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Apr 19, 2014
Another County Bans Frackwaste
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

Shale gas industrialization creates billions of gallons of contaminated water, much more than the frackers know what to do with. Frackwaste is disposed of by contractors – tank truckers who contract with the frackers to get rid of the stuff. Since the truckers are paid by the load, they speed to and from the frack sites,killing people. And to avoid tipping fees at frackwaste dumps,they simply spill their loads on the roads. Given the 24/7/365 nature of the activity, there is no way to adequately monitor or police it. Since slathering roads in toxic radioactive frack filth is not a great idea, counties and towns have simply banned it. States should follow suit. There are not enough fat checks from frack lobbyists and Happy Gas Ads on TV to cover this scandal up.  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
Despite serious public safety concerns, railway car manufacturers won't even talk about their business
SUN News
GIUSEPPE VALIENTE

OTTAWA - The manufacturing of railway oil tanker cars in North America is a closely guarded secret. The five companies that control the market refused to talk to QMI Agency about how many cars they can make in one year and how much production would cost. Despite the fact it's been almost a year since the derailment disaster at Lac-Megantic Que., there is still no concrete timeline to replace the dangerous and aging fleet of DOT-111 tankers that transport millions of litres of crude across the country every year.   [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
Councilman's role in drilling plan subject of complaint
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Kaitlynn Riely

A member of the Protect Our Parks coalition who filed an ethics complaint this week said an Allegheny County councilman has a conflict of interest and should recuse himself from the discussion and vote on whether to approve drilling for natural gas beneath Deer Lakes Park. Councilman Nicholas Futules, D-Oakmont, said there is no conflict of interest and that he does not plan to recuse himself.  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
WV DEP Issues Cease Operations Order to Antero at Harrison, Doddridge Sites
WBOY-WV
Kim Freda

he West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Office of Oil and Gas have issued violation notices to Antero Resources in relation to an April 11 tank rupture at a well pad located in Doddridge County and an April 15 tank rupture at a well pad in Harrison County. Two storage tanks at the Antero's Marsden Well Pad in Doddridge County ruptured due to a build up of pressure, said DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater. The first notice of violation was issued for the imminent danger to people on or around the pad and issued a cease operations order that will remain in effect until the order is complied with.  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
Wisconsin residents blame fracking for a boom in sand mining facilities
CBS NEWS
Dean Reynolds

ARCADIA, Wis. -- In Wisconsin, residents are having an emotional debate over the fuel-drilling technique known as "fracking," in which a sand mixture is blasted underground to extract oil and gas from rock. Rural Wisconsin is rich in a special kind of sand used in fracking, and mining companies are lining up to get to it. But now, some residents are lining up to stop them.   [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
Natural gas production contributing to higher ozone levels, UNT study finds
Star-Telegram
Jim Fuquay

Natural gas production in the Barnett Shale is contributing to higher ozone levels in the western Metroplex, according to a new study by the University of North Texas. In a review of air quality data from 16 ozone monitors across North Texas, researchers found that although the region’s air has improved since 2000, it has not improved as much in the areas with gas production. Since 2008, ozone levels have risen across the region, part of national trend, but they have risen more in the North Texas counties with gas production, the study found.   [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
State turned down offer to join gas drilling study
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

ALBANY – A major Pennsylvania health care system invited New York to participate in a long-term, extensive study of shale-gas drilling's human impacts, but a partnership never materialized. The February 2013 invitation from a Geisinger Health System administrator was among thousands of pages of documents recently released by the state Department of Health regarding its ongoing review of hydraulic fracturing. The trove of documents includes dozens of outside studies on fracking, as well as some limited correspondence with state officials. In one 2012 letter, New York's top environmental regulator declined a meeting with famed consumer advocate and third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader.  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
Idaho Residents Protest Auction of Public Lands for Oil and Gas Drilling
EcoNews
Blair Koch

Yesterday, prior to the Idaho Oil and Gas Commission auctioning of mineral rights for 17,700 acres of state endowment land, a small but lively group of residents protested the sale, which saw every tract awarded to Alta Mesa Idaho for $1,148,435 in “bonus bids.”  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
Connecticut Takes A Step Closer To Keep Fracking Wastewater Out Of The State
ThinkProgress
Joanna M. Foster

Activists on Wednesday delivered petitions with over 5,600 signatures to Connecticut lawmakers in support of legislation that would ban the disposal or storage of wastewater from fracking anywhere in the state. Supporters of the prohibition warn that Connecticut could become the next dumping ground for waste from Pennsylvania’s over 6,000 gas wells. On Monday, the legislature’s Judiciary Committee approved the proposed ban, SB 327, by an overwhelming 34-6 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate floor.  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
The fight against fracking continues – and I'm proud to rejoin it
The Guardian
Caroline Lucas

From UN reports to community protests, opposition to fossil fuels is plentiful. But we won't stop until the government changes tack  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
Fracking health study: Why so secret?, group asks
North Country Public Radio
Karen DeWitt

Documents obtained by a group opposed to hydrofracking show that the Cuomo Administration's is conducting a thorough and comprehensive health study on the controversial natural gas drilling process. The Finger Lakes based organization is wondering, why then, the review has been conducted almost entirely in secret.  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
Fracking-earthquake link may impact insurance policies
Columbus Business First
Tom Knox

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ acknowledgement of a “probable” link between earthquakes and fracking could lead to higher insurance costs. “If indeed they’re seeing the probability of earthquakes increasing in certain parts of the state, there is a good chance that the rates could go up,” said Ohio Insurance Institute spokeswoman Mary Bonelli.  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
Krugman: Worried About Oligarchy? You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
Common Dreams
Jon Queally

'Even those of you who talk about the 1%, you don't really get what's going on. You're living in the past.'  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2014
Caution on fracking wise
Times Union
Editorial

Our opinion: The state’s deliberative study of natural gas drilling is appropriate to insure the safety and health of residents. Eighteen months after the New York State Health Department began studying the health impacts of high-volume hydrofracking, there is still no indication when the final report on the controversial drilling process might be released. Now, with the news State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah is leaving in a few weeks to take a position with a private foundation’s health plan in California, the state’s health assessment may take even longer. Let it take as long as it needs to get it right.  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Fracking risk to public health ignored, says doctor
Information Daily
Staff Reports

The government favours potentially ineffective regulation of shale gas extraction over a real exploration of its potential health risks, claims a doctor writing for BMJ.com. Efforts to identify the risks of shale gas extraction have fallen woefully short, says Dr Seth Shonkoff, Executive Director for Physicians Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE). Writing for online medical journal BMJ.com, Dr Shonkoff warns that industry regulation will not adequately protect the public if it is not based on strong and scientific evidence.  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
After Over a Decade of Fracking, Oversight of Industry's Radioactive Waste Still Lacking
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

It has been roughly twelve years since fracking launched the great shale rush in the U.S. and the biggest problem with the technology — how to safely dispose of the enormous quantities of toxic waste generated — remains unsolved. In particular, regulators have struggled to fully understand or police the hazards posed by radioactivity found in fracking waste.  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Salvation Gets Cheap
The New York Times
Paul Krugman

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which pools the efforts of scientists around the globe, has begun releasing draft chapters from its latest assessment, and, for the most part, the reading is as grim as you might expect. We are still on the road to catastrophe without major policy changes. But there is one piece of the assessment that is surprisingly, if conditionally, upbeat: Its take on the economics of mitigation. Even as the report calls for drastic action to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, it asserts that the economic impact of such drastic action would be surprisingly small. In fact, even under the most ambitious goals the assessment considers, the estimated reduction in economic growth would basically amount to a rounding error, around 0.06 percent per year.  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Fracking sites show high methane levels
10L Sci Tech
Melanie Gosling

Cape Town - Shale gas appears to be a greater greenhouse gas culprit than previously thought. New research has revealed that there are high levels of the potent greenhouse gas methane emitted from fracking wells drilled in the US – in some case 100 to 1 000 times greater than measurements in the official inventories.  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
New York: Shale Fail
WAMC
Dave Lucas

The future of hydrofracking in New York State, which has been on hold under a de facto moratorium for almost seven years, may be on shakier ground than ever.  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Triple Fracking Reports
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

In the third asssessment in as many days focused on the pollution created by the booming industry, a group of researchers said Wednesday that the controversial oil and gas drilling practice known as fracking likely produces public health risks and “elevated levels of toxic compounds in the environment” in nearly all stages of the process. The latest research, conducted by the Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy, compiled “the first systematic literature review” of peer-reviewed studies on the effects of fracking on public health and found the majority of research points to dangerous risks to public health, with many opportunities for toxic exposure. “It’s clear that the closer you are [to a fracking site], the more elevated your risk,” said lead author Seth Shonkoff, from the University of California-Berkeley. “We can conclude that this process has not been shown to be safe.”  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Farmers Seeking Heat Relief Signal Brazil Climate Peril
Bloomberg
Raymond Colitt

Brazil may see a mass migration of crops and farm workers from huge swaths of currently tillable lands to more temperate zones as global warming takes hold, according to leading climate experts in the country.   [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Fracking Freak-Out Justified? Enviros and Industry Reps Trade Jabs at Coastal Protection Hearing
Santa Barbara Independent European Daily Express
Tyler Hayden

The boogeyman of oil extraction??—???hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking”??—??was the subject of a public hearing put on by the Assembly Select Committee on Coastal Protection last Friday. Billed as an information-gathering session, the hearing focused on a documented lack of coordination and cooperation between federal regulators and their state counterparts and featured testimony from environmental activists who have lobbied for more robust oversight since the recent discovery that fracking has occurred off Santa Barbara’s shoreline  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
AP Photos: A close-up look at fracking
Chron
Brennan Linsley

In this photo essay, AP Photographer Brennan Linsley looks inside a walled-off fracking facility, one of many sites reversing decades of declining oil production in the state.   [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Fracking study in Pennsylvania finds few water concerns Pennsylvania finds few water issues with fracking.
UPI
Daniel J. Graeber

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 17 (UPI) -- Water quality in Pennsylvania hasn't been affected by hydraulic fracturing in the state, a report from state's conservation department said. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published a 265-page document on the ecological and environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the state.   [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Fracking plan on Northshore causes concern for area residents Helis Oil & Gas wants to start onshore drilling
WDSU
Rachel Wulff

MANDEVILLE, La. —A New Orleans independent energy company is hoping to tap into billions of barrels of oil deep underground. Helis Oil & Gas is asking the state for permission to create a drilling production unit onshore in St. Tammany Parish. The company would drill 13,000 feet down and then horizontally into the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.   [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Mitchell's Fracking Moratorium Bill Moves Forward
Culver City Observer


In the first effort this year to address the environmental concerns associated with fracking, a bill by Senators Holly J. Mitchell (D-Culver City) and Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), which would impose a moratorium on the practice in California, has passed out of the Senate's Natural Resources and Water Committee.  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Ohio officials link fracking to recent earthquakes, shut down drilling at site
Pittsburgh Courier
Natasha Khan

For the first time, Ohio regulators said recent earthquakes in the state were probably caused by fracking operations. In early March, five small earthquakes up to 3.0 in magnitude shook Mahoning County, which is close to the Pennsylvania-Ohio border.   [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Inside Politics: Dueling emails over crude oil consultant
Times Union
ALYSIA SANTO

A disagreement about how to handle the influx of crude oil at the Port of Albany has been brewing between two of Albany County's most powerful officials for weeks, mostly under the radar. With the click of the send button, that all changed. On Monday, Health Commissioner Dr. James Crucetti, apparently fed up with County Attorney Tom Marcelle, laid out his grievances in an email to County Executive Dan McCoy and sent copies to some three dozen people, including members of the legislature.  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
The Fracking Industry Faces Its Climate Demon
National Journal
Ben Geman

To preserve its climate credentials, the natural-gas industry has to tame a tricky menace: methane.  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Arkansas residents discover they can't stop pipeline from crossing their land
Arkansas Times
Leslie Newell Peacock

Photographer's project to put 'human face' on impact of planned Valero/Plains All American Pipeline project  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Studies: Links Between Fracking and Smog Pollution Stronger Than State Claims
Texas Observer
Forrest Wilder

New research suggests that pollution from fracking contributes a much larger share of Dallas-Fort Worth’s smog problem than state officials have said. The study, conducted by Mahdi Ahmadi, a graduate student at the University of North Texas, was presented at a clean-air meeting this morning in Arlington. The Observer received a copy of the presentation. Ahmadi analyzed data from 16 air-quality monitors in the Metroplex going back to 1997, looking for a connection between oil and gas production and ozone. Seven of the sites were east of Denton, outside of the Barnett Shale, and nine were located in the shale area, close to oil and gas activity.  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2014
Deer Lakes drilling: Credit county officials for giving people a say
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Editorial

Not everyone believes Allegheny County should let Range Resources drill for natural gas under Deer Lakes Park in Frazer and West Deer. Some think the chance for the county to earn millions of dollars from a gas sale is too good to pass up, while others fear the environmental risks are too great.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
The Delaware River: it’s everyone’s water
The River Reporter
Editorial

We who live in the Upper Delaware River Valley are lucky. We get to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us as a part of our everyday lives. The rivers and streams, trails and open spaces—from greenway corridors and conservation areas to acres of rolling farmland that we sometimes take for granted—also draw economic value from tourism dollars that directly or indirectly support many local businesses and benefit our rural communities. Historically, the river helped upstream communities engage in commerce downstream all the way to Philadelphia (and later to New York City via the D&H Canal), and though the industry has changed, it remains true today that the river we value so much is an economic engine. Consider for a moment the Delaware River Basin (DRB) as a whole; the market value of economic activities attributed to river- and watershed-based assets are calculated to be worth $25 billion annually, according to a 2011 study (Socioeconomic Value of the Delaware River Basin in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, prepared by Gerald J. Kauffman, October 11, 2011). If one counts the natural capital value of ecosystem goods and services, for example forestland that stores and sequesters carbon and freshwater wetlands that filter clean drinkable water, etc. you can add another $21 billion per year (based on net present value, discounted over 100 years). The DRB’s water supplies, natural resources and ecosystems account for 600,000 direct and indirect jobs (2009 figures) with $10 billion in annual wages.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Methane emissions from fracking vastly underestimated by EPA - study
RT


?The Environmental Protection Agency is under fire for underestimating the amount of methane gas emitted during natural gas operations, including fracking, thanks to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Radioactive Waste Booms With Fracking as New Rules Mulled
Bloomberg
Alex Nussbum

Oilfields are spinning off thousands of tons of low-level radioactive trash as the U.S. drilling boom leads to a surge in illegal dumping and states debate how much landfills can safely take.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Methane poses huge climate threat to Earth
Straight.com
Daniel Tseghay

According to a March 31 paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and titled “Methanogenic burst in the end-Permian carbon cycle”, it turns out that microbes in the ocean played a great role in the devastation. Fed a steady dose of nickel from the volcanic eruptions, Methanosarcina microorganisms were able to quickly reproduce and convert marine organic carbon into huge amounts of methane—an agent that has a warming potential between 72 and 100 times greater than that of carbon dioxide.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Pope Francis urged to back fossil fuel divestment campaign Letter from religious groups in Australia and North America says it is 'immoral' to profit from fossil fuels
The Guardian
Graham Readfearn

Religious groups have urged Pope Francis to back a campaign to encourage millions of people, organisations and investors to pull their money out of the fossil fuel industry. Multi-faith groups in Australia and North America have sent a letter to the pope saying it is "immoral" to profit from fossil fuels.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Italian region says fracking may have caused quakes
3news


Italy's Emilia-Romagna region has suspended new drilling as it published a report that warned that hydrocarbon exploitation may have acted as a "trigger" in twin earthquakes that killed 26 people in 2012. The scientific report, published on Tuesday, was commissioned after the quakes amid popular anger over alleged links to drilling activities, particularly an oil field, a gas storage facility and a geothermal energy plant in the area. The report said that activity at the Mirandola oil fields "may have contributed to trigger the Emilia seismic activity" although it did not "induce" it.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Clean Up Guy: Heinz Turns to Old Friend After Fracking Fallout
Inside Philanthropy
Tate Williams

Oliphant is returning to the endowments in the aftermath of a rough patch that ended with key Heinz leaders either being ousted or resigning, including then-President Robert Vagt, whostepped down. The trouble began with the launch of the Center for Sustainable Shale Development, of which Heinz was a founding partner, which supports voluntary best practices for the shale gas drilling industry that's exploded across the region. Other partners in the center—Shell and Chevron. Members of the environmental community slammed the center and the foundation, which has backed clean water and other environmental efforts. The fray was worsened by the fact that Vagt holds a ton of stock in and sits on the board of gas pipeline company Kinder Morgan.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Clean energy: Is a boom coming in 2014?
Christian Science Monitor
David J. Unger

Clean energy is off to a strong start in 2014, with global investment rising as prices for wind and solar power continue to drop. Renewables still hold a small share of total energy mixes, but clean-energy growth is picking up momentum. After two years of annual declines, investments in clean energy worldwide jumped 9 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014, according to data released Wednesday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), a London-based energy analysis firm. Solar power led the way with a 23 percent increase, more than offsetting a 16 percent decline in wind power. All told, investors spent $47.7 billion on renewables and energy efficiency in the first three months of this year.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Scientists might have figured out how to make solar power work at night
Christian Science Monitor
Sudeshna Chowdhury

By attaching photoswitching molecules called azobenzene to a template of carbon nanotubes, scientists have designed a 'solar thermal fuel' that can release heat on demand.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Methane poses huge climate threat to Earth
VANCOUVER FREE PRESS
DANIEL TSEGHAY

THE VOLCANOES ERUPTED for about 600,000 years, spewing basalt lava that blanketed an area about half the size of Canada. The acidified oceans warmed by as much as 18 ° F, killing reefs and suffocating organisms. Up to 96 percent of marine species in the super-ocean, Panthalassa, and 70 percent of terrestrial vertebrate species on Earth’s supercontinent, Pangaea, went extinct.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Dems, GOP Debate Over Health Impacts Of Fracking
CBS Local


DENVER (CBS4)- A debate over the health impacts of fracking is being played out at the state Capitol between Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats want a new study on the health impacts but Republicans call it a fishing expedition.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
State attorneys general discuss oil and gas issues in Denver
KWGN
Eli Stokols

DENVER — Attorneys General from across the country gathered here Wednesday to talk about the energy production boom that is confounding Colorado and other states, offering billions of dollars in economic development while riling up residents living near well sites who are concerned about contamination and long-term health risks.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Brad Koplinski signs anti-fracking pledge, first candidate for statewide office to do so
Penn Live
Donald Gilliland

The Republicans and Grover Norquist have their no tax pledge, which Tom Corbett famously signed and awkwardly violated. Now the Democrats - at least those on the greener fringes of the party - have their own no-fracking pledge, and lieutenant governor candidate Brad Koplinski has signed it.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Public reacts to shipping of fracking wastewater to Lafarge
Truro Daily News


TRURO – Public concerns were expressed during a meeting with the environment minister this week when it was announced millions of litres of fracking wastewater from Debert will be shipped to Lafarge in Pleasant Valley.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Supreme Court Could Make It Harder For Victims Of Hazardous Pollutants To Get Justice
Huffington Post
Lynne Peeples

When Tate MacQueen pulled the yellow flyer from his Asheville, N.C., mailbox, his thoughts flew to his young children. The flyer warned of toxic contamination in the well water. "Nothing will raise your hackles like someone telling you that the air you may be breathing or the water you may be drinking is dangerous," said MacQueen, 47, a local high school history teacher. Testing found pollutants in multiple local wells. The presumed cause: toxic chemicals from a CTS Corp. plant. MacQueen and dozens of his Asheville neighbors brought a lawsuit seeking compensation for damage to their property values and health from the company, which manufactures electronic components.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Allegheny County Council poses its own questions on Deer Lakes drilling
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Kaitlynn Riely

For months, members of Allegheny County Council have heard from county residents speaking about the plan to drill for natural gas beneath Deer Lakes Park. "Now, it's the council members' turn," said Councilman Nicholas Futules, D-Oakmont, chair of the council's parks committee.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Hydraulic drilling harming environments all over
The Sentinel
Abbe Breeding

While a majority of the population is enjoying the boom in natural gas production from this new found capability, the technique used for its extraction has proven controversial and has raised environmental concerns. The development of the horizontal drilling method called hydraulic fracturing has been blamed from everything to methane gas leaks to flammable tap water.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Shale drilling releases 100+ Times More Methane than EPA thought
Energy & Capital
Tim Conneally

A study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that methane emissions from seven natural gas drilling operations in the Marcellus formation average 34 grams of methane per second, vastly higher than EPA estimates. The study says emissions are 2 to 3 orders of magnitude higher than EPA estimates for this particular phase of operations, and that the seven well pads it studied might contribute as much as 30% of the region's contamination.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Anadarko Joins Ad Blitz to Thwart Colorado Fracking Curbs
Bloomberg
Jennifer Oldham

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) and Noble Energy Inc. (NBL), Colorado’s largest oil producers, are waging a media campaign to promote the benefits of hydraulic fracturing as residents push statewide measures to restrict the drilling technique as a threat to the environment. “It’s all eyes on Colorado,” said Jon Haubert, a spokesman for Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, created by the energy companies to answer critics of fracking, which uses pressurized water, chemicals and sand to break rock formations. “The oil and gas industry hasn’t done a good job of explaining fracking.”  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
North Dakota struggling to deal with radioactive fracking waste
RT
Reuters / Lucy Nicholson

Environmental regulators and North Dakota state officials have expressed concern that the state has failed to adequately adjust to the state’s sudden influx of crude oil output, a worry highlighted by the recent discovery of abandoned radioactive waste. Last month, the North Dakota Health Department announced that a large pile of oil filter socks –radioactive nets that are used to strain liquid during the oil production process – had been found at an old gas station in Noonan, a small town in the northwestern region of the state.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Starkey extends industrial fracking moratorium
Observer Review


STARKEY—The town of Starkey extended their moratorium on high impact industrial uses during their regular meeting Thursday, April 10. This comes after the Yates County planning board had previously denied the town’s request for another year-long moratorium extension during last month’s meeting. The town overrode this decision with a unanimous vote so the town could continue to study the effects the fracking industry would have upon the community. Some 22 Starkey residents attended the meeting to show their support for extending the moratorium. Several audience members spoke during the public hearing, highlighting several of the environmental dangers the fracking industry poses. Jack Ossont said he believes the county planning board should not have made their decision without Starkey’s representative and Supervisor Jim Ritter at their last meeting.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Public call for ban on fracking
Leitrim Observer


It is expected that up on 500 anti-fracking submissions have been made to the Leitrim County Development Plan 2015-2021. The Council, in reply to questions from the Leitrim Observer, said they received “a significant number of submissions” to prohibit ‘Fracking’ from the County Development Plan before the deadline last Friday, April 11.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Anti-fracking campaigners voice injection well fears
Gazette Herald
Hannah Bryan

A CAMPAIGN group set up to support the fight against fracking in Ryedale has raised strong concerns after permission was granted for an “injection well” inside the North York Moors National Park. Frack Free North Yorkshire wrote to North Yorkshire County Council regarding gas company Viking UK Gas Ltd’s application to erect a 15.3km long eight-inch steel pipe underground from a well site in Ebberston to a well site at Knapton Generating Station.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Falkirk Council opposes gas drilling plan
Falkirk Herald


Falkirk Council has told a public inquiry it is against a plan to drill natural gas from underneath land near Airth. Town hall solicitor Neil Coller told Scottish Government Reporters considering a planning appeal by Dart Energy to establish a commercial coal bed methane extraction plant at Lethan Moss it should be refused because it goes against the council’s structure and local plan and could have an “adverse impact” on the surrounding community.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Drilling in Pa. forests: 'Impacts and trade-offs'
Philly.com
Andrew Maykuth

About 1,486 acres of Pennsylvania state forest land has been converted to roads, pipelines, and well pads for Marcellus Shale natural gas development, according to a state monitoring report that will be released Wednesday. Drilling companies have upgraded or constructed 161 miles of roads in state forests, including 30 miles of new roads. They also have cut 104 miles of pipeline corridors in the forests. The 265-page monitoring report, prepared by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the agency that manages state forests, presents a mixed initial accounting of drilling's effects on public lands.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Hassig Visits Enbridge St. Lawrence Gas in Massena to Speak Out Against Fracking

Don Hassig for Congress

Enbridge Corporation is a major seller of natural gas. It is expanding its capacity to sell gas by constructing numerous pipelines. Selling natural gas provides funds for fracking gas wells. Enbridge is part of fracking. I have examined information on the subject of the environmental impacts of hydro fracking. I have concluded that hydro fracking is a heavily polluting activity that should not be allowed to continue. I will be at the Enbridge St. Lawrence Gas office in Massena to make my opposition to hydro fracking know. I am hopeful that my good example will inspire others to speak out against fracking. – Donald L. Hassig, Director Cancer Action NY Cancer Action News Network 42 Green Pond Lane Colton, NY USA 13625 315.262.2456  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Illegal dumping of radioactive waste surges with oil boom
Bloomberg News
Alex Nussbaum

Oil fields are spinning off thousands of tons of low-level radioactive trash as the U.S. drilling boom leads to a surge in illegal dumping and states debate how much landfills can safely take. State regulators are caught between environmental and public health groups demanding more regulation and the industry, which says it’s already taking proper precautions. As scientists debate the impact of small amounts of radiation on cancer risks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says there’s not enough evidence to say what level is safe. Left to police the waste, state governments are increasing their scrutiny of well operators. Pennsylvania and West Virginia are revising limits for acceptable radiation levels and strengthening disposal rules. North Dakota’s doing the same after finding piles of garbage bags filled with radioactive debris in an abandoned building this year. “We have many more wells, producing at an accelerating rate and for each of them, there’s a higher volume of waste,” said Avner Vengosh, a Duke University geochemistry professor who’s studied the issue. Without proper handling, “we are actually building up a legacy of radioactivity in hundreds of points where people have had leaks or spills around the country.” The waste is a byproduct of the drilling renaissance that’s brought U.S. oil and gas production to its highest levels in three decades — while also unlocking naturally occurring radium from rock formations far underground.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Anadarko joins ad blitz to thwart Colorado fracking bans
Bloomberg News
Jennifer Oldham

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Noble Energy Inc., Colorado’s largest oil producers, are waging a media campaign to promote the benefits of hydraulic fracturing as residents push statewide measures to restrict the production technique as a threat to the environment. “It’s all eyes on Colorado,” said Jon Haubert, a spokesman for Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, created by the energy companies to answer critics of fracking, which uses pressurized water, chemicals and sand to break rock formations. “The oil and gas industry hasn’t done a good job of explaining fracking.” State officials will review at least 10 oil and natural-gas measures today to see if they qualify for petition drives that could put them on the November ballot. The proposals would allow communities to prohibit fracking or require more distance between wells and residences. To blunt that, Anadarko and Noble are buying ads after their Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development spent $1 million on television time in the fourth quarter, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research. They’ve produced six TV commercials, two special sections in the state’s largest newspaper and paid for radio ads and websites. The fracking debate has gained momentum as drilling moved closer to homes, raising concerns about air and water contamination and even earthquakes. Ohio will require seismic monitors for fracking in some areas after a series of temblors. More than 400 communities from California to New York have passed measures against fracking, according to Food and Water Watch, a Washington-based advocacy group. That includes five in once energy-friendly Colorado, representing about one in 10 of the state’s residents.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
North Dakota Finds Itself Unprepared To Handle The Radioactive Burden Of Its Fracking Boom
EIN Newsdesk
Rebecca Lieber

North Dakota recently discovered piles of garbage bags containing radioactive waste dumped by oil drillers in abandoned buildings. Now, the state is trying to catch up to an oil industry that produces an estimated 27 tons of radioactive debris from wells daily. Existing fines have apparently not been enough to deter contractors from dumping oil socks — coiled filters that strain wastewater and accumulate low levels of radiation. “Before the Bakken oil boom we didn’t have any of these materials being generated,” the state’s Director of Waste Management Scott Radig told the Wall Street Journal. “So it wasn’t really an issue.” The state is in the process of drafting rules, out in June, that require oil companies to properly store the waste in leak-proof containers. Eventually, they must move these oil socks to certified dumps. However, North Dakota has no facilities to process this level of radioactive waste. According to the Wall Street Journal, the closest facilities are hundreds of miles away in states like Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and Montana.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Hydraulic Fracturing: Staying Afloat in Times of Tightening Water Supply
Rigzone


One of the criticisms levied against hydraulic fracturing, particularly during recent periods of drought, is the amount of water used in the process. However, energy companies are seeking to reduce water use during hydraulic fracturing, even as research shows more water is used in other activities. The numbers put things into perspective. The amount of water used to frack a well varies, but most reporting entities put the figure in a range of about 3 to 6 million gallons of water. In Pennsylvania, the average amount of water per well is about 4.4 million gallons, according to State Impact Pennsylvania, a reporting project of National Public Radio (NPR). Using a range of 3-5 million gallons of water per well in the Marcellus Shale, the State College Borough Water Authority calculated that about 12-20 million gallons of water were used in the formation each day. In Texas, the estimated average is similar; about 4.5 million gallons of water is used to fracture a well in the Eagle Ford Shale formation, according to the San Antonio Express News. Over an 18-month period, 19.2 billion gallons of water were used in the Eagle Ford formation, according to Ceres, a non-profit organization advocating sustainability. All that comes out to between 70 billion and 140 billion gallons of water that are used to frack 35,000 wells a year, according to a 2011 report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While that is not an insignificant amount of water, it is actually quite modest when compared with other common uses of water. Far more water is used for municipalities, manufacturing and agriculture, according to FracFocus. - See more at: http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/132605/Hydraulic_Fracturing_Staying_Afloat_in_Times_of_Tightening_Water_Supply?rss=true#sthash.3L0DHbHH.dpuf  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
ODNR sets tougher regulations for drilling near faults
EIN Newsdesk


COLUMBUS -- Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer has announced new, stronger permit conditions for drilling near faults or areas of past seismic activity. The new policies are in response to recent seismic events in Poland Township (Mahoning County) that show a probable connection to hydraulic fracturing near a previously unknown microfault. New permits issued by ODNR for horizontal drilling within three miles of a known fault or area of seismic activity greater than a 2.0 magnitude would require companies to install sensitive seismic monitors. If those monitors detect a seismic event in excess of 1.0 magnitude, activities would pause while the cause is investigated. If the investigation reveals a probable connection to the hydraulic fracturing process, all well completion operations will be suspended. ODNR will develop new criteria and permit conditions for new applications in light of this change in policy. The department will also review previously issued permits that have not been drilled. "While we can never be 100 percent sure that drilling activities are connected to a seismic event, caution dictates that we take these new steps to protect human health, safety and the environment," said Zehringer. "Not only will this reasonable course of action help to ensure public health and safety but it will also help us to expand our underground maps and provide more information about all types of seismicity in Ohio."  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Fracking: Methane levels 1000 higher than EPA stats at some wells
EIN Newsdesk
Robert Myles

West Lafayette - The furor over fracking took a further twist this week as levels of the greenhouse gas methane were found above drilling wells, in some cases, 1,000 times greater than previous Environmental Protection Agency estimates. The shocking figures came from air samples taken above shale gas wells drilled the Marcellus Shale Formation in Pennsylvania at production points not previously believed to be an important emissions source. The findings, contained in a study led jointly by Purdue and Cornell universities, will certainly have implications for the evaluation of the environmental impact of natural gas production. The concern arises due to the potency of methane as a greenhouse gas. Methane is the main constituent of natural gas making up about 95 percent of a product that energy companies are increasingly “mining” through the process of hydraulic fracture — fracking — of shale deposits.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Anti-Fracking Group Pressures Pennsylvania Governor Candidates For Moratorium Commitments
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

From filmmakers to grassroots advocates, excitement is bubbling for primary election day in Pennsylvania. That’s because a campaign called Pa. Voters Against Fracking just might force the fracking moratorium they have wanted for so long in a state where business is booming, but people of all ages are suffering from the toxic effects.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Northern California County Produces 152 Percent More Solar Energy Than It Uses
EcoWatch
Laurie Guevara-Stone

California is known for being a leader in solar energy, but a small county in Northern California has taken things a step further. It has become the first county government in the state to not only zero-out its electric bill with renewable energy, but also to become grid positive.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
North Dakota Finds Itself Unprepared To Handle The Radioactive Burden Of Its Fracking Boom
ThinkProgress
REBECCA LEBER

North Dakota recently discovered piles of garbage bags containing radioactive waste dumped by oil drillers in abandoned buildings. Now, the state is trying to catch up to an oil industry that produces an estimated 27 tons of radioactive debris from wells daily. Existing fines have apparently not been enough to deter contractors from dumping oil socks — coiled filters that strain wastewater and accumulate low levels of radiation. “Before the Bakken oil boom we didn’t have any of these materials being generated,” the state’s Director of Waste Management Scott Radig told the Wall Street Journal. “So it wasn’t really an issue.”  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
No, the IPCC climate report doesn’t call for a fracking boom
Grist
John Upton

You might have heard that the latest installment of the big new U.N. climate report endorses fracking, urging a “dash for gas” as a bridge fuel to put us on a path to a more renewable energy future. These interpretations of the report are exaggerated, lack context, and are just plain wrong. They appear to have been based on interviews and on a censored summary of the report, which was published two days before the full document became available.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Pope Francis urged to back fossil fuel divestment campaign
The Guardian
Graham Readfearn

Letter from religious groups in Australia and North America says it is 'immoral' to profit from fossil fuels  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Royalty Rip-off
Fort Worth Weekly
PETER GORMAN

Around the country, landowners are suing Chesapeake and other drillers for massive deductions from royalty checks. Donald Feusner used to be a dairy farmer. His 370 acres of land in northeast Pennsylvania border New York state in a gloriously lush area. In 2011, when his farm was no longer profitable, he sold off his herd and retired to what he thought would be the life of a gentleman farmer, living off the proceeds of the gas wells Chesapeake Energy had drilled on his land. And in December 2012, when the wells came in, it looked as though he’d made a safe bet: Royalty income from the first month’s production alone totaled more than $8,500.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
Jimmy Carter, Other Nobel Peace Laureates to Obama: Reject Keystone XL
Common Dreams
Andrea Germanos

"History will reflect on this moment and it will be clear to our children and grandchildren if you made the right choice," laureates write.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2014
US Fracking Boom Creating Crisis of Illegal Toxic Dumping
Common Dreams
Jacob Chamberlain

Toxic materials from gas drilling industry creating 'legacy of radioactivity'  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
One more time: Natural gas is not good for the environment (yet)
The Week
Ryan Cooper

A s I've written before, one of the most environmentally damaging — and least publicized — consequences of drilling for natural gas is the release of methane. Natural gas burns cleaner than any other traditional fuel, but is composed mostly of methane, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide if it leaks before it can be burned. Now there are indications that the situation is worse than we thought. Researchers just finished a new study on methane leaks in Pennsylvania natural gas wells, and the results are very, very bad: Drilling operations at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times greater than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Pa. DEP is ‘monitoring’ Ohio earthquake situation
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

Although Ohio recently changed its drilling permit rules over concerns hydraulic fracturing caused recent earthquake activity there, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is not planning on changing its rules at this time, according to the New Castle News. The DEP did not respond to a request by StateImpact Pennsylvania to comment, but a spokeswoman told the New Castle News the department is monitoring the situation in Ohio:  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Glenwood City, Wis., council OKs early phase of frac sand mine
Pioneer Press
Andy Rathburn

Glenwood City has taken a step toward making a new frac sand mine a reality. The city council voted 4 to 2 on Monday night to approve a pre-annexation agreement with Texas-based Vista Sand, laying out a number of rules for the mine, which has been a controversial issue in the western Wisconsin city of about 1,200. The council did not vote on the actual annexation of mining land, which is outside of the city in the town of Glenwood.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
West Virginia spill raises safety concerns in Ohio
wkyc.com
Kristin Anderson,

CLEVELAND -- Contaminated water from West Virginia is raising questions about the safety of our water in Ohio. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, there are 203 Injection wells across the state.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Analysis claims hydraulic fracturing could cause cancer
Daily Toreador
Kaitlin Bain

Hydraulic fracturing has benefited the economy in Texas, but some researchers believe this boom has led to an increase in instances of cancer. Hydraulic fracturing, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is the process of pumping fluids made up of water and chemical additives into a geologic formation at a high pressure, which will cause the rock fractures to expand, allowing the natural gas or oil below to flow freely so it can be extracted and used as fuel. Robert Forbis, assistant professor of political science, said the process is ecologically sound because it uses wells that have already been built to extract more oil or natural gas that could not have been extracted just from drilling.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Energy Column: Was stopping Nevada's fracking rush behind the Bundy Showdown?
Daily Times
Opinion Marita Noon

The story of rancher Cliven Bundy has supporters from across the West. An Associated Press report describes Bundy's battle this way: "The current showdown pits rancher Cliven Bundy's claims of ancestral rights to graze his cows on open range against federal claims that the cattle are trespassing on arid and fragile habitat of the endangered desert tortoise." I posit: it is all about oil and gas.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
NC fracking panel set to finish writing safety rules
News & Observer
JOHN MURAWSKI

RALEIGH — The N.C. Mining and Energy Commission is set to hold its last regular meeting Wednesday before the state’s proposed safety standards for fracking are taken to public hearings in community auditoriums this summer. Wednesday’s meeting will culminate a year-and-a-half of intense, technical review that fracking critics considered too rushed and advocates praised as meticulously thorough. By the end of the meeting, the commission will have produced about 120 safety rules, setting the stage for packed public comment sessions in August that are likely to be heated.   [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Here's What Fracking Can Do to Your Health
Mother Jones
Tim McDonnell

If you know one thing about fracking, it might be that the wells have been linked to explosive tap water. Of course, a tendency toward combustion isn't the biggest problem with gas-infused water; it's what could happen to you when you drink it. Although the natural gas industry is notoriously tight-lipped about the ingredients of the chemical cocktails that get pumped down into wells, by now it's widely known that the list often includes some pretty scary, dangerous stuff, including hydrochloric acid and ethylene glycol (a.k.a. antifreeze). It's also no secret that well sites release hazardous gases like methane and benzene (a carcinogen) into the atmosphere.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
U.N. climate report was censored
Grist
john upton

Keep walking past the earthly conflagration, folks. There’s nothing to see here. When the latest installment of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report landed over the weekend, only a 33-page summary was published. The full report, which details the radical steps we need to take to reduce greenhouse gas pollution if we are to succeed in capping warming at 2 degrees Celsius, wasn’t published until this morning. So that summary was the basis for hundreds of media reports beamed and printed all around the world.   [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Napalming the Pinelands Commission
philly.com


Having two months ago rejected a natural gas pipeline that's a pet project of the powerful, the New Jersey Pinelands Commission now finds itself being publicly punished for alleged fiscal heedlessness. In an acidic letter April 7, Gov. Christie portrayed the commission -- composed of unpaid volunteers -- as a greedy, selfish and power-hungry band of bandits bent on pillaging the state's treasury. Additional vitriol flowed in and out of the gubernatorial missive, but Christie's formerly semi-entertaining bile has become so...tedious that it doesn't merit explication here.   [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
EPA methane research welcome, but no substitute for renewables
earthworks
Lauren Pagel

Earthworks welcomes today’s release by the Environmental Protection Agency of five white papers related to methane emissions from oil and gas development. We are pleased the Obama administration is seeking expert input in assessing the extent of the problem and how to deal with it. The time to act on methane pollution from oil and gas development is now. The administration’s own National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with Stanford, Harvard, Purdue and other scientific institutions have already sounded the alarm about the oil and gas industry’s threat to our climate. While we encourage the EPA to do everything within its power to stop methane emissions from oil and gas production, that is no substitute for dropping dirty fossil fuels replacing them with truly clean alternatives like conservation and renewable energy. Ultimately, the President can't have it both ways. He can fight climate change, or he can promote fracking and unconventional oil and gas production. He can’t do both."   [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Study: small fraction of Pa. wells contribute large portion of methane emissions
State Impact PA
Katie Colaneri

In a new study on methane emissions from natural gas development, researchers found that a significant portion of the emissions they measured came from just a small fraction of Marcellus Shale wells. Those wells were in the drilling phase and had not yet been hydraulically fractured to release natural gas.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
State Must Ban Fracking Waste
The Hartford Courtant
Editorials

There are few governmental responsibilities as profound as protecting the air and water that sustain life. When there is a question about air or water quality, government ought to err on the side of caution.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Despite Rise in Spills, Hazardous Cargo Rides Rails in Secret
NY Times
JAD MOUAWAD

Jodi Ross, town manager in Westford, Mass., did not expect she would be threatened with arrest after she and her fire chief went onto the railroad tracks to find out why a train carrying liquid petroleum gas derailed on a bridge in February. But as they reached the accident site northwest of Boston, a manager for Pan Am Railways called the police, claiming she was trespassing on rail property. The cars were eventually put back on the tracks safely, but the incident underlined a reality for local officials dealing with railroads. “They don’t have to tell us a thing,” Ms. Ross said. “It’s a very arrogant attitude.”  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Reason No. 11 to oppose LNG
Worldlink
Opinion

Barb Shamet’s letter to the editor (April 8) offered 10 reasons to oppose the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal. I would like to offer an 11th. It has been documented that juvenile Chinook salmon, after spending only about 4 months in our estuary, head out into the ocean carrying a significant load of toxic organic pollutants within their bodies. These pollutants include 25 ppb of PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyls), 300 ppb of PAH (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), and 9 ppb of DDT. These existing pollutant levels are a contributing factor that has lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to cite Coos Bay as an estuary already having “high rates of juvenile salmon mortality.”  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Purdue and Cornell Researchers Find Up to 1,000 Times More Methane Emissions Than Estimated from Fracking
ecowatch
Brandon Baker

Because natural gas has less carbon than dirty coal, gas producers and even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have applauded it as a cleaner alternative. Hopefully, a joint study from researchers at two universities will change that. Purdue and Cornell universities on Monday released a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America with data on higher-than-expected methane levels found above shale gas wells.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Richmond residents rally against gas pipeline
Berkshire Eagle
Phil Demers

RICHMOND -- Tennessee Gas Pipeline's "Northeast Expansion" project, which would traverse Richmond and much of northern Massachusetts, has plenty of critics in this small Berkshire municipality. More than 50 people applauded Bruce Winn, of Berkshire Environmental Action Team, after he lambasted the gas giant's plans -- often using the company's own material to do so -- at a recent informational meeting. The project, Winn argued, isn't necessary for Massachusetts' energy needs, runs contrary to aggressive state carbon-reduction goals and poses significant environmental risks. He said those would occur both here and in the places where hydraulic fracturing goes on, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and possibly New York in the future, as the pipeline would carry fracked gas.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Cleanup to begin at site of Pennsylvania derailment
AP via Fuel Fix


MOUNT BETHEL, Pa. (AP) — Cleanup is scheduled to begin Tuesday at the site of a train derailment in northeastern Pennsylvania. The six cars on the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad train that went off the tracks Saturday were carrying clean sand that was to be used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Northampton County Emergency Management Director Bob Mateff said it was clean sand that hadn’t yet been used in the fracking process.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Md. ponders disclosure of gas-drilling chemicals
AP via Capital Gazette


OAKLAND, Md. (AP) — An advisory panel is considering a state proposal that would require companies to publicly disclose the chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The proposal is up for discussion at Monday's meeting in Oakland of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. The panel is developing recommendations for state regulation of natural gas drilling in western Maryland.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Ohio Says Fracking Caused Earthquakes, Will Require Drilling Companies To Monitor Seismic Activity
International Business Times
Meagan Clark

State geologists in Ohio have concluded that a bout of small but abnormal earthquakes in the northeast of the state last month probably rippled from nearby hydraulic fracturing operations, a conclusion that is likely to make waves in Texas, Oklahoma and other states that are investigating whether fracking is causing minor earthquakes.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
New legitimacy to concerns about fracking and health
CMAJ


While scientists and area residents have been sounding the alarm about the health impacts of shale gas drilling for years, recent studies, a legal decision and public health advocates are bringing greater legitimacy to concerns. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves drilling vertically, then horizontally, into shale rock to obtain methane or natural gas. Water, chemicals and sand are blasted into the drilled wells, creating cracks in the adjacent rock and releasing the gases into the well. The process requires dozens of chemicals for various purposes, including reducing heat and suspending drill cuttings to avoid clogs.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Senators Seek To Curb EPA Authority On Mine Waste Disposal
Huffington Post
Kate Sheppard

WASHINGTON -- A pair of senators have introduced legislation that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using its authority to preemptively block or to revoke permits for mine waste disposal. The move has roiled those in Alaska who want EPA to use this authority to block a massive copper and gold mine that could put a major salmon fishery at risk. The bill, from Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), would limit the time period in which the EPA can deny permits. It would preclude the agency from invoking its authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to protect certain areas before a company has formally applied for a permit, and would also prevent the agency from revoking a permit once it has been issued.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Texas Freezes Agency's Funding Over Release of Data Linking Fracking to Ozone Pollution
Dallas Observer
Eric Nicholson

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has consistently said that fracking has no significant impact on air quality, not in the Barnett Shale. Not in the Eagle Ford Shale. Not anywhere. It was news, then, when a TCEQ-funded study, performed by the Alamo Area Council of Governments, a San Antonio-area regional planning agency, suggested a link between oil and gas drilling and a recent surge in the region's ozone levels. Was TCEQ finally admitting that the fumes being belched out by gas wells and compressor stations might be having a negative effect on air qu  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Huge Methane Leaks Add Doubt on Gas as ‘Bridge’ Fuel
Climat e Central
Bobby Magill

Natural gas as a means to produce electricity is being hailed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the fuel that can act as a "bridge" between carbon-heavy coal and zero-carbon renewables, helping to reduce humans' impact on the climate. The idea is that burning natural gas involves fewer greenhouse gas emissions than burning coal. The IPCC in its Working Group III report says natural gas as a bridge fuel will only be effective if few gases escape into the atmosphere during natural gas production and distribution.   [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Angling: Fracking concerns addressed by Angling Trust
Yorkshire Evening Post
Dennis Lemmon

ONE of the advantages of being a member of the Angling Trust is that twice a year they send us a copy of their magazine which is aptly named The Angler. It is always packed with important facts and information and is free to all members. I have said many times in the past that this magazine is better value and more informative than some of the monthlies which are costing me around the £4 mark. The latest edition answers a lot of questions which are worrying anglers at the moment, and top of the list is the Government proposal on fracking in this country which I did mention fleetingly in a recent article.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
DOE lets ConocoPhillips Alaska resume LNG sales to non-FTA countries
Oil and Gas Journal
Nick Snow

he US Department of Energy approved a ConocoPhillips Co. subsidiary’s request to resume exports of LNG to countries not having a free-trade agreement with the US from the company’s Kenai facility in Alaska in an Apr. 14 order. ConocoPhillips’s authorization for such LNG exports from the site expired on Mar. 31, it noted. Exports of as much as 40 bcf of gas equivalent would be authorized for 2 years, DOE’s Fossil Energy Office said in the order. The overseas sales would provide additional demand for Cook Inlet gas, which is otherwise not needed in the state, ConocoPhillips Alaska Natural Gas Corp. (CPANG) said in its application. It included a Sept. 5 letter from Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources supporting this point.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Links for 4/15/14: New ODNR Rules Too Much?, Industry Responds to New Methane Study, Train Hauling Frac Sand Derails, and More
Daily Digger


leveland.com: Ohio shale fracturing rules tough enough to bench Seattle Seahawk fans, says industry - "The Seattle Seahawks haven't played in Cleveland since 2011. That was before shale gas and hydraulic fracturing were..." Akron Beacon Journal: Stow company benefits from Ohio’s Utica shale boom - "Ohio’s Utica shale boom is benefiting Polystar Containment. In the past 3½ years, the drilling industry in Ohio and other states has become one-third of the sales for the Stow company that specializes in spill..."   [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Crude oil along the Hudson: Groups seek full DEC review of expansion plans
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

ALBANY – A coalition of environmental and progressive groups is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration to bolster its review of a company's plan to expand its crude-oil facilities on the Hudson River. Massachusetts-based oil wholesaler Global Companies LLC has asked the state Department of Environmental Conservation to OK plans to heat crude-oil-bearing rail cars at the Port of Albany and expand a loading facility on the Hudson River in New Windsor, Orange County.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
B.C. Kills Mandatory Environmental Review For Natural Gas, Ski Resort Projects
Huffington Post
Carol Linnitt

Major natural gas projects and ski resort developments now have the option of being built in B.C. without environmental assessment after the provincial Liberal government quietly deposited two Orders in Council Monday. The Orders -- passed without public consultation -- include changes to the Reviewable Projects Regulation under the provincial Environmental Assessment Act, which eliminates mandatory environmental review of new and/or modified natural gas and ski facilities. As a result, proposed projects like the Jumbo Glacier Resort or new natural gas processing facilities may skirt the approval process without standard environment review, which involves public consultation.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2014
Western GOM [Gulf of Mexico] Sale to Offer 21 Million Acres
Natural Gas Intelligence
Carolyn Davis

More than 21 million acres will be offered for lease in the Western Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Planning Area in August, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said Tuesday. BOEM estimates that proposed lease sale 238 could result in the production of 116-200 million bbl of oil and 538-938 Bcf of natural gas. The sale would be the sixth offshore sale under the Obama administration's Outer Continental Shelf 2012-2017 program. The first five sales offered more than 60 million acres and netted nearly $2.3 billion.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
The menace of methane Study: Emissions at some Pennsylvania wells unexpectedly high
Times Union
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

Researchers found higher-than-expected emissions of a potent greenhouse gas emanating from Pennsylvania wells, according to a study published Monday that adds to concerns about the environmental footprint of natural gas. The study, conducted by Purdue and Cornell universities and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the latest to scrutinize methane emissions associated with natural gas development, with implications from New York to Texas. Using a specially equipped airplane to identify plumes of methane gas, the researchers tracked large emissions to seven wells being drilled in southwestern Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Report: Gas drilling weighs heavy on state roads
Go Lackawanna
Jon O’Connell

The natural gas industry is taking a toll on Pennsylvania’s roadways, and now that loss has an estimated dollar figure attached, according to a recent report by Rand Corp. Researchers say a single natural gas well tapped by hydraulic fracturing or fracking costs between $13,000 and $23,000 in overall damage to state-maintained roads because of heavy truck traffic required to transport equipment and millions of gallons of water used in fracking.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
How Many Jobs Does Fracking Really Create?
National Journal
Clare Foran

Fracking creates jobs. That's the linchpin of the oil and gas industry argument for permitting the controversial drilling practice. And it's become the industry's trump card as the debate rages—among policymakers and scientists—over whether fracking is safe for the people and environment around it. Getting an exact count of how many people collect paychecks as a result of fracking, however, is more art than science, and in many cases—particularly when it comes time for industry backers and politicians to tout the practice—a close look at the numbers shows that some of the largest estimates are based on the most generous economic assumptions.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Congress: Don’t rubber stamp exports of fracked gas
The Hill
Wenonah Hauter

Earlier this month, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility near the Columbia River at Plymouth, Washington exploded, injuring workers and forcing the evacuation of 400 residents and agricultural workers within a two-mile radius. The incident was a grim reminder of the dangers facing communities where gas development occurs. Meanwhile, many members of Congress are using the crisis in Ukraine to justify expediting exports of LNG, a move at odds with the safety and wellbeing of American communities, particularly in light of the explosion in Washington. Congress needs to stand up for Americans, not the oil and gas industry, and reject all plans to fast track LNG exports. Bills by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Corey Gardner (R-Colo.) would expedite exports of LNG, and a bill introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that also contains provisions for the Keystone XL pipeline, another controversial fossil fuels project, would envision the same end game. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), presiding over her first meeting as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, recently came out full-force in favor of exports too.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Fracking forum will focus on the economic impact of drilling in Pennsylvania
State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI

There’s still time to register for a discussion forum – ”A Frank Conversation about Fracking” - coming up this week on Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Montgomery County. Co-hosted by StateImpact Pennsylvania partner station WHYY and the Bernard Wolfman Civil Discourse Project in Elkins Park, the conversation will focus on the economic impact of Pennsylvania’s natural gas boom.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
News From Texas: New Study Links Fracking to Dallas-Fort Worth Smog
Clean Air Watch
Jim Schermbeck,

(Arlington) Results of new UNT study linking fracking pollution to DFW’s chronic smog problem will be presented at this Thursday’s regional clean air meeting in Arlington after local citizens groups fought for its inclusion on the agenda. According to its author, the report directly contradicts the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) assertion that Barnett Shale mining and production pollution has no significant impact on local ozone levels.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Md. ponders disclosure of gas-drilling chemicals
Washington Post
AP

OAKLAND, Md. — An advisory panel is considering a state proposal that would require companies to publicly disclose the chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The proposal is up for discussion at Monday’s meeting in Oakland of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. The panel is developing recommendations for state regulation of natural gas drilling in western Maryland.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Top PA Papers Ignore Fracking Law That "Shreds" Private Property Rights
Media Matters
Denise Robbins

A gas company is attempting to use a half-century old Pennsylvania law to frack underneath the land of property owners who refuse to allow the controversial practice on their land, yet a majority of Pennsylvanians may be unaware as two of the state's top three newspapers have failed to mention the contentious issue. Hilcorp Energy, a Texas-based oil and gas company, is pushing legal action in Pennsylvania to be able to drill underneath the property of landowners that have refused to sign a lease if enough of their neighbors have already signed, a practice known as "forced pooling." The "unused and outdated" law, which is "pitting neighbor against neighbor" as reported by the Associated Press, would "shred private property rights" according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the only of the three highest circulating papers in Pennsylvania to cover the story. The other two, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, have completely overlooked the issue which has received national attention.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Seismic tests go lacking in fracking
Norwalk Reflector


The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is studying seismic data from wells near last month's Poland Township earthquakes, but no such review occurred prior to drilling. That's because the agency responsible for regulating the state's oil and gas industry does not require oil and gas companies to obtain or to submit seismic reflection data when applying for a permit to drill fracking wells. Fracking extracts natural gas from shale under pressure.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
'Problem wells' source of greenhouse gas at unexpected stage of natural gas production
Eureka Alert
Press Release

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - High levels of the greenhouse gas methane were found above shale gas wells at a production point not thought to be an important emissions source, according to a study jointly led by Purdue and Cornell universities. The findings could have implications for the evaluation of the environmental impacts from natural gas production. The study, which is one of only a few to use a so-called "top down" approach that measures methane gas levels in the air above wells, identified seven individual well pads with high emission levels and established their stage in the shale-gas development process. The high-emitting wells made up less than 1 percent of the total number of wells in the area and were all found to be in the drilling stage, a preproduction stage not previously associated with significant emissions.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Ban On Fracking Waste Clears Committee
Hartford Courant
George Hladky

HARTFORD — State lawmakers worried about toxic byproducts from natural gas drilling wells in other states persuaded the legislature's judiciary committee Monday to approve a ban on "fracking" waste coming into Connecticut for storage or treatment. The panel voted 34-6 in favor of the measure, which now heads to the Senate.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Study raises new concerns about emissions from shale gas wells
Fuel Fix


a study published Monday that adds to concerns about the environmental footprint of natural gas. The study, conducted by Purdue and Cornell universities and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the latest to scrutinize methane emissions associated with natural gas development, with implications from New York to Texas.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Rising prices for natural gas put pressure on oil sands producers
Globe and Mail
CARRIE TAIT

Oil sands companies, which have benefited from years of low natural gas prices, are once again facing rising costs as the commodity they need to fuel much of their operations becomes more expensive. Increasing prices for natural gas hit hardest at projects that use steam to soften oil-rich bitumen deposits to the point where the bitumen can drain into wells from which it can be pumped to the surface. Natural gas is an unavoidable expense in these projects, because it is needed to heat water to create steam.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Pipeline Would Pass Through Hundreds of Waterways
AP via WKU


U.S Army Corps of Engineers documents show that a planned pipeline project in Kentucky would affect more than 750 rivers, streams, wetlands and ponds during construction. The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline would carry natural gas liquids through more than a dozen Kentucky counties on the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The Courier-Journal obtained a wetlands destruction permit submitted to the Corps of Engineers in December by the pipeline builders. The permit says the construction would require digging trenches through most of the waterways or drilling underneath others, as well as maintaining a 50-foot cleared right of way.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
After Deaths, Renewed Focus On Leaky Gas Pipelines
NPR
Jeff Brady

After a gas explosion last month in New York leveled two buildings and killed eight people, an old issue received new attention: aging natural gas pipelines that leak. It can take decades and billions of dollars to replace old steel and cast-iron pipes with plastic ones, but some utilities are making that a priority. In Philadelphia, after a long, cold winter, construction crews are back at work. On a residential street there, a utility worker is crouched in a freshly dug hole in someone's yard, cutting through an old 2-inch steel pipe. When he's done, gas will flow to this house through a new, bright yellow plastic pipe.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Natural gas expansion could spike Hallowell water rates by 20 percent
Morning Sentinel
Michael Shepherd

HALLOWELL — The local water district wants to raise rates for most water users by 20 percent to pay for a new employee to help monitor natural gas expansion in the city. click image to enlarge HELP WANTED: The head of Hallowell’s water district, Dennis Kinney, says he will need to hire an additional staff member this year to monitor the expansion of natural gas lines in the city. Staff file photo by Andy Molloy Select images available for purchase in the Maine Today Photo Store Many utility districts in the Kennebec Valley have said the industry’s quick, unprecedented ramp-up in the area last year has strained them, as utility crews had to track existing lines under public roads while two gas companies raced to put new lines in.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Congress: Don’t rubber stamp exports of fracked gas
The Hill
Wenonah Hauter

Earlier this month, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility near the Columbia River at Plymouth, Washington exploded, injuring workers and forcing the evacuation of 400 residents and agricultural workers within a two-mile radius. The incident was a grim reminder of the dangers facing communities where gas development occurs. Meanwhile, many members of Congress are using the crisis in Ukraine to justify expediting exports of LNG, a move at odds with the safety and wellbeing of American communities, particularly in light of the explosion in Washington. Congress needs to stand up for Americans, not the oil and gas industry, and reject all plans to fast track LNG exports.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
If You Were Watching Game of Thrones Last Night, You Missed Neil Tyson's Solution to Global Warming
Mother Jones
Chris Mooney

This week's Cosmos explained how plants produce clean energy...and how our inferior energy technologies produce climate change.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
New IPCC Report: Fossil Fuel Divestment Must Start Now
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

For the second time in three weeks, a United Nations panel sent a loud-and-clear message—now is the time to divest from fossil fuels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released another addition to its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Sunday in Berlin, Germany, entitled Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, to detail how the world can keep the global warming threshold below 2 degrees Celsius.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
'Problem wells' source of greenhouse gas at unexpected stage of natural gas production
Science Codex


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - High levels of the greenhouse gas methane were found above shale gas wells at a production point not thought to be an important emissions source, according to a study jointly led by Purdue and Cornell universities. The findings could have implications for the evaluation of the environmental impacts from natural gas production. The study, which is one of only a few to use a so-called "top down" approach that measures methane gas levels in the air above wells, identified seven individual well pads with high emission levels and established their stage in the shale-gas development process.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Are fracking and winemaking compatible?
Legislative Gazette
Kelly Fay

While state leaders celebrated the success of New York's beverage makers, two Finger Lakes winemakers called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing now, saying it would have a devastating impact on the industry.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Ohio Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Companies Required to Test for Seismic Activity
Eco Watch
Briana Mordick

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced on Friday that recent earthquakes in northeastern Ohio were likely caused by hydraulic fracturing—or fracking.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Video--8 minutes: Former EPA general counsel Martella discusses agency's latest moves on water, air
EE News


How legally defensible is U.S. EPA's Waters of the United States proposed rule? As the agency readies its proposal for existing power plants, what are its options for addressing flexibility concerns from the states? During today's OnPoint, Roger Martella, a partner at Sidley Austin and the former general counsel at EPA, discusses EPA's recent action on water regulations and its forthcoming performance standards for existing sources.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Md. ponders disclosure of gas-drilling chemicals
Washington Post
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Md. — An advisory panel is considering a state proposal that would require companies to publicly disclose the chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The proposal is up for discussion at Monday’s meeting in Oakland of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. The panel is developing recommendations for state regulation of natural gas drilling in western Maryland.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Natural Gas Trucks and Buses on the Road Worldwide Will Reach 3.7 Million by 2022, Forecasts Navigant Research Expansion of refueling infrastructure will be a key market driver, report finds
Market Watch


BOULDER, Colo., Apr 14, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- New drilling techniques and pipelines have made natural gas (NG) a significantly more competitive vehicle fuel than it was a decade ago, even as truck and bus fleet operators increasingly look for alternative fuels to fulfill their needs at lower costs and with lower emissions. The result is an expansion of the market for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses that run on natural gas. Click to tweet: According to a recent report from Navigant Research , the total number of natural gas trucks and buses on roads worldwide will grow from 1.5 million in 2014 to 3.7 million by 2022.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Top PA Papers Ignore Fracking Law That "Shreds" Private Property Rights
Media Matters
DENISE ROBBINS

gas company is attempting to use a half-century old Pennsylvania law to frack underneath the land of property owners who refuse to allow the controversial practice on their land, yet a majority of Pennsylvanians may be unaware as two of the state's top three newspapers have failed to mention the contentious issue. Hilcorp Energy, a Texas-based oil and gas company, is pushing legal action in Pennsylvania to be able to drill underneath the property of landowners that have refused to sign a lease if enough of their neighbors have already signed, a practice known as "forced pooling." The "unused and outdated" law, which is "pitting neighbor against neighbor" as reported by the Associated Press, would "shred private property rights" according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the only of the three highest circulating papers in Pennsylvania to cover the story. The other two, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, have completely overlooked the issue which has received national attention.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Silencing Marcellus: When the Law Fractures Public Health
HASTINGS CENTER
Jonathan H. Marks

We tend to think of conflict as bad and compromise as good. But how should we view conflict that exposes potential threats to the environment and health? And what about a compromise between litigants that may adversely affect the interests of third parties or undermine public health? There can be few places in the country where this issue has become more pressing than in my home state, Pennsylvania. The hydraulic fracturing of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale has transformed lives and landscapes here, mainly in rural communities with low- income populations. Silent Settlement  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Triumph of the Drill: Deficit hawks slam them. Execs admit they don't need them. Yet Big Oil clings to its billions in government giveaways. Here's how.
Mother Jones
Andy Kroll, Dave gilson, Benjy Hansen-Bundy, and Alex Park

Over the past century, the federal government has pumped more than $470 billion into the oil and gas industry in the form of generous, never-expiring tax breaks. Once intended to jump-start struggling domestic drillers, these incentives have become a tidy bonus for some of the world's most profitable companies.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Ohio geologists link fracking to quakes; oversight increased
News-Sentinel
Julie Carr Smyth

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday that are among the nation’s strictest.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Unexpected loose gas from fracking
Washington Post
Patterson Clark

A survey over hydraulic fracturing sites in Pennsylvania revealed drilling operations releasing plumes of methane 100 to 1,000 times higher than what the EPA expects from that stage of drilling, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Ohio cracks down on fracking over earthquake worries
Daily Caller


Ohio is set to slap the oil and gas industry with more regulations, due to an alleged link between hydraulic fracturing near fault lines and increased earthquakes.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
'Anti-fracking graffiti' sprayed at Rathlin Energy drilling site at Crawberry Hill near Walkington
Hull Daily Mail


"Anti-fracking graffiti" has been sprayed at a site where drilling has taken place in the search for oil and gas. Humberside Police are investigating after the site, belonging to Rathlin Energy (UK) at Crawberry Hill, near Walkington, was broken into last Monday night.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Wind favoured over fracking
RE News


Almost two-thirds of people in the UK would prefer to live near a wind farm than a fracking site, according to YouGov research commissioned by Ecotricity.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Fracking forum will focus on the economic impact of drilling in Pennsylvania
State Impact PA
Katie Colaneri

There’s still time to register for a discussion forum – ”A Frank Conversation about Fracking” - coming up this week on Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Montgomery County. Co-hosted by StateImpact Pennsylvania partner station WHYY and the Bernard Wolfman Civil Discourse Project in Elkins Park, the conversation will focus on the economic impact of Pennsylvania’s natural gas boom.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
PARADIGM How Many Jobs Does Fracking Really Create?
National Journal
Clare Foran

Getting an exact count of how many people collect paychecks as a result of fracking, however, is more art than science, and in many cases—particularly when it comes time for industry backers and politicians to tout the practice—a close look at the numbers shows that some of the largest estimates are based on the most generous economic assumptions.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
New study links declining North Texas ozone to oil and gas production
Culture Map
Claire St. Amant

An independent researcher has found evidence of ill effects of fracking in the Barnett Shale that challenges optimistic claims from government officials. Mahdi Ahmadi, a University of North Texas graduate student, pored over more millions of data points from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to determine if there is a link between declining ozone and oil and gas production.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania counties report 'mixed bag' on hydrofracking effects New report looks at economic benefits vs. pollution, social ills
Legislative Gazette
Richard Moody

Authors of the report found the counties highlighted in the report were not prepared for the costs and problems they faced after fracking was allowed and recommend that states planning to allow fracking improve their transportation infrastructure, especially preparing roads for big trucks; bolster public services such as police and emergency services; and control the drilling industry through zoning laws and frequent communication.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Does the IPCC endorse fracking?
The Carbon Brief
Ros Donald

Nations must cut their emissions very quickly if they are to limit the extent of global emissions: that's the conclusion of a new report out yesterday from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Some media outlets have focused on an IPCC spokesperson's apparent endorsement of shale gas as a way to mitigate global warming. But a look at the summary reveals gas has to be deployed with caution if countries are to reduce emissions and limit the extent of climate   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Congress: Don’t rubber stamp exports of fracked gas
The Hill
Wenonah Hauter & Mark Ruffalo

Earlier this month, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility near the Columbia River at Plymouth, Washington exploded, injuring workers and forcing the evacuation of 400 residents and agricultural workers within a two-mile radius. The incident was a grim reminder of the dangers facing communities where gas development occurs. Meanwhile, many members of Congress are using the crisis in Ukraine to justify expediting exports of LNG, a move at odds with the safety and wellbeing of American communities, particularly in light of the explosion in Washington. Congress needs to stand up for Americans, not the oil and gas industry, and reject all plans to fast track LNG exports.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Health commissioner steps down for Calif. job Many wonder if Shah's departure will further delay fracking decision
Legislative Gazette
Associated Press & Kelly Fay

ew York Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah will step down in June to take an executive position with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in California, the health department said last week.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Video--3 minutes...Latest Water Buffalo and Suspected Water Contamination
You Tube Video
Vera Scroggins

Published on Apr 14, 2014 Happened over a week ago, on 4-3-14; Water turned white and smelled of chemicals. Cabot gas sites and wells nearby in two directions and compressor station up the road. Water being tested and now using replacement water for household use and drinking bottled water. Rebecca Roter's home in Brooklyn, Pa., Susquehanna County. Waiting for test results.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Political Rifts Slow U.S. Effort on Climate Laws
New York Times
Gloria Davenport

WASHINGTON — The United States needs to enact a major climate change law, such as a tax on carbon pollution, by the end of this decade to stave off the most catastrophic impacts of global warming, according to the authors of a report released this week by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Unexpected loose gas from fracking
The Washington Post
Patterson Clark

A survey of hydraulic fracturing sites in Pennsylvania revealed drilling operations releasing plumes of methane 100 to 1,000 times the rate the EPA expects from that stage of drilling, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Poll: two-thirds of Britons favour wind power over fracking
Blue and Green Tomorrow
Charlotte Malone

A new survey has revealed that almost two-thirds of Britons would choose to live near a wind farm over a fracking site. The findings have led to the government being accused of ignoring public opinion.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Video 9 minutes: REGULATION: Former EPA general counsel Martella discusses agency's latest moves on water, air
EE News


How legally defensible is U.S. EPA's Waters of the United States proposed rule? As the agency readies its proposal for existing power plants, what are its options for addressing flexibility concerns from the states? During today's OnPoint, Roger Martella, a partner at Sidley Austin and the former general counsel at EPA, discusses EPA's recent action on water regulations and its forthcoming performance standards for existing sources.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Navy Process to Make Fuel from Seawater
NeuroLogica Blog
Steven Novella

Researchers at the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) announced that they have successfully tested a process to convert seawater into jet fuel. They can extract CO2 both dissolved and bound from the water as a source of carbon, and can extract H2 through electrolysis. They then convert the CO2 and hydrogen into long chain hydrocarbons: NRL has made significant advances in the development of a gas-to-liquids (GTL) synthesis process to convert CO2 and H2 from seawater to a fuel-like fraction of C9-C16 molecules. In the first patented step, an iron-based catalyst has been developed that can achieve CO2 conversion levels up to 60 percent and decrease unwanted methane production in favor of longer-chain unsaturated hydrocarbons (olefins). These value-added hydrocarbons from this process serve as building blocks for the production of industrial chemicals and designer fuels.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Triumph of the Drill
Mother Jones
Andy Kroll

Advertise on MotherJones.com Over the past century, the federal government has pumped more than $470 billion into the oil and gas industry in the form of generous, never-expiring tax breaks. Once intended to jump-start struggling domestic drillers, these incentives have become a tidy bonus for some of the world's most profitable companies. Taxpayers currently subsidize the oil industry by as much as $4.8 billion a year, with about half of that going to the big five oil companies—ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP, and ConocoPhillips—which get an average tax break of $3.34 on every barrel of domestic crude they produce. With Washington looking under the couch cushions for sources of new revenue, oil prices topping $100 a barrel, and the world feeling the heat from its dependence on fossil fuels, there's been a renewed push to close these decades-old loopholes. But history suggests that Big Oil won't let go of its perks without a brawl.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Lawmakers Urge EPA To Assist Polluted Fracking Communities Members of Congress urge the EPA to take another look at reports of groundwater pollution allegedly caused by fracking and to help those affected by the pollution.
Mint Press News
Carey L. Biron

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. Congress are formally calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to re-examine reports of groundwater pollution in three states — allegedly, the result of natural gas drilling — and to help affected communities.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study
Common Dreams
Eric Zuesse

A study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, "Who governs? Who really rules?" in this country, is: "Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But, ..." and then they go on to say, it's not true, and that, "America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened" by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead "the nearly total failure of 'median voter' and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." To put it short: The United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Republicans, Democrats In Senate, House Join In Calling For A Natural Gas Severance Tax
PA Environment Digest


Republican and Democratic members of the Senate and House held a press event Wednesday at the Capitol in Harrisburg urging the adoption of a natural gas severance tax to fund education, environmental programs and close gaps in the upcoming state budget.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Senate Passes Natural Gas Leaseholder Protection Bills
PA Environment Digest


Three bills expanding the rights of landowners who are currently leased with natural gas companies were approved Monday with strong bipartisan support by the full Senate, according to prime sponsor, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
House Members Continue Work On Gas Well Royalty Legislation
PA Environment Digest


Work is continuing in Harrisburg to secure passage of legislation designed to clarify the existing state law on how natural gas royalty payments to Pennsylvania landowners are calculated, according to bill sponsors, Reps. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna), Tina Pickett (R-Bradford) and Matt Baker (R-Tioga).  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
DEP Fines Range Resources-Appalachia LLC $75,000 For Lycoming County Brine Spill
PA Environment Digest


The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced it has fined Range Resources- Appalachia LLC of Fort Worth, Texas, $75,000 for a July 2012 manufactured brine spill of 3,066 gallons at its Cornwall Mountain Hunting Club Unit A well pad in Lewis Township, Lycoming County.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Lackawanna College Announces $2.5 Million Gift From Cabot Oil & Gas
PA Environment Digest


Lackawanna College Friday announced a gift of $2.5 million from Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation that will directly fund the School of Petroleum & Natural Gas located in New Milford, Susquehanna County.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
Case Studies: Shale Drilling’s Mixed Legacy, New Jobs & Community Costs
PA Environment Digest


The Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative set out to document the local impacts of shale gas drilling in Greene and Tioga counties, as well as in Carroll County, Ohio, and Wetzel County, West Virginia. Click Here to view a summary and copies of the full case studies.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2014
How Many Jobs Does Fracking Really Create?
National Journal
Clare Foran

Corbett's campaign proclaims in a television spot that the Marcellus shale natural-gas industry is supporting over 200,000 jobs. But according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, just over 30,000 people were employed by industries directly tied to the fracking boom in the third quarter of last year. So what explains the 170,000-job gap between Corbett's campaign and his state agency calculation? The 30,000 figure is the state's estimate of jobs that are closely connected to natural-gas production in the Marcellus shale—a tally that includes employment in fields like natural-gas extraction, well drilling, and pipeline transportation.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
U.N. Climate Panel Warns Speedier Action Is Needed to Avert Disaster
The New York Times
JUSTIN GILLIS

BERLIN — The countries of the world have dragged their feet so long on global warming that the situation is now critical, experts appointed by the United Nations reported Sunday, and only an intensive worldwide push over the next 15 years can stave off potentially disastrous climatic changes later in the century. It remains technically possible to keep planetary warming to a tolerable level, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found, according to a report unveiled here. But even in parts of the world like Europe that have tried hardest, governments are still a long way from taking the steps that are sufficient to do the job, the experts found.   [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
Calls to hike rail tanker-car safety Danger of oil spills loom in mid-Hudson
Times Herald Record
James Walsh

Rail tanker cars hauling volatile crude oil through the Hudson Valley are likely to rupture if they fall from the tracks. Safety experts, environmentalists, railroads, and federal agencies share that opinion about a huge fleet of tank cars with a propensity to burst into flames and explode in a train wreck. DOT-111 is the formal name for the black tankers that have become a familiar sight rolling through populated areas like Kingston and Newburgh. They sometimes pass within feet of the Hudson River in Orange and Ulster counties.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
Romanian villagers take on Chevron over shale gas
Global Post


US energy major Chevron, shielded by barbed wire, under police protection and under fire from egg throwers, is in trouble in Romania with villagers angry at its drive to drill for shale gas.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
World must end 'dirty' fuel use - UN
BBC
Matt McGrath

A long-awaited UN report on how to curb climate change says the world must rapidly move away from carbon-intensive fuels. There must be a "massive shift" to renewable energy, says the study released in Berlin.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
Utica Shale Rush Comes to W.Va.
The Intelligencer
Casey Junkins

MOUNDSVILLE - For several years, companies drilled into the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia and the Utica Shale in Ohio. Now the Utica rush has come to the Mountain State.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
Fracking hits home in Nevada
Reno Gazette-Journal
Jeff DeLong

More than 2 miles beneath the surface of Nevada's high desert, they're cracking open rocks in search of oily wealth. Fracking, it's called. And in Nevada, it's new.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
Fracking mud spill shuts down 410
San Antonio News 4


SAN ANTONIO -- A big rig rollover that spilled fracking mud has shut down Loop 410 near Somerset Road. TxDot says the closure could last well into the night as they work to clean up the spill.   [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
OTHER OPINION: NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY DEP must be candid on drilling’s impact
Wilkes Barre Times Leader
Opinion

In the same week that the Department of Environmental Protection was happy to report that air pollutants due to gas drilling dipped in 2012 despite more activity, testimony by a DEP official surfaced indicating that the agency typically does not record or publicly report certain violations on water fouled by gas well discharges.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
The 3 Most Sobering Graphics From The U.N.'s New Climate Report
ThinkProgress
EMILY ATKIN

The overall message of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s newest report is simple: a rapid shift to renewable energy is needed to avert catastrophic global warming. The science behind that message, however, is less simple. In an attempt to make the message more clear, the IPCC’s report — produced by 1250 international experts and approved by every major government in the world — uses a number of charts to get its point across. Though the charts themselves are very complex, they provide a way to visualize increases in human-caused greenhouse gases, where those gases come from, and what they could do to our climate.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
Law professor reviews shale gas boom and regulation
The Athens News
Christian Law

Delivering a public lecture, law professor William Boyd of the University of Colorado at Boulder spoke Thursday night on the recent increase of shale gas use and production to a small local crowd in Ohio University's Scripps Hall. Sponsored by OU's Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics, Boyd's address was titled, "Coming to Terms with the Shale Gas Boom: Regulation, Social License to Operate, Struggles Over Local Control."  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
Fracking can be part of the solution to global warming, say UN climate change experts
The Telegraph


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says massive shift to green energy sources is crucial but that shale gas can help if it replaces dirtier coal UN climate chiefs have backed fracking as part of the solution to global warming – but warned that a massive expansion of green energy will be crucial to prevent devastating extremes of climate change.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
Heitkamp finds identity as Obama energy critic
Bismarck Tribune
Henry c. Jackson

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's energy policies lack "consistency." His rhetoric may be all-of-the-above but that is "not what we see."  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
Fracking in Ohio Dealt Setback
WGRZ


A seismic development in Ohio, where the controversial fracking process is permitted, may have some effect on whether it is ever allowed here in the Empire State. Geologists and state officials in Ohio say there may be a "probable" link between five small earth tremors detected last month in the Youngstown area and the actual fracking method, which is injecting sand, chemicals and water into the earth to extract natural gas.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
Undefined fracking study raises questions Initiative calls for a moratorium to fully study impacts of fracking on property values and human health
Loveland News
Jessica Maher

This summer, Loveland voters will be asked whether or not to impose a two-year moratorium on fracking, but that's only part of the question. The full question from the proposed initiative that was submitted by the advocacy group Protect Our Loveland calls for the moratorium "in order to fully study the impacts of this process on property values and human health."   [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2014
Romania town battles Chevron on shale gas
Sydney Morning Herald


US energy major Chevron, shielded by barbed wire, under police protection and under fire from egg throwers, is in trouble in Romania with villagers angry at its drive to drill for shale gas. Opposition is fierce in the tiny remote village of Pungesti near the border with Moldova which has become a symbol of hostility to the environmentally controversial techniques of extracting shale gas. "In other countries, I have not experienced this type of protest", said grim-faced drill site-manager for Chevron, Greg Murphy.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
560 barrels of production fluid leaked near Medora
The Dickinson Press
Forum News Service

MEDORA — A pipeline has leaked about 560 barrels of production fluid 10 miles south of Medora, the North Dakota Department of Health reported Saturday.   [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
Fracking Hearing Draws a Crowd, Along with Range of Views on Oil and Gas Drilling Technique Assembly committee opens local discussion on industry practice in the Santa Barbara Channel, its oversight, protections and risks
Noozhawk
Lara Cooper

The public turned out in force Friday morning, packing Santa Barbara County’s Board of Supervisors hearing room to speak out on local hydraulic fracturing operations in the oil and gas industry.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
Report: Gas drilling weighs heavy on state roads Study recommends using fees or taxes levied specifically to repair roadways
Go Lackawanna
Jon O'Connell

The natural gas industry is taking a toll on Pennsylvania’s roadways, and now that loss has an estimated dollar figure attached, according to a recent report by Rand Corp. Researchers say a single natural gas well tapped by hydraulic fracturing or fracking costs between $13,000 and $23,000 in overall damage to state-maintained roads because of heavy truck traffic required to transport equipment and millions of gallons of water used in fracking.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
DEP: Marshall Pipeline Rupture Scorched Trees Over Two Acres
Wheeling News-Register
CASEY JUNKINS

MOUNDSVILLE - The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection continues investigating the Williams Energy 12-inch natural gas pipeline rupture that took place in Marshall County's Marcellus Shale field a week ago. "The explosion created a 10-foot crater, and the resulting fire scorched trees over an approximately 2-acre area," DEP spokeswoman Kelley J. Gillenwater said Friday. "The rupture most likely occurred at a weld point in the pipeline, which was buried and along a steep slope," she added, noting there was anywhere from 600-900 pounds per square-inch of pressure on the line at the time.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
Sydney to go 100% renewable
TckTckTck


Allan Jones is the Chief Development Officer of Energy and Climate Change for the city of Sydney, Australia. Inspired by low carbon innovation in Copenhagen he has implemented plans to upgrade Sydney to renewable energy sources for all of its power, heating, and cooling by 2030.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
Guest: The failure of the EPA to protect the public from pollution
The Seattle Times
E.G. Vallianatos

Can we trust the EPA to do what is in the public’s best interest? Not if history is any guide  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
Global warming is not due to natural factors, says expert
ANI NEWS


Washington, Apr 12 (ANI): An analysis of temperature data since 1500 rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth's climate. The study, by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy, represents a new approach to the question of whether global warming in the industrial era has been caused largely by man-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
IPCC report: world must urgently switch to clean sources of energy
The Guardian
Damian Carrington

UN panel's third report explains how global dependence on fossil fuels must end in order to avoid catastrophic climate change  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
China Takes On Big Risks in Its Push for Shale Gas
The New York Times
KEITH BRADSHERAPRIL

JIAOSHIZHEN, China — Residents of this isolated mountain valley of terraced cornfields were just going to sleep last April when they were jolted by an enormous roar, followed by a tower of flames. A shock wave rolled across the valley, rattling windows in farmhouses and village shops, and a mysterious, pungent gas swiftly pervaded homes. “It was so scary — everyone who had a car fled the village and the rest of us without cars just stayed and waited to die,” said Zhang Mengsu, a hardware store owner.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
Oil company blamed for toxic tap water in China: Xinhua
Economic Times


BEIJING: A Chinese oil giant was to blame for a toxic leak that contaminated tap water in a northwestern city, leading panicked residents to clear stores of bottled water, state media said Saturday. Tests conducted on Thursday and Friday showed that tap water in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, had as much as 200 micrograms of the toxic chemical benzene per litre -- 20 times the national limit -- the official Xinhua news agency said, citing local environment authorities.   [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
Dark side of ND's oil boom: Meth, heroin, cartels _ all part of growing drug trade
FOX NEWS
Associated Press

WILLISTON, N.D. – The blood-drenched man had survived a brutal attack: Beaten with brass knuckles, shocked with a stun gun, slashed with a razor blade, then dumped 40 miles away in Montana, he staggered to a farmhouse for help. His path eventually led authorities back to a quiet backyard in this oil boom town. What they uncovered was a large-scale methamphetamine ring that had found a home in a state long known for its small-town solitude, its slow pace and peaceful pastures.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
Ohio finds link between fracking and sudden burst of earthquakes
Los Angeles Times
PARESH DAVE

Ohio geologists have found a probable connection between fracking and a sudden burst of mild earthquakes last month in a region that had never experienced a temblor until recently, according to a state report. The quake report, which coincided with the state’s announcement of some of the nation’s strictest limits on fracking near faults, marked the strongest link to date between nerve-rattling shakes and hydraulic fracturing -- the process of firing water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth to eject oil and natural gas out of ancient rock.   [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
The U.S. Navy Just Announced The End Of Big Oil And No One Noticed
Addicting Info
JUSTIN ROSARIO

Surf’s up! The Navy appears to have achieved the Holy Grail of energy independence – turning seawater into fuel: After decades of experiments, U.S. Navy scientists believe they may have solved one of the world’s great challenges: how to turn seawater into fuel. … The new fuel is initially expected to cost around $3 to $6 per gallon, according to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which has already flown a model aircraft on it. Curiously, this doesn’t seem to be making much of a splash (no pun intended) on the evening news. Let’s repeat this: The United States Navy has figured out how to turn seawater into fuel and it will cost about the same as gasoline. This technology is in its infancy and it’s already this cheap? What happens when it’s refined and perfected? Oil is only getting more expensive as the easy-to-reach deposits are tapped so this truly is, as it’s being called, a “game changer.”  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2014
Senate passes gas-leak legislation
Sentinel & Enterprise
Michael Hartwell

BOSTON -- The Senate unanimously passed a bill Thursday increasing regulations for natural-gas companies to plug leaks in their pipelines, a problem associated with both air pollution and building-leveling explosions. "We want to fix these gas leaks before something happens," said state Sen. Jen Flanagan, D-Leominster. She said gas leaks are a high priority, and the bill is a boost to public safety that helps protect natural-gas workers and the public by reducing the risk of explosions.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
WV DEP Shuts Down Antero Site in Doddridge County Following Tank Rupture
WBOY-WV
Kim Freda

Production at Antero's Marsden Well Pad in Doddridge County has been shut down following a production tank rupture Friday morning. Preliminary reports from Department of Environmental Protection inspectors said the cause of the tank rupture was likely from a buildup of pressure inside the tank. The DEP has shut down production at the site until the investigation is complete. No one was injured during the tank rupture.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Ohio regulators link fracking to recent earthquakes
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

The Associated Press is reporting state geologists in Ohio have linked hydraulic fracturing to recent earthquakes, leading regulators to issue new permit conditions in certain areas that will be among the strictest in the country. Links between oil and gas production and increased earthquake activity have usually been related to disposal of wastewater in deep injection wells–not the fracking process itself.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Ohio geologists link seismic activity to fracking
The Washington Times
Julie Carr Smyth

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquake activity in the Marcellus Shale basin to hydraulic fracturing, confirming the suspicions of activists pushing for drilling limits in the interest of public health. State Oil & Gas Chief Rick Simmers told The Associated Press on Friday that a state investigation of five small tremors in the Youngstown area last month has found a probable link.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Some Energy Speculators Drop Drilling Leases In Lee County
WUNC
REBECCA MARTINEZ

Energy speculators snapped up natural gas drilling leases over Lee County's Triassic shale in a frenzy in 2009. But some energy speculators have begun relinquishing their claims. In February, Denver-based WhitMar Exploration walked away from a leasing agreement for more than 2,700 acres. That's according to records at the Lee County Register of Deeds.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
State creates tougher fracking rules to reduce risk of earthquakes
Columbus Dispatch
Will Drabold

State regulators have announced new rules for fracking near known faults and areas of past seismic activity in wake of a series of earthquakes in Mahoning County about a month ago.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Activists: Stop the death trains!
Philadelphia Inquirer
DAVID GAMBACORTA

THE MEMORY is as clear as day in Rabbi Arthur Waskow's mind. It was sometime in 2010, and he was at a beach, watching his young granddaughter frolic with seagulls along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. His mind drifted to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and he wondered what kind of world his granddaughter would inherit, what kind of environmental disasters she'd witness.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Cal Tech Professor: Fracking Causes Earthquakes
CityWatch
John MacMurray

SCIENCE VS. POLITICS-I’ll be right up front about it: earthquakes scare me. Small ones are WHEW! moments, like when you realize the guy that just ran the red light missed you. Bigger ones, though; they’re a whole different story. Sitting in your safe, secure home — it’s your castle, after all — and watching it get tossed around like a dog’s play toy, while the walls split and the cupboards perform a reverse peristalsis with your glassware and dishes—that’s terrifying. Partly because you know there’s not a thing you can do about it except ride it out and hope for the best.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
China Takes On Big Risks in Its Push for Shale Gas
New York Times
Keith Bradsher

In China, companies must drill two to three times as deep as in the United States, making the process significantly more expensive, noisier and potentially more dangerous. Chinese energy giants also operate in strict secrecy; they rarely engage with local communities, and accidents claim a high death toll.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Quiz: What Is Fracking Doing To Arkansas?
Moms Clean Air Force
MOLLY RAUCH

After my visit to the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas to see fracking close up, I got to talk with community members who have been impacted by the frack-fueled increase in natural gas development. Here’s a quiz based on what I learned. The answers might surprise you. True or False: What Is Fracking Doing To Arkansas? You are a tax paying landowner in Arkansas. A natural gas company wants to come onto your land, build a well pad, hydraulically fracture the shale gas under your land, extract the gas, and sell it for profit. You fiercely oppose, but the company can build their well on your land without your permission. True or False?  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Report: Air Quality to Worsen in Eagle Ford Shale
The Texas Tribune
Jim Morris, Lisa Song

What might the oil- and gas-rich Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas look like in 2018? A newly released but largely unnoticed study commissioned by the state of Texas makes some striking projections: * The number of wells drilled in the 20,000-square-mile region could quadruple, from about 8,000 today to 32,000. * Oil production could leap from 363 million barrels per year to as much as 761 million.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Ohio links fracking to earthquakes, announces tougher rules
Reuters
EDWARD MCALLISTER

(Reuters) - Recent small earthquakes in Ohio were likely triggered by fracking, state regulators said on Friday, a new link that could have implications for oil and gas drilling in the Buckeye State and beyond. In the strongest wording yet from the state linking energy drilling and quakes, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) said that injecting sand, water and chemicals deep underground to help release oil and gas may have produced tremors in Poland Township last month.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Powder River Basin could be a major carbon polution area
The Sheridan Press
Tracee Davis

SHERIDAN — An environmental group has labeled the Powder River Basin as one the major potential sources of carbon pollution in the United States. The report, released by the Sierra Club Thursday entitled, “Dirty Fuels, Clean Future,” outlines the group’s national policy recommendations to counteract climate change. The PRB is in the group’s sites because of the extensive coal mining operations on federal lands that take place in the Basin, which generates 370 million short tons of coal each year from its 16 strip mines.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Probe finds Maine railway failed to reveal 22 incidents before deadly Quebec derailment
Portland Press Herald
J. Craig Anderson

Twenty previous derailments and two runaway trains were not reported before a July derailment that killed 47 people, a Canadian agency says.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Shah’s Fracking Review Expected To Outlive His Tenure
State of Politics
Nick Reisman

Health Commissioner Nirav Shah decision to leave his post next month comes as his review of the health impacts of high-volume hydrofracking is still ongoing, with no end in sight. Nevertheless, advocates on both sides of the controversial fracking issue expect the review to outlive Shah’s tenure at the department. “The commissioner is taking a very thorough, scientific approach. The governor has said he’s going to make his decision based on that science and we certainly expect that work to continue,” said Conor Bambrick of Environmental Advocates of New York.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Visualizing What Would Happen If Every State Transitioned To Renewable Energy
Fast Company
ARIEL SCHWARTZ

Imagine a world where we could get past the politics and have clean energy. These maps show what that would mean for each state. Just for a minute, forget the administrative headache and upfront costs of switching entire states--or even countries--to 100% renewable energy. How would a world of renewable energy-powered homes and businesses be different? If Michigan switched to wind, water, and solar, the state would see annual energy savings of $4,300 per person, 64,300 long-term construction jobs, and 46,200 operations jobs. Health costs would drop dramatically. It's a similar story throughout the U.S.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
CALIFORNIA DROUGHT GIVES BOOST TO ANTI-FRACKING MOVEMENT
Al Jazeera America
Haya El Nasser

California is known for the twin threat of natural disasters from drought and earthquakes, with both phenomena certain to give many residents serious concern. But there is one group that is starting to reap serendipitous marketing ammunition from the state’s current historic drought and the ever-present worry of ground-shaking tremors: the anti-fracking movement.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2014
Why Methane Is CO2's Evil Stepsister (And Why We Should Care)
EcoWatch
Lynn Hasselberger

Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas that gets tossed around in most climate change conversations. But methane (CH4) is making its way into the mainstream spotlight.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Builder of pipeline planned for Lancaster County to face public for first time
Lancaster Online
AD CRABLE

Lancaster County residents concerned about a 35-mile natural gas line planned here will get their first chance to address the pipeline’s builder and operator face to face at a County Commissioners work session on Tuesday, April 29. The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. in Room 102-104 of the Lancaster County Government Center, 150 N. Queen St. Expecting a big crowd, the commissioners moved the meeting to a room that holds up to 120 people. Entrance to the room is off Binns Park.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
EPA drastically underestimates methane released at drilling sites
Los Angeles Times
Neela Banerjee

Drilling operations at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times greater than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows. Using a plane that was specially equipped to measure greenhouse gas emissions in the air, scientists found that drilling activities at seven well pads in the booming Marcellus shale formation emitted 34 grams of methane per second, on average. The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that such drilling releases between 0.04 grams and 0.30 grams of methane per second.   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
93 Members of Harvard Faculty Call on University to Divest From Fossil Fuels
EcoWatch


Today, 93 faculty members from Harvard University sent an open letter to the president and fellows of the school, calling on the university to divest from fossil fuels.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Dr. Nirav Shah, state health commissioner, resigns
Newsday
Michael Gormley

The resignation of Dr. Nirav Shah, health commissioner since 2011, also follows the release of documents showing the Health Department failed to inspect some abortion clinics for years. The documents stemmed from a lawsuit by a conservative think tank that first was reported by the New York Post.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Democratic Candidates Push Alternative Energy, Wary of Fracking
Southern Maryland Online
Lyle Kendrick

ANNAPOLIS (April 10, 2014) -- Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates all agree that alternative energy resources are important for growing a sustainable economy. But Attorney General Doug Gansler and Delegate Heather Mizeur, D-Montgomery, are calling for the state to develop more alternative energy resources than Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration has planned.   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
STATE SENATOR JOINS ACTIVISTS AT STATEHOUSE FOR ‘PANCAKES AGAINST THE PIPELINE’
VT Digger


VT Senator Peter Galbraith joined the rally opposing the fracked-gas pipeline with a cheer of encouragement: “I’m with you all! I sponsored the bill to ban fracking in Vermont.” He and other Vermonters gathered on the statehouse lawn Wednesday to speak out against the proposed VT Gas Pipeline and celebrate the maple sugaring season. They ate pancakes and syrup from Mike Hurlburt’s farm in Monkton, which is host to one mile of VT Gas Systems’ Addison-Rutland Natural Gas project, against his family’s wishes. Activists hoisted a banner into statehouse maple trees reading “Climate Change Destroys Vermont’s Forests, Stop Fracking, Keep Tapping!” The action drew attention to the environmental, cultural and economic threats of fracked gas.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Cove Point and climate change
The Hill
Fran Teplitz and Stephen Shaff

Maryland small businesses can see the handwriting on the wall: Climate change is going to have a real impact on their bottom lines. That is one reason why 50 small businesses and business associations submitted a letter last week to the Maryland Public Service Commission in opposition to the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Cove Point, Md. To succeed, small businesses need a robust economy. Increasingly, that is going mean a clean energy economy based on renewable energy sources and greater energy efficiency.   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Fracking Chemicals and Fluid Market Worth $20.4 Billion by 2018 - A New Report by MarketsandMarkets
Digital Journal


Global Trends & Forecasts to 2018" defines and segments the fracking fluid and chemicals market with an analysis and forecast of the volumes and revenue. The fracking fluids market revenue will grow to $20.4 billion by 2018, with a CAGR of 9.6% from 2013 to 2018. The global fracking chemicals market was estimated to be 1,700 KT in 2012.   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
What Shah’s departure means for fracking in New York
Capital New York
SCOTT WALDMAN

ALBANY—The departure of Nirav Shah as state health commissioner means he will hand off the lengthy review that has allowed Governor Andrew Cuomo to put off making a decision on whether to allow hydrofracking in New York. Shah's three-year tenure as state health commissioner will come to an end in June, when he will be replaced by first deputy commissioner Howard Zucker. The only two people who can know for sure whether Shah's departure will have any effect on Cuomo's decision to approve or reject high-volume hydraulic fracturing are the governor and Shah himself.   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Why US fracking companies are licking their lips over Ukraine From climate change to Crimea, the natural gas industry is supreme at exploiting crisis for private gain – what I call the shock doctrine
The Guardian
Naomi Klein

The way to beat Vladimir Putin is to flood the European market with fracked-in-the-USA natural gas, or so the industry would have us believe. As part of escalating anti-Russian hysteria, two bills have been introduced into the US Congress – one in the House of Representatives (H.R. 6), one in the Senate (S. 2083) – that attempt to fast-track liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, all in the name of helping Europe to wean itself from Putin's fossil fuels, and enhancing US national security.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
California city bans new oil drilling
Al Jazeera America
Jennifer London

Carson becomes first city in US state to impose ban in bid to prevent petroleum companies from fracking.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
REPORT REVEALS MAJOR POTENTIAL SOURCES OF CLIMATE POLLUTION
Sierra Club
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Dirty Fuels, Clean Futures, a new report released today by the Sierra Club reveals four major potential sources of carbon pollution that, if developed, could dramatically alter the world's climate. Data shows that the oil, gas and coal from these potential sources, including the Arctic Ocean, the Green River Formation, the Powder River Basin, and the Monterey, San Juan Basin and Marcellus shale plays, have the potential to release billions of tons of new carbon pollution into the atmosphere, more than negating positive climate actions taken by the Obama administration. "We can't keep burning fossil fuels and reduce climate pollution at the same time. It's common sense." said Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director. "As this report demonstrates, real progress to fight climate disruption requires that dirty fuels be kept in the ground."   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Evidence of Acceleration on All Fronts of Anthropogenic Climate Disruption
Truthout
Dahr Jamail

"The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives." ~ Sioux Proverb This month's dispatch comes on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) recent report, and the news is not good. "No one on this planet will be untouched by climate change," IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri announced. The report warned that climate impacts are already "severe, pervasive, and irreversible."  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Hit the road, frack County supervisors move to ban controversial gas extraction method
New Review
Tom Gascoyne

The controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing to extract underground oil and gas reserves is well on the way to getting banned in Butte County. On Tuesday (April 8), the Board of Supervisors voted in favor of moving forward on crafting a zoning ordinance, as recommended by the county water commission, that would require a use permit for the practice that is more commonly known as fracking.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Quest for severance tax on gas drilling continues
Pennsylvania Independent
Anddrew Staub

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A bipartisan group of state lawmakers Wednesday repeated a familiar refrain: It’s time for a severance tax on Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. But Republican Gov. Tom Corbett doesn’t seem ready to budge on his opposition to a severance tax. The state already instituted an impact fee on the industry.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
DEP releases emissions data from natural gas production
Times Online
Rachel Morgan

DEP releases emissions data from natural gas production   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
North Dakota Sets New Disposal Well Permit Requirements
NGI Shale Daily
Richard Nemec

New permit requirements are set for oil, natural gas and saltwater disposal wells in North Dakota's Williston Basin, the Oil/Gas Division in the state Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) said on Wednesday. They are effective June 1.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Couple’s suit against state’s fracking lease gets judge’s OK
The Columbus Dispatch
John Futty

A Franklin County judge has ruled that a Guernsey County couple can move forward with a lawsuit that seeks to stop fracking beneath and around Seneca Lake. The couple filed the suit in October, eight months after the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District approved a $40.3 million lease with a Colorado-based drilling company for underground mineral rights to 6,400 acres, including the lake.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Shale Gas Blooms in China? Not So Fast
The Energy Collective
Kate Rosow Chrisman

When China released its 2015 targets of 6.5 billion cubic meters of shale gas a few years back (source, in Chinese), it looked like the goal was out of reach. At the time, the country had zero commercial shale gas production and domestic natural gas extraction was mainly in the hands of state-owned companies. But Sinopec’s recent breakthrough at the Fuling block in southwestern China is raising questions as to whether the country can reach its ambitious targets.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Cuomo: Salary spurred health commish departure
Democrat and Chronicle
Brian Sharp

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state health commissioner’s resignation has nothing to do with a protracted review of whether New York should move ahead with hydraulic fracturing. Rather, when asked about Nirav Shah’s impending departure to an executive post with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Cuomo talked about the imbalance between government-sector and private-sector salaries.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Case Studies Show How Shale Boom Hurt Health and Infrastructure of Four Communities
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

It’s been nearly a decade since the first shale fracking wells were drilled in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Since that time, there’s been pressure for more gas production in those states, as well as in Ohio, but a series of new studies show that the people who live near the booming industry aren’t always the ones reaping the economic benefits. The Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative, made up of organizations like Policy Matters Ohio and the Keystone Research Center, examined the impact of shale drilling on four communities—Carroll County, OH, Green and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania and Wetzel County, WV. Collectively, the individual case studies display how small communities become dependent on a process that provides jobs and tax dollars, but also negative health and environmental impacts, as well as higher housing prices and even violence in some cases.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Why US fracking companies are licking their lips over Ukraine
The Guardian
Naomi Klein

From climate change to Crimea, the natural gas industry is supreme at exploiting crisis for private gain – what I call the shock doctrine  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
Natural News
Mike Adams

(NaturalNews) The Bureau of Land Management says its 200-man armed siege of the Cliven Bundy ranch in Nevada is all about protecting an "endangered tortoise." But a Natural News investigation has found that BLM is actually in the business of raking in millions of dollars by leasing Nevada lands to energy companies that engage in fracking operations. This document from the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology(1) shows significant exploratory drilling being conducted in precisely the same area where the Bundy family has been running cattle since the 1870's. The "Gold Butte" area is indicated on the lower right corner of the document (see below), and it clearly shows numerous exploratory drilling operations have been conducted there.   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Desmond Tutu calls for anti-apartheid style boycott of fossil fuel industry
The Guardian
Damian Carrington

Nobel peace prize winner calls for organisations to cut ties with industry and for investors to dump fossil fuel stocks  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Pollution Fears Crush Home Prices Near Fracking Wells
Forbes
Jeff McMahon

Whether or not fracking causes groundwater pollution, people fear the risk enough that property values have dropped for homes with drinking-water wells near shale-gas pads, according to new research.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Judge allows Ohio fracking lawsuit to proceed
Seattle PI


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A couple who sued to try to stop shale gas drilling around a state-owned lake in eastern Ohio won an early victory this week as a judge ruled their lawsuit can proceed.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Crude oil is displacing other commodities on trains, critics charge
McClatchyDC
Curtis Tate

WASHINGTON — Grain producers, manufacturers and coal shippers told federal regulators Thursday that rail service has deteriorated drastically in the nation’s midsection in recent months, leaving crops in piles on the ground and fuel stocks low at electric power plants as resources go undelivered.   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Case Studies Show How Shale Boom Hurt Health and Infrastructure of Four Communities
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

It’s been nearly a decade since the first shale fracking wells were drilled in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Since that time, there’s been pressure for more gas production in those states, as well as in Ohio, but a series of new studies show that the people who live near the booming industry aren’t always the ones reaping the economic benefits.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Drilling Frenzy Fuels Sudden Growth In Small Texas Town
NPR
Melissa Block

'Toxic Soup Of Chemicals' While out on the ranch, Brownlow points to two pumpjacks. Gas is flaring off nearby with a sign warning of possible emissions of poison gas — the extremely toxic hydrogen sulfide. Fracking Interactive Promo The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers Science And The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers There are, of course, a lot of environmental and health concerns that accompany fracking. Jim Morris spent months reporting on air pollution connected to the oil industry in South Texas and the health effects on some residents. Morris is with the Center for Public Integrity and led the eight-month investigation with InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
State Lawmaker Calls for Investigation into Marcellus Gas Plant in Wyoming County
PA HOMEPAGE


Monroe Township, Wyoming County -- "You could smell it coming down here while you're talking to me," said Charles Malarkey. With the Chapin Hydration Station in the background of his Herdman Street home, the Monroe Township man pointed out a problem stemming from his Marcellus gas industry neighbor. The odor of the gas additive mercaptan, which gives gas its smell, still remained in the air Thursday afternoon. Mr. Malarkey says it was nothing compared to earlier in the week. "It was so strong out here you couldn't even stand it. I mean I don't know if it's gas or whatever chemical is leaking out of that thing." 16-year-old Owen Ide lives just downhill from the Chapin station. "I opened the door to let the dog out and let all this very smelly, propaney (sic) gas and it smelled really bad," he said.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2014
Gas Workers at Risk Of Silica Exposure
Wheeling News-Register
Ian Hicks

WHEELING - Breathing only a tiny amount of silica dust per day - enough, roughly, to cover Franklin Delano Roosevelt's nose on a dime - can put a worker at risk for myriad health problems, according to Michael Breitenstein of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
IPCC explores the ethics and economics of fighting climate change
E & E Newswire
Lisa Friedman

Can science tell us how much ethical responsibility different countries bear for combating climate change?  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Trains transporting crude oil should have at least 2-man crews, federal regulators say
U.S. News & World Report
JOAN LOWY

WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to a series of fiery train derailments, federal regulators said Wednesday they will propose that trains transporting crude oil have at least two-man crews and requirements aimed at preventing parked train cars from coming loose and causing an accident like one in July that killed 47 people. The Federal Railroad Administration had asked a freight rail industry advisory committee to make recommendations on whether two-man crews should be required, but the industry officials were unable to reach a consensus after working on the issue for months. Federal officials said they decided to move ahead with the two-crew member requirement anyway.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Riding shale boom, U.S to become major LPG supplier to China Add to ...
The Globe and Mail
CHEN AIZHU

A deal between China’s top refiner Sinopec Corp and Phillips 66 could be a game changer that signals the United States is on track to become one of the top suppliers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to the world’s second-biggest economy. China is the biggest consumer of LPG, a compressed mix of propane and butane, used for heating and transport, and now increasingly being considered for making petrochemicals.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Chevron blocked access to DEP after fatal well fire in southwest Pa.
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI

A fire broke out on a Chevron natural gas well pad in Dunkard Township, Greene County, Pa. on Feb. 11. When a Chevron natural gas well exploded in Greene County, killing a worker, the company blocked personnel with the state Department of Environmental Protection from accessing the site for nearly two days. The DEP acquiesced, despite its regulatory authority. Now, that issue is one of nine violations the DEP outlined in a letter to Chevron last month. The fire started early on Feb. 11 and continued to burn for five days. When a DEP emergency crew first arrived on the scene in Dunkard Township, Chevron told them to stay away from the site and not to drive their vehicle on the access road. The crew was also blocked from parking an emergency vehicle at a nearby command center. “They were not allowing anybody close to that well pad and I think that our feeling though was, as a regulatory agency, we want to be there, we want to see it, we want to know what Chevron is saying,” DEP spokesman John Poister said. Drilling companies are always required to grant access to DEP officials, regardless of the circumstances, according to their state-issued permits.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Health commissioner Shah to resign
Capital New York
Dan Goldberg and Laura Nahmias

State health commissioner Nirav Shah is planning to resign for a new position in California, sources within the state’s health department said. Shah is taking a position as the vice president and C.O.O. for clinical operations for the southern California region for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. He plans to leave at the end of June and will be replaced by first deputy commissioner Howard Zucker. The transition has been in the works for some time, a health department spokesman said.   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Court blocks use of eminent domain on pipeline to pass through Lancaster County
Lancaster Online
AD CRABLE

York County landowners affected by the same proposed Marcellus Shale pipeline that would run through Clay and West Cocalico townships in Lancaster County have won a court battle blocking Sunoco Logistics from condemning their land. In a March 25 ruling in York County Common Pleas Court, Judge Stephen Linebaugh reaffirmed his previous ruling that Sunoco was a pipeline carrier, and not a public utility, and therefore had no eminent domain powers.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Texas, Accused of Downplaying Cancer Fears, Grudgingly Re-examines Flower Mound Cluster
Dallas Observer
Amy Silverstein

People who live in Flower Mound may or may not be at higher risk for developing cancer. The state already assured the public that there isn't a cancer cluster back in 2010, but after a UT-Austin researcher published a recent report challenging the state's methods, Texas has grudgingly agreed to look into it again.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Fumes at Lisby Pad sicken residents
Tyler Star News


Tyler County emergency services personnel were again called to the Jay-Bee Oil and Gas well location on the Lisby Pad on Big Run, near Indian Creek on March 27 at around 10 p.m. Residents had called to complain about gas fumes from the well pad making them sick and giving them headaches. When both fire department personnel and EMTs arrived they confirmed the presence of irritating and harmful vapors at a long distance away from the well site. Emergency first responders also experienced the headaches and sickening feelings.   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Steyer Pushes Oil Tax to Pay Dividends to Californians
Bloomberg
Bradley Olson

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is lobbying for a new law in California that would force energy companies to share as much as $2 billion of the state’s oil wealth with residents.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Astorino Calls For DOH Commissioner’s Resignation
State of Politics


Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino threw some red meat to his party’s base in a video released online Wednesday that called for the resignation of Department of Health Commissioner Nirav Shah. Astorino’s twin arguments: Shah must go because of the lack of inspections at facilities that provide abortion services as well as the lack of any decision on whether to allow high-volume hydrofracking in the state. While the abortion issue flared up in 2013 when Gov. Andrew Cuomo unsuccessfully pushed a measure aimed at codify the Roe v. Wade decision, he has been hesitant to make a decision on whether to allow a permitting process for high-volume fracking to move forward. The state Department of Health has been conducting a review of the health impacts of hydrofracking for more than a year and Shah told state lawmakers earlier this year he has not timetable for completing it.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Astorino calls on NY health commissioner to resign
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino called on New York’s health commissioner to resign Wednesday, citing the state’s delay in approving shale-gas drilling and a lack of inspections in women’s health facilities.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Will village oppose the gas project?
The Observer-Review


WATKINS GLEN—The Watkins Glen village board discussed the possibility of formally opposing the proposed Crestwood gas storage facility in Reading. The discussion came after Joseph Campbell, co-founder of Gas Free Seneca, requested the board pass a resolution against the project due to the hazards it poses to the region. While the board took no action, the board agreed they would need more time to discuss it and gather public input from residents in the village.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Astorino: DOH’s Shah should resign
Times Union
Casey Seiler

Astorino calls on Shah to resign or, if he dares to refuse to do so, for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to replace him — something that will happen right around the time he appears at a press conference dressed as Queen Victoria.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Oilfield blast survivor shares his story to keep others safe
Herald Star
Ian Hicks

WHEELING - There's no sense trying to talk him out of it, Brad Livingston thought as he and his co-worker approached the drip tanks at the western Oklahoma oil well site where they were welding on a September morning in 1991. No one will know, anyway. Within minutes, his co-worker, Tracy Daves, was dead and Livingston was fighting for his life with burns covering more than 60 percent of his body after the site was rocked by an explosion he knows didn't have to happen - an explosion that took place because they took a shortcut that would have saved them, at most, three minutes.   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Watch Full First Episode of ‘Years of Living Dangerously,’ Showtime’s Landmark Series on Climate Change:VIDEO
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Years of Living Dangerously, the first-ever series solely about climate change premieres at 10 p.m. Sunday on Showtime, but you don’t have to wait that long to watch the first full episode. Luckily, producers have created a YouTube channel and uploaded the entire 60-minute debut—not something I’d count on happening every week.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
La. Sinkhole Nat’l Sacrifice Zone: Energy Refugees Settle, $48M
Before It's News
Deborah Dupre

Governor Bobby Jindal has another notch on his belt today as his state reached a milestone regarding his sinkhole refugees and nearly completing his making a national sacrifice zone out of what was once a paradise home and lifestyle for over 300 residents. “These are sacrifice zones, areas that have been destroyed for quarterly profit.” – Chris Hedges Texas Brine Co. and class-action plaintiffs who sued it over the historic August 2012 sinkhole in Assumption Parish reached a $48.1 million settlement to end their damages claims and buy out their properties, almost completing the creation of a national sacrifice zone for the fossil fuel industry.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Source Of Stink In Wyoming County Investigated
WNEP
Dan Ratchford

MONROE TOWNSHIP — State DEP officials and Wyoming County EMA officials are investigating an incident at a natural gas dehydration station. Officials say a substance used to give natural gas its odor was somehow released from one of the storage buildings after 10 p.m. Monday at the station south of Tunkhannock. The wind then picked it up and the smell spread.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Eco-group is troubled by vote on U.S. LNG exports
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

From Food & Water Watch, a national eco-group, today: Washington, D.C. - “On Wednesday, the U.S. House’s Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power voted in favor of a bill to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) abroad under the guise of aiding Ukraine. But this bill, H.R.6, would only serve to increase profits for the oil and gas industry, greatly accelerating fracking here at home, endangering American communities, public health and the climate. We strongly recommend that both houses of Congress reject any and all plans to export LNG overseas.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
US House subcommittee passes bill to facilitate LNG exports
Oil & Gas Journal
Nick Snow

A US House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee voted to forward a bill aimed at facilitating approvals of US LNG exports to the full committee. The Energy and Power Subcommittee’s action by 15 to 11 votes was along party lines, with Republicans favoring the move and Democrats opposing it. The subcommittee also approved an amendment to HR 6 by Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), the subcommittee’s ranking minority member, which would require applicants seeking US Department of Energy certification that their exports are in the US national interest to publicly disclose specific destinations of their proposed LNG sales.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Former Reid aide confirmed as head of Interior energy agency
The Hill
Laura Barron-Lopez

The Senate confirmed Neil Kornze as head of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Tuesday evening. President Obama tapped the former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for the post in November. Kornze will direct the Interior Department branch that regulates oil-and-gas drilling, renewable power development and conservation on huge swaths of federal land.   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Residents of polluted U.S. communities fear planned cuts in EPA enforcement
The Center for Public integrity
Ronnie Greene & Chris Hamby

n New Mexico, Navajo communities worry that uranium mining could contaminate the aquifer that feeds their drinking water. In southeastern states from Alabama to Virginia, residents fear a cluster of coal-powered plants will impact their health for generations. And in the Harlem section of Manhattan, advocates say the high rates of asthma among residents are a “direct result from breathing dirty air.” For these communities and others abutting big industry, worry over failing health and pollution has intensified as the Environmental Protection Agency intends to significantly curtail the number of inspections and enforcement cases it brings nationwide over the next five years.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
California Senate Committee approves fracking moratorium bill
EIN Newsdesk
Dan Bacher

The California Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water on April 8 passed SB 1132, legislation that will place a moratorium on fracking (hydraulic fracturing) and well stimulation until the state fully studies the impact of the oil extraction on California's air and water quality, public health and economy. The bill, authored by Senator Holly Mitchell and Senator Mark Leno, will next be considered by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on April 30t 2014. The legislation, approved by a 5 to 2 vote as anti-fracking activists packed the State Captiol hearing room, would expand the current study focused on the environmental and public health effects of fracking to include the economic costs and harms, effects on private property and land use, and risks to worker safety, according to a statement from a coalition of groups. The Committee vote took place as California reels from a record drought and Governor Jerry Brown continues to support the expansion of fracking in California and the construction of the fish-killing peripheral tunnels under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). “A moratorium on fracking is especially critical as California faces a severe drought with water resources at an all-time low,” said Senator Mark Leno. “We are currently allowing fracking operations to expand despite the potential consequences on our water supply, including availability and price of water, the potential for drinking water contamination and the generation of billions of barrels of polluted water.’’ “There are a million Angelenos that live within a 5-mile radius of the largest urban oil field in the country,” said Senator Holly Mitchell, whose predominantly minority district includes the Inglewood Oil Field. “In my district vulnerable neighborhoods lie adjacent to drilling operations whose practices go largely unregulated.” A broad coalition of environmental, labor, public health, and business groups applauded the Committee’s vote, noting that the body of research around correlations between fracking and public health concerns, water pollution and increased seismic activity is “growing.” "The bill indicates that California should take a pause on all fracking activity until the threats it presents are better understood and we can ensure the safety of our air, water and climate,” they said in a joint statement. Food and Water Watch, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, CREDO Action, the Physicians for Social Responsibility and many other groups praised the passage of the bill. "A moratorium on fracking is a crucial and necessary measure towards protecting California's water and family farmers,” said Adam Scow, California Director of Food & Water Watch. “We applaud the Senate Committee's passage of SB 1132 to stop the oil industry's irresponsible and harmful pollution of our water, air, and soil." "Fracking and well stimulation are not California's solution to a safe secure energy future,” said Kathryn Phillips, Director, Sierra Club California. The latest science shows that fracking and well stimulation create air pollution, water pollution and other impacts that jeopardize public health, the environment and economic sustainability. Californians have said repeatedly, in so many ways, that they want a state where they can breathe clean air and drink clean water. The committee's vote today brings us a step closer to achieving that." "The California Senate's advancement of this moratorium legislation is a crucial step toward protecting our air and water from fracking pollution,” said Brian Nowicki, California Climate Policy Director, Center for Biological Diversity "Fracking is a toxic technique that threatens our health, our climate, and our precious water supply. Sacramento lawmakers should move quickly to pass this bill and halt fracking before irreparable damage is done to our state." Zack Malitz, CREDO Campaign Manager, said, "This vote is a wakeup call for Governor Brown. Every day more elected officials in California go on the record in support of a moratorium on fracking, putting enormous pressure on Governor Brown to split with Big Oil and return to the climate leadership he showed earlier in his political career." "Physicians and other health professionals throughout California recognize the significant potential public and environmental health impacts of fracking because of increased threats posed by associated air pollution, groundwater contamination, and seismic activity,” said Robert M. Gould, President, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Physicians for Social Responsibility. “California should ensure that it is strongly protected against these impacts before allowing fracking to continue here."   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Anti-frackers, ‘Truth Squad’ respond to Astorino’s resignation call
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

A coalition of anti-fracking organizations and a group backed by Democrats did not take kindly to Rob Astorino’s call for the state health commissioner’s resignation. Both New Yorkers Against Fracking and the “Astorino Truth Squad”—a group organized by the Westchester County Democratic Committee and SKDKnickerbocker, a high-powered political consultant—issued statements knocking Astorino, the Westchester County executive and Republican gubernatorial hopeful, within hours of his call for Health Commissioner Nirav Shah to step down.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Shale Gas Boom Leaves Wind Power Developers Seeking More Subsidy
Bloomberg News
Christopher Martin

NEW YORK -- Wind power in the U.S. is on a respirator. The $14 billion industry, the world’s second-largest buyer of wind turbines, is reeling from a double blow — cheap natural gas unleashed by the hydraulic fracturing revolution and the death last year of federal subsidies that made wind the most competitive of all renewable energy sources in the U.S. Without restoration of subsidies, worth $23 per megawatt hour to turbine owners, the industry may not recover, and the U.S. may lose ground in its race to reduce dependence on the fossil fuels driving global warming, say wind-power advocates. They place the subsidy argument in the context of fairness, pointing out that wind’s chief fossil-fuel rival, the gas industry, is aided by the ability to form master limited partnerships that allow pipeline operators to avoid paying income tax. This helps drive down the cost of natural gas. “If gas prices weren’t so cheap, then wind might be able to compete on its own,” said South Dakota’s Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard. Consider that gas averaged $8.90 a million British thermal units in 2008 and plunged to $3.73 last year, making the fuel a cheaper source of electricity for utilities. Congress allowed the wind Production Tax Credit to expire last year, and wind farm construction plunged 92 percent.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Landowners Sue Cuomo Administration to Compel Fracking Decision
EIN Newsdesk
Alyssa Carducci

A coalition representing 70,000 New York landowners filed suit against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, claiming the governor and his administration are intentionally obstructing a decision to end the state’s hydraulic fracturing moratorium. The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, representing 70,000 landowners, filed suit on February 14 in state court. The Joint Landowners Coalition seeks to force a decision on whether the state will allow hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Nearly Six Years of Delays Then-Gov. David Paterson (D) initiated the moratorium in July 2008. Simultaneously, Paterson directed the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on hydraulic fracturing. Paterson said he would consider lifting the moratorium once DEC completed the Environmental Impact Statement and he had an opportunity to consider its findings. The state legislature later imposed its own moratorium while awaiting the results of the Environmental Impact Statement. Nearly six years later, the DEC has still not issued the Environmental Impact Statement. In 2011, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said the Department might complete the Environmental Impact Statement by spring 2012. However, in September 2012—more than four years after first being directed to conduct the Environmental Impact Statement—Martens asked the New York Department of Health to study the issue. Martens said he would not produce an Environmental Impact Statement until the Department of Health issued its findings. In February 2013, Department of Health Commissioner Nirav Shah sent a letter to Martens requesting a few more weeks to study the issue and publish its findings. More than a year later, the Department of Health still has not published its findings and Shah refuses to give a timeframe for when the Department of Health might finish its assessment.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Bad to Worse: PA Royalty Owner Asks Court for Chessy Class Action
Marcellus Drilling News


Chesapeake Energy continues to find itself under the metaphorical gun with respect to royalty payments in Pennsylvania. The PA legislature is considering a bill (HB 1684) that would plug a legal loophole and require Chesapeake and other drillers to pay landowners a 12.5% minimum royalty regardless of post-production costs (see PA NARO Alert: Tell Your State Rep to Vote YES on HB 1684). Landowners in Bradford County sued Chessy held an anti-Chesapeake rally to further express their extreme displeasure (see Bradford PA Landowner Rally over Chesapeake Royalty Shenanigans). Gov. Corbett asked PA’s anti-drilling Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, to investigate (showing how bad it’s gotten–to stoop to asking her to get involved). And now from bad to worse: a company that owns royalty rights in PA, Scout Petroleum, claims they’ve been screwed out of royalties by Chesapeake and has asked a judge for a full refund and to force Chesapeake into arbitration and grant class-action status to the whole, festering mess…  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Fracking’s Public Relations Problems Both a Threat and Opportunity for Gas Investors
The Motley Fool
Daniel Jennings

It didn't seem possible, but fracking's terrible public relations problems just got a whole lot worse. The pollution from fracking sites could be worse than we thought, and state efforts to protect fracking operations from public opposition could be making the situation worse. A recent lawsuit alleges that the state of Pennsylvania deliberately withheld information about possible contamination of well water by fracking from private property owners, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The suit takes aim at a state law called Article 13 that requires environmental regulators to tell public water system operators, but not private well owners, about contamination complaints.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Putin Could Stop Selling Gas to Ukraine. Here's Why He Won't
Bloomberg Businessweek
Carol Matlack

For a time this week, Vladimir Putin looked ready to turn off the gas. In an April 10 letter to 18 European heads of state, he warned that Russia could “completely or partially cease gas deliveries” to Ukraine, in turn threatening Western Europe, which gets about 15 percent of its natural gas from Russia via Ukrainian pipelines. But on April 11, the Kremlin appeared to soften its stance, saying that Russia didn’t plan to cut off Ukraine’s supply and promising it would honor its contracts with European customers.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Fracking’s Public Relations Problems Both a Threat and Opportunity for Gas Investors
The Motley Fool
Daniel Jennings

It didn't seem possible, but fracking's terrible public relations problems just got a whole lot worse. The pollution from fracking sites could be worse than we thought, and state efforts to protect fracking operations from public opposition could be making the situation worse.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
SHAREHOLDER ALERT: The Law Firm of Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Launches an Investigation into Range Resources Corporation Regarding Possible Breaches of Fiduciary Duty
MarketWatch
Press Release

NEW YORK, April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Levi & Korsinsky, LLP is investigating Range Resources Corporation RRC +0.05% in connection with possible claims of breaches of fiduciary duty by certain members of the board of directors of the Company.   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Alaska adopts strict new rules on hydraulic fracturing
Platts


Alaska's oil and gas regulatory commission has adopted new, more stringent rules governing hydraulic fracturing that include increased testing of water wells for contamination, its chairman said Wednesday in an interview. Final regulations are now being reviewed by state attorneys and still must be signed by Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell. The rules will require testing of all water wells within a half-mile radius of a well to be fractured, and will mandate testing of the water wells for contamination after the fracture job is completed, said Cathy Foerster, chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, or AOGCC. In some cases, testing of water wells prior to the fracturing may be required at the discretion of the commission, Foerster said.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Republicans, Democrats In Senate, House Join In Calling For A Natural Gas Severance Tax
Northcentral PA.com


Republican and Democratic members of the Senate and House held a press event Wednesday at the Capitol in Harrisburg urging the adoption of a natural gas severance tax to fund education, environmental programs and close gaps in the upcoming state budget.Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, explained that Act 13 of 2012 has proven to be “fatally flawed.”  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Couple’s suit against state’s fracking lease gets OK to proceed
The Columbus Dispatch
John Futty

A Franklin County judge has ruled that a Guernsey County couple can move forward with a lawsuit that seeks to stop fracking beneath and around Seneca Lake.   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Democratic hopefuls insist gas drilling tax is winnable, debate gets confrontational over loan
The Republic
Marc Levy & Mark Scolforo

Asked how they would fulfill their pledges to boost state aid if they could not win legislative approval to raise taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars a year on the natural gas drilling industry, the candidates all challenged the premise of the question. Rather, they said, the idea is popular around the state and that it is possible to win over a Republican-controlled state Legislature that has thus far imposed a roughly $200 million-a-year "impact fee" on the industry, rather than a billion-dollar tax sought by some lawmakers.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
SCIENCE: IPCC explores the ethics and economics of fighting climate change
E&E Publishing
Lisa Friedman

Can science tell us how much ethical responsibility different countries bear for combating climate change? It's going to try. According to a draft of a forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, ethics takes a front-and-center role in a forum traditionally reserved for exploring scientific consensus.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Another California Fracking Bill Clears Committee
NGI Shale Daily
Richard Nemec

Even as work goes forward to implement new regulations (SB 4) in California on the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) by oil and natural gas companies, another bill to ban the practice (SB1132) cleared its first hurdle Tuesday in the state Senate.  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Fracking in the Bakken threatens Missouri River watershed health
NRDC Switchboard
Marcus Griswold's Blog

Science continues to point to the risks of groundwater contamination from oil and gas development, not just from oil, but from the salty liquid waste called brine. The U.S. Geological Survey recently released a study highlighting groundwater contamination from oil and gas development in the East Poplar oil field in Montana. We reviewed this study, which demonstrates contamination resulting from a legacy of inadequate management practices due to conventional oil extraction; a process that left the Ft. Peck Indian Reservation in Montana without clean drinking water.   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
First fracking trial begins in Dallas
Fox dfw
Melissa Cutler

The first fracking trial in the U.S. is taking place in downtown Dallas. It involves a lawsuit filed by a North Texas family living on the Barnett Shale, and this first of its kind case is being watched closely around the country.   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Oil companies would rather let trains explode than cooperate with feds
Grist
John Upton

As federal officials work frantically to reverse an uptick in explosions and oil spills from crude-hauling trains, the companies that are fracking the crude and transporting it by rail are responding with an unhelpful collective shrug. Lawmakers and regulators want information from the oil companies about their rail shipments. The oil companies initially made helpful-sounding noises and pledged to cooperate. Now, however, it seems they’re more worried about keeping corporate secrets than protecting Americans from their explosive loads. From The Hill:  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
House Subcommittee’s Approval of LNG Exports Means More Money for Big Oil and Gas, More Fracking In U.S. Communities
Food and Water Watch


Washington, D.C. – “On Wednesday, the U.S. House’s Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power voted in favor of a bill to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) abroad under the guise of aiding Ukraine.   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2014
Oil Lobby spending in California increases by 400 percent
Inday Bay
Dan Bacher

The rise of oil industry spending documented in the report corresponds directly with the increase in fracking in Monterey Shale deposits in Kern County, coastal areas and Southern California ocean waters – and the creation of so-called "marine protected areas" that fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution, military testing and all human impacts other than fishing and gathering.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Obama admin, company align against N.C. dump's neighbors in Supreme Court showdown
E & E Newswire


ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- When her son was 11, Lee Ann Smith was told what no parent wants to hear: Your child has cancer. Three years later, she braced for another diagnosis. Her younger son had developed a large bone tumor in his leg. "I was numb," she recalled. The tumor turned out to be benign, but it spurred Smith to search for the causes of her sons' illnesses. Her family had no history of cancer or tumors. She focused on an abandoned electroplating facility suspected of contaminating groundwater with solvents, some of which were known carcinogens. Her boys played in the creeks behind the shuttered plant.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Pipeline Violation Penalties Breaks Record in 2013
Bloomberg
Patrick Ambrosio

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration proposed $9.78 million in civil penalties against pipeline operators for alleged violations of federal law in 2013, the agency announced April 7. PHMSA said in a statement that 2013 saw the highest yearly amount of proposed penalties in the agency's history. The agency has proposed more than $33 million in penalties in pipeline enforcement cases since 2009, while seeing the number of serious pipeline incidents resulting in fatalities or major injuries decline each year during that time period, according to PHMSA.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
New Energy Frontier: Drilling Into Coal for Gas
National Geographic
Thomas K. Grose

Underground coal gasification proposals ignite debate, from Wales to Wyoming  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Bill banning fracking in Calif. passes first committee
KCRA


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —A bill that would temporarily ban fracking in California was approved at its first state legislative committee hearing on Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Marcellus operators looking for space underground.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
LAURA LEGERE

Federal regulators have issued four permits for oil and gas wastewater disposal wells in Pennsylvania in the past six months, and those are unlikely to be the last. Industry groups and researchers are renewing their efforts to find sites in the state where the salt- and metals-laden waste fluids produced from ever more shale gas wells can be entombed deep underground.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Early speculators let drilling leases lapse as NC fracking prospects remain uncertain
News Observer
John Murawski

Four years after North Carolina’s initial fracking boomlet, less than half of Lee County’s drilling leases remain under contract as those legal agreements expire and are not being renewed.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Divestment Activists Claim Victory as Harvard Adopts Green Investment Principles
Inside Climate News


Harvard has become the first American university to sign on to a United Nations-backed code of responsible investment – in a move to assuage a carbon divestment campaign. Six months after explicitly rejecting calls to divest from fossil fuels, managers of Harvard's $33bn endowment will now be guided by a set of investment principles taking into account environmental and social factors such as water and human rights, the university announced on Monday.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Costs Down, Profits Up: Green Energy Looking Good, Says UN
Common Dreams
Jacob Chamberlain

Costs are down, profits are up, and renewable energy is contributing an increasing amount of electricity to the world's energy grids, according to a report published Monday by the United Nations. With that information in mind, governments must now "re-evaluate investment priorities, shift incentives, build capacity and improve governance structures” to shift towards a green energy system, the authors urge. The report, conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, reveals renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are showing "many positive signals of a dynamic market that is fast evolving and maturing," stated Achim Steiner, the U.N. under-secretary-general and executive director of UNEP.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Fracking without water 'years away'
Climate Spectator
Reuters

Carbon dioxide, used for years to force crude oil out of old wells, likely will not replace water in fracking anytime soon because of technical challenges and limited infrastructure, says General Electric, which is studying the issue under a $10 billion research program. The delay means energy companies will continue to use more than 2 million gallons of water for each fracked well, equal to baths for some 40,000 people, stressing water supplies in arid American states and likely delaying fracking's expansion to western China and other water-stressed regions.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Bill banning fracking in Calif. passes first committee
KCRA
David Bienick

SB1132 would prohibit practice until determined safe  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Watch: Everglades oil drilling plans spark contamination concerns
Al Jazeera America
Bryan Myers

NAPLES, Fla. – For their retirement, Pamela and Jaime Duran chose a cottage in Southwest Florida. Here, they could raise chickens, savor the quiet and enjoy the lush backdrop of the historic Everglades. They call it "a little piece of paradise." "There are no noises out here," said Jaime Duran. "You don't hear anything at night. You hear crickets, and that's about as loud as it gets at night."  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Proposal for fracking moratorium advances in state Senate
Los Angeles Times
Patrick McGreevy

SACRAMENTO -- A bill that would place a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in oil drilling in California was approved by a state Senate panel on Tuesday. The measure was passed by a bare majority of five votes by the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee after some Democrats abstained and Chairwoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) provided a courtesy vote to keep the issue alive for more discussions that could end up changing the bill.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
In Defense of Coal
The Wall Street Journal


MR. BUSSEY: Gas has half the carbon footprint of coal. Even with gas prices ticking up, isn't it inevitable that political pressures, environmental pressures, even business pressures will take into account that difference and say, "Coal's just too dirty?" MR. BOYCE: You need to look at the life-cycle emissions of any fuel, [not just emissions at the point of generation]. And if you look at the life-cycle emissions of the production, transportation and use of gas, it is much closer to the performance of coal. You have to look at methane leakage, particularly from unconventional gas drilling, as well as the energy it takes to transport gas through pipelines.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
UI study identifies most effective method for measuring radium in flowback water
Iowa Now
John Riehl

Research by a University of Iowa graduate student suggests gamma-ray spectroscopy may provide a more accurate measurement of radium in byproduct water produced by hydraulic fracturing, compared with other methods of analysis. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses horizontal drilling to extract trapped natural gas from small crevices in rock formations. To free the gas, a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals is injected deep underground into wells vertically and then horizontally at extremely high pressure. The pressurized fluid mixture fractures the rock and allows the natural gas to rise to the surface through the recovered water—called flowback water (FBW).  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Fracking and wine making don't mix, say two NY vintners
Legislative Gazette
By kelly

While state leaders celebrated the success of New York's beverage makers, two Finger Lakes winemakers called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing, saying it would have a devastating impact on the industry. The Post-Standard of Syracuse published an opinion piece Monday by vintners Peter Saltonstall and Doug Hazlitt while Cuomo hosted the second Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider Summit at The Egg in Albany. "The dangers of fracking are becoming increasingly well-known as study after study shows how it contaminates water — a critical resource for our industries. Fracking would jeopardize the safety of the water we rely on for producing our wine — the same water relied upon by the beer industry and other farm-based beverage industries," the piece reads.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Proposed oil and gas drilling near Mandeville raises concerns
NoLa.com
Robert Rhoden

A New Orleans company is proposing to drill a 13,000-foot well in search of oil and gas on a tract of land near Mandeville, creating concern among some St. Tammany Parish officials and citizens who fear the operation could harm the aquifer that supplies the region with water. Helis Oil & Gas LLC wants to drill the well just north of Interstate 12 and about a mile east of Louisiana 1088 and use the hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," method to extract oil and gas from the ancient sedimentary rock formation known as the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. The company has not applied for a drilling permit from the state Department of Natural Resources' Office of Conservation but it applied for a hearing on its proposed creation of a production unit taking in 960-acres of land owned by the Poitevent family and Abita Timber Co. A hearing has been scheduled May 13 in Baton Rouge  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Eco-groups seek enforcement action against Tioga County driller
ohio.com
Bob Downing

PITTSBURGH AND WASHINGTON, D.C.///APRIL 8, 2014///The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), on behalf of PennEnvironment, the Responsible Drilling Alliance, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Clean Water Action, the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, and PennFuture, asks Pennsylvania and EPA officials to initiate enforcement against EQT Production Company for discharges to ground and surface water at its hydraulic fracturing site in Duncan Township, Tioga County, PA. The events described in the letter stem primarily from a 5-million gallon leaking, unauthorized, waste impoundment that polluted Rock Run, a "Class-A Wild Trout" water, caused significant groundwater contamination, and resulted in vast swaths of dead and stressed vegetation. Discovered in May 2012, the impoundment leaked because there were over 100 holes and tears in the liner.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Geologic, Regulatory Aftershocks from Latest Oklahoma Quakes
GasIntel.com
Richard Nemec

More earthquakes jolted parts of central Oklahoma Saturday, prompting added speculation about the ties between the quakes and oil and natural gas drilling wastewater injection processes. Although small in magnitude -- measuring 2.6-4.0 on the Richter Scale -- the frequency of the tremors has already surpassed 2013 totals, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS). The U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) recorded three quakes in central Oklahoma Saturday, the most severe one about a mile south of Langston, which is 35 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. No injuries or damage were reported.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Is Natural Gas Fuel Dead Before it Gets Off the Ground?
Motley Fool
Travis Hoium

Just a few years ago, natural gas fuel seemed to be the answer for all of the United States' energy problems. It's in abundant supply domestically, prices are low, and the changeover from using gasoline to natural gas won't require a wholesale shift in the way consumers buy and consume energy. But the natural gas fuel revolution seems to have lost momentum, and leaders Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ: CLNE ) and Westport Innovations (NASDAQ: WPRT ) have been market laggards in a year when companies with growth potential have been hot. What has happened? Is the natural gas fuel revolution dead or has the market just missed its growth story?  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
LNG Exports: 'A Good-Faith Test' for President Obama
The American
Benjamin Zycher

The heat is on. The environmental Left is on the attack, and the target now is not ExxonMobil, or the Kochs, or the Keystone XL pipeline, or fossil fuels, or the efforts of the world’s desperately poor to escape grinding poverty, or plastics, or indoor plumbing, or those who fail to worship Gaia, or any of the other usual suspects. Instead, it is President Obama, urged last month in an open letter by 16 environmental groups to prevent the exportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and to make a commitment to keep “most of our nation’s fossil fuel reserves in the ground, in line with the recommendations of most of the world’s leading climate scientists.” The larger goal is the imposition of severe constraints on hydraulic fracturing of underground oil and gas resources in deep shale formations, a massive success story for the U.S. economy generally and for energy costs, employment, and aggregate wealth. The economic benefits of this technological revolution have been so large and so obvious and so popular politically that the Obama administration has found it necessary to voice support for fracking and its attendant expansion of energy supplies and employment, at least as a short-term “bridge fuel” to an (illusory) future of “clean, renewable” energy, which, as an aside, is neither.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Pipeline Safety Regulatory Process Is ‘Dying’
NO FRACKING WAY
Marcus Stern and Sebastian Jones

Jeffrey Wiese, the nation’s top oil and gas pipeline safety official, recently strode to a dais beneath crystal chandeliers at a New Orleans hotel to let his audience in on an open secret: the regulatory process he oversees is “kind of dying.” Wiese told several hundred oil and gas pipeline compliance officers that his agency, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration [2] (PHMSA), has “very few tools to work with” in enforcing safety rules even after Congress in 2011 allowed it to impose higher fines on companies that cause major accidents. “Do I think I can hurt a major international corporation with a $2 million civil penalty? No,” he said.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
What a Ban on Fracking in Denton Could Mean For the Rest of Texas
State Impact TX
ALEX DROPKIN

Come elections in November, the city of Denton could be split between two very different futures. The Denton Drilling Awareness Group (DAG) recently got enough signatures on a petition to place an ordinance banning fracking within city limits on local ballots. Though other communities in Texas have passed restrictions on fracking, a moratorium on drilling activity within Denton could spur the rise of similar legislation across the state. If the ban passes it will likely provoke a precedent-setting legal battle that would help clarify the authority of local governments over oil and gas operations in Texas.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Eight Members of Congress Call for EPA to Reopen Contaminated Water Studies Near Fracking Fields
DeSmog Blog


Eight members of Congress, led by Democratic Representative Matt Cartwright (PA), have written to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking it to “investigate and address” water contamination in Dimock, PA, Parker County, TX, and Pavillion, WY. The EPA's initial investigations indicated drinking water contamination was caused by oil and gas extraction. The EPA compelled industry to provide clean water to those affected, but later abandoned its investigations without issuing final reports, letting industry off the hook.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Northeast Prices May Have Marcellus Drillers Heading South, EIA Says
NGI Shale Daily
David Bradley

Unusually cold weather that remained in place over portions of the country into the last days of winter helped drive working natural gas in storage to an estimated 826 Bcf at the end of March, the lowest level in 11 years. But a rebuild of nearly 2,600 Bcf over the injection season is expected to push inventories up to 3,422 Bcf by the end of October, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). "Expectations for lower demand from the electric power sector compared with the past several years, as well as increasing production, should help enable a record-high stock build," EIA said in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Expectations for LNG exports should be lowered, paper reports
Columbus Business Journal
Tom Knox

The U.S. eventually will export liquefied natural gas, but expectations about how quickly that could happen should be lowered, the New York Times reports. Only one terminal that will send U.S. natural gas around the globe next year has been approved by regulators to export, the paper said. And all of the gas from that Louisiana plant, owned by the Houston-based Cheniere Energy, is already allocated to countries or companies that aren’t Ukraine. Much of the renewed discussion on the potential of exported gas surrounds political pressure on the Obama administration to expedite the process so Europe can lessen its reliance on Russia’s vast energy reserves, the Times reports  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Heartland Institute's Smoke And Mirrors Attempt To Debunk Consensus Science
Media Matters
SHAUNA THEEL

Fox News is suggesting a report by the Heartland Institute "debunked" a top climate change report while obscuring the background of the organization, which previously denied the science demonstrating the dangers of tobacco and secondhand smoke. On Fox News' America's Newsroom and America's News Headquarters, Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast said that "We can't trust what appears in our most prestigious [scientific] journals anymore." Instead, Bast wants Fox News viewers to trust his organization's "Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change" (NIPCC), which puts out a report imitating -- and attempting to debunk -- the consensus report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which forecasts "severe and widespread impacts" from manmade global warming.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Eight Members of Congress Call for EPA to Reopen Contaminated Water Studies Near Fracking Fields
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

Eight members of Congress, led by Democratic Representative Matt Cartwright (PA), have written to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking it to “investigate and address” water contamination in Dimock, PA, Parker County, TX, and Pavillion, WY.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Oil companies pay $630M in Pennsylvania drilling fees
Fuel Fix
Collin Eaton

HOUSTON – Anadarko Petroleum, Chesapeake Energy and others will pay the state of Pennsylvania about $225 million in fees this year for drilling in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale, but critics of state law say they aren’t paying enough. Recurring drilling fees on nearly 6,500 natural gas wells will bring more than $630 million to state coffers by the end of the year, three years after the state passed the fees into law. The funds are paid to local governments and used to invest in community needs like bridges, roads, firefighting equipment and environmental programs.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Proposal for fracking moratorium advances in state Senate
Los Angeles Times
Patrick McGreevy

SACRAMENTO -- A bill that would place a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in oil drilling in California was approved by a state Senate panel on Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Japan starts first oil fracking program Japan starts first-ever fracking operation at Fukumezawa oil field.
UPI
Daniel J. Graeber

TOKYO, April 8 (UPI) -- Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd. said it was preparing to conduct the first-ever hydraulic fracturing operating in the country at the Fukumezawa oil field.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Butte County could require permit for fracking
Appeal-Democrat


OROVILLE — Any individual or company seeking to use hydraulic fracking in Butte County will probably need a conditional use permit if the supervisors follow their staff's recommendation.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Quebec Political Shift Could Crack the Door to Fracking
NGI Shale Daily
Gordon Jaremko

Odds increased Monday that drilling and hydraulic fracturing will eventually spread into Quebec's share of eastern shale deposits, when the Liberal party returned to power on a business-friendly campaign platform of encouraging job-creating economic growth.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
U.S. Gas Tantalizes Europe, but It’s Not a Quick Fix
NY Times
Clifford Krauss

HOUSTON — As congressional pressure builds on the Obama administration to quicken gas exports to Europe to reduce its dependence on Russia, it may be tempting to gaze upon a marshy, alligator-infested Louisiana inlet of the Gulf of Mexico. There 3,000 workers are installing a huge set of turbines, pipelines and refrigeration units, building a terminal that will send American natural gas around the world by the end of next year. By 2017, the facility built by Houston-based Cheniere Energy could handle roughly a sixth the amount of gas that flows from Russia to Europe every day.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Airports Turn to Oil and Gas Drilling to Boost Bottom Line
NBC News
HARRIET BASKAS

Like other airports, Pittsburgh International supplements its revenue from airlines with fees from parking, concessions, advertising and other sources. But now that the FAA has given its approval, "other sources" for PIT is oil and gas drilling. It has a deal with Consol Energy that came with a $50 million signing bonus and the promise of payments and royalties of an estimated $25 million annually for at least the next 20 years.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Michigan-based oil company exploring oil drilling west of Ann Arbor
Mlive
Ben Freed

A number of Scio Township residents are being asked to give up their rights to the minerals hidden beneath the surface of their property. The Traverse City-based West Bay Exploration Company performed seismic testing west of Ann Arbor in September and is now seeking to procure the necessary leases needed to drill for oil or natural gas in the area. “Running the seismic tests was the first step in any process,” company vice president Patrick Gibson said. “The next step if we see something that is of some interest is to come back and lease the minerals that we consider to be possibly valuable.”  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Duke Energy and Piedmont to build gas pipeline in North Carolina
Energy Global


Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas will jointly issue a solicitation for proposals to build and operate a second major wholesale natural gas pipeline into North Carolina to meet growing demand in the Carolinas and possibly in the surrounding states. Duke Energy's increasing reliance on natural gas to generate electricity, coupled with Piedmont's growing customer demand, warrant investment in a new pipeline that would bolster the reliability and diversity of natural gas supplies, the two companies state in their solicitation.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Finger Lakes winemakers to Cuomo: Ban fracking in New York (Commentary)
The Post-Standard
Peter Saltonstall and Doug Hazlitt

Every year, more and more New Yorkers take the phrase "eat local" to heart, so much so that it's becoming a must for new restaurants to source their food and drink locally. The farm-based beverage industries are not only a source of New York pride, but are growing at a tremendous pace. Since 2011, the number of wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries is up 72 percent.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
BT, Shell and corporates call for trillion tonnes of carbon to stay in the ground
The Guardian
BusinessGreen

Unilever, Shell, BT, and EDF Energy are among 70 leading companies today calling on governments across the globe to step up efforts to tackle climate change. The companies, which have a combined turnover of $90bn, say the world needs a "rapid and focused response" to the threat of rising global carbon emissions and the "disruptive climate impacts" associated with their growth.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Frack Trucker Kills 14 Year Old Boy in Ft Worth Deston Bibbs 1View photos
No FrackingWay
Chip Northrup

BY BILL MILLER wmiller@star-telegram.com FORT WORTH — Investigators believe a fracking wastewater truck fatally struck a teenage bike rider in far south Fort Worth in April and have concluded there is no evidence that the driver knew what happened, police reported this week. Deston Bibbs, 14, died at 11:15 a.m. at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, the Tarrant County medical examiner reported. Deston was hit while riding a bike about 9:20 p.m. at the intersection of Sycamore School and Crowley roads. At first, detectives in the police traffic investigation unit did not know who struck the boy because the driver did not stop and no witnesses came forward.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Oil Consultant Turned Whistleblower Exposes Fracking Crimes in Alberta
EcoWatch
Anthony Hall

This You Tube is a compilation of segments from a 90 minute talk. Jessica Ernst worked for more than three decades as an environmental biologist doing research and independent consulting for the Alberta, Canada petroleum industry. One of her main clients was the EnCana Company, which began large-scale fracking in the region of her home community of Rosebud Alberta in the early years of the 21st century.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2014
Gas pipeline blown up in Sindh
Samaa Urdu


KANDHKOT: A six-inch diameter gas pipeline was blown up in Kashmor district of Sindh bordering Balochistan, SAMAA reported Tuesday. Police said some unknown miscreants set off explosive material to blow up the gas pipeline near Karampur area of Kandhkot tehsil, suspending natural gas supply to adjoining towns of Sindh.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
On Fracking Front, A Push To Reduce Leaks of Methane
Environment 360
Roger Real Drouin

Scientists, engineers, and government regulators are increasingly turning their attention to solving one of the chief environmental problems associated with fracking for natural gas and oil – significant leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
A Landscape of Fire Rises Over North Dakota’s Gas Fields
Bloomberg Businessweek
Jennifer Oldham

Towering flames atop oil wells break the inky darkness in the badlands on North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The flares of natural gas set grass fires on the prairie where Theodora Bird Bear’s ancestors hunted buffalo and create a driving hazard on rural roads. “At nighttime, clouds of gravel dust from semis are lit up with flaring lights,” said Bird Bear, 62, who can see flames shooting from a well behind land where she grows red beans, corn and squash. “It’s a hellish scene.” Twice as much natural gas is wasted through flaring than in 2012 amid an energy boom that’s propelled North Dakota’s torrid economic growth.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
The new oil is water

Dennis Elam

While the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford areas of Texas are having a well deserved party since $12 oil in 1998 and $35 oil in 2008, there are reasons for concern. The current boom is a result of an older technology, fracturing, brought up to date with higher pressures and more sand and, yes, water. The Eagle Ford had the highest water use of any region in the country, 19.2 billion gallons, in an 18 month period. Dimmit County used about four billion gallons of water for fracturing, more than any county in the USA. Seventy percent of the wells in the Permian Basin are in areas of extreme water stress. Water use in both the Permian and Eagle Ford is expected to double in the next decade.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Scientists link seismic surge in Okla. to oil and gas exploration, including fracking
Naples News via the Independent


Between 1975 and 2008, Oklahoma recorded an average of no more than six earthquakes per year, yet now it is the second most seismically active of the contiguous United States, beaten only by California. Scientists have linked this surge in seismic activity to a parallel increase in oil and gas exploration, including fracking. In 2009, there were almost 50 quakes in Oklahoma. The following year, that number leapt to more than 1,000. Most were not “felt” earthquakes – those of magnitude 2.5 and above, which can be detected by humans. However, the state’s annual record of 222 felt quakes, set in 2013, has already been broken this year, with 253 so far.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Oklahoma Quakes blamed on Oil and Gas Exploration
Energy & Capital
Tim Conneally

Oklahoma used to just have to worry about tornadoes. Now it has to worry about earthquakes, too. According to data from the Oklahoma Geological Survey, the Sooner State now has more earthquakes per year than every state except California, and they link the activity to hydraulic fracturing. For more than thirty years, the state averaged no more than six earthquakes a year. In 2013, the average was 222. This year, there are already magnitude 3 and higher earthquakes than all of 2013 combined.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Congress pressures EPA to stop water contamination caused by fracking
AllVoices
PrairieDogPress

Congressional members sent a letter last week to Gina McCarthy, the Obama-appointed administrator of the Environmental protection Agency, requesting a thorough agency investigation into complaints of water contamination by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) projects in Texas, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. The first letter of its kind on fracking from Congress to the EPA asks the EPA to “investigate and address water contamination” in areas where studies were started in prior years, with determinations of contamination issues by fracking development, but the EPA withdrew before finalizing corrective plans, according to an EcoWatch report.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Whiting Petroleum says it can get sufficient sand for fracking
Reuters


(Reuters) - Whiting Petroleum Corp is not concerned about access to large quantities of sand critical to the hydraulic fracturing process and the expansion of its operations in North Dakota and Colorado, Chief Executive Jim Volker said on Monday. For each well, the U.S. energy industry uses more than 3 million pounds (1,400 metric tons) of sand, known within the industry as proppant, to mix with water and chemicals at high pressures and hold open cracks in rock so oil and natural gas can escape.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Oklahoma Swamped by Surge in Earthquakes Near Fracking
Bloomberg
Jim Efstathiou Jr.

There have been more earthquakes strong enough to be felt in Oklahoma this year than in all of 2013, overwhelming state officials who are trying to determine if the temblors are linked to oil and natural gas production. The state on April 6 experienced its 109th earthquake of a magnitude 3 or higher, matching the total for all of 2013, according to Austin Holland, a research seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey. More quakes followed, including a magnitude 4 near Langston about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
In Light of Washington LNG Explosion, Community Demands Answers to Cove Point Export Terminal Concerns
Eco Watch
Climate Action Watch

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility explosion that rocked a Plymouth, WA, community on Monday, March 31, has Lusby residents demanding answers about a proposed expansion that would enable the Dominion Cove Point liquefied natural gas terminal to become an LNG export facility. The incident should also reignite debate on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) role as a sole siting authority and safety regulator, given the agency’s apparent ongoing failure to fully consider the worst-case, compound safety risks of locating LNG facilities within close proximity to people’s homes. In light of the concerns and questions outlined below, Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community is demanding that FERC complete an objective and transparent quantitative risk assessment for Dominion’s proposed LNG export facility—an assessment open to public scrutiny and including all potential mishaps, including the worst-case domino effect of explosions like the one that occurred last week in Plymouth.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Some see opportunity, others fear exploitation under new oil and natural gas extraction laws
Detroit Free Press
Keith Matheny

New state laws enacted Tuesday could give old, no-longer-productive oil and natural gas wells in Michigan a new life — injecting carbon dioxide gas into them to force up more product. But that could lead to an all-new network of pipelines in Michigan transporting carbon dioxide to the wells. And that causes landowners like Livingston County resident Beth Duman to cringe. Duman and her husband, Bob, had, in her words, “a foreign army in our backyard for a year” at their home on Sue Drive in Oceola Township, as Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge replaced a large natural gas transmission line across the Lower Peninsula.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Blast at U.S. LNG site casts spotlight on natural gas safety
Financial Post
Joshua Schneyer, Timothy Gardner and Richard Valdmanis, Reuters |

An unexplained blast this week at a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in rural Washington state, which injured workers, forced an evacuation and raised alarm about a potentially large second explosion, could focus attention on the risk of storing massive gas supplies near population centers. The Monday incident at Williams Co Inc’s massive gas storage site is a rare safety-record blemish among the dozens of U.S. LNG plants and storage sites, including towering tanks in packed neighborhoods of New York City, and near Boston.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Power projects raise concerns near Indian Point
Lower Hudson News
Michael Risinit

Community leaders Tuesday will provide an update on two energy projects proposed to pass through Cortlandt and the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Supervisor Linda Puglisi and a task force of residents will discuss a proposed transmission line slated to come down the Hudson River and head on shore in Verplanck and plans to expand a natural gas pipeline burrowing through town.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Ashburnham retracts permission for pipeline company to survey town land -- for now
Sentinel and Enterprise


ASHBURNHAM -- Selectmen voted 2-1 on Monday night to rescind permission allowing pipeline surveyors to go on town land, with the understanding that they may restore that permission after Wednesday's informational meeting on the pipeline project. In February, selectmen granted permission to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. to allow survey work on two undeveloped plots of land owned by the town that could be part of a proposed underground pipeline project that, if built, would move natural gas from New York to Boston. Selectman Nick Davis said he's not necessarily opposed to the pipeline project, but the company has been slow to answer questions from both the town and residents who could have the pipeline enter their land.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Gas pipeline blown up
Pakistan Observer


Monday, April 07, 2014 - Quetta—Unknown men blew up a sixteen inches gas pipeline in Pir Koh area of Dera Bugti on Sunday. According to Levies force, unidentified persons had attached explosive devices with the gas pipeline supplying natural gas to Pir koh purification plant’s well Nos 15, 16 and 29 which blew up. The gas supply was suspended from wells after blast.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Group Launches TV Ad Promoting Ballot Measure for Local Control Over Fracking:VIDEO
EcoWatch


Coloradans for Local Control launched a 30 second TV ad today promoting the proposed ballot measure that would give citizens the ability to ban fracking in their communities.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Romanians protest against Chevron fracking plans
Business Standard


Thousands took to the streets of Romania today to protest against plans by US energy giant Chevron to drill for shale gas. "Chevron US, you can't just drop in uninvited and leave death in your wake", read some banners in Bucharest where hundreds of people gathered in the capital's University square.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Keystone XL’s Environmental Impact an Afterthought on ‘Meet the Press’
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

President Barack Obama’s impending decision on the Keystone XL pipeline earned significant airtime Sunday on NBC’s popular Meet the Press program, but little thought was given to the environmental impact of as much as 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day being carried from Alberta, Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Call climate change what it is: violence Social unrest and famine, superstorms and droughts. Places, species and human beings – none will be spared. Welcome to Occupy Earth
The Guardian
Rebecca Soinit

Climate change is anthropogenic – caused by human beings, some much more than others. We know the consequences of that change: the acidification of oceans and decline of many species in them, the slow disappearance of island nations such as the Maldives, increased flooding, drought, crop failure leading to food-price increases and famine, increasingly turbulent weather. (Think Hurricane Sandy and the recent typhoon in the Philippines, and heat waves that kill elderly people by the tens of thousands.)  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Groton Town to Try Fracking Moratorium Again
Ithaca.com


• Groton Town Board meets at 7:30 p.m. in Groton Town Hall, 101 Conger Blvd., Groton. At 8 p.m., the board will hold a public hearing on a proposed law to establish a six-month moratorium on the natural gas extraction process of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking". Having initially voted down a fracking moratorium in December, the town wants to use the six-month freeze to examine whether additional local safeguards are necessary. The board also intends to examine environmental issues that may be linked to fracking. The board cites its charge to safeguard the community and its resources, including groundwater and its roads. A copy of the proposed law is available here. A public agenda is not available, and it is unclear whether or not the board will vote to enact the moratorium following the public hearing or wait until a future meeting.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Shale Gas Boom Leaves Wind Companies Seeking More Subsidy
Bloomberg
Christopher Martin

Wind power in the U.S. is on a respirator. The $14 billion industry, the world’s second-largest buyer of wind turbines, is reeling from a double blow -- cheap natural gas unleashed by the hydraulic fracturing revolution and the death last year of federal subsidies that made wind the most competitive of all renewable energy sources in the U.S.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
City of Norman Awaiting State Permit to Sell Reclaimed Water so Frackers Don’t Have to Use Drinking Water
NPR State Impact OK
JOE WERTZ

A Texas drilling company has tapped a hydrant and is using drinking water from the City of Norman for a hydraulic fracturing operation. Norman has faced water supply shortages and the city has declared mandatory conservation measures, which restricts activities like outdoor watering and car washing, and hydraulic fracturing uses hundreds of thousands to millions of gallons of water.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Moundsville Man Dead At Noble Energy Site
Wheeling News-Register
CASEY JUNKINS

MOUNDSVILLE - Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Cecil said a 37-year-old city resident believed to be working in the natural gas industry was found dead at a Noble Energy pump station along Big Wheeling Creek at about 6 a.m. today. "At this point, no foul play is suspected," Cecil said. "He was found by himself. Nothing appears to be out of the ordinary."  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
New fracking studies conclude we're not paying enough attention to health and environmental impacts
Daily Kos


One of the key problems with hydraulic fracturing—"fracking"—aimed at freeing natural gas and oil from tight shale formations is how little we know for certain about the environmental and health effects. Industry and its sycophants would have us believe that the risks are few if any. But the evidence is growing that this is far from the case. A new study from the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SPEHP) published in Reviews on Environmental Health and an analysis by the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) at University of Texas published in the Virginia Environmental Law Journal point out that not only do we not know enough about this process that is being touted as a welcome American renaissance in fossil fuel energy production, but we don't have the proper tools to measure or regulate it. Here's Rachael Rawlins at the CSD:  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
ANR Pipeline: Introducing TransCanada's Keystone XL for Fracking
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

When most environmentalists and folks who follow pipeline markets think of TransCanada, they think of the proposed northern half of its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Flying beneath the public radar, though, is another TransCanada-proposed pipeline with a similar function as Keystone XL. But rather than for carrying tar sands bitumen to the Gulf Coast, this pipeline would bring to market shale gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Fracking with CO2 to replace water a distant goal, GE says
Reuters
Erenest Scheyder

(Reuters) - Carbon dioxide, used for years to force crude oil out of old wells, likely will not replace water in fracking anytime soon because of technical challenges and limited infrastructure, says General Electric Co , which is studying the issue under a $10 billion research program.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
'Fracking' rule to go before Butte board Rule would require conditional use permit
Oroville MR News
Roger Aylworth

In February the Butte County Water Commission passed a motion asking the supervisors to direct the county's Department of Development Services to amend the Zoning Ordinance to specifically require a conditional use permit covering "fracking oil and gas extraction practices."  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Anti-Fracking Lawsuit Heads for Allegan County Court Thursday
News Rado Wood


An environmental activist lawsuit goes to the Allegan County court on Thursday this week, trying to stop the state government's oil-leases on public land. The Michigan Land Air Water Defense claims the DNR should not allow oil companies to bid on these under-ground leases because they might be Fracking down there. A Barry County judge threw a similar lawsuit out of court earlier because the DNR has nothing to do with overseeing fracking. The DNR hopes the Allegan County judge will follow suit.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Fracking moratorium needed for Pennsylvania
The Morning Call
Opinion

The fracking gold rush has taken this state by storm, without our government having any clear understanding of the long-term environmental, infrastructure, health and climate consequences. The bill would not create a permanent ban on fracking or shut down existing wells. Rather, it would create a breather during which the implications of fracking could be studied, to allow the government to set up appropriate regulations that would limit collateral damage.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Anti-fracking movement gathering momentum in the South West, says Greenpeace
Western Daily Press


Thousands of people in the South West have rushed to join a legal block to stop fracking companies drilling under people's homes as the Government ramped up its rhetoric on shale gas.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
OSHA Hearing Examines Silica Dust Risks in Fracking
Public News Service


CASPER, Wyo. - OSHA just wrapped up nearly three weeks of hearings on a proposed rule to limit workers' exposure to silica dust. Hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") was one of the industry exposures examined, along with general construction, masonry and foundries. Silica dust is connected to respiratory illnesses and silicosis - an incurable chronic lung disease.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
US Wind Farms Need Subsidies Restored in Face of Fracking Bonanza
International Business Times
M Rochan

America's wind power sector wants the government to reinstate the subsidies that spawned the $14bn US wind farm industry, because it is now struggling to survive in the face of a fracking bonanza.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Another Voice: Small towns need help dealing with fracking issues
The Buffalo News
Opinion

Natural gas drillers are champing at the bit to bring the heavy industrial, high-volume hydraulic fracturing technology to New York’s Marcellus and Utica shale formations – and possibly to the Southtowns. If Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo gives drillers the green light, are the Southtowns governments ready to use their planning and zoning powers to ban this drilling within their towns or invite the drillers in?  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Ohio cracks down on methane pollution from fracking
Grist
John Upton

Drillers in the heavily fracked Buckeye State will now have to do more to find and fix leaks in their systems, part of the latest initiative to crack down on climate-changing methane pollution. The Akron Beacon Journal reports: Ohio on Friday tightened its rules on air emissions from natural gas-oil drilling at horizontal wells. …  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
ExxonMobil: We'll disclose 'fracking' risks
CNBC


ExxonMobil has agreed to disclose risks related to hydraulic fracturing—so-called "fracking"—in the latest victory for advocacy groups that also happen to be shareholders. Those risks pertain to "air quality, water, and other damages," Oilprice.com said.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
100+ Scientists and Economists Urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject Keystone XL
EcoWatch
NRDC

More than 100 leading scientists and economists are calling on the Obama Administration to deny the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline because it will trigger massive development of the world’s dirtiest oil, and escalate climate change. They include Nobel Prize winners in physics and economics, and lead authors of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Amid showdown with energy-rich Russia, calls rise in Europe to start fracking
Washington Post
Griff Wite & Anthony Faiola

Ever since Russian forces took hold of Crimea last month, the British prime minister has been leading a chorus of conservative politicians and energy executives in a refrain they believe will spark a shale gas revolution in Europe: Frack, baby, frack.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Environmental Groups Question Unexamined Impacts in Federal Evaluation of Constitution Pipeline Project
Earthjustice


WASHINGTON, D.C. — A coalition of environmental groups filed comments today with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, taking issue with the Commission’s draft environmental impact statement on the controversial 124-mile “Constitution” natural gas pipeline proposed to run through portions of New York and Pennsylvania. The groups claim that FERC’s assessment is missing key information about substantial environmental and public health risks associated with the pipeline that need to be addressed in a revised draft made subject to a second round of public scrutiny.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
U.S. Gas Tantalizes Europe, but It’s Not a Quick Fix
NY Times
CLIFFORD KRAUSS

HOUSTON — As congressional pressure builds on the Obama administration to quicken gas exports to Europe to reduce its dependence on Russia, it may be tempting to gaze upon a marshy, alligator-infested Louisiana inlet of the Gulf of Mexico. There 3,000 workers are installing a huge set of turbines, pipelines and refrigeration units, building a terminal that will send American natural gas around the world by the end of next year. By 2017, the facility built by Houston-based Cheniere Energy could handle roughly a sixth the amount of gas that flows from Russia to Europe every day.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Fracking with CO2 to replace water a distant goal, GE says
Reuters
ERNEST SCHEYDER

Reuters) - Carbon dioxide, used for years to force crude oil out of old wells, likely will not replace water in fracking anytime soon because of technical challenges and limited infrastructure, says General Electric Co , which is studying the issue under a $10 billion research program. The delay means energy companies will continue to use more than 2 million gallons of water for each fracked well, equal to baths for some 40,000 people, stressing water supplies in arid American states and likely delaying fracking's expansion to western China and other water-stressed regions.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Landrieu sidesteps debate over levee board lawsuit
Chron
Melinda Deslatte

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu distanced herself Monday from a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans-area levee board against more than 90 oil and gas companies, saying litigation isn't the way to restore her state's lost wetlands. "I do not think that lawsuits are going to save the coast of Louisiana," Landrieu told the Press Club of Baton Rouge. But Landrieu, a Democrat, also wouldn't wade into the ongoing legislative debate about whether state lawmakers should pass bills sought by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal to nullify the lawsuit. "I am not going to get in the middle of that debate. This is a state issue. They can decide what they want," she said when questioned about the bills.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Environmental Exposure: Flood Risk in the Oil & Gas Industry
Insurance Journal
Kenneth Cornell

There has been much discussion regarding the increasing frequency and intensity of storms around the world. While both underwriters and insurance buyers are concerned with exposure to potential catastrophic losses from these storms, the focus has been on property damage to buildings and facilities. Unlike property insurance, environmental insurance is typically not a catastrophe-exposed line of coverage. However, the Colorado floods demonstrated that potential environmental releases from catastrophe storm events should be considered during the underwriting process. Historically, there have been environmental claims from pollutant releases caused by catastrophic storms. Hurricanes and other storms have caused releases of pollutants that resulted in claim payments on environmental insurance policies. Environmental underwriters expect water intrusion into multi-unit residential and commercial structures, and the resulting mold growth, as the most likely claim scenario resulting from an intense rain storm or hurricane.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Fracking the Marcellus Shale from a Quaker perspective
Lancaster Online
AD CRABLE

What do Pennsylvania Quakers think of Marcellus Shale fracking in their midst? Not much good. Three northern Pennsylvania Quakers living amid fracking in northern Pennsylvania, and a Penn State professor who’s studied the economic impact of natural gas development on communities, gathered in Lancaster Sunday afternoon for a panel discussion: “Living on Shale: A Quaker Perspective.”  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Filter Sock Found Near Manning
KFYRTV
Mary Cate Mannion

They look like long butterfly nets, but Dunn County officials are warning the public to stay away from oil filter socks. Last weekend a filter sock was found outside of Manning, found in a road ditch, and while the sock wasn't radioactive officials say the socks can still be dangerous. And as the weather gets warmer groups or more likely to come in contact with socks while cleaning up roadways. "People band together and do ditch cleanups that's where we found this one right outside of Highway 22. We just want to bring to everyone's attention if you come across something that you're unsure of what it is, or you may think it might be one of these to please don't touch it. Contact the sheriff's department or my office so that we can take a look," says Denise Brew the emergency manager of Dunn County.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Round Two: Exxon Mobil Discloses Fracking Risk
Seeking Alpha
Don Dion

Summary ExxonMobil has agreed to disclose environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing. This report follows an agreement to disclose a Carbon Asset Risk report last month.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
Fracking firm to drill on former explosives site - Dart Energy
Coal Guru


A leading fracking firm is to start drilling on the former site of a huge explosive factory, in a decision described as beyond comprehension by the local MP. Dart Energy, which is expected to begin drilling this weekend, said the site is absolutely safe. But opponents say there is a risk of unexploded bombs and that safety tests have not yet been completed. The revelations add to concerns about the regulation of unconventional gas exploration in the UK, which has seen deformed wells go unreported, planning rules breached and trespassing. The 500 acre Royal Ordnance Factory Ranskill, near Daneshill Lakes in Nottinghamshire, was one of three built to produce cordite during world war two. Another explosive, RDX, was produced after the war and the site was broken up in 1975 and is now mostly woodland and farmland. The original planning statement submitted for work on the site claimed there are no recorded past workings on the site.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
US Wind Farms Need Subsidies Restored in Face of Fracking Bonanza
International Business Times
M Rochan

America's wind power sector wants the government to reinstate the subsidies that spawned the $14bn US wind farm industry, because it is now struggling to survive in the face of a fracking bonanza. The restoration of government subsidies, worth $23 per megawatt hour to turbine owners, would breathe new life into the US wind turbine industry, which has been hit by lower gas prices. Gas prices in the US averaged $3.73 in 2013 as fracking boosted gas reserves in the world's leading economy, with the promise of much more to come; the price had stood at $8.90 in 2008.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2014
First Fracking Trial in U.S. opens in Dallas
Matthews & Associates


DALLAS — The firstZoloft lawsuit fracking trial in the U.S. opens in Dallas today. Texans Bob and Lisa Parr of Wise County are suing Aruba Petroleum for property and personal damages which the couple claims they have suffered as a result of Aruba’s fracking operations. The Parr property was surrounded by natural gas frackers in 2009. The Parrs charge that frackers have so polluted their air and water as to destroy their right to peacefully enjoy their home and property and properly care for their pets and livestock, some of whom have died as a result of the fracking pollution, according to the complaint against Plano, Texas-based Aruba Petroleum.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Fracking the Marcellus Shale from a Quaker perspective
Lancaster Online
Ad Crable

What do Pennsylvania Quakers think of Marcellus Shale fracking in their midst? Not much good. Three northern Pennsylvania Quakers living amid fracking in northern Pennsylvania, and a Penn State professor who’s studied the economic impact of natural gas development on communities, gathered in Lancaster Sunday afternoon for a panel discussion: “Living on Shale: A Quaker Perspective.”  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
NECESSARY MEASURES: WHY I JOINED THE IDC
City & State
Tony Avella

State Sen. Tony Avella explains why he joined the Independent Democratic Conference. There have been rumors and assumptions that I had to compromise my values to join the IDC. Well, there is a reason they are called rumors and assumptions. I have every intention of continuing to fight for issues that are important to my constituents and New Yorkers as a whole, such as a statewide ban on hydrofracking, expanded senior center programs, good-government legislation, animal welfare, additional higher education funding, tax relief for middle class property owners and stronger renters’ rights.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Connecting the dots: Field notes from the Fayetteville, Ark. shale
Athens News
Christine Hughes

In Arkansas, we met families who suffered many debilitating health symptoms from the air around the fracking sites. One woman we met, Tracy Wilson, operated a state and federally licensed wildlife-rehabilitation center before the drilling began. The landmen came to sign up leases around her, and threatened to assimilate the property if she and her husband refused to lease.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
ACTIVISTS SHINE LIGHT ON FRACKING
Fredericksburg.com
Cathy Dyson

While residents in other counties document violations on Facebook or feed them to the federal government, Pitcock and her crew let researchers and journalists, conservationists and environmentalists see for themselves the impact and infrastructure that natural gas drilling brings.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Fracking the Marcellus Shale from a Quaker perspective
Lancaster online
Ad Crable

What do Pennsylvania Quakers think of Marcellus Shale fracking in their midst? Not much good.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Fracking involves more than drilling and disposal
Daily Advocate
Rita McCans & Susan Spille

It isn’t often that area residents have the opportunity to hear leading experts speak on the pollution caused by fracking and the fossil fuel industry. Three experts in the fields of drilling, health and environment are coming to Greenville from Michigan and New York and one of Ohio’s gas producing counties to tell local residents how the oil and gas industry is polluting wells, groundwater, farmland and putting our children, water, air, health and livelihoods at risk  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
COLUMN: Fracking’s impact on roads studied
Fredericksburg.com
Scott Shenk

Well, there is evidence that fracking sites can wreak havoc on surrounding roads. A recent study published in the Journal of Infrastructure Systems looked at the impact of fracking operations in the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Shale industry faces global reality check
BBC
Richard Anderson

As US energy costs tumble on the back of shale oil and gas, the rest of the world is gripped with envy. Just four years ago, natural gas prices in Europe were roughly comparable with those in the US; now they are three times higher. In Japan, they are five times higher.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Shale Gas Boom Leaves Wind Companies Seeking More Subsidy
Bloomberg
Christopher Martin

Wind power in the U.S. is on a respirator. The $14 billion industry, the world’s second-largest buyer of wind turbines, is reeling from a double blow -- cheap natural gas unleashed by the hydraulic fracturing revolution and the death last year of federal subsidies that made wind the most competitive of all renewable energy sources in the U.S.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Seismic tests go lacking in fracking
Vindy.com
Tom McParland

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is studying seismic data from wells near last month’s Poland Township earthquakes, but no such review occurred prior to drilling.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Exxon Mobil agrees to disclose the risks of fracking
Dallas Business Journal
Lance Murray

Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. has agreed to publicly disclose additional details of the risks involved in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Anti-Fracking Protest Tops Greenburgh News This Week
Greenburgh Daily Voice


GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Here are some of the stories that topped the news in Greenburgh, Edgemont, and Hartsdale this week: More than 100 anti-fracking protesters picketed outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fund-raiser campaign office.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Young people ready to mobilise and voice opposition to fracking
The Impartial Reporter


Whether or not fracking is permitted will affect these young peoples’ long-term decisions on settling in Fermanagh, they say. “85 per cent of young people don’t know or care about fracking. They don’t read the paper or research the issue online,” states 17-year-old Maeve McCann, from Irvinestown.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Group pushing local control fracking intiative to air first TV ad
KDVR
Eli Stokols

DENVER — The proposed ballot measure to allow Colorado communities to ban fracking isn’t officially on this year’s statewide ballot — but it’s already going up on TV. The group behind the proposal, Coloradans for Local Control, is hitting the airwaves Monday with a 30-second spot that will air on Denver cable.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Declare a California fracking moratorium now
SF Gate
Dan Jacobson & Kathryn Phillips

Water is top-of-mind for most Californians. Amid calls for conservation, we have overlooked an obvious step to protect water supplies: stopping extreme oil-extraction techniques such as fracking and well stimulation.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS RALLY AGAINST FRACKING AT OHIO STATEHOUSE
Stow Sentry
Marc Kovac

Beasley-Martin was among more than 50 people who rallied outside the Statehouse April 2, holding signs urging a ban on fracking and calling on lawmakers to act on the issue.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Fracking and earthquakes: Scientists link rise in seismic activity in Oklahoma to increased oil and gas exploration
THE INDEPENDENT UK
TIM WALKER

Between 1975 and 2008, Oklahoma recorded an average of no more than six earthquakes per year, yet now it is the second most seismically active of the contiguous United States, beaten only by California. Scientists have linked this surge in seismic activity to a parallel increase in oil and gas exploration, including fracking.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Millennium Pipeline’s Hancock compressor station goes online
Mid Hudson News


HANCOCK – The Millennium Pipeline Company has announced that its Hancock Compressor Station went into service on March 31 and is now available to help move natural gas across the northeast region. On March 26, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Millennium authorization to begin service at the Delaware County facility. The compressor station is driven by a 15,700 horsepower natural gas turbine. Key shippers on this project are Southwestern Energy Services Company and WPX Energy. Millennium’s pipeline runs from Corning to Rockland County and is jointly owned by affiliates NiSource Inc., National Grid and DTE Energy.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Pipeline Rupture at Oak Grove Site Leads to Fire: Unrelated Accident Kills Man in Belmont County
Wheeling News-Register
CASEY JUNKINS And SHELLEY HANSON

BELMONT - A natural gas industry worker died Saturday after a piece of equipment crushed him at the Rice Energy drilling site in Belmont County, Sheriff David Lucas said. In an unrelated incident, a 12-inch natural gas pipeline in Marshall County ruptured and caught fire about 8 a.m. Saturday. No one was injured.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
COLUMN: Fracking’s impact on roads studied
Fredericksburg.com


RANSPORTATION is like the Kevin Bacon six-degrees-of-separation phenomenon—pretty much anything you can think of is somehow tied to it. Here’s a case in point: fracking. Fracking—hydraulic fracturing of deep rock formations to extract natural gas and oil—has become a widely popular practice in the United States in the past decade. A Texas-based company hopes to use the controversial well-drilling process in the Taylorsville basin south and east of Fredericksburg, something that could happen by the next year.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
Blast at U.S. LNG site casts spotlight on natural gas safety
Reuters
JOSHUA SCHNEYER, TIMOTHY GARDNER AND RICHARD VALDMANIS

(Reuters) - An unexplained blast this week at a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in rural Washington state, which injured workers, forced an evacuation and raised alarm about a potentially large second explosion, could focus attention on the risk of storing massive gas supplies near population centers.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2014
4.0 magnitude earthquake reported Sunday morning in Oklahoma
Tulsa World
Staff Reports

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a significant Oklahoma earthquake shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday. A 4.0 magnitude quake was recorded at 9:58 a.m. about 2 miles south of Langston. During the past 7 days, USGS has recorded 32 earthquakes in Oklahoma, with the largest being Sunday morning's 4.0 magnitude quake near Langston.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Watershed district, Antero Resources negotiating lease for drilling at Piedmont Lake
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is negotiating its fourth lease for natural gas drilling around Piedmont Lake in three eastern Ohio counties. Colorado-based Antero Resources is seeking access to nearly 6,700 acres.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Fracking’s ‘split estates’ bury profit for many
Fredericksburg.com
Cathy Dyson

The family has owned the rural property since the 1950s, but the Jacksons are just the surface owners. That means they control the top of the ground while someone else owns the mineral rights and dictates what can be taken from beneath the soil. These “split estates,” as they’re called, are common in West Virginia and throughout the Appalachian region, said Greg Buppert, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
‘Almost heaven’ or fracking hell?
Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star


WETZEL COUNTY, W.Va.—John Denver sang about country roads taking him home, but there’s another element on the scene these days that doesn’t fit his description of “almost heaven.” ?Trucks of all shapes and sizes, and by the thousands, rumble over these back roads as they wind up and down mountains and perilously close to stream beds.?Dump trucks, gas tankers and tractor–trailers have pulverized the pavement, causing potholes that look like craters. They’ve also spilled the occasional load, blocked roads and caused traffic jams. ?In Wetzel County, which is so far west its county seat of New Martinsville sits on the Ohio River, drivers fire up their diesel engines long before sunrise and run them well after dark. The only time trucks are not on the roads—in Wetzel, anyway—is when school buses are. ?To one man, the convoys represent just one impact that drilling for natural gas has had on rural life.   [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Sen. Franken urging for creation of oil transport fund in midst of Bakken oil boom
NNCNOW.com


Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minnesota US Senator Al Franken is urging that more money be put toward protecting the state and the nation from potential oil spills while it's being transported by rail. In a letter Friday, the Democratic Senator asked for the creation of a Safe Transportation of Energy Products Fund to address existing, and emerging, issues related to transporting crude oil via train and oil tankers.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Study of oil from deadly derailment points to Bakken crude’s volatility; more research is on the way
The Dickinson Press
Amy Dalrymple

WILLISTON — On July 6 last year, a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota to a refinery in eastern Canada was left parked on a hillside in Quebec. It rolled backward down the hill, derailing and crashing into a small town, with railcars bursting into flames, killing 47 people. While investigators pointed early on to the train’s brakes, the violent explosions prompted Canadian officials to question the volatility of the Bakken crude.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Piping systems best answer for crude oil
The Desert Sun
Morris R. Beschloss

A recent Wall Street Journal roundup regarding the national distribution of oil and natural gas enunciated the fact that fossil fuel from fracking’s rail distribution is proving to be advantageous to a massive multistate piping system. Dwelling on the celebrated Bakken Shale, the poster child of today’s embryonic fracking outburst, the use of a multifaceted rail system has been venerated as a medium for the increasing flow of oil and natural gas emanating from North Dakota’s near 1 million barrels a day produced.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Can You “Reduce Methane Emissions” with an “All of the Above” Strategy?
Grist
Ted Glick

The short answer: no. On March 28th the White House released a 15-page document entitled, “Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.” Here’s the first paragraph: “Reducing methane emissions is a powerful way to take action on climate change [true]; and putting methane to use can support local economies with a source of clean energy [false; it’s not clean] that generates revenue, spurs investment, improves safety and leads to cleaner air [“cleaner” but not “clean”]. President Obama directed the Administration to d  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Series of small earthquakes rock Oklahoma in record seismic activity
Reuters
Carey Gillam

(Reuters) - Earthquakes rattled residents in Oklahoma on Saturday, the latest in a series that have put the state on track for record quake activity this year, which some seismologists say may be tied to oil and gas exploration. One earthquake recorded at 3.8 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey rocked houses in several communities around central Oklahoma at 7:42 a.m. local time. Another about two hours earlier in the same part of the state, north of Oklahoma City, was recorded at 2.9 magnitude, USGS said.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
CLIMATE MEETING TO DISCUSS FUTURE OF FOSSIL FUELS
AP The Big Story
Frank Jordans

BERLIN (AP) — After concluding that global warming almost certainly is man-made and poses a grave threat to humanity, the U.N.-sponsored expert panel on climate change is moving on to the next phase: what to do about it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, will meet next week in Berlin to chart ways in which the world can curb the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are overheating the planet.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Climate Change Threats To 'The Least Of These' Compel Evangelical Christians To Act
Huffington Post
Lynne Peeples

"Climate change is a really bad reason to get divorced." Katharine Hayhoe, a leading climate scientist, recalled the trial she and her husband Andrew, an evangelical Christian pastor, faced when they discovered they weren't on the same page about global warming.   [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Crude oil tanker trains to Yorktown ignite controversy
Daily Press
Tamara Dietrich

Virginia environmentalists and activists are worried that an uptick in tanker trains carrying petroleum crude oil to a new storage and shipping hub in Yorktown is a recipe for disaster. At issue is crude oil from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota — the same crude that's been implicated in derailments and explosions over the past several months from Quebec to Alabama, and is now being shipped by rail through heavily populated and environmentally sensitive areas of the commonwealth. "These trains are traveling through Lynchburg along the James River through Richmond and on to the York County facility on the York River," said Glen Besa of the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club. "We're concerned that a train derailment could result in an explosion and the loss of life, or an oil spill that could jeopardize our drinking water supplies and the environment."  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Gas Line Explosion in Marshall County Results in Fire
WTRF NEWS 7 WV


Moundsville Police responded to a gas line explosion Saturday morning in Marshall County. Numerous crews arrived at the scene on 4th Street in Moundsville, just past city limits. There is no word on injuries or cause at this time. Stay with 7 News for more updates as we get them.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Gap widens in climate change divide under Obama's leadership
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Getty Images The divide between advocates and skeptics over whether to do something about climate change is widening, with both sides growing more certain of their convictions.   [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Oil pipeline proposed in North Jersey through Highlands [Pilgrim]
The Record
SCOTT FALLON

A recently formed company is proposing a new pipeline through North Jersey’s Highlands — potentially along Route 287 — to move oil back and forth between a transportation hub in Albany, N.Y., and the Phillips 66 Bayway refinery in Linden.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
As fracking soars, gas terminal poised for about-face from imports to exports
TimesLeader
Lyle Kendrick Capital News Service (MCT)

COVE POINT, Md. — The natural gas pipes on Dominion’s Cove Point property begin on a pier in the Chesapeake Bay. They then descend underground and run for more than a mile behind the walls of a dimly lit tunnel for foot-brake bicycles that workers use to travel from the dock to shore. Above ground, the pipes pass acres of trees and finally connect to seven massive storage tanks before the gas ultimately travels to American consumers.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Fracking’s ‘split estates’ bury profit for many
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
CATHY DYSON

TYLER COUNTY, W.Va.—What used to be a hayfield on the Jackson property is now a well pad shaped like a bowling alley, with drilling rigs, rumbling diesel engines and steel tanks containing thousands of gallons of chemicals. The Jacksons didn’t give the gas company permission to operate there, but they have to live with the noise, dust and smell it generates. They won’t get any royalty checks when the wells start producing natural gas, but they still have to pay taxes on a field they can no longer use.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Toxic emission spikes at fracking sites are rarely monitored, study finds BY LISA SONG AND JIM MORRIS
The Bellingham Herald
Lisa Song and Jim Morris

People in natural gas drilling areas who complain about nauseating odors, nosebleeds and other symptoms they fear could be caused by shale development are usually told by state regulators that monitoring data show the air quality is fine. But a new study suggests that the most commonly used air monitoring techniques often underestimate public health threats because they don’t catch toxic emissions that spike at various points during gas production.   [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Marc Levine mailer calls for fracking moratorium
Press Democrat
Derek Moore

A mailer Assemblyman Marc Levine sent out across the North Bay last week spotlights his stance on fracking — the controversial fossil fuel drilling practice — and the source of money he used to pay for the correspondence. The San Rafael Democrat, who is seeking a second term in office, is calling for a moratorium on fracking, which Levine described in the glossy mailer next to a smiling photo of himself as “one of the most significant threats to our environment in a generation.”  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Gardner, Udall trade barbs on energy records
Coloradoan
Lynn Bartels

Less than two weeks after Republican Congressman Cory Gardner said he didn’t take stands on local election issues — whether it was legalizing pot or seceding from Colorado — he blasted opponent Mark Udall for not saying where he stands on a fracking issue that could be on the November ballot.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2014
Chevron has no plans to end fracking agreement with Ukraine
SF Gate
David R. Baker

Last year, Chevron Corp. signed an agreement to bring the fracking revolution to Ukraine, hunting for natural gas trapped in shale rocks near the Polish border. Now the government that signed the agreement is gone, toppled by a popular uprising. And Russia's abrupt annexation of Crimea has cast doubt on Ukraine's future.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Congress: Protect Public Health, Not Toxic Chemicals
EcoWatch
Elliott Negin, Union of Concerned Scientists

Americans have long been unwitting subjects in an uncontrolled experiment. For decades, U.S. manufacturers—with the federal government’s blessing—have been producing tens of thousands of untested, potentially toxic chemicals, many of which wind up in our bodies.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Norway's Oil Fund Could Dump Shares in Oil, Coal
ABC NEWS
Mark Lewis

Norway is considering excluding foreign oil and coal companies from its $860 billion sovereign wealth fund, which manages profits from Norway's own fossil fuel industry. In a shake-up of the fund that sharpens its environmental focus, Finance Minister Siv Jensen said Friday she had appointed a panel to assess the question on the grounds of possible damage to the climate. It will report back to the government in November.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
In Defense of Their Land and Water: A Photo Essay
Indypendent
Michael Premo and Andrew Stern

NEW BRUNSWICK, Canada — What would you do if the land and water you depended on for your way of life was put at risk by a powerful energy corporation? As the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract energy resources spreads around the world, rural communities are increasingly forced to confront that question. In the eastern Canadian province of New Brunswick, an indigenous community and non-native locals have dared to challenge the wildly lucrative oil and gas boom sweeping North America. Last October, anti-fracking protesters clashed with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Led by members of the Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation, the protesters set up a road blockade preventing natural gas exploration in the area by the Texas-based energy firm SWN. When the police raided their protest encampment, the melee resulted in more than 40 arrests, a storm of tear gas and the burning of six police cars. The battle made headlines across Canada. In December, SWN announced it was suspending operations in New Brunswick until 2015. - See more at: http://indypendent.org/2014/04/04/defense-their-land-and-water-photo-essay#sthash.rfdbMPoH.dpuf  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Know your filter socks: Dunn Co. sheriff warns citizens to stay away if they find potentially radioactive waste
The Dickinson Press
Katherine Lymn

MANNING — After one of his deputies found a filter sock in a roadside ditch last week, Dunn County Sheriff Clay Coker wants the public to know what they look like if they find one — and to stay away if they do.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Fracking Health Study Narrow, Hasty, and Underfunded Say Health Experts
ENews Park Forest
Press Release

WASHINGTON--(ENEWSPF)--April 3 - Today, a commissioner from Governor Martin O’Malley’s Marcellus Shale Commission joined three leading medical advocacy groups at a press conference in Baltimore in critiquing the timeline and scope of a study on the possible health impacts of shale gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” that is scheduled for release in June. Representatives from the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE), Maryland Environment Health Network (MdEHN), Concerned Health Professionals of New York (CHPNY), Food and Water Watch and Ann Bristow warned that the study is poised to fall woefully short of meeting international standards and health study guidelines for protecting public health.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
INTERIOR: Jewell defends climate 'deniers' remark, fracking regs in House budget hearing
EENews
Phil Taylor

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell yesterday said agency employees face no "litmus test" for their views on global warming but argued that anyone who has visited federal lands will see that climate change is real. Jewell defended a speech she delivered last July to Interior employees in which she said, "I hope there are no climate change deniers in the Department of Interior" and invited any skeptics to view the impacts of droughts, wildfires, storms and coastal erosion on federal lands (E&ENews PM, July 31, 2013).  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Louisiana's Bayou Corne Sinkhole eats well pad. People next?
Examiner
Deborah Dupre

After Bayou Corne's 30-acre sinkhole sucked down more of south Louisiana's treasured environment, and a large portion of a well pad Wednesday, officials worry people might be next. Texas Brine Co. was releasing methane gas pressure from its failed cavern in Napoleonville Salt Dome in Assumption Parish when the latest event occurred.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Yates Planning Board shoots down fracking moratorium renewals
Chronicle Express
John Christensen

The Yates County Planning Board called two towns to task at their meeting Thursday, March 27, for not drafting codes to regulate high impact industrial uses. The Town of Italy and Town of Starkey both proposed local laws to renew their moratoriums on high impact industrial uses, an advised legal technique to halt the drilling and hydraulic fracturing of horizontal natural gas wells that has been so controversial in New York state. In the narrowest of split decisions — 7 to 6 — the Planning Board voted down the renewals.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Environmental Rights & Marcellus Shale: five questions answered
Penn Live
Donald Gilliland

In December the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that overturned as unconstitutional key sections of Act 13, the law passed in 2012 to regulate drilling in the Marcellus Shale. What was the case about? Act 13 was supposed to be a comprehensive answer to many of the issues raised by the drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale. Among the laws provisions were: an "impact fee" (rather than a tax) on drillers, additional environmental protections and a pre-emption of local zoning laws.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Hydrofracking protesters greet Gov. Andrew Cuomo at Tarrytown fundraising event
News 12 Westchester


TARRYTOWN - Hundreds turned out last night to support the re-election of Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a fundraiser in Westchester. Outside, dozens of environmental activists showed up to crash the party at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown. Protesters are calling on Cuomo to ban hydrofracking, the controversial method of drilling for natural gas. The democrat has yet to make a decision on whether to allow fracking in the state, citing the need for further studies. But opponents say the negative impacts of fracking are clear. "Two weeks ago I spent a lot of time in Dodgers County, West Virginia where they're heavily fracked and you would think a lot of jobs come from it, but actually they take a lot of out of states. They come in and they ruin the land and they litter, a lot of the locals aren't getting the jobs," says Samantha Spoto  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Ohio toughens rules on fugitive air emissions from drilling
Ohio.com
Bob Downing

The state of Ohio on Friday tightened up state rules on air emissions from natural gas-oil drilling. Ohio became just the third state in the United States to target what are called fugitive emissions or releases of methane gas from valves, connectors and other drilling equipment in its large-scale Utica shale operations. Ohio is now requiring operators to perform regular inspections to pinpoint equipment leaks from horizontal wells and quickly repair them.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Hickenlooper concerned about EPA-proposed water regulation
Denver Business Journal
Caitlin Hendee

Gov. John Hickenlooper joined 15 GOP senators Thursday to urge the Obama administration to reconsider a rule that would allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate marshes, ponds and streams in states.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Wind, Waves and Liquified Natural Gas
The Indypendent
John Tarleton

n 2011, Gov. Christie vetoed plans for an LNG deepwater port that Liberty sought to build off the coast of Asbury Park, NJ, citing “unacceptable risks to the state’s residents, natural resources, economy and security.”  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Wind Power Has Cut U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions By 4.4 Percent: Report
Huffington Post
Kate Sheppard

WASHINGTON -- The growth of wind power in the United States is putting a significant dent in emissions, according to a forthcoming report from the American Wind Energy Association. Wind generation avoided 95.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2013, which is equivalent to taking 16.9 million cars off the road.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Breaking good — college students spend time off fighting extraction
Waging NonViolence
Dan Fischer

Traffic stood still for a half mile up the narrow, winding road. Fracking workers got out of their trucks and asked what was going on. They soon learned that several protesters had locked themselves in the middle of the road to a tube containing over 600 pounds of cement. The protesters’ large banner, tied to trees in front of them, declared “No Fracking, No Compromise!”   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Plug Methane Leaks in the Booming Natural Gas Industry
Scientific American
Michael Oppenheimer

Compared with coal natural gas emits roughly half the carbon dioxide for each unit of usable energy produced. As a result, the transition in baseload electricity generation underway in the U.S. provides the biggest available opportunity to quickly slash greenhouse gas emissions from power production.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Feds work through millions of comments on fracking rules
Fuel Fix
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told lawmakers on Thursday that regulators are still sifting through more than a million public comments on a proposal to stiffen mandates for oil and gas drilling on public land, which suggests the final regulation could be a long way off. Proposed in May 2012, the measure would be the first major update to rules governing drilling on federal and Indian land in three decades.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Ohio becomes third state to impose rules to curtail ‘fugitive emissions’ from drilling operations
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

Ohio on Friday tightened its rules on air emissions from natural gas-oil drilling at horizontal wells. Ohio became just the third state to target what are called fugitive emissions — the releases of methane gas from valves, connectors and other drilling equipment — at its large-scale Utica Shale operations. Drilling companies now are required to perform regular inspections to pinpoint any equipment leaks and seal them quickly.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Oilsands' Economic Impact Is Not As Big As You'd Think
Huffington Post
Daniel Tencer

Many supporters of the Keystone XL have been warning that failing to build the pipeline — or at least some other infrastructure to carry oil — would be harmful to Canada’s economy.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Data reveals risks involved in all forms of oil transportation
SC Times


As the national debate over the safety of crude oil transportation continues to swirl, two high-profile North Dakota incidents illustrate the risks associated with moving the commodity. More than 865,000 gallons of crude oil spewed out of an underground Tesoro pipeline near Tioga last September, causing millions of dollars in damage and requiring cleanup that may take years.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Spills, Explosions, Earthquakes and War: Welcome to American Energy “Independence”
DeSmogBlog
Don Lieber

A well-deserved show of gratitude to the efficient and reliable fossil fuel sources of American energy independence — oil, coal and gas — is in order, following a truly remarkable string of success stories in recent days nationwide. On March 25, the BP refinery in Whiting, IN, leaked some 1,600 gallons of crude oil about eight miles upstream from a main drinking water inlet to Chicago. (As of this writing, investigators have not yet determined if the oil is conventional crude or heavy tar sands.)  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Extracting a sane energy policy around methane
Washington Post
Editorial

WILL THE United States’ energy revolution hurt the planet or help it? Will fracking for natural gas make fighting climate change harder or easier? Can the United States meet its goal of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent of 2005 levels by 2020? The answer to all of these crucial questions could depend on a colorless, odorless gas that shows up all over the place.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Quakers to discuss living on Marcellus Shale
Lancaster Online
JOAN KERN

Bob Lowing heats his house with natural gas. "Yet I know people living in the areas that supply the gas are struggling," says Lowing, a member of the Environmental Concerns Committee at the Lancaster Friends Meeting House. The committee will hold a forum on "Living on Marcellus Shale: A Quaker Perspective" at the meeting house, 110 Tulane Terrace, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday. Panelists will be four Quakers, three of whom live on some of the most active gas fields in the state.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Exxon Agrees to Disclose Fracking Risks Oil-and-Gas Producer to Detail How It Manages Impact on Air, Water, Chemicals Involved
InsideClimate News
Wall Street Journal

Exxon Mobil Corp. agreed to publicly disclose more details on the risks of hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells, reversing a long-held opposition after negotiations with environmental groups and investors. The Texas oil company's decision is the latest evidence of a shift by Exxon's top executives to address growing environmental worries about fracking, a contentious energy production technique in some North American communities.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
A Green Ruling: Franklin Kury and the 40-year fight for clean air and water in Pennsylvania
PennLive
Donald Gilliland

Five days before Christmas, Franklin Kury stepped off Amtrak's afternoon Keystone service in Middletown, one stop shy of Harrisburg, on a return trip from an eye doctor's appointment in Philadelphia. It was cold, cloudy, and dry. The snow that had fallen two days earlier was beginning to disappear and would be gone entirely if temperatures hit the predicted 70 degrees over the weekend. As the 77-year-old former state legislator started the car, his thoughts were on the good report he received from the doctor - a report Kury looked forward to sharing with his wife Beth over dinner at home in Hummelstown. Kury never suspected the afternoon would become one of the most memorable of his life.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
New pipeline threatens safety, NJ water supply: Opinion
The Star-Ledger
Kate Millsaps

A dirty energy deal coming to New Jersey will have major impacts on our environment and public health. Recently, property owners in northern New Jersey began receiving requests from Pilgrim Pipeline Co. to survey their land for the company’s newly proposed Pilgrim Pipeline. This pipeline would enable Phillips 66, a subsidiary of Conoco Phillips, to import fracked oil to refine at its Linden facility.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Fracking firm to drill on former explosives site
The Guardian
Damian Carrington

Dart Energy says the site is safe, but opponents warn of unexploded bombs and incomplete safety tests  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Exxon Mobil to Reveal Fracking Data
TIME Magazine
Maya Rhodan

The company has agreed to be more transparent about the environmental impact of its shale gas extraction practices amid shareholder pressure from New York City's pension fund, among 13 others, which holds a billion-dollar stake in Exxon Exxon Mobil will begin releasing information about the environmental impact of hydraulic fracking in the coming months, following an agreement with the New York City Comptroller’s office and the non-profit As You Sow.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
1 killed, 1 injured in Howard truck explosion
FOX 11 WV
Ben Krumholz

HOWARD – A truck [CNG] explosion in Howard Thursday afternoon killed the driver and critically injured a passenger. It happened around 1:30 in an industrial area on Pamperin Road, between Velp Avenue and Cornell Road.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Oil train safety: Sens. Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley call for increased spending to boost oversight
The Oregonian
Rob Davis

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both Oregon Democrats, joined Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell and 13 other senators Friday calling for more federal spending to increase oil train safety oversight around the country. “The resurgence of American oil and natural gas production has created new opportunities, but also new challenges,” the senators wrote in a joint letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Americans need to have confidence that transport safety issues are being addressed comprehensively.”  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Battle over EPA probes into fracking/pollution link rages on
Platts
Jim Magill

Energy industry representatives and state officials on Friday ripped into a call by eight Democratic members of Congress for the US Environmental Protection Agency to reopen its investigation into incidents of water contamination in three states. In a Tuesday letter to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, the eight lawmakers called for new EPA probes into water pollution cases in Pavillion, Wyoming; Dimock, Pennsylvania; and Parker County, Texas, three areas in which the EPA had investigated whether gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing activities had impacted groundwater. In each case the EPA had concluded its investigation without proving a link between fracking and water contamination.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Pennsylvania officials have no idea how to assess health threats of fracking
Grist
Eve Andrews

Could it be that frackers are die-hard Ravens fans? That might explain their cavalier attitude about the health of citizens in Steeler Country. Kidding! Money is the motive, yinz – and if Pennsylvanians are exposed to dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in the making of it, who cares? An alarming new study by the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, published in the journal Reviews on Environmental Health, finds that current methods and tools used to measure harmful emissions from fracking wells don’t accurately assess health threats – not even close, in fact.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
UN to probe rules for moving oil by rail
The Globe and Mail
GRANT ROBERTSON

The United Nations is preparing to scrutinize the international rules for moving oil by rail, hoping to prevent another disaster like the mass explosions that devastated Lac-Mégantic, Que., last summer. In the wake of that tragedy, which killed 47 people when a train laden with crude oil derailed and exploded in the heart of the town in July, a UN panel in charge of international hazardous materials regulations said it plans to revisit the rules for moving oil, and how the crude is tested for volatility.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2014
Dominion expansion project moves further down the pipeline
SoMd News
SARAH FLEISCHMAN

One milestone on the way to the possible expansion project at Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas has passed, with several more in the coming months. Wednesday was the last day to submit public comment to the Maryland Public Service Commission, which will make a decision whether to approve the Lusby facility for a generating station.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
House Democrats Call On EPA To Investigate Fracking’s Link To Water Contamination In Three States
ThinkProgress
KATIE VALENTINE

House Democrats are calling on the EPA to reopen an investigation into whether fracking operations contaminated water in Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Texas. Eight members of Congress sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Tuesday, asking her to reopen investigations into water contamination in the three states. The EPA investigations in Pavillion, WY, Dimock, PA and Parker County, TX were all called off between mid-2012 and mid-2013, before the agency determined for sure what had caused each region’s contamination.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Health Professionals Worldwide Demand Urgent Climate Action Following IPCC Report
EcoWatch
Global Climate & Health Alliance

Health and medical organizations from around the world are calling on governments to respond to the major health risks described in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s recent Second Working Group reporting, ‘Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation,’ which was released on Monday.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Oil Company Threatens Landowners: Give Us Property Rights Now, Or You’ll Get Less Money
ThinkProgress
KATIE VALENTINE

TransCanada has doubled down on Nebraska landowners refusing to sign over their land to Keystone XL, warning them that if they don’t accept the current offers by May 14, future offers will be far less lucrative. The deadline comes months after TransCanada upped its cash offers to Nebraska residents by as much as 700 percent to try to persuade them to allow their land to be used for the pipeline’s route. In January, the energy company offered one family $61,977.84 to allow the pipeline to run through their farmland, a huge increase from the $8,900 the company offered them in 2012. The company has offered landowners as much as $250,000 to turn over their land, with some easements including crop damage and land-use compensation.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Air monitoring in fracking areas fails to detect spikes in toxic emissions, new study says
Center for Public Integrity
Lisa Song

People in natural gas drilling areas who complain about nauseating odors, nosebleeds and other symptoms they fear could be caused by shale development usually get the same response from state regulators: monitoring data show the air quality is fine.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
U.N. climate chief urges radical clean-up of oil, gas industry
Reuters
ALISTER DOYLE

(Reuters) - The U.N.'s climate chief called on the oil and gas industry on Thursday to make a drastic shift to a clean, low-carbon future or risk having to leave three-quarters of fossil fuel reserves in the ground. "The time for experimentation, for marginal changes and for conditional response is now over," Christiana Figueres told the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) in a speech in London.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Anti-Fracking Protesters Picket Cuomo Fundraiser In Tarrytown
Yonkers Daily Voice
Danny LoPriore

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- More than 100 vocal anti-fracking protesters from the Westchester area picketed outside the Doubletree Hotel in Thursday while Gov. Andrew Cuomo attended a campaign fundraiser. Fracking, or hydro-fracking, is a method used to get natural gas from rock. New York has plentiful gas deposits trapped in rock deep below ground. To release the gas, drillers pump down million of gallons of water filled with chemicals.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Millennium Pipeline Company Announces Hancock Compressor Station Now On-Line
PR Newswire
Press Release

PEARL RIVER, N.Y., April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Millennium Pipeline Company ("Millennium") announced that its Hancock Compressor Station went into service on March 31, 2014 and is now available to help move natural gas across the Northeast Region. On March 26, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the agency charged with overseeing the interstate natural gas pipeline system, granted Millennium's request for Authorization to Commence Service at the Hancock Compressor Station.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
BLM launches EIS on existing White River National Forest leases
Oil & Gas Journal
Nick Snow

The US Bureau of Land Management initiated an environmental impact statement on 65 existing oil and gas leases in Colorado’s White River National Forest. The move came after the US Department of the Interior’s Board of Land Appeals identified National Environmental Policy Act deficiencies in the leases. BLM’s Colorado River Valley Field Office announced in an Apr. 2 Federal Register notice that it is beginning a 30-day public comment scoping period which will include open house meetings Apr. 15 in Glenwood Springs, Apr. 16 in Carbondale, and Apr. 17 in Aspen. Written comments must be submitted by May 6.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Exxon Mobil agrees to share more data on fracking risks
Reuters
ERNEST SCHEYDER

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, has agreed to disclose more information about the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing, the process known as fracking. In an agreement with New York City's pension funds, which control Exxon shares worth roughly $1.02 billion, the company would report on risks surrounding disposal of fracking waste water, air pollution, methane emissions from oil and natural gas wells, and other issues.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Citi: Natural Gas Prices Don’t Reflect Risks
The Wall Street Journal
NICOLE FRIEDMAN

Natural-gas prices are too low and put the U.S. at risk of not having enough gas in storage next winter and even beyond, say CitigroupC -1.17% analysts in a note published today. Supplies are at 11-year lows, after a tough winter fueled demand for gas-powered indoor heating and ate away at a majority of the nation’s stored gas.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Mind the Fracking Data Gap, Study Says
Climate Central
Bobby Magill

Scientists have long expressed concern about how a lack of data and access to drilling sites prevents a complete scientific assessment of how hydraulic fracturing and oil and gas production affect the climate, environment and public health. A new University of Texas-Austin analysis of natural gas drilling and fracking in urban areas near Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, not only criticizes state and federal regulatory agencies for dismissing public concern about the health and environmental impacts of shale oil and gas development, but illuminates the large gap in understanding about what shale oil and gas production mean for public health and the environment in Texas and beyond.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Mortgages and Hydraulic Fracturing
US Finance Post
Jayson Derrick

People recognizing the many ways in which drilling and hydraulic fracturing can damage the value property has put the mortgage industry on the defensive. This activity is making the industry tighten its lending policies, consequently prohibiting properties with a well on them or properties that are the subject of leasing for the exploitation of unconventional fuels from receiving mortgages. After the debacle concerning North Carolina mineral rights, Credit Union officials have decided officially not to approve more mortgages on properties whose drilling rights are sold to third parties. The credit union, who manages about $12 billion in mortgages alone, said it believes the loans on these properties are riskier than those in which the mineral rights are not separate property.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
The Real News


JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: I'm here at Baltimore City Hall. Anti-fracking activists have just gathered on the last day of public comments for the Cove Point natural gas fracking facility, an issue The Real News has covered before. Behind me you see a stack of about 38,000 public comments that these activists are about to deliver to the Public Service Commission that will ultimately decide whether this project will go ahead or not.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Mars Area school board asked to join fracking fight
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sandy Trozzo

A group of residents wants members of the Mars Area school board to join their fight against a gas well proposed for less than a mile from the schools.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
50-year-old Law May Force Pennsylvania Landowners To Allow Fracking Under Their Properties
International Business Times
Meagan Clark

A Pennsylvania state law more than 50 years old could let an oil and gas company drill under privately owned land, even against the landowners' wishes.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
'We uglified our world and called it progress' : the story of environmental rights in Pennsylvania
Penn Live
Donald Gilliland

The Patriot-News and PennLive have taken an in-depth look at the ruling. It's a story about zoning and setback requirements for drilling pads, Pennsylvania's legacy of coal industry pollution, and the broader implications of our right to breathe clean air and drink pure water.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Pennsylvania officials have no idea how to assess health threats of fracking
Grist
Eve Andrews

An alarming new study by the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, published in the journal Reviews on Environmental Health, finds that current methods and tools used to measure harmful emissions from fracking wells don’t accurately assess health threats – not even close, in fact.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Germany’s Environment Minister: Make Fracking Illegal
Popular Resistance


Germany’s environment minister has called for the controversial gas extraction technique known as “fracking” to be made illegal. Her comments came ahead of an emergency energy summit. The country’s 16 state premiers were set to meet on Tuesday evening in Berlin in an attempt to smooth over disagreements around the financing of the country’s switch over to renewable energy, known as the Energiewende.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
The Real News Network
Jaisal Noor

38,000 petitions submitted against the project while backers say more than 20,000 submitted in support  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Anadarko Petroleum settles U.S.-wide clean-up case for $5.15 billion
Reuters
NICK BROWN

(Reuters) - Energy company Anadarko Petroleum Corp agreed on Thursday to pay more than $5 billion to clean up areas across the United States polluted by nuclear fuel, wood creosote and rocket fuel waste that caused cancer and other health problems. The agreement resolves a long-running lawsuit against the Kerr-McGee energy and chemical company, which Anadarko bought in 2006. The case was brought by a trust representing the U.S. government, 11 state governments, Indian tribes and individuals.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
The Gigantic Hole in ExxonMobil's Doughnut
Huffington Post
Bevis Longstreth

ExxonMobil, in negotiations with shareholder activists that led to withdrawal of their shareholder proposals, agreed to report to shareholders on climate change. On March 31, 2014, ExxonMobil released two lengthy reports, one titled "Energy and Carbon -- Managing the Risks" and the other titled "Energy and Climate." There is much overlap. The first, which is discussed below, most directly responds to the possibility, first identified by the Carbon Tracker Initiative in London, and subsequently being given growing attention by investment analysts and the financial press, as well as the IEA, the IPCC and the United Nations, that there is a gross mispricing of fossil fuel assets on the balance sheets of the top 200 public fossil fuel companies. The mispricing results from the fact that only a fraction of those total proved reserves, say between 20 percent to 40 percent, can be allowed to be burned if the world's governments hold fast to their declared goal of not permitting a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees C from preindustrial times. Carbon Tracker called these unburnable assets "stranded" and the label stuck.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
A Cuomo-led shift from coal to gas may be reversible
Capital New York
SCOTT WALDMAN

ALBANY—Late last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled to Western New York to tout an agreement brokered by his office to keep a Dunkirk power plant in operation by shifting it from burning coal to cleaner natural gas.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Exxon Mobil's response to climate change is consummate arrogance
The Guardian
Bill McKibben

As scientists laid bare the impacts of climate change, the oil and gas giant said climate policies are highly unlikely to stop it digging up fossil fuels. So what are we going to do about it?  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Weak records cited on Pa. shale pollution
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

Even when pollution discharges from shale gas well pads and impoundments contaminate private water supplies, those violations often go unrecorded or publicly reported by state environmental regulators, according to documents filed in the Pennsylvania Superior Court case challenging the constitutionality of the state's oil and gas law, Act 13. According to a 40-page brief, filed with the court in Harrisburg, it is the "practice" of state Department of Environmental Protection regulators not to issue a violation notice, fines or formal determinations of contamination where shale gas development companies reach private settlements with water well owners.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
U.N. climate chief urges radical clean-up of oil, gas industry
Reuters
Alister Doyle

OSLO (Reuters) - The U.N.'s climate chief called on the oil and gas industry on Thursday to make a drastic shift to a clean, low-carbon future or risk having to leave three-quarters of fossil fuel reserves in the ground. "The time for experimentation, for marginal changes and for conditional response is now over," Christiana Figueres told the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) in a speech in London. She urged an "urgent transformation" to greener production after top scientists warned on Monday that climate change would damage food supplies, slow economic growth and aggravate the underlying causes of armed conflicts.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
‘Don’t Waste Ohio’ Coalition Says No to Fracking Wastewater Injection Wells
EcoWatch


A coalition of local, statewide and national groups concerned about toxic waste from fracking, gathered yesterday at the Ohio statehouse for “Don’t Waste Ohio” Legislator Accountability Day. The coalition called for an end to Ohio being used as a regional dumping ground for oil and gas waste. Participants attending the accountability day met with their legislators in the morning and attended a rally in the afternoon advocating for the passage of legislation in both the House and Senate that would ban fracking wastewater injection wells.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Petroleum geologist to present new evidence on human-induced earthquakes
The Times-Tribune
BRENDAN GIBBONS

A petroleum geologist who served on a committee studying how, when and where fluid injected underground can cause earthquakes will speak today on recent revelations about hydraulic fracturing and underground wastewater injections. Donald Clarke, a California-based petroleum geology consultant and professor at University of Southern California will deliver a talk titled, "Hydraulic Fracturing and Earthquakes: How Do We Move Forward and Do the Right Thing?" at 7 p.m. today at Keystone College. "There are some absolutely new and breaking things," Mr. Clarke said.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
‘Don’t Waste Ohio’ Coalition Says No to Fracking Wastewater Injection Wells
EcoWatch
Food & Water Watch

A coalition of local, statewide and national groups concerned about toxic waste from fracking, gathered yesterday at the Ohio statehouse for “Don’t Waste Ohio” Legislator Accountability Day. The coalition called for an end to Ohio being used as a regional dumping ground for oil and gas waste.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
In Fracking Fight, a Worry About How Best to Measure Health Threats
NBC Philadelphia
Naveena Sadasivam

here are more than 6,000 active gas wells in Pennsylvania. And every week, those drilling sites generate scores of complaints from the state's residents, including many about terrible odors and contaminated water. How the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection handles those complaints has worsened the already raw and angry divide between fearful residents and the state regulators charged with overseeing the burgeoning gas drilling industry.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Fracking, Seismic Activity Grow Hand in Hand in Mexico
Independent European Daily Express


MEXICO CITY, Apr 03 (IPS) - Scientists warn that large-scale fracking for shale gas planned by Mexico’s oil company Pemex will cause a surge in seismic activity in northern Mexico, an area already prone to quakes.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Residents Concerned About ‘Fracking in Our Backyard’ Fracking could impact drinking water in Fairfax County, town hall meeting in Burke told.
The Connection


At a town hall meeting in Burke, area residents, along with members of the Great Falls chapter of the Sierra Club, learned about fracking that could take place nearby in the George Washington National Forest.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Fracking law change is 'despicable'
The Argus


Plans to overturn ancient laws to allow fracking are “despicable”, says campaigners. The Government is looking to change the law so firms can drill under houses without permission of the landowners.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Air monitoring in fracking areas fails to detect spikes in toxic emissions, new study says
Public Integrity
Lisa Song

People in natural gas drilling areas who complain about nauseating odors, nosebleeds and other symptoms they fear could be caused by shale development usually get the same response from state regulators: monitoring data show the air quality is fine.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
RALLY CALLS ON BAN ON FRACKING IN OHIO
The Review
Marc Kovac

COLUMBUS -- Monica Beasley-Martin didn't mince words on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse Wednesday in describing her position on the state's handling of eastern Ohio's emerging shale oil fields. The Trumbull County woman, who has advocated for a ban on fracking activities in the Youngstown area, voiced her disgust about illegal oil field waste dumping, drilling near drinking water supplies and injection wells.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Chesterfield gears up for fracking fight
Gazette Net
Fran Ryan

CHESTERFIELD — Though Chesterfield is not one of the towns a proposed natural gas pipeline is expected to traverse, organizers there say they want to ask the town to adopt a resolution opposing fracking.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2014
Toxic Emission Spikes at Fracking Sites Are Rarely Monitored, Study Finds
Inside Climate News
Lisa Song & Jim Morris

Gas drilling facilities have sporadic emission spikes that spew toxins harmful to human health, but states rarely monitor these fleeting events.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Don't use our water for fracking
Albany Times Union
Elisabeth N. Radow--Opinion

But, across America, the proliferation of unconventional drilling operations like fracking are revolutionizing home ownership — not in a positive way.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
EPA asked to reopen probe into local water contamination
Weatherford Democrat
Staff Reports

Congressman Matt Cartwright, of Pennsylvania, and seven other U.S. representatives have signed a letter asking the EPA and its administrator, Gina McCarthy, to reopen its investigations into water contamination issues that are possibly related to oil and gas drilling operations.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Anti-fracking activist fights Cabot injunction in court
Innovation Trail
Matt Martin

“They didn’t want me bringing people near the sites, on the sites. But most of the time I was off the site. I was on the road.” So, to try to keep her away from their operations, Cabot filed an injunction last October that barred Scroggins from any land they own and the land they lease for drilling.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Congress members ask EPA to reopen three fracking investigations
Grist
John Upton

A crew of Democratic House members are calling on the EPA to do its damned job — specifically, to investigate potential links between pollution and fracking in three states where groundwater has been mysteriously poisoned.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Critics plug oil-pipeline bill
The Durango Herald
Joe Hanel

DENVER – A bill allowing companies to use eminent domain for oil pipelines died Wednesday after sponsors heard an outcry from industry opponents. Until recent weeks, most opponents of the bill were Northeast Colorado conservatives concerned with property rights. But it was opponents of hydraulic fracturing who sealed the bill’s fate by swamping the phone lines of Democratic legislators. “It was becoming something that it wasn’t. Perception became reality,” said the sponsor, Rep. Jenise May, D-Aurora.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Don't use our water for fracking
Times Union
Elisabeth N. Radow

A home typically represents a family's most valuable asset and, historically, is a place people can exercise control and enjoy peace and privacy. But, across America, the proliferation of unconventional drilling operations like fracking are revolutionizing home ownership — not in a positive way.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Greens groups: Court ruling opens door for polluters
The Hill
Laura Barron-Lopez

Green groups assailed the Supreme Court for striking down limits on campaign contributions on Wednesday, calling it a handout to the nation's biggest polluters. Groups like the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and NextGen Climate Action have argued that climate change policies have the power to become wedge issues in 2014 and future elections, but Wednesday's ruling may change that.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA didn't disclose health risks in pollution tests
The Hill
Laura Barron-Lopez

EPA POLLUTION STUDIES: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) got a slap on the wrist from its internal watchdog Wednesday for withholding information about potential risks to participants in studies on pollutants. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that although the EPA obtained approvals from participants before exposing them to airborne exhaust and diesel pollutants, it did not disclose that inhalation could cause cancer.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
U.S. gas exports: disenfranchising Maryland to spite Russia? [Commentary]
The Baltimore Sun
Mike Tidwell

So, the United States can still respond quickly when democratic norms are trampled by a dictatorial power abroad. Good for Ukraine. Too bad Washington doesn't seem to care when the trampling occurs right here at home — at least not when the U.S. gas industry is involved. Right now, as the drama unfolds in Crimea, millions of Marylanders are facing the possible imposition of new and disruptive gas pipelines and compressor stations across much of their state. The gas would come from controversial "hydraulic fracturing" — or fracking — wells spread across the Appalachian region. It would be piped through Maryland to a massive $3.8 billion "liquefaction" plant for natural gas at a place called Cove Point right on the Chesapeake Bay.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Court tosses fracking water lawsuit
Rochester City Newspaper
Jeremy Moule

A lawsuit that could have stopped the Village of Painted Post from selling large quantities of water to a Shell subsidiary for fracking use has been dismissed.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Murkowski leads effort to push Keystone XL pipeline, LNG exports
UPI
Daniel J. Graeber

Rider to unemployment bill would sanction Keystone XL pipeline, LNG exports.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Congress members ask EPA to reopen three fracking investigations
Grist
John Upton

A crew of Democratic House members are calling on the EPA to do its damned job — specifically, to investigate potential links between pollution and fracking in three states where groundwater has been mysteriously poisoned. Rep. Matt Cartwright’s (D-Pa.) letter, sent Tuesday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy with signatures from seven other lawmakers, follows the agency’s disturbing decisions to drop three investigations into possible connections between fracking and water contamination.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Supreme Court Chooses Dark Money Billionaires Over Environment in Historic McCutcheon v. FEC Ruling
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Environmental groups believe a large favor was handed to corporations, billionaires and the campaigns they fund when U.S. Supreme Court justices decided Wednesday to strike down overall limits on campaign contributions. The 5-4 decision in the case of coal executive Shaun McCutcheon v. the Federal Election Commission (FEC) means that individual contributors no longer face a cap on how many candidates and parties they can fund in an election cycle. That unnerves environmental groups who have been fighting against the once-quiet contributions of coal and fossil fuel supporters like the Koch Brothers who fund legislators that favor anti-renewable energy policies.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
What's more dangerous to your health than fracking? The EPA, apparently
Washington Examiner
ASHE SCHOW

It turns out that while environmentalist groups try to link fracking to cancer, the Environmental Protection Agency was actively exposing people to dangerous carcinogens — for their own good, of course. An EPA inspector general's report found that the agency did obtain approval to conduct five "human research studies" exposing "81 human study subjects to" toxic pollutants including diesel exhaust. The IG report found that "exposure risks were not always consistently represented."  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
US Falling Emissions a Mirage: Offshoring and Fracking
Truthout
Bruce Melton,

America's emissions are not falling, as suggested by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The two main reasons are offshored goods and services and fracked natural gas. The EIA does two things that obscure reality when evaluating emissions. One is that it counts only emissions made in the United States. All those goods and services made in China or other developing nations don't count against US emissions. The other is the warming potential of other greenhouse gas emissions. The EIA counts only CO2 as a greenhouse gas.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Court Order Allows Fracking Company to Ban Local Woman From 40 Percent of County:VIDEO
EcoWatch


In Oct. 2013, Cabot Oil and Gas obtained an injunction against Vera Scroggins, who has been bringing the dangers of fracking to public attention for the last five years through her videos and bus tours of fracking sites in the county where she lives, Susquehanna County, PA.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Anti-Fracking Protesters To Confront Gov. Cuomo At Tarrytown Fundraiser
Bedford Daily Voice
Danny LoPriore

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Anti-Fracking groups plan to stage a protest with hundreds attending Thursday when Gov. Andrew Cuomo visits Tarrytown for a campaign fundraiser at the Doubletree Hotel on Broadway overlooking the Tappan Zee Bridge.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
‘Stop Cove Point’ Coalition Delivers Over 38,000 Public Comments to MD Regulators
Chesapeake Climate Action Network


BALTIMORE—Health, faith, environmental, community and business leaders converged in Baltimore this morning to hand-deliver a record 38,000 public comments urging the Maryland Public Service Commission to reject a controversial liquefied natural gas export facility proposed at Cove Point in southern Maryland. Today is the final day for public input on a key state-level permit that Virginia-based Dominion Resources needs to construct the Cove Point facility, which would take gas piped from fracking wells across Appalachia, liquefy it along the Chesapeake Bay, and export it to Asia.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Fracking Exports Will Leave U.S. Communities in the Dark
EcoWatch
Wenonah Hauter & Mark Ruffalo

Last month, thirty Senate Democrats—members of the “climate caucus”—stayed Up All Night on the Senate floor to speak out about climate change. This was an important moment to highlight the most critical environmental issue of our time. What was not mentioned however, was the massive threat to our planet posed by exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) extracted through the increasingly controversial process known as fracking.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Is fracking connected to the recent earthquakes in Southern California?
89.3 KPCC
Dorian Merina

After a series of earthquakes hit Southern California recently, some residents and city officials turned their attention to hydraulic fracturing— or fracking — and possible links between the controversial practice and seismic activity.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
City of Plattsburgh takes stand on hydrofracking
Press-Republican
JOE LoTEMPLIO

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh councilors agreed to a resolution banning several activities associated with hydraulic fracturing, joining a long list of communities across the state to do so. “There are 210 communities across the state that have done this, and I would be very proud if we can add the city to that growing list,” Councilor Michael Kelly said at a recent Common Council meeting.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Shale Gas Fracking, GMO, Poverty, Bankruptcy: Stop the Corporate Plunder, Flush the TTIP Agreement, Campaign for an “Alternative Trade Mandate”
Global Research
Colin Todhunter

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership ( TTIP – previously known as TAFTA, Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement) is a trade agreement that is presently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. There is growing concern that the negotiations could result in the opening of the floodgates for genetically modified organisms and shale gas (fracking) in Europe, the threatening of digital and labour rights and the empowering of corporations to legally challenge a wide range of regulations which they dislike. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy and, while striving to give the appearance of somehow being democratic, effectively constitute part of the ongoing corporate hijack of democracy and the further restructuring of economies in favour of elite interests (1,2,3,4,5,6). A European alliance of over 50 civil society organizations (7) are in the process of launching the ‘Alternative Mandate’ pledge campaign (8), calling on European Parliament election candidates to make EU trade and investment policy serve people and the planet, not just the profit of a few large corporations.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Pennsylvania regulators ‘slow and unprepared’ in responding to fracking health threats
ProPublica
Naveena Sadasivam

There are more than 6,000 active gas wells in Pennsylvania. And every week, those drilling sites generate scores of complaints from the state’s residents, including many about terrible odors and contaminated water. How the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection handles those complaints has worsened the already raw and angry divide between fearful residents and the state regulators charged with overseeing the burgeoning gas drilling industry. For instance, the agency’s own manual for dealing with complaints is explicit about what to do if someone reports concerns about a noxious odor, but is not at that very moment experiencing the smell: “DO NOT REGISTER THE COMPLAINT.” When a resident does report a real-time alarm about the air quality in or around their home, the agency typically has two weeks to conduct an investigation. If no odor is detected when investigators arrive on the scene, the case is closed. “The time that it takes them to respond is something people are concerned about,” said Matt Walker, a community outreach director for the Clean Air Council in Pennsylvania, an environmental advocacy organization. Waiting a few days to two weeks to respond to odor complaints, he said, is “way too long.”  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Foes: Gas pipeline proponents are in for fight
Nashoba Publishing
Jack Minch

ASHBY -- Opponents of a proposed natural gas pipe line that will pass through the Merrimack Valley predict an uphill fight for approval. "I have never seen a fracked pipeline go through such a blue state; it will definitely be harder than rural Pennsylvania," environmental attorney Jay Duffy said. "This is unprecedented and I think they're in for it." Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is proposing extension of a 30-inch gas pipe that would need a 50-foot easement for workers to access, Duffy said. The proposed gas line originates in Pennsylvania and would go through Wright, N.Y., into Berkshire County and eventually through Winchendon, Ashburnham, Ashby, Townsend and continue on to Dracut, said Bruce Winn of Berkshire Environmental Action Team.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Admin change can partly bypass US oil export ban: GOP's Murkowski
Reuters


Source: Vildana Hajric | CNBC A U.S. government office has the power to approve exports of an abundant type of petroleum and help energy companies begin to partially bypass a 40-year ban on crude exports, according to a report released on Tuesday by Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The ban on crude exports the government put in place after the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s includes a prohibition on exports of unprocessed condensate, a light petroleum that appears in oil reservoirs as a gas, but condenses to a liquid when it leaves the well. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), an office of the Department of Commerce, can simply modernize its definition of crude to exclude the condensates from the ban, according to the report called "License to Trade: Commerce Department Authority to Allow Condensate Exports." BIS has changed definitions of other types of petroleum for decades, it said.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Refinery plans to ship 100 train cars of crude oil through Sacramento
Sacramento Bee
Tony Bizjak and Curtis Tate

A Bay Area refinery’s plan to run up to 100 train cars of highly flammable crude oil daily through Sacramento is prompting a late push by area leaders to protect cities on the rail line. Sacramento officials say they only recently learned that a proposed rail terminal at the Valero company’s refinery in Benicia could dramatically increase the number of trains carrying crude oil through the region, including through populated downtowns. They say they are scrambling to fashion a joint statement to Valero officials expressing concerns. The trains would travel on the Union Pacific line that runs through both the Roseville and downtown Sacramento railyards, as well as through downtown West Sacramento and Davis. Those are the same tracks that carry Capitol Corridor passenger trains between Sacramento and the Bay Area.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Key senator says U.S. office can lift part of oil export ban
Reuters
Timothy Gardner

A U.S. government office has the power to approve exports of an abundant type of petroleum and help energy companies begin to partially bypass a 40-year ban on crude exports, according to a report released on Tuesday by Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The ban on crude exports the government put in place after the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s includes a prohibition on exports of unprocessed condensate, a light petroleum that appears in oil reservoirs as a gas, but condenses to a liquid when it leaves the well. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), an office of the Department of Commerce, can simply modernize its definition of crude to exclude the condensates from the ban, according to the report called "License to Trade: Commerce Department Authority to Allow Condensate Exports." BIS has changed definitions of other types of petroleum for decades, it said.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Itochu Writes Down Samson Investment as U.S. Shale Bet Sours
Bloomberg News
Yuriy Humber and Ichiro Suzuki

Itochu Corp. (8001), Japan’s third-largest trading house, said it booked another writedown on its investment in oil and gas producer Samson Investment Co., as its bet on the U.S. shale boom sours. The latest impairment of 29 billion yen ($279 million) follows charges of about 33 billion yen reported by the Tokyo-based company last year. Itochu has now written down most of the 78 billion yen, worth $1.04 billion at the time, it paid in 2011 for a 25 percent stake in family-owned Samson. The development of shale, which involves extracting hydrocarbons from rock formations through chemical injections, has slapped investors with writedowns in the last two years after U.S. gas prices fell to their lowest level in more than a decade in April 2012. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, in August 2012 announced a $2.8 billion writedown of its U.S. shale gas assets. Itochu joined a KKR & Co.-led purchase of most of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Samson as part of the biggest leveraged buyout in the oil and gas production industry, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It is also Itochu’s third-largest acquisition in raw materials. The loss reported today will be reflected in its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, Itochu said, although it won’t have an impact on its full-year profit estimate. On Feb. 4, Itochu raised its net income forecast for the 12 months ended March 31 to 310 billion yen. The Samson purchase included oil-producing fields in North Dakota and the U.S. northwest, and shale-gas fields in Texas and Louisiana. It excluded its onshore Gulf Coast and deep-water Gulf of Mexico assets, which were retained by Samson’s family owners.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Eni Seeks to Renegotiate All Gas Contracts Amid Ukraine Crisis
Bloomberg News
Anna Shiryaevskaya

Eni SpA (ENI), Italy’s biggest oil producer, is seeking to renegotiate all of its long-term natural gas contracts after tensions between Russia and the European Union over Ukraine questioned the existing supply mix and forced the continent to look at alternatives. Eni yesterday signed a final agreement with Statoil ASA (STL) on revision of terms of a long-term gas contract, the Italian company said in a statement. The deal means the end of arbitration proceedings initiated by Eni, the company said. “The agreement with Statoil, which is particularly important considering recent international political developments, is part of Eni’s effort to renegotiate all third-party long-term gas supply contracts, with the target of achieving a competitive portfolio by 1 January 2016,” Eni said. An Eni official, who declined to be identified in line with company policy and confirmed the reference was to the situation in Ukraine, declined to comment on the details of the agreement. Eni, OAO Gazprom’s biggest buyer, is seeking to diversify its supply sources, with Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni saying on March 20 that Italy could live without Russian gas and has more liberty on the fuel compared with other European nations. The country, which is 29 percent dependent on Russian gas, also buys the fuel by pipeline from North Africa and as liquefied natural gas shipped by tankers. Russia taking control over Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula pushed the EU to review its 30 percent dependence on Russia in its total gas needs and seek alternatives, including options from more LNG to shale gas.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Editorial board: We need reality on LNG exports and Russia
Casper Star Tribune
Editorial

To put it kindly, the Soviet Union and its successor, the Russian Federation, have long played fast and loose with the truth. The whopper Wyoming’s junior U.S. senator, John Barrasso, uttered last week did not rise to the Russians’ and Soviets’ level of deceit, but in the truth department, it left a lot to be desired. The land grab in Crimea has turned Russian President Vladimir Putin into every American politician’s favorite foreign leader punching bag. Barrasso chimed in with some fighting words of his own. Despite their passion, however, they lacked an important characteristic: plausibility.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
SUPREME COURT SIDES WITH POLLUTERS, NOT THE PEOPLE
Compass
Sierra Club

The 112th Congress was saturated by more than $34 million in direct campaign contributions from oil, gas, and coal interests. In addition, dirty fuel interests spent $270 million on television ads in just the last two months of the 2012 electoral cycle. And, on top of all that, the Koch Brothers reportedly spent $400 million in 2012. That's a pair of oil barons spending more in one cycle than John McCain's entire Presidential campaign spent in all of the 2008 cycle. It's an unbelievable state of affairs. And, today, with their ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, the Supreme Court made a terrible situation much, much worse.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Fracking is frozen, but gas flows
Capital New York
SCOTT WALDMAN

ALBANY—Andrew Cuomo may have put a freeze on the possibility of fracking in New York, but the supply of fracked natural gas coming into the state from elsewhere is greater than ever. Last year, a record number of New York City’s buildings converted from oil to gas. And even as the governor defers a decision on whether to permit fracking in the name of a very long health study, his administration is pushing aggressively to convert coal-burning power plants to cleaner-burning natural gas. In other words, New York is growing ever more reliant on fracking, even if none of that fracking is happening here.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Fracking Health Study Narrow, Hasty, and Underfunded Say Health Experts
Common Dreams
Press Release

Call On Gov. O’Malley and Maryland Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission To Extend Deadline On Health Study WASHINGTON - April 3 - Today, a commissioner from Governor Martin O’Malley’s Marcellus Shale Commission joined three leading medical advocacy groups at a press conference in Baltimore in critiquing the timeline and scope of a study on the possible health impacts of shale gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” that is scheduled for release in June.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
House Dems ask EPA to investigate nat gas drilling’s connection to water contamination
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Eight Democrats in the House have asked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reopen its investigations into water contamination incidents in Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Texas that they say may have been connected to natural gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. EPA investigated all three cases, but stopped two of investigations before reaching conclusions, leaving further research to the states, the members said. The third case was closed, but EPA’s inspector general recommended more research, according to the Associated Press.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
It’s a Wind-Wind Situation
TIME Magazine
Victoria Bekiempis

For thousands of years, humans have tried to control the weather. In the ancient Near East, people would plead for relief from storm gods by leaving amulets at special temples. Later, in Mesoamerica, the Maya had a go at weather manipulation—they tried to trigger rain by throwing women down wells. As these strategies fell out of favor, science picked up the slack, with a bit more luck. For example, "cloud seeding," largely spearheaded in the 1940s by Bernard Vonnegut (the older brother of novelist Kurt Vonnegut) entails adding chemicals such as silver iodide to clouds to encourage the development of rain droplets or snowflakes. In some cases, this method has resulted in precipitation increases of 10 percent.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
NC State Study: Financial Cost Of Fracking In NC Could Outweigh Benefits
WUNC
Jorge Valencia

North Carolina’s economy could gain more from off-shore gas and oil drilling than from drilling on land, and the financial cost of drilling on land could outweigh the benefit, according to a report state lawmakers received on Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Watch a Climate Denier Label IPCC Report as UN’s ‘Perverse Priorities’ on Fox News
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Unfortunately, Fox News was not playing an early April Fools’ joke this week when anchor Neil Cavuto began a segment by attacking the United Nations for releasing the most groundbreaking report on climate change you may have ever seen.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Oil and gas industry blasts Flower Mound research, attacks researcher's credibility
Dallas Business Journal


The oil and gas industry is questioning the credibility of a researcher who concluded that a cancer cluster existed in Flower Mound while drilling, fracking and natural gas production was occurring in the town.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
House Dems ask EPA to investigate nat gas drilling’s connection to water contamination
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Eight Democrats in the House have asked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reopen its investigations into water contamination incidents in Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Texas that they say may have been connected to natural gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Oklahoma attorney general says EPA study of fracking is unnecessary
The Oklahoman
Jay F. Marks

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt isn’t high on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest review of hydraulic fracturing regulations. Pruitt on Wednesday sent a letter to the office of the inspector general at the EPA in response to a Feb. 5 memorandum detailing plans to evaluate how the agency and states have done in regulating the process’s impact on water resources. “I am concerned that this project is politically motivated and ignores the EPA's three previous failed attempts to link hydraulic fracturing to water contamination,” Pruitt wrote. “The U.S. Department of Energy has investigated hydraulic fracturing's potential harm to water supplies and found no evidence linking the drilling technique to groundwater contamination.”  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Thompson Divide leases extended 2 more years over environmental questions
GREENFIELD DAILY REPORTER
Associated Press

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is extending gas leases for two energy companies in the disputed Thompson Divide area for another two years while the agency works to resolve environmental issues. The agency admitted a "deficient" environmental analysis resulted in the leases being issued 11 years ago in the area south of Glenwood Springs.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Udall, Gardner trade barbs on energy records in U.S. Senate
Denver Post
Lynn Bartels

Less than two weeks after Republican Congressman Cory Gardner said he didn't take stands on local election issues — whether it was legalizing pot or seceding from Colorado — he blasted opponent Mark Udall for not saying where he stands on a fracking issue that could be on the November ballot.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2014
Natural Gas Activist Steingraber One Year Since Civil Disobedience Arrest
Liberty Voice
Lawrence Shapiro

One year ago, on Apr. 17, 2013, environmental scientist activist Sandra Steingraber gave a prepared statement concerning natural gas extraction and its potential consequences, on the occasion of her sentencing for trespassing, an act of civil disobedience which prompted her arrest. On March 18, 2013, she and 11 others stood in an access road near Seneca Lake, NY and blocked the passage of a truck carrying a drill head belonging to the energy company Inergy, destined for a fracking site. Before they were arrested for trespassing, the group linked arms, and Steingraber read from another prepared statement. “This is my first experience with civil disobedience. Here is an explanation of my actions.” She introduced herself as a biologist and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College. She is 54 years old and the mother of a teenage son and daughter. She is married to an art teacher and lives approximately fifteen miles from the gas storage site.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Exxon to Reopen Ruptured Arkansas Pipeline, but Cause of Its Failure Remains Unknown
InsideClimate News
Elizabeth Douglass

Exxon laid out its intentions Monday to reopen the 650-mile northern section of the Pegasus, saying the investigation into the Arkansas spill is complete.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Science and Oil Don't Mix: Wyoming Becomes First State to Reject New U.S. Science Standards for Schools
Take Part
Suzi Parker

It's official: Wyoming has become the first state to block a new set of national science standards that address climate change. Republican Gov. Matt Mead signed the bill earlier this month, rejecting the Next Generation Science Standards, a set of federal K–12 curricula supplementing the Common Core State Standards and developed over three years by national science education groups and representatives from 26 states.   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
COULD THIS HAPPEN HERE?
Syracuse NewTimes
Ed Griffin-Nolan

Is Syracuse Ready for this Crude Oil? When you think of crude oil, you might think Texas, or Louisiana. You probably don’t think North Dakota, and you certainly don’t think Syracuse. But a vast new find in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale oil fields has begun to produce so much oil that the nation’s pipelines cannot get it to refineries fast enough. The surplus oil makes its way to coastal refineries on railroad cars that experts call unsafe.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Energy executives turn pessimistic about industry’s future
Fuel Fix
Ryan Holeywell

HOUSTON — Chief financial officers of some of the largest energy companies are more pessimistic than the rest of the business community on earnings growth this year, according to a new survey released by the consulting firm Deloitte. Despite a U.S. energy boom, energy executives forecasted the second-lowest sales growth and domestic personnel growth of any industry in the study.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Unions tell FERC Constitution would mean jobs
Times Journal
Patsy Nicosia

Dianne Sefcik of Westerlo, who has both the Iroquois and Tennesee Gas pipelines in her backyard, said the DIES is "so flawed, so incomplete, so biased in favor of the gas industry, that FERC should recuse itself." Bob Nied, who pointed out that he's a retired 35-year union member, said the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities, created in part to support local art and culture, has done nothing bur focus on the pipeline for the last 18 months as they've "listened to stories of bullying and intimidation on the part of landmen, pitting neighbor against neighbor, family member against family member. "I've grown emotionally weary...I suspend my pride and I beg you" not to approve this.   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Gas explosion at LNG facility in Washington prompts concerns about proposed export terminals in Oregon
The Oregonian
Ted Sickinger

Developers of the mammoth liquefied natural gas terminals proposed near Astoria and Coos Bay have downplayed public safety concerns since arriving in Oregon a decade ago, emphasizing the industry’s stellar safety record around the globe. Independent experts agree the track record is solid. But the debate could be reignited after Monday’s gas explosion at an LNG facility near the Columbia River at Plymouth, Wash.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Neighbors fear compressor station
New Castle News
Mary Grzebieniak

NEW CASTLE — A group of residents said they will go to court if a gas compressor station is built on Baird Road. Mike Angelo of Hillsville Road said the group is prepared to sue Mahoning Township and Hilcorp Energy Co. of Texas if the station is approved.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Guest Viewpoint: Lawmakers missed chance to learn more about LPG plan
Star Gazette
Yvonne Taylor

They say that you can lead someone to knowledge, but you can’t make them think. Thank you to the elected officials who attended the recent “Seneca in the Balance” forum, who listened to business owners, heard from health care professionals, considered the positions of elected colleagues and learned from vetted experts who are not on Crestwood/Inergy’s or the government’s payroll. I hope their presentations made them think about the proposed gas storage facility on the western shore of Seneca Lake.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Citigroup Says the ‘Age of Renewables’ Has Begun
Green Tech Media
Giles Parkinson

Investment bank Citi says solar and wind are competing on costs with fossil fuels in the U.S.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
In Fracking Fight, a Worry About How Best to Measure Health Threats
Pro Publica
Naveena Sadasivam

There are more than 6,000 active gas wells in Pennsylvania. And every week, those drilling sites generate scores of complaints from the state’s residents, including many about terrible odors and contaminated water. How the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection handles those complaints has worsened the already raw and angry divide between fearful residents and the state regulators charged with overseeing the burgeoning gas drilling industry.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Carbon Delirium
Huffington Post
Michael T. Klare

The Last Stage of Fossil-Fuel Addiction and Its Hazardous Impact on American Foreign Policy Of all the preposterous, irresponsible headlines that have appeared on the front page of the New York Times in recent years, few have exceeded the inanity of this one from early March: “U.S. Hopes Boom in Natural Gas Can Curb Putin.” The article by normally reliable reporters Coral Davenport and Steven Erlanger suggested that, by sending our surplus natural gas to Europe and Ukraine in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the United States could help reduce the region’s heavy reliance on Russian gas and thereby stiffen its resistance to Vladimir Putin’s aggressive behavior.   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Exxon Report Claims World 'Highly Unlikely' To Limit Fossil Fuels, Despite Risks
Huffington Post
Jonathan Fahey AP

NEW YORK (AP) — On the same day the world's scientists issued their latest report on climate change and the risks it poses to society, the nation's biggest oil and gas company said the world's climate policies are "highly unlikely" to stop it from selling fossil fuels far into the future. Exxon Mobil issued a report Monday on the risks that climate change policies could pose to the value of its assets and future profitability, by coincidence on the same day as the latest paper by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a Nobel Prize-winning United Nations group assembled to assess the science and risks of climate change.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
LETTERS: Water more important than fracking
Las Vegas Review Journal
opinion

To the editor: In the March 22 Review-Journal, an article revealed that Nevada is closer to allowing Noble Energy to operate fracking wells on 370,000 acres of ranch land near Wells in northeastern Nevada (“Nevada a step closer to oil fracking”). We live in a desert, where every ounce of water is precious. A few years ago the residents of Sandy Valley won a water war with Primm and Vidler Water Company, and a statewide war is presently being fought between the Southern Nevada Water Authority and northern residents over the proposed pipeline to compensate for the diminishing quantity of water in Lake Mead. Now we are considering pumping unidentified chemicals into the ground in order to force oil and natural gas to the surface, a process called fracking, which has contaminated groundwater across the nation. There are other sources of energy, but there are no other sources of water. Without the oil, we might have to pay a few more cents at the pump. Without groundwater, we will have to abandon our properties and move elsewhere. Fracking is not worth the risk. ALBERT G. MARQUIS LAS VEGAS  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Judge narrows injunction secured by Cabot Oil & Gas against northern Pa. anti-fracking activist
Pennsylvania Record
JON CAMPISI

A northern Pennsylvania grandmother will once again be able to visit her Scott Michelman Scott Michelman grocery store and other establishments after a state judge eased restrictions on where the anti-fracking activist could go following an injunction secured by a gas company. Susquehanna County Common Pleas Court Judge Kenneth Seaman last week narrowed the injunction that had been placed against Vera Scroggins following a civil action commenced by Texas-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. Attorneys representing the 63-year-old grandmother of two had argued that the injunction, which barred Scroggins from land where Cabot had a lease to extract natural gas from underneath the surface, was too broad and violated the woman’s First Amendment rights.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
UT gas-drilling study raises possible links between fracking and Flower Mound’s ‘cancer cluster’
Dallas News
Jim Mitchell

missed this story last week but it is the reason natural gas drilling belongs as far away from urban populations as possible. A review by a University of Texas at Austin researcher highlights the rapid proliferation of gas industry operations in urban areas and questions whether state and federal air pollution regulatory programs are well designed to ensure health and safety. The review recommends increased government monitoring, health impact studies and regulation of air pollution.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
In Fracking Fight, How to Measure Health Threats?
Scientific American
Naveena Sadasivam and ProPublica

There are more than 6,000 active gas wells in Pennsylvania. And every week, those drilling sites generate scores of complaints from the state’s residents, including many about terrible odors and contaminated water. How the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection handles those complaints has worsened the already raw and angry divide between fearful residents and the state regulators charged with overseeing the burgeoning gas drilling industry.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Trespass law overhauled to make it easier for frackers: Firms will be able to access underground gas without asking
Daily Mail
James Chapman

Fracking firms will be allowed to access vast reserves of underground gas without the permission of landowners under controversial laws being drawn up by the Government. Ministers are preparing an overhaul of trespass legislation to make it easier for firms to ignore objections.   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Three Lies You’re Being Told About Natural Gas
Wall Street Daily
Karim Rahemtulla, Director of Resources

One of the most puzzling aspects of what’s going on in the oil and gas patch is the misunderstanding by so many investors and analysts about the profitability and sustainability of shale oil and gas. We’ve written about the topic a lot – covering both the pros and cons of the argument. The reason we do so is simple. The sustainability of natural gas is critical. After all, we don’t want you to make the mistake of investing in the wrong plays – for the wrong reasons. More often than not, consumers (and investors alike) are confused by three main myths in particular. I’m going to clear things up, so you can make the best decision possible…  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
More Than Fifty Maryland Businesses Oppose Cove Point LNG Export Facility for Fracked gas
Southern Maryland News


April 1, 2014 – Just ahead of an April 2nd deadline for comments to be submitted to the Maryland Public Service Commission, 50 Maryland businesses – including Blue Moon Rising and Moon Shadow Cafe, Three Green Pears, and Financial West Group — are signaling their strong opposition to the plans for the highly controversial liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility at Cove Point on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The signers of the joint letter speaking out against the facility are the business members of the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council and Green America’s Green Business Network.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
City of Plattsburgh takes stand on hydrofracking
Press Republican
JOE LoTEMPLIO

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh councilors agreed to a resolution banning several activities associated with hydraulic fracturing, joining a long list of communities across the state to do so. "There are 210 communities across the state that have done this, and I would be very proud if we can add the city to that growing list," Councilor Michael Kelly said at a recent Common Council meeting.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
"Our Energy Moment": The Blue Engine Behind Fracked Gas Exports PR Blitz
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Behind nearly every major corporate policy push there's an accompanying well-coordinated public relations and propaganda campaign. As it turns out, the oil and gas industry's push to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) plays the same game. And so on February 5, “Our Energy Moment” was born. The PR blitz is described in a press release announcing the launch as a “new coalition dedicated to raising awareness and celebrating the many benefits of expanded markets for liquefied natural gas.”   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Congress to EPA: Investigate and Address Water Contamination From Fracking
EcoWatch


For the first time, members of Congress today called upon U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to “investigate and address the water contamination” in Dimock, PA, in Parker County, TX, and in Pavillion, WY. In all three communities, the EPA has previously withdrawn investigations into water contamination and stopped providing affected residents with clean drinking water. Eight Representatives, led by Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-17), made the request in a letter to Administrator McCarthy.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Albany’s Perilous Oil Boom
The New York Times
Editorial

Daniel McCoy, who manages Albany County and its port on the Hudson River, decided last month, that he had to do something about the dangers presented by the rumbling oil tank cars carrying crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken fields to Albany, from which it is then shipped to refineries in the Northeast. Concerned about the safety of the county’s 300,000-plus residents, Mr. McCoy imposed a moratorium on the expansion of oil processing facilities at the Port of Albany by Global Partners, an energy company that processes the oil so that it can be transferred to river barges. It was the strongest weapon in Mr. McCoy’s limited arsenal, but he was on the right track: Tank cars are accidents waiting to happen, and regulators at all levels should take all possible steps to reduce the risks.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Fracking-study measure advances
Daily Sentinel
Charles Ashby

A bill to study the health and “quality of life” impacts oil and gas development has on Colorado residents cleared a House committee on Tuesday.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Energy Pipeline: Fracking debate bubbles to the political surface
Greeley Tribune
Anne Cumming Rice

While two cities in northern Colorado face lawsuits over fracking bans and moratoriums that voters passed last fall, an even larger debate over fracking is beginning to brew at the state level.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Billionaire helps poke holes in oil industry's argument for drilling Monterey Shale
SanFrancisco Bay Guardian
Rebecca Bowe

“We’ve been told that there’s a great oil boom on the immediate horizon,” billionaire investor and Pac Heights resident Tom Steyer noted at the start of a March 27 talk in Sacramento.   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Congress Calls on EPA to Help Fracking-Affected Communities
eNews Park Forest


WASHINGTON--(ENEWSPF)--April 1 - For the first time, members of Congress today called upon EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to “investigate and address the water contamination” in Dimock, Pennsylvania; Parker County, Texas; and Pavillion, Wyoming. In all three communities, EPA has previously withdrawn investigations into water contamination and stopped providing affected residents with clean drinking water. Eight Representatives, led by Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-17), made the request in a letter to Administrator McCarthy.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
North Carolina: Duke Energy Wants Citizens Groups Barred From Complaint
The New York Times
Associated Press

Duke Energy is asking a judge to prevent citizens groups from taking part in any action that would make it clean up nearly three dozen coal ash pits in the state. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources filed a complaint against Duke last year, and several citizens groups got involved in the case, saying the pits polluted groundwater. But Duke filed a motion on Monday to remove the groups from the case. The motion comes nearly two months after a coal ash spill at a Duke plant coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Pacific Gas and Electric Charged With 12 Felonies in Explosion
The New York Times
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Pacific Gas and Electric was charged Tuesday with 12 federal felony counts involving safety violations linked to a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people in the San Francisco Bay Area. Federal prosecutors allege that the company knowingly relied on erroneous and incomplete information when assessing the safety of the pipeline that eventually ruptured, set off a fireball and leveled 38 homes in San Bruno.   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Explosion at Wash. LNG facility raises questions about terminal near Warrenton
KATU
Bob Heye

WARRENTON, Ore. -- The debate over a liquid natural gas terminal near the mouth of the Columbia River has raged for several years. It’s also drawn protests over the facilities and the pipelines that would send natural gas to it. Dan Seres of Columbia Riverkeeper says an LNG terminal in Warrenton is just too dangerous. “It's too much risk to pose to that kind of community,” Seres says, “So what we're asking the state to do is to really fully assess this risk. I mean they had to evacuate a two-mile radius around that facility in Plymouth - a facility that's much smaller than the Oregon LNG project.”  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Cicio: Obama plan to export natural gas to Europe won't work
Houston Chronicle
Paul N. Cicio

The Ukraine-Russia crisis has Congress and the Obama administration rushing to consider monumental changes to accelerate exports of natural gas that will permanently and negatively affect the energy landscape for natural gas domestically, due to OPEC-linked liquefied natural gas prices. The potential knee-jerk reaction has unsettling consequences for natural gas-intensive industries like chemical, refining, steel and aluminum that are dependent upon affordable natural gas and power - and will in fact, raise costs for homeowners and farmers alike.   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
U.S. review of LNG export plant should weigh shale gas impact -EPA
Reuters
Ayesha Rascoe

(Reuters) - The U.S. environmental regulator has raised concerns that a federal review of Sempra Energy's proposed liquefied natural gas export project did not include an assessment of the potential effects of more natural gas drilling.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Are Drilling Waste Pits a Threat to Texas Groundwater?
State Impact Texas
DAVE FEHLING

In one of the hottest plays for natural gas drilling, Bob Patterson wonders if what the drilling industry leaves behind will come back to haunt the community. “It’s just a ticking time bomb before we have major aquifer contamination,” Patterson told StateImpact. Patterson manages the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District. His office monitors the drilling industry in North Texas, home to the Barnett Shale, which is producing some of the greatest volumes of natural gas in the country.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Senate hears pleas for gas exports to Europe
Vindy.com (AP)
Matthew Daly

Calls to begin U.S. natural gas exports to Europe to counter Russian influence across the continent grew louder last week amid concerns that Russia will move deeper into Ukraine. Lithuania’s energy minister, Jaroslav Neverovic, pleaded in emotional terms for U.S. help, saying his country is “100 percent” dependent on Russia for natural gas and has to pay 30 percent higher prices for it than other countries in Europe. “This is not just unfair, this is abuse,” Neverovic told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
UPDATE 4-Pipe explodes at Williams LNG facility in Washington state
Reuters
Selam Gebrekidan and Scott DiSavino

(Reuters) - A pipeline within a liquefied natural gas facility exploded in a rural area of Washington state on Monday and emergency workers continued to work into the evening to minimize the risk of further blasts from a leaking storage tank. Shrapnel from the explosion within the Williams Companies Inc facility caused a leak in one of two LNG storage tanks at the site near Plymouth in southeastern Washington, said Joe Lusignan, a spokesman for the Benton County Sheriff's office. "It's still volatile; it's still under investigation," Lusignan said late Monday afternoon. "Because of the potential for explosion, we are focusing on making sure that our citizens are safe," Lusignan said.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Indigenous elders condemn Northern Rivers gas exploration
ABC North Coast
Margaret Burin

Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation announced in February that they would partner in a joint gas exploration venture at Bentley. Its chairman stated that the Githabul people are "happy to share gas resources" with people in NSW "in the spirit of reconciliation". Githabul elder Kevin Boota says the people speaking on behalf of the native title corporation were not representative of most elders.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
DEP investigating gas well odor
Metro News


The state DEP is investigating reports of emissions from a gas well drilling site in Tyler County. DEP spokesperson Kelley Gillenwater says the DEP has been at the Jay-Bee Oil and Gas drill site near Big Run since Friday afternoon following citizen complaints about an odor. Gillenwater says emissions may have built up due to a low pressure weather system since so far inspectors have not detected any leaks or spills. DEP inspectors remained on the scene through the weekend and have brought in air monitoring equipment “to find out what went wrong and to prevent it from happening again,” Gillenwater said.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Former DOJ official Lorenzen discusses Obama strategy on methane
eetv


Following last week's announcement by the Obama administration that it will explore the possibility of regulating methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, what are the potential impacts on states and industry if federal methane rules are implemented? During today's OnPoint, Thomas Lorenzen, a partner at Dorsey & Whitney and the former assistant chief in the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Department of Justice, discusses the significance of the interagency analysis and talks about the administration's next steps.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
LNG: Dow's peculiar position in spotlight as export debate rages on
E&E news
Edward Klump and Hannah Northey,

Dow Chemical Co.'s position as one of the country's most outspoken opponents of unfettered exports of domestic natural gas overseas wouldn't be so curious but for one thing. The petrochemical giant still indirectly owns a stake in a proposed export facility in Texas. The position is a hot potato for Dow.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
California City Fights Back Against Dishonest Fracking Corporations, Says No to All Drilling
Care2
se smith

Carson City officials were confused. Their Southern California city had been drilled for oil since the 1920s, depleting much of the easily accessible oil available, yet Occidental Petroleum was asking for permission to sink an additional 200 wells for a large-scale oil and gas development. At the same time, the company was relocating to Texas and creating a separate arm for California operations, a classic tactic used by large corporations to shield themselves from lawsuits. What was Occidental up to? The plan initially called for hydrofracking, but when members of the town protested, the company claimed it wouldn’t frack at the new wells; or, at least, it wasn’t planning to do so in the near future. City Council members weren’t convinced, however, because something about the entire setup seemed a little peculiar to them. Occidental was preparing to sink a lot of time and money into wells that might not yield anything, unless it was planning to frack at the new sites — and maybe it had actually been fracking all along. That wouldn’t come as much of a surprise in the wake of last year’s revelations that the state has been fracked for over a decade without notice or regulations.   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
In Fracking Fight, a Worry About How Best to Measure Health Threats
ProPublica
Naveena Sadasivam

In Pennsylvania, opponents of gas drilling say regulators are slow and unprepared in responding to air quality complaints.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Colorado legislative committee OKs oil and gas health impact study
The Denver Post
Mark Jaffe

Pinpointing the impact oil and gas development may have on health has been elusive, but Colorado legislative committee Monday took a step toward getting the answer, passing a bill for detailed health analysis.   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2014
Council awards Mass. consultant $425K to review PGW sale
philly.com
Andrew Maykuth

Philadelphia City Council, which must approve the proposed $1.9 billion sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works, will pay a Boston-area consultant $425,000 to review the deal. Council President Darrell L. Clarke said Monday that Council would pay Concentric Energy Advisors Inc. $225,000 to review details of the proposed sale, as well as $200,000 for a second contract exploring alternatives to a sale   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
U.S. review of LNG export plant should weigh shale gas impact -EPA
Reuters
Ayesha Rascoe

(Reuters) - The U.S. environmental regulator has raised concerns that a federal review of Sempra Energy's proposed liquefied natural gas export project did not include an assessment of the potential effects of more natural gas drilling. The Environmental Protection Agency issued its finding earlier this month. It urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to weigh indirect greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental effects that would flow from the increase in gas drilling needed to support exports from the Cameron plant in Louisiana.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Climate impacts 'overwhelming' - UN
BBC News
Matt McGrath

The impacts of global warming are likely to be "severe, pervasive and irreversible", a major report by the UN has warned. Scientists and officials meeting in Japan say the document is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the impacts of climate change on the world. Some impacts of climate change include a higher risk of flooding and changes to crop yields and water availability. Humans may be able to adapt to some of these changes, but only within limits.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Feds say Harlem gas main near explosion riddled with holes
NY Post
Daniel PrendergastMarch 31, 2014 | 5:37pm

Nearly three weeks after a gas explosion leveled two East Harlem buildings — killing eight people — the federal agency investigating the disaster said an underground gas main in the area was riddled with leaks. The National Transportation Safety Board had previously reported that at least one leak had been discovered in the 127-year-old gas main running beneath Park Avenue between 116th and 117th streets.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Albany crude oil shipper hit with fine over West Coast terminal
Times Union
Brian Nearing

An oil terminal operator at the Port of Albany under increasing state scrutiny over expansion plans has run afoul of state regulators at its West Coast terminal in Oregon, where the company allegedly ran through six times more crude oil than its permit allowed. Massachusetts-based Global Companies faces a $117,000 fine from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for crude shipments through its terminal, called the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery and located in Clatskanie on the Columbia River, about an hour's drive from Portland.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
AIR POLLUTION: Oil and gas boom, budget woes strain EPA's monitoring network
E&E news
Jason Plautz

Utah physician Brian Moench is worried. There's only anecdotal evidence so far, but Moench maintains that oil and gas drilling in the Uinta Basin that straddles Utah and Colorado is almost certainly causing health problems for residents, including increased infant mortality. "If you're going to expose a community to increased levels of emissions of diesel and [volatile organic compounds] and particulates and nitrogen oxides, well, it's as plain as the nose on the end of your face that you'll have health consequences," said Moench, the president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Study shows SD sand not suitable for fracking
The Bakken Magazine
Luke Geiver

Sand sourced from western South Dakota may not be suitable for hydraulic fracturing. The S.D. Department of Environment and Natural Resources recently released updates on a study completed to determine the viability of sand from several locations in western S.D., as a potential source for frack sand to be used in the Williston Basin. According to the DENR, samples collected did not meet specifications recommended by the American Petroleum Institute.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
How the Wisconsin Winter Puts a Chill on Texas Oil Drilling
Intelligence
Alison Sider

Frigid temperatures in Wisconsin may be holding up oil and gas drilling in Colorado, Texas, and Pennsylvania. The problem? A sand shortage. Fracking for oil and natural gas relies heavily on sand. In the hydraulic fracturing process, sand, water and chemicals are pumped into the ground to break up dense rock and coax out more fuel. The sand acts like a stent, propping open tiny fissures that allow oil and gas to flow more freely to the surface. Sand mines have been popping up all over Wisconsin because the state is home to a special variety of white silica that has strong, perfectly rounded grains well suited to holding open those underground cracks created by fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Explosion risk remains near Washington LNG facility: emergency responders
Chicago Tribune
Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Officials are responding to a liquefied natural gas leak from a tank at the Williams Cos Ins LNG facility in Plymouth, Washington, where an explosion occurred earlier on Monday and another is still a possibility, a local emergency responder said. Emergency responders are evacuating residents within a two-mile radius of the site to a shelter in Hermiston, Oregon, and established roadblocks on a nearby highway and an interstate artery, said Deanna Davis, a public information officer with the Benton County Emergency Management office.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Climate Signals, Growing Louder
New York Times
Opinion

Perhaps now the deniers will cease their attacks on the science of climate change, and the American public will, at last, fully accept that global warming is a danger now and an even graver threat to future generations.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
U.S. Taking on More Saudi Oil Despite Shale Glut
Huffington Post
Daniel J. Graeber

The U.S. Energy Department said imports from OPEC increased year-on-year, with Saudi Arabia accounting for the bulk of additional oil. While oil production from the United States has increased, the data show the global market is still interconnected. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported the amount of petroleum imported from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was 3.57 million barrels per day in December, the last full month for which data are available from EIA.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Foul Air in the Frack Zone: Touring the Fayetteville Shale, Arkansas
Huffington Post
Molly Rauch

The couple, married for decades, looked out along a rural dirt road that was home to no fewer than 27 fracked natural gas wells. Shaking their heads, they said they suffer from headaches, nosebleeds, nausea, hair loss and irritability. The cause of their health symptoms? According to them, they suffer from toxic air emissions from the wells and noise from the compressor stations. Their doctors don't see it the same way. Their doctors blame allergies. But when this couple leaves the area for several days, the symptoms go away. "The air is so heavy," said one, who preferred not to be named. "It takes every ounce of energy you have to walk."  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Why Shale Gas Is Toast: Texas Wind Power Sets New US Record
Clean Technica


Texas set a new US record for wind power generation last week, and the surge in output demonstrates how quickly the US domestic energy landscape is shifting. Just a few years ago, word was that shale formations in North America held enough natural gas reserves to last for decades. Today, shale drillers face a perfect storm of economic challenges, environmental headaches, and stiff competition from the wind sector and other forms of renewable energy.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Ex govt adviser: "global market shock" from "oil crash" could hit in 2015 A former oil man calls for renewable "Renaissance" to ward off shale dystopia
The Guardian
Nafeez Ahmed

In a new book, former oil geologist and government adviser on renewable energy, Dr. Jeremy Leggett, identifies five "global systemic risks directly connected to energy" which, he says, together "threaten capital markets and hence the global economy" in a way that could trigger a global crash sometime between 2015 and 2020.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
DRBC'S new water loss reporting program helps track water supply efficiency in the basin
Warren Reporter


The Delaware River Basin Commission has long recognized the importance and value of using water wisely at all times, not just during times of drought. The commission has an ambitious water conservation program in place, the newest component being its water loss reporting initiative for public water suppliers. Results from the first year of reporting indicate that approximately 150 million gallons of treated and pressurized water is lost from public water supply distribution systems in the Delaware River Basin every day.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
UT gas-drilling study raises possible links between fracking and Flower Mound’s ‘cancer cluster’
Dallas Morning News
Jim Mitchell--Opinion

I missed this story last week but it is the reason natural gas drilling belongs as far away from urban populations as possible. A review by a University of Texas at Austin researcher highlights the rapid proliferation of gas industry operations in urban areas and questions whether state and federal air pollution regulatory programs are well designed to ensure health and safety. The review recommends increased government monitoring, health impact studies and regulation of air pollution.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Aztec woman says her 'Toxic Tour of Hell' points out San Juan County sites that pollute the air San Juan County officials say air quality is improving, complaints about pollution are few
Daily Times Farmington News
James Fenton

For eight years, McNall has taken people on tours of the area in her small, sky-blue pickup truck, its tailgate plastered with progressive bumper stickers that stand out in Republican-dominated San Juan County. Her tour skips popular stops like Aztec Ruins or Quality Waters in favor of gas pads and waste disposal sites she says are guilty of polluting the air with noxious chemicals.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Giving farmers veto-rights over CSG drilling 'against the national interest'
ABC
Fran Kelly

Mr Ferguson is now chair of the advisory board for the industry's key lobby group Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA). He says allowing farmers to ban CSG from their properties sets a precedent that could see veto over all development types, from solar and wind farms to national highways and broadband.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
AIR POLLUTION: Oil and gas boom, budget woes strain EPA's monitoring network
E&E Publishing
Jason Plautz

Air monitors have shown the basin, which traditionally has elevated levels of airborne dust and soot, doesn't meet federal standards for ozone, a major component of smog. With monitors showing ozone levels as high as those in Los Angeles -- even in winter, when ozone levels are supposed to fall -- many public health advocates are pointing the finger at oil drillers and calling for U.S. EPA enforcement.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
ADVOCACY: Behind multiple local campaigns to ban fracking, one Pa. legal clinic
E&E Publishing
Jennifer Yachnin

The Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, or CELDF, has offered up free legal assistance since 1995 -- when it first worked to help communities fend off industrial projects via local permitting processes -- but in recent years, its work has gained attention as its efforts have turned to fighting against the development of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come
New York Times
Justin Gillis

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported on Monday, and they warned that the problem was likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
IPCC Report: A changing climate creates pervasive risks but opportunities exist for effective responses Responses will face challenges with high warming of the climate
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Press Release

YOKOHAMA, Japan, 31 March – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report today that says the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. The world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate. The report also concludes that there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Hundreds evacuated after Wash. gas plant explosion
CNBC


A fire broke out on Monday at a Plymouth, Washington, natural gas storage facility operated by Williams Partners, and was followed by an explosion, a local fire department official told Reuters. The fire started at the facility early on Monday and was followed by an explosion in one storage tank, said Ed Dunbar, a captain with the Benton County Fire District office. Messages left for Williams' officials were not immediately returned. Residents within a two-mile (3.2 km) radius of the area were told to evacuate, Dunbar said.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Climate change impacts are happening; the window of opportunity to act is closing -- report
E&E Publishing
Stephanie Paige Ogburn

Take a map of the globe and put a finger on any piece of land, and chances are that it is already being affected by climate change. Heat waves, flooding and lowered crop yields in recent years are examples of a climate that has already changed with worsening effects to be felt in years to come, said a U.N. panel in a new report.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
How the US scuppered climate progress at Copenhagen
Ecologist
Oliver Tickell

Today the IPCC launches its latest review of world climate. But how to translate its grim findings into action when US is deploying its full armoury of intelligence and diplomatic dirty tricks to sink any prospect of an effective global climate agreement?  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Facts Behind The Daily Show’s Fracking Video
Public Herald
Melissa Troutman

Public Herald & The Daily Show Impacted residents of the most heavily drilled and fracked county in the largest shale gas extraction zone in the United States – the Marcellus Shale – appeared in a segment of The Daily Show on Comedy Central March 27th. There isn’t much that’s funny about fracking – the toxin-laced technology used to extract methane, or natural gas – except maybe for the ‘funny business’ that seems to surround it. But The Daily Show managed to poke fun anyway.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Report Warns Climate Change a Threat to Global Security and Mankind
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

While climate change reports are far from a new phenomenon, an international study released Monday morning should be enough to give any human being reason to act and/or demand action from legislators and the energy industry around them.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
BlackRock adds voice to investor concerns about coal and gas risk to Great Barrier Reef
Blue and Green Tomorrow
Tom Revell

Investors worried about the impacts of coal and natural gas projects on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef could consider divesting from the companies involved, a senior BlackRock employee has said. Speaking to Bloomberg News, Pru Bennett, the regional director of corporate governance and responsible investment at the leading asset management firm, became the latest commentator to express concern over projects planned near the reef.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Forced Gas Drilling Law In Pennsylvania Pits Neighbor Against Neighbor
Huffington Post
Kevin Begos & Marc Levy

NEW BEDFORD, Pa. (AP) — An energy company is dusting off an old, unused state law that can force property owners to accept oil and gas drilling under their land, pitting neighbor against neighbor in a Pennsylvania community and raising the possibility that lawmakers will have to take sides.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Climate impacts 'overwhelming' - UN
BBC
Matt McGrath

The impacts of global warming are likely to be "severe, pervasive and irreversible", a major report by the UN has warned. Scientists and officials meeting in Japan say the document is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the impacts of climate change on the world.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Costs of climate change steep but tough to tally
St. Louis Post Dispatch
Elaine Kurtenbach

YOKOHAMA, Japan • The economic and financial impact of global warming is complex and not well understood. In some scenarios there would be economic benefits for countries that get warmer and wetter and consequently more fertile agriculturally. Drier weather in some regions would result in sharply lower crop yields.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Fire crews responding to natural gas explosion south of Kennewick
The Oregonian
Kimberly A.C. Wilson

A massive explosion rocked the Williams Northwest Pipeline Company just outside Plymouth, Wash., about 14 miles north of Hermiston. The incident happened just before 8:20 a.m., when the south tank at the facility, with a 1.2 billion cubic feet capacity of natural gas, exploded. The force blew a hole in the side of the tank, said Richland Police Capt. Mike Cobb. "We're still trying to confirm any injuries and the extent of any injuries," said Cobb, speaking from the Benton County emergency operations incident command center in Richland.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Fracking's Known Unknowns If the United States is going to help Western allies neutralize Russia's energy stranglehold, it needs to get to the root of why so many people fear fracking.
Foreign Policy
Kate Galbraith

The trouble, of course, is that much of Europe, especially the western half, doesn't want to frack. France (which has considerable reserves) has banned it, Germany has effectively done the same, and Cameron's enthusiasm has been slowed in the United Kingdom by not-in-my-backyard environmental protests. As Conservative MP Nick Herbert (who's not reflexively against fracking) put it last year, fracking has sparked a "fear of the unknown."  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Anti-fracking protesters demonstrate in Bolton town centre
The Bolton News


DOZENS of campaigners took to the streets to alert the public to the “catastrophic dangers” they say fracking could cause. Bolton Against Fracking (BAF) joined activists from Friends of the Earth and the Green Party to protest against the controversial shale gas drilling method.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Audio: Yes, Colorado ballot measure IS about banning fracking
The Daily Caller
Greg Campbell

A statewide effort to give Colorado communities “local control” over fracking regulations is in fact an effort to ban fracking throughout the state, according to the recording of a national conference call among anti-fracking groups.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
New guidelines for fracking waste
Radio New Zealand
Benedict Collins

Concerns about toxic chemicals in fracking waste entering the food chain have prompted the Ministry for the Environment to issue new advice to regional councils. Fracking involves pumping fluids under pressure into rocks deep underground to get at trapped pockets of oil or gas. Fracking involves pumping fluids under pressure into rocks deep underground to get at trapped pockets of oil or gas. The ministry has released voluntary guidelines for regional councils when it comes to hydraulic fracturing, which is the process of blasting water and chemicals at high pressure into the earth to access fossil fuels.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
FINE PRINT: NEW LEGISLATION AIMS TO PUT A STOP TO FRACKING BEFORE IT BEGINS
NJ Spotlight
Tom Johnson

The Legislature is taking another crack at preventing hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, to be used to drill for natural gas in New Jersey. Most of the environmental community is mobilized against the process, which involves injecting huge amounts of water and assorted chemicals into shale deposits to recover natural gas, a process conservationists say threatens drinking water supplies in the region.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Behind multiple local campaigns to ban fracking, one Pa. legal clinic
E&E Publishing
Jennifer Yachnin

But Price, the national organizing director for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, suggests a catchall for the group's efforts: "nonviolent civil disobedience through local lawmaking."  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Flower Mound responds to study on fracking, pollution
Star Local Media


The study examines the Texas Department of State Health Service’s cancer cluster analysis that was conducted in response to concerns raised in Flower Mound. Unfortunately, the town was not made aware of the new findings until a news article was released. Therefore, we are working to understand the re-analysis of the data as quickly as possible.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Pennsylvania judge eases restrictions on anti-fracking activist
Akron Beacon Journal
Michael Rubinkam

A northeastern Pennsylvania judge has loosened restrictions on an anti-fracking activist who had been barred from stepping foot on more than 300 square miles of land owned or leased by a natural gas driller.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Oklahoma scientists study increase in quakes, water injection oil wells
Tulsa World
Adam Wilmoth

OKLAHOMA CITY - More than 220 earthquakes magnitude 2.5 or higher were reported in Oklahoma in 2013 — more than any other year in state history. The Oklahoma Geological Survey, the U.S. Geological Survey and others have been studying whether the state’s swarm of quakes over the past few years is connected to water injection wells.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
HSH.com Study on Fracking: How it Affects You and Your Home
Virtual-Strategy.com


An investigative report from HSH.com examines risks and rewards associated with hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” looking at how homeowners can benefit from oil companies, as well as the challenges and hurdles that may arise with mortgages, property values and homeowner’s insurance.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Bobtown Pizza makes "Daily Show" segment on fracking
Pittsburgh Business Times
Paul J. Gough

Chevron Corp. decision to give away gift certificates in Greene County after last month's well explosion made a segment on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" about fracking in Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Charges reduced, Athens 8 plead guilty to disorderly conduct
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

The Eight farmers and local business leaders, who were charged with criminal trespass for blocking trucks carrying fracking waste leading to a fracking waste disposal site operated by K&H Partners of West Virginia in early February, all took a plea deals this morning in Athens County Municipal Court.The eight plead to a lower charge of disorderly conduct, a minor misdemeanor, and received a $150 fine, $100 of which was suspended.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
IS IT TOO LATE TO PREPARE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE?
The New Yorker
Elizabeth Kolbert

On Monday, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report on the impacts of global warming, for which it says the world is ill prepared. Elizabeth Kolbert wrote about a leaked draft of the report in this piece, originally published on November 5, 2013. Late last week, a Web site that claims that there is no scientific consensus on global warming published a leaked draft report on the impacts of global warming. The leak was apparently intended to embarrass the authors of the report, which is the latest installment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, it seems mostly to have had the opposite effect: what the leaked document shows is just how dire the impacts are likely to be. The report was the lead story on the front page of Saturday’s Times, under the two-column headline “Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies.”   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Flower Mound responds to study on fracking, pollution
TheLeader


The following is a statement released by the town of Flower Mound regarding a study about air pollution and hydraulic fracturing: Flower Mound has been made aware of new research findings by a UT-Austin faculty member that studied air pollution and hydraulic fracturing.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
All the Positive and Helpful Things in the IPCC Report No One Will Talk About
DeSmogBlog
CAROL LINNITT

If you’ve come across any of the recent headlines on the release of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, you’re probably feeling pretty low. The doom and gloom levels were off the charts. And understandably so. Major nations across the globe – especially Canada – are dragging their heels when it comes to climate change action. Canada, sadly, doesn’t have any climate legislation.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Colorado Health Department Investigating Spike in Fetal Abnormalities in Heavily-Drilled Garfield County
DeSmogBlog
Anne Landman

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has called in an epidemiologist to investigate a recent spike in fetal abnormalities in Garfield County on Colorado's western slope. Stacey Gavrell, Director of Community Relations for Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, said area prenatal care providers reported the increase in fetal abnormalities to the hospital, which then notified CDPHE. So far neither the hospital nor the state have released information about the numbers of cases reported, over what span of time, or the amount of the increase.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
In Western PA, Drillers Can Drink Your Milkshake
Phillymag.com
JOEL MATHIS

The New York Times reports that holdouts against gas drilling in the Western Pennsylvania’s Utica Shale may find themselves being drilled anyway: Since surrounding property owners have signed drilling rights over to Houston-based Hilcorp, that company is legally entitled to take its very long straw to sip the gas out right from under the holdouts. Houston-based Hilcorp seeks to use a 1961 Pennsylvania law to drill under the property of four holdout landowners in New Bedford, near the Ohio border an hour north of Pittsburgh. The concept, known as “forced pooling,” means that people who do not sign leases get bundled in with those who do, to make drilling more efficient and compensate all the landowners.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2014
Pa. leases more than 1,400 acres under rivers and streams to drillers
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

Over the past year the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has raised nearly $5.9 million by quietly leasing more than 1,400 acres of mineral rights to gas companies underneath publicly-owned waterways. The most recent lease agreement– signed just over two weeks ago– gives Chesapeake Energy the rights to extract gas from under 1,092 acres of the Susquehanna River in Wyoming and Bradford Counties for five years.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Law May Force Drilling on Balking Landowners
The New York Times
Associated Press

NEW BEDFORD, Pa. — An energy company is dusting off an old, unused state law that can force property owners to accept oil and gas drilling under their land, pitting neighbor against neighbor. Houston-based Hilcorp seeks to use a 1961 Pennsylvania law to drill under the property of four holdout landowners in New Bedford, near the Ohio border an hour north of Pittsburgh. The concept, known as “forced pooling,” means that people who do not sign leases get bundled in with those who do, to make drilling more efficient and compensate all the landowners.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Both sides of fracking debate plan next move
The Southern
Becky Malkovich

Despite a recent loss at the polls, anti-fracking activists will continue their efforts to ban high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing in Johnson County.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Forced pooling sparks new fight over fracking
WKBN 27


NEW BEDFORD, Pa. (WKBN) – An old law has sparked a new battle over shale oil and gas in Pennsylvania. At issue: Whether a company can force people who don’t want drilling under their land to accept it.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Foes: Gas pipeline proponents in for fight
Lowell Sun
Jack Minch

ASHBY -- Opponents of a proposed natural gas pipe line that will pass through the Merrimack Valley predict an uphill fight for approval.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Neighbors bicker in Pa. over forced gas drilling
San Jose Mercury News
Kevin Begos & Marc Levy

NEW BEDFORD, Pa. (AP) — An energy company is dusting off an old, unused state law that can force property owners to accept oil and gas drilling under their land, pitting neighbor against neighbor in a Pennsylvania community and raising the possibility that lawmakers will have to take sides.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Wyoming company to close coal power plant; natural gas plant will open in Cheyenne
Greeley Tribune
Associated Press

CASPER, Wyo. — Black Hills Corp. has closed down a coal-fired power plant outside Gillette, a move the company says is in response to recent federal emissions regulations. Black Hills Corp. last week closed the 22-megawatt Neil Simpson 1 plant. The company is building a 132-megawatt natural gas plant in Cheyenne, which will replace much of the lost power.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Is Canada Tarring Itself?
New York Times
Jacques Leslie--Opinion

START with the term “tar sands.” In Canada only fervent opponents of oil development in northern Alberta dare to use those words; the preferred phrase is the more reassuring “oil sands.” Never mind that the “oil” in the world’s third largest petroleum reserve is in fact bitumen, a substance with the consistency of peanut butter, so viscous that another fossil fuel must be used to dilute it enough to make it flow.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Fracking Map of the USA
Elephant Journal


Every Fracking Well in 47 of the 48 continental United States of #Murica (you can click and zoom on your county) here: Interactive and more detailed map here (you can zoom in on where you live).   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Climate change report: five key points
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

Climate change is already taking a sizeable chunk out of global food supply and it is going to get worse. Increases in crop yields – which are needed to sustain a growing population – have slowed over the last 40 years. Some studies now point to dramatic declines in some crops over the next 50 years – especially wheat, and to a lesser extent corn. Rice so far is unaffected. The shortages, and the threat of food price spikes, could lead to unrest.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Pinelands pipeline backers mobilize for another try
Philadelphia Inquirer
Edward Colimore

PINELANDS The long, heated debate ended, the votes were cast, and a proposed natural gas pipeline through the environmentally sensitive Pinelands appeared dead. Nearly three months ago, a divided New Jersey Pinelands Commission blocked the variance that would have allowed work to proceed on a project supported by the Christie administration.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Natural gas just the beginning
The Times-Tribune
DAVID FALCHEK

Community leaders hope the construction of the natural gas power plant outside Wyalusing marks the beginning of a more stable economy built on products made from natural gas, rather than the natural gas itself. The Endless Mountains area is still feeling the effect of the pullback in gas exploration, although drilling is picking up a bit. Having already seen an up-down cycle in natural gas, the region is expecting to land manufacturing jobs that require natural gas to make their product. An economic development agency serving Bradford and Susquehanna counties has been receiving inquiries from companies that manufacture waxes, lubricants and other products that use natural gas as an ingredient - what's known as "downstream" businesses.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Seismologist: Fracking Injection Wells Linked to Earthquakes
The Real News Network
JESSICA DESVARIEUX

Dr. Elizabeth Cochran discusses research showing that injection wells from fracking and gas and oil production is likely causing an uptick in U.S. earthquakes   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Oil boom strains North Dakota infrastructure
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/0/1638f1ec-b56a-11e3-a746-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2xTu1IbnP The US energy revolution is putting unprecedented strain on roads, railways and housing in North Dakota, its governor says, as a surge in production has put the state at the heart of the country’s oil and gas boom. North Dakota’s economy is growing faster than any other in the US as workers who are flocking to its oilfields transform once sleepy farming districts into hubs of helter-skelter development.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come
The New York Times
Justin Gillis

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control. The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, concluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
IPCC:EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ‘WORSE THAN WE HAD PREDICTED’
Al Jazeera America
Al Jazeera and The Associated Press

Global warming is driving humanity toward unprecedented risks, a United Nations scientific panel reports, warning that the changes have only just begun, with the worst effects hitting the earth’s poorest people the hardest. Twenty-first century disasters such as killer heat waves in Europe, wildfires in the United States, droughts in Australia and deadly flooding in Mozambique, Thailand and Pakistan highlight how vulnerable humanity is to extreme weather, according to a sweeping new report from a Nobel Prize-winning group of scientists released early Monday, Japan local time.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
US drive on LNG exports hit by delays
Financial Times
Ed Crooks

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/0/51553604-b80e-11e3-af5e-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2xYKl107k New plants for exporting liquefied natural gas from the US have been held up by regulatory delays as government agencies have failed to assess issues such as environmental impact as quickly as the projects’ backers had hoped. European countries’ interest in importing US LNG has been sharpened by the rise in tensions with Russia, but there is still only one export project that has begun construction.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2014
North Dakota headed for a superfund disaster?
Bismarck Tribune
Lauren Donovan

A company official who specializes in radioactive waste says North Dakota risks becoming a superfund clean up site unless it takes decisive steps to deal with radioactive waste from Bakken oil production.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2014
Fred LeBrun: County finally has ally in DEC
Times Union
Fred LeBrun

"Environmental justice" sounds like one of those politically correct New Age concepts that ought to be accompanied by airy flute music and little sandwiches with the crusts cut off. But, no. Mitigating environmental risks that fall heaviest on those who live closest to permitted toxic or hazardous waste sites, or a freight yard with rail tank cars full of volatile Bakken light crude oil, is as gritty and hard-nosed as it gets these days, a potent force in the law and politics.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2014
The Fight for Wisconsin’s Soul
The New York Times
Dan Kaufman

WISCONSIN has been an environmental leader since 1910, when the state’s voters approved a constitutional amendment promoting forest and water conservation. Decades later, pioneering local environmentalists like Aldo Leopold and Senator Gaylord Nelson, who founded Earth Day in 1970, helped forge the nation’s ecological conscience.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2014
DEP: Drillers extract thousands of tons of ‘hot’ rocks in Pa.
The Tribune-Democrat
John Finnerty

Environmental watchdogs say a system for tracking radioactive material unearthed during gas drilling depends too much on the industry’s self-policing, making it impossible to judge how much waste is generated or how dangerous it might be. Their concern centers on cuttings – the rock unearthed during the drilling process. The deepest rocks are sometimes radioactive. They may become more volatile when exposed to chemicals used during fracking, the popular process for releasing underground reservoirs of natural gas, said Nadia Steinzor, program coordinator for the Oil and Gas Accountability Project of the nonprofit group Earthworks.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2014
What the Frack: The Latest Earthquake Swarms in Los Angeles
Examiner
Alexandra Sokol

What the Frack? Is fracking in these areas linked to the increase of quakes and are we endangering both our cities and populations by continuing this practice? The fact that strong quakes are now hitting areas where fracking is going on much more frequently and with instances of unusual quakes hitting on the East Coast in similar areas, it should be reason enough to look much deeper into the issue and beyond the push for oil at all cost. We have seen fracking in the news now for months and the debate goes on, but the scientific evidence has led to a number of significant concerns in California and other earthquake prone areas. Just a little over ten days ago, after the 4.4 magnitude earthquake, dubbed the “Shamrock Shake”, shook many of us out of bed on March 17th, the Los Angeles City Council called on city staff to investigate whether natural gas and oil drilling methods, such as fracking, helped trigger that earthquake.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2014
The Artificial Leaf Is Here. Again.
The New York Times
Jack Hitt

The other obstacle is the marketplace. Only a few years ago, he said, “the magic number was $3 ‘gas gallon equivalent.’ ” In other words, could he produce the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline and keep costs around $3? Even as he closed in on that number, the old fossil-fuel industry pulled the rug out from under him with a surge in cheap natural-gas extraction, driven by hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Seemingly overnight, the magic number became “a buck fifty,” he said. But therein lies a glimmer of hope. Hydrogen can be produced by fracking, although it comes at a cost of carbon pollution. Still, widespread fracking might lead to widespread hydrogen use. In fact, the United States Senate revived a Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus in 2012. “Fracking could drive the establishment of an infrastructure for using hydrogen at the home,” Mr. Nocera said. “And then the next thing everybody might say is, yeah, but that hydrogen is making CO2. Then the artificial leaf would show up. So it’s kind of weird. Fracking is killing me right now, but in the long run it could be an asset.”   [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2014
Accelerating Use of Renewable Energy
OpEd News
Bob Burnett

US energy policy is stuck on reliance on natural gas. Most Americans understand that by the middle of the century most of our energy will have to be supplied by renewables -- wind, water, and solar -- but we seem content to use natural gas for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, this is not a realistic policy.   [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2014
One House Republican’s Latest Plan To Undermine Climate Research
ThinkProgress
KATIE VALENTINE

After years of attempts at cutting the agency’s funding, House Republicans want the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to focus more on predicting storms and less on studying climate change. The House is set to vote next week on a bill that would force NOAA to prioritize its forecasting over its climate research. The bill, introduced last June by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), wouldn’t require NOAA to stop its climate research, but it would require the agency to “prioritize weather-related activities, including the provision of improved weather data, forecasts, and warnings for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy.” Among other things, it would direct the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, NOAA’s research and development arm which studies weather, climate and other environmental forces, to create new weather programs, including one focused on tornado warnings.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2014
Ruling allows Scroggins back on Cabot-leased land Fracking activist will fight buffer zone in May trial
Shale Gas Review
Tom Wilber

A ruling Friday by a Pennsylvania judge to allow activist Vera Scroggins back on land leased by Cabot Oil & Gas is a “big win” according to her legal team, but the fight will continue in a trial scheduled for May 1. An order, drafted by Cabot attorneys and handed down by Judge Kenneth Seamans in October, barred Scroggins from setting foot on land owned or leased by Cabot, “including but not limited to” well sites, well pads, and access roads. That language kept Scroggins from approximately 200,000 acres -- nearly 40 percent -- of Susquehanna County where Scroggins lives, including property of friends, neighbors, stores, parks, schools and health care providers.   [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2014
All Public Comments Are Welcome. Then What?
The New York Times
PHYLLIS KORKKI

Do federal regulators really pay attention to public comments before they adopt new rules? A group of researchers says it has developed a tool that can answer that question — with the goal of providing an extra layer of accountability in government. By law, regulators are supposed to consider the public’s views. Any government action, after all, has the potential to help or harm many people. Once an agency proposes a rule, interested parties have a certain amount of time — usually from 30 to 90 days — to send in their comments, online or by mail. The agency’s staff must read all the comments and decide how much weight to give them, if any. Depending on the agency, the final rule can affect areas as diverse as the environment, the food supply or the financial markets.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2014
Global shift to greener economies happening because of economic benefits, panelists say
The Hill Times
LAURA RYCKEWAERT

The global transition to clean energy is underway and Canada is lagging, experts speaking at the Broadbent Institute's Progress Summit said Saturday.   [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2014
Fracking bill smacks a partisan brick wall Disclosure of chemicals used splits lawmakers
Tallahassee.com
Mary Wozniak

A bill that would require oil companies to disclose the chemicals used in a controversial drilling process called fracking has hit a partisan brick wall, its sponsor says.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
PG&E Expects Criminal Charges Against Utility Unit
Bloomberg
Alex Nussbaum and Mark Chediak

PG&E Corp. (PCG:US), owner of California’s largest utility, said it expects to face criminal charges for the 2010 explosion of one of its natural gas pipelines that killed eight people in San Bruno, California. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is expected to accuse the company of violating federal regulations on record keeping, pipeline integrity management and identifying threats, leading to the explosion and deaths, according to a company statement released yesterday. San Francisco-based PG&E said the charges are without merit. It didn’t say when it expects the charges to be filed.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
UK Town Quits Fossil Fuels and Starts Renewable Energy Co-Op
EcoWatch
Tierney Smith

Now the residents of Balcombe are going a step further, with the aim of putting the village on the map for all the right reasons as they quit fossil fuels for solar energy.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
How 11,000 Oil and Gas Wells Gave Utah Community More Ozone Pollution Than Los Angeles
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Clearly, there’s no comparing the sparse population of Utah’s Uintah Basin and that of the mega-metropolis within the Los Angeles basin. So, how could both places possibly have similar volatile organic compounds (VOCs) levels?  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Obama’s Methane Emissions Plan Puts Oil, Coal and Gas Industries on Notice
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Methane emissions have decreased by 11 percent in the past 24 years, but they could pick back up by 2030 if actions aren’t taken to combat them. That’s why the powerful greenhouse gas is the center of a newly announced strategy by the White House.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Homeowners: How do mineral rights and fracking affect you?
HSH.com
Ed Leefeldt

If you own property in a place where oil and gas might lie below, you could soon find a "landman" at your door with a lease. Read it carefully.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
States struggling to understand frackquakes
Grist
John Upton

Frackers have been triggering earthquakes across the country by injecting their wastewater at high pressure into disposal wells. That much is certain. The U.S. Geological Survey has linked the practice to a sixfold increase in earthquakes in the central U.S. from 2001 to 2011. It’s also possible that the very act of fracking has been causing some temblors.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Feds Weaken New Oil-By-Rail Safety Regulations Days After Announcing Them
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA

Nine days after announcing new regulations designed to improve oil-by-rail safety, the Department of Transportation quietly weakened the rules for testing rail cars and exempted shippers of bitumen from having to meet the new regulations. The department had been under pressure from industry since announcing new regulations in response to a round of testing on shipments of Bakken crude oil that found companies had classified crudes as less hazardous than they were in 11 of 18 rail cars.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Ex govt adviser: "global market shock" from "oil crash" could hit in 2015
The Guardian


As UK government reiterates commitment to maximising shale gas development in North Sea, production costs are rising as exploitation moves to fields in deeper water. Photograph: Arnulf Husmo/Getty Images In a new book, former oil geologist and government adviser on renewable energy, Dr. Jeremy Leggett, identifies five "global systemic risks directly connected to energy" which, he says, together "threaten capital markets and hence the global economy" in a way that could trigger a global crash sometime between 2015 and 2020.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Another former employee pleads guilty to dumping fracking waste into the Mahoning River
The Plain Dealer
John Caniglia

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Federal prosecutors have charged a third person from a Youngstown oil- and gas-drilling company with dumping fracking waste that flowed into the Mahoning River. Prosecutors accused Mark Goff of Newton Falls of one count of making an unpermitted discharge of pollutants in violation of the Clean Water Act. He is expected to appear before U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent within a few weeks.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Keeping Secrets Has Been Exxon's Default in Ark. Oil Spill Case
InsideClimate News
Elizabeth Douglass

From the time Exxon's Pegasus ruptured one year ago, there have been difficulties with getting spill-related information to the public.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
One Year After Exxon's Arkansas Spill, 8 Crucial Questions Still Unanswered
InsideClimate News
Elizabeth Douglass

What caused Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline to split apart while the line was running well below maximum pressure? It's still anyone's guess.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Fracking in America kills off clean energy, leading to higher emissions: EIA report
Vancouver Observer
Barry Saxifrage

America's surge in cheap fracked gas is acting like a climate change Jekyll and Hyde. In the public eye, fracked gas is being applauded for replacing climate-dirtier coal burning. But behind the scenes, it is also an efficient killer of climate-safer energy projects. The net result -- according to projections from the US government's Energy Information Agency (EIA) -- will be higher levels of climate pollution in the long run. The EIA's flagship Annual Energy Outlook report projects that the greater the supply of fracked natural gas in America the higher that nation's CO2 emissions will become. Take a look. This first chart below is from the EIA. It shows their CO2 projections for five different energy scenarios.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Pennsylvania Judge Eases Ruling On Vera Scroggins, Anti-Fracking Activist
Huffington Post
MICHAEL RUBINKAM

A northeastern Pennsylvania judge has loosened restrictions on an anti-fracking activist who had been barred from stepping foot on more than 300 square miles of land owned or leased by a natural gas driller. Vera Scroggins, 63, who is known for leading bus tours of the Marcellus Shale gas field and posting videos of drilling operations online, had argued the order prevented her from traveling to her favorite grocery store, eye doctor, hospital, restaurants and other places that leased land to Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Pro-Fracking Guest: Appearing On The Daily Show 'Felt Like Three Hours Of Waterboarding'
Huffington Post
James Gerken

The "Daily Show" ran a segment on hydraulic fracturing on Thursday night that featured its "correspondent" Asif Mandvi interviewing people on the controversial oil and gas extraction process known as "fracking." Mandvi talked to Marita Noon, a former Christian speaker and the executive director of New Mexico-based Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy, a non-profit lobbying organization that also operates a group called Energy Makes America Great. "Oil and gas companies are quite good at self-regulating or self-policing," Noon told Mandvi. She said she doesn't really see room for improvement and argued that oil and gas companies care about the communities where they operate. "Because the average person doesn't understand fracking," she added, "the environmentalists are able to use fear, uncertainty and doubt to plant ideas into people's minds."  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Dominion Midstream Partners files for IPO of about $400 million
Reuters
Avik Das

(Reuters) - Dominion Midstream Partners LP, a unit of energy company Dominion Resources Inc (D.N), filed with U.S. regulators on Friday to raise about $400 million in an initial public offering of common units. The company owns all outstanding preferred equity interests in Dominion Cove Point LNG LP, which owns and operates a liquefied natural gas facility in Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, Maryland.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Where Will Natural Gas Prices Go? Look to the Rigs
The Wall Street Journal
TIM PUKO

Natural-gas traders are returning to a neglected data point to predict where prices will head next: the weekly rig count. The count — a survey of the number of rigs drilling for gas released each Friday by oilfield services firm Baker Hughes Inc.BHI +2.63% — is key to estimating U.S. production. This winter, the rig count played second fiddle to weather reports, as freezing temperatures sent gas demand — and prices — sharply higher. But now, with gas stockpiles at an 11-year low, the count is a key part of the analyst’s arsenal once again. Gas producers typically replenish inventories each spring, when mild temperatures keep demand down. If producers can’t refill storage by next winter, gas prices could rise. Gas for May delivery ended Friday at $4.485, up 4% this week though down from above $6 in February. This Friday’s Baker Hughes count shows gas drillers operated 318 rigs, compared to 326 a week earlier and 389 a year ago.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Obama sidesteps Congress to curb methane emissions
Christian Science Monitor
Fabien Tepper

The latest step in the White House's new Climate Action Plan is a new plan to curb methane, a far more potent trapper of heat than carbon dioxide. The plan relies heavily on cooperation with oil, gas, and dairy industries. ____________________________________________________________________ "Per mass, methane is absorbing up to 100 times more mass than carbon dioxide," says Bob Howarth, a Cornell University Earth systems scientist who has served as a methane expert for the National Academy of Sciences. Methane, he explains, absorbs many infrared wavelengths that neither carbon dioxide nor water vapor molecules are built to absorb. And although methane stays in the atmosphere for just 12 years – compared to 50 to 200 years for CO2 – it disappears by oxidizing, thereby becoming CO2, which continues to absorb heat.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Obama administration targets methane emissions
Los Angeles Times
Neela Banerjee

The methane strategy lays the groundwork for greenhouse gas regulations that could affect agriculture and the oil, gas and coal industries. Under the strategy, much of the work of curtailing the gas will fall to the EPA. Agency officials are expected to identify approaches to cut methane from oil and gas production by fall, and if the agency decides to issue new rules, they must be completed by the end of 2016. One complication in reducing methane emissions is that the amount currently released in the U.S. remains unclear. Unlike carbon dioxide, which comes mostly from cars and trucks and from such big emitters as power plants and refineries, methane gas comes from many diffuse sources. Experts disagree about the best way to measure methane emissions. Independent studies have concluded that methane emissions in the continental U.S. might be 50% greater than the EPA's official estimates.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
SD sand not suitable for oil field fracking in ND
SF Gate


PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A state study that took more than a year to complete has concluded that sand from western South Dakota is not suitable for use in the oil and gas industry. South Dakota's Department of Environment and Natural Resources studied whether sand found mainly in the Black Hills was suitable for hydraulic fracturing. The method known as fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals underground to break up shale rock and allow oil to flow.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Wyoming Supreme Court Moves Forward on Public Disclosure of Fracking Chemicals
AllGov


Opponents of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) have won a partial victory before Wyoming’s highest court in the fight over disclosing what chemicals are used by drillers. The ruling may establish an important precedent in future cases involving efforts to force companies to disclose the chemicals they use in fracking operations. Critics have tried for four years to reveal fracking ingredients, ever since the state became the first in the nation to adopt a rule requiring such disclosure. However, that rule—which came about as a result of water contamination found near well sites—included a loophole that allowed companies to withhold the names of chemicals to protect trade secrets. More than 10 states have a similar rule on their books.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Oil, Gas Drilling Could Be Affected After Lesser Prairie Chicken Placed On Threatened Species List
CBSDC


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration said Thursday it is placing a grassland grouse known as the lesser prairie chicken on a list of threatened species, a move that could affect oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in five central and southwestern states. The decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service is a step below “endangered” status and allows for more flexibility in how protections for the bird will be carried out under the Endangered Species Act. Dan Ashe, the agency’s director, said he knows the decision will be unpopular with governors in the five affected states — Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico — but said the agency was following the best science available.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Guest Viewpoint: Evidence mounts against benefits of fracking
Press Connects
Logan Adsit--opinion

Recently, a trend has emerged that should put a smile on the face of everyone interested in the well-being of New York: according to a recent Marist poll, more state residents oppose hydraulic fracturing than ever before.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Crimea Crisis Has Little Impact Thus Far on Russian Oil Deals
The New York Times
ANDREW E. KRAMER and DAVID JOLLY

MOSCOW — The French energy giant Total is in talks with Lukoil to form a joint venture to develop shale oil in Russia, as Moscow seeks to offset declining production from its conventional oil fields in Siberia. The talks began before the Crimean crisis and are continuing, according to an oil company executive close to the negotiations who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. Lukoil and Total declined to comment on the project.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
[NY] State wants fracking lawsuits tossed
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

The state Attorney General’s office is trying to dismiss a pair of lawsuits that seek to force a decision on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in New York, according to court filings. FrackingAPRWThe Binghamton-based Joint Landowners Coalition of New York and the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy filed separate legal challenges in recent months, arguing that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has unnecessarily delayed a review of hydrofracking, the much-debated method used to help extract gas from shale formations.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
White House Unveils Plans to Cut Methane Emissions
The New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday announced a strategy to start slashing emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas released by landfills, cattle and leaks from oil and natural gas production.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
New gas-pipeline Mapping in PA- Chester County residents to get improved information-sharing.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Michaelle Bond

The nonprofit Pipeline Safety Coalition has created an online pipeline-information program that Chester County will add to its existing website, www.ChescoPaGreen.org? ., beginning Friday. The idea is to improve the often haphazard information-sharing among residents, local governments, and energy companies about pipeline developments. “It’s good news because, with Pennsylvania not regulating intrastate pipelines, we need to have some way of communicating information about proposed projects,” David Ward, assistant director of the Chester County Planning Commission, said of the new Web pages. The dedicated natural-gas-pipeline pages will include general information about pipeline safety, pipeline maps, ways to contact pipeline operators, links to proposed pipelines, a glossary of industry terms, and the laws and agencies governing pipeline operators.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Guest Viewpoint: Evidence mounts against benefits of fracking
Press Connects
Logan Adsit

Recently, a trend has emerged that should put a smile on the face of everyone interested in the well-being of New York: according to a recent Marist poll, more state residents oppose hydraulic fracturing than ever before. In the Marist University poll, 47 percent of adults in New York oppose fracking for natural gas. That’s 7 percentage points more opposition than the last time they polled this issue. And it’s no wonder opposition to fracking is growing — there are some very disturbing signs that residents are right to have second thoughts.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Total looks at shale oil deal with Russian firm
Blue and Green Tomorrow
Ilaria Bertini

French oil firm Total is exploring the possibility of collaborating with private company Lukoil in Russia in unconventional oil extraction, despite the US and EU’s sanctions linked to the annexation of Crimea. The talks between Total and Lukoil, which is the largest private energy company in Russia, could end in a joint venture to collaborate over the extraction of unconventional shale oil, according to the Financial Times.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
White House strategy to cut methane takes aim at oil industry
Fuel Fix
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday unveiled a broad strategy for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, including regulations clamping down on methane tied to oil and gas development. The Obama administration’s new inter-agency methane strategy combines a mix of new and previously announced steps to rein in the short-lived but potent greenhouse gas released from landfills, oil wells, dairy farms and coal mining. The first big target is the oil industry, with new regulations coming later this year to curb venting and flaring of natural gas at wells on public lands. The Bureau of Land Management is now holding public hearings as it drafts those mandates.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Injunction eased so PA fracking foe can go to hospital, grocery
Yahoo News
David DeKok

SUNBURY, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - A judge on Friday loosened an injunction restricting the movements of a Pennsylvania anti-fracking activist to allow her access to her local hospital, grocery and other places declared off-limits because they sat atop land leased for gas extraction. Until Judge Kenneth Seamans eased the terms of the injunction, Vera Scroggins, 63, of Brackney, Pennsylvania was banned from 40 percent of the land in Susquehanna County, where she lives and which is leased by Texas-based Cabot Oil & Gas Co for gas extraction.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES PLANS TO REIN IN METHANE POLLUTION ACROSS MULTIPLE AGENCIES
Sierra Club
Press Release

Obama Administration announces plans to rein in methane pollution across multiple agencies WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Obama Administration announced today a plan to develop a strategy for controlling methane emissions from the oil and gas sector across multiple agencies. The President's climate action plan, announced last June, called for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Interior, Labor, and Transportation to develop a comprehensive methane strategy focusing on assessing current emissions data, addressing data gaps, identifying technologies and best practices for reducing emissions, and identifying existing authorities and incentive-based opportunities to reduce methane emissions.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
How 11,000 Oil and Gas Wells Gave Utah Community More Ozone Pollution Than Los Angeles
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Clearly, there’s no comparing the sparse population of Utah’s Uintah Basin and that of the mega-metropolis within the Los Angeles basin. So, how could both places possibly have similar volatile organic compounds (VOCs) levels?  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Jon Stewart Highlights Earthquakes, Chevron’s Pizza and Other ‘Benefits’ of Fracking:VIDEO
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Examining the pure lunacy within the excuses of pro-fracking companies, politicians and advocates is the only way the practice’s well-documented dangers could possibly make for a laughing matter. Naturally, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart took advantage of this last night with a five-minute, satirical report on the “Benefits of Fracking.” Of course, those benefits included the pizza coupons Chevron “awarded” to residents near the Dunkard, PA drilling explosion site earlier this year. Those type of gestures—along with the nosebleeds, dirty air and lack of clean water—surely must have led to Energy Makes America Great Executive Director Marita Noon telling Aasif Mandvi that fracking companies care and are “quite good at self-regulating or policing themselves.”  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Injunction eased so PA fracking foe can go to hospital, grocery
The Morning Call
David DeKok, Reuters

SUNBURY, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - A judge on Friday loosened an injunction restricting the movements of a Pennsylvania anti-fracking activist to allow her access to her local hospital, grocery and other places declared off-limits because they sat atop land leased for gas extraction. Until Judge Kenneth Seamans eased the terms of the injunction, Vera Scroggins, 63, of Brackney, Pennsylvania was banned from 40 percent of the land in Susquehanna County, where she lives and which is leased by Texas-based Cabot Oil & Gas Co for gas extraction. Seamans, the sole judge in Susquehanna County Court of Common Pleas in Montrose, Pennsylvania, issued a new injunction on Friday barring Scroggins from the active gas extraction operations of the company and the access roads that serve them. Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-pennsylvania-fracking-20140323,0,741726.story#ixzz2xIaQPx5P Follow us: @mcall on Twitter | mcall.lv on Facebook   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
States’ feathers ruffled as feds declare lesser prairie chicken threatened
The Sacramento Bee
Lindsay Wise

WASHINGTON -- The federal government on Thursday designated the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species, a long-anticipated announcement that politicians warned could set off a possible battle over states’ rights.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Greens debate impacts of LNG exports on global warming
E & E Newswire
Jean Chemnick

Environmentalists wary of plans to open the gates for U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) might be missing an opportunity to advance their primary goal, fighting global warming. So say some advocates for climate change action who see the wider distribution of natural gas leading to reduced emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases as coal-burning power plants are switched to gas.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Town passes comprehensive plan, fracking ban
The Daily Star
Denise Richardson

The town of Oneonta this week adopted a comprehensive plan and an anti-fracking law, officials said Thursday. The Oneonta Town Board continued public hearings Wednesday night on the measures because of a snow storm that hindered attendance at a meeting earlier this month.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Gateway Royalty to Pay Utica Shale Landowners for Rights to Future Royalties
Shale Energy Law Blog
Jason M. Zoeller

Gateway Royalty, LLC, a royalty acquisition company based in Carrollton, Ohio, has raised $58.5 million to pay Utica shale play landowners for rights to their future royalty payments. Gateway’s goal is to invest in a broad range of oil and gas royalties across the eastern Ohio counties, which constitute the core of the new Utica shale play. It is a business model with a risk for both sides. The lump-sum payment could easily be bested by solid production. Conversely, it’s difficult to tell exactly how much oil or gas will come from a specific well, so it’s possible that the company could lose out. Gateway, originally based in Texas, is willing to take the risk. The company moved to Carrollton in May 2012, investing $35 million on 20,000 acres. Those initial investments focused on the northern part of the play in Columbiana County. The new investments will move more toward the south but will continue Gateway’s policy of acquiring a diversified portfolio of oil and gas royalty interests without incurring any debt.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2014
Fracking activist must be subdued, says drilling company
The Morning Call
Paul Carpenter

Vera Scroggins, you are hereby charged with conspiracy to commit free speech. How do you plead? That seems to be the way a Susquehanna County battle over hydraulic fracturing (usually called fracking) will play out if a Houston gas-drilling company gets it way, which is usually what happens in Pennsylvania when that company is involved. Cabot Oil & Gas Co. dragged Scroggins into court in October after the anti-fracking activist started making waves in that county, conducting tours to show how she thought Cabot was ruining the countryside and water resources.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Why we can’t seem to stop oil-filled rail cars from going boom
Grist
Heather Smith

People — including me — have written a good amount already about how trains have been exploding lately. In 2008, 9,500 carloads of crude oil were shipped by train in the U.S.; in 2012, that number was 234,000 carloads. The oil is packed into freight cars that date back to the 1960s and that normally carry payloads like corn syrup, then shipped along aging freight infrastructure. When the trains fail, they fail hard, and because freight lines were built to run through cities, rather than around them, they fail around people. Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, the Alabama wetlands, and eastern North Dakota are just a few instances of this species of disaster.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
No, Fracking Is Not Making the U.S. More Secure
The American Prospect
JEREMIAH GOULKA

National security think tanks are cheerleading for the shale gas industry with near-complete disregard for climate change and water security. Guess who’s funding the studies?   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Report finds each Marcellus gas well costs thousands in road damage
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

Each shale gas well in Pennsylvania causes between $5,400 and $10,000 in damage to state roads, according to a recent report by researchers at the Rand Corp. From EnergyWire: The damage is largely unseen and may shorten the life span of the highway system. The report comes as the state Legislature is looking for ways to offset the impact that gas drilling produces in Pennsylvania, which has become the third-biggest gas-producing state thanks to drilling in the Marcellus Shale.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Speakers talk strategy with local fracking opponents
The Sanford Herald
Will Doran

PINEHURST — Gathered at a Pinehurst church, dozens of anti-fracking activists from Central Carolina heard national speakers spread their environmental gospel late into Tuesday night. Robert Nehman, of Iowa, and Jill Wiener, of rural New York, both relayed their own success stories in stopping or delaying development related to natural gas drilling in small, conservative communities with a strong agricultural focus — areas similar to the communities in Lee, Chatham and Moore counties that would be at the epicenter of drilling in North Carolina should the state’s current ban be lifted.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
'Fracking' under PRI scrutiny
Investor daily


Global oil and gas companies are failing to adequately disclose the risks and impacts of their hydraulic fracturing (fracking) activities, according to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) initiative. A study conducted by global standards and corporate responsibility consultancy AccountAbility found that overall most firms fail to provide adequate information on their fracking activities and impacts. The research analysed the disclosure practices of 56 global publicly-listed companies involved in fracking activities across the four areas of governance and risk management, water quality and use, greenhouse gas emissions and community relations. The average score for all four indicators was 21 per cent.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Fracking’s Earthquake Risks Push States to Collaborate
Bloomberg
Jim Efstathiou Jr.

Several U.S. states are banding together to combat the mounting risks of earthquakes tied to the disposal of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Regulators from Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio met for the first time this month in Oklahoma City to exchange information on the man-made earthquakes and help states toughen their standards.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Air Pollution and Hydraulic Fracturing: Better Monitoring, Planning and Tracking of Health Effects Needed in Texas
University of Texas at Austin
Office of the President

AUSTIN, Texas — A review by a University of Texas at Austin researcher highlights the rapid proliferation of gas industry operations in urban areas and questions whether state and federal air pollution regulatory programs are well designed to ensure health and safety. The review recommends increased government monitoring, health impact studies and regulation of air pollution. The findings by Rachael Rawlins, faculty member in the UT Community and Regional Planning Program in the School of Architecture, were recently published in the Virginia Environmental Law Journal. They were based on a comprehensive review and analysis of air quality monitoring, regulation and health effect studies of hydraulic fracturing on the Barnett Shale in Texas.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
DCNR to release drilling impact report next month
Times Tribune
ROBERT SWIFT

HARRISBURG - A state conservation agency plans to release a voluminous report next month about its efforts to monitor the environmental impact of natural gas drilling in the state forests. The monitoring of gas drilling will continue after the report comes out, Ellen Ferretti, secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, told an advisory council Wednesday. DCNR started the drilling monitoring program in 2011, after the agency leased thousands of acres of state forest land for deep Marcellus Shale drilling in separate auctions in 2008 and 2010.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Local job creation from natural gas boom not meeting expectations
Mountaineer News Service
Trent Cunningham, Noelle Harris and Anthony Pecoraro

In October 2013, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s administration announced to state lawmakers that the natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale field is continuing to have a positive impact on West Virginia’s economy. State officials have also trumpeted U.S. Chamber of Commerce predictions that the Marcellus Shale gas boom would create 30,000 West Virginia jobs by 2020 and 58,000 jobs by 2035. West Virginia's coal mining industry shows a general increase in employment over the last 10 years, but the natural gas industry has remained steady. Photo by Noelle Harris Local employment in the natural gas industry has not risen significantly over the past decade. Data from Workforce West Virginia The projected jobs boost, however, has thus far not lived up to expectations. According to a report from Workforce West Virginia, an agency funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, fewer than 2,500 in-state residents were employed by the natural gas industry by the spring of 2013. By contrast, the field of coal mining, which is referred to as a dying industry, employed over 20,000 people during the same time period.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Candidates’ Views on Drilling Begin With Glance Back
The New York Times
JIM MALEWITZ

Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis have sparred over education. The issues of officeholder ethics and equal pay have also surfaced. But in the head-to-head battle for Texas governor that began well before each party officially nominated its candidates, neither Mr. Abbott, the state’s Republican attorney general, nor Ms. Davis, a Democratic state senator, has paid much attention to an issue that has touched most every Texan: the state’s rapid growth in oil and gas production.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Government issues fracking guidelines ahead of parliamentary watchdog’s report
National Business Review


The government has issued what it says are best practice guidelines for undertaking hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, including how to undertake so-called "land farming" and warning that fracking fluids can migrate into drinking water and need to be controlled. Environment Minister Amy Adams issued the guidelines today, ahead of the expected release around Easter of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's final report on fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Fracking chemicals will put Karoo water at risk, says UK climate envoy
BD Live
Sue Blaine

FRACKING should not be considered in water-stressed areas such as the Karoo, UK special representative on climate change Sir David King said on Wednesday. President Jacob Zuma told Parliament in his state of the nation address that the development of shale gas could be a "game changer" for South Africa’s economy. The government is expected to publish final regulations for hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the controversial gas extraction technique, next month.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Fracking’s Earthquake Risks Push States to Collaborate
Bloomberg
Jim Efstathiou Jr

Several U.S. states are banding together to combat the mounting risks of earthquakes tied to the disposal of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Regulators from Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio met for the first time this month in Oklahoma City to exchange information on the man-made earthquakes and help states toughen their standards.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Water resources, fracking on agenda as NM experts gather for energy policy forum
AP via The Republic


SOCORRO, New Mexico — New Mexico's energy policy will be the focus of a daylong forum in Socorro. The state Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources is convening a listening session at New Mexico Tech on Thursday to solicit technical and science-based comments on concerns related to energy development around the state. Officials say the overall question is aimed at determining what should be included in the state's energy policy.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Environmental Advocates Rally Against Fracking In Massachusetts
WAMC
Patrick Garrett

Environmental advocates are planning to rally at the Statehouse in Massachusetts to urge lawmakers to pass a ban on the natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing or fracking. The group Environment Massachusetts said they're planning to release a collection of personal stories from individuals affected by fracking across the country during the Wednesday event near the main entrance to the Statehouse.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Senate Enviro Committee releases Beck's fracking moratorium bill
Politicker NJ
Max Pizarro

TRENTON –Jobs versus the environment, and midway versus all the way. That was the way the fracking debate went down this morning as the Senate Environmental Committee passed a bill sponsored by state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11) that would temporarily suspend New Jersey fracking, or hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Fracking the USA: New Map Shows 1 Million Oil, Gas Wells
Climate Central
Bobby Magill

If you’re wondering where oil and gas production and hydraulic fracturing are happening near you, FracTracker has a new mapping tool that will help you find out.Researchers at FracTracker, an independent oil and gas research group that started as a mapping project at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Healthy Environments and Communities, analyzed oil and gas well location data for all 50 states and created a map showing where most of those wells are, including wells that have been fracked and those that haven’t.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Air Pollution and Hydraulic Fracturing: Better Monitoring, Planning and Tracking of Health Effects Needed in Texas
U Texas News


AUSTIN, Texas — A review by a University of Texas at Austin researcher highlights the rapid proliferation of gas industry operations in urban areas and questions whether state and federal air pollution regulatory programs are well designed to ensure health and safety. The review recommends increased government monitoring, health impact studies and regulation of air pollution. The findings by Rachael Rawlins, faculty member in the UT Community and Regional Planning Program in the School of Architecture, were recently published in the Virginia Environmental Law Journal. They were based on a comprehensive review and analysis of air quality monitoring, regulation and health effect studies of hydraulic fracturing on the Barnett Shale in Texas. The Barnett Shale is home to the most intensive hydraulic fracturing and gas production activities ever undertaken in a densely urbanized area. The Barnett Shale includes the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where thousands of oil and gas wells have been drilled in and around neighborhoods.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Fracking Is Not Making the U.S. More Secure
FSTV
Jeremiah Goulka

When it rains, it pours, so they say, but pouring rain is not exactly what you want in a drought. The big storm that hit the parched American Southwest at the end of February only scratched the surface of the problem. The land is far too dry and hard-packed to absorb the deluge; instead of recharging the earth, much of the water bounced off the dirt, turning into wasted runoff and even flash floods. These dry lands are dryer than they would otherwise be because of global warming-driven climate change. As it turns out, its not just the burning of oil, gas, and coal that's accelerating the loss of available freshwater, but also the drilling for two of the fuels themselves.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
B.C. projects aim to reduce use of fresh water in fracking
Vancouver Sun
MICHAEL RIIS-CHRISTIANSON

Oil and gas exploration and extraction requires vast amounts of water, but several projects undertaken by Geoscience BC are changing how the industry uses this precious resource. Geoscience BC has collaborated with industry, government and others to survey water resources in northeastern B.C., a hot bed of natural- gas exploration. Geoscience BC is a non-profit research agency, funded by energy companies.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Candidates’ Views on Drilling Begin With Glance Back
NY Times
JIM MALEWITZ

Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis have sparred over education. The issues of officeholder ethics and equal pay have also surfaced. But in the head-to-head battle for Texas governor that began well before each party officially nominated its candidates, neither Mr. Abbott, the state’s Republican attorney general, nor Ms. Davis, a Democratic state senator, has paid much attention to an issue that has touched most every Texan: the state’s rapid growth in oil and gas production.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Marylanders brace for natural gas export facility
Cecil Whig
Lyle Kendrick

COVE POINT — The natural gas pipes on Dominion’s Cove Point property begin on a pier in the Chesapeake Bay in this small Calvert County town. They then descend underground and run for more than a mile behind the walls of a dimly-lit tunnel for foot-brake bicycles that workers use to travel from the dock to shore. Above ground, the pipes pass acres of trees and finally connect to seven massive storage tanks before the gas ultimately travels to American consumers.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Forget Russian Gas, Just Frack Europe: Obama
Common Dreams
Jacob Chamberlain

Speaking after a meeting with European leaders at the EU-US summit in Brussels on Wednesday, President Barack Obama suggested that the U.S. is open to exporting fracked shale gas, once promised as the source of American "energy independence," to the EU and urged the EU to open up its own fracking reserves amid energy fears related to the crisis in Ukraine. Environmental groups have warned these policies will do nothing by way of energy security and everything for global environmental destruction and climate chaos. "Once we have a trade agreement in place," Obama said at a news conference in Brussels in reference to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal currently in the works, "export licenses for projects for liquefied natural gas destined to Europe would be much easier, something that is obviously relevant in today's geopolitical environment."  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Oil Shipments Turn Albany Into “Houston on the Hudson” As Communities Across Country Fight Oil-By-Rail Proposals
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA

Due to a massive increase in the movement of crude oil by rail in the past few years, communities across the country are facing the daunting prospect of becoming part of the oil industry’s infrastructure. In Pittsburg, Calif., there is strong opposition to a proposed rail facility slated to bring in upwards of 242,000 barrels of Bakken crude daily. The state’s draft environmental review finds “significant and unavoidable risks of air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, spills and accidents,” justifying resident’s concerns.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2014
Wind power cost competitive with natural gas, study finds
Phys.org
Diane Stirling

(Phys.org) —The costs of using wind energy and natural gas for electricity are virtually equal when accounting for the full private and social costs of each, making wind a competitive energy source for the United States, according to a new study on the federal tax credit for wind energy.   [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Rep. Holt Calls for Continued Moratorium on Fracking
NJTVnews
Mike Schneider

Some say that fracking is an environmental disaster and Congressman Rush Holt is calling on the Delaware River Basin Committee to continue the moratorium on the practice, not allowing it at this time. Holt told NTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he is calling for the moratorium for fracking to continue because many people in New Jersey are dependent on the Delaware River for their drinking water and what happens upstream affects it. “In Pennsylvania there has been a land rush for fracking, that is hydrological fracturing. You drill down a mile into the ground, pump millions of gallons of water, sand and undisclosed chemicals into the ground at very high pressures.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Chesapeake’s Faltering Oklahoma Gas Field Threatens Loans
Bloomberg
Joe Carroll

Chesapeake Energy (CHK) Corp.’s Sahara natural gas field in Oklahoma in producing less than expected, undermining fuel sales backing $880 million in loans and notes. Output from 3,300 Chesapeake-operated wells in the Sahara field was 12 percent below projections during the six-month period ending in February, Moody’s Investors Service said in a note to clients yesterday. As a result, the so-called production coverage ratio on the Glenn Pool Oil & Gas Trust five-year loan and 10-year notes declined to 1.18 from 1.29, the credit-rating firm said. Chesapeake, the second-largest U.S. gas producer, borrowed $880 million from Barclays Plc (BARC) in May 2011 under a pair of agreements that repay the loans with future supplies of gas, crude oil and gas byproducts.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Public Trusts: Proposed fracking under Deer Lakes Park could run afoul of state constitution
Pittsburgh City Paper
Bill O'Driscoll

In the 1980s, when John Dernbach was a lawyer and special assistant for Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Resources, the agency's offices featured posters trumpeting the Commonwealth's Environmental Rights Amendment. The 1972 addition to the state's constitution guaranteed a right to clean air and pure water. "Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all people, including generations yet to come," reads Article 1, Section 27. And the trustee of these resources, it adds, is the Commonwealth itself.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
NRDC calls for fracking ban in areas of high induced-earthquake risk
The Examiner
David Herron

Thursday is the 50th anniversary of the Great Alaskan Quake, which measured magnitude 9.2 making it the second strongest earthquake in history. The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources in the US House of Representatives will mark the occasion with a hearing titled "Advances in Earthquake Science: 50th Anniversary of the Great Alaskan Quake". Which served to inspire a blog post, on Wednesday, on the NRDC's Switchboard blog, discussing the big need to study induced earthquakes, especially those related to hydraulic fracturing activities.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Gov. Brown Urged to Investigate Missing Acidizing Reports for Oil Industry Activity
Indy Bay
Center for Biological Diversity

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity called on Gov. Jerry Brown on March 26 to investigate why dozens of legally required notices of a dangerous oil industry practice called “acidizing” are missing from the reporting website of a California agency responsible for collecting information on hydraulic fracturing, acidizing and other risky techniques used in oil and gas extraction. Acidizing uses dangerous acids to dissolve underground rock formations and release oil and gas.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Solar raising the roof on jobs
Long Island Business News
Bernadette Starzee

The number of solar-power installations on residential and commercial facilities grew nationwide in 2013 – and soared at a faster-than-average rate in New York. This state jumped from seventh to fifth overall, in terms of the number of solar jobs, with about 5,000 New Yorkers now earning their living in the solar field, according to the Solar Foundation, a Washington-based industry booster.   [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
NY-based fracking outfit goes to pot
Crain"s New York Business
AARON ELSTEIN

Dude, check this out: A New York company that couldn’t make it work in the fracking business has decided to totally chill out and start serving the needs of pot tokers everywhere. The company formerly known as Frac Water Systems Inc. is now calling itself Cannabis Therapy Corp. and says its new business is "manufacturing and marketing pharmaceutical level products containing phytocannabinoids, an abundant and pharmaceutically active component of cannabis, for the treatment of various conditions and diseases."  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Texas Congressman Wants National Parks Opened To Drilling
ThinkProgress
MATT LEE-ASHLEY

A controversial comment by a Texas Congressman who wants to open national parks to oil and gas drilling is drawing attention as the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote Wednesday on a plan to severely curtail the ability of the U.S. government to establish new national parks and monuments. “Guys on the West Coast … west of the Mississippi, they know they’ve got oil and gas under the land that they can’t touch because it’s on a national park or some sort of federal land,” said Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) while attending an oil and gas conference in Fort Worth.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
European leaders ask Obama to allow increased exports of US shale gas
The Guardian


President of the European commission Jose Manuel Barroso, US president Barack Obama and president of the European council Herman van Rompuy at the summit in Brussels. Photograph: Photonews/Photonews via Getty Images European leaders on Wednesday asked Barack Obama to share the US's shale gas bonanza with Europe by facilitating gas exports to help counter the stranglehold Russia has on the continent's energy needs. At an EU-US summit in Brussels, Barack Obama's first visit to the city in office, the impact of Vladimir Putin's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula loomed large, affecting transatlantic relations in various ways – from defence spending to energy policies and trade talks.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Wind Farms Flourish Across The U.S. As Interest In Renewable Energy Skyrockets
Huffington Post
Bobby Magill

In New York and many other cities across the U.S., you’re likely to have access to a program that will allow your home to be powered with wind energy through your local utility, reducing your home’s reliance on climate-changing fossil fuels for electricity. But where are the wind farms that produce that energy?  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Backers of Jordan Cove LNG project in Coos Bay looking to raise up to $250 million to finance development
The Oregonian
Ted Sickinger

Calgary-based Veresen Inc. said this week that it plans to issue up to $250 million in new shares to finance the development of the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos Bay. The U.S. Department of Energy on Monday authorized the Jordan Cove Energy Project to export 800 million cubic feet of gas per day to countries that don't have free trade agreements with the United States, which includes some of the largest importers of natural gas in Asia, such as Japan and India.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Most EIA regions show increase in natural gas prices
Power Engineering


Nine of the 10 reporting regions monitored by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed an increase in spot natural gas prices according to figures posted March 26. New England recorded the highest daily spot prices for both electricity and natural gas at $120.60/MWh and $15.00/mmBtu respectively.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Ohio Executive Pleads Guilty, Faces Three Years in Prison For Dumping Fracking Wastewater
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Just over a year after he pleaded not guilty to violating the federal Clean Water Act, an Ohio wastewater company owner changed his tune regarding allegations that he dumped or ordered the dumping of thousands of toxic and potentially radioactive fracking wastewater into a storm drain. Ben Lupo, 63, pleaded guilty in federal court in Cleveland this week, the Associated Press reported. He faces up to three years in prison, a year of supervised release and fines that could total $250,000. He will be sentenced on June 16.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
White House ‘welcomes’ natural gas exports
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI

The White House has affirmed its support of American natural gas exports as Europe seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian energy supplies. Energy is playing a major role in the conflict in Ukraine. The European Union has denounced Russia for annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and is now looking to the U.S. to strengthen its position.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
No permitamos que NY contamine el agua
El Dario
David Galarza Santa

Nueva York se enfrenta a las opciones de realizar una transición a fuentes limpias de energía que reducirían el cambio climático o seguir dependiendo de fuentes sucias de energía fósil que lo empeorarían.   [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Except for fracking tax, Kasich plan moves slowly in legislature
columbus dispatch
Jim Siegel

The Ohio House may soon take action on a new severance tax on shale fracking, but other portions of Gov. John Kasich’s tax package could remain in limbo for months. House Republicans plan to introduce another revised fracking tax plan next week, separate from the rest of Kasich’s tax package. “I think we’re getting fairly close to where we’ve got some agreements,” said Rep. Jeff McClain, R-Upper Sandusky, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The severance tax rate — House Republicans have proposed 2.25 percent compared to Kasich’s 2.75 percent — has not been worked out, McClain said. Robert Cline, director of state and local tax-policy economics for Ernst & Young, a financial firm that analyzed Kasich’s tax package at the request of the Ohio Business Roundtable, told the committee yesterday that going to 2.75 percent would still leave Ohio with a severance tax rate 65 percent lower than the average of seven other states with significant drilling. Kasich also has proposed an 8.5 percent income-tax cut over three years, paid for with revenue from a 15 percent commercial-activities tax hike, a 48 percent increase in tobacco taxes, and the new tax on shale fracking. GOP legislative leaders have indicated they might wait until after the November election before acting on the plan.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
UK's Cameron preaches that fracking is undeniable blessing
EIN Newsdesk


After the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague British Prime Minister David Cameron stated that Europe should become more resilient in terms of energy resources in the light of recent events in Ukraine portraying that as a "duty" and a "tier-one political issue from now on." That means that hydraulic fracturing – known as fracking – which involves using high-pressure jets of water to release gas is on the immediate agenda. The prime minister tried to convince the nation and other European states that once the "wells are up and running" people will stop worrying about the dangers this process involves and "there would be more public enthusiasm." He is thus urging to replicate the US experience, which is highly controversial. Evidently, he is looking for the immediate benefits of the new technology while conveniently ignoring the fact that shale gas remains a costly, polluting option to source energy for the UK with doubtful long-term benefits. What is quite disturbing is the fact that Cameron is not trying to provide truthful information on the irreversible damage that fracking causes the environment, including contamination of groundwater, methane pollution, fracking-induced earthquakes, etc. He is only stressing the fact that the technology will allegedly boost energy independence for the whole region. "I think something positive should come out of this for Europe which is to take a long hard look at its energy resilience," Cameron assumes. Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_26/UK-s-Cameron-preaches-that-fracking-is-undeniable-blessing-6813/   [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Will fracking make Europe less dependent on Russian gas?

Karl Mathiesen

My colleague Stephen Burgen has filed a story from Barcelona on the growing push for shale exploration in cash-strapped Spain. No rhetoric about Russian omnipotence from Spain's officials, just a straight up appeal to economic interest. Several regional governments have outlawed fracking but last year the central government used its overall majority to pass legislation that overrules regional administrations on the issue. "The minister has to defend the interest of Spain as a whole, and the regional presidents have every right to defend their interests," said Enrique Hernández Bento, who is minister for both energy and tourism. "The government will support these explorations as long as they comply with legal and environmental requirements." The organisation Shale Gas España says: "This won't be a panacea that makes Spain self-sufficient." But, it says, fracking will allow Spain to be 60% rather than 80% dependent on conventional gas. However a report from E3G called into question the economic rationale behind fracking in the EU saying production costs would be 150%-250% more expensive than US shale gas.   [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Forced-pooling hearings should include those affected
The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


- — It's hard, after all we’ve seen, to imagine that the long-simmering debate about fracking for natural gas is as simple as either side says it is. Like almost every other issue, it’s not a question of black and white. Do we need cheap energy and economic development? Yes. Do we want clean air and water? Yes. Do we know that every question in between won’t be as easy to answer? Yes we do. Of course, the answers to those questions matter less and less as the wells are drilled and money is made and spent. The shale “boom” is going on now, here, and we’ll have to deal with the fallout, both good and bad. That’s not to absolve the powers that be for the political and regulatory inaction that greeted unconventional drilling in Pennsylvania. Whether the heel-dragging was deliberate or incompetent the end result is the same: Residents of the Keystone State are largely on their own when it comes to the shale boom. But that’s OK. This is America, the home of the rugged individual. Forgetting entirely the anti-fracking arguments about environmental and health dangers and a healthy skepticism of corporate claims to the contrary, there’s always been an out for those landowners opposed to aggressive resource development: Don’t lease your land. Live and let live, right? Well not exactly. In Pulaski, Hilcorp Energy Co. is asking the state Department of Environmental Protection to make holdout property owners submit to a 50-year-old state law that could force them to allow gas and oil drilling on their land. It’s essentially a case of private eminent domain, the process that governments use to force people to sell land when it blocks a public project. Hilcorp wants the holdouts to sign leases so they can have a large, contiguous area for drilling, which in theory would mean fewer wells and a more efficient – read cheaper – operation. The law the company is invoking was written in the 1960s to apply to conventional drilling, not the environmentally and tectonically dicey hydraulic fracturing. DEP was supposed to be conducting a series of public hearings on this case this week to hear the concerns of property owners, the company and leaseholders. Those hearings were called off late last week and the reason provides some fodder for those who look suspiciously at Hilcorp and DEP, which is supposed to be looking out for the best interests of the state and its residents. It turns out DEP was relying on Hilcorp to tell it who ought to be notified about the hearings. Not surprisingly, that group didn’t include many, if any, of those property owners in Mercer and Lawrence counties who hadn’t signed a lease and logically might see some problem with forced pooling. DEP acknowledged as much when it postponed the hearings. Deputy Secretary Scott Perry’s statement spoke to both the public interest in making sure “all potentially impacted residents” had time to be informed and prepared and the real authority his agency answers to when he noted that Hilcorp “agreed to request a delay so that we could provide notices that goes above and beyond what the law requires.” Letting folks who may be forced by a private company to participate in an activity they find personally abhorrent know about their situation shouldn’t be “above and beyond what the law requires.” Maintaining personal autonomy and property rights may be cold comfort, as one sees their neighbors cashing in and wells going up across the road, but at least it’s something. Until it’s nothing.   [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
LNG exports’ immediate geopolitical impacts limited, senators told
Oil & Gas Journal
Nick Snow

Direct geopolitical impacts from the US authorizing LNG exports more quickly would be limited, witnesses told a US Senate committee. But global market consequences could be substantial because it would send a definite signal that the country is committed to becoming a major player, which potentially could accelerate changes indirectly, they added. “Signals certainly can be important, but they have to be followed up by concrete action, such as the gas ultimately entering the marketplace,” US Energy Information Administration Administrator Adam Sieminski told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during a Mar. 25 hearing on LNG exports, jobs, and geopolitics.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Chesapeake Gas Wells Backing $880 Million in Loans Underperform
Businessweek
Joe Carroll

Chesapeake Energy (CHK:US) Corp.’s Sahara natural gas field in Oklahoma in producing less than expected, undermining fuel sales backing $880 million in loans and notes. Output from 3,300 Chesapeake-operated wells in the Sahara field was 12 percent below projections during the six-month period ending in February, Moody’s Investors Service said in a note to clients yesterday. As a result, the so-called production coverage ratio on the Glenn Pool Oil & Gas Trust five-year loan and 10-year notes declined to 1.18 from 1.29, the credit-rating firm said.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Fracking: vital we drill down to detail of its health implications
Western Daily Press


The push for shale gas received encouragement with generous tax breaks for fracking companies announced in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget last week. But what do we know about the health implications of fracking? Professor Michael Depledge offers an overview of what we know – and also what we don't Fracking is never far from the headlines at the moment, with David Cameron recently urging local councils to "get on board" and back the industry, in return for more money in tax revenue. Yet with contradictory rhetoric and a large number of 'unknowns' surrounding the extraction of gas by induced hydraulic fracturing of gas-bearing rock – or 'fracking' – what do we actually know about the potential health effects of the process?   [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Top Oil Companies See Reduction in Natural Gas Profits
Wall Street Cheat Sheet
KIMBERLY WARNER-COHEN

The nation’s top oil companies – Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), BP (NYSE:BP), and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) — released their annual reports earlier this month and their outlooks were similar. While profit margins and budgets for capital expenses differed, each announced an increase in general exploration costs along with a decline in natural gas profits. For the first time in their annual remarks, Exxon and Shell also addressed future ecological and legislative challenges facing the industry’s future.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Chesapeake Energy again cuts funding in the Pennsylvania Marcellus
The Examiner
Robert Magyar

Yesterday in New Orleans Chesapeake Energy presented its 2014 operations outlook at the Howard Weil Energy Conference. The company presented a projected 2014 capital spending budget of $5.4 billion down from $6.7 billion in 2013. Of this amount nationally, the company will spend only 20% of its total budget in its U.S. dry gas operations. It further announced it will spend less than 5% of its total operating budget, under $275 million, on the Pennsylvania Marcellus. The company estimates it will have just 6 to 7 rigs operating in Pennsylvania this year as it looks at plays closer to its Oklahoma home. Mark Holder, CIO and founder of Oklahoma based Stone Fox Capital Associates commented on Chesapeake Energy’s new focus in the Louisiana Haynesville Shale stating, “Combined with sufficient pipeline and takeaway capacity already in place, the shale might finally have some advantages over the more prolific Marcellus shale.”   [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Rising Utility Costs Lingering After Winter’s Chill Fades
Bloomberg
Naureen S. Malik

U.S. consumers got a glimpse of rising future utility bills during the winter as coal- and nuclear-plant shutdowns boosted reliance on natural gas. Demand for gas, used to heat half of U.S. households and generate 27 percent of the nation’s power, reached records from New York to Los Angeles in January, sending regional prices to all-time highs.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
PG&E tree removal would hit Walnut Creek hard
San Jose Mercury News
Elisabeth Nardi

WALNUT CREEK -- Pacific Gas and Electric's plan to take down hundreds of trees for better access to the utility's natural gas pipelines would mean barren medians next to John Muir Medical Center and shadeless sidewalks on Locust Street downtown. Nine trees in the Shell Ridge Open Space would disappear, and 73 trees along Ygnacio Valley Road would be wiped out. This is all part of PG&E's $500 million Pipeline Pathways project, a statewide initiative that aims to clear obstructions from the utility company's 6,750 miles of gas lines from Bakersfield to Eureka. The project will take out all structures and vegetation to provide 10 feet of clearance on either side of PG&E's main gas lines. PG&E says it needs to remove the trees, shrubs and structures -- on private and public property -- to ensure pipeline safety.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
LNG export push, with eyes on November — LNG exports on slow train — Groups hit the Hill
Politico
ALEX GUILLÉN

EXPORT PUSH TAKES SLOW TRAIN: The complicated and politically charged congressional push to expand natural gas exports to undermine Russia is on a slow track despite getting a starring role Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Amendments from lawmakers in both parties aimed at speeding up DOE’s approval of LNG export permits are expected to fall victim to Congress’s broader interest in a quick, unified initial response to Russia’s incursion on Ukraine. Darren and Andrew Restuccia have the lay of the land: http://politico.pro/1rwVNBu  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
FOIL sheds light on fracking-related test in Livingston
Democrat & Chronicle
Steve Orr

Four years ago, a small industrial compound near the Livingston County hamlet of Cuylerville hosted a test that participants hoped would help solve a vexing problem for the natural gas industry: What to do with all the wastewater being generated by the drilling boom in Pennsylvania. The compound houses a facility built in 2006 for a different purpose -- desalinating brine that originates in a vast salt mine beneath western Livingston County that had begun to collapse in 1994.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Fracking: As Knowledge Has Spread Opposition Has Grown
Huffington Post
Natalie Bennett

Knowledge of what hydraulic fracturing is, its costs and drawbacks, and its place in the spectrum of extreme energy, have grown a lot since the issue first came on to the UK agenda in 2010. As the latest group of protesters against fracking from Balcombe, including Green MP Caroline Lucas go on trial, and protests grow against the nature of policing of the continuing protests at Barton Moss, now's a good time to assess how far the debate has come. Communities fighting back against fracking are well versed in the localised risks, but they also appreciate the opportunities afforded by alternatives in renewables (particularly those that they can own themselves) and energy conservation, promoted by campaigns like the Energy Bill Revolution.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Lawmakers should ban fracking waste in Connecticut
Journal Inquirer
Carlos Canal

Fracking and its resultant toxic byproducts pose deadly risks to human and environmental health. The Connecticut legislature is considering Senate Bill 237, which would effectively ban the storage and disposal of fracking waste in the state. The Washington Environmental Council of Washington, Conn., urges all residents of Connecticut to support S.B. 237. Connecticut does not have underground shale deposits that can be deep drilled and fractured to produce natural gas, so we do not need to worry about the adverse side effects of fracking operations in our state. However, drilling operators with large fracking operations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia would be more than happy to use Connecticut as a place to dump the huge amount of toxic fracking waste that results as a byproduct of their operations.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
DRBC’S OUTGOING DIRECTOR SAYS DELAWARE RIVER BASIN NEEDS STRONG REGULATOR
NJSpotlight
JON HURDLE

Delaware River Basin Commission tasked with ensuring water quality, coordinating interests -- and settling arguments -- of four states and federal government.Drinking water supplies for some 15 million residents of the Delaware River basin will come under increasing threat from climate change and sea-level rise in coming years, and need continued protection from a vigilant interstate regulator, the outgoing head of the Delaware River Basin Commission said.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Gas well fracking under fire from US professor
Australian MIning
Ben Hagemann

A professor from Cornell University has called on Australia to halt coal seam and shale gas production, due to emissions and the risk of leaking wells. Dr Anthony Ingraffea, an expert on “fracking” in the US and Canada, conducted the first peer reviewed study of methane emissions from shale gas development three years ago, which found that the range of unburned emissions falls between 3.5 and eight per cent of the total gas production in the lifetime of producing wells, much higher than previously thought.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Texas rep. pushes for oil, gas drilling in national parks
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) told an oil and natural gas industry meeting yesterday that he wants to loosen federal rules on drilling, including allowing some oil and gas exploration in national parks.   [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Wyden's replacement as chair of Senate Energy Committee goes whole hog on increasing LNG exports
Oregon Live
Ted Sickinger

U.S. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., is wasting no time turning her new position as Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources into a soapbox for increased natural gas drilling and exports.  [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2014
Ohio Executive Pleads Guilty, Faces Three Years in Prison For Dumping Fracking Wastewater
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Just over a year after he pleaded not guilty to violating the federal Clean Water Act, an Ohio wastewater company owner changed his tune regarding allegations that he dumped or ordered the dumping of thousands of toxic and potentially radioactive fracking wastewater into a storm drain.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Ohio Pipeline Spill Leaked Double the Amount of Crude Oil Originally Estimated
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

The pipeline that oozed oil into the Oak Glen Nature Preserve near Cincinnati, OH a week ago leaked more crude oil than originally estimated—about two times more.   [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Fact Check: The Fracking Crew
NC Capitol
Mark Binker

RALEIGH, N.C. — A coalition of environmental groups has labeled state Sens. Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, Wesley Meredith, R-Cumberland, and Ronald Rabin, R-Harnett, as "The Fracking Crew" in a commercial that has been running on WRAL and other area stations throughout this week. The North Carolina Environmental Partnership, which includes the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Southern Environmental Law Center, declined to say how much it spent to air the campaign-style attack ad.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Resolutions To Bar Fracking And Associated Waste Materials Considered
WAMC
Pat Bradley

Clinton County legislators and councilors in the city of Plattsburgh are poised to limit hydraulic fracturing, the divisive gas drilling process, and associated materials in the area. In February, the League of Women Voters of the North Country’s HydroFracking Study Group made a presentation to Clinton County legislators on the public health and environmental concerns surrounding the use of fracking waste. Study Group co-chair Mary Dufort (‘do-four”) says the industry is growing exponentially. While there is minimal concern that actual drilling will occur in the North Country, with New York still under a de facto drilling moratorium while state officials conduct an open-ended health review, there is worry about the use or disposal of fracking’s byproducts. “Because of the huge amount of waste product, that we feel is toxic and hazardous to health and clean water, we will likely be asked to in some way participate in disposal of this waste product. Because there just are not enough places to take it.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Fracking Opponents Ramping Up Lobbying Effort
The Pilot
Ted M. Natt Jr

Jill Wiener is a small business owner turned activist from New York who urged Moore Countians during a presentation Tuesday night to lobby their state legislators to ban fracking in North Carolina. “Get on their radar,” said Wiener, who has been a leader in the charge to keep fracking out of New York. “Become their friends. Become a pain. It’s not a partisan issue. You should wrap yourself in Old Glory and fight fracking.”  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Fracking's long-term effects unknown, say researchers
The Week


THE long-term effects of fracking are "unknown" but it is likely that some wells will suffer "failures" causing air and water pollution, a new study has claimed. Researchers investigating onshore well failures – in which oil, gas and drilling fluids escape into the environment – said data from the US showed that shale gas wells in Pennsylvania had led to pollution. The paper added that well integrity would become an "important issue" for the shale gas industry and concluded: "It is likely that well barrier failure will occur in a small number of wells and this could in some instances lead to some form of environmental contamination."   [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Local Lawmaker Says Fracking Bills Are Likely Dead In The Legislature
WGCU
Ashley Lopez

A fracking bill sponsored by a Southwest Florida lawmaker likely won’t become law yet again this year. State Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, has been trying to get a bill passed that would require companies to disclose what chemicals they use when fracking, which is a way to mine for natural gas. Last year, his bill got bipartisan support and passed in the Florida House. However, it didn’t make it through the Senate, but things have changed in the past year. Rodrigues said many House Democrats that once voted for the bill are now voting against it as it moves through legislative committees. He said the bill has become partisan, which is a sign it likely won’t pass.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Fracking ‘n’ leaking: UK scientists cite pollution fears due to insecure well barriers
RT


A report on fracking has warned it is “likely” that planned wells may leak and damage the surrounding environment in the UK. Scientists also noted there was not enough information in the public sphere to accurately predict the effects of mass fracking. The research by Durham University draws attention to a number of concerns with the British government’s plans to expand the exploitation of shale gas across the UK. Fracking is a technique used to extract shale gas trapped deep underground. In order to release the gas, chemicals are blasted at high pressure into fissures in the rock. The practice was discontinued in the UK back in 2011 after a number of small earthquakes close to the northern city of Blackpool were found to be linked to fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Regulators to decide solar vs. natural gas
Star Tribune
DAVID SHAFFER

he Public Utilities Commission asked energy companies to propose power projects. Now it must decide between solar panels and natural-gas-burning turbines.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Judge: Companies can’t use eminent domain for pipeline project
The Daily Independent KY
Ronnie Ellis

FRANKFORT — Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd on Tuesday ruled companies building a natural gas liquids pipeline across parts of Kentucky cannot invoke eminent domain to force private property owners to provide easements.   [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Natural Gas Pipeline Fire in Copano Bay
KRIS TV NBC-TX


ROCKPORT - A natural gas pipeline is on fire in Copano Bay. The Rockport Volunteer Fire Department says no one was injured, but it will be up to the pipeline company to turn off the supply. The scene is a few hundred yards off the Copano Bay Causeway. Witnesses tell us there was a large plume of smoke at first, followed by a large column of fire that is still coming up from underwater.   [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
US expands gas exports in bid to punish Putin for Crimea
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

Exporting natural gas would end Russia’s 'energy blackmail' and make US an energy superpower, Senate committee told  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Ohio Businessman Pleads Guilty After Dumping Fracking Wastewater Into Mahoning River
AP via Huffington Post
Julie Carr Smyth

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The former owner of a Youngstown-based wastewater company pleaded guilty Monday to federal Clean Water Act violations in the dumping of thousands of gallons of fracking wastewater into a northeast Ohio storm sewer. Ben Lupo, 63, changed his earlier not guilty plea during a hearing before Judge Donald Nugent in federal court in Cleveland. He faces up to three years in prison, a year of supervised release and fines of up to $50,000 per day, to a maximum of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for June 16.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Obama Is Negotiating an Agreement That Could Unleash Fracking Around the World. See How.
Policy Mic
Tabitha Peyton Wood

There is a river running through Quebec called the St. Lawrence. It touches New York state as it connects the Great Lakes to the North Atlantic. It carries boats, waters crops and feeds aquifers. It darts out into swimmable lakes and canals, and if it were polluted with toxic chemicals ... it would be a great loss. This is why Quebec placed a moratorium on fracking when American energy company, Lone Pine, decided to frack beneath the river. Now, the Quebec government is being sued for protecting its citizens and environment over the companies' interests under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It's an illustrative example of what's wrong with some international trade agreements: they effectively reduce regulation by preventing individual nations from enforcing their own rules and regulations.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Texas congressman suggests drilling for gas, oil in US national parks
Platts


US Representative Pete Olson, R-Texas, on Tuesday called for less federal regulation for oil and gas drilling, including allowing some drilling in national parks. Olson, who spoke at the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners annual convention in Fort Worth, called for easing environmental restrictions in order to open up more federal lands to oil and gas development, and taking other pro-development steps such as revising the Endangered Species Act to avoid shutting out prospective areas to drilling. On the sidelines of the conference, Olson said he would favor easing the federal restrictions on drilling in national parks. Texas has been able to significantly ramp up its oil and gas production in part because the state has relatively little federally controlled land, he commented.   [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Florida Legislature: Fracking smacks a partisan wall
News Press.com
Mary Wozniak

A legislative bill that would require oil companies to disclose the chemicals used in a controversial drilling process called fracking has hit a partisan brick wall, its sponsor says. Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, doesn’t think House Bill 71 will pass. The chilly reception is due to partisan politics in an election year, Rodrigues claims. “Last year we had bipartisan support probably through the whole process,” he said. “With a subject as controversial as this, it really needs a broader range of support.”  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Fracking safety: report warns of 'significant unknowns'
The Guardian
Damian Carrington

The lack of publicly available data on the UK's onshore oil and gas drilling means there are significant "unknowns" about the safety of future fracking wells, according to a new study. The research also found that public data from the US showed that hundreds of recent shale gas wells in Pennsylvania have suffered failures that could cause water or air pollution. "The research confirms that well failure in hydrocarbon wells is an issue and that publicly available data in Europe on this seems to be sparse," said Professor Richard Davies of Durham University, and who led the team of academics who undertook the work. "In the UK, wells are monitored by well inspectors but there is no information in the public domain, so we don't really know the full extent of well failures. There were unknowns we couldn't get to the bottom of."  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
25 speakers oppose fracking sand
The Bellingham Herald
ROLF BOONE

The Port of Olympia commission voted 2-1 Monday night to seek bids for a new marine terminal warehouse. But before that happened, commission members got an earful from more than 20 residents who testified against it. It wasn’t the warehouse structure they were concerned about, but rather that ceramic proppants — known more commonly as fracking sand — would be stored inside it. The product and the oil extraction process have drawn the ire of environmentalists nationwide.   [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Fracking plans spark oil and gas well warning
BBC News


The UK must learn from leaks and poor monitoring at existing onshore oil and gas sites before any expansion of shale gas "fracking", scientists have warned. A review of 2,152 wells drilled from 1902-2013 found up to 100 "orphaned" wells for which no firm is responsible.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Are New Fracking Regulations in California Enough?
Capital Public Radio
Amy Quinton

California is instituting what some are calling the toughest regulations in the nation for the controversial oil extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. But some say the regulations don't go far enough and instead want a ban.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Fracking Is Not a Good Alternative to Germany’s Renewable Energy Policy
Green Tech Media
Craig Morris

Over the past few months, oil and gas expert Daniel Yergin has become a critic of the Energiewende, Germany's clean energy policy, due to its its impact on energy prices for industry. "There has been a kind of waking up to the fact that the premises of the Energiewende, however well-intentioned they are, no longer hold because the world is changed," wrote Yergin in a recent New York Times article.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
University of Cincinnati studying Carroll County air to test for pollutants tied to fracking
Columbus Business First
Tom Knox

University of Cincinnati researchers have collected data from air-monitoring devices in Carroll County that could be a first step in determining if or what kind of pollutants in Ohio might result from fracking. The researchers started the project earlier this year and have sent the samples to collaborator Oregon State University for analysis, Erin Haynes, an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Environmental Health, told me. Findings should be available before year’s end.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Hurley says it needs time to review fracking moratorium comments
Daily Freeman
William J Kemble

ratorium comments By William J. Kemble, news@freemanonline.com POSTED: 03/24/14, 11:00 PM EDT | UPDATED: 30 SECS AGO 0 COMMENTS HURLEY >> The Town Board is uncertain how long it will be before a decision is made about whether to move forward with moratorium on fracking and related activities. Town Supervisor Gary Bellows said during a meeting Monday that more time is needed to review comments from 24 people who spoke at a public hearing last week. “A lot of them we’re reading from pieces of paper,” he said. “If they want to turn those in, it would be great. If not, we’d have to listen to a tape and start to transcribe it.”  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Gas projects, a sensitive issue in TN politics
Hindu Businessline
R Balaji

CHENNAI, MARCH 25: Political parties insist they are pro-farmer. In Tamil Nadu, they face the challenge of convincing farmers that they really mean what they say. And when it comes to large industrial projects, politicians have to strike a delicate balance between agriculture and industry. As the election pitch heightens, two resources — natural gas and coal bed methane — have emerged as major issues. Managing farmers’ perception of their party’s stand could be a decisive factor in the outcome of the polls. A couple of large projects associated with these fuels essential for industrial growth have a significant impact on nine of the 39 Parliamentary constituencies in the State. LNG pipeline One is an LNG pipeline that will pass through seven western districts of Tamil Nadu, and the other a coal bed methane project in two districts in the Cauvery Delta — prime paddy growing areas.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Trees with nesting birds marked for destruction
Mercury News
Joan Morris

It would seem that PG&E is intent upon ensuring its natural gas pipelines are protected, which means that we are safer from explosions like the one that shook San Bruno a couple of years back. While I'm all for safety, I'm not too pleased with the utility's methods, which so far has been to inform Concord and Walnut Creek that they'll be taking out hundreds of trees and they don't need permission to do so.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Gas mining could pollute tap water: Rous
Echo Daily


Rous Water has called on the state government to prevent gas exploration in areas it is planning to explore for underground water sources. The county council, which supplies Lismore, Ballina, Richmond Valley and Byron LGAs has identified subterranean water in its future water strategy as the best and most cost-effective source to meet its increased needs in the coming decades. But the recent pollution of aquifers in the Pilliga by Santos mining with uranium and a number of heavy metals has triggered serious concerns amongst the board at the prospect of something similar happening in the northern rivers.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Wyden's replacement as chair of Senate Energy Committee goes whole hog on increasing LNG exports
Oregon Live
Ted Sickinger

U.S. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., is wasting no time turning her new position as Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources into a soapbox for increased natural gas drilling and exports. In her first set of hearings since taking over leadership of the committee from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Landrieu contended that "increasing exports of liquefied natural gas will create thousands of high-paying jobs and support U.S. allies abroad." The title of the hearing: "Importing Energy, Exporting Jobs — Can it be reversed?" It's a marked change in tone from Wyden, who consistently urged federal regulators to go slow on approving applications to export natural gas and examine each of the dozens of pending applications in a case-by-case basis to protect U.S. consumers and manufacturers from spiking prices.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Clearer Protections for Clean Water
Huffington Post
Gina McCarthy Press Release

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is taking action to protect our precious water resources. Many of us have fond memories of playing at our neighborhood pond or taking a swim in the local river. We remember the unspoiled wetlands and streams where our parents took us hunting and fishing as kids. We value our deep-rooted ties to the lakes and rivers that shape where we grew up and where we live. Our waters define who we are as people and as a nation. Before 1972, that identity was threatened. Back then, levels of toxic pollution in our waters were so high that a river in Ohio caught fire. Americans deserved better, and millions of voices called for change. Congress answered the call with the passage of the Clean Water Act.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Fracking Opponents Ramping Up Lobbying Effort
The Pilot
Ted M. Natt Jr

Jill Wiener is a small business owner turned activist from New York who urged Moore Countians during a presentation Tuesday night to lobby their state legislators to ban fracking in North Carolina. “Get on their radar,” said Wiener, who has been a leader in the charge to keep fracking out of New York. “Become their friends. Become a pain. It’s not a partisan issue. You should wrap yourself in Old Glory and fight fracking.”  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
State demands answers from crude-oil shipper
Capital New York
SCOTT WALDMAN

ALBANY—The state environmental conservation department is stepping up its response to a Fortune 500 company bringing millions of gallons of crude oil through New York, threatening to refuse permits if Global Companies LLC does not respond to an extensive list of questions about its plans to expand. The state is even reviewing whether environmental regulators “took the requisite hard look” at a proposed project before signing off on an air quality permit last year.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Why Is a Congressional Hearing on Natural Gas Being Organized by Former Natural Gas Lobbyists?
The Nation
Lee Fang

Today, the congressional Energy and Commerce committee's subcommittee on Energy and Power is scheduled to hold a hearing on Representative Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) bill to force the Obama administration to approve all applications for new liquefied natural gas terminals used to export natural gas. A close look at the staffers involved with this particular subcommittee reveals that several have close ties to the LNG industry. – Energy and Power staff counsel Patrick Currier is a former lobbyist for gas and energy companies, including the Gas Processors Association, FirstEnergy Corp, and the CCS Alliance.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Air pollution 'kiss of death' for 7 million in 2012
National Catholic Reporter
Megan Fincher

“Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust of the ground, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7) Since the beginning of time, the air we breathe is given to us as a free and ever-present gift from God. Unlike food and water, which is often too scarce for the poorest of the poor, no one can horde, process, package or sell oxygen. Unfortunately, due to humanity’s carelessness, the breath of life is now the kiss of death for seven million people a year. According to a World Health Organization report released Tuesday, “In 2012 around 7 million people died -- one in eight of total global deaths -- as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk.”  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Hundreds Of Fracking Wells In Pennsylvania Have Been Reported For Air And Water Violations
ThinkProgress
KATIE VALENTINE

Hundreds of fracking wells in Pennsylvania have been reported for failures that could lead to air and water pollution, according to a new report. The report, which focused on fracking wells in the U.K. and Pennsylvania, looked at multiple datasets of wells in Pennsylvania to determine their rate of well failures. Researchers found that one-third of a dataset of 3,533 wells in the state had been reported for environmental violation notices between 2008 and 2011. These violations included surface water contamination, land spills, site restoration problems and well barrier failures, including four violations for well blowouts. Another dataset of 8,030 wells contained 506 reports for well barrier failures between 2005 and 2013.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Fact Check: The Fracking Crew

Mark Binker

RALEIGH, N.C. — A coalition of environmental groups has labeled state Sens. Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, Wesley Meredith, R-Cumberland, and Ronald Rabin, R-Harnett, as "The Fracking Crew" in a commercial that has been running on WRAL and other area stations throughout this week. ---------------------------------------------------- The bill also would have "lifted the North Carolina ban on underground injection of wastewater, to allow toxic fracking wastewater to be injected deep underground, endangering our coastal aquifers," Martinez said. That provision drew extra attention due to the high-profile case of Hercules Inc., which in the late 1960s and 1970s injected toxic wastewater leftover from polyester manufacturing into the ground. Those chemicals ended up contaminating aquifers in eastern North Carolina.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Senate hears pleas for gas exports to Europe
AP via Washington Post


WASHINGTON — Calls to begin U.S. natural gas exports to Europe to counter Russian influence across the continent grew louder Tuesday amid concerns that Russia will move deeper into Ukraine. Lithuania’s energy minister, Jaroslav Neverovic, pleaded in emotional terms for U.S. help, saying his country is “100 percent” dependent on Russia for natural gas and has to pay 30 percent higher prices for it than other countries in Europe.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Government’s Fixation With Shale Gas Could Undermine Investment In Renewables
The Economic Voice


As the Energy and Climate Minister, Mr Gregory Barker, unveils his new Strategic Framework for “Low Carbon Technology” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, independent experts raise concern that government reliance on shale gas as a bridging technology could damage future investment and transition to low-carbon technologies.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
SandRidge eyeing options for fracking water disposal unit
Reuters


(Reuters) - SandRidge Energy Inc has started taking steps toward monetizing its fracking water disposal business, the largest in the United States, as it tightens its core focus on oil and natural gas development, its chief executive said on Tuesday. SandRidge has begun a financial audit of the unit, which currently processes 980 million gallons of water per day. The unit is on track to have $135 million in EBITDA this year, SandRidge Chief Executive Officer James Bennett said at the Howard Weil energy conference in New Orleans.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Well integrity a fracking concern, British study finds
UPI
Daniel J. Graeber

March 25 (UPI) -- A study published Tuesday in the British journal Marine and Petroleum Geology finds underground wells used for shale exploration may cause water contamination. A study from Research Fracking in Europe, or ReFINE, finds the structural casing of underground wells may present a risk to underground water supplies.   [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Harmful Air Pollutants Build Up Near Oil And Gas Fields Air Quality: During wintertime, concentrations of volatile organic compounds near Utah oil and gas fields can exceed urban levels
C&EN
Deirdre Lockwood

Dangerously high concentrations of air pollutants are threatening an unexpected place—rural Utah. During wintertime periods when air in the atmosphere tends to stagnate, a research team has found that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from oil and gas wells in Utah’s Uintah Basin reach levels exceeding those in U.S. cities (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2014, DOI: 10.1021/es405046r). The pollutants include benzene, a carcinogen, and compounds that are precursors of ozone, which can cause respiratory problems.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Is the US counting too much on the shale boom to fix the economy?
American Enterprise Institute
James Pethokoukis

Calling the shale gas and oil boom an “energy revolution” is no overstatement. Between 2005 and 2013, US production of natural gas increased by 33% and liquid fuel 52% thanks to advanced drilling technology. But I get the impression that some people — particularly on the right — see fracking as a sort of magic bullet for America’s economic stagnation. Well, that and the repeal of Obamacare. But I urge caution in equating an America energy revolution with an American economic revolution. It’s a big economy, after all. And it’s tough for any one thing to make a dramatic, overwhelming impact. For instance: the McKinsey Global Institute has projected that so-called unconventional energy production could support 1.7 million jobs by 2020. IHS Global Insight takes its forecast out to 2035 and sees a gain of 2.4 million jobs. Those are big numbers, of course, but they seem less impressive when you consider that total US employment by then might be 160-170 million jobs.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
FOUL AIR IN THE FRACK ZONE: TOURING THE FAYETTEVILLE SHALE, ARKANSAS
Moms Clean Air Force
MOLLY RAUCH

The couple, married for decades, looked out along a rural dirt road that was home to no fewer than 27 fracked natural gas wells. Shaking their heads, they said they suffer from headaches, nosebleeds, nausea, hair loss, and irritability. The cause of their health symptoms? According to them, they suffer from toxic air emissions from the wells and noise from the compressor stations. Their doctors don’t see it the same way. Their doctors blame allergies. But when this couple leaves the area for several days, the symptoms go away. “The air is so heavy,” said one, who preferred not to be named. “It takes every ounce of energy you have to walk.”  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Rail cars moving crude oil need makeover
Public Source
Natasha Khan

Walking with his daughter from a Friday night football game in New Brighton, Pa., Fire Chief Jeffrey Bolland heard what sounded like a jet overhead and saw an orange glow in the distance. Twenty-three rail tank cars of ethanol derailed on a bridge above the Beaver River on that night in 2006, setting off an explosion that burned for 48 hours. Some of the black, torpedo-shaped cars tumbled into the river.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Fracking - why are human rights being ignored?
The Ecologist
Damien Short, Karen Hulme & Steffen Böhm

On the final day of the trial of Caroline Lucas and other anti-fracking protestors, we ask - what about human rights? Entirely neglected by the government in its desperate drive to frack, they ought to trump all other policy considerations.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
U.S. lawmakers to weigh speeding up LNG exports to help Europe, Ukraine
Reuters
Ayesha Rascoe

(Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers will hear testimony on Tuesday from those who favor loosening restrictions on liquefied natural gas exports so that abundant American supplies could help reduce Ukraine and Europe's dependence on Russian gas. European worries about the security of energy supplies have grown since Russian forces seized control of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine this month. Moscow has in years past cut gas supplies amid regional disputes.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Feds Greenlight LNG Exports From Controversial Jordan Cove Project in Oregon
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Though the decision was anticipated and remains conditional, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) approval of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Coos Bay, OR is already drawing the ire of environmental groups across the country. The Jordan Cove project includes building an export terminal that would be supplied by the proposed 235-mile-long Pacific Connector pipeline, crossing public and private land in southern Oregon to connect to existing pipelines from British Columbia to California. The DOE says the project is subject to federal environmental and regulatory reviews, but organizations like the Sierra Club and Rouge Riverkeeper hope it doesn’t get to that point.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2014
Proposed Rule Will Help Clean Up America’s Dirty Waters
Earthjustice


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule to restore long-standing Clean Water Act protections to streams and many wetlands across the country. These protections, which stood for decades since Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, were dismantled in the last decade by two Supreme Court decisions that created confusion about how to interpret which water bodies should be covered under the Clean Water Act and by policies of the George W. Bush administration that removed longstanding protections from many streams and wetlands. As a result, 59 percent of America’s streams and 20 million acres of wetlands were left vulnerable to toxic pollution  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Following DOE Approval, Liquefied Natural Gas Opponents Call on Oregon’s Governor to Protect the State’s Rivers and Ratepayers
eNews Park Forest
Press Release

Medford, OR--(ENEWSPF)--March 24, 2014. Today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) took the long-expected step of granting a conditional export license to the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Oregon, a move that carries little meaning without more detailed environmental reviews from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and multiple Oregon state agencies.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Making Oil-by-Rail Safer
energy collective
Geoffrey Styles

The growth of North American oil production from unconventional sources has resulted in a dramatic expansion in the volume of crude oil shipped by rail. Unfortunately, as crude oil rail traffic has increased, so have rail accidents involving crude oil, including the tragic explosion and fire in Lac-Megantic, Quebec last July. That event and subsequent accidents have focused railroads, regulators and shippers on the need to improve the safety of oil-by-rail as quickly as possible. In the immediate aftermath of Lac-Megantic, the Federal Railroad Administration issued an emergency order on procedures railroads must follow when transporting flammable and other hazardous materials. And on February 21, 2014 railroads reached a voluntary agreement with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) on additional steps, including reduced speed limits for oil trains passing through cities, increased track inspection, and upgraded response plans. These steps have the highest priority, because crude oil loaded in tank cars doesn't cause rail accidents. Every incident I've seen reported in the last year began with a derailment or similar event.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
DOE approves natural gas export terminal
The Hill
Timothy Cama

The Energy Department on Monday gave its conditional approval for a new facility in Oregon to liquefy and export natural gas, as Democrats and Republicans clamor to break Russia President Vladimir Putin’s energy stranglehold on Europe.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Rep. Grove Introduces Bill To Undo Act 13 Drilling Law Court Decision
PA Environment Digest


Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) Wednesday introduced House Bill 2115 designed to undo the Act 13 drilling law court decision eliminating the preemption preventing local governments from regulating the drilling industry under the Environmental Rights Amendment, Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Independent Fiscal Office Reports PA Marcellus Tax Rates Lowest Of Any State
PA Environment Digest


The Independent Fiscal Office Thursday issued a report comparing state and local taxation rates of natural gas producing states that found Pennsylvania had the lowest natural gas extraction taxation rates of any state, nearly one-third the rates in Texas.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Minimum Gas Royalty Legislation Voted Out Of House Environmental Committee
PA Environment Digest


House Bill 1684 (Everett-R-Lycoming) which seeks to clarify a minimum royalty payment in state law was amended and reported out of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Monday, said bill sponsors Reps. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), Tina Pickett (R-Bradford), Matt Baker (R-Tioga) and Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna).  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Attorney for Cabot Oil and Gas "loses it" after court today.
Bill Huston Blog
Bill Huston

Video: The most interesting thing IMO about Vera Scroggins'scourt date today happened after court was over: First there was a press conference downstairs. It was a mob scene.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Anti-fracking activist in court, fights ban from Pennsylvania land
Chicago Tribune
David DeKok

MONTROSE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania judge could rule as early as this week on whether to modify his five-month-old injunction banning an anti-fracking activist from approaching lands leased by a Texas-based natural gas producer that effectively prohibits her from visiting the local hospital or grocery store.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Fracking....a close reality
News 24


Cape Town - Fracking is one step closer to becoming a reality, as government moves closer to shale gas exploration in the Karoo.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Pennsylvania Budget Suggests Lifting State Forest Fracking Moratorium Pennsylvania’s governor suggests lifting the state’s ban on fracking in state forests. Though it could increase revenues for the state, opponents say the environmental costs are too high.
Mint Press News
Frederick Reese

In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources found that the state could not lease any more forest land without severely impairing the ecologically-fragile integrity of the ecosystem. The report indicated that expanded fracking of the region would violate the mission of the Forestry Bureau, which is “to ensure the long-term health, viability, and productivity of the Commonwealth’s forests and to conserve native wild plants.”  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
When Did the Energy Industry Begin Fracking?
Huffington Post


The modern era of hydraulic fracturing began in June 1998, at a well several miles north of Fort Worth. A completion engineer, working for Mitchell Energy & Development, had proposed using large amounts of water and pressure to break up the Barnett Shale. He received permission to frack three wells, but his efforts failed. He received permission for three more. His fifth attempt was successful and was the first "slick-water" frack using water mixed with chemicals. The success of the new approach - more pumping horsepower - was replicated in other wells around Fort Worth and later exported, successfully, to other states.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
What do Denton and LA have in common? Think fracking
Dallas Business Journal
Nicholas Sakelaris

What do Los Angeles and Denton have in common? Both cities are taking a stand against fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Youngstown businessman Lupo pleads guilty to dumping fracking wastewater
WKSU
M.L. Schultze

Thousands of gallons of chemical-laden water worked its way into the Mahoning River The former owner of a Youngstown company has pleaded guilty to dumping tens of thousands of gallons of frack-water in the Mahoning River.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Cabot v Scroggins = heat over land rights, speech, fracking Pa. court considers injunction to limit activist’s actions
Shale Gas Review
Tom Wilber

A confrontation over free speech and land rights that began inside a courthouse in Montrose, Pennsylvania this morning grew more contentious outside, as lawyers and demonstrators took their arguments to the courthouse steps and parking lot. The hearing, in the Court of Common Pleas before Judge Kenneth Seamans, involved what degree Cabot Oil & Gas can limit activist Vera Scroggins in her attempts to videotape drilling operations and related activity. The company has faced public relations and environmental problems in Dimock township after the state Department of Environmental Protection held Cabot's operations responsible for polluting an aquifer that supplies dozens of homes in Dimock Township.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Texas Landowners Win $2.1 Million Judgment Against Pipeline Company Over Lower Property Value
ABC 12 Texas
Johns Marrs Ellis & Hodge LLP

ase marks third landowner victory in pipeline easement disputes CLEBURNE, Texas, March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- North Texas family members have won a $2.1 million verdict against a pipeline company after their parcel of land lost value because an easement was taken for a gas line. This marks the third time Texas property owners recently have prevailed in similar eminent domain cases. The Johnson County dispute represents a fundamental debate between the pipeline industry and Texas landowners: Does a pipeline devalue only the narrow easement strip or some larger portion of the overall property? The jury agreed that land outside the easement lost value.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Obama administration grants approval for more US natural gas exportsF
Fuel Fix
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — As pressure builds on the Obama administration to speed up approvals to sell U.S. natural gas overseas, the Energy Department on Monday authorized exports from a proposed Oregon terminal. Although the Jordan Cove LNG Terminal in Coos Bay, Ore., is the sixth project to win a coveted license to export liquefied natural gas to countries that don’t have free-trade agreements with the United States, it would be the first new export project on the West Coast.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Under the Streets, a Lurking Danger
The New York Times
Editorial

Investigators have not yet pinpointed the cause of the gas explosion that destroyed two buildings in East Harlem and killed eight people on March 12. Whether it was the age and decrepitude of gas and water mains, or something else, has not yet been explained. But even without all the answers, there is more that can be done to make New York and other cities safer, starting now. Congress can give momentum to two Senate bills sponsored by Edward Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, which seek to hasten the replacement of old, leaking natural-gas pipelines nationwide. Beyond the obvious reason — preventing explosions — a concerted effort to repair obsolete gas pipes would also help reduce emissions that worsen climate change and save money, because when gas disappears, customers pay for it anyway. A study by Senator Markey last August found that gas customers in Massachusetts paid up to $1.5 billion in extra charges from 2000 to 2011 because of leaking gas pipelines. The cost to consumers nationwide was in the tens of billions, the study said.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Anti-fracking activist banned from Pennsylvania land heads to court
Reuters
DAVID DEKOK

(Reuters) - An anti-fracking activist is set to ask a Pennsylvania judge on Monday to lift an injunction that bars her from her local hospital, grocery and other properties that sit atop vast lands leased by a Texas-based company for shale gas extraction. A five-month-old injunction prohibits Vera Scroggins, 63, of Brackney, Pennsylvania, fromhttp://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/24/us-usa-pennsylvania-fracking-idUSBREA2N05H20140324il and Gas.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Research Shows Some Test Methods Miss 99 Percent of Radium in Fracking Waste
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

Every year, fracking generates hundreds of billions of gallons of wastewater laced with corrosive salts, radioactive materials and many other chemicals. Because some of that wastewater winds up in rivers after it’s treated to remove dangerous contaminants, regulators across the U.S. have begun to develop testing regimens to gauge how badly fracking wastewater is polluted and how effective treatment plants are at removing contamination.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
How Many People Are Affected By Fracking?
Forbes
Russell Gold

Q: How many people are affected by hydraulic fracturing (fracking)? A: Working with a colleague at the Wall Street Journal, we set out to ask that exact question. The answer: At least 15.3 million Americans lived within a mile of a well that has been drilled since 2000. That is more people than live in Michigan or New York City.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Drilling, Fracking Efficiency Fuels Oil and Gas Boom
Inside Climate News


Technological advances in drilling efficiency are one of the reasons shale oil and natural gas production continues to skyrocket in six of America's biggest oil and natural gas fields, according to a new U.S. Energy Information Administration report. Production of crude oil and natural gas through the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is considered to have a significant effect on climate change because of methane leaks in the natural gas distribution system that haven't been quantified yet. And, burning crude oil is a direct emitter of greenhouse gases contributing to human-caused climate change.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Fracking activist wants back on driller’s land
Washington Post
Associated Press

A high-profile anti-fracking activist who often gives tours of natural gas drilling sites in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region asked a judge Monday for relief from an order barring her from stepping foot on more than 300 square miles of land owned or leased by one of the state’s leading natural gas drillers.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Allegheny County councilman cancels meeting on gas drilling law
Post-Gazette
Kaitlynn Riely

An attorney who challenged Act 13 zoning regulations for natural gas drillers before the state Supreme Court was scheduled to give a presentation today to members of Allegheny County Council's education committee, but the talk has been canceled.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
Report: Pennsylvania drilling taxes among lowest
Go Erie


Pennsylvania's taxes on the natural gas drilling boom are among the lowest in the nation, according to a new report from a nonpartisan office of the state Legislature.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2014
The Future of Fracking in California
Susnset
Barry Yeoman

As Paula Getzelman and I stroll among her Syrah and Grenache vines, she points out how the freestanding plants were “head-trained,” or cultivated to look like goblets. Head-training can produce less fruit per acre than growing the plants on horizontal trellises, but that’s okay with her. “It allows the vine to give its all to a smaller number of grapes,” she says. Paula’s Tre Gatti Vineyards, a 5-acre boutique operation in California’s San Antonio Valley that she runs with her husband, Paul, has provided the couple with more than just an income and a palate-pleasing product. It has given them an exit from their fast-paced city lives. She had worked in the health care and pharmaceutical industries, he in food sales. At one point she was traveling four days a week for her job.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Watchdogs question drilling self-policing
Meadville Tribune
John Finnerty

HARRISBURG — Environmental watchdogs say a system for tracking radioactive material unearthed during gas drilling depends too much on the industry’s self-policing, making it impossible to judge how much waste is generated or how dangerous it might be.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Fracking In California Under Spotlight As Some Local Municipalities Issue Bans
Getty
David McNew

Critics of fracking in California cite concerns over water usage and possible chemical pollution of ground water sources as California farmers are forced to leave unprecedented expanses of fields fallow in one of the worst droughts in California history.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Anti-fracking activist appeals court injunction Vera Scroggins barred land leased to Cabot Oil & Gas.
Times Leader
Jon O'Connell

MONTROSE — A Susquehanna County woman known for her staunch activism against natural gas drilling has been barred from more than 200,000 acres in Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Beneath Cities, a Decaying Tangle of Gas Pipes
The New York Times
PATRICK McGEEHAN, RUSS BUETTNER and DAVID W. CHEN

It is a danger hidden beneath the streets of New York City, unseen and rarely noticed: 6,302 miles of pipes transporting natural gas. Leaks, like the one that is believed to have led to the explosion that killed eight people in East Harlem this month, are startlingly common, numbering in the thousands every year, federal records show.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Exclusive: Renewable energy from rivers and lakes could replace gas in homes
THE INDEPENDENT UK
Jane Merrick

A revolutionary system using water-sourced heat pumps is being tested on a new development Millions of homes across the UK could be heated using a carbon-free technology that draws energy from rivers and lakes in a revolutionary system that could reduce household bills by 20 per cent.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Texas Barge Collision Spills Up To 168,000 Gallons Of ‘Sticky, Gooey, Thick, Tarry’ Oil
Think Progress
KILEY KROH

A barge carrying 924,000 gallons of thick marine shipping oil collided with a ship near the Texas City dike on Saturday afternoon, spilling up to 168,000 gallons and forcing closures on the waterway. “This is an extremely serious spill,” Capt. Brian Penoyer of the U.S. Coast Guard told the Houston Chronicle. “It is a persistent oil.”  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Viewpoints: Fracking boom could increase California’s earthquake risk
The Sacramento Bee
Shaye Wolf

It destroyed more than a dozen homes, injured people and damaged a key highway. But the earthquake that struck near Prague, Okla., in 2011 didn’t just harm one community. This magnitude 5.7 quake shook up people’s peace of mind across the whole state, which was not known for seismic activity. That has changed: Oklahoma is now earthquake country, thanks to the oil and gas industry. A recent study from the U.S. Geological Survey found that the Prague quake appears to be tied to the proliferation of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Timely study of Colorado oil and gas drilling
The Denver Post
Editorial

Though opponents call House Bill 1297 a fishing expedition to find something wrong with oil and gas operations, how can there be any harm in reviewing medical literature to determine whether health concerns exist?   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Residents: Quakes, fracking are linked
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The first time Judy Pack felt the earth move, she was asleep in her house in rural Mahoning County, just a few houses from the Pennsylvania state line. A natural-gas processing plant had recently been built across the street; Hilcorp Energy, a Texas oil company, had started drilling and fracking for gas about 3 miles away. Judy and her husband, Ralph, had almost become used to the lights blazing from the plant and the trucks rumbling down their usually quiet road. This felt different.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Oil company endorses NV's proposed fracking rules
WRAL


ELKO, Nev. — A Houston-based oil company has endorsed the state's proposed rules governing hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Local anti-fracking group sues for records, as protesters prepare to take plea
Athens News
Jim Phillips

In the latest development in an ongoing legal battle by a local activist group against a Coolville-area injection well for storing wastewater from oil-and-gas drilling, the Athens County Fracking Action Network (ACFAN) is seeking a court order to force the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to turn over public records related to the well's permitting.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Santa Barbara County Water Guardians Files Initiative to Ban Fracking in Santa Barbara County Filing is first step to protect County residents’ health, environment and local resources
Santa Barbara Independent


Today, Santa Barbara County Water Guardians, a grassroots group of concerned local citizens, filed a notice of intent with the Santa Barbara County Registrar to circulate an initiative petition within the County of Santa Barbara to protect the County’s air, water, and health by prohibiting land uses related to fracking, cyclic steam injection and other high-intensity petroleum operations.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Fracking threat to wildlife highlighted
Andover Advertiser


WILDLIFE groups have launched a new report highlighting the dangers that shale gas exploration and drilling pose to wildlife.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
ODNR: It’s too early to tell if Poland quakes will delay project
Vindy.com
Ed Runyan

Though the president of American Water Management Services Inc. said the start of commercial brine injection just north of Niles is about two weeks away, state regulators say it’s too soon to determine whether several Poland Township earthquakes will delay that plan.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
World energy use threatens water
Reuters via Japan Times


OSLO – Rising demand for energy, from biofuels to shale gas, is a threat to freshwater supplies, according to a United Nations report released Friday. The report urged energy companies to do more to limit their use of water in everything from cooling coal-fired power plants to irrigation for crops grown to produce biofuels. “Demand for energy and freshwater will increase significantly in the coming decades,” U.N. agencies said in the World Water Development Report. “This increase will present big challenges and strain resources in nearly all regions.”  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2014
Expert: Pipeline would cross Santa Fe at the worst spot
gainesville.com
Morgan Watkins

Standing along the bank of the Santa Fe River near the riverside house in southern Suwannee County his family has owned since 1967, Kevin Brown pointed to the spot where a natural gas pipeline is expected to cross underneath the ground. But Brown's brother David, a geologist, and other concerned folks hope to persuade the company leading the project to select what they consider a safer crossing point. The planned interstate natural gas pipeline system will extend from Alabama down through Georgia and deep into Florida.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2014
Cracks showing in industry built on shaky ground
New Zealand Herald
Peter Huck

Seismologists will be asking many questions about the magnitude 4.4 earthquake that struck Los Angeles this week, a sharp jolt that reverberated across densely populated southern California. The quake, which hit at 6.25am on Monday local time, occurred beneath the Santa Monica Mountains on a little-known fault where faint tremors are the norm and which last slipped 80 years ago. "You really are surprised to find an earthquake on a fault you didn't know about," Thomas Heaton, director of Caltech's Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory, told the Los Angeles Times. It was a wake-up call on how little seismologists know about the labyrinth of mapped and hidden faults in what the US Geological Survey (USGS) told locals was "earthquake country".  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2014
Water request: Denied
WKBN


LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) — Lisbon Village Council has turned down a request by a drilling company to use Willow Grove Park to take water from the Little Beaver Creek for fracking a nearby well.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2014
Driller's hot-rocks policing irks foes
The Daily Item
Jim Finnerty

HARRISBURG — Environmental watchdogs say a system for tracking radioactive material unearthed during natural-gas drilling depends too much on the industry’s self-policing, making it impossible to judge how much waste is generated or how dangerous it might be.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2014
Analysis: Veto puts focus on special language
SF Gate
Andrew DeMillo

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of a tax exemption for natural gas drillers puts a new spin on an old problem for the Legislature. Lawmakers no longer just have to wonder whether special language they're adding to a budget bill amounts to a major policy change.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2014
DEP to decide fate of proposed drill pad near Mars Area campus
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Bill Vidonic

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will determine whether a natural gas well pad less than a mile from the Mars Area School District's property will be permitted, Middlesex's manager said.   [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2014
Boulder scientists report record-early high CO2 readings at key site
Daily Camera
Charlie Brennan

400 parts per million at Mauna Loa reached two months ahead of 2013  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2014
Energy-bill shocks follow cold weather
The Baltimore Sun
Jamie Smith Hopkins

Matt Kumpar paid $622 for the electricity his auto shop used in January, so he thought the February charge — a whopping $3,192 — was a mistake. It wasn't. The rate for his electric supply skyrocketed, a shift his provider blamed on abnormally low temperatures brought on by the polar vortex.   [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2014
Prenatal defects investigated in Garfield County
Post Independent
John Stroud

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A state epidemiologist has been called in to investigate a sudden rise in the number of fetal anomalies detected among pregnant women in the area recently, according to local and state health officials. “We have indeed seen an increase in fetal anomalies in pregnant women in an area stretching from Carbondale to Rifle,” confirmed Stacey Gavrell, community relations director for Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2014
Palmy Days for Jerry
The New York Times
Maureen Dowd

SACRAMENTO — I ASK Jerry if he’s ready for Hillary. Back in 1992, when he ran for president against Bill Clinton, Jerry Brown was remorseless in taking on “Slick Willie,” as he called him, and his wife, pelting them with accusations of corruption and conflicts-of-interest in Arkansas. In one seething exchange on the debate stage, Clinton snapped: “You ought to be ashamed of yourself for jumping on my wife. You’re not worth being on the same platform as my wife.”------------------------------------------------- Two weeks ago Brown ended up on the opposite side of two key planks in the California Democrats’ platform — banning fracking and legalizing pot.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2014
14 earthquakes recorded in Oklahoma since Friday
FOX 25 Oklahoma City
Jon Miller

LANGSTON, Okla. (AP) -- The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded 14 earthquakes in Oklahoma since about 9:30 p.m. Friday, the largest being a magnitude 4.0. The 4.0 magnitude quake was recorded at 10:05 p.m. Friday about seven miles south of Langston. Three other quakes of magnitude 2.9, 3.0 and 3.3 were recorded Saturday afternoon in the Medford area.   [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2014
Industries weigh in on fracking issue
Paradise Post
Trevor Warner

The $8.5 million judgment in favor of a Kern County farmer against Aera Energy was not about fracking, the company's spokeswoman Susan Hersberger said. "... the case did not involve hydraulic fracturing or hydraulic fracturing water, as incorrectly stated in a blog. The case was settled earlier this year. Terms of the settlement are confidential," Hersberger said in an email to The Post Thursday.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Ruptured Ohio Pipeline Could Have Been Leaking Since Late February
inside climate newa


view counter EagleFordProjectPreviewBlock 60% of Pro-Keystone XL Comments Tied to Industry, Group Says Youth Climate Activist Believed Kidnapped in Ukraine State Dept Keystone Review Assumes 'Global Failure to Address Climate Change' New Solar Financing Options Sprout for U.S. Homeowners Gas Drilling Boom Accelerates With Little Study of Public Health Effects Big Oil and Bad Air on the Texas Prairie: Residents Fear For Their Health (Video) BloombergLegacyPreviewBlock BusinessDeveloperAd Visit Our News Center for Expert Coverage of the Exxon Oil Spill in Arkansas Full Name: Email: Most Viewed Stories Fracking Is Spewing Toxic Air on Texans China's Clean Air Plans: A Nightmare for the Climate? Oil Industry Winning Battle to Kill Biofuels Harper Govt. Moves to Silence Environmental Groups Texas Turns Blind Eye to Fracking's Toxic Air Emissions Climate Showdown in Florida Governor's Race Study: Scarce Water Threatens Fracking Investors Propane Shortage Underscores Oil Export Concerns March 21, 2014 EPA Budget Proposal Signals Major Changes Ahead for State Regulators (E&E Publishing) Resources Minister Rickford Faces Aboriginal Backlash Over Enbridge Project (Globe and Mail) In Shift, Exxon Mobil to Report on Climate Risks to Its Fossil Fuel Assets (New York Times) see all headlines > CleanBreakAdAmazon March 21, 2014 Kansas Senate Panel Advances Bill to Repeal Renewable Energy Standards (The Wichita Eagle) Clean-Energy Views Add Heat to Maine Governor's Race (Portland Press Herald) Wind Industry's New Technologies Are Helping It Compete on Price (New York Times) see all headlines > Donate to InsideClimate News through our secure page on Network for Good. Clean Economy News December 12 Berliners Still Fighting to Pull the Plug on Coal-Fired Utility December 3 Bloomberg LP Launches First Tool That Measures Risk of 'Unburnable Carbon' Assets November 22 Bloomberg's Hidden Legacy: Climate Change and the Future of New York City, Part 5 Koch Brothers' Political Activism Protects Their 50-Year Stake in Canadian Heavy Oils Koch Subsidiary Told Regulators It Has 'Direct and Substantial Interest' in Keystone XL Keystone Pipeline Will Diminish Energy Security, Prominent Canadian Says Ruptured Ohio Pipeline Could Have Been Leaking Since Late February Mar 21, 2014 (WLWT) Thousands of gallons of oil have been recovered from the pipeline leak in Colerain Township, and repair efforts can start because the break in the pipe has been found. Crews continued their efforts to clean up the mess and minimize the environmental effects Thursday. The work reached a milestone Monday night, as crews discovered the site of the leak. A 5-inch crack on the underside of the pipe caused approximately 10,000 gallons of oil to leak. Officials said they cannot tell how long the leak had been going on, but residents said that they had been smelling oil since late February. With the exact break site located, crews are working to make repairs, but that could take some time.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Drillers try adjusting to cultural concerns
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Anya Litvak

The Gas and Preservation Partnership is not for absolutists. It's not for archaeologists that think any cultural resource should remain unbothered. And it's not for oil and gas companies that rely on a lack of regulation to drill though whatever cultural grounds may lie below. "We believe that all cultural resources are valuable, but that some resources have more to teach us than others," the group's mission statement goes. "We believe that significance should be a factor in decisions about whether a site is preserved ... excavated ... or is destroyed."  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Elon Musk: "We’re playing Russian roulette with the Earth"
AutoCar
Steve Cropley

Tesla CEO and billionaire tycoon Elon Musk talks to Steve Cropley about his plans for the future of sustainable transport  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
UN:WATER AND ENERGY MUST WORK TOGETHER
Al Jazeera America
Wilson Dizard

The world needs to manage its use of water and energy if it wants to have enough of either vital resource, a new United Nations report states. Most of the world’s energy production requires water, and demand for the resource is set to spike in the coming decades, most notably in China’s expanding economy. The boom in hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — in the United States, in particular, puts even more pressure on water sources, according to the report. With fracking, water and chemicals are pumped into the ground to break up deposits of trapped gas. To generate electricity, many plants burn coal or use nuclear fuel to heat water, creating steam that turns turbines and produces electricity. In essence, a river runs through every light switch.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Owen Paterson held urgent meeting for fracking boss, documents show
The Guardian
Damian Carrington

Environment secretary held high-level meeting at Cuadrilla's request with Environment Agency over regulation dispute  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Fracking Rally Tonight in West L.A.
WestSide Today
Parimal Rohit

national roadshow campaigning against fracking will be making its final California stop in West Los Angeles tonight, as a handful of speakers will lead a rally in an attempt to inform people of the potential impacts of injecting into the ground to free up oil. Entitled “Cautionary Tales from Fracked Communities” the roadshow event will take place at 6 p.m. at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, 11555 National Boulevard.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
North Dakota Gas Flaring Doubles, Pumping CO2 Into Air
Climate Central
Bobby Magill

Fracking for crude oil is big business in North Dakota, but with that oil is coming a steadily increasing amount of wasted natural gas that is burned off, releasing large amounts of climate change-driving carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to new U.S. Energy Information Administration data. The Bakken shale of North Dakota is one of America’s largest sources of crude oil. It's produced by drilling and then hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shale formations deep underground. But the oil fields rarely produce only oil — natural gas and other hydrocarbons come with it.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Frackers and their critics argue over proposed study of industry's health risks
Denver Westword
Alan Prendergast

Not enough is known about the health impacts of oil and gas drilling in Colorado, or we already know more than enough. Surveying residents who live near wells about their "quality of life" is either a terrific idea or a lot of unscientific twaddle -- and a waste of money to boot. The sparring at Thursday's hearing over House Bill 14-1297, which would require a study on the effects of hydraulic fracturing in four Front Range counties, reflected the fractious divide among legislators, business interests, environmentalists and others over our booming natural gas industry.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Halliburton: Be Nice To Us or Else
WyPols


Halliburton wouldn’t give the Casper Star-Tribune an interview, its editors say, unless it promised to not portray the company in “a negative light.” Who did Halliburton think it was talking to, the University of Wyoming? The giant energy services company is used to throwing its considerable weight around and getting what it wants, but it’s offensive – and foolish — for any corporation or business to try to tell a news organization what it can and cannot say about it.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
The clean energy industry is turning Nevada green
Grist
John Upton

Few things could be less sustainable than an entertainment mecca in the middle of a desert. But there’s more to Nevada than the Vegas Strip, and investors in the Silver State are finding better ways of wagering their money than in slot machines.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Checkmate for cheap unconventional gas
Financial Times
John Dizard

Shale reserves are not a miracle; they are a high-cost source of fuel  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Bill to block Bluegrass Pipeline from using eminent domain is approved by Ky. House
Kentucky.com
John Cheves

FRANKFORT — A bill that would prevent the controversial Bluegrass Pipeline from crossing private property against landowners' wishes was approved Friday by the state House by a 75-to-16 vote. House Bill 31, which proceeds to the Senate, would specify that the owners of pipelines carrying natural gas liquids do not enjoy the same right to condemn land through the use of eminent domain as do the owners of public utilities and oil and natural gas pipelines.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Fracking said new factor in water levels
dnj.com
Julie Schmit

The USA's domestic energy boom is increasing demands on water supplies already under pressure from drought and growing populations, a new report says. The water-intensive process used to extract oil and gas from shale underground — known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking — has required almost 100 billion gallons of water to drill more than 39,000 oil and shale gas wells in the U.S. since 2011, says Ceres, a green investment group.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Charts: How Dangerous Are the Gas Pipes Under Your City?
Climate Desk
James West

nvestigators from the National Transportation Safety Board have yet to officially identify the cause of the disaster, but they appear to be focusing on a natural gas leak. They’ve isolated a crack in an 8-inch gas pipeline running next to one of the two apartment buildings, part of a system that is over 100 years old. If confirmed, this incident would be tied with a 2010 blast in San Bruno, CA., as the decade’s deadliest gas explosion. The Harlem tragedy is drawing national attention to the safety of America’s aging—and expanding—gas networks. Here’s what you need to know: What is natural gas? Natural gas is a fossil fuel largely comprised of methane, a colorless and highly combustible gas. In large enough quantities, or if ignited, methane can be explosive.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
North Dakota's fracking-fields pumping CO2 into air from natural gas flaring
examiner.com
David Herron

Increased fracking and oil/gas production in the Bakken area of North Dakota has resulted in a large increase in CO2 emissions from flared natural gas. While the fracked wells in the Bakken primarily produce oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbons are produced as well. According to figures released on Friday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) over .31 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day is flared in the Bakken.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
The impact of natural gas extraction and fracking on state and local roadways
Journalist's Resource
Leighton Walter Kille

As of March 2014 there were approximately 1.1 million oil and gas wells in the United States, a direct consequence of technological advances that have increased domestic energy production to levels unseen since the 1970s. Much of the growth has been in natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which involves injecting immense quantities of water and chemicals into the ground to fracture the rock and release deposits that would otherwise be inaccessible.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Calvert leasing land to Dominion for worker parking, equipment staging
The Calvert Reporter
Amanda Scott

Dominion officially is renting county land in Lusby to contribute to an offsite location for its proposed liquefied natural gas export project. After receiving no public comment, the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved to close the public record and approve signing a lease with Dominion Cove Point for land adjacent to the Appeal Landfill in Lusby.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Fire Fuels Debate over Pittsburg Oil Terminal
FOX 40
Sonseeahray Tonsall

PITTSBURG- More than 50 acres of Contra Costa County went up in flames Thursday as crews fought hard against the dangerous combination of a spark and drought-dried grass. “Kinda like a dark smoke. When I saw that I was like, it’s near to my place and sure enough it’s just right there,” Eric Nilo said. He lives just off of Williow Pass Road in Pittsburgh. The fire he saw went from one to three alarms – two to 50 acres- in just three hours under the hot sun on the first afternoon of spring. High voltage power lines in the area were threatened but not severely damaged. And they weren’t the only explosive concern as flames raged. The fire was literally fuel to the debate over what could soon be built nearby - crude oil terminal run by WesPac.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Lawsuit filed to help save Delaware River sturgeon
NJ Environmental News


DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER NETWORK - The Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit today in federal district court in the District of Columbia challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s failure to take steps required by law to protect the ancient, and endangered, Atlantic Sturgeon. On February 6, 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service listed 5 distinct populations of Atlantic Sturgeon as endangered or threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. At the time a species is listed, the law requires the agency to designate “critical habitat” important for the species’ survival and recovery that becomes subject to an additional layer of protection. Critical-habitat designation triggers a requirement that federal agencies consult with the Secretary of Commerce before engaging in or funding activities that may “result in the destruction or adverse modification” of areas designated as critical habitat. The agency can delay the designation if the areas of critical habitat are “not determinable” at the time the species is listed—but the delay cannot extend beyond one year. Even with this extension, the agency’s deadline to designate critical habitat for the Atlantic sturgeon has come and gone.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Report: Pennsylvania drilling taxes among lowest
Yahoo News
Kevin Begos

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pennsylvania's taxes on the natural gas drilling boom are among the lowest in the nation, according to a new report from a nonpartisan office of the state Legislature. Pennsylvania is the only state with significant production that doesn't impose a severance tax based on the volume or market value of gas produced, the figures released Thursday by the Independent Fiscal Office found. Instead, the state imposes an impact fee for each well drilled, no matter what it produces.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Fossil Fuel Giants Guzzling World's Water as Poor Go Thirsty: UN
Common Dreams
Jacob Chamberlain

An unrelenting increase in energy production, including unconventional methods such as tar sands extraction and fracking, will severely damage the world's already dwindling water supply, the UN warned on Friday. "There is an increasing potential for serious conflict between power generation, other water users and environmental considerations," says the World Water Development Report 2014: Water and Energy (pdf), published on the eve of World Water Day.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
Growing global thirst for energy threatens water supplies
The Guardian
Claire Provost

Soaring energy demands will pile pressure on already strained water resources, warns the UN on eve of world water day  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
How Dangerous Are the Gas Pipes Under Your City?
The Atlantic
James West

Last week, a massive explosion leveled two five-story buildings on an East Harlem street in New York City, killing eight and injuring dozens more. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board have yet to officially identify the cause of the disaster, but they appear to be focusing on a natural gas leak. They've isolated a crack in an 8-inch gas pipeline running next to one of the two apartment buildings, part of a system that is over 100 years old. If confirmed, this incident would be tied with a 2010 blast in San Bruno, California, as the decade's deadliest gas explosion. The Harlem tragedy is drawing national attention to the safety of America's aging—and expanding—gas networks. Here's what you need to know:   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
We’ll Have a Global Climate Treaty in 2015
Slate
Catherine Brahic

The head of the U.N. Convention on Climate Change has one of the world’s most challenging jobs.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
White House to crack down on methane pollution
Grist
John Upton

n his big climate plan released last June, President Obama promised new rules to reduce methane leakage during the production and transport of natural gas. Since then, we’ve learned that the problem of methane leaks is much larger than the government had estimated. Now the administration is poised to finally announce those regulations and help prevent the country’s natural gas industry from turning the world into a Dutch oven.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2014
In Shift, Exxon Mobil to Report on Risks to Its Fossil Fuel Assets
The New York Times
DIANE CARDWELL

Energy companies have been under increasing pressure from shareholder activists in recent years to warn investors of the risks that stricter limits on carbon emissions would place on their business. On Thursday, a shareholder group said that it had won its biggest prize yet, when Exxon Mobil became the first oil and gas producer to agree to publish that information by the end of the month.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Wind Industry’s New Technologies Are Helping It Compete on Price
The New York Times
DIANE CARDWELL

The wind industry has gone to great lengths over the years to snap up the best properties for its farms, often looking to remote swaths of prairie or distant mountain ridges to maximize energy production and minimize community opposition. Now, it is reaching for the sky. With new technology allowing developers to build taller machines spinning longer blades, the industry has been able to produce more power at lower cost by capturing the faster winds that blow at higher elevations. This has opened up new territories, in places like Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, where the price of power from turbines built 300 feet to 400 feet above the ground can now compete with conventional sources like coal.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
North American Natural Gas Seeks Markets Overseas
National Geographic
Joe Eaton

A slew of multibillion-dollar coastal projects compete to ship super-chilled LNG to Asia and Europe. North America's natural gas boom is now so big that the industry and its supporters believe it should not be contained to just one continent. They argue this new bounty should be shared—especially with hungry markets in Asia and Europe willing to pay a high price for the fuel. But long-distance transport of natural gas is one of the world's most expensive engineering feats, and it will require government approvals, community support, and billions of dollars in capital to take North American gas overseas. (See related quiz: "What You Don't Know About Natural Gas.")   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Fracking worries for wine region
ABC Australia


MARK COLVIN: There are warnings that one of Australia's most prestigious wine regions could be at risk if gas exploration goes ahead in South Australia. Agriculturalists in the Coonawarra are calling for a moratorium on the practice, over fears that CSG drilling could harm underground water reserves. There's already been exploratory drilling in the region to investigate the viability of shale gas deposits.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
The Other Keystone
The Nation
Mark Hertsgaard

It’s just as important to stop Cove Point.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Progress report: More work is needed on ozone near Pinedale
Casper Star Tribune
BENJAMIN STORROW

A year after releasing a plan to limit ozone levels in the Pinedale area, state regulators have made progress in limiting harmful emissions from new oil and gas operations but have yet to implement measures to curtail pollution from existing facilities. Those were the findings of a recent report released by members of a now-disbanded task force charged with addressing air pollution in the Upper Green River Basin. In three consecutive years between 2008 and 2011, ozone levels in the region exceeded those set by federal health standards.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Down the Drain: Who’s Watching Chemicals Used in Oil Drilling?
NPR State Impact Texas
DAVE FEHLING

A case of alleged dumping of possibly thousands of gallons of chemicals into Odessa’s sewer system has local officials wondering who’s supposed to police the drilling industry.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Green groups: Russia-fueled push for natural gas exports will fade
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Green groups say they’re confident the push to expand U.S. natural gas exports will fade as attention moves away from Russia’s clash with the West over Ukraine. The fight has brought new attention to Russia’s use of its natural gas reserves as political leverage over Europe, and has fueled GOP arguments that the U.S. should step up its efforts to export its own natural gas as an answer to Moscow.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
A Mighty Wind: Taking U.S. Power Generation by Storm
North American Clean Energy


Wind farms have delivered 30 percent of all new American power generating capacity for the last five years. Wind also supplied more than 4 percent of all U.S. electricity for the first time in 2013, according to new data published by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). States like Iowa and South Dakota now get more than a quarter of their power from wind. The AWEA study also found that the amount of power generated by wind turbines grew by 200 percent since 2008, “exceeding capacity growth and making [wind] electricity cheaper than ever.”  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Kinder Morgan contacting Massachusetts property owners for surveying: Proposed Pipeline
Daily Kos


Kinder Morgan has been contacting property owners along the forested, rural areas of Northern Massachusetts with the intent of locating a high pressure, high volume gas pipeline from the New York border to Dracut, Massachusetts. This proposed line will run close to nearly all of Massachusetts aquifers and reservoirs. Parts of this proposed line will be located along existing rights of way for high voltage direct transmission cables, in some cases, placing gas and electricity in close proximity near homes, towns, and protected habitats.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Exxon Mobil agrees to report on climate change's effect on business model
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

Oil giant bows to pressure from activists who want companies to acknowledge the changes wrought by government action  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Fracking Hammers Clean Energy Research
Scientific American
David Biello

A single bottle of dirty water transformed into the power source for a home—such was the promise of a technology package that became known as the “artificial leaf.” And such was the vision introduced by its inventor, Daniel Nocera, at the inaugural summit of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy in 2010. The artificial leaf pledged to store 30 kilowatt-hours of electricity after a mere four hours of splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen, or enough to power an average American “McMansion” for a day. It was exactly the kind of "high-risk, high-reward" technology touted by President Obama when he launched the agency in 2009 (an idea carried over from the George W. Bush–era). Such technologies could help with the country's energy, environmental and economic security by creating new industries and jobs as well as by reducing the pollution associated with energy production and use today. More succinctly, "ARPA–E turns things that are plausible into things that are possible," proclaimed Acting Director Cheryl Martin at the 2014 summit.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Breaking: Protestors Arrested Halting Fracking Operations in Pennsylvania State Forest
EcoWatch


In the pre-dawn hours, activists with Marcellus Shale EarthFirst!, Pennsylvania residents and students took action to halt Anadarko’s fracking operation in the Tiadaghton State Forest. Protestors blocked the only access road to a wellpad by locking themselves to barrels of concrete, preventing workers from entering the site. At this time the police have placed at least two people in handcuffs and one person has been cut out of the blockade. The activists are demanding an immediate halt to all plans for new drilling on Pennsyvlania’s public lands.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
The Solar Technology That Could Solve California’s Water Problem
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

The founders of a California company are gearing up to make a difference in their state’s future—about 2 million gallons worth of a difference. As the state battles a lengthy drought and considers spending $7 billion to $9 billion to produce, transport and store fresh water, WaterFX, a San Francisco-based, independent water producer says it has been testing a potential solution for the past year.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
How Fracking Destroys the American Dream
EcoWatch
Resource Media

Last fall, Resource Media compiled an in-depth media tip sheet to provide journalists with background information and sources about the growing body of evidence linking drilling with widespread impacts on property values, property rights and quality of life in communities across America.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Breaking: North Carolina Regulators Take Legal Action Against Duke Energy for Coal Ash Dumping
EcoWatch
John Deike

North Carolina environmental regulators have cited Duke Energy for violating the conditions of a wastewater permit after it illegally dumped an estimated 61 million gallons of coal ash wastewater into a Cape Fear River tributary, according to Waterkeeper Alliance. The state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued the citation on Thursday for the permit violations after state officials discovered the dumping during a March 11 inspection at Duke Energy’s Cape Fear Steam Electric Plant.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Why American Universities Must Divest from Fossil-Fuel Companies
Environment 360
Bob Massie

With our leaders repeatedly failing to take action on climate, divestment from fossil-fuel companies is one of the few effective strategies remaining. Climate change is an urgent moral crisis, and our universities and institutions must take a stand. Let’s say that you are sitting in the front passenger seat of a car that is several miles from the Grand Canyon, conversing with the driver and other passengers about the importance of vehicle safety. The conversation might meander from technical questions about automobile design, to a discussion of the role of alcohol in causing accidents, to the need for top-notch driver education.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Environmental groups gearing up for battle over natural gas exports
Washington Examiner
ZACK COLMAN

Environmental groups are stepping up their opposition to natural gas exports after boosters in Congress and the energy industry helped propel the discussion early in the Ukraine crisis. As Russia asserted its influence over Ukraine — a power it possesses by virtue of being the main energy supplier in Central and Eastern Europe — Republicans, industry and a growing number of Democrats seized on the situation to push for expanding natural gas exports as a strategic move to weaken Russia's grip and promote the United States as an energy powerbroker.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
[MA] DEP worried about potential threats at train derailment site
Lowell Sun
Katie Lannan

WESTFORD -- The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has determined that Pan Am Railways must perform what the agency calls "Immediate Response Actions" to evaluate potential threats at the site of a February train derailment. Around 11 p.m. on Feb. 19, five Pan Am train cars -- two of which were carrying the potentially explosive chemical liquid petroleum gas -- slipped off the tracks running along an overpass through the town's Graniteville neighborhood.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
How the Gas Lobby Is Using the Crimea Crisis to Push Bad Policy and Make More Money
The Nation
Lee Fang

A small group of pundits and politicians with close ties to the fossil fuel industry are using the crisis in Crimea to demand that the United States promote natural gas exports as a quick fix for the volatile situation. But such a solution, experts say, would cost billions of dollars, require years of development, and would not significantly impact the international price of gas or Russia’s role as a major supplier for the region. Rather, the move would simply increase gas prices for American consumers while enriching companies involved in the liquified natural gas (LNG) trade.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Natural Gas Industry Using Crimean Crisis to Push Wishlist Through Congress
Moyers & Company
Cole Stangler

The mounting tensions in southeastern Ukraine may hand the American natural gas industry one of its biggest policy victories in years. Citing the Kremlin’s nefarious energy influence over Ukraine and Europe at large — Kiev gets about 60 percent of its gas supply from Russia, the EU 30 percent — Congress is making moves that would ostensibly unleash a flood of gas overseas from America’s comparatively friendly shores. Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX), Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Mike Turner (R-OH) each introduced bills earlier this month to supposedly fast-track liquefied natural gas exports to the regions. Mark Udall (D-CO), meanwhile, sponsored similar legislation in the Senate.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Protestors Arrested at Fracking Site
WNEP
Nikki Krize

MIFFLIN TOWNSHIP — Five people protesting natural gas drilling were arrested Thursday afternoon in Lycoming County. Authorities said the protest stopped drilling at a state forest for about six hours. The protestors are from a group called Marcellus Shale Earth First. State police said early in the morning, three people chained themselves to a 12 foot pipe outside the entrance to Andarko’s gas drilling site at the Tiadaghton State Forest near Jersey Shore. The protesters blocked the only access road to the well-pad, so gas workers could not do their jobs until state police came and arrested the activists.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
While America Spars Over Keystone XL, A Vast Network Of Pipelines Is Quietly Being Approved
ThinkProgress
KATIE VALENTINE

After countless marches, arrests, Congressional votes, and editorials, the five-and-a-half year battle over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is nearing its end. If a recent ruling in Nebraska doesn’t delay the decision further, America could find out as soon as this spring whether or not the pipeline, which has become a focal point in America’s environmental movement, will be built. But while critics and proponents of Keystone XL have sparred over the last few years, numerous pipelines — many of them slated to carry the same Canadian tar sands crude as Keystone — have been proposed, permitted, and even seen construction begin in the U.S. and Canada. Some rival Keystone XL in size and capacity; others, when linked up with existing and planned pipelines, would carry more oil than the 1,179-mile pipeline.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
An Injunction Against the First Amendment
The Moderate Voice
Walter Brasch

Vera Scroggins of Susquehanna County, Pa., will be in court, Monday morning. This time, she will have lawyers and hundreds of thousands of supporters throughout the country. Representing Scroggins to vacate an injunction limiting her travel will be lawyers from the ACLU and Public Citizen, and a private attorney. The last time Scroggins appeared in the Common Pleas Court in October, she didn’t have lawyers. That’s because Judge Kenneth W. Seamans refused to grant her a continuance.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Thousands of Offshore Turbines May Reduce Hurricane Storm Surge
The Weather Channel


The turbines could effectively save lives and billions of dollars in damages each year In addition to replacing fossil fuels by creating clean electricity, offshore wind turbines could help alleviate storm surges and wind speeds caused by hurricanes, effectively saving billions of dollars in damages and lives each year, according to a Stanford University engineering professor. Mark Z. Jacobson co-authored an article published in February in Nature Climate Today describing how hurricane damage could be drastically reduced while providing clean energy year-round through a computer model simulation.  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
The Good, Bad and Ugly in Colorado’s New Fracking Air Emissions Rules
EcoWatch
Gary Wockner

The state of Colorado made national headlines a few weeks ago because it adopted new air emissions rules around drilling and fracking. There’s good, bad and ugly in these new rules, and there’s some new hope for the future.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
Colorado's Tough New Drilling Rules Make an Impact in Texas
InsideClimate News
Zahra Hirji, Lisa Song and Jim Morris

The possibility that Texas would adopt oil and gas rules for methane control and leak detection and repair 'is at least thinkable now.'   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
HALLIBURTON TO MEDIA: WE GRANT INTERVIEWS ONLY IF YOU AGREE NOT TO PORTRAY US IN A NEGATIVE LIGHT
jimromenesko.com


“Requester agrees not to use the Media Video in a manner which could cause damage, injury or impairment to Halliburton or to portray Halliburton in a negative light.” hall The Casper Star-Tribune received the release below from Halliburton after requesting an interview. (I added the blue highlight above.)  [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
The Democratic Civil War Over Energy
The Wall Street Journal
Kimberley A. Strassel

Green demands to stop drilling for natural gas come at an awkward time for Obama and his party. The environmental left is seeing Democrats the Keystone XL pipeline, and raising them natural-gas exports. The question of who folds on this issue will play big in this midterm election year. A split is growing in the Democratic Party, one that ought to rival the divisions on the right that the headlines trumpet. Greens are increasingly bitter about President Obama —annoyed that he's dropped climate legislation, scaled back green subsidies, ignored fracking. They've channeled their frustration into the fight against Keystone, warning that they'll turn their significant money and resources against Mr. Obama's party if the president approves more "dirty oil." Since this president cares about nothing so much as winning elections, he's sat on the pipeline for five years.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2014
In Shift, Exxon Mobil to Report on Risks to Its Fossil Fuel Assets
New York Times
Diane Cardwell

Energy companies have been under increasing pressure from shareholder activists in recent years to warn investors of the risks that stricter limits on carbon emissions would place on their business. On Thursday, a shareholder group said that it had won its biggest prize yet, when Exxon Mobil became the first oil and gas producer to agree to publish that information by the end of the month.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Scientific Sleuth Gets the Call When Communities are Contaminated
AlterNet
Alison Rose Levy

Wilma Subra has studied the biological impacts of industrial and naturally occurring chemicals for over 25 years. When chemical spills or toxic industrial releases affect unsuspecting communities, Subra, a microbiologist and chemist, often gets called in to investigate. Her experiences have taught her that the contamination of communities and waterways is just part of doing business for multinational corporations and it is becoming a significant, growing byproduct of our current, poorly regulated industrial practices.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Eco-groups want to included in U.S. DOE's methane meetings
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

Washington, D.C., March 19 – At 4pm today Energy Secretary Moniz is responding to President Obama’s directive to develop a “coordinated interagency methane strategy” by holding a closed-door meeting without public notice that excluded communities directly impacted by methane pollution. “Closed door meetings excluding impacted community members seem to be routine with the Obama administration, and this routine is no longer acceptable,” said Jill Wiener of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy. She continued, “If decision makers continue to ignore realities on the ground we can expect the oil and gas industry to continue to profit at the expense of the health and welfare of ordinary Americans.”   [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Carson imposes moratorium on oil drilling over fear of fracking
Los Angeles Times
Christine Mai-Duc

he decision makes Carson the first city in California to ban all oil drilling, even temporarily, officials say.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Barker: Fracking in the GW forest would be harmful
The Roanoke Times
Mark E. Barker

What's that old saying? If you believe that, I have some swampland in Florida to sell you. That's just one phrase that comes to mind whenever I read an energy pundit talking about fracking being safe and great for the environment. ("Fracking is Earth friendly," Steven R. Pottle commentary, March 12). There are numerous and significant problems with fracking, all of which are dangerous to the environment and public health.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Rachel Maddow Features Waterkeeper Alliance Photos Showing Duke Energy Dumping Coal Ash Into Local Waterways
EcoWatch


The Rachel Maddow Show reported Monday on the latest discovery by Waterkeeper Alliance of water being pumped from Duke Energy coal ash ponds into local waterways. Maddow also delves into a new report by the Associated Press that claims Gov. McCroy’s (R-NC) cozy relationship with Duke Energy led to a change in North Carolina law protecting the company’s coal ash pits and allowing them to pollute larger areas.   [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Scientists warn of global warming's abrupt changes
Los Angeles Times
TONY BARBOZA

A group of scientists warned Tuesday that world leaders must act more swiftly to slow greenhouse gas emissions or risk "abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes" from climate change. The American Assn. for the Advancement of Science's blunt report contains no new scientific conclusions. But by speaking in plain, accessible terms it seeks to instill greater urgency in leaders and influence everyday Americans. Scientists said many previous assessments have been long and ponderous, and have failed to shift public opinion on global warming.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
OSHA calls for silica limit: Proposed silica limit would hurt fracking industry, group says
Park Rapids Enterprise
Katherine Lymn

A proposed lower limit of silica exposure from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would drastically affect the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, industry, a trade group said.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Keystone foes turn their fire to natural gas exports
Grist
Ben Adler

Republicans in Congress, and some Democrats too, are pushing hard to get the U.S. exporting more natural gas, using the crisis in Ukraine as an excuse. The House is considering a bill that would require the Department of Energy to immediately approve more than 20 pending applications for natural gas export facilities.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Big Oil's behind-the-scenes role in LSU's 'legacy lawsuit' study
IND Reporter
Patrick Flanagan

The Dismukes study and the controversial reports released by UT Austin and the University of Buffalo have many similarities: All three attempted to hide the influence of the oil and gas industry and employed biased language and flawed methodologies, and each lacked a legitimate peer review process. But, at least for now, the one major difference between these three cases is that LSU is backing the industry’s heavy-handed role in its professor’s research.   [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
John Podesta knocks greens on natural gas
PoliticoPro
ANDREW RESTUCCIA

White House adviser John Podesta took aim Wednesday at environmentalists who have criticized the Obama administration’s support for natural gas. ________________________________________________________________________ The environmental community is far from unified on natural gas. While more liberal groups like the Sierra Club and 350.org have been critical of natural gas development, the Environmental Defense Fund is working closely with industry groups to come up with solutions to the methane problem.   [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Pro-drillers hopeful about new DRBC head
The Pike County Courier


Steven J. Tambini, former water company executive, will replace longtime director Carol Collier   [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Beebe's veto of sand tax break overridden
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Gavin Lesnick

Both chambers of the Arkansas Legislature have voted to override Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of a provision of an appropriation bill exempting sand used in oil and gas wells from the state's sales tax. On Wednesday, the House voted 55-41 and the Senate voted 26-7 to override the governor's veto. A simple majority in each chamber can override a veto. Beebe had called the provision unconstitutional, saying it shouldn't have been considered under the fiscal session and should require a two-thirds vote from both chambers because it is a "substantive change to Arkansas code."  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Leak in 100-year-old gas well emptied Southeast Regional Medical Center for months
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Anya Litvak and Steve Twedt

An old natural gas well is the suspected cause of a gas leak that has kept a Waynesburg medical building empty for three months. Southwest Regional Medical Center’s two-story medical arts building was first evacuated for the day on Jan. 14, when Peoples Natural Gas discovered high concentrations of methane while inspecting its pipeline there. Two days later, officials detected gas again and the building has been vacant since. The leaking well belongs to Vantage Energy, a Colorado-based oil and gas company that drills shale gas wells in Greene County and inherited the 100-year-old shallow well last year. The well, named J&B Miller 600725, was drilled more than 100 years ago and sits about 800 feet from the medical arts building.   [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
The California Frack Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
Daily Kos
Damien Luzzo

For months, the frustration surrounding the Governor's pro-fracking stance has been simmering among fractivists and democratic party delegates alike. We have done literally everything within our legal capacity in order to get Jerry Brown's attention. There was the nonstop bird-dogging, the rallies, the petitions, and, more recently, the delivery of more than 100,000 public comments to his office. "We know it's rattling him," said David Turnbull, "We know he's paying attention and he's hearing it."  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Podesta: White House Ready to Plug Methane Leaks
National Journal
Ben Geman

White House adviser John Podesta said Wednesday that the Obama administration is getting ready to release an interagency strategy for curbing emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane. "We are in the throes of finalizing a methane strategy across the government. I think you can expect an announcement in the not too distant future," he told reporters during a West Wing briefing. The strategy is called for in the White House climate plan released last June, but the timing has been something of a mystery. Podesta said it will be ready in the "near future." "That will set up a series of work streams for the federal family as a whole," said Podesta, the Democratic uber-strategist who formally joined the White House early this year. Podesta on Wednesday was part of a "roundtable" on methane that Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz hosted earlier in the day.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
German Energy Push Runs Into Problems
The New York Times
MELISSA EDDY

BERLIN — It is Germany’s national goal: to have the bulk of its energy supplied by renewable power sources by 2050, without endangering the country’s powerful industrial sector or an export-based economy that is the envy of other Europeans. This energy push, known as the Energiewende, or energy transformation, took on new urgency with the decision to speed up the phasing out of nuclear power after the 2011 Fukishima disaster. But the question of whether Germany can meet its 2050 goal has been hotly debated. And the issue has taken on added importance with the Russia-Ukraine crisis threatening Germany’s largest single source of natural gas.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
N.J. rejects plan for wind power farm off Atlantic City
The Record
Wayne Parry

ATLANTIC CITY — New Jersey energy regulators have taken the air out of a $188 million plan to build a wind power farm off the coast of Atlantic City. The state Board of Public Utilities rejected a proposal by Fishermen's Energy to build a windmill farm three miles off the state's southern coast, deciding it was too risky financially.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
DRAFT BILL SETS AGGRESSIVE GOALS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY, POWER CONSUMPTION
NJ Spotlight
Tom Johnson

Measure would boost NJ's reliance on renewable energy to 80 percent by 2050, slash energy consumption by 30 percent at same time  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Fracking increases health risks
Voice of Russia


Widely introduced two decades ago, hydraulic fracturing is believed to propel many countries to energy self-sufficiency. Yet some controversial issues overshadow possible virtues of fracking. The recent report by the Colorado School of Public Health, says fracking increases the risks of birth defects by 30 per cent in mothers who lived near oil and gas wells. The study though is not conclusive, but found the links between the mother’s residential proximity to natural gas wells and birth defects.   [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
DEQ to tackle ‘fracking’ regulations
The County Press
JEFF HOGAN

LAPEER COUNTY — The Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently announced it is crafting new rules for hydraulic fracturing, a process commonly used to develop natural gas and oil wells and the subject of two public meetings next week in Lapeer County — one in Oregon Township and the other in Columbiaville.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Arnhem Land traditional owners flag High Court action to prevent mining industry fracking
abc.net.au
Andrew Thompson

Traditional owners from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory say they plan to initiate proceedings in the High Court of Australia to prevent fracking on their land and coast line. Maningrida traditional owners have met with Environment Minister Greg Hunt to lobby for legally binding protection agreements of all coastal waters off Arnhem Land. Eddie Mason says Mr Hunt expressed support for his people's wishes.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Fracking Protest Sets Record in Sacramento
Liberty Voice
Dan Reyes

Anti-fracking groups from across California set a record by staging the largest fracking protest in the state’s history in Sacramento on Saturday. Protesters, who rallied at the capitol building, drew by various estimates 2,000 to 4,000 participants. The group, Californians Against Fracking, organized the event in coordination with it’s 150 partner organizations in an attempt to pressure Governor Jerry Brown into placing a ban on the controversial oil-extraction process. A process which those opposed to fracking claim can lead to a wide range of serious health and environmental problems.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Acorn Energy : Announces Q4 and Fiscal Year 2013 Results
EIN Newsdesk


Acorn Energy : Announces Q4 and Fiscal Year 2013 Results 03/19/2014 | 08:52am US/Eastern Recommend: 0 For the fiscal year 2013 period, revenue increased $2.3 million, or 12%, to $21.8 million, compared to $19.4 million in the corresponding 2012 period. The net loss for 2013 was $29.7 million, or $1.57 per share, compared to a net loss of $16.7 million, or $0.93 per share, in 2012. Results for the year include a non-cash charge of $6.7 million ($0.36 per share) for impairment of goodwill and other intangibles and $1.4 million ($0.07 per share) for restructuring charges. For the fourth quarter of 2013, Acorn revenue increased 21% to $5.8 million compared to $4.8 million in the 2012 fourth quarter. The net loss for the quarter was $5.3 million, or $0.24 per share, compared to a net loss of $5.4 million, or $0.30 per share, in the corresponding 2012 period.   [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Victory Nickel's Commissioning of Seven Persons Frac Sand Plant Underway Rail deliveries of Wisconsin sand concentrate continue to arrive in Alberta
EIN Newsdesk


Victory Nickel Inc. ("Victory Nickel" or the "Company") (TSX:NI) today announced that commissioning of the Company's Seven Persons frac sand plant (the "7P Plant") near Medicine Hat, Alberta is underway. The 7P Plant has approximately 22,000 tons of dry sand storage capacity, and the inventory build-up of premium-quality midwestern white frac sand is ongoing. In addition, shipments of washed, concentrated sand from the transload facility in Winona, MN continue to arrive at the 7P Plant for processing. "We have now achieved the milestones of: Receiving sign-off from the Alberta Energy Regulator on the remediation work that was done to enable the 7P Plant site to operate as frac sand processing facility; completing all sand supply, equipment, and transportation agreements; acquisition of the Seven Persons site and construction and start-up of a 500,000 ton-per-year dry frac sand processing facility; receiving and unloading of sand concentrate mined from the Jordan Formation in Wisconsin, USA; and, processing finished frac sand at the 7P Plant," said Ken Murdock, CEO of Victory Silica, Victory Nickel's wholly-owned frac sand-focused subsidiary. "Our next goal is to build sufficient inventories of 16/30, 20/40, 30/50 and 40/70 frac sand to begin sales into Manitoba, Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan and North Dakota and then build the business from there." About Frac Sand Frac sand is a proppant used in the oil and gas business as a part of the hydraulic fracturing process - a means of increasing flow to the wellhead. Frac sand must have particular characteristics including achieving certain levels of crush resistance, sphericity and roundness, and it is therefore a relatively rare commodity. Vast quantities of frac sand are consumed, and more is needed all the time, as shale gas and oil plays in Canada and the US rise to prominence.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Is Fracking to Blame for Earthquake That Struck LA?
EIN Newsdesk
william avila

Monday's quake was centered about 5 miles northwest of Westwood, near where active oil extraction activities have been reported, according to city officials. By Willian Avila | Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 | Updated 12:09 AM PDT View Comments ( 0 ) | Email | Print Is Fracking to Blame for Quake That Struck LA? Getty Images Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, stimulates gas production by injecting wells with high volumes of chemical-laced water in order to free-up pockets of natural gas below. advertisement Was the earthquake that struck Los Angeles on Monday triggered by fracking? Three Los Angeles City Council members Tuesday called on city staff to investigate whether oil and natural gas drilling methods like fracking caused the magnitude-4.4 temblor. Magnitude-4.4 Earthquake Shakes Southern California The staff would work directly with several regional, state and federal agencies to produce a report looking into whether a link exists between hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking,' and the quake. According to a motion Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin, and seconded by Councilman Bernard Parks, seismologists described the 6:26 a.m. earthquake as the strongest to "hit directly under the Santa Monica Mountains in the 80 years since seismic record-keeping began in the area."  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Fracking task force struck
EIN Newsdesk
Matt Dykstra

The provincial government will strike a task force to form an urban drilling policy in Alberta after Lethbridge residents raised major concerns about fracking within city limits. Last year, Calgary-based Goldenkey Inc. announced they are seeking to drill three exploratory wells on the west side of Lethbridge that are reportedly close to residential developments and the site of a planned new school.   [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Democrat, Republican Politicians, Including Two Former Colorado Governors Join Effort to Ban Fracking
EIN Newsdesk
Greg Campbell

Former Colorado governors Roy Romer, a Democrat, and Bill Owens, a Republican, have joined Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development as chairmen of its newly formed advisory committee. Former Republican Sen. Hank Brown and former Democratic speaker of the state House Rep. Terrance Carroll will also chair the advisory committee. Andarko Petroleum and Noble Energy, two of the major oil and gas developers operating in Colorado, fund CRED, which seeks to educate the public about fracking. “The need for more education about fracking is well recognized, and we believe CRED is the right vehicle, at the right time, to broadly share this information with Coloradans,” Romer and Owens said in a joint statement. “Coloradans value informed discussions and participation in the political process. CRED was developed to move Colorado past the influx of misinformation and set the record straight on fracking.” CRED opposes an effort by anti-fracking groups to put a measure on the 2014 ballot that would allow locals decide whether or not to ban the practice in their communities. Currently, only the state can regulate the oil and gas industry, but several communities voted last year to stop fracking within their borders. “This latest ballot proposal intends to ban fracking and could create environmental and economic chaos from one corner of Colorado to the other,” said CRED spokesman Jon Haubert in an earlier press release. “The key to effective regulations and enforcement is to provide statewide predictability and consistency.” On the other side of the debate, however, Rep. Jared Polis, a multimillionaire, is helping bankroll the ballot measure, according to Denver’s Fox 31. The station reported that Polis is “closely aligned” with Local Control Colorado, a coalition of 10 anti-fracking groups pushing the ballot measure.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
How Fracking Causes Earthquakes
East Bay Express
Robert Gammon

A new study connects wastewater injection wells, which have expanded rapidly during the fracking boom, to a ten-fold increase in quakes in some parts of the nation.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Landowners want Keystone pipeline fight to end
Columbus Dispatch
Grant Schulte

LINCOLN, Neb. — If the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline ever gains approval, Ronald Weber will watch from his farmhouse as workers lay the line beneath a half-mile of his cropland in northeastern Nebraska.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Politico: Study backs up call for plugging methane leaks
PoliticoPro
Erica Martinson

Finding and patching leaks at oil and gas facilities is a relatively cheap way of stopping widespread leaks of the potent climate pollutant methane, a new study commissioned by the nonprofit Clean Air Task Force says. The environmental group says the study backs its call for the EPA to directly address methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. The EPA has required efforts at well sites to reduce volatile organic compounds, actions that have a side benefit of cutting methane emissions. Environmental groups, including the Clean Air Task Force, have sued to push the agency into directly regulating methane emissions as well.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Proposed gas pipeline wrong policy for New England
Daily Hampshire Gazette
KATY EISEMAN

CUMMINGTON — In the last several weeks, landowners across the state — from the Berkshires to Essex County — have been contacted by representatives of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC (a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP) for permission to survey land for the proposed “Northeast Expansion” natural gas pipeline. I urge landowners to deny the company permission to survey, or to rescind permission where it has been granted. I am also calling on local, state and federal officials to do everything in their power to block this unnecessary and ill-conceived pipeline, and to champion sustainable solutions to our energy needs. According to the Boston Globe, natural gas already accounts for 67 percent of our state’s electrical generation. Increasing our reliance on this single, nonrenewable source of energy would make ratepayers even more beholden to volatile commodities markets. The intent for this route to link up to Canada also belies claims that more pipelines would decrease prices. (According to a TGP memo, intended customers include developers of liquefied natural gas projects in New England and Atlantic Canada.) Exporting American gas would drive prices up and would perpetuate the perceived need for more pipelines. At present, the New England governors are seeking to require electric ratepayers to pay for new pipelines with a new tariff.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
The crude oil trains are here
The Windsor Star
Anne Jarvis

It’s highly explosive. It’s being loaded into unsafe tank cars at an exponential rate. And it’s travelling through the centre of Windsor. The crude oil trains are here. “This isn’t fear mongering,” says Ward 7 Coun. Irek Kusmierczyk. “It’s about being prepared.”  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Poetic Justice Strikes the CEO of ExxonMobil
Nation of Change
Jim Hightower

Rex Tillerson is mad. Fracking mad. The 61-year old farmer from Bartonville, Texas is another victim of the fracking boom that has invaded people’s homes and lives nationwide, from upstate New York to Southern California. Millions of Americans have experienced numerous side effects from this massively destructive drilling process, including polluted air, contaminated water, depleted aquifers, multiple health problems, and even an inexplicable epidemic of earthquakes.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Wholesale power prices in New England jumped 55% in 2013
E & E Newswire
Rod Kuckro

Higher natural gas prices and a lack of adequate pipeline capacity pushed wholesale prices for electricity up 55 percent in 2013, according to data released yesterday by ISO New England, the region's grid manager and operator of its wholesale electricity markets. The news comes as no surprise as New England's six states are literally at the end of the nation's energy pipeline. What to do about it is another matter.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
NTSB Finds Leak in Gas Pipe Near Fatal New York Building Blast
Bloomberg


Federal investigators found a leak in a natural gas pipeline next to a New York City building destroyed in an explosion that killed eight people last week. The 8-inch main pipeline, parts of which are 120-years old, failed a pressure test, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement yesterday. Segments of service pipelines found in the basements of the buildings have been removed and will be shipped to the NTSB lab for further investigation.  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2014
Remainder of Act 13 case gets court date
observer-reporter
Brad Hundt

The outstanding issues in the ongoing legal tussle over Act 13, the state’s oil and gas drilling law, will be argued May 14 when Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court convenes in Philadelphia. When the state Supreme Court decided by a 4-2 vote in December that the zoning provisions of Act 13 were unconstitutional because they stripped municipalities of their land-use and planning rights, they also asked that Commonwealth Court re-examine some of the arguments brought in the suit that the lower court did not address or dismissed the first time around.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
NC Seeks To Prevent Fracking Companies Underpaying Landowners
WFAE
Ben Bradford

North Carolina officials are preparing to open the state up to fracking, a process for drilling for natural gas. The state is expected to vote on rules to govern companies who want to drill later this year—rules to protect the environment, but also for landowners. The latter will be especially important, after a recent investigative report shows companies in other states have bilked landowners for the gas under their land.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Military Report: America Has 'Misguided' Fixation With Domestic Drilling
Kitsap Sun
John H. Cushman Jr., InsideClimate News

WASHINGTON—A new report from the U.S. Center for Naval Analyses and the London-based Royal United Services Institute, two of the NATO alliance's front-line strategy centers, recommends putting more effort into fighting global warming than securing reliable supplies of fossil fuels. The authors call the habitual American fixation on winning energy independence through expanded North American production of oil and natural gas "misguided." They say the "only sustainable solution" to the problem of energy insecurity is not through more drilling, but through energy efficiency and renewable fuels, like biofuels to replace oil.   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate
The New York Times
Justin Gillis

Early in his career, a scientist named Mario J. Molina was pulled into seemingly obscure research about strange chemicals being spewed into the atmosphere. Within a year, he had helped discover a global environmental emergency, work that would ultimately win a Nobel Prize. Now, at 70, Dr. Molina is trying to awaken the public to an even bigger risk. He spearheaded a committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, which released a stark report Tuesday on global warming.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
THE MOST PROFITABLE PART OF A GAS BOOM
CBS DFW
Jason Allen

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The ground is still shaking in northern Parker and Tarrant County. A system of seismic monitors is still picking up small movements. However, it’s been more than a month since the last 3.0 earthquake in the area. The Texas Railroad Commission is still in the process of hiring a seismologist to help look into more than 30 quakes since the fall.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Alaska Senate passes measure to move gas pipeline forward
Anchorage Daily News
Lisa Demer

JUNEAU --The Parnell administration's natural gas proposal, which supporters say could lead to the biggest infrastructure project ever built in Alaska, cleared a divided state Senate Tuesday on a 15-5 vote over the opposition of four Anchorage Democrats and a single Republican. The liquefied natural gas measure was debated for about five hours Tuesday with Democrats proposing 16 amendments, all of which failed to varying degrees, including one that would have made Alaska a majority owner of the ambitious project.   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Public inquiry into controversial gas drilling plans in Forth Valley gets underway
Daily Record


A PUBLIC inquiry is under way into an energy company's plans to drill for gas in central Scotland. The Coal Bed Methane development at Airth near Falkirk would see Dart Energy release natural gas from deep coal seams by pumping out water. The proposals include the drilling of 22 wells, and they have encountered local objections.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Pa. county considers drilling for gas under park
New Jersey Herald


PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Allegheny County Council is scheduled to consider a lucrative deal Tuesday to allow Range Resources to drill for natural gas beneath a Pittsburgh-area park, from well sites on neighboring private properties. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald outlined the proposed deal with Deer Lakes Park at a news conference Monday. He said it includes a $4.7 million bonus for the county, a $3 million donation to a park improvement fund, and 18 percent royalties that he estimates would generate $3 million a year for the county. The wells could produce natural gas for 30 to 40 years with about half the production occurring in the first eight years, said Range spokesman Matt Pitzarella.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Pa. House panel OKs bill on gas drilling royalties
AP via Bloomberg


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A bill that would limit the ability of natural gas exploration companies to deduct costs before paying royalties to Pennsylvania landowners has the approval of a state House committee. The bill passed the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on Monday, 15-to-10.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
More than Half of Fracked Wells Are Within 10 Miles of an Active Earthquake Fault
All Gov CA


Hydraulic fracturing (fracking), acidizing and other controversial oil and gas extraction techniques linked to man-made earthquakes are used in close proximity to earthquake faults in California, according to a study (pdf) by the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center for Biological Diversity's “On Shaky Ground: Fracking, Acidizing and Increased Earthquake Risk in California” says that of the state's 1,553 active wastewater injection wells used in the processes 6% are within one mile of a known fault, 23% are within five miles and 54% are within 10 miles. Much of the drilling in high-risk zones is located near heavily-populated areas.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Did 'fracking' play role in L.A. earthquake? Councilmen want to know
LA Times
Emily Alpert Reyes

Three Los Angeles City Council members want city, state and federal groups to look into whether hydraulic fracturing and other forms of oil and gas “well stimulation” played any role in the earthquake that rattled the city early Monday morning. The motion, presented Tuesday by Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin and seconded by Councilman Bernard Parks, asks for city departments to team up with the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey and the South Coast Air Quality Management District to report back on the likelihood that such activities contributed to the 4.4-magnitude quake   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Leak found in New York City gas main near site of fatal blast
Los Angeles Times
Tina Susman

NEW YORK -- The main pipeline running beneath Park Avenue on the block where a blast killed eight people was leaking outside one of the buildings destroyed, investigators said Tuesday, but they have not determined the cause of the leak.   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Opinion: Who's really in charge at EPA?
Environmental Health News
Beth Parke and Joseph Davis

Who’s really in charge at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency? Administrator Gina McCarthy says “we want to be as transparent as we can.” If that’s so, why did nearly a week go by after the massive chemical spill in West Virginia before anyone with EPA would speak, even briefly, with a reporter for the Charleston Gazette? With the water supply of 300,000 worried people contaminated, why did it take days longer for follow-up information to be supplied?  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Saturated With Oil Money, Texas Legislature Saved Industry From Pollution Rule
truthout
David Hasemyer, Ben Wieder and Alan Suderman, The Center for Public Integrity

KARNES CITY, Texas — In January 2011, with air quality worsening in Texas’ booming oil and gas fields and the federal government beginning to take notice, state environmental regulators adopted rules to reduce harmful emissions. The industry rebelled. So did the state legislature. A few months later, the legislature overwhelmingly approved SB1134, a bill that effectively prevented the new regulations from being applied in the Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas, the fastest-growing oil shale play in the nation and maybe the world. Since then, more than 2,400 air emissions permits have been issued in the Eagle Ford without additional safeguards that would have reduced the amounts of benzene, hydrogen sulfide, formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals that drift into the air breathed by 1.1 million people.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Report: Frackers Leaving Behind Earthquakes In California
MintPressNews
Katie Rucke

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck near Los Angeles around 6:25 a.m. PDT on Monday, rudely awakening many of the city’s residents and prompting news anchors to dash under the newsdesk for protection while still on the air. Damage from the earthquake to structures and roadways remains minimal, and there haven’t been any reports of injuries. The earthquake struck days after a joint report was released by Earthworks, the Center for Biological Diversity and Clean Water Action, warning that if oil companies continue to be granted access to drill for oil in California, the number of earthquakes and the inherent damage they cause will be devastating to Californians.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Why Fracking in the Karoo will never happen
Africa Geographic
Dirk DeVos

Eskom, which is responsible for the generation of almost all our electricity, has a terrible environmental record. Even if one ignores the environmental impact of coal mining or air pollution, at 0.96kg of CO2 per kWh fed into the grid, Eskom is one of the world’s worst emitters of CO2. South Africa’s economy is unusually carbon intense. Even if one discounts the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, Eskom’s power stations consume about 1 433 litres of water per MWh fed into the grid. Several studies show that 98% of South Africa’s available water resources are allocated to power generation and there is no prospect of increasing our water supply. The water to be used by Medupi power station in the Waterberg has to be piped there from elsewhere. We have all got used to cheap and abundant electricity and our industrial base exists because of it. But, as we have seen, things are changing quickly. We have seen exponential increases in the costs of electricity and our supply is no longer reliable as Eskom stumbles from one problem to the next with rolling blackouts now commonplace.   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
UPDATE 4-Sunoco oil pipeline leaks in Ohio nature preserve
Reuters
Edward McAllister

(Reuters) - Clean-up operations began on Tuesday after a major oil pipeline owned by Sunoco Logistics Partners LP leaked hundreds of barrels of crude oil into a nature preserve next to the Great Miami River in southwest Ohio. Crews vacuumed oil that had leaked from the Mid-Valley pipeline into a wetland area of the Oak Glen Nature Preserve, 20 miles (32 km) north of Cincinnati, according to local officials. The 240-barrel (10,000-gallons/38,000-liter) spill has been contained, Sunoco said in a statement.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
High cost of fracking: Toll on human health, wildlife and the environment
All Voices
Prairie Dog Press

The world’s quest for cheaper fuel in the form of natural gas is coming at a much higher price than fossil fuel industry officials want to acknowledge. It’s due to water depletion, polluting chemicals, complacency about contaminated waste and potential hazards that could adversely impact many living things within the scope of the fracking project. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is now being utilized in close to 3 million projects worldwide, with more than a million located in the US.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
The Downsides of Fracking are Clear. The Upsides Don’t Apply in California.
Santa Barbara View
Katie Davis

Climate change is man-made. There’s no question about that.” — Tupper Hall, Vice President, Western States Petroleum Association, March 6, 2014 This quote was from an event at UCSB on March 6 entitled, “Game Changer: Unconventional Gas & Oil and the Energy Landscape.” A diverse group of panelists at the event including the editor-in-chief of Science Magazine, the Chief Scientist at EDF, the Founder of a clean energy venture capital firm, and a VP from the Western Petroleum Association agreed on the risks of fracking, a process of injecting water, chemicals and sand into wells to release gas or oil deposits, though quibbled about the severity of those risks.   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
“Cautionary Tales from Fracked Communities” Visits Charlotte, March 27
Clean Air Carolina


National Speaking Tour Arrives in NC with Big Warnings for Residents STFA-NC-Tour-Meme-4On Thursday, March 27, consumer, environmental and public health advocates from North Carolina will join together in Charlotte to support the Cautionary Tales From Fracked Communities Tour. The speaking tour features an envoy of people from across the country whose lives have been directly impacted by fracking, and it includes activists and community members from Pennsylvania, New York and Iowa who will share their firsthand accounts of lives disrupted by the fracking industry.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Carson considers temporary oil drilling ban over 'fracking' concerns
LA Times
Christine Mai-Duc

The city of Carson is considering a temporary ban on all new oil drilling following a public outcry over a massive proposed oil project by Occidental Petroleum. Despite repeated assurances from Oxy that "fracking" and other well stimulation techniques will not be used to extract the oil, residents say they don’t trust the company, and are concerned about possible air and groundwater contamination.   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Markey Urges Consideration of Natural Gas Leaks Legislation Following Harlem explo
political news. me


WASHINGTON – The natural gas explosion in New York City this week has highlighted the aging infrastructure that delivers fuel in cities across the United States. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said that the Senate should quickly consider his legislation that would help utilities and consumers by speeding up the replacement of old, leaky natural gas pipelines that cost consumers billions in lost gas and have contributed to hundreds of explosions over the last decade.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
New York pipeline blast shakes up an industry
Christian Scientist Monitor
Ken Silverstein

The natural gas pipeline explosion that took down two buildings in East Harlem and killed eight people is raising additional questions about the United States’ reliance on natural gas – or more to the point, whether the infrastructure that carries the fuel source is both safe and adequate. Similar tragedies have dotted the American landscape in recent years, with the main culprits being older lines that have suffered from corrosion and that have ultimately led to leakage and destruction. In nearly all such cases, the lines had not been inspected for years and they had been made of cast-iron materials that were prevalent more than a century ago – outdated when compared with today’s flexible plastic pipelines.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Keystone XL Critics Take Aim at Natural Gas Export Project (2)
Bloomberg
Jim Snyder

Environmentalists fighting the Keystone XL pipeline are rallying to block a Maryland natural gas export terminal as momentum builds to use the U.S. fuel as a weapon against Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. The energy required to liquefy and ship gas at Dominion Resources Inc.’s proposed Cove Point terminal in Maryland will raise the fuel’s greenhouse-gas emissions to the level of coal, says Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Such terminals threaten the climate like pipelines tied to developing oil in Alberta, including Keystone, he said.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Shale gas and the environment
Observer-Reporter
Jeffery Fraser

For years, the well pads, truck traffic and logos of energy companies large and small multiplied across counties like Washington and Greene as Southwestern Pennsylvania became a poster child for the rush to extract natural gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale. It was in such a climate the region recently assumed a new identity as a place where efforts to stake a middle ground in the polarized debate over drilling and environmental protection are seen as so advanced that they're drawing interest from regulators and elected officials from countries as far away as Kazakhstan.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
11,000 anti-drill signatures delivered to legislature
Lethbridge Herald
Nick Kuhl

he signatures of more than 11,000 Lethbridge residents against drilling within city limits were delivered to Edmonton on Monday morning. Sheila Rogers of the group No Drilling Lethbridge dropped off a box of petitions, calling for the Alberta government to introduce legislation prohibiting oil and gas drilling development within the city of Lethbridge, to Lethbridge West MLA Greg Weadick’s office at the Alberta Legislature. Weadick wasn’t in but a representative told Rogers they would be processed.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Europe May Rethink Fracking As Fear Of Russia Grows
International Business Times
Meagan Clark

European countries that have long opposed hydraulic fracturing appear to be rethinking their perspective as Russian troops stay put in Crimea and threaten to keep Russia’s grip on European energy dominance.Russian leaders, particularly President Vladimir Putin, have loudly opposed the method of drilling that enabled the U.S. energy boom for what they say are environmental reasons. The more likely motivation is that if Europe increased fracking, its dependence on Russian natural gas would lessen, and with it Russia's exports and power over Europe.   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Keystone Foes Take Aim at Maryland Natural Gas Project
Bloomberg Businessweek
Jim Snyder

Environmentalists fighting the Keystone XL pipeline are rallying to block a Maryland natural gas export terminal as momentum builds to use the U.S. fuel as a weapon against Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. The energy required to liquefy and ship gas at Dominion Resources Inc.’s proposed Cove Point terminal in Maryland will raise the fuel’s greenhouse-gas emissions to the level of coal, says Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Such terminals threaten the climate like pipelines tied to developing oil in Alberta, including Keystone, he said.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Are Natural-Gas Exports the Next Keystone?
Washington Wire
Amy Harder

A coalition of grassroots environmentalists are galvanizing around a fossil-fuel project and urging President Barack Obama to oppose it. Sound familiar? It’s not the Keystone XL pipeline, but the parameters of the fight—and the arguments—are awfully similar to the fight that’s been raging in Washington and throughout the country over the proposed pipeline for the last five years.   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
16 Environmental Groups Implore Obama to End Fracked Gas Exports
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

The heads of 16 national and regional climate advocacy groups don’t see how exporting fracked and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fits into a climate change agenda. The group says proposals to expand the country’s fracking exports would undermine President Barack Obama’s efforts to battle climate change. They let him know as much in a jointly signed letter Tuesday afternoon.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
The global Transition tipping point has arrived - vive la révolution
The Guardian
Nafeez Ahmed

A new post-carbon era dawns as the old fossil fuel system dies. It's time to step up.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
TransCanada misleading Canadians over Energy East pipeline, environmental group says
The Globe and Mail
Shawn McCarthy

TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Energy East project has come under fire from environmental groups who say the company is overstating its benefits to eastern Canadians and that the project is primarily aimed at exporting crude.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Argentine Court to Halt YPF Fracking at El Trebol Well in Chubut
Bloomberg
Pablo Gonzalez and Rodrigo Orihuela

YPF SA (YPF:US), Argentina’s largest shale oil and gas producer, will be ordered to cease fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, at a well in Chubut province as a local court reviews allegations of water contamination. Judge Iris Pacheco of Chubut’s Second Labor Court in the city of Comodoro Rivadavia issued a two-page preliminary ruling on March 14 ordering the province and the operator of the well to suspend drilling at the El Trebol 914 well until a final ruling is made, according to a copy of the document obtained by Bloomberg that was confirmed by Silvia de los Santos, a lawyer representing plaintiff Marcelino Pintihue. YPF declined to comment on the ruling in an e-mailed response to questions.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Group kicks off petition for fracking ban initiative
Santa Maria Times


A grassroots group called Santa Barbara County Water Guardians kicked off a petition drive Tuesday for an initiative banning high-intensity petroleum operations such as hydraulic fracturing in Santa Barbara County. The group hopes to get the initiative on the November ballot, or approved by county supervisors.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Methane Emissions Are Risky Business
Clean Techies
3blmedia

I came to Environmental Defense Fund from the management consulting world, and was fortunate to bring a couple of lessons with me. A simple one is that successful companies keep a finger on the pulse of the returns and risks in their industry and core businesses. The oil and gas industry has a growing risk on its hands, and that risk is methane emissions. Study after scientific study has shown that methane emissions from oil and gas are a leading source of that powerful greenhouse gas. At more than 100x the climate impact of carbon dioxide when it is first released, methane is a supercharged contributor to climate change.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Greens pressure Obama to reject expansion of natural gas exports
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Environmental groups called on President Obama Tuesday to reject pending applications to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals, citing the negative impacts from natural gas throughout its life cycle. The pressure from green groups comes amid Republican calls for the administration to speed up the application process in response to Russia’s use of its natural gas resources as political leverage over Europe. Russia supplies most of Ukraine’s natural gas and is also a major supplier throughout much of Europe.   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Environmentalists challenge Obama on natural gas exports
fuel fix
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — More than a dozen environmental groups on Tuesday called on President Barack Obama to reject his previous support for natural gas and the controversial technology used to produce the fossil fuel. In a letter to Obama, the organizations also insisted that the administration’s handling of a proposed natural gas export facility on the Maryland coast is a test of the president’s commitment to combating climate change. “We are disturbed by your administration’s support for hydraulic fracturing and, particularly, your plan to build liquefied natural gas export terminals along U.S. coastlines that would ship large amounts of fracked gas around the world,” said the groups. “We call on you to reverse course on this plan and commit instead to keeping most of our nation’s fossil fuel reserves in the ground.”  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Climate risks as conclusive as smoking and lung cancer link - scientists
The Daily Climate


In an unusual policy intervention, U.S. scientists say evidence that the world is warming is as conclusive as the link between smoking and lung cancer.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Environmentalists Call For Ban on Fracking in Ohio After Earthquakes
Truthout
Mike Ludwig

Environmental groups are calling for a ban on fracking in Ohio after a series of small earthquakes erupted near an active fracking site last week.   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2014
Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate
New York Times
Justin Gillis

Now, at 70, Dr. Molina is trying to awaken the public to an even bigger risk. He spearheaded a committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, which released a stark report Tuesday on global warming.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Oil companies could be fined for flooded wells
Grand Forks Herald
Amy Dalrymple

TRENTON, N.D. – Oil companies that failed to prepare for flooding near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers could face enforcement action, state officials said Monday.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
ND may pay for cleanup of illegal oil field waste
Crookston Times
Associated Press

Bismarck, N.D. North Dakota officials are trying to tap into a state fund generated by oil and gas tax revenues to pay for the cleanup of what may be the state's biggest incident of illegal dumping of radioactive filter socks, a part used in the oil production process. The fund is meant for plugging and reclaiming abandoned oil wells, pipelines or oil brine spills. But the North Dakota Department of Health may use that money for the cleanup because it doesn't have a fund for that specific use, the Bismarck Tribune reported Friday.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
60% of Pro-Keystone XL Comments Tied to Industry, Group Says
InsideClimate News
Lisa Song

Analysis of 1,000 public comments shows that authors of more than half of them have ties to various companies that may benefit from pipeline's approval.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Fracking: the surprising new proving ground for water technologies The energy industry's growing demand for water is spurring water-treatment innovation that could spill over into other sectors
The Guardian
Martin LaMonica

Big advancements in wastewater treatment could be coming from an unexpected source: the oil and gas industry.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Alaska sues feds over Arctic drilling
Trib Live
Aaron Aupperlee

A preliminary deal struck between Allegheny County and energy company Range Resources to drill for natural gas under Deer Lakes Park secured higher payments without ignoring environmental concerns, industry analysts said. The county and Range, which with Huntley & Huntley submitted the lone bid, agreed to wider and more frequent testing of surface water near the well sites plus an assured $7.7 million and payments of possibly $3 million a year, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced on Monday.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Maps: Nevada earthquakes, fault lines and fracking locations
RGJ.com
Steve Timko

Hydraulic fracturing mining of oil, or fracking, is on its way to Nevada. Oklahoma has had a surge in earthquakes beginning in 2009 following renewed interest in oil and natural gas mining by the use of fracking. A United States Geological Survey report links at least some of the earthquakes not to fracking but to the reinjection of water pulled out of the ground along with oil. It's not clear that the type of fracking and water reinjection used in Oklahoma will be used in Nevada. The top map shows all of the magnitude 3.0 or greater quakes listed on a USGS earthquake archive web site in Nevada since 2001, the USGS listing of fault lines in Nevada and the locations of nine of the 10 fracking locations.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Ohio could add 19,000 Utica wells in next 19 years, new state report says
Ohio.com
Bob Downing

Ohio is projecting that as many as 19,000 new Utica Shale wells for natural gas and liquids could be drilled in eastern Ohio in the next 19 years. That’s how many wells would fit on the 3 million acres in eastern Ohio without any Utica Shale wells at the moment, Ohio’s state geologist, Mike McCormac, says in a report yet to be released to the public. His assessment is the most recent analysis showing that the Utica Shale is expected to produce long-term, positive effects for Ohio. “So again, that could be 19 years; that could be 25 years; that could be 15, 16 years. It’s hard to say right now,” McCormac said. “What we’re trying to do here is just show [that] the potential for a lot of activity exists. It’s not going to be like a two- or three-year thing. ... And I think this demonstrates more of the long haul.”  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
OPINION: Cuomo’s leadership needed in preventing climate change
Brooklyn Eagle
Eric Weltman

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy slammed New York, devastating communities across the city. A year and a half later, many victims of this disaster are still struggling to pick up the pieces and put their homes and neighborhoods back together. The question now is whether Governor Andrew Cuomo will be the leader we need in preventing further catastrophe by reducing the pollution that causes climate change and storms like Sandy. Signs look grim. The Cuomo administration recently released a draft energy plan for New York state. A public comment period concludes on April 30, after which the plan will be finalized. It is our hope that Cuomo will strengthen the plan by reducing the use of gas from fracking — a dangerous, polluting natural gas drilling process — and leading New York in a transition to safe, clean renewable energy.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Environmental report says Texas facility will cause headaches for residents
Fuel Fix
Ryan Holeywell

HOUSTON — A new federal report found few environmental concerns about a planned $13 billion liquefied natural gas export facility near Freeport but warns that it will cause major headaches for nearby residents. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, tasked with deciding whether the facility can be constructed and operated, found that the project’s biggest impacts won’t be pollution, but rather, the day-to-day stress for residents of a small island who will deal with years of construction in their backyard. In the preliminary environmental impact statement released Friday, FERC said the project’s impact on bodies of water, wetlands and air quality — not to mention property values, public safety and public services — would “not be significant” if the company takes proper steps.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Was the Los Angeles Earthquake Caused by Fracking Techniques?
Mother Jones
Josh Harkinson

Was the 4.4-magnitude earthquake that rattled Los Angeles this morning caused by fracking methods? It's hard to say, but what's clear from the above map, made by Kyle Ferrar of the FracTracker Alliance, is that the quake's epicenter was just eight miles from a disposal well where oil and gas wastewater is being injected underground at high pressure.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
West Virginia county surveying residents on health problems possibly tied to drilling
Columbus Business Journal
Tom Knox

A health department in a West Virginia county bordering Ohio wants to gauge the effects of oil and gas drilling on its citizens. The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department released a Natural Gas Health Effects Survey last week to “allow individuals to report non-identifiable data on specific health concerns and problems they may have due to drilling activity in their area,” the department says. Most of West Virginia’s drilling activity targets the Marcellus shale play, while neighboring Ohio harbors the Utica shale play.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Energy committee votes to send gas royalty bill to full Pa. House
PittsburghPost Gazette
Jacob Quinn Sanders

A bill designed to limit how much oil and natural gas producers can charge people whose land they lease for drilling passed the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today, 15-10. Under Pennsylvania law, those who lease their property for oil and gas drilling are guaranteed a minimum 12.5 percent royalty. House Bill 1684 of 2013 alleges that producers have been charging those landowners for costs after the gas has been withdrawn from the ground, such as transportation or compressing, which bring the royalties to less than 12.5 percent. "We should have stopped it before," Lycoming County Republican Garth Everett said.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
B.C. fracking challenged by environmental groups in court Coalition says repeated use of short-term permits is a violation of provincial Water Act
CBC News


A coalition of environmental groups will be in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver Monday arguing against the use of river and lake water for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
NJ eyes ban on fracking waste from any state
Seattle PI
Wayne Parry

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a ban on treating or storing waste products created by natural gas drillers.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Fracking Industry Tries to Buy Democracy in Rural Illinois
Global Research
Will Reynolds

Johnson County, IL has oil and gas interests panicked about a local effort to stop fracking. They’re spending tens of thousands of dollars in the rural county to defeat a referendum that opposes fracking and defends local rights.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Thousands Converge on Sacramento for Anti-Fracking Rally Governor Brown’s support for fracking has alienated his environmentalist base
Earth Island Journal
Sena Christian

SACRAMENTO — A busload of people from San Diego awoke early Saturday and hit the road as one of 20 buses from across California headed to the state capitol. The buses were full of passengers eager to express their concerns with hydraulic fracking and urge Gov. Jerry Brown to place a moratorium on this controversial form of oil and natural gas extraction.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Young Adults Prefer Offshore Wind To Fracking
Clean Technica


According to leading market research company Ipsos MORI who have recently conducted a new poll, there are more young people in favour of offshore wind development than there are in favour of fracking.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Anti-Fracking Protest Hits the Steps of the Capitol
KERK


This weekend, the steps of the state Capitol saw what organizers have called the largest anti-fracking protest in California.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Ballot Measure Calls To Ban Fracking In Southern Illinois
WUIS
Hannah Meisel

A ballot measure before voters in far-southern Johnson County seeks to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. But some advocates worry the proposal’s wording has the potential to confuse voters.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Thousands Turn Up For California's Largest-Ever Rally to Ban Fracking
Inside Climate News


Thousands of environmentalists took to California's state capitol on Saturday to demand Governor Jerry Brown ban hydraulic fracturing, in what is being called the largest anti-fracking mobilization the state has ever seen.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Do fracking arrangements violate B.C. law? Environmental coalition gets day in court
The Province
Dan Fumano

A coalition of environmental groups goes to court Monday to challenge the Oil and Gas Commission’s “systemic practice” of handing out repeated short-term water approvals for use in gas extraction operations in B.C.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Are Fracking Fluid Recipes Trade Secrets? Wyoming Supreme Court Sends Issue Back To District Court
MONDAQ
John A. Masterson

In a unanimous opinion issued March 12, 2014, the Wyoming Supreme Court reversed and remanded a case concerning the confidentiality of the ingredients in fracking fluids. The decision keeps alive a challenge to the confidentiality of fracking fluid recipes in Wyoming.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
EU-US trade pact would spur fracking in Europe, report warns
RTCC
John McGarrity

As the US and EU inch closer to a landmark trade deal, green groups in Europe have stepped up warnings that a new transatlantic compact would make fracking more likely by swerving environmental and planning laws.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Lawsuit Challenges Use Of Endangered Species To Stop Energy Boom
Investor's Business Daily
STEPHEN MOORE

Oklahoma's attorney general has filed what could become a landmark lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, arguing the so-called "sue and settle" procedure for listing animals and plants on the endangered and threatened list violates the federal Endangered Species Act. Scott Pruitt filed the complaint late Monday on behalf of the state of Oklahoma and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), a national network of oil and gas companies.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Why ExxonMobil's Partnerships With Russia's Rosneft Challenge the Narrative of U.S. Exports As Energy Weapon
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

In a long-awaited moment in a hotly contested zone currently occupied by the Russian military, Ukraine's citizens living in the peninsula of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to become part of Russia. Responding to the referendum, President Barack Obama and numerous U.S. officials rejected the results out of handand the Obama Administration has confirmed he will authorize economic sanctions against high-ranking Russian officials. "As I told President Putin yesterday, the referendum in Crimea was a clear violation of Ukrainian constitutions and international law and it will not be recognized by the international community," Obama said in a press briefing. "Today I am announcing a series of measures that will continue to increase the cost on Russia and those responsible for what is happening in Ukraine."   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
'Screwing Royalty Owners Means Chesapeake Is Stealing Cash'
Forbes
Christopher Helman

Chesapeake Energy has long been accused by its oil and gas partners of monkeying around with royalty payments. It looks as if this long-simmering issue is rising to a boil.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Albany mayor joins a coalition for oil-train safety
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan has joined with mayors in Chicago, Philadelphia and other large cities to ask the federal government to increase oversight of crude oil trains.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Critics cite Nevada 'fracking' concerns
RGJ
Jeff DeLong

“Fracking” for oil could endanger precious water supplies and increase the potential for seismic danger, critics told Nevada officials Monday. Meeting in Carson City, officials from the Nevada Division of Minerals heard from conservationists, tribal members and others worried that plans to begin drilling for oil through hydraulic fracturing could bring serious problems to Northern Nevada.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Fracking Waste on NYS Roads: Why the Details Matter
NY Environment
Sarah Crean

As we reported recently, a fracking waste product is being spread on roads in western New York—with state approval—to melt ice and control dust. The uproar over the issue—twelve counties have banned road spreading of “produced water,” and legislation outlawing the practice has been introduced in the State Senate—underscores New York’s economic and social divisions. Re-use of produced water on local roads is occurring in shale-rich western New York, where oil and gas drilling has been a part of the local economy for over a century. The industry operates in mainly rural counties, such as Allegany and Chautauqua, that often have high poverty rates, a need for economic development, and municipalities struggling to provide basic services.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS COUNTY TO CONSIDER FRACKING BAN TUESDAY
Illinois Review


OHNSON COUNTY - Voters in southern Illinois' Johnson County will be asked to decide the following proposition on the Tuesday primary election ballot. “Shall the people's right to local self-government be asserted by Johnson County to ban corporate fracking as a violation of their rights to health, safety and a clean environment?” If it passes, Johnson County will be only the second county in the nation to approve such a referendum. The referendum is advisory. The county board of three commissioners would have to approve a ban.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Environmental groups file suit over use of water for fracking
The Globe and Mail
James Keller

A pair of environmental groups allege the B.C. government is skirting its own laws by allowing energy firms to spend years using large quantities of fresh water for natural-gas extraction without having to go through the rigorous process of applying for long-term water licences. The lawsuit represents the latest attempt by environmental groups to target the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which opponents have linked to a litany of problems including water pollution and climate change.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
The Rise of Vermont’s Fracked Gas Battle: Communities Organize Against Pipeline Plans
Toward Freedom
Keith Brunner

Nate and Jane Palmer’s farm sits in a clay plain basin adjacent to one of the many wetlands in Monkton, a rural Vermont community known for, among other things, its annual salamander migrations and amphibian road crossings. In addition to raising animals and growing crops for small-scale biofuel experiments, the couple runs Palmer’s Garage, a repair shop and community fixture in nearby North Ferrisburgh. Jane Palmer recalls the controversy when Vermont Gas first announced its intention to construct a gas pipeline down the western side of the state, a route which would require a right-of-way through the center of Monkton. “We thought it was a dumb idea that would undermine alternative energy efforts,” she says.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Coal seam gas expansion would push up prices, says thinktank
The Guardian
Bridie Jabour

Coal seam gas mining will not bring down the gas price in Australia according to a report which also found there has not been enough research into the impact of fracking on people’s health. The progressive thinktank the Australia Institute (TAI) has released a report, Fracking the Future, on what it calls the “myths” surrounding the coal seam gas (CSG) industry. It found the gas price was likely to increase with the expansion of fracking in Australia and the economic benefits, including the number of people employed by the gas industry, were overstated. About half of the people surveyed by TAI want more government regulation of the industry and 71% think it should be regulated by the federal government, according to a survey done in conjunction with the report.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Was the Los Angeles Earthquake Caused by Fracking Techniques?
Mother Jones
Josh Harkinson

Was the 4.4-magnitude earthquake that rattled Los Angeles on Monday morning caused by fracking methods? It's hard to say, but what's clear from the above map, made by Kyle Ferrar of the FracTracker Alliance, is that the quake's epicenter was just eight miles from a disposal well where oil and gas wastewater is being injected underground at high pressure. Don Drysdale, spokesman for the state agency that oversees California Geological Survey, told me that state seismologists don't think that the injection well was close enough to make a difference (and the agency has also raised the possibility that Monday's quake could have been a foreshock for a larger one). But environmental groups aren't so sure.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Wyoming High Court Rejects Ruling that Protects Fracking Secrets
Ring of Fire
Alisha Mims

On Wednesday, the Wyoming Supreme Court revived a lawsuit against the state’s energy regulator, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC), calling for a review of the agency’s decision to allow Halliburton and other companies to conceal information about the chemicals they use during the fracking process. The high court ruled that a lower court must consider whether the state regulator complied with public records law when granting requests by energy companies for “trade secret” protection on fracking chemicals, Law360 reports.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Kansas task force explores possible fracking, earthquake link
kctv5
Erika Tallan,Chris Oberholtz

FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV/AP) - An incredible amount of earthquakes have rocked the Midwest since the first of the year, rattling the nerves of scientists who study the trembles. Kansas officials are so concerned they have set out to find the cause of the quakes. The big concern is that Kansas is seeing more activity now than it ever has before. The U.S. Geological Survey reported an earthquake recently shook southern Kansas. The earthquake happened at 3:46 a.m. Sunday and measured 4.0 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was reported eight miles east-northeast of Anthony in Harper County. It was at least the second earthquake in a week in the area. Last Wednesday, a quake rated 3.4 on the Richter scale was recorded 14 miles east-northeast of Anthony.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Ice blamed for gas pipeline discharge
Times Leader
Jon O'Connell

LENOX TWP. — Williams, a natural gas pipeline company, has confirmed a gathering line discharged brine Thursday in a rural Susquehanna County town. Ice had built up in an above-ground pipeline connection between the Jeffers Farms wells and the Zick Compressor Station near Route 106, causing the pipes to discharge brine, Williams spokesman Mike Atchie said in an email.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Harlem gas explosion: How widespread is the problem?
Christian Science Monitor
Harry Bruinius

Two century-old East Harlem tenements were completely destroyed on March 12 after a natural gas leak sparked an explosion that leveled the five-story brick building, killing eight people and injuring more than 60 others. The buildings were part of a bustling area on the northern reaches of Manhattan’s famed Park Avenue, housing working-class families as well as the store-front sanctuary of a Spanish-language church and a piano repair store.__________________________ 2. IS NATURAL GAS INHERENTLY MORE DANGEROUS THAN HOME HEATING OIL? The vast majority of fatalities and injuries related to the nation’s network of fuel-delivery pipelines (both oil and natural gas) are gas-related. In 2013, there were 10 fatalities and 46 injuries related to pipeline-related incidents, and nine of the deaths and 39 of the injuries were caused by gas-delivery pipelines, according to the federal Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Even a small gas leak in an enclosed space can spark a catastrophic explosion. During the past 10 years, gas explosions have caused an estimated $75 million a year in property damages.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Largest Anti-Fracking Rally in California History Draws Thousands
EcoWatch
Andy Rowell

They came in their thousands from across the Sunshine State. On Saturday, the largest anti-fracking rally and protest in California’s history took place in the state capital of Sacramento. The message to California Gov. Jerry Brown was simple: act now to ban fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Fracking fears for aquifers
West Australian
Daniel Mercer

Aquifers earmarked for drinking water between Geraldton and Busselton could be compromised if companies are allowed to drill for gas through them, the Water Corporation has warned.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2014
Beebe vetoes tax exemption for drilling sand
SF Gate
Andrew DeMillo

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed a $5 million tax exemption for the sand used in natural gas drilling on Monday, saying it was unconstitutional for the Legislature to include the tax break in a state agency's budget bill.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Ohio's earthquake average since 2010 has risen
WBNS - 10


OLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A newspaper analysis finds that the average number of 2.0 magnitude and higher earthquakes occurring in Ohio each year has risen. The rise reported by The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1gqFBbP ) coincides with an average increase in tremblors nationally and to an increase in oil-and-gas drilling and deep injection activity in eastern Ohio.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Hurley Town Board sets public hearing on proposed fracking moratorium for March 19
Daily Freeman
William J. Kemble

HURLEY >> Town Board members will take comments March 19 on a proposed moratorium of hydraulic fracturing activities. The session is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall at 10 Wamsley Place.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Fracking takes toll on area water supplies (Video)
Caller.com


The mad rush for oil and gas in the Eagle Ford Shale formation is stressing area aquifers and water supplies, according to a report by an environmental investment group. However, officials in McMullen County aren't worried.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
West’s Drought and Growth Intensify Conflict Over Water Rights
New York Times
Michael Wines

MUMFORD, Tex. — Across the parched American West, the long drought has set off a series of fierce legal and political battles over who controls an increasingly dear treasure — water.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
STORROW: Fracking was the star, but transparency the winner in the Wyoming Supreme Court decision
StarTribune
Ben Storrow--Opinion

The headlines were all about fracking. But last week’s big Wyoming Supreme Court decision was about something arguably more important: transparency.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Radioactive Frack Water & Illicit Frack Rubbers
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

Analytical Test Could Underestimate Radioactivity In Fracking Wastewater When energy companies extract natural gas from shale using hydraulic fracturing, they generate flowback wastewater, a brine solution that contains naturally occurring radionuclides, including radium isotopes. Because some of this wastewater is diverted to treatment plants and eventually discharged into local waterways, state environmental agencies have started to establish procedures for monitoring radium levels in the wastewater. However, a new study cautions that one test that state agencies are considering could underestimate radium levels by as much as 99% (Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2014, DOI:10.1021/ez5000379).  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
In light of Ukraine, Europe takes another look at shale
Feza Gazetecilik
Keith Johnson

WASHINGTON — Russian leaders, especially Vladimir Putin, have spent years trying to persuade European countries to hold off on expanding shale gas production for the simplest of reasons: Such a shift would pose a long-term threat to Russia's energy dominance over Europe. But the Russian invasion of the Crimean peninsula is giving Europe new enthusiasm for fracking -- and potentially bringing about the exact outcome Russia has spent years trying to avoid.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Scientists study Ohio's quakes, fracking
The Columbus Dispatch
Will Drabold

For 100 years, Mahoning County had not experienced a sizable earthquake. But a little more than two years ago, the ground in the northeastern Ohio county started to shake. There have been a dozen earthquakes in the area near Youngstown since. In fact, earthquakes have happened at a greater rate across Ohio in recent years than they had for more than a century.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Fracking Industry Tries to Buy Democracy in Rural Illinois
EcoNews
Will Reynolds

ohnson County, IL has oil and gas interests panicked about a local effort to stop fracking. They’re spending tens of thousands of dollars in the rural county to defeat a referendum that opposes fracking and defends local rights. The referendum reads: “Shall the people’s right to local self-government be asserted by Johnson County to ban corporate fracking as a violation of their rights to health, safety, and a clean environment?”  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Gas boom still possible for region
Citizens Voice
ELIZABETH SKRAPITS

The natural gas boom is passing Luzerne and Lackawanna counties by, at least for now - but that might not be a permanent situation. The U.S. Energy Information Administration shows the Marcellus Shale has become the highest-producing natural gas play in the United States, with 14,470 million cubic feet per day expected in March. Coming in second is the Haynesville Shale in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas with a predicted 6,466 million cubic feet per day.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
A renewed search for western Colorado oil shale
Fuel Fix
DENNIS WEBB

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — Exxon Mobil has edged another step closer to undertaking oil shale research-and-development projects with the Bureau of Land Management’s approval of development plans. For Exxon Mobil, the projects mark a renewed attempt to commercially extract petroleum from oil shale after what was then Exxon shut down its Colony Project in 1982. That shutdown resulted in some 2,000 workers losing their jobs and caused economic repercussions for years from Glenwood Springs to Grand Junction.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Do fracking arrangements violate B.C. law? Environmental coalition gets day in court
The Province
DAN FUMANO

A coalition of environmental groups goes to court Monday to challenge the Oil and Gas Commission’s “systemic practice” of handing out repeated short-term water approvals for use in gas extraction operations in B.C. A petition, filed in B.C. Supreme Court in November by the environmental law group Ecojustice on behalf of Sierra Club and Wilderness Committee, says the OGC is letting gas companies use billions of litres of water a year, for periods of up to five years, without obtaining a long-term water licence. They claim this practice is a violation of the Water Act.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Oil found under Tory heartland: Deposits in southern England may be rich as North Sea but getting to them will involve fracking
The Daily Mail
VANESSA ALLEN

Scientists have discovered potential onshore oil resources in South East England, a new report is expected to confirm. Oil-bearing shale rocks in the Weald area spanning parts of Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Surrey are believed to be as rich in oil as the North Sea fields.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Box Elder Creek: Latest battlefield in Colorado's natural resources war Read more: Box Elder Creek: Latest battlefield in Colorado's natural resources war
The Denver Post
Mark Jaffe

The meandering Box Elder Creek has become a battlefield as farmers and ranchers are facing off against a plan to drill wells along its banks to provide water for fracking and other oil-field operations. While the creek wends its way north from Elbert County to the South Platte River in Weld County — Arapahoe County is ground zero for the fight.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
The "Significance" Trap: New Economic Analysis Finds that Keystone XL Would Increase Tar Sands Production, Carbon Emissions
DeSmogBlog
Ben Jervey

n its environmental assessment of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the U.S. State Department severely underestimated the project’s impact on oil production, and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
UK GOVERNMENT WILL ANSWER TO UNITED NATIONS ON BARTON MOSS POLICING
Salford Star


This week, after what Barton Moss Camp solicitor Simon Pook called "a very sinister development", some campaigners appeared to be targeted by Greater Manchester Police for live streaming officers' actions. "Having watched the film footage, it suggests to me that the police have a central intelligence team involved in Barton Moss and people are being targeted" says Pook "The United Kingdom Government will have to have to answer…at the United Nations for any human rights violations."  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Chevron fire aftermath: Only a minor setback?
Shale Reporter
Tara M. Zrinski

With the embers of the Chevron Lanco well fires still smoldering, the national media picked up on injustice of offering pizza to the impacted folks in Bobtown, Pa., but, the Associated Press reported that it wasn’t really a scandal or an insult to the residents after all. In fact, none of the locals signed the petition casting a cynical eye on Chevron’s “apology.”   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
The Hilcorp Frack-Gas Stampede to the Utica is Ready to Trample Right Over You: Forced Integration in Lawrence County, PA
The Wrench
Wendy Lynne Lee

Imagine getting this letter one day from Steve Fisackerly, Senior Landman, Hilcorp Energy Company, Houston, Texas: Dear Landowner, As a Hilcorp Energy leaseholder we wanted to take this opportunity to inform you of some additional steps we are taking in our commitment to develop the Utica Shale formation in your area. Enclosed you will find Hillcorp's request to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board to establish two well spacing units, at least one of which would either include your land or be adjacent to the existing unit in which your land is located. This order would ensure that Hillcorp can fully and efficiently realize the potential of the Utica Shale formation for its leaseholders with the least amount of impact to the surface.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Health concerns grow as frac sand mines creep into Missouri [INFOGRAPHIC]
St Louis Public Radio
Kristofor Husted

In Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., about 100 residents gathered for a town hall meeting in 2013 to discuss a new frac sand mine in their backyard. Officials from the county, state and mining company attended to answer questions residents might have. Neighbors peppered the panel with questions: How will the mine’s sand dust be regulated? How will you prevent it from getting into our lungs? How will the traffic and explosions affect my health, my property and the ecosystem? Concerns about breathing in the microscopic sand particles, which could lead to silicosis in the lungs, abounded. Jane Hardy, who lives about 1000 feet from the mine, said she wasn’t satisfied with the answers. “I’m still not going to be able to walk my dogs. I’m not going to be able to ride my horses. They made that very clear. So I don’t feel any better,” she said.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Gas service shut off in Queens housing project A leaky pipe forced the shutdown of gas service to 249 apartments in the Pomonok Houses in Flushing. Residents were warned that repairs could take up to two months, the head of the tenants association says.
Daily News
Larry McShane

A leaky pipe forced the shutdown of gas service to 249 apartments in a Queens housing project, the head of the tenants association said Saturday. Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/gas-service-shut-queens-housing-project-article-1.1723210#ixzz2wJfpBQwm  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Johnson County To Vote On Fracking, But Debate Not Likely To End Soon
KRCU
Jacob McCleland

Kris Pirmann walks through a high tunnel at his farm in rural Johnson County, Ill. as the wind whips at the plastic sheets that arc over his head. The air inside the structure is warm and humid and gives Pirmann a head start to the growing season.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Oil drilling causing Oklahoma quakes; what will fracking do in Nevada?
RGJ
Steve Timko

Fracking, or drilling for oil by hydraulic fracturing, is coming to Nevada. The Houston-based Noble Energy has 10 permits on file with the Nevada Division of Minerals for mining oil using the technique.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Ohio Fracking Operation Halted Over Earthquakes
Oil Price
Charles Kennedy

A series of earthquakes hit eastern Ohio on March 10 prompting officials to halt hydraulic fracturing operations as they investigated the cause. The earthquake occurred in Mahoning County near seven drilling sites owned by Hillcorp Energy.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2014
Fracking bill unlikely to pass Legislature this year
TC Palm
Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster

TALLAHASSEE — Last year, a bill aimed at creating hydraulic fracturing requirements was well on its way to the state House floor — sailing through all of its committee stops within the first month of the 2013 legislative session.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Ending the era of giveaway trade
Huffington Post
By Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)

Two years ago today, a little-noticed, but profoundly important, trade agreement between the United States and South Korea took effect. At the time, negotiators from both countries hailed this trade agreement as a deal that would expand our economy, increase exports and create jobs. Today, we know that these claims are simply untrue. Yesterday, none other than The Wall Street Journal declared "Korea-U.S. FTA Scorecard Shows Seoul The Big Winner," and the statistics confirm this fact.   [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Fred LeBrun: McCoy's heroic fight against Big Oil
Albany Times Union
Fred LeBrun

Dan McCoy may be an unexpected hero for taking on Big Oil and trying to slow down the crude oil train threatening to bowl this state over, but make no mistake, he's the man.   [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Wastewater Injection By Energy Companies Increases Risk Of California Earthquakes: Report
Huffington Post
Hunter Stuart

Many of California's oil industry wastewater injection wells are near recently active fault lines, posing a risk of earthquakes that could damage crucial infrastructure in the state, according to a report by three environmental groups. The report, released on Thursday, maps the proximity of California's active wastewater disposal wells to the state's fault lines and heavily populated areas, such as Los Angeles, Kern and Ventura counties.   [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Clueless Oil Man Accidentally Pitches Sierra Club On Drilling Scheme
Huffington Post
Chris Gentilviso

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune appears to have received quite the pitch this week. Brune posted an exchange to Facebook on Friday that he had with an unnamed oil executive. According to Brune's note, the man tried to sell him the craziest climate change theory we've heard yet -- that it's a case of "not to worry" because once oil leaves the ground, it will "reconstitute itself." The oil executive capped that explanation with the tip that "most people don't know this."  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Russian Troops Seize Gas Plant Beyond Crimean Border, Ukraine Says
The New York Times
ANDREW E. KRAMER

KIEV, Ukraine — Scores of Russian troops landed by helicopter and seized a gas plant just beyond the regional border of Crimea on Saturday, the Ukrainian government said. The action was Russia’s most provocative since its forces took over Crimea two weeks ago. The latest troop advance came one day before Crimea was set to vote on whether to secede from Ukraine, and it was testing Ukrainian leaders’ resolve to engage Russia’s much more powerful military if it moved beyond Crimea.   [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Texas Group Exceeds Signature Requirement for Fracking Ban on Nov. Ballot
EcoNews
Earthworks

Frack Free Denton today announced they have gathered substantially more than the required signatures to put their fracking ban initiative on the November ballot. Denton City charter requires signatures equal to 25 percent of votes cast in the most recent general election for an initiative to get on the ballot.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Crude-oil transport plan proposed
Times Herald Record
James Walsh

NEW WINDSOR — One of the largest distributors of petroleum products in the Northeast plans to unload volatile crude oil from trains for transport by barge or ship from this Hudson River town. The project would let at least some oil trains supplying Global Companies LLC bypass the busy Port of Albany, while accomplishing the same tasks now under scrutiny by government officials and environmentalists.   [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Months After Oil Train Spill, Alabama Swamp Still Polluted
Huffington Post
Jay Reeves

ALICEVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Environmental regulators promised an aggressive cleanup after a tanker train hauling 2.9 million gallons of crude oil derailed and burned in a west Alabama swamp in early November amid a string of North American oil train crashes. So why is dark, smelly crude oil still oozing into the water four months later? The isolated wetland smelled like a garage when a reporter from The Associated Press visited last week, and the charred skeletons of burned trees rose out of water covered with an iridescent sheen and swirling, weathered oil. A snake and a few minnows were some of the few signs of life.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Activist investors try to wring money out of oil companies
Houston Chronicle
Collin Eaton

Focus on short term by activist shareholders could dim oil industry's long-term vision for exploration  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
California drought: Strife over groundwater boils over
San Francisco Chronicle
Melody Gutierrez

SACRAMENTO - Zinfandel will flow like the water once did in Paso Robles this weekend. Bottles will pop open during a wine festival as rigs drill deep across the city to find a resource whose scarcity threatens Paso Robles to its core: water.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Sen. Markey Calls For Upgrades To Natural Gas Pipelines
CBS Boston
Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is warning that the deadly gas explosion that destroyed two buildings in New York and killed eight people shows the need to fix the aging infrastructure that delivers fuel in cities across the country. The Democrat has filed legislation that would require utilities and state regulators to consider replacing the oldest, leakiest natural gas pipelines first.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Site of East Harlem explosion saturated with natural gas, suggesting leak caused blast: feds
New York Daily News
ERIK BADIA , JOSEPH STEPANSKY , JENNIFER FERMINO AND CORKY SIEMASZKO

The National Transportation Safety Board said that in some locations near the explosion, Con Edison found a 20% concentration of natural gas, meaning the gas line to 1644 and 1646 Park Ave. may have been leaking. As the investigation continued, New Yorkers who were displaced by the explosion learned they would be getting new homes.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Fracking chemicals' secrecy questioned
Wyoming News


CHEYENNE -- The question of the public’s right to know what is in fracking fluids now awaits a district court decision. The Wyoming Supreme Court decided on Wednesday to reverse a district court judge’s decision that let the chemicals be secret and send the case back to him. Several groups had challenged the Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission’s withholding of certain fracking chemical information from public disclosure and review. In its opinion, the high court ruled that the withholding of information must fall within the defined label of trade secrets.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Shell Oil fading in the Pennsylvania Marcellus
Examiner


A new analysis of the second half 2013 Pennsylvania Marcellus shale oil and gas production shows the vast majority of Royal Dutch Shell’s 630 wells are under performing compared to its peers. In northeast Tioga County, Shell’s wells are producing at less than half the rate of its area competitors. Its more bad news for Shell as its new CEO Ben Van Beurden announced on Thursday the company would cut its spending in onshore U.S. operations by 20% and begin selling off assets. Van Beurdan stated, “Overall, we are working through the fundamental shake-up of the resources play portfolio and the way we operate,” Shell’s poor productivity results in the Pennsylvania Marcellus is also potentially bad news for the Corbett Administration which has been trying to close a deal with Shell to locate an ethane cracker plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania north of Pittsburgh.   [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
New York explosions expose nation's aging and dangerous gas mains
CNN
Ray Sanchez

New York (CNN) -- Those two New York buildings where eight people died in an explosion were served by a very old gas main -- 127 years old to be exact. It's the latest incident in what experts warn is a dangerous trend plaguing the nation's oldest cities: natural gas leaks and aging infrastructure. "Gas explosions are happening way too frequently," said Mark McDonald, president of Boston-based NatGas Consulting and the New England Gas Workers Association. "It's an epidemic."  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Towering inferno: Natural gas pipeline fire forces family to flee
Fremont Tribune
Chris Zavadil and Tammy Real-McKeighan

Keith and Marcia Johnson were still in bed when they heard the explosion. “We looked out of our window and there was a huge ball of fire,” said Marcia, who lives with her husband at County Road 20 between O and P about 6 miles northwest of Fremont. “We grabbed our clothes and ran out because our house is on the natural gas line. Keith doesn’t even have his shoes.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Thousands rally at [CA] Capitol to protest fracking
ABC News10 Sacramento
Gabriel Roxas

SACRAMENTO - More than 2,000 people came from across the state to gather at the Capitol Saturday afternoon to call for a ban on fracking in California. Protesters heard from speakers who talked about how fracking hurt communities. "They can't play in the yards. They can't plant flowers in their soil. They can't even touch their soil. It's contaminated," anti-fracking activist Latrice Carter told the crowd.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Thousands of Californians Confront Gov. Brown at Anti-Fracking Protest
PR Newswire
Press Release

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Driven by growing concerns about earthquakes, air and water pollution, and climate change, thousands of Californians from across the state are protesting today in Sacramento to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to stop fracking. Organized by the statewide coalition Californians Against Fracking and more than 80 individual environmental and public health organizations, the protest and march feature speakers from around California who are forced to live with fracking in their communities and are organizing to end the use of this toxic way of producing oil and gas. See photos from the rally here and speaking list here.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Nature Has A Promising Replacement For Hormone-Scrambling Plastics: Shrimp Shells
Huffington Post
Lynne Peeples

Javier Fernandez admits he's not a huge fan of chess. "I'm not very good either," he says. Nevertheless, his queen, king, rook and knight are attracting a lot of attention. The black and white chess pieces are made of plastic, but not the petroleum-based kind experts warn may be laden with hormone-scrambling chemicals. Rather, Fernandez and his colleagues molded the complex game pieces from a compostable material abundant in nature: Chitin.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
On the Wrong Side of Globalization
The New York Times
JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ

Trade agreements are a subject that can cause the eyes to glaze over, but we should all be paying attention. Right now, there are trade proposals in the works that threaten to put most Americans on the wrong side of globalization. The conflicting views about the agreements are actually tearing at the fabric of the Democratic Party, though you wouldn’t know it from President Obama’s rhetoric. In his State of the Union address, for example, he blandly referred to “new trade partnerships” that would “create more jobs.” Most immediately at issue is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which would bring together 12 countries along the Pacific Rim in what would be the largest free trade area in the world.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Fracking worries arise at conservation forum in city
Fredericksburg.com
Rusty Dennen

The purpose of a Virginia Outdoors Foundation-sponsored forum in Fredericksburg last week was to look at whether oil and gas drilling should be allowed on land protected from other development by conservation easements. But looming over the five-hour session Thursday was the prospect of hydraulic fracturing coming to the Taylorsville basin south and east of Fredericksburg. Some conservation easements in the basin already allow drilling.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, causes a stir in southern Illinois
Journal Star
Tim Landis

Johnson County voters will be asked by advisory referendum on Tuesday whether the county should adopt a “Community Bill of Rights” intended to ultimately ban fracking, as the practice also is known. Only one other county in the country, in New Mexico, has banned the practice, according to referendum organizers.   [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Fracking: Industry lawsuit against Longmont will be decided first
Insurance News Net
Scott Rochat

City officials announced Friday that they had "reluctantly" agreed to postpone the regulations case so that the Boulder County District Court could first decide whether Longmont can keep its ban of hydraulic fracturing, a means of using high-pressure water, sand and chemicals to crack open oil and gas deposits.   [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
New Business Coalition Forms in Colorado to Fight Anti-Fracking Movement
DeSmogBlog


A new pro-fracking business coalition called "Vital for Colorado" (VfC) has sprung up to fight the growing grassroots anti-fracking movement in Colorado.   [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Crude-oil transport plan proposed
Times Herald Record
James Walsh

NEW WINDSOR — One of the largest distributors of petroleum products in the Northeast plans to unload volatile crude oil from trains for transport by barge or ship from this Hudson River town.The project would let at least some oil trains supplying Global Companies LLC bypass the busy Port of Albany, while accomplishing the same tasks now under scrutiny by government officials and environmentalists.Global applied last year to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to modify the company's air-quality permit to reflect the planned changes at the site. The Plans Global Companies' proposal for New Windsor:• Construct an intermodal rail yard for transloading petroleum liquids and volatile organic liquids.• Add marine loading of petroleum liquids and volatile organic liquids, including ethanol, crude (oil), heated products and gasoline at existing marine docks at Newburgh and North terminals.• Convert tanks from storing distillates to storing volatile petroleum products.• Install boilers to heat products contained in rail cars and storage tanks.Source: State Department of Environmental Conservationpermit application It intends to build a rail transloading yard at 1220 River Road, property that Global plans to buy from Eastern Harbour Associates, an affiliate of Steelways Inc. The site is near Global's north and south terminals.Piping would connect those terminals and Global's Newburgh terminal. Petroleum products would be unloaded from train cars to storage tanks, then put on ships or barges at the Newburgh and north terminals, Nicole Brower of Envirospec Engineering stated in the DEC application.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Soil around blast building soaked with natural gas
New York Post
Jamie Schram, Kevin Fasick and Daniel Prendergast

Soil from the area where two apartment buildings exploded in East Harlem Wednesday was soaked with high concentrations of natural gas, more evidence of chronic gas leaks at the doomed properties, officials said.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2014
Land trust asks governor to block natural gas pipeline on state conservation land
Daily Hampshire Gazette
RICHIE DAVIS

Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust is asking Gov. Deval Patrick to ensure that the path of a planned natural gas pipeline is kept off all state-owned and state-protected conservation land. “Land protected for long-term public health and conservation purposes must not be sacrificed for short-term private financial gain,” Mount Grace Executive Director Leigh Youngblood wrote to Patrick last week regarding exploration by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. of a route for a 175-mile pipeline from Wright, N.Y., to Dracut, through Conway, Shelburne, Deerfield, Montague, Erving, Northfield, Warwick and Orange. “Mount Grace adamantly opposes compromising public or private conservation land with an unnecessary, rashly proposed and environmentally detrimental scheme that includes exporting our nation’s natural resources in a manner that sacrifices our own economic and energy interests,” she wrote in the March 11 letter that was copied to state environmental officials, area members of Congress and members of the state legislative delegation.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
FERC issues draft EIS on Freeport LNG’s Phase II projects
Oil & Gas Journal


The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on Freeport LNG’s Phase II modification and liquefaction projects. FERC concluded that “construction and operation of the projects would result in adverse impacts on certain resources and nearby communities.” FERC said, “We have identified that there would be significant and unavoidable impacts on residents of the town of Quintana due to construction noise and construction traffic if the projects are approved by the commission.” The commission added, “However, other adverse impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Freeport LNG’s mitigation measures and the additional measures we recommend in the EIS.”  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
FERC to issue EA for Cove Point LNG export project in May
Oil & Gas Journal


The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has notified Dominion, Richmond, Va., that it will issue its environmental assessment (EA) for the Cove Point LNG liquefaction and export project on May 15. The proposed export facility will be within the 131-acre footprint of the LNG import facility, which has been in Calvert County for 40 years. No new pipelines, storage tanks, or piers are needed at the facility. The company needs about 50 permits and approvals before construction can begin.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Bill aimed at advancing liquefied natural gas project in Alaska moves from Senate Finance
AP via Daily Reporter
BECKY BOHRER

UNEAU, Alaska — A bill aimed at advancing a major liquefied natural gas project in Alaska cleared a key Senate committee Friday, with a provision that would allow for a portion of the state's royalty revenue from the project to go toward energy projects in areas without direct access to a North Slope gas line. Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, said that's a critical piece for him and the other amendment sponsors, Sens. Donny Olson, D-Golovin, and Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
NTSB: Abnormal Concentration Of Natural Gas Found Near East Harlem Blast Scene
cbsnewyorklocal


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Con Edison crews discovered an alarming natural gas concentration near the scene of the deadly East Harlem building explosion this week, a National Transportation Safety Board member said Friday. Board member Robert Sumwalt also revealed that the gas main buried under Park Avenue near the scene at 116th Street dated back 127 years to 1887. As CBS 2’s Don Champion reported, investigators and Con Edison crews were still looking Friday night for the apparent leak.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
NC eyes gas pipeline safety after NY's fatal explosion
WNCN
Justin Quesinberry

DURHAM, N.C. - About 1.3 million customers in North Carolina have natural gas, which requires more than 33,000 miles of pipeline across the state. The integrity of those pipes is now on the minds of some after the fatal explosion this week in New York, believed to have been caused by a gas leak. Bill Gilmore, deputy director of the operations division at the North Carolina Utilities Commission, said external damage is one of the biggest threats to the state's pipelines.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Aging Natural Gas Pipes: How Safe Are Our Cities?
Here and Now


Rescue workers with dogs and thermal units are searching the rubble for victims of a the gas explosion earlier this week in Manhattan, as investigators struggle to pinpoint where the leak came from and try to determine whether it was caused by the city’s aging infrastructure. Eight bodies have been pulled from the debris, but rescue workers have, so far, only cleared about half the site. The explosion is raising questions about aging infrastructure around the country, where decades-old cast-iron pipes are still used to deliver gas. New York City is fitted with about 3,000 miles of these pipes, Boston about 2,000 miles and Philadelphia about 1,500 — all of which raises questions about public safety and what building owners, homeowners and renters can do to protect their properties and their families.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Land Trust to Gov: No pipeline on protected land
The Recorder
RICHIE DAVIS

Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust is asking Gov. Deval Patrick to assure that the path of a planned natural gas pipeline is kept off all state-owned and state-protected conservation land. “Land protected for long-term public health and conservation purposes must not be sacrificed for short-term private financial gain,” Mount Grace Executive Director Leigh Youngblood wrote to Patrick this week regarding Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s exploration of a route for a 175-mile pipeline from Wright, N.Y., to Dracut, through Conway, Shelburne, Deerfield, Montague, Erving, Northfield, Warwick and Orange.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Pipeline Proposed in New Milford
PA Homepage
Andrew Forgotch and Nick Hughes

New Milford, Susquehanna County - One community in Susquehanna County could be on the verge of a switch to natural gas. Currently, no one in New Milford uses natural gas for heating. Leatherstocking Gas Company was contacted by New Milford officials who want to get a pipeline run through the area. Friday night they held a meeting about where the pipeline would be and talked about making the switch to natural gas. If everything is approved and goes according to plan, a Leatherstocking Gas company would be able to start construction as early as spring of next year.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Here’s where all the US shale oil and gas wells are – map
Scientific American
David Wogan

Post Carbon Institute has an incredibly detailed (and gorgeous!) map of all US shale oil and gas wells (they count 63,000 through June 2012 using data from Drilling Info). I’ve embedded it below so you can get lost in the crazy amount of detail:  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Local officials want more answers about rail-oil safety
North Country Public Radio
Brian Mann

At a meeting this week in Elizabethtown, in Essex County, Canadian Pacific refused to disclose its emergency response plan in case of a major rail tanker disaster on its line in the Champlain Valley. According to the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, CP spokesman Randy Marsh cited security concerns in declining to tell local government leaders and first responders about the company's response plan.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
No injuries reported in Neb. gas pipeline blast
Times Union
Associated Press

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — No injured were reported Friday after a natural gas pipeline explosion shot flames 60 feet in the air in eastern Nebraska. The line erupted about 8:30 a.m. about six miles north of Fremont. No structures were damaged, according to the Fremont Tribune (http://bit.ly/1gwMlFC ).   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Sportsmen Block Pennsylvania Lawmaker's Attack on Wild Trout and Endangered Species Protections, For Now
HATCH Magazine
Chad Shmukler

Early this year, we published a detailed piece on a bill proposed by Pennsylvania lawmakers which is deceptively titled the Endangered Species Act. The bill, HB 1576, has been widely outed as a poorly veiled attempt to neuter the ability of state agencies to put in place vital wild trout and endangered species protections that ultimately present road blocks to development by the natural gas industry and other corporate interests throughout the state. The bill met success late last year when it passed through the House Game & Fisheries committee in November, qualifying the bill to move to forward in the legislative process. This week, sportsmen's and environmental groups that have worked to put a stop to the bill's progress received some relief when the sponsors of the bill failed to receive the necessary support to bring it to a vote on the House floor.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
From Denton to Houston: Is fracking boom playing out?
The Dallas Morning News
Ralph De La Cruz

Meanwhile, the Houston Chronicle is reporting that energy giant Shell will be cutting 400 of 1,800 positions in its Houston-based Upstream Americas unit because of disappointing results in its U.S. shale play. Shell is also moving out of the Eagle Ford Shale region in South Texas as well as its shale play in the Rocky Mountain region and in the Mississippi Lime in Kansas and Oklahoma. The squeeze from North Texas residents and from Shell should lead one to wonder…is the fracking boom playing out?  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Global Partners issues statement on McCoy oil moratorium
NEWS10 ABC


ALBANY, N.Y. – Global Partners LP delivered a letter to Albany County Executive Dan McCoy responding to his executive order to put a moratorium on oil heating in Albany County. Global Partners said they consider McCoy's action "ill advised, unnecessary, unlawful and prejudicial to the company. It has no legal basis, discriminates unfairly against Global Partners for lawful business activities that are fully permitted and puts the county at risk for legal action and damages." ____________________________________________________________________________ The County Attorney has advised me the County's actions are on firm legal ground. A threatening letter that blows smoke does not alter the County's statutory right and duty embodied in the Public Health Law to protect the public's health and safety. Interesting, and perhaps most telling, nowhere do Global's lawyers deny that the shipment and processing of high volumes of Crude Oil present real and substantial public health and safety risk." Albany County Executive Dan McCo  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Texas clean-energy projects created 6,400 jobs last year
Dallas Business Journal
Sanford Nowlin

Clean-energy production and energy-efficient transportation projects created nearly 6,400 jobs in Texas last year, according to a new report by nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs, or E2.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Photos capture massive gas pipeline explosion
KCCI


FREMONT, Neb. —No injuries have been reported from an explosion on a natural gas pipeline in eastern Nebraska Friday, KETV-TV reported.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Death toll in NYC gas explosion climbs to 8
The Post-Standard
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Rescue workers using dogs and thermal-detection gear to search rubble for more victims of a gas explosion found an eighth body on Thursday while investigators tried to pinpoint the leak and determine whether it had anything to do with the city's aging gas and water mains, some from the 1800s. At least five people were unaccounted for after the deafening blast Wednesday morning destroyed two five-story East Harlem apartment buildings that were served by an 1887 cast-iron gas main. More than 60 people were injured.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Owner Of Building Destroyed By Gas Explosion Actually Went Out Of Her Way To Avoid Using Gas
Huffington Post
Saki Knafo

A gas leak almost certainly played a role in the explosion that flattened two buildings in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, killing at least seven people and injuring many more. City officials have said as much, and local residents told reporters on Wednesday that they smelled gas in the area well before the blast. So it’s darkly ironic that the owner of one of the buildings destroyed in the explosion had actually shunned gas for an alternative energy source -- a far less combustible one.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
LNG:Ukraine conflict provides catalyst for export movement
E & E Newswire
Nick Juliano

Controversy over LNG as foreign policy tool The LNG-as-a-foreign-policy-tool push hit a snag from environmental groups that have resisted exports because they would lead to additional oil and gas extraction in the United States. Two hundred organizations sent a letter to the administration and Congress urging against additional exports. "ExxonMobil and other oil and gas giants should not be controlling our foreign policy," Wenonah Hauter, executive director of activist group Food & Water Watch, said in a statement. "We cannot sacrifice communities here in the United States for illusory-short term foreign policy objectives. We strongly urge Congress and the Obama administration to say 'no' to oil and gas exports."  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Contaminated Water Supplies, Health Concerns Accumulate With Fracking Boom in Pennsylvania
Truthout
Roger Drouin

As the first official research is published that confirms water contamination by hydraulic fracturing, an alarming amount and array of hazardous chemicals and compounds - including arsenic, chloride, barium and radium - are found in Pennsylvania groundwater. Shortly after a gas company in Donegal, Pennsylvania, began storing fracking wastewater in an impoundment pit, a water well at a nearby home showed some alarmingly elevated levels of barium and strontium.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
POLITICS AND THE OIL INDUSTRY:How to build community support for pipelines and hydraulic fracturing
Oil & Gas Journal
Travis Sexton

The prominent coverage of widespread opposition to hydraulic fracturing projects from Ohio to California has taken a new turn recently as opponents who cannot stop the fracking now try to impose local bans on pipelines to prevent transport of natural gas liquids from shale sites to midstream or downstream destinations. Companies that thought they had achieved some measure of control at drilling sites find now more than ever they have to think through strategically the political risks at all stages – from soup to nuts – that arise from extracting energy, refining or processing it, and taking it to market. Despite the growth in our home-grown energy industry and its positive economic impact, political risks for pipelines and fracking have also grown. More sophisticated opponents in land-use politics require an organizing approach for building community support for this industry.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Patients Are Already Suffering From Tar Sands, Nurses Say
ThinkProgress
EMILY ATKIN

Brenda Prewitt has never seen an infant diagnosed with asthma, not once 26 years of pediatric nursing. Recently, however, she’s thinking that might change. “We used to never diagnose asthma in kids under the age of two –never even see asthma-type symptoms under the age of two — and now we’re seeing that,” Prewitt, who works in Houston, Texas, told Climate Progress on Thursday. “Doctors don’t want to label somebody with that chronic disease so early in life until they know for sure.”  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Texas Group Exceeds Signature Requirement for Fracking Ban on Nov. Ballot
EcoWatch
Earthworks

Frack Free Denton today announced they have gathered substantially more than the required signatures to put their fracking ban initiative on the November ballot. Denton City charter requires signatures equal to 25 percent of votes cast in the most recent general election for an initiative to get on the ballot.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Gas Free Seneca plans rally Monday in Watkins Glen
Star Gazette


Gas Free Seneca, a group opposed to a planned natural gas storage and transport facility near Seneca Lake, will hold a rally from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday at the village marina parking lot in Watkins Glen. Monday’s rally also commemorates the one-year anniversary of the “Seneca Lake 12,” the 12 people who were arrested March 18 for trespassing at Inergy/Crestwood Midstream.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
US should avoid military motives for LNG exports
Oil & Gas Journal
Bob Tippee

The US natural gas industry should remind House Republicans that geopolitical power works best in silence, that bluster dissipates influence. Surging gas supplies do enhance the US potential to shape events abroad. Now, though, a few lawmakers want to swing what they see as a new club at Russia. They’re pushing legislation to speed approvals of LNG export projects as a way to punish Moscow for aggression in Ukraine. The truculence should make gas producers and prospective exporters wince.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Flooded well spills oil into river
The Dickinson Press
Amy Dalrymple

TRENTON – Oil from one well has spilled into floodwaters near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers, where the rising waters threaten a total of 38 oil wells.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Fracking: Its risks on wildlife
News 24


Cape Town – A UK study argues that fracking has the potential to ravage the habitats of various wildlife species. In a report titled Are We Fit to Frack? six organisations argue that there needs to be conservation zones around areas that will be drilled. According to the BBC there has to be no 'frack zones' around areas were the habitats of animals are threatened   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
More quakes reported near fracking well
Columbus Dispatch
Will Drabold

Geologists say there were 12 earthquakes near an active fracking well in northeastern Ohio — four last week and eight this week. The earthquakes all have similar wavelengths, said Won Young-Kim, a senior scientist who runs a regional earthquake monitoring network at Columbia University in New York. He said last week’s epicenters appear to be within a mile of the largest — a magnitude 3.0 earthquake — that occurred on Monday morning near Lowellville in Mahoning County and not far from dozens of earthquakes that shook the Youngstown area in 2011 and were tied to a fracking-waste injection well.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Government survey reveals huge support for windfarms compared to fracking
Click Green


More than three-quarters of Britons say they support offshore wind energy while only 36% say they are in favour of fracking for shale gas, according to the results of a new Government poll. The survey, commissioned by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, revealed a clear gap of support for the two energy sources with the majority of those questioned saying they believed offshore wind would help tackle climate change and boost the UK economy.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Trains Carrying Fracked Oil Spotted In Bay Area
CBS San Francisco
Abigail Sterling and Christin Ayers

RICHMOND (KPIX 5) – We have seen how fracked crude oil can explode when trains derail. And Bay Area residents have made it clear that they don’t want them here and several projects to bring in crude by rail are on hold because of it. But KPIX 5 discovered it’s already happening, in an operation so hush hush that even the state’s energy commission didn’t know about it. Shortly after a gas company in Donegal, Pennsylvania, began storing fracking wastewater in an impoundment pit, a water well at a nearby home showed some alarmingly elevated levels of barium and strontium. The Southwest Pennsylvania home sits within 2,000 feet of the impoundment pit, which began leaking in late 2012, Kathryn Hilton told Truthout. Hilton is a community organizer at the Mountain Watershed Association, a nonprofit dedicated to water conservation in the state's Indian Creek Watershed.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
W.Va. DEP Orders Fayette Co. Frack Waste Permit Revoked
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
JESSICA LILLY

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has ordered a permit for an underground injection well in Fayette County to be revoked. The DEP renewed the permit for a class two (UIC), or underground injection control disposal well owned by Danny Webb Construction on February 6.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Will frackers cause California’s next big earthquake?
Grist
John Upton

The Ring of Fire, an earthquake-prone area around the edges of the Pacific Ocean, might not be the best spot for earth-rumbling fracking practices. But fracking is exploding in the ringside state of California, raising fears that the industry could trigger the next “big one.” More than half of the 1,553 active wastewater injection wells used by frackers in California are within 10 miles of a seismic fault that has ruptured within the past two centuries, according to a jarring new report. The fracking industry’s habit of injecting its wastewater underground has been linked to earthquakes. (And Ohio officials are investigating whether fracking itself was enough to trigger temblors early this week.)  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Hilcorp seeks to force drilling on reluctant landowners
New Castle News
Mary Grzebieniak

NEW CASTLE — A hearing has been set on a request to force local landowners to allow gas and oil drilling. Hilcorp Corp., a Texas firm with multiple well pads in the area, is asking for the so-called “forced pooling.” It has invoked a 1961 law to force holdouts to negotiate a price and sign a lease. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, this is the first attempt in 30 years to use the law this way.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Here’s where all the US shale oil and gas wells are – map
Scientific American
David Wogan

Post Carbon Institute has an incredibly detailed (and gorgeous!) map of all US shale oil and gas wells (they count 63,000 through June 2012 using data from Drilling Info). I’ve embedded it below so you can get lost in the crazy amount of detail:  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Some Fracking Commissioners Think Report Won't Be Ready by Deadline
Southern Maryland Online
Lyle Kendrick

ANNAPOLIS (March 14, 2014) -- The commission examining hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Maryland has about five months left in its study to determine if -- and how -- the natural gas extraction practice can be done safely in the state. But some commission members said they are not sure the commission will be able to adequately finish the report by the August 1 deadline.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
What’s still at stake in the Act 13 court battle?
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

It appears that much of Pennsylvania’s two-year-old oil and gas law, known as Act 13, will remain intact despite a continuing court battle over its constitutionality.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2014
Transatlantic trade talks hit German snag
Financial Times
Shawn Donnan and Stefan Wagstyl

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/cc5c4860-ab9d-11e3-90af-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2wJbwh7kq Germany has introduced a stumbling block to landmark EU-US trade negotiations by insisting that any pact must exclude a contentious dispute settlement provision. The “investor-state dispute settlement” mechanism, or ISDS, would allow private investors to sue governments if they felt local laws threatened their investments. Public opposition to its inclusion has grown in both Europe and the US since the launch last year of negotiations over a transatlantic trade area.   [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
Pavillion, Wyoming: politics trumps science, citizens suffer
Preserve the Beartooth Front


The town of Pavillion, Wyoming is in many ways unremarkable. It sits southeast of Yellowstone Park, just 200 miles due south of Red Lodge. The 2010 census puts its population at 231 in 95 households.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
Shell cuts spending and jobs at US shale gas arm
The Telegraph
Alistair Osborne

Chief executive Ben van Beurden tells investors "financial performance there is frankly not acceptable" Royal Dutch Shell plans to cut spending by a fifth at its American exploration and production arm and axe jobs, as it becomes the latest oil major to struggle in the booming US shale sector. The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant used its annual investor day to tell shareholders how its upstream US operations continued to be “impacted by losses in resources plays such as shales”.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
Some fracking commissioners think report won’t be ready by deadline
Cecil Whig
Lyle Kendrick Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS — The commission examining hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Maryland has about five months left in its study to determine if — and how — the natural gas extraction practice can be done safely in the state. But some commission members said they are not sure the commission will be able to adequately finish the report by the August 1 deadline.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
In Wyoming, Drillers Are One Step Closer To Disclosing What’s In Fracking Fluid
Global Possibilities
Casey Danson

The Wyoming Supreme Court on Wednesday sent a fracking fluids disclosure case back to a lower court, giving environmental and consumer rights groups hope that the cocktails of chemicals used to frack for natural gas will become public knowledge. In 2010, Wyoming was the first state to require disclosure of fracking fluid ingredients to state regulators. But the Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission never made those lists of chemicals public, claiming they were trade secrets that varied from company to company constituting competitive advantage. In Wyoming, the Public Records Act (WPRA) allows state officials to protect trade secrets from public releas  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
HYDROFRACKING IN NEW YORK QUESTIONED BY QUEENS POLS, COMMUNITY ADVOCATES
South and West Forum


Last week, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) joined with the environmental advocacy group Environment New York and others as the group released its latest report in its campaign to stop hydraulic fracturing – a method of extracting natural gas that is often known as hydrofracking – in the state. A newly released booklet, called “Shalefield Stories,” details personal and collected testimonies on the negative effects of fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
Tennessee lawmakers won't take on fracking, mining limits for now
The Tenneseean


Bans on fracking and mountaintop mining in Tennessee appear dead for the year. Three measures before state lawmakers aimed at adding those protections for Tennessee’s natural resources failed to make it out of the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday. “I can’t say I am really surprised by the vote. But I think they are important enough issues to keep talking about,” said state Sen. Lowe Finney, D-Jackson, the sponsor of the bills.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
How the Kings of Fracking Double-Crossed Their Way to Riches
Daily Beast
Abnrahm Lustgarten

Thanks to a series of shady deals with former subsidiaries—and massive cuts in royalties to unsuspecting landowners—the controversial shale gas firm is now awash in cash. At the end of 2011, Chesapeake Energy, one of the nation’s biggest oil and gas companies, was teetering on the brink of failure.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
Is the fracking industry shaking in their boots?
Environmental Economics
Tim Haab

To date the fracking debate in Ohio has centered around an insurance problem: is the risk of contamination from fracking quantifiable and if so, can energy companies insure successfully against the known risk. Now that Ohio is the epicenter (see what I did there?) of the fracking/earthquake causation/correlation question, I sense the debate turning to a precautionary principal debate: Is the small risk of a catastrophic event worth even trying?  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
Fracking shame: Full threat to British wildlife is laid bare in a new report showing up to half the country could be licensed for shale gas extraction
THE INDEPENDENT UK
Tom Bawden

The threat posed to wildlife by fracking is laid bare today as a new report identifies vast swathes of environmentally sensitive land across Britain that could be excavated for shale oil and gas.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
General James Jones Didn't Disclose Industry Ties Before Testimony at Keystone XL Hearing
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing today (March 13) on the U.S. State Department's national interest determination for the northern half of the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Four witnesses will testify: Keystone XL proponent Karen Alderman Harbert, the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy; retired NASA climatologist James Hansen, an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Earth Institute and Keystone XL opponent; and Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, another critic of the Keystone XL.   [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
America’s dirtiest secret How billions of barrels of toxic oil and gas waste are falling through regulatory cracks
Boulder Weekly
Jefferson Dodge and Joel Dyer

What is no secret these days is that the potential for negative environmental and health impacts as a result of oil and gas exploration and production activity is very real. Concern over fracking, with its toxic cocktail composed of some combination of between 300 and 750 chemicals, 70 percent of which are known to be harmful to humans because they are carcinogenic or endocrine disruptors, etc., gets most of our collective attention these days. But this industry practice is not the only or largest contamination problem our nation faces as the result of oil and gas development. In fact, the oil and gas industry’s other contamination problems are so large, they have literally been deemed impossible to prevent or even clean up by both industry and government. As a result, an unimaginable tonnage of contamination is being placed into our environment every year thanks to the near total lack of regulations over oil and gas exploration and production wastes. The story behind this unregulated onslaught of contamination is so bizarre as to seem impossible, but it isn’t. We often hear of the “Halliburton loophole,” a name used to describe a regulatory exemption that was created for the industry in 2005 to relieve fracking fluid of the burden of the Safe Drinking Water Act. But the Halliburton loophole is just one small exemption to federal regulations for the oil and gas industry. There are many others.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
Albany County halts tar sands oil processing plans pending health study
Al Jazeera America
Renee Lewis

Executive order used to issue moratorium on tar sands boilers at Port of Albany after local outcry over safety The executive order came Thursday after Daniel McCoy, Albany County Executive, said Massachusetts-based Global Partners had not adequately addressed the health and safety concerns of local residents. McCoy said the moratorium will not be lifted until a public health investigation is carried out and action plans are made for large-scale disasters resulting from the transport or processing of oil.   [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
Albany County Sidetracks Oil Expansion At City Port
WAMC
Dave Lucas

Albany County has responded to mounting concerns voiced by city of Albany residents over oil trains and oil expansion at the Port of Albany. "It's gratifying that the county of Albany has stepped into the void and is taking action." Earthjustice staff attorney Chris D'Amato echoes the sentiments of a variety of green groups that have come forward lauding Albany County Executive Dan McCoy's decision to take a stand against plans to build oil heating facilities at the port that would likely increase the number of oil trains rolling through riverside neighborhoods.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
At South Jersey Forum, Hecklers Test Christie’s Paramount Rule
The New York Times
MICHAEL BARBARO

Some of Mr. Christie’s critics, who arrived prepared to grill him over the pace of recovery from Hurricane Sandy and his support for fracking, followed his advice, quietly sitting through the forum. Near the end of the session, a group of about eight people held up colorful signs that read “Don’t Frack Our Water,” but they did not interrupt Mr. Christie.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2014
In Wyoming, Drillers Are One Step Closer To Disclosing What's In Fracking Fluid
ThinkProgress
Joanna M. Foster

The Wyoming Supre