ever cost-saving drive in response to lower crude prices.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Highland Village to send letter protesting gas lease at Lewisville Lake
Star Local Media
Chris Roark

But they are well aware of the concerns that many residents have of the potential impacts. Tuesday, the council approved a resolution to protest the Bureau of Land Management auctioning off 259 acres of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property on Lewisville Lake for gas drilling activities.   [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
What does the Supreme Court's emissions regulation freeze mean?
Christian Science Monitor
Ben Thompson

The US Supreme Court's decision on Tuesday put the brakes on the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. But this likely will not be the high court's last word on the matter.  [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Town to draft resolution opposing Millennium Pipeline
Times Herald Record
Andrew Beam and Steve Israel

ELDRED - The Highland Town Board on Tuesday night directed its town attorney, Michael Davidoff, to draft a resolution opposing the Millennium Pipeline Company compressor station proposed for the southwestern Sullivan County town. The reason was concern about potential health impacts. The directive came at a meeting attended by about 50 opponents of the compressor station, including members of the new organization formed to oppose it, Sullivan County Residents Against Millennium (SCRAM). The compressor would sit between other compressor stations in the Town of Hancock in Delaware County and one in the Town of Minisink in Orange County, which has generated strong opposition.  [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
From Self-Driving Cars To Clean Energy, Obama Lays Out His Plan For A Climate-Smart Economy
Climate Progress
Natasha Geiling

President Obama sent his final budget proposal to Congress Tuesday, and there’s a lot in there for environmentalists to love. Of the $4.1 trillion in proposed spending, more than $47 billion would be spent on programs related to the environment and climate change, from expanding climate resilience to greening the nation’s transportation system. “We have made great strides to foster a robust clean energy industry and move our economy away from energy sources that fuel climate change,” Obama wrote in his introduction to the budget, outlining advances that have been made in renewable energy in the past few years. “Despite these advances,” Obama continued, “we can and must do more. Rather than shrinking from the challenge, America must foster the spirit of innovation to create jobs, build a climate-smart economy of the future, and protect the only planet we have.” Most, if not all, of these budget proposals are unlikely to pass through a Republican controlled Congress, so the document is more of an outgoing presidential wish-list than a hard-and-fast road map for the future. Still, here’s a breakdown of just how Obama’s proposed budget would create a climate-smart economy and a more sustainable national infrastructure: Greening the transportation sector while taxing oil One of the primary targets of the 2017 proposed budget is the transportation sector, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions — the second-highest sector behind electricity.   [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Fighting Fracking in Brazil: Images From an Ongoing Struggle
EcoWatch
Luis Afonso rosario, Nicole Oliveira, Jenny Zapata & Paulo Lima

Last December, the anti-fracking movement celebrated an important victory in Brazil. A federal judge in the city of Cruzeiro do Sul, State of Acre, ordered the suspension and cancellation of all oil and gas exploration activities, including fracking, in Juruá Valley, a region recognized as the most important stronghold of the last uncontacted indigenous peoples in the planet.   [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
California Farmers Irrigate Crops With Chevron’s Oil Wastewater in Drought-Stricken Central Valley
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

When most people think of California, the first images that probably come to mind are the state’s sun-soaked beaches, the Hollywood hills and the fog-drenched Golden Gate Bridge. But a new documentary web series, Spotlight California, wants to show viewers the California you don’t see on postcards. The five-part series, hosted by actress and comedian Kiran Deol, is investigating the impact of drought, water and air pollution, and gas price gouging in California.  [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Lease auction draws fire Area city leaders concerned over dam integrity, water safety
Denton RC
Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

News that federal oil and gas leases under Lewisville Lake have been scheduled for auction caught many local officials by surprise. But they are wasting little time in deciding their preliminary position on the matter.   [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Placing the Clean Power Plan in context
Washington Post
Jonathan H. Adler

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a stay blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, a set of regulations controlling greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act. Under the stay, the EPA cannot take actions to implement or enforce the CPP until pending legal challenges against the rule are resolved in the courts. These cases are currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. As a follow-up to last night’s post about the stay, this post is intended to provide more background on the underlying legal issues. One thing this post should make clear is that while the Supreme Court’s action is, in many respects, without precedent, so too is the CPP. It is not only the most ambitious climate-related initiative undertaken by the EPA, but it also relies upon unprecedented assertions of legal authority. And, to be clear, by “unprecedented” I mean just that — without precedent. This is not the same thing as saying that a specific argument or action is unlawful or wrong, only that it raises new legal questions that courts have not had cause to answer before.  [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Adams County Decides To Temporarily Pause Fracking
Colorado Public Radio
Grace Hood

Adams County Commissioners have decided to temporarily pause oil and gas development in urban areas. The move comes as some companies are seeking to develop wells in more urban areas.   [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Movie Review: 'Split Estate' explores drilling and private land
Ruidoso News
Lisa Maue

The purchase of property does not guarantee complete ownership. Under the Stock Raising Homestead Act (SRHA) of 1916, surface rights belong to the owner of land patented under the SRHA, but not the mineral rights that lie beneath that land. The result is a split estate and this film explores what happens when energy companies come onto private land to drill for natural gas.  [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Farmington tops U.S. in unemployment rate jump
Farmington Daily Times
James Fenton

Local economic development and oil and gas industry officials all agree on the cause: The collapse of crude oil prices over the last year on the commodities market hit the local economy — which relies heavily on the oil and gas industry — particularly hard.   [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Living On Top Of Forgotten Oil And Gas Wells
Wyoming Public Media
STEPHANIE JOYCE

[FASCINATING STUFF; THE ONE CLEARLY ABANDONED WELL I SITE-VISITED. IN WESTERN NY, WAS SIMPLY A 20 INCH HOLE IN THE GROUND SET OFF BY ORANGE SNOW FENCING. I WAS TOLD IT WAS FOUND WHEN OPERATORS WERE FRACKING A SMALL STRIPPER OIL WELL SEVERAL HUNDRED FEET AWAY AND THE ABANDONED HOLE BLEW OUT. THIS RUINED THE FRACK AND THE DRILLER ABANDONED THE NEW WELL AND JUST LEFT, LEAVING THE OLDER HOLE. THE speculation is that many such older wells had their pipes pulled for scrap and that ny has probably 30,000 to 40,000 such old wells, probably mostly unplugged (pa is thought to have as many as 200,000 such old undocumented wells).]  [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Cape Coral votes to ban fracking in city limits
News-Press
Frank Bumb

Cape Coral joined the growing list of municipalities and local governments opposed to fracking at Monday evening’s meeting. By a vote of 7-1, Cape Coral voted to ban fracking within its city limits. Met by a standing ovation from members of the crowd, the ban is a direct challenge to legislation being debated by the state legislature in Tallahassee. There, Senate Bill 318 and House Bill 191 would – among other effects – prohibit local governments from banning fracking within city limits.  [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Highlights of Gov. Tom Wolf’s second state budget proposal
Centre Daily Times
Associated Press

HARRISBURG Highlights of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s spending plan for the 2016-17 budget year that starts July 1: NATURAL GAS: Imposes a new tax on natural-gas production — 6.5 percent of value — to generate $218 million. Effective Jan. 1. INSURANCE PREMIUMS: Imposes a surcharge of 0.5 percent of premiums to fire, property and casualty insurance to generate $101 million. Effective Jan. 1.   [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Gov. Brown's Cozy Ties to Oil & Gas Is a Threat to California's Coast and Democracy
EcoWatch
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr

Gov. Jerry Brown has been quietly maneuvering to oust the California Coastal Commission’s outspoken director, Dr. Charles Lester, during the commission’s quarterly meeting in Morro Bayon tomorrow. Brown’s campaign to unseat Dr. Lester is an unsheathed assault on that agency’s integrity and a dire threat to the California coast. It is also an audacious display of industry power. The coastal commission has a regulatory authority over all permits, licenses and funding approvals for projects impacting coastal resources, including offshore oil and gas development.  [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Markey: gas pipeline firms want to 'use New England as a throughway' for international export
The Republican
Mary Serreze

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey lashed out at the U.S. Department of Energy for approving the export of domestic natural gas via pipeline to a Canadian shipping port on Friday, saying the move "would be a disaster for our consumers and our region" because it would link New England energy prices to international markets. Markey said the Feb. 5 announcement regarding the Goldboro Liquefied Natural Gas Project in Nova Scotia confirms his view "that the ultimate goal of some natural gas pipeline proposals" is to "use New England as a throughway to export U.S. natural gas to Canada and ultimately to overseas markets" instead of helping residents.  [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Supreme Court whacks Obama’s Clean Power Plan
Grist
Julia Lurie

In a setback for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked one of the president’s key climate initiatives. The Clean Power Plan, issued by the U.S. EPA last summer, requires states to cut power plant emissions — the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gases — by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The regulations are expected to revamp the energy industry in the coming decades, shutting down coal-fired plants and speeding up renewable energy production. But 29 states, together with dozens of industry groups, sued the EPA, claiming the plan was “the most far-reaching and burdensome rule the EPA has ever forced onto the states.”  [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
TruStar Energy expands compressed natural gas stations
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- TruStar Energy, one of the nation's leading developers of compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, announced today that the company completed 41 stations for public and private use in 2015, almost doubling the number of CNG stations from 2014, and bringing total completed stations by TruStar Energy to 120. This was accomplished during this period of unusually low oil prices.   [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Tinicum Conservancy makes strategy for removing gas leases
The Intelligencer
Christopher Ullery

Upper Bucks County landowners who want to remove an oil and natural gas lease from their deed can now get help through a plan developed by the Tinicum Conservancy.   [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Mark Ruffalo to David Cameron: Fracking Push Is ‘Enormous Mistake’
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

Actor and environmental activist Mark Ruffalo warned in a video message to UK Prime Minister David Cameron that he was making an “enormous mistake” by “going all out” for fracking.   [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Many Chemicals Used in Texas Fracking Remain a Mystery
5BNCDFW
Susan Carroll & Matt Dempsey

For the past five years, biochemist Zac Hildenbrand has investigated potential links between unconventional drilling and water quality, collecting thousands of samples throughout the major shale plays in Texas.  [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
A vow to fight any attempts to bypass locals on fracking
Northumberland Gazette
Ben OConnell

A north Northumberland councillor ‘condemns with all his might’ any attempt by the Government to exclude local people from decisions on fracking. R  [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
@EPA Missed Thousands of Water Complaints After Telling Public Fracking is Safe
Public Herald
Melissa Troutman

In September 2015, Public Herald published a groundbreaking report about the release of thousands of citizen complaints related to water contamination from unconventional oil and gas mining – or ‘fracking’ – in Pennsylvania, and a massive cover-up on the scale and scope of drinking water pollution across the state.  [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Scottish Greens pledge to ban fracking as party launches campaign
Herald Scotland
Magnus Gardham

The Scottish Greens have launched their Holyrood election campaign with a pledge to ban fracking.  [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Barton Moss fracking protestor Pete Roberts claims 'victory for UK citizens'
Warrington Guardian
Adam Everett

A PROTESTOR has claimed a ‘victory for UK citizens’ after charges he faced in relation to an anti-fracking demonstration were thrown out of court.   [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Drillers using more water to frack Ohio shale
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

The amount of water that companies use to drill for oil and gas in Ohio shale increased steadily from 2011 to 2015, according to a Dispatch analysis.   [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Oil Industry Caused 2005 Swarm of California Earthquakes: Newly Published Study
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

Oil and gas wastewater disposal has been tied to a series of earthquakes in California for the first time, in a peer-reviewed study published last Thursday.   [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Chesapeake regains half of losses; says has no plans to seek bankruptcy
CNBC
Krysia Lenzo

Chesapeake Energy, the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States, plunged as much as 50 percent on Monday after multiple reports that it had hired restructuring attorneys.   [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Tisch Sees Dark Cloud Over Natural Gas, Chaos Reigning in Energy
Bloomberg Business
Sonali Basak

“If these pricing levels persist over the next two years, we’ll be in a drastically under-supplied oil market,” Tisch said Monday in a conference call discussing results at New York-based Loews. “The natural-gas market is under the same dark cloud, as the entire energy industry is being affected by this precipitous downturn.”   [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Mark Ruffalo: We’re Heading Toward a National Water Crisis
EcoWatch
Mark Ruffalo

Flint’s man-made water disaster is an outrageous tragedy and a human health crisis. And unfortunately, it’s not an isolated case. It’s one instance in a pattern of government failures to take water testing seriously and respond to evidence of water pollution.  [Full Story]

Feb 7, 2016
Built Up by Oil Boom, North Dakota Now Has an Emptier Feeling
The New York Times
JACK HEALY

As the price of oil has skidded to $30 a barrel, new drilling has dried up, and the flood of wealth and workers is ebbing. WILLISTON, N.D. — The “man camps” sprang up from the prairie, rows of trailers and modular steel boxes that housed thousands of workers chasing their fortunes in North Dakota’s oil fields. But these days, the man camps are missing something: men. Roughly eight years ago, at the peak of the last recession, oil drilling began to transform these remote corners of the plains into an economic beacon, attracting billions of dollars in new investments and thousands of workers in search of good-paying jobs and an escape from America’s economic pain. But now, as oil prices have skidded to $30 a barrel, new drilling has dried up here, and the flood of wealth and workers is ebbing.  [Full Story]

Feb 7, 2016
Deerfield to Kinder Morgan pipeline surveyors: Don’t tread on me.
The Recorder
DOMENIC POLI

DEERFIELD — The town is asserting its police department will protect all property owners who refuse to allow Kinder Morgan pipeline surveyors or any other agency or individual onto their private property with or without an order from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. In comments submitted into the public record before the DPU, Deerfield states its Board of Health has barred within the town all activities of Kinder Morgan and will enforce this order. Anyone entering private properties, without permission from the property owners, for activities related to the proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline will be arrested for trespass by Deerfield Police, according to the town filing with the DPU. Deerfield residents who choose to grant Kinder Morgan access to their private property do so at their own risk, according to the town.  [Full Story]

Feb 7, 2016
New York State to Investigate Radioactive Groundwater at Indian Point
The New York Times
LIAM STACK

New York State will investigate high levels of radioactive contamination found in the groundwater at the Indian Point nuclear plant, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Saturday. The governor said water contaminated with tritium had leaked into the groundwater at the plant, causing “alarming levels” of radioactivity to be found at three out of the 40 monitoring wells on the site. One of the wells reported a 65,000 percent increase in the water’s level of radioactivity, Mr. Cuomo said, citing a report by Entergy Corporation, which owns the plant. Mr. Cuomo said the contamination appeared to be limited to the groundwater beneath the plant in Buchanan, N.Y., about 30 miles north of New York City in Westchester County. He nevertheless expressed his alarm, adding, “This latest failure at Indian Point is unacceptable.”  [Full Story]

Feb 7, 2016
Power outages and savings drive towns to microgrid
WHEC
George M Walsh

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - An upstate New York town that repeatedly found itself without power for days during a string of storms is planning a dramatic step by pulling its municipal buildings entirely off the electric grid.   [Full Story]

Feb 7, 2016
Built Up by Oil Boom, North Dakota Now Has an Emptier Feeling As the price of oil has skidded to $30 a barrel, new drilling has dried up, and the flood of wealth and workers is ebbing.
NY Times


WILLISTON, N.D. — The “man camps” sprang up from the prairie, rows of trailers and modular steel boxes that housed thousands of workers chasing their fortunes in North Dakota’s oil fields. But these days, the man camps are missing something: men.   [Full Story]

Feb 7, 2016
Fracking Could Come to Lewisville Lake
NBCD FW
Brian Scott

A plan being considered by federal leaders could bring hydraulic fracturing to the northwest side of Lewisville Lake this spring.   [Full Story]

Feb 7, 2016
Campaigners rally against fracking plans across Wakefield district
Pontefract & Castleford Express


Anti-fracking campaigners have rallied in defiance after new licences to explore for oil and gas across the district were granted by the government.   [Full Story]

Feb 7, 2016
OSCAR-NOMINATED actor Mark Ruffalo has called on the Prime Minister to abandon fracking and leave fossil fuels in the ground.
Yorkshire Post


A prominent opponent of fracking in the US, Ruffalo warned David Cameron he was making “a legacy mistake” in supporting the controversial process of extracting gas by hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Feb 7, 2016
'Crude Oil Will Not Stay Above $40 Again,' Says Analyst
Agriculture.com
Jessie Scott

Two years ago crude oil stayed consistently around $110 per barrel. Last year prices dropped significantly to $50 to $60 per barrel. Now crude oil is hovering around $30. According to seasoned investor and economist Dennis Gartman, this is not the bottom of the market. This is the new normal.   [Full Story]

Feb 6, 2016
Four of America’s shale gas plays are now void of all drilling
Gulf News Energy


Surging output has sent gas futures tumbling, forcing drillers to abandon marginal plays in favour of more profitable areas. Drilling has ground to a halt in two gas basins in Oklahoma, along with the Fayetteville reservoir in Arkansas and the Niobrara formation in Colorado and Wyoming, data from Baker Hughes Inc. show.   [Full Story]

Feb 6, 2016
Connecticut towns raise concerns about fracking waste; Branford could become 4th to ban it
New Haven Register
Anna Bisaro

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has more than a year to re-write regulations concerning the possible import of waste from hydraulic fracturing for natural gas that takes place in neighboring states, but some Connecticut municipalities are taking action ahead of schedule.   [Full Story]

Feb 6, 2016
Bill controls fracking
Daytona Beach News-Journal
FLA State Rep Fred Costello

When I’m asked where I live, I often reply “paradise.” Our climate, combined with our beaches, rivers, lakes and springs make Florida the envy of the world! We must protect Florida’s environment for future generations. Although my office receives thousands of emails advocating for or against specific legislation, I can think of no subject that evokes a more passionate individual response than legislation related to our environment.   [Full Story]

Feb 6, 2016
Fracking research hits roadblock with Texas law Proprietary label keeps chemicals confidential
Houston Chronicle
Susan Carroll & Matt Dempsey

For the past five years, biochemist Zac Hildenbrand has investigated potential links between unconventional drilling and water quality, collecting thousands of samples throughout the major shale plays in Texas.   [Full Story]

Feb 6, 2016
Fracking research hits roadblock with Texas law
Houston Chronicle
Susan Carroll and Matt Dempsey

Proprietary label keeps chemicals confidential   [Full Story]

Feb 6, 2016
Florida Senate could derail fracking bill
News-Press
Jeff Burlew

Industry backed bills introduced by Southwest Florida legislators that would create regulations around fracking in Florida may have sailed through the House, but they’re facing more scrutiny, if not outright opposition, in the Senate.   [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
Seminole County poised to ban fracking
Orlando Sentinel
Martin E. Comas

Seminole County will likely join the growing number of Florida counties to oppose fracking on Tuesday, when commissioners are expected to enact a ban on the controversial practice of using chemicals and millions of gallons of water to fracture underground rock formations to drill for oil and gas.   [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
Cuadrilla Faces Five-Week Public Hearing on Fracking in UK
RigZone
Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- A pause on fracking in northwest England that cooled expansion of the practice in the rest of the country may end after a five-week public inquiry scheduled to start Tuesday.  [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
Clinton: Banning fossil fuels on public land a ‘done deal’
The Hill
David Henry

Hillary Clinton appeared to endorse a plan to end fossil fuel development on federal land following Thursday night’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire. An activist with green group 350 Action asked Clinton whether she would seek to ban hydraulic fracturing if she is elected president. Clinton, in a video released by the group, said the president doesn’t have the authority to do that. When the activist asked, though, if she would support banning fossil fuel extraction on public lands, Clinton said: “Yeah, that’s a done deal.” A separate activist asked Clinton to clarify her position on public land extraction. “That’s where the president is moving,” she said, according to a video of that exchange. “No future extraction. I agree with that.”   [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
Group sues feds to block pipeline
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

With the $700 million Constitution Pipeline project held up by New York environmental regulators, the company began clearing the pathway near the project's starting point in Pennsylvania on Friday after getting permission to do so from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Meanwhile, in two separate legal actions, Stop the Pipeline and the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society filed notices in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the opening volley of civil court challenges to FERC's decision to issue a certificate of necessity to the natural gas transmission project.   [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
Markey: DOE Approval of Nat Gas Exports Out of New England Will Be Devastating for Region
Senator Edward J. Markey
Press Release

Washington (February 5, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following response after the Department of Energy today announced they will allow the export of 0.8 billion cubic feet a day of U.S. natural gas to be exported out of New England via pipeline, to Canada, where it will then be exported to overseas nations. Today’s announcement is the first time DOE has allowed exports of U.S. natural gas to Canada via pipeline for re-export out of Canada to foreign nations. DOE’s approval would allow gas to be sent into Canada and re-exported through the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, which currently flows from Canada down into New England. Spectra Energy has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reverse the flow of this pipeline and expand it. “Today’s announcement appears to confirm my long-standing warnings that the ultimate goal of some natural gas pipeline proposals being made in New England is not to help our residents with expanded infrastructure but to use New England as a throughway to export U.S. natural gas to Canada and ultimately to overseas markets. The companies who are proposing these pipeline projects need to be fully forthcoming about the ultimate fate of the gas that would transported through these pipelines in order for these proposals to be examined in their entirety.  [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
FRACKED GAS HIGHWAYS: Pipelines feed demand, rattle neighbors
Ithaca Journal
Tom Wilber

When mapped, they look like highways cutting across upstate New York, connecting Albany to areas near Binghamton, Elmira, Ithaca and the Pennsylvania state line.   [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
Official: Massive LA-area gas leak could be capped in a week
AP News
BRIAN MELLEY?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California official outlined a plan Thursday to cap a massive Los Angeles-area gas leak by the end of next week. The final phase to intercept the ruptured Southern California Gas Co. well is expected to begin Monday, said Wade Crowfoot, an adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown. If all goes according to plan, it should to take contractors about five days to permanently seal the well that has been leaking since October. The announcement at a public meeting is ahead of the company's worst-case prediction that it would be plugged by the end of the month. The well has been leaking for 15 weeks and has been a major disruption for the upscale Porter Ranch community in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles.  [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
Mark Ruffalo: Flint isn’t an anomaly. We’re heading toward a national water crisis.
Washington Post
Mark Ruffalo

Flint is just one example of the government’s failure to take water testing seriously. Then there are the horrific, under-reported cases of water contaminated by drilling and fracking for natural gas and oil, another ongoing man-made disaster where politics has trumped providing safe drinking water. In spite of concrete evidence of water contamination, Obama’s politics – support for natural gas and fracking, particularly around his 2012 reelection – have dictated the EPA’s actions. Case in point: Three EPA investigations into drinking water contamination since 2010, in Dimock, Pa.; Pavillion, Wyo., and Parker County, Tex. In Parker County, the EPA issued an emergency order – much like one they just issued in Flint – compelling fracking company Range Resources to provide drinking water to affected families. Then, in 2012, the EPA cut a deal with the fracking company to shut down the investigation and withdraw the emergency order in exchange for participating in the EPA’s national fracking study. Affected residents were left with nothing but polluted water.   [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
Oil Industry Group's Own Report Shows Early Knowledge of Climate Impacts
InsideClimate News
Neela Banerjee

A report the American Petroleum Institute commissioned in 1982 revealed its knowledge of global warming, predated its campaign to sow doubt.  [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
FRACKING MADNESS!!
The Kind Life
Alicia Silverstone

Fracking (also called hydraulic fracturing) is an extreme and unsafe method of extracting fossil fuels from the ground that harms our drinking water, food, health, environment, and climate and has been even linked to earthquakes. Not to mention, it keeps us from shifting away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy! Fracking is carried out by drilling deep into the ground and injecting millions of gallons of toxic fluid – a mix of water, sand, and harsh chemicals – at a high enough pressure to fracture the rock and release oil or gas. Doesn’t that sound nuts?? The scariest part is that fracking is exempt from major environmental laws such as the Safe Drinking Water Act!   [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
Obama wants to tax Big Oil and spend the money on green transportation projects
Grist
Katie Herzog

The United States isn’t exactly known for its mass transportation. In all but the biggest American cities — and even in some of those — the only thing resembling public transit is the school bus. But in his final years in office, President Obama hopes to change this. Or at least start talking about it. Politico reports that when Obama proposes the final budget of his presidency, it will call for spending more than $300 billion over the next decade to fund carbon-reducing transit projects, including subways, buses, light rail, freight rail, and a big expansion of high-speed rail, as well as potentially-less-carbon-reducing projects like self-driving cars.  [Full Story]

Feb 5, 2016
New Study Ties Fracking Water Disposal To California Earthquakes
Think Progress
Samantha Page

Injecting old, used water from oil and gas drilling in California has been tied to earthquakes for the first time, according to a new study released Thursday. Wastewater injections have already been tied to earthquakes in Colorado and Oklahoma.   [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
First research links California quakes to oil operations
The Washington Post
Ellen Knickmeyer?

SAN FRANCISCO — A 2005 spate of quakes in California’s Central Valley almost certainly was triggered by oilfield injection underground, a study published Thursday said in the first such link in California between oil and gas operations and earthquakes. Researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Southern California and two French universities published their findings Thursday in a publication of the American Geophysical Union. The research links a local surge in injection by oil companies of wastewater underground, peaking in 2005, with an unusual jump in seismic activity in and around the Tejon Oilfield in southern Kern County.  [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
Army of Lobbyists Push LNG Exports, Methane Hydrates, Coal in Senate Energy Bill
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

As the U.S. presidential race dominates the media, it is easy to forget that both chambers of the U.S. Congress are currently in session. The U.S. Senate has put a major energy bill on the table, the first of its sort since 2007. The 237-page bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) — S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 — includes provisions that would expedite the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permitting process, heap subsidies on coal technology, and fund research geared toward discovering a way to tap into methane hydrate reserves. As we saw with the lifting of the U.S. crude oil export ban, which was part of a broader congressional budget bill, a DeSmog investigation reveals that these provisions once existed as stand-alone bills pushed for by an army of fossil fuel industry lobbyists.  [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
Editorial: Clean energy goal in sight
Times Union
Editorial

THE ISSUE: Action is needed now to meet the state's plan to increase renewable energy sources. THE STAKES: The long-term benefits to all New Yorkers for decades to come make it a smart investment. The race to meet Gov. Andrew's Cuomo's goal for New York to produce half its electrical power from renewable, sustainable sources by 2030 is well under way. The governor recently directed the state's Public Service Commission to devise and implement the "50-by-30" plan, dramatically increasing reliance on solar and wind power. The proliferation of small-scale renewable projects, such as rooftop solar arrays, is not insignificant, and should be encouraged by state and federal policies. But for Mr. Cuomo's ambitious goal to be met, the state will need more large-scale clean energy development.  [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
Pennsylvania Fracking Water Contamination Much Higher Than Reported
EcoWatch
Laurel Peltier

The headline flew around the globe like wild fire. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published their long-awaited draft fracking drinking water study and concluded: fracking has had no widespread impact on drinking water. But if you’ve had your ear to the ground in fracking communities, something didn’t sit right with the EPA’s takeaway. Though the gas industry claims fracking is safe and doesn’t harm drinking water, that story doesn’t match what many landowners report from the fracking fields.   [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
Anti-fracking initiative in the works for Monterey County
KSBW


SEASIDE, Calif. —Protect Monterey County is working on an initiative for the November ballot that would ban fracking in the county. Monterey County is the only one in the area that doesn't have oil regulation.   [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
EDITORIAL: Fracking's impact on drinking water needs case-by-case review
Beaumont Enterprise
Editorial

Contrary to the belief of some, fracking is still going on in Texas. The oil downturn hasn't completely shut down this method of extracting oil and gas, though it has curtailed it. And when the oil industry bounces back, hydraulic fracturing will pick up as well.   [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
In dispute over climate guidance, it's EPA vs. FERC
E & E Newswire
Jenny Mandel

As federal regulators update their guidance to petitioners seeking to export liquefied natural gas or build interstate natural gas pipelines, U.S. EPA is calling for the consideration of climate change and the full life-cycle emissions associated with using gas. In a filing that highlights an ongoing interagency feud, EPA's comments were made on a draft update to guidance by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for completion of environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act. By law, FERC is the lead agency for such NEPA reviews of interstate gas pipelines and LNG export facilities, while EPA plays a contributing role in assessing projects' environmental impacts. The most recent guidance for such reviews was published in 2002, before the domestic shale boom and at a time when several terminals to import LNG were being planned to meet what was seen as a long-term need for foreign supplies. Now FERC is seeking public input on an update to the guidelines, which dictate how project backers describe the likely effects of going forward with plans to move domestic natural gas to new U.S. and international markets.  [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
Editorial It's past time for L.A. to seriously regulate its oil and gas wells
Los Angeles Times
Editorial

For decades, city officials in Los Angeles have taken a hands-off approach to oil and gas drilling, allowing companies to operate and even expand near homes and schools with little scrutiny. Now faced with increasing pressure from community and environmental groups, elected officials are beginning to step up their oversight of roughly 1,000 active wells within the city limits. They have a lot more to do. This week City Council President Herb Wesson called for immediately hiring a full-time expert to oversee drilling operations and coordinate agencies responsible for regulating exploration and extraction. Mayor Eric Garcetti told the Times his office is already interviewing candidates for the job. The city had a "petroleum administrator" in the 1960s, '70s and '80s who'd been responsible for addressing issues related to oil extraction. But the position has gone unfilled in recent decades, leaving no coordination in City Hall on oil and gas issues, no tracking of past oil drilling permits and no follow-up on conditions imposed on oil operations to protect their neighbors.  [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
5 Reasons Why the EPA Should Limit Methane Pollution from All Sources in the Oil and Gas Sector
American Progress


Methane is a super-charged global warming pollutant that is even more potent than carbon dioxide. In the United States, the oil and gas industry is the largest industrial source of methane pollution. That’s why the Obama administration has set a goal of reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 percent to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025 as part of its broader climate change mitigation strategy. In August 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, took one important step toward that goal by proposing “new source performance standards” to directly regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. These proposed rules, when finalized, will limit methane pollution released from oil and gas operations that come online in the future; they will not, however, apply to existing sources of pollution in the oil and gas industry.  [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
Pennsylvania Fracking Water Contamination Much Higher Than Reported
EcoWatch
Laurel Peltier

The headline flew around the globe like wild fire. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published their long-awaited draft fracking drinking water study and concluded: fracking has had no widespread impact on drinking water. But if you’ve had your ear to the ground in fracking communities, something didn’t sit right with the EPA’s takeaway. Though the gas industry claims fracking is safe and doesn’t harm drinking water, that story doesn’t match what many landowners report from the fracking fields.  [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
Group warns of dangers from proposed Wawayanda gas plant will extend throughout Orange County
Warwick Advertiser
Abby Wolf

WARWICK — Representatives of Sustainable Warwick – in conjunction with Protect Orange County – warned of potential long-lasting environmental harm from the proposed Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Project, a 650-megawatt hydraulic fracturing (“fracked”) gas plant to be built in the Town of Wawayanda, at its presentation at Sanfordville Elementary School on Jan. 20. The plant – to be built on a 122-acre site – will include two 275-foot smokestacks, electrical interconnects, a near-million gallon diesel tank, a 15,000-gallon ammonia tank and a seven-mile lateral pipeline that will connect to the Millennium Pipeline in Minisink, according to information provided by Protect Orange County. The crowd of about 250 citizens listened as speakers made the case that the proposed gas plant would not only be detrimental to the environment, but would also cause great risks to health and human safety.   [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
Bernie Sanders Will Ban Fracking. Hillary Clinton 'Sold Fracking to the World'
Huffington Post
H A Goodman

Less than a week before the Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton attended a gala fundraiser in Philadelphia at the headquarters of Franklin Square Capital Partners, a major investor in the fossil-fuel industry, particularly domestic fracking. The controversial fracking industry is particularly powerful in Pennsylvania, which will host the Democratic National Convention this July. Clinton has avoided taking any clear stand on fracking... The pro-Clinton Super PAC Correct the Record, run by David Brock, touts Clinton's aggressive pro-fracking record.  [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
Deerfield threatens to arrest anyone on private property without permission in connection with gas pipeline
Gazette
DOMENIC POLI

DEERFIELD — Local police will be used to protect property owners who refuse to allow Kinder Morgan pipeline surveyors or any other agency or individual onto their land with or without an order from the state Department of Public Utilities. Kinder Morgan, which plans a natural gas pipeline through Plainfield in Hampshire County and eight Franklin County towns, including Deerfield, has asked the DPU to force property owners along the route to allow surveyors on the land.  [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
Study: Oil field operations caused California earthquakes
San Francisco Chronicle


For the first time, scientists have reported that the underground disposal of wastewater from oil drilling has probably triggered earthquakes in California, a problem already rattling nerves in Oklahoma and other states.  [Full Story]

Feb 4, 2016
Activists want Wolf’s plan to reduce methane emissions to become reality
Citizens Voice
Elizabeth Skrapits

WILKES-BARRE — Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to reduce methane emissions is good — but local activists want to take it further. To get the point across, members of groups including the Clean Air Council, Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition and Breathe Easy Susquehanna County opted to box the state Department of Environmental Protection.  [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Critics: Martinez Energy Plan Lacks Long-Term Focus
KRWG
Laura Paskus

In her State of the State address, Governor Susana Martinez trumpeted the new energy plan her administration released last year, the state’s first since the early 1990s.... But now, the state needs to take the long view—and plan for the switch to greater reliance on renewables such as wind and solar and study what effects that will have, says Chermak, who heads the Economics Department at the University of New Mexico.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Climate Change Is Putting Billions Of Fishery Dollars At Risk
Climate Progress
Alejandro Davila Fragoso

The first of what will be a series of assessments of the country’s fisheries found that Northeast marine life will respond poorly to ongoing man-made climate, although some species will be resilient. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study, published Wednesday in PLOS ONE, examined 82 species in the Northeast Shelf, which ranges from Cape Hateras in North Carolina through the Gulf of Maine along the Atlantic Ocean. The study ranked the vulnerability of marine life to ongoing ocean warming, an endeavor NOAA is doing for the first time through new methodology that combines ocean conditions, the latest climate models, species characteristics, and NOAA expert analysis. “More than half of the species which we assessed are likely to get negatively impacted by climate change,” said Jon Hare, lead author and a NOAA oceanographer, in an interview with ThinkProgress. Researchers defined vulnerability as the risk of a species changing its distribution and its capacity to reproduce. They then ranked species under four categories of vulnerability: low, moderate, high, and very high. The evaluation included all commercially managed fish and invertebrate species living in the Northeast Shelf, a large number of recreational marine fish species, all marine fish species listed or under consideration for listing on the federal Endangered Species Act, and ecologically important marine species.  [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Hillary Targets New Hampshire Voters With New Efficiency Plan
Climate Progress
Samantha Page

The Clinton campaign released the first component of its climate plan on Tuesday, outlining how efficiency programs could reduce the average American’s household bills by $600 a year — a national decrease of $70 billion. The plan calls for reducing energy waste in American buildings — including homes, businesses and government buildings — by a third within 10 years. Clinton plans to achieve this by improving building codes, retrofitting federal buildings, and including efficiency calculations in home pricing. She also wants to eliminate the use of “expensive and highly polluting” oil and propane for home heating — an issue that particularly affects residents in New England. The plan was announced as former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton transitions her campaign to New Hampshire, where the next primary will be held on February 9. According to the campaign’s factsheet, nearly 70 percent of New Hampshire homes use heating oil, exposing them to fluctuations in price and contributing to local air pollution. New Hampshire is 11th in the nation for price of home heating oil, after nine Northeastern states and North Carolina. In fact, New Hampshire has some of the most expensive energy in the country, especially for residential and industrial electricity, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. Clinton’s plan largely builds on existing federal programs, while encouraging states and local communities through a proposed $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge. Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders, also included energy efficiency in his wide-ranging climate plan, released in December. Sanders has criticized Clinton for not offering a complete climate package. The candidate does have a climate issue page, but the building efficiency plan appears to be her first specific plan on climate. Increasing efficiency will be critical to lowering the country’s emissions. As of 2014, the country was using less than half its energy productively.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Flint drinking water crisis rattles Congress
Politico
Annie Snider

Partisan anger over the Flint, Michigan, water crisis flared in Congress on Wednesday - spawning finger-pointing at a House hearing while threatening to scuttle a wide-ranging Senate energy bill. Lawmakers of both parties clashed over blame for the crisis during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, as Republicans tore into President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency for failing to alert the public for months about lead contamination in the city's drinking water. In turn, Democrats battered the administration of GOP Gov. Rick Snyder - and by extension the Republican Party's anti-regulation approach to governing. Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/flint-drinking-water-crisis-rattles-congress-218705#ixzz3z9QlQxki   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed as SoCalGas Faces Criminal Charges Over Porter Ranch Gas Leak
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

The Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) is under increasing legal fire over the catastrophic Porter Ranch gas leak. The embattled company, which is the primary provider of natural gas to Southern California, is facing potential criminal and civil charges, and now, its first wrongful death lawsuit.  [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
From Pa. drilling country, a severance tax proposal
Newsworks
Mary Wilson

There's a new proposal for a severance tax on natural gas drillers in Pennsylvania, and it comes from an unlikely proponent: a conservative Republican based in Marcellus Shale territory.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
The Fight Against Offshore Drilling That’s Unifying Towns Along The East Coast
Think Progress
Katie Valentine

In January, Kure Beach, a tiny coastal Carolina community of brightly-colored beach houses that’s home to about 2,000 year-round residents, became the 100th town on the East Coast to pass a resolution against offshore drilling and seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Fed Halts New Offshore Fracking Permits Off California Coast
Sputnik


On Friday, federal regulators agreed on a pair of settlements that will halt new permits for offshore fracking off the coast of California, pending an environmental impact assessment. The settlements, between two environmental groups and the US Interior Department, require a "programmatic environmental assessment" for fracking on the seafloor of the Pacific Ocean. The assessment must be completed by May 28, and the public will have 30 days to respond to the findings.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
New York Just Proposed Its Plan to Reach 50% Renewables
Rocky Mountian Institute


In December, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo directed the state's regulators to come up with a plan to reach 50 percent renewables by 2030. Early last week, the New York Department of Public Service (NYDPS) released its proposed plan to do just that. The “50 by 30” Clean Energy Standard (CES) builds on New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding, providing a necessary target and enforcement mechanism to achieve state policy objectives. New York is in good company with other states looking to increase their renewables and fight climate change. Several states including Hawaii, California, Vermont, and Oregon are leading the way with major increases in the past year in their clean energy targets. And with a series of executive announcements and regulatory activities over the past two months, New York is staying firmly at the head of the pack.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Fracking waste more likely to be located in poor communities and neighborhoods of color
Grist
Raven Rakia

In South Texas’ Eagle Ford — an area that has been transformed by fracking — wastewater storage units are located disproportionately in neighborhoods of color and communities with higher levels of poverty, according to a recent study.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Hillsborough Commission unanimously passes resolution opposing parts of state pro-fracking bills
CL Tampa
Kate Bradshaw

Officials at the city and county aren't too happy about a pair of bills in Tallahassee that, in an attempt to legalize and "regulate" the questionable practice of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in Florida, would bar local governments from banning the practice within their jurisdictions.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Federal agencies halt offshore fracking permits pending review of environmental impact
Santa Maria Sun
Brenna Swanston

Federal agencies will be reviewing the environmental impacts of offshore oil well stimulation—which includes acidizing and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”)—following a Jan. 29 settlement agreement from the Environmental Defense Center (EDC).   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
L.A.'s Slow-Moving Oil and Gas Disaster
CityLab
Laura Bliss

In affluent Porter Ranch, the worst gas leak in U.S. history continues to pose health concerns. But in lower-income neighborhoods across Los Angeles, drilling has been making people sick for years.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
METHANE LEAK: PHMSA hints at new rules for gas storage industry
E & E Publishing
Mike Lee

Federal pipeline regulators told the gas storage industry yesterday to inspect its operations and fix any problems in an effort to prevent leaks like the one at Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon facility that has forced the evacuation of 4,400 families from Los Angeles.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Fracking moratorium in Pacific doesn’t affect Gulf of Mexico
WWITV
David Hammer

NEW ORLEANS – An environmental group has succeeded in getting a moratorium on offshore fracking off the California Coast, but the agreement with the federal government does nothing to block the same types of operations in the Gulf of Mexico.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Chelsea Skojec: Fracking is latest threat to the Everglades
Gainesville Sun
Chelsea Skojec Opinion

A bill introduced in by state Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, would remove the right of local municipalities to issue resolutions or pass ordinances banning fracking, consolidating the authority and oversight of oil drilling to a single state agency. The bill would void dozens of ordinances already in place, and streamline the permit process for oil companies to drill in the Everglades.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Racetrack Owner Wants New Look At Fracking Effects
Law 360
Matthew Perlman

Law360, Philadelphia (February 3, 2016, 7:12 PM ET) -- Jeffrey Gural, who owns the Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs racinos in New York, filed an appeal Wednesday questioning the results of water supply tests conducted by Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection for an equestrian facility he owns in the state after the agency found it was not affected by fracking. Gural, who also leases the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and is the chairman of real estate advisory firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, filed the appeal with Pennsylvania's Environmental Hearing Board along with his wife, Paula. The couple is questioning the results of tests completed by the DEP on the water supply of their property in Bradford County, which they use for breeding horses.   [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Methane Is Leaking All Over The Place
FiveThirtyEight


It’s now been 103 days since workers from the Southern California Gas Company discovered a natural gas leak coming from the Aliso Canyon underground storage field near the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles. In late November, 58,000 kilograms of methane per hour were leaking into the atmosphere.1 As of Jan. 21, that number was down to 20,000 kilograms per hour, but overall the leak has released more than 91,000 metric tons of methane — emissions equivalent to burning more than 862 million gallons of gasoline. The leak, SoCalGas says, will finally be stopped by late this month. The methane, though, will linger in the atmosphere.  [Full Story]

Feb 3, 2016
Poor, minorities carry the burden of frack waste in South Texas
Environmental Health News
Brian Bienkowski

Chavel Lopez lives just a few miles north of Texas' Eagle Ford—one of the many regions in the country recently given a makeover from the fracking industry. "I just have to drive a bit south and see the wells and the flames," he said. For Lopez, rather than a booming industry, these are signs of yet another pollution burden for the region's people of color.   [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
California Attorney General Files Charges Over L.A.’s Natural Gas Leak
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Tuesday that she has filed a lawsuit against Southern California Gas Company, alleging the company failed to report the massive methane leak near Los Angeles in a timely manner. The natural gas, which has been treated with an odorant called mercaptan, is making local residents sick. Since the leak began in October, some 3,000 families have been evacuated from the Porter Ranch neighborhood, about 25 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.  [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
Climate change perspectives from Indian Country
The HIll
David Wolfe

I was on a research trip to Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation in North and South Dakota this December to learn from Lakota and Dakota community members how climate change was affecting their environment, and to begin a dialogue about building resilience to this challenge. While there, my group was also keeping track of events at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, where the Indigenous Environmental Network was organizing events to raise awareness of indigenous peoples' vulnerability to climate change and longstanding concerns about human impacts on the Earth. As an ecologist, I was struck by how the complex and cascading effects of a changing climate were real-life issues for members of the Lakota and Dakota community, giving them an understanding far beyond those who do not interact with the environment in the same way. They could see how seasonal cycles of the living world — like spring bloom, bird migrations or the thickening of the winter coat of the buffalo — were becoming out of sync with the sun and moon cycles on which our Gregorian calendar is based. They were concerned with declining fish and game, negative impacts on farm and ranching, and the shifting timing and abundance of traditional foods gathered from the grasslands and forests: prairie turnips in June, chokecherries in July, buffalo berries and wild mushrooms in September.  [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
Los Angeles files criminal charges against SoCalGas over massive gas leak
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

The utility company whose blown-out natural gas well forced the evacuation of thousands of people in the Los Angeles area faced criminal charges on Tuesday for failing to report the massive breach to the authorities. With the criminal complaint, Southern California Gas Company faces mounting legal challenges for its response to the underground blow-out of its natural gas storage well, which was discovered on 23 October. Earlier on Tuesday, the state of California joined a lawsuit against the firm.  [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
SoCalGas methane leak: 102 days & counting, eco-groups target it for attack on fracking
Daily Kos
Meteor Blades

Since October 23, a massive methane leak from a well in an underground natural gas storage field in southern California’s Aliso Canyon has spewed 91,625 metric tons of the potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, according to a counter at the website of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). That has the same impact on our climate as 7.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. More than 2,500 households have been temporarily relocated from Porter Ranch, an upscale development directly in the path of the methane plume. And while the amount of methane being released from Southern California Gas Co.’s well SS-25 has sharply dwindled from its November peak, the leak from the ruptured well is not expected to be plugged until the end of the month—and even that is not guaranteed. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, a Fortune 500 company that had revenues of $11 billion in 2014 and has 17,000 employees worldwide and 32 million customers, according to its website.  [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
Greece to decide on three on-shore gas drilling bids soon-minister
Reuters


ATHENS, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Greece will decide soon on awarding bids for three on-shore blocks for natural gas drilling in the west of the country, Energy Minister Panos Skourletis said on Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
Revealed: Ex-U.S. Senator Landrieu’s Revolving Doors in Israel’s Oil and Gas Bonanza
DeSmog Blog
Itai Vardi

Former US Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), who while in congress was highly active in promoting the interests of two American oil and gas companies operating in Israel, has recently been hired by these companies as lobbyist and advisor.   [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
California's Methane Leak Passes 100 Days, and Other Sobering Numbers
InsideClimate News
Phil McKenna

The ruptured well in northwest Los Angeles has been spewing methane into the atmosphere for 100 days as of Sunday—and counting. Well control specialists may not be able to plug the leak until the end of the month, although the rate of emissions has slowed 65 percent since peaking in late November. How long it’s taking underscores how difficult it can be to stop fossil fuel-related accidents and leaks, and has drawn attention to aging infrastructure and lax regulations that probably played a role in the well’s failure. The leak's duration has surpassed the 87 days of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The leak from a well at an underground storage facility owned and operated by Southern California Gas Co. was discovered Oct. 23. It is the latest in a series of environmental disasters in recent years caused by the oil and gas industry, including oil spills in Michigan, Montana, and Arkansas and a 2010 gas pipeline explosion in California.  [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
Two Gas Utilities Seen Joining Questar as Takeover Targets
Bloomberg Business
Jim Polson

The scramble among power companies to snap up natural-gas businesses for their stable returns is far from over, with Dominion Resources Inc. saying Monday that it’ll buy Questar Corp. for $4.4 billion. The only question now: Who’s next?   [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
Sempra’s Message on a Massive Natural Gas Leak Isn’t Working
Bloomberg Business
Mark Chediak & Harry Weber

Ever since one of its wells in California started spewing natural gas in October, Sempra Energy’s message to residents has been the same: the leak poses no public safety threat and won’t cause long-term health effects. They aren’t buying it.   [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
“State of transition” Oil oversupply, shale bankruptcies, gas leaks, and a whiff of securities fraud
Renew Economy
Jeremy Leggett

A Shell veteran of 35 years requests the company pension fund he depends on to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy. A geoscientist currently working for an oil and gas major quits to take qualifications in renewable energy. These are the stories the latest two commenters on my website tell. The great global energy transition will play out in countless small dramas like this. But reminders of the over-arching global narrative, that we are in a race against time, are remorseless. And setbacks in the post-Paris world can be expected in parallel with steps forward, as the last fortnight illustrates all too well. The oil price has fallen below $30 now: lower than it has been since 2013. The International Energy Agency warns that the oil market may “drown in oversupply” in 2016. The Saudis keep pumping, the warm weather is depressing demand, Iran is re-entering the global market now that nuclear sanctions are over, and so on. Carbon Tracker has exhorted fossil fuel companies to come clean on climate risks, whatever the oil price, in a short report to the World Economic Forum in Davos. We are far from alone in professing that the post-Paris world requires this. PWC leads the list of those also warning in January of stranded-asset risk in the oil and gas sector. The full disclosures that investors need in order to weight risk of stranded assets and other climate-related downsides should not be long coming. Michael Bloomberg has announced the membership of his elite Climate Risk Disclosure Task Force, which will include Unilever, Axa, Blackrock and JPMorgan.   [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
California sues SoCalGas over massive ongoing methane leak
wlsam.com


LOS ANGELES (CNN) – The Southern California Gas Company allegedly violated safety laws and failed to report a massive methane leak that continues to relocate thousands of people in the suburb of Porter Ranch, according to a lawsuit announced Tuesday by the state’s attorney general. Attorney General Kamala Harris is seeking an injunction, civil penalties and restitution in her office’s lawsuit against the utility and the state Air Resources Board.  [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
California escalates legal action over methane leak near Los Angeles
Reuters
Steve Gorman

California's attorney general sued Southern California Gas Co on Tuesday over a huge methane leak near Los Angeles, escalating legal action sparked by an underground pipeline rupture that has forced thousands of residents from their homes since October. The latest civil complaint accuses the utility, a division of San Diego-based Sempra Energy of violating state health and safety laws by failing to promptly control the escaping gas and report the leak to authorities. The lawsuit also cites environmental damage caused by the uncontrolled release of 80,000 metric tons of methane, the prime component of natural gas and a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.  [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
US Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes strong stand against Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline
Gazettenet.com
TOM RELIHAN

SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren took a strong stand against the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline project during a speech in Springfield on Monday, calling out the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that will have the final say about whether it is approved. Warren, a Democrat, described how regulatory agencies that she helped create, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, have helped American consumers in the financial sector, as an example of how regulatory agencies can do good work. “We need all of the parts of government working on our side, and that includes FERC,” she said. “And that’s what we’re going to do.”  [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
Pipeline squeezing out Susquehanna County maple sugar farm
Citizens Voice
JON O'CONNELL

Sap now flowing from the maple trees on North Harford Maple lands could be pinched off as an interstate pipeline project advances through Susquehanna County. Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC last Tuesday received partial approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to start felling trees along its right of way in Susquehanna County. The roughly $685 million pipeline that would supply customers in New York and New England with 650 million cubic feet of Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale gas each day cuts through sugar maple forests of the Holleran family, owners of the syrup company North Harford Maple. The Hollerans have been collecting sap on family land and making maple syrup in Harford Township for the last six or seven years.  [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
4 Key Questions for Canada's New Pipeline, LNG Climate Test
DeSmog Canada
Matt Horne

ast week, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announced Canada’s intention to apply a climate test to major energy infrastructure proposals. This was the fifth of five new principles they announced to improve environmental assessments in the country. The change is good news because it will fill a long-standing gap in the country’s environmental assessment process. The standard approach has been to look at individual oil pipeline or LNG terminal proposals without worrying about the oilsands mines or gas fields they’re connected to. The new approach will include the carbon pollution from the project being proposed and the carbon pollution from the development associated with it. What the federal government hasn’t said yet is how they plan to evaluate the new information and integrate it into their eventual decisions. Here are four questions I’d like to see included in their climate test, using Petronas’s Pacific NorthWest LNG project to illustrate how they might work. In many cases, the federal government — as opposed to the proponent — is in the best position to address these questions.  [Full Story]

Feb 2, 2016
Cabot Slashes 2016 Spending, Plans to Run Just One Rig
NGI
Us_map_shale_ptsbasins

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. will sharply cut its 2016 capital budget in response to the commodities downturn, electing to preserve its cash flow, await more takeaway capacity in the Appalachian Basin and run one rig company-wide, the company said Tuesday. In response to the decline in both crude oil and natural gas prices, Cabot said it would cut its 2016 budget to $325 million, or 47% less than the $615 million it announced in October and 58% less than the $774 million it spent in 2015. Cabot was running three rigs in the Marcellus Shale at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but it had dropped one by the end. After quarters of soaring liquids production and heavy operations in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas, the company also dropped its sole rig there late last year.  [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Oil, Gas Companies Cut Hundreds More Jobs in Texas
Rigzone
Valerie Jones|

Oil, Gas Companies Cut Hundreds More Jobs in Texas by Valerie Jones|Rigzone Staff|Monday, February 01, 2016 submit to reddit As the oil and gas industry continues to cope with a challenging market, hundreds more layoffs were reported to the Texas Workforce Commission. Tenaris SA, Maersk Drilling, National Oilwell Varco and Quicksilver Resources Inc. have announced a total of 539 layoffs in Texas. According to notices to the Texas Workforce Commission, the following cuts have been reported: Tenaris, global manufacturer and supplier of steel pipe products, will cease operations at its Houston facility (8204 Fairbanks N. Houston Road) on March 31, 2016 resulting in 166 job cuts Maersk Drilling, a drilling rig operator, is laying off 80 employees who work aboard the Maersk Developer, a rig located in the Gulf of Mexico and reports directly to the Houston office (2500 CityWest Boulevard). The company began notifying employees January 25. National Oilwell Varco, oilfield equipment supplier, is permanently closing its Houston manufacturing facility (16211 Air Center Boulevard), resulting in the layoffs of 129 union and non-union employees. All affected employees will be laid off in phases that began Jan. 22; the next phase will be between May 31 and June 15, 2016.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Wind, Sun and Fire
New York Times
Paul Krugman, Opinion

So what’s really at stake in this year’s election? Well, among other things, the fate of the planet. Last year was the hottest on record, by a wide margin, which should — but won’t — put an end to climate deniers’ claims that global warming has stopped. The truth is that climate change just keeps getting scarier; it is, by far, the most important policy issue facing America and the world. Still, this election wouldn’t have much bearing on the issue if there were no prospect of effective action against the looming catastrophe. But the situation on that front has changed drastically for the better in recent years, because we’re now achingly close to achieving a renewable-energy revolution. What’s more, getting that energy revolution wouldn’t require a political revolution. All it would take are fairly modest policy changes, some of which have already happened and others of which are already underway. But those changes won’t happen if the wrong people end up in power.  [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Clayton County to study fracking effects Company wants to mine for silica sand
The Gazette
Orian Love

ELKADER — A study is underway to determine the environmental and aesthetic impacts of a proposed expansion of Iowa’s only frack sand mine.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Wind, Sun and Fire
The New York Times
Paul Krugman

So what’s really at stake in this year’s election? Well, among other things, the fate of the planet. Last year was the hottest on record, by a wide margin, which should — but won’t — put an end to climate deniers’ claims that global warming has stopped. The truth is that climate change just keeps getting scarier; it is, by far, the most important policy issue facing America and the world. Still, this election wouldn’t have much bearing on the issue if there were no prospect of effective action against the looming catastrophe.  [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Regulating the Other Greenhouse Gas
Bloomberg
Editorial

The federal government's proposed limits on methane emissions from oil and gas wells on public land will protect the atmosphere against one of the most potent greenhouse gases known to science. Now the government needs to impose similar restrictions on wells on private land. It's hard to overstate how crucial it is to keep methane from escaping -- quietly, invisibly -- into the air. While methane accounts for just 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, it's at least 25 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. And unlike carbon dioxide, which has limited commercial value (so far, anyway), methane is a fuel, and a relatively clean-burning one, so letting it slip into the air is wastes money while it hurts the climate.  [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Why The Renewables Revolution Is Now Unstoppable
ThinkProgress
Joe Romm

Once upon a time, people imagined that replacing fossil fuels with renewables like solar and wind would jeopardize the electric grid’s reliability. Then along came some major countries who showed that it didn’t, and that there really are no limits to renewable integration. The result was explained last year in a Bloomberg Business piece aptly headlined, “Germany Proves Life With Less Fossil Fuel Getting Easier”: “Germany experiences just 15 minutes a year of outages, compared with 68 minutes in France and more than four hours in Poland.”  [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
US Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls for federal government to be 'good partner' on pipeline issue, says she'll fight for Western Mass. residents
The Republican
Shannon Young

SPRINGFIELD ? Speaking to a crowd of several natural gas pipeline opponents and others, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pledged to fight for the needs of western Massachusetts residents Monday. The senator, who addressed constituents during an afternoon open house event in Springfield, said it's important for the federal government to listen to the concerns of its citizens over the interests of the rich. No place, she said, is that more clear than it is with the pipeline.  [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
South Africa: Sasol One Step Closer to Drilling in Mozambique
All Africa
Dane Mcdonald

Sasol has gained "permission to drill for appraisal" at an area adjacent to its Pande and Temane gas fields in Mozambique.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
B.C. delegation seeks Ottawa's support for LNG export plans
Globe and Mail
Brent Jang

B.C. Premier Christy Clark and four of her top cabinet ministers will press their case in Ottawa this week to keep the province’s economic momentum going, including seeking support for exporting liquefied natural gas.  [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Oil, Gas Companies Cut Hundreds More Jobs in Texas
Rig Zone
Valerie Jones

As the oil and gas industry continues to cope with a challenging market, hundreds more layoffs were reported to the Texas Workforce Commission. Tenaris SA, Maersk Drilling, National Oilwell Varco and Quicksilver Resources Inc. have announced a total of 539 layoffs in Texas.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Well Control Rule Could Halve Drilling
Maritime-Executive


Initial findings from a study conducted by international research consultancy Wood Mackenzie confirm that the high cost of a proposed new rule governing oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico could significantly reduce domestic energy production and curtail U.S. economic activity, energy supplies, and state and federal offshore revenues.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Private company offers real-time community air monitoring in Porter Ranch
Los Angeles Daily News
Brenda Gazzar

PORTER RANCH>> Amid a 3-month-old gas leak, a Washington state-based company is now providing real-time community air monitoring of the greenhouse gas methane and will soon be measuring carcinogens such as benzene in Porter Ranch. The company, Argos Scientific, is using state-of-the art monitoring systems that sample the air continuously while reporting the results online. Residents can also sign up to receive email alerts when gas levels spike.  [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Legal battle in North Royalton over new oil and gas well continues into 2016
Cleveland.com
Bob Sandrick

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio – Almost three years ago, Shirley and Kiril Schewzow signed a contract with Cutter Oil Co., allowing the West Salem firm to use their land for a new oil and natural gas well.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Natural gas income from Pennsylvania forests takes big fall
Hastings Tribune


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A drop in natural gas prices is now also affecting the state of Pennsylvania's coffers.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Why The Marcellus Shale Play Could Spell The End For Canadian Natural Gas
Alberta Oil Magazine
Todd Coyne

With rapidly expanding pipeline capacity and enough natural gas reserves to meet North American demand for decades, Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale play is putting a stranglehold on the Canadian natural gas industry   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Ohio high court packs drilling rights in years-long case
Canton Rep
Shane Hoover

A years-long battle over oil and gas leases ended last month when the Ohio Supreme Court upheld language that underpins drilling rights on thousands of properties across the state.  [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Bureau of Land Management to lease drilling rights under Lake Lewisville
Cross Timbers Gazette


The Bureau of Land Management will sell a 10-year mineral rights lease for a section of Lake Lewisville at a live auction in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 20.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Feds to review environmental impact of offshore fracking
The Hill


Feds to review environmental impact of offshore fracking  [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Fracking in the forests: environmental groups ask for more public input
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

A coalition of 11 Pennsylvania environmental groups is urging the state to create a more formal public participation process when it comes to major land use decisions involving state forests, such as leasing mineral rights for oil and gas development.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Adams County residents feel shut out of fracking conversation
Colorado Independent
Kelsey Ray

Important fracking study session won’t accommodate schedules of working people Anti-fracking activists say the Adams County Board of Commissioners is shutting them out of the last public discussion on a temporary moratorium on fracking in high density urban areas.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Why the federal government stopped fracking off California's coast
Christian Science Monitor
Story Hinckley

In what environmental groups are calling a huge win for the world's oceans, a settlement Friday requires all offshore fracking operations in California to stop, pending further environmental analysis. The federal government must stop approving all offshore oil fracking in California’s Santa Barbara Channel, according to a legal settlement filed Friday in US District Court in Los Angeles.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
EPA Fracking Study Faulted by Science Panel Citing Failed Wells
Bloomberg Business
Jennifer A Dlouhy

Science advisers reviewing the EPA study said Monday the agency’s description isn’t good enough. During a six-hour teleconference, the Science Advisory Board review panel parsed the language, zeroing in on the phrase as too vague and ambiguous to serve the public. A repudiation of the EPA’s conclusions could reignite debate over fracking and drive calls for more regulation.   [Full Story]

Feb 1, 2016
Marcellus-Utica could soon be ‘overpiped’
Kallanish Energy


t’s a concept rarely, if ever discussed in the Marcellus and Utica Shales region, but was heard uttered by no fewer than two speakers at last week’s Seventh Annual Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference & Exhibition (MUM). The Pittsburgh program is presented by Hart Energy; Kallanish Energy was in attendance. “What if the Marcellus/Utica region is overpiped?” asked Mark Eisenhower, vice president of Strategic Planning and Development for midstreamer Aspire Energy of Ohio. “I’m not saying it is, but it’s something that must be considered.”  [Full Story]

Jan 31, 2016
Environmental group raises awareness of 'frightening' dangers of fracking in Yeovil
Western Gazette


A GROUP of green campaigners gathered in Yeovil on Sunday to raise awareness about the "frightening" dangers of fracking. Frack Free Yeovil distributed information and collected signatures for a petition at a stall on Middle Street to demonstrate local opposition to the controversial method of extracting gas from the ground.   [Full Story]

Jan 31, 2016
In A Victory For Environmentalists, Officials Halt Offshore Fracking Permits In California
Think Progress
Samantha Page

The federal government won’t be issuing any new permits to frack for oil or gas in the waters off California, after a settlement was reached Friday in a case brought by the Center for Biological Diversity. The settlement also directs the U.S. Department of the Interior to analyze the environmental impacts of offshore fracking.   [Full Story]

Jan 31, 2016
Democrats to propose 2 fracking measures
Daily Sentinel
Charles Ashby

DENVER — They haven’t come in yet, but lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are talking about introducing measures related to the to-do over hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Jan 31, 2016
Protesters raise voices against fracking
Florida Today
JD Gallop & Craig Rubadoux

Protesters, however were adamant in their desire to make sure Florida's fragile eco-system is not impacted by fracking. “We want a fracking ban,” said Eric Rollings, Area 3 Vice-President of Florida Soil & Water Conservation Districts.   [Full Story]

Jan 31, 2016
Campaigners claim 'attack on democracy' in fracking application process
BT


Campaigners fear fracking applications could ultimately be decided upon by the Government instead of local councils in "another attack on democracy". A letter leaked to Friends Of The Earth suggests ministers want to promote shale gas exploration and potentially bring the industry under the umbrella of nationally significant infrastructure planning.  [Full Story]

Jan 31, 2016
Anti-fracking campaigners say shale gas drilling could have 'devastating' impact for Nottinghamshire
Nottingham Post
Dan Robinson

Campaigners warned fracking could bring "devastating" consequences as it creeps closer to Nottinghamshire. More than 30 people crowded around the Brian Clough statue in Nottingham city centre on Sunday to highlight the issues associated with the controversial deep-drilling technique.   [Full Story]

Jan 31, 2016
Ethanol Mandate, a Boon to Iowa Alone, Faces Rising Resistance
The New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT

AMES, Iowa — Tim Recker has been growing corn in this state his whole life, and using his crops to make ethanol almost as long, at first by the jar for his trucks, now by the barrel for the nation. That is in large part because Congress in 2005 mandated that oil refiners blend ethanol into gasoline. “When I look out my window and see farms that have built and expanded and improved, it’s because of the ethanol mandate,” Mr. Recker said from his farm in Arlington, Iowa. Mr. Recker, a Republican, said his decision at the presidential caucuses on Monday would be driven by what candidates have said about the 2005 law, which created the Renewable Fuel Standard.  [Full Story]

Jan 30, 2016
Protesters Ask Legislatures to Vote Against Pro-Fracking
WTXL


ALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Protesters marched to the capitol on Saturday demanding that the Florida senate vote against the current version of the pro-fracking legislation. Health professionals, environmental advocates, as well as community leaders say the bill preempts local communities from banning fracking, as well as fails to address issues with matrix acidization. The rally began at Cascades Park and ended in the capitol courtyard.  [Full Story]

Jan 30, 2016
As Iowa Caucuses Loom, Hawkeye State Is Last Hope To Block Fracked Bakken Oil Pipeline
DeSmog Blog
Steve Horn

As the February 1 Iowa Caucuses loom, the Hawkeye State sits as the proverbial last man standing in the decision whether to grant pipeline giant Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) a permit for its Dakota Access pipeline.   [Full Story]

Jan 30, 2016
Fracking may be coming to Ohio national forest
NBC4i
Ben Gelber

ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH)–The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering opening 31,900 acres under Wayne National Forest for gas and oil drilling, including portions of Athens, Washington and Galia counties.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
US to stop approving oil fracking off California coast until review is complete Separate deals require government to review whether techniques like fracking to stimulate offshore well production threaten water quality and marine life
The Guardian
Associated Press

The federal government has agreed to stop approving oil fracking off the California coast until it studies whether the practice is safe for the environment, according to legal settlements filed Friday.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
U.S. to Review of Fracking Off California Coast Federal government agrees to stop approving oil fracking until it studies whether practice is safe for environment
Wall Street Journal
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES—The federal government has agreed to stop approving oil fracking off the California coast until it studies whether the practice is safe for the environment, according to legal settlements filed Friday.  [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
DRILLING UNDERWAY AT LEAKING SOCAL GAS PLANT NEAR PORTER RANCH; FIRE CREWS ON STANDBY
ABC7
Leo Stallworth

PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Potentially dangerous activity took place at the Aliso Canyon natural gas site as the Southern California Gas Company said it's conducting test drilling.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
PUC announces lower impact fee on drillers as natural gas price drops
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Anya Litvak

As the price of natural gas slid to an average of $2.67 per thousand cubic feet last year, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission announced lower impact fee rates for drillers on Friday.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Ohio severance tax on natural gas, oil produced windfall of $21.3 million in 2014-2015, total likely to top $30 million in 2015-2016
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

Ohio’s severance tax rate on natural gas and oil is among the lowest in the United States, but it is suddenly generating tens of millions of dollars for state coffers.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Injunction Halts Fayette Radioactive Fracking Ban
Huntington News
Dan Lutz

Soon after the historic Fayette County Ordinance banning industrial waste disposal passed, EQT, a large fracking concern that we were unaware was also using Fayette County as a dump, filed the inevitable injunction against the ban's enforcement. This action automatically editorbdtonstops the County's Cease and Desist Order that was filed against all industrial waste-dumping operations there.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
FOIA bill: Fracking chemicals can be secret
Daily Press
Travis Fain

Oil companies could keep the chemicals they pump into the ground during fracking operations secret from the public under one of several Freedom of Information Act bills that moved forward Thursday.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Oklahoma approves $1.4m funding for earthquake research related to fracking
Energy Business Review


Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has approved $1.4m emergency funds to undertake research and understand increasing frequency of earthquakes in the region. The earthquakes are believed to be linked to wastewater disposal from the oil and gas wells.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Colorado and California: Getting Gassed Together
Counter Punch
Philip Doe

In the past few weeks, something truly unusual happened here in Colorado. It wasn’t that the Arctic Vortex had taken up residence in the state. The temperature at the North Pole, at least for a moment, was warmer than the prevailing temperatures along Colorado’s front range.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Report: Pipeline climate impacts could double that of smokestacks
Augusta Free Press


A new report by the Sierra Club finds that greenhouse gas pollution from the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines would be almost twice the total climate-changing emissions from existing power plants and other stationary sources in Virginia.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Copenhagen Set to Divest Funds Out of Coal, Oil and Gas Holdings
EcoWatch


The city of Copenhagen is set to become the latest recruit to the unstoppable divestment movement, with its plan to sell off the coal, oil and gas assets of its 6.9 billion Krone (€1.29 bn) investment fund.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Water-monitoring well shows presence of gas northeast of Greeley
The Greeley Tribune
Sharon Dunn

In two years of round-the-clock inspection, water analysts in recent months isolated one case of water contamination in a monitoring well in a heavily drilled area northeast of Greeley. Analysts with Colorado Water Watch, a water-monitoring partnership between the Center for Energy Water Sustainability at Colorado State University and Noble Energy, in November found evidence of thermogenic gas — which originates from oil and gas exploration — in a water monitoring well in an area that has been heavily drilled for years.  [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
How Congress And The Supreme Court Blew Up The Natural Gas ‘Bridge’ To Renewables
ThinkProgress
Joe Romm

hanks to recent decisions by the GOP-controlled Congress and the Roberts Supreme Court, renewable energy (and energy efficiency) have been given a major boost. A new analysis suggests that this boost, particularly the extension of the solar and wind energy tax credits in the end-of-year budget deal, is large enough to wipe out the natural gas renaissance that had been recently brought on by cheap shale gas. For decades, natural gas advocates have been advancing their fossil fuel as a necessary bridge to a renewable energy future. The argument has been that natural gas is a low-carbon fuel able to power our modern economy more cheaply and dependably than “intermittent” solar and wind. Indeed, the boom in low-cost fracked gas seemed to be proving the advocates right.  [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Oklahoma is Fracking Itself
Huffington Post
Dustin DeMoss

Oklahoma has a fracking problem and it's fracking stuff up. Governor Mary Fallin is oblivious stating previously that there had always been quakes in Oklahoma but only recently stating in 2015 about a council formed to investigate the correlation between fracking and earthquakes, "We are trying to look at real scientific data. As much that has been proven as possible there is always new info that will come to light..." As much as that is a tepid statement of dubious merit it's the most you'll get from a state whose Senators and Representatives are tightly bound by the dutiful constricts of indentured servitude to the oil industry through political donations. The "new info" that comes to light may be the benefactors (Oil Industry) to the Oklahoma political class designing new pseudo-scientific information to misconstrue the results of real scientific data.  [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Lawsuit Prompts Offshore Fracking Moratorium Off California Coast. Case Could Also Affect Federally Permitted Fracking in Gulf of Mexico
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

LOS ANGELES— The federal government must stop approving offshore fracking from oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel under a legal settlement filed today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The agreement resolves a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit that challenged the U.S. Department of the Interior’s practice of rubber-stamping fracking off California’s coast without engaging the public or analyzing fracking’s threats to ocean ecosystems, coastal communities and marine life, including sea otters, fish, sea turtles and whales. “This halt to offshore fracking is a huge victory for California’s coastal environment,” said Kristen Monsell, a Center attorney. “Offshore fracking is a dirty and dangerous practice that has absolutely no place in our ocean. The federal government certainly has no right to give the oil industry free rein to frack offshore at will.”  [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Anti-fracking activist seeking to record evidence of gas leak found guilty of trespass
ABC News


An anti-fracking activist has been found guilty of trespass after entering a Buru Energy drilling compound to film evidence of a methane leak at one of its wells.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Oklahoma is Fracking Itself
Huffington Post
Dustin DeMoss

Oklahoma has a fracking problem and it's fracking stuff up. Governor Mary Fallin is oblivious stating previously that there had always been quakes in Oklahoma but only recently stating in 2015 about a council formed to investigate the correlation between fracking and earthquakes, "We are trying to look at real scientific data. As much that has been proven as possible there is always new info that will come to light..."   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
FERC: Constitution Pipeline can't cut New York trees yet
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday rejected the Constitution Pipeline company's request to take down thousands of trees in New York but allowed it to begin doing so in Pennsylvania, where the firm has secured water-quality permits from that state. Anne Marie Garti of East Meredith, an organizer for Stop the Pipeline and an environmental lawyer, called the FERC decision a "huge victory" for her group and other opponents of the proposed 124-mile natural gas transmission line. "The significance of this cannot be overestimated," Garti said. "This is FERC admitting that the state's right under the 401 (the water quality permitting authority held by DEC) pre-empts its power."  [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Scots to join UK wide wave of revolt against fracking
Common Space


SCOTTISH anti-fracking protesters are set to launch a latest wave of demonstrations across the UK to protest unconventional gas extraction.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Lawsuit Prompts Offshore Fracking Moratorium Off California Coast Case Could Also Affect Federally Permitted Fracking in Gulf of Mexico
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

LOS ANGELES— The federal government must stop approving offshore fracking from oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel under a legal settlement filed today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The agreement resolves a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit that challenged the U.S. Department of the Interior’s practice of rubber-stamping fracking off California’s coast without engaging the public or analyzing fracking’s threats to ocean ecosystems, coastal communities and marine life, including sea otters, fish, sea turtles and whales.  [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Lomax: Don’t Get Fooled Again By Anti-Fracking Congressman Jared Polis
Complete Colorado
Simon Lomax Commentary

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D), the millionaire Boulder Congressman who supported a failed campaign against Colorado’s energy sector in 2014, is back in the anti-fracking spotlight. Once again, Polis is attacking his own party and the state’s ever-tightening oil and gas regulations, put in place by Gov. John Hickenlooper and his predecessor Gov. Bill Ritter. Polis now claims the rules developed under two Democratic governors lack “any meaningful protections for homeowners or communities.”   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Swansea Council votes to stand against the process known as fracking
South Wales Evening Post


SWANSEA council has drawn a line in the sand signalling its opposition to the process commonly known as fracking. Councillors voted unanimously yesterday evening to pass a motion that signals its opposition to unconventional gas development in Swansea. The move has been heralded as a major step in Swansea achieving its very optimistic ambition of becoming a fossil fuel-free city by 2015.   [Full Story]

Jan 29, 2016
Anti-fracking demo will call for total ban
Falkirk Herald
James Trimble

Anti-fracking demonstrators will be gathering in Falkirk town centre on Sunday to call for a total ban on the controversial process.   [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Sandoval County board recommends denying fracking site application
KOB4
Kasia Gregorczyk

Hundreds of Rio Rancho citizens have wanted to know for months whether or not a fracking site will be made just a few miles outside of town, and they got an answer Thursday night.  [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Montana Ranchers, Farmers Still Questioning Fracking
ABC Fox
Taylor Chase

Montana farmers and ranchers have many questions about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, specifically when we're talking about water quality. So this week the Montana Farmers Union responded to those questions with a new study that will hopefully provide some answers.   [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Appeals court says farmer may sue pipeline for crop damage
Bakken.com
David Pitt

DES MOINES, Iowa — An appeals court said Wednesday that a northeastern Iowa farmer may pursue a breach of contract lawsuit against a natural gas pipeline company and seek damages for decreased crop productivity on the ground above the pipeline. Roger Tiemessen rents land from his parents to grow corn and soybeans near New Hampton and says the land above Alliance Pipeline’s high pressure natural gas line is warmer, causing earlier thawing and quicker draining and drying than on nearby land. He says crop yields above the pipes installed in 2000 are poorer than other areas and he wants Alliance to compensate him for the loss. Damage amounts were not specified in court documents. Judge Richard D. Stochl dismissed the lawsuit in 2014, determining that Tiemessen had no cause of action against the company.  [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Southeast Sustainability: Fracking may temporarily benefit Appalachia, but it's no long-term solution
The Post Athens
Austin Miles Opinion

In 1987, the Brundtland Commission released "Our Common Future," a report that sought to integrate development and the environment and unite the world in the path toward such development. For that idea, the commission coined the term "sustainable development," which it defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”   [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
SoCal Gas Knew Aliso Canyon Wells Were Deteriorating a Year Before Leak
InsideClimate News
Phil McKenna

Southern California Gas Co. knew of deteriorating wells at its underground methane storage facilities and warned state regulators of the risks almost a year before a massive, uncontrolled leak was discovered at its Aliso Canyon unit on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The gas company disclosed the risk as part of a state regulatory filing and requested a rate increase to pass along the cost of more inspections and well repairs to customers. The regulators and the gas company failed to act.  [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Oil Industry Takes Aim at the Atlantic Coast
EcoWatch
Tim Donaghy

Sharks are circling in the Atlantic ocean and we’re not referring to the majestic wildlife found there. International oil supermajors Exxon, Shell and Chevron have all submitted public comments urging the government to open up as much of the U.S. coastline to oil exploration as possible, in particular the Atlantic offshore area stretching from Virginia to Georgia.  [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Canada Just Announced A Major Pipeline Reform
ThinkProgress
Katie Valentine

Oil and gas pipelines now have a new hurdle to clear before they’re approved in Canada. Pipelines and natural gas export terminals proposed in the country will now be subject to a climate test, which will seek to determine how the project will impact greenhouse gas emissions, Canadian officials announced Wednesday. That test will take into account the “upstream” impacts of a project — meaning the emissions from the extraction of the oil or gas that the pipeline would carry or the gas the terminal would store — as well as the emissions created from building and maintaining the project. “The federal role is to put into place a process by which TransCanada and any other companies could demonstrate that their projects are in the public interest and could have public support,” Trudeau said Tuesday, ahead of the government’s official announcement. “What we are going to roll out very soon, as we promised in our election campaign, is to establish a clear process which will consider all the greenhouse gas emissions tied to a project, which will build on the work already done.”  [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon Bringing Fracking to Argentina
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Aubrey McClendon, the embattled former CEO and co-founder of Chesapeake Energy, has announced his entrance into Argentina to begin hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the country's Vaca Muerta Shale basin. Though he retired as Chesapeake Energy's CEO back in 2013 in the aftermath of a shareholder revolt, McClendon wasted little time in creating a new company called American Energy Partners (AEP). AEP, like Chesapeake, has found itself mired since its onset in legal snafus over its treatment of landowners. With AEP not getting a red carpet roll-out in the U.S., McClendon has looked southward for other lucrative business adventures. DeSmog reported in September that McClendon has also teamed up with a private equity company affiliated with former Mexican president Vicente Fox to begin tapping into Mexico's portion of the Eagle Ford Shale basin. We also reported that he has begun doing business in Australia.  [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Wyoming adopts wildlife migration conservation guidelines
Town Hall


CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — New state guidelines adopted in Wyoming, an energy-rich state that constantly seeks to balance conservation with development of fossil fuels, seek to protect some of North America's longest wildlife-migration routes from oil and natural gas drilling on public lands.  [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Why conservative South Carolina could actually be a sign of the future of U.S. energy
The Washington Post
Chelsea Harvey

Coastal South Carolina has long been recognized by locals and tourists alike for its warm waters, dazzling natural landscapes and prime seafood cuisine. But lately, communities up and down the shoreline have been making a name for themselves in another way: They’re leading the historically conservative state in a shift toward support for alternative energy and away from fossil fuel energy development.  [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Gas royalties from state forest land drop sharply
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

Pennsylvania is getting a lot less royalty money from Marcellus Shale drilling on state forest land this year due to the low price of natural gas, according to a new analysis from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office.  [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Life near the Aliso Canyon gas leak: 'When it's breezy, I'm lethargic'
LA Times
Daniela Gerson

One resident reported getting bloody noses for the first time in 40 years. Another described Christmas Eve vomiting in urgent care. Others say they've not felt any ill effects.  [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Accomack says 'No' to offshore drilling
ABC 13 News
Carol Vaughn

Accomack County officials answered a resounding "No" to the question of whether or not they are in favor of the federal government leasing an area off the Virginia coast for oil and natural gas exploration.   [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
Florida Senate signs off on DEP secretary
Palm Beach Post


TALLAHASSEE — The Senate confirmed Gov. Rick Scott’s environmental secretary Thursday after Democrats argued the Florida Department of Environmental Protection isn’t following its “core mission.”   [Full Story]

Jan 28, 2016
FrackQuake: Two Okla. lawsuits claim hydraulic fracturing causes earthquakes
Legal Newsline
Elizabeth Schubert

OKLAHOMA CITY (Legal Newsline) - Energy companies in Oklahoma are facing two separate lawsuits that claim fracking is increasing earthquakes throughout the state.   [Full Story]

Jan 27, 2016
Fracking risks outweigh any benefits
Gainesville Sun
Terry Brant Opinion

Sen. Garrett Richter, a Naples Republican and sponsor of a fracking bill (SB 318), claims that fracking is great for Florida, sure to bring jobs, economic benefits and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. This is a speculative myth and Richter, a former banker who knows about money and markets, knows better.   [Full Story]

Jan 27, 2016
Commissioners ban fracking in Broward County
Hollywood Gazette


County Commissioners unanimously banned any type of hydraulic and acid fracturing, known as "fracking", to extract oil and gas from the ground in Broward County. The vote comes as the Florida Legislature contemplates a series of bills that would stop local governments from regulati ng the practice.   [Full Story]

Jan 27, 2016
Two more lawsuits filed against Antero for fracking damages
West Virginia Record
Kyla Asbury

CHARLESTON – Two more lawsuits have been filed against Antero Resources Corporation for damages due to the company’s fracking practices.   [Full Story]

Jan 27, 2016
Heartland Daily Podcast – Karen Crummy: How to Talk to People about Fracking
Heartland
Isaac Orr

In this edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Karen Crummy from Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED.org) and Research Fellow Isaac Orr discuss the most effective ways to educate your friends and neighbors about fracking, emphasizing the importance of recognizing concerns people may have, and giving people the facts in a way that a general audience can understand.  [Full Story]

Jan 27, 2016
House rejects Democratic Amendments to Fracking Bill as Broward County Bans Fracking
Florida Water Daily


From the Tampa Bay Times: The Florida House smacked down a series of Democratic amendments aimed at weakening a bill that prohibits local governments from banning high pressure well stimulation known as fracking and positioned the bill for approval by the full House on Wednesday.   [Full Story]

Jan 27, 2016
Researchers to present health hazard findings regarding pipeline stations
The Recorder
Rachel Rapkin

DEERFIELD — The team of researchers that studied the health effects of a 12,000-horsepower gas pipeline compressor in Minisink, N.Y., will present their findings at Frontier Regional High School this Saturday. The team includes Celia Lewis, Ph.D., Beth Weinberger, Ph.D., and Dr. David Brown, who all work for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, a nonprofit organization created in 2011 to inform individuals about the health hazards of natural gas infrastructure with scientifically based research.  [Full Story]

Jan 27, 2016
Broward outlaws fracking
Sun Sentinel


Broward County commissioners outlawed fracking Tuesday, even as a fracking friendly bill continued forward progress in the state Legislature. The new county law was prompted by a proposal last fall for an exploratory oil well on Florida Everglades land in Broward, where Kanter Real Estate LLC has an application pending with the state. Fracking is a method of extracting underground oil by shooting liquids into the ground under high pressure. It's currently unregulated in Florida.  [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
With Order to Keep Gas in Leaking Facility, Regulators Anger Porter Ranch Residents
InsideClimate News
Phil McKenna

Congressman, environmentalists say California regulators endangered public health in telling SoCal Gas to maintain supplies for heating, electricity.  [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
House rejects attempts to impose health restrictions on oil and gas fracking
Tampa Bay Times


The Florida House smacked down a series of Democratic amendments aimed at weakening a bill that prohibits local governments from banning high pressure well stimulation known as fracking and positioned the bill for approval by the full House on Wednesday.  [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
New Pa. methane rules will help Oil and gas operations need to be better regulated.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Nadia Steinzor

Pennsylvania officials often boast about this being the second-highest natural-gas-producing state in the nation, usually when playing up purported economic benefits and downplaying well-documented environmental impacts. For a welcome change, the state’s high ranking was invoked last week as a reason to curtail pollution caused by surging oil and gas operations. Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration announced a plan to reduce methane pollution from drilling, hydraulic fracturing and related development. Methane, a greenhouse gas 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, is a major driver of climate change. In 2014, Pennsylvania’s oil and gas producers reported leaking into the environment some 100,000 metric tons of methane. That’s enough natural gas to heat nearly 65,000 homes.  [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
Negligence by Southern California Gas Co. led to massive Porter Ranch-area gas leak, AQMD says
Los Angeles Times
Matthew Hamilton

The government agency that regulates Southern California's air quality sued Southern California Gas Co. on Tuesday, accusing the company of negligence in a massive gas well leak that has forced thousands to leave their homes. The South Coast Air Quality Management District said the utility's negligence extended to the design, construction, operation and inspection of one of the wells at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility near Porter Ranch, according to the civil complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.  [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
Arkansas Frackquake Victims Commiserate With Oklahomans As Fracking Wastewater Injection Continues, Risking Deadly Earthquakes
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

There is a general consensus in Oklahoma that the record-breaking number of earthquakes occurring in the state are caused by the disposal of fracking wastewater in injection wells. But there’s no agreement on what to do to stop them. “We are human guinea pigs in a fracking industry experiment,” Angela Spotts, founder of Stop Fracking Payne County and a Stillwater, Oklahoma homeowner, told DeSmog. “Regulators tell us they can get the earthquakes under control as they tinker with the quantity that wastewater wells are allowed to inject into the ground. But despite their efforts, the quakes have continued.” Spotts’ group has called for a moratorium on injection wells that dispose of fracking wastewater. “Shutting the wells down stopped the earthquakes that hit Arkansas. That is what we need to do here too,” Spotts said.   [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
Fracking fears raised by methane gas study
BBC News
John Moylan

Research on the amount of gas leaked from onshore oil and gas wells raises "serious questions" over the development of fracking in the UK, Greenpeace has said. Around a third of former onshore oil and gas wells are leaking methane gas, according to the research led by scientists at the University of Durham.  [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
Time for FERC to pipe down
The Hill
Maya K. van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper

This month, more than 165 organizations and 2000 concerned people from across America sent a letter to Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) asking for justice. Not justice for any one individual – justice for the country and the environment. As key members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Sanders and Warren have the ear of the Government Accountability Office and the power to successfully call for an investigation into what has become a rogue federal agency: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Does “rogue” sound harsh? Well, FERC’s actions are harsher. The agency is supposed to regulate pipeline companies, but recent history shows it is behaving more like an advocate acting on their behalf, helping to grease the wheels for the pipeline companies regardless of the value of their projects or the harms they inflict on communities and the environment. Of all of the agencies in the entire federal government, FERC has the highest approval rate for the projects submitted to it for approval: 100 percent. That’s right, since 1986 FERC has green-lighted every single proposal the pipeline industry sent its way and up to its Commissioners. That’s not a regulatory agency, that’s a rubber stamp.  [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
Opposition Grows to Fracking and Fracking Infrastructure Projects
EcoWatch
Ted Glick

Over a seven day period last week there was a flurry of step-it-up activity on the East Coast in opposition to the planned expansion of fracking and fracking infrastructure. It began with a three-day walk over the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend in sub-freezing, wintry weather in rural western Massachusetts against Kinder Morgan’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline. Upwards of 200 people took part in the walk, with an average of about 80 people walking 11-12 miles each day. The spirit and energy of the group was powerful.  [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
Liberals Turn to Cities to Pass Laws and Spread Ideas

CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

If Congress won’t focus on a new policy idea, and if state legislatures are indifferent or hostile, why not skip them both and start at the city level? That’s the approach with a proposed law in San Francisco to require businesses there to pay for employees’ parental leaves. It might seem like a progressive pipe dream, the kind of liberal policy that could happen only in a place like San Francisco. But Scott Wiener, the city and county supervisor who proposed the policy, sees it differently. “The more local jurisdictions that tackle these issues, the more momentum there is for statewide and eventually national action,” he said.  [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
Fracking brine leak in North Dakota reaches Missouri River, prompts state Democrats to call for more regulation
PBS
REBECCA JACOBSON

A pipeline leak near Williston, North Dakota, that began January 6 has spilled 3 million gallons of brine — a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing. The leak has reached the Missouri River, the Associated Press reported on Friday. It’s the largest saltwater spill in the state’s history. Brine is considered toxic; it is saltier than seawater and often contains other fracking fluids and petroleum. The leak contaminated two creeks near Williston: Blacktail Creek and the Little Muddy River. The Little Muddy River empties into the Missouri River, one of the town’s sources of drinking water.  [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
Documentary puts human face on fracking controversy
Prince George Citizen
Samantha Wright Allen

If filmmaker Damien Gillis could make audiences respond in any one way to his documentary Fractured Land, it would be to have a more honest conversation about extractive industries.   [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
Walton BCC buys property, discusses fracking The property is located near Inlet Beach
My Panhandle
Maggie Solomon

Fracking is a process of drilling into the earth and using high pressure water and other fluids to break up rocks that release natural gas. The State is attempting to ban the practice on a state level. And while some Walton County officials may also believe the practice should be banned, what they don't agree with is the State making the decision for them.   [Full Story]

Jan 26, 2016
Fracking Legislation Threatens Florida’s Source of Fresh Water - NGO
Sputnik News


WASHINGTON — The Florida House of Representatives is expected to vote tomorrow on a measure that could open the Everglades to oil and gas exploration by fracking and threaten the source of fresh water, Food and Water Watch Florida Director Jorge Aguilar told Sputnik on Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
Williams cuts its capital budget by more than $1 billion
FuelFix


The Williams Cos. will slash its 2016 capital budget by more than $1 billion, the company said Monday, as the Oklahoma pipeline giant prepares to be acquired by Dallas’ Energy Transfer Equity. The 35 percent capital budget cut from last year comes amid the ongoing oil crash and just two weeks after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Williams’ credit rating. Williams said it is slicing its capital budget from $3.3 billion down to $2.1 billion for the year. Williams said it is canceling or delaying multiple projects because of the ongoing slump in oil and gas prices. As producers extract less soil and gas, there’s less product for companies like Williams to transport, process or store.  [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
Obama officials rush to curb methane on public lands
EE News
Ellen M Glimer & Mike Soraghan

The Obama administration says it has no time to waste on finalizing efforts to curb the oil and gas industry's methane emissions. "We are going to push hard to get this done," Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze said during a Friday press call announcing the release of a draft rule targeting natural gas waste. "Every day matters at this point, and this is a very high priority for us."   [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
Fracking illness reports, fisher release and the worth of permafrost
High Country News


COLORADO TO TRACK FRACKING-RELATED HEALTH PROBLEMS Colorado recently became the first state to have a health response program for oil and gas operations. Fracking and drilling can release a range of pollutants that harm human health, but definitive proof of links between oil and gas production and health problems is often elusive.   [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
California Well Leaking Methane Ordered Sealed by Air Quality Agency
Inside Climate Change
Phil McKenna

State regulators ordered Southern California Gas Co. to permanently close and seal the well adjacent to the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles that’s spewing methane and sickening local residents. They also called for enhanced air-quality monitoring in the vicinity and an independent study of potential health effects from the well’s emissions.   [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
Mercaptans in Methane Leak Make Porter Ranch Residents Sick, and Fearful
InsideClimate News
Lisa Song

Within a week of the start of the natural gas leak in Los Angeles, Gabriel Khanlian's 2-year-old daughter developed a rash all over her body. His sons—ages 6 and 8—got "bloody boogers" and broke out in hives, he said, while his wife became nauseous. Khanlian himself coughed up blood. The family's house in the Porter Ranch neighborhood is about three-quarters of a mile from the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, which began leaking methane Oct. 23. They're among hundreds of residents who have reported health problems, including headaches, vomiting and nosebleeds. California regulators attribute the symptoms to mercaptans—sulfurous chemicals that are added to natural gas to aid in the detection of leaks. They say the health problems are temporary and will not lead to long-term damage.   [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
Vapors linked to oxygen depletion present hazard for oil, gas workers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Anya Litvak

Three weeks before a 59-year-old oil and gas worker was found collapsed over a tank in a Colorado oilfield in 2014, he felt so disoriented that he went to the emergency room. By the time he got there, his symptoms had subsided and he was discharged. It wasn’t immediately clear what had happened, but a record of the gas monitor he wore as part of his job gauging oil tanks showed a five-minute period where the air around him was low on oxygen. So low — between 10 percent and 15 percent by volume — that he would have likely experienced poor coordination, fatigue and difficulty breathing within minutes. The normal range of oxygen in the air is around 21 percent. Anything below 19.5 percent is considered oxygen deficient.  [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
South L.A. residents want city to act on Jefferson Boulevard oil drilling site
Los Angeles Times
Emily Alpert Reyes

At a packed hearing at City Hall more than a year ago, South Los Angeles residents argued that oil drilling had caused foul smells, thunderous noise and other nuisances in their neighborhood west of USC.   [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
Gov. Wolf Announces New Methane Regulations On Oil & Gas Industry
PA Environment Digest


During a Facebook Town Hall meeting Tuesday, Gov. Wolf announced DEP would be developing new regulations to control methane emissions from the oil and gas development industry.   [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
PEC, EDF, Other Groups React To New Oil & Gas Methane Emissions Proposal
PA Environment Digest


Gov. Tom Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection showed strong leadership Tuesday by recommending steps for regulatory action to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from the oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania – the second largest producer of natural gas in the country.   [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
Associated Petroleum Industries-PA Reacts To Wolf’s Methane Reduction Proposal
PA Environment Digest


API-PA Executive Director Stephanie Catarino Wissman issued the following statement regarding Gov. Wolf’s announced new methane rules proposals, cautioning against duplicative regulations on oil and gas operations: “America is already leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Even as oil and natural gas production has risen dramatically, methane emissions have fallen, thanks to industry leadership and investment in new technologies. Methane is the primary component of natural gas, and emissions will continue to fall as operators innovate to capture and deliver more methane to heat homes and generate clean-burning electricity.  [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
Study shows fracking leads to falling property value
The Chronicle
Rachel Sereix

The value of homes sharply declines when fracking takes place in neighborhoods, according to a new Duke study published in the American Economic Review.  [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
SNP Accused Of Ignoring “Thousands” Of Members As It Blocks Fracking Debate “When you start questioning the SNP leadership, especially online, it doesn’t go down well at all,” a former member told BuzzFeed News.
BuzzFeed News
Jamie Ross

Thousands of SNP members have been left “deeply disappointed” by the party’s decision to block a debate on fracking at its spring conference despite around 20 local branches calling for it.   [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
Huge areas of Nottinghamshire licensed for fracking
Chad
Kevin Rogers

Most of Mansfield and Worksop and parts of Ashfield are among huge new areas licenced for fracking by the Government.   [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
Fla. House plans to take up fracking, uber bills
The Ledger


The House is expected Tuesday to take up controversial bills about regulations dealing with oil and gas drilling and app-based transportation services such Uber and Lyft.   [Full Story]

Jan 25, 2016
Losses at world’s biggest fracking provider Halliburton Underlying operating profits from North America plunge 86 per cent to $458m
Irish Times


Halliburton swung to a loss as the world‘s largest fracking provider braces for more customer cutbacks during the worst crude market downturn since the 1980s.   [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
EPA science panel: Fracking study needs work
Daily Times
James Fenton

FARMINGTON — In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a draft assessment of a study looking into hydraulic fracturing's potential impact on drinking water and concluded fracking was off the hook for water pollution.   [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
When will we reach the tipping point with fracking?
News 1130
John Ackermann

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) -Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been linked to a record number of earthquakes in BC, Alberta, and elsewhere.  [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
US seeks to limit methane gas 'flaring' at drilling sites
Leader Call


A report by the Government Accountability Office said 40 percent of the methane gas being burned or vented could be captured economically and sold. The Obama administration on Friday proposed new rules to clamp down on oil companies that burn off natural gas on public land, arguing the effort will reduce waste and harmful methane emissions as part of President Barack Obama's bid to curb climate change.  [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
Proposed amendment offers local governments limited say in fracking, but not power to prohibit
Naples Daily News
Arek Sarkissian

TALLAHASSEE — Counties and cities would have a limited say in how oil companies go about fracking, but a proposed amendment would not allow local governments to prevent the drilling process.   [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
How much damage is the Porter Ranch leak doing to the climate?
LA Times
Tony Barboza

Stephen Conley has flown pollution-detecting airplanes over some of the largest oil and gas fields in the nation. But never before has the UC Davis scientist encountered as much methane in the air as in recent months over suburban Los Angeles.  [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
Ohio has yet to write rules for fracking industry
Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

But a year and a half later, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has just one of those rules in place. It covers well pad construction and was finalized in July.   [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
Could fracking be worse for the climate than coal?
Politifact
Mark Reynolds

The Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island asserts that a new liquefied natural gas facility at Fields Point would accelerate climate change. The league’s position paper, posted at RIFuture.org, predicts that the storage facility proposed by National Grid would increase emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.   [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
O'Malley supports fracking, but with tough regulations
Des Moines Register
Grant Rodgers

MAQUOKETA, Ia. — Martin O'Malley offered restrained support for hydraulic fracturing on Saturday, saying the controversial method to harvest cleaner-burning natural gas should be allowed with strict regulations as part of a broader strategy to reduce reliance on other fossil fuels.   [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
Kids Suing Government for Climate Action Attract Influential Allies and Opponents
Common Dreams
John Light

Twenty-one young Americans and climate scientist James Hansen are suing to compel the government to take dramatic action on climate change, and the case has attracted attention both from powerful lobbyists in Washington and environmental activists around the globe. The kids are backed by Our Children’s Trust, a group that has organized similar suits against state governments around the country. The group believes that activists have to challenge US climate policy in the courts in order to protect what they see as younger generations’ constitutional right to a habitable planet. Similar cases have been successful in Pakistan and the Netherlands. Because the courts are comparatively insulated from the special-interest money that floods congressional and presidential races, they are well-positioned to give a shove to our federal government, which has responded to climate change more slowly than other developed countries. It’s a story we’ve been following since Bill Moyers interviewed one of the plaintiffs, 18-year-old Kelsey Juliana, in 2014.  [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
Gas Leak in Los Angeles Has Residents Looking Warily Toward Flint
The New York Times
Ian Lovett

LOS ANGELES — Health officials have tested the air and deemed it safe. Yes, the awful smell from a huge natural gas leak near the Porter Ranch neighborhood may cause vomiting, nosebleeds and other short-term symptoms, they say, but they have assured residents that it does not pose long-term health risks. Many people here, however, simply do not buy it. And now they look warily toward Flint, Mich., where the switch to a new water supply, which state officials insisted for months was safe, has left children with high levels of lead in their blood.  [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
Fast-acting methane from Aliso Canyon leak is boosting global warming
Los Angeles Times
Tony Barboza

Stephen Conley has flown pollution-detecting airplanes over some of the largest oil and gas fields in the nation. But never before has the UC Davis scientist encountered as much methane in the air as in recent months over suburban Los Angeles. Over and over, Conley has flown his single-engine plane through the invisible plume billowing from an underground natural gas storage facility and into Porter Ranch to provide California air quality officials estimates of the planet-warming emissions from the leak.  [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
PA Appeals Court Upholds Conditional Use to Permit the Construction of a Gas Compressor Station on Land Adjacent to an Organic Farm
Law of the Land
Patricia Salkin

Cardinal PA Midstream, LLC filed a conditional use application with the Township to build a gas compressor station on property located in the Township’s “A–1 Agricultural District.” In this case, Kretschmann Farm, LLC and Donald and Rebecca Kretschmann, husband and wife (collectively, Landowners), appealed the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County that affirmed the decision of the Board of Supervisors of New Sewickley Township to allow the construction of a gas compressor station on land adjacent to their organic farm. Landowners contended the Township erred because its written decision and order did not address Landowners’ evidence that the proposed compressor station would adversely affect the public health and welfare. They also asserted that the trial court erred by denying them the opportunity to present additional evidence in their land use appeal. Landowners first claimed that the Township abused its discretion because its findings of fact did not contain any reference to Landowners’ evidence. Here, the Township’s written decision did not refer to Landowners’ testimony or documents, including the hundreds of e-mails expressing concern about the environmental and health impact of Cardinal’s compressor station. However, the court found that these expressions of concern did not constitute probative evidence of harm, since Landowners’ counsel stated that the e-mails were not being introduced to prove a direct impact on health but to establish the risk of loss of Landowners’ customers. Additionally, Landowners presented no expert reports or testimony to support their challenge to Cardinal’s conditional use application. The Township did not ignore the comments of Landowners and other objectors, but instead responded with the imposition of 33 conditions, many of which related to specific concerns raised by the objectors. Thus, even though the Township did not contain any reference to the Landowner’s evidence, it properly considered their evidence.   [Full Story]

Jan 24, 2016
Commentary: New York must reject pipeline
Times Union
Keith Schue

New York is at a crossroads. One path chains us to fossil fuels and climate catastrophe. The other takes us to a brighter future powered by renewables. In his State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised to tackle climate change by requiring that half of our electricity come from renewables by 2030. If met with power produced here in New York from wind, water and sun, this would establish him as a leader in the energy revolution needed to save our warming planet. However, that future is now jeopardized by a myriad of projects and proposals that take us backward. Making national headlines is Constitution, the Orwellian name for a pipeline that threatens to permanently rip a hundred-mile gash through the forests, fields and streams of the Southern Tier and northern Catskills. As a new artery for fracked gas from Pennsylvania, the pipeline would condemn us to greater dependence on fossil fuels for decades. Blocking this assault on New York's environment requires that Cuomo reject the project's water quality certificate soon. Communities victimized by fracked gas in New York have already witnessed how federal rubber stamps and state complacency lead to additional compressor stations, laterals and looping on pipelines like Millennium, AIM and Spectra. So, too, Constitution would blaze a path for the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline following on its heels in the same corridor. Even if NED disappears as a separate project, its components are certain to be added later if Constitution is built. What's more, federal filings reveal a contract for the delivery of 230 million cubic feet of gas daily to a new power plant somewhere along the Constitution/NED corridor. Using U.S. Energy Information data, the behemoth facility would pump four and a half million tons of additional carbon dioxide into the air annually, along with hazardous pollutants like benzene, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. As shown by Cornell University professors Robert Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea, those climate impacts double when methane leakage associated with the extraction, processing and transport of gas is factored in.  [Full Story]

Jan 23, 2016
Panel orders SoCalGas to shut down leaking well in Porter Ranch
Los Angeles Daily News
Dana Bartholomew

WOODLAND HILLS >> Too big to fail. So said a U.S. congressman from the San Fernando Valley on Saturday before the approval of a sweeping nuisance abatement order against the Southern California Gas Co. whose leaking gas well above Porter Ranch sickened residents for months, forcing the relocation of thousands. “Too big to fail is too big to exist,” Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, who lives with his family in Porter Ranch, told an independent law panel who would approve the order. “Do not allow any natural gas storage facility to be 90 percent of what’s needed for a metropolis. “This facility is shut down: do not let them open it back up unless you’re convinced, and they’re convinced, that it’s safe.”  [Full Story]

Jan 23, 2016
Regulators order new steps to contain gas leak near Porter Ranch
Los Angeles Times
Cindy Chang

Regulators on Saturday approved a comprehensive abatement order that requires Southern California Gas Co. to take immediate steps to contain a massive natural gas leak in Porter Ranch, permanently shut down the damaged well, establish a leak detection system and conduct an independent health study. Following a six-hour public meeting in Woodland Hills, the Hearing Board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District voted 4-1 to approve the order. “As a result of this order, SoCalGas must take immediate steps to minimize air pollution and odors from its leaking well and stop the leak as quickly as possible,” said Barry Wallerstein, SCAQMD’s executive officer. “It also will require the utility to thoroughly inspect all other wells at its Aliso Canyon storage facility to help prevent another major leak in the future.”  [Full Story]

Jan 23, 2016
Rural representatives hear from Colorado lawmakers Budget prevails as largest concern, with oil and gas revenues declining
Durango Herald
Peter Marcus

ENVER – Lawmakers presented their ideas to those with rural Colorado interests this week at the Capitol, underscoring looming battles over the budget and oil and gas regulations.   [Full Story]

Jan 23, 2016
Federal Government Targeting Methane Flaring
The Intelligencer
Casey Junkins

WHEELING - Federal officials on Friday announced new regulations cracking down on flaring, venting and leaking of methane in natural gas drilling operations.   [Full Story]

Jan 23, 2016
Regulators approve health study on huge California gas leak
Reuters
PAULA LEHMAN

Regional air quality regulators in California voted on Saturday to require the utility responsible for a ruptured underground pipeline in the Los Angeles area to underwrite an independent study on the health effects of a huge methane leak from the site. The natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon, just outside the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch, began on Oct. 23 and ranks as the worst ever in California. Odorized methane fumes sickened scores of people and led to the temporary relocation of thousands of residents from the northern Los Angeles community near the leaking storage field in Aliso Canyon.   [Full Story]

Jan 22, 2016
Do Hundreds of Other Gas Storage Sites Risk a Methane Leak Like California's?
InsideClimate News
Phil McKenna

Earlier this week, the massive methane leak spewing from an underground natural gas storage facility in California’s Aliso Canyon passed a symbolic milestone: its duration exceeded BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, a growing number of environmentalists, engineers and industry watchdogs say the disaster on the outskirts of Los Angeles could happen elsewhere. There are more than 400 underground natural gas storage sites spread across 31 states, and, like Aliso Canyon, decades-old equipment is deteriorating at many of them.  [Full Story]

Jan 22, 2016
New Federal Rules Target Methane Leaks, Flaring and Venting
InsideClimate News
Katherine Bagley

The Obama administration proposed new regulations Friday to cut the amount of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas about 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, leaking from fossil fuel facilities on public and tribal lands. The announcement comes as a massive amount of methane continues to escape from a storage facility in Aliso Canyon, northwest of Los Angeles. It also follows the Interior Department's decision last week to stop granting new leases for coal mining on public lands.  [Full Story]

Jan 22, 2016
Fracking water being used to irrigate crops
KWES
Kalene O'Brien

PECOS, TX (KWES) - New research is proving that the oil industry isn't the only one benefiting from fracking. Fracking water can also be used to irrigate crops. Researchers at Texas A&M University have big plans now that they've discovered they can successfully blend fracking water and well water to irrigate cotton crops. They've used a 4 to 1 ratio of well water to fracking water. Now, they want to expand their test and see if they can add even more fracking water. The researchers have high hopes that eventually they will even be able to use 100 percent fracking water. Their goals don't stop with cotton crops.  [Full Story]

Jan 22, 2016
'Corbett's office cooked the books,' Gov. Tom Wolf's policy secretary says
The Patriot News
Candy Woodall

Industry advocates say Gov. Tom Wolf's office played political games when it lowered the number of jobs created by Marcellus Shale development. The state Department of Labor & Industry last year revised Gov. Tom Corbett's count from 250,000 jobs created during the drilling boom to about 29,000. That figure grows to about 80,000 when calculations include suppliers and service providers, such as architects, engineers, restaurants and physicians who care for workers. That decrease of about 170,000 removes several positions previously included by Corbett, such as every job in trucking, highway construction, steel mills, coal-fired power plants, sewage treatment plants and others. "Governor Corbett's office cooked the books. Everyone knows Corbett was in bed with the Marcellus Shale industry," said John Hanger, Wolf's policy secretary.  [Full Story]

Jan 22, 2016
New Methane Emission Rules Proposed by Interior Department
The New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT

The Obama administration on Friday proposed a new rule aimed at curbing emissions of planet-warming methane from oil and gas drilling on public land. It would force companies to use equipment to capture leaked gas and raise the costs they pay for extracting fuel on government property. The draft regulation, proposed by the Interior Department, is the latest step by President Obama to use his executive authority to clamp down on the fossil fuel emissions that contribute to climate change, and to make it more expensive for oil, gas and coal companies to mine and drill on public land. It follows last week’s controversial move by the Interior Department to halt new leases for coal mining on public lands, and to reform the government’s program for leasing federal lands to coal companies with an eye to raising their costs.  [Full Story]

Jan 22, 2016
Porter Ranch 'Climate Disaster' Shows Need for National Fracking Ban: Sanders
Common Dreams
Deirdre Fulton

As the ongoing Porter Ranch disaster shines a spotlight on the dangers of aging natural gas infrastructure around the country, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and environmental experts are now arguing that the leaking well serves as "yet another example of the urgent national need to transition away from fossil fuels." "The Porter Ranch gas leak is a climate disaster," Sanders said in a tweet on Thursday, after being asked about the situation at a town hall meeting at Southern New Hampshire University. What's more, the failure at the Aliso Canyon well—which has for months been spewing thousands of tons of methane gas into the air and sickening residents of the town just 25 miles outside of Los Angeles—"is illustrative of a problem that is happening every day," Mark Brownstein, the vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund’s climate and energy program, told the Huffington Post.  [Full Story]

Jan 22, 2016
Greens welcome more robust regulations for fracking applications
On the Wight


Isle of Wight Green Party wish to thank the IW Council and Cllr Medland (Freshwater South) for passing yesterday evening’s motion regarding firming up the planning regulations for Oil and Gas exploitation on the Island (read our live coverage. Ed).   [Full Story]

Jan 22, 2016
Exclusive: California gas leak spotlights shoddy regulation of aging storage wells
Reuters
NICHOLA GROOM

Long before a natural gas storage well sprung a disastrous leak near Los Angeles, California, utilities and national industry groups were raising alarms about the danger of aging underground storage infrastructure. The leaking well’s owner, Southern California Gas Co, warned state utility regulators in 2014 of “major failures” without a rate hike to pay for comprehensive inspections of 229 storage wells.  [Full Story]

Jan 22, 2016
Florida to vote on high-stakes fracking bill that won’t allow banning oil exploration
RT News


Despite concerns from environmentalists, a fracking bill will be voted on by the Florida House of Representatives. The bill seeks to establish a framework for fracking companies and prevent local governments from banning the practice. The proposal would increase regulation of hydraulic fracturing by requiring groundwater inspections at each site before and after fracking takes place, the Miami Herald reported. However, the bill also bans local governments from passing ordinances to prevent the practice.  [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
Fracking may be linked to Porter Ranch gas leak
The Sacramento Bee
MAYA GOLDEN-KRASNER

Did fracking play a role in the Porter Ranch natural gas leak, one of the biggest environmental disasters in recent California history? In October, a ruptured storage well in the Aliso Canyon oil field began spewing hundreds of thousands of tons of noxious gas into Los Angeles neighborhoods. Three months later, this massive leak still hasn’t been stanched. Thousands of people in the Porter Ranch area have been driven from their homes, schools and businesses by horrible smells and spiking levels of cancer-causing benzene.   [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
Federal judge issues temporary restraining order in fracking waste ban case
West Virginia Record
Kyla Asbury

CHARLESTON – U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver Jr. has issued a temporary restraining order preventing Fayette County from enforcing a county-wide ban on the storage and disposal of oil and gas waste.   [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
Southwestern Energy To Lay Off 600 In Arkansas As Natural Gas Prices Drop
UALR


Southwestern Energy Co. said Thursday it is laying off around 1,100 workers companywide with 600 of those jobs to cut in Arkansas. The Texas driller’s Fayetteville Shale operations in Arkansas had more than 1,500 workers a year ago.   [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
Oil Obama's offshore drilling plan meets heavy resistance along Atlantic coast
The Guardian
Oliver Milman

ure Beach, North Carolina, doesn’t seem a likely place to call itself “ground zero” for a key plank of Barack Obama’s presidential legacy. The small coastal town’s concerns rarely stretch beyond its golden beaches and shucked oysters; but it has found itself at the forefront of a struggle to head off a huge expansion in US oil drilling.   [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
Forest Service rejects proposed route of Atlantic Coast Pipeline
Richmond Times-Dispatch
MICHAEL MARTZ

The U.S. Forest Service has rejected the latest proposed route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline because of the 42-inch natural gas pipeline’s potential damage to the habitat of sensitive animal species protected by two national forests in Virginia and West Virginia. In a letter to the Dominion-led pipeline company on Tuesday, the Forest Service said the proposed route is “inconsistent” with Forest Service plans and commitments to protect the habitats of the Cow Knob salamander, Cheat Mountain salamander and West Virginia northern flying squirrel, as well as the red spruce forest ecosystem in which they live.  [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
US FERC PROBES POSSIBLE OVER-COLLECTION BY FOUR GAS PIPELINES
Platts


The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has launched investigations into whether four interstate natural gas pipelines are substantially over-recovering their cost of service. The reviews, approved by commissioners at their open meeting Thursday, mark the first such rate investigations under Section 5 of the Natural Gas Act in over two years. The probes will look into the revenues and cost of service of Columbia Gulf Transmission, Iroquois Gas Transmission System, Empire Pipeline and Tuscarora Gas Transmission.  [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
In North Dakota's Booming Oil Patch, One Tribe Beat Back Fracking The Turtle Mountain Band was among the first tribes to ban the drilling process. Here’s the difference it made.
Yes Magazine
Sarah van Gelder

Drive the long, straight roads of north-central North Dakota, and you pass lake after lake amid hayfields and forests. Migratory birds, attracted by the abundance of water and grain, pause here. Farmers, boaters, and fishermen orient their lives around the pure water.  [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
Anti-fracking activists descend on Tallahassee
Orlando Weekly
Erin Sullivan

Yesterday activists from across the state descended on Tallahassee to ask legislators to protect Florida from fracking. The Legislature, as you may recall, is set to consider bills this session that would actually ban local governments from restricting or banning fracking within their borders. Just last month, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to oppose fracking in Orange County, but if the Legislature's bills passed, no county would be able to exercise home rule over fracking interests.   [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
'Fracking' bill ready for House floor
News4JAX


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Amid opposition from environmental groups, a bill about oil- and natural-gas drilling -- including the controversial technique known as "fracking" -- is headed to the full House.   [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
Is US fracking obsession behind global financial MELTDOWN? Warning issued over oil glut
Express
Lana Clements

GLOBAL stock markets have been sent into meltdown over the past couple of weeks amid fears the world is about to fall into a depression worse than 2008 because of the US fracking revolution.   [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
Government accused of fracking bias by Isle of Wight Council
Isle of Wight County Press
Emily Pearce

FRACKING on the Isle of Wight should be a matter for Island people — not the 'biased' government. That was the message from the Isle of Wight Council last night (Wednesday), after a licence was recently granted to allow oil exploration and extraction in large areas of the Isle of Wight.   [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
Environmentalists warn of disaster for Everglades if oil fracking bill passes
Florida Water Daily


Environmentalists are warning of a potential ecological disaster for the Florida Everglades if state lawmakers approve a measure that would open the door to fracking in the sensitive wetlands.   [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
Santa Rosa area legislators support fracking
Navarre Press
Rob Johnson

The overthrow of local authority to limit fracking, the controversial method of drilling for oil and natural gas after injecting chemicals underground to fracture rock formations, is being supported by Northwest Florida legislators.   [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
5 Disturbing Things Porter Ranch Methane Leak and Flint Water Crisis Have in Common
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

They might seem different, but the ongoing disasters in Michigan and California are two sides of the same tragic coin: as Flint drinks toxic water, Porter Ranch breathes toxic air. These two areas highlight the abysmal failure of utilities and lawmakers as thousands of local residents continue to suffer. What’s important to remember, however, is that these travesties aren’t just isolated incidents—they might be much closer to home than you think.  [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
Gas company forced to resume offering rental houses to Porter Ranch families
Los Angeles Times
Louis Sahagun

The Los Angeles city attorney has forced the Southern California Gas Co. to back down from a plan the utility quietly put in place this week to stop offering rental houses to Porter Ranch families dislocated by the nearby gas leak. The company instructed its relocation specialists on Tuesday to no longer place residents in rental houses because they are increasingly hard to find and expensive for short-term lease. The utility, noting that it expects to plug the leak in four to five weeks, told agents to put families in hotels and motels instead. The utility reversed its decision after City Atty. Mike Feuer threatened legal action under a court order his office won last month establishing rules governing the relocations.   [Full Story]

Jan 21, 2016
EPA to finalize suite of methane rules this spring
EE News
Amanda Reilly

U.S. EPA plans to roll out a suite of rules covering methane emissions from new oil and gas industry operations this spring as part of a broader post-Paris climate agenda, the agency's acting air chief said this week.   [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
Fracking could be a balancing act in Colorado General Assembly Proposals include compensation for both homeowners and mineral rights
Durango Herald
Peter Marcus

DENVER – The Legislature this year may try to balance mineral rights with homeowners, as the debate over hydraulic fracturing rages on in Colorado. Those concerned with fracking are discussing a proposed measure that would require the oil and gas industry to compensate homeowners in the event that drilling operations negatively impact property values.   [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
Aging Infrastructure, Fracking Eyed in Massive Porter Ranch, California Methane Leak
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

It's been nearly three months since the Aliso Canyon gas leak in the upscale community of Porter Ranch, CA was first discovered — and, even as that gas continues to spew into the atmosphere, experts are calling attention to the risks that aging fossil fuel infrastructure poses nationwide. “Events of this size are rare, but major leakage across the oil and gas supply chain is not,” Director of Environmental Defense Fund’s California Oil & Gas Program Tim O’Connor said in a statement last month. “There are plenty of mini-Aliso Canyons that add up to a big climate problem — not just in California, but across the country.”  [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
Lawsuits Accuse Fracking Companies of Triggering Oklahoma's Earthquake Surge
InsideClimate News
Zahra Hirji

Two lawsuits in Oklahoma accuse more than a dozen oil and gas companies of triggering recent earthquakes by disposing of their drilling waste in deep wells. The lawsuits filed last week come on the heels of heightened earthquake activity in Oklahoma, where more than 130 this month have registered magnitude 2.5 or higher on the Richter Scale. These events have caused property damage, knocked out the local power supply, and shaken people's faith in the state government's ability to control the situation. "It's pretty intense right now," said Jeremy Boak, a geologist at the Oklahoma Geological Survey. He explained that the state has already experienced seven earthquakes of at least magnitude 4.0 in the past three weeks—about one-quarter the total of such quakes in 2015.  [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
California to investigate whether Exxon Mobil lied about climate-change risks
Los Angeles Times
Ivan Penn

California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris is investigating whether Exxon Mobil Corp. repeatedly lied to the public and its shareholders about the risk to its business from climate change — and whether such actions could amount to securities fraud and violations of environmental laws. Harris' office is reviewing what Exxon Mobil knew about global warming and what the company told investors, a person close to the investigation said. The move follows published reports, based on internal company documents, suggesting that during the 1980s and 1990s the company, then known as Exxon, used climate research as part of its planning and other business practices but simultaneously argued publicly that climate-change science was not clear cut.  [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
Wolf administration to tighten methane rules for drillers
The Monitor
AP

The Wolf administration says its proposal to require natural-gas drillers to reduce methane emissions will help make Pennsylvania a "national leader" in efforts to combat global warming. Environmental Secretary John Quigley said Wednesday that requiring the industry to reduce methane leaks at well pads, compressor stations and processing facilities in the Marcellus Shale could result in a 40 percent reduction in emissions. The Department of Environmental Protection is developing a new general permit for operators that would require them to use "best available technology" to detect and plug leaks of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to warming.  [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
In some ways, new gas-drilling rules are pretty limited in scope
Pittsburgh City Paper
Bill O'Driscoll

The state’s Department of Environmental Protection recently released documents supporting its rewrite of Pennsylvania’s rules for oil and gas drilling. Those rules had not been updated since 2001 — several years before the Marcellus Shale boom dramatically increased gas drilling here and fundamentally altered its character. But how much would the proposed regulations — which might take effect as soon as this summer — actually change how drilling is done? The DEP itself characterizes this as a necessary update to protect public health, safety and the environment. The drilling industry criticizes the changes as a needless intrusion that would cost it a lot of money for no environmental benefit. Most environmental groups, meanwhile, welcome the rules as an improvement, while adding that much more is needed. The new regs separately address new “conventional” wells and “unconventional”  [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
Environmentalists, shale coalition respond to Gov. Wolf's new rules for methane emissions
Penn Live
Candy Woodall

Hours after she and other concerned mothers protested at the State Capitol, Gretchen Dahlkemper got some welcome news. Gov. Tom Wolf made good on a campaign promise and took steps Tuesday to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. "We're thrilled the governor is moving forward, but we have yet to see exactly what the concept is," said Dahlkemper, a Philadelphia mom and national field director for the Moms Clean Air Force. Further details of the new methane rules will be announced at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday during a webinar led by the Department of Environmental Protection.  [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
DELAY OF SECOND RELIEF WELL IS ANOTHER SETBACK FOR SOCALGAS
LA Weekly
Gene Madddaus

Southern California Gas Company, which has been struggling for months to control a leaking well above Porter Ranch, has delayed the drilling of a second relief well by nearly three weeks. At the same time, the company has said that drilling of its first relief well is proceeding ahead of schedule and the leak could be stopped before the end of February. But the delay on the second well means that for now, the company has essentially staked the kill operation on the success of the first well. The leak at the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility, first reported on Oct. 23, has driven thousands of people from their homes and contributed to a dramatic increase in the state's methane emissions. After six failed attempts to kill the well with brine and heavy liquids, the gas company began drilling its first relief well on Dec. 4. The well is intended to intercept the leaking well at a depth of 8,500 feet below ground. The company can then pump liquid into the relief well, stopping the flow of gas.  [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
Energy Reform Bill Could Soon Reach Senate Floor, Says Committee Chair
NGI
Jeremiah Shelor

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) hinted during a hearing this week that the comprehensive energy bill passed last summer through the Committee on Energy & Natural Resources could soon reach the Senate floor for a vote. Murkowski, who chairs the committee, brought in a number of experts, including Energy Information Administration head Adam Sieminski, to testify Tuesday on a range of issues affecting the near-term outlook for energy and commodity markets. The hearing’s expert panel testified on the price forecast for crude oil and the potential impact of lifting economic sanctions against Iran, along with political instability in oil producing countries, shifts in electric generation and pricing, the need for additional natural gas pipeline capacity to fuel power plants and improve reliability in the Northeast, and the Bureau of Land Management’s recent moratorium on federal coal leasing (see Daily GPI, Jan. 15), among other topics.  [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
XTO Energy Sues U.S. Department of Justice Over Docs in Fracking Fight
Texas Lawyer
Angela Neville

Usually on the attack in environmental cases, the U.S. government now finds itself the defendant in a lawsuit brought by a subsidiary of Texas-based oil giant ExxonMobil.   [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
Doctors, Bikers, Union Members Hope to Stop Fracking In Florida
WJCT
Kate Payne

Environmental activists are sounding the alarm as a fracking bill continues to move through the Florida Legislature. Hundreds flocked to the Old Capitol Wednesday to raise their voices in protest.   [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
JON STEVERSON GRILLED ON FRACKING, TIMBER HARVESTING, HUNTING IN STATE PARKS BY SENATE PANEL
Florida Politics
Mitch Perry

Florida Department of Environmental Protection head Jon Steverson was formally confirmed in his position by members of the Senate’s Ethics and Elections Committee on Wednesday. That affirmation, though, came only after he was grilled by the panel about controversial decisions or statements made under his watch the past year.   [Full Story]

Jan 20, 2016
The unexpected effect of the downturn on fracking technology
Oil Week


With some degree of irony, the downturn in the energy industry caused by the collapse in the price of oil and the slashing of oil company budgets that has resulted has had a positive effect on the adoption of innovative technologies, say some technology developers.   [Full Story]

Jan 19, 2016
Environmentalists warn of disaster for Everglades if oil fracking bill passes
The Guardian
Richard Luscombe

Environmentalists are warning of a potential ecological disaster for the Florida Everglades if state lawmakers approve a measure that would open the door to fracking in the sensitive wetlands. On Tuesday, politicians in Tallahassee were debating a proposed new law that would remove the right of local municipalities to pass ordinances or resolutions banning fracking and instead place all regulation and oversight of drilling for oil into the hands of a single state agency. Opponents fear that removing the rights of cities and counties to prohibit fracking, and voiding the dozens of resolutions already passed by them, would make it easier for the oil industry to obtain permits to drill in the ecologically fragile Everglades. That, they say, would threaten the habitat of numerous species of wildlife in the so-called River of Grass and move heavy drilling equipment closer to residential areas.  [Full Story]

Jan 19, 2016
Fracking Industry-Linked Earthquakes in Oklahoma Crack Political Party Lines
DeSmog Blog
Julie Dermansky

Sara Winsted, a resident of Edmond, Oklahoma, an upscale Oklahoma City suburb, won’t be surprised if her house falls down before state legislators take action to stop the earthquakes. Her feeling of hopelessness intensified after she attended two public meetings: a town hall organized by State Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Arcadia) at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) in Edmond, and a public hearing at the state capitol in Oklahoma City led by State Rep. Richard Morrissette (D-OKC). Though the U.S. Geological Survey has determined the use of fracking wastewater disposal injection wells is the cause of the state’s earthquakes — and predicted a magnitude 5.5 or greater quake is probable — the use of disposal injection wells continues.  [Full Story]

Jan 19, 2016
Op-Ed Bill McKibben: How to drive a stake through the heart of zombie fossil fuel
Los Angeles Times
Bill McKibben

When I was a kid, I was creepily fascinated by the wrongheaded idea that your hair and your fingernails keep growing after you die. The lesson seemed to be that momentum was hard to kill. The same thing is at work right now with the fossil fuel industry. Even as global warming makes it clear that coal, natural gas and oil are yesterday's energy, two centuries of fossil fuel development means new projects keep emerging in zombie-like fashion. In fact, the climactic fight at the end of the fossil fuel era is underway. In statehouse hearing rooms and far off farmers' fields, local activists are making desperate stands to stop new fossil fuel projects, while the energy companies are making equally desperate attempts to build while they still can. The outcome of these thousands of fights, as much or more than the paper promises made at the U.N. climate conference in Paris in December, will determine whether we emerge from this century with a habitable planet. They are the battle for the future.  [Full Story]

Jan 19, 2016
Porter Ranch methane well was under stress when it failed
Los Angeles Daily News
INGRID LOBET

he Southern California well that has gushed climate-changing methane into the sky for 89 days was operated in a way that is legal but risky, some well experts say. Southern California Gas Co., a unit of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, injected and withdrew gas through the entire diameter of the well, rather than only through the narrower tubing that runs down the middle of it, Jason Marshall, chief deputy director of the agency that oversees the state oil and gas agency, confirmed. It was doing so when the well failure was discovered.  [Full Story]

Jan 19, 2016
In climate move, Wolf unveils new methane regulations for oil and gas industry
NPR State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

Governor Tom Wolf announced new plans Tuesday to cut methane emissions from the state’s oil and gas sector. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Wolf’s announcement follows a similar move by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in September. “These are commonsense steps that Pennsylvania can take to protect our air and reduce waste for industry,” Wolf said in a statement. “The best companies understand the business case for reducing methane leaks, as what doesn’t leak into the atmosphere can be used for energy production.”   [Full Story]

Jan 19, 2016
Erin Brockovich appeals to Porter Ranch residents as law firms push gas leak suits
Los Angeles Times
Alice Walton and Louis Sahagun

Movie-famous activist Erin Brockovich stood in front of 400 Porter Ranch residents on a recent weeknight and told a disturbing personal story. "When I first came to Porter Ranch I couldn't believe it," she said of her visit to the community closest to Southern California Gas Co.'s leaking well. "I was in somebody's house and within 10 minutes, I started feeling kind of dizzy." She said she saw a doctor who told her she "had what they called a chemically induced kind of bronchitis."  [Full Story]

Jan 19, 2016
7 Arrested in Solidarity With the People of Porter Ranch
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

In that spirit, and as part of the ongoing civil disobedience campaign against gas storage called We Are Seneca Lake—of which I am part—seven protesters from six different New York counties declared their support for the residents of Porter Ranch, California, where a massive leak from an underground gas storage facility has sickened and displaced thousands of families and shows no sign of abating.   [Full Story]

Jan 19, 2016
Environmentalists warn of disaster for Everglades if oil fracking bill passes
The Guardian
Richard Luscombe

Environmentalists are warning of a potential ecological disaster for the Florida Everglades if state lawmakers approve a measure that would open the door to fracking in the sensitive wetlands. On Tuesday, politicians in Tallahassee were debating a proposed new law that would remove the right of local municipalities to pass ordinances or resolutions banning fracking and instead place all regulation and oversight of drilling for oil into the hands of a single state agency.  [Full Story]

Jan 19, 2016
Doctors treating Porter Ranch residents want more gas-leak guidance
Los Angeles Daily News
Susan Abram

Nearly three months after natural gas began leaking from a well near homes in Porter Ranch, physicians say they have received no formal guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health about chemicals released in the air or how to answer questions about long-term health effects. The lack of information has created uncertainty among doctors and nurses across the San Fernando Valley, who have received a steady flow of patients complaining of headaches, nausea and nosebleeds, said Dr. Peter Richman, president of the Los Angeles County Medical Association and a general surgeon with Facey Medical Group in Mission Hills.  [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
“The situation is getting worse,” Oklahomans claim insurance companies refuse to cover certain earthquake damage
KFOR


ENID, Okla. - The earthquakes keep coming, and now some Oklahomans are saying their insurance companies are refusing to pay for the damage. One Enid homeowner told NewsChannel 4 that she got a letter from her insurance carrier, notifying her of an amendment to her earthquake coverage. Basically, it says if her home is damaged in an earthquake caused by oil drilling or injection wells, she’s on her own to foot the bill.  [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
Porter Ranch gas-leak site ‘like a crime scene,’ says Mayor Garcetti
Los Angeles Daily News
Brenda Gazzar

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti compared the site of a massive natural gas leak near Porter Ranch to a crime scene Monday and said Southern California Gas Co. must be held accountable for all long-term effects to area residents. The leak, which Gas Co. officials say was detected at the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility on Oct. 23, has sickened many nearby residents, forced thousands from their homes and prompted the relocation of students at two schools.  [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
Wolf to target methane emissions from oil and gas industry
NPR State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

Governor Tom Wolf will make a major announcement Tuesday about his administration’s efforts to combat climate change. He is expected to target methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Gretchen Dahlkemper of the group Moms Clean Air Force is scheduled to meet with Wolf and other parents ahead of a Facebook town hall meeting he’s hosting on climate change. “The governor ran on protecting our families from the oil and gas industry– especially the air pollution. We’re hoping this is the rule that’s been promised,” says Dahlkemper. “Every indication is that it is.”  [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
Goshen 7th-graders form opinions on fracking
Goshen News
Julie Crothers Beer

GOSHEN — As a research project in Randy Weade’s seventh-grade science class, Goshen Middle School students were placed in groups and asked to study and form opinions about fracking.   [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
MARC YACHT: STATE MOVES FRACKING REGULATION BILL FORWARD
Florida Politics
Marc Yacht

The assault on Florida’s environment continues as a Senate committee last week approved a bill that would make it easier for petroleum companies to use fracking technology to extract oil and gas in the state.   [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
What’s so bad about fracking? Let us count the ways
Tallahassee Democrat
Opinion: Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson & Jim Tatum

Besides leaking methane under and above ground, which makes people sick (ask Los Angeles), wasting millions of gallons of valuable water (ask California), causing earthquakes (ask Oklahoma), contaminated waste water no one wants, explosions that kill people (ask lots of places), there is one more big effect of fracking: undisclosed toxic chemicals put into our earth.  [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
Central Kentucky County to Consider Changes for Liquids Pipelines
WFPL
Erica Peterson

A county in central Kentucky is poised to consider a zoning change that could affect a massive multi-state pipeline project.   [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
3 ‘Knitting Nannas’ Arrested Protesting 850 Proposed Gas Wells
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

Three women from Knitting Nannas Against Gas, an anti-coal seam gas group, have been arrested after locking themselves by their necks to the gates of a wastewater treatment plant in New South Wales, Australia.   [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
Half of U.S. Fracking Industry Could Go Bankrupt as Oil Prices Continue to Fall
EcoWatch
Andy Rowell

So the slide continues with no end in sight. As expected this morning, the oil price has fallen below $28 a barrel on the back of the historic news over the weekend of sanctions being lifted on Iran.   [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
Come Listen to the Man Fracking Powers Tried to Silence
The Tyee
David Beers

Why you should spend Thursday, Jan. 28, with Andrew Nikiforuk. A special Tyee event.  [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
California natural gas leak just one of thousands across country
PBS
ELISABETH PONSOT

Environmental advocates surveying Aliso Canyon in Los Angeles’ picturesque San Fernando Valley last month saw an ordinary natural gas facility: several tons of industrial steel poking out of the ground toward a clear, blue sky. But what could not be seen — at least to the naked eye — was a colorless cloud spewing from a leak in storage well No. 25. The fissure at the Southern California Gas Company site, which began in late October, had been sending an estimated 100,000 pounds of methane into the air each hour.  [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
More quakes rattle Oklahoma but state avoids tough measures
AP News
SETH BORENSTEIN, KELLY P. KISSEL and SEAN MURPHY

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — In Oklahoma, now the country's earthquake capital, people are talking nervously about the big one as man-made quakes get stronger, more frequent and closer to major population centers. Next door in Kansas, they're feeling on firmer ground though no one is ready yet to declare victory. A year ago, the states had a common problem — earthquakes caused by the disposal of wastewater from oil and gas exploration. They chose different solutions. Kansas, following early scientific studies, decided to restrict how much and how fast the wastewater could be pumped back underground. Oklahoma instead initially concentrated on the depth of the wastewater injections.  [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
In Greenland, a climate change mystery with clues written in water and stone
PRI
Ari Daniel

The effects of climate change are starting to make themselves clear just about everywhere, but nowhere more dramatically than Greenland. The giant island holds the world's second largest ice sheet, and it's melting fast—an average of 287 billion metric tons of ice a year. Global warming is the big culprit, but scientists aren't so sure about a lot of the details. And they need to be, to help figure what might be ahead for the rest of us as melting ice leads to sea level rise and big changes in the oceans. Recently The World's Ari Daniel traveled to Greenland, with a group of researchers who are trying to unlock parts of the mystery.   [Full Story]

Jan 18, 2016
Climate Change: Man-Made Heat In World's Oceans Has Spiked Dramatically Since 1997
IBT
Jackie Salo

The ocean, in a huge spike in warming, has absorbed the same amount of man-made heat since 1997 as it did in the previous nearly century and a half, according to a study released Monday. Of that heat energy from global warming, humans are responsible for more than 90 percent of what goes into the world's bodies of water instead of the ground. "The changes we're talking about, they are really, really big numbers," said study co-author Paul Durack, an oceanographer at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California, told the Associated Press. "They are nonhuman numbers."  [Full Story]

Jan 17, 2016
Israeli companies find huge new natural gas field
Israel National news
Shlomo Piotrokovsky

“Isramco” and “Modiin Energy” companies, announced on Sunday that they found a gas reserve in the Mediterranean Sea the size of the “Tamar” drilling field. The companies who partner in searching for oil and gas reserves in Israel publicized on Sunday morning that they have found gas reserves that equal the size of the offshore "Tamar" Gas field. The reserves are located in the drilling license regions of East and West Daniel.   [Full Story]

Jan 17, 2016
Exclusive: Dallas Fed Quietly Suspends Energy Mark-To-Market On Default Contagion Fears
Zero Hedge
Tyler Durden

Earlier this week, before first JPM and then Wells Fargo revealed that not all is well when it comes to bank energy loan exposure, a small Tulsa-based lender, BOK Financial, said that its fourth-quarter earnings would miss analysts’ expectations because its loan-loss provisions would be higher than expected as a result of a single unidentified energy-industry borrower. This is what the bank said: “A single borrower reported steeper than expected production declines and higher lease operating expenses, leading to an impairment on the loan. In addition, as we noted at the start of the commodities downturn in late 2014, we expected credit migration in the energy portfolio throughout the cycle and an increased risk of loss if commodity prices did not recover to a normalized level within one year. As we are now into the second year of the downturn, during the fourth quarter we continued to see credit grade migration and increased impairment in our energy portfolio. The combination of factors necessitated a higher level of provision expense." Another bank, this time the far larger Regions Financial, said its fourth-quarter charge-offs jumped $18 million from the prior quarter to $78 million, largely because of problems with a single unspecified energy borrower. More than one-quarter of Regions’ energy loans were classified as “criticized” at the end of the fourth quarter.   [Full Story]

Jan 17, 2016
W.Va. Production Numbers ‘Shocking’ Single Well Could Provide Electricity For 24,315 Homes
The Intelligencer
Casey Junkins

WHEELING - A single Ohio County Marcellus Shale well yielded enough natural gas in 2014 to provide electricity for 24,315 homes, according to new numbers released by the West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey.   [Full Story]

Jan 17, 2016
Earthquake shakes Northern Virginia and West Virginia
WNCN


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — An earthquake hit just inside the Virginia border on Sunday afternoon, officials say. The 3.0 magnitude quake hit at 2:12 p.m. near the borders of West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland.   [Full Story]

Jan 17, 2016
Alberta feels quakes almost daily as energy companies extract oil with fracking method
Japan Times


MONTREAL – One earthquake is recorded on average each day in a western Canadian region where companies extract oil by fracking, according to statistics published by the Canadian province’s energy regulatory agency.   [Full Story]

Jan 17, 2016
As fracking-induced earthquakes rise, Oklahomans demand action
Wisconsin Gazette


Oklahoma residents are imploring leaders to stop the dramatic increase in earthquakes caused by wastewater injection wells from fracking operations.   [Full Story]

Jan 17, 2016
Beauty spots at risk in Wakefield district, say anti-fracking campaigners
Wakefield Expresss


Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences have been issued by the government to fracking firms, which mean they could in future drill to look for shale gas in parts of Wakefield, Pontefract, Castleford and the south east. Anti-fracking campaigners say it is “the biggest threat the district has ever faced”, with the possibility of drilling at beauty spots and nature reserves like Pugneys Country Park, Newmillerdam and Anglers Country Park.   [Full Story]

Jan 17, 2016
Fayette ban has significant local and regional impact
Register-Herald
Sarah Plummer

A decade ago, Brad Keenan called emergency services about a gas leak in Lochgelly.  [Full Story]

Jan 17, 2016
An ugly truth behind black gold: How racial injustices are behind California's fight against Big Oil
Daily Kos
Vann R Newkirk II

Despite being known as an energy-progressive state and the vanguard of the green movement, California remains a major epicenter of oil production in the United States. Generally, oil production comes with the predictable environmental issues involved with the endeavor: Polluted air, contaminated water, acid rain, carcinogens, and the occasional landslide, tremor, or refinery explosion. And in California, many of the communities most affected by these environmental issues also happen to be inhabited heavily by Latinos, African Americans, and other people of color.   [Full Story]

Jan 17, 2016
Plan to drill for oil on church site draws protesters
The Detroit News
George Hunter

Southfield — Joseph Person is a member of Word of Faith Christian Center, but instead of attending services Sunday, he stood outside the church with more than 50 others, protesting a proposal to drill for oil on the sprawling site.   [Full Story]

Jan 17, 2016
Oil drilling permit sought for church land in Southfield
Crain's Detroit Business
Jay Greene

Jordan Development Co. LLC, one of the oldest and largest oil and gas exploration companies based in Michigan, is betting against long-term low crude oil prices and has applied for a drilling permit in Southfield. Raising some eyebrows and bucking a six-month moratorium on fossil fuel extraction recently approved by the Southfield City Council, Jordan has signed a lease agreement for the drilling with the Word of Faith International Christian Center Inc. at Evergreen and Nine Mile roads.   [Full Story]

Jan 16, 2016
Explosion risk stalls plan to capture and burn gas from Porter Ranch leak
LA Times
Tonay Barboza

Mohsen Nazemi, deputy executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, whose hearing board was expected to approve the plan at a public meeting in Granada Hills, acknowledged the proposal was “very unusual” and that the idea is now on hold until local fire officials and state and federal regulators, have signed off on it.  [Full Story]

Jan 16, 2016
Mother Nature's Invisible Hand Strikes Back Against the Carbon Economy
Truthout
JP Sottile

Is the hydrocarbon economy too big to fail? If the woefully inadequate outcome of the Paris climate conference is any indication, the answer is still a resounding "Yes!" That's because the overly optimistic agreement conspicuously ignored the core issue driving up the earth's temperature and warping the world's already misshaped markets. The problem is Big Oil. Simply put, Big Oil is a bad investment fueled by irrational exuberance, chronic cronyism and an increasingly indefensible misallocation of capital. And decades of throwing good money after bad has produced a distorted economic system that socializes risk, privatizes profits, externalizes costs and misallocates capital. This continues because policy makers sustain it with taxpayer-funded subsidies, costly tax breaks and low-overhead access to publicly held resources.  [Full Story]

Jan 16, 2016
Oil Goes Nonlinear Why the plunge isn’t good news.
The New York Times
Paul Krugman

When oil prices began their big plunge, it was widely assumed that the economic effects would be positive. Some of us were a bit skeptical. But maybe not skeptical enough: taking a global view, there’s a pretty good case that the oil plunge is having a distinctly negative impact. Why? Well, think about why we used to believe that oil price declines were expansionary. Part of the answer was that they reduced inflation, freeing central banks to loosen monetary policy — not a relevant issue at a time when inflation is below target almost everywhere.  [Full Story]

Jan 16, 2016
Leaked EPA Dimock, PA Water Contamination Presentation Published By DeSmog in Play in Federal Suit
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

A PowerPoint presentation obtained from a source and published by DeSmog in August 2013 has made its way into a major hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) related legal case, which is set to go to trial soon in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. That document was presented as a legal exhibit on December 30 as part of a motion by the plaintiffs in opposition to exclude some evidence during the jury trial made by the defendant, Cabot Oil & Gas. The motion cites the exhibit to reveal how the Obama Administration's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ignored the evidence of its own staff scientists in declaring the contaminated water safe to drink in Dimock, Pennsylvania. Cabot had previously argued to the judge in its November 30 Motion in Limine (a motion to exclude evidence) that certain pieces of evidence should not be presented to a jury when the case goes to trial.  [Full Story]

Jan 15, 2016
December Haynesville Shale Natural Gas Production Fell
Market Realist
Alex Chamberlin

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) estimates that the Haynesville Shale produced 6.2 Bcf (billion cubic feet) per day of natural gas in December 2015. This is according to its Drilling Productivity Report released on January 11, 2016.   [Full Story]

Jan 15, 2016
Banning Fracking Isn’t Enough: How We Fight to Stop Pipelines, Compressor Stations and Gas Plants
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

[Editor’s note: Hundreds of climate activists and renewable energy advocates gathered for a State of the Climate rally and march outside of Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State address in Albany Wednesday. Here below are the prepared remarks from Sandra Steingraber’s speech. Shortly after, from the top of a stairway in the Capitol building, fracking infrastructure opponents unscrolled a 40-foot petition, bearing 1,000 signatures, that urgently calls on the governor to oppose the storage of dangerous, explosive LPG (propane and butane) in abandoned salt caverns under the shores of Seneca Lake. Like methane, propane and butane are the products of fracking. Along with the petition scroll, the group also delivered more than 500 letters to Gov. Cuomo’s office.] Hi, everyone. My name is Sandra Steingraber, and I bring warm greetings from the banks of Seneca Lake in New York’s wine country. That’s my home.  [Full Story]

Jan 15, 2016
FERC under fire: Area pipeline opposition groups hammer regulatory agency
The Recorder
TOM RELIHAN

The federal agency reviewing an application for a controversial new natural gas pipeline that’s planned to snake its way through Franklin County is coming under fire from a variety of opposition groups and environmental coalitions. The first of the groups, Northeast Energy Solutions, or NEES, filed on Thursday a formal protest with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission charging that the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s application for the proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project is incomplete and riddled with inaccuracies. FERC, which has the final word as to whether the project is built, is currently reviewing the company’s proposal.  [Full Story]

Jan 15, 2016
PRRD says no to gas drilling in Blackfoot park Drilling rights up for sale at disposition
Alaska Highway News
Jonny Wakefield

Peace River Regional District directors are saying no to oil and gas drilling in a popular regional park.   [Full Story]

Jan 15, 2016
South Strabane officials face drilling issues
Obsrver-Reporter
Natalie Reid Miller

A feeling of us versus them has settled over South Strabane Township meetings, with a line drawn between those who support natural gas drilling and those who do not. Most residents who address council have strong opinions on the polarizing topic and are forthcoming with reasons drilling is either a benefit or detriment to the township.  [Full Story]

Jan 15, 2016
Natural Gas Production in Marcellus Shale Fell in December
Market Realist
Alex Chamberlin

In its Drilling Productivity Report on January 11, 2016, the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) estimated that the Marcellus Shale’s natural gas production totaled ~15.6 Bcf (billion cubic feet) per day in December 2015. That’s a ~1% decrease over November 2015’s production level. It’s also 1% lower than production a year ago.  [Full Story]

Jan 15, 2016
Feb. 16 meeting on compressor station in Medina County
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

Ohio EPA will hold an information session and public hearing on Feb. 16, 2016, about a draft air permit for a proposed natural gas compressor station in the Wadsworth/Guilford Township area of Medina County. The compressor station would be located just north of I-76 on Guilford Road and is intended to facilitate delivery of natural gas along the Nexus Gas Transmission (NGT) pipeline.  [Full Story]

Jan 14, 2016
4 Oklahoma energy companies named as defendants in class-action lawsuit
KOCO


OKLAHOMA CITY —A New York-based law firm announced Thursday it has filed a class-action petition against four Oklahoma energy companies that they say have refused to end fracking operations.   [Full Story]

Jan 14, 2016
Shocker: Govt. Scientists Admit They Deceived the Public About Fracking's Impact on Drinking Water
AlterNet
Justin Gardner

There will be heavy pressure to revise the EPA’s conclusion — and the oil and gas industry will have major egg on its face. Industry hacks and their MSM cheerleaders took this line and ran with it, proclaiming that “the science is settled” on fracking and any further concerns are just crazed environmental activists pursuing an agenda. However, it turns out that the EPA’s own science advisers have repudiated the study’s major conclusion, saying that it is “inconsistent with the observations, data and levels of uncertainty.” “Major findings are ambiguous or are inconsistent with the observations/data presented in the body of the report,” the 31-member scientific review board said on Thursday. The panel will have a public teleconference on Feb. 1 before sending its final recommendations to EPA. The conclusion of the draft report had already drawn suspicion of political tampering. Adding to this is the fact that EPA left out high-profile cases in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming “where hydraulic fracturing activities are perceived by many members of the public to have caused significant local impacts to drinking water sources.”  [Full Story]

Jan 14, 2016
Fracking fire damage totals almost $50 million
KFOR
Sarah Stewaet

GRADY COUNTY, Okla. - The raging fire sent flames and thick black smoke into the sky. It broke out around 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at a Continental Resources oil field site just east of Chickasha. On Thursday – the devastating damage was clear. The Grady County Fire Chief tell us 22 different truck/trailer combinations were completely destroyed – each one valued at $1.8 million dollars. Despite that, the fire chief tells us it could have been much worse.  [Full Story]

Jan 14, 2016
Rockefeller price gouging returns to petroleum industry As FERC slumbers, oil and gas customers pay a heavy price
Al Jazeera America
David Cay Johnston

Next time you fill your gas tank, the price will likely be inflated by a few pennies per gallon because the sightless sheriffs at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, have ignored a return of the 19th century price-gouging techniques made infamous by John D. Rockefeller. Unless FERC acts, everyone soon will have their pockets picked as pipeline charges are illegally jacked up, by as much as 500 percent, or about 25 cents per gallon, FERC records show. In this case, the price gouging is by pipeline shippers with rights to transport refined petroleum. They resell those rights at a huge markup and get kickbacks. The Supreme Court in 1959 reminded us that the Interstate Commerce Act makes it “unlawful for a common carrier to grant rebates to individual shippers by any device whatsoever or to discriminate in favor of any shipper directly or indirectly.” Illegal fees for transporting refined petroleum products in interstate commerce can result in criminal charges and up to two years behind bars upon conviction.  [Full Story]

Jan 14, 2016
First natural gas exports delayed
The Hill
Timothy Cama

The company behind the first liquefied natural gas export project in the contiguous United States has delayed the first shipment from the facility. Cheniere Energy Inc. had planned to ship off its first load of natural gas from the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana in late January.But citing “instrumentation issues,” Cheniere said Thursday the shipment wouldn’t happen until late February or March, according to The Advocate. Republicans and some Democrats since 2014 have sought to encourage more exports of natural gas as a way to help United States allies that rely on unfriendly countries, like Russia, for their gas.  [Full Story]

Jan 14, 2016
Leaking Methane Plume Spreading Across L.A.'s San Fernando Valley
InsideClimate News
PHIL MCKENNA

Independent researchers reported detecting elevated methane levels as far as 8 miles from the massive, ongoing leak of natural gas from a storage site in northwestern Los Angeles. A ruptured well at Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon underground facility has spewed more than 80,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere since the leak was discovered Oct. 23. The release of the powerful greenhouse gas led to the evacuation of thousands of people from the affluent Porter Ranch neighborhood a mile from the leak after reports by residents of nosebleeds, rashes, headaches and nausea.  [Full Story]

Jan 14, 2016
Was Canada’s Latest Earthquake the Largest Fracking Quake in the World?
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

A 4.8-magnitude earthquake has indefinitely closed fracking operations in northern Alberta, an area that has experienced a spate of tremors in recent months. While it is too soon to tell if the temblor was triggered by fracking, if fracking is indeed the culprit, Canada will once again set a world record for the largest earthquake triggered by the controversial drilling process.  [Full Story]

Jan 14, 2016
Regulators probing whether fracking was connected to Aliso Canyon gas well leak
Los Angeles Daily News
Gregory J. Wilcox,

State regulators are investigating whether the controversial drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, contributed to the massive natural gas leak near Porter Ranch. Fracking at Aliso Canyon had not been widely reported, though it is common at California’s underground gas storage facilities. More than two months after Southern California Gas Co. detected a leak at its Aliso Canyon field, observers are searching for reasons the well may have failed. Some environmentalists are drawing attention to fracking, while experts caution that such a rupture is unlikely.  [Full Story]

Jan 14, 2016
AG objects to pipeline tree cutting
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

ALBANY — The state attorney general's office is objecting to the Constitution Pipeline company's application to immediately begin cutting down tens of thousands of trees in New York along the right of way for the project pathway. The attorney general's office said in a filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said it plans to file a brief in opposition to the pipeline's request by 5 p.m. Thursday. The Daily Star had queried the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman earlier in the week and, in response, was advised by a Schneiderman press officer that the matter was under review. The office then filed its plan to send in the objection to FERC without notifying the newspaper that it had made a decision.  [Full Story]

Jan 14, 2016
Oil and gas drillers facing bankruptcy as prices crash
PennLive
Candy Woodall

The Marcellus Shale boom that once promised hundreds of thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania has created its own bust.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Cuomo lays out aggressive energy goals, with key details pending
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — New York is moving aggressively to a future powered by renewable energy, with an army of clean energy workers trained to install tens of thousands of solar panels and hundreds of wind turbines in the next few years. At the same time, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in his annual State of the State speech on Wednesday, the state will phase out its dirtiest power plants.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Anti-fracking protesters arrested as UK police storm camp (VIDEO)
RT


Nine activists who oppose the controversial fracking technique for extracting gas from the ground were arrested by UK police Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Regulators probing whether fracking was connected to Aliso Canyon gas well leak
Daily News
Gregory J. Wilcox

State regulators are investigating whether the controversial drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, contributed to the massive natural gas leak near Porter Ranch. Fracking at Aliso Canyon had not been widely reported, though it is common at California’s underground gas storage facilities.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Fracking bill removes local control
TC Palm
Arek Sarkissian

TALLAHASSEE — A Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday that tosses out local ordinances regulating or banning fracking, giving the state control of overseeing the drilling method and triggering concerns the proposal stops short of real oversight.  [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Crews Responded To Large Fracking Operation Fire In Grady County
News on 6
Briauna Brown

GRADY COUNTY, Oklahoma - Crews responded to a large fracking operation fire just east of Chickasha late Wednesday afternoon.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Science panel faults EPA fracking probe for excluding baseline water testing
State Impact PA
Jon Hurdle

The Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark investigation into the impact of fracking on drinking water lacked baseline testing that would have made its results more illuminating, according to a scientific panel that assessed it, and independent analysts.  [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Fayette Commission President expects challenge on fracking ban
Metro News
Alex Widerspiel

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. — The Fayette County Commission approved an ordinance to ban the storage, disposal, or use of oil and natural gas waste in Fayette County on Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Mexico Beach passes resolution to support the ban of fracking
WJHG


Mexico Beach's first resolution of 2016 decided a controversial topic. The city council voted three-to-two to support state-wide legislation to ban hydraulic fracturing, a process which extracts natural gas from the ground by drilling.  [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Feds gathering info for EA on oil/gas leasing in Wayne Athens area assessment delayed till 2017
Athens News
Terry Smith

The federal government has taken its next step in a process that could result in oil and gas drilling on the Wayne National Forest in southeast Ohio, though any drilling on federal land in Athens County is unlikely for at least a few years.  [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Local view: Fracking isn’t worth the risk
Duluth News Tribune
Opinion: Katherine Allen

[T]he increase of fracking has brought with it a nightmare of human health and environmental issues, with one of the main concerns being the potential contamination of groundwater, rivers and streams near fracking wells.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Northwich Town Council says 'no' to fracking
Northwich Guardian
Gina Bebbington

GRANTING a fracking licence for mid Cheshire has been branded 'ridiculous beyond belief' by a Northwich councillor.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Citizens celebrate but prepare for legal battle to defend fracking waste ban
Register-Herald
Sarah Plummer

OAK HILL — At a Headwaters Defense rally in Oak Hill Tuesday night, citizens celebrated the passage of an ordinance to ban the storage and disposal of oil and gas waste in Fayette County and prepare for what they believe will be a long legal battle in its defense.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
‘No’ to fracking, but county still in impact zone
Monmouthsire Beacon
Marcus Law

A NEW fracking license issued for the Forest of Dean could affect Monmouthshire, despite no sites being considered for the county.  [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
In Supreme Court, a Battle Over Fracking and Citizens' Rights Jessica Ernst's long fight to challenge legislation putting energy regulator above the law reaches top court.
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

After years of legal wrangling, Jessica Ernst and Alberta's powerful energy regulator finally squared off in the Supreme Court of Canada yesterday.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
After Fracking Decision, Environmentalist Advocates to Push Cuomo to Go Further
TWC News


A climate change rally and march is scheduled in Albany during Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address Wednesday. Dozens of participants boarded a bus in Tompkins and Broome counties Wednesday morning. They hope to urge Cuomo to continue the work he has started on reducing New York State's carbon footprint. While the protestors support his ban on hydraulic fracturing in upstate New York they would also like to see him implement a ban on any future fossil fuel infrastructure projects.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Statement from PennEnvironment regarding the final Chapter 78 and 78a Oil and Gas Rules submitted to EQB
Penn Environment
Allie DiTucci

[Philadelphia] – After years of public input and review, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) took a major step in the regulatory process to mitigate the impacts of fracking on Pennsylvania’s environment and communities by finalizing new fracking regulations, known as the “Chapter 78” regulations.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Drilling downturn hits U.S. oil consumption: Kemp
Reuters
John Kemp

Oil and gas production was one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States between 2009 and 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Oil production increased by more than 60 percent while natural gas production was up by more than 25 percent thanks to the shale revolution.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Mega oil well unit will see drilling until at least 2019
INFORUM
Amy Dairymple

BISMARCK – The company developing a massive drilling unit in Dunn County said Wednesday it plans to keep drilling until at least 2019 to develop 60 more wells.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
California gas leak is emitting 4.5 million cars' worth of pollution every day
Mashable
Andrew Freedman

An ongoing natural gas leak at a storage facility in Aliso Canyon, California, has poured so much methane gas into the atmosphere since the leak began on Oct. 23, 2015, that it now comprises 2% of the entire country's annual methane emissions, according to figures from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). This figure is expected to rise, given that the leak is not likely to be stopped until at least March, according to Southern California Gas (SoCal Gas), which owns the Los Angeles-area facility where the leak is occurring.   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Pipeline Connecting CPV Energy Center in Wawayanda Moving Forward
Epoch Times
Yvonne Marcotte

WAWAYANDA—Millennium Pipeline Company has taken the next step to deliver natural gas to the CPV Energy Center under construction in Wawayanda. In November 2015 Millennium Pipeline Company submitted an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct a new lateral pipeline, the Valley Lateral Project, intended to connect the company’s main line with the CPV Valley Energy Center set for completion in 2017. Company spokesman Andrew Rush says project construction is estimated at $39.4 million. “Millennium will pay for the capital costs of the valley lateral project,” Rush wrote in an email.  [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
BREAKING: B.C. First Nations win court challenge against B.C. over Enbridge pipeline
National Observer
Jenny Uech

The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled the B.C. government breached its duty to consult the Gitga'at and neighbouring First Nations on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. The decision, announced Wednesday, is seen as a major victory for First Nations that could have an impact on future oil pipeline projects.  [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Watch: Environmental advocates hold State of the State climate rally
Times Union
Matthew Hamilton

Environmental advocates rallied outside the state Capitol Wednesday morning ahead of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State and executive budget address. While Cuomo was lauded for the state’s decision in December 2014 to ban hydraulic fracturing, advocates have shifted their focus to trying to convince the governor to stop the construction of natural gas infrastructure that would crisscross the state. They also have been pushing state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to divest the state pension fund from fossil fuel stocks.  [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Oklahoma Residents Sue 12 ‘Reckless’ Fracking Companies for Earthquake Damage
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

Oklahoma has seen a dramatic uptick in earthquakes in recent years, and some residents refuse to sit idly by. On Monday, 14 residents of Edmond, Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against 12 energy companies, claiming their fracking operations contributed to a string of earthquakes that hit central Oklahoma in recent weeks.  [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
President May Have Exaggerated Role of Stimulus in Clean Energy, Experts Say
The New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT and DIANE CARDWELL

WASHINGTON — President Obama, in his final State of the Union address on Tuesday night, boldly proclaimed the successes of what he called “the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history,” the 2009 economic stimulus that pumped $80 billion into clean and renewable energy projects. “In fields from Iowa to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power,” he said. “On rooftops from Arizona to New York, solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills and employs more Americans than coal — in jobs that pay better than average.” He added that “we’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly 60 percent and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth.”   [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
In Supreme Court, a Battle Over Fracking and Citizens' Rights
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

After years of legal wrangling, Jessica Ernst and Alberta's powerful energy regulator finally squared off in the Supreme Court of Canada yesterday. For almost two hours, all nine justices questioned lawyers from both sides in a case that will determine if legislation can grant government agencies blanket immunity from lawsuits based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. At times the debate was so bogged down in legal jargon and little known cases that it felt as though the participants were holding a conversation in a foreign language. But the heart of the matter remained simple: Can a regulator prevent a citizen from suing it for damages when the citizen feels their charter rights have been violated?  [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
Pipeline foes urge state to block tree-cutting plan
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

Opponents of the proposed Constitution Pipeline are urging New York's top legal officer to counter the company's plan to cut thousands of trees along the project's 124-mile route. The request sent to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman came after the pipeline company, a consortium of firms dominated by Williams Partners and Cabot Oil and Gas, urged the Federal Energy Regulator Commission to act swiftly on its request for approval to cut trees along the right of way it has secured. In New York, the pipeline would traverse parts of Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie counties before ending in the Schoharie County town of Wright.  [Full Story]

Jan 13, 2016
The World Is Hemorrhaging Methane, and Now We Can See Where
National Geographic
Christina Nunez

For more than two months now, a ruptured storage well has poured thousands of tons of gas into the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles. The Aliso Canyon leak is huge—California’s largest known source of methane emissions at this point—but not compared to another font of wasted gas miles away in Venezuela. Punta de Mata is home to the world’s largest gas flare, one of the flaming chimneys used to burn off excess natural gas at oil wells and other energy sites. In 2012, it incinerated about 768,000 metric tons of natural gas, almost 10 times the amount given off so far from the Southern California Gas Company’s facility at Aliso Canyon.  [Full Story]

Jan 12, 2016
Fayette County Passes Anti-Fracking Ordinance
WOAY
Rahel Ayers

FAYETTEVILLE-- Cheers erupted as they Fayette County Commission passed a new ordinance Tuesday morning. The ordinance bans fracking and oil and gas waste dumping in Fayette County. Interest in this issue came after it was discovered that there was an injection well site in Lochgelly, just upstream from a drinking water intake on the New River. Duke University testing showed that frack waste had infiltrated Wolf Creek, a tributary of New River.  [Full Story]

Jan 12, 2016
Magnitude-4.5 earthquake reported in Alberta fracking zone
Globe and Mail
Canadian Press

The federal government reported an earthquake Tuesday in an area of northwestern Alberta where fracking for energy development is common. Natural Resources Canada says the earthquake was “lightly felt” this morning in Fox Creek. No damage has been reported. The earthquake registered 4.5 on the Richter scale at about 11:30 Tuesday morning, which would make it the strongest quake reported to the Alberta Energy Regulator in a year. According to the Richter Scale, quakes of that magnitude are considered “light.” They’re likely to be felt by most people in the area and may cause noticeable shaking and rattling of indoor objects. The regulator’s website says a quake of that intensity is strong enough to require the responsible energy company to stop fracking.  [Full Story]

Jan 12, 2016
This Fracking Case at Canada's Supreme Court Could Make a Big Difference
Vice News
Taylor Lambert

For eight long, trying, expensive years, Jessica Ernst has waged war. It's a difficult war, slow and undramatic, fought with legal factums and motions and submissions. It's cost her money and her career, and victory is far from certain — yet she presses on. Today she takes her case to the Supreme Court of Canada, one more battle in a war that could have far-reaching implications for her formidable opponents: Canada's energy industry and the government bodies that oversee it. Ernst, 56, is an environmental consultant for the industry. She is also a landowner and resident near Rosebud, Alberta, a hamlet 100 kilometers east of Calgary with fewer than 100 people, no gas station, and a renowned theatre that draws 40,000 tourists each year. Her case claims that "risky and experimental" hydraulic fracturing by Encana Corp., beginning in 2001, released dangerous hydrocarbons into the area's freshwater supplies, including Ernst's own well water, which was so contaminated that she could light it on fire.  [Full Story]

Jan 12, 2016
Science Advisers Challenge EPA Fracking Report
Public News Service


HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Environmental Protection Agency's own science advisers are questioning the agency's finding that hydraulic fracturing for natural gas poses no "widespread systemic risks." In a draft report, the advisers say the conclusion of the EPA study is inconsistent with the data upon which the report was based. Justin Wasser, campaign representative for the Sierra Club's Keeping Dirty Fuels in the Ground Initiative, said the scientific panel's findings are in line with many other investigations of fracking. "When you see these peer-review studies," he said, "they end up all falling on the side of, 'Fracking is much more dangerous than the industry likes to admit.' " The scientific advisers' findings are open to public comment through Jan. 21. Among other points, the advisers questioned the EPA report's exclusion of sites where environmental damage has been linked to fracking. According to Wasser, those sites included towns such as Dimock, Pa., where the contamination made national news.  [Full Story]

Jan 12, 2016
Natural gas pipeline opponents ask Attorney General for help
Times Union
Brian Nearing

A coalition opposed to the proposed Constitution natural gas pipeline is asking Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to intervene against the company for seeking federal approval to begin cutting trees for the project along its route in central New York. In a letter today to Scheneiderman, the group Stop the Pipeline asked that his office object to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission because the company does not yet have required water quality protection permits from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The planned $750 million, 124-mile pipeline would carry hydrofracked natural gas from Pennsylvania into New York, crossing through Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie counties, where gas then could move into the Iroquois pipeline into Canada and New England for potential overseas export.  [Full Story]

Jan 12, 2016
Oklahoma residents sue oil and gas companies over earthquakes
Fuel Fix
Joshua Cain

A dozen oil and gas companies caused a rash of earthquakes by pumping salty oil field wastewater into underground disposal wells, a group of Oklahoma residents allege in a lawsuit this week. The suit filed Monday in a state district court in Oklahoma City court, focuses on a pair of earthquakes on Dec. 29 and Jan. 1, each greater than 4.2 magnitude, that shook Edmond, a community north of Oklahoma City. About 4,400 power outages were reported in the area after the quakes. The 14 residents who brought the suit say they suffered damage to their homes, including destruction and loss of personal property, cracked and broken interior and exterior walls, bricks and fascia, and movement of the foundations. The lawsuit alleges that the companies were negligent in disposing the saltwater waste from their drilling activities in the area without considering the risks of inducing seismic activity.  [Full Story]

Jan 12, 2016
Here's One Big Thing Obama Can Do in His Final Year in Office
Mother Jones
Ben Adler

This story originally appeared in Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. There's only one year left until President Barack Obama leaves office, and there's a fair chance he will be replaced by a climate science-denying Republican, perhaps one in the form of a comb-over-sporting reality TV star. So time may be running out for the United States to take meaningful actions to fight climate change. Obama already has some important climate achievements under his belt—most notably, paving the way for the Paris Agreement and cracking down on coal plant emissions through the Clean Power Plan. But there's no way he can implement really big, comprehensive policy solutions—like a nationwide cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax—because Republicans dominate Congress. So what could Obama achieve in his last 12 months? Even without cooperation from Capitol Hill, he still has the power to make some major moves that would cut emissions, help shift the U.S. from dirty to clean energy sources, and send a signal to the world that America is serious about trying to achieve the grand goals agreed to in Paris.   [Full Story]

Jan 12, 2016
Judge rules Helis can proceed with exploratory well in Abita Springs
WDSU
Juan Sanchez

ABITA SPRING, La. —Abita Springs officials were dealt another blow Tuesday after a judge upheld a permit for Helis Oil & Gas Company to continue with plans for an exploratory well.   [Full Story]

Jan 12, 2016
TO PROTECT EVERGLADES, BROWARD PROPOSES BAN ON FRACKING
Broward Palm Beach New Times
Jerry Iannelli

In response to one landowner's request to drill an "exploratory well" in the Everglades, the Broward County Commission has proposed a blanket ban on fracking throughout the county. The ordinance, which was sponsored by Commissioner Beam Furr, moved forward in today's commission meeting and is now set for a public hearing on January 26.   [Full Story]

Jan 12, 2016
Energy company halts operations after earthquake in Alberta fracking zone
Globe and Mail


An energy company has stopped operating in a part of Alberta subject to heavy hydraulic fracking after the province’s energy regulator reported the area’s largest earthquake in more than a year.   [Full Story]

Jan 11, 2016
Eyes in the Sky: Green Groups Are Harnessing Data from Space
Yale.edu
Jacques Leslie

When Brian Schwartz, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist researching the public health impacts of hydraulic fracturing, read about an environmental group that uses satellite imagery and aerial photography to track environmental degradation, he was intrigued. It was the summer of 2013, and the group, SkyTruth, had just launched a crowdsourcing project on its website to map fracking activity in View Gallery SkyTruth/Global Fishing Watch This image, based upon transponder data sent to satellites, shows locations of fishing vessels across the globe. Pennsylvania. The site provided volunteers with U.S. government aerial images from across the state and a brief tutorial on how to identify fracking locations. Within a month, more than 200 volunteers sorted through 9,000 images to pinpoint 2,724 fracking wellpads. Schwartz ended up using this data in a study published last October in the journal Epidemiology, showing that women living near hydraulic fracturing sites in 40 Pennsylvania counties faced a significantly elevated risk of giving birth prematurely.   [Full Story]

Jan 11, 2016
Induced Earthquakes Could Get Pretty Nasty, Thanks to Fracking
Gizmodo
Mika McKinnon

Thanks to fracking and other injection processes, small earthquakes are the new normal in the American interior. That poses another, more ominous question. What does the Big One look like in Oklahoma?  [Full Story]

Jan 11, 2016
Fracking is a bridge to nowhere SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS
Chronicle Journal
Jason MacLean Opinion

For Canada and other parties to the recent Paris climate change agreement to meet their commitment to keep warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, “‘plan A’ must be to immediately and aggressively reduce GHG emissions.” Why? Because there’s no plan B.   [Full Story]

Jan 11, 2016
New Fracking Study Sought
Intelligencer
Casey Junkins

WHEELING -A June Environmental Protection Agency report estimated frackers use an average of 9,100 gallons worth of chemicals per well. Now, scientists assigned to advise regulators want more assurance these materials are not contaminating drinking water supplies.   [Full Story]

Jan 11, 2016
The EPA Is Looking Pretty Ineffective Right Now
Care2
Kevin Matthews

While Republicans have continuously threatened to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s liberals and environmentalists who should really be complaining about the EPA. This week alone, two EPA-related stories show how useless the program has become.   [Full Story]

Jan 11, 2016
Energy News Roundup: Fracking’s Seismic Risk, Russian Stocks Falling & California’s Solar Rise
Breaking energy
Conor O'Sullivan

In Oklahoma, seismologists have warned that significant temblors last week could signal a larger, more dangerous earthquake to come in a state where drilling is destabilizing the bedrock. [The Guardian]   [Full Story]

Jan 11, 2016
California Water Board to Investigate Use of Oilfield Wastewater to Irrigate Crops Expert panel will assess safety of eating food grown with treated wastewater
Circle of Blue
Brett Walton

On January 12, in an office building east of Sacramento, an expert panel on food safety will gather for its first public meeting. The panel’s task: determine what safeguards are required for the reuse of oilfield wastewater for irrigation in California’s Central Valley so that the food that is grown does not cause illness and disease.   [Full Story]

Jan 11, 2016
70 More Earthquakes Hit Oklahoma, Averaging Nearly Three a Day in 2015
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

The state of Oklahoma was rocked by more than 70 earthquakes last week. Two of the largest quakes measured magnitude 4.7 and 4.8 and struck in the rural northern part of the state, beneath a major oil and gas producing area. The week before that, the state was hit by a dozen tremors in less than a week, prompting the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, to order several injection well operators to reduce wastewater disposal volumes.  [Full Story]

Jan 11, 2016
Half of US shale drillers may go bankrupt: Oppenheimer's Gheit
CNBC
Tom DiChristopher

Half of U.S. shale oil producers could go bankrupt before the crude market reaches equilibrium, Fadel Gheit, said Monday. The senior oil and gas analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. said the "new normal oil price" could be 50 to 100 percent above current levels. He ultimately sees crude prices stabilizing near $60, but it could be more than two years before that happens.  [Full Story]

Jan 10, 2016
Porter Ranch Is Only Tip of the Iceberg Exposing Catastrophic Impacts of Natural Gas
EcoWatch
Jennifer Krill

But thanks to boatloads of advertising and campaign contributions, oil and gas lobbyists has convinced many politicians, including President Obama, that replacing coal with natural gas is a viable way to stave off catastrophic climate change.   [Full Story]

Jan 10, 2016
'A millennium’s worth of earthquakes': What are states going to do?
Christian Science Monitor
Kelsey Warner

A spike in seismic activity over seven years, a flurry of reports, and then last week, more earthquakes.   [Full Story]

Jan 10, 2016
Porter Ranch Is Only Tip of the Iceberg Exposing Catastrophic Impacts of Natural Gas
EcoWatch
Jennifer Krill

Natural gas is not cleaner than coal. But thanks to boatloads of advertising and campaign contributions, oil and gas lobbyists has convinced many politicians, including President Obama, that replacing coal with natural gas is a viable way to stave off catastrophic climate change. But it isn’t. The now-famous Aliso Canyon methane leak, its impacts on thousands of residents of near Porter Ranch and its damage to the climate is just the latest and most public example showing that we need to keep natural gas in the ground, not burn it.  [Full Story]

Jan 10, 2016
Can Ohio avoid North Dakota's fracking problems?
Sandusky Register
John Hageman

The extensive Bakken oil play in North Dakota has been underway for about 10 years. Their small towns have experienced a variety of well-documented incidents and ongoing problems.   [Full Story]

Jan 10, 2016
Fracking shakes the American west: ‘a millennium’s worth of earthquakes’
The Guardian
Joanna Walters

Seismologists’ warnings about hydraulic fracturing and wastewater disposal divide residents, politicians and companies in Colorado and Oklahoma, while temblors increase around the region  [Full Story]

Jan 10, 2016
The Larger, but Quieter Than Bundy, Push to Take Over Federal Land
The New York Times
JACK HEALY and KIRK JOHNSON

The idea, which would radically reshape the West, is one that resonates with the armed group of ranchers and antigovernment activists who seized control of a wildlife refuge in Oregon more than a week ago. Ammon Bundy, the crew’s leader and the scion of a Nevada ranching family steeped in disputes with the federal government, said he and his sympathizers had gone to Oregon to give the refuge back to local ranchers. Many conservatives — Mr. Ivory among them — criticized Mr. Bundy’s gun-toting tactics, but their grievances and goals are nearly identical. And the outcry has grown amid a dust storm of rural anger at President Obama’s efforts to tighten regulations on fracking, greenhouse gases, smaller streams and other environmental issues that put struggling Western counties at odds with conservation advocates.   [Full Story]

Jan 10, 2016
Groups plan 3-day march against pipeline, fracking, and war
MassLive
Mary Serreze

Groups opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, fracking, and war plan a three-day walk over the upcoming Martin Luther King weekend.   [Full Story]

Jan 10, 2016
Gas Leaks, the Clean Power Plan & Fracking
Huffington Post
Elizabeth Glass Geltman

On Wednesday, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a stage of emergency in the affluent Porter Ranch neighborhood in Los Angeles due to a gas leak spewing about 12 tons of methane per day. The leak began in October.   [Full Story]

Jan 10, 2016
Super PAC Credits Hillary Clinton for Selling Fracking to the World
EcoWatch
Curtis Morrison

While Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign boasts ambitious green goals, like installing half a billion solar panels and generating enough renewable energy to power every American home, a pro-Clinton super PAC (political action committee) champions her record in promoting fossil fuel production. Ironically, that super PAC is named Correct the Record.   [Full Story]

Jan 9, 2016
China’s Hunger for Commodities Wanes, and Pain Spreads Among Producers
The New York Times
Clifford Krauss

Chile is expanding its largest open-pit copper mine below the northern desert to dig up 1.7 billion additional tons of minerals, even as metal prices plummet around the globe. India is building railroad lines that crisscross the country to connect underused coal mines with growing urban populations, threatening to dump more resources into an already glutted market. Australia is increasing natural gas production by roughly 150 percent over the next four years, as energy companies build half a dozen export terminals to serve dwindling demand.  [Full Story]

Jan 9, 2016
Protesters share anti-fracking message at 2016 PA Farm Show
The Patriot News
Sue Gleiter

Several farmers gathered outdoors Saturday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show to send an anti-fracking message. More than 75 people stood near the complex's Cameron Street entrance to urge Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to stop fracking. The group was comprised of not only farmers but state-wide groups who are opposed to fracking. The protesters carried signs reading "Organic Farms are Under a Frack Attack." Nearby, visitors exited off of shuttle buses to enter the 100th Farm Show.  [Full Story]

Jan 9, 2016
Householders affected by floods face insurance double-whammy if they live nearby planned fracking sites
Independent
Andy Rowell

As householders across the UK continue the great flood clean-up, many are battling with insurance companies. Some are discovering that they now face an insurance “double whammy” – especially if they live in one of the areas covered by the new fracking licences announced by the Government before Christmas.  [Full Story]

Jan 9, 2016
Stopping Natural Gas Leak Near Los Angeles Is a Complex Fix
ABC News
Associated Press

A tricky fix is in the works to plug a massive gas leak from an underground storage well that has sickened residents of a Los Angeles neighborhood for 11 weeks. Gas company workers are drilling a relief well to intercept a leaking pipe from a natural gas storage field a mile and a half underground. The work could be completed by the end of February.   [Full Story]

Jan 8, 2016
Science advisors say EPA fracking study’s conclusion is suspect. Now what?
Environment America
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – In a draft report issued yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s science advisers questioned the topline conclusion of the agency’s study on hydraulic fracturing. The panel said the widely-criticized finding that fracking poses no “widespread systemic risks” was “inconsistent” with the rest of the draft landmark study, released in June.  [Full Story]

Jan 8, 2016
Oklahoma had 70 earthquakes in a week and they were probably caused by humans
Fusion
Nidhi Prakash

As Oklahoma reels from more than 70 earthquakes over the last week, authorities are calling on energy companies to limit how much waste is injected into the ground.   [Full Story]

Jan 8, 2016
Fracking wars heat back up
Politico New York
Eric Wolff

FRACKING WARS, EP. VII: EPA’s independent Science Advisory Board tugged fracking back into the limelight with a draft report yesterday criticizing the agency for an “inconsistent” finding on fracking risks.   [Full Story]

Jan 8, 2016
Officials and gas company agree on plan to burn off some methane afflicting Porter Ranch
LA Times
Tony Barboza

Air quality regulators and Southern California Gas Co. have agreed on a plan to capture and incinerate at least some natural gas from a leaking well that has sickened and displaced thousands of residents of Porter Ranch, according to a legal document filed this week.   [Full Story]

Jan 8, 2016
Charter Rights at Issue in Fracking Supreme Court Case
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

An Alberta woman's landmark eight-year battle over fracking regulation, water contamination and Charter rights will take centre stage in the Supreme Court of Canada Tuesday. Jessica Ernst claims fracking contaminated the water supply at her homestead near Rosebud, about 110 kilometres east of Calgary. She is seeking $33 million in damages. Ernst is also taking on the agency that regulates the energy industry in Alberta, claiming it has denied her the right to raise her concerns effectively and is shielded by unconstitutional legislation that bar citizens from suing it for wrongdoing.  [Full Story]

Jan 8, 2016
EPA Scientists Call Foul on Fracking Study, Say Findings ‘Inconsistent With Data Presented’
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) advisors are calling foul on the agency’s highly controversial study that determined hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has not led to “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the U.S.” This specific conclusion is being called into question by members of the EPA Science Advisory Board, which reviews the agency’s major studies, Bloomberg reported.  [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
The People Win Over Shell in Fracking Water Withdrawal Case
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

In a unanimous New Year’s Eve ruling, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, in Rochester ruled against the Painted Post water withdrawal project. That project, which supported hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania, sold up to one million gallons per day of municipal water from the drinking water aquifer that underlies this quartet of rivers to a Shell Oil subsidiary (SWEPI LP) for use in drilling and fracking operations in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Represented by Shell attorneys at every stage, the Village of Painted Post had classified the water, which was transported across the border by rail, as “surplus property” in an attempt to avoid an environmental review of impacts. Those sales are now halted via injunction.   [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
No Short-Term Fix for California Methane Leak
New York Times
Henry Fountain

To the dismay of thousands of residents of Porter Ranch, Calif., whose lives have been upended by a huge natural-gas leak from a nearby well, the local utility says it will take at least another month and a half to shut it down.   [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
Earthquakes in Oklahoma Raise Fears of a Big One
New York Times
Michael Wines

Oklahoma was rocked Wednesday night by two of the state’s largest earthquakes in recent years, further fueling scientists’ concern that the continued burial of oil and gas wastes in seismically active areas was courting a much more powerful earthquake.   [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
Editorial The real emergency at Porter Ranch? California's dangerous dependence on fossil fuels.
LA Times
Editorial

took a while, but Gov. Jerry Brown finally declared a state of emergency at Porter Ranch, where a 75-day-old natural gas leak has forced thousands of people from their homes. For weeks residents and elected officials have called on Brown to elevate the catastrophic leak to emergency status, which, they said, could help make state funding available to aid the community. But the fiscally conservative governor has been wary of using the designation — and rightfully so — because he didn't want to taxpayers to get stuck with costs that are the responsibility of Southern California Gas Co. His proclamation makes clear that the gas company, and not the taxpayers or the utility's ratepayers, will be responsible for all expenses related to the leak at the company's nearby Aliso Canyon gas storage facility.   [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
Councillors attack plans to open up region for fracking tests
Manchester Evening News
Todd Fitzgerald

Councillors in Trafford have reacted with fury after it was announced huge swathes of the borough - and other giant plots in Greater Manchester - could be opened up to fracking. Environmental campaigners have raised fears of a ‘reckless dash for gas’ after the Oil and Gas Authority – the UK’s oil and gas regulator – awarded energy giants huge contracts to explore for oil and gas.   [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
Editorial The real emergency at Porter Ranch? California's dangerous dependence on fossil fuels.
Los Angeles Times
Editorial

It took a while, but Gov. Jerry Brown finally declared a state of emergency at Porter Ranch, where a 75-day-old natural gas leak has forced thousands of people from their homes. For weeks residents and elected officials have called on Brown to elevate the catastrophic leak to emergency status, which, they said, could help make state funding available to aid the community. But the fiscally conservative governor has been wary of using the designation — and rightfully so — because he didn't want to taxpayers to get stuck with costs that are the responsibility of Southern California Gas Co. His proclamation makes clear that the gas company, and not the taxpayers or the utility's ratepayers, will be responsible for all expenses related to the leak at the company's nearby Aliso Canyon gas storage facility.  [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
Judge aids compressor fight
Pike County Courier
Anya Tikka

Judge says Columbia Gas and state failed to consult town, insure best practices were used to prevent air pollution MILFORD — A local grassroots organization cleared a hurdle in its fight to keep the expanded natural gas compressor in Milford from polluting the air. Judge Bernard A. Labuskes Jr., writing for the Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board, dismissed the appeal of Columbia Gas and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to dismiss the case brought by Stop the Milford Compression Station Expansion. Judge Bernard A. Labuskes Jr., writing for the Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board, dismissed the appeal of Columbia Gas and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to dismiss the case brought by Stop the Milford Compression Station Expansion. Alex Lotorto, one of the group’s leaders, said the judge's decision opens the door to a win that could send a message to the gas drilling industry well beyond Milford  [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
Another reason fracking sucks: Study links fracking to even more health problems
Grist
Katie Herzog

You know the old saying: “Another day, another study linking fracking to health problems.” A new study from the Yale School of Public Health links the chemicals used in fracking with potential reproductive and developmental problems. This isn’t exactly new — we’ve known for some time that fracking is connected with lowered sperm counts, as well as premature births and a host of other health issues. This particular study, however, raises concerns about wastewater in particular, which the researchers found is even more toxic than the chemicals used in fracking.  [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
DEP Releases Final Oil And Gas Rules
WESA
Katie Blackley & Sean Ray

New regulations for oil and gas drilling released by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection hope to address environmental concerns by many residents throughout the Commonwealth. Before Wednesday’s revisions were announced, the state hadn’t modified drilling rules since 1984. Recent increases in hydraulic fracturing and concerns over potential health risks prompted the DEP to begin the process of updating the laws in 2011. David Yoxtheimer, a hydrogeologist with Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, explains the new statues were met with criticism from environmental advocates as well as members of the oil and gas industry.   [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
The Corporation Behind Keystone XL Just Laid Bare the TPP's Threats to Our Climate
Huffington Post
Ben Beachy

TransCanada, the notorious fossil fuel corporation behind the ill-fated Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, just made abundantly clear the threats that the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would pose to our communities, our climate, and our clean air and water, if approved. Just two months after the Obama administration rejected TransCanada's bid to build the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline - a landmark victory for the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground - the Canadian corporation announced it will retaliate by using a TPP-like trade deal. Specifically, TransCanada plans to ask a private tribunal of three lawyers to order the U.S. government to hand more than $15 billion of our tax dollars to the corporation as "compensation" for the Keystone XL decision that spared us the threat of increased climate disruption and spills of dirty tar sands oil.  [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
The EPA called fracking safe. Now its scientists disagree.
FuelFix
Bloomberg

A landmark study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that concluded fracking causes no widespread harm to drinking water is coming under fire — this time, from the agency’s own science advisers. The EPA’s preliminary findings released in June were seen as a vindication of the method used to unlock oil and gas from dense underground rock. A repudiation of the results could reignite the debate over the need for more regulation. Members of the EPA Science Advisory Board, which reviews major studies by the agency, says the main conclusion — that there’s no evidence fracking has led to “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water” — requires clarification, David Dzombak, a Carnegie Mellon University environmental engineering professor leading the review, said in an e-mail. The panel Dzombak heads will release its initial recommendations later this month.  [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
America has been duped on climate change
The Washington Post
Robert Brulle

Future generations will look back on our tepid response to global climate disruption and wonder why we did not act sooner and more aggressively. Climate change will adversely impact present and future generations, as well as all species on Earth. Our moral obligation to protect life requires us to act. Yet even after the recently completed United Nations climate conference, we are still on track for dangerous levels of climate change. Why haven’t we acted sooner or more aggressively? One answer can be found in the split over the veracity of climate science.  [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
Strongest Oklahoma earthquake in four years
KOCO


OKLAHOMA CITY —A swarm of sizable earthquakes rattled northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The largest earthquake was a 4.8 in magnitude, this was only 30 seconds after a 4.7 quake. The 4.8 is the strongest recorded earthquake in Oklahoma since November 5, 2011, when a 4.8 aftershock shook near Prague, Oklahoma.   [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
‘It’s About Time’: California Governor Declares Porter Ranch a State of Emergency
EcoWatch
Nadia Prupis

Following months of pressure from activists and residents, California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday issued a state of emergency over the Porter Ranch gas leak that has been pouring tens of thousands of kilograms of methane into the air surrounding the community since October 2015.   [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
EPA science advisors say fracking study needs clarification
State Impact PA
Susan Phillips and Jon Hurdle

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board has raised questions about the agency’s landmark study on how fracking impacts water quality. In it’s draft peer review of the agency’s study, published Thursday, the advisory board raised concerns about “clarity and adequacy of support for several major findings.” One of the more controversial aspects of the EPA’s draft report, released in June 2015, was the conclusion that fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, did not result in “widespread” impacts on drinking water. That conclusion drew criticism from environmentalists, and praise from the industry.  [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
Yale Study Shows Toxins Found in Fracking Fluids and Wastewater
Sierra Times
Michael Greenwood

January 6, 2016 - By Michael Greenwood - In an analysis of more than 1,000 chemicals in fluids used in and created by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), Yale School of Public Health researchers found that many of the substances have been linked to reproductive and developmental health problems, and the majority had undetermined toxicity due to insufficient information.Further exposure and epidemiological studies are urgently needed to evaluate potential threats to human health from chemicals found in fracking fluids and wastewater created by fracking, said the research team in their paper, published Jan. 6 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental and Epidemiology.   [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
Another reason fracking sucks: Study links fracking to even more health problems
Grist
Katie Herzog

A new study from the Yale School of Public Health links the chemicals used in fracking with potential reproductive and developmental problems. This isn’t exactly new — we’ve known for some time that fracking is connected with lowered sperm counts, as well as premature births and a host of other health issues. This particular study, however, raises concerns about wastewater in particular, which the researchers found is even more toxic than the chemicals used in fracking.  [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
New rules for oil, gas regulation in Pennsylvania move step closer to completion
The Times
Jared Stonesifer

Regulators with the state Department of Environmental Protection got one step closer to updating rules that govern oil and gas drilling in the state, the first updates to those rules since 2001. The DEP submitted 2,800 pages of documents to the state Environmental Quality Board on Wednesday that outlined new rules for above-ground drilling operations. The rules tackle an array of issues, including site cleanup in the event of a spill, the elimination of on-site pits for waste and new requirements for testing of nearby water supplies before drilling starts. The final draft of those rules will be reviewed by the 20-member Environmental Quality Board, which will make a final determination during a vote on Feb. 3. If approved, the rules will be shipped to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission for further review.  [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
More earthquakes rock Oklahoma. Is fracking to blame?
Christian Science Monitor
Michael D. Regan

Oklahoma continues to see a dramatic increase in the number of temblors since 2008. Some officials say fracking is to blame. Another round of moderate earthquakes rattled an area of northwestern Oklahoma on Wednesday. Two temblors shook the ground about 10:30 p.m. with magnitudes of 4.7 and 4.8. Several smaller quakes also were recorded.   [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
Pennsylvania DEP proposes changes to drilling rules
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Laura Legeree

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released more than 2,800 pages of documents on Wednesday to support a sweeping update to the state’s oil and gas drilling rules, which still face crucial hurdles before they can be adopted this spring. State regulators are aiming to strengthen rules related to drillers’ above-ground operations — rules that have not been updated since 2001. Their proposals would curtail the use of open pits for wastes; institute more robust cleanup standards for spills; and add new screening requirements to protect valuable public spaces and avoid underground interference between new and abandoned wells.  [Full Story]

Jan 7, 2016
Millennium buys 80 acres from Eldred Preserve
The River Reporter
Fritz Mayer

On December 23 Millennium Pipeline Company bought about 80 acres of land from the Eldred Preserve, according to documents in the Sullivan County Clerks office. The land is located adjacent to the route of the Millennium Pipeline, leading to speculation that the company wants to use it for a compressor station. That amount of acreage, however, is far more than what would be needed for a compressor station. A spokesman for Millennium did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Andy Boyar, who just left his former position as the Town of Highland supervisor, said at a meeting in December that there were "rumors" that Millennium wanted to build a compressor station in the town. The company submitted an application to construct the Valley Lateral Project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) in November, which would supply gas to the huge power plant by Corporate Power Ventures in the Town of Wawayanda, a project that has sparked a large backlash among residents of the area.   [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
No fracking pits allowed under new DEP regs for oil and gas industry
PennLive
Candy Woodall

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday made available thousands of pages of documents outlining new rules for the oil and gas industry.  [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
Yale study raises health concerns about fracking fluids, wastewater
New Haven Register
Anna Bisaro

NEW HAVEN >> A study released by the Yale School of Public Health on Wednesday suggests that many of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing have toxins that are linked with reproductive and developmental health problems.   [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
We're finding out more and more about the worrisome link between fracking and health
Business Insider
Jeremy Berke

A new study in the journal Nature published on Wednesday confirms an opinion long held by experts: that chemicals in fracking fluids and wastewater can pose serious risks for reproductive and developmental health. This comes on the heels of a Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology study from October, which first analyzed the connection between the toxicity of solids dissolved in fracking fluids and changes in the cells of mammals. The authors of that study found elevated levels of harmful barium and strontium (metallic chemical elements) in cells exposed to the fracking fluid and wastewater, which were linked to the growth of malignant tumors.   [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
California Governor’s Sister Sits on Board of Company Responsible for Methane Leak
Washington Free Beacon
Joe Schoffstall

The sister of Gov. Jerry Brown of California (D.) sits on the board of an energy company that owns a facility responsible for what is being called the “worst environmental disaster since BP” as thousands of residents have been displaced from their homes due to a methane gas leak that is expected to continue until spring. A gas valve ruptured at California’s Aliso Canyon Storage Facility in October in the city of Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley. Multiple residents of the town were struck with symptoms including headaches, nosebleeds, and nausea as 2,300 households were forced to flee their homes; thousands more may be relocated in the near future.  [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
Frack Leases on State Lands Yield $18M; None From Production
ABC News
Jonathan Mattise

West Virginia has brought in $18 million by leasing the right to drill for oil and natural gas deep below state wildlife management areas and waterways, including beneath the Ohio River. But as natural gas prices stay low, no companies with the state leases have begun extracting gas, as far as state Department of Commerce officials know. As  [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
Wyoming natural gas production falls for sixth year
Billings Gazette
Associated Press

CASPER— Production from Wyoming's natural gas fields fell in 2015 for the sixth consecutive year, while natural gas in the U.S. has been on the rise. Production slumped 14 percent in 2015. According to the preliminary figures from the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission production levels fell to the smallest annual haul since 2001.   [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
TransCanada Announces It Will Sue U.S. Over Keystone XL Denial
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, announced Wednesday it is filing a claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying that the project’s permit denial was “arbitrary and unjustified.” TransCanada is seeking $15 billion in costs and damages due to the denial, and has also filed a separate lawsuit against the U.S. in federal court. Under NAFTA, companies can sue governments that put investments at risk through regulation. If it proceeds, the case will go in front of an international tribunal. (A U.S. company sued Montreal in 2013 over a fracking ban, using the same rationale). The tribunal cannot overturn the permit denial, but it can force payment of damages. A NAFTA challenge had been previously identified as a potential legal recourse for the company.  [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
Oklahoma Fracking Company Defies Plan To Reduce Earthquakes
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

An Oklahoma fracking company said Tuesday that it will not comply with a request to reduce the amount of water it discards into underground wells, setting up a legal battle. The state has been hit with a significant, unprecedented rise in earthquakes that has been tied to the increase in hydraulic fracturing and wastewater disposal. In an effort to address the issue, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which oversees oil and gas production in the state, has been regularly issuing directives to natural gas companies to reduce the volume of water injected into the ground. In December, a directive in the Medford, Oklahoma area directed SandRidge Energy to completely stop injecting water into four wells, and restricted volumes in nearly two dozen others.  [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
Upstate NY village loses case over fracking water sales
WTRF


PAINTED POST, N.Y. (AP) - An upstate New York village has lost a court challenge of its water sales to a Shell Oil Co. subsidiary for shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania. Environmental groups and several individuals sued after the Steuben (stoo-BEHN') County village of Painted Post signed a contract in 2012 with Shell subsidiary SWEPI LP. The five-year contract called for up to a million gallons of water shipped daily by rail to drilling sites for high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The Sierra Club and People for a Healthy Environment claimed village officials failed to do a state-mandated environmental impact review.  [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
Stan Rosenberg to FERC: Kinder Morgan pipeline 'flies in the face' of Massachusetts' clean energy goals
MassLive
Mary Serreze | Special to The Republican

State Senate President Stan Rosenberg has rolled up his sleeves to grapple with a federal agency reviewing a massive natural gas pipeline that would cut through his Western Massachusetts district as well as many communities in the northeastern part of the state. In a Dec. 30 letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Norman C. Bay, Rosenberg said the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct project as filed "flies in the face of the Commonwealth's emission reduction goals," would "be in service for many decades at a significant long-term cost to ratepayers," and make it "significantly more difficult and costly for Massachusetts to transition to a clean energy future." It's the strongest statement to date from Rosenberg, D-Amherst, on the proposed 415-mile, 30-inch pipeline that would carry 1.3 billion cubic feet per day of fracked natural gas from the shale plays of Pennsylvania through the heart of New England and perhaps beyond.   [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
Governor Declares Emergency Over Los Angeles Gas Leak
The New York Times
Ian Lovett

LOS ANGELES — Natural gas has been spewing into the air in the Porter Ranch neighborhood here since late October, sickening residents, prompting thousands to evacuate their homes and pouring greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Gov. Jerry Brown, faced with mounting public anger and no end in sight to the leak, declared a state of emergency on Wednesday for the neighborhood of about 30,000 at the edge of the San Fernando Valley. And residents — who have been demanding to know why the Southern California Gas Company cannot fix the leak to its natural gas storage well, and whether the company will compensate them for their lost property values and health problems — want to know why it has taken so long.  [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
Brown declares state of emergency at Porter Ranch amid massive gas leak
Los Angeles Times
Tony Barboza

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered new regulations, including stepped-up inspections and safety measures, for all natural gas storage facilities in California in response to the continuing leak that has displaced thousands of people in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles. The emergency regulations would require Southern California Gas Co. and other operators of gas storage facilities to conduct daily inspections of wellheads using infrared leak-detection technology, verify the mechanical integrity of wells, measure gas flow and pressure and regularly test safety valves, among other steps. Each facility would also have to draft a risk management plan that would examine the corrosion potential of pipes and other safety threats.  [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
Toxins found in fracking fluids and wastewater, study shows
Yale News


In an analysis of more than 1,000 chemicals in fluids used in and created by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), Yale School of Public Health researchers found that many of the substances have been linked to reproductive and developmental health problems, and the majority had undetermined toxicity due to insufficient information. Further exposure and epidemiological studies are urgently needed to evaluate potential threats to human health from chemicals found in fracking fluids and wastewater created by fracking, said the research team in their paper, published Jan. 6 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental and Epidemiology.  [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
L.A. residents flee as gas leak stalks neighborhood
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
James Nash

LOS ANGELES — The sulfurous scent of a natural-gas leak hangs in the air as mail carriers wearing gas masks make rounds to mostly deserted homes in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch. Life in the community of 30,000 people chiseled into the hills on the north rim of the San Fernando Valley has been upended by the break, which emits enough methane to fill the Empire State Building every day. San Diego-based Sempra Energy, which operates the fourth-largest underground storage field in the U.S. nearby, has said capping it could take two months. The leak in California, the state with the toughest U.S. restrictions on greenhouse-gas emissions, is bringing calls to tighten regulations on storage fields as the amount of natural gas held in underground reservoirs nationwide swelled 17 percent last year. Enforcement is left to states, with no overarching federal role. Leak-fueled explosions have flattened homes and businesses and killed people from New York to Kansas and Texas since 2001.  [Full Story]

Jan 6, 2016
Oil Companies Putting US Environment ‘On Shaky Ground’ With Fracking
Sputik News


Fracking activities performed by US oil companies are endangering the lands across the United States. Oil companies are endangering the lands across the United States with their fracking activities, the Center For Biological Diversity Climate Media Director Patrick Sullivan told Sputnik.   [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
Breaking: TransCanada’s Hopes For “Zombie” Keystone XL Pipeline Revived As South Dakota Validates Expired Permit
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

The South Dakota Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted unanimously to keep TransCanada’s hopes for the Keystone XL pipeline alive by validating its permit certification that expired in 2014. Chris Nelson, the chair of the commission, concluded TransCanada could still meet all the conditions of its expired permit. The fact TransCanada was denied a needed presidential permit to cross international borders was not a reason to deny certification because the next president could grant it, the PUC chair said. He stated that the lawyers representing the Intervenors — indigenous tribes, the grassroots group Dakota Rural Action, and individual landowners — did not make a case proving TransCanada was unable to meet any of the conditions required to build the pipeline, despite a nine-day hearing last summer at which Intervenors presented reams of evidence and allegations to the contrary.   [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
Oklahoma looks at regulating fracking to reduce earthquakes
Hot Air
Jazz Shaw

No, the title was not a typo. And perhaps even more strangely, they’ve got a point, but there may be just a bit of an overreaction here. Areas with large amounts of high volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) taking place have experienced low grade earthquakes in several areas around the country. When I first heard of these stories several years ago I was, I admit, more than a little incredulous. But the science done in the oil and gas industry has built up sufficiently to show that small earthquakes can indeed be triggered by human activity. Oklahoma is concerned about this and asking for voluntary action on the part of energy companies to tamp things down.   [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
Anti-fracking group readies 11 measures for November ballot
Gazette
Megan Schrader

DENVER - The fight over hydraulic fracturing in Colorado is ramping up in the final days before the 2016 General Assembly convenes.  [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
Wheatfield town board enacts fracking moratorium
Niagara Gazette
Mia Summerson

WHEATFIELD - The town board has approved a moratorium which temporarily prohibits multiple uses of fracking waste within town limits. The unanimous vote, taken by the town board during Monday’s meeting, came in response to a rise in public concern over the past few months with regard to National Fuel’s proposed gas dehydrator on Liberty Drive.   [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
A single gas well leak is California's biggest contributor to climate change
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

The single biggest contributor to climate change in California is a blown-out natural gas well more than 8,700ft underground, state authorities and campaign groups said Monday. The broken well at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site has released more than 77,000 metric tons of the powerful climate pollutant methane since the rupture was first detected on 23 October, according to a counter created by the Environmental Defense Fund.  [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
The Conservative Case for Solar Subsidies
NY Times
Ben Ho Op Ed

TO many skeptics, particularly on the right, the spectacular failure of the solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra in 2011, after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, demonstrated the industry’s shaky future and the danger of government efforts to subsidize it to success. Fast forward to today. Solar energy prices have continued to fall rapidly, twice as many Americans work in the solar industry as in coal mining, and last year one-third of new electricity generation came from solar power. Solar, long viewed through the lens of crony capitalism, has shown the ability to inject real market competition in energy distribution, one of the last monopolies in the energy sector, while improving the efficiency of the grid and putting more dollars in the pockets of middle-class Americans. Conservatives, in other words, need to take another look at solar. The case for solar isn’t limited to prices and jobs. Consumers want choice. Unfortunately, in most markets around the country, electricity is still one of the few areas where we have virtually no choice over our supplier. Imagine you want to buy a G.M. car, but you were told you can buy only a Toyota. You’d be outraged — yet this is how almost all Americans are forced to procure their electricity.   [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
Painted Post loses case over water sales for fracking
Star Gazette
Jeff Murray

A state appellate court has upheld a lower court ruling that voids agreements the Village of Painted Post had with a hydraulic fracturing company in Pennsylvania to sell surplus water. The case involved a challenge by three environmental organizations and five individuals who claimed the Village of Painted Post sold water from its municipal water system for hydrofracking in Pennsylvania without conducting a review of the environmental impacts of the water sale agreement under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA. On New Year’s Eve, the state Supreme Court Appellate Division Fourth Department agreed, concluding the water sale agreement was not an exempt action under SEQRA, as the village had claimed.  [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
The Indelible Connection Between Clean Air and Children's Health
Huffington Post
Lynn R Goldman

It is all too easy to forget that a healthy childhood is not just about avoiding germs and preventing accidents. Many air and water pollutants are invisible to the naked eye, so small that we often overlook their role in our children's health. This fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement on climate change and children's health, noting that children are particularly vulnerable to weather disasters, heat stress, poor air quality and food insecurity, among other threats that come with a warming climate. The organization asserts that given what we know about the link between climate change and children's health, "failure to take prompt, substantive action would be an act of injustice to all children." In many ways, then, the U.S. government's climate action plan is truly a public health initiative. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that every dollar invested in the Clean Power Plan, a core component of the climate strategy, will deliver four dollars in health benefits. Another element of the strategy, the recently strengthened ozone standard, will also prevent hundreds of thousands of childhood asthma attacks. Asthma was once an infrequent cause of childhood illness but now it is the leading chronic disease among children, the third-ranking cause of hospitalization, and the number one reason that children miss school.  [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
12 Earthquakes Hit Frack-Happy Oklahoma in Less Than a Week
Eco Watch
Cole Mellino

After the Oklahoma City area was hit by at least a dozen earthquakes in less than a week, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, ordered Monday that several injection well operators reduce wastewater disposal volumes. “We are working with researchers on the entire area of the state involved in the latest seismic activity to plot out where we should go from here,” Oil and Gas Conservation Division Director Tim Baker told the Associated Press.  [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
Oil lobby chief laments ‘demonization’ of Keystone pipeline
The Hill
Timothy Cama

The oil lobby is bracing for more attacks from environmentalists who helped block the Keystone XL pipeline, wary that the green groups, buoyed by the recent victory, are gearing up to target more pipeline and fossil fuel projects. American Petroleum Institute (API) head Jack Gerard used his annual State of American Energy speech to condemn the tactics used against the oil and natural gas industry, using the Keystone fight as a prime example. “The demonization of the Keystone XL pipeline remains a powerful cautionary tale of the dangers of energy policy driven by ideology rather than economic reality and has a chilling effect on expansion efforts for our nation’s energy infrastructure,” Gerard said at the speech, which he usually uses to lay out the oil group’s policy priorities for the year ahead. “Emboldened by their ability to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, anti-fossil-fuel advocates have set their sights on all energy infrastructure projects,” he said.  [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
Offshore Wind Power in Long Island's future
Long Island Report
Guido Del Pino

A source of renewable energy off the shore of Long Island is now, more than ever, a real possibility. The project consists of building a wind power facility located in the Atlantic Ocean, thirteen miles away from the Rockaway Peninsula. The objective is to help New York State reach its clean and renewable energy goals. These goals include a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, with 50 percent of energy generation from renewable energy sources and a 600 trillion Btu increase in statewide energy efficiency. “We should be looking towards renewable sources of energy to fulfill our needs,” said New York State Assembly Member Todd Kamisnky. The Long Island Offshore Wind Project is designed to generate 350 megawatts (MW) with the possibility to expand to 700 MW. This wind facility operating at half its capacity would generate enough energy for about 112,000 homes.  [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
Aliso Canyon leak is biggest contributor to climate change in California
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

The single biggest contributor to climate change in California is a blown-out natural gas well more than 8,700ft underground, state authorities and campaign groups said Monday. The broken well at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site has released more than 77,000 metric tons of the powerful climate pollutant methane since the rupture was first detected on 23 October, according to a counter created by the Environmental Defense Fund.  [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
Cuomo to push for big boost in environmental fund
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

ALBANY - A state fund that backs projects meant to boost the environment would grow to $300 million under a new proposal from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo is set to lay out his plan for the Environmental Protection Fund as part of a series of announcements on Long Island this morning, according to his aides. It will be part of Cuomo's state budget proposal, which he's scheduled to unveil Jan. 13. The EPF, as it's known, currently sits at about $177 million and is used to fund various environmental and preservation projects, such as restoring historic sites, purchasing forest land and recycling programs, among others. If approved by lawmakers, $300 million would put the fund at an all-time high.  [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
Oklahoma Oil Firm Resists Call to Shut Down Wells Amid Earthquake Concerns
The Wall Street Journal
ERIN AILWORTH

A financially strapped Oklahoma oil company is defying the state regulator’s request that it shut down six wells used to dispose of wastewater, despite fears they may be contributing to earthquakes. Sandridge Energy Inc., which has complied with similar requests in the past, said this time it won’t stop using its wastewater disposal wells, which are part of the company’s oil-and-gas fracking operations.  [Full Story]

Jan 5, 2016
California gas disaster highlights patchwork of environmental laws
Al Jazeera America
Peter Moskowitz

Since Oct. 23, 2015, plumes of methane have been spewing out of a storage facility 25 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles in a section of town called Porter Ranch. The disaster has been compared by environmental groups to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The Southern California Gas Co., the local gas utility that owns the site, says it has finally figured out how to stop the leak, though the process could take several more weeks or longer. Meanwhile, the disaster has placed under scrutiny the patchwork of agencies and laws that cover methane emissions in California and nationally, at a time when the state and the country are attempting to clamp down on the key greenhouse gas, which is far more powerful in trapping atmospheric heat than carbon dioxide. The leak has led to calls for a better regulatory regime on methane storage and transportation and warnings that similar disasters could easily happen elsewhere.  [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
Fracking Wastewater Is Cancer-Causing, New Study Confirms
Green Media
Sayer Ji

The fracking industry likes to call its product "natural gas," but the natural consequence of its activity is the production of billions of gallons of cancer-causing wastewater. A new study published in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology titled, "Malignant human cell transformation of Marcellus Shale gas drilling flow back water," is the first study of its kind to confirm widely held suspicions concerning the carcinogenicity of fracking pollution. The new collaborative study was conducted by scientists at esteemed institutions in both the U.S. and China and found that so-called "flow back" fracking wastewater induced malignant changes in human bronchial epithelial cells consistent with the cancerous phenotype. The same fracking wastewater was injected into mice, with 5 of the 6 developing .2 cm to .6 cm tumors as early as 3 months after injection, and with the control mice forming no tumors after 6 months. The authors concluded that their results indicate "flow back water is capable of neoplastic transformation in vitro," i.e. fracking wastewater is capable of producing cancer in mammals.  [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
Pipelines could affect property values
Lebanon Daily News
Daniel Walmer

Natural gas pipelines don’t just raise concerns about the environment and private property rights — they could also affect owners’ wallets. Pipelines can reduce property values by 5 to 40 percent by making them less attractive to potential buyers, according to local Realtors. “People wince when they see (pipelines),” said James Sherer, a Realtor with Lancaster County-based Kingsway Realty. “When you’re getting into those small country plots, it’s going to matter, even when it’s a hundred yards away.”  [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
Moratorium on fracking waste is approved in Wheatfield
The Buffalo News
Thomas J. Prohaska

WHEATFIELD – The Town Board voted Monday in favor of a six-month moratorium on the storage or application of waste from hydraulic fracturing on any land or road in the town. Asked whether any such material has been used in Wheatfield, Town Attorney Matthew E. Brooks said, “No, and we don’t want any, either.” Some municipalities have used water from fracking to melt ice because of its salinity, Brooks said.  [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
Forty percent of vehicles will be natural gas powered
AG Professional
Rich Keller

“By 2025, 40 percent of you will be driving vehicles powered by compressed natural gas, according to projections,” said Detief Hallermann, Ph.D., associate clinical professor, Texas A&M University.   [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
Porter Ranch Natural Gas Leak Spews 150 Million Pounds of Methane, Will Take Months to Fix
EcoWatch
Democracy Now!

In the nation’s biggest environmental disaster since the BP oil spill, a runaway natural gas leak above Los Angeles has emitted more than 150 million pounds of methane. Thousands of residents in the community of Porter Ranch, California, have been evacuated and put in temporary housing. The fumes have caused headaches and nosebleeds. The company responsible, Southern California Gas Company, says it could take 3 to 4 months to stop the breach.   [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
Fracking protestors demonstrating at County Hall this morning
Nottingham Post
Tom Norton

Fracking protestors will be heading to county hall this morning as councillors plan to discuss the controversial mining technique. Members of Frack Free Notts will meet at County Hall in West Bridgford as councillors look at the authority's draft mineral plan.   [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett gives support to Cannock Chase fracking ban
Cannock Mercury


NATALIE Bennett has praised those who are battling to save countryside spaces throughout the Cannock Chase region following a visit to Chasewater last weekend. The Green party leader was joined by around 60 local activists as they took a stroll around Chasewater on Saturday (January 2) – an area that last year was listed as being one of the potential sites that could well be either or have a change of ownership from Staffordshire County Council.   [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
MD County Considers Plan that Restricts Fracking
Delmarva Public Radio
Don Rush

Commissioners are considering a Deep Creek Lake watershed management plan that would restrict drilling for natural gas in the resort area. The plan is up for discussion at Monday's board meeting. The plan was drafted in 2014. It would prohibit wellheads on 41,000 acres around the lake.   [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
California Natural Gas Leak Piles On To Gas Industry Troubles
Clen Technica
Tina Casey

The ongoing California natural gas leak finally made big headlines this week, crowding out the latest news from Oklahoma, which has been dealing with its own natural gas issues in the form of unprecedented swarms of earthquakes. Just last Tuesday a big one hit the town of Edmund, measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale. Magnitude 4.3 isn’t exactly catastrophic but according to a federal seismologist it reactivated a new fault, and the likely result will be a whole new series of earthquakes in populated areas.   [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
Oil and Gas Development May Pose New Hazard to Water Quality in Arid Lands
Earth Island Journal
Kate Dougherty

Disruption of soil may leach salt into waterways A salty mystery is brewing in Carbon County, Wyoming. The brush-carpeted landscape here is home to ranchers, farmers, and the beleaguered sage grouse. It's also home to Muddy Creek, where water salinity spiked suddenly in 2009.  [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
2016: California's 'Staggering' Leak Could Spew Methane for Months
InsideClimate News
Lisa Song

In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will issue long-awaited rules to control methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. The regulations will emerge after years of activism and scientific studies on the climate risk posed by methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that's dozens of times more potent that carbon dioxide. But the regulations will likely be overshadowed by the ongoing saga in Aliso Canyon, Calif., where a leaking natural gas storage field continues to belch thousands of tons of methane into the air every week. The leak was detected on Oct. 23. Hundreds of residents in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles have relocated due to headaches, nausea, nosebleeds and other health effects. SoCal Gas, the utility that runs the facility, attributes the problem to a side effect of breathing in mercaptans—the odorizing chemical that's added to natural gas to make leaks detectable. But toxins such as hydrogen sulfide and benzene have been detected in the air, said R. Rex Parris, one of the attorneys representing people who live near the well.  [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
US Government Facilitated LNG Business Deals Before Federal Permits Issued
Counter Punch
Steve Horn

Emails and documents obtained by DeSmog reveal that the U.S. International Trade Administration has actively promoted and facilitated business deals for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry and export terminal owners, even before some of the terminals have the federal regulatory agency permits needed to open for business. This release of the documents coincides with the imminent opening of the first ever LNG export terminal in the U.S.hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) era, owned by Cheniere. The documents came via an open records request filed by DeSmog with the Port of Lake Charles. The request centered around the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the Port signed with the Panama Canal Authority in January 2015.  [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
Crestwood’s risks outweigh benefits
Star Gazette
Yvonne Taylor

In response to Marvin Switzer’s Guest Viewpoint, “LPG would be good for Reading”: Protestors not speaking for people in the area? Look at the map of resolutions opposing gas storage in the Finger Lakes. Reading is literally surrounded by towns, counties and villages opposing Crestwood. We pay taxes, we shop at the same stores that you do, and send our kids to the same schools. Stop trying to paint us as outsiders. We live here.  [Full Story]

Jan 4, 2016
Oklahoma oil and gas regulators order reduced volumes at injection wells following earthquakes
US News & World Report
Tim Talley

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The state commission that regulates Oklahoma's oil and natural gas industry ordered some injection well operators to reduce wastewater disposal volumes on Monday after at least a dozen earthquakes hit an area north of Oklahoma City in less than a week.   [Full Story]

Jan 3, 2016
Notable actor James Cromwell of Warwick takes a stand on local, global issues
Times Herald Record
Hema Easley

In early December, “Babe” actor James Cromwell was thrown out of a packed Orange County Partnership award ceremony for speaking out against Competitive Power Venture's new power plant in Wawayanda. Then, on Dec. 18, he was again removed – read that: arrested – for leading a sit-in at the construction site of the gas-burning power plant. He is due to appear Jan. 21 in Wawayanda Town Court to respond to a charge of disorderly conduct, a violation.  [Full Story]

Jan 3, 2016
Feds block citizen web portal as key deadline looms in Kinder Morgan pipeline matter
The Republican
Mary Serreze

Foes of interstate gas pipeline expansion in New England cried foul Sunday night as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's e-filing system remained shut down, three days before a key deadline passes for citizen participation in the matter of Kinder Morgan's proposed 415-mile Northeast Energy Direct. Individuals, towns and businesses hoping to apply as "intervenors" in the pipeline case have until 5 p.m. on Jan. 6 to file motions with the federal regulators. But they have been blocked in their efforts since Dec. 31, and were previously blocked from the FERC web portal over the long Christmas weekend. "This is very frustrating," said Julia Blyth of Northfield. "The system has been shut down for eight of the last 13 days that the public has had to file their motions."  [Full Story]

Jan 3, 2016
Emails: U.S. Government Facilitated LNG Business Deals Before Terminals Got Required Federal Permits
Huffington Post
Steve Horn

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog Emails and documents obtained by DeSmog reveal that the U.S. Department of Trade has actively promoted and facilitated business deals for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry and export terminal owners, even before some of the terminals have the federal regulatory agency permits needed to open for business. This release of the documents coincides with the imminent opening of the first ever LNG export terminal in the U.S. hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") era, owned by Cheniere. The documents came via an open records request filed by DeSmog with the Port of Lake Charles. The request centered around the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the Port signed with the Panama Canal Authority in January 2015.   [Full Story]

Jan 3, 2016
Why Big Oil Should Kill Itself
Project Syndicate
ANATOLE KALETSKY

LONDON – Now that oil prices have settled into a long-term range of $30-50 per barrel (as described here a year ago), energy users everywhere are enjoying an annual income boost worth more than $2 trillion. The net result will almost certainly accelerate global growth, because the beneficiaries of this enormous income redistribution are mostly lower- and middle-income households that spend all they earn. Of course, there will be some big losers – mainly governments in oil-producing countries, which will run down reserves and borrow in financial markets for as long as possible, rather than cut public spending. That, after all, is politicians’ preferred approach, especially when they are fighting wars, defying geopolitical pressures, or confronting popular revolts.   [Full Story]

Jan 3, 2016
How Iceland Drilled For Renewable Energy And Struck Tourists
Forbes
Jeff McMahon

PARIS—The president of Iceland credits renewable energy for reviving the tiny island nation’s economy after financial collapse. Geothermal energy provided the baseload Iceland needed to recover, said President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, and engendered unforeseen new industries, including data storage, greenhouse agriculture and eco-tourism. “For most people a clean energy economy or a clean energy society is a concept, it’s a mission, it’s not part of their practical everyday experience,” Grímsson said last month at the Sustainable Innovation Forum, a side event to the Paris Climate Conference. “That is why for example this power station in Iceland receives every year about 20 percent of all the tourists who come to Iceland, who pay an entry fee to see a power plant.” Iceland weaned itself from a dependence on imported coal and oil over a 30-year period beginning in 1970. It now derives all of its energy for electricity and home heating from geothermal and hydroelectric power plants.  [Full Story]

Jan 3, 2016
Oil has slowed but natural gas development still expanding
Billings Gazette
Amy Dalrymple

TIOGA, N.D. — As drilling and fracking have slowed in North Dakota, Rob Bertola with XTO Energy said he often gets asked if he’s still busy. But Bertola, operations foreman for a natural gas processing plant, hasn’t experienced the slowdown. In 2014 and 2015, XTO expanded its Nesson Gathering plant near Tioga, added 75 miles of new pipeline and added new compressor stations, an investment of more than $120 million. “The drilling and stuff has slowed down,” said Bertola, who lives in Williston. “But our side, getting our structures built, pipelines in, we’re very busy.” Investments in gathering and processing natural gas are expected to continue in 2016, even as companies look to pull more drilling rigs and hold off on completing wells. North Dakota is scheduled to have four new gas processing plants come online in 2016, plus additional gathering lines and compressor stations.  [Full Story]

Jan 3, 2016
Leaking gas well in Porter Ranch area lacked a working safety valve
Los Angeles Times
Zahira Torres and Frank Shyong

leaking natural gas well that has displaced thousands of residents in Porter Ranch lacked a working safety valve, sparking new questions about how the facility was maintained. Attorneys for residents suing Southern California Gas Co. said the company failed to replace the safety valve when it was removed in 1979.  [Full Story]

Jan 3, 2016
Huge Natural Gas Leak in Los Angeles Still Months From Fix
ABC News
Associated Press

The escape of tons of natural gas from storage under a Los Angeles neighborhood is not likely to be fixed for at least another two months because of the specific dynamics of the leak, according to officials.   [Full Story]

Jan 2, 2016
Racism Captured at a Fracking Protest
InQuiitr
Christopher Brown

MMC Land Management employee John Pisone took it upon himself to confront anti-fracking protesters at the fracking site in Mars, Pennsylvania, where he was working. His dismay towards the protesters turned into flat-out racism as he hurled harsh words towards the black photo journalist, Tom Jefferson.   [Full Story]

Jan 2, 2016
Olahoma Earhtquake Blamed on Oil Fracking--Shale Oil Drilling Ban May Reduce OK Earthquakes?
Inquisitr
Patrick Frye

A recent earthquake in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has jumpstarted talk about Oklahoma’s oil fracking industry. Some say the recent increase in Oklahoma earthquakes can be directly blamed on shale oil drilling. If this is true, then it is claimed that an oil fracking ban is the only answer for preventing more major earthquakes in The Sooner State.   [Full Story]

Jan 2, 2016
Huge California gas leak could take months to fix
CBS News


LOS ANGELES -- The escape of tons of natural gas from storage under a Los Angeles neighborhood is not likely to be fixed for at least another two months due to the specific dynamics of the leak, according to officials.   [Full Story]

Jan 2, 2016
Concern mounts over idle natural gas drilling pads
Washington Times
AP

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - Colorado regulators are debating how to deal with idle natural gas drilling pads because of a slump in energy prices, and new rules may be needed to deal with the issues. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission member Richard Alward said there is a stepped-up focus on the issue, and the agency’s reclamation rules are outdated. The current rules don’t require companies to document a site’s vegetation before disturbing it and restore it to its previous condition, Alward said. He said state regulation of the industry needs to meet the same requirements set for coal mines. “I think given our understanding of ecological processes and services that functioning ecosystems provide to people and wildlife, we shouldn’t be trailing behind coal mining regulations from the 1980s,” Alward said. A report by the commission found that about 45,000 wells are eligible for final reclamation, and nearly 60 percent have passed final reclamation inspection.  [Full Story]

Jan 2, 2016
Stunning Drone Footage Of The Midwest Flooding Wreaking Havoc On US Oil
Zero Hedge
Tyler Durden

After the first deadly winter storm this season, now come the floods: the near-record water level across the U.S. Midwest has disrupted everything from oil to agriculture, forcing pipelines, terminals and grain elevators to close. This is the worst flood in the region since May 2011, when rising water on the Mississippi and its tributaries deluged cities, slowed barge traffic and threatened refinery and chemical operations and is just shy of the worst flood of breaking 30-year records. According to Bloomberg, the floods have killed at least 20 people and shut hundreds of roads across Missouri and Illinois, according to AccuWeather Inc. Rain-swollen rivers will set records in the Mississippi River basin through much of January. Fifty miles (80 kilometers) of the Illinois River remain closed, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as five miles of the Mississippi River. Additionally, the Coast Guard issued a high-water safety advisory for 566 miles of Mississippi River between Caruthersville, Missouri, and Natchez, Mississippi. It also instituted high-water towing limitations near Morgan City, Louisiana, for vessels heading south that are 600 feet or shorter, it said in a statement.   [Full Story]

Jan 2, 2016
Pipeline leak statistics should give pause to pipeline supporters
{nline Athens
RON P. WHITTINGTON

Texas-based Kinder Morgan’s proposed Palmetto Pipeline, which would run from South Carolina to Northeast Florida, has raised the ire of many property owners and environmental groups since the company announced the plan. Beyond the threat of using eminent domain to seize property for the project, which has been one concern of land owners along the 360-mile pipeline route, it’s the affect of pipeline leaks that has some property owners aligned with an array of environmental groups opposing the project. Although some environmental groups have reacted to some previous commercial activities with more emotion than reason in the past, statistics from the energy industry itself back up their concerns about potential leaks on the Palmetto Pipeline. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which oversees the industry, there have been nearly 5,600 pipeline incidents over the last 20 years that have been deemed “significant.”  [Full Story]

Jan 2, 2016
Firm behind Albany-to-Linden oil pipeline yet to file N.J. application
North Jersey.com
Scott Fallon

The company that wants to build an oil pipeline from Albany, N.Y., to Linden has yet to file an application to New Jersey regulators, but questions and concerns have already sprouted up over how the two states plan to review the Pilgrim Pipeline project. pilgrim map In New York, where Pilgrim has submitted detailed plans, environmentalists and some local officials are criticizing the state Thruway Authority over its prominent role in the state’s evaluation of the proposal because the agency stands to make a substantial amount of money in fees for land rights for the pipeline.  [Full Story]

Jan 2, 2016
What's Ahead for Climate Change in 2016?
Discovery
Brian Kahn

This year will kick off with a sense of optimism about climate change after the success of the Paris climate talks in December. In the United States, that may mean more enthusiasm for commitments to renewables and other lower-carbon energy sources as low oil prices make the future of fossil fuels production in the United States and Canada less certain. 2016 stands to be critical for greenhouse gas emissions cuts in the United States as the country finds ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet its long-term climate pledge made in 2015.  [Full Story]

Jan 2, 2016
Analysis: California's New Gas-storage Rules Weaker Than Petroleum Industry's Own Suggested Practices
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

LOS ANGELES— Emergency gas-storage rules proposed by California officials in response to the catastrophic Aliso Canyon leak are even weaker than the petroleum industry’s own recommended practices for gas-storage wells, according to a new analysis released by the Center for Biological Diversity. Operators could even continue fracking these old storage wells without performing industry-recommended monitoring for gas leaks caused by such high-pressure injections. The emergency rules, currently under consideration by the state’s Office of Administrative Law, could go into effect as early as this Friday. “These dangerously weak rules don’t even measure up to the oil industry’s own minimal safety suggestions for gas-storage wells,” said Maya Golden-Krasner, an L.A.-based attorney with the Center. “Despite a massive gas leak that’s driven thousands of people from their homes, Gov. Brown’s regulators won’t even force gas-storage operators to follow their own industry’s recommended practices — let alone take the strong measures needed to truly protect Californians from these dangerous facilities. Allowing companies to continue fracking these old, corroded wells puts people and the state in serious danger.”  [Full Story]

Jan 2, 2016
Why the Porter Ranch gas leak could take months to fix
Los Angeles Times
Thomas Curwen

Not long after plans were laid for the community of Porter Ranch half a century ago, an oil and gas well caught fire less than five miles away. A company of Texas oil well firefighters stopped the 1968 blaze after six days. Seven years later, as volunteers planted pines along hillsides of the growing community, the Texans were again on the scene to contain an even more ferocious blowout. A natural gas storage well sent flames 100 feet high until they were snuffed out after 10 days. Methane continued to vent from the site, but Porter Ranch residents were too far away to notice. Today no flames mark the gas pouring out of the ground near the northwest San Fernando Valley community, but the sense of disaster is more acute and repairs will take longer.  [Full Story]

Jan 1, 2016
‘Going racial:’ American loses job after diatribe against black anti-fracking activist goes viral
RT News


A Pennsylvanian man who launched a tirade of verbal abuse and racial slurs against a group of anti-fracking activists has gained YouTube fame and lost his job after a video of the incident went viral. The man shamelessly spouted his views to a camera, targeting the black videographer, Tom Jefferson, calling him a “nigger” and a “chimp” and making monkey sounds.  [Full Story]

Jan 1, 2016
AARP: Energy service companies charge more than utilities
Times Herald Record
James Walsh

AARP has asked the state Public Service Commission to investigate why energy service companies have charged New Yorkers more than the utility companies whose costs they were supposed to undercut. While the ESCOs were introduced in the 1990s to lower costs through competition in the supply of natural gas and electricity, AARP, which advocates for people 50 and older, cites figures from the federal Energy Information Administration showing otherwise.   [Full Story]

Jan 1, 2016
Wind, solar power soaring in spite of bargain prices for fossil fuels
The Washington Post
Jody Warrick

Wind and solar power appear set for a record-breaking year in 2016 as a clean-energy construction boom gains momentum in spite of a global glut of cheap fossil fuels. Installations of wind turbines and solar panels soared in 2015 as utility companies went on a worldwide building binge, taking advantage of falling prices for clean technology as well as an improving regulatory and investment climate. Both industries have seen stock prices jump since Congress approved an extension of tax credits for renewables as part of last month’s $1.14 trillion budget deal.  [Full Story]

Jan 1, 2016
New Year's Day Quake In Oklahoma City Amid Increasing Seismic Activity
NPR
MERRIT KENNEDY

Oklahoma City residents woke early New Year's Day to a magnitude 4.2 quake. Earlier this week, a magnitude 4.3 quake struck the same area. The state isn't historically known for earthquakes, but NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce told our Newscast unit that Oklahoma "has recently seen a dramatic rise in seismic activity." Here's more: "If you think of a U.S. state associated with earthquakes, it's probably California. But really, you should think Oklahoma. In 2015, Oklahoma hit an all-time high, with more than 800 quakes of magnitude 3 or greater. That busts the record set in 2014, which topped the previous record set the year before. State officials have said this rise is very unlikely to represent a naturally occurring process. The concern is that these quakes may be linked to oil and gas drilling — specifically, the way wastewater produced by the drilling is pumped into deep underground disposal wells. Oklahoma is trying to address the issue.  [Full Story]

Jan 1, 2016
Oklahoma earthquakes spur calls for fracking regulations
CKNW


A 4.2 magnitude earthquake hit north of Oklahoma City this morning. It’s the latest in a series of quakes that have prompted state regulators to call for more restrictions on oil and gas operators. Friday’s tremor hit just after 5:30 AM local time. There are no reports of damage or injuries. Since oil and gas companies began fracking in the state, the number of magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes has gone from a few dozen in 2012 to more than 800 last year.   [Full Story]

Jan 1, 2016
Range asks court to overrule S. Strabane vote on Zediker well pad
Observer-Reporter
Barbara Miller

For the second time in less than a month, Range Resources Appalachia LLC has gone to Washington County Court hoping to overturn a South Strabane Township vote that thwarted its plans for a natural gas drilling operation.   [Full Story]

Jan 1, 2016
Fall in 2015 average annual natural gas spot price
Energy Global


Natural gas spot prices in 2015 at the Henry Hub in Louisiana averaged US$2.61/million Btu, the lowest annual average level since 1999. Daily prices fell below US$2/million Btu this year for the first time since 2012. Henry Hub spot prices began the year relatively low and fell throughout 2015, as production and storage inventories hit record levels and fourth quarter temperatures were much warmer than normal.  [Full Story]

Dec 31, 2015
Racist fracking aficionado fired after video posted to YouTube
Boing Boing
Mark Frauenfelder

Butler News in Pennsylvania identified this man as John Pisone, seen here harassing a group of anti-fracking protestors and making incredibly racist remarks and monkey noises to the black cameraman. In the video, the man repeatedly boasts that he works for a living and accuses the others of being lazy parasites.   [Full Story]

Dec 31, 2015
Solar is in, biomass energy is out—and farmers are struggling to dispose of woody waste
Los Angeles Times
Geoffrey Mohan

It should have been a good year for turning wood and waste into electrons. A record-setting drought forced growers to bulldoze thousands of acres of trees, and hardly anyone in the Central Valley has permission to light bonfires anymore. But more than trees have withered in California's sun. The state's biomass energy plants are folding in rapid succession, unable to compete with heavily subsidized solar farms, many of which have sprouted up amid the fields and orchards of the San Joaquin Valley.  [Full Story]

Dec 31, 2015
Racist slurs lead to firing after video posted online
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

The Monday before Christmas, a half dozen people peacefully protesting shale gas drilling near the Mars Area School District campus in Butler County sat in rocking chairs lined up across the well-pad access road off Route 228. Then John Pisone showed up to point out the error of their ways. Mr. Pisone, who worked for a Richland landscaping and property management firm with no connection to Rex Energy’s well-drilling operation, angrily denounced the “Rock to Block” protesters as “lazy hippies.” He then turned his attention to Tom Jefferson, an African-American freelance photojournalist who was videotaping the confrontation, calling him a “chimp” and using a racial slur before leaving.  [Full Story]

Dec 31, 2015
N.J. town makes zoning change that could affect natural gas pipeline proposal
The Times of Trenton
Cristina Rojas

CHESTERFIELD — A tract of land where a natural gas pipeline company is proposing to build a compressor station has been rezoned, a change that could affect the project. Chesterfield Township Committee on Wednesday unanimously voted to change the zoning of more than 130 acres along the New Jersey Turnpike from "office park" to "agricultural." One of the nine parcels is a 26-acre piece of land on which Williams Co. has proposed to build a compressor and meter station. The project's electrical substation is planned for an adjacent piece of land that would not be affected by the zoning change.  [Full Story]

Dec 31, 2015
During Paris Climate Summit, Obama Signed Exxon-, Koch-Backed Bill Expediting Pipeline Permits
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Just over a week before the U.S. signed the Paris climate agreement at the conclusion of the COP21 United Nations summit, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law with a provision that expedites permitting of oil and gas pipelines in the United States. The legal and conceptual framework for the fast-tracking provision on pipeline permitting arose during the fight over TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. President Barack Obama initially codified that concept via Executive Order 13604 — signed the same day as he signed an Executive Order to fast-track construction of Keystone XL's southern leg — and this provision “builds on the permit streamlining project launched by” Obama according to corporate law firm Holland & Knight. That 60-page streamlining provision falls on page 1,141 of the broader 1,301-page FAST (Fixing America's Surface Transportation) Act (H.R. 22 and S. 1647), known in policy wonk circles as the highway bill. The provision is located in a section titled, “Federal Permitting Improvement.” Explaining what types of projects the provision cover, the bill reads, …any activity in the United States that requires authorization or environmental review by a Federal agency involving construction of infrastructure for renewable or conventional energy production, electricity transmission, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource projects, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing, or any other sector as determined by a majority vote of the Council that is subject to [the National Environmental Policy Act] NEPA [and] is likely to require a total investment of more than $200,000,000.  [Full Story]

Dec 31, 2015
State Rep. Jim Christiana poised to introduce severance tax legislation
The Times
J. D. Prose

With the state’s budget battle still lingering, state Rep. Jim Christiana plans on introducing legislation soon to abolish the state’s impact fee and replace it with a severance tax on natural gas drilling.   [Full Story]

Dec 31, 2015
3 New Years Resolutions That Will End the World’s Dependency on Fossil Fuels
EcoWatch
Carl Pope

The Paris accord—by contrast with Rio and Kyoto—was a bottom-up exercise in open-source diplomacy. National governments largely were significantly influenced by the leadership of cities, the private sector and community and civic organizations.   [Full Story]

Dec 31, 2015
Big Oil braced for global warming while it fought regulations
LA Times
Amy Lieberman and Susanne Rust

A few weeks before seminal climate change talks in Kyoto back in 1997, Mobil Oil took out a bluntly worded advertisement in the New York Times and Washington Post. “Let’s face it: The science of climate change is too uncertain to mandate a plan of action that could plunge economies into turmoil,” the ad said. “Scientists cannot predict with certainty if temperatures will increase, by how much and where changes will occur.” One year earlier, though, engineers at Mobil Oil were concerned enough about climate change to design and build a collection of exploration and production facilities along the Nova Scotia coast that made structural allowances for rising temperatures and sea levels.  [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
LA's Gas Leak Is a Global Disaster
Gizmodo
Maddie Stone

One of the worst environmental disasters of the decade is currently underway in a quiet community 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Putrid, methane-rich natural gas has been spewing into the air at an estimated rate of nearly 1,300 metric tons per day for over two months. Experts are calling it the climate version of the BP oil spill, and the leak isn’t going to be contained anytime soon. Natural gas is often touted as a cleaner energy source than oil or coal, because of the lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with burning it. But as this disaster highlights, there are insidious risk to natural gas production. Coupled with weak regulation, they can make this energy source as dirty as the fossil fuels it’s meant to replace. “The science is crystal clear: if you allow the methane to leak, you can wipe out its climate benefits,” Tim O’Connor, director of the Environmental Defense Fund’s Oil and Gas Program in California told Gizmodo.  [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
RULING: FRANCE WILL REMAIN FRACKING FREE
Natural Gas Europe


This past week, American firm Schuepbach lost its legal action against the French state to be allowed to frack for shale in Southern France. The Texas-based oil company had sued the French state for years over the abrogation of two permits in Southern France–the licences of Nant and Villeneuve-de-Berg–which were granted before the country's anti-fracking law passed in 2011. The permits were repealed soon after. The administrative court of Cergy-Pontoise in the Paris area rejected the appeal of the American company on December 22, two weeks after the court heard the case. This decision has not come as a surprise to most: The public prosecutor called for a rejection of the appeal during the hearing on December, 8.  [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
Company fires employee who taunted gas drilling protesters with racial slurs
WPXI


MARS, Pa. — An employee of MMC Land Management is out of a job after being caught on camera hurling racial slurs at protesters outside Rex Energy in Mars a couple weeks ago. A man who has seen been identified to Channel 11 as John Pisone was unrelenting in a harsh verbal attack that devolved into a racial tirade. A recording of the incident shows him making animal noises and repeatedly using a racial slur when referring to the African-American photographer who captured the incident.   [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
SoCalGas knew of corrosion at Porter Ranch gas facility, doc shows
Los Angeles Daily News
Mike Reicher

Southern California Gas Co. knew its pipes were corroding and failing at a worsening pace more than a year before the massive Porter Ranch methane leak, a document shows. In a November 2014 state regulatory filing, the utility said it needed funds to inspect and repair old wells on a more systematic basis and warned of heightened risks under its current inspection regime. “Without a new inspection plan,” SoCalGas Director of Storage Operations Phillip Baker wrote, “SoCalGas and customers could experience major failures and service interruptions from potential hazards that currently remain undetected.”  [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
Green power or green countryside? Iceland's energetic debate
Christian Science Monitor
Gordon F. Sander,

Rejkjavik, Iceland — Sprengisandur is an ancient, unpaved road veering across the rugged, volcano-strewn central highlands of Iceland. Twelve centuries ago, the 125 mile-long windswept pass, whose name derives from sprengya, the Icelandic verb for riding a horse to its death, was one of the routes by which residents made the long trek to Althing, the midsummer parliament. Today, the scenic road, now traversed by tourist caravans, is at the nexus of two disparate agendas which have emerged on the fast-changing island, as it continues to recover from the great Icelandic crash of 2008. On one side, the center-right government and Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland, appear anxious to strengthen Iceland’s already overloaded energy grid to both expand the industrial sector and make the country an energy exporter. Recommended: Think you know the odd effects of global climate change? Take our quiz. On the other, a surging environmentalist movement led by Björk, the “queen of Icelandic music,” wants to halt this trend, which has already seen the construction of four smelting factories, and turn the highlands, one of Europe’s largest remaining wilderness areas, into a national park.  [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
Team Rachel Wins Lawsuit Against Frackers’ Water Theft
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

One New Year’s Eve. Bravo Team. An upstate New York town board thought they could sell the town’s water to frackers across the border in Fracksylvania without any environmental review. The Rachel, the Sierra Club and some locals that could read state statutes without getting a headache knew this was wrong, so they sued to force an environmental review :  [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
Oklahoma State Rep on oil companies and earthquakes: “No one is taking this issue seriously”
KFOR
LESLIE RANGEL

OKLAHOMA CITY - There’s been a series of 2.9 or greater earthquakes in the Edmond area. It’s not the first time earthquakes have hit but, as they get closer to the metro, some sate legislators said they’ve kept silent long enough. “This is sort of like the king has no clothes in the middle of the living room, and everybody is ignoring that fact,” said State Rep. Richard Morrissette (D. 92). “At what point are we, the policy makers, going to address this issue and take it seriously?” Many Edmond residents experienced the earthquakes and had damage.   [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
Investors Want More Public Disclosure from Fracking Companies
Public News Service


BISMARK, N.D. - A lot of companies fracking for gas do a poor job of informing the public, according to investor groups. While a just-released scorecard faults Occidental Petroleum for secrecy in some areas, other companies like North Dakota-based Hess scored near the top of the third annual Disclosing The Facts report. It grades the largest gas producers on disclosure in such areas as water pollution, methane leakage, use of toxic chemicals, and community effects. Danielle Fugere is president with As You Sow, one of the groups behind the scorecard. She says the research found more than two-thirds of the companies were not properly informing investors or local communities.   [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
Editorial: A billowing wake-up call from L.A. on greenhouse gas
Fresno Bee
Editorial

California is viewed as a national model in regulating greenhouse gas pollution, the one state that is actually moving the needle on climate change. That’s true to a point. But there are some gaping vulnerabilities in enforcement, and the massive natural gas leak in suburban Los Angeles underscores how far we have to go on oversight. Southern California Gas Co. officials said last weekend that they finally – finally – are close to locating the source of the methane cloud that has been billowing since October over an underground natural gas reservoir near the affluent community of Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley. The reserves, stored naturally inside a repurposed oil field, heat homes in the winter and fuel electrical plants in the summer. The leak appears to be in a narrow pipe used to inject surplus gas thousands of feet deep into rock formations that once served as oil wells.   [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
5 Facts to Know About the California Methane Leak
Live Science
Tia Ghose

A methane leak in Southern California has forced thousands of people from their homes. Although the gas first began spewing from a leaky underground well in October, the gas company only recently identified the source of the leak. Now, officials with the company say it could be months before the methane leak is stopped. But what exactly caused the methane leak in the first place, and how will it affect those in the surrounding areas? Here are five things to know about the Southern California methane leak.  [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
A key part of the #PaBudget is a sneak attack on the environment
Penn Live
Greg Vitali

Several provisions tucked into a budget-related bill known as the Fiscal Code would set back environmental protection in Pennsylvania. One would cancel regulations related to natural gas drilling. Another would delay the Commonwealth's effort to address climate change and a third would take money earmarked for energy conservation and direct it towards natural gas development. The Fiscal Code is one of several bills necessary to effectuate the Commonwealth budget. The bill's contents should be limited to directing how budget money should be spend. Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania Senate has inserted three environmentally troublesome provisions in this year's version of the legislation.  [Full Story]

Dec 30, 2015
Investors Want More Public Disclosure from Fracking Companies
Public News Service


BISMARK, N.D. - A lot of companies fracking for gas do a poor job of informing the public, according to investor groups. While a just-released scorecard faults Occidental Petroleum for secrecy in some areas, other companies like North Dakota-based Hess scored near the top of the third annual Disclosing The Facts report. It grades the largest gas producers on disclosure in such areas as water pollution, methane leakage, use of toxic chemicals, and community effects. Danielle Fugere is president with As You Sow, one of the groups behind the scorecard. She says the research found more than two-thirds of the companies were not properly informing investors or local communities. "Leaks, spills and explosions continue to make headlines," she says. "Even as 70 percent of the energy companies continue to get failing marks." The scorecard praises Hess for dramatic improvement over last year, even saying it's one of five companies to lead the nation in disclosing information. Meanwhile, Occidental Petroleum is a bit above the middle of the pack.   [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
Climate Change Finally Gets Taken Seriously
Wired
Nick Stockton

In 2015, the world finally, collectively, decided to take climate change seriously. Yes, I’m mostly talking about the historic Paris climate deal, where top negotiators from every country agreed to cut fossil fuel emissions in order to keep global temperatures from rising by 2°C. A big part of that deal’s success came from groundwork laid earlier in the year. Most notably, Obama’s coal-cutting Clean Power Plan, and China’s commitment to a nationwide cap and trade program. OK, maybe this victory is bittersweet. After all, climate action could have come a long time ago, if it weren’t for decades of obstructive, contrived, and conspiratorial denialism which put millions of human beings—both living and future—in unnecessary danger. And sure, the Paris deal isn’t perfect (it effectively relies on peer pressure to make sure countries comply).  [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
Unprecedented flooding in Britain prompts renewed discussion about climate change
Sydney Morning Herald
Nick Miller

London: Climate change is forcing England to reassess its flood defences in the face of unprecedented river level surges, one of the British government's most senior environment officials says. "We are moving from a period of known extremes into a period of unknown extremes," said David Rooke, deputy chief executive of the government's Environment Agency, which manages the country's rivers. "We will need to reassess all the defences right across the country."   [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
10. Frac sand vanishes from local landscape
Winona Daily News


Frac sand has been on our list every year since 2011, when the explosion of the fracking industry led to a similar surge in demand for the small, round grains of sand so prevalent in Winona that are mixed with water and chemicals to release oil and natural gas from the ground in other parts of the country. The industry's sudden emergence, and local governments' rush to figure out how to permit and regulate it, led to a number of conflicts in Winona and the surrounding area over concerns about environmental effects, road damage, air quality and other issues. So that's why the industry's equally sudden vanishing act this year was so noteworthy. The reason for the disappearance is simple to understand: Oil prices have plunged, making fracking not nearly as attractive as it was just a few short years ago. The question looming, however, is much more challenging, and already being considered by a number of Winona County residents calling for a countywide ban: Will the frac-sand boom return to Winona, and how should it be handled the second time around?  [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
Big Oil Argued for U.S. Crude Exports to Fend Off Iran, But First Exporter Vitol Group Also Exported Iran's Oil
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

The American Petroleum Institute (API) successfully lobbied for an end to the 40-year ban on exporting U.S.-produced crude oil in part by making a geopolitical argument: Iran and Russia have the ability to export their oil, so why not unleash America? What API never mentioned — nor the politicians parroting its talking points — is that many of its member companies maintain ongoing business ties with both Russia and Iran. And The Vitol Group, the first company set to export U.S. crude after the lifting of the ban (in a tanker destined for Switzerland), has or had its own ties to both U.S. geopolitical rivals. Who is The Vitol Group?  [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
FERC Updates Guidance For Environmental Reporting on NatGas Projects
Natural Gas Intelligence
Jeremiah Shelor

This month, FERC issued a draft update to its Guidance Manual for Environmental Report Preparation for applicants seeking project approval under the Natural Gas Act, with some notable additions since the manual was last updated in 2002. The updated 238-page manual, which guides applicants in supplying the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with useful information to conduct project reviews in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), includes new language and example tables advising applicants on how to look at a project’s cumulative impacts. One updated section offers a detailed discussion on assessing cumulative impacts as they pertain to NEPA compliance and advises applicants that their “analysis must describe cumulative impacts that would potentially result from implementation of the proposed project along with other projects within the geographic and temporal scopes identified for each resource.” FERC also updated the manual to include new language on assessing a project’s likely greenhouse gas emissions and its impacts on climate change. An attached table advises project applicants to consider how “emissions resulting from the proposed project, in combination with past and future emissions from other project sources, would increase the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and contribute incrementally to climate change,” though it adds that “it cannot be determined whether or not the project’s contribution to cumulative impacts on climate change would be significant.”  [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
A billowing wake-up call from L.A. on greenhouse gas
The Sacramento Bee
Editorial

California is viewed as a national model in regulating greenhouse gas pollution, the one state that is actually moving the needle on climate change. That’s true to a point. But there are some gaping vulnerabilities in enforcement, and the massive natural gas leak in suburban Los Angeles underscores how far we have to go on oversight. Southern California Gas Co. officials said last weekend that they finally – finally – are close to locating the source of the methane cloud that has been billowing since October over an underground natural gas reservoir near the affluent community of Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley. Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editorials/article52151155.html#storylink=cpy  [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
DOE Study Finds Increased LNG Exports Would Drive Production, Prices Higher
Natural Gas Intelligence
Jeremiah Shelor

The economic impacts of increased U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports would be “marginally positive,” according to a study released Monday by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The report, commissioned by DOE and authored by researchers from Oxford Economics and Rice University in Houston, modeled the macroeconomic impacts of global demand for U.S. LNG exports rising from 12 Bcf/d to 20 Bcf/d over various scenarios projected out to 2040. The researchers found that the increase in LNG exports corresponded to higher domestic natural gas prices and an increase in domestic production, with some tradeoffs related to higher energy prices for U.S. manufacturing. Shale drilling “has lowered the domestic price of natural gas so that the United States now has among the lowest prices in the world,” thus leading to “gains in competitiveness for U.S. manufacturers,” but this has hurt upstream and midstream natural gas operators, the researchers wrote. “While selling natural gas at higher prices on the world market would increase profits for U.S. gas producers, the narrowing of the price gap between the United States and the rest of the world would erode some of the benefits that have accrued to U.S. consumers and manufacturers,” according to the study. The net benefit of higher prices and more investment in U.S. gas production “typically exceeds the negative impacts of higher domestic natural gas prices associated with increased LNG exports.” The report found that an increase in LNG exports from 12 Bcf/d to 20 Bcf/d would be supported largely through increased domestic production rather than a decrease in domestic demand. “The scenario analysis reveals that domestic production continues to increase throughout the time horizon when LNG export volumes can expand to 20 Bcf/d. This contrasts to the case when exports do not exceed 12 Bcf/d and production plateaus and declines slightly in the 2030s. The majority of the increase in LNG exports is accommodated by expanded domestic production rather than reductions in domestic demand, a result that reflects the very elastic long-run supply curve in North America,” the report said. A rise in LNG exports would narrow the spread between Henry Hub and other international benchmarks, the report found, with the spread still “large enough to support the flow of trade” even with exports above 20 Bcf/d. According to the researchers’ models, “the majority of the price movement occurs abroad, not domestically, with the most significant impact occurring in Asia.” Compared to a 12 Bcf/d LNG export scenario, export levels of 20 Bcf/d would increase U.S. GDP by 0.03%, or $7.7 billion in today’s prices, on average from 2026-2040, the report said. Over the same time frame, the increased LNG exports would drive a 4% increase in natural gas production and a 4.3% increase in the Henry Hub price on average compared to 12 Bcf/d export scenario. Responding to the rise of domestic shale production, a number of U.S. LNG export facilities are currently moving toward operation, with Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass in Louisiana -- on track to be the first major U.S. export terminal -- expected to begin shipping cargo in January (see Daily GPI, Dec. 23). Recently, analysts with Bernstein projected a global LNG overcapacity of 20-30 million tonne per annum until 2018, a result of significant new liquefaction capacity coming online in the United States and Australia (see Daily GPI, Dec. 4). But this oversupply is expected “to be followed by a famine,” the analysts said. The DOE LNG study released Monday follows an LNG export study completed last fall by the Energy Information Administration (see Daily GPI, Oct. 29, 2014).   [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
Massive Methane Leak Displaces Thousands in Southern California
CNBC
Matthew DeLuca

Utility officials in Southern California say they have determined the underground location of a pipe leak that has spewed natural gas into the air since late October — but it could be months before they are able to fix the rupture that has driven up the state's methane emissions and chased thousands of families from their homes. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has called the leak an "environmental disaster," and the Los Angeles Unified School District shuttered two area schools for the rest of the year. Politicians and environmentalists in California are particularly sensitive to the toll the leak may take on the environment, especially after Gov. Jerry Brown doubled down earlier this year on the state's efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions.  [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
Tax or fee: What's the impact of the two three-letter words?
Power Source Post Gazette
Laura Legere

Here is a question that has bedeviled Pennsylvania politicians for five years, inspiring strange contortions and dramatic reversals: Is the impact fee levied on the state’s shale gas wells a tax or a fee? Politicians’ and lobbyists’ preference for one three-letter word over the other won’t change how much money a shale gas operator owes for drilling a well. But in a case being considered by the Commonwealth Court, the outcome — and half a million dollars — may depend on the judges’ answer. First, a vocabulary review. Sometime in early 2015 everybody who hates the idea of a natural gas severance tax took to calling Pennsylvania’s alternative — the impact fee — an impact “tax.” “Pennsylvania is the only state that imposes a special impact tax,” the North Fayette industry trade group Marcellus Shale Coalition said in February. “We call it a fee because we had a governor that refused to call it a tax,” Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, said in March. “It’s a tax, OK? Let’s get that on the record for everybody. It is a tax and they are paying a tax.”  [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
Earthquake in Oklahoma: Fracking and the Quake Epidemic (500% Increase!)
Blue Nation Review
John Paul Brammer

I have been an Okie all my life, and let me tell you, the ground didn’t always shake quite this much. The magnitude 4.3 earthquake that hit Oklahoma City early Tuesday morning was strong enough to knock out power for thousands of people, but it’s just one in a rash of quakes in the state. According to Environment & Energy News, Oklahoma had 580 earthquakes in 2014 that registered 3 or more on the Richter scale. That’s more than three earthquakes every two days, three times as many as California, a large state with a history of earthquakes. The statistics represent a 500 percent increase in Oklahoma earthquakes over 2013. This dramatic rise in earthquakes has been linked to hydraulic fracking, a process where millions of gallons of wastewater are pumped underground to break apart rock and release gas. Experts worry that this process is reawakening faults in Oklahoma.   [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
Opponents of forced pooling organizing ahead of start of legislative session
Metro News
Shauna Johnson

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Should forcing property owners to give up their mineral rights for horizontal natural gas drilling developments be allowed in West Virginia? It’s a question state lawmakers are expected to take up again in the form of legislation dealing with forced pooling or lease integration once the 2016 Regular Legislative Session begins on Jan. 13 at the State Capitol. Opponents of the proposal are already organizing. “Just as a citizen of the United States of America, I take offense to the word ‘forced’ on just about anything,” said Basil Keaton, a mineral owner from Raleigh County and a member of the newly formed Southern West Virginia Mineral Owners Coalition. Small tract private landowners in Monroe, Summers, Greenbrier and Raleigh counties, those who largely own up to 200 acres, make up the organization that held its first meeting, earlier this month, to begin planning their efforts to lobby against the proposal. “The property owners pay the taxes. The corporations want to come   [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
Strong Oklahoma earthquake knocks out power to 4,400 homes
Christian Science Monitor
By Staff, Associated Press

EDMOND, OKLA. — A strong earthquake awoke many people in the Oklahoma City area early Tuesday. There are no immediate reports of major damage, but the quake is blamed for power outages affecting thousands of people. The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.3. The quake struck at 5:39 a.m. Tuesday with an epicenter 5 miles east-northeast of Edmond. A smaller earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.4 hit the same area about 10 minutes later.  [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
SoCalGas Pinpoints Leaking Well, but Multi-Month Timetable Remains
Natural Gas Intelligence


The Christmas weekend brought mixed news for Southern California Gas Co.'s (SoCalGas) efforts to contain a two-month-old natural gas well leak at its Aliso Canyon underground storage field 40 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Lawsuits, investigations and ever-louder public rebukes were aimed at the Los Angeles-based Sempra Energy utility just before the holiday weekend (see Daily GPI, Dec. 23). Last Sunday, SoCalGas officials said their first relief well had completed the first three of five phases, reaching a 3,800-foot depth, and was on target to follow the seven-inch diameter pipe in the leaking storage well to its depth of more than 8,500 feet. But the target date for completing the first of two relief wells is still months away, between late February and late March. Plugging and sealing the well will come after that. A SoCalGas spokesperson reiterated that "one of the challenges in drilling the relief well is finding a seven-inch diameter pipe from about 1,500 feet away several thousand feet below ground, while avoiding nearby underground pipe in other wells at the [3,600-acre, 86 Bcf capacity] storage field." The utility's contract drilling crews employed magnetic ranging technology to target the relief well drilling effort. SoCalGas marks its pinpointing of the leaky well pipe as a milestone because it will now allow continued target drilling to interconnect with the critical seven-inch diameter pipe at the base of the well. "The next challenge [in phase four] will be to maintain drilling at the proper distance, orientation and angle to the leaking well to follow it down below 8,000 feet of measured depth," the spokesperson said. It involves drilling for depth while maintaining precise positioning horizontally. Completing the fourth phase may take until the end of March, SoCalGas is estimating in a worst case scenario; best case, end of February. The final phase starts after the target drilling intercepts the leaking well pipe with the infusion of heavy fluids and drilling mud into the bottom of the well to stop the flow of gas upward from its source in the overall reservoir. When the gas flow is stopped, the drilling contractors will then pump cement into the well to permanently seal the leak. Work on a second relief well as a backup continues with grading of a second drilling pad set to be completed early next year and drilling to start by the end of January. That drilling operation, mirroring the work on the primary relief well, also will take three to four months, and the secondary well will operate entirely independent of the primary relief well, SoCalGas officials said.   [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
Shale's survival methods run thin Extremes unable to offset $35 oil
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
DAN MARTAUGH BLOOMBERG NEWS

In 2015, the fracking outfits that dot America's oil-rich plains threw everything they had at $50-a-barrel crude. To cope with the 50 percent price plunge, they laid off thousands of roughnecks, focused their rigs on the biggest gushers only and used cutting-edge technology to squeeze all the oil they could out of every well. Those efforts, to the surprise of many observers, largely succeeded. As of this month, U.S. oil output remained within 4 percent of a 43-year high. The problem? Oil's no longer at $50. It now trades near $35. For an industry that already was pushing its cost-cutting efforts to the limits, the new declines are a devastating blow. These drillers are "not set up to survive oil in the $30s," said R.T. Dukes, a senior upstream analyst for Wood Mackenzie Ltd. in Houston. The Energy Information Administration predicts that companies operating in U.S. shale formations will cut production by a record 570,000 barrels a day in 2016. That's precisely the kind of capitulation that OPEC is seeking as it floods the world with oil, depressing prices and pressuring the world's high-cost producers. It's a high-risk strategy, one whose success will ultimately hinge on whether shale drillers drop out before the financial pain within OPEC nations becomes too great.  [Full Story]

Dec 29, 2015
2015: The Year Methane Leaked into the Headlines
InsideClimate News
Lisa Song

Scientists made significant progress in 2015 measuring methane emissions from the natural gas industry, continuing a years-long quest to quantify the industry's contribution to climate change. What they found adds to a growing body of evidence that methane leaks are sporadic, difficult to predict, and often far larger than existing government estimates. Many of the studies came from the Environmental Defense Fund's $18 million project. Launched in 2011, it aims to measure emissions from every sector of the industry, including production, storage, transmission and natural gas vehicles. The project has drawn praise for its scope, vision and scrupulous methods. It's also been criticized for accepting industry funding and sometimes relying on collaboration with oil and gas operators to obtain measurements.  [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
SoCal Gas Company Pinpoints Location Of Natural Gas Leak In Porter Ranch
CBS Los Angeles


PORTER RANCH (CBSLA.com) — Crews have pinpointed the location of a natural gas leak that has displaced thousands of residents in Porter Ranch, Southern California Gas Company reported Monday.   [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
Breakdown of Energy and Renewable Energy Provisions in Newly Signed Tax Extenders and Government Funding Legislation
Faegre Baker Daniels
Andrew L. Ehrlich John R Kirkwood Andrew R Wheeler David Lyons

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015” (PATH Act) and an omnibus funding bill for fiscal year 2016 known as the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016” (Appropriations Act). These laws contain significant provisions for the energy and renewable energy industries, including important tax extenders which amend and revise various provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (Code). In our update on December 16, 2015, we outlined highlights of the Path Act and the Appropriations Act. This update provides a more detailed discussion of certain energy and renewable energy provisions contained in the legislation.  [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
State loans Newburgh a special foam trailer truck in case of oil-train fires
Times Herald Record
Leonard Sparks

CITY OF NEWBURGH – Newburgh’s City Council approved an agreement with the state to host one of 19 foam trailers being deployed along railroad lines around New York as a defense against fires from train tankers carrying volatile crude oil from North Dakota. A trailer holding two tanks with a combined 660 gallons of foam concentrate is already sitting in the city Fire Department’s main station house on Grand Street. The trailer, on loan from the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, holds enough foam to extinguish a single rail car. Newburgh and other municipalities are able to also use the equipment for non-crude hazardous material spills, Assistant Chief Terry Ahlers said. “The crude oil is just one piece of the entire puzzle that goes up and down our line,” he said. “We have ethanol, chlorine, ammonia, propane – all these other chemicals that are just as bad or worse.” In October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to deploy the foam apparatus along the Hudson River Corridor and along railroad lines between the river and the western part of the state. Kingston, where a CSX locomotive hauling vehicles caught on fire last week, is also hosting one of the trailers. Shipments of crude oil by rail have skyrocketed since 2008. Railroads originated 9,500 carloads that year and over 490,000 carloads in 2014, according to the Association of American Railroads. The increase in shipments, and concern about the safety of cars used to haul crude, have spurred an increase of fears about derailments and explosions near populated areas. On July 6, 2013, a train carrying crude derailed at Lac-Megantic, a town in Quebec, Canada. Oil leaked from the train's cars and ignited, causing explosions and the deaths of 47 people. Deployment of the roughly $77,000 trailers has been one response. In October, Newburgh’s firefighters underwent training on its use. “It’s a great tool to have at our disposable, because it’s not something we could afford on our own,” Ahlers said.   [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
Investor Groups: Fracking Companies Need More Public Disclosure
Public News Services


CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Companies fracking for gas do a poor job of informing the public, according to investor groups. Their just-released scorecard faults Chesapeake Energy for secrecy.   [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
Shale's running out of survival tricks as OPEC ramps up pressure
Chicago Tribune
Dan Murtaugh & Bloomberg

HOUSTON - In 2015, the fracking outfits that dot America's oil-rich plains threw everything they had at $50-a- barrel crude. To cope with the 50 percent price plunge, they laid off thousands of roughnecks, focused their rigs on the biggest gushers only and used cutting-edge technology to squeeze all the oil they could out of every well.   [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
Earthquake reported Saturday in Texas Panhandle
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal


A 2.7 magnitude earthquake was reported Saturday afternoon in the Panhandle northeast of Amarillo.  [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
"Miracle of American Oil": Continental Resources Courted Corporate Media to Sell Oil Exports
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

A document published by the Public Relations Society of America, discovered by DeSmog, reveals that from the onset of its public relations campaign, the oil industry courted mainstream media reporters to help it sell the idea of lifting the ban on crude oil exports to the American public and policymakers. Calling its campaign the “Miracle of American Oil,” the successful PR effort to push for Congress and the White House to lift the oil exports ban was spearheaded by Continental Resources, a company known as the “King of the Bakken” shale oil basin and founded by Harold Hamm. Hamm served as energy advisor to 2012 Republican Party presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
Porter Ranch Gas Leak Crisis: Court Orders 5,000 Evacuations
Breitbart Newa
CHRISS W. STREET

After reaching a settlement with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office over the massive natural gas leak near Porter Ranch, Southern California Gas Company is now under court order to pay up to $8,500 a month per household to evacuate and house about 5,000 residents. Less than a week ago, Breitbart News reported in ‘Jerry Brown: Another Energy Conflict of Interest that the Southern California environmental disaster had ensnared Governor Jerry Brown after it was discovered that his sister, former California State Treasurer Kathleen L. Brown, is an $188,380 a year Board member of Sempra Energy, the Southern California Gas Company’s parent.  [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
The California Ranch That Takes Jerry Brown Off the Grid
Los Angeles Times
ADAM NAGOURNEY

“What’s so special about Jerry Brown’s ranch?” said the headline of a Los Angeles Times editorial that questioned Mr. Brown’s drawing on government resources for personal needs. Mr. Brown defended the request, saying he was simply seeking publicly available information, as any citizen is entitled to do. “I said, ‘Hey, what’s out there?’” Mr. Brown said. “They always try to overdo it for the governor. I have to be very careful what I ask for. Bureaucrats don’t own public information — the people do. And the governor, as one of the people, gets to look at it, too.” It turned out that the land had little potential for fracking or oil drilling — a conclusion that perhaps mirrors how bleak many people find the place.  [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
Shale gas is running out of survival tricks
Business Day live


IN 2015, the fracking outfits that dot America’s oil-rich plains threw everything they had at $50-a-barrel crude. To cope with the 50% price plunge, they laid off thousands of roughnecks, focused their rigs on the biggest gushers only and used cutting-edge technology to squeeze all the oil they could out of every well.  [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
Report: Shale gas surge will export benefits abroad, leaving marginal U.S. gains
FuelFix


An impending flood of U.S. shale gas into the global market stands to lower the price of the heating fuel in Asia by almost 5 percent while marginally raising costs to customers at home, a study commissioned by the U.S. Energy Department shows. Exports of 20 billion cubic feet of U.S. gas by 2025 may cut prices in the Asia-Pacific market by 73 cents per million British thermal units, while increasing U.S. prices by a mere 15 cents in the same period, according to the study authored by Oxford Economics and the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University. Despite the climb in domestic prices, the shipments would be “marginally positive” for the U.S. economy because of bigger profits and more spending on production of the fuel, the report shows.  [Full Story]

Dec 28, 2015
New Aerial Video Shows the Terrifying Hugeness of the Porter Ranch Gas Leak
LA Curbed
Bianca Barragan

The perplexing gas leak at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility near the San Fernando Valley community of Porter Ranch has been spewing an enormous amount of methane gas (and a lovely rotten egg aroma) into the air since late October, at a rate of 110,000 pounds per hour. As the natural disaster has grown, thousands have been relocated and lawsuits have been filed, but the Southern California Gas Company hasn't even been able to find the leak. Well, they've finally narrowed it down a bit—while the company is still "not sure of the exact location of the leak," they "[suspect] it is within a shallow level — within the first several hundred feet of the 8,700-foot well," a spokesperson for the company tells the LA Times. The company's plan to drill a relief well is now underway, reports the Daily News, and they're drilling a second, backup relief well too, in case the first one doesn't do the trick. The main relief well won't be complete until March, though; the backup well will only begin to be drilled in January, with completion taking between three and four months.  [Full Story]

Dec 27, 2015
Decline in fossil fuel industries led business news in 2015
Observer-Reporter
Michael Bradwell

The absence of energy in the area’s economy was palpable well before the end of 2015. By fall, the unemployment rates in Washington and Greene counties, which had reached historic lows earlier in the year, began to rise. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, the jobless rate in Washington County was 5.5 percent in October, up 0.6 percent from 4.9 percent in December 2014. In the same period, Greene’s was up a full two points, from 3.9 percent to 5.9 percent.  [Full Story]

Dec 27, 2015
Top 10 local news stories of 2015: No. 4 — Longmont's fracking ban makes it to state Supreme Court
Times-Call
Karen Antonacci

In December 2012, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association sued Longmont over its voter-instituted ban on hydraulic fracturing. And in December 2015, both parties argued their case in front of the state's highest court.   [Full Story]

Dec 27, 2015
The Year in Disasters: Fracking, Fires and Floods
Texas Observer


In a year marked by nigh-on Biblical flooding, out-of-control wildfires and man-made earthquakes, one thing is clear: we’re turning the environment against us.   [Full Story]

Dec 27, 2015
Appeal notice filed in Columbus court over injection well plan
Athens News


A local anti-fracking group has filed a notice of appeal with Franklin County Common Pleas Court over the decision last spring by the Ohio Oil & Gas Commission to allow a third K&H Partners injection well to be drilled in eastern Athens County.   [Full Story]

Dec 27, 2015
Commentary: State, DEC must block gas pipeline
Times Union
Anne Marie Garti

Although miles ahead of the president on fracking and climate change, Gov. Andrew Cuomo should take a cue from President Barack Obama and "Keystone the Constitution." Cuomo's "Keystone" is the ill-conceived "Constitution" pipeline, a 124-mile long interstate gas pipeline that would run from Pennsylvania, up through the Catskills, to a point west of Albany. If approved, developers would cut 700,000 trees and dig almost 300 trenches through mountain streams and wetlands. It would also set us back on addressing climate change. To protect New York's resources, the Department of Environmental Conservation told Williams and Cabot Oil & Gas, two of the companies proposing the project, to build the pipeline along existing utility corridors and to bore at least six feet under all bodies of water. In keeping with their horrendous environmental records, Williams and Cabot arrogantly brushed these requests aside, insisting that state approval didn't matter.  [Full Story]

Dec 27, 2015
Leaking gas well located in Porter Ranch as relocation requests rise
Los Angeles Daily News
Gregory J. Wilcox

PORTER RANCH >> The crew of experts trying to stop a massive gas leak above Porter Ranch reached a milestone Sunday when it was able to locate the stricken well more than 3,000 feet underground with technology being used via a relief well, a Southern California Gas Co. spokeswoman said. The breakthrough came in the early morning hours at a depth of 3,800 feet by technicians using a process called active magnetic ranging, and they are now preparing to continue the drilling process, spokeswoman Anne Silva said in an email.  [Full Story]

Dec 27, 2015
Inserting Fracking into Town Comprehensive Plans
NO FRACKING WAY
Sue Havenrich

Last month, Candor Town Supervisor Bob Riggs told our town planning board to revise the town’s Comprehensive Plan. Because, as he stated to the local reporter, “… about two years ago we voted on [and passed] the resolution about natural gas development in the town and in my opinion if you read what we approved alongside the comprehensive plan, it’s in conflict. Those two things ought to be consistent.” His solution? If a mostly pro-drilling town board passes a resolution crafted by outsiders (Joint Landowners Coalition) and pushed by board members who have leased their land for gas drilling (conflict of interest), then of course the planning board should change the Comprehensive Plan to align with this “new reality”.  [Full Story]

Dec 27, 2015
More than just a pipeline
Times Union
Editorial

he decision to have the state Department of Environmental Conservation share responsibility for the environmental review of a proposed crude oil pipeline is a smarter approach than having the Thruway Authority do it alone. This is about much more than the Thruway. The review of the Pilgrim Pipeline needs to look beyond the potential environmental impacts the project will have just along its 178-mile route, including 90 miles of the Thruway. It also needs to consider how this project affects controversial crude oil rail traffic, and how it fits into the broader discussion of the future of energy in a state, a nation, and a world increasingly concerned about the effect on the global climate of the burning of fossil fuels. Initially, the Thruway Authority had planned to control the environmental review alone. That would have been like a local planning board putting a landowner in charge of the review of a development on the owner’s property. The Thruway Authority has too many narrow concerns, like balancing its budget and staving off, or at least minimizing, unpopular toll hikes, for the public to have confidence that it would do an impartial review of the scope that this requires.  [Full Story]

Dec 27, 2015
US court ruling could impact Osage county oil, gas leases
Herald Whig
AP

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A federal judge has invalidated an oil and gas lease in Osage County for not including a site-specific environmental assessment, a ruling an attorney says could impact other leases in the county. The decision involves a lawsuit about the National Environmental Policy Act and whether it requires the Bureau of Indian Affairs to consider the potential environmental impact of each specific well site, the Tulsa World reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1Vg57aN ). The BIA has generally granted drilling permits based on an environmental assessment of the county conducted in 1979. But U.S. District Chief Judge Gregory Frizzell ruled that the countywide assessment is outdates and too generic to satisfy the law. "Unlike 1979," the judge wrote, "today, virtually every drilling operation in Osage County involves hydraulic fracturing."  [Full Story]

Dec 27, 2015
Exodus Begins as California Gas Leakage Continues to Spew Methane

Mushhood Khan

Porter Ranch; a small town near California, reeks of a natural gas leakage since October 23, as a storage facility above Los Angeles continues to spew methane. The incident has forced millions out of their homes to evade dangerous fumes that cause sickness. Earlier this week, Los Angeles city attorneys reached a settlement with Southern California Gas (SoCal Gas) to arrange temporary housing for affected residents.  [Full Story]

Dec 27, 2015
Lewes Lib Dems slam MP over fracking vote
Sussex Express


Lewes Liberal Democrats have slammed MP Maria Caulfield for voting in favour of allowing fracking in National Parks.   [Full Story]

Dec 26, 2015
Italian Energy Company Eni Begins Drilling at Egypt’s ‘Supergiant’ Natural Gas Field
Egyptian Streets


Minister of Petroleum Tarek El Molla has announced that drilling at the Zohr natural gas field in the Mediterranean is set to begin on Saturday, state media Al-Ahram reported.   [Full Story]

Dec 26, 2015
Why Engineers Can’t Stop Los Angeles' Enormous Methane Leak
MotherBoard
Melissa Cronin

One of the biggest environmental disasters in US history is happening right now, and you’ve probably never heard of it. An enormous amount of harmful methane gas is currently erupting from an energy facility in Aliso Canyon, California, at a startling rate of 110,000 pounds per hour. The gas, which carries with it the stench of rotting eggs due to the addition of a chemical called mercaptan, has led to the evacuation 1,700 homes so far. Many residents have already filed lawsuits against the company that owns the facility, the Southern California Gas Company. Footage taken on December 17 shows a geyser of methane gas spewing from the Earth, visible by a specialized infrared camera operated by an Earthworks ITC-certified thermographer. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) released the footage last week, calling it “one of the biggest leaks we’ve ever seen reported” and “absolutely uncontained”:  [Full Story]

Dec 25, 2015
Hoping for a Price Surge, Oil Companies Keep Wells in Reserve
The New York Times
Clifford Krauss

BERTHOUD, Colo. — The price of oil keeps dropping. But that didn’t stop a work crew from drilling a well recently on what was once a cornfield, carefully guiding the last sections of 13,000 feet of pipe spiraling into the hard Niobrara shale with a diamond-tipped bit. FROM OUR ADVERTISERS Their well, one of hundreds drilled by Anadarko Petroleum in eastern Colorado’s Wattenberg field this year, could someday gush as many as 800 barrels of crude oil a day. But Anadarko is not planning to produce a drop of crude from the well for at least another year because the price of oil is now so pitifully low.  [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
Fracking 'unlikely' in Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks
The Westmorland Gazette


FEARS that fracking could take place in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales have been played down following a Government vote to allow the controversial process to happen in environmentally sensitive areas.   [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
No more dancing with big oil
Williston Herald
RENÉE JEAN

WILLISTON — Dancing with oil on Main Street may soon be a thing of the past. City commissioners have taken the first step toward clearing clubs that offer live adult entertainment off of Main Street, as well as restricting any establishments that remain from serving alcohol. They approved — as part of a consent agenda — a request for a public hearing on two amendments that will add restrictions to live adult entertainment venues.  [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
Engel urges FERC to assess Algonquin on cyber security
The Journal News
Akiko Matsuda

Rep. Eliot Engel is urging federal agencies to evaluate the ongoing Algonquin natural gas pipeline expansion project in light of the recent revelation of a cyber attack on a local dam. The 2013 security breach at the Bowman Avenue Dam in Rye Brook was first reported on Monday. In response, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., held a news conference calling on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to immediately investigate the vulnerability of critical infrastructure such as power grids and dams.  [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
'Unprecedented' gas leak in California is the climate disaster version of BP's oil spill
Mashable
Andrew Freedman

A massive natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon, California, about 25 miles north of Los Angeles, has been spewing about 62 million standard cubic feet of methane per day into the air since a well casing mysteriously suffered damage on Oct. 23 of this year.   [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
U.S. Natural Gas: What Drives Natural Gas Prices - Let's Look At History
Seeking Alpha


Looking at miserably low natural gas prices back in September, as the industry approached the end of the injection season, few investors could predict that the winter season would bring no relief. Even fewer could anticipate that the Henry Hub spot price would drop below $1.70 per MMBtu by the end of December while New Yorkers would be doing their last-minute holiday shopping on December 24 in 75-degree weather.   [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
Fracking Manchester
New Europe


In 2011, the US became a net exporter of energy, largely as a results of shale technology, for the first time since 1949. Part of the current oil and gas glut of supply, which has seen global prices tumbling, owes itself to a set of technologies that has allowed the exploration of this resource at an unprecedented scale. But, such exploration is controversial.  [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
Environmentalists Call for New Study of Fracking Radiation
Public News Service


BRISTOL, Pa. - Environmentalists say a state study of radiation in waste from gas drilling is inaccurate and incomplete. The Department of Environmental Protection study found little cause for concern about radioactive materials in waste from drilling operations.   [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
Illinois 'fracking' on hold after leases signed
Iowa Farmer Today
Nat Williams

FAIRFIELD — Farmers and other landowners in some Southeast Illinois counties hit the jackpot a few years ago when energy companies gobbled up mineral rights to thousands of acres of land. Today, the dice appear to be coming up snake eyes.   [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
Colorado fracking ballot fight looms in 2016
Post Independent
Ryan Hoffman

Throughout three days of public testimony on Ursa Resources’ proposal to drill within the Battlement Mesa residential boundaries, or Planned Unit Development, residents opposing the plans lobbied Garfield County commissioners to reject the applications, stating that the sites were too close to homes.   [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
No Christmas miracle: Another attempt to stop Porter Ranch gas leak fails
Los Angeles Daily News
Gregory J. Wilcox

Crews trying to staunch the flow of natural gas at a broken well in the Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon Storage Facility above Porter Ranch have suffered another setback, the company said Thursday. “Our multi-day attempts this week to pump fluids down the well in order to stop the flow of gas were unsuccessful. We are conducting additional diagnostics to determine next steps,” company spokesman Michael Mizrahi said in an email. However, efforts to drill a relief well to the east of stricken well site SS 25 near the top of Oak Mountain are progressing, he said.  [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
Abandoned wells and cleanup issues beginning to surface
The Dickinson Press
Amy Dalrymple

BISMARCK — Financial constraints on the oil industry have contributed to more problems with abandoned wells not being properly restored, state regulators say. The North Dakota Industrial Commission has active complaints against four separate companies for issues related to reclamation.  [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
Neighborhood Evacuated After Another Gas Leak in Wilkes-Barre
WNEP
ALICIA NIEVES

WILKES-BARRE -- An issue with a natural gas line forced people from their homes in a section of Wilkes-Barre. Crews shut off power on Hazle and Stanton Streets Thursday morning after reports of gas problems in the area. The sound of gas escaping could be heard in the area. The Wilkes-Barre fire chief and UGI officials tell us the gas leak started when construction crews hit a gas line on Hazle Street.  [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
Environmentalists Call for New Study of Fracking Radiation
Public News Service


BRISTOL, Pa. - Environmentalists say a state study of radiation in waste from gas drilling is inaccurate and incomplete. The Department of Environmental Protection study found little cause for concern about radioactive materials in waste from drilling operations. But Tracy Carluccio, deputy director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, says scientists have known for years, compared with other shale formations, Marcellus shale has high levels of radiation. "The various scientific reports point out that when the Marcellus shale is fracked, that radioactivity, which is naturally occurring in those deep formations, comes back up to the surface," says Carluccio. The Network has published its own report, criticizing the DEP study for inaccurate or incomplete sampling of rock cuttings and waste water, and failing to take action when radiation was detected.  [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
Utility agrees to faster resident relocation amid gas leak
Waltonian
Jamie Simon

Dec 23 Southern California Gas Co and the Los Angeles City Attorney reached an agreement on Wednesday on a plan for the utility to provide temporary housing for residents living near a massive underground natural gas leak, the Los Angeles Times reported. It already has forced the company to relocate thousands of residents who said the stench made them sick.  [Full Story]

Dec 24, 2015
Natural gas now exceeds coal on U.S. power grid
Dallas Morning News
James Osborne

Natural gas has now usurped coal as the nation’s primary fuel for generating electricity. According to a report Thursday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in April less electricity came from coal than natural gas for the first time since at least 1973. It happened again in July and continued four straight months into October - the most recent month for which data is available. The shift in fuel use in the power sector comes as gas prices fall to historic lows, driven down by the flood of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling operations across the Midwest and Texas. Gas was trading at just under $2 per MMBtu on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday, a more than 40 percent drop from a year ago.  [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Omnibus Funding and Tax Extenders Legislation Includes Important Extensions for Renewable Energy Projects
JD Supra
Heather Preston

On December 18, Congress passed and the President signed into law the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016” and the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015,” funding the government and providing a number of significant tax changes, including important extensions to tax incentives available for the development of renewable energy projects. Production Tax Credits Extension for Qualifying Wind Facilities through 2019 The legislation revises the Section 45 ten (10)-year production tax credit (PTC) to provide that qualifying wind facilities for which construction commenced prior to January 1, 2017, will be eligible for the current PTC rate (2.3 cents per kilowatt, adjusted for inflation).  [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Federal Court Gives Blessing to Cross-Border Tar Sands Pipeline Expansion
CounterPunch
Steve Horn

A federal court has ruled that the Enbridge Alberta Clipper (Line 67) cross-border tar sands pipeline expansion project,permitted covertly and behind closed doors by the Obama Administration, got its greenlight in a legal manner. The ruling — made by Michael J. Davis, a President Bill Clinton-appointee — comes just over a year after several environmental groups brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State for what they said was a violation of theNational Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA calls for robust public hearings and public commenting periods for any major proposed energy infrastructure projects, referred to by some as the “Magna Carta of environmental law.”  [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Obama Has Been More Friend Than Foe to Oil Industry
Wall Street Journal
Amy Harder

When President Barack Obama first took office in 2009, he was expected to be an adversary of oil and gas companies, seen as polluters of the environment. He hasn’t been. Last week, Mr. Obama helped the industry achieve its biggest priority of the past two years: the lifting of the 40-year-old ban on oil exports, which he signed into law as part of broader spending and tax legislation. The White House helped negotiate lifting the ban with Congress in exchange for temporary renewal of tax credits for wind and solar industries—energy industries that provide electricity and for the most part don’t directly compete with the oil industry, which provides transportation fuel.  [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Group questions state drilling study
Indiana Gazette


BRISTOL (AP) — An environmental group is questioning a Pennsylvania regulator’s finding that radiation levels in oil and gas industry wastewater and byproducts pose little threat. The state Department of Environmental Protection began a study after questions arose about the radioactivity in the huge volumes of wastewater and solid waste coming out of the ground during the state’s natural gas drilling boom. The study looked at naturally occurring radioactive materials that are brought to the surface through shale gas drilling. It found little potential for additional radon exposure from the materials. The shale gas drilling industry held the report as evidence that radiation in the 450-million-year-old Marcellus formation was being managed effectively. But a review released last week by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network says the study used inaccurate radon measurements and sampling methods. It says the study also improperly tested stream water quality.  [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
SOCAL GAS AGREES TO RELOCATE RESIDENTS AFFECTED BY PORTER RANCH GAS LEAK
abc 7 .com
Anabel Munoz

PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- After reaching an agreement with the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, the Southern California Gas Company is now under a court order to quickly relocate those affected by the gas leak in Porter Ranch. "Southern California Gas has agreed in a court order to expedite the relocation of individuals who seek relocation. There's thousands of people waiting," Chief Deputy City Attorney Jim Clark said. Under the judge's order, people should be relocated within 24 to 72 hours. Attorneys who represent some of the families affected consider the agreement a victory for their clients. Some of those people have already relocated and others said they are still waiting. "It means that on the eve of Christmas people who are struggling with the relocation are going to get some sense that they have recourse," attorney Matthew McNicholas said.  [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Fracking foes unveil 11 proposed ballot initiatives, including a ban
Greeley Tribune
Joey Bunch

DENVER — A Boulder County-based citizens group opposed to fracking filed a package of ballot initiatives this week that would circumvent a compromise sought by Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder. Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development submitted paperwork Tuesday for 11 potential ballot questions to provide mandatory setbacks for wells from homes and schools, more local control on drilling decisions or an outright ban on the process of hydraulic fracturing. Eight of the 11 are variations of proposals for mandatory setbacks. Each of the constitutional amendments would need signatures from 98,492 registered Colorado voters to get on next November’s ballot. A review-and-comment hearing on the language of the ballot questions is set for Jan. 5 at 1:30 p.m. in room 109 at the state Capitol. “If the state will not adequately protect Coloradans and communities, then we, the people of Colorado, must do it, and that requires a change to Colorado law,” Tricia Olson, CREED’s executive director, said in a statement.  [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
High Levels of Toxic Chemical Found in UK Fracking Site
Sputnik News


High levels of a toxic chemical substance have been found in rock samples in an area earmarked for fracking in England. Scientists from the University of Aberdeen's School of Geosciences discovered the element, selenium, in rock samples targeted for shale gas extraction. Fracking involves blasting rocks underground with powerful injections of water, sand and chemicals to fracture the rock in the shale strata to release a gas that can be collected from a well. The British government is behind the controversial technique, while many conservationists, residents and members of the Green Party remain firmly against fracking.   [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Video reveals growing environmental disaster in Los Angeles-area gas leak
Reading Eagle
AP Washington Post

A runaway natural gas leak from a storage facility in the hills above Los Angeles is shaping up as a significant ecological disaster, state officials and experts say, with more than 150 million pounds of methane pouring into the atmosphere so far and no immediate end in sight. The rupture within a massive underground containment system-first detected more than two months ago-is venting gas at a rate of up to 110,000 pounds per hour, California officials confirm. The leak already has forced evacuations of nearby neighborhoods, and officials say pollutants released in the accident could have long-term consequences far beyond the region. Newly obtained infrared video captures a plume of gas-invisible to the naked eye-spouting from a hilltop in the Aliso Canyon area above Burbank, like smoke billowing from a volcano. Besides being an explosive hazard, the methane being released is a powerful greenhouse gas, more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the lower atmosphere. Scientists and environmental experts say the Aliso Canyon leak instantly became the biggest single source of methane emissions in all of California when it began two months ago. The long-term impact of greenhouse gases released since then is the equivalent of emissions from six coal-fired power plants or 7 million automobiles, environmentalists say.   [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Methane Leak Made Visible
Daily Kos
Meteor Blades

Porter Ranch methane leak doesn’t bode well for climate written by EARTHWORKS: 31 9/ 9 Comments 1 Share Tweet RSS REBLOGGED BY Daily Kos TAGS SpotlightonGreenNewsandViews OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES Porter Ranch methane leak doesn’t bode well for climate written by EARTHWORKS: Methane leak at Porter Ranch, California, captured on FLIR. Otherwise invisible methane leak at Porter Ranch captured in infrared photo. “For months now, methane pollution has been billowing from the breached facility into [the community of Porter Ranch northwest of Los Angeles]. Families have reported bad odors resulting in headaches and nosebleeds. Over 1,000 families have already chosen to relocate and the school district recently authorized the two local schools to move out of the area. But no one had actually seen the pollution. When an oil spill happens, you see it. At a coal fired power plant, you can often see the pollution blowing in the wind. But when a natural gas storage facility pollutes, what do you see? Until now, you saw nothing. That’s because much oil and gas air pollution is normally invisible. My colleague Pete Dronkers and I traveled to the community of Porter Ranch to show them the pollution they knew was there, but couldn’t see. [...] Earthworks uses a FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) Gasfinder 320 camera that is specially calibrated to expose otherwise invisible air pollution from oil and gas operations.  [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Exxon's Oil Industry Peers Knew About Climate Dangers in the 1970s, Too
InsideClimate News
Neela Banerjee

Members of an American Petroleum Institute task force on CO2 included scientists from nearly every major oil company, including Exxon, Texaco and Shell.  [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
New infrared video reveals growing environmental disaster in L.A. gas leak
The Washington Post
Joby Warrick

A runaway natural gas leak from a storage facility in the hills above Los Angeles is shaping up as a significant ecological disaster, state officials and experts say, with more than 150 million pounds of methane pouring into the atmosphere so far and no immediate end in sight. The rupture within a massive underground containment system — first detected more than two months ago — is venting gas at a rate of up to 110,000 pounds per hour, California officials confirm. The leak already has forced evacuations of nearby neighborhoods, and officials say pollutants released in the accident could have long-term consequences far beyond the region.  [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Kindhearted Scientist Saves Fawn Trapped In Fracking Pond (VIDEO)
One Green Planet


A kind scientist sprang into action when he heard that a baby dear was stuck inside a fracking pond. The deer couldn’t escape due to the slippery tarp sides and time was quickly running out. The man did what any real animal lover would do, he jumped right in and got the deer out of the water and onto dry land. The fawn was scared but thankfully unharmed.   [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Shale fracking will give uncertain outcome
Andover Advertiser


VERTICAL drilling has an uncertain outcome because of the variability of the porosity and therefore the oil / gas content of the shale even within the same deposit.   [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Colorado voters could weigh a ban on fracking in 2016's elections
9 News


DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - Eleven separate ballot proposals aimed at Colorado's oil and gas industry — including increasing setbacks to 4,000 feet and a statewide ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — have been filed with the state's Legislative Council, the first step to getting on the 2016 ballot.   [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Fracking opponents place holiday spin on protest
Athens News
David DeWitt

Ten anti-fracking carolers sang altered versions of Christmas tunes at the Wayne National Forest headquarters near Nelsonville Monday afternoon, presenting officials with a letter in opposition to opening up area national forest land to fracking activity.   [Full Story]

Dec 23, 2015
Environmental group calls out Pennsylvania drilling study
Bakken.com
Associated Press

BRISTOL, Pa. — An environmental group is calling out a Pennsylvania regulator’s study that found radiation levels in oil and gas industry wastewater and byproducts showed little potential for radiation exposure.   [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2015
Environmental group questions Pennsylvania drilling study
WFMJ


BRISTOL, Pa. (AP) - An environmental group is questioning a Pennsylvania regulator's finding that radiation levels in oil and gas industry wastewater and byproducts pose little threat.   [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2015
Examining the Fracking Power of FERC
Rodale
Maya K. van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper

A fast-growing web of interstate pipelines to service the fracked-shale-gas industry is creeping across the nation, capturing communities in its destructive grip. At the center of the web is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an agency that is imbued with extraordinary power to impact lives and approve environmental damage that will span generations. Once FERC approves a fracked-gas pipeline, it anoints the pipeline company with the power of eminent domain, allowing the pipeline industry to take control of private property, public parks, preserved forests, and preserved lands. Once approved by FERC, pipelines are also exempted from state and local laws for protecting communities’ health, safety, and environment that apply to every other industry, which means the impact of their damaging footprint is far greater than many expect. The construction and operation of pipelines inflict significant harms on the communities they cut through, including reducing crop yields on farms, polluting air and water, bringing down forests, undermining local business, and forcing families to live next to the constant threat of pipeline accidents and explosions.  [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2015
LPG storage opponents write to Cuomo
Finger Lake Times
DAVID L. SHAW

WATKINS GLEN — Gov. Andrew Cuomo received mail from a group of upstate writers Thursday. It wasn’t a Christmas card. A letter from upstate business organizations and coalitions called on him to reject a permit that would allow Crestwood Midstream to store liquid propane and butane in salt caverns on the southwest side of Seneca Lake. The correspondence expressed alarm about the project’s threat to the region’s future as a wine and grape producer and tourism magnet, and condemned the expansion of the fossil fuel industry at a time when clean-energy alternatives should be given priority.  [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2015
Frac sand's instability, ongoing bust cycle presents problems for towns
Winona Daily News
CALEB BROWN River Valley Media Group

As the slump in the frac sand industry continues, communities in western Wisconsin and beyond are concerned about what the uncertain future of the industry will mean for their residents. As the slump in the frac sand industry continues, communities in western Wisconsin and beyond are concerned about what the uncertain future of the industry will mean for their residents. While the industry’s boom over the past six years has been controversial, an economist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has suggested that a decline in sand mining could pose its own challenges. Steve Deller, an agriculture and applied economics professor, said communities need to consider how sand mining fits into their long-term plans and be prepared for the possibility that the mines they host won’t last. “There’s real concern that some of these frac sand companies, particularly the smaller ones, aren’t going to ride (the slump) out,” Deller said. If that happens townships could be left holding the proverbial bag.  [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2015
Judge throws out challenge to fracking on public land in Ohio
Great Lakes Echo
Eric Freedman

A federal judge in Ohio has derailed a suit accusing the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District of defrauding the federal government by allowing hydraulic fracturing on land it acquired from the U.S. Army more than 65 years ago. U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi of Akron ruled that the challengers failed to provide evidence that the conservancy district acted fraudulently when it leased natural gas, oil and mineral rights to energy businesses.  [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2015
Shirtless Hunk Saves Adorable Baby Deer From Fracking Pond
Huffington Post
Lee Moran

A hero scientist came to the rescue when a baby deer got stuck in a fracking pond. The cute creature couldn't climb out of the stored waste water lagoon because it kept slipping on tarpaulin on the side. Video footage shows the unidentified shirtless man swimming after the animal. The deer emits a high-pitched squeak as the man grabs it. "Saving baby deers in a frack pond," the man says as he walks towards the water's edge, before the clip cuts out.  [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2015
Speaking out for accurate information on fracking
phys.org


As Pennsylvania experiences a natural gas boom, the related industry of fracking has generated concerns about environmental and health issues. In fracking (hydraulic fracturing), rock deep in the earth is fractured by a hydraulically pressurized liquid to stimulate natural gas flow from the well.   [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2015
OIL AND GAS: Federal challenges, local control dominate year in litigation
EE News
Ellen M Gilmer

In the scrappy world of oil and gas law, 2015 was a year characterized by marquee legal battles, deadlocked debates and new conflicts that will seep into courtrooms in coming years. Federal challenges, vulnerabilities from the oil price bust and disputes over regulatory authority plastered the dockets for industry lawyers and their environmental counterparts this year. As usual, each side notched significant legal victories to advance its causes, but major questions are still pending in the courts. "I personally think that 2015 was really a monumental year for both litigation and regulatory action," said Arnold & Porter attorney Matthew Douglas, who has been tracking lawsuits across the country. "There was so much that happened." Chief among the big developments was the government's new rule for hydraulic fracturing on public and tribal lands. The rule came after years of drafting and negotiating with industry and environmentalists but was immediately challenged by multiple industry groups and states upon its release in March. Another area steeped in litigation is the long-running debate over "local control" of development. While New Mexico and Ohio courts handed down decisions on the issue this year, the major battleground of Colorado is still at play.  [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2015
Study reveals high levels of toxic selenium in UK shale
The Irish Times
Elaine Edwards

Scientists have found high levels of the toxic element selenium in rock samples from an area in the north of England that has been targeted for shale gas extraction, known as fracking. A team from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Geosciences studied samples from the Bowland Shale, a geological formation in the north of England rich in resources of shale gas. The findings, published in the journal Applied Geochemistry, reveal “similarly high” levels of selenium existing in equivalent rocks in Ireland, the authors said. Prof John Parnell, who led the study, said the significance of the discovery lay in the risk of high levels of the element being released into groundwater during drilling or fracking operations.  [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2015
Next steps for Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline across New York
Albany Business Review


Following a series of forums in the Albany area, Kinder Morgan plans to continue outreach as it pushes forward with plans for a natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. Some protestors on both sides of the issue gathered outside at the final forum on Thursday, according to media reports. That's not unusual for infrastructure projects like the $5 billion Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, said Allen Fore, vice president of public affairs for Kinder Morgan.   [Full Story]

Dec 22, 2015
North American Frack Demand Falls, Cold-Stacking Could Carry Into 2016
EPMag
Velda Addison, Hart Energy

The lower for longer oil-price environment continues to wreak havoc in North American shale plays where hydraulic fracturing demand has plummeted by 47% in the U.S. compared to a year ago, according to an energy consultancy. Reversing a previous prediction for the drilling and completions (D&C) market to start recovering in fourth-quarter 2015, the latest outlook by IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS) shows both activity and the total number of wells fracked falling 15% by year-end in North America. Frack service companies face a harsh 2016 with more equipment expected to be mothballed, more companies folding and a continuing fall in pay. By the end of 2016, the sector may start to see utilization rates revive slightly. Even with a sudden recovery, companies may not be able to dust off their idled equipment quickly.  [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Injection wells spur concerns in Athens County
Bakken.com
Laura Arenschield

COOLVILLE, Ohio — Five months ago, Felicia Mettler had never heard the term injection well. She didn’t know what one was or what it held. She didn’t know what an injection well looked like. She lives with her husband and children in a wood-frame house in a rural part of Athens County near the Hocking River, and she relishes the relative peace of the countryside. But like many of her neighbors, the growing number of injection wells in Athens County has caught her attention. In the first three quarters of 2015, Athens County’s injection wells took more fracking wastewater than wells in any other county in Ohio. It was the first time that Athens County took the most fracking waste. Almost 93 percent of that waste came from out-of-state oil and gas wells, likely in Pennsylvania or West Virginia. And even though oil and gas prices are down, both by the barrel and at the pump — causing a slowdown in drilling across the country — Ohio as a whole is on pace to take about 4.7 million more barrels of fracking waste in 2015 than it did in 2014, a Dispatch analysis of state records shows.  [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Riverkeepers blast state Department of Environmental Protection fracking study
Bucks County Courier Times
Kyle Bagenstose, staff writer

The Bristol-based Delaware Riverkeeper Network is criticizing the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for a report the network says inadequately examined the radioactivity of wastewater created by natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. A report from the Riverkeepers examined the DEP’s “Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactivity Materials Study Report,” which was released in January. The study, which was initiated in 2013, concluded “there is little potential” for radiation exposure to those extracting or using natural gas, or to workers at facilities that treat the waste products created by its removal.  [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Mark Ruffalo: the Renewable energy Race Is On
EcoWatch
Mark Ruffalo

The climate agreement reached in Paris is provoking a flurry of caveats, criticisms and cautions. Many of those criticisms are warranted and there’s a lot of work ahead to make sure countries live up to their promises. But we should not miss a chance to celebrate a historic turning point.  [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Thruway, DEC to review pipeline project jointly
Columbia-Greene Media
Melanie Lekocevic

Columbia-Greene Media COXSACKIE-ATHENS — Despite objections by 58 municipalities, the NYS Thruway Authority and the Department of Environmental Conservation will jointly conduct the review process for the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline project, officials learned Monday. According to Coxsackie Town Supervisor Rick Hanse, he was contacted by Keith Goertz, director of Region 4 of the DEC, notifying the town that both agencies will be involved in the review process.  [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Fracking causes major earthquake in Canada
New Europe


A 4.6 magnitude quake which took place in British Columbia, Canada on August was caused by fracking, Canadian regulators said.  [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Local officials from six states want local control of fracking
Environment America
Press Release

Chatham County, N.C. – As state legislatures and state supreme courts around the country are barring local governments from preventing or even regulating drilling in their communities, Environment America announced broad support for local control of fracking from more than 250 mayors, county commissioners, city councilors, state legislators and other local elected officials from six states.   [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Historic Los Angeles methane leak puts natural gas emissions under scrutiny
UtilityDive
Herman K. Trabish

Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) is working to clean up the biggest known gas leak in U.S. history at one of its natural gas storage facilities in the Los Angeles region.   [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Activist actor James Cromwell arrested in power plant protest
The Guardian
Benjamin Lee

James Cromwell has been arrested after protesting against a power plant in New York State. The Oscar-nominated star of Babe and L.A. Confidential locked himself together with two other protesters after claiming the Competitive Power Ventures facility in Orange County, a short distance to the north of New York City, will cause both dangerous toxins and lower property values in the area.  [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Photos: Grandparents 'Rock to Block' fracking wells in Butler County
WTAE


Grandparents in rocking chairs protest an already approved fracking well saying it's too close to schools in Adams Township, Butler County.  [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
U.S. judge rejects move to speed up ruling in federal fracking rules case
Reuters
AyESHA RASCOE

A U.S. judge has rejected a request from environmentalists to quickly issue a final ruling in a case challenging new federal regulations for hydraulic fracturing on public lands.   [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Fracking under Salisbury Plain a step closer after commons vote
Salisbury Journal
Rebecca Hudson

FRACKING under Salisbury Plain moved a step closer after MPs voted to allow drilling under National Parks and other protected areas last week.   [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Druids visit Chester anti-fracking camp to mark mid winter
Chester Chronicle
David Holmes

An ancient ceremony was enacted at the anti-fracking camp on the outskirts of Chester to mark the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year.   [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Fracking plans are driving an even more damaging ideological agenda
Ecologist
Paul Mobbs

The UK's insistence on opening up the UK to fracking is symptomatic of a deeper malaise, writes Paul Mobbs. Of course we need a change of government, but more than that, we need a deeper, enduring change of the nation's governance if we are ever to effect the transition to sustainable policies on energy and environment. It's time for the UK to become truly democratic.   [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Could humans trigger a MEGA-QUAKE? Intensity of man-made tremors from fracking is on the rise, claims study
Daily Mail
Cheyenne MacDonald

It may only be a matter of time before we cause a 'mega-quake'. This is according to a new study that claims fracking is increasing the intensity of tremors. Pumping millions of gallons of wastewater increases pressure in the basement rock layer, which sits below a sedimentary cover and often contains oil and other exploitable gas reserves.   [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Injection wells spur concerns in Athens County
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

COOLVILLE, Ohio — Five months ago, Felicia Mettler had never heard the term injection well. She didn’t know what one was or what it held. She didn’t know what an injection well looked like.   [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Scientists seek more data on existing water in shale formations
Midwestern Energy News
Kathiann M Kowalski

In hydraulic fracturing, what goes down isn’t always the same as what comes back up. The process, informally known as fracking, pumps millions of gallons of treated water and sand into deep shale formations so oil and natural gas can flow out.   [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Britain flies the flag for hydraulic fracturing in Europe
The National
Angela Jameson

The United Kingdom is the only major European country showing meaningful support for shale gas developments, according to an analyst at GlobalData, an international research and consultancy firm.   [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
UK pushes on with shale gas development as North Sea takes a battering
The National
Angela Jameson

With the Paris climate change summit in the rear-view mirror, big questions remain over how much the United Kingdom will rely on renewable energy in the future and how much it will look to unconventional fossil fuels, or shale gas.   [Full Story]

Dec 21, 2015
Porter Ranch methane leak doesn’t bode well for climate
Earthworks
Hillary Lewis

Have you ever seen methane? What about benzene? Or the chemical the gas company adds to make your stovetop gas stink, mercaptan? I asked residents at a Save Porter Ranch meeting in northwest Los Angeles if they had seen the pollution they knew was in their community, pouring down from the SoCal Gas storage facility on the hill behind town.   [Full Story]

Dec 20, 2015
EPA may change view on hydraulic fracturing's effect on water
Tyler Morning Telegraph
Alex Mills

Under heavy pressure from environmental groups, it appears that the Environmental Protection Agency could be backtracking on its opinion that hydraulic fracturing has not contaminated drinking water.   [Full Story]

Dec 20, 2015
Study indicates fracking unlikely cause of water pollution
Jackson Hole News & Guide


CASPER (AP) — Wyoming environmental officials say that fracking is unlikely to have contaminated drinking water east of Pavillion, disputing a report by the federal government that initially blamed fracking for tainting the water.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2015
Richard Boyd Barrett to present Bill to prohibit fracking TD will present proposals to completely ban hydraulic fracturing for shale gas in State
The Irish Times
Harry McGee

A TD will present proposed legislation to the Dáil on Thursday that would completely ban any hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the State.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2015
Encouraging Fracking, Britain Offers More Than 150 Sites for Exploration
The New York Times
Stanley Reed

LONDON — The British government, in an effort to stoke interest from energy companies in extracting fuels from shale rock, said on Thursday that it was offering licenses for oil and gas exploration on 159 tracts of land. The government said that 75 percent of the licenses being offered related to areas thought to contain shale gas or oil. Most of the blocks are in Northwest and Northeast England, and are believed to have substantial shale potential. “We need to get shale gas moving,” Britain’s energy minister, Andrea Leadsom, said in a statement on Thursday.  [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2015
Fracking research collaborative cuts across state lines
Midwestern Energy News
Douglas J Guth

In mid-October, a trio of shale drilling states — Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — signed an agreement to grow the natural gas industry on a regional level, focusing on job training, infrastructure and other areas.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2015
A Look Back: How We Banned Fracking in New York A look back at the hard work and organizing it took to make the fracking ban in New York a reality.
Food and Water Watch


One year ago today, Food & Water Watch and our grassroots allies did what many said was impossible: New York Governor Cuomo announced his plan to ban fracking in New York. It took years of relentless organizing, but we built a massive grassroots movement powerful enough to beat the oil and gas industry. And through it all, your support made it possible.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2015
Confirmed: 4.6-Magnitude Earthquake in British Columbia Caused by Fracking (Likely World’s Largest)
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

Fluid injection from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, triggered a 4.6-magnitude earthquake that struck northeast British Columbia (BC) over the summer, the Canadian province’s energy regulator has confirmed. It’s the largest fracking-caused earthquake in the province to date, according to The Canadian Press.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2015
Clinton ‘very skeptical’ of Atlantic offshore drilling
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton told South Carolinians that she is skeptical of whether offshore oil and natural gas drilling should be allowed off southeastern states’ coasts.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2015
Fracking adversaries gear up for the next round
BBC News
Richard Anderson

Lancashire County Council versus Downing Street doesn't seem like a fair fight. But these are the two protagonists in the next battle over fracking in the UK. There can only be one winner.   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2015
UK government hands out new fracking licences
The Guardian
David Hellier

Campaigners warn that awarding of 159 licences for onshore oil and gas exploration could open up swaths of the country to controversial practice   [Full Story]

Dec 17, 2015
One year ago: New York announces fracking ban
Democrat & Chronicle
Jo Campbell

With Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the head of a U-shaped series of tables filled with his top commissioners in the Capitol's Red Room, the state's top health and environmental regulators announced their plan to become the first shale-bearing state to ban large-scale hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
Summer earthquake confirmed as largest caused by fracking in B.C.
The Globe and ail
Mark Hume

A 4.6 magnitude earthquake emanating from the gas fields in northeast British Columbia during the summer was caused by hydraulic fracturing and is the largest induced seismic event ever recorded in the province, the BC Oil and Gas Commission has confirmed.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
Shell seeks to preserve U.S. drilling rights in Arctic Ocean
Alaska Dispatch News
Jennifer A Dlouhy Bloomberg

WASHINGTON -- Royal Dutch Shell is fighting to preserve U.S. drilling rights in Arctic waters three months after halting exploration indefinitely there because it failed to find meaningful oil or natural gas deposits.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
South L.A. Neighborhood Residents Sue Oil Company Blamed for Illnesses
Los Angeles Sentinel


A group of people who lived or worked near an urban oil field blamed for causing chronic respiratory illnesses and nosebleeds in a neighborhood near USC sued the company that owned the closed facility on December 10. The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit names as a defendant AllenCo Energy Inc., which in July 2014 agreed to pay a $99,000 penalty for violations of federal environmental laws. The penalty was in addition to the ongoing work identified in an April 2014 consent agreement between AllenCo Energy Inc. and the Environmental Protection Agency. The civil suit alleges negligence, fraud, nuisance, trespass, intentional infliction of emotional distress and strict liability for ultrahazardous activity. The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. AllenCo spokesman Peter Whittingham could not be immediately reached.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
Radioactivity in Marcellus Shale Gas Wells Threaten Public Health and Contaminate Environment
Delaware Riverkeeper
Press Release

Bristol, PA – A new report “Review of PADEP TENORM Study Report” was published today by Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) criticizing the findings in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (PADEP) “Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactivity Materials Study Report” (the TENORM Report) as inaccurate and incomplete and criticizing the agency for not taking needed action. Dr. Marvin Resnikoff analyzed PADEP’s report published in January 2015, examining its methodology and data available publicly and obtained by DRN through the Commonwealth’s Right to Know Law*.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
Britain Pushes to Revive Fracking, Possibly Under National Parks
The New York Times
Stanley Reed

LONDON — The British government is once again trying to revive its flagging effort to extract the country’s natural gas and oil from shale rock. On Wednesday, members of Parliament were expected to vote on legislation that would allow use of the shale-gas-extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing 1,200 meters, or nearly 4,000 feet, beneath the surface of national parks and other protected areas, including World Heritage Sites.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
SNL Energy's 10 most influential people of 2015
SNL
Mark Hand

Maya van Rossum, Delaware Riverkeeper, Delaware Riverkeeper Network Environmental groups are shaping the conversation around energy infrastructure and even the final look of LNG export projects, natural gas pipelines and electric power projects. They are forcing the White House and federal agencies to expand the calculation of climate impacts and put in place measures to protect the environment. Maya van Rossum carries the title of Delaware Riverkeeper. She leads the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, whose mission is to monitor "the river and all of its tributaries for threats and challenges." Some of these threats come in the form of natural gas infrastructure, and van Rossum leads her group's fight on that front. She was part of a rally held in May to demonstrate against the Obama administration, Congress, the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, or TPP, and other forces that environmentalists view as encouraging more fossil fuel development. At the rally, van Rossum linked the TPP to more LNG export terminals and more pipelines.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
LA County declares state of emergency over Porter Ranch gas leak
Los Angeles Daily News
Gregory J. Wilcox

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday declared a state of emergency over a Southern California Gas Co. leaking well site above Porter Ranch that has pumped up to 1,200 tons of methane into the atmosphere. The county declaration, proposed by Supervisor Michael Antonovich, whose district includes the massive Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, paves the way for state and federal assistance and was approved unanimously.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
Lifting Crude Oil Export Ban Locks in Fossil Fuel Dependency for Decades to Come
EcoWatch
Wenonah Hauter

One year ago this week, Gov. Cuomo banned fracking in New York, listening to the growing movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground. So it’s especially disheartening that Congress, through a provision included in the omnibus appropriation, has just lifted the decades-old crude oil export ban—locking us into fossil fuel dependence for decades to come. At a time when we need to be investing in making a rapid transition to 100 percent clean energy, this decision would move us in the opposite direction.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
U.S. on verge of lifting 40-year oil export ban
Yahoo Finance
Timothy Gardner Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States appears on the brink of ending a four-decade ban on most exports of crude oil, which would end a years-long fight brought about by a boom in domestic shale output that contributed to a supply glut and depressed prices.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
How Fracking is Driving Gas Prices Below $2 Per Gallon
EcoWatch
Karl Grossman

Wondering why the price of gasoline has plummeted to around $2 per gallon? It is largely an attempt to quash one of the most odious of energy processes—fracking—by a most odious of energy organizations, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
The huge political horse trade in the budget that will change where the U.S. gets its energy
The Washington Post
Steven Mufson

A deal on energy is playing a key role in the new budget proposal. After 40 years, Democrats are giving up the fight over lifting crude oil export restrictions that have effectively banned most sales of U.S. crude oil abroad. In return, Republicans are dropping their opposition to lengthy extensions of the solar and wind tax credits that will give huge boosts to renewable energy projects. “The spending bill is that rare example of bipartisan compromise that actually yields positive outcomes all around—ending an outdated ban on free trade in oil, plus multi-year support for clean energy that will allow solar and wind to keep growing at a fast clip,” said Jason Bordoff, founding director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
This gas is worse for the climate than carbon dioxide — and it's leaking all over the place
Business Insider
Darren Ankrom

or the world's governments to have a shot at meeting emissions cuts set forth in a new international climate deal agreed to over the weekend, the United States and other countries must rapidly transition away from the dirtiest fossil fuels — and from fossil fuels in general — in a matter of decades. Think of it as undoing in a matter of years what was 150 years in the making — a world economy based upon the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas to light our homes, propel our transportation, and produce the goods we consume.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
Indiana University researchers say fracking fears likely to grow as opponents push for bans
Indiana University
Press Release

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- With voters and courts weighing the future of fracking, a practice used to extract oil and gas, Indiana University researchers say some Americans are apprehensive about the technology and may grow more so.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
UK Parliament backs fracking below national parks
NY Post
Associated Press

LONDON — The British Parliament has approved proposals that would allow fracking for shale gas below national parks, world heritage sites and other designated areas of natural beauty.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
Estero votes for fracking ban
News-Press
Bill Smith

The Estero Village Council voted Wednesday to ban fracking for oil in the village , but the ban faces an uncertain future as the Legislature considers taking away its power to legislate oil companies   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
Ending the U.S. oil export ban gets praised and pilloried
CBS News
ROBERT HENNELLY

U.S. oil and gas producers are hailing the lifting of a 40-year-old ban on American oil exports as a lifeline at a time when their sector is being decimated by sliding prices and oversupply. The move is part of a grand $1.1 trillion budget deal between the Obama White House and the Republican-controlled Congress, which will avoid a government shutdown. However, environmental and consumer groups denounced the move, which they say will result in an dramatic increase of oil use worldwide, an acceleration of global warming and higher prices for U.S. consumers. A final vote is expected by the end of the week.  [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
Firms commonly withholding chemical reports on fracking
Phys.org
Liz Mineo

As the growth of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," transforms more rural landscapes across the heartland into industrial zones, companies are less willing to disclose the chemicals they inject into the ground, Harvard researchers have found. In the race to find new energy sources, fracking ? the process of extracting oil and gas from shale beds ? has emerged as a dominant, if controversial, force, bringing jobs and wealth to many communities but also spreading unease about its environmental impacts, notably water contamination. Companies drill into the Earth and inject at extreme pressure a mix of water, sand, and chemicals to fracture rock and release oil or gas. To address public health concerns, 28 states require companies to report the chemicals they use for the process. Twenty-three of those states direct companies to disclose the information to the national registry FracFocus. But the amount of information withheld has increased the past three years, according to a study by Kate Konschnik, lecturer and director of Harvard Environmental Law Policy Initiative, and Archana Dayalu, a Ph.D. candidate in Graduate School of Arts and Sciences' Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
Meet the Lobbyists and Big Money Interests Pushing to End the Oil Exports Ban
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Congress has introduced four oil export-promoting bills in the past year, all of which received heavy lobbying support from the industry. Language from those bills, as with a bill that opened up expedited hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) permitting on public lands in the defense appropriations bill last year, is inserted into the broader budget bill. So without further ado, meet some of the lobbying and big money interests that propelled these bills forward. “Changing Crude Oil Market Conditions” The push to repeal the oil export ban gained momentum throughout 2014 and culminated with the Obama Administration partially lifting the ban oil condensate. Before that partial repeal, a wholesale ban lift attempt ensued in Congress via H.R. 5814, clunkily named “To adapt to changing crude oil market conditions.” H.R. 5814 mandated that the “United States should remove all restrictions on the export of crude oil, which will provide domestic economic benefits, enhanced energy security, and flexibility in foreign diplomacy.” Companies such as Anadarko Petroleum, Marathon Oil and HollyFrontier Corporation all put their best foot forward in lobbying for the bill. Anadarko paid Robert Hickmott and W. Timothy Locke — both of whom passed through the government-industry revolving door — to do the job.   [Full Story]

Dec 16, 2015
Editorial: DEC must lead on pipeline study
Times Herald Record
Editorial

A proposal to build twin pipelines carrying crude oil and refined petroleum products between Albany and Linden, N.J., has some local communities concerned about the prospect of spills and pollution, especially those affecting water supplies and the Hudson River. Because so much of the proposed route runs along the New York State Thruway, the authority has suggested that it should take the lead in overseeing the environmental review of the plan.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2015
Orange County bans fracking [FLA]
News 13
Julie Gargotta,

ORANGE COUNTY -- Orange County unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday to ban fracking — the controversial process of drilling down into the Earth to extract gas using high-pressured water and chemicals. The resolution had had strong support after it was placed on the Orange County Commission's consent agenda for its meeting. Before commissioners voted, though, they turned to the public for input.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2015
Duke study: Fracking lowers home values by $30K
Triangle Business Journal
Jason deBruyn

Fracking can significantly decrease home values, especially in areas that use well water, according to a new study from Duke University. The study, which was done in Pennsylvania, found that home values decreased by an average of more than $30,000 for homes on well water within about a mile of shale drilling.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2015
The Worst Gas Leak in California’s History Isn’t Close to Being Fixed
TIME Magazine
Charlotte Alter

An environmental crisis unfolds in a Los Angeles suburb MORE Obama Trumpets Paris Climate Deal: ‘We Met The Moment’ Donald Trump Says EPA Water Regulations Are Hurting His Hair RECOMMENDED FOR YOU Los Angeles Schools Will Reopen Wednesday Los Angeles Schools Will Reopen Wednesday Russian Spacecraft Docks At the International Space Station Russian Spacecraft Docks At the International Space Station President Underwood Will Make an Announcement During the GOP Debate Tonight President Underwood Will Make an Announcement During the GOP… The Top 10 most painful professions Promoted The Top 10 most painful professions Recommended by A massive natural gas leak in California is still releasing huge amounts of methane into the environment almost two months after it began, driving over a thousand families from their homes and prompting the FAA to create a no-fly zone over the area. The Aliso Canyon gas storage facility near the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles started leaking massive amounts of methane into the San Fernando Valley area on Oct. 23. The leak occurred in a pipe casing hundreds of feet below the ground, in a storage facility owned by the Southern California Gas Co. that reaches over 8,500 feet below the surface. The gas is leaking into the earth and seeping up through the ground, according to the Los Angeles Times.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2015
San Diego Vows to Move Entirely to Renewable Energy in 20 Years
The New York Times
MATT RICHTEL

Last weekend, representatives of 195 countries reached a landmark accord in Paris to lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. On Tuesday, local leaders in San Diego committed to making a city-size dent in the problem. With a unanimous City Council vote, San Diego, the country’s eighth-largest city, became the largest American municipality to transition to using 100 percent renewable energy, including wind and solar power. In the wake of the Paris accord, environmental groups hailed the move as both substantive and symbolic. Other big cities, including New York and San Francisco, have said they intend to use more renewable energy, but San Diego is the first of them to make the pledge legally binding. Under the ordinance, it has committed to completing its transition and cutting its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035.  [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2015
Murrysville gas drilling debate continues
Trib Live
Gideon Bradshaw

Murrysville planning officials and residents Tuesday discussed a proposed ordinance that would add regulations for unconventional natural gas drilling in the municipality as part of a process that allows Murrysville council to move forward with consideration of the proposal.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2015
Natural-Gas Prices Drop to Lowest Level Since 1999 Demand has been curtailed sharply by warm weather in the U.S., caused by El Niño
Wall Street Journal
Nicole Friedman

Natural-gas prices dropped to the lowest level since 1999, as concerns about weak demand continued to weigh on the market. Futures for January delivery settled down 7.2 cents, or 3.8%, on Tuesday at $1.822 a million British thermal units, the lowest settlement since March 24, 1999.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2015
Workers wary of igniting natural gas as they try to stop leak near Porter Ranch
Los Angeles Times
Tony Barboza

California regulators are taking precautions so that crews do not ignite leaking methane gas as they work to plug a defective well north of Los Angeles, the state’s oil and gas supervisor said Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2015
Oil export ban hypocrisy
The Hill
Bill McKibben

f you were wondering how seriously world leaders took the obligations they imposed on themselves in Paris over the weekend, the early returns would indicate: not very. Barely 48 hours after all the back-patting at the climate conference had ended, word leaked out in Washington that the administration and Congress were preparing to lift the 40-year ban on oil exports, a major gift to the oil industry. How do we know it’s a major gift to the oil industry? In October, the spokesman for Exxon said on the front page of the New York Times, “the sooner this happens the better for us.” And so a city soaked with oil money snapped into action.   [Full Story]

Dec 15, 2015
Top Three Myths Used to Sell the Lifting of the Crude Oil Export Ban, A Climate and Security Disaster In The Making
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA

It can be difficult to win an argument when you have no viable position. However, when you are the oil industry, you can just buy the win. Which is what the oil industry is poised to do regarding the lifting of the crude oil export ban. The GOP is currently holding up Congressional action needed to avoid a government shutdown by demanding inclusion of the lifting of the crude oil export ban in the government spending package. Here are some of the disingenuous arguments the oil industry has paid to have members of Congress make over the past two years. Crude Exports Are Bad News for the American People, But Industry Flips This  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Renewable Energy After COP21: Nine issues for climate leaders to think about on the journey home
Post Carbon Institute
Richard Heinberg

COP21 in Paris is over. Now it’s back to the hard work of fighting for, and implementing, the energy transition. We all know that the transition away from fossil fuels is key to maintaining a livable planet. Several organizations have formulated proposals for transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy; some of those proposals focus on the national level, some the state level, while a few look at the global challenge. David Fridley (staff scientist of the energy analysis program at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory) and I have been working for the past few months to analyze and assess many of those proposals, and to dig deeper into energy transition issues—particularly how our use of energy will need to adapt in a ~100 percent renewable future. We have a book in the works, titled Our Renewable Future, that examines the adjustments society will have to make in the transition to new energy sources. We started this project with some general understanding of the likely constraints and opportunities in this transition; nevertheless, researching and writing Our Renewable Future has been a journey of discovery. Along the way, we identified not only technical issues requiring more attention, but also important implications for advocacy and policy. What follows is a short summary—tailored mostly to the United States—of what we’ve learned, along with some recommendations. 1. We really need a plan; no, lots of them  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Spending bill could disrupt efforts to put new rules on gas drilling, emissions
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Equipment at a conventional well site. A bill would prohibit the state Department of Environmental Protection from finalizing updated rules for Pennsylvania’s traditional oil and gas drilling industry and require the agency to begin the rule-making process again.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Murkowski praises Kaine's 'thorough review' of ANWR bill
E& E Publishing
Corbin Hiar

Murkowski said that a lawmaker "who happens to hail from the East Coast" met with her before deciding whether or not to co-sponsor a symbolic bill (S. 2341) that seeks to formally designate the oil-rich coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Cut global emissions by cutting fossil-fuel subsidies
The Washington Post
Editorial

WORLD LEADERS left Paris over the weekend promising to cut global greenhouse emissions significantly. Fulfilling the promise will not be easy. But one step should be. Many of the nearly 200 countries that took the pledge in Paris perversely encourage the use of the fossil fuels that are changing the Earth’s atmosphere. For the sake of their budgets and the climate, they should phase out their expensive and harmful fossil-fuel subsidies. In the United States, the debate on fossil-fuel subsidies centers on tax breaks for drillers, which cost the Treasury about $4 billion annually. These are unconscionably wasteful, and Congress should eliminate them immediately. Other countries should follow suit.  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Energy industry worried EPA could reverse fracking study to show water harm
Washington Examiner
JOHN SICILIANO

The oil and gas industry fears the Environmental Protection Agency may issue a new report that says fracking contaminates U.S. water supplies and is urging the agency to stick with the science of its original findings that shows no such risk exists. The Independent Petroleum Association of America sent a letter Monday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy pressing her not to give in to anti-fracking special interest groups that have been pressuring the agency to go against scientific precedent with a finding that fossil fuel production from shale poses systemic risks to the nation's water supply.  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
The End of Fossil Fuels is Near
EcoWatch
Kumi Naidoo

The wheel of climate action turns slowly, but in Paris it has turned. There’s much in this deal that frustrates and disappoints me, but it still puts the fossil fuel industry squarely on the wrong side of history.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
'Fracking DOES cause earthquakes': Gas firms 'created world's worst tremor zone'
Express
Jon Austin

Before the fracking industry moved in residents were putting up with two mild magnitude three tremors a year. But since the Oklahoma fracking boom of 2009, that figure has risen to TWO earthquakes a DAY - and rising. As the tracking industry activity increases, residents say so do the earthquakes in both strength and frequency.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Energy industry worried EPA could reverse fracking study to show water harm
Washington Examiner
John Siciliano

The oil and gas industry fears the Environmental Protection Agency may issue a new report that says fracking contaminates U.S. water supplies and is urging the agency to stick with the science of its original findings that shows no such risk exists.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Orange County Commission consider fracking ban Tuesday
Orlando Weekly
Monivette Cordeiro

As legislators debate hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, at the state level, Orange County Commissioners are considering a local ban on the controversial drilling practice at their Tuesday meeting.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Anti-fracking protest trial judge accused of 'bias'
Grimsby Telegraph


THERE were tense and unpleasant scenes during the protester trial when the defence advocate accused the deputy district judge of "bias" – and he branded her "impertinent". Helen White, representing anti-fracking protester Stephen Whiteley, tried to get the trial halted part way through because of the way she claimed the defence was being treated.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
After Paris, Our Work Continues It’s past time to transition to 100% clean, renewable energy for our future. Here’s our plan.
Food and Water Watch
Wenonah Hauter

After a week in Paris pushing for real solutions to climate change, I'm energized with new hope for our movement. At this critical moment, Food & Water Watch is committing to expand our work on renewable energy.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Climate deal: the pistol has fired, so why aren’t we running?
The Guardian
Bill McKibben

With the climate talks in Paris now over, the world has set itself a serious goal: limit temperature rise to 1.5C. Or failing that, 2C. Hitting those targets is absolutely necessary: even the one-degree rise that we’ve already seen is wreaking havoc on everything from ice caps to ocean chemistry. But meeting it won’t be easy, given that we’re currently on track for between 4C and 5C. Our only hope is to decisively pick up the pace.   [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Pipeline needs to hear 'no'
Times Union
Joan Tubridy

It's time for politicians to wake up to what New Yorkers who have opposed the "Constitution" and Northeast Energy Direct pipelines already know. Regardless of what name you use, it's the same pipeline. It's the same fight. Both projects threaten to forever harm New York's environment by ripping through forests, streams, fields, and farms of the northern Catskills. Both threaten to victimize the same landowners, using eminent domain granted by a rubber-stamp agency — the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — to take private property for corporate profit. Both threaten to ruin rural communities with air pollution and industrialization. And both threaten our planet with climate catastrophe, feeding a growing addiction to fossil fuels at home and abroad while undermining the necessary shift to renewables. Indeed, through most of New York, the biggest difference between the two pipelines is the distance between them — about 50 feet.  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
DRBC Unanimously Adopts 'One Process/One Permit' Program
Natural Gas Intelligence
Charlie Passut

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted unanimously to adopt its proposed "One Process/One Permit" (OPOP) program, a measure designed to promote interagency cooperation between it and its four member states, but which could also one day have an impact on natural gas development in the basin, should it move forward. Last week the commission agreed to amend the rules section of its administrative manual to include the OPOP program, which was first suggested last February (see Shale Daily, Feb. 27). The final rule will become effective 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register.  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Low Natural Gas Prices Squeeze Industry and Fell a C.E.O.
The New York Times
CLIFFORD KRAUSS

HOUSTON — Plummeting oil and natural gas prices have whipsawed the energy industry, forcing cancellations of billions of dollars of projects, late payments on loans, and over a quarter of a million layoffs worldwide. On Monday, with domestic gas prices hitting their lowest level since 2001, Cubic Energy, a company that produces natural gas and oil, became the latest of several dozen producers to file for bankruptcy protection this year. Even a company the size of Chesapeake Energy, one of the nation’s biggest producers, is struggling to reduce its $11.6 billion debt load.  [Full Story]

Dec 14, 2015
Pentagon to lose emissions exemption under Paris climate deal
The Guardian
Arthur Neslen

Armed forces around the world - including US military - will no longer be automatically excluded from including their carbon emissions under national reductions targets  [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2015
12 Key Takeaways From the Paris Climate Talks
EcoWatch
Natural Resources Defense Council

For the first time in history, the world is united to cut the carbon pollution that’s driving climate change by moving beyond the dirty fossil fuels of the past to the cleaner, smarter energy options that can power our future without imperiling the planet.   [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2015
Fracking decline slows business in Marcellus Shale towns
The Morning Call
David Conti

John Bruno dresses the industry that revitalized his Waynesburg business district. Mickey's Men's Store, which Bruno's father opened in 1967 on High Street, sells the Carhartt attire, Carolina work boots and flame-retardant clothing that serve as standard wardrobe for the shale gas workers who changed the face of Greene and Washington counties during the past decade. Those workers have kept Bruno in business as other local clothiers closed. But there are fewer of them today, and the last menswear store in a downtown that once housed five of them is feeling the pinch of a drilling slowdown that began nearly a year ago as natural gas prices started tumbling. "It's definitely starting to hurt our business," Bruno said, noting sales are off by a third from a year ago. "There are still companies we do business with; they're just not bringing as many folks in."  [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2015
Pennsylvania sues fracking company on behalf of 4,000 landowners
Philly Voice
MICHAEL TANENBAUM

Lawsuit claims Chesapeake Energy Corps. cheated Pennsylvania landowners out of millions through deceptive business practices Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma-based gas drilling company Chesapeake Energy Corps. claiming that defendant had landowners sign "deceptive" leases that cheated them out of millions of dollars in royalty checks. The lawsuit, filed last Wednesday in Bradford County, seeks tens of millions of dollars in restitution for approximately 4,000 landowners in addition to civil penalties, according to ABC News.  [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2015
A Climate Deal, 6 Fateful Years in the Making
The New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT

PARIS — It took almost two weeks for negotiators from 195 countries to finally pass the landmark climate accord this weekend after several espresso-fueled all-nighters and long, passionate debates over the meaning of a single word, such as “shall.” But the story of how the deal came together started long before that — in December 2009, with the failure of the last such summit meeting, in Copenhagen. That gathering was, in hindsight, a case study in how not to do a deal. The hosts of the event had set a stern tone, with concrete barricades, concertina wire, and steel cages to house protesters who stepped out of line.  [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2015
Climate deal: the pistol has fired, so why aren’t we running?
The Guardian
Bill McKibben

ith the climate talks in Paris now over, the world has set itself a serious goal: limit temperature rise to 1.5C. Or failing that, 2C. Hitting those targets is absolutely necessary: even the one-degree rise that we’ve already seen is wreaking havoc on everything from ice caps to ocean chemistry. But meeting it won’t be easy, given that we’re currently on track for between 4C and 5C. Our only hope is to decisively pick up the pace. In fact, pace is now the key word for climate. Not where we’re going, but how fast we’re going there. Pace – velocity, speed, rate, momentum, tempo. That’s what matters from here on in. We know where we’re going now; no one can doubt that the fossil fuel age has finally begun to wane, and that the sun is now shining on, well, solar. But the question, the only important question, is: how fast.  [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2015
Big Oil, Make Way for Big Solar. The Winners and Losers in Paris
Bloomberg Business
Matthew Campbell

Global governments and companies are counting the costs and benefits from the agreement, which calls for wholesale transformations of energy, transportation, and dozens of other lines of business. Fossil-fuel producers and countries that depend on them face massive, costly disruption. Players in up-and-coming industries like renewable power and energy efficiency are looking at an unprecedented opportunity.   [Full Story]

Dec 13, 2015
Land owners deny access to pipeline company
The Salem News
Christian M. Wade

BOSTON — Harvey and Diane Elefson remember when bulldozers carved a path through the woods behind their Peabody home eight years ago to install a natural gas pipeline. The heavy equipment ripped out trees and trampled state-protected wetlands.  [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2015
Company files formal application for proposed natural gas pipeline across northern Ohio
Daily Journal
Mark Gillespie

CLEVELAND — The company planning to build a $2 billion gas pipeline across northern Ohio has filed its formal application for federal approval, citing a projected surge in production in eastern Ohio and surrounding states and an expected demand for gas from electric utility companies for why the pipeline is needed.   [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2015
Nations Approve Historic Climate Treaty, but Road Ahead Not Easy
InsideClimate News
JOHN H. CUSHMAN JR.

Under the Paris Agreement there should be no net addition of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere sometime in the second half of this century.  [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2015
Paris climate deal: key points at a glance
The Guardian
Adam Vaughan

The goal of 1.5C is a big leap below the 2C agreed six years ago in Copenhagen. Here’s what the agreement means for global emissions and the future of the planet  [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2015
Paris climate deal: nearly 200 nations sign in end of fossil fuel era
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg, John Vidal, Lenore Taylor, Adam Vaughan and Fiona Harvey

Governments have signalled an end to the fossil fuel era, committing for the first time to a universal agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change at crunch UN talks in Paris. After 20 years of fraught meetings, including the past two weeks spent in an exhibition hall on the outskirts of Paris, negotiators from nearly 200 countries signed on to a deal on Saturday evening that set ambitious goals to limit temperature rise and to hold governments to account for reaching those targets.   [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2015
Breaking: World Leaders Just Agreed to a Landmark Deal to Fight Global Warming Will the Paris Agreement be enough?
Mother Jones
Tim McDonnell and James West

There was relief and celebration in Paris Saturday evening, as officials from more than 190 countries swept aside monumental differences and agreed to an unprecedented global deal to tackle climate change. The historic accord, known as the Paris Agreement, includes emissions-slashing commitments from individual countries and promises to help poorer nations adapt to the damaging effects of a warming world. Negotiators also agreed on measures to revise, strengthen, and scrutinize countries' contributions going forward.  [Full Story]

Dec 12, 2015
James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks 'a fraud'
The Guardian
Oliver Milman

The former Nasa scientist criticizes the talks, intended to reach a new global deal on cutting carbon emissions beyond 2020, as ‘no action, just promises’  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2015
We Are Sacrifice Zones: Native Leader Says Toxic North Dakota Fracking Fuels Violence Against Women
Truthout
Amy Goodman

"What we're dealing with is a death by a thousand cuts," says North Dakota indigenous leader Kandi Mossett of the impact of the booming fracking and oil-drilling industry in her home state. "We've had violence against women increase by 168 percent, particularly in the area of rape," Mossett says. "We have 14-, 15- and 16-year-old girls that are willingly going into man camps [for oil workers] and selling themselves." She says the full impact of toxins from oil drilling won't be felt for another 20 years. "I'm so worried that at this COP21 my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter won't have a say, but she will be experiencing the worst impacts. It just doesn't make any sense to me that this is the 21st COPand we are considered sacrifice zones in my community." TRANSCRIPT  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2015
Major Fracking Company Accused Of Cheating Thousands In Rural Pennsylvania
ThinkProgress
ALEJANDRO DAVILA FRAGOSO

If allegations put forward this week are true, one of the nation’s largest fracking companies may have to pay millions in Pennsylvania for underpaying royalties to landowners. Chesapeake Energy Corporation and others connected with their operations in Pennsylvania allegedly defrauded thousands of landowners, including seniors, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane charged in a lawsuit filed Wednesday. The attorney general is seeking restitution for at least 4,000 victims, mostly from northeastern counties of Bradford, Sullivan, and Cayuga — rural communities located on top of the Marcellus Shale, the largest producing shale gas basin in the United States. The number of affected parties could grow as many more victims are likely to come forward, said Jeffrey Johnson, deputy press secretary for the state attorney general.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2015
Obama administration could appeal fracking rule injunction
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Obama administration attorneys are opening the door to appealing a Wyoming federal court decision that temporarily blocked a new regulation on hydraulic fracturing on federal land. Justice Department attorneys representing the Interior Department filed a “notice of appeal” late Thursday of the appeal in the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, based in Denver. An Interior Department spokeswoman said the filing is only a “protective” measure to reserve the agency’s right to file a formal appeal at a later date. But officials have not yet decided whether to do that, the spokeswoman said.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2015
‘A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking,’ by Adam Briggle
The New York Times
Amy Leach

Because he wanted to see the workings of an actual frack site, Adam Briggle rode his bicycle up to Interstate 35, in Denton, Tex., ran across one side of the highway and lost his shoe in the mud in the median, between cars zooming north and south. Briggle had never even heard of fracking when he was hired as a professor of philosophy at the University of North Texas, in 2009. But with around 250 gas wells drilled within Denton’s city limits, the subject was thrust upon his consciousness. A member of the City Council asked him to form a citizens’ advisory group for gas-well regulations, and Briggle became a field philosopher, running across highways, helping collect air samples from backyards, consulting not only Mary Shelley and the theologian Duns Scotus to help guide him along “the arduous trail that is thinking” but also scientists, engineers, mayors, neighbors and his daughter, Lulu, a 2-year-old rogue impervious to propaganda.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2015
Oil Groups Paid $10 Million, And All They Got Was A 20-Year Pass To Frack This County
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

Kern County, California, where 95 percent of the state’s fracking takes place, is getting sued over a recent decision that did away with public notice and environmental review for oil and gas permits for the next 20 years. A coalition of environmental and social justice groups filed the complaint Thursday, saying that the new zoning ordinance, which went into effect this week, is inconsistent with California’s environmental review laws. “Proposed and paid for by the oil industry, the [new regulations] purport to authorize the development of up to 3,647 new oil and gas wells and extensive associated construction and operational activities, each year for 20 to 25 or more years, without any further, site-specific assessment of those activities’ health and other environmental impacts,” the complaint says. “The ordinance jeopardizes the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of people across Kern County.”   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2015
Gas Leak Into Porter Ranch to Be Declared Local State of Emergency
NBC News Los Angeles
Patrick Healy

As a step toward receiving outside government assistance in dealing with a massive natural gas leak above Porter Ranch, Los Angeles County will proclaim a local state of emergency, Supervisor Mike Antonovich said Wednesday. "This action will ask for state and federal assistance to provide for our residents in the Porter Ranch area with additional air monitoring and help with efforts to cap the well," Antonovich said in a written statement.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2015
Homeowner to gas firm: Get off my land
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

A Delaware County property owner said Friday he succeeded in stopping Constitution Pipeline workers from entering his land with heavy equipment to clear numerous trees — but only after he enlisted the help of federal and state regulators. Pino Fuduli said a pipeline land surveyor told him several times that his Davenport tract would be entered Friday for the work. But the company, which still lacks required state water permits before the $700 million project can be commenced, abandoned the plan at the insistence of the regulators, he added.  [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2015
House Members Applaud Attorney General Lawsuit Regarding Illegal Post-Production Costs on Natural Gas Drilling
Northcentral PA


HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Antitrust Section has filed suit in Bradford County Court of Common Pleas seeking restitution, civil penalties and legal costs from Chesapeake Energy Corporation, alleging underpayment of landowner royalties associated with natural gas drilling. This is being supported by Reps. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming/Union), Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne), Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Potter/Tioga), Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) and Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming).   [Full Story]

Dec 11, 2015
Community Solar Is Going To Explode Next Year
Fortune Magazine
Katie Fehrenbacher

Who says you need to be a home owner to enjoy solar panels? Now you can buy solar with your neighbors. If you’re one of the many who’ve missed the rooftop solar panel revolution—renters and home owners who don’t have solar-friendly roofs—here’s a bit of good news. Next year will be a breakout year for so-called “community solar,” which involves customers buying electricity from shared solar panel projects. Power generated by U.S. community solar projects will more than double from an estimated 181.1 megawatts in 2015, to a predicted 465 megawatts in 2016, according to GTM Research. That represents only a small slice of the more than 4,000 megawatts of solar panels installed on U.S. rooftops and on large plots of land so far in 2015.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2015
The Paris Climate Accords Will Cause the Planet to Burn
CounterPunch
ALFREDO ACEDO

Paris. The Paris agreement, according to Pablo Solón, a veteran of climate negotiations, “will be an agreement that will burn up the planet.” The result of the COP21 (Twenty-first United Nations Climate Change Conference), which began on Monday, Nov. 30 and will end on Dec. 11, “can already be announced, because we already know what it will be,” he said in an interview with the Americas Program. “Here in Paris, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is not being negiotiated under criteria of climate justice or climate science. All that’s being done is taking note of the promises of each country and adding them up,” said the former Bolivian ambassador.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2015
'Backdoor' amendment in Pa. fiscal code guts regulations, gives millions to new natural gas fund
The Patriot News
Candy Woodall

The state Senate on Thursday passed the fiscal code with some new language that environmentalists say not only guts regulations governing the oil and gas industry, but also subsidizes it. The fiscal code, which tells lawmakers how to spend money in the general fund, takes $12 million from the Alternative Energy Investment Act and puts it into a new Natural Gas Infrastructure Development Fund, delays implementation of the federal Clean Power Plan and handcuffs new regulations on oil and gas operators.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2015
Billions of barrels of oil vanish in a puff of accounting smoke
FuelFix


In an instant, Chesapeake Energy Corp. will erase the equivalent of 1.1 billion barrels of oil from its books. Across the American shale patch, companies are being forced to square their reported oil reserves with hard economic reality. After lobbying for rules that let them claim their vast underground potential at the start of the boom, they must now acknowledge what their investors already know: many prospective wells would lose money with oil hovering below $40 a barrel. Companies such as Chesapeake, founded by fracking pioneer Aubrey McClendon, pushed the Securities and Exchange Commission for an accounting change in 2009 that made it easier to claim reserves from wells that wouldn’t be drilled for years. Inventories almost doubled and investors poured money into the shale boom, enticed by near-bottomless prospects.  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2015
Energy Companies Want Judge to Dismiss Historic Lawsuit Over Oklahoma Earthquakes
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

Energy companies are trying to legally distance themselves from the fracking-linked earthquakes currently rattling Oklahoma. According to a new report from the Associated Press, Lincoln County District Judge Cynthia Ferrell Ashwood is hearing two energy companies’ motion to dismiss a major liability lawsuit.   [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2015
Thousands defy Paris protest ban to call for climate action – in pictures
The Guardian


Despite a state of emergency ban on demonstrations following attacks in the French capital, people from around the world staged colourful and creative protests to call for climate justice and a strong global deal  [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2015
Pipeline foes: Kinder Morgan financial woes a bad sign for Northeast Energy Direct
The Republican
Mary Serreze

Pipeline opponents this week charged that Kinder Morgan is in "financial freefall," and called into question the company's ability to safely build Northeast Energy Direct, which would transport natural gas from Pennsylvania through New York and New England. A group of 15 New Hampshire towns issued a statement Thursday saying Kinder Morgan is more than $40 billion in debt with "an unmanageable debt to equity ratio." Kinder Morgan's stock has plummeted over the past year, and the company on Tuesday slashed dividends to its shareholders, said the New Hampshire Municipal Pipeline Coalition.   [Full Story]

Dec 10, 2015
Colorado citizens can now report health problems from oil & gas
High Country News
Jodi Peterson

Colorado has been something of a pioneer in terms of tracking health risks related to oil and gas production. In 2010, it was the first in the nation to perform a detailed study known as a “health impact assessment” on proposed natural gas development.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2015
Advocates seek pipeline health study Advocates say they fear methane releases, explosions, diseases
Albany Times Union
Casey Seiler

Amid chants of "health and safety first," a rally Wednesday on the Capitol's Western Staircase attracted roughly 150 advocates and elected officials seeking a state-sponsored study on the potential health impacts of natural gas pipelines.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2015
Bothwell company fined over drilling of gas well
CTV News


Changes in the drilling of a gas well without approval has led to a $6,000 fine for Bothwell-based Den-Mar Brines Limited. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the company failed to notify them in writing of changes to the well's drilling program.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2015
Companies asking Oklahoma judge to toss earthquake lawsuit
Fuel Fix
Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Two energy companies are asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit by an Oklahoma woman who claims she was injured in an earthquake caused by the injection of wastewater deep into the ground — a method used for decades by the industry to dispose of the chemical-laced byproduct of oil and gas production.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2015
AG Kane sues gas producer for 'deceptive practices' in fracking industry
PennLive
Candy Woodall

The Pennsylvania attorney general is suing one of the country's largest natural gas producers, claiming it cheated thousands of landowners out of royalty payments. Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. pulled "a bait-and-switch," according to Attorney General Kathleen Kane, and deceived landowners as it rushed to secure land during the Marcellus Shale boom.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2015
Led By White House, Democrats Are Looking to Give Big Oil A Major Win During Climate Talks
Hill Heat
Brad Johnson

In a paywalled article at Politico Pro, reporter Elana Schor describes how the Democratic effort to cut a deal to lift the decades-long crude oil export ban is being quietly directed by the White House. The administration has quietly walked back its October veto threat against this top oil-industry priority, despite the global attention on climate change during the Paris climate talks. Remarkably, even climate champion Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) indicated her willingness to cut a deal that would rejuvenate the tar-sands and Bakken-shale industry, telling Schor, “I’ve heard environmentalists say this is a great opportunity; others say it’s not.” Schor’s story did not make mention of which environmental groups are on which side. The Sierra Club has been leading the fight to ensure the ban stands, whereas the National Wildlife Federation has been pushing for a deal in order to achieve some of its land-conservation goals. The carbon pollution caused by lifting the ban on crude oil exports, depending on future oil prices, could be equivalent to the pollution from 42 new coal plants.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2015
U.S. Lawmakers Press Oil Companies on What They Knew About Climate Change
InsideClimate News
David Hasemyer

Letter to the CEOs of six of the country's largest fossil fuel companies seeks information on the firms' climate change history and policy positions.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2015
House Votes To Ban Tiny Plastic Microbeads That Are Polluting Waterways
Climate Progress
Alejandro Davila Fragoso

Dangerous microbeads found in cosmetics and hygiene products like toothpaste and body wash could soon be a thing of the past in the United States. The House of Representatives voted this week to ban these tiny plastics, leaving it now up to the Senate to approve a federal measure. “It is our responsibility to implement a nationwide ban on plastic microbeads, and spur a transition to non-synthetic alternatives,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) in a statement. Pallone introduced the bill in March. “House passage is an important step towards putting a stop to this unnecessary plastic pollution, and I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to see this much-needed legislation become law,” he said. The House passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 by voice vote Monday, legislation which prohibits the sale or distribution of cosmetics containing microbeads. These tiny particles can be found in lotions, makeup, soap, toothpaste, and other cosmetics, as they hold exfoliating properties. But microbeads have in the past few years come under fire from politicians and environmentalists alike. Research has found that microbeads can pollute waterways after they are washed down the drain and into rivers and oceans, affecting aquatic life.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2015
Why Have So Few Utilities Joined The White House’s Climate Change Pledge?
Climate Progress
Alejandro Davila Fragoso

If the American Business Act on Climate Pledge contains companies “voicing support for a strong Paris outcome” and “demonstrating a commitment to climate action,” as the White House describes the participants, then few of the largest private electric utilities are part of that explicit effort. Out of the 154 companies that have signed on to the act the Obama administration unveiled over the summer, only two signatories — P. G. & E and NRG Energy — belong to the larger top 20 utilities, a group that represents as much as $468 billion, according to some figures, and a service area encompassing most of the United States. Last week, the White House circulated the newest additions to the act, showing myriad industries jumping on board and pledging detailed commitments. Online retail giant Amazon, car manufacturer BMW of North America, healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente, and 70 others promised to reduced emissions and water usage, become more energy efficient, and more.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2015
Pennsylvania sues gas driller over 'deceptive' leases
Philly.com
Michael Rubinkam

Pennsylvania's attorney general sued one of the nation's largest producers of natural gas on Wednesday over claims it cheated at least 4,000 landowners who signed drilling leases with the company.   [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2015
Pa. AG sues gas driller over ‘deceptive’ leases
Star Gazette
Michael Rubinkam

Pennsylvania’s attorney general sued one of the nation’s largest producers of natural gas on Wednesday over claims it cheated at least 4,000 landowners who signed drilling leases with the company. Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. tricked landowners into signing industry-friendly leases in the early years of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom and then improperly deducted post-production expenses from their royalty checks, according to the lawsuit filed in Bradford County. Chesapeake, the nation’s No. 2 gas producer, engaged in a “bait and switch scheme” with landowners, said the lawsuit, which seeks tens of millions of dollars in restitution as well as civil penalties.  [Full Story]

Dec 9, 2015
Congress Is Close To A Deal That Could Flood Global Markets With American Oil
Huffington Post
Laura Barron-Lopez

Republicans are trying to tie a measure ending the crude oil export embargo to a big year-end spending deal -- and Democrats are listening. WASHINGTON -- It takes a long time to get anything done in Washington. So in January 2014, when the Senate held its first hearing in nearly 25 years on a crude oil export ban put in place during the 1970s, a path toward repeal appeared far out of reach. Since then, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the first senator to wholeheartedly support lifting the ban, has spent her time bringing attention to the issue. A key ally, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), joined Murkowski's push in the summer of 2014, and has worked hard to warm Senate Democrats to the idea.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2015
Major Climate Science Denial Groups Offer to Hide Fossil Fuel Funding, Greenpeace Investigation Finds
DeSmogBlog
Graham Readfearn

An undercover investigation by environment group Greenpeace has found some of the world’s most vocal climate science denial groups were willing to accept cash from fossil fuel interests in return for writing articles and reports that reject the impacts of greenhouses gases. Greenpeace operatives posing as representatives of coal and oil companies were told that while the reports could be produced, there were ways that the sources of funding could be hidden. Academics affiliated with leading US academic institutions Princeton and Penn State universities are implicated in the Greenpeace research.  [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2015
Decline in gas drilling softens boom for Western Pa. businesses
Marcellus.com
David Conti & Tory N. Parrish

Mickey’s Men’s Store, which Bruno’s father opened in 1967 on High Street, sells the Carhartt attire, Carolina work boots and flame-retardant clothing that serve as standard wardrobe for the shale gas workers who changed the face of Greene and Washington counties during the past decade. Those workers have kept Bruno in business as other local clothiers closed. But there are fewer of them today, and the last menswear store in a downtown that once housed five of them is feeling the pinch of a drilling slowdown that began nearly a year ago as natural gas prices started tumbling.   [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2015
Upper Burrell residents push for supervisors to put more stringent requirements on gas wells
TribLive
Tom Yerace

Some Upper Burrell residents continued Monday night to push the township supervisors to expand setbacks for gas wells. Ron Slabe and Dan Myers unsuccessfully urged the township supervisors to put in a more stringent setback requirement.   [Full Story]

Dec 8, 2015
Busted: Academics-for-Hire Exposed for Failing to Disclose Fossil Fuel Funding
EcoWatch
Greenpeace UK

A Greenpeace undercover investigation has exposed how fossil fuel companies can secretly pay academics at leading American universities to write research that sows doubt about climate science and promotes the companies’ commercial interests.   [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
Paris Panels to Explore International Movement to Ban Fracking Dec. 9 'Keep It in the Ground' Events Feature Bill McKibben, Other Speakers From South America, Europe, United States
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

PARIS— Two panel discussions at the Paris climate conference on Wednesday will explore the growing global movement to ban fracking and other extreme fossil fuel extraction. Featuring climate activist Bill McKibben and other experts, activists and legislators from South America, Europe and the United States, the two events — titled “Keeping Fossil Fuels in the Ground: The International Movement to Ban Fracking” — are cosponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, Mercy International Association, Franciscans International and the Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries.   [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
Does the US Government Actually Regulate Pipelines?
Truthout
Dahr Jamail

While global leaders meet in Paris at the COP21 climate talks in an effort to rein in global greenhouse gas emissions, the fossil fuel industry continues with business as usual. In far west Texas, that means a proposal for a controversial high-pressure natural gas transmission pipeline in a state that already boasts 431,997 miles of pipelines - enough to stretch to the moon and most of the way back to earth. The additional 143-mile-long, 42-inch-diameter Trans-Pecos pipeline will be built right through the heart of Texas' starkly beautiful and remote Chihuahuan Desert, as Truthout previously reported. The aim of the pipeline is purportedly to deliver natural gas from Texas to Mexico, where it is, in theory, in high demand. Plans are currently in the works for the pipeline, which would be larger in diameter than the infamous Keystone XL pipeline. Construction supplies are stockpiled, and in some areas, trenches for the pipeline have already been dug.  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
2 more Tompkins residents arrested in Seneca Lake protests
The Ithaca Voice
Michael Smith

ITHACA, NY - Two Tompkins county residents, aged 68 and 70, joined a growing list of people arrested for blockading a proposed methane gas storage facility near Seneca Lake.   [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
Here is Bernie Sanders’ climate plan
MSNBC


Democratic presidential Bernie Sanders rolled out an expansive climate plan Monday that aims to cut U.S. carbon emissions 80% by 2050 and create 10 million clean energy jobs.   [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
Marcellus Watch: Crestwood's blood in the water
The Leader
Peter Mantius

Page 2 of 2 - Those unsettling events have lead many investors to question how Crestwood can maintain its annual dividend rate of $5.50 per share. As the share price has collapsed, the rate of return on a share has exploded higher. “With a 28% dividend/distribution, this company is starting to look like a Ponzi scheme,” one investor wrote Dec. 2 on a public message board run by the website Yahoo Finance. “Think about it. They reverse split the stock to try to get new investors in, to pay existing investors. There is NO WAY this distribution is sustainable! Period! And when they cut it to zero, the stock will plummet, and the company will eventually go BK.”  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
Bernie Sanders puts forward ambitious plan to combat climate change
The Washington Post
John Wagner

Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday released a highly ambitious plan to combat climate change, a problem he pointedly says is being perpetuated by the “billionaire fossil fuel lobby.” The plan, which reads like an environmentalist’s wish list, seeks to reduce U.S. carbon pollution by 40 percent by 2030 and by more than 80 percent by 2050 by putting a tax on carbon, repealing fossil fuel subsidies and making what Sanders describes as “massive” investments in clean energy sources such as wind and solar power. Sanders (Vt.), who is seeking the Democratic nomination in a race against Hillary Clinton, says his plan would also create 10 million jobs as the country transitions toward a nuclear-free clean energy system for electricity, heating and transportation and that it would decrease the United State’s dependence on foreign oil.   [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
Texas Fracking Zone Emits 90% More Methane Than EPA Estimated
InsideClimate News
Lisa Song

A sprawling, aggressive effort to measure the climate footprint of natural gas production has yielded striking results: methane emissions from the Barnett Shale in North Texas are at least 90 percent higher than government estimates. That conclusion comes from a peer-reviewed study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is the most sweeping study to emerge from the Environmental Defense Fund's $18-million project to quantify methane leaks from the natural gas industry. It was written by 20 co-authors from 13 institutions, including universities, government labs, EDF and private research firms.  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
Sen. Scott Wagner: Natural gas money declining
YDR.com
Flint L. McColgan

Both sides of the (still) ongoing budget stalemate in Harrisburg might be inflating the future importance of one of the most contentious items of debate, if one York County Republican state senator's projection turns out to be true. State Sen. Scott Wagner, of Spring Garden Township, wrote in a Monday email to constituents that he sees an underwhelming future for the natural gas industry and bankruptcy within a year for Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the nation's second largest natural gas producer behind Exxon Mobil Corporation.  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
DEP Extends Comment Period On Draft Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Report
PA Environment Digest


The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it has extended the public comment period on the 184 recommendations in the draft Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Report by 2 weeks to December 29.  [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
MASSIVE GAS PIPELINE IMPLOSION !
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

On Wall Street. And coming soon to a pension plan near you. Or a right of way seized by eminent domain for a compressor station. Kinder Morgan, a gas pipeline company with a business model that would supposedly generate a “utility like” return, is imploding, with less utility than a pair of dice. Frackonomics 101: “If your business model does not cash flow sufficiently, sell more stock or borrow more money to cover the shortfall. Repeat.” Also known as the US Treasury Business Model.   [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
Media Statement On Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility
PR Newswire
Press Release

On Oct. 23, SoCalGas crews discovered a leak in one of the company's wells at its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, located in the northern part of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County. The Aliso Canyon facility, which has been operated by SoCalGas since 1972, is situated in the Santa Susana Mountains. The leaking well is more than one mile away and 1,200 feet above the closest homes.   [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
Colorado fracking bans land at the state Supreme Court
Denver Business Journal
Cathy Proctor

The bitter battle over whether local governments in Colorado — specifically Fort Collins and Longmont — should be able to ban oil and gas drilling rigs, and fracking, from their borders will go before the state’s highest court on Wednesday.   [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
Fracking firms target sites close to Scottish cities Nine companies have applied to drill for shale gas in 19 sites, each covering 100 sq km, in heavily populated areas of central Scotland
The Guardian
Severin Carrell

Major energy and fracking companies have made new bids to exploit large shale gas reserves close to many of central Scotland’s biggest towns and cities. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) has disclosed that nine companies have applied to drill for shale gas on 19 sites, each covering 100 sq km, in heavily populated areas close to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Motherwell, Linlithgow, Bathgate, Rosyth and Kirkcaldy.   [Full Story]

Dec 7, 2015
Anti-fracking campaigner on 15th day of hunger strike outside Downing Street
ITV


An anti-fracking campaigner from the Fylde in Lancashire has been on hunger strike outside Downing Street for over two weeks, in protest against the government's policy on fracking. Geyzer Tarjanyi says he sees his protest as 'symbolic of how sick fracking will make people who live in areas affected by fracking if it is allowed to go ahead.'   [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2015
Kaye Fissinger: Fracking violates our inalienable rights
Times-Call
Opinion--Kaye Fissinger

Three years ago, the voters of Longmont overwhelming passed a ban on the dangerous, industrial practice of hydraulic fracturing. The oil and gas industry and Gov. Hickenlooper wasted no time in suing Longmont to overturn this bi-partisan, citizen-led vote. As the Court of Appeals recognized the profound consequences of this case, so did the Colorado Supreme Court in accepting the case. Oral arguments will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The Court will have an opportunity to uphold our constitutional right to protect our health, safety and welfare from fracking.   [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2015
Drilling’s down in Pa. as natural gas supplies mount
Bakken.com
Valerie Myers

ERIE, Pa. — A “perfect storm” of plentiful oil and natural gas, falling prices and forecasts for a warmer-than-average winter is taking a toll on the oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania. Production from the Marcellus Shale continues to increase, but demand isn’t keeping pace, and falling prices are discouraging new investments and new jobs in what has been a booming industry in Pennsylvania. Natural gas production in the state has grown from more than 977 billion cubic feet in 2008 to more than 2.1 quadrillion cubic feet in 2014.  [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2015
Indigenous Leaders In Paris Issue Declaration Calling For The End Of Fossil Fuel Extraction
Think Progress
Natasha Geiing

PARIS, FRANCE — The sound of drums and chanting rang across the Bassin de la Villette — Paris’ largest artifical lake — on Sunday as representatives from indigenous tribes stretching from the Arctic to the Amazon demonstrated against the extraction of fossil fuels and the omission of indigenous’ rights from an international climate treaty.  [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2015
Eight Activists Released After Their Arrests At A Burrillville Protest
RI NPR
Ambar Espinoza

Eight climate activists who were arrested for trespassing at the Spectra Energy facility in Burrillville have been released. They’re facing charges of criminal trespass.   [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2015
Exxon Under Pressure in Mock Trial in Paris
DeSmog Canada
Carol Linnitt

Blackmail. Deception. Public manipulation. These are just some of the charges leveled against ExxonMobil at a mock trial that took place in Paris, Saturday to coincide with the ongoing international climate negotiations at COP21.  [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2015
Fracking Expands in Latin America, Threatening to Contaminate World's Third-Largest Aquifer
Truth-Out
Santiago Navarro F. and Renata Bessi

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking - a method whereby hydrocarbons trapped within rocks are extracted - is expanding rapidly in Latin America. Fracking emits benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene, which are considered by the World Health Organization to be carcinogenic and responsible for blood disorders and other immunological effects. Despite these adverse health effects, however, reserves have already been mapped out in Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.   [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2015
Among the handcrafts, a touch of fracking art at Handmade Arcade Event presented the work of 150 artisans, including a fiber artist making a subtle point
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Anya Litvak

A holiday gift show isn’t the right place for politics, said Rebecca Harrison, a fiber artist at Handmade Arcade who nevertheless wore hand-dyed coveralls with scenery from fracking towns in Washington County. On her right knee was a silk-screened aerial shot of Avella. On her left sleeve, a closeup of Bentleyville.   [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2015
Heat on EPA as National Study on Fracking's Risks to Drinking Water is Challenged
DeSmog Blog
Julie Dermansky and Sharon Kelly

The Environmental Protection Agency's draft national assessment on fracking's potential to pollute drinking water is still under review. If it is to reflect science over policy, some dramatic changes to the wording of the study's conclusions are needed, EPA's review panel was told during a public comment teleconference on Thursday.   [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2015
Longmont's fracking ban due before state supreme court Fort Collins will also present oral argument on its moratorium
Times-Call Energy
Karen Antonacci

On Wednesday, the state's highest court will consider Longmont's voter-approved ban on hydraulic fracturing within city limits. Longmont voters added the ban to the drilling method, also called fracking, to the City Charter in 2012, convinced that a city-negotiated set of regulations on oil and gas drilling didn't go far enough.   [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2015
ExxonMobil put on mock trial for 'climate crimes' by Bill McKibben
National Observer
Mychaylo Prystupa

U.S. environmentalist Bill McKibben and Canadian author Naomi Klein were chief prosecutors in a quirky mock trial of ExxonMobil on Saturday in France's capital. Their entirely made-up court, presided over by Indigenous and environmental activists, weighed evidence of the oil-and-gas multinational's alleged “climate crimes.”   [Full Story]

Dec 6, 2015
Teresa Doyle tackles hot political issues in new album
CBC News


Singer-songwriter Teresa Doyle's newest album doesn't shy away from contentious issues — I Remember Canada is chock-full of songs with a strong environmental and socioeconomic message. Songs like The World is in a Pickle tackle Canada's role in international warfare, while Let's Ban the Foolin' Fracking address the environmental problems of fracking.   [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2015
Fracking is still not the answer: Gas will not solve the climate-warming problem Shale gas has become plentiful and cheap, with an economic advantage over renewables -- but not a scientific one
Salon
Tim Flannery

Will the boom in gas make climate change better or worse? A recent study, using complex models, found that ‘market-driven increases in global supplies of unconventional natural gas do not discernibly reduce the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions or future climate change.’ In other words, gas is definitely not going to solve the climate problem. The  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2015
Longmont's fracking ban due before state supreme court
Times-Call
Karen Antonacci

On Wednesday, the state's highest court will consider Longmont's voter-approved ban on hydraulic fracturing within city limits. Longmont voters added the ban to the drilling method, also called fracking, to the City Charter in 2012, convinced that a city-negotiated set of regulations on oil and gas drilling didn't go far enough.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2015
State, regional groups push for stronger Virginia fracking protections
Augusta Free Press


Four environmental and public interest organizations joined forces to call on Governor Terry McAuliffe to conduct a comprehensive review of the state’s safeguards on fracking. The groups have raised concerns that current standards are inadequate and outdated given new risks associated with the latest fracking techniques for oil and gas extraction. Modern hydraulic fracturing and well stimulation, commonly known as “fracking,” often includes millions of gallons of highly pressurized toxic fracking fluid and horizontal drilling, which is very different from, and much more hazardous than, traditional drilling currently used in Virginia. Water and air pollutants released from fracking operations are driving public health concerns in many states. Other states have recognized the need for a comprehensive study and review of their standards; as of yet, Virginia has not.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2015
Mark Ruffalo Calls Into Incredibly Dull EPA Meeting To Rail Against Fracking
BuzzFeed News
Dan Vergano

An EPA advisory committee had a teleconference Thursday to discuss whether the agency erred in assuring people that fracking didn’t threaten drinking water. Actor Mark Ruffalo was paying attention.  [Full Story]

Dec 5, 2015
Pavillion today: an EPA in retreat, a narrow state inquiry and no answers
Casper Star Tribune
Benjamin Storrow

PAVILLION -- In 2012, as a national debate raged over a possible link between fracked natural gas wells and contaminated drinking water east of Pavillion, Gov. Matt Mead issued repeated calls for more scientific study. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had released a draft report the year prior tentatively tying the bad water in some wells to nearby natural gas operations. The governor called the agency’s findings premature and said more work was needed before such a conclusion could be proven. “We need to be led by sound science, and whatever that may be, we will accept,” Mead told the Star-Tribune in 2012. EPA ultimately turned over its investigation to the state in 2013 following a hail of criticism from Wyoming regulators, congressional Republicans and industry representatives. But two years into the state investigation, little more is known about the source of the pollution. Interviews with officials involved with the investigation and more than 56,000 documents obtained by the Star-Tribune in a Freedom of Information Act request show a steady erosion in the scope of the Pavillion inquiry. The findings reveal an EPA worried it could not defend its Pavillion study against an onslaught of criticism. Rather than pursuing the study further and risking a defeat at the hands of its critics, the EPA chose to turn over the investigation to the state. Wyoming has conducted a narrower investigation in the two years since.  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2015
California Methane Leak Boosts State Emissions By 25 Percent
Inside Energy
INGRID LOBET

As world leaders meet in Le Bourget, France for a global climate accord, California enjoyed its usual prominent role as the only state in the United States to have enacted a rigorous de-carbonization regime. That regime will leave few aspects of the state economy untouched But the limits of California's wide ranging efforts were recently laid bare by a massive leak of the potent climate changing gas methane that officials now say will take three months to halt. The methane is pouring out of a damaged well, part of a large underground gas storage site serving southern California. The California Air Resources Board estimates the methane is gushing so fast – at more than 44,000 kilograms per hour – that it is boosting the entire state’s methane emissions by 25 percent.  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2015
Massive natural gas storage leak alarms California residents, climate activists
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

Rupture at Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site has released the equivalent of 800,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and won’t be plugged for another three months It’s the climate equivalent of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico: the rupture of a natural gas storage site in California that is spewing vast amounts of methane into the atmosphere and is likely to go unchecked for three months. The breach of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site, near Porter Ranch has forced the relocation of hundreds of families, who complained of headaches, nosebleeds and nausea from the rotten-egg smell of the odorant added to the gas to aid in leak detection.  [Full Story]

Dec 4, 2015
Texas Miracle economy about to become shale’s next victim
Star-Telegram
NAUREEN S. MALIK, DAN MURTAUGH AND LAUREN ETTER

For years, politicians in the second-largest U.S. state bragged that low taxes and loose regulations kept employment high while the rest of the country was mired in economic doldrums following the 2008 crash. Turns out it was just its deep pockets of oil and gas. Former Gov. Rick Perry extolled low taxes, not high oil prices, for the state’s strong job growth during his tenure. Former Gov. Rick Perry extolled low taxes, not high oil prices, for the state’s strong job growth during his tenure. Sid Hastings AP Unemployment may surpass the national rate in the next year for the first time since 2006, according to Prestige Economics, JPMorgan Chase and ING Bank. Texas is already experiencing a “rapid deceleration” in job growth to just a third of what it was last year following a slump in oil prices, said Wood Mackenzie.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2015
Hecklers, including actor James Cromwell, booted from event at Anthony's Pier 9
Times Herald Record
James Walsh

NEW WINDSOR – The Orange County Partnership’s Annual Event drew a crowd of more than 600 people celebrating a banner year of new business attraction and expansion. But the event's usual rah, rah atmosphere was disrupted briefly Tuesday night when a pair of hecklers spoke out during an award presentation to the company building a power plant in Wawayanda. Pramilla Malick of Minisink and actor James Cromwell of Warwick protested the natural gas-fired CPV Valley Energy Center as a dangerous polluter threatening the agricultural environment and the people living there.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2015
Big Oil Threatens Academia, Again
GregPalast.com
Greg Palast

This week on Democracy Now, 350.org's Bill McKibben was on the program to discuss Exxon's "thuggish" attempt to threaten Columbia journalism students after they published an investigation into Exxon's climate lies. It's not news to anyone who follows my work that big oil likes to use their financial sway in higher education. Back in 2009 I wrote about the Deputy Director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, Ivor Van Heerden who was pushed out of his job when he started talking too much about how Big Oil helped drown New Orleans.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2015
Hillary Supported Fracking In Africa, Now Opposes It In US
The Daily Caller
ANDREW FOLLETT

Hillary Clinton was a major force behind bringing fracking to African countries during her tenure as Secretary of State, although she now opposes fracking in the United States. Clinton made promoting fracking for natural gas in other countries a big priority during her tenure as Secretary of State. “The United States will promote the use of shale gas,” she said then. Clinton’s State Department helped advise African and other world leaders on the benefits of fracking, connected them with American energy experts, and organized visits to drilling sites in the United States to make the it a role model for fracking around the world.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2015
James Hansen: Fracking is ‘Screwing Your Children and Grandchildren’
EcoWatch
Leo Hickman

Speaking to Carbon Brief at the COP21 climate conference in Paris, Dr. James Hansen, one of the world’s most prominent climate scientists, has strongly criticized the UK government’s pursuit of fracking for shale gas.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2015
James Cromwell Removed from N.Y. Awards Event for Protesting Power Plant: 'It's Basically a Catastrophe,' He Tells PEOPLE
People Magazine
LINDSAY KIMBLE AND MICHAEL MILLER

James Cromwell was kicked out of an upstate New York awards ceremony for protesting a proposed power plant he claims is an environmental "catastrophe" in the making. Maureen Halahan, president and CEO of the Orange County Partnership, tells PEOPLE the American Horror Story: Asylum actor was removed from the partnership's annual celebration of local businesses after "he got up and started screaming" during the event.   [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2015
NYers fear gas pipeline near nuclear reactor could spell disaster
Al Jazeera America
Aaron Cantú

Whistleblowers and experts allege safety violations, inadequate oversight surrounding new project near Indian Point  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2015
Political battle heats up around Northeast gas project
E & E Newswire
Hannah Northey

The announcement yesterday that two members of Congress from New Hampshire -- one a Republican, the other a Democrat -- are opposed to a large, new natural gas pipeline across the Northeast could throw a new loop into presidential energy politics. Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster yesterday announced in a letter to local selectman and town officials in the Northeast that they oppose Kinder Morgan Inc.'s proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline. The members said they had failed to get answers from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Energy Department's inspector general about the need for the project, safety concerns or potential interaction with other projects. FERC does not comment on cases pending before the agency.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2015
New #COP21 Analysis: Start funding climate action, stop funding climate chaos
Oil Change International
Press Release

New analysis finds fossil fuel subsidies exceed Green Climate Fund support 40 to 1 Activists to demonstrate at Paris climate talks, demanding Parties Stop Funding Fossils PARIS – New analysis from Oil Change International and Climate Action Network – Europe released today at the COP21 United Nations climate negotiations reveals that G7 countries along with Australia spend 40 times more on support for fossil fuel production than they do in contributions to the Green Climate Fund. The analysis shows that the Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States account for some $80 billion per year in public support for fossil fuels, while their total pledges to the Green Climate Fund only amount to $2 billion per year.  [Full Story]

Dec 3, 2015
National Fuel teaming with Texas firm to drill up to 80 wells
Buffalo News
David Robinson

National Fuel Gas Co. has signed a deal to partner with a Texas investment firm to fund the development of as many as 80 natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania, the Amherst-based energy company said.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
Senate Democrats renew battle lines over drilling on ANWR coastal plain
Alaska Dispatch News
Erica Martinson

WASHINGTON -- Democratic U.S. senators on Wednesday issued a clear message in the age-old fight over drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Just say no.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
INSIGHT-America's biggest gas field finally succumbs to downturn
Philly.com
Edward Mcallister

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa., Dec 2 (Reuters) - The drilling rigs are gone from the hills surrounding this Pennsylvania town of 30,000. The hotels and bars are quieter too, no longer packed with the workers who flocked in their thousands to America's newest and biggest gas field.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
CU Denver research finds long term effect of natural gas leakage Researches look into the climate benefits of substituting natural gas for coal
Eurekalert
Press Release

DENVER (Dec. 2, 2015) - As natural gas production increases around the nation, new research from the University of Colorado Denver shows that it can have a similar impact on climate change as coal if it's allowed to leak while producing electricity.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
Controversial 'fracking' bill gets House support
News 4 Jacksonville


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - House Republicans continued moving forward Wednesday with a bill that would create a new regulatory structure for oil and natural-gas drilling in Florida, with most of the attention focused on the controversial practice known as "fracking."   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
National Fuel Announces Marcellus Shale Drilling Joint Development Agreement
Business Wire


WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE:NFG) (“National Fuel” or the “Company”) announced today that Seneca Resources Corporation (“Seneca”), its wholly owned exploration and production subsidiary, has entered into an asset-level joint development agreement with IOG CRV - Marcellus, LLC ("IOG"), an affiliate of IOG Capital, LP ("IOG Capital"), and funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, LLC ("Fortress"), to jointly develop Marcellus Shale natural gas assets located in Elk, McKean and Cameron counties in north-central Pennsylvania.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
ExxonMobil Accuses Columbia Of Journalistic Misconduct In Light Of Climate Reports
Climate Progress
Natasha Geiling

Earlier this year, a stream of investigative pieces, released first by the nonprofit website InsideClimate News and later the Los Angeles Times, called into question ExxonMobil’s role in deliberately misleading the public about the dangers of climate change. The investigations suggested that Exxon, the world’s largest oil and gas company, knew about the link between fossil fuels and global warming as early as 1977, and yet spent decades funding public misinformation campaigns and misleading private investors. The revelations have not been good for Exxon: the company now faces a growing chorus of activists and Democratic politicians calling for a federal investigation into the company’s activities, as well as a subpoena issued by New York’s attorney general. Now, Exxon is firing back. In a letter sent to Columbia University — whose journalism school was involved in the production of the Los Angeles Times investigation — Exxon accused Columbia journalists involved in the project of cherry-picking and distorting information from the company to create “inaccurate and deliberately misleading reports about ExxonMobil’s climate change research.” In the letter, which was sent to Columbia University President Lee Bollinger on November 20, Exxon’s Vice President of Public and Government Affairs Ken Cohen accuses Columbia of ignoring Exxon’s statements, which the company felt contradicted the thesis of the Times investigation. Cohen also accuses the school of giving the company less than 24 hours to comment on the piece, misrepresenting the role of a reporter in the research process, and underwriting the work with funds from the Rockefeller Brother’s Fund, which Exxon claims has a “stated position and bias against the oil and gas industry” that Columbia failed to disclose. “All of the above violated principles of objectivity that not only should be expected from representatives of Columbia University but are also required by Columbia’s institutional Policy on Misconduct in Research,” Cohen writes. At the end of his letter, Cohen reminds Bollinger that “ExxonMobil has had numerous and productive relationships with Columbia University for many years.” According to Politico, through its foundation, Exxon gave the university more than $200,000 last year. The letter does not go into detail regarding Exxon’s requests from Columbia — it only states that the company formally requests a sit down with the president to discuss the alleged misconduct at a later date. But Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was quick to call the tactic intimidation on Twitter:   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
Dean Skelos’s Defense Minimizes Talks With Son’s Employer
The New York Times
SUSANNE CRAIG

No matter how you slice it, AbTech Industries had an impressive line into New York State government, especially for a small environmental company from Arizona. FROM OUR ADVERTISERS In October 2013, when fracking was still in play in New York, Bjornulf White, a senior executive at AbTech, met privately with State Senator Dean G. Skelos and his son in the senator’s office on Long Island to discuss how the extraction practice for oil and gas might benefit an AbTech-produced sponge. A year earlier, Mr. White spoke with the senator by phone — again to push the sponge application after Hurricane Sandy.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
House Science Chair Backs Off NOAA Scientists
Climate Progress
Samantha Page

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, is trying a new approach in his attempt to wrest information out of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a federal science agency that in June published a paper Smith didn’t like. Smith has subpoenaed NOAA for emails and correspondence relating to a study that disputes the existence of a pause in global warming — a subset of data that climate deniers have latched on to. In a letter Tuesday, Smith backed off his request, somewhat. While he had previously demanded all internal NOAA correspondence regarding the study, he is now asking for “all documents and communications by NOAA officials, with the exception of scientists acting in their official capacity” (emphasis added). The letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who oversees NOAA, is just the latest in a months-long back and forth between the chair and NOAA officials. In it, Smith says the last correspondence from the agency “continues NOAA’s pattern of failing to act in good faith with the Committee’s oversight efforts.” To wit: “NOAA has steadfastly refused to to discuss the issue of communications relating to any NOAA official with the Committee,” Smith writes. NOAA has, indeed, failed to produce correspondence on this issue, and Smith’s desire to read back-and-forths between actual scientists has ruffled feathers in the scientific community. Last week, several major scientific societies sent a letter to the representative, saying his inquiry would have a chilling effect on scientific research. “Scientists should not be subjected to fraud investigations or harassment simply for providing scientific results that some may see as politically controversial,” the groups wrote. A committee colleague has called the investigation a “witch hunt.”  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
NYS attorney general pushes federal limit on crude oil train explosion risk
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has drawn support from Capital Region leaders in his push for new federal safety rules on crude oil shipped across the U.S. in massive trains that would make it less explosive. In a petition filed Tuesday with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the state's top lawyer sought reduced limits on the vapor pressure of oil shipped in tanker cars from the Bakken hydrofrack fields of North Dakota to coastal refineries. Some of the oil passes through New York state on its way to the Port of Albany. Vapor pressure indicates how easily oil evaporates into potentially explosive gases like butane, propane and ethane. Bakken crude has a higher vapor pressure than other types of crude oil, making it more prone to explode in a derailment when tankers are punctured. Vapor pressure can be lowered by removing such gases prior to shipment.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
Health officials: Porter Ranch gas leak may cause long-term health effects
Los Angeles Daily News
Sarah Favot

County public health officials said prolonged exposure to trace chemicals, some known carcinogens, in natural gas leaking above Porter Ranch can cause long-term health effects. Previously, county health officials said the gas leak did not pose any long-term health risks, but because the leak is now entering its sixth week and gas company officials say it may take four months to plug the leak, officials have changed their assessment. “As the duration of exposure increases, these trace levels can produce significant long-term health effects,” county Department of Public Health Interim Director Cynthia Harding wrote in a memo sent Tuesday to the Board of Supervisors. “As this incident has moved from a short-term exposure event resolved within days, to now a long-term event potentially lasting months, supplemental monitoring of potentially harmful trace chemicals is warranted.”  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
The House Just Voted To Kill A Plan That Most Americans Support
Climate Progress
Samantha Page

he House passed two joint resolutions Tuesday to kill the Clean Power Plan, the Obama Administration’s rule to restrict carbon emissions from the electricity sector. The resolutions passed 242-180 and 235-188 and will now head to the White House. The Clean Power Plan would reduce emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Under the rule, states are required to design and implement flexible compliance plans that could include increases in efficiency and clean energy. Together the resolutions cover emissions restrictions on both new and existing power plants. They passed the Senate last month. Nearly a third of the country’s emissions are from the power sector, largely due to coal-fired power plants, making the Clean Power Plan a critical component of U.S. efforts to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. During the House hearing Tuesday, Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), who sponsored similar resolutions, called the Clean Power Plan “extreme and unprecedented,” saying it asked too much of America’s electricity sector, especially in the context of global emissions. He also criticized the administration’s role in curbing carbon emissions. The Congressional Review Act, which authorized Tuesday’s resolutions, allows Congress to overturn executive actions. “There’s no technology available to meet the stringent emission standard set by EPA, and yet China, India, and every other country in the world can build a new coal plant, if they decide to do so,” Whitfield said. “Why should this president penalize America and put us in jeopardy… just so he can go to France and claim to the be world leader on climate change?” The entire world is watching what is going on in Paris, and the congressional Republicans are here with their heads in the sand   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
Here’s the GOP congressman who’s trying to kick-start a new climate movement
Grist.org
Amanda Little

Gibson has been among the tiny handful of House Republicans to vote in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, President Obama’s signature effort to fight climate change by cleaning up the electricity sector. And in September, with the support of 10 Republican representatives, he introduced a resolution in the House acknowledging that human activities are contributing to climate change, and calling on fellow conservatives to “address the causes and effects” of this problem.  [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
NY FRACKING: Did state come close to saying OK?
Press Connects
Jon Campbell

ALBANY - Did Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration privately suggest it would lift the state’s long-standing moratorium on high-volume hydrofracking — only to announce a ban days later?   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
Fracking bill moves forward in Florida Legislature
Wink News
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – A bill that would create regulations for fracking was approved by a House committee Wednesday despite strong opposition from environmentalists who said the method of oil and gas drilling could contaminate drinking water and cause health problems.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
Bill to open the door to fracking in Florida moves forward
WFTV


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida could be opened up to fracking under a bill that would require the Department of Environmental Protection to study and set regulations for the method of oil and gas drilling.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
Estero moves forward with fracking ban
Naples Daily News
Maryann Batile

Estero's village council on Wednesday unanimously moved forward with its ban of the oil and gas exploration technique known as fracking.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
North Shore fracking fight lands in federal court
WVUE 8
Rob Masson

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The town of Abita Springs brought its fight against fracking to federal court Wednesday. Fracking opponents looking for the courts to block a new rig in St. Tammany, suffer two setbacks in less than week.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
EPA rejects accusations of bias in fracking research
Irish Examiner


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected accusations of “bias” in research it commissioned into fracking. EPA deputy director general Dara Lynott was forced to bat away scathing criticism of the two-year study project when he appeared before the Joint Transport and Communications Committee.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
Hand recount confirms defeat of anti-fracking charter amendment
Bakken.com
William K. Alcorn

YOUNGSTOWN — A hand recount of an anti-fracking charter amendment, the so-called Bill of Rights, confirmed that the issue was indeed defeated in the Nov. 3 general election. During a special meeting Tuesday, the Mahoning County Board of Elections certified a new vote total — 6,151 against and 5,852 for the amendment.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
Fracking fight: Attorneys argue in court over wetlands permit
Times Picayune
Robert Rhoden

The fight over fracking in St. Tammany Parish moved to federal court in New Orleans on Wednesday (Dec. 2), where a judge heard arguments over whether the Army Corps of Engineers legally awarded a wetlands permit for a proposed oil drilling project northeast of Mandeville. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier heard from attorneys for the Abita Springs, the corps and Helis Oil & Gas Co. for about 90 minutes before taking the case under study.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
Ryedale District Council defer fracking decision following Third Energy agreement to provide more information
Gazette Herald
David Mackie

THE decision by Ryedale District Council on whether to approve fracking at Kirby Misperton has been deferred. The deferment follows the recent agreement between North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and fracking applicants Third Energy that more information had to be provided by the company before the application could be judged.   [Full Story]

Dec 2, 2015
America's biggest gas field finally succumbs to downturn
Reuters
Edward McAllister

The drilling boom of the past seven years is over, even though thousands of existing wells in the Marcellus region still produce a fifth of U.S. natural gas supply. Now, exclusive data made available to Reuters points to a slump in drilling that could hit production next year, defying government and industry expectations of a further rise in output.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2015
What Obama’s Rejection of Keystone Means for the Climate Fight
TIME Magazine
Ken Ilgunas

During President Barack Obama’s address to world leaders at the Paris climate conference Monday, he cited, in unspecified terms, his rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline as evidence that the U.S. is doing its part to lower worldwide emissions. “We’ve said no to infrastructure that would pull high-carbon fossil fuels from the ground.” he said. This little factoid has already gotten lost in the series of opening speeches that author Rebecca Solnit has called a “parade of clichés.” But it should stand out as a pretty remarkable thing—rejecting a pipeline is just plain weird.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2015
New Study Exposes True Extent, Influence Of Climate Denial Echo Chamber For First Time
DeSmogBlog
Mike Gaworecki

hanks to a recent poll from ABC News and the Washington Post, we know that nearly two-thirds of American adults think global warming is “a serious problem facing the country.” And now, thanks to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change (full study available at this link), we know exactly how many people are out there taking money from dirty energy interests to try and confuse Americans about climate changeto derail overdue action and protect the fossil fuel industries' profits. Justin Farrell, a professor of sociology at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the author of the report, studied both the institutional and social network structure of the climate denier movement and found that there are some 4,556 individuals with ties to 164 organizations that are involved in pushing anti-climate science views on the public.   [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2015
Scrapping 150 projects, Big Oil could become “structurally impaired”
FuelFix
Collin Eaton

HOUSTON — Blindsided by a brutal downturn, oil companies have scuttled plans for scores of costly energy projects in an industry-wide retreat that could wipe out 19 million barrels from the world’s daily regimen of hydrocarbons over the next few years, a new report says. Oil companies have canceled or delayed final investment decisions on about 150 projects that are tied to 125 billion barrels of oil equivalent, which could stay underground for several years longer than expected amid a steep drop in crude prices, energy investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. said Tuesday. “By not sanctioning projects today, you’re putting a hole in production in 2017, 2018 and 2019 — potentially a big hole,” said David Pursell, head of macro research at Houston energy investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.  [Full Story]

Dec 1, 2015
Skelos corruption trial reveals possible Cuomo bait-and-switch on gas frack ban
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany The Cuomo administration had nothing to say Tuesday about secretly recorded telephone calls in which the son of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said Cuomo officials privately visited state senators late last year as a prelude to lifting the ban on natural gas hydrofracking. Of course, the fracking decision on Dec. 17 went the other way, but in five wiretapped telephone calls made just days earlier, 32-year-old Adam Skelos told his clients that acting State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker was asking senators about potential political repercussions if fracking was allowed.  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
Former inspectors allege safety issues with Spectra pipeline project
RI Future
Steve Ahlquist

Two safety inspectors who worked on Spectra Energy’s proposed methane gas pipeline that will cut through Burrillville, RI, say the company cut corners when it came to project, worker and environmental safety. “Right now, what they’re hoping to do, is they’re hoping to slam all this through, and then at the end ask for forgiveness,” said one of the former inspectors. “Oops, sorry about that, I didn’t know, let me write you a check. Because once this thing’s turning meter, they’re going to be making millions of dollars a day. It doesn’t matter what your problems are…” The other added, “We were told to shut the fuck up or quit.”  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
Before fracking ban, Cuomo officials inquired about lifting moratorium
PoliticoNewYork
Scott Waldman

Days before Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York would ban fracking, state health commissioner Howard Zucker was visiting members of the state Senate to gauge their thoughts about lifting the fracking moratorium. During wiretapped phone calls played for the jurors Monday in the corruption trial against former Senate majority leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, the younger Skelos told lobbyists he was working with during a Dec. 12, 2014 phone call that Zucker had been personally visiting members of the Republican Senate asking if there would be any “blowback” if the state approved fracking.  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
Another Earthquake Hits Oklahoma: Officials Worry Stronger Quake Could Threaten National Security
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

Officials in frack-happy Oklahoma are continuing to express concern over the state’s alarming earthquake boom. If a strong one strikes the northwestern city of Cushing—one of the largest crude oil storage facilities in North America, if not the world—it could disrupt the U.S. energy market and become a national security threat, NPR reports.  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
Fracking rise seen pushing US oil prices down through January
North Jersey
Bloomberg News

A surprising rise in fracking work on U.S. oil wells since May will help sustain the crude glut and drive oil prices lower over the next two months, according to industry consultant Rystad Energy.  [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
Siobhan Tolland: Why you must question research claiming #fracking is safe
Commonspace.scot
Siobhan Tolland

Writer and academic Siobhan Tolland details why people must always question the origins of research, particularly when big business has an interest in it   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
United against fracking
News 24
Amil Amraw

Pietermaritzburg - A diverse group of environmentalists took to the streets in Howick on Sunday to demonstrate against climate change. The People’s Climate March started on Main Street with about 200 concerned residents and members of non-government organisations uniting in an effort to grow awareness around sustainable energy and threats to the environment.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
Another Earthquake Hits Oklahoma: Officials Worry Stronger Quake Could Threaten National Security
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

Officials in frack-happy Oklahoma are continuing to express concern over the state’s alarming earthquake boom. If a strong one strikes the northwestern city of Cushing—one of the largest crude oil storage facilities in North America, if not the world—it could disrupt the U.S. energy market and become a national security threat, NPR reports.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
Paris Actions to Push President Obama for Stronger Climate Action Aviation, Fracking Panels to Highlight Need for America to Make Bigger Pollution Cuts, Leave Fossil Fuels in Ground
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

PARIS— As the global climate negotiations begin in Paris, activists and experts with the Center for Biological Diversity are taking action on the ground and inside the conference to push President Barack Obama and other world leaders to back a just, ambitious and binding treaty to fight global warming.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
Oil and gas taxes fill Texas school district coffers in 2014

Rhiannon Meyers

The U.S. shale boom that fueled a drilling frenzy across Texas helped boost the budgets of the state’s public schools last year, according to a new report by North Texans for Natural Gas, a loose coalition of people supporting natural gas development in the Barnett Shale region.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
Hope For Our Water Woes Found In Fracing Technologies
Canada Free Press
Marita Noon

Addressing the water problem, NBC offers hope: “Technology holds promise.” While not specifically referencing fracking, the 2007 feature couldn’t have predicted how integrally linked ever-improving fracking technologies and hope for our water woes could be.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
Prince Charles: Governments Must Scrap Fossil Fuel Subsidies
EcoWatch
Brendan Montague & Kyla Mandel

Fossil fuel subsides totaling $500 billion globally must be scrapped to prevent catastrophic climate change, the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group told the COP21 conference in Paris today.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
DEP Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Schedules Dec. 16 Meeting
PA Environment Digest


The DEP Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force has scheduled an additional meeting on December 16 to review the 184 recommendations in the draft Task Force Report released on November 9.   [Full Story]

Nov 30, 2015
California's Top Oil Regulator Quits After Controversies
The New York Times
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — California's chief oil regulator announced his resignation on Monday after 17 months as head of the embattled agency, including a criticized episode in which he directed state workers to investigate the oil and gas potential of Gov. Jerry Brown's family ranch. Steve Bohlen, the state's oil and gas supervisor, is leaving the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources to return to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory research center, Brown's office said in a statement. State officials did not give a reason for Bohlen's resignation, but the governor's statement said Bohlen had been on loan from his work at the research center.  [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2015
Commentary: Thankful for clearer new vision
Albany Times Union
Opinion: Mark Ruffalo & Julia Walsh

Nearly one year ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo followed through on his commitment to listen to the science and put New Yorkers first by banning high-volume fracking, keeping our water, air, and food clean. Even the oil and gas industry had to acknowledge the strong case for the ban and the fact that fracking puts public health and the environment at terrible risk. They did this by silently surrendering their ability to sue the state as the statute of limitations ran out last month. Their muted concession rings loud and clear: the science is sound and fracking poses risks to the public's health.  [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2015
Oklahoma Corporation Commission's Response to Earthquakes Spurs Further Debate
Emergency Mgmt.com
Mack Burke

In response to last Thursday’s quake, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission released a plan calling for two disposal wells to stop operations and for many others to cut down in volume.   [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2015
Campaigners secure council fracking debate
Lancashire Evening Post


Campaigners calling for Chorley Council to oppose fracking have received enough signatures to trigger a debate.   [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2015
The government to have final say on Cuadrilla fracking appeal
Times Oracle
Heather Bryan

What do you think of the decision about fracking being left to the government? An application by energy company Cuadrilla to drill for shale gas at two sites in Lancashire had been due to be decided at a planning appeal set for February.   [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2015
King George supervisors, Middle Peninsula commission wants state to put in place stricter fracking regulations
Fredericksburg.com
Cathy Dysonn

Officials in three of five counties where land has been leased for possible fracking want more safeguards from the state. They want more protection of air and water, more assurances that local governments won’t absorb additional expenses for studies and consultants, more authority in determining where — or even if — the practice could take place.   [Full Story]

Nov 29, 2015
Fracking’s promise: Environment feels the sting of Pennsylvania’s regulatory approach
Times Leader
Tom Wilber

Without warning, a New Year’s Day explosion blew a massive cement cover off a residential water well in northern Pennsylvania and destroyed the plumbing in the hole. The explosion on Norma Fiorentino’s seven acres in Dimock, Pennsylvania, just south of Montrose, marked the start of 2009 with a bang. In many ways, it also would become symbolic of problems with the promise of fracking, and environmental side effects cropping up across rural Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2015
Oklahoma Corporation Commission's response to earthquakes spurs further debate
The Norman Transcript
Mack Burke

The earthquakes just keep coming. Four days after a 4.7 magnitude earthquake was recorded southwest of Cherokee, a 4.4 magnitude earthquake was recorded Monday near Hennessey and Tuesday a 3.0 magnitude quake sprang up about 40 miles southeast of Norman, capping off a run of 23 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or higher in a seven-day period.   [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2015
AfriForum fights fracking regulations
SABC


Shale gas exploration, known as 'fracking ', faces a new legal challenge in South Africa. AfriForum and Treasure the Karoo Action Group have filed papers at the North Gauteng High Court in a bid to challenge fracking regulations. They are challenging the regulations with regard to petroleum exploration and production.   [Full Story]

Nov 28, 2015
Leaders: Fracking unlikely in McDowell
McDowell News
Mike Conley

More than 70 mayors, county commissioners, city council members and other elected officials from communities across North Carolina issued a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory recently, calling for the local authority to limit and prohibit dangerous fracking operations.   [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2015
Maude Barlow: Fracking is a bridge to nowhere for B.C.
The Georgia Straight


As world leaders meet in Paris this weekend, the recent terrorist shootings in the city will still be on the minds of most delegates. Yet it will have to take second place to another kind of crisis: climate change. The impact of extreme weather, droughts, floods, and rising temperatures on our ecosystems, our economies, and our communities must be halted before it gets worse—much worse. This will require a transition off of fossil fuels and on to cleaner forms of energy, which is 100 percent possible by 2050. One of the most insidious challenges of this transition, however, is the myth that fracking is a “bridge” to a low-carbon future.   [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2015
Isolation of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Part I
Huffington Post
Dr. James Hansen

Earlier this year I received a message from a long-time reader of my Communications [1], who was persuaded of the urgency of the climate problem. As a significant supporter of the Democratic Party, he had the opportunity to meet President Obama, and he was preparing a specific question: would the President be willing to "meet with Jim Hansen," who, the supporter asserted, understood the problem as well as anyone and has "some viable ways to fix the problem?" Obama's response: he had already read my stuff (presumably meaning my book [2]), but would be interested in talking if it were about policy (presumably meaning that he was already convinced about the reality of the science). My response to the supporter was that we should check whether the offer was real after my long-overdue "Ice Melt" paper was submitted for publication.  [Full Story]

Nov 27, 2015
As World Leaders Launch Paris Climate Talks Monday, Bill Gates Will Launch a Supporting Science Push
The New York Times
ANDREW C. REVKIN

As world leaders meet in Paris on Monday to kick off two weeks of talks aimed at shaping safe targets for emissions of greenhouse gases, Bill Gates will be in town, as well, to announce a modest first step toward bolstering the basic energy research and technology development that will be needed to meet those targets affordably. The gap between 179 countries’ modest, but creditable, emissions pledges so far and any reasonable trajectory toward avoiding dangerous climate change is huge, as I wrote recently. [The United Nations Environment Program has posted the full 2015 Emissions Gap Report here.] This is what that gap looks like:  [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2015
North Texas families sue oil and gas drillers over contaminated water and fracking
Tyler Morning Telegraph


GRAFORD, Texas (AP) - Two families in rural North Texas have sued oil and gas drilling companies, claiming hazardous chemicals from hydraulic fracturing seeped into their water wells.   [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2015
BREAKING: Fracking decision in Lancashire to be made by secretary of state
Lancashire Evening Post
Paul Berentzen

The decision over whether fracking will be allowed to take place in Lancashire will be made by the secretary of state after the Government stepped in. Energy firm Cuadrilla is appealing against councillors’ decision to refuse bids to drill and test frack at sites at Little Plumpton off Preston New Road and at Roseacre.   [Full Story]

Nov 26, 2015
Further drilling allowed - but no fracking, councillors rule
Yorkshire Post


AN anti-fracking clause gave a crumb of comfort to campaigners who saw their hopes dashed today of reining in gas exploration at a wellsite in East Yorkshire.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
More rural water wells polluted in Barnett Shale
WFAA
Brett hipp

PALO PINTO COUNTY, Texas — Top state oil and gas officials have said it repeatedly: There is no credible link between fracking and groundwater contamination. Yet a WFAA investigation reveals the state's own records reflecting a significant concern about a water well explosion in Palo Pinto County last year.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
Exxon Made Deep Cuts in Climate Research Budget in the 1980s
Inside Climate News
JOHN H. CUSHMAN JR.

The cuts ushered in a five-year hiatus in peer-reviewed publication by its scientists and the era when the company first embraced disinformation.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
B.C. natural gas drilling suffers decline: report Low prices and uncertainty about LNG mean bleak forecast for 2016
Vancouver Sun
Derrick Penner

Natural gas drilling activity has dropped off sharply in British Columbia’s northeast this year and 2016 doesn’t promise to be any better, according to a new report by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
Supreme Court wades into FPL drilling fight
Tallahassee Democrat
Jim Saunders

Almost a year after regulators gave approval to the controversial plan, Florida Supreme Court justices are ready to take up a battle about Florida Power & Light’s investment in a natural-gas drilling operation in Oklahoma.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
Coastal cities rising up against Atlantic offshore drilling plans
Miami Herald
Sean Cockerham

As the Obama administration prepares to open the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas drilling for the first time in decades, the coast is in rebellion. More than 70 cities and counties in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida have passed resolutions opposing oil exploration or drilling off their coasts, pushing the president to reverse course and keep drilling rigs from the Eastern seaboard. The latest protest against Obama’s plan came from the seaside town of Swansboro, N.C., which passed a resolution Tuesday night against offshore drilling.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
Cape Breton anti-fracking success to be marked by water ceremony M'ikmaq ceremony honours sacredness of water and coincides with the Global Day of Action on Climate Change
CBC News
Jennifer Ludlow

A Mi'kmaq water ceremony will be held Sunday at Lake Ainslie in Cape Breton to celebrate a decision by Inverness County two years ago to ban hydraulic fracking within its boundaries. The ceremony is being hosted by the local chapter of the Council of Canadians and will coincide with the Global Day of Action on Climate Change.  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
Mark Ruffalo Slams President Obama's 'Cognitive Dissonance' On Climate Change
Design Trend
Peter Black

Mark Ruffalo wants President Obama to stop fracking around. The 48-year-old actor is taking his anti-fracking campaign to the White House -- via a documentary titled "Dear President Obama" -- which will "implore President Obama to stop this drill, baby, drill, all of the above energy policy that he has taken our country on," Ruffalo told the Hollywood Reporter. "You can't have it both ways. You can't keep pushing to take all the carbon out of the earth, which will be burned, while at the same time saying you believe in climate science."  [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
Monmouth and Ocean County briefs
Asbury Park Press


The town council will consider an ordinance at Tuesday's meeting that would prohibit the import of wastewater used in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a technique used in the production of oil and natural gas. Specifically, the proposed law would prevent the township from accepting fracking water for treatment, discharge, disposal or use on roadways (to prevent the formation of ice) or in industry.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
Government, industry and civil society hosts discussion around water crisis
Sandton Chronicle
Khanyisile Ngcobo

The discussion took place in Sandton on 24 November and saw various problems around the water crisis addressed by a panel of experts. One of the issues raised was the partnership between government, industry and communities, regarding their engagement in and around water conservation.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
Pennsylvania and the Paris Pledge
Erie Reader
Pat Lupo

The Pa. DEP recently held 14 “listening sessions” statewide to solicit public input regarding how Pa. might best comply with the federal Clean Power Plan (CPP), including one at Erie’s Blasco Library on Oct. 29. In our last issue, we included the testimony of Erie Art Museum Director John Vanco. Below, we’re featuring the testimony of Benedictine Sister Pat Lupo, who urges Pa. to join Interfaith Power and Light in signing the Paris Pledge. As the U.N. Climate Change Conference convenes, all eyes have been on Paris for reasons we could not have foreseen a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, as Robert Pollin wrote in Grist, “it is especially critical that we make clear how an effective global climate stabilization project will serve as a powerful tool for fighting global poverty” and the inequality and insecurity it creates.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
Fracking Companies Have Been Getting Worse About Disclosing The Chemicals They Use
Think Progress
Natasha Geiling

According to a new study published in the journal Energy Policy, fracking companies have become less forthcoming since 2013 about the chemicals used in their operations, citing “the use of proprietary compounds” as grounds for limiting their disclosure.   [Full Story]

Nov 25, 2015
From North Dakota to Paris With Love
Newsweek
ANTONIA JUHASZ

Kandi Mossett plans to accompany an extraordinarily influential lobbyist to the United Nations 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21): her 2-year-old daughter, Aiyana. Mossett, a member of the Native American Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation, has spent most of her life on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, which, since 2006, has been the center of what would become the second-largest domestic oil boom in U.S. history. It came with little warning or government regulation, but a lot of jobs and money followed. So did a host of climatic, environmental, public health, social, political and even economic costs. “It’s been like death by a thousand cuts,” says Mossett, the native energy and climate campaign organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and one of an estimated 20,000 nongovernmental organization delegates to the U.N. conference. Mossett hopes Aiyana’s presence will force President Barack Obama and every other head of state and government negotiator present to see with their own eyes “the people who they are making decisions for…those of us who live on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction. Those of us who will bear the full consequences of their decisions.”  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2015
What Chemicals Are Used in Fracking? Industry Discloses Less and Less
Inside Climate News
Lisa Song

Since 2013, energy companies that report their hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the FracFocus website have become less forthcoming, increasingly citing the use of proprietary compounds to limit disclosure, according to a new study from the journal Energy Policy. The paper, written by two Harvard University researchers, is the most comprehensive analysis of FracFocus to date. They examined more than 96,000 disclosure forms filed between March 2011 and April 2015, highlighting trends and offering suggestions to improve the site's accuracy and completeness. FracFocus is the nation's largest dataset on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. It was launched in 2011 as a voluntary tool for oil and gas operators, and later adopted by individual states to fulfill their chemical disclosure regulations. More than 20 states currently require companies to report the fracking compounds they use, through FracFocus.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2015
House abandoned because of compressor station; Family walks away from $250,000
River Reporter
JESSICA COHEN

MINISINK, NY — In June, Leanne and Rob Baum and their four children abandoned their house in Minisink, leaving it to the bank holding the mortgage and oversight by a friend. Ominous symptoms from emissions of a 12,600 horsepower gas compressor built in their rural neighborhood two years before by Millennium Pipeline, LLC, prompted their decision, said Leanne. After it had been six months on the market they had no offers on their house, and selling to another family felt morally questionable. “Once you know, you can’t un-know about the hazards,” she said. “I hoped no one would be interested.” No one was, and others in the neighborhood negotiated with “lowball offers” to sell their houses in the once-quiet rural community after they had been a year on the market, Baum said.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2015
Mark Ruffalo to Produce Documentary Challenging Obama on Climate Change
The Hollywood Reporter
Degen Pener

The 'Spotlight' actor says President Obama "is almost worse than climate-change deniers" by pursuing an "all of the above energy policy" that includes oil drilling. Actor Mark Ruffalo — part of a new group of entertainment leaders called Hollywood United for a Healthy California that is pushing governor Jerry Brown to move the state away from fossil fuels — is now setting his sights on President Obama. The Spotlight star, in the midst of kicking off an awards campaign, has signed on to narrate and executive produce the documentary Dear President Obama, a film about the administration’s energy and climate change policies due out next year. The movie’s director is Jon Bowermaster, who’s helmed films documenting his own eco-adventures for National Geographic and whose most recent project, After The Spill, focuses on post-Katrina Louisiana.  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2015
Scientific Proof That Exxon And The Kochs Distorted The Public’s Understanding Of Climate Change
ThinkProgress
NATASHA GEILING

When it comes to climate deniers in the halls of Congress, some have suggested that their rejection of the scientific consensus on climate change stems from their financial ties to the fossil fuel industry. But it turns out that it’s not just members of Congress whose climate doubt may be traced back to corporate influence — a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that over the last 20 years, private funding has had an important influence on the overall polarization of climate change as a topic in the United States. “The main thesis that corporate funding influences climate change issues is definitely something people have been writing about for a long time, but just not with the type of data to fully support these conclusions,” Justin Farrell, author of the study and a sociologist at Yale University, told ThinkProgress. “It confirms what we thought using comprehensive data and computational analyses.”  [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2015
Jurors Hear Adam Skelos's Frustration Over Fracking Ban
WNYC
Karen Rouse

On Tuesday, jurors heard a recorded conversation between Adam Skelos and his boss, Glen Rink, founder of Arizona-based Abtech, a firm that cleans contaminated water. Rink had been hoping fracking would pass in New York because he believed it would create opportunities for his business to get water cleanup work.   [Full Story]

Nov 24, 2015
There Was No Global Warming 'Hiatus,' 40-Study Review Concludes
Inside Climate News
PHIL MCKENNA

The new findings cast additional doubt on studies that found a pause in climate change. Another scientific analysis has debunked the theory that global warming stalled 15 years ago. A similar finding by U.S. government scientists is at the center of a months-long probe led by Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House science committee. There is no evidence of a recent pause or hiatus in global warming, according to an analysis of 40 peer-reviewed studies on the subject published Tuesday in the Scientific Reports, a peer-reviewed journal of the Nature Publishing Group. Researchers found that the studies positing a hiatus didn't examine a long enough period of time to support such a conclusion.  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
State will require utilities to purchase more renewable energy
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — The Cuomo administration will require the state’s utilities to purchase more of their power from carbon-free sources within the next 15 years, according to a new proposal. The move preserves into law the state’s energy goals, which were released in June and require that, by 2030, the energy grid be powered by at least 50-percent renewables and that carbon levels be reduced by 40 percent. The plan also creates an additional value for the state’s struggling nuclear facilities, by treating them as a carbon-free bridge to a more renewable future. Utilities can use nuclear energy to supply carbon-free power as the renewable industry is developed over the next 15 years.  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
Research Confirms ExxonMobil, Koch-funded Climate Denial Echo Chamber Polluted Mainstream Media
DeSmogBlog
Brendan DeMelle

A new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS) shows that the climate denial echo chamber organizations funded by ExxonMobil and Koch family foundations produced misinformation that effectively polluted mainstream media coverage of climate science and polarized the climate policy debate. The abstract and full text of the study can be found here: Corporate funding and ideological polarization about climate change. The analysis of 20 years' worth of data by Yale University researcher Dr. Justin Farrell shows beyond a doubt that ExxonMobil and the Kochs are the key actors who funded the creation of climate disinformation think tanks and ensured the prolific spread of their doubt products throughout our mainstream media and public discourse.  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
States lack rules for radioactive drilling waste disposal
High Country News
Jodi Peterson

The process of extracting oil and natural gas produces byproducts that sometimes create nasty results: briny wastewater that can kill plants and render farmland sterile; oil-based drilling mud and cuttings that can be toxic to fish; and radioactive sludge that’s filtered out of wastewater and builds up inside tanks and other pieces of equipment. As HCN reported last year, in North Dakota alone, the state’s oil and gas operations generate an estimated 70 tons a day of radioactive waste. Because the waste is often too radioactive to be disposed of in landfills, it sometimes gets dumped illegally, creating a health and environmental hazard. There’s no federal oversight of such waste; that job is left to states, many of which don’t have any regulations for handling and disposing of it.  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
What’s Fuelling The Media’s Climate Coverage?
DeSmogBlog
Brendan Montague

You might have noticed the age old barrier separating advertising and editorial in your news weakening recently. The Guardian’s Rugby World Cup coverage is sponsored by Heineken, The Telegraph’s is brought to you by Dove Men Care. We’ve also seen the rise of something called native advertising, where brands work with media organisations directly to produce content. Hailed by some as the saviour of the media industry, Interactive Advertising Bureau report that in the US it will generate $21 billion in ad spending by 2018. When it comes to environment and energy coverage, the question of who is behind the news we read becomes a little more interesting. In the age of online media, with traditional advertising markets falling down, DeSmog UK looks at who is paying for the stories you read on climate change.  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
First EPA chief accuses Republicans of ignoring science for political gain
The Guardian
Oliver Milman

William Ruckelshaus, who this week will receive the presidential medal of freedom, says candidates are harming US’s reputation ahead of Paris climate talks  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
AP FACT CHECK: Most GOP candidates flunk climate science
AP News
Seth Borenstein

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to climate science, two of the three Democratic presidential candidates are A students, while most of the Republican contenders are flunking, according to a panel of scientists who reviewed candidates' comments. At the request of The Associated Press, eight climate and biological scientists graded for scientific accuracy what a dozen top candidates said in debates, interviews and tweets, using a 0 to 100 scale. To try to eliminate possible bias, the candidates' comments were stripped of names and given randomly generated numbers, so the professors would not know who made each statement they were grading. Also, the scientists who did the grading were chosen by professional scientific societies. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had the highest average score at 94. Three scientists did not assign former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley a score, saying his statements mostly were about policy, which they could not grade, instead of checkable science.   [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
The top 5 trends in distributed energy policy and rate design
UtilityDive
Herman K. Trabish

Last week, Utility Dive reported from the front lines of rate design reform, noting that leaders from the utility sector, renewables advocates and regulators have begun looking for more comprehensive ways to calculate utility rates after years of contention over net metering, fixed charges, and other rate issues. But while sector leaders aim to chart a new path, the policy landscape they're seeking to change looks significantly different from the one they envision. From Maine to Hawaii, regulators continue to be caught between the power of utilities and the passion of renewables advocates on a slew of distributed energy issues, and a new report points out that they aren't likely to subside anytime soon.   [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
Class Action Suit Filed for Neighbors of Month-Long Gas Leak
Northridge-Chatsworth Patch
PAIGE AUSTIN

A man is suing Southern California Gas Co. over a gas leak in the Northridge-Chatsworth area that some neighbors blame for health problems.   [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
Western State Regulators Struggling to Keep up with Radioactive Fracking and Drilling Waste: New Report
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

The question of how to handle the toxic waste from fracking and other oil and gas activities is one of the most intractable issues confronting environmental regulators. Not only because of the sheer volume of waste generated nationwide, but also because some of the radioactive materials involved have a half-life of over 1,500 years, making the consequences of decision-making today especially long-lasting. Every year, the oil and gas industry generates roughly 21 billion barrels of wastewater and millions of tons of solid waste, much of it carrying a mix of naturally occurring radioactive materials, and some of it bearing so much radioactive material that it is not safe to drink or even, on far more rare occasions, to simply have it near you. But unlike most other industries, since 1988, the oil and gas industry has benefitted from an exception to national hazardous waste handling laws, which punts control of this radioactive waste from the federal government down to each individual state — no matter how dangerous the waste might be.  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
David Casagrande to lead fracking impact study
Lehigh University


A newly awarded Lehigh CORE grant will fund an eight-member interdisciplinary research team studying the impacts of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region. David Casagrande, Associate Professor of Anthropology, is the lead investigator of the team, which also includes Kelly Austin, Assistant Professor of Sociology. Work will begin in December. Casagrande has also received an NSF grant to study flood mitigation and response on the Midwest; he will spend most of this summer in Illinois and Missouri, which have experienced considerable flooding this spring.   [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
Another Historic Day in the Battle to Stop the Tar Sands
EcoWatch
Mike Huderna

After a string of pipeline victories and over a decade of campaigning on at least three different continents, the Alberta government has finally put a limit to the tar sands. Today they announced they will cap its expansion and limit the tar sands monster to 100 megatons a year (equivalent to what projects already operating and those currently under construction would produce).  [Full Story]

Nov 23, 2015
Eco-group working to make invisible air pollution from Ohio’s Utica Shale visible to everyone
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

BARNESVILLE: Peter Dronkers of Earthworks makes invisible air pollution from shale drilling visible to everyone. The viewfinder of Dronkers’ special infrared gas-recording camera shows billowing clouds or wispy leaks.   [Full Story]

Nov 22, 2015
Board opts to support governor in offshore drilling
JD News
Michael Todd

BEAUFORT | Carteret County commissioners took a stand this week that puts the county on the opposite side of the local governments and agencies that have come out against offshore drilling off the North Carolina coast.  [Full Story]

Nov 22, 2015
Eastern Kentucky water degraded by fracking, mining
Lexington Herald Leader
George R. Gibson

Your editorial regarding environmental non-enforcement in Kentucky addresses the problem of degraded streams rather than the more serious problem of destroyed wells. This is unfortunate, since 80 percent or more ofwells in the Knott County area have been destroyed by coal mining or gas-well fracking. This percentage came from employees of the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands who were surveying wells. I have informally confirmed this through discussions with many people in the area. This information, however, is not available from the state Energy and Environment Cabinet because any facts that that reflect badly on energy companies are concealed.   [Full Story]

Nov 22, 2015
Jay Weatherill won’t rule out allowing fracking in SA as protesters rally outside Mt Gambier public forum
Adelaide Now
Lauren Novak

PREMIER Jay Weatherill has refused to rule out allowing fracking in the state’s South-East, as he defended the method to angry protesters.   [Full Story]

Nov 22, 2015
Fracking foes fear release of radium in forest
Herald Star
Casey Junkins

WHEELING - Opponents of natural gas fracking in the 241,000-acre Wayne National Forest believe the process will release radioactive radium and other hazardous materials, while those in favor said drillers need to operate in the woodland so mineral owners can realize their properties' profit potential.  [Full Story]

Nov 22, 2015
Eco-group working to make invisible air pollution from Ohio’s Utica Shale visible to everyone
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

BARNESVILLE: Peter Dronkers of Earthworks makes invisible air pollution from shale drilling visible to everyone. The viewfinder of Dronkers’ special infrared gas-recording camera shows billowing clouds or wispy leaks. What appears in the videos as wind-blown plumes of smoke are really pollutants that are invisible to the naked eye. Earthworks, a national environmental group based in Washington, D.C., quietly came into Ohio during the summer with its camera to determine if shale drilling, natural gas processing and transportation are fouling the air and sickening Ohio residents.  [Full Story]

Nov 22, 2015
Alberta carbon plan a major pivot in environmental policy
The Globe and Mail


Alberta’s NDP government is imposing an economy-wide carbon tax starting in 2017 and a cap on emissions from the oil sands in a sweeping plan aimed at showing it is serious about fighting climate change. Premier Rachel Notley’s strategy – a major shift in environmental policy for Canada’s largest oil-producing province – will take centre stage as Canada’s premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gather in Ottawa on Monday for a first ministers’ meeting to craft a strategy for the coming Paris climate talks.  [Full Story]

Nov 22, 2015
EPA Finding On Fracking Disputed By Own Scientists
Popular Resistance


Panel finds little basis in EPA’s 1,000-page study for claim that fracking has not led to ‘widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water.’   [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2015
The Bottom Line: Pipeline proposal a tangled web of competing interests By Clarence Fanto
The Berkshire Eagle
Clarence Fanto

LENOX >> The battle has been joined now that Kinder Morgan, parent company of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., has filed its official, formal application to federal regulators for its proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline. Believe it or not, everything up to now on this extremely divisive project has been preliminary. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission promises a rigorous review that could take at least a year. From all available evidence, opposition in Massachusetts and New Hampshire is boiling over, with court battles in progress and more threatened. Whether the case made by opponents will sway the regulators is anyone's guess.  [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2015
Board unanimously approves fracking moratorium
Rockingham Now


WENTWORTH – The Rockingham Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance establishing a two-year moratorium on oil and gas development within unincorporated areas of the county Monday night  [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2015
Sanders: 'To hell with the fossil fuel industry’
The Hill
Mark Hensch

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Saturday called for Republicans to abandon the corrupting influence of the Koch brothers and other wealthy energy magnates. “This is a party that rejects science and refuses to understand that climate change is real,” he said of GOP during the annual Blue Jamboree in North Charleston, S.C. “I understand if you stand up to the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry, that you’ll lose your campaign contributions,” the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate added. “[Climate change] is already causing devastating problems all over this world. To hell with the fossil fuel industry. Worry more about your children and your grandchildren than your campaign contributions.”  [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2015
LATEST ANTI-FRACKING COMMUNITY VICTORY! CUADRILLA ABANDON LANCASHIRE SITE
Frack-Off


After nearly 5 years Cuadrilla have abandoned their proposed fracking site at Becconsall near Banks, Lancashire. This is the same site that was occupied by protesters on the same day that Cuadrilla admitted causing seismic activity back in 2011. Residents and members of the UK’s very first anti-fracking community group Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) said: “REAF would like to thank all those who have supported us as we continue our work with other communities faced with the dangers of fracking.”   [Full Story]

Nov 21, 2015
In our opinion: Both economic and environmental impacts of fracking deserve careful consideration
Deseret News
Editorial

Energy independence, a goal of every president since Richard Nixon, puts the United States in a position of power when dealing with the world’s oppressive, dangerous and oil-rich powers. It changes many of the assumptions that drive international relations and weakens the hands of those who mean to do the nation harm. But the extraction may bring environmental impacts, and the nation cannot afford to take that possibility lightly.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
Hudson Valley town opposes Thruway environmental control over crude oil pipeline project
Times Union
Brian Nearing

New Paltz A Hudson Valley town is rejecting a bid by the state Thruway Authority to take control of the environmental review of a controversial crude oil pipeline that would use part of the state Thruway to transport oil from Albany to New Jersey. The New Paltz Town Board also voted late Thursday that since the state Department of Environmental Conservation may be predisposed to let Thruway officials take that control as environmental "lead agency" for the Pilgrim pipeline, then the Ulster County town wants to play the leading role instead. An environmental review studies the possible impact of a project on the environment.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
Hand recount of anti-fracking votes will be first in 2 decades
Vindy.com


A hand recount of an anti-fracking charter amendment in Youngstown will start Dec. 1 and could take two days to complete. Backers of the so-called Community Bill of Rights said they will officially ask for the recount today after the Mahoning County Board of Elections certifies the results of the Nov. 3 general election.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
Jefferson Hills residents concerned about plans for fracking site
WPXI


JEFFERSON HILLS, Pa. — Residents of a neighborhood in Jefferson Hills are upset after learning that a nearby property could be used to build gas wells.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
Natural gas leak that's sickening Valley residents could take months to fix
Los Angeles Times
Tony Barboza

Southern California Gas Co. is warning that it might need several months to plug a natural gas leak that has been sickening residents in the San Fernando Valley for weeks.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
Judge lets Middlesex drilling ordinance stand
TribLive
Rick Wills

A Butler County judge upheld a contentious zoning ordinance that allows drilling for natural gas in 90 percent of Middlesex, but the court fight likely will continue.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
Leeds fracking debate continues
Yorkshire Evening Post


Leeds City Council has come under fire for how it opposes fracking applications. Leeds Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) councillors say they are disappointed the local authority will not develop its own policy to help it oppose fracking applications.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
Natural gas leak that's sickening Valley residents could take months to fix
Los Angeles Times
Tony Barboza

Southern California Gas Co. is warning that it might need several months to plug a natural gas leak that has been sickening residents in the San Fernando Valley for weeks. A leaking well in the Santa Susana Mountains, more than a mile from the nearest homes in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch, has elicited hundreds of complaints from residents and drawn the scrutiny of state regulators and health officials.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
If NY permits fracking, have clear rules and taxes ready
Press Connects
Editorial

As much as we like to be opinionated on the topics of the day, we cannot come down in favor or against fracking. We also find ourselves falling into the “one hand/other hand” dilemma.   [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
Thruway role in crude oil pipeline environmental review stirs critics
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany While the state Department of Environmental Conservation appears poised to hand over environmental review of a major oil pipeline to the Thruway Authority, a DEC spokesman on Thursday insisted no decision has yet been made. The Pilgrim pipeline would use 90 miles of the state Thruway — and cross through public water supplies and numerous bodies of water in six counties from Albany to Orange counties — to bring crude oil 170 miles from the Port of Albany to refineries in New Jersey. After the Connecticut-based developers revealed Wednesday that an environmental study was filed with the Thruway Authority in August, the issue of which state agency will control that environmental review as lead agency appeared to have been considered behind closed doors.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
Protesters Briefly Halt Work On Natural Gas Pipeline Through Westchester County
NBC News


CORTLANDT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Protesters on Friday temporarily stopped work on a controversial gas pipeline through Westchester County – by placing themselves in danger. As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, the Algonquin pipeline standoff ended with the intervention of county police. Friday marked the second day of protesters creeping close to the heavy tree-cutting equipment in the woods in Cortlandt.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
Skelos’s Son Wanted CEO Removed in Failed Takeover Bid, Witness Says
The New York Times
WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM and SUSANNE CRAIG

At a lunch last year with a Glenwood executive, Mr. Skelos asked for help removing AbTech’s founder and chief executive, Glenn R. Rink, from the board of the company’s publicly traded parent — clearing the way for Adam to take over. He told the executive, Charles C. Dorego, he was confident that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo would lift a state moratorium on fracking, a controversial method of extracting natural gas from the ground. Such a move would be a financial boon to the company. (Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, announced in December 2014 that he would not lift the ban.) Despite Adam’s attempt that day, Mr. Rink was not removed.  [Full Story]

Nov 20, 2015
New York is transforming its energy systems. Meet the "czar" in charge.
Vox
David Roberts

New York is in the midst of a comprehensive, wildly ambitious plan to reform its energy systems, aiming to make them more resilient, cleaner, and more affordable. By 2030, the state aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 40 percent (from 1990 levels) and draw 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Behind those broad goals is an enormous range of programs, primarily focused on electricity, from research to financing to utility reform. Under the state's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program, its electric utilities will be restructured to allow for more market competition and more distributed energy resources like rooftop solar panels, batteries, and home energy management systems. (I wrote about NY REV in some detail in this post.)  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Real Estate Value Impacts From Fracking
ValueWalk


Abstract: In this article, we discuss how fracking can affect housing prices in both positive and negative ways. We then critique several recent papers that use hedonic regression to analyze the effect of fracking on house prices and conclude that fracking has an unambiguously negative affect on housing prices. We identify serious methodological problems and data shortcomings in these studies; and discuss how to correct these problems and shortcomings. We conclude that much more research into the effects of fracking on real estate prices and values is needed before this issue is resolved. Real Estate Value Impacts From Fracking: Industry Response And Proper Analytical Techniques – Introduction Fracking has emerged as an environmental and real estate issue in the past 10 years because of the enhancements in drilling technology that enable oil and gas to be economically captured from shale deposits in many parts of the country. Figure 1 below shows the various shale formations across the country in which fracking is either actively underway or potentially possible in the future.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Gulf of Mexico Operator Pays for Oil Discharges
The Maritime Executive


ATP Oil & Gas has agreed to pay $41.85 million after actions brought against the company for the alleged discharge of oil, and attempts to hide it with dispersant, in the Gulf of Mexico. The settlement follows investigations by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
France Cancels Major Climate March, Groups Say They Won’t Be Silenced
Eco Watch
Nadia Prupis, Common Dreams

Update: The Prefecture of Police of Paris has reportedly canceled a march planned for Nov. 29 that organizers expected to draw at least 200,000 people, citing security concerns. Activists noted that other actions planned worldwide will still move forward. Nicolas Haeringer, French campaigner for climate advocacy group 350.org, said in response: “The government can prohibit these demonstrations, but our voices will not be silenced. While this makes it difficult to go forward with our original plans, we will still find a way for people in Paris to make the call for climate justice heard, and we encourage everyone around the world to join a Global Climate March and raise their voices louder than ever. There’s never been a greater need. “While our plans in Paris must change, the movement for climate justice will not slow down. Around the world, marches, demonstrations, and civil disobedience are all planned for the weeks and months ahead.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Anti-fracking ballot effort fails to collect enough signatures, seeks more volunteers
Mlive
Emily Lawler

LANSING, MI -- A grassroots effort to institute a statewide ban on horizontal fracking in Michigan gathered more than 150,000 signatures over the past 180 days but failed to meet the 252,253-signature threshold to make it on the ballot.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Residents air concerns about fracking at forum
Earthwoks
Cathryn Stanley

Barnesville area residents were given the opportunity to learn about the impact of hydraulic fracturing on air quality and make public comments to share with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to strengthen proposed rules on air quality standards for the industry. On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Concerned Barnesville Area Residents hosted a forum at the First United Methodist Church in Barnesville. Information was presented by Melanie Houston, Director of Water Policy & Environmental Health, Ohio Environmental Council and Nadia Steinzor, Eastern Program Coordinator, Earthworks. Several area residents also shared their stories about the environmental and health impact they say fracking has had in the Barnesville, Somerton and Seneca Lake areas.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Caroline Lucas Calls for Fossil Fuel Industry to be 'Kicked Out' of Paris Climate Negotiations
DeSmogBlogUK
Ben Lucas

Fossil fuel companies should be “kicked out” of the climate negotiations in Paris at the end of this month, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has told the House of Commons. Her comments were made during a questioning session with the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, in parliament on Thursday afternoon. Lucas said: “For over 20 years governments have met, yet greenhouse gas emissions have not decreased and the climate keeps changing. The forces of inertia and obstruction prevail, the fossil fuel giants and the politicians who do their bidding are responsible. And that’s why I call for the fossil fuel lobby to be kicked out of the UN climate negotiations.” The Brighton Pavilion MP also emphasised the importance of divestment from fossil fuel companies, particularly parliament’s own pension fund, and criticised the government in general for its recent environmental policies including tax breaks for offshore oil and gas production and the removal of solar energy subsidies.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Wow! Two more counties move to protect themselves from fracking
Frackfreenc


Hearty congratulations to the very committed folks in Rockingham and Lee Counties who’ve been working for years to get protections in place! On Nov. 16, Rockingham County voted for a two year moratorium on permitting and Lee County held the first of two hearings on the proposal there, passing the moratorium’s first reading!  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Is fracking safe? Well integrity
Fraser institute


In part one of this series of blog posts, we provided evidence that hydraulic fracturing does not pose systemic threats to ground and surface water. Related to this issue is integrity of the wells, which allow oil and gas to come to the surface. If wells fail or crack, it’s possible that fracking fluids or oil and gas could migrate into the surrounding ground or water.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
EPA Finding on Fracking Water Pollution Disputed by Its Own Scientists
Society of Environmental Journalists


"Panel finds little basis in EPA's 1,000-page study for claim that fracking has not led to 'widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water.'" "An Environmental Protection Agency panel of independent scientific advisers has challenged core conclusions of a major study the agency issued in June that minimized the potential risks to drinking water from hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Strong Earthquake Rattles Oklahoma, Felt in 7 Other States
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

While there have been no reports of significant damage, both Oklahoma and Kansas have seen repeated seismic activity over the past decade, especially in recent years. The frequent temblors have been tied to the states’ drilling booms.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Company wants to draw water from Ohio River for fracking
The Times-Tribune
David Taube

FREEDOM -- A hydraulic fracturing company wants to cut down on the number of trucks transporting water for its fracking operations by drawing water from the Ohio River.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
EPA Finding on Fracking's Water Pollution Disputed by Its Own Scientists
Inside Climate News
Neela Banerjee

Panel finds little basis in EPA's 1,000-page study for claim that fracking has not led to 'widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water.' An Environmental Protection Agency panel of independent scientific advisers has challenged core conclusions of a major study the agency issued in June that minimized the potential risks to drinking water from hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Fracking consultation extended
The Star
Kate Mason

Campaigners opposed to fracking near a Doncaster village have more time to voice their concerns after the consultation period was extended.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Changes planned for disposal wells near Cherokee after earthquakes Epicenter in the far northern part of the state
KOCO


ALFALFA COUNTY —Two large earthquakes have rattled Oklahoma since midnight.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Proposed fracking in Ohio national forest gets hearings
FuelFix
Associated Press

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — The federal government is hearing diverse opinions as it again considers whether to open Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio to oil-and-gas drilling. Attendees of a series of U.S. Bureau of Land Management hearings being held this week say both opponents and supporters have been out in force. The bureau is proposing allowing drilling beneath about 31,900 acres of the forest through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It is determining who owns mineral rights, assessing potential environmental risks and gathering public input.  [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Highlights From the Trial of Dean and Adam Skelos
The New York Times


State Senator Dean G. Skelos, the former Republican majority leader, and his son are accused of using the senator’s official position to obtain for the son, Adam Skelos, more than $300,000 in “bribes, gratuities and extortion payments” from the senator’s campaign donors and people with business before the state.   [Full Story]

Nov 19, 2015
Skelos’s Efforts to Get a Job for His Son Are Recounted
The New York Times
SUSANNE CRAIG and WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM

With the New York Legislature in the final throes of negotiating a critical package of real estate laws, Charles Dorego, a senior real estate executive at Glenwood Management, drove to Albany to hammer home a message to state leaders: Glenwood could not survive without this legislation and was pressing for certain terms.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Utility ordered to provide plan to stop natural gas leak
The Washington Post
Brian Melley?

LOS ANGELES — California’s gas and oil regulator issued an emergency order Wednesday requiring a utility to provide a plan to stop an uncontrolled leak from a massive natural gas storage field outside Los Angeles that has neighbors concerned for their health from the sickening stench. Southern California Gas Co. was given a day to provide data it has collected from the leak that has persisted nearly a month near Porter Ranch and to provide a plan for how it will plug and seal the well.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Mass. AG sees no need for new natural gas pipelines
Boston Globe
Jack Newsham

Attorney General Maura Healey, who by law represents consumers in utility cases, said Wednesday that the state can meet its energy needs and lower costs without building new natural gas pipelines, citing a study that calls instead for improving energy efficiency and management. The study was commissioned by Healey’s office, but financed by two national foundations that have contributed to environmental causes. In its report, the Boston consulting firm Analysis Group Inc. concluded that increasing energy efficiency and encouraging electricity users to scale back their use when demand and prices are high would keep the lights on and save consumers $146 million per year through 2030.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Michigan frack report explores options
Great Lakes Echo
Courtney Bourgoin

A new report breaks down what’s up with fracking. The University of Michigan recently released a report addressing policy options for high-volume fracturing—underground injections of at least 100,000 gallons of chemicals, sand and water to extract natural gas.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Skelos threatened to challenge Cuomo over fracking
Capital New York
Josefa Velasquez

Following Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to ban fracking in New York last year, Dean Skelos, then the majority leader of the state Senate, assailed the governor and said he would run against him, according to a wiretapped phone call between the senator and his son played for the jury during their corruption trial on Wednesday.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Anti-fracking group falls short in signatures for ballot
Detroit Free Press
Kathleen Gray

A group looking to get a ban on hydraulic fracturing on the 2016 ballot has fallen well short in gathering the necessary signatures to put the issue before voters.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Environmental groups protested potential fracking in the Wayne National Forest at public meeting
The Post
Nora Jaera

A public meeting about leasing land in the Wayne National Forest for oil and gas development was cut short Wednesday night after protesters with Appalachia Resist took the floor while an official from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management addressed the crowd.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Anti-fracking campaigners gather outside shale gas firm's Nottinghamshire exhibition
Nottingham post
Benireland

Anti-fracking protestors campaigned outside an exhibition held by a company looking to drill in north Nottinghamshire. Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Anti-fracking-campaigners-gather-outside-shale/story-28200278-detail/story.html#ixzz3rzfIGD9Q Follow us: @Nottingham_Post on Twitter | NottinghamPostOnline on Facebook  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
The battle to keep Florida frack-free is intensifying ahead of the 2016 state legislative session.
EIN News
Julie Dermansky / DeSmogBlog

The battle to keep Florida frack-free is intensifying ahead of the 2016 state legislative session. Fracking became an issue last year after Florida's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) revealed that the Dan A. Hughes Co. had fracked the Collier-Hogan well in Naples, despite regulators telling it not to until the agency had a chance to thoroughly review the company's plans. Shortly after the news broke, the move to ban fracking in Florida began. Democratic State Senators Dwight Bullard and Darren Soto filed Senate Bill 166 that called for a statewide ban on fracking. Their bill failed, but was reintroduced this year. In July, Bonita Springs, a city near Naples, passed a ban on all types of well-stimulation techniques, including fracking. Nearby Estero is considering a ban as well. In a move that would void existing bans, companion legislation sponsored by Republican State Senator Garrett Richter (SB318) and Republican State Representative Ray Rodrigues (HB 191) calls for statewide regulations for fracking. The bills, if passed, would preempt all local ordinances governing the oil and gas industry.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
The Town of Middletown, Maryland, to Employ Solar to Reduce Electricity Expenses
EIN News


FREDERICK, Md., Nov. 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Empower Energies, a leading clean energy project solutions company, announced the construction of an 836 kWDC solar array in the Town of Middletown, MD. The project will feature 2,698 (310-watt) photovoltaic solar modules situated on 6.399 acres of municipal land adjacent to the town's water treatment plant. "We're always looking for ways to better serve our constituents, so we're quite pleased to have this project underway," said Middletown Burgess (Mayor) John Miller. "The new system will deliver enough electricity to power 100% of the requirements of our water and wastewater facilities, lowering our electricity bills, and saving us a significant amount of money over the next 20 years. This will help the Town to manage its budgets more effectively for the future." RER Energy Group – a Reading, PA-based developer with over 30MW of experience on-the-ground nationally – is co-developer on the project. The installation is expected to be commissioned and operational by the end of November, 2015, and will deliver approximately 1,143 MWh/yr of electricity annually to the Town of Middletown. "We commend the Town of Middletown for its careful consideration and implementation of this significant renewable energy project," said Jim Kurtz, president of RER Energy Group. "We have worked closely in cooperation with the town administrators, and all of the various constituencies, to make the project a reality. The project is well-sited to minimize impact on the surrounding area, and will serve the people of Middletown well for the next 20 years and beyond." The project was financed using a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), a third-party contract that enables Middletown to enjoy low-cost solar electricity generation without any "out-of-pocket" expense. Sol Systems, a Washington, DC-based solar energy finance and investment firm selected by Empower Energies and RER Energy Group, was the financing partner for this project. "There were no capital expenditures or up-front costs to the town," Burgess Miller noted. "So we'll benefit from reduced electricity bills as soon as the installation is commissioned." "At Sol Systems, we believe in scaling the industry, and the strength of partnerships like the one we have with Empower Energies," said Colin Murchie, Senior Director of Project Finance at Sol Systems. "We are happy to help Middletown lower their electricity bills and to enable solar growth in neighboring Maryland." "Like most solar projects, this one is characterized by a complex set of transactions, followed by the interaction of an array of companies with interdependent skill sets," said Len Jornlin, CEO of Empower Energies. "As developer on the Middletown solar project, we were privileged to serve as the hub of these skill sets. It enabled us to connect the dots, and will help our co-developer, RER Energy Group, and our EPC partner, Gehrlicher Solar, to get the project over the finish line for Sol Systems and the Town of Middletown." "As complex as these projects are, it is truly a testament to Burgess Miller, Drew Bowen and the people in Middletown to get an installation like this one up-and-running," Jornlin continued. "It's such a privilege to positively impact the local community where our company resides." "We also appreciate the opportunity to work with select local development partners, such as RER Energy Group," Jornlin concluded. "We actively and deliberately seek out such strong local partners across the country, because their local knowledge and connectivity add to the efficiency and economic value delivered for the customers and communities we serve."   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Fracking Goes on Trial for Human Rights Violations
AlterNet
Kathleen Dean Moore

As convoys of heavy trucks carry fracking equipment into new oil fields in neighborhoods and wildlands around the world, an alliance of human rights organizations is making plans to put the entire practice of hydraulic fracturing on trial. The court is the Permanent People's Tribunal, a descendant of the Vietnam War-era International War Crimes Tribunal. The Peoples' Tribunal is a branch of no government on Earth. It has no power of enforcement. It has no army, no prison, no sheriff.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Filosano to Run on Renewable Energy from Arcadia Power
EIN News
Kiran Bhatraju

By making the switch to go on 100% wind energy with Arcadia Power, Filosano is directly supporting the progress of wind power projects around the country, helping to create clean energy jobs, and having the environmental benefit of reducing carbon emissions. “We are excited about the opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint.” said Maury Argento, founder of Filosano “Running our headquarters on 100% sustainable energy is just one more step in changing how we as consumers affect our environment.” “The Arcadia Power community is proud to have a company onboard that truly exemplifies the responsible practices we all want from businesses in our communities,” said Arcadia Power co-founder, Kiran Bhatraju. “Renewable power used to be hard to access for most families and small businesses, but Filosano shows us that today, it’s possible for all of us to do our part to reduce our environmental impact. They are playing an important role in a growing movement that will lead us to a cleaner, safer, more sustainable energy future.” As a clean energy partner with Arcadia Power, Filosano also met the requirements for, and has officially joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership; joining national brands such as Whole Foods, Google, and Starbucks that also purchase clean energy. The sustainable clothing and accessories brand now joins a growing community of businesses, individuals, and families who are taking responsibility for their energy consumption through Arcadia Power. Filosano "Filo" means thread or rope and "Sano" translates from Latin to healthy, wholesome, well and right. The common thread for all of our products is that they are made in a way that leaves as little impact on our environment as possible. We like to think of ourselves as healthy threads. We know exceptional, sustainable product options exist and can be available to everyone. We believe that you should know what you are buying, where it came from, how it was made, and who made it. We also believe that you should be able to do this easily, and know that shopping from a pool of products that you can trust, is much easier than having to do the research yourself. For more information, visit www.filosano.com. Arcadia Power is the first nationwide community wind power company. By partnering with wind power projects across the country, Arcadia Power provides homes and businesses with 100% pollution-free energy. Members support their values through their monthly energy bills, decreasing demand for fossil fuels and helping to grow American green jobs and power. Arcadia Power partners with sustainability-minded companies and organizations to combat climate change and secure a better future for our planet. For more information, visit www.arcadiapower.com.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Comedians and activists call out California governor in anti-fracking ad campaign
Grist
Raven Rakia

Welp. This is embarrassing for California’s Gov. Jerry Brown. There’s an ad campaign calling out Brown for allowing fracking in California, and it’s running on television this week. The videos feature famous people like comedian Kristina Wong and community activists like Juan Flores. The commercials range from pointing out that 90 percent of fracking wells are in Latino and low-income neighborhoods:  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Skelos threatened to challenge Cuomo over fracking
Capital New York
JOSEFA VELASQUEZ

Following Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to ban fracking in New York last year, Dean Skelos, then the majority leader of the state Senate, assailed the governor and said he would run against him, according to a wiretapped phone call between the senator and his son played for the jury during their corruption trial on Wednesday. “Ahhh! This day sucks,” Adam Skelos told his father in a phone call dated Dec. 17, 2014, the same day the Cuomo administration concluded that fracking posed “significant health risks.”  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Watch: Obama’s Top Environmental Official on the Paris Attacks and Why Climate Change Threatens National Security
Mother Jones
Tim McDonnell

With a major global climate summit in Paris less than two weeks away, the Obama administration's top environmental official is saying that climate change is a major threat to US national security. "There are a variety of impacts that we're feeling from a changing climate, and we need to stop those impacts from escalating by failing to take action—one of those is instability," said Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in an interview Tuesday with Climate Desk. McCarthy pointed to drought and wildfires in California as examples of climate impacts that can displace people from their homes, and she noted that many of the same things are happening in less stable parts of the world. You can watch portions of the interview above.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Committee meeting to ban fracking hopes to collect signatures
WLNS


LANSING, MI. (WLNS) – A meeting will take place Wednesday in Lansing, where a committee to ban fracking in Michigan will gather in hopes of collecting signatures for their cause.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
API, ANGA to combine forces into single trade association
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing Mark Gillispie

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2015 – Following approval of both boards of directors, the American Petroleum Institute and America's Natural Gas Alliance announced the two organizations will combine into a single trade association, effective January 1, 2016. The combined association will continue ANGA's mission under API.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Plan would limit drilling on most of Roan Plateau
Durango Herald
Dan Elliott

DENVER – Federal land managers released a tentative plan this week to protect most of the wild and energy-rich Roan Plateau in western Colorado, a step toward implementing a landmark compromise between conservationists and an energy company.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Signature gathering to ban fracking in Michigan falls short
Ionia Sentinel-Standard


Organizers of an initiative to ban a form of oil and natural gas drilling in Michigan have fallen short in collecting enough signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot.  [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Ohio's Utica Shale boom grows by $5.7 billion or 20.4 percent
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

Ohio’s Utica Shale has seen an additional $5.7 billion in investment or a 20.4 percent increase since last spring, says a Columbus law firm in a new report. The shale industry has invested $33.7 billion in Ohio, says the report from Bricker & Eckler LLP that tracks the industry.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Group Strives for tougher regulations on oil and gas drilling
The Free Press
Nancy Schaar

A small group of local residents met Nov. 9 with officials from Earthworks of Washington D. C. to discuss and record their opinions regarding the lack of regulations for methane and other chemicals involved with the gas and oil industry.   [Full Story]

Nov 18, 2015
Anti-Frackers protest Wayne National Forest, other drilling projects
The News Centere


Attention Washington County residents, the Bureau of Land Management needs your input on leasing parcels from the Wayne National Forest.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Fracked Gas Pipeline Draws Crowd to Guilford Forum
Zip06
Jack Kramer

About 50 concerned citizens attended a forum to discuss plans to run a fracked gas pipeline through towns in Connecticut, including Guilford. The Nov. 11 forum, called the Fracked Gas Pipeline Educational Forum, was held at the Guilford public library and hosted by the Shoreline Group of the Connecticut Sierra Club.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Vermont town mulls gas plant to replace retired Vermont Yankee nuke
UtilityDive
Robert Walton

Dive Brief: The town of Vernon, Vermont, former home to Entergy's now-closed Vermont Yankee nuclear facility, held a planning commission meeting last week to consider developing a 600 MW gas-fired plant on the site of the retired generator. The facility could cost more than $800 million to construct and may potentially be online by 2019, Investing.com reports, but that residents of Vermont would not be on the hook for development costs.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
The Arctic Just Shook Off Another Oil Company
Think Progress
Samantha Page

Norway’s state-owned oil and gas company, Statoil, announced Tuesday it is pulling operations out of the Alaskan Arctic.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Painesville protesters raise awareness about fracking for National Day of Action
News-Herald
Tawana Roberts

Several local organizations conducted a mock trial dramatization to protest toxic fracking waste and related manmade earthquakes. They gathered Nov. 17 at 53 E. Erie St. in Painesville for the National Day of Action.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Colorado task force taking comment on proposed oil and gas rules
The Denver Channel
Kyle Horan

DENVER - Local governments could soon have a say in where large scale oil and gas drilling operations happen in Colorado if a task force approves two rules.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Big crowd gathers in Thornton to sound off on oil and gas moratorium City leaders to hold study session on the issue in coming weeks
Denver Post
John Aguilar

THORNTON — Nearly 100 residents, many wearing "No Fracking Way" signs around their necks, filed into City Hall on Tuesday evening to press for a five-year ban on oil and gas drilling in the state's sixth-largest city.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Oil Demand In The U.S. Can Stress Water Supplies In Countries Thousands Of Miles Away
Think Progress
Katie Valentine

The world’s demand for fossil fuel resources is straining its supply of another, more precious resource — water.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Evacuation lifted after fire at fracking chemical warehouse
WPXI


LEETSDALE, Pa. — Workers at a warehouse were pouring hydraulic fracturing chemicals into a production tank Tuesday when a fire started, forcing residents from more than 70 nearby homes for several hours and injuring several people, emergency and company officials said.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Chemical spill, gas leaks reported after massive tornado levels Texas Halliburton plant
RT News


Large tornados ripped through the Texas panhandle on Monday night, including one estimated to be a mile wide that reportedly leveled a Halliburton plant, causing chemical and gas leaks. Downed power lines were also reported. According to ABC 7 Amarillo, the Halliburton plant in Pampa, Texas was “completely leveled.”  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Anti-fracking group plans demonstrations in a dozen states
FuelFix
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Activists in about a dozen U.S. states are having a day of action to highlight concerns about potential environmental and health effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a high-pressure technique for extracting oil and gas from shale deposits. The Youngstown, Ohio-based Frackfree America National Coalition organized Tuesday’s events, including rallies in a number of Ohio counties. Some Youngstown-area earthquakes have been tied to fracking or the deep-injection of fracking wastewater.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Fracking chemicals led to warehouse fire, evacuation, 3 hurt
FuelFix
Associated Press

LEETSDALE, Pa. (AP) — Workers at a Pennsylvania warehouse were pouring hydraulic fracturing chemicals into a production tank Tuesday when a fire started, forcing residents from more than 70 nearby homes and injuring four people, emergency and company officials said. Hazardous materials crews moved people living near the warehouse in Leetsdale to a high school gymnasium as a precaution. The warehouse about 15 miles northwest of Pittsburgh is owned by Lubrizol Corp.   [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Evacuation Lifted After Fire at Fracking Chemical Warehouse
The New York Times
Associated Press

LEETSDALE, Pa. — Workers at a warehouse were pouring hydraulic fracturing chemicals into a production tank Tuesday when a fire started, forcing residents from more than 70 nearby homes for several hours and injuring several people, emergency and company officials said. Hazardous materials crews moved people living near the warehouse in Leetsdale to a high school gymnasium as a precaution. The people were allowed to return after crews announced the fire was largely under control Tuesday afternoon. The fire was at Lubrizol Corp.'s Oilfield Chemistry site about 15 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.  [Full Story]

Nov 17, 2015
Mark Ruffalo Freaking Out About Fracking: 'We Need To Keep The Oil In The Ground
Design&Trend
Peter Black

Mark Ruffalo is still freaking out about fracking. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the 47-year-old actor, "On Nov. 4, held a press-free meeting at UTA headquarters in Beverly Hills -- attended by Channing Tatum, Sony's Michael Lynton, Norman Lear and wife Lyn -- and presented a new 20-minute anti-fracking documentary called 'Dear Governor Brown,'" meant to shame California Gov. Jerry Brown into outlawing fracking, an oil extraction method, in the Land of Milk and Honey. "Our industry generates billions of dollars in revenue for the state of California and for too long Governor Brown has put the fossil fuel industry above all others," Ruffalo told the Hollywood Reporter. "We are standing up to tell Governor Brown that fossil fuels are bad for the state of California and if we want to grow a vibrant economy, we need to keep oil in the ground. Building out all the solar in the world means nothing if California keeps extracting and dumping fossil fuels into the atmosphere."  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
Bernie Sanders Is Right – Climate Change Is A Massive National Security Threat
DeSmogBlog
Farron Cousins

During Saturday’s U.S. Presidential debate, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders addressed the issue of terrorism by saying that climate change is the largest national security threat. This is the second time that Sanders has made this statement during the Democratic debates. And he is spot on with his analysis. While his claims were attacked by his opponents on the Republican side, the Pentagon has been making the claim that climate change is a national security threat for the last 12 years. The reasoning is simple: Resource scarcity leads to conflict.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
Frack fluid put to use
Marcellus.com
David Beard

Deep-well injection of used fracking fluid raises concerns of environmental pollution and pressure-stimulated earthquakes. Just north of Fairmont, overlooking the east side of the Monongahela River and Bellview across the water, a small plant is busy providing an alternative.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
Feds schedule meetings to discuss possible fracking leases in Wayne National Forest
Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

The federal government will hold three meetings this week concerning the possibility of opening Wayne National Forest to fracking.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
Victory in the European Parliament: A U-turn On Fracking! Ahead of the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris, our activists are helping turn the tide on fracking in Europe.
Food and Water Watch
Geert Decock

Earlier this month, as part of the Global Frackdown to Paris, we released a letter signed by over 1,250 groups in 64 countries, sending a strong signal to the world’s leaders that fracking and extreme energy extraction must not be part of any plan to tackle climate change that comes out of the international climate conference in Paris later this month.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
Mark Ruffalo Wages Anti-Fracking War on Gov. Jerry Brown
Hollywood Reporter


"For too long, Gov. Brown has put the fossil fuel industry above all others," the actor said at a press-free meeting at UTA headquarters, which was held to address the environmental consequences of fracking.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
Notes From Underground: Fracking – The Bridge to Nowhere, Part II
Climate Science & Policy Watch
Opinion: Adam Arnold

Its defenders like to claim that fracked natural gas is providing a bridge between the traditional fossil fuels of oil and coal, and clean, renewable energy like wind and solar power. I suggest that such a bridge is unnecessary, and that the investment in fracking and its associated infrastructure represents a step backward in the pursuit of widely available, sustainable energy, creating illusory benefits with real, negative side effects.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
Portage activists fight injection wells, mark Day of Action
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing Mark Gillispie

Groups of concerned citizens from several states are joining together to call for a halt of toxic fracking waste and related man-made earthquakes in a November 17, 2015 event titled, “Freedom From Toxic Fracking Waste and Earthquakes: A National Day of Action.”  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
It’s Official: Oklahoma Experiences More Earthquakes Than Anywhere Else in the World
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

It’s official: Oklahoma now has more earthquakes than anywhere else in the world, according to a spokesman from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), which oversees the Sooner State’s oil and gas industry.... Scientists have linked this never-ending spate of tremors to the state’s drilling boom.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
New study indicates gas drilling could impact rivers, streams
Standard Speaker
Elizabeth Skrapits

Depending on where and how it’s done, natural gas drilling does have the potential to impact Pennsylvania’s waterways, an independent study reveals. Kenneth M. Klemow, professor of biology and environmental science and director of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research at Wilkes University, was one of the contributors to a new study examining how natural gas development affects surface water, such as creeks, streams and rivers.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
The sad, sickening truth about South L.A.’s oil wells
Grist
Aura Bogado

It’s bad enough to live close to a neighborhood oil well. There’s that nauseating smell, and the toxins that cause illnesses ranging from minor eye irritation to cancer. But it’s even worse to live next to oil wells that haven’t been subject to environmental impact review. That’s the situation youth of color in Los Angeles find themselves in. They’re suing the city, alleging that the government has systemically violated regulations meant to protect residents from urban oil fields. As a result, they claim, majority white neighborhoods have ended up with fewer and cleaner wells, whereas neighborhoods of color have been saddled with a toxic mess.  [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
Should Pennsylvania's gas drillers pay more in taxes? Midstate lawmakers offer their opinions
PennLive
Christian Alexandersen

Natural gas drillers won't pay more taxes as part of the initial budget framework developed by Gov. Tom Wolf and leaders in the Pennsylvania General Assembly despite the idea getting support from polls.   [Full Story]

Nov 16, 2015
Jerry Brown Pressured To Ban Fracking In California
Huffington Post
Mollie Reilly

Ahead of the upcoming United Nations climate talks in Paris, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is facing pressure from environmental activists to take a stand against hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in the Golden State. Brown, who is one of the nation's leading environmental advocates, has faced criticism for years for not opposing fracking, the controversial practice of pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals into rock to extract oil and natural gas. While the state has adopted the nation's toughest regulations governing fracking, Brown has said a statewide ban on the practice "doesn't make a lot of sense."  [Full Story]

Nov 15, 2015
Upton anti-fracking camp to host Vivienne Westwood and Bez
the Chester Chronicle
David Holmes

Dame Vivienne, 74, is making a return visit to the anti-fracking camp off Duttons Lane because of her strongly held opposition to unconventional gas extraction. This time she will be in the company of her son Joe Corré, founder of lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, and Bez, real name Mark Berry, who both share her views.   [Full Story]

Nov 15, 2015
Fracking ban petition drive reaches the home stretch
Michigan Radio
Steve Carmody

Backers of a ban on fracking in Michigan will deliver hundreds of thousands of petition signatures to the Secretary of State’s office this week.  [Full Story]

Nov 15, 2015
Pray With Your Feet
truthdig
Chris Hedges

MONTROSE, N.Y.—It was 6:30 in the morning and George Packard, dressed in a dark suit, a purple clerical bib and a clerical collar, was at church. Or, rather, at what has become church for the retired Episcopal bishop, activist and highly decorated Vietnam War veteran. Packard stood with 20 other protesters on a chilly morning Nov. 9 to block two roads leading to the staging area for Texas-based Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline project. After an hour, he and eight other protesters were arrested by New York state police.  [Full Story]

Nov 15, 2015
At Trial, Prosecutors to Detail Dean Skelos’s Favors for His Son
The New York Times
WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM

Hydrofracking would seem unlikely fodder for an emotional moment between a father and his son. But for State Senator Dean G. Skelos, 67, a Long Island Republican, and his son, Adam Skelos, 33, who face a federal corruption trial together on Monday, it was just that. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, had just announced that a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing — a controversial method of extracting natural gas from the ground — would not be lifted in New York. It was an unexpected decision, and it foreclosed a lucrative business opportunity for Adam Skelos, one that prosecutors say he and his father had gone to some lengths to engineer as part of a broader corruption scheme.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2015
Resolution Opposing All New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Passes in Portland
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirji

Portland, Oregon took a step toward combatting climate change on Thursday when its leaders unanimously supported a resolution to actively oppose the local expansion of all new fossil fuel storage and transport. Hailed as "historic" and "visionary" by climate campaigners, the resolution––passed by the mayor and four commissioners of Oregon's largest city––is the latest in a series of major climate actions nationally. President Barack Obama recently announced the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline on climate grounds. Citing New York's pledge to mitigate "catastrophic effects of climate change," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Thursday blocked the Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas project. Last week, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and six other Democrats proposed the "Keep It In the Ground" bill to end new fossil fuel extraction on public lands.   [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2015
N.Y.'s Cuomo opposed to offshore Port Ambrose LNG terminal
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing Mark Gillispie

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has rejected a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in the waters off New York and New Jersey, effectively killing the project amid an outcry from residents of some coastal communities that it could endanger the environment and be a target for terrorists.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2015
Gas flaring targets challenged by rapid production growth in US says EIA
Aberdeen Journals
Phil Allan

North Dakota’s Industrial Commission (NDIC) has established natural gas capture targets in an effort to reduce the amount of flared gas.   [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2015
NJ Dune Wars
The Oklahoman


In this Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, file photo, New Jersey Assemblyman John McKeon talks during a rally against natural gas drilling outside the New Jersey Statehouse. McKeon, who has refused to sign an easement allowing a dune project to be built behind his oceanfront house, is among seven homeowners being sued by the state.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2015
North Dakota oil well backlog eclipses 1,000 for first time
Reuters
Ernest Scheyer

The number of oil wells in North Dakota that have been drilled but not fracked eclipsed 1,000 for the first time in September, as producers delayed turning them on in hopes crude prices will soon recover.   [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2015
Portland Bans Fossil Fuel Export
Eco Watch
Brett VandenHeuvel, Columbia Riverkeeper

The City of Portland in Oregon took a stand yesterday against dirty fossil fuels. It passed a resolution—with teeth—against new fossil fuel transportation and storage infrastructure in Portland and on our iconic rivers. Coal, oil and gas companies want to export stunning volumes of dirty fuel through our communities—the City of Portland just made that harder. Policy resolutions are fine, but Portland’s resolution will make an on-the-ground difference. The city council directs staff to propose changes to the city’s code that will protect Portlanders from dirty fossil fuels. City laws about land use, public health, safety, building, electrical, nuisance and fire can all be updated to prevent fossil fuel exports. In other words, the city council message was: Do something. Write laws that matter.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2015
An Oil-Soaked Globe as Production Keeps Climbing and Demand Falls
The New York Times
Clifford Krauss

HOUSTON — Such is the state of the oil industry these days that there is sometimes nowhere to put the oil. Off the coast of Texas, a line of roughly 40 tankers has formed, waiting to unload their crude or, in some cases, for a willing buyer to come along. Similar scenes are playing out off the coasts of Singapore and China and in the Persian Gulf. There is little sign that the logjam will ease, as the price of oil continued its yearlong plunge this week, declining by nearly $10 a barrel.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2015
Obama Administration Approves Pipeline Expansion Set to Feed First Ever Fracked Gas LNG Export Terminal
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

The Obama Administration has quietly approved expansion of a major pipeline carrying fracked gas destined for the global export market. The Gulf Trace pipeline, owned by The Williams Companies, is set to feed into Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana. As first reported by Reuters, LNG tankers loaded with super-chilled liquefied natural gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) will set sail for the first time from Sabine Pass in January 2016. In a statement, Williams said it had received approval for Gulf Trace from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and had set a date of the first quarter of 2017 for the project to be in service. The statement said Gulf Trace was part of $5.1 billion worth of transmission projects targeting the eastern U.S. Gulf Trace will feed gas obtained from fracking in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale basin to Sabine Pass.   [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2015
Ban fracking in Florida, Dade City says
The Tampa Tribune
Geoff Fox

DADE CITY — Fracking. It’s a dirty word in Dade City if you go by a city commission resolution that advocates banning the practice in Florida. Loud applause greeted the board’s decision. On Tuesday, the board — minus Mayor Pro Tem Eunice Penix, who was absent for the vote — approved the resolution a couple of weeks after Commissioner Charlene Austin broached the issue, which she learned about from the Dade City Garden Club.  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2015
It’s Not Just What #ExxonKnew, It’s What #ExxonDid Next to Fund Attacks on Climate Science
DeSmogBlog
Cindy Baxter

In the wake of Inside Climate News and the Columbia University/LA Times investigations into ExxonMobil’s history on climate science, the company has been terribly busy telling the world that it stands by its scientific work. In a classic example of Public Relations 101, ExxonMobil’s lead spokes, Ken Cohen, has been huffing and puffing and standing up for climate science, pushing everybody’s focus onto the peer reviewed studies Exxon scientists published. But this isn’t the point. Yes, it’s now clear that #ExxonKnew. As Neela Bannerjee of Inside Climate Newssaid this week about her investigation: “I came away with enormous regard for many of the Exxon scientists who researched climate change and for the managers and executives who gave them the resources and latitude to freely investigate a problem their own company was contributing to.”  [Full Story]

Nov 13, 2015
Former FERC Chair Wellinghoff: Utility gas investments risky as energy storage prices fall
UtilityDive
Robert Walton

Dive Insight: Gas prices remain near or at historic lows, and utilities are eyeing investments in reserves, wells and pipelines as a way to lock in a long-term source of cheap fuel. But former FERC head Wellinghoff told Bloomberg that the jury is still out on those investments, and may ultimately hinge on the falling cost of renewables and energy storage. “These utilities are taking a risk that these will be stranded assets that ultimately their shareholders will have to pay off," Wellinghoff told the news outlet. "We will see regulators being more critical of these asset decisions as prices of renewables continue to go down."  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Protesters to Gov. Jerry Brown: Prove your green credentials by banning fracking
Los Angeles Times
Chris Megerian

As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares for his trip to the United Nations summit on climate change in Paris, protesters gathered outside the Capitol on Thursday to say he hasn't done enough at home in California. The protesters, who called themselves Faith Against Fracking, called for the governor to ban hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of oil and gas extraction.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Cuomo's marine natural gas veto could add spur to pipeline push Rejection of terminal could push building of pipelines across state
Times Union
Brian Nearing and Rick Karlin

Albany Gov. Andrew Cuomo's veto of a proposed natural gas marine terminal off Long Island was welcomed by opponents Thursday, but it could add more impetus to several massive natural gas pipeline projects seeking to carry hydrofracked natural gas through the state from neighboring Pennsylvania. Cuomo said he was vetoing the Port Ambrose project, which would have allowed ocean-going tankers to haul liquified natural gas (LNG) to a terminal where it would have then been pumped into gas pipelines in Long Island and New Jersey, because of potential terrorist attack and vulnerability to extreme storms like Superstorm Sandy as well as risks to commercial shipping and a nearby planned off-shore wind turbine farm.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Cuomo Administration Denies Critical Certification at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
EcoWatch


Citing numerous environmental and public safety concerns, the New York Department of State (DOS) has filed an objection to Entergy’s request for a Coastal Consistency Determination for the Indian Point nuclear plant. This objection has the potential to block Entergy’s request for a 20-year extension of its operating license for the plant’s Unit 2 and Unit 3 reactors and require the closure of Indian Point as soon as next year.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Fears for Sherwood Forest from fracking
Chad


Anti-fracking campaigners fear Sherwood Forest will be damaged by plans to frack for shale gas around it – despite a double U-turn by ministers which will supposedly protect important countryside sites.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Helvetia Township trustees take no action on proposed fracking ordinance
Belleville News-Democrat
Mark Hodapp

Acting on the advice of their attorney, the Helvetia Township trustees took no action last week on a proposed fracking ordinance. Last month, the Great Highland Area Concerns Citizens (GHACC) had asked the trustees to ban horizontal hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, and even had legal counsel draw up a draft ordinance for the township to consider enacting.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Offshore LNG project vetoed by N.Y. Gov. Cuomo
NJ Advance Media
MaryAnn Spoto

New York Gov. Mario Cuomo vetoed the Port Ambrose terminal project, a proposal that would have sited a liquefied natural gas terminal 24 miles off the coast of New Jersey. To the delight of environmental groups, the action kills the project, which has been in the application phase with the federal government for more than two years. Cuomo's veto comes a week into the 45-day timeframe he and Gov. Chris Christie had to decide whether to grant their support for the terminal, which was unlikely anyway.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Fossil Fuel Subsidies Top $450 Billion Annually, Study Says
Inside Climate News
Naveena Sadasivam

The governments of the world's 20 largest economies spend more than $450 billion annually subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, a new analysis has concluded, four times more than what they spend on renewable energy. The report by Oil Change International, a Washington-based advocacy organization, and the Overseas Development Institute, a British research group, calculates the amount of money the G20 nations provide to oil, gas and coal companies through tax breaks, low cost loans and government investments. It comes just weeks before country representatives convene in Paris to forge a climate deal that aims to put the global energy economy on a path to zero emissions, and it underscores the obstacles this effort faces.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Climate Scientist Michael Mann: Exxon Story 'Confirmed Things We Long Suspected'
Inside Climate News
Lisa Song

Climate scientist Michael Mann has spent much of his career in the crosshairs of climate denialists. A professor of meteorology and director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, Mann is best known for helping to develop the famous "hockey stick" graph, which reconstructed 1,000 years of global temperature data and showed the abrupt warming of the late 20th century. Mann, who studied theoretical physics before taking up climate research, published the paper explaining the hocky stick graph in 1999, just three years after he completed his Ph.D.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Cuomo rejects Port Ambrose offshore LNG terminal
Times Union
Rick Karlin

Saying “The risk is not worth the reward,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday vetoed a liquified natural gas terminal that had been proposed for 19 miles off of Jones Beach. Proposed by Liberty Natural Gas LLC, the project, dubbed Port Ambrose, would have allowed tankers to haul liquified natural gas to a terminal where it would have then been pumped into metro-area gas pipelines. Supporters have said it could have helped lower home heating prices but detractors including environmentalists opposed the idea for a number of reasons. The possibility of a terrorist attack, and perhaps most notably, the experience of Superstorm Sandy led opponents to view the proposal as a potential threat.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Allegheny Township residents consider appealing gas drill ruling
Marcellus.com
Liz Hayes

Three Allegheny Township residents are weighing whether to again appeal the zoning ordinance that permits Marcellus shale natural gas well drilling throughout the township.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Citing economic impact, Lewes City Council opposing offshore drilling
Delaware Online
Molly Murray

The Lewes City Council is opposing a federal plan for seismic testing in the Mid-Atlantic, an area that includes the waters just off the Delaware Coast. City officials pointed to concerns about impacts on fisheries from the survey work and worries that it could ultimately lead to offshore drilling for oil and natural gas with the potential for spills and the buildup of industrial infrastructure.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Report: Oil-train infrastructure crumbling
Times Herald Record
James Walsh

Environmentally-minded organizations from around the country issued a report this week faulting maintenance and inspections of railroad infrastructure that they say could lead to the potential wrecks of oil trains. Among them was Riverkeeper, a watchdog over oil trains that regularly traverse the Hudson Valley. The trains can haul 100 cars or more, each carrying 30,000 gallons of crude from the Port of Albany to refineries in New Jersey and beyond. The report by nearly four dozen Waterkeeper groups included photos of bridges in 15 states that showed crumbling concrete, exposed rebar, and rusted holes in structural steel. Ed Greenberg, spokesman for the American Association of Railroads, said Wednesday that railroads must document all inspections for review by the Federal Railroad Administration. Outward appearance, Greenberg said, “does not indicate a bridge’s safety. Inspectors scrutinize a bridge to assess its structural integrity, which is a thorough engineering process.”  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Gov. Andrew Cuomo nixes Port Ambrose, the proposed natural gas terminal off Jones Beach
Newsday
Ellen Yan

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has killed a proposed natural gas transfer station off Jones Beach, ending a venture whose projected fuel cost savings had been drowned by fears of fracking, terrorism and environmental damage.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
APNewsBreak: Cuomo to reject proposed gas terminal off coast
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Associated Press

APNewsBreak: Cuomo to reject gas terminal off New York, New Jersey over safety, environment “My administration carefully reviewed this project from all angles, and we have determined that the security and economic risks far outweigh any potential benefits,” Cuomo said in a statement given to The Associated Press on Thursday morning. “Superstorm Sandy taught us how quickly things can go from bad to worse when major infrastructure fails - and the potential for disaster with this project during extreme weather or amid other security risks is simply unacceptable.”   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Mount Hope votes to ban fracking waste disposal in town limits, create vacant building registry
Register-Herald
Sarah Plummer

MOUNT HOPE — Mount Hope Council moved forward on an ordinance Tuesday to prohibit the disposal of fracking waste in underground injection control wells within the boundaries of the city. Mayor Michael Kessinger said the the ordinance is in response to a disposal site in Lochgelly about 7 aerial miles away.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
UMD SGA endorses coalition aiming to ban fracking in PG County
The Dimondback
Katishi Maake

The University of Maryland SGA voted 26-0, with one abstention, Wednesday to approve a resolution to endorse a coalition pressuring the Prince George’s County Council to ban fracking. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of drilling and injecting highly pressurized fluid into the ground to more easily uncover natural gas or petroleum.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Promise of fracking sprouts opposition in England
EE News
Ellen M Gilmer

SHEFFIELD, England -- Political leaders at Westminster are rolling out the red carpet for shale gas development, eager for the kind of domestic energy boom that has rocked the United States. But to Julie Graham, the American shale revolution is a cautionary tale of high risks and questionable rewards -- at least for communities in the path of drilling.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Upton anti-fracking camp hears defiant message from Green Party leader
Chester Chronicle


GREEN Party leader Natalie Bennett is encouraging anti-fracking campaigners to take direct action when enforcement officers move in to evict them from Upton Protection Camp in Chester following the issuing of an eviction notice .  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
A Saudi fracking boom could be a tectonic shift
The Globe and Mail
Steve Yetiv & Alexander Fretz

Great attention has focused on the North American energy boom, driven by fracking and horizontal drilling, and for good reason: It has yielded far more energy than most people expected and has altered energy security by adding more than four million barrels of oil a day to global markets since 2008. But what about Saudi Arabia? We rarely think of the Saudis as in need of new energy technologies, or as pursuing unconventional shale energy. After all, their country holds enormous conventional energy sources. But the House of Saud has launched its own fracking boom, and it could well be the next big thing in global energy.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Do Fracking Wastewater Injections Cause Earthquakes?
Water Online
Sara Jerome

Legal experts say there are a rising number of lawsuits against the oil and gas industry over earthquakes allegedly linked to fracking operations.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Coloradans against Fracking slam Hickenlooper’s task force, new oil and gas rules
North Denver News


As part of a 2014 political maneuver, Governor Hickenlooper formed a task force promising the people of Colorado that differences between their concerns regarding their health, safety and welfare and the oil and gas industry’s agenda to drill near homes and schools would be addressed. As expected, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s (COGCC) proposed rules, based on task force recommendations, do nothing to give citizens a voice regarding where wells are sited. Instead, the proposed rules give the the oil and gas industry a green light, permitting them to continue running roughshod over our communities.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Non-toxic fracking fluid scoops award
Laboratory Talk


An energy-saving, non-toxic hydraulic fracturing (fracking) fluid was declared the overall winner at the Institution of Chemical Engineers’ (IChemE) Global Awards 2015. The fluid, developed by US researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), significantly reduces the pumping pressures required to stimulate shale gas production.   [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Cuomo Rejects Natural Gas Port Proposed Off Long Island
The New York Times
Marc Santora

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo rejected a proposal on Thursday to build the first port for liquefied natural gas in New York State, saying it would pose a threat to the environment and make an inviting target for terrorists. Mr. Cuomo’s decision comes after years of often bitter debate over a bid by Liberty Natural Gas, an energy company, to construct an underwater buoy system and pipeline, 19 miles from Jones Beach on Long Island.  [Full Story]

Nov 12, 2015
Could Duke Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline investment be riskier than it looks?
Charlotte Business News


Duke Energy touts its potential $2.4 billion investment in the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and its plans to buy Piedmont Natural Gas as a play to the future, when gas will “serve as the backbone for energy solutions.” But Jon Wellinghoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and a San Francisco lawyer and clean-energy advocate, tells Bloomberg news that utilities may regret large gas infrastructure investments as the use of renewables and batteries accelerates.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
Editorial: Students and locals ought to speak out against fracking in Wayne National Forest
The Post
Editorial

When it comes to hydraulic fracturing in Wayne National Forest, oil and gas companies don’t seem to understand the word “no.” Those companies are at it again by prompting the federal government to consider opening the national forest for hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. Four years ago, local environmental advocates essentially blocked a similar proposal from happening — and for good reason.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
Rensselaer County, activists agree on pipeline law
Times Union
Kenneth C. Crowe II

Troy The Rensselaer County Legislature and activists reached agreement Tuesday night on a new law that will make it more expensive for Kinder Morgan to build its proposed pipeline. It's the fourth bill to go before the County Legislature to protect drinking water by regulating blasting. The legal action is aimed at the planned Northeast Energy Direct pipeline. "I appreciate and applaud the ability of the residents for sending a message — this pipeline is not wanted," Legislature Chairman Stan Brownell, R-Hoosick.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
Gibson says pipeline offers little benefit to New York
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — Rep. Chris Gibson said on Wednesday that will he work against one of the major proposed natural gas pipelines that would cross New York.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
Weakened PVA Pulling Back Drilling, Holding On
NGI Shale Daily
Joe Fisher

Penn Virginia Corp. (PVA) interim CEO Edward Cloues on Tuesday told analysts following the company that he's a believer in its future and the Eagle Ford Shale-focused producer will make it out the other side of the commodity price collapse.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
Want oil-field data from the state? It helps to be Jerry Brown
SF Gate
David R. Baker

Ask California officials for a report on oil drilling prospects near your land, and you might not get quite the level of service Gov. Jerry Brown enjoyed when he made the same request last year.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
A year after Denton, anti-fracking movement reassesses how to reclaim momentum
Dallas Morning News
James Osborne

The swell in anti-fracking protest in Texas last year caused an international sensation.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
Federal government considering Wayne National Forest land for fracking
the Post
Alex Meyer

The federal government is considering the Wayne National Forest as a potential site for oil and gas development through the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, according to the forest's website.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
Constitution pipeline could face year-long construction delay
PoliticoNewYork
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — If the state doesn't approve permits soon, a proposed natural gas pipeline in the Southern Tier and Schoharie Valley could be delayed another year, the project's developers say. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has been sitting on water quality permits for the Constitution pipeline and has not given a timeline as to when a decision will be made.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
PBS on #ExxonKnew
PBS
Peter Sinclair

Description: Oil giant Exxon Mobil was recently subpoenaed by New York’s attorney general in an investigation of whether the company has intentionally downplayed the risks of climate change. Judy Woodruff hears from Eric Schneiderman, attorney general of New York, and Kenneth Cohen, vice president of Public & Government Affairs for the Exxon Mobil Corporation. Cohen’s play is to pretend that Exxon, in it’s wisdom, has always taken climate change seriously, and is only interested in trying to head off ineffective policy responses to this very real problem.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
An Organic Indoor Vertical Farm May Be Coming to a City Near You
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

FarmedHere, a 90,000-square-foot space in Chicago, is not only the first organically-certified indoor vertical aquaponic farm in Illinois, it’s also the largest indoor farm in North America. The farm, which we featured on EcoWatch last month, has expansion plans. The company wants to open 18 indoor vertical farms in cities across the U.S. “We want to be the national local brand,” CEO Matt Matros told FastCoExist. “We can touch 75 percent of the country with 18 farms.” At its Chicago farm, they sell their organic greens and herbs grown under LED lights to 200 customers (Whole Foods is one) all within a 200-mile radius of the farm. That short travel distance not only reduces carbon emissions, it also allows for super fresh and nutritious produce. “If you think about traditional produce, which is grown in California, they harvest, and you’re not eating it for three weeks,” said Matros. FarmedHere delivers its produce to customers within 24 hours. Sourcing produce locally also reduces the strain on drought-heavy regions like Mexico and California’s Central Valley, Matros told Tech Insider. Currently, more than one-third of U.S. produce is grown in these regions. For now, FarmedHere’s main crops are basil, mint, lettuce and kale. “If you harvest something and consume it right away, it’s far more nutritious than if you harvest something and consume it 14 days later,” he said. “Indoor local farms tend to be about 50 percent more nutritious than our outdoor counterparts on major vitamins—A,C, E, niacin, iron—that’s mostly just because it’s consumed as soon as possible.”  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
25 Million Americans at Risk From Oil Train Traffic in Their Communities
EcoWatch
WaterKeeper Alliance

Waterkeeper Alliance, ForestEthics, Riverkeeper and a national network of Waterkeeper organizations released a new investigative report yesterday, DEADLY CROSSING: Neglected Bridges & Exploding Oil Trains, exploring the condition of our nation’s rail infrastructure and how it is being stressed by oil train traffic. From July to September 2015, Waterkeepers from across the country documented potential deficiencies of 250 railway bridges in 15 states along known and potential routes of explosive oil trains, capturing the state of this often neglected infrastructure in their communities.  [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
Climate Change vs. Crescent Beach
theTyee
Christopher Pollon

Crescent Beach is a sleepy beachfront community thrust into battle. With its sweeping ocean coastline and dramatic views of Boundary Bay, it has been home to people for nearly 3,000 years. But today's residents find themselves besieged by climate change and its tidal onslaught. Streets lined with well-maintained bungalows and newer multi-million dollar homes lead to a sandy shoreline, fortified. The primary defences are a ring of elevated earthen dikes, protected from storm surges on the ocean side by boulders. Jutting out to sea from there are about 20 heavy plastic structures angled to break the energy of incoming waves. None of this is enough to stop the deluge.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
A RESTLESS LAKE
New Yorker


A proposal to store millions of gallons of propane in old salt caverns beneath Seneca Lake, in western New York, has divided the region, leading to protests and hundreds of arrests.   [Full Story]

Nov 11, 2015
Arlington rejects new drilling lease for Lake Arlington
WFAA
Todd Unger

ARLINGTON — The Arlington City Council moved swiftly Tuesday night to deny a new oil and gas lease with Vantage Energy, the same operator that saw one of its fracking sites undergo a major rupture in April. Nearly ten people spoke against the new deal, which would have authorized exploration under a portion of Lake Arlington.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2015
Fracking Goes on Trial for Human Rights Violations
Truthout
Kathleen Dean Moore

As convoys of heavy trucks carry fracking equipment into new oil fields in neighborhoods and wildlands around the world, an alliance of human rights organizations is making plans to put the entire practice of hydraulic fracturing on trial. The court is the Permanent People’s Tribunal, a descendant of the Vietnam War-era International War Crimes Tribunal. The Peoples’ Tribunal is a branch of no government on Earth. It has no power of enforcement. It has no army, no prison, no sheriff. So what’s the point? The point is that it matters to tell the truth in a public place. It matters to affirm universal standards of right and wrong, to clearly say, “There are things that ethical people do not do to one another and to the Earth.”  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2015
Los Angeles’ Oil Permitting Process Unfairly Burdens Minorities, Lawsuit Alleges
ThinkProgress
NATASHA GEILING

Los Angeles is one of the most densely populated cities in the country. It also sits atop some of the largest oil fields in the country. That dynamic has long pitted residents of Los Angeles against the ever-encroaching oil industry — a third of Los Angeles residents live within a quarter-mile of an oil drilling site. Now, a new lawsuit alleges that the city of Los Angeles has not been doing its part to protect residents from the detrimental environmental impacts associated with oil drilling.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2015
Walnut Cove OKs 3-year fracking ban
Winston-Salem Journal
Bertrand M. Gutiérrez

WALNUT COVE — No fracking will be permitted here for three years under a moratorium given final approval Tuesday by the Walnut Cove commissioners. Fracking opponents who packed the meeting room applauded the vote. “You said, ‘Bring the public.’ The public’s here,” the Rev. Gregory Hairston said.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2015
Railroads lose challenge of oil-train rules
MarketWatch
Laura Stevens

Railroads lost an agency appeal with the U.S. Department of Transportation in a battle over new crude-by-rail rules that require the installation of expensive new brakes on trains hauling hazardous flammable materials. In a ruling issued by its Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration last week, the agency denied appeals challenging the new rules, including one from the Association of American Railroads. “While we understand that shippers, carriers, and tank-car manufacturers for Class 3 flammable liquids will face new challenges in the wake of these regulations, we maintain that they are capable of complying with the final rule,” the agency wrote.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2015
PennEast, Elcon opponents jam DRBC meeting
Burlington County Times
Kyle Bagenstose

Opponents of two hot-button issues in Bucks County, Pennsylvania — the proposed PennEast Pipeline and the Elcon chemical waste treatment plant in Falls — took their concerns to the Delaware River Basin Commission on Tuesday afternoon. Although neither PennEast nor Elcon were on the meeting’s official agenda, both opponents and proponents used the meeting’s public comment section to voice their opinions. A common request among opponents of PennEast was for the DRBC not to hold joint hearings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency tasked with approving interstate pipelines.  [Full Story]

Nov 10, 2015
City of Los Angeles Sued Over Urban Drilling Sites
NGI
Richard Nemec

A coalition of environmental justice groups representing Latino and African-American neighborhoods in the lower-income areas of Los Angeles on Friday sued the city, alleging uneven treatment of various urban drilling sites (see Daily GPI, Aug. 18).   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
Utica Shale: the best and the worst of shale plays?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Anya Litvak

Over the past few weeks, the buzz around the Marcellus Shale has actually been about its deeper neighbor, the Utica, where a handful of companies have drilled record-setting wells for record-high costs. That has been making some people very nervous — not because the dry portion of the Utica underlying southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and the West Virginia Panhandle might be too expensive to drill. Instead, it’s because, as some companies predict, it might soon be the least expensive.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
CSU Study: Water Safe To Drink Despite Drilling
Colorado Public Radio
Associated Press

Scientists at Colorado State University say there's little evidence that drinking water has been contaminated by oil and gas drilling in the northeastern part of the state.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
Tracers Could End Fracking's Water Contamination Debate
Water Online
Sara Jerome

Breakthroughs in chemical tracer technology could help pinpoint the role oil and gas production plays in local water contamination, a controversial and often inconclusive debate.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
Environmental Litigator Gives Talk on Fracking, Calls for Heavy Regulation
Daily Nexus
Madison Willard

Expert of environmental law and professor at the University of Colorado Law School, Mike Squillace, gave a lecture Satuday on fracking at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management in Professor Jim Salzman’s class on environmental law and policy.... According to Squillace, fracking should only continue if the industry implements serious reform.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
Keystone Off the Table, but Back East, Pipeline Fight Builds
The New York Times
Associated Press

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. — Carolyn and Ian Reilly and their four children left Florida's sprawl in 2010 to farm 58 acres in rural Virginia, raising beef cattle, chicken and hogs. Then a year ago, they learned a natural gas pipeline would slice through part of their farm and their lives took another dramatic turn. They've shooed pipeline surveyors from their pastures, made anti-pipeline signs for a protest at the county courthouse and at appearances by the Virginia governor. They've also kept up pressure on local officials.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
Churchill council votes on more restrictive oil and gas drilling ordinance
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Deana Carpenter

After a 6-0 vote by Churchill Council on Monday, Marcellus shale natural gas drilling and all related activities including fracking will be restricted to the C-1 commercial zoning areas in the borough.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
Carbon Levels Rising at ‘Frightening Speed’ as Greenhouse Gases and Global Temperature Hit Record High
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations hit yet another new record in 2014, “continuing a relentless rise which is fueling climate change and will make the planet more dangerous and inhospitable for future generations,” said the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in a report released today.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
Groups Ask Cuomo to Veto Port Ambrose Project
Public News Service


NEW YORK – More than 20 environmental and civic groups have delivered a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking him to veto the Port Ambrose project. Following four days of public hearings last week, the governor has until Dec. 21 to stop the offshore liquefied natural gas facility proposed for 20 miles from Long Island's Jones Beach. Jessica Roff, programs manager for the advocacy group Catskill Mountainkeeper, says the port is unnecessary and hazardous.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
Weather Will Likely Drive Natural Gas Prices in the Short Term
Market Realist
Gordon Kristopher

The US government’s global forecast model estimates that the weather would be colder than normal in November 2015. MDA Weather Services reported cold winter across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions of the US during the middle of November. In contrast, Commodity Weather Group reported that warmer weather could be experienced across North Dakota, South Dakota, and the East Coast over the next few weeks. El Nino is driving the winter to warmer-than-normal temperatures compared to last year.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
EDITORIAL: Please veto LNG project, governor(s)
Courier News


The public hearings for a proposed liquefied natural gas port off the coast of New Jersey are over. Time for the governor to get out his veto pen. Gov. Chris Christie can do it, or Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York. Doesn’t matter which one, just stop the project. The Liberty Natural Gas project proposes a deepwater terminal that would take liquefied natural gas —LNG — from tankers, convert it to gas, and ship it along to New York and Long Island through a new 22-mile undersea pipeline that would connect with an existing pipeline.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
Feds award leases for offshore wind farms in S. Jersey
NJ Advance Media
Paul Milo

WASHINGTON — Two companies are the successful bidders for a tract of federal waters off the South Jersey coast where wind energy will be developed, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced Monday. NJ-MAP-S.jpg A map showing the waters leased to private companies for the development of wind power. (U.S. Department of the Interior) About 344,000 acres of ocean, stretching in an arc about seven miles off the coast in Cape May and Atlantic counties, were broken into northern and southern areas. Monday's bidding was announced in September.  [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
Councillors set to oppose Ryedale fracking plan
Yorkshire Post
James Reed

PLANS TO use the controversial fracking mining method for the first time in Yorkshire look set to be dealt a blow tomorrow when local councillors formally object.   [Full Story]

Nov 9, 2015
John Ashton: Our weapon against fracking is the love of our land
Climate Change News
John Ashton Opinion

Believe it or not, and I know it’s hard to believe, in Westminster, in Whitehall, in the City of London, there are people who say – there really are – they say: we’ve just got to drill.   [Full Story]

Nov 8, 2015
Environmental concerns over US fracking is a heated debate
CCTV
Hendrik Sybrandy

Oil and gas operators say concerns about their work are overstated and they’re more than willing to hash out differences with local communities in the U.S., but fracking opponents want to silence the drills when and where they can.   [Full Story]

Nov 8, 2015
Frack the frack in or frack the frack out – Capaldi wants Doctor Who to tackle fracking
Metro


Recent interviews with Doctor Who’s Peter Capaldi and Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss have revealed that the Time Lord may tackle controversial Earthly gas-mining procedures in the future. Talking to assembled press, Gatiss (whose next episode of Doctor Who airs Nov 14 on BBC One) discussed new ideas for future stories. Confessing he would like to do a modern issues story to ‘warn about the future’ (much like Doctor Who in the 70s), the writer said: ‘What I’d love to do a story about is fracking.   [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2015
EPA Scientists Consider Dropping "Widespread, Systemic" Language from National Study Findings
desmogblog
Sharon Kelly

A phrase in the Executive Summary of EPA's national study on the threat that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, poses to American drinking water supplies has come under increasing fire from environmentalists and scientists. The EPA's draft executive summary, released this fall, included a line that has been widely quoted by supporters of the shale gas rush: “We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have lead to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.” There are signs that the EPA's scientific advisors, currently engaged in a peer-review of the study, are now backing away from that phrasing, emphasizing instead the fact that drinking water supplies have been impacted at times, and that many factors, like sealed legal settlements and trade secrecy, have kept information out of the public eye.   [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2015
Canadian police visited Pennsylvania to learn about fracktivists
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

Canadian police visited their American counterparts in Williamsport last year to learn more about how to deal with public resistance to shale gas development.   [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2015
1,000 barrels of crude oil spill from Oklahoma pipeline
Al Jazeera America


A Tulsa-based pipeline company said Friday that about 1,000 barrels of crude oil spilled from a pipeline in rural Oklahoma. The incident was confirmed hours before President Barack Obama rejected the trans-North American Keystone XL pipeline, which opponents charged would endanger communities across the continent. Bruce Heine, a spokesman for Magellan Midstream Partners, said in an email Friday that the oil was released about 6 p.m. Thursday from a Magellan pipeline that stretches from Enid to Ponca City.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2015
The U.S. Forest Service said Atlantic Coast Pipeline gave misleading credentials.
The Roanoke Times
Michael Martz

The U.S. Forest Service has accused the Atlantic Coast Pipeline of misrepresenting the qualifications of contractors hired to conduct soil surveys that are critical to evaluating the safety of extending the proposed natural gas pipeline through national forests in Virginia and West Virginia. Dominion and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline issued a statement Friday that promised a new and expanded soil survey by qualified soil scientists and other professionals, but denied any misrepresentation of who had been involved in the earlier work.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2015
Muzzled Canadian scientists now free to speak with media
The Star
Robin Levinson King

The muzzles are coming off for federal scientists. For years, scientists who worked for the federal government were silenced by strict rules that made them seek departmental approval before speaking to the press. On Friday, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains said that scientists are free to speak to the media about their work. “Our government values science and will treat scientists with respect. That is why government scientists and experts will be able to speak freely about their work to the media and the public,” he said in a statement provided by his staff. “We are working to make government science fully available to the public and will ensure that scientific analyses are considered in decision making.”  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2015
Citing Climate Change, Obama Rejects Construction of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline
The New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT

WASHINGTON — President Obama announced on Friday that he had rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ending a seven-year review that had become a symbol of the debate over his climate policies. STORIES FROM OUR ADVERTISERS Mr. Obama’s denial of the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels a day of carbon-heavy petroleum from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast, comes as he seeks to build an ambitious legacy on climate change.   [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2015
Here's Another Canadian Pipe Obama's Keystone Rejection May Hurt
Bloomberg
Rebecca Penty

If President Barack Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL is a sign of things to come, TransCanada Corp.’s main rival might want to take note. Enbridge Inc. has been waiting since 2012 for a decision from the U.S. State Department on a permit to almost double the capacity of its Line 67 cross-border pipeline, known as Alberta Clipper. Obama’s denial of Keystone XL Friday, over the determination it would undercut U.S. leadership on climate change, means all pipelines are going to be harder to build, according to Edward Jones & Co. “It’s not great for Enbridge,” said Rob Desai, an analyst at Edward Jones in St. Louis. “There’s going to be some push back, more so than they would have gotten a few years ago.”   [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2015
Oil Supply Picture Has Changed Since Keystone Was Proposed
The New York Times
Clifford Krauss

HOUSTON — When the Obama administration began considering the Keystone XL pipeline seven years ago, oil production in the United States was falling and most analysts thought it would never recover. At the same time, Mexican oil production was also in decline, meaning that domestic refineries would soon need another source of crude. STORIES FROM OUR ADVERTISERS Canada, and its expanding oil sands industry, seemed like the perfect solution. But so much has changed in the oil patch since then that many energy experts say the Keystone pipeline, which the Obama administration rejected on Friday, matters far less than it once did.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2015
Environmental advocates sue L.A., accusing it of 'rubber stamping' oil drilling plans
Los Angeles Times
Emily Alpert Reyes

Environmental groups that have accused Los Angeles of “rubber stamping” plans involving oil drilling near homes and schools are taking their fight to court. Their lawsuit, filed Friday, accuses the city of systematically violating the California Environmental Quality Act by exempting new wells and other proposed changes at oil extraction sites from required environmental reviews. The plaintiffs, who include children and teens living near drilling sites in South Los Angeles and Wilmington, also assert that the city has left predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods more vulnerable to health and safety risks tied to oil drilling than mostly white areas. Much more stringent conditions, including taller walls, better sound protection and less-polluting equipment, were imposed on drilling sites in West Los Angeles and the Wilshire area, they argue.  [Full Story]

Nov 6, 2015
Congressman demands climate study documents as scientists warn of ‘chilling effect’
Washington Post
Lisa Rein

A nasty fight between a senior House Republican and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration over a recent climate change study is getting nastier. The country’s chief society of meteorologists weighed in this week with a letter to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), warning the prominent congressional skeptic on climate change that his demands for internal communications and documents from NOAA “can be viewed as a form of intimidation” that could thwart federally funded research.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2015
Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General
The New York Times
JUSTIN GILLIS and CLIFFORD KRAUSS

The New York attorney general has begun a sweeping investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how those risks might hurt the oil business. According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents. The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2015
Adam Skelos looked to profit from fracking, documents say
Newsday
MICHAEL GORMLEY AND YANCEY ROY

ALBANY -- In 2013, as then-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was pushing Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to authorize natural gas fracking, Skelos' son was angling to get payments from a wastewater treatment company seeking a piece of the hydrofracking windfall, according to federal documents.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2015
New York Attorney General Subpoenas Exxon on Climate Research
Inside Climate News
Bob Simison

Amid a year-long probe, state investigators seek documents on what Exxon knew about climate change and what it told shareholders and the public. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office demanded that ExxonMobil Corporation give investigators documents spanning four decades of research findings and communications about climate change, according to a person familiar with the year-long probe. An 18-page subpoena issued to the oil giant late Wednesday seeks documents from Exxon (NYSE:XOM) related to its research into the causes and effects of climate change, to the integration of climate change findings into business decisions, to communications with the board of directors and to marketing and advertising materials on climate change, the person said. Investigators have been looking closely into the company's disclosures to shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the subpoena also sought documents related to those communications. The probe is based on New York's powerful shareholder-protection statute, the Martin Act, as well as the state’s consumer protection and general business laws.  [Full Story]

Nov 5, 2015
Fossil Fools
The New York Times
Timothy Eagan

Well before one hottest-year-ever was followed by yet another record-breaker, before Arctic ice vanished in real time and Pope Francis made a plea to save our troubled home, the world’s largest private oil company discovered that its chief product could cause global havoc. STORIES FROM OUR ADVERTISERS As an accidental public service, this deed was little known until recently, when a trove of documents unearthed by several news organizations showed What Exxon Knew and When It Knew It. And it was reported Thursday that the New York attorney general is starting an investigation to determine whether the company lied about the risks of climate change.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2015
Protest Aired Live On Monday Night Football Calls Out Financing For Dominion Resources’ LNG Export Facility
DeSmogBlog
MIKE GAWORECKI

It was the third quarter of this week’s Monday Night Football matchup between the struggling Indianapolis Colts and the undefeated Carolina Panthers, who were playing before a hometown crowd of 70,000. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was about to engineer a startling comeback to force the game into overtime, but most eyes were probably turned away from the action on the field. Two activists had managed to smuggle climbing gear through security and were now rappelling from the upper deck of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, BofA's home town. In front of tens of thousands of football fans in attendance and a live national TV audience, the protesters unfurled a banner reading “BoA: Dump Dominion, WeAreCovePoint.org.” According to sports blog Deadspin, the banner drop was aired live on ESPN.   [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2015
The harm Exxon Mobil has done
The Hill
Naomi Oreskes and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) -

It may be hard to accept, but a single company may have set back all of humanity. Had Exxon Mobil listened to its own scientists rather than spread disinformation on climate change, the world might not have wasted three crucial decades during which global warming went from a prediction to a fact.   [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2015
Gas drilling prompts fight against health department accreditation
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

A grass-roots coalition says it will try to block the national accreditation sought by the Allegheny County Health Department because the department has failed to protect public health by opposing shale gas development in county parks. The group, Protect Our Parks, sent a letter to the Health Department on Friday announcing its intent to work against the accreditation, and it plans to publicly state its opposition at today’s Board of Health meeting. John Detwiler, a POP spokesman, said the health department is putting political considerations ahead of public health by following the lead of county Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who has backed shale gas development. And the health department’s “Plan for a Healthier Allegheny,” produced in October after a series of public meetings, ignores the health impacts of shale gas development, he said.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2015
Why capping methane leaks is a win-win goal for industry and environmentalists
PBS


TRANSCRIPT GWEN IFILL: But, first, natural gas is often considered a cleaner fuel than coal. It emits about half as much carbon dioxide. But the main component in natural gas is another greenhouse gas: methane. As special correspondent Kathleen McCleery explains, that’s why both environmentalists and the energy industry are trying to find ways to capture leaks from oil and gas facilities. KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: You can’t see it with the naked eye, but methane gas is escaping into the air around this well in Northwestern New Mexico. MAN: Oh, yes. Yes, boy, it’s just blowing up out of the — off the side of it here. KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: You can see the methane, along with other emissions, with the help of an infrared camera, this one operated by the environmental group Earthworks. WOMAN: There’s a lot of leaking coming from both of those valve boxes. KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: Methane is the primary component of natural gas. It’s also a greenhouse gas. Like carbon dioxide, it traps energy in the atmosphere, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, contributes to climate change. CO2 is far more prevalent, but methane is much more potent.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2015
Fracking to be banned in protected wildlife areas in latest policy reversal
The Telegraph


Ministers bow to pressure and agree they won't allow fracking in Sites of Special Scientific Interest, despite previously insisting a ban would be "impractical"  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2015
HYDRAULIC FRACTURING: EPA finding of no 'widespread, systemic' problems under fire
E & E Newswire
Mike Soraghan

U.S. EPA's science advisers are criticizing the agency's June announcement dismissing the dangers to drinking water from hydraulic fracturing. They are saying the assertion that EPA's study shows fracturing hasn't led to "widespread, systemic" problems with drinking water from fracturing needs to be changed, because the terms are ill-defined. "There's agreement the sentence needs to be modified," said David Dzombak, a Carnegie Mellon University professor chairing the EPA scientific advisory panel conducting a peer review of the agency's hydraulic fracturing study, released in June. "The sentence is ambiguous and requires clarification." Some members of the panel have said that more weight should be given to the "severity of local impacts" on water supplies.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2015
Breaking: Bernie Sanders Wants to Ban All New Fossil Fuel Development on Federal Lands
Mother Jones
James West

Bernie Sanders announced on Wednesday afternoon his support for a new climate bill that would ban all new fossil fuel development on US federal lands and terminate current leases that aren't producing. The bill, called the "Keep It In The Ground Act," would also ban offshore drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic and the Atlantic and would stop new leases for offshore drilling in the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico. "I believe all of us have a moral responsibility," Sanders told the rally at the Capitol in Washington, DC, which also featured Bill McKibben, the founder of environmental advocacy group 350.org. "That's just the simple truth." If the US doesn't act more aggressively to limit carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, Sanders said, "the planet that we're going to be leaving for our kids is something we should be ashamed of."  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2015
Merkley and Sanders introduce bill to end new and non-producing oil and gas leases on public lands
Daily Kos


Flanked by Sierra Club president Aaron Mair, tribal rights attorney Tara Zhaabowekwe Houska?, and 350.org founder Bill McKibben, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced legislation Wednesday to stop issuing leases to extract fossil fuels from on- and off-shore federal lands. Titled the Keep It in the Ground Act, the bill would also terminate all existing federal leases that are not producing. Co-sponsors of the legislation are Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patrick Leahy, and Elizabeth Warren. Behind the legislation is a simple message: When the common good depends on our adapting to and ameliorating the impacts of climate change, it makes no sense for public land meant for that common good to continue as a source of the fuels that are driving global warming.  [Full Story]

Nov 4, 2015
UK government axes plans for fracking in protected nature sites
The Guardian
Adam Vaughan

The government has backed down on its plan to allow fracking in some of England’s most important nature sites. The controversial technique for extracting shale gas will not be allowed in Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) after all, ministers said on Wednesday, after previously opening the door to fracking in such sites in July. However, campaigners said the double U-turn - the government had initially promised in January to ban fracking in SSSIs - would not provide enough protection for the sites.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2015
'Monday Night Football' protest aims to stop Cove Point natural gas export project
The Baltimore Sun
Colin Campbell

Two protesters rappelled from the upper deck of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte Monday night during the game between Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts — the latest action in a bitter campaign waged against a proposed natural gas export terminal and liquefacation plant in Southern Maryland. As they hung on the lines, perplexing fans and stadium staff, the two men unfurled a sign that said, "BoA: Dump Dominion," urging Bank of America to stop financing Richmond-based energy company Dominion, which is seeking federal approval for the plant at Cove Point in Lusby. "We Are Cove Point activists are now calling on Bank of America and other lending institutions to stop financing Dominion," the group said in a statement on its website, which was also advertised on the banner.  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2015
Protester Explains Why, How they Rappelled down Bank of America Stadium
FOX 46
Emily Collins

One of four protesters arrested after two people rappelled from the upper deck of Bank of America stadium Monday night explained to FOX 46 why and how they pulled off the stunt. During the Panthers game, the group revealed a sign that read, "Bank of America Dump Dominion." Angela Vogel says she was one of two anchors that held a climber in place as they rappelled from the upper deck.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2015
"Abandoned" by EPA, Landowers from Dimock, Pavillion, Parker County Demand Inclusion in EPA National Fracking Study
DeSmogBlog Canada
Sharon Kelly

For the past five years, the EPA has undertaken a highly-consequential national study on the impacts that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) can have on American drinking water supplies. “The agency will look to the results of this program as the basis for its scientific conclusions and recommendations on hydraulic fracturing,” EPA said in a 2013 statement. This June, the national study's draft assessment was released to the public, and while hundreds of spills, accidents, and even cases where fracking itself directly contaminated underground aquifers (a method of pollution that the oil industry had long argued had never happened) were reported by EPA, it was a phrase from the agency's press release that drew the attention of the national media: “hydraulic fracturing activities in the U.S. are carried out in a way that have not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.”  [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2015
Anti-Fracking Protestors Crash Monday Night Football Game
People Magazine


Two anti-fracking protestors crashed the Indianapolis Colts-Carolina Panthers game on Monday night, suspending themselves from the upper deck of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The protestors, a man and a woman, rappelled from the upper deck during the third quarter, unspooling a banner that read "Dump Dominion" to protest what they claim is Bank of America's role in funding a liquefied natural gas export facility by energy company Dominion Resources in Cove Point, Maryland. The game went on around the protestors, who dangled from ropes well into the fourth quarter before they finally lowered themselves to the seats below, into a section of the stands that had been cleared. There, they were met by security, who handcuffed them and led them out of the stadium.   [Full Story]

Nov 3, 2015
Ahead of Paris, Unparalleled Coalition Demands Global Fracking Ban
Common Dreams
Nadia Prupis

'Put simply, we cannot afford to continue down an energy path that relies on fossil fuels if we are to maintain the stability of our climate and the health of the planet.'   [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2015
Hundreds in Long Beach voice opposition to Port Ambrose offshore gas port plan
Newsday
JOHN ASBURY

Hundreds of residents packed the first of four meetings Monday night in Long Beach to protest the Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas terminal, proposed for about 19 miles off Jones Beach.  [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2015
Oklahoma Earthquake Swarm: Groups Start Legal Process To Sue Oil Companies Over Wastewater Injections
International Business Times
Maria Gallucci

Environmental groups in Oklahoma are attempting to slow the swarm of earthquakes rattling the state. A coalition Monday began legal moves to stop certain producers from injecting copious amounts of wastewater into the ground, a process scientists say is probably causing the seismic spike. Public Justice, a public interest law firm, and the New York law firm Weitz & Luxenberg served a “Notice of Intent to Sue” warning on behalf of the Sierra Club’s Oklahoma chapter. The legal notice accuses four energy companies of violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by causing some of the earthquake activity. It formally requests the producers “substantially reduce” their wastewater injection over the next 90 days, or face a citizen lawsuit.  [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2015
Protesters suspend selves from stadium during Panthers game
The Charlotte Observer
CLEVE R. WOOTSON JR. AND SERGIO TOVAR

Activists protesting Bank of America’s financing of a liquefied natural gas facility in Maryland suspended themselves from the upper deck of Bank of America Stadium during the Panthers Monday Night Football game. The protesters were arrested just after 11 p.m. Police had not released their identities. The protesters dropped a banner reading “BoA: Dump Dominion” and a link to the protest’s website. BoA is an abbreviation for Bank of America, the Charlotte-based bank that owns the naming rights to the Panthers’ stadium. “Bank of America is allowing companies like Dominion (Resources) to operate without checks and balances,” said John Nicholson, a spokesman quoted in a press release of the organization named We Are Cove Point. “They are giving money directly to Dominion with full knowledge of the health and safety risks of building an LNG export facility, and they need to be accountable to that.”   [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2015
Fracking Companies Warned to Scale Back Operations Linked to Earthquakes or Get Sued
EcoWatch
Robin Greenwald, Weitz & Luxenberg

Weitz & Luxenberg, in partnership with Public Justice, served a Notice of Intent to Sue today on behalf of the Sierra Club, demanding four energy companies operating in Oklahoma scale back operations that have been linked to increasing seismic activity in the area. The notice formally requests that Sandridge Exploration and Production, New Dominion, Chesapeake Operating and Devon Energy Production Company substantially reduce the amount of production waste they are injecting into ground wells in Oklahoma or face further legal action.  [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2015
TransCanada Suspends Request for Permit to Build Keystone Pipeline
The New York Times
JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS

WASHINGTON — The company seeking to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline asked the Obama administration on Monday to suspend its yearslong review of the project, potentially bringing an abrupt halt to a politically charged debate that had become part of a broader struggle over President Obama’s environmental policies. It was not immediately clear whether the administration would grant the request, which was swiftly denounced by environmental activists as a bid to dodge a near-certain rejection of the pipeline. Allowing the delay would push off a decision until after the 2016 presidential election.   [Full Story]

Nov 2, 2015
If the fracking boom fizzles, will climate action fizzle, too?
Grist
Mason Inman

Recent environmental victories, including President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, owe a lot to the fracking boom. A recent glut of oil and gas in the United States opened a window of opportunity, making a number of key environmental policies more politically palatable. But those who care about the climate should be asking a hard question: What will happen to such policies if the fracking boom fizzles? The U.S. boom in fracking has tapped huge deposits of natural gas locked up in shale rock, pushing the nation’s natural gas production to an all-time high.  [Full Story]

Oct 31, 2015
Regulations worry oil, gas leaders in West Virginia
The State Journal
GEORGE HOHMANN

Leaders of West Virginia’s oil and natural gas industry praise state regulators but worry about federal regulations and environmentalists who use regulatory processes to try to halt projects. Steve Mueller, chairman and chief executive officer of Southwestern Energy Co., recalled how the West Virginia Legislature cleared the way when his company entered West Virginia, calling the state one of the top two for favorable business regulations. Mueller was one of several industry leaders and lawyers who addressed the issue during the recent West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association annual meeting at Oglebay Resort. Southwestern bought drilling assets owned by Chesapeake Energy in West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania for more than $5 billion late last year. An existing legislative rule prohibited the transfer of permits, which meant Southwestern would have to go through the same permitting process Chesapeake went though.  [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2015
Reclassifying wells may cost state hundreds of millions
Star-Telegram
Jim Malewitz

A major slowdown in oil drilling may not be the only phenomenon cutting into state revenue in coming years.Efforts by producers to have some of their oil wells reclassified as natural gas wells may cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in tax collections and refunds — and renew scrutiny of Texas’ largest tax incentive for natural gas drilling. The Texas Railroad Commission, the state’s drilling regulator, reclassified nearly 850 oil wells as natural gas wells during the 2015 budget year. That’s more than triple the number from the previous year and nearly six times the reclassifications in 2013.   [Full Story]

Oct 30, 2015
Impacted Landowners Demand EPA Revise Flawed Fracking Study
EcoWatch
Wenonah Hauter

Ray Kemble, an affected landowner and former gas industry worker, testified, “In 2008, gas drilling caused my water to become poisoned. The Pennsylvania DEP and the EPA confirmed this contamination, but abandoned us in 2012 and did not even include us in their long-term study. I am here today to demand that EPA recognize us, include our case in this study, and reopen the investigation.” John Fenton, a rancher and affected landowner in Pavillion also spoke out. “When EPA launched its national study of fracking’s drinking water impacts, we thought they’d look first here in Pavillion where they’d already found pollution. But instead they ignored us without explanation. Science means taking the facts as they are. But EPA seems to be intent on finding the facts to support the conclusion they’ve already reached—‘fracking is safe.’”  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2015
Birds Flee in the Face of Fracking
Audubon Magazine
Laura Dattaro

In North Dakota, several species are responding to the recent natural gas boom by moving far away from active wells. In recent years, fracking has surged in western North Dakota’s Bakken region—the area had just 200 active oil wells in 2005 but today more than 10,000 churn out approximately 35 million barrels of oil every month. The extraction comes with a price: The grasslands where those oil wells sit are a delicate and threatened ecosystem and the construction isn’t boding well for the birds that live there, according to recent research conducted by U.S. Geological Survey. “There’s a lot that’s unknown about [fracking’s affect on] the Bakken,” says Sarah Thompson, a USGS scientist. “It’s new and it’s happening really quickly.”  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2015
GAS EXPORTS: Analysts see new demand but tough path for new projects
E & E Newswire
Jenny Mandel

With worldwide gas prices in the doldrums, demand outlooks for liquefied natural gas are unduly low. But while the LNG industry may be underestimating global demand, new export terminals and expansions will be put on hold as players reassess the fundamental structure of the market, a recent Barclays research note argues. "Most of the demand outlooks we have seen were based on the expectation that LNG prices were going to be in the teens," analysts wrote in a reference to prices that prevailed as recently as a year ago before the oil and gas price crash. "If it is going to remain in the $7 to $9 [per million British thermal units] range, we would think all these demand outlooks are understated."  [Full Story]

Oct 29, 2015
DEC official: State could lose authority if it withholds pipeline decisions
PoliticoNewYork
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — New York could lose its authority to oversee pipelines if it improperly withholds approvals, a senior Department of Environmental Conservation official said this week. The agency has been sitting on a growing pile of pipeline applications. Oversight of pipelines is generally a federal issue, but the state has to sign off on water certifications for the path of a pipeline when it crosses stream beds and wetlands. This sign-off was once a minor step in the extensive pipeline approval process, but the Cuomo administration has delayed making a final decision on multiple pipelines. But withholding certifications could cost the state some of its oversight ability, said Jared Snyder, assistant DEC commissioner for air, climate and energy.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2015
Alarming Uptick of Earthquakes in Kansas Linked to Fracking With 52 in Just Last Two Weeks
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

Just like in Oklahoma, Kansas is seeing a shocking uptick in earthquakes connected to the underground disposal of wastewater from the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2015
PennEnviroment report finds hundreds of fracking operations near Pennsylvania schools, day-care centers
Pittsburgh City Paper
Ashley Murray

Two miles. One mile. A half mile. A local watchdog organization counted the number of fracking wells within these distances of schools, day-care centers, nursing homes and hospitals in Pennsylvania. The final tally: hundreds. Now parents are speaking out, and lawsuits are pending. “Drilling is an extremely industrial process,” says Stephen Riccardi, of PennEnvironment, the organization that released the report, entitled “Dangerous and Close,” last week. “Having all of this going on so close to a school seems practically crazy.”  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2015
Anadarko drilling for less in U.S. shale
UPI
Daniel J Graeber

HOUSTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- While taking a hefty loss for the quarter, U.S. oil and gas company Anadarko Petroleum said it was able to improve costs at operations in domestic shale basins. Anadarko reported a third quarter loss of $2.24 billion, compared with a profit of around $1.1 billion one year ago. Like its peers in the industry, the Houston-based company is struggling to generate cash at a time when crude oil is selling for about 45 percent less than it did at this time last year.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2015
‘Damaging’ fracking regulations slammed
Wigan Today


WIGAN MP Lisa Nandy has joined environmental groups in accusing the Government of “sneaking in” regulations that could lead to fracking in protected areas. Campaigners say the new regulations are a U-turn on a coalition decision to accept Labour moves to tighten fracking regulations, and will allow drilling under national parks, while other important areas have no protections against exploration for shale gas. Ms Nandy, the shadow energy secretary said: “This Government needs to listen to people’s worries and not railroad through changes to the legislation which may well have damaging and long lasting effects on our natural environment.”  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2015
Government slammed over adoption of 'weakened' National Park fracking regulations
Business Green
Madeleine Cuff

A committee of MPs voted yesterday to allow changes to fracking legislation that would allow fracking to take place more than 1,200 metres below Britain's National Parks, sites of special scientific interest, and areas critics say could be vulnerable to groundwater pollution. The Second Delegated Legislation Committee voted 10 members to eight to pass the legislative changes. The reforms weaken an earlier amendment made in January to the Infrastructure Bill that banned all fracking in National Parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, and locations where drinking water is collected.  [Full Story]

Oct 28, 2015
EPA to mandate disclosures on chemical releases from gas processing plants
FuelFix
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency will force companies to disclose details on the toxic chemicals released from gas processing plants nationwide in response to legal challenges. The agency committed to writing new regulations requiring gas processing plants to report the information to the government’s Toxics Release Inventory in a letter to environmental groups that have been pursuing the disclosure since 2012. But the EPA denied the environmentalists’ plea to impose the disclosure mandates more broadly on other parts of the oil and gas extraction sector, with the agency specifically rejecting potential chemical reporting about pipelines, compressor stations and wells themselves. The EPA will launch a formal rule making process to impose the requirements, likely putting any final mandate at least two years away. But the decision ultimately could affect more than half of the United States’ 517 natural gas processing plants — generally those with at least 10 full-time employees or high chemical releases — which could be obligated to add information to the government chemical database. According to the EPA, those facilities manufacture, process or otherwise use more than 25 different chemicals that must be disclosed through the Toxics Release Inventory, including benzene, hydrogen sulfide and xylene.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2015
‘We Need an Energy Miracle’ Bill Gates has committed his fortune to moving the world beyond fossil fuels and mitigating climate change.
The Atlantic
JAMES BENNET

In his offices overlooking Lake Washington, just east of Seattle, Bill Gates grabbed a legal pad recently and began covering it in his left-handed scrawl. He scribbled arrows by each margin of the pad, both pointing inward. The arrow near the left margin, he said, represented how governments worldwide could stimulate ingenuity to combat climate change by dramatically increasing spending on research and development. “The push is the R&D,” he said, before indicating the arrow on the right. “The pull is the carbon tax.” Between the arrows he sketched boxes to represent areas, such as deployment of new technology, where, he argued, private investors should foot the bill. He has pledged to commit $2 billion himself. “Yes, the government will be somewhat inept,” he said brusquely, swatting aside one objection as a trivial statement of the obvious. “But the private sector is in general inept. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly? By far most of them.”  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2015
Fracking deadline passes without lawsuit
Press Connects
Jon Campbell

ALBANY — A leading oil-and-gas trade group will let a key deadline pass without challenging New York’s ban on large-scale hydraulic fracturing. API New York, the state chapter of the American Petroleum Institute, will not file what’s known as an Article 78 challenge against the state’s fracking ban, according to executive director Karen Moreau. Tuesday was the deadline to file an Article 78 claim, a legal process used to challenge an official state action or determination. Instead, Moreau said the trade organization — which has long been assessing its legal options related to the ban — is weighing other potential legal remedies. And the group is “closely watching” a challenge to the ban filed earlier this year by East Rochester-based attorney David Morabito, she said.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2015
WHY DOES FIREWOOD COST SO MUCH? FRACKING'S PART OF IT
AP News
Rik Stevens

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Northeasterners who are digging deeper into their pockets to pay for firewood this season can add a new scapegoat to the roster of usual market forces: fracking. Yep, a timber industry representative in New Hampshire said those hydraulic fracturing well sites in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale formation to suck natural gas out of the ground are using construction "mats" made of hardwood logs - think of the corduroy roads seen in sepia-toned photographs from the 1800s - to get heavy equipment over mucky ground, wetlands or soft soils  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2015
Last day for challenges to NY fracking ban
NCPR
Martha Foley

Today is the deadline for legal challenges to New York’s ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The state officially banned fracking in June after a five-year moratorium. Groups had 120 days to file what’s known as an Article 78 proceeding, a civil law challenge to a state agency decision. The agency in this case is the Department of Environmental Conservation. After years of study, the DEC concluded there was no way to effectively reduce the health and environmental risks of fracking.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2015
Pa.'s drillers adjust to life under a governor they opposed
E & E Newswire
Mike Soraghan

PHILADELPHIA -- When the Pennsylvania shale industry gathered here for its annual conference last month, there were more empty seats than usual. But one absence stood out: Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. Gas drillers saw it as a snub. A Wolf aide insisted that it wasn't, noting that the governor sent his secretary of economic development. But Wolf didn't offer any reason for missing the conference, called "Shale Insight 2015." His decision to skip it highlights the tension between Pennsylvania's new governor and its shale drilling industry. And their fraught relationship has provided a glimpse of what life might look like for shale drillers after backing a losing candidate in a governor's race.  [Full Story]

Oct 27, 2015
Rally held against gas terminal project in Long Beach
News 12 Long Island


LONG BEACH - Demonstrators rallied against a project that would bri