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Sep 2, 2015
Massive explosion disfigures Texas landowner, and he blames fracking
Houston Chronicle
Dylan Baddour

Cody Murray, a former oil field services supervisor, could immediately hear that something was wrong – very wrong – with his North Texas water well. In an instant he darted back and shoved his elderly father to the ground before a fireball erupted 30 feet in each direction from the well house.   [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
Watch police battling with anti-fracking protesters after group 'storms court following woman's conviction'
Mirror


Three people have been arrested following scuffles outside Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court this afternoon   [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
Documentary 'Gasland' pivotal to anti-fracking movement: study
Reuters


An Oscar-nominated HBO documentary that showed American homeowners near hydraulic fracturing sites setting fire to their tap water may have been the main trigger for a surge in public opposition to the oil and gas production technique, according to a study to be published next month.   [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
Well Explosion Severely Burns Palo Pinto County Family; They Blame Fracking
KERA News
Jim Malewitz

Somehow, everyone survived the explosion, detailed in legal filings. But the flames severely burned each of the four. Now, as the Murrays continue their recovery, the family wants to hold someone accountable for the blast, sparked by a buildup of methane gas. They say blame lies with a pair of companies that drilled and operate two gas wells roughly 1,000 feet away from their water well.   [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
“Supersize” Fracking Could Keep Natural Gas Prices Low For Years
Oil Price
Charles Kennedy

As natural gas drillers turn to “supersize” fracking, natural gas supplies could be abundant and cheap for a long-time to come. That is how the Wall Street Journal phrases what is going on in the natural gas industry, where gas exploration companies continue to innovate the same drilling techniques that sparked the original shale gas revolution.   [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
King George supervisors defer vote on fracking ordinance
Fredericksburg.com
Cathy Dyson

After a public hearing that lasted two hours, with 23 of 25 speakers asking for restrictive measures on gas and oil drilling—or an outright ban of it—the King George Board of Supervisors decided to defer action on making changes to its proposed ordinances. Chairman Jim Howard said he preferred to “hesitate a little bit to make sure we’re on the right side” of state regulations that monitor drilling regulations.   [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
Gates Mills voters to again decide on proposal to control drilling in village
Cleveland.com
Sara Dorn

GATES MILLS, Ohio — Voters will again be faced with a proposal in November that would give residents more control over fracking in the village. The charter amendment would require voters to sign off on, or reject, any new lease or renewal of an existing lease of village property for deep-well horizontal fracking.  [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
After the Frack: Bright Lights in the Middle of Nowhere Air, light, and noise pollution linger long after the drilling is over.
Alternet
Lana Straub

The humming sound was deafening. Standing in the driveway of the Brothers’ home it was 50 decibels, but as we walked toward the edge of the road, the sound meter jumped to 85 decibels. The creator of this offensively loud humming noise was the compressor station located just across the road. It ran night and day, 24/7, and had invaded Frank and Theresa Brothers’ home just a year ago. Unfortunately, compressor stations are a necessary component of an oil and gas pipeline system. They help move gas and liquids from one part of the pipeline system to another.   [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
Documentary 'Gasland' pivotal to anti-fracking movement: study
Reuters


An Oscar-nominated HBO documentary that showed American homeowners near hydraulic fracturing sites setting fire to their tap water may have been the main trigger for a surge in public opposition to the oil and gas production technique, according to a study to be published next month. "Gasland," produced by filmmaker Josh Fox in 2010, sparked a rise in online searches, social media chatter, news coverage, and environmental activism surrounding fracking that may have led to a series of local attempts to ban the industry in the years that followed, according to the paper which will be published in the American Sociology Review's October edition.   [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
Husky Energy Investigating Natural Gas Leak in Canadian Atlantic August 31 leak was equivalent of 8.9 metric tons of natural gas
The Wall Street Journal
CHESTER DAWSON

Husky Energy Inc. said Wednesday that an underwater pipeline released a large amount of natural gas at an offshore Atlantic coast drilling site. The Calgary, Alberta-based company, the site’s lead operator, said the Aug. 31 leak of the equivalent of 8.9 metric tons of natural gas is under investigation. The spill is the largest release of oil or gas off Canada’s eastern coast in recent years, said Sean Kelly, a spokesman for the Canadian-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, a joint federal-provincial regulatory body.  [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
Study shows how fracking documentary influenced public perception and political change
Phys.org


But a University of Iowa (UI) sociologist and his co-researchers are the first to use the Internet and social media to systematically show how a documentary film reshaped public perception and ultimately led to municipal bans on hydraulic fracking. By measuring an uptick in online searches as well as social media chatter and mass media coverage, Ion Bogdan Vasi, an associate professor of sociology at the UI and corresponding author of a new study, demonstrated how local screenings of Gasland—a 2010 American documentary that focused on communities affected by natural gas drilling—affected the public debate on hydraulic fracking. Additionally, Vasi and his collaborators demonstrated how local screenings were linked to an increase in anti-fracking mobilizations that, in turn, influenced the passage of local bans on fracking.   [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
Stokes County commissioners likely to consider fracking moratorium
Winston-Salem Journal
Bertrand M. Gutierrez

The Stokes County Board of Commissioners will likely consider a two-year moratorium on the natural-gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, at its meeting Sept. 14. Ronda Jones, the chairwoman, said this week in a telephone interview that she has requested a draft moratorium based on one that was approved last month by the Chatham County Board of Commissioners.  [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
Dutch Court Finds Gas Venture Liable for Earthquake Claims
The New York Times
Reuters

A court in the Netherlands ruled on Wednesday that a natural gas company, a joint venture by Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, must compensate homeowners for declines in the value of their properties because of earthquakes linked to production at Europe’s largest gas field, the Groningen field. The ruling by the court in Assen could result in billions of euros of claims against the venture, known as NAM. The Netherlands has twice this year reduced production from the field after the Dutch Safety Board, a government-financed but independent organization, said gas companies and regulators had failed to take the danger from gas-production-linked earthquakes seriously enough.  [Full Story]

Sep 2, 2015
Well Explosion Could Put Pressure on Texas Regulators
The Texas Tribune
Jim Malewitz

While filling a cattle trough 15 months ago, Ashley Murray noticed something odd occurring in the shack housing her family’s water pump. High-pressure water was spraying everywhere. She switched off the pump, went into the house and asked her husband to take a look. So out walked Cody Murray with his father Jim. Ashley stood holding the couple’s four-year-old daughter just outside the wood-and-stone pump house. As Jim Murray flipped on the pump, it let out a “woosh.” Cody, a former oilfield worker, knew the sound signaled danger. He threw his dad backwards — just before a fireball shot from the wellhead and transformed the Murrays’ 160-acre Palo Pinto County ranch into an emergency scene. Somehow, everyone survived the explosion, detailed in legal filings. But the flames severely burned each of the four.  [Full Story]

Sep 1, 2015
Fracking foes say Ohio elections chief exceeds his authority
WKBN 27
Julie Carr Smyth

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Residents in three Ohio counties where Secretary of State Jon Husted invalidated anti-fracking ballot issues this fall argued in a court filing Tuesday that voters, not the elections chief, should decide the substance of such issues.   [Full Story]

Sep 1, 2015
More Than 80 Health Professionals Demand Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Stop Unethical Experiment
Beyond Extreme Energy


Washington, DC – In an open letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), more than eighty health professionals urge the FERC to stop permitting oil and gas infrastructure and to move to clean sustainable sources of energy to protect the health of people and the planet. The construction of oil and gas projects such as unconventional fracking, pipelines, compressor stations and export terminals which pollute with cancer and disease-causing chemicals is akin to an uncontrolled health experiment that is destroying communities and risking lives of residents. These projects also harm the workers who build and maintain them. For the health of all who are involved, health professionals demand that this unethical ‘experiment’ stop. Most people are unaware of the existence of the FERC, which according to its website is “an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects.” The FERC is independent of taxpayer dollars, but is dependant on the oil and gas industries for its funding, the very industries the FERC is supposed to regulate.  [Full Story]

Sep 1, 2015
Marcellus to become a net exporter of natural gas this year
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Stephanie Ritenbaugh

Natural gas production is expected to slow this month for the first time across the country as drillers struggle against low commodity prices and oversupply. Even so, states in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays spanning Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio are expected to still produce more gas than they can use and export the fuel out of the region. “We are anticipating that the Northeast will be a net exporter for the average of 2015,” said Anne Swedberg, senior energy analyst for Denver-based Bentek Energy. “We are already seeing volumes leave the region this summer.” The rest of the country is expected to catch up later, becoming a net exporter by 2017.  [Full Story]

Sep 1, 2015
Cuomo: We have more work to do in Southern Tier
Capital New York
JIMMY VIELKIND

ALBANY — Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledged on Tuesday that "we have more work to do" in the Southern Tier, where some residents have suggested that the region secede to Pennsylvania, hoping it will improve their economic prospects. The Democratic governor spoke in suburban Syracuse after detailing $50 million in upgrades to the state fairgrounds. He has touted himself as a champion of upstate New York, working to encourage tourism and steering state money to Buffalo and investing in nanotechnology research. The Southern Tier, though, has languished. Cuomo said the state has a role to play in assisting the region, although he also noted that local governments need to do more as well.  [Full Story]

Sep 1, 2015
Lawsuit over oil tankers looming Deception alleged on part of owners of port facility that transports volatile crude oil
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany Owners of an oil terminal at the Port of Albany face a citizens' lawsuit that claims the company failed to reveal to the state that increased shipments would be potentially explosive and volatile Bakken crude, violating federal air pollution laws. A coalition that includes Albany County, the Ezra Prentice Homes Tenants Association, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Center for Biological Diversity, Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson and Catskill Mountainkeeper filed a notice Monday with Global Partners that alleged the company violated the federal Clean Air Act.  [Full Story]

Sep 1, 2015
Albany County exec targets feds in push for oil train crackdown
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has taken his aggressive push to crack down on oil trains to Washington, joining a lawsuit in federal court there accusing the federal government of not doing enough to regulate the trains. McCoy, who has urged the Cuomo administration to curb oil trains' expansion as his region has become a major hub for them, filed an amicus brief Tuesday in environmental groups' suit against the U.S. Department of Transportation in the Washington, D.C., federal appeals court. McCoy said the federal phase-out of the most dangerous oil tankers wasn't happening quickly enough; neither was the plan to implement improved braking systems, he said. He called for a quicker phase-out and braking implementation, as well as for greater disclosures of oil training routing decisions and for crude oil to be stabilized before it is shipped.  [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Obama set to visit Alaska's Arctic Circle amid charges of hypocrisy
Al Jazeera America
Renee Lewis

President Barack Obama is set to become the first serving U.S. president to witness firsthand the impact of global warming in Alaska’s Arctic Circle when he visits the state this week to press for urgent action against climate change. But many activists have charged him with hypocrisy following his administration’s recent decision to formalize Royal Dutch Shell’s permit to drill for oil off Alaska’s northwest coast. Protests against the administration's policies are planned Monday in Anchorage, Seattle and Portland. “We think it’s deeply hypocritical,” said Travis Nichols, spokesman for Greenpeace. “For a president who’s done so much for the climate, to see him do something that could undo that is a real tragedy.”  [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Groups push EPA to rewrite oil and gas waste disposal rules
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

Seven environmental organizations say they will sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force the agency to set new and tighter standards for disposal of oil and gas drilling and fracking waste that they say now threatens public health and the environment.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Tracking energy’s ‘fugitive emissions,’ from above Scientists are trying to understand what’s released from the nation’s biggest energy producing regions.
High Country Newss
Sarah Troy

The four-engine turbo-prop plane, built for hurricane research and surveillance, dips low over the pancake-flat plains that sweep from southeastern New Mexico across the Texas border. Huge irrigation circles are tattooed across the land in varying shades of brown and green. Then the well pads appear. From 1,000 feet in the air, they look like hundreds of sandboxes, connected by a maze of dirt roads.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
A gigantic natural gas discovery in Egypt means Israel has to find another customer for its gas
Quartz
Steve LeVine

Israel’s hopes of becoming a natural gas export powerhouse have sustained a blow from an enormous discovery of gas off the coast of Egypt. Companies drilling in Israel have planned to ship much of their product to Egypt, which, if its gas find is as large as thought, will not need the Israeli supplies.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
King George sets public hearing on its proposed fracking ordinance BOARD WILL FIELD PUBLIC COMMENT ON PROPOSED ORDINANCE TO GOVERN DRILLING FOR OIL, GAS
Fredericksburg.com
Cathy Dyson

The King George County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on Tuesday about its proposed ordinance on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Board members started looking into the issue more than a year ago and held several informational meetings about the process, which injects water and chemicals deep into the ground to free trapped gas and oil.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Colorado Supreme Court rejects intervening organizations in fracking case Longmont, Fort Collins appeals still in limbo
Times-Call
Karen Antonacci

While it considers whether or not to hear Longmont's fracking ban case and Fort Collins' five-year fracking moratorium case, the Colorado Supreme Court has rejected several intervening organizations in the Fort Collins case. When industry group Colorado Oil & Gas Association sued the city of Fort Collins over the moratorium, the Sierra Club, Citizens for a Health Fort Collins and Earthworks all joined as intervenors on the city's side.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
EPA Urged by Nearly 100,000 Americans to Redo Highly Controversial Fracking Study The study has produced much controversy due to the discrepancy in what the EPA report found and what the agency's news release title said.
Alternet
Cole Mellino

The public comment period for the highly controversial U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) fracking study ended on August 28. Food & Water Watch, Environmental Action, Breast Cancer Action and other advocacy groups delivered nearly 100,000 comments from Americans asking the U.S. EPA to redo their study with a higher level of scrutiny and oversight.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Fracking drill bid could contaminate Belfast water supply, claim campaigners
Belfast Telegraph
Chris McCullough

There are fears that a reservoir that supplies water to Belfast's restaurants, hospitals, schools, offices and households could become contaminated due to a nearby drilling for oil and gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Fracking as seen through artists’ eyes
IoL SciTech


Cape Town - Artists have tackled the controversial issue of fracking across a range of disciplines in an exhibition looking at the practice and exploring its potential effect on communities and the environment. Karoo Disclosure, a collaborative art installation, opened at the Iziko South African Museum on Saturday and runs until November 15.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Will Ohio communities be allowed to zone out fracking?
Athens News
Terry Smith

The recent debate over Ohio cities and counties’ efforts to ban or regulate oil and gas drilling, fracking and/or waste disposal has mainly involved proposed community bill of rights that assert an innate right of local citizens to pass laws to protect their environment. So far, those efforts haven’t had much luck with Ohio courts, including the highest one, the Supreme Court. The courts have backed up state officials and the oil and gas industry’s contention that only the state, not local government, has the authority to regulate oil and gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Experts look ahead to the city’s future energy usage
Standard Speaker
Maria Jacketti

What will Hazleton look like, in terms of energy consumption and production, not to mention green-living, in 2020, a little more than four years away? How about in 2030, 2040 and 2050?   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Youngstown seeks to keep anti-fracking charter issue on ballot
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing Mark Gillispie

The city of Youngstown on Friday filed a complaint today with the Ohio Supreme Court asking it compel the Mahoning County Board of Elections and the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office to place a proposed anti-fracking charter amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot, the Vindicator reported. The board ruled Wednesday not to put the measure on the ballot despite a city council vote two days earlier.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Upstate New Yorkers rally to secede
New York Post
Kirstan Conley

ALBANY — A growing chorus of upstaters is calling for secession from New York because residents are furious about economic hardships they say have been brought on by lawmakers who oppose gun ownership and hydrofracturing for natural gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Groups push EPA to rewrite oil and gas waste disposal rules
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

Seven environmental organizations say they will sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force the agency to set new and tighter standards for disposal of oil and gas drilling and fracking waste that they say now threatens public health and the environment. The groups, in a notice of intent to sue filed last week in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., allege that the federal agency has failed for 27 years to update and tighten baseline drilling and waste disposal regulations, as required by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the federal law that governs waste disposal.   [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Federal regulators delay review of Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Nassau Federal officials will take more time to consider public reaction to a proposed natural gas pipeline that would pass through the Capital Region to connect the gas fracking fields of Pennsylvania with metropolitan Boston. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will extend the public comment period on the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline, which was due to expire Monday, according to a Friday memo from FERC project manager Eric Tomasi. A new deadline is still being finalized, FERC spokeswoman Tamara Young-Allen said Monday, and will depend on FERC scheduling a meeting in New Hampshire to take public comments, she said.  [Full Story]

Aug 31, 2015
Millennium company files plans for pipeline Project would supply CPV power plant
Times Herald Record
Hema Easley

The Millennium Pipeline Company has submitted details to the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee about its proposed eight-mile natural gas pipeline, part of the regulatory review process for the Valley Lateral Project. The lateral pipeline will supply natural gas to the planned $900 million, 720-megawatt power plant to be built by Competitive Power Ventures on a 122-acre parcel in Wawayanda. The proposed pipeline would branch off of Millennium's pipeline in Orange County. The company is evaluating potential routes; a preferred route has not been picked, according to the company.  [Full Story]

Aug 30, 2015
Lawmakers aim to ban hydraulic fracturing
Naples Daily News
Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster

While the measure might have the support of some lawmakers, it is unlikely to gain traction in the Republican-led House and Senate. A similar bill to ban hydraulic fracturing made no progress during the 2015 legislative session.   [Full Story]

Aug 30, 2015
Tighter Methane Regulations Won’t Kill Gas Drilling Reducing wasteful methane emissions from the nation’s oil and gas sector is one of the biggest bargains in the energy business today.
Wall Street Journal
Mark Brownstein Letter to Editor

Contrary to your editorial “Political Target: Natural Gas” (Aug. 24), reducing wasteful methane emissions from the nation’s oil and gas sector is one of the biggest bargains in the energy business today. A 2014 study by ICF International found cost-effective solutions that could achieve a 40% savings for about one penny per thousand cubic feet of natural gas produced. U.S. oil and gas operations release more than seven million tons of methane every year (some estimates say much more). That’s the same 20-year climate impact as 160 coal-fired power plants and enough wasted gas to heat six million American homes. Without action, emissions are projected to grow 25% by 2025.   [Full Story]

Aug 30, 2015
Natural gas: U.S. producing more than ever
USA Today
Bill Loveless

The U.S. is producing more natural gas than ever in 2015, despite low prices that make it increasingly difficult for companies to spend money on drilling. In fact, the government's Energy Information Administration forecasts a 5.4% increase in output this year compared to 2014.   [Full Story]

Aug 30, 2015
Analysis forecasts ‘U-shaped’ recovery for energy industry
Midland Reporter-Telegram
Melia McEwen

Morningstar, the independent investment research and investment management firm, sees a challenging road ahead for the nation’s oil and gas industry. But recovery “is just around the corner,” said Mark Hanson, the company’s energy sector strategist.   [Full Story]

Aug 30, 2015
Expert: B.C. LNG will increase fracking-caused earthquakes If the LNG industry proceeds as the B.C. government hopes, there could be five times as many fracking-caused earthquakes, warns one expert.
Macleans


VANCOUVER – If the liquefied natural gas industry proceeds as the British Columbia government hopes, there could be five times as many fracking-caused earthquakes, warns one expert. But the company that would provide gas to a major LNG terminal — the same company found responsible for a 4.4 magnitude tremor last year — claims it won’t ramp up drilling.   [Full Story]

Aug 30, 2015
Italian energy company says it's found 'largest ever' natural gas field
Chicago Tribune
Associated Press

The Italian energy company Eni SpA announced Sunday it has discovered a "supergiant" natural gas field off Egypt, describing it as the "largest-ever" found in the Mediterranean Sea.  [Full Story]

Aug 30, 2015
Fracking-caused earthquakes to grow alongside LNG: experts
Globe and Mail
Laura Kane

If the liquefied natural gas industry proceeds as the British Columbia government hopes, there could be five times as many fracking-caused earthquakes, warns one expert.   [Full Story]

Aug 30, 2015
Judge Faults FERC, Acquits Beyond Extreme Energy Activist
Beyond Extreme Energy


A member of Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) who was arrested inside the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission building in May and charged with illegal entry was declared not guilty last week (Aug. 20) in a bench trial before Judge John F. McCabe Jr. in D.C. Superior Court. In acquitting Laura Gubisch, a resident of the District, Judge McCabe chastised the government for how it handled the situation of people wanting to access the main room where commissioners meet, which in the past has been the site of verbal disruptions by members of BXE opposed to FERC’s approval of virtually every gas infrastructure project that comes before it, including interstate pipelines, compressor stations and LNG facilities.  [Full Story]

Aug 29, 2015
Youngstown officials file complaint to get anti-fracking charter amendment on ballot
Vindy.com
David Skolnick

In a filing with the Ohio Supreme Court, city officials contend the Mahoning County Board of Elections acted “illegally” by refusing to place an anti-fracking citizen-initiative on Youngstown’s Nov. 3 ballot.   [Full Story]

Aug 29, 2015
Editorial: High court must craft new deal on fracking
Daily Camera
Editorial

We admit to feeling a pang of sympathy for the Erie Board of Trustees — not our most common sentiment about this oddly defensive and secretive group — as it tried to come up with a set of fracking regulations that would protect its burgeoning population without provoking the litigious Colorado Oil & Gas Association into yet another lawsuit against a Front Range community.   [Full Story]

Aug 28, 2015
Chemicals used for fracking may harm human development
UPI
Stephen Feller

COLUMBIA, Mo., Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Researchers at the University of Missouri have called for new studies into the individual and total effects of the chemicals used in fracking on the endocrine system and human reproduction. More than 1000 chemicals are used as part of the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract oil and natural gas. "While these technologies have dramatically increased domestic oil and natural gas production," researchers wrote in the study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, "they have also raised concerns for the potential contamination of local water supplies with the approximately 1,000 chemicals used throughout the process, including many known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals."  [Full Story]

Aug 28, 2015
EPA Threatened with Lawsuit for Staying Soft on Fracking Wastewater
Ring Of Fire


Two environmental groups are threatening to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for neglecting to create and implement new rules on fracking wastewater disposal, reported the Huffington Post. The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) announced that they will file a lawsuit against the EPA if it doesn’t issue regulations about how fracking companies should handle and dispose of chemical-laden wastewater. “Oil and gas waste is extremely dangerous — yet the EPA admitted decades ago that federal rules are inadequate to protect the public,” said Matthew McFeely, an NRDC attorney. “Toxic waste should not be sent to run-of-the-mill landfills, sprayed on our roads and fields, or stored in open air pits.”   [Full Story]

Aug 28, 2015
Gas players gird loins against anti-drill push
Australian Business Review
Matt Chambers

Gas suppliers and users have called a crisis meeting in Melbourne today to develop a strategy to tackle fears that both major Victorian parties will crumble under the weight of anti-exploration pressure and extend a ban on onshore gas drilling. The meeting has been called following revelations in The Australian earlier this month that the 1600 “Lock the Gate” style anti-exploration submissions made to a state parliamentary committee appeared to have cruelled the chances of a moratorium on onshore gas exploration and production being overturned.   [Full Story]

Aug 28, 2015
EPA Urged by Nearly 100,000 Americans to Redo Highly Controversial Fracking Study
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

The public comment period for the highly controversial U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) fracking study ends today. Food & Water Watch, Environmental Action, Breast Cancer Action and other advocacy groups delivered nearly 100,000 comments from Americans asking the U.S. EPA to redo their study with a higher level of scrutiny and oversight.  [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2015
Fracking fears raised following confirmation Government could 'fast-track' applications Protester Gary Eckersley with Sarah Hayes from Warrington Green Party Protestors remain at Woolston Protection Camp
Warrington Guardian


"Fundamentally, the Green Party remains opposed to fracking in any form, so we certainly would not welcome a fast-tracking system that allowed fracking to happen more easily and quickly," she said. "There is already around five times more fossil fuel globally than we can safely burn if we are to avoid dangerous climate change – encouraging a whole new fossil fuel industry is deeply irresponsible. "We are following closely a couple of sites in the town and supporting our anti-fracking colleagues who are taking direct non-violent action at these sites. "We remain most definitely opposed to fast-tracking as there are still too many unknowns with regard to fracking and we would urge councillors to consider applications for fracking very wisely in light of the potential negative implications for the town." Promoted stories Why You Should Cancel Your Gym Membership & Jump Your Way To Snatchedville [VIDEO] (Hello Beautiful) The Fifteen Richest Golfers in the World (Worthly) Must-Have Golf Clubs are Being Sold for Next to Nothing (LifeFactopia) What is "R.I.C.E." Therapy and How Can it Treat Sports Injuries? (ACE® Brand) Re-Picking the Absolutely Loaded 2003 NBA Draft (PointAfter) Sofia Vergara's Transformation in 58 Photos (NBC Latino) Recommended by But council leader Terry O'Neill has moved to calm those worried about applications being rushed through without undergoing proper scrutiny. He has also called for more information to be distributed to residents as a result of the 'misinformation' circling around the town. "Any fracking applications would be subject to the formal planning application processes," he added. "The council has a good track record in dealing with planning applications swiftly. "We are not aware of any current plans for fracking activities to take place in Warrington. "I think what needs to be done is an education process, lots of people think fracking is going on in Warrington." Protesters remain at Woolston Protection Camp, including some who celebrated Lancashire County Council's decision in June to reject Cuadrilla's bid to start fracking at a site on the Fylde coast. But Gary Eckersley, who has been at the site in recent months, believes the Government's plans have been a long time coming. "It is not a surprise, we all expected them to do this," he said. "It is in the interests of people in the Government to get fracking through – it has just been a matter of waiting to see when they would do it. Share article "They are doing everything possible to change the laws to get it pushed through instead of investing where they should. "They are pushing this dirty industry through."   [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2015
Legacy of the “Father of fracking” calls for support of methane regulation
Eagle Ford Texas
Zachary Toliver

A Texas-based foundation that is the legacy of oil icon George Mitchell has made a fundamental break in the typical energy narrative by supporting methane emission reduction. In a statement released last week, The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation gave its support to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to reduce methane emissions. The EPA hopes to pass ruling to cut methane by roughly 45 percent by 2025 from agriculture, landfills, and oil and gas activities combined.   [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2015
Fracking: Are we powerless to energy giants?
Derbyshire Times
Nick Charity

As the government pushes towards a major shale gas industry, northeastern Derbyshire Dales may be next in the crosshairs for exploration - but is there anything you can do about it?   [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2015
Natural Gas Plant Proposal Pulls Rockland into Contentious Energy Debate Pipeline Pipe Dreams —
Free Press Online
Andy O'Brien

In early April, a Boston-based energy company came to Rockland with an ambitious proposal to build a $200 million natural-gas-fired electricity and steam generating plant on city property.   [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2015
Humans may be harmed by endocrine disrupting chemicals released during natural gas mining
EurekAlert


COLUMBIA, Mo. - More than 15 million Americans live within one mile of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations that combine directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" to release natural gas from underground rock. Scientific studies still are inconclusive on the potential long-term effects on human development. Now, Susan C. Nagel and Christopher D. Kassotis, researchers with the University of Missouri, and national colleagues have conducted a review of research on health effects associated with UOG operations and concluded these activities have potential for environmental release of a complex mixture of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that could potentially harm human development and reproduction.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
Clinton’s Drilling Chill Hillary gets to the left of Obama on Arctic oil exploration.
Wall Street Journal


With the media transfixed by Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s will-he-won’t-he candidacy, some revealing policy news in the presidential campaign is being overlooked. Take Hillary Clinton’s decision to get to the left of President Obama on oil drilling in the Arctic.   [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
Fracking company that caused recent quake in B.C. linked to temblor in 2014
Global News


VANCOUVER – A natural gas operation that halted work after a 4.6-magnitude earthquake in northeastern British Columbia last week has been linked to the largest earthquake in the province that’s been attributed to fracking. Progress Energy, which is owned by Malaysia’s Petronas, paused its operations after the Aug. 17 quake that occurred 114 kilometres from Fort St. John.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
FPL's fracking results a real gas
Sun Sentinel
Michael Mayo

Remember how Florida Power & Light's $191 million investment in an Oklahoma fracking venture was going to be great for the utility's electric customers, with benefits starting immediately? lRelated FPL's fracking investment is a money loser so far BUSINESS FPL's fracking investment is a money loser so far SEE ALL RELATED 8 "Savings for customers actually begin on day one," FPL executive Robert L. Gould wrote in a Sun Sentinel op-ed in January, shortly after Florida regulators approved the controversial deal. Gould criticized critics (including the Sun Sentinel editorial board) for "distorting the facts" and called the arrangement "a very smart investment for FPL customers." Turns out FPL's brass is full of hot air when it comes to natural gas.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
Officials link big Canadian earthquake to fracking by Malaysian firm
Raw Story
Charles Hadley Blanchard

Fracking by a Canadian subsidiary of Malaysian oil and gas giant Petronas triggered one of the world’s largest earthquakes linked to the controversial practice, Canadian media said Wednesday. The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission said it has linked the operations of Progress Energy in the province’s northeast to a 4.4-magnitude quake felt in Fort St John in August 2014, the CBC reported.   [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
Activists threaten lawsuit against EPA over fracking-induced earthquakes Environmental groups band together to call on agency to improve laws for disposal of wastewater, often dumped in places that could leak toxic chemicals
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

Environmental groups have threatened to sue the Obama administration for failing to prevent swarms of earthquakes that came in the wake of America’s fracking boom. In a first step to a lawsuit, the groups on Wednesday challenged the Environmental Protection Agency to improve what they said were weak laws governing the disposal of fracking waste – or go to court.   [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
Elections board won't put anti-fracking amendment issue before Youngstown voters
WFMJ


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - As it stands now, people in Youngstown this fall will not be voting for a fifth time on a city charter amendment that would ban hydraulic fracturing within city limits. The Mahoning County Board of Elections, by a unanimous 4-0 vote, decided on Wednesday evening to keep the Community Bill of Rights off the November ballot.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
Environmental groups threaten lawsuit over drilling wastewater rules
Houston Chronicle
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Environmental groups on Wednesday announced plans to take the Obama administration to court with the goal of compelling tough new government standards for disposing waste from oil and gas wells. The move — formalized with a notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency — is the latest bid by conservationists to prod greater scrutiny of oil and gas drilling and the industry’s handling of millions of gallons of water and other waste that can spring from individual wells.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
Report: Fracking-Related Earthquake Damages to Increase in Oklahoma
HPPR
Jonathan Baker

A recent Standard & Poor report maintains that Oklahoma will face sharp economic consequences in the future as a result of man-made earthquakes. The rate of seismic activity in the state has increased dramatically recently as a result of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
As Fracking Waste Piles Up in Texas, Environmental Groups Threaten To Sue For More Regulation
Houston Public Media
Dave Fehling

A coalition of environmental group says Texas is among states where "fracking" for oil and gas is threatening people’s health. The group wants more federal oversight.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
Strong EPA methane rule required to fully realize Clean Power Plan benefits
The Hill
Elena M. Krieger, Ph.D. and Seth B.C. Shonkoff, Ph.D., MPH

Within the past month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled two major initiatives intended to meaningfully cut our nation’s contributions to climate change. The Clean Power Plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the power sector by nearly one-third from 2005 levels by 2030. The proposed Methane Pollution Standard will contribute to the administration's target of 40-45 percent reductions in methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. While each of these initiatives has received its own praise and skepticism, conversations have not touched on the importance of how they interconnect. While a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy is the fastest way to achieve carbon reductions, given the Clean Power Plan’s reliance on natural gas to meet emission targets, effective design and implementation of the Methane Pollution Standard is critical to achieving power sector GHG emission reductions.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
Make room for local voices on oil and gas drilling
Akron Beacon Journal
Editorial

Petitioners in three Ohio counties have encountered substantial objections from Jon Husted in their drives to pass charter amendments that would ban hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas and related activities. The secretary of state recently ruled proposed amendments in Medina, Fulton and Athens counties off the Nov. 3 ballot, citing deficiencies in the charter form of government to be established and conflicts with state laws regulating the oil and gas industry.   [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
Groups push feds for new natural gas rules
The Hill
Devin Henry

A federal rule cracking down on venting or leaks at natural gas drilling sites would save millions of dollars in royalty revenue for the government, two groups say in a new ad campaign out Wednesday. In the ads, the Western Values Project and Taxpayers for Common Sense are asking the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to issue a rule cutting down on venting, flaring and leaks of natural gas at drilling sites in the U.S.   [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2015
U.S. natural gas production waning Federal report finds only one of seven shale basins expected to post gains.
UPI
Daniel J. Graeber

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A drilling productivity report from the United States finds the Utica shale basin in Ohio is the only one of seven reviewed that's expecting more production.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
Give Us the Whole Truth About Fracking
Huffington Post
Stephen J. McConnell & Marc Ross

The facts are slippery when it comes to the great fracking debate in America, where truth, lies, and spin often collide and end up leaving us confused and dizzy. But the latest example of the fracking doublethink has major implications for our health and our nation: the EPA's recently released landmark assessment on the "Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources." The assessment concludes that fracking has contaminated many drinking water sources while also concluding that no evidence was found to declare that fracking poses "widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States."   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
Sen. Darren Soto, Sen. Dwight Bullard File Senate Bill Banning Fracking In Florida
Space Coast Daily


TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Concerned by the health and environmental risks fracking poses to the state of Florida, State Senators Darren Soto (D-Orlando) and Dwight Bullard (D-Miami) on Monday filed legislation to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in the Sunshine State.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
US Fracking Well Operator Indicted for Alleged Water Pollution Cover-Up
Sputnik News


WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The owner of a hydraulic fracturing well in North Dakota faces 13 felony charges after trying to cover up disposal of contaminated waste water, the US Department of Justice said in a press release.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
Hundreds sign petition calling for fracking ban in North Wales
Daily Post
Rachel Flint

Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for an outright ban on fracking in North Wales. Anti-fracking campaigners want to see a moratorium from the Welsh Government extended to cover test drilling and off-shore extraction.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
160,000 Californians call for statewide ban on fracking
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing Mark Gillispie

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- On Tuesday, August 25th, as the California legislature holds a joint oversight hearing on a new report by the California Council on Science and Technology on the risks and dangers posed by fracking, State Sen. Ben Allen and State Asm. Das Williams will join with anti-fracking activists in a press conference on the steps of the Capitol calling for a statewide ban on fracking.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
Public meeting organised over fracking in Bolton CONCERN: Bolton West MP Chris Green
Bolton News
Liam Thorp

A PUBLIC meeting has been organised by a campaign group concerned about fracking taking place in of Bolton. A second group will also be lobbying Bolton West MP Chris Green to speak out against the controversial process taking place in the borough — as concern about fracking in the area grows.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
US environmental agency advising Australia on impact of fracking on water The US’s Environmental Protection Agency has given Australia’s Department of the Environment details of recent fracking study and is peer reviewing papers
The Guardian
Oliver Milman

The Australian government has obtained information from US environmental regulators on the impact of fracking upon water supplies to help inform a new set of guidelines it is preparing on the controversial activity. The US’s Environmental Protection Agency has supplied the Australian Department of the Environment with the details of a recent study on fracking. The EPA has also helped the department peer review a number of its own documents.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
Faculty of local colleges urge Gov. Wolf to take action on climate change, fracking
Lancaster Online
Ad Crable

Some 33 faculty members from three colleges in Lancaster County have sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that stresses the validity of climate change and endorses President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution at coal-fired power plants.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
Supervisors to hold public hearing next week on fracking rules
Journal Press


The King George Board of Supervisors will take public comment at a 6 p.m. meeting on Sept. 1 on proposals to tighten rules for oil and gas drilling in the county zoning ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan pertaining to fracking.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
A Well Pad Next to Every 3-Car Garage: Suburban Sprawl Collides with Texas Frack Jobs
Counter Punch
Mark Hand

Since the dawn of the modern shale gas movement, natural gas producers and home builders in the city of Denton, Texas, have been on a collision course. The two powerful business interests understood suburban sprawl would eventually limit where gas companies could drill wells in the North Texas community.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
Fate Of U.S. Fracking Could Rest With Colorado Supreme Court
OilPrice.com
Dave Forest

The oil and gas landscape is changing fast these days. And a big item this month suggests the courts may have a major impact on shaping the sector over the coming months. Especially issues like fracking. An area where a precedent-setting lawsuit was sent last week to the highest court possible in order to resolve a long-running issue over who can regulate oil and gas activity.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2015
Marcellus Shale drillers fined for methane migration
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

State environmental regulators say three natural gas drillers contaminated 17 separate drinking water wells in north central Pennsylvania and together the companies have paid close to $375,000 in fines. The Department of Environmental Protection blamed well construction for methane migrating into drinking water supplies. If methane builds up in an enclosed space like a house, the colorless, odorless gas can cause an explosion. The pollution incidents in Bradford, Lycoming and Tioga counties date back to 2011 and 2012.   [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
Youngstown council puts anti-fracking amendment on November ballot
Vindy.com


YOUNGSTOWN ­— City council voted today to put an anti-fracking charter amendment proposal on the Nov. 3 ballot, and the Mahoning County Board of Elections could do the same as early as Wednesday. Council approved the proposal as part of the agenda at today’s special meeting without any comments about the bill that has been rejected four previous times by city voters.   [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
State Sen. Darren Soto and Dwight Bullard file anti-fracking bill
Orlando Weekly
Monivette Cordeiro

The battle against hydraulic fracturing in Florida’s 2016 Legislative session started early Monday, with Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, and Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay refiling a bill to ban the practice, also known as fracking, in the state.   [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
HERE'S THE LATEST REASON WHY IT'S HARD TO FRACK IN NEW YORK STATE
Capital New York
Jon Campbell

Energy companies that want to frack in New York have been hit with another setback. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York last week upheld a lower court ruling that a 2010 state moratorium on the controversial practice couldn't be used to justify lease extensions for energy companies. It’s a win for landowners in Tioga County and no doubt a disappointment to Inflection Energy, LLC, Victory Energy Corporation, and Megaenergy, Inc., the companies trying to foist the risks associated with regulatory uncertainty off on the little guy.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
Hurricane Katrina proved that if black lives matter, so must climate justice
The Guardian
Elizabeth C Yeampierre

Those of us from low-income communities of color are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. US cities and towns that are predominantly made up of people of color are also home to a disproportionate share of the environmental burdens that are fueling the climate crisis and shortening our lives. One has only to recall the gut-wrenching images of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath to confirm this. At a time when police abuse is more visible than ever thanks to technology, and our communities continue to get hit time and time again by climate catastrophe, we can’t afford to choose between a Black Lives Matter protest and a climate justice forum, because our survival depends on both of them. As a young woman, I started organizing against racial violence and police misconduct. For the last 20 years, I have been struggling for environmental and climate justice. As descendants of slavery and colonization, our communities have lived and continue to live at the intersection of all these challenges. Both have a long history rooted in the extraction and abuse of our labor and later the extraction and abuse of our resources. Both involve people who are the descendants of historical trauma and are now faced with the catastrophe of a changing climate.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
White House defends Arctic drilling plan
The Hill
Devin Henry

White House officials are defending the Obama administration’s decision to approve oil and natural gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean. Brian Deese, Obama’s senior climate adviser, said Monday that the administration is looking to limit as much drilling as it can under an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell and that he “would caution against the characterization” that they have opened up the region for more oil exploration.   [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
BOC working on fracking issue Crowd forces meeting to be moved for second time
The Stokes News
Nicholas Elmes

“We are doing it as fast as we can, just have a little faith in us.” That was the response of Stokes County Board of Commissioners Chair Ronda Jones after listening to close to an hour of public comments from concerned citizens demanding the board enact ordinances that could limit the impact of of potential fracking operations in the county   [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
Corporate Rights Trump Democracy in Ohio Fracking Fight
EcoWatch
Ben Price

People who oppose having their communities transformed into corporate resource colonies are familiar with the Halliburton Loophole, a secretly drafted edict that places the oil and gas industries above the law, exempting them and no one else from obeying the clean water act, the clean air act, the safe water drinking act, and others. Now, Ohio Sec. of State Jon Husted has unilaterally placed those same corporations above the Ohio State Constitution.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
Fylde residents in cash appeal to fight fracking
Blackpool Gazette


Residents living near a proposed Fylde fracking site have launched a fund-raising drive to pay for legal costs to fight a planning appeal. Members of the Preston New Road Action Group have acted after energy company Cuadrilla lodged the first of their appeals against Lancashire County Council’s refusal of permission to test frack at sites close to Little Plumpton and Roseacre.   [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
Analysis Highlights Fracking Risks Ahead of Sacramento Hearing California Lawmakers Will Examine Neighborhood Air Pollution, ‘Shallow Fracking’ Threats to Water
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Ahead of a state legislative hearing Tuesday, Californians Against Fracking today released a new analysis of an independent scientific study on the environmental and health risks of fracking and other oil and gas well stimulation. The analysis breaks down the 1,000-page study by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), which found that fracking threatens the state’s water supplies, public health and the environment, and — most notably — recommended minimum setbacks for all oil development to protect communities from air pollution.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
British Columbia’s 4.6m Fracking Earthquake
Clean Technica
Roy L. Hales

The recent earthquake near Wonowon is the largest of over 500 seismic events in northeastern British Columbia believed to be caused by hydraulic fracturing. It may be remembered as BC’s 4.6m fracking earthquake.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
Concerns that fracking could impact across Stroud district after new licence awarded to explore for oil and gas in Sharpness
Stroud News
Saul Cooke-Black

FRACKING could take place in Sharpness and impact across Stroud district after a licence was awarded to explore for oil and gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
Fracking near schools DEP fails to keep drillers a healthy distance from children
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jerome Paulson

Pennsylvania just released its final revisions to the rules on oil and gas surface operations. Unfortunately, the regulations from the Department of Environmental Protection do not include any meaningful protections for vulnerable populations such as children. This is of concern in many areas of Pennsylvania and none more so than the Mars Area School District in Butler County. There is a proposal to install six unconventional gas wells a half-mile from the campus where the district’s 3,250 students, preschool through grade 12, attend classes.   [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2015
Corporate Rights Trump Democracy in Ohio Fracking Fight
EcoWatch
Ben Price

People who oppose having their communities transformed into corporate resource colonies are familiar with the Halliburton Loophole, a secretly drafted edict that places the oil and gas industries above the law, exempting them and no one else from obeying the clean water act, the clean air act, the safe water drinking act, and others. Now, Ohio Sec. of State Jon Husted has unilaterally placed those same corporations above the Ohio State Constitution.   [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2015
Youngstown council to vote Monday to put an anti-fracking charter amendment proposal on ballot
Vindy.com
David Skolnick

City council will vote Monday to put an anti-fracking charter amendment proposal on the Nov. 3 ballot, and it appears the Mahoning County Board of Elections will do the same in a couple of weeks. A decision last week by Secretary of State Jon Husted to remove anti-fracking charter amendment proposals in Athens, Fulton and Medina counties raised questions about what would happen in Youngstown, where four previous efforts to ban fracking in the city have failed.   [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2015
California Pushes to Label Foods Containing Produce Irrigated With Fracking Water
Care2
Crystal Shepeard

The race to find cleaner energy sources has led to a boon in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in search of natural gas. Highly pressurized chemicals and water are pumped deep underground to break shale and release natural gas for harvesting. Residents and environmentalists have long been opposed to the process, which has seen an increase of health issues due to contaminated water. In drought stricken California, there is also concern about the amount of water being used in fracking operations, as well as what is done with the wastewater.   [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2015
Political Target: Natural Gas The methane rule is part of a regulatory wave to raise drilling costs.
Wall Street Journal


America’s natural gas boom has been a rare economic bright spot, and even President Obama likes to take credit for it. But as his term winds down, the Administration is waging a war of regulatory attrition to raise drilling costs and reduce its competitive advantage over wind and solar power.   [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2015
New research on how drilling affects deer in northwest Colo.
Summit Daily
Joshua Zaffos

Northwest Colorado has been called “the deer factory” because its diverse mix of sagebrush flats, pinyon-juniper woodlands and rocky draws provides critical winter habitat for one of the largest migratory mule deer herds in the continent.   [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2015
FPL's fracking investment is a money loser so far
Tampa Bay Times
William R. Levesque

Florida Power & Light belittled critics who opposed its precedent-setting plan to charge customers for a $191 million Oklahoma natural gas investment. "Flawed assumptions, contradictions and even invented facts pervade their arguments," FPL told state regulators on Dec. 12.   [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2015
Candor Town Board Considers Support for Gel Fracking
Ithaca.com
Kerl Blakinger

Could fracking come to Tioga County? At its August meeting, the Candor Town Board started discussion of a resolution in support of Snyder Farm Group, a Barton-based group seeking state permission to frack in Tioga County. Although the state banned high-volume hydraulic fracking, that uses water, this proposal would use gelled propane and sand in place of water and thus, the group’s leaders argue, it would be exempt from the ban.   [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2015
Darren Bisby-Boyd: We must put people first, not fracking
Peterborough Today
Opinion: Darren Bisby-Boyd

The Green Party has labelled government plans to ‘fast-track’ fracking in the UK as “reckless”. The proposed plans would see test drilling go ahead without the need to consult with local residents.   [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2015
Presidential Hopefuls Who Deny Climate Science Can Forget About Winning The Latino Vote
DeSmog Blog
Mike Gaworecki

Presidential hopefuls looking to win the Latino vote know they need to take a thoughtful approach to immigration policy, but it turns out it’s just as important that they support efforts to protect the environment and combat climate change.   [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2015
UW professors work to understand unconventional reservoirs
Laramie Boomerang
Thaddeus Mast

Hydrofracking is quickly becoming a useful tool in unlocking new oil and natural gas fields, and new research at the University of Wyoming has the attention of energy companies. One unknown about hydrofracking involves rocks and minerals encompassing certain reservoirs, and John Kaszuba, UW associate professor of geology and geophysics, and his colleagues are working to answer some of the unknowns of hydrofracking involving rocks and minerals around some deposits.   [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2015
Environmental Racism Persists, and the EPA Is One Reason Why
Truthout
Kristen Lombardi, Talia Buford and Ronnie Greene

The invasion of sewer flies moved residents of University Place subdivision to turn to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for help. Darting from a neighboring sewage plant, the flies descended upon the mostly African-American neighborhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with such regularity that one resident posted this warning sign: Beware of attack fly. In 2009, residents grew so sickened by the flies, odors and pollution emanating from the city's North Wastewater Treatment Plant that they sought out the federal agency that has touted the importance of tackling environmental racism. "The citizens of University Place Subdivision are still suffering through the dreadful, unhealthy, and downright shameful conditions forced upon this community," wrote Gregory Mitchell, whose mother, Mamie, erected that attack-fly warning atop her home, in a complaint filed with the EPA's Office of Civil Rights.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2015
Editorial: Colorado Supreme Court should take up fracking cases
Times-Call
Editorial

"Few public policy issues in Colorado have been the subject of more intense debate, discussion and regulatory activity in recent years than the use of hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas drilling." — City of Longmont, in its opening brief to the Colorado Court of Appeals Yes. And that's why the Colorado Supreme Court should take up Longmont's fracking ban and Fort Collins' 5-year-moratorium, rather than kick the cases back down to the Appeals Court, which in a rare move last week passed the cases directly to the high court.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2015
Forget fracking. We need clean energy now
Al Jazeera America
Lauren Pagel

One year ago, Earthworks, the environmental advocacy organization I work for, launched the Citizens Empowerment Project to document the effects of fracking on air quality in across the country. With the help of a special thermal camera that detects and visualizes the presence of harmful gases, people near fracking sites across the country can now confirm what they have known for years to be true: Oil and gas development is polluting their air. This pollution includes Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, a known carcinogen. These pollutants contribute to smog, which can trigger a variety of health problems such as asthma. Air pollution is a problem at almost every point along the development chain, from the well pad to the pipeline and beyond. But until now, state rules to protect families living near such sites have been spotty and largely unenforced. And there are few national protections that safeguard our air from fracking and related development.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2015
As oil train burned, firefighters waited 2 hours for critical details
MCClatchyDC
CURTIS TATE

Newly released documents show that firefighters responding to an oil train derailment and fire last year in Lynchburg, Va., waited more than two hours for critical details about the train and what was on it. The Lynchburg Fire Department’s battalion chief, Robert Lipscomb, told investigators that it took multiple calls to get a representative from the correct railroad to come to the scene, according to an interview transcript published Friday by the National Transportation Safety Board. And by the time someone arrived, the massive fire had almost burned out. The April 30, 2014, derailment of a CSX train released more than 30,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil into the James River and led to the evacuation of about 350 people. No one was injured.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2015
Exclusive: Pennsylvania Family Dealing with Water Contamination Linked to Fracking Industry
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

The Chichura family has flammable well water, most likely due to a fracking job gone wrong in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County. Their water well, along with those of four of their neighbors, was allegedly contaminated with methane in the fall of 2011, shortly after Cabot Oil started drilling operations near their home. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) confirmed the Chichuras had methane in their water on September 21, 2011, and advised them to equip their well with a working vent to avoid a possible ignition. The contamination of wells is not an anomaly. The DEP identified 245 sites potentially contaminated by the fracking industry between 2008 and 2014. As leaseholders with Cabot, the Chichuras believed the company would take care of them if anything went wrong. “Accidents will happen,” was the family’s thinking when their water first went bad, Elaine Chichura told DeSmog.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2015
EPA DELIVERS TOXIC OIL / FRACKING WATER TANKS TO NAVAJO INDIANS FOR PUBLIC USE
Dutchsinse


The Navajo Nation received ‘water’ for public use as was promised. Unfortunately, the water was delivered in USED OIL WELL / FRACKING WASTEWATER TANKS! Search “Gunbarrel Oil separator tanks” to see many examples. The “water” sent to the Indian nation for crop, and animal use was literally sent in unwashed oil tanks — still filled partially with petroleum, and toxic chemicals. (This toxic “water” is not even safe to the touch for humans , animals, or plants / crops)  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2015
Project reveals 20,000 leaks in Mass. gas lines Trouble spots widespread, some decades old
The Boston Globe
David Abel

The state’s aging natural gas pipelines are riddled with about 20,000 potentially dangerous and environmentally damaging leaks, many decades old, according to the first statewide analysis of the problem in Massachusetts. Detailed maps of the leaks became available this week as a result of a new state law requiring utility companies to report the location and age of all their known gas leaks, which according to one estimate have cost ratepayers more than $1 billion.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2015
Fracking Halted Temporarily After 4.6-Magnitude Earthquake Near Fort St. John
Huffington Post
Betsy Trumpener

The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission is investigating the cause of a 4.6 magnitude earthquake earlier this week that triggered the shutdown of a major fracking operation just a few kilometres away. The earthquake struck on Monday afternoon, some 110 kilometres north of Fort St John, and was felt in Charlie Lake, Fort St John and Wonowon.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2015
As The British Government Pushes Fracking, Locals Push Back
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

The British government has made no secret of its support for fracking. Last year, it opened up bidding for fracking licenses on nearly half the country’s total land area. Now, as those licenses are starting to be issued, the government has warned local councils that applications must be considered in “swift process.” But anti-fracking activism in Britain has only grown. One county already rejected a permit application this month, setting up a battle royale between national government interests and local self-determination.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2015
High Court overturns Pickles traveller decision
Planning Resource


The High Court has overturned a decision taken by the former communities secretary Sir Eric Pickles last year which rejected a planning inspector's recommendation that a traveller be allowed a two-year extension to the planning permission for his home in Bedfordshire.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2015
Does a Natural Gas Pipeline Run Too Close to Indian Point Nuclear Facility?
TWC News
Zack Fink

With the license for one its reactors up for renewal later this year, the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County is becoming a flashpoint of controversy for New York politicians and environmentalists. Now, there's a new fight brewing over a natural gas pipeline that is set to be built near the power plant. NY1’s Zack Fink has the details. The Indian Point nuclear facility sits on the banks of the Hudson River in northern Westchester County. The Algonquin Incremental Market Project known as AIM is a natural gas pipeline that cuts through several states to meet growing energy demands in New York state and New England. Experts say the current blueprint allows the pipeline to come far too close to Indian Point. "The pipeline comes within 105 feet of some structures that are necessary to provide power to the nuclear power plant,” said nuclear energy consultant Paul Blanch. “The probability of its failure is maybe once in 1,000, maybe once in 10,000 years, which is way higher than is allowable by the NRC, which is once in 10 million years."  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
How The EPA And New York Times Are Getting Methane All Wrong
ThinkProgress
Joe Romm

Pretty much every recent news article you’ve read about the global warming impact of methane compared to carbon dioxide is wrong. Embarrassingly, everyone from the Environmental Protection Agency itself to the New York Times and Washington Post and Wall Street Journal continue to use lowball numbers that are wrong and outdated. In fact, as we’ll see, they are doubly outdated. Here, for instance, is the New York Times from Tuesday: “Methane, which leaks from oil and gas wells, accounts for just 9 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas pollution — but it is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, so even small amounts of it can have a big impact on global warming.” Here is the EPA’s own news release from Tuesday on its on its proposed new methane rule: “Methane, the key constituent of natural gas, is a potent GHG with a global warming potential more than 25 times greater than that of carbon dioxide.” In fact, two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in its definitive Fifth Assessment of the scientific literature (big PDF here) that methane is 34 times stronger a heat-trapping gas than CO2 over a 100-year time scale, so its long-term global-warming potential (GWP) is 34. That is a nearly 40 percent increase from the IPCC’s previous estimate of 25.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
NEW STUDY DEEPENS CASE THAT GAS EXPORTS AT COVE POINT WILL BE WORSE FOR THE CLIMATE THAN COAL
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Kelly Trout

Methane leakage from existing natural gas infrastructure exceeds previous estimates, and will not be impacted by new White House methane regulations WASHINGTON, D.C.—According to a new study released this week as part of an ongoing research effort by the Environmental Defense Fund, natural gas “gathering” facilities for piping and processing natural gas in the United States leak about 100 billion cubic feet of gas per year — a figure that is eight times larger than the EPA’s estimates and could make gathering facilities the biggest source of methane emissions in the oil and gas supply chain. The gathering process consolidates gas from multiple wells in a single area and feeds it into processing plants or main transmission pipelines. When these emissions are taken into account, EPA’s estimates of the total emissions from the natural gas supply chain would increase by 25 percent, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. EPA’s current inventories conservatively estimate that natural gas infrastructure leaks methane at a rate of 1.3%. When overlaid with this latest report, that leakage rate would increase to about 1.6% — a level that makes US liquefied natural gas (LNG) worse than coal when exported to Asia when the climate impacts of methane leakage are measured over a 20-year timeframe. Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released an environmental report analyzing the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions resulting from liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Over a 20-year timeframe, DOE found that the lifecycle leakage rate would need to stay below 1.4% when exporting U.S. LNG to Asia.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
New Records Show More US Involvement in Mexico Oil, Gas Privatization Efforts as Mexican Government Says "100%" Its Idea
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

New records obtained by DeSmog shed further light on the role the U.S.government has played to help implement the privatization of Mexico's oil and gas industry, opening it up to international firms beyond state-owned companyPEMEX (Petroleos Mexicanos). Obtained from both the City of San Antonio, Texas and University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA), the records center around the U.S.–Mexico Oil and Gas Business Export Conference, held in May in San Antonio and hosted by both the U.S.Department of Trade and Department of Commerce, as well as UTSA. They reveal the U.S. government acting as a mediator between Mexico's government and U.S. oil and gas companies seeking to cash in on a policy made possible by the behind-the-scenes efforts of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's U.S. State Department. State Department involvement was first revealed here on DeSmog, pointing to emails obtained via Freedom of Information Act and cables made available via Wikileaks. The records also call into question the claim made by Mexico's Energy Secretary, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, that the privatization policy was “100 percent made in Mexico.” Coldwell said this in reaction to DeSmog's investigation showing heavy State Department involvement in ushering in the policy.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
Longmont fracking ban appeal at Supreme Court crossroads
Bakken.com
Karen Antonacci

When it comes to whether the city of Longmont can ban hydraulic fracturing, the ball is in the state’s highest court. On Monday the Colorado Court of Appeals said the matter of whether Longmont’s voter-approved ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, interfered with the state’s interest in the oil and gas industry was better left up to the Colorado Supreme Court.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
Illegal Dumping of Fracking Wastewater May Be Linked to Radioactivity in PA Creek, Experts Say
EcoWatch
Sharon Kelly

Recently released testing results in western Pennsylvania, upstream from Pittsburgh, reveal evidence of radioactive contamination in water flowing from an abandoned mine. Experts say that the radioactive materials may have come from illegal dumping of shale fracking wastewater.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
Erie moves new fracking code along despite opposition from oil and gas industry
Bakken.com
Alex Burness

Erie’s Planning Commission on Wednesday recommended approval of a new set of guidelines for fracking operators in town, but not before catching heat from the oil and gas industry. In the past year, Erie has taken public input at various meetings from scores of residents upset with the spike in drilling in Erie, and specifically with its impact on noise, air quality, pollution, potential chemical risks and various other quality-of-life and safety measures.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
Radioactivity Found in Pennsylvania Creek, Illegal Fracking Waste Dumping Suspected
DeSmog Blog
Sharon Kelly

Recently released testing results in western Pennsylvania, upstream from Pittsburgh, reveal evidence of radioactive contamination in water flowing from an abandoned mine. Experts say that the radioactive materials may have come from illegal dumping of shale fracking wastewater.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
Preston Council votes to oppose fracking in heated debate
Lancashire Evening Post


Town Hall bosses in Preston have voted to oppose fracking. Thursday’s heated full council meeting was presented with recommendations from a cross-party task group, to “cautiously accept” shale gas extraction.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
There are 45 fracked wells within 2 miles of my daughter's school
The Guardian
Rodrigo Romo

Every morning, I send my daughters off to school with a kiss on the cheek and a heavy heart. School is supposed to be a safe and supportive environment where children are able to learn without worrying about threats to their health. Unfortunately, this is not the case in my hometown of Shafter, California. California state laws have allowed oil companies to hydraulically fracture oil wells perilously close to my daughters’ schools, exposing them to dangerous air toxins and putting their health and safety at risk on a daily basis.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
What’s Behind The Spike In Earthquake Activity Oklahoma Has Seen This Year?
Think Progress
Katie Valentine

A little over eight months into the year, Oklahoma has broken a new yearly record for earthquakes. The state recorded its 587th earthquake of 3.0 magnitude or higher early this week, breaking the previous record of 585. That record was set for all of 2014, meaning that Oklahoma has now had more 3.0 magnitude or higher earthquakes so far in 2015 than it did in all of 2014. So far this year, E&E News reports, Oklahoma’s averaged 2.5 quakes each day, a rate that, if it continues, means the state could see more than 912 earthquakes by the end of this year.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
Methane Emissions Draw EPA Limits
WBUR


The EPA says methane may be more dangerous than CO2 for global warming. Wants to clean up drilling wellheads. There’s a fight on.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
Oil and gas drilling in Michigan down significantly
Michigan Radio
Peter Payette

Drilling for oil and gas in Michigan is down to levels not seen since the Great Depression. And so far, newer methods of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are not producing a new boom for the industry.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
There Might Be Fracking Wastewater on Your Organic Fruits and Veggies
Mother Jones
Josh Harkinson

The US Department of Agriculture's organics standards, written 15 years ago, strictly ban petroleum-derived fertilizers commonly used in conventional agriculture. But the same rules do not prohibit farmers from irrigating their crops with petroleum-laced wastewater obtained from oil and gas wells—a practice that is increasingly common in drought-stricken Southern California.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
Could our fear of fracking be appeased with CO2 sequestration? Those related eco-problems? They're not a thing, apparently
The Register
Simon Rockman

A plan to use CO2 to replace the water used in controversial energy technique fracking has been met with a mixed reception by experts contacted by The Register. New Scientist reported on work done by Andres Clarens and his team at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, to pump CO2 into fracking sites, which could act as a form of carbon sequestration, and so be a better solution than the water currently used.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2015
Fracking foes sue Ohio elections chief over ballot ruling
Washington Times
Julie Carr Smyth

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Residents in three Ohio counties contend in a lawsuit that Secretary of State Jon Husted violated their rights when he invalidated ballot proposals they offered that would have restricted development projects related to the gas-drilling technique known as fracking.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Greens say Vic should ban fracking forever
Sky News


The Greens are calling for fracking to be permanently banned in Victoria in the wake of an audit that found the state is still not ready for coal seam gas. The state's auditor-general, John Doyle, on Wednesday released his assessment of how the government is managing the risks and impacts of coal seam gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Md. geologists to boost seismic monitoring ahead of 'fracking'
Baltimore Sun
Scott Dance

Given that seismic activity is rare in the ancient rock of the Appalachians — and damaging earthquakes even rarer — there is only a single apparatus measuring underground rumblings within Maryland borders. But geologists are about to put another ear to the ground. The Maryland Geological Survey, anticipating the possibility that hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," for natural gas in the Marcellus shale deposits could increase seismic activity, plans to install a seismometer in Western Maryland.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Energy Slowdown Hits One Town Hard Businesses are slumping in a Pennsylvania community that had boomed from the gas-fracking revolution
Wall Street Journal
Kris Maher

WAYNESBURG, Pa.—As fracking took off here over the past eight years, so did Gary Bowers’s business supplying everything from Gatorade to replacement valves to crews drilling into natural-gas reserves a mile underground.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Gas exec: Pipeline branch plan is on hiatus
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

The top executive at Leatherstocking Gas Co. said Tuesday his company is shifting its priorities to Pennsylvania projects after plans to provide natural gas service to Sidney, Delhi, Afton and Bainbridge have been snarled as the result of the state's lengthy review of permit requests by planners of the Constitution Pipeline.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
MacArthur Foundation vows to push climate solutions, starting with $50M pledge to green groups
E & E Publishing
Daniel cusick

The charitable foundation known for its annual "genius grants" and its public broadcasting underwriter's message promoting "a more just, verdant and peaceful world" is deepening its commitment to addressing climate change under a new multimillion-dollar program aimed at building leadership capacity and political consensus around climate solutions.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Fracking challenge to State
IOL SciTech
Tony Carnie

Durban - Put the plans for shale gas fracking on hold immediately or get ready for court. That’s the blunt challenge sent to Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi by anti-fracking groups, amid concern that the Shell petroleum company and the ruling party were linked in a “highly undesirable and possibly unlawful” relationship, via the Batho Batho Trust and the Thebe Investment Corporation.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
New EPA Regulations set 45% Reduction Target on Methane from Oil, Natural Gas Drilling
Oil & Gas 360


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced earlier this week that it will set new regulations to lower methane emissions by 45% compared to 2012 levels. The move comes as part of an overall policy from the Obama administration to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. The EPA’s methane regulations come on the tail of the final version of the Clean Power Plan, which hopes to lower CO2 emissions by 32% from 2005 levels, as part of the agency’s overall program of reducing emissions.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Why is fracking bad? You asked Google – here's the answer
The Guardian
Adam Vaughan

You don’t have to look hard for stories of people who think fracking is bad. There are the two children in Pennsylvania who were given a lifelong gagging order over talking about fracking after a settlement with an oil and gas company. A woman in north Texas experienced nosebleeds, nausea and headaches after drilling started near her home. And in Barnhart, Texas, people blame fracking for the town running out of water.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Chatham County OKs two-year fracking moratorium
The Times-Tribune
Alex Dixon

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Board of Commissioners late Monday approved a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Vic should ban fracking forever: Greens
Herald Sun
Jacqueline Le

THE Greens are calling for fracking to be permanently banned in Victoria in the wake of an audit that found the state is still not ready for coal seam gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Andrew Katos joins fracking debate, urging premier not to renew Otway Basin fracking license
Geelong Advertiser
Nicole Mills

OPPOSITION MP Andrew Katos has written to the premier urging him not to renew a licence that would allow fracking in part of the Otway Basin. He joins a long list of people calling for the unconventional gas exploration licence to be scrapped.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Why is fracking bad? You asked Google – here's the answer
The Guardian
Adam Vaughan

You don’t have to look hard for stories of people who think fracking is bad. There are the two children in Pennsylvania who were given a lifelong gagging order over talking about fracking after a settlement with an oil and gas company. A woman in north Texas experienced nosebleeds, nausea and headaches after drilling started near her home. And in Barnhart, Texas, people blame fracking for the town running out of water. Even advocates for the industry admit to examples of people having views near their homes obscured by fracking rigs popping up, or of their homes being devalued by fracking. Some countries, such as France and Germany, think it’s bad enough to warrant banning, though the latter is considering lifting its moratorium. New York State banned it, citing risks to public health.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Fossil Fuel Leasing on Public Lands Must End to Prevent Global Climate Crisis, Report Finds
EcoWatch
Center for Biological Diversity

Ending new fossil fuel leasing on lands and offshore areas controlled by the U.S. government would keep up to 450 billion tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) from polluting the atmosphere, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by EcoShift on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth released today.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Gas exec: Pipeline branch plan is on hiatus
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

The top executive at Leatherstocking Gas Co. said Tuesday his company is shifting its priorities to Pennsylvania projects after plans to provide natural gas service to Sidney, Delhi, Afton and Bainbridge have been snarled as the result of the state's lengthy review of permit requests by planners of the Constitution Pipeline. "We're not going to spend a lot of money in New York until we see Constitution permits approved," said Michael German, who is also the chief executive officer of Corning Gas. Co. "For us, it just means we're going to build elsewhere. We're building in Pennsylvania instead of along the Interstate 88 corridor." German said Leatherstocking, a local gas distribution company that is a joint venture of Corning and Mirabito Holdings, has also hit the pause button on plans to build a new operations center in Sidney. Leatherstocking has been selected as the local distribution company that would run a feeder pipeline from the Constitution Pipeline for about 2½ miles to both the new and old Amphenol buildings.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Energy companies' high debt loads could put them at risk
Calgary Herald
Ari Altstedter

Canadian energy companies’ debt loads are the heaviest in at least a decade, boosting concern that some won’t survive the collapse in crude prices. Trican Well Service Ltd., Canada’s largest fracking service provider, said last week it may be unable to continue because it’s in danger of breaching the terms of its debt. It’s the latest firm to see crude’s descent to a six-year low sap the cash flow needed to meet financial obligations.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Lawmaker Wants Label On Food Made With 'Fracking Water'
Capital Public Radio
Chris Nichols

A California lawmaker has proposed a new label for food irrigated with what he calls “fracking water." Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Glendale, said such water might include harmful contaminants, including carcinogens.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2015
Energy Industry Slams EPA Fracking Wastewater Plan
Water Online
Sara Jerome

The EPA’s plan to ban the processing of fracking waste at municipal treatment plants is drawing heated criticism from the energy industry. Fuel companies are calling it “a short-sighted measure that ignores its long-term needs and violates the Clean Water Act,” according to NPR. “The Independent Petroleum Association of America argued that the EPA had overstepped its bounds by proposing an outright ban on the practice rather than requiring that municipal treatment plants use technology to remove contaminants from fracking wastewater.”  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Colorado Tried Methane Caps on Drillers, And They Worked
Bloomberg
Christine Buurma Bradley Olson

For an idea of how the U.S. government’s proposed methane rules will affect drillers, look no further than Colorado. The state became a test case for similar controls last year when a coalition of energy companies and environmental groups agreed on measures to cut the pollution. In a bid to address smog, regulators there adopted the nation’s first requirements for oil and natural gas companies to find and fix methane leaks. Drillers who were already voluntarily curbing emissions accepted Colorado’s rules with little opposition. Gas production in May was up 1.5 percent from the same period two years earlier, Energy Information Administration data show. A state analysis estimated that the rules cost drillers about 0.4 percent of their annual revenues. “Methane is a product we sell, so it’s in our business interest as well as in our general interest as environmental stewards to make sure every molecule goes into the sales line,” John Christiansen, a spokesman for Anadarko Petroleum Corp., said by phone Tuesday. Industry groups such as the American Petroleum Institute criticized rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to curb methane emissions in the country, saying they would exacerbate an already painful price crash. Crude oil has slumped by about half in a year, while gas prices have dropped 30 percent. “The administration is proposing a costly and complicated regulatory program for few environmental benefits,” Barry Russell, president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said in a statement.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
EPA Proposes First Methane Cuts for Fracking Industry as Part of Obama’s Climate Efforts
EcoWatch
Lauren Pagel, Earthworks

Today, the Obama administration released its proposed rule to limit air pollution from fracking and other oil and gas operations. The Methane Pollution Standard is the first limits on methane emissions from new and modified facilities including well pads, compressor station, storage facilities and other infrastructure.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Hillary Clinton: Arctic Drilling Is ‘Not Worth the Risk’
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

It’s not the first time Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come out against Arctic drilling. But with the news yesterday that the Obama administration has given final approval to Shell to drill this summer in the world’s most pristine waters, she must have felt obligated to mention it again. This time in a tweet.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Muslim scholars call for climate action
Washington Post
Ayse Wieting & Karl Ritter

ISTANBUL — Muslim scholars and environmental advocates from about 20 countries on Tuesday called for a global phase-out of greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, joining a chorus of religious leaders urging the world to take strong action against global warming.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
EPA Proposes Cutting Methane Emissions From Oil, Natural-Gas Drilling Rules to apply to new wells, aim to cut such emissions from the sector by up to 45%
Wall Street Journal
Amy Harder & Erin Ailworth

WASHINGTON—The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed rules aimed at cutting methane emissions from oil and gas production by requiring energy companies to install new technologies at future wells. Some industry officials criticized the proposed rules as duplicative, but several companies that produce and transport natural gas said they already were taking such steps voluntarily.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Colorado appeals court refers fracking cases to state Supreme Court
Platts


The question of whether a local jurisdiction in Colorado can ban hydraulic fracturing will most likely be decided by the Colorado Supreme Court following a Monday decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals to refer two related cases to the high court. The two cases, Colorado Oil & Gas Association vs. City of Longmont and Colorado Oil & Gas Association vs. City of Fort Collins, involved challenges by the oil and gas industry and the state to local laws passed to restrict fracking and related operations within the boundaries of a city.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Chatham County approves two-year moratorium on fracking
Indy Week
Billy Ball

As expected, Chatham County commissioners approved a two-year moratorium on natural gas drilling, better known as fracking, last night. The two-year moratorium would seem to flout a 2012 state law forbidding local government bans on drilling, but county leaders said Tuesday that the state law does not go so far as to prevent temporary moratoriums.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
19 Arrested Protesting Gas Storage in Salt Caverns, Including Famed Chef Tony Del Plato
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

In a peaceful act of civil disobedience against the proposed gas storage that highlighted the climate crisis, 19 people formed a human chain shortly after sunrise this morning at the north entrance of Crestwood Midstream on Route 14. They blocked two tanker trucks attempting to enter the facility. Among the blockaders were Tony Del Plato, famed chef and co-owner of the Moosewood Restaurant and the Reverend Lesley Adams, retired chaplain of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and current resident of Schuyler County.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Wenonah Hauter: Methane Reductions Will Not Hold Off Growing Climate Crisis
EcoWatch
Wenonah Hauter

Today the Obama Administration released proposed regulations to directly regulate methane leaks from the oil and gas industry. If adopted, these regulations would wrongly promote natural gas as a “clean” alternative to oil and coal. These weak regulations leave the impression that pursuing natural gas benefits the environment, providing a justification for continuing to drill and frack.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Methane Is Leaking From Natural Gas Processing Plants At Much Higher Rates Than Reported
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

Natural gas gathering and processing plants leak much more methane than producers have reported, and even more than the Environmental Protection Agency has estimated, according to a study released Tuesday. Researchers at Colorado State University found that U.S. gathering and processing facilities — where natural gas from nearby wells is consolidated for distribution through pipelines — leak 2,421,000 metric tons of methane each year. The facilities emit 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas every year, roughly eight times the amount previously estimated by the EPA. Gathering facilities “could be responsible for something like 30 percent of emissions for all natural gas production,” the study’s lead researcher, Anthony Marchese, said on a press call Tuesday.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Islamic Leaders Call For Phasing Out Global Fossil Fuels
ThinkProgress
JACK JENKINS

Islamic leaders from 20 countries have unveiled a sweeping new declaration on climate change, calling on their fellow Muslims to care for the planet and asking world leaders to phase out their use of fossil fuels. On Tuesday, attendees at International Islamic Climate Change Symposium concluded their two-day summit in Istanbul, Turkey by issuing a formal declaration on global environmental issues. The declaration — which was clear to stipulate that climate change is both real and “human induced” — was equal parts theological and scientific, using an Islamic moral lens to insist that world leaders take immediate action to assist our warming planet.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Food Irrigated With Fracking Water May Require Labels In California "No one expects their lettuce to contain heavy chemicals from fracking wastewater."
Huffington Post
Lydia O'Connor

A new bill proposed in California would require all produce irrigated with fracking wastewater to come with warning labels. The bill, which Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D) introduced on Monday, would require any crops grown with water that had previously been injected into rock formations to free oil and gas reserves and sold to consumers in the state to be labeled. The warning would read, "Produced using recycled or treated oil-field wastewater."   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Longmont fracking ban appeal at Supreme Court crossroads
Times-Call
Karen Autonacci

DENVER — Colorado's battle over who should regulate fracking could be on the fast track to the state Supreme Court. The Colorado Court of Appeals on Monday asked to bow out of lawsuits over a ban on fracking in Longmont and a 5-year-moratorium in Fort Collins. That would allow the Colorado Supreme Court to take the cases directly, without a ruling by the Appeals Court.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
U.S. proposes to cut methane from oil, gas by nearly half
Penn Energy
Matthew Daly & Josh Lederman

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is proposing to cut methane emissions from U.S. oil and gas production by nearly half over the next decade in an unprecedented step to curb climate change.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Labels Demanded for Frack-Irrigated Food
Organic Consumers Association
Nick Cahill

SACRAMENTO (CN) - A California lawmaker Monday introduced legislation requiring farmers, producers and retailers to label food products irrigated with recycled fracking wastewater.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Methane Leaks in Natural-Gas Supply Chain Far Exceed Estimates, Study Says
The New York Times
JOHN SCHWARTZ

A little-noted portion of the chain of pipelines and equipment that brings natural gas from the field into power plants and homes is responsible for a surprising amount of methane emissions, according to a new study. Natural-gas gathering facilities, which collect from multiple wells, lose about 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas a year, about eight times as much as estimates used by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to the study, which appeared on Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
New EPA Rules Will Aim To Cut Methane Emissions By 40 Percent
Huffington Post
Reuters

The regulations on methane are one part of the Obama administration's strategy to curb greenhouse gases and combat climate change. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose regulations on Tuesday aimed at cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent over the next decade from 2012 levels, a source familiar with the issue said on Monday. The regulations on methane are one part of the Obama administration's strategy to curb greenhouse gases and combat climate change. The targets in Tuesday's proposal are in line with a January announcement by the Obama administration that it wanted to reduce oil and gas industry methane emissions by up to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025, the source said.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
GAS EXPORTS: Lake Charles FERC review cues tough market decision
E & E Newswire
Jenny Mandel

Federal regulators have issued a final environmental decision for a Louisiana liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, giving the development a generally positive review that could clear the way for construction to start next year. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's assessment concluded that if Lake Charles LNG -- earlier known as Trunkline LNG Export LLC -- built the facility, "construction and operation of the project would result in adverse environmental impacts, but most impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels." With FERC's review complete, other agencies involved in the extensive natural resources assessment have until Nov. 12 to complete their own reviews and issue any necessary decisions. FERC must also formally authorize the project, based on its review. The two highest-profile permits for such projects come from FERC and the Department of Energy, and under pressure from natural gas industry advocates on Capitol Hill, DOE has recently acted within days of FERC decisionmaking to turn around its own decisions on whether to authorize LNG exports to countries with which the U.S. lacks a free-trade agreement.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Study Reveals Vast Unrecorded Oil and Gas Industry Methane Emissions
EDF
Mark Brownstein

A new study published today reveals that facilities that collect and gather natural gas from well sites across the United States emit about one hundred billion cubic feet of natural gas a year, roughly eight times the previous estimates by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the segment. The wasted gas identified in the study is worth about $300 million, and packs the same 20-year climate impact as 37 coal-fired power plants. Until now, emissions from thousands of gathering facilities – which consolidate gas from multiple wells in an area and feed it into processing plants or pipelines – have been largely uncounted in federal statistics, yet they may be the largest methane source in the oil and gas supply chain. Indeed, the newly identified emissions from gathering facilities would increase total emissions from the natural gas supply chain in EPA’s current Greenhouse Gas Inventory by approximately 25 percent if added to the tally.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
City suggests tweaks to state clean energy investment plan
Capital New York
David Giambusso

New York City has some opinions about how the state should deploy its Clean Energy Fund, a vast pool of money that will be collected on utility bills and earmarked for clean energy investments. In a 36-page document filed with the Public Service Commission, the city voiced support for many of the ideas set out by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which will oversee the $5 billion fund, but urged caution and greater transparency on others.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
New Oil & Gas Development Methane Standard Welcomed by Fracking-Impacted Residents, Enviros
EARTHWORKS
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - The Obama Administration today proposed the first-ever methane pollution standards for new and modified oil and gas facilities that, if implemented, will help protect public health and put the United States closer to meeting the Administration’s goal of reducing oil and gas methane pollution by 40 to 45 percent by 2025. “The oil and gas industry has claimed for years that it can easily control methane pollution, and that toxic fracking air pollution is a figment of residents’ imagination,” said Earthworks’ Policy Director Lauren Pagel. She continued, “The Obama administration’s new methane pollution standard will force the oil and gas industry to start walking its talk. And Americans’ health, and the climate, will be better for it.” Methane pollution and toxic chemicals that are leaked, flared, or vented during the oil and gas drilling, fracking, and delivery processes harm the global climate and public health. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including carcinogens like benzene, threaten the health of workers and nearby residents.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
US Proposes to Cut Methane From Oil, Gas by Nearly Half
ABC News
MATTHEW DALY and JOSH LEDERMAN

he Obama administration is proposing to cut methane emissions from U.S. oil and gas production by nearly half over the next decade in an unprecedented step to curb climate change. The administration's target is to cut methane from oil and gas drilling by 40 to 45 percent by 2025, compared to 2012 levels. The move was not unexpected - officials set the same goal in a preliminary blueprint in January. Still, by moving forward with the official proposal, President Barack Obama is adding to a list of energy regulations that have drawn applause from environmentalists and ire from energy advocates. To meet the goal, the administration was expected to issue the first U.S. regulations cutting emissions from new natural gas wells, along with updated standards for drilling to reduce leakage from wells on public lands. It's unclear how much those regulations will cost the energy industry to comply. The Environmental Protection Agency scheduled a noon announcement to unveil the proposal.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
Obama Administration Proposes Weak Methane Pollution Standards for New Oil and Gas Operations First-ever National Methane Limits Too High to Help Prevent Dangerous Warming
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

WASHINGTON— The Obama administration today announced methane pollution standards for new and modified oil and gas operations that do too little to curb emissions of this dangerously powerful greenhouse gas. The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed standards would be the first mandatory national methane controls for oil and gas operations, but the rules would allow leakage of up to 5 percent from some units. Experts warn that an overall methane leakage rate of greater than 2.8 percent can make burning natural gas in power plants more harmful to the climate than coal. “These weak rules would give the oil and gas industry permission to continue polluting our climate with methane emissions we cannot afford,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “The Obama administration needs to dramatically strengthen rules aimed at controlling leaks of this powerful pollutant from oil and gas wells. Decisive action now has the potential to change the course of climate change forever.” Many of the so-called “new” methane standards are exactly the same as the limits already required for emissions of another class of pollutants called volatile organic compounds — which means those new standards will not actually reduce methane emissions beyond what’s already required by other measures. The EPA indicates that the proposed rule will “complement” the agency’s recently expanded Natural Gas STAR program. But in the 20 years that Natural Gas STAR has been in existence, the methane reductions have been negligible. “No voluntary program can fulfill EPA’s obligation under the Clean Air Act to implement enforceable standards for existing sources,” Siegel said.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2015
The EPA is cracking down on methane leaks from oil and gas drilling. But there's a catch.
Vox
Brad Plumer

The Environmental Protection Agency just proposed the first-ever standards to cut down on methane leaks from oil and gas drilling. · But there's a twist: Today's rules will require companies to monitor and prevent methane leaks at all new operations going forward. But the standards are voluntary for existing wells and equipment. · Methane is a potent contributor to global warming, accounting for 10 percent of US greenhouse gases. Recent years have seen rising concern about these leaks, especially as fracking expands and thousands of new oil and gas wells are drilled each year. · Indeed, the US probably can't meet its broader climate goals without getting those leaks under control. So, earlier this year, the White House set a goal of cutting methane emissions from oil and gas operations 40 to 45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. · Today's rules would get the US about halfway there, the EPA said, but not all the way. It's unclear if the agency will later impose mandatory regulations on all the existing oil and gas sources around the country. For now this is a hole in the plan.  [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Clinton Emails and The Privatization of Mexico's State Owned Oil and Gas Company (2/2)
The Real News
Steve Horn

SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome back to the Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. I'm in conversation with Steve Horn. We're talking about Hillary Clinton's emails and her involvement in breaking up the state-owned oil company in Mexico. Steve, thank you for joining us again. STEVE HORN, DESMOGBLOG: Thanks for having me. PERIES: So let's get right into what Hillary Clinton's involvement in all this is. HORN: Well, Hillary Clinton of course, it's still a little bit unclear exactly how much she was involved. All we have is of course very clear signs of her, more broadly her State Department's involvement in this. But looking at Hillary Clinton specifically, talking about some of the contents of the emails, of the emails that are now up on the State Department's website, you can see in the emails there is a reference referring back to a hearing Congress held in which she would likely be underquestioned by Senator Richard Lugar, who was then head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and now he retired, Republican senator from Indiana.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Judge rules Md. must release crude oil shipment information
The Baltimore Sun
Natalie Sherman

Baltimore City Circuit Court judge has ruled that the information railroads submit to the state about the volume and frequency of their crude oil shipments is public. The decision Friday rejects efforts by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway, the two major eastern railroads, to block the Maryland Department of the Environment from releasing the information, which includes rail routes, an estimate of the number of trains expected to travel through each county, a description of the oil, and emergency response contacts. MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles and state Attorney General Brian E. Frosh each said in separate statements that they were pleased by the decisions.  [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
More gas pipelines may not be the energy answer
The Boston Globe
Ann Berwick

ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA Healey deserves praise for her plan to study the region’s electricity supply — including the need for expanding natural gas pipeline capacity. In the context of electricity costs, reliability, and climate change, such an inquiry is hugely important for several reasons. The biggest issue is this: Adding natural gas pipeline capacity may not control energy costs in Massachusetts. The Baker administration and many people in the energy sector are taking it as an article of faith that the region needs to be able to bring in more gas by pipeline. In the face of high prices and limited pipeline capacity, it would be logical to conclude that increasing supply would cause prices to fall. It might also be wrong.  [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
FRACKING-AFFECTED FOOD SHOULD BE LABELED, LAWMAKER SAYS
LA Weekly
DENNIS ROMERO

We've had our battles over the labeling of genetically modified food. In 2012 California voters rejected an initiative that would have mandated such warnings. Now an L.A. area state lawmaker wants to require that food irrigated with wastewater from hydraulic fracturing be labeled. Assemblyman Mike Gatto has introduced a bill that will be considered as part of the Legislature’s Special Session on health.  [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Plan for gas drilling in Llangyfelach unveiled by Welsh methane company
South Wales Evening Post


GAS exploration is in the pipeline for land north of Swansea. Pyle-based UK Methane wants to drill a 1,000m borehole to test for the presence of coal bed methane at a site owned by Penllergaer Estates, off Bryntywod Road, Llangyfelach.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Drilling for options: Hydrofracking with gelled propane may sidestep state’s ban
Watertown Daily Times


An application filed last month with the state Department of Environmental Conservation may provide a way for companies to engage in fracking for natural gas despite the state’s ban on the practice.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Moors scheme to drill for gas likely to be approved
Yorkshire Post
Ben Barnett

A PROPOSAL to drill for natural gas in a national park is expected to be approved despite fears it will lay the infrastructure for fracking to take place in the future.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Fracking company reaches tentative settlement on overtime lawsuit
TribLive
Brian Bowling

A Canadian fracking company has agreed to pay $6 million to settle a class-action lawsuit claiming it underpaid its U.S. workers when they worked overtime, according to federal court documents.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Ministers set to award new round of fracking exploration licences New oil and gas exploration licences to be announced this week in latest bid to reinvigorate UK fracking industry
Business Green
Madeleine Cuff

The government is preparing to reveal the names of companies which have succeeded in securing a new batch of onshore oil and gas exploration licences, according to reports in The Telegraph.  [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Fracking drives NAIC earthquake conversation
R Street


Hydraulic fracturing – the process of extracting oil and gas resources that requires breaking rock through the high-pressured injection of liquid into the ground, popularly known as “fracking” – has caused an uptick in the number of earthquakes that are occurring across the nation. That was the conclusion of a panel of experts, including one associated with the natural-gas industry, during the Center for Insurance Policy Research session at this month’s meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in Chicago.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Service companies see re-fracking as new opportunity
Houston Chronicle
Collin Eaton

Shale oil producers from West Texas and North Dakota have harvested enough crude to overwhelm the global oil market and force Saudi Arabia’s oil cartel to play offense on the world’s energy stage. But U.S. producers have recovered only a small fraction of the oil that’s trapped in those rocks, and though the oil-market crash has put the nation’s energy boom on hold, some oil-technology companies are pursuing what they say will be a second American shale revolution.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Ohio elections chief rules against fracking proposals
I Free Press


But in a landmark ruling in February, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that while state law preserves certain regulatory powers granted to local governments, it expressly prohibits them from exercising those powers in a way that discriminates against the state’s centralized regulatory authority (see Shale Daily, Feb. 17).   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Oil Industry-Linked Earthquakes Could Rattle Economy, Credit Agency Says
Public Radio Tulsa


A boom of earthquakes linked to oil and gas production “has and will continue to have sharp economic consequences” in Oklahoma and other states experiencing man-made seismicity, Standard and Poor’s Rating Services analysts write in a recent report.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
Monopoly Claim in Key Fracking Mineral
Courthouse News Service
Cameron Langford

HOUSTON (CN) - An Oklahoma company tightened its monopoly on gilsonite - a rock used for oil drilling - by hijacking a rival's contract with a Columbian supplier, the rival claims in an antitrust lawsuit. Gilsonite is a solid hydrocarbon mined in the Uintah Basin of Utah and Colorado. It is named for Samuel H. Gilson, who settled in Utah after leaving his Illinois home in 1850 with a case of gold fever.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
‘Hands Across Our Land’ action aimed at W.Va., Va. pipelines
WAVY.com


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Opponents of pipelines delivering fracked natural gas are joining together in Virginia, West Virginia and elsewhere in a show of solidarity.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2015
McClendon’s Marcellus Misadventure Exposes Lenders to More Pain
Bloomberg
Sridhar Natarajan & Joe Carroll

For Aubrey McClendon, it was the perfect time to tap debt markets: he had parted ways with Chesapeake Energy Corp., energy prices were climbing, and high-yield investors were willing to lend to just about anyone. That was just over a year ago. A few months after the shale pioneer piled on borrowings to fund his fledgling new empire at American Energy Partners, a plunge in oil and gas prices shattered McClendon’s plans to cut debt through growth, leaving investors in the lurch. A secured loan sold by one of his ventures in the Marcellus shale region has cratered to about 32 cents on the dollar.   [Full Story]

Aug 16, 2015
Ohio Secretary of State says: No vote on local charter County groups say they’ll appeal
Athens News
David DeWitt

The Athens County Bill of Rights Committee, along with similar committees in Medina and Fulton counties, plans to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court after Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted rejected the groups’ anti-fracking charter government proposals for the ballot this November.   [Full Story]

Aug 16, 2015
Sidney hearing set on Nebraska oil, natural gas regulation
Scottsbluff Star Herald
David Hendee

A legislative committee undertaking a study that could determine the fate of the agency that regulates and promotes the oil and natural gas industry in Nebraska has scheduled a fact-finding hearing in Sidney next month.   [Full Story]

Aug 16, 2015
The Clean Power Plan Is Barely Better Than Kyoto; IPCC Says: We Must Remove CO2 From the Atmosphere
Truthout
Bruce Melton

The EPA's Clean Power Plan is 12 percent more stringent than the Kyoto Protocol, yet since 1978, the US has emitted as much carbon dioxide as we emitted in the previous 228 years. Globally, since 1984, our civilization has emitted as much carbon dioxide as in the previous 236 years. The new EPA carbon regulations in the Clean Power Plan require about the same carbon dioxide emissions reductions as what was proposed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, when we as a global society first recognized that climate pollution was a problem. What resulted was the Kyoto Protocol, and its proposal to limit carbon dioxide emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels in the US and similar levels in other developed countries.  [Full Story]

Aug 16, 2015
Beach leaders need to reverse vote, oppose drilling
Hampton Roads Pilot
Editorials

Virginia Beach's elected leaders have an opportunity to undo a major mistake before it does damage to the city's economy and quality of life. Early in 2010, the Virginia Beach City Council, at the behest of favorite son and Gov. Bob McDonnell, endorsed drilling for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia.   [Full Story]

Aug 16, 2015
South L.A. residents resist oil firm's plans to burn gas at drilling site
Los Angeles Times
EMILY ALPERT REYES

In South Los Angeles, residents are battling an oil company that has been a longtime neighbor, resisting its plans to burn off excess gas at its West Adams Boulevard drilling site. Freeport-McMoRan, which operates the site, says an enclosed burner is needed as a backup method to dispose of unused gas that is pulled from the earth along with the oil. It has told neighbors and the city that the equipment will make little noise, take up little space and produce "near zero emissions." But community residents are challenging the plan, arguing that it is wasteful to burn gas that could create electricity. And they are pressing for the city to scrutinize the environmental effects of drilling at the site — with or without the new burner.  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2015
Fracking Banned from Ballot
WKKJ


(24/7 News) -- The issue of fracking will not be on the ballot this fall in Ohio. Secretary of State Jon Husted ruled that only the state can regulate issues regarding oil and gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2015
Medina County can't vote to ban fracking Secretary of State issues ruling
News Net 5
Homa Bash

MEDINA, Ohio - The fight isn't over for Medina County homeowners opposed to the Nexus pipeline and pushing for a ban on fracking in the county.   [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2015
Porter Ranch residents, officials call for health impact study of proposed oil wells
Daily News
Dana Bartholomew

NEWHALL >> It was way too hot Saturday to hike in the name of public health. But that didn’t stop a dozen residents from hoofing eight miles to the Aliso Canyon Oil Field and back as temperatures soared past the triple digits to demand a health study connected with a dozen new oil wells proposed north of Porter Ranch.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2015
Ohio elections chief rules against fracking proposals
Marcellus.com


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s elections chief has moved to invalidate ballot proposals in three counties related to the oil- and gas-drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO-sted) ruled Thursday on protests filed with his office that questioned the validity of county charter ballot proposals in Athens, Fulton and Medina (meh-DY’-nuh) counties.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2015
Husted ruling may nix Youngstown ballot proposal to ban fracking
Vindy.com
David Skolnick

A decision by the secretary of state to remove anti-fracking charter amendment proposals from the Nov. 3 ballot in Athens, Fulton and Medina counties could derail a similar effort in Youngstown.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2015
Low Oil Prices Pose Threat to Texas Fracking Bonanza
New York Times
Clifford Krauss

KARNES CITY, Tex. — No place in Texas produces more oil than Karnes County, but suddenly the roaring economy here is cooling fast, chilled by the plunging price of crude. Workers who migrated from far and wide to find work here, chasing newfound oil riches, are being laid off, deserting their recreational vehicle parks and going home. Hay farmers who became instant millionaires on royalty checks for their land have suddenly fallen behind on payments for new tractors they bought when cash was flowing. Scores of mobile steel tanks and portable toilets used at the ubiquitous wells are stacked, unused, along county roads.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2015
Life around New Mexico's gas wells: how fracking is turning the air foul
The Guardian
Jeffrey Barbee

Leaked methane and other toxic gases are polluting the air with serious health risks for local communities whose fortunes depend on oil and gas in the shale boom state   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2015
Singer-songwriter Carole King raises voice against natural gas pipeline
Richmond Times-Dispatch
MICHAEL MARTZ

Rock troubadour Carole King has added her voice to a chorus of opposition to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, but she’s playing her song directly to the head of the Richmond energy company leading the project. King, whose 1971 “Tapestry” remains one of the best-selling albums ever produced, penned a two-page letter last month to Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman and CEO of Dominion Resources Inc., owner of a transmission subsidiary seeking to build the 550-mile natural gas pipeline across Virginia to the Atlantic coast.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2015
Ohio counties can’t vote to ban fracking, Husted rules
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

Residents of three counties won’t be voting this November on whether to allow fracking, based on a ruling Thursday by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. In a letter to the boards of elections in Athens, Fulton and Medina counties, Husted said that the courts already had decided this issue, and that only the state has the authority to regulate oil and gas activity in Ohio.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2015
Underneath Ohio
International Business Times
MARIA GALLUCCI

Thanks to fracking, America is the world’s No. 1 oil and gas producer. But the economic bounty it delivers to small communities across the nation comes at a price. Now it’s dividing friends and neighbors in one Ohio county.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2015
In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, a proposed pipeline hits a sour note
The Washington Post
Frances Stead Sellers

The first hint that something’s afoot at the Shenandoah Valley frame house with its put-up-your-feet-and-stay-awhile porch furniture is on the front lawn. It’s a small white sign, planted beside the road and across from the lowing cows, in grass that’s preternaturally green from this summer of unusual rains. And it shows a big red circular “no” symbol slashing through the word “pipeline.”  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2015
Life around New Mexico's gas wells: how fracking is turning the air foul
The Guardian
Jeffrey Barbee

“My daughter has asthma. She is not the only one around here, something is wrong here, our air quality shouldn’t be this way.” Shirley “Sug” McNall is leaning up against a fence staring at a natural gas well about 40 meters from a playground behind the primary school where her daughter used to teach in Aztec, New Mexico. She believes that the gas industry and the explosion of fracking in her state is responsible for serious impacts on local air quality which are affecting people’s health. Her fears were boosted last year when Nasa satellites identified a methane bubble over Aztec visible from space. The bubble suggests that during drilling and production the natural gas industry is not capturing all of the gas they unlock from deep in the ground and significant amounts of this methane and other chemicals are leaking into the sky. McNall believes that other more dangerous gasses are being released too.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2015
21st NC community goes on record against offshore drilling
WXII12


SOUTHPORT, N.C. —Southport is the latest community in North Carolina to go on record against offshore drilling in the Atlantic. The town council passed a resolution opposing drilling on Thursday, becoming the 21st community in North Carolina to do so.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Consumer advocate asks court to reverse FPL gas fracking fee
Miami Herald
Mary Ellen Klas

Florida's consumer advocate in utility cases said Thursday he will ask the state Supreme Court to reverse a decision by state regulators to allow Florida Power & Light to charge customers for exploratory drilling for natural gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Conservationists push White House to postpone next week’s Gulf drilling auction
Houston Chronicle
Jennifer A Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — The government is getting ready to sell drilling rights spanning as much as 22 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico, but environmentalists are campaigning for the White House to call off that auction until Congress reauthorizes a longstanding conservation program funded by offshore oil development. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell already has been touring the country to lobby for a renewal of the 50-year-old Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is set to expire Sept. 30 unless Congress intervenes.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
FPL Drilling Investments Face Supreme Court Fight
CBS Miami


MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A new plan that would allow Florida Power & Light to invest ratepayer money for natural-gas drilling projects may be facing a Supreme court fight. The Florida Industrial Power Users Group filed a notice Wednesday indicating it will appeal a decision by state regulators that cleared the way for the FPL gas-investment program.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Protesters lock themselves to gate of natural gas facility
Turn to 10
Bill Rappleye

The two environmentalists were trying to disrupt construction on the Algonquin pipeline, owned by Spectra Energy. One is a physics professor at the University of Rhode Island, Peter Nightingale. He said there has to be more of a commitment to alternative energy and that burning natural gas is dooming our planet.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Confusion over land access continues as pipeline surveyors charged with trespassing
The Roanoke Times
Duncan Adams

Glenn Frith believed he’d done everything necessary to keep pipeline survey crews off his property in Franklin County. So when he spotted surveyors on his land, he felt blindsided and angry. “I told the first guy, ‘What part of “no trespassing” don’t you understand?’?” Frith recalled. The July 30 confrontation Frith said he had with members of a surveying contractor working for Mountain Valley Pipeline led to two surveyors being charged with misdemeanor trespass — even though a Virginia law would seem to shield them from such charges.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Judges Nixing Keystone XL South Cases Had Tar Sands-Related Oil Investments
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

On August 4, the U.S. Appeals Court for the 10th Circuit shot down the Sierra Club's petition for rehearing motion for the southern leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline. The decision effectively writes the final chapter of a years-long legal battle in federal courts. But one of the three judges who made the ruling, Bobby Ray Baldock — a Ronald Reagan nominee — has tens of thousands of dollars invested in royalties for oil companies with a major stake in tar sands production in Alberta. And his fellow Reagan nominee in the Western District of Oklahoma predecessor case, David Russell, also has skin in the oil investments game.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Republican hopefuls reap $62m in support from donors with fossil fuel ties
The Guardian
Ed Pilkington

Republican presidential candidates have banked millions of dollars in donations from a small number of mega-rich individuals and corporations with close ties to the fossil fuel industries that stand to lose the most from the fight against climate change. Eight out of the 17 GOP figures currently jostling for their party’s presidential nomination have between them attracted a bonanza of at least $62m so far this year from sources either directly involved in polluting industries or with close financial ties to them. Three Republican contenders stand out as recipients of this fossil fuel largesse: the Republican climate change denier-in-chief, Ted Cruz; the party establishment favorite Jeb Bush; and the former governor of Texas, Rick Perry.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Watch the GOP Gasholes Frack Themselves
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

Inside the GOP Clown Car By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone 12 August 15 On the campaign trail in Iowa, Donald Trump’s antics have forced the other candidates to get crazy or go home he thing is, when you actually think about it, it’s not funny. Given what’s at stake, it’s more like the opposite, like the first sign of the collapse of the United States as a global superpower. Twenty years from now, when we’re all living like prehistory hominids and hunting rats with sticks, we’ll probably look back at this moment as the beginning of the end. In the meantime, though, the race for the Republican Party presidential nomination sure seems funny. The event known around the world as hashtagGOPClownCar is improbable, colossal, spectacular and shocking; epic, monumental, heinous and disgusting. It’s like watching 17 platypuses try to mount the queen of England. You can’t tear your eyes away from it.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Tianjin Explosions Leave Warehouse District a Smoky Ruin
The New York Times
ANDREW JACOBS

TIANJIN, China — This bustling port city a 90-minute drive from the Chinese capital awoke on Thursday to scenes of devastation — huge gray plumes of smoke, vast parking lots of burned-out vehicles, block after block of high-rises with their windows blown out — and unanswered questions about what caused a pair of enormous explosions whose terrifying fury was broadcast around the world. As the death toll climbed to 50 from the blasts on Wednesday night, rescue workers combed the rubble of the city’s flattened warehouse district for bodies while hundreds of people crowded hospitals. Throughout the day, hundreds more lined up to donate blood in the wilting heat.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
U.K. Government to Fast-Track Fracking Applications Move is step toward reducing Britain’s dependence on energy imports
Wall Street Journal
Selina Williams

LONDON—The U.K. government said Thursday it will fast-track planning applications to explore for shale gas in an effort to kick-start the country’s nascent industry.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Fast-track fracking taps well of northern anger
Financial Times
Andrew Bounds

Government attempts to fast-track Britain’s shale gas revolution face formidable opposition among the rolling hills of North Yorkshire, the next battleground in the fight over “fracking”.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Supporters optimistic about propane fracking coming to Tioga County
WBNG
Scott Sasina

Town of Barton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) On Tuesday, the Tioga County Legislature passed a resolution giving its full support toward propane fracking. Now, those in favor are excited their dream could become a reality.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
How Dick Cheney Kicked off an Era of Cancer Clusters and Eco-Disasters from Fracking
Alternet
Wenonah Hauter

The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which holds the Halliburton Loophole, exempts oil and gas firms from environmental protection laws. This past Saturday, marked a notable 10th anniversary. But it was certainly nothing to celebrate. Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The giant energy bill included massive giveaways for the fossil fuel, nuclear and ethanol industries and provided only token incentives for renewables and improved energy efficiency. But the most infamous piece of the law was what is now commonly known as the “Halliburton Loophole,” an egregious regulatory exemption that ushered in the disastrous era of widespread oil and gas fracking that currently grips our nation.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
County Looking at Rules to Limit Fracking
The Independent


Alameda County has been considering passing an ordinance that would regulate fracking for oil deposits, but may defer instead to the state on the issue. Supervisors last year instructed the county planning staff to draw up an ordinance that would limit fracking, said County Planning Director Albert Lopez. The goal of any regulation would be to regulate fracking to protect against potential impacts on groundwater and the environment.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
UK fracking applications to be fast-tracked under new legislation
Digital Look
Daniel Cancian

New legislation will see shale gas planning applications fast-tracked as the government adopts a hard stance on councils that delay making a decision. Under the new government measures, councils will have to make a decision on applications within 16 weeks, as repeated delays could see ministers assume the power to decide future applications in the area.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Fast-track fracking ‘bad news for locals’
Energy Live News
Laur Buckley

The government’s decision to fast-track fracking applications could leave local residents with “virtually no say” on shale gas exploration in their area. That’s according to Daisy Sands, Greenpeace Head of Energy. She said: “Local residents could end up with virtually no say over whether their homes, communities and national parks are fracked or not.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Family Burned by Explosion of Well Contaminated by Fracking
AllGov


A Texas family is suing several companies involved in fracking after their water well exploded, injuring all four of them. In August 2014, Cody Murray and his father, Jim, went to inspect the family’s pump house after seeing pressurized water spraying from it. Upon entering the building and turning on a switch, a fireball erupted from inside the well. Cody sustained serious burns on his arms, upper back, neck, forehead and nose after pulling his father away from the explosion, which caused serious injuries to Jim, Cody’s wife and his 4-year-old daughter. Cody says he is unable to work and may never be able to do so again.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Innovations Could Enable Sand-Free Fracking
Chem.info
Andy Szal

Critics of hydraulic fracturing tend to focus on the environmental challenges posed by crude oil and natural gas and the chemicals used to extract them. But the fracking process also utilizes a specific form of sand, which helps crack shale rock and allow the crude to flow out.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2015
Consumer advocate wants court to stop regulators from allowing FPL fracking charges
Tampa Bay Times
Mary Ellen Klas

Florida's consumer advocate in utility cases said Thursday he will ask the state Supreme Court to reverse a decision by state regulators to allow Florida Power & Light to charge customers for exploratory drilling for natural gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Congress Passed Legislation to Ban Natural Gas Exports--In 1975
Huffington Post
Kyle Ash

On the heels of fracking's rise in the United States, natural gas exports have been booming. There are many reasons why the federal government should be concerned about this. One in particular that might concern the Obama administration is that Congress already passed legislation to prohibit gas exports. The federal legislation intending to prohibit natural gas exports has been in place since 1975, even if it has been ignored by the government for 40 years. Faced with fracking, the climate crisis and proposals to exponentially increase gas exports, three environmental organizations just filed a legal petition to remind the Obama administration that liquid natural gas (LNG) exports should be banned.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Report details which chemicals are being used in California fracking fluids
Houston Chronicle
Jennifer A Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — A vast array of ingredients make up the chemical cocktails that energy companies pump into wells to stimulate oil and gas production, according to a report released Wednesday. The analysis, conducted by the Environmental Working Group using data from California wells, shines a spotlight on the makeup of the fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process, also known as fracking. The technique involves sending that “frac fluid”— often a mixture of sand, water and chemicals— into wells to open the pores of dense underground rock formations, allowing oil and gas to flow out.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
N.C. State prof dissects purported benefits of offshore drilling
The Outer Banks Voice
Mark Hibbs

Public support for oil and natural gas drilling off the North Carolina coast has been strong, according to an industry public opinion poll, but the rationale behind the fervor might cool under close scrutiny of the asserted benefits. That’s according to Laura Taylor, director of the Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy and professor of agricultural and resource economics at N.C. State.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Gas line may cross river, greenway
Mount Airy News
Tom Joyce

Mount Airy officials have granted an easement for a natural gas line to cross the Ararat River and the greenway that runs alongside it, which are not expected to be adversely affected as a result. However, the project by Frontier Natural Gas to extend the line underneath the river and trail is not set in stone, due to uncertainties as to whether it is even feasible.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Study: Fracking In The Delaware River Basin Would Threaten Health Of 45,000
ThinkProgress
NATASHA GEILING

Encompassing the longest free-flowing river in the eastern United States, the Delaware River Basin also happens to sit partially on top of the Marcellus Shale, the second largest gas field in the world. To date, a moratorium put in place by the Delaware River Basin Commission has kept gas companies out of the Delaware River Basin — but environmental groups worry that without a permanent ban, the basin could be opened to fracking at a moment’s notice. Now, a new study seeks, for the first time, to quantify the environmental impact of opening the Delaware River Basin to fracking — and what natural gas extraction could mean for the communities that call the region home.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Wildlife researchers look at effect of natural gas drilling on deer
Reporter-Herald


Colorado State University and Colorado Parks and Wildlife researchers have conducted a study that found natural gas development could have adverse effects on critical winter range for mule deer. Researchers also recommended approaches to reduce those impacts, according to a press release from CSU.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Greens seek ban on natural gas exports
The Hill


Three environmental groups formally petitioned the Obama administration to immediately ban all exports of natural gas. The request challenges the recent tenfold increase in exports of natural gas, mainly as liquefied natural gas (LNG).  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Natural gas companies are tumbling, and taking private equity firms with them
Business Insider
Wolf Richter

Natural gas driller Samson Resources is planning to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by August 15, when a $110 million interest payment comes due on $2.25 billion of senior unsecured junk bonds, Bloomberg reported, citing “two people with knowledge of the matter.” Samson doesn’t have the money, can’t pay, and won’t pay.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Texas rupture stirs up local gas pipeline conversation
The Recorder
RACHEL RAPKIN

NORTHFIELD — It seems that residents against the pipeline have taken a leave of absence from Selectboard meetings. The past few public meetings haven’t had any public commenters, but Gulf Road resident Bill Kilpatrick has yet to lose hope. He expressed, once again, that the Selectboard should continue to combat Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s proposed project to bring natural gas through eight Franklin County towns.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
PennEast surveys blocked in Delaware Township
NJ Advance Media


DELAWARE TWP. —In the midst of numerous PennEast property surveys in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, property owners are denying access to their land in an attempt to thwart the proposed pipeline in the area. Most recently, Delaware Township Committee approved a resolution to deny access to the PennEast Pipeline Company on all township owned land as requested by the Delaware Township Pipeline Committee.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
More changes coming to Pa. environmental rules for gas, oil wells
Tribune-Review
David Conti

Pennsylvania regulators backed off plans to write noise limits and requirements involving centralized wastewater storage tanks into new environmental rules for oil and gas wells. The Department of Environmental Protection called those changes the most significant in the final draft of proposed rules it released Wednesday. “These amendments reflect a balance between meeting the needs of the industry and the needs of public health and the environment; all while enabling drilling to proceed,” said department Secretary John Quigley, who promised more regulatory changes soon.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Petition Urges Obama Administration to Ban Natural Gas Exports
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

Exports Climb 1,000 Percent During Fracking Boom That Puts Climate, Environment At Risk WASHINGTON— Environmental groups filed a groundbreaking legal petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce today seeking an immediate ban on natural gas exports from the United States, which have seen a dramatic surge on the heels of a fracking boom around the country. The U.S. Energy and Policy Conservation Act was passed by Congress in 1975 to conserve domestic energy supplies, specifically natural gas and crude oil, by prohibiting the export of both unless specifically covered by an allowable exemption. Although the Department of Commerce has instituted such a ban on crude oil, it has failed to address natural gas exports despite an exponential increase in such exports over the past decade.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Gas pipeline foes push state to delay approval
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany Opponents of the proposed Constitution natural gas pipeline pressured the state Tuesday to deny critical permits for the project, claiming the Department of Environmental Conservation withheld key project documents from public review this spring. Dozens of opponents from the four counties along the pipeline's 124-mile path, from the Southern Tier to Schoharie County, marched outside DEC headquarters on Broadway, while lawyers representing an anti-pipeline coalition demanded DEC reopen a public comment period on water quality permits, a step that would delay any potential state decision.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Officials urge study of compressors, pipelines
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

Concerned about the potential health effects from compressor stations and other infrastructure connected to the shale gas industry, some local officials have joined a prominent physicians' group in urging state leaders to conduct the same type of study that led the Cuomo administration to ban hydraulic fracturing.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
A Fireball Exploded In This Man’s Face, And Now He’s Suing The Nearby Fracking Operation
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

A Texas man is suing a group of fracking companies after burns from a methane explosion near his house allegedly hospitalized him for a week, burned his family, and caused permanent damage. Cody Murray, 38, and his father, wife, and four-year-old daughter were all burned by a “fireball” after methane built up in his pump house and exploded when Murray entered the shed to check on a water issue. The lawsuit, filed last week against EOG Resources, Fairway Resources LLC, and three subsidiaries of Fairway, alleges the methane was from the defendants’ fracking wells just 1,000 feet from Murray’s house, which sits 35 miles outside Fort Worth.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Is shale dead? Not by a long shot as efficiency improves
Star-Telegram
WILLIAM F. SHUGHART II

A lot of hand-wringing — as well as celebrating — has gone on lately about the reported collapse of the shale revolution. Environmental activists are overjoyed. They see the oil and gas industry getting its comeuppance. U.S. manufacturers, on the other hand, who have been among the primary beneficiaries of low-cost natural gas, are less sanguine. For many producers, now deeply in debt, low oil prices — around $50 per barrel — have been a disaster.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Community power purchasing becomes law in Westchester towns
PoliticoNewYork
David Giambusso

Now that one of the last legal hurdles has been cleared, towns in Westchester County are moving forward with a new approach to buying power that could have broad implications for the state's energy landscape. A group of nine towns in Westchester banded together to buy wholesale power on the open market under a program called Community Choice Aggregation, bypassing a function usually reserved for utilities. The group is hoping to export the idea throughout the county and perhaps the state.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Fracking Chemicals Linked to Cancer, According to New Report
EcoWatch
Environmental Working Group

The fluids used for hydraulic fracturing in California oil wells contain dozens of hazardous chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption and reproductive system damage, according to a new report by Environmental Working Group (EWG). In the analysis, “California’s Toxic Fracking Fluids: The Chemical Recipe,” EWG deconstructs drilling companies’ use of 200 unique chemicals in nearly 700 wells across the state, with each company deploying around two dozen chemicals. These chemicals have the potential to contaminate drinking water, air and soil and to harm human health.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
CALIFORNIA’S FRACKING FLUIDS The Chemical Recipe
Environmental Working Group
Tasha Stoiber, Bill Walker, Bill Allayaud

The fluids used in hydraulic fracturing of oil wells in California contain dozens of chemicals that are hazardous to human health, including substances linked to cancer, reproductive harm and hormone disruption, an EWG analysis of state data shows. Under a 2013 California law (SB 4) requiring disclosure of all chemicals used to boost production from oil wells by fracking or similar methods, drilling companies reported using 197 unique chemicals in 691 oil wells from December 2013 through February 2015. The fracking fluids typically contained two dozen or more different chemicals. EWG’s analysis1 found that they included:   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2015
Kane Trucking mothballs natural gas trucks after fire, sues maker
The Times-Tribune
David Falchek

A truck explosion prompted Kane Freight Lines Inc. to mothball seven natural-gas-powered vehicles and sue Volvo Group North America and others a year after its touted pilot program with the clean-burning tractors. On Jan. 2, one of the trucks began to burn under the passenger side door. The driver pulled to the side of Interstate 81 near Harford. From a safe location, he watched the truck burn and explode, destroying the truck and trailer hauling cargo for another local company, restaurant supplier Orlando Foods of Scranton.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Bolivian president opens up protected natural areas for oil and gas drilling
Free Speech Radio News


To make up for lost revenue, President Morales issued presidential decrees, opening protected environmental areas to exploration. Environmental and indigenous groups oppose the move.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Fruitland residents seek answers about gas drilling in their backyards
Idaho Statesman
Rocky Barker

Fruitland rural residents Sue Bixby and Robert Bixby have to decide in the next two months how they will react to the plan to drill for natural gas in their neighborhood. Texas-based petroleum company Alta Mesa wants to drill for natural gas in the residential area east of Fruitland, where children feel safe playing in the streets and the rural countryside is only a walk away. She’s not alone. Several dozen residents hold the mineral rights to their property and have to give Alta Mesa or the state their answer on whether they want to lease the right to drill or perhaps even share the risk and reward of the drillers. But the Bixbys are more concerned about what the drilling will do to their quiet little community. They worry about the threat of water contamination and most of all, they feel like they are in the dark.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
New report explores the global fracking water treatment equipment industry for 2015
WhaTech


The is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the Fracking Water Treatment Equipment industry. The report provides a basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Fracking Threatens Saudi Arabia’s Budget
Scibility Media


Saudi Arabia gambled and lost, or so it seems, when they stopped supporting oil prices in November last year and instead flooded the market in an attempt to drive out rivals, increasing their own production to 10.6m barrels a day despite the downturn in demand.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Pipeline delay a sign of policy conflicts to come
Politico New York


ALBANY—The latest delay in granting an approval for a major natural gas pipeline in New York illustrates the awkward spot the state's energy policy is in, where environmentally sensitive policies and practical reality collide. The Constitution Pipeline will stretch from Pennsylvania through the Southern Tier and into Schoharie County, where it can connect to a network of other pipelines. It will add more capacity as New York and New England increasingly turn to natural gas for power.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Company continues to mine sand in critical dune area along Lake Michigan
Michigan Radio
Aaron Selbig

Since the 1930s, Sargent Sand Company has held a permit to mine sand from its property that's surrounded by Ludington State Park. For years, the 400 acre mine was dormant as the company negotiated to sell its land to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Debunking the Texas Miracle
Center for Effective Government
Amanda Frank

While it is clear the strong executive/weak legislature model of government in Texas has been very friendly to the oil and gas industries, it has left the residents of Texas and the state’s water and soil resources under siege. Modeling our national energy plan on this kind of risk and devastation is a terrifying idea. In Texas, weak regulation of energy companies costs workers’ health, residents’ clean water, and has created skewed job growth.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Research Previews Impacts from Fracking CNA Report Considers Future Fracking in Delaware River Basin
CNA Analysis & Solutions
Press Release

ARLINGTON, VA – CNA today released a report evaluating the potential environmental impacts in the Delaware River Basin (DRB) if restrictions on fracking were lifted. The DRB spans Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York, and provides drinking water to 17 million people. It contains part of the Interior Marcellus shale play that has not been developed due to a moratorium put in place by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). The DRBC is considering whether or not to lift the moratorium. New York has a state-wide ban on fracking.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Gas pipeline foes push state to delay approval
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany Opponents of the proposed Constitution natural gas pipeline pressured the state Tuesday to deny critical permits for the project, claiming the Department of Environmental Conservation withheld key project documents from public review this spring. Dozens of opponents from the four counties along the pipeline's 124-mile path, from the Southern Tier to Schoharie County, marched outside DEC headquarters on Broadway, while lawyers representing an anti-pipeline coalition demanded DEC reopen a public comment period on water quality permits, a step that would delay any potential state decision.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
North Dakota health officials vote to loosen rules for radioactive oilfield waste dumping
Daily Reporter
JAMES MacPHERSON

BISMARCK, North Dakota — Companies would be allowed to dispose of oilfield waste with much higher levels of radioactivity at some North Dakota landfills instead of hauling the material out of state, under rules approved Tuesday by the state Health Council. The 11-member advisory panel to the state Health Department voted unanimously to raise from 5 picocuries per gram to 50 picocuries per gram the allowable concentrations of TENORM — technologically enhanced radioactive material — that may be disposed of at approved landfills. Picocuries are a measure of radioactivity.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Texas family sues fracking company after water well exploded from leached methane
ZME News


In the latest in a long string of lawsuits filled against fracking operations, a Texas family is claiming damages after the water well on their property exploded. The family’s ranch is located just 1000 yards away from two fracking drills, which likely leaked methane to the groundwater according to the lawyer representing the family. The explosion left Cody Murray, the 38-year-old husband of the family of four, with severe burns on his arms, upper back, neck, forehead and nose along with “significant neurological damage.” He is now permanently disfigured, disabled and cannot work. He is now asking the court for restitution. Read more: http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/texas-family-sues-fracking-0423543/#ixzz3ibKlnGDY  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Constitution Pipeline Protest In Albany
WAMC
Dave Lucas

Dozens of New Yorkers living along the proposed Constitution Pipeline route descended on New York's state Capitol today to call on the Department of Environmental Conservation to protect their land and lifestyles. Listen Listening...3:27 The Constitution Pipeline would stretch from Pennsylvania through the Southern Tier and into Schoharie County, connecting with a network of other pipelines.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Judge Throws Out Permit For Fracking Exploration In Wetlands
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

A Louisiana district court judge on Monday threw out — at least temporarily — a permit for fracking exploration in wetlands about an hour outside New Orleans. The judge ruled that a division of the Department of Conservation failed to adequately consider the environmental impacts of the permit, including the implications of a nearby fault line. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will have to reevaluate the permit application for Helis Oil and Gas. “They didn’t go through the environmental impact analysis that we said they had to do,” said Lisa Jordan, deputy director of the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic and the attorney representing Abita Springs on the case.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Westchester County Legislators, Others Demand Action On Spectra Pipeline
Peekskill Daily Voice
Carol Reif

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Residents and organizations voiced concerns Monday about Spectra Energy’s proposed gas pipeline and demanded county legislators take another look at the project’s risk assessment. Pointing to recently obtained documents that, they said, called into question the thoroughness and methodology of the assessment, they demanded an independent analysis of safety issues before the project is allowed to proceed.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Residents living near proposed pipeline rally in Albany
ABC News 10


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Protestors of the constitution pipeline spoke out at a press conference Tuesday, saying the D.E.C. should deny the 401 water quality certificate. Opponents called the pipeline “misguided, dangerous and will harm over 200 waterways.” If the D.E.C. were to grant the certificate, this 124 mile proposed pipeline would transport fracked gas from Pennsylvania through upstate New York to Canada and international markets. Meanwhile, those who support it say New York heavily depends on natural gas, which has reduced the usage of emission rates as well as providing lower-cost energy.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
10 Years Later: Fracking and the Halliburton Loophole
EcoWatch
Wenonah Hauter

This past Saturday, marked a notable 10th anniversary. But it was certainly nothing to celebrate. Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The giant energy bill included massive giveaways for the fossil fuel, nuclear and ethanol industries and provided only token incentives for renewables and improved energy efficiency. But the most infamous piece of the law was what is now commonly known as the “Halliburton Loophole,” an egregious regulatory exemption that ushered in the disastrous era of widespread oil and gas fracking that currently grips our nation.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Texas family sues fracking company after water well exploded from leached methane
ZME Science


In the latest in a long string of lawsuits filled against fracking operations, a Texas family is claiming damages after the water well on their property exploded. The family’s ranch is located just 1000 yards away from two fracking drills, which likely leaked methane to the groundwater according to the lawyer representing the family. The explosion left Cody Murray, the 38-year-old husband of the family of four, with severe burns on his arms, upper back, neck, forehead and nose along with “significant neurological damage.” He is now permanently disfigured, disabled and cannot work. He is now asking the court for retribution.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Big Coal Doomed: Not By Climate Rules But Fracking & Finance
Green Car Reports
John Voelcker

The "Beyond Coal" campaign urges the notion that it's entirely possible to continue our current energy usage while entirely removing the fuel from the picture.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Anadarko to kick-start horizontal drilling in Fort Lupton
Greeley Tribune


FORT LUPTON — Oil and gas activity may be trailing off throughout the country, but officials at Anadarko Petroleum are gearing up to make their southern Weld County acreage more active than it has been in five years.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Tioga County Legislature shows its support for propane fracking
WBNG


Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Tioga County Legislature passed a resolution on Tuesday expressing its total support for the Snyder Farm Group, and bringing propane fracking to Tioga County. The brief meeting started at noon on Tuesday and ended with the legislators passing the resolution to support propane fracking in Tioga County.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Myrtle Beach passes resolution opposing offshore drilling
NBC 26
Associated Press

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Myrtle Beach is the latest community in South Carolina to oppose offshore seismic testing and drilling for oil and natural gas. Local media outlets report that Myrtle Beach City Council passed a resolution Tuesday by a 6-1 vote opposing fossil fuel development in the Atlantic.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2015
Environment secretary pledges fracking policy transparency
Baltimore Sun
Associated Press

Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles says his agency will gather more information and listen to citizens as it develops rules for fracking in the state. Grumbles fielded questions at a public meeting Tuesday in Garrett County in far western Maryland, where most of the state's shale gas resources lie.   [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Fracking operation runs into new snag
Bayou Buzz


For the second time in less than a month, a state district judge has thrown a roadblock in the way of Helis Oil & Gas Co.’s proposed St. Tammany well. The project is controversial because it would use fracking to release oil trapped in underground rocks.   [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Lifting Ban On U.S. Crude Oil Export Would Enable Massive Fracking Expansion
DeSmog Blog
Justin Mikulka

In a recent Washington Post editorial supporting oil industry efforts to lift the existing ban on exporting crude oil produced in America, the editors stated: “The most serious objection to lifting the ban comes from environmentalists who worry that it would lower fossil fuel prices and lead to more oil consumption.”  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
The U.S. wind energy boom couldn’t be coming at a better time
The Washington Post
Chris Mooney

The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, released last week, requires the country to use a lot more renewable energy by the year 2030 — and a lot less coal. And right on time, two new reports published Monday by the Department of Energy find that one key renewable sector — wind — is booming, a development that can only help matters when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. The reports being released — including the 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report, published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — suggest that wind is being installed at a rapid rate, that its costs are plummeting, that its technologies are advancing, and that it is creating a growing number of jobs to boot.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
From Shale to Solar: What Today’s Energy R&D Can Learn From Fracking’s Success
Green Tech Media
Loren King

In recent weeks, energy analysts have highlighted the limits of existing clean energy technologies. Increasingly, analysts describe current designs as "bridging technologies," stepping stones toward more advanced clean energy, whether in the form of perovskite solar cells or modular nuclear reactors. To become commercially viable, however, these emergent technologies will need all the policy support they can get.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Economic Promises and the Push to Drill
Coastal Review Online
Mak Hibbs

NEW BERN ­­– Public support for oil and natural gas drilling off the N.C. coast has been strong, according to an industry public opinion poll, but the rationale behind the “drill, baby, drill” fervor may be empty as a dry well. That’s according to Laura Taylor, director of the Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy and professor of agricultural and resource economics at N.C. State. She was one of the presenters who spoke at the N.C. Coastal Federation’s recent forum, Shaping Our Economic Future: Offshore Drilling in N.C., held July 31 in New Bern.   [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Democrats and Environmentalists Want Higher Royalties for Drilling on Federal Lands
Roll Call
Merrilll Matthews

Convinced that there is more money to be extracted from the oil and natural gas industry, liberals and environmentalists are urging the Obama administration to increase the royalties and fees energy production companies must pay when drilling on federal lands. Two House Democrats, Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona and Alan Lowenthal of California, have asked the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which regulates oil and gas drilling on federal lands, to increase the royalty from 12.5 percent to 18.75 percent, which is the rate for drilling offshore.   [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Myrtle Beach taking up offshore drilling resolution
Myrtle Beach Onlin
Bruce Smith

CHARLESTON, S.C. Another South Carolina community is considering a resolution opposing offshore seismic testing and drilling for oil and natural gas. Myrtle Beach City Council is set to take up the matter at its meeting on Tuesday. The advocacy group Oceana says that, if the council goes on record against such activities, it would become the 21st community in the state to oppose offshore drilling.   [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Texas man left permanently disabled from burns after fracking causes water well to explode: suit
RAW Story
Eric W. Dolan

Texas family suffered serious burns and injuries after a water well exploded because it was contaminated from a nearby fracking operation, according to a lawsuit filed in Dallas County Court. Cody Murray, the 38-year-old husband of the family of four, sued EOG Resources, Fairway Resources LLC and three Fairway subsidiaries last week, according to Courthouse News Service.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Ten Years Later, the “Halliburton Loophole” and America’s Dirty Fracking Boom
Common Dreams
Wenonah Hauter

This past Saturday, Aug. 8 marked a notable 10th anniversary. But it was certainly nothing to celebrate. Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The giant energy bill included massive giveaways for the fossil fuel, nuclear and ethanol industries, and provided only token incentives for renewables and improved energy efficiency. But the most infamous piece of the law was what is now commonly known as the “Halliburton Loophole,” an egregious regulatory exemption that ushered in the disastrous era of widespread oil and gas fracking that currently grips our nation. Fracking – the extreme oil and gas extraction method that involves blasting millions of gallons of water mixed with toxic chemicals underground at enormous pressures to break apart subterranean rock – has exploded in the last decade. More than 270,000 wells have been fracked in 25 states throughout the nation. More than 10 million Americans live within a mile of a fracking site. This means that 10 million Americans – and truly many more – have been placed directly in harm’s way. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have connected fracking to serious human health effects, including cancer, asthma and birth defects.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Editorial: King George would use zoning to combat fracking
Fredericksburg.com
Editorial--Jay Jochnowitz

Thanks to King George County officials, a recent lull in the local conversation about hydraulic fracturing has ended. It is the first locality within the broad area east and south of Fredericksburg known as the Taylorsville Basin to propose specific ground rules on the environmentally perilous process.   [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Earthworks Search All Sites One Year in FLIR: Exposing invisible fracking air pollution
Earthworks
Hillary Lewis

One year ago, thanks to the generous support of Earthworks members, we bought a FLIR Gasfinder camera to expose otherwise invisible air pollution from fracking and drilling operations.   [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Environmentalists fear launch of strip mining in Ohio state wildlife area
Dispatch
Randy Ludlow

Black bears, turkeys, seldom-seen birds, river otters and other creatures occupy the woods, grassy expanses and wetlands of the 18,011-acre Egypt Valley Wildlife Area in eastern Ohio. Soon, the animals will share their home with machinery and men who will chisel a deep hole spanning 741 acres to extract coal.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Whittier does not appeal oil case to state Supreme Court; permanent injunction remains
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Steve Scauzillo

WHITTIER >> The city and its oil-and-gas partners chose not to appeal to the California Supreme Court a case they lost in June, allowing an injunction against the Whittier Hills oil project to remain forever, court sources said Monday. On Friday, the Second Appellate Court in Los Angeles issued a remittitur, saying the case was complete and that time had expired for further appeals in the 2013 case, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority vs. City of Whittier, Matrix Oil Corp. and Clayton Williams Energy. “A petition for review was not filed in the Supreme Court,” said Diana Torti, secretary to the clerk/executive officer of the Court of Appeal, in an email. Also, Sean Riley, a private attorney representing the Los Angeles County Regional Open Space District, confirmed on Monday that neither Whittier nor Matrix filed an appeal to the California Supreme Court, so the court of appeal decision is final.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Once fastest-growing small city in U.S. hits real estate slump
The Globe and Mail
Ernest Scheyder

The population of a U.S. oil boomtown that became a symbol of the fracking revolution is dropping fast because of the collapse in crude oil prices, according to an unusual metric: the amount of sewage produced. Williston, North Dakota, has seen its population drop about 6 per cent since last summer, according to wastewater data relied upon heavily by city planning officials.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Fracking is poised for an explosive expansion
The Times
Robin Pagnamenta

Britain is set to fire up a big expansion of the fracking industry, handing out dozens of new drilling licences and fast-tracking planning decisions despite intense public opposition to the practice. The Department for Energy and Climate Change will reveal next week the winners in an auction for dozens of shale gas exploration blocks, including swathes of southern England and heavily populated areas of Lancashire and the northeast.   [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2015
Post-Gazette: Conventional Drillers Oppose Any DEP Drilling Regulation Update
Pa Environment Digest


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday representatives of conventional oil and gas drillers on DEP’s Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee wrote to DEP’s Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management in July saying they would not support the Chapter 78 update of drilling regulations citing only comments made by other conventional drillers.  [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2015
Climate fight shifts to courts
The Hill
Timothy Cama

States, energy companies and business groups are preparing to sue the Obama administration over its new climate rule, viewing it as their bet shot at stopping the regulations while President Obama is still in office. With Congress largely powerless to stop the rule, opponents of Obama’s push say the court system is their only hope at beating back the carbon limits until a new president takes over the Oval Office in 2017.  [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2015
Utica Shale production up, drilling down
IndeOnline
Shane Hoover

More natural gas is flowing from the Utica Shale, even as companies drill fewer wells and struggle to sell their gas in a glutted market. The shale boom has the country awash in cheap natural gas, and the Appalachian Basin comprising Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia is drowning in it.  [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2015
Key Greenhouse Gas Study May Have "Systematically Understated" Methane Leaks, New Research Shows
Truth-Out
Sharon Kelly

A widely cited study on the amount of methane leaking from oil and gas sites, including fracked wells, shows signs of a major flaw, a newly published peer-reviewed paper concludes. "The University of Texas reported on a campaign to measure methane emissions from United States natural gas production sites as part of an improved national inventory," researcher Touché Howard wrote in a paper published today in the journal Energy Science & Engineering. "Unfortunately, their study appears to have systematically underestimated emissions."  [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2015
Pressure to speed up fracking decisions angers campaigners
Yorkshire Post
James Reed

ANTI-FRACKING campaigners have criticised Energy Secretary Amber Rudd’s call on councils to speed up their decision-making over proposals to use the controversial mining method. The Government will tell planning authorities this week that there is a “national need” to explore the potential for extracting gas trapped in shale rock deep underground.  [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2015
Energy Pipeline: Ballot fight over fracking could be shaping up in Colorado
the Greeley Tribune


DENVER — Environmentalists and the energy industry have fought decisive battles over fracking in New York, Oklahoma and Texas, but the outcome is unclear in Colorado, where the issue could go to a ballot fight in the 2016 election.   [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2015
Bill backs control
Star Beacon
Justin Dennis

State legislators and a growing consortium of county and township officials seek stronger local control over injection wells, and a bill currently being drafted in the state House could be the key. Last year, almost 1.1 million barrels of frackwater were dumped in Ashtabula County injection wells, the majority of which came from outside Ohio. That’s up 42 percent from 2013, and in the top 10 in 2014 for frackwater dumping in the state.   [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2015
What's happening in the oil market right now is 'unprecedented'
Business Insider
Myles Udland

The price of oil has collapsed again. And now the oil market is looking at a future that is "unprecedented." In a note to clients this week, analysts at Goldman Sachs took a look at the market and the supply glut that has been blamed for the collapse in oil prices over the last year.   [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2015
Rural R.I. at Heart of Region's Natural-Gas Debate
Eco RI News
Tim Faulkner

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. — The unofficial epicenter of Rhode Island’s heavy consumption of natural gas is this rural town on the state’s northeastern border with Massachusetts and Connecticut. It hosts the largest power plant in the state, and a proposal announced Aug. 4 would add a second natural-gas power plant, with nearly twice the electricity capacity than the existing facility.   [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2015
On the road to progress: Oil and gas industry relations with public growing better
Bakken.com
Allison Dyer Bluemel

Amid a crowd of business owners, Windsor residents and town staff, proponents and opponents of oil and gas activity in the region jockeyed to influence Windsor’s future during a comprehensive plan meeting May 6. Town staff tried to ease the tension between oil and gas representatives and community organizations, but their best efforts were in vain. Some residents, many of them from the Windsor Community Rights Network, were dismissive of the industry representatives. Many others in the audience, who were there to shape Windsor’s future, were somewhat dismissive of the community representatives. The oil and gas representatives often look frustrated, even tired of the accusations.  [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2015
New Government plans to fast track fracking applications are a sign of "desperation" say environmental campaigners
The Argus
Veil Vowles

PLANS to fast-track fracking applications and give greater powers for ministers to intervene in local decisions are “signs of utter desperation”, according to environmental campaigners. Proposals announced by the Government yesterday designed to "kick-start the shale gas revolution" would fail in the face of overwhelming public opposition, Friends of Earth’s Andy Durling said.  [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2015
Residents bring anti-fracking protest to Roseville
Press Tribune
Jorden P. Hales

Local supporters of Californians Against Fracking and MoveOn.org brought their protest to the corner of Sunrise and Douglas boulevards Saturday afternoon as part of a statewide demonstration.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2015
Companies shut in production after sour gas error closes Alliance Pipeline
Calgary Herald
Dan Healing

An error that allowed sour gas to enter its main line has forced the closure of the Alliance Pipeline system, preventing transportation of an average of 1.6 billion cubic feet per day of liquids-rich western Canadian natural gas to the Chicago area. Alliance closed the system Friday morning and says it will likely be closed through the weekend or longer. The tainted gas, which was stopped in southeastern Saskatchewan, is to be burned in flares at its Alameda compressor station east of Estavan. Flaring equipment was to be secured and installed on site. Tony Straquadine, manager of commercial and government affairs for Alliance, said there is no public health risk from the gas containing hydrogen sulphide or H2S — a poisonous, colourless gas with the foul odour of rotten eggs — as long as it stays in the system. He said flaring the gas is the safest way to dispose of it.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2015
Canada to US natural gas pipeline shut down due to hydrogen sulphide
Beacon Energy News
Markham Hislop

Canada-US natural gas pipeline shut down after hydrogen sulphide gas entered the system. CALGARY – Alliance Pipeline says it has shut a major Canada-U.S. natural gas pipeline while it handles dangerous hydrogen sulphide gas that entered the system. The closure of the nearly 4,000-kilometre pipeline, jointly owned by an Enbridge affiliate (TSX:ENB) (TSX:ENF) and Calgary-based Veresen (TSX:VSN), is expected to last for an indeterminate amount of time. “Our chief concern now is to ensure the safety of the public, employees and the environment. We are working to remove the H2S from the pipeline in a controlled and safe manner,” said Daniel Sutherland, Vice President, Commercial Operations.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2015
Most Railroads Won’t Meet Deadline for Safety Controls, Report Says
New York Times
Ron Nixon

WASHINGTON — A majority of freight railroads and passenger trains will not be able to meet a year-end deadline to install technology that prevents trains from exceeding speed limits and helps avoid collisions, the Federal Railroad Administration said Friday in a report to Congress.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2015
Most Republican candidates steer clear of climate change and what to do about it
EE News
Evan Lehmann

Republican candidates called the government "stupid" during their first debate, had testy exchanges on civil liberties, and said pimps and prostitutes are collecting public benefits. But they had nothing to say about the nation's landmark climate plan introduced earlier this week.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2015
Royal Dutch Shell cuts ties with Alec over rightwing group's climate denial
The Guardian
Karl Mathiesen and Ed Pilington

Shell joins BP in corporate exodus from membership of the conservative, free-market lobbying group, which continues to deny the science of climate change. Royal Dutch Shell have announced they will end their membership of the far-right American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) because of its continuing denial of the science of climate change. In a statement released on Friday, a Shell spokesman said: “Alec advocates for specific economic growth initiatives, but its stance on climate change is clearly inconsistent with our own.”   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2015
Exclusive: Hillary Clinton State Department Emails, Mexico Energy Reform and the Revolving Door
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Emails released on July 31 by the U.S. State Department reveal more about the origins of energy reform efforts in Mexico. The State Department released them as part of the once-a-month rolling release schedule for emails generated by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now a Democratic presidential candidate. Originally stored on a private server, with Clinton and her closest advisors using the server and private accounts, the emails confirm Clinton's State Department helped to break state-owned company Pemex's (Petroleos Mexicanos) oil and gas industry monopoly in Mexico, opening up the country to international oil and gas companies. And two of the Coordinators helping to make it happen, both of whom worked for Clinton, now work in the private sector and stand to gain financially from the energy reforms they helped create. The appearance of the emails also offers a chance to tell the deeper story of the role the Clinton-led State Department and other powerful actors played in opening up Mexico for international business in the oil and gas sphere. That story begins with a trio.  [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2015
Propane fracking faces long odds
Press Connects
Tom Wilber

A heavily promoted plan to work around the state’s fracking ban in the Town of Barton is long on legal backing but short on just about everything else needed to make it happen. Tioga Energy Partners LLC — the entity that intends to jump-start shale gas development in the Southern Tier — lacks a driller, a financial security backer, a track record, and a completed application to state regulators, according to a review by the Press & Sun-Bulletin. Still, the proposal has provided plenty of fuel to rekindle New York’s fracking debate after a group of landowners leased 53 acres to Tioga Energy to develop a well using propane gel rather than water as a base for hydraulic fracturing.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Judge bars pipeline surveyors from WV couple’s property
The Charleston Gazette
Associated Press

UNION, W.Va. — A judge has ruled that the developer of a proposed natural gas pipeline can’t survey a West Virginia couple’s property without their permission. Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Robert Irons ruled Wednesday that Mountain Valley Pipeline failed to establish that the project would provide sufficient public use to justify entering private property without an owner’s permission. Irons issued an injunction sought by Bryan and Doris McCurdy, of Greenville, multiple news outlets reported. The McCurdys were represented by lawyers from Appalachian Mountain Advocates. Mountain Valley Pipeline spokeswoman Natalie Cox said the company will review the judge’s order. “While we respect the court’s bench ruling today, we will review the written order once it is received and consider our options going forward,” Cox said.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
The Looming Bankruptcy Of Saudi Arabia
Forbes


There’s two interesting little stories in this idea that Saudi Arabia is going to go bust in a couple of years as a result of the sagging oil price. Both are more general economic ideas than just the story of that oil price. The first is that mono-anything in economics is something we don’t really like. We certainly don’t like either monopolies or monopsonies, but we should also be very careful of an economy that relies on any one product or even supplier. The perils of resting an entire economy on the production of just the one commodity should be obvious here. But the same could and should be said about reliance upon any one supplier in an economy as well. We want diversity, always, of producers and suppliers. The second is that this is an object lesson in why most economists don’t really believe in the idea of predatory pricing. Sure, it’s possible for a dominant supplier to try to lower prices and drive others out of the marketplace. The idea is that once they’ve bankrupted those others then they can sweep back in, raise prices and thus enjoy monopoly profits having killed the competition. There’s an element of Saudi having tried this, trying to kill off shale. And it’s not working: and economists have never really seen anyone making this tactic work. Which is why they don’t really believe in it as anything other than a theoretical possibility.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Promises and broken promises
Moab Sun News


The Environmental Analysis for the 16 new Fidelity well pads will make many promises or statements that relate to well safety, well location, flaring of gas, fracking of wells, and the air quality of the surrounding area. The problem with many of these types of promises or statements is that the Moab Bureau of Land Management and the oil companies have a long history of making changes as the project progresses. Many of these changes significantly affect the public’s health and welfare.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Surrounded by frac sand mine, Blair couple put farm in conservation
LaCrosse Tribune


BLAIR, Wis. — The land around Mary Drangstveit’s farm is changing. Earth movers and graders have replaced farm tractors and combines. Hillside has been stripped bare, lowlands filled with yellow soil. A silica sand mine is moving in. “This was all farm fields,” she said, gesturing across the road. “It has become an unbelievable mess.”   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Coal Industry Wobbles as Market Forces Slug Away
The New York Times
James B. Stewart

April 2005, President George W. Bush hailed “clean coal” as a key to “greater energy independence,” pledging $2 billion in research funds that promised a new golden age for America‘s most abundant energy resource. But a decade later, the United States coal industry is reeling as never before in its history, the victim of new environmental regulations, intensifying attacks by activists, collapsing coal prices, and — above all — the rise of cheap alternative fuels, especially natural gas.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Is the Oil Industry Off a Cliff or Just in a Down Cycle?
Inside Climate News
Elizabeth Douglass

With the oil industry facing what could be its worst downturn in more than 45 years, the major companies are taking extraordinary, perhaps even desperate, measures to preserve their dividends. This is raising the question of whether the current price slump is just another in a long history of down business cycles, from which oil companies always emerge victoriously, or a sign of more deeply troubled times ahead.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Gas line explodes in Weld County, evacuations ordered
KDVR


WELD COUNTY, Colo. — Flames and smoke could be seen from miles around following a gas line explosion in Weld County Wednesday afternoon. The Weld County Sheriff’s Office said the explosion happened at Highway 392 and Weld County Road 68. That’s northeast of Greeley. They ordered people within a 2-mile radius of the scene to evacuate. Flames from the high-pressure gas line continued to burn at 5 p.m. The explosion happened at about 2:30 p.m.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
New group launches its effort to ban fracking in Monterey County.
Monterey County Weekly
Sara Rubin

There is no hydraulic fracturing, known as "fracking," happening in Monterey County. That's a fact that cuts both ways as a battle shapes up between a broad coalition of anti-fracking activists and an oil industry group. Activists say a county ban on fracking is essential to keep Monterey County pristine; industry players argue, why bother with a ban if it's not even happening?   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
An oil boomtown that became a symbol of the fracking revolution is dropping fast
Business Insider
Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) - The population of a U.S. oil boomtown that became a symbol of the fracking revolution is dropping fast because of the collapse in crude oil prices, according to an unusual metric: the amount of sewage produced.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Alberta Earthquakes Tied to Fracking, Not Just Wastewater Injection
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirji

While most fracking-related earthquakes in the U.S. are pegged to wastewater injection, Canadian scientists believe fracking itself is to blame in Alberta. Fox Creek, an oil town of nearly 3,000 residents in western Alberta, recently experienced its third earthquake of at least magnitude 4.0 this year. The difference between this one and many of the quakes felt in fracking country in the U.S., however, is that Canadian researchers are attributing the cause to fracking itself, not just the wastewater disposal process.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Andy Burnham manifesto promises 'moratorium' on fracking Labour leadership hopeful says we need more evidence on the environmental impact of shale gas exploration in new manifesto
Business Green
Madeleine Cuff

Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham has reiterated his calls for a moratorium on fracking in the UK with the release today of his leadership manifesto. Burnham said shale gas exploration should be stopped until there is "much clearer evidence on its environmental impact". He added that if it is ever approved, local communities should have the final say over whether it goes ahead in their local area.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Clean Power Plan Puts Emphasis on Clean Energy, Not on Natural Gas
NRDC


America is taking historic action against climate change. On Monday, President Obama announced the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from power plants. This breakthrough will help shield future generations from climate chaos and prevent thousands of premature deaths each year. It is also a major opportunity for us to shift away from fossil fuels--including natural gas--by expanding clean, renewable power. This is welcome news for people living on the frontlines of reckless fracking for natural gas.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Fracking opponents declare Colorado Oil and Gas Commission illegitimate
Colorado Independent
Nat Stein

Anne Harper and her neighbors feel powerless to stop the Encana Corporation from adding 12 gas wells within a half mile of their homes in Pleasant View Ridge – a rural community that straddles unincorporated Boulder and Weld counties. Harper doesn’t own mineral rights on the land, so she would have no legal recourse should there be any underground chemical leaching, blocked roads, spillage, explosions, noise pollution or any other infringement on her quality of life often associated with hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Anti-fracking group seeks review over Roseacre monitoring
BBC News


Campaigners in Lancashire are seeking a judicial review of a council decision to allow seismic monitoring on a planned fracking site. In June, Lancashire County Council rejected Cuadrilla's fracking application at Roseacre Wood but backed the firm's bid for a monitoring array.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Feds Urged to Ban Fracking in Eastern Colorado Conservationists warn that new oil and gas wells and underground coal and strip coal mines will irreversibly damage the environment and harm local communities.
Alter Net
Center for Biological Diversity

Grassroots activists, artists and conservation groups submitted formal comments on August 3 calling on the Bureau of Land Management to prohibit new leasing of publicly owned fossil fuels and new hydraulic fracturing in its upcoming resource management plan for more than 6 million acres in eastern Colorado. Under the plan, the agency projects a potential 2,400 percent increase in the number of active federal oil and gas wells — from 543 to 13,041 — between 2011 and 2030 within the planning area.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Fracking revolution makes U.S. top oil producer, precipitates Saudi crisis
World Tribune


Saudi Arabia’s risky gamble to break the U.S. shale oil (fracking) industry has not only failed, but sent the Saudis and OPEC into a downward spiral that will “be in existential crisis by the end of the decade,” a UK analyst said. “If the oil futures market is correct, Saudi Arabia will start running into trouble within two years,” Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote in the Daily Telegraph on Aug. 5.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
Winter heating bills should be lower than last year's, thanks to falling natural gas prices
Cleveland.com
John Funk

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Consumers suffering from this summer's high AC-accelerated electric bills can find some comfort in the natural gas outlook for this fall and winter. Gas prices are running much lower this year than last as the glut of natural gas continues to flow. Analysts say increases in drilling efficiency are producing more gas despite fewer new wells being drilled.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
King George seeks public input on proposed ordinance on fracking
Fredericksburg.com
Cathy Dyson

public hearing on the amended zoning ordinance—and the addition to the county’s Comprehensive Plan—will be held Sept. 1 in the board room of the Revercomb Administration Center. The new ordinance doesn’t prohibit hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting water and chemicals deep into the ground to free trapped gas and oil.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2015
How do different energy sources affect public health?
Medical News Today


When it comes to health, a lot of concern is given to how we use our bodies and what we put in them. But the types of environment they are exposed to can also have a huge bearing on how healthy they are. Earlier this week, President Obama unveiled the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan, aiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32% from the level they were at in 2005 over the next 15 years.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2015
Service Employees union leaders oppose LPG project
Finger Lakes Times
David L. Shaw

READING –– The executive committee of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers East, has come out in opposition to Crestwood Midstream’s proposed underground gas storage project on the west shore of Seneca Lake. Officials for the union, which represents thousands of health care workers who live and work in the Finger Lakes region, passed a resolution urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the DEC to deny permission for the liquefied petroleum gas storage.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2015
Economists question claim of job losses linked to Pa. severance tax
Newsworks
Mary Wilson

Economists are questioning a top Senate Republican's claims that a new tax proposed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf would devastate Pennsylvania's natural gas drilling industry. On WITF's "Smart Talk," Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati responded to a comment about polls showing the majority of Pennsylvanians support a severance tax on natural gas drillers.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2015
Chesapeake to curtail Utica operations until pipeline opens
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing Mark Gillispie

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. will continue to curtail production in Ohio’s Utica Shale. In July, the company voluntarily cut production by 100 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, company officials said on Wednesday in an earnings call with analysts and the media.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2015
Liquefied Natural Gas Makes Qatar an Energy Giant
NY Times
STANLEY REED

RAS LAFFAN, Qatar — The temperature hovered around 100 degrees on the jetty here, where a set of pipes were connected to a giant red-hulled ship. But the moisture in the air froze on the pipes and flaked off, creating snowlike flurries on the early summer evening. The incongruous sight is common on the Qatari ship, the Al Rekayyat, which carries a frigid fuel known as liquefied natural gas. Natural gas, when chilled to minus 260 degrees, turns into a liquid with a fraction of its former volume. The process has reshaped the natural gas business, allowing the fuel to be pumped onto ships and dispatched around the world. After investing tens of billions of dollars, Qatar is at the forefront. Part of the emirate’s fleet, the Al Rekayyat, run by Royal Dutch Shell, goes to Fujian in China and Yokkaichi in Japan, as well as Dubai and Milford Haven in Wales.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2015
5 Ways The Final Clean Power Plan Puts States At The Helm Of Their Energy Future
Climate Progress
Alison Cassady

On Monday, the EPA released the final Clean Power Plan, which will achieve a 32 percent reduction in carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants from 2005 levels by 2030. To achieve that national reduction, the EPA established state-specific carbon pollution reduction goals that take into account each state’s electricity mix. From the outset, the hallmark of the Clean Power Plan has been flexibility for states in determining how to meet those carbon reduction targets. In many ways, the final rule offers states even more options for complying with the plan. In the words of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the final Clean Power Plan is “flexible, customizable, and puts states in the driver’s seat.” Despite this new flexibility, some opponents of the Clean Power Plan continued to argue that the rule imposes rigid requirements on states. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, for example, accused President Obama of trying to “transform the EPA from an environmental regulator to a central planning authority for electricity generation.” The Wall Street Journal editorial page also referred to the Clean Power Plan as “central planning” and said the EPA is usurping the states’ role to “nationalize power generation and consumption.”  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2015
World’s Largest Solar Project and Floating Wind Turbine Signal Global Shift to Renewable Energy
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

Two new eye-popping structures have joined the rapidly growing renewable energy sector. First, Japan has just finished installation of the world’s largest floating wind turbine. Secondly, China has kicked off construction of the world’s largest solar power plant. Efforts from the respective countries make it clear that the global shift from nuclear and fossil fuels is well under way. Japan’s 7 megawatt Offshore Hydraulic Drive Turbine stands at 344 feet (about 40 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty) and features three 262 feet-long blades and a rotor diameter of 538 feet. Significantly, the structure is located about 12 miles off the coast of Fukushima, an area infamously wrecked in 2011 by a powerful earthquake and tsunami that caused a catastrophic meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The project is built and operated by the Fukushima Wind Offshore Consortium, which has already installed a 2 megawatt wind turbine in November 2013. The organization boasts that their structures can shoulder the brunt of extreme weather. (Inclement weather was certainly a problem during construction of the massive turbine, as engineers had to stall installation four times due to typhoons). “These turbines and anchors are designed to withstand 65-foot waves,” Katsunobu Shimizu, one of the chief engineers, told NBC News. “Also, here we can get 32-foot-tall tsunamis. That’s why the chains are deliberately slackened,” in reference to the loose chains that connect the structure to the seabed and fortify it against large waves. The turbine is also fastened to the seabed by four 20-ton anchors, UPI reported.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2015
S&P: Fracking and ‘Man-Made’ Earthquakes Are A Credit Risk
Barrons
Amey Stone

The use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking by energy companies has accompanied an increase in earthquakes in affected areas, Standard & Poor’s notes in a new report. That “increasing frequency and intensity of earthquakes in unlikely locations” is changing the credit picture. S&P analyst Andrew Foster does not come right out and say that fracking causes earthquakes, but he certainly makes a connection.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2015
Moon OKs last of 6 Consol drilling pads
Trib Live
Melissa Daniels

Less than a year since Consol Energy Inc. broke ground on the first natural gas well pad at Pittsburgh International Airport, work on the last of six drilling sites is poised to begin with a go-ahead from officials in Moon. Consol Energy on Wednesday sought approval from the Moon Board of Supervisors to build a well pad on land it leases from the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which owns 9,000 acres surrounding the airport.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2015
Obama spurns natural gas in climate rule
The Hill
Timothy Cama

President Obama’s love affair with natural gas is over. The president once touted gas as an essential clean bridge fuel to wean the United States off dirtier fossil fuels and onto renewable energy, and it was seen as a key to his landmark climate change rule for power plants. But when Obama unveiled the finalized rule this week, he barely spoke about natural gas. Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) boasted that the new regulation will accommodate a large transition from coal power directly to renewables like wind and solar, skipping over natural gas altogether. The White House said the proposed rule encourages a boom in natural gas use because of a set of carbon reduction deadlines for states in 2020, which would be too soon for many states to deploy renewables.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2015
U.S. companies wracked with debt could default, Moody's says
E & E Newswire


Moody's Investors Service expects more defaults on risky corporate debt from U.S. oil companies thanks to tougher lending standards from banks and expiring contracts that locked in higher prices for future production. "We expect that the energy sector will continue to be a primary driver of defaults over the next year," said John Puchalla, a senior vice president at Moody's, in a written statement. U.S. crude prices plummeted to $45 per barrel earlier this week from a $60 high. Banks are poised to reassess lending procedures in the fall, which could eat away at companies' borrowing bases.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2015
Texas officials call for easing of LNG exports rules, end to crude exports ban
Platts


Texas state and federal officials on Tuesday called for the introduction of measures that would pave the way to increased exports of liquefied natural gas and an end to the federal ban on exports of crude. They also blasted the Obama administration's energy and environmental policies. "Increasing LNG exports would give the US a major geopolitical advantage," David Porter, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, told a legislative and regulatory forum hosted by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers in Houston. "It would also provide tens of millions of dollars in capital investment and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US, all the while advancing the adoption of a clean-burning fuel," Porter said. Increasing exports of LNG also would help domestic natural gas producers, particularly those in Texas, by creating new markets for large volumes of gas that are currently seeking a home.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2015
POLITICS: EPA proposes carbon trading to deal with reluctant states
E & E Newswire
Emily Holden and Evan Lehmann

Republican governors who refuse to comply with President Obama's new climate plan might find themselves facing a more detested option: cap and trade. In addition to the Clean Power Plan released yesterday, EPA also publicized a proposal revealing how it will handle states that refuse to submit their own plans for emission reductions from the power sector. The agency plans to impose a federally enforced carbon trading program. It would fall predominantly on conservative states. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has encouraged Republican governors to defy EPA's rules, and a handful have vowed to decline to submit proposals.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2015
Unmapped, unregulated maze of rural pipelines poses hidden risks
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

The Wolf Administration says Pennsylvania will be getting tens of thousands of miles of new pipelines over the next couple of decades. Recently we reported on how poorly mapped some of these pipelines are. Many of those unmapped pipelines are also unregulated. These are rural gathering lines, or pipelines that take the gas from the wellhead to a larger transmission line, or gas processing facility. DEP Secretary John Quigley told StateImpact that he expects the industry to add 20-25,000 miles of gathering lines. Most of those lines will be in rural areas, the so-called “class one” lines, which no state, federal or local authorities oversee.   [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2015
Oklahoma Acts to Limit Earthquake Risk at Oil and Gas Wells
The New York Times
Michael Wines

Oklahoma regulators have told energy companies to sharply reduce underground wastewater disposal across an earthquake-prone stretch of the state, a move that ratchets up a so-far unsuccessful effort to reduce quakes related to oil and gas production. The wastewater is pumped out of the ground when oil or gas is extracted, and then put back underground at what is known as a disposal or injection well. The instruction, issued late Monday, seeks a 38 percent cut in the amount of this wastewater being pumped underground by the operators of 23 injection wells, largely northeast of Oklahoma City. The roughly 40-mile stretch that includes the wells has experienced a drastic increase in earthquakes in the last two years.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2015
Buried in Obama’s Climate Plan: A Promise of Business as Usual to the Fossil Fuel Industry
Slate
Eric Holthaus

On Monday, President Obama presented the final version of his centerpiece climate plan to much fanfare. But despite the bravado with which the plan was announced, it’s not even designed to produce a significant shift in the uptake of renewable energy. It turns out that the president’s plan just perpetuates business as usual, with natural gas as the biggest winner. In 2030, natural gas will be the dominant source of electricity generation in America, a trend that’s already well underway. Despite the plan’s headline focus on eliminating coal, if you dig into the lengthy text, the targets call for an even slower transition from coal to natural gas over the next 15 years than we’ve had over the last 10. James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who has raised increasingly dire climate warnings, called Obama's plan "practically worthless." Buried on Page 636, the climate plan states that targets are: …fully consistent with the recent changes and current trends in electricity generation, and as a result, would by no means entail fundamental redirection of the energy sector.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2015
New York Leaders Seek Review of Spectra Gas Pipeline Expansion
Bloomberg
Jonathan Crawford

New York policy makers called for a new review on Tuesday of Spectra Energy Corp.’s Algonquin pipeline expansion, saying federal regulators failed to properly assess the risks before the project was approved. New York state assemblymen David Buchwald and Sandy Galef, both Democrats, said in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that Spectra’s proposal to increase capacity on the gas line wasn’t “properly vetted” by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They requested an independent risk analysis.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2015
Landmark Paper Underestimated Methane Leaks from Gas Production, Study Says
Inside Climate News
Lisa Song

A dispute between two environmental scientists is creating a controversy over how much methane is leaking from natural gas production and is contributing to global warming. In a new report, Touché Howard, a methane gas expert and air quality consultant, says the flaws he found in a commonly used methane detector caused an acclaimed 2013 study to underestimate the amount of methane emitted by natural gas production. Howard's paper was published today in the peer-reviewed journal Energy Science & Engineering.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2015
Methane in Atmosphere May Greatly Exceed Estimates, Report Says
The New York Times
JOHN SCHWARTZ

A device commonly used to measure the methane that leaks from industrial sources may greatly underestimate those emissions, said an inventor of the technology that the device relies on. The claim, published Tuesday in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, suggests that the amount of escaped methane, a potent greenhouse gas, could be far greater than accepted estimates from scientists, industry and regulators. The new paper focuses on a much-heralded report sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and published by University of Texas researchers in 2013; that report is part of a major effort to accurately measure the methane problem. But if the supposed flaws are borne out, the finding could also have implications for all segments of the natural gas supply chain, with ripple effects on predictions of the rate of climate change, and for efforts and policies meant to combat it.  [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
LNG Exports DOA ?
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

So says the smartest guy in the room. A little background: a good petroleum reserve engineer – who estimate how much oil or gas is in the ground – is essential to a profitable oil or gas venture. A great petroleum reserve engineer is worth their weight in gold. I have known a few good reserve engineers, and known of some famous ones – including Henry Kravitz’s father, who was Joe Kennedy’s oil engineer. Art Berman is a good one, maybe a great one given his iconolastic stance on shale plays. Here’s his latest:  [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Noble cuts back on drilling in the Marcellus Shale
Pittsburgh Business Times
Paul J. Gough

Noble Energy Inc. is confirming it will be cutting its natural gas rigs in the Marcellus Shale joint venture it shares with Consol Energy Inc. Noble (NYSE: NBL), like many natural gas companies, is finding rough sledding thanks to low commodity prices.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
President Obama: "it's Time for America and the World to Act on Climate Change"
Eco Watch
Sarah Lazare

President Barack Obama declared Sunday that his administration is poised to unroll greater-than-expected cuts to greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants, in what he called "the biggest, most important steps we've ever taken to combat climate change."  [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Shale gas is loser in Obama climate plan
Financial Times
Barney Jopson

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/19ec1de4-39fa-11e5-8613-07d16aad2152.html#ixzz3hn2jzyMl US shale gas is the unexpected loser from President Barack Obama’s climate plan, as the White House abandons its previous enthusiasm for natural gas as a cleaner alternative to coal. Last year Mr Obama called natural gas from fracking a “bridge fuel” to smooth the transition from polluting coal to emission-free renewable energy. But the shale industry was left reeling by a sudden reversal on Monday.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Obama's clean power plan will hit shale gas share of electricity
The Guardian
Karl Mathiesen

he final version of the clean power plan has thrown the Obama administration into conflict with shale gas, America’s 21st-century energy darling. Coal, the most polluting source of electricity, has already entered a long twilight. Around a fifth of all US coal-fired plants are expected to shut between 2012 and 2020 and some analysts believe the hamstrung sector to be in ‘structural decline’. Should the clean power plan survive an anticipated blitzkrieg of legal and state government challenges, it will hasten this demise.  [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Obama Reveals His Most Ambitious Plan To Tackle Climate Change
ThinkProgress
RYAN KORONOWSKI

The Environmental Protection Agency released its long-awaited final rule to regulate carbon pollution from existing power plants on Monday afternoon. This is the most significant action any American president has ever taken to rein in climate change. Addressing a crowd of scientists in the East Room of the White House, President Obama ticked through a list of threats that confronted the world since he took office: economic calamity, terrorism, nuclear weapons. “But I am convinced that no challenge poses a greater threat to our future and future generations than a changing climate,” he said. “I believe there is such a thing as being too late. That shouldn’t make us hopeless. It’s not as if there’s nothing we can do about it. We can take action.”  [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Public lands should be off limits for fracking
The Hill
Rep Mark Pocan & Hilary Baum Blog

Imagine not being able to sit on your front porch for fear of inhaling toxic chemicals produced by dozens of natural gas wells and facilities surrounding your property. Sadly, this is the case for many Texas families living along the Eagle Ford Shale. With little regulation and little known about the amount of chemicals pouring from the more than 7,000 wells in the area, it is no wonder serious questions are being raised about the health and safety risks associated with hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Push to Ban Fracking in MI Gains Steam
Public News Service


CHARLEVOIX, Mich. - Michiganders could have the chance to decide whether or not hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, should be legal in the state, if activists are able to collect enough signatures in the coming months. In 2012 and 2013, groups opposed to fracking attempted to gather enough signatures to put a measure to ban the oil and gas drilling practice on a statewide ballot. LuAnne Kozma, the campaign director for the Committee to Ban Fracking, says she believes the third time will be the proverbial charm.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Feds Urged to Ban New Fossil Fuel Leasing, Fracking in Eastern Colorado BLM Plan Threatens Public Health, Water, Vast Greenhouse Gas Pollution Across 6.6 Million Acres
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

DENVER— Grassroots activists, artists and conservation groups today submitted formal comments calling on the Bureau of Land Management to prohibit new leasing of publicly owned fossil fuels and new hydraulic fracturing in its upcoming resource management plan for more than 6 million acres in eastern Colorado. Under the plan, the agency projects a potential 2,400 percent increase in the number of active federal oil and gas wells — from 543 to 13,041 — between 2011 and 2030 within the planning area.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Company could win big with fracking tech
The Chronicle Herald
Peter Moreira Entrevestor

Fredericton’s BioPolynet, whose nanotechnology helps to bind or stabilize solids, has won a technology competition with a prize worth as much as US$400,000 from Statoil and GE Oil & Gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Jeremy Cresswell: Latest fracking research disturbs
Aberdeen Journals
Jeremy Cresswell

The onshore shale gas and oil revolution has transformed the fortunes of the domestic US petroleum extraction industry. The current UK government hopes a similar revolution is possible here, but progress has been slow and hampered by the increasing ground swell of protest that now confronts pioneering companies like Cuadrilla.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Fracking a source of many woes
Northern Pen
Opinion

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers' Paul Barnes' June 27 claim that water pollution by fracking chemicals does not occur is one that's difficult to prove or disprove; the case reported by Ken Kavanagh in his letter on July 18 may be exceptional as the regulators suggest. Personally, I would not expect to see fracking chemical contamination detected quickly and easily but contamination of water by methane is well documented by Pennsylvania's experience. And it's made people sick, probably because natural gas by bacterial action can generate poisonous sour gas (hydrogen sulfide).   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
More Journalism Awards Go to Two InsideClimate News Projects The fracking investigation "Big Oil + Bad Air" and the feature story "Meltdown" are honored by the Society of Environmental Journalists.
Inside Climate News


Two InsideClimate News projects were honored by the Society of Environmental Journalists, with the collaborative series "Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale: Big Oil + Bad Air" winning top honors for outstanding in-depth reporting for a large market.  [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Shale Oil in Hudspeth County? Results show possible ‘oil field discovery’
El Paso Inc
Robert Gray

Torchlight Energy, the company that hopes to bring the shale oil boom to Hudspeth County just east of El Paso, has received the results from its first test well. The results are promising, executives say, and the company (Nasdaq: TRCH) is now shopping for a partner to do more testing and ultimately develop a new oil play.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Why The Shale Industry is Slamming Obama's Climate Plan
Chem.info
Andy Szal

Natural gas advocates denounced the Obama administration's newly proposed power plant emissions guidelines for "perpetuating the false choice between renewables and natural gas."   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Anti-fracking group in Colorado challenges state commission
The Denver Post
Bruce Finley

GREELEY — Colorado residents opposed to oil and gas fracking packed a state meeting of elected officials Monday night and told state regulators they are failing. Coloradans Against Fracking, a coalition of 40 groups, presented a two-page declaration to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rejecting its authority, saying this is necessary because of decisions that hurt people and the environment. That briefly interrupted the COGCC's latest scheduled listening session meant to give residents a voice in how state regulators implement two recommendations put forth by Gov. John Hickenlooper's 21-member oil and gas task force to quell land-use conflicts between industry and communities.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Permits Required to Build TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline in Jeopardy As Hearings Reveal Missteps
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

TransCanada’s decision to purchase all of the pipe needed to complete the Keystone XL Pipeline before receiving a presidential permit could prove a costly mistake. Not only is President Obama expected to reject the permit TransCanada needs in order to cross the U.S.-Canadian border, the company must recertify an expired permit before it can install the pipeline though South Dakota as well. At a hearing that began on July 29 in Pierre, South Dakota, the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is tasked to decide if it should recertify the company’s permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline through the state. Those opposing the Keystone XL, referred to as interveners, are making the case that TransCanada is not up to the job. During the first week of the hearing, a mix of members of the grassroots group Dakota Rural Action, Native American tribes, individual landowners, and a team of all of the interveners’ lawyers began presenting testimony challenging TransCanada’s narrative that the Keystone XL “will be the safest pipeline ever built.” The interveners claim that is a public relations ploy far from the truth about TransCanada’s performance record.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
‘Don’t Frack With Denton’
EcoWatch
Mark Hand

When voters in the city of Denton, Texas, approved a ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing last November, documentary filmmaker Garrett Graham believed he had found the perfect ending to his film about the organized actions taken by a suburban community to stop natural gas drilling.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2015
Judge: Opponents' claims must be answered in Wawayanda power plant fight
Times Herald Record
Heather Yakin

GOSHEN – A state Supreme Court judge has ruled that the developers of a proposed power plant and the Wawayanda Planning Board must answer questions raised by residents in a lawsuit filed by project opponents. CPV Valley, a $900 million natural gas-fired power generating plant proposed on a 122-acre plot bounded by state routes 6 and 17M and Interstate 84, was initially proposed in 2008 and has gone through a lengthy planning approval process, as well as state permitting. The Town of Wawayanda Planning Board issued conditional approval of the site plan in May 2013, and on April 22, 2015 approved an amended site plan.   [Full Story]

Aug 2, 2015
Man sues accountant after losing property with fracking revenue
New York Post
Kathianne Boniello

A Broadway producer who says cash gives him the creeps claims he lost a Pennsylvania property, and its fracking rights worth a fortune, because his longtime accountant failed to pay taxes on the land. Chapman Roberts, a Broadway “composer, producer, and orchestrator of musical and theater shows” says he has a “phobia about handling money,” and relied on his CPA, Pierre Faustin, to manage his business affairs, file his taxes and pay bills, he contends. Roberts, 72, the producer of the Carnegie Hall show “Black Stars on the Great White Way,” says he asked Faustin in 2013 to pay a $2,015 tax bill on 32 acres he owned in Damascus, Pa.  [Full Story]

Aug 2, 2015
Climate change: Obama orders steeper cuts from power plants
AP
Josh Lederman

WASHINGTON (AP) — Aiming to jolt the rest of the world to action, President Barack Obama moved ahead Sunday with even tougher greenhouse gas cuts on American power plants, setting up a certain confrontation in the courts with energy producers and Republican-led states.  [Full Story]

Aug 2, 2015
Obama Policy Could Force Robust Climate Discussion From 2016 Candidates
New York Times
Coral Davenport

WASHINGTON — The issue of climate change played almost no role in the 2012 presidential campaign. President Obama barely mentioned the topic, nor did the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. It was not raised in a single presidential debate.   [Full Story]

Aug 2, 2015
Hillary Clinton promises to build on Obama climate plan as industry and environmental groups weigh in
Washington Post
Anne Gearan

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged Sunday that if elected she will build on a new White House clean-energy program and defend it against those she called "Republican doubters and defeatists."   [Full Story]

Aug 2, 2015
Once Burned, Twice Shy? Utica Shale Touted to Investors As Shale Drillers Continue Posting Losses
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

For the past several weeks, the drilling industry — hammered by bad financial results — has begun promoting its next big thing: the Utica shale, generating the sort of headlines you might have seen five years ago, when the shale drilling rush was gaining speed. “Utica Shale Holds 20 Times More Gas Than Previous Estimates”, read one headline. “Utica Bigger Than Marcellus”, proclaimed another. The reason for the excitement was a study, published by West Virginia University, that concluded the Utica contains more shale gas than many estimates for the Marcellus shale, a staggering 782 trillion cubic feet.   [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2015
California Father Sues State Over New Fracking Rules That Discriminate Against Latino Children
DeSmogBlog
MIKE GAWORECKI

A California family is suing the state for failing to protect their children from fracking. At issue are the state’s new fracking regulations, which went into effect on July 1. Rodrigo Romo, the named plaintiff in the suit, says the rules discriminate against Latino children, like his daughters, because they are far more likely to go to school or live near a fracked well. “Everyday my daughters go to school, they fear for their health and safety because of how close the fracking wells are to their schools,” Romo said in a statement. Romo has two daughters, both of whom, he says, have been exposed to dangerous levels of toxic pollution and psychological stress from extreme well stimulation while attending public schools in Shafter and Wasco, California.  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2015
San Diegans Protest Fracking in California
NBC San Diego
Brie Stimson

Protesters gathered at the Ocean Beach Boardwalk Saturday to protest Jerry Brown’s support for hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional oil and gas extraction methods. The protest was led by the California based Courage Campaign, Californians Against Fracking and Rootskeeper   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2015
« No Joy in Mudville*: Shale Gas Stalls, LNG Export Dead On Arrival
ArtBerman.com
Art Berman

Something unusual happened while we were focused on the global oil-price collapse–the increase in U.S. shale gas production stalled (Figure 1).  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2015
Pipelines’ paths remain a risky mystery beneath our feet
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

This story began with a simple task: Let’s make a pipeline map! Everyone wants to know where all the new Marcellus Shale gas pipelines are or will be. The new proposals have been piling up. Many have poetic names like Atlantic Sunrise, Mariner East, and Bluestone. There got to to be so many they started to get numbers: Mariner East I, Mariner East II. Here at StateImpact Pennsylvania, try as we might, we couldn’t keep track of them all in our heads. We also wanted to map all the smaller lines, and the lines that may have been there for decades, which everyone tends to forget about. The Wolf Administration estimates that 30,000 more miles of new pipelines will be built in Pennsylvania within the next two decades. So, where will they be?  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2015
ENERGY POLICY: Crude export ban emerges as bargaining chip for wind, solar
E & E Newswire
Hannah Northey

Senators skeptical of lifting the 40-year-old ban on crude exports signaled a willingness yesterday to negotiate if they're offered language to extend tax incentives for wind and solar generators. New Mexico Democrat Martin Heinrich and Maine Independent Angus King bucked their Democratic colleagues on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in outright opposing the "Offshore Production and Energizing National Security Act of 2015," or the "OPENS Act," which would effectively lift the export ban. The bill -- which cleared the committee 12-10 -- would also increase coastal states' share of federal revenue raised by drilling off their coasts. Heinrich said Republicans offered persuasive arguments for the language and King said he wasn't hostile to the bill, but their warmth for the measure stopped there. They called the language unbalanced and said Republicans should step up their offerings if they're hoping to secure a bipartisan vote on the Senate floor. "Before we make such a monumental shift in U.S. policy, I hope we can agree to extend our existing policy incentives for carbon-free energy sources, vis-à-vis the solar [investment tax credit] and the wind [production tax credit]," Heinrich said before the vote.   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2015
Cables Show Hillary Clinton's State Department Deeply Involved in Trans-Pacific Partnership
International Business Times
David Sirota

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday attempted to distance herself from the controversial 12-nation trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. During her tenure as U.S. secretary of state, Clinton publicly promoted the pact 45 separate times -- but with her Democratic presidential rivals making opposition to the deal a centerpiece of their campaigns, Clinton now asserts she was never involved in the initiative. "I did not work on TPP," she said after a meeting with leaders of labor unions who oppose the pact. "I advocated for a multinational trade agreement that would 'be the gold standard.' But that was the responsibility of the United States Trade Representative."  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2015
Thousands Of California Injection Wells Might Be Polluting L.A. Drinking Water, But State Won’t Release Results Of Investigation
DeSmogBlog
MIKE GAWORECKI

California oil and gas regulators still embroiled in controversy over their “corrupt, inept, and woefully mismanaged” underground injection control program — which permitted thousands of oilfield wastewater disposal wells to operate in protected groundwater aquifers — are refusing to release the results of a report on thousands more injection wells that could be polluting L.A.’s drinking water supply. In an attachment to a letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency dated July 15, officials with California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) explain that they conducted a partial assessment of the oil industry wastewater injection program by examining the more than 2,000 injection wells in Cypress District, which encompasses most of the Los Angeles area’s oil fields.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2015
1199 Urges Cuomo To Scuttle Seneca Lake Gas Storage Facility
YNN


A key labor union on Wednesday approved a resolution urging the Cuomo administration to not allow the storage of liquid propane gas near Seneca Lake in Schuyler County. The union, 1199 SEIU, brings a new level of political juice to the controversial storage facility proposal. In a statement, the labor’s group linked the issue to Gov. Andrew Cuomo moving last year to ban high-volume hydrofracking in the state.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
Brown Administration Sued for Ignoring Risk Report on Fracking
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

Oil Agency OK'd Fracking Without Considering Scientists' Warnings on Water, Health, Safety SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity sued California’s scandal-plagued oil agency today for finalizing an inadequate environmental review of fracking eight days before the release of a state-mandated study showing that fracking and oil industry pollution threatens air, water and public health. The report recommended halting fracking and oil drilling near homes, schools and hospitals. Millions of Californians live close enough to fracking or other oil and gas operations to be exposed to dangerous air pollution. Scientists also found that most fracking in California is done at shallow depths, increasing water-pollution risks. “Oil regulators defied state lawmakers by failing to consider the damage that fracking does to the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said Center attorney Kassie Siegel. “In New York, Gov. Cuomo banned fracking after reviewing the science. In California, Gov. Brown simply refused to consider the dangers outlined by scientists and is putting millions of Californians at risk.”  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
Majority Say Global Warming Contributing to Drought
Public Policy Institute of California
Press Release

Most Suport State Efforts To Limit Emissions, But Partisan Divide Persists SAN FRANCISCO, July 29, 2015—A solid majority of Californians believe that global warming is already having an impact, and nearly two-thirds of residents say it has contributed to the state’s current drought, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). As Governor Brown and state policymakers seek to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 62 percent of Californians say the effects of global warming have begun, while 24 percent say they will happen in the future. Just 10 percent say the effects will never happen. Democrats (73%) and independents (65%) are far more likely than Republicans (37%) to say global warming’s effects have begun. Notably, 31 percent of Republicans say they will never happen. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (69%) are the most likely to say the effects have already begun, followed by blacks (63%), Asians (60%), and whites (58%).   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
Pipeline official grapples with criticism of project
The Recorder
RICHIE DAVIS

As hundreds of area residents sweltered Wednesday night in the Greenfield Middle School auditorium, many of them railing against Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct project, company spokesman Allen Fore tried to keep his cool in a makeshift press conference in a classroom sealed off from the public. Fore, vice president of public affairs for TGP’s parent company Kinder Morgan, responded to criticism that was being leveled against the company in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission public hearing down the hall for a lack transparency, especially in its 79-volume resource report filed last Friday that left some key sections blank except for the label “to be determined.”  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
Climbing the solar mountain Visit with SolarCity’s co-founder in California reveals a vision for taking bold steps into the future
The Buffalo News
David Robinson

SAN MATEO, Calif. – Lyndon Rive doesn’t look at solar energy as an alternative power source. ¶ He views it as the energy source of the future. ¶ If he’s right, solar energy someday could generate two-thirds of our electricity, shoving conventional fuel sources such as coal and natural gas, which now account for two-thirds of all current power generation, to a backup role powering generators that run only when supplies are tight. ¶ “It really can become the alternative source of energy and kick in whenever it’s needed,” Rive, co-founder and CEO of SolarCity, the nation’s leading installer of residential solar energy systems, said in an interview at the company’s headquarters here. ¶ “How big can it get? I’d say 60 to 70 percent of our energy needs,” said Rive, the native of South Africa who co-founded SolarCity with his brother, Peter, on Independence Day nine years ago. ¶ The choice of July 4 was no coincidence, Rive said. ¶ “We could have started any day. We chose this specific day to become independent of our fossil fuel dilemma,” Rive said. “My goal is to make fossil fuel the alternative energy source. I’m convinced we can achieve it.” ¶ With concerns growing about climate change – and the role greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels play in it – Rive said he sees solar energy as a solution. ¶ “It makes perfect sense. You want fossil fuel to be the alternative energy source.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
SolarCity Has More Than 250,000 Customers, Reports Record Bookings, Installs
Green Tech Media
Eric Wesoff

SolarCity has started to describe itself as two types of operations under one roof -- a development company and a power company. The development company sells and installs solar and energy storage. The power company provides financing and harvests 30 years' worth of energy production and asset yield. (Similarly, SolarCity Chairman and Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said that there are two Teslas, the car company and the energy company.) According to SolarCity, "DevCo represents strong long-term growth, and PowerCo represents high-quality, long-term yield." In Q2 2015, SolarCity (the development company) booked 395 megawatts and installed 189 megawatts, beating guidance. (In Q1 2015, SolarCity booked 237 megawatts and installed 153 megawatts.) SolarCity (the power company) has produced over 1.25 terawatt-hours of energy over the last 12 months and recently hit the 6.5-gigawatt-hour-day mark.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
EPA Clean Power Plan Could Drop Hammer On Natural Gas
Clean Technica
Tina Casey

When the US Environmental Protection Agency announced the Clean Power Plan last summer, the agency hinted that natural gas would play a big role in reducing the nation’s dependency on coal for power generation. That scenario has already been playing out, but as EPA prepares for final rule making, it looks like the natural gas industry is in for a rude awakening.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
Lancashire fracking: appeal against refusal may take 16 months Long wait will further delay government energy plans following councillors’ rejection of Cuadrilla scheme to frack at two sites in Fylde
The Guardian
Rajeev Syal

Ministers have been told they may have to wait at least 16 months before learning whether fracking will be allowed in Lancashire, in a severe blow to the government’s energy plans. Civil servants are concerned that the appeal process against a decision to reject applications at two sites in the county will not conclude until November 2016 at the earliest.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
Central Valley board allows wastewater disposal to continue despite contamination
Los Angeles Times
Julie Cart

Despite a finding that unlined wastewater pits near Kern County's Edison oil field have contaminated groundwater, officials on Thursday delayed shutting down some operations. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board ignored its own staff recommendation and voted to let Valley Water Management Co. continue disposing of excess wastewater by spraying it on hillsides for another 21/2 years  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
Austin Exploration encounters natural gas in the Pierre formation, Colorado
OilVoice


Austin Exploration (ASX: AKK) advises that the drilling of the Company's deviated exploration well has encountered natural gas in the Pierre formation at its flagship Pathfinder project in Colorado. Electronic resistivity logs have been run and show a spike in the bottom 100ft of the well-bore, which is also an indication of the presence of hydrocarbons. The gas appears to be wet and the Company will now run gas chromatograph tests to comprehensively analyze this gas, as the Pierre formation is not typically recognized as a gas-bearing formation.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
85% of natural gas growth comes from the Northeast
Eagle Ford Texas
Danielle Wente

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations found in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, and into Kentucky are responsible for 85 percent of the nation’s natural gas growth since 2012. The EIA credits improved production techniques as one of the main reasons of the growth.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
Polarised responses to Kimberley fracking
AU News Yahoo


Responses to the official opening of Buru Energy's Ungani oilfield in Western Australia's Kimberley region have been polarised, with anti-fracking groups speaking out against the project. But WA's Chamber of Minerals and Energy has congratulated Buru and its equal joint venture partner Mitsubishi Corporation, saying positive opportunities will flow to the local community over time.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
Brown Administration Sued for Ignoring Risk Report on Fracking Oil Agency OK'd Fracking Without Considering Scientists' Warnings on Water, Health, Safety
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity sued California’s scandal-plagued oil agency today for finalizing an inadequate environmental review of fracking eight days before the release of a state-mandated study showing that fracking and oil industry pollution threatens air, water and public health. The report recommended halting fracking and oil drilling near homes, schools and hospitals. Millions of Californians live close enough to fracking or other oil and gas operations to be exposed to dangerous air pollution. Scientists also found that most fracking in California is done at shallow depths, increasing water-pollution risks.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
Are Americans passing up a chance at the best jobs?
The Economist


“IT DOESN’T hurt to get more education”, argues Donald Trump, a Republican presidential candidate. But too few Americans are acting on Mr Trump’s insight. Wage inequality has spiralled since the 1980s. In theory, as the returns to education grow, people should invest in more of it. The growing ranks of the educated, in turn, should cause the premium that skilled workers can command to shrink. While this might have happened in the past, economists argue that more recently the supply of skilled workers seems to have fallen behind demand. Americans are blithely ignoring market signals. But while this seems plausible in aggregate, there is surprisingly little supporting microeconomic evidence.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
Test Drilling Intensifies Calls for Ban on Fracking in KY - See more at:
Public News Service


HAZARD, Ky. - Eastern Kentucky has become ground zero for testing of potential high-volume, hydraulic fracturing in the state. Tonight in Hazard, the Energy and Environment Cabinet concludes a series of public meetings across the state on oil and gas development. Kim Walters says she will be there to call for a ban on fracking. Two test wells have been drilled in the Rogersville Shale Formation, one in Lawrence County, the other in Johnson County, where she lives. - See more at:   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
TransCanada Keystone XL Hits New Turbulence As South Dakota Permit Hearing Implodes Over Pipeline Corrosion, Market Demand
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

Holes too big to fix were poked in TransCanada’s narrative that its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will be the safest pipeline ever built. And questions were raised about how the pipeline company’s financial dealings are set up during Public Utilities Commission hearings in Pierre, South Dakota this week where state regulators are tasked to decide if the company is capable of following the rules the state set when the original Keystone pipeline permit was granted in 2010. A team of lawyers representing Native American tribes and the grassroots group Dakota Rural Action took the upper hand during the proceedings as they tried to have a TransCanada executive’s testimony impeached. The proceedings took on a circus-like atmosphere when TransCanada was unable to prevent lines of questioning it didn’t like. The commissioners seemed unsure of its own procedures. At one point, Commissioner Gary Hanson expressed frustration that he was having trouble drawing a distinction between TransCanada’s evidence and its advertising statements.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2015
To retake the Pennsylvania legislature, Democrats first must regain the state Supreme Court
Daily Kos
Stephen Wolf

When we think of important elections in America, typically the list starts with the president, then Congress, governors, etc., while judicial elections are a lower priority for voters. Foreign election observers might even be shocked we elect judges at all, a system that Europeans and our own federal government have largely eschewed. So it may come as a surprise to learn just how important this November's three state Supreme Court races are in Pennsylvania. These elections are critical not just because Democrats might retake a majority on the high court for the first time in years: They will determine how easy it will be for either party to win the legislature during the next decade. Whichever party controls the court appoints a tie-breaking member to the redistricting commission and most recently, that has been a Republican who voted for partisan gerrymanders. In 2012, that system led to Republicans winning the legislature despite losing the popular vote because they had drawn the maps. The new maps were used for the first time during the 2014 red wave, and Republicans won their largest majorities in generations even though Democrats decisively unseated unpopular GOP Gov. Tom Corbett.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Truck staging area approved in North Strabane
Observer-Reporter
Natalie Reid Miller

North Strabane Township supervisors approved a second amendment Tuesday to the conditional use given to Range Resources for a well pad site. The amendment allows the company to construct a 180-by-240-foot truck-staging area on the Bier property for fracking operations occurring within the township’s four well pad sites: Bier, Jeffries, Martin and Randolph.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
New methanol, fertilizer plants to boost natural gas use
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing Mark Gillispie

Reversing a decline that lasted more than a decade, industrial natural gas consumption has grown steadily since 2009 as relatively low natural gas prices have supported use of natural gas as a feedstock for the production of bulk chemicals. Industrial facilities, including methanol plants and ammonia- or urea-based fertilizer plants, consumed an average of 21.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas in 2014, a 24% increase from 2009. Several new industrial facilities began service this year, with additional projects scheduled to come online through 2018.   [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Studies: More hospitalizations & lower birth weight among people living near fracking
Lancaster Online
Heather Stauffer

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University found higher rates of hospitalization for heart conditions, neurological illness, and other conditions among people who live near fracking. And researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that pregnant women living near clusters of fracked wells were more likely to have babies with lower birth weights.   [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Lawsuit over fracking near schools in Mars School District could have statewide legal impact “It should not be around schools, or residents, or farmland; I mean, it’s ridiculous.”
Pittsburgh City Paper
Ashley Murray

Now some parents in the Mars Area School District say Middlesex Township misused its power when, in August 2014, it expanded zoning to allow oil and gas drilling and associated infrastructure — like gas compressor stations — throughout 90 percent of the township. That means drilling is now allowed on the farm adjacent to the Mars School District campus. Again invoking the Environmental Rights Amendment, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and another Philadelphia-based advocacy organization, the Clean Air Council, along with four residents, challenged the zoning board’s decision in October 2014. The township upheld its own ordinance, and the organizations and residents appealed. This past July, a Butler County Common Pleas Court judge issued a stay on all activities on the well site until a September hearing. Drilling has already started on three of the five permitted wells on the site.   [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Drillers could sidestep New York fracking ban with propane gel
Shale Energy Insider
James Perkins

Drillers in New York could sidestep the state’s current fracking ban by using gelled propane instead of water, according to environmental groups and the natural gas industry. The state finalised its fracking ban earlier this year, but supporters and opponents of the bill have agreed that the use of gelled propane could exploit a potential loophole in the state’s legislation.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
U.S. oil firms turn to fracking mixology as crude slides again
Reuters
Ernest Scheyder

U.S. oil companies, under renewed pressure from falling crude prices, are increasingly tweaking and mixing fracking technologies as they scramble to squeeze more out of wells and eke out profits after rounds of cost-cutting. Shale oil firms need the experiments to payoff now more so than before given that oil prices have resumed their slide to trade around $49 per barrel this week from $60 a few months ago.   [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Gas Awakening From U.S. Shale Slumber as LNG Shipments Near
Bloomberg
Naureen MalikChristine Buurma

After years of languishing in a shale-induced coma, the U.S. natural gas market is waking up. Seasonal price swings will intensify as the country begins shipping liquefied natural gas cargoes to Asia and Europe later this year, said Bank of America Corp., RBC Capital Markets LLC and Wood Mackenzie Ltd. While that’s good news for traders yearning for volatility, it could be bad news for consumers. Exports will help prices rebound from the slump caused by the U.S. pumping record amounts from shale formations. Growing domestic winter demand is already causing spikes and trading volumes in futures markets have rebounded to the highest level in three years. Average retail gas prices also will rise with LNG exports, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Mass. Lawmakers Want FERC To Postpone Process In Pipeline Review
WAMC
JIM LEVULIS

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held a scoping meeting on Kinder Morgan’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline in Pittsfield Tuesday. State lawmakers are calling on the agency to give those who may be impacted by the project more time to review it. Hundreds of people filled the Taconic High School auditorium with some 80 people signing up to present oral comments to FERC representatives. The agency’s John Peconom presided over the meeting.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Is Hillary Clinton's Ambitious Solar Energy Goal for the U.S. Workable?
The Guardian
Karl Mathiesen

Clinton’s first climate change policy pitch – for renewables to provide 33% of the nation’s electricity by 2027 – is bold, but the U.S. must look beyond solar for a clean energy revolution. On Sunday, Hillary Clinton took a first swing at the many-headed carbon hydra. By the end of her first term, she said, the U.S. would have seven times more solar energy capacity than it does today. And by 2027, renewable energy would supply a third of the nation’s electricity. Clinton’s announcement, which the campaign said would be the first of many on climate change from the presidential hopeful, extends the carbon-saving ambition in a significant sector of the economy. Burning fossil fuels for electricity accounts for 31 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. One estimate found Clinton’s 33 percent renewable target could slice another 4 percent off the U.S.’s existing pledge to cut emissions by 26-28 percent by 2025. Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Americas chief, Ethan Zindler, said the ambition was high, but within reach. “It appears to be on the upper end but it’s entirely doable given the rapidly improving economics of renewables generally and solar particularly.” The momentum is already swingin  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
U.S. National Parks Are Plagued by Serious Air Pollution: StudyA new analysis has found that the majority of parks experience days risky for vulnerable visitors; four parks regularly unsafe for most people.
National Parks


A new analysis, released today by National Parks Conservation Association, shows that every one of the 48 national parks with the greatest Clean Air Act protections are plagued by significant air pollution problems and climate change impacts. In fact, air quality in parks can be as bad – or worse – than in some major cities due to emissions from outdated coal plants and other sources of pollution.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Hillary Clinton: I Have 'Doubts' About Arctic Drilling
Newsmax
Courtney Coren

In a break with the Obama administration, former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton is expressing "doubts" about the decision to approve offshore drilling near Alaska. "I have doubts about whether we should continue drilling in the Arctic. And I don’t think it is a necessary part of our overall clean energy climate change agenda," Clinton told local New Hampshire television station NH1. Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Oil-Drilling-Arctic-Drilling-Environment/2015/07/29/id/659468/#ixzz3hJ5eYKHn Urgent: Rate Obama on His Job Performance. Vote Here Now!   [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
13 Climbers Suspended From Bridge Block Shell Oil Vessel From Heading to Arctic
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Thirteen Greenpeace activists have suspended themselves from St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon this morning to block a Shell Oil vessel—the MSV Fennica—from leaving port for Alaskan waters. The climbers have enough supplies to last several days, and are prepared to stay in Shell’s way as long as possible, according to Greenpeace.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Earth now halfway to UN global warming limit
New Scientist


IT’S the outcome the world wants to avoid, but we are already halfway there. All but one of the main trackers of global surface temperature are now passing more than 1 °C of warming relative to the second half of the 19th century, according to an exclusive analysis done for New Scientist. We could also be seeing the end of the much-discussed slowdown in surface warming since 1998, meaning this is just the start of a period of rapid warming. “There’s a good chance the hiatus is over,” says Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. “The slowdown in warming since 1998 was partly due to oceans taking up more heat. That could be over” Last year was the hottest since records began, but only just. With an El Niño now under way – meaning warm surface waters in the Pacific are releasing heat into the atmosphere – and predicted to intensify, it looks as if the global average surface temperature could jump by around 0.1 °C in just one year. “2015 is shaping up to smash the old record,” says Trenberth. The UN negotiations on climate change aim to limit warming to 2 °C above pre-industrial temperatures. There is, however, no agreement on how to define pre-industrial temperature, says Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading, UK. Because some global temperature records only begin in 1880, the period 1880 to 1899 is the easiest “pre-industrial” baseline for measuring warming. It is somewhat misleading, though, because the 1880s were particularly cold after the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano. The period 1850 to 1899 is a better baseline, says Hawkins. What’s more, there are several long-term records of global annual average surface temperatures. All differ slightly because they use slightly different data sets and have their own ways of adjusting for relocations of weather stations and changes in instrumentation over time. Kevin Cowtan of the University of York, UK, created and still maintains one such record, called “Cowtan & Way version 2.0?. It is based on another record, maintained by the UK Met Office, called HadCRUT4. Cowtan’s version differs because it compensates for missing data from areas with few weather stations, like the Arctic.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Humans accidentally created hidden carbon sink in the desert
New Scientist
Michael Slezak

Since the dawn of farming, humans have been accidentally creating a huge carbon sink that by now may store more carbon than all of the world’s living plants. But this sink is in the last place that you’d expect to find huge amounts of carbon – under the desert. That is the surprising conclusion of work done in one desert in China. If the findings are confirmed in other deserts around the world, it could present a way of taking carbon out of the atmosphere. But it also means we need to be careful not to disturb the huge carbon sinks stored under desert sands. “Basically, people thought the whole arid region is totally negligible to the global carbon budget,” says Yan Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Urumqi, China. “We are arguing that that’s not the case.” Li and colleagues took samples of water from the Tarim Basin, a salty aquifer under a desert in north-west China. They measured the carbon content of the water there and dated it. They then repeated the process with water that flows into Tarim Basin from glaciers, and with water that is used to irrigate local farms, which comes from a nearby river. Using that information, they could draw a timeline showing how much carbon got into the basin and at what time.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
ENERGY POLICY: LNG debate looms for day 2 of Senate markup
E & E Newswire
Geof Koss

After largely skirting controversy during yesterday's markup of its comprehensive energy bill, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today may revisit a past point of contention: exporting natural gas. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said yesterday that he and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) will offer an amendment that aims to limit the quantity of liquefied natural gas exports. "We're particularly concerned about the effect on domestic prices," King told E&E Daily yesterday, referring to a provision in the underlying bill that would require the Energy Department to make final decisions on LNG exports within 45 days of the completion of required environmental reviews.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
NY regulators propose groundbreaking new utility models under landmark REV order
UtilityDive
Davide Savenije

New utility business models and the nation's first distributed energy markets are fast emerging in New York. On Tuesday, regulators took one big step towards making them a reality as the New York Department of Public Service (DPS) issued a white paper that starts to crystallize what those new utility models may look like. The paper, issued under track two of the state's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) docket, proposes comprehensive and groundbreaking reforms to current utility ratemaking practices and revenue models that will reverberate across the U.S. electric power industry. The paper was put forth to seek input from all relevant stakeholders.   [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Fiala: I didn’t flip-flop on fracking
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

State Senate candidate Barbara Fiala on Tuesday took issue with the suggestion that she changed her position on hydraulic fracturing, saying she had always pledged support for the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s decision-making process. 635494887453965038-bngdc5bk-6dig44mav031dmyrb8y0-original Fiala, a Democrat planning to run for the key Senate district in the Southern Tier vacated by Sen. Tom Libous’ conviction, was once one of the state’s most-prominent Democratic supporters of fracking, twice seeking to lease county land to gas drillers when she was Broome County executive in 2010. But in December of last year, Fiala — who served in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration as DMV commissioner — said the DEC made a “compelling argument” when it laid out its reasoning for a statewide ban on the technique.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2015
Yoga practitioners charged in Crestwood gate blockade
Star Gazette
Bob Jamieson

Ten people, including many yoga practitioners, were charged with trespassing Wednesday morning for blockading the north entrance to Crestwood Midstream on Route 14 in Reading, Schuyler County. The activist group, We Are Seneca Lake, announced the latest charges, which now involve nearly 319 charges and 270 individuals since the recurring protests, often themed, began nine months ago. The group said the blockaders held banners that said, “Our lives hang in the balance” and “Bending over backward to save Seneca Lake.”  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
Fiala: I didn't flip-flop on fracking
Democrat & Chronicle
Jon Campbell

State Senate candidate Barbara Fiala on Tuesday took issue with the suggestion that she changed her position on hydraulic fracturing, saying she had always pledged support for the state Department of Environmental Conservation's decision-making process. Fiala, a Democrat planning to run for the key Senate district in the Southern Tier vacated by Sen. Tom Libous' conviction, was once one of the state's most-prominent Democratic supporters of fracking, twice seeking to lease county land to gas drillers when she was Broome County executive in 2010.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
Tests find radiation in Clyde Mine water in Washington County
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

Recent testing by the West Virginia Water Research Institute has found evidence of radiation contamination in water discharges from the abandoned underground Clyde Mine in Washington County near the Monongahela River that are likely related to past dumping of shale gas drilling wastewater. The new water test findings were announced last week as the state Department of Environmental Protection continues to investigate radiation levels in Ten Mile Creek, a Monongahela River tributary in southern Washington County, and several abandoned mine discharges in the area. DEP tests done in April 2014 but released only last month in response to a citizen’s Right-to-Know request found radium at levels up to 60 times higher than allowed by federal drinking water standards.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
Gillibrand: FERC's pipeline oversight is lax
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

With the region dealing with two major proposals for natural gas transmission systems, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said Tuesday that there should be "higher accountability and more disclosure" in the federal regulatory review of pipeline projects. "I have not been happy with FERC's approval process, and I think it causes grave concerns for communities," Gillibrand said on a conference call Tuesday afternoon from Washington to reporters in New York.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
2 injection wells shut down after Oklahoma quakes
The Washington Post
Sean Murphy?

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oil and gas operators shut down two wastewater injection wells in northern Oklahoma on Tuesday and reduced operations at a third after several earthquakes centered in the town of Crescent rattled the state Stephens Production and Devon Energy each voluntarily closed one well, and Stephens reduced operations at another well by 50 percent, Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Matt Skinner said.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
Enviromental Defenders call for NSW fracking ban
Gympie Times
Christ Calcinino

THE Environmental Defenders Office has called for NSW landholders to be given the right refuse coal seam gas companies access to their properties. A federal inquiry into fracking laws began in Brisbane on Monday with the EDO backing the push for greater landholder powers.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
For the Mideast, It’s Still 1979
The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman

That’s why another factor determining if 2015 is a break with 1979 or a multiplier of it will be the energy revolution in America — efficiency, renewables and fracking — and whether it keeps putting downward pressure on oil prices. Give me five years of $25-a-barrel oil and you’ll see reformers strengthened in Iran and Saudi Arabia; they’ll both have to tap their people instead of oil.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
Investor filed Lawsuit against Takeover of Crestwood Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:CMLP) by Crestwood Equity Partners
OCTA Financial


The Shareholders Foundation announced that an investor who currently holds units of Crestwood Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:CMLP), filed a lawsuit in effort to halt the proposed takeover of Crestwood Midstream Partners LP by Crestwood Equity Partners LP for a value of approximately $18.76 per unit. Investors who purchased units of Crestwood Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:CMLP) and currently hold any of those NYSE:CMLP units have certain options and should contact the Shareholders Foundation at mail@shareholdersfoundation.com or call +1(858) 779 – 1554.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
Fracking Goes on Trial
EcoWatch
Andy Rowell

Just as the British government slashes subsidies for solar power and gears up to open up large swathes of the countryside to fracking, a coalition of human rights lawyers and academics have announced an international tribunal to put fracking “on trial.”  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
40 Earthquakes Hit Frack-Happy Oklahoma in Last 7 Days
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

Yesterday Oklahoma recorded five earthquakes centered near Crescent, Oklahoma, some of which were felt in at least five states—Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas. Three of the quakes measured above 4.0-magnitude and the biggest of these was a 4.5-magnitude earthquake, the strongest earthquake in the region since a magnitude-4.9 near Conway Springs, Kansas, on Nov. 12, 2014. The strongest magnitude earthquake on record occurred on Nov. 5, 2011 and registered as 5.6-magnitude.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
Propane fracking proposal could sidestep state ban
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—A proposal to use gelled propane instead of water in fracking has led to a rare bit of agreement between some environmental groups in New York and the natural gas industry: They agree it could be exempt from the state's current fracking ban. The state completed a fracking ban in late June, but proponents as well as opponents agree that the gelled propane proposal could expose loopholes in the state's prohibition. The state's final ban is on high-volume hydraulic fracturing, which uses large volumes of water mixed with sand and chemicals to create fractures in rock that release gas. The gelled propane proposal, for test wells on a hay and corn farm in Tioga County in the Southern Tier, uses liquefied petroleum gas and sand instead of water to split the rock. The propane is recaptured as a gas when it rises back to the surface.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
One Simple Chart Explains The Climate Plans Of Hillary Clinton And Bernie Sanders
Think Progress
Emily Atkins

When Hillary Clinton released a fact sheet detailing her plan to fight climate change on Sunday night, her presidential campaign characterized it as “bold.” Indeed, the goals outlined in the plan are significant — a 700 percent increase in solar installations by the end of her first term, and enough renewable energy to power every home in the country within 10 years. But not everyone thought Clinton’s plan was as bold as her campaign made it out to be. That seemingly included the campaign of her Democratic rival, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, which sent an email to reporters titled “What Real Climate Leadership Looks Like” about an hour before Clinton’s plan was scheduled to be released.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
Series Of Earthquakes Strikes Oklahoma Near Wastewater Disposal Wells
Think Progress
Ari Phillips

Two relatively large earthquakes struck northwest of Oklahoma City midday on Monday within a span of about 20 minutes. The 4.0 magnitude and 4.5 magnitude quakes were accompanied by another 4.1 quake about seven hours later around 8:20 p.m. Two more smaller earthquakes also rattled the region throughout the day. The largest ever earthquake in Oklahoma was a 5.6-magnitude jolt in 2011.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
Denton May Reduce Distance Between Gas Wells & Homes
CBS DFW


DENTON (CBS 11 NEWS) – The vote by Denton City Council Tuesday night could allow gas wells to be placed closer than they already are to private homes. The city council is expected to reduce the city’s setback distance for gas wells, at least in part; out of concern of further litigation.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
LA County to inventory all oil fields in wake of safety issues raised over fracking
Press-Telegram
Elizabeth Marcellino

LOS ANGELES >> The Board of Supervisors called today for a detailed inventory of all oil fields operating within Los Angeles County, along with recommendations to ensure consistent regulation. Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Hilda Solis proposed the review in the wake of a recent report by the California Council on Science and Technology about how hydraulic fracturing or fracking and acid well stimulation — processes used to extract oil — could impact air and water quality, seismic activity, wildlife, vegetation and human health.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
Rejecting injection wells: Officials seek increased local control of fracking industry
Star Beacon
Justin Dennis

But the debate over hydraulic fracturing operations and the injection wells that follow it isn't just about explosions — it affects a community's health, property records and values, county officials said Monday. Dozens of local government officials and residents of townships affected by the surge of hydraulic fracturing and injection well dumping operations in Ohio and Pennsylvania met Monday night Jefferson Area High School for a public forum on those issues.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2015
Could deep-Earth microbes help us frack for oil?
Lexington Herald-Leader
Sean Cockerham

MORGANTOWN, W.VA. — On a muddy hill above a World War II ordnance plant that made material for atomic bombs, a fracking crew will drill thousands of feet underground in a search for life itself. The drilling is a hunt for microscopic organisms, first introduced hundreds of millions of years ago, which have evolved to live in the shale 7,000 feet below the ground, at pressures 600 times that of the surface, and temperatures around 160 degrees F. Little is known about what lives at those extreme depths and whether the microbes are even down there. But, if found and given a food source that allows them to thrive, they have properties that offer the potential to help drillers pump more natural gas and prolong the U.S. energy boom.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
As Wolf Gears Up For Environmental Regulatory Push, a Reminder to Focus on Methane
Keystone Politics
Jon Geating

With the release of Tom Wolf’s regulatory agenda for the year last Friday, it’s a great time to refocus on the need to take a hard line on methane leakage.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
Pennsylvania sees increase in drilling rigs
Pittsburgh Business Times
Paul J. Gough

The number of drilling rigs in the Marcellus Shale stayed steady last week, although it’s down significantly from a year ago. There were 59 rotary rigs working the multistate Marcellus Shale play as of July 24, according to Baker Hughes’ report. Nothing had been added or taken away in a week, although it's down 19 rigs compared to a year ago.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
Northern Panhandle Natural Gas Production Tripled in 2 Years
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Associated Press

New statistics show that production in the Northern Panhandle natural gas fields has nearly tripled in two years Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register reports that West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey statistics show drillers pumped nearly three times as much natural gas in the region during 2014 compared to 2012.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
Hillary Clinton: If I’m Elected President Every American Home Will Be Powered by Renewables by 2027
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton rolled out an ambitious climate and energy proposal Sunday evening. She said, if elected president on day one she’d set two national goals—every American home will be powered by renewable energy by 2027 and more than half a billion solar panels will be installed across the country before the end of her first term.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
13 Top U.S. Companies Pledge $140 Billion to Slash Carbon Emissions
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

In an effort to gain momentum before the Paris climate talks this December, the Obama Administration has rallied some of the largest companies in the nation to commit billions of dollars to slash their environmental footprints to help combat climate change.  [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
Chesapeake Energy: ‘We Would Not Be Surprised to See an Entire Company Sale’
Barrons
Ben Levisohn

SunTrust Robinson Humprey’s Neal Dingmann and team upgraded Chesapeake Energy (CHK) to Buy from Neutral today, in part, because they see the potential for a sale of the struggling oil & gas company. They explain:  [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
Anti-fracking group warns of ‘danger to coastline’
Hartlepool Mail


Anti-fracking campaigners staged a protest walk and a public meeting in Hartlepool against fuel extraction works earmarked for the town and surrounding areas. Dave Spence, member of the Frack Free Cleveland group, has researched the controversial method of extracting gas and oil, also known as Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), and wants people in the area to be aware of what it entails.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
USGS MAPS WHERE FRACKING SUCKS UP VAST AMOUNTS OF WATER. GO, TEXAS.
Dallas Observer
Amy Silverstein

When Texas isn't suing for the right to dump crap in the water, we're using the water we have to drill for natural gas, a process that may contribute to contaminating the water, in an endless water-crap cycle.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
How to protect water in B.C. from Nestlé, fracking and misuse
Rabble.ca
Enna Luze

In B.C., public and media attention has been focused on water pricing and Nestlé’s water takings. In February, the B.C. government released water rates which ranged from $0.02 to $2.25. The rates, which take effect January 1, 2016 when the new Water Sustainability Act comes into force, are the lowest across any of the provinces in Canada.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
Survey shows 57 percent of Pennsylvanians support fracking
Akron Beaon Journal
Bob Downing Mark Gillispie

PITTSBURGH, June 16, 2015 — Nearly a decade into the Marcellus Shale energy boom, Pennsylvanians expressed both overwhelming support and strong environmental misgivings, about fracking — the unconventional drilling technique that has made the state’s expanding energy economy possible.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
EPA wants to tighten fracking wastewater options
Houston Chronicle
Jennifer A. Diouhy

WASHINGTON _ The Obama administration is moving to block one option for oil and gas companies trying to get rid of the millions of gallons of briny, metal-laden wastewater that can flow out of each hydraulically fractured well.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
Gov. Brown Assembles Fracking Review Panel
JD Supra Business Advisor
Thomas Henry, Eric Skanchy Blog

According to several news organizations, Governor Brown has announced plans to form a new panel to review the recent well stimulation study conducted by the California Council on Science and Technology (“CCST”).  [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
Ohio ripe for fracking
Eagle Ford Texas
Justin Dennis

EFFERSON – As the shale industry continues to industrialize once quiet, rural swaths of the northeast and midwest United States, demand for hydraulic fracturing wastewater dump sites — or injection wells — grows. Many local government officials said they feel the industry is exploding faster than it can be contained by federal regulation — and local control was “stripped” long ago.  [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2015
The holes in Hillary Clinton's climate plan She has avoided taking stands on Keystone XL, fracking, oil exports and Arctic offshore drilling.
Politico
ELANA SCHOR

Hillary Clinton’s newly unveiled climate vision sounds ambitious on its face: 500 million new solar panels from coast to coast, eco-minded energy tax breaks and enough green power to keep the lights on in every U.S. home. But just as glaring are the details she left out. Does Clinton support or oppose the Keystone XL oil pipeline? Or Arctic offshore drilling? Or tougher restrictions on fracking? Or the oil industry’s push to lift the 1970s ban on exporting U.S. crude oil? Clinton avoided all those questions in the solar-heavy climate plan she outlined Sunday night and in her speech promoting it Monday in Iowa — and she declined yet again Monday to say where she stands on Keystone.   [Full Story]

Jul 26, 2015
MIT spinout cracks fracking water waste
Desalination Biz


A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spinout, Gradiant Corporation, is working toward making hydraulic fracturing (fracking) a water-neutral process, by making water reuse more economical. Fracking produces millions of litres of wastewater and much of it is discarded into deep injection wells, and clean water has to be purchased.   [Full Story]

Jul 26, 2015
Stokes board meeting for first time since report that rock samples may contain shale
Winston-Salem Journal
Bertrand M. Gutierrez

A large crowd is expected to make use of the public comment period at the Stokes County commissioners meeting today to express their concerns about hydraulic fracturing and its possible effects on drinking water, conservationists said last week.  [Full Story]

Jul 26, 2015
Pipeline Opposition Works to Expand its Reach
NBC 29


NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - One Nelson County group is beefing up its battle with the feds to block Dominion's plan for a natural gas pipeline. The group Friends of Nelson says it's making progress and expanding the reach of pipeline opposition into communities across the south side of and southwest Virginia.  [Full Story]

Jul 26, 2015
People Living Near Fracking Sites Suffer Severe Health Problems: Study Suffering from heart conditions, brain illness, and more
Global Research
Julie Fidler

Researchers from the University of Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania wrote in a study published in PLOS ONE that those who live close to the natural oil and gas drilling sites are more likely to suffer from heart conditions, neurological illnesses, and cancer. [1]   [Full Story]

Jul 26, 2015
Voluntary Methane Regulations Not Enough to Protect Wildlife
National Wildlife Federation


Methane pollution from the oil and gas industry is a potent agent of climate change. It is a precursor to the ozone-containing smog marring some of our greatest western landscapes, thus making strong regulation of this harmful pollutant important for wildlife.  [Full Story]

Jul 26, 2015
Plummeting natural gas prices slash revenue of Marcellus shale producers
Tribune-Review
David Conti

The head of Pennsylvania's largest shale gas producer concluded his quarterly earnings call Friday with a dark view of the situation confronting drillers in the Marcellus. “I have been in this business over 30 years. I've seen a lot of cycles, and this is one of those draconian, down markets,” Dan O. Dinges, CEO of Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., said after spending an hour answering analysts' questions, and talking about low natural gas prices and the promise of more pipelines. Cabot swung to a $27 million loss for the quarter from a $118 million profit the year before despite a modest increase in production.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2015
Drillers Fracking at Much Shallower Depths Than Widely Believed
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirji

The nation's first survey of fracking well depths shows shallow fracking is more widespread than previously thought, occurring at 16 percent of publicly recorded sites in 27 states, posing a potential threat to underground sources of drinking water. Stanford University scientist Robert Jackson and his colleagues reviewed about 44,000 wells and found that nearly 7,000 of the sites were fracked less than a mile below the surface, according to research published this week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2015
Sizing Up EPA’s New Voluntary Methane Reduction Program
EDF
Mark Brownstein

The U.S. oil and gas industry released more than 7.3 million metric tons of methane into the atmosphere in 2013, a three percent increase over 2012 – that’s an amount of gas worth nearly $2 billion, and enough to supply about 6 million American homes. The sector is the largest source of industrial methane pollution in the country. And not even the industry disputes that methane is a potent greenhouse gas. So what are we going to do about it?  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2015
It's no fracking fun: life on the Bakken Shale
National Observer
Charles Mandel

An oil field boom in North Dakota has turned a quiet agricultural region into an industrial zone, where farmers and ranchers report over 100 oil spills per month. In a July 23 webinar, members of North Dakota’s environmental community spoke about the impacts of the second-largest fracking oil field in the United States, the Bakken Shale. Earthworks, a non-profit American environmental agency, presented the webinar entitled "Inside the Bakken: National Impacts and How You Can Help." One of the largest oil developments in the U.S. in the last 40 years, the Bakken Shale extends over eastern Montana, western North Dakota and into parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. While the oil was initially discovered in 1951, hydraulic fracking made it economical to put the field into production.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2015
County OKs deal for gas compressor
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

A 14-year tax break for the existing Wright natural gas compressor station operated by the Iroquois Gas. Co. has been approved by Schoharie County officials as part of a deal that ends 20 years of litigation over the firm's efforts to lower its property tax assessments. Under the payment in lieu of taxes arrangement (PILOT), the company would pay a combined $1.8 million a year for the first two years to Schoharie County and four towns — Wright, Schoharie, Esperance and Carlisle — and Schoharie Central School Distrct. The payment would escalate by 2 percent for each of the following 12 years, at which point the agreement would expire.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2015
California communities mount protests against fracking, oil drilling
Al Jazeera America
Haya El Nasser

LOS ANGELES – More than 100 children, parents and community organizers in fluorescent yellowish-green shirts and orange shoe covers marched through a South Los Angeles neighborhood earlier this week chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, this drilling site has got to go!” The canaries-in-a-coal-mine color-scheme of the protesters was intentional. There was even a giant cage in front of an oil drilling site on West Jefferson Boulevard that neighborhood children, most of them African American or Latino, crammed into, holding up signs asking to “Set these canaries free.” Protests over conventional oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing – known as fracking – near schools and homes in poor minority neighborhoods are now reaching new heights across California as more studies show that drilling for oil disproportionately takes place in poor communities of color. Last week, a Kern County family filed suit against California Gov. Jerry Brown and state regulators charging that the state’s new fracking regulations do not protect the health of Latino students in public schools because they still permit wells nearby.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2015
Fracking and construction boom create huge demand for sand
The Globe and Mail
OMAR EL AKKAD

Even the name sounds strangely illicit: Northern White. It’s not a narcotic. It’s sand – a very particular kind of sand mined in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the Midwest. It’s prized in large part because it can stand the pressure of being rammed deep into the earth – an invaluable part of fracking, one of the world’s most lucrative industries.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2015
These Popular Fruit and Veggie Brands May be Grown With Oil Wastewater
Mother Jones
Josh Harkinson

Was your California orange irrigated with wastewater from oil wells? Quite possibly yes. Under a 20-year-old water recycling program, wastewater that is generated as a byproduct from oil extraction is treated and sold to some 90 Southern California landowners—including one with certified organic operations—which use it to grow crops such as citrus, almonds, apples, peaches, grapes, and blueberries sold in major grocery chains around the country.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2015
Cabot CEO: “Better days ahead” after second-quarter loss of $27.5 million
Fuel Fix
Rhiannon Meyers

Stubbornly low natural gas prices caused Cabot Oil & Gas Corp to lose $27.5 million in the second quarter, but a new pipeline in the works should help the company more easily move its gas to market and fetch better prices, CEO, Chairman and President Dan Dinges said Friday. “I understand the frustration in this type of market, but I can assure you, there are better days ahead,” Dinges said in a call with investors Friday morning following the Houston-based company’s release of its quarterly earnings.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2015
Fossil fuel companies impose more in climate costs than they make in profits
Vox
David Roberts

It is fairly well understood by now that releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere imposes an economic cost, in the form of climate change impacts. In most cases, however, those responsible for carbon emissions are not required to pay that cost. Instead, it's borne mainly by the world's poor and low-lying countries, and of course by future generations, as many of the worst impacts of climate change will emerge years after the emissions that drive them. People sometimes refer to the unpaid cost of carbon pollution as a subsidy, or an "implicit subsidy," to polluting businesses. The IMF recently issued a report saying that total worldwide subsidies to energy, mainly fossil fuel energy, amounted to $5.2 trillion a year. The reason that number is so high is that the IMF includes implicit subsidies — the social costs imposed by businesses (including climate damages) that they don't have to pay for.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Oil Warning: The Crash Could Be the Worst in More Than 45 Years
Bloomberg
Tom Randall

Morgan Stanley has been pretty pessimistic about oil prices in 2015, drawing comparisons with the some of the worst oil slumps of the past three decades. The current downturn could even rival the iconic price crash of 1986, analysts had warned—but definitely no worse. This week, a revision: It could be much worse. Until recently, confidence in a strong recovery for oil prices—and oil companies—had been pretty high, wrote such analysts as Martijn Rats and Haythem Rashed in a report to investors yesterday. That confidence was based on four premises, they said, and only three have proven true.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Study Gets a Handle on Gas Leaks: 80 Billion Cubic Feet
Inside Climate News
Katherine Bagley

About 80 billion cubic feet of the potent greenhouse gas methane escapes into the air each year from the complex U.S. system for carrying natural gas to power stations and other consumers, according to new research published this week. That would be enough to satisfy South Dakota's natural gas needs for an entire year, with a value of $240 million. Researchers led by scientists at Colorado State University in Fort Collins found that 0.35 percent of the methane in natural gas transmission and storage sites leaks into the atmosphere, about what the Environmental Protection Agency estimates.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Debt is destroying the fracking revolution
Business Insider
WOLF RICHTER

The shares of Chesapeake Energy, second largest natural-gas driller in the US, crashed nearly 10% yesterday, to $9.29, the lowest price since August 2003, down nearly 70% since oil began to plunge a year ago. The company’s $1.1 billion of 5.75% notes fell to an all-time low of 84.88 cents on the dollar. And its 4.875% notes dropped to 81.25 cents on the dollar, from 86 last week, according to S&P Capital IQ LCD.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
California withholds findings on oilfield contamination
The Sacramento Bee
ELLEN KNICKMEYER

SAN FRANCISCO California oil-and-gas regulators have refused for nearly a year to release findings of what they termed a "highest-priority" investigation of possible oilfield contamination into the water aquifers that serve millions of people in and around Los Angeles. Concerns about the safety of oilfield injection wells in the region are among many dogging state oil and gas regulators. California is under orders from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to do more to protect drinking-water aquifers from contamination by the oil and gas industry. California is the country's No. 3 oil-producing state.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Scranton chamber joins group advocating natural gas exports
The Times-Tribune
Brendan Gibbons

SCRANTON — The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce has joined an advocacy group promoting exports of natural gas. Our Energy Moment, a coalition of industry and chambers of commerce across the country, welcomed Northeast Pennsylvania’s regional business network on Thursday. The group became active in 2013, and works to build support for exporting liquefied natural gas abroad. Several export terminals, including one in Cove Point, Maryland, that would connect to local Marcellus Shale gas, are in various stages of planning and development. “We support the growth of the natural gas industry, including LNG exports, as a ‘win-win’ for Pennsylvania’s economy,” chamber President Robert Durkin said in a prepared statement Thursday.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Recession Drove Drop In US Emissions Between 2007 And 2013, Not Natural Gas
International Business Times
Avaneesh Pandey

In 2012, carbon dioxide emissions linked to energy consumption in the United States dropped to their lowest levels since 1994, according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report released in 2013. This drop was largely attributed to a decline in coal use and a shift to natural gas, which emits about half as much carbon as coal. However, a new study, published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, has found that the drop in emissions was caused largely due to a reduction in consumption and economic activity triggered by the Great Recession.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Wilmington latest Carolinas city to oppose offshore drilling
WRAL


WILMINGTON, N.C. — Wilmington has become the latest city in the Carolinas to oppose offshore drilling for oil. The Wilmington City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to oppose both seismic testing to find oil and natural gas, and the actual drilling for oil off the North Carolina coast. The resolution says offshore drilling threatens both the coastal and river wetlands areas of Wilmington.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Cuadrilla to appeal against fracking refusal by Lancashire county council
The Guardian
Adam Vaughan

Shale gas company to submit appeals to let it drill eight wells at two sites on the Fylde after councillors rejected its application for planning consent Lancashire county council faces an appeal by a leading UK shale gas company after refusing its applications to frack for shale gas in the county.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Fracking Goes on Trial
EcoWatch
Andy Rowell

Just as the British government slashes subsidies for solar power and gears up to open up large swathes of the countryside to fracking, a coalition of human rights lawyers and academics have announced an international tribunal to put fracking “on trial.”   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Fracking doesn’t always go to great depths Shallow wells raise possibility of drinking water contamination
Science News
Beth Mole

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the rock-cracking method to release trapped oil and natural gas, always takes place thousands of meters below Earth’s surface — or so many people assume. But a new study, published July 21 in Environmental Science & Technology, reveals that 16 percent of about 44,000 U.S. wells were fracked at less than about 1,609 meters. The researchers found 532 wells, or 1.3 percent of those studied, that were fracked about 300 meters or less from the surface — within the depth range of drinking water wells. Some oil and gas wells were fractured as little as 30 meters belowground. This raises concern that toxic chemicals used during the drilling could seep into shallow drinking water sources.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Failure to allay public concerns hobbling UK fracking
Chemistry World
Maria Burke

Fracking proposals in the UK have so far been accompanied by significant public unease. Now a new study finds that the government and energy companies are failing to tackle people’s concerns and this may have worsened the controversy over recent years. If policymakers listened more and lectured less, then perhaps the debate could move on.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Fracking well nearby? You’re more likely to suffer from heart disease – study
RT
Mario Anzuoni

The increased number of hydraulic fracturing ? or fracking ? wells in an area is associated with rising hospital visits, researchers in Pennsylvania found. Cardiac hospitalizations were 27 percent higher in those locations over a five-year period.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Fracking goes on trial
New Internationalist Blog
Julie Wassmer

News was announced today (23 July) that a coalition of human rights lawyers and academics will put fracking on trial at hearings to be held in Britain and the United States. The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT), based in Rome, is a descendant of the 1967 Vietnam War Crimes Tribunal and hears cases in which prima facie evidence suggests a breach of the basic rights of ordinary citizens. Between 5 and 7 jurists of high standing in international human rights will hear witness testimony on the issue of fracking before deciding whether sufficient evidence exists to indict certain nation states on charges of ‘failing to adequately uphold universal human rights as a result of allowing unconventional oil and gas extraction in their jurisdictions’.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Another lawsuit blames Antero for fracking damages
West Virginia Record
Kyla Asbury

CHARLESTON – Another lawsuit has been filed against Antero Resources Corporation for damages due to the company's fracking practices. Antero Resources Appalachian Corp., Hall Drilling LLC and Noble Energy Inc. were also named as defendants in the suit. Bethany D. Andexler owns property in Tyler County that is in close proximity to numerous well pads owned, operated, drilled, maintained or otherwise controlled by the defendants, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Circuit Court   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Permanent Peoples' Tribunal puts fracking on trial
Ecologist
Dr. Damien Short & Dr. Tom Kerns

The damage caused by fracking to people, communities and the wider environment will be put under the legal spotlight in public hearings in the US and the UK, write Damien Short & Tom Kerns. While the 'ruling' that emerges will be non-binding, it will provide an authoritative, expert dossier of fact and argument for real legal actions to follow.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
I Don’t Want Stokes County To Be Like West Virginia
The Stokes News
Letter: Peggy Wert

I just returned from a trip to Doddrige County, West Virginia where I was able to see firsthand what fracking (hydraulic fracturing) is like. My first impression was ‘Oh my god, please don’t let this happen to NC’. I immediately noted how overwhelmingly invasive the whole operation is. It was like kudzu that once it takes hold it covers everything.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
Fracking, Quakes, and Drinking Water: Your Questions Answered
National Geographic
Christina Nunez

Does it really cause earthquakes? What about the impact on drinking water? These and other questions, including one about dinosaurs, surfaced when we asked what you want to know about fracking. Some recognize the word as an expletive from the series Battlestar Galactica, but most know it as the more common version of frac—the industry term for hydraulic fracturing, the process used to extract oil and gas from the ground.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2015
FERC Teaches Oil And Gas Industries To Silence Protest
Popular Resistance
Lee Stewart

WASHINGTON, DC–At the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon in DC on Tuesday, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Norman Bay announced his agency would soon issue a ‘best practices manual’ to help the gas industry win permits for fracked gas infrastructure projects. As he spoke to a packed audience of gas lobbyists, industry representatives, and their supporters in Congress, Bay echoed advice he received from a gas pipeline CEO. “While you certainly want to receive a certificate from FERC, you also want to earn a social license from the communities along the path of the pipeline,” he said. That FERC operates as an arm of the fracked gas industry comes as no surprise to many communities that have contended with FERC-approved projects firsthand. Ann Nau is a member of Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community, a group in Myersville, Maryland that has unsuccessfully fought FERC for years to stop fracked gas compressor stations in their town. “FERC holds free three day interactive seminars where it teaches the industry to ‘successfully’ navigate the FERC Process,” Nau said. “They go so far as to invite the industry to sponsor snack times and evening social gatherings. They hold ‘pre-conferences’ where FERC staff ask ‘Do you have conflict in your pipeline work – maybe with a property owner’ and offer to ‘strategize for dealing with difficult behavior using your examples.’ Affected communities on the other hand get a brochure. It is obvious FERC looks at communities, at people, who are adversely affected by these projects as problems.”  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Household, industrial gas prices to surge on LNG export boom
ABC News AU


Household gas prices will soon surge by 30 per cent, according to new research by ANZ, with the price rise also having the potential to send parts of Australia's already struggling industrial sector out of business. ANZ said the average rise in retail gas prices is one of the likely impacts of a massive expansion in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports over the next five years. The bank said LNG exports are likely to triple over the next five years, and Australia will rival Qatar as the world's largest producer of the resource by 2018. That explosion will feed through to households because prices that have previously been determined by domestic demand will now be subject to global forces.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
State Water Commission Reviews Proposed Fracking Rules
NBC29


RICHMOND, Va (WVIR) - Energy companies have an interest in expanding a form of natural gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing beyond the southwest corner of the state. But leaders are reviewing more oversight measures first. Wednesday the State Water Commission met for about an hour and a half in the General Assembly building and heard a set of preliminary proposals on hydraulic fracturing.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Fracking Regulations Reviewed for Environmental Stewardship
WVTF
Tommie McNeil

For years the use of hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—has been exclusive to Southwest Virginia, but some organizations and communities are vehemently opposed to it. Now, as companies are exploring more energy sources throughout the state, such as natural gas and shale, officials are feeling more pressure to amend regulations that govern the practice.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Ruling raises questions about fracking bans, Mansfield charter
Richland Source
Dillon Carr

MANSFIELD, Ohio — UPDATED-- A Cuyahoga County Court ruling on July 1 has spurred Ohio environmental advocacy groups into action, but not Mansfield-based Frack Free Ohio.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Brown appoints panel to review California rules for fracking
KTVN


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown says he's created a panel to study how California should monitor hydraulic fracturing for oil. The panel will review a state-ordered fracking study released this month that found some of the chemicals used in California's fracking boom likely pose a risk to public health. It said the state has failed to track them.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Recession, not fracking, responsible for drop in U.S. emissions
Treehugger
Margaret Badore

Starting in 2007, carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. began dropping off and by 2013 had been cut by 11 percent. Many have attributed the drop in CO2 to the switch from coal to natural gas to generate electricity, as natural gas production in the U.S. ramped up thanks to new fracking technologies. Even TreeHugger reported on a Harvard study that suggested a correlation between lower gas prices and a drop in CO2.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
'Clean energy' hub proposal a dirty deal for Pennsylvania environment and economy
Newsworks
Andrea C. Anastasi

For the last several years, the oil and gas industry has been lobbying Pennsylvania legislators to expand the production and use of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. Until recently, their efforts to include Philadelphia in these plans have been unsuccessful.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Mandeville councilman asks why city sold water to company at proposed fracking site
Time-Picayune
Bob Warren

A Mandeville City Council member on Wednesday (July 22) called on Mayor Donald Villere to explain why city water was sold to a subcontractor working at the site of a proposed fracking operation north of Mandeville.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
South L.A. residents ask pope to intervene in fight over oil operation
Los Angeles Times
LOUIS SAHAGUN

Residents of a low-income South Los Angeles community are asking Pope Francis to intervene with the Los Angeles Archdiocese to prevent an oil operation from reopening two years after its noxious emissions sickened neighbors. Residents are sending the pope a videotape urging him to help stop AllenCo Energy Inc. from resuming operations on two acres it leases from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. Pope Francis issued an encyclical a month ago calling on policymakers to take urgent action to pursue alternatives to fossil fuels.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
PennEast Pipeline surveyors blocked from mapping land in New Jersey
NPR State Impact PA
TOM JOHNSON

Mercer County is joining the list of landowners trying to block PennEast Pipeline LLC from surveying property — part of a county park — in order to build a highly contentious natural gas pipeline. The county, which has opposed the project since last year, told PennEast yesterday that the company would no longer have access to the park in Titusville for the purpose of surveying the property to facilitate the project. The county cited soil borings on Baldpate Mountain, which it has deemed as potentially environmentally harmful.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Inspectors find more oil train defects
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Rail inspectors who check oil tanker cars and the tracks that carry them returned to the Kenwood Yard at the Port of Albany for the seventh time in little more than a year, where they found more than a dozen minor defects in either tracks or tanker cars. In this case, inspectors found 10 "non-critical safety defects, including loose or missing bolts and cotter pins and an insecure switch point," and three tanker cars with violations including "thin brake shoes and a defective air hose and hose valve," according to a news release Wednesday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Clean Energy, Not Fracking
The New York Times
Kate Sinding

To the Editor: Joe Nocera rightly acknowledges some of the major problems with fracking and shale gas — from community harm to climate pollution (“Shale Gas and Climate Change,” column, July 14). He is overly optimistic, however, about what regulation can do to address them. Regulations are an important backstop to reduce impacts, but no state has yet implemented any that are sufficient to protect public health or the environment. Additionally, industry fights regulation at every turn. And fracking regulations that do exist often go unenforced. Mr. Nocera also underestimates the power of truly clean energy: renewables and efficiency. By 2030, the Department of Energy estimates that we can get more than one-third of our energy supply nationwide from wind and the sun alone.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Tom Libous, Fracketeer, Found Guilty of Fracketeering !
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

Republican State Senator Tom Libous was the frackers’ bag man in the New York State Senate. They even paid for his pro-fracking website. He blocked every fracking reform bill in committee. He and his fellow Republicans had been bought off by the frackers. Just like they bought Pennsylvania. Cheap. Then he used his influence to get his son a job with a fracking lobbyist in Albany. Then lied about getting his son a job with a pro fracking lobbyist.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Bear Head LNG receives DOE authorisation
LNG Industry


The US Department of Energy (DOE) has granted Bear Head LNG Corp. and Bear Head LNG (USA) LLC authorisation to export up to 440 billion ft3 of natural gas to Canada, and up to 8 million tpy of LNG from Canada to free trade agreement (FTA) countries. Bear Head LNG said that it anticipates a decision in the near future on its application for DOE authorisation to export LNG to non-FTA countries. John Godbold, Bear Head Project Director, said that Bear Head LNG is the first proposed Canadian LNG export facility to be recognised by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as an ‘Approved’ Canadian LNG export project. In May 2015, Bear Head LNG Corp. obtained the last of the ten initial federal, provincial and local regulatory approvals needed to construct the facility located on the Strait of Canso in Nova Scotia.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
GRID: FERC to issue 'best practices' manual on infrastructure
E & E Newswire
Rod Kuckro

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the next few weeks will release a "best practices manual" to guide the natural gas and electric sectors in the siting of new infrastructure. FERC Chairman Norman Bay made the disclosure yesterday at a Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon in Washington, D.C. Bay told the packed room at the University Club that he had three "asks" of its members, one of which had to do with infrastructure. "I continue to believe there is an important need for infrastructure in different parts of the United Sates. But unfortunately, the siting of infrastructure you know has become increasingly contentious.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Ruling overturns 'fracking' ban, Mansfield charter unaffected
Richland Source
Dillon Carr

MANSFIELD, Ohio — An Ohio Supreme Court ruling in Athens County on June 30 has spurred Ohio environmental advocacy groups into action, but not Mansfield based Frack Free Ohio. Frack Free Ohio organizer Bill Baker and Mansfield Law Director John Spon are confident that Mansfield will not have their charter amendment overturned, despite Ohio’s Supreme Court ruling in Athens County. “The Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling for Athens County has no affect whatsoever on our charter amendment,” stated Spon.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Fracking Regulations Reviewed for Environmental Stewardship
wvft.org
Tommie McNeil

For years the use of hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—has been exclusive to Southwest Virginia, but some organizations and communities are vehemently opposed to it. Now, as companies are exploring more energy sources throughout the state, such as natural gas and shale, officials are feeling more pressure to amend regulations that govern the practice. State Water Commission Chair and Delegate Thomas Wright says he's in favor of offshore drilling and whatever the state can do to produce more energy—but he also advocates environmental stewardship. "And I think we're doing that, I think the regulations that are being considered now show that we're not rushing into anything, plus there's a history of hydraulic fracturing and I think some lessons learned will be very valuable to us." Governor McAuliffe has asked the commission to review 13 different proposed fracking regulations. They include disclosing the chemical ingredients used in the process, a state registry, and monitoring of water quality in an expanded, one-quarter-mile radius. Additional proposed rules include testing of equipment such as production casings, requirement for enclosure of temporary wastewater storage pits, and certification of compliance with local land use ordinances.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Recession, not fracking, responsible for drop in U.S. emissions
Treehugger
Margaret Badore

Starting in 2007, carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. began dropping off and by 2013 had been cut by 11 percent. Many have attributed the drop in CO2 to the switch from coal to natural gas to generate electricity, as natural gas production in the U.S. ramped up thanks to new fracking technologies. Even TreeHugger reported on a Harvard study that suggested a correlation between lower gas prices and a drop in CO2. But a new study from researchers at the University of Maryland suggests that the economic recession was a bigger driver in the drop in carbon emissions. The study, published in Nature Communications, compares various factors that contributed to the decreased emissions. Burning natural gas does have lower emissions than coal, and between 2007 and 2012 the percent of coal-power electricity in the U.S. dropped from 50 percent to 37 percent. Much of that was replaced by natural gas, but also by renewables. The researchers say that the switch to gas is only a minor diver of the CO2 decline.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
‘It’s the New World Record’: Earthquakes Linked to Fracking Are Getting Stronger in Alberta
Vice News
Arthur White

One of three earthquakes that gently rocked a small northern Alberta oil town this year may have been the strongest seismic event ever caused by fracking, worldwide. The shale fields around Fox Creek used to get one, maybe two, small earthquakes per year. Since 2003, when fracking companies began setting up shop in the nearby Duvernay formation, that number has shot way up. A 2015 study said 160 minor earthquakes have been detected since then, nearly all of them clustered around fracking operations. This year, scientists say, the tremors have started breaking records. But local residents aren't revolting against hydraulic fracturing, which has revolutionized fuel extraction in North America, particularly in North Dakota and Texas.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Conservationists Push for Legislation as Kentucky Explores Deep-Well Fracking
wmky.org
GREG STOTELMYER

The amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing is increasing across the nation, with the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in neighboring Ohio and West Virginia among the most active. New findings from the U.S. Geological Survey show the average horizontal gas well consumed more than 5 million gallons of water in 2014, up from around 177,000 gallons in 2000. While the deep well boom hasn't reached Kentucky yet, conservationists are urging the state to continue updating its regulations to address concerns over high-volume hydraulic fracking. "Trying to get out in front of this, so that the operator identifies the method that they'll use to protect surface and ground waters from contamination,” says Tom FitzGerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council. “We need to be prepared."  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Activism in Action: Enraged Florida Citizens Ban Fracking
FSTV
Ring of Fire

The South Florida town of Bonita Springs has officially banned fracking. The city council voted to ban all types of well stimulation techniques to extract fossil fuels, which includes fracking, within the city limits. Bonita Springs has now become the second municipality in the state of Florida to enact a ban on fracking  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
To protect its water, tiny Ohio village takes on a fracking giant
People's World
John Milam

BARNESVILLE, Ohio - This story of a small village in Ohio came to our attention when Gulfport Energy Corporation [Gulfport], a fracking company, filed suit on March 5 of this year against the tiny Village of Barnesville, Ohio [Village]. At first look, this looked like a modern David and Goliath story but, as is often the situation where lawyers and politicians are involved, it had so many twists and turns that it seemed like unravelling a giant ball of yarn. There are at least four major players involved: The Village of Barnesville (defendant), Gulfport Energy (plaintiff), Antero Resources Corp. [Antero] (another fracking company), and, of course, the residents who live in and around Barnesville. The only thing that was clear was that those residents wanted safe and clean drinking water. The thing that called public attention to the Barnesville situation was a local, sketchy TV report on the suit following its filing. The suit sought to stop the Village from allowing another company to extract the same water it had sold Gulfport or from interfering with Gulfport's water rights.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Senate panel rolls out energy bill
Washington Examiner
Zack Coleman

Leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee introduced a wide-ranging energy bill Wednesday that dodges touchy issues in hopes of securing passage later this year. The deal brokered by committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., the panel's top Democrat, is similar to the House Energy and Commerce Committee bill released late Monday. But it also contains some items that might rile liberal Democrats, such as imposing a deadline for approving liquefied natural gas exports and tweaks to a 50-year-old federal conservation program. Getting the bill through the Senate without attracting controversial measures will prove challenging. The Senate hasn't passed a wide-ranging, substantive energy bill since 2007. Legislation approving the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, which the Senate passed in January, turned into an amendment vote-a-rama — it took more than three weeks to pass the bill, which President Obama then vetoed. The Senate bill broadly addresses areas such as electric reliability, pipeline expansion and energy efficiency while avoiding areas sure to ignite partisan debate, such as climate change and whether to end a 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee will begin marking the bill up next week on Tuesday and Thursday.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2015
Obama administration OKs Arctic drilling, but imposes big constraints on Shell
Fuel Fix
Jennifer Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell is set to launch a new round of Arctic drilling within days, after receiving critical federal permits that could force the company to halt work thousands of feet above potential oil deposits. Under the limited Interior Department drilling permits, Shell can only focus on one well at a time, and it cannot penetrate potential oil- and gas-bearing zones some 8,000 feet underground, at least until a damaged company-contracted icebreaker returns from repairs in Oregon. That ship, the MSV Fennica, is meant to keep ice from encroaching on Shell’s drilling operations and is designed to install critical equipment on top of a damaged well in an emergency. Federal regulators insist that emergency capping stack must be on hand and ready to deploy within 24 hours of an incident. But they decided to follow the same approach used during Shell’s last attempt at Arctic exploration in 2012 when other emergency equipment was unavailable, by allowing initial top hole drilling only. Three years ago, that meant Shell’s wells stopped about 1,300 feet down. The permits illustrate again the Obama administration’s struggle to balance oil and gas development on land and at sea with a green agenda, including strengthening environmental protections and combating climate change. The drilling approval disappointed some advocates of Arctic oil exploration as well as environmentalists who say it is too risky.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2015
Helis told to stop work on well for fracking project
eaglefordtexas.com


COVINGTON, La. (AP) — St. Tammany Parish says it has told Helis Oil & Gas to stop work on an exploratory well for a proposed fracking project near Mandeville. Spokesman Ronnie Simpson says it was done after an oral order Monday by state District Judge William Morvant in Baton Rouge. Helis did not immediately respond Monday to phoned and emailed requests for comment. Simpson says work at the site goes beyond the parish’s zoning designation and ordinances. Many parish residents and some public officials say the drilling could pollute the air, the ground, and the aquifer that supplies St. Tammany with drinking water. Helis has a state permit to drill a vertical well and is working to get a required wetlands permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2015
New Stanford Research Shows Shallow Fracking Raises Questions for Drinking Water
Sierra Sun times
Rob Jordan

July 21, 2015 - By Rob Jordan - The United States now produces about as much crude oil as Saudi Arabia does, and enough natural gas to export in large quantities. That's thanks to hydraulic fracturing, a mining practice that involves a rock-cracking pressurized mix of water, sand and chemicals. Stanford Professor Rob Jackson studies fracking operations such as this one in Pennsylvania for their effects on groundwater. (Photo: Rob Jackson) Ongoing research by Stanford environmental scientist Rob Jackson attempts to minimize the risks of "fracking" to underground drinking water sources. The most recent such study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, finds that at least 6,900 oil and gas wells in the U.S. were fracked less than a mile (5,280 feet) from the surface, and at least 2,600 wells were fracked at depths shallower than 3,000 feet, some as shallow as 100 feet. This occurs despite many reports that describe fracking as safe for drinking water only if it occurs at least thousands of feet to a mile underground, according to Jackson.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2015
Wall Street lenders growing impatient with U.S. shale revolution
Fuel Fix


Halcon Resources Corp. almost ran into trouble with its banks in June 2013. And again in March 2014. And in February 2015. Each time, the shale driller came close to violating debt limits set by its lenders, endangering a credit line that provided as much as $1.05 billion in much-needed cash. Each time, Halcon’s banks, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., loosened their restrictions, allowing Halcon to keep borrowing. That kind of patience may be coming to an end. Bank regulators have issued warnings on the risks involved in lending to U.S. drillers, threatening a cash crunch in an industry that’s more dependent than ever on other people’s money. Wall Street has been one of the biggest allies of the shale revolution, bankrolling thousands of wells from Texas to North Dakota. The question is how that will change with oil prices down by half since last year to about $50 a barrel.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2015
A Look at the West Virginia University Assessment of Technically Recoverable Gas in the Utica Shale
Post Carbon Institute
David Hughes

Last week, members of the media breathlessly reported—based on a new study published by West Virginia University (WVU) entitled A Geologic Play Book for Utica Shale Appalachian Basin Exploration—that the Utica Shale could hold more recoverable gas than the Marcellus, the largest shale gas play in the country. The “Play Book” provides an interesting roundup of geological data on the Utica and associated shale units. However the sensational claim that these units contain a mean resource of 782 tcf (trillion cubic feet) of “technically recoverable” gas, 1947% higher than the USGS estimate of 38.2 tcf made in 2012, has little credibility. Of course, one can get any “technically recoverable” resource number one wants, depending on input assumptions. Critical assumptions for the gas estimate are: Area assigned to sweet spots and non-sweet spots. Drainage area of individual wells. Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR) of wells. Success ratio of wells. Typically these are expressed as a range. In the case of the USGS assessment they are characterized as “minimum”, “mode”, “maximum” and “mean”, and in the WVU assessment variably, when they are stated, as “minimum, medium, maximum” and “minimum, mode, maximum”.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2015
Recession, Not Fracking, Drove a Drop in U.S. Carbon Emissions
Smithsonian Magazine
Sarah Zielinski

For decades, the United States increased the amount of carbon pumped into the atmosphere each successive year. But recently emissions have begun to decline, dropping about 11 percent between 2007 and 2013. Some scientists and media reports attributed the change to the rise of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and the replacement of "dirty" coal with clean-burning natural gas.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2015
Mark Ruffalo on Climate Change, Activism and the Power of Anger
The Hollywood Reporter
Ariston Anderson

At the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy, the Academy Award nominee says renewable energy is more accessible than ever before. Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo is attending Italy's Giffoni Film Festival, Europe’s largest festival for children and teenagers, to receive the Giffoni Experience Award. Ruffalo, whose family originally hails from Naples, was thrilled to come to the south of Italy to speak with the young jurors of the festival. The two-time Academy Award nominee and Avengers star met with children from 52 countries, discussing his career, his films and how he succeeded in life.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2015
Recession Caused U.S. Emissions Drop, Study Says
Climate Central
Bobby Magill

Coal-fired power plants have been going dark across the U.S. for several years now as many utilities use more natural gas than coal to generate electricity — a move thought to be more climate friendly because burning natural gas emits about half as much carbon than coal. That switch has been considered one of the primary reasons for a tumble in carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. between 2007 and 2012, but a new study has found that the falling emissions were more likely caused by an overall drop in consumption during the Great Recession.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2015
COURT UPHOLDS COLORADO’S CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE
EarthJustice
Michael Freeman

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (which covers Colorado and five other states) upheld Colorado’s authority to require that electric utilities in the state increase the use of renewable energy. The decision, the first from an appellate court that squarely addresses the constitutionality of this type of state-based renewable energy standard (RES), deals a significant blow to industry-led efforts to roll back these standards. A decade ago, Colorado became the first state in the country to adopt a renewable energy standard by popular vote. Colorado’s law requires utilities to acquire a substantial portion of their electricity from clean energy. Passed by ballot initiative in 2004, the standard is one of the most ambitious in the nation and has been a huge success in promoting clean energy. For example, wind energy generation in Colorado grew by 900 percent from 2006-2013, and installed solar capacity grew 25-fold from 2007-2013. Rooftop solar panels and wind farms are expected to become an even more common sight in the future, as the Colorado standard requires Xcel Energy and other investor-owned utilities to generate 30 percent of their retail electric sales from renewable sources by 2020.   [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2015
Campaign over fracking sacrifices nature for ideology
The Northwest
Michael Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus

It is hard to remember now, but it wasn’t long ago that natural gas was seen as a critical tool to fight global warming and protect the environment. That’s one reason a new report released this month shows that natural gas has eclipsed coal as the largest U.S. source of electricity for the first time.   [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2015
Scott Costa: Fracking and the California drought
The Union
Scott Costa Opinion

Water from fracking contains benzene and other cancer-causing chemicals in very unsafe amounts and that is a problem because it turns out that a lot of this water finds its way back into wells and reservoirs. In February, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that state regulators had allowed oil companies to put this injection water back into drinking and irrigation aquifers. This chemical sludge water shouldn’t be introduced back into the water supply and that means that this water is officially “wasted.”   [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2015
Government to fast track plans for UK fracking
City AM
Caitlin Morrison

Fracking could begin in the UK sooner than previously expected, following the government’s decision to award onshore oil and gas exploration licences in two stages, fast tracking the applicants whose proposals do not require extensive environmental assessment.   [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2015
New Report Links Fracking to Increased Hospitalizations
Public News Service


NEW YORK – A new study has added weight to health concerns that contributed to last month's official ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas in New York State. The research is from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.   [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2015
What ever happened with Europe's fracking boom?
DW


The Netherlands has banned fracking until 2020. Over the past several years, a number of other European countries declared a ban on exploiting new natural gas deposits. So, is the apparent European shale gas boom over?   [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2015
Coal and gas layoffs mount as prices continue to fall
World Socialist Web Site
Samuel Davidson

Thousands of coal miners and well drillers are losing their jobs as layoffs sweep throughout the coal and natural gas industries, due to the continued price slump caused by weak global demand and overproduction.  [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2015
Report blasts govt's natural gas policy with fateful decision looming
Jerusalem Post
Sharon Udasin, Yonah Jeremy Bob

With the clock counting down on the government making fateful decision regarding its natural gas policy for years to come, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira on Monday blasted the government for a range of deficiencies regarding its natural gas policy, including “contributing to creating a monopoly,” failure to police pricing and weakness negotiating with key private companies.   [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2015
Nexus Pipeline is winning Ohio legal fights over survey access
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing Mark Gillispie

CLEVELAND (AP) — The company planning to build an industrial-sized natural gas pipeline across northern Ohio has been waging and mostly winning court battles to allow surveyors onto people’s property to determine a preferred route that will be submitted to a federal agency for approval.   [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2015
Study shows more hospital stays in three fracking counties
The Morning Call
Brendan Gibbons

Researchers comparing hospital visits in three rural Northeast Pennsylvania counties found a higher rate of hospital visits in counties with a heavy gas industry presence. Residents of heavily drilled Bradford and Susquehanna counties were admitted to hospitals at higher rates than in neighboring Wayne County where drilling is banned, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University researchers stated in a paper published in the peer-reviewed PLOS One scientific journal last week.  [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2015
Toward cheaper water treatment - Fracking matters
Imperial Valley News
Rob Matheson

Cambridge, Massachusetts - Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” produces a lot of wastewater. Drilling one well requires millions of gallons of water that’s injected into the ground to loosen rocks and release oil. While some is reused, much of the produced water is discarded into deep injection wells, and clean water is purchased again and again.   [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2015
Unconventional oil drilling increases hospitalization rate in that area
The Next Digit
Wayne Murphy

Oil Companies, involved in extraction and purification of crude oil have always been pointed out as the ones doing most of the damage to the people living in the nearby areas. A recent report suggests that the rate of hospitalization is way more in case of oil companies involved in purification of the oil.  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2015
'Land Men' scam unraveled
NEWS4JAX
Jodi Mohrmann

Find forgotten properties with owners who are absent or unaware they even own the land, and sell the gas rights to big drilling firms. The scheme sounds simple, but in this case, an elaborate web of lies and deceit eventually brought an end to what had become a million-dollar con job. The suspects got the idea for this scam while they were working as so-called "Land Men." Their job was to secure the natural gas drilling rights for legitimate companies. But claiming they had drilling rights - when, in fact, they didn't - proved to be more lucrative. It yielded them more than $2.4 million over a year and half. "Most of the people that truly did own the mineral rights were unaware that they owned the mineral rights because it had been transferred to them to their family generations ago," explained U.S. Postal Inspector Randy Hayden.   [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2015
Passage of California climate change bill could set global example
Los Angeles Times
CHRIS MEGERIAN

When Gov. Jerry Brown visits the Vatican this week for an international conference, he'll be carrying a resolution from state lawmakers supporting Pope Francis' recent encyclical on climate change. He's hoping the Legislature will send an even stronger message later this year by passing new environmental rules aimed at helping California slash greenhouse-gas emissions over the next few decades.  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2015
Here We Go Again: Fracking Industry Mangles More Facts
EcoWatch
Mark Brownstein

new set of peer-reviewed scientific papers pointing to 50 percent higher than estimated regional methane emissions from oil and gas operations in Texas were published this week. And like clockwork, the oil and gas industry’s public relations machine, Energy In Depth (EID), proclaimed that rising emissions are actually falling, and that the industry’s meager voluntary efforts are responsible. This is, of course, wrong on both counts. In fact, it’s a willful misrepresentation of the findings.  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2015
Study links gas wells and hospital visits in Bradford and Susquehanna counties
The Times-Tribune
Brendan Gibbons

Researchers comparing hospital visits in three rural Northeast Pennsylvania counties found a higher rate of hospital visits in counties with a heavy gas industry presence. Residents of heavily drilled Bradford and Susquehanna counties were admitted to hospitals at higher rates than in neighboring Wayne County where drilling is banned, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University researchers stated in a paper published in the peer-reviewed PLOS One scientific journal this week. The researchers used hospital-reported inpatient data from 2007, when drilling began, to 2011, the latest year available when their work began, said Penn Medicine researcher Reynold Panettieri Jr., MD, one of the study’s authors.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
Nexen pipeline spill near Fort McMurray one of the largest in Alberta's history
CTV Calgary


A Nexen pipeline has failed, spilling millions of litres of bitumen, produced water and sand at its Long Lake project about 35 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray. Nexen officials say fail-safe mechanisms designed to detect breaches did not work and the leak was located by a contractor on Wednesday afternoon. It is not known when the pipeline burst occurred and it's possible the leak had been spilling its contents over an extended period of time. The spill is considered one of the largest oil sands spills in Canada in recent memory, as five million litres has spewed, enough to fill two Olympic sized swimming pools.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
DOE: Department of Evasiveness? More Government Delay Tactics as Bomb Trains Roll On
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA

The oil industry and the government regulators in charge of regulating the industry don’t understand the basic science of oil. This is the core of the argument used to justify why they continue to run dangerous trains filled with Bakken oil through communities across North America. Do you believe them? Despite the audacity of this position, it is being used to delay any new regulations and to support the idea that the mystery of why Bakken crude oil explodes must be studied for years before it would be possible to make any regulatory decisions. What is happening is that the tactic of creating doubt about basic science is being used to allow the continued transportation of dangerous Bakken crude oil by rail. It’s an approach the industry learned quite well during several decades of climate change denial efforts.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
Pipeline Spill In The Heart Of Canada’s Tar Sands Industry Leaks 1.3 Million Gallons Of Oily Emulsion
ThinkProgress
ARI PHILLIPS

An pipeline spill in Alberta, Canada has leaked some 1,320,000 gallons, or 31,000 barrels, of emulsion — a mixture of bitumen, produced water, and sand — south of Fort McMurray, a hub for Canada’s tar sands mining and refining industry. The leak, which was discovered Wednesday afternoon, is the largest pipeline spill in the province in 35 years, when a 54,000 barrel oil spill became Canada’s worst-ever pipeline incident. Nexen Energy, the pipeline operator, and the Alberta Energy Regulator, have not yet identified the cause of the leak, which has been contained. At this point there are no reports of injuries to wildlife or contamination of nearby bodies of water. The spill covered some 170,000 square feet, of four acres, mostly along the path of the pipeline.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
Arlington officials report on fracking fluid blowout
WFAA
Brett Shipp

ARLINGTON — Two months ago, 100 homes in Arlington had to be evacuated as fracking fluid spilled out of a drilling site onto the city streets. Now we know officially what happened, why it happened, and why Arlington officials are blaming the drilling company for "unacceptable behavior." A series of video recordings obtained by News 8 shows the scene behind the walls of a fracking site 600 feet from a cluster of homes in the state's seventh largest city. In the incident, 42,800 gallons of fracking fluid — boiling up from thousands of feet underground — spewed into the streets and into Arlington storm sewers and streams.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
High Levels of Radium Found in PA Stream Near Drinking Water Supply
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reported yesterday that high levels of radiation—up to 60 times higher than the maximum allowed in drinking water—were found in Ten Mile Creek, which flows into the Monongahela River in Greene County, Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
Oklahoma broadens oil and gas drilling regulations to stem earthquakes
RAW Story
Reuters

Oklahoma is expanding restrictions on oil and gas drilling activities to stem a sharp increase in earthquakes that has worried residents, damaged homes and raised concerns about the future of the energy industry in the state. But the action, announced on Friday, fell short of more drastic measures expected after a further increase in the rate of significant quakes last month prompted the state’s regulator to say the situation was a “game changer.”  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
BC LNG Deal Lets Petronas off Hook for Two Kinds of Emissions
The Tyee
CAROL LINNITT

The B.C. government plans to subsidize Malaysian gas giant Petronas to the tune of $16 million, in part due to a promise to exclude a significant chunk of the greenhouse gas emissions from the Pacific NorthWest LNG project from compliance penalties, DeSmog Canada has learned. British Columbia's politicians are in a special summer sitting at the legislature right now to debate Bill-30, the Liquefied Natural Gas Project Agreements Act, which will allow the government to enter into a $36-billion agreement with Petronas and pave the way for B.C.'s first major liquefied natural gas export plant, located near Prince Rupert.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
E. Rochester lawyer challenges NY fracking ban
Democrat and Chronicle
Jon Campbell

ALBANY – A legal challenge to New York’s ban on large-scale hydraulic fracturing has been hidden in plain site since May. East Rochester attorney David Morabito quietly filed a lawsuit two months ago against the state Department of Environmental Conservation, challenging the agency’s decision to prohibit him from fracking on land he owns in Allegany County. To this point, the lawsuit has garnered little public attention, in part because Morabito initially chose not to publicize it and it was filed in state Supreme Court in Allegany County.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
Oh frack, now there's radiation in Pennsylvania's water
Daily Kos


n Fredericktown, Pennsylvania, water that feeds into a Pittsburgh treatment plant has been found to contain more than 60 times what is considered the safe level of radiation. We wouldn’t even know this if it weren’t for one concerned citizen—Ken Dufalla, part of a local conservation group—who has been testing a local creek for years. He brought his concerns to the EPA and pressed for testing. The results showed levels of radium 226 and radium 228 totaling 327 picocuries per liter at one location, and 301 picocuries per liter of radium 226 at another location. In plain English, that means both samples had 60 times the EPA drinking water standard of 5 picocuries per liter. “There's something in here that's not supposed to be here,” Dufalla said. The water Dufalla tested? It’s from Ten Mile Creek, which eventually feeds into a nearby water treatment plant. Not surprisingly, it’s not good to have 60 times the maximum allowed radium in drinking water, and it’s not something that’s easy to filter out. Drinking water is just one concern. There’s also the fish swimming in radium-tainted water to worry about.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
Earthquakes shake Alberta town’s faith in fracking
The Globe and Mail
JUSTIN GIOVANNETTI

With dirty pickup trucks in nearly every driveway, advertisements for energy service companies hanging at the local baseball diamond and work camps scattered nearby, Fox Creek cannot hide the fact it is a one-industry town. One of nearly a dozen communities built during Alberta’s oil rush of the 1950s and 1960s, Fox Creek is at the centre of a hydraulic fracturing boom. The process, known as fracking, injects a high-pressure fluid into a well to crack rock and increase the flow of oil and gas. About 90 per cent of the town’s 2,100 permanent residents work directly or indirectly for the energy companies that are looking for oil and natural gas in the surrounding Duvernay shale formation.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
Beware permitting fracking, says farmer who allowed coal methane borehole
The Guardian
John Vidal

A farmer who gave an energy company permission to dig a test borehole for coal bed methane gas out of a sense of national duty has warned other landowners not to allow fracking and other unconventional gas exploration companies on their land. The potential of gas drilling to pollute water courses and the effect it could have on the value of farmland left Paul Hickson and his family stressed for years and no wealthier, he said. “I very much regret signing anything. I would never ever go into this kind of agreement again. As a farmer or landowner, you have the most to lose. I would say to anyone approached, please don’t let anyone drill on your land [to extract coal bed methane and gas by fracking shale].”   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2015
Report Fuels Fracking Ban Push in California
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirji

A new state-mandated report underscores how little is known about the risks associated with fracking in California, fueling a push by activists to temporarily halt the controversial practice statewide. The study's key takeaway is that "the state does not have adequate information to effectively regulate the process," said Andrew Grinberg, oil-and-gas program manager at the environmental group Clean Water Action. "To me, it is a clear indication that a moratorium is needed."  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2015
Striking a balance with CCA
Times Union
Bruce Ferguson

As a part of its sweeping initiative known as Reforming the Energy Vision or REV, New York's Public Service Commission recently authorized a trial program that may radically restructure energy markets throughout the state. If all goes well, a program with the awkward name of Community Choice Aggregation could end up saving New Yorkers hundreds of millions of dollars a year while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2015
Chris Christie Is Turning Tap Water Into a Private Commodity
The Nation
James F. Kelly

n 2010, the citizens of Trenton, New Jersey, were asked to sell part of their water system for $80 million to New Jersey American Water, the largest private water utility company in the state. Despite the company’s best lobbying efforts—a $1 million spending spree that included an onslaught of advertisements, telephone calls, and door-to-door canvassers—the voters weren’t persuaded. They rejected the privatization attempt by nearly four-to-one at the ballot box. “Private control of the water supply could lead to decisions driven by profit,” explained Jim Carlucci, a third-generation Trentonian and longtime community activist who volunteered for Stop the Sale, the campaign against privatization. “We were able to put our message across that this was a very bad deal for the city.”  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2015
A curious crop: Nebraska farmer says oil is filling his fields
KETV
Dave Roberts

Forget soybeans, cows and corn: Alvin Simon says black gold is bubbling to the surface of his property. RICHARDSON COUNTY, Neb. — In 1939, a few ambitious explorers in Richardson County, Nebraska, dug a deep hole.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2015
Radiation found in Greene County stream near water supply
WTAE Pittsburgh
Paul Van Osdol

FREDERICKTOWN, Pa. —Action News Investigates has learned high levels of radiation -- up to 60 times higher than the maximum allowed in drinking water -- have been found in a stream that feeds into a water treatment plant. RELATED House lawmaker floats 'middle-of-the-road' budget proposal Soccer league kicks back after being targeted with fines, suspensions Feds in Pittsburgh say they shut down Darkode marketplace A scramble to house patients, families during pope's Pennsylvania visit Pirates even showdown series with Cardinals   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2015
Opening The Door To Solar Power For All
Huffington Post
Mark Ruffalo

For a long time, everybody thought of solar panels as something only rich people could afford. But when you think about it, the fuel -- sunlight -- is free. So if you can make the equipment affordable and accessible, in theory, solar should be a great option for all kinds of Americans. Now that theory is turning into reality. The average solar-electric system costs half as much as it did at the beginning of 2010. Solar panels are cropping up everywhere, in cities and on farms, in suburbia and in small towns. And Tuesday was a red-letter day on the solar front, as the White House announced a batch of policies designed to open the door to solar power to all Americans who want it, including renters and middle-class and low-income families.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2015
Pa. will stop using industry-favored FracFocus database
E & E Newswire
Mike Soraghan

Pennsylvania oil and gas officials are breaking with fellow state regulators and planning to drop the FracFocus website for reporting the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Next year, the state Department of Environmental Protection will shift to using data reported directly to the state by oil and gas companies and integrating it with other data compiled by the agency. "FracFocus is a great tool, there is no question about that," said DEP spokesman Neil Shader. "However, they didn't have all of the data that we want to make publicly available, and it wasn't in a format that would lend itself to thorough data searches." The main switch for companies is that they will no longer be able to submit completion reports on paper. They will have to submit them electronically. Fracking is part of the process of "completing" a well, and the reports provide information about that process. Shader said the agency is hoping to phase out the paper reports by March 2016.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2015
Bonita Springs bans fracking within city limits
New-Press
Bill Smith

The Bonita Springs City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that would prohibit the controversial practice of fracking within the city limits. The vote came after more than an hour of public pleas for adoption of the ordinance. Environmental protection advocates and citizens, some from Bonita Springs and some from other communities in Southwest Florida, made passionate pleas for a ban on the oil drilling technique.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2015
Special Report: Uncovering abandoned oil and natural gas wells
Inde Online
Shane Hoover

For decades, old abandoned wells have leaked oil, natural gas and brine into soil and drinking water, and posed an explosion risk. Abandoned wells lurk beneath homes and buildings in Ohio; under the busy streets of Los Angeles and the sparse Oklahoma plains; and in parks, backyards, forests, cornfields and cemeteries from Appalachia to the Pacific Ocean.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Gas Drilling Support Company Leaving Southport
MY Twin Tiers
Jeff Stone

SOUHTPORT, N.Y. (18-NEWS) -A business that provides support to the natural gas industry is pulling out of Chemung County. County officials confirm that more than 50 jobs have been lost as Baker Hughes has left its location on Lower Maple Avenue in Southport.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
South Strabane officials continue meeting on gas drilling
Observer-Reporter
Emily Petsko

To be continued: That’s the status of a public input period for a proposed zoning amendment that will govern which areas of South Strabane Township can host natural gas wells.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Firm objects to delay in drilling on land sacred to Indians
The Olympian
Matthew Brown & Josh Funk

BILLINGS, MONT. A Louisiana company seeking to drill for natural gas on Montana land held sacred by some American Indians objected to a 75-day review period sought by a federal panel considering the proposal. After decades of bureaucratic delays, Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge hoped to begin drilling this summer on its more than 9-square-mile federal energy lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area next to Glacier National Park.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Study finds those living near shale wells more likely to be hospitalized
Powersource
Laura Legere

Residents of two northeastern Pennsylvania counties with a high density of active shale gas wells were more likely to be admitted to the hospital for heart, nervous system and other medical conditions than residents in neighboring areas with no drilling, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University reported in a study published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed multidisciplinary science journal PLOS One.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Two Numbers: Solar Energy's Price Drop, Ahead of Schedule, Could Help Save the Planet
Newsweek
Zoe Schlanger

Earlier this month, the White House announced the launch of a series of measures intended to make solar power more accessible to low- and middle-income households. Brian Deese, senior adviser to President Barack Obama on climate, said the administration aims to “deploy low-cost solar energy in every community in the country." Ten or 15 years ago, that would have been unthinkable, because solar was too expensive. But the price in the U.S. has dropped precipitously in recent years. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, the cost of installing solar panels on the average home has plummeted 70 percent since 1998, from nearly $86,000 for a 5-kilowatt installation (the average residential solar array) to just $26,000 in 2014.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
County: Put study before any permit
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Troy Rensselaer County lawmakers are asking the state to hold back future environmental approvals for the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline until after state health officials study potential health risks from such natural gas infrastructure. That call mirrors recommendations by the state and national medical associations, which earlier this year each adopted resolutions calling for health studies around pipelines as expansion projects sprout in New York to handle surging supplies of gas from hydrofracking elsewhere. "The reason there is so much opposition to the pipeline is because there are no positive benefits to local residents or the area. The project is not in our best interests," said county Legislator Alex Shannon, chairman of the Legislature's  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
CRPE Files Fracking Discrimination Lawsuit
Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment
Press Release

DELANO, CA Today, a Kern County family is suing Governor Jerry Brown, claiming that California's new fracking regulations do not protect the health of Latino public school children. The lawsuit, filed by the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, argues the new fracking regulations illegally discriminate against Latino public school children, who are disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of fracking in their neighborhoods. California's Government Code section 11135 prohibits the state from intentional or unintentional discrimination on the basis of race. The suit, which names Governor Brown and California Oil and Gas Supervisor Steve Bohlen as defendants, claims that the state is discriminating against Latino students by permitting wells in close proximity to schools they attend. Fracking in California overwhelmingly occurs close to schools that serve predominately Latino populations. More than sixty percent of the 61,612 California children who attend school within one mile of a stimulated well are Latino. Statewide, Latino students are over eighteen percent more likely to attend a school within a mile and a half of a stimulated well than non-Latino students.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Emergency Crews Called To Scene Of Armstrong Co. Gas Explosion
CBS Pittsburgh


WEST FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) –Emergency crews have been called to the scene of a gasexplosion in West Franklin Township, Armstrong County. According to emergency dispatchers, the explosion happened in a field in the 300-block of Fox Road around 2:30 p.m.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Iowa utility agrees to phase out seven coal plants in settlement
Reuters


The Sierra Club said on Wednesday that an Iowa utility has agreed to phase out seven coals plants in a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency, the state and the environmental group. Alliant Energy Corp subsidiary Interstate Power and Light agreed to install pollution controls at two of its largest coal-fired power plants, and either retire or convert the five remaining plants to natural gas. Interstate also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1.1 million to resolve claims it violated the U.S. Clean Air Act. The Sierra Club joined the lawsuit along with the state of Iowa, the EPA and Justice Department as co-plaintiffs. “The days of coal-fired power plants putting Americans at risk are coming to an end,” said Michael Brune, Sierra Club's executive director. “In Iowa and across the country, people are demanding clean air and clean water and they are winning." The group's Beyond Coal campaign has focused on legal settlements to target some of the country's oldest and dirtiest coal-fired plants. With the latest agreement, Sierra Club said it has helped shuttered 200 coal plants. ADVERTISING   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Democrats And Republicans Are Actually Agreeing On An Environmental Regulation
Climate Progress
Emily Atkin

Environmental regulation — measures to protect water, reduce carbon emissions, and limit mercury — is divisive in the 114th Congress. Almost all Democrats support it, and almost all Republicans despise it. But there’s at least one area of environmental regulation lawmakers are agreeing on these days: Fixing our old, decrepit oil and gas pipeline system. At a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, representatives from both sides of the aisle took the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to task for failing to implement several provisions of a pipeline safety law. Those provisions, they argued, are necessary to prevent environmental incidents, like the 105,000-gallon oil spill from a pipeline near Santa Barbara, California this past May. “The urgency for pipeline safety is greater than ever,” said committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), noting the country’s record levels of natural gas production. “Although pipelines are some of the safety means of transport, the Santa Barbara spill is a harsh reminder that rigorous risk-based enforcement needs to be a priority.” Democrats on the committee agreed.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Pa. studies link fracking with health problems
Philadelphia Inquirer
DON SAPATKIN

Despite all the claims and counter claims about the potential impact of hydrofracking on human health, there is very little scientific evidence pro or con. That is slowly starting to change. Research released Wednesday from the University of Pennsylvania found that increases in hospital admissions for cardiovascular events accompanied rising numbers of wells drilled in Northeastern Pennsylvania zip codes. A separate study last month from the University of Pittsburgh linked smaller babies with closer proximity to the nearest wells in southwestern Pennsylvania. And research out of Colorado last year found a relationship between congenital heart defects and distance from mother's homes to natural gas development.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
The California Drought Is Just the Beginning of Our National Water Emergency
The Nation
Maude Barlow

he United Nations reports that we have 15 years to avert a full-blown water crisis and that, by 2030, demand for water will outstrip supply by 40 percent. Five hundred renowned scientists brought together by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that our collective abuse of water has caused the earth to enter a “new geologic age,” a “planetary transformation” akin to the retreat of the glaciers more than 11,000 years ago. Already, they reported, a majority of the world’s population lives within a 30-mile radius of water sources that are badly stressed or running out. For a long time, we in the Global North, especially North America and Europe, have seen the growing water crisis as an issue of the Global South. Certainly, the grim UN statistics on those without access to water and sanitation have referred mostly to poor countries in Africa, Latin America, and large parts of Asia. Heartbreaking images of children dying of waterborne disease have always seemed to come from the slums of Nairobi, Kolkata, or La Paz. Similarly, the worst stories of water pollution and shortages have originated in the densely populated areas of the South.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Flare from pumping station raises residents' temperatures
Lebanon Daily News
John Latimer

The sight of a flame burning at a natural gas pumping station in West Cornwall Township raised concerns among area residents on Monday. Burn-off of propane is a normal part of a maintenance process underway on the Mariner East 1 Pipeline, owned by Sunoco Logistics, and should not raise safety concerns, said a company spokesman said Tuesday. The Mariner East 1 pipeline is a 300-mile pipeline that crosses the southern portion of Lebanon County, including South Annville, South Londonderry, West Cornwall, South Lebanon and Heidelberg townships. It is undergoing major modifications to convert it from an east-to-west fuel and heating oil pipeline to a west-to-east liquid natural gas pipeline.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Florida City Bans Fracking
Newsweek
Victoria Bekiempis

The city council of Bonita Springs, Florida, voted unanimously Wednesday to prohibit the controversial petroleum extraction technique, according to attendees.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Living Near Fracking Wells Linked to Increased Hospitalization Rates
Newsweek
Zoe Schlanger

Study after study links hydraulic fracturing wells to air pollution and water contamination. Now, researchers have drawn a correlation between living in an area where fracking is underway and elevated rates of hospitalizations for heart conditions and neurological illnesses.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
People who live near fracking sites suffer higher rates of heart conditions and neurological illnesses, says research
Independent
Tom Bawden

People who live in fracking zones appear to suffer a higher rate of heart conditions and neurological illnesses, according to new research.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Official defends fracking rules for federal lands
The Hill
Austin Yack

A top administration official is defending new standards for hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, on land owned by the federal government and Indian tribes. Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze told lawmakers on Wednesday that new rules are necessary to "address modern practices" such as fracking and to account for the increase in drilling on federal lands.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Ground to dust: fracking, silicosis and the politics of public health Attempts to block new standards for exposure to silica dust highlight tensions between public health and corporate power in America’s fracking boom.
The Guardian
Michael Halpern

Let me tell you an outrageous yet all-too-common tale of how public health science is politicized to serve powerful interests. There are many poison pills attached to a recent funding bill passed by a U.S. Senate committee, but none taste as bitter to scientists and advocates of worker safety as a provision that would prevent the government from protecting workers from exposure to silica dust.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
MARYLAND BANS FRACKING DESPITE GOVERNOR’S OPPOSITION
The American Spectator
H. Sterling Burnett

Maryland has placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, also called “fracking,” for energy extraction in the state until October 2016. The bill became law without Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) signature and contrasts strongly with Oklahoma’s embrace of fracking.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Fracking’s Potentially Harmful Waste Is Being Left in Unlined Pits in California
Care2
Ashlyn Kittrell

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is undoubtedly a hotly debated technique for gaining access to oil and gas deposits. Given the fact that two-thirds of the chemicals involved in the process have as yet unknown consequences to the environment, it should perhaps be easy to agree that the wastewater from the process should be stored in a safe, contained way. This isn’t the case in California.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Concerns over Milford compressor station
River Reporter
JESSICA COHEN

MILFORD, PA — Substantially elevated methane around the new Hancock, NY, gas compressor station foreshadows what Milford can expect if the Columbia Pipeline gas compressor under construction begins running in September without alterations, says Barbara Arrindell, a founder of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability (DCS). At a Milford Township supervisors meeting on July 6, she presented findings from sensitive surveys of ground-level methane before and after the Hancock compressor began functioning and from baseline surveys of methane in Milford. While ambient methane in Hancock was initially found at approximately 1.9 parts per million, after the compressor began operation, ambient levels rose to five times that amount in a radius of more than a mile around the compressor. Not only does methane result in greenhouse effects 86 times greater than carbon dioxide, conducive to global warming and local smog, but elevated methane levels also indicate the presence of other toxic components of emissions identified on the compressor permit, Arrindell said. Elevations in methane indicate elevations in carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, fine particulate matter, volatile organic compounds and other pollutants, she said.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2015
Hydraulic fracturing linked to increases in hospitalization rates in the Marcellus Shale
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine


"PHILADELPHIA - Hospitalizations for heart conditions, neurological illness, and other conditions were higher among people who live near unconventional gas and oil drilling (hydraulic fracturing), according to new research from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University published this week in PLOS ONE. Over the past ten years in the United States, hydraulic fracturing has experienced a meteoric increase. Due to substantial increases in well drilling, potential for air and water pollution posing a health threat has been a concern for nearby residents." "This study represents one of the most comprehensive to date to link health effects with hydraulic fracturing." "The team found that 18 zip codes had a well density greater than 0.79 wells per square kilometer, and residents living in these zip codes were predicted to have a 27 percent increase in cardiology inpatient prevalence rates for each year this specific active well density existed compared to Wayne County residents where there is no drilling. The researchers aim to look at specific types of health problems within these broad categories in the future."  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2015
Does Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S ‘Signal the Beginning of the End for Oil?’
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

At least that’s the word on the street after Story County official Dean Haymore revealed that the electric vehicle/battery maker initially bought a thousand acres to start with, then recently swooped up another 1,200 acres and another 350 acres on top of that. As Tech News Today writes, Tesla “initially intended to purchase 10 million square-feet of land for its Gigafactory, but after recent plans of acquisitions, it seems Tesla will end up with more than 24 million square-feet of land, making it the largest factory in the world.” Haymore starts talking about the massive purchase around the 6:44 mark in this video:  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2015
Fracking Democracy
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

As more and more evidence emerges on the potential harm to air, water and land from fracking and as oil and gas companies get more aggressive in growing their operations, communities are saying “enough” and fighting to retain or restore their democracy.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2015
Britain should avoid deep injection shale wells: task force
Reuters
NINA CHESTNEY

Britain should steer clear of using deep injection wells in shale oil and gas "fracking" and take extra steps to reduce the technique's environmental and health effects, an industry-funded task force examining the sector said on Wednesday. The oil and gas industry uses deep injection wells to dispose of wastewater when drilling for shale, but some have been linked to earthquakes in the United States. The hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, technology required to release gas trapped in rocks has been used at only one well in Britain.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2015
Most U.S. LNG projects won’t cross the finish line, new study says
Fuel Fix
Rhiannon Meyers

Most of the proposed U.S. liquefied natural gas export projects won’t get built amid stiffening competition from foreign competitors who will flood the market with the supercooled gas as demand begins to slow, a new study finds. Five U.S. LNG projects already under construction, including Cheniere’s two terminals in Louisiana and Corpus Christi, will cross the finish line, but beyond that, construction appears “increasingly unlikely” for the remaining proposals, according to the latest study unveiled Tuesday by a task force of natural gas experts assembled by the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C.-based thinktank. It’s the latest report to raise doubts about the flurry of multi-billion dollar proposals announced in recent years that would soak up vast supplies of cheap U.S. natural gas destined for markets in Asia. “We believe it will be increasingly difficult to finance new LNG projects, due to high upfront costs in combination with a substantial number of uncertainties which influence supply and demand,” the report said.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2015
Ted Cruz at Secret Koch-Backed Fracking Lobby Group Meeting
PR Watch
Nick Surgey

Senator Ted Cruz, raising cash for a 2016 presidential bid, was to meet privately Monday in Denver, Colorado with executives from major oil and gas corporations, all members of the pro-fracking lobby group Western Energy Alliance (WEA), according to details of the secret meeting shared with the Center for Media and Democracy. The Republican presidential candidate, a climate change denier, is also a leading proponent of opening up federal lands in the west--in fact virtually all lands everywhere--to energy development, and for scrapping regulations on oil and gas development.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2015
FERC, Grid Operator, Others File Supreme Court Briefs In Demand Response Case
Breaking Energy


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a grid operator, states, and other parties just filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that could decide whether Americans have access to low-cost, clean and reliable electricity. The case, EPSA v. FERC, revolves around demand response, a resource that helps keep prices low and the lights on – and does so while also being environmentally friendly. In 2013, for example, demand response saved customers in the mid-Atlantic region close to $12 billion. And during the polar vortex, which threatened the North-East with freezing cold in 2014, the same resource helped prevent black-outs.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2015
Decision looming on pipeline proposals
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—The state Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to make a decision soon on major pipeline proposals that could bring more gas fracked in Pennsylvania through New York. It is difficult to anticipate how the agency will rule because there have been conflicting statements about the state's energy needs and the pipelines that are bringing in gas increasingly essential to the power grid. Some senior Cuomo administration officials have said that more pipelines are necessary, while others have said they are risky. At a state hearing in May, Public Service Commission Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman said additional pipeline capacity was necessary from an economic perspective. The administration is also actively working to increasingly power the grid with natural gas. Cuomo pushed to have the Dunkirk generating plant in Western New York converted from coal to natural gas. The administration views a natural gas-fired power plant proposed for the lower Hudson Valley, Cricket Valley, as a possible partial replacement for the 2,000 megawatts generated by the Indian Point nuclear power plant.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2015
Editorial What we don't know about fracking could hurt us
Los Angeles Times
Editorial

year and a half in the making, a new scientific report on hydraulic fracturing in the state offers Californians the less than satisfying revelation that scientists are still in the dark about fracking. That's not to denigrate the report released last week by the California Council on Science and Technology, which was carefully researched, objectively written and based on the best available information. The problem is that the best available information is terribly deficient, which should give pause to state residents and regulators.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2015
Plan could place 400,000 tons of Marcellus Shale drill cuttings near Pa.'s 'Grand Canyon'
LancasterOnline
Dan Nephin

A Montgomery County company that processes Marcellus Shale gas drilling cuttings wants to relocate its Williamsport processing center to heavily drilled Tioga County. The plan is to use 400,000 tons of drilling cuttings — dirt and rock — that Clean Earth Inc. processes to extend the Wellsboro Johnston Airport's runway, StateImpact Pennsylvania reports. That would keep the material out of landfills. But some people would rather the plan not get off the ground.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2015
In Pristine Big Bend, a Pipeline Could Run Through It
The Texas Tribune
Jim Malewitz

BREWSTER COUNTY — Peering from beneath the brim of his Indiana Jones-style fedora, David Keller marvels at the gently sloping mountains in Big Bend that frame everything in sight. "It’s sacred landscape. It is truly the last best place in Texas,” says Keller, an archaeologist at nearby Sul Ross State University's Center for Big Bend Studies who very much looks his part: the scruffy goatee, the beige button-down shirt torn at one elbow and, of course, that brown hat. “When you destroy that landscape, you lose that sense of place.”   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2015
Feds hear critics, supporters of gas pipeline plan for Boston
Albany Times Union
Brian Nearing

Fears of potential air pollution and other damage from a natural gas pipeline proposed to pass through southern Rensselaer County collided with desires by unionized workers for jobs during a federal hearing Tuesday on the Northeast Energy Direct project.   [Full Story]

Jul 13, 2015
GREENHOUSE GAS IS LEAKING OUT OF BARNETT SHALE FAR MORE THAN EXPECTED
Dallas Observer
AMY SILVERSTEIN

As many of you know, the Observer is a safe no-judgement zone, so we will not point any fingers of blame as to why methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is leaking out of North Texas gas wells and associated facilities more than it was supposed to be leaking. In North Texas' Barnett Shale, natural gas production is putting methane into the atmosphere at a rate that's 50 percent higher than what the EPA estimated, according to a new series of studies.   [Full Story]

Jul 13, 2015
Denmark Just Produced 140% Of Its Electricity Needs Via Wind Power
Anonymous


On a particularly windy day (last Thursday), the country of Denmark was able to meet its domestic electricity demand and even export power to Norway, Germany, and Sweden thanks to its wind farms. As The Guardian reports, Denmark found itself producing 116% of its national electricity needs from wind turbines, and by 3 AM the next morning (Friday), when electricity demand dropped, the figure had risen to 140%. 80% of the power surplus was shared equally between Germany and Norway, which can store it in hydropower systems for later use. Lucky Sweden received the remaining fifth of excess power.   [Full Story]

Jul 13, 2015
Australians Tour Pennsylvania’s Gaslands as Fracking Threat Looms Over South Australia
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

A group of Australians who made a fracking fact-finding trip to the Marcellus Shale region will report to the Australian Parliament before any decisions are made about the future of fracking in South Australia. In June, the group of twelve Australians—including members of Parliament, farmers, medical and legal professionals—visited communities in Pennsylvania and New York. They saw evidence of contaminated water as a result of accidents and leaks connected to the fracking industry, and met with people both for and against the process. David Smith, a third generation beef and prime lamb producer from Kalangadoo, organized the trip after he learned the fracking industry was exploring the possibility of fracking in the south east of South Australia. Conventional drilling has been taking place in the region for decades but currently fracking in South Australia is only taking place in the northern part of the state.  [Full Story]

Jul 13, 2015
Project would bring 400,000 tons of drilling waste to Pa.’s ‘Grand Canyon’
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

As Marcellus Shale gas drilling has proliferated, so has the amount of waste it generates. Last year in Pennsylvania, over two million tons of drill cuttings were sent to landfills. Cuttings are the waste dirt and rock that comes up from drilling wells. The material contains naturally occurring radiation, heavy metals, and industrial chemicals.   [Full Story]

Jul 13, 2015
Natural gas edges past coal to become biggest US electricity source for first time ever
US News & World Report
Tom Murphy

Natural gas overtook coal as the top source of U.S. electric power generation for the first time ever earlier this spring, a milestone that has been in the making for years as the price of gas slides and new regulations make coal more risky for power generators.   [Full Story]

Jul 13, 2015
Special Report: Ohio invests more money into well plugging, revamps program
IndeOnline
Shane Hoover

Ohio’s recent oil and gas boom is generating new money for the state program that finds and plugs abandoned wells. But at the program’s current pace, the state will need 24 years to plug the 580 known wells on its list. Thousands more abandoned wells are likely out there, waiting to be discovered.   [Full Story]

Jul 12, 2015
Denton Gears Up For Bigger Fight Over Fracking
The Real News


After last month's decision to repeal Denton's ban on fracking, activists are looking to build a coalition of cities across the state of Texas before taking a second swing at HB 40, the bill that disempowers municipal governments in favor of oil and gas industries.   [Full Story]

Jul 12, 2015
Radioactive Frack Waste Processed in Martins Ferry
The Intelligencer
Casey Junkins

MARTINS FERRY - Employees of Pottstown, Pa.-based Austin Master Services are processing Marcellus and Utica shale fracking waste - some of which contains radioactive uranium, radium and plutonium - inside the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. plant.   [Full Story]

Jul 12, 2015
Marcellus shale field lab zeroes in on gas drilling efficiency
TribLive
Tory N. Parrish

The first integrated, long-term examination of shale gas drilling — from before a rig breaks ground to post-production — is under way in West Virginia to help energy companies find ways to drill more cheaply and lessen environmental impacts.   [Full Story]

Jul 12, 2015
Greenwash: Shell May Remove "Oil" From Name as it Moves to Tap Arctic, Gulf of Mexico
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Shell Oil has announced it may take a page out of the BP “Beyond Petroleum” greenwashing book, rebranding itself as something other than an oil company for its United States-based unit. Marvin Odum, director of Shell Oil's upstream subsidiary companies in the Americas, told Bloomberg the name Shell Oil “is a little old-fashioned, I’d say, and at one point we’ll probably do something about that” during a luncheon interview with Bloomberg News co-founder Matt Winkler (beginning at 8:22) at the recently-completed Shell-sponsored Toronto Global Forum. “Oil,” said Odum, could at some point in the near future be removed from the name.   [Full Story]

Jul 11, 2015
Sprawling gas pipelines raise hopes, opposition
The Daily Item
John Finnerty

HARRISBURG — Pipelines could be the new front line in a fight for the future of gas drilling in Pennsylvania. While New York and other states have put moratoriums on fracking, Pennsylvania’s first-year Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has made a priority of taxing the industry rather than banning it.  [Full Story]

Jul 11, 2015
Appeals court upholds Illinois fracking rules
State Journal-Register
Associated Press

An Illinois appeals court has upheld the state's rules for the high-volume oil and gas drilling technique known as fracking. The appellate court sided with a Madison County judge who rejected an environmental group's legal challenge. The 5th District Appellate Court on Friday issued an opinion agreeing with a November ruling in favor of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' rules on hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Jul 11, 2015
Ballot Fight Over Fracking Could Be Shaping up in Colorado
ABC NEWS
Dan Elliott

Environmentalists and the energy industry have fought decisive battles over fracking in New York, Oklahoma and Texas, but the outcome is unclear in Colorado, where the issue could go to a ballot fight in the 2016 election. A task force convened by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper tried to find a compromise over who should regulate the industry — the state or local government — and to what extent. But fracking critics were bitterly disappointed when the panel suggested leaving regulatory power in state hands and avoided recommending specific health, environmental and safety rules. "I think the fossil fuels industry won," said Karen Dike, a member of Coloradans Against Fracking.  [Full Story]

Jul 11, 2015
2016 Ballot Fight Over Fracking Could Be Shaping Up in Colorado
The Ledger
Dan Elliott

DENVER | Environmentalists and the energy industry have fought decisive battles over fracking in New York, Oklahoma and Texas, but the outcome is unclear in Colorado, where the issue could go to a ballot fight in the 2016 election.   [Full Story]

Jul 11, 2015
Environmentalists differ in mindset, willingness to work with frackers
TribLive
Katelyn Ferral

On the battleground against fracking, critics who say they fight for the environment often are branded broadly. Cast against an industry that says it can bring energy independence to the country and an economic boost to Pennsylvania, environmental groups in the state have made shale gas drilling a cornerstone issue — but disagree on how to address it.   [Full Story]

Jul 11, 2015
Even Further on Fracking
NJ.com
Linda Stamato Blog

First, it was the governor of Oklahoma announcing that she recognizes that the multiple earthquakes occurring in the state are largely caused by the underground disposal of billions of barrels of wastewater from oil and gas wells. In a significant second, a first actually, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled—unanimously--that homeowners who sustained injuries or property damage from the earthquakes they say are caused by oil and gas operations can sue for damages in state trial courts. By its action, and, by indirect effect, it deflected the efforts by the oil and gas industry to block such lawsuits from being decided by juries and judges.  [Full Story]

Jul 11, 2015
Landowners in Tioga County propose fracking with propane
Celeb Cafe
David Lee

The Snyder Farm Group and Tioga Energy Partners teamed up and sent an application to the state Department of Environmental Conservation Tuesday to frack for natural gas using gelled propane instead of water.   [Full Story]

Jul 10, 2015
De Blasio Administration Moves to Power 100 Percent of City Government From Renewable Sources of Energy
NYC Office of the Mayor
Press Release

RFI Aims to Identify New Generation Capacity to Reach Ambitious Goal of 100 Percent Renewable Energy – Part of Mayor’s Sweeping Environmental Agenda, Including 80 Percent Reduction in Emissions by 2050 NEW YORK—Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a Request for Information to identify new renewable energy generation capacity, with a goal of powering 100 percent of City government operations from renewable sources of energy. The City currently spends between $600 million and $650 million a year on electricity. By leveraging that purchasing power, the City could catalyze the development of new sources of renewable power, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and chart a path to receive 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources of energy. This will further the City’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by the year 2050.  [Full Story]

Jul 10, 2015
Mercury News editorial: Fracking study demands phasing out of wastewater ponds
San Jose Mercury News
Editorial--Jay Jochnowitz

The independent scientific review of fracking techniques released last week by the California Council on Science and Technology demands the full attention of the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown. California should heed the study's call to force oil producers to phase out their use of hundreds of wastewater pits -- many of them unlined -- that threaten the purity of groundwater supplies.   [Full Story]

Jul 10, 2015
California Scientists Find Numerous Threats from Oil & Gas Development, Major Data Gaps
NRDC Switchboard
Briana Mordick Blog

Well stimulation activities and oil and gas development in general can result in a range of impacts to the environment and human health, but much more data is needed to completely analyze the risks, according to two new reports from the California Council on Science and Technology.   [Full Story]

Jul 10, 2015
Yoko Ono calls on Cuomo to reject pipeline
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Yoko Ono took out a full-page ad in the New York Times on Friday calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reject state permits for a pipeline that would transport gas fracked in Pennsylvania into New York's Southern Tier.   [Full Story]

Jul 10, 2015
CORRECTION TO Q2 2015 CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT FIGURES
Bloomberg


London and New York, 13 July 2015 – Bloomberg New Energy Finance is correcting the second quarter 2015 clean energy investment data that it released on Friday. This reflects the discovery of errors in the aggregating of project and deal-level data. The corrected figures show that global investment in clean energy was $73.5bn in the second quarter of 2015, substantially higher than reported on Friday. This number is 0.2% down on the equivalent quarter of 2014, and takes the total for the first half of 2015 to $127.9bn, down just 3% on H1 2014.   [Full Story]

Jul 10, 2015
Fossil fuel industry must 'implode' to avoid climate disaster, says top scientist
The Guardian
Damian Carrington

An “induced implosion” of the fossil fuel industry must take place for there to be any chance of avoiding dangerous global warming, according to one of the world’s most influential climate scientists. Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, an adviser to the German government and Pope Francis, said on Friday: “In the end it is a moral decision. Do you want to be part of the generation that screwed up the planet for the next 1,000 years? I don’t think we should make that decision.”  [Full Story]

Jul 10, 2015
EPA's Study of Fracking: Media Hype and Reality
Beacon Broadside
Robert Oswald and Michelle Bamberger

The EPA recently released a review draft of its long awaited study of hydraulic fracturing in the United States entitled “Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources.” This report, which totaled almost one thousand pages, was undoubtedly read by very few people, but the news coverage was astounding. Oklahoma’s senator Jim Inhofe stated in a press release: “EPA’s report on hydraulic fracturing confirms what we have known for over sixty years when the process began in Duncan, Oklahoma—hydraulic fracturing is safe…” Erik Milito of the American Petroleum Institute said, “After more than five years and millions of dollars, the evidence gathered by EPA confirms what the agency has already acknowledged and what the oil and gas industry has known: hydraulic fracturing is being done safely under the strong environmental stewardship of state regulators and industry-best practices…” But is that the message from the document itself? Tom Burke, the deputy assistant administrator of the EPA’s office of research, explained the impact of the document: “It’s not a question of safe or unsafe” but rather “how do we best reduce vulnerabilities so we can best protect our water and water resources?” If we accept Tom Burke’s explanation, how did so many news outlets get the story so wrong? The document itself states: “We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systematic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.” This was the quote that was taken out of context and drove the breathless news coverage. A very different picture emerges if one actually takes the time to read the document.   [Full Story]

Jul 10, 2015
Emerging Reality of Gas Infrastructure: Destination Export
Huffington Post
Craig Altemose

New England political leaders, utility companies, and multinational energy companies have been telling the same story for years: natural gas is the answer to New England's energy needs. Recently, this tale has been used to justify multiple new natural gas pipeline project proposals. Spectra Energy has proposed three different expansions (Algonquin Incremental Market, Atlantic Bridge, and Access Northeast) to the Algonquin Pipeline, which runs from the New Jersey/New York border through Connecticut and Rhode Island to Massachusetts. These expansions include the construction of new pipeline laterals and compressor stations. Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan has proposed the construction of the Northeast Direct pipeline through New York and Massachusetts -- a project that has received so much backlash that Kinder Morgan decided to partially reroute it through New Hampshire.  [Full Story]

Jul 10, 2015
Pro-Fracking Museum Exhibit for Kids Is Industry Propaganda on Wheels
Common Dreams
Joe Solomon

The Clay Center, West Virginia’s premiere arts and science museum for kids, recently launched a new exhibit focused on the science and wonders of fracking, thanks to hefty donations by the oil and gas industry. The exhibit, called "Power Your Future," is housed inside a natural gas-powered truck, which enables it to be driven to local elementary and middle schools. I tried repeatedly to get permission for a tour of the mobile exhibit, but all of my inquiries went unanswered. What I’ve been able to piece together from photographs and the testimony of those who’ve been on-board is that the interior feels like something between a spaceship and an arcade room—with strips of neon blue and orange lights covering the floor and ceiling. The walls are lined with interactive digital displays where kids can play games which relate in some way to the natural gas drilling industry.  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
Montana tribe breaks off talks over drilling on sacred land
Billings Gazette
MATTHEW BROWN

An American Indian tribe has broken off consultations with the U.S. government over a longstanding proposal by a Louisiana company to drill for natural gas in Montana on land considered sacred by the Blackfeet people. Blackfeet tribal leaders said after three rounds of negotiations, they remain steadfast in their opposition to drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine area outside Glacier National Park. "We are not going to speak to anything other than no development," said Blackfeet Tribal Historic Preservation Officer John Murray.   [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
Congressional Democrats question oil exports
Fuel Fix
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton is advancing his plan to allow U.S. oil producers to sell their bounty around the world, but a House hearing Thursday illustrated the steep obstacles export advocates still face. Democrats on the Energy and Power Subcommittee were skeptical of Barton’s bill to end the longstanding U.S. ban on most crude exports, arguing that the main beneficiary of relaxed oil trade would be China, at the expense of domestic refineries. “Right now, we’re doing very well sending low-sulfur diesel from Texas (refineries) over to Europe,” said Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, noting the sector’s high-paying jobs. “If we start exporting (oil), we will lose some of that incentive to have these downstream jobs.”  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
Dirty Energy vs. Clean Power The Past Battles the Future at Seneca Lake
Tom Dispatch
Ellen Cantarow

Let’s amend the famous line from Joni Mitchell’s “Yellow Taxi” to fit this moment in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. There, Big Energy seems determined to turn paradise, if not into a parking lot, then into a massive storage area for fracked natural gas. But there’s one way in which that song doesn’t quite match reality. Mitchell famously wrote, “Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone.” As part of a growing global struggle between Big Energy and a movement focused on creating a fossil-fuel-free future, however, the residents of the Finger Lakes seem to know just what they’ve got and they’re determined not to let it go. As a result, a local struggle against a corporation determined to bring in those fracked fuels catches a changing mood not just in the United States but across the world when it comes to protecting the planet, one place at a time, if necessary. It’s difficult to imagine a more picturesque landscape, a more tranquil locale, a more bucolic garden spot than the Finger Lakes region. Each year, it draws tens of thousands of tourists to gaze at the waterfalls in Watkins Glen, to kayak and canoe in its deep waters, to dine in its farm-to-table restaurants and enjoy the homespun hospitality of its bed and breakfasts. Lush vineyards rustle on tree-studded hillsides. Wine Enthusiast magazine gave it top honors last year, calling it “one of the most vibrant and promising wine regions of the world.” There are fruit and vegetable farms and sugar maples, too. In 2013, the state’s maple syrup production ranked second only to Vermont’s.  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
California Using Recycled Fracking Water To Irrigate Crops
Mint Press News


REDDING, California — California’s governor, a recipient of generous donations from the oil and gas industry, is now responsible for putting dangerous “frack water” into the American food supply. As California struggles with a historic drought, some farmers in California’s agriculturally fertile Central Valley turned to a water recycling program, allowing them to irrigate their crops at a fraction of the normal cost. According to Phys.org, the recycled water costs about $33 per square foot, while freshwater could cost as much as $1,500 for the same amount.   [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
California Farms Are Using Drilling Wastewater to Grow Crops
Bloomberg
Alex Nussbaum & David Wethe

California’s epic drought is pushing Big Oil to solve a problem it’s struggled with for decades: what to do with the billions of gallons of wastewater that gush out of wells every year.   [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
PennEast pipeline poses threat to 23,000-acre watershed, says Bethlehem Authority
The Morning Call
Christina Tatu and Nicole Radzievich

Running PennEast's natural gas pipeline through the 23,000-acre Bethlehem Authority watershed could pose a risk to the primary water supply of more than 115,000 people and 1,315 commercial and industrial customers, says a new report prepared for the authority. In March, the authority hired Maser Consulting of Bethlehem to analyze the risks associated with installing 3 miles of the 108-mile pipeline through the watershed. The proposed pipeline would start near Wilkes-Barre and cross through Northampton County on its way into New Jersey.  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
Permit Application Reveals Danger Of Natural Gas Line
Scripps Media
Ben Hall

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - They have been shocking predictions -- a half mile wide explosion, with deaths nearby. That's what an energy company told the state could happen if a natural gas line ruptured in Northern Davidson County. It was in a document obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates. The company, Tennessee Gas Pipeline, has been hoping to build a compressor station in Northern Davidson County that would pump even more natural gas under the county.   [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
Big Oil Knew. Big Oil Lied. And Planet Earth Got Fried.
Common Dreams
Jon Queally

They knew. They lied. And the planet and its people are now paying the ultimate price. It's no secret that the fossil fuel industry—the set of companies and corporate interests which profit most from the burning of coal, oil, and gas—have been the largest purveyors and funders of climate change denialism in the world. Now, a new set of documents and a report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) answers the age-old question always asked when it comes to crimes of corruption, cover-up, and moral defiance: What did they know and when did they know it? As it turns out, "The Climate Deception Dossiers" shows that leading oil giants such as ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell—just like tobacco companies who buried and denied the threat of cancer for smokers—knew about the dangers of global warming and the role of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions long before the public received warning from the broader scientific community. And what's worse, of course, is not only that they knew—but how they have spent the last nearly thirty years actively denying the damage they were causing to the planet and its inhabitants.  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
Internal Documents Expose Fossil Fuel Industry’s Decades of Deception on Climate Change
EcoWatch
Elliott Negin

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse created a stir recently when he speculated that fossil fuel companies may be violating federal racketeering law by colluding to defraud the public about the threat posed by carbon pollution.  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
LPG opponents, Reading officials clash at meeting TOM
Press Connects
Tom Wilbur

TOWN OF READING – More than two dozen local governments have taken up a fight against a plan to store pressurized gas under the banks of Seneca Lake, although those living closest to the project say they have been left out of the discussion.  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
Proposed LNG facility off N.J. coast draws criticism from hundreds - again
NJ Advance Media
MaryAnn Spoto

EATONTOWN —Hundreds of people turned up the heat Thursday night on a proposed liquefied natural gas facility off the coast of New Jersey as they voiced their objections to a project they said would jeopardize security to the area while benefiting an industry that doesn’t need to import gas to the U.S. Some of the state’s top lawmakers from both political parties expressed their frustration at having to revisit the topic barely three years after Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a similar proposal in 2011.  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
NY farmer group proposes gas well fracking using propane
Times Herald Record
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A group of five farm families is seeking a state permit for a natural gas well using gelled propane instead of water for fracking, thus skirting the state's ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The Snyder Farm Group announced Wednesday that they're seeking to develop a 53-acre natural gas well tapping the 9,500-foot-deep Utica Shale formation in Tioga County, near the Pennsylvania border. The state Department of Environmental Conservation's recent prohibition applies to fracking operations using more than 300,000 gallons of water.  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
California science panel warns that fracking poses unknown risk
Los Angeles Times
Julie Cart

Hydraulic fracking in California uses a host of highly toxic chemicals that have unknown effects on drinking water supplies, wildlife and crops because state regulatory agencies don't fully understand what oil companies are doing, a state science panel warned Thursday.  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
Water and wildlife may be at risk from fracking's toxic chemicals, panel finds
Los Angeles Times
Julie Cart

Hydraulic fracturing uses a host of highly toxic chemicals — the impacts of which are for the most part unknown — that could be contaminating drinking water supplies, wildlife and crops, according to a report released Thursday by a California science panel. The long-awaited final assessment from the California Council on Science and Technology said that because of data gaps and inadequate state testing, overwhelmed regulatory agencies do not have a complete picture of what oil companies are doing.  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
New York City Can Shine with Solar Power
Gotham Gazette
Heather Leibowitz and Donovan Richards

Cities are economic centers, engines of commerce and trade. Cities are also cultural centers, for everything from fashion and food to art and architecture. Now, thanks to a nationwide solar energy boom, cities are increasingly becoming centers for energy production, and New York City is no exception. A new Environment New York Research and Policy Center report, Shining Cities: Harnessing the Benefits of Solar Energy in America, found that New York City ranks ninth in the nation for solar power installations. According to researchers who examined solar installations in 70 major American cities nationwide, New York City had enough solar panels online at the end of last year to power more than 6,300 homes.  [Full Story]

Jul 9, 2015
Study on hydraulic fracking
Los Angeles Times


A long-awaited fi­nal re­port by the Cali­for­nia Coun­cil on Sci­ence and Tech­no­logy has found hy­draul­ic frack­ing in Cali­for­nia uses a host of highly tox­ic chem­ic­als that have un­known ef­fects on drink­ing wa­ter sup­plies, wild­life and crops. Those factors re­main un­known be­cause state reg­u­lat­ory agen­cies don’t fully un­der­stand what oil com­pan­ies are do­ing, the state sci­ence pan­el warned.  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Meet the New York State Community That’s Standing Up to Big Energy
The Nation
Ellen Cantarow

et’s amend the famous line from Joni Mitchell’s “Yellow Taxi” to fit this moment in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. There, Big Energy seems determined to turn paradise, if not into a parking lot, then into a massive storage area for fracked natural gas. But there’s one way in which that song doesn’t quite match reality. Mitchell famously wrote, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” As part of a growing global struggle between Big Energy and a movement focused on creating a fossil-fuel-free future, however, the residents of the Finger Lakes seem to know just what they’ve got and they’re determined not to let it go. As a result, a local struggle against a corporation determined to bring in those fracked fuels catches a changing mood not just in the United States but across the world when it comes to protecting the planet, one place at a time, if necessary.  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Skirting Cuomo's fracking ban, N.Y. group files proposal
USA Today
Andrew Casler

BARTON, N.Y. – A proposal to frack for natural gas using gelled propane and sand was announced Wednesday morning at Barton Town Hall in Tioga County.   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Ohio communities want control over fracking
Cincinnati.com
Jessie Balmert

More than 100 local officials asked Gov. John Kasich for the authority to ban or regulate oil and gas drilling after several courts said they had little power.   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Local lawyer files lawsuit against state over fracking ban
WHEC
Brett Davidsen

A local lawyer has filed a lawsuit against New York State over a recent ban on hydraulic fracturing or fracking. That's the method of using water under high pressure to drill through rocks to find natural gas. When putting the ban in place the DEC said current safety measures weren't enough to keep our environment protected.   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Methane from fracking is probably more of a problem than EPA thinks
Grist
John Light

America’s natural gas boom might be generating a lot more greenhouse gas emissions than the EPA has estimated, according to a new study spearheaded by the Environmental Defense Fund.   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
March and forum in Kingston will focus on transport of crude oil
Capital New York
William J. Kemble

KINGSTON >> Representatives from about dozen environmental groups will hold a forum and lead a march on Broadway Thursday to protest the growing use of the rails and the Hudson River to transport crude oil.   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Former Dept. of Justice Official Says Exxon News Worsens Liability Picture
DeSmogBlog
Dan Zegart

The former Department of Justice lawyer who led the watershed lawsuit against tobacco companies, says that the news out today about oil giant ExxonMobil knowing as early as 1981 about the threat posed by climate change could worsen the fossil fuel industry's liability picture. Not only the media are buzzing over the revelation today that Exxon executives knew as early as 1981 of the significance of climate change and the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions, yet continued to fund scientists and a global misinformation campaign to sow doubt about whether global warming is real for another 27 years. Lawyers thinking of suing the industry for its role in warming the planet will certainly take note of what could be a potent new piece of evidence. The admission came in an email by Leonard Bernstein, a chemical engineer who was Exxon’s in-house climate specialist.  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says – but it funded deniers for 27 more years
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial. The email from Exxon’s in-house climate expert provides evidence the company was aware of the connection between fossil fuels and climate change, and the potential for carbon-cutting regulations that could hurt its bottom line, over a generation ago – factoring that knowledge into its decision about an enormous gas field in south-east Asia. The field, off the coast of Indonesia, would have been the single largest source of global warming pollution at the time. “Exxon first got interested in climate change in 1981 because it was seeking to develop the Natuna gas field off Indonesia,” Lenny Bernstein, a 30-year industry veteran and Exxon’s former in-house climate expert, wrote in the email. “This is an immense reserve of natural gas, but it is 70% CO2,” or carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change.  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Anti-fracking amendment opponents say enough is enough
Vindy.com


YOUNGSTOWN — A group of labor leaders and business owners want city officials to not permit a proposed anti-fracking charter amendment to appear on the ballot for a fifth time. While he opposes the proposal, Mayor John A. McNally said it would violate the city charter and the Ohio Constitution to not permit the measure to be put in front of voters again.   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Aurorans near fracking sites seek better representation on O&G committee
Aurora Sentinel
Rachel Sapin

For months Aurora City Council has grappled with how to make the committee more balanced. In a June 29 study session, some council members said they took issue with a proposal that would shake up committee membership to include two appointees from the two neighborhoods most affected by drilling.   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
California Farms Are Using Drilling Wastewater to Grow Crops
Bloomberg
Alex Nussbaum and David Wethe

California’s epic drought is pushing Big Oil to solve a problem it’s struggled with for decades: what to do with the billions of gallons of wastewater that gush out of wells every year. Golden State drillers have pumped much of that liquid back underground into disposal wells. Now, amid a four-year dry spell, more companies are looking to recycle their water or sell it to parched farms as the industry tries to get ahead of environmental lawsuits and new regulations. The trend could have implications for oil patches across the country. With fracking boosting the industry’s thirst for water, companies have run into conflicts from Texas to Colorado to Pennsylvania. California could be an incubator for conservation efforts that have so far failed to gain traction elsewhere in the U.S.  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Methane Emissions in Texas Fracking Region 50% Higher Than EPA Estimates Environmental Defense Fund-backed studies of 30,000 Barnett Shale wells shows the EPA has vastly underestimated emissions.
Inside Climate News
Lisa Song & Zahra Hirji

The release of 11 research papers Tuesday marked another milestone in the Environmental Defense Fund's ongoing effort to understand the natural gas industry's carbon footprint. Overall, the studies found that emissions of methane––a greenhouse gas at least 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide––in the Texas Barnett Shale were 50 percent higher than estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency.  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Nationwide Protests Call for Immediate Ban on Oil Bomb Trains
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

Monday was the second anniversary of the tragic Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, oil train disaster that killed 47 people. Since then, oil trains continue to derail and explode with five already this year. Four of the derailments occurred within just four weeks. A coalition of environmental and social justice organizations including Sierra Club, Greenpeace, ForestEthics, Oil Change International, Center for Biological Diversity, Rainforest Action Network, 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Food and Water Watch and Earthworks, have launched a week of action to call for an end to crude by rail shipments. The coalition has organized more than 80 events across the U.S. and Canada to call for an immediate ban on oil trains.  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Alec Baldwin Helps Uncover 3,000 Square Miles of Oil Blanketing the Gulf Floor Since BP Disaster
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

Last week, BP reached an $18.7 billion settlement for civil lawsuits over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which was the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Yesterday on his radio show, Here’s The Thing, Alec Baldwin spoke with journalist and author Antonia Juhasz, who has covered the spill extensively. In 2011, she wrote Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill and this June she was featured in Harper’s Magazine for taking a submersible to the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. What she discovered down there may surprise those who think the Gulf has completely recovered in the five years since the spill. In her exploration of the ocean floor, Juhasz got closer to the BP Macondo well-head than anyone had gotten since it was sealed five years ago. WYNC, which broadcasts Baldwin’s show, explains what Juhasz found:  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Fracking with propane proposed for Tioga County, NY
Ithaca Journal
Andrew Casler,

BARTON – A proposal to frack for natural gas using gelled propane and sand was announced Wednesday morning at Barton Town Hall in Tioga County. Snyder Farm Group spokesman Kevin "Cub" Frisbie said an application was filed yesterday with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. More than 60 people attended the press conference, which was held outside the Town of Barton municipal offices. The Snyder group is a collection of five Tioga County farm families that have leased land for natural gas development.  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
ACLU wants suit dropped in the case of drilling near Mars Area school campus
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Stephanie Ritenbaugh

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is seeking to have a land developer and other landowners drop a lawsuit against a group of residents and environmental organizations who oppose a local zoning ordinance allowing shale drilling near the Mars Area School District campus in Butler County. The lawsuit in question, filed May 22 in Butler County Common Pleas Court, involves Dewey Homes and Investment Properties and a dozen landowners who leased their gas rights. The suit claims legal appeals by the residents and environmental groups over the Middlesex zoning rules caused them financial hardship. It seeks damages and at least $35,000 in costs from each defendant named for interfering in the drilling leases and alleged civil conspiracy. The Middlesex Township zoning ordinance allows drilling and related activity on more than 90 percent of the township, including areas within a half-mile of the schools.  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Community leaders join environmental group asking Kasich to support local anti-fracking efforts
Cleveland.com
James F. McCarty

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A citizen-based environmental advocacy group today delivered a letter signed by more than 100 elected officials calling on Gov. John Kasich to support the authority of local communities to limit and prohibit fracking operations within their borders. "Our message is clear," Sarah Frost, outreach director for Environment Ohio, said in a conference call with reporters. "Fracking brings local harm, contaminating our drinking water, polluting our air and causing earthquakes. So it should be subject to local control."   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
The Next Fracking Boom May Be Closer Than You Think
Oil Price
Michael McDonald

Even as the fallout from the Greek debacle continues to hammer oil prices, investors need to be on the lookout for future opportunities in the industry. One country that has generated a lot of interest among energy companies and investors is Mexico. Now, as America’s southern neighbor moves to reinvigorate its energy industry, U.S technological advances seem to be moving south.   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Water Use Rising for Fracking in Texas and Nation
Public News Service


AUSTIN, Texas - Water used for hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is on the rise across the nation, according to a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey. The study found water use in horizontal drilling at gas wells was 28 times higher in 2014 than in 2000. Each gas well now taps over five million gallons of water, and oil wells require some four million gallons. Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, says this is bad news for states prone to drought.   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Duke Energy sets record in June for natural gas use
Charlotte Observer
Bruce Henderson

Duke Energy says it set a record this summer for use of natural gas as the company uses less coal, its preferred fossil fuel for decades. Duke’s power plants in the Carolinas burned a record 26.7 billion cubic feet of gas in June. Air conditioners ran hard that month, when temperatures in Charlotte hit 100 degrees on five days. The record is part of a nationwide shift toward natural gas in recent years as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, opened untapped deposits and prices plunged.   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Doddridge County Residents Discuss Force Pooling in Oil and Gas Meeting
WBOY


DODDRIDGE COUNTY - West Virginia University Extension Service held a program on natural gas drilling and forced pooling Wednesday night with nearly 100 people in attendance at the Doddridge County Park in West Union.  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
LPP Combustion, LLC and HARC Reach Agreement for Environmentally Friendly Drilling Field Trial
PR Newswire
Press Release

BALTIMORE, July 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- LPP Combustion, LLC announced today that it has signed an agreement with the HARC Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems program (EFD) to establish a field trial to demonstrate and evaluate an LPP Combustion power generation system at an operating well site and publish the results. According to Dr. Richard (Rick) Roby, CEO of LPP Combustion, "Participating in HARC's Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems program is a welcome and logical next step in commercial deployment of LPP Combustion products.  [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Methane Emissions From Oil And Gas Could Be Higher Than EPA Says
Oil Price
Charles Kennedy

A series of new studies find that methane emissions from oil and gas operations in the Barnett Shale are actually 50 percent higher than what the EPA has estimated. The studies, published in Environmental Science & Technology, paint a varied picture, however. The source of methane emissions come from an array of sites, and could be a larger problem than many thought. However, plugging the leaks is largely possible with available technology and monitoring.   [Full Story]

Jul 8, 2015
Safe, low carbon, inexpensive: the renewable alternatives to fracking
Ecologist
Keith Barnham

In its haste to get fracking, the UK Government is neglecting safe, clean alternatives that could be providing low-carbon gas and heat energy, writes Keith Barnham. The technologies are already well established in other European countries and are picking up fast here too - so why the insistence that only fossil fuels can deliver the UK's energy needs?   [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
New York State Formally Adopts Ban on Fracking: An Analysis of the New York State DEC’s SEQRA Findings Supporting Its HVHF Ban
National Law Review


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) undertook its final official step in imposing a total ban on gas drilling using the method of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) through its issuance this week of its “Findings Statement” pursuant to New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”). This week’s action was a fait accompli following the announcement at the New York Governor’s cabinet meeting in late 2014 that New York would ban HVHF and the subsequent release of DEC’s Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS). The Findings Statement breaks no new ground, continuing to base the total ban on somewhat vague assertions of unquantified public health risk and numerous statements of “possible” impacts. In this article, we focus on DEC’s primary reasoning underlying the ban that could be subject to legal challenge.   [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Washington County resident warns locals of fracking dangers
New Castle News
Mary Grzebleniak

Ron Gulla had the second horizontal gas well in Pennsylvania on his farm in Washington County, south of Pittsburgh. A former Hickory, Pa., farmer and drilling tool salesman, he knew a little about oil and gas drilling. But his experience when he leased his farm for drilling in 2002 has turned him against hydraulic fracturing. On Monday, he pleaded with Wilmington Township supervisors not to relax rules for fracking in the township, presenting information he has collected about the dangers posed by the industry.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Grey County takes a stand against fracking 0
Owen Sound Sun Times


While there are no applications to extract shale gas, county council voted Tuesday to call on the provincial government to conduct more research on the potential impacts of the operations and consider either a province-wide ban on fracking or strengthening regulations to ensure the practice does not harm the environment.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Frackers Use EPA Draft Water Report To Raise Doubts On Science
DC Bureau
Peter Mantius

Last month’s Environmental Protection Agency draft report on fracking’s impact on U.S. drinking water served up a sound-bite gift to the energy industry for its fight against the spread of state and local fracking bans. While the 998-page report cited specific instances where gas drilling contaminated water wells, the nation’s headline writers by a wide margin seized on the take-away line from the executive summary: The EPA “did not find evidence” that modern hydraulic fracturing has “led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.” In the body of the report, EPA states that it may have undercounted those impacts because “there is insufficient pre- and post-fracturing data on the quality of drinking water resources. This inhibits a determination of the frequency of impacts.”   [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
National Ethics Honor for Ithaca College Distinguished Scholar in Residence
The Ithaca Voice
JOLENE ALMENDAREZ

ITHACA, N.Y. — The American Ethical Union has honored Sandra Steingraber, Distinguished Scholar in Residence in the Ithaca College Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, for her “commitment to rescue our nation’s land, water and people from unsustainable, damaging corporate practices.” Steingraber was presented with the 2015 Elliot-Black Award at the organization’s national assembly on June 29.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Republicans Aim to Hamper Obama’s Policies With Spending Bills
The New York Times
JONATHAN WEISMAN

WASHINGTON — From environmental and work force regulations to health care and contraception, congressional Republicans are using spending bills to try to dismantle President Obama’s policies, setting up a fiscal feud this fall that could lead to a government shutdown. Even Pope Francis’ planned visit to Congress in late September, as the clock on a budget deal winds down, has added to the intrigue. “A lot of things are moving toward some kind of a climax,” said Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma and a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, who is pushing for negotiations now rather than later. “I think we’re asking the pope to do too much, but hey, mood is important to the legislative process.”  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Energy Companies That Stake Their Future On Gas May Be In For A Big Surprise
Forbes
Mike Scott

Almost $300 billion of planned LNG (liquefied natural gas) projects could be surplus to requirements, suggests a new report from the respected think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative. The London-based organisation says that there is some room for gas demand to grow while we remain within the “carbon budget” that will keep temperature increases to safe limits, but not as much as the gas industry believes. “We certainly don’t see any prospect of a ‘golden age of gas’, as the International Energy Agency suggested a few years ago,” said Anthony Hobley, CEO of Carbon Tracker. “If the world is to stay within a carbon budget that limits global warming to the 2°C UN target, energy companies will need to be selective over which gas projects they develop,” says the report, Carbon supply cost curves: Gas capital expenditures.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Low-Carbon World Won't Need $283 Billion of Natural Gas Projects
Inside Climate News
Elizabeth Douglass

An estimated $283 billion in potential liquefied natural gas projects could be dropped or deferred over the next decade if the world limits carbon emissions to current targets, according to a new report on natural gas investment risk. The conclusion challenges the growth plans of most of the world's top 20 LNG companies, but it's of particular concern for investors in Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and BG Group, the British oil and gas majors. Those four producers are considering new LNG projects that would cost $93 billion—a third of the total project spending that could be at risk, according to the report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a London-based think tank.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Hearings planned for 2nd major new gas pipeline across NY
My Fox NY
AP

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (AP) - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has announced a series of public meetings to let the public weigh in on the second interstate natural gas pipeline proposed to carry gas from Pennsylvania to markets in the Northeast and Canada. The Northeast Energy Direct pipeline proposed by a subsidiary of Houston-based Kinder Morgan would primarily follow the same route through New York as the Constitution Pipeline, which has FERC approval pending a state permit. The Northeast project would build about 412 miles of new 36-inch pipeline through Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut, and nine new compressor stations.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey launches study of region’s electricity needs, natural gas capacity
Gazettenet.com
SCOTT MERZBACH

BOSTON — Attorney General Maura Healey is launching an evaluation of options for the region’s electricity needs over the next 15 years, including whether more natural gas capacity is necessary. The attorney general’s office announced Monday that the study will be conducted, with support from the Barr Foundation of Boston, to better understand the need for additional gas capacity in New England. The study will also identify and evaluate options to address electricity reliability needs through 2030. “Our goal with this study is to identify the most cost-effective solutions for ratepayers that will also allow us to achieve our regional climate goals,” Healey said in a statement. “As the state makes long-term decisions about additional gas-capacity investments, we should understand the facts: what the future demand is, and which cost-effective energy and efficiency resources can be deployed to meet that demand.”  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
DRILLED HARD: FOR THOUSANDS OF JOBLESS TEXANS, CHEAP OIL COMES WITH A HEFTY PRICE
Houston Press
CHRISTIAN MCPHATE

T.J. Arterberry sits on his front porch and watches his two-year-old son, Trey. The boy had been searching for dead fish that washed up in the yard after rain flooded the creek near the house, and now he’s thirsty and trying to take a bottle of wine out of an ice-filled, beat-up plastic bucket. “Not for you, bubba,” Arterberry says, taking the bottle away before he returns to his phone, checking again for missed calls. It’s early May, and he’s been expecting a call from his boss at Energy Drilling Co., where he works as a directional driller. He finished a couple of jobs in Midland late last year, then headed to a rig just outside of —Laredo, where he spent the previous three months drilling multiple horizontal wells from one pad site. He finished the last well a few weeks ago, and he’s not sure if he still has a job. He’s afraid to call to find out. A few months ago, EDC laid off a third of its workforce, just a fraction of the 30,000 jobs lost in Texas in March and April. Since he’s been home, he’s been talking to friends who had been recently laid off from oil and gas fields across the globe, from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania to the jungles in Nigeria.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Doubt cast on new WA gas projects as global surplus predicted to continue
ABC.AU
Kathryn Diss

A new report has cast doubt on the need for some of Western Australia's proposed LNG projects, with supply predicted to continue outstripping demand for the next decade. The report was compiled by London-based think tank Carbon Tracker Initative, a team of financial, energy and legal experts focused on limiting future greenhouse gas emissions. The report's author Andrew Grant said the research found some of the projects planned for WA and Queensland sit higher on the cost curve compared to proposals elsewhere around the globe. "The $10 [per mmBtu, the unit of measure for natural gas] mark is where you get all the US and Canadian projects that tend to break even around that price — the Australian projects are a little bit higher up the curve," Mr Grant said.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Methane emissions underestimated by EPA, study says
Dallas Morning News
James Osborne

Methane emissions from natural gas operations in North Texas’ Barnett Shale are 50 percent higher than estimates by the federal government would indicate, according to a series of studies published Tuesday in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology.   [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
New Research Finds Higher Methane Emissions, Reduction Opportunities in Texas’ Barnett Shale Region
Environmental Defense Fund
Steven Hamburg

Methane emissions from vast oil and gas operations in the densely populated Barnett Shale region of Texas are 50 percent higher than estimates based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas inventory, according to a series of 11 new papers published today in Environmental Science & Technology.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Did the Catholic Church Endorse Fossil-Fuel Divestment?
The Nation
Bob Massie

The pope’s powerful encyclical on poverty and climate change is likely to transform the investment policies of religious institutions across America.   [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
First Nation launches court action against Pacific NorthWest LNG
The Vancouver Sun


As the B.C. government on Monday continued to put the pieces in place for a much-promoted first LNG project, another First Nation threw up a roadblock, challenging the leading $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project in court. The Gitga’at First Nation is seeking a judicial review from the B.C. Supreme Court over a B.C. Environmental Assessment Office decision they say does not recognize the Gitga’at as being one of the Tsimshian First Nations entitled to full consultation on the project near Prince Rupert in northwest B.C. In an interview, Gitga’at deputy chief Bruce Reece said they want the province to acknowledge they have rights in the area near the mouth of the Skeena River, and should be accommodated if the LNG project affects access to those rights and resources.   [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Refracking is the new fracking
Fuel Fix
Bloomberg

The technique itself is nothing new. Oil crews across the world have been schooled on its simple principles for generations: Identify aging, low-output wells and hit them with a blast of sand and water to bolster the flow of crude. The idea originated somewhere in the plains of the American Midwest, back in the 1950s. But as today’s engineers start applying the procedure to the horizontal wells that went up during the fracking boom that swept across U.S. shale fields over the past decade, something more powerful, more financially rewarding is happening. The short life span of these wells, long thought to be perhaps the single biggest weakness of the shale industry, is being stretched out. Early evidence of the effects of restimulation suggests that the fields could actually contain enough reserves to last about 50 years, according to a calculation based on Wood Mackenzie Ltd and ITG Investment Research data. Peak Shale Oil America’s tight-oil production is set to peak in 2020, based on U.S. forecasts, but a technique known as refracking could keep output booming for longer by increasing the yield from old wells.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
City adopts new oil and gas zoning
Stillwater News Press
Michelle Charles

The Stillwater City Council has taken the step residents have asked for and oil and gas industry representatives have tried to stop since January; It adopted new zoning requirements for oil and gas drilling within the city limits. Several cities in Oklahoma, including Norman, pondered restrictions on oil and gas activity within their borders over the past few years. A ban on hydraulic fracturing enacted by the city of Denton, Texas got the industry's attention and ensured its involvement in Stillwater's municipal process.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Public Comment Sought About Fracking in Kentucky
Public News Service


BEREA, Ky. – Bracing for a boom in deep-well fracking, state lawmakers revised Kentucky's regulations on oil and gas production in March. Environmentalists and landowners will now get to express their views about the regulatory revisions in a trio of public meetings across the commonwealth, beginning tonight in Madisonville. Many Kentuckians are concerned that requiring before-and-after water sampling on high-volume, hydraulic fracking is simply not enough. Madison County resident Tim Hensley lives near Berea, where energy companies have been seeking leases to mineral rights for development of the Rogersville Shale, a deep shale formation prevalent beneath much of eastern Kentucky. Hensley says he wants deep-well fracking banned.   [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
USGS Study Finds Large Increase in Fracking Water Use
Public News Service


DENVER – A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows water used for hydraulic fracturing, better known as "fracking," is on the rise across the nation. The study found water use in horizontal drilling at gas wells was 28 times higher in 2014 than in 2000, and each gas well now taps over five million gallons of water, while oil wells require some four million gallons. Sam Schabacker, western region director with Food and Water Watch, says this is bad news for states prone to drought.  [Full Story]

Jul 7, 2015
Fracking ordinance in the works for three towns
Bucks County Courier Times
Chris English

A joint ordinance that would regulate fracking in Newtown Township, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown will be voted on soon by the supervisors in all three townships, according to an attorney who helped draft the ordinance. Matt McHugh, of Grim, Biehn and Thatcher in Perkasie, said the ordinance will likely be voted on by all three governing bodies in the next month or two.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Barnett Shale wells rank high for water usage
Star Telegram
MAX B. BAKER

Drillers using hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett Shale were among the largest users of water when plumbing the depths in search of oil and natural gas, according to a first-ever nationwide analysis of water usage by energy companies by the U.S. Geological Survey. In a peer-reviewed paper to be published in Water Resources Research, energy companies working in the watershed that includes the 5,000-square mile Barnett Shale natural gas field used an average of 2.6 million to 9.7 million gallons of water per well from 2011 to 2014.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Study Finds 15 Frack Fluids Would Be Dangerous in Groundwater
NGI Shale Daily
Charlie Passut

A study led by researchers at the University of Colorado (UC) found that of the hundreds of compounds used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations, 15 are of particular concern if they ever become groundwater contaminants due to several factors, including toxicity. In a seven-page paper published online in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, which is published by the American Chemical Society, researchers tested 659 of the 996 compounds that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the website registry FracFocus have listed as compounds for use in fracking. Under a fast groundwater transport scenario, the researchers found that 15 compounds listed on at least 50 FracFocus reports had an elevated exposure potential -- defined as 10% or more -- of their initial concentrations remaining after a transport distance of 94 meters (308.4 feet), a distance roughly the equivalent to the average setback for oil and gas wells in the United States. The researchers tested more than 50,000 wells in four states -- Colorado, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas -- since 2011. "We wanted to evaluate which compounds we should be paying attention to based not just on toxicity but also on the extent a particular compound travels from one place to another through groundwater," said CU Professor Joseph Ryan, the lead researcher. "We found 41 compounds that were considered mobile and persistent, and a handful of those we would not want in our drinking water." Of the 15 compounds, two -- naphthalene and 2-butoxyethanol -- were identified on more than 20% of FracFocus reports. "Both compounds are commonly identified as ingredients in surfactants, corrosion inhibitors, and non-emulsifiers, and naphthalene is a constituent of some petroleum-based additives," the study said. The study also found three of the 15 compounds -- acrylamide, and the petroleum hydrocarbons ethylbenzene and xylenes -- have Maximum Contaminant Level (MCLs) standards set by the EPA. "The occurrence of these compounds at concentrations above their MCLs would necessitate regulatory action," the study said. "Acrylamide was identified on 3.2% of FracFocus reports as a residual ingredient in non-hazardous acrylamide polymers commonly used in fracturing fluids as friction reducers. "The petroleum hydrocarbons were rarely identified as individual additives on FracFocus...but they are minor constituents of some petroleum-based additives like hydrotreated light petroleum distillates...identified as an ingredient in friction reducers on 70% of reports. Benzene, also a minor constituent of petroleum distillates, was predicted to be sufficiently mobile and persistent by the screening framework but was individually identified on [less than] 50 reports." Ryan said that although the study may soothe concern that hundreds of chemicals used in fracking are at risk of contaminating groundwater, "it also demonstrates a subset of these compounds could result in potentially hazardous exposures following spills or well failures." According to Ryan, the researchers used a screening process that included degradation rates of particular organic compounds as they are horizontally transported from a point of release. They also considered the chemical structure and stability of each compound, its behavior in water, and employed a wastewater treatment process simulator called BIOWIN 4 to help estimate the biodegradation of the organic compounds over time. Ryan said the researchers used two transport scenarios: a highly porous aquifer with relatively fast groundwater velocity, and a less porous aquifer with slower velocity. The compounds were evaluated for potential toxicity using the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations and Health Assessment Information. "Just because a compound has been put into the ground doesn't mean it is going to migrate to a place where humans will be exposed to it," Ryan said. "On the other hand, problems with particular compounds in groundwater could take a decade or so to even show up. We don't know enough about some of these processes right now." CU said the researchers may next evaluate chemical products produced by the breakdown of fracking fluids, or consider the return of known fracking compounds to the surface. The research is being funded through a $12 million grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and is supported by the NSF's Sustainability Research Network program and the EPA's STAR Fellowship program.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Green Party fears fracking 'go ahead' in town
Warrington Guardian


WARRINGTON Green Party is warning residents that a major fracking 'go ahead' could be on the horizon for the town. Despite the drilling block announced in Lancashire, the Greens fear that Warrington planners could soon approve the controversial gas drilling technique which they believe can pollute water courses, contaminate land and impact on the health of residents.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Reforesting After Fracking: Working To Restore Pennsylvania's Drilled Land
WFDD


While most of the attention on the impacts of fracking has focused on things like drinking water, air pollution and earthquakes, state regulators in Pennsylvania are working on another less-discussed, but no less serious, side effect of oil and gas development: forest fragmentation.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
WVU, Ohio State researchers study fracking
Times Leader
Casey Junkins

WHEELING - Researchers from West Virginia University and Ohio State University are grinding more than a mile deep into the earth at the Morgantown Industrial Park to determine how fracking impacts the Marcellus and Utica shale formations.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
PRESS: Fracking Story Turns To Yorkshire Following Lancashire Defeat
London South East


LONDON (Alliance News) - The controversial fracking saga in the UK has turned its attention to Yorkshire where a proposed site is being considered following on from Lancashire County Council's decision to block a proposed site last week, The Daily Telegraph reports.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Energy News Roundup: Obama Stands Firm On Renewables, EPA Leaks Fracking Insight & Chevron LNG Plans Stalling
Breaking Energy
Conor O'Sullivan

President Obama has committed the United States to the goal of generating 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. “This would nearly triple the amount of wind- and solar-generated electricity on the national grid.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Brown Administration Approves Nine New Offshore Fracks
Indy Bay
Dan Bacher

"Approving new offshore fracking just weeks after Santa Barbara’s devastating oil spill is a new low,” Kristen Monsell, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, said. “Gov. Brown’s oil regulators just saw how dangerous oil production in coastal areas can be, but they didn’t hesitate to greenlight these fracks. The high pressures and dangerous chemicals used in this toxic technique have no place in our beautiful ocean.”   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Oil market throws cold water on US export ban push
Financial Times
Gregory Meyer and Anjli Raval

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8965ca14-213e-11e5-aa5a-398b2169cf79.html#ixzz3fCibjLuk A handful of US senators last month sent a letter warning President Barack Obama that lifting America’s 40-year-old ban on exports of crude oil could “harm businesses, consumers and our national security”. They need not have bothered. The oil market has thrown cold water on a push to repeal the ban.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Aftershocks for oil and gas drilling States push more stringent regulations on fracking to slow earthquakes
Washington Examiner
Zack Colman

A sharp uptick in seismic activity associated with oil and gas operations is starting to shake state regulators into pushing stiffer regulations aimed at managing earthquakes. The renewed attention to earthquakes linked to fossil fuel production comes as federal statisticians announced last week that U.S. oil output hit a record 9.7 million barrels per day. Despite the contentions of environmental opponents, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, itself is not the culprit for the tremors. Rather, it's the "disposal" wells used to pump wastewater from wells deep into geological formations to ensure it doesn't mix with drinking water supplies.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Officials To NYS: Take A Second Look At Pipelines
WAMC
Dave Lucas

Now that New York state's Department of Environmental Conservation has officially banned hydrofracking, officials in Schoharie County would like the state to take a closer look at natural gas pipelines and compressor stations. Although there won't be any fracking in New York, products of the process will move from Pennsylvania across the Empire State via pipelines which run through compressor stations. Natural gas, when transported through a pipeline, must be constantly pressurized at intervals of 40 to 100 miles.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Discover The Hidden Oil Wells of Los Angeles
DeSmogBlog
MIKE GAWORECKI

Big Oil will stop at nothing to pump every last drop of oil out of the ground, from paying scientists to say that oil spills, fracking and other routine matters of oil development projects aren’t harmful to the environment or human health, to deliberately poisoning the debate about how best to rein in climate change and bribing politicians to weaken environmental standards and other regulatory hurdles. But this is still somehow shocking: An oil well on a high school campus? Outside a mall? At a farmer’s market? Los Angeles may be one of the most populous urban centers on the planet, but there’s black gold in them thar hills, and the oil industry is going to get it, one way or another. Even if it has to drill under your property from several miles away. Check out this short but fascinating documentary, “The Hidden Oil Rigs of Los Angeles.”  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Officials To NYS: Take A Second Look At Pipelines
WAMC
Dave Lucas

Now that New York state's Department of Environmental Conservation has officially banned hydrofracking, officials in Schoharie County would like the state to take a closer look at natural gas pipelines and compressor stations.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Draft US EPA Assessment Finds No Systematic Risk to Drinking Water from Hydraulic Fracturing
National Law Review


Earlier this month, US EPA released its long-awaited draft assessment on the impact of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on the nation’s drinking water resources. The assessment, titled Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources, represents over four years of study into the potential of hydraulic fracturing to impact current and future drinking water sources in the US. While finding several “potential mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing could affect drinking water resources,” the assessment ultimately does “not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Pittsburgh energy company cuts health care for 4,400 retired workers
World Socialist Web Site
Samuel Davidson

Pittsburgh-based coal and natural gas giant Consol Energy announced in June that it was eliminating health benefits for its 4,400 retired workers at the end of this year. Consol is the latest in a series of private companies to cut health benefits for its retired workforce.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
LNG construction blowouts turns to bonanza for dispute lawyers
Financial Review Australia


Australia's liquefied natural gas sector is set to be swamped by a multibillion-dollar wave of disputes between producers and contractors over liability for cost blowouts and delays, as the slump in resources investment and commodity prices sharpens appetites to claw back funds. Chevron's overbudget $US54 billion ($71.8 billion) Gorgon LNG venture, Santos' $US18.5 billion GLNG project, and Inpex Corporation's $US34 billion Ichthys project in Darwin are among those understood to be the subject of arguments over responsibility for contract variations that have had an impact on the entire supply chain. "The numbers are mind blowing," KordaMentha forensic expert Owain Stone said.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Airborne lab seeks fracking leaks
Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Avril

MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. - The inside of the Twin Otter airplane was turned into a flying laboratory, crammed with racks of computer equipment and an array of suitcase-sized plastic containers. Its mission: to fly over the busy natural-gas drilling operations of northeastern Pennsylvania so a pair of scientists could measure how much of the stuff was leaking into the atmosphere. In particular, the researchers were interested in the prime component of natural gas, an odorless substance called methane that gets much of the blame for global warming.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Shale gas stakeholders divided over EU guidelines
The Parliament Magazine


In a meeting organised by the European commission on Monday 29 June, stakeholders were invited to provide their views on the effectiveness of the EU recommendation on shale gas. The aim of the meeting was to assist the EU executive in reviewing the non-binding guidelines it set in January 2014 on environmental protection for fracking projects so as to decide whether further measures are needed. Representatives of the oil and gas industry said that the recommendation is sufficient to cover shale gas activity across the EU, which is very low in any case. They argued that, with only 14 wells drilled in the EU last year, adopting further measures on top of the existing framework did not make sense. A survey conducted by Milieu and presented at the meeting, confirms that the industry is of the view that the principles of the recommendation were reflected in national legislation and already applied in practice in their country before its adoption.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Spain’s Basque Country introduces new fracking law
EnergyLive News
Jacqueline Echevarria

The Basque Parliament has approved a new law which critics believe makes fracking more complicated in the region. Under the new legislation, fracking is banned in regions where any type of construction is prohibited and also in areas close to water. For fracking in other areas, the Basque Parliament stated: “Permissions to frack will not be given if an environmental evaluation process is not completed.” The decision is the result of a ‘Popular Legislative Initiative’ (ILP) signed by more than 100,000 locals.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Aftershocks for oil and gas drilling States push more stringent regulations on fracking to slow earthquakes
Washington Examiner
Zack Colman

A sharp uptick in seismic activity associated with oil and gas operations is starting to shake state regulators into pushing stiffer regulations aimed at managing earthquakes. The renewed attention to earthquakes linked to fossil fuel production comes as federal statisticians announced last week that U.S. oil output hit a record 9.7 million barrels per day.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Energy Roundup: Ohio State's joint drilling project, Columbia's public pipeline company, rise of renewables
Columbus Business First
Tom Knox

Drilling is underway on a first-of-its-kind project between Ohio State University and West Virginia University. The schools say the new research lab is the country's first long-term, in-the-field study of drilling for natural gas in shale deposits. The project received an $11 million grant in November so the universities can study the entire process – from drilling, to completion to production – in Morgantown, the home of WVU. West Virginia and Ohio host prominent activity in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, and the two universities in 2013 agreed to jointly study the impact of shale drilling.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Airborne lab seeks fracking leaks
Philly.com
Tom Avril

MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. - The inside of the Twin Otter airplane was turned into a flying laboratory, crammed with racks of computer equipment and an array of suitcase-sized plastic containers.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Environmental group trying to block fracking at Long Beach oil islands
Press Telegram
Andrew Edwards

An environmental group has petitioned the California Coastal Commission to stop plans that may lead to the resumption of controversial fracking operations at the oil islands off the Long Beach shoreline. The state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources granted permits for fracking work at eight existing offshore oil wells and five new ones, according to agency spokesman Don Drysdale. Any fracking at the wells, which are managed by the city of Long Beach and a subsidiary of California Resources Corp., would be subject to new statewide regulations that went into place on July 1.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Fracking facing crisis of trust from public
Upstream Online


Proponents of hydraulic fracturing faced disappointment on both sides of the Atlantic last week, with shale drilling plans blocked by a local authority in the UK and New York state formalising its ban on the technology across the water. Of the two cases, the decision by Lancashire County Council in England to block drilling and fracking plans by private operator Cuadrilla Resources at two locations is likely the more significant.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
North East MPs lobby Prime Minister David Cameron over fracking decisions
Chronicle Live
Michael Marsh

Campaigners are calling on the Prime Minister to honour a pledge that sees local authorities make decisions over fracking. Mary Glindon, MP for North Tyneside, and Ian Mearns, MP for Gateshead, want David Cameron to ensure that decisions are made locally and that they are not overturned by national Government.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Billions in gas projects stranded by climate change action, says thinktank
The Guardian
Damian Carrington

More than $280bn (£180bn) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects being planned over the next decade risk becoming “stranded” if global action is taken to limit climate change to 2C, according to a report by the thinktank Carbon Tracker. LNG projects allow gas to be compressed into tankers and sold around the world, making it key to hopes in the US, Canada and Australia of fully exploiting their gas reserves. But the new analysis shows that if emissions are cut to keep global temperature rise below the internationally agreed target many LNG projects being considered will not be needed. The report concludes that over the next 10 years $82bn of LNG plants in Canada would be surplus to requirements, $71bn in the US and $68bn in Australia, with the rest of the world, led by Russia and Indonesia, accounting for the remaining $59bn.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Refracking Is the New Fracking
Bloomberg
Dan MurtaughLynn DoanBradley Olson

The technique itself is nothing new. Oil crews across the world have been schooled on its simple principles for generations: Identify aging, low-output wells and hit them with a blast of sand and water to bolster the flow of crude. The idea originated somewhere in the plains of the American Midwest, back in the 1950s. But as today’s engineers start applying the procedure to the horizontal wells that went up during the fracking boom that swept across U.S. shale fields over the past decade, something more powerful, more financially rewarding is happening.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Wave of new federal oil and gas mandates in the works
Houston Chronicle
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON - A wave of federal regulation is set to hit the oil and gas industry in coming years, but the crests of the coming mandates are visible now, as administration officials race to draft and finalize proposals before President Barack Obama leaves office. The measures range from minor to major, with some specifically targeting oil and gas activities and others affecting the sector because they apply economy-wide. In all cases, the government's long regulatory timeline - with initial drafts and final rules subjected to public comment and interagency reviews - means work is under way now with an eye on finishing the job in 2016 or 2017. Even if regulators don't impose new rules on climate change, air pollution and offshore drilling by the time a new president is installed in January 2017, they can lay down markers and create momentum for the measures. Actions now can sometimes lock in a future administration, no matter who succeeds Obama in the White House.  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Oklahoma Fracking Ban Eliminates a Town's 41-Year-Old Ordinance
HPPR
JONATHAN BAKER

McAlister, Oklahoma, has had a ban on oil drilling within its city limits since 1974. But now Governor Mary Fallin has signed controversial legislation outlawing municipal drilling bans, and the mayor of this small town in southeastern Oklahoma isn’t happy, reports KOSU. In fact, he wrote a eulogy for the death of his town’s 41-year old drilling ban, referring to the ordinance by the name “Ordie.” The requiem reads, in part, “Ordie . . . never caused trouble for anyone while he was here. Leastwise, I never heard a complaint.” Oklahoma instituted the law after Texas enacted similar legislation, in response to an ordinance in Denton, Texas, that banned fracking within the city limits. “We can’t have a barbershop or a beauty salon in a residential area, but now we’re supposed to allow oil wells,” the mayor lamented.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Study Could Be Tool to Block Valley Fracked Gas Pipeline
WHAV.net


Proponents of a fracked natural gas pipeline through the Merrimack Valley may find their paths blocked by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Healey yesterday announced a regional study to find out “how much additional gas is needed” and whether “that gas can by supplied by LNG or additional pipeline capacity.” With support from the Barr Foundation, Healey has retained Analysis Group, a Boston-based economic and financial consulting firm, to conduct the regional study. “Our goal with this study is to identify the most cost-effective solutions for ratepayers that will also allow us to achieve our regional climate goals,” said Healey. “As the state makes long-term decisions about additional gas capacity investments, we should understand the facts—what the future demand is, and which cost-effective energy and efficiency resources can be deployed to meet that demand.”  [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Airborne lab seeks fracking leaks
philly.com
Tom Avril

MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. - The inside of the Twin Otter airplane was turned into a flying laboratory, crammed with racks of computer equipment and an array of suitcase-sized plastic containers. Its mission: to fly over the busy natural-gas drilling operations of northeastern Pennsylvania so a pair of scientists could measure how much of the stuff was leaking into the atmosphere. In particular, the researchers were interested in the prime component of natural gas, an odorless substance called methane that gets much of the blame for global warming. "This is what we're going to fly today," said atmospheric scientist Anna Karion, indicating a zigzag pattern on her iPad map, covering an area that measured 50 miles by 80 miles.   [Full Story]

Jul 6, 2015
Moms, kids to hold Capitol 'play-in' on climate change
The Hill
Tim Devaney

A group of concerned mothers and their children will descend on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to rally for stronger protections from climate change. Moms Clean Air Force is organizing a “play-in” for climate action near the Capitol building, where they will draw attention to upcoming methane regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.  [Full Story]

Jul 5, 2015
New York's fracking ban starts the clock for lawsuits
Press Connects
Jon Campbell

ALBANY – When Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration officially banned large-scale hydraulic fracturing Monday, it finally put an end to a seven-year review process that drew hundreds of thousands of public comments and sharply divided the general public. For now. The state Department of Environmental Conservation's action started a 120-day clock for fracking proponents to examine whether the ban has any legal holes; fracking opponents have lauded the ban. If a lawsuit isn't filed by Oct. 27, state law says the decision can no longer be challenged. For years, both boosters and opponents of shale-gas drilling have operated under the belief that the state's ultimate decision on fracking would end up in the courts. The next four months will prove whether the assumption becomes reality.  [Full Story]

Jul 5, 2015
Secrecy over fracking chemicals clouds environmental risks, advocates say
The Guardian
Rose Hackman

The fracking industry must be compelled to provide far more detailed information to regulators if the public is to be accurately informed of any risks to the environment, advocacy groups say. A report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month found that hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas can lead, and has led, to the contamination of drinking water. It was the first time the federal government had admitted such a link. The study, based on “data sources available to the agency”, found levels of any contamination to be small compared to the number of wells across the country, the EPA said.  [Full Story]

Jul 5, 2015
Fracking-Related Personal Injury Tort Claim Allowed to Proceed in Oklahoma Court
National Law Review


In its June 30, 2015 opinion, Landra v. New Dominion, LLC, the Oklahoma Supreme Court held that a personal injury tort action alleging that fracking-related activity caused an earthquake that then caused the plaintiff’s injuries can proceed in an Oklahoma district court. The Oklahoma Supreme Court made no factual or legal findings with respect to the merits of the claims of causation, it simply held that the district court has jurisdiction to hear the suit based on the allegations made.  [Full Story]

Jul 5, 2015
Obama’s Clean Power Plan: Not The Transformation We Need
Popular Resistance
Michael Grunwald

Note: There is a lot of propaganda going around, much of it coming from the big green environmental groups, about how great the Obama Clean Power Plan is, how it is a transformative moment. The article below from Politico is the best analysis we’ve seen so far and it shows how tepid the plan really is, how it is non-transformative and only the tiniest possible step in the right direction. Dr. Sue Rubin describes the plan as a “(not so) clean power plan” She quotes Dr. James Hansen whose view describes the situation: “We have two political parties, neither one of which is willing to face reality. Conservatives pretend it’s all a hoax, and liberals propose solutions that are non-solutions.” What we really have underlying Hansen’s criticisms are two wings of a corporate party both of who protect the interests of the status quo. Add to that a the non-profit industrial complex big greens and the corporate mass media who hide the truth about so-called liberals. Slate reports the plan is “business as usual” pointing out the plan acknowledges it will make no major changes:   [Full Story]

Jul 4, 2015
Frackquake Madness!: 35 Fracking Earthquakes Rock Oklahoma in a Week
Truthout
Emerson Urry

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — Historically speaking, Oklahoma used to be a place where almost no palpable earthquakes happened at all — but hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a. “fracking” has changed all that now. Between the dates June 17 and June 24, 2015, Oklahoma was jolted by 35 earthquakes greater than magnitude 3.0 due to fracking and fracking wastewater injection activities the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) has confirmed — this, in a state that experienced less than two such quakes per year before 2009. The sketchy episode comes only two months on the heels of the implementation of new regulations in the state that prevent operators and waste disposers from injecting wastewater “below the state’s deepest rock formation, believed to be one of the main causes of the quakes,” Reuters reported.  [Full Story]

Jul 3, 2015
A smart ban on fracking
Times Union
Editorial

Our opinion: With a new study finding evidence of chemicals in many water wells in a fracking-intense part of Texas, New York’s ban on this form of drilling is all the more prudent. New York had a choice: Whether to prohibit fracking, or allow this state to become a living laboratory for an unconventional drilling process whose safety remains in question. With the finalization of a ban on fracking this week, New York chose wisely. After years of debate and study, and six months after the state announced its plan to put a ban in place, Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens made the ban official Monday. It was a victory for New Yorkers, and especially the thousands of citizens who pressured Gov. Andrew Cuomo to take a closer look at the process formally known as high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Jul 3, 2015
Water used for hydraulic fracturing varies widely across United States
Great Bend Tribune


The amount of water required to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells varies widely across the country, according to the first national-scale analysis and map of hydraulic fracturing water usage detailed in a new study accepted for publication in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. The research found that water volumes for hydraulic fracturing averaged within watersheds across the United States range from as little as roughly 9,800 liters (2,600 gallons) to as much as 37 million liters (9.7 million gallons) per well. In addition, from 2000 to 2014, median annual water volume estimates for hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells had increased from about 670,000 liters (177,000 gallons) per oil and gas well to more than 15 million liters (4 million gallons) per oil well and 19 million liters (5.1 million gallons) per gas well. Meanwhile, median water use in vertical and directional wells remained below roughly 2.5 million liters (671,000 gallons) per well. For comparison, an Olympic-sized swimming pool holds about 660,000 gallons. “One of the most important things we found was that the amount of water used per well varies quite a bit, even within a single oil and gas basin,” said Tanya Gallegos, a scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Virginia, and the study’s lead author. “This is important for land and resource managers, because a better understanding of the volumes of water injected for hydraulic fracturing could be a key to understanding the potential for some environmental impacts.”  [Full Story]

Jul 3, 2015
A Bad Week for Fracking, Another Black Eye for Natural Gas
Triple Pundit
Tina Casey

businesses seeking to burnish their CSR profile with this relatively clean-burning fuel could be shooting themselves in the foot. Evidence continues to mount that the natural gas supply chain carries an enormous amount of environmental baggage as well as community welfare issues. This week was a particularly bad one for the natural gas industry, with the release of two government reports in the U.S. and one in the U.K.   [Full Story]

Jul 3, 2015
Episcopal church votes to divest from fossil fuels: 'This is a moral issue'
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

The leadership of the Episcopal church has voted to withdraw from fossil fuel holdings as a means of fighting climate change, delivering an important symbolic victory to environmental campaigners. Two weeks after the pope’s pastoral letter on the environment, the divestment decision by a major US Protestant denomination underscored that climate change is increasingly seen by religious leaders as a deeply moral issue.   [Full Story]

Jul 3, 2015
Federal energy regulators want comments on natural gas pipeline project transiting Capital Region
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Schodack Federal energy regulators are coming to southern Rensselaer County later this month to take public comments on potential environmental impacts from the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline project. Staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold public meetings on the planned 36-inch pipeline, which would run through the southern sections of both Albany and Rensselaer counties.  [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Defra’s Un-Redacted Shale Gas Report Reveals Extent of Impacts on People Living Near Fracking Wells
DeSmogBlog UK


This article by Christine Ottery has been cross-posted from EnergyDesk. People that live near fracking sites could be affected by health problems and financial hardships – and fracking might not even help climate change – a government report has revealed. The report – which was initially heavily redacted but has now been fully published after the Information Commissioner ordered the government to do so – includes striking passages that were previously blacked out on the risks of living near a fracking well, most dramatically that:  [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
How leaky is the compressor station?
Pike County Courier


MILFORD — The results of tests looking for methane gas at the Milford compressor station will be presented at the township supervisors' meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 6. Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, a grassroots group that opposed Columbia Gas in its expansion of the compressor station on Firetower Road, will present the results. The tests are meant to provide a baseline for future tests, which, when compared to the baseline, will show whether the expanded station emits more methane than is present now.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
After the Frack: Habitat Fragmentation
Earth Island Journal
Lana Straub

Fracking-related habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation could have lasting impacts The use of the unconventional hydraulic fracturing method of oil and gas extraction has expanded energy infrastructure across parts of the nation that were previously untouched by machinery. Pristine forests in Pennsylvania, wide-open prairies in the Dakotas and Texas, and clear-blue streams in Ohio have been forever altered. As fracking operations have spread across the American landscape, these once pristine areas have been converted into fields of pumpjacks and islands of oil and gas Christmas trees. In the wake of this landscape change, animal species have suffered huge losses as their habitats have become fragmented and they have been forced to find a new place to live. Unfortunately, many of these changes may scar the landscape long after extraction activities have ended.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
How The Oil Industry Got Two Regulators Fired For Doing Their Jobs
Huffington Post
Judith Lewis Mernit

Here’s something you probably didn’t know happened in California in the last few years, and maybe it’s something you never imagined could happen: In 2011, two high-ranking state regulators were fired from their posts for pissing off the oil industry. No one really disputes the veracity of that statement; not even Governor Jerry Brown. “They were blocking oil exploration in Kern County,” the Sacramento Bee reported Brown announcing at an event six months later. “I fired them, and oil permits for drilling went up 18 percent.” Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, also celebrated without restraint, unconcerned that the people of California might detect her hand guiding the Governor’s pink-slip pen. After the firings, Reheis-Boyd boasted to the Los Angeles Times that her industry once again had a “clear pathway for people to get permits and proceed with drilling in this state. The communications lines are very open.”  [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Grid operator: State needs more transmission lines
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—If New York does not build more transmission lines, it will not be able to increase its reliance on renewable energy sources, the state's independent grid operator has determined. New York will need about 15,000 megawatts of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to comply with tough new federal power plant regulations, Stephen Whitley, president of the New York Independent System Operator, wrote to the state Public Service Commission.  [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
US: 100% conversion to wind, water and solar power by 2050 feasible, PV to account for 38%
PV Magazine


In a new study by Stanford University, a solid financial, technical and economical case for the U.S to convert its all-purpose energy systems to ones powered by wind, water and sunlight (WWS) has been made. Based on their calculations, the authors say solar PV could account for 38% of power generation in 2050, and create up to 2.3 million jobs.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Shortchanged? Landowners, Lawmakers, Prosecutors Target Gas Driller
WNEP
DAVE BOHMAN

LITCHFIELD — The Drake brothers thought their century-old family farm near Sayre would make them rich. Back in 2000, they sold the natural gas rights on their 490-acre farm to Chesapeake Energy. “It’s going to be free, easy money,” said Jim Drake. It began in 2010, when the well on the Drake farm first produced natural gas. But two years later, the brothers noticed their royalty checks from Chesapeake shrinking. The gas company began deducting money from the Drake’s royalty checks for what Chesapeake called “post-production and transportation costs.” It’s a deduction the brothers claim was not in the lease they signed 15 years ago.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Economic prosperity factor in judging health effects of fracking
The Chronicle Herald
Frank Atherton & David Wheeler

After a period of relative quiet, hydraulic fracturing burst back into the news recently with the release of a major report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources. As business reporter Remo Zaccagna noted on June 9, the study “found no evidence that the mechanisms involved in fracking, or extracting oil and gas from shale rock, has led to ‘widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States’.”   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
New maps, court rulings show disparate impact of environmental injustice
Al Jazeera America
Gregg Levine

As the United States continues to embrace its expanded access to oil and natural gas, a number of new maps, mapping tools and studies — from a diverse set of sources — have evaluated the threats posed by pollution from and the transport of hydrocarbon-rich fuels. The results are perhaps unsurprisingly but all-too-disturbingly consistent: dangers to health and safety presented by expendable legacy energy sources fall disproportionately on poor and minority communities.  [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Alpha expands Marcellus shale gas stake
Argus Media


Washington, 2 July (Argus) — Alpha Natural Resources is poised to resume drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania after a long hiatus, marking the US coal producer's second attempt to diversify its production base in Appalachia. Alpha will become the sole operator of Pennsylvania Services Corp. after buying out its joint venture partner EDF Trading Resources' 50pc stake for $126mn. The Marcellus exploration venture holds 25,000 acres in southwest Pennsylvania. Alpha and the North American energy trading subsidiary of French utility firm EDF formed the joint venture in 2013.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Landfill Drill Waste Unlikely to Get in Water
The Intelligencer


CHARLESTON (AP) - A study by state regulators says it's unlikely that significant amounts of untreated natural gas drilling waste in landfills will impact groundwater or surface water. In the event that the waste's runoff did hit nearby water untreated, however, the material would likely exceed chemical limits for drinking water and be toxic to plants and invertebrate life, the study concludes.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Fracking study reveals home prices could fall 7% and government worries about industry
International Business Times
Graham Lanktree

An edited government study that said fracking could cut house prices near wells by as much as 7% was missing parts about whether the industry is financially sustainable, an unedited copy reveals. "Less clear is how sustainable the shale gas investments will be in the future," said the unredacted version of the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs study, originally published in March 2014 with missing parts.  [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
As Communities Prepare for New State Fracking Rules, One City Will Wait and See
State Impact OK
Joe Wertz

Gov. Mary Fallin signed controversial legislation in May outlawing municipal bans on fracking and other oil and gas activities. Officials in some communities are re-examining their local drilling ordinances to comply with the law, which goes into effect later this summer. One city in southeastern Oklahoma, however, isn’t budging.  [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Fracking rejected in Blackpool
Money Week


The nascent UK fracking industry has suffered a major setback. Lancashire County Council rejected a bid from oil and gas explorer Cuadrilla to begin fracking in four exploratory wells near Blackpool “on the grounds of noise and visual impact”. Cuadrilla will appeal.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Thousands Evacuated After Train Hauling Chemicals Catches Fire in Tennessee
ABC News


A train carrying chemicals caught fire overnight in Maryville, Tennessee, displacing up to 5,000 people, authorities said. The CSX train was traveling from Cincinnati to Waycross, Georgia, when the fire broke out, Kristin Seay of CSX corporate communications said. The train was carrying liquefied petroleum gas and acrylonitrile, which is used in the manufacture of plastics. Despite initial reports that train cars derailed, there was no derailment and the fire only involved one car, Blount County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Marian O’Briant said. Authorities ordered a 2-mile evacuation, and hazmat crews responded to the scene, O’Briant said. “Evacuation time could last anywhere from 24 to 48 hours, but we'll get word out as soon as we can,” she said. While no serious injuries for first responders or residents have been reported, 22 first responders were being treated for decontamination, Blount Memorial Hospital Public Information Officer Jeff West said.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Fracking Water Transportation Falls Under FLSA Overtime Rules
The Legal Intelligencer
Gina Passarella

Two trucking companies that make deliveries to natural-gas drilling sites in Pennsylvania cannot escape the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime rules because their transport of water within the state is not so integral to interstate commerce to fall under any overtime exemptions outlined in the federal Motor Carrier Act.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Fracking In US Is Consuming A Lot More Water Than It Used To
International Business Times
Avaneesh Pandey

According to a new national scale analysis and map of water used in hydraulic fracturing operations, oil and natural gas fracking in the United States is now consuming over 28 times the water it did 15 years ago. The maps are part of a study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), accepted for publication in a journal of the American Geophysical Union, just days after New York State officially banned fracking.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Fracking prohibited in New York state and Lancashire
Chemistry World
Phillip Broadwith

Local rulings in the UK and US will prohibit hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. The New York state department of environmental conservation has officially ratified the state’s existing fracking moratorium, based on arguments of the potential health effects.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
No Fracking In New York, Says DEC
Clean Technica
Acadia Otlowski

Residents of New York state need not worry, there will be no fracking in New York. The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) banned the practice by issuing the final document needed to ban the practice.  [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Charter amendment in Columbus sought to ban fracking
Columbus Dispatch
Zack Lemon

Fracking and other oil and gas drilling would be banned in Columbus under a petition an environmental group says it is turning in at City Hall this morning to change the city charter. Members of a group called the Columbus Community Bill of Rights announced this morning that they would turn in more than 13,500 signatures on a petition to place the proposed charter changes on the city's November ballot. About 8,950 of those signatures would have to be certified as coming from registered Columbus voters for the charter change to make the ballot.   [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
California Regulators Find Several “Significant And Unavoidable Impacts” Of Fracking, Approve Nine Offshore Frack Jobs Anyway
DeSmog Blog
Mike Gaworecki

California regulators released a final environmental review yesterday that found fracking has “significant and unavoidable impacts” — less than a week after they approved nine new offshore frack jobs. The state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) released its final report on the environmental impacts of extreme oil extraction techniques like fracking and acidization, and found multiple impacts to air quality, public safety and the climate that “cannot be mitigated.”  [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Pipeline company sues Boston over West Roxbury gas line
The Boston Globe
Jack Newsham

The owners of the biggest natural gas pipeline in New England have sued the city of Boston for standing in the way of a controversial pipeline extension through West Roxbury. Spectra Energy Corp., the Houston company that is expanding Algonquin pipeline network, filed suit against the city in federal court on Wednesday alleging that the city would not sell the easements, or rights-of-way, that the company needed to bury its pipeline.  [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
Regulators Warn Banks on Loans to Oil, Gas Producers
The Wall Street Journal
GILLIAN TAN, Biography @GillianTan Google+ RYAN TRACY and RYAN DEZEMBER

U.S. regulators are sounding the alarm about banks’ exposure to oil-and-gas producers, a move that could limit their ability to lend to companies battered by a yearlong slump in prices. The Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. are telling banks that a large number of loans they have issued to these companies are substandard, said people familiar with the matter, as they issue preliminary results of a joint national examination of major loan portfolios. The substandard designation indicates regulators doubt a borrower’s ability to repay or question the value of the assets that back a loan. The designation typically limits banks’ ability to extend additional credit to the borrowers.  [Full Story]

Jul 2, 2015
New York State Fracking Ban Becomes Official
EcoPolitics Daily
Susan Torres Blog

On June 29th, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced their decision to prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in the state of New York. This decision concludes almost seven years of extensively evaluating HVHF for environmental and public health concerns. Over this review period, the DEC has utilized a vast amount of resources such as scientific literature, public health experts, field visits, environmental authorities and more to make an informed decision. After an immense amount of debate, the Department found that there are no feasible or prudent alternatives that would adequately avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts and address the scientific uncertainties and risks to public health.   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
The Economics Of Fracking For The UK
Oil Price
Michael McDonald

As Great Britain considers its future and the role that shale gas may play, it’s worth trying to understand the economic impact that greater shale development would have. There is little doubt that there will be some environmental costs to shale development. Maybe those costs will be great, maybe they will be small. But studies have shown that those costs are controllable largely based on local regulations. The benefits of shale extraction though are not as easy to assess. In the wake of recent set-backs to the British opportunities in shale extraction, it’s worth looking at economic data to try and gauge those benefits. Most countries in Europe lack the proper geography for shale production, so the best example to turn to for an idea of the economic effect from shale production for Britain is the U.S.  [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Fractivists Say NY's Ban is Influencing Moratorium Decisions Elsewhere
WXXI News
Karen DeWitt

Julia Walsh, who’s led the group Frack Action through years of protests, hearing testimony, and other actions, helped deliver a thank you petition to Governor Cuomo the day the fracking ban was formalized. Walsh says New York began the process to ban fracking, last December, has helped influence other groups in the US and around the world.   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
State issues toughest-in-the-nation fracking rules
Los Angeles Times
Julie Cart

State officials on Wednesday formally adopted new rules governing hydraulic fracturing in California, setting in motion some of the toughest guidelines in the nation for the controversial oil extraction practice. The oil and gas agency also released its environmental impact report that concluded fracking could have “significant and unavoidable impacts” on a number of fronts, including air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and public safety.   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of... Fracking?
Huffington Post
Wenonah Hauter & Rep. Mark Pocan

For years, oil and gas corporations have been degrading our cherished public lands with the destructive oil and gas drilling method known as fracking. This has seriously impacted our public lands and groundwater, and areas buffering America's most precious national parks and monuments are at increasingly grave risk.   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
DEC chief leaving, second in command stepping up
Times Union
Brian Nearing

State commissioner leaves after four years; new acting leader to confront oil train issue Albany: State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens' chief lieutenant, who will succeed Martens when he steps down sometime this month, will face a to-do list that includes increasing shipments of crude oil through the state by massive trains and on the Hudson River in barges and tankers. Taking the acting helm at DEC will be Executive Deputy Commissioner Marc Gerstman, who came in after Martens was tapped by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2011  [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
In Oklahoma, Fracking Companies Can Now Be Sued Over Earthquakes
Think Progress
Emily Atkins

If you live in Oklahoma, and you’ve been injured by an earthquake that was possibly triggered by oil and gas operations, you can now sue the oil company for damages. That’s the effect of a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which on Tuesday rejected efforts by the oil industry to prevent earthquake injury lawsuits from being heard in court. Instead of being decided by juries and judges, the industry was arguing that cases should be resolved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, a state regulatory agency.   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Citizens Can Sue Fracking Companies for Earthquake Damage, Says Oklahoma Supreme Court
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Oklahoma almost never used to have earthquakes. But in the last six years they’ve increased so much that last year the state surged past California as the most seismically active state in the continental U.S. Prior to 2009, the state averaged two quakes of greater than 3.0 magnitude annually. By 2014 that number had soared to 585, up from 109 in 2013.   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Water Use for Fracking Has Skyrocketed, Stressing Drought-Ridden States
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in partnership with the American Geophysical Union, shows that not only has the number of such operations grown as fracking has expanded its reach and improved technology has allowed drilling in harder to reach locations, but individual wells are consuming more water as well.   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Study Says Drill Waste Unlikely to Get in Water
WV Public Broadcasting
Associated Press

A state study says it's unlikely that significant amounts of untreated natural gas drilling waste in landfills will get into groundwater or surface water. The Department of Environmental Protection released the report Wednesday on drill cuttings in landfills. Though the report says it's unlikely, if the waste's runoff hit a water source, the material would likely exceed chemical limits for drinking water and be toxic to plants and invertebrate life. Treated material wouldn't.   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
MPs raise fears about impact of fracking on farms and water
Farmers Weekly
Jez Fredenburgh

Pressure on the government to address worries over fracking is mounting after MPs accused the government of a “dash for gas” and treating local people’s concerns with “contempt”. MPs across the political spectrum raised multiple concerns on Tuesday (30 June) about fracking, including the destruction of prime farmland, water contamination and the ability of farmers to produce safe food that the public trusted.   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
California OKs Fracking Regulations Before Scientists Finish Studying Risks State Certifies Environmental Review Without Results of Delayed Fracking Study
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release Asher Price

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Gov. Jerry Brown’s scandal-plagued oil agency today finalized weak regulations for hydraulic fracturing that fail to protect California communities from fracking pollution. The state’s Department of Conservation also finalized an assessment of fracking’s health and environmental risks, even though scientists working on a mandated, independent statewide scientific study have not finished evaluating fracking’s dangers. The study should have been completed six months ago.  [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Bonita Springs fracking ban clears hurdle
News-Press
Denes Husty III

The proposed ban of a controversial oil drilling method initially endorsed by the Bonita Springs City Council is being hailed by environmentalists and condemned by large land owners holding oil and mineral rights who are threatening lawsuits. The ban, approved at a first reading at Wednesday night's meeting in a 6-0 vote, with a second and final hearing scheduled for July 15, is targeted to prevent fracking.   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Court: Oklahoma woman can sue fracking company for causing earthquakes
Hotair
Jazz Shaw

Oklahoma’s Supreme Court said New Dominion LLC can be sued for damage caused by an earthquake that a woman blames on disposal wells tied to fracking, in what may be the first such case to head to a jury trial. Sandra Ladra sued New Dominion and Spess Oil Co. for injuries suffered to her knees and legs in November 2011, when a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck near her home in central Oklahoma. She said the tremor caused the rock facing on her two-story fireplace and chimney to fall into the living room, where she was watching television with her family.  [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Facing integration Alta Mesa applies to integrate Payette County properties
Argus Observer


Payette County residents might soon learn what it means to be integrated into a gas well drilling unit. Texas-based oil and gas company Alta Mesa has asked the state to integrate parcels in Payette County, where it has 16 gas wells, a gas processing facility, three sublines and thousands of mineral leases.   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Episcopal church votes to divest from fossil fuels: 'This is a moral issue'
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

The leadership of the Episcopal church has voted to withdraw from fossil fuel holdings as a means of fighting climate change, delivering an important symbolic victory to environmental campaigners. Two weeks after the pope’s pastoral letter on the environment, the divestment decision by a major US Protestant denomination underscored that climate change is increasingly seen by religious leaders as a deeply moral issue. The measure, adopted by the governing body at a meeting in Salt Lake City, commits the church to quit fossil fuels and re-invest in clean energy.  [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Supreme Court Rejects Argument to Dismiss Landmark Fracking Case
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected a motion by the country's most powerful energy regulator that Jessica Ernst's case involving fracking and groundwater contamination raises no significant constitutional claim and should be dismissed. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin ruled that the case raised a significant constitutional question on whether or not an "immunity clause" in the regulator's legislation placed it above the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Is the regulator's immunity clause, asked McLachlin in her June 25th ruling "constitutionally inapplicable or inoperable to the extent that it bars a claim against the regulator for a breach of" the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?  [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Pipeline firm aims to control conversation on Santa Barbara oil spill
Los Angeles Times
Steve Lopez

Two days after the ruinous May 19 oil spill that fouled fisheries, sea birds and beaches, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf and her chief of staff drove to the county's emergency operations center to get the latest intelligence and offer support on the evolving disaster. But they were stopped at the gate by a man asking Wolf who she was and whom she worked for. She identified herself and threw the same questions back at the gatekeeper: " 'Who do you work for?' And he says, 'I work for Plains.' " "I was appalled," said Wolf, current chair of the county Board of Supervisors. Plains All American Pipeline operates the pipeline that burst, sending crude gushing into the sea, and Wolf couldn't believe that an employee of the Texas-based outfit was acting as a guard at a county facility.  [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
How the U.S. and China found each other through climate change — Jeb scores on energy investment — Institutional investors back Obama's methane plan
Politico
Eric Wolff

HOW THE U.S. AND CHINA FOUND EACH OTHER THROUGH CLIMATE CHANGE: China and the U.S. have discovered they can look past their differences in the South China Sea and on human rights and focus on one area where they agree: Climate change. Few climate policy wonks saw it coming a decade ago, when China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter was bristling at wealthy nations’ pleas to adopt serious pollution controls, but these days, top Chinese officials can’t stop talking about global warming. They’re jumping at every opportunity to discuss the issue with diplomats in Europe and the United States, Pro's Andrew Restuccia writes this morning. Here’s his piece on how China changed its mind on carbon emissions, and how the two largest carbon emitters in the world came together on this topic, despite other disagreements. http://politico.pro/1eir2hm   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Fracking could hurt house prices, health and environment, official report says
The Guardian
Adam Vaughan and Rowena Mason

Fracking operations to extract shale gas in Britain could cause nearby house prices to fall by up to 7% and create a risk of environmental damage, according to a government report that has been published in full for the first time. Entitled Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) document was released on Wednesday after a freedom of information battle. An official assessment of the impact of fracking, it warned that leakage of waste fluids could affect human health through polluted water or the consumption of contaminated agricultural products.  [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
“We’re going to fight it all the way,” Women sue oil companies for personal injury, property damage
KFOR
LESLIE RANGEL

PRAGUE, Okla. — Two cases involving lawsuits against oil companies for allegedly causing earthquakes have been given the green light. This after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that plaintiffs can seek damages for personal and property injury in a district court. The quake we’re talking about happened in Prague, Nov.2011. One woman is suing oil companies in that area for personal injury. The other is suing the same companies for property damage. They share their story, and why they want the companies to take responsibility.  [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
DEC's Martens: Resignation timing not coincidental
Press Connects
Jon Campbell

ALBANY – About 32 hours after his agency officially banned large-scale hydraulic fracturing, state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens told his staff Tuesday he will soon step down. The timing wasn't coincidental. In an interview Wednesday with the Albany Bureau, Martens said he had committed to serving one, four-year term as head of the Department of Environmental Conservation when Gov. Andrew Cuomo first tapped him for the post in 2011. But as the agency's review of fracking stretched into Cuomo's second term, Martens said he wanted to see the lengthy, contentious process to its end. He did that Monday, when he issued a 43-page document putting the state's fracking ban into place and giving it the force of law. "When I started the job, I really committed to a term," said Martens, 59. "Obviously, I inherited the high-volume hydraulic fracturing situation, so I wanted to finish that before I left. Now that that is behind us, it is time for me to move on."   [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Hillary Clinton State Department Emails Contain Redacted Job Description for Top Energy Diplomat
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

The U.S. State Department released a batch of 3,000 searchable documents formerly stored on the private hard drive and in a private email account of Democratic Party presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Among them: a fully redacted job description for State Department International Energy Coordinator/Diplomat-At-Large. David Goldwyn — now a fellow at the Atlantic Council, fellow at the Brookings Institution and head of Goldwyn Global Strategies — would eventually come to assume that role as head of the State Department's Bureau of Energy Resources, a Bureau that premiered under the watch of then-Secretary Clinton. Goldwyn, as revealed in a Mother Jones article by Mariah Blake, headed up the State Department's Global Shale Gas Initiative as the leader of the Bureau of Energy Resources, where he “sold fracking to the world.” A biography for Goldwyn that appears to have come from the job application process for the position was also released by the State Department.  [Full Story]

Jul 1, 2015
Alberta’s Government Kicking Oil Industry While It’s Down
OilPrice.com
James Stafford

The new government in Alberta is much less friendly to the fossil fuel industry than the conservatives it recently swept out of office after forty years of rule. And early on, the new NDP government has shrugged off pleas from the oil and gas industry to go easy on it, given the extraordinary collapse in revenues from the fall in oil prices. The provincial government decided to raise the carbon tax beginning as soon as 2016, jumping from $15 per tonne to $20 per tonne. It will then go up to $30 per tonne in 2017.   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
New York State's Fracking Ban is Official
NRDC


It's official! New York State has taken the historic step of banning high-volume fracking throughout the state. I know, you may have thought that had happened back in December. In fact, while Governor Cuomo - through his Commissioners of Environmental Conservation and Health - announced then that the state's determination was to prohibit fracking, it was the issuance of a so-called Findings Statement that culminated the nearly 7-year environmental review process that formalized that decision. The Findings Statement is the document that demonstrates that the Department of Environmental Conservation has properly considered all of the factors mandated under the state's environmental review law, and sets forth the basis for its determination on a proposed project - in this case, a new high-volume fracking program. It is both legally binding on the state's regulators and, as discussed further below, not easily dismantled by future decision makers. In a nutshell, the Findings Statement says that, after considering (1) the potential environmental and health impacts, as well as (2) potential measures that could be imposed to mitigate those impacts, and factoring in (3) substantial scientific uncertainties and (4) limited economic and social benefits, (5) a ban is the only alternative that ensures that potential adverse effects are maximally avoided or minimized.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Come together [PA "pledge of allegiance to gas drillers"]
Philadelphia Inquirer
Editorial

The $30 billion budget the Pennsylvania legislature's ruling Republicans are catapulting through the Capitol is going to miss the mark. The plan dusts off one-shot gimmicks and a pledge of allegiance to gas drillers while offering no relief to property tax payers and ignoring the state's schoolchildren. This bucket of bad ideas can hardly be seen as a serious proposal. One can only hope that Harrisburg's reckless tone will change after Gov. Wolf inevitably vetoes the proposal and the state slips past the budget deadline Wednesday. Maybe then negotiations will begin in earnest.   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
House stymies DEP on drilling rules
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Laura Legere

The state Department of Environmental Protection would have to scrap its effort to update rules for Pennsylvania’s traditional oil and gas drilling industry and begin the 4-year-old rulemaking process again under the terms of an amendment that House Republicans added to a key state budget bill late Sunday. Following a similar maneuver by the Legislature last year, environmental regulators have already split the state’s current and proposed drilling rules into two chapters — one for the technologically advanced unconventional drilling industry that targets the Marcellus and other deep shale formations and another for the conventional industry that generally operates shallow, vertical wells, some of which are a century old.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Demand For Sand: Frac sand use per well goes up amid low oil prices
San Antonio Business Journal
Sergio Chapa

Six-year low crude oil prices may have decimated new drilling activity, but market indicators show there is a more intense use of frac sand in the new wells that remain in the Eagle Ford and other shale plays. Mostly mined in Wisconsin and other northern states, frac sand is mixed with water and different chemicals to fracture shale formations in order to unleash oil and natural gas reserves. A June 11 report from global investment bank Jefferies shows that overall demand for frac sand is down in 2015 due to low oil prices but its use per well has been steadily increasing over the past three years.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Energy companies can be sued over quakes, Oklahoma Supreme Court says
MarketWatch
DANIEL GILBERT

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a woman injured in a 2011 earthquake can file suit in district court against the two energy companies she accuses of causing the quake. The ruling raises the prospect of more lawsuits seeking to hold companies responsible for an increase in seismic activity in the state, as more scientific studies link the tremors to the energy industry. In particular, the studies have found evidence tying quakes to operations that inject wastewater left over from drilling into wells deep underground. Sandra Ladra of Prague, Okla., about 60 miles east of Oklahoma City, sued New Dominion LLC and Spess Oil Co. last summer for injuries she sustained during a 5.6-magnitude quake that toppled her stone chimney. The lawsuit in Lincoln County District Court contends that the companies caused the quake by injecting wastewater into nearby wells.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Breaking: Vera Scroggins Takes Deal in Wiretapping Case, Vows to Continue Anti-Fracking Fight
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

“Who is the danger here?” Vera Scroggins, an anti-fracking activist based in Susquehanna County asked after reaching an agreement to resolve a case in which she faced criminal charges at the Montrose, Pennsylvania courthouse. “Me or an industry that is contaminating the air and water?” Scroggins, 64, strutted defiantly out of the Montrose courtroom, greeting her supporters after signing an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (A.R.D.) agreement, a Pennsylvania deal usually offered to first time offenders, covering her six wire-tapping charges.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Scientific Case for banning fracking on federal land (Commentary)
The Post-Standard
Larysa Dyrszka, MD and Mary Menapace, RN

The final fracking review has been released and the paperwork has been completed to make New York's long-awaited fracking ban official. We are proud to celebrate Governor Cuomo's bold and necessary decision, which confirms what many of us working in healthcare already knew – fracking anywhere in New York would put public health and safety at great risk. As a doctor and a nurse, we can speak to the objective, scientific examination of shale drilling and fracking from a public health standpoint, on which Governor Cuomo wisely based his decision in order to protect the health and water of all New Yorkers. In the past four years, the number of peer-reviewed studies on shale drilling and fracking has gone from almost zero to more than four hundred, according to the Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy public database. That's a lot of data, with topics including health impacts, air pollution, water contamination, seismic impacts (including earthquakes), wastewater, engineering issues, climate impacts, and economics.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Under the Surface update tells backstory of NY frack ban Findings statement denouement of environmental epic
Shale Gas Review
Tom Wilber

On July 23, 2008, New York Governor David Paterson signed a bill authorizing his Department of Environmental Conservation to adjust regulations to accommodate shale gas wells in New York. The bill was drafted by the DEC. But it was designed around the needs of industry to speed the processing of permits. Because the subterranean footprint for a shale gas well, which runs horizontally, is much larger than a conventional, vertically-drilled well, larger spacing units were necessary to determine the distribution of royalties along the property boundaries above. The “spacing bill,” as it was known, was essentially a mapping function and did not regulate the mechanics of drilling. But without it, each permit would require a variance – a process that would require public hearings for each well, opening the door for a new set of problems for the industry.   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Oklahoma Court Rules Homeowners Can Sue Oil Companies Over Quakes
The New York Times
RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. and MICHAEL WINES

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that homeowners who have sustained injuries or property damage from rampant earthquakes they say are caused by oil and gas operations can sue for damages in state trial courts, rejecting efforts by the industry to block such lawsuits from being decided by juries and judges. The case has been closely watched both by the energy industry and by fracking opponents across the United States, and the 7-to-0 ruling opens the door for homeowners in a state racked by earthquakes to pursue oil and gas companies for temblor-related damage. It is the first time the court has specifically addressed whether plaintiffs could sue for damage that experts believe is typically caused by massive amounts of wastewater generated by oil and gas drilling — often involving hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — that are ultimately injected into underground disposal reservoirs near fault zones.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Joe Martens, DEC commissioner, to step down
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

The state’s top environmental regulator will step down next month, announcing his move a day after his agency formally banned large-scale hydraulic fracturing statewide. In an email Tuesday night to agency employees, Joe Martens said he will soon step down as commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, a position Gov. Andrew Cuomo first appointed him to in 2011. Martens has served as the face of New York’s review of fracking for the past five years, maintaining a steady presence as the closely scrutinized process went through various twists and turns. He also oversaw a lowering of New York’s carbon-emissions cap and the state’s response to various natural disasters, including Superstorm Sandy. Ultimately, Martens saw the fracking review process to its completion Monday, when the agency issued a 43-page document that officially put a statewide ban on the technique into place. The review first launched in July 2008, predating Cuomo and Martens’ terms.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
U.S. walrus protections hit Shell's Arctic drilling plan
Reuters
Timothy Gardner

The Obama administration dealt a setback to Royal Dutch Shell's Arctic oil exploration plans on Tuesday, saying established walrus and polar bear protections prevent the company from drilling with two rigs simultaneously at close range, as it had planned. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued Shell a permit which emphasized that under 2013 federal wildlife protections, companies must maintain a 15-mile (24-km) buffer between two rigs drilling simultaneously. The rule is meant to protect populations of animals sensitive to sounds and activities of drilling. Walruses have been known to plunge off rocks into the sea during drilling, putting some at risk. The animals are already at risk from reduced habitat due to global warming.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
DEC On Fracking: "Not In New York"
WAMC
Dave Lucas

Environmentalists are welcoming the official end to the years-long fracking debate in New York. Listen Listening...3:44 State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens released a 43-page “Findings Statement” Monday afternoon, which effectively prohibits high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Empire State. In it, Martens writes: "After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative. High-volume hydraulic fracturing poses significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated. This decision is consistent with DEC’s mission to conserve, improve and protect our state’s natural resources, and to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state."  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
State finalizes fracking ban
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—New York officially banned fracking on Monday, after the state Department of Environmental Conservation issued the final piece in a multi-part, years-long process. The D.E.C. issued its “findings statement” Monday afternoon, ending a nearly seven-year review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The ban now has the force of law and will likely lead to legal challenges from the industry. “After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative,” D.E.C. commissioner Joe Martens said in a statement. “High-volume hydraulic fracturing poses significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated.”  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Seward urges feds to reject NED pipeline
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, urged federal regulators Tuesday to reject the proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline that would run through portions of Delaware, Schoharie and Chenango counties. Seward told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a letter that he was concerned the company's proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, coming on the heels of the proposed Constitution Pipeline, would make the region a natural gas pipeline "highway." He also noted the $4 billion Tennessee Gas project is being opposed by the Delaware County Board of Supervisors. “Plans to make portions of my district a new thoroughfare for gas pipelines are not in harmony with what residents want or support,” Seward said in a statement. “The concerns raised by local officials and residents alike are reasonable and understandable and provide strong evidence why the proposal submitted by Tennessee Gas Pipeline (Kinder-Morgan) should be soundly rejected.” The senator stated in a letter to FERC Secretary Kimberly D. Bose: “The cumulative effect of multiple pipelines through portions of Delaware and Schoharie Counties should be reviewed by FERC. It is not unreasonable to project that multiple pipelines would place arithmetically higher pressure on public infrastructure and public services, land values and the environment. This ‘multiplier’ effect should be evaluated carefully.”  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Marcellus permit activity in Pennsylvania
Bakken.com
Danielle Wente

The Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania saw quite a bit of action over the last week. However, while drilling is continuing, so is the great battle over royalty payments. Pennsylvania Representative Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) announced last week that he is pushing his royalties bill once more. House Bill 1319 focuses on Pennsylvania landowners and making sure they receive fair royalty payments from natural gas drilling companies. Everett first introduced H.B. 1319 last year, but it did not make it on to the floor for voting, which is where Everett believes it would have been successful: It’s being held up in strategic places by strategic people– the leadership in the Republican caucus … We just need to convince them. There are so many of us in favor of the bill, they’re obligated to allow us to take it to the floor.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Menendez: Offshore drilling could devastate NJ tourism
Asbury Park Press
Michael L. Diamond

BELMAR – - New Jersey’s multi-billion tourism industry would be put at risk if the Obama Administration allows oil companies to drill in the Atlantic Ocean, Sen. Robert Menendez said at a press conference Tuesday. One spill similar to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico would put the brakes on the Shore’s economy, which already is struggling to recover from superstorm Sandy, Menendez, D-NJ, said. “Every business here in Belmar and up and down the Jersey Shore relies on a healthy, vibrant Atlantic Ocean,” Menendez said. “It’s why people come here in the first place.”  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Colorado habitat loss feared in decline of greater sage-grouse
Ohio.com
Bob Downing

(Washington, D.C., June 30, 2015) To prevent the Greater Sage-Grouse from sliding toward endangerment, the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Final Environmental Impact Statement needs significant improvements to stop habitat loss, says American Bird Conservancy (ABC). This assertion is part of a comment letter on the Colorado Plan ABC and Prairie Hills Audubon Society submitted Monday to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The letter makes science-based recommendations that can be adopted to better conserve the species. The letter states: “…that while in many instances the Northwest Colorado plan marks progress over current management, it in some cases does not follow the management recommendations of scientists, leaves open the potential for further habitat loss or degradation, and does not designate protected reserves or focal areas for Greater Sage-Grouse. We urge that the FEIS be revised to prevent the construction of new transmission lines, oil and gas fields, and roads in priority sage grouse habitat.”  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Pa. lawmakers move to block new rules on oil and gas drilling
Penn Live
Candy Woodall

Lawmakers have slipped a last-minute amendment into the fiscal code to block the state Department of Environmental Protection's new rules on oil and gas drilling in Pennsylvania. While the amendment takes aim at conventional drilling, environmentalists say it could also lighten regulations on what's termed unconventional drilling — drilling in the Marcellus shale. "A number of legal experts say, because of the way (the regulations are written) and because rules for conventional and unconventional are pushed simultaneously, if one part is taken out, the whole thing has to go out," said Matthew Stepp, director of policy for PennFuture. "There's a good chance if they stop conventional drilling rules, it will stop the unconventional rules as well." The changes originated in the Senate and moved to the House.   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Shocking Documents Reveal Fracking Health Complaints Swept Under the Rug in Pennsylvania
Eco Watch
Wenonah Hauter

Heavily-fracked Pennsylvania is a battle ground in the fight to protect affected families from the harms of the toxic drilling method. Last week after months of resisting our efforts, the state finally delivered more than 100 pages of documents to Food & Water Watch that were requested through a public Right-to-Know request. And what we received was shocking. The documents clearly demonstrate an ongoing pattern of alarming negligence and incompetence by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) in responding to scores of fracking-related health complaints from state residents. This first came to light in 2014, when a StateImpact Pennsylvania report revealing that DOH health workers were told not to respond to fracking-related health complaints. According to two former DOH employees, the department instituted policies to prevent field staff from addressing complaints from residents regarding natural gas drilling and fracking related health impacts. Employees were given specific instructions to refrain from engaging with residents who called with health complaints containing specific “buzzwords,” according to these retired workers.   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
House stymies DEP on drilling rules
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Laura Legere

The state Department of Environmental Protection would have to scrap its effort to update rules for Pennsylvania’s traditional oil and gas drilling industry and begin the 4-year-old rulemaking process again under the terms of an amendment that House Republicans added to a key state budget bill late Sunday. Following a similar maneuver by the Legislature last year, environmental regulators have already split the state’s current and proposed drilling rules into two chapters — one for the technologically advanced unconventional drilling industry that targets the Marcellus and other deep shale formations and another for the conventional industry that generally operates shallow, vertical wells, some of which are a century old. The amendment added to the budget-related Fiscal Code bill Sunday night prohibits the DEP from finalizing any conventional well site rules that are under consideration and revokes the department’s package of proposed conventional drilling rules, which has gone through two rounds of public comment since it was published in December 2013. Steve Miskin, a spokesman for the House Republican majority, said the amendment is necessary because the DEP’s divided rules do not fully comply with the Legislature’s directive for the two industries to be regulated differently. “This is basically telling DEP, ‘Stop. They are dramatically different types of wells and you need to have separate regs,’” he said.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Drilling, not quake, caused Lapindo mud volcano
COCObkk


Geologists reignited the debate Monday about whether to blame nature or humans for the devastating eruption nine years ago of an Indonesian mud volcano still oozing its all-consuming sludge today. New analysis of underground gas levels measured at the time of the outburst point the finger to gas exploration — not an earthquake — as the trigger, a research team from the United States, Britain and Australia wrote in the journal Nature Geosciences. “Taken together, our data strongly supports a man-made trigger,” study co-author Mark Tingay from the University of Adelaide said in a statement. The Lusi mud volcano erupted out of the blue on May 29, 2006, in the middle of a rice field in the Sidoarjo district of Java island. It has destroyed numerous villages, factories, shops, and a highway. A dozen people were killed and about 40,000 have been displaced.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Halliburton closing Indiana County office
Trib Live
David Conti

Oilfield services giant Halliburton is closing its Indiana County office as gas drilling customers pressured by low prices focus more of their activity in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania and in eastern Ohio. The Houston company on Tuesday notified the 430 workers in the Homer City office that it would close by the end of the year and move operations there to an office in Zanesville, Ohio. The move will result in the loss of 90 jobs. The rest of the workers will get offers to move to Zanesville or other company locations, spokeswoman Susie McMichael said. “Halliburton continues to make adjustments to its workforce based on current business conditions,” she said. “We value every employee we have, but unfortunately we are faced with the difficult reality that reductions are necessary to work through this challenging market environment.”   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Study Shows Huge Variation in Fracking Operations' Thirst
EP Online


A study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in partnership with the American Geophysical Union shows enormous variation in the amount of water used to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells in the United States. The first national-scale analysis and map of hydraulic fracturing water usage has been accepted for publication in Water Resources Research, a journal of the AGU. It found that water volumes for hydraulic fracturing averaged within watersheds across the United States range from as little as 2,600 gallons to as much as 9.7 million gallons per well. Maps on the USGS website show water use in this type of well in the 50 states and locations where conventionally drilled wells are most numerous. From 2000 to 2014, median annual water volume estimates for hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells rose from about 177,000 gallons per oil and gas well to more than 4 million gallons per oil well and 5.1 million gallons per gas well, while median water use in vertical and directional wells remained below 671,000 gallons per well, according to USGS.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
This is What Ten Years of Oklahoma Earthquakes Sounds Like
Good
Rafi Schwartz

Over the last several years, Oklahoma has seen a dramatic increase in the number of earthquakes rocking the Sooner State. According to one study, Oklahoma’s seismic activity leaped an astonishing four thousand percent between 2008 and 2013, due, the study concludes, to hydraulic fracturing for the purpose of ground oil collection, or as it’s more commonly known: “Fracking.” While the exact nature of the relationship between fracking and earthquakes is one which science is still struggling to define (questions of proportionality, predictability, and perhaps most importantly, prevention, still linger), there is no doubt that something serious is happening underneath Oklahoma. To help frame this seismic spike, the Center for Investigative Reporting has developed a unique way to understand the scale of what’s happened in Oklahoma over the last decade. Rather than simply plot the earthquakes visually on a map (though they’ve done that, too), or chart their development on a graph, The CIR’s Reveal publication has created an audio timeline of Oklahoma’s earthquakes, allowing us to hear—rather than see—the degree to which Oklahoma’s earthquakes have increased in both frequency, and severity.   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Utica fracking wells among country's highest water users
Columbus Business First
Tom Knox

Water use in oil and gas wells in eastern Ohio's Utica shale region is among the highest in the nation, according to new research from the U.S. Geological Survey. The study provides what the agency says is the first comprehensive nationwide data on water used during hydraulic fracturing. The general consensus: Fracking "uses large amounts of water, though not as much as many have suspected in some areas," says the study, which is set to be published in the Water Resources Research academic journal.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Research reveals water used for hydraulic fracturing varies widely across U.S.
Water World


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2015 -- According to the first national-scale analysis and map of hydraulic fracturing water usage detailed in a new study, the amount of water required to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells varies widely across the country. The research found that water volumes for hydraulic fracturing averaged within watersheds across the United States range from as little as roughly 9,800 liters (2,600 gallons) to as much as 37 million liters (9.7 million gallons) per well. In addition, from 2000 to 2014, median annual water volume estimates for hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells had increased from about 670,000 liters (177,000 gallons) per oil and gas well to more than 15 million liters (4 million gallons) per oil well and 19 million liters (5.1 million gallons) per gas well. Meanwhile, median water use in vertical and directional wells remained below roughly 2.5 million liters (671,000 gallons) per well. For comparison, an Olympic-sized swimming pool holds about 660,000 gallons.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Germany postpones vote on fracking law amid coalition row over details
Reuters


Germany has delayed a parliamentary vote on new rules for the disputed technique of fracking for shale gas after parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition failed to agree on final details, lawmakers said on Tuesday. Legislation had been due to go to the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) on Friday but objections from some Social Democrats (SPD), in coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, led to a postponement until the autumn. Unconventional fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves blasting chemicals and water into rocks to release trapped gas. Opposition is strong in Germany, where a powerful green lobby has warned about possible risks to drinking water from fracking. German industry is keen that the door to fracking is not closed, arguing it could help lower energy costs. They point to a shale boom in the United States that has helped to boost industry by bringing down the cost of power. A draft law passed by cabinet in April, drawn up by SPD Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, imposed an outright ban on fracking for shale gas in the next few years and only allowed scientific test drilling under strict conditions to assess the risks and environmental impact.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Pennsylvania initiates state-run fracking chemical database
Washington Times


PITTSBURGH (AP) - By next summer, shale gas companies in Pennsylvania will be required to electronically disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing in a new state-run database. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (http://bit.ly/1BR9G63 ) the state will require operators to submit fracturing records electronically by March 2016. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley says the DEP will end its affiliation with FracFocus, an independent online catalog of fracking records, and develop their own online database. Plans call for integrating the records into a mapping system. Quigley says users would be able to click on dots on a map and find information about the wells. The database will be based on a disclosure form that separates the list of chemicals and trade names, which the DEP hopes will encourage more disclosure.   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Climate change plans require urgent action, government warned
BBC News
Helen Briggs

The UK must take urgent action to prepare for the impact of climate change, the government has been warned. Ministers should focus on the future risks of heatwaves and flooding, says the Committee on Climate Change. Its report said more needed to be done to keep emissions on track, although the government said it was committed to meeting its climate change target. It also warned a decision to stop onshore wind farm subsidies early could potentially add £1bn a year to bills. The report by the Committee on Climate Change looked at progress towards meeting carbon emission targets and how the UK is preparing for climate change risks. Chairmen Lord Deben and Lord Krebs said measures were needed to address increased flood risk to homes and to protect farmland from declines in productivity.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
New study identifies organic compounds of potential concern in fracking fluids
BE Boulder
Press Release

A new University of Colorado Boulder framework used to screen hundreds of organic chemical compounds used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows that 15 may be of concern as groundwater contaminants based on their toxicity, mobility, persistence and frequency of use. Using a fast groundwater transport scenario, the team predicted that 41 of the 659 organic compounds screened would have 10 percent or more of their initial concentrations remaining at a transport distance of roughly 300 feet. That is the average state “setback” distance in the United States between a fracking well and a drinking water well, said CU-Boulder Professor Joseph Ryan, the principal investigator on the study. In the fracking process, a mixture of water, sand and various chemicals is pumped into wells at high pressure to create fissures in subterranean shale layers to release natural gas and oil. Oil and gas companies use a wide variety of chemicals to increase viscosity, inhibit equipment corrosion and reduce friction, among other things. The 659 compounds screened by the CU-Boulder team were gleaned in large part from the nationwide FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry used by many states in which companies disclose chemical information about most of the ingredients used in the fracking process at individual wells. The CU-Boulder team obtained data from more than 50,000 wells in Colorado, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas since 2011, said Ryan, a faculty member in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering.   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Brazil announces massive reforestation and renewable energy plan with US
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg, Dan Roberts and agencies

Barack Obama and Dilma Rousseff put climate change at the top of their agenda at their bilateral meeting on Tuesday, with the US and Brazil agreeing to obtain up to 20% of their electricity from renewable power by 2030. Brazil also committed to restoring up to 12m hectares of forest – an area about the size of England or Pennsylvania – in another attempt to reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change. The White House said the initiatives were part of a new US-Brazil climate partnership, loosely modelled on the historic US-China agreement reached during Obama’s visit to Beijing last November, intended to build momentum for a global deal to fight climate change in Paris at the end of the year.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
An alliance of 'colonels and crusties' may just have killed fracking in Britain
The Telegraph
Geoffrey Lean

Consider this. Six years ago, when Cuadrilla first asked to drill a fracking well in Lancashire - in the heady days when shale gas was forecast to “turn Blackpool into the new Dallas” - it did not even need approval from the county council’s planning committee. ADVERTISING But last summer when it applied to drill at two sites in the county – after having had to stop operations in 2011 after causing a minor earthquake - its chief executive Francis Egan confessed to finding himself in a “whole new world”. The company had to submit 4,500 pages of documents to the council to support its case, including what it calls “the most comprehensive Environmental impact Assessments ever carried out for operations of this kind”. Yet it hastily had to amend its plans in January after planning officers recommended that they be rejected.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
State finalizes natural gas fracking ban, starts clock for legal challenges
Times Union
Brian Nearing

A state ban on natural gas hydrofracking announced last December was made official Monday by the Department of Environmental Conservation in a step that now opens up the decision to legal challenges by pro-fracking forces. In a 43-page statement, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens wrote that potential risk to public health, the environment and wildlife from opening up the state's Southern Tier to fracking — which relies on a high-pressure blend of water, chemicals and sand injected deep underground to break up gas-bearing rock formations — was too uncertain to control safely. Martens wrote there was "insufficient information or too much uncertainty" that potential steps to reduce fracking risk would be effective. His ruling also cited a 176-page state Health Department study in December outlining numerous potential health risks to people who live near fracking wells and infrastructure.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
California oil train risks worse in minority areas: report
Reuters
Terry Wade

Californians most exposed to the risks of oil train derailments or fires overwhelmingly live in poorer, minority neighborhoods, two environmental groups in the state said on Tuesday. The report, the first of its kind to explicitly link issues of class and race to the ongoing oil train safety debate, urged state regulators to ban oil imports by train into California and reject permits for several projects refiners have proposed to expand oil-by-rail cargo capacity. After analyzing U.S. census data for the 10 biggest cities in the state and several smaller ones near refineries, ForestEthics and Communities for a Better Environment found the neighborhoods with the largest minority populations were usually inside the so-called blast zone, the one-mile evacuation zone along tracks recommended by the U.S. Department of Transportation in case of accidents.  [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Environmentalists Want California to Stop Offshore Fracking
ABC News


Environmentalists Tuesday called on Gov. Jerry Brown to halt plans for months of hydraulic fracturing in the waters off Southern California, warning that it could lead to chemical pollution or an oil spill. State regulators this month approved nine permits for operator Thums Long Beach Co. for so-called fracking operations between August and December in Long Beach Harbor.   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
Finger Lakes Winemakers Celebrate New York Finalizing Fracking Ban The state's environmental agency released a seven-year review that found the gas drilling technique too risky
Wine Spectator
Lynn Alley

After nearly seven years of study, New York State’s environmental agency officially banned the practice known as high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, making New York the second oil- and gas-rich state in the nation to do so this year. The announcement finalizes a decision made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last December to ban the natural gas drilling technique, on the advice of the state’s Department of Health. The news brought elation to Finger Lakes vintners worried about the environmental risks of the practice. “I think it’s absolutely wonderful. Kudos to Gov. Cuomo for doing the right thing when many governors haven’t,” said Lou Damiani, proprietor at Damiani Wine Cellars. “You can’t make a tourist wine region and heavily industrialize it at the same time. You can’t have it both ways.”   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
New study identifies organic compounds of potential concern in fracking fluids
PHYS.org


A new University of Colorado Boulder framework used to screen hundreds of organic chemical compounds used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows that 15 may be of concern as groundwater contaminants based on their toxicity, mobility, persistence and frequency of use.   [Full Story]

Jun 30, 2015
New data reveals which U.S. fracking wells needed the most water to drill
FuelFix
Joshua Cain

Using data collected from IHS Energy on more than 81,000 wells across the U.S., USGS researchers said they created the first map providing a comprehensive look at the rate of water usage across the nation’s major shale plays.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Pennsylvania Governor and Fracking Sector Face Off on Budget, Regulations Oil-and-gas sector expresses doubt over Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s support for booming industry
Wall Street Journal
Kris Maher

Since taking over from a Republican administration this year, Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf repeatedly has said he supports the state’s booming shale gas industry. But lately, the industry is questioning his commitment. State regulators, who have begun reviewing dozens of environmental cases the previous administration handled, recently imposed an $8.9 million fine for a gas well they said is contaminating drinking water—the largest ever against a gas operator in state history.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Big setback for fracking industry
BT


Prospects for the shale gas industry in the UK have suffered a setback after county councillors voted against plans for exploratory fracking. Energy firm Cuadrilla had wanted to frack and test the flow of gas following drilling at up to four exploration wells at a proposed site between Preston and Blackpool. Planning officials at Lancashire County Council recommended its approval, subject to a number of conditions being met, but councillors chose to ignore the advice and rejected it due to adverse impacts on landscape and noise. Today's decision at County Hall, Preston, was welcomed by jubilant anti-fracking campaigners outside the building and from local residents who said they had been in "a David and Goliath battle".  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
N.Y. makes fracking ban official
Lo Hud
Jon Campbell

ALBANY – New York’s ban on large-scale hydraulic fracturing is now official. State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens issued a 43-page “findings statement” Monday afternoon, putting the state’s fracking prohibition into place and giving it the force of law six months after first promising to do so. The move puts an end to nearly seven years of review by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, over which time fracking has grown to become one of the most hotly contested, divisive issues in the state. Now, the document will be closely scrutinized by attorneys for the natural-gas industry, who will be looking for any legal missteps that provide an opening for a potential lawsuit.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Fracking application rejected by Lancashire county council Anti-fracking campaigners visibly delighted as councillors reject Cuadrilla’s application to drill for shale gas at Preston New Road
The Guardian
Adam Vaughan

Lancashire county council has rejected a planning application by shale gas explorer Cuadrilla to frack in the county, in a major blow to what would have been the UK’s biggest round of fracking so far. Hundreds of anti-fracking campaigners outside the county hall in Preston, where the verdict was announced, reacted with delight and cheers, and people in the council chamber applauded.   [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Green group's unconventional fight against fracking
Reuters
RICHARD VALDMANIS

The residents of Grant Township, Pennsylvania, were worried about Little Mahoning Creek, a picturesque trout stream best fished in the spring when the water runs fast. The Pennsylvania General Energy Company had acquired a federal permit to drill an injection well down 7,000 feet about seven miles from the creek to dispose of wastewater from its natural gas hydraulic fracturing operations. Fearing the operation would harm the Little Mahoning watershed, the town’s supervisors last year passed a "community bill of rights" that blocked the well, stripped the company of its right to inject wastewater underground, and declared that the state had no jurisdiction in the matter.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Black Monday for fracking as Lancashire rejects second drilling bid
Click Green


The brakes have been put on the UK’s “all-out drive” for shale gas after councillors today rejected a key planning application by fracking firm Cuadrilla to drill in Lancashire. The shock decision to reject the bid has been described as a “Waterloo” moment for the shale gas industry and a victory for democracy and local communities.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Dominion’s Farrell: Misinformation spread by social media must by fought
We Are Cove Point
by Glen Boshart, for SNL Financial

While the building of new energy infrastructure is a priority for the nation, misinformation about potential projects is slowing down the siting process dramatically and making it much more contentious, Dominion Resources Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Farrell said recently. Recent projections show that over the next couple of decades, more than $30 billion needs to be spent annually on new natural gas pipelines, compressor stations, storage and other facilities, Farrell said during the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ 20th Annual Education Conference in Williamsburg, Va. He also stressed that a large amount of capital will be needed for building new electric transmission facilities. Policy and market forces alike are driving those capital needs, Farrell added, citing the shale gas revolution, the U.S. EPA’s pending carbon rule, and a shift by electric generators to burning more gas and less coal. For instance, he noted that his company recently had to shut down a coal-fired plant because it was not meeting certain emissions requirements and build a transmission line to deliver replacement power into that part of the state.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
What Everyone Is Getting Wrong About The Supreme Court’s Mercury Pollution Ruling
ThinkProgress
EMILY ATKIN

Despite reports to the contrary in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and briefly this publication, the Supreme Court didn’t actually “strike down” the EPA’s regulations of toxic air pollution from power plants on Monday. What the Supreme Court did do was put the regulation — which limits toxic heavy metal pollution like mercury from coal and oil-fired plants — in jeopardy. In a 5-4 decision led by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court said the EPA acted unlawfully when it failed to consider how much the regulation would cost the power industry before deciding to craft the rule. However, that doesn’t mean the rule is gone. In fact, it’s still in place at this very moment. Right now, power plants are still required to limit their emissions of mercury, arsenic, chromium, and other toxins. A spokesperson for the EPA confirmed this to ThinkProgress. What the Supreme Court’s ruling does is send the current mercury rule to the D.C. Circuit court for further consideration. The D.C. Circuit could very well invalidate the rule. But it could also uphold it, if the court finds more harm than good would be done by repealing it, or if the agency can offer a reasonable explanation of why costs weren’t included early on in the administrative record. The D.C. Circuit has often left rules in place under similar circumstances, according to Jim Pew, an attorney at Earthjustice who worked on the case.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Green group's unconventional fight against fracking
Reuters
Richard Valdmanis

The residents of Grant Township, Pennsylvania, were worried about Little Mahoning Creek, a picturesque trout stream best fished in the spring when the water runs fast. The Pennsylvania General Energy Company had acquired a federal permit to drill an injection well down 7,000 feet about seven miles from the creek to dispose of wastewater from its natural gas hydraulic fracturing operations. Fearing the operation would harm the Little Mahoning watershed, the town’s supervisors last year passed a "community bill of rights" that blocked the well, stripped the company of its right to inject wastewater underground, and declared that the state had no jurisdiction in the matter.   [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Big setback for fracking industry
Yahoo News
Press Association

Prospects for the shale gas industry in the UK have suffered a setback after county councillors voted against plans for exploratory fracking. Energy firm Cuadrilla had wanted to frack and test the flow of gas following drilling at up to four exploration wells at a proposed site between Preston and Blackpool.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Brighton MP says Lancashire’s no fracking decision is ‘fantastic victory’
West Sussex County Times


The MP for Brighton has responded to the news that Lancashire County Council this morning refused planning application for fracking in Little Plumpton. Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, labelled the decision a ‘fantastic victory’ in spite of Government efforts to ‘force through fracking’.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Pennsylvania Residents Near Fracking Sites Report Health Problems
Center for Effective Government
Amanda Frank

Last week, Food & Water Watch released the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s log of health complaints from communities living near fracking sites. The logs include many of the health complaints that critiques have linked to fracking for years – and the state’s inadequate response.   [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
In short time, Richards made a mark as environmental chair
Capital New York
David Giambusso

After only a year-and-a-half as chairman of the City Council's Committee on Environmental Protection, Donovan Richards established something of a legacy. He oversaw the first major update to the city's air code in 40 years and helped secure $1.5 billion in infrastructure improvements for flooding in southeast Queens, a perennial problem in that part of the city, and the main reason Richards said he wanted to chair the committee when he first took office last year. Richards, a Democrat, represents that part of the borough.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
State finalizes fracking ban
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—New York officially banned fracking on Monday, after the state Department of Environmental Conservation issued the final piece in a multi-part, years-long process. The D.E.C. issued its “findings statement” Monday afternoon, ending a nearly seven-year review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The ban now has the force of law and will likely lead to legal challenges from the industry. “After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative,” D.E.C. commissioner Joe Martens said in a statement. “High-volume hydraulic fracturing poses significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated.”  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
New York State Ban On Fracking Made Official
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA

“After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative.” Those were the words many activists in New York never expected to hear from Joe Martens, head of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, but they were included in a statement released today as New York made the state’s ban on fracking official. This step in the process was expected after the release in May of the massive 1,448 page report on fracking that was seven years in the making which also was preceded by the Cuomo administration announcing they planned to ban fracking back in December.   [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Supreme Court Rejects Obama's Drive To Cut Mercury Emissions From Power Plants
Huffington Post
Kate Sheppard

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court threw out an Environmental Protection Agency regulation limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants on Monday, undermining the Obama administration's drive to cut pollution from electricity generators. The case looked at the EPA's regulation of mercury and other emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act, which Republicans have attacked as a "war on coal" and an example of presidential overreach. The EPA interpreted the law "unreasonably" when it failed to consider the costs of compliance with the new regulations, the court ruled 5-4 in an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia. "EPA strayed well beyond the bounds of reasonable interpretation in concluding that cost is not a factor relevant to the appropriateness of regulating power plants," concluded the majority. Justice Elena Kagan, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, wrote a scathing dissent that argues that the EPA did consider the costs of complying with the regulations -- just not at the initial stage of determining whether or not to regulate mercury emissions in the first place.   [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Council blocks Little Plumpton fracking application
BBC News


An application to start fracking at a site on the Fylde coast in Lancashire has been rejected by councillors. Energy firm Cuadrilla wanted to extract shale gas at the Little Plumpton site between Preston and Blackpool. Lancashire County Council rejected the bid on the grounds of "unacceptable noise impact" and the "adverse urbanising effect on the landscape". Cuadrilla said it was "surprised and disappointed" and would consider its "options" regarding an appeal.   [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Lancashire Council in Britain Deals Blow to Shale Industry
The New York Times
Stanley Reed

LONDON — Britain’s ambitions to produce natural gas from shale rock were set back on Monday when a local government rejected a company’s drilling plan. The Lancashire County Council turned down a request by the shale gas explorer Cuadrilla Resources to drill four wells at a site called Preston New Road and test them with hydraulic fracturing, which involves pumping water and other material down wells to break open the rock to allow gas to flow. Before the vote, councilors spoke emotionally against the plan, saying that it would mar the landscape, create unacceptable levels of noise and might also saddle the county with pollution problems years down the road. The rejection was greeted with loud applause by shale opponents.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
It’s official: New York has banned fracking
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

New York’s ban on large-scale hydraulic fracturing is now official. tion Commissioner Joe Martens issued a 43-page “findings statement” Monday afternoon, putting the state’s promised fracking prohibition into place and giving it the force of law. The finalization of the ban puts an end to nearly seven years of review by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, over which time fracking has grown to become one of the most hotly contested, divisive issues in the state. Now, the document will be closely scrutinized by attorneys for the natural-gas industry, who will be looking for any legal missteps that provide an opening for a potential lawsuit. “In the end, there are no feasible or prudent alternatives that would adequately avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts and that address the scientific uncertainties and risks to public health from this activity,” according to the findings statement, which is signed by Martens.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
DEC Moves To Formally Ban Hydrofracking
YNN


The state Department of Environmental Conservation on Monday moved to official prohibit high-volume hydrofracking in the state, issuing a formal “findings statement” that ends a seven-year review of the controversial natural gas-extraction process. “After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “High-volume hydraulic fracturing poses significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated. This decision is consistent with DEC’s mission to conserve, improve and protect our state’s natural resources, and to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state.” The findings statement, a 43-page document posted to the DEC’s website on Monday afternoon, formalizes a ban on the process, which uses a mixture of chemicals and water to release below-ground natural gas. “In the end, there are no feasible or prudent alternatives that would adequately avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts and that address the scientific uncertainties and risks to public health from this activity,” the DEC wrote in the document.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
It’s official: New York has banned fracking
Politics on the Hudson
Jon Campbell

State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens issued a 43-page “findings statement” Monday afternoon, putting the state’s promised fracking prohibition into place and giving it the force of law. The finalization of the ban puts an end to nearly seven years of review by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, over which time fracking has grown to become one of the most hotly contested, divisive issues in the state.  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Dalai Lama Endorses Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Climate Change
EcoWatch
Cole Melino

The Dalai Lama endorsed the Pope’s encyclical on climate change yesterday while speaking at Glastonbury festival, a massive five-day festival that takes place in Somerset, England. The Buddhist leader spoke at a panel on climate change, praising the encyclical and saying it was the duty of everyone to “say more. We have to make more of an effort, including demonstrations.”   [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
The Energy-Water Nexus: Renewables May be the Answer to Widespread Drought
Renewable Choice Energy
Jenna Bieller

As global warming heats up, water scarcity is the latest hot topic in climate and energy conversations (no puns intended). The first five months of the year saw record high temperatures and widespread drought affecting large swathes of the United States, most notably California, which is experiencing dangerously low precipitation levels, prompting Governor Jerry Brown to call for statewide water restrictions. As a result, we are witnessing a clear example of how drought can impact industry, agriculture, and individuals on a large scale. What is not as obvious is how the current push for renewable energy is implicitly tied to improving drought conditions in areas like California. Unlike fossil fuel-based electricity production—one of the largest consumers of water in the US at 49% total water use--renewables use little to no water and could be the answer to our current water woes—not to mention their role in reducing or even reversing the climate change responsible for global warming. To understand how renewable energy helps with the water crisis, one must first understand why traditional energy generation is water intensive. Water is essential in all phases of fossil fuel energy production, and often results in the contamination of fresh water sources. For example: Over 40% of fresh water withdrawals in the US are used to cool power plants  [Full Story]

Jun 29, 2015
Power to the People Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous.
The New Yorker
Bill McKibben

Mark and Sara Borkowski live with their two young daughters in a century-old, fifteen-hundred-square-foot house in Rutland, Vermont. Mark drives a school bus, and Sara works as a special-ed teacher; the cost of heating and cooling their house through the year consumes a large fraction of their combined income. Last summer, however, persuaded by Green Mountain Power, the main electric utility in Vermont, the Borkowskis decided to give their home an energy makeover. In the course of several days, coördinated teams of contractors stuffed the house with new insulation, put in a heat pump for the hot water, and installed two air-source heat pumps to warm the home. They also switched all the light bulbs to L.E.D.s and put a small solar array on the slate roof of the garage.   [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
Gas Free Seneca supports Gillibrand’s attempt at heritage designation
Finger Lake Times
David L. Shaw

GENEVA — Gas Free Seneca is supporting U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s push to find out if the Finger Lakes region should be declared a National Heritage Area. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., announced last week she would advocate for legislation funding a study exploring a possible NHA designation. The study area would encompass several counties, including Ontario, Wayne, Seneca and Yates  [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
Drillers to submit electronic records on fracking chemicals to Pa. DEP
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Katelyn Ferral

Pennsylvania will require shale gas companies to disclose electronically the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing in a new state-run database by next summer. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley said the department will end its partnership with FracFocus, an independent online catalog of fracking records, and develop what he considers a more comprehensive and user-friendly online database. “Our goal is to have a reporting tool that will provide ... much more downloadable and searchable information than FracFocus,” Quigley said.   [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
Greens intensify fight for higher energy royalties
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Progressives and environmentalists are upping the pressure on the Obama administration to increase the fees that energy companies pay to extract oil, natural gas and coal from the federal government’s land. The advocates and their Democratic allies in Congress say they’re out to ensure taxpayers get a fair return for the minerals the government owns, while better protecting the environment and being fair to other industries.   [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
Fracking: Energy Secretary's advisor received £5,000 election donation from company set to benefit from controversial technique
Independent
Cahal Milmo & Andy McSmith

A new advisor to the Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, who has vowed to “deliver” fracking in Britain, received a £5,000 donation to his local party from a company set to benefit from the introduction of the technique, The Independent can reveal.   [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
Senate Bill Would Promote Use of Treated Mine Water in Fracking
WESA 90.5
Casey Chafin

Many natural gas drilling companies use treated water from abandoned coal mines for fracking, but that number is decreasing due to questions on liability issues, according to Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Greene, Washington).   [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
Russia's richest oligarch backs Irish fracking firm Falcon Oil in gamble Viktor Vekselberg's Renova is one of the biggest shareholders in ESM-listed Falcon, which will soon start drilling in Australia
Independent
Gavin McLoughlin

Russia's richest man has emerged as a major backer of Dublin-based fracking company Falcon Oil & Gas. Viktor Vekselberg, who has a $14.7bn fortune, owns 12.24pc of the company through Soliter Holdings, part of his conglomerate the Renova group.   [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
Government hits back at claims it is trying to 'fast-track fracking in north'
Guardian


THE Government has responded to claims from a Warrington Green Party member that it is trying to 'fast-track fracking in the north'. Party member Sarah Hayes, who stood as Warrington North candidate in May's General Election, raised her fear last month, along with concerns on the impact the process could have on 'earthquakes, air quality and children's health'.   [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
Seismologists monitor northeastern Kentucky as companies show interest in fracking Rogersville shale BY BILL ESTEP
Kentucky.com
Bill Estep

WEBBVILLE — If the continued interest in exploring for oil far below the surface of northeastern Kentucky ever results in a production boom, researchers will be ready to gauge the effect on earthquakes. Seismologists with the Kentucky Geological Survey at the University of Kentucky are installing a network of highly sensitive seismic monitoring stations in the area this summer. Other parts of the country have experienced more low-level earthquake activity after an increase in the use of high-pressure hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to produce oil and gas. That matters in Kentucky because there could someday be far more drilling and fracking of deep, horizontal wells in an ancient geologic layer called the Rogersville shale.   [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
Drillers to submit electronic records on fracking chemicals to Pa. DEP
TribLive
Katelyn Ferral

Pennsylvania will require shale gas companies to disclose electronically the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing in a new state-run database by next summer. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley said the department will end its partnership with FracFocus, an independent online catalog of fracking records, and develop what he considers a more comprehensive and user-friendly online database. “Our goal is to have a reporting tool that will provide ... much more downloadable and searchable information than FracFocus,” Quigley said.   [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
Utah among tops in nation for wasted natural gas
The Spectrum


A new report says oil and gas companies need to do a better job of repairing leaks and minimize venting and flaring at well sites, both to conserve natural gas and improve air quality. Dan Grossman, Rocky Mountain regional director of the Environmental Defense Fund, which commissioned the report, says that's one reason the Bureau of Land Management is releasing new rules this summer for drilling on public land.  [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
First sign of a US drilling recovery emerges in rigs
Gulf Times
Bloomberg

There’s good news and bad news for the energy industry in Baker Hughes Inc rig counts. An unprecedented retreat from America’s oil fields dragged on for a 29th straight week, with the number of rigs targeting crude slumping to the lowest since 2010. That was more than offset by a rebound in gas exploration, which spurred the first increase in total US drilling in more than six months.  [Full Story]

Jun 28, 2015
Darina says No to fracking
Irish Examiner


Darina Allen revealed her antifracking credentials today, showing her support of Love Leitrim and the antifracking campaign in Ireland. 'Keep up the good work' she said of the movements efforts to date, as she listened to concerns of campaigners who informed her of updates regarding oil and gas provider CDM Smith conducting research on behalf of the EPA, as well as the news that New York had banned the industry.   [Full Story]

Jun 27, 2015
Crossing paths: Area farmers fear risks from 2 gas pipeline proposals
Times Union
Brian Nearing

xNassau It's a long way from a sea of natural gas wells scattered through Pennsylvania's Bradford County to Libby Reilly's organic farm off Clarks Chapel Road in Nassau. And it is even longer from her farm, where about two dozen beef cows graze in grassy fields, to remote cliffs overlooking.....  [Full Story]

Jun 27, 2015
Pa. spared earthquakes from deep-shale drilling
Trib Live
Katelyn Ferral

Geological differences from neighboring Ohio and few disposal wells for fracking wastewater keep Pennsylvania from experiencing earthquakes related to deep-shale drilling for natural gas, experts say. Though the U.S. Geological Survey reports a sharp increase in quakes nationwide since 2009, including those 3.0 magnitude or higher, Pennsylvania hasn't recorded seismic activity — even with 19,359 shale-gas wells at latest count, according to the state Department of Environmental Resources.   [Full Story]

Jun 27, 2015
‘Renewables Are Cheapest Energy Option’ When Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are Removed, Says REN21
EcoWatch
Alex Kirby

A significant threshold has been crossed by renewable energy as analysts report that the sector's size last year reached double the level it was at just 10 years earlier.   [Full Story]

Jun 27, 2015
Hey Bill Nye, Are You For or Against Fracking?
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Have you been wondering what Bill Nye the Science Guy thinks about fracking? If so, now is your time to find out. Thanks to a question from Susan on last week’s The Big Think, Nye spends nearly 11 minutes sharing his thoughts on this technology and the future of renewable energy.   [Full Story]

Jun 27, 2015
Pipelines being built through Luzerne County concern residents
Times Leader
Ron Bartizek

As developers gear up to build two large natural gas pipelines through Luzerne County, landowners along the proposed routes say their concerns are not being addressed, and they fear irreparable damage will be done to their properties against their will. “Just somebody talk to us,” pleaded Robyn Kochan, who with her husband Walt owns about 16 acres off Lake Catalpa Road in Dallas Township that could be crossed by the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. The line is to be constructed by Transcontinental Pipeline Co., a subsidiary of Williams, which handles nearly one-third of America’s natural gas supplies.  [Full Story]

Jun 27, 2015
Pope Francis recruits Naomi Klein in climate change battle
The Guardian
Rosie Scammell

She is one of the world’s most high-profile social activists and a ferocious critic of 21st-century capitalism. He is one of the pope’s most senior aides and a professor of climate change economics. But this week the secular radical will join forces with the Catholic cardinal in the latest move by Pope Francis to shift the debate on global warming. Naomi Klein and Cardinal Peter Turkson are to lead a high-level conference on the environment, bringing together churchmen, scientists and activists to debate climate change action. Klein, who campaigns for an overhaul of the global financial system to tackle climate change, told the Observer she was surprised but delighted to receive the invitation from Turkson’s office.  [Full Story]

Jun 26, 2015
Injection Well Explodes Near Hammon
News9
JOLEEN CHANEY

HAMMON, Oklahoma - An injection well caught fire Friday and exploded, sending flames and a big column of smoke shooting into the sky. It happened in Hammon in far Western Oklahoma. It's hard to believe from watching the video, but fortunately nobody was hurt. "Just like a can of pork and beans on a stove,” Leedey Fire Chief Tony Morelan said. “Eventually it is going to blow up."  [Full Story]

Jun 26, 2015
Natural gas pipeline from Texas to Mexico planned
Houston Chronicle
Vicki Vaughan

Natural gas producers in the Eagle Ford Shale will have direct access to growing markets in northern Mexico when a San Antonio company finishes a pipeline to suburban Monterrey in 2017. Howard Midstream Energy Partners said last week it plans to build the 200-mile natural gas pipeline from its hub in Webb County to Escobedo, Nuevo León, Mexico, near Monterrey, and to the Mexican National Pipeline System in Monterrey.  [Full Story]

Jun 26, 2015
At Risk? PLAN TO STORE PROPANE GAS AT SENECA LAKE PRESENTS SAFETY, ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
Ithaca Journal
Tom Wilber

The value of the $2.8 billion Finger Lake tourism industry can expressed with numbers, but it is best understood with one look from the balcony of the Damiani winery on the east side of Seneca Lake. Owner Lou Damiani showed off the view — lake, sky, vineyards and forested hills — while talking about the explosive growth of the Finger Lakes wine industry, recognized as one of the "Best Wine Travel Destinations 2015" by Wine Enthusiast, an international magazine. "This Finger Lakes is no longer just a regional tourism draw," he said. "It's world class." Then Damiani pointed across the lake to a spot he feels will jeopardize it all — salt mines and a compressor station that fills them with pressurized gas. Crestwood Midstream Partners LP, part of a $7 billion Houston-based company, intends to make this salt mining and gas storage business a more prominent feature of the Finger Lakes economy. Capitalizing on the shale gas boom in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Crestwood is awaiting regulatory approval from New York State to build a regional hub to store methane and liquefied propane gas (LPG) at its site on the southwest end of the lake, just north of Watkins Glen.   [Full Story]

Jun 26, 2015
New PBS Documentary Exposes Human Toll Of Oil Boomtown In North Dakota
DeSmogBlog
MIKE GAWORECKI

The boomtown has always loomed large in the American imagination, but as it makes a comeback in this age of overabundant US oil and gas production, it’s more timely than ever to examine the real impacts on people and communities of the new oil boom — and the inevitable bust. Filmmaker Jesse Moss has done just that in his new documentary The Overnighters, which captures the human consequences of the oil boom in Williston, North Dakota. The Overnighters will see its national broadcast premiere on Monday night, June 29, as part of the new season of PBS’s documentary series POV (Point of View). You can check your local listings to see what time it airs on your local PBS affiliate.  [Full Story]

Jun 26, 2015
Plains All American lab tests show oil from pipeline spill spread along hundreds of miles of California coastline
Fuel Fix


WASHINGTON — At least some of the tar balls that washed onto Southern California beaches in the past month are linked to the crude released from a ruptured pipeline offshore, according to lab results reported Friday. Although popular Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles County was apparently unaffected during the first week after an estimated 101,000 gallons of oil leaked from Plains All American Pipeline’s Line 901 — tar balls collected on May 27 had a chemical fingerprint matching that spilled crude. Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline released a summary of the lab tests on Friday, as state and federal lawmakers intensified their scrutiny of the company’s damaged pipeline and the spill. The results suggest that the accident ultimately touched a broad swath of Southern California’s coastline. Plains said Friday it had spent some $96 million responding to the accident and trying to clean up the spilled crude.  [Full Story]

Jun 26, 2015
Seneca gas storage plan should be put on hold
Ithaca Journal
Editorial

Approval of plans to vastly expand the Crestwood gas storage and distribution operation along Seneca Lake near Watkins Glen hinges on a single question: Will it be safe? The answer: Maybe. With so much at stake on the safe operation of this $40 million project, the answer must be more certain. Until then, New York should postpone issuing a permit for the plan. An in-depth Watchdog Report by Tom Wilber appearing in today's top report on our website explores more than five years of planning and review for storing huge amounts of flammable gas and distributing the fuel by truck, train and pipeline.  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
California’s Drought Is Part of a Much Bigger Water Crisis. Here’s What You Need to Know
ProPublica
Abrahm Lustgarten, Lauren Kirchner and Amanda Zamora

Pretty much every state west of the Rockies has been facing a water shortage of one kind or another in recent years. California's is a severe, but relatively short-term, drought. But the Colorado River basin — which provides critical water supplies for seven states including California — is the victim of a slower-burning catastrophe entering its 16th year. Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California all share water from the Colorado River, a hugely important water resource that sustains 40 million people in those states, supports 15 percent of the nation's food supply, and fills two of largest water reserves in the country. The severe shortages of rain and snowfall have hurt California's $46 billion agricultural industry and helped raise national awareness of the longer-term shortages that are affecting the entire Colorado River basin. But while the two problems have commonalities and have some effect on one another, they're not exactly the same thing.  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Groundbreaking Court Ruling Says State Must Address Climate Change, Thanks to Teen Lawsuit
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

In an unprecedented decision, a judge in Washington State has ruled in favor of a group of young people who filed a lawsuit last year asking that the state be required to develop a science-based plan for limiting carbon emissions in order to protect the climate for future generations.  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Sightline Sues Obama Administration over Crude Oil Exports and Illegal Secrecy
Sightline
Eric de Place

If the oil industry gets its way, the US will soon begin exporting tankers full of American crude to overseas markets. Although such shipments are for the most part illegal today, the Obama Administration is quietly changing the rules to favor oil exporters. To shed some light on the government’s behavior, the environmental law firm Earthjustice filed a formal Freedom of Information Act request in February on Sightline’s behalf, but it was greeted only by stony silence. So today, Sightline Institute, represented again by Earthjustice, is suing the federal government. We are asking the Courts to force the Obama Administration to do what it was legally required to by March 11: release information about its secretive deals with oil exporters to the public.  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Group: Further study needed to determine fracking effects
Marcellus.com
Jocelyn Brumbaugh

EBENSBURG – In regards to unconventional gas extraction or “fracking,” further study is necessary to determine the exact effects on environment and public health, according to researchers with the League of Women Voters. The organization held a presentation Wednesday night in the Cambria County courthouse to explain data gathered from a committee made up of nurses, a physician and other health professionals regarding the effects Marcellus Shale fracking and natural gas compression sites can have on public health.   [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
‘The placenta was small and deformed’: Mystery of Utah’s dead babies
NEWS.com.au


CAREN Moon’s third baby seemed cursed from the start. The pregnant 34-year-old suffered bleeding and cramping in her first trimester, and miscarried during a snowstorm the week before Thanksgiving. A few roads away, her friend Melissa Morgan was struggling with the same problems. She felt sick every time she left the house and soon retired to bed, spending weeks resting while women from her church cared for her other four kids. The baby made it — just.   [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
5 Seismic Shifts Shaking Up World’s Energy Use, According to Bloomberg’s NEO
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Renewable energy is set to blow past fossil fuels in the next 25 years, attracting nearly two-thirds of the spending on new power plants, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). With rapidly decreasing costs, solar will be the top choice for consumers, particularly in developing nations, the report New Energy Outlook 2015 (NEO) projects. Worldwide, it expects solar to draw $3.7 trillion of the $8 trillion invested in clean energy, with only $4.1 billion spent on coal, natural gas and nuclear.  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
5 things to watch for in the state energy plan
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—The state's long-awaited, long-delayed energy plan, which is expected to be released today, will have significant ramifications for New York's energy future. The plan will determine how aggressive the state will be in increasing reliance on renewable sources of energy and will provide a window into years of energy policy decisions.  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
State plan sets aggressive clean-energy goals
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Half of New York's power will come from renewable sources in the next 15 years, under a new state energy plan released Thursday. According to the plan, the state will try to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030. New York now gets just under a quarter of its power from renewable sources, including, hydro, wind and solar, but that will double to 50 percent in the next 15 years, the plan says. The state also plans to increase energy efficiency efforts by 23 percent.  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Earthquake spike pushes Oklahoma to consider tighter fracking regulations Decision comes after recent uptick in temblors – 35 of at least 3.0 magnitude from 17-24 June – but it remains unclear what such regulations will look like
the Guardian
Peter Moskowitz

Oklahoma is considering tightening regulations on its oil and gas industry, after a spate of earthquakes which regulators say were probably related to an increase in fracking in the state. Between 17 and 24 June, Oklahoma experienced 35 earthquakes of 3.0 or greater magnitude, a huge jump from the average of about 12 a week experienced over the last year, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey.   [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Lancashire councillors prevented from blocking proposals for UK's first fracking site, says council member
Independent
tom Bawden

Lancashire councillors were prevented from blocking proposals for the UK’s first fracking site after receiving a legal warning that refusal would be “unreasonable” and risk a costly court appeal, a council member has claimed.  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Dutch government cuts gas drilling in quake-hit region
WBRC


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government is further cutting production of natural gas in the north of the country in an attempt to reduce the number of small earthquakes blamed on the drilling. Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp announced Tuesday that production in the Groningen region this year will be brought back to 30 billion cubic meters (39.24 billion cubic yards) of gas from the previously announced maximum of 39.4 billion cubic meters (51.53 billion cubic yards).  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Northern England County Rejects Fracking Site Stage is set for divisive vote on second site next week
Wall Street Journal
Selina Williams

An English county government rejected one of two applications for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas on Thursday, setting the stage for a decisive vote on the drilling technique next week. The Lancashire County Council voted against allowing privately held Caudrilla Resources Ltd. to use horizontal drilling and fracking at the company’s Roseacre Wood site in northwest England over worries about the increase in traffic. County planning officials had recommended the application be rejected.   [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
5 things to watch for in the state energy plan
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—The state's long-awaited, long-delayed energy plan, which is expected to be released today, will have significant ramifications for New York's energy future. The plan will determine how aggressive the state will be in increasing reliance on renewable sources of energy and will provide a window into years of energy policy decisions. Here are five things to watch for in the plan: Natural gas: When the draft plan was released, the state had yet to ban fracking. It is increasingly reliant on natural gas, and the infrastructure needed to bring it here. The Cuomo administration is powering former coal plants with natural gas and has a few pipelines awaiting state decisions. What assumptions will the plan make about infrastructural capacity?  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Why are the government’s energy forecasts so bad?
Politico
Michael Grunwald

In 2009, the federal government’s Energy Information Administration made a forecast for the next two decades: U.S. wind power would grow modestly, reaching 44 gigawatts of generating capacity in 2030, while solar power would remain scarce, inching up to 12 GW. Just six years later, U.S. wind capacity is already up to 66 GW, and solar has shot up to 21 GW. There's now enough installed wind and solar to power 25 million American homes— more than three times what the EIA expected before President Obama took office. Oops.  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Harnessing the Energy to Lead: New York State Energy Plan Can Deliver the Clean Energy Triple Crown
NRDC
Jackson Morris

After years of analysis and robust public comment, today New York released its 2015 State Energy Plan. While we're still digging through the documents and the details, our first take is that this is a major victory for clean energy. If effectively executed, the plan's core components will make the Empire State a global leader on clean energy and climate policy. (It can also help New York meet its targets under the EPA's Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from the nation's power plants.) Want to know how New York will get to that pretty impressive place in the clean-energy firmament? Here's an explanation, some important context, and three key takeaways. (And since, right here in New York, a few weeks back, we just saw a very special horse by the name of American Pharoah complete the first sweep of the Triple Crown in 37 years, I've thrown in some horse racing metaphors for good measure).  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
EPA's New Fracking Study: A Close Look at the Numbers Buried in the Fine Print
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

When EPA’s long-awaited draft assessment on fracking and drinking water supplies was released, the oil and gas industry triumphantly focused on a headline-making sentence: “We did not find evidence of widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.” But for fracking’s backers, a sense of victory may prove to be fleeting. EPA’s draft assessment made one thing clear: fracking has repeatedly contaminated drinking water supplies (a fact that the industry has long aggressively denied).  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Fracking Linked to Increased Infant Mortality in Alarming New Study
AlterNet
Reynard Loki

Pennsylvania has issued more than 10,000 drilling permits over the past decade. Infants and children may be paying a heavy price.  [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Coal mine water could become fracking water
Marcellus.com
Danielle Wente

On Monday, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved a bill that will push the use of coal mine water to be used in fracking operations. As reported by State Impact Pennsylvania, “Senate Bill 875 limits potential liabilities for producers who would use the polluted mine water, instead of cleaner fresh water, in the drilling process.” The Corbett Administration and the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission both support the usage of coal mine water being used in fracking. The bill would ultimately decrease the amount of fresh water natural gas operators use to drill wells in the Marcellus Shale.   [Full Story]

Jun 25, 2015
Fracking health complaints received little follow-up from the Department of Health
State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

Newly released documents from the Pennsylvania Department of Health on fracking-related health complaints reveal a lack of follow-through and inaccurate record-keeping. The telephone logs, which span four years from 2011 to 2015, were gained through a Right-to-Know request by the environmental group Food and Water Watch.   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Group releases new report on Pennsylvania health concerns
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

Philadelphia, Pa. – The advocacy group Food & Water Watch released today an analysis of reams of documents it obtained from the state of Pennsylvania that clearly demonstrate an ongoing pattern of alarming inadequacy and negligence by the state Dept. of Health (DOH) in its response to fracking-related health complaints from state residents. After a 2014 StateImpact Pennsylvania report revealing that DOH health workers were instructed to identify key fracking “buzzwords,” and told not to respond to fracking-related health complaints, Food & Water Watch requested and eventually received the DOH natural gas drilling log of health complaints. The logs demonstrate that state residents are regularly reporting alarming health concerns, and that state agencies have failed to adequately respond and address these health problems from drilling and fracking.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Montana board urged to adopt buffer zones between homes, oil and gas drilling
Fox Business
Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. – Farmers and environmentalists urged Montana regulators on Wednesday to establish buffer zones around homes to protect them from oil and gas drilling. But energy industry representatives say such a move isn't needed and would put large areas of the state off-limits to development. North Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado require companies to keep drilling activities at least 500 feet from occupied dwellings. Montana has no such rule.   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
In a shift, fracking’s foes face a losing streak Courts, voters hand ‘fracktivists’ setbacks
Washington Times
Valerie Richardson

DENVER — After scoring a statewide ban last year on hydraulic fracturing in New York, anti-fracking activists talked excitedly about following up in a major fossil fuel-producing state — Colorado, maybe, or California. Instead, the next state to prohibit the use of fracking in oil and gas extraction — on a temporary basis — was Maryland, which, like New York, is a deep-blue state with no hydraulic fracturing activity. Critics quickly dismissed the two-year moratorium as purely symbolic.   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Study reveals fracking pollution
The Shorthorn
Javier Giribet-Vargas

Recent study by UTA scientists reveals high levels of carcinogens in some water-wells associated with unconventional oil and gas extraction. Professor of Analytical Chemistry Dr. Schug and other UTA scientists published a peer-reviewed study of ground-water contamination in areas of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on Wednesday according to the UTA press release.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
New report estimates enough natural gas is leaking to negate climate benefits Natural gas drilling only has environmental benefits over other processes like coal and oil production if producers can keep a tight lid on leaks
The Guardian
Peter Moskowitz

Natural gas has been touted as an environmentally friendly substitute to coal and oil production, but a new report estimates enough gas is leaking to negate most of the climate benefits of process. The report, commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund and carried out by environmental consulting group ICF International, estimated the amount of leaks from natural gas and oil production on federal and tribal land in the US. It also looked at venting and flaring, processes in which drilling sites purposefully let gas go into the atmosphere for a variety of reasons – usually for safety.   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Marcellus Shale lawmakers’ bill would guarantee 12 percent drilling royalty
Times Leader
Jerry Lynott

A contingent of lawmakers whose districts cover the Marcellus Shale region has reintroduced legislation to provide the minimally guaranteed royalty to natural gas lease holders. State Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, said he believed House Bill 1391 stands a better chance of passage than the more broadly written legislation introduced in 2013.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Texas Bans Fracking Bans
Water Online
Sara Jerome

A ban on bans is one of the most recent developments in the debate over whether to set rules aimed at limiting the environmental impact of fracking. “On May 18, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a measure that prohibits cities and towns from passing ordinances to prohibit fracking and regulate underground activity, effectively banning fracking bans like the one the city of Denton, TX passed last November,” Newsweek reported.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
How fracking has divided the US
BBC
Peter Marshall

Fast forward four years and Towanda is a very different place from how it was in 2011. While we're not quite talking boom to bust, the drilling industry juggernaut has certainly moved on. Lancashire be warned - fracking is an industry that moves in cycles.   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Exxon Mobil halts drilling at three platforms due to crippled California pipeline
FOX News
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – The shutdown of a pipeline that spilled up to 101,000 gallons of crude on the Santa Barbara coast forced Exxon Mobil Corp. to halt operations at three offshore platforms because it couldn't deliver oil to refineries, the company said Tuesday. The company temporarily ceased operations last week because Santa Barbara County rejected its emergency application to truck oil to refineries, spokesman Richard Keil said. A Santa Barbara County official said the company's problem did not constitute an emergency and it could go through the normal procedure, which requires extensive environmental review, to get a permit to truck the oil.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Pennsylvania records shed light on shale-related health concerns
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Laura Legere

The Pennsylvania Department of Health kept a log of 86 reports of health complaints related to natural gas development between 2011 and 2015 that reveals both the array of concerns reported by residents and doctors and the limits of the agency’s efforts to investigate potential health effects that may be associated with the industry. The log was released by the health department to the environmental advocacy group Food & Water Watch in response to an open records request. The group, which advocates a ban on hydraulic fracturing — the injection of fluids and sand necessary to extract gas from shale — plans to publish the documents today. The records, which span four years and partial terms of two governors between March 2011 and April 2015, don’t prove a connection between drilling activities and illness, but they reflect the range of complaints reported by citizens, physicians, workers and health agencies.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
10-Year Energy Plan Calls For More Fracking: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Clean Technica
Tina Casey

The great state of Utah unveiled its 10-year energy plan back in 2011 with a heavy tilt toward increasing fossil fuel production, and now it looks like the chickens are coming home to roost. Earlier this week, Rolling Stone dropped a bombshell of an article linking natural gas fracking to miscarriages and infant deaths in the Uinta Basin town of Vernal — and the Uinta Basin happens to be the same area that Utah officials spotlighted for natural gas production when the energy plan was announced.   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Public Service Commission Criticized Over FPL Fracking Deal
WIRN
Moffat Mugwe

The Public Service Commission last year approved Florida Power and Light's plan to go fracking for natural gas in Oklahoma. Even then, it was clear the utility planned to charge Florida rate payers for the project in another state, and advocates at the Public Counsel's Office filed suit to stop it. The suit is pending, but now the PSC has voted again.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
At The Last Minute, Judge Delays Federal Fracking Regulations
Colorado Public Radio
Associated Press

A federal judge in Wyoming has postponed new federal rules for oil and gas drilling on federal land a day before they were set to take effect. The stay issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl means new rules for the practice of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands now won't take effect until at least mid-August.   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Oklahoma drilling regulator calls spike in quakes a 'game changer'
Reuters
YEGANEH TORBATI

A spike in earthquakes across Oklahoma is forcing the state's energy regulator to urgently consider tougher restrictions on drilling activity, a spokesman said on Wednesday, calling it a "game changer." From June 17 to 24, there have been 35 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater in the state, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey. Particularly worrying for regulators, some of the recent quakes occurred in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, where there are no high-volume wastewater injection wells. The spike in quakes comes roughly two months after new rules governing the disposal of briny wastewater from drilling took full effect. Drillers were directed by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), which regulates the oil and gas industry, to stop disposing wastewater below the state's deepest rock formation, believed to be one of the main causes of the quakes, and to reduce the depth of wells that already go that deep. "We have to approach it anew," said Matt Skinner, a spokesman for the OCC. "There's been a huge increase. That's a game-changer," he said, referring to the recent jump in tremors.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Williams deal would hasten Energy Transfer's Marcellus dominance
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Kristen Hays

HOUSTON — Williams Companies Inc has spurned Energy Transfer Equity's $48 billion takeover offer for now but a tie-up would give the company a dominant position in the fastest-growing natural gas market in the United States: the Northeast's Marcellus Shale. The deal, which would be one of the largest pipeline acquisitions ever, also would give Energy Transfer Chief Executive Kelcy Warren a new foothold in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Williams’ presence in the natural gas-heavy Marcellus and nearby Utica shale would fill a gap in Energy Transfer Equity's portfolio.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
U.S. fracking rules halted, for now
Seeking Alpha
Carl Surran

A U.S. District Court in Wyoming has halted implementation of an Interior Department rule that would set standards for fracking on federal land, issuing a stay that delays compliance for at least a month on the rule that was set to go into effect today.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Murt co-sponsors drilling legislation
Midweek Wire
Tom Waring

State Rep. Tom Murt is co-sponsoring legislation to impose a drilling tax on unconventional natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale. House Bill 1321 is structured in such a way as to fund many of the commonwealth’s top priorities without passing the burden onto working families. It calls for a 3.2-percent drilling tax, while also keeping the impact fee created by Act 13 of 2012 to help communities directly affected by drilling.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
POLL SHOWS THE PUBLIC SUPPORTS FRACKING
Spectator
H. Sterling Burnett

A new poll from Robert Morris University (RMU) shows the public overwhelmingly supports fracking for natural gas and oil production. Even before the EPA released its long awaited report largely exonerating fracking from charges it was causing water pollution, the poll showed more than 57% of Pennsylvanians support fracking. Nationally, 56 percent of those survey supported fracking.   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Federal fracking rule on public land temporarily halted
Grand Forks Herald
Benjamin Storrow

CASPER, Wyo. -- A federal judge issued a stay Tuesday of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management fracking rule, temporarily halting an Obama administration effort to regulate oil and gas operations on public land nationwide.   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
New report estimates enough natural gas is leaking to negate climate benefits
The Guardian
Peter Moskowitz

Natural gas has been touted as an environmentally friendly substitute to coal and oil production, but a new report estimates enough gas is leaking to negate most of the climate benefits of process. The report, commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund and carried out by environmental consulting group ICF International, estimated the amount of leaks from natural gas and oil production on federal and tribal land in the US. It also looked at venting and flaring, processes in which drilling sites purposefully let gas go into the atmosphere for a variety of reasons – usually for safety. The claim that natural gas is environmentally friendly hinges on how much methane leaks into the atmosphere during the production process. But the EDF report adds weight to those who say methane leaks at natural gas sites can make the process nearly or as carbon-intensive as coal.  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Pennsylvania records shed light on shale-related health concerns
Powersource
Laura Legere

The Pennsylvania Department of Health kept a log of 86 reports of health complaints related to natural gas development between 2011 and 2015 that reveals both the array of concerns reported by residents and doctors and the limits of the agency’s efforts to investigate potential health effects that may be associated with the industry.   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Is the EPA Fracking Report Science Fiction?
EcoWatch
Briana Mordick, NRDC

“Hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources.” Or so says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) press statement announcing the release of the agency’s draft report on the risks to drinking water from fracking, and a legion of stories in the popular press that followed. But is that what the scientific study itself found? (Spoiler alert: no)   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Pipeline concerns heighten in Chesco, Delco
Philly.com
Michaelle Bond

Residents in nine municipalities in Chester County and six in Delaware County know that Sunoco Logistics plans to run its latest pipeline project through their towns, neighborhoods, and yards. Construction of at least one new pipeline to transport liquefied natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to Marcus Hook is scheduled to start in early 2016.   [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
BP’S OIL DISPERSING CHEMICALS CAUSED MORE HARM THAN THE DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL
Playboy
Linda Marsa

David Hill never imagined that just doing his job would destroy his life. A fourth-generation fisherman raised in Bayou La Batre, a village on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, he also worked as a captain on 500-ton utility ships that service offshore-drilling platforms in the Gulf. The 55-year-old would routinely work from dawn to dusk during four-week-long stints on the water, earning himself and his wife a comfortable lifestyle, with a sprawling house on a 20-acre plot of land. “I had a thriving career and plenty of money in my pocket,” he says. “We could do whatever we wanted—eat out, go on vacations.” Then the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig exploded, killing 11 people and spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf. Hill joined the armada hastily hired by BP, the British oil giant that owned the rig, to help contain the damage. He spent six months on the water, mopping up oil as lead captain on a 210-foot vessel. The acrid smell of petroleum mixed with the chemical dispersants used to break up the oil permeated the air. Hill and his crew were hammered with excruciating headaches, coughing and nausea. “There was no way to escape,” he recalls. “The fumes were so overwhelming they would drop you to your knees.”  [Full Story]

Jun 24, 2015
Environmentalists call of California governor to block fracking permits for Long Beach Harbor
Star Tribune
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Environmentalists Tuesday called on Gov. Jerry Brown to halt plans for months of hydraulic fracturing in the waters off Southern California, warning that it could lead to chemical pollution or an oil spill. State regulators this month approved nine permits for operator Thums Long Beach Co. for so-called fracking operations between August and December in Long Beach Harbor. Kevin Tougas, oil operations manager for the city of Long Beach, said the state action was a preliminary step and "several factors, including the market price of oil, will be taken into consideration before submitting some or all of these permits to the state for the next and final step of approval."   [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Pipeline officials want more surveys in forest
The Charleston Gazette


Atlantic Coast Pipeline officials are asking the National Forest Service to approve an amendment to the temporary special use permit they already have to conduct additional site surveys in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. The amendment would add another route located in Pocahontas County, further south than the line already under permit for survey work. The proposed route — about 2,000 feet wide and 5.13 miles long — crosses Monongahela National Forest land near the Elk River, Slaty Ridge and Dunmore. The information gathered from additional routing, environmental and cultural resources surveys would be used to determine the feasibility of a proposed alternative route for the pipeline.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Natural gas powered truck explodes on impact with train
WIVB
George Richert

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s hard to say if a regular diesel truck would’ve caused an explosion quite so dramatic. On Tuesday morning, surveillance video from a nearby business captured the dramatic explosion after a low speed collision of a CSX train going in reverse, with a tractor trailer that pulled up at exactly the wrong moment in a parking lot behind General Mills on Ganson Street near Michigan Avenue in Buffalo.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Scientists Find 'Alarming' Levels of Chemicals Around Barnett Shale
Texas Public Radio
RHONDA FANNING

The Environmental Protection Agency recently concluded that contamination of drinking water from fracking isn’t as widespread as previously feared. But is the panic over water contamination a thing of the past? A new study is re-igniting the fears of some. The recent study checked the water quality at 550 wells across 13 Texas counties along the Barnett Shale. It’s one of the largest independent surveys on water near fracking sites ever conducted in the U.S., and the conclusions are alarming.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Studies confirm earthquakes in the midwestern US are caused by the fracking boom
Quartz
Zahra Hirji

The surge in earthquakes shaking Oklahoma, Texas, and other parts of the nation’s mid-section are likely caused by million of gallons of toxic oil and gas wastewater being disposed of underground, two new studies have found. Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder and the United States Geological Survey analyzed data from earthquakes and more than 106,000 active injection wells across the central and eastern part of the nation—the largest such study to date. They found that “the entire increase in the number of earthquakes in the US midcontinent is associated with injection wells,” according to Matthew Weingarten, a doctoral candidate at the university who led the study.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Rapidly-expanding Ithaca solar company sees 725 percent job growth in 4 years
The Ithaca Voice
Jeff Stein

ITHACA, N.Y. — A solar energy company based in Ithaca says it has achieved rapid growth over the last several years and is poised to expand its share of the local energy market. Renovus Energy, founded in 2003, has dramatically increased its size and impact, particularly in the last 12 to 16 months, according to Joe Sliker, president and CEO of the company. The last 30 days alone demonstrate that trend, Sliker said. “We have sold or gotten commitments for effectively 10 times as much solar as we installed in our first 9 years of business,” Sliker says of the last four weeks. “It’s a crazy story … We're changing the way people do energy around here.”  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Resignation of a Leader Opens Door for Gov. Brown to Step Up
Huffington Post
Shoshanna Howard

The resignation of Mark Nechodom, the embattled head of the California Department of Conservation, is a welcome move for anyone who cares about the health and safety of Californians, our state's limited water supply, and our environment. Nechodom was replaced last week by David Bunn, a UC Davis Assistant Adjunct Professor, but it would be naïve to think that California's troubles with oil and gas development will end with Nechodom's exit, and the new replacement.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
EARTHQUAKES: University of Oklahoma developed quake position while asking oilman for $25M
E & E Newswire
Mike Soraghan

University of Oklahoma officials were seeking a $25 million donation from billionaire oilman Harold Hamm last year, records show, at a time when scientists at the school were formulating the state's position on oil drilling and earthquakes. They came up with a position that squared with Hamm's, saying most of the hundreds of earthquakes rattling the state are natural and not caused by the oil industry. But they didn't get the $25 million to build "The Continental Resources Center for Energy Research and Technology." And since then, the university's Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) has reversed that position. It now says that most of the quakes are "very likely" triggered by oil and gas activities.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
The Way Humans Get Electricity Is About to Change Forever
Bloomberg
Tom Randall

The renewable-energy boom is here. Trillions of dollars will be invested over the next 25 years, driving some of the most profound changes yet in how humans get their electricity. That's according to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that plots out global power markets to 20401. Here are six massive shifts coming soon to power markets near you: 1. Solar Prices Keep Crashing The price of solar power will continue to fall, until it becomes the cheapest form of power in a rapidly expanding number of national markets. By 2026, utility-scale solar will be competitive for the majority of the world, according to BNEF. The lifetime cost of a photovoltaic solar-power plant will drop by almost half over the next 25 years, even as the prices of fossil fuels creep higher. Solar power will eventually get so cheap that it will outcompete new fossil-fuel plants and even start to supplant some existing coal and gas plants, potentially stranding billions in fossil-fuel infrastructure. The industrial age was built on coal. The next 25 years will be the end of its dominance.   [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Judge blocks federal fracking rule
The Hill
Timothy Cama

A federal judge in Wyoming has temporarily blocked implementation of the Obama administration’s regulations for hydraulic fracturing on federal land, hours before they were set to take effect. The late Tuesday decision in the District Court of Wyoming means the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cannot implement the rule Wednesday as it had planned. While the stay is only preliminary and could be lifted at any time, it represents a setback for the administration’s first major attempt to account for the explosion of the controversial fracking process in its rules for energy companies that lease federal land. Four oil- and natural gas-heavy states sued to stop the rule, as did two industry associations. Judge Scott Skavdahl issued the stay after a full day of arguments, agreeing with the states and energy groups that he needs additional time to consider their request for a preliminary injunction to block the rules for the entire time the case lasts, according to Oil City.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Why former Pittsburgh Steelers' names are in a gas pipeline controversy
Penn Live
Jacob Klinger

A proposed gas compressor station in Southwestern Virginia is named after former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann, according to The Roanoke Times. Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, which plans to build a 300-mile natural gas pipeline through West Virginia and Virginia, has named the system's other three compressor stations after Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris and John Stallworth. All are former Steelers and members of the Hall of Fame. A partner in Mountain Valley, EQT Corp., is based in Pittsburgh. Natalie Cox, a spokeswoman for Mountain Valley told The Roanoke Times the company is still reviewing possible routes for the pipeline, making information about the Swann station limited. As The Roanoke Times reports, the pipeline is the subject of controversy in Southwestern Virginia, where Mountain Valley claims it hasn't decided where to put the Swann station.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Exports of Liquified Natural Gas Increase Fracking and Pollution
Truthout
Deb Nardone

Here's the good news: President Barack Obama has committed to reducing the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 17 percent by 2020. The bad news? A rise in fracking for natural gas could make the United States fail to keep this pledge. Unfortunately, a big corporate push to start exporting liquefied natural gas, or LNG, could ramp up fracking even further. When it comes to creating the pollution that leads to climate disruption, scientists say fracked LNG is on par with coal, which has long held the mantle as the dirtiest fuel around. But there's more than just climate to worry about. Exporting natural gas also threatens our air, water, and health.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Cheap Energy Poised to Shake Up Pipeline Industry
The Wall Street Journal
ALISON SIDER

Low oil-and-gas prices are poised to shake up yet another part of the nation’s energy economy, spurring a merger battle among companies that own the key pipelines that move fuels around the country.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Cuadrilla bid for first UK fracking in four years debated
BBC


An application to start the first fracking operation in the UK for four years is being considered by a council. Energy firm Cuadrilla wants to extract shale gas at Little Plumpton and Roseacre Wood on the Fylde Coast, in Lancashire.   [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
A ‘Bunch Of Whores': One Punk Band’s Uncensored Campaign Against Fracking
THINK PROGRESS
Emily Atkins

As the lead guitarist and singer of punk band Anti-Flag, Justin Sane is known for advocating against war overseas. But in the band’s latest release, the war Sane wants to stop is happening on the borders of his own hometown. “They sit inside the kitchen, broken, in despair, their livestock sick or dead, their water a toxic cocktail,” Sane sings on “Gasland Terror,” his depiction of the fracking boom in Western Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Ute Tribe seeks to join lawsuit against BLM 'fracking' rule
Deseret News
Geoff Liesik

FORT DUCHESNE, Uintah County — The leadership of the Ute Indian Tribe announced Tuesday it will seek to join a federal lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management over the agency's new rules on hydraulic fracturing.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
New Study Quantifies Natural Gas Loss from Production on U.S. Public and Tribal Lands
Environmental Defense Fund
Press Release Asher Price

Losses from oil and gas operations worth over $360 million worth of natural gas in 2013, spotlights cost-effective savings opportunities   [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Hawaii Enacts 100% Renewable Energy by 2045 (1/2)
Real News


When it comes to the environment and climate change, we in general must report on many gloom and doom stories. It is the nature of the topic, I suppose. But last week we reported on Pope Francis' encyclical, and today we have another good news story: the state of Hawaii. It is the first state in the union to sign a bill with 100 percent commitment to renewable energy and to address and prepare for climate change head-on. Hawaii's particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, but also have access to many renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. To discuss all of this we have two guests. The state Congressman Chris Lee. He represents the 51 District of Hawaii. He is currently chair of the Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection. Also joining us is Mark Jacobson. He is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, and the director of Stanford's Atmosphere Energy program. Gentlemen, both of you, thank you for joining us today. REP. CHRIS LEE (D-HI): Thanks for having [inaud.] PERIES: So Congressman, give us a sense of the risks faced by Hawaii and why the governor and you, and of course the entire legislature, decided to address climate change head-on. And also, of course, switching to renewable energy the way you have described it in the bill. LEE: Well you know, this is something that is absolutely critical to the future of our way of life here, our economy, and how we're going to proceed in generations to come. Because we are already--this isn't, climate change isn't something that's coming. It's here, and we're feeling it right now. We've seen decreased rainfall, we're seeing increases in sea level rise that are eroding our beaches faster and faster. And that's the lifeblood of our economy. If we can't continue the way we're going we're going to be stuck. And so we have to take action and we have to do it now. PERIES: And how are you planning to make this transition? I mean, this is something that a lot of people cannot get their head around, switching from fossil fuels into renewable energy sources. LEE: Well you know, it's something that we're already on track with. We've had on the books efforts to move toward more renewable energy, and right now we're at about 22 percent renewable out of our entire electricity sector. And so moving to 100 percent I think it something that is, it's common sense. And we have a lot of wind, we have a lot of solar. We have more solar penetration per capita here. Roughly one in eight homes have solar on their rooftops generating power. And it's just the next step, the next necessary step, in order to get us not only to face and adapt to climate change as it's coming but also to save our economy money. Because fossil fuels fundamentally are only going to be more and more expensive for us down the road. PERIES: And Mark, get in on this. Obviously Hawaii is very distinct here in terms of the rest of the country. You've done a report on this. Tell us about what you're finding. MARK JACOBSON, PROF. OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, STANFORD UNIV.: Yeah. First, we've been developing energy plans for each of the 50 United States. And in fact, we just finalized those plans about a week ago, including Hawaii. And each state has its own unique set of resources. In the case of Hawaii it has a lot of solar and it has a lot of wind, and it has actually a lot of geothermal. Not a lot of hydroelectric. But maybe even tiny amounts of tidal and wave power.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
EDF Renewable Energy Expands Wind Portfolio in Texas with the Acquisition of Salt Fork Wind Project

EDF Press Release

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) today announced the acquisition of the up to 200 megawatt (MW) Salt Fork Wind Project from Cielo Wind Power LP (Cielo). Today’s achievement comes as a result of 18 months of close collaboration between the two companies to bring about the close of the acquisition transaction and the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Garland Power & Light (GP&L). Salt Fork is located in the Texas Panhandle on approximately 16,700 acres in Donley and Gray Counties, Texas, roughly 45 miles east of Amarillo. The project is expected to achieve commercial operation by the end of 2016, utilizing ERCOT’s (Electricity Reliability Council of Texas) CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone) transmission infrastructure. The clean electricity and renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by 150 MW of the Salt Fork Wind Project will be provided to Garland Power & Light under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement. This agreement follows the PPA the municipal utility signed in early 2014 for a portion of the electricity generated by EDF RE’s Spinning Spur 3 Wind Project.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Investment In Renewable Energy Yields More Jobs Than Fossil Fuel Sector
Clean Technica
Joshua S Hill

A new report has determined that investments in energy-efficient and renewable energy sources yield more jobs for a set amount of spending than investing in maintaining or expanding the fossil fuel industry. wind turbine cowboy jobsThe report, Global Green Growth: Clean Energy Industrial Investment and Expanding Job Opportunities, was published earlier this week and presented at the Vienna Energy Forum 2015 by its two authors, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). “Significant progress has already been made in overcoming the hitherto conventional wisdom that taking steps to cut GHGs is incompatible with economic growth,” said Yvo de Boer, Director-General of GGGI. “This report moves the debate another positive step forward by showing that employment and development result from sustainable, green growth.”  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Judge considers request to suspend federal oil, gas rules
WAshington Times
MEAD GRUVER - Associated Press

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Four states and petroleum industry groups were asking a federal judge Tuesday to suspend new rules for hydraulic fracturing and other petroleum industry practices on federal land. Colorado, North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and the industry groups are suing the U.S. Interior Department, saying the rules, which go into effect Wednesday, are unnecessarily burdensome for oil and gas developers. They include rules to disclose chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing. The four states, the Western Energy Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of America want to suspend the rules pending the outcome of their lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl set aside up to six hours for Tuesday’s hearing and would need to act quickly if he were to suspend the rules before they take effect. Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/23/judge-to-consider-suspending-new-federal-drilling-/#ixzz3duz3mWtW Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Fracking poses 'significant' risk to humans and should be temporarily banned across EU, says new report
Belfast Telegraph


A major new scientific study has concluded that the controversial gas extraction technique known as fracking poses a “significant” risk to human health and British wildlife, and that an EU-wide moratorium should be implemented until widespread regulatory reform is undertaken. The damning report by the CHEM Trust, the British charity that investigates the harm chemicals cause humans and wildlife, highlights serious shortcomings in the UK’s regulatory regime, which the report says will only get worse as the Government makes further budget cuts.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Pressure mounts against British fracking
UPI
Daniel J Graeber

PRESTON, England, June 23 (UPI) -- British advocacy group Friends of the Earth said that, with the nation's fracking debate in full swing, the interests of local communities should prevail. A local council in Lancashire is reviewing two separate proposals by energy company Cuadrilla Resources to explore for natural gas in regional shale deposits. ADVERTISING The council in mid June recommended approval for a campaign with as many as four drilling sites and hydraulic fracturing. The recommendation was subject to restrictions ranging from hours of work to noise pollution.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Risk of Extreme Weather From Climate Change to Rise Over Next Century, Report Says
New York Times
Abrina Tavernise

WASHINGTON — More people will be exposed to floods, droughts, heat waves and other extreme weather associated with climate change over the next century than previously thought, according to a new report in the British medical journal The Lancet. The report, published online Monday, analyzes the health effects of recent episodes of severe weather that scientists have linked to climate change. It provides estimates of the number of people who are likely to experience the effects of climate change in coming decades, based on projections of population and demographic changes.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
What does the US actually gain from tackling climate change?
Vox
Brad Plumer

This week, the EPA released a major report that tried to tally up the specific benefits to the United States if the whole world took action on climate change. Fewer deaths from heat waves, billions in saved infrastructure costs, and so on. So far, so good. But a closer look at the EPA's report also reveals two other nuanced points about climate that are getting lost in the media coverage. They're worth emphasizing, because they give a clearer sense of what we're actually dealing with and what our choices are: 1) No matter what the world does on emissions, some amount of global warming is inevitable in the decades ahead. That will lead to all sorts of disruptions and dislocations, and we really ought to start planning and adapting now. 2) If the world does cut emissions drastically, those climate impacts will be less ccostly, and the risk of catastrophe goes down. But we also wouldn't see any major difference for decades. That's because there's a lag between when we put CO2 in the atmosphere and when its various impacts are felt. So when we talk about reducing emissions, we're mainly talking about benefits for the United States in 2050 and beyond.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Earthquakes Tied to Fracking Boom, Two New Studies Confirm
Eco Watch
Anastasia Pantsios

Oklahoma was never big earthquake country, but in the last six years their numbers have surged, going from an average of two a year over 3.0 magnitude to 538 last year, surpassing California as the U.S.’s most seismically active state. Regions in Texas and Ohio that rarely felt an earthquake are now seeing wave after wave of them; eight states overall have seen big increases. Studies keep showing that the earthquakes start happening when wastewater from fracking is injected underground. Scientists say it’s because those large quantities of water, forced underground by heavy pressure, activate dormant fault lines. Now two more such studies have been added to the pile of evidence. One of the studies, published in the journal Science, comes from a team of scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The largest study to date, they analyzed information on earthquakes and 180,000 injection wells from Colorado to the east coast. They tied 18,000 of the wells, primarily in Colorado and Oklahoma, to earthquakes.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Dutch government further reduces production of natural gas in region hit by small earthquakes
Fox
AP

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The Dutch government is further cutting production of natural gas in the north of the country in an attempt to reduce the number of small earthquakes blamed on the drilling. Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp announced Tuesday that production in the Groningen region this year will be brought back to 30 billion cubic meters (39.24 billion cubic yards) of gas from the previously announced maximum of 39.4 billion cubic meters (51.53 billion cubic yards).   [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Cheniere cleared to expand Sabine Pass LNG terminal
My SA
RHIANNON MEYERS

Cheniere Energy cleared its final regulatory hurdle to expand its Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas export terminal after the federal government Tuesday dismissed an environmental group’s concerns about the project. The Sierra Club had asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider its April 6 approval of two additional production facilities slated to boost Sabine Pass LNG’s production by 50 percent. The group argued that the project would spur an increase in natural gas production to feed the export terminal, which in turn could lead to a spike in air pollution and uptick in gas prices. The agency on Tuesday rejected those arguments as it has in the past when the Sierra Club made similar claims against other LNG export proposals.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Elise Keaton Liegel on the Growing Opposition to The Natural Gas Pipelines in West Virginia -
Corporate Crime Reporter


Fracking has been halted in New York and Maryland. That means it’s open season on West Virginia. Two major pipelines have been proposed– the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline — that would cut through the West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina countryside — and move 2.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas from the frack fields of West Virginia to domestic and export markets. But opposition is brewing.   [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Mexico plans gas pipeline to Texas
Longview News Journal


MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government has announced plans for nearly $10 billion worth of electricity and natural gas infrastructure projects, including a gas pipeline under the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to the port of Veracruz. The Federal Electricity Commission said the costliest project would be the 500-mile underwater pipeline for carrying natural gas from South Texas. The pipeline is intended to go into operation in June 2018. Officials hope that facilitating the importation of inexpensive natural gas will help lower Mexico's electricity rates.Other projects include power plants, electricity distribution, transmission lines and electrical substations.Mexico passed a broad overhaul of its energy sector last year aimed in part at attracting more investment to electricity and petroleum.  [Full Story]

Jun 23, 2015
Marcellus Shale region to see wave of large pipeline projects
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Stephanie Ritenbaugh

Over the next three years, the Marcellus Shale region can expect to see about 17 pipeline projects meant to ship about 17.3 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas out of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to end-users, according to IHS Energy. Those destinations “are varied, and in addition to New England, some are targeting the Midwest, eastern Canada and the South,” said Matthew Piatek, associate director of North American natural gas for IHS, which tracks energy markets. “Given the amount of production in the tri-state area currently, it will be able to satisfy the lion’s share of Mid-Atlantic and New England demand and still export a net amount of natural gas,” Mr. Paitek said. The new infrastructure is in high demand. As natural gas production ramped up in the Marcellus and Utica regions, the existing pipeline network to take that fuel from well sites to market has been maxed out.  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Oilpatch could lose $100B without new pipelines, researchers warn
CBC News
Kyle Bakx,

Western Canadian oil producers are at risk of losing $100 billion in the next 15 years if no new pipelines are constructed in North America, according to energy research firm Wood Mackenzie. Canadian oil production continues to rise and pipeline capacity remains constricted, pushing 200,000 barrels of oil a day onto the railways. "In the past several years, we have seen big increases in supplies of oil from the United States and Canada," said Afolabi Ogunnaike, a senior research analyst in refining and oil product markets for Wood Mackenzie. "Most of the supply is from parts of the country far removed from refining demand centres. That has led to price discounts." The discounts are the lower prices Canadian producers receive for oil purchased by refineries in the southern U.S. The differential is between the price of Western Canada Select (WCS) and West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the North American benchmark.  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
What's Killing the Babies of Vernal, Utah?
Rolling Stone
PAUL SOLOTAROFF

Every night, Donna Young goes to bed with her pistol, a .45 Taurus Judge with laser attachment. Last fall, she says, someone stole onto her ranch to poison her livestock, or tried to; happily, her son found the d-CON wrapper and dumped all the feed from the troughs. Strangers phoned the house to wish her dead or run out of town on a rail. Local nurses and doctors went them one better, she says, warning pregnant women that Young's incompetence had killed babies and would surely kill theirs too, if given the chance. "Before they started spreading their cheer about me, I usually had 18 to 25 clients a year, and a spotless reputation in the state," says Young, the primary midwife to service Vernal, Utah, a boom-and-bust town of 10,000 people in the heart of the fracked-gas gold rush of the Uintah Basin. A hundred and fifty miles of sparse blacktop east of Salt Lake City, Vernal has the feel of a slapdash suburb dropped randomly from outer space. Half of it is new and garishly built, the paint barely dry after a decade-long run of fresh-drilled wells and full employment. Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/fracking-whats-killing-the-babies-of-vernal-utah-20150622#ixzz3dv65e5k6 Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook   [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Science/Fiction: Did EPA Determine Whether or Not Fracking has led to Widespread, Systematic Impacts to Drinking Water?
NRDC Switchboard
Briana Mordick

"Hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources." Or so says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's press statement announcing the release of the agency's draft report on the risks to drinking water from fracking, and a legion of stories in the popular press that followed. But is that what the scientific study itself found? (Spoiler alert: no) A thorough review of the study suggests that the EPA misrepresented the findings of its own study in both the press release and the high-level summary. EPA's statement that it did not find evidence of widespread, systematic impacts fails to accurately reflect the uncertainty in the underlying data. The fact is that EPA cannot say with any certainty how widespread or systematic impacts to drinking water from fracking are, due to a lack of available data.  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
EPA Strengthens Underground Storage Tank Requirements to Improve Prevention and Detection of Leaks
EPA
Press Release Asher Price

ASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) is strengthening the federal underground storage tank (UST) requirements to improve prevention and detection of petroleum releases from USTs which are one of the leading sources of groundwater contamination. EPA’s action will strengthen existing requirements and help ensure all USTs in the United States meet the same release protection standards.  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Waxman: Obama can be more aggressive on climate The president has even more powers than he’s using. I should know — I helped write the rules.
Politico
Henry Waxman

Today President Obama unveiled a major new proposal to clean up pollution from the trucking industry – the latest move by his EPA to fight climate change by tightening emissions standards and lowering greenhouse gases. Without any help from Congress, the Obama administration is largely on track to achieve the near-term reductions we attempted to reach through the Waxman-Markey climate bill, which made it through the House six years ago but was never taken up by the Senate. The President has been waging his cleanup campaign almost singlehandedly, using his authority under the Clean Air Act, which also lies behind the landmark Clean Power Plan coming this summer, his biggest climate achievement to date.   [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Society calls for Scottish fracking review Scotland in January placed a moratorium on the drilling practice.
UPI
Daniel J. Graeber

EDINBURGH, Scotland, June 22 (UPI) -- Hydraulic fracturing in Scotland could give the Edinburgh government some autonomy over the energy sector with few environmental impacts, a policy paper read. The Royal Society of Edinburgh, the premier scientific academy in Scotland, said the controversial drilling practice known also as fracking offers Scotland important options for onshore natural gas.  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Government ordered: release full fracking report!
Ecologist
Kyla Mandel

As Lancashire councillors prepare to decide the planning application to frack in the county, writes Kyla Mandel, the UK's transparency watchdog has ordered the government to publish in full a report on the impacts of fracking, previously published only in a heavily redacted version.   [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Florida Public Service Commission Approves New FPL Fracking Guidelines
The Bradenton Times
Jackson Falconer

TALLAHASSEE — On Thursday, the Florida Public Service Commission decided that Florida Power & Light can charge its customers for planned hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, or 'fracking'. In the consent agenda for the Thursday meeting, commissioners unanimously voted for the measure against a staff recommendation for the plan, which is included in new guidelines proposed by FPL on natural gas exploration and drilling. The decision means that up to $500 million per year can be charged to FPL's 4.7 million customers to finance the drilling. PSC staff said that such a move is unprecedented, as FPL will be the U.S.'s first utility to do so.   [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Study Links Fracking to Low Birth Weight
HPPR
Jonathan Baker

A new study has linked hydraulic fracturing with low birth weight, according to The New York Times. Scientists studied almost 16,000 live births in southwest Pennsylvania, categorizing mothers by their proximity to sites where fracking was taking place. The study found that babies born in high exposure areas were 34% more likely to be small for their gestational age. The study’s author’s suggested that liquids used in the drilling process may be contaminating local air and water, leading to smaller babies.  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Texas town strikes down local fracking ban
Petro Global News
Nicolas Torres

A small Texas town that banned hydraulic fracturing last year overturned the decision on Wednesday after state legislators blocked local governments from restricting fracking last month. According to Rigzone, city council members in Denton, Texas voted 6-1 to repeal a ban on hydraulic fracturing that had passed with a 59 percent vote in November.   [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
DEFRA ordered to release full fracking report
Shale Energy Insider
James Perkins

The research report detailing the impact of shale gas exploration on the rural economy by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs should be published in full, the UK Information Commissioner Officer has ruled.   [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
EPA Finds Low Potential Impacts on Drinking Water from Hydraulic Fracturing
JD Supra Business Advisor
Patrick Joyce, Craig Simonsen

While EPA’s study, which included over 950 sources of information, found specific instances where well integrity and waste water management related to fracking activities directly impacted drinking water resources, the number of instances found were “small compared to the large number of hydraulically fractured wells across the country.”   [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
What's Killing the Babies of Vernal, Utah? A fracking boomtown, a spike in stillborn deaths and a gusher of unanswered questions Environmentalists form coalition to fight against 'dirty energy' in N.J.
Philly Voice
Christina Lobrutto

Environmentalists and other groups in New Jersey have joined forces to address the state's energy policies, NJ Spotlight reports.   [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Small US frackers face extinction amid drilling drought
Daily Times
Reuters

uipment fleet at the beginning of last year, just one of hundreds of small oil service companies thriving on the revival of US drilling. Founded in November 2011 with a loan of around $35 million, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company was by 2014 making nearly that much in monthly revenues, providing the crews and machinery needed by companies including ExxonMobil to frack oil and gas wells from North Dakota to Texas.  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Leaked natural gas, oil-price ripple effects and a live HCN forum on public lands management.
High Country Newss
Elizabeth Shogren

The oil and gas industry has long claimed there’s no evidence hydraulic fracturing contaminates drinking water. But a major Environmental Protection Agency assessment released in June determined that fracking and horizontal drilling have the potential to do so. The study identified the greatest risks to drinking water, including spills. The study found no evidence that “widespread” pollution of drinking water occurred from these drilling techniques. The number of known cases of well contamination and other impacts to drinking water was small compared to the estimated 25,000 to 30,000 new wells drilled and fracked between 2011 and 2014 and the many more older wells that also were fracked, the study states. Industry groups say this confirms the safety of their operations. But the EPA study concedes that a lack of research may explain why the agency failed to find widespread impacts.   [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Natural Gas Sinks on Cooler Weather Forecasts Natural gas prices sank amid signs of cooler weather and softer-than-expected demand on the way.
Wall Street Journal
Timothy Puko

Natural gas sank as soon as electronic trading opened Sunday evening and has continued to slide Monday morning on signs of cooler weather and softer-than-expected demand on the way.   [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
NEWLY CREATED COALITION UNITES 40 GARDEN STATE GROUPS IN ‘GREEN’ STRUGGLE
NJ Spotlight
Tom Johnson

Pipelines, oil trains, offshore drilling high on the list of dirty problems that need to be cleaned up To many environmentalists and other groups, the state’s energy policies are seriously off track, and they’re forming a new coalition to help right that situation.  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
How Pope Francis’s Climate Encyclical Is Disrupting American Politics
EcoWatch
Carl Pope

The Republican reaction to Pope Francis’s climate encyclical, juxtaposed to the Democratic congressional rebellion against President Obama on trade, suggest that climate and energy are powerfully disrupting the grid-locked orthodoxy which has dominated American politics for the last decade.   [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found in Drinking Water Near Texas Fracking Sites
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

On June 4, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report on how fracking for oil and gas can impact access to safe drinking water. Although the report claims not to have found any “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States,” a new study in Texas provides more evidence that contamination of drinking water from fracking might be occurring.  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
What makes owls deadly could make wind turbines silent
Grist
Suzanne Jacobs

Owls — those whimsical and deadly hunting machines that crafty people love and Harry Potter characters employ as postal workers — have the unusual ability to fly in (virtual) silence. That’s bad news if you’re a delicious-looking rodent minding your own business, but it’s good news if you’re a scientist looking for a way to silence noisy wind turbines. Nigel Peake, a professor of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge, happens to be one of those scientists. And by using a 3D-printed material meant to mimic the surface of owl wings, he and his colleagues were able to lower the noise level of a wind turbine blade by about 10 decibels. (For comparison: The typical wind turbine a few hundred yards from a house will come in around 40 decibels, about as loud as the in-house refrigerator, according to GE. Here’s more from a press release out of the University of Cambridge: Peake and his collaborators at Virginia Tech, Lehigh and Florida Atlantic Universities used high resolution microscopy to examine owl feathers in fine detail. They observed that the flight feathers on an owl’s wing have a downy covering, which resembles a forest canopy when viewed from above. In addition to this fluffy canopy, owl wings also have a flexible comb of evenly-spaced bristles along their leading edge, and a porous and elastic fringe on the trailing edge.  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Rick Perry is on the payroll of a controversial oil pipeline company in Texas
Grist
Patrick Caldwell

When former Texas Gov. Rick Perry launched his bid for the Republican presidential nomination earlier this month, he declared his campaign would emphasize energy policy. “Energy is vital to our economy, and to our national security,” Perry said during his announcement speech. He vowed to green-light the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Perry’s staunch support of the energy industry is nothing new; he was a reliable ally of the energy sector throughout his 14 years as governor. But this year, Perry gained a new incentive for helping energy companies: He started working for one. And two weeks into his presidential campaign, he’s still on its payroll. On Feb. 3, two weeks after ending his term as governor, Perry took a position on the corporate board of Energy Transfer Partners, a Texas-based pipeline company that transports natural gas and crude oil. “The Board selected Mr. Perry to serve as a director because of his vast experience as an executive in the highest office of state government,” ETP’s website says. “In addition, Mr. Perry has been involved in finance and budget planning processes throughout his career in government as a member of the Texas House Appropriations Committee, the Legislative Budget Board and as Governor.”  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Citing Human Health Risks, Report Calls for EU Moratorium on Fracking
Common Dreams
Deirdre Fulton

A major study (pdf) released Sunday finds that chemicals from fracking sites have the potential to cause significant pollution while posing risks to human health and wildlife. In turn, the CHEM Trust—a British charity that investigates the harm chemicals cause ecosystems—is calling for a moratorium on fracking across Europe until key recommendations are put in place. "Widespread fracking will threaten many of our valuable wildlife sites, as this technology has a high potential to pollute sensitive aquatic ecosystems; it can also harm human health," said CHEM Trust executive director Dr. Michael Warhurst, who added: "We know from experience in the USA that fracking wells can leak and accidents can happen, and this has led to significant pollution and damage to wildlife."  [Full Story]

Jun 22, 2015
Senate bill would encourage use of coal mine water to frack
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

A bill that would encourage the use of coal mine water to frack natural gas wells was approved by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on Monday. Senate Bill 875 limits potential liabilities for producers who would use the polluted mine water, instead of cleaner fresh water, in the drilling process. Using acid mine drainage to frack was an idea that had support from the Corbett Administration, as well as the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, as a way to reduce the amount of fresh water used by Marcellus Shale developers. But some industry lawyers have said the state’s Clean Streams Law could make producers liable for cleaning up the mine water that they didn’t pollute, in perpetuity. So although some drillers are using acid mine drainage to frack, it hasn’t been an idea that has gotten much traction.  [Full Story]

Jun 21, 2015
Natural gas compressor station worries possible neighbors
The Roanoke Times
Duncan Adams

Natural gas compressor stations pack the potential for a sextuple whammy. Noise pollution. Air pollution. Water pollution. Eyesore impacts, including light pollution, especially in rural settings. Noxious odors. Fires and explosions. Some research suggests that living near a compressor station poses health risks. Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC plans to build four compressor stations along the 300-mile route of its proposed 42-inch diameter natural gas transmission pipeline — three stations in West Virginia and one in Virginia.  [Full Story]

Jun 21, 2015
FERC split over N.Y. compressor station shows differing opinions
The Roanoke Times
Duncan Adams

The rural community of Minisink, New York, fought long and hard to block the siting of a 12,260 horsepower natural gas compressor station proposed by Millennium Pipeline Company LLC in July 2011. Opponents proposed an alternate plan that would have located the station on an industrial site owned by Millennium. According to supporters of the so-called Wagoner alternative, it would have affected fewer homes, required less compression and produced fewer emissions. Ultimately, in July 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Millennium’s plan to build the compressor station in Minisink. But FERC’s commissioners split 3-2, with Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur and Jon Wellinghoff, then chairman, dissenting.  [Full Story]

Jun 21, 2015
News Every Day: Oil Drilling Blamed for Rocketing Eathquake Rates in Oklahoma
Bell Jar


These studies arrive on the heels of the Oklahoma Geological Survey’s announcement two months ago that it is “very likely that the majority of recent earthquakes, particularly those in central and north-central Oklahoma, are triggered by the injection of produced water in disposal wells”. The rest reduced volumes or weren’t injecting at this time.   [Full Story]

Jun 21, 2015
State researchers not ready to blame quake on injection wells
Athens Daily Review
John Austin

Disposal wells that catch the high-pressure byproducts of natural gas drilling cannot conclusively be blamed for an earthquake near Fort Worth this spring, according to state experts. The Railroad Commission of Texas tested five disposal wells in Johnson County after a 4.0 magnitude temblor on May 7 to assess the effect of injection operations on underground rock formations.  [Full Story]

Jun 21, 2015
Chesco senator proposed legislation to allow taxation of natural gas pipelines
Daily Times News


West Chester>>State Senator Andy Dinniman on Thursday introduced legislation to allow local municipalities and school districts to tax natural gas pipelines.  [Full Story]

Jun 21, 2015
Oil and Gas Industry-Funded Website FrackFeed.com Off to Shaky Start
DeSmog Blog
Julie Dermansky

FrackFeed.com is a new oil and gas industry-supported website whose mission is to challenge the negative public perception of fracking. That’s a tall order since public awareness and opposition to fracking is growing following the passage of a fracking ban in Denton, Texas, as well as a de-facto ban in New York and other high-profile efforts to protect public safety and water supplies by limiting or outright stopping the risky shale extraction technique in communities worldwide.   [Full Story]

Jun 21, 2015
Well-sealing efforts could dry up with state funds
Register-Mail
Marty Hobe

GALESBURG — Statewide efforts to plug abandoned oil and natural gas wells are ongoing but could be in danger of stagnating due to state funding. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has a Plugging and Restoration Fund designated or closing dangerous abandoned wells. According to spokesperson Chris Young there are currently 3,515 wells in the the plugging and restoration program.   [Full Story]

Jun 21, 2015
Stinner to host meeting with those against Sioux County wastewater well The meeting is open to the public
KOTA TV
Sydney Kern

According to a news release, John Stinner has attempted to bring order to the frack wastewater problems after TEREX received approval for the well site just north of Mitchell. Stinner has sponsored a bill to tax the frack wastewater to help pay for expenses to the infrastructure the site will cause, and supported a bill introduced by Senator Chambers that would make all oil and gas companies reveal the ingredients of the fracking water.   [Full Story]

Jun 21, 2015
Letter: Report justifies fracking ban
Albany Times Union
Letter to the Editor, John Armstrong Frack Action

Many of us in New York's anti-fracking movement were glad to see the Times Union take a balanced approach in its editorial on the recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fracking water contamination report ("Fracking: Unclear as ever," June 10).  [Full Story]

Jun 21, 2015
Southern Utes challenge fracking law
Denver Post
Associated Press

Durango, Colo. (AP)--the Southern Ute Indian Tribe has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Interior, challenging the Bureau of Land Management's new hydraulic fracturing rule.  [Full Story]

Jun 21, 2015
Americans say ‘reject fracking in Lancashire’
Lancashire Evening Post


Elected officials in New York State, which banned fracking in December, have written to councillors in Lancashire to urge them to refuse planning permission for Cuadrilla’s two fracking applications. The state banned fracking after its Department of Public Health completed a two year study which concluded that fracking poses significant public health risks and should be banned.   [Full Story]

Jun 20, 2015
Frack Free NC Meeting Draws Dozens of Fracking Opponents
Time Warner Cable News


STOKES COUNTY, N.C. -- Although the moratorium on fracking has ended in North Carolina, efforts to keep the controversial gas drilling method away have not. A meeting organized by Frack Free NC on Saturday drew dozens to Hanging Rock State Park. Organizers said they hoped to update the community on their latest fracking opposition efforts, and to strategize about efforts going forward.   [Full Story]

Jun 20, 2015
Tribe sues Dept. of Interior Southern Utes challenge fracking law
Durango Herald
Ann Butler

he Southern Ute Indian Tribe filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior on Thursday, challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s new hydraulic fracturing rule.  [Full Story]

Jun 20, 2015
Fracking poses 'significant' risk to humans and should be temporarily banned across EU, says new report
The Independent
Andy Rowell

A major new scientific study has concluded that the controversial gas extraction technique known as fracking poses a “significant” risk to human health and British wildlife, and that an EU-wide moratorium should be implemented until widespread regulatory reform is undertaken.   [Full Story]

Jun 20, 2015
Oil transit's benefit to Albany hard to measure As billions of gallons course through Albany, is it worth the risk?
Albany Times Union
Eric Anderson

The risks of oil trains rolling through Capital Region neighborhoods are well-known. Bakken crude is flammable, even explosive, and derailments elsewhere have destroyed property and forced evacuations.   [Full Story]

Jun 20, 2015
Residents Fight To Block Fracked Gas In New York's Finger Lakes
NPR
David Chanatry

New York state's Seneca Lake is the heart of the Finger Lakes, a beautiful countryside of steep glacier-carved hills and long slivers of water with deep beds of salt. It's been mined on Seneca's shore for more than a century. The Texas company Crestwood Midstream owns the mine now, and stores natural gas in the emptied-out caverns. It has federal approval to increase the amount, and it's seeking New York's OK to store 88 million gallons of propane as well.   [Full Story]

Jun 20, 2015
New York warning over Lancashire County Council fracking vote
BBC News


A US environmental group has written to Lancashire County Council urging it to refuse permission to allow test drilling for fracking. The letter, signed by 850 elected officials in New York State, comes days before the council decides whether to approve test drilling at two locations. New York's state lawmakers outlawed the process in December. Cuadrilla, the energy firm behind the proposed drilling, said the US group had no knowledge of the case. In a statement, a spokesman for the energy firm said: "These officials from New York State have no knowledge of Cuadrilla's applications or of the regulatory controls in the UK and should not be interfering in the democratic process and decisions which will be made by the elected representatives of the people of Lancashire."  [Full Story]

Jun 19, 2015
Britain's political consensus on fracking is fractured
The Guardian
Adam Vaughan

We find out next week if the first major round of fracking in Britain will be approved, in a community that’s divided over the technology. Although Lancashire is split on the controversial method of extracting shale gas and oil, at a national level the UK’s political parties have been unusually united in their support for hydraulic fracturing. But that political consensus has begun to fracture since the election.  [Full Story]

Jun 19, 2015
This Land Was Made for You and Me … And Fracking?
EcoWatch
Lauren Petrie

For most people, the image of a fracking rig is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when they think about public lands. In Colorado, we think of rushing rivers, majestic mountains, colorful wildflowers, and fish and wildlife. But a new Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Resource Management Plan (RMP) could open nearly 7 million acres of BLM-managed federal mineral estate in eastern Colorado to fracking—with little input or oversight from the very Colorado residents who stand to lose the most if the BLM allows the extreme oil and gas extraction process on these lands. If the agency’s plans for Colorado follow a pattern that’s played out in RMPs elsewhere in the western U.S., fracking is most assuredly on the table.  [Full Story]

Jun 19, 2015
Has Our Food Been Contaminated by Chevron's Wastewater?
Truthout
Daniel Ross

Acetone and hydrocarbons found in petroleum have once again been detected in the oil field wastewater that is used to irrigate oranges, table grapes and other crops in California's Kern Valley, according to findings in a new report issued by Chevron itself. The report also highlights how oil companies other than Chevron supply the program with wastewater. Until now, Chevron has been the only company widely and publicly associated with the project. According to David Ansolabehere, general manager of the Cawelo Water District, the Valley Water Management Company - a nonprofit corporation providing oil field waste treatment and disposal services to independent oil producers in the Kern County - also discharges oil field wastewater into one of the ponds where the wastewater is contained before being distributed to farms. He communicated to Truthout by email.  [Full Story]

Jun 19, 2015
Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found In Drinking Water Near Texas Fracking Sites
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

Scientists have found elevated levels of cancer-causing chemicals in the drinking water in North Texas’ Barnett Shale region — where a fracking boom has sprouted more than 20,000 oil and gas wells. Researchers from the University of Texas, Arlington tested water samples from public and private wells collected over the past three years and found elevated levels of heavy metals, such as arsenic. Their findings, released Wednesday, showed elevated levels of 19 different chemicals including the so-called BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes) compounds. Heavy metals are toxic when ingested, and BTEX compounds are considered carcinogenic when ingested. Exposure to BTEX compounds is also associated with effects on the respiratory and central nervous system. The study found elevated levels of toxic methanol and ethanol, as well.  [Full Story]

Jun 19, 2015
Health Department investigates cancer in eastern Harris County
FOX 26 Houston


HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Responding to community concerns, the Texas Department of State Health Services released an assessment showing more cases of certain types of cancer than expected in parts of eastern Harris County compared with the rest of the state. The assessment looks at reported cases of cancer and does not attempt to determine possible causes. The most notable findings include a greater-than-expected incidence of childhood glioma in one census tract, a greater-than-expected incidence of childhood melanoma in another census tract and a greater-than-expected incidence of childhood retinoblastoma in two census tracts. While these cancers are rare and few total cases were identified, the analysis determined that these findings are significant enough to warrant a discussion of whether additional study is feasible.  [Full Story]

Jun 19, 2015
Near a Fracking Center, Drinking Water Has More Chemicals and Carcinogens
InsideClimate News
Neela Banerjee

Drinking water wells in Texas counties that are home to intensive hydraulic fracturing operations contain elevated levels of more than two dozen metals and chemicals, including carcinogens, according to a new study in Environmental Science & Technology. The study is based on samples from 550 wells across the Barnett Shale natural gas formation in the Dallas area; it is one of the largest independent analyses of water quality to date of aquifers near fracking sites. Researchers found volatile organic compounds such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene, or BTEX, in more than two-thirds of the wells sampled. Benzene is a carcinogen, and the other compounds can damage the nervous system. An industrial solvent called dichloromethane, or DCM, was found in 121 samples, or more than 20 percent of the wells.   [Full Story]

Jun 19, 2015
NDP Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd asked Alberta Energy Regulator to compile and present the government all of its information on hydraulic fracturing
Ernst vs Encana


Fracking poses political challenge to new NDP government by James Wood, June 19, 2015, Calgary Herald In opposition, the NDP described fracking in Alberta as “out of control” and demanded an independent review of its impact — especially on the province’s water supply. Now that the NDP is in power, it’s depicting an independent review as only one option to deal with the controversial energy extraction process, even as new concerns are raised about earthquakes potentially being caused by fracking.  [Full Story]

Jun 19, 2015
The Pope and Climate Change
The New York Times
Editorial

The issue of climate change — unlike, say, the economy — may not be a matter of everyday concern to many Americans or most citizens of the planet. The debate is too often clouded by ideology and well-financed attempts to sow doubt about the underlying science. Even among those aware enough to worry, the long-term consequences can seem remote. As one futile international conference after another has attested, the facts alone have not been enough to move world governments to take decisive action. Enter now Pope Francis with “Laudato Si.” Leaked on Monday, and presented to an expectant world on Thursday, “Laudato Si” is the first papal encyclical devoted solely to environmental issues — and also, Pope Francis clearly hopes, the beginning of the broad moral awakening necessary to persuade not just one billion Catholic faithful, but humanity at large, of our collective responsibility to pass along a clean and safe planet to future generations. In other words, to do the things that mere facts have not inspired us to do. Thus far, he made clear, we mortals have made a mess of it, polluting the air and water, destroying forests and wildlife, wantonly wasting resources. “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth,” he declared. “In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.”  [Full Story]

Jun 19, 2015
FPL customers will be charged for fracking activities, board says
Miami Herald
MARY ELLEN KLAS

Millions of homes and businesses who are customers of Florida Power & Light will be financing as much as $500 million a year in unregulated natural gas fracking projects conducted by the state’s largest utility, state regulators decided Thursday. The Florida Public Service Commission sided with FPL and against consumer advocates and unanimously approved guidelines that give the company carte blanche approval to charge its customers for natural gas fracking and “wildcatting” activities without oversight from regulators for the next five years. The decision gives the state largest utility company unprecedented permission to use ratepayer dollars to finance an energy exploration and production business. According to an analysis by the PSC’s staff, FPL will be the first utility in the nation to be allowed to use ratepayer money for such an “non-regulated risk.”   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
The Shale Industry Could Be Swallowed By Its Own Debt
Bloomberg
Asjylyn Loder

The debt that fueled the U.S. shale boom now threatens to be its undoing. Drillers are devoting more revenue than ever to interest payments. In one example, Continental Resources Inc., the company credited with making North Dakota’s Bakken Shale one of the biggest oil-producing regions in the world, spent almost as much as Exxon Mobil Corp., a company 20 times its size.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Public should be involved in Scottish fracking debate, says report
Shale energy Insider
James Perkins

The exploitation of shale gas can be carried out safely in Scotland, but the public should be involved in a debate on the extraction of shale gas and coal bed methane, according to a report by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Conservative lobbying group ALEC sets sights on local lawmakers
Aljazeera America
Amadou Diallo

In Denton’s fight against fracking, Briggle, a philosophy professor at the University of North Texas, became an unlikely advocate in the fight for community control over corporate interests. “I hadn’t even heard of fracking until I moved to Denton,” he said. Alarmed, however, by oil industry plans to put fracking wells close to schools, playgrounds and parks, he and other concerned citizens spent the previous four years organizing a grass-roots campaign to get an anti-fracking provision on the city ballot. In November 2014, despite being outspent 10 to 1 by energy and oil company lobbies, local anti-fracking advocates won big when Denton residents voted overwhelmingly for a citywide fracking ban, the first of its kind in Texas and one of the first nationwide.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
‘Serious concern’ over EPA study
Leitrim Observer


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied accusations it commissioned a pro fracking group to help carry out a major study on the gas extraction method. The outcome of the EPA study into fracking which is expected by July 2016 will advise the Government on the safety and risks involved with hydrulic fracking. A moritoirum on fracking has been placed until after this important report is published. The consortium for the study comprises CDM Smith Ireland, the British Geological Survey, UCD, Queens University Belfast, AMEC Foster Wheeler, and Philip Lee Solicitors. The descision to include CDM Smith has been met with much concern.   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Norman to consider amendments to city ordinance
Norman Transcript
Joy Hampton

When municipalities across the nation began debating fracking bans, Oklahoma lawmakers struck back, enacting legislation to protect the state’s billion-dollar oil and gas industry. On May 29, Gov. Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 809 into law, prohibiting cities and towns from banning fracking or other oil and gas operations within city limits.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Study: Mega injections of wastewater triggers more quakes
The Washington Post
Seth Borenstein

WASHINGTON — The more oil and gas companies pump their saltwater waste into the ground, and the faster they do it, the more they have triggered earthquakes in the central United States, a massive new study found. An unprecedented recent jump in quakes in America’s heartland can be traced to the stepped up rate that drilling wastewater is injected deep below the surface, according to a study in Thursday’s journal Science that looked at 187,570 injection wells over four decades.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Fracking Linked to Low Birth Weight Babies
AlterNet
Reynard Loki

Expectant mothers who live near natural gas fracking sites may be at an increased risk of having babies with lower birth weight, according to a new study of birth rates in Pennsylvania. For the study, which was published in the current issue of PLOS ONE, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analyzed more than 15,000 birth records of babies born between 2007 and 2010 in three of the state's southwestern counties: Butler, Washington and Westmoreland. The study included more than 500 gas wells drilled during the same period.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Fracking’s Problems Go Deeper Than Water Pollution
Wired
Nick Stockton

SALTY, CHEMICAL-LADEN FLUID leaked for two hours before anyone from Vantage Energy let Arlington city officials knew there had been an accident at the hydraulic fracturing well next to the Baptist church. It would be another 22 hours before they plugged the leak. In that time, 42,800 gallons of polluted liquid would flow into the sewers and streams of this suburban city wedged between Dallas and Fort Worth. That was two months ago, and this week Arlington officials announced their investigation into the accident—caused by equipment failure—was complete. After taking water and soil samples, they announced that the waste water spewed from the well did not cause any significant damage to the environment. Vantage Energy’s biggest sin was not notifying the city of the accident when it first occurred. Even with this conclusion, the spill has raised concerns in frack-friendly Texas and beyond.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
WATER NEAR A BUNCH OF TEXAS FRACKING SITES IS POLLUTED FOR SOME REASON
Dallas Observer
Amy Silverstein

But out in the real world, scientists at UT-Arlington have published a study suggesting that just maybe his worried wife isn't so dumb after all. In a study published in Environmental Science & Technology, a peer-reviewed journal, a research team lead by Dr. Zacariah Hildebrand documents their findings on local drinking water. His team analyzed 550 groundwater samples collected from aquifers over the Barnett Shale, the formation in North Texas that has been profitable to local drillers but slowly pissing off our nearby suburbs. The results make a strong case for a home water filter, one of the expensive ones:   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Tikorangi artist’s fracking sculpture makes award finals
Taranaki Daily News
Tara Shaskey

Fiona Clark has found inspiration in the nearby rumblings and noise of an oil and gas exploration site. The Tikorangi woman, who lives near a well site, drew on the contentious practice of hydraulic fracking as motivation to create Fracked ground above and below.   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
PSC chairwoman cuts ties to company vying for energy work
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—New York's top energy regulator has cut her ties to an energy company doing business in the state after the relationship was reported by Capital. State Public Service Commission chairwoman Audrey Zibelman has severed her ties with Viridity Energy, an energy grid technology company she co-founded in 2008. Viridity is working on microgrid control panels for a company founded by Zibelman's former business partner, called Anbaric, that is actively working to develop projects across the state. Zibelman was head of Viridity when Governor Andrew Cuomo tapped her to lead the P.S.C. in 2013.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
New study reveals potential contamination
Denton Record-Chronicle
Christian McPhate

A new peer-reviewed study reveals potential groundwater contamination in the Barnett Shale, a geological formation that underlies 17 counties in North Texas, including Denton County. But the cause of the potential groundwater contamination is still under debate. “These data do not necessarily identify unconventional oil and gas activities as the source of contamination,” the authors wrote. “However, they do provide a strong impetus for further monitoring and analysis of groundwater quality in this region as many of the compounds we detected are known to be associated with unconventional oil and gas activities.”  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
FPL customers to pay for natural-gas fracking
Sun Sentinel
Jim Turner

Florida utility regulators gave approval Thursday for the state's largest power company to further invest ratepayer money in natural-gas production.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Oklahoma earthquakes linked to oil and gas wastewater disposal wells, say Stanford researchers
Stanford News
Ker Than

A new Stanford study finds that the recent spike in triggered earthquakes in Oklahoma is primarily due to the injection of wastewater produced during oil production – but not from fracking.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Virginia, W. Va. coalition takes a stand against planned natural gas pipeline
Hampton Roads Pilot
Steve Szkotak

A coalition of environmental and conservation groups in West Virginia and Virginia announced its opposition Thursday to the proposed 550-mile route of a natural gas pipeline. The position represents a shift for the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance, which was formed last September as an "information coalition" on the development of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
In his sweeping encyclical on climate change Pope Francis reveals himself to be a master of scientific detail
The Washington Post
Anthony Faiola, Michelle Boorstein and Chris Mooney

VATICAN CITY — He warns of “synthetic agrotoxins” harming birds and insects and “bioaccumulation” from industrial waste. He calls for renewable fuel subsidies and “maximum energy efficiency.” And although he offers prayers at the beginning and end of his heavily anticipated missive on the environment, Pope Francis unmasks himself not only as a very green pontiff, but also as a total policy wonk. In the 192-page paper released Thursday, Francis lays out the argument for a new partnership between science and religion to combat human-driven climate change — a position bringing him immediately into conflict with skeptics, whom he chides for their “denial.” Francis urges taking public transit, carpooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, recycling — and boycotting certain products. He called for an “ecological conversion” for the faithful.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change
The New York Times
JIM YARDLEY and LAURIE GOODSTEIN

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action. The vision that Francis outlined in the 184-page encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope: He described a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness. The most vulnerable victims are the world’s poorest people, he declared, who are being dislocated and disregarded.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Yellowknife fracking regulations meeting leaves public fuming 'You're talking heads. You're puppets,' says Indio Saravanja to panel at 4-hour meeting
CBC News
Guy Quenneville

A heated four-hour public meeting meant to gather people's thoughts about N.W.T.'s draft regulations for fracking instead unleashed a torrent of criticism about the way the government is seeking feedback. In a meeting Monday night in Yellowknife — scheduled to last two hours — the territorial government's panel spent the first hour largely recapping, in detail, the workings of N.W.T.'s regulatory system, drawing sighs from audience members.   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Pope Francis’ Encyclical Urges Swift Action on Climate Change Ahead of Paris Climate Talks
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Today in Rome, Pope Francis released his long-anticipated encyclical on climate change, fueling precisely the international conversation the Pope hoped to drive. The widespread media coverage of the 180-plus page document, Laudato Si, or Praised Be to You, has undoubtedly increased public awareness of environmental issues dramatically.   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Release of encyclical reveals pope’s deep dive into climate science Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share via Email More Options
Washington Post
Anthony Faiola, Michelle Boorstein & Chris Mooney

VATICAN CITY — He warns of “synthetic agrotoxins” harming birds and insects and “bioaccumulation” from industrial waste. He calls for renewable fuel subsidies and “maximum energy efficiency.” And although he offers prayers at the beginning and end of his heavily anticipated missive on the environment, Pope Francis unmasks himself not only as a very green pontiff, but also as a total policy wonk.   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Gas drilling lease delay a ‘nightmare,’ judge says
Spokesman-Review
Matthew Brown & Josh Funk

BILLINGS – A federal judge is pressing U.S. officials to explain why it’s taken three decades to decide on a proposal to drill for natural gas just outside Glacier National Park in an area considered sacred by some Indian tribes. A frustrated U.S. District Judge Richard Leon called the delay a “nightmare” during a recent court hearing. He ordered the Interior and Agriculture departments to report to him with any other example of where they have “dragged their feet.”   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Government ordered to publish redacted fracking report in full
The Guardian
Damian Carrington

Heavily redacted report on the impact of fracking in the UK should be released in full, information commissioner tells environment department   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Full fracking report to be printed The Government has been ordered to publish in full a heavily-redacted report on the impacts of fracking.
Express & Star


The internal document - titled Shale Gas: Rural Economy Impacts - had several key sections obscured when it was published by the Environment Department (Defra) last summer in response to a request under environmental information laws.   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
PSC rejects staff, sides with FPL to have ratepayers finance fracking projects
Miami Herald


Millions of homes and businesses who are customers of Florida Power & Light will be financing as much as $500 million a year in unregulated natural gas fracking projects conducted by the state’s largest utility, state regulators decided Thursday.   [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Fracking investigated as possible cause of Fox Creek earthquake
CBC News


A geophysicist is looking at whether hydraulic fracking caused a 4.4-magnitude earthquake recorded on Saturday near Fox Creek, Alta.  [Full Story]

Jun 18, 2015
Harry Styles backs anti-fracking campaign
7 News


One Directon star Harry Styles has joined the anti-fracking movement. Fracking - a drilling technique used by oil and gas companies - has been a big concern for many residents in Australia and across the globe.  [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Renewable Energy Responsible for First Ever Carbon Emissions Stabilization
Renewable Energy World
Vince Font

For the first time ever, the world’s energy consumption has increased without causing an equivalent spike in carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon emissions in 2014 remained at the previous year’s levels of 32.3 billion metric tons — a milestone that points to the impact worldwide renewable energy investment is having in the face of a 1.5 percent annual increase in global energy consumption, according to a new report from REN21. The tenth annual Renewables 2015 Global Status Report cites “increased penetration of renewable energy” and improvements in energy efficiency as the chief reasons for the noted emissions stabilization.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Public Service Commission to decide whether FPL can charge more for fracking
Miami Herald
Mary Ellen Klas

TALLAHASSEE State utility regulators will decide Thursday whether Florida Power & Light’s 4 million customers — or its shareholders — will finance the company’s expansion into oil and natural gas reserves. The Florida Public Service Commission gave the company approval to get into the controversial fracking business in December. It now must decide whether to approve guidelines proposed by FPL that would let the company spend up to $750 million a year more on gas exploration without regulatory approval.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Natural Gas: Promise or Peril?
NRDC
Peter Lehner's Blog

A couple of years ago, many people in the environmental community were bullish on natural gas. Methane burns cleaner than coal, producing only about half the carbon dioxide, and almost no sulfur dioxide or mercury. When NRDC moved to clean up dirty diesel buses in New York City in the 1990s, natural gas was the answer.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
How fossil fuel emissions could take protein from the diets of the world’s poorest people
The Guardian
Graham Readfearn

It’s one of the all-time favourite climate science denialist talking points: carbon dioxide is just “food for plants”. But it’s one of those little nuggets of truthiness where the bit of the statement that’s true is drowned by those parts of it that aren’t.  [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Arlington officials report on fracking fluid blowout
KHOU
Brett Shipp

ARLINGTON, Texas — Two months ago, 100 homes in Arlington had to be evacuated as fracking fluid spilled out of a drilling site onto the city streets. Now we know officially what happened, why it happened, and why Arlington officials are blaming the drilling company for "unacceptable behavior."   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Texas city repeals historic fracking ban under legal and political duress
The Guardian
Tom Dart

Denton cracked under pressure Tuesday after lawsuits and state authority over oil and gas activities forced first city to ban fracking to retract ordinance   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
NASA Study: More Than One-Third of Earth’s Largest Aquifers Are Being Rapidly Depleted
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

Think the water situation is bad in California? Freshwater is depleting at alarming and unsustainable rates in major underground aquifers around the globe, according to NASA satellite images.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Pennsylvania Wants Record $8.9M Fine Against Drilling Firm
Manufacturing.net
Peter Jackson

State environmental regulators are pursuing a record $8.9 million fine against a Texas-based energy company they say repeatedly failed to repair a natural-gas well that contaminated groundwater and a stream in north-central Pennsylvania.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Alarming' study shows dangerous water along Barnett Shale
WFAA
Brett Shipp

What's being called one of the most comprehensive groundwater studies ever done in the U.S. was published Wednesday, and, according to the lead scientist, some of its findings are "incredibly alarming." The tests were performed over the past two years in the Barnett Shale and purport to show a growing link between fracking and groundwater contamination. The study is published in the trade journal Environmental Science and Technology. Dr. Zac Hildenbrand, one of the lead authors of the study who collaborated with the University of Texas at Arlington, collected samples from 550 water wells in 13 counties along the Barnett Shale.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Rockingham looks to stop fracking
Marcellus.com


WENTWORTH – A Rockingham County commissioner said Tuesday that he believes residents have one option left to stop hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, locally. File a lawsuit, said Commissioner Mark Richardson, the chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Ryedale Area Committee: More evidence is needed about impact of fracking
Malton & Pickering Mercury


Further evidence about the impact of fracking in Ryedale is needed before any planning decisions are made surrounding the controversial mining technique, councillors have said.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Harry Styles backs anti-fracking campaign
Local SYR


British pop star Harry Styles has joined Dame Vivienne Westwood's ongoing anti-fracking campaign after the singer's hometown was earmarked as a potential site for the controversial practice. The One Direction star hails from the town of Redditch in Worcestershire, England, where energy company bosses are reportedly hoping to open a shale gas fracking site, and he has now thrown his support behind fashion designer Westwood and her anti-fracking protests.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Fracking Debate Update
The Bakken
Tessa Sandstrom

North Dakotans are well-informed on hydraulic fracking and understand that our state has put in place significant regulations to ensure development is done safely. We’ve seen that oil development can be done safely and efficiently.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Site of Arlington Fracking Fluid Leak Could Soon Reopen
NBC DFW
Tim Ciesco

An Arlington gas well site that leaked thousands of gallons of fracking fluid in April could soon resume drilling. All operations at Vantage Energy's Lake Arlington Baptist Church site along Little Road have been suspended since that leak occurred.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Arlington officials report on fracking fluid blowout
WFAA
Brett Shipp

ARLINGTON — Two months ago, 100 homes in Arlington had to be evacuated as fracking fluid spilled out of a drilling site onto the city streets. Now we know officially what happened, why it happened, and why Arlington officials are blaming the drilling company for "unacceptable behavior."  [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
92-year-old booked into jail after fracking protest
KHOU


DENTON, Texas — A 92-year-old woman was taken into custody and booked into the Denton jail for a short time on Tuesday after protesting at a fracking site. Violet Palmer said she knew that was a possibility when she joined her son and a small group of protesters outside a drilling operation on the west side of the city Tuesday morning.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Dedham asks judge to block construction of gas pipeline through town
Boston Business Journal
Eric Convey

Dedham selectmen today asked that a federal judge hold an emergency hearing and temporarily block Spectra Energy's (NYSE:SE) Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC from beginning work on a high-pressure natural gas pipeline through the town. In a complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for Boston, the town argues that Algonquin has taken steps to begin work on the Algonquin Incremental Market Project even though the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has yet to act on appeals filed against the project. FERC initially approved the project in March. The agency's decisions usually trump local regulations.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
What happened to 160,000 fracking jobs? Under Wolf, the numbers change
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

Somehow Pennsylvania lost 160,000 gas industry jobs overnight. What happened? Did drillers flee at the specter of a new tax on production? Not quite. Although companies have been laying off workers and cutting costs– lackluster market conditions don’t explain this shift. Instead, it was a decision made under Governor Wolf’s new administration. Last week the state Department of Labor and Industry quietly changed the way it tracks employment in the Marcellus Shale industry. “Those numbers were a joke,” says John Hanger, Wolf’s secretary of planning and policy. ”The errors were so glaring, they had to be changed.”  [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Fracking and water: Quantity, not just quality, a concern
Midwest Energy News
Kathiann M. Kowalski

Even in a water-rich state like Ohio, growing water use for fracking could strain water reserves, according to new research from the FracTracker Alliance, a non-profit organization that compiles data, maps and analyses about the impacts of the oil and gas industry. FrackTracker compared the oil and gas industry’s water use within southeastern Ohio’s Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) to residential use in that area, which covers roughly 20 percent of Ohio. Residential water use includes families’ home use, but excludes water for agricultural, industrial and other purposes.  [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Arlington officials report on fracking fluid blowout
WFAA
Brett Shipp

ARLINGTON — Two months ago, 100 homes in Arlington had to be evacuated as fracking fluid spilled out of a drilling site onto the city streets. Now we know officially what happened, why it happened, and why Arlington officials are blaming the drilling company for "unacceptable behavior." A series of video recordings obtained by News 8 shows the scene behind the walls of a fracking site 600 feet from a cluster of homes in the state's seventh largest city. In the incident, 42,800 gallons of fracking fluid — boiling up from thousands of feet underground — spewed into the streets and into Arlington storm sewers and streams.  [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Report: Over 40,000 Gallons Of Fracking Fluid Spilled Into Texas Neighborhood Due To Drilling Co. Mishandling
Mint Press News
ABC News

ARLINGTON — Two months ago, 100 homes in Arlington had to be evacuated as fracking fluid spilled out of a drilling site onto the city streets. Now we know officially what happened, why it happened, and why Arlington officials are blaming the drilling company for “unacceptable behavior.” A series of video recordings obtained by News 8 shows the scene behind the walls of a fracking site 600 feet from a cluster of homes in the state’s seventh largest city. In the incident, 42,800 gallons of fracking fluid — boiling up from thousands of feet underground — spewed into the streets and into Arlington storm sewers and streams. Four attempts and 24 hours later, experts were finally able to plug the natural gas well.  [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Mark Ruffalo talks climate change and what you can do about it
Grist
Mark Ruffalo

In a recent movie, I play a guy who gets pretty formidable when he gets angry. In real life, I get angry, too. I’m angry that we are still debating climate change, and that despite the reams of science-based evidence for it, there are still those who ignore the facts. I’m angry that we’re heavily investing in fossil fuels to power our nation, when greater investment in renewable energy represents jobs, energy stability — and the sustainability of life as we know it. Mostly, though, I’m hopeful, because I think the tide is turning, and many — particularly young people — understand the existential threat we face and are prepared to do something about it.   [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Bill Would Reduce Use Of Fresh Water For Fracking
Pittsburgh NPR WESA
Deanna Garcia

While the American West grapples with drought, lack of water isn’t much of a concern in Pennsylvania. Still, it’s a natural resource that is finite. A bill in Harrisburg aims to promote the use of treated coal mine water rather than fresh water for natural gas development.  [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Begin The Sabine—Delivering Gas To The Lower 48’S First LNG Export Terminal
RBN Energy
Housley Carr

The six liquefaction “trains” under development at Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal will demand nearly 4 Bcf/d of natural gas on average, the first 650 MMcf/d of that starting within a few months. And the five trains now planned at Cheniere’s Corpus Christi site—yes, now five, not three—will require another 3.2 Bcf/d. Taken together, that’s about 10% of current daily gas production in the U.S.; in other words, a monumental logistical task. Today, we start a series looking at the challenges of securing and moving huge volumes of gas to LNG export terminals, the emerging epicenters of U.S. gas demand. The development of the initial quartet of LNG export facilities on the Gulf Coast and East Coast continues. Construction of the first project out of the gate—Train 1 at Cheniere’s Sabine Pass terminal in Cameron Parish, LA—is nearing completion, with initial LNG production likely by the end of 2015 and the first shipments in early 2016. Meanwhile, work on three other trains at Sabine is well along (they’ll start operating in 2016-17), and Cheniere is closing in on final investment decisions (FIDs) on two more trains at the same site (for a total of six). A few miles to the east, Cameron LNG is building three liquefaction trains in Hackberry, LA, and in Freeport, TX Freeport LNG is building two trains of its own. On the East Coast, Dominion is building a one-train liquefaction plant at Cove Point, MD. All four projects have something big going for them—namely, each is at the site of an existing LNG import terminal (developed before the shale era), so a lot of the docking and other infrastructure is already in place. That’s given what we’ve been calling these “First Four” LNG export projects a capital-cost edge that, in turn, has enabled them to offer attractively low liquefaction tolling fees and to reach long-term deals with a long list of international off-takers.  [Full Story]

Jun 17, 2015
Renewable Energy Responsible for First Ever Carbon Emissions Stabilization
Renewable Energy World
Vince Font

For the first time ever, the world’s energy consumption has increased without causing an equivalent spike in carbon dioxide emissions.   [Full Story]

Jun 16, 2015
Local police agency breaks new ground in partnership with Dominion Cove Point
SNL
Mark Hand

The sheriff's department in Calvert County, Md., views its partnership with Dominion Resources Inc. as a successful arrangement that could serve as a template for other U.S. energy companies concerned about security issues surrounding energy infrastructure. Some criminal justice experts, however, contend that the arrangement could undermine the legitimate purpose of law enforcement activities. At the center of the partnership is a "security services agreement" that provides Dominion with protection of its Cove Point LNG facility on the Chesapeake Bay in the southeastern part of the county. The Calvert County Sheriff's Office uses the $1.25 million paid annually by Dominion to fully fund 10 sheriff deputy positions that are part of a special operations team assigned to protect the Cove Point terminal.   [Full Story]

Jun 16, 2015
How fracking is linked to Fox Creek earthquakes
Global News
Nicole Mortillaro

TORONTO – The trembling that shook residents in Fox Creek, Alberta, on June 13 wasn’t the first. And there’s a chance it won’t be the last. Since Nov. 2013, Natural Resources Canada has recorded 24 earthquakes in the region of magnitude 3 or greater and 81 of magnitude 2 or greater. The June 13 earthquake is the second since January that was magnitude 4 or greater.  [Full Story]

Jun 16, 2015
Fracking operator faces record $8.9M fine for alleged water contamination
PennLive
Wallace McKelvey

Pennsylvania regulators plan to levy a record fine against a shale gas operator that reportedly failed to correct a well that leaked methane into nearby water supplies. Range Resources, the Texas-based company that drilled the first Marcellus Shale well in 2004, faces a $8.9 million civil penalty stemming from a leaking gas well in Lycoming County. It follows a pair of multi-million-dollar fines against drilling companies last year.   [Full Story]

Jun 16, 2015
TASK FORCE FORMED TO FINALIZE OHIO FRACKING TAX
The News Leader
Marc Kovac

Columbus -- The Republican leaders of the House and Senate said June 16 that an increase in tax rates on oil and gas produced via horizontal hydraulic fracturing would not be included in the $71 billion-plus biennial budget, as sought by Gov. John Kasich. Instead, Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) said a task force of the two chambers would continue negotiations over the summer, with an eye toward a compromise package later in the year.   [Full Story]

Jun 16, 2015
Fracking awareness group sends message to government
The Western Star
Frank Gale

A group of 21 concerned people gathered at an abandoned oil well at Shoal Point near Boswarlos on Tuesday to “Toast the Coast.”  [Full Story]

Jun 16, 2015
Natural gas consultant says Burket shale formation reserves in Pennsylvania may go untapped
Tribune-Review
David Conti

Southwestern Pennsylvania has a large reservoir of natural gas deep beneath the surface that the shale gas industry might never tap. The Burket shale, also called the Geneseo formation, is being overshadowed by its big brother Marcellus, said Gregory Wrightstone, owner of Ohio Township-based Wrightstone Energy Consulting. “The one thing that is incredible to me is that we have a super giant reservoir here in the basin and it's not attracting the attention,” he said.   [Full Story]

Jun 16, 2015
Texas, Petroleum Industry Broaden Suits Against Denton
My High Plains
Jim Malewitz

The Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) and the state’s General Land Office (GLO) have expanded the scope of their lawsuits against Denton, with both taking aim at the city’s moratorium on new gas drilling in addition to the fracking ban the city is no longer enforcing. In amended complaints filed Monday, both parties argued that a new state law preempting local control over a wide range of oil and gas activities – House Bill 40 – should quickly erase both policies from the city’s books.  [Full Story]

Jun 16, 2015
Fugitive methane can cause a cascade of contamination, study says
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Laura Legere

Methane that escapes from improperly sealed gas wells into water supplies can be more troublesome than fizzy water, triggering deteriorating changes to water quality that researchers are still working to explain. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency raised the issue in a case study of a cluster of drilling-related water complaints in northeastern Pennsylvania that accompanied its larger draft study of the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water released on June 4. The larger assessment did not find evidence of widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, but it did find instances of contamination from oil and gas development.  [Full Story]

Jun 16, 2015
House GOP Eyes Clean Fast-Track Trade Bill Without TAA Funding
Huffington Post
Laura Barron-Lopez and Jennifer Bendery

WASHINGTON -- Days after the House dealt a setback to President Barack Obama’s trade agenda, GOP leadership is considering plowing ahead with stand-alone legislation that would give the president so-called fast-track authority to shepherd trade deals through Congress. The House could take up the fast-track bill as early as this week, two House GOP aides told The Huffington Post, after which it would be sent to the Senate. The bill, also known as Trade Promotion Authority, would allow Obama to speed major trade deals, like the one he is currently negotiating with 11 Pacific nations, through Congress without filibuster threats or amendments.  [Full Story]

Jun 16, 2015
New NASA data show how the world is running out of water
The Washington Post
Todd C. Frankel

The world’s largest underground aquifers – a source of fresh water for hundreds of millions of people — are being depleted at alarming rates, according to new NASA satellite data that provides the most detailed picture yet of vital water reserves hidden under the Earth’s surface. Twenty-one of the world’s 37 largest aquifers — in locations from India and China to the United States and France — have passed their sustainability tipping points, meaning more water was removed than replaced during the decade-long study period, researchers announced Tuesday. Thirteen aquifers declined at rates that put them into the most troubled category. The researchers said this indicated a long-term problem that’s likely to worsen as reliance on aquifers grows.  [Full Story]

Jun 15, 2015
Naomi Oreskes, a Lightning Rod in a Changing Climate
The New York Times
JUSTIN GILLIS

Formally, she is a historian of science. Informally, this diminutive woman has become a boxer, throwing herself into a messy public arena that many career-minded climate scientists try to avoid. She helps raise money to defend researchers targeted for criticism by climate change denialists. She has become a heroine to activist college students, supporting their demand that universities and other institutions divest from fossil fuels. Climatologists, though often reluctant themselves to get into fights, have showered her with praise for being willing to do it. “Her courage and persistence in communicating climate science to the wider public have made her a living legend among her colleagues,” two climate researchers, Benjamin D. Santer and John Abraham, wrote in a prize-nomination letter in 2011. Dr. Oreskes’s approach has been to dig deeply into the history of climate change denial, documenting its links to other episodes in which critics challenged a developing scientific consensus.  [Full Story]

Jun 15, 2015
PUBLIC HEALTH: Frac sand towns question whether rules protect them against silica pollution
E & E Newswire
Pamela King

BLOOMER, Wis. -- Every time Victoria Trinko checks her mail, she wipes a crust of sand from the letterbox. When she comes inside from a day on the farm, her face feels gritty, and she can chew the sand that has deposited in her mouth. Her voice used to crack when she tried to speak, until she bought and installed four air filters around her home. "My voice is better, but I'm living in, like, a bubble," she said.  [Full Story]

Jun 15, 2015
Lawmakers condemn Pilgrim Pipeline at Senate committee hearing
PolitickerNJ
Chase Brush

TRENTON — Members of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee roundly condemned the construction of proposed oil pipeline through parts of North Jersey when they joined the Assembly in passing a resolution to reject the project at their morning hearing. SR106, sponsored by state Senator Richard Codey (D-27) and Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21), opposes the Pilgrim Pipeline project, named for the 178-mile pipeline developers have proposed to carry crude oil and refined petroleum pipeline between Albany, NY, and Linden. The pipeline has been a target of protests in recent weeks among environmental groups and lawmakers in Trenton, who have warned against the impact such a project would have on the water supplies and open spaces of the 30 towns and five counties the pipeline is expected to cut through.   [Full Story]

Jun 15, 2015
Government reduced to lies, misinformation and bullying to spin fast-track fracking
Ecologist
Paul Mobbs

The Government is struggling to spin its policy to fast track fracking, writes Paul Mobbs. So as it cuts the public out of the regulatory process, exempts exploratory wells from controls, and forces the Environment Agency to issue permits with 1-2 weeks, its spin machine has resorted to outright lies and misinformation to conceal the scale of the attack on our environmental rights.  [Full Story]

Jun 15, 2015
Government ‘fast-track’ fracking plans ‘reckless’, says Green Party
Blue & Green
Charlotte Malone

The Green Party has labelled government plans to ‘fast-track’ fracking in the UK as “reckless”. The proposed plans would see test drilling go ahead without the need to consult with local residents. Fracking remains a controversial subject, with the practice being linked to water contamination, methane leaks, environmental degradation and negative impacts on human health. Those that support fracking in the UK argue that with stringent measures in place the method will be safe and can act as a bridge between fossil fuels and renewables.  [Full Story]

Jun 15, 2015
The American Medical Association calls for full fracking chemical disclosure
Shale Energy Insider
James Perkins

The American Medical Association has called for the full public disclosure of all chemicals used in the fracking process, highlighting concerns about monitoring and possible long-term health impacts from the shale gas industry. The AMA has adopted as official policy that companies should disclose their chemical lists so that medical understanding possible impacts of fracking